The Briefly for July 15, 2020 – The “Governor Cuomo’s Latest Abomination of Art” Edition

Today’s daily NYC news digest: The city’s Covid-19 rent assistance program, how NYC’s PPP loans were distributed, where to eat outside in Harlem, invalid absentee votes, and more

Today – Low: 70˚ High: 79˚
Partly cloudy throughout the day.

How to apply for NY’s coronavirus rent assistance. (Matt Troutman for Patch)

For the first time, the city introduced a 15-minute diagnostic test for Covid-19 as part of its new test and trace pilot program in the Bronx. (Elizabeth Kim for Gothamist)

Governor Cuomo has released another exceptionally ugly poster, this one titled “New York Tough.” It’s meant to communicate “what we went through with COVID,” but maybe the governor shouldn’t be prematurely celebrating before this is over. (Dana Schulz for 6sqft)

Looking to green up your apartment and clean up the air? Here are the 15 best air-purifying plants for your home. (Diane Pham for 6sqft)

Amazingly, the MTA has no organizational chart for its 70,000 employees. (Clayton Guse for Daily News)

Black women are three to four times more likely than white women to die from pregnancy complications. Protesters have been shining a light on this after the death of 26-year-old Sha-Asia Washington at Woodhull Medical Center on July 3, whose heart stopped after receiving an epidural she didn’t want. (Rose Adams for Brooklyn Paper)

A look at how the 323,900 PPP loans distributed $38.5 billion in New York. (Sydney Pereira, Matthew Schuerman, Jake Dobkin, Autumn Harris for Gothamist)

The Central Park West bike lane will stretch from Columbus Circle to Frederick Douglass Circle and is scheduled to be completed this summer. (Mike Mishkin for I Love the Upper West Side)

Meet Gowanus Lands, the group trying to convince the city to develop a park on the condemned city-owned land on the west side of the Gowanus Canal. An alternative plan called for a mixed-use, 950 apartment development to be built on the space. (Katia Kelly for Pardon Me For Asking)

The city’s 2021 budget for tree pruning was… ahem… pruned down $7.2 million to a total of $1.5 million. It’s hard to imagine the Parks Department doing the same amount of work with 83% less budget, so what’s likely to happen is an increase in falling tree limbs. Want an example? Pruning contracts were cut back by $1 million in 2010 and lawsuit settlements over injuries caused by trees increased by $15 million. (Carson Kessler for The City)

Toilet paper and flour are back in stores, but with less variety than before and they’re not the only products that have scaled back on options. (Daniel E. Slotnik for NY Times)

Corey Walker, 19, and Keandre Rodgers, 18, were arrested and charged with murder with a special circumstance in connection with the murder of Pop Smoke and possibly face the death penalty. Two minors were also charged with murder and robbery in juvenile court. (Andrew Sacher for BrooklynVegan)

As stores close and their signs are pulled down, we’re getting a glimpse at the city’s history in the form of signage that has remained hidden for decades. (Michelle Young for Untapped New York)

The Empire State Building’s observatory will open on Monday, replete with reduced capacity, temperature checks, and a new air purification system. These kinds of systems with MERV 13 filters will dominate the conversation when talking about reopening indoor spaces. (Devin Gannon for 6sqft)

Minnesota, New Mexico, Ohio, and Wisconsin have been added to New York’s quarantine list, bringing the number of quarantined states to 22. (Nick Reisman for NY1)

Riis Park Beach Bazaar is open for food. This year will skip the karaoke and DJs. (Collier Sutter for Time Out)

Bastille Day came and went without the usual parties in Cobble Hill and Carroll Gardens. In celebration, Brooklyn Based took a promenade through the neighborhoods. (Kerri Allen for Brooklyn Based)

The Mets have begun using MCU Park in Coney Island as an alternate spring training location, ensuring there is a tiny bit of professional baseball in Brooklyn this year. (Jaime DeJesus for The Brooklyn Home Reporter)

A look at what it’s like to work in a city restaurant, according to staffers. (Gary He for Eater)

Eater NY is looking for a new lead editor. (Missy Frederick for Eater)

State Senator Andrew Gounardes and Councilmember Justin Brannan are demanding that the city forgive any fines levied in the NYC Open Restaurants program on restaurant owners due to the shifting guidelines. (Jamie DeJesus for The Brooklyn Home Reporter)

West Nile Virus was detected in NYC mosquitoes. There have been no human cases reported. (Matt Troutman for Patch)

The latest on the four groups trying to save the Mets from the Wilpon family. Joe Pantorno for amNewYork Metro)

Unless there’s a Biden victory in November, NYC may never see congestion pricing. (Gersh Kuntzman for Streetsblog)

A decapitated and dismembered corpse was found in a luxury LES apartment at 265 East Houston St on Tuesday afternoon. (David Cruz and Christopher Robbins for Gothamist)

In some portions of the city, over 20% of absentee ballots are being invalidated for one of a possible 13 reasons. The city has 110 days until the election to get its shit together. (Emily Ngo for NY1)

City Councilmember Jimmy Van Bramer stopped answering email from the Queens Post and their response has been to run an editorial making vague threats about ending positive coverage of him. (Czarinna Andres and Christian Murray, co-publishers, for Queens Post)

Where to eat outside in Harlem. (Hannah Albertine for The Infatuation)

Thank to reader Joe for today’s featured photo!