Tag: New York City

Edward L. Glaeser joins Brian Anderson to discuss the implications of the Covid-19 pandemic on city life in America, the connection between urban density and contagious disease, how to prepare for the threat of future outbreaks, and the economic-policy response of leaders in Washington.

As New York enters its second month under effective lockdown, Glaeser reminds us that “density and connection to the outside world—the defining characteristics of great cities—can also turn deadly.” Contagious disease has always been the enemy of urban life; overcoming it in the past has required massive investments in sanitary infrastructure. The current pandemic could prove a long-run disaster for urban residents and workers unless public fear is alleviated.

Rev. Franklin Graham, president and CEO of Samaritan’s Purse and son of the late evangelical leader Billy Graham, joins Howard Husock to discuss his organization’s response to the coronavirus pandemic, the volunteers behind these efforts, and how secular Americans can better understand faith-inspired philanthropic work.

In New York City’s Central Park, Graham’s disaster-relief organization set up a field hospital to treat patients overflowing from nearby Mount Sinai Hospital. Since the facility opened, its medical teams have treated more than 100 patients. Graham notes that he’s following in his grandfather’s footsteps, providing medical help not only in New York but also in China, where Samaritan’s Purse has donated supplies and personal protective equipment. “American civil society,” writes Husock, “diverse and self-organized, still responds to need.”

Seth Barron and Nicole Gelinas discuss the latest developments in New York City’s fight against the coronavirus, the impact of the city’s lockdown on future growth, and the response of state and local leaders.

As New York continues under lockdown, the effects of the coronavirus outbreak are becoming evident: the city’s death toll has passed 1,000, with more than 40,000 confirmed cases. In addition to health-care professionals, essential public employees like the city’s transit workers and NYPD officers are falling ill at a troubling rate. Mayor Bill de Blasio and Governor Andrew Cuomo have responded to the crisis with varying degrees of effectiveness, but the outbreak has revealed a lack of preparedness for a public-health emergency of this scale.

Coronavirus Graphs Update: Pray for the Big Apple

 

There has been a very significant increase in reported WuFlu cases out of New York City during the last few days. I’ve been monitoring the spread of this disease carefully for a bit over a week, and this new NYC data has been the greatest cause for concern that I have observed. I had to find a new data source to address this, from Johns Hopkins (technical note in the comments).

Pray for New York. Pray for Gov. Cuomo and Mayor DeBlasio to lead the people of NYC with wisdom and resolve. Pray for President Trump, and other federal authorities, to provide them with the assistance that they may need.

Seth Barron and Nicole Gelinas discuss the coronavirus outbreak in New York City, the drastic measures being taken to control its spread, and the consequences of an economic slowdown for the city and state budget, the MTA, and New York residents.

New York—particularly New York City—is moving toward a full shutdown. Over the past week, schools have cancelled classes for an extended period and restaurants, bars, and many other businesses have closed. The historic losses in revenue to the city’s public-transit system alone will require a multibillion-dollar bailout, Gelinas believes. Read more of City Journal’s COVID-19 coverage here.

The New York Wrecking Ball

 

A NYC judge has ordered that the top half of the nearly-completed 200 Amsterdam building be lopped off.

New York City’s dicey legal system has garnered some more unwelcome publicity lately. In January 2019, Judge W. Franc Perry held that the building permit issued for the construction of the high-rise on 200 Amsterdam Avenue had been issued illegally, even though the developer had complied with all the applicable rules that the City’s Department of Buildings (DOB) required for a permit. The shoe dropped when 13 months later he ordered the developer to lop off the top half of the 52-story building in order to bring it in compliance with the zoning code.

Just how did this sorry spectacle come to pass? As my NYU colleague Roderick Hills wrote in City Journal, the permit had been issued in 2017 pursuant to a 1978 guidance of the DOB, known as the Minkin Memo, which stated “a single zoning lot … may consist of one or more tax lots or parts of tax lots.” In ordinary English, this cryptic ruling was universally understood to allow a developer to assemble one buildable lot out of many separate tax lots, which developers had done successfully 28 times since 1978.

Does Someone Have to Die?

 

I’ve been reaching a point where I dislike beating the drum about anti-Semitism. But the recent crimes in New York City and the denials that have accompanied them have convinced me that I can’t beat that drum enough. The media is reluctantly covering the story of the latest attacks on Jews in New York:

In Rockland County last night, during a Chanukah celebration at a synagogue a man stormed in with a machete and stabbed at least five victims, who were taken to the hospital. This is the latest in a string of antisemitic attacks in the New York City area, coming in the wake of the tragic killing of four people during an attack on a Jewish grocery store in Jersey City.

Several excuses have been given for the most recent attacks: Bill DeBlasio has blamed a white supremacist group; others have blamed the rhetoric of Donald Trump inciting people (which is absurd, given the fact that his daughter and son-in-law are Jewish). But it’s a good idea to look at some facts:

Seth Barron talks with four City Journal contributors—Rafael MangualEric KoberRay Domanico, and Steven Malanga—about former New York City mayor and now presidential hopeful Michael Bloomberg’s record on crime, education, economic development, and more.

After years of teasing a presidential run, Bloomberg has entered the race for the 2020 Democratic nomination. Just a week before his official announcement, he made headlines by reversing his long-standing support of controversial policing practices in New York—commonly known as “stop and frisk.” Bloomberg’s record on crime will factor heavily in his campaign, but his 12 years as mayor were eventful in numerous other policy areas.

Member Post

 

I’m in NYC. I generally visit it in the spring and fall but this is my first time this year. What’s up with the tons of empty storefronts on the Upper East Side. I realize that retail is under pressure, but I wonder if de Blasio’s insane policies are bearing their negative fruit. Do our […]

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Rafael A. Mangual joins Seth Barron to discuss New York City’s plan to replace the jail complex on Rikers Island with four borough-based jails and what it could mean for public order in the city.

New York City jails currently house a daily average of about 8,000 people, in a city of 8 million residents. Under the new plan, the borough-based jails (once constructed) will be able to house 3,300 people—less than half the city’s average daily jail population today. As Barron writes, the new target “will likely require a significant realignment of expectations about public safety.”

Statue-worthy Women

 

The First Lady of New York City, Chirlane McCray, decided to do something about the fact that there are very few statues of women in the city. She asked New Yorkers to nominate females that were worthy of having a statue in New York. The most nominated woman was Mother Frances Cabrini. Cabrini is a Catholic saint. She came to New York in the 1800s and set up missions for Italian immigrants. Italian Americans have had a huge impact on the city and Mother Cabrini played an important role in assisting this immigrant community.

When finally selecting seven statue-worthy women, McCray left Cabrini off her list. Many in the Italian American community felt slighted. Actor Chazz Palminteri went so far as calling McCray a racist for snubbing the Italian woman. Now McCray is married to Bill de Blasio, so maybe she hasn’t had a great example of Italian Americans. Still, is the mother of two half Italian kids really racists against Italians? Let’s take a look at who did make the cut:

Corey Johnson, Speaker of the New York City Council, joins Seth Barron to discuss the state of New York City’s transit system and his plan to break up the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA), allowing the city to take control of its buses, subways, bridges, and tunnels. According to Johnson, direct control of the MTA would enhance its responsiveness, accountability, and transparency.

Yeah, It Looks Like New York City Made a Big Mistake Spurning Amazon

 

Technically, I guess, it was Amazon who rejected the Big Apple last February — deciding not to build a massive corporate campus in Queens and locating some 25,000 jobs there — rather than the other way around. (The company is still coming to Virginia, the other winner of its nationwide “search.”)

But that cancelation of Amazon’s announced plans came after “an unexpectedly fierce backlash from lawmakers, progressive activists, and union leaders, who contended that the tech giant did not deserve nearly $3 billion in government incentives,” according to The New York Times. A comparatively small group of noisy activists may have seen it as a victory, but most New Yorkers didn’t. Same with Gov. Andrew Cuomo and Mayor Bill de Blasio who sought to “diversify the city’s economy from being so dependent on Wall Street.”

Just how much did that backlash cost NYC. Here is economist Enrico Moretti, author of The New Geography of Jobs, in a fantastic interview with the Richmond Fed (bold by me):

Sarah Solomon, author of Guac is Extra But So Am I: The Reluctant Adult’s Handbook, stops by to talk why life gets better as you get older, getting to the point where you get over your jealousy of other women, struggling with depression and anxiety in the age of social media, and how parenting seems like the hardest job in the world. She tells the story of being evicted from her apartment, losing her job, and getting her book deal all within a two week period. She and Bridget dissect why they both hate being in relationships, how a bagel broke up Bridget’s latest relationship, why men in their 20s need to get “slapped in the face by the dick of life a little bit,” and how a picture with Chris Christie got Sarah a lot of concerned texts from her male friends.

Ray Domanico joins City Journal associate editor Seth Barron to discuss New York City Schools Chancellor Richard Carranza’s controversial and divisive leadership of the nation’s largest public school system. Domanico details Carranza’s emphasis on ridding schools of purported racial bias in his recent essay for City Journal, “Richard Carranza’s Deflections.”

Over the past four decades, with varying levels of success, Carranza’s predecessors in the chancellor’s job have launched numerous policies and programs aimed at better serving students. By contrast, Carranza has put forth no substantive plan for improving the schools, instead charging that the system is overrun by racial prejudice.

Stephen Eide joins City Journal editor Brian Anderson to discuss how homeless services are putting pressure on one of New York City’s most valued cultural institutions: the New York Public Library. Eide describes the situation in “Disorder in the Stacks,” his story in the Spring 2019 Issue of City Journal.

Urbanist Alain Bertaud joins Michael Hendrix to discuss how urban planners and economists can improve city management.

Bertaud’s book Order without Design: How Markets Shape Cities argues that markets provide the indispensable mechanism for cities’ growth. The book is a summation of what Bertaud has learned in a lifetime spent as an urban planner, including a stint at the World Bank, where he advised local and national governments on urban-development policies.

Nicole Gelinas and Aaron Renn join Seth Barron to discuss recent developments in New York and Chicago.

In the first week of April, both cities marked milestones: Manhattan got the nation’s first congestion-pricing plan, courtesy of the state legislature, while Chicago elected its first black woman as mayor.