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This Weekend Things To Do NYC

Making the Transition Back Toward Pre-Pandemic Lifestyle

nyc things to do manhattan queens bronx brooklyn staten island things to do nycJanuary 22, 2021 / NYC Neighborhoods / Things To Do NYC / News Analysis & Opinion / Gotham Buzz NYC.

Weather. The temperature highs will be in the low to mid 30's and the temperature lows will be in the low to mid 20's. It will be dry, with the humidity fairly stable all weekend at about 40% and no precipitation is in the forecast. The wind will range between 7 - 17 mph.

The photo at right was taken in Little Italy this week. Many of the restaurants have set up outdoor dining to accommodate guests.

I ventured out for dinner this week and it's not as uncomfortable as it looks, especially if you bring along what football fans know of as a seat warmer [a pad to sit on].


CoVid Continues, as do the Vaccinations, buts ...

nyc things to do manhattan queens bronx brooklyn staten island things to do nycIn NYC there was some good news, in that vaccinations have caught up to the supply. But the bad news is that the Trump vaccination plan didn't exist, and the federal government is unable to live up to its commitment on vaccine supplies. I guess the Donald was too busy trying to use what seemed his fraudulent stop the steal fundraising promotion to be bothered with trying to prevent the rapid rise in deaths we've seen since CoVid arrived here about a year ago.

But we now have a new president who, unlike his predecessor, is qualified for the job. And who appears to be interested in doing the job - in lieu of making headlines every day. I think things will get sorted out in the next few months and by sometime in the summer, we should be moving toward the post pandemic normal.

But that said, beware, as the British Prime Minister said that the new strain of Corona Virus - first detected in his nation - spreads 50% - 70% more easily and is somewhere between 20% - 30% more deadly.

NYS has three boroughs right now that are testing at 9% - Queens, Staten Island and the Bronx - but Brooklyn and Manhattan are testing well below that, so the NYC average is about 6% and appears to be flattening again, as the post holiday surge abates.

The photo at right was taken in Chinatown this week.


Things To Do This Weekend in NYC

nyc things to do manhattan queens bronx brooklyn staten island things to do nycNew Yorkers are chomping at the bit to return to a post pandemic normal. As shown in some of the December posts, many of the larger cultural venues have come back, albeit with abbreviated hours and at CoVid adjusted capacity, mostly requiring reservations.

But some of the smaller venues are also beginning to arise. We've seen a couple of art galleries - Plaxall in Queens and another in Brooklyn - both hosted art openings / exhibits within the past month. And there's a lot of online activity as well, as the world migrates to bubble social infrastructure.

The photo at right was taken in SoHo this week.

More coming Saturday on things to do this weekend in the five boroughs of NYC.

Trump Character Defined by Racism & Violence?

Trump Reportedly Committed a Violent Act at an Early Age & Appears to have Embraced Racism & Incited Violence Numerous Times Since ...

ted cruz election objections seem a fundraising scamJanuary 19, 2021 / US Politics / NYC Neighborhoods / News Analysis & Opinion / Gotham Buzz NYC. 


Trump Condemns Violence - The Empty Words of a Spiteful Man?

A full week after there was a riot at the Capitol - that Donald Trump helped promote, spoke at along with his small coterie of family and friends, and then departed to watch on TV - he made the following statement, as he was being impeached for the second time by Congress.

“I unequivocally condemn the violence that we saw last week ... Mob violence goes against everything I believe in and everything our movement stands for. No true supporter of mine could ever endorse political violence.”

One thing we know for certain is that Donald Trump is one of the world's greatest liars, and so it was that on January 13th, 2021 - just a week before his presidency was to end - he told one of his most unbelieveable lies - that he's against violence. The hollow ring in his words was heard round the world.

It's a well known adage that it's best to measure a man by his deeds - not his words. And with Donald Trump that advice is especially relevant. Donald Trump's life is a scatter book of a bit of violence he committed himself, but mostly which he appears to have incited others to do.


Fred & Donald Trump's History Appears Racist

According to Trump's Art of the Deal, he punched out his second grade music teacher. I reckon that was an early sign of an unstable, disrespectful and / or violent personality. He also mentions in that book that he stole his younger brother's building blocks, which Trump credits as an early sign of his real estate development skills, but which I think was an early sign of his cheating of others, by bullying [note it was his younger brother].

Some of Trump's violent tendencies appear to be racially motivated. Donald's father, Fred Trump, was arrested at the age of 21 in Jamaica Queens in 1927 in connection with a KKK rally that erupted into a brawl with the police. While no account I saw definitively linked Trump as an active member of the KKK, none absolved him of participation either.

But if we fast forward to the 1960's and 1970's we find a 1973 lawsuit charging the Trumps with discriminating against Blacks and Puerto Ricans. In various reports it's alleged that when Blacks or Puerto Ricans came looking for an apartment, that they were to be told the rents were twice what they actually were and / or that there weren't any vacancies. In 1975 the lawsuit was settled with no admission of wrongdoing by the Trumps, but a third party was required to act as intermediary to vet prospective tenants going forward - not the Trumps. The non-admission of guilt was a way for the government to settle such suits, remedy the complaint, and move on.


Trump Racism & Violence - Starts with Dog Whistles - Coded Messaging to Other Racists

It appears the Donald has periodically used proxies or substitutes to express his racism. These are oftentimes referred to as dog whistles. Wikipedia defines a dog whistle as,

"... the use of coded or suggestive language in political messaging to garner support from a particular group without provoking opposition. The concept is named for ultrasonic dog whistles used in shepherding ..."

Trump appears to have been using dog whistles for decades, oftentimes in tandem with Australian born billionaire Rupert Murdoch's Fox News and NY Post. One of the first instances was in 1989 when Trump took out a full page ad in the four largest NYC newspapers urging the death penalty. The June 2019 Atlantic Monthly tells us,

" ... The so-called Central Park Five were a group of black and Latino teens who were accused—wrongly—of raping a white woman in Central Park on April 19, 1989. Donald Trump took out full-page ads in all four major New York newspapers to argue that perpetrators of crimes such as this one “should be forced to suffer” and “be executed.”

A little more than a decade later Trump championed the birther claims against then president Barack Obama. The June 2019 Atlantic Monthly story tells us that Trump attacked Obama at a February 2011 CPAC Conference saying,

"... Our current president came out of nowhere, came out of nowhere … The people who went to school with him—they never saw him; they don’t know who he is...”

The Atlantic story tells us that,

“Birtherism” had been festering for several years before Trump embraced it—supplanting other proponents and becoming its most prominent advocate. In March, on The View [ABC], Trump called on Obama to show his birth certificate. In April, he said that he had dispatched a team of investigators to Hawaii to search for Obama’s birth records ...

"Anti-Muslim sentiment animated Trump’s birtherism campaign. He said of Obama on The Laura Ingraham Show [on Fox News] in March 2011: “He doesn’t have a birth certificate, or if he does, there’s something on that certificate that is very bad for him. Now, somebody told me—and I have no idea whether this is bad for him or not, but perhaps it would be—that where it says ‘religion,’ it might have ‘Muslim.’ ” 


Trump Escalates Attacking Immigrants, Like InfoWars Conspiracy Theorist Alex Jones Escalated his Conspiracies from 911 to Sandy Hook to Pizzagate

As an entertainer, Donald Trump made a number of inappropriate comments that would be summarily dismissed. But as a candidate for president, and eventually as president, what Trump said was heard around the nation ... and around the world. Trump, like Alex Jones and others like them, seems to embolden the worst elements in our society and summon the worst elements of their human nature, by telling false or distorted narratives, to mobilize the mindless masses around phony patriotism or religious fanaticism to victimize a minority [minorities] and to threaten those who would stand up against him / them.

His campaign started on June 16, 2015 with the following phrase,

"... When Mexico sends its people, they’re not sending their best. They’re not sending you ... They’re sending people that have lots of problems, and they’re bringing those problems with us. They’re bringing drugs. They’re bringing crime. They’re rapists. And some, I assume, are good people ..."

And then what began seemed to me to look like cause and effect. A January 9, 2021 report by Vox provided the following,

" ... August 19, 2015: Two Boston brothers invoked Trump when they were arrested for urinating on a homeless man and beating him with a metal pipe. While in custody, one of the brothers told the police, “Trump was right. All of these illegals need to be deported.” The 58-year-old Mexican American they assaulted was a permanent US resident..."

The Vox story provides many instances of what appears Trump's incitement of violence from 2015 to the Capitol Riot on January 6, 2021. There were two more instances in the Fall of 2015 where protesters at Trump rallies get roughed up. The examples included Trump screeching, “Get him the hell out of here! Get him out of here! Throw him out!” at Black Lives Matter activist Mercutio Southall Jr. at a November 21, 2015 rally in Birmingham, Alabama. And Trump was quoted as saying, “be a little more violent” as pro-immigration protesters were thrown out of a Miami, Florida rally on October 23rd.


The Racist & Violent Candidacy of Donald J. Trump 2016?

ted cruz election objections seem a fundraising scamSo skirmishes frequently accompanied Trump rallies. Peaceful protesters would bravely appear at Trump rallies to have their voices heard. And they would be roughed up as they were escorted out. In March 2016 this culminated in three protesters filing a lawsuit against Trump for inciting a riot following a March 1, 2016 rally in Louisville, Kentucky. According to Vox, in April 2017 a federal judge ruled that their claims were valid since there was sufficent evidence to prove that their injuries were the direct and proximate result of Trump's comments. In September of 2018 the suit was dismissed based on the First Amendment protection given to candidates. In December of 2016 Megyn Kelly a Fox News commentator that didn't cotton to Trump, said she was receiving death threats from Trump supporters, which she believed was incited by Trump social media facilitator, Dan Scavino.


The Racist & Violent Presidency of Donald J. Trump & Fox News

Trump was inaugurated on January 20, 2017 and within a week had signed an Executive Order banning travel into the U.S. by nationals of numerous Muslim nations.

This was just the beginning of what seemed to be four years of the Donald's efforts to divide the nation through racism and sexism during his presidency.

A Few Things To Do This Weekend NYC

MLK Day Weekend, Art Opening Reception, Moynihan Station, Mass Transit Usage Steady, CoVid Rages, Vaccinations Ramp up but Snafu, Divergent Retirement Trends NYPD & Teachers, Ongoing White Collar Workplace Shift & Capitol Riot Fallout

January 15, 2021 / US Politics / NYC Neighborhoods / News Analysis & Opinion / Gotham Buzz NYC. 

ted cruz election objections seem a fundraising scamWeather.  The temperature highs will be in the mid 40’s and the temperature lows in the mid 30’s except on Friday when the high and the low will both be in the mid 40’s.  Winds will range between 11 – 17 mph throughout the weekend.  There’s a forecast for about an inch of rain on Friday, most of which will fall after 7 pm. The rest of the weekend is clear.  Humidity will be around 80% on Friday, in the high 60’s on Saturday and in the low 60’s on Sunday.


Things To Do This Weekend in NYC / Mass Transit

The Moynihan Train Station across from Penn Station / Madison Square Garden in Manhattan opened on January 1st, 2021. The roof is interesting to see, while I didn’t find the rest of it so awe inspiring.

Queens Local News.  There was a fire last Saturday off Main Street near 37th Avenue in Flushing, Queens where a number of retail store fronts were burned out.

In Brooklyn there’s an opening art reception on Saturday between 5.30 – 8 pm at FiveMyles at 558 St Johns Place in Brooklyn.  Adherence to CDC CoVid guidelines is required.

Public Mass Transit Usage.  Bus ridership was down 50% - 60% this past week, while subway ridership was down 66% - 70%.  I rode the rails last weekend and the cars were fuller than I’ve seen them since the pandemic began.


Nationally CoVid Raging like a California Wildfire

An estimated 80 plus million Americans traveled over the holidays.  That compares to about 50 million over the Thanksgiving holiday.  But to be fair, the Thanksgiving holiday is shorter.  Nonetheless that’s a lot of travelers and this is believed to have contributed to the uptick in Corona Virus infections in the post holiday season.

The economy appears to be slowing down again, amidst the raging CoVid pandemic which continues to break new highs in those who test positive, the use of hospital beds and deaths nationwide.  We’re doing far better in NYC and NYS than the nation as a whole, where the testing positives appear to be receding from the post holiday highs.  NYC is at about 8% and NYS between 6%, while the nation as a whole is at about 12% positive tests.  Queens has the lowest number of hospital beds per capita in the nation.


CoVid Vaccination Supply, Demand & Administration

CoVid vaccinations are picking up steam with about 11 million vaccinated nationwide.  About one million doses of the vaccine have been administered in NYS, of which about 10% were second doses.  In NYC a number of new 24/7 vaccination destinations opened this week, including the Javits Center in Manhattan, a center at CitiField will soon open in Queens, the Brooklyn Army Terminal, the Bathgate Contract Postal Station in the Claremont section of the Bronx and Health & Hospitals Vanderbilt Clinic on Staten Island.  About 75% of the vaccines received have already been administered.  Unfortunately, NYS had been receiving about 300,000 doses per week, but that allocation reportedly fell by 50,000 for the coming week.  There appears to be some snafu in the supply chain / operations management of the vaccine rollout.

The Mayor expects to open in the neighborhood of 160 vaccination sites, but it now seems that the demand for the vaccine will outstrip the supply in the coming weeks, as most of the doses scheduled for next week have already been planned.  Here’s a link to the NYC CoVid vaccine finder page where you input your zip code to find distribution / administration sites near you so you can rsvp for an appointment.

I think it’s worth reminding folks that mass transit subways are unavailable from 1 am – 5 am daily, so having 24/7 is only available to those who can afford autos and taxis.  Based on a recent CoVid map of the city, it appears the most highly infected areas of the city are southeast Brooklyn, Staten Island, southeast Queens and the Bronx.

The Population of Eligible Vaccine Recipients Grows

First responders, particularly healthcare workers were slated to be first in line for the vaccine, followed by other first responders including teachers, policepersons, firepersons and mass transit [MTA] workers.  Government officials also opened up the vaccine to folks over the age of 75, and then made a second adjustment, opening it up to anyone 65 and older.  It appears that soon-to-be former president Trump may have played a jedi mind trick on America’s firemen, as according to a Uniformed Firefighters Association survey referenced in a December 7, 2020 ABC News report, over half of the NY Fire Department appears hesitant to take the vaccine.

Stay Disciplined and Stay Safe – We’re Getting There

We can’t get the economy rolling again and resume a somewhat normal life until we get this CoVid pandemic back under control.  The vaccinations are going to help, but most estimates predict that it won’t be until sometime between early to late summer before we’re in a position to possibly normalize again.  So the big three – masks, social distancing and hands washing - are going to have to stay in effect for many more months.  Just acknowledging that allows one to mentally prepare oneself, knowing that within the next 6 – 12 months, we should be in a better place.

As a point of context, in 1947, after a single case of smallpox had been detected, NYC administered six million vaccines in a month. 

What Kind of Shot in the Arm does National Economy Really Need?

Macy’s reported that it plans to close 45 of its stores nationwide by mid 2021. And while retail sales the past three months have been declining month over month by low single digits – which has been widely reported - nobody seems to be reporting the good news, which is that retail sales are up 5.7%, 4.1% and 6.3% year over year for the months of October, November and December respectively. 

Is this mass media failure to provide real context corporate media manipulation to encourage lawmakers to spend big on stimulus – or just lazy corporate broadcast media reporting or both?  Congress did pass a nearly $1 trillion stimulus bill less than a month ago, so fiscal stimulus is on the way. 

The unemployment numbers rose 150,000 to 950,000 after levelling off in the 700,000 - 800,000 range the past few weeks.  For the month of December, the economy lost 150,000 jobs – not gained them.  The restaurant, hotel, entertainment, bricks n’ mortar retail, travel and hospitality businesses continue to be those hardest hit. But is the new stimulus bill going to put people back to work – or do another Donald dunce and pay them to stay home?

Divergent Trends: NYC Teachers & Police Retirements

In NYC in 2020 teachers in policemen have been retiring in higher than usual numbers.  About 1,500 NYC public school teachers retired in the Fall of 2020, which is up 54% vs the prior year. 
NYC Government Employee Retirements Decline & Accelerate – Teachers & Policepersons

About 2,400 police officers filed for retirement through the first week of October of 2020, which was up somewhere between 20% – 25% versus 2019.  CoVid and the social unrest were likely the key factors for the increase.  I heard a radio report that said that NYC public school teacher retirements were up significantly, but I could not find any report online to confirm that.  Education Week did a survey for the six months ending September 2020, where they report most teacher retirements occur, and NYC Public School teacher retirements were DOWN 20% to 1,100 for that six month period.  

Most White-Collar Workers Continue Working from Home

According to various studies, before the pandemic white-collar workers did less than 10% of their work from home.  At the height of the pandemic [late Spring / early Summer 2020] white collar work from home rose to above 60%.  Now white-collar workers are reportedly still doing 50% of their work from home, while only between 10% - 30% of them have returned to the office full time. Dallas, Texas is reportedly leading the nation in white collar workers returning to the office, with about 30% of them said to be back in place [could not confirm].

New Yorkers are reportedly a billion dollars behind in rent.

Capitol Riot Fallout Loser – Following Voters' Firing of Trump [Unemployed], he goes on a Rampage, which Culminates in Supporters' Violence [Criminals], is Subsequently Banned from Social Media & will Lose his Residence [Eviction] within the Week

After being fired from his job by the American people in November, Trump’s rampage resulted in a riot at the Capitol last week, where five people - including two in law enforcement and one ex-military gone wild - lost their lives. Yesterday Trump put out a video where he said he didn’t condone violence, but that doesn’t fit into the reality of all of the things he’s been saying these past five years.  So like shock jock Alex Jones similar phony act of contrition, Trump’s statement had a hollow ring to it, as did wife Melania’s public statement, where she doesn’t acknowledge the Donald’s role in inciting the riot.  And neither of them acknowledged President-elect Biden’s win.

So, it’s time for the White House staff to take out the white trash.  Only five more days of the disastrous presidential hoax, that Trump would ‘Make America Great Again’.  He may have been a terrible president, but he’s sure seems like a super con man.

Trump Loses Social Media Platforms to Spew his Venom

Due to the Capitol Riot violence, Donald Trump’s Twitter and Facebook and YouTube accounts were closed.  The Twitter account is closed permanently, after Trump had tweeted 57,000 times.  They posted a public explanation for the decision which you can read by copying and pasting this link.

Trump Loses Business & Lending Sources Because of his Bad Behavior

Trump also reportedly golfed over 400 times, spending about 300 days of his Administration on the golf course.  Half of those days were at Trump owned properties. Unfortunately for him, the PGA ended its deal to use Trump’s Jersey golf course for their tournament.  The City of New York is also in the process of cancelling its contracts with him for management of the ice rink and carousel concessions in Central Park, and also working to end relations related to his golf course in the Bronx.

Deustche Bank said it would not be doing any more business with the Donald going forward.  They have $300 million in outstanding loans and were one of the few banks willing to do business with Trump following his four / six bankruptcies. Far smaller players, Signature Bank and a local Florida bank called Professional Bank, also said they would not be going any future business with Trump.

And a number of very large American corporations are reviewing their political donations programs in light of the Capitol Riots. 

It’s impossible at this point to know how much of these moves are publicity ploys versus real or meaningful change.

Personalization of Power Comparisons - Republicans’ Fealty to Trump & Nazis’ Loyalty to Hitler / Trump & Nixon

In spite of the insurrection, most Republicans still appear to remain mostly loyal to the Donald.  It remains uncertain as to whether this is because of a genetic spine removing mutation that has taken place in the Republican party, or that they have abandoned their oath to uphold the U.S. Constitution and keep their promise to the American people.  No amount of phony patriotic platitudes, flag waving and Bible toting theatrics will be able to hide who these people really are going forward. 

Trump recoiled at being compared to Nixon, while Fox News recoils at the comparisons of Trump to Hitler. The latter is possibly because the analogy to Hitler casts their boss, Rupert Murdoch, in the light of Goebbels.  Hitler was said to have had a hypnotic effect on the German people – and as far as I can tell, the only way people could continue believing that Trump making America great - is if they were mesmerized. 

Spineless Senators Symptomatic of a Diseased Republican Party & a Faltering Democracy

Trump was impeached for a second time.  This time ten Republicans, showed some backbone, and joined their Democratic colleagues to impeach the Donald. 

But speaking of spines, I enjoyed seeing Lindsey Graham board Air Force One with Trump on Tuesday, January 12, 2021.  This was less than a week after Graham - on the floor of the Senate, on national TV, after the senate had returned following the riot - said that president Trump,

“… needs to understand that his actions were the problem, not the solution … All I can say is count me out.  Enough is enough … ”

Also on Tuesday, January 12th, 2021 a New York Times story reported that Senator Mitch McConnell said that,

“… he believes President Trump committed impeachable offenses …”

The story went on to say that McConnell was pleased that the Democrats were going to impeach Trump, as that would make it easier for the Republican party to rid themselves of Trump and move on.  A day later on January 13, 2021, the Wall Street Journal reported the following,

“ … Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R., Ky.) sent a note to Republican senators on Wednesday, saying he has not made a final decision on how he would vote if President Trump's impeachment case reached the Senate …”

Who are senators Graham and McConnell looking out for? Their constituents and what's best for the nation - OR - their own political careers?

Conspiracy Theorist & Trump Supporter Alex Jones of Pizzagate, Sandy Hook & 911 Conspiracies - also Seen Inciting Folks at Capitol Riots

I saw a PBS News documentary on Alex Jones entitled the United States of Conspiracy which you can view at any time online for free.

It’s a documentary that helps shed light on some of the underlying trends that seem to be going on in our nation at this time.

Have a nice MLK Day weekend.

The President, a Former NYC Mayor, Murdoch's Fox News & the Capitol Insurrectionists

Rudy Giuliani, Nicknamed America's Mayor by Murdoch's Fox News, Appears to have Helped Incite the Band of Simpleminded Trumpsters to Insurrection

Updated January 11, 2021 from 1.8.21 / US Politics / NYC Neighborhoods / News Analysis & Opinion / Gotham Buzz NYC. 

Rising Film Star [Barat2] and Former NYC Mayor, Rudy Giuliani, appears to have devolved into something of a national freak show or farce over the past five years. Perhaps longer. But in the past few months, he's become something of a national disgrace.

ted cruz election objections seem a fundraising scamFox News seems to use nicknames for their propaganda assets, like referring to British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher as the 'Iron Lady' and President Ronald Reagan as the 'Gipper'. Rudy Giuliani seems to be yet another Fox propaganda asset and, as such, is oftentimes referred to as America's Mayor by Fox pundits.

This is not unlike how Murdoch's Fox News nicknames themselves America's Newsroom. This was a trick used by Hitler and Goebbels, using words and images to create the illusion that they, the Nazi Party [in this cae the Fox Nation with red, white and blue colors] was the same as the state - and thus represented all that was right and just. But remember - just because Murdoch's Fox News says it's so - doesn't make it so [like they used to call themselves 'Fair & Balanced' before they started fearing a lawsuit for false advertising]. But, the Australian born billionaire's overwhelming control and / or ownership of America's television media [see our special section on Murdoch and the 21st Propaganda Press on Gotham Buzz] does give him a leg up in attaching and making both good and bad labels stick to people, places and things.

ted cruz election objections seem a fundraising scamOn Wednesday, January 6, 2021, Rudy Giuliani joined Donald Trump and Donny junior at a Trump rally in Washington, D.C. near the White House. The Donald had promoted this gathering as something 'wild' and related to his seemingly phony stop the steal / election fraud fundraising claims. At the rally Trump told his supporters, numbering about 5,000 [per the park permit] to march down to the Capitol and that he'd be there with them.

I think it's safe to say that the Trump supporters who came to this event came prepared to continue to be misinformed and misled by the con men standing on the stage in front of them. After the speeches the audience mindlessly did as Trump had instructed them, and began marching toward the Capitol - but without their fearful leader [bonespurs acting up again?]. The Trumps and Giuliani were not to be found when the group arrived at the Capitol. What a surprise!

When the Trumpsters reached the barricades in front of the Capitol, the police in charge of protecting it, seemed to give way. What exactly transpired at this juncture we'll find out eventually, but one thing we do know for certain is that Trump didn't deploy as many of the National Guardsmen as he did for his tear gassing photo op with the Bible last summer. So Vice President Mike Pence had to step in to call up more National Guardsmen who eventually secured the Capitol - but not until after it had been ransacked [including one report of defecation].


Giuliani - Everything You're Going to do is Ok?

ted cruz election objections seem a fundraising scamNow Rudy Giuliani is a fixer - or lawyer as they used to be called prior to the presidency of a seemingly mobster-like con man. Giuliani's role in this farce appeared to be to reassure all of these guileless suckers, that everything they were about to do, was perfectly legal. Fox News calls Rudy Giuliani 'America's Mayor' - and he's an attorney - so why wouldn't they trust him?

This is the transcript of Giuliani's comments.

So Giuliani went on to tell them that the Democrats cheated blah, blah, blah. Like he's been doing for the past two plus months since the election ended. Never mind that the Trump campaign has lost or had thrown out more than 60 lawsuits [not all represented by Rudy] and lost all half dozen to a dozen vote recounts.

ted cruz election objections seem a fundraising scamGiuliani again referenced Dominion voting machines, calling them "crooked". But I think it's worth mentioning that Dominion is threatening to sue Giuliani and the Trump campaign for defamation - so eventually we'll see who is who, and what is what.

Here's part of the Giuliani statement.

"... Over the next 10 days, we get to see the machines that are crooked, the ballots that are fraudulent, and if we’re wrong, we will be made fools of. But if we’re right, a lot of them will go to jail. Let’s have trial by combat. I’m willing to stake my reputation, the President is willing to stake his reputation, on the fact that we’re going to find criminality there..."

At this point Rudy, I'm gonna go with 'fools'.


Fox News Quacks & Hacks Seem to Prep Trumpsters for Immortal Suckerdom

ted cruz election objections seem a fundraising scamIs Fox News America's disinformation news source? Why other media outlets aren't calling out Tucker Carlson, Sean Hannity, Laura Ingraham and all the other ratings-hyping, multi-millionaire pundits at Fox News as propagandists or quacks - is beyond me. They are NOT journalists in the same fashion as many of the reporters at the Washington Post, New York Times, CBS News, NPR reporters are - any more than the snake oil salesman Mr. Haney on the old sitcom Green Acres was a trusted salesman.


The Capitol riot or insurrection of January 6th, 2021 is a good event to use to exemplify what Fox 'News' propagandists do to manipulate their audience to vote and act as Fox News billionaire boss, Rupert Murdoch, likely wants.


ted cruz election objections seem a fundraising scamHitler and Goebbels were among the first to use modern mass media to manipulate their audiences. They realized that people share the same sorts of fears and anger - both destructive or paralyzing forces. What people don't necessarily share is how to solve problems. So it's far easier to destroy than to create, and far easier to divide than unite. Hence Rupert Murdoch's Goebbels-style propaganda machines seems to use the divide and conquer military and economic business model, to get him what he wants, regardless of the social and humanitarian costs.

I've been studying both Goebbels' and Murdoch's work for years now, and Murdoch has modernized Goebbels' legacy so much so, that even the New York Times and Washington Post and CNN and the three major TV networks still appear to fall prey to validating Fox as a legitimate news outlet by congratulating them whenever [it seems nearly every time] Fox does a real news story. This enables Murdoch's Fox News to continue the illusory deceit that it's a bonified news organization.


Fox 'News' - America's Disinformation News Source

ted cruz election objections seem a fundraising scamSo how did Fox 'News' treat Trump's bogus claims of election fraud? By repeating them over and over and over again apparently to create hysteria and ratchet up their ratings - like they always seem to do. They appear to operate a ratings money scam, not a real news source in the tradition of late 20th century American journalism.

So leading up to the Capitol Riots, Fox News Lou Dobbs show repeated - and seemed to validate Trump's claims that Dominion voting machines were faulty. Dobbs changed his tune when Dominion started prepping a lawsuit against him.

Propagandist Maria Bartiromo on Fox Business basically gave Trump an open mic to make all sorts of unfounded election fraud claims that any responsible journalist would have debunked or pushed back on. Even a 12 year old child could have done a better job.

Fox News propagandist and Trump sycophant Sean Hannity kept publicizing the election fraud nonsense too, for example claiming 'Institutional Betrayal' in one of the graphics on his show [see other graphics in this report]. And I'm a monkey's uncle if Laura Ingraham, Tucker Carlson and the other Fox propagandists weren't also doing their whorey news ratings best to capitalize on the scam as well. They didn't become multi-millionaires by reporting straight news.

I captured some images of Murdoch's Fox News complicity in Trump's unfounded claims of election fraud, but when I went looking for better ones, they were seemed to be missing. One page seemed to indicate that Fox had 'sanitized' some of their prior coverage from the web, possibly in preparation for the Dominion lawsuit. This is in my mind akin to Goebbels' book burning.

It's possible some of the disappearances could have been due to the search engines or social media scrubbing Fox News and other unfounded election fraud claims disinformation sources from their sites, too long after the damage had been done. Rupert Murdoch's Fox, Wall St. Journal and NY Post all attack the social media companies for disinformation, censureship and attacking free speech - but Murdoch's outlets have been flooding the market with distorted reporting crap for many, many, many years. And they appear to tamp down - if not censure - the Democrats, liberals and left on all of their media.

ted cruz election objections seem a fundraising scamIn December 2020 Fox 'News' started floating a new slogan, 'standing up for what's right', right around the time it backed off amplifying the voting fraud claims. This seems like their old 'fair and balanced' slogan - a cynical mockery of the limited intelligence of the people in their audience.

Unfortunately the Fox News audience seems susceptible to the manipulation and deception by Murdoch's many 'big lies'. Murdoch's Fox News audience is comprised of people who appear unwilling to obtain their information from multiple news sources, perhaps because the other news sources may not cater as much to the audience prejudices as Murdoch's Fox seems to do.

And that's one of the reasons why the Fox audience is so out of touch with reality. They are not respected and treated like children, or worse, simpletons. One won't learn new things, if one's biases are coddled to and reinforced, instead of being challenged. And if one isn't learning, then one isn't growing, and thus becomes more susceptible to being defrauded by big city con men, like Donald J. Trump, Kevin Rupert Murdoch and Rudy Giuliani. The folks who invaded the Capitol on Wednesday afternoon are likely people who don't go looking for the truth, but look for reinforcement of their biases and prejudices. Generally the most opinionated people, those most sure of 'what they know', are the easiest to manipulate. Mark Twain said that it's "what you know for sure, that just ain't so" that will get you into trouble.


How Complicit is Fox in Trump Fundraising Scams of his Own Supporters?

ted cruz election objections seem a fundraising scamFox 'News' seems a disinformation network as much by its distortions, as its omissions. For example Fox 'News' appeared to report nothing about Trump raising hundreds of millions [$200 million] based on his unsubstantiated claims of widespread voter fraud - most of which could be used for other purposes based on the reading in the fine print.

As of this writing, I've seen reports that indicate Trump had only spent about $8 million to litigate voter fraud, leaving him with $192 million in 'stop the steal' funds - and the campaign is over.

I also checked to see if Fox 'News' covered the story about the $100 million in Trump campaign funds that went to an LLC, reportedly set up by Trump son-in-law Jared Kushner which was managed by Brad Pascale, Trump's former campaign manager. Pascale was reportedly contemplating suicide and there have been rumors that Trump has used this LLC to launder some of his campaign funds. See the graphics at right showing report of such by Refinery29 and Business Insider which I found on MSN.

There's nothing conclusive on this story yet, but it's worth mentioning that a Trump related company was convicted of laundering money by the FBI prior to Trump becoming president. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross once held a position at a bank in Cypress, which was known for laundering Russian Oligarch money - some of which is believed to have gone to Trump to bail him out of his many bankruptcies.

Why didn't Murdoch's Fox News audience see, hear or read any of this? Because Australian born billionaire Rupert Murdoch, who controls Fox News, seems to get all sorts of favors from his many propaganda assets - one of whom appears to be Donald J. Trump - so he provides them with media protection / media cover.


Rudy Giuliani - Modern Day Snake Oil Salesman - NOT 'America's Mayor' as Murdoch's Fox News Would have you Believe

Giuliani's speech was like a farce of a dishonest politician inciting a ludicrous insurrection. Rudy gets up in front of the audience as 'America's Mayor' and tells the mostly muscular, white, middle aged, male simpletons that he, Rudy Giuliani, has scientific proof of election fraud, and that he needs only two days to prove his claims. He forgot to tell them that this is after more than 60 plus days of failing to do so in a court of law. This mendacious maestro goes on, asserting that 'THEY' [the same they that Fox News Sean Hannity uses] are stealing everything America stands for, and it's up to you few thousand bumpkins in the crowd to stop it and save America. The park permit for the Trump rally was about 5,000 - and in the prior two Trump rallies in Washington, D.C. since the election, the crowds never seemed to approach more than 10,000.

But if you watched and believed Fox News Sean Hannity, you would believe there were hundreds of thousands at the rally - see bottom line in graphic above showing Hannity and the crowd.

ted cruz election objections seem a fundraising scamThis strikes my funny bone as I can imagine these numbskulls thinking,

"It will be just like in the movies. We'll all be heroes. The president will decorate us with medals. Iskanka and Melanoma will kiss us. And so will every other American woman out there. We'll be famous. The president will tweet about us and give us good jobs."

Trump's tweet, as shown above, seems to feed a similar hallucination. But back to reality ... sort of. Here's the Giuliani verbatim.

"... It [the election fraud] is a matter of scientific proof. We need two days to establish that ..."

" ... They [the Democrats] picked states where they have crooked Democratic cities, where they could push everybody around. And it has to be vindicated to save our republic. This is bigger than Donald Trump. It’s bigger than you and me. It’s about these monuments and what they stand for ..."

A semi-intelligent, semi-informed citizen would know that Trump and Giuliani lost about 60 court cases and about a half dozen to dozen vote recounts because they didn't have the proof and / or there was nothing substantive amiss with the 2020 election and that two of the five states being contested were Arizona and Georgia, which have traditionally been Republican strongholds, the voting apparatus of which was presided over by Republicans. But I reckon there wasn't a one in the crowd that processed Rudy's deceitful manipulations in that way.

ted cruz election objections seem a fundraising scamThese last two Giuliani quotes are my favorites as they really seem to assume and play to the people in the crowd as if they were the village idiots - OR people who've been living in the Sean Hannity, Tucker Carlson, Laura Ingraham Fox News fake news blackhole.

" ... This has been a year in which they [the Democrats] have invaded our freedom of speech, our freedom of religion, our freedom to move, our freedom to live. I’ll be darned if they’re going to take away our free and fair vote. And we’re going to fight to the very end to make sure that doesn’t happen... "

And this is the Giuliani coup de grace, where he incites these saps to ignore the rest of the world, because they're on a mission to save the nation by doing the right thing [note how this aligns with Fox News new slogan - Hitler / Goebbels did this sort of thing too].

" ...God bless you [Editor's Note: these con men always seem to use God in an amoral and unauthorized manner]. And thank you so much for your support. I know the courage it takes to be out there. I know how you get ridiculed [Editor's Note: because you're suckers who believe con men like Giuliani and Trump]. I know how they try to take jobs away from you. But you look in the mirror every night and you say to yourself, “I’m doing the right thing for myself, for my family, for my children, and most importantly for the United States of America.”..."

He really should add 'sucker' to that line - like the snake oil salesman Mr. Haney used to do on the sitcom Green Acres. Because Rudy must certainly know he's deceiving these folks into doing something for which they may end them up in jail. By then Mr. Rudy Giuliani Haney will be hundreds of miles away, or at the White House enjoying himself with the other con men who disgraced that stage, like Don Jr. and John C. Eastman, law professor of Chapman University Law School.

Come on. This whole thing is so very laughable, like watching Mr. Haney sell something to Eb on the old sitcom Green Acres. So many of the Trumpsters seem to be Ebs or other Green Acres village idiots. But this is not a sitcom, but rather real life with real consequences, so it's not funny, because people were hurt and at least five people lost their lives. And the folks manipulated by these con men - the Ebs - have just done an incredible job of messing up their very real, working class lives. Not that the con men are to blame for it all, because their target audience members are adults and hence are responsible for their own actions. But these adults appear to possess a mix of ignorance manifested in racial, gender and / or ethnic prejudice, misplaced trust and one has to assume some palpable level of incredible stupidity.

ted cruz election objections seem a fundraising scamThat these Trump supporters don't seem to have the mental wherewithal to be able to differentiate between real and fake is sad, but not unexpected in a nation as large as ours. There's a part of me that feels sorry for the non-violent, non vandals in the crowd - because like prior known Trump scams - he's filling these saps with hope and anticipation that will never be realized, while taking their hard earned money and / or livelihoods in the process.

I grew up in a small town that included a few people who appeared to 'think simplistically' like many of the Trumpsters who went to Washington, D.C. for the January 6th, 2021 rally. My impression of those few people from the small town where I grew up, was that on a personal level these folks were generally well intentioned, but who - unfortunately - could easily be manipulated by others who could use their prejudices to exploit them.

That's where the comparison of Trump and Giuliani to Mr. Haney on Green Acres comes in. As well as the comparison of the intellectual acumen of the Hooterville villagers, to that of the well meaning Trumpsters at the Washington, D.C. riot, arises. Mr. Haney was a loveable con man, while Trump and Giuliani are just con men. And the villagers of Hooterville were endearing, while the Trumpsters who stormed the Capitol, are not.

Here's a link to some of the Best of Mr. Haney on Green Acres, which you might find enjoyable.

The film Chocolat, starring Juliette Binoche and Johnny Depp, does a nice job of depicting the darker side of one of these simpletons - who like some of the Trumpsters last Wednesday - commits an act of violence, thinking that that was what the town chieftan wanted. It's worth mentioning that Rupert Murdoch's media appear to be relentlessly bashing Depp because he sued one of Murdoch's British papers, The Sun, for libel. So beware the source of negative Johnny Depp reports.

Excepting those who brought weapons and vandalized, I feel some sort of compassion for grown adults who are so vulnerable / susceptible to manipulation by complete strangers and even pundits via TV. Strangers who can - and in this case did - mess up some of these people's entire lives. I suspect many of these Trumpsters thought they were doing something patriotic, like saving the country, when in fact they were doing just the opposite, and threatening to destroy it.

ted cruz election objections seem a fundraising scamThe Trumpsters aren't just being exploited by billionaires like Trump and Murdoch, but also multi-millionaires like Giuliani and the multi-millionaire pundits at Fox - like Hannity, Lou Dobbs, Maria Bartiromo, Carlson and Ingraham. And most recently it appears that Senators Ted Cruz and Josh Hawley want in on the act. Sadly, the pandemic of grifters and suckers appears to be spreading quickly ... getting worse ... just like the other pandemic with which we're dealing.

Trump supporters and too many Fox News viewers think that if it's on TV then it's real. They believe that fake is real and real is fake if they hear it on TV, over the radio or see it on the web. It's the bizzarro world of Murdoch's Fox fake news, and Trump's reality TV, where everything gets turned upside down. And lately, all of this has been coming together in a Matrix like snafu, where what's in the computer software code somehow goes all wrong, and the 'agents' have now somehow come to life, like Agent Smith. I'm referring to the movie 'Matrix' and comparing it to the radicalized group QAnon. Where is Neo when we need him?

ted cruz election objections seem a fundraising scamA quote by America's first Supreme Court Chief Justice, John Jay, seems to fit here.

"... I consider knowledge to be the soul of a republic, and as the weak and wicked are generally in alliance, as much care should be taken to diminish the number of the former as of that latter..."

Unfortunately, I see a lot of analogies of our present day situation to the 1930's Weimar Republic, where the wicked and the weak appeared to take over the state, and then try to take over the world.

And, unfortunately, the analogies don't go away with one election. They didn't in Germany either.

Have a good week.

NYC Slowly Comes Back to Life - Things To Do

Live NYC Events, NYS Rental Assistance & Eviction Law Update, & Giuliani Appears to Foment Trump Rioters, so NYS National Guard Deployed to Capitol

ted cruz election objections seem a fundraising scamJanuary 8, 2021 / US Politics / NYC Neighborhoods / News Analysis & Opinion / Gotham Buzz NYC. 

Weather. The weekend temperature highs will be around 40 and the temperature lows will be around 30. No rain is in the forecast. Winds will be between 5 - 10 mph. Humidity will be about 50% through the weekend, rising Sunday evening to about 70%.


Live Events in NYC This Weekend

Note that you must rsvp for timed tickets to enter these cultural sights. Also CoVic protocols - meaning masks, social distancing and in good health [possibly temperature tests] - are required. Most charge some modest fee or ask for a voluntary donation.

Also there's an opening reception for an art exhibit, What the Light Saw, at the Plaxall Gallery at 5-25 46th Avenue in LIC Queens this weekend. The exhibit is open Fridays from 6 - 9 pm and Saturday & Sunday from 12 noon - 5 pm and it runs through February 2nd.

Tickets at

Also, the NYC Parks Department is hosting its annual Mulchfest around NYC through Saturday, January 9th where you can have your tree mulched on the spot and walk away with some wood chips. See their website


Some Cultural Sites Open This Weekend in All Boroughs

The Queens Museum in Flushing Meadows Corona Park in Queens is open Wednesday through Sunday from 12 noon to 5 pm and opens at 11 am on Saturday and Sunday.

PS1 MoMA at 22-25 Jackson Avenue in LIC Queens is open Thursday through Monday from 12 noon to 6 pm.

The Bronx Museum at 1040 Grand Concourse [at 165th Street] in the Bronx is open from Wednesday through Sunday from 1 pm to 6 pm.

The NY Botanical Garden at 2900 Southern Blvd in the Bronx is open from 10 am - 6 pm Tuesday through Sunday. They have a special light show, entitled Glow, at the Haupt Observatory which runs this weekend and next on Friday and Saturday. Tickets are sold out for Saturday 1/9/21.

The National Lighthouse Museum at 200 The Promenade at Lighthouse Point on Staten Island [a short walk from the Ferry terminal] is open Wednesday through Sunday from 11 am - 4 pm.

The New York Chinese Scholar's Garden at Snug Harbor Cultural Center at 1000 Richmond Terrace on Staten Island is open from 10 am - 4 pm Saturday and Sunday. The grounds are also open during daylight hours, but the Newhouse Center for Contemporary Art is closed pending changes in the pandemic.

The Brooklyn Museum at 200 Eastern Parkway in Brooklyn is open Wednesday through Sunday from 11 am - 6 pm, except on Friday and Saturday when they stay open until 8 pm.

The Brooklyn Academy of Music or BAM at 30 Lafayette Avenue in Brooklyn remains closed, but has a number of online offerings.

The American Museum of Natural History at 200 Central Park West on the Upper West Side of Manhattan is open from 10 am - 5 pm Wednesday through Sunday.

The Metropolitan Art Museum at 1000 Fifth Avenue on the Upper East Side of Manhattan is open Thursday through Monday from 10 am - 5 pm.


Next Week - Education Funding Protest

And next week on Tuesday, January 12th there's a protest [FYI - Fox Propaganda News this is NOT a riot since you seem unable to differentiate between the two] entitled Protect Students, Not Billionaires at 3.30 pm at 740 Park Avenue in Manhattan.


Rental Assistance Re-Opens & New Eviction Moratorium Law Passed

New Yorkers in need of rental assistance, meeting certain requirements, will be happy to hear that NYS has re-opened the program. Details to follow.

This past week a new NYS Eviction Moratorium Law was passed. I believe it was extended through March, but landlords can't oust you until May - but I need to confirm as details will follow.

Have a nice weekend.

Honestly, Just How Simple-minded are Trump Republicans?

Donald J. Trump Raises $200 Million in one Month Based on Unsubstantiated Election Fraud Claims

So Senators Ted Cruz & Josh Hawley - Not Wanting to be Kept out of What Seems a Great Scam - Are Fundraising Based on Their Bid for an Unnecessary Election Audit

ted cruz election objections seem a fundraising scamJanuary 5, 2021 / US Politics / NYC Neighborhoods / News Analysis & Opinion / Gotham Buzz NYC. 

Classic con men like Donald J. Trump, Ted Cruz and Josh Hawley appeal to certain kinds of people. Too many of them appear to be complete rubes, right out of the old W.C. Fields films ["never give a sucker an even break"].

Most of Trump's, Hawley's and Cruz's 'stop the steal' supporters seem as likely to be sincere in their 'patriotic' Trump / Cruz / Fox News media manipulated intentions, as they are likely to be just plain stupid.

This may help explain why Missouri Senator Josh Hawley and Texas Senator Ted Cruz were so quick to take up the seemingly fraudulent torch of Trump's 'Stop the Steal' campaign. They appear to be staging a phony 'patriotic' effort by objecting to one or more of the contested swing states list of electoral college delegates. The Cruz / Hawley motivation appears to be to put on a show of political theater for an unneeded election audit, in order to fill the Cruz / Hawley campaign coffers with the money of incredibly naive full grown American white men and miscellaneous other Trump Republican donors.


Trump Nicknamed Cruz "Lyin' Ted Cruz", While Cruz Called Trump a "Pathological Liar" - This Seems a Rare Instance when Both Men Were Telling Folks the Truth

ted cruz election objections seem a fundraising scamI think Hawley and Cruz watched as Donald Trump raised some $200 million in one month for his seemingly fake 'stop the steal' campaign - and Trump only paid out $8 million to contest the election results. That's one helluva a profit margin at 96% profit on 80% of a quarter billion dollars in one month.

Old Ted and Josh are no fools, and they seem to know a good scam when they see one. So Cruz joined Hawley and both began fundraising on their apparently fraudulent effort, so they could get in on the fun [see Cruz photo above].

I stumbled upon Cruz's ad this morning and thought that the empty heads at the large national corporate broadcasting news organizations ought to know. Too often they seem the last to know what's going on behind the scenes, as their superficial reporting seems to have all the depth and insight of a twelve year old.

This is exactly why things are so messed up - dishonest pols and ignorant, lazy or superficial newspeople - who appear to spend more time prepping their make up and hair, than they do in pursuit of finding out what's going on - and then telling their audiences about it, straight up.

Republicans Abandon the Traditional American Conservative Values for which they Once Stood

Have the New Republicans Become a Party of Treasury Plundering, Pussy Grabbing & Self-Serving Seditionist Sycophants?

January 4, 2021 / US Politics / NYC Neighborhoods / News Analysis & Opinion / Gotham Buzz NYC. 

My experience and interactions with Republicans during my childhood and up until sometime between the late 1980’s and mid 1990’s was generally positive.  I was actually a card-carrying Republican for a few years, as was one of my grandfathers, and I share many of what once were Republican values.  But the Republicans of today, particularly the Trump Republicans, appear to have abandoned nearly all the values for which they once stood. Let's take a quick look.


What Republicans Once Stood For & How They Lost Their Way

republican values have changed republicans aren't fiscal conservatives anymoreI. States’ Rights.  Republicans once stood for values that I still believe in.  They stood for states’ rights, which were originally embedded in the U.S. Constitution as a means of providing checks and balances in the system. And I believe in the wisdom of the checks and balances.

Republican Distortion of States’ Rights – Enabling Ongoing Legalized Racism.  But states’ rights morphed into a racist rallying cry, in the wake of the Civil War, as the southern states were embittered by the loss of the Civil War.  States’ rights were a means of obstructing the northern states from imposing the U.S. Constitutional value of treating all humans with respect on the former slave states. when the federal government imposed its will upon the southern states vis a vis ending slavery of African Americans

II. Smaller Government, Fiscal Conservatism & Less Taxes.  An implication of the claim to states’ rights implied a smaller, less intrusive federal government.  This mantra of smaller government also gained some of its impetus, again particularly in the south after the Civil War, as a means to limiting federal government oversight.

Smaller government also implied some measure of fiscal conservatism – or at the least – fiscal responsibility. Out of this came lower taxes, a move which was generally done by lowering government spending – until Ronald Reagan came along. 

Republican Distortion of Smaller Government, Fiscal Conservatism & Less Taxes – Borrow & Spend.  That’s when Republicans started lowering taxes by adding debt to the federal government balance sheet in order to further enrich the rich. I’m all for lower taxes, when it can be done responsibly, but I’m not for lower taxes when most of the proceeds go to some of the wealthiest people on the planet, while the children and the unborn are burdened with the nation’s debt.

Adding about $6 trillion to the nation's debt, while building nothing, is one of Republican president Donald J. Trump's greatest legacies.

III. Family Values.  Republicans said they stood for family values, for which I reckon there may possibly be as many definitions as there are people, but I take that to mean supporting the nuclear family in the raising of children in an ethical, responsible, law abiding manner.  Republicans claimed they were the party of personal responsibility. I’m all for that. Who isn’t?

Republican Distortion of Family Values  - Eliminating a Women’s Right to Manage Her Own Body. But then Republicans used the mantra of family values, to infuse a tribal Christian culturalism to it, which manifested itself through a push to legally eliminate the right of women to early termination of an unwanted pregnancy.  All the major religions generally seem to share many of the same proper behavioral guidelines, but even many religious people agree that women should have a right to choose whether or not to bring a baby into the world if they’re impregnated – if the fertilized egg is removed within a set amount of time.  According to a June 7, 2019 report, only 13% of all Americans want to overturn Roe vs Wade, but that translates into 31% of all Republicans, which is a sizeable and oftentimes passionate force.

Republicans twice nominated an apparent pussy grabber, racist and one of the world's greatest con men to be their candidate for president.

IV. Deregulation & Freedom.  Republicans generally favor government deregulation which they ascribe to preserving their freedom.  Deregulation only makes sense if the regulations have lost their reason to be, or are so constraining as to be untenable. In both cases I’m for deregulation.

Republican Distortion of Deregulation & Freedom - The World Changed & the Republicans Didn't.  This may not be so much a change in how Republicans have distorted what they once stood for, as much as that the context in which we live has changed.  We no longer live in a seemingly boundless frontier, but rather on what feels like a shrinking planet, so the limitless space once accorded us to do whatever – no longer exists. We can’t keep shooting the buffalo, because there aren’t tens of millions of them.  We can’t allow anyone to pollute our air or drinking water, because it affects everyone’s health. We can’t keep fishing or fracking or pumping oil, because the planet has become finite and we’re close to being in an intolerable zone – possibly even nearing planetary eco-system collapse.

Trump deregulation efforts - not through congress but rather executive order - seemed to enable the fossil fuel and other industries to connive to destroy numerous species, clean air and clean water. 


Why All 10 Living Former U.S. Defense Secretaries Sign OpEd Telling American People & U.S. Military - The Election is Over

republican values have changed republicans aren't fiscal V. Law & Order.  Republicans believed that law and order must be maintained for society to function properly / productively.  I agree with that. 

Republican Distortion of Law & Order – Use of Phony Claims of Patriotism to Destroy Our Democracy & Rule of Law to Appease [Dictator Wannabee] Trump Whims.  This is on full display this year, particularly in the next couple of days.

Republicans laying claim to abiding by the laws, have no business trying to overturn the ‘Will of the People’ - as Trump and many Republican Senators and Congressmen alike - appear to be doing since the election.  Their collective disrespect for the vote counts, followed by numerous vote recounts, literally dozens upon dozens of court rulings across the nation in both state and federal courts, and the Electoral College vote count is – to understate things - appalling.  

Ten - count them - ALL TEN OF THE LIVING FORMER U.S. DEFENSE SECRETARIES felt compelled to pen and sign an Op Ed telling president Trump and the sycophantic Republicans who support him - that THE ELECTION IS OVER.

VI. Pay attention to the names of the Senators and Congressmen who sign on to this democracy destroying stunt, because they don’t represent you.  They are politicians clutching to their own power, livelihood and social status – at the entire nation’s expense.  Why? Because these Senators and Congressmen cower before Donald Trump, fearing he may tweet against them in the next election.  They are certainly not patriots [why do they always seem to claim to be the exact opposite of what they are?], because no proof has been found of widespread voter fraud. 

See our past few months of coverage [October - December 2020] to learn just how corrupt many of the people in the higher echelons of the Republican party are. And we dedicated an entire section to the numerous shenanigans of Donald J. Trump. Also see 1.5.21 report on Texas Senator Ted Cruz seeming to use this event as a fundraising scam to fill his campaign coffers with ignorant Trump supporters' cash.

VII. Trump Voter Fraud False Claims History: The 2016 Election Voter Fraud Commission Headed by Pence & Kobach Ended in 2018 with Nothing. It’s worth reminding people that Vice President Mike Pence and then Kansas Secretary of State, Kris Kobach, lead a commission investigating voter fraud that Trump claimed had added millions of votes against him in 2016.  In 2018, the Commission was quietly closed, after they found a few isolated instances of fraud [four?], which would have had no impact on the electoral outcome in any state.

It seems this time the voter fraud claims of 'stop the steal' - is more to enable the steal of donations from the dumbest of Trump supporters - by convincing them to donate their hard earned dollars to help the billionaire pay off his debts. The master deceiver / con man appears to be motivating many of the rubes in his audience to donate to him, under the illusion that they are saving the nation, by 'stopping the [illusory] steal'. They don't call the Donald the greatest con man in the world for nothing. See November 2020 report.


List of the Republican Senators & Congressmen, Who Seem to have Reneged on Their Oath of Office, by Prioritizing Their Own Political Careers [fear of Trump attack tweets] over Allegiance to the U.S. Constitution & American People

republican party of fascists nazis dictators anarchists modern american republican party of donald trumpRepublican Senators & Congressmen Seem to Betray our Democracy, in order to Escape the Wrath of Trump's Dictator-like Attack [Loyalty Pledge] Tweets. To hold our representatives accountable, we voters need to know their names, so we know who we’re voting either for or against. 

So to date here’s a list of the senators reportedly supporting this action and I’ve also included the list of congressmen who signed onto the Paxton Texas lawsuit aimed at delegitimizing the swing states Electoral College delegates [see earlier report in late Nov / early Dec 2020 for Paxton’s alleged desire for a Trump pardon of Paxton's alleged crimes].

Twelve senators have reportedly signed on to Trump’s coup attempt. The effort was designed to challenge the votes from many of the swing states, under the ruse of wanting an investigation into an election, where no widespread voter fraud was found [like in 2016]. This was done in a nearly last ditch effort, after numerous vote recounts and dozens of lawsuits failed to yield any different electoral outcome.

According to a January 3, 2021 report on MSN, the U.S. Senators involved include,

“… Ted Cruz (TX), Marsha Blackburn (TN), Mike Braun (IN), Steve Daines (MT), Ron Johnson (WI), John Kennedy (LA), James Lankford (OK), and senators-elect Bill Hagerty (TN), Cynthia Lummis (WY), Roger Marshall (KS), and Tommy Tuberville (AL)...”

According to a December 11, 2020 Washington Post report, the following Congressmen were involved in supporting the Paxton December lawsuit contesting the election results in key swing states. These congressmen likely make up the bulk of those contesting certification of the votes of the Electoral College [in alphabetical order].

Mo Brooks (AL), Alex Mooney (WV), Scott Perry (PA), Robert B. Aderholt (AL), Rick W. Allen (GA), Jack Bergman (MI), Andy Biggs (AZ), Ted Budd (NC), Jeff Duncan (SC), Bob Gibbs (OH), Louie Gohmert (TX), Lance Gooden (TX), Andy Harris (MD), Steve King (IA), Markwayne Mullin (OK), Ralph Norman (SC), David Rouzer (NC), John Rutherford (FL), Adrian Smith (NE), Randy Weber (TX), Ron Wright (TX), Brian Babin (TX), Jody B. Hice (GA), W. Gregory Steube (FL), Steve Scalise (LA), Ralph Abraham (LA), Jim Baird (IN), Jim Banks (IN), Gus M. Bilirakis (FL), Dan Bishop (NC), Mike Bost (IL), Kevin Brady (TX), Ken Buck (CO), Tim Burchett (TN), Michael C. Burgess (TX), Bradley Byrne (AL), Ken Calvert (CA), Earl L. “Buddy” Carter (GA), Ben Cline (VA), Michael Cloud (TX), K. Michael Conaway (TX), Eric A. “Rick” Crawford (AK), Dan Crenshaw (TX), Mario Diaz-Balart (FL), Neal Dunn (FL), Tom Emmer (MN), Ron Estes (KS), Drew Ferguson (GA), Charles J. “Chuck” Fleischmann (TN), Bill Flores (TX), Jeff Fortenberry (NE), Virginia Foxx (NC), Russ Fulcher (ID), Matt Gaetz (FL), Greg Gianforte (MT), Sam Graves (MO), Mark Green (TN), Michael Guest (MI), Vicky Hartzler (MO), Kevin Hern (OK), Clay Higgins (LA), Trey Hollingsworth (IN), Richard Hudson (NC), Bill Huizenga (MI), Bill Johnson (OH), Mike Johnson (LA), Jim Jordan (OH), John Joyce (PA), Frederick B. Keller (PA), Mike Kelly (PA), Trent Kelly (MS), David Kustoff (TN), Darin LaHood (IL), Doug LaMalfa (CA), Doug Lamborn (CO), Robert E. Latta (OH), Debbie Lesko (AZ), Blaine Luetkemeyer (MO), Kenny Marchant (TX), Roger Marshall (KS), Tom McClintock (CA), Dan Meuser (PA), Carol Miller (WV), John Moolenaar (MI), Greg Murphy (NC), Dan Newhouse (WA), Gary Palmer (AL), Guy Reschenthaler (PA), Tom Rice (SC), Cathy McMorris Rodgers (WA), John Rose (TN), Austin Scott (GA), Michael Simpson (ID), Jason T. Smith (MO), Ross Spano (FL), Elise Stefanik (NY), Glenn Thompson (PA), Tom Tiffany (WI), William Timmons (SC), Ann Wagner (MO), Tim Walberg (MI), Michael Waltz (FL), Daniel Webster (FL), Brad Wenstrup (OH), Bruce Westerman (AK), Roger Williams (TX), Joe Wilson (SC), Rob Wittman (VA), Ted Yoho (FL) and Lee Zeldin (NY).

Republican leaders who declined to support a resolution acknowledging Biden’s win [includes] Kevin McCarthy (CA), Jodey C. Arrington (TX), Doug Collins (GA), Scott DesJarlais (TN), H. Morgan Griffith (VA), Jim Hagedorn (MN), Billy Long (MO), Barry Loudermilk (GA), Steven M. Palazzo (MS), Greg Pence (IN), Bill Posey (FL), Mike Rogers (AL), Pete Stauber (MN), Jefferson Van Drew (NJ), Mark Walker (NC) and Jackie Walorski (IN).

Republicans who support the appointment of a special counsel include Brian Babin (TX), Paul A. Gosar (AZ), Glenn Grothman (WI), Jody Hice (GA), Thomas Massie (KY), Greg Steube (FL).

As you can see above, there was a time when Republicans stood for something of value.  And now, as you can also see above, they seem to stand for very little … except themselves.

I am at least as disappointed, as I am angry.

The Road Ahead 2021

A Few Axioms To Keep In Mind Throughout The New Year

things to do manhattan this weekendJanuary 1, 2021 / NYC Neighborhoods / NYC Holidays / Gotham Buzz NYC.

For all of us, today starts the beginning of a new year.

If we stay the course with masks, social distancing and hand washing, we should be able to make it to getting vaccinated - at which point things begin to really change to a better normal, but likely not back to a pre-CoVid normal.

The impact of the vaccinations isn't going to happen quickly as Trump's Operation Warp Speed has turned out to be Operation Super Retarded. But Biden takes the reins in another 18 days, and will likely put things back on track, which means we have another six to twelve months before things will begin feeling somewhat normal. The six to twelve months is how long it's estimated that it will take to manufacture, distribute and vaccinate the majority of the 330 million people who live here. The vaccination process alone takes about two months, as there are two shots and a lag time for your body to build the anti-bodies.

So CoVid Aside - New Years Guidelines for 2021

I used to make new years resolutions that generally lasted a few days or few weeks. Over time I've given that up and have focused on a few guiding principles that I work toward throughout the year, every year.

1. The first guidepost is to keep things as simple as possible by letting things go, so you can change and evolve who you are. Over time it's important to learn to let go of the past which includes letting many of the people, projects and things - once so meaningful and relevant - to fade away with time. This process involves discarding much of what one collects, in order to open up space in your life to make room for new possibilities.

2. The second guidepost is to take care of the vessel that carries one's being - meaning take care of your body because it's the only one you'll ever get, and it has to last an entire lifetime. This means consuming the foods that will enable the body to function properly and ward off disease, while recognizing that satisfying the mind is important too, as it's a part of the body. There are three elements to this guideline.

a _ Try to maximize consumption of natural foods while managing / minimalizing consumption of the delicious processed foods that come in packages. Read package container nutrition labels which indicate the amount of fat, sugar, sodium and cholesterol consumed per serving. You can manage the balance of natural and processed foods depending on what's going on in life, meaning leaning toward natural foods to take care of the body, and leaning toward tasty processed foods to treat your mind.

b _ Reduce consumption of toxins by first paying attention to the quantities consumed of them, and then by substituting the toxins with healthier choices. For example dilute a soft drink with seltzer water [cuts sugar], or swap in a lemonade for a beer [cuts alcohol], or swap in pretzels for potato chips [cuts salt and fat]. Over the years these little substitutions can add up to some fair measure of weight loss or stability, and can aid in maintaining generally good health. But it's also important not to deprive oneself, too much, of some of the simple pleasures in life that keep one going - experience tells us not to be too draconian, or you can expect a subconscious rebellion, and then your program doesn't work.

c _ The third element of this guidepost is to try to walk and bike whenever possible. It's a good way to kill two birds with one stone, as it enables getting somewhere, while also getting some exercise. And be sure to carve out enough time each night, for a proper rest.

3. The third guidepost is to try to move your life in the direction of your interests. This will likely take a great many years, as well as needing to make a good number of economic and other lifestyle trade offs. But if successful, you can then spend most of your time doing the things that totally engage you. It's said that "when someone is doing something they truly love, they'll never have to work another day in their life."

4. The fourth guidepost is to keep on learning, because "luck is when preparation meets opportunity". So the more you learn, and the more experience you get, the better prepared you'll be ... come what may.

May your new year be filled with promise and possibilities. Best wishes for a happy and successful 2021.

The Last Week of 2020 ... Hooray

A Very Turbulent Year Comes to a Close, Out of the Ashes Rises the Phoenix

holiday events holiday markets manhattan queens bronx brooklyn staten island holiday events holiday markets nycDecember 28, 2020 / NYC Neighborhoods / News Analysis & Opinion / Gotham Buzz NYC.

Weather. The temperature highs will be Monday, Thursday and Friday, and just below 40 on Tuesday and Wednesday. The temperature lows will be will be in the low 30's on Monday and Tuesday, in the high 20's on Wednesday and in the high 30's on Thursday and Friday. A quarter inch of rain is expected Thursday, New Years Eve and a full inch of rain on Friday, New Years Day. Winds will be 5 - 10 mph all days except Tuesday, when the winds will pick up to between 10 - 15 mph. Humidity will range from 45% - 65% in the earlier part of the week, rising to between 70% - 80% for New Years Eve and New Years Day.

The photo at right shows the Kwanzaa candles at City Hall which Mayor de Blasio erected in recognition of this fairly recent [1960's] African American holiday. The holiday runs from Saturday, December 26th to New Years Day 2021.


Last Week of December 2020 Events - Mulchfest & Photo Exhibit Ending

The MMiXX d-up photo exhibit at Lety Bakery & Cafe at 77-07 37th Avenue in Jackson Heights ends Thursday evening.

NYC Parks returns with its Mulchfest program to recycle trees between now and January 9th. See the Parks Department website for times / dates / locations -

There are about 400 million Christmas trees in the U.S., of which about 10% are harvested annually.


NYC / NYS CoVid Pandemic News

The extra mortality rate for 2020 is expected to be about 310,000 as of a week ago. There are 3.2 million American deaths forecast for 2020, which is a record and the uptick is due to the pandemic. CoVid will be the #3 killer in America [333k], following heart disease [655k] and cancer [599k].

An estimated 65% of the spread of CoVid following the Thanksgiving holiday, came from small private gatherings. It makes one wonder what's going to happen post the holidays / New Year.

The NYC CoVid positivity rate has risen from 2 - 4% in Novmber to about 7% to date in December. Grades K - 5 reopened following Thanksgiving, while grades 6 - 12 will reopen following the holidays. NYC Public Schools have been shown to have a below average CoVid positivity rate.

The number of Americans responding affirmatively to willingness to take the vaccine has risen from the low 50% range to about 60% since Biden became president-elect. People with significant allergies should proceed with caution before taking either vaccine, because a few people have had significant negative reactions. Both the Moderna and Pfizer vaccines require two doses.


NYC & NYS Economic & Employment News

holiday events holiday markets manhattan queens bronx brooklyn staten island holiday events holiday markets nycBetween 1000 - 1100 bricks n' mortar retailers closed their doors this year in NYC. Chain stores took a big hit [down 13% - 14%], and about half of the losses came out of Manhattan. Examples of chain stores that closed in NYC include approximately 50 Starbucks locations and about 70 Duane Reade drug stores. I've seen the number of stores reported closing vary, which is why I have noted approximately. Manhattan took the double whammy of the loss of tourism and the loss of white collar workers, two thirds of whom continue to telecommute to their jobs.

Nationwide, an estimated 100,000 small businesses have already closed their doors this year due to the pandemic. The business models of many of the small bricks n' mortar retailers was under siege prior to the CoVid breakout.

The photo at right shows the New Years platform being erected in Times Square on Monday night. While the celebration will carry on, in person participation will be limited to a few rsvps. But you can watch it online or on TV.

Nail salons, which opened in the summer [I think July] saw a quick return of business before falling off again. It's said that overall nail salons have lost about half their business, which is also likely due to the fall off in tourism and the continued white collar telecommuting.

Holiday sales were up an estimated 3%. This compares with a Black Friday sales increase of 22%. Curbside pickup was up 52%.

In NYC one estimate shows a third of the 240,000 small businesses in NYC closing before the pandemic ends.

Unemployment continues at a high rate in the U.S. at 6.7% [November statistics, but doesn't include the fact that the labor force participation rate dropped nearly 2% which is millions more who don't have / lost their jobs], about 8% in NYS and about 12% in NYC. It's worth noting that NYS has a GDP of over $1.5 trillion in a normal year, which is about 8% of the national total [2017].

New York City's higher unemployment rate is due in part to its dependence on tourism, as NYC attracts over 60 million tourists annually. Since the pandemic began in March 2020, NYC tourism has all but died. An NYC & Company [NYC's tourism promotion agency] report says that NYC tourism accounts for $46 billion in annual revenue and about 400k jobs. The other source of NYC's unemployment problem is that only a third of white collar workers have returned to the office, which means significantly less retail and restaurant business in the city - and it's worth noting that some of this may be a permanent shift / change.


NYC Commercial Real Estate & Eviction Moratorium Extension

In November about 13.5% of Manhattan office space was available. Commercial leasing / sales were down 80% versus a year ago and it's the highest availability rate since 2003, which was the fallout following the 911 attack.

Governor Cuomo extended the eviction moratorium until March 7, 2021. That's good news for renters, but landlords / building owners weren't happy, making allegations that some tenants are or may be gaming the system.

NYC is looking at a $3.8 billion deficit in the coming fiscal year. Mayor de Blasio averted the crisis last fall via an unexpected increase in tax revenue.


Airline Travel & Mass Transit

Holiday travel was down significantly below prior year, but rose to levels not seens since before the pandemic began. Nationally about 9 million traveled by air during the Thanksgiving holiday, which was down about 60% from the 26 million in 2019, and over 10 million are expected to travel by air during the Christmas / New Year holiday. An estimated 34 million Americans curtailed their travel plans this holiday, while another 85 million did some traveling. Over the Thanksgiving holiday it was estimated that some 50 million did some traveling, down 10% versus prior year.

Generally airlines are seeing a gradual return of business, as they were down 90% shortly after the pandemic began, were down about 70% over the summer, and now are down about 60%. So things are improving.

MTA ridership is down about 30%, fluctuating from about -62% to -81% on any given day, per the data last week.


On November 30, 2020 the incoming Biden Administration had its first Intel meeting. Donald J. Trump wasn't present. Perhaps that's why they called it an Intel briefing. The Trump Administration continues to obstruct the incoming Biden Administration - this is beyond poor sportsmanship. And the baby man president's behavior, as always, is so bad it's almost indescribable. Only 23 more days left of the Trump Administration ... but who's counting?

Speaking of babies, the top names for babies in 2020 were Emma and Olivia for girls and Liam and Noah for boys.

Interview with Santa the Weekend B4 New Years

It's Been a Disappointing Holiday, but Not Unexpected

holiday events holiday markets manhattan queens bronx brooklyn staten island holiday events holiday markets nycDecember 26, 2020 / NYC Neighborhoods / News Analysis & Opinion / Gotham Buzz NYC.

I bumped into Santa over the holiday season. He looked a bit tired and thinner than he was last time I interviewed him a few years ago. I asked him if he had contracted CoVid, because he has a couple of underlying health conditions that might put him at risk - like being overweight and being over 65.

He told me no, in no uncertain terms, that he did not have CoVid and that he and Mrs. Claus and the elves had quarantined for the past 364 days leading up to Christmas so that they could be sure that everything they delivered on Christmas day would NOT have even the slightest possibility of being infected.

He seemed less jolly than in prior years, which I inquired about. He told me that he'd been doing the same gig for centuries, and yes, he was more tired than usual. He commented that he was especially tired, possibly in part because of the pandemic. And that the stress of quarantining toy parts and what not before putting them into production at his North Pole toy factory had turned out to be - pardon his French - a pain in the ass.

He also said he was sorry he couldn't swap out his toy production for food production as he knew many families were bereft of some of the basic necessities - even rent - so toys seemed a bit superfluous during these heavy times. I asked him for a ho, ho, ho, Meerrryyy Christmas, which he managed to summon up, in spite of himself. And he quickly added ... "and have a Happy New Year".

That's Santa, who like a lot of people this year, is carrying on in spite of everything. So I wanted to pass that along to you. More coming Monday, with a possibly a bit more from my interview with one of the longest lasting celebrities of all time, Santa Claus.

Holiday Headwinds & the Coming New Year

Most Folks Won't Miss 2020, but There was a Silver Lining in the Dark CoVid Cloud, 2nd Stimulus Package Passed & NYS Rent Relief Program Reopened

December 22, 2020 / NYC Neighborhoods / News Analysis & Opinion / Gotham Buzz NYC.

holiday events holiday markets manhattan queens bronx brooklyn staten island holiday events holiday markets nycAs we head into the holidays, which for many begins on Wednesday evening, there doesn't seem much bounce in folks steps when I travel the city.

For many 2020 has been a devastating year. Over 320,000 Americans lost their lives to CoVid, over 18 million contracted the virus [tested positive], and about 30,000 or more people have been in the hospital with CoVid since April of this year, with double that amount in two separate spikes in April / May and July.

CoVid Pandemic Health & Hospitalization Impact. And what's worse, is that as of just a few days ago, there were nearly four times that amount [113,000 according to an NPR report on December 17th] in the hospital as we speak. So if you're one of the 310 million Americans who haven't caught the virus, consider yourself lucky and you have something to be thankful for. And if you haven't lost someone close to you, then you're not among the roughly estimated three million Americans who have.

CoVid Pandemic Economic & Housing Impact. But the pandemic impact reaches far beyond mortality and health, as many people's livelihoods have been turned upside down. An estimated 40 million are looking at possible eviction when the regulatory hiatus on evictions ends. An estimated 10.7 million people are unemployed and the labor force participation rate dropped 1.9% since the pandemic began and it is now 61.5%. This means that in addition to those unemployed who are currently looking for jobs, another 1.9% of the population [6.3 million] has given up even looking.

Can Trumpsters really look people in the eye and tell them with a straight face that Trump has made America Great 'Again' with these kinds of results? And this doesn't even take into account that Trump gave away trillions in tax cuts, trillions more in government stimulus, and pumped trillions more into the economy in Federal Reserve liquidity?

To 80 million plus voters, the silver lining of 2020, was that Donald J. Trump will no longer be president, come January 20, 2021. The COUNTDOWN to a Trumpless Presidency begins - 30 days and counting.


The Holidays & Good New$ Arising Out of Stimulus Bill ...

holiday events holiday markets manhattan queens bronx brooklyn staten island holiday events holiday markets nycMore good news is that the holidays are here. Things slow down and we'll all get a chance to catch our breath. In spite of warnings by government officials many folks I know are planning small get togethers with immediate family and a few close friends. It's the struggle between human longing and behavior, and rational discipline that's playing out. Most folks I know appear to be making compromises in both directions. Rituals and traditions are hard to let go.

Speaking of compromise, the Senate and House passed a second stimulus package. It contains $4 billion for our MTA [$4 billion], $15 billion for the culture / entertainment industry nationally, $15 billion more in bailout money for the airlines, some money for the airports, apparently another $600 stimulus check for taxpaying Americans making less than $75,000, and some money - but not a whole lot - for the states and municipalities to help cover increased expenditures arising from CoVid.

Update 12/22. But Trump has yet to sign it, and whether he's using this 'fake news' to distract from his pardoning of his criminal-like cronies, or really won't sign it, remains to be seen. See prior post on 12/18/20 for an early look at potential pardons of Trump's seemingly criminal-like family and friends.

NYS Reopens Rent Relief Program. Perhaps the best news for the folks facing the most stressful circumstances is that the rent moratorium was extended to January 31, 2021 and $25 billion was allocated toward rental assistance. Thus NYS reopened its CoVid Rent Relief program. The program is designed to help folks with their primary residence in NYS, who were making 80% or less of the household size adjusted median income prior to March 7, 2020, and are rent burdened. The deadline for relief applications is February 1, 2021. You can find details at

I have a fair amount more to add about the economy, but much of it isn't exactly cheerful, so I'm going to save it for sometime between after Christmas and the end of the year.

There's a bit of good news in that I'm beginning to receive more notices about small and / or outdoor events being planned in NYC [the relatively warm weather helps] beginning in January, so I expect [assuming all hell doesn't break loose surrounding CoVid after the holidays], as we move into 2021 more activities will start springing up, and the city will begin coming back to life.

I hope to post something more cheerful in time for Christmas weekend. So if you have a few minutes, feel free to check back in. In the meantime, best wishes to you and yours. Only one more week to go on 2020, so manage it well and treat yourself to something special like a drink, a sweet or favored food or a nap. Cheers.

Countdown to NYC Christmas as Hanukkah ends

Winter Solstice in Elizabeth Garden, Bike NYC Holiday Rides, Good Riddance Day Ten Days Away, Threats of 2nd 'Pause' NYS Lockdown Persist, Why [is?] Indoor Dining Shuttered Indefinitely, Some NYC Hospitals Near ICU Capacity Overload, CoVid Vaccination Devil in the Details, Trump Pardons & Epithets

December 18, 2020 / NYC Neighborhoods / News Analysis & Opinion / Gotham Buzz NYC.

holiday events holiday markets manhattan queens bronx brooklyn staten island holiday events holiday markets nycNYC Weekend Weather. The temperature highs will rise from the low 30's Friday & Saturday to the high 30's on Sunday. The temperature lows will rise from the mid teens early Friday morning to the mid 20's Saturday and then the mid 30's on Sunday. No precipitation is forecast for Friday and Saturday and possibly less than 1/10th of an inch later [after 3 pm] on Sunday. Humidity will rise from the 60% range on Friday, to the 70% range Saturday and near 80% on Sunday.

Things To Do Between Now & New Years - Elizabeth Street Garden Winter Solstice, Bike NYC Holiday Rides, Good Riddance Day in Times Square

On Sunday, December 20th between 6 and 7 pm, the Elizabeth Street Garden at 209 Elizabeth Street in SoHo between Prince and Spring Streets in Manhattan is hosting a Winter Solstice celebration. It's free, but you must wear a mask even though it's outdoors, and there's limited capacity.

But on Monday, December 28th, beginnning at 12 noon, there's Good Riddance Day. This was inspired by a Latin American tradition, where bad memories of the year are stuffed in dolls which are then burned. While the Times Square event won't include fire, they say the bad memories of 2020 can be tossed, shredded and smashed.

Also on Monday, there's a Manhattan holiday lights ride that begins at Columbus Circle at 3 pm and ends at the South Street Seaport around 7 pm. It costs $10 and you can register at

On Wednesday, December 23rd, there's a Bronx holiday lights ride that begins at Van Cortlandt Park at 242nd Street and Broadway at 3 pm and ends at the South Street Seaport around 7 pm. It costs $10 and you can register at The Brooklyn Holiday Lights ride was on Saturday, December 12th.

Like most things this year, the New Years Eve ball drop in Times Square is going to be a virtual event.


CoVid Taps ICU Capacity at Some NYC Hospitals

holiday events holiday markets manhattan queens bronx brooklyn staten island holiday events holiday markets nycSpeaking of suck, CoVid has decided to stay for the holidays. NYC and NYS are actually doing fairly well in managing the pandemic - relative to the rest of the nation - but the rest of the nation isn't doing so well. We're between 5% - 6% testing positive.

But that said, some Intensive Care Units around the city are near capacity as CoVid patients contribute to high demand for the ICU. This week The Patch, an online news site, noted that some NYC hospitals including Flushing Hospital in Queens, Mount Sinai and NY Presbyterian on the UES of Manhattan, Brooklyn Methodist [also run by NY Presbyterian] and Kingsbrook Jewish Medical Center in Brooklyn are nearing capacity in their Intensive Care Units. They also noted that an unnamed Staten Island hospital and a second Queens hospital [possibly Elmhurst as its adjacent to one of the city CoVid hotspots] were nearing total usage of ICU capacity. The City, an online news site, has been tracking the impact on local healthcare facitilies and shows that at present 83% of hospital beds and 78% of all ICU beds are occupied.

Part of the Problem is NYC and NYS have limited Hospital ICU Capacity. After at least a decade of cutting hospital facility capacity, it seems we're back in need of this critical infrastructure again - or at least a re-thinking of how to move forward without having the shut down the economy everytime there's a surge in the pandemic spread.

I recommend that government officials create a task force led by a smart problem solver, who can manage inputs from medical professionals, restaurateurs, teachers and other essential and non-essential representatives to help figure out how to balance public health with economic health for the long term.

The photo above shows an NYC snow plow out on Wednesday night cleaning up the city streets which seem to be in pretty fair shape as of this writing.


Indoor Dining on Hiatus at NYC Restaurants, Even Though Thus Far, Restaurants Account for Less Than 2% of the Spread Rate

holiday events holiday markets manhattan queens bronx brooklyn staten island holiday events holiday markets nycThe surging demand for ICU care at local hospitals is why the Governor and Mayor are threatening a second shutdown. They have already pulled back on indoor dining, even though by Governor Cuomo's own numbers, restaurant dining represents less than 2% of cause of the spread. And the cold weather and snow aren't helping these indefatigable entrepreneurs.

Update 12.19.20. While Cuomo's numbers indicate NYS restaurants represent only 1.4% of the spread of CoVid, a December 8, 2020 PolitiFact report did a quick survey of some of the CoVid transmission studies done since the pandemic began. In their report, PolitiFact states that restaurants represent the types of places where CoVid 'could be spread, but the actual transmission rates varied from locale to locale - likely because of differing regional responses to the pandemic. This is likely why the Governor and Mayor have put restaurants on hiatus - but it seems to punish / not reward what appears NYC and NYS restaurateurs' good behavior.

The photo at right shows a small neighborhood store, lights burning brightly, amidst the snow storm. Restaurants, neighborhood stores and other small businesses collectively are sizeable employers and an important part of the community fabric.

Hurting NYC restaurateurs rallied in Times Square on Tuesday 12/15/20 in support of government relief, including the proposed $114 billion of federal economic stimulus for restaurants, where a spokesperson at the rally noted that the restaurant industry employs 11 million in the nation. According to a December 7, 2020 Bloomberg report, already a reported 110,000 restaurants nationwide have closed their doors. This is according to a National Restaurant Association report, which calculated in September that 100,000 restaurants had closed. This would indicate that the restaurant shutdowns have slowed, but by no means stopped.


CoVid Vaccinations - Two Candidates & Delayed Action Immunity

So as of this week, we have two VACCINATION therapies approved by the FDA Advisory Panel. One has been given FDA approval for use, with the second soon to follow. The first vaccinations began this week, which is the start of at least a half year to full year effort, to vaccinate enough people in the population to return to some kind of post pandemic normal. I don't think post pandemic normal is going to be the same as it was before this all happened in a manner not unlike what happened following 911, when things returned to normal - but traveling by air was very different.

Delayed Reaction Vaccination. WBGO, a jazz radio station out of Newark, NJ, had a talk program where one of the experts noted that between the two vaccination doses, a patient can actually contract CoVid because at that point the patient - is at best - 50% protected. What I found most interesting though, was that the patient doesn't become fully immune until about a month after the second dose, as the body requires time to build / complete the immunity.

A couple of patients using the Pfizer vaccine, who had pre-existing conditions concerning allergies, caused Pfizer to warn folks with such conditions, to carefully consider whether to proceed with taking the Pfizer vaccine. I imagine, as with the virus, we'll continue to learn new things as the science unfolds.

CoVid Back Pain Symptom? Celebrity talk show host, Ellen DeGeneres, caught CoVid just over a week ago. This week she noted she was feeling fine, but told us she experienced some agonizing back pain. This symptom, which she said others who had contracted CoVid confirmed, has not been previously mentioned.

KEEPING SAFE - Simple CoVid Rules to Remember. The 80 / 50 Rule. I understand that 80% of the spread of CoVid is done via air [aka breathing too close to someone] and that 50% of the spread is done by people who show no symptoms [asymptomatic]. This is a cautionary tale, but it's easy to remember,. The lesson is that if you stay disciplined, you should also be able to stay safe by distancing and wearing a mask. And, of course, pandemic or no pandemic, wash your hands before touching your face or preparing / eating food.


Trump Pardons & the Celebrity Penitentiary Choo Choo?

Donald Trump is reportedly scheming how to pardon all of his seemingly criminal-like cronies and family members. He appears to want to do that without it appearing to be so, by hiding them in a massive pardon that includes innocents.

This is not unlike the approach taken in the film entitled Jack Reacher, where a criminal executes a half dozen people in a Pittsburgh park, in order to hide the motive for assassinating the intended target, so that authorities wouldn't dig deeper into the case to find out what was really going on. But Jack Reacher, a former army investigator, is not so easily fooled.

In a similar manner Trump - ever the deceitful con man - will try to hide his self serving use of America's presidential pardons to get his seemingly criminal-like cronies - including many family members and friends - off the hook for crimes they may possibly [likely?] committed.

My early and incomplete GUESSES for pardons for possibly committing federal crimes include:

holiday events holiday markets manhattan queens bronx brooklyn staten island holiday events holiday markets nyc1) Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, who is a decades long Trump crony, for god-knows-what, as he's been quiet the whole four years. But it's worth noting that Ross's department was one of the first named in the hack attack by the Russians after Trump fired DHS Security guru Krebs, and Ross has had a long history of relations with Russian Oligarchs, which include suspicion of possible money laundering efforts. Lastly Ross was adept at finagling Trump out of complex financial messes [aka bankruptcies] for decades - which Ross is rumored to have done using Russian Oligarch money.

According to a January 30, 2019 report,

"... U.S. Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross['s] ... labyrinth of Russian bank ties may have paid off Trump's five bankruptcies when no U.S. bank would..."

2) Ivanka Trump & Jared Kushner & Wendi Deng [who is the ex-wife of Rupert Murdoch of Fox News] for possibly being intermediaries in the 2016 election between Trump and Putin [click for story that includes other names] and Kushner was the liaison for a possibly illegal campaign collusion with Kanye West, and Kushner is reported to have set up an LLC where about $700 million of Trump campaign money went [was laundered?].

3) Rudy Giuliani for allegedly using his relationship to Trump to enrich himself [influence peddling] and using the State Department to obtain dirt or allegations of dirt on Biden.

4) Betsy DeVos' brother Erik Prince former CEO of Blackwater and currently head of a HONG KONG equity based research firm Frontier Resource Group for possibly all kinds of shenanigans, including allegedly working to develop a backwater channel with Putin in 2016.

5) Secretary of Transportation Elaine Chao [how corrupt is Mitch McConnell and his wife?] who, perhaps legally, seemed to sell us out to the Chinese [they now have more naval battle ships]. In May of 2020 Trump replaced an Inspector General investigating Chao's work, with someone vetted by Chao's husband, Mitch McConnell the Senate Republican Mouse Majority Leader.

6) Ben Carson for reportedly giving Trump's sycophantic friend Fox News Sean Hannity improved terms and interest rates on a multi-million dollar package between HUD and Hannity real estate shell corporation(s) [enriching friends, but probably legally], and

7) Roger Stone and Michael Flynn have already been pardoned for alleged mischief with Russian interference in the 2016 election and thereafter. And Paul Manafort is expected to receive a pardon, even though he's already been released from prison on CoVid concerns.

Pay attention and you will see this play out in the last month of the blowhard billionaire's Make America Suck [For the First Time] presidency.


Dirty Mouthed Mobster Don Seems Worthy of his Own Epithets

holiday events holiday markets manhattan queens bronx brooklyn staten island holiday events holiday markets nycTrump said he'd clean the swamp. And anyone who believes that today is either a totally naive rube or a believer of the incredible stream of distorted, omission prone, spin factor, fake 'news' coming out of Australian born billionaire Rupert Murdoch's propaganda machine which includes Fox News, the NY Post, the Wall St. Journal and occasionally other outlets he controls.

Pardon me. I'm still working through some of my anger management issues toward that slimeball, sleazeball, scumbag president and his cronies. I use those terms because the Donald likes to use these monikers on other people. Thus, it seems only fitting to use them on him - as he is not guilty of anything - if not projecting his bad qualities onto others.

For example in an April 13, 2018 report in the Atlantic Trump calls former FBI Directors James Comey a "Slimeball". In an October 24, 2019 report in the New Yorker, they quote a Trump tweet which called the Never Trump Republicans "human scum". In a January 22, 2020 report on Real Clear Politics, Trump calls Congressman Jerry Nadler a "Sleazebag". I, for one, will not miss the slimiest, sleaziest, scummiest president our nation has ever had - who promised his knuckle headed supporters that he would "clean up the swamp". Al Capone would not only have done a better job, he would have spoken with more dignity.

There are only 33 more days left to the disastrous, demagogic, democracy-destroying Dysfunctional Presidency of Donald J. Trump.

Enjoy your weekend.

The Week & a Half Before Christmas

Noreaster on its Way? Biden Wins 2020 Election Again - Would Someone Please Tell Trump that Biden is Tired of Winning. White Collar Office Workers Return Delayed? Restaurants Indoor Dining on Hiatus Because Why? Holiday Spirit & Hanukkah ends Friday.

holiday events holiday markets manhattan queens bronx brooklyn staten island holiday events holiday markets nycDecember 15, 2020 / NYC Neighborhoods / News Analysis & Opinion / Gotham Buzz NYC.

Weather. A big noreaster is on its way, arriving here Wednesday between 1 pm and 5 pm. About 13.5 inches of snow are forecast if the temperatures remain below freezing. The whole shebang will be over by Thursday between 10 am and 3 pm. The high temperature is expected to be 32 degrees, while the low is forecast to be 29 degrees - within a few degrees of freezing - so this could possibly end up as rain and sleet, which would greatly diminish the snow. Winds will rise to 15 - 20 mph on Wednesday and Thursday, dropping to 5 mph by Friday. The temperature begins falling Thursday down to 21 and then 17 by Friday, while the high on both Friday remains in the low 30's. So this may be our first real taste of winter if the temperatures fall as predicted.

The photo at right was taken in Manhattan less than two weeks ago. I think it's important to remember that there are many folks out there who are less fortunate than ourselves. Studies show that most folks are happier when they're living next to people who are doing a bit less well than they are. And that folks are less happy, when everyone around them seems to be faring better.


Biden Wins the Election, then Wins a Dozen Election Recounts, Wins About 40 Lawsuits, Wins Several Attempts to Steal Delegates by States & Now Wins the Electoral College which includes Shanghai Mitch McConnell's Recognition of Biden's Win

While House Mouse Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy Still Seems to Back Trump Coup - Charlie McCarthy Insists Kevin is No Relation - but that's Unconfirmed

holiday events holiday markets manhattan queens bronx brooklyn staten island holiday events holiday markets nycJoe Biden won the Electoral College 306 - 232 as predicted on November 7th, when the votes were tallied and the Trump election fraud began. Normally this would be no big deal, but Donald Trump appears to have as much disregard for our democracy as he does for the law.

What I don't get is how people can continue supporting a man with as long a history of self dealing - appearing to lie, cheat and essentially steal from countless contractors, employees, bankers [Trump Taj Mahal Casino], investors [Trump Airline], students [Trump University], donors [Trump Charities] and so forth. What has he done for anyone besides himself? But there are now less than 36 days left, so the end is in sight and any future effort to overturn the vote at this point is even less likely to succeed than Trump's half dozen to dozen recounts [none of which turned up any different result] and Rudy Giuliani led lawsuits [Trump and Republicans filed 41 or more lawsuits - losing all of them except maybe one].

Trump's efforts to steal the election are documented in our special reports posted on November 6th - Trump Tries to Steal the Election, November 10th - Trump using Claims of Election Fraud to Enrich or Empower himself, November 30th Trump & Election Fraud and December 11th [halfway down a Weekend Things To Do report] Trump and Corrupt Republicans Try to Steal the Election.


Two CoVid Vaccines Endorsed & Distribution has Begun

holiday events holiday markets manhattan queens bronx brooklyn staten island holiday events holiday markets nycThe FDA staff endorses emergency use of the Moderna vaccine. This is the second vaccine in less than a week to receive FDA staff endorsement of a CoVid vaccine for emergency use. This should have the effect of enabling the vaccination rollout to move more quickly than if just one vaccine were available.


The photo at right shows folks lining up in Queens to get their CoVid test prior to the Thanksgiving holiday. Even though NYC and NYS are testing positive above 5%, we're still doing better than most of the rest of the nation.


Closing Indoor Dining Doesn't Appear to be Following the Science / Numbers - Time to Amend?

Governor Cuomo, supported by Mayor de Blasio, decided to rescind indoor dining at restaurants effective on Monday. While generally I think these two have done a pretty fair job of managing our city and state through this pandemic, this seems another opportunity to amend their plans - like the Mayor is in the process of doing with the public school system.

holiday events holiday markets manhattan queens bronx brooklyn staten island holiday events holiday markets nycThe NYC public school system was closed earlier this fall when the city tested positive above 3% for a week - even though the testing rate in the public school system was well below that. So now they're looking at the possibility of amending the decision making variables that determine when public schools must transition from indoor to remote learning based on the city-wide testing results, instead of using a more appropriate metric of public school wide, or better yet, school specific testing results.

According to charts shown by Governor Cuomo, less than 2% of the CoVid transmission was the result of indoor dining. So to penalize restaurants, by closing indoor dining, when they generally seem to be adhering to the guidelines and thus performing well by minimizing risk, it doesn't seem fair to close / penalize them. And as we all know, the holidays are an important season for restaurateurs ... as well as a gathering place for most of the rest of us as well. The coming cold weather doesn't help either, as it will certainly reduce the highly successful outdoor dining option. I don't envy the Governor and the Mayor, as it's no easy feat to balance the general health and well being of the community, with the community's / people's economic livelihoods.

The photo above shows an NYC rat that I believe was hit by a cyclist. It seems the restaurateurs have done an amazing job of keeping their outdoor facilities clean, as since the outdoor dining rollout, this is the first non-subway / park rat I've encountered in nearly a half year. As you know, the hospitality and entertainment / cultural industries have been particularly hard hit by the pandemic.


The Slow Return to the Office of the White Collar Workforce

holiday events holiday markets manhattan queens bronx brooklyn staten island holiday events holiday markets nycGoogle pushed back its estimate for when its white collar office staff might return to the office from July 2021 to September 2021. Given Google's size and intelligence, this is probably a good guesstimate for when businesses might begin to resume the post pandemic normal level of operations.

At present it's estimated that about 30% of white collar workers are working from their offices. And it is expected that in a manner not unlike what's been happening in the public schools, that white collar workers will begin increasing periodic or sporadic use of the office as the vaccines are rolled out, and the second wave we're experiencing now - begins settling down post the holidays.

The photo at right was taken at Saks Fifth Avenue across from Rockefeller Center in Manhattan. Apparently Christmas decoration sales have been up significantly, and either selling out or selling at far better prices. I've noticed myself, how the holiday decorations and music seem to mean more to me this year, than in prior years. I'm pretty sure part of the reason is that they seem to offset some of the anti-social, isolationist aspect of the pandemic. And another reason being that because of decreased mobility / activity this year, the holiday decorations and music haven't seemed as intrusive, ubiquitous and excessive this year.

Happy Hanukkah continues, ending Friday.

This Weekend Things To Do NYC

Happy Hanukkah, New Yorkers Striving to Return to Normal with Tree & Menorah Lightings, Theater & Small Museum / Historic Site Reopenings, but CoVid back on the Offensive, Vaccine Help is on the way, Albeit Not so Soon for Most of Us & Dictator Donald & Seemingly Corrupt Friends Fail to Overturn U.S. Democracy

holiday events holiday markets manhattan queens bronx brooklyn staten island holiday events holiday markets nycDecember 11, 2020 / NYC Neighborhoods / Things To Do NYC / News Analysis & Opinion / Gotham Buzz NYC.

Weather. The temperature highs go from the low 40's into the mid to high 50's the rest of the weekend. The temperature lows will be in the 40's on Friday and Saturday, descending into the low 30's on Sunday night. There's a bit of rain [not even 1/10th of an inch] in the forecast for Saturday morning. The humidity will be in the 70's Friday, rising to 80% Saturday and then dropping to 50% by the end of Sunday. Winds will be between 5 - 10 mph. Not a bad weekend weather report for mid December.


Life Continues & a Show Goes On, Albeit Differently

The Bartow Pell Mansion at 895 Shore Road in Pelham State Park in the Bronx is hosting a few historical / theatrical events in compliance with the NYS CoVid guidelines. They're doing Candlelight Tours holiday events holiday markets manhattan queens bronx brooklyn staten island holiday events holiday markets nycfrom 4 - 9 pm December 4 - 19 for $10 admission. They're doing Holiday Mansion Walk Thrus from December 5 - 18 from 10.45am - 3.15 pm [last tour begins] for $10 admission. And they're hosting performances of Mr. Dickens Tells a Christmas Carole from December 12 - 20 from 1 - 2.30 pm for $40. You must rsvp via their website -

The photo at right, taken two weeks ago, shows the late fall we experienced this year. It was a welcome relief because in helped restaurants with their outdoor dining, and allowed cooped up denizens to at least enjoy a bit of exercise and fresh air.

In the Bronx there's a food pantry, of sorts, called the Mott Haven fridge outside of a bodega at 141st and St. Anne's in Mott Haven in the Bronx. It was started in the fall by a couple of teachers to provide both a means of giving food by those who can, as well as a means of distributing food to those who need. In late November the Mott Haven Fridge was on the brink of losing its home outside of Chicky's bodega due to that bodega being sold. But a nearby bodega, Brito's Deli Grocery, volunteered the use of a vacant lot their control, so the Mott Haven Fridge did move ... but only 30 feet down the block.

The National Lighthouse Museum at 200 The Promenade at Lighthouse Point on Staten Island [easy 5 minute walk from the ferry terminal] has re-opened with CoVid guidelines in effect. The new hours are Wednesday through Sunday from 11 am - 4 pm daily.

Holiday Tree Lighting & Hanukkah Menorah Lightings in Queens, Brooklyn & Manhattan

The eight days of Hanukkah menorah lighting in Brooklyn at Grand Army Plaza and in Manhattan at 5th Avenue and 59th Street in front of what was once the Plaza Hotel.

And there was a holiday tree lighting event on Tuesday, December 8th in Elmhurst Queens at the Moorehead Homestead Playground at Broadway & 45th Avenue . While the event has passed, the lit tree remains.

Also scroll down for events posted in the prior two weekends which continue through the holidays.


CoVid Pandemic Second Wave Continues to Ravage City & State?

Governor Cuomo announced that indoor dining at NYC restaurants will be suspended effective Monday, December 14th. But outdoor dining, pick up and delivery will remain viable dining options. People holiday events holiday markets manhattan queens bronx brooklyn staten island holiday events holiday markets nyctesting positive for CoVid were found twice as likely to have dined at a restaurant within the two weeks prior to testing positive.

The Governor extended the commercial eviction moratorium another month.

The photo at right shows an empty Times Square about a week ago during prime time of day [after work] and prime time of year [holidays]. Broadway theaters are closed until June 2021 and tourism in NYC is operating just a shade above non-existent at present.

Cuomo noted that 74% of new CoVid cases appear to have arisen from attendance at small private in-home social gatherings. And the percent testing positive at both NYC and NYS levels has passed 5% which has been a cautionary threshold, as the transmission rate also rose above 1%, which means the spread in NYS is accelerating. It's worth bearing in mind that this weekend we will be two weeks past the Thanksgiving holiday, which was likely the cause for the increase transmissions, as people likely let their guard down among family, friends and loved ones.

This second wave might abate, except that the holiday season is winding up, and most folks are longing for a bit of social interaction. Part of the holiday kickoff began with the tree lighting at Rockefeller Center on Wednesday, December 2nd, followed by one at Washington Square Park on Wednesday, December 9th, and the beginning of Hanukkah on Thursday, December 10th. We are now two weeks away from Christmas week, and then the New Year [virtual celebration from Times Square], and then things should 'die' down.

The photo at right shows a poster encouraging Astorians in Queens to obtain a flu shot a couple of weeks ago.

So government officials are asking people to continue exercising restraint during the holidays and beyond, as the Pfizer vaccine received FDA emergency approval and will begin rolling out over the next few weeks. But patience is still required as it will take somewhere between many months and a half year to year for everyone or most folks to obtain the vaccine. The good news is that the end is in sight. The bad news is that we probably have at least as long as we have endured to date, to get to the new post pandemic normal.


Trump Bid to Destroy U.S. Democracy Blocked by Supreme Court, but his Deceit of Ignorant Republicans Continues

holiday events holiday markets manhattan queens bronx brooklyn staten island holiday events holiday markets nycThis just in. The Supreme Court again denied Trump his bid to overturn our democracy and transform it into a racist, Nazi-like dictatorship where he has all the power and 'We The People' have none. The way things used to be ... again.

The Seemingly Corrupt Texas Attorney General Who Filed the Trump Brief is Rumored to be Angling for a Presidential Pardon

The Texas Attorney General, Ken Paxton, who has been under indictment since 2015 for securities fraud, and who in October 2020 was accused of corruption, including - bribery, abuse of office and other crimes - by a number of his subordinates took the lead in the lawsuit.

Paxton is believed to have done this last ditch bid for Trump in exchange for a presidential pardon. But, while I'm not a lawyer, I believe some of Paxton's alleged crimes cannot be pardoned by Trump. This is yet another example of how rotten and corrupt the Republican party has become. Criminals and con men aiding and abetting each other, while lying and deceiving millions of incredibly ignorant Americans, who are the New Republican Red Rubes.


Mitch McConnell Remains Silent as Trump Nominates his Wife for Another Plum Government Paid Position, After Failure vis a vis the Chinese Navy While Transportation Secretary

holiday events holiday markets manhattan queens bronx brooklyn staten island holiday events holiday markets nycSenate Republican Mouse Majority Leader Mitch McConnell also aided and abetted Trump in what seems a fundraising scam [see November 2020 story]. It seems McConnell will be rewarded by Trump's appointment of McConnell's wife, Taiwanese born Elaine Chao - who was the Transportation Secretary as the U.S. fell behind China in the number of naval battleships [in 2019].

McConnell's wife's father is a rich businessman who is well connected to the top members of the Chinese Communist party. And what a surprise, he runs a large shipping company, whose ships the Chinese help fund and build [see our October 2020 report on what appears McConnell corruption].

Australian born billionaire Rupert Murdoch has been using Fox News, the NY Post and the Wall Street Journal to attack a U.S. Congressman for something to do with the Chinese, while failing to identify Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and his wife for what seems their very cozy ties to the top echelons of the Chinese Communist Party.

Why does Murdoch leave McConnell out of the story? Because like Trump, McConnell appears to be a Murdoch propaganda machine asset, and he's working with Trump to set up roadblocks to Biden overseeing the FCC which makes all the difference to a lot of Murdoch's net worth. Prior to Chao's appointment to Transportation Secretary, Murdoch had appointed Chao to the 20th Century Fox [News] Board. See November 30, 2020 story for details.


Trump Allies / Georgia Republican Senate Candidates Perdue & Loeffler May Have Profited via Insider Trading on CoVid Intel

holiday events holiday markets manhattan queens bronx brooklyn staten island holiday events holiday markets nycOne of what seems like innumerable of their corrupt associates, Georgia Senator David Perdue, is seeking reelection in the Georgia on January 5th, 2021. According to an NYT report on December 2, 2020,

"... The Georgia Republican’s stock trades have far outpaced those of his Senate colleagues and have included a range of companies within his Senate committees’ oversight, an analysis shows..."

Both Perdue and Loeffler were investigated by a bipartisan Senate Ethics Committee according to the Atlanta Journal Constitution. The newspaper also noted that of the 1189 complaints filed between 2007 and 2019 - NOT ONE OF THEM resulted in disciplinary action. Does that mean that all of those senators are just great stock timers, or were they good at hiding their insider trading, or that they're all corrupt so it makes no sense to let the American people in on the secret?

The Hollowed out, Corrupted Republican Party has Lost its Way - Do They Stand for Nothing Real Anymore?

Use the above link [copy & paste in the browser bar] to watch a brief YouTube video, and then ask yourself - What Happened to the Republican Party? About a minute into the video Ossoff attacks what appears Perdue's insider stock trading during the pandemic.

Allowing this kind of crap to continue is how the American dream for the general populace falls.

I hope you're enjoying your holidays : ) ... like me.

The Holidays Look & Feel Different This Year

Did the Donald & his Dementos Suck the Cheer Right out of Us?

holiday events holiday markets manhattan queens bronx brooklyn staten island holiday events holiday markets nycDecember 8, 2020 / NYC Neighborhoods / Things To Do NYC / News Analysis & Opinion / Gotham Buzz NYC.

Sunday, December 6th was St. Nick's feast day. This year it seemed like more people talked about it and celebrated it than in prior years. And Pearl Harbor Day was yesterday, Monday, December 7th. It was only 81 years ago that we entered into the second world war.

On Thursday, December 10th Hanukkah begins and runs through the following week. And Christmas is now only two and a half weeks away, falling on a Friday. But it just doesn't really FEEL like the holidays this year.

There's little hustle bustle, as about as much shopping was done online by folks in their homes as in stores. And the stores did about half their business via pickup or drop offs so the mingling and social element of shopping was mostly lost this year. Then, the restaurants weren't and aren't filled with high energy, cheery get togethers and parties [party plans are reportedly down 90% this year], and the millions of tourists who bring fun, excitement and their hard earned currency, are nowhere to be found.

The Washington Square Tree Lighting is expected to take place on Wednesday, December 9th. But they're not encouraging a big gathering.

Politics. Meanwhile the CoVid pandemic rages on, while an incompetent, self-serving, egomaniacal, lame duck president continues to try to overturn the will of the people by propagating lies and disinformation via a plethora of dishonest media who repeat his fictional nonsense because it fuels their ratings and visits. While Shanghai Mitch McConnell, who oversaw the largest deficit in American history - by multiples - and the fastest run up in American debt, is in the process of changing his costume and rearranging his make up, so he can tell the American people he's a fiscal conservative again.

Tis the season to be jolly, falla lala la, la, la, la, la.

I'm working through my post election, and anticipatory post pandemic angst, in order to begin the new year with a new mindset, and leave 2020 where it belongs ... in the rearview mirror.

holiday events holiday markets manhattan queens bronx brooklyn staten island holiday events holiday markets nycWeather. The temperature highs will be around 40 Tuesday and Wednesday, and around 50 on Thursday and Friday. The temperature lows will be in the 30's through Thursday, rising to the low 40's by Friday. It will be partly cloudy on Tuesday and Friday, cloudy on Wednesday and sunny on Thursday. No precipitation is in the forecast during the week, with possibly a bit over the weekend.

Schools. K - 5 grades reopened at the schools on Monday. Grades 6 - 12 continue via remote learning. This is expected to continue through the holidays, although there's some back and forth going on about that, as parents would like their older children back in the schools too.

Economy. The pandemic continues to take a toll on hospitality related businesses. This week colder weather arrived, thankfully quite late, as the outdoor dining has kept restaurants in business. One report estimates that a third of NYC restaurants won't make it through the pandemic.

There's some other news, as things are stirring around the boroughs, but I'm still challenged to work through some of the transition back to a semi-normal level of arts, culture and things to do reporting. I suspect this in part reflects the struggle encountered by the people and events I cover, as likely the next six months will be a struggle to return to - not the new normal - but the new post pandemic normal, which should be a huge improvement as some of the mirth and joy returns to our lives.

Stay disciplined and stay patient, we're getting there.

Things To Do This Weekend NYC

Mixed Weather Outlook, More Holiday Events Coming Later, More Going on than Expected, Behave Safely

holiday events holiday markets manhattan queens bronx brooklyn staten island holiday events holiday markets nycDecember 4, 2020 / NYC Neighborhoods / Things To Do NYC / News Analysis & Opinion / Gotham Buzz NYC.

Weather. The temperatures highs will be in the low 50's on Friday, the high 40's on Saturday and about 40 on Sunday. The temperature lows will be in the mid 40's on Friday, the mid 30's on Saturday and about 30 on Sunday. The winds will be 5 - 10 mph on Friday, gusting up to about 16 mph on Saturday, and winding down from 12 - 8 mph on Sunday. There's going to be rain on Friday, with about a half inch falling Friday evening and another half inch falling on Saturday - mostly in the morning. It should be clear after that. The humidity will be 80% falling to 70% on Friday, then falling from 70% to 60% on Saturday and then staying in the 50% - 60% range on Sunday.

We have also published other NYC holiday events and NYC holiday markets in Manhattan, Queens, Brooklyn, Bronx & Staten Island in a November 27th report, which you can also access by clicking the link.


Things to do in Manhattan

holiday events holiday markets manhattan queens bronx brooklyn staten island holiday events holiday markets nycBrookfield Place in Battery Park City has a light exhibit entitled Luminaires and an ice rink which is open from 10 am - 8 pm. There are also shops and restaurants open during that time too.

The NY Historical Society is hosting an exhibit entitled Toys & Trains from the Jerni Collection through February 21, 2021.


Things to do in Queens

The Queens County Farm is hosting an exhibit entitled The Winter Escape through January 10, 2021.


Things to do in Brooklyn

In Williamsburg there's a St. Nicholas Day celebration on Saturday, December 5th.

There are two movie screenings at the Skyline drive in movie theater in Greenpoint on Saturday and Sunday, December 5th & 6th.

holiday events holiday markets manhattan queens bronx brooklyn staten island holiday events holiday markets nycThe William Vale Hotel in Williamsburg neighborhood has a skating rink that's open through January 31, 2021.


Things to do in the Bronx

The Jolly Holidays carolers will be singing their way through the Bronx Little Italy neighborhood on Friday thru Sunday, December 11 - 13 and on Thursday, December 17 from 7 - 9 pm. They will also be there Friday thru Sunday, December 18 - 20, as well as Monday and Tuesday, December 22 & 23 from 6 - 8 pm.


Things to do on Staten Island

The Conference House is hosting its annual holiday lighting on Friday, December 4th.


We have published other NYC holiday events and NYC holiday markets in Manhattan, Queens, Brooklyn, Bronx & Staten Island in a November 27th report, which you can also access by clicking the link.

You're Looking at the Real Election Fraud ... Straight in the Eyes

trump election fraud using us government? trump fraudNovember 30, 2020 / NYC Neighborhoods / NYC Politics / News Analysis & Opinion / Gotham Buzz NYC.

Four years ago Donald Trump achieved one of his dreams and became the President of the United States. Now, four years later, we're witnesses to the Donald failing at his ultimate dream - becoming Dictator of the United States - like his buddies Kim Jong Un is in North Korea, Vladimir Putin is in Russia, and his nemesis Xi Jin Ping is in China.

But it hasn't been for lack of trying.


Trump Uses Federal Government Apparatus Like a Dictator, NOT an American President

Trump appeared to use the federal government bureaucracy in its most corrupt rendition since the birth of the republic 230 years ago - to lie, cheat and steal his way to victory.

trump election fraud using us government? trump fraudTrump called on Bill Barr's Department of Justice to 'investigate voter fraud' when there was none. On December 1, 2020 - a full four weeks after the election Barr finally spoke the truth - that there wasn't any widespread fraud.

Trump seemed to use Chad Wolfe's Department of Homeland Security to fund and operate campaign style food giveaways which included promotional style letters with his name on it, even though it was a federal operation using the American taxpayers' money.

He seemed on numerous occasions to try to bend Republicans in local and state government positions and the courts to go along with his fictional voter fraud claims. As of this writing 27 of the 41 lawsuits filed by Trump / Republicans were either dismissed or lost.

trump election fraud using us government? trump fraudTrump appeared to have one of his lackeys, Louis DeJoy, gerry rig the U.S. Post Office, so the postal organization would be challenged to fulfill its role in delivering mail and absentee ballots to the Boards of Elections. This was identified in August and Congress halted it.

He seemed to use Mike Pompeo's State Department as a campaign promotional tool with part real and part fictional peace deals, as well as using the State Department as a dirt digging operation - again using taxpayers' money - to extort dirt or allegations of dirt, on rival Joe Biden. In late 2019 Trump was impeached for using the government as a campaign tool.

Trump seemed to try to use Chad Wolfe's Department of Homeland Security to foment violence in American cities this summer, so he could run as the 'law and order president'. There was an uproar in Congress about this misuse of the DHS and it was halted.

And Trump even called up the U.S. Military to provide air support for a photo op, where he held up a Bible he had never read, as a symbol of his phoniness.

See below for other enablers in the Senate and Congress, like Mitch McConnell.


Trump Campaign Appears to Skirt Election Laws: Collusion?

trump election fraud using us government? trump fraudLastly, the NY Times reported that Jared Kushner met with Kanye West the weekend of August 8th & 9th, 2020. Kanye, a Trump supporter, launched a bid for the presidency in mid July and filed to get on the ballot in a number of battleground states including Wisconsin and Ohio.

Kanye failed to meet Federal Election Commission filing deadlines, showing where he's getting his money, and where he's spending it. This is a requirement for candidates spending more than $100,000. The filing fee in Oklahoma was $35,000 alone, so it was likely, when one also factors in the resources needed to gather signatures, and litigate to get on the ballot, that Kanye West had likely spent well over that limit [as of November 2020 the West campaign reportedly spent $6 million and received 60,000 votes].

If Kanye's run for president was colluding with the Trump campaign to defeat Biden, then they are both likely in violation of the law. Kanye had reportedly been in regular contact with Jared Kushner, Trump's son-in-law, as well as Republican operatives, who were also reportedly working on the Kanye West for president campaign. What trick in the book didn't Trump try?


Trump's Lies are Amplified & Given Credibility by Rupert Murdoch's Goebbels Style Propaganda Machine

trump election fraud using us government? trump fraudAnd while Australian born billionaire Rupert Murdoch's Fox News, NY Post and Wall Street Journal aren't owned by the government, Murdoch seems perfectly willing to allow Trump to use his media outlets as a Goebbels style propaganda machine that shows an unbelievable disregard for the truth. The pundits and 'news' people at Fox either let guests, like Trump, ramble on with numerous falsehoods, unchallenged - or even propagate the falsehoods themselves.

Why? Because Murdoch appears to have been handsomely rewarded for his propaganda media support, via Trump legislation, as well as executive actions by the FCC.

The Murdoch Wall Street Journal 'Trump Economy' is just one example of a Murdoch / Trump deceit, as it was propped up with about $6 trillion in deficit spending - see graph below. Another storyline deceit passed along as news has been Trump's ridiculously unfounded claims about widespread voter fraud, including allegations of corrupt voting machines.

Twitter and Facebook ought to consider editing Fox 'News' and Murdoch's other outlets off their platforms, if Murdoch persists in amplifying and spreading false information. If Murdoch's propaganda outlets fail to clean up the disinformation they are spreading via their media outlets - then it seems well within Facebook's and Twitter's rights - to rid their own platforms of Murdoch's Fox falsehoods by editing out erroneous reports / reporters and even entire outlets if they are saturated with false information.

Perhaps the Biden FCC will fix some of this.


Did Fox News & Maria Bartiromo Aid & Abet Yet Another Deceitful Trump Fundraising Scam?

trump election fraud using us government? trump fraudIn an interview Sunday [11/29] on Fox 'News', Maria Bartiromo seemed to aid and abet the Donald's false voter fraud claims, making the remark quoted below, which tells exactly why she and Trump should not be trying to defraud the American public regarding the integrity of our elections. This sort of behavior is what I've come to see as the bizarro world of propagandists - they seem to be guilty of doing precisely the things that they accuse of others.

"... Elections are the reason that our young men and women go on battlefields across the world and in some cases lose their lives. Because they believe that their vote, my vote, matters just as much as your vote. And if that is not true, this is a very serious turning point for America. So, this is no longer about you, President Trump. This is about America ...”

Bartiromo should have challenged Trump on all of his election fraud nonsense, given that Trump's Cyber Security head of DHS for U.S. elections, had said that these elections were the 'most secure in U.S. history' on November 12, 2020, just a bit more than two weeks earlier.


Fraudulent Journalism? Maria Bartiromo Fails to Ask the Most Basic Truth Seeking Questions on Fox News

trump election fraud using us government? trump fraudBartiromo - like so many on Fox News - appears to fake a phony patriotism. She seems to do this while providing an unAmerican embrace of Trump's unsubstantiated election fraud claims, which Republican judges and Republican government officials have swatted down as dishonest and deceitful. Unlike Bartiromo, who appears to be undermining our democracy, the Republican government officials and Republican appointed judges - in spite of threats to them [by Trump supporters?] - stood up to the nasty lies and disinformation campaigns levelled against them.

In the photo at right shows Chris Krebs, former chief of Cyber Security at Homeland Security [until November 12, 2020], when he was reportedly fired by Trump for trying to contain the disinformation put out by Trump and his allies that there was fraud in this past election. One can only hypothesize that the record $170 million reported by the Washington Post that Trump raised [scammed?] in November 2020 AFTER THE ELECTION - by manipulating his incredibly ignorant followers, by playing to their patriotism with his simpy 'stop the steal' pitch - would not have been possible without the help / silence / collusion of propaganda pundits on Fox News and NY Post, as well as key members of his Administration as noted above, and key Republicans like House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, South Carolina Senator Lindsay Graham, as well as Mitch McConnell as noted below.

trump election fraud using us government? trump fraudIf Bartiromo and Fox News can so seemingly distort the truth on something that goes to the very heart of our democracy to enhance profits, why should people trust her / them to accurately report on their investment news? Why wouldn't she / they distort the narratives on stocks she / they own, want to own, or want to dump?

While the mainstream media appears to attempt to accurately report the news, their superficial reports covering deceivers like Trump, Giuliani, McConnell & company and the things they say, without doing the homework to properly contextualize things instead of just repeating them, is also a contributor to our disinformation problem. Viewers must take to the net to find the people and organizations that are doing real journalism, because these days, most of the people I consider to be real journalists, won't be found at the big corporations. We have a systemic problem.


Trump Appears to Play as Fast & Loose with Other People's Money as he does the Facts

In any event, somewhere between 50% - 70% of the donations going to Trump 'to fight election fraud' are actually going to pay down his debts and other causes based on what's written in the fine print on his website [see last line on the graphic from the Trump website above]. According to a November 27, 2020 headline by Newsweek,

"Trump Set to Leave Office with at Least $850,000 of Unpaid Campaign Rally Bills"

trump election fraud using us government? trump fraud trump debts $850 million of unpaid campaign bills trump stiffs cities across america taxpayersSo not only does Trump appear to be scamming his supporters for funds, but once again Trump appears to scam the Americans living in the small towns and cities across the nation, by leaving unpaid bills at American municipalities to litigate, in order to obtain Trump Campaign payment, or to tap their hardworking taxpaying base to pay the BILLIONAIRE'S MAGA rally bills, as Trump appears to have stiffed numerous municipalities according to the Newsweek story noted at right.

This is not unlike what Trump appears to have done in the past to contractors, employees, partners, investors and lenders. See our section dedicated to Donald Trump's dishonest life by clicking this link. Be warned, you'll need a good shower after immersing yourself in his filth.

So Bartiromo, like so many [others] in the Trump Administration , appears to be aiding and abetting Trump in yet another of his scuzzball, slimeball, sleazeball scams. I added the adjectives scuzzball, slimeball and sleazeball, because this ties into my theory of the bizarro world of propagandists, as noted above.

The theory holds that propagandists are guilty of that which they accuse others. Prior to becoming president Donald Trump used to go around New York calling all sorts of people slimeballs, sleazeballs and scuzzballs. In psychological terms this phenomena - attributing characteristics you have, onto others - is called projection. I have a corollary theory, which is that the reason people [like Trump] project their characteristics onto others, is in order to deflect people's attention away from noticing these traits in them.


Trump - As Poor a Loser, as He was a President?

trump election fraud using us government? trump fraud trump debts $850 million of unpaid campaign bills trump stiffs cities across america taxpayersDonald Trump seems to have done little good for this country and an incredible amount of harm. In addition to alienating our allies, and emboldening our adversaries, he's plunged America deeper into debt by $6 TRILLION dollars in just four years.

The Trump Administration is fully responsible for nearly 25% of all U.S. debt on the nation's balance sheet - and far more - if you include the Federal Reserve's $3 TRILLION CoVid bailout / liquidity efforts [11.30.20 Update - the Federal Reserve revised that projection down to $2 TRILLION]. That money has been used to 'juice up' the 'Trump economy'. This is the part of the narrative / explanation you won't find on Murdoch's Fox News or even Murdoch's Wall Street Journal.

And Trump's latest bid to corruptly overturn an election he handily lost by well over 6,250,000 votes, adds to the destabilization of our American democratic institutions.

As noted above [see graphic] Trump also seems to be using his poor sport, sore loser, unfounded claims of election fraud, to raise money off of the most ignorant of his working class supporters, who he has convinced to help him, a billionaire who lives in luxury, pay down his debts by appealing to their patriotism [stop the steal / protecting our sacred vote], while burying where much or most of the money was really going [to pay off his debts] in the fine print. See our November 10th, 2020 story detailing what seems Trump's use of federal government to scam supporters into paying his bills / debts.

trump election fraud using us government? trump fraud trump debts $850 million of unpaid campaign bills trump stiffs cities across america taxpayersSome good measure of the responsibility must be attributed to phony fiscal conservative, Senate Republican Mouse Majority Leader, MITCH MCCONNELL, who has been Trump's reliable enabler. Unfortunately for us, the inattentive voters of Kentucky don't seem to know who Mitch McConnell really is, nor who he and his Chinese born wife. Elaine Chao, seem to work for. HINT - they do not appear to be working for middle class Kentuckians or, in some cases, even Americans.

So was there election fraud in 2020? I would say yes. But it was not the election fraud that super con man Donald Trump and his henchmen, enablers and propagandists are talking about - but rather the con they're working ... that they're not talking about.

Holiday Markets & Holiday Tree Lightings NYC

While Still Dialed Down, There's More Going on than I Thought

holiday things to do nyc holiday markets nyc manhattan queens bronx brooklyn staten island holiday things to do nyc holiday markets nycNovember 27, 2020 / NYC Shopping / NYC Holiday Events & NYC Holiday Markets / Gotham Buzz NYC.

The following represent an update of the in-person holiday markets and / or the in-person holiday events that will be open this season in all five boroughs.

I found far more going on than I expected ... although admittedly quite a bit less than in prior years ... but that said, there were a few markets or events in each borough.


Manhattan Holiday Markets & Holiday Events NYC

On Wednesday, December 2, 2020 from 7 - 10 pm there's the Rockefeller Tree Lighting ceremony at 5th Avenue at 48th Street in Midtown Manhattan. Nobody will be allowed in the plaza area, so your best bet of seeing the lights go on at 8 pm are via TV [NBC] from home.

From Saturday, October 30th, 2020 through January 3rd, 2021 the Winter Market at Bryant Park at 6th and 42nd Street in Midtown Manhattan is open. Over 100 vendors will be selling their wares from 11 am - 8 pm daily. The market opens at 10 am on the weekends.

From November 16 thru December 24, 2020 the Grand Central Holiday Fair, featuring 40 vendors, has gone virtual at

Both Union Square and the Columbus Circle holiday markets 2020 won't be open this year.

The weekend of December 4th thru 6th, 2020 the St John the Divine Crafts Fair will go virtual at They provide a unique assortment of artistic items, clothing and gifts.

ADD DATES / Chelsea Flea / On Saturdays & Sundays from 8 am - 4 pm at 29 West 25th St.reet between 5th & 6th Aveenues.

ADD DETAILS / Winter Garden at Brookfield Place.


Brooklyn Holiday Markets & Holiday Events NYC

On Saturdays from now through December 2020 from 10 am - 4 pm there's the Brooklyn Flea Market under the Manhattan Bridge Archway at the 80 Pearl Street Plaza. Customers and vendors are asked to maintain six-feet of distance, wear a mask and use hand sanitizer.

From Friday, November 27 thru Sunday, December 20, 2020 [Fri / Sat / Sun only] the Makers Show at Citipoint at 445 Albee Square West Brooklyn will be open from 12 noon to 8 pm. They offer crafts, food and drink. You must rsvp via Eventbrite [free] to go and they maintain a number of CoVid protocols.

From Thanksgiving 2020 through New Years 2021 from dusk to 9 pm the Dyker Heights Xmas Lights are burning with joy. The neighborhood holiday lighting extravaganza is located along 11th, 12th and 13th Avenues between 83rd and 86th Streets, and viewing is free.

From December 10 thru 17, 2020 there's the Grand Army Menorah Lighting at Grand Army Plaza beginning respectively at 5 pm / 3.30 pm / 7 pm / 5.30 pm and then 6 pm until Hanukkah is over. In the Prospect Heights / Park Slope neighborhoods of Brooklyn.

Thursday, Friday, Saturday & Sunday, December 10 - 13, 2020 the Brooklyn Ballet will do about 20 minutes of performances of the Nutcracker outside the Jewel Box at 160 Schermerhorn Street in Brooklyn beginning at 5.30 and 6.30 pm on Thursday, Friday and Sunday, and an extra performance at 4.30 pm on Sunday and Saturday performances at 6.30 & 7.30 pm. Free.

ADD TIME / On Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays & Sundays December 3 - 27, 2020, there's the Caribbeing Holiday Market at the LeFrak Center in Prospect Park featuring handmade arts, crafts, jewelry, spices, ornaments.

ADD DATE / Saturday & Sundays only from 10a - 4p Dumbo Holiday Flea _ Vintage and handmade for sale at Dumbo Archway.

The 2020 Handmade Cavalcade is doing online on 11/28 & 11/29 Only.

ON 11/20/20 CANCELLED DUE TO COVID. On Friday, December 4th, the Fort Hamilton Holiday Market & Celebration will be held at 101st Street and Fort Hamilton Parkway at the fort. The event includes a holiday market and tree lighting, but must rsvp. Free admission.

The 2020 Renegade Craft Fairs formerly at the Expo Center in Greenpoint last year has been cancelled til 2021.

The 2020 Bust Craftacular also appears to be on a CoVid hiatus.


Queens Holiday Markets & Holiday Events NYC

On December 6th, 2020 from 3 - 5 pm there's the Flushing Holly History Tour on YouTube. Tickets may be purchased for $5 - $35 on Eventbrite.

Bohemian Hall & Beer Garden holiday market for 2020 has been cancelled due to CoVid concerns.


Bronx Holiday Markets & Holiday Events NYC

On Friday & Saturday, November 27 & 28, Saturdays December 5 & 12, Friday & Saturday December 18 & 19, Saturday, December 26 thru Wednesday, December 30 & Friday January 1, 2021, Saturdays January 2 & 9, 2021 there's the NYBG Holiday Train Show at the NY Botanical Gardens in the Bronx. Admission $30 Adults / Kids 2 - 12 $18 - ONLY Available to Members & Bronx Community Partners only this year due to limited capacity.

Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays & Sundays November 20, 2020 - January 10, 2021 as well as Christmas Week all days except Xmas Eve & Day and New Years Day, there's the BX Zoo Holiday Lights. Showtimes at 3.30 pm / 5 pm / 6 pm / 7 pm / 8 pm. Admission $35 Adults / $23 Kids / $32 Seniors.

From 11.27 - 1.10.21 no Mondays & Tuesdays except Christmas / New Year week. Not Xmas or New Years Eves. And not 1.4 - 1.7.21. Lumino City at 20 Randall’s Island Park on Randall’s Island. Admission $29 / $25 for Students & Seniors / $17 for kids 3 - 12.


Staten Island Holiday Markets & Holiday Events NYC

On Sunday December 13, 2020 beginning at 2 pm there's the Nutcracker on the lawn of the Alice Austen House at 2 Hylan Blvd. Admission is $25.

On Saturday & Sunday, December 5 & 6,  2020 from 11a - 4p there's a Makers Sapce Holiday Market. It's outdoors at MakerPark corner of Thompson & Front Street featuring ten unique vendors with handcrafted and vintage items for sale. CoVid Guidelines in effect for all markets.

ADD WEBSITE URL / Saturdays, November 28 - December 19, 2020 from 4.30 - 8.30 pm there are Historic Richmond Town Candlelight Tours at 441 Clarke Avenue in Richmond County. It costs $120 - $150 per group up to six. Rsvp via their website and CoVid restrictions in place.

On Friday, December 4, 2020 - National Lighthouse Museum Golf Outing at South Shore Golf Course on 200 Hugenot Road. 11.30 am registration and Tee Off Time at 12.30 pm. BBQ included. Admission $125 per golfer.

December 20, 2020 from 1 pm – 4 pm there's a Snug Harbor Wreath Making Workshop. Meet at Visitor Info Booth on Chapel Road at the Snug Harbor Cultural Center. Admission is $30 Adults, $24 Students/Seniors & $24 Members. Rsvp, no refunds & CoVid guidelines in effect.

CLICK HERE to view our full report on holiday markets & events in Manhattan, holiday markets & events in Queens, holiday markets & events in Brooklyn, holiday markets & events in the Bronx & holiday markets & events on Staten Island.

CLICK HERE to view a 2019 report on Manhattan holiday markets NYC, and here for Queens holiday markets NYC, and here for Bronx holiday markets NYC and here for Brooklyn Holiday Markets, and here for Staten Island Holiday Markets & Shopping NYC.

CLICK HERE to view a 2019 report on & Manhattan holiday events / Manhattan holiday things to do NYC, & Queens holiday events / Queens holiday things to do NYC, Brooklyn Holiday Events / Brooklyn Holiday Things To Do NYC, Staten Island Holiday Events / SI Holiday Things To Do NYC and Bronx holiday events & Bronx holiday things to do NYC.

Thanksgiving - America's Communal Holiday

The Pilgrims Legacy: Love, Sharing & Community Empowerment

thanksgiving day senitments nyc what thanksgiving day means to meNovember 23, 2020 / NYC Neighborhoods / Thanksgiving Holidays in NYC / Gotham Buzz NYC.

A couple of years ago, I happened upon a childhood book of fables and fairytales that I had saved since I was a first grader. I was young enough to still like fairytales and old enough to be learning and loving to read.

The book, A Gateway to Storyland, by Platt & Munk Co, was given to me around the holidays, and the book still gives me a warm, loved feeling when I periodically open it to browse through the fairytales and fables containing little nuggets of age old wisdom about how to conduct onesself [see photo at right / the book is still in print]. I read it numerous times immediately upon receiving it, as the illustrations fed my imagination, and lessons embedded in the words resonated with timeless sagacity.


Unselfish Parental Love Manifested by Empowering Progeny

Love comes in many forms, but the purest form is unselfish love. The love of truly giving something with no thought of anything in return. That love is oftentimes given intergenerationally - from grandparents to parents to children.

Perhaps the greatest gifts are those that cost us nothing but our time. Like the gift of teaching someone something that they will be able to put to good use throughout their lives. Parents do this all the time, when they help their children develop skills, and impart some knowledge and learning ... just as my parents did many years ago, by giving me a well illustrated fairytale book to encourage my interest in reading, while sharing the time tested insights of the ages, handed down through storytelling.


I. A Brief Thanksgiving History

The Pilgrims Shared Communal Resources to Actualize a Dream

At Thanksgiving time we commemorate one of America's first settlements, founded by the risk-taking, resource-pooling, hardworking, spiritual community of Pilgrims.

The Pilgrims were early English settlers who arrived on American shores in the early 17th century [1600's]. They came here because they wanted a measure of freedom and self-determination that they were forbidden in Europe or what was called the 'old country'. The Pilgrims wanted to practice their faith, unencumbered, in a way that differed from the established Church of England. They pooled their money to obtain a ship, the Mayflower, to cross the Atlantic in mid September of 1620, landing on America's shores at Plymouth Rock in Massachusetts on November 9, 1620. Think of it. It took about a month and a half to travel a distance we can now traverse in about five hours.


The Pilgrims Receive Help from the Native People of a Strange Land

Per Wikipedia, the Piligrims survived a hard winter in 1621 with the help of the Wampanoag, an American Indian tribe. The Pilgrims were the immigrants, and the first Americans, the Indian natives, welcomed them. The Wampanaog taught the Pilgrims how to catch eels, and how to grow and harvest corn. Thus the Pilgrims ended 1621 with a good harvest which they celebrated and shared with their new friends, expressing their gratitude to a higher power, aka God, for the success of their endeavors.

Thus it was that the first Thanksgiving celebration happened in America ... or did it?

The Weekend Before Thanksgiving NYC

Less Than a Week Away, Thanksgiving Provides an Opportunity to Start Pivoting to a Better Place

things to do nyc things to do manhattan queens bronx brooklyn staten island things to do nycNovember 20, 2020 / NYC Neighborhoods / Things To Do NYC / News Analysis & Opinion / Gotham Buzz NYC.

The evil dictator wannabe appears to have been soundly defeated by a far more capable, trustworthy and honest man.

And, in spite of numerous attempts on Trump's part to steal the election - which he ignominiously accuses Biden of doing - it seems we may be approaching the end of what seems his blatant, corrupt, phony drain-the-swamp attempts to stay in power, like a dictator.

Biden has shown incredible restraint and patience, allowing the hedonistic, self-centered bigot to throw a presidential sized tantrum by firing staff, making drastic policy changes, and inciting some of the dumbest people in America to parrot his false claims of election fraud.

I'm looking forward to turning on the TV, without having to be subjected to Trump's ignorance in the form of racist, sexist tweets, rambling, say-nothing-meaningful on Fox friendly interviews, or the inane and insane comments repeated and amplified by the broadcast TV networks in order to get viewers to tune in to their stations to boost their money-grubbing quest for ratings.

While that may not happen in time for Thanksgiving or the holidays. I'm pretty sure we're going to have a qualified, experienced, level headed American president in place for Presidents Day 2021 - following a four yeaer hiatus.

CoVid NYC Economic Update

NYC Hotels, Restaurants & Entertainment Continue to Feel the CoVid Pain, Also Real Estate & Construction but Less so, and Things Should Gradually Improve in 2021

things to do nyc things to do manhattan queens bronx brooklyn staten island things to do nycNovember 16, 2020 / NYC Neighborhoods / Business & Real Estate NYC / News Analysis & Opinion / Gotham Buzz NYC.


CoVid & Donald Continue Raging

So the CoVid pandemic is raging wildly in the nation, while the Demento in the White House is raging with reckless false claims about the 'rigged election'. The Donald also made these same false claims four years ago, when he won the electoral college contest, but failed to win the popular vote.

This time America's biggest loser lost both the electoral college vote contest and popular vote [by nearly six million], but the fraudster President has found his false claims of a stolen election, is a great way to raise funds from our nation's morons, who somehow still believe his lies. As the saying goes,

"We're all born ignorant. But you have to try really, really hard to remain so."

I consider Donald Trump losing the White House, to be the one silver lining coming out of the CoVid pandemic.

Meanwhile back in NYC, we continue to fare far better than the rest of the nation vis a vis CoVid, perhaps having learned our lessons last Spring. When I look at the CoVid map of the United States, I'm beginning to interpret it as a sort of national I.Q. test. Those places where it's raging most - almost a year since the pandora came out of the box - are states with slow learning media, slow learning government officials and slow learning populations. Otherwise, why would CoVid be raging again, after all that we have learned in the past year?

This Weekend Things To Do

things to do nyc things to do manhattan queens bronx brooklyn staten island things to do nycNovember 12, 2020 / NYC Neighborhoods / Things To Do NYC / News Analysis & Opinion / Gotham Buzz NYC.

Weather. On Friday and Saturday the temperature highs will be in the low 50's, rising to 60 on Sunday. The temperature lows will in at or in the low 40's. There's a 90% chance of about a quarter inch of rain Friday morning ending about 1 pm. Saturday will be clear, but on Sunday there's a 90% chance of about a third of an inch of rain beginning around noontime and lingering into the evening. The winds will be about 5 mph Friday, about 10 mph Saturday and about 15 mph Sunday. Humidity will be between 70% and 90% Friday, dropping to 50% to 60% Saturday and settling around 60% on Sunday.

Thank You for being respectful of each other. In the photo at right, are the masked up subway riders on the MTA last weekend. In the cars I rode in, either 100% or over 90% of all riders were not just wearing their masks, they were wearing them correctly. Thank you New Yorkers and guests.

Is Trump Using the Federal Government to Enable a Scam?

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, Attorney General William Barr, Press Secretary Kayleigh MacEnany & Republican Senate Majority Leader McConnell Appear to Enable a Trump Fundraising Scam - using False Claims of Election Fraud - to Motivate Donations he can use to Pay off his Debts

Emoluments Clause: Using False Claims of Voter Fraud & Government Offices to Raise Money to Pay off Trump Debts?

trump scams supporters in fundraising scam about voter fraud trump fundraising scam voter fraud crooked donald lock him upNovember 10, 2020 / NYC Neighborhoods / U.S. Politics / News Analysis & Opinion / Gotham Buzz NYC.

I'm relieved that the Donald lost the election. I'm not relieved, knowing that there are 71 million people who voted for him. They obviously don't know what a super slick con man looks, talks and walks like.


A Presidential Con Man to the End

The Art of the Con should have been the name of Trump's book. And it appears, with only two months left to his presidency, that he's using the Executive branch of government and all the president's lackeys to commit one last Trump scam.


Secretary of State Pompeo Uses Office to Support What Seems a Trump's Scam of Republican Donors

In the photo at right, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, appears to enable what seems like a scam by Donald Trump to bilk his supporters of millions of dollars in donations by seemingly supporting Trump's claims that there was election fraud - a claim which appears unfounded according to both Democratic and Republican state government officials.

trump scams supporters in fundraising scam about voter fraud trump fundraising scam voter fraud crooked donald lock him up

According to CNBC, on November 10, 2020 Pompeo said that there would be

"... a smooth transition to a second Trump Administration ... "

That statement, by a cabinet level member of the Executive branch of the U.S. government, appears more like a propagandistic statement of an authoritarian's sycophant. This corruption of the Office of the Secretary of State was done previously, during the RNC Convention, when Pompeo was videocast from Israel while on taxpayer funded official business.


Are Taxpayers Paying a Trump Campaign Propagandist to Facilitate a Fundraising Scam on Ignorant Trump Republicans?

trump scams supporters in fundraising scam about voter fraud trump fundraising scam voter fraud crooked donald lock him upSo Kayleigh Mc Inaney [it's not her real name, but a play on it], who is supposed to be the White House Spokesperson - not a Trump campaign PR person - said on November 3, 2020 that a "Landslide is afoot". Yesterday, November 9, 2020, even the Fox propaganda channel couldn't bear to allow McEnany to continue spewing it's Nazi-like propaganda of voter fraud, so they cut away from her.

Is McEnany, a federal government employee, enabling the Donald's efforts to raise [scam?] millions from his supporters under seemingly false pretenses to pay off some of his debts?

Why are the American people paying the salary of a Trump campaign propagandist? This is one of many such personalizations of power - aka corrupt use of government resources for private purposes - done by the corrupt 'Drain the Swamp' Trump Administration. McEnany is allegedly 'cleaning up' her Twitter feed instead, which is also a record of the corrupt Trump Administration lies put forth by the inane McEnany.

Election 2020: When Will it be Over?

The Presidential Polls Were Mostly Right - The Race was Not Too Tight - the Donald Shows no Grace so the End is not Yet in Sight - Progressives & Moderates Need Learn how to Cooperate - Not Fight, Write?

trump cheating 2020 election mail fraud trump dejoy usps mail fraud by trump campaign?November 9, 2020 / NYC Neighborhoods / U.S. Politics / News Analysis & Opinion / Gotham Buzz NYC.

This past Saturday I went into Manhattan following the announcement that Joe Biden had won the presidency, wresting it away from a very handsy, clutching Donald Trump. I had seen and heard of partying in the city that afternoon, as folks celebrated the end of the Trump presidency.

But when I arrived in the evening, it seems things had calmed down, and it was a mostly low key Saturday evening, at least on the Upper West Side and north Midtown. More people were out than I had seen in a while, and many folks seemed somewhat cheerful, but since the pandemic began, I've yet to see any sort of real frothiness.

In the photo at right I met a couple out on election night in front of Rockefeller Center. She's from Italy and he's from Philadephia ... Story?


The Presidential Polls Were Mostly Correct - Biden Won & He Won Most of the Swing States They Predicted He Would

Following the election, as early results came in, many news outlets proclaimed that the pollsters got it wrong. But over the weekend I checked the Real Clear Poll of Polls and found that mostly what they had predicted, came true, especially when you factor in the margin of error.

Biden won the presidency, winning a popular vote of over 75 million, to Trump's 71 million. And Biden won the swing states the polls forecast he would, including Wisconsin, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Arizona, Nevada, Minnesota, Maine, New Mexico, Colorado, Virginia, New Hampshire and Maine. Trump won Florida, North Carolina, Ohio, Iowa and Texas - also in line with the poll of polls forecasts. Only Georgia didn't end up as the polls forecast it would and I'm going to call that the Stacey Abrams effect.

Rigged Election: Who's Trying to Steal it?

Trump is Battling the Election Results Like He's Battled CoVid, his Trump-Sized Budget Deficit & Climate Change - Ignore the Facts & Change the Perception

trump cheating 2020 election mail fraud trump dejoy usps mail fraud by trump campaign?November 6, 2020 / NYC Neighborhoods / U.S. Politics / News Analysis & Opinion / Gotham Buzz NYC.


A Sore Loser, Poor Sport & a Rich Old Man's Tantrum?

Donald Trump has never comported himself with any dignity or decency befitting the presidency - so why would anyone expect his presidency to end with it?

Except the low information, no information and disinformation voters who cling to him like he's some sort of savior.

We saw this same sort of phenomena occur in the 1930's and 1940's in Germany. That was a story that didn't end well for that nation - and it would have been far, far worse - were it not for the decency and generosity of the American people.

By all accounts, Biden is the likely victor of the 2020 presidential race. He leads in electoral college votes and it appears he needs to close only one or two more states to finish the race, which in most remaining states and by most accounts, seem to be trending in his favor.


America's Top Fixer, Rudy Schmooliani, Fresh Out of Improv Role in Borat2, Returns to Star Role in the TV Presidency of DJT

trump cheating 2020 election mail fraud trump dejoy usps mail fraud by trump campaign?The Trump Campaign began pulling out all stops to halt the fair part of the American electoral process, by summoning America's Fixer, Rudy Giuliani, to lead the litigation publicity program.

Schmooliani had just finished filming his cameo role in Borat 2, but wasted no time in zipping up his pants again, before departing for Philadelphia to make an important stage appearance in the Epilogue segment of the TV Presidency of DJT.

In the photo at right, a still shot taken from the film Borat 2, shows Rudy Giuliani making 'an adjustment to his microphone'. I do hope Rudy washed his hands after tampering with his 'microphone', as these days one can never be sure of what kind of bacterial or viral germs one might be exposed to by touching things.

Election Day 2020

In Spite of Record Early Voting, There Were Long Lines at Polls on Election Day. Dare I Say This Seems ... to Point to a Biden Landslide ... or Not?

usps louis dejoy corrupt postmaster general corrupt trump administration appointeesNovember 3, 2020 / NYC Neighborhoods / U.S. Politics / News Analysis & Opinion / Gotham Buzz NYC.

Forecasting anything is always, at best, a precarious endeavor, so the above headline is not a forecast - but rather an honest question.

The ballots referred to in the prior report, which were either lying on folks' tables at home or stuck in the mail - may have ultimately been lying on folks' tables at home.

But we won't know until late tonight or later this week or even later than that.

I'm no fan of the Donald. I think he's disrespectful to women, disrespectful to minorities and pretty much disrespectful to everyone else too. I think his parents did about as lousy a job of raising him, as any parents possibly could - especially given they were so rich. He's dishonest, and he's not just selfish - but unbelievably so. He's uneducated, even though he managed to fanagle a degree from a respectable college. He's uncouth, a liar, a cheat and an alleged thief by numerous contractors.

Will the U.S. Postal Service Deliver?

Tens of Millions of Ballots That Were Issued Haven’t Been Received

Too Late for Mail - See Options Below for Absentee / Mail Ballots

usps louis dejoy corrupt postmaster general corrupt trump administration appointeesOctober 30, 2020 / NYC Neighborhoods / U.S. Politics / News Analysis & Opinion / Gotham Buzz NYC.

The unofficial motto of the United States Postal Service is "Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night stays these couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds".

While that may be true, the motto says nothing about whether the USPS will be able to continue making the swift completion of their appointed rounds, in spite of efforts by the new Postmaster General Bill DeJoy that appear intended to delay them.


Louis DeJoy Seems a Corrupt Choice for Postmaster General

usps louis dejoy corrupt postmaster general corrupt trump administration appointeesLouis DeJoy, was a $1.2 million dollar contributor to the 2020 Trump campaign, who a seemingly corrupt President appointed Postmaster General in June of this year. It was the first time in a couple of decades that someone from outside of the organization was appointed to the Postmaster General position. 

According to Wikipedia, DeJoy’s background is in logistics, and upon taking the job, he divested his holdings in UPS and Amazon, but held onto his

“$30-$75 million equity stake in XPO, a subcontractor for USPS.”  

They also report that since DeJoy became Postmaster General just over four months ago, the USPS has increased its business with XPO. We've seen this sort of conflict of interest / corruption in numerous cases at the Cabinet Level in the Trump Administration.

NYC Halloween CoVid Style?

Trick or Treating Permitted Outside in NYC but Not in Apartment Complexes as CoVid Resurges & Election Day Nears

things to do nyc halloween nycOctober 26, 2020 / NYC Neighborhoods / Things To Do NYC / Gotham Buzz NYC.

"These are the times that try [wo]men's souls"...

so wrote Thomas Paine on December 23rd, 1776.

The American colonists had declared their independence from King George V only six months before Paine wrote this - as not all colonists were on board with the break from the British crown.

Election day is Tuesday, November 3rd, which is only about a week away. And early voting began last Saturday and ends this coming Sunday. Thereafter, meaning on Tuesday, November 3rd [election day], you have to vote at your normal polling place. For details, see -

The photo at right shows a Halloween decoration, which in keeping with the times, features the new disrupter in chief - CoVid 19.

Kentucky Insanity: Voting Repeatedly for Mitch McConnell & Expecting Things to Change

Kentucky Has the 6th Highest Poverty Rate, Ranks 46th in Healthcare, 44th in Education & 45th in Income While

McConnell’s Leadership Enriches Him & his Taiwanese Born Wife, so that Mitch is Now in the Top Ten Wealthiest Senators Club

mcconnell mcgrath senate race kentucky who is mitch mcconnell who is elaine chao kentucky senate raceOctober 26, 2020 Updated from 10/13 & 10/21/20 / NYC Neighborhoods / U.S. Politics / News Analysis & Opinion / Gotham Buzz NYC.

Monday night Republican Majority Leader Mitch McConnell squared off against challenger former Lieutenant Colonel Amy McGrath. She, along with another woman, were the first females assigned to the Marine All Weather Attack Squadron.

Televised debates these days, seem to shed little light on the candidates or issues. This may be in part due to the format of them, as well as the failure of the debate moderators to hold the candidates' feet to the fire by pressing them on tough questions, and the current climate of conversational corruption where politicians pretty much say whatever the hell they want to say ... regardless of the truth.

So I did some of my own digging to learn more about Mitch McConnell. What I found surprised me, given how deep the rabbit hole goes and yet how little attention has been given to one of the most powerful men in Washington. So it may surprise you too.


DEFINITION OF INSANITY - Repeatedly Doing the Same Thing Expecting a Different Result

mcconnell mcgrath senate race kentucky who is mitch mcconnell who is elaine chao kentucky senate raceThe definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result. 

The image at right was found in a web magazine, Forward Kentucky earlier this year. Donald Trump fired FIVE inspectors and among them was one investigating McConnell's wife.

What are they afraid of ... the truth?

And that is exactly what Kentuckians appear to have been doing for decades, having reportedly voted for Mitch in various elections approximately THIRTY TIMES in a row. 

Let’s take a look.


RICH MITCH - McConnell is the Longest [Self?] Serving Republican Leader in Senate History

mcconnell mcgrath senate race kentucky who is mitch mcconnell who is elaine chao kentucky senate raceIn June 2018, Mitch McConnell became the longest ‘serving’ Senate Republican Leader in the history of the Senate. 

McConnell has been a Kentucky Senator for nearly 36 years, having first taken office in January 1985. 

He’s been the Republican Senate Majority Leader for nearly six years - since January 2015, and the Republican Senate Minority Leader since January 2007 – another eight years and Republican Senate Majority Whip from 2003 - 2007. 

And he’s been ‘serving’ Kentucky as a senator since 1985.


POOR KENTUCKY - Kentucky Ranks Near the Bottom in Education, Healthcare and Income

mcconnell mcgrath senate race kentucky who is mitch mcconnell who is elaine chao kentucky senate raceAnd yet Kentucky has little to show for Mitch's length of service – even though Mitch McConnell keeps telling them how good is for them, as he’s been a member of the elite Republican Leadership for decades.

But McConnell he likes to tell Kentuckians - he's the only top federal political leader who is not from one of the big urban centers on the coasts, even though he’s been living in Washington, D.C. for one helluva lot longer than he ever lived in Kentucky. And he’s married to a Taiwanese born millionairess who has never lived in Kentucky, per se, during the nearly three decades of their blissful married life. 

So what difference does it make where Mitch McConnell claims he is from, if he’s not representing the people of Kentucky?  But rather … representing the big corporate and foreign interests that appear to fund his campaigns and enrich – not the state of Kentucky – but their chosen one, their ‘representative’ Senate Majority Leader Republican Mitch McConnell.


NOT A NATIVE KENTUCKIAN - Why Alabama Born McConnell May not Care About Kentucky

mcconnell mcgrath senate race kentucky who is mitch mcconnell who is elaine chao kentucky senate raceI suspect part of the reason that Mitch McConnell doesn’t care that much about Kentucky, is because he wasn’t born there, and he mostly did not grow up there.  McConnell was born in ALABAMA in 1942, and then – by way of GEORGIA – arrived in KENTUCKY in 1956 at age 14. I think it's worth mentioning that McConnell's great, great grandparents – on both sides - were Alabama slave owners, which we’ll get to shortly.

In 1968 McConnell left Kentucky for the big city, Washington, D.C., for a couple of years.  He returned to Kentucky to run for office in 1971, but failed to meet the Kentucky residency requirement.  In 1974 McConnell left Kentucky again for Washington, D.C. to work in the Ford Administration.  Gerald Ford lost the election in 1976, so McConnell returned to Kentucky to run for office again. This time Kentuckians cut him a break and elected him the Jefferson County Executive, an office he held until he was elected in 1984 to ‘represent’ them as a senator, at which time he departed Kentucky for Washington, D.C. where he's been ever since. 

So all tolled, McConnell only spent about 24 years in Kentucky [1984-1956=28-2-2=24], which is not even a third of his 78 years of life.  And McConnell has spent 36 years ‘representing’ Kentuckians in the big city of Washington, D.C. – where he has lived half again as much time, as he has lived in Kentucky.  So while Mitch doesn’t appear to represent Kentuckians – one has to ask how could he - given he has spent so little time there and it was what seems a lifetime ago?


McConnell Received Educational Deferment from Military, Followed by Medical Exemption for Optic Neuritis – Not Polio

mcconnell mcgrath senate race kentucky who is mitch mcconnell who is elaine chao kentucky senate raceAccording to Wikipedia, after McConnell’s educational deferment from the military expired in 1967, McConnell ‘served’ about a month.  The same report tells us McConnell was diagnosed with optic neuritis – a temporary inflammation in the eye that can cause temporary blindness.  According to a few Google searches, optic neuritis is a common eye problem that self resolves in about four to 12 weeks.  There are severe cases of it, but given McConnell is 78 years old and we’ve heard nary a word of it since his getting out of military service, I suspect his case was 'mild’, not unlike Trump's CoVid case.  McConnell is also said to have contracted polio, but apparently escaped any significant long term impairment, as we see him walking up and down the halls of the Capitol without a problem.


MONEY BAGS MITCH - McConnell Supported by Chinese, Russian & Australian Immigrants

mcconnell mcgrath senate race kentucky who is mitch mcconnell who is elaine chao kentucky senate raceIn 1984 McConnell became a Kentucky Senator.  And while most Kentuckians don’t like him and neither do most Americans – Australian born billionaire Rupert Murdoch’s soon to be media executive, Roger Ailes, ran McConnell's first campaign. Murdoch seems to have been influential in rolling back media regulations beginning around that time, so it wouldn't be a big leap to assume that McConnell helped Murdoch feather his nest through regulatory rollbacks, while Murdoch helped keep McConnell in place as an enabler in hacking through the regulatory environment which had previously held large media corporations in check. Murdoch controls Fox News, the NY Post, the Wall St Journal and in 2019 became the largest shareholder of Disney / ABC in an inverted takeover. 

We'll zoom in on why the rich Chinese and Russian born immigrants started backing Mitch McConnell a little further in the story.


McConnell Sells Out or Trades in his Old Kentucky Home?

mcconnell mcgrath senate race kentucky who is mitch mcconnell who is elaine chao kentucky senate raceMcConnell was married to a Kentucky woman, Sherrill Redmon, from 1968 [around the time of his military deferment] to 1980 [around the time he was re-elected but a few years before he hit the big time as a senator beginning in 1984].  In the early years in Kentucky McConnell was considered a liberal leaning moderate [his ex-wife and one or more of his daughters still seem to lean more toward the middle, having oppposed the Brett Kavanaugh SCOTUS confirmation]. 

But McConnell's views seemed to quickly change after he hired Roger Ailes, [who later became Fox News CEO], to run his 1984 Senate campaign. This was followed by McConnell 's social climbing upward mobility when he met and married his new Chinese American wife, who connected his campaign to a multi-million dollar money train. Taiwanese born Elaine Chao's mega millionaire father is well connected to the Chinese Communist Party Leadership, owns a Chinese American Shipping Company, and he and her family have donated millions to McConnell, as well as his and Republican PACs.


The Decade McConnell Went From Kentucky Mitch to Shanghai Mitch

Following the 1984 election Rolling Stone story reports McConnell,

“As I always say,” McConnell wrote in his book, “the three most important words in politics are ‘cash on hand.’ ”

Is Trump Using Taxpayer Dollars to Fund his Campaign & the DHS to Work for Him for Free?

Thursday Afternoon 10/15 in an NYC Neighborhood, Boxes of Food were Distributed with a White House Letter from Trump

did trump use dhs department of homeland security funds to help his reelection campaign corruption dj trumpOctober 15, 2020 / NYC Neighborhoods / U.S. Politics / News Analysis & Opinion / Gotham Buzz NYC.

I fell upon a food distribution event at the corner of 43rd Avenue between 46th and 47th Streets on Thursday, October 15th. It was being distributed by what appears to be a non-denominational church group - Mosaic Church and Community Center of 46-01 43rd Avenue in Sunnyside.

So I took a few photos of what seemed an ordinary event these days, until I asked them to allow me to photograph the contents in the boxes, where I found a letter from Donald Trump, in what appears to be a possible use and abuse of taxpayer dollars to fund his cash strapped re-election bid.


Letter on White House Stationery Signed by Trump

The contents of the letter are as follows and a photo of the letter in English is shown at right. The letter was also written in Spanish on the reverse side.

did trump use dhs department of homeland security funds to help his reelection campaign corruption dj trumpThe White House


Dear Family,

As president, safeguarding the health and well being of our citizens is one of my highest priorities. As part of our response to the coronavirus, I prioritized sending nutritious food from our farmers to families in need throughout America. We are partnering with local organizations, farms and ranches to ensure that you receive locallly-sourced fresh fruits and vegetables as well as dairy and meat products.

Over the past four weeks, we have delivered 50 million Farmers to Families Food Boxes to American families, and we will continue to serve those most in need during this challenging time.

As our country reopens, I urge all Americans to continue to adhere to the important precautions set forth in the President's Coronavirus Guidelines for America and by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention regarding how to best protect yourself and your family. A few key best practices to support our nationwide recovery are:

1. Practices good hygience and wash your hands.

2. People who feel sick should stay home.

3. Protect the most vulnerable individuals, including those 80+ years of age and those with pre-existing conditions

4. Practice social distancing and consider wearing a face covering when in public

To learn more, please visit

You and your loved ones are cherished members of our great American family. This pandemic has brought many hardships on millions of hardworking individuals and communities through no fault of their own. We will support America's recovery every step of the way. Together, we will overcome this challenge, and our Nation will emerge from this crisis stronger than ever before.


Donald J. Trump

President of the United States

SHORT _ Census Deadline Thursday Night, October 15th

Each Person Counted in the Census Represents $30,000 - $40,000 of Federal Funds over the Coming Decade

nyc things to do this weekend queens manhattan bronx brooklyn staten island nyc things to do this weekend nycCLICK PHOTO AT RIGHT TO FILL OUT THE CENSUS NOW.

The judicial wrangling in the courts about the census deadline is over. The FINAL date with which you can fill out the Census is THURSDAY NIGHT 10/15.

I wouldn't wait - if you haven't already filled out the census - CLICKING THE PHOTO AT RIGHT.

It takes 10 minutes literally, asks for information you should generally know about yourself, and is worth between $30,000 and $40,000 in government spending per person over the next ten years.

If you don't fill it out, we - the city and state - lose that funding, as well as representation in Washington, D.C.

You do not have to be a citizen to fill out the census and your personal information - by law - does not become accessible for a generation.

For Whom does Mitch McConnell Really Work?

Carpet Baggers McConnell & Chao Net Worth Grows by Tens of Millions

While Kentucky Continues to Lag Nation in Income, Education & Healthcare

Insanity - Voting for the Same People & Expecting Things to Change

mcconnell mcgrath senate race kentucky who is mitch mcconnell who is elaine chao kentucky senate raceOctober 13, 2020 / NYC Neighborhoods / U.S. Politics / News Analysis & Opinion / Gotham Buzz NYC.

Last night Republican Majority Leader Mitch McConnell squared off against challenger former Lieutenant Colonel Amy McGrath. She, along with another woman, were the first females assigned to the Marine All Weather Attack Squadron.

Televised debates these days, seem to shed little light on the candidates or issues. This may be in part due to the format of them, as well as the failure of the debate moderators to hold the candidates' feet to the fire by pressing them on tough questions, and the current climate of conversational corruption where politicians pretty much say whatever the hell they want regardless of the truth.

Columbus Day Weekend News Update

Broadway Won't Re-Open until June 2021, CoVid Cases Spike in Queens & Brooklyn Neighborhoods, Shootings Still Up - but Growth Slowing, Real Estate Listings Increase as Prices Fall & Early Voting

things to do nyc columbus day nyc October 10, 2020 / NYC Neighborhoods / NYC Things To Do / News Analysis & Opinion / Gotham Buzz NYC.

Weather. The temperature highs will be in the mid 70's Saturday, mid 60's Sunday and high 50's Monday. The temperature lows will be in the low 60's Saturday, dropping to the mid to high 50's on Sunday and Monday. There's little chance of rain until Sunday evening around 9 pm, when rain is expected to begin falling through Monday, dropping an estimated two inches. The wind will be about 10 mph Saturday and Sunday, rising to about 15 mph Monday. Humidity will range from 50 - 75 on Saturday and Sunday, rising to 85 - 90% range on Monday.

Broadway theaters announced they won't be reopening until after May 31st, 2021. The group of over 40 theaters made this announcement yesterday. This is a blow to the NYC economy and many of the 97,000 theater employees and contractors, who have been out of work since mid March 2020. Theater generates about $15 billion in revenue annually.

NYC tourism has taken and likely will continue to take big hits from the CoVid global pandemic. Tourism generates about $70 billion in economic activity in NYC each year. Since the pandemic about 200 of the over 700 large hotels operating in the city remain closed. Those who are open are operating at an estimated 40% of capacity this month, compared with about 90% last year. And the prices have fallen considerably, providing great deals for those who wish to visit, as prices for a room fell from about $335 per room last year to about $135 this year.

Regal Cinema closed its 663 theaters again this week. Regal is the second largest movie theater chain in the U.S. following AMC. They cited a lack of new films, as a number of new releases were pushed back again including the James Bond 007 movie, and they pleaded with the Governor to let them resume operating in NYS.

Was Trump's Hospital Visit a Made-for-TV Hoax?

Much Ado About Nothing Fed to American People via Corporate TV Nets

Was a Free, Live & Staged TV Program Provided by the Donald?

trump hospital visit was a hoax trump fakes hospital visit to turn around campaign in polls October 5, 2020 / NYC Neighborhoods / U.S. Politics / News Analysis & Opinion / Gotham Buzz NYC.

The lines between 'reality TV' which seems staged reality on TV, and the real reality on TV seem to have disappeared. Occasionally I hear people complain about the authenticity of the information they get on the internet or social media - but from where I sit you can easily add the things you see on television - even network news - to the list of questionable sources.

The photo at right shows Trump saluting from the White House balcony after he was returned home from his trumped up hospital visit to Walter Reed Medical Center in Washington, D.C. It's unclear why he's saluting the White House lawn except for theatrics since he didn't speak.


TV News Seems Corrupted by the Ratings of the Things they Cover

trump hospital visit was a hoax trump fakes hospital visit to turn around campaign in polls The reason I say this is because the beautiful, well dressed teleprompter actors and actresses who read you your highly scripted nightly bedtime news stories, rely on teams of well paid, ratings driven writers. Most of these readers and writers are not the hard scrabble, cynical, hard nosed, been around the block, highly inquisitive journalists of what seems a bygone era of American journalism.

They may work for corporations who own and leverage the same well known, once trusted brands - but when you look under the hood of these corporations at the people who are currently running things and how they are running things - oh, my, how things have changed.

And then there's Rupert Murdoch's Fox News, NY Post and Wall St Journal which seem a well oiled, outright propaganda machine.

The same is true of American government and politics. There was a time when the halls of Washington, D.C. were filled with people who believed in some things - like representing the people who voted for them, the U.S. Constitution and the guiding Englightment era philosophy behind it all. But today, the numbers of these kinds of folks in Washington, D.C., are few and far between. Far too many of them are beholden to wealthy individuals and large corporations for the funds needed to run their campaigns every election cycle.

So why does this matter? Because we have a vapid media and a vacuous Senate and [far less so] House that seem to do whatever, for the whoever, highest bidder. And Donald Trump and his co-conspirator (?) Australian born billionaire Rupert Murdoch know this. And they seem to exploit these failings every day. Like this past weekend.


Why Did the Donald Appear to Stage his CoVid Hospitalization?

trump hospital visit was a hoax trump fakes hospital visit to turn around campaign in polls Last week Donald Trump had possibly one of the worst weeks ever - and even in these strange times that's VERY VERY BAD.

Last week: 1) news of the Donald's 'success' in not paying his fair share of taxes came out, 2) alongside the fact that he appears to owe $421 million in debt coming due after the election, that his current businesses aren't generating the profits required to enable payment [and to whom he owes the money remains a mystery], 3) that one of his campaign staffers / consultants - Brad Pascale - was alleged to be contemplating suicide having distributed $112 million in Trump Campaign cash to a myriad of LLC's [corruption?], 4) and the Donald turned in probably one of the worst debate performances in American History where in an hour and a half, as a sitting president, he said that he: a) wouldn't rebuke an alleged White Supremacist group - the Proud Boys - telling them to stand back and stand by, b) wouldn't agree to peacefully give up the office of the presidency of the United States unless he wins a second term and c) behaved on stage in a manner one might expect of a juvenile delinquent.

By creating a ruckus about his health, the Donald managed to bury an incredible amount of bad news, by distracting the glamorous TV dunces into focusing their coverage and the conversation about his health. And he managed to fit it fairly tightly into the weekend news cycle, so that little real campaign time was lost.

Based on the comments the Donald made coming out of his 'hospitalization' stage, it looks like he's going to use what seems a campaign staged event - to change the conversation going into the rest of the election. Change? You ask. Yes, change by using his personal hospitalization experience with CoVid to dismiss the threat of it, by telling people it's no big deal. I reckon the pitch will be something like, re-elect the Donald and CoVid will just 'disappear' ... [what they won't say is that it will disappear] from the news ...

NYC News Update & a Few Things To Do

Voting Registration Online, The Census Payout, CoVid Updates, the Economy & Events

nyc covid pandemic evictions moratorium layoffs hiring covid queens manhattan bronx brooklyn staten island nyc restaurants hotels retail jobs losses hiring pandemic covid nycOctober 2, 2020 / NYC Neighborhoods / U.S. Politics / News Analysis & Opinion / Gotham Buzz NYC.

Weather.  The temperature highs will be in the high 60’s and lows in the low to mid 50’s.  There’s a 10% chance of a tiny amount of rain Sunday.  Humidity will be between 50% and 60%.  And winds will be about 5 mph.  All in all not a bad fall weekend.


Check Your Voter Registration / Or Register Online Using Link

The last day to register to vote in NYC / NYS is October 9, 2020.  If you’re uncertain you are registered to vote use this link to check -
And if you find you’re not registered or need to change your voter registration [for example if you recently moved] then use this link to register -

I recommend voting in person if you’re at all able, as nearly one in ten mail in votes are disqualified on technical grounds.  If you’re at risk for CoVid or can’t vote in person for any other reason, then vote by mail, making sure you follow all of the guidelines to the letter including sending it in as soon as possible.  There was a huge mail ballot snafu in Brooklyn, so if you live in Brooklyn and received a mail ballot with an incorrect name on either the ballot or envelope, contact the Board of Elections for a new one.


Fill in the Census: We’re Lagging the Nation so We Could Lose a Lot of Federal Funding

nyc things to do this weekend queens manhattan bronx brooklyn staten island nyc things to do this weekend nycThere’s been a struggle over lengthening the time allowed for census takers to obtain census information.  The original deadline was July 31st, which was extended to October 31st, which was shortened to September 30th, which was stayed until Sunday, October 4th.  And today it was re-extended to October 31st. Given the back and forth I recommend filling it out right now, if you haven’t already.

Each person counted in the census is worth about $30,000 to $40,000 per person in federal funding for schools, hospitals, mass transit, law enforcement and social services.  And it only takes ten minutes, which you can do now by clicking the photo at right.  It’s the most amount of money you’ll likely ever make for the time expended in your life, so please do it for yourself, your family and / or your community. Here's the link to the census.

NYC and NYC lag the rest of the nation in filling out the census, which means we won’t get a proper share of funds and representation in Washington if folks don’t fill out the census and quickly.  Currently just under 64% of New Yorkers have filled out the census, while in the state of Utah just under 71% have filled out the census.  That’s a lot of cash in federal funding we’re leaving on the table.


Events & Things To Do in NYC & Cancellations

The International Center of Photography opened its doors on Thursday, October 1st with a new photo exhibit about CoVid.  The exhibit uses photographs collected from around the boroughs, the state, the nation and around the world.  You have to rsvp a spot online at and adherence to CoVid guidelines is required.

In October a number of normally huge events have gone online including the following. 

The NY Film Festival at Lincoln Center went online beginning September 17th and runs through October 11th - 

Comic Con has gone online for the weekend of October 8th – 11th.

Swimming at indoor pools is now possible effective Wednesday, September 30th at 33% capacity and with CoVid guidelines in place. 

The Rockettes Holiday kickoff and season of performances has been cancelled for this year.  They will participate in some manner in the blended online / staged Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.

The Donald Quacks in First Debate of 2020

Trump Takes Time Off From "Making America Great" to Debate Biden

September 30, 2020 /NYC Neighborhoods / U.S. Politics / News Analysis & Opinion / Gotham Buzz NYC.

trump biden debate first biden trump debate sept 2020If it weren’t so real, it would have been very funny.

A sitting president, who campaigned on the theme that he would Make America Great Again, is responsible for record breaking debt, a record breaking deficit, one of the worst economies since the Great Recession and Great Depression, failing to mitigate a still out of control raging pandemic, unable to calm racist induced social unrest for which it seems only fair to credit him with helping cause.

No. But wait - there's more. Then there are vast fires still raging on the west coast, and we're not yet completely through one of the worst hurricane seasons ever.  The abnormal size and amount of fires and hurricanes appear to have been caused in part by climate change – the reality of which 'the president' denies.

No. But wait - there's more. And this depiction doesn’t include what he’s done to our foreign policy, by shirking our allies and cottoning up to dictators, while overseeing near record trade deficits. 

If all this isn’t 'Making America Great Again', then please tell me, what will? Come on, this would be really, really funny - if it were reality TV - not just plain old REALITY. 

In the photo at right, moderator Chris Wallace is begging President Trump to please quit interrupting former Vice President Biden.


Reality vs Reality TV: What's Real Depends on Who You Are & Who You Trust

We may not be so rich that we don’t know how to spend the money, as Trump seemed to promise us while campaigning in 2016.  But maybe Trump wasn’t speaking to us out in the audience, but rather directing his comments and promises to his multi-millionaire TV hosts on Fox 'News'.  That might be why Sean Hannity keeps telling us promises made and promises kept despite a litany of Trump failures on healthcare, the deficit, law and order, the debt, the wall, the economy and so forth. The people living in the Trump bubble, like the enabling multi-millionaire pundits on Fox TV, are doing just fine.

NYC News Briefs & Things to do This Weekend

CoVid Outbreaks in Queens & Brooklyn Neighborhoods, NYCC Speaker Corey Johnson Drops Out of NYC Mayoral Race, Census Deadline is 9/30 but Challenged to Extend to 10/31, Mayor Extends Week Long Furloughs for 9,000 More Non Union City Employees, Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade & New Years Eve Ball Drop 2021 to be Virtualized, Hotels Hurting & TSQ Hilton Closes, Yom Kippur Sunday, Metropolitan Opera Cancels Entire 20-21 Season, In Door NYC Restaurants Begins 9/30 & Outdoor Dining Permissible Year Round

nyc things to do this weekend queens manhattan bronx brooklyn staten island nyc things to do this weekend nycSeptember 25, 2020 / NYC Neighborhoods / Things To Do NYC / Gotham Buzz NYC.

As you can see from the headlines above, there seems little abatement in the adjustments / crises created by the CoVid pandemic - unseating the Donald as the Disrupter in Chief - for the first time in four years.

Weather. The temperature highs will be in the 70's and the lows in the high 60's. There's a 20% chance of a small amount of rain, and winds will be between 5 - 10 mph. Humidity will remain high at about 80%.


NYC News Updates for Week Ending September 25th - City Furloughs & Layoffs, Mayor's Race

nyc things to do this weekend queens manhattan bronx brooklyn staten island nyc things to do this weekend nycOn Wednesday, September 23, NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio announced week long furloughs for an additional 9,000 NYC managerial employees who are not members of the unions. This is in addition to week long furloughs for 500 members of the Mayor's Office announced last week. Together the effort will save an estimated $22 million, which is one of numerous efforts the Mayor is making to delay the layoff of 22,000 of the 300,000 city employees.

The layoffs were originally expected to begin in early September, as New York City may not borrow money without permission of the NYS legislature, which was a deal cut between the city and state in the 1970's when NYS bailed NYC out of possible bankruptcy. There's talk of allowing NYC to borrow a couple of billion, but that also would fall short of the estimated $9 billion tax revenue shortfall expected over the next two years.

On Thursday, September 24, NY City Council Speaker Corey Johnson suspended his campaign for Mayor in 2021.

The Mirage of the 'Trump Economy' Part II

Australian born Billionaire, Rupert Murdoch Seems to use the Wall St Journal, NY Post & Fox News to Create the Illusion that Trump has Some Sort of Economic Magic Touch, but the Truth is $6 Trillion in New Debt & $3 Trillion in Federal Reserve Bond Purchases

rupert murdochs wall st journal fake news the wall st journal propaganda machine murdoch wsj distorts the newsSeptember 21, 2020 / NYC Neighborhoods / Things To Do NYC / News Analysis & Opinion / Gotham Buzz NYC.

Few real journalists - if any - have ever honestly accused Rupert Murdoch and most of the large media brands he controls in our nation, of being bastions of truth. In fact, it would seem, quite the opposite - including by some of the people who work for him.

When Murdoch purchased the Wall Street Journal in 2007 [fact check], there were concerns that he would turn it into another one of his propaganda rags. Shortly after the acquisition, a number of Wall Street Journal reporters fled to Bloomberg News. In fact dozens of them. Those journalists that remained at the Wall Street Journal, had to learn how to operate for an Australian born billionaire who seems to delight in misleading the masses - rather than informing them - in order to profit from the audience's ignorance, to which Murdoch media appear to contribute greatly. Murdoch is kind of like a street hustler whose propagandists do sleight of tongue [hand] tricks, while his political accomplices [puppets like Trump & McConnell] pick the pockets of the audience [Americans].

Not Your Father's Wall Street Journal - A Murdoch Propaganda Rag?

rupert murdochs wall st journal fake news the wall st journal propaganda machine murdoch wsj distorts the newsThis summer over 280 journalists at the Wall Street Journal, became concerned that Herr Murdoch - like Nazi propagandist Herr Goebbels before him - was corrupting the Wall Street Journal into a propaganda outlet, in advance of the election this November. While Murdoch's distortion of the truth in the Wall Street Journal appears to have been going on for years, the event that immediately precipitated the letter, was a misleading - even deceptive - Op Ed by Vice Presidential candidate Mike Pence.

In the letter they had a few simple requests. A July 21, 2020 report in the Wall St Journal states,

"... [The WSJ's] Opinion’s lack of fact-checking and transparency, and its apparent disregard for evidence, undermine our readers’ trust and our ability to gain credibility with sources ...”

" ... The letter cites several examples of concern, including a recent essay by Vice President Mike Pence about coronavirus infections ... "

“.. [and that] WSJ journalists should not be reprimanded for writing about errors published in Opinion ..."

"... suggests removing opinion pieces from the “Most Popular Articles” and “Recommended Videos” lists on the website, and creating a separate “Most Popular in Opinion” list..."

" ... letter highlighted was an opinion article titled “The Myth of Systemic Police Racism,” which the letter’s authors said was one of the paper’s most read articles in June. The article argued that the “charge of systemic police bias was wrong during the Obama years and remains so today.” The letter says the piece “selectively presented facts and drew an erroneous conclusion from the underlying data...”

i have reported on similar truth distortions by Rupert Murdoch's media, including Fox News, the NY Post and many other media outlets controlled by him in our section about Rupert Murdoch and the Rise of the 21st Century Propaganda Press, which you can find by clicking this link.

Weekend Update - Happy Rosh Hashana, Back to School, Economy, Social Unrest, Real Estate, Transit & Masks

nyc things to do this weekend queens manhattan bronx brooklyn staten island nyc things to do this weekend nycSeptember 17, 2020 / NYC Neighborhoods / Things To Do NYC / Gotham Buzz NYC.

Rosh Hashana begins tonight at sundown and ends Sunday at sundown. Happy New Year.

EVENTS & SPORTS - U.S. Open, Virtual Boston Marathon, NJ Theaters & Restaurants & NYC Cultural Sites Reopen

U.S. Open ended and Dominic Thiem of Austria won the men’s singles, while Naomi Osaka of Japan won the women’s singles.

The Boston Marathon is going virtual with a starting gun, national anthem and cheers. I think there’s an app to go with it as folks participate from around the globe.

Theaters opened in NJ to 25% capacity, as did indoor dining. In NYS bowling alleys at 50% capacity with some other restrictions [9/4].

The NY Aquarium in Brooklyn reopened 8/27. Think this was previously mentioned, as was MoMA free / or donation until 9/27. And the American Museum of Natural History on the Upper West Side opened on 9/9. And on September 11th, the 911 Museum reopened.


nyc things to do this weekend queens manhattan bronx brooklyn staten island nyc things to do this weekend nycNYC began back to public school virtually on Thursday, September 17, 2020. Everyone starts virtually Monday, September 21st and the in person / in classroom part will be phased in beginning next week through early October to give the city more time to meet the NYC teachers’ union demands for safety. Part of what happened is that the initial demands were done on paper, and a secondary set followed once the schools were opened operationally.

Some teachers tested positive – like 22 0f 22,000 [or so]. The testing percentage was lower than the general population rate of the city which is still below 1%.

Governor Cuomo said that swimming, field hockey and soccer sporting activity would be permissible at schools effective Monday, September 21. Football still on hold. Ice hockey and wrestling (?) open October 10 or 19 [still checking]?


Homicides in America’s twenty largest cities are up 37% in.a period from May through June. An August 6, 2020 U.S. News report suggested four theories as to why the spike in violent crime. One of the reasons was that crime plummeted following the initial lockdown for the CoVid pandemic, and skyrocketed as things reopened.

nyc things to do this weekend queens manhattan bronx brooklyn staten island nyc things to do this weekend nycA second theory was that the police initially curtailed some policing activities because of CoVid concerns, and that morphed into anger and a continued pull back in the wake of the George Floyd protests, budget cuts and police reforms. Police reforms and / or police frustration with them are also cited as a possible cause [but not in article].

A third theory is that communities pulled back from trusting and working with the police as a reaction to the George Floyd protests, and that unemployment and healthcare issues exacerbated the situation. And the last theory, doesn’t really explain the increase per se, except that homicides do tend to rise and fall with the seasons and temperatures.

The police union challenged legislation that would make complaints against the police, corrections officers and firemen public. They argued that the publication of complaints - even unverified complaints – would be unfair to the people working in these positions. The courts delayed the publication of complaint records, pending further review.

About 1189 NYPD officers have resigned or retired this year, and another 1489 are planning to do so, pending decisions on pensions et al. Police Commissioner Dermot Shea was concerned that this was a loss of some experience, but it’s important to note that the NYPD police department is comprised of 55,000 employees, of which 36,000 are active duty police officers – so while departures / resignations are higher than last year – it’s less than 6% turnover.

* Donald Trump & Violence in America 2020

The Presidency is as Much a Behavioral Exemplary Pulpit as a Bully Pulpit

donald trump & violence in america donald trump's role in social unrest in america 2020September 14, 2020 / NYC Neighborhoods / U.S. Politics / News Analysis & Opinion / Gotham Buzz NYC.

Nobody could honestly accuse Donald Trump of bringing dignity to the presidency. In fact just the opposite, as the Donald's monosyllabic vulgarity has - if anything - diminished the office.

The Donald reportedly struck a music teacher when he was a youth. According to his neice's book, he also paid someone to take his SAT exam so he could gain access to a good college - not by merit - but by trickery. And ever since the Donald left school [graduated?], he's threatened to sue anyone who publishes or discloses his academic transcript. That bad?

But we don't need to dig into ancient history to know that the Donald is a poor student, a poor listener, someone who doesn't do his homework, someone who thinks he knows more than anyone and everyone else in the room, regardless of who's in the room and regardless of the subject under discussion.

Talk is cheap. God knows, we've heard a lot of it over the past four years primarly from the Murdoch's Fox Fake News, NY Post and Wall St. Journal. But events are real. And the consequences of actions or inactions are also very real as we are seeing played out before our very eyes.

The CoVid pandemic remains out of control, the economy nosedived before stabilizing because of a multi-trillion stimulus bailout, coupled with even more trillions in Federal Reserve splashing money into the economy and lowering the real interest rate to zero, there are raging forest fires that to date have burnt an area the size of Connecticut and there is considerable turmoil and social unrest in how some rogue police officers treat people of color and who subsequently appear to be 'protected' - even in what appear murder cases - by some of the police unions around the nation, including our own NYPBA.

Unfortunately, amidst all these crises, we seem to be led by an ignorant president, who was unqualified for the job to begin with, seems incapable of learning, appears self serving in his motives, and appears to either disregard science or even be contemptuous of it, because the facts won't bend to his will, like the countless obsequious sycophants surrounding him.

Again, unfortunately for us, when the Donald is questioned about any of these four crises, he seems clueless - not just of the solutions, but of the contextual facts of the matters. We can collectively thank Australian born billionaire Rupert Murdoch's Fox Fake News for that, because that seems to be where Trump primarily gets his information.

For example while Trump's mishandling of the pandemic has been slow and ineffective - he gloriously outdid himself by failing to wear a mask and set an example for the rest of the nation - apparently because of his vanity. Trump's failure to provide an example seems to have politicized the wearing of a mask with many of his followers who appear ignorant. Many of them also seem to be fed their daily, weekly or monthly doses of disinformation via Rupert Murdoch's Fox Fake News.

The Donald inherited a fine economy, and yet today - because of the botched U.S. federal government pandemic response - unemployment has more than doubled versus when the Donald came to office. And these unemployment numbers exclude another ten million or 6% who seem to be rotating in and out of the unemployment offices around the nation. See our prior report to see how the Donald has tried to gin up the economy in hopes of fooling the electorate that he has some kind of magic touch in order to get reelected [I call it stealing from America's children by dumping debt on them in order to enrich the rich].

And then there are the forest fires raging out of control on the west coast in what will be one of the worst - if not the worst fire year on record. Both Trump and Murdoch's Fox Fake News are in denial that this and the near / record hurricane / tornado / storm season are possibly (or even likely) the direct result of climate change. Trump pulled America out of a global effort to combat climate change [the Paris Accords], and he has been unwinding / deregulating environmentally friendly federal government policies - apparently in an effort to win ' fossil fuel friends' to fund his flailing reelection campaign.

Again, unfortunately, the Donald seems not to care about America's or the planet's ecological future, perhaps because he likely won't be around when things get really, really bad. Mary Trump, a clinial psychologist, said her uncle had sociopathic tendencies. I'm no clinical psychologist, but based on what I've seen, Trump's friend and media ally, Rupert Murdoch, also seems to exhibit many of the same sociopathic tendencies as Trump.

* Lastly, but not least, we're going to delve into Trump's and Fox 'News' mishandling of social unrest in America, in what appear to be their fascist and possibly violent tendencies. More later.

Buglisi Dance Theatre Company at Lincoln Center 911

Weekend Events & Update Coming Later Today

September 11, 2020 / NYC Neighborhoods / Things to do NYC / News Analysis & Opinion / Gotham Buzz NYC.

This is a video of one of the rehearsals for the Table of Silence performance this morning at Lincoln Center, commemorating the 19th anniversary of 911. We'll have the weekend events and some news updates later today.

Things To Do This Weekend NYC

While there are - Shortened Hours, Limited Capacity & (Food) Services, Face Masks, Social Distancing & Some Temperature Check Requirements - NYC is Nearly Fully Reopened

the illusion of the trump economy fox fake news ny post fake news wsj fake news trump's role in making us economyAs previously mentioned, the 911 Museum in downtown Manhattan reopens today, and the NY Historical Society on the Upper West Side did too.

On Wednesday, September 9 the American Museum of Natural History on the Upper West Side reopened its doors to the general public after opening a week earlier to members. You're advised to purchase tickets at their website at before visiting and their new hours are 10 am - 5.30 am but last entry is at 4.30 pm. Like most places these days there are CoVid requirements.

The Whitney Museum of American Art in the West Village reopened last week on Thursday, September 3 and is offering 'pay what you want' until September 28th.

As previously mentioned, the Museum of Modern Art in Midtown opened on Thursday, August 27th and the Metropolitan Museum on the Upper East Side opened on Saturday, August 29th, but as of Saturday, September 12th the Cloisters in Washington Heights will also reopen its doors.

Bowling Alleys and gyms opened in mid August. In mid August Governor Cuomo said that Movie theaters will remain closed in NYC indefinitely. I've not heard, any further word, since.

NYC Parks beaches have closed for the season, but some beaches on Long Island are expected to remain open through the end of September.

NYS & NYC Restaurants to Move to Indoor Dining on 9/30/20

the illusion of the trump economy fox fake news ny post fake news wsj fake news trump's role in making us economyA couple of days ago, Governor Cuomo announced that restaurants may open their doors to indoor dining beginning Wednesday, September 30th. Like everything else that's reopened since the pandemic began, the opening comes with CoVid related limitations including face masks, distancing, operating at 25% capacity [could move to 50% in November [1] if all goes well], close by midnight, no service at the bar, temperature checks, contact tracing where needed and there are some requirements related to air ventilation. And in the meantime the piazza style dining seems to be working pretty well around the city, except in Hell's Kitchen in Manhattan, where they're having a homeless problem.

The NFL Football Season Started & So Did the Kneeling Controversy

The National Football League played its first game of the 2020 season on Thursday, September 10th to a live audience. The players on both teams knelt while the national anthem was being played. It's important to remember that kneeling is a sign of respect as it's done in church, at funerals and when one is being knighted by a king, queen or organization. But kneeling during the anthem is also not an American tradition, as traditionally one would stand and salute.

But that was the point of Colin Kaepernick's taking a knee - to be respectful of our nation - while drawing attention to the fact that we, collectively, have not yet achieved the promise of the U.S. Consitution regarding equal opportunity in life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. He did it to draw attention to his ethnic group, which is very real, as we've seen this past year on videos of unarmed African Americans being slain by rogue police officers. But the inequities go beyond that - and encompass other groups like women, Latinos and rural whites - many of whom in some measure have also not had access to opportunities matching their potential. There's enough here for all of us, it just needs to be divvied up more equitably.

Plenty of Outdoor Activities at NYC Parks

the illusion of the trump economy fox fake news ny post fake news wsj fake news trump's role in making us economyI walked through Central Park this week and noticed tons of people out and about enjoying the nice weather we had. There were cyclists, a yoga class, joggers, volleyball players, dancers, strollers, people on scooters, pedestrians and a newly wed couple.

In the outdoor dining areas on both the upper west and upper east side there were dozens upon dozens of diners, enjoying the balmy evening in their own coiffed, culinary and accoutrement laden way.

The Grocery Plastic Bag Ban Finally Went into Effect on Wednesday, August 26th

As you may recall, right around the time of the CoVid pandemic outbreak [March / April 2020], NYC was in the midst of implementing a transition away from grocery store plastic bags which make up a lot of the landfill. Government officials kept postponing the transition in recognition that most folks were having enough difficulty coping with the pandemic and related economic fallout. Now, about a month after we fell below the 1% infection rate where we have since stayed [congratulate yourself, your friends & family], we're ready to move forward with saving the planet.

So, I don't see stores universally or consistently implementing the changeover, but the official date was Wednesday, August 26th, and I suspect that by the end of September they'll start enforcing it - if they haven't already. So while you're trying to remember to take your mask with you, remember to also grab some sort of bag to take along which you can use to carry your groceries home.

Job Growth Shows Signs of Stalling & Other Shoe to Drop?

By mid August new unemployment claims had dipped below one million, which is at least twice as high as 'normal'. Since then the number of newly unemployed seems to have stalled, staying at about that rate since. And ongoing unemployment claims continued at elevated levels of over 13 million [8% unemployment], versus about 8 million [5% unemployment] for a normal fully functioning economy. One pundit on CNBC seems to think the real unemployment rate is higher [11%] in part because people aren't looking for work at the moment.

The next wave of economic news could be a lackluster performance in the third quarter, because the trillions in stimulus ended only one month [July] into this quarter. And then the next couple of shoes could drop, including 1) layoffs at the end of September / early October due to the expiration of the funds of the PPP program, 2) layoffs by states and municipalities who've been sucked dry fighting the CoVid pandemic and 3) all of the dominoes associated with the eviction moratorium expirations that could impact landlords, banks and real estate related businesses.

I'll have more later. Have a nice weekend.

Was the 'Trump Economy' a Couple of Con Men's Mirage?

Did the Donald, with the Help of Rupert Murdoch's Wall St Journal, Fox Business & NY Post, Successfully Convince Americans into Thinking that the Donald was Responsible for an Economy that has Since Disappeared?

the illusion of the trump economy fox fake news ny post fake news wsj fake news trump's role in making us economySeptember 8, 2020 / NYC Neighborhoods / NYC Economic News / News Analysis & Opinion / Gotham Buzz NYC.


Donald Trump is nothing, if not one of the greatest con men in the world. He allegedly - duped donors with the Trump Charity, duped enrollees of Trump University into thinking he would teach them the magic of his 'money making miracles', duped investors and bankers alike about the magic of the Trump Taj Mahal casino, duped contractors into thinking he would pay his bills, duped law enforcement vis a vis his money laundering scheme [they eventually caught him], duped Trump SoHo buyers about some of the facts related to the real estate they were buying.

But the greatest con the Donald may have ever done, wasn't getting voters to choose him in lieu of Hillary Clinton in 2016 - as Hillary need be given some of the credit for that - but was the convincing of nearly half the nation to believe that the Donald has some kind of magic touch vis a vis the 'Trump economy'. An economy which Trump then proceeded to crash by his stupefying mismanagement of the CoVid pandemic and subsequent public-pay-a-lot-and-get-nothing-back stimulus bills. What the Donald and Murdoch's Fox & Fake News seem to omit from the narrative of the magic of the 'Trump Economy' is the trillions in debt that they have dumped upon America's children. And they seem to give scant credit to the free wheeling multi-trillion dollar machinations of the Federal Reserve, which have kept interest rates low and liquidity available in an economy presided over by a seemingly corrupt man with a history of six bankruptcies.

Republican Deceit & Phony Fiscal Conservatism

I’m going to start with recent history to show how the Donald has robbed America’s children by piling on public debt in order to give the super wealthy tax breaks, and subsequently doled out generous taxpayer funded stimulus checks, in order to gin up the economy to prop up his ailing reelection odds. And then I am going to work my way back to the early 1980’s, so we can debunk the myth that Republicans are fiscal conservatives - because the last fifty years shows that they are not.

Republicans are talking point fiscal conservatives who scream about it as it suits their campaign convenience, and this includes their mid semester Washington, D.C. play-acting theatrics which are sometimes used to showcase their phony fiscal conservatism. Neither party seems fiscally conservative, and only one president in the past fifty years has run a federal government budget surplus [Democrat Bill Clinton in tandem with a Republican Congress]. So I’m asking you to not let them fool you, because fooling the public is the one skill at which the politicians in the Senate, House and Executive Branches of government seem most adept.

Triumph of The [Rupert's] Will: How Murdoch Manipulates Voter's Perceptions & Public Policy

Australian born Billionaire Appears to use his Media Outlets to Shape Voter's Views, Loading them with Misconceptions, So They'll Elect Compromised Fox Nation Pols, Who Upon Assuming Office, Seem to Reward Murdoch's Media Support, by Crafting Public Policy to Conform to Murdoch's Will, Favoring his Business Interests

fox fake news murdoch manipulates audience perception in order to profitSeptember 4, 2020 / NYC Neighborhoods / U.S. Politics / News Analysis & Opinion / Gotham Buzz NYC.

As mentioned previously, I've been doing a fairly deep dive into learning as much about the Third Reich and Nazi Germany as time permits, in order to more fully understand what's happening in present day events.

Media Manipulation for Fun & Profit

I began noticing similarities between Australian born billionaire Rupert Murdoch's manipulative use of his large share of Amerian media in 2016, to what Joseph Goebbels, the Reich Minister of Propaganda for the Nazis, did beginning in the 1920's until his end in 1945. On May 1, 1945 Goebbels poisoned his children, his wife and himself as the Allied forces neared his home. Hitler and his companions had committed suicide the day before, as Allied forces invaded Berlin. None of them had the courage to stand trial for their crimes against humanity ... although like Mussolini, they may not have made it to court.


1. Did Fox 'News' Attempt to Protect the Reputation of a Propaganda Asset via Omission?

fox fake news murdoch manipulates audience perception in order to profitSo today, we're going to look at just a few of Murdoch's media manipulations made in just the past couple of months - and I'm nearly certain that this is just the tip of the iceberg. Unfortunately, I don't have the resource to fact check what is the largest misleading news content producing organization in the nation, and possibly the free world.

Let's start with the first two photos on this page. This story broke in the Guardian on July 7, 2020.

The first photo shows Fox News 'reporting the news' regarding the sexcapades of Jeffrey Epstein and Ghislane Maxwell. In the first photo, Fox News conveniently cropped out Donald Trump. In the second photo [at right] we have the 'full picture' aka the truth.

The man who calls everyone else a 'sleezeball' is seen with Melania 'being best', and two of the people alleged to be among some of the sleeziest on the planet [Jeffrey Epstein and Ghislane Maxwell]. Do birds of a feather flock together?

So we must ask why Rupert Murdoch would crop Donald Trump out of the photo? Is it to avoid portraying the Donald in a negative light in order to keep him - a Murdoch asset - in office?

Trump appears to have been a boon to billionaire Murdoch through massive billionaire tax cuts funded by debt to be paid for by America's children and unborn? Or is because Trump's actions in the Middle East vis a visIsrael seemed to serve to legitimize Murdoch's investment in Genie Energy in the illegally occupied Syrian Golan Heights? Or was it because Trump loosened up the FCC ownership limits for mega media companies like Murdoch's thus allowing the few to control our media, which givens them the power to influence the national democratic conversation - and in Murdoch's case - it seems the power to corrupt it in order to profit from it. Or was it because Trump famously fired all U.S. Attorneys, including Preet Bharara - who was investigating Murdoch's companies for sexual harrassment and phone hacking - less than 24 hours after Sean Hannity on Fox News told him to do just that? Perhaps most importantly, Trump's Attorney General Bill Barr, greenlighted the merger of Disney / ABC, which was an inverted takeover resulting in Rupert Murdoch becoming Disney / ABC's largest shareholder.

Things To Do Labor Day Weekend

NYC Schools to Re-Open Monday 9/21, MTA Resumes Collecting Bus Fares, Theaters Open, Museums Open, Swimming Pools Open thru Labor Day 9/7, Shopping, Outdoor Dining

labor day weekend things to do labor day weekend queens manhattan bronx brooklyn staten island nycSeptember 1, 2020 / NYC Neighborhoods / Things To Do NYC / Gotham Buzz NYC.

Weather. The temperatures highs will be in the low to mid 80's, while the lows will be in the mid to high 60's all weekend. There's a 20% chance of rain on Friday and Monday, and less than that on Saturday and Sunday. Winds will be 5 - 10 mph all weekend. Humidity will be in the 50% - 70% range.

The photo at right was taken at the U.S. Open in a prior year.

New Yorker CoVid Tests, Deaths & Requirements to Visit Public & Private Places

We've come a long way since NYS and NYC went into a lockdown in March of 2020. For over three weeks NYS has had less than 1% of CoVid positive tests, while testing a record number of people. Deaths have also dropped below ten a day. To date 439,000 New Yorkers tested positive, so over two percent of us. And 32,541 New Yorkers have died from CoVid, so 7% of those who tested positive died.

Attendance to NYC Public Schools will require some testing and masks. Masks and hand sanitizer will be available but try to bring your own. Call 311 or visit the website for full CoVid school details.

Masks and social distancing are also required to ride the MTA buses, subways and to enter any business. If you forget your mask, you might be able to secure one through an MTA booth or a nearby business. The museums generally ask visitors to secure tickets in advance, as capacity threshholds have been lowered, so the ticketing is a way to ensure you'll be admitted. Sick people may be barred from entry.

NYC Postpones Schools Reopening to Monday 9/21 & MTA Buses Resume Fare Collection

Mayor de Blasio, in an effort to avert a teachers' strike, has postponed the reopening the NYC public schools until Monday, September 21st in order to address outstanding teacher work safety concerns.

The MTA buses discontinued charging fares on March 23rd, boarding passengers through the back door to protect drivers. Effective Monday, August 31st the MTA began collecting fares again.

NYC Beaches Open in Four Boroughs

The NYC public park beaches at Coney Island in Brooklyn, in the Rockaways in Queens, Orchard Beach in the Bronx and South Beach and Midland Beach on Staten Island are all open this weekend.

The Republican National Convention - Where Trump 'Reality' TV Mixes with Murdoch’s Fox Fake News

The Donald's Deceit, Disrespect & Demagoguery were on Full Display

Has Trump Taken America from 'Reality' TV to Staged Fiction?

August 28, 2020 / NYC Neighborhoods / U.S. Politics / News Analysis & Opinion / Gotham Buzz NYC.

melania trump trump's stepford wife at rnc republican convention 2020 melania trump phonies

It was a garish experience, watching the Republican Convention on TV this past week.  The scripted and repetitive misleading and false statements, combined with what appeared outright lies, were delivered by different genders and colors of people so as to seem like it wasn’t the choreographed theatrical production that it was.  This is very much like what Rupert Murdoch’s Fox News seems to do every night, and what Joseph Goebbels did for over a decade as the minister of propaganda for the Third Reich.

Has Trump Taken America from 'Reality' TV to Staged Fiction?

What I found interesting about the Republican Convention, was how it showcased women and people of color, who were representing what has essentially been a nearly All White Male Administration. Of the 22 cabinet level positions, only four [18%] are filled by women [Education, Transportation, CIA & Small Business] and only one [5%] person of color [Housing]. 

But you’d never, ever know that by watching the Trump RNC mirage this week, as women were showcased between a third and half the time [rough estimate is 40%] and there were at least three people of color [9%] – meaning the Republican Convention didn’t look anything like the reality of the Trump Administration.


Trump Republicans of the Fox Nation Share Similarities to the Nazis of Goebbels Germany

I’ve been researching Goebbels, Hitler and the Third Reich since 2016.  While investigating how Rupert Murdoch seemed to use his ‘news’ outlets as one big propaganda machine, I kept stumbling across references to all of them. Eventually I quit ignoring the references that popped up, and began following those threads, which have since led me to believe that the parallels between 1933 Nazi Germany and present day America are inescapable.

iskanka trump speaks at republican national convention 2020 ivanka trumpFox News is comprised of seven hours of seemingly demagogic, even racist, propaganda programs including party line speeches and pseudo interviews by Sean Hannity, Tucker Carlson, Laura Ingraham, The Five, Fox & Friends as well as numerous Pinocchio pundits such as Jeanine Pirro, Greg Gutfield, Steve Hilton, and even Maria Bartiromo on Fox Business These 'news personalities' seem to deviate from a fair and balanced reporting of the facts far too often. Here’s a link to what appears to be a distorted, even racist, report of the shooting of an African American in Georgia by Tucker Carlson.

Some of the other shows appear biased, but I haven’t had the time to really tune into analyze them, as the primetime propaganda machine is already far more than I can stomach, of what seems Murdoch’s continuous demagogic deceit.

To legitimate the propaganda machine, Murdoch provides an hour of real news, the Special Report with Bret Baier weekdays, as well as Fox News Sunday which is another hour of real news hosted by Chris Wallace.  Murdoch reportedly fired Shep Smith after Attorney General Bob Barr was sent on a Trump campaign errand to tell Murdoch to pull Smith because Smith wasn’t towing the Trump train party line.  Murdoch appeared to oblige and Shepard Smith has remained silent.

I. Murdoch's Demagogic Press Manipulates People's Perceptions to Deliver Votes at the Polls - Goebbels Shaped Germans' Perceptions to Align with the Fuhrer's

Usurpation of power is the point of the propaganda machine posing as a news organization.  If people know it to be a source of false information, it would be discredited and not believed.  But by disguising it, by combining the propaganda with real news, Fox News is able to believably portray the world the way Rupert Murdoch wants his audience to see it. 

In this manner he can deliver millions upon millions of Americans, Brits and Australians into the voting booth loaded with his propaganda machine’s manipulated perceptions of events and candidates, so that his audience will vote for those pols he favors and from which he, and by virtue of payola – his propaganda pundits - will profit.  Since Trump became president, multi-millionaire Sean Hannity cut a favorable multi-million dollar low interest government loan deal with HUD Secretary Ben Carson related to Hannity’s $90 million property holdings.

Both Trump and Murdoch are demagogues which Merriam Webster defines as,

“… a leader who makes use of popular prejudices and false claims and promises in order to gain power …”

Hitler and Goebbels were also demagogues and that is how they usurped and retained so much power in Nazi Germany in the 1930’s and 1940’s, which is why when I was doing my research, Hitler, Goebbels and the Third Reich kept showing up in my searches.

II. Trump Disrespects American Traditions & the American People by Personalizing Government Power - Hitler did the Same

The background for the Republican National Convention was a couple of taxpayer funded sites – the White House and Fort McHenry in Baltimore, Maryland.  This represents yet another Trump break with American tradition of respect for the rule of law.  Trump is using these taxpayer funded public sites for free, to accumulate more power.  Not paying for the use of the White House lawn as a Convention site isn’t the worst of it – it’s the politicization of the public’s property – and the seat of power that I find most disturbing.

Again, Hitler did something similar after he was elected Chancellor of Germany in 1933.  He started personalizing the buildings of the German republic by adorning them with Nazi flags.  That was the beginning of the personalization of power, which culminated in Hitler becoming the sole decision maker for the entire nation on everything, on whatever level he wanted.  Earlier this year I identified Trump’s abusive use of the Department of Homeland Security as a national police force as a disturbing parallel. Click this link a story detailing how Donald Trump has been personalizing the power of the U.S. government.

Our Founding Fathers instituted a system of checks and balances in the U.S. Constitution in order to prevent someone from personalizing power.  The personalization of power, if left unchecked, leads right back to an authoritarian regime, which is exactly what the American War of Independence was all about.  Kings are dictators, who have personalized all of the state power.

CLICK here to read the rest of our report on the Republican National Convention 2020 - where the Donald's deceit, disrespect and demagoguery were on display where 'reality' TV morphed into televised illusion.

Democracy in Action: Blue Lives, Black Lives, All Lives Matter in Queens & NYC

A Blue Lives Matter Parade Met by a Black Lives Matter Protest

blue lives matter parade sunnyside queens blue lives matter meets black lives matter protesters in sunnyside queens nycAugust 23, 2020 / NYC Neighborhoods / Social Issues NYC / News Analysis & Opinion / Gotham Buzz NYC.

On Saturday morning around 11 am a Blue Lives Matter parade began on Greenpoint Avenue and 39th Street in Sunnyside Queens.  I arrived shortly after it began and followed it up to Joseph Sabba Park where several people were to give speeches to the parade participants and attendees.


As the parade arrived at Joseph Sabba Park they were met by a group of Black Lives Matter protesters who were kneeling on the sidewalk holding placards making Black Lives Matter statements.  The Blue Lives Matter parade participants paused as they came in direct contact.  As I sat there video recording the ‘confrontation’ I wondered whether things might take a turn for the worse and go badly.


Blue Lives Matter Parade & Speakers Queens NYC

Whoever was leading the Blue Lives Matter parade, wisely led the Blue Lives Matter parade around the Black Lives Matter protesters - rather than risking walking through them - where someone on one side or another might have escalated the tension to a higher level.

The Blue Lives Matter parade participants and attendees settled in the middle of Joseph Sabba Park and the speeches began.  The first speaker, whose name I didn’t catch, spoke supportively of the police and the important work they do in the community.  He struck a human chord, noting that the men and women who serve in the police force are dedicated to serving the community, among whom are their own families and children.  He ended saying we’re all human.

The second speaker struck a more passionate Blue Lives Matter tone, remarking that the ‘Diaphragm’ Law hindered police from doing their jobs. The Diaphragm Law allows police officers to be subject to a misdemeanor if they constrict a person’s diaphragm in the process of making an arrest.

What I recorded of both of these speeches will be shown in the video.

The signs of the Blue Lives Matter parade participants also showed a range of thoughts and emotions, ranging from striking a supportive and yet harmonious chord, while others were defiantly in support of the police – seeming to ignore the validity of the Black Lives Matter social unrest.  They included Enough with the hate, respect goes both ways, to Reform is for criminals, drug addicts and sex offenders.

The Battle for the Soul of America Begins

Democrat Joe Biden Puts Forth a Bipartisan Convention & Makes a Strong Case for Uniting America Again

joe biden dnc convention braydon harrington stutterer democratic national convention aug 2020August 21, 2020 / NYC Neighborhoods / Dysfunctional Presidency of Donald J Trump / News Analysis & Opinion / Gotham Buzz NYC.

This week the virtual Democratic Convention took place across the nation beginning Monday and ending Thursday. I tuned in for a look / see on Monday, and found the convention of greater interest than I had expected. Each night I tuned in a bit more, ending last night watching most of the show.

Missing were the bells and whistles of major party conventions of prior years. The theatrical embellishments, large audiences and drama were also missing. But what came forth were four days of a well choreographed presentation for why the American people need to make a change in November.

In the photo at right is Braydon Harrington, a 13 year old stutterer featured in the Democratic National Convention. Harrington, like Biden, has a stutter handicap which is a neurological disorder that makes it difficult to get out certain words. Biden's father told Joe not to let his handicap define him.


Monday - Republican Governors, Bernie Sanders & Michelle Obama

The first night was hosted by Eva Longoria one of the stars of Suburban Housewives.

The program started on Monday and included New Yorkers Governor Cuomo and former Republican Congresswoman Susan Molinari. Molinari wasn't the only Republican to participate in the first night of the Democratic Convention. Two former Republican Governors - Christie Todd Whitman of New Jersey and John Kasich of Ohio - also participated, giving speechs at the Democratic virtual Convention.

One might ask why are Republicans giving speeches at the Democratic Convention. Both former Governors answered that question very clearly - they are concerned about the future of the American Democratic Republic if Trump's presidency doesn't end this year. Former New Jersey Republican Governor Whitman, a self described lifelong Republican, made the following statement which was published in an August 18, 2020 report by the New Jersey News Network,

“This isn’t about a Republican or a Democrat. It’s about a person ... A person decent enough, stable enough, strong enough, to get our economy back on track. A person who can work with everyone, Democrats and Republicans, to get things done. Donald Trump isn’t that person Joe Biden is.”

According to an August 17, 2020 report on former Ohio Republican Governor Kasich, said he was proud of his Republican heritage, citing his party as the party of Lincoln, of unity and of a higher purpose. The report said that,

"... Kasich ... [has] known Biden for 30 years, calling Biden a man of integrity"

They continued quoting Governor Kasich as follows,

" ... Yes, there are areas where Joe and I absolutely disagree. But that’s OK because that’s America … Because whatever our differences, we respect one another … no one person or party has all the answers … But … we know … we can do better than what we’ve been seeing today for sure.”

First Lady Michelle Obama advocated for Joe Biden's candidacy recommending that the American people replace a president "who is in over his head".

Senator Bernie Sanders delivered the most damning assessment of the Donald's four years in office, citing the CoVid pandemic infection and death rates, the pandemic economic fallout, and Trump's mismanagement of racial tensions which erupted in the wake of George Floyd's death. Sanders went on to call Trump a fraud citing Trump's promise to stand with working families before he won the office, and who after taking office gave huge tax breaks to the wealthy, tried removing discriminatory protections currently in place for people with pre-existing health conditions, and proposed massive cuts to Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid.

Likely many of Trump's supporters aren't aware of the issues discussed in Sanders remarks, because information that doesn't portray the president in a positive light seems rarely [ever?] reported on Rupert Murdoch's Fox News, NY Post and Wall Street Journal.

Murdoch's Fox News Racism Revealed

Tucker Carlson Omits Key Facts of African American Deaths by Police

fox fake news tucker carlson racism on fox news tucker carlson distorts the news omits key facts from reportAugust 18, 2020 / NYC Neighborhoods / Rupert Murdoch & Fox Fake News Special Section / News Analysis & Opinion / Gotham Buzz NYC.

As far as I know, nobody has ever accused Rupert Murdoch of running an unbiased news operation. In fact, it's seems just the opposite, as countless people have found countless significant reporting errors by his mammoth news operation, which in the U.S. alone represents about half the large corporate branded news content viewed by Americans including Fox News, the Wall St Journal, the NY Post, Barron's, MarketWatch and increasingly ABC News where Murdoch is the largest shareholder.

What is most disturbing, is how the pinocchio propagandists on some Murdoch media outlets appear to omit key facts, in order to put forth narratives that are at odds with the truth, which are then imprinted on the minds of the millions upon millions of viewers who watch and believe what they see and hear on Fox News.

Manipulating what ends up in people's minds is exactly what Joseph Goebbels did as the Minister of Propaganda in Nazi Germany in the 1930's and 1940's. As in Nazi Germany, Herr Murdoch's propaganda ministry in the U.S., appears to use the media to favor some people or groups at the expense of other people and groups in its reporting. Oftentimes the groups Murdoch appears to favor break along race and economic class lines. We're going to look at how Tucker Carlson appears to have put forth a false Fascist narrative that further victimizes the African American victims of unnecessary violence at the hands of rogue policemen, whose errant behavior is defended far too often by the police unions.

fox fake news tucker carlson racism on fox news tucker carlson distorts the news omits key facts from reportTo be sure, those who fall prey to such mass media manipulation, are also responsible for their own ignorance and subsequent behaviors, including their voting.

Thomas Jefferson said,

“Ignorance of the law is no excuse in any country. If it were, the laws would lose their effect, because it can always be pretended.”

We saw this pretension of ignorance and denial of responsibility by many Germans following World War II, including from those operating in influential posts with access to top levels of the Nazi high command. They pretended their ignorance, but generally the truth wills out.

I'll make my case regarding Murdoch's Fox News and Tucker Carlson's reporting of African Americans appearing to be victimized by rogue policemen on Fox News Tucker Carlson's nationally televised show. I identified a couple of shows, which were broadcast over American airwaves using a high number of FCC licenses, reaching millions upon millions of Americans who appear to have been disinformed in what seems a systematic effort by Australian born billionaire Rupert Murdoch's media to provide distorted reporting with respect to incidents of police brutality vis a vis the African American community.

Fox News & Tucker Carlson Twist the Facts to Make a Trap for Fools?

The first incident we're going to review, is Tucker Carlson's Fox News coverage of the Rayshared Brooks shooting in Atlanta on Friday, June 12th, 2020. Rayshard Brooks was a 27 year old African American and father of three who was found misparked in a Wendy's parking lot, apparently sleeping. He was found to have a blood alcohol of nearly .11 which is above the legal limit for driving of .08. Brooks was not stopped while driving, but rather after he had misparked his car in a Wendy's drive thru queue.

Weekend Things To Do - NYC Near Summer’s End

Cuomo Gives Greenlight to Opening of Schools, Gyms, Bowling Alleys & Low Risk Cultural Sites, de Blasio Announces Schools Reopening Plan, Real Estate Market Changing & Events Happening (& Not) this Fall

weekend things to do nyc things to do manhattan brooklyn queens bronx staten island nycAugust 14, 2020 / NYC Neighborhoods / NYC CoVid 19 Special Section / News Analysis & Opinion / Gotham Buzz NYC.

Weekend Weather.  The temperature highs will be in the mid 80’s on Friday and Saturday, dropping to the mid 70’s on Sunday.  The temperature lows will be around 70.  It will be partly cloudy with the winds about 10 mph all weekend.  There’s a small chance of a small amount of rain on Friday and then a 50% chance of some small amount of rain on Sunday beginning early afternoon and lasting through the day.

Governor Cuomo Expands Reopenings to Indoor Cultural Sites, Gyms & Bowling Alleys

Today the Governor said that bowling alleys, gyms and low risk cultural sites can reopen. Specific protocols were provided for bowling alleys, which are set to reopen Monday, August 17th. Cuomo said that gym protocols and the reopening date for them would be made public on Monday. And other low risk cultural sites are set to reopen Monday, August 24th, with a number of CoVid safety protocols put in place including social distancing, masks, cleaning regimens and capacity limitations.

Mayor & NYC Public Schools Post Reopening Plan for September

A week ago, on Friday, August 7th, Governor Cuomo gave the greenlight for public school districts in New York State to reopen their doors this fall.  During the press briefing, the Governor cited New Yorkers ongoing success in thwarting the spread of the Corona Virus as only about 1% of the tens of thousands tested daily, were testing positive, and the deaths attributed to the Corona Virus in NYS had fallen to five.

Mayor de Blasio has been working hard with NYC Public Schools Chancellor Richard Carranza and Michael Mulgrew of the United Federation of Teachers union to come up with a palatable plan for the 1.1 million students who attend NYC public schools.  Although not yet announced officially, the NYC public schools will likely reopen Thursday, September 10th, following the Labor Day Weekend.  This is in line with the normal opening date for NYC public schools.

Depending on which survey or data set one uses, the number of parents in favor of sending their kids back to school in NYC is within the range of 60% - 75%.  That’s roughly 700,000 to 800,000 kids for the Fall enrollment.

Census: It's Time for NYC & NYS to Step Up

Current Census Participation Rate is 53% & 56% for NYC & NYS Respectively - Will New Yorkers Give Up $347 Billion Instead of Ten Minutes of Their Time?

us census census taking nyc census 2020August 10, 2020 / NYC Neighborhoods / NYC CoVid 19 Special Section / News Analysis & Opinion / Gotham Buzz NYC.

In the midst of all the chaos, the census must go on. The census deadline was pushed back to October 31st, before it was pulled forward to September 30th.

That leaves New York City and New York State only 51 days to complete the census.

What's at stake? Mostly money and representation in government, as federal program funding is allocated to the states based on the census - and this lasts ten years. So we're talking a possible loss of billions in funding annually for the city and state if we collectively don't step up and fill out the census.

The census is designed to count every person LIVING in the city and state - NOT JUST CITIZENS.

By law this information cannot be shared, on an individual basis, with any other government agency for over 70 years. The aggregate information is shared so that decisions, like allocating funding, can be made using the best information available.

I'll have plenty more detail later today, including statistics that indicate that $1.3 trillion in federal funding is allocated annually based on the census data. That's likely over $13 trillion in the course of the next ten years. There are 330 million people in the U.S. so that translates to $40,000 per person over the next ten years. The share of this money that NYS should receive is $788 billion if everyone filled out the census [assumes a population of 20 million for NYS]. At the current census participation rate New Yorkers are giving up $347 BILLION in federal funding.

Please click here to fill out the census now. It literally takes less than ten minutes.

Weekend Wondering NYC

NYS Eviction Moratorium Extension, is Unemployment Rate 10% or 20% & Other News

weekend things to do nyc things to do manhattan brooklyn queens bronx staten island nycAugust 7, 2020 / NYC Neighborhoods / NYC CoVid 19 Special Section / News Analysis & Opinion / Gotham Buzz NYC.

Rent Moratorium Extension

Well this is good news for far more people than for who it will be bad news. Governor Cuomo has extended the eviction moratorium in NYS for another month [technically until September 4, 2020], and possibly longer, as he seeks to give those who are rent challenged in the midst of this pandemic, an opportunity to turn things around or find other housing.

Mayor de Blasio had simultaneously stepped in to help those facing eviction, telling New Yorkers to call 311 for help from an attorney funded by NYC. There are reportedly 14,000 NYC evictions pending with the City Marshall.

Nationally, the Republicans can't seem to agree on a follow on the terms of the next stimulus bill, which would include extending the eviction moratorium nationally. So it seems - like the handling of the Corona Virus itself - the Governors of each state will have to make their own rent moratorium decisions.


Many NYC Restaurateurs are also Rent Challenged

isaias storm nyc damage from isaias storm in nycAn August 3, 2020 report in Eater New York informs us that the NYC Hospitality Alliance did a survey of 471 bars / restaurants and found that 83% weren't able to make the full rent, and that included a whopping 37% weren't able to pay any rent. The silver lining in the report was that for 30% of them, their landlords didn't require full rent, and in many cases giving them a temporary 50% off price. The curbside / street dining program implemented by the Mayor seems to be helping, as I see a fair amount of business being done daily, in spite of the weather.


Total Unemployed and the Unemployment Rates

In another Trump first, GDP broke all historic records in the second quarter, sinking 9.5% [at an annual rate of 33%], beating George W. Bush's record in the fourth quarter of 2008, during the financial meltdown.

Jobless claims continued to come in at over a million plus this week [1.18 million], continuing to set records for the longest string of million plus unemploymenbt claims since the end of March / beginning of April of this year, when the pandemic began impacting the economy. The silver lining in this news is that it is the lowest number of new unemployment claims, since mid March.

isaias storm nyc damage from isaias storm in nycOn June 15th I pointed to the discrepancy between the unemployment rate reported by the Bureau of Labor Statistics [around 12% - 13%] and the headlines / news reports of some 30 million plus unemployment claims, which would put the unemployment rate at closer to 19%. An August 6, 2020 report by CNBC did the best job of clearing up why there's such a huge discrepancy between the reported unemployment claims of 32 million which translates into an unemployment rate of 20%, and the lower figure that the Bureau of Labor Statistics has been reporting of about 10 - 12%. The CNBC report stated the following,

"... The four-week moving average, which smooths volatility in the numbers, fell by 413,250 to 16.6 million. But the damage to the labor remains deep and this was the 20th consecutive week that claims have run above 1 million. The total of those claiming benefits, which lags the current data by two weeks, rose to 32.1 million as of July 18, an increase of 1.3 million from the previous week... "

The ADP payroll report was up 167,000 jobs in July, way below the 4.3 million gains made in June.

Isaias Rips thru NYC Leaving 210,000 Powerless

About Half of Outages have Already been Restored

isaias storm nyc damage from isaias storm in nycAugust 4, 2020 / NYC Neighborhoods / NYC CoVid 19 Special Section / News Analysis & Opinion / Gotham Buzz NYC.

The Tropical Storm Isaias ripped through the five boroughs of NYC with winds ranging from 40 mph in Manhattan and Brooklyn to high winds topping 70 mph in Jackson Heights in Queens and topping 60 mph on Staten Island according to a National Weather Service report posted today.

Bronx wasn't mentioned in the report, but winds topped 60 mph in nearby Westchester, so that's likely a good benchmark.

The visit by Tropical Storm Isaias to NYC was a fairly quick and brief one, arriving enmasse around 11 am and well on its way out of here by 4 pm. Perhaps Isaias had heard prior to its visit, that there's a pandemic raging in the U.S., and thus decided to cut its stay short? There was concern prior to the arrival of Isaias that heavy rain would accompany the storm, and flooding would ensue. But as of this report there appears to have been relatively light rainfall for a tropical storm and little real flooding in the NYC area.


Mayor de Blasio said that the Tropical Storm Isaias was primarly about high winds. The winds appear to have wreaked havoc with Con Edison's isaias storm nyc damage from isaias storm in nycpower network, as at its peark 210,000 were without power in the five boroughs of NYC. Around the time of this writing about 130,000 people were still without power. Manhattan was relatively unscathed, while nearly 100,000 residents in Staten Island and Queens were left without power, and about half that in Bronx and Brooklyn.

Because this storm was not accompanied by a lot of water I'm going to take an educated guess that power will be restored in less time than usual, following a big storm like this, even though Con Edison informs us that this is the second highest number of people left without power in NYC in its history.

The NYC Parks Department lost no time in rolling out its clean up of the fallen trees, as within hours many of the fallen branches and trees had been identified and cut through to enable the smooth flow of traffic and pedestrians, awaiting pick up sometime later this week.

I found little difficulty in finding a number of fallen trees, and so included a couple photos of them which accompany this report.

Joe Biden & Michelle Obama?

Appointing a Woman or Minority to the Democratic Ticket Adds Risk, but so does Not Adding One

July 30, 2020 / NYC Neighborhoods / NYC CoVid 19 Special Section / News Analysis & Opinion / Gotham Buzz NYC.

No woman was ever on a ticket that won the presidency.  Hillary Clinton came close, but failed to win the electoral vote.  No ticket with a woman on it ever won, even when the woman was a vice presidential candidate. Geraldine Ferraro and Walter Mondale can attest to that.  And the only minority candidate ever elected into the presidential suite was Barack Obama. 

So running with a woman or a non-white on the ticket greatly increases the risk of the ticket as we approach one of the most important elections of our lifetimes.

But the converse is also true.  Both women and minorities are large, key constituencies of the Democratic party.  So both of these gender and ethnic groups need to be energized to get out and vote, particularly in a politicized pandemic atmosphere.  So running without a woman and without a minority also increases the risk of the Biden / Democratic ticket.

So what to do?

biden vp running mateRun with someone who is both a woman and an ethnic minority.  A number of women who can check both of those boxes have been mentioned, but some have never campaigned for public office, some have never held very high offices, and the few who have been elected and held high office, come with some baggage that inevitably accompanies holding those offices.  And none have undergone the intense scrutiny to which anyone who runs for the executive branch of government is subjected.

That is - save one person - who’s generally not been mentioned as a potential Vice Presidential contender.

Michelle Obama.

Michelle Obama eliminates the risk of adding both a woman and a minority to the ticket, while having the potential to energize both of these constituencies.

She adds no risk as a minority because she was the First Lady during the Obama Administration, and based on the 2018 and 2019 Gallup polls, a majority of the American people like and trust her. 

She is one of the most educated First Ladies, as like Hillary Clinton and her husband Barack, Michelle Obama has a law degree [from Harvard University].

She adds no baggage to the ticket as she would be defending the same record Biden is – that of the Obama Administration.

Michelle Obama has been named the ‘most admired woman’ in the world, for last two years running, in the Gallup poll.

She has personality, class - and like Biden - she’s very likeable and a uniter.

Biden could trust her, and god forbid, should a President Biden pass away during his presidency, she would be qualified to carry on his work.

Michelle Obama would be an exciting, energizing, Solomon-like choice for the Vice Presidential position on the Democratic party ticket.

As for Michelle and the Obama family, this is a request to them to return to public service, as it seems the nation needs them now. Michelle is uniquely qualified to ascend into this position at this time and in this place.

Michelle and her family wouldn’t have to hang in there very long [four years], as the primary objective of this nomination would be to create a winning ticket to displace Donald Trump who seems a threat to the American democratic republic itself. I see both Michelle Obama and Joe Biden as reluctant candidates, as they both seem to realize that there's more to life than money and power, which is very much unlike the Donald.

Based upon my understanding of American history, no other president has ever brought upon the American people the combination of misery, debt and divisiveness in such a short period of time, as has the Donald. 

And the Donald appears to have no respect for rule of law and the U.S. Constitution. So as the bicycling protesters in the video say, “Hey, hey, ho, ho Donald Trump has got to go.”

The Evolution of an Interesting Year

Interesting Doesn't Connote Good or Bad, but Rather One About which the Grandkids will Inquire

life in manhattan brooklyn queens bronx staten island during CoVid 2020July 28, 2020 / NYC Neighborhoods / NYC CoVid 19 Special Section / News Analysis & Opinion / Gotham Buzz NYC.

The CoVid pandemic for most of us began just over four months ago in mid March. In the early stages the Governor and Mayor seemed a bit alarmist, but as events unfolded, they began to appear wise.

New York City is one of the world's great cities and thus one of the great global gathering places. So it's not surprising that NYC was one of the first American cities hit, and because of the city population density, we were hit hard.

The photo at right shows a few guys relaxing at the end of the day in Greenpoint Brooklyn.

But here we are four months out and - knock on wood - we seem to be operating at one of the higher functional levels, vis a vis other states and other nations. But as both the Mayor and Governor caution us - the pandemic is still alive and well and still being transmitted - and not likely to depart anytime soon. It will remain a threat for some time, for the same reasons it first arrived here, which is that we are a national and global destination / gathering place. And so we must continue to manage the viral threat by continuing to take the same precautionary steps we did to flatten the curve and beat the virus back.

George Floyd Protests, the Police, CoVid & the Economy

life in manhattan brooklyn queens bronx staten island during CoVid 2020The year was further discombobulated by the death of George Floyd in the hands of the Minneapolis Police.  The video of what could be a murder, went viral and caused a national outrage at the use of excessive force in a situation that didn’t appear to necessitate it.  A single incident of this nature likely wouldn’t have caused a national outrage on its own. But because Floyd's untimely death seems to reflect a pattern of use of excessive force by individual policemen [repeated many times over the past couple of decades, in multiple locales, and captured and disseminated on video] that the death of George Floyd was the spark that ignited what seems to be national outrage at this sort of abuse of power by individual members of police forces around the nation.

The good news is that the demonstrations were generally peaceful, in recognition that it’s not the police departments per se, but rather bad actors within the police departments around the nation - who time and again seem to be protected by the police unions. Many of the policemen involved in these sorts of incidents, are reported to have histories of repeated failures to perform their fiduciary responsibilities in a proper manner, and yet are kept on the police force. This makes it possible for these bad actors to become repeat offenders.

The photo at right was taken of the protesters encamped outside of City Hall earlier this month, not long before the Mayor moved them out.

So I keep asking myself where are we now?

We’re in the midst of a raging pandemic, with social unrest vis a vis law enforcement, and then the Donald seems to exacerbate the situation by deploying the Department of Homeland Security to Portland, Oregon in what seems an effort to provoke protesters, not de-escalate the situation. The Donald has been accused of trying to inflame the situation in an effort to land bigger headlines and create the perception – with the help of mass media manipulator Rupert Murdoch’s Fox News, Wall St Journal and NY Post – that the world is on fire and America needs an authoritarian strong man who will use decisive force to quell the masses.

life in manhattan brooklyn queens bronx staten island during CoVid 2020Trump has also been accused of attempting to use the DHS deployment to Portland as a distraction from the Administration’s failed response to the pandemic, his failure to respond to reports that Russian President Vladimir Putin has paid bounties for the heads of U.S. G.I's in Afghanistan and a rallying cry to get the Donald (aka Rupert Murdoch’s choice) re-elected in November - in spite of what can only be described as the Administration's horrific record of dysfunctionality over the past four years.

The photo at right is a mural on the Richard Rodgers Theater near Times Square in Midtown Manhattan.

What Trump Administration dysfunctionality am I talking about?  In addition to the colossal failed response to the CoVid pandemic, there's a near record of unemployment which the BLS appears to be consistently understating (the BLS says 12% unemployment, but that doesn’t jibe with the fact that some 30 million are collecting unemployment insurance out of a labor force of 160 million aka 19% unemployment), America’s worst deficit ever by a country mile [in the month of June alone Trump racked up an $864 BILLION federal deficit], failure to effect any meaningful healthcare reform, stagnating or worsening reading and math scores by America's students, the alienation of our closest trading and military allies, and the list could go on.  Those are the failures of the Trump Administration and unfortunately for both Trump and America there’s little to offset their failures with any meaningful accomplishments.

But despite these enormous failures at the federal level, life does go on. Thanks in part to the leadership of local government officials.

Law Enforcement, the Economy, but First Home Sweet Home?

Is Home is Where the Heart is or Where We Sleep?

July 20, 2020 / NYC Neighborhoods / NYC CoVid 19 Special Section / News Analysis & Opinion / Gotham Buzz NYC.

nyc social unrest post george floyd corona virus nyc covid 19 nyc nysThere’s no doubt we’re living in an unusual time.  At least when compared to the times of the last hundred years or so.  There’s a pandemic raging across the nation, which has resulted in over 140,000 Americans’ deaths, and approaching four million infections in America alone.

The economic fallout seems to be in its nascent stages, as businesses struggle to stay open, unable to adapt sufficiently and quickly enough, to keep on keepin’ on. And furloughed workers, once under the assumption they would be called back into service in a few weeks or few months, are coming to the realization that the position they once held, may no longer exist.

I believe the photo at right shows the ‘home’ of a few people who seem to periodically return at night.  When I pass by this abode, I think about their lifestyle, living by their hard work and / or wits, with little to no worldly possessions or real comforts. I started mentally writing an ad for this living space. 

The ad goes something like this. This 2BR with spacious Living Rm is pre-furnished with a couple of chairs, a couple of beds, great ventilation, including plenty of space to move around.  There’s no kitchen, no air conditioning or heat, no security [but there’s nothing to steal] – and depending on how willing you are to stretch things, either no bathroom - or at the very least - not a private one. But the limited utilities and rent are free, so this living space is workable for any budget, and there’s plenty of ambient sunlight.

The ad is a humorous look at what's a very poignant situation, but then my thoughts take me further ... These people are still struggling to survive. They're making do with the little they have. They're very organized and pretty clean. And occasionally they give me a friendly wave when I pass. That is the power, strength and resilience of the human spirit.

Law Enforcement, the Economy, but First Home Sweet Home?

Is Home is Where the Heart is or Where We Sleep?

July 20, 2020 / NYC Neighborhoods / NYC CoVid 19 Special Section / News Analysis & Opinion / Gotham Buzz NYC.

Casino Royale:  Will the Donald Bankrupt America with Trillions in Spending?

trump bankruptcies casinos trump business failures corrupt donald trumpThe Administration, meanwhile, seems terribly out of touch with reality.  Their retarded response to the CoVid pandemic paved the way for the viral explosion.  One of their greatest mistakes was that they politicized Americans’ choice to defend themselves from the virus by wearing a mask, and they squandered away trillions of the public’s money – with the enabling help of the Democrats – to keep businesses functioning, without obtaining much in the way of concessions from them.

If the Donald is a great negotiator, then he’s negotiating away American’s future, in exchange for a junkie boost to his reelection prospects, and self-enrichment [there was a $160 billion tax break given to real estate developers like Trump and his son-in-law Jared Kushner and he fired five Inspector Generals within the six weeks that the largest spending bills in American history were passed totallying $3 trillion].

In Germany, Chancellor Angela Merkel obtained an equity stake of 20% - 25% from Lufthansa, in exchange for the German government bailout of that airline. And now the Donald and Republican Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell are in discussions to throw away another trillion or more in added stimulus - again without obtaining any concessions from those who will receive it. 

The image at right shows the headline of a January 9, 2019 report in Vanity Fair. This report was published over a year before the $3 trillion in stimulus spending done in March / April of 2020.

Bread Crumbs for the Masses & Melania's "I Don’t Care Do U?"

melania trump character i don't care do you when visiting immigrant children marie antoinette melania trump and childrenThere was $3 trillion in stimulus spending bills passed in late March and early April of 2020.  But the money that working class Americans [161 million people] received in the form of U.S. Treasury $1,200 checks amounts to only $193 million [161 x $1,200] of the $3 trillion stimulus spending done to date.  And then there was the extra $600 per week in added stimulus payments - which paid many unemployed workers more than they had been making and reportedly cost the American taxpayer over $15 billion per week according to a July 17, 2020 CNBC report. 

The CNBC report noted that 25.6 million were on this $600 per week government payout program.  According to the report the reason the total pandemic relief recipients are higher than the unemployed is because the package includes people who are,

“… business owners, self-employed Americans, gig workers and independent contractors who are not typically eligible for unemployment.”

So a rough estimate of the cost of this $600 per week program is 13 weeks x $600 per person per week x 26 million = $203 million.  If you add the payments from these two payout programs together then the total payout to working Americans was [$203 billion plus $193 billion] was $396 billion or 13% of the stimulus spending. Thus it seems - a relatively small number of mega millionaire and billionaire real estate developers like Donald Trump, son-in-law Jared Kushner and their [industry segment] friends - collected over a third as much as what all working classs Americans collectively received in stimulus handouts.

This self dealing doesn't seem to be anything new for the Trumps. And the Trump insensitivity to those who less fortunate than they are, appears equally legendary. As you can see in the June of 2018 Bazaar report above, Melania Trump demonstrated an incredible insensitivity during a visit to the Texas border detention centers for immigrant children, when she wore a jacket that had the words "I don't care do u" on it.

Things To This Weekend & Phase IV NYC Reopening

Governor’s Island Opened 7/15, Statue of Liberty Island Opens 7/20 while Ellis Remains Closed, Subway Series this Weekend w/ o Fans, Evolving CoVid Science Update & More Economic News

July 17, 2020 / NYC Neighborhoods / NYC CoVid 19 Special Section / News Analysis & Opinion / Gotham Buzz NYC.

nyc reopening corona virus nyc covid 19 nyc nys aoc in corona hands out food bagsWell another CoVid influenced weekend in NYC has arrived.  It’s the weekend before the NYS Phase IV reopening of the economy, which is happening on Monday, July 20th – but with an important modification.  The important modification is that indoor cultural centers and shopping will remain on hold indefinitely. 

CoVid Droplets Can Linger in Air for up to 16 Hours

The rationale is that CoVid 19 appears to be transmitted significantly – if not primarily – via the air droplets of infected people who may or may not be symptomatic.  In the outdoor environment, the droplets are diffused by the planetary volume of air, while in the indoor environment they can linger for up to 16 hours.  It was previously believed that the droplets could linger for up to three hours.

In the photo at right is Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez handing out food bags at Our Lady of Sorrows Church in Corona, Queens. The Congresswoman's campaign raised funds to put together 250 food bags for the folks in the community. Our Lady of Sorrows Church has been the locale for a number of such prior distributions by various donors, including by the Catholic Charities Built In Queens.

Things To Do NYC / Events This Weekend

Mets host Yankees at 7.10 pm Saturday at Citi Field and Yankees host Mets at 7.05 pm at Yankee Stadium Sunday.  No attendees will be allowed, but the games will be shown on the Yes Network on TV and WFAN radio.

things to do nyc things to do manhattan brooklyn queens bronx staten island during the covid pandemic nycThe Statue of Liberty island will open on Monday, July 20th.  The statue itself will remain closed, but there will be limited souvenir and food shopping along with restrooms.  The Ellis Island and the Liberty Museums will remain closed at this time. Both sites are part of the National Parks System.  There are also new rules for a visit -

St. John the Divine opened its doors to visitors from 7.30 am – 1 pm daily.  No word yet on when services will resume.

St Patrick’s Cathedral reopened on June 28th for two daily services at 25% capacity on weekdays and two to three services daily on the weekend. They are suffering a $4 million revenue shortfall as a result of the Corona Virus pandemic -

The piazza style dining in cordoned off streets continues on weekends beginning 5 pm Friday and at noon on Saturday and Sunday – ending at 11 pm each night.  New streets and restaurants continue to be added to the original list, as clusters of restaurants apply and receive authorization for piazza style dining on their blocks / streets.

The implementation of the curbside / sidewalk dining by local restaurants has been well received and appears to be a success. Thus this week the Mayor announced that it will be extended through October 31st.

Just over a week ago, on Thursday, July 9th, the Mayor extended the ban on large events requiring a city permit, through September 30th.  The rationale for this extension is that states like Florida and Texas have seen surges due to large scale gatherings, where social distancing and mask norms were difficult to enforce and hence violated, leading to huge surges of the number of CoVid infections in those states.  This ban extension includes NYC street fairs.

Things to do This Weekend in NYC

Bit by Bit NYC Emerges from the CoVid Pandemic Shock ...

... but it's Increasingly Looking Like It Will be a Slow Recovery

CoVid update mail in vote complications delays fraud nyc nyc things to do nyc manhattan queens bronx brooklyn staten island reopenings economy layoffs tale of two economies tech traditional bricks n mortar nycJuly 10, 2020 / NYC Neighborhoods / NYC CoVid 19 Special Section / News Analysis & Opinion / Gotham Buzz NYC.

Weather. The temperature highs will be in the high 70’s Friday, rising to about 90 degrees on both Saturday and Sunday. There’s a 100% chance of inches of rain throughout the day Friday, with some rain – about an inch - in the late morning / early afternoon on Saturday, and then clear on Sunday. Humidity will be in the 90% plus range on Friday, dropping to 80% on Saturday and down to 65% on Sunday. There will be wind gusts of up to 20 – 26 mph on Friday, settling down to 5 – 10 mph on Saturday and Sunday.

We began to return to some measure of normalcy this week as NYC moved into Phase III of the reopening. Restaurants sprung back to life with sidewalk and curbside seating which seemed to fill up pretty well in the first week of opening. Rain will dampen that enthusiasm today and through mid afternoon tomorrow, but I expect seatings to resume later in the day Saturday.

Things to do in NYC This Weekend

The Mayor also announced the opening of 22 European piazza style dining streets in all five boroughs [scroll down to July 2nd post for a listing of them]. Some of these NYC ‘piazzas’ opened last weekend. I visited the one on Restaurant Row in Manhattan and it looked to be a success – see photo.

While things haven’t returned to normal, and likely won’t for some time, they are becoming more normal from week to week. And there’s more to do these days, than there has been for a long while, for those who want to get out and about.

New openings this past week include:

Crime & Punishment and Racism & Reparations

But First a Video of the Fireworks & From the Streets on July 4th

July 7, 2020 / NYC Neighborhoods / News Analysis & Opinion / Gotham Buzz NYC.

Here's a video of the Fireworks, which includes some street activity and commentary & music. Click the box in the lower right corner to max it up to the full screen for best view. Hit the escape key (esc) to exit the full screen view.

More coming about the evening later this week. Enjoy.

July 4th Weekend NYC: The New Normal is About Adjustment & Simplicity

The NYC Budget, NYC Events, the Economy & CoVid Update

July 2, 2020 / NYC Neighborhoods / NYC CoVid 19 Special Section / News Analysis & Opinion / Gotham Buzz NYC.

George Floyd Protests, the NYPD and other NYC Budget Cuts

nyc budget cuts nyc things to do manhattan bronx brooklyn staten island queens piazza style dining nyc misleading unemployment statistics bls phony fiscal conservatives & unemployment numbers

The George Floyd protests seem to have abated, over a month after his death.  The new NYC budget does cut about a billion from the NYPD budget by reducing the staff from 36,000 to 34,000 employees, cancelling the most current class of new cadets, and reallocating school security to the Department of Education and homeless engagement to social services units. About 5,000 people work in the school security program and that will be transferred over a period of time to make sure it works properly.  Another$160 million was allocated to summer youth programs [$115 million], as well as to address food insecurity [$33 million] and housing [$8 million]

The overnight Staten Island Ferry service was also cut for the time being.  That affects about 4,250 riders per night based on 2019 statistics.  Other cuts included in the NYC budget include an $800 million cut for schools, a 5% - 7% cut to all departments, some labor savings [$1 billion].  The labor savings could result in NYC layoffs in the Fall if other solutions aren’t found.  The cuts were due to a mix of actual and expected NYC revenue shortfall of about $8 – $9 billion.  City Councilmember Helen Rosenthal of the Upper West Side tells us that about $4 billion of the shortfall will be made up by the Mayor’s rainy day fund, which de Blasio had prudently set aside to address unexpected events.

The Mayor also announced that NYC public schools would be reopening in the Fall.  He said he was working with the unions to implement safe plans which would include social distancing measures which would possibly take larger classes online, stagger schedules to fill the school with fewer students at any given time, implement cleaning efforts and staggered lunchtimes.  The Governor noted that ultimately it’s his call on school reopenings.  Nonetheless, the Mayor said that NYC was working to submit a plan by late July / early August.

NYC Moving to Phase III Monday but Indoor Dining on Hold

Because of the upturn in CoVid infections in other states as noted below, the Governor and Mayor have put indoor dining in NYC on hold.  Nonetheless, the rest of Phase III will continue as planned on Monday, July 6th. Phase III also includes the opening of personal care businesses such as tanning, waxing & nail salons and spas.


Piazza Style Dining to come to 22 Streets in all Five Boroughs

nyc budget cuts nyc things to do manhattan bronx brooklyn staten island queens piazza style dining nyc misleading unemployment statistics bls phony fiscal conservatives & unemployment numbers

The Mayor announced efforts to mitigate the impact of the delay of the opening of restaurants indoor areas by further opening the streets to restaurateurs over the weekends beginning Friday evenings  -  in what was described as piazza style dining.  Expanded dining areas are planned for 22 streets around all five boroughs in the city including Restaurant Row in the Hell’s Kitchen neighborhood of Manhattan, Mulberry Street in the Little Italy neighborhood of Manhattan, and streets in Chinatown at Doyers Street, the East Village at Broome and Orchard Street, Harlem at 101st Street and Lexington, Gansevoort & 13th in the West Village, Broadway and 25th in the Flatiron District.

In the outer boroughs there’s Arthur Avenue in the Little Italy / Belmont neighborhood of Bronx [7/10], New Dorp at Hylan Blvd in the New Dorp neighborhood of Staten Island, Bell Blvd in the Bayside neighborhood of Queens, and in Brooklyn a number of streets in DUMBO between the Brooklyn and Manhattan Bridge near the water in Brooklyn, 5th Avenue in the Park Slope neighborhood of Brooklyn, at Reed Street and Van Brunt near the Fairway in the Red Hook neighborhood of Brooklyn.  And speaking of Fairway – they’re planning to close three stores as a result of the pandemic including the one in Red Hook, another in Harlem and one on Long Island.

In Phase II NYC had started to clear the way for restaurants to occupy the curbside parking spaces in front of their dining / drinking establishments to allow the serving patrons outdoors.  This appears to have worked well, with – thus far – no attendant substantive increase in CoVid cases.  This is even though many to most of the folks I see dining and drinking outside aren’t wearing masks.  This is understandable as it’s hard to eat and drink with a mask on, as I tried it a week ago and didn’t like it.

But for the people who are most susceptible to severe illness - and even death - due to CoVid, they are advised to continue to exercise caution, even in the outdoor dining and drinking setting, as the consequences for them are too severe to take the risk.

July 4th Week - NYC Events & Happenings

City Restaurants Turned Inside Out, NYC NYPD Protests Continue, Broadway Cancels Fall Season, Major League Sports Update, Elections Results Still Unknown with Lessons for the Fall &  July 4th Fireworks Begin

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June 29, 2020 / NYC Neighborhoods / NYC CoVid 19 Special Section / News Analysis & Opinion / Gotham Buzz NYC.

NYC entered Phase II of its economic reopening a week ago.  As part of that phase, restaurants were allowed to serve customers on the sidewalks in front of their establishments.  Over the past week or so, more and more people have returned to enjoying a restaurant meal in a social milieu.  Now when I’m returning home around or after dinner time I feel as if I’m walking right through the center of several restaurants.


Restaurants Turned Inside Out

It’s kind of interesting, because I get to see the entire clientele without having to enter the restaurant and I can also see what the food looks like.  I reckon the downside is that while it seems generally the customers have masks which I see lying on the tables, they take them off or pull them down while there.  This makes sense as eating and drinking with the mask on is not feasible.  The downside is that while I used to walk around the neighborhood without wearing the mask [it’s ok out of doors when distancing  six feet ], I’ve started wearing my mask out of doors while I’m walking through these restaurant seating areas ... just to be safe.  The photo above was taken in Sunnyside Queens this week.

Phase III is expected to begin next week, and on Wednesday the Governor and Mayor will announce whether or not restaurants will be allowed to serve customers inside.  There's reluctance to do so, as it is believed that the in house social interactions are one of the leading contributors to others states now seeing a surge in CoVid cases. 

Week & Weekend Update of Events in NYC

Planned Openings & Fireworks, Phase II & III Economic Reopening,  Life in the City & Primary Election Results Remain Open Due to Large Mail in Vote

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June 26, 2020 / NYC Neighborhoods / NYC CoVid 19 Special Section / News Analysis & Opinion / Gotham Buzz NYC.

On Monday NYC entered Phase II of the economic reopening, which among other things included curbside restaurant service, limited office openings and limited capacity retail.  That put a lot of people back to work and seemed to give the city more of a normal feel.  The Mayor quipped that it was the first time in a while that he got caught in a traffic jam.


NYC Plans Move to Phase III on 7/6/20

Assuming New Yorkers maintain their CoVid protocol vigilance, we’ll be moving to Phase III on Monday, July 6th.  This includes the reopening of Personal Care services such as nail salons, gyms, as well as limited capacity in restaurant dining.

A Word of Caution - CoVid Resurgences in Reopened States

But it’s worth making a note of caution, as other states – such as Texas, Florida, California and Arizona which beat us to the punch in reopening their economies – have sparked a huge resurgence of new CoVid infections.  Texas, Florida and Arizona have put their economic re-openings on hold. Florida beat its previous high rate of CoVid infections on Thursday, nearly reaching 9,000 new infections in a single day. And an increasing share [about half] of these infections have been found in people between the ages of 25 – 45.

NYS Primary Elections Today

The Presidential  and Congressional Primaries are Today

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June 23, 2020 / NYC Neighborhoods / News Analysis & Opinion / Gotham Buzz NYC. 

The long delayed NYS primary election is today.  On the ballot is the presidential primary featuring Joe Biden and I believe others - but the others have suspended their campaigns and Joe Biden has already won enough electoral votes to secure the nomination.  So in the presidential primary you can strengthen Biden's hand by casting your vote for him, or strenghten someone else's hand in influencing the Democratic platform that Joe will run on.

There are also a number of congressional races which I'll have more on by or before 12 noon today.  See Manhattan Buzz, Queens Buzz, Bronx Buzz, Staten Buzz and Brooklyn BLVD for details. 

Click the link for the poll finder website, so you can easily find where to vote in your neighborhood.  Remember this is the land of the free and the home of the brave and many of our ancestors died for our right to vote.  So try to be brave, but also be careful.

The New York City election is Tuesday June 23rd and polls are open from 6 am - 9 pm.

NYC Life: Juneteenth, Summer Begins, Fathers Day, NYC Phase II, Atlanta Shooting & Election

The NYC Boroughs Showing Increasing Signs of Economic Life, but …

June 19, 2020 / NYC Neighborhoods / News Analysis & Opinion / Gotham Buzz NYC.

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The Mayor announced we’re moving to Phase II of the economic reopening beginning Monday. According to a missive by Councilmember Van Bramer, Phase II means that restaurants can resume serving people on sidewalks, at curbside, in opens streets and plazas and in backyard seating – but they need permits which may be obtained at and he notes that restaurateurs do not need to apply separately for the liquor permit.

Retailers can now serve people in their shops by limiting capacity, while following mask, [barrier?] and cleaning protocols.  The same is true for hair salons and barber shops. And realtors and auto dealers can resume working with clients, as can commercial building operations and offices on a case by case basis.

The photo at right was taken near Borough Hall in Brooklyn earlier this month.


On June 19, 1865 the Last Texas Slaves Were Freed

Juneteenth Celebrates the End of Slavery in the U.S.

Juneteenth is the date when the Union Army arrived in Galveston, Texas and informed all of the slaves there, that they were freeAbraham Lincoln had issued the Emancipation Proclamation in January 1, 1863 – but rumor has it that word didn’t reach Texas slaves until two and a half years later.

On Wednesday, June 17th, Governor Cuomo signed an Executive Order making today a holiday for NYS employees.  There are also a number of marches and rallies to celebrate Juneteenth in all five boroughs, most beginning between 12 noon and 4 pm, which you can find by doing a search for ‘juneteenth nyc’.

Where We At?

These Certainly are Crazy Times & this is a Brief Update

corona virus nyc covid 19 nyc nys

June 15, 2020 / NYC Neighborhoods / NYC CoVid 19 Special Section / News Analysis & Opinion / Gotham Buzz NYC.

In mid March we slammed up against a CoVid pandemic and NYS Paused in order to thwart the rapid spread of the sometimes deadly disease.  Then, after we appeared to slow the virus spread, and we were slowly re-opening economic activity - a new crisis of conscience and societal awakening - was layered atop the pandemic. 

The social outrage, at what appears to be the murder of a man at the hands of a Minneapolis policeman, sparked protests across the nation and around New York City at what appears to be unnecessary municipal police violence and brutality targeting racial minorities, acted upon by a few members of the police forces around the nation.

We have covered both of these stories in prior reports and what follows is a bit of a catch up of the past couple of weeks and look forward into the next couple of weeks.

CoVid Science Update

A number of reports have provided updates into the nature of the Corona Virus.  These include what impact wearing the masks has, how the disease spreads via air and via surfaces, and the contagiousness of asymptomatic CoVid carriers on the general population.  I think it’s important to remind folks that we’re not even a year into the spread of the sometimes deadly disease, so look at all of what follows as still being somewhat preliminary.

CoVid Science Update – Wearing Masks

corona virus nyc covid 19 nyc nys

The wearing of the masks does appear to help, but it is most helpful in containing the spread by limiting the airborne virus by infected carriers.  Defensively it also appears to help, but substantially less so, if you’re in close quarters with an infected person.  According to a May 17, 2020 report in the South China Morning Post a study using hampsters,

“… found the rate of non-contact transmission – in which the virus was transmitted via respiratory droplets or airborne particles – dropped by as much as 75 per cent when masks were present.”

The study was done in a room, which is important to note because out of doors, this same study has not been replicated.  So wearing masks appears generally good.  But it’s important to point out that the reason it’s good goes back to the original WHO [World Health Organization] and CDC [Center for Disease Control] guidance, which is that it is most effective in containing the spread by an infected carrier.  Wearing masks has been found to be less effective in preventing the spread if the carrier is not wearing a mask even if the potentially infected is.

George Floyd Protest Cinematography, Music & Narrative

June 12, 2020 / NYC NeighborhoodsNYC Social Issues & Crime / News Analysis & Opinion /  Gotham Buzz NYC.

The video below is an interpretive depiction of a protest event in McCarren Park early last week. The piece is  meant to be savored - like food, music and cinematography.

George Floyd & Pink Floyd

Trying to Make Sense in a Senseless World

May 28, 2020 / NYC Neighborhoods / CoVid in NYC Special Section / News Analysis & Opinion / Gotham Buzz NYC.

george floyd protests brooklyn nyc police protests brooklyn manhattan bronx staten island queens george floyd protests brooklyn nypd police protests bk nycI watched the George Floyd protests unfold on the nightly TV newscasts for a couple of days before venturing out myself to see what I might learn. The protests began on Friday, May 29th in NYC, following the death of George Floyd, an African American who was asphyxiated, apparently due to a Minneapolis policeman holding a knee over George Floyd’s neck for nearly nine minutes which was caught on video.

TV News Appears to Sensationalize More than Inform 

On Saturday night Fox News ran and reran the same footage multiple times of a car burning, seeming to hype and sensationalize the footage into a full blown ‘riot’. The a lot of the Fox footage was taken from the air, in a helicopter which they lease (reportedly) for millions annually, which again repeatedly showed video of the crowd below, which appeared to be mostly our men in blue. So given little good video, they talked about groups dallying into the police and back again – but really didn’t seem to have any video to support their claims. The next day Mayor de Blasio reported that there were no deaths and no serious injuries to members of the NYPD or the crowd. But there was some looting.

An NBC news account made the situation seem far more chaotic than it was by shaking the camera, providing the appearance of chaos. And so on.

More Photos & Video Coming Wednesday

Covering the George Floyd Protests in NYC from the Ground - Not from a Cushy Corporate Media Chopper   

The ‘crisis’ seemed to be more manufactured by the TV news, than by what was actually happening on the streets, which is why I decided I needed to cover this myself. Second hand TV news seems increasingly like garbage news, but before I could make such a claim, I had to see for myself.

Having grown up in a newspaper family, I’ve been watching the news and presentation of it all of my life, beginning with the Kennedy assassination, which my father made all of us watch as he said it was history in the making. Back then the news was owned by dozens, if not hundreds of independent newspapermen and broadcasters, so like social media, there was a variety of news presentations and you could pick from them.

Today large multi-billion dollar corporations control most of the news we see, and it seems their focus is largely centered around profit driven ratings instead of a fair and balanced presentation of the news. This is why they seem to hype, sensationalize and distort Americans’ perceived reality in order to keep them glued to the tube. And the hyping and sensationalizing is not getting better – it’s getting worse.

No longer can you turn on the TV to be informed, but rather to be scared, angered and far too often – to become disinformed.

Unemployment Rises to 40 Million, Trump Fires FIVE Inspectors General Overseeing his Handling of the Largest Stimulus Bill in History & Life on the Ground in NYC

May 28, 2020 / NYC Neighborhoods / CoVid in NYC Special Section / News Analysis & Opinion / Gotham Buzz NYC.

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If things appear to be chaotic these days, that’s because they are.

America First - #1 in CoVid & Record Breaking Unemployment

Since the CoVid Pandemic began, new unemployment claims have risen by 40 million in the nation.  That’s out of an estimated American workforce of 158 million – meaning that 25% of Americans have lost their jobs since the pandemic began. 

The April unemployment was reported at nearly 15%, while the May unemployment report is expected to rise to in the neighborhood of 20% - 23%.  And according to the Federal Reserve, the  June numbers could come in a bit worse than May.  As a point of reference, during the worst days of the Depression, unemployment came in just under 25% before the American people fired Herbert Hoover.


Trump’s Litany of Distractions, Enabled by Network TV Boobcasts

But the Donald isn’t talking about the pain Americans are suffering from the pandemic, where over 1.7 million have been infected and over 100,000 have died.  Nor is he talking about the pain and anxiety that is being felt by the 40 million Americans who have lost their jobs.

Nor is he willing to talk about the firings of five Inspector Generals who had been charged with overseeing the integrity of the largest stimulus package in American history – funded by America’s babies and unborn children.  It’s like taking candy from a baby, only this time it’s money – and lots of it. 

The five Inspector Generals include one from  Health & Human Services, Department of Defense, State Department, Intelligence Community and the Department of Transportation.  Australian billionaire Rupert Murdoch's Goebbels-like  propaganda machine - including his Fox News, Wall St Journal and NY Post appeared to support the firings. I wonder what Rupert's share of the predatory propaganda plunder is?         

So what is the Donald talking about, repeated nightly on the TV News broadcasts, who I’ve come to view as the great enablers, and now think of as the nightly news boobcasts ?  Anything else. 

This week the list of TV News amplified Trump outrages included: 1) Twitter exercising its freedom of speech by putting suggestions that Trump Twitter followers get off their lazy bums to click into fair and balanced information checks of the Donald’s disinformational tweets.  2) Prior to that Trump attacked the Governor of North Carolinafor following the CDC guidelines vis a vis reopening the economy.  The reason?  The Donald appears to want a jam packed media extravaganza at the Republican National Convention that was scheduled to be held in Charlotte, North Carolina in August.  3) Another of the shock jock president's distractions was his insinuation  that mail ballots are fraudulent – WHICH MIGHT COME TRUE IN November as Trump is replacing the outgoing Postmaster General with a Trump donor / businessman from North Carolina.    4) And the most incredulous of the distractions was Trump’s allegations having to do with MSNBC commentator Joe Scarborough and a decade(s) old death of someone who worked for him.

CoVid Vaccine Update, Gauging Timeline for Return to the New Normal,   Economic Snapshot  & ...  

May 25, 2020 / NYC Neighborhoods / CoVid in NYC Special Section / News Analysis & Opinion / Gotham Buzz NYC.

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Memorial Day was a beautiful sunny day, with temperatures into the 70’s, and dry. Given the month of May is nearly over, I thought I’d do a recap of what has transpired during the month to gauge how far we’ve come and how far we have to go to return to the new normal.

Let’s start with a quick update on the CoVid virus itself. As we entered the month of May, new CoVid hospitalizations were running about 800 per day. As of Governor Cuomo’s last few reports, the number of new hospitalizations is running at between 200 – 300 per day. The net daily intubations have been running negative [meaning more people coming off than going on] for most of the last couple of months ranging from close to zero [meaning folks coming off intubations were about equal to those going on] to nearly 150 more coming off than going on.

As we exited April, NYC and NYS were closing the popup hospitals located primarily around the city, as the existing facilities were moving into a position where they were able to handle the sick patients entering the healthcare system. Overall both NYC and NYS have freed up a considerable amount of hospital and respirator capacity, so that most parts of the state will be economically open in the Phase I stage by this coming week – with the exception being NYC. NYC has met six of the seven metrics required to enter Phase I of the reopening of the economy.  The seventh metric is to free up enough hospital capacity [30% available capacity is the target] in order to reopen safely, according to the guidelines outlined by NYS Governor Cuomo.       

It’s important to remind folks that NYC, with a population of about 8.5 million, represents nearly half of the approximately 19.5 million population of NYS – and that we’re far more densely packed into a far smaller space than likely anywhere else in the nation. I mention this to help folks understand that we, in NYC, have the highest hurdle to transcend to move toward the new normal. But that said both the Mayor and the Governor believe that if the trends continue, NYC should be in a position to move into Phase I sometime within the first two weeks of June.

Phase I allows for construction, manufacturing and curbside retail to resume.

In prior reports we’ve identified the people most at risk of dying from the disease should they contract it. These folks still need to tread cautiously, as well as the folks who surround them, as no cure is in sight – regardless of what you may hear on the ratings-driven TV news or from a flailing president who oftentimes seems more concerned about the impact of the virus on his re-election chances, than on Americans’ health.

Scientists and pharmaceutical organizations around the world on working on numerous different therapies which may help speed recoveries. There are eight new vaccines that are in some stage of clinical trials, and a reported 110 vaccines in the works. The eight in clinical trials are only in the early stages of clinical trials, which are used to determine the efficacy and safety profile of a drug.

Governor Cuomo to End NY Pause on 5/15 but ...

NYS Regions Must Meet Guidelines to Re-Open & While Some NYS Regions Qualify - We in NYC are Not Yet There

May 11, 2020 / NYC Neighborhoods / NYC CoVid 19 Special Section / Gotham Buzz NYC.

corona virus nyc covid 19 nyc nysAs of May 15th the NY Pause program put in place by Governor Cuomo in mid March will come to an end. NY Pause was essentially a state-wide lockdown of residents and businesses deemed ‘non-essential’. We’ll have been in lockdown for two months.

NYS Regions Must Meet the Following Guidelines Prior to Re-Opening

But once the statewide lockdown ends on Friday, regional / municipal lockdowns will continue until such time as each region meets seven guidelines outlined by the Governor. The seven metrics that a region must meet are a two week decline in: 1) total hospitalizations, 2) new hospitalizations, 3) hospitalized deaths, and must have a 30% available share of 4) hospitalized beds and 5) Intensive Care Unit beds, and must have testing capacity / implementation of 6) 30 people per thousand monthly, and 7) 30 contact tracers per thousand in alignment with being able to follow up on potentially infected people.

CoVid Back to Work NYC – Part III

Mayor & Governor Attempt a Balancing Act Worthy of the Flying Wallendas

nyc life on the ground during covid pandemic timeline brooklyn manhattan bronx staten island queens covid outbreak nyc life on the ground during covid pandemic in nycMay 3, 2020 / NYC Neighborhoods / NYC CoVid 19 Special Section / News Analysis & Opinion / Gotham Buzz NYC.

Well, at least we had a pleasant weather weekend. People were out and about again in greater droves than they have been in about a month and a half. It was just nice to stretch one’s legs, soak in a bit of sunshine and see people again … albeit at a social distance.

Looking ahead the Mayor and Governor are in a tight spot, as people’s economic needs begin to weigh heavily upon them, given a second month of rent and other payments have come due. Thus these two intrepid leaders need to work out a path to economic recovery, while not letting up on keeping the evil CoVid virus in check. My intent here is to add my two cents in hopes of stimulating dialogue and actions in that direction.

Putting Things In Perspective

Let’s start with what has happened this past week. NYS CoVid Hospitalizations had skyrocketed to about 19,000 the week of April 13th, 2020. By this past weekend they had fallen to about 10,000 – nearly half of the peak.

At the time the Governor and Mayor, with federal government assistance, had put in place plans to accommodate the skyrocketing infected numbers, which as of April 13th had hit 195,000 people in New York State and about 107,000 in New York City. Today the cumulative totals for New York State are 318,000 and for New York City 177,000.

Brief History Of How Covid 19 Started In NYC & NYS

The first person identified with the CoVid virus, was a Manhattan healthcare worker who had picked it up overseas. She tested positive or it became publicly known on March 1st, 2020. A week and a half later, on March 10, 2020, Governor Cuomo set up a containment area in New Rochelle where there was a significant outbreak. The Governor’s NY Pause – essentially shutting down non-essential business – began evolving shortly thereafter.

Many NYC Farmers Markets are Open

Farmers Markets are Essential Businesses, Provide Fresh Food & a Nice Outing

manhattan farmers markets manhattan green markets manhattan nycMay 1, 2020 / NYC Shopping / NYC Neighborhoods / Gotham Buzz NYC.

Last weekend, on Saturday, I ventured out to enjoy the beautiful weather. I was not alone, as for the first time in a month and a half there were a number of people moving about the neighborhood.

I headed down to the farmers market to see what that looked like under the new normal. The food looked fresh, and there was plenty of it - although this was in mid morning.

The experience wasn't much different than what you'd expect. People wore face masks and there were lines created by social distancing. I was glad to see that farmers markets are essential businesses, as it augments a strained food supply chain, and provides folks with an opportunity to get out of the house in about as safe an environment as you can get. Here's a link to the dates, times, locations and selection of the 2020 Queens farmers markets, Staten Island Farmers Markets, Brooklyn Farmers Markets, Manhattan Farmers Markets and Bronx Farmers Markets.

I can't say people were smiling, not just because their faces were covered by masks, but there's been a gradual mood deterioration as we pass the second rent due date of the CoVid pandemic. Many people aren't standing in the farmers market social distancing line, but rather standing in food pantry lines. And for many, their economic fates are up for grabs, as we collectively try to navigate our way back to work. Many believe that economic activity is likely to be dampened by the CoVid pandemic for some time to come.

On the bright side, the Governor and the Mayor announced plans to begin daily sanitization of the MTA subway system beginning Wednesday, May 6th. The plan is to close the terminal stations of the subway lines from 1 am to 5 am, daily - providing shuttle buses to and from the last stop for passengers. And then, in those four wee hours of the morning, the NYPD and NYC social services will swoop into clear out the homeless population that has started making the subway their new home. It seems a good and humane plan.

Sanitizing the subway lines should go a long way toward preparing us to get back to the new normal by helping to dampen - if not eradicate - the transmission of the CoVid virus. This collaborative effort by both the Mayor and the Governor will help all of us to get back to work and play. So things are moving in the right direction, albeit not at a viral pace.

Have a nice weekend. The weather is going to be in the 70's during the day and 50's at night. And no rain, but some clouds.

Through Wind, Snow, Rain, Sleet & CoVid - Education Goes On

Or … the Wild and Whacky World of Online Learning in the Age of CoVid

covid online learning nyc schools during covid brooklyn manhattan bronx staten island queens covid outbreak nyc public private education nyc during covid pandemic spring 2020 nycApril 27, 2020 / Corona Virus in NYC & NYS CoVid 19 / NYC Neighborhoods / News Analysis & Opinion / Gotham Buzz NYC.

As we anxiously await the return to the new normal, being bombarded by repetitious daily TV newscasts, the Donald’s Daily Disinformation Show, and what seems Rupert Murdoch’s unending propaganda in the Wall Street Journal and on Fox News, there are a few bright spots, but you have to look for them.

I thought the migration from school classrooms might be one of them, so I set out to find out what that experience felt like to both educators and students at the elementary, high school and college levels. As I interviewed only two students and two teachers, this is an anecdotal report about the migration from classroom to computer.

The mass migration began the week beginning March 9th, 2020. College students around the nation, including the CUNY and SUNY systems, were told their classes were being discontinued and they were instructed to pack their things and return home. By the start of the next week, beginning March 16th, NYC public elementary and high schools were also closed. Private schools more or less closed their doors in tandem with the public schools.

During that week of disbandment, the world of education began a mad scramble to figure out how to continue the education process – without classrooms, schools and interpersonal contact. This was not a mean feat.

Nonetheless, educators scrambled, ramped up to speed using interactive platforms like Zoom and Google Hang Out, which includes Google Meet & Chat, and Google Docs. The educators also started figuring out how replace lectures and moderated classroom discussions by using videos and presentations / documents.

Based on the four interviews I conducted, it seems there wasn’t any one formula used, but rather a whole slew of different approaches. Teachers used more different approaches to online learning – depending not just on the subject matter - but also on the audience aka the class.

College Professor’s Experience Migrating Online

covid online learning nyc schools during covid brooklyn manhattan bronx staten island queens covid outbreak nyc public private education nyc during covid pandemic spring 2020 nycThomas Bolin is a religious studies professor at a small liberal arts college. He teaches three classes – one is about American Evangelicalism, which examines the changing face of religion in America. He teaches two classes of Ancient Wisdom, which examines Biblical, Roman and Egyptian philosophies. This course ends with each student creating their own personal philosophy.

Professor Bolin said he started by taking a technology inventory of his students including computer and internet access. The real technological issue wasn’t access to devices as nearly everyone has a smart phone and computer but rather access to internet with enough bandwidth at the times needed.

After he’d completed the technology inventory, he set out devising a teaching game plan. To that end he began developing videos, which he posted so that the students could access asynchronously – meaning on their timeframe. His reasoning was that as some of his students lived in different time zones, and some had issues accessing high speed internet at home because of shared bandwidth and devices, this would enable all to keep pace with their classroom peers.

He said he receives a slew of student emails after each video post, which he answers personally. He said he also checks in with each of his students at least once per week.

Professor Bolin also said that he began creating reading guides for many of the assigned readings to initiate interaction, circular discussions and he paired student to interact.

I asked him if he was working more or less these days. He said more … that the five day week had become a continuous stream of seven day weeks … that work filling his days has become like gas filling a room.

He noted that it’s far more difficult to tell how plugged in each student is to the subject matter. He said that it was likely for that reason that Princeton went to Pass / Fail when they initiated the migration from in class to online. He opined that in spite of the additional work he’s had to do, the students were likely getting a reduced educational experience. And hence, he reasoned, the pass / fail is a means of acknowledging the reduced expectations.

I’m paraphrasing but he said something like, “Education is learning about and through community, interpersonal interactions, which ultimately lead to growth. That’s not something that can be well replicated online.”

CoVid Crisis – Back to Work Part II

Jury Rigging / Do It Yourself Methods to Get Back to Work

covid disease characteristics spread nyc brooklyn manhattan bronx staten island queens covid disease mitigation spread characteristics covid nycApril 24, 2020 / Corona Virus in NYC & NYS CoVid 19 / NYC Neighborhoods / News Analysis & Opinion / Gotham Buzz NYC.

NY Pause Continues Through May 15th Pending an Update

First a couple of announcements were made the past couple of weeks which hint at when we will begin returning to the new normal. With hospitalizations declining / stabilizing and intubations and new positives declining, Governor Cuomo extended NY Pause to May 15th, which keeps open essential businesses, but closes the non-essential businesses until such time as there’s enough slack in the healthcare system / hospitals to accommodate any sort of resurgence in Corona Virus patients that may occur as a result of the re-opening.

Governor Cuomo told the Donald NYC and NYS wouldn't need the USNS Comfort any longer, as the emergency crisis has subsided. As noted in an earlier report, the build out at the Brooklyn Cruise Terminal was put on hold, pending a more definitive direction in the CoVid hospitalization numbers. The photo above shows a retailer temperature screening customers before they enter the store [photo credit Dantanyan].

Large Public NYC Events Cancelled thru May

Biggest Events in June Aren’t Likely to Occur & NYC Public Pools will Likely Remain Closed Through the Summer

covid disease characteristics spread nyc brooklyn manhattan bronx staten island queens covid disease mitigation spread characteristics covid nycAs mentioned previously, Mayor de Blasio seemed to think that the NYC public school system will remain closed through the end of this school year. The Mayor also said that large public gatherings won’t resume until at least June 1st, and even after, that the three largest public events in NYC in June [the Israel Parade, the Puerto Rican Parade and the Gay Pride Parade in both Manhattan and Queens] aren’t likely to take place this year - but no final decision has yet been made. Other large public events including street fairs and other parades will not take place through May and there will be an update before then about what happens beginning in June.

The Mayor also said that NYC public pools will likely not open this summer because of the challenges of keeping people socially distanced / safe from the spread of the Corona Virus. Also, the Plastic Bag ban enforcement was pushed back to May 15th some time ago. As of this report, that enforcement date still stands, but like so much related to the CoVid 19 crisis, the date could be extended further. And the special election for Queens Borough President was cancelled and will be held in tandem with the NYS primary and general election. Lastly, the Macy's 4th of July Fireworks are still planned, but like everything this Spring, is still subject to change.

Back to Work Part I: Understanding the CoVid 19 Enemy

Review SARS-CoV-2 Characteristics – Function & Contagion

covid 19 virus characteristics contagion spread mitigation containment theapies cures covid 19 pandemic 2020April 17, 2020 / / Corona Virus in NYC & NYS CoVid 19 / NYC Neighborhoods / News Analysis & Opinion / Gotham Buzz NYC.

As noted in my last report, we’ve moved from emergency management to crisis management. That is simultaneously the good news and the bad news. I expect the crisis in one form or another will be with us for some time to come. But forecasting what the future looks like is at best a precarious endeavor.

Everyone is now trying to figure out a way back to the new normal, which means living with a incurable virus in our midst, until such time as therapies, cures or vaccines are found and proven to be successful.

So what does the path forward look like?

The image at right was created by Brooklyn artist Craig Ward of bacteria he collected on the subway and made into artistic renditions.

Governor Cuomo Begins Sketching a Back to Work Plan

covid 19 virus characteristics contagion spread mitigation containment theapies cures covid 19 pandemic 2020For starters Governor Cuomo extended NY Pause through May 15th. NY Pause is the directive to close social gathering places and venues, schools and non-essential businesses. Within the past week Mayor de Blasio said the NYC Public School system would not reopen this school year.

Governor Cuomo laid out a sketch of a conceptual plan, which likely came from one of the consultant groups, as it looked a lot like the growth share matrix devised by Boston Consulting Group. The growth share matrix was designed for companies to use to evaluate the businesses they are in, to determine whether to continue investing in them or to begin cashing out of them. The divisions in high growth businesses that are profitable are the ones to keep backing, while the companies in the low growth low profitability businesses are the ones to sell, close or grind out every last dollar.

Governor Cuomo’s matrix axes [plural for axis] has high and low infection rates along the y axis and more essential / less essential along the x axis. The more essential and less potential infection the quicker you’re back to work. The less essential and the higher the potential infection, the longer before you’re back to work.

Cuomo, de Blasio & YOU have been doing Great

New Yorkers Appear to Turn Corner on the Corona Virus Crisis

corona virus nyc covid 19 nyc nysApril 12, 2020 / Corona Virus in NYC & NYS CoVid 19 / NYC Neighborhoods / News Analysis & Opinion / Gotham Buzz NYC.

I hope you had a good Easter / Passover weekend.

Based on what I observed, albeit with very limited movement and anecdotally, New Yorkers appeared to stay at home, self isolating over the holiday weekend.

This sort of compliance with government guidance is what has enabled us to stem the spread of the - at times lethal - Corona Virus. And the levelling happened none too soon, as parts of the NYC hospital system were operating at full capacity - and in some cases over capacity.

Most of the metrics for the virus have been levelling off or even going down, while the only positive metric - daily discharges - continues to rise.

We appear to be transitioning from emergency management, to crisis management, and government officials are now even beginnning to look ahead at transitioning us back to what will be the new normal.


NYS & NYC New CoVid 19 Cases Level - Even Show Signs of Falling

corona virus nyc covid 19 nyc nysNew CoVid 19 cases in NYS were down fairly sharply yesterday, based on the numbers presented by Governor Cuomo. But the drop may be due to weekend reporting discrepancies. In any case the number of new cases appears to have levelled off in both New York state and in New York City.

The key statistics that the Governor and the Mayor have been closely monitoring include new and net hospitalizations, new and net admissions to the Intensive Care Unit, and new and net intubations aka use of respirators. As you can see from the graphs, all have been falling. This data was collected from the Governor's daily press briefing, as well as from other media outlets such as the New York Times, on the days when the Governor didn't present all of the key metrics in his press briefing.

Riding the Rails During the CoVid Pandemic in NYC

Observations of a Blogger While Covering the CoVid Story

corona virus nyc covid 19 nyc nysApril 9, 2020 / Corona Virus in NYC & NYS CoVid 19 / NYC Neighborhoods / News Analysis & Opinion / Gotham Buzz NYC.

I've been covering the CoVid Pandemic since it began in NYC, starting in the first half of March. At first my attention was focused on the closures by the Governor and Mayor as they began shuttering social events, social interactions and ultimately the economy.

It wasn't long before I shifted my attention to the growing numbers of people testing positive for the Corona Virus in NYC and NYS. This was followed by photographing the efforts by the NYC Mayor and the NYS Governor to build out additional healthcare capacity, to accommodate the projected growth of sick people, resulting from the spreading pandemic. They had a very limited time frame to complete this build out, before the influx of new Corona Virus patients overwhelmed the existing NYC and NYS healthcare capacity.

Most recently I've turned my attention to the economic hardships currently being borne by New Yorkers, particularly in small businesses and the folks working in essential services.

I've witnessed many people thanking the folks working in essential services - including healthcare, public transit, grocery and pharmacy outlets, and first responders - and I want to add my own thanks for all of the work they do, to keep the rest of us moving.

The photo above was taken about a week ago. A little bit of natural beauty helps keep things in perspective.


Reporter Travelogue - Startling Beginning With Closures

corona virus nyc covid 19 nyc nysThis is a travelogue about riding the MTA rails, along with essential workers, to do my part by providing independent first hand reports and context regarding what's happening here in NYC vis a vis the Corona Virus pandemic. Most of what I report is either not reported by the sensationalist, ratings-driven TV network news, or it's diminished in their reported accounts because it's contextual - not shocking.

The pandemic first hit my radar while I was covering a theater event at the LaGuardia Performing Arts Center. At that time I first heard that the Governor had started instituting surprising - and what at the time seemed draconian - measures designed to stymie the growing tide of CoVid 19 infections. In short order these actions were followed by the Mayor and it included shutting down restaurants and non-essential services.

The photo at right shows shuttered businesses along Court Avenue in Brooklyn during the NYC CoVid lockdown.

At the moment these governmental measures appear to be working, but I suspect maintaining discipline during the Passover and Easter holidays will be challenging. Afterall we have now spent over a month in communal isolation. But if people don't comply with the guidance provided by government officials, the pandemic will quickly resurge, and lengthen the time before we can all get back to the new normal. The Governor cited several examples from around the world including Italy, Hong Kong, Singapore and the Influenza pandemic of 1918 in the U.S..

NYC Hospitals Operating at Capacity, CoVid 19 Curve Flattening, BUT ...

The Next Battle is to Stay Disciplined to Avoid a Resurgence

Will New Yorkers Comply during Passover & Easter Week?

April 6, 2020 / Corona Virus in NYC & NYS CoVid 19 / NYC Neighborhoods / News Analysis & Opinion / Gotham Buzz NYC.

corona virus nyc covid 19 nyc nysMany NYC Hospitals are reportedly operating at full capacity, and in some cases operating at capacity plus.

The good news is that the supply chain of personal protective equipment [PPE], respirators and gowns has been holding - albeit on a tight supply. And there are still anecdotal reports, generally by the alarmist TV networks, that indicate there are a few spot shortages. If true, these shortages are the result of distribution issues, rather than any out-of-stocks by the city and state.

Nonetheless, the needs for protective gear and life saving equipment remain high priorities for both the Governor and the Mayor, as the supply chain is on a tight turnaround and the CoVid pandemic continues, albeit at a slackening pace, in the city and parts of the state.

The good news, as previously reported, is that we may be approaching the apex. The social distancing appears to have thwarted the worst case scenario, and may even have contained the spread from reaching the middle case scenario.

But the danger persists.

The chart at right shows the daily CoVid deaths stabilizing. But a number of the morgues are over capacity, and some of the bodies reportedly had to be stored in refrigerated trucks, which are affectionately referred to as mobile morgues.


The Real Challenge this Week is Getting Through Passover & Easter without Breaking the NYC & NYS Healthcare System

corona virus nyc covid 19 nyc nysAnd the real test of it comes this week as both Passover and Easter come to play, when people generally come together to celebrate these traditional religious holidays.

To discourage people coming together in large numbers the Governor doubled the fine for violations of social distancing from $500 to $1000. Cuomo also extended the non-essential store closure policy for another two weeks - through the end of April.

In the Governor's daily press conference, he called upon local law enforcement to give tickets to people regardless of their religious affiliation, if they violate the call for social distancing. In doing so, Cuomo noted that not only are those who gather in such a manner putting themselves and their communities at risk, but they are also adding to the pandemic crisis, by putting first responders including FDNY, the NYPD, the MTA workers and the NYC / NYS Healthcare system workers at risk. A risk, which in many cases, ends up in death.

And given the hospital / healthcare system is operating at full capacity, if people start to break formation and begin disregarding the government social distancing guidance, they could potentially tip the balance of what seems a well managed pandemic crisis, into an all out disaster.

The chart above shows some good news, whereby the NYS daily CoVid hospitalizations are exceeded by the number of CoVid patients leaving the hospital. Remember - these numbers are driven up or down by our behavior as a whole community.

CoVid Testing Now Widespread, Growth Continues but doesn't Accelerate, Severe Cases Appear to be Levelling

corona virus nyc covid 19 nyc nysApril 4, 2020 / Corona Virus in NYC & NYS CoVid 19 / NYC Neighborhoods / News Analysis & Opinion / Gotham Buzz NYC.

It's been a while since we've had much good news. At right is a graph shown by Governor Cuomo at a press conference today. Over the past week or so, Andrew Cuomo appears to be moving toward one of the more optimistic scenarios. He expects that we may POSSIBLY hit the Apex sometime next week.

Mayor de Blasio also seemed focused on the immediate needs of next week, but the Mayor has not yet adjusted his long term view of what's needed. Perhaps the Mayor hasn't yet received 'the memo'.


New Daily Discharges Exceed New Daily Hospitalizations

corona virus nyc covid 19 nyc nysAs you can see from the graph presented at right, the daily discharges at hospitals now exceeds the number of new daily admissions to the hospitals. Obviously that's a good sign, as more capacity is being freed up, as is being committed, providing breathing room for the entire system, which has been under some significant stress the past week or so.

Now be advised, the Network TV personalities are paid on the basis of their ratings performance - not keeping you properly and contextually informed - which is why you've been hearing that the sky is falling these past couple ofweeks.

To be sure, some hospitals that are under great duress. Elmhurst Hospital in Queens has been one of them, and I've heard, but haven't visited, Mount Sinai in Queens and Jacobi in the Bronx. But other hospitals aren't making the news because they're operating just fine. So bear in mind when you watch TV news you aren't necessarily getting the full picture - you're getting the ratings driven network TV news picture.

The bubbleheads on TV news seem to be paid on how well they read teleprompters, not on their intellectual or journalistic acumen.

NYC Curve Appears to be Flattening, NYS Numbers are Still Rising

Hospitalizations, ICU Patients, Intubations & Discharges

April 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.

corona virus nyc covid 19 nyc nysMy assessment differs from both 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 also 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 beds 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. One exception may be Mount Sinai in Astoria, Queens which today was reporting that they're handling 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 CoVid Curve Appears to be Flattening

Growth in Daily Hospitalizations & ICU Patients Appears to Slow

March 31, 2020 / Corona Virus in NYC & NYS / NYC Neighborhoods / Corona Virus in NYC & NYS CoVid 19 / 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.

But the good news goes beyond that. A couple of days ago, the Governor changed what numbers he was releasing to the public.

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]

Updated March 29, 2020 from 3/27/20 / NYC Social Issues / NYC Neighborhoods / Corona Virus in NYC & NYS CoVid 19 / 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 way 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.

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 / Corona Virus in NYC & NYS CoVid 19 / 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].

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 / Corona Virus in NYC & NYS CoVid 19 / 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

corona virus nyc covid 19 nyc nysUnfortunately 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

corona virus nyc covid 19 nyc nysThe 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 Primary Elections Today in Manhattan

The Presidential  and Congressional Primaries are Today

nyc poll site locator queens poll site locator manhattan polls locations

June 23, 2020 / NYC Neighborhoods / News Analysis & Opinion / Gotham Buzz NYC. 

The long delayed NYS primary election is today.  On the ballot is the presidential primary featuring Joe Biden and I believe others - but the others have suspended their campaigns and Joe Biden has already won enough electoral votes to secure the nomination.  So in the presidential primary you can strengthen Biden's hand by casting your vote for him, or strenghten someone else's hand in influencing the Democratic platform that Joe will run on.

Political Calculus Manhattan Congressional District Races 

There are also a number of congressional races including in the 7th, 10th, 12th and 13th Congressional Districts in Manhattan. This year could potentially be a change year in some races, although as near as I could tell by doing the research, Manhattan doesn't yet seem that ripe for change. But that said it's worth noting that the percent of eligible voters jumped from 37% in 2014 [previous midterm election] to 50% in 2018. And in the primaries small numbers can provide big results as Alexandria Ocasio Cortez' victory over Joe Crowley proved.  So here's  a brief snapshot.

The 7th Congressional district stretches as far east as Woodhaven in Queens, as far west as the East Village and the Bowery in Manhattan, and including the area in between from Brooklyn Heights to Bushwick and then south along the East River as far as Sunset Park which is also in Brooklyn. The incumbent is Nydia Velazquez who has held the Congressional seat since 1993 and raised nearly $600,000 in contributions. Nydia is being challenged by Paperboy Prince, a rapper  who doesn't appear to have raised much in contributions. Another challenger,  Iroghama Omere, didn't make the ballot.        

The 10th Congressional district  includes . The incumbent is Jerry Nadler who has been a Congressman since 1993 and he raised $1.3 million in contributions.  He's being challenged by two newcomers, one of who raised over $900,000 [Lindsey Boylan] and the other [Jonathan Herzog] raised just $59,000.  Herzog is 25 years old. Herzog is likely to draw votes away from Boylan. 

The 12th Congressional district includes the East Side of Manhattan extending from the south Harlem border down to SoHo, and from the Greenpoint neighborhood of Brooklyn north to Astoria in Queens. The incumbent is Carolyn Maloney who has been in Congress since 1993. Maloney seems favored to win as she is challenged by Suraj Patel, who lost against her in 2018 by 59% vs 41%. This race there are also two other challengers, Lauren Ashcroft of LIC and Peter Harrison of Stuyvesant Town.  The latter two candidates appear to be newbies, and seem more likely to draw votes away from Patel than Maloney - but that's not clear.

The 13th Congressional district  stretches from Bedford Park, University Heights, Kingsbridge Heights and Marble Hill in the Bronx, down through Inwood, Washington Heights, Harlem, Morningside Heights to the north end of the Upper West Side.    The incumbent is Andriano Espaillat, a Dominican, who has held the office for two terms beginning in 2017. He's challenged by a couple of candidates - but none of whom have raised $100,000 compared to Espaillat's nearly $800,000 in contributions. 

Click the link for the poll finder website, so you can easily find where to vote in your neighborhood.  Remember this is the land of the free and the home of the brave and many of our ancestors died for our right to vote.  So try to be brave, but also be careful.

The New York City election is Tuesday June 23rd and polls are open from 6 am - 9 pm.

Things To Do Memorial Day Weekend Manhattan NYC | nyc memorial day weekend manhattan things to do memorial day weekend manhattan nyc things to do manhattan nyc
Things To Do Memorial Day Weekend Manhattan NYC

Things To Do Memorial Day Weekend Manhattan NYC

Things To Do In NYC & Manhattan Over The Memorial Day Weekend

May 14, 2020 / Things To Do Memorial Day Weekend Manhattan NYC / Manhattan Buzz NYC.

This page contains a few of the classical things to do in Manhattan over the Memorial Day Weekend in normal times, as well as what's available during the CoVid pandemic. Go to the Things To Do section of this site for an enhanced list of options.

I know Memorial Day Weekend is fully a week away, but given it's such a changed landscape due to the CoVid pandemic, I thought you might want more time to think about how you're going to spend the weekend.

Weather. As of this posting the weather forecast is as follows. The Temperature highs will be in the low to mid 70's and the temperature lows will be around 60 all three days of the long weekend. There's a 20% chance of rain all weekend. Winds will range between 5 - 10 mph all weekend. The Humidity will be around 50% throughout the weekend. Click for an up-to-date forecast of Manhattan Weekend Weather.

Be sure to check our Memorial Day Weekend things to do post mid afternoon Friday of Memorial Day Weekend.


Brief History of the Memorial Day Holiday in Manhattan

Memorial Day first started out as Decoration Day in Waterloo, New York on May 30, 1866 - a year after the Civil War - to honor those who fought in it. In the 1880's the day came to be known as Memorial Day.

According to a May 25, 2012 report in Time Magazine, ten states - Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, Florida, North and South Carolina, Virginia and Tennessee also officially observe some version of a Confederate Memorial Day, sometime between late April and early June [in Texas it's in January]. It's been reported that unofficially most of the former Confederate states still commemorate it, but not without some controversy as to the former Confederate diaspora it's to honor their ancestors, while to the former diaspora of the slaves it seems a remnant of these states racist past.

About ten percent of the nation travels more than 50 miles over the weekend. Memorial Day differs from Veterans Day which is held on November 11th of each year. Veterans Day began by honoring those who fought in World War I which ended on the 11th hour, of the 11th day of the 11th month of 1918. Both honor those who served in the U.S. Military. Veterans Day coincides with a similar holiday in Europe for the same reason, which is called Remembrance Day and Armistice Day.


Memorial Day Events in Manhattan 2020

According to a March 27, 2020 report in Military News the U.S. Navy cancelled Fleet Week due to the CoVid pandemic. The annual celebratory week in NYC was originally scheduled to run from Wednesday, May 20 to Tuesday, May 26, 2020.

Unfortunately this year attending the Memorial Day Parade in Inwood that begins between 11 am - 12 noon at Dykman Street and Broadway, as well as the Manhattan street fairs in Manhattan NYC, don't appear to options due to the CoVid pandemic. That's not the only activity that will not be available to us, as attending Manhattan parades NYC, watching theater, visiting the Manhattan art museums NYC, and eating out at one of the Manhattan restaurants NYC also won't be available come Memorial Day Weekend.

But things are slowly moving in the right direction. For example you can obtain restaurant food via delivery or carry out - we posted some of the restaurants performing this service as of Mother's Day in our Mother's Day Restaurants in Manhattan report.

Unfortunately shopping in Manhattan, will also be limited to groceries, pharmacies and home improvement stores [aka essential services], but local Manhattan farmers markets in Manhattan NYC are classified as an essential service, so that provides another outing option.

You can also go bicycling around Manhattan so be mindful to observe the rules of the road [click link]. The 5 Boro Bike Ride 2020 was cancelled and unfortunately could not be re-scheduled, so we'll all have to wait until 2021 [hopefully].

So there are some things happening right here in our favorite borough - Manhattan. Click here to obtain information about things to do Memorial Day Weekend 2020 in Manhattan NYC. This events calendar is updated monthly with about 100 different Manhattan fun / cultural events.


Manhattan Public & Privately Run Parks

Manhattan things to do Manhattan NYCManhattan has a number of New York City Parks, most of which will be open, including the restrooms which will be cleaned daily with disinfectants. But the normal park service options aren't available during the CoVid pandemic. These include no barbeques, no team sports and both the public swimming pools and the playgrounds will remain closed. But the beaches in other boroughs will be open, although no swimming will be allowed and the beaches will only be open for limited periods - generally from 10 am - 6 pm. NYS public marinas are open for non-commercial activities.

Click here for a listing of the Manhattan Parks NYC including maps showing their locations along with a bit of park history.


NYC Public Golf Courses in Queens, the Bronx, Brooklyn & Staten Island - Currently Closed due to CoVid 19

Queens has four public golf courses, Brooklyn has two, and both Staten Island and the Bronx each have three. Click here for details about Queens Golf Courses including maps and links to the operators' websites. And use the links below to see what's doing for Memorial Day Weekend in the other boroughs. Most of these golf courses are easily accessible via the MTA / subway.

Click here to view the rest of our report of things to do Memorial Day Weekend in Manhattan. And we'll have more to add by Friday.

Mothers Day Restaurants Manhattan NYC | mothers day restaurants manhattan nyc mothers day restaurants upper east side ues upper west side mothers day restaurants midtown east village soho mothers day restaurants
Mothers Day Restaurants Manhattan NYC

Mother's Day Restaurants In Manhattan

Restaurants For Mothers Day Brunch & Dinner on the Upper East Side, Upper West Side, Midtown, East Village, West Village, SoHo, Tribeca & Downtown NYC

May 8, 2020 / Manhattan Neighborhoods / Manhattan Restaurants / Manhattan Buzz NYC.

Mother's Day is this weekend. It's a good day to let your wife or mother or daughter know you appreciate her efforts in the most important role of her life. Flowers, gifts and brunch or dinner are always welcome, as is any thoughtful gesture that provides some measure showing your recognition of her efforts in her role as mother of some children. After all, without mothers, we would all cease to be.

Normally it's best to book a restaurant reservation for Mother's Day brunch, as on Mother's Day in Manhattan, many restaurants are full. So if you're thinking about eating out at a restaurant this Mother's Day on the Upper East Side, Upper West Side, Midtown Manhattan, the East or West Village, SoHo, Tribeca or Downtown NYC; it's best to do your research early, and call ahead to book Mother's Day restaurant reservations - BUT this year reservations, per se, are not an option. But delivery and take out are.

Mother's Day History - Restaurants In Manhattan

The origins of Mother's Day in the United States began with the efforts by Anna Jarvis to honor her own mother. According to Wikipedia, Anna began the campaign in 1905 - the year her mother died - and in 1910 West Virginia was the first state to adopt Mothers Day as a holiday. In 1914 Woodrow Wilson made the second Sunday in May as a national holiday to honor mothers.

Click this link to view a brief guide of Mother's Day restaurants in Manhattan 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.

We've identified less than a half dozen Manhattan restaurants that are doing take out / delivery on Mother's Day in Manhattan. Enjoy.

Manhattan Farmers Markets / Green Markets - Manhattan NYC | nyc manhattan farmers markets green markets manhattan nyc farmers markets upper east side east village manhattan nyc farmers markets midtown farmers markets
Manhattan Farmers Markets / Green Markets - Manhattan NYC

Manhattan Farmers Markets 2020

Upper East Side, Midtown Manhattan, West Side NYC, West & East Village & Chelsea Farmers Markets Manhattan

May 5, 2020 / Manhattan Neighborhoods / Manhattan Farmers Markets / Manhattan Buzz NYC.  

View the HOURS, MAPS, ITEMS / SELECTION of the 22 BEST & most centrally located Farmers Markets / Green Markets in Manhattan, w/ savvy shoppers' tips. This report includes the Midtown, Upper East Side NYC, Upper West Side NYC, West & East Village, SoHo, Tribeca, Harlem, Morningside and Chelsea farmers markets.

Click here for dates, times, locations of the Manhattan Farmers Markets - Manhattan NYC.

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 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 these students parents aren't in a position to stay home with them, and many of their parents are critical to the healthcare, educational, law enforcement, fire and emergency response and transportation infrastructure.

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 /].

* 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].

* 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

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 -

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 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


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.

Story and photo by Michael Wood.

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

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 -


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 [] 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 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 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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Click here for Jackson Heights realtors.

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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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