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
Community Leaders Partner with Food Charity to Feed Downtown Residents in Need
A Rethink food distribution table on East Broadway, in Chinatown.
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.
In response, a broad array of non-profit and public service organizations are stepping up, creating new distribution networks and recruiting cadres of volunteers, to bring food to the doorsteps of people who might otherwise go hungry.
One of these is Rethink Food NYC, a non-profit organization that works to recover nutritious excess food (sourced from restaurants, grocery stores and corporate kitchens) and use it to provide low or no-cost meals to New York City families in need. The group has partnered with a pair of Lower Manhattan community leaders to distribute more than 2,000 meals per day in Chinatown and on the Lower East Side, two areas where the local poverty rate runs significantly higher than the average for the rest of Manhattan.
Lower East side community leader Christopher Marte delivers free meals to public housing residents in Lower Manhattan.
The project began in April, when Rethink implemented an Emergency Food Response plan, by setting up multiple distribution points on Chinatown streets, at which nearby residents could pick up 5,000 healthy, freshly prepared meals per week. But even this scale was quickly overwhelmed when lines, several blocks long, formed at each table daily.
In response, Rethink’s co-founder and chief strategy officer, Winston Chui reached out to a duo of Downtown community leaders: Christopher Marte, a Lower East Side activist who also serves on the Democratic State Committee, and Grace Lee, a Financial District resident who co-founded Children First, a parent-led activist group pushing for the safe cleanup of a environmental contaminants in the South Street Seaport. Both Mr. Marte and Ms. Lee had already begun smaller, similar efforts of their own. Ms. Lee had been delivering meals to residents in the area and heard from many Tenant Association presidents about the pressing need for food among the residents they represented. And Mr. Marte had a long history of working with residents of New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) facilities, “where there is no easy access to affordable or fresh food. And public transportation, while available, is not recommended. So people have limited options and they are generally located in food deserts.” He noted that, “in one of the complexes I had been delivering to, the main supermarket had been shut down for the development of a luxury tower, and never replaced.”
Mr. Marte and Ms. Lee focused on expanding Rethink’s local effort to public and low-income housing complexes. With their input, the scaled-up Rethink effort soon began delivering to five NYHCA complexes in Lower Manhattan, and broadened to 25,000 meals per week.
Mr. Marte says, “we’re so grateful for the work Rethink is doing on the ground in Chinatown and the Lower East Side. Everyday we hand out or go door to door to deliver 5,000 meals to seniors and those who are struggling to get by. Many seniors are scared to go outside, desperate for food, and for human connection. Just these small interactions bring so much joy to them, and seeing how healthy and culturally sensitive the meals are, makes even more of a difference. Without Rethink, I don’t know if there would be enough free meals to go around. Our community has really been able to rally around these donations and distributions, and come together to provide meaningful service in this time of crisis.”
Financial District resident and community leader Grace Lee distributes complimentary food to elderly and in-need residents of a New York City Housing Authority complex on the Lower East Side.
Ms. Lee notes that, “the work that Rethink Food is spearheading in Chinatown and the Lower East Side is vital to the well-being of our community in so many ways, because of who they are targeting. The residents of NYCHA consist of the populations that are disproportionately affected by COVID-19 — seniors, people of color, our first responders and our essential workers. As a resident of New York City for over 20 years, I remember September 11 and Super Storm Sandy. We can’t go back to normal now. We have to ensure that our most vulnerable populations are getting the relief they richly deserve, and that includes fresh local food. I’m glad that I have been able to work with Winston Chiu to help him execute his vision.”
Going forward, Rethink Food is now formulating an Emergency Food Management plan, which aims not only to feed those in need during the current pandemic crisis, but also to fund and activate local food purveyors at the same time. This model is being tested and refined in New York City, with plans to roll it out nationally as need grows. The broader vision is to employ and help American businesses during the economic recession that appears likely to linger long after the health crisis.
‘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 District Leader, makes a point
at a late-February meeting of the New Downtown Democrats.
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.”
Later that week, she says, “it really hit me. I had a low-grade fever, but it wouldn’t go away. And I started feeling so weak and tired that I had trouble walking. Then, on April 1, I couldn’t stand up. And I had this violent, dry cough. It was hard to breathe.”
1) South Battery Park City Resiliency Project – Gwen Dawson, BPCA Vice President of Real Property; Jennifer Dudgeon, Director of Design
2) BPC Wayfinding Signage Update – Gwen Dawson, BPCA Vice President of Real Property; Kim Robledo, Associate Project Manager
3) Rector Place Restoration & West Thames Punch List Items – Discussion
4) Brookfield Place – Covid19 Changes, Pumphouse Park Construction, Personnel and Project Updates – Mark Kostic and Alex Liscio
5) BPCA Report – Nicholas Sbordone, Vice President of Communications & Public Affairs, Battery Park City Authority
6) BPC Security Update – Patrick Murphy, Director of Security, Allied Universal
To the editor:
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.
NEWS FROM PREVIOUS EDITIONS
OF THE BROADSHEETDAILY
What Comes Next?
Assembly Member Proposes Post-Pandemic New Deal
State Assembly member Yuh-Line Niou: “We must take this moment to fundamentally rethink government, and establish policies that prioritize the struggling many, not the wealthy few — while ensuring that the wealthy pay their fair share, so we have the resources to make this happen.”
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.
“In this moment, many are now realizing the critical role that government can and should play when faced with a crisis of this magnitude,” Ms. Niou says. “It must also be noted that many of these problems exist only because we have for too long followed a demonstrably flawed economic policy that sacrifices strong public institutions in exchange for endless tax breaks for the wealthiest among us.”
Rate of Confirmed Infections Among Lower Manhattan Residents Rises Slightly
A total of 660 residents of Lower Manhattan have tested positive for the pandemic coronavirus, which translates into 75 new local cases, or a jump of approximately 12.8 percent, in the last seven days.
A total of 660 residents of Lower Manhattan (among 1,946 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 (April 30). Given the current City-wide mortality rate for COVID-19 (the disease caused by coronavirus) of approximately 7.7 percent, roughly 45 of these patients appear likely to die.
This updated tally for confirmed cases of coronavirus indicates that the total number of local residents known to be infected has jumped by 75 new cases, or approximately 12.8 percent, since April 24 (the date of the Broadsheet’s previous update of these statistics), when the total number of Lower Manhattan cases was 585 patients. This does not necessarily mean that the local rate of infection is growing at 12.8 percent per week, but may be a reflection more patients being tested.
But it does offer a glimpse of somewhat reassuring news: In the interval between two the Broadsheet’s earlier updates (on April 9 and April 17), the rate of increase in confirmed cases among Lower Manhattan residents had been 31 percent.
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.
Russel Albert Daniels was born in Salt Lake City, Utah and specialized in photography at the University of Montana School of Journalism. After a brief stint with the Associated Press, Daniels focused on documentary work relating to Native American identity and resilience, including projects on missing and murdered indigenous women as well as the Dakota Access Pipeline protests in coordination with the nearby Standing Rock Indian Reservation in North Dakota.
Daniels’ essay, The Genízaro Pueblo of Abiquiú, delves into the history and development of the Genízaro people. Starting in the mid 17th century, Spanish conquistadors attempted to “detribalize” various native communities through violence, abduction and forced assimilation into European communities. The Spanish went as far as renaming the captured indigenous individuals as Genízaro, which is Turkish for “slaves trained as soldiers”. The history of their plight and persecution is forever encapsulated in their built and natural environment, be it crumbling, such as 18th-century church structures like the Santa Rosa de Lima Church.
Taiylr Irvine was born in the Flathead Indian Reservation in western Montana. She has worked on assignments for a variety of news organizations such as the New York Times, CNN and Washington Post. Being from Salish and Kootenai descent, Irvine focuses her independent journalism on matters such as in-depth exposes and research on the diverse Native American communities in contemporary America.
In Irvine’s Reservation Mathematics:Navigating Love in Native America, she stresses the interconnectedness of government regulations and dating life for indigenous communities that seek to maintain their sense of identity. The 1934 Indian Reorganization Act establishes certain criteria for who can apply to settle on particular reservations; consequently, if you have lineage from multiple tribes then it can limit your chance at eligibility for a reservation. This photo-essay–which highlights inidigenous couples and individuals from the LGBTQ community, high schoolers, a council member, among others– demonstrates the impact that arbitrary “eligibility” standards have on one’s sense of identity and worth, as being a member of a tribe comes with a sense of honor.
The exhibition “Developing Stories: Native Photographers in the Field” is a series of photographs and essays by indigenous photojournalists Russel Albert Daniels and Taiylr Irvine.
The City is providing free “Grab and Go” meals for anybody (not just students) who needs or wants them, at 435 public schools throughout the five boroughs.
Two facilities in Battery Park City—Stuyvesant High School (345 Chambers Street, near North End Avenue, and P.S./I.S. 276 (55 Battery Place, near First Place)—have been designated to serve Lower Manhattan as “Meal Hubs, each weekday, from 7:30 am to 1:30 pm.
Children and families are welcome from 7:30 to 11:30 am, and adults will be given food from 11:30 am to 1:30 pm. All adults and children can pick up multiple meals at once. Parents and guardians may pick up meals for their children.
No registration, identification, or documentation is required. Vegetarian and halal are available at all locations. No one will be turned away at any time, but no dining space is available at these facilities, so meals must be eaten off premises.
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More than 30 Lower Manhattan restaurants and bars have set up GoFundMe pages to raise money that will help them pay employees and otherwise remain viable during the economic downturn induced by the pandemic coronavirus.
Each of these campaigns is an opportunity not only to help your favorite eatery, but also to make less likely the very real prospect that—come the next recovery—our streetscape will be populated entirely by corporate chains and denuded of locally owned small businesses.
The Downtown Alliance has set up a page with links to each, click here.
Remembering a Fallen Healer
A Local Leader Recalls Tribeca’s Nisar Quraishi
Nisar A. Quraishi, MD (1947 – 2020)
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.
“I loved him from the first moment,” Mr. Schulman recalls. “He was always very thoughtful, very kind and reassuring. A great doctor, in every sense.”
Data Scientist Finds That Downtown Footpaths Impede Social Distancing
This online data visualization map shows the prevalence of streets in Lower Manhattan deemed too narrow for effective distancing from passersby.
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.
“It started a few weeks ago, when I was walking around Boreum Hill, where I live,” Ms. Harvey recalls, “and noticed that it was tough to walk while avoiding people. The width of the sidewalks make it necessary to move into the street. And suddenly, I made the connection between sidewalk widths and social distancing. I have also worked in the Financial District, so I immediately thought of that area and its narrow sidewalks, too.” 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.
1502 – James Tyrrell, alleged murderer of the Princes in the Tower (executed)
1642 – Frans Francken the Younger, Flemish painter, dies on 61st birthday
1862 – Henry David Thoreau, US writer/pacifist (Walden Pond), dies at 44
1987 – William J Casey, director of CIA (1981-87), dies at 73
1992 – Marlene Dietrich, [Maria Losch], actress (Angel), dies in Paris at 90
The Curve Flattens
Rate of Increase for Confirmed Infections Among Downtown Residents Tapers Off
Lower Manhattan’s eight zip codes are the site of 585 confirmed cases of coronavirus, up from 529 cases on April 17, which represents an increase of approximately 10.5 percent in one week.
A total of 585 residents of Lower Manhattan (among 1,530 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. According to the DOH data, the local infection rates (outlined out by zip code) break down as follows: To read more…
Downtown Hotel Business May Be an Enduring Casualty of Pandemic
The Conrad Hotel is being used to house healthcare workers battling the pandemic coronavirus.
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.
how to care for your pet during the COVID-19 Pandemic
Taste of Tribeca Community Fund
To the community,
Three weeks ago, we launched the Taste of Tribeca Community Fund.
Since then you have given us over $60,000 and with this we have purchased over 4,800 meals from 10 Taste of Tribeca restaurants for delivery to 11 New York City hospitals, plus FDNY Ladder 8, FDNY Engine 7, the NYPD 1st Precinct, and NYC Department of Sanitation Manhattan District 1.
You have helped to keep these restaurants in business, and in turn the restaurant teams have been doing some of the most important cooking and meal service of their careers, for the healthcare workers on the front lines against Covid-19.
The importance of your contribution cannot be emphasized enough. As another organization doing similar work has put it, we are not merely sending care packages as a thank you to the healthcare workers. We are providing them with basic nourishment, which they have no time to buy on their own, and in some areas no one even from whom to buy them.
And in our little corner of the city, we have restaurants willing and able to serve and for whom our large orders are essential to the continued operation of their business.
We are now down to our last few thousand dollars, which, at our current pace, will last us another few days to a week. We would love to keep going until at least May 15, so please consider donating again if you can, and share our mission with your families, friends and colleagues. Your continued generosity and support will directly benefit our restaurants, our neighborhood, and the healthcare heroes in our great city.
Thank you from all of us at Taste of Tribeca!
If you can help us, we would appreciate it.
Here is our most recent campaign update sent to donors, plus our GoFundMe and Instagram feed. Our current meal count is over 5,000.
Who remembers Iggy, the 40-foot iguana formerly of the Lone Star Cafe on Lower 5th Avenue and subsequently perched atop Pier 25 by Bob Wade and Bob Townley in the 1980s? For some years now, Iggy has resided at the Fort Worth Texas Zoo reptile exhibit. The charismatic iguana was recently seen practicing social distancing.
‘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.
As business activity ground to a halt in March due to the pandemic coronavirus, the market for apartments in Lower Manhattan experienced something akin to a heart attack during the first quarter on this year, according to analyses from two real estate data firms.
A pair of reports from Platinum Properties, a brokerage firm headquartered in the Financial District, documents the carnage in Battery Park City and the Financial District. The first notes that the median price for condominiums sold in Battery Park City dropped from $1.515 million in the first quarter of 2019 to $1.005 million in the same period this year. That represents a 33.7 percent decline in 12 months, and a 14 percent decline just since the last quarter of 2019, when the median price was $1.168 million. To read more…
Doing Good, Even When Not Doing Well
A Local Business Struggles to Survive, By Helping Those Less Fortunate
In happier times: Karen Barwick (right) and her staff, at Tribeca’s Boomerang Toys
Karen Barwick, the proprietress of Boomerang Toys in Tribeca, which has been a fixture in the lives of generations of Lower Manhattan kids, is leading a push to bring a smile to the faces of homeless children, who are quarantined in shelters, while also helping small businesses.
“We have teamed up with several other neighborhood toy stores that are struggling, because of being locked down,” she explains, “and partnered with Homeless Services United” (HSU) — a coalition of nearly sixty non-profit agencies serving homeless families. By browsing www.BoomerangToys.com, and clicking on the Donate button, users can purchase a toy that will be delivered to a shelter by the HSU’S existing distribution network, which already parcels out clothing and food. 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.