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Around Brooklyn: No pride, no mermaids either

April 22, 2020 Editorial Staff
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No pride, no mermaids either

The Pride Parade, the Puerto Rican Day Parade, the Mermaid Parade, and all other non-essential events in June will be cancelled to stem the spread of COVID-19, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced on Monday. “These kind of community events, we love them, but they’re not what we need right now. They’re not essential,” de Blasio said in his daily coronavirus briefing on April 20. “The mayor’s order also calls off many of the borough’s largest events, including the 24th annual Brooklyn Pride Parade, Sunset Park’s Puerto Rican Day Parade and the Mermaid Parade in Coney Island, which would have celebrated its 38th year this June, the Brooklyn Paper said.

Gowanus artists get the axe

On March 30, a group of 28 based in Gowanus received news that their contract at their studio space, managed through Spaceworks, would be ending, according to Bklyner. Johnny Thornton, one of the artists and the executive director of Arts Gowanus, said the landlord was unwilling to negotiate with the group and insisted that they all be out of the space within 60 days. “For many [of these artists] this is their livelihood. Having to move in the middle of COVID and essentially rebuild somewhere else is outrageous,” said Thornton.

Four-story building planned for Bed-Stuy

Permits have been filed for a four-story residential building at 95 Quincy St. in Bedford-Stuyvesant, according to New York YIMBY. The interior lot, located between Classon Avenue and Franklin Avenue, is four blocks from the G train’s Classon Avenue subway station. Omri Bar-Mashiah is listed as the owner behind the applications. The building is slated to have six residences, most likely rentals. Wu (Woody) Chen of Infocus is listed as the architect of record, New York YIMBY said.

Noise complaints hit Bushwick

There have been close to 2,000 noise complaints made by Bushwick residents since March 20, when Gov. Andrew Cuomo ordered the city to undergo lockdown and shutter non-essential businesses, Bushwick Daily, a neighborhood website, reported. Of the noise complaints, about half were called in for apparent disturbances in residential buildings, while the other half dealt with loud music and parties. “It comes to no surprise that in the city that never sleeps, where everyone is forced into their home and closed quarters, 311 complaints experienced a spike,” Bushwick Daily said.

Cuomo wants more for grocery store workers

For the first time since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, Gov. Andrew Cuomo called on Congress to include funding for hazard pay for “front line workers.” He asked that essential workers, including grocery store employees, be paid a 50 percent bonus on top of their existing paycheck during the pandemic. Staffers at some of the region’s biggest supermarket chains, including Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods, have been calling for hazard pay for weeks now. Other officials, such as U.S. Sen. Chuck Schumer, have been asking that essential workers, including doctors, nurses and grocery store workers, get up to $25,000 extra.

Maskmaker, maskmaker, make me a mask

The owners of a dry cleaning businesses in the Columbia Street District, shut down due to the coronavirus pandemic, are now making masks, according to ABC7. La Dry Cleaners shut down almost a month ago, but owners Lily La and Tony Trinh have not stopped working. The two owners have sewn and given away more than 2,000 masks for free, to anyone. “Everybody asks me where I get my mask and I say right here on Union Street,” mask recipient Franny Cherry said. Trinh says he uses his son’s lacrosse stick to hand the masks to customers. “It’s a love letter to the community,” local resident David White said.

Leasing of new luxury building pushed to May 15

Sam Charney or Charney Companies and partner Tavros Holdings are now putting final touches on the 23-story project in Williamsburg called the Dime. Leasing at the building was supposed to start on April 1, but with the shutdown in New York to stop the spread of coronavirus, that became impossible, according to Bloomberg News. “This is the very definition of a black swan event, so there is no way that anyone would have predicted that this would be occurring,” said Nicholas Silvers, founding partner of Tavros. Leasing was pushed off to start May 15. However, demand for new apartments is sliding with an escalating number of people out of work. “Leasing will remain a shadow of its former self,” said Jonathan Miller, president of New York-based appraiser Miller Samuel Inc.

Man stabbed to death in Crown Heights

A man was stabbed to death on Tuesday night in Crown Heights, according to the New York Post. He was found unconscious with multiple stab wounds to the chest in front of an apartment on Lincoln Place near Ralph Avenue. He was transported to Kings County Hospital, where he was pronounced dead. It was unclear whether the victim and the perpetrator knew each other, police said. Police were searching for suspects.

Zigun may hold Mermaid Parade in August or fall

Even though the Mermaid Parade has been called off for June, its longtime impresario, Dick Zigun, hopes to produce the parade in August or early fall, according to Patch. Beforehand, he said, New York must be safe, and the not-for-profit he founded 40 years ago, Coney Island USA, would adhere to guidelines set up by the Police Department. “We maintain a can-do attitude but it’s up to the city,” Zigun said. While Zigun would prefer an actual parade, he would also consider a virtual parade that would include previously videotaped costumed participants.

Small restaurants still waiting for stimulus checks

Two weeks after Paycheck Protection Program started, it appears that the checks haven’t been distributed equally, according to New York Eater. Early recipients have included chain restaurants like Shake Shack and Potbelly’s. Among the Brooklyn independent restaurants that are still waiting for their checks are Baku Palace in Sheepshead Bay, Bushwick Vietnamese restaurant Falunsai, East New York Caribbean and soul restaurant Fusion East, the Hom Café in Bay Ridge, coffee brewery Mombuchca in Greenpoint, Pete’s Brooklyn Eats in Sunset Park, Cobble Hill French restaurant Petite Crevette, Middle Eastern grocer Sahadi’s and many others.

Larry King helps deliver meals to Maimonides

Brooklyn native and television personality Larry King is one of the Friars Club members who arranged the delivery of meals to frontline workers at Maimonides Medical Center on Tuesday to recognize the efforts of medical workers, according to Patch. The 150 meals were provided by L&B Spumoni Gardens, an Italian restaurant that King, now 86, grew up around the corner from. The meals, which consisted of lasagna and spaghetti and meatballs, were picked up by members of the Emergency Task Force of the Diocese of Brooklyn.

Ultra-Orthodox yeshivot go underground in Williamsburg

Ultra-Orthodox Jewish schools are continuing to hold classes in private apartment and locked buildings throughout Williamsburg, according to the New York Post. One source said that his son attended school in a closed synagogue after a staffer’s relative unlocked a door and let him in. The New York Post also reported seeing screenshots of private messages between parents that revealed the illicit arrangements. Police have been largely lax in addressing Orthodox Jewish gatherings during the coronavirus during the past few weeks, the Post said. One community member said that the issue will be decided by divinity, not by de Blasio.

Woman’s body found wrapped in tarp

A woman’s body was found wrapped in a tarp and dumped on East 21st Street near Ditmas Avenue early Wednesday, according to the Daily News. Police suspect the woman had an overdose, and that a 68-year-old man, who had panicked, dumped the body. Police are questioning the man now, the Daily News said. Neighbors had heard partying into the early morning.

Compiled by Raanan Geberer.

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