The Briefly for May 8, 2020 – The “Do We Really Need A Polar Vortex Right Now?” Weekend Edition

Today’s daily NYC news digest: The NYPD continues to be the NYPD while enforcing social distancing, the state’s eviction moratorium continues through August, 35 places for dessert, & more

Today – Low: 36˚ High: 56˚
Rain starting in the afternoon.
This weekend – Low: 40˚ High: 61˚

What’s that purple light? The Upper West Side has a minor mystery on its hands. (Mike Mishkin for I Love the Upper West Side)

The eventual design of the new 15 Penn Plaza has changed a few times over the years, and it’s changed again, to a much more boring design. (Vanessa Londono for New York YIMBY)

Slowly, the eyesores in Soho that were boarding up stores are becoming art installations. The Soho Bloomingdales’s boarded up windows is now a canvas for Marco Santini. On one hand, this is better than boarded up windows, on the other hand, will a concentration of street art in Soho begin to become an attraction for people when no one should be gathering together? (Howard Halle for Time Out)

Here are two words you absolutely don’t want to hear in the middle of May: Polar Vortex. (Kathleen Culliton for Patch)

Apartment Porn: 10 jaw-dropping apartments you can tour from your couch. (Shaye Weaver for Time Out)

Los Muralistas de El Puente is filling the walls of a Domino Park in Williamsburg with painted portraits of Brooklyn’s essential workers. You can find the collective’s portraits near the South 4th St entrance near River St. (Jessica Parks for Brooklyn Paper)

The city is looking to administer 140,000 Covid-19 antibody tests to “everyday New Yorkers” in the coming weeks in addition to 140,000 tests for essential workers, in hopes of understanding the spread of the virus. (Devin Gannon for 6sqft)

In the age of only pickup or delivery, Seamless and other delivery apps are holding the city’s restaurants hostage. Use the apps to look at a restaurant’s menu and then call the restaurant using the phone number listed in Google Maps. How much of an impact is this making on restaurants? The example used in the article is on a $131 order, the restaurant gives up $35 to Grubhub. (Rebecca Ibarra for Gothamist)

Video: 13 NYC islands you might not know about. (Matt Coneybeare for Viewing NYC)

Mini-Documentary: The history of the Coney Island Cyclone Roller Coaster. (Matt Coneybeare or Viewing NYC)

The state’s moratorium on evictions was extended by Governor Cuomo until August. He also banned late fees and ordered that security deposits can be used as rent payments. The governor is not acting on calls to cancel rent, essentially kicking the can down the road with this executive order. For landlords, he told them to look to the federal government for relief. (Kathleen Culliton for Patch)

Mister Softee trucks seem like an awful idea if you’re trying to avoid touching other people, but you can never escape the Mister Softee jingle, not even during an epidemic. Did you know the Mister Softee song has lyrics? (Emmo Orlow for Time Out)

Video: NYPD officers making another violent arrest, including punching bystanders while not wearing masks themselves. (East New York News)

Brooklyn District Attorney Eric Gonzalez is investigating multiple “disturbing” violent arrests in Brooklyn, weighing options to bring criminal charges against cops or issue recommendations for disciplinary measures. Hell will freeze over before I believe the city will bring charges against an NYPD officer. (Kevin Duggan for amNewYork Metro)

Of the 79 people who were issued tickets for jaywalking in the first three months of 2020, only one person was identified as white, while 78 were listed as black or Hispanic. (Gersh Kuntzman for Streetsblog)

35 of the 40 people arrested for social distancing are black. (Ashley Southall for NY Times)

The mayor, with the worst possible take on this. Happy birthday, Mayor de Blasio. (@NYCMayor)

Earlier in the week, the NYPD’s labor union said that the NYPD shouldn’t be in charge of enforcing social distancing. Maybe they are incapable of not enforcing every law in the city without an overt racial bias. What should they be doing? Because their latest stroke of genius included shutting down one of the city’s few open streets so they an illegally park their vehicle to get bagels. All without wearing masks or gloves. (Julianne Cuba for Streetsblog)

SNL’s got another At Home episode this week, which they’re calling the “season finale.” (Ben Yakas for Gothamist)

Police are investigating the death of a woman who was found badly decomposed in Marcus Garvey Park in Harlem on Thursday morning. (Emily Davenport for amNewYork Metro)

RIP Michael Halkias, owner of the Grand Prospect Hall. Halias was someone who was famous amongst New Yorker. His commercials for the Grand Prospect Hall are the things of legend. Thank you for making all our dreams come true. (Erika Adams for Eater)

The city also lost Jimmy Glenn, boxing legend and owner of Times Square dive bar Jimmy’s Corner. (Serena Dai for Eater)

Farewell Gem Spa, which will not open after the pandemic is over. (EV Grieve)

The American Museum Of Natural History announced the museum will cut about 20 percent of its workforce, around 450 out of approximately 1,100 employees. (Ben Yakas for Gothamist)

With graduation ceremonies canceled, high schools are having to get creative. (Elizabeth A. Harris for NY Times)

Only four people know the recipe for Gem Spa’s famous egg creams, here are a few recipes for egg creams so you can raise a toast to Gem Spa. (Nicole Schnitzler for Edible Brooklyn)

With Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt returning next week (and me hosting a Kimmy Schmidt edition of Pop Culture Trivia on Wednesday night), let’s explore Tina Fey and Ellie Kempner’s NYC connections. (Michele Petry for Street Easy)

Mayor de Blasio is expected to announce that he is stripping control of Covid-19 tracing away from the Health Department and giving it to Health and Hospitals which runs the city’s public hospitals, breaking with decades of precedent. (J. David Goodman, William K. Rashbaum and Jeffery C. Mays for NY Times)

CUNY Chancellor Félix Matos Rodríguez says federal aid is crucial to determine the university’s budget for next year and hasn’t made a decision about a tuition hike yet. (Juan Manuel Benitez for NY1)

35 dessert destinations serving cake, cookies, and treats. (Leah Rosenzweig for Eater)

Thank you to Katie for today’s featured photo!