Monday Bulletin: Alternate Side Parking Returns, Museum of Natural History’s Layoff Notice, Tina Fey Headlines Benefit

Magnolia Bakery had a lot of fans this weekend. Photo by David L.

May 11, 2020 Weather: Partly cloudy, with a high of 61 degrees.

Our calendar is full of events you can enjoy from home.

If you need a mask, check out the city’s map of giveaway location inside local parks. We have heard that other locations that were expected to have masks (meal giveaway spots) have not had them.

A “clean sweep” will mean alternate side parking is back next week. “Currently, Alternate Side Parking is suspended through May 17. Alternate Side Parking will resume for the week of May 18-24 for a “clean sweep” citywide.”

The Museum of Natural History is planning wide layoffs, the Times reports. “Facing severe financial losses as a result of the pandemic, the American Museum of Natural History announced on Wednesday that it would cut its full-time staff by about 200 people, amounting to dozens of layoffs, and put about 250 other full-time employees on indefinite furlough. The staff of roughly 1,100 employees will be reduced by about 20 percent, according to a statement from the museum.”

Upper West Sider Tina Fey will host a star-studded benefit show on Monday night. “Chris Rock, Jennifer Lopez, Eli Manning, David Chang, Barbra Streisand, Robert de Niro, Ben Platt, Lin-Manuel Miranda, Bette Midler, Idina Menzel and Jimmy Fallon are among the celebrities who will participate.”

Franklin Graham talked to the Times about the controversy around the Central Park tent hospital. “Much of the criticism of Samaritan’s Purse stems from the group’s requirement that employees and volunteers sign a statement of faith affirming their belief in Jesus Christ and their view that ‘marriage is exclusively the union of one genetic male and one genetic female.’ Mr. Graham defended that requirement on Thursday, saying it was important to ensure that ‘our work and our presence is united.'”

Some small businesses are having more luck with small banks than large ones in getting loans, Fox reports. “‘The assumption is, by banking with these big-name guys, you know, that they have so much asset and they know what they’re doing. They have systems. They have the technology. You would think that they would have been able to, you know, to figure it out,’ Josh Borenstein, owner of Modern Bread and Bagel on Manhattan’s Upper West Side, told Fox News regarding his experience getting approval for his PPP loan application. ‘It just sort of shows, and it’s not a lesson in banks, it’s just one of those things where larger businesses often have a really tough time getting to the right answer. The small businesses are more nimble.'”

NEWS | 45 comments | permalink
    1. Elizabeth says:

      Just a note that the number of people standing in front of Magnolia impede the flow of foot traffic. This was the case from Cinco de Mayo; between Magnolia and El Mijote, any non-patron had to walk in the street. Everyone wants these businesses open, but for the ones whose indoor cafes extend into a narrow sidewalk, do us all a favor and figure out a way to handle your clientele that doesn’t force others to walk within not 6″, but 2″ of those waiting.

      • Josh P says:

        One solution would be to remove parking from in front of those businesses in order to give people more room to social distance.

        • lynn says:

          I don’t have a car, but if/when streets are opened for social distancing (as they are in other areas), where do people park their cars?

        • Deb says:

          Let’s see:

          Remove parking from side streets.
          Remove parking in front of businesses.

          What’s next – remove all vehicles (passenger cars, taxis, trucks – all of them) from the island of Manhattan?


      • Live on Columbus says:

        The Shake Shack by the museum is another bad culprit. They don’t allow customers to come inside anymore, which means that they all bunch on the street. That location is really bad about this anyway, but at least normally, it’s because the line extends outside. Walking by, I felt like Shake Shack cared about their employees health, but not about the health of people who lived in the neighborhood. It isn’t healthy to let customers near your staff, so you think it’s somehow healthy to congregate them right outside my door?

        • Boris says:

          If it’s bothering you that much, then you’re probably outside in crowds more than you should be according to the guidelines. These people are waiting to spend money at a local business in order to eat. What are you doing outside when they impede your walking? You’re acting like Shake Shack is the only business not letting customers in the store for the sake of their employees. They’re doing the responsible thing. Just cross the street and don’t make such a fuss.

          • Live on Columbus says:

            Um, trying to get in and out of my apartment maybe? In case you haven’t noticed, Shake Shack is NEXT DOOR to an apartment building.

    2. ben says:

      ‘our work and our presence is united.’ Pretty sure racists use this line of defense as well.

    3. Hannah R Rothstein says:

      My husband and I, both nearly 70 years old, walk in Riverside Park early every morning. Almost all the walkers keep social distance and wear masks, but many bikers and runners do neither. We are concerned about the health implications of this behavior
      Yesterday I finally spotted two police officers. I told them about this problem
      and they told me that they were in the park to issue warning to owners of off-leash dogs. I suggested that the people ignoring social distance and mask guidelines were a bigger problem. They said that the dog owners were breaking the law, so they were dealing with that first. All of this was bad enough, but wait-there’s more. As I stood watching, the police officers were chatting with dog owners and playing with their dogs.

      • UWSider says:

        I agree and it’s outrageous. Yes many more runners and bikers are wearing masks every day so if you are among the good ones THANK YOU and please don’t take offense. Walking around Riverside Park not only are most of the unmasked runners/bikers but they are also the ones who zip next to you and don’t maintain distancing.

        I really wish something would be done here. Nobody cares about off leash dogs right now. Maybe the cops just don’t want to have to jog after runners.

        • Nevets K says:

          Yes, there are some runners who zip past within a foot or two or less, eager to “get in their run.”
          However, it seems that most are trying hard to respect the six foot rule.
          I suggest you, and other New Yorkers, shout this one word at any person who violates any obvious and necessary social norm for his or her own exclusive benefit. The word to shout is: “EGOTIST!”
          And when he or she gives you the finger in return, as you have successfully outted them, your immediate response needs to be: “Your egotism has already f….ed
          you!” That gives you the right and fitting final word.
          Try it. You might like it.

          • UWsider says:

            I hear you but in Riverside Park – at least North of 96th – the walkways are just too crowded with normal use for runners to observe a strict six feet or even two feet in many spots. We all have to share the park and people need their exercise. Just wearing a mask isn’t too much to ask even if it’s primarily to make the people around you feel better. I run with a mask. It’s not that hard. Not doing so at this point is just malignant and a few tickets in the park would stop it fast.

      • rs says:

        “Social distancing” means keeping six feet apart. Runners and cyclists do this by default. They really don’t need to wear masks while they’re running or cycling. And, as the police officer pointed out, they’re not breaking the law. Given the potential consequences of an encounter with the police for many people, may I suggest you stop doing this.

        • HelenD says:

          Since WHEN have cyclists done this by default? They certainly didn’t do it before the pandemic and they’re not doing it now. The one time I went to the park they were zipping all over the place, with one man speeding down the street and then making a turn on to the sidewalk, without even slowing down, right between me and a mother with kids (WE were 6 feet apart), and that’s when I knew it was business as usual. I used to walk up and down the hilly path for exercise but those days are over. It’s so frustrating when people only see what they want to see!

        • Paul says:

          That’s pure nonsense if only because running and biking means breathing harder and expelling your breath more than six feet. Oh, and harder breathing means more particulate in the breath you exhale.

          Wear a mask!

        • D-Rex says:

          IF being responsible, cyclists and runners should be wearing masks. The 6-foot rule is not based on someone exercising and breathing heavily.

          A study of runners showed that runners can produce a trail of droplets behind them for 30 FEET!!!

          I wear a surgical mask to ride and run. Yes it not very comfortable, but exercise is to produce discomfort/strain by design.

          People need to stop being so self centered, toughen up, and be more responsible.

          • Upper West Side Cyclist says:

            Surgical masks work, but better (N95, etc) are too restricting and you cant breathe. I’ve tried.

      • Minx says:

        Hannah – walkers in the partk early morning not great at social distancing, as a runner i am constantly moving around others who feel they are free to walk in the middle of the path or walk on the wrong side when they should be sticking to the right. If you are staying 6+ ft away from others there is no need for a mask (per the city guidelines), moreover, the chances of catching anything from someone outside is very low. I hope you stood at least 6ft from the police while you told them how to do their jobs?

        • Boris says:

          It amazes me that people are so clueless about the need to always keep to the right so others can pass by them safely. I can understand if sometimes you end up on the left side in order to cross over to another area. But to knowingly walk 2-3 across in the middle of a path or sidewalk is obnoxious.

          • 327 says:

            1000% yes. I don’t care who you are, how old you are, how many strollers you have: the default is and always has been single file on the right side so that people can pass on the left. Who are these clowns taking their half out of the middle and then complaining?!

      • TravelgalNYC says:

        I agree wholeheartedly. I’m a biker and I’ve been wearing a mask for the last 2 months (well before the city issued a mandate.) This is about public health, not the “inconvenience” for some people to put a small piece of fabric over their mouth and nose. I’d like to ask these non-mask wearers, “What excuse can you give to all the front-line workers risking their lives?” This isn’t about “me”, it’s about “US”! Save lives and wear a mask people!

      • KittyH says:

        Surprising, about ticketing off leash dogs’ owners, and somewhat heartening, even tough your point is not lost. Having suffered injury following an attack by an off-leash dog on our residential block, then calling 311, I was told the report could not be registered unless the dog owner’s name & address could be provided, nearly always an impossibility. If action is being taken, now, as described, it is a good thing, although it should not be at the expense of this other threatening and very serious issue.

      • That’s Insane says:

        That’s not even logical. You’re there to crack down on one crime, so that means that you’re going to completely ignore another one? Sorry, Mr. Rapist, we’re only arresting thieves today.

        I mean, sure, you see somebody not distancing at the exact same time as someone with their dog off leash and your priority is the dog thing, go with the dog. But you’re going to completely ignore everything else?

        Are you sure these were real cops and not people like those little traffic wannabes who aren’t legally allowed to do anything other but handle traffic, even if they see you get mugged right in front of them?

        • Boris says:

          Not wearing a mask is not necessarily a crime depending on the circumstances. A dog off-leash is always a crime except in designated areas at certain times.

    4. jsv says:

      Graham is an example of a truly awful person, hiding behind religious robes. If there is a hell, he will burn in it.

    5. Evan Bando says:

      Franklin Graham defended the requirement that you believe in Jesus Christ and denounce same sex marriage because it is important to ensure that ‘our work and our presence is united.’ It is a sad statement on Franklin Graham and his “followers” that they cannot unite with and serve a community as diverse as NYC without imposing these restrictions. I know for certain Jesus Christ would not approve.

    6. Julie UWs says:

      To the person who objected to runners and cyclists not wearing face masks, you are mistaken about the guidelines issued by NYC. If you are exercising, you are not required to wear a face mask as long as you can observe social distancing guidelines of 6 feet. Please stop the spread of disinformation.

      • Paul says:

        It’s Disinformation to equate running with walking, because you exhale harder, and further than six feet and because you expel particulate as you exhale.

        Do the world two favors,
        1. Stop misinforming us, and
        2. Wear a mask.

      • Brandon says:


        How can you always maintain a distance of 6 feet from others when running in the city? Do you never encounter a situation where you are on a narrow sidewalk with someone else going the other way? All the city sidewalks are not wide enough to do this at every point. And the mask rule isn’t any different because you are exercising. Nobody is required to wear them outdoors if they can maintain 6 feet distancing.

    7. Jean Hill says:

      Graham’s group didn’t turn anyone away who needed care whatever their preference for buggery might be. If his group doesn’t believe in gay marriage so be it. How is that impacting you? Is it keeping you from getting married?

      • KAB says:

        Graham’s group didn’t turn people away, because they are trying to CONVERT desperate people. I’ve seen it done in tragedies all over the world. Some groups require people to pray with them before feeding them.
        Accepting this kind of exclusionary behavior makes us complicit in it. It’s neither moral, nor Christian. And neither is the language you used.

      • Evan Bando says:

        Graham turned away people who wanted to help based on an ideology. There is nothing uglier than that. Would you screen a first responder during your heart attack to find out if he or she is gay and married? Or to find out if he or she does not believe Jesus Christ is the Messiah? There is so much wrong with your comment and your point of view, it just heaps ignorance on top of the sadness.

    8. EB says:

      Some of us DO care about dogs being off leash–if your dog needs a wide expanse in which to run, maybe you should think about giving him to someone who lives in the country. I have seen off-leash dogs destroy lawns and beds of plants in seconds–not to mention the poop left in places where people like to sit and picnic. Lawns and plants purchased and carefully tended, for the enjoyment of all, btw.

      • Ruth Bonnet says:

        When I lived on the UWS, dog owners were – for the most part – VERY conscientious about where their dogs played and and about poop pickup, but I would encourage those who don’t want to get a ticket to hit Central Park before 9AM and after 9PM, when the leash rules are ignored by all, including the cops.

    9. Boris says:

      People can’t even follow the simple and logical practice of walking/keeping to the right. You think they’re going to do any better if you put them in the street?

    10. UWSider says:

      Would like to agree with my neighbors asking joggers and bikers to wear masks. Perhaps its techinically not legally required (although many joggers come within 6 feet of me on a regular basis) and perhaps the risks are lower outside. But wearing a mask is considerate and would be much appreciated by all of your fellow New Yorkers Thank you!

    11. rs says:

      Here’s some actual science about risk of contagion. The possibility of getting infected from a cyclist sailing past you is about zero.

      • lynn says:

        Sailing or zipping, they’re still too fast and too close. Masks aside, why are people are now being reprimanded for not walking solely on the right side of the sidewalk, while the entitled cyclists are speeding and weaving in and out of pedestrians who are spaced 6 feet apart? They shouldn’t be on the sidewalk to begin with.

        • Boris says:

          It’s common sense to keep to the right so others in the oncoming direction can keep to their right. It derives from a driving requirement that transfers well to pedestrian/bike traffic. You often criticize bikers for going the ‘wrong’ way in a bike lane, right? Predictable patterns are a good thing during these times.

          I think you’re exaggerating the extent of cyclists on the sidewalk. It’s a very small percentage of all the cyclists and usually the result of adults biking with their children who are allowed to ride on the sidewalk. If they’re darting in and out on other paths, maybe those pedestrians should stand in a directional line while kibbitzing instead of standing across the path. Most paths in Riverside Park are at least 12ft across and can accommodate three people across if they each do their part to distance.

        • UWS Neighbor says:

          Agree. People are riding bikes on sidewalks lately. Don’t understand why it’s this new phenomenon.

    12. JS says:

      Really shocked to see the line for Magnolia.

      Wondering if people are from the neighborhood?
      Or if people are starting to come in from elsewhere?

    13. JS says:

      An idea for a small thank you to delivery workers – put cash in zip lock baggie and hand out as feasible when walking (social distancing, masked)

      Worth noting that the gig/sub-contractors for some grocery delivery not only get paid very little but some have to use their own cars.

    14. Enforce Leash Laws says:

      Mother’s Day socially distancing with son, lucky to have a car to sit in the tailgate as he stood all with masks on. Creative and worked great.

      Saw lots of people pass who were not wearing masks, including several bikers & joggers.

      Most upsetting, a dog jumped on a poor woman who was walking down the sidewalk. She seemed paralyzed with fear and didn’t know what to do. The owner laughed as the dog kept jumping on this woman. Could have been carrying the virus on its fur as well. Hope police actively enforce leash laws so people can safely walk in their own neighborhood.