No Place BUT Home: Part 7 - Epicenter
“If you’re going through Hell, keep going,” Winston Churchill supposedly said.
For sure, we took that advice in New York. Some of us stayed here but kept going, grinding away in what now is recalled as an exhausting attempt to keep some shreds of the familiar life in the Great City close. But as a friend who left, returned for a few days recently but left again said, “Lou, I could not stay. It’s too heartbreaking.” Many left town to flee far away from what appeared to be Hell. The Epicenter is either the worst place to be or, for some, the only place to be. It depends on your core and your love of your town. You can leave it and still love it. I understand. I just have a hard time grasping or respecting it.Read more
No Place BUT Home: The New Abnormal - Episode 1, with Joe Berridge, Luigi Ferrara and Ibrahim Almufti
What will our cities look like post-COVID? Will we ever trust our cities again? Is "density" the new enemy of urban planning? In this new segment of No Place BUT Home, we look at issues of vital importance that relate to the health, design & economic future of the places we live.Read more
No Place BUT Home: Part 6 - The Tunnel at the End of the Light
It seems appropriate that the USS Comfort shoved off and left New York Harbor a hero and forever a part of the New York legend. It was also right that she left us in the damp, misty fog that engulfed the harbor and the city that day. She did leave behind a black swan, which she could not do anything more about. That is left up to us. Rain or shine, the Pandemic is still very much walking my streets and riding my beloved Q train like a hungry ghost and mass murderer who seems ready to appear at any moment in any household, apartment or CVS checkout line to devour.
Today, Sunday, is a spectacular day. But another strange one. There was no church and even God seems to be at home trying to figure it out. But I believe the governor of New York and the mayor of New York City when they say that the steady decline in new COVID cases and deaths has not happened because this virus is tiring. On the 64th day after the City of New York hung a “Closed for Business” sign, 789 new cases entered our hospitals and 280 New Yorkers died. And as the USS Comfort cuts through smoother waters on her way back to home port, the long trailer serving as a morgue in nearby Lennox Hospital is still double-parked right there. Alternate side of the street rules are not in effect.
No Place BUT Home: Part 5 - ". . . And This is a Long Day."
Since COVID came to town, I notice things when I wake up in the morning with an intensity and a clarity that wasn’t there weeks ago. When I look outside of my window, the “worldly dust,” as the Dali Lama once called it, has vanished. I see with terrible clarity. Everything seems illuminated. I have had these moments before. Twice. Both times Death was near and the illusive veil was pierced for me.
What do I see now? The parking garage attendant in a short sleeve shirt waiting for a car to pull in. Bright sunlight. Tulips in front of the Imperial House apartments.
Looking out of my window the world seems normal. There are no viruses flying around with spikes like those animated red balls with the nasty warthog look that the news shows concoct. Yes, there are people being put into refrigerated trucks each day at Lennox Hill Hospital, but you would not know the truck’s cargo unless you knew the truck as it rolled past.Read more
As COVID-19 Forces Companies To Move Online, Fredericton Newcomer Is There To Help Them Out
FREDERICTON — With the COVID-19 pandemic making businesses globally reliant on online sales to survive, a Fredericton newcomer’s company has been getting a lot more inquiries these days.
Adetunji Adelakun is the founder and CEO of Scantranx, cloud-based software for retailers and wholesalers. It integrates services such as inventory management, e-commerce, point-of-sale, reports and analytics, CRM, social media, and omnichannel solutions into one platform.
The company got its start in 2015 in Nigeria, where Adelakun is originally from.Read more
Oulu footballers tackle coronvirus with community service
Footballers in Finland, left with no games or training due to the coronavirus restrictions, are finding new ways to tackle the impact of the epidemic.
Players and staff at AC Oulu haven’t yet faced mandatory salary cuts, but as a way to ensure the club’s wages bill is fully met each month, they’re taking on odd jobs and helping the community at the same time.Read more
No Place BUT Home - Part 4: Dying Like Grandpa
On Good Friday the number of deaths in the state of New York totaled 7,067. By Easter Sunday morning the number was over 9,000. Today there are over 10,000. Each number is greater than the entire population of the village in rural Upstate New York where I was born, and where my ancestors are buried. I thought about that – and the fact that my street fruit vendor did not have her mask on yesterday when she sold me food – and I woke in the middle of the night sweating and nauseous.
Lyons, New York is 40 miles east of the City of Rochester, where ICF held its Smart21 Conference in October in what feels like another era. If there was any good on Friday, when we are reminded that if there were no Cross there would be “no Crown” to gather around, it was the report that for the fourth day in a row, the rate of new COVID-19 cases was lower. The field hospital at the Javits Center is more lightly populated with patients than we feared. New York is using data to manage the crisis, but the crisis remains deep. But we are managing. The curve is levelling. Our healthcare workers are worn to the bone like infantry soldiers on a Pacific jungle island in World War II. They have emerged as heroes – as heroic as the First Responders of 9/11 – and they continue to come from states like Kansas to be here to fight for us.
No Place BUT Home - Part 3: Six Feet
“Blessed are you when men hate you and ostracize you and insult you and scorn your name… be glad in that day.”
You discover your real friends in the time when you are unwanted by all others. You must naturally go to them then and petition them. There’s an old joke that goes like this, “A woman wants to know who loves her more, her boyfriend or her dog. So, she puts them both in the trunk of her car for 3 hours. When she opens the trunk her boyfriend jumps out first and starts to curse and scampers away, terrified. The dog, however, is grateful. It jumps out happily and begins to lick her face.”
Understandably, no one is particularly fond of loving New Yorkers these days in a way we are used to being loved. Certainly no one wants us to escape from New York. We are in our own trunk. While we typically standout in a foreign city because of a preponderantly higher percentage of wealth, ideas and enhanced vocal chords, no city in the USA is keen to give New Yorkers refuge in this brutal hour.Read more
The Intelligent Community Forum Reschedules its Global Summit and Intelligent Community of the Year Award to October
ICF’s Global Summit will take place October 21-23 in Dublin, Ohio, USA, with the Intelligent Community of the Year announcement on October 22
(New York, NY, USA and Dublin, OH, USA – April 2, 2020) – In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, ICF and its host city of Dublin, Ohio, USA have rescheduled the Global Summit from its original June dates to October 21-23, 2020.
Rescheduling the Summit will also push back the awarding of the Intelligent Community of the Year to October 22. ICF is taking this opportunity to revamp its future awards program schedule as well. The deadline for nominations for the 2021 cycle will move to January 7, 2021, with the Smart21 (semi-finalist) announcement scheduled for February.
Nominations are being accepted now for 2021, and communities are invited to download the questionnaire from www.intelligentcommunity.org/index_questionnaire. By submitting it, they will receive a free Snapshot report comparing their readiness and performance to ICF’s global data set.Read more
No Place BUT Home - Part 2: The Blitz
There is battle underway in New York. With the virus surging toward its peak I am starting to feel like I am living through something akin to what I know of “The Blitz” in the early 1940’s in England, during World War II. A terrifying reign of terror, coming relentlessly at me with no conscience, is what I am feeling. I watch as brave people hold the line and others try to contribute as best they can. People are emerging to whom we owe much. Doctors for sure. Also the delivery guys, most of them Mexican, on their padded bicycles; the cashiers at Citarella and Food Emporium markets. My doormen Javier, Willie, Larry and Tom. Yeah, I am under siege, and the only weapons are a healthcare system renowned for the quality of its research and advances in the most exciting areas of science. But we also have a community hospital system and its challenges, as the world is seeing, are profound. We are also armed now with extreme civic cooperation and access to the rest of the world online. These are useful, but they are inadequate for the real job ahead.
Most of the sirens in my neighborhood tonight carry gasping COVID-19 patients to overcrowded, understaffed ERs at New York Presbyterian and Lenox Hill hospitals. There are medical tents rising in Central Park, although I have not seen them. My brief walk along the avenue revealed only the pink blossoms of the trees celebrating the arrival of Spring. Both hospitals are within walking distance of my apartment (located next door to Trump Palace). We learned a few nights ago that the head of the NY Police Department’s Anti-Terror Department is in Lenox Hill with the disease. And this morning we learned that Harlem-based Detective Cedric Dixon (48 years old) passed away as had one of my favorite playwrights, Terrence McNally.Read more