N.Y. Today: Road repairs ahead, but where?

What you need to know for Monday.

It's Monday. We'll look at what the infrastructure bill will mean for New York. We'll also look at new delicatessens that are designed to look old.

Marian Carrasquero for The New York Times

With President Biden expected to sign the $1 trillion infrastructure bill on Monday, it's time for specifics — specifically, what the bill could mean for the New York region. How will it jump-start road and bridge repairs? Where will the construction signs and detours be?

The bill is expected to give several big mass-transit projects a green light, including an extension of the Second Avenue subway in Manhattan (with four new stations) and a plan for a new railroad tunnel between New York and New Jersey. The bill is also expected to help cover the cost of cleaning up contaminated ground water and improving sewers in New York City.

The transportation-related funding in the bill, about 80 percent, is targeted at highways and road projects. Much of the rest will go to public transit. "Given that we're staring down a climate catastrophe," said Felicia Park-Rogers, the director of regional infrastructure projects for the Tri-State Transportation Campaign, a transit advocacy group, "this is not what we would like to see."

But officials want to address drivers' gripes about deteriorating roads and bridges. Timothy Kennedy, a Democrat who chairs the State Senate's transportation committee, said that more than 1,700 bridges and 7,300 miles of highways and local roads in New York State are in poor condition. Money from the infrastructure bill would go a long way toward repairing them, he said. But state agencies will have some flexibility on spending and could use highway funds for bike lanes, said Kate Slevin, the executive vice president of the Regional Plan Association, an urban policy group.


In New York City, Henry Gutman, the transportation commissioner, expects the bill to cover badly needed repairs to the well-worn Brooklyn-Queens Expressway, which is pummeled and pounded daily by 150,000 cars and trucks.

Transit systems could be transformed.

Transit agencies are expected to spend much of the money they get on major projects, but not all involve shiny new train cars or state-of-the-art signal equipment. The Metropolitan Transportation Authority — which operates the subways and buses in New York, along with two commuter rail lines — will spend some of its $10 billion on making its system more accessible.

Only about a quarter of the city's 472 subway stations are wheelchair-accessible now. Adding elevators and ramps is expensive in older stations.

Another chunk of the M.T.A.'s allocation could improve the Jamaica Station in Queens, built more than 100 years ago. Hundreds of thousands of Long Island Rail Road riders depend on the tangle of train lines that come together there every day.


Republicans who backed the bill face a backlash.

Of the 13 Republicans who supported the bill, four were from New York. On Long Island, a man was arrested Wednesday after making death threats against Representative Andrew Garbarino. The Washington office of Representative Nicole Malliotakis, whose district covers Staten Island and parts of Brooklyn, has received several angry phone calls.

Representative Tom Reed, whose upstate district includes Corning and Ithaca, said his office had received several "aggressive" calls about his vote. But he said he believed that most of his constituents supported the bill.

"A lot of what's driven this opposition was purely politically motivated," Mr. Reed said.


Partly sunny with a slight chance of showers throughout the day and temps in the high 40s. Clear skies and windy at night with temps in the mid-30s.



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Caitlin Ochs for The New York Times

Designer delis

Nothing says "New York" like a somewhat shabby shop that sells lox and bagels. But as the city's delicatessens were threatened with extinction, something happened. New look-alikes sprang up — delis designed to look old and authentic.

New York was once a checkerboard of Jewish neighborhoods, with one or more kosher delis upholding Orthodox dietary strictures every few blocks. By one count, New York had upward of 1,500 Jewish delis in the 1930s. Undercut by changing demographics and a new aversion to the mainstays on their menus — fat, carbohydrates and salt — delis disappeared. The number dropped into the 10s.

Now there are the look-alikes. "For those of us who grew up with the Jewish delis owned by our parents' or grandparents' generation, there's an upside and a downside to revisionist Jewish cuisine," Karrie Jacobs wrote in The Times's recent special section on design. "On the one hand, excellent bagels, lox and cured meats are now wonderfully easy to obtain. On the other hand, there's something slightly off-kilter about this attempt to resuscitate, through deft branding, the cranky, cerebral, irreverent Jewish culture that was once a dominant feature of New York City's character."

She says the standard-bearer for these mixed emotions might be Frankel's Delicatessen & Appetizing in Greenpoint, Brooklyn. It was started five years ago by two brothers, Zach and Alex Frankel. The idea emerged after a long wait at Russ & Daughters, one of the last of the authentic places on the Lower East Side in Manhattan. Katz's Delicatessen, also on East Houston Street, is another.

"People would always ask us, do you think there's enough Jewish people who live in Greenpoint?" Frankel recalled. Their reply: "That's not necessarily who we're building this for." Now, the clientele at lunch rush is "a wild mix of, of characters," he said. They order more bacon than any other kind of meat.

Another revisionist deli opened in Midtown Manhattan late last year — the USA Brooklyn Delicatessen, a couple of blocks from where the Carnegie Deli served overstuffed sandwiches until it closed in 2016. Owned by Shelly Fireman, who also created the Brooklyn Diner around the corner, its inspiration isn't Jewish food, per se, but the supremely marketable concept known as Brooklyn.

Its Times Square-ish visual style was the work of the graphic designer Paula Scher. Karrie Jacobs writes that Scher's contribution to the emerging generation of Jewish-style delis is arguably an attempt to elevate pastiche into high culture. It "had to scream 'deli,'" Scher said. But "in an art way."

The TriBeCa branch of Zuckers, a six-store chain that opened in 2006, is not exactly derivative of Jewish eateries — except for the logo, which suggests that Zucker's has been around forever. It was hand-drawn in 2016 by the restaurant branding firm Memo. Douglas Riccardi, the principal of Memo, said the message was that Zucker's "is now firmly rooted in legacy, upholding the seminal New York bagels and lox mystique."

What we're reading


Temporary vigilance

Dear Diary:

I was eating a sesame bagel and leisurely drinking coffee at a bagel shop when a young woman at an adjoining table asked if I would watch her laptop. She said she would be back shortly.

A half-hour later, she had not returned.

Two construction workers in hard hats sat down at the table she had vacated.

"I'd like to ask you for a favor," I said to them, explaining about the laptop. "I thought she went next door to the health food store. I have to leave."

"Maybe she went for a job interview," one of the men said.

"She was properly dressed in a suit," I said. "But why not take her laptop along?"

"Maybe she went to visit her boyfriend," the other man said.

"Possibly," I said. "But again, why not take the laptop along?"

"Wherever she is, she knows the laptop is safe with you," the first man said. "But we'll watch it."

I thanked them and left. Later, I worried that I had not behaved responsibly. So, the next day I went to the bagel shop to make sure it was intact.

To my relief, it was.

Helen Tzagoloff

Glad we could get together here. See you tomorrow. — J.B.

Isabella Paoletto, Jeffrey Furticella, Rick Martinez and Olivia Parker contributed to New York Today. You can reach the team at nytoday@nytimes.com.

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