Tuesday, April 28, 2020

The "Friendly City" in a Pandemic

Last night, a reader sent me this picture of a notice he'd spotted on Warren Street.

The notice is posted on this building, on the northeast corner of Fourth and Warren Streets. I'm sure the notice has nothing to do with the owner of the building, but, like the building, it hardly represents Hudson putting its best foot forward.



  1. If nothing else, Hudson is consistent in anonymous threats and made up signage hung around town. I guess social distancing hasn't given sign makers the gumption to post their name to their signs. #OwnIt if you are going to #HangIt

  2. What a cowardly act. And also something one would have likely seen in Germany in March 1933. To quote Elvis Costello, "History repeats the old conceits...."

  3. We all have the choice, in times of crisis, to circle the wagons and demonize anyone "other" or to come together and recognize our shared humanity. Here's how Germantown officially addressed this serious situation with more compassion and less hostility:


    The Town of Germantown does not have the authority to shut down short term rentals. However, based on the latest governmental recommendation that anyone who recently left New York City should self-quarantine for fourteen days, we strongly urge those engaged in renting short term follow these important guidelines and limit rentals to two weeks or longer. Moreover, we strongly advise all hosts to require their renters to observe the 14-day self-quarantine recommendation of both state and county government.

    Germantown is a town that always welcomes visitors, and we ask that during this challenging time, all residents and guests join together and do their share to flatten the curve, stop the spread of the virus and protect our community.

    If we all work together and make the necessary sacrifices today we will get through this.

    Germantown Town Board

  4. That is very unfair Seth. Yikes. I know full well from personal experience that there are MANY New Yorkers traveling back and forth from the city every week just like normal. They are not quarantining for 2 weeks like they are supposed to, far from it. NYC is currently Corona virus capital of the world and these privileged rich folks think that they are above the rules. These posters are cowardly and wrong, no doubt. But maybe you need to take a moment and put yourself it the shoes of locals who are already wary of city folks. Don’t look down on them and call them Nazis! Show some compassion.

  5. I REALLY don’t think that calling people Nazis is a good way to go here. People are scared. Hudson is flooded with New Yorkers who are NOT following protocol. The posters are wrong. But maybe try to consider where they are coming from? Is that too much to ask?

    1. Not just New Yorkers without masks
      There are PLENTY of Hudsonites without protection

  6. Of course people are scared, no one has faced this type of pandemic before. However, these types of signs aren't a new thing to Hudson and they just feed off of people's fears and look to divide.

    Just last fall - during election season numerous posters floated around town, one linking me to a (fictional) white supremacist rally I was supposedly holding in 7th Street Park. These things are to strike more fear.

    And I agree - we do need to be urge vigilance with the self quarantine process for anyone who is travelling from NYC or anywhere there is a big outbreak, because we don't want an outbreak here.

    And it's great The Town of Germantown took the initiative to officially provide messaging to this. It would be nice if the example were not Germantown, but "the City of Hudson officially released recommendations."

    I sent an email to Common Council, cc'ing the Mayor's office, last week asking them to put forward a resolution or communication to support Gov Cuomo's mask EO released 2 Fridays ago.

    I asked that as I sit in my office at home on Warren street - a good 50% of people are not wearing masks in the downtown commercial district and you cannot socially distance on the sidewalks on Allen, Union, Warren, Columbia, State or the numbered streets. And as the weather gets better, the more people (residents) are out, walking in groups.

    The response of the CC President was: "About masks: there's no need for a resolution. The city can and does enforce the governor's order, when it finds those disobeying. In fact, the fine has been raised to one thousand dollars."

    First - Having no idea what mask fine was being referred to, I checked with Assemblymember Barrett's office & the Governor's office who confirmed there wasn't one. (We have a potential fine for large gatherings, not masks).
    Second - I am not using city resources, like the Police to enforce this - they have their hands full taking care of the city and residents.

    There's an opportunity for city government to look at a resolution and/or signage about social distancing, wearing masks and self quarantining and communicating this in the commercial district, on Allen/Union/Warren/Columbia/State not suggesting to call the police to enforce a non existent law.

    But instead - we get signs like this.

  7. As I begin to walk around a bit (and as I individual who is very vulnerable to the virus potentially adding me to the county's mortality roll if I contacted it), if someone is approaching me on the sidewalk I just circumvent them by walking on the street, and give them a wide berth, or if that is not possible change direction and turn away at the first location that gets me at least six feet (and preferably 10 feet), away. That works just fine in my hood - a very quiet corner slice of Hudson), but yes on Warren and with street traffic my MO would not work. The solution for me is to just avoid perambulating on Warren Street.

    After reading Mr. Bujan's exhortation and warning (I always take what that man says seriously), I just checked on the governor's order: masks are required in venues where the requisite social distancing is not possible. As more folks begin to venture out, that might force me off most streets. I don't want to get near other people whose virus "provenance" I don't know, mask or no mask. I have this nightmare of getting the virus and then dying slowly of asphyxiation (the ventilator being merely a device to extend the agony). I can't imagine a worse nightmare than that come to think of it. Too bad it has some nexus with reality, and will not go away when I wake up.

    I do have one request/suggestion for those of you blessed with a much more recent issue body than mine that has become much higher maintenance. If you see some old codger shuffling around, it would perhaps be polite if YOU took the initiative to give them a wide berth, as opposed to leaving such codgers to their own devices to weave and dodge around you, or turn to "flee" in the opposite direction. Just a thought.