Photo via Twitter/@nycgov
Jan 2, 2022
Eric Adams is mayor now—and 6 other things to know as you return to work
New York's first baby of 2022 is born in Brooklyn; Covid-19 and the Nets are both getting worse, and other things to know this week
The week between Christmas and the new year always feels like the longest weekend ever, but this year the Sunday scaries are coming in hard and fast. The past week wasn’t ever intended to be productive. We hope you enjoyed it in a constant state of the guilt-free oblivion of your choosing.
Sadly, Monday is here and life is getting back to whatever normal is now. As you emerge blinking like a newborn mole into the daybreak of 2022, here are a few notable news items you might have missed in the past week. Consider yourself mildly informed if you’re forced into some small talk on Slack.
Brooklyn-born Eric Adams is now the mayor
The city’s mayorship changed from one Brooklyn resident to another. In a very different setting compared to the originally planned Kings Theatre, Eric Adams was sworn in as the 110th mayor of New York City in the middle of Times Square. He is only the city’s second Black mayor, after the late David Dinkins.
On Saturday, the former Brooklyn Borough President delivered his first remarks, and they mostly centered on Covid-19. “The day has come when we must learn to be smarter, live with Covid and ensure that we protect everyday New Yorkers,” he said, adding that the city’s resolution for the new year is that we “will not be controlled by crisis” and encouraged people to go back to Broadway (yay!) or head back to the office (boo!)
He also remarked on violence in New York, telling supporters that his first mission is to “deal with gun violence.” New York City recorded 485 murders in 2021, a 4 percent increase from 468 in 2020, according to police. There were 1,857 shooting victims in the city last year, a number Adams called “unacceptable.”
Adams actually had an eventful first couple of days on the job. The former NYPD officer rode the subway without a security detail Saturday and found himself promptly dialing 911 on an “assault in progress” while waiting for the train. An argument between three men outside the J train stop at Kosciuszko Street escalated to fisticuffs.
New York Post reporter Julia Marsh posted a video to Twitter in which Adams is seen on the phone with a 911 operator giving the address of his location, without identifying himself, saying “I have an assault in progress, three males.”
— Julia Marsh (@juliakmarsh) January 1, 2022
Covid-19 is getting worse
Don’t look now, but the number of positive cases continues to grow. Nearly 50,000 new cases were registered as of Saturday, with a whopping positivity rate is 22.7 percent. Some parts of Brooklyn are registering positivity rates nearly double that, according to city data.
CityMD is struggling, with the clinic temporarily closing five locations across Brooklyn including in Sunset Park, Prospect Heights and Bensonhurst. The company explained that the closures were triggered by staffing issues caused by Covid-19.
“It’ll be my role starting Saturday to make sure that all of our agencies and departments are working hand in hand to defeat Covid-19,” said Lorraine Grillo, the newly-appointed deputy mayor under Adams. “Under Mayor Adams’ leadership and with the guidance of [Commissioner for Health and Mental Hygiene Dave] Chokshi and [his replacement Dr. Ashwin] Vasan, we will target resources and personnel to drive up our vaccination rates even higher while providing more testing to keep our city open.”
A new state-run testing site opened last week in Brooklyn at Kings Plaza Mall. It’s open Monday through Saturday from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. and appointments can be made online.
Steve Buscemi gets a key to the city
Park Slope resident and actor Steve Buscemi received a “key to the city” in one of Bill de Blasio’s final acts. Born in Brooklyn, where he remains a frequent Park Slope presence, he was a firefighter before he got into acting and starred in countless roles including in “30 Rock,” “Boardwalk Empire” and “Reservoir Dogs.”
— NYC Mayor’s Office (@NYCMayorsOffice) December 28, 2021
“This is such an honor to be here with you today to receive this, to have friends and family here,” Buscemi said, adding that one of the things he loves most about the city is the people. Aw, thanks.
Downtown rocker and poet Patti Smith also received a key to the city, but that one is presumably staying in Manhattan. “I wish I could give New York City the key to me, because that’s how I feel about our city,” Smith said.
You get a check, and you get a check, and you get a check!
Speaking of de Blasio, the former mayor also gave millions of dollars to notable places across Brooklyn.
On December 16, he announced a $40 million to restore the Vale, which is 26 acres in the northeast corner in Prospect Park. The money will go to restoring the Children’s Pool and the former Rose Garden which have both become run down (and popular cruising grounds). Renovations is expected to begin later this year and last between 12 to 18 months.
The Old Stone House—the relocated site of a massive Civil War rout also in de Blasio’s Park Slope neighborhood—received nearly $11 million that will be used for a new elevator, stairs and public restrooms. “The Old Stone House is more than a cultural and educational hub, it’s a symbol of Brooklyn, containing centuries of history,” said de Blasio.
In Greenpoint, the Bushwick Inlet Park got $75 million to help complete construction. The site has languished with de Blasio admitting that the city didn’t keep its promise in fully developing the area. The money will be used to demolish a storage site and complete next phases of the park.
“It was before my time, but people gathered, and people organized, and I want to thank you for that, because you were right. That a promise was made and it needed to be kept,” he said of the project.
The Nets shouldn’t have lost to the Clippers, but they did
“We just relaxed too much,” said a frustrated Kevin Durant after a disappointing 120-116 loss to an undermanned LA Clippers on Saturday.
The Nets had just come out of a week when Covid had ripped through its locker room, forcing up to 10 players to sit out at one point. So with two of the Big 3 back on the court (Durant and James Harden—Kyrie Irving is still not cleared to play home games over his refusal to get vaccinated), victory over a compromised Los Angeles outfit should have been a shoo-in. But the team was lackluster, complacent and, among other things, handed the ball over 15 times over the course of the game.
Allowing “71 points in the second half is unacceptable,” Nets head coach Steve Nash said after the fact. “We just never really had the care factor.
Putting it slightly more bluntly, Durant added: “We’re going to continue to get our ass kicked if we don’t approach the game in the proper way.”
(UPDATE: Things didn’t improve much on Monday’s game against Memphis, when the floundering Nets suffered their third straight loss to the Grizzlies.)
New York’s first baby of 2022 is born in Brooklyn
Everybody, meet Leyla Gessel Tzunun Garcia. The daughter of Irma Garcia and German Tzunun of Gravesend arrived at exactly 12 a.m. on Jan. 1 at Coney Island Hospital. This is the third year in a row that that the medical center welcomed New York City’s first baby born in a new year, according to New York City Health + Hospitals.
This person needs help
One final thing, if anyone is willing to help: A Brooklyn resident is seeking a positive Covid-19 result so they can avoid hosting their relatives.
“I need help. I know this is a bizarre request, but I’m looking for a positive COVID test result from within the past few days,” the Crown Heights resident wrote on Nextdoor.
“You can obscure any identifying info (like your name), but I have relatives coming into town. I told them they couldn’t stay with me, but they already bought a ticket and arrive shortly. I’m hoping that showing a positive COVID result will convince them to stay elsewhere,” he added.
INCREDIBLE Crown Heights Nextdoor dilemma pic.twitter.com/mrT4AQ5Z7q
— Joe Bernstein (@Bernstein) December 30, 2021
It’s unclear if this plea helped, but this the one time we’re rooting for a positive test result.
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