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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 he 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 Saturday and ends Sunday - thereafter you have to vote at your normal polling place. For details, see - https://vote.nyc/

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

 

Frighteningly Beautiful - The Lady in Black

things to do nyc halloween nycI encountered this woman, on her way to a photo shoot, who posed for this photo.

Coming a bit later today, some news updates and things to do. But the preview is that it's definitely going to be a dialed down Halloween, as the entire nation continues to struggle to contain and beat back the resurgent pandemic.

 

 

 

 

 

Just Frightening - 'The President' &Murdoch's 'Newspaper'

things to do nyc halloween nycRupert Murdoch's NY Post made a 'surprise' announcment that it's endorsing Donald Trump for president. Why do they bother? The NY Post and Murdoch's other propaganda outlets including Fox News and the Wall St Journal appear to have been running promotional stories on Trump for the past five years, and attack stories on Biden since Biden started his campaign for president.

You'd have to be a moron not to know that. But then many - not all - Fox News viewers and NY Post readers are. So I guess that makes sense.

In the graphic at right, Trump plays 'the president' in a TV reality show, and one of Australian born billionaire Rupert Murdoch's propaganda outlets, the NY Post, poses as a newspaper making an endorsement.

This would be funny if it weren't so real.

 

 


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 21, 2020 Updated & Greatly Expanded from 10/13/20 / 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

Washington

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 www.coronavirus.gov.

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.

Sincerely,

Donald J. Trump

President of the United States

 

The New Non-Denominational Church Group Distributing the Food Boxes is About a Year Old

did trump use dhs department of homeland security funds to help his reelection campaign corruption dj trumpThe church group that was distributing these boxes with the letter enclosed, have been serving food boxes to the community since late March when the pandemic began. I did a cursory search and it appears the Church isn't a traditional one, per se, but rather a new, non-denominational one that began operating in the area about a year ago.

Per the letter noted above, the Donald's insertion of himself into this food distribution process only began four weeks ago, but with the Donald, one can never be sure of what the real facts are.

 

It Reminded me of an Encounter I had During the 2016 Election

Four years ago, outside of my post office, there was a Communist group that had set up a stand with posters bashing Hillary Clinton that included something to do with wars and oil. At the time I engaged them in conversation to try to understand who they were, and what they were about. The guy I spoke to told me that they were doing these pop ups every day, but couldn't tell me where the next one would be. They also didn't have any hand out literature, and he reluctantly verbalized a website name which I never bothered to check.

But what surprised me was that they were bashing Clinton - not Trump - as communists historically had been associated with the left. But real efforts at communism died a long time ago, and communism in most traditional cultures like Russia and China, morphed back into the authoritarian regimes that they were, that are associated with the far right. I ignored all this at the time, but once the Russian collusion investigation got underway, the whole incident seemed to make more sense.

 

Did the DHS Illegally Steer Funds into a Trump Campaign Effort?

did trump use dhs department of homeland security funds to help his reelection campaign corruption dj trumpBecause this letter was issued on White House stationery without a campaign pitch - per se - I am guessing that this was possibly illegally funded by the Department of Homeland Security using taxpayer dollars.

Chad Wolfe is currently acting in an illegal capacity in the position of Secretary because the Constitutional limit for acting Cabinet level Secretaries is six months - which for Chad Wolfe expired in June 2020. This appears yet another case of Mitch McConnell failing in his fiduciary duties to the American people, in order to serve himself.

If I am correct, this may well be an illegal use of taxpayers' dollars to bolster the reportedly cash strapped Trump re-election Campaign. That's likely why Trump has also been using the White House as campaign headquarters and for Trump rallies, which if not illegal - should be - as it is use of public property for private purposes. Maybe Trump found a technical loophole, or maybe he just doesn't care because he'll just fire anyone who tries to enforce compliance like he's done to five Inspector Generals this year alone. But it certainly looks corrupt, as the Trump Campaign / DHS appear to have bypassed the state and local government in the distribution.

The church group, hasn't returned my phone call, and the Trump Campaign hasn't responded to my email.

I also called the Department of Homeland Security, which first said they didn't have anything to do with the U.S. CoVid response, and that that was the FDA's responsibility. Then I asked what about the economic emergency / disaster response, specifically relating to food distribution, and they directed me to FEMA. I contacted FEMA who gave me an email address, where I sent them a link to this report asking for clarification. As of this posting I haven't received a response. Perhaps local and state government officials and the corporate news organizations will do some follow up.

 

It Looks Like Trump is going to Try to Lie, Cheat & Steal this Election Until Biden is Inaugurated

This year numerous efforts appear to have been initiated by Trump and Republicans in an effort to cheat their way to victory. In California Republicans apparently installed what appeared to be phony ballot drop boxes to 'harvest' Democratic votes. Earlier this summer Bill Joy, a Trump campaign donor and newly appointed Post Master General, started removing the postal service infrastructure needed to collect and process mail ballots in a timely manner. That was preceded by another Trump effort where, allegedly Rudy Giuliani and others, threatened to withhold U.S. foreign aid [taxpayer dollars] to pressure the Ukrainian government to release any kind of dirt [real or imagined] on Biden's son Hunter [again the use / abuse of taxpayer money to fund a Trump re-election bid]. And this summer Trump appeared to illegally use the Department of Homeland Security as a national police force in what seemed an effort to provoke violence in cities like Seattle and Portland. And he seems to be urging his supporters to show up at polling stations to intimidate voters. And Rupert Murdoch's NY Post published [one of ?] Murdoch's traditional October Surprise story[ies], which Murdoch appeared to try to amplify on his Fox News and his Wall St. Journal, but which was deleted on Twitter and Facebook because it didn't appear to be supported by the facts [they ought to delete more of Murdoch's stuff than just that one story - for the same reasons]. And so on and so forth.

I suppose if Trump cheats enough, he might still pull off an upset, as he's surely not going to win in a fair race.

 

How Much Ignorance can America Democracy Withstand?

According to Merriam Webster / Oxford ignorance is defined as "lacking awareness, knowledge or intelligence". My own definition is ignorant people are those who ignore things that shouldn't be ignored.

I have talked to many Trump supporters over the past four years and generally I have found them to ignore quite a bit of information that rounds out the full picture of Donald Trump. They shut down when presented with the facts they don't want to hear, which is why so many of them seem to watch Fox News - because Fox News often enough doesn't present a fair nor balanced nor full account of politicians, issues and events.

The Germans who voted for Adolph Hitler ignored his foibles, until they could no longer do anything about them. I hope Americans don't allow the same to happen here. German Chancellor / Dictator Adolph Hitler, in talking about lying, cheating or stealing an election, said,

“If you win, you need not have to explain... if you lose you should not be there to explain."

See below for other reports I've done comparing our current situation in America to 1920's and 1930's Germany.


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.

 

THIS IS A WORK IN PROCESS. Consider these allegations until I can tighten up the narrative and add in my sources.

 

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.

 

Mitch McConnell's Failure to Tell Voters the Truth

And Mitch McConnell is well versed in saying things that are convenient at the time, and then saying the complete opposite, when it suits his purposes. Four years ago, in 2016, McConnell told the people of Kentucky and America that the Senate was going to wait on judiciary hearings on a Supreme Court candidate - because McConnell said that he wanted to let the American people weigh in on the decision, as an election was only eight months away. This year, in 2020, with less than a month away from the election, he doesn't give a rat's ass about what Kentuckians or the American people have to say.

McConnell wrote an editorial in the Washington Post last year railing against proposed changes to enable voter matching funds for campaign contributions. Here again McConnell seemed to distort the truth telling people that the government would be giving money to politicians. But that's not the full story, and half stories are often lies. The full story is that the government would be giving voters back some of their hard earned tax dollars by matching [usually by multiples] the donations they - the voters - made to candidates and political campaigns. So really the government is giving back voters some of their tax dollars so they too can compete for candidates' attention and thus support in Washington - as at present - the voters have little power, and get little consideration from politicians like McConnell, except around election time when all those big corporation / wealthy individual campaign contributions buy voter ignorance in the form of televised and social media ads that distort the truth.

 

The Truth - McConnell's Ancestors were Alabama Slave Owners

Not one - but both of Mitch McConnell's great great grandfathers were Alabama slave owners - see NBC report. Does McConnell take that same exploitative approach to voter suppression in Louisville, Kentucky where there are a lot of African Americans? Louisville is one of the two largest cities in Kentucky and yet there is reportedly only ONE polling booth.

 

Does Mitch Carry on the McConnell's Family History of Exploitation?

mcconnell mcgrath senate race kentucky who is mitch mcconnell who is elaine chao kentucky senate raceIt appears that McConnell has been deceiving Kentuckians on healthcare, as the Trump Administration is pitching the Supreme Court to strike it down - including the exemption for pre-existing conditions. McConnell tells Kentuckians it's repeal and replace - and yet all of the effort of the Republican party these past four years has been on repeal and we have neither seen nor heard anything about what is to replace it. I think we know the honest answer to question.

steering money waway from miners pensions and healthcare and into a Russian Oligarch aluminum company.

And Elaine Chao reportedly looked the other way on low wages, health and safety regulations in Kentucky coal mines as Secretary of Labor during the Bush Administration. This was as her father's company, Foremost, was shipping a lot of coal into China.

McConnell has been in a leadership role in the Senate at a time when the Republican party has had most of the power and yet Kentuckians still rank near the bottom of the states in healthcare, income and education. Why do you think that is? Is that because they watch and actually believe Fox News, run by another carpet bagger - Australian born billionaire Rupert Murdoch - who like the McConnell's seems to profit by keeping people ignorant of the truth.

Judges - nominated and approved because of abortion - or is that a cover for the nomiated judges who favor the wealthy people who have selected them - like the Koch Brothers and the Heritage Foundation?

 

Elaine Chao: How Corrupt is McConnell & His Wife?

In 2014 Colombian authorities found 90 lbs of cocaine aboard one of James Chao's ships. Chao's father is Chairman of the Foremost Shipping Company, which ships mostly under foreign flags which according to the December 12, 2016 report deprives the U.S. of tax revenue and Americans of jobs.

McConnell's wife reportedly tried to steer money away from American shipping, ports and shipbuilders to help Elaine Chao's father who has quite a bit of access to the top members of the Chinese Communist party. Many, if not most, of James Chao's Foremost ships are built by the Chinese, and many are financed by them as well, with low interest rate loans.

It's unclear if and / or how much wealth McConnell and Chao may have stashed in off shore tax havens, in a manner not unlike that done by many shipping companies. See Intercept report on February 5, 2018. Paradise Papers of 2017.

Elaine Chao's failure to divest her holdings in Vulcan Materials - a roadbuilding materials company - when she became Secretary of Transportation. She eventually divested the holdings in June 2019 [three and a half years later] after it was reported by a news organization.

 

Who Does Mitch McConnell Serve?

McConnell appears to be deceitful on who he and his wife serve. McConnell was self serving on CoVid - staying away from the White House since August 6th because he didn't like the cavalier approach to CoVid taken by the Trump Administration. And yet McConnell only came forward with that honest assessment more than two months later, on October 8th, after dozens of White House staffers tested positive. That's Mitch McConnell in a nutshell - looking out for #1. And that's why Kentucky ranks in the mid 40's of 50 states on education, healthcare and income. Mitch is too busy taking care of himself to be bothered with looking out for Kentucky.

More coming later this week. Including a closer look into what appear the nefarious deals done by Mitch McConnell's wife Elaine Chao.


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.

things to do nyc columbus day nyc The NYC real estate market isn't doing so well right now either. Rental prices continue to fall, while rental listings continue to rise in Manhattan, Brooklyn and Queens according to the Douglas Elliman September report. Given that only about 10% of white collar workers have reportedly returned to their offices, combined with sagging tourism and dining and hotel stays, and slower production of entertainment product and release as noted above, things aren't likely to snap back anytime soon, unless there's a 'CoVid cure', which at present doesn't seem likely. But people, businesses and government have shown fairly healthy adaptability to the ongoing pandemic, so over time things will eventually get back on track.

There's been a significant spike in CoVid cases in Brooklyn and Queens neighborhoods, many of which are home to significant populations of Orthodox Jews who appear to have been skirting the public health laws regarding CoVid social distancing, mask wearing in close proximity to others, and limitations on the size of indoor gatherings. A bit of violence broke out this week, when a journalist was beaten for photographing a group of people in violation of the law.

Governor Cuomo has asked the NYPD to step up law enforcement in these areas, where to date there haven't been any arrests or tickets issued by the NYPD for the CoVid violations. The Orthodox Jewish community went to court to argue that their civil liberties were being violated. The court ruling said the laws didn't prohibit the Orthodox Jews from practicing their faith, and that the laws applied equally to all religious groups. The Brooklyn Catholic Archdiocese filed a lawsuit similar to the one filed by the Orthodox Jews, even though the Catholic Archdiocese has not been reported to be violating the law.

As you know, crime in the city has risen this year, owing in some part to the unusuallly disruptive nature of the year with the pandemic, the economic downturn and the social unrest arising from what appear to be rogue policemen killings of unarmed African Americans. After an initial lull in crime when the pandemic first broke, shootings spiked in the summer, rising 177% in June, 166% in August, and 127% in September. So, as you can see by the numbers, the Mayor and NYPD Police Commissioner Dermot Shea have been focused on bringing this down - and they appear to have made some progress on bringing those numbers back down - albeit slowly. But it's worth mentioning that their progress is being made in spite of budgetary challenges, police reforms and ongoing social turbulence - all seeming to have been exacerbated by the pandemic.

Columbus Day parades and Indigenous People's events have largely been cancelled or gone online. See things to do for Columbus Day Weekend last year, noting that outdoor activities - except the large cultural events - are available. And restaurants are operating again too, including indoor seating at 25% of capacity. Also, most of the major cultural sites in Manhattan are now open, again noting that they are open at reduced capacity and they ask you to make a reservation online to ensure entry. Many of the outer borough cultural sites remain closed. And, as noted above, both Broadway theaters and movie theaters remain closed.

The Donald has been a disaster and his campaign theme of 'Make America Great Again' seems like a cynical joke. Is doubling the unemployment, enabling a raging pandemic, inciting social division and social unrest, failing to act on climate change, a record breaking deficit, no action on healthcare - except an unrelenting effort on the repeal part - and absolutely nothing on the replace part, racking up $6 trillion in new debt for seemingly nothing in return, while alienating our allies and emboldening our adversaries making America great? Donald Trump has been a bad joke on the American people thanks in part to Australian born billionaire Rupert Murdoch's Fox News, Wall St. Journal and NY Post.

Early Voting. New York now offers early voting, which enables you to cast your ballot in person, prior to November 3rd. Early voting begins Saturday, October 24th from 10 am - 4 pm daily, through Sunday, November 1. If you don't make early voting, your can vote on election day, Tuesday, November 3rd between the hours of 6 am - 9 pm. To find the early voting poll site for your address either visit vote.nyc or specifically - https://vote.nyc/page/early-voting-information / you can also call 311 for help.

Enjoy your Columbus Day and Indigenous Peoples Day Weekend. We are on a slow path to recovery, but getting a new president and senate next January should help reduce - if not eliminate - the incredible dysfunctionality we've seen these past four years, and thus help us move things along.


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 ...

 

The Timeline of Trump's Mild CoVid Infection Case - Thursday / Friday

trump hospital visit was a hoax trump fakes hospital visit to turn around campaign in polls On Wednesday night, September 30th Hope Hicks, a Trump Aide, reported she was feeling CoVid symptoms on the plane ride home from a Trump 'Make America Great Again' rally in Minnesota. She tested positive for CoVid Thursday morning, October 1st. White House Chief of Staff, Mark Meadows, said the administration learned of Hicks' illness Thursday afternoon, as Marine One was preparing to lift off for the president's fundraiser at his golf course in Bedminster, New Jersey. But that didn't stop them from going on with the fundraising event, nor did they inform the donors in attendance, of the possible contagion by the CoVid Denier in Chief [Editor's Note: in a report filed over a week following the event, about contact tracing by the State of New Jersey, it appeared nobody contracted CoVid at the event].

At right Murdoch's NY Post propaganda outlet uses what seems an unnecessary / phony hospitalization to lionize the Donald in order to change the pre-election narrative of his rude behavior and poor performance at the debate, his tax avoidances, and his insulting comments about people who serve in the military.

By 1 AM Friday morning, October 2nd, the Donald's schedule had been completely revised for the coming day. Later Friday morning, it was reported that the Donald and Melania had both tested positive for CoVid 19 the day before. Between 5 pm and 6 pm Friday, October 2nd, the Donald had announced he was on his way to Walter Reed Medical Center "out of an abundance of caution".

 

Did the White House & Murdoch's Propaganda Machine Spin Trump's Mild CoVid Infection into an Unnecessary Hospitalization - Friday / Saturday

trump hospital visit was a hoax trump fakes hospital visit to turn around campaign in polls The Non Reasons for Moving Trump to the Hospital. Sometime beginning Friday evening and Saturday morning [October 2nd & 3rd], the spin doctors began narrating what seems a questionable tale, the theme of which they appeared to bungle in real time. The only reason given for moving the Donald from the White House to the Walter Reed Medical Center was that the Donald felt fatigued and they briefly put him on oxygen. Who hasn't felt fatigued these days? And getting an oxygen dose is like taking aspirin for some people - it's a big nothing. I've noted above what I believe to be the real reasons for Trump's trip to the hospital.

On Friday, October 2, 2020 Murdoch's NY Post is already predicting a rapid recovery - even though 'the president' wasn't flown to nor yet admitted into Walter Reed Medical Center until about 6 pm that day. I suspect they knew that while Trump may have tested positive, he wasn't very [really?] ill.

TV News & the Propaganda Network. I also suspect Australian born billionaire Rupert Murdoch, who controls more major American media brands than anyone else [controls Fox News, WSJ & NY Post and largest shareholder in ABC], suggested directly or indirectly that Trump shake up the conversation from the disastrous media week he'd just come through, and change the conversation by having himself hospitalized. As noted in a prior post, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson's popularity rose by 6 points following his CoVid hospitalization. And as here, so to in Britain, where Murdoch controls the largest share of privately owned mass media.

 

Was Trump's CoVid Hospitalization a Big Ratings Grabbing Made for TV Hoax?

trump hospital visit was a hoax trump fakes hospital visit to turn around campaign in polls On Saturday, October 3, 2020 in a report by CNN, the President's physician, Dr. Sean Conley was quoted as follows,

" ... [Trump] “is not on oxygen right now.”

" When he was asked if the President received it at all, Conley would not directly answer just saying “He has not needed any this morning, today at all.” Asked if he had ever on been on supplemental oxygen as part of his Covid-19 treatment, Conley said “right now he is not,” adding “yesterday and today, he was not on oxygen.”  

Now, if Trump wasn't on oxygen after he was admitted on Friday and didn't need oxygen on Saturday which was the first full day of his admission, and Trump was qualified to be discharged on Sunday, but decided to leave Monday instead - then I think the real question is was this a Trump CoVid Hospitalization Hoax? The same analysis applies to the absence of a fever measure by the staff at Walter Reed Medical Center since Trump's admission there on Friday.

 

Where's the Fever? Trump's CoVid Appears to have been Very Mild

According to Stat News [the timing of which seemed to be confirmed in a Tuesday 10/6 report posted by the BBC], on the afternoon of Monday, October 5, 2020, Conley said that the president hadn't had any fever in over 72 hours. So working backwards, that means Trump didn't have a fever Sunday afternoon, Saturday afternoon and probably none on Friday evening when he was admitted. So one has to ask did Trump ever have a fever? I suspect not.

 

Mark Meadows Narrative Used to Cover Up Conley's Truths?

trump hospital visit was a hoax trump fakes hospital visit to turn around campaign in polls White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows seemed to realize that someone might catch on to what seems a staged, political fraudulent event [he needn't have worried because none of the TV teleprompter readers did]. So, I surmise that Meadows quickly mixed up the narrative claiming Trump had used oxygen a couple of times on Saturday.

And Meadows then seemed to oversee a follow up press conference by Dr. Sean Conley [see photo at right], where Conley seemed to refute his own account of Trump not being on oxygen Saturday and to confirm Meadows' account that Trump was on oxygen a couple of times on Saturday. Conley explained he was reporting things [originally] to be in collaboration with 'the Trump team'. But I suspect his original account was correct, and his corrected account was false as Conley is not an accomplished liar like the rest of the seasoned Trump team. That seems the Trump modus operandi since he took office in 2017.

It's worth mentioning that Dr. Sean Conley is not just a doctor, but also a U.S. Navy Officer and as such the President - who is the armed forces commander in chief - is his boss in the military line of command. So as a military man he likely is required to submit to conform to the contradictory b.s. spin put out by Mark Meadows about the 'dire condition' of the president on Saturday - if ordered to do so.

 

Melania Trump, in a White House Letter, Says Son Barron Asymptomatic & She Healed Naturally

trump hospital visit was a hoax trump fakes hospital visit to turn around campaign in polls Like so much of what this president does, his hospitalization seemed to be in total defiance of reality, as Melania and countless others were simultaneously infected with mild cases of the virus - and as far as I know, with the exception of Chris Christie, who also checked himself into the hospital - they recovered at home. Christie has multiple underlying condtions including asthma and obesity.

On October 14, 2020 Melania wrote a letter that was published on the White House website where she told us her son Barron "exhibited no symptoms". She went on to tell us that her "diagnosis came with minimal symptoms" and that she "... experienced body aches, a cough and headaches, and felt extremely tired most of the time ... ", but that she "... chose to go a more natural route in terms of medicine, opting more for vitamins and healthy food ...". So Barron and Melania, who live with the Donald, were asymptomatic and required no real medical care, respectively.

By Sunday, October 11, 2020, NPR reported that Trump's physician, Sean Conley, said that Trump was,

"no longer a transmission risk to others," and that there was "no longer evidence of actively replicating virus."

The gestation period for CoVid is estimated at up to fourteen days. But Donald Trump "recovered" from it, along with his family, in about eleven days - based on what we know.

 

American Corporate TV News - Took Hook, Line & Sinker?

It's my contention that the Donald's trip to the hospital was totally unnecessary from a medical perspective. And Murdoch's branded media propagandists on Fox News, the Wall Street Journal and the NY Post, seemed to provide media cover for Trump's hyped up, fake news trip to the hospital.

The other corporate TV brands seemed to fall for it hook, line and sinker too - at first. They all 'worried' about the state of the president's health, and conjectured that the confusion in the reports of the actual events leading up to 'the president's' move, were being hidden to shield the American public from what they seemed to regard as Trump's more serious health condition. When in fact - it seems just the opposite - and that the Donald wasn't seriously ill at all.

 

Was the Administration of Drugs a Deception or Real Therapy or a Means of Dismissing / Diminishing the Threat of CoVid?

trump hospital visit was a hoax trump fakes hospital visit to turn around campaign in polls The Donald is said to have taken a number of drugs. Three in particular - Remdesivir, an antibody cocktail and dexamethazine. I may add a bit more at a later date about what each therapy does and how the dull witted numbskull analysts of the mainstream media intrepreted what the administration of each drug implied. While Murdoch's propaganda machine outlets seemed to hype Trump's 'recovery' as something of a miracle in what appeared to be an effort to dimiss or diminish the CoVid threat.

The corporate TV networks seemed not to suspect that they were possibly being manipulated by the Donald and Murdoch's Fox News, Wall St. Journal and NY Post - to report the story exactly as they covered it. Instead they thought that the Donald was covering up a greater illness, rather than staging and hyping a mild illness. Wouldn't you think that after five years of covering "the president" that they would have learned something?

If true, it seems criminal that Donald Trump has tried to use a mild CoVid infection, to turn around what's now looking like his landslide loss re-election bid. And to mislead the American public about an illness that has had fatal consequences for over 210,000 Americans seems especially cold - even for Donald Trump. More people died from CoVid than from the Vietnam War [58,000], WWI [116,000], the Korean War [40,000] and if the Donald somehow cheats his way to a second term, we're sure to surpass the casualties for WWII [291,000].

Think about this.

It's truly disgusting - not fake staged TV disgusting.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/nation/2020/10/10/coronavirus-denier-sick-spreader/?arc404=true


NYC News Update & a Few Things To Do

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

trump biden debate first biden trump debate sept 2020October 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 - https://voterlookup.elections.ny.gov/
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 - https://dmv.ny.gov/more-info/electronic-voter-registration-application

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.

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 icp.org 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 - https://www.filmlinc.org/nyff2020/ 

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.

 

Real Hoax: Is Hospitalizing the Donald for CoVid 19 an October Surprise?

trump biden debate first biden trump debate sept 2020Earlier today it was announced that both the Donald and Melania contracted mild cases of the Corona Virus. By the end of the day, the Trump Administration notified us that he was being moved to Walter Reed Medical Hospital "out of an abundance of caution". A phrase that was reportedly repeated numerous times to reporters.

Biden suspended attack ads on the Donald, pending further information on his condition, and Nancy Pelosi muttered something about the changing prospects for a stimulus deal. But the Donald was well enough to walk from the White House to the Marine One chopper on his own, and I did not see any photos of Melania accompanying him.

This Administration has been so dishonest and deceitful in its words, that I cannot help but wonder whether this is another one of their made for TV political theater stunts, to manipulate voters' perceptions / sympathies in order to gain a campaign advantage for an alleged sociopath who just disgusted the majority of Americans by his Neanderthal debate performance.

I've been researching how the Third Reich came to be, as I have found many parallels between 1920's and 1930's Germany and 2010's & 2020's America. Adolph Hitler is alleged to have staged 'political theater' to effect such ends while campaigning to be German Chancellor and thereafter. About such matters, Hitler said,

“If you win, you need not have to explain... if you lose you should not be there to explain."

This year alone Trump gasses peaceful protesters on the Washington, D.C. mall to to hold up a Bible and make the sales pitch that he's the law and order president. He then sent the Department of Homeland Security to Portland in what seemed an effort to stoke social tensions. In the debate he told the Proud Boys, an alleged White Supremacist group, to "stand back and stand by", which certainly shocked at least half or more of the nation.

So why wouldn't Trump use a ploy to gain sympathy to help restore people's perception of him? It seemed to help Boris Johnson in Britain, and as we know, Rupert Murdoch - who controls more media in Britain than anyone else - has been talking to or advising Trump through his pundits, media outlets and reportedly directly as well. A Canadian Broadcasting Company report on October 2, 2020 told us the following about how Boris Johnson's popularity SURGED SIX POINTS in the wake of Johnson going to the hospital for CoVid.

" ... However, after his [Boris Johnson's] hospitalization on April 5, Johnson's popularity surged again, rising from 54 per cent to 60 per cent, according to a YouGov poll ..."

But Donald Trump would never stoop to such cheap tricks ... would he?

 

CoVid Pandemic Stats, Therapies, Genetics & Health Safety Statutes & Fines

Nationwide.  There are approximately 31,000 Americans currently hospitalized for CoVid, which is down from August levels, but trending up from mid September.  About 45,000 tested positive yesterday, which is trending up about 4% versus a week ago.  About 8% who have tested positive are under the age of 17.

NYS.  New York State has seen a significant uptick in new CoVid cases in the past week or so.  Most of the uptick is coming from about a dozen neighborhoods, mostly in Brooklyn, Queens and surrounding NYC Long Island and Westchester suburbs.  Governor Cuomo is pressuring local law enforcement officials to start ticketing violators for non-compliance with mask wearing statutes and social distancing, which have the force of law per Public Health Law, Sections 201 & 206 and Executive Order 202.14.

Moderna announced yesterday that it’s vaccine would not likely be available to the public in production quantities before the Spring of 2021, assuming its test results are successful.

Regeneron announced preliminary CoVid dual antibody cocktail test results from a Phase II trial consisting of 275 patients.  For patients with mild symptoms, it seemed to generate an immune response, but it was unclear whether it would be helpful for those who are hospitalized.  The stock market was underwhelmed by the results.

The Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology (OIST) Graduate University
Published a study indicating that people with some Neanderthal genetics in their system don’t appear to fare as well and have more complications from CoVid than those without the gene strain - https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2020/09/200930094758.htm

Effective September 14, 2020 there will be a $50 fine for those using MTA buses and subways who do not wear a mask.  In the Spring the Governor instituted a $1000 fine for those failing to practice social distancing.  Note that failure to observe health safety protocols could get expensive, so do your part, as a public service, to do your best to follow the mask wearing, social distancing and other NYS CoVid health safety statutes which went into effect on July 9, 2020 - https://regs.health.ny.gov/volume-1a-title-10/content/section-66-32-face-coverings

 

Economy – Restaurants, Hotels, Retail and Theater Continue to Suffer

In August it was reported that about 87% of restaurateurs couldn’t pay full rent.  Not sure what the number is for September.  Tourists continue to stay away - internationally because of a failure at the national level to contain the virus so we’re banned - and at the state / national level NYS has its own quarantine restrictions which limit incoming visitors from states that fail to effectively control CoVid in their jurisdictions.  Thus, the travel, dining, hotel and retail businesses – along with the theater industry as noted below – will continue to suffer for some time to come, as new CoVid cases are back on the rise.

The theater industry reportedly employs about 97,000 people in NYC, who have been out of work since the CoVid pandemic began.  The theater industry reportedly generates about $15 billion in economic activity and it’s unclear whether that estimate includes indirect revenue including travel, hotels, retail and dining.

The National Restaurant Association issued a report on September 14, 2020 noting that about 100,000 restaurants have closed nationwide since the pandemic began and that about 40% of them don’t expect to survive beyond the next six months without government relief.

 

Economy – Real Estate & Eviction Protections

Only 10% of white collar workers are back in their offices in Manhattan.   

In a survey of Chief Executives at over 300 companies found that 80% expected some sort of work from home would continue indefinitely, while another 20% thought that things would return to pre-CoVid conditions in time.  On October 2, 2020 the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that about 22.7% of people teleworked in September, down from 24.3% in August.

The median prices for single family homes have seen good price growth, hitting $315,000 in September.  Commercial real estate isn’t faring as well, in spite of near record low interest rates, because of the demographic trend noted above related to folks teleworking from home.

Eviction protection for tenants in NYS has been extended to January 1, 2021.  Eviction protection for small businesses has been extended to October 20, 2020.

 

Economy – Unemployment, Demographics Hit Hardest & October Layoffs

ADP reported payrolls grew in September at 749,000 new jobs, showing the continued slower job growth as we saw in July [167k} and August [428k], following what at first appeared to be a V shaped recovery in May [3.3 million] and June [4.3 million]. 

Unemployment could rise again, as the PPP expires and municipal and state governments begin to make cuts because the federal stimulus deal isn’t likely until after the election, which is now less than five weeks away.

It’s unclear how October is going to end up, as the PPP requirement to retain workers through September 30th expires and a number of large firms have already announced their intentions to lay off tens of thousands this month.

The down economy appears to be hitting women and minorities hardest.  A survey of 314 companies showed that about 25% of women are reconsidering their lives / lifestyles and may exit their jobs.  And unemployment for youths aged 16 – 24 is trending at double normal at 18%.

 

Big October Lay Off Announcements & Amazon / Fed Ex Hiring

Disney announced it would be laying off 28,000 employees.  United announced it would be laying off 13,000 employees and American Airlines announced it would be laying off 19,000 employees.  The PPP stimulus requirement of keeping folks on the payroll through September 30th expired, so the layoffs could get worse.

Joseph Bank, a men’s clothier, announced that it is closing 500 stores.

Ralph Lauren announced that it will make cuts totalling $200 million in savings per year.  They didn’t specify precisely from where the cuts would come.

Marathon Oil announced its planning layoffs and in the fossil fuel industry, likely many more coming.

A number of cities and states, and countries such as Finland are divesting fossil fuels from their portfolios in an effort to mitigate climate change and accelerate the transition to renewable energy.

As mentioned in a prior post, Amazon and Federal Express are hiring.

 

Consumer Sentiment & Consumer Confidence: How are You Feeling?

According to the University of Michigan Consumer Sentiment Index, future expectations were up about 5 points generally.  Sentiment is usually an indicator of future spending.

The Consumer Confidence Board, a Nielsen Company, showed stronger future expectations in September jumping 17 points.

Consumer spending won’t become available until the end of October, but a September 18, 2020 report by CNBC indicates that folks have begun pulling back in the absence of more stimulus and the possibility of more layoffs in the wake of the PPP September 30, 2020 employee retention requirement.


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.

If it weren’t so real, it would have been very funny.

trump biden debate first biden trump debate sept 2020A 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.

The debate last night is hard describe, other than to say it was emetic. 

trump biden debate first biden trump debate sept 2020The Donald behaved like a rich, spoiled, petulant nine year old, who knows he’s about to have his toys taken away.  He was so angry, that he came out onto the stage – not as a president – but as the uneducated, uncouth, uncivilized, beast of the man that he is.  I guess that’s what the Trumpster fans love about him.  That he’s an animal.  Aaaayyyyyoooooo.

Perhaps that’s why Melania treats the Donald like her dog. She spanks his hands down, when he paws her in public, kind of reminiscent of the 1962 movie "If a Man Answers", where a French mother teaches her daughter that the trick to handling men is to treat them like man's best friend. It's rumored that in some instances, the mammalian I.Q.s are comparable.

The Esquire magazine cover at right portrays an angry showman, the Donald, who like Adolph Hitler in the late 1920's and early 1930's, seems to have channelled the anger and frustration of many in the working class. But like Hitler, the public persona seems an act, covering up the more sinister side of an allegedly sociopathic personality.

 

The 'Substance' of the First Presidential Debate 2020 in a Nutshell

The debate was hard to watch.  Horrifying even, as it hinted at the monster of the angry, dictatorial and oh, so, tiny man we would certainly see, if we allow him to steal a second term. Trump couldn’t keep his mouth shut.  He couldn’t stop himself from repeatedly interrupting.  He didn’t exercise even the slightest modicum of self control, let alone good manners.  He’s a presidential shock jock, who has made his living by making racist rants and raves, assailing respect for one's fellow[wo]men, as well as good behavior and good manners. 

Trump, in tandem with the Murdoch Ministry of Propaganda, labels good behavior, respectful behavior – as politically correct – in an effort to diminish or dismiss it. And they argue in favor of misogynistic and racist speech as 'free speech' - which may be true - but at its core, surely not in accordance with the Founding Fathers' intentions.

Biden’s notable comments included that Donald Trump is the worst president this nation has ever seen, that Trump has accomplished nothing good, that Biden is [represents] the Democratic Party and that Trump should “shut up” - which seems good advice to a president whose mouth is perennially open.

 

Donald the Dictator or the Trump Royal Family - Fox News Says 'You Decide'

trump biden debate first biden trump debate sept 2020The notable comments made by Trump have been cited by the mainstream media, including that the Donald wouldn’t denounce white supremacist groups like the Proud Boys nor instruct them to accept the results of the election if he doesn’t win.  Instead he said they should “stand back and stand by”.  He also indicated he wouldn’t accept the election results unless they showed him the winner. And it's worth reminding people that Trump believes he's entitled to a third term because the Russian investigation distracted him and protests erupted as his first term began. And Bloomberg News reports that in an upcoming book to be released in October, Trump wanted his daughter Iskanka to be his running mate in 2016. Trump dismisses the allegation as 'ridiculous'. Is this the dawn of the post Constitution American Royal Family?

The graphic at right shows magazines and newspaper accounts of the numerous business failures of Donald Trump, which I found on a PBS documentary. It seems the reality of the house of cards built by the Donald, used the millions he inherited from his rich father - some of which are alleged to have been obtained illegally - as well as by his tax avoidance, which may prove to be a tax fraud, valued at $100 million.

Fox News says 'You Decide', which like its 'Fair & Balanced' slogan, seems a mockery of the ignorant people who trust them as their primary source of information. Murdoch's audience decides using Murdoch's distorted, reality-alterring and oftentimes racist, presentation of people, policies and events.

 

Our Democratic Republic Appears Under Siege by a Couple of Con Men

To anyone who cares about our American democracy, comments like these, by a sitting president, are very troubling to say the least. What you are witnessing is how freedoms are eroded, how hundreds of millions of people lose their voice and access to a free and fair due process. One need not look far, nor wide to see that most people around the world aren't respected by the people who govern them.

trump biden debate first biden trump debate sept 2020In other parts of the world people seem unable to voice their opinions or protest without being locked up indefinitely [Hong Kong / Philippines], nor do they appear to have access to free and fair elections [Belarus / Turkey], and anyone who opposes them is either detained or poisoned [Russia / North Korea]. Things don't change in societies that are ruled from top, because change comes from below, by the people who aren't wealthy or comfortable.

The Trumps and the multi-millionaires and billionaires at the Fox News propaganda machine are very satisfied with their wealth, their station in life and the status quo. This is why Murdoch's Foxholes and the Trumps won't let go of the power unless the American people truly assert themselves and make sure their voices are heard in this election. Make no mistake about it, our democratic republic is more threatened now than possibly ever before in its history.

At right the happy couple, celebrating another TELEVISED example of bad behavior. Melania Trump's theme for the past four years has been an anti-bullying program entitled Be Best. She seems to be cynically mocking America and its democratic institutions, as her husband is nothing - if not a crass bully. And her 'Be Best' program wasn't even named using proper English.

It's worth mentioning that Melania's father was reportedly a member of the League of Communists of Slovenia. Do you think Melania is a Russian asset? Murdoch reportedly accused his longtime wife, Wendi Deng, of being a Chinese spy.

 

If We Don't Allow the Con Men to Steal It

The American People & Biden are Likely the Winners of Election 2020

At this point – regardless of what Murdoch’s Fox News, NY Post, Wall St Journal, Barrons and MarketWatch might tell you - given the stability and size of the gap in the Biden Trump poll numbers, INCLUDING IN THE SWING STATES - Biden is sure to win. This assumes the voting apparatus isn’t hacked [this includes the post office], and the votes are fully and fairly tabulated.

I include Australian born billionaire Rupert Murdoch and his mendacity machine as a possible co-conspirator of a Trump stolen election. Why? Because stealing elections in English speaking democracies like Britain, Australia and the U.S. seems a Murdoch area of expertise. In America, Murdoch seemed to stage a media coup d'etat in 2000 when the election appeared to be stolen in the middle of the night from Al Gore by Murdoch's Fox News and NY Post. In 2004 it was Fox News that kept replaying the Dean Scream which was an alterred recording of Democratic front runner Howard Dean at a campaign rally. In 2016 Murdoch's Wall St Journal and Murdoch / Trump henchman Rudy Giuliani were the ones who released the seemingly phony, hyped story alleging the Wiener computer may have had something new related to Hillary Clinton's emails. The whole Clinton email 'scandal' was a Murdoch magnified mirage that went - POOF - immediately after Murdoch's propaganda asset, Donald Trump, won the election.

The debate was a horrifying spectacle, and is not expected to change voter's choices much, as most folks have already made up their minds, and in the early voting states, many have already begun casting their ballots.

 

Voter Registration, Voting In Person & $100,000 Reward?

Voter registration for the election in NYS is October 9th. Please register today - https://www.ny.gov/services/register-vote. I advise voting in person, if at all possible or walking your ballot down to the court house [call to find where], as Trump's Postmaster General doesn't seem an impartial administrator.

I'd also be surprised if there weren't at least a few Trump loyalists working at the U.S. Postal Service, who might consider shirking their fiduciary responsibility to the public, in favor of loyalty to the Donald. Why doesn't the DNC or a wealthy patriotic American offer a $10,000 or $100,000 reward to anyone who provides unique critical information leading to the arrest and conviction of anyone destroying, delaying or tampering with ballots handled by the U.S. Postal Service prior to November 3rd election, as well as in the days following the election, during which time the votes are still eligible to be counted?

Stay tuned, because this won't be over until the fat lady sings, and the hedonistic president is thrown out of office. 


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.

 

Please Fill Out the Census - It Represents $30,000 - $40,000 of Federal Funds / Person over the Coming Decade

nyc things to do this weekend queens manhattan bronx brooklyn staten island nyc things to do this weekend nycCLICK PHOTO FOR CENSUS LINK.

Also on Thursday, a U.S. District Judge in California, issued a preliminary injunction requiring census takers to continue their efforts to get an honest count of the nation's population through October 31, 2020.

Attorney General BillBarr's 'Justice' Department on Friday signaled it will contest the injunction as they want to meet the deadline of December 31, 2020. The census deadline was extended from September 30 to October 31st in April of this year, after the pandemic disrupted census taking efforts. In July the Trump Administration changed that back to September 30th, at which time it went to court, as the change was deemed capricious.

I wouldn't wait - if you haven't already filled out the census - DO IT NOW BY CLICKING THE PHOTO ABOVE. 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.

 

Going Virtual: Thanksgiving Parade & New Years Times Square

The Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade is going virtual. Details to follow later.

The New Years Eve celebration in Times Square is going virtual. Details to follow later.

 

CoVid Casualties: NYC Hotels, Times Square Hilton Closes & Airlines

The U.S. has been blacklisted because of its failure to contain the virus. The U.S. topped 200,000 CoVid related deaths this week, accounting for over 20% of the world total [America First] in spite of the fact that our population represents only 4% of the world total.

NYC generally accommodates about 65 million tourists each year. But because of pandemic travel bans, cancelled events and health precautions taken by the general population, tourism has plummeted to not a helluva lot above zero. This has been devastating to hoteliers, restaurants and airlines [and Manhattan retail too].

Thus the Hilton Times Square announced this week that it's closing. A separate report told us that some 25,000 people in NYC who worked in the hotel business, have been out of work for six months or longer.

And United and American Airlines continue to warn that without additional CoVid Stimulus, they expect to layoff 13,000 and 17,000 employees respectively, by October 1, 2020. Airline travel is still running at about 30% of what they did year ago [-70%].

 

Yom Kippur - Jewish Day of Atonement begins Sunday Evening

nyc things to do this weekend queens manhattan bronx brooklyn staten island nyc things to do this weekend nycYom Kippur begins Sunday, September 27th at sunset and ends on Monday evening. Yom Kippur is the Jewish day of atonement, when Jews around the world repent and ask forgiveness for their sins. Most major religions include a process of atonement and repentance. In the Catholic faith it is done during the sacrament [ritual] of Confession.

Metropolitan Opera Cancels Entire 2020 - 2021 Season

This is certainly a disappointment for opera lovers. The announcement was made this week.

Biden - Trump Presidential Debate Tuesday Evening

The Trumpsters are expecting a TKO of Biden by the Liar in Chief Tuesday evening in the first of three debates between the Democratic and Republican candidates for president. They're not even sure whether all of Trump's shouting will be enough to wake up 'Sleepy Joe'.

Voter registration for the election in NYS is October 9th. Please register today - https://www.ny.gov/services/register-vote

 

Indoor Dining Resumes in NYC on September 30th

nyc things to do this weekend queens manhattan bronx brooklyn staten island nyc things to do this weekend nycRestaurants to reopen for indoor dining at 25% capacity on Wednesday, September 30th. Because of the capacity limitation, government officials also extended the authorization for outdoor dining through the winter. Many restaurateurs are expected to use heaters to continue to enable outdoor dining where the fresh air circulates more freely. Also I believe restaurants will be required to close at midnight and cannot offer bar service. These restrictions seem sensible, given that the primary means of CoVid transmission appears to be by air, and that subway transit between 1 am - 5 am has been suspended.

 

CoVid Cases Spike in Select Neighborhoods in Brooklyn & Queens

People testing positive for CoVid has jumped from 2% to 6% in select NYC neighborhoods including Williamsburg, Mapleton and Bensonhurst in Brooklyn and Kew Gardens & the Far Rockaways in Queens. There are anecdotal reports that many folks in these neighborhoods haven't been wearing masks. The NYC Health Commissioner Dr. Dave Chokshi traveled to these neighborhoods offering masks, and was rebuked by some of the locals. The Donald is certainly failing to set a good example.


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.

 

Murdoch's Propaganda for Profit Machine

A Stateless Hostile Foreign Power Operating in Our Midst

Their concerns were ignored at best or beaten back. But apparently they were justified, as the Wall St Journal seems to have become another Murdoch mass media manipulation machine, albeit the propaganda is proffered in a slightly more insidious manner than the demagogic sledge hammer that Fox News and the NY Post use.

The Wall St Journal Op Ed letters written by well known and respected experts appear to be fact based - while those provided by what seems the Murdoch's anti-truth squad [aka the WSJ Editorial Board], appear to be written in pursuit of an Australian born billionaire's agenda, which is frequently either in support of a Murdoch propaganda asset, or to attack or undermine a challenger to a Murdoch supported propaganda asset. I've come to think of Rupert Murdoch as a stateless hostile foreign power. Will Bill Barr consider Murdoch for charges of sedition, because undermining our political system seems to be what he's doing.

Murdoch's media have long labeled the American economy the 'Trump Economy' and the NYSE, NASDAQ and S&P 500 the 'Trump Stock Market' as they were rising, even though the real reasons behind the economic growth have as much to do with the $3 trillion plus that the Federal Reserve has splashed into the economy, and the $5 trillion in BORROWED tax cut funds and federal stimulus payments that were also splashed into the economy. That's $8 trillion in stimulus [for those who keep track of these things I know the $2.5 trillion in tax cuts was for ten years, but I'm not adding the $2 trillion in deficits racked up in the first three years of the Trump presidency so this should cancel out]. This is the largest single set of transfer payments made by a president from American children to some of the richest people on the planet, in such a short period of time.

Reality by the Numbers - Wasted Trillions?

rupert murdochs wall st journal fake news the wall st journal propaganda machine murdoch wsj distorts the newsThe U.S. economy averaged $20.5 trillion the past three years and is on track to be smaller this year at $19.5 trillion. So if you divide the amount of stimulus payments, tax cuts and Federal Reserve corporate bond purchases [$2.5 + $2.5 +$3=$8] into $81 trillion for the full four years, get about 10%. So if Americans got full bang for the buck, the U.S. economy should have been up 10% per year - not about flat with what is was the first year Trump took office.

What did we, America, get for all of that debt and Federal Reserve increase in liabilities? Little to nothing it seems. German Chancellor Angela Merkel negotiated for equity in the Lufthansa for the bailout of the German airline, and yet Trump - who appears to claim to be one of the world's greatest deal makers - apparently got nothing for taxpaying Americans in return for all those trillions in cash.

 

Does Rupert Murdoch Fool Some of the People All of the Time?

The whole thing seems one big con, where billionaires like Rupert Murdoch and Donald Trump walk away far richer, while the rest of the nation finds itself deeper in debt. Have Murdoch's Wall Street Journal readers, combined with his Fox News, NY Post, Barron's and MarketWatch audiences, been misled into thinking that Trump is some kind of economic genius, when in reality it seems that he - like Murdoch himself - are just very good con men?

The following quote is attributed to Lincoln, who reportedly included it in a speech, but according to Quote Investigator it was first published in 1684 by Jacques Abbadie, a French author.

"You can fool some of the people all of the time [believers of Murdoch's Fox News, NY Post, WSJ & Donald Trump?],
and all of the people some of the time.
But you can't fool all of the people all of the time."

The question in the parentheses above is mine. More coming later.


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.

BACK TO THE SCHOOLS

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]?

LAW ENFORCEMENT / SOCIAL UNREST

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.

PANDEMIC - Revenue Shortfall & City Layoffs

The CoVid pandemic has wreaked havoc on the city, state and national economy. In the city there’s been a sharp reduction [close to zero] of the 65 million tourists that visit NYC every year due to the cancellation of large sports events like the Marathon, fun events like Comic Con, like numerous parades and festivals, as well as other cultural and artistic events.

Because of the loss of tourism, and an exodus of white collar workers who are telecommuting from the suburbs and beyond, there’s been a substantial loss of city tax revenue. The NYC Mayor isn’t allowed to have the city borrow money, owing to laws passed in the 1970’s when the state bailed out the city from bankruptcy after the federal government presided over by Gerald Ford said no to a federal bailout. And the second large stimulus package deal being talked about in Washington, D.C. is still just being talked about [but some news may be coming forthwith]. So the Mayor has to cut staff and other expenditures. He’s been working with the unions to avoid the layoff of 22,000 municipal employees – but eventually he may have to do it.

As part of the Mayor’s effort to avoid layoffs, nearly 500 employees of the top levels of the NYC government are taking unpaid furloughs of one week to help close a huge budget gap. It’s not going to solve the multi-billion dollar shortfall, but every bit helps, and it is a show of a good faith effort.

REAL ESTATE - Economic Ups & Downs

nyc things to do this weekend queens manhattan bronx brooklyn staten island nyc things to do this weekend nycIn August the economy slowed as the stimulus funds dried up. Consumer confidence is the lowest it has been in six years. I hope to add economic updates on ISM and unemployment in the next week or two, but in the meantime …

Nationwide, new housing starts of multi-family dropped / were flat, while single family new home sales were up 4%.

Meanwhile, an August 18, 2020 report in the NYT states that Manhattan real estate rental prices are down 10% versus last year and that the vacancy rate has risen to over 4%. They note that it is the highest vacancy rate in fourteen years. Manhattan real estate sales were reported to be down 56% in one of the summer months according to an August 30, 2020 report in the New York Times, while real estate sales in the suburbs has risen 44%.

In Queens, the LIC Post notes that rents in western Queens are down 6%. People appear to be moving out of the city looking for more space / greener pastures, as the corporate pandemic lockdowns continue.

It’s believed that white collar office workers won’t be back until July 2021. The director of the CDC said he did not expect any vaccine to be widely administered so things could return to any kind of normal before late second quarter / early third quarter 2021, which contradicts the rosier picture painted by the Donald and his media allies - Fox News, the WSJ and the NY Post - which are controlled by Australian born billionaire Rupert Murdoch. This white collar demographic trend will continue to have a dampening effect NYC shopping, restaurants and real estate.

EVICTION MORATORIUM - for Tenants & Small Businesses

The eviction moratorium for tenants was extended by Governor Cuomo through October 1, 2020. The Governor said he wouldn’t allow evictions to proceed while we’re in the middle of a pandemic, but it’s unclear exactly how one defines ‘middle of a pandemic’. Eviction protections were supposed to expire on 9/4 for tenants and to 9/22 for small businesses.

RESTAURANTS, HOSPITALITY - have been & will remain hard hit

nyc things to do this weekend queens manhattan bronx brooklyn staten island nyc things to do this weekend nycRestaurants in NJ went first, opening for inside dining on 9/4 and theaters were also opened at 25% capacity - both with additional CoVid safety precautions mandated.

On Wednesday, September 30th, NYC and NYS restaurants will resume Indoor dining at 25% capacity, rising to 50% if things go well. A bill allowing a 10% dining surcharge was passed on September 16, 2020 - which will remain in effect until after the pandemic - to aid restaurants. The surcharge must be clearly communicated on the menu and identified as NOT THE SERVICE CHARGE / TIP. The goal is to aid struggling restaurateurs with a means to increase profitability.

According to an August 13, 2020 NY Eater report, about 1,000 restaurants have closed their doors permanently. According to a July 28, 2020 NYT report about 3,000 NYC small businesses have closed permanently since the pandemic began. In a June 2020 U.S. Chamber of Commerce survey, only about 25% of small businesses expect things to get better in the next six months.

It’s believed that office workers won’t be back until July 2021. As mentioned above, the head of the CDC thought it wouldn’t be until late Q2 or early Q3 that a CoVid vaccine would be generally available in the U.S. and that this demographic trend will continue to have a dampening effect NYC shopping, restaurants and real estate.

According to a September 16, 2020 NorthStar Meetings Group report, there are over 61,000 hotel rooms in NYC [58%] that remain unavailable. According to the report at least a couple of thousand are expected to remain permanently closed. Another report, on September 3, 2020 by Commercial Observer noted that 44% of restaurant, hotel and bar jobs – about 440,000 jobs in that industry – have been lost in NYC. This compares to an average 24% comparable loss in the rest of the nation. NYC is a high operating cost tourist destination / mecca. The hospitality industry in NYC depends far more heavily on tourism and business travel than other parts of the nation - and both categories are all but shut down - so this should help explain the difference between NYC hospitality losses vis a vis the rest of the nation.

PANDEMIC ECONOMIC IMPACT - Likely to Continue

The economy is being propped up by the Federal Reserve who reportedly has purchased $3 trillion in corporate debt to keep the market liquid. A reporter on Democracy Now said that a good measure of that was the purchase of fossil fuel company bonds. The Federal Reserve has also lowered the real interest rate to ZERO to help the ailing Trump economy which is running an unemployment rate of over 8%, but the real unemployment rate is believed to be much higher [11% according to CNBC - see report reference in prior story below]. The second stimulus package remains stalled amid haggling, but there are signs the impasse may be ending, as Trump needs to money splash to help bolster his ‘Trump Economy’ reelection campaign theme.

Bricks and mortar retail were already having trouble before the pandemic made things worse. Retailers have been working through their financial woes, although it’s unclear how much that’s going to help. So there’s a bit of good news that follows the following bad news.

On September 10, 2020 the funky fashion discount retail chain, Century 21, announced that it is closing 11 stores in New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Florida [it also owns two in Canada and their fate remains unclear]. Century 21 began in Brooklyn in 1961, but is best known for its downtown Manhattan store. About 1,400 jobs will be lost.

A Childrens’ Place is closing 300 stores over the next 20 months, including 200 this year. Most of the planned store closings locations are in malls.

Nieman Marcus is closing 17 of its off-price Nieman Marcus Last Call stores, as well as five Nieman Marcus stores. The 116 year old retailer is working through a deal with creditors that involves removing $4 billion of $5.5 billion in debt. The bankruptcy included some drama, as a financier reportedly threatened another bidder to drop its bid on a Nieman Marcus property involved in the bankruptcy proceedings.

J. Crew came out of bankruptcy around September 10, 2020 after reaching a deal to swap $1.6 billion in credit for equity. Brooks Brothers, an American men’s clothier went into bankruptcy shortly after the start of the pandemic, but found a buyer who is expected to pay $325 million for the retailer. The buyer is the Simon Property Group, the largest mall operator in the nation. There have been reports that nationwide it’s estimated that about 25,000 stores could close before year end – mostly in malls. Simon Property Group is traded on the NYSE.

L’Oreal is expected to layoff 1,500 – 2,000 people due to revenue losses associated with the CoVid pandemic as cosmetic sales are down because people are staying home and wearing masks.

Generally, transportation has been slow to come back. United and American airlines are expected to layoff or furlough 16,000 and 19,000 workers, respectively, by October 1, 2020. Air travel is reportedly still down 70% versus prior year.

Both Fed Ex and Amazon are on hiring sprees as more people shop online and take deliveries at home.

PUBLIC TRANSIT Fares, FEMA Cuts, Potential Service Cuts & Window Smashing

nyc things to do this weekend queens manhattan bronx brooklyn staten island nyc things to do this weekend nycBus fares reinstated on Monday, August 31, 2020.

Acting Department of Homeland Security secretary Chad Wolfe reportedly directed FEMA to make cuts to blue cities including NYC, WDC, Portland and Seattle. Wolfe has illegitimately / unconstitutionally occupied that cabinet level post as an acting secretary beyond the six months permitted by the U.S. Constitution. It seems Wolfe's illegitimacy could be used to challenge the funding change – at least temporarily.

The MTA said it's losing $200 million per week and would have to cut service by 40% to make ends meet if it doesn't receive $12 billion to $16 billion in bailout aid. The MTA reduced the frequency of trains [8 minutes] and buses [15 minutes] in order to conserve cash as no federal bailout has been agreed upon. The money for the extra cleanings stopped this past week too.

Ridership is still down about 75%, and the unions are fighting layoffs at nearly every level of government these days, as the city and state are running out of time / funds to make ends meet. Staggered, in-class schooling begins next week and will be rolled out through early October. Students riding public transit should increase MTA usage.

At least three people have been smashing subway windows, two of whom have focused their criminal efforts on the #7 subway line [70 windows at cost of $300,000]. One person was apprehended doing the same in Manhattan. The cost to the MTA and its riders is hundreds of thousands of dollars. You have to wonder what’s wrong with these people. I think it clearly shows that there’s a fine line between the criminal and the mentally ill / mentally disturbed, which has been one of the primary issues in the police funding reallocation debate.

This week I saw a number of uniformed police at a couple of the stations in Queens. It seems to me plains clothes policing might work better in catching the culprits than easily identifiable police officers milling about. I believe the use of plainsclothes police officers is also one of the issues in the law enforcement debate.

MISCELLANEOUS – Masks, Cosmetics, Plastic Surgeries, Plastic Bags & Voting

Deadline to register to vote in NYS is 10/9 and 10/13 in NJ.

nyc things to do this weekend queens manhattan bronx brooklyn staten island nyc things to do this weekend nycAs previously mentioned, the ban on plastic bags at grocery stores took effect Wednesday, August 27th. Enforcement is likely to begin by the end of this month or early next month – if not already begun - so remember to bring your own bag(s) to the grocery store.

According to an August 7, 2020 report by Business Standard, there’s been a plastic surgery boom. The pandemic induced downtime, coupled with reduced spending on shopping and dining, are said to have contributed to the boom. And patients can hide their temporary lacerations behind the mask.

The sales of cosmetics fell with the onset of the pandemic. As noted above, cosmetics maker L’Oreal, is planning layoffs. But there have been winners in the cosmestics category as while lipstick sales have fallen, eye makeup and nail care products have risen.

Zoro and the Benefits of a Mask. You don’t have to shave or put on makeup, you can get away with bad breath if you can tolerate your own and social distance, and masks hide pimples, cold sores and double chins - which may be why people think someone wearing a mask looks better than that same person looks without wearing one.

Have a nice weekend and Happy Rosh Hashana. Let's hope that the Jewish new year 5781 is better than 5780.


* 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 www.amnh.org 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 schools.NYC.gov 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 Cleveland.com 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 Cleveland.com 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 - https://www.nps.gov/stli/

St. John the Divine opened its doors to visitors from 7.30 am – 1 pm daily.  No word yet on when services will resume.   https://www.stjohndivine.org/

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 - https://saintpatrickscathedral.org/

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.
https://www1.nyc.gov/html/dot/html/pedestrians/openstreets-restaurants.shtml

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

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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

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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

nypd protests george floyd protests rupert murdoch fascist ny police union NYPBA Pat Lynch president nyc broadway carnegie cancellations disney / abc propaganda rupert murdoch fascist

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

nyc phase II & III reopenings nyc planned cultural reopenings nyc july 4th macy's fireworks cancellations manhattan bronx brooklyn staten island queens economic fallout of CoVid pandemic nyc

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

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.

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 nyc.gov 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

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 11th District Congressional Race 

The 11th Congressional District in Staten Islandis comprised mostly of Staten Island and a sliver of southern Manhattan.   In the past this was the only congressional seat held by a Republican in the five boroughs of NYC, but that ended with the Trump led thrashing at the polls in November 2018, where Democrat Max Rose won. But it's a new year and this year Republican NYS Assemlywoman, Nicole Malliotakis, who lost to Mayor de Blasio in a landslide in 2017, has taken up the quest to challenge Rose.  She's challenged in the Republican primary by a few other candidates, but she's raised ten times as much in contributions, and has name recognition, so it's likely a foregone conclusion that she'll be carrying the red Trump flag into the contest against Rose in November.     

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.



Staten Island Things To Do Memorial Day Weekend - Staten Island Memorial Day Weekend SI NYC | staten island memorial day weekend things to do staten island nyc st george, snug harbor, west brighton, fort wadsworth, free summer theater things to do manor heights, clifton, mariners harbor, historic richmond town, south beach, tompkinsville, westerleigh, stapleton, port richmond and tottenville staten island things to do memorial day weekend staten island nyc
Staten Island Things To Do Memorial Day Weekend - Staten Island Memorial Day Weekend SI NYC

Memorial Day Weekend Things To Do on Staten Island NYC

Things To Do on Staten Island over the Memorial Day Weekend

May 12, 2020 / Staten Island Neighborhoods NYC / Things To Do on Staten Island NYC / Staten Island Buzz NYC.

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. 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 Staten Island Weather.

 

Brief History of the Memorial Day Holiday on Staten Island

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 Holiday Weekend Special Events on Staten Island NYC

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.

Normally there's a Memorial Day Parade on Staten Island, kicking off at 11.30 am at Forest Avenue and Hart Blvd ending on Decker Avenue. But unfortunately this year attending the parade and Staten Island street fairs, don't appear to options due to the CoVid pandemic. That's not the only activity that will not be available to us, as visiting Staten Island theaters, performing arts & art museums, and eating out at one of the Staten Island restaurants 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 on Staten Island report.

You can also go bicycling around Staten Island 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].

Unfortunately shopping on Staten Island, will also be limited to groceries, pharmacies and home improvement stores [aka essential services], but local Staten Island farmers markets are classified as an essential service, so that provides another outing option.

So there are some things happening right here in our favorite borough - Staten Island. Take your time to sort through what's available and start planning your weekend.

 

Memorial Day Weekend Events on Staten Island

Click here to obtain information about things to do Labor Day Weekend on Staten Island. And our things to do / Staten Island events calendar is updated monthly with between 50 - 100 different Staten Island fun / cultural events.

things to do Staten Island memorial day weekend SI memorial Day Weekend things to do staten island nyc

Staten Island Public & Private Parks

Staten Island has a number of New York City Parks, they are 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 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.

I spoke to the National Park Service which informed me that the National Parks on Staten Island will be open, although no special services would be provided - but you can walk, bike, skate board and visit the beach. The National Parks on Staten Island include Fort Wadsworth which is alongside the Verrazzano-Narrows Bridge, the Great Kills Park along the Lower Bay in Great Kills, and Miller Field Park which is located between Midland and New Dorp neighborhoods and adjacent to the Lower Bay.

Click here for a listing of the Staten Island Parks including maps showing their locations along with a bit of park history - Coming sometime in the not-too-distant future.

 

NYC Golfing on Staten Island - Currently Closed due to CoVid 19

Staten Island has three main golf courses which includes the Silver Lake near West Brighton, LaTourette near New Springville / Heartland Village [SI Shopping Mall] and the South Shore golf course near Rossville.

Unfortunately, as of this post none of them are expected to be open by Memorial Day weekend 2020. Click here for details about Queens Golf Courses including maps and links to the operators' websites.

Click here for Staten Island things to do on Memorial Day weekend.



Staten Island Mothers Day Restaurants - Moms Day Restaurants Staten Island NYC | staten island mothers day restaurants staten island nyc st george, snug harbor, west brighton, fort wadsworth, mom's day restaurants manor heights, clifton, mariners harbor, historic richmond town, south beach, tompkinsville, westerleigh, stapleton, port richmond and tottenville staten island mothers day restaurants staten island nyc
Staten Island Mothers Day Restaurants - Moms Day Restaurants Staten Island NYC

Staten Island Mothers Day Restaurants

Staten Island Mothers Day Restaurants in or near Castleton, Stapleton, Richmond Town, Great Kills, Rossville, Tompkinsville near St. George, Westerleigh & South Beach Neighborhoods of Staten Island

 May 9, 2020 / Staten Island Neighborhoods / Staten Island Restaurants / Staten Island Events & Things To Do / Staten Island Restaurants NYC / Staten Buzz NYC.

Mother's Day Sunday, May 10, 2020. It's a good time to let your loved one know you care. Flowers, gifts and brunch or dinner are always welcome, as is any thoughtful gesture that provides some measure showing your appreciation of your mother or the mother of your 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 on Staten Island, many restaurants are full. So if you're thinking about eating out at a restaurant this Mother's Day in or near Castleton, Stapleton, Richmond Town, Great Kills, Rossville, Tompkinsville near St. George, Westerleigh & South Beach neighborhoods; 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 on Staten Island

The origins of Mother's Day in the United States began with the efforts by Anna Jarvis in honor of 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 it 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 on Staten Island where you will find links to Staten Island restaurants we've researched, 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.

We've identified only a few Staten Island restaurants that are doing take out / delivery on Mother's Day on Staten Island. Enjoy.



Staten Island Farmers Markets - Staten Island Green Markets - Staten Island NYC | staten island farmers markets staten island nyc st george, snug harbor, west brighton, fort wadsworth, manor heights, clifton, mariners harbor, historic richmond town, south beach, tompkinsville, westerleigh, stapleton, port richmond and tottenville farmers markets on staten island nyc
Staten Island Farmers Markets - Staten Island Green Markets - Staten Island NYC

Staten Island Farmers Markets

Staten Island Farmers Markets are not far from - st george, snug harbor, west brighton, fort wadsworth, manor heights, clifton, mariners harbor, historic richmond town, south beach, tompkinsville, westerleigh, stapleton, port richmond and tottenville neighborhood on staten island nyc

May 5, 2020 / Staten Island Neighborhoods / Staten Buzz NYC.

This is a work in progress and should be completed by Friday, April 24, 2020.

Click here for Staten Island farmers markets - green markets on Staten Island NYC.



Things To Do This Weekend Staten Island

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

staten island things to do staten island events si nycMarch 13, 2020 / Staten Island Neighborhoods NYC / NYC Things To Do Staten Island / Staten 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 Staten Island 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

staten island things to do staten island events si 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 on Staten Island?

Not much really. Here's a link to the things to do on Staten Island 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.

 

March 2020- Click here for Staten Island Holiday Markets & SI Holiday Events, Staten Island farmers markets and Staten Island street fairs & festivals.

WORK IN PROCESS. ASTERISKED events above have NOT been updated.


Staten Island National Lighthouse Museum & Bill Millers Floating Palaces SI | national lighthouse museum staten island historic sites si st george neighborhood staten island things to do staten island nyc national lighthouse museum staten island bill millers floating palaces si
Staten Island National Lighthouse Museum & Bill Millers Floating Palaces SI

National Lighthouse Museum Staten Island

Bill Miller Presents Floating Palaces - Tales of the Great Transatlantic Ships & Sea

March 12, 2020 / St George Neighborhood SI / Staten Island Things To Do NYC / Staten Buzz NYC.

 

National Lighthouse Museum - A Staten Island Treasure

At the end of January I made my way across the NYC harbor to the St. George Ferry Terminal. After just a few blocks walk to the east, along the St. George / Staten Island waterfront, I came upon my destination - the National Lighthouse Museum.

The National Lighthouse Museum is one of the oldest and yet newest cultural treasures of Staten Island. While the National Lighthouse Museum only opened on Staten Island in 2015, it is housed in buildings of the old St. George Coast Guard Station, which was built shortly after the American Civil War in the late 1860's.

The photo at right is one of the slides shown by Bill Miller in his informative lecture about transatlantic travel during the 20th century. Most of the photos that follow were taken at the lecture.

 

Bill Miller's Ocean Liner History - An NYC Treasure

Tonight we would listen to Bill Miller tell the tales of a century long history of transatlantic luxury ships and cruises. Miller's love of the cruise ships started while he was a youngster, watching the ships docking along the west side of Manhattan from across the Hudson River in New Jersey.

staten island national lighthouse museum si bill millers floating palaces transatlantic liners staten island things to do st george siBill Miller is shown in the photo at right standing in front of the room at the National Lighthouse Museum on Staten Island.

It wasn't long before Miller was crossing the Hudson himself, looking for adventure along the west side piers. Tonight he shared his lifelong passion with us, complete with details delving into the lives of the rich and famous, the food, the designer interiors and the ship engineering of the transatlantic cruise ships, which he affectionately calls Floating Palaces.

The photo at right shows Linda Dianto, Executive Director of the National Lighthouse Museum [at left] and guest speaker Bill Miller, aka Mr. Ocean Liner [at right] in late January 2020 speaking to the audience in attendance at the Floating Palaces lecture at the Staten Island museum.

• CLICK here to read the rest of our report, including a short video, about Bill Miller's Floating Palaces lecture at the National Lighthouse Museum on Staten Island.



Staten Island St Patrick's Day Bars Restaurants & Irish Pubs - Staten Island NYC | Staten Island St Pat's Day Irish Pubs in Castleton, Stapleton, Richmond Town, Great Kills, Rossville, Tompkinsville near St. George, Westerleigh & South Beach Neighborhoods of Staten Island
Staten Island St Patrick's Day Bars Restaurants & Irish Pubs - Staten Island NYC

Staten Island St Patrick's Day Bars, Restaurants & Irish Pubs

Staten Island St Pat's Day Irish Pubs in Castleton, Stapleton, Richmond Town, Great Kills, Rossville, Tompkinsville near St. George, Westerleigh & South Beach Neighborhoods of Staten Island

February 26, 2020 / Staten Island Neighborhoods / Staten Island Holiday Events / Staten Island Events & Things To Do / Staten Island Restaurants NYC / Staten Buzz NYC.

St Patrick's Day is on a Sunday this year, meaning that it's going to be an extended party weekend.

At a later date we'll add a bit of history of St. Patrick's Day.

While St. Patrick's Day is one big party, it's important to keep in mind, that like New Years Eve, all the amateurs come out to play [it's not just the Irish who are out drinking on St. Patrick's Day]. So some measure of caution is advised and you have to be careful.

Click here to read more about our round up of some of the Staten Island St Patrick's Day bars, restaurants & Irish pubs - Staten Island NYC.



Staten Island Things To Do Presidents Day Weekend - Events Staten Island NYC | staten island things to do presidents day weekend staten island nyc st george, snug harbor, west brighton, fort wadsworth, presidents day weekend things to do staten island manor heights, clifton, mariners harbor, historic richmond town, south beach, tompkinsville, westerleigh, stapleton, port richmond and tottenville staten island things to do presidents day weekend staten island nyc
Staten Island Things To Do Presidents Day Weekend - Events Staten Island NYC

Presidents Day Weekend Things To Do on Staten Island NYC

Things To Do Presidents Day Weekend on Staten Island / Events

February 10, 2020 / Staten Island Neighborhoods NYC / Things To Do on Staten Island NYC / Staten 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 Staten Island Weather.

The image at right shows a picture of the American colonial representatives, John Adams and Ben Franklin, meeting with a British general at the Conference House on Staten Island, in September of 1776, in an effort to preempt the American Revolutionary War. This occurred just a few months after the colonists declared their independence and as history would have it - they failed.

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.

Brief History of Presidents Day Holiday Staten Island NYC

staten island things to do presidents day weekend things to do staten island presidents day weekend events staten island 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.



Staten Island Valentine's Day Restaurants - Romantic Restaurants Staten Island NYC | staten island valentines day restaurants staten island nyc st george, snug harbor, west brighton, fort wadsworth, romantic restaurants manor heights, clifton, mariners harbor, historic richmond town, south beach, tompkinsville, westerleigh, stapleton, port richmond and tottenville staten island valentines day restaurants staten island nyc
Staten Island Valentine's Day Restaurants - Romantic Restaurants Staten Island NYC

Staten Island Valentine's Day Restaurants

Staten Island Valentine's Day Romantic Restaurants in or near Castleton, Stapleton, Richmond Town, Great Kills, Rossville, Tompkinsville near St. George, Westerleigh & South Beach Neighborhoods of Staten Island

February 5, 2020 / Staten Island Neighborhoods / Staten Island Restaurants / Staten Island Events & Things To Do / Staten Island Restaurants NYC / Staten 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 Bronx 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 in or around the Castleton, Stapleton, Richmond Town, Great Kills, Rossville, Tompkinsville near St. George, Westerleigh or South Beach neighborhoods; it's best to do your research early, and call a week or at least a few days ahead to make the reservations.

The photo at right shows the bar in the Staten Island Ferry station in the St. George neighborhood.

Romantic Restaurants on Staten Island - A Brief History of Valentine's Day

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 here to read more about our round up of Valentine's Day restaurants on Staten Island - Valentine's Day on Staten Island.



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.


The Conference House - Historic Sites on Staten Island in Tottenville Neighborhood NYC | conference house staten island historic sites si tottenville neighborhood staten island things to do staten island nyc
The Conference House - Historic Sites on Staten Island in Tottenville Neighborhood NYC

Ye Olde Conference House in Tottenville on Staten Island

Benjamin Franklin & John Adams Met the British Here in Effort to Avoid the Revolutionary War

January 20, 2020 / Tottenville Neighborhood SI / Staten Island Things To Do NYC / Staten Buzz NYC.

I had the opportunity to visit the Conference House in Tottenville this past September. Unfortunately I arrived about a week after the historic site signature event - the 1776 Peace Conference Commemoration.

The Conference House Peace Commemoration event includes a reenactment of the September 11, 1776 peace conference meeting between Benjamin Franklin and John Adams on the American side and Colonel Christoper Billop representing the British side.

The photo at right shows a painting depicting the Conference House Meeting on September 11, 1776.

Although Billop was born on Staten Island, he was a British colonel and loyalist to the British crown. Billop reportedly initiated the meeting, which as we all now know, was unsuccessful in averting the war. The commemorative event generally happens every second weekend in September.

I found it ironic, that the event took place on 9/11 some 243 years ago. And it's worth mentioning that William Franklin, Benjamin Franklin's illegitimate son, was the last British Governor of New Jersey and a British loyalist throughout the conflict. Benjamin Franklin reportedly acknowledged him as his son, but disowned him for not siding with the colonists.

Colonel Billop's father was Captain Billop [also named Christopher aka senior] who came to America in 1674. Billop Sr. built the Conference House, which was a grand home of the time, overlooking the point where the Raritan River flows into the Raritan Bay at Arthur Kill, which is the body of water that separates Staten Island from New Jersey. It was a well built stone house, which has held up well since it was built circa 1680, about 340 years ago. At the time it was considered a pretty fancy home.

Originally the site was a campground of the Lenape Indian tribe. In the late 1600's both the Dutch and the British were adventurous seafaring nations, which sent many ships, sailors and immigrants across the Atlantic in search of a better life. As such, when the ruling royalists were succeeded by heirs, their religion mixed with politics and also war.

CLICK here to view the rest of our report on the Conference House historic site on Staten Island.



Staten Island Things To Do - Martin Luther King Weekend Staten Island NYC | staten island things to do martin luther king day weekend staten island nyc st george, snug harbor, west brighton, fort wadsworth, mlk weekend things to do staten island manor heights, clifton, mariners harbor, historic richmond town, south beach, tompkinsville, westerleigh, stapleton, port richmond and tottenville staten island things to do martin luther king day weekend staten island nyc
Staten Island Things To Do - Martin Luther King Weekend Staten Island NYC

Martin Luther King Weekend Things To Do on Staten Island NYC

Things To Do on Staten Island over the MLK Day Weekend

January 15, 2020 / Staten Island Neighborhoods NYC / Things To Do on Staten Island NYC / Staten 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 Staten Island Weather.

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 the Staten Island NYC

martin luther king day weekend staten island nyc things to do mlk day weekend staten island nyc

On Monday, January 20, 2020 at the Conference Park House Visitors Center from 9.30 am - 12 noon there's an MLK Day of Service in the Tottenville neighborhood on Staten Island.

The nearby Biddle House is hosting an art event featuring local artist Donna Napoli who has captured scenes of Staten Island for ten plus years. From 1 - 5 pm also on Monday.

On Monday the Staten Island Children's Museum at 1000 Richmond Terrace, located on the grounds of the Snug Harbor Cultural Center, there's free admission from 10 am - 5 pm [all day] in honor of Dr. Martin Luther King.

From 11.30 am - 3 pm the Port Richmond High School at 85 St. Josephs Avenue is hosting its first Cultural Celebration and Day of Service. It's free and it features music, dance and business.

2019 OLD _ TBD _ CHECKING _ There's an MLK Day of Service on Sunday at the Greenbelt Nature Center from 1 pm - 3 pm on Staten Island. Participants will have an opportunity to work with the NYC Parks Department to improve the quality of public green space by making them cleaner, greener and healthier.



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.


Staten Island Holiday Markets Shopping & Events - Staten Island NYC | staten island holiday shopping holiday markets staten island nyc st george, snug harbor, west brighton, fort wadsworth, holiday events christmas lightings menorah lightings manor heights, clifton, mariners harbor, historic richmond town, south beach, tompkinsville, westerleigh, stapleton, port richmond and tottenville staten island holiday markets shopping staten island nyc
Staten Island Holiday Markets Shopping & Events - Staten Island NYC

Staten Island Holiday Markets, Holiday Events, Christmas Shopping & Holiday Things To Do

Staten Island Christmas Tree Lightings, Staten Island Menorah Lightings Hanukkah, Staten Island Holiday Markets & Holiday Shopping

December 8, 2019 / Staten Island Neighborhoods / NYC Shopping / Staten Island Buzz NYC.

The holidays are a special time of the year. In ancient times there were harvest celebrations to give thanks and enjoy the bounty after a long growing and harvesting season aka a year of work.

THESE HOLIDAY EVENT & HOLIDAY MARKETS ARE ORGANIZED

1. BY NEIGHBORHOODS OF STATEN ISLAND

2. And BY DATE

Watch carefully as some locales have multiple dates, and all dates for a given locale are shown at the time the venue is first listed.

And there were also winter solstice celebrations to commemorate the end of the darkening of the skies. Some cultures celebrate with a festival of lights, and in Christian cultures the holidays are marked with holiday lightings including tree lightings and candle lightings - as well as the celebration of giving through the most well known and most generous man in the world - Santa Claus.

Meanwhile, back on Staten Island we celebrate in a number of ways, which carry on some of these ancient traditions. The following provides the dates / times / locales and some details regarding many of the various Staten Island holiday celebrations and Staten Island holiday markets and shopping for folks to enjoy between now and the end of the year.

Click here to read our report about Staten Island Holiday Events / Holiday Things To Do & Staten Island Holiday Markets & Shopping.



Staten Island Halloween Parties - Staten Island Halloween Restaurants & Parades - Staten Island NYC | staten island halloween parties staten island nyc st george, snug harbor, west brighton, fort wadsworth, halloween restaurants manor heights, clifton, mariners harbor, historic richmond town, south beach, tompkinsville, westerleigh, stapleton, port richmond and tottenville staten island halloween parades staten island nyc
Staten Island Halloween Parties - Staten Island Halloween Restaurants & Parades - Staten Island NYC

Staten Island Halloween Parties & Events 2019

Halloween Events & Halloween Parties in the North Shore Neighborhoods, the Great Kills area, Historic Richmond Town and Other Neighborhoods on Staten Island

October 31, 2019 / Staten Island Neighborhoods NYC / Staten Island Restaurants & Bars / Staten Buzz NYC.

Halloween occurs on a Thursday this year. The Staten Island Halloween party celebrations begin as early as Saturday, October 26th running through to Halloween day itself.

Halloween is one big costume party, where the theatrical side of people, is given a small opening. Halloween provides people the opportunity to create and play roles they have wanted to play, that the day-to-day role playing keeps submerged. On Halloween is it the Doctor side or the Jekyll side - or something in between that emerges? Any which way it can sometimes be very scary : )

In the photo at right are NYC Halloween partiers in an earlier year. While professional actors are paid to assume and perform roles, on Halloween it's an unpaid, all-amateur, theatrical free-for-all ... and the chaos of creativity is also what makes Halloween so much fun.

Click here to read more about our round up of Halloween parties on Staten Island 2019 - Halloween restaurants Staten Island.



Italian Festival at Mount Loretto

The Italian Festival at Mount Loretto included Food, Shopping, Live Entertainment & Games

October 21, 2019 / Staten Island Neighborhoods / Staten Island Things To Do / Staten Buzz NYC.

Just over a week ago, I headed to the southern Staten Island neighborhood of Charleston to attend the Italian Festival at Mount Loretto. The event ran all weekend in a large sprawling field in front of the cathedral. There was a large stage, live entertainment, a number of food vendors, many serving hot food out of food trucks, somewhere between a half doze and dozen different shopping boutiques offering clothing, cutlery, skin products, jewelry and more.


Things To Do Staten Island Columbus Day Weekend - Staten Island Events Columbus Day SI NYC | staten island things to do labor day weekend SI nyc staten island events calendar labor day art exhibitions film theater live music comedy dance sports social events classes staten island things to do labor day weekend nyc si events things to do staten island neighborhood events si nyc things to do staten island si nyc
Things To Do Staten Island Columbus Day Weekend - Staten Island Events Columbus Day SI NYC

Things To Do Staten Island Columbus Day Weekend 2019

October 7, 2019 / Staten Island, NYC / Staten Buzz.

This report contains a listing of some of the things to do in the neighborhoods of Staten Island including art museums, theaters, live music / comedy & dance venues, sports social events, classes, and restaurant reviews [TBD] for Staten Island NYC. More Columbus Day events coming Friday of this weekend.

The photo at right was taken from the open space of the new shopping mall adjacent to the St. George Ferry Station, with the tip of Manhattan skyline in the distance.

Click here to view the Things To Do In Staten Island NYC this Columbus Day Weekend.



Snug Harbor Fence Show on Staten Island

69th Annual Art Show Organized by the Staten Island Museum

October 1, 2019 / Randall Manor Neighborhood Staten Island / Things to do on Staten Island / Staten Buzz NYC.

I attended the 69th Annual Snug Harbor Fence Show on Staten Island on Saturday. The show included about 150 exhibiting artists, primarily from Staten Island, but also neighboring NYC boroughs and New Jersey. There were food and beverage vendors, an accomplished jazz group - the Musical Chairs Chamber Ensemble - as well as plenty of interesting artworks that ranged from ceramics, to clothing and jewelry, to all sorts of art on canvass and other materials. The crowd the show attracted was also an eclectic group of art lovers, art exhibitors and curious Staten Islanders [it's free admission]. See video to take in a couple of minutes of the ambiance of the show.


Casa Belvedere and the Festa & Motori D'Italia

9th Annual Festa & Motori D'Italia Keeps the Engine Running on All Cylinders

September 23, 2019 / Silver Lake Neighborhood Staten Island / Things to do on Staten Island / Staten Buzz NYC.

I attended the Festa & Motori D'Italia at the Italian Cultural Foundation at Casa Belvedere on Staten Island. The following video captures most of what I experienced - save for the delicious aromas floating in the air.


FDR Boardwalk: One of the Best Beaches in NYC

September 16, 2019 / Staten Island Neighborhoods NYC / Staten Island Things To Do NYC / Staten Buzz NYC.

Last weekend I had an opportunity to visit South Beach along the FDR Boardwalk on Staten Island. The following video provides a one minute glimpse of the FDR Boardwalk and the views of the water and Verrazzano Bridge.


Things To Do Staten Island Labor Day Weekend - Staten Island SI NYC | staten island things to do labor day weekend SI nyc staten island events calendar labor day art exhibitions film theater live music comedy dance sports social events classes staten island things to do labor day weekend nyc si events things to do staten island neighborhood events si nyc things to do staten island si nyc
Things To Do Staten Island Labor Day Weekend - Staten Island SI NYC

Things To Do Staten Island Labor Day Weekend 2019

August 28, 2019 / Staten Island, NYC / Staten Buzz.

This report contains a listing of some of the things to do in the neighborhoods of Staten Island including art exhibitions, films, theater, live music, comedy, dance, sports social events, classes, and restaurant reviews for Staten Island NYC.

Click here to view the Things To Do In Staten Island NYC this Labor Day Weekend.



Jacques Marchais Museum of Tibetan Art on Staten Island

The Jacques Marchais Museum is Home to an Eclectic Art Collection

historic richmond town staten island nycAugust 22, 2019 / Lighthouse Hill Neighborhood SI / Art & Culture Staten Island / Staten Buzz NYC.

A couple of weeks ago I visited the Jacques Marchais Museum of Tibetan Art. It's located in the Lighthouse Hill neighborhood on Staten Island, which isn't far from Historic Richmond Town. Historic Richmond Town is a popular destination that puts on a number of public programs, so it's easy to include the Jacques Marchais Musem as a second destination if you're interested in Tibetan culture and art.

Ironically Jacques Marchais never visited Tibet, but she was an avid art dealer / collector, and over time she developed a collection of Tibetan art and culture in her art dealings. So much so, that when I had an opportunity to visit, I was struck by the resemblance to the some of the architecture and feeling of being there, as it reminded me of a month long trek I had done in Nepal many years ago.

We'll have more on this interesting destination on Staten Island over time. Stay tuned. Om.


Staten Island Mothers Day Restaurants - Moms Day Restaurants Staten Island NYC | staten island mothers day restaurants staten island nyc st george, snug harbor, west brighton, fort wadsworth, mom's day restaurants manor heights, clifton, mariners harbor, historic richmond town, south beach, tompkinsville, westerleigh, stapleton, port richmond and tottenville staten island mothers day restaurants staten island nyc
Staten Island Mothers Day Restaurants - Moms Day Restaurants Staten Island NYC

Staten Island Mothers Day Restaurants

Staten Island Mothers Day Restaurants in or near Castleton, Stapleton, Richmond Town, Great Kills, Rossville, Tompkinsville near St. George, Westerleigh & South Beach Neighborhoods of Staten Island

 May 9, 2020 / Staten Island Neighborhoods / Staten Island Restaurants / Staten Island Events & Things To Do / Staten Island Restaurants NYC / Staten Buzz NYC.

Mother's Day Sunday, May 10, 2020. It's a good time to let your loved one know you care. Flowers, gifts and brunch or dinner are always welcome, as is any thoughtful gesture that provides some measure showing your appreciation of your mother or the mother of your 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 on Staten Island, many restaurants are full. So if you're thinking about eating out at a restaurant this Mother's Day in or near Castleton, Stapleton, Richmond Town, Great Kills, Rossville, Tompkinsville near St. George, Westerleigh & South Beach neighborhoods; 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 on Staten Island

The origins of Mother's Day in the United States began with the efforts by Anna Jarvis in honor of 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 it 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 on Staten Island where you will find links to Staten Island restaurants we've researched, 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.

We've identified only a few Staten Island restaurants that are doing take out / delivery on Mother's Day on Staten Island. Enjoy.



Staten Island St Patrick's Day Bars Restaurants & Irish Pubs - Staten Island NYC | Staten Island St Pat's Day Irish Pubs in Castleton, Stapleton, Richmond Town, Great Kills, Rossville, Tompkinsville near St. George, Westerleigh & South Beach Neighborhoods of Staten Island
Staten Island St Patrick's Day Bars Restaurants & Irish Pubs - Staten Island NYC

Staten Island St Patrick's Day Bars, Restaurants & Irish Pubs

Staten Island St Pat's Day Irish Pubs in Castleton, Stapleton, Richmond Town, Great Kills, Rossville, Tompkinsville near St. George, Westerleigh & South Beach Neighborhoods of Staten Island

February 26, 2020 / Staten Island Neighborhoods / Staten Island Holiday Events / Staten Island Events & Things To Do / Staten Island Restaurants NYC / Staten Buzz NYC.

St Patrick's Day is on a Sunday this year, meaning that it's going to be an extended party weekend.

At a later date we'll add a bit of history of St. Patrick's Day.

While St. Patrick's Day is one big party, it's important to keep in mind, that like New Years Eve, all the amateurs come out to play [it's not just the Irish who are out drinking on St. Patrick's Day]. So some measure of caution is advised and you have to be careful.

Click here to read more about our round up of some of the Staten Island St Patrick's Day bars, restaurants & Irish pubs - Staten Island NYC.



Staten Island Things To Do Presidents Day Weekend - Events Staten Island NYC | staten island things to do presidents day weekend staten island nyc st george, snug harbor, west brighton, fort wadsworth, presidents day weekend things to do staten island manor heights, clifton, mariners harbor, historic richmond town, south beach, tompkinsville, westerleigh, stapleton, port richmond and tottenville staten island things to do presidents day weekend staten island nyc
Staten Island Things To Do Presidents Day Weekend - Events Staten Island NYC

Presidents Day Weekend Things To Do on Staten Island NYC

Things To Do Presidents Day Weekend on Staten Island / Events

February 10, 2020 / Staten Island Neighborhoods NYC / Things To Do on Staten Island NYC / Staten 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 Staten Island Weather.

The image at right shows a picture of the American colonial representatives, John Adams and Ben Franklin, meeting with a British general at the Conference House on Staten Island, in September of 1776, in an effort to preempt the American Revolutionary War. This occurred just a few months after the colonists declared their independence and as history would have it - they failed.

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.

Brief History of Presidents Day Holiday Staten Island NYC

staten island things to do presidents day weekend things to do staten island presidents day weekend events staten island 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.



Staten Island Valentine's Day Restaurants - Romantic Restaurants Staten Island NYC | staten island valentines day restaurants staten island nyc st george, snug harbor, west brighton, fort wadsworth, romantic restaurants manor heights, clifton, mariners harbor, historic richmond town, south beach, tompkinsville, westerleigh, stapleton, port richmond and tottenville staten island valentines day restaurants staten island nyc
Staten Island Valentine's Day Restaurants - Romantic Restaurants Staten Island NYC

Staten Island Valentine's Day Restaurants

Staten Island Valentine's Day Romantic Restaurants in or near Castleton, Stapleton, Richmond Town, Great Kills, Rossville, Tompkinsville near St. George, Westerleigh & South Beach Neighborhoods of Staten Island

February 5, 2020 / Staten Island Neighborhoods / Staten Island Restaurants / Staten Island Events & Things To Do / Staten Island Restaurants NYC / Staten 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 Bronx 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 in or around the Castleton, Stapleton, Richmond Town, Great Kills, Rossville, Tompkinsville near St. George, Westerleigh or South Beach neighborhoods; it's best to do your research early, and call a week or at least a few days ahead to make the reservations.

The photo at right shows the bar in the Staten Island Ferry station in the St. George neighborhood.

Romantic Restaurants on Staten Island - A Brief History of Valentine's Day

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 here to read more about our round up of Valentine's Day restaurants on Staten Island - Valentine's Day on Staten Island.



In Historic Richmond Town the Past Comes Alive

Historic Richmond Town on Staten Island Preserves a Bit of America's Colonial & 19th Century Past

historic richmond town staten island nycMarch 2018 / Historic Richmond Town Neighborhood / Staten Island Culture & History / Staten Buzz NYC.

Earlier this month I visited Historic Richmond Town on Staten Island. I got off the train at Oakwood Heights and along with a visiting South Korean visitor, ubered the half to one mile inland to visit historic Richmond Town.

We were dropped off in a large parking lot adjacent to the main building, which turned out to be the rear of the site, and walked in. It was less than two hours before closing time and on this cold March day, things were pretty quiet.

In the museum gift shop we Lou Maira who manages it. The visiting South Korean took off on his own, while I struck up a conversation with Lou. He told me that we were in the Court House, which was the County Seat for Staten Island in 1837. The Court House also served as the prison. He told me that this late in the day, on the off season, wasn't really the optimal time to see the place, but he accommodated my unscheduled inquisitiveness anyhow.

Historic Richmond Town on Staten Island lies on 100 Acres of Colonial & 19th Century History

historic richmond town staten island historic richmond town nyc colonial history nysLou told me that there were 15 buildings in Historic Richmond Town. He informed me that tours are given regularly by knowledgeable guides and that they take about an hour and fifteen minutes. The whole town lies on about one hundred acres. At some point in the conversation, one of the tour guides whose name I apparently didn't write down [please send it to me if you read this], joined us, and we continued conversing about Historic Richmond Town. In the photo at right is one of the tour guides of Historic Richmond Town on Staten Island.

Guyon Tavern in Historic Richmond Town

One of the buildings is Guyon Tavern, which may be found about a block and a half away on Richmond Road. The Court House lies at the top of a small hill where Center Street and Court Place meet. Guyon Tavern hosts tavern nights in March and April, where a thirsty 19th century American could and still can get a bottle of ale.

Historic Richmond Town - Things To Do on Staten Island

Historic Richmond Town also hosts other events. In the May / June timeframe there's a program entitled On Court, which I was told is a fairly large festival that includes live entertainment, beer and wine and food. And in September there's a pretty huge festival, it's Historic Richmond Town's signature event, called the County Fair.

The houses in Historic Richmond Town range in dates from the 1600's, 1700's and into the 1800's. The houses built in the 1700's date back to the time of the American Revolutionary War.

I'll add more to this, including more photos, at a later date. But suffice it to say it's worth at least one visit and likely many more. You can find out more about it and their events at https://www.historicrichmondtown.org


Staten Island Farmers Markets - Staten Island Green Markets - Staten Island NYC | staten island farmers markets staten island nyc st george, snug harbor, west brighton, fort wadsworth, manor heights, clifton, mariners harbor, historic richmond town, south beach, tompkinsville, westerleigh, stapleton, port richmond and tottenville farmers markets on staten island nyc
Staten Island Farmers Markets - Staten Island Green Markets - Staten Island NYC

Staten Island Farmers Markets

Staten Island Farmers Markets are not far from - st george, snug harbor, west brighton, fort wadsworth, manor heights, clifton, mariners harbor, historic richmond town, south beach, tompkinsville, westerleigh, stapleton, port richmond and tottenville neighborhood on staten island nyc

May 5, 2020 / Staten Island Neighborhoods / Staten Buzz NYC.

This is a work in progress and should be completed by Friday, April 24, 2020.

Click here for Staten Island farmers markets - green markets on Staten Island NYC.



Staten Island Neighborhoods - Staten Island NYC | staten island neighborhoods staten island nyc st george, snug harbor, west brighton, fort wadsworth, manor heights, clifton, mariners harbor, historic richmond town, south beach, tompkinsville, westerleigh, stapleton, port richmond and tottenville neighborhood on staten island nyc
Staten Island Neighborhoods - Staten Island NYC

Staten Island Neighborhoods

Staten Island Neighborhoods covered include - st george, snug harbor, west brighton, fort wadsworth, manor heights, clifton, mariners harbor, historic richmond town, south beach, tompkinsville, westerleigh, stapleton, port richmond and tottenville neighborhood on staten island nyc

August 1, 2019 / Staten Buzz NYC.

Click here for Staten Island neighborhoods in Staten Island NYC.



Public Advocate Candidates - 1482 SB

NYC Public Advocate - NYC Special Election 2019 - NYC Candidates Summaries Public Advocate NYC

NYC Public Advocate Candidates in Election 2019

Melissa Mark-Viverito, Jumaane Williams, Daniel O'Donnell, Rafael Espinal, Eric Ulrich, Nomiki Konst, Ron Kim, Michael Blake & 9 Others are Running for this Office

February 25, 2019 / NYC Neighborhoods / NYC Politics & Government / Gotham Buzz NYC.

Tomorrow, Tuesday, February 26th, 2019 a few New Yorkers will go to the polls to select the next NYC Public Advocate.

Brief NYC Public Advocate History

The position was created in 1993, by renaming the office of the President of the City Council, which up until 1989, had held a seat on the New York City Board of Estimate until it was abolished that year.

The Public Advocate has a relatively small budget [under $4 million per year], a small department as measured by headcount and no voting power except in the cases where a deciding vote needs to be cast in the City Council. The real power of the Public Advocate is in that person's ability to influence the conversation regarding policy priorities and urgency.

Second in Line to Mayor de Blasio

And with Mayor de Blasio considering a run for the presidency - while quite a long shot at this point - the Public Advocate would be next in line to succeed him. There have been only four Public Advocates since the post was created, starting with Mark Green who made a run for Mayor and lost. Betsy Gotbaum followed Green, and she was followed by Bill de Blasio who managed to use the position as a spring board to win the Mayoralty. Letitia James succeeded de Blasio and she is now the NYS Attorney General. The City Council Speaker has been the interim Public Advocate since James took office in January 2019, and will give up the post following this election.



Mayor de Blasio announces a run.

NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio Delivers State of the City Address 2019 | state of the city address 2019 by mayor bill de blasio state of New York City address symphony space upper west side manhattan nyc january 10 2019
NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio Delivers State of the City Address 2019

De Blasio Delivers State of the City Address 2019

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

January 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.



Staten Island Things To Do - Staten Island Events - Staten Island NYC | staten island things to do staten island nyc st george, snug harbor, west brighton, fort wadsworth, manor heights, clifton, mariners harbor, historic richmond town, south beach, tompkinsville, westerleigh, stapleton, port richmond and tottenville staten island events staten island nyc
Staten Island Things To Do - Staten Island Events - Staten Island NYC

Staten Island Things To Do

Staten Island Things To Do not far from - st george, snug harbor, west brighton, fort wadsworth, manor heights, clifton, mariners harbor, historic richmond town, south beach, tompkinsville, westerleigh, stapleton, port richmond and tottenville neighborhood on staten island nyc

October 28, 2019 / Staten Island Neighborhoods / Staten Buzz NYC.

Click here to view our Staten Island Things To Do / Staten Island Events or Staten Island street fairs.

Click here for Staten Island farmers markets - green markets on Staten Island NYC.



No IDC NY Wins Big & Cuomo Buys Back In

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

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

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

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

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

Cuomo Defeats Nixon - Voting Interest Nearly Triples vs 2014

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Real News is How Few Participate in our Democracy

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

No IDC NY Candidates Trounce Most of the Former IDC Members

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

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

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

Queens NYS Senate Races

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

Manhattan NYS Senate Races

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

Bronx NYS Senate Races

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

Brooklyn & Staten Island NYS Senate Races

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

Upstate NYS Senate Races

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


Jeff Klein's IDC: Republicans Running as Dems?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Democratic NYS Assembly Bills Effectively Killed by IDC

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

The IDC Deception: REPUBLICANS RUNNING AS DEMOCRATS?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


NYC Landlord Harassments Continue

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


IDC Challengers' Rallies Sunday

Challenging Republicans Posing as NYS Senate Democrats?

April 28, 2018 / NYC Neighborhoods / NYC Politics & Government / Staten Buzz NYC.

nyc politics nyc government no idc rallies tru blue rallies nycI just received an email notifying me of simultaneous rallies which will be held by IDC [Independent Democratic Caucus] member CHALLENGERS within the NYC Metro area. The members of the IDC, who these challengers are rallying against, have been caucusing with the Republicans since 2010 / 2011. By caucusing with the Republicans, the IDC Democrats have provided Republicans with a majority in the NYS Senate. Thus the IDC members appear to be Republicans running as Democrats on the Democratic ticket.

The IDC CHALLENGER rallies are intended to inform the electorate as to how their IDC electeds have been (mis?) representing them - as well as how the challengers would like to represent them - should they be given the chance.

"In an unprecedented show of strength and unity following the release of their joint statement about their agenda, the candidates will set forth their visions for their districts and will enlist those present at the rallies in registering voters, canvassing, and the like in preparation for the Thursday, September 13, 2018 primary election."

"The rallies will explain the need to replace the former IDC members with true blue Democrats whom we can trust not to turn their backs on the people who elected them. The IDC may have rejoined the Democrats for now, but they've been willing to ally themselves with the GOP since 2011 - and they've claimed to return to the Democratic fold before. The damage is done and we will not forget. New York deserves REAL Democrats who stand for progressive values, not Trump Democrats."

SUNDAY Rally Details:

  • Blue Wave Rally for Jessica Ramos, April 29, 2 PM, 31-04 Ditmar Blvd., Intersection at 31st Street Astoria, Queens.
  • Blue Wave Rally for Alessandra Biaggi, April 29, 2-3 PM, Memorial Grove in Van Cortland Park, Bronx. Memorial Grove is located in Van Cortlandt Park, near West 246 Street between Broadway and the Van Cortlandt Mansion - see map above.
  • Blue Wave Rally for Robert Jackson, April 29, 1:30-2:30 PM, at Bennett Park, W 183rd St & Fort Washington Avenue, Manhattan.
  • Blue Wave Rally for Rachel May, April 29, 2-3 PM, State Office Building, 301 East Washington Street, Syracuse.
  • Blue Wave Rally for Zellnor Myrie, April 29, 2-3 PM, at the Prospect Park subway stop, on Lincoln Avenue between Flatbush and Ocean Avenues, Brooklyn.
  • Blue Wave Rally for Jasmine Robinson, April 29, 2-3 PM, at Tappen Park, Staten Island (near the Stapleton SIR stop).
  • Blue Wave Rally to Make NY True Blue in SD38, April 29, 2-3, at 20 South Main Street, New City, NY
  • Blue Wave Rally to Make NY True Blue in SD21, April 29, 2-3 PM, Bell Boulevard at 73rd Avenue, Oakland Gardens, Queens

Press contacts:

  • Rise and Resist: Claire Ullman, 917-679-7120
  • True Blue NY: Lisa DellAquila, co-leader, 917-991-0605
  • Jackson campaign: Harris Doran, 917-797-6180
  • Myrie campaign: Andre Richardson (campaign manager), 201-892-5829, andrerichardson@gmail.com
  • Robinson campaign: Jane Nixon Willis, 914-584-2833; improvised3@gmail.com
  • Ramos campaign: Monica Klein, 917-565-0715, monica@seneca-strategies.com
  • Biaggi campaign: Dominique Shuminova, Deputy Campaign Manager, 917-821-7700
  • Avella protest: Judy Kirschner from Rise and Resist, 917-270-2705
  • Carlucci protest: John Gromada from Rockland Citizens Action, (845) 323-9896

Scroll down for related story or click here for the full story about the Independent Democratic Caucus & members.


NY Real Estate Expo

NYC Professionals Discuss Manhattan & NYC Metro Real Estate

April 23, 2018 / NYC Neighborhoods / Manhattan Real Estate NYC / Staten 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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The Past Comes Alive: Historic Richmond Town

Historic Richmond Town on Staten Island Preserves a Bit of America's Colonial & 19th Century Past

historic richmond town staten island nycMarch 2018 / Historic Richmond Town Neighborhood SI / Staten Island Culture & History / Staten Buzz NYC.

Earlier this month I visited Historic Richmond Town on Staten Island. I got off the train at Oakwood Heights and along with a visiting South Korean visitor, ubered the half to one mile inland to visit historic Richmond Town.

We were dropped off in a large parking lot adjacent to the main building, which turned out to be the rear of the site, and walked in. It was less than two hours before closing time and on this cold March day, things were pretty quiet.

In the museum gift shop we Lou Maira who manages it. The visiting South Korean took off on his own, while I struck up a conversation with Lou. He told me that we were in the Court House, which was the County Seat for Staten Island in 1837. The Court House also served as the prison. He told me that this late in the day, on the off season, wasn't really the optimal time to see the place, but he accommodated my unscheduled inquisitiveness anyhow.

Historic Richmond Town on Staten Island lies on 100 Acres of Colonial & 19th Century History

historic richmond town staten island historic richmond town nyc colonial history nysLou told me that there were 15 buildings in Historic Richmond Town. He informed me that tours are given regularly by knowledgeable guides and that they take about an hour and fifteen minutes. The whole town lies on about one hundred acres. At some point in the conversation, one of the tour guides whose name I apparently didn't write down [please send it to me if you read this], joined us, and we continued conversing about Historic Richmond Town. In the photo at right is one of the tour guides of Historic Richmond Town on Staten Island.

Guyon Tavern in Historic Richmond Town

One of the buildings is Guyon Tavern, which may be found about a block and a half away on Richmond Road. The Court House lies at the top of a small hill where Center Street and Court Place meet. Guyon Tavern hosts tavern nights in March and April, where a thirsty 19th century American could and still can get a bottle of ale.

Historic Richmond Town - Things To Do on Staten Island

Historic Richmond Town also hosts other events. In the May / June timeframe there's a program entitled On Court, which I was told is a fairly large festival that includes live entertainment, beer and wine and food. And in September there's a pretty huge festival, it's Historic Richmond Town's signature event, called the County Fair.

The houses in Historic Richmond Town range in dates from the 1600's, 1700's and into the 1800's. The houses built in the 1700's date back to the time of the American Revolutionary War.

I'll add more to this, including more photos, at a later date. But suffice it to say it's worth at least one visit and likely many more. You can find out more about it and their events at https://www.historicrichmondtown.org


NYC Crime Continues To Drop, Breaking Records

Mayor de Blasio & NYPD Discuss City Safety & Ongoing Improvements

February 7, 2017 / NYC Neighborhoods / NYC Government / Staten Buzz NYC.

public safety nyc crime rates queens crimeThis just came in on the heels of our coverage of the Public Safety discussion below. Mayor de Blasio and NY Police Commissioner O'Neill spoke in the Bronx regarding ongoing efforts and results in improving safety in the city. The following are some of the crime statistics noted in their meeting taken directly out of a press release sent by them.


Chief of Crime Control Strategies Dermot Shea, NYPD: Thank you, Mr. Mayor. Good afternoon, everyone. As you’ve heard, we have begun a strong start to 2017 in terms of overall crime reduction. Strategies that have been put in place to address repeat offenders, illegal gun possession and gangs are having the desired effect. We’re building on the momentum of the last few years.

  • So, some of the highlights for crime statistics from this January – overall index crime is down 0.2 percent for the month of January. When you carry it over to this morning, we are now down 2.7 percent in overall index crime in New York City.
  • To note – with the overall index crime, January marks the tenth consecutive month of reduced index crime. That’s the momentum we’ve been talking about. Currently, four out of five boroughs in New York City – all but Queens – are down to start the year.
  • Homicides – we recorded 20 homicides in January. That’s down two from 22. That 20, as the Mayor alluded to, is the lowest January that we have ever recorded going back a minimum into the 1960s.
  • Shooting incidents – down 1.7 percent in January. Last January we hit the modern mark with 59 shooting incidents. We came in with 58 this January.
  • Talking about momentum again – nine of the last 13 months we’ve had a reduction in shooting incidents. Nine of the last 13.
  • Three months in a row we’ve had a reduction in shooting incidents in New York City. We have now, when you look at New York City as a whole, we now have 24-hour periods where we do not record a shooting incident in New York City. That kind of thinking was impossible in the not too distant past.
  • This is the new normal. We want to build on it and we feel that we will build on it but there’s still plenty of work to do.
  • Stabbings and slashings for January – down 7.2 percent.
  • Robberies – down 7.5 percent. Lowest January robbery number we’ve seen.
  • Felony assaults in New York City – down 5.4 percent.
  • Burglaries tied the lowest mark set last year.
  • Transit crime – down 1.4 percent.
  • And housing crime – not to be outdone – down 1.9 percent.
  • Clearly, a wide breath of crime across New York City – property and violent crime, down.

    But there is, I alluded to, there is still work to do – three categories we saw increases in January.
  • Rape was up 8.9 percent.
  • Grand larceny, specifically, credit card related skimming and forging of checks – those two drove grand larcenies. And grand larceny was up for the month of January 4.7 percent.
  • And lastly, rounding out the crime totals – stolen vehicles which we have seen drop to unprecedented lows saw an increase of ten cars for January. So, that’s 480 versus 470 – a two percent increase.

Commissioner O’Neill: Okay, thanks, Dermot. We’ll take your questions.

Question: Do you think it’s possible, really to keep driving crime down further at this point? And how could you achieve that?

O'Neill's response was yes, with some added context.


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Staten Island Farmers Markets & Street Fairs

Staten Islanders Enjoy being outside Spring, Summer and Fall

staten island street fairs staten island si nycMarch 23, 2019 / Staten Island Farmers Markets / Staten Island St Fairs / Staten Buzz NYC.

A few Staten Island farmers markets may be open year round, but most of them are seasonal. Some of the seasonal Staten Island farmers markets usually begin opening in May, with the rest of them opening in June or no later than the first couple of weeks in July. Click here to view the schedules of many of the farmers markets in Staten Island.

Staten Island street fairs, on the other hand, are entirely seasonal. Some of them hit the streets as early as April. The number of Staten Island street fairs rises during the late spring and continues through the dog days of summer [July / August], including into the late part of the Fall. By late October / the end of November the Staten Island street fairs go on hiatus, with a few returning as early as April. Click here to view a full schedule of the Staten Island street fairs.


Click here for Brooklyn tile stores.


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Update: LaGuardia Airport Development Project

First Phase Moving Along with Second & Third Phases About to Begin

April 24, 2017 / Astoria Neighborhood / Queens Real Estate / Staten Buzz NYC.

laguardia airport construction redesign LGAI attended a Community Board One meeting at the Astoria World Manor on Wednesday, April 19th. People representing the LaGuardia Airport development project were scheduled to provide the community with an update regarding several of the multi-billion dollar renovation projects associated with LaGuardia Airport, that are either currently in the works or nearing the end of the planning process.

The presentation was split into three parts: 1) LaGuardia Airport development project construction updates, 2) traffic mitigation efforts and 3) community outreach including job opportunities related to the projects.

Click here to read our report on the LaGuardia Airport development project & expansion, related job opportunities, its possible impact on travel times to the airport and the public hearing details on May 3rd, 2017 in Flushing. We have also included a small bit of history about the airport and the fight over the property and development in Flushing Meadows Corona Park. The graphic at right was created as part of the LaGuardia Airport development project.


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Staten Island New Years Parties - Staten Island New Years Eve Restaurants - Staten Island NYC | staten island new years parties staten island nyc st george, snug harbor, west brighton, fort wadsworth, new years restaurants manor heights, clifton, mariners harbor, historic richmond town, south beach, tompkinsville, westerleigh, stapleton, port richmond and tottenville staten island new years staten island nyc
Staten Island New Years Parties - Staten Island New Years Eve Restaurants - Staten Island NYC

Staten Island New Years Eve Parties & NYE Restaurants 2020

Staten Island New Years Eve Parties in Castleton, Stapleton, Richmond Town, Great Kills, Rossville, Tompkinsville near St. George, Westerleigh & South Beach Neighborhoods of Staten Island

December 29, 2019 / Staten Island Neighborhoods / Staten Island Holiday Events / Staten Island Events & Things To Do / Staten Island Restaurants NYC / Staten Buzz NYC.

New Years Eve occurs on a Tuesday this year. While the celebrations may begin early on the weekend, the big events will all be held on New Years Eve, thus ending the year.

While New Years Eve is one big party, it's important to keep in mind, that like St. Patrick's Day, all the amateurs come out to play [it's not just the Irish who are out drinking on St. Patrick's Day]. So some measure of caution is advised and you have to be careful.

Click here to read more about our round up of New Years Eve parties on Staten Island - New Years Eve restaurants Staten Island.




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