2020年1月2日 星期四

N.Y. Today: Year's Top Stories

What you need to know for Thursday.

7 of Our Top Stories From 2019

It’s Thursday.

Weather: It’s sunny, with a high in the upper 40s.

Alternate-side parking: In effect until Monday (Three Kings Day).


Brittainy Newman/The New York Times

President Trump’s taxes, El Chapo’s trial and Jeffrey Epstein’s death: Our stories on these topics were among our most-read articles of 2019.

But to kick off 2020, we took a look back at some other examples of our in-depth journalism from the New York region.

David Wisnia and Helen Spitzer were Jewish inmates in Auschwitz. Amid the horrors there, they became lovers. When they reunited in Manhattan, Ms. Spitzer confirmed what Mr. Wisnia long suspected: She was the reason he survived the death camp.

Blanche Wright thought he was a lawyer. She became his prisoner. After a drug-fueled killing spree, he was dead and she was sent to prison. It was the first place in her life where Ms. Wright would feel, as strange as it sounds, free.

Darnell is 8 and commutes 15 miles a day to school. Sandivel is 10, and shares a bedroom in Brooklyn with her mother and four brothers. For thousands of homeless students, school is the only stable place they know.

When you order delivery, an army of workers mobilize. Orders arrive on their phones as they navigate bicycles through vehicular traffic. One of the largest food delivery companies, DoorDash, used to keep tips. Then the Times reporter Andy Newman hopped on a bike.

The Airbnbs were in TriBeCa and SoHo, on the Upper East Side and in Harlem. At the center of them, according to a lawsuit, was a former real estate broker, Max Beckman. In an interview, he puffed from a Juul and said, “We’re not criminals.”

They may be unsafe and windowless, but for poor immigrants, illegal basement apartments can be a refuge. For one couple, it was a way to save money and help to pay their daughter’s college tuition. In Queens, those apartments are common.

Mohammed Hoque earned about $30,000 a year driving a taxi. He was offered a taxi medallion — which would let him be his own boss — for $50,000. He emptied his bank account and signed some papers. He said he had no idea that the contract he had signed required him to pay $1.7 million. A spate of deaths by suicides has underscored the financial plight many taxi drivers face.


The Mini Crossword: Here is today’s puzzle.


What we’re reading

The first babies of 2020 were born at midnight on New Year’s Day, in Brooklyn and on Staten Island. [ABC NYC]

The state’s population shrank by 0.4 percent compared with a year ago. [Gothamist]

Governor Cuomo wants to force phone companies to block robocalls. [New York Post]

Coming up today

A showing of “What She Said: The Art of Pauline Kael,” with a post-screening panel, is at the Film Forum in Manhattan. 7 p.m. [$15]

Create miniature works of art at the Poe Park Visitor Center in the Bronx. 10 a.m. [Free]

The Brooklyn Comedy Collective hosts an improv hour at 58 North Third Street in Brooklyn. 9 p.m. [$7]

— Melissa Guerrero

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: A flea market closes

Katie Van Syckle reports:

After 43 years, the Annex Antiques Fair and Flea Market in Chelsea, once a sprawling collection of hundreds of vendors, closed on Sunday. It had lost the lease on its last patch of asphalt at 29 West 25th Street.

Once New York City’s largest flea market, it included seven separate lots over the years. The spaces were known for their fine antiques that occasionally landed in museum collections.

Alan Boss, who opened the first space in 1976, said that he leased the lot on the weekends and that the landlords did not renew the agreement.

Vendors said they didn’t know where they would now sell their wares. Some of them, however, had complained of mistreatment and erratic behavior by Mr. Boss and his wife, Helene. They said this behavior had also contributed to the decline of the Bosses’ markets.

Ms. Boss denied those allegations.

The son of a Bronx grocer, Mr. Boss opened the first flea market on Sixth Avenue between 24th and 25th Streets when Manhattan’s West Side blocks were still filled with printing companies and sewing machine shops.

As the venues grew during the 1980s and ’90s, shoppers descended on the neighborhood. Mr. Boss said he watched Andy Warhol build collections: “He bought vintage watches. He bought cookie jars. Nobody cared about cookie jars until he started collecting them.”

Real estate development in the 1990s in Chelsea edged out the spaces, and the locations shifted. Mr. Boss opened the Antiques Garage on West 25th Street in 1994, and it closed in 2014. He opened the Hell’s Kitchen Flea Market on West 39th Street in 2003, and that closed in 2018.

Jeremiah Moss, the author of “Vanishing New York,” a book exploring the impact of gentrification on 21st-century New York, said the closing of the Annex markets was another example of a loss of the qualities that made the city unique.

“All of these idiosyncratic spaces, when they’re destroyed they’re invariably replaced by something very uniform and sanitized,” he said.

It’s Thursday — Happy New Year.

Metropolitan Diary: Chivalry on Sixth Avenue

Dear Diary:

In summer 1991, the man who would become my husband and I were in Midtown when the sky opened up. We were caught in a downpour without an umbrella.

As we crossed Sixth Avenue a few blocks north of Radio City Music Hall, I hesitated in front of a huge puddle that was blocking my way to the sidewalk.

My boyfriend assessed the situation, picked me up like a groom carrying his bride over a threshold and waded into the puddle.

He deposited me gently on the sidewalk, and we began to hear applause. A group of hot dog vendors huddled under an awning were expressing their approval.

— Rae Merlet

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