New York City Severs Ties With Trump’s Company

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Weather: Mostly cloudy with a high in the upper-40s, turning partly cloudy tonight with the temperature falling to the mid-30s.

Alternate-side parking: In effect until Monday (Martin Luther King Jr. Day).

President Trump’s name has been vanishing across New York for years: off a hotel in SoHo, a condominium on the Upper West Side, and off ice-skating rinks in Central Park.

Yesterday, Mayor Bill de Blasio decided to take it a step further. He said that the city would terminate its contracts with Mr. Trump and his company because the president had incited violence at the Capitol.

“The contracts make it very clear if a company or the leadership of that company is engaged in criminal activity, we have the right to sever the contract,” Mr. de Blasio said on MSNBC. “Inciting an insurrection against the United States government clearly constitutes criminal activity.”

[New York City will end contracts with the Trump Organization.]

The Trump Organization operates four attractions in the city: two ice-skating rinks at Central Park, the Central Park Carousel and the Trump Golf Links at Ferry Point in the Bronx. (The Trump name was quietly removed from the skating rinks in 2019.) The company has had profits of about $17 million a year from the contracts, Mr. de Blasio said.

“They will profit no longer,” he added.

The mayor said the cancellation of the carousel and ice skating agreements could take effect within 30 days. The golf course contract is more complex and could take months to void.

Mr. de Blasio’s administration has looked to cut ties with the president’s company several times in recent years. The first was in 2015 when Mr. Trump made derogatory remarks about Latinos. Then in 2018, the mayor’s office evaluated the legal troubles of Mr. Trump’s former lawyer, Michael Cohen, to see if they were enough to cut contractual ties.

But this time, Mr. de Blasio said he is confident the city is on a “strong legal ground” to void the contracts.

The mayor said he expects the Trump Organization to challenge the city’s decision in court. And that is exactly what the company intends to do, Amanda Miller, a spokeswoman for the Trump Organization, told my colleague Emma Fitzsimmons.

“The City of New York has no legal right to end our contracts and if they elect to proceed, they will owe the Trump Organization over $30 million,” Ms. Miller said in a statement. “We plan to fight vigorously.”

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The Mini Crossword: Here is today’s puzzle.

The Governors Ball Music Festival is slated to take place in September. [Daily News]

A Metropolitan Transportation Authority employee is accused of racially profiling a group of boys at a Brooklyn subway stop. [Gothamist]

Some real estate leaders are working to turn vacant retail stores into coronavirus testing sites. [NBC]

The Times’s Sarah Bahr writes:

To help revive New York’s arts and entertainment industry, a new public-private partnership will soon offer a series of statewide pop-up concerts featuring artists such as Amy Schumer, Chris Rock, Renée Fleming and Hugh Jackman.

The state will also, according to Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo, begin a pilot program to explore how socially distant performances might be held safely in flexible venues whose seating is not fixed, and work with the Mellon Foundation to distribute grants to put more than 1,000 artists back to work and provide money to community arts groups.

The steps were announced by the governor this week as he outlined his agenda for the state.

The public-private partnership, New York Arts Revival, which will offer performances featuring more than 150 artists beginning Feb. 4, will be spearheaded by the producers Scott Rudin and Jane Rosenthal, along with the New York State Council on the Arts.

The plan will culminate with the opening of Little Island, the parklike pier being built downtown in the Hudson River by Barry Diller, and with the Tribeca Film Festival in June.

“Cities are, by definition, centers of energy, entertainment, theater and cuisine,” Mr. Cuomo said on Tuesday. “Without that activity and attraction, cities lose much of their appeal. What is a city without social, cultural and creative synergies?”

He added, “We must bring arts and culture back to life.”

It’s Thursday — get creative.

Dear Diary:

It was summer 1972, and my art history class at Michigan State University had organized a trip to New York. It was my first visit to the city.

One of my classmates, a man I regarded as kind of nerdy, accompanied the rest of the group to all of the museums, galleries and other destinations, but he didn’t come along for any of the restaurant meals or shopping trips.

I didn’t have much money, but I was determined to soak up as much of the culture, wine and Italian food as I could, and to bring home some cute new clothes as well. I spent every extra penny I had enjoying all the city had to offer.

When we were boarding our flight home, I was surprised to see the classmate who had skipped the restaurants and shopping with a large package under his arm. I did not remember seeing him buy anything during the trip.

“What’s that?” I asked.

“I saved all my money by not eating and bought this painting by an artist named Brice Marden,” he said.

I asked how much he had paid.

“Two hundred fifty dollars,” he said.

I wonder what happened to that young man with such great taste and so much self-discipline.

— Maureen Knoll

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