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This Weekend NYC Things To Do

Juneteenth, Father's Day, Most State CoVid Restrictions Removed, but Private Businesses Maintain Some as is Their Right,

nyc things to do this weekend nyc manhattan queens brooklyn staten Island bronx things to do nycJune 18, 2021 / NYC Neighborhoods / NYC Things To Do Events / Gotham Buzz NYC.

Weather. The temperature highs will be about 70 on Friday, rising to about 90 for the rest of the weekend. The temperature lows will be about 70, rising to the mid 70's on Sunday. The humidity will rise during the weekend from the mid 50% range to about 70% on Sunday. Winds will remain 5 - 10 mph all weekend. There's a slight chance of a slight amount of rain very early Saturday morning [3a - 4a].

 

Brooklyn Things To Do This Weekend NYC

On Sunday, June 20, 2021 from 12 noon - 6 pm. 7th Heaven Festival / Brooklyn Street Fair. Along 7th Avenue between Flatbush and 16th Street in Park Slope. A Fathers' Day street fair with arts, crafts, food, music, antiques, shopping and a classic car show. Organized by parkslopechamber.com.

The Coney Island Mermaid Parade., which normally would fall on this weekend, has been moved to September 12, 2021 starting at 1 pm.

NEXT WEEK - Friday, June 25, 2021 from 10 am - 6 pm _ Bayridge 5th Avenue Summer Festival. Along 5th Avenue from 72nd to 85th Streets in Bay Ridge. Organized by 5th Avenue Bay Ridge BID.

 

Bronx Things To Do This Weekend NYC

nyc things to do this weekend nyc manhattan queens brooklyn staten Island bronx things to do nycSaturday, June 19, 2021 from 11 am - 7 pm - 12th Annual Bronx Fair in the Square on Lane Avenue & 11th Annual Bronx Fair in the Square on Tremont Avenue - Along Lane Avenue from Tremont Avenue to Westchester Avenue. Also along Tremont Avenue from St Raymonds to Frisby Avenue. Bronx St fairs festivals in the Westchester Square neighborhood of the East Bronx. Organized by the WSBID

June 2021 EVERY Saturday from about 12 noon to 7 pm - Bronx Night Market - in Fordham Plaza at East Fordham Road and Third Avenue across from the Metro North Railway Station.

The Annual Hunts Point Fish Parade & Festival has gone virtual this year. But so far this link hasn't shown how.

https://thepoint.org/events/venues/online-event/

 

Manhattan Things To Do This Weekend NYC

Friday, June 18, 2021 from 10 am - 6 pm - NYC Police Museum Fair - Along Liberty Street from Broadway to Trinity in the Downtown NYC / Tribeca neighborhood of Manhattan.

Saturday, June 19, 2021 from 10 am - 6 pm. Turtle Bay Festival Street Fair - Along Lexington Avenue from 42nd Street to 54th Street in Midtown Manhattan NYC.

Sunday, June 20, 2021 from 10 am - 6 pm. Avenue of the Americas Spring Fair [formerly Summerfest] - Along 6th Avenue from 42nd Street to 56th St in Midtown Manhattan. Was once called USO Street Fair.

 

Queens Things To Do This Weekend NYC

nyc things to do this weekend nyc manhattan queens brooklyn staten Island bronx things to do nycQueens Pridefest is doing a virtual event in June, a live event in July and a live march in August. Stay tuned.

The Jackson Heights Historic House Tour is being rescheduled to later in the year.

The Jackson Heights Art Club On The Fence Outdoor Art Sale appears to be on hiatus for their June event.

The Queens Dominican Parade has been cancelled.

 

Next Week - Make Music NY

Sunday & MOSTLY Monday, June 21, 2021 - various time / various places. Make Music New York. Hundreds of musicians [in 2018 it was estimated at about 400] will be performing numerous small concerts [in 2018 estimated over 1,000 concerts] throughout the NYC boroughs at various locations. Copy & paste this link for details.

https://www.makemusicday.org/ny/listings

nyc things to do this weekend nyc manhattan queens brooklyn staten Island bronx things to do nyc

Things are Gradually Coming Back to Life

We're working to stay abreast of things as the city re-awakens from its CoVid pandemic past. Here are some links to other things going on. Manhattan street fairs, Queens street fairs, Bronx street fairs, Brooklyn street fairs and Staten Island street fairs. We'll add more as the summer progresses.

Have a Happy Juneteenth, which was made a federal holiday this week, and also have a Happy Father's Day.

Remember, Tuesday, June 22nd, is the NYC Mayoral, Comptroller, Public Advocate, Borought Presidents, Manhattan District Attorney and City Councilmembers primary election day.


Comptroller, Borough Presidents, Public Advocate, Manhattan DA & NYC Mayoral Races - Analysis

Early Voting Has Started, Update on Controllers Race, Queens & Manhattan Borough Presidents & the NYC Mayoral Contest

nyc things to do this weekend nyc manhattan queens brooklyn staten Island bronx things to do nycJune 14, 2021 / NYC Neighborhoods / News Analysis & Opinion / Gotham Buzz NYC.

Well, this election certainly snuck up on us. It’s hard to believe that early voting began on Saturday, June 12, 2021 and continues through June 20th. Election day follows a couple of days later on Tuesday, June 22nd - only a week away.

Please be advised that these are not endorsements, per se, just an opinion based on an analysis of the best information I have at this time.

 

NYC Municipal Election Primaries Underway - Early Voting has Begun

This is an important election, where most of the key municipal offices are up for grabs, and many of the key incumbents have been term limited. There’s the Mayor’s race, of course, which I’ll get to in a minute. And also the Comptroller, the Public Defender, all of the Borough Presidents, and all members of the City Council.

 

NYC Comptroller Race - Corey Johnson has a Solid Lead, but Still Short of a Majority

Regarding the Comptroller’s race, right now Corey Johnson, the current Speaker of the City Council, is running for Comptroller and leading in the polls by a fairly healthy margin – BUT – he still only has about 18% of the vote. His next nearest competitors are Michelle Cabruso-Cabrera and Brad Lander – both of whom are at 9%. Johnson seems like a solid choice, given his experience as City Council Speaker, and no questions regarding his integrity and efforts in support of the working / middle classes.

 

Public Advocate - Juumane Williams has Outraised his two Competitors Combined by 50% in Small Donations

I'm not familiar with our current Public Advocate, Juumane Williams' competitors, but they've not been very successful in obtaining financial support. I also couldn't find a poll for the race, which to me means it's not hotly contested. Williams was elected Public Advocate, beating out sixteen other candidates in a special election in 2019. At present I see no need for a change, as Williams' first full year in office was - like all of our lives - put in something akin to a techno 'sleep mode' as we waited out the pandemic.

 

Van Bramer, Sunnyside Yard and the Queens Borough Presidency

As for the Borough Presidents, Jimmy Van Bramer seems to be the best choice for the folks in Queens, because he stood up to the powerful interests and the Democratic Party leadership regarding the Amazon development deal in Long Island City. This issue was an important test, because that Long Island City real estate development package seemed to include a number of unnecessary tax giveaways to billionaires – yet again.

But thanks to Van Bramer and other courageous local government officials, this did not happen. And in spite of the blockade, Amazon still made significant investments to expand their footprint in NYC – as had Facebook and Google previously and concurrently – without the taxpayer giveaways. When are government officials going to learn that NYC offers big corporations a level of infrastructure they are hard pressed to obtain almost any place else?

So that said, the reason Van Bramer seems like the best choice is that it’s very likely in the next four to eight years, that the Sunnyside Yard is going to be developed. Sunnyside Yard is adjacent to Long Island City, Sunnyside, Woodside and Astoria and its development will greatly affect the lives of the people who live there and likely far beyond. So the last kind of Queens Borough President the folks of Queens need representing them during these turbulent times, are those who are unwilling to stand up to the real estate developers and big business billionaires, because the pressure to sell us locals out, will likely be significant.

In standing up for the locals in the case of the Amazon development, Van Bramer has shown he’s willing to take the risk and heat of representing his constituents – even when it means angering rich and powerful people. The other two key Democratic candidates, Elizabeth Crowley and Donovan Richards, are both Democratic party 'machine' insiders and have shown a proclivity to accommodate real estate developers in the past.

 

Manhattan Borough President & the Case of an Ambitious Opportunist

In Manhattan, the only insight I have to provide at this time, is about who I find somewhat objectionable, and that’s where Lindsey Boylan comes in. I did a couple of reports that included her, in tandem with the Cuomo harassment allegations. What I found was that the timing of her announcement alleging that Cuomo had harassed her, seemed far too opportunistic to ignore, as did the way she appeared to manage her career while working for him. And what seemed her attempt to exploit the #MeToo movement for support and donations, reminded me of how Senators Cruz [Republican Texas] and Hawley [Republican Missouri] seemed to exploit the Big Lie about election fraud to opportunistically raise cash for their campaigns.

Lindsey Boylan and sexual harassment allegations against Governor Andrew Cuomo.

 

Manhattan District Attorney Race - Why did One Front Runner Receive Lots of Wall St. Cash?

According to a May 19, 2021 report by Intelligencer,

" ... Much of the criticism aimed at Farhadian Weinstein has come from her ties to the financial industry. As of January, the last filing deadline, Farhadian Weinstein had raised $2.2 million, far more than any other candidate. Much of that money was provided by donors on Wall Street, where Farhadian Weinstein’s husband runs the hedge fund Saba Capital Management. (Her critics like to point out that she and her husband bought their Fifth Avenue penthouse for $25.5 million in 2012.) Farhadian Weinstein’s connection to the finance world is especially concerning among those who saw a connection between Vance declining to prosecute Ivanka Trump, Donald Trump Jr., and Harvey Weinstein and the DA’s willingness to take substantial contributions from the defense attorneys who represented them... "

Farhadian is one of the top two contenders.

The other top contender is Alvin Bragg, who doesn't have such monied support, but did win the endorsement of the New York Times. In their endorsement in support of Alvin Bragg for District Attorney they cited his successful prosecution of the Trump Foundation's illicit activity. Whoever becomes the next Manhattan District Attorney will have to take over the current case being prepared against the Trump Organization regarding alleged tax scam(s). This race will NOT be decided by ranked choice voting, even though there are eight candidates vying for the spot.

 

Bronx, Brooklyn & Staten Island Borough Presidents

Unfortunately, most of the roughly two dozen folks running for the Bronx, Brooklyn and Staten Island Borough Presidents, I’ve not spent much time covering or monitoring. Unfortunately, I don’t have the resource to do it now, in the time remaining. So I suggest using Google, Bing, Wikipedia, the NYT and the Daily News as fairly reliable sources to use, if you want to check up on someone that you’re contemplating voting for. We rolled out the Bronx Buzz, the Brooklyn Blvd and the Staten Buzz, all within the past few years, so we're short on history as of this writing, but should be in a far better position to comment in the years going forward as we step up our coverage in those boroughs.

 

Beware the Manipulations of an Australian Born Billionaire's Corrupt NYC Media?

I recommend against relying on the NY Post, Wall St. Journal and Fox News for election information as they are all controlled by the same Australian born billionaire, Rupert Murdoch. Murdoch, who appears to use these media outlets to manipulate public perception, in order to get pols elected who will cater to his whims, in exchange for ‘free’ mass media advertorial [ads presented as 'news' content] support. The candidates he supports too often win, as does Murdoch, while we, the people, lose bigly.

Now, onto the NYC Mayoral Debate on Thursday, June 10, 2021.

 

2nd / Final Live NYC Mayoral Debate 2021 & Ranked Choice Voting

On Thursday, June 10, 2020, five of the most competitive NYC Mayoral candidates faced off again in the second and final live debate of this race. The candidates were Eric Adams, Kathryn Garcia, Maya Wiley, Scott Stringer and Andrew Yang. Donovan, Morales and McGuire apparently didn’t make the cut. Take note of this folks, as in this first year of ranked choice voting, even if you support these candidates, your second through fifth place votes are going to matter. Why? Because as of this post about 22% of the electorate has not yet made up their minds and nobody – not even the front running candidates – are even close to winning the majority needed to become the next Mayor of NYC.

So as I sat down to watch the debate, I found myself not that interested in the first couple of questions. One was about how to handle Governor Cuomo, because de Blasio and Cuomo have had a testy relationship. But it’s unknown as to whether Cuomo will be re-elected, given he’s already held the job for twelve years. Why is the Mayor’s post term limited but the Governor’s is not? The candidates were also asked about the legalization of marijuana and the answers didn’t differ dramatically. They all seem to be in favor of legalization, with tweaks on how to manage the roll out, the revenue and the collateral damage [accidents and drug abuse].

But the next set of questions were pretty solid, and directed directly at each of the individual candidates, in something I would call “in search of an Achilles heel”.

Stringer has a Second Accuser Regarding Sexual Harassment

The first question went to Scott Stringer regarding new and previous allegations of sexual harassment by the NYC Comptroller. In early June a second accuser came forth with allegations that Stringer had groped and kissed her without her consent. The first accuser, Jean Kim, made public similar allegations earlier this year. The allegations date back to the early 1990’s when Stringer was one of the owners of a bar called Uptown Local which was between 97th and 98th streets on the Upper West Side. Stringer denied the allegations and said he was sorry if he made anyone uncomfortable.

The next question went to Andrew Yang, querying whether he would spend much time at his weekend home in New Paltz. It was noted that Yang and his family ‘escaped’ the city during the CoVid pandemic – which was not uncommon with many other white collar workers and their families. Yang said he expected he would be too busy for weekends in New Paltz if elected Mayor.

Wiley & Stringer on Corruption

Maya Wiley was asked what her willingness to enable the de Blasio Administration to block from public view, the communications between the Administration and the political consultants working in tandem with the Campaign for One New York, would mean if she were elected Mayor. Wiley had declared the consultants or Campaign for One New York ‘agents of the city’ which enabled the communication records to be shielded from public view – but only for a while, as that categorization didn’t hold up, when challenged in court. The gist of this was about conflict of interest, much of it surrounding the effort to win universal Pre-K, as some of the donors to the Campaign for One New York had business pending before the city.

I’m not sure what Wiley’s response was, as Scott Stringer jumped on this, and cried “pay to play”. His outburst was met in kind, where he was accused by Wiley of using his office to serve his own political purposes. The example cited was a Comptroller audit of Garcia’s department, which while it began a year ago, was only released within the past month.

This resonated with me, as in my report on Stringer within the past month, I noted how Stringer seemed to use the Comptroller’s Office in 2014 to pursue an aggressive investigation of the Queens Library President and Board, which appeared to serve the purposes of a billionaire real estate developer and press lord [at the time]. The Stringer investigation turned up nothing, after a year of investigation, a lot of lawyering and what seemed an endless stream of headlines about the new NYC Comptroller, Scotty Stringer, chasing down ‘corruption’. But to me it seemed just the opposite. It seemed that a corrupt Scotty Stringer was making headlines for himself, while chasing down a very competent and innocent Queens Library President and Board, in order to please a billionaire real estate developer and press lord, which in the long haul should have proven good for Stringer’s career.

Scott Stringer and the 'tale' of the Queens Library 'Corruption Scandal'.

Kathryn Garcia the Garbage Collector?

The next question went to Kathryn Garcia regarding her handling of the Department of Sanitation and a report about the level of cleanliness in the city where 189 of 221 blocks were declared dirty. Garcia was responded by saying that the city was clean under her watch. But that things like a $100 million budget cut and changes to the alternate side parking rules made keeping the city clean challenging without the proper resource and parking accommodation.

Adams the Crime Fighter?

Adams was asked about whether his claims of being the right guy to be able to manage crime in NYC rang true, given that one of the worst crime areas in the city, is in his borough in northern Brooklyn. He said that it was the Mayor who has control of the NYPD and that the plethora of guns and other factors like poverty contribute to the problem.

I’m not sure if I have this right, but I believe Andrew Yang called Adams on this saying that while shootings are up 75% in the city, they are up 100% in Brooklyn. [Editor’s Note: Comparing 2021 to 2020 can be misleading as during the pandemic a lot of things changed. The year 2019 is a better baseline.].

Changing Times & Revisionist Histories - Racism

The candidates were asked if they would change some of the names of streets and locations because a number of those for whom these are named were slaveowners. They all answered in the affirmative, with varying spins on the theme in their answers. Wiley said we need to do more than just change names. Garcia said we need to update records and do a better job of educating people by providing more complete histories of who were the people in our past.

Bike Lanes and Bike Licenses

The candidates were asked about bike lanes and bike licenses. Yang said he believed that motorized bikes beyond a certain speed should be regulated and the biking infrastructure better / more intelligently developed. Wiley said that we need more and better alternatives to existing transit options. Garcia agreed and said no to regular bike licenses because it would serve as a deterrent to an activity that is largely beneficial in nature. Stringer said free bikes for everyone in high school. Adams said no licenses as that would place an unnecessary burden on the NYPD.

Congestion Pricing - Not a Fan Myself but All Candidates Support it

Asked about congestion pricing, they all said yes, except Andrew Yang who pointed out that traffic congestion in Manhattan isn’t a problem right now and the funds could be used elsewhere. We did a report on Congestion Pricing and are not fond of it based on our assessment of the facts. It seems like an expensive ‘solution’ formulated and pushed by lobbyists to profit from a problem it won’t really fix.

An analysis of Congestion Pricing in NYC

Adams and Yang Duel – Who Owns Two Homes? Who’s a Real New Yorker?

A couple of footnotes to this race. Adams accused Yang of being a racist because Yang questioned whether Adams was a real New York citizen. Adams owns a home in Brooklyn, but also shares an apartment with his partner in Fort Lee, New Jersey. Adams said it was racist because he [Adams] believed that Yang was implying that an African American can’t own two homes. Yang’s campaign said Yang questioning Adams residency was in response to Adams’ continuous assaults on Yang as not being a ‘real New Yorker’ because Yang owns a second home in New Paltz. This looks like a guy cat fight [meow].

NYPBA – the Police Union with a Spotty Record – Endorses Adams

Adams also received the endorsement of the NYPBA police union, which Adams has been boasting about. It’s worth mentioning that the NYPBA has fought to keep most or even all of the NYPD policemen who have shot and killed unarmed African Americans on the force with benefits. The NYPBA finally lost one of these battles regarding Daniel Pantaleo, who put Eric Garner of Staten Island, in a fatal chokehold believed to have caused Garner’s death.

Australian billionaire Murdoch's NY Post and the NYPBA, the New York City's police union, urges de Blasio and NYPD to keep Daniel Pantaleo on the force.

Early Voting Runs Until Sunday June 20th and the Election is Tuesday 6/22/21

Early voting begins Saturday, June 12th and continues through Sunday June 20th. Election day is Tuesday, June 22nd. Have a good week.

Enjoy your week.


This Weekend NYC Things To Do

NYC is Increasingly Moving to Normal - Many Live Events This Weekend in the Boros including the Feast of St Anthony in the Little Italy section of the Bronx, LGBTQ Festival in the South Bronx, Rose Garden Festival at NYBG, Traditional Street Fair in Forest Hills Qns, Calligraphy Workshop in Jamaica Qns & Plantathon Crafts Fair on the UWS, Tribeca Film Fest continues, Food Truck Fair at Mount Loretto SI, Pride Festival in Brooklyn and a Greek Festival in BK too

nyc things to do this weekend nyc manhattan queens brooklyn staten Island bronx things to do nycJune 11, 2021 / NYC Neighborhoods / NYC Things To Do Events / Gotham Buzz NYC.

Weather. The Temperature highs will be in the low 60's on Friday, rising to the low 70's on Saturday and the mid 70's on Sunday. The temperature lows will be in the low to mid 60's all weekend. Possibly a bit of rain is in the forecast on Sunday night after 9 pm. Winds will range between 3 - 7 mph rising slowly through the weekend. The Humidity will be in the 60% - 80% range all weekend, rising as the weekend progresses.

 

NYC Live Events Coming Back Gradually - Bronx

nyc things to do this weekend nyc manhattan queens brooklyn staten Island bronx things to do nycThru Sunday, June 13, 2021 from 6 pm to 11 pm - The Feast of St. Anthony. Times are Friday until 11 pm, Sat from 2 pm - 11 pm / Sun from 2 pm - 10 pm. It's the 114th / 115th annual Feast of St Anthony at Our Lady of Mount Carmel Church at 627 East 187th Street which is also known as Bronx Little Italy. The triangle of streets along Cresent and Arthur Avenues & 187th Street in the Little Italy section of the Belmont neighborhood in the Bronx will be celebrating this Belmont neighborhood st fair with rides, games, raffles, food and entertainment every night. Officially the street fair is being held along East 187th street from Arthur to Beaumont Avenue, and along Crescent from Cambreleng to Belmont Avenue. There will be a procession on Sunday beginning at 5 pm.

On Saturday, June 12, 2021 from 12 noon - 8 pm there's the 1 Bronx Festival / HUB 3rd Avenue Summer Festival / LGBTQ Festival - Along Alexander Avenue between Bruckner and 134th street. Bronx street fairs in the Melrose neighborhood and near Mott Haven. In 2019 it was organized by Third Avenue BID, LGBTQ Bronx Caucus, Out Bronx, BAAD & Bronx Borough President.

On Saturday & Sunday, June 12 & 13, 2021 from 11 am - 4 pm. Rose Garden Weekend at the New York Botanical Garden Festival - At 2900 Southern Blvd in the Bronx. This isn't exactly a street fair in the Norwood / Fordham Manor / University neighborhood of the Central Bronx - but it is an opportunity to see 650 varieties of roses in bloom in the Peggy Rockefeller Rose Garden at the NY Botanical Gardens [Admission $15 / $7 / $4 & kids under 2 free].

In June 2021 EVERY Saturday from about 12 noon to 7 pm - Bronx Night Market - in Fordham Plaza at East Fordham Road and Third Avenue across from the Metro North Railway Station.

 

NYC Live Events Coming Back Gradually - Queens

Sunday, June 13, 2021 from 10 am - 6 pm - Forest Hills Festival Of The Arts - Along Austin Street from 69th Road to 72nd Road. St fairs in Forest Hills.

Saturday & Sunday, June 12 & 13, 2021 - from 1 - 4 pm - Traditions Festival. At King Manor at 153rd Street and Jamaica Avenue in King Park. The Saturday event centers around calligraphy and the Sunday event centers around crafts, music and dance.

 

NYC Live Events Coming Back Gradually - Manhattan

Sunday, June 13, 2021 from 10 am to 6 pm - 43rd Plantathon Crafts Fair - Along west side of Broadway from 73rd to 82nd Street - street fairs in the Upper West Side neighborhood UWS of Manhattan. One of the oldest plant fairs in the city, offering a huge array of plants, food and live music.

Sunday, June 13, 2021 from 12 noon - 62nd Annual Puerto Rican Day Parade in Manhattan - Normally it's live and along 5th Avenue from 44th Street to 79th Street. www.nprdpinc.org. This year it's been cancelled, but there will be a TV show from 12 - 2 pm Sunday on Puerto Rican culture.

The Tribeca Film Festival continues as does entertainment on the Lincoln Center Green.

 

NYC Live Events Coming Back Gradually - Brooklyn

Thursday - Saturday, June 10 - 12, 2021. From 11 am - 9 pm daily. 42nd Annual Greek Festival at the cathedral at 64 Schermerhorn Street between Court Street and Boerum Place. The event has rides, entertainment, food and shopping. Organized by the St Constantine & Helen Cathedral at stconstantinecathedral.org. Brooklyn street fairs in Brooklyn Heights.

Saturday, June 12, 2021 from 10 am - 6 pm _ 24th Annual Brooklyn Pride Festival. Along 5th Avenue between 3rd and 5th streets. In the past the festivities warm up began with a run through Prospect Park at 10 am [register at brooklynpride.org]. And again - in the past - from 11 am - 6 pm there's a cultural festival with food, shopping and entertainment along 5th Avenue from 1st to 9th Streets, but as you can see above, the size of the fair has been reduced to 3rd to 5th streets. Brooklyn street fairs in Crown Heights.

 

NYC Live Events Coming Back Gradually - Staten Island

Friday, Saturday & Sunday, June 12 & 13, 2021 - 5th Annual Food Truck Fair - beginning at 1 pm on Saturday and Sunday - ending at 10 pm. Food trucks and live entertainment. At Mount Loretto at 6581 Hylan Blvd on Staten Island. Not a traditional street fair, but 15 food trucks and live entertainment by many bands. For $5 you can get a taste from one of the food trucks. Buy tickets at www.catholiccharitiesofstatenisland.org [or mountloretto.org].

May 27 - June 13, 2021 weekdays from 5 - 10 pm & weekends from 12 noon - 11 pm - SI Mall Carnival at the Staten Island Mall at 2655 Richmond Avenue in the Heartland Village / New Springville neighborhoods of Staten Island. Food, entertainment and rides - $5 admission. Street fairs / festivals in the Heartland Village neighborhood of Staten Island.

 

Things are Gradually Coming Back to Life

We're trying to stay abreast of things as the city re-awakens from its CoVid pandemic past. Here are some links to other things going on. Manhattan street fairs, Queens street fairs, Bronx street fairs, Brooklyn street fairs and Staten Island street fairs. We'll add more as the summer progresses.


NYC Mayoral Debate Review

In the Debate, McGuire Moved up a bit, Donovan Moved Down & ...

nyc things to do this weekend nyc manhattan queens brooklyn staten Island bronx things to do nycJune 7, 2021 / NYC Neighborhoods / News Analysis & Opinion / Gotham Buzz NYC.

Weather. Some small amounts of rain are expected on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday - but at a below 50% probability - except Wednesday early afternoon. The temperature highs will be in the mid 80's on Tuesday and Wednesday, dropping to the mid 70's on Thursday and the mid 60's on Friday. The temperature lows will go from about 70 on Tuesday and Wednesday to about 60 on Thursday and Friday. The winds will be between 3 - 10 mph, being calmer in the first couple of days, and a bit more windy toward the end of the week. The humidity will be between 70% and 90% through the week.

 

The First Live NYC Mayoral Debate was Wednesday June 2nd

nyc things to do this weekend nyc manhattan queens brooklyn staten Island bronx things to do nycIt was nice to see all of the major candidates on the same stage talking the issues, as for the first time the debate was live. I went in with Garcia, Morales and Yang near the top of my list; with Adams, Stringer and McGuire at the bottom; and the other two - Donovan and Wiley - in the middle.

I came out of the debate a bit less certain of Garcia, more convinced by Garcia and unchanged on Yang. Wiley stayed in the middle, probably dropping a notch, as she triggered concerns that she may be trying to do too much, too quickly, and thus may fail. Based on what I've seen over the years, you can't lead from the fringer.

Shaun Donovan shot down into the middle of my bottom tier, where Stringer championed the bottom slot. McGuire moved up to the top of the bottom tier, while Adams moved up into the middle tier, pulling neck and neck with Wiley. I'll show you a before / after graphic later this week.

So why the changes?

 

Donovan Loses Because He Spent his Time Attacking de Blasio, Instead of Offering any New Ideas / Solutions to the Problems Faced by NYC

I think Shaun Donovan has been reading the NY Post and watching Fox News a bit too much. These news outlets are owned by Australian born billionaire Rupert Murdoch who uses his media outlets as one big propaganda machine which seems designed to manipulate the perceptions of his audiences by omitting key facts and sensationalizing trivia [he was late] and hyping allegations [fake news corruption]. Donovan doesn't seem to understand that de Blasio went unchalleged in the last election and defeated Malliotakis by a landslide.

So Shaun wasted his time trying to position himself as the un-de Blasio, in a manner not unlike what former Congressman Max Rose did, when running for re-election against Malliotakis on Staten Island. Rose lost.

 

McGuire Moved up Because he Wasn't a 100% Corporate Suit, but still Remains on the Low End

How's that for a backhanded compliment? McGuire's solutions to the gun violence, is to shut down the gun shipments coming in on I-95. His solution to helping the NYC economy recover is to subsidize MWBE businesses by helping provide workforce training and enhanced technology solutions, and he suggested enabling parochial schools [non-profit religious groups] to do charters rather than for profit hedge funds - although he didn't rule out hedge funds. And in what is a typical Republican stance, he recited his distaste for government, as if we were living in America a couple of hundred years ago, when the west was wild, the buffalo roamed free.

 

Wiley has a Lot of Ideas, but can she Deliver?

Maya Wiley blustered her way through the beginning of the debate, before calming down and making sense. She's an attorney and civil rights activist, and as such, comes with progressive ideas, that I think may be ahead of their time. She wants to create 100,000 jobs by employing people from within communities to build their own affordable housing. She attacked Andrew Yang for his promise of creating 150,000 jobs, when his company only grew to 150 jobs. Yang explained that the company he ran wasn't where the jobs sprouted up, but rather by enabling all of these grassroots entities to start their own companies and efforts.

Wiley also said she would move $1 billion from the NYPD to provide universal care for 100,000 families. That she would stop hiring at the NYPD and something about the Police Academy and investing in people. On education Wiley said that she was educated in an overcrowded charter school, but I didn't catch anything about what she would do vis a vis education. And she told voters to hire her because she has courage.

 

Morales Appeared a Stronger Candidate than I First Thought but ...

Of the eight the top and second tier candidates, the one I had least exposure to was Dianne Morales. Morales was an educator, most recently working for the Phipps Company in NYC. She talked about jumpstarting the economy by working with non-profit community groups, funneling 80 cents on the dollar back to them. She, and for that matter, none of the candidates talked about how they were going to fund their grandiose job creation efforts.

When it came to education, Morales talked about how the curriculum at many schools doesn't resonate with many in the student body and therefore fails them.

This comment resonated with me, as during the CoVid pandemic and before, I had taken to watching PBS documentaries that cover the history of African Americans, other ethnic minorities and women, that raised my awareness of how the entire system has been skewed toward white males. I think we all recognize that we, as a society, need to open up parallel channels, curriculums, institutions, arts, culture and media for other gender(s) and other ethnicities to live up to the philosophies embedded in the U.S. Constitution.

Bear in mind that the institutions were designed a long time ago, when the U.S. was primarily a white, male dominated society, and so in the historical context they served their purposes well enough for many years, which is why the institutions and programs survived. But things have dramatically changed over the past couple of hundred of years, and the institutions and the curriculae must keep pace with the times.

Again on education, Morales said that the schools need to use the city as a classroom, which will expand the space available for learning, not to mention leveraging the tremendous resources available to us here. She said this will expose and excite kids to the possibilities that may await them if they perform. I thought this was an excellent idea.

Morales ended the debate by saying she's a single mom of two kids. She's imperfect. She faced inequalities and challenges and when she fell, she got back up, and that's what has made this city great and will see us through.

I did a bit of research after the fact, and Dianne Morales has had some campaign management issues, including the loss of a top manager and a union, so these management / leadership issues also need to be factored into people's voting decisions.

 

Andrew Yang - Remained One of My Top Three but ...

There's no doubt that Andrew Yang is a very personable, likeable guy. He is easily the one with whom I'd most enjoy sitting down with to have a beer. Does that matter? To an extent. Part of any leadership position is selling your ideas, program and ultimately self. But I can't say that likeability has ever been the driving impetus behind someone getting my vote.

Yang was attacked by a number of the other candidates, perhaps because he continues to be one of the leading candidates and because he is so likeable. One rival said Yang missed a number of NYC Mayoral votes. So what? Another accused him of overpromising on jobs [that exchange is explained above] - even as most of the candidates promised hundreds of thousands of new jobs. Jobs, jobs, jobs.

Yang wants to get the kids back in school. He rightly noted that sports and socializing are both important to building / rounding out the full person [team building and interpersonal skills respectively]. Yang was the only of two to give a straight answer regarding his second choice [Garcia]. Donovan was the other and he said Wiley. All the others said that they hadn't yet made up their minds [yeah].

Yang also said that now is a good time to reach out to the disadvantaged by using some of the federal money to enable high speed internet to all [he noted that 29% of kids didn't have access to high speed internet during the pandemic]. He gave de Blasio a B for overall performance, which is an assessment with which I agree. Everyone else I have spoken to who is critical of de Blasio seems to rely on mega billionaire Murdoch's mendacious media [primarily Fox News & NY Post, but also Channel 9 TV and the Wall St Journal and increasingly ABC TV] which leave out de Blasio's accomplishments, sensationalize any short term negatives, and hype allegations and innuendo while leaving out key facts.

Yang also noted that he had more grassroots donors than any other candidate on stage. But it's worth mentioning that he likely leverage the donor database he built while running for president.

 

Garcia, Stringer & Adams have been Covered Previously

In our reporting leading up to the debate, we had previously posted reports covering Garcia, Stringer and Adams. As you can probably tell, I'm not hot for any of them, but conversely I find only a couple of the candidates that truly put me off. What you have left, is a number of interesting candidates, with widely varying qualifications, a couple of whom are strongly supported by vested interests, who in my mind are looking to plunder the public purse.

The two public office holders, Stringer and Adams, appear thus far to have been the biggest beneficiaries of special interest cash. That is in part why they're down near the bottom on my selection set. Stringer has repeatedly appeared to favor those who fund him over those who voted for him, while Adams seems one of the most conservative candidates running on the Democratic ticket. It's worth mentioning that Adams was a Republican, and that Australian born billionaire propagandist Rupert Murdoch's NY Post has endorsed Adams. Miser Murdoch seems never to give something for nothing, which is why I consider this tidbit worth noting.

This is why Garcia is still on top for me. Because so far, we've not seen those strong special interest ties, she is apparently competent having served well in both the Bloomberg and de Blasio Administrations, and appears to have one of the best backgrounds / skillsets needed to be an effective mayor.

This is not an endorsement, as I'm a jaded voter, who doesn't really trust most folks in public office. A few have surprised me to the good, but most have not surprised me with the bad. It's a democracy. We get a choice. And then we cross our fingers and hope for the best. And if it doesn't work out, we try to change things the next time around.

Thanks for paying attention and have a good week.


Things to Do This Weekend in NYC

Now - Open Streets Continue, Street Fairs have Returned including City Island Art & Crafts Fair, Uncorked Wine Festival in Historic Richmond Town, The St Nicholas Avenue Festival and things to do at the Green at Lincoln Center, Tribeca Film Fest Begins 6/9, Brooklyn Conservatory Concerts Start Friday June 11 & the East Side Access Tunnel Completed

Soon - Gay Pride Parade Returns 6/27, but Bans Gay NYPD participants [Geeeessshhh when does the exclusion stop?], Shakespeare in the Park Returns 7/5, NY Auto Show Returns 8/20, Hip Hop Museum Broke Ground in Bx in May & to open 2024

nyc things to do this weekend nyc manhattan queens brooklyn staten Island bronx things to do nycJune 4, 2021 / NYC Neighborhoods / NYC Things To Do Events / Gotham Buzz NYC.

Weather. The Temperature highs will be close to 80 on Friday, rising to 90 for Saturday and Sunday. The temperature lows will be in the mid 60's on Friday, rising to the low 70's on Saturday and Sunday. A bit of rain is in the forecast on Friday only between 8 am - 6 pm. Winds will range between 5 - 10 mph all weekend. The Humidity will be about 80% Friday, down to 60% Saturday and 50% on Sunday.

The sign to your right was found in the yard of a Queens resident. It reminded me of some of the signs my mother used to put up around the house, to instruct us kids, in a manner she deemed appropriate.

 

NYC is Rumbling, Like the Earth Before an Earthquake

nyc things to do this weekend nyc manhattan queens brooklyn staten Island bronx things to do nycI can see it in my email box, once made manageable by the CoVid pandemic. And now ... ever so steadily ... I see it filling back up as the big city begins to awake from its pandemic slumber. At once heartening, but also scary, as I feel a flood of activity coming, almost to great to bear. Woe is me?

So this weekend, as you can see by the headlines - Open Streets Continues, Street Fairs Returned Last Weekend, The Green at Lincoln Center continues, the City Island Arts & Crafts fair in the Bronx Saturday and Sunday, Tribeca Film Fest Begins Wednesday 6/9 and the Brooklyn Conservatory Concerts Start Friday June 11.

 

The Streets & Outdoors Coming Alive First

Given what we've just been through, noting that only 40% of the population is fully vaccinated and that only about 50% of the population has one or more shots - then staying out doors makes infinite sense - especially while we can for the next six months.

The CoVid numbers have been falling steadily, so all the trends are in the right direction. And if we stay outdoors, mask up indoors or in close quarters, and urge family and friends to get vaccinated, it could be one helluva summer. To that end last weekend we saw the first of the summer fairs hit the streets, as well as open streets return on the weekends, and the Lincoln Center green attract folks to watch the performing arts after a long hiatus.

 

Street Fairs Returned Last Weekend & Continue Through the Year

nyc things to do this weekend nyc manhattan queens brooklyn staten Island bronx things to do nycIn Manhattan, there are three street fairs this weekend, with two on Satruday and one on Sunday. These generally begin at 10 am and last until 6 pm. There's the St. Nicholas Avenue Festival on Saturday, June 5th on St. Nicholas Avenue from 181st Street to 188th Street, as well as the First Avenue Festival, also on Saturday on 1st Avenue from 68th Street to 79th Street. On Sunday there's the West Side Spring Fair on Amsterdam Avenue from 73rd Street to 79th Street. Not completely sure on this one, but I believe there's a craft fair in Damrosch Park at Lincoln Center this weekend from about 10 or 11 am to 6 pm.

In the Bronx, the City Island Arts & Crafts Festival runs on Saturday and Sunday from 11 am to 7 pm all along City Island Avenue, with the epicenter around Hawkins Street. City Island is home to a number of artists and the fair also attracts craftsmen and women and artists from around the city and beyond.

On Staten Island the Alice Austen House has partnered with Flagship Brewing to host a craft beer and arts & crafts fest from 1 pm - 4 pm at 40 Minthorne Street on Saturday. There's also a return of the Uncorked Wine Festival from 12 noon to 6 pm at Historic Richmond Town. Also on Saturday there's the Victory Blvd street festival at Wescott Blvd in the Castleton Corners section of the island, from 11 am - 1 pm, which includes entertainment, food and shopping. All weekend there's the SI Mall Carnival which began May 27 and runs through June 13th. On the weekends it's open from noon to 11 pm and on weekdays from 5 pm - 10 pm, with an entrance fee of $5. There's food and rides and shopping.

 

Lincoln Center Green - Bollywood Friday 6/4 at 4 pm

Beginning at 4 pm there will be a Bollywood dance performance by the Anja Dance Company on the Green at Lincoln Center outdoors.

 

Summer Events Announcements - Gay Pride Parade, Shakespeare in the Park, NY Auto Show & Universal Hip Hop Museum in the Bronx Underway

nyc things to do this weekend nyc manhattan queens brooklyn staten Island bronx things to do nycSo there's been a stream of announcements, of returning events, that are likely to continue throughout the summer. The Gay Pride Parade is set to return on Sunday, June 27th, and in 'bitch-like fashion' the parade has banned the NYPD from participating, likely in retaliation for prior treatment. Moving on?

Shakespeare in the Park is set to return to Delacorte Theater in Central Park beginning July 5th and to run through the summer. While capacity will be limited, they intend to run for a longer period of time.

The iconic image at right caught my eye as I was passing a construction site. What does it mean? Dunno. Street art, music and theater are part of what makes the Big Apple, Big Melting Pot so interesting.

The NY Auto Show is set to return to our fair city on August 20th and run through the following week at the Javits Center. Normal seems like it's a comin'.

The Universal Hip Hop Museum in the Bronx FINALLY broke ground after being talked about for somewhere between a half decade to a decade, possibly longer. The new museum is part of a south Bronx development just north of the 145th Street Bridge between the Harlem River and the Major Deegan - not far from Franz Sigel Park and adjacent to the Concourse, Melrose and Mott Haven neighborhoods. The museum is expected to be completed in 2024.

 

Next Week - Tribeca Film Festival Begins 6/9, Brooklyn Conservatory Concerts Start Friday June 11 & the East Side Access Tunnel Completed

nyc things to do this weekend nyc manhattan queens brooklyn staten Island bronx things to do nycThe Tribeca Film Festival begins on Wednesday 6/9. They are offering a number of complimentary tickets, so many of the live screenings have been sold out, but there's still plenty available as of this posting [but it's next week so if you want to attend, you better get moving]. For details see their website which includes both live and streamed events.

https://tribecafilm.com/festival

On Friday 6/11 there's a live Brooklyn Conservatory of Music concert from 7 pm to 9 pm at 58 Seventh Street in Brooklyn. It's free and you can rsvp at www.bkcm.org.

Last week it was announced that the major construction efforts on the $11 billion, 15 year old East Side Access Tunnel was reportedly completed. There's more detail work to complete on the tunnel that connects Queens and Manhattan and it's now on schedule to be opened in sometime in 2022. It is estimated that the new tunnel will cut 40 minutes off a Long Islander's commute.

The photo at right shows the MTA workmen of a construction project last weekend. Oftentimes the rails are hampered with construction / maintenance projects that get underway with the warmer weather in the unrelenting task of maintaining a subway system built around a century ago. Some parts of the line are older than that, and some are newer, as the system was developed in spurts.

Enjoy your weekend but take appropriate sunscreen and cooling precautions as it's gonna be a hot one.


Things To Do Memorial Day Weekend In Queens | things to do memorial day weekend in queens ny things to do in lic astoria long island city sunnyside woodside jackson heights flushing jamaica forest hills queens ny things to do memorial day weekend
Things To Do Memorial Day Weekend In Queens

Things To Do Memorial Day Weekend in Queens

Things To Do In Queens Over The Memorial Day Weekend of 2021

May 28, 2021 / Things To Do Queens NY / Queens Buzz NYC.

This is a report containing things to do in Queens over the Memorial Day Weekend. 

Memorial Day Weekend Forecast as of 5/28/21. The temperature highs will be in the mid to mid 60's Friday, dropping to the 50's on Saturday and Sunday, rising to the low 70's Monday. The temperature lows will be in the low 50's on Friday and Saturday, rising to the high 50's on Sunday and Monday. Yes there's Rain in the forecast on Friday [1.5 inches], and about a third of an inch on Saturday and Sunday, with Monday being clear. Winds will range between 10 - 20 mph Friday and Saturday, falling to 5 - 10 Sunday and a calm 5 mph on Monday. The Humidity will be 80% - 100% on Friday, 60% - 80% on Saturday, and 50% - 60% the rest of the weekend.

Click for an up-to-date forecast of Queens Weekend Weather.

Normally the things to do in Queens, include art exhibitions, theater, live music, comedy, dance, shopping, outdoor activities such as soccer, kyaking, baseball, parades, street fairs, museums and dining in the Astoria, Jackson Heights, Elmhurst, Long Island City, LIC, Sunnyside, Woodside, Jamaica, Forest Hills, Flushing, Corona neighborhoods in Queens NY.

But this year is a little bit different, because we're hopefully near the end of the CoVid pandemic, but still in it. So while we'll show you a full listing of Memorial Day events, we'll note which are available this year.

Be sure to check our Memorial Day Weekend things to do post mid afternoon Friday of Memorial Day Weekend.

 

Brief History of the Memorial Day Holiday in Queens

Memorial Day first started out as Decoration Day in Waterloo, New York on May 30, 1866 - a year after the Civil War - to honor those who fought in it. In the 1880's the day came to be known as Memorial Day.

According to a May 25, 2012 report in Time Magazine, ten states - Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, Florida, North and South Carolina, Virginia and Tennessee also officially observe some version of a Confederate Memorial Day, sometime between late April and early June [in Texas it's in January]. It's been reported that unofficially most of the former Confederate states still commemorate it, but not without some controversy as to the former Confederate diaspora it's to honor their ancestors, while to the former diaspora of the slaves it seems a remnant of these states racist past.

About ten percent of the nation travels more than 50 miles over the weekend. Memorial Day differs from Veterans Day which is held on November 11th of each year. Veterans Day began by honoring those who fought in World War I which ended on the 11th hour, of the 11th day of the 11th month of 1918. Both honor those who served in the U.S. Military. Veterans Day coincides with a similar holiday in Europe for the same reason, which is called Remembrance Day and Armistice Day.

 

Memorial Day Events In Queens 2021

According to a February 8, 2021 report in Military News the U.S. Navy is holding Fleet Week virtually for the second year in a row due to the CoVid pandemic. The annual celebratory week in NYC is scheduled to run from Wednesday, May 26 to Monday, May 31, 2021. I believe, assuming all goes well, they will return next year.

Unfortunately this year attending the Memorial Day Parade in Douglaston - Little Neck that normally begins between 11 am - 12 noon, as well as the Queens street fairs in Queens NYC, don't appear to options due to the CoVid pandemic. The big events are the primary activities that will not be available to us this Memorial Day Weekend including attending Queens parades NYC. But other activities not available last year like watching theater, visiting the Queens art museums NYC.

Things continue to move in the right direction. Eating out at one of the Queens restaurants NYC is now a great option and we posted some of the restaurants suggestions for Mother's Day in our Mother's Day Restaurants in Queens report.

Shopping is Back. Last year Shopping in Queens, was limited to groceries, pharmacies and home improvement stores [aka essential services], while local Queens farmers markets in Queens NYC were classified as an essential service. This year most retail stores are open and farmers markets appear to be opening more or less in line with tradition.

You can also go bicycling around Queens so be mindful to observe the rules of the road [click link]. The 5 Boro Bike Ride 2021 was postponed. They now have a new date, which is August 22, 2021.

So there are some things happening right here in our favorite borough - Queens. Click here to obtain information about things to do Memorial Day Weekend 2021 in Queens. The events calendar is traditionally updated monthly with about 100 different Queens fun / cultural events. Visit the front page of Queens Buzz on Friday for updates.

 

Queens Public & Private Parks & Swimming Pools

Queens has a number of New York City Parks, which will be mostly open / back to normal. Here are some highlights.

New York City beaches will re-open for swimming on Memorial Day Weekend on Saturday, May 29, 2021 and remain open through September 7th. The city outdoor pools will reopen on June 26th, while the indoor pools remain closed until further notice.

City playgrounds, golf courses and driving ranges, skate parks and grilling areas have all reopened. Dog runs are open with CoVid recommendations in effect. Basketball, handball, tennis, bocce, and volleyball courts have re-opened, but with CoVid guidelines remaining in effect. Some field and court permit applications are now being reviewed and issued.

All NYC Parks recreation centers and nature centers are closed until further notice.
The City's historic houses are working to safely reintroduce visitors to their museums. Check individual house museum websites for updated hours and visitation information. The Wildlife Conservation Society re-opened its zoos and aquarium to all guests.

Queens has one of the best collection of parks and golf courses in the NY Metro area, if not the best. Queens has at least 17 great parks. Click here for a listing of the Queens Parks 2021 including maps showing their locations along with a bit of park history.

 

Golfing In Queens Now Open

Queens has four golf courses and all of them are open over the Memorial Day Weekend [May 2021]. Click here for details about Queens Golf Courses 2021 including maps and links to the operators' websites. Brooklyn also has two golf courses, and both Staten Island and the Bronx each have three golf courses - and they're open over the Memorial Day Weekend.

Click here to view the rest of our report of things to do Memorial Day Weekend in Queens. And we'll have more to add by Friday.



NYC Mayoral Race - Kathryn Garcia

Garcia has Emerged as One of the Two Leading Females, with Momentum in an Evolving & Very Undecided NYC Mayoral Race

staten island things to do memorial day weekend staten island memorial day weekend si nycMay 24, 2021 / NYC Neighborhoods /NYC Politics / News Analysis & Opinion / Gotham Buzz NYC.

Weather. The temperature highs will rise into the mid 70's on Tuesday, mid to high 80's on Wednesday and Thursday, and then drop into the 60's for the Memorial Day Weekend. The temperature lows will be in the mid 60's on Tuesday and Wednesday, dropping into the mid to high 50's the rest of the week, including the Memorial Day Weekend. There's a 50% chance of about a third of an inch of rain Wednesday and 65% chance of about three quarters of an inch of rain on Friday, but otherwise it should be clear sailing ahead for the entire week and weekend. Humidity is 50% - 70% on Tuesday and Wednesday, falling into the mid 40% range on Thursday, and climbing back to the 70% range on Friday. Humidity will be in the 40% - 50% range through the weekend. Winds will be 5 - 10 mph except on Saturday.

 

Will Kathryn Garcia Break Some Glass & Kick Some A_s?

If the ads shown by the NYC Mayoral candidates were a proxy for what we're gonna get, then - by a long shot - I would have to go with Kathryn Garcia.

Most of the ads run by NYC's mayoral candidates smell like the same warmed over hash we've been watching for decades. Scott Stringer's ads tell us that he's a family man like one of us. Eric Adams tells us he'll be tough and fair like he was a a policeman. Andrew Yang, who broke through the noise for a brief period in the Democratic presidential primary, also seems to pursue the theme that he's one of us. It's worth noting that part of Yang's breakthrough in the Democratic candidate national field was due in part to the fact that he was reportedly the first Asian American to run for president on the Democratic ticket [Bobby Jindahl ran as a Republican before him]. Maya Wiley is running ads that tell us she's a Mom [one of us] who will fight for our kids.

And then there's Kathryn Garcia's ad.

Cut the crap. Short and not so sweet. A touch of underlying humor. Connecting to the modern era of comic book heroes, or maybe even Austin Powers, breaking out of a fire cabinet that looks a lot like a superman / superwoman phone booth. Not so vaguely blasting the historical gender bias, that looks like a glass ceiling, in the two centuries old NYC Mayoral Office.

It's a ten second commercial that's fully loaded. It says a lot about her. Creative, unabashedly female but with the swagger of a man, and a terribly efficient well messaged commercial because her campaign is only funded at what I would call the second tier of candidates. But with nearly a quarter of voters still undecided, and perhaps even some of the decideds trying to make up their mind, Garcia's chances of becoming the next NYC Mayor seem to grow daily.

 

A Brief History of the NYC Mayoralty vis a vis The Current Primary on 6/22

staten island things to do memorial day weekend staten island memorial day weekend si nycIn the 1800's through the mid 1900's the Irish and the English controlled the office of NYC Mayor [Tammany Hall in the 1800's and 1900's].

In 1934 Fiorello LaGuardia, the 99th NYC Mayor, opened door for the Italian Americans, and since then four of the last eleven mayors have been Italian Americans. In 1974 Abraham Beame, the 104th NYC Mayor, became the first practicing Jewish American Mayor [LaGuardia's mother was part Jewish but he was raised Episcopalian] and since then three of the last six NYC Mayors have been Jewish Americans. In 1990 David Dinkins became the first African American Mayor and is still the only one. And there have not been any Asian American nor female NYC Mayors.

Andrew Yang would be the first Asian American Mayor of NYC ever. Eric Adams would be the second African American Mayor of NYC of the past five NYC Mayors. Stringer would be the fourth Jewish American Mayor of NYC of the past seven NYC Mayors. And Kathryn Garcia would be the first female Mayor of NYC ever.

 

What the Polls and Campaign Spending Say

Garcia's poll numbers went from 4% in March to 10% in May. The candidate currently leading the pack is Eric Adams at 18%, which is down from 19% in prior polling. Stringer and Yang are at 15%, Yang's candidacy continuing to fall [was at 28% in the beginning due to name recognition] in spite of some good measure of ad spending, while Stringer's poll numbers went up, but Stringer spent heavily on advertising in order to do so.

And, as previously mentioned, a quarter [22%] of voters remain undecided.

Stringer has $3.5 million left to spend, while Yang has $2.5, Wiley has $1.0, Garcia has $1.5, Shaun Donovan $1.9, Eric Adams $5.3 and Raymond McGuire $3.5. From a financial point of view, the field is becoming far more competitive based on the polls, and who has money left to spend. Adams and Stringer are still in the top tier, Yang is sliding fast not just in poll numbers but in cash, and Ray McGuire almost looks like Michael Bloomberg did in the presidential election - meaning that in spite of all of his money - he doesn't appear to be resonating with the voters. Wiley has held her ground poll-wise, but had to spend to do so, and Shaun Donovan, like McGuire, appears to be popular with the moneyed class, but doesn't appear to have connected with any large voting block.

 

Garcia is Now Neck and Neck with Wiley as the Leading Female & has the Most Momentum

staten island things to do memorial day weekend staten island memorial day weekend si nycAnd then there's Kathryn Garcia. The Dark Horse, not-so-quietly pulling within racing distance on Adams, Stringer and Yang, while managing her cash, grabbing a considerable amount of attention for someone who used to manage our garbage collection, and now tied as the leading front runner female with momentum.

Garcia picked up endorsements for her candidacy from the New York Times and the NY Daily News.

 

Kathryn Garcia - A Brief Look at Her History

Kathryn Garcia grew up in an educated household as her father was xyz in the Koch Administration and her mother was an English teacher. She attended Stuyvesant, one of the leading public schools in NYC, and then headed west, young woman, for Madison, Wisconsin where she attended college majoring in history and economics. She was married, now divorced, with two children and she lives in the Park Slope neighborhood of Brooklyn.

Professionally, most of her experience is in NYC municipal government, in various positions from financial to garbage collection / environmental recycling, to a brief stint managing the NYCHA crisis a couple of years ago, to food distribution during the CoVid pandemic. Most folks think she's an effective manager, and I found one critic regarding her brief stint managing NYCHA.

 

Kathryn Garcia - A Brief Look at Her Positions

I look at the primary functions of the NYC Mayor as being: 1) education - managing the public school system, 2) ensuring public safety - managing the NYPD / law enforcement, 3) affordable housing - ensuring people have some sort of liveable home, and 4) managing the budget. NYC's public transit system is run by the Governor and New York State as part of the deal brokered in the 1970's when NYS bailed out NYS from a financial mess. To be sure there are many other less controversial and less time-consuming functions which are part of the mayoral domain as well, including promoting the city for work and tourism, some of which includes supporting the arts & culture, and making sure the parks and streets are clean et al. But the underlying building blocks driving the future of the city centers around the four primary mayoral functions outlined above.

Garcia has been careful in laying out her positions, in a nuanced way which - provides her with the flexibility required to effectively negotiate - should she become mayor. The other top tier candidates appear to have more or less committed themselves to special interest groups, which include the hedge fund managers salivating at the prospect of privatizing the NYC public school system and the rich and powerful real estate developers as well as the many powerful unions working for / negotiating with the city.

 

Education

In so far as I've gotten with the research, it appears Kathryn Garcia has a nuanced position on charter schools. Since her mother was a teacher, for the moment I'm going to assume that she wouldn't be in favor of privatizing the public school system, but could use non profit charters as a bargaining chip with the teachers union to spur performance / achievement. Garcia was a successful office holder in both the Bloomberg and de Blasio administrations - but I hope to complete this research before the primary - so stay tuned.

 

Public Safety

In so far as I've gotten with the research, it appears Kathryn Garcia favors some police reform. But it's nowhere near the defund the police cries from some on the far left.

 

Affordable Housing

In so far as I've gotten with the research, it appears Kathryn Garcia has a nuanced position on Mandatory Inclusionary Housing. But so far the reports I've seen delve into the issues, which implies she's engaging on policy with the reporters, which is a good sign because it shows thought.

 

NYC Finances

In so far as I've gotten with the research, it appears Kathryn Garcia is a very capable manager of finances. She's done a lot with a little in her NYC Mayoral candidacy.

 

Conclusion - Garcia is one of Two or Possibly the Leading Woman, She has the Most Momentum & is Likely a Top Tier Choice by Election Day

With 22% of voters undecided, and none of the top tier candidates anywhere even remotely close to a majority, the candidacy of Kathryn is looking increasingly competitive. If elected, Garcia would be the first female Mayor of NYC. A municipal rags to riches story as she would have risen from being in charge of garbage collection to being in charge of the entire city.

It's shaping up to be an interesting election. More coming soon.


How Would a Mayor Eric Adams Govern?

He Seems to Favor Charter Schools & They Seem to Favor Him, He's Pulled in the Most Real Estate Cash & He has Indicated He'll Reverse Course a bit on Police Reform & ...

nyc violent crime shootings gun arrests murders nyc manhattan queens brooklyn bronx staten island gun arrests shootings murders nyc crime stats 2020May 17, 2021 / NYC Neighborhoods / NYC Politics / News Analysis & Opinion / Gotham Buzz NYC.

 

Eric Adams isn't Scott Stringer

Last week I did a report snapshotting what I know about Scott Stringer's political career that leads me to think he's not to be trusted.

Stringer takes big public stands on what I would call generic Democratic issues over which he has little influence - gender equality, race and climate change - while speaking with forked tongue on issues over which he has considerable influence - like real estate developments, local education, public libraries and the pension fund investments - that significantly impact the local communities, neighborhoods and unions.

In that report I also noted how Stringer seems opportunistic in compromising his stances [for example in education and the public library system] in order to capitalize on what he seems to think are self enhancing career opportunities. And Stringer also seems to have used the power and authority of government positions entrusted to him by the people, to aid those who fund his campaigns, possibly trading what's good for the people, in exchange for what's good for Scott Stringer.

Stringer hit my radar nearly a decade ago, while Eric Adams only hit my radar a few years ago. So I'm less familiar with Adams career than Stringer's. But in doing the research, I found that Eric Adams appears to be a slow steady hand, whose positions have evolved over time ... and I would add that generally they appear to have evolved carefully.

 

1. Eric Adams - Public Schools & Education

Pro Charter Schools & What that Means

FOR PROFIT Charter Schools, don't seem to solve the failing schools problem, but rather shift the and split the problem burdens, while privatizing and gutting a significant portion of the public school system. I began reporting on education during the Bloomberg era, wherein Bloomberg's Administration seemed to split public schools into two smaller entities, and then parcel out the achieving students / families via charter recruitment to the privately run for profit charters, while leaving the lower performing students / families in the care of unions and the general public. It seemed to me they didn't really solve anything, and sucked needed capital out of the public school system, putting it in the hands of the venture capitalists who were funding them.

This situation appeared to me not unlike what the insurance industry had done prior to Obamacare - whereby the insurance companies recruited healthy people for health insurance, and avoided signing those who weren't healthy in order to enhance their economic performance. To me this goes against the grain of what America is all about - which is equal opportunity for all. The privatization of the public schools by the predatory for profit charters would turn the public education system into the haves and have nots.

*** It's worth noting that NON-PROFIT CHARTERS evolved for different reasons and provided a healthy challenge to the union run public education system and I view far more favorably than the for profit charters.

 

Eric Adams is Receiving Significant Pro Charter Campaign Support

I found that Eric Adams has been a supporter of charter schools for many years of his political career. According to a May 6, 2021 report in Politico,

" ... An executive at an organization that lobbies on behalf of charter schools is launching a fundraising effort to boost the mayoral candidacy of Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams — the latest push by special interests to influence the upcoming Democratic primary contest ... Jenny Sedlis, executive director of pro-charter group StudentsFirstNY, has taken a leave of absence to lead a political action committee on Adams’ behalf ... "

During his career, Adams has supported charter schools and expansion.

 

2. Eric Adams - Real Estate Developers / Affordable Housing

Eric Adams is Receiving Significant Real Estate Developer Support

nyc violent crime shootings gun arrests murders nyc manhattan queens brooklyn bronx staten island gun arrests shootings murders nyc crime stats 2020According to an April 20, 2021 report in City Limits, a non-profit journalism website,

" ... Eric Adams has received more campaign contributions from the real-estate sector than any other candidate for mayor. The Brooklyn borough president has booked at least $283,000 from donors who identified themselves as working in real estate, construction, land development or property management—nearly twice as much as financier Ray McGuire, the next biggest recipient of real-estate generosity, and more than five times as much as frontrunner Andrew Yang ... "

Thus, Adams has received more real estate developer donations than any other candidate and real estate developers are generally known to be tight with a buck and rarely - if ever - give something for nothing.

It's also worth pointing out who some of the people are, who are working for or in support of the Adams' campaign. According to a May 6, 2021 report in Politico,

" ... Sedlis is working with Jason Ortiz, a political consultant who used to work for the Hotel Trades Council, which endorsed Adams’ bid in March. Katie Moore, who succeeded Ortiz as the union’s political director, is managing the Adams campaign..."

As mentioned above, Sedlis is a for profit charter school lobbyist, who has taken time off to manage a PAC for Adams.

 

Eric Adams Track Record with the Real Estate Development Community

According to the City Limits report noted above, Adams approved 86% of the proposed developments or rezonings associated with the Uniform Land Use Review Procedure [ULURP], while Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer, a progressive, approved 78%. It's not just the percent approvals that matter, but in how hard the borough president negotiates before the final approval. As mentioned in the report I posted on Stringer last week, Stringer signed off on several massive real estate developments that were strongly opposed by the communities he was elected to represent. In one of them, the Midtown East development, after Stringer signed off on it, the proposal was scuttled and redone by the incoming Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer with the help of NYC Councilmember Garodnick.

In one telling sign, Adams veered away from supporting Mayor de Blasio's push for Mandatory Inclusionary Housing. The City Limits report tells us,

" ... in 2015, the Manhattan and Queens borough presidents testified and the Bronx BP submitted testimony but Adams did not [about the Mandatory Inclusionary Housing program]; he did vote earlier to oppose the measure when the Brooklyn Borough Board considered it..."

According to the NYC Council website,

" ... Mandatory Inclusionary Housing (MIH) is a zoning tool developed by the Department of City Planning and the Department of Housing Preservation and Development, which requires developers to include affordable housing in areas that are rezoned to allow for more housing development..."

That seems straight forward enough. Why wouldn't Brooklyn Borough President Adams support this program and what does that tell us about how he would approach affordable housing going forward?

 

3. Eric Adams History with the Police

Reportedly Having Been Beaten by a Policeman as a Kid, Adams Joins the NYPD & Rises to Captain as an Adult, Forms Group Called '100 Blacks in Law Enforcement Who Care' & Advocates for Change

Adams had voiced concerns about abusive policing while still on the force over two decades ago. Adams joined with about 100 other Black police officers to advocate for an investigation into the abuse of Haitian immigrant Abner Louima. In 1997 Louima was sodomized and so severely beaten while in police custody, that he had to undergo three surgeries. Louima won a lawsuit against the NYPD and the NYPBA [the police union] worth $8.7 million.

 

Eric Adams and the NYPD Budget

In June of 2020, in the wake of the George Floyd protests, Eric Adams called for a reduction in the police budget by over $1 billion. According to a June 22, 2020 report in the NY Daily News,

" ... recommends the city drastically convert some NYPD units to an 80% civilian workforce, conduct forensic audits of the department’s “notoriously opaque” budget and reduce overtime. Such efforts would result in reducing the budget by $1 billion or more... "

Today it's a bit unclear what Adams would do with the NYPD budget as he has called for adding back the plainsclothes unit [see below].

 

Eric Adams Advocates for a Return of Plainsclothes Policing Which is the Unit That Had Attracted a Great Number of Civilian Complaints of Abuse of Police Power

Eric Adams has said that he will reinstitute plainclothes policing to add teeth to the NYPD's policing effort. According to a May 9, 2021 report by Streets Blog NYC, a local blog that is part of a multi-city web group working for transportation reform,

" ... The NYPD’s Anti-Crime unit was disbanded last June; its officers garnered a substantial number of complaints from New Yorkers for harassment and unlawful searches. The officers were also involved in a disproportionate amount of fatal police shootings..."

Streets Blog had sourced the above information from the Gothamist and the Intercept.

 

A Brief & Proper Look at NYC Current Crime Statistics

Be Wary of Reporting by the Manipulative Murdoch Media Outlets & the Sometimes Clueless Corporate Media

nyc violent crime shootings gun arrests murders nyc manhattan queens brooklyn bronx staten island gun arrests shootings murders nyc crime stats 2020So we all keep seeing these reports about how out of control the crime is in our fair city, but that broadbrush news reporting doesn't accurately describe what's happening, providing no insight nor understanding as to what's really going on.

Yes, violent / gun crimes are up, but it's important to understand why they are up, and who is empowered to make the changes required to rein those crimes back in.

Comparing the crime statistics versus a year ago doesn't seem to provide much insight about what's really happening, any more than comparing year to year inflation figures does - as we saw last week. Last year was an anomaly because of the pandemic, which skewed many statistics way out of focus - including on the economy and crime.

I think it's more meaningful to compare the April 2021 NYPD crime statistics versus April of 2019 crime statistics. TWO YEARS AGO crime was near all time lows and before the pandemic began. When you make that comparison, NYC crime is down in all major categories except gun related shootings and murders, and grand larceny auto theft which the NYPD calls GLA for brevity [see chart]. This provides a much more intelligent look at what's going on. In summary shootings and murders are up, as is grand larceny auto theft while everything else - including the transit crimes that everyone is talking about - is down[see chart].

So I'll dispense with grand larceny auto first and say that - in a nutshell - the pandemic hit the lower classes hardest and many of them are financially strapped. So I theorize that some of these people, who might have been gainfully employed two years ago, and may have had a small financial cushion, might have lost everything and may be facing eviction and thus may have decided to steal their way back to normal. My grandmother used to say,

"Idle hands are the work of the devil."

Once these folks are back to work and making a decent living, they're not likely to be out committing crimes. And that white collar workers have left the city to telecommute during the pandemic, may also factor into things, as their cars might be sitting idle and the observant criminal takes note of that.

 

3.a. Guns & Shootings & Need for National Gun Legislation

NYC Shootings, Murders & GUN SALES are up in 2020

There were 8.5 Million First Time American Gun Buyers in 2020

Gun Sales Continued in 2021 - January Gun Sales Up 60 - 80%

Gun sales soared in 2020 to a full year record of over 40 million, as fear spread throughout the land because of the pandemic and some of the social unrest that followed. Of those sales, 8.5 million of them were reportedly to first time gun owners. There are about 330 million people living in the U.S. and about 20% or 66 million are children, so that's a huge number of guns IN ONE YEAR for the remaining 264 million adults.

In the tristate area, New York, New Jersey and Connecticut saw an increase in gun sales from the year 2000 to 2020 of between 250% - 300%. With more guns on the streets, more first time buyers / users, why would anyone doubt that there's going to be more gun violence / crime? This is a social / criminal problem that needs to be fixed legislatively by reducing the guns on the streets.

Americans own 120 guns per 100 residents. That's far more than one gun per person. Wikipedia tells us that according to a Small Arms Survey taken in 2018, Americans own 46% of all the civilian owned guns [393 million guns] in the world, while we represent between 4% - 5% of the world's population. That means Americans, ON AVERAGE, own TEN TIMES more guns per person than the people in the rest of the world. But the numbers look even more skewed, when you factor in that only about 32% of Americans actually own a gun according to an August 14, 2019 report by Gallup, a polling company.

 

Republicans & Murdoch's Fox New / NY Post Seem NOT True Friends of the Police

Billionaire propagandist, Rupert Murdoch and Republicans like Mitch McConnell and Kevin McCarthy can't claim themselves to be friends of the police, yet they continue to thwart efforts at meaningful gun control legislation. Police die on our streets because guns are freely available to those who aren't qualified nor fit to responsibly use them.

An August 12, 2019 report by the Center for American Progress, a non-profit tells us the following,

" ... A 2017 study found that guns equipped with high-capacity magazines made up between 22 percent and 36 percent of crime guns in the United States. A 2010 report from the Police Executive Research Forum noted that more than one-third of U.S. police agencies reported increased use of assault weapons following the expiration of the federal ban. In 2018, Baltimore Interim Police Commissioner Gary Tuggle stated that one-third of guns recovered in criminal investigations were equipped with high-capacity magazines... "

So when Murdoch and the Republicans say they care about the police, you ask them what they're doing about getting assault weapons off the street.

 

SHOW 2ND AMENDMENT

 

Understanding the Role of the Second Amendment

I support the Second Amendment and believe that homeowners should be allowed to keep a firearm in their home to use in the event someone makes an unlawful entry. I also believe that hunters and sportsmen should be able to own guns for recreational purposes like hunting. Every year about 15 million Americans, mostly men, go out into the woods to stalk through the forest to bring home some game while keeping the deer population under control.

But the Second Amendment doesn't give citizens the right to own weapons of mass destruction and weapons of war. Citizens aren't allowed to possess bombs, grenades, bazookas, cannons and rocket launchers except when used in a theater of war under the training, direction and supervision of the U.S. Armed Forces.

I believe the Founders made freedom of Speech the First Amendment for the same reason they made right to bear arms the Second Amendment, which it to hold the rich and powerful in check, to prevent the exploitation of the commoners as was done by kings and royalty in the past. Any weapon of mass destruction could be creatively configured to fit the definition of gun, so it's time for us to use our collective common sense to try to stay true to the intent of the Second Amendment, without significantly compromising public safety, by managing gun control to stay abreast of the changing technology and changing times. That is the point of the elastic clause.

Nations like Russia and China are still struggling with their significantly skewed distribution of wealth and their exploitation of the working classes, by treating them like Russian serfs and Chinese peasants. This helps explain why both of these autocratically controlled states have limited gun ownership - especially in China. In 2014 Putin relaxed some of the gun ownership rules.

 

Are Assault Weapons Really Guns - Or are they Weapons of War?

So why should they be allowed to own assault rifles, like the AR 15 or the AK 47, capable of firing 600 rounds in a minute? Editor's Note - the assault weapons are modified to dispense one bullet per trigger pull prior to civilian sale. What common good or national purpose does permitting these weapons to be sold to anyone 18 years or older serve? The AK stands for automatic Kalashnikov, which is a SOVIET assault weapon that has killed more humans than the nuclear bomb, or any other weapon.

Think about that.

An August 12, 2020 story by Insider tells us that,

"... The AK-47 is the deadliest weapon ever built, on the whole. Its kill count even tops nuclear weapons in sheer numbers... The worldwide availability and durability of the AK-47 also makes it an attractive weapon for terrorists, militias and other illegal paramilitary organizations. Whether they're trying to take over a military base ... or overthrowing a government ... the AK-47 works really well in every environment, is always available (usually at a steep discount) and will still work even if it falls into water, mud, sand or some other muck ... The average lifespan of a terrorist in a gunfight isn't very long, so that rifle is likely going to hit the ground, and someone is going to need it to work when they pick it up. The terrorist group is definitely going to need a cheap replacement ..."

FYI - The AR of AR 15 stands for Armalite Rifle. Armalite is the manufacturer of the weapon.

According to an August 12, 2019 report by the Center for American Progress, a non-profit,

" ... Following the expiration of the ban in 2004, assault weapons and high-capacity magazines once again became legal to manufacture and purchase, and the gun industry responded with renewed fervor, flooding the civilian consumer market with these guns. Since the expiration of the federal ban, assault weapons and high-capacity magazines have been used to perpetrate some of the deadliest public mass shootings in modern U.S. history:

  • On August 3, 2019, in El Paso, Texas, 46 people were shot, 22 fatally.
  • On February 14, 2018, in Parkland, Florida, 34 people were shot, 17 fatally.
  • On November 5, 2017, in Sutherland Springs, Texas, 46 people were shot, 26 fatally.
  • On October 1, 2017, in Las Vegas, 480 people were shot, 58 fatally.
  • On June 12, 2016, in Orlando, Florida, 102 people were shot, 49 fatally.
  • On December 14, 2012, in Newtown, Connecticut, 28 people were shot, 26 fatally.
  • On July 20, 2012, in Aurora, Colorado, 70 people were shot, 12 fatally. "

SHOW PUTIN W/ KALASHNIKOV

 

Majority of Americans Support Federal Gun Control Legislation that Includes Background Checks & Assault Weapons Ban

The Mayor [ANY MAYOR] and the NYPD Can't Fix what the NRA, the Repubican Party & Rupert Murdoch's Manipulative Mass Media have Mucked up

According to a report by Vox, Americans are four times more likely to be the victim of gun violence than people living in other industrialized nations. And assaults in America are three times more likely to involve guns than in most of the other industrialized nations around the world. If you want to know why shootings and murders are up in NYC - look at the flow of guns into the city.

And yet in spite of that NYC's murder rate rise in 2020, it was still below the national average on a per capita basis. The USA nationally had a murder rate that rose from 5 per 1000 to 6.2 per 1000 in 2020, while NYC's murder rate rose from 3.8 per 1000 in 2019 to 5 per 1000 in 2020. And yet while NYC's murder rate was well below the national average, the murder rates in Republican governed states rank among the highest.

 

Manipulated & Divisive Reality by Murdoch's Fox News & NY Post

They Accuse Urban Democrats of being the Cause of Violence & Crime

But FAIL to Mention Gun Control & that Republican States have the Highest Murder Rates

Seven of the ten states with the highest murder rates are run by Republican governors and generally have more lax restrictions on guns than those with the lower murder rates. The top ten states for murder in 2017 included red states like Missouri, Maryland, Arkansas, Alaska, Alabama, Mississippi and South Carolina. The Democrat run states included Louisiana, Nevada and Illinois. Which party runs a state changes with time, so I don't see this as a meaningful way to look at violence and crime. But what laws are on the books, do matter as they remain regardless of which party is in power.

I'm just pointing it out because dishonest Rupert Murdoch's Fox and NY Post periodically distort the facts to tell yet another false Murdoch narrative. Murdoch's NY Post and Fox News blame the Democrats for violence and crime - not the Republicans, nor gun control legislation, nor the guns that are used for violent crime. Why? Likely, so Murdoch can pull the strings of those he helps elect, once they've come to power, by twisting the facts about guns and violent crime so he can convince his audience to vote for those who will serve the Australian born billionaire.

Murdoch's manipulative mass media provides media protection for Republicans and the NRA, who say that guns aren't the problem. And yet in study after study it has been shown that there is a striking correlation between guns availability and gun violence. That should come as no surprise, and yet Senator John Kennedy of Louisianna says that people are the problem - not the guns. If we applied that same logic to everything, then why isn't heroin sold in candy stores? It's not the heroin that's the problem, but the people who use it.

 

Murdoch's Mendacious Media ONLY MUTEDLY Mentions that the Vast Majority of Americans' Favor Some Gun Control Legislation

Most Notedly are Background Checks & Actions & an Assault Weapons Ban

A March 2021 poll by USA Today and Ipsos showed that two thirds of Americans favor stricter gun control, including half of all gun owners. Democrats favor it by 90%, while Independents favor it by 66% and 35% of Republicans. Overwhelmingly, Americans favor instituting background checks for purchasers of firearms, with 55% of gun owners favoring such action including 82% of Democrats, 62% of Independents and 40% of Republicans [versus 41% who say no].

With respect to assault weapons bans, according to an August 17, 2019 report in Politico, a Politico / Morning Consult Poll showed that even a majority of Republicans support an assault weapons ban. They tell us,

" ... The poll found that nearly 70 percent of all voters would back such a ban. Support ... was higher, at 86 percent, among Democrats ... the poll found that 55 percent of GOP voters were comfortable with banning assault weapons ... 89 percent of voters want to block gun sales to people who have been reported as dangerous to law enforcement by mental health providers ... Eighty-four percent of voters want to prevent people convicted of violent misdemeanors from purchasing guns. A similar percentage, 83 percent, support limiting gun purchases to those 21 and older. Eighty percent think there should be a mandatory three-day waiting period before someone can take home a gun. And 72 percent support banning high-capacity magazines ..."

It seems there is NO GOOD REASON for Biden and the Democrats not to pass legislation with these key provisions. They are by far and away supported overwhelmingly by the majority of Americans. So to hell with Rupert Murdoch, his Fox Nation Republicans and the NRA. This sort of legislation wouldn't take away their guns, only ensure that those who do own them are responsible and deserve the privilege, and it would save not just the lives of policemen and women around the nation, but the lives of all Americans.

POLL GRAPH

STUDY RESULTS OF GUN RESTRICTION / VIOLENCE

 

We CANNOT Expect Any NYC Mayor & NYPD to Fix what is a LEGISLATIVE Gun Control Problem ... on Their Own

While Mayor de Blasio, Commissioner Shea and the NYPD will likely do all that they can to remove guns from the streets, they really can't be expected to solve this problem themselves. And neither would Eric Adams, were he elected Mayor. The tristate area governors could help by coordinating and possibly standardizing their statewide gun policies based on best practices, to help law enforcement rein in the free flow of weapons to people who may not be fit to use them in a responsible manner.

But ultimately it rests with the Congress, the Senate and the President to pass meaningful gun control legislation to ensure that laws stay abreast of the times. It's important that we not allow the NRA and Senate Republicans like Mitch McConnell and Congressional Republicans like Kevin McCarthy, hold the nation at gunpoint to keep the flow of guns running up and down our nation's streets.

I think the points outlined in the last paragraph of the previous section would be a solid, meaningful step in the right direction. Both sides can then take a breath and see how things play out.

But in the meantime, crime statistics and comparisons to last year aren't likely to be meaningful, so the comparisons should be against 2019. That said, most crime is down, except for the gun related shootings and murders, and fixing that is going to take time because gun sales have run rampant during the pandemic. An intelligent, compromising, national gun control based on most Americans' wishes seems within reach? And would go either a long way or at least some of the way in fixing violent, gun related shootings and murders in our fair city and the nation.

 

Australian Billionaire Propagandist Endorses Adams via His NY Post

Rupert Murdoch, the crusty 90 year old billionaire, who appears to use his media outlets as one big propaganda machine, endorsed Eric Adams candidacy for Mayor this past week. In the Democratic primary in NYC, Eric Adams - once a Republican [1990's] and a former police officer - is likely the most conservative / moderate candidate in the viable field of Democratic candidates, which is likely why Murdoch endorsed him via the NY Post, as nobody else seems to come close.

Setting aside the Adams candidacy for the moment, it's worth pointing out that Murdoch generally endorses candidates who will bow to his will, or minimally, will refrain from taxing the mega billionaire any further. That said, Murdoch appears a thankless man who will relentlessly attack whomever is elected, unless that person is a Murdoch patsy, like so many in the Republican Party here in America, the Conservative Party in Britain, and the right leaning Liberal Party in Australia [see our special report Murdoch Media Madness - Fox Fakes the News]. When pols bow to Murdoch's will they appear to get his 'media protection', which is oftentimes why weak government officials / pols seem to strike a deal with the dark lord, Darth Murdoch.

 

Conclusion - It's Not Exactly Clear What an Adams Mayoralty Would be but ...

An Eric Adams Mayoralty Would Likely Roll Back Some of de Blasio's Progressivism in Housing, Police Reform and Education

It's difficult to truly assess what kind of Mayor Eric Adams will be at this point in his career and the campaign. He's one of the most conservative candidates running in the Democratic Primary, but as said before a conservative NYC Democrat is a moderate in the rest of the nation.

The big questions about an Adams mayoralty don't center around his integrity and character, like they do with Scott Stringer, but rather around how dramatically he will alter the progressive course of action pursued during the de Blasio Administration. Most notably in education vis a vis the possible expansion of for profit charter schools, and in policing vis a vis reform and funding. Lastly, the fact that Eric Adams is the favored choice of real estate developer funding as of late Spring and endorsed by the NY Post, are both of great concern because these sorts of people generally don't give something for nothing.

Thanks for taking the time to learn more about who's running for Mayor. There's more to come as we near the election. I'll add photos and clean up any errors at a later date.

Have a good week.


This Weekend Things To Do NYC & News Updates

Perfect Weather Weekend, NYC Institutions doing more Blended Virtual & Live Programming, Lincoln Center ReAwakens, Bronx Week Ending, Bike Blvds Coming This Summer, Some Open Streets to Continue, Kids 12 - 15 Now Eligible for Vaccinations, Some Subway Stations Giving Free Vaccinations, Tourism Coming Back, Subway Safety & Resumption of 24/7 Service & Economic Snapshot

nyc violent crime shootings gun arrests murders nyc manhattan queens brooklyn bronx staten island gun arrests shootings murders nyc crime stats 2020May 14, 2021 / NYC Neighborhoods /NYC Things To Do Events / News Analysis & Opinion / Gotham Buzz NYC.

Weather. The temperature highs will be in the mid 70's, while the temperatures lows will be in the mid 50's all weekend. No rain is in the forecast. The humidity will range between 40% and 60%, rising as the weekend progresses. Winds will be 5 - 10 mph.

In the photo at right you can see folks emerging from the subway station near Union Square in Manhattan. The photo seems a metaphor for where we're at in the pandemic, emerging, but not quite there.

 

Lincoln Center goes Green

So, on this first weekend of the newly 'greened' Lincoln Center pavilion, there are a couple of live performances on Saturday which are open to the public for free via a ticket lottery in order to maintain some sort of CoVid discipline. The first performance is at 11 am for kids and the second is at 7.30 pm but unfortunately has been sold out. They're going to continue this live programming through May, so if you're interested cut and paste this link to their website for future shows - https://www.lincolncenter.org/lincoln-center-at-home . They're also providing some virtually streamed videos which are a mix of documentaries and performance. Free.

 

Bronx Week Ends This Weekend at Orchard Beach

On Saturday Bronx Week will host two live events as it winds down. The first is the Walk of Fame event at 10 am the whereabouts of which, remains unclear. If I hear back from the Bronx Borough President's Office in time, I will post the location. The second event begins at 12 noon at Orchard Beach and it's a Drive-In Grand Finale Concert. I believe it's a first come - first serve parking spot event. Free.

 

Mayor de Blasio Announces Plans for Bike Boulevards Bike Lanes

nyc violent crime shootings gun arrests murders nyc manhattan queens brooklyn bronx staten island gun arrests shootings murders nyc crime stats 2020The Mayor announced plans for more bike lanes in 2021, including one bike boulevard in each borough. The proposals must go through the community vetting process, so it's not a done deal. Here are where the proposed bike boulevards are slated to take place - BUT will only include a segment of each street / avenue - NOT the entire road.

  • 21st Street (South Slope, Brooklyn)
  • 39th Avenue (Sunnyside, Queens)
  • Jackson Avenue (Mott Haven, Bronx)
  • University Place (Greenwich Village)
  • Netherland Avenue (Mariners Harbor, Staten Island)

The NYC.gov website tells us that,

"... In coming weeks, DOT Borough Commissioners and planners will present proposed plans to elected officials and community boards, with the expectation that they will be completed this year... "

In 2020 the de Blasio Administration expanded bike lanes in all five boroughs by a total of over 20 miles, and he expanded priority bus lanes by 16 miles.

 

De Blasio Announces Open Boulevards Effort to Jump Start Cultural Activities

nyc violent crime shootings gun arrests murders nyc manhattan queens brooklyn bronx staten island gun arrests shootings murders nyc crime stats 2020Last summer the open restaurants / open streets program provided relief to restaurant owners and communities during the CoVid pandemic. In an effort to build on that success, Mayor de Blasio announced plans for Open Boulevards in an effort to provide relief / kick start cultural activities in NYC this summer. The program has thus far identified ten boulevards, spanning all five boroughs, wherein it is planning to cordon off some segment of each major street - likely over the weekend - and use the space to enable the artists, musicians, actors and dancers of NYC to show their stuff. The ten boulevards include: a) BRONX - 1) Alexander Avenue near East 134th Street and 2) Arthur Avenue near Cresent Street, b) BROOKLYN - 3) Fifth Avenue in Park Slope and 4) Fifth Avenue in Sunset Park, c) MANHATTAN - 5) Amsterdam Avenue at 110th and 6) Columbus Avenue at 106th, d) QUEENS - 7) Ditmars Avenue at 33rd Street and 8) Woodside Avenue at 78th Street, and e) STATEN ISLAND - 9) Minthrone Street at Victory Blvd. I don't yet know what the tenth street is.

 

CoVid Vaccination Approval for Pfizer in Kids 12 - 15 & Changing Mask Guidance

nyc violent crime shootings gun arrests murders nyc manhattan queens brooklyn bronx staten island gun arrests shootings murders nyc crime stats 2020The Pfizer vaccine was approved for use in children ages 12 - 15 by the FDA on Monday. May 10, 2021. The Federal Advisory Board must also approve the vaccine, and is likely to do so as early as this weekend. Governor Cuomo has indicated once the vaccine passes muster with these two scientific groups, the state will approve it as well and begin administering it, which could be as early as next week. The Moderna vaccine isn't far behind Pfizer in the data collection and scientific approval process, but it likely will be weeks to more than a month, before it's in the market.

On Thursday, May 13, 2021 the CDC surprised us, when they announced changing mask and social distancing guidelines for vaccinated people. They told us that for people who are not immuno-compromised, and who have received the full vaccination dose [one shot for J&J and two shots for Pfizer and Moderna] over two weeks ago [takes two weeks for your immune system to fully ramp up], they no longer are advising these people to wear masks indoors or outdoors and they don't have to social distance.

People were surprised because this creates a bit of confusion, as anyone traveling on mass transit like buses, trains, planes and the like are still required to mask up, regardless of vaccination status. And the ultimate guidance on masks is essentially up to state lawmakers, municipalities and local businesses.

The reason the CDC made the announcement isthat they have found the vaccines to be very effective against CoVid hospitalizations and deaths.

 

NYC Tourism Back on the Rise

nyc violent crime shootings gun arrests murders nyc manhattan queens brooklyn bronx staten island gun arrests shootings murders nyc crime stats 2020One of NYC's most significant revenue and employment economic categories is tourism. Prior to the pandemic NYC had hosted 67 million tourists in a single year. These visitors spent some $70 billion while here on entertainment, hotels, dining, shopping and the like. That kind of economic activity helped fuel employment of about 300 - 400 thousand workers.

During the pandemic, the entire planet seemed to nearly close shop on recreational tourism. In NYC, the city welcomed 22 million visitors - most of whom came prior to the pandemic. Because of the downturn, some hotels closed, reducing the available rooms by 36,000 to 88,000 rooms. Hundreds of thousands of hotel, restaurant and retail workers were either dismissed or furloughed due to the inactivity.

While this year won't be a banner year, there are signs of tourism coming back to life. The Met Museum has seen its visits rise from 4,000 per day last summer to 7,000 per day in recent weeks and as high as 9,000 in a single day. This is still well below the 25,000 the museum used to accommodate pre-pandemic, but a significant improvement nonetheless. And even though the Statue of Liberty is still closed, 33% more tourists took the ride to view the Lady than did just a few months ago. NYC expects about 31 million tourists to visit NYC this year, but we could overshoot that if the vaccinations continue to progress and chase the virus away.

 

Economic Snapshot - Unemployment Likely to Keep Falling as Hiring Resumes

The U.S. unemployment rate was about 6% in March, while the NYS unemployment rate was about 8.5%, dragged down in part by NYC's performance which had an unemployment rate of 11.2%. One of the primary reasons NYC is lagging the state and nation is because of the loss of tourism, as noted above. As mentioned, tourism declines lead to a loss of hundreds of thousands of hospitality and retail jobs in the city. That's the bad news.

The good news is that it appears to be coming back. While a great deal of NYC tourism is from abroad, even more originates domestically. And with CoVid rates declining, restaurants opening longer hours, office workers returning to their desks beginning this month through September, the MTA to resume 24/7 service before the end of this month, the Mayor said he expects the city to be fully reopened by July 2021.

 

Economic Snapshot - Inflation & the Stock Market

The stock markets were spooked this past week by a report showing inflation was 4.2%. They calmed down by the end of the week, as a major contributor to the spike, were the low Consumer Price Index numbers of a year ago. Nonetheless, folks should beware, as if inflation returns, the cost of borrowing will rise, and economic activity will slow because the costs associated with big ticket purchases will rise.

The fact that the markets calmed, indicates they believe the spike may be temporary, fueled in part by the multi-trillion dollar stimulus package and the resumption of economic activity compared to a depressed base. But it's key to stay vigilant on both the healthcare front and one's finances, as caution is the better part of valor.

Have a nice weekend.


Special Interests & Scott Stringer NYC Mayoral Candidate

NYC Mayoral Stringer Candidate Scott Stringer Frequently Appears to be an Agent for Special Interests - Except When Their Interests & His Career Ambitions Collide

nyc violent crime shootings gun arrests murders nyc manhattan queens brooklyn bronx staten island gun arrests shootings murders nyc crime stats 2020May 10, 2021 / NYC Neighborhoods / NYC Corona Virus / News Analysis & Opinion / Gotham Buzz NYC.

Weather. It's going to be a fairly consistent weather week with the temperature highs in the 60's and the temperature lows in the high 40's to low 50's. There's scant chance of rain [12% on Tuesday], and winds will be about 10 mph give or take. Humidity will be low all week faling from 40 - 50% today to between 30 - 40% during the middle of the week and returning to 40 - 50% by Friday.

 

In the photo at right are a couple of direct mail pieces that were sent by Stringer and funded, in part by NYC real estate developers.

 

The NYC Mayoral Campaign - Based on Funding & Polls it's a Two or Three Horse Race Unless Things Change Significantly as Voters Tune in - Garcia

According to the NYC Campaign Finance Board as of May 7, 2021, Eric Adams and Scott Stringer were leading in campaign contributions and with cash on hand. Eric Adams has $8.9 million and $7.9 million left to spend, while Stringer raised $8.4 million and has $7.4 million left to spend. Andrew Yang is a distant third having raised $5.9 million with $5 million left to spend, and Maya Wiley an even more distant fourth having raised $3.9 million with $2.5 million left to spend.

The second tier of candidates including Shaun Donovan [$2.2 million left to spend], Dianne Morales [$2.5 million left to spend], Kathryn Garcia [$2.7 million left to spend] may not be viable unless things dramatically change in a fairly short period of time. This assessment isn't just based on funding, but on the polls, as these candidates are running far behind the leading candidates Yang [26%], Adams [20%] and Stringer [13%], as each of them has less than 10% of the vote. Wiley has 10%, so she is very disadvantaged in both cash and polling vis a vis the two leaders.

It's worth noting that the New York Times endorsed Garcia this week. She's not getting the oodles of special interest money like the front runners, has solid track record in NYC municipal government, and she would be the first woman to become the Mayor of NYC, were she to prevail [as would Maya Wiley or Dianne Morales].

 

Scott Stringer Stays Focused on his Career

I started paying attention to Scott Stringer as I began the launch of Gotham Buzz / Manhattan Buzz in the summer / fall of 2013. The first reporting I did which included Scott Stringer in it, was a short brief in the late summer of 2013, when as the Manhattan Borough President Stringer gave his conditional approval of the Midtown East Rezoning Plan. As I was launching those sites, I didn't have the time to do the proper research into the planned mega real estate rezoning and development, which Stringer had publicly criticized, but which he ultimately approved.

That said, what did happen was that my 'Spidey Sense' had picked up the scent of a self-serving politician.

 

2013 / Manhattan Borough President Stringer / Midtown East ReZoning

Stringer Seems to do What's Right for His Career, NOT for His Constitutents?

nyc violent crime shootings gun arrests murders nyc manhattan queens brooklyn bronx staten island gun arrests shootings murders nyc crime stats 2020The Midtown East rezoning was a gargantuan real estate development push centered in and around the Grand Central Terminal neighborhood. At the time [August 2013] Scott Stringer was the Manhattan Borough President. And, as I eventually found Stringer to have done before, he came out strongly publicly criticizing the plan, and then seemed to do an about face and sign off on it.

This was as Scott Stringer ran for NYC Comptroller - the position he holds today. An August 1, 2013 report in the Real Deal started with this,

" ... A day after the city pledged to provide upfront funding for transit improvements as part of the Midtown East rezoning plan, Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer announced he will support the proposal, Crain’s reported ... [and then this] Stringer won praise from the Hotel Trades Council, the city’s biggest hotel union, thanks to his endorsement of a special permit process for any hotels that would be built as part of the plan ... [and then this] ... Since the changes were announced, observers awaited Stringer’s approval, wondering whether he would side with the plan’s critics and risk alienating the city’s real estate community as he runs for the position of New York City Comptroller against former New York Governor Eliot Spitzer ... "

In the graphic at right, you can see an August 1, 2013 report in the Wall St Journal that notes that Stringer approved the Midtown East Rezoning even though it disappointed community groups who opposed the rezoning. Stringer seemed to side with the real estate developers in lieu of the community, which he also did as Manhattan Borough President in the case of the Greenwich Village / NYU rezoning. Beware politicians who appear to vote in favor of those who fund them, in lieu of the broader community.

Stringer went on to win that close election. And according to an October 5, 2016 report by DNA Info, the Midtown East Rezoning Plan,

" ... was advanced by the Bloomberg administration but was withdrawn in 2013 after elected officials, including Garodnick, opposed it, saying it lacked transparency regarding exactly what public improvement projects would be funded through deals with developers ..."

In May 2014 Mayor de Blasio established the East Midtown Steering Committee to rezone the area. The new Manhattan Borough President, Gale Brewer and City Councilmember Garodnick worked on a new rezoning plan, which was approved in August of 2017.

 

2014 / 2015 - NYC Comptroller Scott Stringer Hypes False Allegations of 'Corruption' at Queens Library, which DeStabilizes the Non Profit, Enabling Politicians to Wrest Away Independent Control of it

No Corruption Found / Taxpayers Pay Ten(s) of Millions for Investigation & Settlement / Queens Library Loses its Independence at a Time When Real Estate Developers are Circling like Sharks Around Public Library Property

nyc violent crime shootings gun arrests murders nyc manhattan queens brooklyn bronx staten island gun arrests shootings murders nyc crime stats 2020In 2014 the NY Daily News, which at the time was owned by real estate developer Mortimer Zuckerman, began a barrage of seemingly endless attacks on then Queens Library President Thomas Galante. Almost every NYC media outlet followed the lead and tone of the NY Daily News coverage - except us and a couple of other independent outlets.

In early 2014, newly elected Queens Borough President Melinda Katz and NYC Comptroller Scott Stringer jumped on the bandwagon and rode the allegations and innuendo of Queens Library corruption all the way to Albany and back. The NYS Senate and NYS Assembly - in what I consider a major failure by almost all of them - nearly unanimously passed a bill in both houses to rescind the Queens Library independence based on UNPROVEN ALLEGATIONS of corruption. The independent Queens Library board had been set up by Andrew Carnegie in the early 1900's and seemed operate well ever since, including during the time of the seemingly phony, trumped up allegations.

In the graphic at right, from a December 16, 2014 report on Queens Buzz, you see Scott Stringer and Melinda Katz together at an outdoor cultural event, just before they began their 'corruption' assault on the Queens Library president and non-profit board. After over a year of intense scrutiny and legal wrangling, they found NO WRONG DOING, while squandering millions of dollars of taxpayer money and politicizing the library and its board, by wresting away its non-profit independence, which increases the likelihood that real estate developers will have representation [or surrogates] on the board who can wrangle away from the community the choice real estate the libraries rest upon.

But both bodies of the NYS legislature didn't let the facts get in the way of what they did, and Scott Stringer can take a bow for helping amplify those false allegations of corruption, seeming to help make them appear true.

Why? Perhaps because Mortimer Zuckerman, a billionaire real estate developer, owned the NY Daily News at the time. In politics having an ally who is both rich and owns mass media is a significant advantage in an electoral race. And perhaps because both Katz and Stringer had previously interacted with Zuckerman's Boston Properties to get new zoning pushed through in the Village for NYU in 2012. Here's a link to a December 20, 2014 report in Queens Buzz that should give you the gist of for whom Scott Stringer appears to really work.

 

2012 / Manhattan Borough President / NYU Campus Expansion Greenwich Village

Supports Massive Real Estate Development in Greenwich Village which Residents Oppose

nyc violent crime shootings gun arrests murders nyc manhattan queens brooklyn bronx staten island gun arrests shootings murders nyc crime stats 2020NYU planned a mega real estate development, to expand its campus footprint in Greenwich Village. The people who lived there weren't supportive of it, as their Community Board 2, opposed the proposal based on its size and the impact of the construction on the neighborhood before and after the development was completed which was estimated to be about 19 years. There were also accusations that NYU's math was 'fuzzy' with respect to how they counted public space in the proposal.

 

A June 15, 2012 report in CityLandNYC.org tells us that,

"... Manhattan Borough President Scott M. Stringer supported the proposal under certain conditions. Stringer recommended, among other things, eliminating the proposed below-grade space from under the landscaped strips, reducing the size of the new buildings on the superblocks, and eliminating the construction of the temporary gym. Stringer also recommended imposing limits on eating and drinking establishments if the Loft Blocks were rezoned with a commercial overlay..."

 

nyc violent crime shootings gun arrests murders nyc manhattan queens brooklyn bronx staten island gun arrests shootings murders nyc crime stats 2020I think it's worth noting that generally speaking, conditional statements included in rezoning proposals, were oftentimes ignored, once the plan was approved. This was so much so the case, that in June 2018 Mayor de Blasio opened up a Rezoning Commitments Tracker to remedy this situation based on legislation passed by the City Council [Local Law 175 of 2016]. Unfortunately the page does not appear to have been updated since the pandemic and social unrest began in the Spring of 2020.

In the two graphics above and at right you can see: 1) that the Greenwich community urged the then Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer to vote against the mega NYU expansion plan development in 2012 and 2) that Scott Stringer voted for it anyway.

It's worth mentioning that the developer, Boston Properties, was owned / controlled by the then owner of the NY Daily News, billionaire real estate developer Mortimer Zuckerman. Zuckerman and his NY Daily News also played a role in hyping false allegations of corruption against the President and non-profit board of the Queens Library, in what seemed an effort to wrest away control of the organization from the non-profit [which they succeeded in doing], in order to enable the possibility of wresting away the land upon which the libraries sit - as has been done in Brooklyn.

https://www1.nyc.gov/site/operations/performance/neighborhood-rezoning-commitments-tracker.page

 

2014 / Education / Stringer Appears to Try to Thwart de Blasio Push for Universal Pre-K

Stringer Seems Willing to Sacrifice the Education of some Portion of 53,000 NYC Children to Enable a Career Enhancing Challenge to the Mayor

nyc violent crime shootings gun arrests murders nyc manhattan queens brooklyn bronx staten island gun arrests shootings murders nyc crime stats 2020As with the phony. trumped up charges in the Queens Library 'Corruption Scandal', Scott Stringer appeared to use his office to try to undermine Mayor de Blasio's push for Universal Pre-K in the Fall of 2014, after de Blasio helped secure the NYS legislation authorizing the plan.

Stringer attacked Mayor de Blasio's push to implement Universal Pre-K in the Fall of 2014 by claiming that a number of the organizations the Mayor was working with, to implement the plan on relatively short notice, hadn't fully complied with some of the paperwork Stringer oversaw in the NYC Comptroller's office.

It was a politically staged event that pundits believe Stringer used to hope to position himself against Mayor de Blasio for the next election in 2017.

Stringer tried to create the impression that some of the Universal Pre-K sites might be unsafe, but multiple city agencies were working to make sure that wouldn't be the case [and it wasn't] in a push to make Universal Pre-K happen. In an August 2014 Politico report states,

"... The comptroller's role is to approve the contract," de Blasio said, adding "way before that, all these agencies were working on health and safety. When I think about health and safety, I think about the professionals who do this work..."

The same Politico report quotes Stringer saying,

" ... "I want them to stop playing games," Stringer said of the administration during his press conference, during which he hinted at "legal action..."

But even Stringer allies sided with de Blasio, likely recognizing Stringer has oftentimes made staged political statements in an effort to further his career, in lieu of an issues / people based agenda. According to a September 1, 2014 report in the Observer,

" ... Mr. de Blasio had wrangled two pols from Mr. Stringer’s Upper West Side base, along with many other shared allies, to repudiate his [Stringer's] latest analysis of the mayor’s prekindergarten plan, even digging out a statement from a former Bloomberg chief of staff to drive the point home: I am the mayor, you are wrong and I have many, many friends who agree with me... "

The September 1, 2014 Oberver report also noted that this was not the first time Stringer tried to trip up the Mayor, early in de Blasio's Mayoralty.

" ... Mr. Stringer challenged the mayor on accounting related to retroactive raises granted to the United Federation of Teachers, the first major labor deal of Mr. de Blasio’s tenure... "

The question here is why did the United Federation of Teachers union support someone who seemed to undermine an important educational initiative? Their leadership may be as guilty as billionaires and corporations of looking out for themselves, not their constituents.

 

2017 - Special Interest Scott Stringer is a Player of Games Using Political Theater

Politics Can be Dirty - Watch What Pols Like Stringer Do - Not What They Say

A June 3, 2017 OpEd in the NY Post provides the following, which shows how Stringer plays fast and loose with hypocrisy.

" ... Union puppet on a stringer ... A telling sign that a politician is a puppet for teachers unions is a robotic claim to be putting children ahead of politics. Behold city Comptroller Scott Stringer. He was on auto-control while pushing back against legislators demanding to know how state money was spent.Said Stringer: “Our kids should be above politics. Their futures can’t be treated as pawns in a political game.” You could hardly see the unions’ lips moving."

So it appears ok to play politics with the kids' education in furtherance of Scott Stringer's career. But it's not ok 'to play politics' by asking for transparency regarding funding related to the Teachers Union, which likely was also a career enhancing move by Stringer, given the UFT endorsed him.

 

2016 - 2019 / Stringer Gambles with Public Money?

NYCERS aka New York City Employees Retirement System Increases Investments in Private Equity Real Estate 45% - Impact on Risk / Returns, Affordable Housing & Stringer Campaign Donations?

nyc violent crime shootings gun arrests murders nyc manhattan queens brooklyn bronx staten island gun arrests shootings murders nyc crime stats 2020This is a two pronged deal where Stringer seems to fund private equity that is alleged to be contributing to the global housing shortage. And fund real estate investments that have reportedly also provided sub par returns for the funds. If I'm not mistaken, municipal pension fund shortfalls are paid by city taxpayers. Are these financial guys donors / possible donors to Stringer's campaign(s)?

 

Who's Will be Pulling the Strings on Stringer?

Do these people fund Stringer's campaigns? I think so, but that's hard to prove. But as an example, Stringer has NEARLY FOUR TIMES MORE intermediaries collecting money for his campaign than the other TOP THREE CANDIDATES COMBINED. Stringer has 27 intermediaries [which I assume are set up to hide who's really contributing], while Yang has 0, Adams has 4 and Wiley has 4.

In the graphic to the right the second to the last line at the bottom on the left shows the number of intermediaries who probably package money that doesn't want to be seen by the public, so the public won't know who's pulling the strings on Stringer?

 

Ranked Choice Voting - If You're Rich & Powerful - Stringer #1 / McGuire #2

This indicates to me that Stringer is the choice of the wealthy, probably real estate investors and developers. So if you want the city run by the rich and powerful over the next four years, Scott Stringer is your choice and Ray McGuire would be your second choice.

 

Stringer Embraces Public Investments in Mass Transit Additions that Benefit Billionaire Manhattan Developers

While Ignoring the People who live in the Mass Transit Deserts of the Outer Boroughs

The then Manhattan Borough President Stringer approved the Hudson Yards #7 subway line extension and the Upper East Side subway line extension. This was done while there were and still are an incredible number of other places in the city with greater transportation needs than almost anywhere in Manhattan - let alone south of 90th Street. These other places are called transportation deserts, where residents have to travel hours, if they use public transit, to get anywhere central.

There are other mass transit needs too. For example, how about one East - West subway in the Bronx? How about a second North South subway in middle / eastern Queens Brooklyn? How about one more north south subway on the west side of Staten Island?

 

Conclusion - Stringer Doesn't Appear to be the Man the Corporate Media Tell You He Is

Is Scott Stringer a progressive? Yes, but that progressivism seems limited to the generic democratic issues that are required of any viable NYC Democrat.

But when it counts, when it comes to local issues where Stringer can really make a real difference for his constituents, Scott Stringer seems to let his career ambitions - and those who fund them [like real estate developers] or those who mobilize voting blocks [like specific union leadership] - drive what he's going to do. Voters and residents be damned.

We have a lot of choices for Mayor this primary. For my money, Scott Stringer isn't one I would rank highly, if at all, because he's going to look out for his career and the special interests who support him - not the people of New York City.

Have a good week.


This Weekend - Mothers Day & More

Broadway Tickets go on Sale, Restaurant Capacity Increased to 75%, Mothers Day Restaurants Suggestions [see 4/27 report], Some Things To Do NYC, Free Baseball Tickets, Retail Coming Back & Brief CoVid Update

nyc violent crime shootings gun arrests murders nyc manhattan queens brooklyn bronx staten island gun arrests shootings murders nyc crime stats 2020May 7, 2021 / NYC Neighborhoods / NYC Corona Virus / News Analysis & Opinion / Gotham Buzz NYC.

Weather. The temperature highs will be in the low 60's on Friday & Sunday, and high 50's on Saturday. The temperature lows will be around 50 on Friday and Sunday and in the mid 50's on Saturday. A small amount of rain [a tenth or two of an inch] is expected during the day Saturday, and a larger amount of rain [up to a half inch] is due starting Sunday late afternoon / early evening. The humidity will be 50% - 70% and the winds 5 - 10 mph all weekend.

 

Some Broadway Tickets Went on Sale

Effective Thursday 5/6/21 some Broadway Show tickets went on sale online. Broadway is expected to reopen on Tuesday, September 14th, 2021. According to an NBC report about 94,000 people have jobs tied to Broadway Shows. I'm not sure if this includes hotels, restaurants, taxis in addition to acting, stagecraft and production / business management, but the annual revenue figure of $14.8 billion associated with Broadway productions does include related businesses. I believe tickets to some of the big plays like Aladdin, Hamilton and Chicago won't be available until next week - but if you're interested, you should check as soon as possible.

 

Restaurants To Expand to 75% Capacity

nyc violent crime shootings gun arrests murders nyc manhattan queens brooklyn bronx staten island gun arrests shootings murders nyc crime stats 2020Restaurants can now use 75% of their capacity effective today 5/7/21 - just in time for Mothers Day Weekend in NYC. I believe both New Jersy and Connecticut are doing the same, with the caveat that six feet social distancing remains the guideline in effect.

 

New York, New Jersey and Connecticut will remove most CoVid related capacity limitations effective Wednesday, May 19th, 2021 for restaurants, retail, cultural institutions like museums and theaters, hair salons, places of worship, gyms, casinos and the like. This removal is based on the assumption that new CoVid cases and hospitalizations continue to fall.

 

Things to Do - Macy's Flower Show & Lincoln Center

nyc violent crime shootings gun arrests murders nyc manhattan queens brooklyn bronx staten island gun arrests shootings murders nyc crime stats 2020The Macy's Flower Show started on May 2nd and runs through May 16th. See photo showing how they took the show to the adjacent parks and decorated their outer veneer.

The Met Gala is normally held this week, but has been postponed. The good news is that it's returning this year.

Lincoln Center is hosting a number of outdoor performances this month on the plaza and / or adjacent to their pavilions. On May 10 they go 'green' by decorating the concrete space with what looks to be a makeshift golfing green.

Around the boroughs, we're seeing movement of things stirring, but not yet in full motion. I kind of expect the Memorial Day Weekend to be not just the kickoff to the summer, but also to the definitive end of the CoVid pandemic - but this assumes that many of the Trumpckleheads re-enlist in reality and get vaccinated.

 

Free Baseball Tickets at Yankee & Mets Games

Effective May 19th, the stadiums will be able to seat vaccinated folks at 100% capacity, while seating unvaccinated folks at 33% capacity. Face mask requirements remain in effect for all baseball game attendees. The Yankees and the Mets are also offering free tickets to their games to those who get vaccinated at the stadiums with the one shot J&J vaccine. That seems like a win / win / win. The attendee gets a free ticket and free vaccination, the MLB teams can then seat three people in place of one unvaccinated and NYC and NYS will move closer to putting CoVid behind us.

 

80,000 NYC Municipal Workers Returned to Work This Week

nyc violent crime shootings gun arrests murders nyc manhattan queens brooklyn bronx staten island gun arrests shootings murders nyc crime stats 2020The Mayor and the NYC Municipal employees are leading by example. This week they returned to working in the office. That's certain to breathe new life into the city and the surrounding businesses.

Separately, but related, as of late April over 80% of school teachers and staff had received their vaccinations. I couldn't find any recent statistics for other unions like the firefighters or police - but a December 2020 report indicated that possibly 50% of the FDNY members weren't [at the time] planning to get vaccinated. This may have changed, as proof of vaccination is likely to increase in value for entry to life as we knew it.

Many businesses are evaluating whether to mandate vaccinations after incentives fail in order to keep their staffs and clientele healthy.

 

Economy on the Mend - Retail Sales Up, Unemployment Down & MTA to Resume 24/7

nyc violent crime shootings gun arrests murders nyc manhattan queens brooklyn bronx staten island gun arrests shootings murders nyc crime stats 2020Retail Sales Up 10% in March and new unemployment claims fall below a half million for the first time since the pandemic began [but it's still about 200,000 above normal]. Restaurants, clothing and sporting goods lead the way with an increase of 18%.

The sales increases are believed to be a result of the CoVid relief package signed by President Biden. There are some supply shortages which have come about, in part due to the pandemic, which economists are concerned will fuel inflation. Higher inflation leads to higher interest rates. Higher interest rates leads to reduced demand, particularly for high dollar value items like homes and cars. The question is whether this is a CoVid induced blip or something of a more durable nature. Stay tuned.

On Monday, May 17, 2021 the MTA will resume 24/7 operations. Shortly after the pandemic began, the MTA closed the nighttime subway for 4 - 5 hours to deep clean it. As curfews and capacity restrictions fall away, mass transit is required to keep things moving.

 

And What's a Week Gone by Without Someting About CoVid?

So vaccinations have retreated from their highs in April to about a third the maximum throughput. New cases, hospitalizations and deaths continue to fall, albeit at what seems a slower pace. About 80% of SENIORS and more than 40% of American ADULTS have been fully vaccinated. But this is only about a third of the entire population, although 44% of ALL Americans have had at least one shot. About 20% of the American population is comprised of kids, who to date [except those 16 - 17 years of age] have not been eligible to be vaccinated. But that's about to change.

Pfizer expects FDA approval for their vaccine for kids ages 12 - 15 as soon as this month, and to get approval for ages 2 - 11 in the fall of 2021. Moderna is looking for approval for kids 12 - 17 as early as July or August, and for younger children some time after that.

 

Scroll down to our April 27th report for some reviews / descriptions of restaurants for Mothers Day for each borough. Enjoy.


The NYC Mayoral Race Heats Up 2021

#1 Andrew Yang Slipping in Polls, #2 Eric Adams Holds / Moves up on Yang, Already #3 or #4 - Scott Stringer Now Accused of Sexual Harassment, Plus a Bit of News on the Four Candidates Trailing the Leaders & the Mysterious Impact of Ranked Choice Voting

nyc violent crime shootings gun arrests murders nyc manhattan queens brooklyn bronx staten island gun arrests shootings murders nyc crime stats 2020May 3, 2021 / NYC Neighborhoods / NYC Corona Virus / News Analysis & Opinion / Gotham Buzz NYC.

Weather. It's going to be a fairly rainy week, starting late afternoon / early Monday evening ending Tuesday morning. Tuesday looks to be cloudy, but not a lot of rain until Tuesday evening, which will last through Wednesday. Thursday looks to be winner [sunny & dry] and then Friday afternoon less rain returns. Temperature lows will be in the 50's and temperature highs in the 60's on Monday, Thursday and Friday, and in the 70's on Tuesday and Wednesday.

 

NYC Mayoral Primary is Tuesday, June 22nd

The NYC Mayoral Primary is only seven weeks away. So it's time for voters to begin doing their homework on the candidates in order to make an informed choice. As of the most recent poll, there are at best, about seven viable candidates for the Democratic primary. The viable candidates include Andrew Yang, Eric Adams, Scott Stringer, Maya Wiley, Raymond McGuire, Shaun Donovan, Dianne Morales and Kathryn Garcia.

While there are another five candidates who qualified for the race, they do not appear to have much popular support nor competitive financial backing. So those five, who include Art Chang, Aaron Foldenauer, Paperboy Love Prince, Joycelyn Taylor and Isaac Wright, Jr., have just received all the mention I intend to give them prior to the election.

 

Brief NYC Mayoral Candidate Look - See at Most Competitive Candidates including Andrew Yang, Eric Adams, Scott Stringer, Maya Wiley, Raymond McGuire, Shaun Donovan, Dianne Morales and Kathryn Garcia

With More Depth to Come Prior to the Primary / Decision Day

I. Andrew Yang has been polling as the leading candidate for the longest time, but his support appears to be fading as voters become more familiar with him as well as the other candidates. What likely drove Yang's early poll numbers was his high name recognition at the beginning of the race. Yang had gained name recognition by virtue of his failed run for president in 2020.

It's worth noting that Yang has not held publicly elected office, and prior to his run for president, was best known for a non-profit venture that gained some national attention from the Obama Administration. In a February 10, 2021 Politico report, Yang was the top choice of 28% of respondents in a poll conducted by Core Decision Analytics which is a lobbying firm. According to an April 29, 2021 report in Politico, a recent simulation poll by StudentsFirstNY, showed Yang's support at 26%.

Yang is generally perceived as a left leaning progressive, who sparks creative discussions about what ifs. However, given his limited track record professionally and operationally, it's difficult to tell what a Yang Administration would look like in reality, since he's not held publicly elected office and his claim to fame was only a six million non-profit venture. NYC operates on about a $90 billion budget each year and it's important to have someone familiar with the operations of the city prior to assuming office. Donald Trump comes to mind here, in that he had no prior experience that qualified him for the presidency. In Andrew Yang's case, his experience vis a vis NYC government, is miniscule at best.

EDITOR'S NOTE. Please note that the poll numbers cited in this report come from two different sources whose polling methods likely differed, and which may have some sort of poltical agenda, even though both poll reports were published in Politico, an online political web magazine.

 

Brooklyn Borough President - Eric Adams

II. Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams has held the second place in polls, and his support seems to be solidifying and possibly growing. While Yang had about 84% name recognition going into the race, the next best known contestants - Eric Adams and Scott Stringer - came in at about 60% and 66% name recognition, respectively. Adams was supported by 17% in the February 2021 poll, and inched up to 20% in the StudentsFirstNY simulation poll in April 2021.

Eric Adams has been the Brooklyn Borough President since 2013. Prior to that he was an NYS State Senator for four terms. And prior to that, Adams spent two decades as first a transit police officer and then as a member of the NYPD. While seeming to start from a conservative vantage point early in life, Adams appears to have moved steadily toward a moderate, even progressive stance, favoring gay marriage, calling for more dialogue about race and policing as early as 2004, advocating for the first two years of public college to be free and wanting developers to do more for the communities in which they operate.

But there are critical areas where it's unclear as to what an Adams Mayoralty may look like as he has taken in more real estate development cash than any other candidate. Also, the charter schools companies, that make a lot of money by privatizing the best part of the public school system, leaving the rest behind in the hands of the government and unions, while they rake in the cash and the accolades have also contributed a fair amount of cash to the Adams campaign. The private charter schools essentially ravage the public school system in a manner not unlike how insurance companies used to recruit the healthy, leaving the sick in the hands of the public or on their own.

Adams is perceived to be a moderate - but that needs a qualifier - in that Adams appears to be a moderate per the Democratic party in NYC.

 


This Weekend Things To Do NYC

Giddyap. As CoVid Abates, More Semblances of Normality Return, 5 Boro Bike Ride to be Rescheduled, Some Live Events in Manhattan & Queens, More Reopenings, Upcoming Fairs & Festivals, Curfews, CoVid, Falling Rents & Mayoral Race

nyc violent crime shootings gun arrests murders nyc manhattan queens brooklyn bronx staten island gun arrests shootings murders nyc crime stats 2020April 30, 2021 / NYC Neighborhoods / NYC Corona Virus / News Analysis & Opinion / Gotham Buzz NYC.

Weekend Weather. The temperature highs will rise from about 70 on Friday and Saturday to about 80 on Sunday. The temperature lows will rise from the mid 40's to the high 50's on Saturday and Sunday. Humidity will be about 40% on Friday and Saturday, rising to 40% to 60% on Sunday. The wind will fall from 20 mph on Friday to 10 - 15 on Saturday to 5 - 10 on Sunday. No rain is expected this weekend.

 

CoVid Vaccinations by Seniors Now at 80%

A full 80% of the most vulnerable segment of the American population - those aged 65 and older - have been vaccinated. That is probably the single biggest contributor to the declining death and hospitalization rates around the nation.

Both Moderna and Pfizer have been testing vaccines on children below age 16 [down to 12 years of age] and the results of those tests are expected soon. Children represent about 20% of the American population.

There are now 17 people who encountered blood clotting problems after taking the J&J vaccine. All were women, except one. Between 8 and 9 million people have received the J&J vaccine, so the risk to the general population is very small.

The Pfizer and Moderna vaccines reportedly appear to present no greater risk to pregnant mothers than the general population, but it's unclear to me whether that risk assessment also applies to the children they are carrying. It could be too early to tell.

 

Governor Cuomo Accelerates Removal of the CoVid Controls

nyc violent crime shootings gun arrests murders nyc manhattan queens brooklyn bronx staten island gun arrests shootings murders nyc crime stats 2020Bars and restaurants can now seat folks at the bar, effective Monday, May 3rd.

The curfew for outdoor dining ends on Monday, May 17th and the curfew for indoor dining ends on Monday, May 31st.

Effective May 15th, gyms will be able to use 50% of their capacity, up from 33% - but this is only outside of NYC. Casinos and gaming facilities will be able to increase the use of their capacity from 25% to 50%.

The Governor also announced that Offices can begin using 75% of their capacity, up from 50%, effective May 15th.

On Wednesday, May 19th outdoor sports / events venues like stadiums, can increase capacity to 33% from the current 20% level.

 

Mayor de Blasio Expects NYC to be Fully Reopened by July 1st

nyc violent crime shootings gun arrests murders nyc manhattan queens brooklyn bronx staten island gun arrests shootings murders nyc crime stats 2020The Mayor announced this week that he expects NYC to be fully reopened by July 1st, including the resumption of 24/7 subway service. Not long after the pandemic began, the subways were closed down from 12 midnight to 5 am [later shortened to 1 am to 5 am] for deep cleaning.

On Monday, May 3, 2021 the remaining 80,000 of 180,000 municipal workers will return to their offices. According to CBS News the municipal office workers have been vaccinated and $200 million was spent preparing the offices for the workers' return. The municipal office employees' work environment has been compared to that of teachers, although an activist group that arose out of the pandemic, says it's unsafe to do so.

The Mayor also had some good news on the public library front, telling us that effective Monday, May 10th, 2021 folks will be able to visit the libraries and rsvp computer time there. Book borrowing limits will be loosened from curbside pickup.

The Mayor reminded folks that any adult can now obtain a vaccination without scheduling an appointment, by showing up at one of the vaccincations sites - which include many pharmacies - with proper identification / insurance info.

The Mayor said that 6.4 million vaccine doses have been injected into New Yorkers' arms. Nationally about a third of the population has been fully vaccinated, and about 43% have received at least one dose. Remember, children are a fifth of the population, so we're about half way home for those eligible to be vaccinated.

 


Mother's Day Restaurants In Queens | queens restaurants mother's day restaurants in queens mothers day restaurants in astoria lic sunnyside woodside jackson heights mothers day restaurants in queens nyc
Mother's Day Restaurants In Queens

Mother's Day Restaurants In Queens 2021

Mother's Day Restaurants in Astoria, LIC, Sunnyside, Woodside & Jackson Heights

April 27, 2021 / Queens Neighborhoods / Queens Restaurants / Queens Buzz NYC.

Mother's Day is fast approaching. It's a good day to let your wife or mother or daughter know you appreciate her efforts in the most important role of her life. Flowers, gifts and brunch or dinner are always welcome, as is any thoughtful gesture that provides some measure showing your recognition of her efforts in her role as mother of some children. After all, without mothers, we would all cease to be.

Normally it's best to book a restaurant reservation for Mother's Day brunch, as on Mother's Day in Queens, many restaurants are full. So if you're thinking about eating out at a restaurant this Mother's Day in Astoria, LIC, Jackson Heights, Sunnyside, Woodside or Flushing; it's best to do your research early, and call ahead to book Mother's Day restaurant reservations.

Unlike last year, indoor dining is now available at most Queens restaurants, but at only at 50% capacity for restaurants located in New York City. Restaurants outside of NYC can accommodate 75% of capacity. That is likely because of the difference in the amount of space allocated to each diner in restaurants in the city versus restaurants outside of the city, as well as the higher density of population, etc. But that said, restaurants also have additional capacity via all of those outdoor shacks built during the pandemic, which has greatly increased overall space / seating capacity, and with the weather warming [the thermometer is expected to break the 80's tomorrow], outdoor dining is a pleasant, even welcome option.

But as the saying goes, the early bird gets the [worm] better seating, so book early.

COVID PRECAUTIONS. Lastly, be advised that most - if not all - of these restaurants may take your temperature prior to indoor seating and require masks except during dining. Other CoVid guidelines like social distancing also may apply.

Mother's Day History - Restaurants In Queens

The origins of Mother's Day in the United States began with the efforts by Anna Jarvis to honor her own mother. According to Wikipedia, Anna began the campaign in 1905 - the year her mother died - and in 1910 West Virginia was the first state to adopt Mothers Day as a holiday. In 1914 Woodrow Wilson made the second Sunday in May as a national holiday to honor mothers.

Click this link to view a brief guide of Mother's Day restaurants in Queens 2021 where you will find links to Queens restaurants we've reviewed. The restaurants we've reviewed include a mix of high, medium and budget priced restaurants that are spread throughout the borough and offer a large variety of ethnic cuisines.

We've identified over a dozen Queens restaurants open for indoor / outdoor dining on Mother's Day in Queens. Enjoy.



 

NYC Coming Back to Life: Things To Do This Weekend

New York City Appears to Slowly Return to the New Normal, More Event Venues Begin Hosting Limited Capacity Rsvp Ticketed Events, Anyone Aged 16+ Can Obtain a Vaccine w/o an Appointment, Biden to Address Nation Wednesday 4/28

nyc violent crime shootings gun arrests murders nyc manhattan queens brooklyn bronx staten island gun arrests shootings murders nyc crime stats 2020April 23, 2021 / NYC Neighborhoods / NYC Corona Virus / News Analysis & Opinion / Gotham Buzz NYC.

OLD - Weather. The temperature highs will be in the 60's all weekend, while the temperature lows will range from the mid 40's to mid 50's. There's a near certain chance of about three quarters of an inch of rain early Sunday morning [gone by noon]. Humidity will be 25% - 40% on Friday, moving up from 35% - 60% on Saturday and then maxing at 70% Sunday morning, before coming back down in the 50% range by Sunday evening. Winds will be between 10 - 15 mph all weekend.

 

Things To Do NYC, Manhattan, Bronx, Brooklyn, Queens & Staten Island

April 20 was National Weed Day. Possession of small amounts of recreational marijuana is now legal in NYS.

NYC is reopening curbside composting pickup registration in September for an October 2021 restart date.

On Monday, April 27th, museums can open to 50% of capacity, up from 25% capacity currently. Sports venues will be allowed to open up indoor events to 50% of capacity, up from 25%, effective May 19th, 2021.

 

MANHATTAN. The Perfect Crime is the first Broadway Play to reopen with live performances to indoor audiences at the Anne L. Bernstein Theater at the Theater Center at West 50th Street off Broadway in the theater district. Tickets may be purchased online at www.ticketsmarter.com for $82 - $113.

nyc violent crime shootings gun arrests murders nyc manhattan queens brooklyn bronx staten island gun arrests shootings murders nyc crime stats 2020Jazz at Lincoln Center is hosting events in April - but not this weekend.

ArtontheAveNYC.com from April 15th through July 8th 2021 is vacant store fronts repurposed as art galleries for from the street viewing. It's in the West Village from the Bleeker Playground to Christopher Street and between West 4th Street and Hudson Street.

Bryant Park is hosting concerts that run from the summer through the fall, but has limited seating capacity of 200, so you are advised to rsvp now.

The Tribeca Film Festival will open with the film In the Heights in June with viewing locations in all five boroughs at destinations to be announced at a later date.

 

BRONX. NY Botanical is hosting contemporary art exhibit entitled 'Kusama: Cosmic Nature' opens this weekend with outdoor installations across the NY Botanical Garden [through October 31st]. Like most venues these days you have to reserve timed tickets at nybg.org.

 


NYC Crime - A Brief Look at NYPD Progress Reducing Murders and Shootings & Effort to Rein in Violent Crime by Making Gun Arrests

The Men & Women in NYPD Blue, Police Commissioner Shea & Mayor de Blasio Have Made Progress in Bringing Down the Number of the Most Violent Crimes in NYC

News Outlets Controlled by Australian Born Billionaire Propagandist, Rupert Murdoch, Generally Fail to Inform NYC & America of these Facts Because They Don't Fit into Murdoch's Manipulative Labeling of Democratic Governed Cities nor Murdoch's Deceitful Ongoing Disparagement of Mayor de Blasio

Murdoch Seems Not to Let Facts, Get in the Way of What he Wants his News Outlets to Convince the Public to Believe

April 19, 2021 / NYC Neighborhoods / NYC Corona Virus / News Analysis & Opinion / Gotham Buzz NYC.

Weather. The temperature highs will range from the mid 70's on Tuesday to the low 50's on Thursday, with the other days in the 60's. The temperature lows will range from the mid 50's on Tuesday to the the high 30's on Wednesday, with the other days somwhere in the 40's. There's a chance of about a third inch of rain on Wednesday. Winds will be between 10 - 15 mph all week. Humidity will be 50% - 60% in the beginning of the week, dropping to 40% - 50% the last two days of the week.

 

Mayor de Blasio, Police Commissioner Shea & the NYPD have been Making Progress in Improving Safety on NYC Streets

nyc violent crime shootings gun arrests murders nyc manhattan queens brooklyn bronx staten island gun arrests shootings murders nyc crime stats 2020The NYPD has been working hard to bring down shootings and murders over the past year, in part by making a huge number of gun arrests. In the past four months of 2020, the NYPD made twice as many gun arrests as it had in the prior year. In the first quarter of 2021 the NYPD made 1378 gun arrests, which is a 64% increase over 2020.

As a result of the NYPD's gun arrests, murders in NYC have come back down from 1990's levels, to the more modest levels seen in the past two decades. And in 2020, in spite of the huge uptick in NYC murders [462], which was up 64% versus prior year, NYC's murder rate per thousand, is at or even under the murder rate for the United States as a whole. The count of America's murders made last year has not yet been finalized, but is reportedly about 20,000. So the murder rate per thousand for the nation is .000061, while the murder rate for NYC is about the same at .000055.

nyc violent crime shootings gun arrests murders nyc manhattan queens brooklyn bronx staten island gun arrests shootings murders nyc crime stats 2020The shootings in NYC continue to be a problem, but there too the NYPD has made good progress since the spike last summer. Beginning in May 2020, shootings spiked into triple digits from the double digits of the prior year. Through the summer of 2020 we witnessed hundreds of shootings per month, although beginning in September the shootings began to fall into the hundred plus range, and thus far this year [first quarter 2021], NYC shootings have fallen to below 100 per month.

The statistics speak for themselves. But my interpretation of them is that Mayor de Blasio, Police Commissioner Shea and the NYPD have done a great job of managing violent crime back down, after a pandemic laden, socially restless, absolutely crazy 2020. But New Yorkers won't know this if they rely on miser Murdoch's mendacious NY Post, Fox News or Wall Street Journal - not because it's not true - but that it's truth that doesn't fit into how Murdoch wants his audiences to see the world ... which is through his incredibly warped, 90 year old lens, which seems to have been crafted by Nazi propaganist Joseph Goebbels himself.

 


This Weekend Things To Do NYC & News Updates

MTA Usage Continues Upward Climb, More Venues Begin Hosting Events & Visitors, NYC Restaurant Curfew Extended from 11 pm to 12 Midnight Effective 4/19, Ramadan Began Tuesday 4/14, Reminder that New Tax Deadline is 5/17, Unemployment Claims Drop while Consumer Spending Rises & Earth Day on Thursday 4/22

nyc things to do nyc manhattan queens brooklyn bronx staten island things to do nycApril 16, 2021 / NYC Neighborhoods / NYC Corona Virus / News Analysis & Opinion / Gotham Buzz NYC.

Weather. Temperature highs in the mid 50's on Friday, rising to 60 on Saturday and the mid 60's on Sunday. Temperature lows will be in the low 40's on Friday, rising to the high 40's the rest of the weekend. Humidity will be between 50% and 60% all weekend. Winds will be about 10 mph Friday, falling to about 5 mph the rest of the weekend. There's a small chance [less than 35%] of a small amount [less than 1/10th of an inch] of RAIN on Friday. The rest of the weekend should be clear.

In the photo at right, you can see what seems to be happy couple, heading out to enjoy the fresh spring air.

 

MTA Ridership Continues to Grow, Albeit Slowly

nyc things to do nyc manhattan queens brooklyn bronx staten island things to do nycOne of the metrics I use to evaluate how we're doing is mass transit usage in NYC.

If my memory serves me right, subway usage fell over 90% around the beginning of the pandemic. Last fall it had risen to being down 80%, this winter it had risen to being down about 66%, and this week it's still around 66%, but on some days we're seeing it down in only the 50%+ range.

Bus ridership didn't fall as much as the subways and has remained at about 50% for the past half year or so. Again - if my memory serves me correctly - it was down about two thirds during the summer of 2020, and down about 85% or so at the beginning of the pandemic.

As now nearly a quarter of New Yorkers have been fully vaccinated, and nearly 40% have received at least one dose. As noted in our April 12, 2021 post, deaths continue to decline likely due to the growth in vaccinations, particularly among the most vulnerable segments of the population [aged 65 and older accounted for about 85% of deaths].

Children are more susceptible to catching the new strains of the Corona Virus because it has a stronger mechanism to attach to their developing sinuses. So given vaccines for children under age 12 are about a half year away, discretion is the better part of valor.

As you can see in the photo taken a week ago, the subways, while not crowded, are beginning to have a more normal passenger load.

 


The Beginning of the End of the Corona Virus Pandemic?

There's CoVid Bad News but also Some Very Good CoVid News

Despite Level or Rising New CoVid Cases, Death Rates Continue to Fall / J&J Vax Paused / Reasons for Different Reactions to Vaccines based on Gender / Why Kids are More Impacted by the New Variant B.1.1.7 / Pregnancies

andrew cuomo's troubles nursing homes harassment governor cuomo murdoch fox wsj ny postApril 12, 2021 / NYC Neighborhoods / NYC Corona Virus / News Analysis & Opinion / Gotham Buzz NYC.

Weather. The temperature highs will mostly be in the high 50's / low 60's this week, while the temperature lows will be in the high 40's / low 50's. Winds will range from 5 - 10 mph all week. The humidity will generally range from 50% - 70% throughout the week. There will be about a half inch of RAIN on Monday and about an inch on Thursday.

 

CoVid Update NYC

We're beginning to reach a tipping point of sorts vis a vis the CoVid pandemic. There's a part of me that was inclined to wait on this story a bit longer, even though I think the trend is clear, in order avoid igniting too much enthusiasm, for what is increasingly looking like the winding down of the CoVid pandemic. But, given the trend seems real, I'm publishing my findings along with a few caveats. Please pay attention to the caveats that follow, as the implications of ignoring them, could be disastrous for people in what seem vulnerable categories.

 

J & J Vaccine Paused, Pending a Closer Look at Rare Blood Clotting Issues

This just came in. There were 6.8 - 8.3 million doses of the J & J vaccine administered to date. And further rollout of that vaccine is on pause, pending a closer review of the data. Blood clots arose in six of the millions of people who took the J&J vaccine, so out of an abundance of caution, the FDA and CDC want to be sure there's no link to the vaccine. It's worth mentioning that the blood clots found in the six people, have also materialized in folks who didn't take any vaccine. It is believed that this will likely be much ado about nothing, but until then the J&J vaccines have been pulled.

 

New CoVid Cases & CoVid Death Rates are No Longer in Sync

(Is) The Worst of the CoVid Pandemic in the U.S. Over?

andrew cuomo's troubles nursing homes harassment governor cuomo murdoch fox wsj ny postThe bad news is, of course, that new cases of CoVid infections are not falling and - albeit slightly - have risen a bit, after falling from a Winter high. There's other bad news as well, for specifc segments of the population, which you will see in our discussion of what appears to be happening vis a vis the spread of new variants infecting kids and different reactions to the vaccines, based on gender. We also include a brief discussion about pregnant women.

The good news is that while new CoVid cases are steady or rising, the CoVid death rate continues to fall - even taking into account a two to four week lag from contagion to death. Since mid February, I've been monitoring both the NY Times and Washington Post graphs of the new cases and death rates, noticing as the vaccination rates went up, that the deaths continued to fall, in spite of the continued spread of the virus.

As of late March, over 70% of people over the age of 65 have received at least one vaccination shot. And if you look at the CoVid death statistics, according to an April 11, 2021 report by Statista [see graphic above right], the people over 65 accounted for over 83% of the deaths in New York City, which is about in line with other statistics I've seen for the nation.

 


This Weekend Things To Do NYC & News Updates

St James Theater on Broadway does Pop Up Performance, Bronx Night Market Reopened Last Saturday, Mets Win Home Opener Thursday 4/8, Luna Park Coney Island to Reopen Friday 4/9, Flux Arts Event in LIC 4/10, on SI the National Lighthouse Museum is Open, Pools & Beaches to Open This Summer, NYC Public High School Opt In Extended Until this Friday 4/9 as CoVid School Closure Rule Changed, Huge Fire in Jackson Heights, CoVid Vaccinations & New Cases Grow, Economy Seems to be Bouncing Back

andrew cuomo's troubles nursing homes harassment governor cuomo murdoch fox wsj ny postApril 8, 2021 / NYC Neighborhoods / NYC Corona Virus / News Analysis & Opinion / Gotham Buzz NYC.

Weather. The temperature highs will be around 60 on Friday and Saturday, rising to about 70 on Sunday. The temperature lows will be in the low 50's all weekend. The humidity will rise to between 60% and 70% on Friday, to between 70% and 80% on Saturday and Sunday. Late Saturday there's a small chance of a small amount of rain, but on Sunday there's a good chance [75%] of about a half inch of rain. Winds will be between 5 - 10 mph all weekend.

The photo at right shows a beautiful spring day in Queens on Thursday 4/8/21.

 

Note About Things To Do While CoVid Pandemic Still Out There in NYC

All of the operations / events below continue to enforce CDC guidelines vis a via public health. This means masks, social distancing, hands washing and no ill people allowed. Some sites may take temperature checks.

 

Manhattan - The St James Theater Reopened on Broadway for 36 Minutes Last Saturday 4/3/21

andrew cuomo's troubles nursing homes harassment governor cuomo murdoch fox wsj ny postA week ago the restrictions on entertainment venues was lifted, allowing theaters and other performance spaces to reopen at 33% capacity. So the St. James Theater, off 8th Avenue on West 44th Street near Times Square, did a soft open for an invitation-only guest list of less than 200 for just over a half hour of performance. Broadway closed on March 12th 2020 so this was seen as a quick trial effort.

While Broadway Theaters are closed through May 30th, 2021, pop up performances will be staged, likely centered around readings and music. As they are pop up - to avoid attrtacting large crowds - we can't advise you when they'll be. Broadway as we know it will likely return by September with fully staged plays and performances. Stay tuned.

 


* Phony 'Free Speechers' Trump & Murdoch's Fox 'News' Appear to Urge a Boycott of America's National Pastime

The Phony Patriotism of These Two Men Becomes Increasingly Obvious

After Assaulting the Institutions of our Democracy, Culminating in the January 6th Insurrection, they're Urging Americans to Boycott our National Pastime

This Must be a Proud Putin Pleaser

andrew cuomo's troubles nursing homes harassment governor cuomo murdoch fox wsj ny postApril 5, 2021 / NYC Neighborhoods / NYC Corona Virus / News Analysis & Opinion / Gotham Buzz NYC.

As you know, Georgia passed a sweeping election reform bill on March 25, 2021. It has been characterized as designed to limit voting participation of Democrats, a party in which far more women and ethnic minorities are represented, than in the Republican party. The Governor and both bodies of the legislature in Georgia are all currently dominated by Republicans.

 

Biden Calls the New Georgia Laws a Return to Jim Crow

President Biden called it a return to Jim Crow. Jim Crow is the name given to state and local laws passed by white southerners following the Civil War to maintain racial segregation, and white supremacy in the south.

 

A Summary of Most of the Salient Points of the Law

andrew cuomo's troubles nursing homes harassment governor cuomo murdoch fox wsj ny postThe following is mostly a paraphrasing / summary of an April 2, 2021 report in the NYT on the law. But I left a couple of things out, and added in a small bit of commentary.

The law, in a nutshell, requires photo ID's to be used in tandem with mail and absentee ballots. This includes following the instructions to a "T" or risk having your absentee or mailed vote disqualified. Election officials are not allowed to mail out absentee or mail ballot applications to anyone unless specifically requested by the voter or an authorized designee. This past year applications were mailed in an effort to encourage people to vote / participate. Drop boxes have been limited to one for every 100,000 voters. This is a significant reduction, especially in densely populated areas. According to PBS in heavily Democratic Fulton County that means the number of drops boxes falls from 38 to 8.

Mobile voting polling stations are banned. The early voting hours have been limited on the weekends to between 9 am and 5 pm but those hours may extended to between 7 am and 7 pm, if the site complies with certain guidelines. Nobody may hand out food or water to voters standing in line within 150 feet of the polling place. This is now a misdemeanor crime. Provisional ballots, which are ballots filled out at a polling site where the voter is not currently registered, is subject to restrictions that go well beyond validating the voter is eligible to cast a vote to be counted. Polling hours can only be extended for a set period of time by a judge, if problems prevent voters from casting their ballots during the regular poll site hours. This is a common occurrence in hotly contested elections. New restrictions on tabulation of results will likely delay the reporting of them, which in the past election enabled Trump & Co to spread falsehoods about the election in the absent of concrete results. The Republican dominated General Assembly will select the Chairperson of the State Election Board. The Republican dominated legislature is empowered to remove up to four county election officials. The time period for runoff elections will be significantly shortened.

Biden says it looks like Jim Crow. I'd add to that that it also smells like Jim Crow. Murdoch's Fox says Georgia's new voting laws are not racist, but Murdoch's Fox says a lot of things that are more dishonest than true - and this is no exception.

 


NYC Things To Do This Weekend, News Updates & NYC Street Fairs

Entertainment Venues Reopen to 33% Capacity, Marijuana has been Legalized in NYS, CoVid Variants Comprise Over 70% New CoVid Cases, NYS Vaccine Eligibility Expanded to Include 30 Year Olds on up & Next Week 16 Year Olds on up, Assuming Vaccinations Continue at Their Current Pace, NYC Street Fairs May Return a bit Before or After the Beginning of Summer [GUESSTIMATE], Governor's Island to Open May 1st & Easter is Sunday, which is also the day Passover Ends

andrew cuomo's troubles nursing homes harassment governor cuomo murdoch fox wsj ny postApril 2, 2021 / NYC Neighborhoods / NYC Corona Virus / News Analysis & Opinion / Gotham Buzz NYC.

Weather. No rain is expected this weekend. The temperature highs will be in the low 40's on Friday, the mid 50's on Saturday and the low 60's on Sunday. The temperature lows will about 30 early Friday morning, rising to about 40 by Saturday and into the mid 40's by Sunday. Humidity is expected to remain low between 30% and 40% on Friday and Saturday, rising to between 40% and 50% by Sunday. Winds will be about 10 mph on Friday, dropping to 5 - 10 mph the rest of the weekend.

 

Restrictions on Entertainment Venues Loosened: Can Reopen to 33% Capacity

On Friday, April 2nd, 2021 entertainment venues in NYC can reopen to 33% capacity with limits of 100 people indoors and 200 people outdoors. There's concern the Governor has gone from an abundance of caution, to something quite different, as New York ranks third in the nation in new CoVid cases per capita [42/1000] according to an April 1, 2021 report in the NYT.

 

Governors Island Reopens May 1st w/ New Weekend Ferry Service to BK

andrew cuomo's troubles nursing homes harassment governor cuomo murdoch fox wsj ny postFerry service to Governors Island resumes May 1st from Manhattan in the Battery Maritime Building at 10 South Street which is at Whitehall Street, just north of the Staten Island Ferry Terminal. The island is open from 10 am to 6 pm weekdays and until 7 pm on weekends. This year there will also be two new Governors Island ferry stops in Brooklyn on the weekends and holidays - one at the Atlantic Bassin in Red Hook and the second at Pier 6 in Brooklyn Bridge Park.

 

Mary Jane / Marijuana: So is it, Hi, How are you? Or How Hi Are You?

NYS legalized marijuana on Wednesday, March 31, 2021. Legalization of the substance is expected to bring in about $350 million in tax revenue. Marijuana will be taxed at a 13% rate, with 9% going to NYS, and 3% going to NYC and the last 1% going to counties. The money will be reinvested via community grants, education and drug rehabilitation programs with an eye toward helping those neighborhoods most in need. Those folks found guilty of low level marijuana offenses will have their police records purged vis a vis pot related arrests and convictions.

 


Mayor de Blasio, Police Commissioner Shea & the NYPD have Brought NYC Crime Back Down Below Pre-Pandemic Levels ... save for shootings where they have made a substantial number of gun arrests (+63% in Feb alone)

So Why Doesn't Murdoch's NY Post Want New Yorkers to Know?

March 29, 2021 / NYC Neighborhoods / NYC Corona Virus / News Analysis & Opinion / Gotham Buzz NYC.

Australian born billionaire Rupert Murdoch is remarkably predictable. His propaganda outlets, maintain the veil of legitimacy by employing enough real reporters, who do real news stories, to mask the manipulations of Murdoch's mass media.

Is Money, Mass Media Manipulator Murdoch's End Game?

andrew cuomo's troubles nursing homes harassment governor cuomo murdoch fox wsj ny postMurdoch's media outlets appear to be managed to sell papers and generate TV ratings - by hyping, amplifying and distorting the news - in order to draw attention to it. But the sick genius of Murdoch's propaganda machine, is that it appears to be designed to manipulate voter perception of people, pols and issues in order to exert a strong influence on what voters do at the ballot box.

Murdoch's media in Britain and Australia, where he has a monopolistic or oligopolistic share of traditional media, oftentimes urges those nations to "Let the People Decide" ... by relying on Murdoch's outsize share of mass media as their primary information source(s). So ultimately what he's telling the people in those nations to do, is to let Murdoch decide, just like the state controlled media in China and Russia tell their people to let dictator presidents Xi Jinping and Vladimir Putin decide.

All three dictators, as Murdoch oftentimes dictates to his audience what he wants them to do [as you will soon see], generally seem to have the same goal in mind - increase their own wealth and enhance their grip on power. The difference between what Murdoch does vis a vis what Xi Jinping and Vladimir Putin is more subtle, but just as destructive to the lives of the rest of the people in these nations, because all of them are hoarding power, profit and ultimately the national potential and ability to grow, evolve, change.

 

Murdoch's Anarchistic Media, Taps Moronic Mob Anger, Just Like Hitler & Goebbels did

If you start paying attention to what media outlets tell you what, you'll see that Murdoch's media appear hellbent on channeling the anger and frustrations of their audiences at those in power who seem not to give Murdoch andrew cuomo's troubles nursing homes harassment governor cuomo murdoch fox wsj ny postwhat he wants. In New York City and New York State we have two government officials, Mayor de Blasio and Governor Andrew Cuomo, who have long been targets of Murdoch's mendacious media outlets in our fair city.

Murdoch has an oligopolistic, nearing monopolistic, share of the media in New York City. He controls the Wall St Journal, which he appears to validate the trouble stirred up by some of his less reputable outlets like the NY Post and Fox News - both of which he also controls and uses to stir the ignorant masses. In addition to Fox TV on channel 5, he also control Channel 9 [these are the broadcast TV channels], and he is the largest shareholder of Disney / ABC which he appears to be making inroads into for control of that organization / news department too. And it's worth mentioning that he controls Harper Collins Publishing, one of the largest book publishers in the nation, which just purchased Houghton, Harcourt & Miflin [HMH] Books & Media this week.

Murdoch appears to use the publishing houses to promote the candidates he wants to win high offices, like Fox weather person Janice Dean, who Murdoch seems to be promoting to NYS Governor from her weather person job. Like Trump, Murdoch is capable of convincing the public to vote for near anyone, never mind that Janice Dean seems to have little professional experience that qualifies her for the job of Governor.

 


Things To Do, NYC News Briefs & Weekend of Religious Holidays

While Overall CoVid Numbers Still Modest in NYC & NYS, CoVid New Cases up Significantly, as are Vaccinations; Cuomo Drops Some Restrictions 4/5 as well as Domestic Travel Quarantine on 4/1, Changes in White Collar Remote Working, CRIME STATS & NY Post Fox News 'Reporting' of them, Business & Economy Update, Passover Begins Saturday, Holi Begins Sunday, Palm Sunday is 3/28 & Open Streets Applications Began 3/25

andrew cuomo's troubles nursing homes harassment governor cuomo murdoch fox wsj ny postMarch 26, 2021 / NYC Neighborhoods / NYC Corona Virus / News Analysis & Opinion / Gotham Buzz NYC.

 

Weather. On Friday, the temperature high could hit 80 degrees, falling to about 70 on Saturday and into the low 60's on Sunday when about an inch of RAIN is expected. The temperature lows will be around 50 on Friday and Saturday, falling to the low 40's on Sunday. The wind will be about 20 mph on Friday, falling to 5 - 10 mph Saturday and rising to 10 - 15 mph on Sunday. Humidity will be 40% to 70% Friday, 40% - 60% Saturday and 60% - 70% on Sunday.

 

Ethnic & Religious Holidays

Three holy days begin this weekend. On Saturday evening the Jewish celebration of Passover begins. Passover celebrates the Jews flight from Egypt. To Christians Sunday marks the celebration of Palm Sunday which is the first day of Holy Week, which culminates with Easter Sunday [next week]. And the Indian holiday of Holi begins Sunday evening. Holi is referred to as the festival of Spring, of Love and of Colors. I did my part by snapping the photo to your right which is certainly colorful. To all ethnic and religious groups, I wish you a safe celebration of your holidays.

 


The Trouble, Fear, Pain & Relief of My First CoVid Vaccination

As More New Yorkers are Vaccinated, the Pressure Grows on Those Who've Not Yet Received a Shot, Also the Role of Limiting Eligibility in Effecting a Smoothe Transition & Effective Tuesday 3/23/21 Folks Aged 50 plus Become Eligible for the CoVid Vaccination

andrew cuomo's troubles nursing homes harassment governor cuomo murdoch fox wsj ny postMarch 22, 2021 / NYC Neighborhoods / NYC Corona Virus / Gotham Buzz NYC.

So I've been putting off getting a CoVid vaccination ever since I became eligible earlier this year. At first I held off was because there were intermittent shortages of the vaccine, then rumors of long lines to get them, and finally I had to wrestle through the various websites offering a shot, at a time and place that 'easily' worked for me.

 

Finding a Vaccination Center Near You in NYC

But this past week I hit the proverbial CoVid vaccine jackpot, after spending what was probably a couple of hours online trying to navigate my way to an appointment. One of the issues are the numerous websites out there, offering vaccines. There's both NYC and NYS vaccinations centers and I waded through each looking for specific locations, specific vaccinations [J&J, Pfizer & Moderna] and specific times.

Let me make it simple for you, as I oftentimes ended up on this site.

https://vaccinefinder.nyc.gov

 


Weekend Update & NYC Things To Do

NYC Restaurants Move to 50% of Indoor Capacity Today, Large Entertainment Venues Like Baseball Stadiums Open to 20% Capacity Outdoors & 10% Indoors, Stronger Mutant CoVid Now over 50% of New Cases, Vaccine Eligibility Continues to Widen, Airline Travel Up Significantly, Spring Starts Saturday & NYC High Schools to Open Monday 3/22

andrew cuomo's troubles nursing homes harassment governor cuomo murdoch fox wsj ny postMarch 19, 2021 / NYC Neighborhoods / NYC Things To Do / Gotham Buzz NYC.

Weather. No precipitation is in the forecast for the weekend. Temperature highs will go from the low 40's today to the high 50's on Saturday and Sunday. The temperature lows will rise from about 30 to the high 30's on Saturday and Sunday. Humidity will go from 30% - 40% on Friday, to 30% - 50% on Saturday and then 40% - 60% on Sunday. Winds will fall from 10 - 20 mph Friday to about 5 mph the rest of the weekend.

The first day of Spring is Saturday. Spring doesn't arrive on the same date every year. Easter arrives on April 4th this year.

 

Things To Do in NYC - This Weekend & Coming Soon

NYC Restaurants can use 50% of their indoor capacity beginning Friday, March 19th, while NYS restaurants outside of NYC can use up to 75% of their capacity. Since mid February NYC restaurants have been able to use 35% of their capacity, while NYS restaurants outside of NYC have been operating at 50% capacity. on April 4th?

Events, arts and entertainment venues can open at 33% capacity beginning April 2nd, with limits of 100 people inside and 200 people outside - and with testing those caps can rise to 150 inside and 500 outside.

The Yankees home opener is April 1, 2021 against the Toronto Blue Jays and they will be able to host about 9,000 fans in the 46,000 seating capacity stadium [20% because outdoors], with immunization or testing proof, and the following of other CoVid safety measures like social distancing, masks and temperature checks. The Mets home opener is April 8, 2021 against the Miami Marlins, and they are subject to the same rules mentioned above.

The Central Park Boat House will reopen Wednesday, March 31st, 2021.

Shakespeare in the Park returns to Delacorte Theater on July 5th.

 


The Sexual Harassment Allegations Against Cuomo

The Sheer Number of Allegations Appears to Indicate Something is Not Right

But This Report is Not About Judging Cuomo, Either Way, but Urging People to Let Due Process Play Out

andrew cuomo's troubles nursing homes harassment governor cuomo murdoch fox wsj ny postMarch 15, 2021 / US Politics / NYC Neighborhoods / News Analysis & Opinion / Gotham Buzz NYC. Part II.

I'm going to explore each accuser's allegations while providing a bit of background on each of them. I have found some of Cuomo's accusers more credible than others, in what I would call the integrity of the whole situation. That said, the sheer number of allegations certainly lends credence to the notion that something is not right in how Cuomo is managing his staff at the Capitol and in the Governor's mansion.

One's attractiveness to the opposite sex, can cut both ways. It can be used: 1) as a powerful tool to obtain special favors, wage increases and promotions one didn't earn, or 2) it can attract unwanted advances that feel threatening to one's person and livelihood. In the former case (#1), one's co-workers or competitors are often the victims by being passed over for promotions, travel and other opportunities. In the latter case (#2), one is a victim / target of unwanted sexual advances by virtue of their god given beauty.

While in Business School, one of my very best friends - who coincidentally was named Murdoch [but no relation to Rupert] - told me that his father had told him that

"... it was more important to be respected, than liked ..."

We both had to seriously contemplate this advice, as this friend was immensely popular. He had asked me to help him unravel what seemed his father's riddle. Ultimately In due time I concluded that my friend's father was right - it is more important to be respected than liked.

I think that is also good advice for women in the workforce, and provides a compass for how one should conduct oneself. Not every man out there is a gentleman, and oftentimes successful men are also the badly behaved men, some can even be assholes like - let's say - Donald Trump. And as we've seen over the past four year presidency, both the men and women who reported into him were certainly psychologically abused. And I won't even begin to contemplate Melania's situation.

So with that in mind, let's take a brief look at each of Cuomo's accusers and their allegations regarding the Governor.

 

I. Lindsey Boylan (36) - Deputy Secretary for Economic Development & Special Advisor to the Governor

Lindsay Boylan was the first woman to come forward and charge Andrew Cuomo with sexual harrassment in a tweet in December of 2020. She worked for Cuomo from 2015 - 2018 as the Governor's Deputy Secretary and Advisor, during which time she alleges she was continually harassed. Boylan is now running for Manhattan Borough President.

In the accounts of Boylan's claims I've seen published she indicated Cuomo would touch or brush against her arm or leg, compare her to an ex-girlfriend, make unwanted sexually charged statements or inquiries, and on one occasion kissed her on the lips without her permission following the award of a promotion.

Boylan first went public with her claims in December 2020, telling the world that she was speaking out now, because she felt that the public should know this, as Andrew Cuomo was up for consideration for the position of the U.S. Attorney General. This seemed reminiscent of Christine Blasey Ford stepping forth in 2018 with allegations of attempted rape by Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh. But attempted rape is a far more serious allegation than harassment / inappropriate workplace behavior.

At the time Boylan said she didn't want to speak to any journalists about the explosive claims. This set off my spidey sense, because it seems unfair to think that you can make such explosive, career busting allegations without expecting reporters to want to dig deeper for the full context of the story.

Cuomo denied the allegations.

Last year [2020] Boylan was beaten in the Democratic congressional primary. It would seem to be a fair question to ask whether she is angry / blames Cuomo for her loss, believing that perhaps he did not help her enough? One might also ponder whether she is she using the explosive claims of sexual harassment against Cuomo to gain publicity for her current campaign for Manhattan Borough President, while simultaniously by capitalizing on / reaching out to the #MeToo movement?

In what appeared Cuomo pushback, some of Boylan's personnel files were disclosed to the press, indicating there may have been some issues surrounding to her departure from the Cuomo Administration, regarding her management of employees working for her. Boylan says this is part of a Cuomo intimidation / smear campaign.

Boylan said she was harrassed most or many of the nearly four years she worked for Cuomo [2015 - 2018]. Like many women, she hesitated and waited until [two] years after her departure before going public.

The #MeToo movement advocates that all women's sexual harassment claims should be believed, as for centuries women's sexual harrassment claims have been discredited and ignored.

Yet not long after she went public, she threatened to start a women's PAC to torch Schumer and other New York politicians who did not come out to support her in her allegations sooner. The gap in her announcement and in Schumer and other politicians' speaking out in her favor, was about two and a half months [late Dec 2020 to early Mar 2021]. Boylan also published a threatening tweet castigating both President Biden & Vice President Kamala Harris for withholding judgment as well, before she deleted it.

Boylan's vehement 'PAC fundraising' response, caused me to stop to ponder the full nature of Boylan's nearly four relationship with Cuomo, which seems to have greatly benefitted her with promotions and travel, until it did not. I was also reminded of how Donald Trump and Senators Josh Hawley and Ted Cruz opportunistically used 'Stop the Steal' to fundraise PAC money for themselves off of an emotional, voter 'patriotism' hot button issue.

As with Janice Dean's allegations / crusade / soft gubernatiorial campaign launch, where Shakespeare's quote in Hamlet "The lady doth protest too much me thinks" seemed to resonate, as I again found myself asking if this quote also has some relevance to Boylan's case. See prior report for full explanation regarding Janice Dean.

Boylan's allegations would be given due consideration in an investigation. And we may learn much more about hers and Cuomo's relationship ... and it's possible that it could be highly toxic to both of them.

 


Media Monopoly Billionaire, Rupert Murdoch, Incites Another Mob & Pushes a VIGILANTE 'Rush to Justice' through his Propaganda Outlets

A Closer Look at Janice Dean's Vitriolic Accusations that Andrew Cuomo Mishandled the Corona Virus Pandemic in Nursing Homes & the Multiple Allegations of Harassment

andrew cuomo's troubles nursing homes harassment governor cuomo murdoch fox wsj ny postMarch 15, 2021 / US Politics / NYC Neighborhoods / News Analysis & Opinion / Gotham Buzz NYC. Part II.

We left off last week with Janice Dean telling us 'Our Family's Losses are Not Political' and she appears to do a soft launch of her campaign for NYS Governor in 2022 with what seems the unbridled media support aka propaganda of Australian born billionaire Rupert Murdoch.

Rupert Murdoch controls Fox News, the NY Post, the Wall St Journal, Harper Collins Book Publishing and he is the largest shareholder of Disney / ABC. Allowing one person, especially this one, to control this much share of America's media is harmful to this nation because he appears to use his mass media outlets propagandistically to control who gets elected.

Why Murdoch's 21st Century Fox FCC licenses aren't legally challenged for spreading all of the distorted truths to outright lies about gender and race - is incomprehensible to me.

The NY Post graphic at right was used to try to incite and railroad Democrats to oust Cuomo in one of Murdoch's many fascist efforts to bypass rule of law and due process, to enable another of his power grabs in our governmment. I did what the editor of that poorly edited Murdoch media outlet should have done, and turned it back around to feature Murdoch in place of Cuomo.

This is Nazi style management of media and government, as oftentimes the pols Murdoch propagandistically pushes out of office wouldn't bend to his will, and those he ushers in, seem to give him whatever he wants, that they can either hide from the public or con the public into believing is good for them. This is how Goebbels and Hitler usurped the people's power in the budding German democracy in the late 1920's and early 1930's.

 

Rupert Murdoch & Janice Dean Want You to Believe She's Sunshine, but her Tweets & Vicious Comments Reveal the Opposite

andrew cuomo's troubles nursing homes harassment governor cuomo murdoch fox wsj ny postDean Claims She's Not Politically Motivated, while Seeming to do a 'Soft Launch' of Her Campaign 2022 for NYS Governor on 'Free' Murdoch Media Infommercials

 

See the report posted on March 12, 2021 for a look into Janice Dean's soft campaign launch for NYS Governor and probe into some of her possible motives for launching such vehement attacks on Andrew Cuomo. Here we pick up on more Janice Dean contradictions where the Fox News host and weather person seem guilty in some measure of doing the same things of which they're accusing Governor Cuomo.

 

andrew cuomo's troubles nursing homes harassment governor cuomo murdoch fox wsj ny postA December 12, 2020 report in the Wrap tells us that Janice Dean tweeted the following,

" ... Nothing wrong with criticizing a politician who likes to profit off the deaths of New Yorkers. (He wrote a book too about ‘leadership’ during a pandemic) You’re right, I don’t like the governor because his policies help kill my husbands parents... "

In the Friday, March 12, 2021 report I probe the guilt that oftentimes afflicts families that place their parents [in this case it's Janice Dean's in-laws] in nursing homes, and explore some possible personal motivations for placing or shifting the blame for their deaths at the feet of Governor Cuomo. There's also a brief timeline of the events in question and less so of the nursing home reporting aftermath.

 


Weekend Update & A Different Perspective on Andrew Cuomo's Troubles

The Weather Returns to Seasonal, Daylight Savings Time Springs Ahead Sunday, People Vaccinated Growing Rapidly & Has Raging Rupert Incited Another Rioting Mob?

andrew cuomo's troubles nursing homes harassment governor cuomo murdoch fox wsj ny postMarch 12, 2021 / US Politics / NYC Neighborhoods / News Analysis & Opinion / Gotham Buzz NYC.

This past week, we experienced a few enjoyable weather days this week, with temperatures in the 60's and 70's. But alas, all good things must come to an end, so starting tonight the temperature will fall back into the 30's and we'll return to seasonal weather for the next week or so.

Weather. The temperature high will be about 70 on Friday, returning to the 50's on Saturday and Sunday. The temperature lows will fall to the mid 30's tonight and Saturday and then fall to the mid 20's on Sunday night. No rain is in the forecast and the humidity will remain low at about 30% throughout the weekend. The wind will range from 10 - 18 mph on Friday, 5 - 10 mph Saturday and rise back up to 18 mph on Sunday.

Daylight Savings Time, where you 'spring ahead' by setting your clock ahead an hour ahead, begins early Sunday morning at 2 am. At present it gets light about 6 am, so following the change it will become light out around 7 am, and currently it gets dark around 6 pm, and following the change it will then get dark around 7 pm.

The number of New Yorkers and Americans vaccinated continues to grow quickly. As of this post some 65 million Americans or about 20% of the nation has received at least one shot. New York is staying abreast with the rest of the nation, with four million New Yorkers [state] having received at least one shot, which is 20% of the state population of about 20 million. New York City has vaccinted 1.8 million people which is also about 20% of the 8.4 million New York City residents.

And the pace of vaccinations continues to accelerate, because just this past week, in New York State over a million doses were administered. President Biden wants everyone to be eligible to receive the vaccine by early May, so that come Independence Day, we can celebrate together is a post pandemic normalcy. The nation's production of vaccine continues to grow, and the vaccine distribution / administration capability which is handled at the state and municipal level, appear to be in place to handle the growing demand.

Children are not among those eligible to be vaccinated. This is because most children do not appear to become severely ill. There are tests being conducted on vaccinating younger children ages 16 - 18, as well as some kids as young as 12, and plans are being discussed regarding vaccinating children 5 - 11.

 

Did Raging Rupert Murdoch's Mass Media Riot Machine Incite Another Mob by Distorting & Using #MeToo?

March 12, 2021 / US Politics / News Analysis & Opinion / Gotham Buzz NYC.

While watching the story of Governor Cuomo's troubles unfold, they triggered my 'spidey sense', or as it used to be called, my newsman's nose. In either case something smells rotten in NYS and as oftentimes is the case, it seems to be coming from Rupert Murdoch's 21st Century & Newscorp - which includes the NY Post, the Wall Street Journal, Fox News, his Harper Collins Publishing Company and possibly with an assist from Disney / ABC News where he has become the largest shareholder and where he seems to be making behind-the-scense personnel moves in the news division.

Even more than Trump, Rupert Murdoch is a trojan horse threat to our democracy. He has already turned both Australia and Britain into banana republics where he appears to change prime ministers at the drop of a hat and unfortunately most of the natives of those lands don't even seem to be aware that they're living in a mediacracy - which is a state controlled by one man's mass media holdings. Both Britain and Australia have been through at least four prime ministers within the past five years, because it seems Murdoch couldn't get exactly what he wanted on the first three tries.

andrew cuomo's troubles nursing homes harassment governor cuomo murdoch fox wsj ny postWhy do I think the stench is coming from Murdoch's 21st Century & Newscorp and not the Governor's mansion? Because Murdoch's gang of mendacious multi-millionaire minions too often seem not to give a damn about reporting the truth - but rather about distorting and even fictionalizing it to stoke the ratings busting fires of discontent - by attacking government officials who seem not to give Murdoch what he wants from them.

Murdoch's portfolio of wealthy teleprompter actors and actresses, seem to feign anger and outrage, in order to stoke the hyper ventillating audiences of reality contortionists Hannity, Ingraham, Pirro and Tucker into a ratings driven profit frenzy ... which the Australian born billionaire cashes in on, but also uses to brow beat those government officials who won't obey him and use our governmental apparatus to enhance Murdoch's wealth and power.

Earlier this year Murdoch's mass media appeared to help stoke the mob that stormed the U.S. Capitol by feeding their audiences misinformation about the integrity of the election results and of the voting apparatus. Murdoch's mendacious minions did such a colossal job of disinforming the American public, that they are now the defendants in a $2.7 multi-BILLION dollar lawsuit filed by Smartmatic, one of the voting machine companies.

Murdoch appeared to fire Fox News host Lou Dobbs in order to pretend Fox News doesn't tolerate that sort of thing [disinforming their audience], just like they fired Bill O'Reilly and Roger Ailes - BUT only after years of reported sexual harassment transgressions when it became too big to ignore, and activists started boycotting Fox advertisers and the greedy 'little man' billionaire started losing money on them. Then came the "I didn't know" and yet another Murdoch inspired phony act of the most insincere contrition.

Remorseful Rupert Murdoch's quintessential phony act of contrition was performed in Britain in 2012, during the investigation into his company's [or ies'] phone hacking of ordinary British citizens for sadistic pleasure and profit. Murdoch's company reportedly hacked the phones of private citizens in order to sensationalize their personal trauma and tragedy on the front pages of Murdoch's British tabloids and TV outlets. Revealing the personal and private pain of private citizen(s) appeared to be great for Murdoch's newspaper sales, great for Rupert's TV ratings and great for rapacious Rupert Murdoch's insatiable appetite for ever more money. It was all part of his life-long, predatory power grab from the ignorant people who get their 'news' from his outlets, and make their voting decisions based on it.

So let's take a look at how the Cuomo story / stories unfolded, in search of truth - not ratings, and in search of a more behind-the-scenes account of things [also known as asking why] - not by partaking in a superficial, broadcast mass media induced, modern day virtual mob lynching, which is what appears to be happening as we speak. The virtual mob won't hang Cuomo's real life carcass like a Mussolini, but rather they will hang his reputation out to dry, based entirely on - as of yet - unsubstantiated allegations made in some cases by people who haven't even revealed themselves and to date have remained fully anonymous. The broadcast TV mass media induced mob will leave Cuomo for politically dead ... which appears exactly what the perennially angry, mean, old man - Rupert Keith Murdoch - wants. Assuming of course, that the actions and words of so many of Murdoch's apparently dishonest minions, represents his the 'Triump of the Will' or the Goebbels-like Media Fuhrer's wishes.

Step aside Atticus Finch - there's a new mindless mob in town - and it appears to be incited by the Australian born propagandist, Herr Rupert Murdoch, America's 21st century Goebbels.

 


Queens St Patrick's Day Bars, Restaurants & Irish pubs In Queens NYC | queens st patricks day bars restaurants queens st pat's da irish pubs restaurants queens st pats day bars restaurants irish pubs astoria lic sunnyside woodside jackson heights st patrick's day restaurants queens nyc
Queens St Patrick's Day Bars, Restaurants & Irish pubs In Queens NYC

St Patrick's Day Bars, Restaurants, Irish Pubs in Queens

St Pat's Day Irish Pubs & Restaurants in Astoria, LIC, Sunnyside, Woodside, Jackson Heights & Flushing

March 9, 2021 / Queens Neighborhoods / Queens Restaurants & Bars / St Pat's Parade Queens NYC / Queens Buzz NYC.

Here's a listing of some of the fun Irish pubs open on St. Patrick's Day in Queens.

NORMALLY - there are a lot of celebrations planned for St Pat's Day in Queens. USUALLY there are a at least three St Patrick's Day Parades in Queens, but they are generally held on the weekends before or after the actual St. Patrick's Day feast on March 17th.  This year due to the CoVid pandemic parades have either gone virtual or been cancelled.

The photo to your right was taken on St. Patrick's Day weekend in a prior year at Donovan's Pub in Woodside.

This report contains a number of brief suggestions for St. Patrick's Day bars, restaurants and Irish pubs in Queens, including in Astoria, Long Island City, Sunnyside, Woodside [near Jackson Heights], Bayside [near Flushing], the Rockaways [near Jamaica] and in Maspeth / Ridgewood which are near Kew Gardens and Forest Hills. At the end of the report we've included links to St. Patrick's Day celebrations in other boroughs.

Please drink responsibly and let someone else drive if you're impaired. St. Patrick's Day is a bit like New Years Eve, in that the amateur consumers of alcohol of all ethnicities come out to celebrate, and if they are not properly managed / or cared for, accidents may occur, and some of them with life changing consequences.



 

Things To Do & News Updates NYC

Event, Arts & Entertainment Venues to Reopen 4/2, NYC Movie Theaters Reopen Today, Small Business Funding, CoVid Testing & Vaccines Update, Eviction Moratoriums Tentatively set to Expire & the 'Real Economy & Employment' Picture

nyc things to do manhattan queens bronx brooklyn staten island things to do nycMarch 5, 2021 / NYC Neighborhoods / Things To Do NYC / News Analysis & Opinion / Gotham Buzz NYC.

Weather. No precipitation is in the forecast. The temperature highs will be around 40 and the temperature lows will be in the high 20's throughout the weekend. On Friday the humidity will rise from about 30% to between 40% - 50%, where it will remain for the rest of the weekend. Winds will be 10 - 15 mph on Friday, falling to 7 - 12 mph the rest of the weekend.

 

Things To Do - Event, Arts & Entertainment Venues Can Reopen at 33% Capacity April 2nd, Movie Theaters Reopen Today 3/5/21, Many Restaurants Now Open til 11 pm & Who's in Charge?

McGolrick Park farmers market in the Greenpoint neighborhood of Brooklyn opens on Sunday, March 7th from 10 am - 3 pm.

On Wednesday, March 3, 2021 Governor Cuomo announced that effective April 2nd, 2021 the Events, Arts & Entertainment venues can reopen at 33% capacity. He also said that effective March 22nd, 1) residential outdoor gatherings could include up to 25 people, while 2) non-residential outdoor gatherings could include up to 200 people, while non-residential indoor gatherings would be limited to 100 people.

Some NYC movie theaters reopen today. They will open at 10% capacity or a limit of 50 people per screen and at this time will not be offering concessions as we knew them [generally you have to order concessions via an app]. As of this post the Angelika, IFC, The Village East, and AMC theaters in Manhattan and NiteHawk Cinema in Brooklyn have made announcements that they will be open today. More than half of all movie theaters have not yet announced their reopening plans including many in Brooklyn, Bronx, Staten Island and Queens.

On February 12th, when NYC restaurants reopened indoor dining, Governor Cuomo extended their opening hours to 11 pm. Since then most restaurants have taken opportunity of the longer hours to accommodate diners.

Who's in Charge? It's worth noting that a number of people I have conversed with - were under the impression that restaurant closures were being managed by the Mayor - but this is not true. Since the pandemic began, Governor Cuomo was granted emergency powers by the NYS Legislature, and Cuomo has been managing most of the healthcare restrictions, including restaurant closure times, as well as all of the other closures and reopenings. If I'm not mistaken, under ordinary circumstances the opening and closing times would be managed at the municipal level [meaning normally it's the Mayor's call but during the emergency CoVid pandemic it was the Governor's call].

 


Queens Farmers Markets / Green Markets In Queens, Astoria, Long Island City, Jackson Heights, Sunnyside, Woodside, Corona, Flushing, Jamaica, Forest | farmers markets green markets Astoria, Long Island City, Sunnyside, Woodside, Jackson Heights, Corona, Flushing, Jamaica, Glendale farmers markets green markets Queens NY fresh vegetables, produce, meats, poultry, fish, baked goods at farmers markets green markets in Astoria, Long Island City, Sunnyside, Woodside, Corona, Jackson Heights, Elmhurst, Jamaica, Glendale, Queens NY
Queens Farmers Markets / Green Markets In Queens, Astoria, Long Island City, Jackson Heights, Sunnyside, Woodside, Corona, Flushing, Jamaica, Forest

Queens Farmers Markets 2021

March 2, 2021  / Queens Neighborhoods / Queens Buzz.

See HOURS, MAPS, ITEMS / SELECTION of the 18 BEST Farmers Markets / Green Markets in Queens, w/ savvy shoppers' tips. This report includes the Astoria Farmers Market, Sunnyside Farmers Market, Jackson Heights Green Market, LIC Long Island City Green Market, Flushing Farmers Market, Corona Farmers Market, Jamaica Farmers Market, Forest Hills farmers markets and in between.

Click here for dates, times, locations of the Queens Farmers Markets.



 

Things To Do & News Updates NYC

Movie Theaters, Taxi Drivers, Gun Arrests, the NRA Russia & Trump, Central Park & Bronx Golf Course Concessions Bidding Deadline March 19, 2021, CoVid Testing, Vaccination Stats & Daylight Savings Time Two Weeks Away

nyc things to do nyc things to do this weekend nycFebruary 26, 2021 / NYC Neighborhoods / Things To Do NYC / News Analysis & Opinion / Gotham Buzz NYC.

Weather. Friday won't see any rain, but on Saturday there's nearly a 100% chance of a small amount [a quarter inch] of rain in the morning. Saturday afternoon should be clear. On Sunday there's also a high probabilty of a half inch of rain, most likely to fall around midday, with a lingering probability lasting the rest of the day [40% - 60%]. Temperature highs will be in the mid 40's to low 50's throughout the weekend and the temperature lows will be in the mid 30's on Friday and hovering around 40 the rest of the weekend. Humidity will rise from the 40% range to near the 70% range on Friday and then stay between the 70% - 80% range the rest of the weekend. Winds will be 50 - 10 mph all weekend.

 

Things To Do, News Briefs & Updates

- NYC Movie Theaters Can Reopen March 5, 2021

Governor Cuomo announced that movie theaters will be able to reopen at 25% capacity March 5th, 2021.

-Taxi Driver Blockade Brooklyn Bridge in Support of Medallion Debt Restructuring

One story that seemed to receive little attention was a taxi driver blockade of the Brooklyn Bridge on Wednesday afternoon on February 10th. They were making a statement, following a City Council hearing on loan forgiveness / restructuring for taxi driver medallion debt, earlier in the day. The 25,000 member taxi driver union was supportive of the action. NYC government officials are trying to find a way to help taxi drivers, but are constrained by the current fiscal challenges arising from the CoVid crisis.

- January Gun Arrests Up 75% & Full Year 2020 were Up 29%

At the end of January, NYC Police Commissioner Demot Shea said that 417 gun arrests had been made that month, up 75% versus a year ago. He also noted that last year gun arrests were up 29% versus 2018. He rhetorically asked the question, "what's changed that there are so many guns making their way into NYC?"

- The NRA, Guns, Russian Cash & the Trump Money Laundromat

According to an April 2, 2018 report in Rolling Stone, the NRA President, David Keene, was an honored guest in Moscow at a 2013 event hosted by The Right to Bear Arms group. Prior to and during the 2016 presidential campaign, Russia courted the NRA, including hosting members at all expense paid events.

According to the report, the Russian group was deceitfully presented as 'grassroots' organization, led in part by Maria Butina, seeking comraderie with like minded gun enthusiasts. The reality appears to be that they were working under the influence of the Russian government, in an effort to infiltrate politically conservative groups in the U.S., to become what was alleged to be money laundering conduits for campaign cash to the Trump and other Republican political campaigns.

The NRA was founded in 1871 in New York and recently moved its headquarters to Texas. In February 2019 NYS Attorney General Tisch James filed a lawsuit against the NRA seeking to dissolve it because, the brief contended, it had become so corrupt and self serving and had failed to comply with numerous laws.

In August 2019 the two Republican members of the Federal Election Commission [Caroline Hunter & Matthew Petersen] blocked an investigation into whether Russia had used the NRA as a money laundering machine to funnel [$30 million] cash to Trump and Republicans in the 2016 election. In the 2016 election NRA donations spiked $35 million which was believed to have come from Russian government influenced agents, like the Russian oligarchs. According to an August 20, 2019 report,

" ... The [FEC] split 2-2 vote fell along partisan lines, with the FEC’s two Republicans voting against any further inquiry into whether Alexander Torshin, a sanctioned Russian official, and Maria Butina, a convicted Russian agent, grew close to the NRA in order to help direct the group’s 2016 political donations...."

See earlier reports we did on Mitch McConnell which identify Russian oligarch funding he, Lindsey Graham, Marco Rubio and other top Republicans received from the Russian oligarchs in 2016 as reported by Open Secrets which is a non-profit group that 'follows the money' of election campaign contributions.

 


Black History Month to End Soon

PBS has been Airing Some Excellent Documentaries about African Americans Role in Our Nation's History

nyc things to do nyc things to do this weekend nycFebruary 22, 2021 / NYC Neighborhoods / NYC History / Gotham Buzz NYC.

Weather. There will be a small bit of rain today between 11 am - 4 pm. Thereafter the rest of the week should be dry. The temperature highs will be in the 40's all week and the temperature lows will be in the 30's. The winds will be 5 - 10 mph except on Wednesday, when it will be a drafty 13 mph. Humidity will be in the 70% range today, dropping into the 60% range on Tuesday & Wednesday, then down into the 50% range on Thursday and Friday.

All tolled, it looks like a pretty fair week.

 

PBS - Finding Your Roots - Histories

Last night I came upon one of Harvard Professor Henry Louis Gates Jr.'s Finding Your Roots documentaries on PBS. For more info about this series see - https://www.pbs.org/weta/finding-your-roots/

As I watched, I recollected how in my youth, I had considered Black hisotry to be a superfluous extension of American history. That perspective was, of course, born of youthful ignorance. Since then, I have come to appreciate the importance of Black Studies in providing a more comprehensive view of American history over the centuries. In part, I have PBS to thank, because they have aired and I have watched, quite a number of documentaries - some or all of which they funded or produced - particularly since the CoVid pandemic began.

In the program I viewed last night, one of the people on Gates' Finding Your Roots series was being informed about her family's history. It struck me when Gates referenced her great, great, great, great grandfather on a bill of sale by Georgetown University in Washington, D.C.

Over the past decade or so, I've become more interested in my own family's history. We knew a fair amount about those ancestors within temporal reach, going back to our great grandfathers, but little beyond. That was until a couple of summers ago when I found that one of the members of our extended family had a collection of scribbled notes and diagrams that recorded our lineage - some of which appears to date back to colonial times and the Revolutionary War. Up until this discovery, I had thought we had become Americans in the latter half of the 18th century.

But it occurred to me, based on Gates' reference to the great, great, great, great grandfather mentioned above, most African Americans' family histories date back at least a couple of centuries. Gates' documentary series delves into the histories of oftentimes, somewhat famous, African Americans who were descendants of slaves, or famous white Christian or Jewish Americans who are descendants of families that owned slaves.

Gates' geneological and genetic explorations also find interesting tidbits, like the fact that comedian Larry David and Senator Bernie Sanders are distantly related. PBS Producer Ken Burns is a descendant of a slave owner, but also related to Abraham Lincoln. And Brian Gumbel discovered he had some previously unknown Jewish ancestry.

Out of Gates' explorations into the past, we learn many things, not the least of which is that African Americans worked the fields, growing cotton and food that fed and clothed the nation, and provided their 'owners' with a tidy profit. It's worth noting that in the early 1800's about 75% of the nation worked in occupations related to agriculture [today it's about 10 - 11%]. But following the Civil War, African Americans' contribution to the nation went far beyond that, including serving our nation in two world wars, providing needed labor for the auto industry and significantly contributing to our culture and history.

 


Things To Do This Weekend NYC

Also Updates on Economy, CoVid & More

nyc things to do nyc things to do this weekend nycFebruary 19, 2021 / Things To Do NYC / NYC Neighborhoods / Gotham Buzz NYC.

Weather. The temperature highs will be in the mid to high 30's and the temperature lows will be in the low to high 20's all weekend. Winds will range from 5 - 10 mph throughout the weekend. Humidity will drop from the high 70% range on Friday to between 50% - 60% the rest of the weekend. There's a forecast of one to two inches of precipitation on Friday and then none the rest of the weekend.

FYI - Next Wednesday, February 24 the temperature highs will near 50 degrees. The photo at right shows a scenic holiday greeting card vista in Queens earlier this month.

 

Large Scale CoVid Vaccination Centers Operating in All Boroughs

Over the past month, a number of governmental efforts have all been converging on beating back the Corona Virus. At the federal level the Biden Administration has secured hundred of millions of vaccination doses so that by mid year anyone who wants to get vaccinated should be able to do so.

On the State and City level, the Mayor and Governor have set up a number of sites, including at least one mega vaccination site in each borough. In Manhattan the Javits Center opened in mid January, in the Bronx Yankee Stadium opened the second week of February as did CitiField in Queens, in Brooklyn the Brooklyn Army Terminal opened in mid January and on Staten Island Empire Outlets opened today Friday, February 19, 2021.

There are two large supplemental sites planned for opening at Medgar Evers College in Brooklyn and York College in Jamaica. I believe they both will be open tomorrow, Saturday February 20th - both opening ahead of some of the first announcement plans, which were scheduled for Wednesday, February 24. This is an outreach effort to ethnic communities which have been lagging behind the general population in getting vaccinated.

Eligibility for Vaccinations. The first few waves of openings were allocated to healthcare workers, first responders and folks over 65 years of age. On Monday, February 15, 2021 the Governor opened up the CoVid vaccinations to those with comorbidities which includes cancer and weakened immune systems, pregnancy, heart conditions, pulmonary liver chronic kidney and sickle cell diseases, diabetes, neurologic conditions, obesity and mental disabilities.

 


Things To Do Presidents Day Weekend - Queens Events Presidents Day Weekend Queens NYC | things to do presidents Day weekend in queens things to do presidents day weekend  events queens nyc jamaica astoria lic sunnyside woodside flushing jackson heights presidents day weekend things to do events queens nyc
Things To Do Presidents Day Weekend - Queens Events Presidents Day Weekend Queens NYC

Things To Do Presidents Day Weekend Queens

UPDATED FOR COVID 2021 - Things To Do In Queens Over The Presidents Day Weekend

Updated February 10, 2021 from 2/9/21 / Things To Do Queens NY / Queens Buzz NYC.

Presidents Day Weekend Weather. The Temperature highs will be around 30 throughout the three day weekend beginning on Friday, dropping to the high teens nightly, except on Saturday when the low temperature will also be around 30. Precipitation - There's an 80% chance of about two inches of snow late Saturday / early Sunday morning as of this post. Winds will be relatively stable hovering around the 10 mph range throughout the long weekend. The Humidity will range between 60% - 75% throughout the weekend. Click for Queens Weather.

The photo at right was taken at Four Freedoms Park on Roosevelt Island which commemorates Franklin Delano Roosevelt's 1941 speech declarating the inalienable rights of all people. The four freedoms are 1) Freedom of Speech, 2) Freedom of Worship, 3) Freedom of Want and 4) Freedom of Fear.

Presidents Day is a time to reflect on the performance of our current presidents and legislators, and how they stack up against their historical peers. And in that reflection it's worth asking ourselves what we've done to contribute or detract from the national conversation.

 

A Few Valentines Day / Presidents Day News Items - Indoor Dining Resumes, Folks with Co-Morbidities become Vaccine Eligible, Vaccine Production & 2nd Trump Impeachment Trial Begins Today

Governor Cuomo announced that indoor dining in NYC resumes on Friday, February 2, 2021 at 25% capacity. NYS positivity rate is about 4%, while the NYC positivity rate is about 8% - but both have been declining since the Thanksgiving / Christmas / New Year surge began in late November / early December of 2020.

This past weekend, Governor Cuomo announced that folks with CoVid comorbidities will be eligible to receive vaccinations effective Monday, February 15, 2021. According to the Governor's website, the CoVid co-morbidities [say that fast five times] include the following:

"... Cancer, Chronic Kidney Disease, Pulmonary Disease, Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities, Heart Conditions, Immunocompromised State, Severe Obesity, Pregnancy, Sickle Cell Disease or Thalassemia, Type 1 or 2 Diabetes Mellitus, Cerebrovascular Disease, Neurologic Conditions and Liver Disease Will Be Eligible ..."

Vaccine production for the U.S. is nearing the 1.5 million doses daily required to meet Biden’s upwardly mobile 100 million vaccinations in the Biden Administration's first 100 days. As of this writing about 10% of all New Yorkers as well as 10% of all Americans have received at least one CoVid vaccination dose.

 

Trump's Failed Capitol Riot of 2021 Seems Not Unlike Hitler's Failed Beer Hall Putsch of 1923

things to do presidents day weekend manhattan nyc presidents day events ues uws midtown east village soho tribeca upper west side upper east side things to do presidents day weekend manhattan events presidents day weekend manhattan nycThe second Trump impeachment trial began today, Tuesday, February 9th, 2021. Generally I find the rushing of the trial to be an insult to the American people, and the U.S. Constitution philosophies of due process and rule of law. The government officials prosecuting and managing the trial should take all the time required to educate the American people about who Donald Trump really is - not who he says he is.

They need to use the Impeachment Trial to highlight how Trump has significantly battered our democratic processes, undermined Americans' faith in our democratic institutions, personalized the power of the presidency, breached the rule of law, and appears to have colluded with the Russians to undermine our government over the past five years. Oh, yeah, and it all culminated in that lame Capitol Riot Insurrection which was not unlike and had striking similarities to Hitlers' lame / failed Beer Hall Putsch in Germany in 1923.

things to do presidents day weekend manhattan nyc presidents day events ues uws midtown east village soho tribeca upper west side upper east side things to do presidents day weekend manhattan events presidents day weekend manhattan nyc

Ten years later Hitler rose to power as the Nazi Party leader and proceeded, like Trump did during his presidency, to usurp and personalize the power of the state thanks in part to the Goebbels / Murdoch/propaganda machines which misled the citizenry in each nation about who these two leaders were, and also victimized minorities in both nations. In the Beer Hall Putsch, 16 Nazis and four policemen died. In the Capitol Riot four Trumpsters and one policeman died.

 

Hitler was found guilty of treason following the Beer Hall Putsch, but still rose to power. Will the Senate take the precaution of sanctioning the Donald, or continue to enable the dysfunctional democracy damager - possibly destroyer?

 

Brief History of Presidents Day Holiday in NYC

queens presidents day weekend queens presidents day weekend things to do queens presidents day weekend events queens nycA day commemorating Lincoln's birthday was first passed in Buffalo, New York in the early 1870's. Presidents Day originated as Washington's Birthday which was a holiday narrowly prescribed for federal government offices in Washington, D.C. in 1879. The holiday was dedicated to honoring the memory of the first American president, George Washington who was born on February 22, 1732.

In 1885 the holiday was expanded to include all federal government offices around the nation. In 1951 there was a push to create a Presidents Day holiday [vs a George Washington's birthday holiday] to include President Lincoln whose birthday is February 12, 1809 and was also celebrated by localities, but it didn't pass.

In 1971 the holiday was moved off of George Washington's birth date to being the third Monday in February. Thus while it never falls upon Washington's birthday 2/22, the official name of the holiday remains Washington's Birthday. But today, most folks refer to it as Presidents Day and to recognize the presidents who honored the U.S. Constitution and served the interests of the people.



Queens Romantic Restaurants for Valentines Day - Queens NYC | valentines dinners in queens valentines day in Queens romantic restaurants in queens astoria lic long island city jamaica sunnyside jackson heights flushing corona romantic dinners romantic restaurants in queens
Queens Romantic Restaurants for Valentines Day - Queens NYC

Valentine's Day 2021 Restaurants & Events in Queens

UPDATED FOR COVID - Romantic Restaurants For Dinner in Astoria, LIC, Sunnyside, Woodside, Jackson Heights & Flushing

February 5, 2021 / Queens Restaurants / Queens Neighborhoods NYC / Queens Buzz NYC.

UPDATED 2/12/21 - Editor's Note: Previously indoor dining was to resume in NYC on Sunday, February 14th, 2021, Valentine's Day. The Governor moved up the date to Friday, February 12th, so restaurants that may have sold out on Sunday, likely have indoor dining openings over the weekend. This report provides an update on who's open and taking reservations, but also highlights quite a number of local restaurant closures.

Valentine's Day is a bit more than a week away. It's a good time to let your loved one know you care. Flowers, gifts and dinner are always welcome treats, and / or some thoughtful gesture that shows that the lady [or man] you're with still means a lot to you.

This year it's especially important to make restaurant reservations early as restaurants first open for indoor dining at 25% capacity on Friday, February 12th, 2021. And given Valentine's Day is on a weekend, it may be challenging unless you make your reservation now. But that said, restaurants also have outside dining capacity - so depending on the weather - you may have some luck the weekend of Valentine's Day. For dinner in Astoria, LIC, Jackson Heights, Sunnyside, Woodside or Flushing; it's best to do your research early, and call or go online to make the reservations as soon as you can for this Valentine's Day .

Valentine's Day Brief History - Queens Romantic V Day Restaurants

The origins of Valentine's Day are not well documented. It's believed to have been named after Saint Valentine who was apparently a Catholic martyr who died over 1500 years ago. Today the holiday is not associated with religion so much as flowers, candies, cards and romantic dinners. And the holiday spokesperson is now Cupid, a Roman god of desire, and quite a mischief maker.

UPDATED FOR COVID. The restaurants we've reviewed include a mix of high, medium and budget priced restaurants that are spread throughout the borough and offer a large variety of ethnic cuisines. Click this link to view a brief guide of Valentine's Day restaurants in Queens / V Day events & romantic restaurants Queens NYC where you will find links to Queens restaurants we've reviewed. Enjoy.



 

As Trump's Impeachment Trial Looms, It's Important to Put Things in Context ...

Trump's Russian Mobster Ties, Trump's Taj Casino Violation of Money Laundering Laws & Russian Interference in Favor of Donald Trump in the 2016 Election

Did Trump's Apparent Hedonism & Amoral Proclivity Toward Racism & Violence and Financial Mismanagement, Attract Russia to Using Him to Sow Social & Political Discord in America?

trump russian asset trump money laundering trump violence trump nazis trump racism February 2, 2021 / US Politics / NYC Neighborhoods / News Analysis & Opinion / Gotham Buzz NYC.

The photo at right shows the headline title and photo of a Politico story about Trump's first trip to Russia in 1987, where all expense were paid and he was a guest of the Russian government.

According to Wikipedia's report on Russian Interference in the 2016 Presidential Election,

" ... According to the special counsel investigation's Mueller Report (officially named "Report on the Investigation into Russian Interference in the 2016 Presidential Election"), the first method of Russian interference used the Internet Research Agency (IRA), a Kremlin-linked troll farm, to wage "a social media campaign that favored presidential candidate Donald J. Trump and disparaged presidential candidate Hillary Clinton". The Internet Research Agency also sought to "provoke and amplify political and social discord in the United States" ..."

 

Mobster Don? A Russian Mobster Con? A Russian Asset?

trump russian asset trump money laundering trump violence trump nazis trump racism Russia's aiding of Donald Trump's 2016 campaign was certainly successful in amplifying political and social discord in the United States.

The photo at right is from a Guardian story on January 29, 2021 about how Trump appears to have been long cultivated as a Russian asset to incite social and political unrest in the United States of America. Russia has used race and ethnicity in its efforts to stir social unrest in the U.S., as well as discredit the United States abroad, since the Cold War began in the 1950's.

And one has to wonder if Russia is still not holding the Donald's feet to the fire, as Putin is believed to operate an Assassination Bureau, using the Russian mob, through which Trump had done business with via Felix Slater. The Wikipedia report on Slater describes him as,

" ... is a Russian-American mobster, convicted felon, real estate developer and former managing director of Bayrock Group LLC, a real estate conglomerate based out of New York City. ... In 1998, Sater pleaded guilty to his involvement in a $40 million stock fraud scheme orchestrated by the Russian Mafia, and became an informant for the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) ... During Donald Trump's 2016 presidential trump russian asset trump money laundering trump violence trump nazis trump racism campaign, Sater worked with Michael Cohen, former attorney for The Trump Organization, to broker a deal to build a Trump Tower Moscow, asserting to Cohen that he could boost Trump's election prospects through his Russian contacts. ... On July 9, 2019, Sater appeared before the House Intelligence Committee, but repeatedly withheld testimony and documents concerning the details of a false joint defense agreement and thus remains under subpoena..."

The photo at right shows real estate developer Donald Trump with Felix Slater and one of the principals of Bayrock, a real estate development firm. Bayrock has offices in Trump Tower and Slater was convicted of stock fraud and is believed to have been a Russian mobster. The photo was taken in the first decade of 2000.

 

CLICK here to read the rest of our report about the Trump Impeachment Trial context including information about his Italian and Russian Mobster Ties, Money Laundering, Hedonism, Racism, Proclivity Toward Violence & possible role as an American Traitor?


TAG

A Snowstorm Drops Over a Foot of Snow on NYC

nyc things to do this weekendFebruary 1, 2021 / US Politics / NYC Neighborhoods / News Analysis & Opinion / Gotham Buzz NYC.

As usual, the corporate TV stations and TV networks hyped and sensationalized a big fluffy storm, that only decades ago, would have been just another stormy winter day, that all of us kids wished for, so we didn't have to go to school.

But all that has changed, as now a snowstorm just means kids are attending school from home. If one relied on television broadcasters to tell them what's going on in the wintry world, they're likely to have stayed home and inside, out of fear, instead of enjoying one of nature's most magical days.

I think the folks on TV are afraid of the cold and hot and rain and snow, and perhaps life itself ... or is it that they just want you to be afraid, so you'll stay home watching life pass you by on TV, moderated by the knuckleheads who make the big bucks by hyping stories for ratings?

Dunno.


This Weekend Things To Do

We're in the Process of Transitioning Back from Two Terrible Viruses, to the Post-Trump, Post-Pandemic Normal

nyc things to do this weekendJanuary 28, 2021 / Things To Do NYC / NYC Neighborhoods / News Analysis & Opinion / Gotham Buzz NYC.

Weather. The temperature highs will range from about 20 on Friday, rising to about 30 on Saturday and Sunday. The temperature lows will range from about zero Friday early morning to the low 20's the rest of the weekend. Winds will range from about 15 - 20 mph on Friday, down to about 10 mph on Saturday and around 5 - 10 mph on Sunday. Humidity range from 30% - 40% on Friday and Saturday, rising to 40% - 50% on Sunday. There's a forecast of one to seven inches of precipitation beginning late Sunday evening going through Monday.

The photo at right was taken earlier this month at Bryant Park in Midtown Manhattan.

 

Introduction to the New Post Pandemic Normal

nyc things to do this weekendWithin the past week or so, the number of vaccinations have doubled to about 20 million nationally. Both NYC and NYS are near the front of the pack, due in part to the Mayor's and Governor's efforts to move us beyond CoVid.

President Biden seems focused on moving the nation out of the pandemic by mandating the wearing of masks in all federal buildings, and on all interstate modes of transportation. He also invoked the Defense Production Act to ensure the nation has enough PPE [Personal Protective Equipment] and vaccines including the needles, vials and people to administer them. Lastly, Biden committed to purchasing an additional 200 million doses of vaccine, for the nation to receive delivery of by, or before, the end of the summer.

This is a sea change of pandemic response from the federal government vis a vis the lackadaisical approach [and denial] of the pandemic by the Trump Administration.

The photo at right shows a couple of women photographing themselves in front of the new Moynihan Train Station near Penn Station in Midtown.

 


Donald Trump Accomplishments / Failures

What did Trump Really do While President? Was the Slogan - Make America Great Again - Just Another Big Lie?

fox news / sean hannity conspiracy theorist loses lawsuit to family of seth richJanuary 25, 2021 / US Politics / NYC Neighborhoods / News Analysis & Opinion / Gotham Buzz NYC.

There’s an old saying from about a century ago, that goes something like this,

“Good government doesn’t make good headlines.”

After watching the Trump Administration, I’ve come to believe there’s an apt corollary, which goes something like this,

“Bad government makes great headlines.”

 

Did Bad Government Make Great Headlines & Drive Murdoch's Fox TV Ratings and Profit?

And Australian born billionaire and propagandist media mogul Rupert Murdoch - the silent hand who pulls the strings on the people and the pols on three continents - should know.  Because he appears to have been profiting by exploiting that knowledge and the truth for decades.

But we’ve entered a new era since Trump won the presidency in 2016 because both men were born rich and behave as if the rules don’t apply to them.  And unfortunately, they mostly don’t.

 

Above the Law? 

Billionaires Murdoch & Trump Seem to Pummel Those Who Stand up to Them, Sharing Similarities to What Hitler & Goebbels did in Germany in the Early 1930’s, at the Dawn of the Rise of the Nazis

fox news / sean hannity conspiracy theorist loses lawsuit to family of seth richTrump has reportedly financially screwed numerous small contractors, employees, investors and lenders – not to mention the American people - as during his Administration the federal government took on an additional $6 trillion in debt to provide fiscal stimulus and tax breaks to billionaires like Murdoch and himself, as well as to mega millionaires like Sean Hannity of Murdoch’s Fox News propaganda outlet.

Murdoch, in a similar fashion, has publicly abused hundreds, thousands and possibly millions of people by famously hacking their phones for headlines in Britain through his Newscorp, indirectly yanking Britain out of the EU through his Brexit campaign, and indirectly sending troops from his native Australia, as well as Britain and the U.S., to Iraq - by virtue of his media influence in those nations and by cajoling his current business partner, former Vice President Dick Cheney, and one time friend, former British Prime Minister Tony Blair.

 


This Weekend Things To Do NYC

Making the Transition Back Toward a Pre-Pandemic Lifestyle

nyc things to do manhattan queens bronx brooklyn staten island things to do nycJanuary 22, 2021 / NYC Neighborhoods / Things To Do NYC / News Analysis & Opinion / Gotham Buzz NYC.

Weather. The temperature highs will be in the low to mid 30's and the temperature lows will be in the low to mid 20's. It will be dry, with the humidity fairly stable all weekend at about 40% and no precipitation is in the forecast. The wind will range between 7 - 17 mph.

The photo at right was taken in Little Italy this week. As you know, many of the restaurants have set up outdoor dining to accommodate guests. I ventured out for dinner this week, and it's not as uncomfortable as it looks, especially if you bring along what football fans know of as a seat warmer [a pad to sit on].

 

CoVid Continues, as do the Vaccinations, buts ...

nyc things to do manhattan queens bronx brooklyn staten island things to do nycIn NYC there was some good news, in that vaccinations have caught up to the supply. But the bad news is that the Trump vaccination plan didn't exist, and the federal government is unable to live up to its commitment on vaccine supplies. I guess the Donald was too busy trying to use what seemed his fraudulent stop the steal fundraising promotion to be bothered with trying to prevent the rapid rise in deaths we've seen since CoVid arrived here about a year ago.

But we now have a new president who, unlike his predecessor, is qualified for the job. And who appears to be interested in doing the job - in lieu of making headlines every day. I think things will get sorted out in the next few months and by sometime in the summer, we should be moving toward the post pandemic normal.

But that said, beware, as the British Prime Minister said that the new strain of Corona Virus - first detected in his nation - spreads 50% - 70% more easily and is somewhere between 20% - 30% more deadly.

NYS has three boroughs right now that are testing at 9% - Queens, Staten Island and the Bronx - but Brooklyn and Manhattan are testing well below that, so the NYC average is about 6% and appears to be flattening again, as the post holiday surge abates.

The photo at right was taken in Chinatown this week.

 

Things To Do This Weekend in NYC

nyc things to do manhattan queens bronx brooklyn staten island things to do nycNew Yorkers are chomping at the bit to return to a post pandemic normal. As shown in some of the December posts, many of the larger cultural venues have come back, albeit with abbreviated hours and at CoVid adjusted capacity, mostly requiring reservations.

But some of the smaller venues are also beginning to re-emerge. We've seen a couple of art galleries - Plaxall in Queens and another in Brooklyn - host art openings / exhibits within the past month using the same safety protocols as the larger venues.

There's also been a lot of online activity as well, as the world adjusts to bubble social infrastructure, by migrating some of their work online.

The photo at right was taken in SoHo this week.

More coming Saturday on things to do this weekend in the five boroughs of NYC.


Was Trump's Administration Defined by Racism & Violence?

Trump Reportedly Committed a Violent Act at an Early Age & Appears to have Embraced Racism & Incited Violence Numerous Times Since ...

ted cruz election objections seem a fundraising scamJanuary 19, 2021 / US Politics / NYC Neighborhoods / News Analysis & Opinion / Gotham Buzz NYC. 

 

Trump Condemns Violence - The Empty Words of a Spiteful Man?

A full week after there was a riot at the Capitol - that Donald Trump helped promote, spoke at along with his small coterie of family and friends, and then departed to watch on TV - he made the following statement, as he was being impeached for the second time by Congress.

“I unequivocally condemn the violence that we saw last week ... Mob violence goes against everything I believe in and everything our movement stands for. No true supporter of mine could ever endorse political violence.”

One thing we know for certain is that Donald Trump is one of the world's most prolific liars, and so it was that on January 13th, 2021 - just a week before his presidency was to end - he told one of his most unbelieveable lies - that he's against violence. The hollow ring in his words was heard round the world.

It's a well known adage that it's best to measure a man by his deeds - not his words. And with Donald Trump that advice is especially relevant. Donald Trump's life is a scatter book of a bit of violence he committed himself, but mostly which he appears to have incited others to do.


How the President, a Former NYC Mayor and Murdoch's Fox News Seemed to Incite the Capitol Insurrectionists

Rudy Giuliani, Nicknamed America's Mayor by Murdoch's Fox News, Appears to have Helped Incite the Band of Simpleminded Trumpsters to Insurrection

Updated January 11, 2021 from 1.8.21 / US Politics / NYC Neighborhoods / News Analysis & Opinion / Gotham Buzz NYC. 

Rising Film Star [Barat2] and Former NYC Mayor, Rudy Giuliani, appears to have devolved into something of a national freak show or farce over the past five years. Perhaps longer. But in the past few months, he's become something of a national disgrace.

ted cruz election objections seem a fundraising scamFox News seems to use nicknames for their propaganda assets, like referring to British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher as the 'Iron Lady' and President Ronald Reagan as the 'Gipper'. Rudy Giuliani seems to be yet another Fox propaganda asset and, as such, is oftentimes referred to as America's Mayor by Fox pundits.

This is not unlike how Murdoch's Fox News nicknames themselves America's Newsroom. This was a trick used by Hitler and Goebbels, using words and images to create the illusion that they, the Nazi Party [in this cae the Fox Nation with red, white and blue colors] was the same as the state - and thus represented all that was right and just. But remember - just because Murdoch's Fox News says it's so - doesn't make it so [like they used to call themselves 'Fair & Balanced' before they started fearing a lawsuit for false advertising]. But, the Australian born billionaire's overwhelming control and / or ownership of America's television media [see our special section on Murdoch and the 21st Propaganda Press on Gotham Buzz] does give him a leg up in attaching and making both good and bad labels stick to people, places and things.

ted cruz election objections seem a fundraising scamOn Wednesday, January 6, 2021, Rudy Giuliani joined Donald Trump and Donny junior at a Trump rally in Washington, D.C. near the White House. The Donald had promoted this gathering as something 'wild' and related to his seemingly phony stop the steal / election fraud fundraising claims. At the rally Trump told his supporters, numbering about 5,000 [per the park permit] to march down to the Capitol and that he'd be there with them.

I think it's safe to say that the Trump supporters who came to this event came prepared to continue to be misinformed and misled by the con men standing on the stage in front of them. After the speeches the audience mindlessly did as Trump had instructed them, and began marching toward the Capitol - but without their fearful leader [bonespurs acting up again?]. The Trumps and Giuliani were not to be found when the group arrived at the Capitol. What a surprise!

When the Trumpsters reached the barricades in front of the Capitol, the police in charge of protecting it, seemed to give way. What exactly transpired at this juncture we'll find out eventually, but one thing we do know for certain is that Trump didn't deploy as many of the National Guardsmen as he did for his tear gassing photo op with the Bible last summer. So Vice President Mike Pence had to step in to call up more National Guardsmen who eventually secured the Capitol - but not until after it had been ransacked [including one report of defecation].


Honestly, Just How Simple-minded are Trump Republicans?

Donald J. Trump Raises $200 Million in one Month Based on Unsubstantiated Election Fraud Claims

So Senators Ted Cruz & Josh Hawley - Not Wanting to be Kept out of What Seems a Great Scam - Are Fundraising Based on Their Bid for an Unnecessary Election Audit

ted cruz election objections seem a fundraising scamJanuary 5, 2021 / US Politics / NYC Neighborhoods / News Analysis & Opinion / Gotham Buzz NYC. 

Classic con men like Donald J. Trump, Ted Cruz and Josh Hawley appeal to certain kinds of people. Too many of them appear to be complete rubes, right out of the old W.C. Fields films ["never give a sucker an even break"].

Most of Trump's, Hawley's and Cruz's 'stop the steal' supporters seem as likely to be sincere in their 'patriotic' Trump / Cruz / Fox News media manipulated intentions, as they are likely to be just plain stupid.

This may help explain why Missouri Senator Josh Hawley and Texas Senator Ted Cruz were so quick to take up the seemingly fraudulent torch of Trump's 'Stop the Steal' campaign. They appear to be staging a phony 'patriotic' effort by objecting to one or more of the contested swing states list of electoral college delegates. The Cruz / Hawley motivation appears to be to put on a show of political theater for an unneeded election audit, in order to fill the Cruz / Hawley campaign coffers with the money of incredibly naive full grown American white men and miscellaneous other Trump Republican donors.


New Years Resolutions 2021: The Road Ahead

A Few Axioms To Keep In Mind Throughout The New Year

things to do manhattan this weekendJanuary 1, 2021 / NYC Neighborhoods / NYC Holidays / Gotham Buzz NYC.

For all of us, today starts the beginning of a new year.

If we stay the course with masks, social distancing and hand washing, we should be able to make it to getting vaccinated - at which point things begin to really change to a better normal, but likely not back to a pre-CoVid normal.

The impact of the vaccinations isn't going to happen quickly as Trump's Operation Warp Speed has turned out to be Operation Super Retarded. But Biden takes the reins in another 18 days, and will likely put things back on track, which means we have another six to twelve months before things will begin feeling somewhat normal. The six to twelve months is how long it's estimated that it will take to manufacture, distribute and vaccinate the majority of the 330 million people who live here. The vaccination process alone takes about two months, as there are two shots and a lag time for your body to build the anti-bodies.


You're Looking at the Real Election Fraud ... Straight in the Eyes

trump tries to steal the election even though AG bill barr & DHS Krebs says it was a fair electionNovember 30, 2020 / NYC Neighborhoods / NYC Politics / News Analysis & Opinion / Gotham Buzz NYC.

Four years ago Donald Trump achieved one of his dreams and became the President of the United States. Now, four years later, we're witnesses to the Donald failing at his ultimate dream - becoming Dictator of the United States - like his buddies Kim Jong Un is in North Korea, Vladimir Putin is in Russia, and his nemesis Xi Jin Ping is in China.

But it hasn't been for lack of trying.

 

Trump Uses Federal Government Apparatus Like a Dictator, NOT an American President

Trump appeared to use the federal government bureaucracy in its most corrupt rendition since the birth of the republic 230 years ago - to lie, cheat and steal his way to victory.

trump tries to steal the election even though AG bill barr & DHS Krebs says it was a fair electionTrump called on Bill Barr's Department of Justice to 'investigate voter fraud' when there was none. On December 1, 2020 - a full four weeks after the election Barr finally spoke the truth - that there wasn't any widespread fraud.

Trump seemed to use Chad Wolfe's Department of Homeland Security to fund and operate campaign style food giveaways which included promotional style letters with his name on it, even though it was a federal operation using the American taxpayers' money.

He seemed on numerous occasions to try to bend Republicans in local and state government positions and the courts to go along with his fictional voter fraud claims. As of this writing 27 of the 41 lawsuits filed by Trump / Republicans were either dismissed or lost.

trump tries to steal the election even though AG bill barr & DHS Krebs says it was a fair electionTrump appeared to have one of his lackeys, Louis DeJoy, gerry rig the U.S. Post Office, so the postal organization would be challenged to fulfill its role in delivering mail and absentee ballots to the Boards of Elections. This was identified in August and Congress halted it.

He seemed to use Mike Pompeo's State Department as a campaign promotional tool with part real and part fictional peace deals, as well as using the State Department as a dirt digging operation - again using taxpayers' money - to extort dirt or allegations of dirt, on rival Joe Biden. In late 2019 Trump was impeached for using the government as a campaign tool.

Trump seemed to try to use Chad Wolfe's Department of Homeland Security to foment violence in American cities this summer, so he could run as the 'law and order president'. There was an uproar in Congress about this misuse of the DHS and it was halted.

And Trump even called up the U.S. Military to provide air support for a photo op, where he held up a Bible he had never read, as a symbol of his phoniness.

See below for other enablers in the Senate and Congress, like Mitch McConnell.


Holiday Markets & Holiday Tree Lightings NYC

While Still Dialed Down, There's More Going on than I Thought

holiday things to do nyc holiday markets nyc manhattan queens bronx brooklyn staten island holiday things to do nyc holiday markets nycNovember 27, 2020 / NYC Shopping / NYC Holiday Events & NYC Holiday Markets / Gotham Buzz NYC.

The following represent an update of the in-person holiday markets and / or the in-person holiday events that will be open this season in all five boroughs.

I found far more going on than I expected ... although admittedly quite a bit less than in prior years ... but that said, there were a few markets or events in each borough.

 

Manhattan Holiday Markets & Holiday Events NYC

On Wednesday, December 2, 2020 from 7 - 10 pm there's the Rockefeller Tree Lighting ceremony at 5th Avenue at 48th Street in Midtown Manhattan. Nobody will be allowed in the plaza area, so your best bet of seeing the lights go on at 8 pm are via TV [NBC] from home.

From Saturday, October 30th, 2020 through January 3rd, 2021 the Winter Market at Bryant Park at 6th and 42nd Street in Midtown Manhattan is open. Over 100 vendors will be selling their wares from 11 am - 8 pm daily. The market opens at 10 am on the weekends.

From November 16 thru December 24, 2020 the Grand Central Holiday Fair, featuring 40 vendors, has gone virtual at www.grandcentralterminal.com.

Both Union Square and the Columbus Circle holiday markets 2020 won't be open this year.

The weekend of December 4th thru 6th, 2020 the St John the Divine Crafts Fair will go virtual at www.craftsatthecathedral.org. They provide a unique assortment of artistic items, clothing and gifts.

ADD DATES / Chelsea Flea / On Saturdays & Sundays from 8 am - 4 pm at 29 West 25th St.reet between 5th & 6th Aveenues.

ADD DETAILS / Winter Garden at Brookfield Place.

 

Brooklyn Holiday Markets & Holiday Events NYC

On Saturdays from now through December 2020 from 10 am - 4 pm there's the Brooklyn Flea Market under the Manhattan Bridge Archway at the 80 Pearl Street Plaza. Customers and vendors are asked to maintain six-feet of distance, wear a mask and use hand sanitizer.

From Friday, November 27 thru Sunday, December 20, 2020 [Fri / Sat / Sun only] the Makers Show at Citipoint at 445 Albee Square West Brooklyn will be open from 12 noon to 8 pm. They offer crafts, food and drink. You must rsvp via Eventbrite [free] to go and they maintain a number of CoVid protocols.

From Thanksgiving 2020 through New Years 2021 from dusk to 9 pm the Dyker Heights Xmas Lights are burning with joy. The neighborhood holiday lighting extravaganza is located along 11th, 12th and 13th Avenues between 83rd and 86th Streets, and viewing is free.

From December 10 thru 17, 2020 there's the Grand Army Menorah Lighting at Grand Army Plaza beginning respectively at 5 pm / 3.30 pm / 7 pm / 5.30 pm and then 6 pm until Hanukkah is over. In the Prospect Heights / Park Slope neighborhoods of Brooklyn.

Thursday, Friday, Saturday & Sunday, December 10 - 13, 2020 the Brooklyn Ballet will do about 20 minutes of performances of the Nutcracker outside the Jewel Box at 160 Schermerhorn Street in Brooklyn beginning at 5.30 and 6.30 pm on Thursday, Friday and Sunday, and an extra performance at 4.30 pm on Sunday and Saturday performances at 6.30 & 7.30 pm. Free.

ADD TIME / On Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays & Sundays December 3 - 27, 2020, there's the Caribbeing Holiday Market at the LeFrak Center in Prospect Park featuring handmade arts, crafts, jewelry, spices, ornaments.

ADD DATE / Saturday & Sundays only from 10a - 4p Smorgasburg.com Dumbo Holiday Flea _ Vintage and handmade for sale at Dumbo Archway.

The 2020 Handmade Cavalcade is doing online on 11/28 & 11/29 Only.

ON 11/20/20 CANCELLED DUE TO COVID. On Friday, December 4th, the Fort Hamilton Holiday Market & Celebration will be held at 101st Street and Fort Hamilton Parkway at the fort. The event includes a holiday market and tree lighting, but must rsvp. Free admission.

The 2020 Renegade Craft Fairs formerly at the Expo Center in Greenpoint last year has been cancelled til 2021.

The 2020 Bust Craftacular also appears to be on a CoVid hiatus.

 

Queens Holiday Markets & Holiday Events NYC

On December 6th, 2020 from 3 - 5 pm there's the Flushing Holly History Tour on YouTube. Tickets may be purchased for $5 - $35 on Eventbrite.

Bohemian Hall & Beer Garden holiday market for 2020 has been cancelled due to CoVid concerns.

 

Bronx Holiday Markets & Holiday Events NYC

On Friday & Saturday, November 27 & 28, Saturdays December 5 & 12, Friday & Saturday December 18 & 19, Saturday, December 26 thru Wednesday, December 30 & Friday January 1, 2021, Saturdays January 2 & 9, 2021 there's the NYBG Holiday Train Show at the NY Botanical Gardens in the Bronx. Admission $30 Adults / Kids 2 - 12 $18 - ONLY Available to Members & Bronx Community Partners only this year due to limited capacity.

Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays & Sundays November 20, 2020 - January 10, 2021 as well as Christmas Week all days except Xmas Eve & Day and New Years Day, there's the BX Zoo Holiday Lights. Showtimes at 3.30 pm / 5 pm / 6 pm / 7 pm / 8 pm. Admission $35 Adults / $23 Kids / $32 Seniors.

From 11.27 - 1.10.21 no Mondays & Tuesdays except Christmas / New Year week. Not Xmas or New Years Eves. And not 1.4 - 1.7.21. Lumino City at 20 Randall’s Island Park on Randall’s Island. Admission $29 / $25 for Students & Seniors / $17 for kids 3 - 12.

 

Staten Island Holiday Markets & Holiday Events NYC

On Sunday December 13, 2020 beginning at 2 pm there's the Nutcracker on the lawn of the Alice Austen House at 2 Hylan Blvd. Admission is $25.

On Saturday & Sunday, December 5 & 6,  2020 from 11a - 4p there's a Makers Sapce Holiday Market. It's outdoors at MakerPark corner of Thompson & Front Street featuring ten unique vendors with handcrafted and vintage items for sale. CoVid Guidelines in effect for all markets.

ADD WEBSITE URL / Saturdays, November 28 - December 19, 2020 from 4.30 - 8.30 pm there are Historic Richmond Town Candlelight Tours at 441 Clarke Avenue in Richmond County. It costs $120 - $150 per group up to six. Rsvp via their website and CoVid restrictions in place.

On Friday, December 4, 2020 - National Lighthouse Museum Golf Outing at South Shore Golf Course on 200 Hugenot Road. 11.30 am registration and Tee Off Time at 12.30 pm. BBQ included. Admission $125 per golfer.

December 20, 2020 from 1 pm – 4 pm there's a Snug Harbor Wreath Making Workshop. Meet at Visitor Info Booth on Chapel Road at the Snug Harbor Cultural Center. Admission is $30 Adults, $24 Students/Seniors & $24 Members. Rsvp, no refunds & CoVid guidelines in effect.

CLICK HERE to view our full report on holiday markets & events in Manhattan, holiday markets & events in Queens, holiday markets & events in Brooklyn, holiday markets & events in the Bronx & holiday markets & events on Staten Island.

CLICK HERE to view a 2019 report on Manhattan holiday markets NYC, and here for Queens holiday markets NYC, and here for Bronx holiday markets NYC and here for Brooklyn Holiday Markets, and here for Staten Island Holiday Markets & Shopping NYC.

CLICK HERE to view a 2019 report on & Manhattan holiday events / Manhattan holiday things to do NYC, & Queens holiday events / Queens holiday things to do NYC, Brooklyn Holiday Events / Brooklyn Holiday Things To Do NYC, Staten Island Holiday Events / SI Holiday Things To Do NYC and Bronx holiday events & Bronx holiday things to do NYC.


CoVid NYC Economic Update

NYC Hotels, Restaurants & Entertainment Continue to Feel the CoVid Pain, Also Real Estate & Construction but Less so, and Things Should Gradually Improve in 2021

things to do nyc things to do manhattan queens bronx brooklyn staten island things to do nycNovember 16, 2020 / NYC Neighborhoods / Business & Real Estate NYC / News Analysis & Opinion / Gotham Buzz NYC.

 

CoVid & Donald Continue Raging

So the CoVid pandemic is raging wildly in the nation, while the Demento in the White House is raging with reckless false claims about the 'rigged election'. The Donald also made these same false claims four years ago, when he won the electoral college contest, but failed to win the popular vote.

This time America's biggest loser lost both the electoral college vote contest and popular vote [by nearly six million], but the fraudster President has found his false claims of a stolen election, is a great way to raise funds from our nation's morons, who somehow still believe his lies. As the saying goes,

"We're all born ignorant. But you have to try really, really hard to remain so."

I consider Donald Trump losing the White House, to be the one silver lining coming out of the CoVid pandemic.

Meanwhile back in NYC, we continue to fare far better than the rest of the nation vis a vis CoVid, perhaps having learned our lessons last Spring. When I look at the CoVid map of the United States, I'm beginning to interpret it as a sort of national I.Q. test. Those places where it's raging most - almost a year since the pandora came out of the box - are states with slow learning media, slow learning government officials and slow learning populations. Otherwise, why would CoVid be raging again, after all that we have learned in the past year?


Rigged Election: Who's Trying to Steal it?

Trump is Battling the Election Results Like He's Battled CoVid, his Trump-Sized Budget Deficit & Climate Change - Ignore the Facts & Change the Perception

trump cheating 2020 election mail fraud trump dejoy usps mail fraud by trump campaign?November 6, 2020 / NYC Neighborhoods / U.S. Politics / News Analysis & Opinion / Gotham Buzz NYC.

 

A Sore Loser, Poor Sport & a Rich Old Man's Tantrum?

Donald Trump has never comported himself with any dignity or decency befitting the presidency - so why would anyone expect his presidency to end with it?

Except the low information, no information and disinformation voters who cling to him like he's some sort of savior.

We saw this same sort of phenomena occur in the 1930's and 1940's in Germany. That was a story that didn't end well for that nation - and it would have been far, far worse - were it not for the decency and generosity of the American people.

By all accounts, Biden is the likely victor of the 2020 presidential race. He leads in electoral college votes and it appears he needs to close only one or two more states to finish the race, which in most remaining states and by most accounts, seem to be trending in his favor.

 

America's Top Fixer, Rudy Schmooliani, Fresh Out of Improv Role in Borat2, Returns to Star Role in the TV Presidency of DJT

trump cheating 2020 election mail fraud trump dejoy usps mail fraud by trump campaign?The Trump Campaign began pulling out all stops to halt the fair part of the American electoral process, by summoning America's Fixer, Rudy Giuliani, to lead the litigation publicity program.

Schmooliani had just finished filming his cameo role in Borat 2, but wasted no time in zipping up his pants again, before departing for Philadelphia to make an important stage appearance in the Epilogue segment of the TV Presidency of DJT.

In the photo at right, a still shot taken from the film Borat 2, shows Rudy Giuliani making 'an adjustment to his microphone'. I do hope Rudy washed his hands after tampering with his 'microphone', as these days one can never be sure of what kind of bacterial or viral germs one might be exposed to by touching things.


Kentucky Insanity: Voting Repeatedly for Mitch McConnell & Expecting Things to Change

Kentucky Has the 6th Highest Poverty Rate, Ranks 46th in Healthcare, 44th in Education & 45th in Income While

McConnell’s Leadership Enriches Him & his Taiwanese Born Wife, so that Mitch is Now in the Top Ten Wealthiest Senators Club

mcconnell mcgrath senate race kentucky who is mitch mcconnell who is elaine chao kentucky senate raceOctober 26, 2020 Updated from 10/13 & 10/21/20 / NYC Neighborhoods / U.S. Politics / News Analysis & Opinion / Gotham Buzz NYC.

Monday night Republican Majority Leader Mitch McConnell squared off against challenger former Lieutenant Colonel Amy McGrath. She, along with another woman, were the first females assigned to the Marine All Weather Attack Squadron.

Televised debates these days, seem to shed little light on the candidates or issues. This may be in part due to the format of them, as well as the failure of the debate moderators to hold the candidates' feet to the fire by pressing them on tough questions, and the current climate of conversational corruption where politicians pretty much say whatever the hell they want to say ... regardless of the truth.

So I did some of my own digging to learn more about Mitch McConnell. What I found surprised me, given how deep the rabbit hole goes and yet how little attention has been given to one of the most powerful men in Washington. So it may surprise you too.

 

DEFINITION OF INSANITY - Repeatedly Doing the Same Thing Expecting a Different Result

mcconnell mcgrath senate race kentucky who is mitch mcconnell who is elaine chao kentucky senate raceThe definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result. 

The image at right was found in a web magazine, Forward Kentucky earlier this year. Donald Trump fired FIVE inspectors and among them was one investigating McConnell's wife.

What are they afraid of ... the truth?

And that is exactly what Kentuckians appear to have been doing for decades, having reportedly voted for Mitch in various elections approximately THIRTY TIMES in a row. 

Let’s take a look.

 

RICH MITCH - McConnell is the Longest [Self?] Serving Republican Leader in Senate History

mcconnell mcgrath senate race kentucky who is mitch mcconnell who is elaine chao kentucky senate raceIn June 2018, Mitch McConnell became the longest ‘serving’ Senate Republican Leader in the history of the Senate. 

McConnell has been a Kentucky Senator for nearly 36 years, having first taken office in January 1985. 

He’s been the Republican Senate Majority Leader for nearly six years - since January 2015, and the Republican Senate Minority Leader since January 2007 – another eight years and Republican Senate Majority Whip from 2003 - 2007. 

And he’s been ‘serving’ Kentucky as a senator since 1985.

 

POOR KENTUCKY - Kentucky Ranks Near the Bottom in Education, Healthcare and Income

mcconnell mcgrath senate race kentucky who is mitch mcconnell who is elaine chao kentucky senate raceAnd yet Kentucky has little to show for Mitch's length of service – even though Mitch McConnell keeps telling them how good is for them, as he’s been a member of the elite Republican Leadership for decades.

But McConnell he likes to tell Kentuckians - he's the only top federal political leader who is not from one of the big urban centers on the coasts, even though he’s been living in Washington, D.C. for one helluva lot longer than he ever lived in Kentucky. And he’s married to a Taiwanese born millionairess who has never lived in Kentucky, per se, during the nearly three decades of their blissful married life. 

So what difference does it make where Mitch McConnell claims he is from, if he’s not representing the people of Kentucky?  But rather … representing the big corporate and foreign interests that appear to fund his campaigns and enrich – not the state of Kentucky – but their chosen one, their ‘representative’ Senate Majority Leader Republican Mitch McConnell.

 

NOT A NATIVE KENTUCKIAN - Why Alabama Born McConnell May not Care About Kentucky

mcconnell mcgrath senate race kentucky who is mitch mcconnell who is elaine chao kentucky senate raceI suspect part of the reason that Mitch McConnell doesn’t care that much about Kentucky, is because he wasn’t born there, and he mostly did not grow up there.  McConnell was born in ALABAMA in 1942, and then – by way of GEORGIA – arrived in KENTUCKY in 1956 at age 14. I think it's worth mentioning that McConnell's great, great grandparents – on both sides - were Alabama slave owners, which we’ll get to shortly.

In 1968 McConnell left Kentucky for the big city, Washington, D.C., for a couple of years.  He returned to Kentucky to run for office in 1971, but failed to meet the Kentucky residency requirement.  In 1974 McConnell left Kentucky again for Washington, D.C. to work in the Ford Administration.  Gerald Ford lost the election in 1976, so McConnell returned to Kentucky to run for office again. This time Kentuckians cut him a break and elected him the Jefferson County Executive, an office he held until he was elected in 1984 to ‘represent’ them as a senator, at which time he departed Kentucky for Washington, D.C. where he's been ever since. 

So all tolled, McConnell only spent about 24 years in Kentucky [1984-1956=28-2-2=24], which is not even a third of his 78 years of life.  And McConnell has spent 36 years ‘representing’ Kentuckians in the big city of Washington, D.C. – where he has lived half again as much time, as he has lived in Kentucky.  So while Mitch doesn’t appear to represent Kentuckians – one has to ask how could he - given he has spent so little time there and it was what seems a lifetime ago?

 

McConnell Received Educational Deferment from Military, Followed by Medical Exemption for Optic Neuritis – Not Polio

mcconnell mcgrath senate race kentucky who is mitch mcconnell who is elaine chao kentucky senate raceAccording to Wikipedia, after McConnell’s educational deferment from the military expired in 1967, McConnell ‘served’ about a month.  The same report tells us McConnell was diagnosed with optic neuritis – a temporary inflammation in the eye that can cause temporary blindness.  According to a few Google searches, optic neuritis is a common eye problem that self resolves in about four to 12 weeks.  There are severe cases of it, but given McConnell is 78 years old and we’ve heard nary a word of it since his getting out of military service, I suspect his case was 'mild’, not unlike Trump's CoVid case.  McConnell is also said to have contracted polio, but apparently escaped any significant long term impairment, as we see him walking up and down the halls of the Capitol without a problem.

 

MONEY BAGS MITCH - McConnell Supported by Chinese, Russian & Australian Immigrants

mcconnell mcgrath senate race kentucky who is mitch mcconnell who is elaine chao kentucky senate raceIn 1984 McConnell became a Kentucky Senator.  And while most Kentuckians don’t like him and neither do most Americans – Australian born billionaire Rupert Murdoch’s soon to be media executive, Roger Ailes, ran McConnell's first campaign. Murdoch seems to have been influential in rolling back media regulations beginning around that time, so it wouldn't be a big leap to assume that McConnell helped Murdoch feather his nest through regulatory rollbacks, while Murdoch helped keep McConnell in place as an enabler in hacking through the regulatory environment which had previously held large media corporations in check. Murdoch controls Fox News, the NY Post, the Wall St Journal and in 2019 became the largest shareholder of Disney / ABC in an inverted takeover. 

We'll zoom in on why the rich Chinese and Russian born immigrants started backing Mitch McConnell a little further in the story.

 

McConnell Sells Out or Trades in his Old Kentucky Home?

mcconnell mcgrath senate race kentucky who is mitch mcconnell who is elaine chao kentucky senate raceMcConnell was married to a Kentucky woman, Sherrill Redmon, from 1968 [around the time of his military deferment] to 1980 [around the time he was re-elected but a few years before he hit the big time as a senator beginning in 1984].  In the early years in Kentucky McConnell was considered a liberal leaning moderate [his ex-wife and one or more of his daughters still seem to lean more toward the middle, having oppposed the Brett Kavanaugh SCOTUS confirmation]. 

But McConnell's views seemed to quickly change after he hired Roger Ailes, [who later became Fox News CEO], to run his 1984 Senate campaign. This was followed by McConnell 's social climbing upward mobility when he met and married his new Chinese American wife, who connected his campaign to a multi-million dollar money train. Taiwanese born Elaine Chao's mega millionaire father is well connected to the Chinese Communist Party Leadership, owns a Chinese American Shipping Company, and he and her family have donated millions to McConnell, as well as his and Republican PACs.

 

The Decade McConnell Went From Kentucky Mitch to Shanghai Mitch

Following the 1984 election Rolling Stone story reports McConnell,

“As I always say,” McConnell wrote in his book, “the three most important words in politics are ‘cash on hand.’ ”


NYC Economic Update & a Few Things To Do

Voting Registration Online, The Census Payout, CoVid Updates, the Economy & Events

nyc covid pandemic evictions moratorium layoffs hiring covid queens manhattan bronx brooklyn staten island nyc restaurants hotels retail jobs losses hiring pandemic covid nycOctober 2, 2020 / NYC Neighborhoods / U.S. Politics / News Analysis & Opinion / Gotham Buzz NYC.

Weather.  The temperature highs will be in the high 60’s and lows in the low to mid 50’s.  There’s a 10% chance of a tiny amount of rain Sunday.  Humidity will be between 50% and 60%.  And winds will be about 5 mph.  All in all not a bad fall weekend.

 

Check Your Voter Registration / Or Register Online Using Link

The last day to register to vote in NYC / NYS is October 9, 2020.  If you’re uncertain you are registered to vote use this link to check - https://voterlookup.elections.ny.gov/
And if you find you’re not registered or need to change your voter registration [for example if you recently moved] then use this link to register - https://dmv.ny.gov/more-info/electronic-voter-registration-application

I recommend voting in person if you’re at all able, as nearly one in ten mail in votes are disqualified on technical grounds.  If you’re at risk for CoVid or can’t vote in person for any other reason, then vote by mail, making sure you follow all of the guidelines to the letter including sending it in as soon as possible.  There was a huge mail ballot snafu in Brooklyn, so if you live in Brooklyn and received a mail ballot with an incorrect name on either the ballot or envelope, contact the Board of Elections for a new one.

 

Fill in the Census: We’re Lagging the Nation so We Could Lose a Lot of Federal Funding

nyc things to do this weekend queens manhattan bronx brooklyn staten island nyc things to do this weekend nycThere’s been a struggle over lengthening the time allowed for census takers to obtain census information.  The original deadline was July 31st, which was extended to October 31st, which was shortened to September 30th, which was stayed until Sunday, October 4th.  And today it was re-extended to October 31st. Given the back and forth I recommend filling it out right now, if you haven’t already.

Each person counted in the census is worth about $30,000 to $40,000 per person in federal funding for schools, hospitals, mass transit, law enforcement and social services.  And it only takes ten minutes, which you can do now by clicking the photo at right.  It’s the most amount of money you’ll likely ever make for the time expended in your life, so please do it for yourself, your family and / or your community. Here's the link to the census.

https://my2020census.gov?utm_source=queensbuzz

NYC and NYC lag the rest of the nation in filling out the census, which means we won’t get a proper share of funds and representation in Washington if folks don’t fill out the census and quickly.  Currently just under 64% of New Yorkers have filled out the census, while in the state of Utah just under 71% have filled out the census.  That’s a lot of cash in federal funding we’re leaving on the table.

 

Events & Things To Do in NYC & Cancellations

The International Center of Photography opened its doors on Thursday, October 1st with a new photo exhibit about CoVid.  The exhibit uses photographs collected from around the boroughs, the state, the nation and around the world.  You have to rsvp a spot online at icp.org and adherence to CoVid guidelines is required.

In October a number of normally huge events have gone online including the following. 

The NY Film Festival at Lincoln Center went online beginning September 17th and runs through October 11th - https://www.filmlinc.org/nyff2020/ 

Comic Con has gone online for the weekend of October 8th – 11th.

Swimming at indoor pools is now possible effective Wednesday, September 30th at 33% capacity and with CoVid guidelines in place. 

The Rockettes Holiday kickoff and season of performances has been cancelled for this year.  They will participate in some manner in the blended online / staged Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.


The Mirage of the 'Trump Economy' Part II

Australian born Billionaire, Rupert Murdoch Seems to use the Wall St Journal, NY Post & Fox News to Create the Illusion that Trump has Some Sort of Economic Magic Touch, but the Truth is $6 Trillion in New Debt & $3 Trillion in Federal Reserve Bond Purchases

rupert murdochs wall st journal fake news the wall st journal propaganda machine murdoch wsj distorts the newsSeptember 21, 2020 / NYC Neighborhoods / Things To Do NYC / News Analysis & Opinion / Gotham Buzz NYC.

Few real journalists - if any - have ever honestly accused Rupert Murdoch and most of the large media brands he controls in our nation, of being bastions of truth. In fact, it would seem, quite the opposite - including by some of the people who work for him.

When Murdoch purchased the Wall Street Journal in 2007 [fact check], there were concerns that he would turn it into another one of his propaganda rags. Shortly after the acquisition, a number of Wall Street Journal reporters fled to Bloomberg News. In fact dozens of them. Those journalists that remained at the Wall Street Journal, had to learn how to operate for an Australian born billionaire who seems to delight in misleading the masses - rather than informing them - in order to profit from the audience's ignorance, to which Murdoch media appear to contribute greatly. Murdoch is kind of like a street hustler whose propagandists do sleight of tongue [hand] tricks, while his political accomplices [puppets like Trump & McConnell] pick the pockets of the audience [Americans].

Not Your Father's Wall Street Journal - A Murdoch Propaganda Rag?

rupert murdochs wall st journal fake news the wall st journal propaganda machine murdoch wsj distorts the newsThis summer over 280 journalists at the Wall Street Journal, became concerned that Herr Murdoch - like Nazi propagandist Herr Goebbels before him - was corrupting the Wall Street Journal into a propaganda outlet, in advance of the election this November. While Murdoch's distortion of the truth in the Wall Street Journal appears to have been going on for years, the event that immediately precipitated the letter, was a misleading - even deceptive - Op Ed by Vice Presidential candidate Mike Pence.

In the letter they had a few simple requests. A July 21, 2020 report in the Wall St Journal states,

"... [The WSJ's] Opinion’s lack of fact-checking and transparency, and its apparent disregard for evidence, undermine our readers’ trust and our ability to gain credibility with sources ...”

" ... The letter cites several examples of concern, including a recent essay by Vice President Mike Pence about coronavirus infections ... "

“.. [and that] WSJ journalists should not be reprimanded for writing about errors published in Opinion ..."

"... suggests removing opinion pieces from the “Most Popular Articles” and “Recommended Videos” lists on the website, and creating a separate “Most Popular in Opinion” list..."

" ... letter highlighted was an opinion article titled “The Myth of Systemic Police Racism,” which the letter’s authors said was one of the paper’s most read articles in June. The article argued that the “charge of systemic police bias was wrong during the Obama years and remains so today.” The letter says the piece “selectively presented facts and drew an erroneous conclusion from the underlying data...”

i have reported on similar truth distortions by Rupert Murdoch's media, including Fox News, the NY Post and many other media outlets controlled by him in our section about Rupert Murdoch and the Rise of the 21st Century Propaganda Press, which you can find by clicking this link.


Triumph of The [Rupert's] Will: How Murdoch Manipulates Voter's Perceptions & Public Policy

Australian born Billionaire Appears to use his Media Outlets to Shape Voter's Views, Loading them with Misconceptions, So They'll Elect Compromised Fox Nation Pols, Who Upon Assuming Office, Seem to Reward Murdoch's Media Support, by Crafting Public Policy to Conform to Murdoch's Will, Favoring his Business Interests

fox fake news murdoch manipulates audience perception in order to profitSeptember 4, 2020 / NYC Neighborhoods / U.S. Politics / News Analysis & Opinion / Gotham Buzz NYC.

As mentioned previously, I've been doing a fairly deep dive into learning as much about the Third Reich and Nazi Germany as time permits, in order to more fully understand what's happening in present day events.

Media Manipulation for Fun & Profit

I began noticing similarities between Australian born billionaire Rupert Murdoch's manipulative use of his large share of Amerian media in 2016, to what Joseph Goebbels, the Reich Minister of Propaganda for the Nazis, did beginning in the 1920's until his end in 1945. On May 1, 1945 Goebbels poisoned his children, his wife and himself as the Allied forces neared his home. Hitler and his companions had committed suicide the day before, as Allied forces invaded Berlin. None of them had the courage to stand trial for their crimes against humanity ... although like Mussolini, they may not have made it to court.

 

1. Did Fox 'News' Attempt to Protect the Reputation of a Propaganda Asset via Omission?

fox fake news murdoch manipulates audience perception in order to profitSo today, we're going to look at just a few of Murdoch's media manipulations made in just the past couple of months - and I'm nearly certain that this is just the tip of the iceberg. Unfortunately, I don't have the resource to fact check what is the largest misleading news content producing organization in the nation, and possibly the free world.

Let's start with the first two photos on this page. This story broke in the Guardian on July 7, 2020.

The first photo shows Fox News 'reporting the news' regarding the sexcapades of Jeffrey Epstein and Ghislane Maxwell. In the first photo, Fox News conveniently cropped out Donald Trump. In the second photo [at right] we have the 'full picture' aka the truth.

The man who calls everyone else a 'sleezeball' is seen with Melania 'being best', and two of the people alleged to be among some of the sleeziest on the planet [Jeffrey Epstein and Ghislane Maxwell]. Do birds of a feather flock together?

So we must ask why Rupert Murdoch would crop Donald Trump out of the photo? Is it to avoid portraying the Donald in a negative light in order to keep him - a Murdoch asset - in office?

Trump appears to have been a boon to billionaire Murdoch through massive billionaire tax cuts funded by debt to be paid for by America's children and unborn? Or is because Trump's actions in the Middle East vis a visIsrael seemed to serve to legitimize Murdoch's investment in Genie Energy in the illegally occupied Syrian Golan Heights? Or was it because Trump loosened up the FCC ownership limits for mega media companies like Murdoch's thus allowing the few to control our media, which givens them the power to influence the national democratic conversation - and in Murdoch's case - it seems the power to corrupt it in order to profit from it. Or was it because Trump famously fired all U.S. Attorneys, including Preet Bharara - who was investigating Murdoch's companies for sexual harrassment and phone hacking - less than 24 hours after Sean Hannity on Fox News told him to do just that? Perhaps most importantly, Trump's Attorney General Bill Barr, greenlighted the merger of Disney / ABC, which was an inverted takeover resulting in Rupert Murdoch becoming Disney / ABC's largest shareholder.


Democracy in Action: Blue Lives, Black Lives, All Lives Matter in Queens & NYC

A Blue Lives Matter Parade Met by a Black Lives Matter Protest

blue lives matter parade sunnyside queens blue lives matter meets black lives matter protesters in sunnyside queens nycAugust 23, 2020 / NYC Neighborhoods / Social Issues NYC / News Analysis & Opinion / Gotham Buzz NYC.

On Saturday morning around 11 am a Blue Lives Matter parade began on Greenpoint Avenue and 39th Street in Sunnyside Queens.  I arrived shortly after it began and followed it up to Joseph Sabba Park where several people were to give speeches to the parade participants and attendees.

 

As the parade arrived at Joseph Sabba Park they were met by a group of Black Lives Matter protesters who were kneeling on the sidewalk holding placards making Black Lives Matter statements.  The Blue Lives Matter parade participants paused as they came in direct contact.  As I sat there video recording the ‘confrontation’ I wondered whether things might take a turn for the worse and go badly.

 

Blue Lives Matter Parade & Speakers Queens NYC

Whoever was leading the Blue Lives Matter parade, wisely led the Blue Lives Matter parade around the Black Lives Matter protesters - rather than risking walking through them - where someone on one side or another might have escalated the tension to a higher level.

The Blue Lives Matter parade participants and attendees settled in the middle of Joseph Sabba Park and the speeches began.  The first speaker, whose name I didn’t catch, spoke supportively of the police and the important work they do in the community.  He struck a human chord, noting that the men and women who serve in the police force are dedicated to serving the community, among whom are their own families and children.  He ended saying we’re all human.

The second speaker struck a more passionate Blue Lives Matter tone, remarking that the ‘Diaphragm’ Law hindered police from doing their jobs. The Diaphragm Law allows police officers to be subject to a misdemeanor if they constrict a person’s diaphragm in the process of making an arrest.

What I recorded of both of these speeches will be shown in the video.

The signs of the Blue Lives Matter parade participants also showed a range of thoughts and emotions, ranging from striking a supportive and yet harmonious chord, while others were defiantly in support of the police – seeming to ignore the validity of the Black Lives Matter social unrest.  They included Enough with the hate, respect goes both ways, to Reform is for criminals, drug addicts and sex offenders.


Murdoch's Fox News Racism Revealed

Tucker Carlson Omits Key Facts of African American Deaths by Police

fox fake news tucker carlson racism on fox news tucker carlson distorts the news omits key facts from reportAugust 18, 2020 / NYC Neighborhoods / Rupert Murdoch & Fox Fake News Special Section / News Analysis & Opinion / Gotham Buzz NYC.

As far as I know, nobody has ever accused Rupert Murdoch of running an unbiased news operation. In fact, it's seems just the opposite, as countless people have found countless significant reporting errors by his mammoth news operation, which in the U.S. alone represents about half the large corporate branded news content viewed by Americans including Fox News, the Wall St Journal, the NY Post, Barron's, MarketWatch and increasingly ABC News where Murdoch is the largest shareholder.

What is most disturbing, is how the pinocchio propagandists on some Murdoch media outlets appear to omit key facts, in order to put forth narratives that are at odds with the truth, which are then imprinted on the minds of the millions upon millions of viewers who watch and believe what they see and hear on Fox News.

Manipulating what ends up in people's minds is exactly what Joseph Goebbels did as the Minister of Propaganda in Nazi Germany in the 1930's and 1940's. As in Nazi Germany, Herr Murdoch's propaganda ministry in the U.S., appears to use the media to favor some people or groups at the expense of other people and groups in its reporting. Oftentimes the groups Murdoch appears to favor break along race and economic class lines. We're going to look at how Tucker Carlson appears to have put forth a false Fascist narrative that further victimizes the African American victims of unnecessary violence at the hands of rogue policemen, whose errant behavior is defended far too often by the police unions.

fox fake news tucker carlson racism on fox news tucker carlson distorts the news omits key facts from reportTo be sure, those who fall prey to such mass media manipulation, are also responsible for their own ignorance and subsequent behaviors, including their voting.

Thomas Jefferson said,

“Ignorance of the law is no excuse in any country. If it were, the laws would lose their effect, because it can always be pretended.”

We saw this pretension of ignorance and denial of responsibility by many Germans following World War II, including from those operating in influential posts with access to top levels of the Nazi high command. They pretended their ignorance, but generally the truth wills out.

I'll make my case regarding Murdoch's Fox News and Tucker Carlson's reporting of African Americans appearing to be victimized by rogue policemen on Fox News Tucker Carlson's nationally televised show. I identified a couple of shows, which were broadcast over American airwaves using a high number of FCC licenses, reaching millions upon millions of Americans who appear to have been disinformed in what seems a systematic effort by Australian born billionaire Rupert Murdoch's media to provide distorted reporting with respect to incidents of police brutality vis a vis the African American community.

Fox News & Tucker Carlson Twist the Facts to Make a Trap for Fools?

The first incident we're going to review, is Tucker Carlson's Fox News coverage of the Rayshared Brooks shooting in Atlanta on Friday, June 12th, 2020. Rayshard Brooks was a 27 year old African American and father of three who was found misparked in a Wendy's parking lot, apparently sleeping. He was found to have a blood alcohol of nearly .11 which is above the legal limit for driving of .08. Brooks was not stopped while driving, but rather after he had misparked his car in a Wendy's drive thru queue.


Law Enforcement, the Economy, but First Home Sweet Home?

Is Home is Where the Heart is or Where We Sleep?

July 20, 2020 / NYC Neighborhoods / NYC CoVid 19 Special Section / News Analysis & Opinion / Gotham Buzz NYC.

Casino Royale:  Will the Donald Bankrupt America with Trillions in Spending?

trump bankruptcies casinos trump business failures corrupt donald trumpThe Administration, meanwhile, seems terribly out of touch with reality.  Their retarded response to the CoVid pandemic paved the way for the viral explosion.  One of their greatest mistakes was that they politicized Americans’ choice to defend themselves from the virus by wearing a mask, and they squandered away trillions of the public’s money – with the enabling help of the Democrats – to keep businesses functioning, without obtaining much in the way of concessions from them.

If the Donald is a great negotiator, then he’s negotiating away American’s future, in exchange for a junkie boost to his reelection prospects, and self-enrichment [there was a $160 billion tax break given to real estate developers like Trump and his son-in-law Jared Kushner and he fired five Inspector Generals within the six weeks that the largest spending bills in American history were passed totallying $3 trillion].

In Germany, Chancellor Angela Merkel obtained an equity stake of 20% - 25% from Lufthansa, in exchange for the German government bailout of that airline. And now the Donald and Republican Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell are in discussions to throw away another trillion or more in added stimulus - again without obtaining any concessions from those who will receive it. 

The image at right shows the headline of a January 9, 2019 report in Vanity Fair. This report was published over a year before the $3 trillion in stimulus spending done in March / April of 2020.

Bread Crumbs for the Masses & Melania's "I Don’t Care Do U?"

melania trump character i don't care do you when visiting immigrant children marie antoinette melania trump and childrenThere was $3 trillion in stimulus spending bills passed in late March and early April of 2020.  But the money that working class Americans [161 million people] received in the form of U.S. Treasury $1,200 checks amounts to only $193 million [161 x $1,200] of the $3 trillion stimulus spending done to date.  And then there was the extra $600 per week in added stimulus payments - which paid many unemployed workers more than they had been making and reportedly cost the American taxpayer over $15 billion per week according to a July 17, 2020 CNBC report. 

The CNBC report noted that 25.6 million were on this $600 per week government payout program.  According to the report the reason the total pandemic relief recipients are higher than the unemployed is because the package includes people who are,

“… business owners, self-employed Americans, gig workers and independent contractors who are not typically eligible for unemployment.”

So a rough estimate of the cost of this $600 per week program is 13 weeks x $600 per person per week x 26 million = $203 million.  If you add the payments from these two payout programs together then the total payout to working Americans was [$203 billion plus $193 billion] was $396 billion or 13% of the stimulus spending. Thus it seems - a relatively small number of mega millionaire and billionaire real estate developers like Donald Trump, son-in-law Jared Kushner and their [industry segment] friends - collected over a third as much as what all working classs Americans collectively received in stimulus handouts.

This self dealing doesn't seem to be anything new for the Trumps. And the Trump insensitivity to those who less fortunate than they are, appears equally legendary. As you can see in the June of 2018 Bazaar report above, Melania Trump demonstrated an incredible insensitivity during a visit to the Texas border detention centers for immigrant children, when she wore a jacket that had the words "I don't care do u" on it.


George Floyd Protest Cinematography, Music & Narrative

June 12, 2020 / NYC NeighborhoodsNYC Social Issues & Crime / News Analysis & Opinion /  Gotham Buzz NYC.

The video below is an interpretive depiction of a protest event in McCarren Park early last week. The piece is  meant to be savored - like food, music and cinematography.





George Floyd & Pink Floyd

Trying to Make Sense in a Senseless World

May 28, 2020 / NYC Neighborhoods / CoVid in NYC Special Section / News Analysis & Opinion / Gotham Buzz NYC.

george floyd protests brooklyn nyc police protests brooklyn manhattan bronx staten island queens george floyd protests brooklyn nypd police protests bk nycI watched the George Floyd protests unfold on the nightly TV newscasts for a couple of days before venturing out myself to see what I might learn. The protests began on Friday, May 29th in NYC, following the death of George Floyd, an African American who was asphyxiated, apparently due to a Minneapolis policeman holding a knee over George Floyd’s neck for nearly nine minutes which was caught on video.

TV News Appears to Sensationalize More than Inform 

On Saturday night Fox News ran and reran the same footage multiple times of a car burning, seeming to hype and sensationalize the footage into a full blown ‘riot’. The a lot of the Fox footage was taken from the air, in a helicopter which they lease (reportedly) for millions annually, which again repeatedly showed video of the crowd below, which appeared to be mostly our men in blue. So given little good video, they talked about groups dallying into the police and back again – but really didn’t seem to have any video to support their claims. The next day Mayor de Blasio reported that there were no deaths and no serious injuries to members of the NYPD or the crowd. But there was some looting.

An NBC news account made the situation seem far more chaotic than it was by shaking the camera, providing the appearance of chaos. And so on.

More Photos & Video Coming Wednesday

Covering the George Floyd Protests in NYC from the Ground - Not from a Cushy Corporate Media Chopper   

The ‘crisis’ seemed to be more manufactured by the TV news, than by what was actually happening on the streets, which is why I decided I needed to cover this myself. Second hand TV news seems increasingly like garbage news, but before I could make such a claim, I had to see for myself.

Having grown up in a newspaper family, I’ve been watching the news and presentation of it all of my life, beginning with the Kennedy assassination, which my father made all of us watch as he said it was history in the making. Back then the news was owned by dozens, if not hundreds of independent newspapermen and broadcasters, so like social media, there was a variety of news presentations and you could pick from them.

Today large multi-billion dollar corporations control most of the news we see, and it seems their focus is largely centered around profit driven ratings instead of a fair and balanced presentation of the news. This is why they seem to hype, sensationalize and distort Americans’ perceived reality in order to keep them glued to the tube. And the hyping and sensationalizing is not getting better – it’s getting worse.

No longer can you turn on the TV to be informed, but rather to be scared, angered and far too often – to become disinformed.


Many NYC Farmers Markets are Open

Farmers Markets are Essential Businesses, Provide Fresh Food & a Nice Outing

manhattan farmers markets manhattan green markets manhattan nycMay 1, 2020 / NYC Shopping / NYC Neighborhoods / Gotham Buzz NYC.

Last weekend, on Saturday, I ventured out to enjoy the beautiful weather. I was not alone, as for the first time in a month and a half there were a number of people moving about the neighborhood.

I headed down to the farmers market to see what that looked like under the new normal. The food looked fresh, and there was plenty of it - although this was in mid morning.

The experience wasn't much different than what you'd expect. People wore face masks and there were lines created by social distancing. I was glad to see that farmers markets are essential businesses, as it augments a strained food supply chain, and provides folks with an opportunity to get out of the house in about as safe an environment as you can get. Here's a link to the dates, times, locations and selection of the 2020 Queens farmers markets, Staten Island Farmers Markets, Brooklyn Farmers Markets, Manhattan Farmers Markets and Bronx Farmers Markets.

I can't say people were smiling, not just because their faces were covered by masks, but there's been a gradual mood deterioration as we pass the second rent due date of the CoVid pandemic. Many people aren't standing in the farmers market social distancing line, but rather standing in food pantry lines. And for many, their economic fates are up for grabs, as we collectively try to navigate our way back to work. Many believe that economic activity is likely to be dampened by the CoVid pandemic for some time to come.

On the bright side, the Governor and the Mayor announced plans to begin daily sanitization of the MTA subway system beginning Wednesday, May 6th. The plan is to close the terminal stations of the subway lines from 1 am to 5 am, daily - providing shuttle buses to and from the last stop for passengers. And then, in those four wee hours of the morning, the NYPD and NYC social services will swoop into clear out the homeless population that has started making the subway their new home. It seems a good and humane plan.

Sanitizing the subway lines should go a long way toward preparing us to get back to the new normal by helping to dampen - if not eradicate - the transmission of the CoVid virus. This collaborative effort by both the Mayor and the Governor will help all of us to get back to work and play. So things are moving in the right direction, albeit not at a viral pace.

Have a nice weekend. The weather is going to be in the 70's during the day and 50's at night. And no rain, but some clouds.



Through Wind, Snow, Rain, Sleet & CoVid - Education Goes On

Or … the Wild and Whacky World of Online Learning in the Age of CoVid

covid online learning nyc schools during covid brooklyn manhattan bronx staten island queens covid outbreak nyc public private education nyc during covid pandemic spring 2020 nycApril 27, 2020 / Corona Virus in NYC & NYS CoVid 19 / NYC Neighborhoods / News Analysis & Opinion / Gotham Buzz NYC.

As we anxiously await the return to the new normal, being bombarded by repetitious daily TV newscasts, the Donald’s Daily Disinformation Show, and what seems Rupert Murdoch’s unending propaganda in the Wall Street Journal and on Fox News, there are a few bright spots, but you have to look for them.

I thought the migration from school classrooms might be one of them, so I set out to find out what that experience felt like to both educators and students at the elementary, high school and college levels. As I interviewed only two students and two teachers, this is an anecdotal report about the migration from classroom to computer.

The mass migration began the week beginning March 9th, 2020. College students around the nation, including the CUNY and SUNY systems, were told their classes were being discontinued and they were instructed to pack their things and return home. By the start of the next week, beginning March 16th, NYC public elementary and high schools were also closed. Private schools more or less closed their doors in tandem with the public schools.

During that week of disbandment, the world of education began a mad scramble to figure out how to continue the education process – without classrooms, schools and interpersonal contact. This was not a mean feat.

Nonetheless, educators scrambled, ramped up to speed using interactive platforms like Zoom and Google Hang Out, which includes Google Meet & Chat, and Google Docs. The educators also started figuring out how replace lectures and moderated classroom discussions by using videos and presentations / documents.

Based on the four interviews I conducted, it seems there wasn’t any one formula used, but rather a whole slew of different approaches. Teachers used more different approaches to online learning – depending not just on the subject matter - but also on the audience aka the class.

College Professor’s Experience Migrating Online

covid online learning nyc schools during covid brooklyn manhattan bronx staten island queens covid outbreak nyc public private education nyc during covid pandemic spring 2020 nycThomas Bolin is a religious studies professor at a small liberal arts college. He teaches three classes – one is about American Evangelicalism, which examines the changing face of religion in America. He teaches two classes of Ancient Wisdom, which examines Biblical, Roman and Egyptian philosophies. This course ends with each student creating their own personal philosophy.

Professor Bolin said he started by taking a technology inventory of his students including computer and internet access. The real technological issue wasn’t access to devices as nearly everyone has a smart phone and computer but rather access to internet with enough bandwidth at the times needed.

After he’d completed the technology inventory, he set out devising a teaching game plan. To that end he began developing videos, which he posted so that the students could access asynchronously – meaning on their timeframe. His reasoning was that as some of his students lived in different time zones, and some had issues accessing high speed internet at home because of shared bandwidth and devices, this would enable all to keep pace with their classroom peers.

He said he receives a slew of student emails after each video post, which he answers personally. He said he also checks in with each of his students at least once per week.

Professor Bolin also said that he began creating reading guides for many of the assigned readings to initiate interaction, circular discussions and he paired student to interact.

I asked him if he was working more or less these days. He said more … that the five day week had become a continuous stream of seven day weeks … that work filling his days has become like gas filling a room.

He noted that it’s far more difficult to tell how plugged in each student is to the subject matter. He said that it was likely for that reason that Princeton went to Pass / Fail when they initiated the migration from in class to online. He opined that in spite of the additional work he’s had to do, the students were likely getting a reduced educational experience. And hence, he reasoned, the pass / fail is a means of acknowledging the reduced expectations.

I’m paraphrasing but he said something like, “Education is learning about and through community, interpersonal interactions, which ultimately lead to growth. That’s not something that can be well replicated online.”



CoVid Crisis – Back to Work Part II

Jury Rigging / Do It Yourself Methods to Get Back to Work

covid disease characteristics spread nyc brooklyn manhattan bronx staten island queens covid disease mitigation spread characteristics covid nycApril 24, 2020 / Corona Virus in NYC & NYS CoVid 19 / NYC Neighborhoods / News Analysis & Opinion / Gotham Buzz NYC.

NY Pause Continues Through May 15th Pending an Update

First a couple of announcements were made the past couple of weeks which hint at when we will begin returning to the new normal. With hospitalizations declining / stabilizing and intubations and new positives declining, Governor Cuomo extended NY Pause to May 15th, which keeps open essential businesses, but closes the non-essential businesses until such time as there’s enough slack in the healthcare system / hospitals to accommodate any sort of resurgence in Corona Virus patients that may occur as a result of the re-opening.

Governor Cuomo told the Donald NYC and NYS wouldn't need the USNS Comfort any longer, as the emergency crisis has subsided. As noted in an earlier report, the build out at the Brooklyn Cruise Terminal was put on hold, pending a more definitive direction in the CoVid hospitalization numbers. The photo above shows a retailer temperature screening customers before they enter the store [photo credit Dantanyan].

Large Public NYC Events Cancelled thru May

Biggest Events in June Aren’t Likely to Occur & NYC Public Pools will Likely Remain Closed Through the Summer

covid disease characteristics spread nyc brooklyn manhattan bronx staten island queens covid disease mitigation spread characteristics covid nycAs mentioned previously, Mayor de Blasio seemed to think that the NYC public school system will remain closed through the end of this school year. The Mayor also said that large public gatherings won’t resume until at least June 1st, and even after, that the three largest public events in NYC in June [the Israel Parade, the Puerto Rican Parade and the Gay Pride Parade in both Manhattan and Queens] aren’t likely to take place this year - but no final decision has yet been made. Other large public events including street fairs and other parades will not take place through May and there will be an update before then about what happens beginning in June.

The Mayor also said that NYC public pools will likely not open this summer because of the challenges of keeping people socially distanced / safe from the spread of the Corona Virus. Also, the Plastic Bag ban enforcement was pushed back to May 15th some time ago. As of this report, that enforcement date still stands, but like so much related to the CoVid 19 crisis, the date could be extended further. And the special election for Queens Borough President was cancelled and will be held in tandem with the NYS primary and general election. Lastly, the Macy's 4th of July Fireworks are still planned, but like everything this Spring, is still subject to change.



Back to Work Part I: Understanding the CoVid 19 Enemy

Review SARS-CoV-2 Characteristics – Function & Contagion

covid 19 virus characteristics contagion spread mitigation containment theapies cures covid 19 pandemic 2020April 17, 2020 / / Corona Virus in NYC & NYS CoVid 19 / NYC Neighborhoods / News Analysis & Opinion / Gotham Buzz NYC.

As noted in my last report, we’ve moved from emergency management to crisis management. That is simultaneously the good news and the bad news. I expect the crisis in one form or another will be with us for some time to come. But forecasting what the future looks like is at best a precarious endeavor.

Everyone is now trying to figure out a way back to the new normal, which means living with a incurable virus in our midst, until such time as therapies, cures or vaccines are found and proven to be successful.

So what does the path forward look like?

The image at right was created by Brooklyn artist Craig Ward of bacteria he collected on the subway and made into artistic renditions.

Governor Cuomo Begins Sketching a Back to Work Plan

covid 19 virus characteristics contagion spread mitigation containment theapies cures covid 19 pandemic 2020For starters Governor Cuomo extended NY Pause through May 15th. NY Pause is the directive to close social gathering places and venues, schools and non-essential businesses. Within the past week Mayor de Blasio said the NYC Public School system would not reopen this school year.

Governor Cuomo laid out a sketch of a conceptual plan, which likely came from one of the consultant groups, as it looked a lot like the growth share matrix devised by Boston Consulting Group. The growth share matrix was designed for companies to use to evaluate the businesses they are in, to determine whether to continue investing in them or to begin cashing out of them. The divisions in high growth businesses that are profitable are the ones to keep backing, while the companies in the low growth low profitability businesses are the ones to sell, close or grind out every last dollar.

Governor Cuomo’s matrix axes [plural for axis] has high and low infection rates along the y axis and more essential / less essential along the x axis. The more essential and less potential infection the quicker you’re back to work. The less essential and the higher the potential infection, the longer before you’re back to work.



Cuomo, de Blasio & YOU have been doing Great

New Yorkers Appear to Turn Corner on the Corona Virus Crisis

corona virus nyc covid 19 nyc nysApril 12, 2020 / Corona Virus in NYC & NYS CoVid 19 / NYC Neighborhoods / News Analysis & Opinion / Gotham Buzz NYC.

I hope you had a good Easter / Passover weekend.

Based on what I observed, albeit with very limited movement and anecdotally, New Yorkers appeared to stay at home, self isolating over the holiday weekend.

This sort of compliance with government guidance is what has enabled us to stem the spread of the - at times lethal - Corona Virus. And the levelling happened none too soon, as parts of the NYC hospital system were operating at full capacity - and in some cases over capacity.

Most of the metrics for the virus have been levelling off or even going down, while the only positive metric - daily discharges - continues to rise.

We appear to be transitioning from emergency management, to crisis management, and government officials are now even beginnning to look ahead at transitioning us back to what will be the new normal.

 

NYS & NYC New CoVid 19 Cases Level - Even Show Signs of Falling

corona virus nyc covid 19 nyc nysNew CoVid 19 cases in NYS were down fairly sharply yesterday, based on the numbers presented by Governor Cuomo. But the drop may be due to weekend reporting discrepancies. In any case the number of new cases appears to have levelled off in both New York state and in New York City.

The key statistics that the Governor and the Mayor have been closely monitoring include new and net hospitalizations, new and net admissions to the Intensive Care Unit, and new and net intubations aka use of respirators. As you can see from the graphs, all have been falling. This data was collected from the Governor's daily press briefing, as well as from other media outlets such as the New York Times, on the days when the Governor didn't present all of the key metrics in his press briefing.


Riding the Rails During the CoVid Pandemic in NYC

Observations of a Blogger While Covering the CoVid Story

corona virus nyc covid 19 nyc nysApril 9, 2020 / Corona Virus in NYC & NYS CoVid 19 / NYC Neighborhoods / News Analysis & Opinion / Gotham Buzz NYC.

I've been covering the CoVid Pandemic since it began in NYC, starting in the first half of March. At first my attention was focused on the closures by the Governor and Mayor as they began shuttering social events, social interactions and ultimately the economy.

It wasn't long before I shifted my attention to the growing numbers of people testing positive for the Corona Virus in NYC and NYS. This was followed by photographing the efforts by the NYC Mayor and the NYS Governor to build out additional healthcare capacity, to accommodate the projected growth of sick people, resulting from the spreading pandemic. They had a very limited time frame to complete this build out, before the influx of new Corona Virus patients overwhelmed the existing NYC and NYS healthcare capacity.

Most recently I've turned my attention to the economic hardships currently being borne by New Yorkers, particularly in small businesses and the folks working in essential services.

I've witnessed many people thanking the folks working in essential services - including healthcare, public transit, grocery and pharmacy outlets, and first responders - and I want to add my own thanks for all of the work they do, to keep the rest of us moving.

The photo above was taken about a week ago. A little bit of natural beauty helps keep things in perspective.

 

Reporter Travelogue - Startling Beginning With Closures

corona virus nyc covid 19 nyc nysThis is a travelogue about riding the MTA rails, along with essential workers, to do my part by providing independent first hand reports and context regarding what's happening here in NYC vis a vis the Corona Virus pandemic. Most of what I report is either not reported by the sensationalist, ratings-driven TV network news, or it's diminished in their reported accounts because it's contextual - not shocking.

The pandemic first hit my radar while I was covering a theater event at the LaGuardia Performing Arts Center. At that time I first heard that the Governor had started instituting surprising - and what at the time seemed draconian - measures designed to stymie the growing tide of CoVid 19 infections. In short order these actions were followed by the Mayor and it included shutting down restaurants and non-essential services.

The photo at right shows shuttered businesses along Court Avenue in Brooklyn during the NYC CoVid lockdown.

At the moment these governmental measures appear to be working, but I suspect maintaining discipline during the Passover and Easter holidays will be challenging. Afterall we have now spent over a month in communal isolation. But if people don't comply with the guidance provided by government officials, the pandemic will quickly resurge, and lengthen the time before we can all get back to the new normal. The Governor cited several examples from around the world including Italy, Hong Kong, Singapore and the Influenza pandemic of 1918 in the U.S..


The CoVid Curve Appears to be Flattening

Growth in Daily Hospitalizations & ICU Patients Appears to Slow

March 31, 2020 / Corona Virus in NYC & NYS / NYC Neighborhoods / Corona Virus in NYC & NYS CoVid 19 / News Analysis & Opinion / Gotham Buzz NYC.

Please note I tried to contact the Governor's Office for comment on this and have not yet heard back from them. I know they're busy, and we're not from the MainStream Media.

corona virus nyc covid 19 nyc nysNearly three weeks ago, Governor Cuomo issued an order for social distancing, by initially limiting social gatherings to fifty people or less. Mayor de Blasio supported the move that same day. As such most of the cultural venues in New York City suspended normal operations and events pending further notification or some future date. That was nearly three weeks ago.

That action was subsequently followed by further actions, limiting social gatherings to ten people and eventually just immediate households. On March 15, 2020 Mayor de Blasio issued an order asking bars and restaurants to close their doors except for deliveries / take out. That was more than two weeks ago.

A week ago while I was out photographing the empty, eerie NYC landscape, I noticed somewhat casually that somewhere between 10% - 25% of retail outlets were still open in Manhattan / Queens. Just a few days ago, while making another sweep through a couple of neighborhoods, the percent of those open had dropped to ghost town levels of 10% and less.

The bad news is that there's been a near stop to 'non-essential' life here and that there's an economic reckoning most folks are facing tomorrow on April 1st as bills come due.

The good news is that I've been tracking the numbers provided by Governor Cuomo and the curve does appear to already be flattening. The Governor has hinted at this by noting that the hospitalization rate had gone from doubling every 2 - 3 days at the outset a few weeks ago, to doubling every six days as of about a day ago.

But the good news goes beyond that. A couple of days ago, the Governor changed what numbers he was releasing to the public.


 

***************

 

Election 2020: Which Queens Borough President Candidate?

Five Pols are on the Ballot and Three Appear in Contention

queens borough president candidates queens boro presidents race march 2020 elizabeth crowley donovan richards costa constantinides anthony miranda james quinn candidates for queens borough president

June 17, 2020 / Queens Neighborhoods / Queens Politics & Government / News Analysis & Opinion / Queens Buzz NYC.

On Tuesday, June 23rd, we go to the polls to exercise our hard fought right to choose those who will represent us in the halls of power.  The majority of the people around the world have not yet won this right, and their governments don’t respect them enough to allow them a voice in the debate of public policy, let alone a seat at the table.

I attended a couple of Queens Borough President candidate forums, to try to make an assessment of the pros and cons associated with each of the candidates running for this office.  Following the debates I did a bit of research to add to my perspective.  The following is a brief synopsis of what I learned.  The photo at right was taken at a March Queens Borough President Forum - seated left to right Constantinides, Richards, Miranda and Crowley.  Yin was not in attendance.   

There are five pols who will be listed on the ballot, as former Queens Assistant District Attorney James Quinn suspended his campaign sometime around the arrival of the CoVid pandemic, which coincided with the postponement of the election.  The candidates are Dao Yin, Anthony Miranda, Donovan Richards, Elizabeth Crowley and Costa Constantinides.

Funding & Support: Who’s Really in the Running?

I started by researching their endorsements and campaign contributions.  According to a June 16, 2020 report in City & State recently shows that of the five candidates, two of them – Dao Yin and Anthony Miranda – each raised less than $100,000 in private contributionsNeither of these two candidates has held publicly elected office, and neither of them appears to have significant community / organizational support.  So votes for them may send some kind of message, but they are both long shots to win.

That leaves us with three highly competitive candidates: Donovan Richards, Elizabeth Crowley and Costa Constantinides.  Richards and Constantinides each raised close to $300,000 from private contributions, while Crowley raised nearly $500,000 in contributions. A closer look begins to hint at what kind of Queens Borough Presidents each will be.

Elizabeth Crowley - Backs Amazon Billion$ Tax Breaks 

For example Crowley has the backing of a number of construction related unions because she appears to support a real estate development agenda.  She’s been pushing for new rail lines in Queens and she was also very supportive of the proposed Amazon deal which would have given a $ billion plus in tax breaks to one of the largest corporations and one of the richest men in the world.  The deal was done behind closed doors. Crowley is also the cousin of former Queens Democratic Party Chairman Joe Crowley, who endorsed his cousin and likely has been advocating her candidacy with these construction unions who used to endorse him.

Donovan Richards - Backs Amazon Billion$ Tax Breaks

Donovan Richards fundraising kicked up a bit later in the game, as likely the Democratic Party Machine, which has endorsed Richards moved into action.  Richards has the backing of a number of Queens Democratic Machine allied unions.  Richards has worked with real estate developers in his district for many years, taking credit for the real estate developers doing things ‘for’ the community as they began erecting new buildings and improving the infrastructure.  Like Crowley, Richards was also supportive of the closed door, tax break laden, Amazon deal.  And like Crowley, he too appears to be a pro-development candidate.

Folks in the Jamaica neighborhood are likely in the 'sweet phase' of gentrification, when the community gets all sorts of upgrades for 'free'. But they should beware, because there's no such thing as a free lunch as the folks in western Queens found out.  After the freebies ended in western Queens, the rents skyrocketed and landlords have reportedly been making attempts to harass rent stabilized tenants out of their apartments - even though it is illegal to do so.  

Costa Constantinides - Stands up to Amazon & Developers

And then there’s Costa.  Unlike the two primary Queens Borough President candidates above, Costa’s support doesn’t come from organized groups who appear to be positioning themselves to profit from a candidacy, but rather from non-profit groups attempting to address community issues and causes, focusing their efforts on improving the opportunities and quality of life in the communities they serve.   These include groups like the National Association of Social Workers, the Stonewall Democrats [LGBTQ], the Hispanic American Voters Association, the South Asian American Voters Association, the New Queens Democrats [younger], the Muslim Entrepreneurs Association and a host of Progressive government officials around the city.

Costa wasn’t one of the leading voices opposing the Amazon deal -  but unlike the two candidates referenced above, he did oppose the deal -  which was best explained in a November 14, 2018 Democracy Now interview.  In that interview Queens Assemblyman Ron Kim accused Governor Cuomo of bypassing the legislature in order to allocate billion(s) of taxpayer funds, to a company controlled by the wealthiest man in the world. Kim went on to correctly predict that the Governor was subsidizing expansion plans that likely would have occurred with or without the subsidies. [Editor’s Note: Amazon has since made significant investments in growing its footprint in NYC, but without the billions in taxpayer funded credits and grants].

Renters vs Land Lords and Developers?

A Washington Post November 13, 2018 report [the Post is owned by Amazon founder Jeff Bezos] outlined who were expected to be the winners and losers. The 'winners' would have been [western Queens] property owners and developers and highly skilled workers, while the 'losers' would have been renters, low income residents, commuters due to increased transit volume, some small businesses and rival tech companies.

Winners and losers is a competitive description of what's going on right now. Those who look out for their own interests and act to enhance or preserve them generally win - and those who don't - eventually end up losing. In the case noted above, the 'winners' actually lost and the 'losers' actually won because the would be 'losers' took swift and decisive action with the aid of local pols to thwart the behind closed doors giveaways .  Other pols who came out to fight against what seemed an unnecessary billionaire tax break included Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio Cortez, NYS Assemblyman Ron Kim, NYS Senator Michael Gianaris and NYC Councilmember Jimmy Van Bramer.

So, on Tuesday, if you back tax breaks for billionaires and real estate developers, you may  want to vote for Donovan Richards or Elizabeth Crowley.  But if you want pols to negotiate tougher deals, you might want to cast your vote for Costa Constantinides.

nyc poll site locator queens poll site locator manhattan polls locations

As this is an oversimplification, here are links to our coverage of the Queens Borough President forum in January and the  Queens Borough President Forum in March, which will give you added insight into each of the candidates' positions.  

Click the link for the poll finder website, so you can easily find where to vote in your neighborhood.  Be brave, but also be careful.  Many of our ancestors died for our right to vote.  Remember this is the land of the free and the home of the brave.

The New York City election is Tuesday June 23rd and polls are open from 6 am - 9 pm.



Queens Farmers Markets / Green Markets In Queens, Astoria, Long Island City, Jackson Heights, Sunnyside, Woodside, Corona, Flushing, Jamaica, Forest | farmers markets green markets Astoria, Long Island City, Sunnyside, Woodside, Jackson Heights, Corona, Flushing, Jamaica, Glendale farmers markets green markets Queens NY fresh vegetables, produce, meats, poultry, fish, baked goods at farmers markets green markets in Astoria, Long Island City, Sunnyside, Woodside, Corona, Jackson Heights, Elmhurst, Jamaica, Glendale, Queens NY
Queens Farmers Markets / Green Markets In Queens, Astoria, Long Island City, Jackson Heights, Sunnyside, Woodside, Corona, Flushing, Jamaica, Forest

Queens Farmers Markets 2021

March 2, 2021  / Queens Neighborhoods / Queens Buzz.

See HOURS, MAPS, ITEMS / SELECTION of the 18 BEST Farmers Markets / Green Markets in Queens, w/ savvy shoppers' tips. This report includes the Astoria Farmers Market, Sunnyside Farmers Market, Jackson Heights Green Market, LIC Long Island City Green Market, Flushing Farmers Market, Corona Farmers Market, Jamaica Farmers Market, Forest Hills farmers markets and in between.

Click here for dates, times, locations of the Queens Farmers Markets.



Mother's Day Restaurants In Queens | queens restaurants mother's day restaurants in queens mothers day restaurants in astoria lic sunnyside woodside jackson heights mothers day restaurants in queens nyc
Mother's Day Restaurants In Queens

Mother's Day Restaurants In Queens 2021

Mother's Day Restaurants in Astoria, LIC, Sunnyside, Woodside & Jackson Heights

April 27, 2021 / Queens Neighborhoods / Queens Restaurants / Queens Buzz NYC.

Mother's Day is fast approaching. It's a good day to let your wife or mother or daughter know you appreciate her efforts in the most important role of her life. Flowers, gifts and brunch or dinner are always welcome, as is any thoughtful gesture that provides some measure showing your recognition of her efforts in her role as mother of some children. After all, without mothers, we would all cease to be.

Normally it's best to book a restaurant reservation for Mother's Day brunch, as on Mother's Day in Queens, many restaurants are full. So if you're thinking about eating out at a restaurant this Mother's Day in Astoria, LIC, Jackson Heights, Sunnyside, Woodside or Flushing; it's best to do your research early, and call ahead to book Mother's Day restaurant reservations.

Unlike last year, indoor dining is now available at most Queens restaurants, but at only at 50% capacity for restaurants located in New York City. Restaurants outside of NYC can accommodate 75% of capacity. That is likely because of the difference in the amount of space allocated to each diner in restaurants in the city versus restaurants outside of the city, as well as the higher density of population, etc. But that said, restaurants also have additional capacity via all of those outdoor shacks built during the pandemic, which has greatly increased overall space / seating capacity, and with the weather warming [the thermometer is expected to break the 80's tomorrow], outdoor dining is a pleasant, even welcome option.

But as the saying goes, the early bird gets the [worm] better seating, so book early.

COVID PRECAUTIONS. Lastly, be advised that most - if not all - of these restaurants may take your temperature prior to indoor seating and require masks except during dining. Other CoVid guidelines like social distancing also may apply.

Mother's Day History - Restaurants In Queens

The origins of Mother's Day in the United States began with the efforts by Anna Jarvis to honor her own mother. According to Wikipedia, Anna began the campaign in 1905 - the year her mother died - and in 1910 West Virginia was the first state to adopt Mothers Day as a holiday. In 1914 Woodrow Wilson made the second Sunday in May as a national holiday to honor mothers.

Click this link to view a brief guide of Mother's Day restaurants in Queens 2021 where you will find links to Queens restaurants we've reviewed. The restaurants we've reviewed include a mix of high, medium and budget priced restaurants that are spread throughout the borough and offer a large variety of ethnic cuisines.

We've identified over a dozen Queens restaurants open for indoor / outdoor dining on Mother's Day in Queens. Enjoy.



Things To Do Memorial Day Weekend In Queens | things to do memorial day weekend in queens ny things to do in lic astoria long island city sunnyside woodside jackson heights flushing jamaica forest hills queens ny things to do memorial day weekend
Things To Do Memorial Day Weekend In Queens

Things To Do Memorial Day Weekend in Queens

Things To Do In Queens Over The Memorial Day Weekend of 2021

May 28, 2021 / Things To Do Queens NY / Queens Buzz NYC.

This is a report containing things to do in Queens over the Memorial Day Weekend. 

Memorial Day Weekend Forecast as of 5/28/21. The temperature highs will be in the mid to mid 60's Friday, dropping to the 50's on Saturday and Sunday, rising to the low 70's Monday. The temperature lows will be in the low 50's on Friday and Saturday, rising to the high 50's on Sunday and Monday. Yes there's Rain in the forecast on Friday [1.5 inches], and about a third of an inch on Saturday and Sunday, with Monday being clear. Winds will range between 10 - 20 mph Friday and Saturday, falling to 5 - 10 Sunday and a calm 5 mph on Monday. The Humidity will be 80% - 100% on Friday, 60% - 80% on Saturday, and 50% - 60% the rest of the weekend.

Click for an up-to-date forecast of Queens Weekend Weather.

Normally the things to do in Queens, include art exhibitions, theater, live music, comedy, dance, shopping, outdoor activities such as soccer, kyaking, baseball, parades, street fairs, museums and dining in the Astoria, Jackson Heights, Elmhurst, Long Island City, LIC, Sunnyside, Woodside, Jamaica, Forest Hills, Flushing, Corona neighborhoods in Queens NY.

But this year is a little bit different, because we're hopefully near the end of the CoVid pandemic, but still in it. So while we'll show you a full listing of Memorial Day events, we'll note which are available this year.

Be sure to check our Memorial Day Weekend things to do post mid afternoon Friday of Memorial Day Weekend.

 

Brief History of the Memorial Day Holiday in Queens

Memorial Day first started out as Decoration Day in Waterloo, New York on May 30, 1866 - a year after the Civil War - to honor those who fought in it. In the 1880's the day came to be known as Memorial Day.

According to a May 25, 2012 report in Time Magazine, ten states - Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, Florida, North and South Carolina, Virginia and Tennessee also officially observe some version of a Confederate Memorial Day, sometime between late April and early June [in Texas it's in January]. It's been reported that unofficially most of the former Confederate states still commemorate it, but not without some controversy as to the former Confederate diaspora it's to honor their ancestors, while to the former diaspora of the slaves it seems a remnant of these states racist past.

About ten percent of the nation travels more than 50 miles over the weekend. Memorial Day differs from Veterans Day which is held on November 11th of each year. Veterans Day began by honoring those who fought in World War I which ended on the 11th hour, of the 11th day of the 11th month of 1918. Both honor those who served in the U.S. Military. Veterans Day coincides with a similar holiday in Europe for the same reason, which is called Remembrance Day and Armistice Day.

 

Memorial Day Events In Queens 2021

According to a February 8, 2021 report in Military News the U.S. Navy is holding Fleet Week virtually for the second year in a row due to the CoVid pandemic. The annual celebratory week in NYC is scheduled to run from Wednesday, May 26 to Monday, May 31, 2021. I believe, assuming all goes well, they will return next year.

Unfortunately this year attending the Memorial Day Parade in Douglaston - Little Neck that normally begins between 11 am - 12 noon, as well as the Queens street fairs in Queens NYC, don't appear to options due to the CoVid pandemic. The big events are the primary activities that will not be available to us this Memorial Day Weekend including attending Queens parades NYC. But other activities not available last year like watching theater, visiting the Queens art museums NYC.

Things continue to move in the right direction. Eating out at one of the Queens restaurants NYC is now a great option and we posted some of the restaurants suggestions for Mother's Day in our Mother's Day Restaurants in Queens report.

Shopping is Back. Last year Shopping in Queens, was limited to groceries, pharmacies and home improvement stores [aka essential services], while local Queens farmers markets in Queens NYC were classified as an essential service. This year most retail stores are open and farmers markets appear to be opening more or less in line with tradition.

You can also go bicycling around Queens so be mindful to observe the rules of the road [click link]. The 5 Boro Bike Ride 2021 was postponed. They now have a new date, which is August 22, 2021.

So there are some things happening right here in our favorite borough - Queens. Click here to obtain information about things to do Memorial Day Weekend 2021 in Queens. The events calendar is traditionally updated monthly with about 100 different Queens fun / cultural events. Visit the front page of Queens Buzz on Friday for updates.

 

Queens Public & Private Parks & Swimming Pools

Queens has a number of New York City Parks, which will be mostly open / back to normal. Here are some highlights.

New York City beaches will re-open for swimming on Memorial Day Weekend on Saturday, May 29, 2021 and remain open through September 7th. The city outdoor pools will reopen on June 26th, while the indoor pools remain closed until further notice.

City playgrounds, golf courses and driving ranges, skate parks and grilling areas have all reopened. Dog runs are open with CoVid recommendations in effect. Basketball, handball, tennis, bocce, and volleyball courts have re-opened, but with CoVid guidelines remaining in effect. Some field and court permit applications are now being reviewed and issued.

All NYC Parks recreation centers and nature centers are closed until further notice.
The City's historic houses are working to safely reintroduce visitors to their museums. Check individual house museum websites for updated hours and visitation information. The Wildlife Conservation Society re-opened its zoos and aquarium to all guests.

Queens has one of the best collection of parks and golf courses in the NY Metro area, if not the best. Queens has at least 17 great parks. Click here for a listing of the Queens Parks 2021 including maps showing their locations along with a bit of park history.

 

Golfing In Queens Now Open

Queens has four golf courses and all of them are open over the Memorial Day Weekend [May 2021]. Click here for details about Queens Golf Courses 2021 including maps and links to the operators' websites. Brooklyn also has two golf courses, and both Staten Island and the Bronx each have three golf courses - and they're open over the Memorial Day Weekend.

Click here to view the rest of our report of things to do Memorial Day Weekend in Queens. And we'll have more to add by Friday.



- farmers / mom / mem

Things To Do in Queens This Weekend

This Weekend Many Events Cancelled & Many Institutions Closing Doors for a Couple of Weeks due to the Corona Virus Pandemic

queens things to doMarch 13, 2020 / Things To Do Queens / Queens Neighborhoods / Queens Buzz NYC.

Weather. The Temperature highs will be in the high 60's on Friday, dropping to the high 50's on Saturday and low 50's by Sunday. The temperature lows will be around 40 on Friday & Saturday, dropping to the low 30's by Sunday. Rain is in the forecast for Friday ONLY, likely gone by 11 am. It will be cloudy later in the day on Saturday only. Winds will be 15 mph on Friday, dropping to between 5 - 10 mph for the rest of the weekend. The Humidity will be around 70 on Friday dropping to about 40% for the rest of the weekend. Click for Queens Weather.

MTA / Public Transit / Click here for the MTA Weekender.

The photo at right shows some folks riding the subway this week who've taken the precaution of wearing surgical masks to prevent getting infected by the Corona Virus - see details below.

 

Corona Virus - A Brief History of Growing Awareness

The Corona Virus outbreak was first reported by the World Health Organization on December 31, 2019 in Wuhan in China.

By January 30, 2020 the World Health Organization declared the Corona Virus a Public Health Emergency of International Concern.

On Saturday, March 7, 2020 Governor Cuomo called a NYS State of Emergency in an effort to get out ahead of what at the time was the Corona Virus epidemic, as there was a rapid spike in the number of reported cases in NYS. At the time NYC had reported about a dozen known cases.

On March 10, 2020 Governor Cuomo ordered a quarantine of a neighborhood in New Rochelle.

On March 11, 2020, Mayor de Blasio followed suit, and declared NYC in a State of Emergency in an effort to get out ahead of what was called a pandemic by the World Health Organization on the same day.

And today, March 13, 2020, last but not least, Donald Trump declared a State of Emergency in the United States in order to accelerate the nation's slow response to the evolving public health crisis.

 

Corona Virus Precautions - Cleanliness is Next to Godliness

By now you'd have to be blind, deaf and mute not to have heard that you should thoroughly wash your hands and not touch your face without having cleaned your hands.

In a March 11, 2020 report, the Sacramento Bee, which is a well respected news outlet run by McClatchy Newspapers, informed us that the National Institute of Health conducted a study that shows that the Corona Virus can remain alive for up to three days on some surfaces under the right conditions.

As such you should also step up your cleaning practices, specifically with respect to things and places that you touch regularly - like the TV clicker or your mouse and keypad and cell phone and keys.

 

Corona Virus Transmission by Air

And that same National Institute of Health Study also showed that the virus could remain alive in the air for a few hours. This discharge would have to come from an infected person, most likely with a cough, but I reckon just talking and breathing could do it too.

This is why scientists recommend we keep some distance - some six feet - from one another. Especially people coughing and that is why ill people are advised to remain home until they feel better - so that they don't infect the rest of us. But that said, infected people may take between two and fourteen days to show signs of the illness and thus realize it. The median incubation period for the Corona Virus is five days, 98% of the people who contract it show signs by 12 days, so by 14 days it is believed that those who have contracted the Corona Virus will show it. This is why most places have been shuttered for two weeks at a minimum.*

Some say masks won't necessarily prevent infection, because the masks aren't built to filter out the micro organisms one might inhale and the masks are not tightly fastened to the face. They may be correct, but the masks can't hurt and may reduce what you breathe in. There's a secondary problem with the masks in that some folks have been hoarding them, making it more difficult for health professionals who are working on the front line of this crisis, to obtain them.*

The disease is believed to be highly transmittable, with conflicting reports on whether it is more or less transmittable than the flu. Live Science, states that it's more than two times more transmittable than the flu, while another source says it's not as transmittable as the flu. This discrepancy may be due to the fact that there are two strains.*

 

The Corona Virus is Potentially Lethal - but Skews Older

queens things to doAt present, it is estimated to have a 2.3% death rate versus something like a 0.1% death rate for the flu. So that means it's over 20 times more lethal than the flu, and at present without any existing cure nor vaccine. Which is why there's so much concern.

But that said, to put this in context, a March 7, 2020 Live Science report informs us that,

" ... So far, the new coronavirus has led to more than 100,000 illnesses and more than 3,000 deaths worldwide. But that's nothing compared with the flu, also called influenza. In the U.S. alone, the flu has caused an estimated 34 million illnesses, 350,000 hospitalizations and 20,000 deaths this season, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) ... "

According to the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention statistics show that the risk for people varies according to age, as it is believed people who are ill, have pre-existing conditions or compromised immune systems are most likely to die from the disease - see chart at right.

 

Living Your Life in the Age of the Corona Virus

So, as part of the NYS State of Emergency both the Governor and the Mayor are in agreement that all events of 500 or more people are presently banned. Governor Cuomo also issued an order to close CUNY and SUNY effective March 18, 2020 for the rest of the semester.

The Mayor and Governor have decided to keep the primary and secondary public school system open, but advise anyone who is not feeling well to stay home. While tests reportedly show that children can contract the disease as easily as adults, you can see by the chart above, that children don't die from it at anywhere near the same rate as older people. I know - not dying from a disease - isn't exactly comforting.

But, unlike better resourced private institutions, the students attending public school aren't as able to 'go remote' and conduct classes and homework electronically. Another part of this equation is that these students parents aren't in a position to stay home with them, and many of their parents are critical to the healthcare, educational, law enforcement, fire and emergency response and transportation infrastructure.

I've provided the above information to help folks better understand the complexiities the Governor and Mayor are dealing with in making these decisions. And this doesn't include how badly the small business entities are getting hit, which closing things only makes worse. This affects them paying the rent, paying their employees - all of whom have to make ends meet ... somehow.

 

Things to Do This Weekend in Queens?

Not much really. Here's a link to the things to do in Queens last weekend, which contains a number of web addresses, should you want to look for yourself, but most institutions are taking the position of exercising an abundance of caution and thus have closed.

 

Farmers Mkts, Holiday Markets & Member Events Calendar

March 2020 - Click here for here for Queens holiday markets & shopping and here for Queens holiday events / holiday things to do in Queens, Queens farmers markets, or here for Queens Events Member Calendar or click for reports about Queens street fairs and other weekend events. Also click here for free summer concerts in Queens, free summer movies in Queens and free things to do and free summer theater in Queens & things to do.

CLICK here for Queens Christmas, Hanukkah and Kwanzaa holiday events and click here for Queens New Years parties and here for shopping venues in Queens.

 

WORK IN PROCESS. ASTERISKED events above have NOT been updated.

psmoma qtip


Queens Borough President Forum - Chhaya at Jamaica Performing Arts Center | queens borough president forum jamaica performing arts center queens boro president debate 2020 queens borough president candidates anthony miranda donovan richards costa constantinides elizabeth crowley
Queens Borough President Forum - Chhaya at Jamaica Performing Arts Center

Queens Borough President Candidates Forum

Queens Boro President Candidates Discuss the Issues

March 6, 2020 / Queens Politics & Government / Queens Neighborhoods /Queens Buzz NYC.

On Thursday evening I headed down to Jamaica town to watch and listen to four candidates vying for the office of Queens Borough President. The forum was hosted by Chhaya Community Development Corporation in tandem with several other South Asian and Indo-Caribbean community non profits seeking to enable their groups to become better informed regarding the candidates vying for the important office of Queens Borough President. I have included the names of these organizations at the end of this report.

In the photo at right are the Queens Borough President candidates [left to right]: Costa Constantinides, Donovan Richards, Anthony Miranda and Elizabeth Crowley.

 

Queens Borough President Budget is About $70 Million

The Queens Borough President Office controls a budget of approximately $70 million. The budget is a % allocation of the total revenue taken in by the NYC municipality. The money is used to fund improvements and programs in the parks, schools, libraries, as well as healthcare and cultural institutions. The Queens Borough President also has use of the ‘bully pulpit’ - a phrase coined by President Theodore Roosevelt – meaning that when someone at the bully pulpit talked, people listened / took notice.

It was a sort of balmy early March evening with temperatures near 50 as I rode the subway down to Jamaica town. Riders were a bit on edge, keeping their distance amid fears of contagion from the CoronaVirus. One man held the subway pole with a newspaper, others wore gloves in spite of the unseasonably warm temperatures, and at the end of the ride a subway maintenance man, wearing a surgical mask and gloves, did a bit of cleaning.

  • CLICK here to read the rest of our report which includes some video of the Queens Borough President Forum hosted by Chhaya and held at the Jamaica Performing Arts Center.
  • Early voting begins Saturday, March 14th and the election is on Tuesday, March 24th, 2020.


Identity Crisis Theater Opening, at Brick Theater BK | rough draft festival 2020 laguardia performing arts center lic rough draft fest march 2020
Identity Crisis Theater Opening, at Brick Theater BK

Identity Crisis Theater Opens at the Brick in Greenpoint

The Event Included a Preview of a Performance Coming to The LaGuardia Rough Draft Festival 3/16 & Another of a Play Returning to the Brick Theater Beginning May 28th

March 2, 2020 / Queens Neighborhoods / Queens Theater / Queens Buzz NYC.

In early February I attended the opening of a new theater ensemble - Identity Crisis Theater - at the Brick Theater in the Greenpoint neighborhood of Brooklyn.

The theater group is comprised of three NYC artists, some of Turkish descent, who will "... feature English translations of works from Turkey, the Balkans, the Middle East and surrounding Mediterranean cultures." Their goal is to develop "... a platform for exploration, conversation, revelation and the celebration of our common humanity."

It was a cold, wet, miserable night outside, as I made my way to the Brick, which is located only a couple of blocks from the G line Metropolitan subway stop. As I stepped inside, the atmosphere changed to warm and dry as I took my place amongst a crowd filled with anticipation. The audience had packed the theater in advance to view performances by some of NYC’s emerging dance, musical and theatrical artists.

I met the Brick Theater management team comprised of Ryan Downey and Theresa Buchheister. This past year they took over the operation of the Brick Theater, after years of working there. They seemed to have the theater production well in hand, as there are events and performances at this warm, rustic Greenpoint Brooklyn theater every week, and quite often every day.

 

Identity Crisis Theater Presents 'Triggerman' at the Brick Theater in Greenpoint BK

On the stage at the back of the theater, a performance had just begun. The piece was entitled Triggerman and it was about the step-by-step planning of an assassination, alongside the moral struggle of a young man, trying to wrest himself free from the anger and hate, being imposed on him by a few members of his own ethnic tribe.



Queens St Patrick's Day Bars, Restaurants & Irish pubs In Queens NYC | queens st patricks day bars restaurants queens st pat's da irish pubs restaurants queens st pats day bars restaurants irish pubs astoria lic sunnyside woodside jackson heights st patrick's day restaurants queens nyc
Queens St Patrick's Day Bars, Restaurants & Irish pubs In Queens NYC

St Patrick's Day Bars, Restaurants, Irish Pubs in Queens

St Pat's Day Irish Pubs & Restaurants in Astoria, LIC, Sunnyside, Woodside, Jackson Heights & Flushing

March 9, 2021 / Queens Neighborhoods / Queens Restaurants & Bars / St Pat's Parade Queens NYC / Queens Buzz NYC.

Here's a listing of some of the fun Irish pubs open on St. Patrick's Day in Queens.

NORMALLY - there are a lot of celebrations planned for St Pat's Day in Queens. USUALLY there are a at least three St Patrick's Day Parades in Queens, but they are generally held on the weekends before or after the actual St. Patrick's Day feast on March 17th.  This year due to the CoVid pandemic parades have either gone virtual or been cancelled.

The photo to your right was taken on St. Patrick's Day weekend in a prior year at Donovan's Pub in Woodside.

This report contains a number of brief suggestions for St. Patrick's Day bars, restaurants and Irish pubs in Queens, including in Astoria, Long Island City, Sunnyside, Woodside [near Jackson Heights], Bayside [near Flushing], the Rockaways [near Jamaica] and in Maspeth / Ridgewood which are near Kew Gardens and Forest Hills. At the end of the report we've included links to St. Patrick's Day celebrations in other boroughs.

Please drink responsibly and let someone else drive if you're impaired. St. Patrick's Day is a bit like New Years Eve, in that the amateur consumers of alcohol of all ethnicities come out to celebrate, and if they are not properly managed / or cared for, accidents may occur, and some of them with life changing consequences.



Things To Do Presidents Day Weekend - Queens Events Presidents Day Weekend Queens NYC | things to do presidents Day weekend in queens things to do presidents day weekend  events queens nyc jamaica astoria lic sunnyside woodside flushing jackson heights presidents day weekend things to do events queens nyc
Things To Do Presidents Day Weekend - Queens Events Presidents Day Weekend Queens NYC

Things To Do Presidents Day Weekend Queens

UPDATED FOR COVID 2021 - Things To Do In Queens Over The Presidents Day Weekend

Updated February 10, 2021 from 2/9/21 / Things To Do Queens NY / Queens Buzz NYC.

Presidents Day Weekend Weather. The Temperature highs will be around 30 throughout the three day weekend beginning on Friday, dropping to the high teens nightly, except on Saturday when the low temperature will also be around 30. Precipitation - There's an 80% chance of about two inches of snow late Saturday / early Sunday morning as of this post. Winds will be relatively stable hovering around the 10 mph range throughout the long weekend. The Humidity will range between 60% - 75% throughout the weekend. Click for Queens Weather.

The photo at right was taken at Four Freedoms Park on Roosevelt Island which commemorates Franklin Delano Roosevelt's 1941 speech declarating the inalienable rights of all people. The four freedoms are 1) Freedom of Speech, 2) Freedom of Worship, 3) Freedom of Want and 4) Freedom of Fear.

Presidents Day is a time to reflect on the performance of our current presidents and legislators, and how they stack up against their historical peers. And in that reflection it's worth asking ourselves what we've done to contribute or detract from the national conversation.

 

A Few Valentines Day / Presidents Day News Items - Indoor Dining Resumes, Folks with Co-Morbidities become Vaccine Eligible, Vaccine Production & 2nd Trump Impeachment Trial Begins Today

Governor Cuomo announced that indoor dining in NYC resumes on Friday, February 2, 2021 at 25% capacity. NYS positivity rate is about 4%, while the NYC positivity rate is about 8% - but both have been declining since the Thanksgiving / Christmas / New Year surge began in late November / early December of 2020.

This past weekend, Governor Cuomo announced that folks with CoVid comorbidities will be eligible to receive vaccinations effective Monday, February 15, 2021. According to the Governor's website, the CoVid co-morbidities [say that fast five times] include the following:

"... Cancer, Chronic Kidney Disease, Pulmonary Disease, Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities, Heart Conditions, Immunocompromised State, Severe Obesity, Pregnancy, Sickle Cell Disease or Thalassemia, Type 1 or 2 Diabetes Mellitus, Cerebrovascular Disease, Neurologic Conditions and Liver Disease Will Be Eligible ..."

Vaccine production for the U.S. is nearing the 1.5 million doses daily required to meet Biden’s upwardly mobile 100 million vaccinations in the Biden Administration's first 100 days. As of this writing about 10% of all New Yorkers as well as 10% of all Americans have received at least one CoVid vaccination dose.

 

Trump's Failed Capitol Riot of 2021 Seems Not Unlike Hitler's Failed Beer Hall Putsch of 1923

things to do presidents day weekend manhattan nyc presidents day events ues uws midtown east village soho tribeca upper west side upper east side things to do presidents day weekend manhattan events presidents day weekend manhattan nycThe second Trump impeachment trial began today, Tuesday, February 9th, 2021. Generally I find the rushing of the trial to be an insult to the American people, and the U.S. Constitution philosophies of due process and rule of law. The government officials prosecuting and managing the trial should take all the time required to educate the American people about who Donald Trump really is - not who he says he is.

They need to use the Impeachment Trial to highlight how Trump has significantly battered our democratic processes, undermined Americans' faith in our democratic institutions, personalized the power of the presidency, breached the rule of law, and appears to have colluded with the Russians to undermine our government over the past five years. Oh, yeah, and it all culminated in that lame Capitol Riot Insurrection which was not unlike and had striking similarities to Hitlers' lame / failed Beer Hall Putsch in Germany in 1923.

things to do presidents day weekend manhattan nyc presidents day events ues uws midtown east village soho tribeca upper west side upper east side things to do presidents day weekend manhattan events presidents day weekend manhattan nyc

Ten years later Hitler rose to power as the Nazi Party leader and proceeded, like Trump did during his presidency, to usurp and personalize the power of the state thanks in part to the Goebbels / Murdoch/propaganda machines which misled the citizenry in each nation about who these two leaders were, and also victimized minorities in both nations. In the Beer Hall Putsch, 16 Nazis and four policemen died. In the Capitol Riot four Trumpsters and one policeman died.

 

Hitler was found guilty of treason following the Beer Hall Putsch, but still rose to power. Will the Senate take the precaution of sanctioning the Donald, or continue to enable the dysfunctional democracy damager - possibly destroyer?

 

Brief History of Presidents Day Holiday in NYC

queens presidents day weekend queens presidents day weekend things to do queens presidents day weekend events queens nycA day commemorating Lincoln's birthday was first passed in Buffalo, New York in the early 1870's. Presidents Day originated as Washington's Birthday which was a holiday narrowly prescribed for federal government offices in Washington, D.C. in 1879. The holiday was dedicated to honoring the memory of the first American president, George Washington who was born on February 22, 1732.

In 1885 the holiday was expanded to include all federal government offices around the nation. In 1951 there was a push to create a Presidents Day holiday [vs a George Washington's birthday holiday] to include President Lincoln whose birthday is February 12, 1809 and was also celebrated by localities, but it didn't pass.

In 1971 the holiday was moved off of George Washington's birth date to being the third Monday in February. Thus while it never falls upon Washington's birthday 2/22, the official name of the holiday remains Washington's Birthday. But today, most folks refer to it as Presidents Day and to recognize the presidents who honored the U.S. Constitution and served the interests of the people.



Queens Romantic Restaurants for Valentines Day - Queens NYC | valentines dinners in queens valentines day in Queens romantic restaurants in queens astoria lic long island city jamaica sunnyside jackson heights flushing corona romantic dinners romantic restaurants in queens
Queens Romantic Restaurants for Valentines Day - Queens NYC

Valentine's Day 2021 Restaurants & Events in Queens

UPDATED FOR COVID - Romantic Restaurants For Dinner in Astoria, LIC, Sunnyside, Woodside, Jackson Heights & Flushing

February 5, 2021 / Queens Restaurants / Queens Neighborhoods NYC / Queens Buzz NYC.

UPDATED 2/12/21 - Editor's Note: Previously indoor dining was to resume in NYC on Sunday, February 14th, 2021, Valentine's Day. The Governor moved up the date to Friday, February 12th, so restaurants that may have sold out on Sunday, likely have indoor dining openings over the weekend. This report provides an update on who's open and taking reservations, but also highlights quite a number of local restaurant closures.

Valentine's Day is a bit more than a week away. It's a good time to let your loved one know you care. Flowers, gifts and dinner are always welcome treats, and / or some thoughtful gesture that shows that the lady [or man] you're with still means a lot to you.

This year it's especially important to make restaurant reservations early as restaurants first open for indoor dining at 25% capacity on Friday, February 12th, 2021. And given Valentine's Day is on a weekend, it may be challenging unless you make your reservation now. But that said, restaurants also have outside dining capacity - so depending on the weather - you may have some luck the weekend of Valentine's Day. For dinner in Astoria, LIC, Jackson Heights, Sunnyside, Woodside or Flushing; it's best to do your research early, and call or go online to make the reservations as soon as you can for this Valentine's Day .

Valentine's Day Brief History - Queens Romantic V Day Restaurants

The origins of Valentine's Day are not well documented. It's believed to have been named after Saint Valentine who was apparently a Catholic martyr who died over 1500 years ago. Today the holiday is not associated with religion so much as flowers, candies, cards and romantic dinners. And the holiday spokesperson is now Cupid, a Roman god of desire, and quite a mischief maker.

UPDATED FOR COVID. The restaurants we've reviewed include a mix of high, medium and budget priced restaurants that are spread throughout the borough and offer a large variety of ethnic cuisines. Click this link to view a brief guide of Valentine's Day restaurants in Queens / V Day events & romantic restaurants Queens NYC where you will find links to Queens restaurants we've reviewed. Enjoy.



Rikers Island Closing Queens & Bronx - Neighborhood Jails in Brooklyn Bronx Manhattan Queens & not Staten Island | rikers island correctional facility closing rikers island neighborhood jails brooklyn queens bronx manhattan staten island neighborhood jails replacing rikers island
Rikers Island Closing Queens & Bronx - Neighborhood Jails in Brooklyn Bronx Manhattan Queens & not Staten Island

Closure of Rikers Island Moves Another Step Forward

In Oct 2019 NYC Council Designated Neighborhood Jail Locations in Four Boroughs

Community Board One in Astoria Only Approved the Closure of Rikers Island

January 26, 2020 / Bronx Neighborhoods / Queens Neighborhoods / Queens Politics / Bronx Politics & Government / Queens Buzz NYC & Bronx Buzz NYC.

A week ago, on Tuesday, January 21st I attended the Community Board One meeting at the Astoria World Manor where the board was asked to approve the closing of the Rikers Island Detention Facility effective sometime before the end of the year 2026.

The photo at right was taken from an airplane while landing at LaGuardia in a prior year. Rikers Island Correctional Facility is a stone's throw away from LGA.

 

Queens Community Board One in Astoria Votes on Rikers Closure

The presentation consisted of two slides. One highlighted the social / moral blight that Rikers Island had become. The second slide simply proposed the request in very limited terms - the closing of Rikers Island and the conversion of it to a ‘public place’. The presentation to the Committee was done by a team lead by Dana Kaplan, Deputy Director of the NYC Mayor's Office of Criminal Justice.

So please note that the Community Board had no role in the placement of neighborhood jails, nor did they sign off on anything that may become of Rikers Island going forward. They only approved the closing of the Correctional Facility and the allowance of use for it as a "public place".

I spoke with CB1 District Manager Florence Kolouris after the meeting about what exactly that meant. She told me that there isn’t any definition, per se, given for public place – but a couple of examples of prior public places include Lincoln Center, Fort Totten and Queens Borough Hall.

The Community Board approved the measure with a recommendation that CB1 be kept in the loop throughout the closing process, including any demolition. Plenty of questions followed regarding what would become of the 400 acre island. Nothing concrete was proposed at this time, but the audience was assured that any changes would have to come through the Community Board via the ULURP process [Uniform Land Use Review Procedure].

 

The Bronx & Queens - Rikers Island Community Jurisdiction & Prison Population

rikers island closing rikers island correctional facility history rikers island development astoria queens rikers island hunts point bronxIt’s worth noting that technically Rikers Island is a part of the Bronx – not Queens – even though the only road traveling onto the island originates in the Astoria / East Elmhurst neighborhoods of Queens. In addition to Queens Community Board One, Bronx Community Board Two, representing the Hunts Point neighborhood, also has influence over the island. Since the Dinkins Administration in the 1990's, there's been a floating barge facility that's docked in Hunts Point, that is considered a part of the Rikers Island Correctional Facility.

Currently there are an estimated 7,000 plus inmates on Rikers Island. At its height, in 1991, Rikers Island held an estimated overcapacity inmate population of nearly 22,000. By the time the facility is to be closed in 2026, the inmate population is expected to have declined to between 3,000 and 4,000.

The photo at right shows the Rikers Island Correctional Facility which will be closed by the end of 2026.



Van Bramer Ends QBP Campaign

January 21, 2020 / Sunnyside Neighborhood / Queens Politics / Queens Buzz NYC.

We received this missive today from the Van Bramer campaign, which explains why he didn't attend the Queens Borough President Forum in Jamaica on Sunday [see related report below].

Dear Friends,
 
I love serving the people of Queens as a Council Member, which is why I was excited to continue that work as Queens Borough President. 
 
My family is the reason I love this borough and its residents; they are the ones who instilled Queens values in me and inspired me to be an advocate for working families. But family circumstances have been weighing on me for some time, causing me to reconsider the timing and feasibility of this campaign. 
 
Prioritizing my responsibilities as a son and brother is where my attention needs to be right now. And so I am ending my campaign today. While this is a difficult decision, this is the right one for me and my family at this time. 
 
I will, of course, continue to fight for the working people of our borough and city every day on the New York City Council and beyond. 
 
I want to thank all of you -- our campaign’s amazing supporters, volunteers, and donors for your faith in me and our shared vision to build a brighter future for Queens.
 
Sincerely yours,
 
Jimmy


Queens Borough President Candidates - Queens BP Office Election 2020 | queens borough president candidates queens BP candidates queens boro president election queens borough president election candidates queens boro prez 2020 nyc
Queens Borough President Candidates - Queens BP Office Election 2020

First Impressions: Queens Borough President Forum

Costa Constantinides, Elizabeth Crowley, Danniel Maio, Anthony Miranda, Donovan Richards & James Quinn

January 19, 2020 / Jamaica Neighborhood NYC / Queens Politics NYC / Queens Buzz NYC.

On Sunday I went down to Jamaica town to watch the candidates for Queens Borough President talk about themselves, their qualifications and their take on the issues facing Queens. The following is an account of what I saw and heard.

The photo at right shows six of the nine Queens Borough President candidates [from left to right] - Costa Constantinides, Elizabeth Crowley, Danniel Maio, Anthony Miranda, Donovan Richards & James Quinn - at a forum in Jamaica on Sunday.

Queens Boro President Candidates Forum in Jamaica

The event was held at the Harvest Room, which is on 160th Street just off Jamaica Avenue and adjacent to the Jamaica Market. The forum was moderated by NYS Senator John Liu and an attorney Soma Syed, and organized by the Community Alliance Group and the American Pakistani Advocacy Group. The moderators, John Liu and Soma Syed, are shown in the photo below.

Queens Borough President Office Election is on March 24th, 2020

queens borough president candidates 2020 queens bp election 2020They started the forum about an hour late, as they postponed the start time, while waiting on some of the candidates’ arrivals. There are currently nine people running for the Queens Borough President Office, and the election is scheduled for Tuesday, March 24th, 2020. Of the nine candidates, six participated in the forum. Notably absent was one of the leading Progressive candidates, NYC Councilmember Jimmy Van Bramer, as well as two far lesser known candidates, Dao Yin and Everly Brown.

The 2020 Queens Borough President Candidates in Attendance at the Forum

Those participating included: 1) former NYC Councilmember from Ridgewood and former Queens Democratic Party Chairman Joe Crowley’s cousin, Elizabeth Crowley, 2) Progressive NYC Councilmember Costa Constantinides of Astoria, 3) Democratic Party Machine favorite NYC Councilmember Donovan Richards of Jamaica, 4) former map maker and the only Republican in the running Danniel Maio, 5) former Assistant District Attorney James Quinn, and 6) former NYPD Sergeant Anthony Miranda.

Queens Borough President Candidates Introductions

I stayed for about 90 minutes, which covered the candidate introductions and six major questions. I didn’t stay for the short answer questions, nor for the audience questions, which sometimes can be the best.



Things To Do Martin Luther King Day Weekend in Queens | things to do Martin Luther King Day weekend in queens things to do MLK day weekend queens nyc jamaica astoria lic sunnyside woodside flushing jackson heights
Things To Do Martin Luther King Day Weekend in Queens

Things To Do MLK Day Weekend Events Queens

Things To Do In Queens Over The Martin Luther King Day Weekend

January 14, 2020 / Things To Do Queens NY / Queens Buzz NYC.

Weather. The Temperature highs will range between 30 and 40 throughout the three day weekend. The temperature lows will be in the low 20's throughout the weekend - except on Saturday when the low will be in the high 30's. Rain or Snow is forecast on Saturday, but NOT on Friday, Sunday & Monday. Winds will range from 10 - 15 mph all weekend. The Humidity will be around 50% throughout the weekend, except on Friday when it will be in the low 30% range. Click for Queens Weather.

Brief History of Martin Luther King Holiday in NYC

Martin Luther King, Jr. was a Baptist Minister who became the leading voice for African Americans' non-violent civil rights movement beginning in the mid 1950's through to his assassination in 1968. In 1983, the third Monday of every year was set aside to honor Martin Luther King for his service to the nation. The third Monday was chosen, as it was the nearest Monday to the anniversary of King's birthday, which was January 15, 1929.

Martin Luther King Day has grown to take on an even larger meaning, as it is oftentimes referred to as a day on, versus a day off. Organizations around the city and nation have used the day to call people into action to address the needs of the community through volunteering and service.

 

Martin Luther King Holiday Special Events in Queens NYC

The Queens College Student Association is organizing a week long bus tour of many of the most famous civil rights movement sites in the southern U.S. The tour is entitled In the Footsteps of Dr. King and begins on Sunday, January 19, 2020 and ends on Thursday, January 23rd. For more information about the trip email - Rabbi Moshe Shur at footsteps@qc.cuny.edu.

On Monday beginning at 11 am the Greater Allen AME Cathedral, which is an African Methodist Episcopal Church located at 110-13 Merrick Blvd in the Jamaica neighborhood of Queens, will host a luncheon followed by a theatrical performance by the Shades of Truth Theatre entitled The Day Harlem Saved Dr. King. The show follows the luncheon and begins about 12 - 12.30 pm [just after noon]. Tickets cost $35 and may be purchased through the Allen AME Cathedral at 718.206.4600.

On Monday generally starting around 9 am and running until 12 noon, the NYC Parks Department in tandem with local groups is organizing a day of service to clean up a few of the NYC neighborhood parks. In Queens the only park mentioned as of this post was the Forest Park near the Forest Hills neighborhood in central Queens. Cut and paste this link for details - https://www.nycgovparks.org/events/mlk-day-of-service.

On Monday from 6 - 10 pm there are a number of visual arts exhibits and performances organized by 39th Avenue Arts N' Performance at 38-12 30th Avenue in Long Island City. Tickets cost $5 online at Eventbrite or $10 at the door. Of special note is that Dr. King's I Have a Dream speech will be performed.

The venues below may also have MLK Day programs, or other cultural and historic programs.



Michael Bloomberg's Real Record as NYC Mayor

This Contains the Part of Bloomberg's Record You Won't See in His Ad Campaign

michael bloombergs record as nyc mayor mike bloomberg accomplishments mike bloomberg record mayor nyc record of mayor bloomberg while mayor nycDecember 16, 2019 / NYC Neighborhoods / NYC Politics & Government / News Analysis & Opinion / Gotham Buzz NYC.

I started reporting for Queens Buzz in the second half of 2007, in anticipation of the website opening in 2008. At the time, politics wasn't in the docket. But over time, as I watched government and political events unfold, I couldn't ignore the huge gap between what was happening - versus what was reported to be happening.

Thus over time I began reporting on NYC, NYS and eventually national politics, doing in-depth research along the way, so that I could provide our readers with a fresh point of view, based on facts and knowledge, with scant pandering to the politicial spin.

While I only began tuning into NYC politics as a reporter during Michael Bloomberg's third term, I had picked up information about him prior to that as an aware NYC resident / voter. My first glimpse into Republican Mayor Michael Bloomberg's anti-democratic tendencies came about in 2004, during the Republican Presidential Convention, when Bloomberg appeared to illegally lock up people protesting the wars and policies of then president George W. Bush. But before I delve into that aspect of Bloomberg's performance, I want to highlight a few others.

 

Disdains Democracy: Overturns Mayoral Term Limits

michael bloomberg mayor bloomberg corruption bloomberg record as nyc mayorIn 2008, just a year before former Mayor Michael Bloomberg was about to be term limited out of the Mayor's Office, he convinced the NYC City Council to override the plebiscite that term limited his time in office as the Mayor.

Thus Michael Bloomberg sought and won a third term - which he essentially bought - by funding his campaign with nearly $100 million of his own money, to defeat an relatively unknown candidate, retiring City Comptroller Bill Thompson.

Thompson was not given much support by the Democratic Party in that election, likely because they didn't believe he would do anywhere near as well as he did, and they were competing with a billionaire who could / would and did greatly outspend the competition. The final vote was 50.7% for Bloomberg and 46.3% for Thompson.

 

Did Former Mayor Bloomberg Override Term Limits in Order to Cash In NYC's Municipal Real Estate Holdings?

The deals on the Bronx Terminal Market, Hudson Yard, Hunters Point South & Flushing Meadow Corona Park were all begun in 2007. So were the two multi-billion dollar [each] subway line extension projects - the Q and the #7.

All of the real estate developments and the two major subway infrastructure projects seemed to greatly benefit one person - Stephen Ross and his privately held Related Companies. Stephen Ross went from not being counted as a billionaire at the beginning of Bloomberg's Mayoralty, to becoming the richest real estate developer in New York City within a couple of years after he took office.

It's worth noting that Bloomberg's net worth during this period shot up too. And that Bloomberg LLP, the company he founded, also operates in NYC and is also privately held.

Former Mayor Michael Bloomberg's Real Record as Mayor

The Real Record of Mike Bloomberg's Accomplishments as Mayor - Doubling of Homelessnes, Taxpayer Funded but Privately Owned Luxury Apartments, Massive Public Land Giveaways to Friendly Developer, Massive Public Transit Spending Benefitting Same Developer, Privatization / Profitization of Many Public Schools, Failure to Negotiate with Unions, City Time Scandal & Racist Stop N' Frisk Policing Program

The report includes:

michael bloombergs record as nyc mayor mike bloomberg accomplishments mike bloomberg record mayor nyc1) HOMELESSNESS: Bloomberg had a horrendous record on homelessness which broke all records & doubled during his Mayoralty.

2) AFFORDABLE HOUSING: Bloomberg sold the public on funding 'affordable' apartments that rented for $48,000 per year. These were publicly funded but privately owned apartment units that Bloomberg sold to the public as 'affordable' in order to gain passage of the bills authorizing them.

3) PUBLIC LAND GRAB. Four huge real estate developments appeared to be given to Stephen Ross & Related Companies which are now worth billions. The public lands reportedly sold for $1 apiece include Hudson Yard, Hunters Point South and the still pending Flushing Meadows Corona Park development. I'm not sure but Bronx Terminal was also transferred in a sweet deal to the real estate developer Stephen Ross & Related Companies.

4) PUBLIC SPENDING BENEFITTING FRIENDLY DEVELOPER. Bloomberg pushed two subway line extensions that seemed to disproportionately benefit Stephen Ross & Related Companies. The subway line extensions were 1) the #7 subway line extension that supported Stephen Ross & Related Companies Hudson Yard development and 2) the Q subway line extension which greatly enhanced the value of Stephen Ross and Related Companies Upper East Side properties.

5) PRIVATIZATION OF PUBLIC SCHOOLS. Bloomberg's privatization of a significant portion of the NYC public school system which appeared to tear apart the NYC public school system by enabling for profit private charter schools, disproportionately favoring Eva Moskowitz and Success Academy, to recruit the best students of the NYC public school system, while leaving the rest behind in the hands of the public and unions;

6) UNION BUSTER? Bloomberg's failure to sign a single major union contract during his 12 year administration and the

7) GIULIANI / BLOOMBERG CORRUPTION. City Time corruption scandal.

8) RACIST POLICING POLICY. Presided over racist Stop N' Frisk policing policy.

CLICK here to read the rest of our report on the part of the Mike Bloomberg's record of Mayor. The part of the Bloomberg record you won't see in his $33 million ad campaign to convince Democrats to vote for him. Billionaire Bloomberg, like the billionaire President, seems to have an inclination to distort the truth.


New Years Eve Parties & Restaurants In Queens | new years eve parties & restaurants in queens parties & restaurants new years eve in astoria lic sunnyside woodside jackson heights new years restaurants & parties in queens nyc
New Years Eve Parties & Restaurants In Queens

New Years Eve Parties & Restaurants 2020 Queens

Fun Restaurants For Dinner in Astoria, LIC, Sunnyside, Woodside & Jackson Heights on New Years Eve

December 30, 2019 / Queens New Years Eve Parties & Restaurants / Queens Buzz NYC. New Years Eve 2020 is almost upon us.

It's generally hard to make restaurant reservations on short notice for New Years Eve. And sometimes it's difficult to make them for the New Years Eve parties in Queens. So if you're thinking about going to dinner or to a party this New Years Eve in Astoria, LIC, Jackson Heights, Sunnyside or Flushing; it's best to do your research early, and call a week or at least a few days ahead to make the reservations.

New Years Eve Parties & Restaurants In Queens

The origins of New Years Eve celebrations will be referenced at a later date.

Click this link to view a brief guide of New Years Eve parties & restaurants in Queens where you will find links to Queens restaurants we've reviewed. The restaurants we've reviewed include a mix of high, medium and budget priced restaurants that are spread throughout the borough and offer a large variety of ethnic cuisines. Enjoy.



Holiday Events In Queens - Christmas, Hanukkah & Kwanzaa Events Queens | xmas tree holiday lightings in queens astoria lic long island city sunnyside woodside jackson heights corona flushing jamaica christmas tree lightings in queens
Holiday Events In Queens - Christmas, Hanukkah & Kwanzaa Events Queens

Holiday Events In Queens

Christmas Tree Lightings, Hanukkah Menorah Lightings, & Kwanzaa Candle Lightings in Queens

December 15, 2019 / Astoria Neighborhood / Long Island City LIC Neighborhood / Sunnyside Neighborhood / Woodside Neighborhood / Jackson Heights Neighborhood / Corona Neighborhood / Flushing Neighborhood / Jamaica Neighborhood / Queens Neighborhoods NYC / Queens Things To Do Holidays / Queens Buzz NYC.

Holiday lighting festivals and ceremonies have been on the rise in Queens in recent years. While some date back many years, most are traditions that started within the past five or ten years.

What does an increase in holiday lightings mean? It means you have ample opportunity to go yourself, or with friends, or to take your kids to one or more of them to learn a bit more about your own culture or the culture of others.

Each lighting is a bit different, as some are community and business-oriented, some are religiously oriented, a few have arts organizations behind them, and some are backed by non-religious cultural organizations. Please feel free to send us a notice of your holiday lighting event if it's not posted herein.

Queens Christmas, Hanukkah & Kwanzaa Holiday Events Begin in Earnest

This is not meant to be a complete list, but rather a list of the holiday lighting events, many of which I’ve attended one or more times since late 2007. The holiday lighting events are organized individually by each Queens neighborhood including Astoria, Long Island City LIC, Sunnyside, Woodside, Jackson Heights, Corona, Flushing, Jamaica and Whitestone. Many include the serving of some beverage like hot chocolate and generally something to munch on like cookies.



Something New & Strange at the Tiny Box Theater

queens things to doDecember 6, 2019 / Long Island City Neighborhood / Theater in Queens NYC / Queens Buzz NYC.

This weekend only, there's the performance of an avante garde theatrical production entitled The House We Never Lived In at the Tiny Box Theater which is performing at the 11th Street Arts Center in Long Island City Friday, Saturday & Sunday.

The production is something totally interactive, meaning we were guided through the play by our hosts - CoDirectors Joy Tomasko and Sarah Murphy - but each of us embarked on our own unique journey wearing headsets and making choices which would ultimately determine how the play ended ... for us ... alone ... or shared - but only shared if others had made the same choices that we did. If you're not totally understanding this, that's ok, because until it was over, neither did I.

The photo at right shows several members of the audience in the foreground, pursuing their own journey in the play, while the Co-Directors, Joy Tomasko at left and Sarah Murphy at right in the background, look on.

The play takes us on a journey from a tiny apartment in NYC, to purchasing a fixer upper home upstate, and then going there ...

You will need a fully charged cell phone to attend the play, as that will be plugged into your headset which they provide. The cell phone is then used to scan the recordings you'll hear, which are chosen based upon the choices you make, which you then use as a guide - along with the assistance of the Co-Directors, into a world that is new and strange.

The play is well written [or at least based on the choices I made], containing a number of near poetic insights, and the experience is reality ... virtually ... ? ... dunno ... as I'm still processing it.

This weekend only - performances at 4.30 pm, 6 pm, 7.30 and 9 pm on Friday and at 3 pm, 4.30 pm and 6 pm on Saturday and Sunday. Tickets cost $20 and you can purchase them at www.tinyboxtheater.com. And remember to bring a fully charged cell phone.

Seating is very limited, so if you want to see this play, waiting isn't an option. This play was funded in part through a grant from the Queens Council on the Arts.


Conversational Baseball: Mets End Season on High Note

The Mets Won Their Last Game, Yet Missed a Playoff Berth, But the Season Wasn't a Total Loss

queens things to doOctober 1, 2019 / Things To Do Queens / Queens Neighborhoods / Queens Buzz NYC.

On Sunday, September 29th, the NY Mets played their last game of the 2019 Major League Baseball season. The Mets came in third in the National League East, behind the Atlanta Braves [#1] and the Washington Nationals [#2]. Their record of 86 wins and 76 losses represented a solid improvement over the 2018 season, where they won 77 and lost 85 coming in fourth place that year.

The Mets new slugger Pete Alonso, broke the rookie home run record on the second to the last game of the season on Saturday 9/28/19. Pete Alonso hit his 53rd home run of the season against the starting pitcher [Mike Foltynewicz] for the National League East Champion Atlanta Braves, besting the record set by Yankee Aaron Judge in 2017. Aaron had hit 52 home runs that season.

The Mets Pitcher Jacob Degrom also had another good year, after a slow start, and seems to be a favored contender for the Cy Young Award for the second year running. Jacob Degrom has been with the Mets since 2014, having picked him in the 9th round draft.

And Mets Manager Mickey Callaway's fate is apparently undecided at this point in the season. Mickey Callaway became the Mets Manager in October 2017, and had a disappointing first season after the strongest start that season, in Mets' history. The 2019 season was much better at .531 vs .475 in 2018.

So while the Mets season may be over, the Yankees are still in it. The Yankees enter the post season with some handicaps [lost a pitcher due to domestic abuse allegations], but that said they've been fighting handicaps all season. Stay tuned.


Sunnyside Yard Development - SS Yard Real Estate Development LIC Queens Astoria Sunnyside NYC | sunnyside yard development long island city queens nyc sunnyside yard master plan sunnyside astoria queens nyc
Sunnyside Yard Development - SS Yard Real Estate Development LIC Queens Astoria Sunnyside NYC

Sunnyside Yard Plan Moving Ahead

The Whopper of All 21st Century Real Estate Developments in NYC

September 25, 2019 / Sunnyside Neighborhood / Long Island City Neighborhood / Astoria Neighborhood / Queens Real Estate / News Analysis & Opinion / Queens Buzz NYC.

I attended the Sunnyside Yard Master Planning meeting last week at Aviation High School in Sunnyside / LIC. Given the significance of the real estate development being planned - at the nexus of Astoria, Long Island City and Sunnyside - I was surprised by the low turnout of members in the community. Perhaps it's because the NYC EDC didn't seem to do a very good job of notifying the community that there would be a meeting.

 

sunnyside yard development queens sunnyside yard real estate development lic sunnyside astoria real estate queens nycThe illustration at right shows how a Sunnyside Yard development might look sometime in the foreseeable future.

There was a protest group there, possibly comprising somewhere between a quarter and half of those who attended during the second [of two] sessions that I attended. The sessions were held in a regular sized classroom, which contained an overflowing crowd, and most of the protesters, who were fairly disruptive, were also kept outside.

Exploring the possibility of the Sunnyside Yard real estate development project began a number of years ago [I've seen documents that indicate work began in 2014]. The concept was first presented to the public in Mayor de Blasio's first State of the City Address in 2015. Governor Cuomo seemed to try to upstage the Mayor earlier that same day, by pre-emptively mentioning it, only hours before the Mayor gave his Address.

 

sunnyside yard development queens sunnyside yard real estate development lic sunnyside astoria real estate queens nycThe photo below right shows how the Sunnyside Yard looks today.

Much has been done since then, both in planning and in preparing the site for development. So if you want a say in how the 180 acres of space that is adjacent to Long Island City, Astoria and Sunnysideis going to be developed, you'd best begin ramping up to speed now - and fast - because the first pass at a relatively concrete Master Plan is expected this winter. The proverbial train is about to leave the station - or in this case the Sunnyside Yard.



Queens District Attorney Candidates - Queens DA Office Election

Why do Real Estate Developers Favor Katz for Queens District Attorney?

Tenants Pay Heed: Katz Became a Real Estate Development Lobbyist for Greenberg Traurig After Chairing the Land Use Committee in the NYC Council

This report covers campaign tricks, the phony Queens Library 'corruption scandal', the alleged Curtis Sliwa affair and something about a Katz Fundraiser at restaurant with Alleged Mob ties ...

queens district attorney candidates queens da race queensJune 17, 2019 / Queens Neighborhoods / Queens Politics NYC / News Analysis & Opinion / Queens Buzz NYC.

We’re a week away from Election Day for the Queens District Attorney Office. Melinda Katz, whose candidacy was once believed to be a shoo-in - based on her Borough-wide name recognition and the unmitigated support of the Queens Democratic machine.

 

Is Melinda Katz Candidacy for District Attorney Faltering?

It now appears that her candidacy may be in jeopardy as the Queens Democratic machine called upon Governor Cuomo to help raise funds to either stop or slow Katz’s accelerating slide in the polls. It’s worth mentioning that the Cuomo’s June 10th fundraiser was not held in Queens – where it should have been – but rather in Manhattan [where the real estate developers are?].

 

IT'S NOT FUNDING - The Real Estate Cash has been Pouring In

Is Melinda Katz’s Candidacy Faltering Because she doesn’t have the Qualifications or Because she has shown little interest in Criminal Justice until she Began Running for the Queens DA Office?

queens district attorney candidates queens da candidates melinda katz tiffany caban gregory lasak queens district atty candidatesBut it’s not funding that Katz needs help with. It’s her lack of criminal justice education, her complete lack of experience in the criminal justice system, and her lack of interest in criminal justice issues over her entire career until about six months ago.

As a point of contrast it’s worth noting that Queens District Attorney candidate and NYC Councilmember Rory Lancman also lacks a criminal justice degree and experience – but at least he served on committees that focused on the topic and dealt with the issues – which Melinda Katz has not. The focus of Katz’s early political career was on women’s and health issues, and the rest of her public career largely centered on Land Use / real estate development, as she was Chair of the Standing Committee on Land Use during her time as a NYC Councilmember.

Both she and Lancman are in term limited positions which expire at the end of 2021, which in political terms, is just around the corner. The Queens District Attorney Office is not term limited and the last Queens DA, Richard Brown, served in that position nearly three decades [28 years]. Richard Brown recently died, at age 86, at home on May 3, 2019.

 

Real Estate Development Lawsuits in Queens

In recent years there have been a myriad of lawsuits involving real estate developers in Queens. These center around harassment, contested evictions and around safe work practices for contractors and employees. Unfortunately I don’t have time to enumerate them, but you can do a search on this yourself using the search string ‘Queens real estate developers lawsuits’.


queens da candidates rory lancman betty lugo jose nieves mina malik queens district atty candidates queens district attorney race


Queens Voters have a Couple of Other Very Qualified Candidates – One Conservative & One Liberal

queens da candidates rory lancman betty lugo jose nieves mina malik queens district atty candidates queens district attorney raceThe two leading candidates with criminal justice degrees and experience are former Judge Gregory Lasak and Public Defender Tiffany Caban. Former Judge Gregory Lasak has a career spanning more than three decades working in the criminal justice system, and Tiffany Caban has spent seven years working in the criminal justice system as a Legal Aid Society attorney and Public Defender. The choice here is pretty clear as Judge Lasak is a go-slow advocate of reform, while Tiffany Caban is a passionate advocate of reform. But at least both of these candidates have qualifications that fit the job.

There’s an old saying in business that goes something like this, “You can’t manage a process you don’t understand. And you can’t understand a process unless you’ve done it.”

 

 

Melinda Katz runs as both the Establishment & Reform Candidate

FLIP FLOPS: Is Katz Really the Candidate of Developers & Landlords?

queens da candidates rory lancman betty lugo jose nieves mina malik queens district atty candidates queens district attorney raceAs for Katz’s message – it’s unclear for what she really stands. At times she claims she’s a reformer, but we’ve seen little in the way of reform initiated by Katz over the past decade - and likely far longer - possibly ending in the late 1990’s or early 2000’s when she became a City Councilmember on the Land Use committee.

Not that long ago she reportedly backed capital punishment. And up until recently she backed cash bail, reportedly flip flopping on the issue particulars. And while she has said she supports the closing of Rikers Island and replacing it with borough centric jails [so the inmates can maintain their connections to family and community while awaiting trial], she appears to have taken the position of “not in my backyard” as the proposed replacement in Queens would be near Borough Hall where there’s already a jail. To help put this in perspective it’s worth noting that Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. submitted a request that that is where the Bronx replacement facility for Rikers be placed.

 

 

Melinda Katz becomes a Real Estate Lobbyist at Greenberg Traurig in 2010

queens district attorney candidates queens da candidates melinda katz tiffany caban gregory lasak queens district atty candidatesIn 2010 Katz took a lobbyist at Greenberg Traurig, working on real estate development deals, which seemed to strengthen her ties to the real estate development community in general, and Boston Properties controlled by billionaire real estate developer and [at the time] the NY Daily News Publisher Mortimer Zuckerman in particular. Essentially she helped clients navigate their way through city and state government bodies [some of which she had previously worked on as a representative of the public] in order to get the real estate development deals deals done.

 

  • CLICK for the rest of our report on Melinda Katz - Queens DA candidates - the report covers 'dirty tricks', the phony Queens Library 'corruption scandal', the alleged Curtis Sliwa affair and something about a mob restaurant.


Queens District Attorney Debate

Includes Video of Highlights from the Debate in Jamaica

melinda katz queens da candidate tiffany caban queens district attorney office candidates queens da debate queens nycJune 11, 2019 / Queens Neighborhoods / Queens Politics & Government / News Analysis & Opinion / Queens Buzz NYC.

In May I had the opportunity to attend the Queens District Attorney debate at the Jamaica Performing Arts Center. It was the second event, featuring the candidates running for the Queens District Attorney's office, that I attended. This time I focused more intently how well versed each candidate was on the issues to be addressed by the person winning that position, and what qualifications, experience and vision they might bring to the office.

I have noted my first impressions below, which were gleaned while attending a forum in April, to which all candidates were invited to participate at the Jackson Heights Jewish Center. In the second debate, some of these impressions were altered and some of them were confirmed.

The photo above shows the two leading candidates [based on endorsements] running for the Queens District Attorney office - queens DA office candidates 2019 queens District attorney candidates debate queensMelinda Katz and Tiffany Caban. The photo below shows the other two leading candidates running for the Queens District Attorney office - Gregory Lasak and Rory Lancman.

Tiffany Caban has, by far, received donations from more small contributors than any of the candidates. Melinda Katz leads in fundraising, with strong support from the real estate development community for which she spent years [2009 - 2013] working as a lobbyist.

Gregory Lasak and Rory Lancman have also been competitive fundraisers - but neither matching Tiffany Caban's small donor support, nor Melinda Katz's big donor support.

The following video captures about 17 minutes of highlights from the three hour long debate. I decided not to give equal time because many of the statements made were either repetitive or laden with platitudes. Thus former Justice Gregory Lasak and Public Defender Tiffany Caban received the most air time, as they provided real world anecdotes, as well as real world insights into how our criminal justice system functions and how it can be reformed.



Plans for Sunnyside Yard Moving Along

Window of Opportunity Closing for Residents' Input into Likely the Single Most Important Real Estate Development in Queens in a Lifetime

May 14, 2019 / Queens Neighborhoods / Queens Real Estate / Queens Buzz NYC.

queens things to doThe Sunnyside Yard development effort began on February 9, 2015, when Mayor Bill de Blasio presented a vision for the development of Sunnyside Yard in his first State of the City Address. The first effort in the project was a Feasibility Study, which began soon thereafter.

Two years ago, on April 18, 2017, I attended a session where the NYC Economic Development Corporation presented the results of the Feasibility Study to the Community Board in Sunnyside regarding the building of a deck over Sunnyside Yard, in a fashion similar to what was done over a century ago, when the rail lines heading north from Grand Central Station were decked over and Park Avenue was paved over them. Click here to read our series on the History of Sunnyside Yard.

The photo to your right shows Park Avenue between 1910 - 1920, being decked up above NYC infrastructure.

Sunnyside Yard Public Meetings: Moving Along the Development Curve

queens things to doLast year, on October 24, 2018, the NYC Economic Development Corporation hosted an estimated 375 people at the NYCEDC's first Public Meeting at La Guardia Community College in Long Island City. I was told that they had modified the process and expanded the venue there in order to accommodate the community interest. The goal of the meeting was to obtain community input on how to utlize, the largest publicly controlled space in New York City, likely to be developed in our lifetimes.

The photo at right shows some of the elevated roads traversing Sunnyside Yard, in the same manner as some of the east / west roads traversed Park Avenue in the early 1900's. The plan is to deck it over to make use of the nearly 180 acres that encompass the space.

And on March 26, 2019 the NYCEDC held their second Public Meeting at PS 166Q Henry Gradstein Elementary School in Astoria. At this meeting the NYCEDC and the committee presented the findings of the first Public Meeting, and then oversaw breakout sessions by topic for anyone interested in contributing input into the direction of the Sunnyside Yard development project.

Sunnyside Yard Development & Community Input: Three Categories

queens things to doThe breakout sessions centered around three primary topics: 1) Urban Design, 2) Transportation and 3) Open Space. I chose to attend the transportation session, as it represents the underlying infrastructure - but I must admit that I would have also liked the opportunity to sit in on the two other sessions, as each has its own set of opportunities and costs.

More coming later today. I also placed a request earlier this morning with the NYCEDC as to the timing of next steps, as the information was not available on their website.


NYS Rent Regulations up for Renewal

NYS Assembly and NYS Senate to Strengthen, Renew or let Expire NYS Rent Regulation Laws

queens things to doMarch 19, 2019 / Queens Neighborhoods / Queens Government & Politics / Queens Buzz NYC.

On Saturday I attended an event discussing the upcoming legislation pending in the NYS government in Albany concerning NYS rent regulations. Currently about 2 million of the 8.5 million people who live in NYC will be affected.

The primary topic of the event was MCI or Major Capital Improvements, which is a loophole in rent regulations that allows landlords to initiate projects within their buildings and then pass along the project costs to their tenants, in such manner as to provide the landlord with an incremental revenue increase that lasts into eternity, and which encourages landlords to get creative in originating projects in an effort to raise the rents of their regulated apartments at an accelerating speed in order to grow the monthly rent beyond the legal limit of regulation.

What happens then, is that a significant number of longstanding tenants in regulated housing, are priced out of their homes and neighborhoods. Some of the displaced tenants even become homeless. This is why homelessness nearly doubled under former Mayor Michael Bloomberg - who looked the other way as NYS rent regulations were being renewed.

The event was held in the Corona neighborhood of Queens, where hundreds - if not a thousand - people came to particpate in the discussion.

I'll have more on this at a later date.


St Pat's For All Parade History & Evolution - Irish Culture in Queens NYC | st pats for all parade sunnyside queens st patricks day parade queens irish culture in queens nyc
St Pat's For All Parade History & Evolution - Irish Culture in Queens NYC

Who is the St Pat’s 'For All' Parade for, Really?

St Patrick’s Day Parade in Sunnyside Continues Hitting High Notes

March 3, 2019 / Sunnyside Neighborhood NYC / Arts & Culture in Queens NYC / Queens Buzz NYC.

It was a beautiful sunny day in Sunnyside, as I made my way over to Skillman Avenue to watch the annual St. Pat’s For All parade. The speeches had started at noon, but I didn’t arrive until after 1 pm, so I missed them [bummer].

When I arrived, the parade was out in a full march, and behind the first banner there were about a dozen government officials including NYC Councilman Danny Dromm [Jackson Heights / Elmhurst], Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney [Manhattan / Queens], NYC Council Speaker Corey Johnson [Manhattan] who’s likely planning a run for Mayor, NYS Attorney General Letitia James, Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez [Queens / Bronx], NYS Assemblyman David Weprin [Jamaica Estates / Richmond Hill] and the St. Pat’s For All parade co-founders Kathleen Walsh D’Arcy and Brendan Fay. A few pols who marched in their own groups, including Queens Borough President Melinda Katz and NYS Senator Michael Giannaris.

Jimmy Van Bramer Reportedly Threatened & Crowley Resigns as Queens Democratic Chair

st pats for all parade sunnyside queens photos video st pats for all parade queens sunnyside nycNotably absent [at least I didn’t see either of them] were NYC Councilmember Jimmy Van Bramer and former Congressman Joe Crowley. I reckon Crowley had his reasons, as just last week he resigned as the Queens County Democratic Party Leader. And I reckon Van Bramer had his reasons as well, as this week he was reportedly threatened by a restaurateur who was upset that the Amazon deal fell through. According to Newsweek, the restaurateur texted a message to Van Bramer that included this, “… you can be at the back of the parade or in front of the firing squad …” We posted a couple of reports on the Amazon deal on the two announcements – we’re coming / we’re not coming, which you can read by clicking these links. Amazon coming to LIC Queens NYC / Amazon not coming to LIC Queens NYC.

Origins & History of the St. Pat's For All Parade in Sunnyside Queens

The St. Pat’s For All parade started because the Manhattan St. Patrick’s Day Parade wouldn’t allow gays, like Brendan Fay, to march openly. So he, along with Kathleen Walsh, rounded up a rag tag band of Irish folks, along with their friends and began the St. Pat’s For All parade in the year 2000. The ‘For All’ became the moniker and rallying cry, because as mentioned previously, the LGBTQ folks were banned from marching in the large Manhattan St. Patrick’s Day parade in Manhattan.



Jumaane Williams Wins Public Advocate Election

Williams Bests 16 Other Candidates to Take Second in Succession to Mayor

jumaane williams photo brooklyn public advocate nycFebruary 26, 2019 / NYC Neighborhoods / NYC Politics & Government / Gotham Buzz NYC.

Jumaane Williams appears to have won the election for Public Advocate. According to Ballotpedia, with 88% of the precincts reporting, Williams had received 120,000 or 33% of the vote.

The sole Republican, Eric Ulrich, received 70,000 votes or 19%, which was the second highest total of votes. The other Democrats included former NYC Council Speaker, Melissa Mark-Viverito, who received 40,000 or 11% of the votes, was followed by Michael Blake with 29,000 or 8%, Ydanis Rodriguez with 22,000 or 6%, Dawn Smalls with 15,000 or 4%, Rafael Espinal 12,000 or 3%, Ron Kim 11,000 or 3%, Daniel O'Donnell 11,000 or 3% and the others each had less than 10,000 votes with 88% of the precincts reporting.

Jumaane Williams is shown in the photo at right in June 2018, campaigning on the steps of the New York Public Library in Midtown Manhattan, for Lieutenant Governor. Williams lost that election in November, but quickly rebounded, winning the position for NYC Public Advocate in February of 2019.

According to a NY Times report Jumaane has eight months before he's up for election again, as this special election - to replace Tish James because she was elected NYS Attorney General - only lasts until the next regularly scheduled election. Congratulations Jumaane.


Chinese New Year of the Pig in Queens

Year of the Pig Celebrated in Flushing Chinese New Year Parade

queens things to doFebruary 10, 2019 / Things To Do Queens / Queens Neighborhoods / Queens Buzz NYC. By Michael Wood.

On Saturday I made my way east to Flushing to watch the Chinese New Year Parade. It was a nice sunny day with temperatures in the 30's, and a fair wind blowing, adding to the chill. But that doesn't seem to dampen the enthusiasm of the large crowds that come to attend and witness one of the world's most ancient cultures on full theatrical display.

The sidewalks in Flushing along Main Street had been widened this past year, enabling a far better flow of pedestrian traffic than in prior years. I headed south toward the Flushing branch of the Queens Library, to find an opening into the street where I could - for the first time - take video of the colorful, musical parade.

I'll post the video later today.


Sunnyside Yard Inches Closer to Development

The Wheels have been in Motion Ever Since Mayor de Blasio First Unveiled his Vision for Sunnyside Yard in 2015

sunnyside yard development long island city queens real estate development astoria sunnyside lic queens nycJanuary 7, 2018 / Sunnyside Neighborhood / Long Island City Neighborhood / Queens Neighborhoods / Queens Real Estate LIC Astoria Sunnyside / Queens Buzz NYC.

On Tuesday, February 3rd, 2015 - in Bill de Blasio's first State of the City Address in Manhattan - the Mayor unveiled a vague vision for for the development of Sunnyside Yard in Queens. Following Mayor de Blasio's announcement, the city initiated a feasibility plan to investigate the issues associated with developing the space atop what is now the open space of Sunnyside Yard. Sunnyside Yard lies near the eastern side of Long Island City and the western side of the Sunnyside neighborhood.

Prior to the Mayor's announcement, and continuing to this day, western Queens - but most specifically Long Island City - has been under siege by real estate developers. They have bid up the prices on old buildings and empty lots, and following the purchase of them, have then erected tall skyscraper buildings at a rapid, mind-boggling pace. By the early 2020's, NYC real estate developers will have added tens of thousands of residential units to the Long Island City neighborhood alone, in less than a decade and a half.

In the photo at right, Mayor de Blasio talking to members of the press and audience, following his first State of the City Address in 2015 in Manhattan.

A Changing & Evolving Landscape in Queens

sunnyside yard development long island city queens real estate development astoria sunnyside lic queens nycLike all change - there are winners and losers and there are good things and bad things - that come of any change. I've tried to capture a bit of both in my reporting of Long Island City's growth over the past decade or so, but for the purpose of this report, I will leave a discussion of the many issues associated with change, here.

In October of 2018 there was a community meeting at LaGuardia Community College regarding future plans for Sunnyside Yard. Over 300 people came to watch the slide show, view the exhibits, and interact with the NYC Economic Development [EDC] team that is spearheading the effort to include community sentiment and address community issues in any future development of Sunnyside Yard.

This is the beginning of an 18 month long process to engage the community in identifying and managing issues associated with the development of Sunnyside Yard.

In the photo at right are various members of the Queens community who came out to view the exhibits and slide show put together by the NYC EDC regarding the future development of Sunnyside Yard.

WORK IN PROGRESS - more to come later this week.


USPS Service Alert for December 5, 2018

December 4, 2018 / Queens Neighborhoods / Queens Business / Queens Buzz NYC.

Donald Trump proclaimed Wednesday, December 5, 2018, as a National Day of Mourning for former President George H.W. Bush.  Out of respect for the 41st President of the United States ... and consistent with the Presidential Proclamation, the United States Postal Service will suspend regular mail deliveries, retail services and administrative office activity on December 5, 2018. 

The U.S.Postal Service informs us that they,

"will provide limited package delivery service on that day to ensure that our network remains fluid and we do not experience any impacts to our package delivery operations that might negatively affect our customers or business partners during the remainder of our busy holiday season."


World Maker Faire at the NY Hall of Science

Ye Old World Maker Faire was Everything but … old

September 24, 2018 / Corona & Flushing Neighborhoods in Queens / Queens Things To Do / Queens Buzz NYC.

world maker faire ny hall of science queens flushing nycThe 7th annual World Maker Faire was held last weekend at the NY Hall of Science in Flushing Meadows Corona Park. I had been meaning to attend the festival since it had first opened years ago, but never quite squared away the time. Thankfully, that was not the case this year.

The World Maker Faire is billed as a fair of, “invention, creativity, and curiosity [that] showcases … more than 600 projects … focused on making for social good, health, technology, electronics, 3D printing & fabrication, food, robotics, art …”.

The faire really surprised me on the upside. While I had heard of it for years now, I had the impression that it was a bit of a nerd fest. And while there’s certainly some of that embedded in the program, it goes way beyond that. It was like attending an old time county fair, but instead of seeing rides, rodeo contests and animal exhibits, we saw robotics contests, robotics exhibits and feats of mechanical / AI prowess. A bit nerdy, perhaps, but as you will see from the video below – far, far more than that.

One of the first exhibits to catch my attention was a good old-fashioned cock fight – where the roosters were replaced with robots. It seemed kind of an adolescent use of all those majestic brainwaves, but I have to admit that I, along with the rest of a large crowd, found it pretty entertaining.


The Flushing BID Hosts Shopping Market

Flushing Hosts Open Air Market with Food & Shopping

September 18, 2018 / Flushing Neighborhood / Queens Restaurants / Queens Shopping / Queens Buzz NYC.

queens things to doLast Saturday was a great day to be out and about. The temperatures had finally cooled down a bit and the humidity had subsided. The Business Improvement Districts of Jackson Heights and Flushing were prepared to take full advantage of the changing seasons with event programming designed to draw crowds into their shopping and dining districts.

I arrived at the Flushing BID fair on a two block stretch that included Prince Street and 40th Road off of Main Street and Roosevelt Avenue. Like many things in Flushing Queens Chinatown, it was crowded with all sorts of people – from the very old to the very young.

The very young were enjoying themselves inside inflated romp a rooms, while the adults were busy shopping or grabbing a quick bite to eat. I made my way up Prince Street past many of the shopping stalls and then headed east along 40th Street to take a closer look at many of the offerings.

Behind all the activity are a few of the restaurants serving the Chinese food for which Flushing is well known, but on today’s outing, I forewent that pleasure in favor of the open air.

Perhaps what caught my eye most on this trip was the variety of shopping options, more than the food. I had expected the event to be more food oriented, as other events done by the Flushing BID were. But today it was the shoppers who appeared to have won out, as there was a myriad of offerings, from pots and pans, to fishing gear, to cosmetics, clothing, various foods and all sorts of unique Chinese and Asian objects.

It was a little like traveling through a real Chinese market, complete with sounds and smells, that was only a subway ride away.


Viva La Comida in Jackson Heights

Food & Entertainment Festival at 82nd Street & Roosevelt Ave

September 18, 2018 / Jackson Heights Neighborhood / Queens Restaurants / Queens Shopping / Queens Buzz NYC.

queens things to doMy next stop was the Viva La Comida Festival at Dunningham Triangle at 82nd Street in Jackson Heights. This event had originated as a food truck event about a half dozen years ago, and has continually been morphing into something more.

Each year the configuration changes and this year they had sprinkled picnic tables throughout the venue to enable folks to sit and enjoy the food fare after purchasing it. In prior years the picnic tables were not as plentiful and as I recall many standing in the same area.

The benefit was a more accommodating eating venue, as well as a more integrated social one. There was a cost, and that was that that the foot traffic didn’t move as quickly as the picnic table occupied some of the space. All tolled it seemed a good trade.

As I made my further in, there was music coming from a stage near the Triangle. I had arrived about 5 pm and the Salsa Marsala was entertaining one of the biggest crowds I had seen at this event. Again part of this was owing to a better configured use of the space. And over the years the event has also become a showcase for Jackson Heights performance talent.

While listening to the Salsa Marsala I met a man from the Queens Council for the Arts. He told me how the QCA organization had helped the band with a grant, as well as in providing the group with some of their arts and cultural organization expertise. The band is about to release a new album this fall called Jackson Heights Block Party.

As mentioned above, Viva La Comida has evolving and includes a number of cultural offerings. There was a booth there run by the Queens World Film Festival, with founders Katha and Don Cato on hand to talk about all of the programs that their organization has undertaken.

Also, not far from the stage, there were a couple of booths associated with the John Lennon Bus Tour. Last year they did an event in Travers Park, and this year they were doing it in conjunction with the Viva La Comida festival. The John Lennon Bus Tour brings along buses that have a lot of equipment that their staff introduces to kids interested in pursuing an arts or cultural occupation.

As I made my way back to the subway I was disappointed I couldn’t stay longer. Perhaps next year.


Farmers Mkts, Street Fairs & Member Events Calendar

* Click here for reports about Queens farmers markets, Queens street fairs, shopping venues in Queens and / or click to Queens Events Member Calendar to view a number of additional weekend events.

* Also see Friday & Weekend Events above and click here for free summer concerts in Queens, free summer movies in Queens and free things to do and free summer theater in Queens & things to do.

BOOK REVIEW NEXT WEEK: Under the Mets Grandstands by Seymour Butz.


Jamaica Just My Style Fashion Show

JJMS Runway Hits ... Delight the Audience Again

June 19, 2018 / Jamaica Neighborhood / Fashion in Queens / Queens Buzz NYC.

I attended the Jamaica Just My Style Fashion Show last Friday at the Jamaica Performing Arts Center in Queens. The show highlights some of the great shopping opportunities in downtown Jamaica as it is organized and hosted by the Jamaica Center Business Improvement District [BID].

In the lobby there was food and shopping opportunities, and in the auditorium there was a show not to be missed, featuring the clothing and designs offerred by about a dozen downtown Jamaica retailers which are listed at the end of the video below, along with the Jamaica Center sponsors.

There wasn't any multi-media going on in the background as in previous years, which at first I thought might be a liability. But I found instead, that I soon lost myself in an undistracted focus on the models and the clothing coming down the runway.

There were also about a dozen and a half models, about two thirds of which were female, and all of whom did a great job of keeping our attention on their sculpted forms, theatrical poses and dancer flair. Click the video below to feast your eyes on fashion, form and function and a bit of show biz, provided by rapper Roxanne Chante. A photo of entertainer Destiny Johnson is also included at the end of the video.

Break a leg.


Jamaica Just My Style Fashion Show Preview

June 12, 2018 / Jamaica Neighborhood / Queens Fashion NYC / Queens Buzz NYC.

I traveled down to Jamaica town on Tuesday afternoon to see a short preview of the upcoming Jamaica Just My Style Fashion Show. The show is organized by the Jamaica Center BID and Executive Director Whitney Barrat was on hand to talk about the upcoming show. The gracious Barrat talked about the vibrancy of the downtown Jamaica business district, the excitement of the upcoming show, and commended Jamaica Center BID Associate Valerie Stevens for her efforts in organizing the event. The designs by Michele Walden Mcphee were alluring, complementing the models' shapely figures in an artistic display of finely chosen fabric.

The show begins at 6 pm Friday at the Jamaica Performing Arts Center on Jamaica Avenue at 153rd Street. There will be food, music and plenty of fashion not just on the stage but in the crowd as well. It's free but you must rsvp at the Jamaica Center BID website - using the link below.

CLICK - Jamaica Just My Style Fashion Show Friday, June 15 at 6 pm to rsvp for a free ticket.


Small Business Week in Queens

NYC Small Business Services Commissioner in Sunnyside

May 1, 2018 / Sunnyside Neighborhood / Queens Business / Queens Neighborhoods / Queens Buzz NYC.

queens small business week queens small businessTuesday afternoon, the NYC Small Business Services Commissioner, Gregg Bishop, visited the Sunnyside Shines Business Improvement District [BID]. It was the SBS Commissioner's first visit in five years.

NYC City Council Member Jimmy Van Bramer, Sunnyside Shines Board Chairman John Vogt and Executive Director Jaime-Faye Bean were on hand to meet the Commissioner. Jaime welcomed Gregg to Sunnyside, noting the progress that has been made by the Sunnyside BID over the past year [see Sunnyside Shines BID story for details].

Jimmy Van Bramer spoke next, quipping that it's always sunny in Sunnyside, as the sun was out today and the temperatures hit 80 degrees. Jimmy went on to note that he's allocated taxpayer dollars to support the BID in its efforts to promote and aid small businesses in the area. He also mentioned that some improvements were coming to the iconic Sunnyside marquee that stands at 46th Street and Queens Blvd.

Gregg closed out the public comments, applauding the efforts by the BID organization and the councilmember in helping maintain a robust small business sector in Sunnyside in spite of macro trends weighing in against small business. He told us that there are 230,000 small businesses in New York City and that they employ 3.7 million people which using the last census figures constitutes 45% of all New Yorkers' employment.

The Sunnyside BID organizers then hosted the Commissioner on a whistlestop tour of a few of the nearby businesses so that he could hear more about the issues they are facing and learn more about how NYC Small Business Services can help.

In the photo above in the front row, NYC City Councilmember Jimmy Van Bramer is third from left, Sunnyside Shines Executive Director jamie Faye-Bean is fourth from left, NYC Small Business Services Commissioner Gregg Bishop is fifth from left. Sunnyside Shines Board Chairman John Vogt is in the second row standing between Gregg and Jaime.


5 Boro Bike Ride Returns Sunday

Bike New York Organizes NYC Bike Ride & Bike Expo New York

5 boro bike ride nyc new york bike expo nycApril 30, 2018 / Manhattan Neighborhoods / Bronx Neighborhoods / Queens Neighborhoods / Brooklyn Neighborhoods / Staten Island Neighborhoods / Gotham Buzz NYC.

This story includes information about the upcoming 5 Boro Bike Ride on Sunday, as well as the Bike Expo New York which precedes it on Friday & Saturday in Red Hook. As of this report, the temperatures are expected to be in the 60's and the chances of rain appear slim. But bear in mind that the forecast probability of 20% chance of rain last Friday, turned into rain on Saturday evening, so check the weather as we get closer in.

 

Bike New York 5 Boro Bike Ride Route

Since 1977, every first Sunday of May, Bike New York has organized and promoted the 5 Boro Bike Ride. The ride begins in lower Manhattan, sweeps northward across the Harlem River Bridge to the Bronx, circles back across the Third Avenue Bridge to Manhattan, where it begins its southward trek crossing the Queensboro Bridge into Queens, heading south to Brooklyn after a quick stop north to Astoria Park, and then comes down past the Brooklyn Navy Yards, continuing southward along the west side of 5 boro bike ride nyc new york bike expo nycBrooklyn, to the Verrazano Narrows Bridge where it crosses over to the Fort Wadsworth neighborhood in Staten Island before terminating in the St. George neighborhood at the Staten Island Ferry.

 

Proceeds from Non-Profit New York Bike Ride go Toward Sustainable Transportation Efforts

The now famous bike ride was capped at 32,000 riders I believe sometime in the 1990’s, where it still stands today. One report noted that the 5 Boro Bike ride is one of – if not the largest - non-profit bike rides in the nation. The proceeds go to Bike New York programs which are designed to teach people about sustainable transportation, most notably bicycle riding and bike maintenance and safety. Another report noted that the NYPD had considered [don’t know the outcome] charging the organization $1 million for erecting, maintaining and terminating road closures during the New York 40 mile family-friendly bike ride.

 

Bike New York Bicyclist Outreach in all Five NYC Boroughs

Bike New York has offices in all five NYC boroughs. In 2015 their cyclist safety and bike maintenance programs reached 15,000 New Yorkers. And they are the organizers of the Bike Expo New York being held at Pier 12 in Brooklyn on Friday and Saturday [see details in rest of this story].


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Indie Cade 2018 at Museum of the Moving Image NYC | indie cade 2018 museum of moving image astoria queens nyc indie cade video arcade video game makers video event nyc queens museum of the moving image momi astoria
Indie Cade 2018 at Museum of the Moving Image NYC

Museum of the Moving Image: Indie Cade 2018

MoMI Hosts Community of Evolving Video Art Gamers

February 26, 2018 / Astoria Neighborhood / Film & Video in Queens / Queens Neighborhoods / Queens Buzz NYC.

A week ago I attended the Indie Cade East gathering at the Museum of the Moving Image in Astoria. I had been to previous Indie Cade events at the Museum of the Moving Image, and each time I go I try to find something new and different.

It was a relatively balmy February day as I made my way to the Museum of the Moving Image along 35th Avenue at 36th Street. There were people milling about outside, discussing video games, as I entered the museum.

Memories of Astoria Video Mural

Along the left side of the entrance lobby, there was a video mural running along the wall, made by a Brooklyn artist, Ezra Wube, which showed painted scenes of the Astoria neighborhood. And directly in front of me, people were engaged in video games and hanging out on the benches adjacent to the snack bar. After checking in, I headed into the main theater to see what was playing as it was only a couple hours before closing time on Sunday afternoon.

There were people watching and discussing a black and white video, which was a combination of modern video art and representations of nature. The video continually morphing into and out of the real / surreal depictions, accompanied by rhythmic acoustical music, providing a mind bending experience if you gave it time and let it in. Given my time constraints, I decided to continue into the rest of the Indie Cade event, as delving more deeply into this work would likely consume the rest of my visit.

Museum of the Moving Image – Indie Cade East Exhibits

On the second level there was an interactive video that worked a bit like a game show. The player would be prompted by pick up lines / questions that the video game maker had collected, and then prompted for a multiple-choice response. Generally one of the questions was quite rude, and if you chose that one, the game ended more quickly. I suppose a bit like in real life : ) as some of the pick up men in the game would flee – which as one woman told me – isn’t exactly like what happens in real life.

Within that exhibit space there was a video explaining how the game was made. I’m not sure if this is a part of the exhibit entitled Indie Cade Presents: A Decade of Design, so I’m not sure if it will remain at the Museum of the Moving Image as part of that exhibit which is scheduled to run through June 17th, 2018.



Click here for things to do on the Upper East Side UES, or things to do in Midtown Manhattan NYC, or things to do in the East Village and here for Whitestone hair salons.

 


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Chinese New Year Parade - Flushing Queens NYC | chinese new year parade 2018 flushing chinese new year parade 2018 queens chinese & korean culture new year parade & celebrations nyc queens 2018
Chinese New Year Parade - Flushing Queens NYC

Queens Chinese New Year Parade & Celebrations in Flushing

The Year 4716, or the Year of the Dog, has Begun

February 19, 2018 / Flushing Neighborhood / Queens Holidays / Flushing Chinese New Year Parade & Celebrations / Queens Buzz NYC.

On Saturday I made my way east to Flushing to watch the Chinese New Year parade in Flushing. The Flushing neighborhood of Queens rivals the Chinatown neighborhood in Manhattan for the leading center of Chinese culture in New York City and along the East Coast of the United States.

The photo at right shows a few of the 'dogs' celebrating the year of the dog in the Flushing Chinese New Year Parade.

 

Flushing Chinese New Year Parade 2018

The parade kicked off at 11 am just east of the Queens Crossing Mall at Main Street and 39th Avenue. They headed south along Union Street, west along Sanford Street, before heading north along Main Street terminating just after passing the Queens Crossing Mall.

Literally thousands participate in the parade itself and likely north of 10,000 spectators come out to watch the grand cultural celebration. Participants march in groups, dressed in traditional costumes, harking back to ancient times. And there were also many floats, which were generally associated with local businesses and organizations.

The Flushing Chinese New Year parade is an evolving cultural event as Korean and Japanese marchers and floats also participate in the parade. And in the last few years I’ve noticed westerners marching dressed in traditional costumes, possibly as cross cultural / Americanized couples and friends join in the fun.



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Queens Romantic Restaurants for Valentines Day - Queens NYC | valentines dinners in queens valentines day in Queens romantic restaurants in queens astoria lic long island city jamaica sunnyside jackson heights flushing corona romantic dinners romantic restaurants in queens
Queens Romantic Restaurants for Valentines Day - Queens NYC

Valentine's Day 2021 Restaurants & Events in Queens

UPDATED FOR COVID - Romantic Restaurants For Dinner in Astoria, LIC, Sunnyside, Woodside, Jackson Heights & Flushing

February 5, 2021 / Queens Restaurants / Queens Neighborhoods NYC / Queens Buzz NYC.

UPDATED 2/12/21 - Editor's Note: Previously indoor dining was to resume in NYC on Sunday, February 14th, 2021, Valentine's Day. The Governor moved up the date to Friday, February 12th, so restaurants that may have sold out on Sunday, likely have indoor dining openings over the weekend. This report provides an update on who's open and taking reservations, but also highlights quite a number of local restaurant closures.

Valentine's Day is a bit more than a week away. It's a good time to let your loved one know you care. Flowers, gifts and dinner are always welcome treats, and / or some thoughtful gesture that shows that the lady [or man] you're with still means a lot to you.

This year it's especially important to make restaurant reservations early as restaurants first open for indoor dining at 25% capacity on Friday, February 12th, 2021. And given Valentine's Day is on a weekend, it may be challenging unless you make your reservation now. But that said, restaurants also have outside dining capacity - so depending on the weather - you may have some luck the weekend of Valentine's Day. For dinner in Astoria, LIC, Jackson Heights, Sunnyside, Woodside or Flushing; it's best to do your research early, and call or go online to make the reservations as soon as you can for this Valentine's Day .

Valentine's Day Brief History - Queens Romantic V Day Restaurants

The origins of Valentine's Day are not well documented. It's believed to have been named after Saint Valentine who was apparently a Catholic martyr who died over 1500 years ago. Today the holiday is not associated with religion so much as flowers, candies, cards and romantic dinners. And the holiday spokesperson is now Cupid, a Roman god of desire, and quite a mischief maker.

UPDATED FOR COVID. The restaurants we've reviewed include a mix of high, medium and budget priced restaurants that are spread throughout the borough and offer a large variety of ethnic cuisines. Click this link to view a brief guide of Valentine's Day restaurants in Queens / V Day events & romantic restaurants Queens NYC where you will find links to Queens restaurants we've reviewed. Enjoy.



Queens St Patrick's Day Bars, Restaurants & Irish pubs In Queens NYC | queens st patricks day bars restaurants queens st pat's da irish pubs restaurants queens st pats day bars restaurants irish pubs astoria lic sunnyside woodside jackson heights st patrick's day restaurants queens nyc
Queens St Patrick's Day Bars, Restaurants & Irish pubs In Queens NYC

St Patrick's Day Bars, Restaurants, Irish Pubs in Queens

St Pat's Day Irish Pubs & Restaurants in Astoria, LIC, Sunnyside, Woodside, Jackson Heights & Flushing

March 9, 2021 / Queens Neighborhoods / Queens Restaurants & Bars / St Pat's Parade Queens NYC / Queens Buzz NYC.

Here's a listing of some of the fun Irish pubs open on St. Patrick's Day in Queens.

NORMALLY - there are a lot of celebrations planned for St Pat's Day in Queens. USUALLY there are a at least three St Patrick's Day Parades in Queens, but they are generally held on the weekends before or after the actual St. Patrick's Day feast on March 17th.  This year due to the CoVid pandemic parades have either gone virtual or been cancelled.

The photo to your right was taken on St. Patrick's Day weekend in a prior year at Donovan's Pub in Woodside.

This report contains a number of brief suggestions for St. Patrick's Day bars, restaurants and Irish pubs in Queens, including in Astoria, Long Island City, Sunnyside, Woodside [near Jackson Heights], Bayside [near Flushing], the Rockaways [near Jamaica] and in Maspeth / Ridgewood which are near Kew Gardens and Forest Hills. At the end of the report we've included links to St. Patrick's Day celebrations in other boroughs.

Please drink responsibly and let someone else drive if you're impaired. St. Patrick's Day is a bit like New Years Eve, in that the amateur consumers of alcohol of all ethnicities come out to celebrate, and if they are not properly managed / or cared for, accidents may occur, and some of them with life changing consequences.



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Astoria Furniture Stores Have It All - Queens

desk chair furniture stores shops shopping astoria queens nyAstoria Shops / Astoria / Queens Buzz NYC.

The furniture stores located on the southern end of Steinway Street in the Astoria neighborhood of Queens seem to have something to offer to just about everyone. This part of Steinway is a furniture shopper's mecca, offering plenty of choices from classical colonial, to urban apartment living to bedding to suit nearly every spine.

I took a quick trip there, which is easily accessible via the N, W, G, R or V subway lines and within a sturdy walking distance from Long Island City, Astoria, Sunnyside and Woodside. Just up the street from Steinway is Broadway and two blocks further north is 30th Avenue, where you'll find a number of great Queens restaurants where after a good morning or afternoon of shopping, you can kick back in an enjoyable ambiance - or in the good weather along one of the sidewalk tables - ane enjoy a bit of coffee and some delicious food. Click here to learn more about the furniture stores in Astoria Queens.


Click for free checking in Queens or to buy eyeglasses Astoria, for Astoria hair salons, for Astoria wine stores, for Jackson Heights immigration lawyers, for Midtown dentists & Midtown Chiropractors, and for things to do in Queens. Eyeglasses in Jamaica NYC and bike stores Queens.


esquire mens clothing store astoria ny queens Mens Clothing Styles - Queens

Shopping Queens / Astoria Neighborhood / Queens Buzz NYC.

Esquire Men's Clothing Store continues to serve the greater Astoria and Queens area, as it has for over thirty years. The shop is owned and managed by Frank and Kevin Adhami, and their father, who is in his eighties, still visits the store on an almost weekly basis.

Esquire is located along Steinway Street between 30th and 31st streets. The store contains a wide selection of men's coats, suits, casual wear, shoes and men's accessories like belts and ties.

This story will provide some information about the store itself as well as fashion recommendations for the Spring and for job hunters.

Click this link to view a story written on Men's Clothing In Astoria Queens NY. Click here for men's clothing stores in NYC, and here to buy Stone Rose shirts in NYC, and here to buy Alberto pants in NYC, and here to buy Eton shirts and here to buy Hugo Boss sneakers in NYC. Click here for Astoria / LIC Queens tile stores serving Brooklyn, Greenpoint & Williamsburg or here for abayas in Queens & Brooklyn NYC and for hijabs in Queens & Brooklyn NYC.


Queens Farmers Markets

street fairs queensJune 8, 2021 / Astoria Sunnyside Woodside Jackson Heights Long Island City LIC Flushing Jamaica / Queens Buzz NYC.

Jackson Heights was the first year 'round farmers market in Queens, Forest Hills was the second year 'round farmers market, and Sunnyside was the third year 'round farmers market in Queens. So now Queens has three farmers markets operating year 'round and nearly a dozen seasonal farmers markets.

Click the link below to see a listing of the Queens Farmers Markets operating during the 2021 season including links to maps. Click the other link below for an updated list of Queens Street Fairs schedule of 2021 through the first couple of months of the 2021 season which this year began in June, including dates and maps showing their locations. We will continue updating and adding to the street fair calendar throughout the season.

Click here for our updated posting of Queens Street Fairs - Queens NY. Click here for a listing of the Queens Farmers Markets. You will always find both street fairs and farmers markets for the current month in the Queens Events section of the site [see top tool bar for button / link]. Click here to view the map of the Jamaica farmers market. Click here for Bronx street fairs.


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Queens Real Estate

Real Estate in Astoria, Jackson Heights, Long Island City LIC, Sunnyside, Woodside, Flushing, Jamaica

queens real estateQueens NY / 2017. These links will take you into sections & reports on the Queens real estate market in Queens beginning in 2009.

These reports include reviews of apartment rental prices, as well as condo, co-op and home prices and availability in the Queens market.

We have also done neighborhood specific reports about Astoria real estate, LIC / Long Island City real estate, Jackson Heights real estate, Woodside & Sunnyside real estate, Flushing Real Estate and Jamaica Real Estate. Click here to view Long Island City apartments for rent LIC.

While we found these neighborhoods mirrored / trailed many of the national trends, we found some interesting differences, including differences from neighborhood to neighborhood.

Click here to read the Queens Real Estate market analysis 2009. Click here for Jackson Heights realtors and Jackson Heights real estate.


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