The Briefly for August 10, 2020 – The “A Personal Note From Rob” Edition

Hey everyone,

August is usually one of my favorite times in NYC. Yes, it’s hot as hell and the streets all start to smell a little like pee, but it’s usually when people leave the city and the usual congestion we’re all accustomed to lightens up a little bit and allows the rest of us who haven’t abandoned the city for the Hamptons or Palm Springs or wherever can enjoy less waiting to get into restaurants or museums or whatever we want. Here’s a great piece from the Times from 2018 about NYC in August.

I’m not really a “vacation” kinda guy. You can ask my frustrated wife. While I’m not taking a vacation this August, I will be taking two weeks off from The Briefly. I’m scheduled for shoulder surgery this week to repair an old injury, so I’m making an effort to deliberately lighten my schedule for the few days leading up to the surgery. Right now I’m penciling a return to The Briefly on August 24 with a lightened schedule. I’ll be one-armed for a while so I’ll be sending out emails three times a week instead of five.

While this is happening, I’m interested in hearing from you. Have you picked up or rediscovered a hobby? Found solace in a park? It doesn’t matter how mundane or small it may be, I’d love to hear it.

Write soon,
Rob

The Briefly for August 7, 2020 – The “Mess With the Bull, Get the Horns” Weekend Edition

Today’s daily NYC news digest: Cuomo gets petty, de Blasio breaks another promise, eight NYC rooftops, how to renegotiate rent, the NYPD fights the chokehold ban, and more

Today – Low: 70˚ High: 80˚
Rain in the morning and overnight.
This weekend – Low: 71˚ High: 84˚

A guide to renegoiate your rent. (Valeria Ricciulli for Curbed)

An executive order will allow the courts to suspend eviction proceedings through September 4. It’s not a complete ban on eviction hearings, but it gives the courts leeway to suspend deadlines. (Sydney Pereira with Beth Fertig and Gwynne Hogan for Gothamist)

Do not buy a car,” says mayor who gets driven literally everywhere. (Matt Troutman for Patch)

Lucky, the East Village bar that started a petition calling for Governor Cuomo to reverse his “substantial amounts of food” mandate with drink orders, had its liquor license suspended for not serving food with its drink orders. Classic petty Cuomo. (Erika Adams for Eater)

The state attorney general’s office is suing to dissolve the NRA. AG Letitia James made the announcement on Thursday. Washington DC is also suing the NRA. 148 years ago the NRA was chartered in New York, giving the state the jurisdiction over it. (Danny Hakim for NY Times)

A look at another broken promise of Bill de Blasio: release a complete history of all complaints against every officer in the NYPD and how his corporate counsel made the decision not to release anything for the time being. (Greg B. Smith for The City)

NYPD unions brought a lawsuit seeking to stop a new city law that makes it a crime for police officers to use chokeholds or kneel on a suspect’s neck or back. (Erin Durkin for Politico)

There are over 900 NYPD officers that have refused to participate in investigations into alleged misconduct, creating an immense backlog for the Civilian Complaint Review Board. Cowards. If a private citizen doesn’t want to participate in an investigation into alleged wrongdoings on their part, they don’t seem to have a choice. (David Cruz for Gothamist)

Even as its population is shrinking, the use of force against inmates at Rikers Island is at an all-time high. (Benjamin Weiser for NY Times)

Have you taken to indoor gardening? You’re not the only one. You might say that the hobby is… growing on New Yorkers. (Mili Godio for Bedford + Bowery)

Apartment Porn: A $3.25 million Brooklyn Heights waterfront loft. (Dana Schulz for 6sqft)

A look at the opening of Rangoon, one of NYC’s strictly Burmese restaurants. (Sai Mokhtari for Gothamist)

Welcome to the neighborhood Any Thing, a new bar in Prospect Lefferts Gardens, whose bar features only distilled and/or supported spirits that are women-owned. (Emma Orlow for Time Out)

Something’s wrong in your rented apartment. Who should pay for repairs? (AJ Jordan for Localize Labs)

Dr. Oxiris Barbot is only the latest high profile woman of color to leave the de Blasio administration. She joins Deputy Mayors Lilliam Barrios Paoli and Herminia Palacio, mayoral aide Rachel Noerdlinger, his first Health Commissioner Dr. Mary Bassett, Children’s Services Commissioner Gladys Carrion, and NYCHA Chair Shola Olatoye. Maybe it’s time to ask the question: Does the mayor have a problem with women of color? (Brigid Bergin for Gothamist)

The Black Tap is starting up CrazyShake deliveries on Monday. (Emily Davenport for amNewyork Metro)

Exploring NYC’s iconic works of public art. (Untapped New York)

It’s an unremarkable building in St Louis, but it once stood as one of the pavilions at the World’s Fair in 1964. (Nicole Saraniero for Untapped New York)

The world’s largest bronze gorilla sculpture, titled King Nyani by Gillie and Marc Schnatter, is coming to Hudson Yards’ Bella Abzug Park. Once installed later this month, three people will be able to fit in the gorilla’s hand. The sculpture is part of an awareness campaign to raise funds for the critically endangered gorilla species. (Dana Schulz for 6sqft)

Next week is the peak of the annual Perseid meteor shower, which you’ll be able to see on a clear night. (Adam Nichols for Patch)

Hulu’s High Fidelity series, which eschewed Chicago for Brooklyn, is canceled. (Bill Pearis for BrooklyVegan)

We have anything that you’d find at a New York bodega, turned vegan,” – Jeremy Dean, owner of the newly opened Vodega in DUMBO. I know where I’m going this weekend. (Luke Fortney for Eater)

Remember gyms? Governor Cuomo says you won’t see a gym open in New York anytime soon. (Nick Reisman for NY1)

That won’t stop everyone, as some gyms like BYKlyn Cycle in Park Slope (of course, it’s Park Slope) opened a pop-up outdoor spinning studio. (Shaye Weaver for Time Out)

Everything you need to know about the NYC quarantine checkpoints. (Shaye Weaver for Time Out)

Where to eat outside in Greenpoint. (Matt Tervooren for The Infatuation)

While the mayor didn’t come out and directly support a tax on the city’s mega-rich, he went as far as to say that he won’t cater the city’s policies around trying to lure them back. (Erin Durkin for Politico)

List: Recent restaurants and bars that closed, including Jack the Horse Tavern in Brooklyn Heights, 88 Lan Noodle in Chinatown, Fonda in the East Village, and more. (Nikko Duren for The Infatuation)

The MTA is expanding its program of putting cameras on buses to ticket drivers parked in bus lanes. (Mark Hallum for amNewYork Metro)

The 8 rooftops now open with the best views of NYC. (Bao Ong for Time Out)

There has been a years-long fight to grant Ezras Nashim, an all-female Orthodox volunteer emergency medical service and focus of the documentary 93 Queen, an ambulance license. They have been using their own vehicles to respond to emergencies and were denied a license last summer due to objections from the Hatzalah emergency medical service. Within the Orthodox community, modesty is a real issue, and women can be forced to make a choice between their modesty and a real medical emergency. That is a position that no one should have to be in. Women are not allowed to join the Borough Park chapter of Hatzalah, exacerbating the issue. (Carson Kessler for The City)

Are NYC schools ready to handle students and teachers? Here’s a better question: Do their HVAC systems work at all? (Christina Veiga for Chalkbeat)

On its 100th birthday the Wonder Wheel stands silent. (John Freeman Gill for NY Times)

A guide to the city’s food halls that have reopened for outdoor dining, takeout, and delivery. (Erika Adams for Eater)

The Briefly for August 6, 2020 – The “NYC is Horny for Books” Edition

Today’s daily NYC news digest: More on the mayor firing Dr. Oxiris Barbot, the MTA’s bad options to continue operating, where to eat in Queens, can you afford an apartment, and more

Today – Low: 71˚ High: 81˚
Rain overnight.

Liquored up ice cream is now legal in New York. The new liquor ice cream can be alcoholic up to 5% by volume. (Luke Fortney for Eater)

Photos and Video: Inside an abandoned Brooklyn warehouse and a look at the treasures left behind. (Noah Sheidlower for Untapped New York)

In parts of the city, the fireworks stopped shortly after July 4. Apparently Norwood didn’t get the message because there was a 45-minute fireworks display over the weekend in a memorial for James Wimmer, who was a lifelong resident, on what would have been his 45th birthday. In 45 minutes, how many police showed up? Exactly zero. (Norwood News)

Mayor de Blasio wants you to know that he fired Dr. Oxiris Barbot, the city’s former health commissioner, and she did not resign in protest. Yes, it makes total sense to fire your top health official in the middle of a health crisis. (Elizabeth Kim for Gothamist)

The city’s libraries’ grab-and-go service has proven one thing: New Yorkers are horny for reading. (Reuven Blau for The City)

Why did Mayor de Blasio push Dr. Oxiris Barbot out in the middle of a pandemic? He says he wants the “atmosphere of unity.” Nothing says unity like people quitting your administration in frustration and forcing out the top health official in the middle of a health emergency. That must also be why you keep around NYPD Commissioner Dermot Shea, who shit talks in public. Bill, we all know you’re a simp for cops. (Erin Durkin for Politico)

There are six botanical gardens you can visit in the city this summer. (Nicole Saraniero for Untapped New York)

A look through the archives of the Brooklyn Eagle at Irving Kaufman’s photography, with a focus this week on NYC construction in the 1930’s. (Phil Kaufman for Brooklyn Eagle)

RIP Pete Hamill, a celebrated NYC reporter whose work was featured in nearly any publication you can name. (Robert D. McFadden for NY Times)

There were still nearly 100,000 customers without power after Tropical Storm Isaias on Wednesday night as ConEd reports it may take days to restore power across the city. Governor Cuomo directed the Department of Public Service to investigate ConEd’s response to the storm. (Matt Troutman for Patch)

If you thought that the city’s bootleg bartenders selling drinks from coolers was going to dwindle in the pandemic, you’re wrong. (Avery Stone for Eater)

With Isaias fresh in mind and with repairs from Hurricane Sandy still going, it’s a good time to examine the loopholes that allow home sellers from disclosing if their home may flood or not. (Rachel Holliday Smith for The City)

Where to get takeout and delivery in Queens, updated for August. (Eater)

It’s like a “Why I’m leaving New York” personal essay, but it’s about a restaurant. Why the Banty Rooster is leaving New York. (Matthew Sedacca with Delores Tronco-DePierro and John DiPierro for Grub Street)

The city will be installing checkpoints to identify out-of-state travelers who are required to quarantine and handing out fines up to $10,000 for violations. (Elizabeth Kim for Gothamist)

The Metropolitan Museum of Art announced firings of 79 employees, 181 furloughs, and 93 voluntary retirements. (Julia Jacobs for NY Times)

This is a good link to have when someone asks you if you think they can afford an apartment in NYC: What is a good rent-to-income ratio in NYC. I’ve always used the 40:1 rule, but this goes a bit deeper. (AJ Jordan for Localize Labs)

“If you’ve never been to courts in New York City, even the newest buildings are teeming with people and their germs. Just to call a single case, there have to be at least 10 people in the room. One judge. One clerk. One court reporter. Four court officers. One prosecutor. One defense attorney. One person who stands accused of a crime and possibly their family members. So when OCA tells us that it will only have 10 cases on at once, that doesn’t mean just 10 people confined to one courtroom, but many, many more, all at risk of contracting and spreading the same virus that killed so many, including my colleague.”
-Martha Lineberger, public defender for the Legal Aid Society, Lives Hang in the Balance as Courts Resume In-Person Work for City Limits

Welcome to the first day after Governor Cuomo’s eviction moratorium is over. Without protections form the state, this could be the start of mass evictions and a huge jump in preventable homelessness in the city. (Matt Troutman for Patch)

NYC will dedicate a team of contact tracers to investigate coronavirus cases in schools, but based on the city’s contact tracing program so far (reminder: the NY Times called it a “disaster”), don’t get your hopes too high. (Christina Veiga for Chalkbeat)

Go home, NY Times, you’re drunk. Headline: New York’s Sidewalk Prophets Are Heirs of the Lascaux Cave Artisans (Seph Rodney for NY Times)

According to RentHop’s rental report, rents dropped 5% year-over-year in Manhattan. (RentHop)

A rundown of all of the bad options the MTA has now that it seems clear that the federal government is not going to be helping and congestion pricing isn’t happening anytime soon. Reduced service with raised fares? Check. Signal upgrade delays? Check. Shelving new construction? Check. It’s like a Choose Your Own Adventure book, but every choice past page one is bad. (Dave Colon for Streetsblog)

The best places to eat sushi outside” is a very 2020 headline. (Hannah Albertine for The Infatuation)