Weather: Mostly sunny, with a high in the upper 80s and scattered afternoon thunderstorms. A wet Saturday gives way to a bright and pleasant Sunday.
Alternate-side parking: In effect until Sept. 7 (Labor Day). Read about the amended regulations here.
So, you’ve noticed more garbage piling up at your public park. You’re not alone.
Across the city’s sprawling park system, New Yorkers are trying to make the most of their hours outdoors, even if it is spent near shattered glass, charcoal heaps and overstuffed trash cans.
The issue is two-pronged: More New Yorkers, deprived of their usual time inside bars, reception halls and friends’ living rooms, have been descending on the city’s public lawns. But the Department of Parks and Recreation has fewer resources to keep up with trash management.
In a recent article, my colleague Sarah Maslin Nir explored why the parks are receiving less care at a time when they seem to be in greater demand. Here’s what she found.
Increased park use and budget cuts are to blame for trash pileups.
Even in normal times, an uptick in park use like the recent one would have made it harder for workers to keep the green spaces clean. But the city’s fiscal crisis, which was brought on by the pandemic, led to an $84 million cut to parks department funding this fiscal year. That’s a seventh of the department’s total budget.
As a result, the department’s staff has been cut by nearly half. Maintenance hours have been shaved by 25,000 hours per week, too, so crews are able to attend to 400 fewer sites each week.
And earlier this month, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced that the department was likely to see more cuts this fall.
Some worry that unsightly parkland is a sign of a teetering city.
“Parks occupy 14 percent of the entire land of the City of New York, so if they are looking rough, the city looks rough and runs the risk — the fear — of going back to the way it was in the ’70s and ’80s,” Adam Ganser, the executive director of the nonprofit New Yorkers for Parks, told Ms. Nir.
“If they are not well taken care of,” he added, “then it feels like the city is not taking care of its citizens.”
Major crimes within city parks, however, were down by about 50 percent between April and June, according to Police Department data.
Now the onus is on New Yorkers.
The parks department has started an awareness campaign urging people to clean up after themselves. City employees will also begin handing out garbage bags to park visitors.
City leaders and neighborhood groups are also working to aid parks. In the Bronx, Ruben Diaz Jr., the borough president, and dozens of volunteers clean up litter on Mondays at Soundview Park. Mr. Diaz calls them “Meaningful Mondays.”
Some New York pizza shop owners are reconsidering having the signature slice on their menu. [Washington Post]
The Coronavirus Outbreak ›
Frequently Asked Questions
Updated August 27, 2020
What should I consider when choosing a mask?
- There are a few basic things to consider. Does it have at least two layers? Good. If you hold it up to the light, can you see through it? Bad. Can you blow a candle out through your mask? Bad. Do you feel mostly OK wearing it for hours at a time? Good. The most important thing, after finding a mask that fits well without gapping, is to find a mask that you will wear. Spend some time picking out your mask, and find something that works with your personal style. You should be wearing it whenever you’re out in public for the foreseeable future. Read more: What’s the Best Material for a Mask?
What are the symptoms of coronavirus?
- In the beginning, the coronavirus seemed like it was primarily a respiratory illness — many patients had fever and chills, were weak and tired, and coughed a lot, though some people don’t show many symptoms at all. Those who seemed sickest had pneumonia or acute respiratory distress syndrome and received supplemental oxygen. By now, doctors have identified many more symptoms and syndromes. In April, the C.D.C. added to the list of early signs sore throat, fever, chills and muscle aches. Gastrointestinal upset, such as diarrhea and nausea, has also been observed. Another telltale sign of infection may be a sudden, profound diminution of one’s sense of smell and taste. Teenagers and young adults in some cases have developed painful red and purple lesions on their fingers and toes — nicknamed “Covid toe” — but few other serious symptoms.
Why does standing six feet away from others help?
- The coronavirus spreads primarily through droplets from your mouth and nose, especially when you cough or sneeze. The C.D.C., one of the organizations using that measure, bases its recommendation of six feet on the idea that most large droplets that people expel when they cough or sneeze will fall to the ground within six feet. But six feet has never been a magic number that guarantees complete protection. Sneezes, for instance, can launch droplets a lot farther than six feet, according to a recent study. It’s a rule of thumb: You should be safest standing six feet apart outside, especially when it’s windy. But keep a mask on at all times, even when you think you’re far enough apart.
I have antibodies. Am I now immune?
- As of right now, that seems likely, for at least several months. There have been frightening accounts of people suffering what seems to be a second bout of Covid-19. But experts say these patients may have a drawn-out course of infection, with the virus taking a slow toll weeks to months after initial exposure. People infected with the coronavirus typically produce immune molecules called antibodies, which are protective proteins made in response to an infection. These antibodies may last in the body only two to three months, which may seem worrisome, but that’s perfectly normal after an acute infection subsides, said Dr. Michael Mina, an immunologist at Harvard University. It may be possible to get the coronavirus again, but it’s highly unlikely that it would be possible in a short window of time from initial infection or make people sicker the second time.
I’m a small-business owner. Can I get relief?
- The stimulus bills enacted in March offer help for the millions of American small businesses. Those eligible for aid are businesses and nonprofit organizations with fewer than 500 workers, including sole proprietorships, independent contractors and freelancers. Some larger companies in some industries are also eligible. The help being offered, which is being managed by the Small Business Administration, includes the Paycheck Protection Program and the Economic Injury Disaster Loan program. But lots of folks have not yet seen payouts. Even those who have received help are confused: The rules are draconian, and some are stuck sitting on money they don’t know how to use. Many small-business owners are getting less than they expected or not hearing anything at all.
What are my rights if I am worried about going back to work?
And finally: Your virtual social weekend
The Times’s Melissa Guerrero writes:
Although many performance spaces, museums and community centers are closed, people are finding creative ways to connect through virtual events and programs. Here are suggestions for maintaining a New York social life this weekend while keeping a safe distance from other people.
New York Shakespeare Festival webinar
On Friday at 1 p.m., this event will explain the festival’s origin story, share production highlights and tell the history of Central Park’s Delacorte Theater, the home of the annual summer festival — suspended because of the coronavirus crisis.
Purchase a ticket ($10) on the event page.
Mermaid Parade Tail-a-Thon
Celebrate late summer with Coney Island’s Mermaid Parade, but in a virtual format that its organizers are calling a “Tail-a-Thon.” Starting on Saturday at 1 p.m., musicians, dancers and more will appear in socially distant settings for a livestream lasting at least eight hours.
Access the free event through its website.
In a live cooking show on Saturday at 2 p.m. with the chef Chakriya Un, learn how to make Cambodian fried fish with sauces. The demonstration is presented by Mekong NYC, a nonprofit organization in the Bronx working to empower the Southeast Asians in the city.
It’s Friday — what’s cooking?
Metropolitan Diary: A good lonely
I used to go into New York from Mount Vernon by myself to see shows, taking the subway downtown from 241st Street. The price had gone up to a dime at the time.
When I got to Times Square, I’d walk up Broadway to Lindy’s for supper. I always had the same thing: ground sirloin steak. It came with a baked potato and wonderful creamed spinach.
I’d also have a beer even though I was underage. The drinking age was 18 then, but at 16 I was 6 feet 6 inches tall. Close enough.
The meal cost less than $5 with tip. I never had the cheesecake for which Lindy’s was famous because I needed the money for a theater ticket.
After dinner, I’d walk up and down among the theaters looking to see what ticket I could get for $10 or less just before curtain time. I would go to $15 for a musical.
You could see almost anything if you timed it right. On one of my trips, I saw “Guys and Dolls.” Alan Alda’s father was in the cast. In the show, Lindy’s became Mindy’s and praises for the cheesecake were sung.
I was lonely, but it was a good lonely and I felt sophisticated beyond my years.
In 1963, I honeymooned in New York, and my wife and I passed what was the second Lindy’s. The cheesecake recipe was posted in the window. We wrote it down, and although my wife became a great cook, she never made the cheesecake.
I wonder what it tasted like.
— Nils Peterson
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