Tenants push for rent freeze amid pandemic | Manhattan Times

By Gregg McQueen

Lena Meléndez is waiting.

Meléndez wrote her landlord a letter asking if there would be a grace period for April rent in light of the coronavirus pandemic and the ensuing state-mandated PAUSE restrictions.

“I’m still waiting to hear back,” she said.

It just isn’t enough.

A 90-day moratorium on tenant evictions has been implemented by Governor Andrew Cuomo – but it’s not enough, say Meléndez and other city tenants.

With rent bills for April now due, advocates are stepping up their calls for a rent freeze to help those in financial distress due to the coronavirus outbreak.

In addition to the eviction moratorium, Cuomo has urged lenders to suspend foreclosures and mortgage payments.

But many New Yorkers are calling specifically for a cancellation of rent payments for the foreseeable future, due to the high number of people currently unemployed due to the pandemic.

Read more: Tenants push for rent freeze amid pandemic | Manhattan Times

We invite you to subscribe to the weekly Uptown Love newsletter, like our Facebook page and follow us on Twitter & Instagram or e-mail us at UptownCollective@gmail.com.

Uptown Talk: Latinos Out Loud – All I Wanna Do Is Zoom-A-Zoom Zoom-Zoom

Like the rest of NYC, the LOL crew is self-isolating at home and talking about virtually catching up with family and friends during the quarantine.

On this week’s Bochinche Bites, Jaime dishes on Cardi B. wanting to start a GoFundMe for the Tiger King and a British sex club hosting an online orgy on Zoom.

On Frankspiracy News, Frank discusses the next vegan revolution and how meat has been the cause of many of the world’s worst diseases.

We invite you to subscribe to the weekly Uptown Love newsletter, like our Facebook page and follow us on Twitter & Instagram or e-mail us at UptownCollective@gmail.com.

Op-Led: Uptown Love in the Time of Coronavirus – The Sirens

BY Led Black (@Led_Black)

I fall asleep to sirens. I wake up to sirens. The sirens are incessant. The sirens, at least in NYC, are the soundtrack to this pandemic. The sirens are constant and what you start to realize after spending every waking moment dealing with the nerve-racking sirens is that what you are hearing is not a single siren at a time but multiple, different sirens simultaneously. The lament of the ambulance fighting with the cop car and the firetruck for dominance and winning. The sirens are the city wailing out in despair. The night is upon us like never before, but this too shall pass.

Well, you have to keep telling yourself that at least. This is really, really scary. This thing is heavy like is this the end times? heavy. It is hard to not succumb to despair, gloom and doom when you realize that the absolutely feckless and moronic Trump, who is in way over his head in this situation, is the current occupant of the oval office and the most powerful man on the planet. You can’t tweet diss the pandemic away. Trump bet the farm that this would be a mild illness that would be gone by April and we are now paying the price for his madness and colossal ineptitude. In short order, Donald Trump has turned the United States into a s-hole country.

This is America. We should not be where we are right now. For such a great country to be brought down so low because of a lack of foresight, vision and planning is inexcusable. This is what happens when a failed, racist in decline, reality tv personality becomes the president. Leadership matters. Intelligence matters. Judgement matters. Empathy matters. Donald Trump fails on all counts.

Continue Reading

A Washington Heights Bar Closes Down, with Echoes for All Small Businesses | The New Yorker

Friend of the UC and talented novelist Jon Michaud penned an outstanding piece in The New Yorker on the closure of Uptown institution Coogan’s due to the covid-19 pandemic. The piece will quite literally break your heart. Coogan’s is such an important part of this neighborhood and has survived the crack era, riots, recessions, gentrification and September 11th, its closure hits particularly hard. Please read it ASAP and then check out this excerpt from Jon Michaud’s first novel When Tito Loved Clara.

Read more: A Washington Heights Bar Closes Down, with Echoes for All Small Businesses | The New Yorker

Related:

EXCERPT: WHEN TITO LOVED CLARA

CLOSING TIME AT COOGAN’S | MANHATTAN TIMES

We invite you to subscribe to the weekly Uptown Love newsletter, like our Facebook page and follow us on Twitter & Instagram or e-mail us at UptownCollective@gmail.com.

“Mommy’s dead” | Bronx Free Press

By Debralee Santos

Cari was one of six transit workers – and the only woman – reported dead in New York City this past week.

The other TWU members who died were Stations Department Supervisor Victor Zapana, Bus Operator Ernesto Hernández, Bus Maintainer Warren Tucker, Track Worker Scott Elijah, and Maintainer Patrick Patoir.

All are announced to have died from COVID-19.

Nearly 600 MTA employees have tested positive so far, including Chairman Patrick Foye, and over 3,400 members of TWU are reported in quarantine.

The virus’ death toll is approaching 1,000 in New York City, with nearly 40,000 positive cases reported. New York is now considered the epicenter of the coronavirus outbreak in the United States.

Tony Utano, TWU Local 100 President, called the deaths “another gut punch to our union.”

“These may be the darkest days that TWU Local 100 has gone through. We’ve been some tough times together,” he added. “We’ve had more than our share of tragedies. This is different.”

Utano has been vocal about the urgent need for greater protective equipment, including masks, has called for a dedicated workers’ hotline, and demanded rapid testing for all frontline transit employees.

Read more: “Mommy’s dead” | Bronx Free Press

We invite you to subscribe to the weekly Uptown Love newsletter, like our Facebook page and follow us on Twitter & Instagram or e-mail us at UptownCollective@gmail.com.

NYP establishes $10 million grant to aid local groups | Manhattan Times

It’s the community v. COVID-19.

A new grant program established by New York-Presbyterian Hospital (NYP) will award up to $10 million in grants to Northern Manhattan businesses hit hard by the coronavirus pandemic.

The grant program is designed to provide emergency cash assistance to businesses, non-profits and partnerships taking a financial hit or fighting for survival due to the virus.

“We must mobilize now, and do all we can, to help our businesses and community organizations during this trying time,” said Luis Miranda, who will chair the initiative’s Advisory Board. “The sooner we act, the sooner critical resources will actually reach and help those in greatest need.”

The fund is being administered in partnership with the Hispanic Federation (HF), which will serve as fiscal conduit.

“We know that if these businesses don’t get aid very quickly, they will close and will probably close for good,” said HF President Frankie Miranda (no relation).

Emergency relief funds totaling up to $2 million will be disbursed within the next 30-90 days.

Eligible businesses, non-profits and partnerships must be located within Community Board 12 and have no more than 100 employees.

Read more: NYP establishes $10 million grant to aid local groups | Manhattan Times

For more information, please visit hispanicfederation.org/nomafund.

We invite you to subscribe to the weekly Uptown Love newsletter, like our Facebook page and follow us on Twitter & Instagram or e-mail us at UptownCollective@gmail.com.

Readers Rejoice | Bronx Free Press

Doors closed, not minds.

While all New York Public Library (NYPL) branches are closed, the system is still seeking to offer patrons an abundance of online activities and tutoring programs that library card holders can use.

Of importance too is that NYPL is not charging late fees for overdue books. Instead, there will be extended due dates.

“We would rather have people keep the books at home and reread them,” wrote a NYPL spokesperson.

Below are a list of online resources:

  • Brainfuse: There is a new partnership with Brainfuse, the online tutoring service to give all New York students access to free, remote, one-on-one homework help.  It is for K-12 students.  There are videos, activities, writing labs, and other enrichment activities 24/7. There is tutoring via chat from 2 p.m. – 11 p.m. (Eastern Standard Time) 7 days a week in both English and Spanish. The service is free with a NYPL Library card which can be obtained virtually via the Library’s e-reading. nypl.org/brainfuse
  • In addition to Brainfuse—being offered temporarily to support students and parents beginning remote learning—the Library is offering BookFlix (for remotely-accessible read alouds), the Opposing Viewpoints Resource Center (to build critical thinking skills), and much more at nypl.org/remotelearning.

For more: Readers Rejoice | Bronx Free Press

We invite you to subscribe to the weekly Uptown Love newsletter, like our Facebook page and follow us on Twitter & Instagram or e-mail us at UptownCollective@gmail.com.

Washington Heights & Inwood Restaurants OPEN For Deliveries/Take Out During the COVID-19 Quarantine

Delivery Man in Snow - Washington Heights

The Chamber of Commerce of Washington Heights and Inwood has put together a crucial list of Washington Heights and Inwood Restaurants that are open for TAKE-OUT and DELIVERY only. Status may change at any time, please check with each restaurant to make sure their kitchen remains open. They will be updating this list as they become aware of changes and additions, so check back often. And by the way, don’t forget to tip your delivery guys wells. Remember, Spread Love It’s The Uptown Way.

For Updates: www.wahichamber.com/open-restaurants

Business owners: You can keep this list up-to-date. Let the Chamber of Commerce of Washington Heights and Inwood know if your restaurant is also open for take out and delivery, or if you have any other changes to share that would effect your service. They will be keeping the list current throughout the quarantine.

EMAIL Them: with your updates.

Continue Reading