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Around Brooklyn: Dispute escalates at Williamsburg Hotel

March 23, 2020 Editorial Staff
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Dispute escalates at Williamsburg Hotel

A month after a temporary receiver was appointed for Toby Moskovits’ Williamsburg Hotel, its fate seems cloudier than ever, according to The Real Deal. In documents filed Tuesday, lender Benefit Street Partners claims that receiver Constantino Sagonas has violated his mandate by allowing Moskovits to maintain control of the hotel’s revenue and by ignoring demands for information about the hotel’s finances. Benefit Street argues that the situation makes it imperative that the courts force the receiver to act because “the hotel industry, and [the] lender’s collateral in the hotel, is in particular jeopardy.”

Hundreds volunteer to help people at risk

Volunteers have flooded signup lists across Brooklyn and New York City with those offers of help for people at risk from coronavirus, according to Patch. Lily Pollak helps manages one such list — “COVID-19 Support For Elderly and Immunocompromised in Brooklyn” — from her Park Slope home. So far, 125 volunteers have signed up. One volunteer, Lauren Yaffe, posted she can do “whatever is needed” for people living in Park Slope and an wide assortment of Brooklyn neighborhoods. “I love to walk!” she wrote. “Have shopping cart, will travel.”

News for those who live, work and play in Brooklyn and beyond

Street food vendors close up in New York

Droves of New York City’s street food vendors have left the streets as New Yorkers increasingly stay at home, according to New York Eater. Though several vendors still remain in the outer boroughs, the ones in Manhattan have largely decamped due to a massive drop in foot traffic this past week. Unlike restaurants, the stopgap of delivery or takeout isn’t an option for most, most say.  “I made 20 bucks all day on Monday and that really doesn’t cover anything,” said Ahmed Ebrahim, who runs a hot dog cart at West 49th Street and Sixth Avenue. Ebrahim has not worked again since last Monday.

Brooklyn Hatzolah issues dire warning

Leaders of Brooklyn’s Hotzolah, or Orthorox Jewish ambulance service, warned Friday that things must change before it’s too late, according to the New York Post. “It seems that in our community of Borough Park, life is continuing as normal, business as usual. People are going about their daily lives as if nothing is happening,” the organization said.  On Thursday morning, Asisa Urgent Care said they had around 400 positive cases come out of their two Borough Park facilities and Williamsburg location, accounting for nearly half of Brooklyn’s 1,030 infections reported by City Hall.

Woman files $150M lawsuit against rapper

Rapper Tekashi 6ix9ine’s desire to get revenge on the Bloods gang associates who kidnapped him got an innocent woman shot, the victim claims in a new $150 million lawsuit, according to Page Six. The plaintiff, who filed as Jane Doe, alleges that Tekashi, whose real name is Daniel Hernandez, got wind that some of the Nine Trey Gangsta Bloods were filming a music video at the Smurf Village apartment complex in Bed-Stuy in 2018. He then allegedly ordered the person who told him about the shoot “to assault and/or murder the Nine Trey members involved in his kidnapping,” according to the documents filed earlier this month in Brooklyn Supreme Court. The victim was shot by a stray bullet.

Brooklyn distilleries make hand sanitizer

Several Brooklyn distilleries are still up and running, only now they’re making hand sanitizer in glass flasks, according to New York Eater. On Wednesday, President Donald Trump invoked the Defense Production Act, which allows the government to force American industry to produce medical supplies that are needed to fight COVID-19.That same afternoon, the Alcohol, Tobacco, Trade and Tax Bureau issued an advisory that distilleries would now be legally allowed to produce hand sanitizer, tax-free. “I don’t think the future is too bright for gin right now,” said Stephen DeAngelo of Greenhook Ginsmiths.

Moped services gives free rides to health care workers

Health care workers in Brooklyn and Queens will receive a free membership from the electric moped service Revel, according to Revel will also expand its service area to cover four major medical centers in these two boroughs, including Elmhurst Hospital, Maimonides Medical Center, NYU Langone Hospital Brooklyn and SUNY Downstate Medical Center. Free memberships will be offered to people who work for healthcare providers in any capacity, according to the company.

Coronavirus hits Bed-Stuy Chinese restaurant hard

As soon as news of the coronavirus outbreak in China began getting headlines in December, Hong Kong Café, a 12-year-old Chinese restaurant in Bed-Stuy, began losing business, according to Brooklyn Reader. By March, business had dropped 70 percent, and owner Stephanie Chen had to lay off the only non-family worker.  Now, her husband, Tony Zhang, takes orders, works in the kitchen and makes deliveries. Chen herself takes the orders, and washes her hands with soap, applies hand sanitizer and then wears gloves. Most of the restaurant’s deliveries are at night, and Zhang maintains a steady stream of neighborhood deliveries.

Jeffries seeks full funding for MTA

U.S. Rep. Hakeem Jeffries (D-Fort Greene, Clinton Hill, Bedford-Stuyvesant) along with other representatives last weekend requested that the next aid package for COVID-19 include proper funding for the public service corporations which operate America’s transportation system.  “In the midst of this pandemic, our transit system must continue to operate so that healthcare workers, first responders, food industry employees, public servants and other essential workers can get to their jobs. It cannot be allowed to collapse,” wrote Jeffries New York’s public transportation system, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA), is the largest in North America.

Adams launches ‘feed first responders’

Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams joined with local businesses, Pakistani American Youth Services (PAYS) and the Shorefront Coalition yesterday launched a drive to provide food for hospital personnel at Maimonides Medical Center. As a way to say ‘thank you’ to first responders, local businesses and nonprofits, the goal is to provide food for first responders in the face of the COVID-19 outbreak. The meals will be delivered to first responders serving in local hospitals, the NYPD and the FDNY.

Despite virus, tourists still flock to DUMBO street

Despite city officials advising people to stay indoors to curtail the spread of coronavirus, the photogenic intersection of Washington and Water streets in DUMBO has still been drawing a handful of people who venture there to take photos, according to the Brooklyn Paper. The street is usually full of tourists and social media influencers taking photos and selfies. One tourist from New Zealand told the Brooklyn Paper he was using the opportunity to see the local landmarks without the crowds.

Cops seek armed suspect who shot two in Brooklyn

Two people were shot, including a woman walking with a boy and another man along a street in Fort Greene, on Sunday afternoon, according to amNewYork. The woman was rushed to New York Methodist Hospital with unspecified gunshot wounds, while the male was taken to Bellevue Hospital. The shooting occurred outside of the former Cumberland Hospital, now used as a clinic and station for EMS workers. Police were observed speaking with a man in his 40s and a young boy who was crying after the shooting.

Ditmas Park volunteers are raising funds

A group of Ditmas Park volunteers are raising funds to provide essential service for the elderly, single parents, low-income people and others who are in need, according to the Brooklyn Paper.  “We have a lot of immigrants who don’t speak English and they don’t know how to access certain things,” Nowshin Ali, founder of People In Need, told the Brooklyn Paper. Ali and her team of volunteers have so far spent around $1,000 on groceries, most of which they deliver around Ditmas Park and Kensington.

Compiled by Raanan Geberer.

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