Since the presidential election, traffic in the midtown streets surrounding Trump Tower has been consistently snarled, with local stores reporting a yuuuuge amount of lost business as a result.
While it did help that shortly before the New Year, the block of 56th Street between Fifth and Sixth Avenues was once again opened to traffic, the area still feels somewhat militarized. The reopening had been pushed by City Council Member Dan Garodnick, whose district includes Trump Tower, and this week, Garodnick spoke with Town & Village about how the neighborhood has been inconvenienced since Donald Trump was elected president.
“It’s an ongoing headache that gets worse when he’s around and we hope he does not choose to use Trump Tower as a pied-a-terre,” said Garodnick.
Incidentally, First Lady Melania Trump has recently reiterated plans to remain at Trump Tower with her son Barron until the school semester ends before moving to the White House.
Re: Council candidate’s top priority is affordable housing,” T&V, Feb. 2
Reading and rereading Sabina Mollot’s interview with Councilwoman wannabe, Bessie Schachter, left me wondering if Mrs. Schachter is serious. Of course her “top priority is affordable housing.” It is also the top priority of tenants and landlords.
I found nothing of substance on the matter of affordable housing. If this sounds/looks excessively picky on my part, may I suggest to anyone thinking that, and certainly to anyone who wishes to replace Councilman Garodnick, they familiarize themselves with New York City’s own site on affordable housing. In particular take a look at the lottery application process that one must enter in order to secure an affordable place to live. [NYC Connect: Steps to Apply: What to Expect: Your Guide To Affordable Housing] If after reading and rereading the six-column process it doesn’t dawn on a council aspirant that the process is a comic opera in which citizens have been assigned the role of The Fool, then please consider running for dog-catcher, or squirrel keeper; just have the decency to stay out of our lives!
There are of course other difficulties. Our area lost B and C bus service years ago. We are left with a less than reliable D and a soon to be overwhelmed A. I say “soon to be overwhelmed” because I don’t see that our area is prepared for the numbers that will soon be upon us from the new apartments on 14th and C, along 14th between A and B, between A and First, and on A between 12th and 11th.
I should think that with such legal assaults on our way of life, those who crave Dan Garodnick’s seat would move beyond irrelevant autobiography pleasantries and requests for conversation.
For many it seemed unthinkable. For some it was inevitable. But for all of us the moment is here. Donald J. Trump is our nation’s 45th president starting at noon, January 20, 2017. Stunning!
As with most new presidents the conjecture begins as to which other president does he most admire or wish to model himself after. The answer can offer a clue as to how he will govern.
Three Republican presidents come to mind and top the list of most admired amongst the party faithful. They are Lincoln, (Theodore) Roosevelt and Reagan. So for fun let’s mix and match and see which of these political icons best suits our new president.
Lincoln…probably not a good fit. Unlike Trump, Abraham Lincoln encouraged internal debate and criticism. He filled his inner circle with people who opposed him but whom he respected. He had empathy for people who were enslaved or victims of bigotry. And far from mocking his adversaries, as is de rigor for Trump, Lincoln declared a policy of “malice towards none and charity for all” even for those who engaged in rebellion. Trump on the other hand never misses an opportunity to attack those who have criticized him. Lincoln often deflected political affronts with self-deprecating humor.
While some recent news stories have indicated tickets to the presidential inauguration, set to take place on Friday, have been getting scooped up rather slowly, the event is still sure to be what most Americans will be tuning into on television. For Republicans, it’s an opportunity go out to a local bar and celebrate with likeminded people, watching the president get sworn in on a big screen while raising big mugs. For Democrats too, drinking is likely to be involved, with voters drowning their sorrows any time the president says “huge” or accuses a news report of being fake.
This week, Town & Village asked around in the community to see who planned on watching the ceremony.
Asked if he’d be watching, Frank Scala, a Stuyvesant Town resident and president of the Albano Republican Club, said he would be.
He’d actually been invited to see the inauguration live, but won’t be able to make it. Reached at the Fifth Avenue barber shop he owns and operates, Scala explained he’ll be working that day and needs to stay open late.
So instead, he’ll be watching the event at home. Scala also admitted he’s a little concerned about how Trump will present himself as president on the big day. During the race, the Albano Club shifted from Manhattan GOP by not endorsing Trump or any other candidate.
T&V published a column by Keith Powers, a City Council candidate (“A New Year’s resolution to build the full Second Avenue Subway,” T&V, Jan. 5). He advocates the full build of the Second Avenue Subway and was identified as a PCV resident, a member of our Community Board and a member of PCV/ST Tenants Association. But he’s a Democratic District Leader and I’m curious, given his candidacy, why that wasn’t included. I’ve been told he has important support despite his bio making no mention of any gainful employment.
A Google search reveals that he’s a consultant with an influential firm. Their website lists the transportation industry as a client category. Shouldn’t he, before getting too heavily invested in a campaign, explain any potential conflict of interests given having endorsed a full build? After all, full build will stall, surely somewhere between 34th and Houston Streets. This means scaffolding and plates would line 2nd Avenue past most any of our life expectancies.
Another City Council candidate “reached out” to me. It made me realize that City Council term limits have turned our municipal legislature into a free for all: eight years on the Council and then a run for county or citywide office. Vacated Council seats, half of them every four years, then get filled, ideally, by Assembly members that have “seen their opportunities [in Albany] and took ‘em.”
Instead of our Democratic candidates being mostly lawyers from local law schools who grew up through the ranks in local clubs, we now regularly get lobbyists thereby perpetuating the transformation of NY’s Democratic Party from “real live Democrats” to Republican lite. Steve Sanders was our longtime Assembly member before turning lobbyist. Powers is doing it the other way.
Hopefully, he realizes that Michael Bloomberg’s consultant ran for a West Side State Senate seat last year. And, despite Hizzoner’s and the New York Times’ backing, he lost.
The writer’s grandfather managed Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s 1928 campaign for Governor.
Bill Sternberg, ST
Editor’s note: Adding a bio to Keith Powers’ op-ed was a last minute editorial decision, as was the decision to keep said description brief. Though the fact that Powers is the vice president at lobbying firm Constantinople & Vallone wasn’t mentioned in the bio, it has been included in a prior article in this newspaper about his candidacy for the City Council.