Grant helps Lehman Center ready for October's reopening


More than a million dollars has flowed in to The Lehman Center for the Performing Arts, ensuring the popular venue will be ready to reopen on Oct. 2.

More than $760,000 of those funds have come from the Shuttered Venue Operators Grant, according to a release — a $16 billion federal fund that helps independent live venues, museums, theaters and arts organizations bounce back from economic loss suffered during the coronavirus pandemic.

The Lehman Center has been shut down since Spring 2020 when the pandemic first hit.

The venue also received another $200,000 in discretionary funding through the city’s cultural affairs department, and another $80,000 from Albany — secured by Assemblyman Jose Rivera.

The New York State Council on the Arts contributed $22,500, while Councilman Mark Gjonaj spearheaded city council efforts to bring another $50,000 in for The Lehman Center’s annual Albanian Festival.

The performing arts center — located on Lehman College’s campus at 250 Bedford Park Blvd. W. — opens next month with a salsa featuring Andy Montañez, the Mambo Legends Orchestra, and singer Patty Padilla.

The 2,200-seat concert hall completed a $15.4 million renovation just ahead of the pandemic in 2019. That included a new glass-enclosed main entrance and lobby, new theater seating, a redesigned box office, and an elevator to the balcony.

For tickets and other information, visit


Metro-North no longer requires permits for those bringing bikes

Want to bring a bicycle onto commuter trains? Beginning Sept. 7, Metro-North and Long Island Rail Road passengers can do just that. And they no longer need a permit.

Metropolitan Transportation Authority officials say its ending the permit requirement as a way to help make part of its transit system more compatible with sustainable transportation.

“As more and more riders continue to return to the railways, it’s essential that we’re doing everything we can to accommodate them,” said Metro-North president Cathy Rinaldi, in a release. “Making it easier to travel with bikes is one way of doing that. The number of cyclists has risen considerably during the pandemic, and it’s vital that mass transit plays a role in promoting that growth.”

But that doesn’t mean standard regulations governing bicycles on trains are going away. For example, non-folding bikes are not allowed on trains during rush hours or holidays. Up to four bicycles are allowed on trains during the week, while that cap doubles on Saturday and Sunday.

Not sure if there’s enough room for your bicycle? The MTA runs “bicycle trains” on weekends that can accommodate more. They’re noted on schedules with a bike logo and a plus sign.

The Lehman Center for the Performing Arts, Shuttered Venue Operators Grant, Jose Rivera, New York State Council on the Arts, Mark Gjonaj, Andy Montanez, Mambo Legends Orchestra, Patty Padilla, Metro-North Railroad, Long Island Rail Road, MTA, Metropolitan Transportation Authority, Cathy Rinaldi,