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De Blasio Is Losing Control Of NYC

… as the people take over.

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ASTORIA, NYC- I posted yesterday about how the pandemic was over in NYC. This was my neighborhood last night, a few blocks from my apartment:

Meanwhile the authorities are yapping about Covid and how all their hard work keeping us locked indoors and illegally shuttering businesses is going to be wasted. But what were they saying as tens of thousands of protestors / rioters were yelling in screaming in the streets, fighting cops, and smashing windows? Nothing. Apparently, if you go out into the streets and say black lives matter you’re not spreading Covid, but if you go into the streets and say or do anything else you’re killing old people and risking our re-opening “privileges” being revoked, as though our government officials are nannies whose job it is to scold us.

But I’m not sure if they even have that power anymore. People came from all over the city and took over Steinway last night. They turned the place into a giant street party — they were selling booze out of the trunk of cars and setting off fireworks — and the police did nothing. The few police who showed up did little other than ask the drivers of a few illegally parked cars to move.

The city hung their police out to dry and now they’re paying the price. They undermined their authority and implicitly gave people the go ahead to resist them. They cut their budget. They cut down an effective anti-crime unit. They did little as police officers were violently attacked — the guy who put a cop in a headlock on video last week was released without charges. Now the city expects the police to go out and shut down an unruly drunken mob who has had enough of the lockdown, the restrictions, the bullshit who just want to go out and have fun again.

It’s not going to happen.

As New Yorkers are shooting each other at a rate unseen in decades, beating cops on bridges, and engaging in wide-scale civil disobedience it’s not my impression that a Steinway street party is very high on the police’s list of priorities.

The BLM protests showed us how tenuous the city’s grip on control is, and I don’t believe this was lost on anyone. The people of New York have taken over the city, and they know it. There may be something historic in this.

I’m going to walk over to Steinway tonight …

On top of all of this NY State just announced another idiotic social / commercial restriction: people are no longer free to go to a bar and just order alcohol. Nope, we now need to buy food in order to get a beer. The rationale — if there’s any — is that the state wants to limit the number of people in bars, and they are doing this by raising the price required to drink.

But it seems to be backfiring. Most bars seem to not be enforcing the new regulation while others came up with a clever work around: a $1 food menu. So if you want to drink you need to pay $1 for some chips or pickles or something. It’s just another hoop that the government is trying to make people jump through, and we’re all so fucking sick of it.

This regulation went into place two days ago … so, from the view on Steinway last night, it’s clearly not working.



Filed under: Drink Drank Drunk, Epidemics, New York City, USA

About the Author:

I am the founder and editor of Vagabond Journey. I’ve been traveling the world since 1999, through 90 countries. I am the author of the book, Ghost Cities of China and have written for The Guardian, Forbes, Bloomberg, The Diplomat, the South China Morning Post, and other publications. has written 3691 posts on Vagabond Journey. Contact the author.

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VBJ is currently in: Trenton, Maine

11 comments… add one

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  • Rusty Amoroso July 18, 2020, 10:06 pm

    Clearly a new movement has started,,, #FunLivesMatter

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    • Vagabond Journey July 23, 2020, 2:58 pm

      Haha I should apply to have that painted down the middle of Steinway.

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  • Trevor Warman July 19, 2020, 1:38 am


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    • Vagabond Journey July 23, 2020, 2:59 pm

      Haha even better.

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  • Jack July 19, 2020, 10:39 am

    ha! I saw that news story and was thinking two things: 1) I’ll bet Wade was there taking and pictures and 2) I’ll bet Wade will write about it. You didn’t waste any time.

    I think all of these lockdowns and mandates are rather pointless. It needs to be voluntary. Completely voluntary. You can’t force people to do the right thing, but the government thinks that is the way. You can only teach people correct principles and let them make their own decisions. Ah but they don’t want to do that because those correct principles might be that government has cucked up everything and they aren’t to be trusted.

    They have done nothing but lied to us since this all started and when the government lies, people come up with conspiracies to make sense of the lies.

    Look at masks, in February and March we were were being told not to wear masks and that it would be worse for us. By the end of March, they had decided that we needed to wear masks. People like me were calling BS on the Fauci and his buddies in February by saying that the only reason why they were saying that was because they got caught flat footed and didn’t have enough masks for health care workers. The government lied to us. They could have said in February that yes masks might be effective, but we don’t have enough. They told us it wasn’t airborne, but experts like Osterholm were telling anyone that would listen that it was aerosolized. In June the government finally admitted that it was true.

    Oh yeah and back to masks, they are now telling us that they are the be all and end all and if we all wear our masks then this will be over in a few weeks. That’s bullshit lies as well. The cloth masks they have people wearing are of limited effectiveness. It is SOMETHING but it’s not everything. Lower viral loads are associated with better disease outcomes. But are they telling us that? Wear a mask, you still might get sick but it will be milder and soon everyone will have it and we will go on with our lives.

    I see stupidity wherever I go. Some woman in line at the minimart was running her hands all over the donut packages. Do you need really need to inspect the package that well to see it’s a maple bar? She didn’t even buy any , but she did run her hands over all of them. Nobody thought that was out of the ordinary but then those Magas will complain about how Mexicans sell their sweet breads and how grossed out they were about street food in the developing world.

    I have only been grossed out a few times about food cleanliness. One was in Penang when a rat ran across my foot(I was in sandals). One was this woman running her hands over the donuts. Heck, I think I’ve only had food poisoning a half a dozen times in my life and at least half of those times have been in the US. I didn’t even get sick in Mexico after getting out of jail and having just 2 pesos to my name(until a Mexican bank deposit was made) and needing to drink tap water. (On a side note, the purification method given in the People’s Guide to Mexico when needing to drink tap water in Mexico is quite effective: Say Pura three times before drinking the water)

    Let’s go to Mexico!

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    • Vagabond Journey July 23, 2020, 3:16 pm

      Haha yes! The lockdown — or even any reopening strategies — are completely pointless when tens of thousands of people are permitted to go out and yell shit about the government and riot. The hypocrisy in New York is insane. There are protests daily with thousands of people gathered in packed groups (most not wearing masks — as if they even do anything anyway) and that’s completely alright — protesters are even exempt from contract tracing. But people going out and drinking with their friends in bars … that’s dangerous. People coming in from out of state to see their families .. they need to be quarantined. If you’re going to have policies then you need to apply them to everyone for all reasons. If you don’t, first off, they’re not going to be effective, secondly, it’s going to make the government look completely hypocritical, inneffective, and untrustworthy. Either people should socially distance or they shouldn’t — any exceptions renders the policy bullshit.

      “You can only teach people correct principles and let them make their own decisions. Ah but they don’t want to do that because those correct principles might be that government has cucked up everything and they aren’t to be trusted.”


      “They have done nothing but lied to us since this all started and when the government lies, people come up with conspiracies to make sense of the lies.”

      Very true. We fill in the blanks when it’s clear there are gaps in their narratives.

      Very true. There was that German study that basically came out on day one that said it was airborne. It took them months to admit it. Are they really this incompetent or do they have an agenda? Insert conspiracy theory here.

      On masks:

      We’re going to look back on this time in ten or twenty years and laugh about how stupid we were thinking that a cotton cloth stopped the flow of viruses. There are three new studies out now that Covid aerosols are part of the fluid air and basically nearly all masks are pointless. I haven’t dug into them yet, so I’m not going to say much about this right now.

      “Let’s go to Mexico!”

      Good call!

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      • Jack July 26, 2020, 5:58 pm

        I would hope(but in this climate I am probably foolhardy on this) that most reasonable and educated people would realize that no mask is going to 100% stop a virus particle. An N95 mask won’t and neither will a cloth mask. A N95 mask will stop considerably more than a cloth mask and a cloth mask will stop more than no mask at all.

        If an N95 mask was good enough, you wouldn’t need haz mat suits with respirators. If cloth masks were good enough, they would replace N95 masks and haz mat suits.

        The truth is that it’s really all about probabilities. I could go deep inside the numbers, but I won’t. the explanation above sets it out.

        But what are we being told? One side, we are being told that masks are the be all end all of this pandemic. If we just use our masks then no one will get sick and grandma lives! The other side is just the same: Wear a mask and you are sheep, they do absolutely nothing to protect you and just you from being able to breath.

        Before I go on, let me say this: I believe that voting is an illusion. The two political parties are one and the same and are designed to enforce the status quo. I also believe they invent opposition so that people are more easily put into different camps.

        The truth is that neither side is right and they are both out to kill grandma, me, and you whether it is through this virus or through economic peril, or mental breakdown or something else. It doesn’t matter to them.

        You’ve traveled enough around the world to know this, I think. I’ve spent my time in the developing world and in country after country, it’s always the same when it comes to governments and what games they play. I never really saw it the same in the US until I came back and saw it with eyes that had seen other countries. It makes me unable to have political conversations in the US…..I see the bullshit of both sides and it smells pretty much the same. And I also find it hard to deal with because I do find myself being pulled in different directions.


        The truth is rather simple: Masks are harmless to wear and can lead to better disease outcomes by reducing the viral loads that we are exposed to. If you can reduce your initial inoculum then your body is better able to fight off the virus. The masks won’t keep you from getting the virus. It won’t keep grandma from getting the virus, but when grandma gets it, hopefully the inoculum she gets is so low that her body fights it off and she lives. (Hopefully, you are making sure grandma gets her vitamins as well.)

        Do you hear any politician(and Fauci and his gang count as politicians, you can’t get high in any agency without politics…we aren’t a meritocracy) saying this? Do you hear the experts saying the simple truth? No…but you should ask yourself why. Ask yourself why there is a push in two seemingly divergent directions.

        And that’s where people start coming up with conspiracies.

        And maybe I should go to Mexico. πŸ˜‰

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        • Vagabond Journey August 3, 2020, 12:22 pm

          Hello Jack, I can sort of get on board with your take on masks. If you feel more comfortable with them, then go for it. From my research it seems as if N99 and N100 masks work if put on properly. However, I don’t believe that I’ve ever noticed anyone wearing this type of mask. N95 masks are like “throwing sand through a chain link fence,” and cotton masks do next to nothing. So pretty much what you said.

          What I find appalling is how governments and health organizations are requiring them when pretty much all of the data says they don’t work. Even the WHO has this opinion. This is from a memo they published in June:

          “Meta-analyses in systematic literature reviews have reported that the use of N95 respirators compared with the use of medical masks is not associated with any statistically significant lower risk of the clinical respiratory illness outcomes or laboratory-confirmed influenza or viral infections …

          The use of cloth masks (referred to as fabric masks in this document) as an alternative to medical masks is not considered appropriate for protection of health workers based on limited available evidence …

          At present, there is no direct evidence (from studies on COVID- 19 and in healthy people in the community) on the effectiveness of universal masking of healthy people in the community to prevent infection with respiratory viruses, including COVID-19.”


          This is what the WHO had to say in May:

          Here’s one from the CDC:

          “In our systematic review, we identified 10 RCTs [randomized controlled trials] that reported estimates of the effectiveness of face masks in reducing laboratory-confirmed influenza virus infections in the community from literature published during 1946–July 27, 2018. In pooled analysis, we found no significant reduction in influenza transmission with the use of face masks …

          Disposable medical masks (also known as surgical masks) are loose-fitting devices that were designed to be worn by medical personnel to protect accidental contamination of patient wounds, and to protect the wearer against splashes or sprays of bodily fluids …

          There is limited evidence for their effectiveness in preventing influenza virus transmission either when worn by the infected person for source control or when worn by uninfected persons to reduce exposure.

          Our systematic review found no significant effect of face masks on transmission of laboratory-confirmed influenza … In this review, we did not find evidence to support a protective effect of personal protective measures or environmental measures in reducing influenza transmission.”


          Aren’t we supposed to be listening to the WHO and CDC? Aren’t they they only ones permitted to speak about this?

          If someone wants people to wear masks in their home or store, that’s cool. When I was in FL most places didn’t give a shit and you didn’t have to wear them but the business that did you just masked up and it was no big deal.

          What gets me is that governments are imposing policy that’s completely not backed by science to make it seem as if they are doing something to save is so they can claim victory when the virus goes away naturally (as it has in NY).

          What odd world is this when the public can be so easily duped when there is hard evidence to the contrary everywhere? Information was supposed to set us free but it seems to have done just the opposite. I don’t get it, man.

          But it does make me miss the days of being in someone else’s country where I have no idea what’s going on and have no place in the national discourse. Life is sometimes much better on the sidelines haha.

          I agree with you about government. I believe our positions may actually be a little more reversed if I was in Iowa and you were in NYC!

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  • Bob L July 19, 2020, 1:04 pm

    The next 2 to 4 weeks should be interesting. It will give us more data points than all the Guv studies to date.

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    • Vagabond Journey July 23, 2020, 3:18 pm

      That’s true. They are doing widespread testing now and it’s going to be interesting to watch how this plays out … well, if that family in Kentucky who were put on official house arrest with ankle bracelets because the wife refused to sign a quarantine document doesn’t scare everyone off from being tested (husband and kid weren’t even tested).

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  • Jeffrey July 24, 2020, 11:54 pm

    Hey Wade, you had asked me a month or so ago if I’d be interested in typing up a report from here in Ningbo, China. I’d like to do that, but how do I send that on to you? You could send me a note via my email on the process.

    Yes, I’m still in Ningbo, waiting for more countries to open up–and also for plane fares to come down. Right now they’re way too high.

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