Saturday, July 18, 2020

How do you solve a problem like Astoria? You ignore it for a month.


 Crowds of people drinking and dining on the sidewalks of Astoria are drawing ire for flouting social distancing rules and forgoing masks.

The city's 311 hotline received dozens of complaints Friday and Saturday in the two ZIP codes that cover the main commercial drags of 30th Avenue and Broadway, a Patch data analysis found.

The Grand, at 37-01 30th Ave., was the subject of seven complaints Friday of loud music and customers not social distancing.

George Ballis, owner of The Grand, said he's tried asking the crowds to disperse — but that he gets a profanity-laced earful in return.

"I beg them like, guys, please, I don't want to get in trouble," Ballis said. "I understand that the local residents are upset, and I hear their frustration."

 Ballis said he's doing the most he can: He cleans and disinfects the restaurant weekly, makes his employees wear masks and has his bouncers try to get people moving.

"There's nothing that I can do to somebody when they're on a New York City sidewalk," he said. "All I can do is protect my staff."

Across the street from The Grand, partiers outside Blend Astoria racked up eight complaints Friday and Saturday of loud music and a lack of social distancing and face coverings. (Calls to Blend were twice put on hold indefinitely.)

Another three complaints listed 30th Avenue in general, where videos posted on social media showed crowds of maskless partiers on the sidewalk.

"People seem to forget we're in the middle of a pandemic," City Council Member Costa Constantinides said in a statement Sunday. "While I understand the need for people to get out and our small businesses to reopen, we all have a civic duty to continue to practice social distancing, wear a mask and keep others safe. Our healthcare system cannot take another shock from this virus."

This story was posted on June 14 2020 by Maya Kaufman.

Which was a week before Phase 2 that permitted restaurants to serve on tables outside.


Anonymous said...

What do you expect from a community that looks at the Steinway Mansion and says 'Halloween Night!'

Anonymous said...

Isn't there a recall petition going around in NYC to get Comrade Bill out?

Anonymous said...

If they just looted some stores and screamed something about racial justice, it would all be ok. As we now know, covid can not be spread during large BLM-related public events.

Anonymous said...

I thought Astoria was all mosques?

Anonymous said...

I've been at/in the scene in Forest Hills (Austin Street), and it is NOTHING like this. Yeah, people aren't really staying the *entire* 6 feet from each other when talking, but the bars and restaurants are on their best behavior with compliance. Small crowds, food served with drinks.

Anonymous said...

People seem to forget we're in the middle of a pandemic,"

Yea ok. Police and their partners are NEVER 6 feet apart from each other and almost never wear masks. Become an NYPD officer and become immune to biological virusesr

Party on my people from Queens

Anonymous said...

Morning in Astoria

Woke up to 4 Hispanic kids sitting on our stoop whooping and hollering at 6 AM. Had to get dressed and politely ask them to leave which they did after 15 or so minutes. No rush. They left about a dozen beer bottles. I guess they are the dregs from Steinway St last night.

Oh BTW, I gave them Costa's address a few doors down and suggested that, in the future, they might stop by and hang there. Bring their friends and brewskies. Party all night. No one will say anything.

Anonymous said...

I think its painfully clear that the area in CB1 south of Astoria Blvd is intended as a cash mine for the developers and their errand boys in politics.

There is no sense of community, only tearing down and building up as cheaply as possible, and so the kids do not notice shoddy buildings in the middle of nowhere give them plenty of bars and 'eateries' . Meanwhile the not too clever old timers who still think its the old days support the boys in office and dutifully clean up the garbage week after week. After all, when you pass, there is that big lot your home is on and the kids can get plenty of money for the wreck that it has become.

The problem is now the pandemic. Kids are either moving back to mommy and daddy, or getting a better deal in newly emptied Bklyn or Manhattan. Meanwhile the pipeline for new buildings stretches out as far as the eye can see. What to do?

Well of course, our Latino community is being pushed out of the Bronx and Bklyn, and is growing by leaps and bounds - why not fill Astoria with them? So what you see this past month is basically house hunting for a new cohort. Good bye Crowley, Good bye Engel.

Anonymous said...

This is literally the crowd that elected AOC

Anonymous said...

From a neighborhood public blog:

Things are getting ridicules here in Astoria...On Steinway st from 25th ave to 30th then from Broadway to 35th ave, all night long you hear crazy shit, from cars, Dirt bikes racing up and down the avenues people yelling and screaming. We live on 44th st and I hear everything. There is no way you can sleep with your windows open.

This morning i walked to my shop around 5:30 when i approached Broadway people were walking home twisted holding drinks in their hands. Looking like zombies yelling and screaming like they are in a fucking night club, I'm all for having a good time and partying with friends but not like this..This isn't what I'm use to, having to look over my shoulder isn't the way i want to live nor raise my son in.

This shit is out of control. I've lived and owned business here in Astoria all my life and never felt this unstable, like something is going to pop off at any min. fucking sad situation...

Anonymous said...

"Things are getting ridicules here in Astoria..."
Bars do not need to be open Until 4:00AM I beleive they should close no later than 2:00.
I work in Bayside and on most Saturday and Sunday mornings I have to dodge drunken fools.
Bell Blvd in Bayside is a crap hole too but not as bad as Steinway.

Anonymous said...

There is no way you can sleep with your windows open.
That's funny. In Astoria every politician, every civic, every community board member seems to have no problem. The only thing that bestirs them is a developer with a project not on their bock.

Anonymous said...

This also happened in the UK. Pubs were allowed to open and people were videotaped by the BBC acting rowdy and not wearing masks screaming and yelling right at the cameras.

Anonymous said...

75% spike in Covid hospital admissions over the weekend. Any Democrat ready to comment?

Its ok for a near riot to take place in Astoria, as not a single elected (Democratic) official came out to comment. But God forbid us to gather in churches or schools.