Issue No. 23: These are a few of our favorite posts 🎁 🎄

In the spirit of the classic holiday clip show, we're rounding up some of our very favorite stories of the year.

Issue No. 23: These are a few of our favorite posts 🎁 🎄
Merry crisis one and all. (Photo by Johnell Pannell on Unsplash)

Yeah yeah, we know the newsletter is a little late today. We threw our first ever holiday party last night, let us live! 

More importantly, let us take a trip down memory lane for a sec, and revisit some of our personal favorite stories from our very first half year of posting. If you happened to miss anything or just want to re-read these glorious stories again, well well well, today’s your lucky day. Each of us picked out a few of our favs, just for you:

Crack open that hydrant and get to guzzlin'!! (Photo by John Angel on Unsplash.)

Dave's picks:

If I had to pick one favorite among these blogs, which are all like my children, that would be easy, just the same as picking a favorite kid would be: the time that Tim explored whether you could, or should, drink the fire hydrant water. A dumb question handled with a straight face, and even with a personal touch of going out and drinking the possibly-forbidden water, it’s everything you want in a summer blog.

But we did so much more than just send Tim to possibly go out and drink rust. Thanks to us (you’re welcome) you now know where to go when you need a bite or a drink if you’re on jury duty or leaving New York by train or bus. You know that Spider-Man is actually police and that the Empire State Building is days away from getting a restraining order from Taylor Swift

We also answered some questions of more consequence, like how you can get a whole gaggle of kids to school on bikes or what to do if you see someone else’s fucked up situation at their job. These are all very different stories, but what they have in common is that they’re things you need to know to live here, and things you didn’t know you needed to know to live here. But especially the fire hydrant water thing.

Start your long NYE weekend with Ask Roulette! Ask Roulette is the long-running conversation series in which strangers ask each other questions, live on stage. Come with a question you want to ask a stranger, and see what happens. Interactions are silly, serious, short and deep. You can participate, or just watch. It's perfect for that weird week between Xmas and New Year's.

Hosted by podcaster Jody Avirgan (Radiotopia, TED, 30for30, FiveThirtyEight Podcast) with musical accompaniment by songwriter Eli Bolin (Sesame Street, John Mulaney's Sack Lunch Bunch, Documentary Now).
Join us on December 28th at 7pm at Caveat NYC.

One thing that wasn't trash? All our stories about trash, baby. (Photo by Clare Miflin)

Tim's picks:

Before we launched The Groove, we also surveyed our first subscribers about what was confusing to them about the city, and the no. 1 with a bullet answer was the way we handle trash. We’ve devoted a lot of space to it since, from asking “why aren’t there just more trash cans in the park?” to how everyone is solving food scrap tetris and how to get the trash out of your storm drains

We set out from the start to be both a fun and helpful resource, and Dave got us started right away with his big guide to all the ways you, as a regular New Yorker, can help asylum seekers in the city. And hey guess what, that is still a big issue all these months later. 

Kate Mooney showed us all the ways New Yorkers are helping solve the pet crisis right now (we know this post led to at least one adoption too!).

And finally, Virginia has been on the Narcan beat hard so far, wondering both why venues are confiscating a life-saving drug during an overdose crisis, and telling you how you can still get the anti-overdose medication for free.

HOOO among us hasn't used our bird fan account to start feuds with other bird fan accounts? (Photo via Terry Ballard/Flickr)

Virginia's picks: 

One of the biggest reasons we even started this whole thing was a lack of clear, need-to-know information during the height of COVID (unless combing through city websites with a bunch of broken links and contradictory information is your thing). To that end, we showed you where to get free COVID supplies now that the government has largely abandoned us, while the coronavirus decisively has not.

We also did some high level investigations, looking into why the hell the MTA is locking its emergency exits (which of course they insist they aren’t doing), whether or not leftovers-distribution app Too Good To Go is, in fact, good, and how the hell people on Twitter have managed to create a heated feud around Flaco the Central Park owl, of all things.

It was a year when every member of team Groove got unexpectedly shark-pilled, and also joyously clambered aboard the New York Liberty bandwagon

A year when we showed you how to make money off the city’s bustling snitch economy without being an awful person about it, and got advice from the legends of the Barboncino union on how to unionize your own shop.

A year when we took to the high seas!!! In the form of a five borough city ferry itinerary, custom made for our favorite limeys (that’s boat slang for ‘readers’). And I personally dug into my 2010s memory for one weird old trick to free yourself from the tyranny of ride-hailing apps. Did you know you can use your phone to make calls to people? Stay tuned in 2024 for more scoops just like this one.

😎 Members Only 😎

We wouldn’t be able to keep this ship afloat without support from our paid members, and to show our appreciation, we cooked up some specials in the content kitchen just for them. Inevitably, Dave was made to answer questions about “his whole deal,” while local ghoul expert “Spooky” Rick Paulas put together an itinerary of some of the city’s scariest sites. We gave you a top-to-bottom guide on where to find cool stuff to do in this city, and Virginia aired some personal grievances about the tacky Irish pub makeover of the Moynihan train hall bar.

Last week we contemplated the high cost of proper Santa beard maintenance, and asked what all you non-Santas are paying for the cost of a haircut these days. And we're proud to report that we've got a bunch of thrifty legends in our midst: one of you frequents an "unnamed downtown establishment" for a $16 men's haircut that comes with a free shot of booze, and one of you called out Prospect Hair in Prospect Heights, where you can get a $50 women's long haircut, something that costs well over $100 at most places.

Indeed, the gender gap in haircare cost is no joke, as one reader pointed out: "I go to Astor Place Hairstylists and secretly seeth that they still charge more for a woman's haircut (I pay $40 for wash, cut, and tip) than what they charge my partner for the exact same service."

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