March 2, 2020 Weather: Partly cloudy, with a high of 57 degrees.
This week’s concerts, readings and other local events are on our calendar!
It’s hard not to think of the famous line in the 1967 movie The Graduate — “Plastics.” — in light of the furor over the single-use plastic bag waste reduction law that went into effect in New York State on March 1st. Had the young Dustin Hoffman character gone into plastics as advised, he might today be suing the state, as are a plastics manufacturer from Long Island and 5,000 NYC bodega owners. As a result of the suit, “The Department of Environmental Conservation will not enforce penalties for store owners handing out single-use plastic bags until April 1st,” reported Politico. “The plaintiffs…argued the new ban is unconstitutional, overly vague, conflicts with other laws and is ‘arbitrary and capricious.’” The parties are due back in court on May 1st.
An NYC resident tested positive for the coronavirus on Sunday. As the fear has spread, the virus has taken a toll on sales at Chinese restaurants throughout the city, despite no evidence that Chinese restaurants are high-risk. On the UWS, sales at Jing Fong are apparently down 20%, according to the New York Post. Still, that’s a smaller drop than at the restaurant’s Chinatown location. “Business is down there too, but not as much,” Leo said. “This tells you that people are still eating out but they are staying away from Chinatown.”
The developers of 200 Amsterdam Avenue are still building, despite a New York State Supreme Court ruling stating that the zoning lot of their 52-story building — the tallest in the neighborhood — is illegal, according to The Real Deal. “The real estate industry was stunned by (the) recent ruling that could force developers to chop off the top of a near-complete residential tower. But they should have known better than to continue construction during a legal challenge, the judge wrote in his ruling, which was made public Thursday.” They didn’t know better then and apparently don’t now. “Richard Emery, a lawyer representing the project’s opponents, said they would push for a halt on construction. ‘The more you build, the more difficult it is to take down,’ he said, “so the DOB should exercise its authority to discontinue building for that reason alone.”
“Sculptor Vinnie Bagwell was awarded the $1 million ‘Victory Beyond Sims’ public arts commission to replace the J. Marion Sims statue in Central Park,” abc7ny reported. Sims is the controversial gynecologist who experimented on enslaved black women without anesthesia. Bagwell speaks about her art and the “black angel” she is creating to replace the Sims statue, in this video.
Why were singer Billy Idol and City Councilperson Helen Rosenthal taking a selfie last week in front of City Hall? They were launching a new ad campaign to improve air quality by keeping commercial vehicles from idling, as per a law introduced by Rosenthal, effective last year. “Billy Never Idles,” says the ad, which ”aims to prevent trucks and buses from idling by getting New Yorkers to file complaints with environmental authorities,” according to The New York Times. “The program requires participants to capture several minutes of cellphone footage of the idling commercial vehicle in question and send it to the Department of Environmental Protection. If the information leads to a fine, the complainant is eligible to receive 25 percent of it….The city has already paid out at least $175,000 to informants, covering 2,000 violations,” said the Times.
Congratulations to Lauren Hard and Ronald George Hernandez, who were married on Feb. 28th. They had known each other since high school, wrote The New York Times, “But it wasn’t until 2016 that they noticed each other at a mutual friend’s going-away party at Jake’s Dilemma, a bar on the Upper West Side.”
And New Yorkers have a new team to root for in the NCAA tournament (Division III), located just a few miles north of the Upper West Side: Yeshiva University. Go Maccabees!
Men's Basketball Captures Skyline Championship With Victory Over Purchase; Earns Spot in NCAA Tournament. #PrideoftheMaccabees #MacsVictory #d3hoops #SkylineMBB @yunews @skylineconfd3 #YUChamps #NCAAs https://t.co/rk7zznQxCK
— Yeshiva Maccabees (@YUathletics) March 1, 2020