The "Doom Loop" Edition
Mayor Adams cosplays Rudy Giuliani, Plan B for replacing Rikers Island, staffing issues at Rikers, new laws, where to get cuffed, disappearing cocktail trends, and more
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We’re back for 2023 and will be back to the full format on Friday.
• One year into cosplaying as Rudy Giuliani, Mayor Adams wants to be judged based on crime. Well, the results are spotty at best. (Elizabeth Kim for Gothamist)
• There's probably no more significant indicator of what Mayor Adams sees in the future regarding crime than his calling for a "Plan B" for replacing Riker Island. Mayor Adams has been working to increase the population of Rikers, and it's been working. According to Councilmember Tiffany Caban, "what you’re seeing is the renewed criminalization of poverty of mental health, of substance use, and it’s driving up the population." (Reuven Blau, Hadee Chu, and Stephon Johnson for The City with additional reporting by Katie Honan, Jonathan Custodio, and George Joseph)
• A look at how staffing issues contributed to a suicide at Rikers Island, where the body count hit 19 in 2022. (Chris Gelardi for New York Focus)
• One year in, Mayor Adams has not fulfilled his campaign promise to publish a list of police officers the NYPD is watching for violent or otherwise unseemly behavior. (Ethan Geringer-Sameth for Gotham Gazette)
• Add three more names to the list of friends the mayor has hired for high-paid government positions. This time it's former State Senator Jesse Hamilton, current State Senator Diane Savino, and Tommy Torres. Hamilton and Savino were both members of the Independent Democratic Conference in the state senate, which blocked the Democrats from having control of the state. Torres recently lost a race for Brooklyn Democratic Party district leader after lying to poll workers about being an incumbent. Just when you thought City Hall had enough assholes. (Katie Honan for The City)
• Student athlete endorsements, a ban on selling cosmetics tested on animals, more judges, and more new laws as of January 1. (David Cruz and Jon Campbell for Gothamist)
• In terms of jobs lost in the pandemic, the nation has recovered and topped the pre-Covid job totals by a million. Under Mayor Adams and his plan to revive the city's economy, New York City has only recovered 85% of the jobs lost during Covid. Current estimates put an NYC recovery in late 2024 or early 2025. (Greg David for The City)
• It's time to familiarize yourself with the term "doom loop," a cycle of decline tied to tax revenue losses and spending cuts. Here's how Jonathan Bowles from the Center for an Urban Future describes it: "The worry is that the enormous decline in people coming to the office may soon create a big shortfall in property tax revenue and that this will necessitate spending cuts in the very things that make New York so appealing, from the transit system and culture to sanitation and safety. And if that happens, that's not good news for New York." This is why the mayor and governor suddenly want people to live in neighborhoods usually only associated with offices. (Arun Venugopal for Gothamist)
• Bishop Lamor Whitehead, a friend of Mayor Adams, was arrested for fraud, extortion, and making false statements. Happy New Year! (George Joseph for The City)
• Photos: The 2023 Coney Island Polar Bear Plunge. (Photos by Alex Kent for Brooklyn Magazine)
• Governor Hochul vetoed a bill that would have limited helicopter flights to and from the Hudson River Park heliport and would have allowed people to sue for excessive noise caused by helicopters. Her argument against the bill was that it overlapped with FAA jurisdiction. There were almost 26,000 helicopter-related noise complaints last year. (Gwynne Hogan for Gothamist)
• A new Domino Sugar sign is sitting atop the old Domino Sugar Factory in Williamsburg. If you want to be * that * friend, make sure to point out that the sign isn't the original sign but a replica because the original sign fell into disrepair. (Anna Rahmanan for Time Out)
Speaking of signs, can a journalist who reads The Briefly look into if the Gowanus Alliance is still planning to bring back the Kentile Floors sign?
• 2022: The year cocktail trends disappeared. (Chris Crowley for Grub Street)
• Here are the top checkouts at the city's public libraries in 2022. (Shaye Weaver for Time Out)
• You may have missed it, but we're already mid-cuffing season. the best places to get cuffed ASAP. (Gabe Friedman for Brooklyn Magazine)
• Photos: Central Park's new Barn Owl. (D. Bruce Yolton for Urban Hawks)
• Fifteen best restaurant meals of 2022 from writers, photographers, and editors. (Eater)
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