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
City Takes Possession of Space for New FiDi School, But Possible Delays Loom
An architect’s rendering of the new residential tower planned for Trinity Place, which will rise 38 stories and 500 feet, and include a new public school at its base, with an entrance on Greenwich Street.
Recent weeks have seen one small step forward for the new public school planned for 77 Greenwich Street, in the Financial District, and possible giant step backward.
In April, the City’s School Construction Authority (SCA) completed its formal purchase of the nine-story space that the elementary school will occupy at the base of a new condominium tower, currently under construction at a three-sided plot, bounded by Greenwich Street, Edgar Street, and Trinity Place. With a payment of $104 million, the City became the legal owner of the portion of the structure that will house 476 students in kindergarten through eighth grade.
The potential problem stems from the fact that the SCA has, since late March — when the pandemic coronavirus emerged as a full-fledged public health crisis — officially “paused” the 670 school building projects its has in various stages of construction, throughout the five boroughs. In one sense, the school at 67 Greenwich has not been paused, since construction within the space never actually began. (Under the terms of the deal that will bring a school to the site, the developer of the residential tower has completed the core and shell, and the SCA is now responsible for building out the facility’s interior.) Why the SCA has not started its work on the structure is not entirely clear, since school construction is one of the categories specifically exempted from Governor Andrew Cuomo’s freeze order.
But there is reason to expect that, even when the SCA is ready to begin equipping the facility, it may fall behind schedule. First, the City is desperately short of tax revenue, as a result of the economic recession that the pandemic has triggered. SCA president Lorraine Grillo told an online conference on May 7 that, “with the current [disease outbreak], there is a cash flow crisis in the City.” In a reference to a fiscal stimulus bill currently being debated in Congress (which contains provisions for bailing out state and local governments), she added that, “if the federal government could come through, we could… get things done.” But passage of this measure is far from certain, and some Republican legislators in Washington are bridling at the prospect of conveying financial assistance to Democratic strongholds, such as New York.
A schematic diagram illustrating the placement of the apartments, the school, and the retail spaces within the new building.
And a second consideration could further complicate plans for a new school at 67 Greenwich: The City’s Department of Education is now reevaluating the traditional design of schools, with an eye toward making them less conducive to the transmission of disease. This effort may translate into an entirely new template for spaces like classrooms, cafeterias, and offices, which could lead to restarting the design process for the Greenwich Street school from the beginning. Such a comprehensive change in plan would likely push back by many months the school’s planned opening date, currently slated for September, 2022, which was considered an aggressive schedule even before the coronavirus outbreak. (When plans for the new school were first announced in January, 2016, it was originally slated to open in the fall of 2019.)
Any delays beyond September, 2022 might also have a knock-on effect for another Lower Manhattan school. A successful 2018 campaign, led by parent leaders and local elected officials, earned a new lease on life for Tribeca’s P.S. 150, which the City had slated for closure, because the rented space it occupies was considered prohibitively expensive. But that extension carries only through the autumn of 2022, at which point the plan is to move P.S. 150 into the space at 67 Greenwich Street.
If the Greenwich Street facility is not ready by this date, P.S. 150 (a beloved institution among Lower Manhattan families) would either have to find another home, or else face the prospect of being shut down entirely.
All of this noted, at the May 7 online conference, Ms. Grillo added an optimistic note, saying that, “I havenʼt missed an opening day in ten years, and I donʼt intend to start now.”
“Sunday on the esplanade was insane”
To the editor:
The security in BPC 10280 are not wearing masks. Two female officers were walking up esplanade in front of Liberty House laughing, gabbering six inches from each other when my husband asked, shouldn’t you be in masks. They thought this was hysterical.
In downtown, the map shows three new cases for 10280. That is exactly where the runners and bicyclists coming from other parts of the West Side have been most lax in wearing masks and social distancing. Now we have the security who we pay taxes to patrol esplanade flouting rules.
I’m on verge of selling my apartment. I pay taxes to BPC to enjoy the esplanade but the rules are not enforced. Sunday on the esplanade was insane. Only 50% of people wearing masks.
Click here to watch the new family of Falcons living high above 55 Water Street.
We took a look in the late afternoon, around 5:30, and watched as dinner was served. (On the menu appeared to be a tiny rodent.)
A Fresh Perspective on a Fresh Start
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.
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.
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.
Suzi is a NYC award winning recording artist, who writes and performs cool music for kids (and their grown ups).
Poets House Presents: Nicole Wallace
Poets House Presents is a series of 10 minute readings by poets that are live streamed on Twitter and posted on Facebook and YouTube on Wednesdays and Fridays at noon. Today, Nicole Wallace reads poetry. Nicole Wallace is a poet and musician.
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
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.
609 – Pope Boniface I turns Pantheon in Rome into a Catholic church
1110 – Crusaders march into Beirut causing a bloodbath
1497 – Pope Alexander VI (Rodrigo Borgia) excommunicated Girolamo Savonarola (Italian Dominican friar and an influential contributor to the politics of Florence. He vehemently preached against the moral corruption of much of the clergy at the time, and his main opponent was Rodrigo Borgia).
1607 – English colonists, led by John Smith, land near James River in Virginia
1787 – Arthur Phillip sets sails with 11 ships of criminals to Botany Bay, Australia
1913 – First four engine aircraft built and flown (Igor Sikorsky, Russia)
1950 – Diner’s Club issues its first credit cards
1950 – The first round of the Formula 1 World Championship is held at Silverstone.
1965 – Rolling Stones record “Satisfaction”
1979 – Shah of Iran and family sentenced to death in Teheran
1981 – Pope John Paul II is shot and critically wounded by Turkish gunman Mehemet Ali Agca in St Peter’s Square, Vatican City
1992 – Three astronauts walked in space together for the first time
1729 – Henry William (Baron) Stiegel, early American glassmaker
1856 – Peter Henry Emerson, 1st to promote photography as an independent art
1882 – Georges Braque, Argenteuil, Val-d’Oise, French cubist painter and sculptor
1914 – Joe Louis, world heavyweight boxing
1931 – Jim Jones, Leader of Peoples Temple cult, (Jonestown Massacre)
1961 – Dennis Rodman, Trenton, New Jersey, NBA forward (Chicago Bulls)
1835 – John Nash, British town planner/architect (Regent’s Park), dies
1884 – Cyrus Hall McCormick, inventor, dies
1882 – Jules-Nicolas Crevaux, French explorer, murdered at 35
1930 – Fridtjof Nansen, Arctic explorer/diplomat (Nobel 1922), dies at 68
1962 – Franz Jozef Kline, US expressionist painter, dies at 51
1962 – H Trendley Dean, doctor (introduced fluoridation into water)
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.