Governor Cuomo has issued an executive order requiring all people in New York to wear masks or face coverings in public, including when taking public or private transportation or riding in for-hire vehicles.
More information: coronavirus.health.ny.gov/home or call 1-888-364-3065.All non-essential workers must continue to work from home and schools and everyone is required to maintain a 6-foot distance from others in public
Alliance Designates Digital Anthropologist to Document Downtown’s Rebirth
In early March, before the onset of the corona-pocalypse, the Downtown Alliance put out a nationwide call to recruit an Explorer in Chief, whose job it would be to spend June, July, and August documenting the experience of life in Lower Manhattan across a variety of media.
“There is so much to see and experience here,” Alliance president Jessica Lappin said at the time. “We are thrilled to provide a modern explorer and storyteller with the tools they need to share their own tale of discovery.”
This invitation, which carried with it a monthly stipend, plus expenses, and free rent in the Financial District for the summer, drew more than 700 eager applicants from 40 states and more than 30 nations — all vying for a gig that was dubbed a “Dream Job.” In the weeks that followed, however, the pandemic coronavirus intervened, a life Downtown (as well as throughout New York) changed radically.
But the Alliance was unwilling to scuttle the project, and instead opted to shift its focus. As they combed through the entries, judges came upon the submission from a 23-year-old street photographer and social media savant from Brooklyn. A self-styled “digital anthropologist,” Josh Katz has drawn an audience of more than half a million followers across YouTube, Instagram and TikTok, since uploading his first video at age nine. What really caught the eyes of the Alliance, however, was the work Mr. Katz had done since quarantine measures were imposed on New York.
From his rooftop, he spent April documenting the parapet culture that has emerged in his Brooklyn neighborhood during New York’s lockdown. With the cooperation of his subjects, Mr. Katz improvised urban portraits of rooftop dinners and first dates, neighbors tending local pigeon coops, and new friends meeting for the first time.
“When we began developing this position,” Ms. Lappin says, “COVID-19 didn’t exist. After we started accepting applications, the world changed overnight. As a result, so did the contest. This whole experience will take on a new dimension as our neighborhood starts down a path of recovery, and we’re confident that Josh Katz is the right adventurous soul to help the world discover Lower Manhattan anew.”
Mr. Katz’s marching orders are now to document Downtown’s recovery and rebirth, while telling the stories of Lower Manhattan residents and businesses, as they come to grips with a changed world. This mission will dovetail with a larger effort by the Alliance to support businesses that are being adversely impacted by the spread of COVID-19 — from educating local business owners about available funding opportunities and convening working groups, to communicating which businesses are currently open and spotlighting essential workers who are making a difference.
The only remaining question mark is when Mr. Katz can begin narrating and illustrating Lower Manhattan’s upcoming transilience. For that, he (and the community he will chronicle) must await an end to the pause that has gripped New York since March 20.
To the Editor:
Bianca Juarez’ appalling letter, (e.g., “The Well is Dry…”) is emblematic of the trumpian brand of “conservative” ugliness that has come frighteningly close to tearing this once-great and admired republic apart.
People are not “illegal” and referring to them in that disgusting fashion (as “illegals”) is bigotry, nothing less.
If Ms. Juarez believes that the “population shift” she predicts will be moving to the South and the Midwest will not encounter homeless persons or persons who need financial assistance, particularly in the current economic situation, she is living in an ugly corner of fantasy land.
Given her dissatisfaction with Governor Cuomo and the general status of rents and living conditions in New York, I want to be the first to personally invite Ms. Juarez to move anywhere she finds more fitting to her political and racist needs; it is clear that she is either unwilling to or incapable of contributing to making New York the vibrant, intelligent, beautiful and diverse place that drew most of her fellow New Yorkers to live here, the difficulties we may encounter in terms of high rents and occasionally unpleasant reality notwithstanding.
Very truly yours,
Denise A. Rubin
To the Editor:
re: Don’t Stand So Close… Or Else
(The BroadsheetDAILY May 11)
I found your piece in eBroadsheet very alarming. Alarming in terms of what the Mayor is doing (and not doing) to keep us safe in this pandemic.
I believe we need much more significant “open streets” to be safe in NYC. The contrast with other cities is remarkable. Not only are we New Yorkers not being given safe space to do our limited daily business and also exercise, but this city is doing virtually nothing to plan for the CarMaggedon we will face when more people return to work and many won’t want to use subways and buses.
I have three kids and live in Manhattan. At its simplest, there isn’t enough space for any of us to walk outside on cramped sidewalks, with social distance. Only slightly less urgent is what happens when they need to get to school. I would LOVE my 15 year old to bike to his school 17 blocks away. But cars make it too dangerous for him, even with a bike lane much of the way.
Why can’t we use this time to (re)build our transport infrastructure like so many others are. Manhattan is exceptional, but not in a way many people think. The size is tiny and busways, bikes and better pedestrian walkways are not just necessary but, to put it crudely, blindingly obvious. The 14th Street Busway showed us this. Buses Zip across in 20 minutes.
We need a major rethink and our current mayor just doesn’t get it. I would be happy to talk live if that would be of help.
Today’s Calendar of Events
The Climate’s Changing; Shouldn’t We?
The COVID-19 pandemic has amplified the importance of civic preparedness to prevent catastrophe. Collective strategies to weather both literal and figurative storms will be at the center of this virtual symposium. A slate of prominent speakers from the public and private sector in New York and New Jersey will discuss how to move the dial on comprehensive, just, and meaningful resilience reforms and investments at the city, state, and federal levels. https://us02web.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_7FAcSL3OS0eL8JkY8H1XKw
Alienating Mars: Challenges of Space Colonization
New York Academy of Sciences
Human bodies are optimized for life on Earth, and ill-equipped for environments like those we will encounter on Mars. But here at home there are organisms that thrive in the extremes: the coldest, hottest, driest, and saltiest places. As technologies like CRISPR enable us to manipulate our genes, there may be adaptive tools we can borrow from these extremophiles. But while we are absorbed in self-preservation, it will be easy to neglect the planet we hope to colonize. After all, humans do not have the best track record when it comes to ethical exploration. While there is no evidence for life on Mars—yet—there is still the matter of an entire land that has no one to speak for it, or to defend it. So in the process of getting humans to Mars, what values may be compromised along the way? $10
Gish Jen, Ted O’Connell, and Granville Wyche Burgess
The Pen Parentis Literary Salon is a unique Downtown series that celebrates the diverse creative work of writers who are also parents. The series features readings by small groups of exemplary authors, writers, and poets (all are parents) followed by lively roundtable discussions. Tonight, hear Gish Jen, Ted O’Connell and Granville Wyche Burgess. Free; $10 donation requested https://www.penparentis.org/calendar/
Don’t Stand So Close… Or Else
Social Distancing No Longer Dependent Upon Voluntary Compliance
Over the weekend, two areas of the Hudson River Park became laboratories for an experiment in how to enforce the social distancing measures that public officials believe are necessary to help contain the spread of the pandemic coronavirus.
At a Friday press conference, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced that Piers 45 and 46 (located along the Hudson River waterfront, near Christopher and Charles Streets, respectively) would be patrolled by NYPD officers, with orders to limit crowd sizes, and authority to issue summonses or make arrests, if they deemed necessary.
“Why are we doing this? Because it saves lives,” Mr. de Blasio explained.
Re: What Comes Next? Assembly Member Proposes Post-Pandemic New Deal
The BroadsheetDAILY May 4
The well is dry.
The middle class is sick of paying taxes in a city that caters to people with their hands out and illegals and trains that are filled with homeless.
After companies see how people can work at home, what companies would be stupid enough to stay in New York and pay high rents.? Seriously, who will stay?
After the pandemic there will be a population shift to the south and Midwest like no one has ever seen before.
The subways are disgusting The elderly were murdered in nursing homes by a governor who sent covid patients back rather than sending them to Jacob Javits.
Florida treated the elderly as most vulnerable and saved them. NYC is fast approaching Venezuela and Latin American countries where the Uber-wealthy ride around in limousines surrounded by hovels.
Policies like Yuh-Line Niou: drive the middle class out of NY.
Over this past weekend, the Manhattan Youth Downtown Community Center on Warren Street, distributed art supplies for kids and their families and masks for anyone who needed one.
Spreading the word that wearing a mask and social distancing is the best way to beating the pandemic, Bob Townley and his staff, donned their own masks as they distributed the bags of art supplies and masks to the community.
1) 74 Leonard Street, extension of existing elevator bulkhead to provide 6th Floor elevator access – Resolution
2) 84 South Street, application for NYC Parks Department Concession – Resolution
3) 75 Broadway, application for glass window replacement – Resolution
4) 180 Water Street, application for restoration and development of the existing Seaport District memorial light tower – Resolution
NEWS FROM PREVIOUS EDITIONS
OF THE BROADSHEETDAILY
Rate of Local Infections Continues to Decline
A total of 703 residents of Lower Manhattan (among 2,400 who have been tested) are confirmed to have been infected by the pandemic coronavirus, according to statistics released by the City’s Department of Health (DOH). These numbers are current as of Thursday afternoon (May 7).
Gateway Tenants Say Thanks for Being There During the Tough Times
Tenants at Gateway Plaza, Battery Park City’s largest residential complex, have partnered with their landlord to raise tens of thousands of dollars to thank staff members for keeping the facility running during the pandemic coronavirus.
The project began in April, when a group of residents came together and launched a GoFundMe page, asking neighbors to contribute to a fund that would be distributed among Gateway employees. Within two weeks, the GoFundMe page had accumulated more than $25,000.
Community Leaders Partner with Food Charity to Feed Downtown Residents in Need
In the best of times, some 1.4 million New York City residents chronically suffer from what is called “food insecurity.” But these are not the best of times. The ongoing coronavirus pandemic has shuttered stores, isolated the elderly and handicapped in their homes, and posed multiple other challenges for those whose grip on daily sustenance was already tenuous before the onset of the crisis. To read more
‘The Doctor Told Me My Chances Were 50-50’
A Widely Admired Community Leader Recalls Her Life-and-Death Battle with COVID-19
Daisy Paez, a Lower East side activist who has served for years as a local District Leader, is a universally revered matriarch among Downtown’s political and community family. She recently returned from more than a month of hospitalization, during which she nearly died from COVID-19, the disease caused by the pandemic coronavirus.
“It felt like somebody just snatched me from my life and threw me into this horrifying ordeal,” she recalls. “In the beginning, I remember hearing how people would get really ill, and that if you had a cough or a high fever, you needed to see a doctor. But I was fine. Then, in the last week of March, I started feeling sick. I went to the CityMD urgent care facility on Delancey Street, and they gave me a flu test, which came back negative. They also gave me a test for COVID-19, and told me the results would be available in about five days.”
I am finding it impossible to walk on the esplanade with all the speeding bicyclists and runners (most not wearing face masks).
After the bike path was built on West Street, I believe biking on the esplanade where elderly and children walk is far too dangerous – even pre-pandemic.
What Comes Next?
Assembly Member Proposes Post-Pandemic New Deal
Yuh-Line Niou, who represents Lower Manhattan in the New York State Assembly, is pushing for a comprehensive package of legislation to address a broad range of needs that are expected to follow the ongoing crisis sparked by the pandemic coronavirus.
The 25 bills she is sponsoring include measures to help with joblessness, housing affordability, healthcare, childcare, and rising poverty rates, as well as tax reform that seeks to relieve the burden on low-income individuals and small businesses, while raising revenue from people and firms with the resources to pay more.
Alliance Throws a Lifeline to Lower Manhattan Small Businesses
Jessica Lappin, Downtown Alliance president: “There is not one storefront business in New York City that has been spared by COVID-19. Every one of them is struggling. We are stepping up to do what we can to help stores keep their lights on.”
The Downtown Alliance is launching a new program to help storefront businesses in Lower Manhattan, via which it plans to give away $800,000 in grants.
The Small Business Rental Assistance Grant program aims to offer immediate help to shops currently providing vital services to residents and essential workers in Lower Manhattan during the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, and is funded with contributions from Brookfield Properties, Silverstein Properties and the Howard Hughes Corporation, as well as $250,000 from the Alliance itself.
Russ Schulman, a longtime resident of Tribeca and the associate executive director at Manhattan Youth, says of Dr. Nisar A. Quraishi, “he was my primary care physician for decades, and a trusted friend.”
Dr. Quraishi, who died from COVID-19 (the disease caused by the pandemic coronavirus) in April, at age 73, was a Tribeca pioneer, hanging out a shingle in 1976 at the then-new Independence Plaza, just a few years after earning a degree in medicine in his native Pakistan. To read more…
Where the Sidewalk Forfends
Data Scientist Finds That Downtown Footpaths Impede Social Distancing
Although Lower Manhattan is among the communities least affected by the pandemic coronavirus anywhere in the five boroughs, it faces one increased risk that most other neighborhoods do not. A new analysis shows that narrow sidewalk widths in the square mile below Chambers Street make it especially difficult to practice social distancing here.
Meli Harvey, a senior computational designer at Sidewalk Labs — an urban innovation organization owned by Google, which aims to improve civic infrastructure through technological solutions — has completed an inventory of sidewalk widths throughout the five boroughs. To read more…
An April Intervention
The Hunter and the Hunted, Along with a Haunted Onlooker
Isaiah Berlin famously observed that, “the fox knows many little things, but the hedgehog knows one big thing.” A Lower Manhattan resident thought of this on a Saturday afternoon in mid-April, when Downtown was locked down, but he ventured outside — desperate for fresh air, seeking signs of life — and was confronted by this tableaux in the Battery. The raptor perched on the park bench knew one big thing: that he was too large to get beneath the seat, where his lunch awaited. And the squirrel below knew one little thing: that he was safe as long as he stayed where he was.
1733 – Maria Theresa crowned queen of Bohemia in Prague
1835 – Charles Darwin visits copper mines in North Chile
1908 – Wireless Radio Broadcasting is patented by Nathan B Stubblefield
1926 – Airship Norge is first vessel to fly over North Pole
1932 – Body of kidnapped son of Charles Lindbergh is found in Hopewell NJ
1941 – Konrad Zuse presents the Z3, the world’s first working programmable, fully automatic computer, in Berlin.
1942 – Nazi U-boat sinks American cargo ship at mouth of Mississippi River
1951 – First H Bomb test, on Enewetak Atoll
1963 – Bob Dylan walks out of the “Ed Sullivan Show”
Bob Dylan was slated to make his first nationwide television appearance on The Ed Sullivan Show on May 12, 1963 and decided to perform “Talkin’ John Birch Paranoid Blues”, a satirical blues number skewering the conservative John Birch Society. On the day of the show during the dress rehearsal, an executive from the CBS Standards and Practices department decided Dylan could not perform the song due to its controversial nature. When the show’s producer, Bob Precht, informed Dylan of the decision, Dylan responded saying, “No; this is what I want to do. If I can’t play my song, I’d rather not appear on the show.” Rather than choose a new song to perform or change the lyrics (as the Rolling Stones and the Doors on Ed Sullivan would agree to do), a young Bob Dylan walked off the set of the country’s highest-rated variety show. (Wikipedia)
1965 – Israel and West Germany exchange letters beginning diplomatic relations
1980 – First nonstop crossing of US via balloon (Maxie Anderson & son Chris)
1997 – Russia and Chechnya sign peace deal after 400 years of conflict
2002 – Former President Jimmy Carter arrives in Cuba for a five-day visit with Fidel Castro becoming first President of the United States, in or out of office, to visit the island since Castro’s 1959 revolution.
2008 – Wenchuan earthquake (measuring around 8.0 magnitude) occurs in Sichuan, China, killing over 69,000 people
1670 – Frederick Augustus I/ August II, the Strong, Elector of Saxony and King of Poland (reputed to have sired 355 children) (d. 1733)
1907 – Katharine Hepburn, Hartford CT, actress (Adam’s Rib, On Golden Pond)
1912 – Archibald Cox, U.S. Solicitor General (d. 2004)
1925 – Lawrence “Yogi” Berra, catcher/coach/manager (NY Yankees, Mets)
1936 – Frank Stella, American painter
1937 – George Carlin, Bronx, comedian (7 dirty words, AM & FM, Carwash)
1641 – Prince Willem II of Orange (14) marries English princess Mary Henrietta Stuart (9)
1856 – Jacques Philippe Marie Binet, French mathematician (b. 1786)
1985 – Jean Debuffet, French painter/sculptor
2008 – Robert Rauschenberg, American artist (b. 1925)
Downtown Hotel Business May Be an Enduring Casualty of Pandemic
As local travel and tourism have ground to a halt in the wake of the pandemic coronavirus, one Downtown business sector is undergoing what may be a permanent transformation. By any reasonable yardstick, the hotel business in Lower Manhattan has been drastically overbuilt — the result of nearly two decades of giddy speculation, by developers.
Today, there are 37 hotels operating in the square mile below Chambers Street, offering more than 7,900 rooms, according to the 2019 Lower Manhattan Real Estate Year in Review, a report from the Downtown Alliance. To read more…
how to care for your pet during the COVID-19 Pandemic
‘As Sick as I’ve Ever Been in My Life’
One Survivor’s First-Person Account of Grappling with the Coronavirus
(Editor’s Note: This narrative was supplied to the Broadsheet by a Battery Park City resident who has asked to remain anonymous.)
When I first heard about this, back in late January or early February, I wasn’t sure how it was different from a more serious version of seasonal flu, because the narrative was familiar — starting in Asia, and coming from some kind of animal population. The one difference I remember noting was that this sounded much more contagious.
After that, I didn’t think much more about it for several weeks, other than to frame it as a kind of “second” flu season. But near the end of February, the beginning of March, my perception changed, along with everybody else’s. This was clearly different, because of how it had jumped to humans, and how aggressively it was spreading. To read more…
New Amsterdam Market returns in virtual format, as a service to the growing community of purveyors, distributors, producers and other small businesses who are creating regional, sustainable, regenerative, healthful, and equitable food systems.