What Tribecans cared about in 2020

When the shutdown started in March, I thought, “What will there be to write about?” Ha. The news — both good and bad — has not stopped, even in our quiet corner of the city. Of the 1,079 posts published on Tribeca Citizen in 2020, here are the 25 to receive the most traffic (in descending order).

1. Andy Koutsoudakis Sr., owner of Tribeca’s Kitchen, dies from the coronavirus
As we were all just coming to terms with the impact of the coronavirus, it hit home — hard — with the death of one of the founders of Gee Whiz. (Pictured with his son, Andreas)

2. Exactly what is going on at Whole Foods??
On March 2, the shelves at Whole Foods were stripped bare as panicked shoppers prepared for what we thought would be a disruption in food delivery. It seems quaint now.

3.Peter Panayiotou, the owner of Gee Whiz, dies from the coronavirus
In news that seemed too hard to believe, Peter Panayiotou, the longtime owner of Gee Whiz, died just nine days after his former partner and owner of Tribeca’s Kitchen, Andy Koutsoudakis.

4. Verrazzano Bridge toll will soon go both ways
The MTA announced that the SI-BK connector would be tolled in both directions after 35 years of one-way westbound tolling, and comments went both ways too.

5. After 147 years at the Seaport, The Paris Café is closing for good
The Seaport stalwart closed after a century and a half, but was resurrected by the owner of the building.

6. Chase and Capital One to close local branches
Two branches close, and readers note several others had followed.

7. Dr. Nisar Quraishi dies from the coronavirus at 74
The longtime local GP — who had treated generations of patients over the course of a 44-year career here, died of the coronavirus in April. The post received 111 comments from readers, many of whom had been patients of his for decades.

8. Dave Matthews coming to Barnes & Noble today
Fans of the rocker slept out overnight on the sidewalk in front of the store in early March to see him read from his new children’s book.

9. The city releases positive COVID-19 cases by zip code
It was early April and we were all desperate for data. This was the Department of Health’s first release of covid cases by neighborhood.

10. The Odeon responds to The New Yorker
Odeon owner Lynn Wagenknecht comments on the site, defending her restaurant after the New Yorker published some snarky — and false — commentary. Readers rushed to her defense.

11. Are Tribecans moving to the suburbs?
The jury is still out on this one, but back in June, the neighborhood seemed dead.

12. Patron of the New patrons robbed at gunpoint
In the first of two violent incidents on Franklin Street, customers of Patron of the New were robbed in broad daylight as the thieves brandish guns on the street.

13. Downtown street photographer Robert Herman dies at 64
A successful street photographer who struggled with mental health issues jumped to his death from 400 Chambers. His work reflected a sense of isolation, making it — and his death at this time — that much more poignant.

14. “It feels like being at Burning Man in your living room.”
Maskless raves with hundreds on the roof and terrace of 46 Lispenard — some that go on till 8 a.m. — drive neighbors to the edge of despair.

15. Neighbors prepare to fight the expansion of a homeless shelter in Fidi
Upper West Side residents hired lawyers to push a group of homeless men out of a residence there, and the city was prepared to move them to the Radisson Hotel. Neighbors here took up the same fight. The saga continues.

16. Tetsu will close on Friday
Celebrated chef Masa Takayama’s more casual robata and the downstairs addition of Masa’s raw bar on Leonard closed on Feb. 7 — just in time.

17. Four shots fired on Franklin Street
This was the second incident involving guns in front of the high-end fashion boutique Patron of the New within a month; this time no one was robbed or injured.

18. Nosy Neighbor: Why does the NYPD have West Broadway closed?
The NYPD had the vestigial remains of the uptown portion of West Broadway — between Lispenard and Canal — barricaded to traffic, along with the easternmost lane of Sixth Avenue.

19. A new kind of “Cocoon” coming to Best Market space
A “community space for modern families” started by local investors came before CB1 for a liquor license, and caused a stir for taking over the former supermarket.

20. Still Cooking: Local restaurants are providing takeout and delivery
Starting in mid-March I kept a running list of the restaurants delivering or providing takeout menus, including some with creative solutions. (And there’s a new list on the site now, linked from the house ad on the left.)

21. New bakery coming to the Maison Kayser space
A bakery from the Flatiron is poised to take over the Maison Kayser space at Greenwich and Harrison sometime in the next couple months.

22. Amish Market will close permanently this month
The grocery store and prepared foods market that had been a staple downtown since 1999 was barely hanging on with 10 percent of revenue coming in, and couldn’t make it any longer.

23. New York Sports Club and Flywheel both on the brink
Struggling even before the coronavirus hit, both fitness companies closed locations around the country.

24. Man dies after falling to Washington Street
A man died after falling from 440 Washington, just south of Desbrosses. Little other detail had emerged at that time.

25. Frenchette Bakery has opened in the arcade
Nice to end on a happy note. The owners of Frenchette resurrected the Arcade Bakery space, filling it with the wafting scent of hope.


••• What Tribecans cared about in 2019
••• What Tribecans cared about in 2018
••• What Tribecans cared about in 2017
••• What Tribecans cared about in 2016