Monday Bulletin: Small Businesses Succumb, New Charges Against Local Priest, Meet The Meetles, New Yorker of the Week

Photo by Changwha Koo.

August 3, 2020 Weather: Sunny, with a high of 89 degrees.

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

New York’s COVID-related rent relief program has been extended through August 6. Learn more here.

More than 2,800 small businesses — defined as having fewer than 500 employees — have closed permanently in New York City since March 1st, The New York Times reported. About half of them were in Manhattan. “When the pandemic eventually subsides, roughly one-third of the city’s 240,000 small businesses may never reopen,” a leading business group projected. One casualty is The Bank Street Bookstore, a mainstay of the Upper West Side for 50 years, scheduled to close this month.

Four new sex-abuse allegations were brought against John Paddack, the pastor of the Church of Notre Dame (114th and Morningside Drive), bringing the total number of charges to 11, Patch reported. “Paddack has worked (at the church) since 2011. He stepped down from publicly performing priestly duties in July 2019 after multiple people came forward with sexual abuse allegations against him.” Due to a procedural requirement in Canon law, “he technically remains the pastor of the parish.”

An Upper West Sider for less than a year (five months in quarantine), a Columbia grad student lost his lease and bade farewell to his West 74th Street apartment by hiring a cover band to recreate a rooftop concert the Beatles gave in London in 1969. He was “just trying to make life in the city a little bit more interesting,” he told The New York Times. He wanted to reclaim some of the crazy and colorful New York that was promised but stolen away by the pandemic. ‘If John was watching, I hope he liked it,’” he added.

Rachel Bennett has been named New Yorker of the Week by NY1 for her efforts to prevent nursing homes residents from feeling isolated, unloved or forgotten during the pandemic. “Bennett started the ‘Caring by Card’ initiative in March. It started out small, in her Upper West Side apartment. Stickers, markers, and a quick thoughtful message. She says that’s all it took to show those living in nursing homes how much she cared. Quickly word spread and more volunteers jumped on board.” More then 800 cards were sent to one nursing home in Brooklyn, and hundreds more across the globe.

NEWS | 17 comments | permalink
    1. Danielle Remp says:

      I, by no means, want to defend John Paddock, but Notre Dame Church is not part of the Upper West Side. The Upper West Side is defined as follows:

      “a neighborhood in the borough of Manhattan in New York City. It is bounded by Central Park on the east, the Hudson River on the west, West 59th Street to the south, and West 110th Street to the north.” [Wikipedia].

      Some confine it even further by cutting its southern boarder to 72nd Street.

    2. Nelson says:

      A few months ago you had an address where we could send a card to an isolated nursing home resident. I did it once and would like to continue but no longer have the address where to send. I watched the Rachel Bennett video you linked to on NY1 but it (oddly!) didn’t include one. Can you provide or report an address where we may send greetings to folks in our nursing home communities? Thank you!

    3. nemo paradise says:

      The failure rate for small businesses is nototiously high under any circumstances. What was the failure rate for the same period last year? This is an obvious question, but neither this article nor the NYT linked article offer an answer — and absent this data, the cited failure data is meaningless.

      • Ish Kabibble says:


      • Punchy says:

        You have a point but I would imagine the failure rate is much higher this year. Many businesses – large and small – are gone for good and will likely not be replaced even once the pandemic ends.

        However, the end of the Bank Street Bookstore is hardly the result of Covid. Bookstores are basically an obsolete business. Covid may have hastened its demise a bit but Bank Street’s days were likely numbered anyway.

        • World Peacenik says:

          Children do need bookstores.

          To see the books.
          To read the books.
          To chose books.
          To see others reading and choosing books.

          For storytime…

    4. maureen crilly says:

      what is contact for Caring by Card please!!!
      Thanks MCrilly

    5. Business Closings says:

      It is sad when a business closes especially under circumstances that might appear beyond their control. These circumstances were not out of anyone’s control, just beyond creativity and lacking strength in numbers!

      1–Local copy store–deemed themselves essential because people were working from home;
      2–Various dry cleaners–some saw themselves as essential others didn’t and closed for the duration;
      3–Restaurants–most closed, others became part take away, part grocer or meal providers;
      4–Bank Street Bookstore–doing now what they could have done all along– A SIDEWALK SALE!!!

      • EF says:

        Some businesses probably wanted to keep their employees safe by not requiring them to work and therefore not potentially exposing them to the virus. I don’t think it’s fair to say they should have “thought creatively” so that they would still be open when they didn’t want to take any risks, they should be getting bailouts.