Monday’s edition of the BroadsheetDAILY incorrectly stated that a Battery Park City resident was taken from an apartment at 280 Rector Street over the weekend, by an ambulance crew dressed in full hazard suits and wearing respirators.
This event took place on Thursday, March 26, and occurred at another building on Rector Place.
City Takes Over FiDi Hotel to House Homeless
A guard posted to the lobby of the Radisson New York Wall Street Hotel demands that a reporter leave on Monday afternoon, after refusing to answer questions about homeless people being sheltered there.
The administration of Mayor Bill de Blasio is housing several dozen homeless people in a luxury hotel in the Financial District. In a story first reported by the New York Post, the Radisson New York Wall Street Hotel (located at the corner of William and Pine Streets), which has been closed in the wake of the pandemic coronavirus, is being used (at least temporarily) as shelter for homeless adults.
The Broadsheet could not ascertain whether this is an interim measure, or if the City’s Department of Homeless Services (DHS) intends to house its clients at this site indefinitely. Also unclear is whether the hotel is being used as a quarantine facility, in the wake of reports that more than 100 residents in the City’s homeless shelter system have tested positive for the coronavirus, and two have died.
When a reporter approached the front door of the hotel on Monday afternoon to inquire, security guards in surgical masks and plastic ponchos refused to answer questions, demanded that he stop taking photographs, and ordered him to leave. The DHS did not return calls asking for comment.
The website for the Radisson New York Wall Street indicates that its least expensive rooms are priced at $129 per night, which translates to a minimum monthly charge of approximately $4,000 per unit. The hotel has 289 rooms, spread across 21 floors. (It is unknown whether the City negotiated a discounted rate for using the facility.) While the cost of $4,000 per month compares favorably to local rents in Lower Manhattan, the rooms at the Radisson New York Wall Street Hotel are not true apartments, because they lack kitchens, and other basic amenities.
The exterior of the Radisson New York Wall Street Hotel, at 52 William Street.
The decision to bring an additional contingent of homeless people to Lower Manhattan appears to have been made without consulting elected officials or community leaders. The de Blasio administration’s 2017 plan, “Turning the Tide on Homelessness in New York City,” states that, “we will reform how we notify neighborhoods about plans to open our smaller number of new shelters. We will implement protocols to notify community leaders at least 30 days in advance and invite community input when a new shelter is proposed in their neighborhood. The City is committing to meaningful community engagement, a clear shelter opening notification framework for every shelter, and a more equitable distribution of shelters citywide over time.”
There has been no public announcement from the de Blasio Administration of its intent to house homeless people in the Financial District, nor is there any record of DHS having notified Community Board 1 (CB1). Lower Manhattan already shelters approximately 140 homeless people, at the New York City Rescue Mission, located at 90 Lafayette Street (near the corner of White Street).
If this City’s decision to shelter homeless people at 52 William Street proves contentious, it will not be the first time that the property has been the site of controversy. In December, Governor Andrew Cuomo called upon the State’s Department of Labor to probe whether the hotel’s owner, Sam Chang, broke the law when he fired dozens of employees, after they voted in August to unionize and join the Hotel Trades Council.
“New York is a proud pro-union state,” Mr. Cuomo said at the time, “and allegations that owners of the Radisson Hotel New York Wall Street brazenly retaliated against workers simply for exercising their right to organize are completely unacceptable. We have zero tolerance for this despicable behavior and I am directing the State Department of Labor to investigate any violations of state labor laws immediately. If we uncover union busting activities, we will hold the hotelier accountable to the fullest extent of the law.”
Biking through traffic seven years ago at lunch hour in downtown Manhattan compared to the dearth of people and traffic after the Corona virus epidemic is a huge contrast. Footage is sped up, so although it may look a but scary, the ride was totally safe!
Thanks and be well! -Esther R.
Bravo to the Frontline Workers!
Scanning Rector Place from his window the other night, Lower Manhattan resident Marcello de Peralta captured heartfelt community appreciation for workers at the frontlines of the coronavirus pandemic.
Seaport Dog Walkers Maintain Social Distancing; Their Dogs, Well, That’s Another Matter
FiDi resident Mike Devereaux sent photos of Pier 16 morning dog walks
Local Luminaries Claimed by Pandemic, with Tally of Losses Poised to Grow
A truck parked on Beekman Street, outside of New York-Presbyterian Lower Manhattan Hospital, that appears to be intended for use as a temporary morgue.
Hospitals around New York, already coping with a tsunami of patients made critically ill by the pandemic coronavirus, have begun to prepare for a second onslaught: a wave of deceased victims.
Like healthcare facilities throughout the five boroughs, New York-Presbyterian Lower Manhattan Hospital now has an unmarked, refrigerated truck parked outside. On Beekman Street, surrounded by traffic barricades and caution tape, the trailer’s back end is discretely cloaked by a white tent, connecting it to a nearby exit from the building. This will allow movement between the doors and the truck, concealed from public view. As is the case at more than a dozen other hospitals around Manhattan, this truck appears to be earmarked for use as a temporary morgue.
Collection of National September 11 Memorial & Museum
Published with permission of the artist.
Field guide to nightly entertainment
Are you missing the buzz at gatherings in theaters and movie houses? While we continue to learn how to dodge threats of the pandemic to our physical health, spring is arriving with opportunities to nurture mind and body in the safety of the outdoors. When I challenge my eyes to find planet Venus high in the west shortly after sunset, it could be that I am giving a boost to my immune system. Besides, it is a delightful pursuit for people of all ages every clear evening. Venus appears high in the west as a point of white light, the Evening Star, in blue sky about half an hour after sunset. Sunset is shortly after 7:15pm this week. The goddess planet increases in brilliance and decreases in altitude as the sky darkens: look for Venus all night until she sets in the west-northwest at about 11:30pm.
The early bird show continues to the left of Venus, in the south to southwest, where Sirius, the brightest star in the heavens, appears as the sky darkens. Then, find a lookout to the northeast horizon about 90 minutes after sunset to receive the golden light of the second brightest star in our sky, Arcturus.
In dark sky locations, at nightfall, from east to west, find Leo the Lion, The Big Dog, the triangular head of Taurus the Bull and Orion the Hunter. They are visible until about midnight. For a lifetime field guide to the stars through the year, consider purchasing a star wheel aka planisphere.
A note about artist Naoto Nakagawa’s painting, “Stars of the Forest.” It began as a reflection on “a glorious moment in nature’s drama.” Its beauty, like a stroll in a natural landscape and stargazing, is especially heartening as we suffer the COVID19 pandemic. Naoto Nakagawa started the painting a week before 9/11. He states, “At the time, I was unaware that it would be an elegy for that disaster. … after working on it for three months, I came to realize what is was about. The inner light that permeates the entire surface represents the victims of 9/11, expressed as shining stars.The image holds both the tragedy now being experienced around the world and the infinite beauty of nature and the human spirit.”
Lower Manhattan Health Resources for Residents with Concerns
Government officials are asking that people with non-urgent health problems avoid showing up at hospital emergency rooms, which are already overburdened.
Instead, they ask that patients who have concerns consult with their personal physicians. Those in need of non-emergency medical help can also call (or walk into) one of the five Lower Manhattan urgent care clinics that remain open. As of Thursday afternoon, these are:
• CityMD Financial District (24 Broad Street). No appointment necessary. 646-647-1259.
• CityMD Fulton (138 Fulton Street). No appointment necessary. 212-271-4896.
• CityMD Tribeca (87 Chambers Street). No appointment necessary. 347-745-8321.
• NYU Langone at Trinity (111 Broadway). Appointment required. 212-263-9700.
• Mount Sinai Doctors (225 Greenwich Street, fifth floor). No appointment necessary. 212-298-2720.
That noted, anyone experiencing dangerous symptoms (such as trouble breathing or dangerous spikes in body temperature) is encouraged to go to a hospital emergency room.
Two Lower Manhattan healthcare providers are also offering Virtual Visits, in which patients can consult over the phone or video link with a physician or nurse practitioner.
To schedule such a session with NYU Langone, please browse: NYULangone.org, and click on Virtual Urgent Care.
To make an appointment with New York-Presbyterian Lower Manhattan Hospital, please browse NYP.org, and click on Virtual Urgent Care.
Patients enrolled in the World Trade Center Health Program are advised not to cancel or reschedule existing appointments. Clinic staff will be contacting you to make arrangements to convert these sessions into a tele-visits.
All program participants with prescriptions for their certified WTC-related conditions are strongly encouraged to sign up for Optum Home Delivery which allows for 90-day prescription fills and delivers directly to members by mail.
For more information, please call Optum at 855-640–0005, Option 2. For members who prefer to pick up prescriptions at retail pharmacies, the program is waiving early medication refill limits on 30-day prescription maintenance medications. Please call Optum at 855-640–0005, Option 3 for more information.
The World Trade Center Health Program is also covering limited COVID-19 testing for members with certain certified World Trade Center-related conditions that may put them at higher risk of illness from COVID-19. In addition to testing, treatment for COVID-19 is also covered, contingent on certain criteria being met, including that the member was eligible for COVID-19 testing, the treatment is authorized by the program, and the treatment is not experimental. Coverage of COVID-19 treatment costs requires approval by the program’s administrator, on a case-by-case basis.
NEWS FROM PREVIOUS EDITIONS
OF THE BROADSHEETDAILY
Desperate Times for Street Food Vendors
Council Member and Advocacy Group Petition for Funds and to Suspend Most Enforcement Actions Toward Food Carts
Street vendors, who are mostly ineligible for benefits like unemployment or health insurance, have recently suffered losses of more than 80 percent of their usual revenue.
As the pandemic coronavirus continues to grip New York, one cohort of the Downtown community is experiencing a heightened level of distress, according to City Council member Margaret Chin and a non-profit advocacy group based in Lower Manhattan. To read more…
The Niou Deal
Assembly Member Proposes Finance Reform as Funding Mechanism for Affordable Housing
State Assembly member Yuh-Line Niou: “When you go shopping in New York City, how much extra do you pay for sales tax? This transfer tax of one-half of one percent is less than one-sixteenth of what you pay. But it would raise billions for public housing.”
Governor Andrew Cuomo said on Monday that planning must begin immediately for how to rebuild the wreckage of the economy, once the health crisis brought on by the pandemic cononavirus has abated.
“We have to start to plan the pivot back to economic functionality,” he said during a press conference at the Jacob Javits Convention Center on Manhattan’s west side, where he announced the start of construction on a temporary hospital. “You can’t stop the economy forever.” To read more…
Going to the Mattresses
Lower Manhattan Hunkers Down, as Coronavirus Crisis Grinds On
Multiple residents of Lower Manhattan have now tested positive for the pandemic coronavirus, including one tenant at Gateway Plaza in Battery Park City, who has been hospitalized and is breathing with the assistance of a mechanical ventilator, according to a range of sources with direct knowledge of the circumstances.
In a separate development, a resident of Battery Park City died on Saturday after plunging from the 16th floor of his building at 400 Chambers Street, in an apparent suicide.
On a more encouraging note, a teacher at P.S./I.S. 276 (also located in Battery Park City), who exhibited symptoms that warranted a test for coronavirus, has been confirmed to be free of the disease.
Battery Park City’s parks are open for passive use
and solitary recreation only.
Governor Cuomo is urging all New Yorkers to stay home
as much as possible.
Beginning Monday, March 23, for the safety of all parks users and help to stop the spread of COVID-19, the Battery Park City Authority (BPCA) is implementing the following measures:
BPC’s park lawns will begin opening on a rolling basis. When outdoors please be sure to practice good social distancing, keeping at least 6 feet apart from others. If you arrive at a park and crowds are forming, please return another time.
To reduce density, BPC’s athletic courts, sporting fields, playgrounds, dog runs, and public restrooms are closed until further notice
BPCA Programs are canceled until further notice
The Community Center at Stuyvesant High School remains closed until further notice
Click here for additional guidance on how to protect yourself when enjoying the outdoors BPC Parks.
We appreciate your support and patience as we navigate this public health crisis together. Learn more about COVID-19 athttps://coronavirus.health.ny.gov or by calling (888) 364-3065.
Necessity Is the Mother of Intervention
Repurposing of Rivington House Might Help Meet Need for Clinical Capacity Arising from Pandemic
Rivington House on the Lower East Side
A Lower Manhattan building steeped in controversy may become a lifeline for people infected by the pandemic COVID-19 virus. In a story first reported by Crain’s New York, Rivington House is being considered as a possible treatment site.
The Lower East Side building served for decades as an HIV/AIDS care facility. But in 2014, the structure was acquired by real estate speculators, who paid a fraction of its market value, because a deed restriction that committed the building to use as a clinic. To read more…
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. To read more…
A Lifeline for Mom-and-Pop Shops
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.
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 read more…
Church Street School Celebrates 30 Years
Art and Music School Honors Local Family
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.