Checking the Math on New York City’s Commercial Real Estate Pipe Dream

Entrance to the gold plated 7 train subway extension at Hudson Yards.

By: Joel Epstein

Once upon a time, before there were dreams of a livable city with parks and protected bike lanes and bike share all over Gotham, there were things called department stores. For those who could afford to shop there, everyone had a favorite. My people shopped at Loehmann’s in Brooklyn where my Aunt Betty was a denizen of the Back Room. The family lore is that the “sales girls” would call my aunt and let her know what had come in. “We just got a Claire…


By: Joel Epstein

Citibike and cobblestones and cast-iron buildings, SoHo.

Why are we even having this discussion? Are there really no more pressing land use and planning issues in this City? With Covid still raging and Stephen Ross getting ready to ask the City for a multi-billion dollar bailout for his private “eden” on the Hudson, is rezoning SoHo what we should be talking about?

We can all agree that inequality and segregation are bad. Still, the fight over affordable housing in SoHo is a classic case of the City once again cutting off its nose to spite its face. Yes, the long-ago affordable lair of artists…


By: Joel Epstein

El Metropolitano, Lima.

How come every time I am in Latin America I come down with a case of transit envy? It happened again recently when I landed in Lima where my sobrino Teo is spending his remote Spring college semester. January, February and March in Boston or Summer along the Malecón de Miraflores in Lima? You decide.


By: Joel Epstein

I’m a refusenik, as my friend Paul Ross, the writer and China hand has christened me. I am one of those people you see picking up trash and recycling, gloved and masked of course in the Time of Covid, on the streets and sidewalks. It has been a calling of sorts since as a kid I started going to the beach on Long Island with a bag, to leave the sand and shore cleaner than I found it. I once found a ten dollar bill which kept me in penny candy till my dentist shut me down.


Imagine.

By: Joel Epstein

Here’s my platform for New York City’s next mayor. In honor of John Lennon who was assassinated forty years ago today, let’s imagine a better city.

No I’m not running! But as we endure the destruction visited upon the City and country by the pandemic and the ineptitude of the loser of the 2020 presidential election, I am thinking a lot about who might be our next mayor. My comments are heavy on transit, public space and the environment and lighter on other important issues I know less about.

As mayor, showing up to work and leadership…


Vote Blue to save the Republic.


By: Joel Epstein

Dollaride staff with one of their partner dollar vans.

Dollaride — “Ride a dollar van along any route for $2. It’s that simple.”

A child of Brooklyn, once removed, I never miss an opportunity to talk about good things that come out of the Borough of Kings. So as we mourn the passing of RBG, one of Brooklyn’s righteous, let’s talk about the kinda good deal you used to find on the Fulton Mall. In times like this when we can all use some good news, services like Dollaride inspire.

What is Dollaride? It’s a homegrown transportation app that is making life better for those who…


By: Joel Epstein

Oonee bike pod at Atlantic Terminal in downtown Brooklyn (Photo by Shabazz Stuart).

I want to talk about something more mundane than the universal peaceful protests against systemic racism and police brutality. As the Covid-19 pandemic rages on, New York needs secure bike parking. With their renewed popularity as a subway and bus alternative, bikes have become as precious as Purell and toilet paper were back in March. And bikes locked overnight to a New York City lamp post just don’t deter the determined bike thief or vandal.

Lock It Up!

Recently, I posted on Twitter about the hassle of carrying my bike up and down four flights of stairs…


By: Joel Epstein

The City and the George Washington Bridge from the Palisades.

Who knows? That’s seems to be the common refrain. And even the medical profession’s wisdom. When will this end? When will we achieve herd immunity? When will there be a vaccine?

I didn’t flee the City like so many others during the worst of the ongoing pandemic. I’m not judging those, like me, who could have. At 59, I thought about it but it just isn’t me; a walker in the City. New York is home. With an empty nest, I am comfortable in my apartment and even under the Covid-19 cloud I am enjoying the quiet…


By: Joel Epstein

Life in the time of #trumpvirus #wearamask #flattenthecurve

#trumpvirus #coronavirus #covid19 #wfh #cities #flattenthecurve #bikeNYC #wearamask #stayathome #socialdistancing #voteblue #MTA #NYC #votebluenomatterwho #leadership #globalpandemic #traffic #asthma #mentalhealth #homelessness #carfreestreets #urban #LosAngeles #LA #SanFrancisco #Berkeley #Oakland #Michigan #GovernorCuomo #WhiteHouse #transit #subways #buses #science

Essential. Don’t forget you are. That’s one of the casualties of this dystopian time for those of us working from home and staying home because we’re not health care workers, pizza makers, taqueros, delivery workers, transit workers, bodega and supermarket stockers and cashiers. But don’t forget that we are doing our part. Most of us are flattening the curve, wearing a mask and…

Joel Epstein

A walker in the city.

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