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De Blasio’s unopened ‘open road’ causes environmental tension



De Blasio's unopened 'open road' causes environmental tension

This season is open in the “open streets” of the city.

Drivers throughout the city bravely threw out roadblocks that were set as part of Mayor Bill de Blasio’s plan to provide outdoor recreation space amid a coronavirus pandemic.

Frustrated New Yorkers told The Post that they had to put roadblocks into their own hands when motorists showed off the program – and even triggered a tug of war between neighbors.

“In the first week it was clear that some neighbors did not like obstacles from open roadblocks, so they would only take them down,” Noel Hidalgo, from Williamsburg, said of the traffic clogs on Berry Street between North 12th Street and Broadway.

“This is a war of friction, to the extent that yesterday the twigs left from a blue wooden barrier were destroyed by a driver.”

Launched in mid-May, de Blasio’s “Open Road” initiative has so far restricted motorists from about 67 miles of the Big Apple road, with the aim of closing 100 miles so that residents can get fresh air while still maintaining social distance.

While the “open road” takes effect between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m., drivers who deliver or deliver people are still allowed to go slowly, and utility vehicles, emergencies, and city services are fine.

But despite the unnecessary traffic ban, some drivers have taken back places that should only be pedestrians, and removed the blue and metal NYPD blockade from wood so they could pass, residents in several locations told The Post.

“The drivers passed the barricade, they just moved it,” Larry Barbieri said of the closure on East Seventh Street between Caton and Ditmas streets in Ditmas Park, Brooklyn.

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Cars on East Seventh Street were seen wandering around the barricades set up at the intersection on Friday, including those that were smashed to pieces.

Barbieri, the owner of the landscape business, said he disagreed with the closure of roads in his neighborhood, arguing that it was not necessary because the playground was open and that “it disrupted traffic.”

Randy Crisp and his children on Underhill Road in Prospect Heights, Brooklyn.
Randy Crisp and his children on Underhill Road in Prospect Heights, Brooklyn.Paul Martinka

But Cynthia King, owner of a nearby dance studio, said she and other residents liked the closure and had put a barrier back when they moved.

“We continue to put it back,” King said. “I live on a block and I like road closures … It’s nice to have all the neighbors and socialize more.”

“I am mostly a driver but I prefer closed roads rather than access to roads,” King added.

A City Hall spokesman said that establishing open roads was a shared responsibility, with the Department of Transportation, the local NYPD area and community organizations all participating.

“Most drivers respect this program,” Mitch Schwartz said in a statement.

“DOT is patrolling in the closing with direct checks and social media monitoring, and they are working with related institutions such as the NYPD to fix problems that arise.”

A NYPD spokesman said the department did not track the number of complaints for obstacles that were damaged, but that, “When we become aware of the obstacles that are damaged or damaged, we replace them.”

“The obstacles were examined by volunteers and community partners, DOT personnel and NYPD officers from the local police station.”

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But some “open roads” have sparked fierce fighting between neighbors, with some trying to enforce closure and others rebelling against them.

On Ascan Avenue in Forest Hills, Queens, the driver was seen last week just turning around the barrier and zip block, which feeds on busy Queens Boulevard, most of the day.

Sometime in the afternoon, parents came to rebuild the metal barrier – then tiffs began, locals said.

“They make me explode!” Carmine Polito, 67, tells the story of a man who played soccer with his son next to an open-air dining area in Portofino Restaurant, which he owned and operated for 46 years.

“I think people try dinner, can you play on the streets or in the park? He said, “So what ?!” Looking at me like I’m crazy! So I say, I open the barricade! “Said Polito.

“They should have a police officer here. There are no police here, “he added.

Arlind Belegu, a building supervisor on the block, said fighting between parents who wanted their children to play in the open and others in the block could be hot.

“My parents threatened my doorman,” Belegu said. “His child is playing on the steps and my doorman asked him to stop the old man from saying to my doorman, ‘You touched my child and I will knock you down!'”

Meanwhile, a father in Crown Heights said it only took a day from when the long closure at Prospect Place between Brooklyn Avenue and New York Avenue was launched for someone to move the barrier.

A barrier on Chester street of Fort Hamilton Parkway in Kensington, Brooklyn
A barrier on Chester street of Fort Hamilton Parkway in Kensington, BrooklynPaul Martinka

“I sent my children there when they opened. “The next day, we couldn’t do it,” said John Buckholz. “By the time kids get a barrier on one side of the block, someone has moved them to the other side.”

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Buckholz said he took his children to open roads in other neighborhoods so they could ride their motorbikes on the road. He blamed the city for failing to effectively communicate program objectives and rules, and said the closure near his home had been destroyed from the start.

“It was placed haphazardly and with little public notice,” he said. “De Blasio doesn’t care about this or wants to do it, and it shows.”

A City Hall spokesman said: “We have more work to do, but we are committed to giving all the New York air the fresh breath they deserve.

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Portuguese historical films will premiere on 29 December.



Portuguese historical films will premiere on 29 December.

Method Media Bermuda will present the documentary FABRIC: Portuguese History in Bermuda on Thursday, December 29 at the Underwater Research Institute of Bermuda.

A spokesperson said: “Method Media is proud to bring Bermuda Fabric: Portugal History to Bermuda for its 5th and 6th showing at the Bermuda Underwater Observatory. In November and December 2019, Cloth: A Portuguese Story in Bermuda had four sold-out screenings. Now that Bermuda has reopened after the pandemic, it’s time to bring the film back for at least two screenings.

“There are tickets For $ 20 – sessions at 15:30 and 18:00. Both screenings will be followed by a short Q&A session.

Director and producer Milton Raboso says, “FABRIC is a definitive account of the Portuguese community in Bermuda and its 151 years of history, but it also places Bermuda, Acors and Portugal in the world history and the events that have fueled those 151 years.

“It took more than 10 years to implement FABRIC. The film was supported by the Minister of Culture, the Government of the Azores and private donors.

Bermuda Media Method [MMB] Created in 2011 by producer Milton Raposo. MMB has created content for a wide range of clients: Bermuda’s new hospital renovation, reinsurance, travel campaigns, international sports and more. MMB pays special attention to artistic, cultural and historical content.

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Maestro de Braga is the first Portuguese in the National Symphony Orchestra of Cuba.



Maestro de Braga is the first Portuguese in the National Symphony Orchestra of Cuba.

Maestro Filipe Cunha, Artistic Director of the Philharmonic Orchestra of Braga, has been invited to conduct the Cuban National Symphony Orchestra, as announced today.

According to a statement sent by O MINHO, “he will be the first Portuguese conductor to conduct this orchestra in its entire history.”

In addition to this orchestra, the maestro will also work with the Lyceo Mozarteum de la Habana Symphony Orchestra.

The concerts will take place on 4 and 12 March 2023 at the National Theater of Cuba in Havana.

In the words of the maestro, quoted in the statement, “these will be very beautiful concerts with difficult but very complex pieces” and therefore he feels “very motivated”.

From the very beginning, Rachmaninoff’s Piano Concerto No. 2 will be performed by an Italian pianist (Luigi Borzillo), whom the maestro wants to bring to Portugal later this year. In the same concert, Mendelshon’s First Symphony will be performed.

Then, at the second concert, in the company of the Mexican clarinetist Angel Zedillo, he will perform the Louis Sfora Concerto No. 2. In this concert, the maestro also conducts Tchaikovsky’s Fifth Symphony.

“This is an international recognition of my work. An invitation that I accept with humility and great responsibility. I was surprised to learn that I would be the first Portuguese member of the Cuban National Symphony Orchestra. This is a very great honor,” the maestro said in a statement.

“I take with me the name of the city of Braga and Portugal with all the responsibility that goes with it, and I hope to do a good job there, leaving a good image and putting on great concerts. These will be very special concerts because, in addition to performing pieces that I love, especially Rachmaninov and Tchaikovsky, I will be directing two wonderful soloists who are also my friends. It will be very beautiful,” concludes Filipe Cunha.

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