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Holiday Markets & Holiday Tree Lightings NYC

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

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

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

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

 

Manhattan Holiday Markets & Holiday Events NYC

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

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

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

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

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

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

ADD DETAILS / Winter Garden at Brookfield Place.

 

Brooklyn Holiday Markets & Holiday Events NYC

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Queens Holiday Markets & Holiday Events NYC

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

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

 

Bronx Holiday Markets & Holiday Events NYC

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

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

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

 

Staten Island Holiday Markets & Holiday Events NYC

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Thanksgiving - America's Communal Holiday

The Pilgrims Legacy: Love, Sharing & Community Empowerment

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

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

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

 

Unselfish Parental Love Manifested by Empowering Progeny

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

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

 

I. A Brief Thanksgiving History

The Pilgrims Shared Communal Resources to Actualize a Dream

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

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

 

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

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

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


The Weekend Before Thanksgiving NYC

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade Goes Virtual

The Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade goes virtual this year. It will be the fourth time in its 96 year history [started 1924], that the parade doesn't go marching through Manhattan. During WWII there was reportedly a helium shortage which is required to send the balloon aloft.

This year the parade will go virtual, with much of the activity centered around Macy's Herald Square, where there will be performances by Broadway theater groups, as well as professional NYC dance, musical and cultural groups. The NYPD band will be there, as will the West Point Marching Band. I suppose a rendition of what's becoming a new America, in the age where we try to achieve the promise of the U.S. Constitution, in the wake of the fall of the Donaldocraczy.

There will also be a couple of dozen performances by musical stars including Patti LaBelle Miss America Camille Schrier, Sesame Street muppets, Dolly Parton and .... Santa Claus.

The parade will be broadcast on NBC from 9 am until 12 noon, and we understand parade viewing will also be available online. Generally about 50 million people watch the parade on Thanksgiving morning.

Yabba dabba dooo.

 

While the Parade is Good News, We're Still Dealing w/ CoVid

Responsible government officials and health experts are advising folks to try to simplify their Thanksgiving holiday this year. The CoVid pandemic has reportedly entered its second wave, which is already worse than the first. The number of people testing positive has hit new highs, as has hospitalizations and deaths. I suppose the silver lining in the data is that the death rate has remained steady, even as the number of total deaths has risen.

I saw a report which indicated that 80% of CoVid transmission is done via airbone droplets by asymptomatic or pre-symptomatic people. That's why wearing the masks is so important. If you're going to do only one thing, that's the thing to do. Socially distancing is helpful, as is hand washing and keeping surfaces clean, and the obvious one - which should have been done even pre-CoVid - is stay home if you're not well.

As mentioned in the last post, two CoVid vaccines with reported efficacy rates of about 95% are nearing approval by the FDA. These were rushed through in record time [less than a year] beating the last record for a workable vaccine [polio in 1954], which took four years. If I'm not mistaken the first attempt at the polio vaccine didn't work, so where we're at still carries some measure of uncertainty.

 

NYC Schools Close Per UFT Union Deal - Was that Necessary?

In NYC the public schools have been closed to onsite learning as the city has risen above 3% testing positive. Online learning goes into effect and the Catholic and private schools remain open. The Governor suggested the Mayor and the Teachers Union revisit the terms first agreed upon for a shutdown [citywide testing positive at 3%], and adopt a micro cluster strategy, wherein only schools testing positive at 3% close down, as NYC public school tests show an incredibly low CoVid testing positive rate of about 0.2%. That's more than ten times less than the overall city.

I believe the Mayor and the United Federation of Teachers Union President, Michael Mulgrew are looking at it. A change to their prior agreement will take time to work through, as the NYC United Federation of Teachers [UFT] union membership is comprised of approximately 135,000 members who will have to weigh in on any changes to the prior deal.

Testing will be required to get the kids back in school. I've noticed long lines for CoVid testing at City MD clinics around the boroughs including Queens, Brooklyn and the Bronx.

 

MTA Service Cuts May be Coming Our Way

The MTA is short about $12 billion in operating funds. They're talking about drastic cuts to cover the gap by reducing frequencies and possibly routes. One has to ask why they were so slow in adapting to the huge loss of riders when the pandemic began? I recall seeing car upon car pass me by nearly empty for the first couple of months of the pandemic, without any / much change by way of frequency or number of cars per train. The notion of providing big handouts with nothing gained, seems like rewarding incompetence.

An old boss of mine used to say, "There's got to be a better way."

 

First Afro Latino Gay Congressman Hails From the Bronx

Ritchie Torres won the Congressional seat in the 15th District in the Bronx, in spite of Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez's endorsement of a competitor, Samelys Lopez in the Democratic primary. That doesn't fit the corporate broadcast media's superficial news narratives of the Ocasio-Cortez 'movement', so they don't spend much time acknowledging what's really going on.

What's really going on, you ask? Few really know until after it's happened.

But if Ocasio-Cortez isn't winning in her own Bronx backyard, perhaps the 'movement' isn't about her, or even socialism, as the media outlets owned by corporations [former] and Australian born billionaire Rupert Murdoch [latter - Fox News / NY Post / WSJ] would have you believe.

I think what's going on is about us, as a people, evolving into the vision set forth by the Founding Fathers. A beautiful, blended, exotic mix of races, genders, religions and cultures functioning in an exciting, combative and eventually cohesive manner - pushing the envelope for human interactions bounded by fair, decent and transparent rules of engagement. Chinese racism and repression, as exemplified by Xi Jinping's regime's treatment of the Uighurs and Hong Kong, is just about the opposite of this.

 

Open Museums & Rockefeller & Bryant Park Skating Rinks

The following museums are open, but be advised the world has changed and you're strongly encouraged to make a reservation online or you may not get in. Also the usual CoVid precautions are generally in place including temperature testing, masks and social distancing.

In Manhattan there's the Jewish Museum and Guggenheim Museum on Fifth Avenue on the Upper East Side, the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum at Pier 86 at West 46th Street in Midtown, and the International Center of Photography at 79 Essex Street and the New Museum at 235 Bowery on the Lower East Side.

In Queens there's the Noguchi Museum at 9-01 33rd Road in Astoria, the Queens Museum in Flushing Meadows Corona Park, and PS1 MoMa at 22-25 Jackson Avenue in Long Island City. All open with shortened hours.

The Rockefeller Center Skating Rink opens on Saturday, November 21 and runs through January 17th, 2021. The skating rink at Bryant Park at between 40th and 42nd Streets and 5th and 6th Avenues opened on October 30th and runs through March 7, 2021. They're running shortened hours vs last year so check their websites for details and to rsvp as capacity is limited - www.rockefellercenter.com and www.bryantpark.org.

 


CoVid NYC Economic Update

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

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

 

CoVid & Donald Continue Raging

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

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

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

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

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

 

Economic Update - Post Election NYC

things to do nyc things to do manhattan queens bronx brooklyn staten island things to do nycSo the rest of this is a sort of catch up, post election, of some of the business news, in the same manner as I caught us up on some of the things to do changes in the prior weekend post.

Pfizer and Moderna, both pharmaceutical companies working on CoVid vaccines, announced far higher efficacy rates for their clinical trial test drugs, at 90% and 94% efficacy respectively. This is good news, as sometime over the course of the coming year, we might be able to mostly beat this thing. But like most things, seeing is believing.

Due to the increase in new CoVid cases, NYS has suspended all future jury and grand jury trials, pending better containment of the virus. Those trials already in process will continue. Bench trials and court trials will transition to virtual, but in-person court conferences will continue in person, with CDC Guidelines intact.

The Rockefeller Christmas tree arrived this past weekend from Oneota, NY. The tree stands 75 feet tall, 45 feet wide and weighs 11 tons. It will be lit on Thursday, December 2nd.

NYC normally averages about five million visitors each month and that has dropped to close to zero.

As of October, about 200 of 700 NYC hotels had closed or at least not reopened. The low point of the occupancy rate was about 10%, meaning that nine of ten rooms were open. So room prices fell from an average or median price of $336 to $136 / per room per night. The current NYC hotel occupany rate is estimated to be about 40%.

The Roosevelt Hotel, which opened in 1929, less than a block away from Grand Central Station, closed its doors on October 31, 2020. It is owned by Pakistan International Airlines, which said the CoVid pandemic drop in business made operating the hotel no longer feasible. The hotel has 18 floors and over 1,025 rooms.

things to do nyc things to do manhattan queens bronx brooklyn staten island things to do nycOnly about 20% - 25% of Chase white collar workforce had returned to their offices as of October. Citibank began inviting 5% of its workers back in July, and it was estimated that about 10% of its workforce had returned as of October. Building realtors now estimate that office space tenants may be able to reduce space needed by 10% to 20% by having staff work from home. According to an October 13, 2020 report by Reuters, a survey by Piper Sandler & Company showed that about 75% of employees believe they'll be working from home more often, compared with 59% saying so in July.

In a September Douglas Elliman report, they noted that the residential vacancy rate in Manhattan is 5.75% compared to a normal of 1.5%, so prices were declining and incentives being offered. In some instances we've seen price drops of 11% or more. It's a buyers' rental market compared to normal, which is very expensive.

The theater industry in NYC has been decimated. The industry generates $14.7 billion in revenue and employs about 97,000 people - most of whom have been unemployed since the pandemic outbreak here in mid March. As mentioned in the prior report, Broadway doesn't expect to reopen until June 2020.

According to NYC Councilmember Van Bramer there are 257,000 people employed in culturally related businesses in NYC. In addition to Broadway theater, the numbers include music, arts, history and other cultural venues. And about 70% of them have been inactive since the pandemic began.

The NY Philharmonic cancelled their entire 2020 - 2021 season in mid October. The cancellation amounts to losing an estimated $20 million in ticket sales.

AMC Theaters, the largest theater chain in the nation, was generating revenue of $3.5 million per week [down 85%] in mid October 2020. They said they can't continue operating on such small revenue beyond the end of the year. Governor Cuomo opened up movie theaters in all parts of NYS except NYC, with restrictions to the lower of 25% capacity / or limited to 50 people [since revised downward to 10?].

NYS construction is expected to be down 8% this year from $60 billion last year to $55 billion this year.

In mid October NYC Public Schools did 1751 CoVid tests and only 6 came back positive. That's a 0.3% positivity rate - well below the NYS and NYC norm.

New jobless claims have been declining, but remain at stubbornly high rates, but below one million.

One or more of the airlines tell us that their air is recycled and scrubbed every six minutes, making flying CoVid free 99.99% effective. United Airline had a $1.8 billion loss in Q3, but had $20 billion in cash on hand - probably from the federal government bailout funds. Do you think Trump's PPP stimulus bill was money intelligently spent?

Retail sales have been up beginning with a strong resurgence in May and June, but then followed by gains between 0.5% - 2% in the third quarter. October retail sales will be reported Tuesday, November 17.

Yelp reports that over 4,000 businesses in NYC have permanently closed their doors and Bloomberg reports that bankruptcies are up 40% to 610 in the third quarter according to a September 29, 2020 CNBC report. A third of restaurants in NYC may not survive the pandemic.

NYC Holiday parties plans are rumored to be down 90% vs year ago. Sad, but true, but not surprising. We're living through troubled times. There may be good news on the way next year.

NYS uses 23 BILLION plastic bags each year. On October 18, 2020 the plastic bag ban went back into effect. So far it seems unevenly enforced - at best.

 

The 1 - 3% of a Million Man March / Republicans Reclaim House Seat on Staten Island

things to do nyc things to do manhattan queens bronx brooklyn staten island things to do nycThe Donald oversold his 'Steal the Election' march, calling it a Million Man March. Reports of the actual crowd sized ranged from 5,000 to 10,000 - with one somewhat unreliable outlier claiming 30,000 in attendance. As noted in a prior report, the Donald appears to be trying to use his phony claims of election fraud, to raise money to help him pay off his debts, as he'll no longer have the power of the office of the president for his family to exploit in their business dealings.

On Staten Island Nicole Malliotakis defeated Max Rose for a congressional seat he won two years ago from decades long domination by Republicans. The Rose campaign didn't just run against Malliotakis, he also ran against Mayor de Blasio, which seems a questionable campaign strategy.

I hope your week is off to a good start.


This Weekend Things To Do

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

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

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

 

The CoVid Trumpster Fire Continues to Burn

It's nice to begin edging away from the political universe, after over three months of total immersion. But politics, like the CoVid pandemic, isn't going away, so we'll continue to try to keep you abreast of things as we identify important changes.

things to do nyc things to do manhattan queens bronx brooklyn staten island things to do nycTo that end, New York State has a CoVid testing positive rate of over 3% for the first time since May. Western New York State is experiencing numbers double that, while New York City continues to remain a hair below 3% at 2.9%, and with a weekly average of 2.3% [so it's rising here]. Staten Island is leading the city with rates at or above 6%. Brooklyn, which had experienced a significant outbreak, has made progress in reducing its CoVid rates by 50% according to the Governor.

Good behavior vis a vis CoVid - meaning social distancing, wearing masks, washing hands and staying home when you're sick - is rewarded with more communal flexibility, and CoVid bad behavior - which means not following the CDC guidelines - is penalized with lockdowns. If the CoVid positivity rate continues above 3% for a week or more, the NYC public school system will cease in classes learning. If the CoVid Positivity rate exceeds 5 - 6%, then more draconian lockdowns will ensue. New Jersey has seen a quicker and deeper resurgence so far, and thus there's been a tightening of some of the guidelines. FYI to white men, a study found that we are least likely to wash our hands.

And then there are the upcoming holidays and the coming colder weather - both of which don't bode well for our struggle with CoVid as people spend more time together, indoors, and possibly fail at socially distancing.

Meanwhile the rest of the nation seems to be back on CoVid fire. Trump's Cabinet Secretaries, White House Staff and 49 of the 50 states in the union are experiencing CoVid growth, including hospitalizations, and deaths. As of Thursday there were 10.5 million who tested positive and 243,000 CoVid deaths in the U.S.

So by comparison, we in New York are still not doing too badly. So keep on keeping on, and try to do your best to keep yourself and loved ones safe, as a vaccine appears on the horizon.

 

Pfizer Announces that its Vaccine Efficacy May Exceed Initial Projections - 90%

This was the first good news on the CoVid front in a long time. The estimated efficacy rates of CoVid vaccines was previously estimated to be between 50% and 75% - leaving somewhere between 50% and 25% of the population still exposed to catching CoVid even post vaccine. At a 90% efficacy rate, only 10% of the population would be vulnerable to CoVid, so this is good news.

 

Things To Do NYC - Catching Up on October & November - Veterans' Day Parade, NYC Marathon goes Virtual, Lackluster Halloween, Museum Openings, Broadway to Remain Closed thru 5/31/21 & Movie Theaters

There was a very, very dialed down Veterans Day Parade on Wednesday, November 11th beginning with the wreath laying ceremony at Madison Square Park at 6 am. It was followed by a vintage car parade down 5th Avenue and an event at the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum later in the day. This year marked the 75th anniversary of the end of WWII.

The NYC Marathon went virtual, by providing an app for marathoners to use while doing their run this year.

things to do nyc things to do manhattan queens bronx brooklyn staten island things to do nycHalloween this year was sure to have been disappointing for the youngsters. I saw some out with their parents trick or treating with their parents - but in far smaller numbers than normal and without the excitement and energy that usually accompanies the holiday.

The Snug Harbor Cultural Center on Staten Island reopened on October 3rd. The South Street Seaport Museum and the Museum of the Chinese American continue to remain closed. On October 9th an association of Broadway theaters announced that Broadway will remain closed through May 31, 2020.

And NYS opened movie theaters on October 23rd outside of NYC, at 25% of capacity. This was a relief to AMC the nation's largest theater chain. But the second largest chain, Regal Cinemas, which had reopened many of its theaters in the U.S., decided to close again on October 9th due to low attendance and the delay of new movie releases.

 

The Upcoming Holiday Season & First CoVid Joke

New CoVid Restrictions. Governor Cuomo announced new CoVid restrictions, including limiting private, in-home gatherings to ten people. Also, effective today, Friday, November 13th there's a 10 pm curfew for restaurants, bars and bowling alleys that serve liquor. And team sports activities have been suspended for a couple of weeks.

I heard that holiday party bookings are down 90%.

I heard my first CoVid joke a couple of weeks ago. What's worse than the CoVid pandemic? The CoVid pandemic during the holidays. I reckon gallows humor like this, is a sign of our times, but 2021 looks like it should be a far better year than 2020. Let's hope.


Is Trump Using the Federal Government to Enable a Scam?

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

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

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

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

 

A Presidential Con Man to the End

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

 

Bill Barr - Is America's Top Law Enforcement Official, using his Office to Aid & Abet a Scam, by Helping Legitimize the False Pretenses of Election Fraud, so Trump Donors will Contribute to a Fiscally Reckless Billionaire, so he can Pay Off his Debts?

trump scams supporters in fundraising scam about voter fraud trump fundraising scam voter fraud crooked donald lock him upOn Monday, Attorney General William Barr broke with a 40 year policy of non-interference by the Department of Justice in election squabbles until certification of the results. On November 10, 2020 Barr ordered prosecutoirs to look for 'wrongdoing' in what seems an authoritarian / Nazi-resembling action. The CNN report tells us,

"... Richard Pilger, director of the elections crimes branch in the Justice Department's Public Integrity Section, told colleagues in an email that the attorney general was issuing "an important new policy abrogating the forty-year-old Non-Interference Policy for ballot fraud investigations in the period prior to elections becoming certified and uncontested." Pilger also forwarded the memo to colleagues in his resignation letter..."

It seems there is no end to the depths of the Donald's depravity, and by association and enablement, Bill Barr's. Barr's actions lend credence to Trump's false claims of election fraud, and thus enable the Donald's efforts to raise money to clean up his balance sheet.

Perhaps the Department of Justice should investigate what appears to be Trump's and Barr's efforts to scam Trump's supporters into donating on the pretense of fighting election fraud, when in fact their donations are going to be used to clean up the Donald's debts.

 

Con Alled Trump - A Presidential Sized Scammer to the End?

The Donald, appears to be America's worst president but also one of America's greatest con men. Hence it seems, in recognition of his loss, he is now feverishly working to clean up his balance sheet while he still has access to the trappings of the Oval Office and the bully pulpit and what appears a phony patch of patriotic lies.

As with Trump Casino, where investors lost millions, and with Trump Airline, Trump University, Trump Charity, and Trump condominiums, the Donald doesn't give a crap who he seems to scam. This time it seems a scam of his ridiculous faith filled supporters - who god knows where they live, or what media they trust [Fox / Breitbart / NY Post?], that they don't by now know who he really is.

A November 10, 2020 report in The Guardian, a newspaper based in Britain, identified the apparent scam. They report that they found this on two websites related to Trump and the RNC,

“Please contribute ANY AMOUNT IMMEDIATELY to the Official Election Defense Fund and to increase your impact by 1,000%!” [The Guardian notes that "It is unclear who matches the donations." and then they go on.]

"On Trump’s personal fund, it [the website] dictates that of all donations raised ... 50% of each contribution ... [will] be designated toward DJTFP’s 2020 general election account for general election debt retirement ..." and ... On his joint fund with the RNC, the donations work as follows: “60% of each contribution first to Save America, up to $5,000/$5,000, then to DJTP’s recount account, up to a maximum of $2,800/$5,000. [And] 40% of each contribution to the RNC’s operating account, up to a maximum of $35,500/$15,000.”

 

How Foolish or Gullible are Trump Supporters?

trump scams supporters in fundraising scam about voter fraud trump fundraising scam voter fraud crooked donald lock him upSo it seems the Donald is using his apparently phony cries of election fraud to raise money from an ignorant, manipulated Republican base, in order to save himself from being crushed by all the debt he's racked up. And he's using his Administration's spineless sycophants, including Senate Republican Mouse Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, to lend legitimacy to his claims.

When are the Republican working class folks going to wake up to the incredible manipulations of these very wealthy rich people who seem to attack their opponents as 'the elites'? When will Republican working class folks realize they are being manipulated to donate and vote against their own self interest, in favor of the interests of the above named billionaire and millionaire? This is why the rich get richer and the rest of us get screwed.

The First Supreme Court Justice, John Jay warned us when he said,

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

Trump supporters bristle at being called ignorant. Yet when I engage them in conversations, they try to shut down the conversations when I start talking the facts. Others say, that they don't care what the facts are, they support him anyway. And those working class people who donate money to a man who has reportedly conned people like themselves - including contractors, employees, investors, lenders, contributors and enrollees - to help him pay off his billionaire debts, under the illusion that they're 'fighting to defend our nation's elections' ...

Well, that's where I draw the line. They're more than just ignorant.

 

McConnell - A Man Who ALWAYS Does What's Right ... for Mitch

trump scams supporters in fundraising scam about voter fraud trump fundraising scam voter fraud crooked donald lock him upSenate Republican Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is a highly predictable player. McConnell talks the talk of doing what's right for the American people - while McConnell always walks the walk of doing what's right for Mitch McConnell.

So today was no surprise when McConnell seemed to support Trump's false election fraud claims, because McConnell doesn't seem to give a crap about anything or anyone but himself - just like the Donald.

None of the above named seem to care about us. None of them seem to care about the civility of American governmental traditions. None of them seem to care about - or even seem to believe in - our democracy. Which is why we must stay vigilant and informed and involved in the government by, for and of the People - because if the people aren't involved - our democracy will cease to be.

And remember, being involved doesn't just involve registering and voting - people also have to pay attention to the actions and deeds of the people they are voting for, as well as to those they entrust to tell them the truth about who is who and what's going on.


Election 2020: When Will it be Over?

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

 

Only Georgia Doesn't End as Polls Predict - The Stacey Abrams Effect?

trump cheating 2020 election mail fraud trump dejoy usps mail fraud by trump campaign?In 2018 Stacy Abrams narrowly lost her bid for Governor, by 1.4% or 55,000 votes, in what seemed a sort of rigged election. Brian Kemp, her opponent, was the Secretary of State overseeing the election. According to a March 1, 2020 report in the Atlanta Journal Constitution,

" ... A report from the Democratic-led U.S. House Oversight Committee on Wednesday attacked Kemp's handling of voter registration purges, poll closures, conflicts of interest and an unfounded accusation that his opponents were trying to hack a voter database just before Election Day in 2018. At the time, Kemp, a Republican, was overseeing elections as secretary of state at the same time he was running for governor..."

Stacey didn't lie down and roll over. She got back up and focused her energy on correcting what she saw as an injustice. And so, today, Governor Brian Kemp who calls himself a 'Trump Republican' can take a bit of credit for the Trump loss - in Georgia anyway.

The photo at right shows retailers in Midtown Manhattan boarding up their windows as a cautionary measure on election night. Mayor de Blasio thought the efforts weren't necessary - which turned out to be true - but he also acknowledged retailers' right to do so and that he understood their rationale.

 

Record High Turnout & Biden Wins by Nearly 5,000,000 Votes

trump cheating 2020 election mail fraud trump dejoy usps mail fraud by trump campaign?It appears that voter turnout reached a record high of somewhere between 66% - 72% of the population. Voter turnout was 59% in 2016. And I checked Wikipedia which showed a chart going back to the beginning of the republic, with increasing turnout as time went on. Part of that growth in turnout as a percentage of the population is attributable to African Americans and women winning the right to vote.

As of today, it appears Biden is leading Trump in the popular vote with 75.7 million votes versus Trump's 71.1 million votes - so Biden won by nearly 5 million votes. As of today, Biden is also leading Trump in electoral votes with 290 electoral college votes versus Trump's 214 electoral college votes, with 34 votes remaining to be decided.

Of the 34 remaining votes, Biden is favored to win Georgia [leading by 11,000], while Trump is favored to win Alaska [leading by 55,000] and North Carolina [leading by 76,000].

In the photo at right, you can see a small portion of a sizeable contingent of the NYPD, standing guard outside one of his lordship's palaces. Wonder why?

 

Election Fraud or a Fraudulent Outgoing Cry Baby President?

The Donald has filed a number of lawsuits, most of which reportedly appear to be baseless.

This seems not unlike similar election fraud claims made by the Donald in 2016, when he won, but didn't like that he only won the electoral college - not the popular vote. In 2017 after becoming president, the Donald initiated an investigation into election fraud. The investigation fizzled / disappeared when nothing was found.

 

Some Blame the Progressive Democrats for the Dashed Democratic Expectations in Election Results

But Pelosi Keeps House Majority in Spite of Gerrymandered Districts, While Schumer's Senate Efforts Fall Very Short ... Again

trump cheating 2020 election mail fraud trump dejoy usps mail fraud by trump campaign?Everyone seems to be hyped up and amped up these days, which was one of the hallmark characteristics of the Trump era. So while the results were still being tabulated, some pols and pundits opportunistically took pot shots at the progressive democrats for what they perceived as the underperforming elections results.

In the House, the votes are still being counted, but it looks like the Democrats are going to keep their majority. The only question is by how much. So Pelosi seems to have done her job, because the congressional districts are reportedly heavily gerrymandered in the Republicans' favor.

But Chuck Schumer appears to have failed pretty miserably in shepherding the senate to a majority. The Democrats' senate hopes could possibly be saved by the Stacey Abrams Effect - as Georgia has two senate seats heading to a runoff, which if won by the Democrats would provide them with control.

In the photo above right, stands Lincoln Center, in all of its calm, exquisite architectural and design beauty. It's a reminder that we live in a modern age, that we inhabit one of the world's leading cultural centers and that there is still much for which we are thankful.

 

Senate Democrats Significantly Underperform Expectations - Either the Polls Were Way off or Schumer Played a Weak Game

trump cheating 2020 election mail fraud trump dejoy usps mail fraud by trump campaign?In 2018 Democrats lost seats a couple of seats in the Senate, but they also had more seats to defend that year, which helps explain why. But that same year the Democrats swept the House in what appeared a landslide, in spite of many gerrymandered districts.

This year it seems the Democrats underperformed in the Senate again, and especially because they had far fewer seats to defend. There were numerous vulnerable Republican Senators - but the Democrats failed to pick up even many of the most vulnerable.

The graphic at right shows how badly some democratic senate candidates fared vis a vis Biden.

Let's see how many senate seats the Democrats were forecast to win and fell short. There was Maine against Susan Collins, North Carolina against Thom Tillis, and Iowa against Joni Ernst - all of these were forecast to go Democratic as flips - but failed. The Democrats did flip Arizona against McSally, and Colorado against Cory Gardner, while the Republicans flipped Alabama, ousting Doug Jones who had won only a couple of years ago, in a deep red Alabama against Roy Moore, who was accused in an underage sex scandal.

But the Democrats failed to pick up senate seats in Montana where they had an ex-Governor [Bullock] challenging an incumbent [Daines]. And North Carolina no longer looks promising, so winning the Senate [to 50 / 50 where the Vice President casts the deciding vote] is now entirely dependent on Georgia, where it's uncertain whether the Stacey Abrams Effect can win the day, with the presidential contest in the rearview mirror.

This appears to be a horrible result, as the Republicans had 23 seats to defend, while the Democrats only had 12 open seats. Chuck Schumer is reportedly a champion fundraiser, but he seems an uninspiring Senate spokesperson [sounds like an undertaker]. And Schumer appears to lack the necessary talent in strategy and tactics, as Mitch McConnell has continually outmaneuvered Schumer since Schumer became the Senate Minority Leader four years ago in January 2017.

 

State Legislatures - Not Much Movement

As for the state legislatures, in 2020 there was little movement. So why are some Democrats blaming the progressives? It seems it's not because of the facts. But rather because those Democrats playing the 'blame game' may be spinning the news narratives in pursuit their own opportunistic agendas.


Rigged Election: Who's Trying to Steal it?

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

 

Strike 1 - Withhold American Taxpayers' Money to Extort Real or Fabricated Dirt on Opposition

The saying goes, if you're not cheating, you're not trying hard enough.

Thus nobody is accusing the Trumps of not trying hard enough in the 2020 campaign.

In 2019 America's top fixer, Giuliani, who was once a respected former Mayor, appeared to try to extort the president of Ukraine, in an effort to either dig up dirt or create allegations of dirt on Biden's son which Giuliani would have undoubtedly spread like manure, on Rupert Murdoch's Fox Fake News Machine [includes the NY Post & WSJ].

Giuliani had been successful in doing something similar to this in 2016, when he appeared to have ferreted out the computer of Anthony Weiner containing Hillary Clinton emails that Murdoch's Fox Fake News, NY Post and probably WSJ hyped and amplified, with insinuations of something criminal, repeatedly until the election. After the election - poof - all those front page stories on Fox News, the NY Post and WSJ just disappeared. That's how the Murdoch mind manipulation machine works.

This year Giuliani's first election manipulation effort at the Biden smear didn't go well, and ended up with Trump's impeachment. Strike One.

 

Strike 2 - Sabotage the United States Postal Service

trump cheating 2020 election mail fraud trump dejoy usps mail fraud by trump campaign?Seeming not to be deterred from stealing the election away from the American People, the Donald devised a plan to sabotage the voting by mail process.

In this phase of the steal-the-election effort, the Donald appointed Louis 'Louie' DeJoy to be Post Master General. Louie seemed to set about to destroy the efficiency and timeliness of the United States Postal Service, by dismantling the organization's mail collection and sorting infrastructure.

The purpose of this appears to be an outright attempt to sabotage the election and will of the American people, by slowing down the mail enough to prevent tons of mailed ballots from arriving in time to be included in the count. The use of mail ballots is strongly favored by Democrats, and thus favors Biden.

Louie got caught - but only after some good measure of the USPS had been impaired. Thus, reportedly hundred(s) of thousands of ballots never made it to their intended destination in time. Mail ballots strongly favor Biden. In a Herculean effort, Louie DeJoy, even ignored a court order to sweep post offices for ballots on election day, and deliver them to the Election Boards. Strike Two.

Strikes Not Included in the Strike Count. See story on July 20, 2020 where Trump appeared to try to use the Department of Homeland Security to stoke tensions and inflame social unrest so he could portray himself as the 'Law & Order President'. It's another strike, but I'm not even going to count that one here. And I have not included in the strike count the reported Trump efforts to help Kanye West launch a separate bid for president in an effort to draw votes in the African American community away from Biden. According to an August 13, 2020 report in Politico,

" ... West’s quixotic White House bid has drawn scrutiny in recent weeks amid efforts by some Trump supporters and Republican operatives to help him organize and get on the ballot in battleground states.

Kushner, too, has become mired in controversy among critics who argue his potential boosting of West’s campaign to benefit Trump could constitute an illegal act..."

 

Strike 3 - Repeat the Smear Campaign

trump cheating 2020 election mail fraud trump dejoy usps mail fraud by trump campaign?When henchman Louie was caught red handed rigging the USPS in August, the Donald had to come up with another sabotage-the-election plan in what appears to be multiple efforts by him to rig the election.

Rigging the election is something he keeps accusing others of doing, when in fact he seems the king de rigueur of election rigging. He also accuses others of being sleazeballs and slimeballs - when based on our research of his past dealings - those labels seem to fit him about as well or even better than anyone else. See our Trump section on Gotham Buzz for details.

So, late in the game, Rudy Giuliani appears to have dug up / manufactured more dirt on Biden's son, which has been rumored to have come from the Russians. Reputable news organizations refused to publish and amplify Giuliani's findings, like they had done four years earlier when they published and broadcast the allegations and innuendo regarding the Hillary Clinton emails - a story in which Giuliani also appeared to play a role in manufacturing. But that didn't stop Murdoch's Fox Fake News and NY Post from doing their best to disinform their audiences, which they appear to manipulate daily. But the audiences of Murdoch media are already a big part of Trump's base, so preaching to the gullible who trust Murdoch's Fox Fake News didn't change anything. Strike Three.

So Trump has already struck out - but he's claiming Executive Privilege - which Bill Barr always seems to enable. Trump appears to keep trying to rig the election in his favor in complete disrespect of all of our American democratic institutions.

 

Strike 4 - Claim the Election was Rigged Like in 2016 & Try Litigating Your Way to Victory

trump cheating 2020 election mail fraud trump dejoy usps mail fraud by trump campaign?

Of course when all else fails, start lying and litigating.

 

America's Top Fixer, Rudy Guiliani, was summoned back into action, fresh off the improv set of Borat 2. But Giuliani, like Trump himself, is hardly a credible figure anymore.

 

Now Trump keeps repeating his attacks, accusing the Democrats of stealing the election - when the reality is that that's exactly what Trump appears to have been doing all year.

 

Media Malfunctions Before Finally Hitting the Mute Button

Why aren't the TV Networks doing a better job of pushing back on Trump's claims, by exposing his attempts to cheat the American people out of their choice for president?

For the past five years the TV Networks have been laboriously slow in figuring out how to report the real news, instead of repeating the Trump fake news. They developed a five year old crutch of repeating everything Trump says or tweets, and then expressing their outrage or debunking it.

Why post, publish or broadcast his nonsense at all?

Ratings.

Both the Network News, as well as the Biden campaign, need to do a better job of making the American people aware of who's really trying to rig the election, by citing all of Trump's previous and current attempts.

To their credit, on Thursday evening November 5, 2020 the networks finally hit the mute button on 'president' Trump as 'in a press conference' he ranted, raved, whined and threw what seemed a presidential cry baby tantrum, tossing a plethora of false accusations all around the room. Strike Four.

 

Strike 5 - Murdoch's Fox News Early Call of Arizona for Biden Distracts, Keeping Biden & the Media Away

Are Trump & DeJoy Busy Rigging the Mail Ballots?

trump cheating 2020 election mail fraud trump dejoy usps mail fraud by trump campaign?Louie DeJoy's sabotaging of the mail ballot using the USPS seemed to begin with crippling delivery. One has to ask what else these seeming criminals will do to win the election? The Trump team is probably working on their next election rigging surprise and the above headline and narrative below are just one of a long list of possible hypotheticals.

Arizona and Nevada are out of the 'watchful eye' of the NYC dominated media, and rather under the 'watchful eye' of the local press - much of which is controlled by Trump allies Sheldon Adelson in Nevada, Sinclair Broadcasting, and Rupert Murdoch's Fox News.

The local news may be susceptible to following the [fake?] news leads of the outlets controlled by these two billionaires and mega millionaire. The lead narratives started by Fox Fake News - which were repeated by their competitors - went on for a long time here in NYC. Iit appears the other TV Networks have finally wised up, as they seem more careful in checking before repeating the contrived narratives coming out of Fox Fake News, the NY Post and even the WSJ.

 

Is the Mail Vote Ballot Box [USPS] Controlled by a Saboteur?

trump cheating 2020 election mail fraud trump dejoy usps mail fraud by trump campaign?Louie DeJoy has control of the mail-in / USPS ballot box. Thus far it seems he has done everything within his power to rig the election in Trump's favor, regardless of the law [see contempt of a court order on election day in the graphic above]. So when Trump talks about ballot boxes being dumped at the Boards of Elections, maybe he's foreshadowing what he's planning to do. And because the TV Networks keep refuting his false claims, they might be hard pressed to accuse the Trump campaign of doing just that.

So everyone should not only keep a watchful eye for possible mail ballots malfeasance, but stick to demanding that every LEGAL vote is counted - not every vote. Unfortunately our system is a game of sorts, and playing by the rules is important. Hence rule of law.

But ballots that don't arrive on time because they were held up by the Trump's and DeJoy's USPS, in an attempt to manipulate the election, would seem to fall in a litigation area.

Perhaps the FBI or state government / law enforcement officials in Arizona, Nevada, Georgia, Pennsylvania, Michigan, Wisconsin and North Carolina should open up investigations of Louie DeJoy's misuse of the USPS using DeJoy's contempt of court on election day, as a just cause. Trump and DeJoy may still possibly steal the election - not just from Biden and the Democrats - but from the American People.

 

If it's a Rigged Election - Its Been Rigged by the People Making the Accusations

It seems a rigged election alright - rigged by the people who are making all of the accusations.

But Trump's behavior comes as no surprise. The Donald's former lawyer, Michael Cohen, warned us in February of 2019 when he said,

"... I fear Trump won’t peacefully give up the White House if he loses the 2020 election ..."

Keep your fingers crossed. We're still in need of a bit of luck.


Election Day 2020

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

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

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

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

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

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

usps louis dejoy corrupt postmaster general corrupt trump administration appointeesAnd he's been a terrible president, which is why I'm hoping, in this election, the American people fire him for doing such an incredibly bad job. So bad that the damage he's done is almost unbelievable.

Trump's accomplishments include adding $6 trillion in debt in four short years including an historic record annual deficit - beating the prior by at least two times. And this financial mess doesn't include the $3 trillion the Federal Reserve injected into the economy to provide liquidity following the outbreak of the CoVid pandemic. His promise of repeal and replace should have been repeal - as he spent four years trying to repeal - including a court case pending before the Supreme Court. And the Republicans have yet to offer a plan. Trump has alienated our allies, emboldened our adversaries, stoked social divisions and doubled our unemployment.

This makes his ridiculous campaign slogan - Make America Great Again - promoted by easily the worst president in American history, even topping George W. Bush and Herbert Hoover, almost a mockery of his own Administration.

I won't miss Trump's incessant nonsensical yapping and tweeting, that the broadcast media kept repeating, and thus amplifying. I won't miss an unrelenting stream of his ignorance, fed to us daily by the teleprompter readers on Network TV, especially Fox 'News' - which is controlled by a seemingly Goebbels' like protege - Rupert Murdoch.

And I won't miss that White House, white trash, privileged family of his - who have fed and fanned the flames of his egomaniacal, narcissitic behavior into a public bonfire of his vanities. Nor will I miss his Stepford wife, whose cynical anti-bullying campaign 'Be Best' seemed a mockery of the role of First Lady. And whose sweat shirt fashion statement - I Don't Care Do U - worn while visiting the immigrant children locked in detention centers on our southern border, showed an incredible insensitivity not unlike Queen Marie Antoinette. Antoinette's husband, Louis XVI lost his head, in part because of her disdain of the French people. Luckily for the Trumps, the guillotine has given way to the ballot box, as a means of nations ridding themselves of unpopular leaders.

So while I know it ain't over until it's over, I'm cautiously optimistic that enough intelligent and well informed people made it to the polls to outnumber the uninformed, misinformed, disinformed or audience of a demagogic press who still buy into the Con-Man-in-Chief's apparent law breaking behavior and deceits. While Bush was president, I traveled / worked in Europe on short gigs. At the time, Europeans told me they could understand Americans making the mistake of electing Bush the first time around, but they could not understand how Americans could re-elect him - as by then we should have known how badly he governed. I believe that same perspective applies to Donald Trump.

So to those who voted for Trump, I respect your right to do so, even though I disagree with your choice, as the bombastic blowhard you favor, doesn't appear to share that same value of respecting voters' rights or other American democratic values ... including that he might try to create a mini-crisis prior to the peaceful transference of the great powers of the American presidency.

So I am praying our five year nightmare is over, and while the signs are promising, the final outcome is yet to come. Stay tuned.


Will the U.S. Postal Service Deliver?

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

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

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

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

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

 

Louis DeJoy Seems a Corrupt Choice for Postmaster General

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

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

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

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

 

Louis DeJoy & Donald J. Trump Election Interference?

usps louis dejoy corrupt postmaster general corrupt trump administration appointeesWikipedia reports that,

“… On August 7, 2020, DeJoy announced he had reassigned or displaced 23 senior USPS officials, including the two top executives overseeing day-to-day operations … “

If you wanted to sabotage an organization and an election, it seems this would be the way to do it.

“… on August 13, 2020, DeJoy confirmed reports of delays in mail delivery, and called them “unintended consequences” of changes that eventually would improve service. At the same time that he was taking measures that postal workers and union officials said were slowing down mail delivery, President Trump told a TV interviewer that he himself was blocking funds for the postal service in order to hinder mail-in voting…”

This seems a lot like July 27, 2016 when Trump, in a nationally televised broadcast, publicly encouraged Russia to hack Hillary Clinton’s emails [and by association the election].

 

Attorney Generals of 20 States File Lawsuit to Stop Impedance

On August 22, 2020 the House brought forth legislation to provide funding for the USPS along with demands to stop the changes that were slowing the mail.  Republican Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said that the Senate would not pass a similar bill thus blocking the House effort – not unlike how McConnell stopped funding to ensure safe and fair 2020 elections [stop Russian election interference].  So when McConnell says he’s doing for the American people – remember that it seems that oftentimes McConnell’s really doing a lot of things TO the American people – not for them.

In an August 18, 2020 report by NPR, a statement made by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi included the following,

“… necessary but insufficient first step in ending the President's election sabotage campaign … This pause only halts a limited number of the Postmaster's changes, does not reverse damage already done, and alone is not enough to ensure voters will not be disenfranchised by the President this fall… "

Twenty States Attorney Generals filed lawsuit against the Trump Administration protesting the changes to cripple the USPS.  I believe these lawsuits are still pending, as the cuts to mail collection and processing infrastructure had not been restored.  Postmaster DeJoy said he would put any further changes on hold until after the election.

 

A Patriotic Billionaire, Media Corp, Social Org or PAC Needs to Offer a Bounty / Reward for Info Leading to Conviction of Those Involved in Mail Delays, Dumping or Tampering

The efforts by the States and the House doesn’t change the fact that the USPS is currently operating under a new Trump allied Postmaster General and his 23 new daily operational officers.  And who knows of what they’re capable of.

I suggest the media, because catching these people in the act, would be a great story that would be good for ratings and advertisers – and because in the process they would be protecting the Will of The People. What’s more patriotic than that?  And what’s more a betrayal of democracy than those trying to thwart people from casting their votes?

 

Drop Off Your Vote - It’s Too Late to Mail it

usps louis dejoy corrupt postmaster general corrupt trump administration appointeesAnecdotally, I heard one man’s story about mailing in his vote two weeks ago, and he kept calling the Board of Elections until it just arrived today.  According to various reports, Postmaster DeJoy seems to have succeeded in screwing up or at least slowing up the USPS delivery times [see below].

In the meantime, if you haven’t yet returned your absentee ballot – you have a few options: 1) bring it to the board of elections site in your borough during their office hours [see vote.nyc], 2) bring it to an early voting site where you can drop it off [there are extended hours this weekend – but early voting ends Sunday] and 3) you can drop it off at your poll site on election day.

 

How Broken is the USPS & Will The Organization Enable or Thwart 'The Will of The People' ?

I’m going to return with some of the data on how the mail service has been impaired, the delivery times slowed, and a look at the tens of millions of absentee / mail votes still outstanding. The question is whether these votes are stuck in the mail system or whether the voters who have requested them have not yet acted.

Here are some of the threads to this emerging story. Copy & paste into your browser. The first report, by the Associated Press, has a nifty interactive program where you can enter your zip to see how timely your mail has been of late.

https://apnews.com/article/mail-ballots-not-returned-key-states-114bea9e50052452cf4f793c1b6d5912

https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/investigations/2020/10/21/election-2020-mail-in-absentee-ballots-could-see-long-waits/5992494002/

https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2020/10/28/mail-ballots-postal-service/

https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2020/oct/15/mail-in-ballot-tracker-us-election-2020

https://www.nytimes.com/2020/10/29/us/politics/post-office-mail-voting-2020-election.html

https://www.cnbc.com/2020/10/27/2020-elections-nearly-67-million-votes-cast-in-trump-biden-race-.html

https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/politics/voters-encouraged-to-hand-deliver-ballots/ar-BB1awi8N?li=BBnb7Kz

 

What's Wrong with Network TV News?

As you can see above, a number of the real news organizations are tracking this story - but unfortunately the majority of ignorant of Americans rely on Network TV for their news. They think that after 22 minutes of watching and listening to a half hour broadcast [includes at least 8 minutes of commercials], that they know what's going on. When in fact the reality is far different.

Rupert Murdoch's Fox Fake News appears to be a real Goebbels-like propaganda machine designed and operated to manipulate its audience's view of politicians, government officials and issues. It seems the intent is to get them to vote for Murdoch's favored pols, who seem to give him what he wants - as the implied threat seems to be that he could use his machine to manipulate the views of his massive audience against them.

The broadcast TV Networks and the two other major cable TV Networks don't appear to be quite so evil, but instead somewhat clueless. They look good, they read the teleprompter real well, but it's a ratings driven, glamor gobbling business full of lightweight journalists (?) whose superficial reading of the news unfortunately leaves their audiences feeling informed, when they appear to be anything but ... which is, in part, why we are where we are today. It's not enough to show up and vote, Americans have to do their homework so they'll know who they are voting for.

 

Are the Missing Tens of Millions of Votes the Big Story of the 2020 Election?

The missing votes may be the big story of the 2020 election, especially if the Network TV news organizations don't start tracking down what's happened to the tens of millions of ballots not returned. Like in 2016, they'll be surprised with the election day result, and report the 'news' after it's fait accompli.

I watched the Network TV news shows last night, and they were busy reporting about the long lines, and about a guy who's standing in line for people for money, and about the possibility of protests AFTER the election. But NOT ONE OF THEM said anything about the 'missing ballots'. If they're reporting about things after they happen, then they're clueless and pretty much useless. And if you're relying on clueless for your news, you might want to consider reallcoating your time / finding better news sources - like those referenced above.

These days, in the post newspaper world, you have to go to the internet to find out what's going on.

 

Is Broadcast Media Misleading Voters About Mail Ballots?

OLD Public Service Announcements? Lastly on Friday, October 30th, Hot 97 [radio] and NBC TV both broadcast notices that told their audience to mail in their votes - with only four days prior to election day. All mail and absentee ballots must be postmarked on or before the election day of November 3rd, and in New York State they must be received by November 10th. Mail ballot regulations vary by state, but it's worth noting that ballots NOT RECEIVED by election day, won't be counted in 29 of the 50 states, and the deadline varies for the other 21 states. Given the importance of this election, make sure your vote is counted. And the broadcast media would be well advised to pay attention to the timeliness of their ads and announcements.


NYC Halloween CoVid Style?

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

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

"These are the times that try [wo]men's souls", so wrote Thomas Paine on December 23rd, 1776.

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

Election day is Tuesday, November 3rd, which is only about a week away. And early voting began Saturday and ends Sunday - thereafter you have to vote at your normal polling place. For details, see - https://vote.nyc/

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

 

Frighteningly Beautiful - The Lady in Black

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

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

 

 

 

 

 

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

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

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

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

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

 

 


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

What are they afraid of ... the truth?

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

Let’s take a look.

 

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

 

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

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

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

 

McConnell Sells Out or Trades in his Old Kentucky Home?

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

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

 

The Decade McConnell Went From Kentucky Mitch to Shanghai Mitch

Following the 1984 election Rolling Stone story reports McConnell,

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


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

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

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

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

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

 

Letter on White House Stationery Signed by Trump

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

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

Washington

Dear Family,

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

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

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

1. Practices good hygience and wash your hands.

2. People who feel sick should stay home.

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

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

To learn more, please visit www.coronavirus.gov.

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

Sincerely,

Donald J. Trump

President of the United States

 

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

 

How Much Ignorance can America Democracy Withstand?

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

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

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

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

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


Census Deadline Thursday Night, October 15th

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


For Whom does Mitch McConnell Really Work?

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

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

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

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

 

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

 

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

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

 

Mitch McConnell's Failure to Tell Voters the Truth

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

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

 

The Truth - McConnell's Ancestors were Alabama Slave Owners

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Elaine Chao: How Corrupt is McConnell & His Wife?

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

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

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

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

 

Who Does Mitch McConnell Serve?

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

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


Columbus Day Weekend News Update

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Why Did the Donald Appear to Stage his CoVid Hospitalization?

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

Think about this.

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

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


NYC News Update & a Few Things To Do

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

trump biden debate first biden trump debate sept 2020October 2, 2020 / NYC Neighborhoods / U.S. Politics / News Analysis & Opinion / Gotham Buzz NYC.

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

 

Check Your Voter Registration / Or Register Online Using Link

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

 

Events & Things To Do in NYC & Cancellations

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

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

The NY Film Festival at Lincoln Center went online beginning September 17th and runs through October 11th - https://www.filmlinc.org/nyff2020/ 

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

 

Economy – Real Estate & Eviction Protections

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

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

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

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

 

Economy – Unemployment, Demographics Hit Hardest & October Layoffs

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

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

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

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

 

Big October Lay Off Announcements & Amazon / Fed Ex Hiring

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Consumer Sentiment & Consumer Confidence: How are You Feeling?

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

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

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


The Donald Quacks in First Debate of 2020

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

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

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

trump biden debate first biden trump debate sept 2020A sitting president, who campaigned on the theme that he would Make America Great Again, is responsible for record breaking debt, a record breaking deficit, one of the worst economies since the Great Recession and Great Depression, failing to mitigate a still out of control raging pandemic, unable to calm racist induced social unrest for which it seems only fair to credit him with helping cause.

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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


NYC News Briefs & Things to do This Weekend

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

I wouldn't wait - if you haven't already filled out the census - DO IT NOW BY CLICKING THE PHOTO ABOVE. It takes 10 minutes literally, asks for information you should generally know about yourself, and is worth between $30,000 and $40,000 in government spending per person over the next ten years. If you don't fill it out, we - the city and state - lose that funding, as well as representation in Washington, D.C. You do not have to be a citizen to fill out the census and your personal information - by law - does not become accessible for a generation.

 

Going Virtual: Thanksgiving Parade & New Years Times Square

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

 

Yom Kippur - Jewish Day of Atonement begins Sunday Evening

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

Metropolitan Opera Cancels Entire 2020 - 2021 Season

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

Biden - Trump Presidential Debate Tuesday Evening

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

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

 

Indoor Dining Resumes in NYC on September 30th

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

 

CoVid Cases Spike in Select Neighborhoods in Brooklyn & Queens

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


The Mirage of the 'Trump Economy' Part II

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Murdoch's Propaganda for Profit Machine

A Stateless Hostile Foreign Power Operating in Our Midst

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

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

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

Reality by the Numbers - Wasted Trillions?

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

BACK TO THE SCHOOLS

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

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

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

LAW ENFORCEMENT / SOCIAL UNREST

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

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

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

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

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

PANDEMIC - Revenue Shortfall & City Layoffs

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

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

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

REAL ESTATE - Economic Ups & Downs

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

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

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

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

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

EVICTION MORATORIUM - for Tenants & Small Businesses

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

RESTAURANTS, HOSPITALITY - have been & will remain hard hit

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

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

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

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

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

PANDEMIC ECONOMIC IMPACT - Likely to Continue

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


* Donald Trump & Violence in America 2020

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Buglisi Dance Theatre Company at Lincoln Center 911

Weekend Events & Update Coming Later Today

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

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


Things To Do This Weekend NYC

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The NFL Football Season Started & So Did the Kneeling Controversy

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

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

Plenty of Outdoor Activities at NYC Parks

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

 

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

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

Republican Deceit & Phony Fiscal Conservatism

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

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


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

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

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

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

Media Manipulation for Fun & Profit

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Things To Do Labor Day Weekend

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

NYC Beaches Open in Four Boroughs

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

 

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

 

Blue Lives Matter Parade & Speakers Queens NYC

Whoever was leading the Blue Lives Matter parade, wisely led the Blue Lives Matter parade around the Black Lives Matter protesters - rather than risking walking through them - where someone on one side or another might have escalated the tension to a higher level.

The Blue Lives Matter parade participants and attendees settled in the middle of Joseph Sabba Park and the speeches began.  The first speaker, whose name I didn’t catch, spoke supportively of the police and the important work they do in the community.  He struck a human chord, noting that the men and women who serve in the police force are dedicated to serving the community, among whom are their own families and children.  He ended saying we’re all human.

The second speaker struck a more passionate Blue Lives Matter tone, remarking that the ‘Diaphragm’ Law hindered police from doing their jobs. The Diaphragm Law allows police officers to be subject to a misdemeanor if they constrict a person’s diaphragm in the process of making an arrest.

What I recorded of both of these speeches will be shown in the video.

The signs of the Blue Lives Matter parade participants also showed a range of thoughts and emotions, ranging from striking a supportive and yet harmonious chord, while others were defiantly in support of the police – seeming to ignore the validity of the Black Lives Matter social unrest.  They included Enough with the hate, respect goes both ways, to Reform is for criminals, drug addicts and sex offenders.


The Battle for the Soul of America Begins

Democrat Joe Biden Puts Forth a Bipartisan Convention & Makes a Strong Case for Uniting America Again

joe biden dnc convention braydon harrington stutterer democratic national convention aug 2020August 21, 2020 / NYC Neighborhoods / Dysfunctional Presidency of Donald J Trump / News Analysis & Opinion / Gotham Buzz NYC.

This week the virtual Democratic Convention took place across the nation beginning Monday and ending Thursday. I tuned in for a look / see on Monday, and found the convention of greater interest than I had expected. Each night I tuned in a bit more, ending last night watching most of the show.

Missing were the bells and whistles of major party conventions of prior years. The theatrical embellishments, large audiences and drama were also missing. But what came forth were four days of a well choreographed presentation for why the American people need to make a change in November.

In the photo at right is Braydon Harrington, a 13 year old stutterer featured in the Democratic National Convention. Harrington, like Biden, has a stutter handicap which is a neurological disorder that makes it difficult to get out certain words. Biden's father told Joe not to let his handicap define him.

 

Monday - Republican Governors, Bernie Sanders & Michelle Obama

The first night was hosted by Eva Longoria one of the stars of Suburban Housewives.

The program started on Monday and included New Yorkers Governor Cuomo and former Republican Congresswoman Susan Molinari. Molinari wasn't the only Republican to participate in the first night of the Democratic Convention. Two former Republican Governors - Christie Todd Whitman of New Jersey and John Kasich of Ohio - also participated, giving speechs at the Democratic virtual Convention.

One might ask why are Republicans giving speeches at the Democratic Convention. Both former Governors answered that question very clearly - they are concerned about the future of the American Democratic Republic if Trump's presidency doesn't end this year. Former New Jersey Republican Governor Whitman, a self described lifelong Republican, made the following statement which was published in an August 18, 2020 report by the New Jersey News Network,

“This isn’t about a Republican or a Democrat. It’s about a person ... A person decent enough, stable enough, strong enough, to get our economy back on track. A person who can work with everyone, Democrats and Republicans, to get things done. Donald Trump isn’t that person Joe Biden is.”

According to an August 17, 2020 report on Cleveland.com former Ohio Republican Governor Kasich, said he was proud of his Republican heritage, citing his party as the party of Lincoln, of unity and of a higher purpose. The Cleveland.com report said that,

"... Kasich ... [has] known Biden for 30 years, calling Biden a man of integrity"

They continued quoting Governor Kasich as follows,

" ... Yes, there are areas where Joe and I absolutely disagree. But that’s OK because that’s America … Because whatever our differences, we respect one another … no one person or party has all the answers … But … we know … we can do better than what we’ve been seeing today for sure.”

First Lady Michelle Obama advocated for Joe Biden's candidacy recommending that the American people replace a president "who is in over his head".

Senator Bernie Sanders delivered the most damning assessment of the Donald's four years in office, citing the CoVid pandemic infection and death rates, the pandemic economic fallout, and Trump's mismanagement of racial tensions which erupted in the wake of George Floyd's death. Sanders went on to call Trump a fraud citing Trump's promise to stand with working families before he won the office, and who after taking office gave huge tax breaks to the wealthy, tried removing discriminatory protections currently in place for people with pre-existing health conditions, and proposed massive cuts to Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid.

Likely many of Trump's supporters aren't aware of the issues discussed in Sanders remarks, because information that doesn't portray the president in a positive light seems rarely [ever?] reported on Rupert Murdoch's Fox News, NY Post and Wall Street Journal.


Murdoch's Fox News Racism Revealed

Tucker Carlson Omits Key Facts of African American Deaths by Police

fox fake news tucker carlson racism on fox news tucker carlson distorts the news omits key facts from reportAugust 18, 2020 / NYC Neighborhoods / Rupert Murdoch & Fox Fake News Special Section / News Analysis & Opinion / Gotham Buzz NYC.

As far as I know, nobody has ever accused Rupert Murdoch of running an unbiased news operation. In fact, it's seems just the opposite, as countless people have found countless significant reporting errors by his mammoth news operation, which in the U.S. alone represents about half the large corporate branded news content viewed by Americans including Fox News, the Wall St Journal, the NY Post, Barron's, MarketWatch and increasingly ABC News where Murdoch is the largest shareholder.

What is most disturbing, is how the pinocchio propagandists on some Murdoch media outlets appear to omit key facts, in order to put forth narratives that are at odds with the truth, which are then imprinted on the minds of the millions upon millions of viewers who watch and believe what they see and hear on Fox News.

Manipulating what ends up in people's minds is exactly what Joseph Goebbels did as the Minister of Propaganda in Nazi Germany in the 1930's and 1940's. As in Nazi Germany, Herr Murdoch's propaganda ministry in the U.S., appears to use the media to favor some people or groups at the expense of other people and groups in its reporting. Oftentimes the groups Murdoch appears to favor break along race and economic class lines. We're going to look at how Tucker Carlson appears to have put forth a false Fascist narrative that further victimizes the African American victims of unnecessary violence at the hands of rogue policemen, whose errant behavior is defended far too often by the police unions.

fox fake news tucker carlson racism on fox news tucker carlson distorts the news omits key facts from reportTo be sure, those who fall prey to such mass media manipulation, are also responsible for their own ignorance and subsequent behaviors, including their voting.

Thomas Jefferson said,

“Ignorance of the law is no excuse in any country. If it were, the laws would lose their effect, because it can always be pretended.”

We saw this pretension of ignorance and denial of responsibility by many Germans following World War II, including from those operating in influential posts with access to top levels of the Nazi high command. They pretended their ignorance, but generally the truth wills out.

I'll make my case regarding Murdoch's Fox News and Tucker Carlson's reporting of African Americans appearing to be victimized by rogue policemen on Fox News Tucker Carlson's nationally televised show. I identified a couple of shows, which were broadcast over American airwaves using a high number of FCC licenses, reaching millions upon millions of Americans who appear to have been disinformed in what seems a systematic effort by Australian born billionaire Rupert Murdoch's media to provide distorted reporting with respect to incidents of police brutality vis a vis the African American community.

Fox News & Tucker Carlson Twist the Facts to Make a Trap for Fools?

The first incident we're going to review, is Tucker Carlson's Fox News coverage of the Rayshared Brooks shooting in Atlanta on Friday, June 12th, 2020. Rayshard Brooks was a 27 year old African American and father of three who was found misparked in a Wendy's parking lot, apparently sleeping. He was found to have a blood alcohol of nearly .11 which is above the legal limit for driving of .08. Brooks was not stopped while driving, but rather after he had misparked his car in a Wendy's drive thru queue.


Weekend Things To Do - NYC Near Summer’s End

Cuomo Gives Greenlight to Opening of Schools, Gyms, Bowling Alleys & Low Risk Cultural Sites, de Blasio Announces Schools Reopening Plan, Real Estate Market Changing & Events Happening (& Not) this Fall

weekend things to do nyc things to do manhattan brooklyn queens bronx staten island nycAugust 14, 2020 / NYC Neighborhoods / NYC CoVid 19 Special Section / News Analysis & Opinion / Gotham Buzz NYC.

Weekend Weather.  The temperature highs will be in the mid 80’s on Friday and Saturday, dropping to the mid 70’s on Sunday.  The temperature lows will be around 70.  It will be partly cloudy with the winds about 10 mph all weekend.  There’s a small chance of a small amount of rain on Friday and then a 50% chance of some small amount of rain on Sunday beginning early afternoon and lasting through the day.

Governor Cuomo Expands Reopenings to Indoor Cultural Sites, Gyms & Bowling Alleys

Today the Governor said that bowling alleys, gyms and low risk cultural sites can reopen. Specific protocols were provided for bowling alleys, which are set to reopen Monday, August 17th. Cuomo said that gym protocols and the reopening date for them would be made public on Monday. And other low risk cultural sites are set to reopen Monday, August 24th, with a number of CoVid safety protocols put in place including social distancing, masks, cleaning regimens and capacity limitations.

Mayor & NYC Public Schools Post Reopening Plan for September

A week ago, on Friday, August 7th, Governor Cuomo gave the greenlight for public school districts in New York State to reopen their doors this fall.  During the press briefing, the Governor cited New Yorkers ongoing success in thwarting the spread of the Corona Virus as only about 1% of the tens of thousands tested daily, were testing positive, and the deaths attributed to the Corona Virus in NYS had fallen to five.

Mayor de Blasio has been working hard with NYC Public Schools Chancellor Richard Carranza and Michael Mulgrew of the United Federation of Teachers union to come up with a palatable plan for the 1.1 million students who attend NYC public schools.  Although not yet announced officially, the NYC public schools will likely reopen Thursday, September 10th, following the Labor Day Weekend.  This is in line with the normal opening date for NYC public schools.

Depending on which survey or data set one uses, the number of parents in favor of sending their kids back to school in NYC is within the range of 60% - 75%.  That’s roughly 700,000 to 800,000 kids for the Fall enrollment.


Census: It's Time for NYC & NYS to Step Up

Current Census Participation Rate is 53% & 56% for NYC & NYS Respectively - Will New Yorkers Give Up $347 Billion Instead of Ten Minutes of Their Time?

us census census taking nyc census 2020August 10, 2020 / NYC Neighborhoods / NYC CoVid 19 Special Section / News Analysis & Opinion / Gotham Buzz NYC.

In the midst of all the chaos, the census must go on. The census deadline was pushed back to October 31st, before it was pulled forward to September 30th.

That leaves New York City and New York State only 51 days to complete the census.

What's at stake? Mostly money and representation in government, as federal program funding is allocated to the states based on the census - and this lasts ten years. So we're talking a possible loss of billions in funding annually for the city and state if we collectively don't step up and fill out the census.

The census is designed to count every person LIVING in the city and state - NOT JUST CITIZENS.

By law this information cannot be shared, on an individual basis, with any other government agency for over 70 years. The aggregate information is shared so that decisions, like allocating funding, can be made using the best information available.

I'll have plenty more detail later today, including statistics that indicate that $1.3 trillion in federal funding is allocated annually based on the census data. That's likely over $13 trillion in the course of the next ten years. There are 330 million people in the U.S. so that translates to $40,000 per person over the next ten years. The share of this money that NYS should receive is $788 billion if everyone filled out the census [assumes a population of 20 million for NYS]. At the current census participation rate New Yorkers are giving up $347 BILLION in federal funding.

Please click here to fill out the census now. It literally takes less than ten minutes.



Weekend Wondering NYC

NYS Eviction Moratorium Extension, is Unemployment Rate 10% or 20% & Other News

weekend things to do nyc things to do manhattan brooklyn queens bronx staten island nycAugust 7, 2020 / NYC Neighborhoods / NYC CoVid 19 Special Section / News Analysis & Opinion / Gotham Buzz NYC.

Rent Moratorium Extension

Well this is good news for far more people than for who it will be bad news. Governor Cuomo has extended the eviction moratorium in NYS for another month [technically until September 4, 2020], and possibly longer, as he seeks to give those who are rent challenged in the midst of this pandemic, an opportunity to turn things around or find other housing.

Mayor de Blasio had simultaneously stepped in to help those facing eviction, telling New Yorkers to call 311 for help from an attorney funded by NYC. There are reportedly 14,000 NYC evictions pending with the City Marshall.

Nationally, the Republicans can't seem to agree on a follow on the terms of the next stimulus bill, which would include extending the eviction moratorium nationally. So it seems - like the handling of the Corona Virus itself - the Governors of each state will have to make their own rent moratorium decisions.

 

Many NYC Restaurateurs are also Rent Challenged

isaias storm nyc damage from isaias storm in nycAn August 3, 2020 report in Eater New York informs us that the NYC Hospitality Alliance did a survey of 471 bars / restaurants and found that 83% weren't able to make the full rent, and that included a whopping 37% weren't able to pay any rent. The silver lining in the report was that for 30% of them, their landlords didn't require full rent, and in many cases giving them a temporary 50% off price. The curbside / street dining program implemented by the Mayor seems to be helping, as I see a fair amount of business being done daily, in spite of the weather.

 

Total Unemployed and the Unemployment Rates

In another Trump first, GDP broke all historic records in the second quarter, sinking 9.5% [at an annual rate of 33%], beating George W. Bush's record in the fourth quarter of 2008, during the financial meltdown.

Jobless claims continued to come in at over a million plus this week [1.18 million], continuing to set records for the longest string of million plus unemploymenbt claims since the end of March / beginning of April of this year, when the pandemic began impacting the economy. The silver lining in this news is that it is the lowest number of new unemployment claims, since mid March.

isaias storm nyc damage from isaias storm in nycOn June 15th I pointed to the discrepancy between the unemployment rate reported by the Bureau of Labor Statistics [around 12% - 13%] and the headlines / news reports of some 30 million plus unemployment claims, which would put the unemployment rate at closer to 19%. An August 6, 2020 report by CNBC did the best job of clearing up why there's such a huge discrepancy between the reported unemployment claims of 32 million which translates into an unemployment rate of 20%, and the lower figure that the Bureau of Labor Statistics has been reporting of about 10 - 12%. The CNBC report stated the following,

"... The four-week moving average, which smooths volatility in the numbers, fell by 413,250 to 16.6 million. But the damage to the labor remains deep and this was the 20th consecutive week that claims have run above 1 million. The total of those claiming benefits, which lags the current data by two weeks, rose to 32.1 million as of July 18, an increase of 1.3 million from the previous week... "

The ADP payroll report was up 167,000 jobs in July, way below the 4.3 million gains made in June.


Isaias Rips thru NYC Leaving 210,000 Powerless

About Half of Outages have Already been Restored

isaias storm nyc damage from isaias storm in nycAugust 4, 2020 / NYC Neighborhoods / NYC CoVid 19 Special Section / News Analysis & Opinion / Gotham Buzz NYC.

The Tropical Storm Isaias ripped through the five boroughs of NYC with winds ranging from 40 mph in Manhattan and Brooklyn to high winds topping 70 mph in Jackson Heights in Queens and topping 60 mph on Staten Island according to a National Weather Service report posted today.

Bronx wasn't mentioned in the report, but winds topped 60 mph in nearby Westchester, so that's likely a good benchmark.

The visit by Tropical Storm Isaias to NYC was a fairly quick and brief one, arriving enmasse around 11 am and well on its way out of here by 4 pm. Perhaps Isaias had heard prior to its visit, that there's a pandemic raging in the U.S., and thus decided to cut its stay short? There was concern prior to the arrival of Isaias that heavy rain would accompany the storm, and flooding would ensue. But as of this report there appears to have been relatively light rainfall for a tropical storm and little real flooding in the NYC area.

 

Mayor de Blasio said that the Tropical Storm Isaias was primarly about high winds. The winds appear to have wreaked havoc with Con Edison's isaias storm nyc damage from isaias storm in nycpower network, as at its peark 210,000 were without power in the five boroughs of NYC. Around the time of this writing about 130,000 people were still without power. Manhattan was relatively unscathed, while nearly 100,000 residents in Staten Island and Queens were left without power, and about half that in Bronx and Brooklyn.

Because this storm was not accompanied by a lot of water I'm going to take an educated guess that power will be restored in less time than usual, following a big storm like this, even though Con Edison informs us that this is the second highest number of people left without power in NYC in its history.

The NYC Parks Department lost no time in rolling out its clean up of the fallen trees, as within hours many of the fallen branches and trees had been identified and cut through to enable the smooth flow of traffic and pedestrians, awaiting pick up sometime later this week.

I found little difficulty in finding a number of fallen trees, and so included a couple photos of them which accompany this report.


Joe Biden & Michelle Obama?

Appointing a Woman or Minority to the Democratic Ticket Adds Risk, but so does Not Adding One

July 30, 2020 / NYC Neighborhoods / NYC CoVid 19 Special Section / News Analysis & Opinion / Gotham Buzz NYC.

No woman was ever on a ticket that won the presidency.  Hillary Clinton came close, but failed to win the electoral vote.  No ticket with a woman on it ever won, even when the woman was a vice presidential candidate. Geraldine Ferraro and Walter Mondale can attest to that.  And the only minority candidate ever elected into the presidential suite was Barack Obama. 

So running with a woman or a non-white on the ticket greatly increases the risk of the ticket as we approach one of the most important elections of our lifetimes.

But the converse is also true.  Both women and minorities are large, key constituencies of the Democratic party.  So both of these gender and ethnic groups need to be energized to get out and vote, particularly in a politicized pandemic atmosphere.  So running without a woman and without a minority also increases the risk of the Biden / Democratic ticket.

So what to do?

biden vp running mateRun with someone who is both a woman and an ethnic minority.  A number of women who can check both of those boxes have been mentioned, but some have never campaigned for public office, some have never held very high offices, and the few who have been elected and held high office, come with some baggage that inevitably accompanies holding those offices.  And none have undergone the intense scrutiny to which anyone who runs for the executive branch of government is subjected.

That is - save one person - who’s generally not been mentioned as a potential Vice Presidential contender.

Michelle Obama.

Michelle Obama eliminates the risk of adding both a woman and a minority to the ticket, while having the potential to energize both of these constituencies.

She adds no risk as a minority because she was the First Lady during the Obama Administration, and based on the 2018 and 2019 Gallup polls, a majority of the American people like and trust her. 

She is one of the most educated First Ladies, as like Hillary Clinton and her husband Barack, Michelle Obama has a law degree [from Harvard University].

She adds no baggage to the ticket as she would be defending the same record Biden is – that of the Obama Administration.

Michelle Obama has been named the ‘most admired woman’ in the world, for last two years running, in the Gallup poll.

She has personality, class - and like Biden - she’s very likeable and a uniter.

Biden could trust her, and god forbid, should a President Biden pass away during his presidency, she would be qualified to carry on his work.

Michelle Obama would be an exciting, energizing, Solomon-like choice for the Vice Presidential position on the Democratic party ticket.

As for Michelle and the Obama family, this is a request to them to return to public service, as it seems the nation needs them now. Michelle is uniquely qualified to ascend into this position at this time and in this place.

Michelle and her family wouldn’t have to hang in there very long [four years], as the primary objective of this nomination would be to create a winning ticket to displace Donald Trump who seems a threat to the American democratic republic itself. I see both Michelle Obama and Joe Biden as reluctant candidates, as they both seem to realize that there's more to life than money and power, which is very much unlike the Donald.

Based upon my understanding of American history, no other president has ever brought upon the American people the combination of misery, debt and divisiveness in such a short period of time, as has the Donald. 

And the Donald appears to have no respect for rule of law and the U.S. Constitution. So as the bicycling protesters in the video say, “Hey, hey, ho, ho Donald Trump has got to go.”



The Evolution of an Interesting Year

Interesting Doesn't Connote Good or Bad, but Rather One About which the Grandkids will Inquire

life in manhattan brooklyn queens bronx staten island during CoVid 2020July 28, 2020 / NYC Neighborhoods / NYC CoVid 19 Special Section / News Analysis & Opinion / Gotham Buzz NYC.

The CoVid pandemic for most of us began just over four months ago in mid March. In the early stages the Governor and Mayor seemed a bit alarmist, but as events unfolded, they began to appear wise.

New York City is one of the world's great cities and thus one of the great global gathering places. So it's not surprising that NYC was one of the first American cities hit, and because of the city population density, we were hit hard.

The photo at right shows a few guys relaxing at the end of the day in Greenpoint Brooklyn.

But here we are four months out and - knock on wood - we seem to be operating at one of the higher functional levels, vis a vis other states and other nations. But as both the Mayor and Governor caution us - the pandemic is still alive and well and still being transmitted - and not likely to depart anytime soon. It will remain a threat for some time, for the same reasons it first arrived here, which is that we are a national and global destination / gathering place. And so we must continue to manage the viral threat by continuing to take the same precautionary steps we did to flatten the curve and beat the virus back.

George Floyd Protests, the Police, CoVid & the Economy

life in manhattan brooklyn queens bronx staten island during CoVid 2020The year was further discombobulated by the death of George Floyd in the hands of the Minneapolis Police.  The video of what could be a murder, went viral and caused a national outrage at the use of excessive force in a situation that didn’t appear to necessitate it.  A single incident of this nature likely wouldn’t have caused a national outrage on its own. But because Floyd's untimely death seems to reflect a pattern of use of excessive force by individual policemen [repeated many times over the past couple of decades, in multiple locales, and captured and disseminated on video] that the death of George Floyd was the spark that ignited what seems to be national outrage at this sort of abuse of power by individual members of police forces around the nation.

The good news is that the demonstrations were generally peaceful, in recognition that it’s not the police departments per se, but rather bad actors within the police departments around the nation - who time and again seem to be protected by the police unions. Many of the policemen involved in these sorts of incidents, are reported to have histories of repeated failures to perform their fiduciary responsibilities in a proper manner, and yet are kept on the police force. This makes it possible for these bad actors to become repeat offenders.

The photo at right was taken of the protesters encamped outside of City Hall earlier this month, not long before the Mayor moved them out.

So I keep asking myself where are we now?

We’re in the midst of a raging pandemic, with social unrest vis a vis law enforcement, and then the Donald seems to exacerbate the situation by deploying the Department of Homeland Security to Portland, Oregon in what seems an effort to provoke protesters, not de-escalate the situation. The Donald has been accused of trying to inflame the situation in an effort to land bigger headlines and create the perception – with the help of mass media manipulator Rupert Murdoch’s Fox News, Wall St Journal and NY Post – that the world is on fire and America needs an authoritarian strong man who will use decisive force to quell the masses.

life in manhattan brooklyn queens bronx staten island during CoVid 2020Trump has also been accused of attempting to use the DHS deployment to Portland as a distraction from the Administration’s failed response to the pandemic, his failure to respond to reports that Russian President Vladimir Putin has paid bounties for the heads of U.S. G.I's in Afghanistan and a rallying cry to get the Donald (aka Rupert Murdoch’s choice) re-elected in November - in spite of what can only be described as the Administration's horrific record of dysfunctionality over the past four years.

The photo at right is a mural on the Richard Rodgers Theater near Times Square in Midtown Manhattan.

What Trump Administration dysfunctionality am I talking about?  In addition to the colossal failed response to the CoVid pandemic, there's a near record of unemployment which the BLS appears to be consistently understating (the BLS says 12% unemployment, but that doesn’t jibe with the fact that some 30 million are collecting unemployment insurance out of a labor force of 160 million aka 19% unemployment), America’s worst deficit ever by a country mile [in the month of June alone Trump racked up an $864 BILLION federal deficit], failure to effect any meaningful healthcare reform, stagnating or worsening reading and math scores by America's students, the alienation of our closest trading and military allies, and the list could go on.  Those are the failures of the Trump Administration and unfortunately for both Trump and America there’s little to offset their failures with any meaningful accomplishments.

But despite these enormous failures at the federal level, life does go on. Thanks in part to the leadership of local government officials.



Law Enforcement, the Economy, but First Home Sweet Home?

Is Home is Where the Heart is or Where We Sleep?

July 20, 2020 / NYC Neighborhoods / NYC CoVid 19 Special Section / News Analysis & Opinion / Gotham Buzz NYC.

nyc social unrest post george floyd corona virus nyc covid 19 nyc nysThere’s no doubt we’re living in an unusual time.  At least when compared to the times of the last hundred years or so.  There’s a pandemic raging across the nation, which has resulted in over 140,000 Americans’ deaths, and approaching four million infections in America alone.

The economic fallout seems to be in its nascent stages, as businesses struggle to stay open, unable to adapt sufficiently and quickly enough, to keep on keepin’ on. And furloughed workers, once under the assumption they would be called back into service in a few weeks or few months, are coming to the realization that the position they once held, may no longer exist.

I believe the photo at right shows the ‘home’ of a few people who seem to periodically return at night.  When I pass by this abode, I think about their lifestyle, living by their hard work and / or wits, with little to no worldly possessions or real comforts. I started mentally writing an ad for this living space. 

The ad goes something like this. This 2BR with spacious Living Rm is pre-furnished with a couple of chairs, a couple of beds, great ventilation, including plenty of space to move around.  There’s no kitchen, no air conditioning or heat, no security [but there’s nothing to steal] – and depending on how willing you are to stretch things, either no bathroom - or at the very least - not a private one. But the limited utilities and rent are free, so this living space is workable for any budget, and there’s plenty of ambient sunlight.

The ad is a humorous look at what's a very poignant situation, but then my thoughts take me further ... These people are still struggling to survive. They're making do with the little they have. They're very organized and pretty clean. And occasionally they give me a friendly wave when I pass. That is the power, strength and resilience of the human spirit.



Law Enforcement, the Economy, but First Home Sweet Home?

Is Home is Where the Heart is or Where We Sleep?

July 20, 2020 / NYC Neighborhoods / NYC CoVid 19 Special Section / News Analysis & Opinion / Gotham Buzz NYC.

Casino Royale:  Will the Donald Bankrupt America with Trillions in Spending?

trump bankruptcies casinos trump business failures corrupt donald trumpThe Administration, meanwhile, seems terribly out of touch with reality.  Their retarded response to the CoVid pandemic paved the way for the viral explosion.  One of their greatest mistakes was that they politicized Americans’ choice to defend themselves from the virus by wearing a mask, and they squandered away trillions of the public’s money – with the enabling help of the Democrats – to keep businesses functioning, without obtaining much in the way of concessions from them.

If the Donald is a great negotiator, then he’s negotiating away American’s future, in exchange for a junkie boost to his reelection prospects, and self-enrichment [there was a $160 billion tax break given to real estate developers like Trump and his son-in-law Jared Kushner and he fired five Inspector Generals within the six weeks that the largest spending bills in American history were passed totallying $3 trillion].

In Germany, Chancellor Angela Merkel obtained an equity stake of 20% - 25% from Lufthansa, in exchange for the German government bailout of that airline. And now the Donald and Republican Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell are in discussions to throw away another trillion or more in added stimulus - again without obtaining any concessions from those who will receive it. 

The image at right shows the headline of a January 9, 2019 report in Vanity Fair. This report was published over a year before the $3 trillion in stimulus spending done in March / April of 2020.

Bread Crumbs for the Masses & Melania's "I Don’t Care Do U?"

melania trump character i don't care do you when visiting immigrant children marie antoinette melania trump and childrenThere was $3 trillion in stimulus spending bills passed in late March and early April of 2020.  But the money that working class Americans [161 million people] received in the form of U.S. Treasury $1,200 checks amounts to only $193 million [161 x $1,200] of the $3 trillion stimulus spending done to date.  And then there was the extra $600 per week in added stimulus payments - which paid many unemployed workers more than they had been making and reportedly cost the American taxpayer over $15 billion per week according to a July 17, 2020 CNBC report. 

The CNBC report noted that 25.6 million were on this $600 per week government payout program.  According to the report the reason the total pandemic relief recipients are higher than the unemployed is because the package includes people who are,

“… business owners, self-employed Americans, gig workers and independent contractors who are not typically eligible for unemployment.”

So a rough estimate of the cost of this $600 per week program is 13 weeks x $600 per person per week x 26 million = $203 million.  If you add the payments from these two payout programs together then the total payout to working Americans was [$203 billion plus $193 billion] was $396 billion or 13% of the stimulus spending. Thus it seems - a relatively small number of mega millionaire and billionaire real estate developers like Donald Trump, son-in-law Jared Kushner and their [industry segment] friends - collected over a third as much as what all working classs Americans collectively received in stimulus handouts.

This self dealing doesn't seem to be anything new for the Trumps. And the Trump insensitivity to those who less fortunate than they are, appears equally legendary. As you can see in the June of 2018 Bazaar report above, Melania Trump demonstrated an incredible insensitivity during a visit to the Texas border detention centers for immigrant children, when she wore a jacket that had the words "I don't care do u" on it.



Things To This Weekend & Phase IV NYC Reopening

Governor’s Island Opened 7/15, Statue of Liberty Island Opens 7/20 while Ellis Remains Closed, Subway Series this Weekend w/ o Fans, Evolving CoVid Science Update & More Economic News

July 17, 2020 / NYC Neighborhoods / NYC CoVid 19 Special Section / News Analysis & Opinion / Gotham Buzz NYC.

nyc reopening corona virus nyc covid 19 nyc nys aoc in corona hands out food bagsWell another CoVid influenced weekend in NYC has arrived.  It’s the weekend before the NYS Phase IV reopening of the economy, which is happening on Monday, July 20th – but with an important modification.  The important modification is that indoor cultural centers and shopping will remain on hold indefinitely. 

CoVid Droplets Can Linger in Air for up to 16 Hours

The rationale is that CoVid 19 appears to be transmitted significantly – if not primarily – via the air droplets of infected people who may or may not be symptomatic.  In the outdoor environment, the droplets are diffused by the planetary volume of air, while in the indoor environment they can linger for up to 16 hours.  It was previously believed that the droplets could linger for up to three hours.

In the photo at right is Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez handing out food bags at Our Lady of Sorrows Church in Corona, Queens. The Congresswoman's campaign raised funds to put together 250 food bags for the folks in the community. Our Lady of Sorrows Church has been the locale for a number of such prior distributions by various donors, including by the Catholic Charities Built In Queens.

Things To Do NYC / Events This Weekend

Mets host Yankees at 7.10 pm Saturday at Citi Field and Yankees host Mets at 7.05 pm at Yankee Stadium Sunday.  No attendees will be allowed, but the games will be shown on the Yes Network on TV and WFAN radio.

things to do nyc things to do manhattan brooklyn queens bronx staten island during the covid pandemic nycThe Statue of Liberty island will open on Monday, July 20th.  The statue itself will remain closed, but there will be limited souvenir and food shopping along with restrooms.  The Ellis Island and the Liberty Museums will remain closed at this time. Both sites are part of the National Parks System.  There are also new rules for a visit - https://www.nps.gov/stli/

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

St Patrick’s Cathedral reopened on June 28th for two daily services at 25% capacity on weekdays and two to three services daily on the weekend. They are suffering a $4 million revenue shortfall as a result of the Corona Virus pandemic - https://saintpatrickscathedral.org/

The piazza style dining in cordoned off streets continues on weekends beginning 5 pm Friday and at noon on Saturday and Sunday – ending at 11 pm each night.  New streets and restaurants continue to be added to the original list, as clusters of restaurants apply and receive authorization for piazza style dining on their blocks / streets.
https://www1.nyc.gov/html/dot/html/pedestrians/openstreets-restaurants.shtml

The implementation of the curbside / sidewalk dining by local restaurants has been well received and appears to be a success. Thus this week the Mayor announced that it will be extended through October 31st.

Just over a week ago, on Thursday, July 9th, the Mayor extended the ban on large events requiring a city permit, through September 30th.  The rationale for this extension is that states like Florida and Texas have seen surges due to large scale gatherings, where social distancing and mask norms were difficult to enforce and hence violated, leading to huge surges of the number of CoVid infections in those states.  This ban extension includes NYC street fairs.



Things to do This Weekend in NYC

Bit by Bit NYC Emerges from the CoVid Pandemic Shock ...

... but it's Increasingly Looking Like It Will be a Slow Recovery

CoVid update mail in vote complications delays fraud nyc nyc things to do nyc manhattan queens bronx brooklyn staten island reopenings economy layoffs tale of two economies tech traditional bricks n mortar nycJuly 10, 2020 / NYC Neighborhoods / NYC CoVid 19 Special Section / News Analysis & Opinion / Gotham Buzz NYC.

Weather. The temperature highs will be in the high 70’s Friday, rising to about 90 degrees on both Saturday and Sunday. There’s a 100% chance of inches of rain throughout the day Friday, with some rain – about an inch - in the late morning / early afternoon on Saturday, and then clear on Sunday. Humidity will be in the 90% plus range on Friday, dropping to 80% on Saturday and down to 65% on Sunday. There will be wind gusts of up to 20 – 26 mph on Friday, settling down to 5 – 10 mph on Saturday and Sunday.

We began to return to some measure of normalcy this week as NYC moved into Phase III of the reopening. Restaurants sprung back to life with sidewalk and curbside seating which seemed to fill up pretty well in the first week of opening. Rain will dampen that enthusiasm today and through mid afternoon tomorrow, but I expect seatings to resume later in the day Saturday.

Things to do in NYC This Weekend

The Mayor also announced the opening of 22 European piazza style dining streets in all five boroughs [scroll down to July 2nd post for a listing of them]. Some of these NYC ‘piazzas’ opened last weekend. I visited the one on Restaurant Row in Manhattan and it looked to be a success – see photo.

While things haven’t returned to normal, and likely won’t for some time, they are becoming more normal from week to week. And there’s more to do these days, than there has been for a long while, for those who want to get out and about.

New openings this past week include:



Crime & Punishment and Racism & Reparations

But First a Video of the Fireworks & From the Streets on July 4th

July 7, 2020 / NYC Neighborhoods / News Analysis & Opinion / Gotham Buzz NYC.

Here's a video of the Fireworks, which includes some street activity and commentary & music. Click the box in the lower right corner to max it up to the full screen for best view. Hit the escape key (esc) to exit the full screen view.

More coming about the evening later this week. Enjoy.



July 4th Weekend NYC: The New Normal is About Adjustment & Simplicity

The NYC Budget, NYC Events, the Economy & CoVid Update

July 2, 2020 / NYC Neighborhoods / NYC CoVid 19 Special Section / News Analysis & Opinion / Gotham Buzz NYC.

George Floyd Protests, the NYPD and other NYC Budget Cuts

nyc budget cuts nyc things to do manhattan bronx brooklyn staten island queens piazza style dining nyc misleading unemployment statistics bls phony fiscal conservatives & unemployment numbers

The George Floyd protests seem to have abated, over a month after his death.  The new NYC budget does cut about a billion from the NYPD budget by reducing the staff from 36,000 to 34,000 employees, cancelling the most current class of new cadets, and reallocating school security to the Department of Education and homeless engagement to social services units. About 5,000 people work in the school security program and that will be transferred over a period of time to make sure it works properly.  Another$160 million was allocated to summer youth programs [$115 million], as well as to address food insecurity [$33 million] and housing [$8 million]

The overnight Staten Island Ferry service was also cut for the time being.  That affects about 4,250 riders per night based on 2019 statistics.  Other cuts included in the NYC budget include an $800 million cut for schools, a 5% - 7% cut to all departments, some labor savings [$1 billion].  The labor savings could result in NYC layoffs in the Fall if other solutions aren’t found.  The cuts were due to a mix of actual and expected NYC revenue shortfall of about $8 – $9 billion.  City Councilmember Helen Rosenthal of the Upper West Side tells us that about $4 billion of the shortfall will be made up by the Mayor’s rainy day fund, which de Blasio had prudently set aside to address unexpected events.

The Mayor also announced that NYC public schools would be reopening in the Fall.  He said he was working with the unions to implement safe plans which would include social distancing measures which would possibly take larger classes online, stagger schedules to fill the school with fewer students at any given time, implement cleaning efforts and staggered lunchtimes.  The Governor noted that ultimately it’s his call on school reopenings.  Nonetheless, the Mayor said that NYC was working to submit a plan by late July / early August.

NYC Moving to Phase III Monday but Indoor Dining on Hold

Because of the upturn in CoVid infections in other states as noted below, the Governor and Mayor have put indoor dining in NYC on hold.  Nonetheless, the rest of Phase III will continue as planned on Monday, July 6th. Phase III also includes the opening of personal care businesses such as tanning, waxing & nail salons and spas.

 

Piazza Style Dining to come to 22 Streets in all Five Boroughs

nyc budget cuts nyc things to do manhattan bronx brooklyn staten island queens piazza style dining nyc misleading unemployment statistics bls phony fiscal conservatives & unemployment numbers

The Mayor announced efforts to mitigate the impact of the delay of the opening of restaurants indoor areas by further opening the streets to restaurateurs over the weekends beginning Friday evenings  -  in what was described as piazza style dining.  Expanded dining areas are planned for 22 streets around all five boroughs in the city including Restaurant Row in the Hell’s Kitchen neighborhood of Manhattan, Mulberry Street in the Little Italy neighborhood of Manhattan, and streets in Chinatown at Doyers Street, the East Village at Broome and Orchard Street, Harlem at 101st Street and Lexington, Gansevoort & 13th in the West Village, Broadway and 25th in the Flatiron District.

In the outer boroughs there’s Arthur Avenue in the Little Italy / Belmont neighborhood of Bronx [7/10], New Dorp at Hylan Blvd in the New Dorp neighborhood of Staten Island, Bell Blvd in the Bayside neighborhood of Queens, and in Brooklyn a number of streets in DUMBO between the Brooklyn and Manhattan Bridge near the water in Brooklyn, 5th Avenue in the Park Slope neighborhood of Brooklyn, at Reed Street and Van Brunt near the Fairway in the Red Hook neighborhood of Brooklyn.  And speaking of Fairway – they’re planning to close three stores as a result of the pandemic including the one in Red Hook, another in Harlem and one on Long Island.

In Phase II NYC had started to clear the way for restaurants to occupy the curbside parking spaces in front of their dining / drinking establishments to allow the serving patrons outdoors.  This appears to have worked well, with – thus far – no attendant substantive increase in CoVid cases.  This is even though many to most of the folks I see dining and drinking outside aren’t wearing masks.  This is understandable as it’s hard to eat and drink with a mask on, as I tried it a week ago and didn’t like it.

But for the people who are most susceptible to severe illness - and even death - due to CoVid, they are advised to continue to exercise caution, even in the outdoor dining and drinking setting, as the consequences for them are too severe to take the risk.



July 4th Week - NYC Events & Happenings

City Restaurants Turned Inside Out, NYC NYPD Protests Continue, Broadway Cancels Fall Season, Major League Sports Update, Elections Results Still Unknown with Lessons for the Fall &  July 4th Fireworks Begin

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

June 29, 2020 / NYC Neighborhoods / NYC CoVid 19 Special Section / News Analysis & Opinion / Gotham Buzz NYC.

NYC entered Phase II of its economic reopening a week ago.  As part of that phase, restaurants were allowed to serve customers on the sidewalks in front of their establishments.  Over the past week or so, more and more people have returned to enjoying a restaurant meal in a social milieu.  Now when I’m returning home around or after dinner time I feel as if I’m walking right through the center of several restaurants.

 

Restaurants Turned Inside Out

It’s kind of interesting, because I get to see the entire clientele without having to enter the restaurant and I can also see what the food looks like.  I reckon the downside is that while it seems generally the customers have masks which I see lying on the tables, they take them off or pull them down while there.  This makes sense as eating and drinking with the mask on is not feasible.  The downside is that while I used to walk around the neighborhood without wearing the mask [it’s ok out of doors when distancing  six feet ], I’ve started wearing my mask out of doors while I’m walking through these restaurant seating areas ... just to be safe.  The photo above was taken in Sunnyside Queens this week.

Phase III is expected to begin next week, and on Wednesday the Governor and Mayor will announce whether or not restaurants will be allowed to serve customers inside.  There's reluctance to do so, as it is believed that the in house social interactions are one of the leading contributors to others states now seeing a surge in CoVid cases. 



Week & Weekend Update of Events in NYC

Planned Openings & Fireworks, Phase II & III Economic Reopening,  Life in the City & Primary Election Results Remain Open Due to Large Mail in Vote

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

June 26, 2020 / NYC Neighborhoods / NYC CoVid 19 Special Section / News Analysis & Opinion / Gotham Buzz NYC.

On Monday NYC entered Phase II of the economic reopening, which among other things included curbside restaurant service, limited office openings and limited capacity retail.  That put a lot of people back to work and seemed to give the city more of a normal feel.  The Mayor quipped that it was the first time in a while that he got caught in a traffic jam.

 

NYC Plans Move to Phase III on 7/6/20

Assuming New Yorkers maintain their CoVid protocol vigilance, we’ll be moving to Phase III on Monday, July 6th.  This includes the reopening of Personal Care services such as nail salons, gyms, as well as limited capacity in restaurant dining.

A Word of Caution - CoVid Resurgences in Reopened States

But it’s worth making a note of caution, as other states – such as Texas, Florida, California and Arizona which beat us to the punch in reopening their economies – have sparked a huge resurgence of new CoVid infections.  Texas, Florida and Arizona have put their economic re-openings on hold. Florida beat its previous high rate of CoVid infections on Thursday, nearly reaching 9,000 new infections in a single day. And an increasing share [about half] of these infections have been found in people between the ages of 25 – 45.



NYS Primary Elections Today

The Presidential  and Congressional Primaries are Today

nyc poll site locator queens poll site locator manhattan polls locations

June 23, 2020 / NYC Neighborhoods / News Analysis & Opinion / Gotham Buzz NYC. 

The long delayed NYS primary election is today.  On the ballot is the presidential primary featuring Joe Biden and I believe others - but the others have suspended their campaigns and Joe Biden has already won enough electoral votes to secure the nomination.  So in the presidential primary you can strengthen Biden's hand by casting your vote for him, or strenghten someone else's hand in influencing the Democratic platform that Joe will run on.

There are also a number of congressional races which I'll have more on by or before 12 noon today.  See Manhattan Buzz, Queens Buzz, Bronx Buzz, Staten Buzz and Brooklyn BLVD for details. 

Click the link for the poll finder website, so you can easily find where to vote in your neighborhood.  Remember this is the land of the free and the home of the brave and many of our ancestors died for our right to vote.  So try to be brave, but also be careful.

The New York City election is Tuesday June 23rd and polls are open from 6 am - 9 pm.



NYC Life: Juneteenth, Summer Begins, Fathers Day, NYC Phase II, Atlanta Shooting & Election

The NYC Boroughs Showing Increasing Signs of Economic Life, but …

June 19, 2020 / NYC Neighborhoods / News Analysis & Opinion / Gotham Buzz NYC.

nyc phase II reopening things to do nyc nys primary election economy manhattan bronx brooklyn staten island queens economy nyc tucker carlson fox racism nyc

The Mayor announced we’re moving to Phase II of the economic reopening beginning Monday. According to a missive by Councilmember Van Bramer, Phase II means that restaurants can resume serving people on sidewalks, at curbside, in opens streets and plazas and in backyard seating – but they need permits which may be obtained at nyc.gov and he notes that restaurateurs do not need to apply separately for the liquor permit.

Retailers can now serve people in their shops by limiting capacity, while following mask, [barrier?] and cleaning protocols.  The same is true for hair salons and barber shops. And realtors and auto dealers can resume working with clients, as can commercial building operations and offices on a case by case basis.

The photo at right was taken near Borough Hall in Brooklyn earlier this month.

 

On June 19, 1865 the Last Texas Slaves Were Freed

Juneteenth Celebrates the End of Slavery in the U.S.

Juneteenth is the date when the Union Army arrived in Galveston, Texas and informed all of the slaves there, that they were freeAbraham Lincoln had issued the Emancipation Proclamation in January 1, 1863 – but rumor has it that word didn’t reach Texas slaves until two and a half years later.

On Wednesday, June 17th, Governor Cuomo signed an Executive Order making today a holiday for NYS employees.  There are also a number of marches and rallies to celebrate Juneteenth in all five boroughs, most beginning between 12 noon and 4 pm, which you can find by doing a search for ‘juneteenth nyc’.



Where We At?

These Certainly are Crazy Times & this is a Brief Update

corona virus nyc covid 19 nyc nys

June 15, 2020 / NYC Neighborhoods / NYC CoVid 19 Special Section / News Analysis & Opinion / Gotham Buzz NYC.

In mid March we slammed up against a CoVid pandemic and NYS Paused in order to thwart the rapid spread of the sometimes deadly disease.  Then, after we appeared to slow the virus spread, and we were slowly re-opening economic activity - a new crisis of conscience and societal awakening - was layered atop the pandemic. 

The social outrage, at what appears to be the murder of a man at the hands of a Minneapolis policeman, sparked protests across the nation and around New York City at what appears to be unnecessary municipal police violence and brutality targeting racial minorities, acted upon by a few members of the police forces around the nation.

We have covered both of these stories in prior reports and what follows is a bit of a catch up of the past couple of weeks and look forward into the next couple of weeks.

CoVid Science Update

A number of reports have provided updates into the nature of the Corona Virus.  These include what impact wearing the masks has, how the disease spreads via air and via surfaces, and the contagiousness of asymptomatic CoVid carriers on the general population.  I think it’s important to remind folks that we’re not even a year into the spread of the sometimes deadly disease, so look at all of what follows as still being somewhat preliminary.

CoVid Science Update – Wearing Masks

corona virus nyc covid 19 nyc nys

The wearing of the masks does appear to help, but it is most helpful in containing the spread by limiting the airborne virus by infected carriers.  Defensively it also appears to help, but substantially less so, if you’re in close quarters with an infected person.  According to a May 17, 2020 report in the South China Morning Post a study using hampsters,

“… found the rate of non-contact transmission – in which the virus was transmitted via respiratory droplets or airborne particles – dropped by as much as 75 per cent when masks were present.”

The study was done in a room, which is important to note because out of doors, this same study has not been replicated.  So wearing masks appears generally good.  But it’s important to point out that the reason it’s good goes back to the original WHO [World Health Organization] and CDC [Center for Disease Control] guidance, which is that it is most effective in containing the spread by an infected carrier.  Wearing masks has been found to be less effective in preventing the spread if the carrier is not wearing a mask even if the potentially infected is.



George Floyd Protest Cinematography, Music & Narrative

June 12, 2020 / NYC NeighborhoodsNYC Social Issues & Crime / News Analysis & Opinion /  Gotham Buzz NYC.

The video below is an interpretive depiction of a protest event in McCarren Park early last week. The piece is  meant to be savored - like food, music and cinematography.





George Floyd & Pink Floyd

Trying to Make Sense in a Senseless World

May 28, 2020 / NYC Neighborhoods / CoVid in NYC Special Section / News Analysis & Opinion / Gotham Buzz NYC.

george floyd protests brooklyn nyc police protests brooklyn manhattan bronx staten island queens george floyd protests brooklyn nypd police protests bk nycI watched the George Floyd protests unfold on the nightly TV newscasts for a couple of days before venturing out myself to see what I might learn. The protests began on Friday, May 29th in NYC, following the death of George Floyd, an African American who was asphyxiated, apparently due to a Minneapolis policeman holding a knee over George Floyd’s neck for nearly nine minutes which was caught on video.

TV News Appears to Sensationalize More than Inform 

On Saturday night Fox News ran and reran the same footage multiple times of a car burning, seeming to hype and sensationalize the footage into a full blown ‘riot’. The a lot of the Fox footage was taken from the air, in a helicopter which they lease (reportedly) for millions annually, which again repeatedly showed video of the crowd below, which appeared to be mostly our men in blue. So given little good video, they talked about groups dallying into the police and back again – but really didn’t seem to have any video to support their claims. The next day Mayor de Blasio reported that there were no deaths and no serious injuries to members of the NYPD or the crowd. But there was some looting.

An NBC news account made the situation seem far more chaotic than it was by shaking the camera, providing the appearance of chaos. And so on.

More Photos & Video Coming Wednesday

Covering the George Floyd Protests in NYC from the Ground - Not from a Cushy Corporate Media Chopper   

The ‘crisis’ seemed to be more manufactured by the TV news, than by what was actually happening on the streets, which is why I decided I needed to cover this myself. Second hand TV news seems increasingly like garbage news, but before I could make such a claim, I had to see for myself.

Having grown up in a newspaper family, I’ve been watching the news and presentation of it all of my life, beginning with the Kennedy assassination, which my father made all of us watch as he said it was history in the making. Back then the news was owned by dozens, if not hundreds of independent newspapermen and broadcasters, so like social media, there was a variety of news presentations and you could pick from them.

Today large multi-billion dollar corporations control most of the news we see, and it seems their focus is largely centered around profit driven ratings instead of a fair and balanced presentation of the news. This is why they seem to hype, sensationalize and distort Americans’ perceived reality in order to keep them glued to the tube. And the hyping and sensationalizing is not getting better – it’s getting worse.

No longer can you turn on the TV to be informed, but rather to be scared, angered and far too often – to become disinformed.



Unemployment Rises to 40 Million, Trump Fires FIVE Inspectors General Overseeing his Handling of the Largest Stimulus Bill in History & Life on the Ground in NYC

May 28, 2020 / NYC Neighborhoods / CoVid in NYC Special Section / News Analysis & Opinion / Gotham Buzz NYC.


covid economy nyc life on the ground during covid brooklyn manhattan bronx staten island queens covid outbreak nyc life on the ground econ covid nyc

If things appear to be chaotic these days, that’s because they are.

America First - #1 in CoVid & Record Breaking Unemployment

Since the CoVid Pandemic began, new unemployment claims have risen by 40 million in the nation.  That’s out of an estimated American workforce of 158 million – meaning that 25% of Americans have lost their jobs since the pandemic began. 

The April unemployment was reported at nearly 15%, while the May unemployment report is expected to rise to in the neighborhood of 20% - 23%.  And according to the Federal Reserve, the  June numbers could come in a bit worse than May.  As a point of reference, during the worst days of the Depression, unemployment came in just under 25% before the American people fired Herbert Hoover.

 

Trump’s Litany of Distractions, Enabled by Network TV Boobcasts

But the Donald isn’t talking about the pain Americans are suffering from the pandemic, where over 1.7 million have been infected and over 100,000 have died.  Nor is he talking about the pain and anxiety that is being felt by the 40 million Americans who have lost their jobs.

Nor is he willing to talk about the firings of five Inspector Generals who had been charged with overseeing the integrity of the largest stimulus package in American history – funded by America’s babies and unborn children.  It’s like taking candy from a baby, only this time it’s money – and lots of it. 

The five Inspector Generals include one from  Health & Human Services, Department of Defense, State Department, Intelligence Community and the Department of Transportation.  Australian billionaire Rupert Murdoch's Goebbels-like  propaganda machine - including his Fox News, Wall St Journal and NY Post appeared to support the firings. I wonder what Rupert's share of the predatory propaganda plunder is?         

So what is the Donald talking about, repeated nightly on the TV News broadcasts, who I’ve come to view as the great enablers, and now think of as the nightly news boobcasts ?  Anything else. 

This week the list of TV News amplified Trump outrages included: 1) Twitter exercising its freedom of speech by putting suggestions that Trump Twitter followers get off their lazy bums to click into fair and balanced information checks of the Donald’s disinformational tweets.  2) Prior to that Trump attacked the Governor of North Carolinafor following the CDC guidelines vis a vis reopening the economy.  The reason?  The Donald appears to want a jam packed media extravaganza at the Republican National Convention that was scheduled to be held in Charlotte, North Carolina in August.  3) Another of the shock jock president's distractions was his insinuation  that mail ballots are fraudulent – WHICH MIGHT COME TRUE IN November as Trump is replacing the outgoing Postmaster General with a Trump donor / businessman from North Carolina.    4) And the most incredulous of the distractions was Trump’s allegations having to do with MSNBC commentator Joe Scarborough and a decade(s) old death of someone who worked for him.



CoVid Vaccine Update, Gauging Timeline for Return to the New Normal,   Economic Snapshot  & ...  

May 25, 2020 / NYC Neighborhoods / CoVid in NYC Special Section / News Analysis & Opinion / Gotham Buzz NYC.

covid vaccines economic recovery nyc life on the ground nyc during covid pandemic in brooklyn manhattan bronx staten island queens covid outbreak nyc life in nyc during covid pandemic nyc

Memorial Day was a beautiful sunny day, with temperatures into the 70’s, and dry. Given the month of May is nearly over, I thought I’d do a recap of what has transpired during the month to gauge how far we’ve come and how far we have to go to return to the new normal.

Let’s start with a quick update on the CoVid virus itself. As we entered the month of May, new CoVid hospitalizations were running about 800 per day. As of Governor Cuomo’s last few reports, the number of new hospitalizations is running at between 200 – 300 per day. The net daily intubations have been running negative [meaning more people coming off than going on] for most of the last couple of months ranging from close to zero [meaning folks coming off intubations were about equal to those going on] to nearly 150 more coming off than going on.

As we exited April, NYC and NYS were closing the popup hospitals located primarily around the city, as the existing facilities were moving into a position where they were able to handle the sick patients entering the healthcare system. Overall both NYC and NYS have freed up a considerable amount of hospital and respirator capacity, so that most parts of the state will be economically open in the Phase I stage by this coming week – with the exception being NYC. NYC has met six of the seven metrics required to enter Phase I of the reopening of the economy.  The seventh metric is to free up enough hospital capacity [30% available capacity is the target] in order to reopen safely, according to the guidelines outlined by NYS Governor Cuomo.       

It’s important to remind folks that NYC, with a population of about 8.5 million, represents nearly half of the approximately 19.5 million population of NYS – and that we’re far more densely packed into a far smaller space than likely anywhere else in the nation. I mention this to help folks understand that we, in NYC, have the highest hurdle to transcend to move toward the new normal. But that said both the Mayor and the Governor believe that if the trends continue, NYC should be in a position to move into Phase I sometime within the first two weeks of June.

Phase I allows for construction, manufacturing and curbside retail to resume.

In prior reports we’ve identified the people most at risk of dying from the disease should they contract it. These folks still need to tread cautiously, as well as the folks who surround them, as no cure is in sight – regardless of what you may hear on the ratings-driven TV news or from a flailing president who oftentimes seems more concerned about the impact of the virus on his re-election chances, than on Americans’ health.

Scientists and pharmaceutical organizations around the world on working on numerous different therapies which may help speed recoveries. There are eight new vaccines that are in some stage of clinical trials, and a reported 110 vaccines in the works. The eight in clinical trials are only in the early stages of clinical trials, which are used to determine the efficacy and safety profile of a drug.



Governor Cuomo to End NY Pause on 5/15 but ...

NYS Regions Must Meet Guidelines to Re-Open & While Some NYS Regions Qualify - We in NYC are Not Yet There

May 11, 2020 / NYC Neighborhoods / NYC CoVid 19 Special Section / Gotham Buzz NYC.

corona virus nyc covid 19 nyc nysAs of May 15th the NY Pause program put in place by Governor Cuomo in mid March will come to an end. NY Pause was essentially a state-wide lockdown of residents and businesses deemed ‘non-essential’. We’ll have been in lockdown for two months.

NYS Regions Must Meet the Following Guidelines Prior to Re-Opening

But once the statewide lockdown ends on Friday, regional / municipal lockdowns will continue until such time as each region meets seven guidelines outlined by the Governor. The seven metrics that a region must meet are a two week decline in: 1) total hospitalizations, 2) new hospitalizations, 3) hospitalized deaths, and must have a 30% available share of 4) hospitalized beds and 5) Intensive Care Unit beds, and must have testing capacity / implementation of 6) 30 people per thousand monthly, and 7) 30 contact tracers per thousand in alignment with being able to follow up on potentially infected people.



CoVid Back to Work NYC – Part III

Mayor & Governor Attempt a Balancing Act Worthy of the Flying Wallendas

nyc life on the ground during covid pandemic timeline brooklyn manhattan bronx staten island queens covid outbreak nyc life on the ground during covid pandemic in nycMay 3, 2020 / NYC Neighborhoods / NYC CoVid 19 Special Section / News Analysis & Opinion / Gotham Buzz NYC.

Well, at least we had a pleasant weather weekend. People were out and about again in greater droves than they have been in about a month and a half. It was just nice to stretch one’s legs, soak in a bit of sunshine and see people again … albeit at a social distance.

Looking ahead the Mayor and Governor are in a tight spot, as people’s economic needs begin to weigh heavily upon them, given a second month of rent and other payments have come due. Thus these two intrepid leaders need to work out a path to economic recovery, while not letting up on keeping the evil CoVid virus in check. My intent here is to add my two cents in hopes of stimulating dialogue and actions in that direction.

Putting Things In Perspective

Let’s start with what has happened this past week. NYS CoVid Hospitalizations had skyrocketed to about 19,000 the week of April 13th, 2020. By this past weekend they had fallen to about 10,000 – nearly half of the peak.

At the time the Governor and Mayor, with federal government assistance, had put in place plans to accommodate the skyrocketing infected numbers, which as of April 13th had hit 195,000 people in New York State and about 107,000 in New York City. Today the cumulative totals for New York State are 318,000 and for New York City 177,000.

Brief History Of How Covid 19 Started In NYC & NYS

The first person identified with the CoVid virus, was a Manhattan healthcare worker who had picked it up overseas. She tested positive or it became publicly known on March 1st, 2020. A week and a half later, on March 10, 2020, Governor Cuomo set up a containment area in New Rochelle where there was a significant outbreak. The Governor’s NY Pause – essentially shutting down non-essential business – began evolving shortly thereafter.



Many NYC Farmers Markets are Open

Farmers Markets are Essential Businesses, Provide Fresh Food & a Nice Outing

manhattan farmers markets manhattan green markets manhattan nycMay 1, 2020 / NYC Shopping / NYC Neighborhoods / Gotham Buzz NYC.

Last weekend, on Saturday, I ventured out to enjoy the beautiful weather. I was not alone, as for the first time in a month and a half there were a number of people moving about the neighborhood.

I headed down to the farmers market to see what that looked like under the new normal. The food looked fresh, and there was plenty of it - although this was in mid morning.

The experience wasn't much different than what you'd expect. People wore face masks and there were lines created by social distancing. I was glad to see that farmers markets are essential businesses, as it augments a strained food supply chain, and provides folks with an opportunity to get out of the house in about as safe an environment as you can get. Here's a link to the dates, times, locations and selection of the 2020 Queens farmers markets, Staten Island Farmers Markets, Brooklyn Farmers Markets, Manhattan Farmers Markets and Bronx Farmers Markets.

I can't say people were smiling, not just because their faces were covered by masks, but there's been a gradual mood deterioration as we pass the second rent due date of the CoVid pandemic. Many people aren't standing in the farmers market social distancing line, but rather standing in food pantry lines. And for many, their economic fates are up for grabs, as we collectively try to navigate our way back to work. Many believe that economic activity is likely to be dampened by the CoVid pandemic for some time to come.

On the bright side, the Governor and the Mayor announced plans to begin daily sanitization of the MTA subway system beginning Wednesday, May 6th. The plan is to close the terminal stations of the subway lines from 1 am to 5 am, daily - providing shuttle buses to and from the last stop for passengers. And then, in those four wee hours of the morning, the NYPD and NYC social services will swoop into clear out the homeless population that has started making the subway their new home. It seems a good and humane plan.

Sanitizing the subway lines should go a long way toward preparing us to get back to the new normal by helping to dampen - if not eradicate - the transmission of the CoVid virus. This collaborative effort by both the Mayor and the Governor will help all of us to get back to work and play. So things are moving in the right direction, albeit not at a viral pace.

Have a nice weekend. The weather is going to be in the 70's during the day and 50's at night. And no rain, but some clouds.



Through Wind, Snow, Rain, Sleet & CoVid - Education Goes On

Or … the Wild and Whacky World of Online Learning in the Age of CoVid

covid online learning nyc schools during covid brooklyn manhattan bronx staten island queens covid outbreak nyc public private education nyc during covid pandemic spring 2020 nycApril 27, 2020 / Corona Virus in NYC & NYS CoVid 19 / NYC Neighborhoods / News Analysis & Opinion / Gotham Buzz NYC.

As we anxiously await the return to the new normal, being bombarded by repetitious daily TV newscasts, the Donald’s Daily Disinformation Show, and what seems Rupert Murdoch’s unending propaganda in the Wall Street Journal and on Fox News, there are a few bright spots, but you have to look for them.

I thought the migration from school classrooms might be one of them, so I set out to find out what that experience felt like to both educators and students at the elementary, high school and college levels. As I interviewed only two students and two teachers, this is an anecdotal report about the migration from classroom to computer.

The mass migration began the week beginning March 9th, 2020. College students around the nation, including the CUNY and SUNY systems, were told their classes were being discontinued and they were instructed to pack their things and return home. By the start of the next week, beginning March 16th, NYC public elementary and high schools were also closed. Private schools more or less closed their doors in tandem with the public schools.

During that week of disbandment, the world of education began a mad scramble to figure out how to continue the education process – without classrooms, schools and interpersonal contact. This was not a mean feat.

Nonetheless, educators scrambled, ramped up to speed using interactive platforms like Zoom and Google Hang Out, which includes Google Meet & Chat, and Google Docs. The educators also started figuring out how replace lectures and moderated classroom discussions by using videos and presentations / documents.

Based on the four interviews I conducted, it seems there wasn’t any one formula used, but rather a whole slew of different approaches. Teachers used more different approaches to online learning – depending not just on the subject matter - but also on the audience aka the class.

College Professor’s Experience Migrating Online

covid online learning nyc schools during covid brooklyn manhattan bronx staten island queens covid outbreak nyc public private education nyc during covid pandemic spring 2020 nycThomas Bolin is a religious studies professor at a small liberal arts college. He teaches three classes – one is about American Evangelicalism, which examines the changing face of religion in America. He teaches two classes of Ancient Wisdom, which examines Biblical, Roman and Egyptian philosophies. This course ends with each student creating their own personal philosophy.

Professor Bolin said he started by taking a technology inventory of his students including computer and internet access. The real technological issue wasn’t access to devices as nearly everyone has a smart phone and computer but rather access to internet with enough bandwidth at the times needed.

After he’d completed the technology inventory, he set out devising a teaching game plan. To that end he began developing videos, which he posted so that the students could access asynchronously – meaning on their timeframe. His reasoning was that as some of his students lived in different time zones, and some had issues accessing high speed internet at home because of shared bandwidth and devices, this would enable all to keep pace with their classroom peers.

He said he receives a slew of student emails after each video post, which he answers personally. He said he also checks in with each of his students at least once per week.

Professor Bolin also said that he began creating reading guides for many of the assigned readings to initiate interaction, circular discussions and he paired student to interact.

I asked him if he was working more or less these days. He said more … that the five day week had become a continuous stream of seven day weeks … that work filling his days has become like gas filling a room.

He noted that it’s far more difficult to tell how plugged in each student is to the subject matter. He said that it was likely for that reason that Princeton went to Pass / Fail when they initiated the migration from in class to online. He opined that in spite of the additional work he’s had to do, the students were likely getting a reduced educational experience. And hence, he reasoned, the pass / fail is a means of acknowledging the reduced expectations.

I’m paraphrasing but he said something like, “Education is learning about and through community, interpersonal interactions, which ultimately lead to growth. That’s not something that can be well replicated online.”



CoVid Crisis – Back to Work Part II

Jury Rigging / Do It Yourself Methods to Get Back to Work

covid disease characteristics spread nyc brooklyn manhattan bronx staten island queens covid disease mitigation spread characteristics covid nycApril 24, 2020 / Corona Virus in NYC & NYS CoVid 19 / NYC Neighborhoods / News Analysis & Opinion / Gotham Buzz NYC.

NY Pause Continues Through May 15th Pending an Update

First a couple of announcements were made the past couple of weeks which hint at when we will begin returning to the new normal. With hospitalizations declining / stabilizing and intubations and new positives declining, Governor Cuomo extended NY Pause to May 15th, which keeps open essential businesses, but closes the non-essential businesses until such time as there’s enough slack in the healthcare system / hospitals to accommodate any sort of resurgence in Corona Virus patients that may occur as a result of the re-opening.

Governor Cuomo told the Donald NYC and NYS wouldn't need the USNS Comfort any longer, as the emergency crisis has subsided. As noted in an earlier report, the build out at the Brooklyn Cruise Terminal was put on hold, pending a more definitive direction in the CoVid hospitalization numbers. The photo above shows a retailer temperature screening customers before they enter the store [photo credit Dantanyan].

Large Public NYC Events Cancelled thru May

Biggest Events in June Aren’t Likely to Occur & NYC Public Pools will Likely Remain Closed Through the Summer

covid disease characteristics spread nyc brooklyn manhattan bronx staten island queens covid disease mitigation spread characteristics covid nycAs mentioned previously, Mayor de Blasio seemed to think that the NYC public school system will remain closed through the end of this school year. The Mayor also said that large public gatherings won’t resume until at least June 1st, and even after, that the three largest public events in NYC in June [the Israel Parade, the Puerto Rican Parade and the Gay Pride Parade in both Manhattan and Queens] aren’t likely to take place this year - but no final decision has yet been made. Other large public events including street fairs and other parades will not take place through May and there will be an update before then about what happens beginning in June.

The Mayor also said that NYC public pools will likely not open this summer because of the challenges of keeping people socially distanced / safe from the spread of the Corona Virus. Also, the Plastic Bag ban enforcement was pushed back to May 15th some time ago. As of this report, that enforcement date still stands, but like so much related to the CoVid 19 crisis, the date could be extended further. And the special election for Queens Borough President was cancelled and will be held in tandem with the NYS primary and general election. Lastly, the Macy's 4th of July Fireworks are still planned, but like everything this Spring, is still subject to change.



Back to Work Part I: Understanding the CoVid 19 Enemy

Review SARS-CoV-2 Characteristics – Function & Contagion

covid 19 virus characteristics contagion spread mitigation containment theapies cures covid 19 pandemic 2020April 17, 2020 / / Corona Virus in NYC & NYS CoVid 19 / NYC Neighborhoods / News Analysis & Opinion / Gotham Buzz NYC.

As noted in my last report, we’ve moved from emergency management to crisis management. That is simultaneously the good news and the bad news. I expect the crisis in one form or another will be with us for some time to come. But forecasting what the future looks like is at best a precarious endeavor.

Everyone is now trying to figure out a way back to the new normal, which means living with a incurable virus in our midst, until such time as therapies, cures or vaccines are found and proven to be successful.

So what does the path forward look like?

The image at right was created by Brooklyn artist Craig Ward of bacteria he collected on the subway and made into artistic renditions.

Governor Cuomo Begins Sketching a Back to Work Plan

covid 19 virus characteristics contagion spread mitigation containment theapies cures covid 19 pandemic 2020For starters Governor Cuomo extended NY Pause through May 15th. NY Pause is the directive to close social gathering places and venues, schools and non-essential businesses. Within the past week Mayor de Blasio said the NYC Public School system would not reopen this school year.

Governor Cuomo laid out a sketch of a conceptual plan, which likely came from one of the consultant groups, as it looked a lot like the growth share matrix devised by Boston Consulting Group. The growth share matrix was designed for companies to use to evaluate the businesses they are in, to determine whether to continue investing in them or to begin cashing out of them. The divisions in high growth businesses that are profitable are the ones to keep backing, while the companies in the low growth low profitability businesses are the ones to sell, close or grind out every last dollar.

Governor Cuomo’s matrix axes [plural for axis] has high and low infection rates along the y axis and more essential / less essential along the x axis. The more essential and less potential infection the quicker you’re back to work. The less essential and the higher the potential infection, the longer before you’re back to work.



Cuomo, de Blasio & YOU have been doing Great

New Yorkers Appear to Turn Corner on the Corona Virus Crisis

corona virus nyc covid 19 nyc nysApril 12, 2020 / Corona Virus in NYC & NYS CoVid 19 / NYC Neighborhoods / News Analysis & Opinion / Gotham Buzz NYC.

I hope you had a good Easter / Passover weekend.

Based on what I observed, albeit with very limited movement and anecdotally, New Yorkers appeared to stay at home, self isolating over the holiday weekend.

This sort of compliance with government guidance is what has enabled us to stem the spread of the - at times lethal - Corona Virus. And the levelling happened none too soon, as parts of the NYC hospital system were operating at full capacity - and in some cases over capacity.

Most of the metrics for the virus have been levelling off or even going down, while the only positive metric - daily discharges - continues to rise.

We appear to be transitioning from emergency management, to crisis management, and government officials are now even beginnning to look ahead at transitioning us back to what will be the new normal.

 

NYS & NYC New CoVid 19 Cases Level - Even Show Signs of Falling

corona virus nyc covid 19 nyc nysNew CoVid 19 cases in NYS were down fairly sharply yesterday, based on the numbers presented by Governor Cuomo. But the drop may be due to weekend reporting discrepancies. In any case the number of new cases appears to have levelled off in both New York state and in New York City.

The key statistics that the Governor and the Mayor have been closely monitoring include new and net hospitalizations, new and net admissions to the Intensive Care Unit, and new and net intubations aka use of respirators. As you can see from the graphs, all have been falling. This data was collected from the Governor's daily press briefing, as well as from other media outlets such as the New York Times, on the days when the Governor didn't present all of the key metrics in his press briefing.


Riding the Rails During the CoVid Pandemic in NYC

Observations of a Blogger While Covering the CoVid Story

corona virus nyc covid 19 nyc nysApril 9, 2020 / Corona Virus in NYC & NYS CoVid 19 / NYC Neighborhoods / News Analysis & Opinion / Gotham Buzz NYC.

I've been covering the CoVid Pandemic since it began in NYC, starting in the first half of March. At first my attention was focused on the closures by the Governor and Mayor as they began shuttering social events, social interactions and ultimately the economy.

It wasn't long before I shifted my attention to the growing numbers of people testing positive for the Corona Virus in NYC and NYS. This was followed by photographing the efforts by the NYC Mayor and the NYS Governor to build out additional healthcare capacity, to accommodate the projected growth of sick people, resulting from the spreading pandemic. They had a very limited time frame to complete this build out, before the influx of new Corona Virus patients overwhelmed the existing NYC and NYS healthcare capacity.

Most recently I've turned my attention to the economic hardships currently being borne by New Yorkers, particularly in small businesses and the folks working in essential services.

I've witnessed many people thanking the folks working in essential services - including healthcare, public transit, grocery and pharmacy outlets, and first responders - and I want to add my own thanks for all of the work they do, to keep the rest of us moving.

The photo above was taken about a week ago. A little bit of natural beauty helps keep things in perspective.

 

Reporter Travelogue - Startling Beginning With Closures

corona virus nyc covid 19 nyc nysThis is a travelogue about riding the MTA rails, along with essential workers, to do my part by providing independent first hand reports and context regarding what's happening here in NYC vis a vis the Corona Virus pandemic. Most of what I report is either not reported by the sensationalist, ratings-driven TV network news, or it's diminished in their reported accounts because it's contextual - not shocking.

The pandemic first hit my radar while I was covering a theater event at the LaGuardia Performing Arts Center. At that time I first heard that the Governor had started instituting surprising - and what at the time seemed draconian - measures designed to stymie the growing tide of CoVid 19 infections. In short order these actions were followed by the Mayor and it included shutting down restaurants and non-essential services.

The photo at right shows shuttered businesses along Court Avenue in Brooklyn during the NYC CoVid lockdown.

At the moment these governmental measures appear to be working, but I suspect maintaining discipline during the Passover and Easter holidays will be challenging. Afterall we have now spent over a month in communal isolation. But if people don't comply with the guidance provided by government officials, the pandemic will quickly resurge, and lengthen the time before we can all get back to the new normal. The Governor cited several examples from around the world including Italy, Hong Kong, Singapore and the Influenza pandemic of 1918 in the U.S..


NYC Hospitals Operating at Capacity, CoVid 19 Curve Flattening, BUT ...

The Next Battle is to Stay Disciplined to Avoid a Resurgence

Will New Yorkers Comply during Passover & Easter Week?

April 6, 2020 / Corona Virus in NYC & NYS CoVid 19 / NYC Neighborhoods / News Analysis & Opinion / Gotham Buzz NYC.

corona virus nyc covid 19 nyc nysMany NYC Hospitals are reportedly operating at full capacity, and in some cases operating at capacity plus.

The good news is that the supply chain of personal protective equipment [PPE], respirators and gowns has been holding - albeit on a tight supply. And there are still anecdotal reports, generally by the alarmist TV networks, that indicate there are a few spot shortages. If true, these shortages are the result of distribution issues, rather than any out-of-stocks by the city and state.

Nonetheless, the needs for protective gear and life saving equipment remain high priorities for both the Governor and the Mayor, as the supply chain is on a tight turnaround and the CoVid pandemic continues, albeit at a slackening pace, in the city and parts of the state.

The good news, as previously reported, is that we may be approaching the apex. The social distancing appears to have thwarted the worst case scenario, and may even have contained the spread from reaching the middle case scenario.

But the danger persists.

The chart at right shows the daily CoVid deaths stabilizing. But a number of the morgues are over capacity, and some of the bodies reportedly had to be stored in refrigerated trucks, which are affectionately referred to as mobile morgues.

 

The Real Challenge this Week is Getting Through Passover & Easter without Breaking the NYC & NYS Healthcare System

corona virus nyc covid 19 nyc nysAnd the real test of it comes this week as both Passover and Easter come to play, when people generally come together to celebrate these traditional religious holidays.

To discourage people coming together in large numbers the Governor doubled the fine for violations of social distancing from $500 to $1000. Cuomo also extended the non-essential store closure policy for another two weeks - through the end of April.

In the Governor's daily press conference, he called upon local law enforcement to give tickets to people regardless of their religious affiliation, if they violate the call for social distancing. In doing so, Cuomo noted that not only are those who gather in such a manner putting themselves and their communities at risk, but they are also adding to the pandemic crisis, by putting first responders including FDNY, the NYPD, the MTA workers and the NYC / NYS Healthcare system workers at risk. A risk, which in many cases, ends up in death.

And given the hospital / healthcare system is operating at full capacity, if people start to break formation and begin disregarding the government social distancing guidance, they could potentially tip the balance of what seems a well managed pandemic crisis, into an all out disaster.

The chart above shows some good news, whereby the NYS daily CoVid hospitalizations are exceeded by the number of CoVid patients leaving the hospital. Remember - these numbers are driven up or down by our behavior as a whole community.


CoVid Testing Now Widespread, Growth Continues but doesn't Accelerate, Severe Cases Appear to be Levelling

corona virus nyc covid 19 nyc nysApril 4, 2020 / Corona Virus in NYC & NYS CoVid 19 / NYC Neighborhoods / News Analysis & Opinion / Gotham Buzz NYC.

It's been a while since we've had much good news. At right is a graph shown by Governor Cuomo at a press conference today. Over the past week or so, Andrew Cuomo appears to be moving toward one of the more optimistic scenarios. He expects that we may POSSIBLY hit the Apex sometime next week.

Mayor de Blasio also seemed focused on the immediate needs of next week, but the Mayor has not yet adjusted his long term view of what's needed. Perhaps the Mayor hasn't yet received 'the memo'.

 

New Daily Discharges Exceed New Daily Hospitalizations

corona virus nyc covid 19 nyc nysAs you can see from the graph presented at right, the daily discharges at hospitals now exceeds the number of new daily admissions to the hospitals. Obviously that's a good sign, as more capacity is being freed up, as is being committed, providing breathing room for the entire system, which has been under some significant stress the past week or so.

Now be advised, the Network TV personalities are paid on the basis of their ratings performance - not keeping you properly and contextually informed - which is why you've been hearing that the sky is falling these past couple ofweeks.

To be sure, some hospitals that are under great duress. Elmhurst Hospital in Queens has been one of them, and I've heard, but haven't visited, Mount Sinai in Queens and Jacobi in the Bronx. But other hospitals aren't making the news because they're operating just fine. So bear in mind when you watch TV news you aren't necessarily getting the full picture - you're getting the ratings driven network TV news picture.

The bubbleheads on TV news seem to be paid on how well they read teleprompters, not on their intellectual or journalistic acumen.


NYC Curve Appears to be Flattening, NYS Numbers are Still Rising

Hospitalizations, ICU Patients, Intubations & Discharges

April 2, 2020 / Corona Virus in NYC & NYS CoVid 19 / NYC Neighborhoods / News Analysis & Opinion / Gotham Buzz NYC.

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

corona virus nyc covid 19 nyc nysMy assessment differs from both the Governor's and the Mayor's. And while it's based on information provided by the Governor, I'm drawing a different, more optimistic conclusion. Part of that may be that I haven't been able to talk to anyone from the Governor's office who knows precisely what's in / not in the numbers the Governor has been providing. And it's also worth noting that both the Governor and the Mayor don't have the luxury of planning for the optimistic scenario.

 

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

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

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

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

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


The CoVid Curve Appears to be Flattening

Growth in Daily Hospitalizations & ICU Patients Appears to Slow

March 31, 2020 / Corona Virus in NYC & NYS / NYC Neighborhoods / Corona Virus in NYC & NYS CoVid 19 / News Analysis & Opinion / Gotham Buzz NYC.

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

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

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

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

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

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

But the good news goes beyond that. A couple of days ago, the Governor changed what numbers he was releasing to the public.


It's a Corona Virus Weekend NYC III

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

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

Updated March 29, 2020 from 3/27/20 / NYC Social Issues / NYC Neighborhoods / Corona Virus in NYC & NYS CoVid 19 / News Analysis & Opinion / Gotham Buzz NYC.

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

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

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

 

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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


CoVid - The Virus Everyone is Talking About

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

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

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

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

 

NYC & NYS CoVid 19 Testing Metrics vs Infected Numbers

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

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

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


It's a Corona Virus Weekend NYC II

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

* March 20, 2020 / NYC Social Issues / NYC Neighborhoods / Corona Virus in NYC & NYS CoVid 19 / News Analysis & Opinion / Gotham Buzz NYC.

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

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

 

A Racist President Applies a Demagogue Label to CoVid

corona virus nyc covid 19 nyc nysUnfortunately we have a president, who oftentimes makes situations worse, because of his ignorant and childish behavior. The Donald seems to be trying to label the Corona Virus the China virus and quite frankly, is doing more to confirm some of the labels given to him - like he's a racist - than convincing anyone other than his Fox 'News' toadies - to go along with his not-helpful-in-addressing-the-CoVid-crisis ploy.

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

A demagogue is

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

 

MTA Sanitizes Subway Cars and Buses

corona virus nyc covid 19 nyc nysThe NYC MTA moves between four and six million people daily. That's a mind boggling figure when you think about it. But last week ridership began falling significantly. And by this week, about a million or more people, had found some other way to get around, or were staying home. Thus the MTA is seeking federal funding to the tune of about $4 billion to help it shore up the lost revenue. And the ridership reductions are expected to continue for a while.

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

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


 

************

 

NYS Primary Today & Bronx Politics

The Presidential  and Congressional Primaries are Today

nyc poll site locator queens poll site locator manhattan polls locations

June 23, 2020 / NYC Neighborhoods / News Analysis & Opinion / Gotham Buzz NYC. 

The long delayed NYS primary election is today.  On the ballot is the presidential primary featuring Joe Biden and a number of  other candidates - all of whom have suspended their campaigns.    And Joe Biden has already won enough electoral votes to secure the nomination.  So in the presidential primary you can strengthen Biden's hand by casting your vote for him, or strenghten someone else's hand in influencing the Democratic platform that Joe will run on.

Political Calculus 15th District Congressional Race 

There are also a number of congressional races including in the 15th Congressional District in the Bronx.  The 15th Congressional District runs from the NY Botanical Gardens in Bedford Park near Bronx Little Italy down to Port Morris & Mott Haven and from Marble Hill to Parkschester.   The incumbent is Jose E. Serrano.  Serrano is retiring due to Parkinson's disease.  Serrano held the seat since 2013, following the retirement of Charles Wrangel, who had held the seat for 20 years beginning in 1993.

More than 12 candidates filed papers to run for the office, but only a dozen of them made it on the ballot.  A May poll - the only one I could find - by Data for Progress showed that the top two contenders for the Congressional seat were Ritchie Torres [20%] and Ruben Diaz Sr [22%]Melissa Mark-Viverito, the former City Council Speaker, came in far behind at about 6%, as did NYS Assemblyman Michael Blake and NYC Councilmember Ydanis Rodriguez - both of whom were also candidates for NYC Publica Advocate.   

In that poll, fully 34% were undecided.  It's worth mentioning that Ritchie Torres has raised the most cash - by far - hauling in $1.3 million, Michael Blake had raised $800K, while the remaining candidates raised $300K [Mark-Viverito] or significantly less.   

Ritchie Torres is a young Afro-Latino [Puerto Rico] who is the first openly gay city councilmember from the Bronx supporting gay rights and a woman's right to choose.  While Ruben Diaz Sr. hails from Puerto Rico and opposes a women's right to choose and gay rights on religious grounds.     I don't think the other candidates are in the running given their finances and their polling stats - but I could be wrong, so we'll see.

Click on the image above to access the poll finder website, so you can easily find where to vote in your neighborhood.  Remember this is the land of the free and the home of the brave and many of our ancestors died for our right to vote.  So try to be brave, but also be careful as the CoVid pandemic isn't likely to end anytime soon.  

The New York City election is Tuesday June 23rd and polls are open from 6 am - 9 pm.



Bronx Things to do - Memorial Day Weekend Bronx NYC | memorial day weekend bronx things to do memorial day weekend the bronx nyc
Bronx Things to do - Memorial Day Weekend Bronx NYC

Things To Do Memorial Day Weekend in the Bronx NYC

Things To Do in the Bronx Over The Memorial Day Weekend

May 14, 2020 / Things To Do Memorial Day Weekend Bronx NYC / Bronx Buzz NYC.

This page contains a few of the classical things to do in Bronx over the Memorial Day Weekend in normal times, as well as what's available during the CoVid pandemic. Go to the Things To Do section of this site for an enhanced list of options.

I know Memorial Day Weekend is fully a week away, but given it's such a changed landscape due to the CoVid pandemic, I thought you might want more time to think about how you're going to spend the weekend.

Weather. As of this posting the weather forecast is as follows. The Temperature highs will be in the low to mid 70's and the temperature lows will be around 60 all three days of the long weekend. There's a 20% chance of rain all weekend. Winds will range between 5 - 10 mph all weekend. The Humidity will be around 50% throughout the weekend. Click for an up-to-date forecast of Brooklyn Weekend Weather.

Be sure to check our Memorial Day Weekend things to do post mid afternoon Friday of Memorial Day Weekend. The photo at right was taken in May of a prior year at the Bronx Museum in the Concourse neighborhood.

 

Brief History of the Memorial Day Holiday in the Bronx

Memorial Day first started out as Decoration Day in Waterloo, New York on May 30, 1866 - a year after the Civil War - to honor those who fought in it. In the 1880's the day came to be known as Memorial Day.

According to a May 25, 2012 report in Time Magazine, ten states - Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, Florida, North and South Carolina, Virginia and Tennessee also officially observe some version of a Confederate Memorial Day, sometime between late April and early June [in Texas it's in January]. It's been reported that unofficially most of the former Confederate states still commemorate it, but not without some controversy as to the former Confederate diaspora it's to honor their ancestors, while to the former diaspora of the slaves it seems a remnant of these states racist past.

About ten percent of the nation travels more than 50 miles over the weekend. Memorial Day differs from Veterans Day which is held on November 11th of each year. Veterans Day began by honoring those who fought in World War I which ended on the 11th hour, of the 11th day of the 11th month of 1918. Both honor those who served in the U.S. Military. Veterans Day coincides with a similar holiday in Europe for the same reason, which is called Remembrance Day and Armistice Day.

 

Memorial Day 2020 Events in the Bronx

According to a March 27, 2020 report in Military News the U.S. Navy cancelled Fleet Week due to the CoVid pandemic. The annual celebratory week in NYC was originally scheduled to run from Wednesday, May 20 to Tuesday, May 26, 2020.

Unfortunately this year attending Bronx street fairs - Bronx NYC, doesn't appear to an option due to the CoVid pandemic. That's not the only activity that will not be available to us, as visiting Bronx theaters, performing arts & art museums, and eating out at one of the Bronx restaurants NYC also won't be available come Memorial Day Weekend.

But things are slowly moving in the right direction. For example you can obtain restaurant food via delivery or carry out - we posted some of the restaurants performing this service as of Mother's Day in our Mother's Day Restaurants in the Bronx report.

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

You can also go bicycling around the Bronx so be mindful to observe the rules of the road [click link]. The 5 Boro Bike Ride 2020 was cancelled and unfortunately could not be re-scheduled, so we'll all have to wait until 2021 [hopefully].

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

bronx things to do Bronx NYC

Bronx Public & Privately Run Parks

The Bronx has a number of New York City Parks, most of which will be open, including the restrooms which will be cleaned daily with disinfectants.

But the normal park service options aren't available during the CoVid pandemic. These include no barbeques, no team sports and both the public swimming pools and the playgrounds will remain closed. But the beaches will be open, although no swimming will be allowed and the beaches will only be open for limited periods - generally from 10 am - 6 pm. NYS public marinas are open for non-commercial activities.

New York City parks in the Bronx include the following.

South Bronx. Yankee Stadium & Mullaly Park in the Concourse neighborhood. Also Soundview Park along the Bronx River in the Soundview and Clason Point neighborhoods and Baretto Point Park in Hunts Point along the East River.

North West Bronx. Van Cortlandt Park is one of the most famous, as it has swimming facilities as well as a golf course and historic house from Revolutionary War times. This is located north of Norwood and Kingsbridge, and east of the Riverdale neighborhoods.

bronx things to do Bronx NYCCentral Bronx. The Crotona Nature Conservancy is located in the Claremont Village and West Farms neighborhoods.

Both the Bronx Zoo and the New York Botanical Gardens are non profits that are run independently, but receive government funding. The NY Botanical Garden is more closely reliant upon NYS funding, while the Bronx Zoo is reliant on NYC funding, but run by the Wildlife Conservation Society, an independent non-profit. As of this posting both institutions indicate that they will remain closed due to the CoVid pandemic, pending further notice.

The Bronx Zoo is across Fordham Road from the Bronx Botanical Gardens and also has one of the finest collections of live animals around. It's located in the Fordham Manor / Belmont neighborhoods. See photo above right.

The New York Botanical Gardens are also worth a visit as they have one of the finest collections of Darwin's original edition publications and a depth and breadth of flora that's hard to find. This is located adjacent to Belmont, Norwood and Bedford Park neighborhoods. See photo above right.

East Bronx. There's the Pelham Bay & Split Rock golf courses, where you will also find the Bartow-Pell Mansion Museum. A bit south and east of there is Orchard Beach which overlooks Pelham Bay and Queens.

Click into the neighborhood / history section for a listing of Bronx public swimming pools. We'll be adding to the Bronx Parks NYC section sometime in the future.

 

NYC Public Golf Courses in the Bronx - Currently Closed due to CoVid 19

The Bronx has three public golf courses all are accessible via the MTA buses / subway. Mosholu and Van Cortlandt Park are located in the northern section of the Bronx, while Pelham Bay / Split Rock is located in the eastern section of the Bronx, not far from City Island.

Queens has four public golf courses, Brooklyn has two, Staten Island has three. Click here for details about Queens Golf Courses including maps and links to the operators' websites. And use the links below to see what's doing for Memorial Day Weekend in the other boroughs.

Click here to obtain information for a general listing of things to do in Bronx NYC. This events calendar is updated monthly with about 100 different Bronx fun / cultural events.

Click here to view the rest of our report of things to do Memorial Day Weekend in the Bronx.



Bronx Mothers Day Restaurants - Bronx Moms Day Restaurants Bronx NYC | bronx mothers day restaurants bronx mothers day brunches mott haven mothers day bronx fordham university heights mothers day riverdale mothers day restaurants city island concourse belmont morris park parkchester bedford park melrose throgs neck mothers day restaurants bronx nyc
Bronx Mothers Day Restaurants - Bronx Moms Day Restaurants Bronx NYC

Bronx Mother's Day Restaurants - Bronx NYC

Mothers Day Restaurants in or near Mott Haven, Fordham, Port Morris, Concourse, Bedford Park, Norwood, University Heights, City Island, Riverdale, Melrose, Morris Park, Westchester Square & Parkchester Bronx NYC

May 9, 2020 / Bronx Neighborhoods / Bronx Restaurants / Bronx Buzz NYC.

Mother's Day is this Sunday, May 10, 2020. It's a good time to let your loved one know you care. Flowers, gifts and brunch or dinner are always welcome, as is any thoughtful gesture that provides some measure showing your appreciation of your mother or the mother of your children. After all, without mothers, we would all cease to be.

Normally it's best to book a restaurant reservation for Mother's Day brunch, as on Mother's Day in Manhattan, many restaurants are full. So if you're thinking about eating out at a restaurant this Mother's Day in Mott Haven, Fordham, Port Morris, Concourse, Bedford Park, Norwood, University Heights, City Island, Riverdale, Melrose, Morris Park, Westchester Square & Parkchester;; it's best to do your research early, and call ahead to book Mother's Day restaurant reservations - BUT this year reservations, per se, are not an option. But delivery and take out are.

It's best to book a restaurant reservation for Mother's Day brunch, as on Mother's Day in the Bronx, many restaurants are full. So if you're thinking about eating out at a restaurant this Mother's Day in Mott Haven, Fordham, Port Morris, Concourse, Bedford Park, Norwood, University Heights, City Island, Riverdale, Melrose, Morris Park, Westchester Square & Parkchester; it's best to do your research early, and call ahead to book Mother's Day restaurant reservations.

Mother's Day History - Restaurants In the Bronx

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 in the Bronx where you will find links to Bronx restaurants we've visited in the past or have reviewed. The restaurants we've reviewed include a mix of high, medium and budget priced restaurants that are spread throughout the borough and offer a large variety of ethnic cuisines.

We've identified over a half dozen Bronx restaurants that are doing take out / delivery on Mother's Day in the Bronx. Enjoy.



Bronx Farmers Markets & Green Markets - Bronx NYC | BEST Farmers Markets / Green Markets in Bronx & shoppers' tips includes bronx farmers markets bronx green markets Mott Haven Farmers Market, Concourse Green Market, Coop City Farmers Market, Fordham Manor Green Market, Parkchester Farmers Market, City Island Farmers Market, Hunts Point Farmers Market, Claremont Village green markets farmers markets bronx nyc
Bronx Farmers Markets & Green Markets - Bronx NYC

Bronx Farmers Markets 2020

May 2, 2020 / Bronx Neighborhoods / Bronx Shops & Shopping / Bronx Buzz NYC.

See HOURS, MAPS, ITEMS / SELECTION of the 23 BEST Farmers Markets / Green Markets in Bronx, w/ savvy shoppers' tips. This report includes the Mott Haven Farmers Market, Concourse Green Market, Coop City Farmers Market, Fordham Manor Green Market, Parkchester Farmers Market, City Island Farmers Market, Hunts Point Farmers Market, Claremont Village farmers markets and in between.

Click here for dates, times, locations of the Bronx Farmers Markets.



Bronx Things To Do This Weekend

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

bronx things to do bronxMarch 13, 2020 / Things To Do Bronx / Bronx Neighborhoods / Bronx 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 Bronx 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

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

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

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

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

 

Living Your Life in the Age of the Corona Virus

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

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

But, unlike better resourced private institutions, the students attending public school aren't as able to 'go remote' and conduct classes and homework electronically. Another part of this equation is that these students parents aren't in a position to stay home with them, and many of their parents are critical to the healthcare, educational, law enforcement, fire and emergency response and transportation infrastructure.

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

 

Things to Do This Weekend in the Bronx?

Not much really. Here's a link to the things to do in the Bronx 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.

 

Bronx Things To Do, Farmers Mkts & Street Fairs

March 2020 - Click here for reports about Bronx holiday events & markets and Bronx farmers markets, Bronx things to do and Bronx street fairs.

Click here for free summer movies in the Bronx, free summer theater in the Bronx and free summer concerts in the Bronx. Click for details of New Years parties in the Bronx or here for Bronx shopping venues and restaurants in the Bronx.

Also see Friday & Weekend Events above.

 

MOSTLY DONE. ASTERISKED events above have NOT been updated.

* On Tuesday, March 3rd, from 6.30 - 8 pm there's a Book Club at the Bronx Art Space at 305 East 140th Street #1 in the Concourse neighborhood of the Bronx. The book being discussed is A Lucky Man by Jamel Brinkley. The event is hosted by One Book One Bronx which

"... seeks to resuscitate the beauty of reading, restore the intimacy of books and culture, and create a space that mines the cultural narratives of Bronx neighborhoods ..."

That seems as ambitious as it is laudable [free / literature / www.bronxartspace.com].


Bronx Irish Pubs Bars Restaurants in Woodlawn Heights near Yonkers | bronx irish pubs woodlawn heights bronx irish restaurants bronx irish pubs bars restaurants near Yonkers st patricks day parade bronx nyc usa
Bronx Irish Pubs Bars Restaurants in Woodlawn Heights near Yonkers

Bronx Little Ireland in Woodlawn Heights

A Visit to Woodlawn Heights is a bit like a Trip to Ireland

March 10, 2020 / Things To Do Bronx / Central Bronx Neighborhoods NYC / Bronx Buzz NYC.

In preparation for St. Patrick's Day, I took a long ride north on the #2 subway line to 233rd Street in Wakefield. I then headed west on 233rd Street down a long hill, over the Bronx River Parkway, and into Woodlawn Heights. Woodlawn Heights is nestled in north of Woodlawn Cemetery and east and south of Van Cortlandt Park and it's also south of and adjacent to Yonkers and west of Wakefield.

As I entered the Woodlawn Heights neighborhood, walking north along Katonah Avenue, I felt a bit as if I'd been whisked away to Ireland. Of course there were Irish bars and pubs that lined the street, but there was also an Irish grocery store. And I imagine if I had more time to spend, I'd find other related gems. But today I was on a mission to scout out a few Irish pubs in anticipation of the Yonkers St. Patrick's Day Parade which happens a week from Saturday on March 21st. Be advised there are two other Bronx St Patricks Day Parades this Sunday, March 15th in Throgs Neck and in Eastchester the details of which you'll find by clicking the link above - along with suggestions for Bronx Irish pubs and restaurants.

It was a quiet Sunday night and the neighborhood was fairly quiet as most are wont to be on a Sunday night. I started my journey by stopping at John Mulligan's Fireside Pub. And lo and behold it wasn't long before standing in front of me was John Mulligan himself.



Bronx St Patricks Day Bars, Irish Pubs & Restaurants in the Bronx NYC | nyc bronx st pats day bars irish pubs restaurants bronx nyc st pats day throgs neck city island morris park mott haven norwood kingsbridge fieldston van courtlandt bronx irish pubs restaurants bars bronx irish restaurants bronx nyc
Bronx St Patricks Day Bars, Irish Pubs & Restaurants in the Bronx NYC

St Pat's Day Bars & Irish Pubs & Restaurants in the Bronx

Bronx St Pat's Day Pubs, Irish Bars & Restaurants On St. Patrick's Day in the Bronx Neighborhoods of Throgs Neck, Kingsbridge, Fieldston, Bedford Park, Mott Haven, Norwood, Woodlawn Heights, Westchester Square [near Morris Park], Middleton Pelham Bay [near City Island], Williamsbridge and one in Yonkers

February 25, 2020 / Bronx Neighborhoods NYC / Bronx Restaurants NYC / St Patricks Day Parade Throgs Neck Bronx / Bronx Buzz NYC.

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

This report is about some of the Bronx Irish bars and restaurants that have survived the test of time, and likely a might bit ... more. The Irish pubs include Irish bars and restaurants from Throgs Neck, Kingsbridge, Fieldston, Bedford Park, Morris Park, Mott Haven, Norwood, Woodlawn Heights, Westchester Square, Middleton Pelham Bay [near City Island], Williamsbridge and one in Yonkers.



Bronx Things To Do Presidents Day Weekend - Events Bronx NYC | things to do presidents day weekend bronx nyc things to do mott haven concourse fordham belmont van cortlandt park riverdale bedford park melrose hunts point parkchester westchester square schuyler throgs neck bronx presidents day weekend events bronx nyc
Bronx Things To Do Presidents Day Weekend - Events Bronx NYC

Presidents Day Weekend Things to do in the Bronx NYC

Things To Do in the Bronx over the Presidents Day Weekend

February 10, 2020 / Things To Do Bronx NYC / Bronx 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 Bronx Weather.

The image at right shows Wave Hill, where President Theodore Roosevelt spent a couple of summers. Wave Hill is a horticultural enclave and Teddy Roosevelt was an American Conservationist. I imagine if alive today, Roosevelt would certainly being doing whatever he could to combat climate change.

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 in NYC

bronx things to do presidents day weekend bronx presidents day weekend events bronx 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.



Bronx Valentines Day Restaurants - Bronx Romantic Restaurants Bronx NYC | bronx valentines day restaurants bronx valentines dinners mott haven valentines day bronx fordham university heights valentines day riverdale valentines restaurants city island concourse belmont morris park parkchester bedford park melrose throgs neck valentines day restaurants bronx nyc
Bronx Valentines Day Restaurants - Bronx Romantic Restaurants Bronx NYC

Bronx Valentines Day Restaurants - Bronx NYC

Valentines Day / Romantic Restaurants in or near Mott Haven, Fordham, Port Morris, Concourse, Bedford Park, Norwood, University Heights, City Island, Riverdale, Melrose, Morris Park, Westchester Square & Parkchester Bronx NYC

February 5, 2020 / Bronx Neighborhoods / Bronx Restaurants / Bronx 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 Mott Haven, Fordham, Port Morris, Concourse, Bedford Park, Norwood, University Heights, City Island, Riverdale, Melrose, Morris Park, Westchester Square & Parkchester neighborhoods; it's best to do your research early, and call a week or at least a few days ahead to make the reservations.

Valentine's Day History - Romantic Restaurants in the Bronx

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

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



Closure of Rikers Island Moves Another Step Forward

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

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

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

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

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

 

Queens Community Board One in Astoria Votes on Rikers Closure

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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


Bronx Little Italy Neighborhood & Arthur Avenue in Belmont Bx | bronx little italy bx arthur avenue bronx italian neighborhoods bronx shops restaurants arthur avenue bx
Bronx Little Italy Neighborhood & Arthur Avenue in Belmont Bx

Bronx Little Italy, Savor the Flavor

Bronx Little Italy Still Has Some Old World Charm

January 21, 2020 / Belmont Neighborhood Bx / Bronx Shopping NYC / Bronx Restaurants NYC / Bronx Buzz NYC.

The past couple of years I've had the opportunity to spend some time in Bronx Little Italy which is located in the Belmont neighborhood in the central Bronx. The neighborhood is just south of Fordham University and the New York Botanical Gardens and just west of the Bronx Zoo, so it's well positioned to accommodate visitors to these attractive destinations. But most of the traffic in Bronx Little Italy still comes from within the neighborhood itself, the surrounding Bronx neighborhoods, and from the greater NYC metro area neighborhoods, into which the descendants of Belmont Bronx Italian families had moved.

The heart of Bronx Little Italy runs along Arthur Avenue south of East Fordham Road / 189th Street to East 184th and Crescent Road. It also expands a bit east and west, along 187th and Crescent Road, but the epicenter is along Arthur Avenue. Arthur Avenue was named after Chester Arthur who was the 21st President of the United States [1881 - 1885].

 

Brief History of Little Italy in the Bronx

bronx little italy bronx arthur avenue belmont bx bronx little italy shops shopping restaurants dining bx little italyThe Belmont section of the Bronx was once owned by the Lorillard family, who were wealthy tobacconists in the 1800's. Some of their cigarette brands included Salem, Kook and Winston, which were among the top selling cigarettes, back when it was fashionable to ingest cancer causing agents in such a manner. They named the area Belmont, which means beautiful mountain, as the neighborhood is comprised of hilly areas. In the late 1800's, as the Gilded Age ended, the Lorillard estate was broken into segments and sold off by the heirs.

According to Wikipedia the first wave of Italian immigrants starting coming to America following the unification of Italy in 1861 and ran for the latter part of that century. The second wave of Italian immigrants came between the turn of the 20th century [1900] and ending around the time of the beginning of WWII [1938 - 1940]. Many Italians flocked to the Bronx, and Arthur Avenue in the Bronx became a center of Italian food and culture. And it's been that way ever since.

One of the main attractions on Arthur Avenue is the Arthur Avenue retail market, which was founded in part by NYC Mayor Fiorello LaGuardia. LaGuardia was of Italian and Jewish descent and a reformer, who promoted the market as a means of moving street vendors off the street and inside, as outside vending was somewhat unsanitary and believed to be a health issue.



Bronx Things To Do Martin Luther King Day Weekend - Events Bronx NYC | things to do martin luther king day weekend bronx nyc things to do mott haven concourse fordham belmont van cortlandt park riverdale bedford park melrose hunts point parkchester westchester square schuyler throgs neck bronx MLK day weekend bronx nyc
Bronx Things To Do Martin Luther King Day Weekend - Events Bronx NYC

MLK Day Weekend Events in the Bronx NYC

Things To Do in the Bronx over the Martin Luther King Day Weekend

January 14, 2020 / Things To Do Bronx NYC / Bronx 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 Bronx Weather.

Click here for Bronx Buzz - things to do Martin Luther King Day Weekend in the Bronx.

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 Bronx NYC

On Saturday from 10 am - 4 pm the Food Bank of NYC is organizing an event entitled Done in a Day from 10 am - 4 pm at 355 Food Center Drive in the Hunts Point neighbohood of the Bronx. The program attracts volunteers who will give some of their time for the Food Bank projects.

On Sunday from 4.30 - 7 pm the New Life Rehobeth Church at 1375 Mace Avenue in the Bronx is hosting a movie with dessert for the whole family and it's free.

On Monday there's an MLK Day of Service from 9 am - 4 pm at the Riverdale Y at 5626 Arlington Avenue in the Riverdale neighborhood of the Bronx. The day of service attempts to tackle various social and community problems.

On Monday from 10 am - 2 pm the East Bronx IPC [Episcopalian / Anglican] invites folks to attend their MLK Day of service and social gathering at 781 Castle Hill Avenue in the Bronx. They collect donations for scholarships, some of which I believe are awarded on that day [unconfirmed].

On Monday, January 20, 2020, there's a Community Interfaith Service at Trinity Baptist Church to commemorate the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. at 808 East 224th Street between Barnes & Bronxwood Avenues beginning at 10 am. All are welcome but please rsvp at 718.590.3989 or email smalave@bronxbp.nyc.gov. Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. is expected to be in attendance.


Things To Do MLK Day Weekend in the Bronx NYC

Things To Do in the Bronx Over The Martin Luther King Day Weekend

January 20, 2019 / Things To Do in the Bronx / Bronx Buzz NYC.

bronx things to do MLK day weekend bronx martin luther king day weekend nyc

Bronx Museums & Cultural Institutions - Things To Do over the Martin Luther King Holiday Weekend

Bronx is home to two great institutions borne in pursuit of preservation and understanding the natural world around us - the New York Botanical Gardens and the Bronx Zoo. A segment of the Enid A. Haupt Observatory at the NY Botanical Gardens is shown in the photo at right.

The Bronx Zoo is located at at 2300 Southern Blvd near the Belmont, Fordham Manor, West Farms, Pelham Parkway and Allerton neighborhoods of the Bronx.

The New York Botanical Gardens is located at at 2900 Southern Blvd near the Norwood, Fordham, Belmont and Allerton neighborhoods of the Bronx.

Bronx Historical Sites / Bronx History - Things To Do over the Martin Luther King Day Weekend

The Bronx have a number of historical sites which are open to the public on weekends, and sometimes weekdays. The Bronx Historical Society is located in the Valentine-Varian house at 3309 Bainbridge Avenue at 208th Street in the Norwood neighborhood of the Bronx. The Valentine-Varian house is the oldest remaining farmhouse in the borough and second oldest house, dating back to 1758. The Bronx Historical Society hosts a number of exhibits as well as an array of programs throughout the year.

There's also the Van Cortlandt House in Van Cortland Park, which is a beautiful colonial home of one of the Dutch settlers. It was built in 1748 and is the oldest house in the Bronx borough. It is located at Broadway and West 246th Street in Van Cortlandt Park in the Bronx at the end of the #1 subway line.

The Bartow Pell Mansion is also worthy of a visit. It was erected in 1836 and is a Greek revival architecture style home - one of the last of that area / era. The Bartow Pell Mansion Museum is pretty active in its programming which includes cultural and historical. It is located at 895 Shore Road, across from the golf course in Pelham Bay Park.

And there's Wave Hill in Riverdale. It's the site of beautiful gardens overlooking the Hudson River. They offer regular programming including concerts, garden walks in the better weather and talks. It is located at 649 West 249th Street in the Hudson Hill section of the Riverdale neighborhood of the Bronx.




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.


Bronx New Years Eve Parties - Bronx New Years Even Restaurants & Bars New Years in the Bronx NYC | bronx new years eve parties bronx new year eve restaurants bronx new years eve celebrations diners restaurants cafes new years bronx NYE bronx nyc usa
Bronx New Years Eve Parties - Bronx New Years Even Restaurants & Bars New Years in the Bronx NYC

Bronx New Years Eve Parties & NYE Restaurants Bronx

New Years Eve Parties in Mott Haven, Port Morris, Melrose, Fordham, Concourse, Parkchester, Bedford Park, Belmont, University Heights Neighborhoods in the Bronx

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

New Years Eve occurs on a Tuesday this year. It looks like the celebrations begin as early as the weekend before winding down for 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 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 in the Bronx - New Years Eve restaurants Bronx.



Bronx Holiday Events & Things To Do & Bronx Holiday Markets | bronx things to do holidays bronx xmas events bronx christmas tree lightings bronx hannukah menorah lightings bronx kwanzaa candle lightings bronx holiday events bronx holiday holiday things to do bronx nyc
Bronx Holiday Events & Things To Do & Bronx Holiday Markets

Bronx Holiday Markets / Bronx Holiday Events & Things To Do

Bronx Holiday Shopping, Bronx Christmas Tree Lightings, Bronx Hanukkah Menorah Lightings, Bronx Kwanzaa Candle Lightings & Bronx Holiday Markets

Updated December 29, 2019 from 12.8.19 / Bronx Neighborhoods / Bronx Holiday Events / Bronx Events & Things To Do / Bronx Shops & Shopping / Bronx 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 of the year after a long season / year of work.

There were also winter solstice celebrations to commemorate the end of the darkening of the skies. Many cultures celebrate with a festival of lights, and in Christian cultures the holidays are marked with holiday lighting, tree lightings, 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 in the Bronx 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 Bronx holiday celebrations and Bronx holiday markets for folks to enjoy between now and the end of the year.

Click here to read our report about Bronx Holiday Markets / Bronx Holiday Events & Things To Do NYC.



NYC Marathon Coming Through the Bronx

New York Road Runners 49th NYC Marathon on Sunday

bronx things to do bronxOctober 29, 2019 / Bronx Things To Do NYC / Bronx Neighborhoods / Bronx Buzz NYC.

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

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

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

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

NYC Marathon Times, Route & Statistics to Beat

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

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

NYC Marathon Organized at Fort Wadsworth on Staten Island

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

NYC Marathon Start Times 2019

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

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

NYC Marathon Best Guess Viewing Times

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

NYC Marathon Route 2019

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


2nd Annual NYC Pizza Festival in Bronx Little Italy

The 2nd Annual NYC Pizza Fest in the Bronx was a Sequel that was Hit

October 21, 2019 / Bronx Restaurants / Bronx Things To Do / Bronx Neighborhoods / Bronx Buzz NYC.

The 2nd Annual NY Pizza Festival was held on the weekend of October 5th & 6th in Bronx Little Italy in the Belmont neighborhood near Fordham University. The festival was held over the weekend attracting thousands to the area to come sample some of the best pizza in New York City and surrounding area ... and there was even a pizza maker from Naples in Italy who had come for the event. I'll have more at a later date, but in the meantime you can sample some of the atmosphere and see some of the gourmet pizza served at the event.


Fordham Road Food Festival

Video & Short Report on the Fordham Road Food Festival

October 1, 2019 / Bronx Neighborhoods / Bronx Parades / Bronx Buzz NYC.

This video provides a good look at the entertainment, games, crowds and food available at the Fordham Road Food Festival last Saturday. We'll add more to this report in the future.

 


Bronx Puerto Rican Day Parade 2019

Video & Short Report on the Bronx Puerto Rican Day Parade

September 22, 2019 / Bronx Neighborhoods / Bronx Parades / Bronx Buzz NYC.

This video provides a good look at many of the performances included in the Bronx Puerto Rican Day Parade. We'll add more to this report on Monday.

 


Boogie on the Blvd by the Bronx Museum

September 16, 2019 / Concourse Neighborhood Bronx NYC / Bronx Things To Do NYC / Bronx Buzz NYC

The Bronx Museum hosted Boogie on the Blvd last weekend. The following video shows a bit of a prior Boogie on the Blvd in the Bronx, along with some clips of other Bronx Museum programs and events over the past couple of years.


Central American Independence Parade After Party in the Bronx

September 11, 2019 / Claremont Village East Tremont & West Farms Neighborhoods Bronx / Bronx Events NYC / Bronx Buzz NYC.

I attended the Central American Independence Parade after party in Crotona Park in the Bronx on a Sunday a couple of years ago. Last Sunday 9/8/19 the event returned and there were food stalls selling various delicacies representing the cuisine of many of the nations that make up Central America - but primarily the Honduras. There were also shopping opportunities for arts, crafts and cultural objects, as well as clothing.

On Sunday the parade started on a somber note, departing at 12 noon from East Tremont Avenue & Southern Blvd, which is the site of the Happy Land Fire Memorial, where in 1990 about 100 people lost their lives - mostly Honduran Garifuna people who were celebrating carnival. The parade celebrates Central Americans, most notably the Honduran Garifuna, and winds its way down Boston Road, and then Charlotte Street to Crotona Park East - ending between Crotona Avenue and Claremont Parkway.

Bronx Central American Independence Parade After Party in Crotona Park Bronx

At the after party in Crotona Park there was main stage set up not far from the Crotona Park amphitheater located along the southwest corner of Indian Pond. The amphitheater was built with stone seating embedded into the landscape and is reminiscent of the ancient amphitheater ruins at Delphi in Greece, but it wasn't used by the event organizers. On the main stage there were numerous musicians, dancers and performers, who entertained the crowd, and representing many Central American nations - but as noted above - mostly from the Honduras.

The video below captures some of the flavor of the Central American Independence Parade after party in Crotona Park in the Bronx a couple of years ago. Enjoy.


Corpus Christi Monastery in the Bronx

bronx monastery hunts point nycJune 19, 2019 / Hunts Point Neighborhood Bronx / Bronx History NYC / Bronx Buzz NYC.

Imagine my surprise when I happened upon a monastery in the Hunts Point neighborhood in the Bronx. The better I get to know the Bronx, the more surprises I find ... like an archeologist peeling away the layers and finding yet another series of layers that begin to tell the tale of one of the most misrepresented boroughs in NYC.

The Corpus Christi Monastery is located at 1230 Lafayette in the Hunts Point neighborhood. Only a little placard, posted on the monastery grounds wall, tells you what lies within.

The photo at right shows the Dominican monastery located in the Hunts Point Neighborhood of the Bronx.

 

The monastery was completed in 1891 according to Wikipedia. The NY Times reports that it's located only four blocks away from the infamous Fort Apache the Bronx. And yet within the cloistered walls, there's a serenity that likely hasn't changed much over the past century and a quarter.

bronx monastery hunts point nycThe photo at right, showing the Corpus Christi Monastery in the Bronx, was collected by the Museum of the City of New York and dated circa 1920.

The monastery is inhabited by the Dominican nuns who practice a contemplative life. They came to the Bronx in the 1880's by invitation of Father Corrigan who wanted a community of the contemplative in the Bronx. Today the monastery is the oldest monastery of the Dominican Order in the United States. An April 28, 2016 CBS report noted that the monastery is in need of donations for repairs, which they were hoping to complete for the 800th anniversary of the order in May of 2016 ... but it looked like they weren't going to reach their goal.

On Sundays about 50 members of the community join the contemplative nuns in attendance at the church for mass.


The Hunts Point Fish Parade

Coming to a Bronx Barretto Park Near You

bronx things to do bronxJune 11, 2019 / Hunts Point Neighborhood Bronx / Bronx Parades NYC / Bronx Buzz NYC.

Last year I had the pleasure of attending the 15th Annual Hunts Point Fish Parade. The parade returns this year on Saturday, June 15th.

The Hunts Point Fish Parade is a community parade, celebrating the history and ongoing revival of the Hunts Point neighborhood in the Bronx. The parade begins at Hunts Point Riverside Park, which is periodically used as a landing and / or launching point by the Bronx River Alliance. The Bronx River Alliance is a green kyaking, canoeing and sailing organization, that conducts many of its events along the Bronx River.

The Hunts Point Fish Parade is organized by the Point Community Development Corporation - or Point CDC - which is a non-profit dedicated to the cultural, economic and youth development of the Hunts Point neighborhood. To that end they march down to Barretto Point Park, which is a recently refurbished NYC Park that has something of an incredible view looking south along the East River into Manhattan and Queens.

bronx things to do bronxIn Barretto Park I found a number of tables set up, many of which last year contained political candidate information, but also information on healthy eating and exercise, generally tied to local organizations within the community offering such products and services. There were basketball games held in the park, as well as impromptu pick up games being played by some of the children, and down along the waterfront there was entertainment by a number of different local groups.

I'll try to post a bit more about this later today / this week. But again note that the 16th Annual Hunts Point Fish Parade is on Saturday, June 15th, with the parade registration beginning at 10 am, the parade beginning about 11 am - both at Hunts Point Riverside Park. And the parade ends at Barretto Park, where the festival begins at 12 noon and runs until a quarter to 5 pm.


St Anthony Festival in Bronx Little Italy

Next Week the Bronx Little Italy Festival of St. Anthony Returns to Our Lady of Mount Carmel Church in the Belmont Neighborhood of the Bronx

June 4, 2019 / Belmont Neighborhood of the Bronx / Bronx Restaurants NYC / Bronx Buzz NYC.

bronx feast of st anthony our lady of mount carmel church belmont neighborhood arthur avenue bronx little italy bronx feast of st anthony videoNext week on Wednesday, June 12 from 6 pm to 10 pm - The Feast of St. Anthony. begins in the Belmont neighborhood of the Bronx. It's the 113th annual Feast of St Anthony at Our Lady of Mount Carmel Church at 627 East 187th Street. The festival includes a number of religious and church services, beginning on Wednesday and ending on Sunday with a procession that begins at 5 pm. The general public is welcome to attend the church services as well as the Italian flavored festival in the Little Italy section of the Bronx, located just south of Fordham University, adjacent to Arthur Avenue in the Belmont neighborhood of the Bronx.

The St. Anthony festival includes rides, games, raffles, food and entertainment every night. We attended last year and put together a short video to give you a sampling of what rides and games to expect when you attend, which has been posted below. The food is not really shown very much in the video, but is a bit in the report, but it's generally a mix of Italian, Latin and grilled fare.

Festival Location / Hours. The festival runs from Wednesday, June 12th through Sunday, June 16th and the hours are Wed & Thurs from 6 - 10 pm / Fri until 11 pm, Sat from 2 pm - 11 pm / Sun from 2 pm - 10 pm. The festival is located in the triangle of streets along Cresent and Arthur Avenues & 187th Street in the Belmont neighborhood of the Bronx [along East 187th street from Arthur to Beaumont Avenue, and along Crescent from Cambreleng to Belmont Avenue].

It's free to walk around but you'll need to pay for the rides and food, but they're competively priced.

We also wrote a short report on the Festival of St. Anthony near Arthur Avenue in Little Italy in the Bronx, which you can read by clicking the prior link.



Orchard Beach Opens for Season

Bronx Beach in Pelham Bay Park Opens for 2019 Summer Season

May 27, 2019 / Orchard Beach Bronx Neighborhoods / Things To Do Bronx / Bronx Buzz NYC.

Orchard Beach opened over the Memorial Day Weekend. The 1.1 mile beach is open from 10 am - 6 pm, at which time there's a lifeguard on duty. Swimming is prohibited when a life guard is not on duty.

It's located at the southern end of Pelham Bay Park, which you can easily drive to where parking is $8 during weekdays and $10 on weekends. You can also get there via bicycle or a combination of taking the #6 subway to the last stop which is Pelham Bay Park and then taking the #12 bus to Orchard Beach. If you're interested in dining, City Island is nearby and you can take the #29 bus there or walk / cycle as it's about a mile.

Orchard Beach in the Bronx has free shower, changing and bathroom facilities. You can also barbeque there.

The video below shows one of many entertainment events at Orchard Beach over the summer, which we'll have more on as the summer arrives.


 


The Old Croton Aqueduct Trail

Wandering Along an Architectural & Construction Marvel

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

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

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

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

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


Video Tour of the Bronx Zoo - Photos of Bronx Zoo on the Bronx Buzz | bronx zoo video tour bronx zoo photos bronx zoo in nyc bedford park belmont neighborhoods near the bronx zoo nyc
Video Tour of the Bronx Zoo - Photos of Bronx Zoo on the Bronx Buzz

Video Tour of the Bronx Zoo with Photos

The Bronx Zoo Provides an Enjoyable Learning Experience

April 30, 2019 / Belmont Neighborhood / Bronx Things To Do / Bronx Buzz NYC.

A couple of weeks ago I visited the Bronx Zoo. Tickets to the Bronx Zoo aren't cheap as admission is $40 / $35 / $30 or you can obtain a year long membership pass for three adults and four children for $210. On Wednesdays, you can make a voluntary donation or even be admitted free, but you have to pay for admission to special exhibits. It's worth mentioning that the Bronx Zoo is far too big to really 'do' in one day.

bronx zoo bronx things to do bronx zoo nycThe Bronx Zoo sits atop 265 acres and is run by a non-profit environmental conservation organization, the Wildlife Conservation Society. While the official address of the Bronx Zoo is 2300 Southern Blvd, there are three other entrances to the park - one at Southern Blvd at Bronx Park South, another at Bronx River Parkway and Pelham Parkway and the one through which I entered, the Asia Gate, at 180th Street and Tremont Avenue. For most New Yorkers using public transit, the Asia Gate is your best bet via subway as the #2 & #5 subway train stop at 180th Street is only a block away.

Although the base entrance fee is free on Wednesdays, the park asks for additional charges to gain admittance to special exhibits, of which there are at least eight. The special experience exhibits include: 1) the Bug Carousel, 2) the Congo Gorilla Forest, 3) the Nature Trek, 4) the Jungle World, 5) the Butterfly Garden, 6) the Zoo Shuttle, 7) the Wild Asia Monorail and 8) the Children's Zoo. I visited only one of them, Jungle World, as to 'do' one of them properly, I recommend allotting about an hour or more of time.

The Jungle World is one of the first special exhibits accessible from the Asia Gate.




Mediums of Exchange at Lehman Art Gallery

Two Site Art Exhibit Explores the Role of Money in Society

bronx things to do bronxApril 9, 2019 / Bedford Park Neighborhood / Bronx Art Scene / Bronx Buzz NYC.

There's an art exhibit entitled Mediums of Exchange that opened at the Shirley Fiterman Art Center at the Borough of Manhattan Community College in Tribeca / Downtown Manhattan on January 31st, 2019 and ended March 30th. But it was a two site / two part art exhibit, with the second site opening in the Bedford Park neighborhood of the Bronx at the Lehman College Art Gallery on February 9th and which runs through May 4th, 2019.

It's a group show, that showcases 35 artists, most if not all of whom I believe are NYC based [unconfirmed]. And the exhibit explores the role of money from a social, psychological and economic point of view. On Wednesdays there are artist talks beginning at 5 pm. I am currently in the process of trying to find out if the artist talks are held every Wednesday or only periodically [ad hoc] and then how late the gallery stays open on those evenings, because the Lehman Art Gallery is normally open from 10 am - 4 pm Tuesday through Saturday.

I hope to post more about this exhibit at a later date. The image above was taken from the Lehman Art Gallery in the Bronx.


Daughters of the Stone

The Tale of 5 Generations of Afro-Caribbean Women

bronx things to do bronxApril 2, 2019 / Bronx Neighborhoods - Concourse / Bronx Culture & Literature / Bronx Buzz NYC.

A couple of weeks ago I had an opportunity to attend a book talk by Dahlma Llanos-Figueroa at the Andrew Freedman Home in the Central Bonx neighborhood on the Concourse.

The Andrew Freedman Home is worth the trip in itself and it was a rare treat to hear a distinguished author in such a distinguished setting. But I was not alone in savoring the moments.

The room was full, mostly of women, many of whom likely were of some Puerto Rican or African descent, and they had come to learn more about their shared past as described by one woman who had fictionalized some of the history of five generations of her family.

I'll have more later today on the Daughters of the Stone by Dahlma Llanos-Figueroa at the Andrew Freedman Home on Friday, March 15th.


NYS Rent Regulations up for Renewal

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Bronx St Patricks Day Bars, Irish Pubs & Restaurants in the Bronx NYC | nyc bronx st pats day bars irish pubs restaurants bronx nyc st pats day throgs neck city island morris park mott haven norwood kingsbridge fieldston van courtlandt bronx irish pubs restaurants bars bronx irish restaurants bronx nyc
Bronx St Patricks Day Bars, Irish Pubs & Restaurants in the Bronx NYC

St Pat's Day Bars & Irish Pubs & Restaurants in the Bronx

Bronx St Pat's Day Pubs, Irish Bars & Restaurants On St. Patrick's Day in the Bronx Neighborhoods of Throgs Neck, Kingsbridge, Fieldston, Bedford Park, Mott Haven, Norwood, Woodlawn Heights, Westchester Square [near Morris Park], Middleton Pelham Bay [near City Island], Williamsbridge and one in Yonkers

February 25, 2020 / Bronx Neighborhoods NYC / Bronx Restaurants NYC / St Patricks Day Parade Throgs Neck Bronx / Bronx Buzz NYC.

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

This report is about some of the Bronx Irish bars and restaurants that have survived the test of time, and likely a might bit ... more. The Irish pubs include Irish bars and restaurants from Throgs Neck, Kingsbridge, Fieldston, Bedford Park, Morris Park, Mott Haven, Norwood, Woodlawn Heights, Westchester Square, Middleton Pelham Bay [near City Island], Williamsbridge and one in Yonkers.



Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. - Bronx State of the Borough Address - Bronx NYC | bronx borough president ruben diaz jr state of the bronx borough address 2019 bronx state of the boro address ruben diaz jr nys senator chuck schumer bronx nyc
Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. - Bronx State of the Borough Address - Bronx NYC

Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr Unofficially Announces Mayoral Candidacy

Bronx Borough President Diaz Delivers Borough Address 2019

February 21, 2019 / Mott Haven Neighborhood / Bronx Neighborhoods / Bronx Politics & Government / Bronx Buzz NYC.

I stepped inside the auditorium, at Samuel Gompers Career and Technical Education High School in Mott Haven, just as the National Anthem began. Eden Augustine from the Bronx High School of Science sang the anthem last year and this year it was xyz from H.E.R.O High. The H.E.R.O. stands for Health, Education & Research Occupations.

The Principal of the school, Kristen Cahill Garcia, stepped out onto the stage to say a few words. She noted that Samuel Gompers CTE High School had closed in 2015 and re-opened that Fall as three schools: 1) H.E.R.O. High, 2) a New Visions Charter High School for the Humanities II, and 3) Mott Haven Community High School which is a transfer school for older students. She went on to say that while things have been progressing in a positive direction – there’s still more work to be done.

Senate Minority Leader Schumer Gives Introductory Remarks

The next speaker, was a surprise guest, Democratic Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer. Senator Schumer mentioned how he was trying to help with affordable housing and getting more train stations added for commuters in the Eastern neighborhoods of the Bronx. He talked about how we are stronger when we are united, and that the Bronx seems to be united, in spite of the fact that so many of its denizens come from somewhere else. He finished by complimenting Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. on his leadership.

Bronx President's State of the Borough Address Well Attended

And the last of the ‘warm up remarks’ was given by a Bronx Borough President's Office staffer [Communications Director John DeSio?] who called off a very long list of people in attendance including: Bronx City Council members, NYS Senators, NYS Assembly members, NYC government officials, people representing federal and state government officials, a few Brooklynites, and high ranking Bronx Borough officials like the head of the NYPD in the Bronx and NYC Parks Department in the Bronx and others. He continued on, mentioning folks from non-profits including a number of people representing higher learning institutions in the Bronx such as ruben diaz jr state of the bronx borough ruben diaz bronx state of the borough 2019 bronx soutb 2019 bronx nyc ruben diaz jrHostos, Monroe and Bronx Community Colleges, members of the leadership teams at Jacobi Hospital and Lincoln Medical Center, and Bronx cultural organizations like the NY Botanical Gardens, the Bronx Museum, the Bronx Council for the Arts, and lastly, but not least, the Bronx Chamber of Commerce and several Bronx union chapters like the Bronx Carpenters Union and Bronx Electrical Union. This is not a complete list but it’s a pretty good summary without the full detail.

Not in Attendance - Ruben Diaz Sr?

Notably absent from the list, was NYC Councilmember Ruben Diaz Sr., who made his way into the news with a comment about gays last week – click here to read a short report. I reckon Ruben Diaz Sr.’s absence was probably best for both of them, as they seem to have a good relationship, even though they’re different from one another.

We were treated to a short, entertaining video featuring the Bodega Boys, who reportedly just signed with Showtime for a program at 11 pm on Thursdays. The Bodega Boys started a podcast that put them into the big time. Kind of like how Cardi B started posting videos on YouTube, which went viral and made her into the top billing name she is today.

In the video there was an ‘unofficial announcement’ of Ruben Diaz Jr.’s plans to run for NYC Mayor in 2021 [see photo still from the video above].



Bronx City Council Member Ruben Diaz Sr Creates a Stir with Remarks about Gays & Loses Chairmanship | bronx city council member ruben diaz sr nys senator ruben diaz sr bronx government bronx politics bronx nyc
Bronx City Council Member Ruben Diaz Sr Creates a Stir with Remarks about Gays & Loses Chairmanship

Ruben Diaz Sr.'s Comments on Gays

NYC City Council Member Ruben Diaz Sr. Creates Stir & Loses Chairman Post

February 15, 2019 / Bronx Neighborhoods / Bronx Buzz NYC.

The photo at right shows Ruben Diaz Sr at Ruben Diaz Jr's State of the Borough Address in 2018. This week or so, New York City Councilman Diaz opened his mouth and stuck a cowboy-sized boot in it, declaring that City Hall was, "... controlled by the homosexual community ...". The statement cost Diaz his NYC Council Chairmanship, and the NYC Council then voted 45 - 1 to punish him, following an investigation.

Diaz Sr isn't doing his son, Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr, any favors, as his son has been rumored to be contemplating a run for Mayor in 2021.

Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr tweeted that his father's remarks were antagonistic, not inclusive nor respectful of our diversity, and that his father should apologize. Thus far Ruben Diaz Sr has refused to do so. Diaz, a former minister, ought to pay heed to the Bible, which in the Book of Proverbs tells us that, "Pride goeth before the fall."



Bronx Valentines Day Restaurants - Bronx Romantic Restaurants Bronx NYC | bronx valentines day restaurants bronx valentines dinners mott haven valentines day bronx fordham university heights valentines day riverdale valentines restaurants city island concourse belmont morris park parkchester bedford park melrose throgs neck valentines day restaurants bronx nyc
Bronx Valentines Day Restaurants - Bronx Romantic Restaurants Bronx NYC

Bronx Valentines Day Restaurants - Bronx NYC

Valentines Day / Romantic Restaurants in or near Mott Haven, Fordham, Port Morris, Concourse, Bedford Park, Norwood, University Heights, City Island, Riverdale, Melrose, Morris Park, Westchester Square & Parkchester Bronx NYC

February 5, 2020 / Bronx Neighborhoods / Bronx Restaurants / Bronx 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 Mott Haven, Fordham, Port Morris, Concourse, Bedford Park, Norwood, University Heights, City Island, Riverdale, Melrose, Morris Park, Westchester Square & Parkchester neighborhoods; it's best to do your research early, and call a week or at least a few days ahead to make the reservations.

Valentine's Day History - Romantic Restaurants in the Bronx

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

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



Who was Louis J. Heintz?

Joyce Kilmer Park Statues Contain a bit of Bronx History

louis j heintz statue photos joyce kilmer park bronx nycJanuary 29, 2019 / Concourse Neighborhood / Bronx Neighborhoods / Bronx Buzz NYC.

Last Fall I attended a gathering at the Bronx Museum where the Chairman of the NY Federal Reserve gave a speech about the economy. He had come to Bronx to take the pulse of things here, as much as or even more than to spread the word about what the Federal Reserve was doing, as - at the time - things were going quite well.

After the meeting I walked back to the subway at 165th Street and Jerome Avenue near Yankee Stadium. On my way, I walked down the Grand Concourse which runs north / south through the center of the Bronx. Alongside the Grand Concourse, immediately north of the Bronx Borough Hall, there's a beautiful park that provides a welcoming spot for one to relax and enjoy a beautiful day, which it was.

As I took in the day, watching the kids play on the northwest end of the park, and older folks sitting on the park benches a bit further south, I started noticed one of the beautiful statues standing stately in the park near the southwest corner. I photographed the statue and researched the man it honored when I returned home. The statue, shown at right, was of Louis J. Heintz.

 

Heintz & the John Eichler Brewing Company of Claremont Neighborhood in the Bronx

eichler brewing company photos bronx nycLouis J. Heintz lived a very short life as he was born in 1861 and died in 1893. He was of German descent and worked in Eichler Brewery at 169th Street, between Fulton and Third Avenue in what is today the Claremont neighborhood. The John Eichler Brewing Company was run by Heintz's uncle. The John Eichler Brewery opened in 1865 and remained in business - save during the Prohibition [1920 - 1933] - until in 1947, The John Eichler Brewing Company discontinued operations. In the 1880's Louis J. Heintz became the President of the Brewers Board of Trade of New York and became a respected businessman.

 

The photo above right shows the Eichler Brewing Company which was featured in the book entitled Images of the South Bronx published by Arcadia Publishing. And shown below is an Eichler Brewing Company beer label, which was probably from the Prohibition given its low alcohol content.

eichler brewing company photos bronx nycHeintz's uncle, John Eichler, was born in Bavaria in 1829. In 1858, having learned the brewing trade, before emigrating to America. He worked for the Turtle Bay Brewery for a few years, before forming a brewery which bought the Kolb Brewery in 1865, which he transformed into John Eichler Brewery. In 1888 Eichler formed the company into a stockholding company, because his health was failing. John Eichler died in 1892. As mentioned above, the company continued until it was purchased in 1947, by which time it had become one of the largest breweries in New York City, producing a half million barrels per year.

 

New York City Annexes Southern Bronx 1874 / Eastern Bronx 1895

New York City expanded the boundaries of the city in 1874 by annexing the southern areas of the Bronx including Kingsbridge, Morrisania and West Farms. Later, in 1895, the East Bronx was added while expanding the city's boundary. And in 1898 the area that is today modern day Queens, the city of Brooklyn and Staten Island were all added to comprise what is today the five boroughs of New York City. Each borough is a separate county of New York State.

Louis Heintz Becomes Bronx Street Commissioner

eichler brewing company photos bronx nycFollowing the annexation of the Bronx as part of New York City in 1874, the people of the Bronx found their street development lacking. In 1889 Heintz began advocating for a position managed independently in the Bronx, to pave and manage the streets. Heintz became the first Bronx Commissioner of Streets in 1890, after gaining agreement starting a year earlier that such a position was needed in order to have the Bronx streets paved.

Heintz died shortly after falling ill, following attendance at President Grover Cleveland's inauguration which was held on March 4, 1893. Grover Cleveland was the 22nd and 24th President of the United States. Prior to becoming President he was the Governor of New York State and the Mayor of Buffalo.

The photo at right shows the Eichler Mansion at 169th Street and Fulton in the Claremont neighborhood of the Bronx which was featured in the book entitled Images of the South Bronx published by Arcadia Publishing.

The statue of Louis J. Heintz was cast in 1905 and dedicated in 1909.

Sources: OldBreweries.com, Wikipedia.org, NYCGovParks.org, FindaGrave.com, BronxMall.com and Images of the South Bronx [a book by Arcadia Publishing].


NY Botanical - The Bronx Garden of Eden

An Array of Enticements for World Travelers & Locals in NYC

bronx things to do bronxJanuary 15, 2019 / Bedford Park Neighborhood / Bronx Neighborhoods / Bronx Things To Do / Bronx Buzz NYC.

A week ago I headed up to the New York Botanical Garden to view the Holiday Train Show and experience their famous Bar Car Nights. It was a Saturday and the program began around 7 pm. I walked from the subway and arrrived about 8 pm, so I had plenty of time to look around, since it went on until 10.30 pm.

I entered at the western gate along Southern Blvd and walked along the winding path, heading to the pavilion where there were food vendors, a fire and an ice sculptor. Along the path of the Garden Way there were dancers from American Circus Theatre performing slow moving pieces that highlighted the body as form in motion. I paused at the Christmas tree, which was postcard perfect and the sight of numerous photo taking sessions, before heading up to the Pavilion.

The Pavilion is tucked just inside the NY Botanical Gardens southern gate. Local food vendors were tucked in along the walls and a railing in a U shape, with a fire burning in the middle of it. The food vendors are generally participants of the Bronx Night Market, and thus may change from week to week. The Bronx Night Market which is a seasonal pop up market in the Fordham neighborhood.

This week the food vendors were Kernelicious from the Fordham neighborhood serving gourmet popcorn, City Tamale from the bronx things to do bronxHunts Point neighborhood serving Mexican food, Barbeque on a Stick from Long Island City in Queens serving Homestyle Filipino barbeque on a stick, and The Fried Kitchen who are caterers from Port Morris serving fried chicken. They were also serving wine and beer, where a line had formed.

I watched an ice sculptor from Okamoto Studio NYC ply his trade, as it appeared he had nearly completed a sphinx-like cat. Behind him there was the NY Botanical Garden Pine Cafe and beyond that a long separate room, where a couple of local musicians were entertaining a fairly large crowd with some American tunes from the 20th century.

Finally, I was ready to visit the famed Holiday Train Show, which was situated inside the Enid A. Haupt Conservatory. The Conservatory is "a stunning example of Victorian-style glass house artistry" and worth a visit by itself. The building was inspired by the Royal Botanic Garden in London and took three years to erect, completed in 1902. The Enid A. Haupt Conservatory is used to house the Holiday Train Show during the holidays and the Orchid Show in the Spring.

Visitors from around the world come to visit the NY Botanical Gardens, to see the Conservatory, as well as forest that bronx things to do bronxthe Botanical Garden has tried to keep intact since prior to the Revolutionary War in the late 1700's. It's a highly challenging preservation task, given the NY Botanical Garden is situated in one of the largest cities in the world, where winds bring unwelcome vegetational visitors, and pollution doesn't make things any easier.

Inside the Haupt Conservatory I found the Holiday Train Show. The New York Botanical Garden Holiday Train Show is also worth a visit on its own, but the Bar Car Night program allows you to satisfy your curiosity on both of these attractions, at the same time. The Holiday Train Show began 27 years ago in 1991.

A film showing how the New York Botanical Holiday Train Show had been constructed was shown at the entrance. This was followed by tables and elevated train tracks where the trains seemed to soar past us. But the real treat lie in wait, as we entered the Conservatory where the lush green vegetation was used as the environment for the trains and associated structures. Overhead, literally dozens of feet above us, were the paned glass windows of possibly a century ago.

bronx things to do bronxPeople were milling about, enjoying the ambiance, the train show detail, and each others' company. While it was early January, the holiday spirit remained intact. I spent a fair amount of time taking it all in before I headed back to the bar, where another group of folks were milling about enjoying the social ambiance. On my way out I passed by some NYBG carolers who had created a chorus of visitors singing some well known holiday tunes. The last Bar Car Nights of the Season was January 12th, but it will return in mid November of this year. And the Holiday Train Show runs one more week, ending Monday, January 21, 2019.

Tickets cost $38 for non-members and $28 for NYBG members. P.S. They also have a restaurant called the Hudson Garden Grill in the Ross Conifer Arboretum, which is between the Enid A. Haupt Conservatory and the western Southern Blvd Gate. It's open daily from 11.30 am - 6 pm, but they vary the light and full menu based on weekdays / weekends.

Scroll down to view a video of the Bar Car Nights at the NY Botanical Gardens, including the Holiday Train Show.


Bar Car Nights at the New York Botanical Garden

January 5, 2018 / Bedford Park Fordham Central Bronx Neighborhoods / Holiday Things To Do Bronx / Bronx Buzz NYC.

This is a short video capturing the various entertainment offerings included in the NY Botanical Garden Bar Car Nights program over the holidays. There was music, an outside fire surrounded by presumably Bronx restaurateurs' offerings, an ice sculptor performing his art, dancers and singers caroling and performing, and the holiday train show in the Enid Haupt Conservatory, which is worth the trip all in itself. Next Saturday is the last night of this program until next Fall.


NYC Marathon Runs Through the Bronx

Since 1976 the NYC Marathon Has Run Through the Bronx

November 13, 2018 / Mott Haven Neighborhood / Bronx Sports / Bronx Neighborhoods / Bronx Buzz NYC.

On November 4th, 2018 over 52,000 runners traversed the lower part of the Bronx borough. The Bronx is part of a 26 mile long course that's been used by the NYC Marathon for a long while.

According to Wikipedia the current race configuration was first outlined and used in 1976. Wikipedia also reports that the NYC Marathon is the largest marathon in the world. The NYC Marathon originated in 1970, running around Central Park, but picked up so much interest that it was expanded just six years later to its current five borough course.

Literally tens of thousands come out to watch the runners traverse their neighborhoods. And the locals are joined by likely tens of thousands more, who come to cheer their runners onward. The spectators come from all over the nation and all around the world. It's a very festive day / weekend and the city is packed with visitors.

Generally the NYC Marathon weekend officially begins in Central Park with official festivities, the configuration of which has been evolving over the years. The race is generally sponsored by a large national or multi-national company, which uses the event promotionally to create awareness around their brand name. I've noticed that recently the branded promotional merchandising of items appears to have expanded significantly.

This year I covered the NYC Marathon in Brooklyn, but below is a video I shot in the Bronx in 2017, but didn't post. It's still a short, fun one and a half minute watch. Enjoy.


Pregones Theater in the South Bronx

The Bronx is Hitting its Stride as one of NYC's Great Cultural Centers

October 22, 2018 / Concourse Neighborhood Bronx / Music Dance & Theater Bronx / Bronx Buzz NYC.

Last summer the Pregones Theater or Teatro Pregones hosted a block party in tandem in the Concourse neighborhood with Lincoln Center Out of Doors. The recognition by Lincoln Center for the quality of Pregones Theater programming, shows just how far Teatro Pregones has come in earning the respect of one of the nation's most elite cultural centers. But this is nothing new for the Bronx these days.

Since gaining recognition for Rap and Hip Hop, the Bronx became known for its music, art and culture. Rap is said to have begun starting in 1973 when the first known hip hop party was thrown by DJ Kook Herc at 1520 Sedgewick Avenue in the nearby Morris Heights neighborhood in the Bronx.

The Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five were organized in the mid 1970's by John Saddler who took the name of Grand Master Flash. One of the Furious Five members, Keef Cowboy, is credited with coming up with the name hip hop. In 1979 The Sugar Hill Gang's Rappers' Delight reportedly brought Rap and Hip Hop into the mainstream. And in the following three decades, Rap and Hip Hop went mainstream, with rappers and hip hop artists emerging from all around the nation and all around the world.

In 2015 Belcalis Marlenis Almánzar, known as Cardi B, emerged as a national artist, after a few of her videos went viral. In 2017 Kardi B put out a single, Bodack Yellow, that quickly rose to #1. I went to listen to it on Youtube and it uses an Arabian theatrical motif, where Kardi B talks about dancing. Kardi B was formerly a strip club dancer and she rapped about how she doesn't need to dance for 'you' anymore. Once a poor nobody with some looks and talent, Kardi B became a rich and famous somebody almost overnight. Her video has received 668 million views.

Within the same month, Boogie wit da Hoodie , whose birthname is , put out an album, The Bigger Artist, that also went to #1. That video received 21 million views. Thus, these two artists - along with a number of others, moved the Bronx back into the limelight of Rapper / Hip Hop culture.

The reason I mention all of this, is because as you watch the video below, you'll notice the rich cultural poetry, and emerging sense of theater, emanating from two of the guest performers I saw that day. Pregones Theater / Teatro Pregones continues to host other talented artists throughout the year in both Spanish and English ... and if the block party is any indication ... far beyond these two languages alone.


Pizza in the Bronx - New York Pizza Festival near Arthur Avenue in Belmont | new york pizza festival belmont neighborhood bronx nyc italian neighborhoods bronx italian restaurants bronx arthur ave pizza in the bronx ny pizza festival photos video
Pizza in the Bronx - New York Pizza Festival near Arthur Avenue in Belmont

New York Pizza Festival in the Bronx

1st Annual NY Pizza Festival in Bronx Little Italy was a Success

October 7, 2018 / Belmont Neighborhood & Arthur Avenue / Bronx Restaurants / Bronx Neighborhoods / Bronx Buzz NYC.

It was a warm, humid afternoon as I made my way north to the Arthur Avenue section of the Belmont neighborhood in the Bronx. I was on my way to the first annual Pizza Festival hosted by the Belmont BID [Business Improvement District] in the Bronx Little Italy.

As I made my way east from the subway and began to enter the neighborhood, I began to feel the transformation of entering another world. Visiting Bronx Little Italy on Arthur Avenue had never felt like this before. Perhaps it was the laziness of a Saturday afternoon in the Fall, or possibly the increased pedestrian traffic associated with the Pizza Festival, but Arthur Avenue looked great in all of its Italian splendor.

So I took my time walking south along the Avenue to Crescent Street where the festival was being held. There were plenty of people out and about, enjoying the afternoon in the neighborhood, and Arthur Avenue had dressed up to impress, showing its charm as a competitive alternative to the more touristed Little Italy in Manhattan.

ny pizza festival bronx new york pizza festival photos & video italian neighborhoods bronx italian restaurants belmont neighborhood bronx photosWhen I arrived at Cresent Street there were blocks of small white tents lined up along one side of the street. A large but dispersed crowd was milling around many of the booths, even though I had arrived around 4 pm, well past the opening at noon.

I made my way past the entertainment to get a closer look at the pizza makers, their ovens and their wares. Making pizza looked to be a fairly simple process for these pros. The Belmont BID website said there were about 34 pizza makers from NYC who were there to compete for the attendees' interest and sales.

I began talking to some of the pizza makers, who seemed to be having fun. I caught up with Mayor de Blasio midway through the festival. He was surrounded by a lot of the pizza makers and / or the NY Pizza Festival attendees, and there seemed to be a bit of back and forth and picture taking and what not. So I took a few photos too, before moving on to Gino's Pizza.

  • CLICK here to read the rest of our report about the NY Pizza Festival Bronx including a short video of the event.




Doc Film Center in the Bronx

Film Based Cultural Center Attracts Eclectic Group for presentation of Carlos Villalon’s Coca: The Lost War on Drugs

doc film center melrose movies in the bronx cinema film bronxSeptember 24, 2018 / Melrose Neighborhood Bronx / Arts & Film in the Bronx / Bronx Buzz NYC.

In July I visited the Doc Film Center in the Bronx to attend a new film by Carlos Villalon about the failed war on drugs. I arrived as it was getting dark, disembarking from the #5 train at the HUB at 3rd Avenue, 149th Street and Willis in the neighborhood of Melrose. I walked north a couple of blocks and took a left, coming upon the Doc Film Center which is housed in a three story building that looks to be in the neighborhood of a century old.

The HUB at 3rd Avenue, 149th Street and Willis / Melrose Avenue intersection was once referred to as the Times Square of the Bronx. It is still a fairly robust shopping district during the daytime, but after hours when the stores close, it has a sort of abandoned feel. I went in knowing that the crime rate in the Bronx, like the rest of the city, is down significantly versus prior years.

In the past five years, according to the Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz, the murder rate for the entire Bronx has been below 100. This is in a borough that is home to 1.471 million, so the murder rate is below 1 murder for every 14,710 people in the Bronx. It’s worth adding that a third of Bronx murders are from gang related violence, which sometimes includes collateral damage.

 

Architecture Near the Hub in Melrose: 1900 - 1930

melrose neighborhood bronx architecture bronx near hub melrose neighborhood bronxThe NYPD has been having some good success in taking down gangs in Bronx as well as NYC. In March of 2016, they reportedly completed the biggest bust in the Bronx, capturing 89 gang members. There are numerous places in Manhattan and Brooklyn that are far more dangerous, but Bronx historically has been given the worst reputational rap, and that impression, while changing, still lingers. I attribute it to LOCAL TV NEWS COVERAGE, which seems to PRIMARILY report crime stories when covering the Bronx.

As I walked to the Doc Film Center I observed the architecture around which I found myself surrounded. The Hub heyday was back in the early 1900’s running into the 1930’s when the Great Depression hit. Thus many of the buildings in the area are from that time period, which to me, is what I’ve come to think of as New York classical architecture and building. They made them quite well back then, as America was flexing its economic strength.

Inside the Doc Film Center I walked along the wooden floors to a large room with incredibly high ceilings, like what you would expect to find in a high school gym. There were chairs lined up looking toward the front of the building where the speaker had already begun his presentation.

What followed was a journey into the drug wars. As Carlos Villalon took us on a journey through the South American jungles, into Coca: The Lost War on Drugs …


Feast of St Anthony at Our Lady of Mount Carmel Church in Belmont near Arthur Avenue in the Bronx | feast of st anthony our lady of mount carmel church belmont neighborhood bronx nyc italian neighborhoods bronx italian restaurants bronx
Feast of St Anthony at Our Lady of Mount Carmel Church in Belmont near Arthur Avenue in the Bronx

Feast of St Anthony in the Bronx

Our Lady of Mount Carmel Church Celebrates the Feast of St Anthony in the Arthur Avenue & Belmont Neighborhood of the Bronx

September 18, 2018 / Belmont Neighborhood Bronx / Things To in the Bronx / Bronx Restaurants / Bronx Buzz NYC.

 

Around the beginning of the summer I had the pleasure of attending the 112th annual Feast of St Anthony at Our Lady of Mount Carmel Church at 627 East 187th Street in the Belmont neighborhood of the Bronx. The affair began on Wednesday June 13th and ran through Sunday, June 17th.

I arrived on a Saturday at the triangle of streets joining Cresent Avenue, Cambreleng Avenue & 187th Street in the Little Italy section of the Belmont neighborhood in the Bronx. I shot some video capturing some of the rides, games, raffles, food and entertainment, which was present every night of the fair.

 



Bronx Farmers Mkts, Street Fairs, Member Events Calendar

* Click here for reports about Bronx street fairs, Bronx farmers markets, Bronx shopping venues and restaurants in the Bronx.

* Click here for free summer movies in the Bronx, free summer theater in the Bronx and free summer concerts in the Bronx.


Pregones Theater La Casita Block Party

Pregones Theater Hosted the La Casita Block Party of Poets, Musicians & Artists & a bit of Pregones Theater History

August 6, 2018 / Concourse Neighborhood / Bronx Theater / Bronx Neighborhoods / Bronx Buzz NYC.

bronx things to do bronxOn Sunday I made my way over to the Pregones Theater in the Concourse neighborhood of the Bronx. Pregones is located at 575 Walton Street, only a couple of blocks from Hostos College and the Post Office in the Bronx. Today was their annual block party, the origins of which, date back to the early 2000's. Pregones Theater moved to this location on Walton Street in the Concourse neighborhood in 2005.

It's worth mentioning that Pregones Theater has been serving the Bronx community of actors, actresses, producers, directors, playwrights and their audiences for nearly four decades. Pregones was started in 1979 and recently [2015 - 2017?] merged with another theater company, Puerto Rican Traveling Theater, to become the cultural institution that it is today.

The Puerto Rican Traveling Theater began in 1967 and helped give birth to the careers of Raul Julia and Miriam Colon, and recently merged with Pregones. Today Pregones Theater / The Puerto Rican Traveling Theater has venues in both Bronx and Manhattan.

As I arrived I noticed their colorful psychedelic house, the Casita, erected as the backdrop for the stage where performers would take flight to delight the audience. It was around 4 pm and a poet, I know it, was speaking, sweet talking, sugary, short arias of verbalized visuals whose acoustical imagery was as stimulating and winding as a quick jazzy beat. Too fast, to fully comprehend, the details of which lie within.

bronx things to do bronxI remember a subway ride, some history, a street scene, but you really had to be there to get the full gist. You missed. But they'll be back next year and they have numerous performances throughout the year.

Along the sidewalks vendors were selling unique - possibly Bronx made, clothing, cosmetics, jewelry, pottery, purses, knapsacks, paper products and other little finds, many of which you might be hard pressed to find elsewhere.

I stepped inside the theater to check it out. It's a well kept, spacious theater, with seating for somewhere between 50 to 100. And a hall of fame showing accolades for performances and performers of years past.

The folks were friendly and it was definitely an artsy, eclectic and friendly crowd. There were also folks there from Lincoln Center Out of Doors, who in part sponsored the block party performances. And Pregones Theater / The Puerto Rican Traveling Theater also performed down at Lincoln Center on Saturday, August 4th at 12 noon in Hearst Plaza, as part of their relationship with Lincoln Center Out of Doors.

By the way, 'pregones' in Spanish, means 'cries' in English. But nobody was crying today.

Hasta luego.


The Puerto Rican Parade NYC

Tens of Thousands of Puerto Ricans Celebrate Their Culture

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

Puerto Rican Street Fair Spanish Harlem

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

 

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

 

Puerto Rican Parade on the Upper East Side Manhattan

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

 

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

 


NYC Landlord Harassments Continue

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Islamic Fashion in the Bronx

Bronx Islamic Clothing Store for Sale

May 21, 2018 / Parkchester Neighborhood / Bronx Neighborhoods / Holidays in the Bronx / Bronx Buzz NYC.

bronx things to do bronxIn early May I traveled to the Parkchester neighborhood, to visit one of the Bronx newest Islamic clothing stores, Islam Fashion. With Ramadan only a couple of weeks away, the store proprietor was busy making preparations as Ramadan is the holiest month of the year - and just as during the holidays for Christians, it is also a very social time of the year.

The store, Islam Fashion, was started in the late 1990's [circa 1998] by an enterprising Egyptian immigrant, Mohamed Zohny, who I had met in Queens about a decade ago. Mohamed is one of those legendary entrepreneurial immigrants that one hears about - that keeps the American dream alive - both here and abroad.

Mohamed Zhony - Egyptian American Entrepreneur

Mohamed rolled the dice and immigrated to New York in 1979, at the age of 37, having left a position working at one of the airports in Egypt. When he arrived, he began working in a Lebanese restaurant washing dishes. Three years later in 1982, risking the savings he made from dishwashing, Mohamed started a falafel food truck at 51st Street and 5th Avenue.

Starting an Entrepreneurial Business on the Midtown Manhattan Streets

bronx things to do bronxFor fourteen years Mohamed made falafels out of his food truck and one might say he became a bit of a falafel food truck legend. He was photographed and written about in several glossy magazines, including one where he had his photo taken by famous photo journalist Lou Bopp.

Perhaps my favorite account of Mohamed at this time was the following in the 'Grub' section of a popular NYC magazine.

"Falafel stands abound … [at] Rockefeller Center … during lunchtime. Naturally they run the full gamut of barely edible to scintillatingly delicious. Second place for the title of best falafel is Zohny who has a cart on the corner of 5th Avenue and 51st Street. Not only are his falafels moister and fuller than the competition, but he has also developed falafel assembly into an art. It's a spectator sport to marvel as Zohny choreographs his falafel preparation like a wind-up doll. He can make the chick pea balls while dropping lettuce and tomato and heating the pita bread."

In 1996 then Mayor Rudy Giuliani started making changes to the rules governing traffic and food carts, so Mohamed decided to exit the business. Within two years, Mohamed had embarked on a third adventure, again investing his savings to purchase and then sell Islamic clothing on the Upper East Side on what I understood to be a sort of person-to-person basis.

Opens Islam Fashion Clothing Business in Manhattan with Stores in Brooklyn, Queens & the Bronx

bronx things to do bronxWithin another two years, in the year 2000, Mohamed signed a lease in Brooklyn and opened an Islamic clothing store there. Nine years later he opened a second store in 2009 in Astoria, where I met him. He's done a bit of advertising on Queens Buzz over the years and I have always found Mohamed to have a friendly smile on his face.

During this time I have had the opportunity to watch him do a bit of business here and there, buying and selling Islamic clothing in his shop. He would invite sellers to sit down for tea, chat and haggle a bit about quality and price, and then settle on a price and complete the deal. It felt like time traveling into Egypt in the space of a few minutes.

In recent years Mohamed, now 75 years old, has begun winding down ... at least a bit. He closed his Brooklyn store due to rising rents, and moved his Astoria store to Parkchester just last year - again due to rising rents. He opened in Parkchester a few months ago and has begun building yet another retail business. Even to this day Mohamed greets the public with a welcoming "Salam Alaikum", which in English means "Peace to you".

Islam Fashion is located at 1701 White Plains Road at Van Nest Avenue in Parkchester. Mohamed is now in the hospital and plans to sell his business. If interested you can reach him via Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/islamfashioninc/

I hope and pray that Mohamed has a speedy recovery.


Arthur Avenue - Little Italy in the Bronx

Arthur Avenue Still has Multi-Generational Family Businesses

bronx shops shopping arthur avenue shops bronxMay 15, 2018 / Belmont Neighborhood in the Bronx / Arthur Avenue Restaurants Bronx / Bronx Things To Do / Bronx Buzz NYC.

A bit over a week ago I headed up to the Arthur Avenue restaurant section of the Belmont neighborhood in the Bronx. Throughout most of the twentieth century, Arthur Avenue was a densely populated Italian section of the Bronx, full of Italian restaurants, shops and Italian culture. By the early 21st century, where we are now, many of the Italians had moved out into the suburbs or into other parts of the city - but that said there's still a very strong Italian presence, including some of the multi-generational Italian family businesses.

Arthur Avenue is more than a destination for those seeking Italian culture in the Bronx, as Fordham University is only blocks away. Oftentimes Fordham students can be seen milling about in the cafes, restaurants and shops, alongside long time residents from the neighborhood. I've come to view the Arthur Avenue Retail Market, founded in 1940, as sort of the epicenter or hub of Arthur Avenue.

Mayor Fiorello LaGuardia reportedly spearheaded the development of the Arthur Avenue Retail Market while he was Mayor in an effort to incent the popular, low-priced, but somewhat unsanitary, street pushcart businesses to move in off the streets. The Arthur Avenue Retail Market was, in some measure, one of the early malls, where various independent vendors sold their wares.

Within the same block and blocks, there are also many Italian retail businesses that have survived the economic vagaries of time. Among them is ...

More to come, including photos, later this week.


Port Morris Real Estate Development

The Bronx Neighborhood of Port Morris is Experiencing a Real Estate Development Renaissance

May 7, 2018 / Port Morris Neighborhood / Bronx Real Estate & Business / Bronx Neighborhoods / Bronx Buzz NYC.

bronx things to do bronxLast Sunday I went exploring two of the neighborhoods in the south Bronx. This report will focus on Port Morris, which is at the southern most end of the Bronx and is found along the Harlem River and the East River.

Port Morris has a long storied history, dating back to colonial times. Given its proximity to Manhattan [just over the Harlem River] and accessibility via the East River and Harlem River, Port Morris was geographically well positioned to be one of the great waterfronts. In fact one of the Morrises had this in mind in an earlier period and planned to make Port Morris competitive with the New York City Harbor and the Lower Manhattan docks. But alas it was not meant to be.

In the mid to late 1800's the piano making business was one of the biggest manufacturing industries in New York City. Piano factories lined the East River in Astoria and in the Bronx. By the mid 1900's the piano business was on the decline, being replaced by radio, television and the like as the primary source of home entertainment.

By the late 20th century the southern Bronx was in decline, but many of the old manufacturing buildings of a bygone era still remained. By the early 21st century southern Bronxians began to witness a growing interest in the Port Morris and Mott Haven neighborhoods due to an evolving business, social and economic climate in New York City.

I'll post more on Tuesday, May 8th.


5 Boro Bike Ride Returns Sunday

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

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

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

 

Bike New York 5 Boro Bike Ride Route

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

 

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

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

 

Bike New York Bicyclist Outreach in all Five NYC Boroughs

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


Nature's Wonders at Wave Hill in the Bronx

Historic Wave Hill in Riverdale Overlooks the Hudson River

north bronx neigborhood west bronx neighborhood bronx neighborhoodsApril 23, 2018 / Riverdale Neighborhood / Bronx Parks / Bronx Buzz NYC.

Wave Hill is a 28 acre estate, in the western section of the Riverdale neighborhood in the Bronx, overlooking the Hudson River. The estate was built in 1843 by William Lewis Morris, a lawyer, to accommodate his large family. Morris was a descendant of one of the Bronx and America's founding families, which included a 17th century colonialist who migrated here following the Cromwellian Wars in Britain, a contributor and signer of the Declaration of Independence, and a vast land holding family in the Bronx.

Wave Hill evolved over the years, starting as a Georgian Revival home, but later converted to a Victorian manor by Publisher William Henry Appleton [1866 - 1869]. Appleton purchased a section of the estate from Morris's heirs following his death.

President Theodore Roosevelt [1870 - 1871], author Mark Twain [1901 - 1903], Italian Conductor Arturo Toscanini [1942 - 1945], and the British delegation to the UN hosted John Foster Dulles, Konrad Adenauer and Queen Elizabeth [1950 - 1956] over numerous summers there. The Wave Hill of today includes what was once two estates, which were merged by Financier turned Conservationist George W. Perkins in 1903. Perkins added the greenhouses and the second house of the estate which I believe [unconfirmed] was called Glyndor. It burned in the early 1920's and was replaced by a smaller Glyndor II, completed in 1927. Wave Hill was inherited by daughter Dorothy Woosley Freeman and her husband Edward.

Wave Hill was donated to New York City in 1960, designated a New York City Landmark in 1966, added to the National Registry of Historic Places in 1983 and added to the Riverdale Historic District in 1990.

In 2011 Wave Hill closed for two years for renovations. In 2013 it reopened, with enhanced facilities that included upgrades to the Sally and Gilbert Kerlin Learning Center where family art projects are conducted, and enhanced lighting and sound [2014] in the Amour Hall which is host to musical performances. A new space, the Sarah and Geoffrey Gund Theater was added where lectures are held and films are shown and the cafe was expanded and the dining room renovated.

Today all areas are used to accommodate public programs, many of which include a fee, and many of which are free with admission. Local artists, musicians and performers are oftentimes showcased. We periodically post their events on the weekends, so stay tuned.

Sources for this story include Wikipedia.org / LivingPlaces.com / WaveHill.org.


Click here for reports about Bronx holiday events and here for Bronx holiday markets.


south bronx neighborhoods mott haven melrose concourse longwood port morris hunts point morrisania highbridge parkchester neighborhoods bronx neighborhoods bronx buzz nyc

Bronx Things To Do Martin Luther King Day Weekend - Events Bronx NYC | things to do martin luther king day weekend bronx nyc things to do mott haven concourse fordham belmont van cortlandt park riverdale bedford park melrose hunts point parkchester westchester square schuyler throgs neck bronx MLK day weekend bronx nyc
Bronx Things To Do Martin Luther King Day Weekend - Events Bronx NYC

MLK Day Weekend Events in the Bronx NYC

Things To Do in the Bronx over the Martin Luther King Day Weekend

January 14, 2020 / Things To Do Bronx NYC / Bronx 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 Bronx Weather.

Click here for Bronx Buzz - things to do Martin Luther King Day Weekend in the Bronx.

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 Bronx NYC

On Saturday from 10 am - 4 pm the Food Bank of NYC is organizing an event entitled Done in a Day from 10 am - 4 pm at 355 Food Center Drive in the Hunts Point neighbohood of the Bronx. The program attracts volunteers who will give some of their time for the Food Bank projects.

On Sunday from 4.30 - 7 pm the New Life Rehobeth Church at 1375 Mace Avenue in the Bronx is hosting a movie with dessert for the whole family and it's free.

On Monday there's an MLK Day of Service from 9 am - 4 pm at the Riverdale Y at 5626 Arlington Avenue in the Riverdale neighborhood of the Bronx. The day of service attempts to tackle various social and community problems.

On Monday from 10 am - 2 pm the East Bronx IPC [Episcopalian / Anglican] invites folks to attend their MLK Day of service and social gathering at 781 Castle Hill Avenue in the Bronx. They collect donations for scholarships, some of which I believe are awarded on that day [unconfirmed].

On Monday, January 20, 2020, there's a Community Interfaith Service at Trinity Baptist Church to commemorate the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. at 808 East 224th Street between Barnes & Bronxwood Avenues beginning at 10 am. All are welcome but please rsvp at 718.590.3989 or email smalave@bronxbp.nyc.gov. Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. is expected to be in attendance.


Things To Do MLK Day Weekend in the Bronx NYC

Things To Do in the Bronx Over The Martin Luther King Day Weekend

January 20, 2019 / Things To Do in the Bronx / Bronx Buzz NYC.

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Bronx Museums & Cultural Institutions - Things To Do over the Martin Luther King Holiday Weekend

Bronx is home to two great institutions borne in pursuit of preservation and understanding the natural world around us - the New York Botanical Gardens and the Bronx Zoo. A segment of the Enid A. Haupt Observatory at the NY Botanical Gardens is shown in the photo at right.

The Bronx Zoo is located at at 2300 Southern Blvd near the Belmont, Fordham Manor, West Farms, Pelham Parkway and Allerton neighborhoods of the Bronx.

The New York Botanical Gardens is located at at 2900 Southern Blvd near the Norwood, Fordham, Belmont and Allerton neighborhoods of the Bronx.

Bronx Historical Sites / Bronx History - Things To Do over the Martin Luther King Day Weekend

The Bronx have a number of historical sites which are open to the public on weekends, and sometimes weekdays. The Bronx Historical Society is located in the Valentine-Varian house at 3309 Bainbridge Avenue at 208th Street in the Norwood neighborhood of the Bronx. The Valentine-Varian house is the oldest remaining farmhouse in the borough and second oldest house, dating back to 1758. The Bronx Historical Society hosts a number of exhibits as well as an array of programs throughout the year.

There's also the Van Cortlandt House in Van Cortland Park, which is a beautiful colonial home of one of the Dutch settlers. It was built in 1748 and is the oldest house in the Bronx borough. It is located at Broadway and West 246th Street in Van Cortlandt Park in the Bronx at the end of the #1 subway line.

The Bartow Pell Mansion is also worthy of a visit. It was erected in 1836 and is a Greek revival architecture style home - one of the last of that area / era. The Bartow Pell Mansion Museum is pretty active in its programming which includes cultural and historical. It is located at 895 Shore Road, across from the golf course in Pelham Bay Park.

And there's Wave Hill in Riverdale. It's the site of beautiful gardens overlooking the Hudson River. They offer regular programming including concerts, garden walks in the better weather and talks. It is located at 649 West 249th Street in the Hudson Hill section of the Riverdale neighborhood of the Bronx.




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Farmers Markets & Street Fairs in the Bronx

bronx street fairs bronx street festivals bronx March 24, 2019 / Bronx Farmers Markets / Bronx Street Fairs / Bronx Buzz NYC.

A few Bronx farmers markets might be open year round, but most of them are seasonal. Some of the seasonal Bronx farmers markets will begin opening in the Spring of 2019, with the rest of them opening no later than the first couple of weeks in July of 2019. Click here to view the schedules of many of the farmers markets in the Bronx.

Bronx street fairs, on the other hand, are entirely seasonal. Some of them hit the streets as early as April 2019. The number of Bronx 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 the end of November the Bronx street fairs go on hiatus, with a few returning as early as April. Click here to view a full schedule of the Bronx street fairs.


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Click here to view our report about Bronx Halloween parties NYC and Bronx New Years parties NYC.


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