New York City visitors are well aware of the street people that seem to have no place to go for shelter. Homelessness has always been a political issue in America’s city that doesn’t sleep. Sinatra had a different meaning in mind when he sang the song, but the truth is, thousands of people living in New York City don’t have a place to live or sleep. Mayor Bill De Blasio promised he would fix the homeless issue, and now that he’s up for reelection, he is finally doing something about the problem. De Blasio recently announced he would open 90 more homeless shelters around the city because of the overcrowded conditions in the existing shelters, according to an article published by msn.com.
More than 62,000 people sleep in the “cluster sites” around the city every night. Most of those people are part of a family that stay in these unsafe and expensive sites. The number of people that need shelter in New York has doubled since 2002, and there seems to be no end in sight. The Democratic mayor knows he has to do something, or his days in office are numbered. He claims he will win the long battle against homelessness, but the odds of him succeeding at not great.
De Blasio’s plan is to open 20 new shelters in 2017, and 20 more in 2018. Then the city will open five shelters a year until there are 360 shelters in the city. The mayor also plans to expand thirty of the existing shelters. The current cluster sites will be replaced with decent shelters, according to the mayor. De Blasio’s goal is to reduce the number of people staying in shelters by 2,500 over the next five years.
The city’s Legal Aid Society thinks the mayor has good intentions, but his plan falls short. Homelessness is not just about shelters. Understanding why individuals are homeless and setting up programs that bring them back into the working class in some way is essential to reducing the number of people living on the street.
Heading into the 2016-17 NBA season, one of the most interesting stories in the league revolved around the New York Knicks. The Knicks had a very active offseason, which saw them trade for Derrick Rose and Joakim Noah from the Chicago Bulls. The trade made the Knicks one of the hardest teams in the league to predict as they clearly have a lot of talent, but could be prone to injuries.
While the Knicks started off hot, including winning five games in a row at one point, they have seemed to have slowed down a lot. The Knicks are currently three spots and 2.5 games out of the Eastern Conference Playoffs and have had a lot of issues with both performance and locker room issues.
Over the past month, the Knicks have had to deal with off the court issues with both Derrick Rose and Carmelo Anthony. Prior to a game a couple weeks ago, the Knicks announced that Rose had not reported to the game. At first it was not clear where Rose was, but it was eventually revealed that he had returned home to Chicago to spend time with his family. Rose, who is nearing the end of his current contract, even stated that he was considering leaving the game entirely. Rose ultimately returned to the Knicks and has played well since coming back.
Anthony, who has been with the Knicks for several years, has continued to be one of the best players in the league and the top scorer on the Knicks. However, due to the continued losing, many have speculated that Anthony may accept a trade. Anthony has reportedly had several conversations with back office personnel and may be open to accepting a trade to a number of competing teams across the league.
While the Knicks have had some issues in recent weeks, they do appear to be turning things around. On Monday night, they had a game against the playoff-bound Indiana Pacers. The Knicks played a tough and strong game and ultimately were able to win the game by 6 points.
New Yorkers have a major concern right now, the growing cost of public transportation fares. There’s been some hard times for people who are barely able to pay their monthly rent and put food on the table, and in a place where using public transportation is very necessary to getting around, it adds in another cost to many families. Right now, the average cost for a metro card monthly pass is about $116, and added to the current base fare costs of buses, and toll tunnels and bridges that are increasing every two years, it’s no wonder advocacy groups are demanding changes to these costs.
The organization spearheading this transportation fare reform effort is Community Service Society of New York, led by David Jones. Jones is urging Mayor Bill de Blasio to consider changes in the city’s annual budget that could address these rising costs. What this group is looking for is an income-based fare with rates that are adjusted for lower income families and individuals, while those who can afford the regular rates continue to do so. It’s actually not a new idea as some cities like Seattle are already using a similar program for their public transportation. But while it’s been a success in some cities, the size and cost of transportation infrastructure in New York presents a real challenge to this.
According to the Community Service society, they estimate that implementing this program would account for about $194 million in annual lost revenue, but believe that there are ways the city could compensate for that. However, even bringing this program about would cost a lot, and the city’s transportation commission has been struggling to garner revenue as it is. Other areas that are being looked at right now include City Ticket, a program that allows travelers discounts for metro rides if they put over $5.50 on their tickets, a cost that might get reduced. But also factoring into this is ongoing feuds between Mayor de Blasio and Governor Cuomo over sharing the burden of transportation costs between the city and the state.
At the beginning of 2016, when work began on the project to install cellular and wireless connectivity throughout the New York City subway system, the project was expected to take at least three years. Instead, both systems were ready as of January 9, 2017, nearly two full years ahead of the scheduled completion date in 2018. The Governor’s office announced the early completion this week, much to the pleased surprise of transit riders.
Cellular service was scheduled to be installed by the beginning of 2018, and Wi-Fi service had an anticipated completion date at the end of 2018. However, the state’s partnership with Transit Wireless has been incredibly fruitful so far. The company has already installed over $300 million in network infrastructure in the subway system. As part of the same goal to completely upgrade the subway system, Transit Wireless has worked with the city to install the 3,000 new Help Point emergency intercoms throughout subway transit stations.
Governor Cuomo pushed for an accelerated completion date on subway connectivity, and his insistence appears to have paid off. “As of Monday our customers can text or call from our underground stations staying in touch with their families, keeping up with work, and staying connected,” noted city transit president, Veronique Hakim.
Underground communication and connectivity have been among the largest concerns of transit customers. The newly installed infrastructure, supported by all four major cellular networks, is a major upgrade for the city transit system and demonstrates New York’s ability to raise the bar in both safety and convenience for those who live there.
The New York City Restaurant Week of Winter 2017 is fast approaching. Just Monday the complete list of participating restaurants was released to the public, and the 378 restaurants included are spread across the city. NYC & Company, the team that organizes the biannual food celebration, announced the list for the week of Jan. 23 – Feb. 10 of this year.
If the total number of participating restaurants isn’t enough, here are some fun Restaurant Week facts:
- 32 different cuisines will be offered throughout the city
- Some of the cuisines offered include Indian, Latin American and Asian Fusion
- Prices range from $29-$42
Restaurant Week is a great time for residents and tourists in New York City to try out new or higher-class food types and restaurants at affordable prices. Entrees and multiple-course meals that might normally cost hundreds are available at significant discounts. Lunch plates are only $29 and dinner courses are $42. Both are three-course meals at the same high-quality customers can expect at menu prices. Normal tips and taxes are still expected, and customers should check with the restaurant when booking, as some will participate in only lunch or only dinner offerings throughout the week.
Though walk-ins are welcome all week, NYC & Company recommends making reservations early. For serious foodies, that means immediately,, as reservations have just opened this week. Of course, there are no limits on how many reservations you can make, and customers are encouraged to try as many different restaurants as possible, or to stick with a couple favorites all week long.
The food truck and other mobile restaurant industry has been extremely popular in major cities across the United States. In cities like Chicago and Portland, thousands of people line up every day looking to get freshly made food from a non-stationary food vendor. While food vendors have increased dramatically in recent years, New York City is one city that has not increased its presence. While New York City has held out, a recent news article (http://www.nytimes.com/2016/10/11/nyregion/new-york-city-may-double-number-of-food-vendors-permits.html?_r=0) has noted that this could change in the near future.
According to the article, the amount of permitted food vendors could more than double in the next few years. The city has previously set a cap of permitted food vendors in the city at just over 4,300, which is a significant amount less than is needed to properly serve the entire city. Since the amount of licenses available has remained so low, it has become next to impossible for some people to obtain a license necessary to operate legally.
Due to the restrictions on the amount of licenses available, many vendors in the city are working illegally with an official license or one that was obtained through the black market. For those that obtain one legally, a two-year license can cost less than $1,000. However, those that buy one through the black market will often pay more than $25,000 for an illegal assignment of the license. This not only is far more expensive, but greatly opens up the door for the possibility of fraud and other crimes.
While the city has feared that the food trucks could cause congestion in certain areas, they now appear poised to more than double that amount. This will pertain to any business that is looking to operate outside of a normal space, including hot dog and ice cream cart vendors. At this point, it is not yet known what the exact amount of licenses released will be, when they will be released, and what the cost will be. It is expected that there will be a huge demand for these licenses and food vendors will look to expand into New York.
Entering the 2016 NFL season there was a significant amount of promise and expectations for both of the New York professional sports teams. According to recent news articles (http://nypost.com/2016/10/10/the-tandem-that-inspired-giants-belief-is-hanging-by-a-thread/) and results of games so far this year, both teams are not living up to expectations. On Sunday, both of the teams lost and are continuing to look like they will have a hard time to reach the playoffs.
The New York Jets fell to an embarrassing 1 and 4 when they lost on Sunday to the Pittsburgh Steelers. While the Steelers are considered one of the better teams in the league, the Jets never put up much of a fight. The Steelers ended up controlling the game from the start and won by a score of 31 to 13. Their most impressive player was their quarterback, Ben Roethlisberger, who threw for over 350 yards and 4 touchdowns. With their poor record, the Jets are now 3 games back of the New England Patriots, which recently got Tom Brady back from suspension.
While the Jets lost by quite a bit, the New York Giants fared a little bit better. The Giants were the focal point of the sports world during Sunday Night Football when they went on the road to play the Green Bay Packers. The Giants only lost by a touchdown, but looked sluggish the whole game. The team had a very hard time getting their offense together and clearly missed their starting running back.
Similar to the Jets, the Giants also fell to a 1 and 3 record. They are also struggling to keep pace with the division leading team, which in their case is the Dallas Cowboys. The Cowboys are probably the most surprising team in the league this year as they are led by a few different rookies, which have allowed the team to jump out to a quick lead on the rest of the division. Both the Giants and Jets will have chances to turn the season around in coming weeks, but they both need to act quickly.
Heading into the third week of the 2016 NFL Regular Season, the New York Giants and New York Jets seemed to be two of the most analyzed teams in the league. While this is partly due to the fact that they reside in New York City, it also had to do with the fact that they had many question marks and appeared to have the talent to reach the postseason. Through the first two weeks of the NFL season, the Jets were 1-1 and in second place in the division and the Giants were 2-0 and in first place of the NFC East. According to a recent news article (http://www.newsday.com/sports/football/nfl-week-3-picks-giants-redskins-will-be-tight-jets-win-outright-cowboys-lock-of-the-week-1.12354304), both the Jets and the Giants have a good chance to win their games and continue to track towards making the playoffs at the end of the season.
The Giants will be playing a tough home game this week against the Washington Redskins. The Redskins will enter the game with no wins and two losses, but are always a tough matchup for the Giants. The main focus on the game will be on the outside of the field as the Redskins’ Josh Norman will battle against wide receiver Odell Beckham Junior. Despite signing Norman to a huge contract earlier this year, the Redskins have not done well when it comes to stopping top receivers. Beckham, plus Victor Cruz, could prove to be too much for Washington.
While the Giants are at home, the Jets will be playing on the road in Kansas City. The Jets will visit the Chiefs, who also have a 1-1 record. The Chiefs were expected to compete for the division title this year, but have looked weak at times so far this year. The biggest problem that the Chiefs have had is finding stability on offense. They used to be led by leading running back Jamaal Charles, but he has missed the first two games and is expected to miss a third this week. The Jets will continue to be led offensively by several veteran players such as Matt Forte, Ryan Fitzpatrick, and Brandon Marshall.
The New York Yankees, who have played in New York City for over 100 years, are the most historic and successful Major League Baseball franchise. The Yankees have won more World Series and American League titles than any other franchise and have a long list of players in the Hall of Fame. While the Yankees have historically been one of the best teams of all time, the 2016 Yankees have struggled to play well consistently. While it once appeared that the Yankees season was over, a recent publication (http://theinscribermag.com/sports/why-the-new-york-yankees-will-make-the-playoffs.html) gives reasons why the Yankees could still make the playoffs.
The 2016 season has been a significant season of transition for the Yankees. The Yankees are still dealing with the recent retirements of future Hall of Famers Derek Jeter and Mariano Rivera. During the 2016 season two additional players, Alex Rodriguez and Mark Teixiera both announced that their careers were coming to an end as well. At the mid-point of the season, the Yankees looked like long shots to make the playoffs and they ended up trading several key players, including Aroldis Champan, for prospects with significant potential.
While the Yankees were already preparing for the 2017 season, it now appears that the team suddenly has a lot of life left. Rookie Catcher, Gary Sanchez, has been the hottest player in baseball over the past month. He is making a strong case to be Rookie of the Year in the American League and is showing significant signs of potential. Furthermore, the pitching staff has done very well, despite having a very depleted starting rotation and bullpen.
As it stands today, the Yankees are fighting for one of several playoff spots. They are currently in fourth place in their division and are 6.5 games behind Toronto for the division lead. However, they are only 3.5 games behind the Red Sox and 4.5 games behind the Orioles, which are currently the AL leaders for the two Wild Card spots. If the Yankees can play well the rest of the season, they have a very good chance of catching one of the two teams and playing in the Wild Card game. This is further supported by the fact that the Yankees have several games left with both of the teams ahead of them.
The New York Giants are one of the most difficult teams in the NFL to figure out. The team always seems to be in contention to make the playoffs, but often falls just short. In other situations when they seem like they won’t make the playoffs, they barely squeak in and then make a big run in the playoffs. This includes two Super Bowl championships in the past ten years. While many publications are concerned about the Giants, one sports analysis (http://www.ibtimes.com/new-york-giants-2016-season-prediction-betting-odds-preview-top-players-ahead-week-1-2409379) thinks that the Giants will have some success this year.
The analysis believes that the Giants will benefit greatly from many of the offseason moves that they made. The Giants are starting under a new fresh coaching staff and spent over $100 million on guaranteed contracts this past offseason. The players that they signed will greatly improve their defense, offensive line, and running game. The Giants will continue to be led offensively by Eli Manning and Odell Beckham, both of which are expected to have big years.
While the Giants are not considered one of the best teams in the conference, they should have a very good chance at winning the division. The NFC East is widely considered the worst division in the NFC, if not the NFL. The Dallas Cowboys were previously considered the favorites to win the division title, but the recent injury to Tony Romo has a lot of experts concerned about the team’s ability to succeed. Both of the other divisional rivals, the Washington Redskins and Philadelphia Eagles are currently in transition with new leadership and will likely have some rough patches this year.
Overall, the publication believes that the Giants will win 9 games and lose 7, which should be good enough to win the division by a game or two. The Giants will then likely have a home game in the NFC playoffs Divisional Round, in which they would play a top Wild Card team. While they may not be favorites to go far, the Giants will have the experience and depth to make a run in the playoffs if they can get in.