The Briefly for May 29, 2020 – The “Our ‘Let Someone Else Figure It Out’ Mayor” Weekend Edition

Today’s daily NYC news digest: The future of movie theaters, George Floyd demonstrations, the city’s contact tracing program is a mess, the Tompkins Square hawks grow up, and more

Today – Low: 69˚ High: 75˚
Possible drizzle overnight.
This weekend – Low: 53˚ High: 79˚

The City Council is pushing a sidewalk-table bill forward that would allow restaurants to apply for permits that would expire on October 31 for outdoor dining. This isn’t a revolutionary idea, even Cincinnatti got it done already. Mayor de Blasio’s complete lack of leadership constantly leaves voids for others to fill. (Gabriel Sandoval for The City)

When the city starts phase one of reopening, employees of construction jobs, wholesale, manufacturing, agriculture, and retail companies (with safety procedures in place) can go back to work. This will mean somewhere between 200,000 and 400,000 New Yorkers will return to work. (Shaye Weaver for Time Out)

Once New yorkers start to get back to work, how are they getting there? Are the city and state committed to making sure that our public transportation can get those workers to work safely? Our mayor, not known for being proactive, is leaving that decision up to workers and is expecting that the “short-term reality” is that there will be a spike in drivers. No talk about making sure the subways and buses are safe and will be ready no conversation about more opportunities for bicycles, just more cars. (Elizabeth Kim for Gothamist)

All the borough presidents have sent a letter to the mayor demanding the city set aside 40 miles of “emergency” bus lanes to get ahead of the expected car congestion. My favorite bit of reporting from this article is “In a press conference on Thursday, the mayor did not allude specifically to the letters, but told reporters that he’s thinking about what to do, but hasn’t done anything yet.” Beautiful. (Gersh Kuntzman for Streetsblog)

So you’ve made sourdough bread, countless cocktails, Shake Shack sauces, Junior’s cheesecakes, and pizza at home during the pandemic. What’s next? Boba Guys have a DIY bubble tea kit. (Bao Ong for Time Out)

The same groups that sued the city over its stop-and-frisk policy have sued the city over the NYPD’s Covid-19 social distancing enforcement, calling it “stop and frisk 2.0.” Their original case against the city led to a ruling that declared stop and frisk unconstitutional and racially discriminatory. (Kevin Duggan for amNewYork Metro)

Union Square was full of protestors on Thursday night as a part of nationwide demonstrations sparked by the killing of George Floyd by the Minneapolis police. The demonstrators were met with an aggressive police presence, including an eye witness seeing an officer put a knee on someone’s neck as a part of their arrest. Another rally is planned for 4 pm in Foley Square and at night outside the Barclays Center. (Jake Offenhartz for Gothamist)

Photos: 10 weeks of a quiet Tribeca. (Tribeca Citizen)

Video: Over 100 years of bread-baking experience at Madonia Bakery in the Bronx. (Ed García Conde for Welcome2TheBronx)

Williamsburg has a new mural, courtesy of street artist Swoon, on S. Fifth Street. (Rose Adams for Brooklyn Paper)

When we think back to what was different about the summer of 2020, the return of drive-in movies to the city should be close to the top of the list. (Erika Adams for Eater)

Five tech-forward strategies restaurants are testing to ease back into dining in NYC. (Tanay Warerkar for Eater)

The Times’ review of the animated “Central Park” on Apple TV+ from the makers of Bob’s Burgers: “Delightful, not depressing.” (James Poniewozik for NY Times)

Video: The stunning sights of empty NYC landmarks. (Shaye Weaver for Time Out)

One of the reasons that I love New York City is that a headline that reads “Gay, democratic-socialist candidate leads Clinton Hill state senate race in fundraising” is not remotely out of the ordinary. One reason Jabari Brisport is out ahead for his senate race is the support of Bernie Sanders’ Our Revolution. (Matt Tracy for Brooklyn Paper)

A feature on artist Sara Erenthal, whose work you’ve likely strewn about the city, and her latest series of work dedicated to the city under lockdown. (Howard Halle for Time Out)

How many of the city’s 1.1 million students are taking classes online? Don’t ask the Department of Education. No, seriously, don’t ask because they don’t know. (Jessica Gould for Gothamist)

Movie theaters are a part of phase four of New York’s reopening plan, which could be July or later. What will movie theaters look like when they reopen? (Collier Sutter for Time Out)

No mask, no service. The governor signed an executive order allowing businesses to refuse service to people for not wearing masks. (Kathleen Culliton for Patch)

Video: Maybe it was partially inspired by this video of Staten Islanders screaming at an unmasked woman to get the hell out of a grocery store until she left. (TMZ)

How do you wear a mask to a bar or restaurant? Good question. Grub Street dives in. (Chris Crowley for Grub Street)

Bobby Catone, known jackass and owner of a tanning salon on Staten Island, opened his tanning salon for a moment on Thursday morning when he was warned by police he could be thrown in jail and have his license revoked if he disobeys and opens his salon again. (David Cruz for Gothamist)

Apartment Porn: Hillary Swank’s former townhouse in the West Village sold for $9.8 million. (Devin Gannon for 6sqft)

More than 190,000 New Yorkers applied for unemployment last week as national joblessness rates reached 41 million. (Kathleen Culliton for Patch)

The city supposedly hired over 1,700 contract tracers, but the reality of the situation is uncertain and the blame is being put on Mayor de Blasio for making NYC Health & Hospitals in charge of the effort instead of the Department of Health. (Jake Offenhartz for Gothamist)

The Brooklyn Museum will become a temporary food pantry starting in June. (Emma Orlow for Time Out)

It’s art you’ll need a drone to appreciate. Jorge Rodriguez-Gerada is painting a 20,000 square-foot mural in Flushing Meadows/Corona Park. (Howard Halle for Time Out)

Photos: The Tompkins Square hawks are growing up right before our eyes. (Lauge Goggin Photography)

The mayor is flirting with a financial tactic with the intention of digging the city out of its current financial hole that brought the city to the brink of bankruptcy in the 1970s. The idea is to borrow up to $7 billion from the state, which would put the city on the hook for $500 million payments for the next twenty years. The idea was called “fiscally questionable” by the governor. (Luis Ferré-Sadurní, Jeffery C. Mays and Jesse McKinley for NY Times)

Thank you to reader Laura for today’s featured photo!

The Briefly for May 28, 2020 – The “Can You Spare $9 Billion?” Edition

Today’s daily NYC news digest: Farewell to Train Daddy for real, Mayor de Blasio continues to be content to not lead, one of the happiest places in NYC, and more

Today – Low: 64˚ High: 69˚
Overcast throughout the day.

The city remains on PAUSE, with 5/7 metrics met.

Andy Byford, you’re gone for real. Train Daddy is headed to London to become their new Transport Commissioner. (Benjamin Kabak for Second Ave Sagas)

When New York City beings phase one of reopening, does the MTA have a plan to allow that to happen? We’ve heard multiple ideas floated in the last few months for the subways, but the MTA hasn’t yet put forward their plan on how to deal with construction and manufacturing workers returning to their jobs. Stephen Nessen and Christopher Robbins for Gothamist)

Curbed puts it best: Did New York City just give up on public transit? (Alissa Walker for Curbed)

Got $9 billion to spare? New York could use it. The city’s budget is due by the end of June and with a $9 billion hole to crawl out of, things are likely to get worse before they get better. (Kathleen Culliton for Patch)

Say hello to Bobby Catone, the city’s biggest jackass. He plans on opening his Staten Island tanning salon to the public today in defiance of the governor’s orders. (Amanda Farinacci for NY1)

It seems that when people fled New York City, they also left behind their census forms. Also: An interactive map to see how you’re district is responding to the 2020 census. (Rachel Holliday Smith for The City)

The coronavirus layoffs are hitting Black households in New York harder than white households. 44% of Black households have seen a layoff compared to 27% of white households, but 84% of Black voters feared reopening too quickly compared to 59% white. There’s a reason for that fear, more than double the number of Black New Yorkers have died during the pandemic than white New Yorkers. (Kathleen Culliton for Patch)

Photos: Construction on “Little Island,” the two-acre park being built on Pier 55 is progressing ahead of its scheduled spring 2021 opening. (Devin Gannon for 6sqft)

A bodybag protest was laid at the doorstep of city hall to show the plight of homeless New Yorkers, who crowd into the city’s shelters every night. Protesters demanded the city open up hotel rooms as an alternative to crowded shelters. (Toss Maisel for amNewYork Metro)

Okay, we’re all sick of cooking every meal for ourselves, right? Here comes WoodSpoon to allow you to order home-cooked meals prepared by out-of-work chefs. (Emma Orlow for Time Out)

The New York Public Library is considering curbside service at libraries. Reserve your book in advance and swing by a kiosk to pick it up. If it can happen at Best Buy without the pandemic, it can happen at the NYPL during it. (Reuven Blau for The City)

A look inside a plasma donation center, which the Times is calling “one of the happiest places in New York.” (Eliza Shapiro for NY Times)

Beyond Sushi is opening a ghost kitchen in Long Island City. (Jacob Kaye for QNS)

The city has offered very little in terms of help for restaurant and bar owners and has offered absolutely nothing in terms of a plan for reopening. Not only have they offered nothing in terms of help, but Mayor de Blasio is also stepping up enforcement of bars and restaurants in nine neighborhoods. Where the hell has the “Nightlife Mayor” been on this? Isn’t this a job specifically designed for them to be helping with? (Erika Adams for Eater)

The mayor’s response to this entire crisis has been to sit back and let other cities lead. Instead of leading the city’s help and support restaurants and bars and small businesses, he sits on his hands and watches. (Gersh Kuntzman for Streetsblog)

RIP Larry Kramer, whose activism helped shifted the nation’s policies towards AIDS. (Daniel Lewis for NY Times)

Have you become the master of your kitchen under quarantine? Are you ready for a challenge? Step up to the word’s stinkiest fruit, durian, and make some desserts with this dessert box available for delivery. (Bao Ong for Time Out)

Attorney General Letitia James filed an amicus brief on Tuesday as part of a coalition of 14 attorneys general who are hoping to keep the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement out of courthouses unless they have a judicial warrant or court order. (Noah Singer for Brooklyn Eagle)

With budget cuts looming large, CUNY plans to continue online courses through the fall semester, with only a small fraction of courses and services offered in-person. (Sophia Chang for Gothamist)

There is no specific place in the city to collectively grieve, but the Naming the Lost project has set up a memorial outside of Green-Wood Cemetery for people to post tributes to those who lost their lives to Covid-19. (Rose Adams for Brooklyn Paper)

A few neighborhood restaurants and bakeries selling housemade sourdough starter by the ounce, cup, and jar. (Luke Fortney for Eater)

“If we are going to make progress, we’ve got to address these things, and if this painful process is going to help us address this — there’s the yellow warbler!” –Christian Cooper on the Central Park incident, racism, his thoughts on Amy Cooper, and birdwatching in Central Park. (Sarah Maslin Nir for NY Times)

After the Central Park Karen story, State Assemblymember Felix Ortix and State Senator Brian Benjamin have introduced a new bill that would criminalize falsely reporting an incident to police and make the offense eligible for hate crime status. (Zack Linly for The Root)

Yesterday I made mention that Governor Cuomo was headed to DC to talk President Trump into helping the state’s infrastructure projects. He came back and declared good government “extinct” in America. I’m not a political scientist, but I’m not sure that’s a good sign. (Mark Hallum for amNewYork Metro)

Interactive Map: New York City’s wisteria is in bloom, here’s where to see it. (Collier Sutter for Time Out)

Ruben Diaz, Sr. is an opponent of same-sex marriage and women’s reproductive rights and is also a Democrat. What does it mean to be a Democrat in New York City? (Matt Tracy for Gay City News)

How to get hired as a contact tracer in NYC and what the job entails. (Shaye Weaver for Time Out)

The state’s legislature has effectively killed the rent cancellation bill, taking up a “totally inadequate” bill instead. In its place is a bill that gives landlords vouchers if a landlord’s tenants must earn 80% below an area’s income anad have been paying more than 30% of their household income on rent before March 30. The total budget would give 50,000 tenants two monthly vouchers of $1,000. For perspective, one-quarter of the city’s 5.4 million renters did not pay rent last month. (Jake Offenhartz for Gothamist)

The numbers have slowed, but not enough for reopening. A look into who are the New Yorkers who are getting sick? (Andy Newman for NY Times)

Okay, what is going on with “The Power Broker: Robert Moses and the Fall of New York,” being surreptitiously placed on the bookshelf in nearly every cable news interview? (Dana Rubenstein for NY Times)

A somewhat complete (for now) guide to beach food at Rockaway Beach. (Scott Lynch for Gothamist)

The latest openings, reopenings, takeout specials, and other exciting or noteworthy updates in the weekly restaurant update from The Infatuation. (Hannah Albertine for the Infatuation)

Thanks to reader Lizzy for today’s featured photo!

The Briefly for May 27, 2020 – The “The Last Region Under PAUSE” Edition

Today’s daily NYC news digest: The city caps Seamless fees for restaurants, a $1,000 to fill out the census, Uber and Lyft drivers sue for unemployment, Central Park Karen, and more

Today – Low: 62˚ High: 70˚
Overcast throughout the day.

Queens has a new Cold Case Unit under DA Melinda Katz, dedicated to solving the borough’s oldest and unsolved homicide cases. There are currently about 2,200 unsolved homicides in Queens. (Queens County Politics)

“I”m going to tell them there’s an African-American man threatening my life.” The story of the Central Park Karen, Amy Cooper, whose week started with a threatening to use the NYPD as a weapon, and two days later she was fired for her job and surrendered her dog. (Zack Linly for The Root)

It’s no surprise, but today it’s a reality. New York City is the only region of the state still under the PAUSE order by Governor Cuomo. (Mark Hallum for amNewYork Metro)

Have you filled out the census yet? Only 50% of the city has and we’re lagging 10% behind the rest of the country. In an effort to bump up the numbers, NYC Census 2020 is giving away $1,000 Seamless gift cards. More than a gift card, I’m sure you’re seeing photos and videos from around the country of idiots getting together without masks. These are the people who will have more representation and funding in and from the government because they filled out their census this year. These yahoos are gonna fly to NYC from whatever podunk, backwater town they live in, and infect more New Yorkers while they go out for SantaCon or take photos with the Naked Cowboy or puke on the floor of a bathroom in the East Village or walk extremely slowly on the sidewalk right in front of you. These are the people that can fill in their census and yet we can’t seem to get our shit together and need gift cards to Seamless as an incentive. Rant over. (Robert Pozarycki for amNewyork Metro)

Want to bring a smile to someone? Send some letters to some older Upper West Siders. (Claude Benjamin for I Love the Upper West Side)

Uber and Lyft drivers are suing the state for timely payment of unemployment benefits. Currently, drivers have to wait months to receive standard unemployment benefits, unlike the standard two to three weeks like most workers. (Noam Scheiber for NY Times)

Video: Watch former New Yorkers try L.A. bagels. (Matt Coneybeare for Viewing NYC)

The city has hired more than 1,700 contact tracers to get the city closer to the metrics necessary to start its reopening. (NY1)

How good of a salesman is Governor Cuomo? We’re about to find out, as the governor heads to Washington to convince President Trump to fund the extension of the Second Ave subway, the new Penn Station, and a train to LaGuardia. (Kathleen Culliton for Patch)

A quick look at the 80-year history of the Copacabana. (Maria Sherman for Jezebel)

The Obie Awards, honoring Off and Off Off Broadway theater, is going virtual. You can catch the Obie Awards on YouTube on June 4, hosted by Cole Escola. (Michael Paulson for NY Times)

Alt-side parking is suspended through June 7. (Alejandra O’Connell-Domenech for amNewYork Metro)

What if no one wants to save New York’s restaurants? (Alan Sytsma for Grub Street)

ConEd is trying to raise rates this summer and the City Council is having none of it. ConEd is warning that demand may exceed last summer where brown and blackouts plagued portions of the city. (Kathleen Culliton for Patch)

Video: A pre/post Covid-19 comparison walk around Midtown. (ActionKid)

Seventeen of the city’s 20 hate crimes against Asians in 2020 have been coronavirus related. 20 may not seem like much, but compare that to 2019’s hate crimes against Asians at 3. (Sydney Pereira for Gothamist)

The mayor signed a package of bills into laws intended to protect small businesses by imposing limits on third-party food delivery services, extending the suspension of sidewalk cafe fee collection, and protecting commercial tenants from harassment and personal liability. (Emily Davenport for amNewYork Metro)

Would you go to a concert if it meant having to wear this weird neon spacesuit? How do you drink or go to the bathroom if you’re sealed inside a spacesuit at a show? (Erin Christie for BrooklynVegan)

Video: New York’s “Wear A MAsk” PSA contest has a winner. (Howard Halle for Time Out)

The New York Stock Exchange partially opened on Tuesday and is prohibiting employees and visitors from taking mass transit, something extremely impractical to use as an example for other businesses. (Ben Yakas for Gothamist)

The Nets opened its training facility in Sunset Park to players for voluntary workouts with a limit of four players in the facility at a time. (JT Torenli for Brooklyn Daily Eagle)

Restrictions on third-party delivery companies like Seamless or Uber Eats caps fees at 15 percent per order for delivery and 5 percent per order for any other charge while the city is under emergency and for 90 days beyond. (Chris Crowley for Grub Street)

Actors’ Equity Association barred its 51,000 members from in-person auditions, rehearsals, and performances and says they will not lift that restriction until there is fast, reliable testing for the novel coronavirus and widespread contact tracing. (Michael Paulson for NY Times)

A breakdown of the costs of what’s recommended before you move to NYC. (Localize.City)

Why hasn’t Mayor de Blasio visited Rikers Island at all during his second term? (Samar Khurshid for Gotham Gazette)

Recreating recipes from restaurants is a long-standing tradition which has seen a revival under stay-at-home orders. Are we chasing the recipe and a meal or are we chasing a feeling and trying to rekindle memories? (Pete Wells for NY Times)

Video: Recreating New York’s best pancakes from Clinton St Baking Company. (Matt Coneybeare for Viewing NYC)

Thanks to reader Alexa for today’s featured photo!