ICYMI – This is our monthly recap of recent NYC news you might have missed during the last few weeks. As usual, our list is heavy on real estate, gentrification, restaurant news, the sharing economy, and other tidbits. We identify our sources, too.
No fake news, white lies, spins or leaks on NYCOTC.
Sayonara, Styrofoam – A ban on foam in New York City will go into effect on Jan. 1, 2019, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced, after the Department of Sanitation found the material cannot be recycled. The ban means local stores and food service establishments cannot pack your take-out, coffee cups or eggs in those ubiquitous polystyrene clamshells. The Styrofoam ban also includes “packing peanuts” — those white, popcorn-like nuisances that make messes of hallways and building trash rooms — for shipping. Between now and then, the city’s health and consumer affairs departments will educate New Yorkers on the ban and on Styrofoam alternatives. Once the ban goes into effect, there will be a six-month grace period before penalties can be imposed.
NYC joins more than 70 other cities that have already banned foam, and the announcement comes on the heels of proposals to outlaw plastic straws at eateries across the boroughs, ban single-use plastic bags statewide, and prevent the sale of disposable plastic bottles in city parks.
- Full details on the official NYC website
- SEE ALSO United Airlines is first airline to ban styrofoam in flight
Suicide Prevention – The shocking loss of NYC celebrities Kate Spade and Anthony Bourdain in June has prompted increased attention on suicide, and the support services to help prevent it, and for friends and family to identify the signs before a loved one becomes a victim. Click here for the full list of FREE suicide prevention services in NYC.
Asta Luego – The Chevys Fresh Mex outpost in Times Square is closing, costing as many as 134 people their jobs preparing and serving Mexican food, beer and Margaritas. It’s not clear whether it’s the fault of the recent bankruptcy of its California-based parent company Real Mex Restaurants, or the desire of landlord Tishman to redevelop the space for retail.
It’s the second recent high-profile closing in recent months on high-priced 42nd Street. You may recall that BB King’s Blues Bar shuttered after naerly two decades, citing rising rents in the neighborhood it helped revive from seedy to sought after. The club named for the late blues icon had played host to regular Sunday blues brunches, sometimes featuring the Harlem Gospel Choir, Aretha Franklin, James Brown, Jay-Z and other influential actUn
Unmade Beds – Laytner’s Linen & Home at 2287 Broadway (82nd) is closing after 57 years on the Upper West Side, the store said in a note on the window, another example of rising commercial rents killing family-owned businesses. Laytner’s had been in a long negotiation with its landlord, who had put a “for rent” sign on the door months ago. The closing sign went up when negotiations broke down. Laytner’s shrunk its store in 2013 to counter rising rents. It still has an Upper East Side location.
- Read the full story in West Side Rag
Nuts to You – A Nutella Cafe is opening by the end of the year in Union Square, at 116 University Place. Specific menu items have not been announced, but should be similar to, if not identical to, what’s on the menu at the first Nutella Cafe that opened last May in Chicago. That would include a croissant filled with Nutella, a grilled baguette topped with Nutella and toasted hazelnuts and a Liege waffle dressed with fruit compote, Nutella and toasted hazelnuts.
- Read the full story in this NYPost article
The Union Square Partnership expects to roll out a prototype in October of a streetside composting bin for pedestrians’ food scraps, then launch a full-blown pilot project of the containers next year. The organic-waste receptacles are just one consequence of a study it conducted with students at Columbia University’s Earth Institute that found roughly 85% of the refuse in the dozens of trash cans in and around Union Square Park could be recycled or repurposed.
Uneaten edibles make up a little more than 15% of the trash in the organization’s baskets and compactors, the report found, and such compostable castoffs not only weigh down bags, but they also attract bugs and rats.
- Read the full story in this article in Crain’s.
Don’t Take the L Train – Citi Bike plans to add more than 1,200 bikes, including 1,000 pedal-assist ones for steeper climbs, and 2,500 docks next spring to help mitigate effects of the 15-month closure of the L train’s East River tunnel for repairs. The bikes will be concentrated in Manhattan between Canal and 59th streets and in Williamsburg, Brooklyn.
- Read the full story in The Wall Street Journal
- Plus Eighty buses an hour are expected to run along 14th Street during most of the day during the L train tunnel closure according to NY 1
ICYMI news in May:
Bye Bye Batali – Following accusations, lawsuits and news of out-of-court settlements for sexual transgessions, the backers of celebrity chef Mario Batali are buying him out and closing his restaurants. Also, recently, his NYC restuarant Babbo settled a $2.2 million lawsuit for cheating employees out of proper wages.
- Read the whole story on Grub Street
Quiet Ride – Passengers will find it easier to shut up those infernal video loops in NYC taxis under a new software plan now being rolled out. Apparently, the shut down is in response to zillions of complaints by riders, and by taxi drivers responding to rider complaints. Instead, you’ll be able to see a map or your fare, and eventually, you’ll be able to search for restaurants and other nearby attractions, even listen to music, on the 10-inch screens.
- Read the whole story on Crain’s.
- Read the full story on bicycling.com
Subway Series – Just about every subway line in the city is in the mix for upgrades – and shutdowns – under a $19 Billion ten-year plan. Here’s what you can expect, and how it will affect your commute and your social life, in this detailed, line-by-line review in the New York Times.
Play Ball – New York City’s first soccer stadium may be coming to the South Bronx, in a major development being compared to Manhattan’s Hudson Yards. In addition to the soccer stadium, the development would also have 550 affordable apartments, a 25,000-square-foot medical facility, 150,000 square feet of retail, and an 85,000-square-foot park. It’s all under consideration by the NY State legislature, which really governs NYC.
- YIMBY had the exclusive
Talking Trash – New Yorkers are throwing out less trash for recycling than before. A Dept. of Sanitation study for 2017 shows we recycle just over half of all pepar and just under half of the metal, glass and plastic we use. That’s down decimal points from 2016, but decimal points add up to many tons. According to the report, the average NYC household recycled 174 pounts of paper, including newspapers, magazines and unwanted junkmail, and 144 pounds of metal, glass and plastic including take-out containers, liquor and wine bottles, and single-use bottled water. So we have a long way to go to the NYC goal of zero waste.
- Read more trashy details on the website WasteDive.com.