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Manhattan Halloween Parties - UES Upper East Side UWS Upper West Side NYC Halloween Parties Manhattan SoHo East Village Midtown | manhattan halloween parties nyc halloween bars restaurants nyc halloween UES UWS halloween E Village Midtown NYC 10.28.16 - 2629 / 10.25.17 - 4120 / 10.14.18 5084
Manhattan Halloween Parties - UES Upper East Side UWS Upper West Side NYC Halloween Parties Manhattan SoHo East Village Midtown

Manhattan Halloween Parties NYC 2018 - Midtown, UES, Upper East Side, East Village, UWS, Upper West Side, SoHo, Harlem, Inwood & Washington Heights

Manhattan Halloween Parties - Manhattan NYC

October 14, 2018 / Manhattan Neighborhoods / Manhattan Restaurants / Manhattan Buzz NYC.

With a little more than two weeks to go before Halloween, we decided to do a round up of some of the Halloween parties planned in Manhattan.

The weather around Halloween is usually about 60 during the day time and 46 degrees at night. It's too early to tell what the precipitation will be the preceding weekend as well as on Halloween, but we provide weather updates each Friday.

The 45th Annual Village Halloween Parade NYC starts at 7 pm at Spring Street and 6th Avenue and marches north to 16th Street on Wednesday, October 31st. It runs through the West Village neighborhood for three to four hours with the official end time at 10.30 pm. We've heard that there are over 35 bands and an innumerable showing of creative costumes.

The following is a short list of Manhattan Halloween parties at local bars, restaurants and arts and public venues will be added over time. In most cases we suggest that you call ahead and rsvp a spot to be sure you get in.

Click here to view our report on Halloween Parties Manhattan 2018 Midtown Upper East Side UES Upper West Side UWS & East Village SoHo & Tribeca Halloween Parties nyc.



Things To Do Manhattan - This Weekend

Open House NY, Clio Art Fair, Harvest Fest, Fringe Theater Festival, New York Film Fest, Fall for Dance Festival & Hispanic Day Parade

manhattan things to do manhattan* October 12, 2018 / Things To Do Manhattan / Manhattan Neighborhoods / Manhattan Buzz NYC.

* Weather. The Temperature highs will be around 60 and the temperature lows will be around 50 throughout the weekend. There's a 50% chance of a half of a tenth of an inch of rain on Saturday, falling to about 10% by Saturday noon - so it should be a fairly dry weekend. Winds will be about 10 - 15 mph throughout the weekend. The Humidity will be between 50% - 60% through the weekend, which is significantly lower than on Thursday when it was about 90%. Click for Manhattan Weather.

* The photo at right shows a woman walking the streets of Manhattan while the UN General Assembly was meeting. The weather remains unseasonably warm and humid but there's a nice weekend ahead - see details above.

* The Clio Art Fair opens at 335 West 35th Street each day at 12 noon, where they have a paid brunch / showing and then after 2 pm it's open to the general public for free until 8 pm Friday and Saturday and until 6 pm on Sunday [free / $25 for brunches]. Thursday was a paid preview evening from 6 - 9 pm [$90]. The Clio Art Fair is described as,

"The CLIO ART FAIR's primary goal is to create a space for direct dialogue between artists and collectors, artists and curators without the presence of any long-term mediator."

 

Friday & Weekend - Fall for Dance Fest, Clio Art Fair & New York Film Festival

* The photo at right shows the facade of an older NYC building made prior to the glass and steel skyscrapers that are now rising like weeds. The Open House NY Weekend celebrates New York City's rich architectural and cultural history - see details below.

* The Clio Art Fair opens at 335 West 35th Street each day at 12 noon, where they have a paid brunch / showing and then after 2 pm it's open to the general public for free until 8 pm Friday and Saturday and until 6 pm on Sunday [free / $25 for brunches]. Thursday was a paid preview evening from 6 - 9 pm [$90]. The Clio Art Fair is described as,

"The CLIO ART FAIR's primary goal is to create a space for direct dialogue between artists and collectors, artists and curators without the presence of any long-term mediator."

manhattan things to do nyc* Open House NY returns this weekend, with over 200 historic, architectural and cultural sites open for public viewing in all five boroughs. You may visit 140 of them without an rsvp and the intent of the program is to,

"provide broad audiences with unparalleled access to the extraordinary architecture of New York and to the people who help design, build, and preserve the city."

For details about the sites in each borough, visit www.ohny.org.

* The 15th Annual Fall for Dance Festival began Monday, October 1st at New York City Center at 131 West 55th Street between 6th & 7th Avenues in Midtown. The festival runs through October 13th, but not on all days - only October 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 and 10, 12 & 13. You can purchase tickets at www.nycitycenter.org.

* The 55th Annual New York Film Festival at Lincoln Center Film Society at 70 Lincoln Center Plaza at West 65th Street between Columbus and Amsterdam began last Friday September 28th and runs through Sunday October 15th. The film screenings are shown at various times and at several different venues on or near the Lincoln Center campus on Columbus at 65th Street. The film venues include the Walter Reade Theater in the LC Plaza, the Frances Beale Theater at Broadway & West 65th Street, the Howard Gilman Theater at 70 Lincoln Center Plaza, the Elinor Bunin Munroe Film Center on 65th Street just west of Broadway, Alice Tully Hall at Broadway & 65th Street [$10 - $25 / film]. There are a number of Panel programs, some of which are free to the public. Go to https://www.filmlinc.org for details. Tickets are selling fast.

 

Saturday - Harvest Fest, Clio Art Fair, Fall for Dance Festival, NY Film Fest, Fringe Theater Fest & Open House NY

manhattan things to do nyc* The photo at right shows two dancers performing at the La Guardia Performing Arts Center in LIC Queens a few years ago. In related news, this week the Fall for Dance Festival began at City Center in Midtown Manhattan - see details above or below.

* The Fringe NYC Theater Festival runs through the month of October at venues inside of Manhattan as well as in the outer boroughs. You can view a schedule and buy tickets at www.fringenyc.org [$16 / $18 / $22].

* From 11 am - 1 pm - Harvest Festival at Carl Schurz Park between End End and East River Esplanade and between East 84th & 88th Streets. Free, but should rsvp ticket at www.carlschurzparknyc.org.

* Open House NY returns this weekend, with over 200 historic, architectural and cultural sites open for public viewing in all five boroughs. You may visit 140 of them without an rsvp and the intent of the program is to,

"provide broad audiences with unparalleled access to the extraordinary architecture of New York and to the people who help design, build, and preserve the city."

For details about the sites in each borough, visit www.ohny.org.

* The Clio Art Fair opens at 335 West 35th Street each day at 12 noon, where they have a paid brunch / showing and then after 2 pm it's open to the general public for free until 8 pm Friday and Saturday and until 6 pm on Sunday [free / $25 for brunches]. Thursday was a paid preview evening from 6 - 9 pm [$90]. The Clio Art Fair is described as,

"The CLIO ART FAIR's primary goal is to create a space for direct dialogue between artists and collectors, artists and curators without the presence of any long-term mediator."

* The 15th Annual Fall for Dance Festival began Monday, October 1st at New York City Center at 131 West 55th Street between 6th & 7th Avenues in Midtown. The festival runs through October 13th, but not on all days - only October 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 and 10, 12 & 13. You can purchase tickets at www.nycitycenter.org.

* The 55th Annual New York Film Festival at Lincoln Center Film Society at 70 Lincoln Center Plaza at West 65th Street between Columbus and Amsterdam began on Friday September 28th and runs through Sunday October 15th. The film screenings are shown at various times and at several different venues on or near the Lincoln Center campus on Columbus at 65th Street. The film venues include the Walter Reade Theater in the LC Plaza, the Frances Beale Theater at Broadway & West 65th Street, the Howard Gilman Theater at 70 Lincoln Center Plaza, the Elinor Bunin Munroe Film Center on 65th Street just west of Broadway, Alice Tully Hall at Broadway & 65th Street [$10 - $25 / film]. There are a number of Panel programs, some of which are free to the public. Go to https://www.filmlinc.org for details. Tickets are selling fast.

* Also see Film, Art & Theater events running through the weekend noted in the Friday & Weekend section above and street fairs & farmers markets via the links below. And click here to view a schedule of free movies in Manhattan parks this summer that run through most of the week / end.

 

Sunday - Hispanic Day Parade, Clio Art Fair, NY Film Fest, Open House NY, Fringe Theater Fest & Flatiron Walking Tour

manhattan things to do nyc* The photo at right shows people hanging around the fountain at Lincoln Center on the Upper West Side where the Lincoln Center Film Festival continues into its final weekend - see details above or below.

* The Hispanic Day Parade kicks off at 12 noon on 5th Avenue at 44th Street marching north to 64th Street on hte Upper East Side.

* Open House NY returns this weekend, with over 200 historic, architectural and cultural sites open for public viewing in all five boroughs. You may visit 140 of them without an rsvp and the intent of the program is to,

"provide broad audiences with unparalleled access to the extraordinary architecture of New York and to the people who help design, build, and preserve the city."

For details about the sites in each borough, visit www.ohny.org.

* The 55th Annual New York Film Festival at Lincoln Center Film Society at 70 Lincoln Center Plaza at West 65th Street between Columbus and Amsterdam began on Friday September 28th and runs through Sunday October 15th. The film screenings are shown at various times and at several different venues on or near the Lincoln Center campus on Columbus at 65th Street. The film venues include the Walter Reade Theater in the LC Plaza, the Frances Beale Theater at Broadway & West 65th Street, the Howard Gilman Theater at 70 Lincoln Center Plaza, the Elinor Bunin Munroe Film Center on 65th Street just west of Broadway, Alice Tully Hall at Broadway & 65th Street [$10 - $25 / film]. There are a number of Panel programs, some of which are free to the public. Go to https://www.filmlinc.org for details. Tickets are selling fast.

* The Clio Art Fair opens at 335 West 35th Street each day at 12 noon, where they have a paid brunch / showing and then after 2 pm it's open to the general public for free until 8 pm Friday and Saturday and until 6 pm on Sunday [free / $25 for brunches]. Thursday was a paid preview evening from 6 - 9 pm [$90]. The Clio Art Fair is described as,

"The CLIO ART FAIR's primary goal is to create a space for direct dialogue between artists and collectors, artists and curators without the presence of any long-term mediator."

* The Fringe NYC Theater Festival runs through the month of October at venues inside of Manhattan as well as in the outer boroughs. You can view a schedule and buy tickets at www.fringenyc.org [$16 / $18 / $22].

* There's a Flatiron Walking Tour which meets at 11 am at the southwest corner of Madison Square Park (in front of the William Seward statue) at 23rd Street and Broadway. The tour lasts about 90 minutes. Visit flatirondistrict.nyc for more information [free / history].

* Also see Film, Art & Theater events running through the weekend noted in the Friday & Weekend section above and street fairs & farmers markets via the links below.

 

MOSTLY DONE. ASTERISKED EVENTS HAVE BEEN UPDATED.

At MoMA at 11 West 53rd Street in Midtown there are several exhibits including TBD [thru 3/19 & 3/5/17] - [art / film - $25 / $18 / Free].

Anthology Film Archives at 32 2nd Avenue in the East Village is showing a EssentialCinema series this weekend by a couple of different curators [film - $11 / $9 / $7 - www.anthologyfilmarchives.org]. They began their Fall Film Screening Series last month.

The Museum of the City of New York has several exhibits worth a visit if you like history [history]. One is entitled New York at Its Core which is about the city's rise onto the world stage, another called To Quench the Thirst of New Yorkers is about the 175 year old Croton Aqueduct, and the third is called Rhythm and Power which is about the evolution of salsa in New York.

The Frick Museum is showing an exhibit entitled Fired by Passion through 2018 [art]. The exhibit runs through August 2018 and showcases Masterpieces of Du Paquier Porcelain from the Sullivan Collection. They also offer periodic Sunday evening concerts which begin at 5 pm [$45 / $40] and appear to be widening their program offerings [art]. And an plaster cast of George Washington never seen before in this country until September.

 

Week Beginning 10.15.18 - TBD

TBD.


Member Events Manhattan Farmers Mkts / Street Fairs

* Click here for a listing of Manhattan Farmers Markets & Manhattan Street Fairs where you can find unique items and fresh foods. Street fairs wind up in March / April and so do most farmers markets, but a few of the farmers markets continue year round.

* Click here for paid & free things to do Manhattan - free SummerStage concerts in Manhattan, free things to do Manhattan - free summer movies in Manhattan and free things to do Manhattan - free summer theater in Manhattan.

BOOK REVIEW NEXT WEEK: Detective Itchyass by Smel E. Fyngars.


Manhattan Columbus Day Weekend Events - Things to do in Manhattan NYC Columbus Day Weekend | manhattan tree lightings holiday lightings nyc menorah lightings upper east side UES upper west side uws midtown soho tribeca tree lightings holiday celebrations xmas bowery manhattan nyc 12/7/16 1296 / 10.27.17 - 1892
Manhattan Columbus Day Weekend Events - Things to do in Manhattan NYC Columbus Day Weekend

Columbus Day Weekend Manhattan NYC

Things To Do In Manhattan NYC Over The Columbus Day Weekend

October 6, 2018 / Things To Do Manhattan / Manhattan Buzz NYC.

You can still attend NYC street fairs in Manhattan, go bicycling in Manhattan, play soccer & other games in Manhattan NYC parks, go shopping in Manhattan locales including Midtown, the Upper West & East Sides & the Village, attend Manhattan parades, watch theater, visit the NYC art museums, and eat out at one of the Manhattan restaurants NYC.

And we provide an update on the Friday of Columbus Day Weekend with things to do on the front page of this site.

And it's all happening right here in our favorite borough - Manhattan. So take your time to sort through the days and locations and start planning your weekend.

Columbus Day Events In Manhattan

Click here to obtain information about things to do Columbus Day Weekend 2018 in Manhattan NYC. This events calendar is updated monthly with about 100 different Manhattan fun / cultural events.manhattan things to do labor day weekend manhattan nyc

Manhattan Public & Private Parks

Manhattan has one of number of public parks of which a few include swimming facilities. Click here for a listing of the Manhattan Parks NYC including maps showing their locations along with a bit of park history.

NYC Golfing In Queens & The Bronx

Queens has four golf courses and all of them are open this weekend. Click here for details about Queens Golf Courses including maps and links to the operators' websites. The Bronx has several public golf courses: Mosholu and Van Cortlandt Park are accessible via the MTA / subway.

Click here for things to do Columbus Day Weekend in Manhattan.



Kavanaugh: Have Republicans Abandoned Family Values and Law & Order?

Are Trump & Republicans Rushing the Nomination of a man who may be a Lying, Partisan, Alcoholic, Sex Offender with a Gambling Problem?

October 2, 2018 / NYC Neighborhoods / NYC Politics & Government / News Analysis & Opinion / Gotham Buzz NYC.

Over the past couple of weeks, we’ve been treated to a new season of a made-for-TV series, the Unreal Presidency of Donald J. Trump. The Donald is the star TV shock jock protagonist. He is an elderly man who appears hell bent on seeing just how far he can exercise executive privilege to serve his own ends, before some of the other 320 million people in the nation will actually stand up to stop him.

brett kavanaugh hearingsThere are many antagonists including those who have filed a lawsuit accusing Trump of violating the Emoluments Clause of the U.S. Constitution [using the office of the presidency for personal profit] and there are many grassroots Democrats who are pushing their representatives on the idea that Trump was exactly the kind of president the Founding Fathers had in mind when they included the Impeachment process in the Constitution.

The past and current episodes of the Unreal Presidency of D.J. Trump have been a made-for-TV-News ratings sensation. The current episodes have been focused on Trump’s rush to confirm Brett Kavanaugh, a nominee with hair-raising disqualifications, to the Supreme Court. The Trump propaganda machine - friend Rupert Murdoch’s Fox Fake News - has been the ratings winner of this taxpayer funded drama.

And Murdoch’s Fox News proudly declared that on Friday, September 28, 2018 with the following headline [see above],

“Fox News dominates ratings on coverage of dramatic Kavanaugh-Ford hearing.”

Murdoch’s Fox Fake News uses red, white and blue iconography all over its broadcast studio, calling themselves ‘America’s Newsroom’. Their hijacking of America’s colors and flag, is reminiscent of how the Nazis hijacked German nationalism in the 1930’s for their own ends. The Nazis claimed to be the one true patriotic party of Germany.

The Appearance of Due Process for TV Cameras?

The reality comes from Trump and the Republicans using Executive Privilege to withhold critical documents from the Senate, also limiting the time Senators were given to question Kavanaugh, and at first denying an authorized investigation into some of the most egregious allegations that have arisen against Trump nominee Brett Kavanaugh.

michael moore's new movie fahrenheit11/9Trump’s opposition, the minority political party in both the Senate and House, want access to documents surrounding one of the two roles that Kavanaugh played in the Bush Administration [2003 – 2006], when it is believed Kavanaugh ignored or supported illegal torture, illegal surveillance of the American people, and possibly worked with documents Kavanaugh knew to be obtained illegally.

What’s more, the allegations surrounding Kavanaugh’s character seems serious enough to disqualify him, including lying under oath, attempted rape, alcoholism and that he has a gambling problem. These allegations, if true, would impugn the integrity of the Supreme Court, as an impartial body that deliberates over the laws that govern our society.

Supreme Court Justice Nominee or a Supreme What?

The photo at right shows Kavanaugh at the hearing, demonstrating some of his famous anger management issues. His lying about his inability to control himself is at the core of the Senate's reluctance to confirm him - as he is alleged to have gotten into a bar dispute after repeatedly drinking too much, to have repeatedly sexually offended several women where alcohol was also involved, and to have erupted in rage following a gambling bout.


Ze Zum Schneider Festival in Manhattan

A German Immigrant Brings his Homeland Culture to Manhattan

September 24, 2018 / Near the Gramercy Neighborhood & Stuyvestant Town & Peter Cooper Village Neighborhoods in Midtown / East Village Restaurants Manhattan / Manhattan Buzz NYC.

zum schneider restaurant east village manhattan oktoberfest zum schneider festA couple of years ago I attended the Zum Schneider Festival along the East River at 23rd Street. What I witnessed was a mirthful display of old fashioned fun. The whole event is led by a restaurateur with a giant sized personality, who sings, eats and talks his way through the ten day Oktoberfest celebration.

I arrived on a Saturday afternoon and began by inquiring for the press liaison, with whom I had made prior arrangements. It wasn’t long before she appeared and began introducing me to the cast of characters who would play roles in the activities planned for the afternoon.

The most memorable of the character introductions was the man for whom the festival was named, Sylvester Schneider, restaurateur of Zum Schneider. Zum, in the German language, means Go To, so the Zum Schneider restaurant includes some subliminal advertising – telling all those who come across it, to ‘go to the Schneider restaurant’. Funny. Cute. Befitting the character I would get to know a little better as the afternoon unfolded.

The first tent on the East River opened in 2014, while the Zum Schneider restaurant, I was told had opened in 2002. Sylvester told me he had come to America from Bavaria where ...


African American Day Parade in Harlem | African American Day Parade in Harlem Neighborhood Manhattan African American culture in America
African American Day Parade in Harlem

African American Day Parade in Harlem

A Brief History of the African American Day Parade as it Celebrates 49th Anniversary

September 18, 2018 / Harlem Neighborhood NYC / Manhattan Parades / Manhattan Buzz NYC.

I made my way up to Harlem to watch the African American Parade. The African American Day Parade returned on Sunday beginning at 1 pm along Adam Clayton Powell Blvd and 111th, and then marching north to 138th Street. It’s the largest African American parade in the nation and has its origins in the 1968 civil rights riots.

On April 4, 1968 Dr. Martin Luther King was assassinated while standing on the balcony of a Memphis, Tennessee motel. James Earl Ray was charged with the crime and then admitted it, before recanting it multiple times later. James Earl Ray was sentenced to 99 years in prison and died at age 70 in 1998.

 

During the 1960's African Americans Clashed with the White Establishment Demanding the State Recognize their Constitutional Rights

There were 110 riots that broke out across the nation in anger at the shooting. U.S. Senator Robert Kennedy was in Indianapolis that evening and spoke before a large, predominantly African American crowd, informing them of the shooting, empathizing with their loss, recognizing their anger and asking them to respond with love. There weren’t any riots in Indianapolis.

New York City Mayor John Lindsay also responded by traveling to Harlem, the largest African American neighborhood in Manhattan, which had begun to experience some unrest and rioting. He too, expressed condolences for the loss of the slain civil rights leader, which had a calming effect on the city.

african american day parade harlem nycBut other American cities didn’t fare as well, including Chicago, which was highly segregated, and Washington, D.C. where then president Johnson was unpopular because of the draft and the ongoing Vietnam War. The draft appeared to unfairly conscript people of lesser means and Dr. King had begun to include this in his speeches.

 

Out of the Civil Unrest of the 1960's, Emerged a New Narrative for African Americans including the African American Day Parade

Nonetheless, some times good things arise out of bad circumstances, and the African American Day Parade was one such result. African Americans realized that they had to start taking control of their own cultural and historical narratives, as the American media was not providing the American people with a fair or balanced account of African American culture, history, nor the issues facing the African American community.



No IDC NY Wins Big & Cuomo Buys Back In

No IDC NY Supported Candidates Won Six of Nine Senate Contests & Cuomo's Donors Spent $21 per Vote

2018 democratic primary in nyc nys elections voting booth photosSeptember 14, 2018 / NYC Neighborhoods / NYS Politics & Government / News Analysis & Opinion / Gotham Buzz NYC.

Andrew Cuomo and his wealthy corporate backers appear to have won him a third term as NYS Governor. The win reportedly cost them over $21 million – thus reducing the the return on their political investment by requiring a significant upfront payment.

But you needn’t worry about Cuomo or his wealthy corporate backers, as campaign contributions are reportedly very good investments, providing returns that range from modest to excessive. Do a search for studies conducted in 2004 by Harvard University, and in 2017 by Kellogg Graduate Business School at Northwestern for greater detail.

The photo at right shows voters on Thursday evening, September 13th, signing in to cast their votes.

 

Cuomo Defeats Nixon - Voting Interest Nearly Triples vs 2014

governor andrew cuomo nys governor photoWith 99% of the precincts reporting, Andrew Cuomo won 975,552 votes to Cynthia Nixon’s 511,585 votes – that’s 65.6% for Cuomo and 34.4% for Nixon. Nixon won many of the counties surrounding Albany, Tompkins County and Lewis County near Syracuse.

Cuomo won the rest of the state, but won by smaller margins in Manhattan and Brooklyn, while winning by wider margins in the other boroughs. Please note that the September 13, 2018 election totals and percentages shown in this story were reported by the New York Times this morning. The contextual and historical figures and percentages were reported by a multitude of other generally reliable sources.

In the photo at right is Andrew Cuomo marching in the June LGBT parade in the West Village of Manhattan in a prior year.

Had Cuomo only won as many votes as he'd secured in the 2014 primary against Zephyr Teachout, Nixon would have trounced him. In 2014 Andrew Cuomo received 327,150 votes to Zephyr Teachout's tally of 180,336 votes, with the percentages reflecting about the same as this year [64% / 36%] - but the ad spending by the Cuomo campaign was up significantly and so were the vote tallies on both sides. Thus in 2018, almost three times as many voters showed up at the polls during the primary election, but as you will see below - that's still only about 10% of the total potential electorate.

Cuomo Outspends Nixon by 8:1 - Pays $21 per Vote

Andrew Cuomo’s campaign reportedly spent over $21 million this year, versus Cynthia Nixon’s $2.5 million. Thus Cuomo outspent Nixon by over eight to one. And Cuomo's campaign spending in the primary of 2014 was reportedly under $10 million, thus translating into a doubling of what corporations and wealthy donors must pay to keep Cuomo in office.

 

Campaign Contributions by the Rich Few, Beat the Multitude of Small Contributions of the Middle and Working Classes

cynthia nixon campaigning with jumaane williams in nyc nys 2018Nixon reportedly received donations from 43,000 individual contributors [reportedly a state record], while Cuomo received donations from well under 4,000 contributors. This is why campaign finance reform will never happen with the same people in office [regardless of whether they are Democrats or Republicans] – because while the system may not be working for the people, it is certainly working for the pols and their donors.

The way things work today - pols appear to receive campaign contributions from corporate / wealthy donors who appear to essentially ‘buy’ the office. And then the corporate / wealthy donors appear to be able to pass or block legislation with the help of the pols they supported. As for the government by the people and for the people – well that only happens if the people pay attention to what’s going on, get involved in the political process, and show up to vote.

A quote that was attributed to Jefferson, appears to have originated from Reagan, seems appropriate here: A people that believes they may be ignorant and free, believes in something that never was and never will be.

In the photo at right are Jumaane Williams, candidate for Lieutenant Governor and Cynthia Nixon, candidate for Governor at a June rent rally on the steps of the NYC Public Library on 5th Avenue just south of 42nd Street.

The Real News is How Few Participate in our Democracy

Approximately 1.5 million New Yorkers showed up to vote yesterday – in a state with a population of nearly 20 million. In the 2016 census report, 15.7 million New Yorkers were eligible voting age citizens – so about 10% of the potential electorate decided this electoral primary outcome. Honestly it’s shameful, especially when you take note of the fact that people in Russia and China are literally risking their lives / freedom to enable people participation in the process of choosing those who make the laws, establish and enforce public policy and control the government apparatus.

Here a quote from Jesus Christ seems appropriate: Father forgive them, for they know not what they do.

NYS Lieutenant Governor Race - Hochul Defeats Williams - Upstate Beats NYC

The Lieutenant Governor’s race was closer, as Jumaane Williams put in a solid performance winning 640,530 votes to Kathy Hochul’s 731,459 votes. Hochul won 53.3% of the vote to Jumaane Williams’s 46.7% of the vote. Williams won big in Brooklyn [his home], Manhattan, Columbia and Tompkins Counties, losing the rest of the state.

What I found surprising here, is that the Bronx which is mostly Latin and African American, went for Hochul instead of Williams who is an African American. I surmised that this was likely made possible through the efforts of the establishment Democratic party apparatus, which is controlled by Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr.

 

NYS Attorney General Race - James Defeats Teachout & Maloney who Split the Upstate White Vote

letitia james attorney general candidate 2018 photoLetitia James won the Attorney General position, beating out Zephyr Teachout and Sean Patrick Maloney. James received 578,412 votes to Teachout’s 441,567 votes and Maloney’s 356,602 votes. The percentages were James with 41.6%, Teachout with 31% and Maloney with 25% of the vote. James won all of the boroughs of New York City, the two counties on Long Island, as well as Westchester and Rockland counties [the latter two counties are suburban outreaches of NYC].

Teachout won most of the eastern part of the state running from north of Westchester to the Canadian border – including most of the counties around Albany, while Maloney won most of the western part of the state, and a couple of counties just north of Westchester. Teachout and Maloney appear to have split the upstate White vote.

In the photo at right, Letitia James, candidate for NYS Attorney General at a community function in Queens, earlier this year.

 

No IDC NY Candidates Trounce Most of the Former IDC Members

zephyr teachout candidate for attorney general photo w/ alexandria ocasio-cortez astoria queens bronx nyc teachout photo ocasio photoOne of the big issues to be decided during this primary season was the fate of the nine Democrats who had caucused with the Republicans, thereby giving the Republicans majority control of the NYS Senate. Eight of the senators became members of the Independent Democratic Caucus [IDC] which was founded by Bronx NYS Senator Jeffrey Klein, only a year or two into Cuomo’s first term. The creation of the IDC was said to be with the tacit approval of Andrew Cuomo, so that the NYS Governor could prevent the Democratic agenda from becoming too progressive.

Prior to the beginning of the 2018 primary season, an all-volunteer group formed, calling themselves the No IDC NY. The No IDC NY set as its mission, to dislodge those Democrats who had caucused with the Republicans. The No IDC NY effort proved fairly successful, as six of the nine Democrats who had caucused with the Republicans, were defeated. The following is a short tally of those races.

In the photo at right, Zephyr Teachout endorsing Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, just as Teachout was making her candidacy for the office of NYS Attorney General known.

 

Queens NYS Senate Races

In the NYS Senate in Queens. No IDC NY supported candidate John Liu defeated incumbent Tony Avella in Queens with 53% to 47% of the vote. No IDC NY supported candidate Jessica Ramos trounced incumbent Jose Peralta with 55% to 45% of the vote.

Manhattan NYS Senate Races

In the NYS Senate in Manhattan. No IDC NY supported candidate Robert Jackson handily defeated incumbent Marisol Alcantera in the Washington Heights / Inwood area with 56% versus 39% of the vote.

Bronx NYS Senate Races

In the NYS Senate in the Bronx. No IDC NY supported candidate Alessandra Biaggi decisively defeated the IDC Founder incumbent Jeffrey Klein winning 54% of the vote to Klein’s 46%.

Brooklyn & Staten Island NYS Senate Races

In the NYS Senate in Brooklyn & Staten Island. No IDC NY supported candidate Zellnor Myrie defeated incumbent Jesse Hamilton 54% to 46%. But both incumbent Diane Savino of Staten Island and incumbent Simcha Felder of Brooklyn handily defeated their No IDC NY supported challengers. Incumbent Savino won 67% of the vote to No IDC NY supported candidate Jasmine Robinson’s 21% of the vote and incumbent Simcha Felder won 66% of the vote to No IDC NY supported candidate Blake Morris’s 34% of the vote.

Upstate NYS Senate Races

In the NYS Senate in Upstate NY. No IDC NY supported candidate Rachel May won 52% of the vote to incumbent David Valesky’s 48%. But incumbent David Carlucci held onto his seat with 54% of the vote to No IDC NY supported candidate Julie Goldberg’s 46%.


Election Day Thursday 9/13 - Please Vote

September 12, 2018 / Manhattan Neighborhoods / Manhattan Politics & Government / Manhattan Buzz NYC.

nyc poll site locator queens poll site locator manhattan polls locations

The New York State primary election is tomorrow, Thursday September 13th.

The polling booths will be open from 6 am to 9 pm Thursday.

To find your poll location click on the graphic at right.

Once on the website, input your address, and then click the icon to the right of it to get the results of the search. You have to look for the super-tiny icon near the lower right corner of the screen.

Remember that if you really want things to change, then you can't keep electing the same representatives.


Has the Democratic Party Tipped the Scales … Again?

Democratic Machine Releases Direct Mail Ad, Falsely Attacking Cynthia Nixon

September 11, 2018 / NYC Neighborhoods / NYC Politics & Government / News Analysis & Opinion / Gotham Buzz NYC.y

A Democratic Machine Big Lie?

democratic party attack ad nixon photo september 2018Over the weekend, the NYS Democratic Party Committee, sent out a mailer which falsely claims that,

“… inexperienced Cynthia Nixon. Who won’t stand strong for our Jewish communities.”

The claim in this Democratic Party mailer is akin to Hitler’s Big Lie. Hitler’s Big Lie, according to Wikipedia is,

“… [Hitler’s] 1925 book Mein Kampf, [talks] about the use of a lie so "colossal" that no one would believe that someone "could have the impudence to distort the truth so infamously".

It’s a big lie because Cynthia Nixon is a mother to three Jewish children with whom she attends a local synagogue.

Andrew Cuomo’s Implausible Denial?

andrew cuomo takes the low road andrew cuomo cynthia nixonGovernor Andrew Cuomo, when queried about who was behind this ‘dirty politics’ mailer replied on Sunday in Manhattan,

“I didn’t know about the mailer. I haven’t seen the mailer.”

The New York Times wasn’t buying it. After having endorsed Cuomo less than a week earlier, on September 4th, the Times Editorial Board in a September 9th opinion said the following,

“Sorry, Mr. Cuomo, but that strains credulity.”

They went on to note that,

“Mr. Cuomo dominates the state Democratic Party. It acts ethically or abominably at his direction, or at the very least, with his campaign’s blessing.”

Byron Brown – NYS Democratic Party Chair & Cuomo Ally

It’s worth noting that the new Chair of the New York State Democratic [Party] Committee is Byron Brown. Brown was appointed to the post on May 23, 2016, and is a Cuomo political confidant. So it would seem Cuomo’s ignorance of the mailer is either extreme incompetence – or more likely – an outright lie. Let’s briefly examine the facts.

Democratic Party Chair Byron Brown was born and raised in Queens in the 1950’s, as was Andrew Cuomo. Brown went on to become the Mayor of Buffalo from 2005 – 2017, and as early as 2006, when Andrew Cuomo began campaigning for NYS Attorney General, Byron Brown was described in a November 23, 2006 New York Times report as a “political confidant” of Andrew Cuomo’s.

A May 30, 2006 report in the Buffalo News states that Byron,

"... seconded Cuomo's nomination [for NYS Attorney General] at the convention on May 30, 2006."


Jeff Klein's IDC: Republicans Running as Dems?

The Independent Democratic Caucus Aligns with Republicans which Enables Republicans to Control the NYS Senate

Updated September 7, 2018 / March 21, 2018 / Bronx Neighborhoods & Bronx News / Bronx Politics / News Analysis & Opinion / Bronx Buzz NYC.

IDC independent democratic caucus NOIDCNY no independent democratic caucus bronx brooklyn manhattan queensThere's an NYS State primary election this month. The primaries will be held on Thursday, September 13th; instead of on Tuesday, September 11th, in recognition of 911. And the general election will be held on Tuesday, November 6th.

As in any year, the elections are important, but perhaps made more so this year, by what appears to be the anarchistic destruction and disrespect, for our government institutions and processes, by Republican President Donald Trump.

Trump Republicans: Debt Bomb Deficits Levied on America's Children to Enrich the Richest?

The Donald passed a stimulus tax bill that is expected to increases the deficit by $1.5 trillion over the next ten years, and there are some pundits who put the figure higher. He and the Republicans passed this budget busting stimulus tax bill, while the economy was operating at levels considered above a full employment economy [5% unemployment is considered standard / normal] and at a time when wages were rising over 2%.

Inflation above 2% is considered to be detrimental to economic stability by the Federal Reserve, so stimulating the economy while it's at full employment with rising wages is about the opposite of what makes sense, especially when you consider the funding for it is coming from America's children and most of the benefits for it are going to the wealthiest people on the planet. We posted a report analyzing the Trump Tax Reform Bill slightly before it was finalized, which includes a lot of facts and figures to help provide context to better understand what was in the bill they passed.

The Independent Democratic Caucus Aligns with NYS Senate Republicans & Gives Them Control

In 2010 / 2011 NYS Senator Jeffrey Klein broke away from the Democratic Party and formed the Independent Democratic Caucus which aligns with the Republican Party, thereby giving them control of the NYS Senate. The effect of this is that bills passed by the Democratic controlled NYS Assembly are indefinitely tabled, or in lay man's terms pretty much killed, in the Republican-controlled NYS Senate. The Republicans control the NYS Senate, because eight NYS senators who run as Democrats [IDC Independent Democratic Caucus], either vote with or kill bills with the Republicans.

Democratic NYS Assembly Bills Effectively Killed by IDC

According to the Democratic Senate Conference, the Republican controlled NYS Senate - with the help of their Republicans running as Democrats allies - have effectively killed one education bill providing full day kindergarten funding, three wage / leave bills, four voting rights bills including the allowance of early voting, four immigration bills including one related to the DREAM Act, four housing bills including several pertaining to NYC rent laws that help renters, three criminal justice bills including creation of correctional ombudsman and sealing of marijuana possession records [as marijuana is rapidly being legalized in states across the country], one related to LGBTQ issues, and six regarding healthcare, several of which pertain to women's reproductive rights.

The IDC Deception: REPUBLICANS RUNNING AS DEMOCRATS?

The net effect of this is that Democrats are, in a sense, cheated or tricked out of their majority by what appears to be Republicans running as Democrats. The Independent Democratic Caucus or IDC includes Jeffrey Klein of the Bronx, who founded the IDC, David Valesky of Oneida and Madison Counties in upstate New York, David Carlucci of Rockland and Westchester Counties, Diane Savino of Staten Island / Brooklyn, Tony Avella of Queens, Jose Peralta of Queens, Jesse Hamilton of Brooklyn, and Marisol Alcantera of Washington Heights / Manhattan. Simcha Felder of Brooklyn also runs as a Democrat and caucuses with the Republicans.

The following is a list of challengers, eight of which I obtained off the NoIDCNY.org website. For some reason Blake Morris - Simcha Felder's challenger - was not included on their website. I have just contacted them to find out why.

  • Jessica Ramos is challenging Jose Peralta in District 13 in Queens.
  • John Liu is challenging Tony Avella* in District 11 in Queens.
  • Robert Jackson is challenging Marisol Alcantera in District 31 in Washington Heights / Inwood / Manhattan.
  • Alessandra Biaggi is challenging Jeff Klein in District 34 in the Bronx.
  • Zellnor Myrie is challenging Jesse Hamilton in District 20 in Brooklyn.
  • Blake Morris is challenging Simcha Felder in District 17 in Brooklyn.
  • Jasmine Robinson is challenging Diane Savino in District 23 in Brooklyn / Staten Island.
  • Julie Goldberg is challenging David Carlucci in District 38 in nearby upstate New York.
  • Rachel May is challenging David Valesky in District 53 in upstate New York.

* A Word About NYS Senator Tony Avella as He Appears to be a Real Independent

Of all of the IDC candidates listed above, NYS Senator Tony Avella deserves special consideration. NYS Senator Avella CHALLENGED Republican Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Queens Country Democratic Party Chairman Joe Crowley when both of these men, and many in their parties, supported real estate developments in Flushing Meadows Corona Park. Queens Borough President Melinda Katz took a position that appeared somewhere between supportive of the developments to - at best - indifferent.

NYS Senator Avella advocated on behalf of the community to thwart billionaire and mega millionaire real estate developers from grabbing Queens parkland - AND WON. In doing this, NYS Senator Tony Avella, appears to be more like a Maverick or Independent, resembling legislators like deceased U.S. Senator John McCain (Republican) and U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders (Democrat), both of whom have charted their own path through party-dominated politics.

Avella is an important independent voice in the Queens, NYC and NYS community, which the Democrats in his district will have to decide whether or not to keep.


Things To Do Labor Day Weekend Manhattan NYC 2018 | things to do labor day weekend manhattan nyc things to do ues uws midtown soho east village tribeca upper west side upper east side labor day weekend manhattan nyc 8.31.18 - 1676
Things To Do Labor Day Weekend Manhattan NYC 2018

Labor Day Weekend Manhattan NYC

Things To Do In Manhattan NYC Over The Labor Day Weekend

August 31, 2018 / Things To Do Manhattan / Manhattan Buzz NYC.

You can still attend NYC street fairs in Manhattan, go bicycling in Manhattan, play soccer & other games in Manhattan NYC parks, go shopping in Manhattan locales including Midtown, the Upper West & East Sides & the Village, attend Manhattan parades, watch theater, visit the NYC art museums, and eat out at one of the Manhattan restaurants NYC.

And it's all happening right here in our favorite borough - Manhattan. So take your time to sort through the days and locations and start planning your weekend.

Labor Day Events In Manhattan

Click here to obtain information about things to do Labor Day Weekend 2017 in Manhattan NYC. This events calendar is updated monthly with about 100 different Manhattan fun / cultural events.manhattan things to do labor day weekend manhattan nyc

Manhattan Public & Private Parks

Manhattan has one of number of public parks of which a few include swimming facilities. Click here for a listing of the Manhattan Parks NYC including maps showing their locations along with a bit of park history.

NYC Golfing In Queens & The Bronx

Queens has four golf courses and all of them are open this weekend. Click here for details about Queens Golf Courses including maps and links to the operators' websites. The Bronx has several public golf courses: Mosholu and Van Cortlandt Park are accessible via the MTA / subway.

Click here for things to do Labor Day Weekend in Manhattan.



Member Events Manhattan Farmers Mkts / Street Fairs

* Click here for a listing of Manhattan Farmers Markets & Manhattan Street Fairs where you can find unique items and fresh foods. Street fairs wind up in March / April and so do most farmers markets, but a few of the farmers markets continue year round.

* Click here for paid & free things to do Manhattan - free SummerStage concerts in Manhattan, free things to do Manhattan - free summer movies in Manhattan and free things to do Manhattan - free summer theater in Manhattan.

BOOK REVIEW NEXT WEEK: Detective Itchyass by Smel E. Fyngars.


Is Donald Trump a Hostage of Russian Murderers, Capitalists & Thieves?

Is the Trump & Bambino Crime Family so Criminal or Financially Compromised, that They are Betraying America?

Updated August 27 - August 23, 2018 / NYC Neighborhoods / NYC Politics / News Analysis & Opinion / Gotham Buzz NYC.

The first part of this report will show you some of the many known Trump family ‘social’ interactions with key Russian Oligarchs [Kleptocrats?] close to Putin, and of the Trump campaign officials and consultants known meetings with Czarist President Vladimir Putin’s government officials.

Do Americans really think all of the following interactions were just coincidence? Just a couple of billionaire women and campaign officials just have a little old fashioned czarist fun?

Part I: Trump Family & Campaign Russian Interactions 2016

I can’t help wonder whether Ivanka Trump and her Russian-Oligarch-loving friend Wendi Deng Murdoch [Rupert Murdoch’s ex-wife rumored in March of 2016 to be Putin's girlfriend (denied much later by Deng)], weren’t conduits through which information passed between then candidate Donald J. Trump and Russian czarist President, Vladimir Putin?

Why hasn’t the FBI called them in for interrogations about what they may know, based on their numerous interactions with the Oligarchs throughout the presidential campaign season of 2016?

Why haven't they called in billionaire propagandist Rupert Murdoch who controls Fox Fake New, the Wall Street Journal and the NY Post - all of which unabashedly promoted the Trump candidacy with distorted, and at times false news reporting, as well as the suppression of stories relevant to the election? Murdoch was reported to speak somewhere between daily and weekly to Trump, following the election, as was his surrogate pseudo anchorman Sean Hannity. Both had business with the federal government and - as far as I know - neither has registered as a lobbyist, even though both men appear to have profited handsomely since the election of Trump as a result of Trump policies, FCC rules changes and for Hannity a new multi-million loan agreement with far more generous terms.

Trump Family & Campaign Officials Hold Nearly a Dozen Meetings with Russians Close to Putin Throughout 2016

On March 2, 2016 Rupert Murdoch, who controls two of America’s six largest media content companies, tweeted that the GOP “would be mad not to unify” around Trump, if he’s the Republican nominee. Murdoch controls the Fox News, WSJ & NY Post propaganda machine that catapulted Trump into the Oval Office in November 2016, along with the help of the Russians.

Some of Known 2016 Interactions of Trump Family & Campaign w/ Putin's Russia

1. In March [NEED TO VERIFY THAT IT WAS 2016 & THAT IT WAS RYBOLOVLEV'S or another Oligarch's] yacht was spotted in same harbor / next to Bob Mercer, a Trump friend. Bob Mercer, publisher of the National Enquirer, was recently given immunity. Mercer had bought and sat on a story damaging to Trump regarding an alleged extra marital affair. Did Mercer, who reportedly had a stake in Cambridge Analytica, meet with Rybolovlev on behalf of Trump?

Are Ivanka Trump & Wendi Deng Murdoch Shills for Billionaires / Oligarchs?

2.a. Less than a month later, on March 31, 2016 US Weekly, a gossip magazine, reported that the former wife of Rupert Murdoch, Wendi Deng Murdoch, was dating Vladimir Putin. Two days later, on April 2, 2016 Murdoch’s former wife, Wendi Deng Murdoch, was seen on a boat associated with the yacht of Roman Abramovich, a Russian Oligarch considered among Putin’s closest ‘friends’. Abramovich's wife, introduced to Ivanka years earlier by Deng, is reported to be a friend of Ivanka's.

2.b. A month later, on May 2, 2016, Wendi Deng Murdoch was seen at the Met Gala along with her close friend Ivanka Trump. Wendi Deng Murdoch was, at the time, rumored to be Putin’s girlfriend, and she had named Ivanka Trump as the trustee for Wendi Deng Murdoch’s children's $300 million trust, which was reported in 2015 to hold numerous shares in Rupert Murdoch's 21st Century Fox. Ivanka served as a trustee for Deng until December of 2016 when she stepped down.

In 2014, following the Murdoch’s divorce, Rupert Murdoch reportedly accused his ex-wife Wendi Deng Murdoch of being a Chinese spy. This appears to have been corroborated by U.S. Intelligence, which warned Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner that Deng was a spy, following Trump’s Electoral College victory in December of 2016.

3. In May of 2016 Roger Stone, a long time friend of Donald Trump [attended two of three weddings], who had worked for him on prior occasions, met with a Russian who offerred him dirt on Clinton. Stone initially denied the meeting took place, before admitting it. According to Wikipedia, two Stone associates claim he collaborated with Julian Assange of Wiki Leaks to release dirt on Clinton. In August of 2015, Roger Stone stepped down from his official role in the Trump campaign.

4. On June 9, 2016 Don Trump Jr. and Ivanka’s husband Jared Kushner met with a Russian spy, Natalai Veselnetskya, at Trump Tower in Manhattan to get dirt on Clinton. At first Donald Trump Jr. lied to Americans about the real purpose of the meeting claiming it was about adoption, before admitting it was to get dirt from the Russians on Clinton.

The Trump / Murdoch Mob? The Donald Publicly Invites Russian Interference

Murdoch’s ex-wife, Wendi Deng Murdoch, waited until July 25, 2016 – nearly four months after the reports broke – to deny that she was dating Vladimir Putin.

On July 27, 2016, two days after Wendi Deng Murdoch’s denial of a relationship with Putin [she was reportedly never seen with him, but seen on Russian Oligarch yacht(s)], Trump publicly invited Russia to hack and release Clinton’s emails, when he stated the following at a nationally televised press conference in Florida.

“I will tell you this: Russia, if you’re listening, I hope you’re able to find the 30,000 emails that are missing. I think you will probably be rewarded mightily by our press.”

Did he mean they will be rewarded by the propaganda press of unrelenting Trump supporter, multi-billionaire Rupert Murdoch, or by the entire American press?

The Trump Family & Campaign Meetings with Russia Continue

5. In July 2016, Carter Page, a financial and oil man, who spent years in Russia and was reportedly sympathetic to Russia, traveled to Moscow to give a speech. He met with a former cabinet member of ex-president of Russia, Dmitry Medvedev. Page initially denied this meeting took place and later his 'memory came back to him'. Page was the Trump Campaign Foreign Policy Advisor from March 21, 2016 until September 2016, when it was disclosed that Page had allegedly met with at least one U.S. sanctioned Russian Oligarch, Igor Sechin of Russian conglomerate Rosneft.

6. On August 14, 2016 Wendi Deng Murdoch, Ivanka Trump and her husband Jared Kushner vacationed together in Dubrovnik, Croatia. Likely not coincidently, Russian Oligarch, Rybolovlev’s yacht was reportedly moored there at the same time, and his private plane was reported to have landed there too.

Seven years earlier, following the real estate bubble crash in 2008 / 2009, Russian Oligarch Rybolovlev paid Donald Trump $95 million for a house Trump had purchased for $41 million only four years earlier. Rybolovlev, a member of Putin’s inner circle, eventually demolished the home, leading people to question whether Rybolovlev had financially bailed Trump out during the real estate and stock market crash of 2008. At the time Trump was again allegedly in serious financial straits, following a string of six bankruptcies that began in the 1990's and bled into the 2000's.

Around that same time in 2008, while the American real estate bubble was bursting, Elena Baronoff, a former Russian ‘attaché of cultural affairs’ [spy?], began helping Trump sell property in Sunny Isle, Florida. She sold nearly $100 million of Trump real estate to Russians, reportedly at top dollar [inflated?] prices, which led some pundits to question whether the Trump's were laundering money via real estate sales. In 2007 Ivanka got her start with her father's company, also working on a project in Panama, which reportedly was suspected of laundering what was believed to be Russian and drug cartel money.

Trump sales agent Baronoff reportedly contracted leukemia in 2014 and conveniently died in 2015, right around the time Donald Trump began testing the waters for his presidential candidacy.

7. On September 12, 2016 Ivanka Trump, Wendi Deng Murdoch and Oligarch Abramovich’s wife Dasha Zhukova were photographed attending the U.S. Open together. One report credits Wendi Deng Murdoch with introducing Ivanka Trump to Dasha Zhukova, billionaire Russian Oligarch Abramovich’s wife, and there are reports that the two have been friendly for nearly a decade.

Was the Murdoch Propaganda Machine Colluding with Russia & Trump?

Murdoch's WSJ was reported to have held a story in the fall of 2016 about the Donald and his mob connected past - allegedly for editorial reasons. But if I recall correctly, the WSJ Editor, Paul Gigot, also said something along the lines of holding it to stave off a Clinton victory. I NEED TO VERIFY THIS.

Eleven days prior to the election, on October 28, 2016, the case involving Clinton’s emails was reopened, because some of them were found on Anthony Weiner’s laptop. Rupert Murdoch’s Wall Street Journal had issued related reports about them a couple of months earlier, and Murdoch Fox News regular Rudy Giuliani [now Trump’s lawyer] foreshadowed the timely release of the news - that there were more Clinton emails - on Fox News. Giuliani is reportedly paid over a half million dollars to be a paid contributor on Fox Fake News.

Within days the FBI had sifted through them, informing the public that there wasn’t anything new.

7. Russian Oligarch Rybolovlev was tracked to North Carolina by the Daily Kos, just five days before election day 2016 at the same airport where candidate Donald Trump had landed only 20 minutes earlier to make a campaign stop. Rybolovlev reportedly paid $95 million to Trump for a mansion he demolished, and for which Trump had paid $45 million only four years earlier. It was reported to be worth about $25 - $30 million less at the time.

I found it interesting that Rybolovlev's battery company in America was reported to build batteries in what look like storage containers, and upper management is mostly comprised of ex-Russian government people [agents?]. Rybolovlev recently closed down the company and Russia is reportedly withdrawing money from America, as Mueller probe gets closer to closing in on Trump. I can't help wonder whether the Russians were planning to use these 'batteries in containers' to ship other things - like say weapons technology, people, drugs - in and out of our country?

666. On November 8, 2016, Devilish Donald Trump was elected president. Numerous Oligarchs planned to attend Trump’s Inauguration. Even Putin was rumored to be planning to attend.

Going into the voting booths, most Americans were not fully aware of Trump’s mobster ties dating back into the 20th century, nor even remotely aware of all of the ties Trump has had with what appears Russian-like mobsters over the past 20 to 30 years.

The Inauguration of Benedict Donald - J. Trump

Several Oligarchs showed at Trump's Inauguration [and helped fund it?] including Vekselberg and Maskevitch. Reports said they were expecting great things during the Trump years. Are / were they expecting to convert American democracy into a Putin kleptocracy, Russian style?

PRIME COLLUSION PARTICIPANTS? Ivanka Trump, Wendi Deng Murdoch, Rupert Murdoch & Sean Hannity

Is Wendi Deng Murdoch, the ex-wife of the powerful, multi-billionaire Rupert Murdoch who controls the Fox Fake News propaganda machine above the law? Is the President's daughter, Ivanka Trump Kushner, who appears to be a shill for the Trump Organization above the law?

Is Rupert Murdoch, whose WSJ buried a negative Trump story before election above the law? Is pseudo anchorman Sean Hannity, who Michael Cohen advised on real estate & who famously ordered Trump to fire ALL U.S. Attorneys - which Trump did the next day - immune from questioning? Murdoch's Fox Fake News & Hannity went on to do a very sympathetic, propagandistic interview with Assange in captivity in the Ecuadorian Embassy in London following the election. Both men have, during the Trump presidency, been reported to be in constant contact with Trump [daily to weekly phone calls].

CLICK here to read the rest of our report about whether a financially compromised president who appears a hostage of the Russian mob-like kleptocrats who appear to be possible murderers and thieves of the Russian people's wealth.


What I Found: Unite The Right Rally in D.C.

Media Reality Distortion - How Out of Whack is America's News / Information System?

August 13, 2018 / Government, Media & Politics USA / Washington, D.C. / Gotham Buzz NYC.

unite the right donald trump media malpracticeJust over a week ago, I made the decision to travel down to Washington, D.C. to cover the Unite The Right Rally scheduled Sunday, August 12th, on the anniversary of the same rally organized by the same group in Charlottesville, Virginia. Charlottesville is located about 100 miles south / mostly west of Washington, D.C.

In the rally a year ago, White Supremacists, Ku Klux Klansmen, neo-Confederates and neo-Nazis participated in the rally and it became violent. One person was killed in the event when an alleged neo-Nazi drove his car through the crowd, and two officers monitoring the event in a helicopter died, when the aircraft crashed [I believe it was an accident]. And somewhere between 19 and 34 people were injured in clashes between the Unite The Right rally participants and Antifa along with other counter protesters.

The D.C. event was scheduled in D.C. because Jason Kessler, the Unite The Right Founder, couldn’t get a permit in Charlottesville for the first year anniversary of the Unite The Right event. After some skirmishing over the permitting with the local Washington, D.C. authorities, Kessler prevailed and was given a permit to hold a march and rally ending in Lafayette Park, just south of the White House.

At one point there were discussions about arranging separate public transit buses for the Unite The Right rally members from their staging area a several miles west of the White House, to the march starting point at Foggy Bottom Metro Station. But the D.C. public transit union resisted, as the majority of their members are African Americans, and the union reportedly opined that they didn’t want to do anything to facilitate the Unite The Right rally.

unite the right donald trump media malpracticeMeanwhile there were somewhere between a half dozen and dozen counter protester groups that organized to protest the Unite The Right rally. Several of them also sought and received permits.

On Friday Christian and Jewish groups joined forces for an interfaith teach-in and interfaith vigil. This was according to The DCist, which I found to be the best source of information regarding planning / preparing to cover the event on Sunday. The DCist also noted that Black Lives Matter DC in collaboration with several other activist groups held a workshop at an Episcopalian Church.

On Saturday, a Presbyterian Church held a prayer service at Foggy Bottom Station in advance of the rally, where they prayed and chalked some of the sidewalk where the Unite The Right marchers would begin on Sunday.

On Sunday a counter protest, Shut It Down DC, organized a permitted counter protest in Freedom Plaza a few blocks east of Lafayette Park, from where they would march to Lafayette Park beginning at 3 pm. The DCist reported that the Shut It Down DC group included the D.C. Antifascist collective, Hoods4Justice, March for Racial Justice, and others.

Black Lives Matter DC organized to meet a couple of blocks north of Lafayette Park, and would then march south to the park. A group from NYC began their march on August 3rd to D.C. where they planned an event at the MLK monument from 12 noon to 4 pm on Sunday [#AgapeMarch]. And a group, The Real White People’s Rally, led by a local tour guide, Tim Krepp, was scheduled to counter protest at Lafayette Park from 1 to 4 pm.

The DCist also mentioned about a half dozen other counter protest group events, but for the most part those noted above, were the ones most relevant to my planned coverage.

I headed down to D.C. a bit anxious, given the violent skirmishes that occurred at the rally a year ago in Charlottesville, and the following instructions on the unitetherightrally.com website.

Do NOT bring these items:
-Guns
-Pepper spray, clubs, knives or other weapons
-Shields
-Non-approved flags

ALWAYS Be aware of your surroundings. Do not talk to the media.
Do not engage in any fighting.
ALWAYS be a good representative for our cause.

My thoughts were that if you have to provide instructions like these to the people you expect at your rally – there’s a good likelihood that some of the unwanted weapons will be there. I had read that last year people brought guns to the rally in Charlottesville – but I also reasoned that in Washington, D.C. the gun laws are likely far less permissive than in Charlottesville, Virginia. And there were reports that the D.C. police were preparing for the worst.

Anyhow, I arrived at Union Station in Washington, D.C. Sunday afternoon at about 3 pm. It was hot, humid and rain was in the forecast for later in the afternoon. I took the Metro subway from Union Station to the Metro Center stop, which was only a few blocks away from Freedom Plaza. Once on the street, as I began to get my bearings, I asked a young woman if she could tell me in which direction Freedom Plaza was. She was also headed to the counter protest, so we walked over there together. Ironically, her name was Hope.

CLICK here to read the rest of my report about covering the Unite The Right Rally in Washington, D.C. on August 12, 2018. COMING THIS WEEKEND 8/18 - 19/18. The story has become something bigger than I first envisioned. It's in a rough draft which I hope to finish, edit and add photos to this weekend.


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SummerStage Concerts in Manhattan - Central Park & East River Park | summer stage concerts central park summer stage concerts east river park nyc 8.2.18 - 1343
SummerStage Concerts in Manhattan - Central Park & East River Park

SummerStage Concerts in Manhattan

SummerStage Concert Schedule For Central Park, East River Park & Marcus Garvey Park

August 2, 2018 / Upper East Side Neighborhood / Live Music NYC / Things To Do Manhattan / Manhattan Buzz NYC.


Free Things To Do Manhattan NYC - Free Summer Movies Manhattan Upper East Side UES Upper West Side UWS Midtown West Village East Village Soho Tribeca | Free Things To Do Manhattan NYC - Free Summer Movies Manhattan Upper East Side UES Upper West Side UWS Midtown West Village East Village Soho Tribeca free summer movies foreign films manhattan nyc - 7.26.18 - 1519
Free Things To Do Manhattan NYC - Free Summer Movies Manhattan Upper East Side UES Upper West Side UWS Midtown West Village East Village Soho Tribeca

Free Things To Do In Manhattan - Free Summer Movies

Free Movies & Foreign Films In Manhattan Parks - Upper East Side UES, Upper West Side UWS, Midtown, East Village, West Village, SoHo & Tribeca

August 18, 2018 / Manhattan Neighborhoods / Foreign Films & Movies Manhattan / Manhattan Things To Do / Manhattan Buzz NYC.  

This report includes a list of some of the free things to do in Queens this summer. 

Click here to view a listing of the dates and times of free things to do in Manhattan - free foreign films & summer movies in Manhattan parks.



Free Things To Do Manhattan NYC Free Shakespeare Summer Theater Manhattan Upper East Side UES Upper West Side UWS Midtown Tribeca West Village East Vi | Free Things To Do Manhattan NYC - Free Summer theater Manhattan Upper East Side UES Upper West Side UWS Midtown West Village East Village Soho Tribeca free summer theatre Shakespeare in Central Park manhattan nyc - 7.16.18 - 1690
Free Things To Do Manhattan NYC Free Shakespeare Summer Theater Manhattan Upper East Side UES Upper West Side UWS Midtown Tribeca West Village East Vi

Free Things To Do In Manhattan - Free Summer Theater & Shakespeare in the Park

Free Theater In Manhattan Parks - Upper East Side UES, Upper West Side UWS, Midtown, East Village, West Village, SoHo & Tribeca NYC

August 18, 2018 / Manhattan Neighborhoods / Manhattan Theater Theatre District / Manhattan Things To Do / Manhattan Buzz NYC.  

This report includes a list of some of the free things to do in Queens this summer. 

Click here to view a listing of the dates and times of free things to do in Manhattan - free theater in Manhattan parks.



Manhattan Swimming Pools - Public Swimming Pools Manhattan | manhattan swimming pools nyc public swimming pools in manhattan upper east side use swimming pools uws upper west side swimming pools midtown swimming pools east village swimming pools soho tribeca swimming pools nyc
Manhattan Swimming Pools - Public Swimming Pools Manhattan

Manhattan Swimming Pools - Free Public Pools in NYC

This Manhattan NYC Public Swimming Pool Directory Includes Contact Info

Updated July 10, 2018 / Manhattan Neighborhoods NYC / Manhattan Parks & Sports / Manhattan Buzz NYC.

Manhattan offers easy access to a wide range of recreational swimming pools. The following is our first attempt to provide you with a view of the range of public swimming pools available in the parks of Manhattan. We encourage you to make use of these facilities because they provide healthy, fun, and frequently free or inexpensive entertainment for both individuals and families with children.

Click here to view a listing of Manhattan swimming pools including UES Upper East Side, UWS Upper West Side, Midtown, East Village, West Village, SoHo and Tribeca swimming pools.



July 4th Fireworks Manhattan NYC - Places / Where To Watch & View | july 4th fireworks 2018 manhattan nyc best viewing locations for 4th of july fireworks manhattan nyc 2018
July 4th Fireworks Manhattan NYC - Places / Where To Watch & View

Manhattan 4th of July Fireworks 2018

Best Viewing Places / Locations to Watch Fireworks in Manhattan NYC

July 2, 2018 / Manhattan Neighborhoods / 4th of July Holiday Manhattan / Manhattan Buzz NYC.

The Macy's 4th of July fireworks will be shown along the East River this year. They were shown along the East River in 2014 for the first time since 2008, and have remained on the East River ever since. Mayor de Blasio had lobbied the change, which now spans five years.

Weather. Highs will be in the mid 80's during the day and in the high 70's at night. There's a 40% chance of rain in the forecast in the morning, but only 5 - 10% chance of rain at night, so it should be a fair night.

The Grucci Brothers will be doing the Macy's 4th of July fireworks in NYC. They have been doing fireworks for many years and the Macy's July 4th fireworks in Manhattan for decades.

But for those looking for fireworks on 4th of July 2018, you'll have ample opportunity to view the fireworks as the pyrotechnic performance is well situated in the East River with FOUR barges this year.

Click here for a report about where to watch the 4th of July Fireworks in Manhattan NYC 2018 & surrounding areas, including times and locations for the Macy's 4th of July fireworks in NYC and at Jones Beach on Long Island.



Decisive Victory for Ocasio & Progressives

Democratic Party Insider Joe Crowley Loses in Stunning Defeat

June 27, 2018 / Bronx Neighborhoods / Queens Neighborhoods / Queens Politics / Bronx Politics & Government / News Analysis & Opinion / Queens Buzz NYC.

alexandria ocasio cortez photo campaign posterCongressman Joseph Crowley suffered an astonishing defeat Tuesday, when Alexandria Ocasio - Cortez defeated him in the 14th district NYS primary for U.S. Congress. According to Vox, with 97% of the precincts reporting, Ocasio-Cortez had received 15,897 or 57% of the vote, while Crowley had received 11,761 or 42% of the vote.

Crowley, age 56,inherited his office and the Queens Democratic Party Chairmanship from Thomas Manton in 1999. Crowley has spent the last two decades in Washington, D.C. rising to the top levels of the Democratic party leadership, considered by many to be one of the top contenders to succeed Nancy Pelosi as the House Democratic Leader.

Ocasio-Cortez is a youthful 28 years old, the daughter of a Bronx native and Puerto Rican mother. She graduated from Boston University with a BA in Economics and International Relations. Since then she has worked at a Bronx start up and in the Bernie Sanders presidential campaign of 2016.

Crowley reportedly had a campaign budget of $1.5 million versus $0.3 million for Ocasio-Cortez, raised via small and online donations.

 

Crowley, Pelosi, Schumer & the Democratic Party of Appeasement

Alexandria ran a spirited campaign, tapping into some of the energy and frustration of an increasingly rigged system, which Donald Trump has been hyper rigging since he took office in 2017.

The Donald tweeted that Joe lost because he opposed President Donald. But as oftentimes seems the case with Trump tweets - the reality is quite the opposite. The electorate that supported Ocasio-Cortez are more likely to view Crowley, Pelosi and Schumer as leaders of a Democratic Party of Appeasement who need to be replaced by people who will vigorously fight for the democratic principles upon which this nation was founded. Pelosi, Schumer and Crowley are seen as wet noodle leaders of the opposition - telling their supporters to hush up about any possibility of impeaching Trump.

Appeasers Say Don't Talk About Trump Impeachment ...

Some pundits believe that Trump is exactly the type of president for which the process of impeachment was included in the U.S. Constitution, as he appears to have colluded with a hostile foreign power to win the election, appears to be in numerous violations of the emoluments clause of the U.S. Constitution and is aligning the U.S. with dictators while undermining democracies around the globe with disruptive breaks in our military and economic alliances.

The party of appeasement references British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain's appeasement of Hitler in 1938 when Chamberlain signed the Munich Agreement. The Munich Agreement basically ceded the German speaking segment of the Sudetenland in Czechoslovakia to Adolph Hitler. Emboldened by Chamberlain's lack of courage to stand up to him, Hitler invaded Poland in 1939 and WWII began.

Bernie Sanders championed the "government by the people for the people" wing of the Democratic party in 2016 and Cynthia Nixon, Jumaane Williams and the NYS Senate IDC challengers are running as the voice of this segment of the electorate in the NYS September 13th primaries.

 

Trump Aligns with Dictators Around the World, While Undermining Democracies

congressman joe crowley photo campaign posterTrump has been aligning the U.S. with leaders of totalitarian states and dictators around the world including Supreme Leader Kim Jong-un of North Korea, President Vladimir Putin of Russia, King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud of Saudi Arabia, President Xi Jinping of China and President Rodrigo Duterte of the Philippines.

Trump has been undermining our historical allies - comprised of the real democracies around the world - such as Canada, Britain, France, Germany, Japan, Mexico and most, if not all, of the rest of Europe and most of Latin America.

Left unchecked, this policy of appeasement by the Democratic and Republican parties could, over the long haul, result in the loss of democracy on the planet. Nancy Pelosi, Chuck Schumer and Joseph Crowley are all seen as the appeasers - and last night Crowley as one of them - took a big loss.

 

Crowley's Congressional District Changed from the 7th to the 14th in 2013

In 2013 the congressional district that Joe Crowley had historically run in [7th District] changed. The 7th district covered the northern and western rim of Queens. Since 2013 Crowley has been running in the 14th congressional district which covers the northern rim of Queens and the southeastern part of the Bronx. The changed district resulted in changes to the demographic composition of the electorate by increasing the Hispanic representation in the district. Also, by including the Bronx in the district, it included an area where the electorate had little familiarity with Crowley.

All of the above likely contributed to Crowley's loss. Joseph Crowley was a gracious loser, complimenting Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez on her well run and hard fought campaign.

 

Is Nixon the One for NYS?

Cynthia Nixon & Jumaane Williams Support Real Rent Reform

June 14, 2018 / NYC Neighborhoods / NYC & NYS Politics / Gotham Buzz NYC.

cynthia nixon photos jumaane williams photosOn Thursday afternoon I headed to the NY Public Library at Bryant Park to attend a Rent Reform Rally organized by RealRentReform.org. I had heard that Cynthia Nixon and Jumaane Williams, candidates for NYS Governor and NYS Lieutenant Governor, respectively, were to speak at the event - so given the relevance of rent reform and the growing interest in the challengers to the status quo ... I decided to go.

As I emerged from the subway, I wasn't disappointed. There were a thousand plus protesters gathered on the steps of the central library along Fifth Avenue, just south of 42nd Street, gathered to make their voices heard. What struck me as I surveyed the crowd was the cross sectional nature of the people who had gathered. From the young student activists, to the elderly handing out pamphlets, to people of all colors ranging from black to white.

I shot some photos and talked to some of the organizers and attendees to find out what they had come to say. Essentially they were disappointed with Governor Andrew Cuomo's inaction on strengthening rent regulations - which struck me as comparable to the inaction on housing and the rapid rise in homelessness in NYC as happened under former Mayor Michael Bloomberg.

 

NYS Department of Housing & Community Renewal

NYC Mayor de Blasio helped arrest the rising tide of homelessness in NYC by his actions since taking office in 2014, but there was plenty more to be done, and the Governor and the State of New York hold many of the cards. One of the complaints I heard was that the NYS Department of Housing & Community Renewal [DHCR] budget had been cut since Cuomo took office, and that there were only eleven lawyers to help tenants avoid evictions and unfair landlord and developer actions statewide.

 

Cuomo Decreases DHCR Staff While 'Appearing' to Increase Real Estate Development Incentives

cynthia nixon photos jumaane williams photosI went online and looked up the budget for the NYS Department of Housing & Community Renewal budget where the agency staff portion of the budget between 2011 and 2017 had been cut from $745 million to $682 million, which is a net reduction of 8.5%. The funds being allocated to the development of housing looked like it had increased substantially [+715%] from $314 million in 2011 & 2012, to $2,245 billion in 2018. But - as I found out - this multi-billion dollar increase is misleading ... so please spend a bit more time and keep on reading.

The 'added billions' goes toward categories entitled State Operations, Aid to Localities and Capital Projects. All of the increase went into a category entitled Capital Projects, which was comprised of two subcategories - Infrastructure Investments and a Housing Program Fund. But the budget increase was saddled with an MOU. The funds were allocated to incent and aid real estate developers to build affordable housing. The net result is that it looks like Governor Andrew Cuomo has cut DHCR agency staff who help residents stay in their homes, while 'appearing' to increase the state money to aid real estate developers to build affordable housing.

Governor Cuomo added $2 billion to the DHCR budget in 2016 referencing a Memo of Understanding [MOU]. While Cuomo claimed to commit $2 billion to building 20,000 new affordable housing units, he saddled the budget increase with a legislative tactic - the MOU. I was told - and the DHCR budget appears to confirm - that most of this money remains unspent and appears to be a revolving budget item that allows Cuomo to claim he's making the investment in affordable housing while not actually going through with it. Real Rent Reformers at the Rally last Thursday alleged that this is a part of a revolving budget game by Governor Cuomo, while the NYS affordable housing shortage continues.

This reminds me of another game allegedly played by Governor Cuomo, which was the use of the now disbanded 'Independent Democratic Caucus' [IDC], which Governor Cuomo is reported to have supported. The IDC was comprised of NYS Senate Democrats who caucused with the Republicans - thus essentially making them Republicans running as Democrats. I did a story earlier outlining this subterfuge which you can view by clicking the link.

 

NYS Losing Affordable Housing Stock?

cynthia nixon photos jumaane williams photosAnother protester complaint was that somewhere between 75,000 and 100,000 affordable homes have been lost during Andrew Cuomo's two terms as Governor and that he has turned a blind eye to landlords and developers cashing in on his inaction. Cuomo's DHCR staff budget cuts would seem to support this allegation, as does Cuomo's inaction on closing loopholes used by developers and landlords to convert rent stabilized apartments to market rate housing stock.

One protester told me that homelessness has risen 36% since Cuomo took office. As of this writing I haven't had time to totally verify this claim - which I hope to do between now and when the primary season ends on election day Thursday, September 13th, 2018 [the election date was moved because Tuesday is 9/11]. But I did find that, at least directionally, these claims are correct.

An example of the growing statewide housing crisis is that in the school year 2012 - 2013, a bit less than halfway through the eight years Andrew Cuomo has been governor, New York had the third highest percentage of homeless students in the U.S. [source: Institute for Children Poverty & Homelessness - aka ICP]. I had thought that homelessness was largely a New York City problem, but as you can see by the map / chart the ICPH published - the problem is statewide.

 

Jumaane Williams & Cynthia Nixon Running for NYS

cynthia nixon photos jumaane williams photosAfter speaking to the protesters a number of people rose to speak. Among them was Jumaane Williams, the NYC Councilmember of the 45th district in Brooklyn. He's challenging NYS Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul who he said was party to NYS Governor Cuomo's inaction.

The following is a video primarily of NYS Gubernatorial candidate Cynthia Nixon speaking at the rally. It was the first time I had seen her look like a real contender for the governorship since she announced her intention to run on March 19, 2018. Nixon talked first about rent regulations and one of her own personal experiences, and then she went on to mention other issues that separate her and Jumaane from Cuomo and Hochul.

This is just the beginning of our NYS state elections coverage 2018. I still have a fair amount of research to do to become more familiar with the state's role in so much of what affects us in NYC including affordable housing, the MTA, NYC public education and possibly corruption.

 

Petitions to Help Challengers get on the NYS Ballot

Nixon and Jumaane have about three weeks left to obtain the required signatures to get on the ballot. If you want to help them you can by copying & pasting this link into your browser for Cynthia Nixon for Governor and for Jumaane Williams for Lieutenant Governor

https://cynthiafornewyork.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/Cynthia-Jumaane-Petition.pdf


The Puerto Rican Parade NYC

Tens of Thousands of Puerto Ricans Celebrate Their Culture

puerto rican parade nyc photosJune 11, 2018 / Upper East Side Neighborhood / Harlem Neighborhood / Manhattan Parades NYC / Manhattan Buzz NYC.

Puerto Rican Street Fair Spanish Harlem

One thing you could never accuse New York Puerto Ricans of, is a lack of pride in their cultural roots. On Saturday there was a huge street fair in Spanish Harlem, lasting most of the day, along a nearly 20 block stretch of Third Avenue between 103rd and 122nd streets in east Harlem.

 

East Harlem used to be the destination for Puerto Ricans coming to New York. And while there's still a large Puerto Rican community there, I think there may be an even larger community in the central Bronx whose Borough President is Ruben Diaz, whose father, NYC City Councilmember Ruben Diaz, Sr. came from Bayamon, Puerto Rico. So while some of the population may have moved, Puerto Ricans came from around the city and far beyond, to congregate on Saturday and Sunday, and the bask in the atmosphere of their cultural roots.

 

Puerto Rican Parade on the Upper East Side Manhattan

116th street fair spanish harlem street festival st fair east harlem spanish harlem photosThere was food, shopping, music, entertainment and dancing at the street fair on Saturday, and minus the food and shopping, the music, dancing and entertainment were also on display at the huge Puerto Rican parade in Manhattan on Sunday. Numerous floats as well as marching groups of dancers and musicians and social groups joined together to make the parade one long display of Puerto Rica's eclectic mix of African, Latin and American cultures.

 

American Puerto Ricans call themselves Boricuas and everything else is just Bochinche [gossip]. We'll delve more deeply into the Puerto Rican community in Manhattan and the Bronx as time passes.

 


The Ridiculous & Scary Presidency of Benedict Donald

If Trump is so Innocent, Why is his Legal Team Spending so Much Effort on Asserting he can Pardon Himself?

trump photo sean hannity photoJune 4, 2018 / NYC Neighborhoods / NYC Politics / News Analysis & Opinion / Gotham Buzz NYC.

 

This would be funny, if it wasn't so real.

 

While Trump loudly and continuously proclaims his innocence, both he and his legal team are aggressively claiming that the president is above the law and can self pardon. These actions and concurrent narratives don't seem very innocent to me.

Is this a Shakespearean comedy of errors by fools?

 

Do They Think Americans Are Morons?

Is Democratic Rule of Law being Ceded to Billionaire Oligarchs?

Rudy Giuliani, once a lawyer who prosecuted the mob, seems to have sold out by becoming a lawyer who now represents mob-like characters, including Donald J. Trump and Turkish Iranian businessman Reza Zarrab.

giuliani photo rupert murdoch photosNot long after Trump began his career in the real estate business in the 1970's, Trump is believed to have associated with the mob, doing business with them on deals relating to the construction of Trump Tower, and in developing casinos in Atlantic City, New Jersey. Trump reportedly admitted he was friendly with mobsters and I've seen photos of Trump with some. Trump has also sold in the neighborhood of a hundred million dollars or more in real estate to Russians, including an Oligarch, according to Haaretz, an Israeli English language publication. The Oligarchs are considered to be the Russian equivalent to what was the American mob by some. Click here for a brief and likely very incomplete accounting of some of what seem like Trump's nefarious dealings - Donald Trump & the Art of the Steal.

Rudy Giuliani was also hired by Reza Zarrab's defense lawyers - not to plead their case as their attorney - but to do something else, possibly akin to what Trump fixer Michael Cohen does. Giuliani was a staunch candidate Trump supporter in 2016, an unofficial Trump security adviser in 2017, and most recently became a member of the Trump legal team. According to an April 3, 2017 Seattle Times report,

"[Guiliani and former Attorney General Michael Mukasey] were hired by Zarrab’s defense. But oddly, neither is involved in pleading the case in U.S. District Court, leading prosecutors to wonder if the defense is trying to circumvent the regular judicial process by going above prosecutors’ heads. ... He [Zarrab] and several others are accused of conspiring to evade U.S. sanctions against Iran, using a network of companies to mask the true nature of transactions and defraud multiple banks. Prosecutors say they processed hundreds of millions of dollars for Iran and claim to have thousands of pages of bank, email and phone records to prove it. Zarrab pleaded not guilty."

To make a long story short, Trump subsequently fired Preet Bahara, the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York who was prosecuting the Zarrab case [and also prosecuting a couple of cases against a company controlled by Trump propagandist billionaire Rupert Murdoch - see link below]. At the time it was believed that Marc Mukasey, Michael Mukasey's son, would replace Bahara. Instead Trump left the position vacant for about a half year, before a New York judge appointed a temporary replacement. The position may not have been filled to avoid the appearance of what it really may have been ... another example of Trump obstruction of justice.

 

Democracy Destroying Don: Trump Claims He's Above the Law

On Saturday, June 2, 2018 the NYT published a story that included the following,

"In a brash assertion of presidential power, the 20-page letter — sent to the special counsel, Robert S. Mueller III, and obtained by The New York Times — contends that the president cannot illegally obstruct any aspect of the investigation into Russia’s election meddling because the Constitution empowers him to, “if he wished, terminate the inquiry, or even exercise his power to pardon.”

According to a June 2, 2018 report by The Hill quoting Nick Akerman, the Assistant Watergate Prosecutor,

“First of all, the whole idea that he [Trump] can’t be charged with obstruction of justice — the last time that ever happened in this country is when we were ruled by King George ... That’s what the whole rule of law is about. The president has to faithfully execute the laws.” [Akerman told MSNBC]

 

Axis of Evil: Trump, Giuliani & Rupert Murdoch's Media

Rudy Giuliani began doing rounds on the media circuit, most notably, Rupert Murdoch's propaganda machine outlets including Fox News, where he appeared to assert that the president of the United States is above the law. To become better acquainted with what seems to be in it for Rupert Murdoch - who controls Fox News, Wall Street Journal, NY Post, Barron's, Market Watch, WWOR-TV, Fox 5 and Harper Collins Books - in exchange for his unapologetic propagandistic support of Trump - click the link above.

Trump Corruption Makes the Clintons Look Like Amateurs?

trump white house for sale trump selling out america trump the great greatest american selloutDuring the 2016 campaign Benedict Donald repeatedly labeled Hillary Clinton as Crooked Hillary. That resonated with the American people because the Clinton's appear to have a history of questionable political maneuvering and the billion dollar Clinton Foundation oftentimes seems self-serving.

But in the one and a half years since Trump took office, he's managed to make the Clintons look like small potato amateurs, and you're hearing that from someone who is no fan of the Clintons.

Not Serving the Nation but Criminals Serving Themselves?

Taxpayers Spend Added $60 Million on Trump's Golf Game & Family Travels. In 2017 the U.S. Secret Service budget had to be increased $60 million to keep apace with the Trump family travels. A good portion of that spending appears to be to provide protection for Trump's 100 days of golf which he did in his first 408 days in office.

 

D.C. Swamp Now a Trump-sized Cess Pool

Middle East Wars: American Foreign Policy & Security For Sale?

trump swamp trump cess pool trump trash trump white trash

Jared Kushner, Trump's son-in-law, secured a $30 million investment from an Israeli finance company, Menora Mivtachim shortly after Kushner accompanied Trump on a trip to Israel in May of 2017. In December 2017 the U.S. Embassy in Israel was moved to Jerusalem following receipt of the investment.

 

A March 22, 2018 report by MSNBC states that The Intercept noted that the Saudi Royal Prince said he had Jared Kushner "in his pocket". Kushner, who has national security clearance, is reportedly an avid reader of Trump's daily security briefing.

 

U.S. to Pay For Murdoch . Cheney . Prince Black Ops?

Blackwater / Academi, Erik Prince, Dick Cheney, Rupert Murdoch & Syria - You Know This Can't be Good

trump swamp trump cess pool trump trash trump white trashAccording to a May 3, 2018 report in the NYT, the U.S. has quietly deployed Special Forces to Yemen, in what appears to be an escalation of help to the Saudi government's involvement in the Yemeni Civil War. The Trump Administration says America is providing refueling, logistics and intel sharing help and the Trump Administration never lies - do they? According to reports in the NYT in 2011 and in 2015 the United Arab Emirates and the Saudis have hired Blackwater [now called Academi] mercenaries and there have been reports of countless civilian casualties in Yemen and torture prisons either in Yemen, or elsewhere in the Middle East, or both.

Betsy De Vos' brother, Blackwater billionaire & Founder Erik Prince, is interested in going to the mercernaries-for-hire business again in the Middle East. According to an April 18, 2018 report in the WSJ,

"... the Trump administration is seeking to assemble an Arab force to replace the US military contingent in Syria and help stabilise the north-eastern part of the country ... [and that Erik Prince] has been informally contacted by Arab officials about the prospect.”

It's worth mentioning that Rupert Murdoch, the global billionaire propagandist, went into business with former VP Dick Cheney through Genie Energy which bought energy rights from Israel in 2013 in the illegally-occupied Syrian Golan Heights. In 2007, on Cheney's watch, Erik Prince's Blackwater allegedly murdered dozens of unarmed Iraqi civilians - of which the most notable incident was the Nisour Square Massacre. And Erik Prince is also suspected of attempting to establish a back channel for Trump / Putin in the Seychelles [islands off the coast of Africa] in December of 2016.

It seems like the gang is back in town and American's reputation and government taxed money may be used again by these millionaires and billionaires to further enrich themselves. This time it seems they will make themselves even more fabulously rich on the stolen energy rights of the Syrian people, using the American taxpayer Defense budget to pay for it. An effort to defund some of these operations in March / April 2018 was stopped by one of Rupert Murdoch's many puppets, Senate Majority 'Leader' Mitch McConnell [his wife Elaine Chao was previously on Murdoch's 21st Century Fox Board].

 

Banking Deregulation For Sale?

Kushner also secured a half billion dollars in loans during Trump's first year as U.S. President. After multiple meetings at the White House in Spring of 2017, Citibank made a $325 million loan to Kushner. In November 2017 Apollo Global Management made a $184 million loan to Kushner. The loan they made to Kushner was reportedly triple the size of the average property loan in their portfolio. Apollo's slogan is "We take many paths to value."

In March 2018, Mouse McConnell, the Republican Senate Majority Leader announced that the Senate had passed a bank deregulation bill that pulls back the bank reforms made after a bank bailout and economic recovery that cost the American taxpayer over $4 TRILLION DOLLARS. In May 2018 Trump and the Republican Congress, led by Paul Ryan, passed a similar banking deregulation bill.

 

Chinese Trade Deals & American Security For Sale?

A May 23, 2018 report on Bloomberg states,

"Press reports in early May centered on $500 million in expected loans [to a Trump Partnership in Malaysian tycoon developer Hary Tanoesoedibjo] from a Chinese state-owned institution. This was particularly piquant because of Trump’s unexpected announcement on May 13, via Twitter, that he was working with Chinese President Xi Jinping to give the Chinese phone maker ZTE Corp., which has been cut off from U.S. suppliers for violating sanctions against trading with Iran and North Korea, “a way to get back into business, fast.” That produced accusations that Trump had engaged in a quid pro quo with Xi."

  • CLICK here to continue reading our report about the Ridiculous Presidency of Benedict Donald including the alleged sale of access to Russian Oligarchs, sale of U.S. federal land and mineral rights, potential corruption at Betsy De Vos' Department of Education, 187 former lobbysists working in the swamp-turned-cesspool, Melania's friend's multi-million dollar windfall, taxpayer funded federal government luxury, possibly a Cabinet member's Mile High Club enrollment on a U.S. Air Force jet and the Trump $1.5 trillion robbery of America's children.

NYC Landlord Harassments Continue

NYCCM Helen Rosenthal Hosts Housing Clinic to Inform Renters of Their Rights

manhattan things to do nycMay 29, 2018 / Upper West Side Neighborhood / Manhattan Real Estate / Manhattan Neighborhoods / Manhattan Buzz NYC.

On Wednesday, May 25th I went to the Goddard Riverside Community Center on Columbus Avenue at 88th Street to attend a housing clinic designed to inform renters of their rights.

***The following introduction is based on prior research done by me, and was not information provided at the housing clinic. I'll let you know when I segue out of my preamble and into the housing clinic.***

Over the past decade landlords appear to have become increasingly aggressive in trying to wriggle out of NYC and NYS rent stabilization regulations, that govern the rental payments under which about two million New Yorkers live.

It is my understanding that the government contributed land and / or financing to build or repair the buildings governed by NYC / NYS rent stabilization laws in exchange for the pricing rights on rent stabilized units. Many of the new landlords who have acquired rent stablized buildings, may possibly be in violation of approaching their business contract(s) in good faith, as the definition of good faith according to Wikipedia is:

"In contract law, the implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing is a general presumption that the parties to a contract will deal with each other honestly, fairly, and in good faith, so as to not destroy the right of the other party or parties to receive the benefits of the contract. It is implied in every contract in order to reinforce the express covenants or promises of the contract. A lawsuit (or a cause of action) based upon the breach of the covenant may arise when one party to the contract attempts to claim the benefit of a technical excuse for breaching the contract, or when he or she uses specific contractual terms in isolation in order to refuse to perform his or her contractual obligations, despite the general circumstances and understandings between the parties. When a court or triar or fact interprets a contract, there is always an "implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing" in every written agreement."

What is at stake, throughout the city, is literally hundreds of millions and more likely billions of dollars in - rental benefits or rental income streams - depending on which side of the struggle you're on. The landlords appear to be trying - using the torturtous side effects of construction including noise, health risk dust [inhalation], privacy loss and apartment functional loss - to wrest away the billions of dollars of rental pricing rights benefits from tenants to be pocketed by the landlords themselves. Given the high dollar value of what's at stake - including people's homes - this seems like attempted grand larceny, especially in cases where landlords are breaking the law to achieve their goals.

This will be continued at a later date. Including the segue into the information provided by the Housing Clinic to inform tenants of their rights.

Tenants' Rights March & Rally - June 14th Midtown at 4.30 pm

P.S. There's a March & Rally scheduled for June 14th, beginning at 4.30 pm, at the NY Public Library at 5th Avenue and 40th Street. They plan to march to Governor Cuomo's office at 3rd Avenue and East 41st Street. For details contact info@realrentreform.org or call 212.979.6958. All but one of the No IDC NY senatorial candidates have been invited to participate, and there's a possibility that NYS gubernatorial candidate Cynthia Nixon will be there too - as this seems to coincide with her reasons for challenging Governor Cuomo.


Rain Doesn't Deter Cathedral Fair

Cathedral School at St John the Divine on the UWS Slogs On

cathedral school st john the divineMay 21, 2018 / Upper West Side Neighborhood / Manhattan Schools / Manhattan Neighborhoods / Manhattan Buzz NYC.

I had the pleasure of attending the Cathedral School Spring Fair in the court yard of St. John the Divine Cathedral last Saturday. The court yard is an old, beautiful green space area nestled in amongst the buildings of the St. John the Divine Cathedral complex.

The photo at right shows the Cathedral School Spring fair just after a downpouring rain.

The fair began around mid morning and I arrived a bit after noon. It was raining fairly steadily, but that didn't deter me - nor many of the Cathedral School supporters - from enjoying the afternoon. There was a grill stationed along a walkway inside the campus gates. And inside the nearby Synod House there were games, live music and a pretty good one time a year flea market selling donated goods of the Cathedral School supporters and community.

The Synod House was completed in 1913, around the time of the beginning of WWI, and was the meeting place for the 1913 General Convention of the Episcopal Church. The building has retained the name Synod House ever since, as a synod is the name for a council of church officials. The Synod House can seat 1,000 people, has timber beams, stained glass windows and is reportedly home to a Skinner organ. Ernest Martin Skinner was a leading pipe organ builder who used electro-pneumatic switching systems to advance organ capabilities. Skinner used an electrical switching system to manage the air pressure in the pipes and control the amount of air passing through the pipes. Skinner was considered one of the most successful pipe organ builders of his day.

The photo at right shows the Synod House, which I went into at the end of the fair.

cathedral school st john the divineI met up with one of the school supporters, a steadfast volunteer who had completed his shift, and we sat down to a hearty burger and one of the microbrew beers being poured by other community members / volunteers. Conditions weren't ideal, but sometimes that's what makes a get together memorable.

The Cathedral School was founded as an Episcopal school in 1901, over a decade before the Synod House was erected. The school is also situated on the 13 acre campus of the St. John the Divine Cathedral and there are nearly 300 boys and girls, grades K through 8, who matriculate there. And the school has a 6:1 teacher / student ratio. The Cathedral School is currently in the process of building an addition to the school, which may expand their enrollment capacity. It is a private school that is generally highly regarded and has a tuition price tag to match [about $48,000 for the upcoming 2018 - 2018 school year / tuition assistance programs are available].

Cathedral School is a small school with a big campus and is generally attended by the kids of Upper West and Upper East Siders. In addition to a fairly rigorous academic program, the school also has after school sports programs [not American football], band, art, film, theater, choir, sculpture, computer arts, and numerous language classes including Mandarin and Cantonese Chinese and Latin.

And based on what I witnessed Saturday, they also have a very supportive community of congenial parents.


The Tribeca Film Festival on its Closing Night

Tribeca Film Festival ended with a Documentary - 4th Estate

manhattan things to do nycMay 15, 2018 / Tribeca Neighborhood / Film in Manhattan / Manhattan Things To Do / Manhattan Buzz NYC.

About two weeks ago [April 28th] I attended the closing night at the Tribeca Film Festival at the BMCC Performing Arts Center at 199 Chambers Street. The final film being shown was entitled Fourth Estate. It was billed as a documentary about the New York Times coverage of the first year of the Trump Administration beginning in January of 2017. It's a four part series, of which we watched the first installment. The show will air on Showtime beginning at 8 pm on Sunday evening, May 27th.

Clouds had formed overhead as I made my way from the subway to the western part of downtown Manhattan. By the time I entered the Borough of Manhattan Community College Performing Arts Center [aka BMCC PAC] a light rainfall had already begun. I picked up my ticket and was escorted to a seat shortly before two of the three Tribeca Film Festival founders, Jane Rosenthal and Robert De Niro, and filmmaker Liz Garbus came out onto the stage to introduce the film.

The gist of the introduction was that real journalism and truth-telling free speech are under attack. Not just by the Trump Administration, but by changing technologies and economics as well. The first segment of the film followed the reporters inside the New York Times in NYC and in Washington, D.C. during roughly the first three months of the Trummp presidency.

I'll have more about this film later this week.


Upper East Side French Restaurants – Café D’Alsace

Casual Dining at French Restaurant on the Upper East Side

manhattan things to do nycMay 7, 2018 / Upper East Side Neighborhood / Upper East Side Restaurants / Manhattan Buzz NYC.

It was a warm pleasant May afternoon as I strolled into the Café D’Alsace on the Upper East Side. We’d planned to dine elsewhere, but the outdoor seating looked so inviting that we decided for a change of plans.

 

Formerly Elaine's Restaurant on the Upper East Side

The Café D’Alsace is located in what was once a kind of well known Upper East Side restaurant of the 1980’s and 1990’s – Elaines. Café D’Alsace is located at the corner of 88th and Second Avenue, just two blocks from the 86th Street stop off the Q line and the Second Avenue stop off the 86th Street crosstown bus – so it’s a fairly convenient location to meet friends.

Today I was meeting a retired graphic artist, who spends his time managing some of his and his wife’s business interests and their teenage kids’ busy schedules. We took a spot outside to enjoy one of the first really nice days of 2018. The waiter appeared promptly and we began perusing the menu.

 

Cafe D'Alsace French Restaurant on the Upper East Side Manhattan

manhattan things to do nycThey included a prix fixe menu, offering three courses for $29. It included their Merguez Shakshuka, which I found to be of great interest. Nonetheless I began surveying the rest of the menu, adding up a combination or two of the other entrees, before I decided to give the Merguez Shakshuka a royal try. I also received the Soup of the Day, which was potato leek, and for dessert I went with the Molten Hazelnut Chocolate Gateaux. My dining companion wasn’t in a very venturesome spirit today, and he settled on the Burger D’Alsace, preceded by the Winter Salad.

The conversation turned to some of the business ventures in which the artist and his wife are involved. It seems things are going reasonably well at the moment, and based on the conversation, it seemed they were expected to continue.

I have the rest of the story written, but I need to convert it to web format and add photos which I'll do Tuesday. Stay tuned.


5 Boro Bike Ride Returns Sunday

Bike New York Organizes NYC Bike Ride & Bike Expo New York

5 boro bike ride nyc new york bike expo nycApril 30, 2018 / Manhattan Neighborhoods / Bronx Neighborhoods / Queens Neighborhoods / Brooklyn Neighborhoods / Staten Island Neighborhoods / Gotham Buzz NYC.

This story includes information about the upcoming 5 Boro Bike Ride on Sunday, as well as the Bike Expo New York which precedes it on Friday & Saturday in Red Hook. As of this report, the temperatures are expected to be in the 60's and the chances of rain appear slim. But bear in mind that the forecast probability of 20% chance of rain last Friday, turned into rain on Saturday evening, so check the weather as we get closer in.

 

Bike New York 5 Boro Bike Ride Route

Since 1977, every first Sunday of May, Bike New York has organized and promoted the 5 Boro Bike Ride. The ride begins in lower Manhattan, sweeps northward across the Harlem River Bridge to the Bronx, circles back across the Third Avenue Bridge to Manhattan, where it begins its southward trek crossing the Queensboro Bridge into Queens, heading south to Brooklyn after a quick stop north to Astoria Park, and then comes down past the Brooklyn Navy Yards, continuing southward along the west side of 5 boro bike ride nyc new york bike expo nycBrooklyn, to the Verrazano Narrows Bridge where it crosses over to the Fort Wadsworth neighborhood in Staten Island before terminating in the St. George neighborhood at the Staten Island Ferry.

 

Proceeds from Non-Profit New York Bike Ride go Toward Sustainable Transportation Efforts

The now famous bike ride was capped at 32,000 riders I believe sometime in the 1990’s, where it still stands today. One report noted that the 5 Boro Bike ride is one of – if not the largest - non-profit bike rides in the nation. The proceeds go to Bike New York programs which are designed to teach people about sustainable transportation, most notably bicycle riding and bike maintenance and safety. Another report noted that the NYPD had considered [don’t know the outcome] charging the organization $1 million for erecting, maintaining and terminating road closures during the New York 40 mile family-friendly bike ride.

 

Bike New York Bicyclist Outreach in all Five NYC Boroughs

Bike New York has offices in all five NYC boroughs. In 2015 their cyclist safety and bike maintenance programs reached 15,000 New Yorkers. And they are the organizers of the Bike Expo New York being held at Pier 12 in Brooklyn on Friday and Saturday [see details in rest of this story].


NY Real Estate Expo

NYC Professionals Discuss Manhattan & NYC Metro Real Estate

April 23, 2018 / Midtown Neighborhood Manhattan / Manhattan Real Estate NYC / Manhattan Buzz NYC.

manhattan real estate manhattan nyc real estateI attended the 10th annual NY Real Estate Expo at the New York Hilton last week. The event was well attended by hundreds of real estate, development and financial professionals from the NYC and metro area. Anthony Kazazis, Director of the event, had organized a series of panels to discuss key aspects affecting the real estate market ranging from software platforms, to financing, to NYC real estate market assessments.

Generally the mood was upbeat, but not without some concern about the future, given changes in the tax laws, foreign interest in NYC investment, interest rates forecasts and technological challenges facing the industry. But, I thought, that is why everyone is here. To find out what's going on so they can navigate the market changes - rather than be surprised by them.

While I had intended to stay only a short while, I found the topics and panelists too interesting to leave, so I stayed most of the day. I started with a discussion of a new information technology platform called Blockchain, which is intended to serve as an information clearing house, and it includes some artificial intelligence capability. I then found my way into a discussion about New York City versus Silicon Valley with respect to attracting large technology companies like Amazon, Facebook and Google. And I ended my visit after listening in on a discussion by NYC and metro area realtors discuss the residential real estate market in Manhattan and outer boroughs.

Sound like an interesting NYC real estate conference? It was. In the photo above you can see the audience at the well attended panel discussions at the NY Real Estate Expo this year.

I'll have more on this later in the week.


Spring Has Arrived

The Trees are Blooming and Warmer Weather is on its Way

historic richmond town staten island nycApril 17, 2018 / NYC Neighborhoods / Manhattan Buzz NYC.

This weeks our deciduous trees have begun budding and flowering. We can see the bright pea green buds and the white tree blossoms popping out everywhere. This unique period of springtime lasts only a week or two, so enjoy the majestic beauty while it lasts.

The photo to your right shows what is a very ordinary view of a back wall of apartment windows in NYC, as it comes alive with nature's beauty. The budding trees add oxygen during the day and carbon during the night to our atmosphere. And provide shelter from the hot sun during the summer and some privacy between neighbors as well.

So enjoy these magical week(s) as nature blossoms and our deciduous trees awake from their wintry slumber.


How We Hear @ Rough Draft Theater Festival

New Play Explores the Changing Nature of our Political Dialogue

reynaldo piniella nyc actor photo lindsay tanner actress nyc photo rough draft festival laguardia performing arts center lic queensApril 9, 2018 / Long Island City Neighborhood LIC / LaGuardia Performing Arts Center / Experimental Theater in Queens / Queens Buzz NYC.

Last weekend I had an opportunity to watch one of the new plays performed at the 5th Rough Draft Festival at the LaGuardia Performing Arts Center in LIC. The play was entitled How We Hear by Emily Lyon.

It was an exploratory exposition of how the American national dialogue has changed over the past century and a half [158 years], and it was as much an experience, as it was a performance.

What Lyon did with the next hour and half of our time was an interesting journey through selected excerpts of our national debate. But even more importantly, Lyon took us on an exploratory journey that included some real time processing of new forms of mass media. The incredible proliferation of information venues and news access over the past few decades, has inundated our ability to process the news, and stunted our ability to have an honest dialogue about the important issues facing our society, in a manner that everyday Americans are able to manage.

Lincoln Douglas Debates @ LaGuardia Performing Arts Center

I arrived shortly before the performance began and found a seat not far from the stage. The performance was given a short introduction by Handan Ozbilgin, the Rough Draft Festival Director and shortly thereafter, one of the seven Lincoln-Douglas debates of 1858 [August 21 – October 15] began. The debates were the first ever between two Senate candidates vying to for a U.S. Senate seat [Illinois]. They became an instant sensation, and became the forerunner of the platform upon which Lincoln would run for president in 1860. It’s worth noting that at the time the Senators were elected by state legislatures – not by a direct tally of state citizens’ votes.

 

How We Hear by Emily Lyon @ Rough Draft Festival

emily lyon playwright lpac rough draft festival 2018While Triney Sandoval, the Hispanic man who played Douglas, didn’t resemble Stephen Douglas facially, he was an actor and orator of the first degree, and comported himself as one might imagine Douglas. His elocution and diction were very precise, cadenced and reminiscent of an earlier age. And his Hispanic heritage, in what was – over a century and a half ago – an Anglicized age, seemed purposeful in adding an ethnic layer and some complexity, to what was possibly a simpler - although not fairer - time.

Sandoval, as Douglas, talked about the Lecompton Constitution, which was one of the hot issues of the time. The Lecompton Constitution was a competing pro-slavery constitution - for the state of Kansas induction into the United States. The Lecompton Constitution explicitly stated that only white males would have the right to vote.

Ironically, Stephen Douglas, a Democrat, helped the Republicans defeat the pro-slavery constitution by aligning with the other northern Democrats who were against it. This split the party at the time, as the southern Democrats were supportive of the pro-slavery Lecompton Constitution.

 

States Rights Vs Human Rights: Early American Hypocrisy or Dialectic?

laguardia performing arts center rough draft festival licSandoval, as Douglas, then went on to accuse Lincoln and the Republican Party of being a northern political party – not a national political party like the Democrats were. Douglas then cited excerpts from speeches made by Lincoln which seemed at odds with each other. In some speeches Lincoln seemed to appeal to the anti-slavery sentiment of the northern cities [while speaking in Chicago], and Lincoln seemed guilty of appealing to the racial prejudice of the southerners, while speaking in southern Illinois cities like Charleston [which is about the same latitude as St. Louis, Missouri and Kansas City]. In Lincoln's southern speeches, he stated that he did not support allowing Black men to become whites' equals, citing that Blacks weren’t fit for the role of jurors and what not.

Stephen Douglas was a Democrat, but he wasn’t pro-slavery per se. He was for the rights of states to decide for themselves what institutions to create and how they should conduct their business. He noted that all of the Founding Fathers had kept their slaves through the Revolutionary War. And Douglas reminded voters of Lincoln’s speech in 1858 in Springfield, Illinois where he said that “A house divided against itself cannot stand.” And that one day the United States would either be all slave or all free.

CLICK here to read the rest of our report of the LaGuardia Performing Arts Rough Draft Festival performance of How We Hear.


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Gracie Mansion - A Mansion with Grace

Historic Gracie Mansion is an Historic Museum & Mayoral Home

gracie mansion photos manhattan history nycApril 2, 2018 / Upper East Side Neighborhood / Manhattan History / Manhattan Buzz NYC.

Last year around the holidays, I attended a holiday event at Gracie Mansion hosted by the Mayor's office. The event included a walk through / tour of the mansion, followed by holiday beverages and treats in a large heated tent outside.

 

Carl Schurz Park on Upper East Side

Gracie Mansion is located in Carl Schurz Park between East End Avenue and the East River and between 83rd and 90th Streets. The mansion was built in 1799 by Archibald Gracie and enlarged about a dozen years later. At that time upper Manhattan was bucolic countryside.

According to Wikipedia, the surrounding park was once the site of one of John Jacob Astor's homes. The surrounding Carl Schurz Park was originally designed by Calvert Vaux [who co-deigned Central Park with Frederick Law manhattan history gracie mansion photos manhattan nycOlmstead] with Samuel Parsons, but it was later redone by Master Builder Robert Moses in the mid 1930's, after Moses ran the roadway for the FDR Drive underneath the park.

 

Gracie Mansion Becomes Mayor's Residence

A guide told us that Mayor Fiorello LaGuardia was the first to use Gracie Mansion as the Mayor's residence in the 1940's, and it has been the New York City Mayor's residence ever since - but not uninterrupted as former Mayor Michael Bloomberg never used Gracie Mansion as his residence.

At a later date I'll post some more about historic Gracie Mansion - the NYC Mayor's residence.


Click here for things to do on the Upper East Side and fpr Contacts lens & eyeglasses in Jamaica. Midtown Dentists and Midtown Chiropractors, and Islam Fashion NYC.


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March For Our Lives Manhattan 2018 - Anti Gun Protest Manhattan NYC | march for our lives 2018 manhattan nyc anti gun protest manhattan nyc
March For Our Lives Manhattan 2018 - Anti Gun Protest Manhattan NYC

NYC March For Our Lives in Manhattan

Tens of Thousands Protest the NRA & Gun Violence

March 27, 2018 / Midtown Manhattan Neighborhood / Manhattan Social Issues / Manhattan Neighborhoods / News Analysis & Opinion / Manhattan Buzz NYC.

The March For Our Lives protest started at 11 am on the Upper West Side of Manhattan at 72nd Street and Central Park West. Not coincidentally, this was just steps away from the Strawberry Fields Memorial in Central Park honoring musician / poet John Lennon of the Beatles, who was murdered by a lunatic with a gun.

 

The March For Our Lives protests were organized and led by students around the nation, with support from a wide range of people in all other age segments of the population. Frequently the Columbine shooting in Littleton, Colorado on April 20, 1999 is cited as the first of these sorts of mass shootings in schools, although a check into mass shootings in Wikipedia, shows that America has a 200 year history of mass shootings, including some of which took place in schools before Columbine.

 

Fox Fake News Appears to try Discrediting Protesters with False Narrative

march for our lives photos march for our lives protest manhattan nycIf you watch Rupert Murdoch's Fox News you might come away with the impression that the students are trying to revoke the Second Amendment. But based on conversations with some of the marchers and in reviewing other media accounts, this seems to be another Murdoch Mouthpiece Fox Fake News narrative.

But while the students and the March For Our Lives protest wasn't about repealing the Second Amendment, some members of the left, such as Bret Stephens of the NY Times did make a call for Second Amendment repeal in two editorials - one dated October 5, 2017 and the other dated February 16, 2018. Murdoch's Fox Fake News mouthpieces torch the possibility of a national conversation by misinforming their ill-informed audience that the NY Times and Op Ed writer Bret Stephens speak for everyone. What they don't realize is that the America that gets their information outside of the Murdoch Fake News FoxHole is intelligent enough, and adult enough, to have a real conversation about gun ownership and the Second Amendment.

 

Is the NRA Lobby Out of Control & In Control?

march for our lives photos march for our lives protest manhattan nycFrom what I could gather the students seem to have identified and coalesced around tangible changes to reigning in what appears to be an out-of-control gun lobby - the NRA. The firearms industry used bump stock technology to circumvent the unlawful possession of machine guns by providing stocks. And the gun lobby as recently as a few months ago, was pushing to 'deregulate' silencers on guns. Both of these laws - regulating machine guns and silencers - began with the National Firearms Act of 1934. At that time criminal violence by mobster gangs was the order of the day. And it appears that it's just as true today as it was back then - that if you allow guns to be put guns in the hands of lunatics, then murders and criminal violence is what you get.

A mid 2017 poll by Gallup showed that 60% of Americans were in favor of making gun control laws more strict, 33% were in favor of keeping them about the same and 5% wanted to make them less strict. The trend toward favoring more gun control has been going on since 2011 [see chart]. Apparently the politicians we send to Washington do not represent the majority so much as the NRA, and sending a swamp monster to clean up the swamp, is at best delusional. President Trump after opining that more gun control would be good, backtracked, appearing to have caved to the very powerful NRA lobby in Washington.



The Penninsula Hotel in Manhattan

Luxury Historic Hotels in Manhattan Midtown NYC

January 8, 2018 / Manhattan Neighborhoods / Midtown Manhattan / Luxury Hotels Manhattan Historic Hotels / Manhattan Buzz NYC.

manhattan historic hotels manhattan roof top bars restaurants manhattan luxury hotelsOver the holidays I had an opportunity to visit one of the finest luxury historic hotels in Manhattan - the Penninsula Hotel. The Penninsula Hotel is part of a world renowned hotel franchise dating back to the mid 1800's in Asia. The first Penninsual Hotel was built in 1928 in Hong Kong, which is where I had my first encounter with their old world hospitality and elegance many years ago.

Historic Gotham Hotel is now the Penninsula Hotel

The Penninsula Hotel Manhattan was first built at the corner of 55th Street and 5th Avenue in 1905 as the Gotham Hotel. It's a beaux artes structure that suffered over eighty years of ill-fated turnovers, before being acquired by the Penninsula Hotel Group in 1988. Today the hotel is noted as one of the finest in Manhattan.

I entered the lobby off of 55th Street. There's a staircase leading up to the lobby off to the right and the Clements restaurant off to the left. Just off the hotel lobby is Gotham Bar, in a hail back to the hotel origins, which overlooks 55th Street off 5th Avenue.

The Clements restaurant is an elegantly appointed restaurant that was, for a short time in the latter half of the 20th century, the American location of Maxime's of Paris. The restaurant is adjacent to another bar designed to accommodate restaurant patrons while waiting for their guests.

Rooftop Bars in Manhattan Midtown NYC

manhattan luxury hotels manhattan historic hotels penninsula hotel photos manhattan nycWe chose to spend our time on the rooftop of the Penninsula Hotel, as it has a nice view of the Midtown rooftops, as well as some looking south on 5th Avenue. It was a balmy winter day - about 60 degrees - and with the heaters out it was very comfortable. The rooftop bar is primarily for drinks - and for those who smoke - provides one of the few locales left in Manhattan where one can actually enjoy a cigar or cigarette while have a drink with friends.

Prices aren't cheap, as one might expect. Bottles of wine run from about $90 on up and cigars run in the neighborhood of $40 on up [I'm doing this by memory which may not be 100% accurate, but directionally close]. Anyhow it was a beautiful locale, the service was very good and the company was great.

But alas, all good things must come to and end, and after finishing our cigars and wine, we bid adieu or rather Tiajian 再见.


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Affordable Art Fair Manhattan in Chelsea NYC | affordable art fair manhattan chelsea affordable art fair nyc
Affordable Art Fair Manhattan in Chelsea NYC

The Affordable Art Fair NYC

There’s Something for Everybody at the Affordable Art Fair

March 19, 2018 / Chelsea Neighborhood Manhattan near the West Village / Manhattan Art NYC / Manhattan Things To Do / Manhattan Buzz NYC.

The Affordable Art Fair returns to New York City this week. It opens on Wednesday, March 21st at the Metropolitan Pavilion at 125 West 18th Street in Chelsea with a private viewing from 6 to 9 pm [$80 at https://affordableartfair.com]. The Affordable Art Fair runs through this weekend, ending Sunday, March 25th at 5 pm.

The Affordable Art Fair is open from 11 am to 8 pm Friday and Saturday, and Sunday it closes at 5 pm. In addition to the Wednesday Private Preview, on Thursday there’s Art After Dark from 6 to 9 pm, which also includes a complimentary drink, and a free viewing from 6 to 8 pm Friday evening. Tickets are also free for children under 12, and cost $10 for students and seniors, $20 for adults, $30 for Art After Dark (Thursday from 6 – 9 pm) and $80 for the Private Preview (Wednesday from 6 to 8 pm).

I attended the Affordable Art Fair last year at the Metropolitan Pavilion and will include a slide show of some of the items I found at the fair, as well as photos of some of the interesting-looking people who attended. I have begun to see many of the art shows I’ve attended in recent years, to be as much performance … as art.

  • CLICK here to view the rest of our story with photos of the Affordable Art Fair NYC in the Chelsea neighborhood near the West Village.


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Legos Alive Festival at Pier 36 on Lower East Side Manhattan NYC | legos alive festival manhattan nyc legos alive festival lower east side nyc LES soho tribeca downtown nyc legos alive nyc
Legos Alive Festival at Pier 36 on Lower East Side Manhattan NYC

Legos Alive Festival in Manhattan NYC

The Legos Really did Come Alive This Weekend

February 19, 2018 / Lower East Side Neighborhood NYC / Kids Things To Do Manhattan NYC / Manhattan Buzz NYC.

This past weekend I made my way down to Legos Alive at Pier 36 on the Lower East Side of Manhattan, little realizing what was in store for me. I thought I would be covering a kiddie toy event for ages 6 through 12, which it was … but also so much more.

Pier 36 on the Lower East Side

Pier 36 is located along the East River on the Manhattan side. It's just north of the South Street Seaport along the east side [passing under] the FDR at 299 South Street. I walked the half / mile from the #4/5/6 subway stop at Canal Street.

Upon entering the voluminous Pier 36 facility, I found before me, a hodgepodge of competitions, workshops, video stations and vendor booths – all focused on bringing alive, what I remember as a kids toy building blocks kit … but that was a remembrance of many, many years ago.

Legos, at their core, is still a portfolio of building blocks kit, but it is now so much more, as you’ll soon see.

Legos Alive - it Really Brings Alive the Legos Creative Experience

legos alive festival manhattan nycOne of the first things I noticed were life sized figures of action heroes – from Flash Gordon and Captain America to Wonder Woman and Superman. These life sized figures were all built using hundreds of Legos. And in the case of the small replica of a dinosaur, possibly even a thousand or more blocks. From a distance they looked almost real, but when I closed in on them, I could see the famous blocks of which they were comprised.

There was a competition in session, where teams of kids had five minutes to build the biggest bridge. They weighed the bridge to see which was the largest, as counting them would have taken quite some time. The winning one(s) weighed in at about ten pounds. Bravo.

Legos Alive Provided a Real & Virtual Experience

Workshops, Virtual Reality, Robotics & Design Software

I started to make my way through the exhibition space watching with interest as fathers and sons, mothers and daughters and all combinations thereof, huddled together in a creative effort examining, designing, building and then operating their Lego inspired creations. Using the photos I took of the crowd at the session I attended, and multiplying that crowd estimate by the five sessions they offered, I guestimated they may have had in the neighborhood of 10,000 visitors over the weekend, but a spokesperson estimated the attendance may have run as high as 16,000 or 17,000 visitors. The entrance fees started at $45 for a general session admission, which ran about four hours.



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Pulitzer Prize Committee - Open Letter | pulitzer prize committee pulitzer prizes pulitzer prize journalism awards columbia school of journalism
Pulitzer Prize Committee - Open Letter

Has The Pulitzer Prize Committee - Like the Corporate Media - Lost its Way?

Updated February 21, 2018 / NYC Neighborhoods / NYC Government & Politics / News Analysis & Opinion / Gotham Buzz NYC.

The following is an open letter that I sent to the Pultizer Prize Committee on January 25th, 2018 along with a journalistic series I had written in 2017 and sent to them in 2018 entitled Rupert Murdoch and the Rise of the 21st Century Propaganda Press. The series, which you can view by clicking the link, tells the story about how multi-billionaire Rupert Murdoch appears to use his media outlets as propaganda machines in order to promote pols who will grant him favorable tax legislation, favorable executive rulings and favorable industry regulatory legislation.

Murdoch also appears to be able to manipulate the course of governments and public policy. He appears to have done exactly this in the case of the Iraq War, whereby Murdoch appears to have sent three English-speaking democracies to war - not only for oil - but for his cable network TV ratings too. In Britain in 2016, regarding the Brexit referendum, Murdoch appears to have hijacked public policy in his favor - not the nation's - by pushing through a seismic policy change that enables Murdoch to have greater autonomy over how he conducts his multi-national media business - free from any meaningful government interference - and the Brexit referendum vote also gave Murdoch a huge purchase price discount, because of a devalued British currency.

While the Corporate Media obsesses over the Russian Collusion Investigation - they are distracted from putting in the spotlight what appears to be the REAL 2016 PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION STORY - which is Rupert Murdoch's election meddling to further empower and enrich himself at the expense of the republic and its institutions.

In Trump's first year, Murdoch was the recipient of numerous tax breaks, and breath-taking deregulatory actions in Murdoch's industry via FCC Rulings and telecommunications legislative changes. All of this has received scant news coverage, as the Pulitzer Prize Award winning corporate media, were too busy covering Donald Trump's Tweet distractions. By giving preferential treatment to Trump's tweets, which the American public is able to directly access on their own, the corporate media has failed the American public by regurgitating and hence amplifying the President's shock jock statements - instead of doing their job of providing the American public with context-based news reports about the important issues of the day.



The Women Keep On Marching

An Estimated 200,000 Participate in NYC Women's March

January 22, 2018 / Upper West Side Neighborhood & Midtown Manhattan Neighborhood / Social Issues / Manhattan Buzz NYC.

manhattan womens march 2018 photosIt was a beautiful Saturday morning as I made my way toward the NYC Women's March stepping off point at 72nd Street and Central Park West. As I drew closer to my destination, I saw a large crowd spread along the sidewalks and streets, managed skillfully by the New York City Police Department.

 

The crowd was a friendly one - consisting of all ages from toddlers to grandparents, including a rainbow of gender of singles, husbands, wives and friends - representing America's and New York City's great diversity. During this march they all convened together to make a statement by their very presence. The marchers' statements varied in specificity, but generally seemed to be one of protest against one President, Donald Trump, whose disrespectful personal behavior toward women and people of color, have not gone unnoticed. And to the people marching, the President's bad example as the nation's role model, should not go unanswered.

 

Women's March NYC 2018 from CPW to Bryant Park

manhattan womens march 2018 photosThe march began moving on schedule, reaching us a bit past 12.30 pm. We had lined up around West 86th Street, and the official parade starting point was West 72nd Street. We made our way south along Central Park West, past the Museum of Natural History and the New York Historical Society. Generally the mood of the crowd was a joyous one, but it turned a bit nasty and dark as we passed by the Trump International Hotel & Tower at One Central Park West at 60th Street, where some of the marchers expressed their opinions of the President in a politically incorrect manner - in a disrespectful style reminiscent of the President himself.

The official estimate of the crowd was around an estimated 200,000, which was a bit below the estimated crowd size of last year [2017], which was estimated to be around 250,000. Women marched in cities around the nation on this day, and some of the marches - like the one in Chicago - drew an estimated crowd of 300,000 significantly beating the crowd size of the prior year.

The march ended in Midtown near Bryant Park, where we dispersed and headed out for a bite to eat. All that walking can make a reporter hungry. Photos by Dantanyan UWS and story done collaboratively.


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Medieval Festival at Fort Tryon Park

Medieval Festival is a Fascinating Event in Washington Heights

medieval festival fort tryon parkOctober 4, 2017 / Washington Heights Neighborhood / Sports & Parks Manhattan / Manhattan Buzz NYC.

 

On Sunday, October 1st, I headed up to Washington Heights to attend the 35th annual Medieval Festival at Fort Tryon Park. It was a beautiful fall day as I rode the A train north from Times Square. I met a beautiful young princess from the Bronx on the train wearing a Medieval headband of flowers in her hair. We started talking about the Medieval Festival and lucky for me she had attended it previously and gave me a few important tips.

 

The first tip was to get off the train at the 190th Street stop because Fort Tryon Park is situated on a bluff [the forts always were so they could spot trouble ahead] and the 190th Street subway station is equipped with elevators which take you up to the park level which overlooks the rest of Washington Heights. She also drew my attention to the jousting contest which was to begin at 5 pm. medieval festival fort tryon park washington heights neighborhood nyc

 

When I arrived at the top of the hill, I began my journey through the Medieval Festival which included numerous ye olde vendors selling food and clothing and gifts, as well as all sorts of other things including beauty items. But what was most peculiar were the various acts and events going on all along my walk north to the Cloisters.

 

Click here for additional photos and a video of the jousting contest, as well as a brief history of the Medieval Festival, the Cloisters and Fort Tryon Park.


The Dykman Farmhouse

Where the Cows Come Home in Historic Manhattan ...

dykman farmhouse museum washington heights manhattan nycSeptember 25, 2017 / Washington Heights Neighborhood / Manhattan History / Manhattan Buzz NYC.

I had an opportunity to visit the Dykman Farmhouse in the Washington Heights neighborhood of Manhattan this past weekend. The event was their third annual Fall Festival where they offered cider tasting in commemoration of the historic Dykman apple orchards and cider mill, as well as a cheese and waffle tasting. The cheese was Dutch and came from Holland providing a holistic, historic and delightfully happy event.

The Dykmans were a Dutch family that came here in the 1600's and built the Dykman Farmhouse in the early 1780's. Their land holdings on the north section of Manhattan fluctuated, ranging from about 340 to 200 acres of land in northern Manhattan. In the mid 1800's [circa 1870] the Dykman heirs held several auctions, which liquidated most of their holdings, including the Dykman Farmhouse.

 

Historic Dutch Settlers Farmhouse in Manhattan

dykman farmhouse museum washington heights manhattan nycIn 1915 two of the Dykman heirs repurchased the farmhouse and turned it into a museum in order to preserve a small shred of the colonial past of Manhattan. The sisters and one of their husbands helped find furniture and other home furnishings to recreate the colonial past, and they opened the Dykman Farmhouse Museum a year later in 1916. The Dykman Farmhouse is the oldest farmhouse in Manhattan.

I came upon the farmhouse walking down Broadway just south of 205th street in Washington Heights. It's on an elevated piece of land, which sets atop the land enclosed by a brick wall. I walked up the stone steps into another time dimension, because even though it's in the heart of Washington Heights, surrounded by tall buildings, the sisters purchased and preserved a large enough tract of land to provide the visitor with a sense of being in the country.

I continued walking on a stone path which ran along the front of the long porch at the front of the house. On the far side of the house there was the large yard, which not just protruded to the side of the house, but expanded deeply beyond the back of the house, where a few tall trees provided an inviting, picnic-like setting. The back porch was similar to the front porch in that it provided sufficient space for one to congregate in an expansive relaxed manner, which the guest musicians who were performing were relaxing.

 

Artisanal Beer Created in Washington Heights

dykman farmhouse museum washington heights manhattan nycMeredith Horsford, the Dykman Farmhouse Museum Executive Director, provided me with a brief tour of the house before we joined her other guest in the Dykman Farmhouse celebration. I'll provide a tour of the Dykman Farmhouse in a second story at a later date, so that I can tell you about the celebration now.

There was an artisanal beer maker at the event whose name is Juan J. Camilo. Juan is from the Washington Heights neighborhood and just four years ago, he created and launched Dykman Brew. He told me he had started home brewing about eight years ago and that the Chelsea Brewery in the Bronx currently brews the beer. I'm a pretty interested beer drinker [preferences range from Becks to Guinness to Peroni], and I don't find myself enjoying most new beers. But the Dykman Brew was an exception, as it is a smooth, rich, flavorful beer. Juan told me it's sold in many Washington Heights neighborhood stores, as well as in stores in other parts of the city, that you can find on his website - www.dykmanbeerco.com.

 

Artisanal Dutch Cheeses made in the Old Country

dykman farmhouse museum washington heights manhattan nycI also met a woman who helps Beemster Premium Dutch Cheese market their cheese in the U.S. She had samples which I tasted before we delved into the artisanal Dutch cheeseworks. The cheese was a semi-soft, creamy Gouda cheese that in addition to a nice taste on its own, would likely go well with just about any accompaniment.

She told me that the cheese is aged for 18 months on wooden planks in old historic stone warehouses before it is made available for sale. That the cows are herded on Dutch polder land [land reclaimed from the sea] which provides rich grazing. She noted that Beemster is one of the most - if not the most - sustainable dairies in the Netherlands, but that there are bilateral trade issues with organic certification which is why they can't yet make that claim on their cheese. The cheese tasted great before we started talking, and possibly even a bit more so after I had heard her tell me about it.

Live Music & Entertainment in Historic Washington Heights

I sauntered back around to the rear of the farmhouse where unfortunately [for me] the musicians had stopped playing. They were discussing their gigs around the city and how to get to and from them.

Anyhow, the third annual Fall Celebration at the Dykman Farmhouse was an enjoyable way to spend the afternoon. They have other upcoming programs, such as Oktoberfest. Check out their website for details and we'll periodically post some of the bigger events as they arise in our Weekend Things To Do post which is done sometime every Friday.


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Bill's Townhouse - Great Steak Restaurants Midtown Manhattan NYC | bill's townhouse restaurant midtown manhattan bill's townhouse great steak restaurants midtown manhattan nyc
Bill's Townhouse - Great Steak Restaurants Midtown Manhattan NYC

Bill’s Townhouse for a Night on the Town

Bill’s Townhouse Restaurant in Midtown Manhattan

March 12, 2018 / Midtown Manhattan Neighborhood / Midtown Restaurants / Manhattan Restaurants / Manhattan Buzz NYC.

In late December, just before the holidays, I had the opportunity to spend an evening dining out at Bill’s Townhouse in Midtown Manhattan. Bill’s is something of a legendary institution, as it has been around for about a century.

Bill's Townhouse is a beautiful four story building [literally what used to be a townhouse] which is located between Madison Avenue and Park Avenue along 54th Street. One of the things Bill's Townhouse is noted for are their steaks.

In the photo at right, guests at Bill's Townhouse, engaged in conversation prior to being served their dinner.

I had made reservations earlier in the week for a Tuesday night out - the week before the Christmas holiday. New York City, and particularly Manhattan, is a busy place this time of year because people from around the world come to shop, dine and visit, and many folks also come to the city to spend time with family and friends.

 

Restaurants with Ambiance Midtown Manhattan

great steak restaurants manhattan bill's town house restaurant midtown manhattan nycWe had an eight o’clock reservation and arrived right on time. The reception desk is located in the lower level, where there’s a bar that, tonight, was full. The walls are filled with memorabilia representing Bill’s Townhouse past, which includes time spent as a brothel, speakeasy and gathering space for theatrical folks. I’ll add a bit more about Bill’s Townhouse history later.

After a short wait we made our way to the second floor, which is the main dining area. The room extends all the way back and opens up to the left, filling the width of the building that in the front part of the townhouse is used to accommodate the stairwell. There’s a half door at the top of the stairs that opens up into the back section of the main floor, allowing you to get a glimpse of some of your distant dining companions.

Inside the main room there’s a grand century old fireplace that was in use. We were seated at one of the front windows which gave us a nice view of the room and a peak at the street below. Surrounding us were tables of men and women in couples and foursomes, with the larger groups seated more toward the back in the area that opened up to the full width of Bill’s Townhouse.



Queens Library lawsuit and Queens Brooklyn tile stores near Williamsburg.

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Farmers Markets & Street Fairs in Manhattan

manhattan street fairs April 4, 2018 / Manhattan Farmers Markets / Manhattan Street Fairs / Manhattan Buzz NYC.

 

Many Manhattan farmers markets are open year round, but there are also a number of them that are seasonal. Some of the seasonal Manhattan farmers markets begin opening in the Spring, with nearly all of the rest of them opening no later than the first two of weeks in July. Click here to view the schedules of many of the farmers markets in Manhattan.

Manhattan street fairs are entirely seasonal, with some of them hitting the streets as early as late March. Manhattan street fairs rise markedly during the spring and lighten up a bit during the dog days of summer [July / August], and rising again in the fall. By the end of November most of the Manhattan street fairs go on hiatus. Click here to view a full schedule of Manhattan street fairs. Click here for Bronx street fairs.


Shopping the Lord & Taylor Department Store Midtown Manhattan 5th Avenue | lord & taylor photos shopping 5th avenue midtown manhattan holiday shopping nyc lord & taylor before closing floors in dec 2017
Shopping the Lord & Taylor Department Store Midtown Manhattan 5th Avenue

Shopping the Lord & Taylor Department Store NYC

Lord & Taylor is Consolidating its Ten Floors into Four in 2018

December 11, 2017 / Midtown Manhattan Neighborhood / Manhattan Shops & Shopping / Manhattan Buzz NYC.

I recently heard that Lord & Taylor is consolidating its ten floors of department store space, into three or four, following the Christmas shopping season [mid January]. As a longtime customer, who has once enjoyed shopping recreationally, I decided to return for one last journey through the land of Oz … because certainly after Lord & Taylor consolidates its floors, the look and feel of a once great department store … will not be the same.

For better or worse, over the past couple decades, we have all witnessed the relentless onslaught of the big box and online retailers pummeling what was once called traditional retail. Traditional retail as we once knew it, began more or less in tandem with the 20th century, and New York City was, and still is, one of the great retail hubs.

Short History of Large Manhattan Department Stores 1902 - 1924

manhattan shopping lord & taylor photos midtown holiday shopping 5th avenue nycMacy’s at Herald Square. In 1902 the R.H. Macy Company had led retailers’ march uptown, to what is now Midtown, when they erected their first store at Herald Square at 34th Street and Broadway. Eventually this flagship Macy’s store expanded to encompass the entire block along the north side of 34th Street between Broadway and 7th Avenue. The Macy’s building was landmarked in 1978.

Lord & Taylor on 5th Avenue. A bit more than a decade later the Lord & Taylor building was erected in 1914 [began one year earlier] at 38th and 5th Avenue. The building was designed by architects Starret & van Vleck – and from the start – was a venerable landmark. The Lord & Taylor building was officially landmarked in 2007. Architects of the building, Starret van Vleck, were also the architects of a number of other notable flagship department stores of the time, which according to Wikipedia includes Saks Fifth Avenue, Bloomingdales and Alexanders [was across 59th Street from Bloomingdales].

Saks Fifth Avenue. Saks Fifth Avenue, which was owned by Gimbels, erected its flagship store a decade later in 1924. The Saks store encompassed an entire block along 5th Avenue between 49th and 50th Streets, just south of St Patrick’s Cathedral, and across from the site that would eventually become Rockefeller Center. Rockefeller Center was erected in 1934.

Bergdorf Goodman. And in 1928 Bergdorf Goodman erected and opened a five-story department store much further north along Fifth Avenue at 58th Street, on the site previously occupied by the Cornelius Vanderbilt Mansion. During the Great Depression Vanderbilt purchased adjacent lots on the rest of the block, which he used to expand the store.



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Congestion Traffic Pricing NYC | congestion traffic pricing nyc congestion traffic pricing manhattan congestion traffic pricing bronx brooklyn queens staten island congestion traffic pricing nyc
Congestion Traffic Pricing NYC

NYC / NYS Congestion Pricing 3.0

NYS Senators Liz Krueger & Brad Hoylman Host Community Transit Discussion

March 5, 2018 / Midtown Manhattan / Manhattan Neighborhoods / Manhattan Business / News Analysis & Opinion / Manhattan Buzz NYC.

It was a cool Thursday evening as I made my way to the CUNY Graduate Center in Midtown. The CUNY Graduate Center is located on Fifth Avenue just north of 34th Street kiddy-corner from the Empire State Building.

I was headed to a community discussion about the public transit crisis facing NYC. I suppose, not surprising, was that one of the Congestion Pricing representatives, Alex Matthiessen, was there to present. Alex started out the conversation with a presentation of the new Congestion Pricing Plan, which is now called Fix NYC, telling us how this Congestion Pricing plan was different from the two prior ones floated by the Bloomberg Administration and by Mattheissen’s Move NY group a few years back.

Click here to read our report about NYC Congestion Traffic Pricing posted in March 2016 when we took a pretty in-depth view at who has been pushing this plan [consultancies & businesses that will profit from the infrastructure build out], how much of the London implementation revenue went back into improvements in that city [about 50%], how congestion pricing didn’t reduce traffic, but time shifted traffic in a New Jersey bridge / tunnel implementation [they had claimed emissions reductions and used a ‘green’ label to promote the last version of this plan], and other important things to consider regarding implementing a ‘new and improved’ congestion pricing system along the East River Bridges.



Click here for Jackson Heights realtors.


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Algonquin Hotel NYC

Midtown Manhattan Hotels near Times Square

Summer 2017 / nyc hotels near theater district algonquin hotel photoManhattan Hotels NYC / Manhattan Buzz NYC.

The Algonquin Hotel has a storied past. It was built in 1902 and was once the watering hole for the writers, actors and artists of the Algonquin Round Table of the 1920's.

Many of the writers for the New Yorker magazine, including editor Harold Ross, were members of the Algonquin Round Table. The Algonquin Round Table regulars also included the editor of Harpers magazine, Art Samuels, as well as Alexander Woollcott who was a playwright, the NY Times drama critic and an early radio personality at CBS. And of course, author and screenwriter, Dorothy Parker.

The Algonquin continues to maintain an old world charm, while providing all the modern amenties. The room where the Algonquin Round Table met is intact and the Algonquin has a restaurant that serves an elegant breakfast, lunch and dinner at 59th West 44th Street in Midtown, near the Times Square theater district.

Click here for a map with links for the Algonquin Hotel one of the leading hotels in Midtown Manhattan which is shown in the photo at right.

And click here for the Algonquin Hotel business listing on this site which includes a link to their website and telephone number for them, as one of the leading historic hotels near the Theater District NYC in Midtown Manhattan.


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Trump Tax Plan: A Morally Bankrupt President’s Gift?

Are Billionaires Trump & Murdoch Bilking America’s Unborn Babies?

trump tax plan for rich billionaires steals from americas unborn babies trump tax plan sucksUpdated 12/26/17 _ December 19, 2017 / New York City Neighborhoods / New York City Business / News Analysis & Opinion / Gotham Buzz NYC.

Like many of you, I have been watching the Trump Tax plan make its way through Congress. While Trump and his cohorts were whipping together the tax package, I was doing research on the possible implications of some of their tax policy proposals.

According to an October 20, 2017 PolitiFact report [based on the plan at that time, which has since been modified],

"... in the first year of changes, the top 1 percent are projected to draw a little over half the tax savings. The threshold of 80 percent going to the top 1 percent is projected for the tenth year."

While directionally this statement is likely to hold [meaning the plan is biased toward the rich], the exact numbers as to how biased the Trump Tax Plan will be for the wealthy - based on the final bill - remains to be calculated.

In this report we look at a number of tax cuts included in the final bill including repatriation of overseas profits, reduction of the estate tax, reduction of the corporate tax and the blue vs red state tax increase. We include a review questioning why the Trump Administration is pushing this deficit expanding / debt increasing fiscal stimulus package - when we're in a full employment economy with rising wages. We also include how the Trump Tax Cut Plan has been treated propagandistically by Rupert Murdoch's media outlets, as he appears to personally and corporately benefit immensely from the tax cuts.

But before we begin, we take you on a quick review at some key characteristics and prior dealings of the man behind the plan – Donald J. Trump.


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