Activists demand end to Manhattan
carriages over animal abuse
BY DEAN MOSES
Animal rights activists continued
their ongoing battle against NYC’s
horse carriage industry on Thursday,
citing one horse’s abused condition
as the city’s failure to provide adequate
Dozens of fuming protesters took their
grievances to the West 38th Street stable on
Aug. 19 after images of Michelle, one of the
equine carriage-pullers, surfaced in which
the mare appeared seemingly emaciated
with a wound on her hindquarters. Organized
by NYCLASS and PETA, the groups
showcased the photograph as evidence that
the antiquated carriage industry must be
“We are holding crime scene tape because
this is the scene of a crime. Animal
abuse is a crime. It’s not even being investigated,
and every member of City Council
and Mayor Bill de Blasio is aiding and abetting
this animal abuse of Michelle and so
many other horses that don’t have names,”
said Edita Birnkrant, executive director of
The hotly-debated industry has been
treading ground for years now; de Blasio
previously pledged to address the carriage
Edita Birnkrant, executive director of NYCLASS, holds up caution tape stating
that animal abuse is a crime.
industry prior to being elected mayor.
Although a ban on horse carriages
was never implemented under a de Blasio
administration, the talk of halting what
many animal lovers feel to be an act of
unbridled cruelty is only gaining traction
as more incidents of poor health are
“Let this horse retire in a sanctuary
because we have seen too many sick and
PHOTO BY DEAN MOSES
injured horses like Michelle disappear. So,
we are asking the industry to let Michelle
go to a sanctuary instead of to slaughter,”
Ashley Byrne from PETA said.
A staunch critic of Mayor de Blasio, Republican
mayoral candidate Curtis Sliwa
joined the protest, also condemning the
“We need to put an end to this once and
for all. There will be no more horse drawn
carriages. No more abuse of animals and
we should all get behind NYCLASS for
piloting this effort and other volunteers in
the animal rescue community who have led
the way,” Sliwa said.
However, despite the Guardian Angel’s
presence, NYCLASS took some of the
wind from beneath his wings by making
it clear to amNewYork Metro that the organization
does not endorse his candidacy
or his agenda.
As the group chanted for immediate
action to be taken to protect the horse in
question, Christinia Hansen, a New York
City carriage driver and spokesperson for
the carriage industry, dismissed the accusations,
and charged that the protest was an
attempt for NYCLASS to prey upon the
sympathies of animal lovers.
“This is NYCLASS once again abusing
the emotions of animal lovers. There was
a complaint over the weekend about Michelle,
which if people have complaints,
they should tell the health department,
but very often people don’t know that
NYCLASS has exaggerated it into the
horse having open wounds and was emaciated,
none of which is true. As has been
shown in the investigation,” Hansen said.
According to Hansen, after complaints
were made, the New York Health Department
dispatched a veterinarian to investigate
Michelle’s condition. Hansen also
made claims that NYCLASS adjusted the
coloring and saturation of the photograph
depicting Michelle’s wounds.
NYC to reopen cruise terminals in late September
BY KEVIN DUGGAN
New York City plans to welcome
cruise ships back to its Manhattan
terminal starting in late September,
Schneps Media fi rst reported.
The city’s quasi-public Economic Development
Corporation will allow the mega
ships back to Big Apple berths for the fi rst
time since the outbreak of the COVID-19
pandemic in March 2020, according to
agency spokesman Chris Singleton.
“We are working with two cruise lines
(Norwegian and Crystal) to resume sailings
out of NYC in late September,” Singleton
told amNewYork Metro in an email.
The agency expects about 50-60 cruise
departures by the end of the city’s current
fi scal year on June 30, 2022, according to
minutes of EDC’s June 22 board of directors
The big boats will start docking at the
EDC’s Manhattan Cruise Terminal at Pier
88 and Pier 90, according to a presentation
by the agency’s assistant vice president for
asset management Bianca Sosa from the
Pier 90 hosted the enormous US Navy
A cruise liner sails past the New York City skyline in 2019.
hospital ship USNS Comfort during the
early pandemic, supposedly to support
overfl owing city hospitals, but the vessel
sat largely empty for its month-long stay.
EDC also manages the Brooklyn Cruise
Terminal next to the Atlantic Basin in Red
Hook, but offi cials didn’t say when they
expect to reopen that dock.
Cruise ships were a hotbed of coronavirus
infections early on in the pandemic, such as
notorious outbreak aboard the ocean liner
Diamond Princess in Japan in early 2020.
The federal Centers for Disease Control
and Prevention issued a No Sail Order on
March 14, 2020 effectively banning cruise
traffi c in the United States.
In October, CDC released a follow-up
directive to phase cruises back in with
conditions, and in May the health offi cials
published guidelines for operators, including
trial voyages for ships before they can
again board passengers.
Royal Caribbean’s Oasis of the Seas was
scheduled to launch such a test cruise from
just across the harbor at Cape Liberty in
Bayonne, New Jersey, on Sunday, Aug. 22,
and eagle-eyed New Yorkers spotted the
vessel as early as Thursday, Aug. 19.
The ship will set sail from the Garden
State port on Sept. 5, a Royal Caribbean
rep confi rmed in an email.
EDC plans to work with two lines,
Norwegian and Crystal, for its fi rst sailings
out of the city next month, according to
Singleton. Both operators will enter into
an agreement with city and state offi cials
to follow CDC guidelines.
Norwegian wants to set sail for its fi rst
trip out of New York City on Sept. 26 to
Bermuda, according to a spokeswoman.
All passengers and crew will have to be
fully vaccinated and the ocean liners will
test passengers before the voyages and crew
regularly, according to EDC.
Terminal protocols include masking,
social distancing, cleaning and sanitizing,
increased air fi ltration, and hand sanitizer
stations, according to city offi cials.
The upcoming sailings are also dependent
on port protocols at destinations like
Bermuda and Canada, according to the
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