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Trump Character 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 greatest 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.

 

Fred & Donald Trump's History Appears Racist

According to Trump's Art of the Deal, he punched out his second grade music teacher. I reckon that was an early sign of an unstable, disrespectful and / or violent personality. He also mentions in that book that he stole his younger brother's building blocks, which Trump credits as an early sign of his real estate development skills, but which I think was an early sign of his cheating of others, by bullying [note it was his younger brother].

Some of Trump's violent tendencies appear to be racially motivated. Donald's father, Fred Trump, was arrested at the age of 21 in Jamaica Queens in 1927 in connection with a KKK rally that erupted into a brawl with the police. While no account I saw definitively linked Trump as an active member of the KKK, none absolved him of participation either.

But if we fast forward to the 1960's and 1970's we find a 1973 lawsuit charging the Trumps with discriminating against Blacks and Puerto Ricans. In various reports it's alleged that when Blacks or Puerto Ricans came looking for an apartment, that they were to be told the rents were twice what they actually were and / or that there weren't any vacancies. In 1975 the lawsuit was settled with no admission of wrongdoing by the Trumps, but a third party was required to act as intermediary to vet prospective tenants going forward - not the Trumps. The non-admission of guilt was a way for the government to settle such suits, remedy the complaint, and move on.

 

Trump Racism & Violence - Starts with Dog Whistles - Coded Messaging to Other Racists

It appears the Donald has periodically used proxies or substitutes to express his racism. These are oftentimes referred to as dog whistles. Wikipedia defines a dog whistle as,

"... the use of coded or suggestive language in political messaging to garner support from a particular group without provoking opposition. The concept is named for ultrasonic dog whistles used in shepherding ..."

Trump appears to have been using dog whistles for decades, oftentimes in tandem with Australian born billionaire Rupert Murdoch's Fox News and NY Post. One of the first instances was in 1989 when Trump took out a full page ad in the four largest NYC newspapers urging the death penalty. The June 2019 Atlantic Monthly tells us,

" ... The so-called Central Park Five were a group of black and Latino teens who were accused—wrongly—of raping a white woman in Central Park on April 19, 1989. Donald Trump took out full-page ads in all four major New York newspapers to argue that perpetrators of crimes such as this one “should be forced to suffer” and “be executed.”

A little more than a decade later Trump championed the birther claims against then president Barack Obama. The June 2019 Atlantic Monthly story tells us that Trump attacked Obama at a February 2011 CPAC Conference saying,

"... Our current president came out of nowhere, came out of nowhere … The people who went to school with him—they never saw him; they don’t know who he is...”

The Atlantic story tells us that,

“Birtherism” had been festering for several years before Trump embraced it—supplanting other proponents and becoming its most prominent advocate. In March, on The View [ABC], Trump called on Obama to show his birth certificate. In April, he said that he had dispatched a team of investigators to Hawaii to search for Obama’s birth records ...

"Anti-Muslim sentiment animated Trump’s birtherism campaign. He said of Obama on The Laura Ingraham Show [on Fox News] in March 2011: “He doesn’t have a birth certificate, or if he does, there’s something on that certificate that is very bad for him. Now, somebody told me—and I have no idea whether this is bad for him or not, but perhaps it would be—that where it says ‘religion,’ it might have ‘Muslim.’ ” 

 

Trump Escalates Attacking Immigrants, Like InfoWars Conspiracy Theorist Alex Jones Escalated his Conspiracies from 911 to Sandy Hook to Pizzagate

As an entertainer, Donald Trump made a number of inappropriate comments that would be summarily dismissed. But as a candidate for president, and eventually as president, what Trump said was heard around the nation ... and around the world. Trump, like Alex Jones and others like them, seems to embolden the worst elements in our society and summon the worst elements of their human nature, by telling false or distorted narratives, to mobilize the mindless masses around phony patriotism or religious fanaticism to victimize a minority [minorities] and to threaten those who would stand up against him / them.

His campaign started on June 16, 2015 with the following phrase,

"... When Mexico sends its people, they’re not sending their best. They’re not sending you ... They’re sending people that have lots of problems, and they’re bringing those problems with us. They’re bringing drugs. They’re bringing crime. They’re rapists. And some, I assume, are good people ..."

And then what began seemed to me to look like cause and effect. A January 9, 2021 report by Vox provided the following,

" ... August 19, 2015: Two Boston brothers invoked Trump when they were arrested for urinating on a homeless man and beating him with a metal pipe. While in custody, one of the brothers told the police, “Trump was right. All of these illegals need to be deported.” The 58-year-old Mexican American they assaulted was a permanent US resident..."

The Vox story provides many instances of what appears Trump's incitement of violence from 2015 to the Capitol Riot on January 6, 2021. There were two more instances in the Fall of 2015 where protesters at Trump rallies get roughed up. The examples included Trump screeching, “Get him the hell out of here! Get him out of here! Throw him out!” at Black Lives Matter activist Mercutio Southall Jr. at a November 21, 2015 rally in Birmingham, Alabama. And Trump was quoted as saying, “be a little more violent” as pro-immigration protesters were thrown out of a Miami, Florida rally on October 23rd.

 

The Racist & Violent Candidacy of Donald J. Trump 2016?

ted cruz election objections seem a fundraising scamSo skirmishes frequently accompanied Trump rallies. Peaceful protesters would bravely appear at Trump rallies to have their voices heard. And they would be roughed up as they were escorted out. In March 2016 this culminated in three protesters filing a lawsuit against Trump for inciting a riot following a March 1, 2016 rally in Louisville, Kentucky. According to Vox, in April 2017 a federal judge ruled that their claims were valid since there was sufficent evidence to prove that their injuries were the direct and proximate result of Trump's comments. In September of 2018 the suit was dismissed based on the First Amendment protection given to candidates. In December of 2016 Megyn Kelly a Fox News commentator that didn't cotton to Trump, said she was receiving death threats from Trump supporters, which she believed was incited by Trump social media facilitator, Dan Scavino.

 

The Racist & Violent Presidency of Donald J. Trump & Fox News

Trump was inaugurated on January 20, 2017 and within a week had signed an Executive Order banning travel into the U.S. by nationals of numerous Muslim nations.

This was just the beginning of what seemed to be four years of the Donald's efforts to divide the nation through racism and sexism during his presidency.


A Few Things To Do This Weekend NYC

MLK Day Weekend, Art Opening Reception, Moynihan Station, Mass Transit Usage Steady, CoVid Rages, Vaccinations Ramp up but Snafu, Divergent Retirement Trends NYPD & Teachers, Ongoing White Collar Workplace Shift & Capitol Riot Fallout

January 15, 2021 / US Politics / NYC Neighborhoods / News Analysis & Opinion / Gotham Buzz NYC. 

ted cruz election objections seem a fundraising scamWeather.  The temperature highs will be in the mid 40’s and the temperature lows in the mid 30’s except on Friday when the high and the low will both be in the mid 40’s.  Winds will range between 11 – 17 mph throughout the weekend.  There’s a forecast for about an inch of rain on Friday, most of which will fall after 7 pm. The rest of the weekend is clear.  Humidity will be around 80% on Friday, in the high 60’s on Saturday and in the low 60’s on Sunday.

 

Things To Do This Weekend in NYC / Mass Transit

The Moynihan Train Station across from Penn Station / Madison Square Garden in Manhattan opened on January 1st, 2021. The roof is interesting to see, while I didn’t find the rest of it so awe inspiring.

Queens Local News.  There was a fire last Saturday off Main Street near 37th Avenue in Flushing, Queens where a number of retail store fronts were burned out.

In Brooklyn there’s an opening art reception on Saturday between 5.30 – 8 pm at FiveMyles at 558 St Johns Place in Brooklyn.  Adherence to CDC CoVid guidelines is required.

Public Mass Transit Usage.  Bus ridership was down 50% - 60% this past week, while subway ridership was down 66% - 70%.  I rode the rails last weekend and the cars were fuller than I’ve seen them since the pandemic began.

 

Nationally CoVid Raging like a California Wildfire

An estimated 80 plus million Americans traveled over the holidays.  That compares to about 50 million over the Thanksgiving holiday.  But to be fair, the Thanksgiving holiday is shorter.  Nonetheless that’s a lot of travelers and this is believed to have contributed to the uptick in Corona Virus infections in the post holiday season.

The economy appears to be slowing down again, amidst the raging CoVid pandemic which continues to break new highs in those who test positive, the use of hospital beds and deaths nationwide.  We’re doing far better in NYC and NYS than the nation as a whole, where the testing positives appear to be receding from the post holiday highs.  NYC is at about 8% and NYS between 6%, while the nation as a whole is at about 12% positive tests.  Queens has the lowest number of hospital beds per capita in the nation.

 

CoVid Vaccination Supply, Demand & Administration

CoVid vaccinations are picking up steam with about 11 million vaccinated nationwide.  About one million doses of the vaccine have been administered in NYS, of which about 10% were second doses.  In NYC a number of new 24/7 vaccination destinations opened this week, including the Javits Center in Manhattan, a center at CitiField will soon open in Queens, the Brooklyn Army Terminal, the Bathgate Contract Postal Station in the Claremont section of the Bronx and Health & Hospitals Vanderbilt Clinic on Staten Island.  About 75% of the vaccines received have already been administered.  Unfortunately, NYS had been receiving about 300,000 doses per week, but that allocation reportedly fell by 50,000 for the coming week.  There appears to be some snafu in the supply chain / operations management of the vaccine rollout.

The Mayor expects to open in the neighborhood of 160 vaccination sites, but it now seems that the demand for the vaccine will outstrip the supply in the coming weeks, as most of the doses scheduled for next week have already been planned.  Here’s a link to the NYC CoVid vaccine finder page where you input your zip code to find distribution / administration sites near you so you can rsvp for an appointment.

https://vaccinefinder.nyc.gov/

I think it’s worth reminding folks that mass transit subways are unavailable from 1 am – 5 am daily, so having 24/7 is only available to those who can afford autos and taxis.  Based on a recent CoVid map of the city, it appears the most highly infected areas of the city are southeast Brooklyn, Staten Island, southeast Queens and the Bronx.

The Population of Eligible Vaccine Recipients Grows

First responders, particularly healthcare workers were slated to be first in line for the vaccine, followed by other first responders including teachers, policepersons, firepersons and mass transit [MTA] workers.  Government officials also opened up the vaccine to folks over the age of 75, and then made a second adjustment, opening it up to anyone 65 and older.  It appears that soon-to-be former president Trump may have played a jedi mind trick on America’s firemen, as according to a Uniformed Firefighters Association survey referenced in a December 7, 2020 ABC News report, over half of the NY Fire Department appears hesitant to take the vaccine.

Stay Disciplined and Stay Safe – We’re Getting There

We can’t get the economy rolling again and resume a somewhat normal life until we get this CoVid pandemic back under control.  The vaccinations are going to help, but most estimates predict that it won’t be until sometime between early to late summer before we’re in a position to possibly normalize again.  So the big three – masks, social distancing and hands washing - are going to have to stay in effect for many more months.  Just acknowledging that allows one to mentally prepare oneself, knowing that within the next 6 – 12 months, we should be in a better place.

As a point of context, in 1947, after a single case of smallpox had been detected, NYC administered six million vaccines in a month. 

What Kind of Shot in the Arm does National Economy Really Need?

Macy’s reported that it plans to close 45 of its stores nationwide by mid 2021. And while retail sales the past three months have been declining month over month by low single digits – which has been widely reported - nobody seems to be reporting the good news, which is that retail sales are up 5.7%, 4.1% and 6.3% year over year for the months of October, November and December respectively. 

Is this mass media failure to provide real context corporate media manipulation to encourage lawmakers to spend big on stimulus – or just lazy corporate broadcast media reporting or both?  Congress did pass a nearly $1 trillion stimulus bill less than a month ago, so fiscal stimulus is on the way. 

The unemployment numbers rose 150,000 to 950,000 after levelling off in the 700,000 - 800,000 range the past few weeks.  For the month of December, the economy lost 150,000 jobs – not gained them.  The restaurant, hotel, entertainment, bricks n’ mortar retail, travel and hospitality businesses continue to be those hardest hit. But is the new stimulus bill going to put people back to work – or do another Donald dunce and pay them to stay home?

Divergent Trends: NYC Teachers & Police Retirements

In NYC in 2020 teachers in policemen have been retiring in higher than usual numbers.  About 1,500 NYC public school teachers retired in the Fall of 2020, which is up 54% vs the prior year. 
NYC Government Employee Retirements Decline & Accelerate – Teachers & Policepersons

About 2,400 police officers filed for retirement through the first week of October of 2020, which was up somewhere between 20% – 25% versus 2019.  CoVid and the social unrest were likely the key factors for the increase.  I heard a radio report that said that NYC public school teacher retirements were up significantly, but I could not find any report online to confirm that.  Education Week did a survey for the six months ending September 2020, where they report most teacher retirements occur, and NYC Public School teacher retirements were DOWN 20% to 1,100 for that six month period.  

Most White-Collar Workers Continue Working from Home

According to various studies, before the pandemic white-collar workers did less than 10% of their work from home.  At the height of the pandemic [late Spring / early Summer 2020] white collar work from home rose to above 60%.  Now white-collar workers are reportedly still doing 50% of their work from home, while only between 10% - 30% of them have returned to the office full time. Dallas, Texas is reportedly leading the nation in white collar workers returning to the office, with about 30% of them said to be back in place [could not confirm].

New Yorkers are reportedly a billion dollars behind in rent.

Capitol Riot Fallout Loser – Following Voters' Firing of Trump [Unemployed], he goes on a Rampage, which Culminates in Supporters' Violence [Criminals], is Subsequently Banned from Social Media & will Lose his Residence [Eviction] within the Week

After being fired from his job by the American people in November, Trump’s rampage resulted in a riot at the Capitol last week, where five people - including two in law enforcement and one ex-military gone wild - lost their lives. Yesterday Trump put out a video where he said he didn’t condone violence, but that doesn’t fit into the reality of all of the things he’s been saying these past five years.  So like shock jock Alex Jones similar phony act of contrition, Trump’s statement had a hollow ring to it, as did wife Melania’s public statement, where she doesn’t acknowledge the Donald’s role in inciting the riot.  And neither of them acknowledged President-elect Biden’s win.

So, it’s time for the White House staff to take out the white trash.  Only five more days of the disastrous presidential hoax, that Trump would ‘Make America Great Again’.  He may have been a terrible president, but he’s sure seems like a super con man.

Trump Loses Social Media Platforms to Spew his Venom

Due to the Capitol Riot violence, Donald Trump’s Twitter and Facebook and YouTube accounts were closed.  The Twitter account is closed permanently, after Trump had tweeted 57,000 times.  They posted a public explanation for the decision which you can read by copying and pasting this link.

https://blog.twitter.com/en_us/topics/company/2020/suspension.html

Trump Loses Business & Lending Sources Because of his Bad Behavior

Trump also reportedly golfed over 400 times, spending about 300 days of his Administration on the golf course.  Half of those days were at Trump owned properties. Unfortunately for him, the PGA ended its deal to use Trump’s Jersey golf course for their tournament.  The City of New York is also in the process of cancelling its contracts with him for management of the ice rink and carousel concessions in Central Park, and also working to end relations related to his golf course in the Bronx.

Deustche Bank said it would not be doing any more business with the Donald going forward.  They have $300 million in outstanding loans and were one of the few banks willing to do business with Trump following his four / six bankruptcies. Far smaller players, Signature Bank and a local Florida bank called Professional Bank, also said they would not be going any future business with Trump.

And a number of very large American corporations are reviewing their political donations programs in light of the Capitol Riots. 

It’s impossible at this point to know how much of these moves are publicity ploys versus real or meaningful change.

Personalization of Power Comparisons - Republicans’ Fealty to Trump & Nazis’ Loyalty to Hitler / Trump & Nixon

In spite of the insurrection, most Republicans still appear to remain mostly loyal to the Donald.  It remains uncertain as to whether this is because of a genetic spine removing mutation that has taken place in the Republican party, or that they have abandoned their oath to uphold the U.S. Constitution and keep their promise to the American people.  No amount of phony patriotic platitudes, flag waving and Bible toting theatrics will be able to hide who these people really are going forward. 

Trump recoiled at being compared to Nixon, while Fox News recoils at the comparisons of Trump to Hitler. The latter is possibly because the analogy to Hitler casts their boss, Rupert Murdoch, in the light of Goebbels.  Hitler was said to have had a hypnotic effect on the German people – and as far as I can tell, the only way people could continue believing that Trump making America great - is if they were mesmerized. 

Spineless Senators Symptomatic of a Diseased Republican Party & a Faltering Democracy

Trump was impeached for a second time.  This time ten Republicans, showed some backbone, and joined their Democratic colleagues to impeach the Donald. 

But speaking of spines, I enjoyed seeing Lindsey Graham board Air Force One with Trump on Tuesday, January 12, 2021.  This was less than a week after Graham - on the floor of the Senate, on national TV, after the senate had returned following the riot - said that president Trump,

“… needs to understand that his actions were the problem, not the solution … All I can say is count me out.  Enough is enough … ”

Also on Tuesday, January 12th, 2021 a New York Times story reported that Senator Mitch McConnell said that,

“… he believes President Trump committed impeachable offenses …”

The story went on to say that McConnell was pleased that the Democrats were going to impeach Trump, as that would make it easier for the Republican party to rid themselves of Trump and move on.  A day later on January 13, 2021, the Wall Street Journal reported the following,

“ … Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R., Ky.) sent a note to Republican senators on Wednesday, saying he has not made a final decision on how he would vote if President Trump's impeachment case reached the Senate …”

Who are senators Graham and McConnell looking out for? Their constituents and what's best for the nation - OR - their own political careers?

Conspiracy Theorist & Trump Supporter Alex Jones of Pizzagate, Sandy Hook & 911 Conspiracies - also Seen Inciting Folks at Capitol Riots

I saw a PBS News documentary on Alex Jones entitled the United States of Conspiracy which you can view at any time online for free. 

https://www.pbs.org/wgbh/frontline/film/united-states-of-conspiracy/

It’s a documentary that helps shed light on some of the underlying trends that seem to be going on in our nation at this time.

Have a nice MLK Day weekend.


The President, a Former NYC Mayor, Murdoch's Fox News & 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].

 

Giuliani - Everything You're Going to do is Ok?

ted cruz election objections seem a fundraising scamNow Rudy Giuliani is a fixer - or lawyer as they used to be called prior to the presidency of a seemingly mobster-like con man. Giuliani's role in this farce appeared to be to reassure all of these guileless suckers, that everything they were about to do, was perfectly legal. Fox News calls Rudy Giuliani 'America's Mayor' - and he's an attorney - so why wouldn't they trust him?

This is the transcript of Giuliani's comments.

https://www.rev.com/blog/transcripts/rudy-giuliani-speech-transcript-at-trumps-washington-d-c-rally-wants-trial-by-combat

So Giuliani went on to tell them that the Democrats cheated blah, blah, blah. Like he's been doing for the past two plus months since the election ended. Never mind that the Trump campaign has lost or had thrown out more than 60 lawsuits [not all represented by Rudy] and lost all half dozen to a dozen vote recounts.

ted cruz election objections seem a fundraising scamGiuliani again referenced Dominion voting machines, calling them "crooked". But I think it's worth mentioning that Dominion is threatening to sue Giuliani and the Trump campaign for defamation - so eventually we'll see who is who, and what is what.

Here's part of the Giuliani statement.

"... Over the next 10 days, we get to see the machines that are crooked, the ballots that are fraudulent, and if we’re wrong, we will be made fools of. But if we’re right, a lot of them will go to jail. Let’s have trial by combat. I’m willing to stake my reputation, the President is willing to stake his reputation, on the fact that we’re going to find criminality there..."

At this point Rudy, I'm gonna go with 'fools'.

 

Fox News Quacks & Hacks Seem to Prep Trumpsters for Immortal Suckerdom

ted cruz election objections seem a fundraising scamIs Fox News America's disinformation news source? Why other media outlets aren't calling out Tucker Carlson, Sean Hannity, Laura Ingraham and all the other ratings-hyping, multi-millionaire pundits at Fox News as propagandists or quacks - is beyond me. They are NOT journalists in the same fashion as many of the reporters at the Washington Post, New York Times, CBS News, NPR reporters are - any more than the snake oil salesman Mr. Haney on the old sitcom Green Acres was a trusted salesman.

 

The Capitol riot or insurrection of January 6th, 2021 is a good event to use to exemplify what Fox 'News' propagandists do to manipulate their audience to vote and act as Fox News billionaire boss, Rupert Murdoch, likely wants.

 

ted cruz election objections seem a fundraising scamHitler and Goebbels were among the first to use modern mass media to manipulate their audiences. They realized that people share the same sorts of fears and anger - both destructive or paralyzing forces. What people don't necessarily share is how to solve problems. So it's far easier to destroy than to create, and far easier to divide than unite. Hence Rupert Murdoch's Goebbels-style propaganda machines seems to use the divide and conquer military and economic business model, to get him what he wants, regardless of the social and humanitarian costs.

I've been studying both Goebbels' and Murdoch's work for years now, and Murdoch has modernized Goebbels' legacy so much so, that even the New York Times and Washington Post and CNN and the three major TV networks still appear to fall prey to validating Fox as a legitimate news outlet by congratulating them whenever [it seems nearly every time] Fox does a real news story. This enables Murdoch's Fox News to continue the illusory deceit that it's a bonified news organization.

 

Fox 'News' - America's Disinformation News Source

ted cruz election objections seem a fundraising scamSo how did Fox 'News' treat Trump's bogus claims of election fraud? By repeating them over and over and over again apparently to create hysteria and ratchet up their ratings - like they always seem to do. They appear to operate a ratings money scam, not a real news source in the tradition of late 20th century American journalism.

So leading up to the Capitol Riots, Fox News Lou Dobbs show repeated - and seemed to validate Trump's claims that Dominion voting machines were faulty. Dobbs changed his tune when Dominion started prepping a lawsuit against him.

Propagandist Maria Bartiromo on Fox Business basically gave Trump an open mic to make all sorts of unfounded election fraud claims that any responsible journalist would have debunked or pushed back on. Even a 12 year old child could have done a better job.

Fox News propagandist and Trump sycophant Sean Hannity kept publicizing the election fraud nonsense too, for example claiming 'Institutional Betrayal' in one of the graphics on his show [see other graphics in this report]. And I'm a monkey's uncle if Laura Ingraham, Tucker Carlson and the other Fox propagandists weren't also doing their whorey news ratings best to capitalize on the scam as well. They didn't become multi-millionaires by reporting straight news.

I captured some images of Murdoch's Fox News complicity in Trump's unfounded claims of election fraud, but when I went looking for better ones, they were seemed to be missing. One page seemed to indicate that Fox had 'sanitized' some of their prior coverage from the web, possibly in preparation for the Dominion lawsuit. This is in my mind akin to Goebbels' book burning.

It's possible some of the disappearances could have been due to the search engines or social media scrubbing Fox News and other unfounded election fraud claims disinformation sources from their sites, too long after the damage had been done. Rupert Murdoch's Fox, Wall St. Journal and NY Post all attack the social media companies for disinformation, censureship and attacking free speech - but Murdoch's outlets have been flooding the market with distorted reporting crap for many, many, many years. And they appear to tamp down - if not censure - the Democrats, liberals and left on all of their media.

ted cruz election objections seem a fundraising scamIn December 2020 Fox 'News' started floating a new slogan, 'standing up for what's right', right around the time it backed off amplifying the voting fraud claims. This seems like their old 'fair and balanced' slogan - a cynical mockery of the limited intelligence of the people in their audience.

Unfortunately the Fox News audience seems susceptible to the manipulation and deception by Murdoch's many 'big lies'. Murdoch's Fox News audience is comprised of people who appear unwilling to obtain their information from multiple news sources, perhaps because the other news sources may not cater as much to the audience prejudices as Murdoch's Fox seems to do.

And that's one of the reasons why the Fox audience is so out of touch with reality. They are not respected and treated like children, or worse, simpletons. One won't learn new things, if one's biases are coddled to and reinforced, instead of being challenged. And if one isn't learning, then one isn't growing, and thus becomes more susceptible to being defrauded by big city con men, like Donald J. Trump, Kevin Rupert Murdoch and Rudy Giuliani. The folks who invaded the Capitol on Wednesday afternoon are likely people who don't go looking for the truth, but look for reinforcement of their biases and prejudices. Generally the most opinionated people, those most sure of 'what they know', are the easiest to manipulate. Mark Twain said that it's "what you know for sure, that just ain't so" that will get you into trouble.

 

How Complicit is Fox in Trump Fundraising Scams of his Own Supporters?

ted cruz election objections seem a fundraising scamFox 'News' seems a disinformation network as much by its distortions, as its omissions. For example Fox 'News' appeared to report nothing about Trump raising hundreds of millions [$200 million] based on his unsubstantiated claims of widespread voter fraud - most of which could be used for other purposes based on the reading in the fine print.

As of this writing, I've seen reports that indicate Trump had only spent about $8 million to litigate voter fraud, leaving him with $192 million in 'stop the steal' funds - and the campaign is over.

I also checked to see if Fox 'News' covered the story about the $100 million in Trump campaign funds that went to an LLC, reportedly set up by Trump son-in-law Jared Kushner which was managed by Brad Pascale, Trump's former campaign manager. Pascale was reportedly contemplating suicide and there have been rumors that Trump has used this LLC to launder some of his campaign funds. See the graphics at right showing report of such by Refinery29 and Business Insider which I found on MSN.

There's nothing conclusive on this story yet, but it's worth mentioning that a Trump related company was convicted of laundering money by the FBI prior to Trump becoming president. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross once held a position at a bank in Cypress, which was known for laundering Russian Oligarch money - some of which is believed to have gone to Trump to bail him out of his many bankruptcies.

Why didn't Murdoch's Fox News audience see, hear or read any of this? Because Australian born billionaire Rupert Murdoch, who controls Fox News, seems to get all sorts of favors from his many propaganda assets - one of whom appears to be Donald J. Trump - so he provides them with media protection / media cover.

 

Rudy Giuliani - Modern Day Snake Oil Salesman - NOT 'America's Mayor' as Murdoch's Fox News Would have you Believe

Giuliani's speech was like a farce of a dishonest politician inciting a ludicrous insurrection. Rudy gets up in front of the audience as 'America's Mayor' and tells the mostly muscular, white, middle aged, male simpletons that he, Rudy Giuliani, has scientific proof of election fraud, and that he needs only two days to prove his claims. He forgot to tell them that this is after more than 60 plus days of failing to do so in a court of law. This mendacious maestro goes on, asserting that 'THEY' [the same they that Fox News Sean Hannity uses] are stealing everything America stands for, and it's up to you few thousand bumpkins in the crowd to stop it and save America. The park permit for the Trump rally was about 5,000 - and in the prior two Trump rallies in Washington, D.C. since the election, the crowds never seemed to approach more than 10,000.

But if you watched and believed Fox News Sean Hannity, you would believe there were hundreds of thousands at the rally - see bottom line in graphic above showing Hannity and the crowd.

ted cruz election objections seem a fundraising scamThis strikes my funny bone as I can imagine these numbskulls thinking,

"It will be just like in the movies. We'll all be heroes. The president will decorate us with medals. Iskanka and Melanoma will kiss us. And so will every other American woman out there. We'll be famous. The president will tweet about us and give us good jobs."

Trump's tweet, as shown above, seems to feed a similar hallucination. But back to reality ... sort of. Here's the Giuliani verbatim.

"... It [the election fraud] is a matter of scientific proof. We need two days to establish that ..."

" ... They [the Democrats] picked states where they have crooked Democratic cities, where they could push everybody around. And it has to be vindicated to save our republic. This is bigger than Donald Trump. It’s bigger than you and me. It’s about these monuments and what they stand for ..."

A semi-intelligent, semi-informed citizen would know that Trump and Giuliani lost about 60 court cases and about a half dozen to dozen vote recounts because they didn't have the proof and / or there was nothing substantive amiss with the 2020 election and that two of the five states being contested were Arizona and Georgia, which have traditionally been Republican strongholds, the voting apparatus of which was presided over by Republicans. But I reckon there wasn't a one in the crowd that processed Rudy's deceitful manipulations in that way.

ted cruz election objections seem a fundraising scamThese last two Giuliani quotes are my favorites as they really seem to assume and play to the people in the crowd as if they were the village idiots - OR people who've been living in the Sean Hannity, Tucker Carlson, Laura Ingraham Fox News fake news blackhole.

" ... This has been a year in which they [the Democrats] have invaded our freedom of speech, our freedom of religion, our freedom to move, our freedom to live. I’ll be darned if they’re going to take away our free and fair vote. And we’re going to fight to the very end to make sure that doesn’t happen... "

And this is the Giuliani coup de grace, where he incites these saps to ignore the rest of the world, because they're on a mission to save the nation by doing the right thing [note how this aligns with Fox News new slogan - Hitler / Goebbels did this sort of thing too].

" ...God bless you [Editor's Note: these con men always seem to use God in an amoral and unauthorized manner]. And thank you so much for your support. I know the courage it takes to be out there. I know how you get ridiculed [Editor's Note: because you're suckers who believe con men like Giuliani and Trump]. I know how they try to take jobs away from you. But you look in the mirror every night and you say to yourself, “I’m doing the right thing for myself, for my family, for my children, and most importantly for the United States of America.”..."

He really should add 'sucker' to that line - like the snake oil salesman Mr. Haney used to do on the sitcom Green Acres. Because Rudy must certainly know he's deceiving these folks into doing something for which they may end them up in jail. By then Mr. Rudy Giuliani Haney will be hundreds of miles away, or at the White House enjoying himself with the other con men who disgraced that stage, like Don Jr. and John C. Eastman, law professor of Chapman University Law School.

Come on. This whole thing is so very laughable, like watching Mr. Haney sell something to Eb on the old sitcom Green Acres. So many of the Trumpsters seem to be Ebs or other Green Acres village idiots. But this is not a sitcom, but rather real life with real consequences, so it's not funny, because people were hurt and at least five people lost their lives. And the folks manipulated by these con men - the Ebs - have just done an incredible job of messing up their very real, working class lives. Not that the con men are to blame for it all, because their target audience members are adults and hence are responsible for their own actions. But these adults appear to possess a mix of ignorance manifested in racial, gender and / or ethnic prejudice, misplaced trust and one has to assume some palpable level of incredible stupidity.

ted cruz election objections seem a fundraising scamThat these Trump supporters don't seem to have the mental wherewithal to be able to differentiate between real and fake is sad, but not unexpected in a nation as large as ours. There's a part of me that feels sorry for the non-violent, non vandals in the crowd - because like prior known Trump scams - he's filling these saps with hope and anticipation that will never be realized, while taking their hard earned money and / or livelihoods in the process.

I grew up in a small town that included a few people who appeared to 'think simplistically' like many of the Trumpsters who went to Washington, D.C. for the January 6th, 2021 rally. My impression of those few people from the small town where I grew up, was that on a personal level these folks were generally well intentioned, but who - unfortunately - could easily be manipulated by others who could use their prejudices to exploit them.

That's where the comparison of Trump and Giuliani to Mr. Haney on Green Acres comes in. As well as the comparison of the intellectual acumen of the Hooterville villagers, to that of the well meaning Trumpsters at the Washington, D.C. riot, arises. Mr. Haney was a loveable con man, while Trump and Giuliani are just con men. And the villagers of Hooterville were endearing, while the Trumpsters who stormed the Capitol, are not.

Here's a link to some of the Best of Mr. Haney on Green Acres, which you might find enjoyable.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I-sT5vHnYNE

The film Chocolat, starring Juliette Binoche and Johnny Depp, does a nice job of depicting the darker side of one of these simpletons - who like some of the Trumpsters last Wednesday - commits an act of violence, thinking that that was what the town chieftan wanted. It's worth mentioning that Rupert Murdoch's media appear to be relentlessly bashing Depp because he sued one of Murdoch's British papers, The Sun, for libel. So beware the source of negative Johnny Depp reports.

Excepting those who brought weapons and vandalized, I feel some sort of compassion for grown adults who are so vulnerable / susceptible to manipulation by complete strangers and even pundits via TV. Strangers who can - and in this case did - mess up some of these people's entire lives. I suspect many of these Trumpsters thought they were doing something patriotic, like saving the country, when in fact they were doing just the opposite, and threatening to destroy it.

ted cruz election objections seem a fundraising scamThe Trumpsters aren't just being exploited by billionaires like Trump and Murdoch, but also multi-millionaires like Giuliani and the multi-millionaire pundits at Fox - like Hannity, Lou Dobbs, Maria Bartiromo, Carlson and Ingraham. And most recently it appears that Senators Ted Cruz and Josh Hawley want in on the act. Sadly, the pandemic of grifters and suckers appears to be spreading quickly ... getting worse ... just like the other pandemic with which we're dealing.

Trump supporters and too many Fox News viewers think that if it's on TV then it's real. They believe that fake is real and real is fake if they hear it on TV, over the radio or see it on the web. It's the bizzarro world of Murdoch's Fox fake news, and Trump's reality TV, where everything gets turned upside down. And lately, all of this has been coming together in a Matrix like snafu, where what's in the computer software code somehow goes all wrong, and the 'agents' have now somehow come to life, like Agent Smith. I'm referring to the movie 'Matrix' and comparing it to the radicalized group QAnon. Where is Neo when we need him?

ted cruz election objections seem a fundraising scamA quote by America's first Supreme Court Chief Justice, John Jay, seems to fit here.

"... I consider knowledge to be the soul of a republic, and as the weak and wicked are generally in alliance, as much care should be taken to diminish the number of the former as of that latter..."

Unfortunately, I see a lot of analogies of our present day situation to the 1930's Weimar Republic, where the wicked and the weak appeared to take over the state, and then try to take over the world.

And, unfortunately, the analogies don't go away with one election. They didn't in Germany either.

Have a good week.


NYC Slowly Comes Back to Life - Things To Do

Live NYC Events, NYS Rental Assistance & Eviction Law Update, & Giuliani Appears to Foment Trump Rioters, so NYS National Guard Deployed to Capitol

ted cruz election objections seem a fundraising scamJanuary 8, 2021 / US Politics / NYC Neighborhoods / News Analysis & Opinion / Gotham Buzz NYC. 

Weather. The weekend temperature highs will be around 40 and the temperature lows will be around 30. No rain is in the forecast. Winds will be between 5 - 10 mph. Humidity will be about 50% through the weekend, rising Sunday evening to about 70%.

 

Live Events in NYC This Weekend

Note that you must rsvp for timed tickets to enter these cultural sights. Also CoVic protocols - meaning masks, social distancing and in good health [possibly temperature tests] - are required. Most charge some modest fee or ask for a voluntary donation.

Also there's an opening reception for an art exhibit, What the Light Saw, at the Plaxall Gallery at 5-25 46th Avenue in LIC Queens this weekend. The exhibit is open Fridays from 6 - 9 pm and Saturday & Sunday from 12 noon - 5 pm and it runs through February 2nd.

Tickets at https://www.culturelablic.org/current-exhibitions

Also, the NYC Parks Department is hosting its annual Mulchfest around NYC through Saturday, January 9th where you can have your tree mulched on the spot and walk away with some wood chips. See their website www.nycgovparks.org.

 

Some Cultural Sites Open This Weekend in All Boroughs

The Queens Museum in Flushing Meadows Corona Park in Queens is open Wednesday through Sunday from 12 noon to 5 pm and opens at 11 am on Saturday and Sunday.

PS1 MoMA at 22-25 Jackson Avenue in LIC Queens is open Thursday through Monday from 12 noon to 6 pm.

The Bronx Museum at 1040 Grand Concourse [at 165th Street] in the Bronx is open from Wednesday through Sunday from 1 pm to 6 pm.

The NY Botanical Garden at 2900 Southern Blvd in the Bronx is open from 10 am - 6 pm Tuesday through Sunday. They have a special light show, entitled Glow, at the Haupt Observatory which runs this weekend and next on Friday and Saturday. Tickets are sold out for Saturday 1/9/21.

The National Lighthouse Museum at 200 The Promenade at Lighthouse Point on Staten Island [a short walk from the Ferry terminal] is open Wednesday through Sunday from 11 am - 4 pm.

The New York Chinese Scholar's Garden at Snug Harbor Cultural Center at 1000 Richmond Terrace on Staten Island is open from 10 am - 4 pm Saturday and Sunday. The grounds are also open during daylight hours, but the Newhouse Center for Contemporary Art is closed pending changes in the pandemic.

The Brooklyn Museum at 200 Eastern Parkway in Brooklyn is open Wednesday through Sunday from 11 am - 6 pm, except on Friday and Saturday when they stay open until 8 pm.

The Brooklyn Academy of Music or BAM at 30 Lafayette Avenue in Brooklyn remains closed, but has a number of online offerings.

The American Museum of Natural History at 200 Central Park West on the Upper West Side of Manhattan is open from 10 am - 5 pm Wednesday through Sunday.

The Metropolitan Art Museum at 1000 Fifth Avenue on the Upper East Side of Manhattan is open Thursday through Monday from 10 am - 5 pm.

 

Next Week - Education Funding Protest

And next week on Tuesday, January 12th there's a protest [FYI - Fox Propaganda News this is NOT a riot since you seem unable to differentiate between the two] entitled Protect Students, Not Billionaires at 3.30 pm at 740 Park Avenue in Manhattan.

 

Rental Assistance Re-Opens & New Eviction Moratorium Law Passed

New Yorkers in need of rental assistance, meeting certain requirements, will be happy to hear that NYS has re-opened the program. Details to follow.

This past week a new NYS Eviction Moratorium Law was passed. I believe it was extended through March, but landlords can't oust you until May - but I need to confirm as details will follow.

Have a nice weekend.


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.

 

Trump Nicknamed Cruz "Lyin' Ted Cruz", While Cruz Called Trump a "Pathological Liar" - This Seems a Rare Instance when Both Men Were Telling Folks the Truth

ted cruz election objections seem a fundraising scamI think Hawley and Cruz watched as Donald Trump raised some $200 million in one month for his seemingly fake 'stop the steal' campaign - and Trump only paid out $8 million to contest the election results. That's one helluva a profit margin at 96% profit on 80% of a quarter billion dollars in one month.

Old Ted and Josh are no fools, and they seem to know a good scam when they see one. So Cruz joined Hawley and both began fundraising on their apparently fraudulent effort, so they could get in on the fun [see Cruz photo above].

I stumbled upon Cruz's ad this morning and thought that the empty heads at the large national corporate broadcasting news organizations ought to know. Too often they seem the last to know what's going on behind the scenes, as their superficial reporting seems to have all the depth and insight of a twelve year old.

This is exactly why things are so messed up - dishonest pols and ignorant, lazy or superficial newspeople - who appear to spend more time prepping their make up and hair, than they do in pursuit of finding out what's going on - and then telling their audiences about it, straight up.


Republicans Abandon the Traditional American Conservative Values for which they Once Stood

Have the New Republicans Become a Party of Treasury Plundering, Pussy Grabbing & Self-Serving Seditionist Sycophants?

January 4, 2021 / US Politics / NYC Neighborhoods / News Analysis & Opinion / Gotham Buzz NYC. 

My experience and interactions with Republicans during my childhood and up until sometime between the late 1980’s and mid 1990’s was generally positive.  I was actually a card-carrying Republican for a few years, as was one of my grandfathers, and I share many of what once were Republican values.  But the Republicans of today, particularly the Trump Republicans, appear to have abandoned nearly all the values for which they once stood. Let's take a quick look.

 

What Republicans Once Stood For & How They Lost Their Way

republican values have changed republicans aren't fiscal conservatives anymoreI. States’ Rights.  Republicans once stood for values that I still believe in.  They stood for states’ rights, which were originally embedded in the U.S. Constitution as a means of providing checks and balances in the system. And I believe in the wisdom of the checks and balances.

Republican Distortion of States’ Rights – Enabling Ongoing Legalized Racism.  But states’ rights morphed into a racist rallying cry, in the wake of the Civil War, as the southern states were embittered by the loss of the Civil War.  States’ rights were a means of obstructing the northern states from imposing the U.S. Constitutional value of treating all humans with respect on the former slave states. when the federal government imposed its will upon the southern states vis a vis ending slavery of African Americans

II. Smaller Government, Fiscal Conservatism & Less Taxes.  An implication of the claim to states’ rights implied a smaller, less intrusive federal government.  This mantra of smaller government also gained some of its impetus, again particularly in the south after the Civil War, as a means to limiting federal government oversight.

Smaller government also implied some measure of fiscal conservatism – or at the least – fiscal responsibility. Out of this came lower taxes, a move which was generally done by lowering government spending – until Ronald Reagan came along. 

Republican Distortion of Smaller Government, Fiscal Conservatism & Less Taxes – Borrow & Spend.  That’s when Republicans started lowering taxes by adding debt to the federal government balance sheet in order to further enrich the rich. I’m all for lower taxes, when it can be done responsibly, but I’m not for lower taxes when most of the proceeds go to some of the wealthiest people on the planet, while the children and the unborn are burdened with the nation’s debt.

Adding about $6 trillion to the nation's debt, while building nothing, is one of Republican president Donald J. Trump's greatest legacies.

III. Family Values.  Republicans said they stood for family values, for which I reckon there may possibly be as many definitions as there are people, but I take that to mean supporting the nuclear family in the raising of children in an ethical, responsible, law abiding manner.  Republicans claimed they were the party of personal responsibility. I’m all for that. Who isn’t?

Republican Distortion of Family Values  - Eliminating a Women’s Right to Manage Her Own Body. But then Republicans used the mantra of family values, to infuse a tribal Christian culturalism to it, which manifested itself through a push to legally eliminate the right of women to early termination of an unwanted pregnancy.  All the major religions generally seem to share many of the same proper behavioral guidelines, but even many religious people agree that women should have a right to choose whether or not to bring a baby into the world if they’re impregnated – if the fertilized egg is removed within a set amount of time.  According to a June 7, 2019 report, only 13% of all Americans want to overturn Roe vs Wade, but that translates into 31% of all Republicans, which is a sizeable and oftentimes passionate force.

Republicans twice nominated an apparent pussy grabber, racist and one of the world's greatest con men to be their candidate for president.

IV. Deregulation & Freedom.  Republicans generally favor government deregulation which they ascribe to preserving their freedom.  Deregulation only makes sense if the regulations have lost their reason to be, or are so constraining as to be untenable. In both cases I’m for deregulation.

Republican Distortion of Deregulation & Freedom - The World Changed & the Republicans Didn't.  This may not be so much a change in how Republicans have distorted what they once stood for, as much as that the context in which we live has changed.  We no longer live in a seemingly boundless frontier, but rather on what feels like a shrinking planet, so the limitless space once accorded us to do whatever – no longer exists. We can’t keep shooting the buffalo, because there aren’t tens of millions of them.  We can’t allow anyone to pollute our air or drinking water, because it affects everyone’s health. We can’t keep fishing or fracking or pumping oil, because the planet has become finite and we’re close to being in an intolerable zone – possibly even nearing planetary eco-system collapse.

Trump deregulation efforts - not through congress but rather executive order - seemed to enable the fossil fuel and other industries to connive to destroy numerous species, clean air and clean water. 

 

Why All 10 Living Former U.S. Defense Secretaries Sign OpEd Telling American People & U.S. Military - The Election is Over

republican values have changed republicans aren't fiscal V. Law & Order.  Republicans believed that law and order must be maintained for society to function properly / productively.  I agree with that. 

Republican Distortion of Law & Order – Use of Phony Claims of Patriotism to Destroy Our Democracy & Rule of Law to Appease [Dictator Wannabee] Trump Whims.  This is on full display this year, particularly in the next couple of days.

Republicans laying claim to abiding by the laws, have no business trying to overturn the ‘Will of the People’ - as Trump and many Republican Senators and Congressmen alike - appear to be doing since the election.  Their collective disrespect for the vote counts, followed by numerous vote recounts, literally dozens upon dozens of court rulings across the nation in both state and federal courts, and the Electoral College vote count is – to understate things - appalling.  

Ten - count them - ALL TEN OF THE LIVING FORMER U.S. DEFENSE SECRETARIES felt compelled to pen and sign an Op Ed telling president Trump and the sycophantic Republicans who support him - that THE ELECTION IS OVER.

VI. Pay attention to the names of the Senators and Congressmen who sign on to this democracy destroying stunt, because they don’t represent you.  They are politicians clutching to their own power, livelihood and social status – at the entire nation’s expense.  Why? Because these Senators and Congressmen cower before Donald Trump, fearing he may tweet against them in the next election.  They are certainly not patriots [why do they always seem to claim to be the exact opposite of what they are?], because no proof has been found of widespread voter fraud. 

See our past few months of coverage [October - December 2020] to learn just how corrupt many of the people in the higher echelons of the Republican party are. And we dedicated an entire section to the numerous shenanigans of Donald J. Trump. Also see 1.5.21 report on Texas Senator Ted Cruz seeming to use this event as a fundraising scam to fill his campaign coffers with ignorant Trump supporters' cash.

VII. Trump Voter Fraud False Claims History: The 2016 Election Voter Fraud Commission Headed by Pence & Kobach Ended in 2018 with Nothing. It’s worth reminding people that Vice President Mike Pence and then Kansas Secretary of State, Kris Kobach, lead a commission investigating voter fraud that Trump claimed had added millions of votes against him in 2016.  In 2018, the Commission was quietly closed, after they found a few isolated instances of fraud [four?], which would have had no impact on the electoral outcome in any state.

It seems this time the voter fraud claims of 'stop the steal' - is more to enable the steal of donations from the dumbest of Trump supporters - by convincing them to donate their hard earned dollars to help the billionaire pay off his debts. The master deceiver / con man appears to be motivating many of the rubes in his audience to donate to him, under the illusion that they are saving the nation, by 'stopping the [illusory] steal'. They don't call the Donald the greatest con man in the world for nothing. See November 2020 report.

 

List of the Republican Senators & Congressmen, Who Seem to have Reneged on Their Oath of Office, by Prioritizing Their Own Political Careers [fear of Trump attack tweets] over Allegiance to the U.S. Constitution & American People

republican party of fascists nazis dictators anarchists modern american republican party of donald trumpRepublican Senators & Congressmen Seem to Betray our Democracy, in order to Escape the Wrath of Trump's Dictator-like Attack [Loyalty Pledge] Tweets. To hold our representatives accountable, we voters need to know their names, so we know who we’re voting either for or against. 

So to date here’s a list of the senators reportedly supporting this action and I’ve also included the list of congressmen who signed onto the Paxton Texas lawsuit aimed at delegitimizing the swing states Electoral College delegates [see earlier report in late Nov / early Dec 2020 for Paxton’s alleged desire for a Trump pardon of Paxton's alleged crimes].

Twelve senators have reportedly signed on to Trump’s coup attempt. The effort was designed to challenge the votes from many of the swing states, under the ruse of wanting an investigation into an election, where no widespread voter fraud was found [like in 2016]. This was done in a nearly last ditch effort, after numerous vote recounts and dozens of lawsuits failed to yield any different electoral outcome.

According to a January 3, 2021 report on MSN, the U.S. Senators involved include,

“… Ted Cruz (TX), Marsha Blackburn (TN), Mike Braun (IN), Steve Daines (MT), Ron Johnson (WI), John Kennedy (LA), James Lankford (OK), and senators-elect Bill Hagerty (TN), Cynthia Lummis (WY), Roger Marshall (KS), and Tommy Tuberville (AL)...”

According to a December 11, 2020 Washington Post report, the following Congressmen were involved in supporting the Paxton December lawsuit contesting the election results in key swing states. These congressmen likely make up the bulk of those contesting certification of the votes of the Electoral College [in alphabetical order].

Mo Brooks (AL), Alex Mooney (WV), Scott Perry (PA), Robert B. Aderholt (AL), Rick W. Allen (GA), Jack Bergman (MI), Andy Biggs (AZ), Ted Budd (NC), Jeff Duncan (SC), Bob Gibbs (OH), Louie Gohmert (TX), Lance Gooden (TX), Andy Harris (MD), Steve King (IA), Markwayne Mullin (OK), Ralph Norman (SC), David Rouzer (NC), John Rutherford (FL), Adrian Smith (NE), Randy Weber (TX), Ron Wright (TX), Brian Babin (TX), Jody B. Hice (GA), W. Gregory Steube (FL), Steve Scalise (LA), Ralph Abraham (LA), Jim Baird (IN), Jim Banks (IN), Gus M. Bilirakis (FL), Dan Bishop (NC), Mike Bost (IL), Kevin Brady (TX), Ken Buck (CO), Tim Burchett (TN), Michael C. Burgess (TX), Bradley Byrne (AL), Ken Calvert (CA), Earl L. “Buddy” Carter (GA), Ben Cline (VA), Michael Cloud (TX), K. Michael Conaway (TX), Eric A. “Rick” Crawford (AK), Dan Crenshaw (TX), Mario Diaz-Balart (FL), Neal Dunn (FL), Tom Emmer (MN), Ron Estes (KS), Drew Ferguson (GA), Charles J. “Chuck” Fleischmann (TN), Bill Flores (TX), Jeff Fortenberry (NE), Virginia Foxx (NC), Russ Fulcher (ID), Matt Gaetz (FL), Greg Gianforte (MT), Sam Graves (MO), Mark Green (TN), Michael Guest (MI), Vicky Hartzler (MO), Kevin Hern (OK), Clay Higgins (LA), Trey Hollingsworth (IN), Richard Hudson (NC), Bill Huizenga (MI), Bill Johnson (OH), Mike Johnson (LA), Jim Jordan (OH), John Joyce (PA), Frederick B. Keller (PA), Mike Kelly (PA), Trent Kelly (MS), David Kustoff (TN), Darin LaHood (IL), Doug LaMalfa (CA), Doug Lamborn (CO), Robert E. Latta (OH), Debbie Lesko (AZ), Blaine Luetkemeyer (MO), Kenny Marchant (TX), Roger Marshall (KS), Tom McClintock (CA), Dan Meuser (PA), Carol Miller (WV), John Moolenaar (MI), Greg Murphy (NC), Dan Newhouse (WA), Gary Palmer (AL), Guy Reschenthaler (PA), Tom Rice (SC), Cathy McMorris Rodgers (WA), John Rose (TN), Austin Scott (GA), Michael Simpson (ID), Jason T. Smith (MO), Ross Spano (FL), Elise Stefanik (NY), Glenn Thompson (PA), Tom Tiffany (WI), William Timmons (SC), Ann Wagner (MO), Tim Walberg (MI), Michael Waltz (FL), Daniel Webster (FL), Brad Wenstrup (OH), Bruce Westerman (AK), Roger Williams (TX), Joe Wilson (SC), Rob Wittman (VA), Ted Yoho (FL) and Lee Zeldin (NY).

Republican leaders who declined to support a resolution acknowledging Biden’s win [includes] Kevin McCarthy (CA), Jodey C. Arrington (TX), Doug Collins (GA), Scott DesJarlais (TN), H. Morgan Griffith (VA), Jim Hagedorn (MN), Billy Long (MO), Barry Loudermilk (GA), Steven M. Palazzo (MS), Greg Pence (IN), Bill Posey (FL), Mike Rogers (AL), Pete Stauber (MN), Jefferson Van Drew (NJ), Mark Walker (NC) and Jackie Walorski (IN).

Republicans who support the appointment of a special counsel include Brian Babin (TX), Paul A. Gosar (AZ), Glenn Grothman (WI), Jody Hice (GA), Thomas Massie (KY), Greg Steube (FL).

As you can see above, there was a time when Republicans stood for something of value.  And now, as you can also see above, they seem to stand for very little … except themselves.

I am at least as disappointed, as I am angry.


The Road Ahead 2021

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.

So CoVid Aside - New Years Guidelines for 2021

I used to make new years resolutions that generally lasted a few days or few weeks. Over time I've given that up and have focused on a few guiding principles that I work toward throughout the year, every year.

1. The first guidepost is to keep things as simple as possible by letting things go, so you can change and evolve who you are. Over time it's important to learn to let go of the past which includes letting many of the people, projects and things - once so meaningful and relevant - to fade away with time. This process involves discarding much of what one collects, in order to open up space in your life to make room for new possibilities.

2. The second guidepost is to take care of the vessel that carries one's being - meaning take care of your body because it's the only one you'll ever get, and it has to last an entire lifetime. This means consuming the foods that will enable the body to function properly and ward off disease, while recognizing that satisfying the mind is important too, as it's a part of the body. There are three elements to this guideline.

a _ Try to maximize consumption of natural foods while managing / minimalizing consumption of the delicious processed foods that come in packages. Read package container nutrition labels which indicate the amount of fat, sugar, sodium and cholesterol consumed per serving. You can manage the balance of natural and processed foods depending on what's going on in life, meaning leaning toward natural foods to take care of the body, and leaning toward tasty processed foods to treat your mind.

b _ Reduce consumption of toxins by first paying attention to the quantities consumed of them, and then by substituting the toxins with healthier choices. For example dilute a soft drink with seltzer water [cuts sugar], or swap in a lemonade for a beer [cuts alcohol], or swap in pretzels for potato chips [cuts salt and fat]. Over the years these little substitutions can add up to some fair measure of weight loss or stability, and can aid in maintaining generally good health. But it's also important not to deprive oneself, too much, of some of the simple pleasures in life that keep one going - experience tells us not to be too draconian, or you can expect a subconscious rebellion, and then your program doesn't work.

c _ The third element of this guidepost is to try to walk and bike whenever possible. It's a good way to kill two birds with one stone, as it enables getting somewhere, while also getting some exercise. And be sure to carve out enough time each night, for a proper rest.

3. The third guidepost is to try to move your life in the direction of your interests. This will likely take a great many years, as well as needing to make a good number of economic and other lifestyle trade offs. But if successful, you can then spend most of your time doing the things that totally engage you. It's said that "when someone is doing something they truly love, they'll never have to work another day in their life."

4. The fourth guidepost is to keep on learning, because "luck is when preparation meets opportunity". So the more you learn, and the more experience you get, the better prepared you'll be ... come what may.

May your new year be filled with promise and possibilities. Best wishes for a happy and successful 2021.


The Last Week of 2020 ... Hooray

A Very Turbulent Year Comes to a Close, Out of the Ashes Rises the Phoenix

holiday events holiday markets manhattan queens bronx brooklyn staten island holiday events holiday markets nycDecember 28, 2020 / NYC Neighborhoods / News Analysis & Opinion / Gotham Buzz NYC.

Weather. The temperature highs will be Monday, Thursday and Friday, and just below 40 on Tuesday and Wednesday. The temperature lows will be will be in the low 30's on Monday and Tuesday, in the high 20's on Wednesday and in the high 30's on Thursday and Friday. A quarter inch of rain is expected Thursday, New Years Eve and a full inch of rain on Friday, New Years Day. Winds will be 5 - 10 mph all days except Tuesday, when the winds will pick up to between 10 - 15 mph. Humidity will range from 45% - 65% in the earlier part of the week, rising to between 70% - 80% for New Years Eve and New Years Day.

The photo at right shows the Kwanzaa candles at City Hall which Mayor de Blasio erected in recognition of this fairly recent [1960's] African American holiday. The holiday runs from Saturday, December 26th to New Years Day 2021.

 

Last Week of December 2020 Events - Mulchfest & Photo Exhibit Ending

The MMiXX d-up photo exhibit at Lety Bakery & Cafe at 77-07 37th Avenue in Jackson Heights ends Thursday evening.

NYC Parks returns with its Mulchfest program to recycle trees between now and January 9th. See the Parks Department website for times / dates / locations - https://www.nycgovparks.org/highlights/festivals/mulchfest.

There are about 400 million Christmas trees in the U.S., of which about 10% are harvested annually.

 

NYC / NYS CoVid Pandemic News

The extra mortality rate for 2020 is expected to be about 310,000 as of a week ago. There are 3.2 million American deaths forecast for 2020, which is a record and the uptick is due to the pandemic. CoVid will be the #3 killer in America [333k], following heart disease [655k] and cancer [599k].

An estimated 65% of the spread of CoVid following the Thanksgiving holiday, came from small private gatherings. It makes one wonder what's going to happen post the holidays / New Year.

The NYC CoVid positivity rate has risen from 2 - 4% in Novmber to about 7% to date in December. Grades K - 5 reopened following Thanksgiving, while grades 6 - 12 will reopen following the holidays. NYC Public Schools have been shown to have a below average CoVid positivity rate.

The number of Americans responding affirmatively to willingness to take the vaccine has risen from the low 50% range to about 60% since Biden became president-elect. People with significant allergies should proceed with caution before taking either vaccine, because a few people have had significant negative reactions. Both the Moderna and Pfizer vaccines require two doses.

 

NYC & NYS Economic & Employment News

holiday events holiday markets manhattan queens bronx brooklyn staten island holiday events holiday markets nycBetween 1000 - 1100 bricks n' mortar retailers closed their doors this year in NYC. Chain stores took a big hit [down 13% - 14%], and about half of the losses came out of Manhattan. Examples of chain stores that closed in NYC include approximately 50 Starbucks locations and about 70 Duane Reade drug stores. I've seen the number of stores reported closing vary, which is why I have noted approximately. Manhattan took the double whammy of the loss of tourism and the loss of white collar workers, two thirds of whom continue to telecommute to their jobs.

Nationwide, an estimated 100,000 small businesses have already closed their doors this year due to the pandemic. The business models of many of the small bricks n' mortar retailers was under siege prior to the CoVid breakout.

The photo at right shows the New Years platform being erected in Times Square on Monday night. While the celebration will carry on, in person participation will be limited to a few rsvps. But you can watch it online or on TV.

Nail salons, which opened in the summer [I think July] saw a quick return of business before falling off again. It's said that overall nail salons have lost about half their business, which is also likely due to the fall off in tourism and the continued white collar telecommuting.

Holiday sales were up an estimated 3%. This compares with a Black Friday sales increase of 22%. Curbside pickup was up 52%.

In NYC one estimate shows a third of the 240,000 small businesses in NYC closing before the pandemic ends.

Unemployment continues at a high rate in the U.S. at 6.7% [November statistics, but doesn't include the fact that the labor force participation rate dropped nearly 2% which is millions more who don't have / lost their jobs], about 8% in NYS and about 12% in NYC. It's worth noting that NYS has a GDP of over $1.5 trillion in a normal year, which is about 8% of the national total [2017].

New York City's higher unemployment rate is due in part to its dependence on tourism, as NYC attracts over 60 million tourists annually. Since the pandemic began in March 2020, NYC tourism has all but died. An NYC & Company [NYC's tourism promotion agency] report says that NYC tourism accounts for $46 billion in annual revenue and about 400k jobs. The other source of NYC's unemployment problem is that only a third of white collar workers have returned to the office, which means significantly less retail and restaurant business in the city - and it's worth noting that some of this may be a permanent shift / change.

 

NYC Commercial Real Estate & Eviction Moratorium Extension

In November about 13.5% of Manhattan office space was available. Commercial leasing / sales were down 80% versus a year ago and it's the highest availability rate since 2003, which was the fallout following the 911 attack.

Governor Cuomo extended the eviction moratorium until March 7, 2021. That's good news for renters, but landlords / building owners weren't happy, making allegations that some tenants are or may be gaming the system.

NYC is looking at a $3.8 billion deficit in the coming fiscal year. Mayor de Blasio averted the crisis last fall via an unexpected increase in tax revenue.

 

Airline Travel & Mass Transit

Holiday travel was down significantly below prior year, but rose to levels not seens since before the pandemic began. Nationally about 9 million traveled by air during the Thanksgiving holiday, which was down about 60% from the 26 million in 2019, and over 10 million are expected to travel by air during the Christmas / New Year holiday. An estimated 34 million Americans curtailed their travel plans this holiday, while another 85 million did some traveling. Over the Thanksgiving holiday it was estimated that some 50 million did some traveling, down 10% versus prior year.

Generally airlines are seeing a gradual return of business, as they were down 90% shortly after the pandemic began, were down about 70% over the summer, and now are down about 60%. So things are improving.

MTA ridership is down about 30%, fluctuating from about -62% to -81% on any given day, per the data last week.

Miscellany

On November 30, 2020 the incoming Biden Administration had its first Intel meeting. Donald J. Trump wasn't present. Perhaps that's why they called it an Intel briefing. The Trump Administration continues to obstruct the incoming Biden Administration - this is beyond poor sportsmanship. And the baby man president's behavior, as always, is so bad it's almost indescribable. Only 23 more days left of the Trump Administration ... but who's counting?

Speaking of babies, the top names for babies in 2020 were Emma and Olivia for girls and Liam and Noah for boys.


Interview with Santa the Weekend B4 New Years

It's Been a Disappointing Holiday, but Not Unexpected

holiday events holiday markets manhattan queens bronx brooklyn staten island holiday events holiday markets nycDecember 26, 2020 / NYC Neighborhoods / News Analysis & Opinion / Gotham Buzz NYC.

I bumped into Santa over the holiday season. He looked a bit tired and thinner than he was last time I interviewed him a few years ago. I asked him if he had contracted CoVid, because he has a couple of underlying health conditions that might put him at risk - like being overweight and being over 65.

He told me no, in no uncertain terms, that he did not have CoVid and that he and Mrs. Claus and the elves had quarantined for the past 364 days leading up to Christmas so that they could be sure that everything they delivered on Christmas day would NOT have even the slightest possibility of being infected.

He seemed less jolly than in prior years, which I inquired about. He told me that he'd been doing the same gig for centuries, and yes, he was more tired than usual. He commented that he was especially tired, possibly in part because of the pandemic. And that the stress of quarantining toy parts and what not before putting them into production at his North Pole toy factory had turned out to be - pardon his French - a pain in the ass.

He also said he was sorry he couldn't swap out his toy production for food production as he knew many families were bereft of some of the basic necessities - even rent - so toys seemed a bit superfluous during these heavy times. I asked him for a ho, ho, ho, Meerrryyy Christmas, which he managed to summon up, in spite of himself. And he quickly added ... "and have a Happy New Year".

That's Santa, who like a lot of people this year, is carrying on in spite of everything. So I wanted to pass that along to you. More coming Monday, with a possibly a bit more from my interview with one of the longest lasting celebrities of all time, Santa Claus.


Holiday Headwinds & the Coming New Year

Most Folks Won't Miss 2020, but There was a Silver Lining in the Dark CoVid Cloud, 2nd Stimulus Package Passed & NYS Rent Relief Program Reopened

December 22, 2020 / NYC Neighborhoods / News Analysis & Opinion / Gotham Buzz NYC.

holiday events holiday markets manhattan queens bronx brooklyn staten island holiday events holiday markets nycAs we head into the holidays, which for many begins on Wednesday evening, there doesn't seem much bounce in folks steps when I travel the city.

For many 2020 has been a devastating year. Over 320,000 Americans lost their lives to CoVid, over 18 million contracted the virus [tested positive], and about 30,000 or more people have been in the hospital with CoVid since April of this year, with double that amount in two separate spikes in April / May and July.

CoVid Pandemic Health & Hospitalization Impact. And what's worse, is that as of just a few days ago, there were nearly four times that amount [113,000 according to an NPR report on December 17th] in the hospital as we speak. So if you're one of the 310 million Americans who haven't caught the virus, consider yourself lucky and you have something to be thankful for. And if you haven't lost someone close to you, then you're not among the roughly estimated three million Americans who have.

CoVid Pandemic Economic & Housing Impact. But the pandemic impact reaches far beyond mortality and health, as many people's livelihoods have been turned upside down. An estimated 40 million are looking at possible eviction when the regulatory hiatus on evictions ends. An estimated 10.7 million people are unemployed and the labor force participation rate dropped 1.9% since the pandemic began and it is now 61.5%. This means that in addition to those unemployed who are currently looking for jobs, another 1.9% of the population [6.3 million] has given up even looking.

Can Trumpsters really look people in the eye and tell them with a straight face that Trump has made America Great 'Again' with these kinds of results? And this doesn't even take into account that Trump gave away trillions in tax cuts, trillions more in government stimulus, and pumped trillions more into the economy in Federal Reserve liquidity?

To 80 million plus voters, the silver lining of 2020, was that Donald J. Trump will no longer be president, come January 20, 2021. The COUNTDOWN to a Trumpless Presidency begins - 30 days and counting.

 

The Holidays & Good New$ Arising Out of Stimulus Bill ...

holiday events holiday markets manhattan queens bronx brooklyn staten island holiday events holiday markets nycMore good news is that the holidays are here. Things slow down and we'll all get a chance to catch our breath. In spite of warnings by government officials many folks I know are planning small get togethers with immediate family and a few close friends. It's the struggle between human longing and behavior, and rational discipline that's playing out. Most folks I know appear to be making compromises in both directions. Rituals and traditions are hard to let go.

Speaking of compromise, the Senate and House passed a second stimulus package. It contains $4 billion for our MTA [$4 billion], $15 billion for the culture / entertainment industry nationally, $15 billion more in bailout money for the airlines, some money for the airports, apparently another $600 stimulus check for taxpaying Americans making less than $75,000, and some money - but not a whole lot - for the states and municipalities to help cover increased expenditures arising from CoVid.

Update 12/22. But Trump has yet to sign it, and whether he's using this 'fake news' to distract from his pardoning of his criminal-like cronies, or really won't sign it, remains to be seen. See prior post on 12/18/20 for an early look at potential pardons of Trump's seemingly criminal-like family and friends.

NYS Reopens Rent Relief Program. Perhaps the best news for the folks facing the most stressful circumstances is that the rent moratorium was extended to January 31, 2021 and $25 billion was allocated toward rental assistance. Thus NYS reopened its CoVid Rent Relief program. The program is designed to help folks with their primary residence in NYS, who were making 80% or less of the household size adjusted median income prior to March 7, 2020, and are rent burdened. The deadline for relief applications is February 1, 2021. You can find details at www.hcr.ny.gov/rrp.

I have a fair amount more to add about the economy, but much of it isn't exactly cheerful, so I'm going to save it for sometime between after Christmas and the end of the year.

There's a bit of good news in that I'm beginning to receive more notices about small and / or outdoor events being planned in NYC [the relatively warm weather helps] beginning in January, so I expect [assuming all hell doesn't break loose surrounding CoVid after the holidays], as we move into 2021 more activities will start springing up, and the city will begin coming back to life.

I hope to post something more cheerful in time for Christmas weekend. So if you have a few minutes, feel free to check back in. In the meantime, best wishes to you and yours. Only one more week to go on 2020, so manage it well and treat yourself to something special like a drink, a sweet or favored food or a nap. Cheers.


Countdown to NYC Christmas as Hanukkah ends

Winter Solstice in Elizabeth Garden, Bike NYC Holiday Rides, Good Riddance Day Ten Days Away, Threats of 2nd 'Pause' NYS Lockdown Persist, Why [is?] Indoor Dining Shuttered Indefinitely, Some NYC Hospitals Near ICU Capacity Overload, CoVid Vaccination Devil in the Details, Trump Pardons & Epithets

December 18, 2020 / NYC Neighborhoods / News Analysis & Opinion / Gotham Buzz NYC.

holiday events holiday markets manhattan queens bronx brooklyn staten island holiday events holiday markets nycNYC Weekend Weather. The temperature highs will rise from the low 30's Friday & Saturday to the high 30's on Sunday. The temperature lows will rise from the mid teens early Friday morning to the mid 20's Saturday and then the mid 30's on Sunday. No precipitation is forecast for Friday and Saturday and possibly less than 1/10th of an inch later [after 3 pm] on Sunday. Humidity will rise from the 60% range on Friday, to the 70% range Saturday and near 80% on Sunday.

Things To Do Between Now & New Years - Elizabeth Street Garden Winter Solstice, Bike NYC Holiday Rides, Good Riddance Day in Times Square

On Sunday, December 20th between 6 and 7 pm, the Elizabeth Street Garden at 209 Elizabeth Street in SoHo between Prince and Spring Streets in Manhattan is hosting a Winter Solstice celebration. It's free, but you must wear a mask even though it's outdoors, and there's limited capacity.

But on Monday, December 28th, beginnning at 12 noon, there's Good Riddance Day. This was inspired by a Latin American tradition, where bad memories of the year are stuffed in dolls which are then burned. While the Times Square event won't include fire, they say the bad memories of 2020 can be tossed, shredded and smashed.

Also on Monday, there's a Manhattan holiday lights ride that begins at Columbus Circle at 3 pm and ends at the South Street Seaport around 7 pm. It costs $10 and you can register at www.bike.nyc.

On Wednesday, December 23rd, there's a Bronx holiday lights ride that begins at Van Cortlandt Park at 242nd Street and Broadway at 3 pm and ends at the South Street Seaport around 7 pm. It costs $10 and you can register at www.bike.nyc. The Brooklyn Holiday Lights ride was on Saturday, December 12th.

Like most things this year, the New Years Eve ball drop in Times Square is going to be a virtual event.

 

CoVid Taps ICU Capacity at Some NYC Hospitals

holiday events holiday markets manhattan queens bronx brooklyn staten island holiday events holiday markets nycSpeaking of suck, CoVid has decided to stay for the holidays. NYC and NYS are actually doing fairly well in managing the pandemic - relative to the rest of the nation - but the rest of the nation isn't doing so well. We're between 5% - 6% testing positive.

But that said, some Intensive Care Units around the city are near capacity as CoVid patients contribute to high demand for the ICU. This week The Patch, an online news site, noted that some NYC hospitals including Flushing Hospital in Queens, Mount Sinai and NY Presbyterian on the UES of Manhattan, Brooklyn Methodist [also run by NY Presbyterian] and Kingsbrook Jewish Medical Center in Brooklyn are nearing capacity in their Intensive Care Units. They also noted that an unnamed Staten Island hospital and a second Queens hospital [possibly Elmhurst as its adjacent to one of the city CoVid hotspots] were nearing total usage of ICU capacity. The City, an online news site, has been tracking the impact on local healthcare facitilies and shows that at present 83% of hospital beds and 78% of all ICU beds are occupied.

Part of the Problem is NYC and NYS have limited Hospital ICU Capacity. After at least a decade of cutting hospital facility capacity, it seems we're back in need of this critical infrastructure again - or at least a re-thinking of how to move forward without having the shut down the economy everytime there's a surge in the pandemic spread.

I recommend that government officials create a task force led by a smart problem solver, who can manage inputs from medical professionals, restaurateurs, teachers and other essential and non-essential representatives to help figure out how to balance public health with economic health for the long term.

The photo above shows an NYC snow plow out on Wednesday night cleaning up the city streets which seem to be in pretty fair shape as of this writing.

 

Indoor Dining on Hiatus at NYC Restaurants, Even Though Thus Far, Restaurants Account for Less Than 2% of the Spread Rate

holiday events holiday markets manhattan queens bronx brooklyn staten island holiday events holiday markets nycThe surging demand for ICU care at local hospitals is why the Governor and Mayor are threatening a second shutdown. They have already pulled back on indoor dining, even though by Governor Cuomo's own numbers, restaurant dining represents less than 2% of cause of the spread. And the cold weather and snow aren't helping these indefatigable entrepreneurs.

Update 12.19.20. While Cuomo's numbers indicate NYS restaurants represent only 1.4% of the spread of CoVid, a December 8, 2020 PolitiFact report did a quick survey of some of the CoVid transmission studies done since the pandemic began. In their report, PolitiFact states that restaurants represent the types of places where CoVid 'could be spread, but the actual transmission rates varied from locale to locale - likely because of differing regional responses to the pandemic. This is likely why the Governor and Mayor have put restaurants on hiatus - but it seems to punish / not reward what appears NYC and NYS restaurateurs' good behavior.

The photo at right shows a small neighborhood store, lights burning brightly, amidst the snow storm. Restaurants, neighborhood stores and other small businesses collectively are sizeable employers and an important part of the community fabric.

Hurting NYC restaurateurs rallied in Times Square on Tuesday 12/15/20 in support of government relief, including the proposed $114 billion of federal economic stimulus for restaurants, where a spokesperson at the rally noted that the restaurant industry employs 11 million in the nation. According to a December 7, 2020 Bloomberg report, already a reported 110,000 restaurants nationwide have closed their doors. This is according to a National Restaurant Association report, which calculated in September that 100,000 restaurants had closed. This would indicate that the restaurant shutdowns have slowed, but by no means stopped.

 

CoVid Vaccinations - Two Candidates & Delayed Action Immunity

So as of this week, we have two VACCINATION therapies approved by the FDA Advisory Panel. One has been given FDA approval for use, with the second soon to follow. The first vaccinations began this week, which is the start of at least a half year to full year effort, to vaccinate enough people in the population to return to some kind of post pandemic normal. I don't think post pandemic normal is going to be the same as it was before this all happened in a manner not unlike what happened following 911, when things returned to normal - but traveling by air was very different.

Delayed Reaction Vaccination. WBGO, a jazz radio station out of Newark, NJ, had a talk program where one of the experts noted that between the two vaccination doses, a patient can actually contract CoVid because at that point the patient - is at best - 50% protected. What I found most interesting though, was that the patient doesn't become fully immune until about a month after the second dose, as the body requires time to build / complete the immunity.

A couple of patients using the Pfizer vaccine, who had pre-existing conditions concerning allergies, caused Pfizer to warn folks with such conditions, to carefully consider whether to proceed with taking the Pfizer vaccine. I imagine, as with the virus, we'll continue to learn new things as the science unfolds.

CoVid Back Pain Symptom? Celebrity talk show host, Ellen DeGeneres, caught CoVid just over a week ago. This week she noted she was feeling fine, but told us she experienced some agonizing back pain. This symptom, which she said others who had contracted CoVid confirmed, has not been previously mentioned.

KEEPING SAFE - Simple CoVid Rules to Remember. The 80 / 50 Rule. I understand that 80% of the spread of CoVid is done via air [aka breathing too close to someone] and that 50% of the spread is done by people who show no symptoms [asymptomatic]. This is a cautionary tale, but it's easy to remember,. The lesson is that if you stay disciplined, you should also be able to stay safe by distancing and wearing a mask. And, of course, pandemic or no pandemic, wash your hands before touching your face or preparing / eating food.

 

Trump Pardons & the Celebrity Penitentiary Choo Choo?

Donald Trump is reportedly scheming how to pardon all of his seemingly criminal-like cronies and family members. He appears to want to do that without it appearing to be so, by hiding them in a massive pardon that includes innocents.

This is not unlike the approach taken in the film entitled Jack Reacher, where a criminal executes a half dozen people in a Pittsburgh park, in order to hide the motive for assassinating the intended target, so that authorities wouldn't dig deeper into the case to find out what was really going on. But Jack Reacher, a former army investigator, is not so easily fooled.

In a similar manner Trump - ever the deceitful con man - will try to hide his self serving use of America's presidential pardons to get his seemingly criminal-like cronies - including many family members and friends - off the hook for crimes they may possibly [likely?] committed.

My early and incomplete GUESSES for pardons for possibly committing federal crimes include:

holiday events holiday markets manhattan queens bronx brooklyn staten island holiday events holiday markets nyc1) Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, who is a decades long Trump crony, for god-knows-what, as he's been quiet the whole four years. But it's worth noting that Ross's department was one of the first named in the hack attack by the Russians after Trump fired DHS Security guru Krebs, and Ross has had a long history of relations with Russian Oligarchs, which include suspicion of possible money laundering efforts. Lastly Ross was adept at finagling Trump out of complex financial messes [aka bankruptcies] for decades - which Ross is rumored to have done using Russian Oligarch money.

According to a January 30, 2019 NJ.com report,

"... U.S. Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross['s] ... labyrinth of Russian bank ties may have paid off Trump's five bankruptcies when no U.S. bank would..."

2) Ivanka Trump & Jared Kushner & Wendi Deng [who is the ex-wife of Rupert Murdoch of Fox News] for possibly being intermediaries in the 2016 election between Trump and Putin [click for story that includes other names] and Kushner was the liaison for a possibly illegal campaign collusion with Kanye West, and Kushner is reported to have set up an LLC where about $700 million of Trump campaign money went [was laundered?].

3) Rudy Giuliani for allegedly using his relationship to Trump to enrich himself [influence peddling] and using the State Department to obtain dirt or allegations of dirt on Biden.

4) Betsy DeVos' brother Erik Prince former CEO of Blackwater and currently head of a HONG KONG equity based research firm Frontier Resource Group for possibly all kinds of shenanigans, including allegedly working to develop a backwater channel with Putin in 2016.

5) Secretary of Transportation Elaine Chao [how corrupt is Mitch McConnell and his wife?] who, perhaps legally, seemed to sell us out to the Chinese [they now have more naval battle ships]. In May of 2020 Trump replaced an Inspector General investigating Chao's work, with someone vetted by Chao's husband, Mitch McConnell the Senate Republican Mouse Majority Leader.

6) Ben Carson for reportedly giving Trump's sycophantic friend Fox News Sean Hannity improved terms and interest rates on a multi-million dollar package between HUD and Hannity real estate shell corporation(s) [enriching friends, but probably legally], and

7) Roger Stone and Michael Flynn have already been pardoned for alleged mischief with Russian interference in the 2016 election and thereafter. And Paul Manafort is expected to receive a pardon, even though he's already been released from prison on CoVid concerns.

Pay attention and you will see this play out in the last month of the blowhard billionaire's Make America Suck [For the First Time] presidency.

 

Dirty Mouthed Mobster Don Seems Worthy of his Own Epithets

holiday events holiday markets manhattan queens bronx brooklyn staten island holiday events holiday markets nycTrump said he'd clean the swamp. And anyone who believes that today is either a totally naive rube or a believer of the incredible stream of distorted, omission prone, spin factor, fake 'news' coming out of Australian born billionaire Rupert Murdoch's propaganda machine which includes Fox News, the NY Post, the Wall St. Journal and occasionally other outlets he controls.

Pardon me. I'm still working through some of my anger management issues toward that slimeball, sleazeball, scumbag president and his cronies. I use those terms because the Donald likes to use these monikers on other people. Thus, it seems only fitting to use them on him - as he is not guilty of anything - if not projecting his bad qualities onto others.

For example in an April 13, 2018 report in the Atlantic Trump calls former FBI Directors James Comey a "Slimeball". In an October 24, 2019 report in the New Yorker, they quote a Trump tweet which called the Never Trump Republicans "human scum". In a January 22, 2020 report on Real Clear Politics, Trump calls Congressman Jerry Nadler a "Sleazebag". I, for one, will not miss the slimiest, sleaziest, scummiest president our nation has ever had - who promised his knuckle headed supporters that he would "clean up the swamp". Al Capone would not only have done a better job, he would have spoken with more dignity.

There are only 33 more days left to the disastrous, demagogic, democracy-destroying Dysfunctional Presidency of Donald J. Trump.

Enjoy your weekend.


The Week & a Half Before Christmas

Noreaster on its Way? Biden Wins 2020 Election Again - Would Someone Please Tell Trump that Biden is Tired of Winning. White Collar Office Workers Return Delayed? Restaurants Indoor Dining on Hiatus Because Why? Holiday Spirit & Hanukkah ends Friday.

holiday events holiday markets manhattan queens bronx brooklyn staten island holiday events holiday markets nycDecember 15, 2020 / NYC Neighborhoods / News Analysis & Opinion / Gotham Buzz NYC.

Weather. A big noreaster is on its way, arriving here Wednesday between 1 pm and 5 pm. About 13.5 inches of snow are forecast if the temperatures remain below freezing. The whole shebang will be over by Thursday between 10 am and 3 pm. The high temperature is expected to be 32 degrees, while the low is forecast to be 29 degrees - within a few degrees of freezing - so this could possibly end up as rain and sleet, which would greatly diminish the snow. Winds will rise to 15 - 20 mph on Wednesday and Thursday, dropping to 5 mph by Friday. The temperature begins falling Thursday down to 21 and then 17 by Friday, while the high on both Friday remains in the low 30's. So this may be our first real taste of winter if the temperatures fall as predicted.

The photo at right was taken in Manhattan less than two weeks ago. I think it's important to remember that there are many folks out there who are less fortunate than ourselves. Studies show that most folks are happier when they're living next to people who are doing a bit less well than they are. And that folks are less happy, when everyone around them seems to be faring better.

 

Biden Wins the Election, then Wins a Dozen Election Recounts, Wins About 40 Lawsuits, Wins Several Attempts to Steal Delegates by States & Now Wins the Electoral College which includes Shanghai Mitch McConnell's Recognition of Biden's Win

While House Mouse Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy Still Seems to Back Trump Coup - Charlie McCarthy Insists Kevin is No Relation - but that's Unconfirmed

holiday events holiday markets manhattan queens bronx brooklyn staten island holiday events holiday markets nycJoe Biden won the Electoral College 306 - 232 as predicted on November 7th, when the votes were tallied and the Trump election fraud began. Normally this would be no big deal, but Donald Trump appears to have as much disregard for our democracy as he does for the law.

What I don't get is how people can continue supporting a man with as long a history of self dealing - appearing to lie, cheat and essentially steal from countless contractors, employees, bankers [Trump Taj Mahal Casino], investors [Trump Airline], students [Trump University], donors [Trump Charities] and so forth. What has he done for anyone besides himself? But there are now less than 36 days left, so the end is in sight and any future effort to overturn the vote at this point is even less likely to succeed than Trump's half dozen to dozen recounts [none of which turned up any different result] and Rudy Giuliani led lawsuits [Trump and Republicans filed 41 or more lawsuits - losing all of them except maybe one].

Trump's efforts to steal the election are documented in our special reports posted on November 6th - Trump Tries to Steal the Election, November 10th - Trump using Claims of Election Fraud to Enrich or Empower himself, November 30th Trump & Election Fraud and December 11th [halfway down a Weekend Things To Do report] Trump and Corrupt Republicans Try to Steal the Election.

 

Two CoVid Vaccines Endorsed & Distribution has Begun

holiday events holiday markets manhattan queens bronx brooklyn staten island holiday events holiday markets nycThe FDA staff endorses emergency use of the Moderna vaccine. This is the second vaccine in less than a week to receive FDA staff endorsement of a CoVid vaccine for emergency use. This should have the effect of enabling the vaccination rollout to move more quickly than if just one vaccine were available.

 

The photo at right shows folks lining up in Queens to get their CoVid test prior to the Thanksgiving holiday. Even though NYC and NYS are testing positive above 5%, we're still doing better than most of the rest of the nation.

 

Closing Indoor Dining Doesn't Appear to be Following the Science / Numbers - Time to Amend?

Governor Cuomo, supported by Mayor de Blasio, decided to rescind indoor dining at restaurants effective on Monday. While generally I think these two have done a pretty fair job of managing our city and state through this pandemic, this seems another opportunity to amend their plans - like the Mayor is in the process of doing with the public school system.

holiday events holiday markets manhattan queens bronx brooklyn staten island holiday events holiday markets nycThe NYC public school system was closed earlier this fall when the city tested positive above 3% for a week - even though the testing rate in the public school system was well below that. So now they're looking at the possibility of amending the decision making variables that determine when public schools must transition from indoor to remote learning based on the city-wide testing results, instead of using a more appropriate metric of public school wide, or better yet, school specific testing results.

According to charts shown by Governor Cuomo, less than 2% of the CoVid transmission was the result of indoor dining. So to penalize restaurants, by closing indoor dining, when they generally seem to be adhering to the guidelines and thus performing well by minimizing risk, it doesn't seem fair to close / penalize them. And as we all know, the holidays are an important season for restaurateurs ... as well as a gathering place for most of the rest of us as well. The coming cold weather doesn't help either, as it will certainly reduce the highly successful outdoor dining option. I don't envy the Governor and the Mayor, as it's no easy feat to balance the general health and well being of the community, with the community's / people's economic livelihoods.

The photo above shows an NYC rat that I believe was hit by a cyclist. It seems the restaurateurs have done an amazing job of keeping their outdoor facilities clean, as since the outdoor dining rollout, this is the first non-subway / park rat I've encountered in nearly a half year. As you know, the hospitality and entertainment / cultural industries have been particularly hard hit by the pandemic.

 

The Slow Return to the Office of the White Collar Workforce

holiday events holiday markets manhattan queens bronx brooklyn staten island holiday events holiday markets nycGoogle pushed back its estimate for when its white collar office staff might return to the office from July 2021 to September 2021. Given Google's size and intelligence, this is probably a good guesstimate for when businesses might begin to resume the post pandemic normal level of operations.

At present it's estimated that about 30% of white collar workers are working from their offices. And it is expected that in a manner not unlike what's been happening in the public schools, that white collar workers will begin increasing periodic or sporadic use of the office as the vaccines are rolled out, and the second wave we're experiencing now - begins settling down post the holidays.

The photo at right was taken at Saks Fifth Avenue across from Rockefeller Center in Manhattan. Apparently Christmas decoration sales have been up significantly, and either selling out or selling at far better prices. I've noticed myself, how the holiday decorations and music seem to mean more to me this year, than in prior years. I'm pretty sure part of the reason is that they seem to offset some of the anti-social, isolationist aspect of the pandemic. And another reason being that because of decreased mobility / activity this year, the holiday decorations and music haven't seemed as intrusive, ubiquitous and excessive this year.

Happy Hanukkah continues, ending Friday.


This Weekend Things To Do NYC

Happy Hanukkah, New Yorkers Striving to Return to Normal with Tree & Menorah Lightings, Theater & Small Museum / Historic Site Reopenings, but CoVid back on the Offensive, Vaccine Help is on the way, Albeit Not so Soon for Most of Us & Dictator Donald & Seemingly Corrupt Friends Fail to Overturn U.S. Democracy

holiday events holiday markets manhattan queens bronx brooklyn staten island holiday events holiday markets nycDecember 11, 2020 / NYC Neighborhoods / Things To Do NYC / News Analysis & Opinion / Gotham Buzz NYC.

Weather. The temperature highs go from the low 40's into the mid to high 50's the rest of the weekend. The temperature lows will be in the 40's on Friday and Saturday, descending into the low 30's on Sunday night. There's a bit of rain [not even 1/10th of an inch] in the forecast for Saturday morning. The humidity will be in the 70's Friday, rising to 80% Saturday and then dropping to 50% by the end of Sunday. Winds will be between 5 - 10 mph. Not a bad weekend weather report for mid December.

 

Life Continues & a Show Goes On, Albeit Differently

The Bartow Pell Mansion at 895 Shore Road in Pelham State Park in the Bronx is hosting a few historical / theatrical events in compliance with the NYS CoVid guidelines. They're doing Candlelight Tours holiday events holiday markets manhattan queens bronx brooklyn staten island holiday events holiday markets nycfrom 4 - 9 pm December 4 - 19 for $10 admission. They're doing Holiday Mansion Walk Thrus from December 5 - 18 from 10.45am - 3.15 pm [last tour begins] for $10 admission. And they're hosting performances of Mr. Dickens Tells a Christmas Carole from December 12 - 20 from 1 - 2.30 pm for $40. You must rsvp via their website - www.bartowpellmansionmuseum.org.

The photo at right, taken two weeks ago, shows the late fall we experienced this year. It was a welcome relief because in helped restaurants with their outdoor dining, and allowed cooped up denizens to at least enjoy a bit of exercise and fresh air.

In the Bronx there's a food pantry, of sorts, called the Mott Haven fridge outside of a bodega at 141st and St. Anne's in Mott Haven in the Bronx. It was started in the fall by a couple of teachers to provide both a means of giving food by those who can, as well as a means of distributing food to those who need. In late November the Mott Haven Fridge was on the brink of losing its home outside of Chicky's bodega due to that bodega being sold. But a nearby bodega, Brito's Deli Grocery, volunteered the use of a vacant lot their control, so the Mott Haven Fridge did move ... but only 30 feet down the block.

The National Lighthouse Museum at 200 The Promenade at Lighthouse Point on Staten Island [easy 5 minute walk from the ferry terminal] has re-opened with CoVid guidelines in effect. The new hours are Wednesday through Sunday from 11 am - 4 pm daily.

Holiday Tree Lighting & Hanukkah Menorah Lightings in Queens, Brooklyn & Manhattan

The eight days of Hanukkah menorah lighting in Brooklyn at Grand Army Plaza and in Manhattan at 5th Avenue and 59th Street in front of what was once the Plaza Hotel.

And there was a holiday tree lighting event on Tuesday, December 8th in Elmhurst Queens at the Moorehead Homestead Playground at Broadway & 45th Avenue . While the event has passed, the lit tree remains.

Also scroll down for events posted in the prior two weekends which continue through the holidays.

 

CoVid Pandemic Second Wave Continues to Ravage City & State?

Governor Cuomo announced that indoor dining at NYC restaurants will be suspended effective Monday, December 14th. But outdoor dining, pick up and delivery will remain viable dining options. People holiday events holiday markets manhattan queens bronx brooklyn staten island holiday events holiday markets nyctesting positive for CoVid were found twice as likely to have dined at a restaurant within the two weeks prior to testing positive.

The Governor extended the commercial eviction moratorium another month.

The photo at right shows an empty Times Square about a week ago during prime time of day [after work] and prime time of year [holidays]. Broadway theaters are closed until June 2021 and tourism in NYC is operating just a shade above non-existent at present.

Cuomo noted that 74% of new CoVid cases appear to have arisen from attendance at small private in-home social gatherings. And the percent testing positive at both NYC and NYS levels has passed 5% which has been a cautionary threshold, as the transmission rate also rose above 1%, which means the spread in NYS is accelerating. It's worth bearing in mind that this weekend we will be two weeks past the Thanksgiving holiday, which was likely the cause for the increase transmissions, as people likely let their guard down among family, friends and loved ones.

This second wave might abate, except that the holiday season is winding up, and most folks are longing for a bit of social interaction. Part of the holiday kickoff began with the tree lighting at Rockefeller Center on Wednesday, December 2nd, followed by one at Washington Square Park on Wednesday, December 9th, and the beginning of Hanukkah on Thursday, December 10th. We are now two weeks away from Christmas week, and then the New Year [virtual celebration from Times Square], and then things should 'die' down.

The photo at right shows a poster encouraging Astorians in Queens to obtain a flu shot a couple of weeks ago.

So government officials are asking people to continue exercising restraint during the holidays and beyond, as the Pfizer vaccine received FDA emergency approval and will begin rolling out over the next few weeks. But patience is still required as it will take somewhere between many months and a half year to year for everyone or most folks to obtain the vaccine. The good news is that the end is in sight. The bad news is that we probably have at least as long as we have endured to date, to get to the new post pandemic normal.

 

Trump Bid to Destroy U.S. Democracy Blocked by Supreme Court, but his Deceit of Ignorant Republicans Continues

holiday events holiday markets manhattan queens bronx brooklyn staten island holiday events holiday markets nycThis just in. The Supreme Court again denied Trump his bid to overturn our democracy and transform it into a racist, Nazi-like dictatorship where he has all the power and 'We The People' have none. The way things used to be ... again.

The Seemingly Corrupt Texas Attorney General Who Filed the Trump Brief is Rumored to be Angling for a Presidential Pardon

The Texas Attorney General, Ken Paxton, who has been under indictment since 2015 for securities fraud, and who in October 2020 was accused of corruption, including - bribery, abuse of office and other crimes - by a number of his subordinates took the lead in the lawsuit.

Paxton is believed to have done this last ditch bid for Trump in exchange for a presidential pardon. But, while I'm not a lawyer, I believe some of Paxton's alleged crimes cannot be pardoned by Trump. This is yet another example of how rotten and corrupt the Republican party has become. Criminals and con men aiding and abetting each other, while lying and deceiving millions of incredibly ignorant Americans, who are the New Republican Red Rubes.

 

Mitch McConnell Remains Silent as Trump Nominates his Wife for Another Plum Government Paid Position, After Failure vis a vis the Chinese Navy While Transportation Secretary

holiday events holiday markets manhattan queens bronx brooklyn staten island holiday events holiday markets nycSenate Republican Mouse Majority Leader Mitch McConnell also aided and abetted Trump in what seems a fundraising scam [see November 2020 story]. It seems McConnell will be rewarded by Trump's appointment of McConnell's wife, Taiwanese born Elaine Chao - who was the Transportation Secretary as the U.S. fell behind China in the number of naval battleships [in 2019].

McConnell's wife's father is a rich businessman who is well connected to the top members of the Chinese Communist party. And what a surprise, he runs a large shipping company, whose ships the Chinese help fund and build [see our October 2020 report on what appears McConnell corruption].

Australian born billionaire Rupert Murdoch has been using Fox News, the NY Post and the Wall Street Journal to attack a U.S. Congressman for something to do with the Chinese, while failing to identify Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and his wife for what seems their very cozy ties to the top echelons of the Chinese Communist Party.

Why does Murdoch leave McConnell out of the story? Because like Trump, McConnell appears to be a Murdoch propaganda machine asset, and he's working with Trump to set up roadblocks to Biden overseeing the FCC which makes all the difference to a lot of Murdoch's net worth. Prior to Chao's appointment to Transportation Secretary, Murdoch had appointed Chao to the 20th Century Fox [News] Board. See November 30, 2020 story for details.

 

Trump Allies / Georgia Republican Senate Candidates Perdue & Loeffler May Have Profited via Insider Trading on CoVid Intel

holiday events holiday markets manhattan queens bronx brooklyn staten island holiday events holiday markets nycOne of what seems like innumerable of their corrupt associates, Georgia Senator David Perdue, is seeking reelection in the Georgia on January 5th, 2021. According to an NYT report on December 2, 2020,

"... The Georgia Republican’s stock trades have far outpaced those of his Senate colleagues and have included a range of companies within his Senate committees’ oversight, an analysis shows..."

Both Perdue and Loeffler were investigated by a bipartisan Senate Ethics Committee according to the Atlanta Journal Constitution. The newspaper also noted that of the 1189 complaints filed between 2007 and 2019 - NOT ONE OF THEM resulted in disciplinary action. Does that mean that all of those senators are just great stock timers, or were they good at hiding their insider trading, or that they're all corrupt so it makes no sense to let the American people in on the secret?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vyVuhWvB4WA

The Hollowed out, Corrupted Republican Party has Lost its Way - Do They Stand for Nothing Real Anymore?

Use the above link [copy & paste in the browser bar] to watch a brief YouTube video, and then ask yourself - What Happened to the Republican Party? About a minute into the video Ossoff attacks what appears Perdue's insider stock trading during the pandemic.

Allowing this kind of crap to continue is how the American dream for the general populace falls.

I hope you're enjoying your holidays : ) ... like me.


The Holidays Look & Feel Different This Year

Did the Donald & his Dementos Suck the Cheer Right out of Us?

holiday events holiday markets manhattan queens bronx brooklyn staten island holiday events holiday markets nycDecember 8, 2020 / NYC Neighborhoods / Things To Do NYC / News Analysis & Opinion / Gotham Buzz NYC.

Sunday, December 6th was St. Nick's feast day. This year it seemed like more people talked about it and celebrated it than in prior years. And Pearl Harbor Day was yesterday, Monday, December 7th. It was only 81 years ago that we entered into the second world war.

On Thursday, December 10th Hanukkah begins and runs through the following week. And Christmas is now only two and a half weeks away, falling on a Friday. But it just doesn't really FEEL like the holidays this year.

There's little hustle bustle, as about as much shopping was done online by folks in their homes as in stores. And the stores did about half their business via pickup or drop offs so the mingling and social element of shopping was mostly lost this year. Then, the restaurants weren't and aren't filled with high energy, cheery get togethers and parties [party plans are reportedly down 90% this year], and the millions of tourists who bring fun, excitement and their hard earned currency, are nowhere to be found.

The Washington Square Tree Lighting is expected to take place on Wednesday, December 9th. But they're not encouraging a big gathering.

Politics. Meanwhile the CoVid pandemic rages on, while an incompetent, self-serving, egomaniacal, lame duck president continues to try to overturn the will of the people by propagating lies and disinformation via a plethora of dishonest media who repeat his fictional nonsense because it fuels their ratings and visits. While Shanghai Mitch McConnell, who oversaw the largest deficit in American history - by multiples - and the fastest run up in American debt, is in the process of changing his costume and rearranging his make up, so he can tell the American people he's a fiscal conservative again.

Tis the season to be jolly, falla lala la, la, la, la, la.

I'm working through my post election, and anticipatory post pandemic angst, in order to begin the new year with a new mindset, and leave 2020 where it belongs ... in the rearview mirror.

holiday events holiday markets manhattan queens bronx brooklyn staten island holiday events holiday markets nycWeather. The temperature highs will be around 40 Tuesday and Wednesday, and around 50 on Thursday and Friday. The temperature lows will be in the 30's through Thursday, rising to the low 40's by Friday. It will be partly cloudy on Tuesday and Friday, cloudy on Wednesday and sunny on Thursday. No precipitation is in the forecast during the week, with possibly a bit over the weekend.

Schools. K - 5 grades reopened at the schools on Monday. Grades 6 - 12 continue via remote learning. This is expected to continue through the holidays, although there's some back and forth going on about that, as parents would like their older children back in the schools too.

Economy. The pandemic continues to take a toll on hospitality related businesses. This week colder weather arrived, thankfully quite late, as the outdoor dining has kept restaurants in business. One report estimates that a third of NYC restaurants won't make it through the pandemic.

There's some other news, as things are stirring around the boroughs, but I'm still challenged to work through some of the transition back to a semi-normal level of arts, culture and things to do reporting. I suspect this in part reflects the struggle encountered by the people and events I cover, as likely the next six months will be a struggle to return to - not the new normal - but the new post pandemic normal, which should be a huge improvement as some of the mirth and joy returns to our lives.

Stay disciplined and stay patient, we're getting there.


Things To Do This Weekend NYC

Mixed Weather Outlook, More Holiday Events Coming Later, More Going on than Expected, Behave Safely

holiday events holiday markets manhattan queens bronx brooklyn staten island holiday events holiday markets nycDecember 4, 2020 / NYC Neighborhoods / Things To Do NYC / News Analysis & Opinion / Gotham Buzz NYC.

Weather. The temperatures highs will be in the low 50's on Friday, the high 40's on Saturday and about 40 on Sunday. The temperature lows will be in the mid 40's on Friday, the mid 30's on Saturday and about 30 on Sunday. The winds will be 5 - 10 mph on Friday, gusting up to about 16 mph on Saturday, and winding down from 12 - 8 mph on Sunday. There's going to be rain on Friday, with about a half inch falling Friday evening and another half inch falling on Saturday - mostly in the morning. It should be clear after that. The humidity will be 80% falling to 70% on Friday, then falling from 70% to 60% on Saturday and then staying in the 50% - 60% range on Sunday.

We have also published other NYC holiday events and NYC holiday markets in Manhattan, Queens, Brooklyn, Bronx & Staten Island in a November 27th report, which you can also access by clicking the link.

 

Things to do in Manhattan

holiday events holiday markets manhattan queens bronx brooklyn staten island holiday events holiday markets nycBrookfield Place in Battery Park City has a light exhibit entitled Luminaires and an ice rink which is open from 10 am - 8 pm. There are also shops and restaurants open during that time too.

The NY Historical Society is hosting an exhibit entitled Toys & Trains from the Jerni Collection through February 21, 2021.

 

Things to do in Queens

The Queens County Farm is hosting an exhibit entitled The Winter Escape through January 10, 2021.

 

Things to do in Brooklyn

In Williamsburg there's a St. Nicholas Day celebration on Saturday, December 5th.

There are two movie screenings at the Skyline drive in movie theater in Greenpoint on Saturday and Sunday, December 5th & 6th.

holiday events holiday markets manhattan queens bronx brooklyn staten island holiday events holiday markets nycThe William Vale Hotel in Williamsburg neighborhood has a skating rink that's open through January 31, 2021.

 

Things to do in the Bronx

The Jolly Holidays carolers will be singing their way through the Bronx Little Italy neighborhood on Friday thru Sunday, December 11 - 13 and on Thursday, December 17 from 7 - 9 pm. They will also be there Friday thru Sunday, December 18 - 20, as well as Monday and Tuesday, December 22 & 23 from 6 - 8 pm.

 

Things to do on Staten Island

The Conference House is hosting its annual holiday lighting on Friday, December 4th.

 

We have published other NYC holiday events and NYC holiday markets in Manhattan, Queens, Brooklyn, Bronx & Staten Island in a November 27th report, which you can also access by clicking the link.


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

trump election fraud using us government? trump fraudNovember 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 election fraud using us government? trump fraudTrump 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 election fraud using us government? trump fraudTrump 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.

 

Trump Campaign Appears to Skirt Election Laws: Collusion?

trump election fraud using us government? trump fraudLastly, the NY Times reported that Jared Kushner met with Kanye West the weekend of August 8th & 9th, 2020. Kanye, a Trump supporter, launched a bid for the presidency in mid July and filed to get on the ballot in a number of battleground states including Wisconsin and Ohio.

Kanye failed to meet Federal Election Commission filing deadlines, showing where he's getting his money, and where he's spending it. This is a requirement for candidates spending more than $100,000. The filing fee in Oklahoma was $35,000 alone, so it was likely, when one also factors in the resources needed to gather signatures, and litigate to get on the ballot, that Kanye West had likely spent well over that limit [as of November 2020 the West campaign reportedly spent $6 million and received 60,000 votes].

If Kanye's run for president was colluding with the Trump campaign to defeat Biden, then they are both likely in violation of the law. Kanye had reportedly been in regular contact with Jared Kushner, Trump's son-in-law, as well as Republican operatives, who were also reportedly working on the Kanye West for president campaign. What trick in the book didn't Trump try?

 

Trump's Lies are Amplified & Given Credibility by Rupert Murdoch's Goebbels Style Propaganda Machine

trump election fraud using us government? trump fraudAnd while Australian born billionaire Rupert Murdoch's Fox News, NY Post and Wall Street Journal aren't owned by the government, Murdoch seems perfectly willing to allow Trump to use his media outlets as a Goebbels style propaganda machine that shows an unbelievable disregard for the truth. The pundits and 'news' people at Fox either let guests, like Trump, ramble on with numerous falsehoods, unchallenged - or even propagate the falsehoods themselves.

Why? Because Murdoch appears to have been handsomely rewarded for his propaganda media support, via Trump legislation, as well as executive actions by the FCC.

The Murdoch Wall Street Journal 'Trump Economy' is just one example of a Murdoch / Trump deceit, as it was propped up with about $6 trillion in deficit spending - see graph below. Another storyline deceit passed along as news has been Trump's ridiculously unfounded claims about widespread voter fraud, including allegations of corrupt voting machines.

Twitter and Facebook ought to consider editing Fox 'News' and Murdoch's other outlets off their platforms, if Murdoch persists in amplifying and spreading false information. If Murdoch's propaganda outlets fail to clean up the disinformation they are spreading via their media outlets - then it seems well within Facebook's and Twitter's rights - to rid their own platforms of Murdoch's Fox falsehoods by editing out erroneous reports / reporters and even entire outlets if they are saturated with false information.

Perhaps the Biden FCC will fix some of this.

 

Did Fox News & Maria Bartiromo Aid & Abet Yet Another Deceitful Trump Fundraising Scam?

trump election fraud using us government? trump fraudIn an interview Sunday [11/29] on Fox 'News', Maria Bartiromo seemed to aid and abet the Donald's false voter fraud claims, making the remark quoted below, which tells exactly why she and Trump should not be trying to defraud the American public regarding the integrity of our elections. This sort of behavior is what I've come to see as the bizarro world of propagandists - they seem to be guilty of doing precisely the things that they accuse of others.

"... Elections are the reason that our young men and women go on battlefields across the world and in some cases lose their lives. Because they believe that their vote, my vote, matters just as much as your vote. And if that is not true, this is a very serious turning point for America. So, this is no longer about you, President Trump. This is about America ...”

Bartiromo should have challenged Trump on all of his election fraud nonsense, given that Trump's Cyber Security head of DHS for U.S. elections, had said that these elections were the 'most secure in U.S. history' on November 12, 2020, just a bit more than two weeks earlier.

 

Fraudulent Journalism? Maria Bartiromo Fails to Ask the Most Basic Truth Seeking Questions on Fox News

trump election fraud using us government? trump fraudBartiromo - like so many on Fox News - appears to fake a phony patriotism. She seems to do this while providing an unAmerican embrace of Trump's unsubstantiated election fraud claims, which Republican judges and Republican government officials have swatted down as dishonest and deceitful. Unlike Bartiromo, who appears to be undermining our democracy, the Republican government officials and Republican appointed judges - in spite of threats to them [by Trump supporters?] - stood up to the nasty lies and disinformation campaigns levelled against them.

In the photo at right shows Chris Krebs, former chief of Cyber Security at Homeland Security [until November 12, 2020], when he was reportedly fired by Trump for trying to contain the disinformation put out by Trump and his allies that there was fraud in this past election. One can only hypothesize that the record $170 million reported by the Washington Post that Trump raised [scammed?] in November 2020 AFTER THE ELECTION - by manipulating his incredibly ignorant followers, by playing to their patriotism with his simpy 'stop the steal' pitch - would not have been possible without the help / silence / collusion of propaganda pundits on Fox News and NY Post, as well as key members of his Administration as noted above, and key Republicans like House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, South Carolina Senator Lindsay Graham, as well as Mitch McConnell as noted below.

trump election fraud using us government? trump fraudIf Bartiromo and Fox News can so seemingly distort the truth on something that goes to the very heart of our democracy to enhance profits, why should people trust her / them to accurately report on their investment news? Why wouldn't she / they distort the narratives on stocks she / they own, want to own, or want to dump?

While the mainstream media appears to attempt to accurately report the news, their superficial reports covering deceivers like Trump, Giuliani, McConnell & company and the things they say, without doing the homework to properly contextualize things instead of just repeating them, is also a contributor to our disinformation problem. Viewers must take to the net to find the people and organizations that are doing real journalism, because these days, most of the people I consider to be real journalists, won't be found at the big corporations. We have a systemic problem.

 

Trump Appears to Play as Fast & Loose with Other People's Money as he does the Facts

In any event, somewhere between 50% - 70% of the donations going to Trump 'to fight election fraud' are actually going to pay down his debts and other causes based on what's written in the fine print on his website [see last line on the graphic from the Trump website above]. According to a November 27, 2020 headline by Newsweek,

"Trump Set to Leave Office with at Least $850,000 of Unpaid Campaign Rally Bills"

trump election fraud using us government? trump fraud trump debts $850 million of unpaid campaign bills trump stiffs cities across america taxpayersSo not only does Trump appear to be scamming his supporters for funds, but once again Trump appears to scam the Americans living in the small towns and cities across the nation, by leaving unpaid bills at American municipalities to litigate, in order to obtain Trump Campaign payment, or to tap their hardworking taxpaying base to pay the BILLIONAIRE'S MAGA rally bills, as Trump appears to have stiffed numerous municipalities according to the Newsweek story noted at right.

This is not unlike what Trump appears to have done in the past to contractors, employees, partners, investors and lenders. See our section dedicated to Donald Trump's dishonest life by clicking this link. Be warned, you'll need a good shower after immersing yourself in his filth.

So Bartiromo, like so many [others] in the Trump Administration , appears to be aiding and abetting Trump in yet another of his scuzzball, slimeball, sleazeball scams. I added the adjectives scuzzball, slimeball and sleazeball, because this ties into my theory of the bizarro world of propagandists, as noted above.

The theory holds that propagandists are guilty of that which they accuse others. Prior to becoming president Donald Trump used to go around New York calling all sorts of people slimeballs, sleazeballs and scuzzballs. In psychological terms this phenomena - attributing characteristics you have, onto others - is called projection. I have a corollary theory, which is that the reason people [like Trump] project their characteristics onto others, is in order to deflect people's attention away from noticing these traits in them.

 

Trump - As Poor a Loser, as He was a President?

trump election fraud using us government? trump fraud trump debts $850 million of unpaid campaign bills trump stiffs cities across america taxpayersDonald Trump seems to have done little good for this country and an incredible amount of harm. In addition to alienating our allies, and emboldening our adversaries, he's plunged America deeper into debt by $6 TRILLION dollars in just four years.

The Trump Administration is fully responsible for nearly 25% of all U.S. debt on the nation's balance sheet - and far more - if you include the Federal Reserve's $3 TRILLION CoVid bailout / liquidity efforts [11.30.20 Update - the Federal Reserve revised that projection down to $2 TRILLION]. That money has been used to 'juice up' the 'Trump economy'. This is the part of the narrative / explanation you won't find on Murdoch's Fox News or even Murdoch's Wall Street Journal.

And Trump's latest bid to corruptly overturn an election he handily lost by well over 6,250,000 votes, adds to the destabilization of our American democratic institutions.

As noted above [see graphic] Trump also seems to be using his poor sport, sore loser, unfounded claims of election fraud, to raise money off of the most ignorant of his working class supporters, who he has convinced to help him, a billionaire who lives in luxury, pay down his debts by appealing to their patriotism [stop the steal / protecting our sacred vote], while burying where much or most of the money was really going [to pay off his debts] in the fine print. See our November 10th, 2020 story detailing what seems Trump's use of federal government to scam supporters into paying his bills / debts.

trump election fraud using us government? trump fraud trump debts $850 million of unpaid campaign bills trump stiffs cities across america taxpayersSome good measure of the responsibility must be attributed to phony fiscal conservative, Senate Republican Mouse Majority Leader, MITCH MCCONNELL, who has been Trump's reliable enabler. Unfortunately for us, the inattentive voters of Kentucky don't seem to know who Mitch McConnell really is, nor who he and his Chinese born wife. Elaine Chao, seem to work for. HINT - they do not appear to be working for middle class Kentuckians or, in some cases, even Americans.

So was there election fraud in 2020? I would say yes. But it was not the election fraud that super con man Donald Trump and his henchmen, enablers and propagandists are talking about - but rather the con they're working ... that they're not talking about.


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.


Thanksgiving - America's Communal Holiday

The Pilgrims Legacy: Love, Sharing & Community Empowerment

thanksgiving day senitments nyc what thanksgiving day means to meNovember 23, 2020 / NYC Neighborhoods / Thanksgiving Holidays in NYC / Gotham Buzz NYC.

A couple of years ago, I happened upon a childhood book of fables and fairytales that I had saved since I was a first grader. I was young enough to still like fairytales and old enough to be learning and loving to read.

The book, A Gateway to Storyland, by Platt & Munk Co, was given to me around the holidays, and the book still gives me a warm, loved feeling when I periodically open it to browse through the fairytales and fables containing little nuggets of age old wisdom about how to conduct onesself [see photo at right / the book is still in print]. I read it numerous times immediately upon receiving it, as the illustrations fed my imagination, and lessons embedded in the words resonated with timeless sagacity.

 

Unselfish Parental Love Manifested by Empowering Progeny

Love comes in many forms, but the purest form is unselfish love. The love of truly giving something with no thought of anything in return. That love is oftentimes given intergenerationally - from grandparents to parents to children.

Perhaps the greatest gifts are those that cost us nothing but our time. Like the gift of teaching someone something that they will be able to put to good use throughout their lives. Parents do this all the time, when they help their children develop skills, and impart some knowledge and learning ... just as my parents did many years ago, by giving me a well illustrated fairytale book to encourage my interest in reading, while sharing the time tested insights of the ages, handed down through storytelling.

 

I. A Brief Thanksgiving History

The Pilgrims Shared Communal Resources to Actualize a Dream

At Thanksgiving time we commemorate one of America's first settlements, founded by the risk-taking, resource-pooling, hardworking, spiritual community of Pilgrims.

The Pilgrims were early English settlers who arrived on American shores in the early 17th century [1600's]. They came here because they wanted a measure of freedom and self-determination that they were forbidden in Europe or what was called the 'old country'. The Pilgrims wanted to practice their faith, unencumbered, in a way that differed from the established Church of England. They pooled their money to obtain a ship, the Mayflower, to cross the Atlantic in mid September of 1620, landing on America's shores at Plymouth Rock in Massachusetts on November 9, 1620. Think of it. It took about a month and a half to travel a distance we can now traverse in about five hours.

 

The Pilgrims Receive Help from the Native People of a Strange Land

Per Wikipedia, the Piligrims survived a hard winter in 1621 with the help of the Wampanoag, an American Indian tribe. The Pilgrims were the immigrants, and the first Americans, the Indian natives, welcomed them. The Wampanaog taught the Pilgrims how to catch eels, and how to grow and harvest corn. Thus the Pilgrims ended 1621 with a good harvest which they celebrated and shared with their new friends, expressing their gratitude to a higher power, aka God, for the success of their endeavors.

Thus it was that the first Thanksgiving celebration happened in America ... or did it?


The Weekend Before Thanksgiving NYC

Less Than a Week Away, Thanksgiving Provides an Opportunity to Start Pivoting to a Better Place

things to do nyc things to do manhattan queens bronx brooklyn staten island things to do nycNovember 20, 2020 / NYC Neighborhoods / Things To Do NYC / News Analysis & Opinion / Gotham Buzz NYC.

The evil dictator wannabe appears to have been soundly defeated by a far more capable, trustworthy and honest man.

And, in spite of numerous attempts on Trump's part to steal the election - which he ignominiously accuses Biden of doing - it seems we may be approaching the end of what seems his blatant, corrupt, phony drain-the-swamp attempts to stay in power, like a dictator.

Biden has shown incredible restraint and patience, allowing the hedonistic, self-centered bigot to throw a presidential sized tantrum by firing staff, making drastic policy changes, and inciting some of the dumbest people in America to parrot his false claims of election fraud.

I'm looking forward to turning on the TV, without having to be subjected to Trump's ignorance in the form of racist, sexist tweets, rambling, say-nothing-meaningful on Fox friendly interviews, or the inane and insane comments repeated and amplified by the broadcast TV networks in order to get viewers to tune in to their stations to boost their money-grubbing quest for ratings.

While that may not happen in time for Thanksgiving or the holidays. I'm pretty sure we're going to have a qualified, experienced, level headed American president in place for Presidents Day 2021 - following a four yeaer hiatus.


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?


This Weekend Things To Do

things to do nyc things to do manhattan queens bronx brooklyn staten island things to do nycNovember 12, 2020 / NYC Neighborhoods / Things To Do NYC / News Analysis & Opinion / Gotham Buzz NYC.

Weather. On Friday and Saturday the temperature highs will be in the low 50's, rising to 60 on Sunday. The temperature lows will in at or in the low 40's. There's a 90% chance of about a quarter inch of rain Friday morning ending about 1 pm. Saturday will be clear, but on Sunday there's a 90% chance of about a third of an inch of rain beginning around noontime and lingering into the evening. The winds will be about 5 mph Friday, about 10 mph Saturday and about 15 mph Sunday. Humidity will be between 70% and 90% Friday, dropping to 50% to 60% Saturday and settling around 60% on Sunday.

Thank You for being respectful of each other. In the photo at right, are the masked up subway riders on the MTA last weekend. In the cars I rode in, either 100% or over 90% of all riders were not just wearing their masks, they were wearing them correctly. Thank you New Yorkers and guests.


Is Trump Using the Federal Government to Enable a Scam?

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, Attorney General William Barr, Press Secretary Kayleigh MacEnany & Republican Senate Majority Leader McConnell Appear to Enable a Trump Fundraising Scam - using False Claims of Election Fraud - to Motivate Donations he can use to Pay off his Debts

Emoluments Clause: Using False Claims of Voter Fraud & Government Offices to Raise Money to Pay off Trump Debts?

trump scams supporters in fundraising scam about voter fraud trump fundraising scam voter fraud crooked donald lock him upNovember 10, 2020 / NYC Neighborhoods / U.S. Politics / News Analysis & Opinion / Gotham Buzz NYC.

I'm relieved that the Donald lost the election. I'm not relieved, knowing that there are 71 million people who voted for him. They obviously don't know what a super slick con man looks, talks and walks like.

 

A Presidential Con Man to the End

The Art of the Con should have been the name of Trump's book. And it appears, with only two months left to his presidency, that he's using the Executive branch of government and all the president's lackeys to commit one last Trump scam.

 

Secretary of State Pompeo Uses Office to Support What Seems a Trump's Scam of Republican Donors

In the photo at right, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, appears to enable what seems like a scam by Donald Trump to bilk his supporters of millions of dollars in donations by seemingly supporting Trump's claims that there was election fraud - a claim which appears unfounded according to both Democratic and Republican state government officials.

trump scams supporters in fundraising scam about voter fraud trump fundraising scam voter fraud crooked donald lock him up

According to CNBC, on November 10, 2020 Pompeo said that there would be

"... a smooth transition to a second Trump Administration ... "

That statement, by a cabinet level member of the Executive branch of the U.S. government, appears more like a propagandistic statement of an authoritarian's sycophant. This corruption of the Office of the Secretary of State was done previously, during the RNC Convention, when Pompeo was videocast from Israel while on taxpayer funded official business.

 

Are Taxpayers Paying a Trump Campaign Propagandist to Facilitate a Fundraising Scam on Ignorant Trump Republicans?

trump scams supporters in fundraising scam about voter fraud trump fundraising scam voter fraud crooked donald lock him upSo Kayleigh Mc Inaney [it's not her real name, but a play on it], who is supposed to be the White House Spokesperson - not a Trump campaign PR person - said on November 3, 2020 that a "Landslide is afoot". Yesterday, November 9, 2020, even the Fox propaganda channel couldn't bear to allow McEnany to continue spewing it's Nazi-like propaganda of voter fraud, so they cut away from her.

Is McEnany, a federal government employee, enabling the Donald's efforts to raise [scam?] millions from his supporters under seemingly false pretenses to pay off some of his debts?

Why are the American people paying the salary of a Trump campaign propagandist? This is one of many such personalizations of power - aka corrupt use of government resources for private purposes - done by the corrupt 'Drain the Swamp' Trump Administration. McEnany is allegedly 'cleaning up' her Twitter feed instead, which is also a record of the corrupt Trump Administration lies put forth by the inane McEnany.


Election 2020: When Will it be Over?

The Presidential Polls Were Mostly Right - The Race was Not Too Tight - the Donald Shows no Grace so the End is not Yet in Sight - Progressives & Moderates Need Learn how to Cooperate - Not Fight, Write?

trump cheating 2020 election mail fraud trump dejoy usps mail fraud by trump campaign?November 9, 2020 / NYC Neighborhoods / U.S. Politics / News Analysis & Opinion / Gotham Buzz NYC.

This past Saturday I went into Manhattan following the announcement that Joe Biden had won the presidency, wresting it away from a very handsy, clutching Donald Trump. I had seen and heard of partying in the city that afternoon, as folks celebrated the end of the Trump presidency.

But when I arrived in the evening, it seems things had calmed down, and it was a mostly low key Saturday evening, at least on the Upper West Side and north Midtown. More people were out than I had seen in a while, and many folks seemed somewhat cheerful, but since the pandemic began, I've yet to see any sort of real frothiness.

In the photo at right I met a couple out on election night in front of Rockefeller Center. She's from Italy and he's from Philadephia ... Story?

 

The Presidential Polls Were Mostly Correct - Biden Won & He Won Most of the Swing States They Predicted He Would

Following the election, as early results came in, many news outlets proclaimed that the pollsters got it wrong. But over the weekend I checked the Real Clear Poll of Polls and found that mostly what they had predicted, came true, especially when you factor in the margin of error.

Biden won the presidency, winning a popular vote of over 75 million, to Trump's 71 million. And Biden won the swing states the polls forecast he would, including Wisconsin, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Arizona, Nevada, Minnesota, Maine, New Mexico, Colorado, Virginia, New Hampshire and Maine. Trump won Florida, North Carolina, Ohio, Iowa and Texas - also in line with the poll of polls forecasts. Only Georgia didn't end up as the polls forecast it would and I'm going to call that the Stacey Abrams effect.


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.


Election Day 2020

In Spite of Record Early Voting, There Were Long Lines at Polls on Election Day. Dare I Say This Seems ... to Point to a Biden Landslide ... or Not?

usps louis dejoy corrupt postmaster general corrupt trump administration appointeesNovember 3, 2020 / NYC Neighborhoods / U.S. Politics / News Analysis & Opinion / Gotham Buzz NYC.

Forecasting anything is always, at best, a precarious endeavor, so the above headline is not a forecast - but rather an honest question.

The ballots referred to in the prior report, which were either lying on folks' tables at home or stuck in the mail - may have ultimately been lying on folks' tables at home.

But we won't know until late tonight or later this week or even later than that.

I'm no fan of the Donald. I think he's disrespectful to women, disrespectful to minorities and pretty much disrespectful to everyone else too. I think his parents did about as lousy a job of raising him, as any parents possibly could - especially given they were so rich. He's dishonest, and he's not just selfish - but unbelievably so. He's uneducated, even though he managed to fanagle a degree from a respectable college. He's uncouth, a liar, a cheat and an alleged thief by numerous contractors.


Will the U.S. Postal Service Deliver?

Tens of Millions of Ballots That Were Issued Haven’t Been Received

Too Late for Mail - See Options Below for Absentee / Mail Ballots

usps louis dejoy corrupt postmaster general corrupt trump administration appointeesOctober 30, 2020 / NYC Neighborhoods / U.S. Politics / News Analysis & Opinion / Gotham Buzz NYC.

The unofficial motto of the United States Postal Service is "Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night stays these couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds".

While that may be true, the motto says nothing about whether the USPS will be able to continue making the swift completion of their appointed rounds, in spite of efforts by the new Postmaster General Bill DeJoy that appear intended to delay them.

 

Louis DeJoy Seems a Corrupt Choice for Postmaster General

usps louis dejoy corrupt postmaster general corrupt trump administration appointeesLouis DeJoy, was a $1.2 million dollar contributor to the 2020 Trump campaign, who a seemingly corrupt President appointed Postmaster General in June of this year. It was the first time in a couple of decades that someone from outside of the organization was appointed to the Postmaster General position. 

According to Wikipedia, DeJoy’s background is in logistics, and upon taking the job, he divested his holdings in UPS and Amazon, but held onto his

“$30-$75 million equity stake in XPO, a subcontractor for USPS.”  

They also report that since DeJoy became Postmaster General just over four months ago, the USPS has increased its business with XPO. We've seen this sort of conflict of interest / corruption in numerous cases at the Cabinet Level in the Trump Administration.


NYC Halloween CoVid Style?

Trick or Treating Permitted Outside in NYC but Not in Apartment Complexes as CoVid Resurges & Election Day Nears

things to do nyc halloween nycOctober 26, 2020 / NYC Neighborhoods / Things To Do NYC / Gotham Buzz NYC.

"These are the times that try [wo]men's souls"...

so wrote Thomas Paine on December 23rd, 1776.

The American colonists had declared their independence from King George V only six months before Paine wrote this - as not all colonists were on board with the break from the British crown.

Election day is Tuesday, November 3rd, which is only about a week away. And early voting began last Saturday and ends this coming Sunday. Thereafter, meaning on Tuesday, November 3rd [election day], you have to vote at your normal polling place. For details, see - https://vote.nyc/

The photo at right shows a Halloween decoration, which in keeping with the times, features the new disrupter in chief - CoVid 19.


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.’ ”


Is Trump Using Taxpayer Dollars to Fund his Campaign & the DHS to Work for Him for Free?

Thursday Afternoon 10/15 in an NYC Neighborhood, Boxes of Food were Distributed with a White House Letter from Trump

did trump use dhs department of homeland security funds to help his reelection campaign corruption dj trumpOctober 15, 2020 / NYC Neighborhoods / U.S. Politics / News Analysis & Opinion / Gotham Buzz NYC.

I fell upon a food distribution event at the corner of 43rd Avenue between 46th and 47th Streets on Thursday, October 15th. It was being distributed by what appears to be a non-denominational church group - Mosaic Church and Community Center of 46-01 43rd Avenue in Sunnyside.

So I took a few photos of what seemed an ordinary event these days, until I asked them to allow me to photograph the contents in the boxes, where I found a letter from Donald Trump, in what appears to be a possible use and abuse of taxpayer dollars to fund his cash strapped re-election bid.

 

Letter on White House Stationery Signed by Trump

The contents of the letter are as follows and a photo of the letter in English is shown at right. The letter was also written in Spanish on the reverse side.

did trump use dhs department of homeland security funds to help his reelection campaign corruption dj trumpThe White House

Washington

Dear Family,

As president, safeguarding the health and well being of our citizens is one of my highest priorities. As part of our response to the coronavirus, I prioritized sending nutritious food from our farmers to families in need throughout America. We are partnering with local organizations, farms and ranches to ensure that you receive locallly-sourced fresh fruits and vegetables as well as dairy and meat products.

Over the past four weeks, we have delivered 50 million Farmers to Families Food Boxes to American families, and we will continue to serve those most in need during this challenging time.

As our country reopens, I urge all Americans to continue to adhere to the important precautions set forth in the President's Coronavirus Guidelines for America and by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention regarding how to best protect yourself and your family. A few key best practices to support our nationwide recovery are:

1. Practices good hygience and wash your hands.

2. People who feel sick should stay home.

3. Protect the most vulnerable individuals, including those 80+ years of age and those with pre-existing conditions

4. Practice social distancing and consider wearing a face covering when in public

To learn more, please visit www.coronavirus.gov.

You and your loved ones are cherished members of our great American family. This pandemic has brought many hardships on millions of hardworking individuals and communities through no fault of their own. We will support America's recovery every step of the way. Together, we will overcome this challenge, and our Nation will emerge from this crisis stronger than ever before.

Sincerely,

Donald J. Trump

President of the United States


SHORT _ Census Deadline Thursday Night, October 15th

Each Person Counted in the Census Represents $30,000 - $40,000 of Federal Funds over the Coming Decade

nyc things to do this weekend queens manhattan bronx brooklyn staten island nyc things to do this weekend nycCLICK PHOTO AT RIGHT TO FILL OUT THE CENSUS NOW.

The judicial wrangling in the courts about the census deadline is over. The FINAL date with which you can fill out the Census is THURSDAY NIGHT 10/15.

I wouldn't wait - if you haven't already filled out the census - CLICKING THE PHOTO AT RIGHT.

It takes 10 minutes literally, asks for information you should generally know about yourself, and is worth between $30,000 and $40,000 in government spending per person over the next ten years.

If you don't fill it out, we - the city and state - lose that funding, as well as representation in Washington, D.C.

You do not have to be a citizen to fill out the census and your personal information - by law - does not become accessible for a generation.


For Whom does Mitch McConnell Really Work?

Carpet Baggers McConnell & Chao Net Worth Grows by Tens of Millions

While Kentucky Continues to Lag Nation in Income, Education & Healthcare

Insanity - Voting for the Same People & Expecting Things to Change

mcconnell mcgrath senate race kentucky who is mitch mcconnell who is elaine chao kentucky senate raceOctober 13, 2020 / NYC Neighborhoods / U.S. Politics / News Analysis & Opinion / Gotham Buzz NYC.

Last 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 regardless of the truth.


Columbus Day Weekend News Update

Broadway Won't Re-Open until June 2021, CoVid Cases Spike in Queens & Brooklyn Neighborhoods, Shootings Still Up - but Growth Slowing, Real Estate Listings Increase as Prices Fall & Early Voting

things to do nyc columbus day nyc October 10, 2020 / NYC Neighborhoods / NYC Things To Do / News Analysis & Opinion / Gotham Buzz NYC.

Weather. The temperature highs will be in the mid 70's Saturday, mid 60's Sunday and high 50's Monday. The temperature lows will be in the low 60's Saturday, dropping to the mid to high 50's on Sunday and Monday. There's little chance of rain until Sunday evening around 9 pm, when rain is expected to begin falling through Monday, dropping an estimated two inches. The wind will be about 10 mph Saturday and Sunday, rising to about 15 mph Monday. Humidity will range from 50 - 75 on Saturday and Sunday, rising to 85 - 90% range on Monday.

Broadway theaters announced they won't be reopening until after May 31st, 2021. The group of over 40 theaters made this announcement yesterday. This is a blow to the NYC economy and many of the 97,000 theater employees and contractors, who have been out of work since mid March 2020. Theater generates about $15 billion in revenue annually.

NYC tourism has taken and likely will continue to take big hits from the CoVid global pandemic. Tourism generates about $70 billion in economic activity in NYC each year. Since the pandemic about 200 of the over 700 large hotels operating in the city remain closed. Those who are open are operating at an estimated 40% of capacity this month, compared with about 90% last year. And the prices have fallen considerably, providing great deals for those who wish to visit, as prices for a room fell from about $335 per room last year to about $135 this year.

Regal Cinema closed its 663 theaters again this week. Regal is the second largest movie theater chain in the U.S. following AMC. They cited a lack of new films, as a number of new releases were pushed back again including the James Bond 007 movie, and they pleaded with the Governor to let them resume operating in NYS.


Was Trump's Hospital Visit a Made-for-TV Hoax?

Much Ado About Nothing Fed to American People via Corporate TV Nets

Was a Free, Live & Staged TV Program Provided by the Donald?

trump hospital visit was a hoax trump fakes hospital visit to turn around campaign in polls October 5, 2020 / NYC Neighborhoods / U.S. Politics / News Analysis & Opinion / Gotham Buzz NYC.

The lines between 'reality TV' which seems staged reality on TV, and the real reality on TV seem to have disappeared. Occasionally I hear people complain about the authenticity of the information they get on the internet or social media - but from where I sit you can easily add the things you see on television - even network news - to the list of questionable sources.

The photo at right shows Trump saluting from the White House balcony after he was returned home from his trumped up hospital visit to Walter Reed Medical Center in Washington, D.C. It's unclear why he's saluting the White House lawn except for theatrics since he didn't speak.

 

TV News Seems Corrupted by the Ratings of the Things they Cover

trump hospital visit was a hoax trump fakes hospital visit to turn around campaign in polls The reason I say this is because the beautiful, well dressed teleprompter actors and actresses who read you your highly scripted nightly bedtime news stories, rely on teams of well paid, ratings driven writers. Most of these readers and writers are not the hard scrabble, cynical, hard nosed, been around the block, highly inquisitive journalists of what seems a bygone era of American journalism.

They may work for corporations who own and leverage the same well known, once trusted brands - but when you look under the hood of these corporations at the people who are currently running things and how they are running things - oh, my, how things have changed.

And then there's Rupert Murdoch's Fox News, NY Post and Wall St Journal which seem a well oiled, outright propaganda machine.

The same is true of American government and politics. There was a time when the halls of Washington, D.C. were filled with people who believed in some things - like representing the people who voted for them, the U.S. Constitution and the guiding Englightment era philosophy behind it all. But today, the numbers of these kinds of folks in Washington, D.C., are few and far between. Far too many of them are beholden to wealthy individuals and large corporations for the funds needed to run their campaigns every election cycle.

So why does this matter? Because we have a vapid media and a vacuous Senate and [far less so] House that seem to do whatever, for the whoever, highest bidder. And Donald Trump and his co-conspirator (?) Australian born billionaire Rupert Murdoch know this. And they seem to exploit these failings every day. Like this past weekend.

 

Why Did the Donald Appear to Stage his CoVid Hospitalization?

trump hospital visit was a hoax trump fakes hospital visit to turn around campaign in polls Last week Donald Trump had possibly one of the worst weeks ever - and even in these strange times that's VERY VERY BAD.

Last week: 1) news of the Donald's 'success' in not paying his fair share of taxes came out, 2) alongside the fact that he appears to owe $421 million in debt coming due after the election, that his current businesses aren't generating the profits required to enable payment [and to whom he owes the money remains a mystery], 3) that one of his campaign staffers / consultants - Brad Pascale - was alleged to be contemplating suicide having distributed $112 million in Trump Campaign cash to a myriad of LLC's [corruption?], 4) and the Donald turned in probably one of the worst debate performances in American History where in an hour and a half, as a sitting president, he said that he: a) wouldn't rebuke an alleged White Supremacist group - the Proud Boys - telling them to stand back and stand by, b) wouldn't agree to peacefully give up the office of the presidency of the United States unless he wins a second term and c) behaved on stage in a manner one might expect of a juvenile delinquent.

By creating a ruckus about his health, the Donald managed to bury an incredible amount of bad news, by distracting the glamorous TV dunces into focusing their coverage and the conversation about his health. And he managed to fit it fairly tightly into the weekend news cycle, so that little real campaign time was lost.

Based on the comments the Donald made coming out of his 'hospitalization' stage, it looks like he's going to use what seems a campaign staged event - to change the conversation going into the rest of the election. Change? You ask. Yes, change by using his personal hospitalization experience with CoVid to dismiss the threat of it, by telling people it's no big deal. I reckon the pitch will be something like, re-elect the Donald and CoVid will just 'disappear' ... [what they won't say is that it will disappear] from the news ...


NYC News 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 Donald Quacks in First Debate of 2020

Trump Takes Time Off From "Making America Great" to Debate Biden

September 30, 2020 /NYC Neighborhoods / U.S. Politics / News Analysis & Opinion / Gotham Buzz NYC.

trump biden debate first biden trump debate sept 2020If it weren’t so real, it would have been very funny.

A sitting president, who campaigned on the theme that he would Make America Great Again, is responsible for record breaking debt, a record breaking deficit, one of the worst economies since the Great Recession and Great Depression, failing to mitigate a still out of control raging pandemic, unable to calm racist induced social unrest for which it seems only fair to credit him with helping cause.

No. But wait - there's more. Then there are vast fires still raging on the west coast, and we're not yet completely through one of the worst hurricane seasons ever.  The abnormal size and amount of fires and hurricanes appear to have been caused in part by climate change – the reality of which 'the president' denies.

No. But wait - there's more. And this depiction doesn’t include what he’s done to our foreign policy, by shirking our allies and cottoning up to dictators, while overseeing near record trade deficits. 

If all this isn’t 'Making America Great Again', then please tell me, what will? Come on, this would be really, really funny - if it were reality TV - not just plain old REALITY. 

In the photo at right, moderator Chris Wallace is begging President Trump to please quit interrupting former Vice President Biden.

 

Reality vs Reality TV: What's Real Depends on Who You Are & Who You Trust

We may not be so rich that we don’t know how to spend the money, as Trump seemed to promise us while campaigning in 2016.  But maybe Trump wasn’t speaking to us out in the audience, but rather directing his comments and promises to his multi-millionaire TV hosts on Fox 'News'.  That might be why Sean Hannity keeps telling us promises made and promises kept despite a litany of Trump failures on healthcare, the deficit, law and order, the debt, the wall, the economy and so forth. The people living in the Trump bubble, like the enabling multi-millionaire pundits on Fox TV, are doing just fine.


NYC News Briefs & Things to do This Weekend

CoVid Outbreaks in Queens & Brooklyn Neighborhoods, NYCC Speaker Corey Johnson Drops Out of NYC Mayoral Race, Census Deadline is 9/30 but Challenged to Extend to 10/31, Mayor Extends Week Long Furloughs for 9,000 More Non Union City Employees, Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade & New Years Eve Ball Drop 2021 to be Virtualized, Hotels Hurting & TSQ Hilton Closes, Yom Kippur Sunday, Metropolitan Opera Cancels Entire 20-21 Season, In Door NYC Restaurants Begins 9/30 & Outdoor Dining Permissible Year Round

nyc things to do this weekend queens manhattan bronx brooklyn staten island nyc things to do this weekend nycSeptember 25, 2020 / NYC Neighborhoods / Things To Do NYC / Gotham Buzz NYC.

As you can see from the headlines above, there seems little abatement in the adjustments / crises created by the CoVid pandemic - unseating the Donald as the Disrupter in Chief - for the first time in four years.

Weather. The temperature highs will be in the 70's and the lows in the high 60's. There's a 20% chance of a small amount of rain, and winds will be between 5 - 10 mph. Humidity will remain high at about 80%.

 

NYC News Updates for Week Ending September 25th - City Furloughs & Layoffs, Mayor's Race

nyc things to do this weekend queens manhattan bronx brooklyn staten island nyc things to do this weekend nycOn Wednesday, September 23, NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio announced week long furloughs for an additional 9,000 NYC managerial employees who are not members of the unions. This is in addition to week long furloughs for 500 members of the Mayor's Office announced last week. Together the effort will save an estimated $22 million, which is one of numerous efforts the Mayor is making to delay the layoff of 22,000 of the 300,000 city employees.

The layoffs were originally expected to begin in early September, as New York City may not borrow money without permission of the NYS legislature, which was a deal cut between the city and state in the 1970's when NYS bailed NYC out of possible bankruptcy. There's talk of allowing NYC to borrow a couple of billion, but that also would fall short of the estimated $9 billion tax revenue shortfall expected over the next two years.

On Thursday, September 24, NY City Council Speaker Corey Johnson suspended his campaign for Mayor in 2021.


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.


Weekend Update - Happy Rosh Hashana, Back to School, Economy, Social Unrest, Real Estate, Transit & Masks

nyc things to do this weekend queens manhattan bronx brooklyn staten island nyc things to do this weekend nycSeptember 17, 2020 / NYC Neighborhoods / Things To Do NYC / Gotham Buzz NYC.

Rosh Hashana begins tonight at sundown and ends Sunday at sundown. Happy New Year.

EVENTS & SPORTS - U.S. Open, Virtual Boston Marathon, NJ Theaters & Restaurants & NYC Cultural Sites Reopen

U.S. Open ended and Dominic Thiem of Austria won the men’s singles, while Naomi Osaka of Japan won the women’s singles.

The Boston Marathon is going virtual with a starting gun, national anthem and cheers. I think there’s an app to go with it as folks participate from around the globe.

Theaters opened in NJ to 25% capacity, as did indoor dining. In NYS bowling alleys at 50% capacity with some other restrictions [9/4].

The NY Aquarium in Brooklyn reopened 8/27. Think this was previously mentioned, as was MoMA free / or donation until 9/27. And the American Museum of Natural History on the Upper West Side opened on 9/9. And on September 11th, the 911 Museum reopened.

BACK TO THE SCHOOLS

nyc things to do this weekend queens manhattan bronx brooklyn staten island nyc things to do this weekend nycNYC began back to public school virtually on Thursday, September 17, 2020. Everyone starts virtually Monday, September 21st and the in person / in classroom part will be phased in beginning next week through early October to give the city more time to meet the NYC teachers’ union demands for safety. Part of what happened is that the initial demands were done on paper, and a secondary set followed once the schools were opened operationally.

Some teachers tested positive – like 22 0f 22,000 [or so]. The testing percentage was lower than the general population rate of the city which is still below 1%.

Governor Cuomo said that swimming, field hockey and soccer sporting activity would be permissible at schools effective Monday, September 21. Football still on hold. Ice hockey and wrestling (?) open October 10 or 19 [still checking]?

LAW ENFORCEMENT / SOCIAL UNREST

Homicides in America’s twenty largest cities are up 37% in.a period from May through June. An August 6, 2020 U.S. News report suggested four theories as to why the spike in violent crime. One of the reasons was that crime plummeted following the initial lockdown for the CoVid pandemic, and skyrocketed as things reopened.

nyc things to do this weekend queens manhattan bronx brooklyn staten island nyc things to do this weekend nycA second theory was that the police initially curtailed some policing activities because of CoVid concerns, and that morphed into anger and a continued pull back in the wake of the George Floyd protests, budget cuts and police reforms. Police reforms and / or police frustration with them are also cited as a possible cause [but not in article].

A third theory is that communities pulled back from trusting and working with the police as a reaction to the George Floyd protests, and that unemployment and healthcare issues exacerbated the situation. And the last theory, doesn’t really explain the increase per se, except that homicides do tend to rise and fall with the seasons and temperatures.

The police union challenged legislation that would make complaints against the police, corrections officers and firemen public. They argued that the publication of complaints - even unverified complaints – would be unfair to the people working in these positions. The courts delayed the publication of complaint records, pending further review.

About 1189 NYPD officers have resigned or retired this year, and another 1489 are planning to do so, pending decisions on pensions et al. Police Commissioner Dermot Shea was concerned that this was a loss of some experience, but it’s important to note that the NYPD police department is comprised of 55,000 employees, of which 36,000 are active duty police officers – so while departures / resignations are higher than last year – it’s less than 6% turnover.


* Donald Trump & Violence in America 2020

The Presidency is as Much a Behavioral Exemplary Pulpit as a Bully Pulpit

donald trump & violence in america donald trump's role in social unrest in america 2020September 14, 2020 / NYC Neighborhoods / U.S. Politics / News Analysis & Opinion / Gotham Buzz NYC.

Nobody could honestly accuse Donald Trump of bringing dignity to the presidency. In fact just the opposite, as the Donald's monosyllabic vulgarity has - if anything - diminished the office.

The Donald reportedly struck a music teacher when he was a youth. According to his neice's book, he also paid someone to take his SAT exam so he could gain access to a good college - not by merit - but by trickery. And ever since the Donald left school [graduated?], he's threatened to sue anyone who publishes or discloses his academic transcript. That bad?

But we don't need to dig into ancient history to know that the Donald is a poor student, a poor listener, someone who doesn't do his homework, someone who thinks he knows more than anyone and everyone else in the room, regardless of who's in the room and regardless of the subject under discussion.

Talk is cheap. God knows, we've heard a lot of it over the past four years primarly from the Murdoch's Fox Fake News, NY Post and Wall St. Journal. But events are real. And the consequences of actions or inactions are also very real as we are seeing played out before our very eyes.

The CoVid pandemic remains out of control, the economy nosedived before stabilizing because of a multi-trillion stimulus bailout, coupled with even more trillions in Federal Reserve splashing money into the economy and lowering the real interest rate to zero, there are raging forest fires that to date have burnt an area the size of Connecticut and there is considerable turmoil and social unrest in how some rogue police officers treat people of color and who subsequently appear to be 'protected' - even in what appear murder cases - by some of the police unions around the nation, including our own NYPBA.

Unfortunately, amidst all these crises, we seem to be led by an ignorant president, who was unqualified for the job to begin with, seems incapable of learning, appears self serving in his motives, and appears to either disregard science or even be contemptuous of it, because the facts won't bend to his will, like the countless obsequious sycophants surrounding him.

Again, unfortunately for us, when the Donald is questioned about any of these four crises, he seems clueless - not just of the solutions, but of the contextual facts of the matters. We can collectively thank Australian born billionaire Rupert Murdoch's Fox Fake News for that, because that seems to be where Trump primarily gets his information.

For example while Trump's mishandling of the pandemic has been slow and ineffective - he gloriously outdid himself by failing to wear a mask and set an example for the rest of the nation - apparently because of his vanity. Trump's failure to provide an example seems to have politicized the wearing of a mask with many of his followers who appear ignorant. Many of them also seem to be fed their daily, weekly or monthly doses of disinformation via Rupert Murdoch's Fox Fake News.

The Donald inherited a fine economy, and yet today - because of the botched U.S. federal government pandemic response - unemployment has more than doubled versus when the Donald came to office. And these unemployment numbers exclude another ten million or 6% who seem to be rotating in and out of the unemployment offices around the nation. See our prior report to see how the Donald has tried to gin up the economy in hopes of fooling the electorate that he has some kind of magic touch in order to get reelected [I call it stealing from America's children by dumping debt on them in order to enrich the rich].

And then there are the forest fires raging out of control on the west coast in what will be one of the worst - if not the worst fire year on record. Both Trump and Murdoch's Fox Fake News are in denial that this and the near / record hurricane / tornado / storm season are possibly (or even likely) the direct result of climate change. Trump pulled America out of a global effort to combat climate change [the Paris Accords], and he has been unwinding / deregulating environmentally friendly federal government policies - apparently in an effort to win ' fossil fuel friends' to fund his flailing reelection campaign.

Again, unfortunately, the Donald seems not to care about America's or the planet's ecological future, perhaps because he likely won't be around when things get really, really bad. Mary Trump, a clinial psychologist, said her uncle had sociopathic tendencies. I'm no clinical psychologist, but based on what I've seen, Trump's friend and media ally, Rupert Murdoch, also seems to exhibit many of the same sociopathic tendencies as Trump.

* Lastly, but not least, we're going to delve into Trump's and Fox 'News' mishandling of social unrest in America, in what appear to be their fascist and possibly violent tendencies. More later.


Buglisi Dance Theatre Company at Lincoln Center 911

Weekend Events & Update Coming Later Today

September 11, 2020 / NYC Neighborhoods / Things to do NYC / News Analysis & Opinion / Gotham Buzz NYC.

This is a video of one of the rehearsals for the Table of Silence performance this morning at Lincoln Center, commemorating the 19th anniversary of 911. We'll have the weekend events and some news updates later today.


Things To Do This Weekend NYC

While there are - Shortened Hours, Limited Capacity & (Food) Services, Face Masks, Social Distancing & Some Temperature Check Requirements - NYC is Nearly Fully Reopened

the illusion of the trump economy fox fake news ny post fake news wsj fake news trump's role in making us economyAs previously mentioned, the 911 Museum in downtown Manhattan reopens today, and the NY Historical Society on the Upper West Side did too.

On Wednesday, September 9 the American Museum of Natural History on the Upper West Side reopened its doors to the general public after opening a week earlier to members. You're advised to purchase tickets at their website at www.amnh.org before visiting and their new hours are 10 am - 5.30 am but last entry is at 4.30 pm. Like most places these days there are CoVid requirements.

The Whitney Museum of American Art in the West Village reopened last week on Thursday, September 3 and is offering 'pay what you want' until September 28th.

As previously mentioned, the Museum of Modern Art in Midtown opened on Thursday, August 27th and the Metropolitan Museum on the Upper East Side opened on Saturday, August 29th, but as of Saturday, September 12th the Cloisters in Washington Heights will also reopen its doors.

Bowling Alleys and gyms opened in mid August. In mid August Governor Cuomo said that Movie theaters will remain closed in NYC indefinitely. I've not heard, any further word, since.

NYC Parks beaches have closed for the season, but some beaches on Long Island are expected to remain open through the end of September.

NYS & NYC Restaurants to Move to Indoor Dining on 9/30/20

the illusion of the trump economy fox fake news ny post fake news wsj fake news trump's role in making us economyA couple of days ago, Governor Cuomo announced that restaurants may open their doors to indoor dining beginning Wednesday, September 30th. Like everything else that's reopened since the pandemic began, the opening comes with CoVid related limitations including face masks, distancing, operating at 25% capacity [could move to 50% in November [1] if all goes well], close by midnight, no service at the bar, temperature checks, contact tracing where needed and there are some requirements related to air ventilation. And in the meantime the piazza style dining seems to be working pretty well around the city, except in Hell's Kitchen in Manhattan, where they're having a homeless problem.

The NFL Football Season Started & So Did the Kneeling Controversy

The National Football League played its first game of the 2020 season on Thursday, September 10th to a live audience. The players on both teams knelt while the national anthem was being played. It's important to remember that kneeling is a sign of respect as it's done in church, at funerals and when one is being knighted by a king, queen or organization. But kneeling during the anthem is also not an American tradition, as traditionally one would stand and salute.

But that was the point of Colin Kaepernick's taking a knee - to be respectful of our nation - while drawing attention to the fact that we, collectively, have not yet achieved the promise of the U.S. Consitution regarding equal opportunity in life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. He did it to draw attention to his ethnic group, which is very real, as we've seen this past year on videos of unarmed African Americans being slain by rogue police officers. But the inequities go beyond that - and encompass other groups like women, Latinos and rural whites - many of whom in some measure have also not had access to opportunities matching their potential. There's enough here for all of us, it just needs to be divvied up more equitably.

Plenty of Outdoor Activities at NYC Parks

the illusion of the trump economy fox fake news ny post fake news wsj fake news trump's role in making us economyI walked through Central Park this week and noticed tons of people out and about enjoying the nice weather we had. There were cyclists, a yoga class, joggers, volleyball players, dancers, strollers, people on scooters, pedestrians and a newly wed couple.

In the outdoor dining areas on both the upper west and upper east side there were dozens upon dozens of diners, enjoying the balmy evening in their own coiffed, culinary and accoutrement laden way.

The Grocery Plastic Bag Ban Finally Went into Effect on Wednesday, August 26th

As you may recall, right around the time of the CoVid pandemic outbreak [March / April 2020], NYC was in the midst of implementing a transition away from grocery store plastic bags which make up a lot of the landfill. Government officials kept postponing the transition in recognition that most folks were having enough difficulty coping with the pandemic and related economic fallout. Now, about a month after we fell below the 1% infection rate where we have since stayed [congratulate yourself, your friends & family], we're ready to move forward with saving the planet.

So, I don't see stores universally or consistently implementing the changeover, but the official date was Wednesday, August 26th, and I suspect that by the end of September they'll start enforcing it - if they haven't already. So while you're trying to remember to take your mask with you, remember to also grab some sort of bag to take along which you can use to carry your groceries home.

Job Growth Shows Signs of Stalling & Other Shoe to Drop?

By mid August new unemployment claims had dipped below one million, which is at least twice as high as 'normal'. Since then the number of newly unemployed seems to have stalled, staying at about that rate since. And ongoing unemployment claims continued at elevated levels of over 13 million [8% unemployment], versus about 8 million [5% unemployment] for a normal fully functioning economy. One pundit on CNBC seems to think the real unemployment rate is higher [11%] in part because people aren't looking for work at the moment.

The next wave of economic news could be a lackluster performance in the third quarter, because the trillions in stimulus ended only one month [July] into this quarter. And then the next couple of shoes could drop, including 1) layoffs at the end of September / early October due to the expiration of the funds of the PPP program, 2) layoffs by states and municipalities who've been sucked dry fighting the CoVid pandemic and 3) all of the dominoes associated with the eviction moratorium expirations that could impact landlords, banks and real estate related businesses.

I'll have more later. Have a nice weekend.


Was the 'Trump Economy' a Couple of Con Men's Mirage?

Did the Donald, with the Help of Rupert Murdoch's Wall St Journal, Fox Business & NY Post, Successfully Convince Americans into Thinking that the Donald was Responsible for an Economy that has Since Disappeared?

the illusion of the trump economy fox fake news ny post fake news wsj fake news trump's role in making us economySeptember 8, 2020 / NYC Neighborhoods / NYC Economic News / News Analysis & Opinion / Gotham Buzz NYC.

 

Donald Trump is nothing, if not one of the greatest con men in the world. He allegedly - duped donors with the Trump Charity, duped enrollees of Trump University into thinking he would teach them the magic of his 'money making miracles', duped investors and bankers alike about the magic of the Trump Taj Mahal casino, duped contractors into thinking he would pay his bills, duped law enforcement vis a vis his money laundering scheme [they eventually caught him], duped Trump SoHo buyers about some of the facts related to the real estate they were buying.

But the greatest con the Donald may have ever done, wasn't getting voters to choose him in lieu of Hillary Clinton in 2016 - as Hillary need be given some of the credit for that - but was the convincing of nearly half the nation to believe that the Donald has some kind of magic touch vis a vis the 'Trump economy'. An economy which Trump then proceeded to crash by his stupefying mismanagement of the CoVid pandemic and subsequent public-pay-a-lot-and-get-nothing-back stimulus bills. What the Donald and Murdoch's Fox & Fake News seem to omit from the narrative of the magic of the 'Trump Economy' is the trillions in debt that they have dumped upon America's children. And they seem to give scant credit to the free wheeling multi-trillion dollar machinations of the Federal Reserve, which have kept interest rates low and liquidity available in an economy presided over by a seemingly corrupt man with a history of six bankruptcies.

Republican Deceit & Phony Fiscal Conservatism

I’m going to start with recent history to show how the Donald has robbed America’s children by piling on public debt in order to give the super wealthy tax breaks, and subsequently doled out generous taxpayer funded stimulus checks, in order to gin up the economy to prop up his ailing reelection odds. And then I am going to work my way back to the early 1980’s, so we can debunk the myth that Republicans are fiscal conservatives - because the last fifty years shows that they are not.

Republicans are talking point fiscal conservatives who scream about it as it suits their campaign convenience, and this includes their mid semester Washington, D.C. play-acting theatrics which are sometimes used to showcase their phony fiscal conservatism. Neither party seems fiscally conservative, and only one president in the past fifty years has run a federal government budget surplus [Democrat Bill Clinton in tandem with a Republican Congress]. So I’m asking you to not let them fool you, because fooling the public is the one skill at which the politicians in the Senate, House and Executive Branches of government seem most adept.


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.


Things To Do Labor Day Weekend

NYC Schools to Re-Open Monday 9/21, MTA Resumes Collecting Bus Fares, Theaters Open, Museums Open, Swimming Pools Open thru Labor Day 9/7, Shopping, Outdoor Dining

labor day weekend things to do labor day weekend queens manhattan bronx brooklyn staten island nycSeptember 1, 2020 / NYC Neighborhoods / Things To Do NYC / Gotham Buzz NYC.

Weather. The temperatures highs will be in the low to mid 80's, while the lows will be in the mid to high 60's all weekend. There's a 20% chance of rain on Friday and Monday, and less than that on Saturday and Sunday. Winds will be 5 - 10 mph all weekend. Humidity will be in the 50% - 70% range.

The photo at right was taken at the U.S. Open in a prior year.

New Yorker CoVid Tests, Deaths & Requirements to Visit Public & Private Places

We've come a long way since NYS and NYC went into a lockdown in March of 2020. For over three weeks NYS has had less than 1% of CoVid positive tests, while testing a record number of people. Deaths have also dropped below ten a day. To date 439,000 New Yorkers tested positive, so over two percent of us. And 32,541 New Yorkers have died from CoVid, so 7% of those who tested positive died.

Attendance to NYC Public Schools will require some testing and masks. Masks and hand sanitizer will be available but try to bring your own. Call 311 or visit the schools.NYC.gov website for full CoVid school details.

Masks and social distancing are also required to ride the MTA buses, subways and to enter any business. If you forget your mask, you might be able to secure one through an MTA booth or a nearby business. The museums generally ask visitors to secure tickets in advance, as capacity threshholds have been lowered, so the ticketing is a way to ensure you'll be admitted. Sick people may be barred from entry.

NYC Postpones Schools Reopening to Monday 9/21 & MTA Buses Resume Fare Collection

Mayor de Blasio, in an effort to avert a teachers' strike, has postponed the reopening the NYC public schools until Monday, September 21st in order to address outstanding teacher work safety concerns.

The MTA buses discontinued charging fares on March 23rd, boarding passengers through the back door to protect drivers. Effective Monday, August 31st the MTA began collecting fares again.

NYC Beaches Open in Four Boroughs

The NYC public park beaches at Coney Island in Brooklyn, in the Rockaways in Queens, Orchard Beach in the Bronx and South Beach and Midland Beach on Staten Island are all open this weekend.


The Republican National Convention - Where Trump 'Reality' TV Mixes with Murdoch’s Fox Fake News

The Donald's Deceit, Disrespect & Demagoguery were on Full Display

Has Trump Taken America from 'Reality' TV to Staged Fiction?

August 28, 2020 / NYC Neighborhoods / U.S. Politics / News Analysis & Opinion / Gotham Buzz NYC.

melania trump trump's stepford wife at rnc republican convention 2020 melania trump phonies

It was a garish experience, watching the Republican Convention on TV this past week.  The scripted and repetitive misleading and false statements, combined with what appeared outright lies, were delivered by different genders and colors of people so as to seem like it wasn’t the choreographed theatrical production that it was.  This is very much like what Rupert Murdoch’s Fox News seems to do every night, and what Joseph Goebbels did for over a decade as the minister of propaganda for the Third Reich.

Has Trump Taken America from 'Reality' TV to Staged Fiction?

What I found interesting about the Republican Convention, was how it showcased women and people of color, who were representing what has essentially been a nearly All White Male Administration. Of the 22 cabinet level positions, only four [18%] are filled by women [Education, Transportation, CIA & Small Business] and only one [5%] person of color [Housing]. 

But you’d never, ever know that by watching the Trump RNC mirage this week, as women were showcased between a third and half the time [rough estimate is 40%] and there were at least three people of color [9%] – meaning the Republican Convention didn’t look anything like the reality of the Trump Administration.

 

Trump Republicans of the Fox Nation Share Similarities to the Nazis of Goebbels Germany

I’ve been researching Goebbels, Hitler and the Third Reich since 2016.  While investigating how Rupert Murdoch seemed to use his ‘news’ outlets as one big propaganda machine, I kept stumbling across references to all of them. Eventually I quit ignoring the references that popped up, and began following those threads, which have since led me to believe that the parallels between 1933 Nazi Germany and present day America are inescapable.

iskanka trump speaks at republican national convention 2020 ivanka trumpFox News is comprised of seven hours of seemingly demagogic, even racist, propaganda programs including party line speeches and pseudo interviews by Sean Hannity, Tucker Carlson, Laura Ingraham, The Five, Fox & Friends as well as numerous Pinocchio pundits such as Jeanine Pirro, Greg Gutfield, Steve Hilton, and even Maria Bartiromo on Fox Business These 'news personalities' seem to deviate from a fair and balanced reporting of the facts far too often. Here’s a link to what appears to be a distorted, even racist, report of the shooting of an African American in Georgia by Tucker Carlson.

Some of the other shows appear biased, but I haven’t had the time to really tune into analyze them, as the primetime propaganda machine is already far more than I can stomach, of what seems Murdoch’s continuous demagogic deceit.

To legitimate the propaganda machine, Murdoch provides an hour of real news, the Special Report with Bret Baier weekdays, as well as Fox News Sunday which is another hour of real news hosted by Chris Wallace.  Murdoch reportedly fired Shep Smith after Attorney General Bob Barr was sent on a Trump campaign errand to tell Murdoch to pull Smith because Smith wasn’t towing the Trump train party line.  Murdoch appeared to oblige and Shepard Smith has remained silent.

I. Murdoch's Demagogic Press Manipulates People's Perceptions to Deliver Votes at the Polls - Goebbels Shaped Germans' Perceptions to Align with the Fuhrer's

Usurpation of power is the point of the propaganda machine posing as a news organization.  If people know it to be a source of false information, it would be discredited and not believed.  But by disguising it, by combining the propaganda with real news, Fox News is able to believably portray the world the way Rupert Murdoch wants his audience to see it. 

In this manner he can deliver millions upon millions of Americans, Brits and Australians into the voting booth loaded with his propaganda machine’s manipulated perceptions of events and candidates, so that his audience will vote for those pols he favors and from which he, and by virtue of payola – his propaganda pundits - will profit.  Since Trump became president, multi-millionaire Sean Hannity cut a favorable multi-million dollar low interest government loan deal with HUD Secretary Ben Carson related to Hannity’s $90 million property holdings.

Both Trump and Murdoch are demagogues which Merriam Webster defines as,

“… a leader who makes use of popular prejudices and false claims and promises in order to gain power …”

Hitler and Goebbels were also demagogues and that is how they usurped and retained so much power in Nazi Germany in the 1930’s and 1940’s, which is why when I was doing my research, Hitler, Goebbels and the Third Reich kept showing up in my searches.

II. Trump Disrespects American Traditions & the American People by Personalizing Government Power - Hitler did the Same

The background for the Republican National Convention was a couple of taxpayer funded sites – the White House and Fort McHenry in Baltimore, Maryland.  This represents yet another Trump break with American tradition of respect for the rule of law.  Trump is using these taxpayer funded public sites for free, to accumulate more power.  Not paying for the use of the White House lawn as a Convention site isn’t the worst of it – it’s the politicization of the public’s property – and the seat of power that I find most disturbing.

Again, Hitler did something similar after he was elected Chancellor of Germany in 1933.  He started personalizing the buildings of the German republic by adorning them with Nazi flags.  That was the beginning of the personalization of power, which culminated in Hitler becoming the sole decision maker for the entire nation on everything, on whatever level he wanted.  Earlier this year I identified Trump’s abusive use of the Department of Homeland Security as a national police force as a disturbing parallel. Click this link a story detailing how Donald Trump has been personalizing the power of the U.S. government.

Our Founding Fathers instituted a system of checks and balances in the U.S. Constitution in order to prevent someone from personalizing power.  The personalization of power, if left unchecked, leads right back to an authoritarian regime, which is exactly what the American War of Independence was all about.  Kings are dictators, who have personalized all of the state power.

CLICK here to read the rest of our report on the Republican National Convention 2020 - where the Donald's deceit, disrespect and demagoguery were on display where 'reality' TV morphed into televised illusion.


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.


The Battle for the Soul of America Begins

Democrat Joe Biden Puts Forth a Bipartisan Convention & Makes a Strong Case for Uniting America Again

joe biden dnc convention braydon harrington stutterer democratic national convention aug 2020August 21, 2020 / NYC Neighborhoods / Dysfunctional Presidency of Donald J Trump / News Analysis & Opinion / Gotham Buzz NYC.

This week the virtual Democratic Convention took place across the nation beginning Monday and ending Thursday. I tuned in for a look / see on Monday, and found the convention of greater interest than I had expected. Each night I tuned in a bit more, ending last night watching most of the show.

Missing were the bells and whistles of major party conventions of prior years. The theatrical embellishments, large audiences and drama were also missing. But what came forth were four days of a well choreographed presentation for why the American people need to make a change in November.

In the photo at right is Braydon Harrington, a 13 year old stutterer featured in the Democratic National Convention. Harrington, like Biden, has a stutter handicap which is a neurological disorder that makes it difficult to get out certain words. Biden's father told Joe not to let his handicap define him.

 

Monday - Republican Governors, Bernie Sanders & Michelle Obama

The first night was hosted by Eva Longoria one of the stars of Suburban Housewives.

The program started on Monday and included New Yorkers Governor Cuomo and former Republican Congresswoman Susan Molinari. Molinari wasn't the only Republican to participate in the first night of the Democratic Convention. Two former Republican Governors - Christie Todd Whitman of New Jersey and John Kasich of Ohio - also participated, giving speechs at the Democratic virtual Convention.

One might ask why are Republicans giving speeches at the Democratic Convention. Both former Governors answered that question very clearly - they are concerned about the future of the American Democratic Republic if Trump's presidency doesn't end this year. Former New Jersey Republican Governor Whitman, a self described lifelong Republican, made the following statement which was published in an August 18, 2020 report by the New Jersey News Network,

“This isn’t about a Republican or a Democrat. It’s about a person ... A person decent enough, stable enough, strong enough, to get our economy back on track. A person who can work with everyone, Democrats and Republicans, to get things done. Donald Trump isn’t that person Joe Biden is.”

According to an August 17, 2020 report on Cleveland.com former Ohio Republican Governor Kasich, said he was proud of his Republican heritage, citing his party as the party of Lincoln, of unity and of a higher purpose. The Cleveland.com report said that,

"... Kasich ... [has] known Biden for 30 years, calling Biden a man of integrity"

They continued quoting Governor Kasich as follows,

" ... Yes, there are areas where Joe and I absolutely disagree. But that’s OK because that’s America … Because whatever our differences, we respect one another … no one person or party has all the answers … But … we know … we can do better than what we’ve been seeing today for sure.”

First Lady Michelle Obama advocated for Joe Biden's candidacy recommending that the American people replace a president "who is in over his head".

Senator Bernie Sanders delivered the most damning assessment of the Donald's four years in office, citing the CoVid pandemic infection and death rates, the pandemic economic fallout, and Trump's mismanagement of racial tensions which erupted in the wake of George Floyd's death. Sanders went on to call Trump a fraud citing Trump's promise to stand with working families before he won the office, and who after taking office gave huge tax breaks to the wealthy, tried removing discriminatory protections currently in place for people with pre-existing health conditions, and proposed massive cuts to Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid.

Likely many of Trump's supporters aren't aware of the issues discussed in Sanders remarks, because information that doesn't portray the president in a positive light seems rarely [ever?] reported on Rupert Murdoch's Fox News, NY Post and Wall Street Journal.


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.


Weekend Things To Do - NYC Near Summer’s End

Cuomo Gives Greenlight to Opening of Schools, Gyms, Bowling Alleys & Low Risk Cultural Sites, de Blasio Announces Schools Reopening Plan, Real Estate Market Changing & Events Happening (& Not) this Fall

weekend things to do nyc things to do manhattan brooklyn queens bronx staten island nycAugust 14, 2020 / NYC Neighborhoods / NYC CoVid 19 Special Section / News Analysis & Opinion / Gotham Buzz NYC.

Weekend Weather.  The temperature highs will be in the mid 80’s on Friday and Saturday, dropping to the mid 70’s on Sunday.  The temperature lows will be around 70.  It will be partly cloudy with the winds about 10 mph all weekend.  There’s a small chance of a small amount of rain on Friday and then a 50% chance of some small amount of rain on Sunday beginning early afternoon and lasting through the day.

Governor Cuomo Expands Reopenings to Indoor Cultural Sites, Gyms & Bowling Alleys

Today the Governor said that bowling alleys, gyms and low risk cultural sites can reopen. Specific protocols were provided for bowling alleys, which are set to reopen Monday, August 17th. Cuomo said that gym protocols and the reopening date for them would be made public on Monday. And other low risk cultural sites are set to reopen Monday, August 24th, with a number of CoVid safety protocols put in place including social distancing, masks, cleaning regimens and capacity limitations.

Mayor & NYC Public Schools Post Reopening Plan for September

A week ago, on Friday, August 7th, Governor Cuomo gave the greenlight for public school districts in New York State to reopen their doors this fall.  During the press briefing, the Governor cited New Yorkers ongoing success in thwarting the spread of the Corona Virus as only about 1% of the tens of thousands tested daily, were testing positive, and the deaths attributed to the Corona Virus in NYS had fallen to five.

Mayor de Blasio has been working hard with NYC Public Schools Chancellor Richard Carranza and Michael Mulgrew of the United Federation of Teachers union to come up with a palatable plan for the 1.1 million students who attend NYC public schools.  Although not yet announced officially, the NYC public schools will likely reopen Thursday, September 10th, following the Labor Day Weekend.  This is in line with the normal opening date for NYC public schools.

Depending on which survey or data set one uses, the number of parents in favor of sending their kids back to school in NYC is within the range of 60% - 75%.  That’s roughly 700,000 to 800,000 kids for the Fall enrollment.


Census: It's Time for NYC & NYS to Step Up

Current Census Participation Rate is 53% & 56% for NYC & NYS Respectively - Will New Yorkers Give Up $347 Billion Instead of Ten Minutes of Their Time?

us census census taking nyc census 2020August 10, 2020 / NYC Neighborhoods / NYC CoVid 19 Special Section / News Analysis & Opinion / Gotham Buzz NYC.

In the midst of all the chaos, the census must go on. The census deadline was pushed back to October 31st, before it was pulled forward to September 30th.

That leaves New York City and New York State only 51 days to complete the census.

What's at stake? Mostly money and representation in government, as federal program funding is allocated to the states based on the census - and this lasts ten years. So we're talking a possible loss of billions in funding annually for the city and state if we collectively don't step up and fill out the census.

The census is designed to count every person LIVING in the city and state - NOT JUST CITIZENS.

By law this information cannot be shared, on an individual basis, with any other government agency for over 70 years. The aggregate information is shared so that decisions, like allocating funding, can be made using the best information available.

I'll have plenty more detail later today, including statistics that indicate that $1.3 trillion in federal funding is allocated annually based on the census data. That's likely over $13 trillion in the course of the next ten years. There are 330 million people in the U.S. so that translates to $40,000 per person over the next ten years. The share of this money that NYS should receive is $788 billion if everyone filled out the census [assumes a population of 20 million for NYS]. At the current census participation rate New Yorkers are giving up $347 BILLION in federal funding.

Please click here to fill out the census now. It literally takes less than ten minutes.



Weekend Wondering NYC

NYS Eviction Moratorium Extension, is Unemployment Rate 10% or 20% & Other News

weekend things to do nyc things to do manhattan brooklyn queens bronx staten island nycAugust 7, 2020 / NYC Neighborhoods / NYC CoVid 19 Special Section / News Analysis & Opinion / Gotham Buzz NYC.

Rent Moratorium Extension

Well this is good news for far more people than for who it will be bad news. Governor Cuomo has extended the eviction moratorium in NYS for another month [technically until September 4, 2020], and possibly longer, as he seeks to give those who are rent challenged in the midst of this pandemic, an opportunity to turn things around or find other housing.

Mayor de Blasio had simultaneously stepped in to help those facing eviction, telling New Yorkers to call 311 for help from an attorney funded by NYC. There are reportedly 14,000 NYC evictions pending with the City Marshall.

Nationally, the Republicans can't seem to agree on a follow on the terms of the next stimulus bill, which would include extending the eviction moratorium nationally. So it seems - like the handling of the Corona Virus itself - the Governors of each state will have to make their own rent moratorium decisions.

 

Many NYC Restaurateurs are also Rent Challenged

isaias storm nyc damage from isaias storm in nycAn August 3, 2020 report in Eater New York informs us that the NYC Hospitality Alliance did a survey of 471 bars / restaurants and found that 83% weren't able to make the full rent, and that included a whopping 37% weren't able to pay any rent. The silver lining in the report was that for 30% of them, their landlords didn't require full rent, and in many cases giving them a temporary 50% off price. The curbside / street dining program implemented by the Mayor seems to be helping, as I see a fair amount of business being done daily, in spite of the weather.

 

Total Unemployed and the Unemployment Rates

In another Trump first, GDP broke all historic records in the second quarter, sinking 9.5% [at an annual rate of 33%], beating George W. Bush's record in the fourth quarter of 2008, during the financial meltdown.

Jobless claims continued to come in at over a million plus this week [1.18 million], continuing to set records for the longest string of million plus unemploymenbt claims since the end of March / beginning of April of this year, when the pandemic began impacting the economy. The silver lining in this news is that it is the lowest number of new unemployment claims, since mid March.

isaias storm nyc damage from isaias storm in nycOn June 15th I pointed to the discrepancy between the unemployment rate reported by the Bureau of Labor Statistics [around 12% - 13%] and the headlines / news reports of some 30 million plus unemployment claims, which would put the unemployment rate at closer to 19%. An August 6, 2020 report by CNBC did the best job of clearing up why there's such a huge discrepancy between the reported unemployment claims of 32 million which translates into an unemployment rate of 20%, and the lower figure that the Bureau of Labor Statistics has been reporting of about 10 - 12%. The CNBC report stated the following,

"... The four-week moving average, which smooths volatility in the numbers, fell by 413,250 to 16.6 million. But the damage to the labor remains deep and this was the 20th consecutive week that claims have run above 1 million. The total of those claiming benefits, which lags the current data by two weeks, rose to 32.1 million as of July 18, an increase of 1.3 million from the previous week... "

The ADP payroll report was up 167,000 jobs in July, way below the 4.3 million gains made in June.


Isaias Rips thru NYC Leaving 210,000 Powerless

About Half of Outages have Already been Restored

isaias storm nyc damage from isaias storm in nycAugust 4, 2020 / NYC Neighborhoods / NYC CoVid 19 Special Section / News Analysis & Opinion / Gotham Buzz NYC.

The Tropical Storm Isaias ripped through the five boroughs of NYC with winds ranging from 40 mph in Manhattan and Brooklyn to high winds topping 70 mph in Jackson Heights in Queens and topping 60 mph on Staten Island according to a National Weather Service report posted today.

Bronx wasn't mentioned in the report, but winds topped 60 mph in nearby Westchester, so that's likely a good benchmark.

The visit by Tropical Storm Isaias to NYC was a fairly quick and brief one, arriving enmasse around 11 am and well on its way out of here by 4 pm. Perhaps Isaias had heard prior to its visit, that there's a pandemic raging in the U.S., and thus decided to cut its stay short? There was concern prior to the arrival of Isaias that heavy rain would accompany the storm, and flooding would ensue. But as of this report there appears to have been relatively light rainfall for a tropical storm and little real flooding in the NYC area.

 

Mayor de Blasio said that the Tropical Storm Isaias was primarly about high winds. The winds appear to have wreaked havoc with Con Edison's isaias storm nyc damage from isaias storm in nycpower network, as at its peark 210,000 were without power in the five boroughs of NYC. Around the time of this writing about 130,000 people were still without power. Manhattan was relatively unscathed, while nearly 100,000 residents in Staten Island and Queens were left without power, and about half that in Bronx and Brooklyn.

Because this storm was not accompanied by a lot of water I'm going to take an educated guess that power will be restored in less time than usual, following a big storm like this, even though Con Edison informs us that this is the second highest number of people left without power in NYC in its history.

The NYC Parks Department lost no time in rolling out its clean up of the fallen trees, as within hours many of the fallen branches and trees had been identified and cut through to enable the smooth flow of traffic and pedestrians, awaiting pick up sometime later this week.

I found little difficulty in finding a number of fallen trees, and so included a couple photos of them which accompany this report.


Joe Biden & Michelle Obama?

Appointing a Woman or Minority to the Democratic Ticket Adds Risk, but so does Not Adding One

July 30, 2020 / NYC Neighborhoods / NYC CoVid 19 Special Section / News Analysis & Opinion / Gotham Buzz NYC.

No woman was ever on a ticket that won the presidency.  Hillary Clinton came close, but failed to win the electoral vote.  No ticket with a woman on it ever won, even when the woman was a vice presidential candidate. Geraldine Ferraro and Walter Mondale can attest to that.  And the only minority candidate ever elected into the presidential suite was Barack Obama. 

So running with a woman or a non-white on the ticket greatly increases the risk of the ticket as we approach one of the most important elections of our lifetimes.

But the converse is also true.  Both women and minorities are large, key constituencies of the Democratic party.  So both of these gender and ethnic groups need to be energized to get out and vote, particularly in a politicized pandemic atmosphere.  So running without a woman and without a minority also increases the risk of the Biden / Democratic ticket.

So what to do?

biden vp running mateRun with someone who is both a woman and an ethnic minority.  A number of women who can check both of those boxes have been mentioned, but some have never campaigned for public office, some have never held very high offices, and the few who have been elected and held high office, come with some baggage that inevitably accompanies holding those offices.  And none have undergone the intense scrutiny to which anyone who runs for the executive branch of government is subjected.

That is - save one person - who’s generally not been mentioned as a potential Vice Presidential contender.

Michelle Obama.

Michelle Obama eliminates the risk of adding both a woman and a minority to the ticket, while having the potential to energize both of these constituencies.

She adds no risk as a minority because she was the First Lady during the Obama Administration, and based on the 2018 and 2019 Gallup polls, a majority of the American people like and trust her. 

She is one of the most educated First Ladies, as like Hillary Clinton and her husband Barack, Michelle Obama has a law degree [from Harvard University].

She adds no baggage to the ticket as she would be defending the same record Biden is – that of the Obama Administration.

Michelle Obama has been named the ‘most admired woman’ in the world, for last two years running, in the Gallup poll.

She has personality, class - and like Biden - she’s very likeable and a uniter.

Biden could trust her, and god forbid, should a President Biden pass away during his presidency, she would be qualified to carry on his work.

Michelle Obama would be an exciting, energizing, Solomon-like choice for the Vice Presidential position on the Democratic party ticket.

As for Michelle and the Obama family, this is a request to them to return to public service, as it seems the nation needs them now. Michelle is uniquely qualified to ascend into this position at this time and in this place.

Michelle and her family wouldn’t have to hang in there very long [four years], as the primary objective of this nomination would be to create a winning ticket to displace Donald Trump who seems a threat to the American democratic republic itself. I see both Michelle Obama and Joe Biden as reluctant candidates, as they both seem to realize that there's more to life than money and power, which is very much unlike the Donald.

Based upon my understanding of American history, no other president has ever brought upon the American people the combination of misery, debt and divisiveness in such a short period of time, as has the Donald. 

And the Donald appears to have no respect for rule of law and the U.S. Constitution. So as the bicycling protesters in the video say, “Hey, hey, ho, ho Donald Trump has got to go.”



The Evolution of an Interesting Year

Interesting Doesn't Connote Good or Bad, but Rather One About which the Grandkids will Inquire

life in manhattan brooklyn queens bronx staten island during CoVid 2020July 28, 2020 / NYC Neighborhoods / NYC CoVid 19 Special Section / News Analysis & Opinion / Gotham Buzz NYC.

The CoVid pandemic for most of us began just over four months ago in mid March. In the early stages the Governor and Mayor seemed a bit alarmist, but as events unfolded, they began to appear wise.

New York City is one of the world's great cities and thus one of the great global gathering places. So it's not surprising that NYC was one of the first American cities hit, and because of the city population density, we were hit hard.

The photo at right shows a few guys relaxing at the end of the day in Greenpoint Brooklyn.

But here we are four months out and - knock on wood - we seem to be operating at one of the higher functional levels, vis a vis other states and other nations. But as both the Mayor and Governor caution us - the pandemic is still alive and well and still being transmitted - and not likely to depart anytime soon. It will remain a threat for some time, for the same reasons it first arrived here, which is that we are a national and global destination / gathering place. And so we must continue to manage the viral threat by continuing to take the same precautionary steps we did to flatten the curve and beat the virus back.

George Floyd Protests, the Police, CoVid & the Economy

life in manhattan brooklyn queens bronx staten island during CoVid 2020The year was further discombobulated by the death of George Floyd in the hands of the Minneapolis Police.  The video of what could be a murder, went viral and caused a national outrage at the use of excessive force in a situation that didn’t appear to necessitate it.  A single incident of this nature likely wouldn’t have caused a national outrage on its own. But because Floyd's untimely death seems to reflect a pattern of use of excessive force by individual policemen [repeated many times over the past couple of decades, in multiple locales, and captured and disseminated on video] that the death of George Floyd was the spark that ignited what seems to be national outrage at this sort of abuse of power by individual members of police forces around the nation.

The good news is that the demonstrations were generally peaceful, in recognition that it’s not the police departments per se, but rather bad actors within the police departments around the nation - who time and again seem to be protected by the police unions. Many of the policemen involved in these sorts of incidents, are reported to have histories of repeated failures to perform their fiduciary responsibilities in a proper manner, and yet are kept on the police force. This makes it possible for these bad actors to become repeat offenders.

The photo at right was taken of the protesters encamped outside of City Hall earlier this month, not long before the Mayor moved them out.

So I keep asking myself where are we now?

We’re in the midst of a raging pandemic, with social unrest vis a vis law enforcement, and then the Donald seems to exacerbate the situation by deploying the Department of Homeland Security to Portland, Oregon in what seems an effort to provoke protesters, not de-escalate the situation. The Donald has been accused of trying to inflame the situation in an effort to land bigger headlines and create the perception – with the help of mass media manipulator Rupert Murdoch’s Fox News, Wall St Journal and NY Post – that the world is on fire and America needs an authoritarian strong man who will use decisive force to quell the masses.

life in manhattan brooklyn queens bronx staten island during CoVid 2020Trump has also been accused of attempting to use the DHS deployment to Portland as a distraction from the Administration’s failed response to the pandemic, his failure to respond to reports that Russian President Vladimir Putin has paid bounties for the heads of U.S. G.I's in Afghanistan and a rallying cry to get the Donald (aka Rupert Murdoch’s choice) re-elected in November - in spite of what can only be described as the Administration's horrific record of dysfunctionality over the past four years.

The photo at right is a mural on the Richard Rodgers Theater near Times Square in Midtown Manhattan.

What Trump Administration dysfunctionality am I talking about?  In addition to the colossal failed response to the CoVid pandemic, there's a near record of unemployment which the BLS appears to be consistently understating (the BLS says 12% unemployment, but that doesn’t jibe with the fact that some 30 million are collecting unemployment insurance out of a labor force of 160 million aka 19% unemployment), America’s worst deficit ever by a country mile [in the month of June alone Trump racked up an $864 BILLION federal deficit], failure to effect any meaningful healthcare reform, stagnating or worsening reading and math scores by America's students, the alienation of our closest trading and military allies, and the list could go on.  Those are the failures of the Trump Administration and unfortunately for both Trump and America there’s little to offset their failures with any meaningful accomplishments.

But despite these enormous failures at the federal level, life does go on. Thanks in part to the leadership of local government officials.



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.

nyc social unrest post george floyd corona virus nyc covid 19 nyc nysThere’s no doubt we’re living in an unusual time.  At least when compared to the times of the last hundred years or so.  There’s a pandemic raging across the nation, which has resulted in over 140,000 Americans’ deaths, and approaching four million infections in America alone.

The economic fallout seems to be in its nascent stages, as businesses struggle to stay open, unable to adapt sufficiently and quickly enough, to keep on keepin’ on. And furloughed workers, once under the assumption they would be called back into service in a few weeks or few months, are coming to the realization that the position they once held, may no longer exist.

I believe the photo at right shows the ‘home’ of a few people who seem to periodically return at night.  When I pass by this abode, I think about their lifestyle, living by their hard work and / or wits, with little to no worldly possessions or real comforts. I started mentally writing an ad for this living space. 

The ad goes something like this. This 2BR with spacious Living Rm is pre-furnished with a couple of chairs, a couple of beds, great ventilation, including plenty of space to move around.  There’s no kitchen, no air conditioning or heat, no security [but there’s nothing to steal] – and depending on how willing you are to stretch things, either no bathroom - or at the very least - not a private one. But the limited utilities and rent are free, so this living space is workable for any budget, and there’s plenty of ambient sunlight.

The ad is a humorous look at what's a very poignant situation, but then my thoughts take me further ... These people are still struggling to survive. They're making do with the little they have. They're very organized and pretty clean. And occasionally they give me a friendly wave when I pass. That is the power, strength and resilience of the human spirit.



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.



Things To This Weekend & Phase IV NYC Reopening

Governor’s Island Opened 7/15, Statue of Liberty Island Opens 7/20 while Ellis Remains Closed, Subway Series this Weekend w/ o Fans, Evolving CoVid Science Update & More Economic News

July 17, 2020 / NYC Neighborhoods / NYC CoVid 19 Special Section / News Analysis & Opinion / Gotham Buzz NYC.

nyc reopening corona virus nyc covid 19 nyc nys aoc in corona hands out food bagsWell another CoVid influenced weekend in NYC has arrived.  It’s the weekend before the NYS Phase IV reopening of the economy, which is happening on Monday, July 20th – but with an important modification.  The important modification is that indoor cultural centers and shopping will remain on hold indefinitely. 

CoVid Droplets Can Linger in Air for up to 16 Hours

The rationale is that CoVid 19 appears to be transmitted significantly – if not primarily – via the air droplets of infected people who may or may not be symptomatic.  In the outdoor environment, the droplets are diffused by the planetary volume of air, while in the indoor environment they can linger for up to 16 hours.  It was previously believed that the droplets could linger for up to three hours.

In the photo at right is Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez handing out food bags at Our Lady of Sorrows Church in Corona, Queens. The Congresswoman's campaign raised funds to put together 250 food bags for the folks in the community. Our Lady of Sorrows Church has been the locale for a number of such prior distributions by various donors, including by the Catholic Charities Built In Queens.

Things To Do NYC / Events This Weekend

Mets host Yankees at 7.10 pm Saturday at Citi Field and Yankees host Mets at 7.05 pm at Yankee Stadium Sunday.  No attendees will be allowed, but the games will be shown on the Yes Network on TV and WFAN radio.

things to do nyc things to do manhattan brooklyn queens bronx staten island during the covid pandemic nycThe Statue of Liberty island will open on Monday, July 20th.  The statue itself will remain closed, but there will be limited souvenir and food shopping along with restrooms.  The Ellis Island and the Liberty Museums will remain closed at this time. Both sites are part of the National Parks System.  There are also new rules for a visit - https://www.nps.gov/stli/

St. John the Divine opened its doors to visitors from 7.30 am – 1 pm daily.  No word yet on when services will resume.   https://www.stjohndivine.org/

St Patrick’s Cathedral reopened on June 28th for two daily services at 25% capacity on weekdays and two to three services daily on the weekend. They are suffering a $4 million revenue shortfall as a result of the Corona Virus pandemic - https://saintpatrickscathedral.org/

The piazza style dining in cordoned off streets continues on weekends beginning 5 pm Friday and at noon on Saturday and Sunday – ending at 11 pm each night.  New streets and restaurants continue to be added to the original list, as clusters of restaurants apply and receive authorization for piazza style dining on their blocks / streets.
https://www1.nyc.gov/html/dot/html/pedestrians/openstreets-restaurants.shtml

The implementation of the curbside / sidewalk dining by local restaurants has been well received and appears to be a success. Thus this week the Mayor announced that it will be extended through October 31st.

Just over a week ago, on Thursday, July 9th, the Mayor extended the ban on large events requiring a city permit, through September 30th.  The rationale for this extension is that states like Florida and Texas have seen surges due to large scale gatherings, where social distancing and mask norms were difficult to enforce and hence violated, leading to huge surges of the number of CoVid infections in those states.  This ban extension includes NYC street fairs.



Things to do This Weekend in NYC

Bit by Bit NYC Emerges from the CoVid Pandemic Shock ...

... but it's Increasingly Looking Like It Will be a Slow Recovery

CoVid update mail in vote complications delays fraud nyc nyc things to do nyc manhattan queens bronx brooklyn staten island reopenings economy layoffs tale of two economies tech traditional bricks n mortar nycJuly 10, 2020 / NYC Neighborhoods / NYC CoVid 19 Special Section / News Analysis & Opinion / Gotham Buzz NYC.

Weather. The temperature highs will be in the high 70’s Friday, rising to about 90 degrees on both Saturday and Sunday. There’s a 100% chance of inches of rain throughout the day Friday, with some rain – about an inch - in the late morning / early afternoon on Saturday, and then clear on Sunday. Humidity will be in the 90% plus range on Friday, dropping to 80% on Saturday and down to 65% on Sunday. There will be wind gusts of up to 20 – 26 mph on Friday, settling down to 5 – 10 mph on Saturday and Sunday.

We began to return to some measure of normalcy this week as NYC moved into Phase III of the reopening. Restaurants sprung back to life with sidewalk and curbside seating which seemed to fill up pretty well in the first week of opening. Rain will dampen that enthusiasm today and through mid afternoon tomorrow, but I expect seatings to resume later in the day Saturday.

Things to do in NYC This Weekend

The Mayor also announced the opening of 22 European piazza style dining streets in all five boroughs [scroll down to July 2nd post for a listing of them]. Some of these NYC ‘piazzas’ opened last weekend. I visited the one on Restaurant Row in Manhattan and it looked to be a success – see photo.

While things haven’t returned to normal, and likely won’t for some time, they are becoming more normal from week to week. And there’s more to do these days, than there has been for a long while, for those who want to get out and about.

New openings this past week include:



Crime & Punishment and Racism & Reparations

But First a Video of the Fireworks & From the Streets on July 4th

July 7, 2020 / NYC Neighborhoods / News Analysis & Opinion / Gotham Buzz NYC.

Here's a video of the Fireworks, which includes some street activity and commentary & music. Click the box in the lower right corner to max it up to the full screen for best view. Hit the escape key (esc) to exit the full screen view.

More coming about the evening later this week. Enjoy.



July 4th Weekend NYC: The New Normal is About Adjustment & Simplicity

The NYC Budget, NYC Events, the Economy & CoVid Update

July 2, 2020 / NYC Neighborhoods / NYC CoVid 19 Special Section / News Analysis & Opinion / Gotham Buzz NYC.

George Floyd Protests, the NYPD and other NYC Budget Cuts

nyc budget cuts nyc things to do manhattan bronx brooklyn staten island queens piazza style dining nyc misleading unemployment statistics bls phony fiscal conservatives & unemployment numbers

The George Floyd protests seem to have abated, over a month after his death.  The new NYC budget does cut about a billion from the NYPD budget by reducing the staff from 36,000 to 34,000 employees, cancelling the most current class of new cadets, and reallocating school security to the Department of Education and homeless engagement to social services units. About 5,000 people work in the school security program and that will be transferred over a period of time to make sure it works properly.  Another$160 million was allocated to summer youth programs [$115 million], as well as to address food insecurity [$33 million] and housing [$8 million]

The overnight Staten Island Ferry service was also cut for the time being.  That affects about 4,250 riders per night based on 2019 statistics.  Other cuts included in the NYC budget include an $800 million cut for schools, a 5% - 7% cut to all departments, some labor savings [$1 billion].  The labor savings could result in NYC layoffs in the Fall if other solutions aren’t found.  The cuts were due to a mix of actual and expected NYC revenue shortfall of about $8 – $9 billion.  City Councilmember Helen Rosenthal of the Upper West Side tells us that about $4 billion of the shortfall will be made up by the Mayor’s rainy day fund, which de Blasio had prudently set aside to address unexpected events.

The Mayor also announced that NYC public schools would be reopening in the Fall.  He said he was working with the unions to implement safe plans which would include social distancing measures which would possibly take larger classes online, stagger schedules to fill the school with fewer students at any given time, implement cleaning efforts and staggered lunchtimes.  The Governor noted that ultimately it’s his call on school reopenings.  Nonetheless, the Mayor said that NYC was working to submit a plan by late July / early August.

NYC Moving to Phase III Monday but Indoor Dining on Hold

Because of the upturn in CoVid infections in other states as noted below, the Governor and Mayor have put indoor dining in NYC on hold.  Nonetheless, the rest of Phase III will continue as planned on Monday, July 6th. Phase III also includes the opening of personal care businesses such as tanning, waxing & nail salons and spas.

 

Piazza Style Dining to come to 22 Streets in all Five Boroughs

nyc budget cuts nyc things to do manhattan bronx brooklyn staten island queens piazza style dining nyc misleading unemployment statistics bls phony fiscal conservatives & unemployment numbers

The Mayor announced efforts to mitigate the impact of the delay of the opening of restaurants indoor areas by further opening the streets to restaurateurs over the weekends beginning Friday evenings  -  in what was described as piazza style dining.  Expanded dining areas are planned for 22 streets around all five boroughs in the city including Restaurant Row in the Hell’s Kitchen neighborhood of Manhattan, Mulberry Street in the Little Italy neighborhood of Manhattan, and streets in Chinatown at Doyers Street, the East Village at Broome and Orchard Street, Harlem at 101st Street and Lexington, Gansevoort & 13th in the West Village, Broadway and 25th in the Flatiron District.

In the outer boroughs there’s Arthur Avenue in the Little Italy / Belmont neighborhood of Bronx [7/10], New Dorp at Hylan Blvd in the New Dorp neighborhood of Staten Island, Bell Blvd in the Bayside neighborhood of Queens, and in Brooklyn a number of streets in DUMBO between the Brooklyn and Manhattan Bridge near the water in Brooklyn, 5th Avenue in the Park Slope neighborhood of Brooklyn, at Reed Street and Van Brunt near the Fairway in the Red Hook neighborhood of Brooklyn.  And speaking of Fairway – they’re planning to close three stores as a result of the pandemic including the one in Red Hook, another in Harlem and one on Long Island.

In Phase II NYC had started to clear the way for restaurants to occupy the curbside parking spaces in front of their dining / drinking establishments to allow the serving patrons outdoors.  This appears to have worked well, with – thus far – no attendant substantive increase in CoVid cases.  This is even though many to most of the folks I see dining and drinking outside aren’t wearing masks.  This is understandable as it’s hard to eat and drink with a mask on, as I tried it a week ago and didn’t like it.

But for the people who are most susceptible to severe illness - and even death - due to CoVid, they are advised to continue to exercise caution, even in the outdoor dining and drinking setting, as the consequences for them are too severe to take the risk.



July 4th Week - NYC Events & Happenings

City Restaurants Turned Inside Out, NYC NYPD Protests Continue, Broadway Cancels Fall Season, Major League Sports Update, Elections Results Still Unknown with Lessons for the Fall &  July 4th Fireworks Begin

nypd protests george floyd protests rupert murdoch fascist ny police union NYPBA Pat Lynch president nyc broadway carnegie cancellations disney / abc propaganda rupert murdoch fascist

June 29, 2020 / NYC Neighborhoods / NYC CoVid 19 Special Section / News Analysis & Opinion / Gotham Buzz NYC.

NYC entered Phase II of its economic reopening a week ago.  As part of that phase, restaurants were allowed to serve customers on the sidewalks in front of their establishments.  Over the past week or so, more and more people have returned to enjoying a restaurant meal in a social milieu.  Now when I’m returning home around or after dinner time I feel as if I’m walking right through the center of several restaurants.

 

Restaurants Turned Inside Out

It’s kind of interesting, because I get to see the entire clientele without having to enter the restaurant and I can also see what the food looks like.  I reckon the downside is that while it seems generally the customers have masks which I see lying on the tables, they take them off or pull them down while there.  This makes sense as eating and drinking with the mask on is not feasible.  The downside is that while I used to walk around the neighborhood without wearing the mask [it’s ok out of doors when distancing  six feet ], I’ve started wearing my mask out of doors while I’m walking through these restaurant seating areas ... just to be safe.  The photo above was taken in Sunnyside Queens this week.

Phase III is expected to begin next week, and on Wednesday the Governor and Mayor will announce whether or not restaurants will be allowed to serve customers inside.  There's reluctance to do so, as it is believed that the in house social interactions are one of the leading contributors to others states now seeing a surge in CoVid cases. 



Week & Weekend Update of Events in NYC

Planned Openings & Fireworks, Phase II & III Economic Reopening,  Life in the City & Primary Election Results Remain Open Due to Large Mail in Vote

nyc phase II & III reopenings nyc planned cultural reopenings nyc july 4th macy's fireworks cancellations manhattan bronx brooklyn staten island queens economic fallout of CoVid pandemic nyc

June 26, 2020 / NYC Neighborhoods / NYC CoVid 19 Special Section / News Analysis & Opinion / Gotham Buzz NYC.

On Monday NYC entered Phase II of the economic reopening, which among other things included curbside restaurant service, limited office openings and limited capacity retail.  That put a lot of people back to work and seemed to give the city more of a normal feel.  The Mayor quipped that it was the first time in a while that he got caught in a traffic jam.

 

NYC Plans Move to Phase III on 7/6/20

Assuming New Yorkers maintain their CoVid protocol vigilance, we’ll be moving to Phase III on Monday, July 6th.  This includes the reopening of Personal Care services such as nail salons, gyms, as well as limited capacity in restaurant dining.

A Word of Caution - CoVid Resurgences in Reopened States

But it’s worth making a note of caution, as other states – such as Texas, Florida, California and Arizona which beat us to the punch in reopening their economies – have sparked a huge resurgence of new CoVid infections.  Texas, Florida and Arizona have put their economic re-openings on hold. Florida beat its previous high rate of CoVid infections on Thursday, nearly reaching 9,000 new infections in a single day. And an increasing share [about half] of these infections have been found in people between the ages of 25 – 45.



NYS Primary Elections Today

The Presidential  and Congressional Primaries are Today

nyc poll site locator queens poll site locator manhattan polls locations

June 23, 2020 / NYC Neighborhoods / News Analysis & Opinion / Gotham Buzz NYC. 

The long delayed NYS primary election is today.  On the ballot is the presidential primary featuring Joe Biden and I believe others - but the others have suspended their campaigns and Joe Biden has already won enough electoral votes to secure the nomination.  So in the presidential primary you can strengthen Biden's hand by casting your vote for him, or strenghten someone else's hand in influencing the Democratic platform that Joe will run on.

There are also a number of congressional races which I'll have more on by or before 12 noon today.  See Manhattan Buzz, Queens Buzz, Bronx Buzz, Staten Buzz and Brooklyn BLVD for details. 

Click the link for the poll finder website, so you can easily find where to vote in your neighborhood.  Remember this is the land of the free and the home of the brave and many of our ancestors died for our right to vote.  So try to be brave, but also be careful.

The New York City election is Tuesday June 23rd and polls are open from 6 am - 9 pm.



NYC Life: Juneteenth, Summer Begins, Fathers Day, NYC Phase II, Atlanta Shooting & Election

The NYC Boroughs Showing Increasing Signs of Economic Life, but …

June 19, 2020 / NYC Neighborhoods / News Analysis & Opinion / Gotham Buzz NYC.

nyc phase II reopening things to do nyc nys primary election economy manhattan bronx brooklyn staten island queens economy nyc tucker carlson fox racism nyc

The Mayor announced we’re moving to Phase II of the economic reopening beginning Monday. According to a missive by Councilmember Van Bramer, Phase II means that restaurants can resume serving people on sidewalks, at curbside, in opens streets and plazas and in backyard seating – but they need permits which may be obtained at nyc.gov and he notes that restaurateurs do not need to apply separately for the liquor permit.

Retailers can now serve people in their shops by limiting capacity, while following mask, [barrier?] and cleaning protocols.  The same is true for hair salons and barber shops. And realtors and auto dealers can resume working with clients, as can commercial building operations and offices on a case by case basis.

The photo at right was taken near Borough Hall in Brooklyn earlier this month.

 

On June 19, 1865 the Last Texas Slaves Were Freed

Juneteenth Celebrates the End of Slavery in the U.S.

Juneteenth is the date when the Union Army arrived in Galveston, Texas and informed all of the slaves there, that they were freeAbraham Lincoln had issued the Emancipation Proclamation in January 1, 1863 – but rumor has it that word didn’t reach Texas slaves until two and a half years later.

On Wednesday, June 17th, Governor Cuomo signed an Executive Order making today a holiday for NYS employees.  There are also a number of marches and rallies to celebrate Juneteenth in all five boroughs, most beginning between 12 noon and 4 pm, which you can find by doing a search for ‘juneteenth nyc’.



Where We At?

These Certainly are Crazy Times & this is a Brief Update

corona virus nyc covid 19 nyc nys

June 15, 2020 / NYC Neighborhoods / NYC CoVid 19 Special Section / News Analysis & Opinion / Gotham Buzz NYC.

In mid March we slammed up against a CoVid pandemic and NYS Paused in order to thwart the rapid spread of the sometimes deadly disease.  Then, after we appeared to slow the virus spread, and we were slowly re-opening economic activity - a new crisis of conscience and societal awakening - was layered atop the pandemic. 

The social outrage, at what appears to be the murder of a man at the hands of a Minneapolis policeman, sparked protests across the nation and around New York City at what appears to be unnecessary municipal police violence and brutality targeting racial minorities, acted upon by a few members of the police forces around the nation.

We have covered both of these stories in prior reports and what follows is a bit of a catch up of the past couple of weeks and look forward into the next couple of weeks.

CoVid Science Update

A number of reports have provided updates into the nature of the Corona Virus.  These include what impact wearing the masks has, how the disease spreads via air and via surfaces, and the contagiousness of asymptomatic CoVid carriers on the general population.  I think it’s important to remind folks that we’re not even a year into the spread of the sometimes deadly disease, so look at all of what follows as still being somewhat preliminary.

CoVid Science Update – Wearing Masks

corona virus nyc covid 19 nyc nys

The wearing of the masks does appear to help, but it is most helpful in containing the spread by limiting the airborne virus by infected carriers.  Defensively it also appears to help, but substantially less so, if you’re in close quarters with an infected person.  According to a May 17, 2020 report in the South China Morning Post a study using hampsters,

“… found the rate of non-contact transmission – in which the virus was transmitted via respiratory droplets or airborne particles – dropped by as much as 75 per cent when masks were present.”

The study was done in a room, which is important to note because out of doors, this same study has not been replicated.  So wearing masks appears generally good.  But it’s important to point out that the reason it’s good goes back to the original WHO [World Health Organization] and CDC [Center for Disease Control] guidance, which is that it is most effective in containing the spread by an infected carrier.  Wearing masks has been found to be less effective in preventing the spread if the carrier is not wearing a mask even if the potentially infected is.



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.



Unemployment Rises to 40 Million, Trump Fires FIVE Inspectors General Overseeing his Handling of the Largest Stimulus Bill in History & Life on the Ground in NYC

May 28, 2020 / NYC Neighborhoods / CoVid in NYC Special Section / News Analysis & Opinion / Gotham Buzz NYC.


covid economy nyc life on the ground during covid brooklyn manhattan bronx staten island queens covid outbreak nyc life on the ground econ covid nyc

If things appear to be chaotic these days, that’s because they are.

America First - #1 in CoVid & Record Breaking Unemployment

Since the CoVid Pandemic began, new unemployment claims have risen by 40 million in the nation.  That’s out of an estimated American workforce of 158 million – meaning that 25% of Americans have lost their jobs since the pandemic began. 

The April unemployment was reported at nearly 15%, while the May unemployment report is expected to rise to in the neighborhood of 20% - 23%.  And according to the Federal Reserve, the  June numbers could come in a bit worse than May.  As a point of reference, during the worst days of the Depression, unemployment came in just under 25% before the American people fired Herbert Hoover.

 

Trump’s Litany of Distractions, Enabled by Network TV Boobcasts

But the Donald isn’t talking about the pain Americans are suffering from the pandemic, where over 1.7 million have been infected and over 100,000 have died.  Nor is he talking about the pain and anxiety that is being felt by the 40 million Americans who have lost their jobs.

Nor is he willing to talk about the firings of five Inspector Generals who had been charged with overseeing the integrity of the largest stimulus package in American history – funded by America’s babies and unborn children.  It’s like taking candy from a baby, only this time it’s money – and lots of it. 

The five Inspector Generals include one from  Health & Human Services, Department of Defense, State Department, Intelligence Community and the Department of Transportation.  Australian billionaire Rupert Murdoch's Goebbels-like  propaganda machine - including his Fox News, Wall St Journal and NY Post appeared to support the firings. I wonder what Rupert's share of the predatory propaganda plunder is?         

So what is the Donald talking about, repeated nightly on the TV News broadcasts, who I’ve come to view as the great enablers, and now think of as the nightly news boobcasts ?  Anything else. 

This week the list of TV News amplified Trump outrages included: 1) Twitter exercising its freedom of speech by putting suggestions that Trump Twitter followers get off their lazy bums to click into fair and balanced information checks of the Donald’s disinformational tweets.  2) Prior to that Trump attacked the Governor of North Carolinafor following the CDC guidelines vis a vis reopening the economy.  The reason?  The Donald appears to want a jam packed media extravaganza at the Republican National Convention that was scheduled to be held in Charlotte, North Carolina in August.  3) Another of the shock jock president's distractions was his insinuation  that mail ballots are fraudulent – WHICH MIGHT COME TRUE IN November as Trump is replacing the outgoing Postmaster General with a Trump donor / businessman from North Carolina.    4) And the most incredulous of the distractions was Trump’s allegations having to do with MSNBC commentator Joe Scarborough and a decade(s) old death of someone who worked for him.



CoVid Vaccine Update, Gauging Timeline for Return to the New Normal,   Economic Snapshot  & ...  

May 25, 2020 / NYC Neighborhoods / CoVid in NYC Special Section / News Analysis & Opinion / Gotham Buzz NYC.

covid vaccines economic recovery nyc life on the ground nyc during covid pandemic in brooklyn manhattan bronx staten island queens covid outbreak nyc life in nyc during covid pandemic nyc

Memorial Day was a beautiful sunny day, with temperatures into the 70’s, and dry. Given the month of May is nearly over, I thought I’d do a recap of what has transpired during the month to gauge how far we’ve come and how far we have to go to return to the new normal.

Let’s start with a quick update on the CoVid virus itself. As we entered the month of May, new CoVid hospitalizations were running about 800 per day. As of Governor Cuomo’s last few reports, the number of new hospitalizations is running at between 200 – 300 per day. The net daily intubations have been running negative [meaning more people coming off than going on] for most of the last couple of months ranging from close to zero [meaning folks coming off intubations were about equal to those going on] to nearly 150 more coming off than going on.

As we exited April, NYC and NYS were closing the popup hospitals located primarily around the city, as the existing facilities were moving into a position where they were able to handle the sick patients entering the healthcare system. Overall both NYC and NYS have freed up a considerable amount of hospital and respirator capacity, so that most parts of the state will be economically open in the Phase I stage by this coming week – with the exception being NYC. NYC has met six of the seven metrics required to enter Phase I of the reopening of the economy.  The seventh metric is to free up enough hospital capacity [30% available capacity is the target] in order to reopen safely, according to the guidelines outlined by NYS Governor Cuomo.       

It’s important to remind folks that NYC, with a population of about 8.5 million, represents nearly half of the approximately 19.5 million population of NYS – and that we’re far more densely packed into a far smaller space than likely anywhere else in the nation. I mention this to help folks understand that we, in NYC, have the highest hurdle to transcend to move toward the new normal. But that said both the Mayor and the Governor believe that if the trends continue, NYC should be in a position to move into Phase I sometime within the first two weeks of June.

Phase I allows for construction, manufacturing and curbside retail to resume.

In prior reports we’ve identified the people most at risk of dying from the disease should they contract it. These folks still need to tread cautiously, as well as the folks who surround them, as no cure is in sight – regardless of what you may hear on the ratings-driven TV news or from a flailing president who oftentimes seems more concerned about the impact of the virus on his re-election chances, than on Americans’ health.

Scientists and pharmaceutical organizations around the world on working on numerous different therapies which may help speed recoveries. There are eight new vaccines that are in some stage of clinical trials, and a reported 110 vaccines in the works. The eight in clinical trials are only in the early stages of clinical trials, which are used to determine the efficacy and safety profile of a drug.



Governor Cuomo to End NY Pause on 5/15 but ...

NYS Regions Must Meet Guidelines to Re-Open & While Some NYS Regions Qualify - We in NYC are Not Yet There

May 11, 2020 / NYC Neighborhoods / NYC CoVid 19 Special Section / Gotham Buzz NYC.

corona virus nyc covid 19 nyc nysAs of May 15th the NY Pause program put in place by Governor Cuomo in mid March will come to an end. NY Pause was essentially a state-wide lockdown of residents and businesses deemed ‘non-essential’. We’ll have been in lockdown for two months.

NYS Regions Must Meet the Following Guidelines Prior to Re-Opening

But once the statewide lockdown ends on Friday, regional / municipal lockdowns will continue until such time as each region meets seven guidelines outlined by the Governor. The seven metrics that a region must meet are a two week decline in: 1) total hospitalizations, 2) new hospitalizations, 3) hospitalized deaths, and must have a 30% available share of 4) hospitalized beds and 5) Intensive Care Unit beds, and must have testing capacity / implementation of 6) 30 people per thousand monthly, and 7) 30 contact tracers per thousand in alignment with being able to follow up on potentially infected people.



CoVid Back to Work NYC – Part III

Mayor & Governor Attempt a Balancing Act Worthy of the Flying Wallendas

nyc life on the ground during covid pandemic timeline brooklyn manhattan bronx staten island queens covid outbreak nyc life on the ground during covid pandemic in nycMay 3, 2020 / NYC Neighborhoods / NYC CoVid 19 Special Section / News Analysis & Opinion / Gotham Buzz NYC.

Well, at least we had a pleasant weather weekend. People were out and about again in greater droves than they have been in about a month and a half. It was just nice to stretch one’s legs, soak in a bit of sunshine and see people again … albeit at a social distance.

Looking ahead the Mayor and Governor are in a tight spot, as people’s economic needs begin to weigh heavily upon them, given a second month of rent and other payments have come due. Thus these two intrepid leaders need to work out a path to economic recovery, while not letting up on keeping the evil CoVid virus in check. My intent here is to add my two cents in hopes of stimulating dialogue and actions in that direction.

Putting Things In Perspective

Let’s start with what has happened this past week. NYS CoVid Hospitalizations had skyrocketed to about 19,000 the week of April 13th, 2020. By this past weekend they had fallen to about 10,000 – nearly half of the peak.

At the time the Governor and Mayor, with federal government assistance, had put in place plans to accommodate the skyrocketing infected numbers, which as of April 13th had hit 195,000 people in New York State and about 107,000 in New York City. Today the cumulative totals for New York State are 318,000 and for New York City 177,000.

Brief History Of How Covid 19 Started In NYC & NYS

The first person identified with the CoVid virus, was a Manhattan healthcare worker who had picked it up overseas. She tested positive or it became publicly known on March 1st, 2020. A week and a half later, on March 10, 2020, Governor Cuomo set up a containment area in New Rochelle where there was a significant outbreak. The Governor’s NY Pause – essentially shutting down non-essential business – began evolving shortly thereafter.



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..


NYC Hospitals Operating at Capacity, CoVid 19 Curve Flattening, BUT ...

The Next Battle is to Stay Disciplined to Avoid a Resurgence

Will New Yorkers Comply during Passover & Easter Week?

April 6, 2020 / Corona Virus in NYC & NYS CoVid 19 / NYC Neighborhoods / News Analysis & Opinion / Gotham Buzz NYC.

corona virus nyc covid 19 nyc nysMany NYC Hospitals are reportedly operating at full capacity, and in some cases operating at capacity plus.

The good news is that the supply chain of personal protective equipment [PPE], respirators and gowns has been holding - albeit on a tight supply. And there are still anecdotal reports, generally by the alarmist TV networks, that indicate there are a few spot shortages. If true, these shortages are the result of distribution issues, rather than any out-of-stocks by the city and state.

Nonetheless, the needs for protective gear and life saving equipment remain high priorities for both the Governor and the Mayor, as the supply chain is on a tight turnaround and the CoVid pandemic continues, albeit at a slackening pace, in the city and parts of the state.

The good news, as previously reported, is that we may be approaching the apex. The social distancing appears to have thwarted the worst case scenario, and may even have contained the spread from reaching the middle case scenario.

But the danger persists.

The chart at right shows the daily CoVid deaths stabilizing. But a number of the morgues are over capacity, and some of the bodies reportedly had to be stored in refrigerated trucks, which are affectionately referred to as mobile morgues.

 

The Real Challenge this Week is Getting Through Passover & Easter without Breaking the NYC & NYS Healthcare System

corona virus nyc covid 19 nyc nysAnd the real test of it comes this week as both Passover and Easter come to play, when people generally come together to celebrate these traditional religious holidays.

To discourage people coming together in large numbers the Governor doubled the fine for violations of social distancing from $500 to $1000. Cuomo also extended the non-essential store closure policy for another two weeks - through the end of April.

In the Governor's daily press conference, he called upon local law enforcement to give tickets to people regardless of their religious affiliation, if they violate the call for social distancing. In doing so, Cuomo noted that not only are those who gather in such a manner putting themselves and their communities at risk, but they are also adding to the pandemic crisis, by putting first responders including FDNY, the NYPD, the MTA workers and the NYC / NYS Healthcare system workers at risk. A risk, which in many cases, ends up in death.

And given the hospital / healthcare system is operating at full capacity, if people start to break formation and begin disregarding the government social distancing guidance, they could potentially tip the balance of what seems a well managed pandemic crisis, into an all out disaster.

The chart above shows some good news, whereby the NYS daily CoVid hospitalizations are exceeded by the number of CoVid patients leaving the hospital. Remember - these numbers are driven up or down by our behavior as a whole community.


CoVid Testing Now Widespread, Growth Continues but doesn't Accelerate, Severe Cases Appear to be Levelling

corona virus nyc covid 19 nyc nysApril 4, 2020 / Corona Virus in NYC & NYS CoVid 19 / NYC Neighborhoods / News Analysis & Opinion / Gotham Buzz NYC.

It's been a while since we've had much good news. At right is a graph shown by Governor Cuomo at a press conference today. Over the past week or so, Andrew Cuomo appears to be moving toward one of the more optimistic scenarios. He expects that we may POSSIBLY hit the Apex sometime next week.

Mayor de Blasio also seemed focused on the immediate needs of next week, but the Mayor has not yet adjusted his long term view of what's needed. Perhaps the Mayor hasn't yet received 'the memo'.

 

New Daily Discharges Exceed New Daily Hospitalizations

corona virus nyc covid 19 nyc nysAs you can see from the graph presented at right, the daily discharges at hospitals now exceeds the number of new daily admissions to the hospitals. Obviously that's a good sign, as more capacity is being freed up, as is being committed, providing breathing room for the entire system, which has been under some significant stress the past week or so.

Now be advised, the Network TV personalities are paid on the basis of their ratings performance - not keeping you properly and contextually informed - which is why you've been hearing that the sky is falling these past couple ofweeks.

To be sure, some hospitals that are under great duress. Elmhurst Hospital in Queens has been one of them, and I've heard, but haven't visited, Mount Sinai in Queens and Jacobi in the Bronx. But other hospitals aren't making the news because they're operating just fine. So bear in mind when you watch TV news you aren't necessarily getting the full picture - you're getting the ratings driven network TV news picture.

The bubbleheads on TV news seem to be paid on how well they read teleprompters, not on their intellectual or journalistic acumen.


NYC Curve Appears to be Flattening, NYS Numbers are Still Rising

Hospitalizations, ICU Patients, Intubations & Discharges

April 2, 2020 / Corona Virus in NYC & NYS CoVid 19 / NYC Neighborhoods / News Analysis & Opinion / Gotham Buzz NYC.

Well, there seems to be some good news, and Governor Cuomo has started hinting at it in his daily CoVid press conferences. A week ago, the Governor was talking about NYS hitting the apex of the curve in 21 days, which is in late April. This week the Governor started hinting that we may hit the top of the curve within the week. The Mayor, meanwhile has been saying that next week could be the start of the apex / wave.

corona virus nyc covid 19 nyc nysMy assessment differs from both the Governor's and the Mayor's. And while it's based on information provided by the Governor, I'm drawing a different, more optimistic conclusion. Part of that may be that I haven't been able to talk to anyone from the Governor's office who knows precisely what's in / not in the numbers the Governor has been providing. And it's also worth noting that both the Governor and the Mayor don't have the luxury of planning for the optimistic scenario.

 

Assumptions for the Analysis in this Report - Beware the Hype & Distortions of Anecdotal Reporting

Assuming the numbers hold and New Yorkers' behavior holds, NYC may have already hit its apex of the CoVid pandemic. Note that those are big assumptions, but they're assumptions based on current numbers and behaviors.

As I am sure you can appreciate, that's good news, as some NYC hospitals had reached their capacity in terms of beds and / or Intensive Care Unit beds with / without respirators. But while maxing out the capacity at some of the eleven hospitals that are run by the NYC Health & Hospital System - like Elmhurst Hospital in Queens and possibly Jacobi Hospital in the Bronx - it is not true for the privately run hospitals that represent a significant portion of the medical infrastructure of NYC. One exception may be Mount Sinai in Astoria, Queens which today was reporting that they're handling a lot of CoVid patients.

corona virus nyc covid 19 nyc nysOn Monday afternoon, March 30th, I spoke very unofficially to professionals from both Mount Sinai and also at Memorial Sloan Kettering - both in Manhattan - who told me at that time, that the operations at both of these hospitals were pretty much functioning somewhat normally.

So I think it's important for people to bear in mind, a shortage or over-capacity in one hospital, doesn't mean there's a shortage system-wide. The flip side of that coin is that we may have more capacity and supplies than is needed - but it might not be available in the places where it's most needed.


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.


It's a Corona Virus Weekend NYC III

CoVid 19 Pandemic Continues to Keep Life in NYC & NYS on Hold

The Following Includes a Compendium of Closures & Expected Activity Resumption Dates [Subject to Change]

Updated March 29, 2020 from 3/27/20 / NYC Social Issues / NYC Neighborhoods / Corona Virus in NYC & NYS CoVid 19 / News Analysis & Opinion / Gotham Buzz NYC.

corona virus nyc covid 19 nyc nysWeather. The Temperature highs will be in the high 60's Friday, dropping to 50 on Saturday and rising a bit to the mid 50's on Sunday. The temperature lows will be in the mid to high 40's all weekend. There is an 80% - 100% chance of a half inch of Rain on Saturday mid to late afternoon [3 - 5 pm] and a bit more than a half inch early Sunday morning [before 7 am]. Winds will be 5 - 10 mph all weekend. The Humidity will be rise from the mid 20% range Friday, to 60% Saturday and 80% Sunday. Click for NYC Weather.

MTA / Public Transit / Click here for the MTA Weekender.

The photo at right shows a man in Bryant Park last weekend enjoying a rare moment of solitude in the middle of a very densely populated city during the CoVid 19 shutdown.

 

On Thursday, March 26th, I headed toward CitiField to photograph it on what was supposed to be opening day. Major Leaugue Baseball was to begin that day with the Mets playing Washington at home, while the Yankees were to play Baltimore away.

 

Elmhurst Hospital is the Epicenter of Queens, which is Epicenter of NYC, which is Epicenter of NYS, which is Epicenter of the America

corona virus nyc covid 19 nyc nysOn my way I stopped to visit Elmhurst Hospital which had been labeled the CoVid epicenter of Queens that same day. Queens had become the epicenter of NYC by reporting the most cases in the city, and New York City is the epicenter of NYS, which is the epicenter of the U.S.

I visited Elmhurst Hospital just as they had closed the testing tents, which ran from 6 am - 4 pm. I spoke to one of the healthcare professionals there, inquiring as to whether they thought that there had been an overreaction to the spreading virus.

I was told that the virus was new, mutating, very contagious, and more lethal than the flu - so it should be taken seriously and managed in accordance with the general health risks it poses. Within the prior 24 hours thirteen people had died at Elmhurst Hospital.

On the subway the number of people wearing masks over their faces had grown significantly. I also noticed, for the first time, that a number of people were also wearing plastic gloves. Not long from now, everyone will be wearing Hazmat suits.

Well, at least it was easy to get a seat, and even easy to maintain the social distancing.

The photo above shows the testing tent outside of the Elmhurst Hospital in Queens on Thursday. In the prior 24 hour period 13 people reportedly died.

 

Small Businesses Have Closed or are Closing - Nothing's Moving

corona virus nyc covid 19 nyc nysOn my way home I stopped at a few small businesses I generally frequent. One had completely closed its doors for the past couple of days because business had been softening. I imagine staying open just wasn't worth the effort and expense. Another small business had shortened their hours, as business there had also softened, but there was still business moving. And at the third place I stopped, the owner told me they were going to close for a while, until things started moving again, as there just wasn't much / any business moving.

When I arrived at my own personal self quarantine station - which I used to think of as my apartment - I flipped on the tube. There in front of me were so many people, talking endlessly and saying so, so little. So I turned it off to restore a sense of calm.

What follows is a compendium of some of the major closings and announcements made over the past couple of weeks, as well as the anticipated time they plan to resume activity, but all subject to change.

The photo at right shows the business district on 82nd Street in Jackson Heights Queens during the middle of the day. As you can see, most businesses had closed.


CoVid - The Virus Everyone is Talking About

Ghost Town: One of Every 200 New Yorkers has been Tested

corona virus nyc covid 19 nyc nysMarch 23, 2020 / NYC Social Issues / NYC Neighborhoods / Corona Virus in NYC & NYS CoVid 19 / News Analysis & Opinion / Gotham Buzz NYC.

Last weekend I headed into Manhattan to take a few photos of what I expected to be a ghost town. While some folks were moving about - relative to normal activity - Manhattan seemed empty. With this report are a few of the photos. I'll include more of them in the upcoming weekend update.

I've also been fairly closely following Governor Cuomo's daily press briefing. The numbers, as mentioned in my last report, that I've been keeping a close eye on are the number of infections vis a vis the number of tests completed. The reason for this is that I have not yet heard anyone explain how they can truly ascertain the transmission rate, without being able to separate out the growth in the number of people who have tested positively, from the growth in the number of people they have tested.

 

NYC & NYS CoVid 19 Testing Metrics vs Infected Numbers

corona virus nyc covid 19 nyc nysSo I put together a chart, in which I had to make a few estimates using the data the Governor provided, as I had not captured all of it. Friday, March 20, 2020 is the starting point, where Cuomo reported 32,427 tests completed in NYS, of which 44% or 14,386 were completed in NYC. At that time there were 7102 and 4408 infected in NYS and NYC respectively, which means that 22% of those tested in NYS were infected, while 31% of those tested in NYC were infected.

In the briefing today, Tuesday, March 24, 2020 there were an estimated [my copy of Cuomo's NYS total number was unreadable] 94,289 tests completed in NYS, of which 41% or 38,390 were completed in NYC. At this time there were 25,665 infected in NYS, of which 14,904 of the infected were found in NYC. This translates to 27% of those tested in NYS being infected, while 39% of those tested in NYC were infected.

What does this mean? Actually since this virus is new, we don't really know for sure. What we do know is that about 26,000 people in NYS are infected, of which 15,000 of them live in NYC. And, according to Cuomo on Monday, the testing per capita in NYS is higher than anywhere else in the world including South Korea [see fact check correction below].


It's a Corona Virus Weekend NYC II

Even more than Last Week, the Corona Virus Pandemic Shuts Down NYC

* March 20, 2020 / NYC Social Issues / NYC Neighborhoods / Corona Virus in NYC & NYS CoVid 19 / News Analysis & Opinion / Gotham Buzz NYC.

* Weather. The Temperature highs will be in the mid 70's on Friday, dropping to 50 on Saturday and the mid 40's by Sunday. The temperature lows will be in the mid 40's on Friday, dropping to the mid 30's Saturday, rising a bit to the high 30's on Sunday. There is a 40% chance of a minuscule amount of Rain on Friday afternoon, for which the peaking probability is at 5 pm. Then no rain for the rest of the weekend, but cloudy Saturday morning. Winds will be 10 - 15 mph all weekend. The Humidity will be around 70 on Friday dropping to the mid 40% range for the rest of the weekend. Click for NYC Weather.

* MTA / Public Transit / Click here for the MTA Weekender.

 

A Racist President Applies a Demagogue Label to CoVid

corona virus nyc covid 19 nyc nysUnfortunately we have a president, who oftentimes makes situations worse, because of his ignorant and childish behavior. The Donald seems to be trying to label the Corona Virus the China virus and quite frankly, is doing more to confirm some of the labels given to him - like he's a racist - than convincing anyone other than his Fox 'News' toadies - to go along with his not-helpful-in-addressing-the-CoVid-crisis ploy.

It seems that our babyman president, won't even act like an adult, even in the midst of what appears to be the world's worst pandemic in this millenia.

A demagogue is

"a political leader who seeks support by appealing to the desires and prejudices of ordinary people rather than by using rational argument."

 

MTA Sanitizes Subway Cars and Buses

corona virus nyc covid 19 nyc nysThe NYC MTA moves between four and six million people daily. That's a mind boggling figure when you think about it. But last week ridership began falling significantly. And by this week, about a million or more people, had found some other way to get around, or were staying home. Thus the MTA is seeking federal funding to the tune of about $4 billion to help it shore up the lost revenue. And the ridership reductions are expected to continue for a while.

The MTA stepped up its cleaning regimen effective March 3, 2020. It now santizes its subway cars and buses on a rotating schedule every three days. Have the subways ever been so clean? In spite of the effort folks are still encouraged to practice social distancing meaning keeping six feet apart from others when possible. Anyone who is ill is asked to stay home.

The photo above right shows a placard on the subway, artistically depicting the diversity of our city. We live at the crossroads of the world, which means we are both the beneficiaries of that intellectual and cultural diversity, but also carry risks which are associated with that openess, because of our societal exposure. Like everything in life, we must strive to find the right balance of cultivating our openess, while managing and minimizing the associative risks. Data, science, education and discipline can help us strike the right balance.


 

***************

 

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

May 7, 2020  / 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

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

May 8, 2020 / Queens Neighborhoods / Queens Restaurants / Queens Buzz NYC.

Mother's Day is this weekend. 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 - BUT this year reservations, per se, are not an option. But delivery and take out are.

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 2020 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 half dozen Queens restaurants that are doing take out / delivery 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 2020

May 14, 2020 / Things To Do Queens NY / Queens Buzz NYC.

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

I know Memorial Day Weekend is fully a week away, but given it's such a changed landscape due to the CoVid pandemic, I thought you might want more time to think about how you're going to spend the weekend.

Weather. As of this posting the weather forecast is as follows. The Temperature highs will be in the low to mid 70's and the temperature lows will be around 60 all three days of the long weekend. There's a 20% chance of rain all weekend. Winds will range between 5 - 10 mph all weekend. The Humidity will be around 50% throughout 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 - as you know - is very different, because we're in the beginning or middle of the CoVid pandemic. 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 2020

According to a March 27, 2020 report in Military News the U.S. Navy cancelled Fleet Week due to the CoVid pandemic. The annual celebratory week in NYC was originally scheduled to run from Wednesday, May 20 to Tuesday, May 26, 2020.

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. That's not the only activity that will not be available to us, as attending Queens parades NYC, watching theater, visiting the Queens art museums NYC, and eating out at one of the Queens restaurants NYC also won't be available come Memorial Day Weekend.

But things are slowly moving in the right direction. For example you can obtain restaurant food via delivery or carry out - we posted some of the restaurants performing this service as of Mother's Day in our Mother's Day Restaurants in Queens report.

Unfortunately shopping in Queens, will also be limited to groceries, pharmacies and home improvement stores [aka essential services], but local Queens farmers markets in Queens NYC are classified as an essential service, so that provides another outing option.

You can also go bicycling around Queens so be mindful to observe the rules of the road [click link]. The 5 Boro Bike Ride 2020 was cancelled and unfortunately could not be re-scheduled, so we'll all have to wait until 2021 [hopefully].

 

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 2020 in Queens. This events calendar is 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, most of which will be open, including the restrooms which will be cleaned daily with disinfectants.

But the normal park service options aren't available during the CoVid pandemic. These include no barbeques, no team sports and both the public swimming pools and the playgrounds will remain closed. But the beaches in other boroughs will be open, although no swimming will be allowed and the beaches will only be open for limited periods - generally from 10 am - 6 pm. NYS public marinas are open for non-commercial activities.

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 2020 including maps showing their locations along with a bit of park history.

 

Golfing In Queens - Currently Closed due to CoVid 19

Queens has four golf courses and NORMALLY all of them are open over the Memorial Day Weekend - but not this year [May 2020]. Click here for details about Queens Golf Courses 2020 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 - again normally they're open over the Memorial Day Weekend - but as of this posting they'll be closed.

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

February 25, 2020 / 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.

There are a lot of celebrations planned for St Pat's Day in Queens. 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.

The photo to your right was taken on St. Patrick's Day weekend in 2019 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

Things To Do In Queens Over The Presidents Day Weekend

February 10, 2020 / Things To Do Queens NY / Queens Buzz NYC.

Presidents Day Weekend Weather. The Temperature highs will be in the mid 30's on Friday, dropping to the high 20's on Saturday and rising into the 40's on Sunday and Monday. The temperature lows will be in the low teens Friday, the mid 20's on Saturday, rising into the 30's Sunday and Monday. Precipitation - There's a small chance [30%] of a small amount of precipitation [way under an inch] later Sunday and early morning Monday. Winds will be around 15 mph Friday, dropping into the single digits for the rest of the long weekend. The Humidity will be in the high 30% range on Friday & Saturday, rising to about 60% on Sunday and Monday. 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.

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 Restaurants & Events in Queens

Romantic Restaurants For Dinner in Astoria, LIC, Sunnyside, Woodside, Jackson Heights & Flushing

February 4, 2020 / Queens Restaurants / Queens Neighborhoods NYC / Queens Buzz NYC.

Valentine's Day is 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.

It's generally hard to make restaurant reservations on short notice at a romantic Queens restaurant on Valentine's Day, and sometimes it's difficult to make them for the weekend of Valentine's Day. So if you're thinking about doing something this Valentine's Day for dinner in Astoria, LIC, Jackson Heights, Sunnyside, Woodside 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.

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.

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 Restaurants & Events in Queens

Romantic Restaurants For Dinner in Astoria, LIC, Sunnyside, Woodside, Jackson Heights & Flushing

February 4, 2020 / Queens Restaurants / Queens Neighborhoods NYC / Queens Buzz NYC.

Valentine's Day is 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.

It's generally hard to make restaurant reservations on short notice at a romantic Queens restaurant on Valentine's Day, and sometimes it's difficult to make them for the weekend of Valentine's Day. So if you're thinking about doing something this Valentine's Day for dinner in Astoria, LIC, Jackson Heights, Sunnyside, Woodside 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.

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.

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

February 25, 2020 / 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.

There are a lot of celebrations planned for St Pat's Day in Queens. 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.

The photo to your right was taken on St. Patrick's Day weekend in 2019 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 queensMarch 25, 2019 / 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 2019 season including links to maps. Click the other link below for an updated list of Queens Street Fairs schedule of 2019 through the first couple of months of the 2019 season, 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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