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 and gentrification, food, shopping, plus other tidbits. We identify our sources, too. No spins, no leaks, no lies, no fake news here.
Show Me the Money – Starting in March, the Metropolitan Museum of Art will institute a mandatory $25 admission fee, replacing the 20+ year-old “pay what you wish” policy. Unfortunately, too may visitors wished to pay nothing, and you can’t run a world-class museum on wishes. The good news is that NYC and NY State residents and students are excluded from the new admission policy, which also applies to Met Breuer and The Cloisters. (NYC on the Cheap)
- See our list of FREE admission days at top NYC museums.
Sweet News – Dunkin’ Donuts has kicked off 2018 by removing artificial dyes from its donuts in the U.S., All donuts now sold at Dunkin’ Donuts restaurants nationwide are no longer being made using colors from artificial sources. This is artificial color only – there’s no word about ending the use of artificial flavors. Dunkin’ Donuts parent company, Baskin-Robbins, previously pledged to eliminate artificial dyes from all of its food and beverages in the U.S. by the end of 2018. (Restaurant News)
So Cheesy – Melt Shop is another example of “if you can make it here, you can make it anywhere”. The grilled cheese sandwich stop started in NYC, where there are now six locations, plus one in Pennsylvania and one in Minnesota. Melt Shop recently expanded into the Middle East and is planning to open seven locations in the region, with four opening in Kuwait by March 2018. The menu also includes tots, shakes and other items. (Restaurant News)
How Low Can You Go – The NYPD reports major crime in NYC is the lowest since the 1950s. The number of murders in New York City this year is still on track to land below 300, along with substantial drops in felony assaults, burglaries, robberies and car thefts. According to the NYPD, there have been 284 homicides in the five boroughs this year through Christmas Eve, compared with 329 for the same period in 2016. That’s a 13.7 percent decrease, and a far cry from the early ’90s, when the city suffered through more than 2,000 murders a year. (New York Post)
Goodbye, Trump – Say hello to The Dominick, the independent hotel formerly known as the Trump SoHo New York, under new management not named Trump. As the only Five-Diamond property in New York City’s SoHo neighborhood, the 46-story, 391-room hotel offers both luxury accommodations and sweeping views of Manhattan and the Hudson River, along with a world-class spa, outdoor pool, three food and beverage venues, and banquet and event space, The Dominick, at 246 Spring St., joins only two other premier hotels in New York City that have been accepted into membership of Preferred Hotels & Resorts’ prestigious Legend Collection.
Just Do It – Niketown has decided to run away from its lease with the Trump-owned building on 57th St. between Fifth and Madison and do a marathon sprint to a new location a few blocks downtown on Fifth Avenue. The decision to bail, with five years left on the lease, may or may not have anyting to do with politics, but it does have everything to do with foot traffic,, which has been hampered by Niketown’s proximity to Trump Tower. (Crain’s)
- The Niketown location used to be the location of Bonwit Teller, the high-end department store Trump tore down in 1980, during construction of Trump Tower, which adjoins the site. It was a controversial tear-down, since Trump destroyed the widely-regarded Art Deco facade. Read the New York Times “obituary” of Bonwit Teller.
No More Food Carts -As one of her last gasps before leaving office, City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito was unable to push through legislation to increase the number of permits for sidewalk cooking carts by 600 over the next seven years. Despite being an excellent job source for immigrants, and a launch pad for budding entrepeneurs, sources said a lobbying campaign by Mayor Bill de Blasio’s office, the restaurant industry, the Real Estate Board of New York and numerous business improvement districts persuaded a majority of the Committee on Consumer Affairs to oppose the legislation. (Crain’s)
Sun Power – NYC has signed a contract with Progress Solar Solutions to replace 530 diesel-powered light towers with solar-electric ones. The mobile equipment is used to illuminate events and aid law enforcement. The newer towers are supposed to have zero emissions, as well as be easier to use and quieter. (NY Daily News)