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 foodie news, real estate and shopping, plus other tidbits. We identify our sources, too. No spins, no leaks, no lies, no fake news ever on NYC on the Cheap.
Going green – The city aims to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by 80 percent by 2050. Mayor De Blasio claims it is a “very different approach” than the city has ever taken before. He will require more than 14,000 buildings it considers to be the least energy efficient to cut down their greenhouse gas emissions — or face severe penalties — as a way to ensure the city meets the goals of the Paris Accord climate change agreement. Mandated fossil fuel caps will apply to all buildings that are more than 25,000 square feet and lead to replacement of fossil fuel equipment and efficiency upgrades in the worst-performing 14,500 buildings, which collectively generate 24 percent of the city’s greenhouse gas emissions. Building owners will be forced to fix boilers, heat distribution, hot water heaters, roofs and windows and make more substantial changes during their replacement or refinancing cycles over the next 12 to 17 years. NY Observer
Another pedestrian-only street – NYC Transportation Commissioner Polly Trottenberg calls it a “shared street”, but it won’t be shared by cars, busses, or even bicycles.. The newest pedestrian mall will adjoin Grand Central Terminal, on 43rd St., between Third and Lex, to be filled by street food kiosks and seating, next year. (Gothamist)
Amazon Store on 34th St – The evolution of 34th Street took another leap with the opening of a brick-and-mortar store at 7 West 34th Street, in the shadow of the Empire State Building. It’s only the 11th traditional store Amazon has opened nationwide, and the second in New York City. According to Publisher’s Weekly, the new store offers nearly 3,700 book titles, ranging from best-sellers to “hidden gems” and are selected based in part on five-star reviews by Amazon customers. There is also retail space for Amazon’s various digital services, including the Kindle Echo and Fire Tablet lines, and a café serving products from Stumptown Coffee Roasters.
$19 Million Tip – Some 28,000 former servers, bussers, runners and bartenders sued TGI Friday’s for cheating them for years, by skimping on overtime and tips, and they won. The 52-year-old restaurant chain has agreed to pay a whopping $19.1 million to settle the suit, which reportedly would be the largest wage and hour payout ever. It’s the result of more than three years of class-action litigation in the US Southern District of New York here in NYC against the 52-year-old chain. Alleged violations included skimping on overtime wages, forcing tipped workers to share their earnings with non-tipped workers and not keeping proper wage records. (NYPost)
No tips – A similar lawsuit charges that Hudson Terrace, the popular rooftop bar and event space overlooking the Hudson River has been stiffing its waiters and waitresses, food runners, bridal attendants and maître’ds. The lawsuit claims that the mandatory “service charge” on bills for banquets, weddings and other catered events, including corporate events, is not shared with those who serve the customers, as the phrase “service charge” implies. The lawsuit claims the owners kept the money. The lawsuit claims several dozen current and former employees have been stiffed since 2011, when the “service charge” was instituted. (DNAInfo)
Expensive Garbage – How much would you pay for a large garbage can? NYC pays nearly $1,000. That’s the price of those rugged metal cans on the sidewalk, and that’s no garbage. (NYPost)
World’s Largest – Fast food chain Chick-fil-A is opening a five-story outpost in the Financial District some time in 2018, complete with a rooftop terrace with some of the best views in town of One World Trade Center. The new location, at 144 Fulton St., will be the chain’s third in NYC, and the largest in the wold. A corporate statement says it will pay homage to the victims of 9/11 and the effect that the attacks had on the area “with elements built into the façade that give a subtle impression of the Twin Towers.” Let’s hope they also pay homage to NYC health regulations, and not get shut down, as its Sixth Avenue location was in 2016. (Time Out NY)