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It's a Corona Virus Weekend NYC III

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

CDC Proposes Social Gathering Limit of 50 People

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

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

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

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

 

Arts, Cultural and Sporting Venues Close Until ...

corona virus nyc covid 19 nyc nysNaturally this sent shockwaves through the artistic, sports and cultural centers of New York City and its boroughs. But limiting the size of social gatherings wasn't all that was done to slow the spread of the virus and its attendant impact on the healthcare infrastructure and the death rate associated with the virus.

 

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

 

Governor Cuomo Puts NYS Public Schools on Hiatus & Mayor de Blasio does the Same for NYC Public Schools

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

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

 

Public Transportation & MTA Changes

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

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

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

This week NYC announced it is opening up a street in every borough where folks can walk around, stretch without worrying about traffic in a manner akin to the Summer Streets program in August and practice social distancing. The NYC Spring Streets are

Park Ave. etc.

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

 

NYC Citywide CoVid Closures

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

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

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

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

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

 

Bronx Borough CoVid Closures NYC

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

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

 

Brooklyn Borough CoVid Closures NYC

The NY Transit Museum is closed until further notice.

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

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

 

Manhattan Borough CoVid Closures NYC

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Queens Borough CoVid Closures NYC

The Queens World Film Festival scheduled for March 19 – 29 moved the program to an online show.

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

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

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

 

Staten Island Borough CoVid Closures NYC

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

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

 

Old Saying 'Cleanliness is Next to Godliness'

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

corona virus nyc covid 19 nyc nys*** Note that all dates suggesting the resumption of activity or reopening are subject to change, pending a more clear outlook of the health risks and potential mitigations regarding the CoVid 19 pandemic. One aspect of this pandemic that both government officials and the media have NOT emphasized enough is the importance of cleanliness.

On the Home Front Now is a good time to clean all of the devices and surfaces you touch regularly to reduce your chances of contracting the virus. Things like door knobs, TV clickers, mouses and keyboards, cell phones are likely the most touched, least cleaned surfaces. But there are others too, like table tops, sinks, floors and bathrooms. The CoVid germs can remain contagious on these surfaces for days, so clean them regularly.

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

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

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


CoVid - The Virus Everyone is Talking About

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

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

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

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

 

NYC & NYS CoVid 19 Testing Metrics vs Infected Numbers

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

 

Government & Media Focus on Facilities & Supplies

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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


It's a Corona Virus Weekend NYC II

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

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

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

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

 

A Racist President Applies a Demagogue Label to CoVid

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

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

A demagogue is

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

 

MTA Sanitizes Subway Cars and Buses

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

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

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

 

NYS Steps Up Corona Virus Testing - Now Leads Nation

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Trump Administration MisManagement of Preventative Health

The Corona Virus pandemic is what one pundit called,

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

When Will this End?

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

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

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

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


Democrats Choice: A Stuttering Biden or An Intransigent Bernie?

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

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

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

 

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

 

Things to Do This Weekend 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 7, 2019 / Staten Island Neighborhoods / Staten Island Restaurants / Staten Island Events & Things To Do / Staten Island Restaurants NYC / Staten Buzz NYC.

Mother's Day isn't that far away [Sunday, May 12th, 2019]. 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.

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.

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.



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

Updated September 18, 2019 / March 31, 2019 / Staten Island Neighborhoods / Staten Buzz NYC.

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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