Additional Cases of Corona Virus Reported in Lower Manhattan
More confirmed and possible cases of the pandemic COVID-19 virus have been linked to Lower Manhattan. Two employees of the New York Stock Exchange(NYSE) tested positive for the virus on Wednesday, leading that facility’s owner, the Intercontinental Exchange (ICE), to announce that it would shutter the building on Monday, moving to all-electronic trading. In a statement, ICE said, “the decision to temporarily close the trading floors represents a precautionary step to protect the health and well-being of employees and the floor community in response to COVID-19.” This statement did not acknowledge that two NYSE employees have been confirmed to be infected, nor did it explain why the facility will remain open until March 23, or specify when the Exchange might reopen.
In a separate development, a teacher at P.S./I.S. 276, in Battery Park City has been identified as possibly infected with the corona virus, according to multiple parents who have children enrolled at the school. This teacher has been tested, but no information is currently available about the results. (P.S./I.S. 276, like all New York City public schools, is closed until at least April 20.)
At the same time, one police officer assigned to the NYPD’s First Precinct, which is located in Tribeca, has tested positive for the virus. Dozens of other officers assigned to the same precinct have called in sick, reducing that facility’s manpower by as much as one-third.
All of these cases come on the heels of multiple earlier local positive test results, including two at Brookfield Place in Battery Park City: one at the offices of the Royal Bank of Canada, and another involving an employee of Brookfield Asset Management. Also infected are an employee at Meridian Capital Group (in the Financial District) and a staff member of an unspecified firm at 100 Church Street (in Tribeca).
Other confirmed cases of the infection in Lower Manhattan have been reported at the office of the U.S Attorney for the Southern District of New York (in the Civic Center), the Hebrew School of the Jewish Community Project (in Tribeca), and New York Law School (also in Tribeca).
map/photo Robert Simko
Meditations in an Emergency
Our Hometown and the Myth of Eternal Return
You tell yourself that you’ve seen this story before, and more than once: edifices falling; waters rising. And you reflect that the worst situations are not those that can’t get any worse. The worst situations are the ones that are going to get worse before they get better. So you hunker down.
You recall the Old Man deciding, a lifetime ago, that since you were too old for fairy tales, you were perhaps old enough for true confessions. How he showed you on a map strange names like Schweinfurt, Dusseldorf, and Hamburg. And his stories of seeing friends eviscerated in the seat next to him as they flew over these places, of watching planes alongside his evaporate in rondures of orange flame and black smoke.
And the rules he had set for himself in such moments: “Admit to fear, but never display it. Display courage, but never admit to it.” How he had formed his own checklist, separate from the one taught to all aviators. In bad moments, he said, “begin by doing what obviously must be done. Proceed next to what clearly can be done. And once these are both squared away, move on to doing what everybody knows can’t be done.”
Amid Coron-Apocalypse, City Offers Loans and Grants for Struggling Small Businesses
The administration of Mayor Bill de Blasio has inaugurated a program to aid small businesses that have experienced financial hardship because of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
Firms with fewer than 100 employees, which have undergone sales decreases of 25 percent or more will be eligible for zero interest loans of up to $75,000 to help mitigate losses in profit. The City’s Department of Small Business Services is also offering small businesses with fewer than five employees a grant to cover 40 percent of payroll costs for two months, to help retain employees.
Lower Manhattan Goes Quiet in Response to Corona Virus Pandemic
Tourists on Broadway and Wall Street
The local impact of the Covid-19 pandemic continued to widen over the weekend. Multiple new confirmed cases of infection were reported, including at the office of the U.S Attorney for the Southern District of New York (One Saint Andrews Plaza, next to Police Headquarters), the Hebrew School of the Jewish Community Project (146 Duane Street, between Church and West Broadway), and New York Law School (185 West Broadway, at the corner of Leonard Street).
These are in addition to confirmed cases reported earlier last week at Brookfield Asset Management (250 Vesey Street, within Brookfield Place), Meridian Capital Group (One Battery Park Plaza, at the corner of State and Pearl Streets), and an employee 100 Church Street (at the corner of Barclay Street), a building that houses multiple City and State agencies.
The decision has been made to close Church Street School’s in-person programs at both onsite and offsite locations through the end of March, when we will reassess the situation. We are planning to initiate our online program offerings beginning Monday March 23rd, and you will hear more about that in the coming days.
Lisa Ecklund-Flores, PHD Executive Director, Founder
Church Street School for Music and Art
As news has developed, our leadership team has determined that the best course of action for the immediate future is the following:
Our community center is closed and all our offices are closed!
All our programs are closed until we figure this out.
Bob Townley, Founder and Executive Director
New York Public Library
After carefully considering a multitude of factors and the rapidly changing situation in New York City around novel coronavirus (COVID-19),all New York Public Library locations will be closed to the public through, at least Tuesday, March 31.
All late fees will be suspended and due dates extended during the closure period.
The Library is working to expand access to e-books and increase awareness of our vast array of online resources. All branches will be sanitized before they reopen.
Anthony W. Marx
President, The New York Public Library
Poets House is postponing all public programs scheduled throughout the rest of March. The library will be closed until further notice.
The decision was made to suspend March programs. We are setting up live-streaming options for programs moving forward and we already have online learning options for adult language and literature classes for our spring semester starting on April 6. Kids classes will follow.
South Street Seaport Museum will close to the public for at least two weeks.
National Museum of the American Indian
The National Museum of the American Indian will close to the public starting Saturday, March 14. We appreciate your understanding at this time. The museum staff and I look forward to welcoming you back when we reopen.
Kevin Gover (Pawnee) Director
Staten Island’s Snug Harbor Cultural Center & Botanical Garden
It is with an abundance of caution that we have decided to postpone the majority of our public programming, including the Newhouse Center for Contemporary Art’s gallery hours, until March 31.
Lower Manhattan Property Values Catch the Flu
Wall Street’s Bear Market Extends to Condominium Prices
The pandemic Covid-19 virus and stock market meltdown are accelerating a trend that was already gripping Lower Manhattan: declining property values. The prices for condominium apartments Downtown peaked in late 2017, and have never since recovered their previous highs.
Local kids help break ground for the Battery Playscape
Joined by elected officials, Lower Manhattan leaders, and a couple of excited Downtown kids, the Battery Conservancy broke ground on March 12 for the Battery Playscape, an unusual playground for children of all ages and abilities. To open in Spring of 2021, the Battery Playscape will feature resilient design that evokes five geographical zones created when water shapes land: bluff, marsh, dune, meadow, and riverbed. Each of the zones will offer unique play elements, such as large granite slides; multilevel, interconnected playhouses, including an ADA-accessible treehouse; and an improv/puppet theater.
The Battery Playscape is designed by BKSK Architects and Starr Whitehouse Landscape Architects and Planners, and is located across from the SeaGlass Carousel. On March 12, three-year-old James Callegari and his one-year-old friend Cecilia Petrilli, helped shovel dirt at the construction site. “James didn’t want to stop shoveling!” noted his mom Angela Callegari before she whisked him off for a thrilling ride on an iridescent fish in the SeaGlass Carousel.
Photos courtesy Angela Callegari
Eyes to the Sky
March 16 – 29, 2020
Find Orion and tell “Globe at Night”
March 16, through next Tuesday, March 24, when the moon is dark, known as new moon, there will be only morning crescents during the early hours before sunrise. This period is optimum for stargazing and for contributing in a small but significant way to astronomical research. Astronomers need eyes in the field all over the world to learn about stargazing conditions beyond their observatories – including hearing from cities. This is an easy and enlightening assignment. It can be fun to share with family and friends, too.
Church Street School of Music and Art could not have made it to its 30th birthday without the support of families like the Kleimans of Battery Park City. This year, in celebration of 30 years of music and art making, the school honored the Kleiman family on March 10 at its annual fundraiser, The Event.
CB1 Mulls Tolling Plan, While Albany Feuds with Washington
Dr. Betty Kay: “The bottom line is tolls must generate $1 billion per year. The idea is to encourage people not to bring their cars in.”
A recent meeting of the Transportation Committee of Community Board 1 became the forum for a heated discussion about the merits of the congestion pricing plan that is slated to bring tolls to vehicles entering Lower Manhattan (including those of residents) as soon as next January.
Committee chair Dr. Betty Kay began by outlining the rationale for the plan, saying, “there are some benefits to doing this. The State’s Climate Leadership law requires that we reduce carbon output to 40 recent of 1990 levels by 2030. And the Department of Transportation says that the transportation sector is responsible 35 percent of the State’s carbon. It’s transportation that has been lagging, while buildings and waste have already made cuts. So we need a lot of cuts to transportation carbon.” Other projected benefits of congestion pricing, she noted, “would include reductions in air pollution and noise pollution.”
I usually never, and I mean NEVER read the paper which is common for a teenager like myself, but today was different. I was working as a security guard in Tribeca today, and a guy came in to deliver your papers to the residents and to my surprise he handed me a paper for myself to read.
I opened the paper and a section immediately caught my attention and this section was called “Affordability Elsewhere” by Matthew Fenton. To start off, I do not live in Manhattan, I live in the Bronx and while living in the Bronx for so long you become very aware that it is way easier to find an affordable apartment there than in Manhattan, but nobody would look at statistics or the facts to back up this statement.
With that being said, I want to thank Matthew for his section in your paper and I hope he and the Broadsheet overall continue to make more sections like this and continue to shine light on the problems in finding affordable housing especially in Manhattan; Although I am unsure if the Broadsheet cares about who reads and doesn’t read their papers, I want them to know they have gained a new reader, a young one at that!
Due to the COVID19 Pandemic, the cruise ship industry has cancelled cruises through the middle of April and possibly longer.
The Staten Island Advance reported that a 2-year-old tested positive for the virus while aboard the Norwegian BLISS, above. The vessel left New York on Tuesday and will linger off Bermuda for the time being.
Today In History March 19
Giovanni da Verrazzano
1279 – A Mongolian victory in the Battle of Yamen ends the Song Dynasty in China
1524 – Giovanni da Verrazzano sailing for King Francis of France sights land around area of Carolinas. While his place of birth in a small village south of Florence or in Lyon France is debatable, what is not is that he was said to always considered himself a Florentine.
Consider that only twenty years earlier had Columbus, a Genoan sailing for Spain, ‘discovered’ a New World. A navigator by profession, he jumped at the chance to work aboard the Pensee as it embarked for the coast of America around 1508 when he was in his early twenties. Fifteen years later in 1523, King Francis 1 of France commissioned Verrazano to explore the coast from New Found land to Florida seeking new trading routes to the Far East.
Within four months Verrazano had four ships set to sail, but after a series of weather and mechanical setbacks, the Dauphine was the only vessel to reach the coast of present day North Carolina. In the upcoming days and weeks he sailed north stopping in New York Harbor, which he described as a lake and mentioned the Lenapae Indians living there.
When the bridge linking Staten Island to Brooklyn was in the planning stages there was a big push to name the bridge after Verrazano. Robert Moses was against the idea for two reasons, ” It’s too long a name and I never heard of the guy”.
1644 – 200 members of Peking imperial family/court commit suicide in loyaltyto the Emperor
Willem deKooning painting
1687 – Explorer Robert Cavelier de La Salle, searching for the mouth of the Mississippi River, is murdered by his own men
1863 – The SS Georgiana, said to have been the most powerful Confederate cruiser,is destroyed on her maiden voyage with a cargo of munitions, medicines
and merchandise then valued at over $1,000,000. The wreck was discovered on the same day and month, exactly 102 years later. See 1963 below.
1883 – Jan Matzeliger invents first machine to manufacture an entire shoe
1931 – Nevada legalizes gambling
1942 – FDR orders men between 45 and 64 to register for non-military duty
1965 – The wreck of the SS Georgiana, was discovered by then teenage diver and pioneer underwater archaeologist E. Lee Spence exactly 102 years after its destruction.
1969 – Chicago 8 indicted in aftermath of Chicago Democratic convention
The Chicago Eight: Jerry Rubin, Abbie Hoffman,Tom Hayden, Rennie Davis, Bobby Seale, Lee Weiner, John Froines and David Dellinger were indicted for conspiracy and inciting a riot during the 1968 Democratic National Convention in Chicago.Froines and Weiner were acquitted on all charges. The other five were convicted of inciting to riot, but the convictions were overturned on appeal.
1973 – Dean tells Nixon, “There is a cancer growing on the Presidency”
1978 – 50,000 demonstrate in Amsterdam against neutron bomb
1987 – PTL leader Jim Bakker resigns after sex scandal with Jessica Hahn
1995 – Five die by poison gas in Japanese subway
2013 – NASA’s Mars rover Curiosity discovers further evidence of water-bearing minerals
1589 – William Bradford, governor of Plymouth colony for 30 years
1813 – David Livingstone, Scotland, explorer (found by Stanley in Africa)
1888 – Josef Albers, German/US graphic artist/painter/writer (Bauhaus)
1904 – John J Sirica, US federal judge (Watergate hearings)
1996 – Winnie Mandela divorces Nelson after 38 years of marrage
1644 – Chongzhen, last Ming Emperor of China, commits suicide
2005 – John De Lorean, American automobile engineer (b. 1925)
2008 – Sir Arthur C. Clarke, science fiction author and inventor (b. 1917)