After riding the wave of warm weather and election euphoria, there was bound to be a dip. Yesterday was it.
Dreary weather never helps, but it was the announcement by Governor Cuomo that there would be a 10pm curfew for restaurants, bars, and gyms that started the downward spiral. When I reached out to local businesses there was a sense of resignation and dismay.
“It’s going to be a long, bleak winter,” said Steve Olsen from West Bank Cafe. “We are just trying to survive but are not seeing any light at the end of this terrible COVID tunnel,” Bruce Horowytz from 44 & X told me.
Just as I was heading to bed last night, I read the pronouncement of the New York Times Editorial Board that all indoor dining should cease and that schools should remain open.
For a long while, I’ve felt that the New York Times has lost touch with the city on its masthead. This seems like the view of a group of journalists working from home with their young kids in Brooklyn.
One Times reader (and business owner) reacted: “A writer here blithely says — gyms gone, restaurants gone. The ivory tower editors — working from home, receiving paychecks, health insured, food secure and unfettered by threats of foreclosure, suggest that we just shut down again.”
I’d suggest they get back to their 8th Avenue headquarters and walk a couple of blocks to talk to local business owners who are hurting. Small business folk who have just installed (with money they cannot afford) new air filters, temperature checks, contact tracing, etc.
The answer to this is money. These businesses have been closed down (and my prediction is that they will be closed down again within the next few weeks) by the government. They need financial assistance now — and that starts with rent breaks like the MTA have offered its small tenants.
Secondly, are we really going to just shrug our shoulders about insurance companies not paying out on their business interruption insurance? That would solve most of this.
Finally, maybe the New York Times could use some of the $800m cash hoard that it’s built up from the “Trump Bump” to support their neighbors.
What we’ve been reading
The Rockefeller Center Christmas tree has been chosen and will soon be wending its way to Manhattan! (W42ST)
Hell’s Kitchen: Where East Village Grit Meets the Artsy West Side — do you think HK ends at W41st Street? (New York Times)
Here are the rules if you want a roommate in your rental. (Brick Underground)
A study has revealed the riskiest places for COVID-19 superspreading. (Crain’s)
Have we seen the last of the murder hornets? Umm, probably no. (NY1)