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NYC Appears to Flatten the Curve, NYS Numbers are Still Rising

Hospitalizations, ICU Patients, Intubations & Discharges

corona virus nyc covid 19 nyc nysApril 2, 2020 / Corona Virus in NYC & NYS CoVid 19 / NYC Neighborhoods / News Analysis & Opinion / Gotham Buzz NYC.

Well, there seems to be some good news, and Governor Cuomo has started hinting at it in his daily CoVid press conferences. A week ago, the Governor was talking about NYS hitting the apex of the curve in 21 days, which is in late April. This week the Governor started hinting that we may hit the top of the curve within the week. The Mayor, meanwhile has been saying that next week could be the start of the apex / wave.

My assessment differs from both of the Governor's and the Mayor's. And while it's based on information provided by the Governor, I'm drawing a different, more optimistic conclusion. Part of that may be that I haven't been able to talk to anyone from the Governor's office who knows precisely what's in / not in the numbers the Governor has been providing. And it's worth noting that both the Governor and the Mayor don't have the luxury of planning for the optimistic scenario.

 

Assumptions for the Analysis in this Report - Beware the Hype & Distortions of Anecdotal Reporting

Assuming the numbers hold and New Yorkers’ behavior holds, NYC may have already hit its apex of the CoVid pandemic. Note that those are big assumptions, but they’re assumptions based on current numbers and behaviors.

As I am sure you can appreciate, that’s good news, as some NYC hospitals had reached their capacity in terms of beds and / or Intensive Care Unit bed with / without respirators. But while maxing out the capacity at some of the eleven hospitals that are run by the NYC Health & Hospital System - like Elmhurst Hospital in Queens and possibly Jacobi Hospital in the Bronx – it is not true for the privately run hospitals that represent a significant portion of the medical infrastructure of NYC. Except Mount Sinai in Astoria Queens which today was reporting that they're handling an influx of a lot of CoVid patients.

corona virus nyc covid 19 nyc nysOn Monday afternoon, March 30th, I spoke very unofficially to professionals from both Mount Sinai and also at Memorial Sloan Kettering – both in Manhattan – who told me at that time, that the operations at both of these hospitals were pretty much functioning somewhat normally.

So I think it's important for people to bear in mind, a shortage or over-capacity in one hospital doesn't mean there's a shortage system-wide. The flip side of that coin is that we may have more capacity and supplies than is needed - but it might not be available in the places where it's most needed.

 

The Gossips on Network TV News Seem to Hype the Crisis for Ratings

So if you listen to the gossips on the alarmist network TV media, you might think things are horrible, and that we’re all going to die. Network TV seemed to mimic social media, providing anecdotal accounts that weren’t contextualized, enabling one to believe that the system was breaking. They took a couple of personal stressed out accounts, and amplified them into the de facto reality.

corona virus nyc covid 19 nyc nysBut that does not seem to be the case, and in fact I found a number of positive indications in the data provided by Governor Cuomo, that seem to show that the CoVid situation here in NYC has largely stabilized.

Fox News seems to do this sort of reality distortion nearly daily – especially when it comes to social issues and politics. The Washington Post caught them in their dishonest, deceptive reporting of CoVid and I urge you to share this video with your family and friends, so that the Australian born billionaire’s [Rupert Murdoch] propaganda machine loses some of its Jedi mind trick on the gullible who live in the Fox / NY Post / WSJ bubble of reality distorting narratives.

 

Murdoch's Fox Fake News Irresponsible Reporting

corona virus nyc covid 19 nyc nysCLICK here to view the video showing Fox Fake News spinning its web of fake news and then pivoting and pretending that they never said otherwise.

And CLICK here to learn more about how Rupert Murdoch’s Fox Fake News, NY Post and WSJ propaganda machine create, what seems alternative facts that divide this nation, so that the Australian born billionaire may plunder the public purse.

But I digress. So why do I say things are improving – that we seems to have been successful in flattening the curve?

 

Governor Cuomo's Data Shows Positive Trends

corona virus nyc covid 19 nyc nysBecause I’ve been tracking and analyzing the numbers provided by Governor Cuomo regarding the testing and spread of the Corona Virus. Initially I had tuned into the number of tested people versus the number of those who tested positive. What happened there is that the numbers surged as the number of tests conducted surged. What nobody knew – and likely still don’t – is what percent of the increased cases were attributable to the increase in testing.

Eventually I shifted focus to the raw numbers of those who tested positively for CoVid for NYS, NYC and the rest of NY State, as NYS continued to climb, while NYC seemed to level off – or reach a flattening of the curve.

 

Independent Reporting from the Front Line - Not Alarmist, Ratings-Driven Reporting as Seen on Lemming TV

corona virus nyc covid 19 nyc nysI expected this as you can likely tell from some of my prior reporting, as when I went out to cover things, I found empty subways, closed restaurants, bars and stores, and people walking around in masks and with gloves. This showed me that the denizens of our fair city were taking the issue seriously and in pretty short order had adjusted their behaviors. Mind you – there were many who did not – but they were in the minority. You can see photos of this in my prior reports in the CoVid section - see link at start of this report.

Some of the violators of the recommended guidelines turned out to be folks in the media, and government and in our military as you can see from some of the included photos. They didn’t seem to follow the guidance they were giving, communicating and to which they were responding.

 

A Rolling Spread of the Virus - First NYC, then Long Island & then ...?

corona virus nyc covid 19 nyc nysAnyhow, so the total NYS chart shows the numbers continuing to grow for the state, but that obscures the fact that the curve for NYC appears to have flattened. What seems to be happening now, and time should bear this out, is that the non-NYC state numbers are now driving the new CoVid cases. A couple of weeks ago, NYC comprised over 62% of the total CoVid cases. Today NYC comprises about 56% of the cases, and as of Governor Cuomo’s report today, half the reported newly reported CoVid cases came from parts of the state outside of NYC. So yes, the CoVid virus is spreading, but it appears to have slowed in NYC.

That’s good news for NYC, and while the rest of NYS is still under siege so-to-speak, in the long haul that’s also good news for them, because the social distancing and washing hands is working – and they need to step up calls for people to raise the bar on their overall cleanliness routines, because that’s not just an important part of stemming the spread, but it’s is ABSOLUTELY NECESSARY for us to return to work. What’s the sense of washing your hands all the time if you keep touching infected surfaces?

In my mind that is one of the great failures of the Trump Administration’s CDC’s handling of this crisis. But it’s not the only one.

 

Positive Tests for NYC Residents Seem to Stabilize - the Governor's Comments Hint at the Change

corona virus nyc covid 19 nyc nysSo NYS continues to rise, but NYC seems to have stabilized. NYS should stabilize as soon as the rest of the state gets it together and increases their compliance with the guidelines continually repeated almost everywhere [please start including cleaning in the discussion – as it will also give folks something to do while home].

The next few contributors to my optimism are also based on data provided by Governor Cuomo in his daily press briefings. I have tried to reach Cuomo’s press office for comment, but they’ve yet to get back to me after morethan two days of requests. They must be too busy managing the alarmist Network TV media.

Be advised that the data shown in the graphs I had in small part to manipulate, as Governor Cuomo began SCRAMBLING the data provided in his charts, possibly to avoid enabling someone like me to announce the good news, before they were ready to announce it themselves.

 

Danger of NYC Passing the Curve Apex - Hubris Resurgence?

Note that there’s a danger in announcing success sooner, rather than later, as people will likely go back out there, get infected, and there could be a CoVid resurgence. That’s going to be a risk whether they announce it sooner or later, so they should step up efforts to urge everyone to clean and scrub any surface they touch, while they are still homebound. That’s where CoVid is and disinfecting / washing is how you get rid of it.

So originally Governor Cuomo provided the total hospitalizations, but later switched to showing the daily NEW in hospitalizations. I think what happened here is the DISCHARGES started shooting up and the NET hospitalizations actually started going down – see chart. Since the Governor’s press office hasn’t responded to my inquiries, I’m not 100% sure of this, but given where things were headed before the Governor started scrambling the data, I feel at the very least that it’s directionally correct.

I’ve been sitting on this story for a week and the new data coming in seems to affirm my theories.

 

Intensive Care Unit Patients & Discharges

So then I started looking at new daily admissions into the Intensive Care Units [ICU]. The new admits keeps rising as you can see from the graph. That early spike is likely a timing of reporting issue, as I noticed the data changed periodically, so they were likely correcting on the fly, for which I give them kudos. But again the Governor shifted from reporting the total ICU admits, to reporting the new daily admits to ICU.

corona virus nyc covid 19 nyc nysHere again, I suspect it’s because those on the respirators for a long while, who were very old and very immune system compromised, started dying. So I started subtracting the daily dead from the daily ICU admits which showed that ICU capacity was being freed up, not being taken up.

I’m less sure of the above conclusion given what government officials are saying to the public. And I did the same with the daily intubations, which are shown rising each day, but when you start subtracting the dead from these figures, it shows a very different picture.

PLEASE NOTE THAT I AM SEEKING CLARIFICATION FROM GOVERNOR'S OFFICE - so the last four charts, where I subtract new deaths from new admissions to the ICU and Intubations needs clarification as to whether the new admits are a net number.

 

Intubations & Deaths & Respirators

corona virus nyc covid 19 nyc nysI’m sending this to the Governor’s office for comment and will update you if / when I hear back from them. But don’t hold your breath or you too will have to be put on a respirator.

The bottom line is they need to start talking about how they’re going to get people back to work. I think sanitation / cleanliness is probably THE MOST IMPORTANT component to doing that. Yes, social distance and yes wash your hands, but none of that matters if you’re touching infected surfaces.

I’ll have more coming within the next few days about how we can get back to work. Stay tuned.


The CoVid Curve Appears to be Flattening

Hospitalizations and ICU Patient Numbers Appear to be Slowing

March 31, 2020 / Corona Virus in NYC & NYS / NYC Neighborhoods / News Analysis & Opinion / Gotham Buzz NYC.

Please note I tried to contact the Governor's Office for comment on this and have not yet heard back from them. I know they're busy and we're not from the MainStream Media.

corona virus nyc covid 19 nyc nysNearly three weeks ago, Governor Cuomo issued an order for social distancing, by initially limiting social gatherings to fifty people or less. Mayor de Blasio supported the move that same day. As such most of the cultural venues in New York City suspended normal operations and events pending further notification or some future date. That was nearly three weeks ago.

That action was subsequently followed by further actions, limiting social gatherings to ten people and eventually just immediate households. On March 15, 2020 Mayor de Blasio issued an order asking bars and restaurants to close their doors except for deliveries / take out. That was more than two weeks ago.

A week ago while I was out photographing the empty, eerie NYC landscape, I noticed somewhat casually that somewhere between 10% - 25% of retail outlets were still open in Manhattan / Queens. Just a few days ago, while making another sweep through a couple of neighborhoods, the percent of those open had dropped to ghost town levels of 10% and less.

The bad news is that there’s been a near stop to ‘non-essential’ life here and that there’s an economic reckoning most folks are facing tomorrow on April 1st as bills come due.

The good news is that I’ve been tracking the numbers provided by Governor Cuomo and the curve does appear to already be flattening. The Governor has hinted at this by noting that the hospitalization rate had gone from doubling every 2 – 3 days at the outset a few weeks ago, to doubling every six days as of about a day ago.

corona virus nyc covid 19 nyc nysBut the good news goes beyond that. A couple of days ago, the Governor changed what numbers he was releasing to the public. On Thursday, March 26th the Governor started including the number of people being discharged after arriving for CoVid treatment [I don’t know whether the discharged numbers include deaths].

On Friday March 27, he started including the daily change / uptick in the number of ICU [Intensive Care Units] required for CoVid, as well as showing the uptick / changes in the number of people Discharged. The ICU numbers were jumping. But he dropped highlighting the changes for the ICU numbers the very next day, while keeping the daily changes for the discharged. Around this time he noted that some of the reporting wasn’t reported daily, which means some days could be either up or down more than what was real – due to when the figures were reported - versus when someone actually entered into one of the reported figures. At this time he also introduced a chart showing the total number of CoVid patients hospitalized.

On Saturday, March 28th Governor Cuomo dropped the change number of the CoVid ICU patients, and instead started showing a chart depicting the Daily ICU admissions. The difference being that people were coming out of intensive care, thus reducing or muting the total number of patients in the Intensive Care Unit vis a vis new cases which are likely to continue for a while.

corona virus nyc covid 19 nyc nysOn Sunday, March 29, Governor Cuomo changed showing us total hospitalizations, to showing us new hospitalizations, in the same manner as he’d begun depicting the numbers for the patients in the Intensive Care Unit.

On Sunday the Governor discontinued showing the ‘Tested’ chart.

It was at this time that the Governor introduced another new chart – that of Daily Intubations. I believe this depicts those in the Intensive Care Unit who needed respirators.

And Governor Cuomo also showed the number of people being discharged, which is a fast growing number that is reducing the estimates for what is needed from the healthcare infrastructure to properly service the ‘surge’ or ‘apex’.

On Monday, March 30, 2020 Governor Cuomo discontinued showing the ‘Tested Positives’ chart.

On Tuesday, March 31, 2020 Governor Cuomo introduced a new chart for Discharges transitioning it from a cumulative chart to a daily chart.

corona virus nyc covid 19 nyc nysThe problem with the Governor’s reporting changes, is that the new charts obscure to us, the press and thus the public, exactly where we are in this crisis.

I believe we are close to moving beyond the apex and the following explains why.

The Hospitalizations, based on Governor Cuomo’s numbers between March 23rd and March 30th [the last time he showed this on a chart], had risen from 2635 to 9517, which is almost a fourfold rise in eight days. BUT the increases, on a percentage basis fell from 22% - 40%, down to 12% - 16% the last three days. And I don’t have access to new information beginning March 31st. Likewise the raw numbers increases had peaked on Thursday, March 26th at an increase of 1522, while since then it’s averaged about 1,000 increase per day.

My question here, is whether the discharged patients, are beginning to reduce the total hospitalizations. The total discharged patients based on the last chart shown, was 4,206 on Monday, and the net change was up to 771 in the chart shown on Tuesday, bringing the total to 4977 or nearly 5,000.

The same trend appears to materialize in the Intensive Care Unit data. In the first four days the numbers spiked between 17% - 45%, while in the last three days of the data set they ranged from 4% - 16%. Ditto with the raw numbers which ranged from 571 – 1522 in the first four days, and then seemed to settle in at between 847 – 1175 the last three days.

corona virus nyc covid 19 nyc nysThe question here is what are the current total numbers, as the new Hospitalizations and the patients in ICU numbers, will be offset by a reduction coming from the discharges and I’m not sure where / how deaths factor into any of these numbers.

In addition to being able to scrape together data that suggests we’re beginning to see a flattening of the curve based on the Hospitalizations and ICU numbers provided by Governor Cuomo, I’ve also been paying attention anecdotally.

What I mean by that is that – unlike the wealthy boobcasters you see on TV – I actually ride the subway, and walk around town, and talk to people without a camera on them. What I’ve witnessed first hand, is people responding to the social distancing message and the wash your hands warnings. And while it didn’t begin immediately after the call for it, the lag time and compliance seemed to be swift, which is why I believe we as a community, may have been successful in mitigating the scourge vis a vis the doomsday scenarios.

MORE COMING WEDNESDAY AFTERNOON - to include: Talks with HC professionals at Memorial Sloan, Elmhurts and Mount Sinai show skewed impact. Signs of success in Teaneck, NJ and also Washington State with social distancing. Failures of Trump Administration CDC, government officials at all levels, and the dumbass TV Networks to emphasize cleanliness as a key component of the solution. The Alarmist media hypes the fear instead of doing their job and informing people. They seem more like gossips than journalists. And the problem with successful social distancing is that people might quickly start 'non-complying' and thus igniting a resurgence. Hotspots in GA & NJ & WA.

Also follow numbers Wednesday.


It's a Corona Virus Weekend NYC III

CoVid 19 Pandemic Continues to Keep Life in NYC & NYS on Hold

The Following Includes a Compendium of Closures & Expected Activity Resumption Dates [Subject to Change]

March 28, 2020 / NYC Social Issues / NYC Neighborhoods / News Analysis & Opinion / Gotham Buzz NYC.

corona virus nyc covid 19 nyc nysWeather. The Temperature highs will be in the high 60's Friday, dropping to 50 on Saturday and rising a bit to the mid 50's on Sunday. The temperature lows will be in the mid to high 40's all weekend. There is an 80% - 100% chance of a half inch of Rain on Saturday mid to late afternoon [3 - 5 pm] and a bit more than a half inch early Sunday morning [before 7 am]. Winds will be 5 - 10 mph all weekend. The Humidity will be rise from the mid 20% range Friday, to 60% Saturday and 80% Sunday. Click for NYC Weather.

MTA / Public Transit / Click here for the MTA Weekender.

The photo at right shows a man in Bryant Park last weekend enjoying a rare moment of solitude in the middle of a very densely populated city during the CoVid 19 shutdown.

 

On Thursday, March 26th, I headed toward CitiField to photograph it on what was supposed to be opening day. Major Leaugue Baseball was to begin that day with the Mets playing Washington at home, while the Yankees were to play Baltimore away.

 

Elmhurst Hospital is the Epicenter of Queens, which is Epicenter of NYC, which is Epicenter of NYS, which is Epicenter of the America

corona virus nyc covid 19 nyc nysOn my way I stopped to visit Elmhurst Hospital which had been labeled the CoVid epicenter of Queens that same day. Queens had become the epicenter of NYC by reporting the most cases in the city, and New York City is the epicenter of NYS, which is the epicenter of the U.S.

I visited Elmhurst Hospital just as they had closed the testing tents, which ran from 6 am – 4 pm. I spoke to one of the healthcare professionals there, inquiring as to whether they thought that there had been an overreaction to the spreading virus.

I was told that the virus was new, mutating, very contagious, and more lethal than the flu – so it should be taken seriously and managed in accordance with the general health risks it poses. Within the prior 24 hours thirteen people had died at Elmhurst Hospital.

On the subway the number of people wearing masks over their faces had grown significantly. I also noticed, for the first time, that a number of people were also wearing plastic gloves. Not long from now, everyone will be wearing Hazmat suits.

Well, at least it was easy to get a seat, and even easy to maintain the social distancing.

The photo above shows the testing tent outside of the Elmhurst Hospital in Queens on Thursday. In the prior 24 hour period 13 people reportedly died.

 

Small Businesses Have Closed or are Closing - Nothing's Moving

corona virus nyc covid 19 nyc nysOn my home I stopped at a few small businesses I generally frequent. One had completely closed its doors for the past couple of days because business had been softening. I imagine staying open just wasn’t worth the effort and expense. Another small business had shortened their hours, as business there had also softened, but there was still business moving. And at the third place I stopped, the owner told me they were going to close for a while, until things started moving again, as there just wasn’t much / any business moving.

When I arrived at my own personal self quarantine station – which I used to think of as my apartment - I flipped on the tube. There in front of me were so many people, talking endlessly and saying so, so little. So I turned it off to restore a sense of calm.

What follows is a compendium of some of the major closings and announcements made over the past couple of weeks, as well as the anticipated time they plan to resume activity, but all subject to change.

The photo at right shows the business district on 82nd Street in Jackson Heights Queens during the middle of the day. As you can see, most businesses had closed.

 

National Sports Seasons Postponed or on Hiatus including Major League Baseball, the National Hockey League & the National Basketball Association

corona virus nyc covid 19 nyc nysAll Major League Baseball games were cancelled, at first until April 9th, but opening day was subsequently pushed back to May 11th, but that – like most resumption dates – remains tentative. As you can imagine, the CitiField and the parking lot were empty.

On March 11th the NBA suspended their season, when a player tested positive for the Corona Virus. Resumption of play remains uncertain at this time.

The National Hockey League suspended play on March 12th. When NHL play will resume also remains uncertain, and their draft has also been postponed.

And the Big East Conference of NCAA Basketball cancelled the remainder of its tournament on March 12th.

In the photo at right you can see the empty parking lot at CitiField on what was supposed to be opening day of the 2020 Spring season. The MLB tentatively postponed opening day to May - see details above.

 

CDC Proposes Social Gathering Limit of 50 People

CoVid is Reportedly More Transmissible & Fatal than the Flu

NYC and NYS Go Further - First Suggesting a Limit of 50 People, then Reducing the Limit to 10 People, & Now Limiting Gatherings to Members of the Same Household - 'Social Distancing'

In March of 2020 the CDC began recommending no events more than 50 people [knbr.com 3/16/20]. But since the CDC announcement, NYC reduced limits to 10 people, before advising its denizens to limit their gatherings to only members of the same household.

In addition to limiting gatherings the CDC, NYC and NYS government authorities have advised people to try to maintain six feet of distance between each other [social distancing] in order to stop the spread of CoVid 19, which is highly transmissible via surfaces and also the air.

At present, CoVid has an estimated fatality rate appears to be significantly higher than the flu. I've seen estimates that indicate the CoVid fatality rate is 10x - 20x more lethal than the flu, but I've also seen much lower estimates of the fatality multiple vis a vis the flu [eg. 2x - 3x], although those estimates seemed to come from less reliable sources.

 

Arts, Cultural and Sporting Venues Close Until ...

corona virus nyc covid 19 nyc nysNaturally these pandemic thwarting directives sent shockwaves through the artistic, sports and cultural centers of New York City and its boroughs.

But limiting the size of social gatherings wasn't all that was done to slow the spread of the virus and its attendant impact on the healthcare infrastructure and the death rate associated with the virus.

In the photo at right is Times Square last Saturday near lunch time. There wasn't much moving, even though it was a beautiful Spring day.

 

*** Note that all dates suggesting the resumption of activity or reopening are subject to change, pending a more clear outlook of the health risks and potential mitigations regarding the CoVid 19 pandemic.

 

Governor Cuomo Puts NYS Public Schools on Hiatus & Mayor de Blasio Follows Suit for NYC Public Schools

On March 12th, 2020 Governor Cuomo announced that CUNY / SUNY were closed for the semester beginning March 18th. The Governor had closed NYS public schools through March 30th. This week Governor Cuomo announced that the opening of NYS public schools would be pushed back as necessary, and he then extended the NYS Public School closure through Wednesday, April 15th.

Mayor de Blasio held off making the dramatic decision to close NYC Public schools, but eventually relented, responding to parental and union pressure, announcing on March 15th that - beginning March 16th through Monday, April 20th - that the NYC Public School System would be closed. Bear in mind all closure dates are subject to extension or even cancellations.

 

Public Transportation & MTA Changes

corona virus nyc covid 19 nyc nysSo what’s closed down and when will it open?

On the transportation front there were a number of announcements this past week including the suspension of Alternate Side Parking until March 31, 2020, but Parking Meters remain in effect. I believe this will be updated on a week by week basis, so please pay attention by visiting - https://www1.nyc.gov/html/dot/html/motorist/alternate-side-parking.shtml

This week the subway schedule during weekdays was reduced to weekend frequency, except during rush hour as ridership has plummeted.

This week NYC announced it is closing a street in every borough so folks can walk around on it, without worrying about traffic. The program is akin to the Summer Streets program in August so people can practice social distancing.

The NYC Spring Streets are: 1) along Park Avenue from 28th to 34th streets in Manhattan, 2) along Bushwick Avenue from Johnson to Flushing Avenue in Brooklyn, 3) along 34th Avenue between 73rd and 80th streets in Queens, and 4) along the Grand Concourse between Burnside and 184th Street in the Bronx. No designation was made for Staten Island as the population density there is far lower than in the other boroughs. The closures are temporary, running from Friday through Monday from 10 am - 7 pm.

The photo at right shows an empty Times Square Subway station last Saturday in the late morning.

 

NYC Citywide CoVid Closures

corona virus nyc covid 19 nyc nysNY Courts are open for essential business only.

Tax filing deadline for U.S. federal returns is july 15, 2020. NYS State tax deadline followed the deadline postponement of the U.S. federal government. But if you file on time, your tax refund will be remitted as normal. And you can use the extra time to contribute to your IRA if you have one. NYS sales tax filing is still required, but the fees and interest on late payments will be waived.

At first the New York Public Library announced it would only be open to lend books., but by March 12th had announced it would be closed until March 31st. On March 20th the NYPL announced it would be closed indefinitely and the time period on books would be extended until after they had opened again.

The Archdiocese of NY is asking parishoners to celebrate mass at home until further notice.

In the photo above you can see that the subways were largely empty [this was around 3 pm Thursday 3/26/20] and that many people are now wearing masks as they ride them. It's also possible to practice social distancing on the subway at present, and I've noticed an increasing number of people wearing plastic gloves.

This week Governor Cuomo announced that the 2020 presidential election primary in NYS will be moved back from April 28th to June 23rd.

On March 20, 2020 Governor Cuomo announced a 90 day moratorium on both residential and commercial evictions until June 20th.

 

Bronx Borough CoVid Closures NYC

The Bronx Zoo closed in order to protect the animals from catching CoVid 19 from us.

The NY Botanical Garden was closed March 15th and will announce its reopening when the CoVid situation become more clear.

 

Brooklyn Borough CoVid Closures NYC

The NY Transit Museum is closed until further notice.

The Brooklyn Museum closed March 13th. It will open when the CoVid situation becomes more clear. They plan to use this time to undertake a thorough cleaning.

Using this time to sanitize facilities seems like something everyone should be using this time to do.****

 

Manhattan Borough CoVid Closures NYC

The Tribeca Film Festival scheduled for April 15 – 26 was postponed until further notice.

Lincoln Center will be closed until May 17, 2020, assuming it’s safe at that time to resume.

The photo below shows Lincoln Center on a nice Saturday mid morning [3/21/20] - completely empty.

corona virus nyc covid 19 nyc nysThe American Museum of Natural History on the West Side announced it would close. It has ramped up some of its online programming in the interim.

The next event scheduled at the Javits Center, as of this report is June 4th – the Small Business Expo.

The Auto Show has been re-scheduled at the Javits Center for August 18th – September 6th. There are two press days immediately preceding the show.

All three locations of the Metropolitan Museum, including the Met Breuer and the Met Cloisters and the Met Museum on the East Side will close indefinitely. The Met will make an announcement on its website as to when it will reopen.

The Frick cancelled events through April 3rd and said it will monitor the situation before making any announcement to reopen.

Carnegie Hall cancelled all events through May 10th, 2020. They will refund tickets between the announcement and the planned reopening – from March 12th to May 10th – but they asked patrons to consider making a donation of their ticket price to the Carnegie.

The South Street Seaport Museum is closed effective March 13th until further notice.

 

Queens Borough CoVid Closures NYC

corona virus nyc covid 19 nyc nysThe Queens World Film Festival scheduled for March 19 – 29 moved the program to an online show.

The Museum of the Moving Image in Astoria, Queens is closed at least through April 3rd, but based on other reports we’re seeing, that is likely to be extended.

Flushing Town Hall and the Queens Museum are closed pending a more clear outlook on the Corona Virus.

No notices were posted on the Jamaica Center for Performing Arts and Jamaica Center for Arts & Leanring websites, but I suspect they too are closed pending a clearer picture of the CoVid 19 outbreak.

In the photo at right you can see the taxi stand on 42nd Street outside of Grand Central Station. The wait was very short.

 

Staten Island Borough CoVid Closures NYC

The National Lighthouse Museum on Staten Island is closed pending a more clear outlook on CoVid 19. The next event they have scheduled is May 20th for Fleet Week.

Effective March 20, Snug Harbor suspended all events at all sites at the center pending a more clear the outlook on CoVid 19.

 

Old Saying 'Cleanliness is Next to Godliness'

Probably Because Those Who Kept Things Clean, Likely Weren't as Ravaged by Illnesses

corona virus nyc covid 19 nyc nysOne aspect of this pandemic that both government officials and the media have NOT emphasized enough is the importance of CLEANLINESS.

On the Home Front Now is a good time to clean all of the devices and surfaces you touch regularly to reduce your chances of contracting the virus. Things like door knobs, light switches, TV clickers, mouses, keyboards, cell phones, auto steering wheels, radios and climate control dials, are likely the most touched, least cleaned surfaces in your various abodes. But there are other surfaces that should be kept clean too, like table tops, sinks, floors and bathrooms. The CoVid germs can remain contagious on these surfaces for days, so clean them regularly. One cleaning doesn't do it. It has to become a new routine.

On the Business Front, given things are slow, now is a good time to sanitize your infrastructure especially if you serve the public. I suspect that the importance of the cleanliness of an establishment will rise markedly in post CoVid NYC and could become a factor in helping you win or lose business. In the old movies the bartenders and owners at diners were shown regularly wiping the bars and counters as this was a time when the threat of germs was of greater concern than here in America in recent times.

In the photo above right, a man wears a plastic glove to hold onto the subway pole. I found somewhere between a quarter and half of the people riding in the same subway car as me that day, to be wearing plastic gloves. And even though is was in the middle of the afternoon, on the second busiest subway line in NYC, that only amounted to about three or four people.

Stay calm and collected, and eventually - like all joys and miseries - this too shall pass.


CoVid - The Virus Everyone is Talking About

Ghost Town: One of Every 200 New Yorkers has been Tested

corona virus nyc covid 19 nyc nysMarch 23, 2020 / NYC Social Issues / NYC Neighborhoods / News Analysis & Opinion / Gotham Buzz NYC.

Last weekend I headed into Manhattan to take a few photos of what I expected to be a ghost town. While some folks were moving about - relative to normal activity - Manhattan seemed empty. With this report are a few of the photos. I'll include more of them in the upcoming weekend update.

I've also been fairly closely following Governor Cuomo's daily press briefing. The numbers, as mentioned in my last report, that I've been keeping a close eye on are the number of infections vis a vis the number of tests completed. The reason for this is that I have not yet heard anyone explain how they can truly ascertain the transmission rate, without being able to separate out the growth in the number of people who have tested positively, from the growth in the number of people they have tested.

 

NYC & NYS CoVid 19 Testing Metrics vs Infected Numbers

corona virus nyc covid 19 nyc nysSo I put together a chart, in which I had to make a few estimates using the data the Governor provided, as I had not captured all of it. Friday, March 20, 2020 is the starting point, where Cuomo reported 32,427 tests completed in NYS, of which 44% or 14,386 were completed in NYC. At that time there were 7102 and 4408 infected in NYS and NYC respectively, which means that 22% of those tested in NYS were infected, while 31% of those tested in NYC were infected.

In the briefing today, Tuesday, March 24, 2020 there were an estimated [my copy of Cuomo's NYS total number was unreadable] 94,289 tests completed in NYS, of which 41% or 38,390 were completed in NYC. At this time there were 25,665 infected in NYS, of which 14,904 of the infected were found in NYC. This translates to 27% of those tested in NYS being infected, while 39% of those tested in NYC were infected.

What does this mean? Actually since this virus is new, we don't really know for sure. What we do know is that about 26,000 people in NYS are infected, of which 15,000 of them live in NYC. And, according to Cuomo on Monday, the testing per capita in NYS is higher than anywhere else in the world including South Korea [see fact check correction below].

 

We're Coming up on the Two Week Anniversary of NYC's Behavior Change

corona virus nyc covid 19 nyc nysGovernor Cuomo declared a State of Emergency on March 7, 2020. Mayor de Blasio followed suit on Thursday, March 12, 2020. So we're right around two weeks away from when people first really started to change some of their habits [assume a couple / few days lag time between the declarations and people making changes].

At the time there was a run on supplies at grocery stores and pharmacies and toilet paper. But NYC's intrepid grocers and other critical retailers withstood the onslaught, and early this week I noticed that the emptied shelves were quickly being restocked. The photo at right shows the emptied shelves at a local grocery store in NYC.

The incubation period is about two weeks, so assuming those who are feeling the effects have been tested, then maybe the numbers will rise a bit more before descending as this allows lag time for the behavior change. By this time last week, people were seriously digging in, so perhaps by Sunday, March 29, 2020 [which is two weeks after the abrupt halt to normal life], we'll begin to see some impact from our collective response to the pandemic - show up in the number of infected - via a slowing of the newly infected.

corona virus nyc covid 19 nyc nysGovernor Cuomo didn't paint such a rosy scenario, as he believes the number of infected will grow nearly exponentially and that the epidemic will peak in two to three weeks.

The photo at right shows a number of grocery store and food delivery men working to restock the shelves of an NYC grocery early Monday morning.

Since declaring a State of Emergency Governor Cuomo first asked 50%, then 75% and eventually 100% of office personnel of non-essential services to work from home. This mandate was made between March 18 - 20, 2020 and essential services were defined as follows [copy & paste into your browser bar to go to NY.gov website page listing them],

https://esd.ny.gov/guidance-executive-order-2026?fbclid=IwAR2mh0PltvwXiLyMERva1N3EM-nh6vYYqCvlzBj0KsdZ24bTJoExAn93Imo

 

Are the Growing Numbers of Infected, Mostly a Matter of the Testing Catching up to the Reality?

South Korea tested 347,000 people out of a population of 51 million, which is a 0.7% testing rate. New York has tested 94,289 out of a population of 19.6 million or 0.5% testing rate. Cuomo claimed NYS had done more testing per capita than South Korea, so one of us is using incorrect information to make the calculation above as my numbers indicate that South Korea has done more per capita testing [the South Korea testing number is from NBC 3/17/20 and the South Korea population is from Wikipedia 2018].

corona virus nyc covid 19 nyc nysIn any case, the testing per capita for NYS, is very high vis a vis the rest of world. So it seems by the end of this week, we should begin to be able to obtain a measure of things. Governor Cuomo says the rate of infection is doubling every three days - but is it the rate of infection or is it that the testing is just catching up to what's already out there?

As of March 13th, there were only 11,000 tests that had been conducted in the entire United States of America, so we had a long way to go. In the photo at right Governor Cuomo shows a chart depicting the rising infected numbers, which have increased greatly since the Trump Administration CDC testing snafu was worked through about a week ago, thus enabling healthcare professionals to begin to test / measure how many people have been infected by CoVid 19.

 

Government & Media Focus on Facilities & Supplies

corona virus nyc covid 19 nyc nysA lot of the media coverage and government officials' focus has been on securing equipment for what they expect will be a wave of Corona Virus sick patients sweeping the healthcare system. Specifically they've been looking at beds, respirators, surgical masks and gowns, and trained staff to attend the patients.

One of the centers they're preparing is a 1,000 bed facility at the Jacob Javits Center in West Midtown. I went there on Monday to look things over at one of Governor Cuomo's press conferences. On the north end of the building there was a huge empty convention space, where there were already a good number of huge crates stacked, ostensibly with supplies needed to equip the facility into a medical treatment center - should that become necessary.

I spoke to a couple of people, one of whom who told me that there 100 National Guardsmen already there, and there were more on their way. And that the Javits Center could - if necessary - be converted into a 2,000 bed facility. I asked some of the other folks covering the conference whether they thought the Governor and Mayor were responding disproportionately to the virus. The reporters I questioned said no.

The photo at right shows the National Guardsmen at the Jacob Javits Center in West Midtown, with the supplies needed to equip the center as a hospital facility, should that become necessary to accommodate the growing numbers of infected from the Corona Virus.

 

Quarantine Most of Society or the 1% - 2% at Risk?

corona virus nyc covid 19 nyc nysGovernor Cuomo said that he had shut down the economy to save lives. But in thinking about things, I'm coming to question that judgment - allowing for the fact that it's easy to second guess people - and that hindsight is 20/20. My question is why are we quarantining everyone, when the real at risk people represent about 1% - 2% of the population? Shouldn't the 1% - 2% be quarantined - not all of us?

In the prior report we did, we looked at a report published in the Atlantic Magazine, which identified: 1) demographics as a contributor to Italy's high death rate [second oldest population on the planet, with youth living in or near them], and 2) the sudden spike in sickness overwhelmed their healthcare infrastructure, so many people weren't able to obtain the proper care.

So far 593 deaths and 46,805 cases of illness have been attributed to the Corona Virus in the United States. I couldn't track down when the first case was reported, but a graph on an NYT chart indicated it was February 26, 2020.

It's worth putting this in perspective. According to a March 19, 2020 Live Science report,

" ... In the U.S. alone, the flu has caused an estimated 36 million illnesses, 370,000 hospitalizations and 22,000 deaths this season, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) ... "

When seen in light of the flu, the Corona Virus doesn't seem as much a threat. But the broadcasters on the nightly TV news aren't so much journalists, as they are well groomed teleprompter readers. So none of them are asking the Governor the right questions, and perhaps Governor Cuomo and his staff aren't either.

 

Trump Tax Plan Plunders America's Youth ... Again

corona virus nyc covid 19 nyc nysOnce again the Trump Administration is poised to dig into the piggy bank of future generations of Americans by doling out another big tax brea - compliments of those who are too young to vote, or those who haven't yet been born.

It seems to me the Trump Administration could avoid the huge (multi-)trillion bailout by declaring a moratorium on all monthly bills for everyone - and then figure out on the back end, who needs to be subsidized because of the a disproportionate hit because of such a moratorium. In this manner young Americans' finances wouldn't be plundered to the tune of trillion(s) of dollars ... again.

We can't keep doing this to them. It's just not right to burden future generations with our debt.

In the photo Dr. Fauci, Head of the Corona Virus task force, is shown at far right - while the Donald is talking a blue streak about the Corona Virus. Look at the faces of the doctor and the other people in the photo.


It's a Corona Virus Weekend NYC II

Even more than Last Week, the Corona Virus Pandemic Shuts Down NYC

* March 20, 2020 / NYC Social Issues / NYC Neighborhoods / News Analysis & Opinion / Gotham Buzz NYC.

* Weather. The Temperature highs will be in the mid 70's on Friday, dropping to 50 on Saturday and the mid 40's by Sunday. The temperature lows will be in the mid 40's on Friday, dropping to the mid 30's Saturday, rising a bit to the high 30's on Sunday. There is a 40% chance of a minuscule amount of Rain on Friday afternoon, for which the peaking probability is at 5 pm. Then no rain for the rest of the weekend, but cloudy Saturday morning. Winds will be 10 - 15 mph all weekend. The Humidity will be around 70 on Friday dropping to the mid 40% range for the rest of the weekend. Click for NYC Weather.

* MTA / Public Transit / Click here for the MTA Weekender.

 

A Racist President Applies a Demagogue Label to CoVid

queens things to doUnfortunately we have a president, who oftentimes makes situations worse, because of his ignorant and childish behavior. The Donald seems to be trying to label the Corona Virus the China virus and quite frankly, is doing more to confirm some of the labels given to him - like he's a racist - than convincing anyone other than his Fox 'News' toadies - to go along with his not-helpful-in-addressing-the-CoVid-crisis ploy.

It seems that our babyman president, won't even act like an adult, even in the midst of what appears to be the world's worst pandemic in this millenia.

A demagogue is

"a political leader who seeks support by appealing to the desires and prejudices of ordinary people rather than by using rational argument."

 

MTA Sanitizes Subway Cars and Buses

queens things to doThe NYC MTA moves between four and six million people daily. That's a mind boggling figure when you think about it. But last week ridership began falling significantly. And by this week, about a million or more people, had found some other way to get around, or were staying home. Thus the MTA is seeking federal funding to the tune of about $4 billion to help it shore up the lost revenue. And the ridership reductions are expected to continue for a while.

The MTA stepped up its cleaning regimen effective March 3, 2020. It now santizes its subway cars and buses on a rotating schedule every three days. Have the subways ever been so clean? In spite of the effort folks are still encouraged to practice social distancing meaning keeping six feet apart from others when possible. Anyone who is ill is asked to stay home.

The photo above right shows a placard on the subway, artistically depicting the diversity of our city. We live at the crossroads of the world, which means we are both the beneficiaries of that intellectual and cultural diversity, but also carry risks which are associated with that openess, because of our societal exposure. Like everything in life, we must strive to find the right balance of cultivating our openess, while managing and minimizing the associative risks. Data, science, education and discipline can help us strike the right balance.

 

NYS Steps Up Corona Virus Testing - Now Leads Nation

Governor Cuomo informed us that effective today that NYS had conducted more tests per capita than South Korea, who had been the world leader. Since NYS stepped up its Corona Virus testing, it found that 23 MTA employees had contracted CoVid. They were sent home or to appropriate healthcare facilities. The report indicated that they weren't train operators.

In addition to the mass transit workers, 20 members of the NYPD, 14 members of the NYFD and seven members of the NYC Sanitation Department tested positive. To put things in context, the NY Police Department has a workforce of over 38,000, the NY Fire Department has a workforce of about 17,000, the NY Sanitation Department has a workforce of 9,000 and the MTA has a workforce of over 50,000. So the number of cases testing positive vis a vis the total are miniscule.

NYS has tested over 32,000 people, of which 7,102 tested positive, and 35 people had died. About 10,000 of those tests were done within the past day, of which 3,000 people tested positive. Prior to that 22,000 tests had been conducted and 4,000 people tested positive. So the positive test rate rose from 18% for what was essentially the first week to 30% in the past day.

These testing numbers and percents are going to be the numbers to watch.

As such Governor Cuomo is asking non-essential workers to stay home. To that end he asked offices to reduce their in office workforces by 75% by having them work from home. See details at,

https://www.governor.ny.gov/

 

Trump Administration MisManagement of Preventative Health

The Corona Virus pandemic is what one pundit called,

"The first crisis not actually caused by Donald Trump himself."

Unfortunately that statement isn't entirely true. Trump reportedly has tried to cut the Center for Disease Control [CDC] budgets every year he's been in office. But Congress has kept reinstating the cuts and has even added funding to the CDC. So while Trump has tried to make cuts, he actually signed off on increases.

FYI - NEED TO DO MORE WORK / ADD DETAIL TO THIS PARAGRAPH. The real damage done by the Trump Administration has been through other actions. Cuts UN budget for disease control. Fires head of pandemic response unit in National Security. Bungles CoVid tests rollout by CDC. Calls CoVid a hoax in alignment with propagandists on Fox Fake News. And keeps making factually incorrect statements. I'll have details including a link to video later today.

 

Italy Surpasses China - Italian Death Toll More than 3,400

I believe one of the metrics Governor Cuomo is watching, is what's happening in Italy where they had over 41,000 cases of the Corona Virus, for which 3,400 died. Part of the problem is that the rapid surge in the spread of the virus overwhelmed the healthcare infrastructure in terms of beds and respirators.

Wired Magazine posted a story on what factors caused the Italian scourge in a March 17, 2020 report. In it they cited the following,

"... The reason why Italy is suffering so badly, write University of Oxford researchers in a new paper in the journal Demographic Science, may be twofold: The country has the second-oldest population on earth, and its young tend to mingle more often with the elderly, like their grandparents..."

We have been fortunate enough to be behind Italy, so that we may learn from them. To that end the term 'social distancing' has caught on like wildfire - not just in conversation - but in action.

This is in part why I'm somewhat optimistic we're going to avoid some of the doomsday scenarios discussed on TV and online.

 

When Will this End?

The forecasts for us getting back to a normal life vary widely. Some say two weeks, which is unlikely, some say three to five weeks, which I think is a fair guess at a time frame for which folks begin resuming some level of normalcy. But the truth is that normal as we knew it, might not return for a far longer time.

In spite of what our dishonest president says, nobody is going to agree to giving millions of Americans vaccines that haven't first been tested. If there's something wrong with it, it would only make things even worse. So a vaccine is likely a year or more away.

And diseases of this nature somehow seem to keep coming back - like the recent Ebola resurgence in December of 2019. So we're heading into a new normal of greater cleanliness, more social distancing, and paying attention to the spread of germs. Back in the 1950's and 1960's people were concerned about germs, because they were aware of the health implications of not keeping germs at bay through cleanliness. But over time, with the passing of generations, came the passing of concern for germs, because germs had been beaten back in this country through cleanliness. But as the cleanliness habits abated, the germs were given more of an opportunity to come back, which is where we are today.

So I think the new normal is just beginning. But like everything, once you make the adjustment, the maintenance of it can be done in stride. Have a relaxing weekend and stay healthy.


Democrats Choice: A Stuttering Biden or An Intransigent Bernie?

Most Folks Don't Know that Biden has a Stuttering Handicap which is Why he doesn't do so Well in Debates & his 'Circumlocution' Remedy is Likely the Primary Cause of his Verbal Gaffes

Most Sanders Supporters Probably Haven't Taken a Look at Sanders' Record of Accomplishment which During his 29 Years in Congress is Comprised of his Leadership on Only Three Passed Senate Bills - Two of Which were Naming Post Offices

job biden stutters joe biden stutterer bernie sanders legislative records bernie sanders intransigenceMarch 9, 2020 / NYC Neighborhoods / National Politics & Government / News Analysis & Opinion / Gotham Buzz NYC.

 

This past week, as we all watched the Democratic race for the presidency unfold, we witnessed a bit of history. Former Vice President Joe Biden’s incredible comeback from what seemed like a campaign on life support, ended with him sweeping the south and decisively winning victories in most of the states up for grabs on Super Tuesday.

 

Biden’s Coalition – The Moderates, The Working Class & The Realists

But like all victories, Biden didn’t do it alone. Biden first received a boost via the endorsement of Congressman James Clyburn only days before the South Carolina primary. On Monday, Amy Klobuchar ended her campaign and endorsed Biden, followed shortly that same day by Pete Buttigieg, who had ended his campaign a day earlier. And Beto O’Rourke reappeared, to throw his support behind Biden in Texas.

job biden stutters joe biden stutterer bernie sanders legislative records bernie sanders intransigenceAs a result, Biden became the front runner, eclipsing Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders following Biden’s electoral sweep on Super Tuesday.

One might say that this demonstrates the biggest difference between Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders. Joe has been able to bring many of his former challengers into his tent, while Bernie Sanders has not.

Don’t get me wrong. I like Bernie Sanders. I think he has great integrity, he is a strong advocate for the working class, and he has clearly demonstrated that he has an admirable talent for running an organization during his two presidential bids.

But the difference between Sanders and Biden is that Sanders appears to be a purest … an ideologue … someone who does not compromise. And people who don't compromise can make great thought leaders, but they rarely - if ever - make great leaders.

 

Great Leaders Know How To Compromise & That’s How They Get Things Done

Leaders need to make compromises in order to get things done. They generally don’t get everything they want because vested interests will do everything in their power to thwart them when they try. So what real leaders do, is stake out the next evolution, by moving the ball a bit forward, hoping that someone else will pick it up at a later date and move it forward again.

  • CLICK here to read the rest of our report on Joe Biden is a Stutterer & Bernie Sanders Legislative Record. The report includes: 1) a synopsis of an Atlantic report whereby a journalist who has a stutter followed Biden on the campaign trail and shared his insights with us, 2) a look at Sanders legislative record by another reporter writing in the Washington Post, and 3) a Case Study in leadership regarding moving the nation forward through compromise.

Manhattan Things To Do This Weekend

This Weekend Many Events Cancelled & Many Institutions Closing Doors for a Couple of Weeks due to the Corona Virus Pandemic

manhattan things to do nycMarch 13, 2020 / Things To Do Manhattan / Manhattan Neighborhoods NYC / Manhattan Buzz NYC.

Weather. The Temperature highs will be in the high 60's on Friday, dropping to the high 50's on Saturday and low 50's by Sunday. The temperature lows will be around 40 on Friday & Saturday, dropping to the low 30's by Sunday. Rain is in the forecast for Friday ONLY, likely gone by 11 am. It will be cloudy later in the day on Saturday only. Winds will be 15 mph on Friday, dropping to between 5 - 10 mph for the rest of the weekend. The Humidity will be around 70 on Friday dropping to about 40% for the rest of the weekend. Click for Manhattan Weather.

MTA / Public Transit / Click here for the MTA Weekender.

The photo at right shows some folks riding the subway this week who've taken the precaution of wearing surgical masks to prevent getting infected by the Corona Virus - see details below.

 

Corona Virus - A Brief History of Growing Awareness

The Corona Virus outbreak was first reported by the World Health Organization on December 31, 2019 in Wuhan in China.

By January 30, 2020 the World Health Organization declared the Corona Virus a Public Health Emergency of International Concern.

On Saturday, March 7, 2020 Governor Cuomo called a NYS State of Emergency in an effort to get out ahead of what at the time was the Corona Virus epidemic, as there was a rapid spike in the number of reported cases in NYS. At the time NYC had reported about a dozen known cases.

On March 10, 2020 Governor Cuomo ordered a quarantine of a neighborhood in New Rochelle.

On March 11, 2020, Mayor de Blasio followed suit, and declared NYC in a State of Emergency in an effort to get out ahead of what was called a pandemic by the World Health Organization on the same day.

And today, March 13, 2020, last but not least, Donald Trump declared a State of Emergency in the United States in order to accelerate the nation's slow response to the evolving public health crisis.

 

Corona Virus Precautions - Cleanliness is Next to Godliness

By now you'd have to be blind, deaf and mute not to have heard that you should thoroughly wash your hands and not touch your face without having cleaned your hands.

In a March 11, 2020 report, the Sacramento Bee, which is a well respected news outlet run by McClatchy Newspapers, informed us that the National Institute of Health conducted a study that shows that the Corona Virus can remain alive for up to three days on some surfaces under the right conditions.

As such you should also step up your cleaning practices, specifically with respect to things and places that you touch regularly - like the TV clicker or your mouse and keypad and cell phone and keys.

 

Corona Virus Transmission by Air

And that same National Institute of Health Study also showed that the virus could remain alive in the air for a few hours. This discharge would have to come from an infected person, most likely with a cough, but I reckon just talking and breathing could do it too.

This is why scientists recommend we keep some distance - some six feet - from one another. Especially people coughing and that is why ill people are advised to remain home until they feel better - so that they don't infect the rest of us. But that said, infected people may take between two and fourteen days to show signs of the illness and thus realize it. The median incubation period for the Corona Virus is five days, 98% of the people who contract it show signs by 12 days, so by 14 days it is believed that those who have contracted the Corona Virus will show it. This is why most places have been shuttered for two weeks at a minimum.*

Some say masks won't necessarily prevent infection, because the masks aren't built to filter out the micro organisms one might inhale and the masks are not tightly fastened to the face. They may be correct, but the masks can't hurt and may reduce what you breathe in. There's a secondary problem with the masks in that some folks have been hoarding them, making it more difficult for health professionals who are working on the front line of this crisis, to obtain them.*

The disease is believed to be highly transmittable, with conflicting reports on whether it is more or less transmittable than the flu. Live Science, states that it's more than two times more transmittable than the flu, while another source says it's not as transmittable as the flu. This discrepancy may be due to the fact that there are two strains.*

 

The Corona Virus is Potentially Lethal - but Skews Older

manhattan things to do nycAt present, it is estimated to have a 2.3% death rate versus something like a 0.1% death rate for the flu. So that means it's over 20 times more lethal than the flu, and at present without any existing cure nor vaccine. Which is why there's so much concern.

But that said, to put this in context, a March 7, 2020 Live Science report informs us that,

" ... So far, the new coronavirus has led to more than 100,000 illnesses and more than 3,000 deaths worldwide. But that's nothing compared with the flu, also called influenza. In the U.S. alone, the flu has caused an estimated 34 million illnesses, 350,000 hospitalizations and 20,000 deaths this season, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) ... "

According to the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention statistics show that the risk for people varies according to age, as it is believed people who are ill, have pre-existing conditions or compromised immune systems are most likely to die from the disease - see chart at right.

 

Living Your Life in the Age of the Corona Virus

So, as part of the NYS State of Emergency both the Governor and the Mayor are in agreement that all events of 500 or more people are presently banned. Governor Cuomo also issued an order to close CUNY and SUNY effective March 18, 2020 for the rest of the semester.

The Mayor and Governor have decided to keep the primary and secondary public school system open, but advise anyone who is not feeling well to stay home. While tests reportedly show that children can contract the disease as easily as adults, you can see by the chart above, that children don't die from it at anywhere near the same rate as older people. I know - not dying from a disease - isn't exactly comforting.

But, unlike better resourced students attending private institutions, the students attending public school aren't as able to 'go remote' and conduct classes and homework electronically. Another part of this equation is that many of these students' parents aren't in a position to stay home with them [the collateral damage being having 1.1 million school age children, many unsupervised, roaming around NYC during a pandemic], and many of their parents are critical to the healthcare, educational, law enforcement, fire and emergency response and transportation infrastructure. Lastly many public school kids don't have a home, and the public school lunch program is the one place where they can obtain a healthy meal.*

I've provided the above information to help folks better understand the complexiities the Governor and Mayor are dealing with in making these decisions. And this doesn't include how badly the small business entities are getting hit, which closing things only makes worse. This affects them paying the rent, paying their employees - all of whom have to make ends meet ... somehow.

 

Things to Do This Weekend in Manhattan?

Not much really. Here's a link to the things to do in Manhattan last weekend, which contains a number of web addresses, should you want to look for yourself, but most institutions are taking the position of exercising an abundance of caution and thus have closed.

 

Member Events Manhattan Farmers Mkts / Holiday Markets

March 2020 - Click here for Manhattan holiday markets & shopping and Manhattan holiday events tree lightings & menorah lightings. Click here for a listing of Manhattan Farmers Markets where you can find unique items and fresh foods, click here for the Manhattan Events Member Calendar or here for Manhattan Street Fairs both of which will provide you with a look at other things going on in Manhattan.

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. Click here for NYC New Years parties in Manhattan. Click here for late Valentines Day romantic restaurants in Manhattan.

 

MOSTLY DONE. ASTERISKED events above have NOT been updated.

* A performance of Hearts on the Wall [45 mins] will begin at 7.30 pm at Dixon Place at 161 A Chrystie Street on the LES [comedy / $5 / www.dixonplace.org].

* 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].

* The Whitney Museum at 99 Gansevoort in the West Village has six exhibits running. On Friday at 5 pm and Saturday at 2 pm and 4 pm there's Jazz on the High Floor in the afternoon [$18 / $25 at www.whitney.org].

* Anthology Film Archives -.


Manhattan French Restaurants on the Upper West Side - Nice Matin NYC | nice matin french restaurant upper west side manhattan nyc nice matin in lucerne hotel luxury hotels historic hotels french restaurants manhattan uws nice matin
Manhattan French Restaurants on the Upper West Side - Nice Matin NYC

Bagatelle French Bistro: Brunch Parties in Manhattan NYC

Bagatelle Menage Mixes Menu, Music, Modern Dance & Mirth

March 2, 2020 / West Village Neighborhood / Manhattan Neighborhoods NYC / West Village Restaurants Manhattan NYC / Manhattan Buzz NYC.

It was just a week ago, that I chanced upon a brunch at Bagatelle, a French restaurant in the West Village. It was a serendipitous occasion, as my dining companions agreed, as we had found our original destination lacking a certain sense of excitement. Bagatelle, on the other hand, seemed to have a certain sense of oh la la, je ne sais quoi.

Upon entering Bagatelle, one immediately absorbs a certain sense of seeing and being seen. The initial vibe of this fashionable French bistro, begins at the entrance, when one is greeted by a welcoming wave of wonderful, performed by a number of young attractive women who manage the helm of this daytime land locked cruise ship.

Entering the Bagatelle scene actually gives one a nice feeling. Upon passing through 'customs' and into the restaurant, one is transported into a fashionable funland, and conferred with a certain sense of snobbishness, that feels oh so good, having not been rejected at the door.

We didn’t get a table immediately, so we headed to the bar to whet our whistles.

 

Bagatelle French Bistro Weekend Brunch Scene in the West Village

bagatelle french bistro west village manhattan nyc bagatelle french restaurant club scene w village manhattan nycAs I surveyed the room, I noticed that the waiters were all buffed up. Most of them had muscular arms, tight waists, and powerful pecs and nipples that protruded through the taut fabric of their tight shirts. These characteristics set the waiters apart from the rest of us mere mortal men. Yes, it was hard for me to imagine, that in spite of the long hours I spend each week at the gym, that the whole staff of waiters was even more buffed up than me. But I took it all in stride.

After a short wait, we were escorted to our table where we would soon become a part of the interactive theater production that was to follow. After starting in on our drinks, we ordered our light brunches and began munching, brunching and conversationally crunching. Our conversation was soon interrupted by a bit of commotion across the room. A waiter had stood up and started dancing on one of the tables.

It wasn't long before the lights changed colors, the curtains were drawn, the dance music started vibrating through the restaurant as the waiters began a floor show that included a whole series of rhythmic gymnastics. Within minutes, we had been whisked from a daytime, mid afternoon Manhattan Sunday brunch scene, into a late night sultry sensual dance scene. Young woman arose from their tables and joined the waiters in a wavy wash of wistful wantoness.



St Pat's Day Bars Irish Pubs & Restaurants Manhattan - UES, UWS, Midtown, East Village St Patrick's Day Bars & Irish Pubs & Restaurants Manhattan NYC | st pat's day bars irish pubs restaurants manhattan nyc irish pubs restaurants upper east side ues irish bars upper west side uws irish pubs bars restaurants east village manhattan nyc
St Pat's Day Bars Irish Pubs & Restaurants Manhattan - UES, UWS, Midtown, East Village St Patrick's Day Bars & Irish Pubs & Restaurants Manhattan NYC

St Pat's Day Bars, Restaurants and Historic & Irish Pubs in Manhattan

Historic Manhattan St Pat's Day Pubs, Irish Bars & Restaurants On St. Patrick's Day In NYC, UES, UWS, Midtown & Village

February 25, 2020 / Manhattan Neighborhoods NYC / Manhattan Restaurants NYC / Manhattan Buzz NYC.

St. Patrick’s Day is upon us once again and it’s time for one and all, regardless of genetic history, to don their green clothing and head out to the Irish bars for a pint of ale or to the Irish restaurants for some down home Irish fare … or something like that.

This report is about some of the Manhattan Irish bars and restaurants that have survived the test of time, and likely a might bit … more. The Irish pubs include Irish bars and restaurants from the Upper East Side [UES], the Upper West Side [UWS], Midtown Manhattan as well as the East Village, as McSorley's remains not just a pub, but a good piece of history.

Click here to read our report about the St Pat's Day Bars, Irish Pubs & Restaurants in Manhattan NYC.



Manhattan Things to do Presidents Day Weekend - Events Manhattan NYC | manhattan things to do presidents day weekend upper east side UES upper west side uws midtown soho tribeca things to do presidents day manhattan nyc
Manhattan Things to do Presidents Day Weekend - Events Manhattan NYC

Things To Do Presidents Day Weekend Manhattan NYC

Things To Do In Manhattan NYC Over The Presidents Day Weekend

February 10, 2020 / Things To Do Manhattan / Manhattan Buzz NYC.

Presidents Day Weekend Weather. The Temperature highs will be in the mid 30's on Friday, dropping to the high 20's on Saturday and rising into the 40's on Sunday and Monday. The temperature lows will be in the low teens Friday, the mid 20's on Saturday, rising into the 30's Sunday and Monday. Precipitation - There's a small chance [30%] of a small amount of precipitation [way under an inch] later Sunday and early morning Monday. Winds will be around 15 mph Friday, dropping into the single digits for the rest of the long weekend. The Humidity will be in the high 30% range on Friday & Saturday, rising to about 60% on Sunday and Monday. Click for Manhattan Weather.

The photo at right is a statue of Abraham Lincoln in Union Square Park in Manhattan. Lincoln struggled to keep the United States together, while striving to rid it of the immoral and inhumane enslavement of African Americans.

Presidents Day is a time to reflect on the performance of our current presidents and legislators, and how they stack up against their historical peers. And in that reflection it's worth asking ourselves what we've done to contribute or detract from the national conversation.

You can watch theater, visit the NYC art museums, and eat out at one of the Manhattan restaurants NYC or go shopping in Manhattan locales including Midtown, the Upper West & East Sides & the Village.

 

Brief History of Presidents Day Holiday in NYC

things to do presidents day weekend manhattan nyc presidents day events ues uws midtown east village soho tribeca upper west side upper east side things to do presidents day weekend manhattan events presidents day weekend manhattan nycA day commemorating Lincoln's birthday was first passed in Buffalo, New York in the early 1870's. Presidents Day originated as Washington's Birthday which was a holiday narrowly prescribed for federal government offices in Washington, D.C. in 1879. The holiday was dedicated to honoring the memory of the first American president, George Washington who was born on February 22, 1732.

In 1885 the holiday was expanded to include all federal government offices around the nation. In 1951 there was a push to create a Presidents Day holiday [vs a George Washington's birthday holiday] to include President Lincoln whose birthday is February 12, 1809 and was also celebrated by localities, but it didn't pass.

In 1971 the holiday was moved off of George Washington's birth date to being the third Monday in February. Thus while it never falls upon Washington's birthday 2/22, the official name of the holiday remains Washington's Birthday. But today, most folks refer to it as Presidents Day and to recognize the presidents who honored the U.S. Constitution and served the interests of the people.

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



Manhattan Valentines Day Restaurants - Manhattan Romantic Restaurants Manhattan NYC | valentines restaurants manhattan nyc valentines day restaurants upper east side ues upper west side valentines day restaurants midtown east village soho valentines restaurants
Manhattan Valentines Day Restaurants - Manhattan Romantic Restaurants Manhattan NYC

Valentine's Day Restaurants In Manhattan

Manhattan Romantic Restaurants For Valentines Day in Manhattan on the Upper East Side, Upper West Side, Midtown, East Village, West Village, SoHo, Tribeca & the Lower East Side

February 4, 2020 / Manhattan Neighborhoods NYC / Manhattan Restaurants NYC / Manhattan Buzz NYC.

Valentine's Day is less than two weeks away. It's a good time to let your loved one know you care. Flowers, gifts and dinner are always welcome treats, and / or some thoughtful gesture that shows that the lady [or man] you're with still means a lot to you.

It's generally hard to make restaurant reservations on short notice at a romantic Manhattan restaurant on Valentine's Day, and sometimes it's difficult to make them for the weekend preceding Valentine's Day. So if you're thinking about doing something this Valentine's Day for dinner on the Upper East Side, Upper West Side, Midtown or East Village; it's best to do your research early, and call a week or at least a few days ahead to make the reservations.

Valentine's Day History - Romantic Restaurants In Manhattan

The origins of Valentine's Day are not well documented. It's believed to have been named after Saint Valentine who was apparently a Catholic martyr who died over 1500 years ago. Today the holiday is not associated with religion so much as flowers, candies, cards and romantic dinners. And the holiday spokesperson is now Cupid, a Roman god of desire, and quite a mischief maker.

Click this link to view a brief guide of Manhattan Valentine's Day restaurants - Manhattan NYC where you will find links to Manhattan restaurants we've visited in the past or have reviewed. The restaurants we've reviewed include a mix of high, medium and budget priced restaurants that are spread throughout the borough and offer a large variety of ethnic cuisines. Enjoy.



Closure of Rikers Island Moves Another Step Forward

In Oct 2019 NYC Council Designated Neighborhood Jail Locations in Four Boroughs

Community Board One in Astoria Only Approved the Closure of Rikers Island

rikers island closing rikers island correctional facility history rikers island development astoria queens rikers island hunts point bronxJanuary 26, 2020 / Bronx Neighborhoods / Queens Neighborhoods / Queens Politics / Bronx Politics & Government / Queens Buzz NYC & Bronx Buzz NYC.

A week ago, on Tuesday, January 21st I attended the Community Board One meeting at the Astoria World Manor where the board was asked to approve the closing of the Rikers Island Detention Facility effective sometime before the end of the year 2026.

The photo at right was taken from an airplane while landing at LaGuardia in a prior year. Rikers Island Correctional Facility is a stone's throw away from LGA.

 

Queens Community Board One in Astoria Votes on Rikers Closure

The presentation consisted of two slides. One highlighted the social / moral blight that Rikers Island had become. The second slide simply proposed the request in very limited terms - the closing of Rikers Island and the conversion of it to a ‘public place’. The presentation to the Committee was done by a team lead by Dana Kaplan, Deputy Director of the NYC Mayor's Office of Criminal Justice.

So please note that the Community Board had no role in the placement of neighborhood jails, nor did they sign off on anything that may become of Rikers Island going forward. They only approved the closing of the Correctional Facility and the allowance of use for it as a "public place".

I spoke with CB1 District Manager Florence Kolouris after the meeting about what exactly that meant. She told me that there isn’t any definition, per se, given for public place – but a couple of examples of prior public places include Lincoln Center, Fort Totten and Queens Borough Hall.

The Community Board approved the measure with a recommendation that CB1 be kept in the loop throughout the closing process, including any demolition. Plenty of questions followed regarding what would become of the 400 acre island. Nothing concrete was proposed at this time, but the audience was assured that any changes would have to come through the Community Board via the ULURP process [Uniform Land Use Review Procedure].

 

The Bronx & Queens - Rikers Island Community Jurisdiction & Prison Population

rikers island closing rikers island correctional facility history rikers island development astoria queens rikers island hunts point bronxIt’s worth noting that technically Rikers Island is a part of the Bronx – not Queens – even though the only road traveling onto the island originates in the Astoria / East Elmhurst neighborhoods of Queens. In addition to Queens Community Board One, Bronx Community Board Two, representing the Hunts Point neighborhood, also has influence over the island. Since the Dinkins Administration in the 1990's, there's been a floating barge facility that's docked in Hunts Point, that is considered a part of the Rikers Island Correctional Facility.

Currently there are an estimated 7,000 plus inmates on Rikers Island. At its height, in 1991, Rikers Island held an estimated overcapacity inmate population of nearly 22,000. By the time the facility is to be closed in 2026, the inmate population is expected to have declined to between 3,000 and 4,000.

The photo at right shows the Rikers Island Correctional Facility which will be closed by the end of 2026.


Manhattan French Restaurants on the Upper West Side - Nice Matin NYC | nice matin french restaurant upper west side manhattan nyc nice matin in lucerne hotel luxury hotels historic hotels french restaurants manhattan uws nice matin
Manhattan French Restaurants on the Upper West Side - Nice Matin NYC

Manhattan French Restaurants on the UWS - Nice Matin

January 20, 2020 / Upper West Side Neighborhood NYC / UWS Restaurants Manhattan NYC / Manhattan Restaurants NYC / Manhattan Buzz NYC.

Nice Matin is the largest French regional newspaper covering the region of Nice and Provence in southern France. Nice Matin also means nice morning or good morning in French.

Nice Matin in Manhattan means nice meal or good meal at the French restaurant that goes by that name located on the street level floor of the old Lucerne Hotel at 201 West 79th Street at Amsterdam on the Upper West Side. The French restaurant is an Upper West Sider staple.

The photo at right shows the inside of Nice Matin French restaurant in the Lucerne Hotel on the Upper West Side, at street level in Manhattan.

I visited the restaurant with a few Upper West Siders in early January of 2020. We had a reservation, which is advised, as they keep pretty busy, especially on the weekends. We were seated shortly after our complete party had arrived and began perusing the menu.

upper west side manhattan french restaurants nyc nice matin french restaurant uws nyc lucerne hotel restaurantThe first taste delight was the Cauliflower and Truffle Tortellini with cacio and pepper butter sauce. The latter is a modern Italian pasta sauce that includes black pepper and Pecorino Romano cheese. The texture was amazingly soft and slippery as it fell apart upon landing in my mouth, releasing a subtle symphony of succulent flavors.

The photo at right shows one of the main entrees, the Olive Crusted Salmon, which is talked about in the full review that follows.

Not to be outdone, the Escargot rose to the occasion. Nice Matin cooks the escargot in an enclosed pot [en cocotte] with tomato fondue, which is near dripping melted cheese, and served with garlic and bread crumbs. The cooking in the pot, combined with the cutting the escargot into small pieces, made this taste sensation just possibly one of the best experiences I’ve had with escargot in a long, long while.

A couple of members of our party were regulars and it became obvious that they knew their way around the menu, shortly after we started sampling the appetizers they ordered. Usually one of two appetizers turns out to be a hit and the others are … ok. But tonight we were treated to a royal flush of winners.



Manhattan Things to do Martin Luther King Day Weekend - Events Manhattan NYC | manhattan things to do martin luther king day weekend upper east side UES upper west side uws midtown soho tribeca things to do MLK day manhattan nyc
Manhattan Things to do Martin Luther King Day Weekend - Events Manhattan NYC

Things To Do MLK Day Weekend Events Manhattan NYC

Things To Do In Manhattan NYC Over The Martin Luther King Day Weekend

January 14, 2020 / Things To Do Manhattan / Manhattan Buzz NYC.

Weather. The Temperature highs will range between 30 and 40 throughout the three day weekend. The temperature lows will be in the low 20's throughout the weekend - except on Saturday when the low will be in the high 30's. Rain or Snow is forecast on Saturday, but NOT on Friday, Sunday & Monday. Winds will range from 10 - 15 mph all weekend. The Humidity will be around 50% throughout the weekend, except on Friday when it will be in the low 30% range. Click for Manhattan Weather.

You can watch theater, visit the Manhattan art museums NYC, and eat out at one of the Manhattan restaurants NYC or go shopping in Manhattan NYC locales including Midtown, the Upper West & East Sides & the Village.

Brief History of Martin Luther King Holiday in NYC

Martin Luther King, Jr. was a Baptist Minister who became the leading voice for African Americans' non-violent civil rights movement beginning in the mid 1950's through to his assassination in 1968. In 1983, the third Monday of every year was set aside to honor Martin Luther King for his service to the nation. The third Monday was chosen, as it was the nearest Monday to the anniversary of King's birthday, which was January 15, 1929.

Martin Luther King Day has grown to take on an even larger meaning, as it is oftentimes referred to as a day on, versus a day off. Organizations around the city and nation have used the day to call people into action to address the needs of the community through volunteering and service.

 

Martin Luther King Holiday Special Events in Manhattan NYC

things to do martin luther king day weekend manhattan nyc ues uws midtown east village soho tribeca upper west side upper east side things to do MLK day weekendOn Monday the Abyssinian Baptist Church, on Striver’s Row [late 19th century housing which successful African American musicians and composers moved into in the early 20th century] is hosting a free film screening of Selma for its 17th Annual Dr. Martin King, Jr. Celebration. The doors open at 9.30 am where there will be a free continental breakfast served compliments of Starbucks and the Abyssinian Development Corp and Kenneth I. Chenault. In addition to the film, there will be workshops on non-violent social protest. Middle Schoolers to Adults are invited to attend. The Abyssinian Baptist Church is located at 132 Odell Clark Place [formerly 138th Street], between 138th & 139th Streets and Frederick Douglass & Adam Clayton Powell Jr. Blvds. The neighborhood includes places where African Americans like author W.E.B. DuBois and civil rights activist Malcolm X spent some time [history / social / film / free].

On Monday the Manhattan Country School hosts its 32nd annual Commemorative MLK Day March beginning at 10 am until 2 pm. Last year they informed us that the march, "...[begins] at Fredrick Douglass Circle and ends on 85th Street in our gym. Eighth graders in groups of three or four deliver speeches at six symbolic stops, including the historically significant steps of Low Library at Columbia University and inside the Cathedral of St. John the Divine." This year they begin at the Harriet Tubman Memorial at West 122nd Street and Fredrick Douglass Blvd. Fredrick Douglass Circle at 110th Street is the second stop, followed by Joan of Arc Statue at 94th & Riverside Park, the fourth stop is 263 West 86th Street and the march ends at the Manhattan Country School at 150 West 85th between Columbus & Amsterdam. For details visit www.manhattancountryschool.org.

On Monday from 12.30 - 2 pm there's a Harlem Gospel Choir performance at Sony Hall at 235 West 46th Street in Midtown Manhattan. Tickets run $15 - $25 on Eventbrite.

On Monday from 2 pm - 6 pm Riverside Church at 490 Riverside Drive in Manhattan will be hosting it's 5th Annual MLK Now. The doors open at 12 noon to this live music, spoken word and conversational event. Folks will be seated on a first come first serve basis. The church has a real connection to Dr. King as it is where, in 1967 Dr. King gave one of his most famous speeches, Beyond Vietnam. A Time to Break Silence. Free.

On Monday generally starting around 9 am and running until 12 noon, the NYC Parks Department in tandem with local groups is organizing a day of service to clean up a few of the NYC neighborhood parks. In Manhattan the parks mentioned as of this post was the Inwood Hill Park in the Inwood neighborhood in northwest Manhattan. Cut and paste this link for details - https://www.nycgovparks.org/events/mlk-day-of-service.

On Monday the Museum of the City of New York at 5th Avenue at 104th Street on the UES is hosting a three hour program from 11 am - 2 pm dedicated to the memory of Martin Luther King. The program is free w/ admission.

There's an exhibit that opened in January 2020 at the Schomburg Center for African American Culture in the Lapidus Center at 515 Malcolm X Blvd and 135th Street in Harlem. The exhibit is entitled Subversion & the Art of Slavery Abolition, which chronicles efforts made by the Abolitionists to stop enslavement via art, politics and culture. Please note that the Schomberg Center is normally closed on Sunday and will be closed MLK Day.

The Africa Center at 1280 5th Avenue at 109th Street in East Harlem doesn't appear to have any specific programs scheduled for the MLK Weekend. The museum seems more focused on African culture per se, than on African American culture.

The Studio Museum of Harlem hosts a variety of cultural and art exhibits and programming related to African American culture. Their site at 144 West 125th Street is closed while a new building is being constructed. They are currently operating out of Studio Museum 127 which is located at 429 West 127th Street in Harlem. They expect to move back to their 125th Street site on March 15, 2020.




Michael Bloomberg's Real Record as NYC Mayor

This Contains the Part of Bloomberg's Record You Won't See in His Ad Campaign

michael bloombergs record as nyc mayor mike bloomberg accomplishments mike bloomberg record mayor nyc record of mayor bloomberg while mayor nycDecember 16, 2019 / NYC Neighborhoods / NYC Politics & Government / News Analysis & Opinion / Gotham Buzz NYC.

I started reporting for Queens Buzz in the second half of 2007, in anticipation of the website opening in 2008. At the time, politics wasn't in the docket. But over time, as I watched government and political events unfold, I couldn't ignore the huge gap between what was happening - versus what was reported to be happening.

Thus over time I began reporting on NYC, NYS and eventually national politics, doing in-depth research along the way, so that I could provide our readers with a fresh point of view, based on facts and knowledge, with scant pandering to the politicial spin.

While I only began tuning into NYC politics as a reporter during Michael Bloomberg's third term, I had picked up information about him prior to that as an aware NYC resident / voter. My first glimpse into Republican Mayor Michael Bloomberg's anti-democratic tendencies came about in 2004, during the Republican Presidential Convention, when Bloomberg appeared to illegally lock up people protesting the wars and policies of then president George W. Bush. But before I delve into that aspect of Bloomberg's performance, I want to highlight a few others.

 

Disdains Democracy: Overturns Mayoral Term Limits

michael bloomberg mayor bloomberg corruption bloomberg record as nyc mayorIn 2008, just a year before former Mayor Michael Bloomberg was about to be term limited out of the Mayor's Office, he convinced the NYC City Council to override the plebiscite that term limited his time in office as the Mayor.

Thus Michael Bloomberg sought and won a third term - which he essentially bought - by funding his campaign with nearly $100 million of his own money, to defeat an relatively unknown candidate, retiring City Comptroller Bill Thompson.

Thompson was not given much support by the Democratic Party in that election, likely because they didn't believe he would do anywhere near as well as he did, and they were competing with a billionaire who could / would and did greatly outspend the competition. The final vote was 50.7% for Bloomberg and 46.3% for Thompson.

 

Did Former Mayor Bloomberg Override Term Limits in Order to Cash In NYC's Municipal Real Estate Holdings?

The deals on the Bronx Terminal Market, Hudson Yard, Hunters Point South & Flushing Meadow Corona Park were all begun in 2007. So were the two multi-billion dollar [each] subway line extension projects - the Q and the #7.

All of the real estate developments and the two major subway infrastructure projects seemed to greatly benefit one person - Stephen Ross and his privately held Related Companies. Stephen Ross went from not being counted as a billionaire at the beginning of Bloomberg's Mayoralty, to becoming the richest real estate developer in New York City within a couple of years after he took office.

It's worth noting that Bloomberg's net worth during this period shot up too. And that Bloomberg LLP, the company he founded, also operates in NYC and is also privately held.

Former Mayor Michael Bloomberg's Real Record as Mayor

The Real Record of Mike Bloomberg's Accomplishments as Mayor - Doubling of Homelessnes, Taxpayer Funded but Privately Owned Luxury Apartments, Massive Public Land Giveaways to Friendly Developer, Massive Public Transit Spending Benefitting Same Developer, Privatization / Profitization of Many Public Schools, Failure to Negotiate with Unions, City Time Scandal & Racist Stop N' Frisk Policing Program

The report includes:

michael bloombergs record as nyc mayor mike bloomberg accomplishments mike bloomberg record mayor nyc1) HOMELESSNESS: Bloomberg had a horrendous record on homelessness which broke all records & doubled during his Mayoralty.

2) AFFORDABLE HOUSING: Bloomberg sold the public on funding 'affordable' apartments that rented for $48,000 per year. These were publicly funded but privately owned apartment units that Bloomberg sold to the public as 'affordable' in order to gain passage of the bills authorizing them.

3) PUBLIC LAND GRAB. Four huge real estate developments appeared to be given to Stephen Ross & Related Companies which are now worth billions. The public lands reportedly sold for $1 apiece include Hudson Yard, Hunters Point South and the still pending Flushing Meadows Corona Park development. I'm not sure but Bronx Terminal was also transferred in a sweet deal to the real estate developer Stephen Ross & Related Companies.

4) PUBLIC SPENDING BENEFITTING FRIENDLY DEVELOPER. Bloomberg pushed two subway line extensions that seemed to disproportionately benefit Stephen Ross & Related Companies. The subway line extensions were 1) the #7 subway line extension that supported Stephen Ross & Related Companies Hudson Yard development and 2) the Q subway line extension which greatly enhanced the value of Stephen Ross and Related Companies Upper East Side properties.

5) PRIVATIZATION OF PUBLIC SCHOOLS. Bloomberg's privatization of a significant portion of the NYC public school system which appeared to tear apart the NYC public school system by enabling for profit private charter schools, disproportionately favoring Eva Moskowitz and Success Academy, to recruit the best students of the NYC public school system, while leaving the rest behind in the hands of the public and unions;

6) UNION BUSTER? Bloomberg's failure to sign a single major union contract during his 12 year administration and the

7) GIULIANI / BLOOMBERG CORRUPTION. City Time corruption scandal.

8) RACIST POLICING POLICY. Presided over racist Stop N' Frisk policing policy.

CLICK here to read the rest of our report on the part of the Mike Bloomberg's record of Mayor. The part of the Bloomberg record you won't see in his $33 million ad campaign to convince Democrats to vote for him. Billionaire Bloomberg, like the billionaire President, seems to have an inclination to distort the truth.


New Years Parties In Manhattan - New Years Eve Parties Manhattan NYC | manhattan new years parties nyc new years restaurants in midtown upper east side nyc village nyc new years parties in manhattan nyc
New Years Parties In Manhattan - New Years Eve Parties Manhattan NYC

New Years Parties & Restaurants 2020 Manhattan NYC

New Years Parties & Restaurants in Manhattan, Upper East Side UES, Midtown, West & East Village, Upper West Side UWS, SoHo, Tribeca & Downtown Manhattan NYC

December 30, 2019 / Manhattan New Years Eve Parties & Restaurants NYC / Manhattan Buzz NYC.

As happens every year, there will be a number of great New Years parties in Manhattan preceding and following the dropping of the ball at Times Square.

The following are a number of different New Years restaurants in Manhattan NYC where you might consider booking a reservation.

Click here for Manhattan New Year Parties - Manhattan NYC.

 



Manhattan Holiday Markets - Kwanzaa, Hanukkah & Christmas Holiday Markets in Manhattan NYC | manhattan holiday markets nyc christmas hanukkah kwanzaa holiday markets manhattan upper east side UES upper west side uws midtown soho tribeca harlem inwood washington heights holiday markets xmas markets bowery manhattan nyc
Manhattan Holiday Markets - Kwanzaa, Hanukkah & Christmas Holiday Markets in Manhattan NYC

Manhattan Holiday Markets - Manhattan NYC

Christmas Markets, Hanukkah Markets, Kwanzaa Markets & Outdoor Holiday Markets - Holiday Shopping in Manhattan NYC

December 8, 2019  / Upper East Side UES / Upper West Side UWS / Midtown NYC / East Village & West Village / Tribeca SoHo Bowery / Holiday Events & Holiday Markets - Kwanzaa, Hanukkah & Christmas Holidays in Manhattan / Holiday Shopping Manhattan / Manhattan Buzz NYC.

 

Holiday outdoor markets have been on the rise in Manhattan since the dawn of the 21st century. While some date back many years, some are relatively new.

Shopping at holiday markets alone, with friends, or with the kids gives folks a chance to enjoy the fruits of their labor and satisfy some of their yearnings and some of the yearnings of those we love.

Each of the Manhattan holiday markets is a bit different, as some are organized by community groups and others by business organizations. Oftentimes one can find artisanal products that are made in NYC or NYS.

 

Manhattan Holiday Markets Getting Underway

The Manhattan holiday markets get underway shortly after Halloween, with some coming opening up about the time of Thanksgiving. The Manhattan holiday markets are located in or near the following Manhattan neighborhoods - the Upper East Side UES, the Upper West Side UWS, Midtown NYC, the East Village, the West Village, the Bowery, SoHo, Tribeca, Lower East Side, Harlem, Inwood and Washington Heights. Many either include the serving of some beverage like hot chocolate and generally snacks like cookies - or are near food vendors and restaurants.

Click here for our report about the Xmas / Christmas / Hanukkah / Kwanzaa Holiday markets in Manhattan & Holiday shopping Manhattan NYC.



NYC Marathon Coming Through Manhattan

New York Road Runners 49th NYC Marathon on Sunday

manhattan things to do nycOctober 29, 2019 / Things To Do Manhattan / Manhattan Neighborhoods NYC / Manhattan Buzz NYC.

The New York Road Runners / NYRR is hosting its 49th NYC Marathon on Sunday. The NYRR was founded in 1958 and has been organizing the NYC Marathon since 1970. The proceeds from the race go toward the programs of the runner non-profit. They report that the NYRR serves 670,000 people, of which 250,000 are youth, annually.

There are plenty of festivities this week surrounding the affair. Some are held at the NYRR Run Center [NYRR headquarters] at 320 West 57th Street between 8th and 9th Avenues, while others are held at the NYC Marathon Pavilion in Central Park at 67th Street and Central Park West, near the Tavern on the Green.

The other pre-race activities [see location addresses above] include a discussion on Tuesday about the NYC Marathon Book Club from 6 - 8 pm at the NYC Marathon Pavilion. On Wednesday there's a forum of Celebrity Charity Runners who talk about why they are running at the NYC Marathon Pavilion from 7 - 8 pm. On Thursday evening between 6 and 7 pm the NYRR presents the awards for the NYRR Hall of Fame inductees at the NYC Marathon Pavilion. On Friday at the NYRR Run Center there's an NYRR Running History Tour which runs from 10 - 11.30 am.

The pre-race festivities culminate the Saturday evening before the race, when there's an early dinner [3.30 - 8.30 pm] for the runners at the NYC Marathon Pavilion that is prepared by the chefs from Tavern on the Green. They call it the Marathon Eve Dinner. It has a sort of holiday ring to it.

NYC Marathon Times, Route & Statistics to Beat

Statistics 2018. According to the NYRR.org website, in 2018 there were 52,813 runners, from 129 countries, their average run time was 4.40 [hours.minutes] and they raised $40 million for charity. This year there are a number of primarily TV game show celebrities running to raise money for charity.

According to Wikipedia, in 2018 records for participation were broken, yet again, with 30,669 men and 22,143 women participating. The fastest runs times were approximately 2.05 [hours.minutes] for men and 2.20 [hours.minutes] for women.

NYC Marathon Organized at Fort Wadsworth on Staten Island

As you can imagine, organizing the 52,000 plus runners in the NYC Marathon, is an annual logistics feat. The NYRR has organized the race into four Waves. Each Wave begins at a different time. Within each Wave there are three Start Times which are color coded green, orange and blue. In addition to three different start times for each wave, there are six different Corrals, A through F, where runners gather to be released into the race during their wave and start time.

NYC Marathon Start Times 2019

The NYC Marathon begins at 8.30 am at Fort Wadsworth on Staten Island. From there over 52,000 runners departed last year, and the race continues to grow in popularity. The first group to begin the race are in the wheelchair division, followed by the handcyclists. These two groups depart between 8.30 am and 8.52 am.

The next group departs at 9.10 am and it comprises the professional women competing for the title. They are followed a half hour later, at 9.40 am, by the professional men. It is at this time [9.40 am] that the first wave kicks in, with its three start times. The second wave begins at 10.10 am, the third wave begins at 10.35 am and the fourth and final wave begins at 11 am.

NYC Marathon Best Guess Viewing Times

The 16 mile mark of the 29 mile NYC Marathon is at the Queensboro Bridge. That's a bit more than halfway. If you divide the average run time of 4 hours and 40 minutes, to get 2 hours and 20 minutes, you can figure out - depending on which wave / start time your loved ones are in, roughly when they'll be at the halfway mark. And then you can add to that time if you're viewing in Manhattan, or subtract from that time if your viewing in Brooklyn, or be there at the start time if you're on Staten Island. For the Bronx adding three hours to their start time should give a good proximation of when they'll be coming through Mott Haven.

NYC Marathon Route 2019

The NYC Marathon had originally circumvented Central Park, but it quickly outgrew that locale.

Staten Island NYC Marathon Route. The route used today has been in place for a long time, possibly decades. It starts at Fort Wadsworth on Staten Island, crossing the Verrazzano Bridge.

Brooklyn NYC Marathon Route. The NYC Marathon travels along 4th Avenue through most of southern Brooklyn, then taking a short turn eastward on Lafayette in Downtown Brooklyn, before resuming the northern trek along Bedford Avenue through Williamsburg into Greenpoint, where the course jumps onto Manhattan Avenue at McCarren Park.

Queens NYC Marathon Route. The next step is across the Pulaski Bridge into Long Island City Queens, where the NYC Marathon zigs west to Vernon Blvd, marches north along Vernon Blvd, and then 44th Drive and 21st Street before crossing the Queensboro Bridge.

Manhattan NYC Marathon Route. In Manhattan the NYC Marathon travels north along First Avenue.

Bronx NYC Marathon Route. The NYC Marathon route traverses the Willis Avenue Bridge into the Port Morris and then Mott Haven neighborhoods of southern Bronx. The NYC Marathon then heads west along 135th Street to 138th Street in Mott Haven and turns south heading back through Port Morris, over the Madison Avenue Bridge to Manhattan.

Manhattan NYC Marathon Route. In Manhattan the NYC Marathon travels south along 5th Avenue and into Central Park at 125th Street coming down inside the park to end at the NYC Marathon Pavilion.

Whew. I'm plum tired out just cataloguing the route, let alone running it : )

** LINK. Here's a link to the NYC Marathon route map. Enjoy.


Korea Day Parade in Manhattan

Korea Day Parade Celebrates Korean Culture with Festival

October 21, 2019 / Things To Do Manhattan / Manhattan Neighborhoods NYC / Manhattan Buzz NYC. On Saturday, Octoberr 5th, the Korea Day Parade and Festival was held in Midtown Manhattan. The whole affair which lasts the better part of the day, celebrates Korean culture by Korean immigrants and their children, grandchildren and great grand children. In addition to the theatrical music and dance performed in the parade, there's a live stage at the festival where folks also perform.

In additon to the music and dance there's a whole host of food, opportunities to shop authentic Korean food, clothing and other goods, and a chance to mingle with our fellow countrymen and women of Korean descent. The following video should give you a taste of the Korean Day Parade and Festival in Midtown. The event occurs in a section of Manhattan that was once a center of Korean culture - and while still there to an extent - like many immigrant clusters, many of the Koreans and their descendants have moved to the outer boroughs and beyond.


San Gennaro Festival in Little Italy

san gennaro festival little italy manhattan nycSeptember 18, 2019 / Things To Do Manhattan / Manhattan Neighborhoods NYC / Manhattan Buzz NYC.

The San Gennaro Festival began last Thursday along Mulberry Street in the Little Italy neighborhood of Manhattan. The festivities run for eleven days and included a parade which was held last Saturday, a number of eating contests - one of which is this afternoon - as well as live entertainment, food galore and shopping.

The San Gennaro Festival began 93 years ago, in 1926, when the community was comprised primarily of Italians from the Naples area. San Gennaro is the anglicized name of the patron saint of Naples, St. Januarius.

The locus of the San Gennaro Festival is along Mulberry Street between Canal and Houston, with the main stage at Grand and Mott Streets. The Roman Catholic parish church of Our Most Precious Blood Church represents the 'soul' of the festival, as it was completed in 1904 and still stands today. There was a lot behind the church, the Rectory at 109 Mulberry Street, where they had hosted parts of the San Gennaro Festival in prior years, but it was put on the market in 2018 for $14 million. The photo below right shows the Most Precious Blood Rectory on Mulberry Street in 2014.

 

Feast of San Gennaro in Little Italy NYC

little italy san gennaro festival history most precious blood rectory manhattan nycEvery year the Feast of San Gennaro begins with the blessing of the stands on the first day of the festival. The event includes some live entertainment. On the first Friday of the event there is a cannoli eating contest. On Saturday there's a parade beginning at 2 pm that marches north on Mulberry Street from just north of Canal Street. Sunday there's more live entertainment in the evening. All of this took place last weekend.

This Monday there was an Enrico Caruso Opera night, which is followed on Wednesday afternoon [today beginning at 1 pm] of a Zeppole eating contest. On Thursday there's a church service at the shrine of the patron saint of Napoli at 113 Baxter Street beginning at 6 pm. On Saturday there's a meatball eating contest beginning at 1 pm. And on Sunday the festival winds down with live entertainment at 2 pm and again beginning at 6 pm. This represents a few of the highlights, and you can find a full schedule of events at the Feast of San Gennaro website at www.sangennaronyc.org.

 

Italian Neighborhoods & Feasts in the Outer Boroughs

During the Feast of San Gennaro, Italians from around the city and in the tri-state area, return to the neighborhood from which their families came. Most of the Italians have left the neighborhood for greener pastures in the outer boroughs of Staten Island, Brooklyn, Queens and the Bronx.

The Bronx has its own Little Italy, which some believe is more authentic than the one in Manhattan, as over a hundred Italians still attend the church in the Bronx neighborhood, where some of the services are still given in Italian. There's an upcoming Pizza Festival to be held there on October 5th & 6th near Arthur Avenue and Crescent Street in the Belmont neighborhood of the Bronx - see the Bronx Buzz.

Staten Island has also become the home of many New York Italians, where they organize and host a number of Italian cultural events there including the Italian Festival of the Mount which is held at Mount Lorenzo at 6451 Hylan Blvd from Friday through Sunday, October 11th to 13th - see the Staten Buzz.

 

Return of the Italian American Museum Expected Spring 2021

san gennaro festival little italy manhattan nycI visited the Italian American Museum at 155 Mulberry Street in Little Italy in 2014. The Italian American Museum was first opened at the site on Columbus Day 1999. The Italian American Museum was founded by a history professor from Queens College, Dr. Joseph V. Scelsa. Dr. Scelsa is shown in the old Italian American Museum in the photo at right.

The Italian American Museum broke ground in November 2018 for a new building, where a new building will be erected on the site of the 1800 square foot museum. The expected completion date is Spring 2021, which will provide additional space for the museum, which will be rent free, as the land upon which the new building is being erected, was owned by the museum. Previously the Italian American Museum had used the rent revenue from the other space in the building, to fund the museum operations.

We'll have more on the museum and the history of Little Italy in Manhattan at a later date.


The Landmark Tavern in Manhattan

landmark tavern manhattan nyc historic bars nyc historic irish pubs manhattan nyc st pats day pubsJune 19, 2019 / Midtown West Neighborhood NYC / Manhattan History NYC / Manhattan Buzz NYC.

One of the great finds this year in terms of Irish history in Manhattan came when I stumbled upon the Landmark Tavern on the far West Side of Manhattan. The Landmark Tavern first opened in 1868, not long after the American Civil War. The tavern originally opened as a waterfront saloon along the Hudson River as there wasn't any 12th Avenue over a century and a half ago.

The Landmark Tavern maintains a classic Irish Pub establishment with pints of Guinness, Irish whiskeys and Irish Pub fare - including shepherd's pie. But they have also augmented their classic Irish fare offerings with modern eclectic American fare.

The Landmark Tavern is located at 46th Street at 11th Avenue, which is nearby both the Intrepid Air, Space & Sea Museum on the Hudson River, as well as near the emerging art exhibition spaces along the Hudson such as Piers 92, 94, 96 and 97. The Piers have been used for art, photography and architectural exhibitions that periodically open shop in Manhattan.


The NYC Puerto Rican Parade

A Plethora Panoply of Puerto Rican Talent

manhattan things to do nycJune 11, 2019 / Things To Do Manhattan / Manhattan Neighborhoods NYC / Manhattan Buzz NYC.

Last year I attended the 62nd Puerto Rican Day Parade, which returned for its 63rd year last Sunday. The Puerto Rican Day Parade is one of the largest parades and cultural celebrations in NYC, and outside of Puerto Rico, the largest celebration of Puerto Rican culture.

This year the Puerto Rican Day Parade Grand Marshall was Ricky Martin of La Bomba [1998 hit single] fame. Also appearing / performing were Jose Feliciano, who came out with the hit single Felice Navidad [1970] as well as Afro-Cuban jazz musician Bobby Sanabria and actress La India who starred in the film La Madrina [The Godmother] in 2008.

But the celebrities featured in the parade - which is comprised of over ten thousand marchers, musicians and performers - are only a few of the stars. The platoon of performers provides an endless array of entertainment by a very liberated people. I hope to have a bit more on this later today / this week - but if not there will be more to come eventually.


India Parade & Sri Jagannath Ratha Yatra Festival

Indian Parade & Festival Returns to Midtown & Village NYC

manhattan things to do nycJune 4, 2019 / Manhattan Neighborhoods NYC / Cultural Events Manhattan NYC / Manhattan Buzz NYC.

This Saturday, June 8th from 11 am to 7 pm the Festival of India Parade begins and is followed by the Sri Jagannath Ratha Yatra Festival. The parade starts at 45th St & 5th Avenue at 11 am and it ends in Washington Square Park where the Sri Jagannath Festival is held.

This is part of a weekend long celebration of Krishna that spans Brooklyn and Manhattan, involving hundreds, if not thousands of celebrants participating in the parade and festival after.

I'll have more on this Hari Krishna event later today / this week. In the meantime is a short one minute video of the parade last year [2018].



The Dancing Keeps on at the Dance Parade

13th Annual Dance Parade - An Aesthetic & Cultural Visual Delight

manhattan things to do nycMay 24, 2019 / Things To Do Manhattan / Manhattan Neighborhoods NYC / Manhattan Buzz NYC.

A week ago, on Saturday, May 18th, I attended the 13th annual Dance Parade. The parade reportedly features ten thousand dancers, musicians and DJ's during the two hour [turned out to be easily twice as long] parade.

I had attended the parade perhaps a half dozen years ago, essentially it's half life to date and it has grown enormously both in the number of performers and performances as well as the size of the crowd.

But quantity isn't everything, and the quality had grown or expanded as well. It was, in a few words, an aesthetic and cultural visual delight.

I and one of the Manhattan Buzz freelance photographers / videographers captured some of the festivities on video, which I hope to share with you by the end of today.


The Old Croton Aqueduct Trail

Wandering Along an Architectural & Construction Marvel

bronx things to do bronxMay 14, 2019 / Highbridge Neighborhood Bronx / Bronx History NYC / Bronx Buzz NYC.

I came upon a pedestrian walk way while exploring the Highbridge neigbhorhood in the Bronx. I soon found it was called the Old Croton Aqueduct Trail and that a stone aqueduct, completed in 1842, lie beneath the smooth level walk way I was making my way along.

When I returned home, I found a whole history of the Old Croton Aqueduct and the positive impact it had on New York nearly two centuries ago, and it was designed and built so well, that it continues to play a role in many New Yorkers' daily lives.

The photo at right shows the pedestrian trail that runs atop the Old Croton Aqueduct in the Bronx.

I'll have more later today about the history and the impact of the Old Croton Aqueduct. Along with the history, you'll learn quite a bit about the history of popular locations today in both the Bronx and Manhattan.


AIPAD Photography Show Manhattan NYC - Association of International Art Dealers Manhattan NYC | aipad photography show manhattan nyc association of international photography art dealers annual photography show manhattan nyc pier 94 things to do manhattan nyc
AIPAD Photography Show Manhattan NYC - Association of International Art Dealers Manhattan NYC

The Photography Show in NYC

The Association of International Photography Art Dealers Annual Photography Show at Pier 94 in West Midtown Manhattan

April 30, 2019 / Midtown West Neighborhood / Art Events in Manhattan NYC / Manhattan Buzz NYC.

Earlier this month I attended the Photography Show organized by the Association of International Photography Art Dealers [AIPAD] at Pier 94 on the West Side of Manhattan. It was their 39th Photography Show, including nearly 100 dealers from around the globe, and they describe the show as,

"... The Photography Show is the longest-running and foremost exhibition dedicated to the photographic medium, offering a wide range of museum-quality work, including contemporary, modern, and 19th-century photographs as well as photo-based art, video, and new media."

I arrived late on the Sunday afternoon of the last day of the show, during which I had expected things to have quieted down. Nonetheless, there was still a large crowd at the entrance, and while the galleries were generally filled, it was comfortably so. With time and my battery running low, I made my way through the galleries, enjoying the visual feast.

aipad photography show manhattan things to do manhattan nyc association of international photography art dealers manhattan nycThe show offers an opportunity to see so much of the world - past and present, north south east and west, real and imagined - in photos. It is also a great place for people watching, engaging in interesting conversation and buying great visual art.

One of the great finds I stumbled upon, were photos shown by exhibitor Alex Novak, who had copies of photos done by the great 19th century French photographer Nadar. In the mid 1990's I saw an exhibit that featured Nadar at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, that included several very graphic photos of the genitalia of a hermaphrodite. I found that to be a stunning exhibit - not just because of how those photos had the power to change the way people view sexuality - but because Nadar shot the photos in 1860, now well over a century and a half ago.

I found many other fascinating photos, some of which I'll share in a slide show. I usually document the origins of the works I capture, but unfortunately on this day I was tired, having covered two other shows, and low on battery power and time, so I debated whether to show you the works or not - but decided in favor of showing you because many of these exhibitors will be back next year - so if you like something, you may be able to find it then or through the Association of International Photograph Art Dealers [AIPAD] which you can find at www.aipadshow.com.



Art, Photography & West Midtown Piers

Three Excellent Shows, Separate Art Categories, Shown Along the Hudson in the 40's & 50's in West Midtown

April 9, 2019 / Midtown Manhattan Neighborhoods NYC / Manhattan Art Scene / Manhattan Buzz NYC.

manhattan things to do nycLast weekend was something of an arts galore weekend. The Society of Illustrators held their annual Mocca Festival which celebrates the independent comic and cartoon artists at Metropolitan West which is located across from the Intrepid Museum on the Hudson River at West 46th Street. The Association of International Photographic Art Dealers held their annual show, which included about 150 exhibitors from around the nation and around the world, at Pier 94 at West 54th Street and the Hudson River. And then there was the Art Expo which hosted 250 artists from around the world at Pier 90, also along the Hudson River at West 50th Street, in between the MOCCA exhibits and the AIPAD show.

I spent the entire afternoon, walking the corridors of artistic expression, absorbing - mostly subconsciously - the art and images of the artists of our time. It was a beautiful April day, and in between the shows, I found folks strolling and biking the paths along the Hudson. I imagine many of those strollers, like me, were on their way to or from one of these shows.

I'll delve a bit deeper into these art venues at a later date. But depending on your interests, I expect you would find something that would tease the mind or tease the senses, at one of these events. Unfortunately, we have to wait another year before their return. The photo above was taken at the AIPAD Show last weekend.


Indian Film Festival Manhattan

manhattan things to do nycApril 2, 2019 / Downtown Manhattan Tribeca SoHo LES Neighborhoods NYC / Manhattan Fashion Film NYC / Manhattan Buzz NYC.

On Saturday I attended the first Native Cinema Showcase at the National Museum of the American Indian in Downtown Manhattan. On many different levels it was a very satisfying experience. First the National Museum of the American Indian is located in the Alexander Hamilton U.S. Customs House which is a magnificently built building. It has solid stone floors and rails, an incredible skylight in one of the main rooms, and architectural detail that few beyond the most well endowed nations can afford.

The Native American Indian Museum occupied three floors of the building. The first floor contains a beautiful and well stocked gift shop, as well as a performance space. The performance space is circular in shape, with a high ceiling, and smooth (dance) floor. There was a video playing on the large main screen of what seemed like a temple, showing Indians in native dress dancing and singing. And along the walls there are pictures of Indians in tribal dress, possibly representing a number of the different American Indian nations.

On the second floor there is this beautiful oval shaped room with a wonderful skylight. The room is made of beautiful stone, much of which I believe was marble, and it was a joy just to feel the solid level stone beneath my feet and to run my hands along the smooth stone rail.

manhattan things to do nycBeyond that room, which contained information stands, is the museum itself. Off to either side are smaller galleries where the exhibits change, while the main gallery runs the length of the building and those exhibits mostly stay as they are. In one of the smaller galleries there was an exhibit on the Taino tribe. And in the other gallery, a new exhibit, of paintings, is due to open next weekend, April 6th. I spent a couple of hours meandering through the galleries, taking photos [no flash] as I went.

And the last floor in the building occupied by the National Museum of the American Indian is in the basement where they have a movie theater / auditorium / stage [they rent it out too]. In the movie theater this weekend they were showing several film series on Saturday and Sunday as part of the first annual Native Cinema Showcase. It was for this event that I had come, although I welcomed the opportunity to become better acquainted with both the U.S. Customs House and the National Museum of the American Indian.

I watched several films. More to come later today. Horses. Land. Spirits. Masks. Piecing together the culture.


NYS Rent Regulations up for Renewal

NYS Assembly and NYS Senate to Strengthen, Renew or let Expire NYS Rent Regulation Laws

queens things to doMarch 19, 2019 / Queens Neighborhoods / Queens Government & Politics / Queens Buzz NYC.

On Saturday I attended an event discussing the upcoming legislation pending in the NYS government in Albany concerning NYS rent regulations. Currently about 2 million of the 8.5 million people who live in NYC will be affected.

The primary topic of the event was MCI or Major Capital Improvements, which is a loophole in rent regulations that allows landlords to initiate projects within their buildings and then pass along the project costs to their tenants, in such manner as to provide the landlord with an incremental revenue increase that lasts into eternity, and which encourages landlords to get creative in originating projects in an effort to raise the rents of their regulated apartments at an accelerating speed in order to grow the monthly rent beyond the legal limit of regulation.

What happens then, is that a significant number of longstanding tenants in regulated housing, are priced out of their homes and neighborhoods. Some of the displaced tenants even become homeless. This is why homelessness nearly doubled under former Mayor Michael Bloomberg - who looked the other way as NYS rent regulations were being renewed.

The event was held in the Corona neighborhood of Queens, where hundreds - if not a thousand - people came to particpate in the discussion.

I'll have more on this at a later date.


St Pat's Day Bars Irish Pubs & Restaurants Manhattan - UES, UWS, Midtown, East Village St Patrick's Day Bars & Irish Pubs & Restaurants Manhattan NYC | st pat's day bars irish pubs restaurants manhattan nyc irish pubs restaurants upper east side ues irish bars upper west side uws irish pubs bars restaurants east village manhattan nyc
St Pat's Day Bars Irish Pubs & Restaurants Manhattan - UES, UWS, Midtown, East Village St Patrick's Day Bars & Irish Pubs & Restaurants Manhattan NYC

St Pat's Day Bars, Restaurants and Historic & Irish Pubs in Manhattan

Historic Manhattan St Pat's Day Pubs, Irish Bars & Restaurants On St. Patrick's Day In NYC, UES, UWS, Midtown & Village

February 25, 2020 / Manhattan Neighborhoods NYC / Manhattan Restaurants NYC / Manhattan Buzz NYC.

St. Patrick’s Day is upon us once again and it’s time for one and all, regardless of genetic history, to don their green clothing and head out to the Irish bars for a pint of ale or to the Irish restaurants for some down home Irish fare … or something like that.

This report is about some of the Manhattan Irish bars and restaurants that have survived the test of time, and likely a might bit … more. The Irish pubs include Irish bars and restaurants from the Upper East Side [UES], the Upper West Side [UWS], Midtown Manhattan as well as the East Village, as McSorley's remains not just a pub, but a good piece of history.

Click here to read our report about the St Pat's Day Bars, Irish Pubs & Restaurants in Manhattan NYC.



Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer - State of the Borough Address NYC | manhattan borough president gale brewer manhattan nyc manhattan state of the borough address gale brewer juan gonzales democracy now professor maya wiley new school joann yoo executive director asian american federation jonathan bowles executive director center for urban future uzodinma iweala ceo african center at sotb manhattan nyc
Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer - State of the Borough Address NYC

Gale Brewer – State of the Borough Manhattan

Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer Organizes Discussion Entitled What is Urban Policy Now

February 24, 2019 / Village Neighborhood / Manhattan Politics & Government NYC / Manhattan Neighborhoods NYC / Manhattan Buzz NYC.

I arrived at the NYU Skirball Center, located along the southern perimeter of Washington Square Park, over a half hour after Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer’s State of the Borough began. As I entered, a few folks exiting, told me that the urban policy discussion had just begun.

Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer’s SOTB Address 2019

Unfortunately I had missed the first part of the schedule, which included the normal formalities, which included: 1) a short speech by the hosting organization - Lynne Brown, the Senior VP of NYU; 2) a performance by Annette A. Aguilar Bean Bloco, 3) an introduction by David Chu of Community Board 1 and 4) Gale’s introductory remarks.

gale brewer state of the borough manhattan nyc manhattan state of the boro nyc professor maya wiley new school jonathan bowles center for urban future juan gonzales democracy now joann yoo asian american federation uzodinma iweala ceo african center manhattan sotb 2019 nycAfter the panel discussion I spoke to several people inquiring what key topics were featured in Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer’s remarks. Essentially I cam away with three.

1. The most important was probably what the Manhattan Borough President’s Office was doing with Data. They were collecting and organizing data about the borough and putting it online in order to make it accessible and transparent. There were slides running in the background at the reception showing some of the data – one of which I’ve shown in this report.

2. She also talked about Public Transit – specifically the L train which will not be totally closed down this year – but rather only on the weekends in order to repair the tunnels damaged by Hurricane Sandy.

3. Gale also talked about efforts to get Technology into Public Schools. This included things like smart boards and computers and wifi? I understand that this is a ten year plan.

Manhattan Boro President SOTB Panelist #1 – Maya Wiley

As I sat down, Panelist Maya Wiley, Professor of Urban Policy and Management of the New School, was in the middle of delivering her remarks about key challenges and issues facing New York City. She focused on the disruptive and opportunistic challenges brought about by technology. Perhaps the focal point of Maya’s remarks was that the contracts of the cable companies serving New York City are due for renewal / renegotiation in 2020. She wanted to flag this, as groups interested in internet, video and telephone access and associated fees need to mobilize and become a part of the process NOW – or it will be too late.

More on this came out later in the discussion, which you can find below.



The Real National Emergency?

President Pinocchio's Pants are on Fire

February 19, 2019 / NYC Neighborhoods / NYC Politics & Government / Gotham Buzz NYC. News Analysis, Opinion & Satire.

trump pants on fire president pinocchio presidents day pinocchioI stumbled upon an episode of Jimmy Kimmel Live, from January 10, 2018, about how Donald Trump has differentiated himself from all other presidents of the United States of America - as the greatest known liar of them all.

Cut and paste this link for a short video of Jimmy Kimmel's documentary of Trump Telling His 2,000th Lie over a year ago - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qQruDaf7bKs

 

Real Presidential Greatness vs 'Greatest'

It's important to distinguish between greatest - which compares one to another - and greatness, for which there is no comparison. Greatest is an amount or extent considerably above normal, while greatness is about having won the respect for achievements in one's field. True greatness is rarely achieved by braggadocious people, because they are too busy talking to make time to do anything truly great.

Presidential Greatness. George Washington was achieved greatness by risking his life as the Commander in Chief of the colonial army during the Revolutionary War. A greatness which was made even more so, by the fact that the first president didn't try to keep / possess the title of the president beyond two terms /eight years. Abraham Lincoln, similarly risked his life, to hold the Union together, while exorcising it of the heinous institution of slavery. And Franklin Delano Roosevelt, saved democracy, capitalism and freedom, by leading the nation through the Great Depression and the Second World War.

rupert murdoch fox fake news quid pro quo president trump murdoch pinocchio pundits fox fake news pinocchio president trumpBut while the Donald may not have done anything remotely deserving the moniker of greatness, over a year ago Jimmy Kimmel identifed that Trump had already become the greatest liar who ever occupied the White House. That was over a year ago, in January of 2018, and since then the Trump has continued onward with his train of lies.

 

President Pinocchio Supported by Murdoch's Fox News Pinocchio Pundits

But to be fair, Trump likely could not have come up with so many different lies to tell, without the help of multi-billionaire, global propagandist, Keith Rupert Murdoch, and his mass media mendacity machine.

The Murdoch propaganda machine includes outlets like Fox News and their portfolio of Pinocchio pundits, the Wall Street Journal and the NY Post.

Murdoch appears to have benefitted greatly from the Trump presidency, via 1) huge tax cuts for the wealthy, 2) Trump military action in Syria where Murdoch owns part of Genie Energy with former VP Dick Cheney and several other robber barons, 3) huge Fox News ratings wins due in part to the Donald's Crazy Town [name of a book by Bob Woodward about the Trump Administration] and last but not least 4) Department of Justice and FCC approval of Murdoch's inverted takeover of Disney / ABC which will soon gives Murdoch control of about half of America's broadcast news.

5 of President Pinocchio's Biggest Lies Since 7/2018

Since Kimmel's video posted in January of 2018, Trump has continued telling many lies - including some very, very big ones. Here are five of Trump's biggest lies between July 2018 and today, including a brief analysis of the impact.


Manhattan Valentines Day Restaurants - Manhattan Romantic Restaurants Manhattan NYC | valentines restaurants manhattan nyc valentines day restaurants upper east side ues upper west side valentines day restaurants midtown east village soho valentines restaurants
Manhattan Valentines Day Restaurants - Manhattan Romantic Restaurants Manhattan NYC

Valentine's Day Restaurants In Manhattan

Manhattan Romantic Restaurants For Valentines Day in Manhattan on the Upper East Side, Upper West Side, Midtown, East Village, West Village, SoHo, Tribeca & the Lower East Side

February 4, 2020 / Manhattan Neighborhoods NYC / Manhattan Restaurants NYC / Manhattan Buzz NYC.

Valentine's Day is less than two weeks away. It's a good time to let your loved one know you care. Flowers, gifts and dinner are always welcome treats, and / or some thoughtful gesture that shows that the lady [or man] you're with still means a lot to you.

It's generally hard to make restaurant reservations on short notice at a romantic Manhattan restaurant on Valentine's Day, and sometimes it's difficult to make them for the weekend preceding Valentine's Day. So if you're thinking about doing something this Valentine's Day for dinner on the Upper East Side, Upper West Side, Midtown or East Village; it's best to do your research early, and call a week or at least a few days ahead to make the reservations.

Valentine's Day History - Romantic Restaurants In Manhattan

The origins of Valentine's Day are not well documented. It's believed to have been named after Saint Valentine who was apparently a Catholic martyr who died over 1500 years ago. Today the holiday is not associated with religion so much as flowers, candies, cards and romantic dinners. And the holiday spokesperson is now Cupid, a Roman god of desire, and quite a mischief maker.

Click this link to view a brief guide of Manhattan Valentine's Day restaurants - Manhattan NYC where you will find links to Manhattan restaurants we've visited in the past or have reviewed. The restaurants we've reviewed include a mix of high, medium and budget priced restaurants that are spread throughout the borough and offer a large variety of ethnic cuisines. Enjoy.



Who is that Fearless Girl?

The Statue of the Fearless Girl was Moved out of Harms Way - from Staring Down the Charging Wall St Bull - to the NYSE

January 29, 2019 / Manhattan Social Issues / Manhattan Neighborhoods / Manhattan Buzz NYC.

manhattan social issues manhattan womens movement manhattan nyc

Over the holidays I ventured down to the New York Stock Exchange at 11 Wall Street [and Broad St] to see the big Christmas tree in front of the Exchange. It was the Sunday before Christmas and there was a fair number of tourists out and about, doing the same.

In addition to viewing the world renowned New York Stock Exchange and the large Christmas tree adorning it, I came across the bronze statue of the Fearless Girl. I'd seen the Fearless Girl earlier in the year, standing in front to the Charging Bull [sometimes referred to as the Wall Street Bull] in the Bowling Green Triangle, where Whitehall Street splits from Broadway.

 

Who is the Fearless Girl on Wall Street?

While observing the Fearless Girl in her old spot, she seemed somewhat ignored by the people having their photos taken around the Charging Bull which seemed to overshadow her. But this was only partially true, as the Fearless Girl went viral and generated quite a bit of conversation.

In her new spot, which the Fearless Girl moved to this past November [2018], she's out from under the shadow of the old Charging Wall Street Bull and has come into her own ... although many of us visiting that day [everyone I asked] didn't really understand the significance of her statuesque presence. So one day after I returned home, I did a little research to see what the little girl statue was all about.

 

The Story Began on Wall Street in 1989 when an Italian Artist Unloaded a Three Ton Bull & Rode Away

According to Wikipedia Arturo di Modica is an Italian artist / sculptor who moved here in 1973 and eventually became an American citizen. In 1989 he installed the Charging Bull in front of the New York Stock Exchange without permission. It reportedly cost him $350,000 to create, and weighs three tons. But it seems the artist's promotional effort worked, as it has become the work by which Arturo di Modica is most well known. He reportedly says the bull is a symbol of strength and determination, but to many it is seen as a symbol of the power hungry greed of Wall Street

.

The Fearless Girl Arrived in March 2017, Riding the Wave of the Women's Movement

manhattan social issues manhattan womens movement manhattan nycThe Fearless Girl was the promotional brainchild of McCann New York, an advertising agency. Their client State Street Global Advisors had launched a gender diversity fund in March 2016, comprised of companies that had a high percentage of women in senior management positions and / or women on their boards. The fund goes by the symbol SHE.

According to Wikipedia, on March 7, 2017 the Fearless Girl was installed in front of the Charging Bull. Originally the appearance of the Fearless Girl was reportedly going to run for a week, but due to popular demand [she went viral - ad agency?] her stay was extended to a month, then to the end of the year [2017].

Apparently Charging Bull artists, Arturo di Modica, protested that the placement of the Fearless Girl next to his bull, detracted from his sculpture. After di Modica had dropped the Charging Bull, it was eventually licensed / leased by the City of New York.

Eventually the Fearless Girl was moved away from the Charging Bull to her current location in November of 2018, and we see that both sculptures appear happy with the separation agreement / settlement.

 

The Fearless Girl gets Results?

An online publication from New Zealand [www.stuff.co.nz] reported that as of the first year anniversary of the Fearless Girl placement [March 7, 2018], State Street Global Advisors said that of the 787 all-male boards it lobbied, to add one or more females to their boards, 152 did so, and another 34 were contemplating it.

Artist Kristen Visbal created the Fearless Girl. The Fearless Girl is made of bronze and weighs 250 lbs and stands four feet, two inches tall. In her first year of existence, the Fearless Girl generated over $7 million of advertising / news awareness, according to a March 2018 Bloomberg report.

I looked up the price chart for the State Street Global Advisors SHE fund to see how it was faring. At present it looks like the SHE fund represented by the Fearless Girl is lagging behind the S&P 500 over a comparable time frame - see charts above. About six months ago SHE was tracking much closer to the S&P 500 in performance.

While markets and funds may rise and fall - one of the few things in life that unrelentingly continues is change. So as we all move forward into the unknown abyss of time, it's worth keeping in mind the words of FDR, who said that, "The only thing we have to fear, is fear itself."


De Blasio Delivers State of the City Address 2019

The Mayor Recounts a Year of Accomplishment & Seems to Push the Envelope

mayor bill de blasio state of the city address 2019January 22, 2019 / Upper West Side Neighborhood / NYC Government & Politics / Manhattan Neighborhoods NYC / Gotham Buzz NYC.

On Thursday, January 10th, Mayor Bill de Blasio delivered his fifth State of the City Address at Symphony Space on the Upper West Side. To date the Mayor has delivered the address in three of the five boroughs, and this was the third delivered in Manhattan [at Apollo Theater in Harlem in 2017 and Baruch in 2015]. He delivered the third address in 2016 at Lehman College in the Bedford Park neighborhood of the Bronx and his fourth at Kings Theatre in the Flatbush Ditmas neighborhood of Brooklyn in 2018. Queens and Staten Island have yet to host the Mayor’s State of the City Address, but he has a couple more years in which to make that happen, should he choose to do deliver his address in all five boroughs.

I arrived on a cold January morning. There was a crowd lined up outside, waiting to pass through security, even though it was well over a half hour before the address was to begin. Inside there was a large crowd mingling, and eventually it looked like it was a full house.

There were the usual warm up speeches and performances, including the Invocation by the NYPD Chaplain, Rabbi Alvin Kass, the singing of ‘God Bless America’ by NYFD vocalist Regina Wilson and an introductory speech by the First Lady Chirlane McCray.


Luke's Lobster House in Downtown NYC

Luke's Lobster House is a Hole-in-the-Wall Find near Wall Street

manhattan things to do manhattanJanuary 14, 2019 / Downtown Manhattan Neighborhood NYC / Manhattan Restaurants / Manhattan Buzz NYC.

Over the holidays I spent a fair bit of time in downtown Manhattan with out-of-town guests, who are expanding their interest in one of America's oldest seafaring towns ... Manhattan.

We visited the large Christmas tree on Wall Street in front of the NY Stock Exchange and then headed for a mid afternoon bite to eat at Luke's Lobster House at 26 South William Street between Broad and Beaver street. Luke's isn't exactly an ancient restaurant of Downtown NYC - since 2011 - but it has the look and feel of something that's been around much longer.

 

Luke's Lobster House in the Financial District or FiDi NYC

manhattan things to do manhattanWe walked in on a cold winter afternoon and there were a few parties sitting at several of the tables in the small shop. Along the side wall near the back of the small lobster house is a very simple menu, with three different combination plates in three different flavors [lobster, crab & shrimp], salad, soups [clam or lobster], sides [cod fries, slaw] and drinks [none alcoholic]. The one roll, plus side, plus drink runs from $12 to$19.

According to the Luke's Lobster website, the owner, Luke Holden, hails from Maine, from where he sources his catch. He opened a Luke's Lobster in the Village in 2009 and has been expanding ever since. The site tells us that Luke's Lobster has multiple restaurants in Manhattan, one in Brooklyn, as well as restaurants in Maine, Washington D.C., Miami, Boston, Chicago, Philadelphia, Las Vegas, Taiwan and Japan.

Luke sources many of its lobsters through a Maine cooperative, of which Luke's is a member, so he knows what he's serving his customers. And that diligence was borne out in the half lobster roll I split with one of my out-of-town guests. The lobster was a flavorful, tender, juicy, flaky meat inside a bun that did its job by not interfering with the subtle flavor of fresh lobster.

We drank our root beers, while enjoying the light meal, and then headed on our way. Generally Luke's Lobster House in the FiDi [Financial District] of New York is open from 11 am - 7 pm daily.


The South Street Seaport adds Winterland Skating to its Recreational Offerings in FiDi Manhattan NYC | south street seaport rooftop skating rink downtown nyc winterland skating rink by brooklyn bridge south st seaport downtown nyc neighborhood manhattan financial district fidi neighborhood manhattan nyc
The South Street Seaport adds Winterland Skating to its Recreational Offerings in FiDi Manhattan NYC

The South Street Seaport adds Winterland to its Offerings

A New Skating Rink - Winterland - Opened at the South St Seaport in December

January 6, 2019 / South St Seaport / FiDi / Downtown NYC Neighborhoods / Kids Things To Do Manhattan NYC / Manhattan Buzz NYC.

In December I spent a fair amount of time in the Downtown NYC neighborhood, including at the South Street Seaport. The South Street Seaport has been an evolving recreational and tourist destination for the past couple of decades. Some of which we have covered in recent years - see Taste of the Seaport and South St Seaport neighborhood real estate in Downtown NYC.

In the photo at right you can see skaters resting alongside the wall overlooking the East River and Brooklyn Bridge in the South Street Seaport neighborhood near the FiDi in Manhattan NYC.

 

Brief History of the South Street Seaport in Downtown NYC / FiDi

The South Street Seaport was first used by the Dutch West India Company in 1625 to dock, unload and reload ships with cargo between the new [America] and old [European] worlds. Over time it evolved as a center of port activity for NYC. In the early 1700's [Wikipedia states 1728] the South Street Seaport started becoming a central distribution point throughout the colonies for goods coming from Europe into the New World, as well as becoming a collection point for south street seaport ships 1885 schooner photo south st seaport museum fidi neighborhood downtown manhattan nycgoods coming from the colonies that were then shipped to Europe.

In 1822 the Fulton Fish market opened as a central retail space for fresh fish among other things, and in 1825 the Erie Canal opened which enabled relatively quick and inexpensive transit between most points on the Great Lakes and New York City. This transit development cemented the reputation of New York City as the nation's leading transit capital.

By the middle of the 1800's the South Street Seaport climaxed, and over the next half century the volume of passenger and goods transit declined, giving way to the piers on the west side of Manhattan along the Hudson River. The reasons for the move to the west side was the lack of space for retail and warehousing, as well as the shallow nature of the South Street Seaport harbor.

In the photo at right you can see an 1885 schooner, one of the sailing ships of the 19th century, similar to those that had once docked at the South Street Seaport in lower Manhattan in NYC.

CLICK here to view the rest of our report along with photos of the South Street Seaport neighborhood and its new rooftop Winterland skating rink.



Halloween in Manhattan

A Floating Pumpkin Flotilla on Harlem Meer

manhattan halloween nyc floating pumpkin flotilla harlem meer halloween manhattan dana discovery center kids halloween manhattan nycOctober 29, 2018 / Upper East Side Neighborhoods / Holidays in Manhattan / Manhattan Neighborhoods / Manhattan Buzz NYC.

After a cold, wet, rainy Halloween Weekend Saturday, many Manhattanites were looking to escape into the eerie fantasy world we call Halloween. Halloween is said to have originated in Ireland as a Celtic festival to ring in the New Year and celebrate the harvest, but today it's mostly an opportunity for people to dress up as someone or something else ... and free themselves of their workaday world and act out some of their pent up desires ... or something ...

Manhattan offers a banquet of Halloween event and party options. They range from river boat cruises, to rooftop parties, to haunted houses and floating pumpkin flotillas. Yes, floating pumpkin flotillas on the Harlem Meer at the Dana Discovery Center in the northeast corner of Central Park on the Upper East Side. So, having never been to it, I decided to go this year to witness the Halloween magic myself.

 

The Dana Discovery Center & Harlem Meer

manhattan halloween nyc floating pumpkin flotilla harlem meer halloween manhattan dana discovery center kids halloween manhattan nycI arrived a bit early at East 105th Street and 5th Avenue, just north of the Museum of the City of New York. I walked in through the entrance to the Conservatory and walked out of the Conservatory northern gate. From the gate I could see the Dana Discovery Center across the Harlem Meer [Harlem is a Dutch town and meer means pond in the Dutch language] and there was a dirt path running all around the pond.

It was a bit before 4 pm as I walked the path to the northern side of the pond. I landed in the area still west of the Dana Discovery Center, where there were booths set up by the NYC Parks Department. There were kids interacting with folks working the event, learning about planting pumpkins. They were given samples which they could take home with them. In another area, there were a few folks working for the Parks Department who were receiving carved out pumpkins brought by members of the audience to be included in the floating flotilla. In prior years people could carve pumpkins on site, but they discontinued that in favor of folks bringing their own pre-carved pumpkins. I've seen this elimination of on site carving at other events, so my guess is that it may have something to do with lawyers mitigating the organizers' potential liability risks.

 

Manhattan Kids Halloween in Central Park

manhattan halloween nyc floating pumpkin flotilla harlem meer halloween manhattan dana discovery center kids halloween manhattan nycThere were other stands as well, which I believe were of an arts and crafts nature. And in the distance, along the eastern side of the Dana Discovery Center there was music playing. I parked myself near the pumpkin flotilla launch pad, as that was a hive of activity, and the place to be when the flotilla launched ... or so I thought.

 

While waiting I met and conversed with several people, including a super nanny with her charge, a writer from another state in search of her own truth, a mother with her rambunctious son, a couple of very loving mulit-cultural parents with their children, and a couple of French women. Like myself they were attending the event for the first time, and we all braved the cool weather [50's], waiting for hours before the pumpkin flotilla began launching at 5.30 pm.

 

The Floating Pumpkin Flotilla Takes Flight

manhattan halloween nyc floating pumpkin flotilla harlem meer halloween manhattan dana discovery center kids halloween manhattan nycAs the flames inside the pumpkins were lit, the crowd gathered more intently, cameras flashing, all eyes upon the prize. The prize was an aesthetic of pumpkin faces shining upon the still waters of Harlem Meer, and being surrounded by a mix of the local community and the world community to witness this event. The whole flotilla would eventually be pulled behind the two kyaks around the meer beginning around 6.30 [aka dark] for about a half hour before ending.

I started walking back around the meer, as the pumpkin lighting continued, shooting photos along the way. The crowd was largely quiet, speaking in low conversational tones, between themselves. I eventually made my way back through the gate to 5th Avenue where I met a woman while waiting for a southbound bus. She told me she was a hairdresser back in the day and that she used to take her kids camping along the waterside of Harlem Meer. She told me that, "Things have changed a lot since then." and that "The biggest changes came after 911."

Ah, yes, it was a simpler time. But then again so is the whole notion of the lighting up a few dozen pumpkin faces, and dragging them behind a kyak on a pond - attracting literally a thousand or more people to watch the event - seems kind of simple too.

I hope you had or will have a Happy Halloween.


The Pulaski Parade, Kociuszko Bridge & Polish Parade in NYC

Two Great Polish Generals in American Revolutionary War & One Great Polish Parade in NYC

October 22, 2018 / Midtown Manhattan NYC / Manhattan Parades NYC / Manhattan Buzz NYC.

On Sunday, October 7, 2018 the Pulaski Parade marched again up 5th Avenue from 36th to 56th Street. The parade began in 1936, some 82 years ago, to honor the contributions of General Casimir [also Kazimierz] Pulaski to the American Revolutionary War effort. The date for the Pulaski Memorial Day Parade is on the anniversary of his death, two days following the failed siege of Savannah, Georgia in 1779.

Polish Independence Centennial 1918 - 2018

The theme this year celebrated the 100th anniversary of Polish independence, which came about following the end of World War I on November 11th, 1918. That day was once called Armistice Day, when the fighting of WWI ceased, but today it is better known as Veterans Day. In the 123 years prior to the end of WWI, Poland – the home of the Polish people, had been partitioned by Russia, Prussia [which is modern day Germany] and Austria.

Polish Serfs, Jews & Burghers Struggled under Czars

The exploitative Czars of Russia - who lived in luxury while the Polish and Russian serfs lived lives in poverty – were deposed in the Russian Revolutions of 1917, which erupted during WWI. The end of the tsars and WWI resulted in Polish freedom, just as 123 years earlier the Czar Catherine the Great’s diplomatic and war victories from 1792 – 1796, led to the partitioning and subjugating of Poland by its three neighbors.

These days, in both Poland and Russia, things seem to be going backwards. Democratic liberties, rights and rule of law seem imperiled, which is why parades, statues and other reminders of the past can help us stay vigilant to the tricks of those who would undermine the rule of law and democracy in order to take everything for themselves.

The Pulaski Parade - Polish Culture on the 5th Avenue Stage

The Pulaski Parade in NYC features Polish dancers, musicians, schools and organizations, the armed services and government officials, so one might say it’s as much a parade about Polish culture in America, as it is about General Pulaski. General Pulaski served with the American Continental Army beginning in 1777 until he died at the Battle of Savannah on October 11, 1779.

As a student of history, I was heartened to see a strong showing for another great Polish general who served our nation during the American Revolutionary War – General Tadeusz Kociuszko. There’s a bridge connecting Brooklyn and Queens that continues to bear his name and he is one of the less sung heroes of the American Revolution, perhaps because he was also something of an Abolitionist.

Tadeusz Kociuszko - Polish American Revolutionary War General

There’s a 2015 program entitled Tadeusz Kociuszko Polish Hero, created by Peasant Prince Productions, LLC which covered the life of Kociuszko. In it they tell us that American Founding Father, President Thomas Jefferson was named the executor of Kociuszko’s Will. They go on to note that in 1817 Kociuszko’s dying wishes were that his wealth would be used to free, educate and empower as many slaves as the wealth Kociuszko left behind would enable. But they found no evidence of Jefferson ever executing the Will and disputes regarding it went on into the 1860’s.

This historical footnote may help explain why Kociuszko was sidelined in the historical accounts of the times. It’s well documented that Kociuszko was one of the few well trained military leaders in the Continental Army of the colonists in 1776, when American demanded their independence from the most powerful nation on the planet. And it was Kociuszko’s use of science and engineering skills that enabled the American Revolutionaries to continually thwart their better equipped, better trained, far more powerful enemies - the British monarchy – and ultimately prevail.

Kociuszko Scientific Military Tactics were a Key to Victory

When Kociuszko started with the colonists he was instrumental in helping them prevent the British from controlling the Hudson River. Kociuszko’s military training motivated him to identify and secure the West Point, which is still in use today as a military training academy [established by Jefferson in 1802]. The Hudson was believed to be the most important American waterway at the time, and having control of it would have enabled the British to split the New England states from the rest of the colonies – essentially dividing the nation [at the time] in half.

Kociuszko’s advice was previously ignored by his superiors at Fort Ticonderoga, when he warned the general to secure a difficult to secure high point overlooking the fort. Because that point was not secured, the British handily beat the Americans. Kociuszko helped the Americans escape, building rafts and erecting obstacles along the way to slow the British.

In 1777, Kociuszko advised the Americans to secure the surrounding hills, which they did this time upon General George Washington’s insistence. The British lost that battle and it was believed to be instrumental in enabling America to secure French support, as the French now believed an American victory was possible.

Kociuszko outlined similar fortifications for West Point, to which Benedict Donald was given command in July 1780. In September of 1780 Benedict Donald, subsequently tried to sell Kociuszko’s defense plans to the British, but the British agent was captured and the plan exposed. The British agent was hanged and Benedict Donald escaped and became a British officer. It is said that he slaughtered a surrendered group of colonists before the war ended. King George is said to have liked him [Benedict Donald]. Today, there still stands a statue at West Point of Tadeusz Kociuszko.

Kociuszko also Fought for Serfs, Jews, Burghers & African Americans

Jefferson reportedly wrote that Kociuszko was one of the purest idealists he’d ever met. In fact Kociuszko not only fought for the American colonists, but also for the serfs, Jews and burghers of Poland. And he was color blind in America, having befriended and worked with a number of African Americans [as well as what he did in his last Will & Testment].

So it was nice to see that there were groups in the Pulaski Memorial Day Parade also carrying the torch for General Kociuszko, another Polish general who also fought for equality, liberty & justice for all – in the Pulaski Day Parade in NYC.

Both of these generals are still missed and they remind us of how new the existence of real democracy is, how hard democracy is to win, and as history has shown us – how easy independence is to lose – if one is not vigilant to the aggressive, deceptive efforts of those who already have so much, to take even more from the rest of us.

Dziękuję bardzo za przeczytanie tego. Thank you for taking the time to read this.


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.



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.


SummerStage

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.


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.

 


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.


Tribeca Film Festival Premieres Documentary Entitled The Fourth Estate | tribeca film festival premieres documentary film the fourth estate of nyt coverage of donald trump presidency manhattan nyc
Tribeca Film Festival Premieres Documentary Entitled The Fourth Estate

The Tribeca Film Festival on its Closing Night

Tribeca Film Festival ended with a Documentary - 4th Estate

May 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.

CLICK here to read the rest of our report on the Tribeca Film Festival premiere of The Fourth Estate film documentary about the NY Times coverage of Donald Trump.



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.


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Farmers Markets & Street Fairs in Manhattan

manhattan street fairs March 25, 2019 / 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.


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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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