The Briefly for May 19, 2020 – The “Central Park Has Exorcised its Demons” Edition

Today’s daily NYC news digest: Where to get a Covid-19 test, good news for vegans, de Blasio eyes a September reopening of the city, subway ridership starts to return, and more

Today – Low: 52˚ High: 65˚
Mostly cloudy throughout the day.

The city remains on PAUSE, hitting only 3 of the 7 metrics necessary to start phase one of reopening.

It’s time to register to vote by mail for the June 23 primary. Here’s how. (Brigid Bergin for Gothamist)

There was a protest to open up Staten Island, which included all the hits like “it’s just like the flu” and “you don’t coward in your house and stay afraid.” (Amy Yensi for NY1)

Samaritan’s Purse, the temporary hospital run by Franklin Graham, who believes same-sex relationships are an “abomination,” is gone from Central Park. Members of Reclaim Pride, Rise and Resist, and Reverend Billy Talen’s Stop Shopping Choir have exorcised the demons left behind by Franklin Graham. (Donna Aceto for amNewYork Metro)

The loss of Gem Spa beings up an important question. Will we recognize our city when we emerge from our forced hibernation? (Max Falkowitz for Grub Street)

“That’s a real natural point to start reopening more if all goes well because that’s when everyone would normally come back from the summer.” Mayor de Blasio has tentatively pegged September for a full reopening of the city. (Kathleen Culliton for Patch)

If you’re taking the subway or bus, look down. The MTA is adding social distancing markers to encourage you to keep your damn distance. (Devin Gannon for 6sqft)

“I want to watch the Buffalo Bills,” is not something anyone says earnestly, but here we are. It’s 2020 and Governor Cuomo wants New York teams to play in empty stadiums, even if he has to watch the Buffalo Bills. (Kathleen Culliton for Patch)

Let’s face it. 2020 is a wash. Let’s start thinking about 2021, campsite reservations across New York state are open. (Emma Orlow for Time Out)

Of the city’s 21 miles of open streets, Staten Island only has 1.3 miles. (Kamillah Hanks and Rose Uscianowski for Streetsblog)

It’s a combination of the worst and the best time to start looking for a new apartment. (Caroline Spivack for Curbed)

WeWork wants a rent break. Its customers do too. (Peter Eavis for NY Times)

Rockefeller Center is looking 192 pieces of artwork that celebrate New York City to fly as flags above the rink in August as part of “The Flag Project” competition. Now you know how many flags are in the plaza at Rockefeller Plaza. (Devin Gannon for 6sqft)

Dr. Oxiris Barbot issued a public apology for telling an NYPD top brass “I don’t give two rats’ asses about your cops.” Now we wait for an apology from the Sergeant’s Benevolent Association for calling Dr. Barbot a bitch on Twitter. (Kathleen Culliton for Patch)

The Circa is a condo in Harlem at the corner of 110th and Central Park West and its glass facade is gaining a reputation for bird slaughter. (Jen Chung for Gothamist)

NYC Nightlife United is an emergency fund providing immediate relief to shuttered cultural spaces affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. Small business owners can start applying for aid on June 5. (Amanda Hatfield for Brooklyn Vegan)

Congrats to Brooklyn’s Andre Kulikov for winning the 6th-8th grade category of the Ezra Jack Keats Bookmaking Competition. (Nigel Roberts for The Brooklyn Reader)

It’s not summer without Coney Island, so we may just cancel summer this year. Here’s what Coney Island may look like once it’s allowed to open up. (Shaye Weaver for Time Out)

The city is preparing fencing to keep people off the beaches in Coney Island and Brighton Beach to keep crowd sizes down during Memorial Day weekend. (Todd Maisel for amNewYork Metro)

Whoever vandalized the Covid-19 memorial on the corner of 10th and Ave A, you are the city’s worst scumbag this week. (EV Grieve)

The MTA’s Essential Connector program is live, giving essential workers a free trip in a for-hire-vehicle per night while the subways are shut down. (Anna Quinn for Patch)

Porn star Ron Jeremy is trying to prevent a tree from being cut down outside his childhood home in Queens. Make your own “wood” jokes. (Brooklyn Vegan)

The City Council is pushing a bill forward that would create three drop-off sites for organics and community recycling centers for hazardous or e-waste in each community district by June 2021. Existing drop-off locations are closed. (Sydney Pereira for Gothamist)

Inside the Guggenheim is the “Countryside, The Future” show in the windows facing Fifth Avenue, which features cherry tomato plants. The Times found David Litvin, who moved his family to New York from Tel Aviv for six months so he can tend to the plants for the museum. The tomatoes are looking great, but his six-month stay hasn’t been going according to his original plan. (Elizabeth A. Harris for NY Times)

Video: Take a tour of Prospect Park’s Lefferts House. (Matt Coneybeare for Viewing NYC)

The Brooklyn Botanical Garden is hoping to open in July. (Collier Sutter for Time Out)

Vegans rejoice! Superiority Burger is offering a unique menu of to-go options every Thursday, starting this week. You have to order in advance, so don’t start showing up on Thursdays expecting to be able to buy anything on the spot. (EV Grieve)

Maybe Covid-19 will usher in a new era of automat-style restaurants in the city. (Tanay Warerkar for Eater)

Governor Cuomo was tested during his Sunday press briefing and tested negative. The test was an encouragement for New Yorkers to utilize the 700 testing sites set up across the state. (Kathleen Culliton for Patch)

If you’re uninsured, CityMD is offering free Covid-19 testing. (Allie Griffin for Queens Post)

All churches in the city are closed to the public, some are finding a higher calling as Covid-19 testing sites, mostly in Queens and the Bronx. (Carol Kuruvilla for HuffPost)

The state is providing antibody tests for all MTA employees as part of Governor Cuomo’s mandate that all essential workers are tested. (Mark Hallum for amNewYork Metro)

The Covid-19 death count per NYC zip code. The highest death rate is in Canarsie, at 612.24 deaths per 100,000, followed by Rockaway with 444.73 deaths per 100,000. (Kathleen Culliton for Patch)

The NYPD shut down up a Brooklyn Yeshiva in Bed-Stuy for violating the state’s orders that all schools be closed. I’m not a big “call the cops” kinda guy, but if you see kids walking into a school, it’s time to call the cops. (Liam Stack and Nate Schweber for NY Times)

It’s happening slowly, but riders are returning to the subways. We’re not at pre-pandemic levels, but the numbers are going up. (Dave Colon for Streetsblog)

The quarantine and takeout guide. (Hannah Albertine, Nikko Duren, Arden Shore, & Matt Tervooren for The Infatuation)

Thanks to reader Molly for today’s featured flower photo!