NYC – February 11
Alternate-side parking: In effect today, suspended tomorrow for Lincoln’s Birthday. A correction: On Friday, because of an editing error, we wrote that it would be suspended today. It is not — our apologies. Now move your car!Protesting Amazon’s Queens deal at City Hall.
Fewer than 100 days ago, the deal to bring Amazon to New York City seemed inevitable. Last week, it seemed almost on the brink of collapse.
To get caught up, here’s a recap of events that led us to where we are now.
Nov. 12: Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez tweets about her opposition to the plan.
Nov. 13 An official deal is announced. The company, owned by Jeff Bezos, the richest man in the world, would get nearly $3 billion in public subsidies to expand here. Plus a helipad.
Mr. Cuomo and Mr. de Blasio make it sound as if no other real government approval was needed.
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Nov. 14: An image of Mr. Bezos laughing as he holds bags of money in a flying helicopter appears on the front page of The New York Post. The headline is “Queens Ransom.”
Nov. 15: The Post follows up with a story headlined “Why Amazon tech bros will ruin the NYC dating scene.”
Dec. 12: Amazon executives testify at a City Council hearing and get berated by lawmakers.
Jan. 30: At another City Council hearing, an Amazon executive says something that sounds like a veiled threat to pull out of the deal.
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Feb. 4: State Senator Michael Gianaris, a critic of the project, is selected for a state board that has veto power over the deal.
Feb. 5: In a radio interview, Mr. Cuomo says, “I think if Amazon pulled out” it would be “a dramatic blow to not just the economy but also the reputation” of New York. If Amazon is “going somewhere else, the people will follow,” the governor added.
Feb. 8: The Washington Post, citing “two people familiar with the company’s thinking,” reports that Amazon is considering withdrawing from New York.
But The Times reports that “two people with direct knowledge of the company’s thinking said the article had gone too far and Amazon had no plans to back out.”
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[Want more news from New York and around the region? Check out our full coverage.]
The mini crossword: Here is today’s puzzle.
What we’re reading
Bad data about day care centers: Information on city websites is incomplete or inaccurate. [New York Post]
Noose photos labeled “back-to-school necklaces” in a middle-school classroom on Long Island. People are mad. [News 12 Long Island]
$1.4 million in raises: More than 200 women and people of color working at New Jersey Transit got salary increases under a new pay-equity law. [Wall Street Journal]
Would Democrats let a colleague’s district disappear? Representative Ocasio-Cortez said her district could be heavily redrawn after the 2020 census. [The Intercept]
Quote of the day
“I think that it is not a good agreement for Nycha and for the city.” — Stanley Brezenoff, the departing interim chairman and chief executive of the New York City Housing Authority, on the recent deal between the city and federal housing officials.
Coming up today
Not for cat people: The 143rd Westminster Dog Show’s Masters Obedience Championship at Pier 94. 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. [$35]
Rare footage of the American dancer-choreographer Merce Cunningham at the Public Library for the Performing Arts. 6 p.m. [Free]
A panel on the history of black businesses at the Brooklyn Historical Society. 6 p.m. [$5]
Oskar Eustis, artistic director of the Public Theater and “Hamilton” producer, chats with Bill T. Jones at New York Live Arts. 7 p.m. [$10]
— Elisha Brown
Events are subject to change, so double-check before heading out. For more events, see the going-out guides from The Times’s culture pages.
And finally: Guardian Angels couture
CreditGuardian Angels x Barking Irons
Forty years have passed since Curtis Sliwa first put on a red jacket and beret and started patrolling New York City’s streets and subways with the vigilante group he founded, the Guardian Angels.
A lot has changed. New York City got safer and gentrified. Mr. Sliwa got older and makes a living as a radio host.
Some things haven’t changed. Mr. Sliwa still wears the red jacket and beret nearly every day.
In honor of the group’s anniversary, a documentary called “Vigilante” is being rereleased this month. And a graphic novel is coming too.
Also, for a limited time starting Wednesday, the group is selling clothing. The Guardian Angels partnered with a Manhattan clothing company on T-shirts ($40), sweatshirts ($80), hats ($40) and a set of three enameled pins ($12).CreditGuardian Angels x Barking Irons
Some apparel has the group’s logo. Some has the word “vigilante.” A quarter of the revenue will go to the Guardian Angels, who do less patrolling and more community organizing these days.
But who will buy it? In today’s New York the concerns are more about too much policing, rather than a lack of it. And if you’re on the A train wearing a hat that says “vigilante,” what kind of message does that send?CreditGuardian Angels x Barking Irons
Michael Casarella, the chief executive of Barking Irons, the clothing company partnering on the apparel, said in an email, “The Guardian Angels stand for taking an active role in your community, big or small. They were fiercely egalitarian and democratic when it came to gender, creed, and background.”
The lasting message of the organization, he said, “was and always has been: Don’t be a passive bystander. Activism begins with taking a stand.”
As for the word “vigilante” on the apparel, Mr. Casarella said, “People are going to bring their associations to a word no matter what.”
He added: “Vigilante, in this context, is about overcoming the ways people will diminish and dismiss what they do not understand.”
On Friday evening, I ran into Mr. Sliwa on the train. He was wearing his trademark jacket and beret. I asked him about the vigilante slogan and the message it might send. He said the root of the word is “vigilance,” and that’s something that never goes out of style.
It’s Monday — make a statement.
Metropolitan Diary: Open Book
I was headed to work on a downtown No. 1. I was standing in the middle of the car.
At 125th Street, a woman in the seat in front of me turned to the man sitting next to her.
“I loved that book,” she said.
He turned to her and smiled. They began to talk about the book and about the movie adaptation. She pulled a book out of her bag to show him what she was reading.
I wondered whether they knew each other. Then they shook hands and introduced themselves. I checked their left hands. No rings.
The train continued on. By now, they were laughing. Their shoulders were touching. It was like the beginning to a romantic comedy, a real-life meet-cute.
We got to 72nd Street, and they were still chatting away. Would this be the last time they spoke?
The train approached 59th Street.
“Maybe I could give you my number and we can talk some more?” the man said.
They exchanged phones, saving each other’s contact information.
I got off at 50th Street. It was no longer just a regular day.