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News and Events
in Lower Manhattan
Volume 6, No. 21,  May 31, 2020   

"Violence is not the answer. It never is the answer. As a matter of fact, it is counterproductive because the violence then obscures the righteousness of the message and the mission."
      -  New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo discussing the eruption of violence in the nationwide protests against the murder of George Floyd 
WEATHER INFORMATION: For current weather information, click here.

COVID-19 CASES IN NEW YORK CITY: As of May 31 at 4:53 p.m.
957,953 tested * 200,547 confirmed cases * 21,569 deaths
Go to for breaking news and for updated information on facility closures related to COVID-19  
MASTHEAD PHOTO: A bronze sculpture in Union Square Park depicting Mohandas Gandhi (1869-1948), was dedicated on October 2, 1986, the 117th anniversary of Gandhi's birth. The monument was installed at Union Square because of the tradition of protest associated with the park.  Gandhi advocated nonviolent protest when India sought to win independence from Great Britain. (Photo: © Terese Loeb Kreuzer 2015) 

Terese Loeb Kreuzer, editor
The first amendment to the U.S. Constitution was adopted on Dec. 15, 1791. it says "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances."

That's what it says. But as you sit there reading this, freedom of the press is under attack.

Journalists trying to cover the demonstrations protesting the murder of George Floyd are being tear-gassed, shot with rubber bullets and arrested. An article in the Washington Post dated May 31, 2020 is among many documenting what is happening. That article is entitled "The norms have broken down: Shock as journalists are arrested, injured by police while trying to cover the story."

The article says that "at least a dozen journalists [were] injured in cities across America this weekend." It goes on to say that "in a number of incidents, journalists were injured, harassed or arrested even after identifying themselves as reporters - a blatant violation of constitutional protections."

The article continues by noting that "much of what transpired against reporters was perpetrated by police."

A free press, uncensored and unconstrained, is a cornerstone of democracy. That's why it came to be known as "the fourth estate," providing a window on the exercise of unexamined political power and, when necessary, exposing corruption.

But in the last few years, the press has been undermined by accusations of "fake news" and by the actual dissemination of lies portrayed as truth. The Washington Post article observes that "social media has undermined public trust in the news media, a phenomenon fueled by Trump's frequent criticism of the press."

So here we are. What I've just described is not fake news.

Journalism in Lower Manhattan has a 300-year-old history starting with an English-born printer named William Bradford who is buried in the Trinity Church graveyard at Broadway and Wall Streets. In 1693, he was appointed to the position of public printer for New York. Between 1725 and 1744, he printed the New-York Gazette, New York's first newspaper.

In 1734, one of his former apprentices, John Peter Zenger, got in trouble with the law. Zenger's newspaper, the New York Weekly Journal, criticized the colonial governor, William Cosby, who had Zenger arrested. A grand jury refused to indict him but the governor was undeterred. He had the Attorney General, Richard Bradley, charge Zenger with libel. The case went to court. After deliberating for 10 minutes, a jury returned a verdict of "not guilty." The jury reasoned that Zenger had told the truth so that what he wrote could not be considered libel.

This is our heritage. Journalists take it seriously. Those of us who cover the news for you would not knowingly betray this precedent and this trust.
Terese Loeb Kreuzer
William Bradford's tombstone in the Trinity Church graveyard. 
 (Photo: © Terese Loeb Kreuzer)

Downtown Post NYC's website ( is updated daily. That's the place to check  for urgent messages, breaking news and reminders of interesting events in and around Lower Manhattan. So be sure to look at the website every day, especially if you want to know about breaking news.

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On May 30 at his daily press briefing, Gov. Andrew Cuomo spoke about violence and quoted Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. This is part of what Cuomo said:

We have injustice in the criminal justice system, which is the basic purveyor of justice in this society. And it is not just George Floyd - you look back even in modern history in my life time. This started with Rodney King. Rodney King was 30 years ago. We suffered in this city through Abner Louima and Amadou Diallo and Sean Bell and Eric Garner. How many times have we seen the same situation? Yes, the names change, but the color doesn't. And that is the painful reality of this situation.

And it is not just 30 years. It is this nation's history of discrimination and racism dating back hundreds of years. That is the honest truth and that's what behind this anger and frustration and I share the outrage at this fundamental injustice. I do. And that's why I say I figuratively stand with the protestors, but violence is not the answer. It never is the answer. As a matter of fact, it is counterproductive because the violence then obscures the righteousness of the message and the mission. And you lose the point by the violence in response. And it allows people who would choose to scapegoat to point [to] violence rather than [to] the action that created the reaction. The violence allows people to talk about the violence, as opposed to honestly addressing the situation that incited the violence. The violence doesn't work. Martin Luther King, Dr. King, God rest his soul. He taught us this. He taught us this. He knew better than anyone who is speaking to us today on this issue. "Returning hate for hate, multiples hate. Hate cannot drive out hate, only love can do that." Yes, outrage. Yes, anger. Yes, frustration. But not violence.

(Note from the editor: On its Facebook page, Downtown Post NYC has been providing  information about the time of Governor Andrew Cuomo's daily press briefings and how to access them. DPNYC has also been highlighting some of Gov. Cuomo's announcements concerning COVID-19 statistics, reopening of various parts of the state for business and executive orders. Go to Downtown Post NYC's Facebook page by clicking here.)

Dan Lindsay and T.J. Martin, directors of "LA92," an entry in the 2017 Tribeca Film Festival. (Photo: © Terese Loeb Kreuzer 2017)
Because of Covid-19, the Tribeca Film Festival was canceled this year. The Tribeca Film Festival was founded in 2002 in the aftermath of the destruction of the World Trade Center site on Sept. 11, 2001. Since then, the Film Festival's offerings have frequently been political giving those who have been faithful fans cause to remember one film or another as current events cycled around to what a TFF film had recounted.

This was the case for "LA92" a documentary directed by Dan Lindsay and T.J. Martin that debuted at the Tribeca Film Festival in 2017.  Lindsay and Martin were 14 years old and 13 years old respectively in 1991 when four white, Los Angeles police officers brutally beat a black taxi driver named Rodney King.  A witness filmed the beating as it was happening on March 3, 1991 and sent his film to a local television station, causing a national furor. The police officers were tried in 1992. Three were completely acquitted. The fourth was acquitted of all but one charge. When the verdict was announced, riots erupted in Los Angeles, and continued for six days. More than 50 people were killed and more than 2,300 were injured. The rioting only came to an end when the National Guard and the U.S. military were called in.

"One of the reasons we wanted to do this," said Lindsay when Downtown Post NYC interviewed him in 2017, was that "this was the first moment when there was video of police brutality that became public and it happened to coincide with more and more people having video cameras and also the advent of the 24-hour news cycle. The thing that we were exploring was the inherent contradiction in the American experience. I'm referring to the idea that our country was founded on the idea that all men were created equal and the people who signed that document owned other human beings."

In the film, a representative of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) remarks, "We get these calls all the time, but this time, we have the proof."

"I feel that echo is happening today," said Martin during the 2017 Tribeca Film Festival interview, "yet have we seen any kind of systematic change? I venture to say that it hasn't been as dramatic as people would like to see. Two steps forward, one step back."

On May 29, 2020, reflecting on the murder of George Floyd in Minneapolis, New York State Gov. Andrew Cuomo said that it was not an isolated incident. "It is a continuum of cases and situations that have been going on for decades and decades and decades," he said. "These are just chapters in a book, and the title of the book is 'Continuing Injustice and Inequality in America." Cuomo said that in recent times the "chapters" started with Rodney King in Los Angeles in 1991 followed by a list of other African-Americans who had been beaten or murdered.

Then Cuomo recited the names: Abner Louima in New York, 1997. Amadou Diallo in New York, 1999. Sean Bell in New York, 2006.  Oscar Grant, Oakland, California, 2009.  Eric Garner, New York City, 2014. Michael Brown, Missouri, 2014. Laquan McDonald, Chicago, 2014. Freddie Gray, Baltimore, 2015. Antwon Rose, Pittsburgh, 2018. Ahmed Aubrey in Georgia, 2020. Breonna Taylor in Kentucky, 2020. George Floyd in Minneapolis, 2020.

- Terese Loeb Kreuzer

"LA92" can be rented or purchased on (, and from Amazon Prime and other sources. To see the trailer for "LA92," click here.

John Street in Lower Manhattan's Financial District. (Photo: Terese Loeb Kreuzer)
The Alliance for Downtown New York is expanding criteria for the Small Business Rental Assistance Grant to offer immediate help to more storefront businesses currently providing vital services to residents and workers in Lower Manhattan during the COVID-19 pandemic. The program, which launched earlier this month, is funded by the Alliance with support from Brookfield Properties, Silverstein Properties and The Howard Hughes Corporation to award a total of $800,000 in grants.

From Thursday, May 21 at 9 a.m. ET to June 4 at 11:59 p.m., more businesses can apply at
"The Alliance is committed to supporting our local retailers during this difficult time," Downtown Alliance President Jessica Lappin said. "The initial round of awards prioritized the smallest and most vulnerable businesses in our district. This round will expand eligibility in an effort to help slightly larger independent storefront businesses that are serving Lower Manhattan."  
The expanded criteria for phase two of the program includes eligible businesses with gross annual revenues of up to $3 million that employ up to 30 people (the first round was capped at $1.5 million and 20 employees), and to storefronts within an expanded geography that covers everything south of Chambers (expanded beyond the strict assessment boundaries of the Downtown-Lower Manhattan Business Improvement District).  
The grants will offer $10,000 each to small businesses as a single direct payment to be applied to April or May rent. Businesses must provide appropriate documentation and meet all the following requirements:
    *    Currently be open and providing an "essential" service as defined by Governor Cuomo in the PAUSE order of March 22, 2020
    *    Be located on the ground floor in Lower Manhattan below Chambers Street
    *    Be an independent business with five or fewer locations in New York City
    *    Have fewer than 30 employees as of March 1, 2020
    *    Gross annual revenue below $3 million
    *    Have a lease at their current location through December 31, 2020
    *    Provide proof of rent payment for April or May 2020 or potentially for later months if the landlord has given approval for rent deferral
Applications are available starting Thursday, May 21 at 9 a.m. on a first-come, first-served basis through June 4 at 11:59 p.m. ET or until funding has been exhausted.
Required documentation includes 2019 4th Quarter 941, relevant lease agreement pages and the main pages from the business's most recently filed IRS business tax return, showing its annual gross revenues.   
The Small Business Rental Assistance Grant is part of a continuing effort by the Alliance to support businesses that are being adversely impacted by the spread of COVID-19. The Alliance is actively working to help Lower Manhattan's business community weather this painful temporary shutdown: educating local business owners about available funding opportunities, convening working groups, communicating which businesses are open to residents and spotlighting essential workers who are making a difference. Efforts will continue throughout the recovery phase with dedicated marketing programs and initiatives to help turn the lights back on across the neighborhood.  

Disaster Loans & Grants 
Unemployment Assistance - available for W2 and Schedule C clients
Mandated additional sick pay and associated tax credit
Paycheck Protection Program;  Extended tax loss carry-backs

Bits & Bytes
The coastal oil tanker, Mary A. Whalen, docked in Red Hook, Brooklyn, just celebrated her 82nd birthday. She is the centerpiece of PortSide New York, founded in 2005 by Carolina Salguero as "an innovative maritime center...showing how to combine the working waterfront and public access while fostering community development." PortSide New York is currently engaged in a fundraising campaign to bring a 1941 Fairbanks Morse engine from Kennett, Missouri to Red Hook so that the Mary Whalen could actually run again in New York Harbor. For more information, click here. (Photo: Terese Loeb Kreuzer)
"The Coronavirus Quieted City Noise. Listen to What's Left," New York Times, 5/22/2020. "The corner of Lafayette and East Fourth Street in New York used to be a busy thoroughfare, with coffee shops, gyms, bus routes and hurried students walking between classes at N.Y.U. But since mid-March, all the usual sounds of Lower Manhattan - car horns, idle chatter and the frequent rumble of the subway down below - have been replaced by the low hum of wind and birds," says The New York Times. You can hear the difference for yourself. This article has audio clips embedded in it. For the complete article, click here.

"Le Pain Quotidien files Chapter 11 bankruptcy, permanent restaurant closings likely,"
USAToday, 5/27/2020. "Restaurant chain Le Pain Quotidien filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection Wednesday and revealed plans to sell itself to another restaurant company in a bid to avoid liquidation," says USA Today. "The company is proposing a sale to New York-based Aurify Brands in a deal that would allow at least 35 of its 98 U.S. restaurants to reopen, according to a court filing. The rest appear to be at risk of permanent closure. Le Pain Quotidien has locations in the New York City area, the Mid-Atlantic region, California, Illinois and Florida. Before the pandemic, about 56% of its sales came from the New York City area, according to a court filing." Two of Le Pain Quotidien's locations were in Battery Park City. For the complete article, click here.
"Take a Virtual Tour of the Financial District and the Battery," New York Times, 5/29/2020. "A famous rabbit warren of alpine office towers, corporate plazas and Colonial-era lanes mobbed during weekdays with tourists and traders, the financial district in Lower Manhattan has become home to more and more residents in recent years," says The New York Times. "On weekends and now, with most offices shut, the neighborhood becomes a backyard. Claire Weisz moved from nearby Chinatown with her husband and partner, Mark Yoes, after Sept. 11. Co-founders of the firm WXY, they have designed the Manhattan Districts 1/2/5 Sanitation Garage and Salt Shed, Kowsky Plaza, the West Thames Street Pedestrian Bridge and the SeaGlass Carousel, all in Lower Manhattan.
This is the latest in a series of (edited, condensed) walks with architects and others. Ms. Weisz suggested a virtual stroll around some public spaces and streets in her neighborhood like Zuccotti Park and The Battery." For the complete article, click here.

An NYC ferry on the South Brooklyn route. (Photo: © Terese Loeb Kreuzer 2019)

Since May of 2017, NYC Ferry's blue-and-white boats have been darting around New York harbor. Currently six routes span 60 nautical miles with 21 landings. The ferries serve the Lower East Side, South Brooklyn, Rockaway, the East River, Astoria and Soundview, with connecting buses in the Rockaways and midtown Manhattan. A one-way fare costs $2.75, the price of a ride on the subway.

However, like all other forms of public transportation in New York City, the ferries have been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. Since the New York State PAUSE began on March 22, ridership on the ferries has decreased by around 90 percent.

A modified ferry schedule was introduced on March 23. Additional service changes  began on Monday, May 18. Temporarily on both weekdays and weekends, NYC ferry service will end at approximately 9 p.m.

At the same time, the Lower East Side, South Brooklyn and Soundview routes will be permanently reconfigured to allow NYC Ferry to serve all existing landings at a lower cost. All riders will still have connections to the job hub at Wall Street. Corlears Hook riders will have additional direct connections to job hubs in Sunset Park and Red Hook.

The Stuyvesant Cove landing will be served by the Southview route. The Corlears Hook landing will be served by the South Brooklyn route. Although the parking lot near the Rockaway ferry landing will be permanently closed, free street parking is available nearby.

NYC Ferry had previously announced expansion plans, which are still in place. During 2021, the ferries will begin to serve Staten Island and Coney Island and will travel further into the Bronx.

Essential workers are riding the ferries daily. Riders who aren't traveling for an essential purpose are discouraged from using NYC Ferry. All riders are asked to observe social distancing and to always leave six feet between themselves, other riders and crew, both at the landings and on the boat. They are also asked to wear face coverings and to use the NYC Ferry app instead of paper tickets to help decrease touchpoints. For more information about ferry routes and schedules and to purchase tickets, click here.

Downtown bulletin board
Voters at a Lower Manhattan polling place. (Photo: Terese Loeb Kreuzer)

Dental offices can open: On May 31, 2020, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced that New York dentists can reopen statewide on June 1. Dentists' offices will be subject to state guidance on best practices for safety and social distancing.
New York City on track to reopen on June 8: On May 29, Gov. Cuomo announced that on June 8, New York City should be ready to embark on Phase 1 of reopening. This applies to jobs in construction, agriculture, forestry, fishing and hunting, retail - (limited to curbside or in-store pickup or drop off), manufacturing and wholesale trade. Phase 1 of reopening should allow around 400,000 people to return to work in New York City.

Register to vote: June 23, 2020 is the date for the New York State primary election.
In order to vote for a candidate in the primary election, you must be registered to the political party for whose candidate you wish to vote. People who are registered as Independents can't vote in the primary election. Gov. Andrew Cuomo issued an Executive Order to ensure New Yorkers can vote by absentee ballot in the June 23rd elections. Click here to find your poll site and/or to register to vote by mail.   Click here to register to vote.
For answers to frequently asked questions, click here.
Voting by mail in New York State: To apply for an absentee ballot, click on the link below and type in your name, address and date of birth. Check the "temporary illness" box to indicate that the coronavirus is the reason you're applying.
The early voting period begins on June 13 and ends on June 21.

New York State loan program for small businesses: New York State has launched a $100+ million loan program for small businesses. The loan program will focus on supporting small businesses that were less likely to receive federal loans, especially women and minority-owned businesses, and very small businesses with 20 or fewer employees. For more information, click here

Health insurance in New York State: You can still enroll for health insurance on the New York health plan marketplace. If you lost your job or health coverage, or are uninsured, you can enroll in a plan today at You may also qualify for health care coverage from Medicaid or Child Health Plus through the marketplace.

Contact tracing phone calls: If you test positive for COVID-19, a Contact Tracer will connect you with the support and resources you may need to quarantine, such as help getting medical care, child care, groceries or household supplies. The Tracer will work with you to identify anyone you've been in contact with over the past 14 days to trace and contain the spread of the virus. Those contacts will in turn hear from a Tracer via phone and text.
People who have come in close contact with someone who is positive are asked to stay home and limit their contact with others. By staying home during this time, IF you become sick yourself, you won't have infected other people. That's how we stop the spread. In the meantime, testing, medical and quarantine support will be arranged.
Privacy is a top priority of the Contact Tracing Program. Your name will not be released to anyone. Your information is strictly confidential and will be treated as a private medical record. A Contact Tracer will never ask for your Social Security Number, bank or credit card numbers or any other financial information.
If you get a call from a Tracer, your caller ID will in most cases say "NYS Contact Tracing." If you get a call, answer the phone. Answering the phone will keep your loved ones and community safe and will allow New York State to continue moving forward in its efforts to contain the spread of COVID-19.

New York City needs blood donors: The New York City Blood Center has sent out an SOS that states that "the need for blood has rebounded to pre-COVID-19 levels but the blood supply is dangerously low. Donors can call 800-933-2566 for information or schedule an appointment online." The New York City Blood Center is one of the largest independent, community-based, non-profit blood centers in the United States. For more information, click here.

United States Census 2020 is hiring: The 2020 U.S. Census will require a massive effort to document everyone in the country. The U.S. government is hiring census workers with a promise of "great pay, flexible hours, weekly pay and paid training." The jobs include census taker, recruiting assistant, office clerk, and supervisory staff. Applications can be made online at For more information, call 855-JOB-2020.

Most of the Downtown Post NYC bulletin board listings are now on the Downtown Post NYC website. To see the bulletin board listings, click here.


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Editor: Terese Loeb Kreuzer

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