District News

Letter from Monica Blum, LSBID President

Sep 28, 2020
public safety officer, landscape of dante park, cleaner sweeping streets

Dear Lincoln Square BID Members & Friends:

By now you have probably all heard the very sad news that the Metropolitan Opera will not be opening until September 2021. While this was not totally unexpected, many have held out hope that the Met would figure out a way to perform in a socially distant, safe way. I have also sadly learned Old John's Luncheonette, which has served the Lincoln Square community for decades, has closed. This news reminds us of the very reason that the Lincoln Square BID was created more than 23 years ago. Our founding Board members saw a great need and created an organization to supplement City services by making Lincoln Square cleaner and safer and by supporting and promoting the many resources of this vibrant neighborhood. When we were formed, our sidewalks and streets were only 79% clean. For the past 23 years, our Scorecard ratings have been at 100% for almost all quarters. Crime was at an all-time high and the neighborhood was not seen as safe. In 2000, the 20th Precinct reported 1,742 offenses in the seven major felony crime categories. Today, Lincoln Square has seen a dramatic reduction in crime with only 607 offenses reported in 2019 in the major seven crime categories. The 2020 Year-to-Date number (as of 9.20.20) for the seven major crimes is 582, so the 20th Precinct remains very safe. 

We have been continuing to carry out our core services rigorously. Our Clean Team is out there picking up litter 12 hours a day, making sure that our sidewalks are clean, and when bad weather comes, that snow and ice are removed quickly. Our very first cleaning program with Goddard Riverside Community Center continues to this day ensuring the malls are spotless. Our Public Safety team continues to serve as the eyes and ears of the NYPD and keeps us informed of what is going on in the district. As they patrol the district, they remain ever watchful and continue to report street conditions, such as potholes, broken street lights, graffiti, homelessness, illegal vending, etc. And, despite severe cuts to the Parks’ Department budget, our planting and maintenance program in the Malls, in the parks and in the planters is more robust than ever and we are determined to not let our urban gardens fall back into the barren weed-filled spaces of the past. These measures, as well as our strong public/private partnerships, will get us through this pandemic.

Included in our mission is the marketing and promotion of all the amazing resources that this neighborhood has to offer. Despite COVID-19, our cultural organizations continue to be extraordinarily prolific with new and creative virtual offerings, which we are including in our Events’ Calendar so that you can be entertained, soothed, lifted up or calmed 24/7. And although we have cancelled Winter’s Eve this year, we will be unveiling a new holiday lighting program, so stay tuned.

With indoor dining returning tomorrow, we are looking foward to many eateries resuming their services inside. However, as the positivity rate begins to rise in the City, it is important that restaurants are following safety protocols, including limiting service to 25% capacity, taking temperatures of customers, and ensuring that enhanced air filtration, ventilation and purification measures are in place. Click here to learn more on State guidance for indoor dining.

When I meet with my colleagues, I point out that our neighborhood is unlike any other – we have as many theater seats as Madison Square Garden – sadly all empty right now. But, while some neighborhoods may “come back” sooner than ours, when we do return, it will be stronger and more vibrant than ever. 

Please let me hear from you! If you have any questions, comments or concerns, you can contact me at mblum@lincolnsquarebid.org.

Best regards,

Monica Blum