Open Thread Wednesday

What’s on your mind, this New Year? Comment away!

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  • Mike Suko

    Hate to be negative, … but are there 10 people who regularly comment on this site?? That matters, because it would be great if information were shared, and numbers matter in that connection.

    But “SongBirdNYC” is one of the “good guys.” She answered a factual question I asked about mobile testing some time in the last week or so, and while she simply put up a link to a mediocre website, I did a little digging…. If it’s to be believed, there’s a mobile testing site at 320 Jay St. (1 block S. of Tillary) that operates M-F from 10-5 … and lets one (for free) know whether one is positive or negative!

    The one time I observed it in operation – about 10 days ago – there were 5 or so people waiting…. Maybe, 10 minutes or less before each of them knew [well, at a 90%+ certainty level] what their status was.

    And I repeat my possibly dated knowledge that “Careland” on Clark near Henry has scads of $25 test kits for sale. It’s great to think/hope that Omicron will “burn out” later this month, but – anecdotally – everyone who lives even halfway “normally” has either tested positive or is 1 (small) degree removed from someone who has.

    There was a best-ever segment on Brian Lehrer’s show yesterday about home testing. The guest pointed to literally millions of lives that could have been saved if testing in the U.S. had been “done right.” … Fortunately, it sounds like we’re at a time and a place where there are no excuses. I’ll go along with Anne Frank that most people are good. If you know someone who’s tested positive and have had, say, 15 minutes unmasked with him/her within a day or 2, YOU SHOULD get tested … and isolate if YOU turn out to be positive.

    That’s what “good” is (in this connection), and the bar is not all that high. [Sorry if I sound preachy, but 3 shots – for many/most – is obviously proving not quite “game over”-good enough.]

  • A. Lee

    I heard via Facebook (so not real corroboration) that someone got mugged on the corner of Montague and Clinton, near St. Ann’s. Was wondering if anyone else had heard more details?

  • Effective Presenter

    A cold gloomy day, good to stay home, light a fire, cook a great dinner, count my blessings.

  • Banet

    Two things: I’m not sure “millions of lives” could have been saved in the U.S. by home testing when there haven’t even been a million deaths in the U.S. yet. But agreed — many, many lives could have been saved.

    2. The mobile testing to which you’re referring is likely one of the LabQ vans. We’ve used them a dozen times (summer day camps required a test before starting. Multiply multiple kids by multiple different camps and there you go). My spouse used them as recently as earlier this week. Zero cost. Results in under 24 hours (she tested Monday at noon and was emailed results Tuesday at 5am. Also very little wait. She had maybe 8 people ahead of her. Google “LabQ” and you’ll find their website and their locations each day — they move around — earlier this week they had a van on Jay Street as well as on Kane between Court and Clinton.

    Stay safe everyone!

  • T.K. Small

    Yes, my sister who also lives in the neighborhood, mentioned the mugging. Very much a return to 1980s disorder…

  • Teresa

    Thank you for this reminder. I needed a rapid test today and I was able to get one there.

  • Teresa

    Thanks for the info on LabQ. I never know which of those vans/sites to trust, and this really helps.

  • WillowWoman

    Sad to see another “Smoke Shop” opening in the neighborhood, this time next to The Ale House.

  • Arch Stanton

    Of course there was a mugging, a good riddance gift from our former “mayor”

  • Arch Stanton

    Why is that sad? I think it’s nice to see businesses open up in what has become a commercial ghost town.

  • Sweeties

    I’d rather see a head shop than another empty storefront.

  • BKresident

    I agree 100%

  • Mike Suko

    What about the report of a brothel operating on Montague St.? Yes, that’s one I’d rather see with a “FOR RENT” sign, like all the others…. And a “head shop” is much the same. “Let’s go for easy money when people want to escape!” As I’ve said before, that head shop (for however long it lasts, very possibly with Mafia money getting laundered) COULD HAVE BEEN a dry cleaner…. or a barber shop…. or just about anything that would have served Brooklyn Hts. better.

    Will you trot out the “good to see someone enterprising” when there’s a methadone clinic on Montague?

  • SongBirdNYC

    The victim’s wife posted on Nextdoor. She was asking around if anyone had found his discarded wallet. That corner is VERY dark because of the scaffolding. It would be really easy for someone to lay in wait.

  • SongBirdNYC

    Aww, shucks Mike. Glad you think I’m a “good guy.” I do try. LabQ was very reliable in my experience. On Tues the 29th I found out six members of my building staff tested positive. I pick up most of our packages and felt there was a pretty good chance I could have been exposed.

    As it happens I was in DUMBO when I got the email and LabQ van was right there. BUT, because of the surge they were managing expectations and telling patients PCR turn around would be 3-5 days. The rapid test came back positive within an hour. But I REALLY wanted a PCR sooner than their time frame.

    So, I also arranged for a PCR at CareCube later that day. CareCube’s PCR came back negative within 12 hours. And, two hours after that I received a positive PCR from LabQ. Since LabQ’s rapid was positive I knew their results were correct. And by Wed am, I was symptomatic.

    Without going into too much detail, I was uncomfortable with CareCube from the jump. Pretty certain the tech who administered the test didn’t get a good enough sample. The Nurse Practitioner was quite good, but if I was just there for a Covid test, I have no idea why I even needed to see her. If I get a bill for an office visit, I’ll fight it. Pretty sure CareCube is a racket and am likely going to pass on the info to Lincoln Restler.

  • SongBirdNYC

    My quarantine ended today. And while my symptoms were considered mild, today is the first day in about seven days that I feel mostly human. Thankfully my son and husband never got sick.

  • aeshtron

    Safe Injection/Drug Purity Testing sites would be a beneficial addition all over our wonderful city. Yes please to brothels (most every hotel is already a brothel), bakeries, head shops, dry cleaners, a safe injection site, toy stores, a theater and restaurants all in Brooklyn Heights — that sounds like a vibrant, well-functioning neighborhood.

  • SongBirdNYC

    The reason it’s not “game over, good enough” is because we never reached herd immunity. There are still too many people unvaccinated. Then exponentially add those who are vaxxed but not boosted and those with compromised immune systems. All of these factors combine and enable the virus to mutate. All viruses mutate, that’s why we have a different flu shot every year. So Omicron is highly contagious strain that on all accounts is “milder” but ONLY if you are “Vaxxed to the Max” with 2 doses + booster.

  • KDHicks

    Not sure why it’s limited to these two options

  • meschwar

    There are approximately 900 barber shops in the heights. That was a poor choice.

  • RightonRemsen

    Ha. Exactly. I think all WillowWoman is trying to say is that another “smoke” shop is a real bummer. I really miss the days of ice cream shops and movie theaters, toy stores and Cranberry’s, etc. Stores that serve the whole community, not just the college kids would be welcome back any time.

  • Mike Suko

    Thank you both! @SB – I very much hope that your case resolves quickly & soon is just a bad memory.

    Yes, I’m sure that some fast-buck seekers know that “pop-up” stores can make serious money right before Halloween selling costumes and NOW – addressing block-long lines, among other things, Covid-R-Us is “can’t miss.”

    And mostly, I suspect, it’s the difficulty of balancing quality control (betcha the swabbers make $20 or less; training ??) with speeding people through – for both economic & “social media” reasons.

    Here’s the link to that Brian Lehrer segment I raved about:

    The expert (and he WAS!) said that although – atypically – the home test kits are minimally “regulated” and were brought to market quickly, their quality has proven HIGH.

    I say that because it’s totally unclear to me why people are queuing up for “lab tests” at this point. Availability of home test kits? Ask around. (Who knows? maybe, this site or Nextdoor will feature an “as of Noon, the X pharmacy had plenty.”)

    And, FWIW, “building staff” – SOME of them – are in the demographic who [darned if I can make sense of it, so this is my best guess] subscribe to “It’s MY body, and nobody’s gonna tell me to roll up my sleeve.”

    Yes, it would be worse if they worked in a nursing home, but it’s not great when YOUR “common space” is their workplace, and it’s indoors!

  • Mary Kim
  • SongBirdNYC

    Mike, Thank you for the well wishes. I’m getting back to feeling like myself. I’m vaxxed & boosted. These past ten days have been an exercise in gratitude.

    Have to say, though you make a some assumptions about who my building staff are that I’m not comfortable with. Several lost immediate family members since March 2020. My building is a NORC (Naturally Occurring Retirement Community) with a substantial number of elderly residents. From the jump we have had stricter safety protocols than most of our neighbors. To the best of my knowledge, we have had zero Covid deaths. Many of our staff are like family to me. They risk themselves to come work for us, especially the door men. So even though your tone is light-hearted, I don’t appreciate what feels like a veiled message.

    What you say about CareCube is probably accurate. But the tech who tested me was a Chatty Kathy, it was the end of their day and she wasn’t paying enough attention. Full stop.

  • Mike Suko

    Not so much (I can think of 1) North of Montague. (Of course, they can’t afford Montague – only a “head shop” or a bank – how’s that for irony? – can.

    I’ve stopped worrying about imposing my “morality” – heck, I cannot! – but while we don’t NEED a place selling expensive pastry that probably is “un-healthful,” I just plain think it’s a “better fit” than a head shop…. I suspect that “community standards” probably align with mine.

    Ever hear the term “race to the bottom?” Landlords, of course, (maybe, there’s a rare exception) are single-minded “Show me the money” types.

    The reason why a “needle exchange site” is a bad idea – one of many – is that it would make it that much LESS likely that “mainsteam” tenants would survive, thrive or move in. There *is* a “slippery slope” thing here. If a head shop has a “For Rent” neighbor, the 2nd spot will be harder to rent … or will get looks from pawn shops.

    Libertarianism (not to mention Arch’s more-than-likely impish provocations) will always be with us, but I once read about “communitarianism” – I’m sure the name, alone, kept it from getting much traction. You may or may not agree with MY take on “what’s best for the community,” but I’d rather the *community* curbed some landlord’s health … than the opposite.

  • Mike Suko

    Of course you’re right, but I’m concerned about “it’ll become endemic” – ESPECIALLY given a big overlap between the 40% of Americans who think “Trump won” and those who draw the line at their kids getting whatever were the approved shots (if those!) before 2000.

    Call me a pessimist, but Covid seems “wilier” than the flu. It’s no joke that there are 20 (?) letters left in the Greek alphabet – not that nature cares what you call variant 38. Who has more sway – the FDA or J&J? People worried about hospitalizations and deaths … or cruise ship operators and Goldman Sachs – who really liked things the way they were in 2019?! (“Isolate FIVE days,” for example, has NOTHING to do with “science,” everything to do with “commerce.”)

    This time, I *know* I don’t have “the answers,” but “the questions” could keep a gal or guy awake at night!

  • KDHicks

    YUM looks great

  • KDHicks

    So sad to hear this — hope everyone is ok.

  • KDHicks

    Does anyone know when the Clark St station will open back up? Know they said Spring 2022, but wondering if there’s any news on an expected date?

  • WillowWoman

    THIS is what I’m talking about! Love to see it.