It was an afternoon of familiar music and celebration as leaders from the Broadway community and elected officials gathered for Mayor Bill de Blasio’s kick-off of a new vaccine site in Midtown dedicated for arts workers.
The vaccination center is actually the former site of the NFL Experience store on 47th Street and 7th Avenue. The site officially opened on Monday, and the mayor toured the center alongside Tony winner Lin-Manuel Miranda and his father Luis.
They then headed across the street to Duffy Square for an event where they stressed the importance of the arts and culture sector and what it means to New York City.
"We do something here that does not exist anywhere in the world quite like this, and for us to be whole it has to come back,” said Mayor de Blasio. “That's why this vaccination center is so exciting to bring back Broadway, to bring back off-Broadway, to bring back film and TV; one place where the community knows they can go and be guaranteed they will get a vaccine.”
"If you worked in the wardrobe department, if you were a stage manager, if you were front of house staff, if you were an usher, you are welcome to this incredible facility on 47th Street, which I just toured,” said Miranda. “And the other thing I want to tell all the theater folks is it's being run by Susan, who is the company manager at 'Wicked,' and if anyone knows how to make s--t run on time, it's Broadway stage managers.”
Miranda added that being out in the Broadway community for the clinic's unveiling took on added meaning because of the pandemic.
"Forgive me, I'm emotional. This is the most people I have seen in a a year-and-a half. I'm sure you feel the same way. And this is the first live performance I've seen in a year-and-a half, so I'm emotional today," Miranda said.
For the crowds gathered to watch the ceremony, the music brought a reminder of good times ahead.
To schedule your appointment at the new vaccination site in Times Square, head to vaccinefinder.nyc.gov.