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!

The Briefly for May 26, 2020 – The “Summer of Cannibalistic Rats” Edition

Today’s daily NYC news digest: It’s gonna be a hot and wet summer, de Blasio sets the city’s thresholds for reopening, where to get frozen cocktails, Melinda Katz breaks a promise, & more

Today – Low: 60˚ High: 72˚
Partly cloudy throughout the day.

The city remains on PAUSE, with 4/7 metrics met.

Here’s a beginner’s guide to biking to the beach, for the uninitiated. (Christopher Robbins for Gothamist)

ConEd says the city should expect higher than usual electricity bills this summer in a combination of people being home more often and an increase in supply charges. (Collier Sutter for Time Out)

Also, this summer is predicted to unusually hotter and rainier than usual. (Adam Nichols for Patch)

Why stop the bad news train now? This year’s hurricane season has been described as “brutal,” with double the number of hurricanes expected with six major storms and 19 named storms expected in total. (Kathleen Culliton for Patch)

The bad news train keeps on rolling. The city’s rats have depended on the trash from restaurants for hundreds of generations, with restaurants either closed or producing much less food waste, rats are getting desperate and aggressive. They don’t pose a threat to humans but are turning on each other, turning to cannibalization. (Mariel Padilla for NY Times)

The city will be contacting you if you’ve had exposure using the same technology that Uber uses to text you that your driver is arriving. (Rachel Kraus for Mashable)

Queens DA Melinda Katz is breaking one of her campaign promises less than a year into office. While campaigning, Katz claimed she supported the legalization of sex work, but according to DecrimNY she has been targeting the buyers of sex work as part of her new Human Trafficking Bureau. (Matt Tracy for Gay City News)

Errick Allen, an NYPD officer, was arrested on murder charges for fatally shooting his childhood friend in the head on Long Island. (Kathleen Culliton for Patch)

If you’re looking for a new apartment and pizza is your #1 priority, here are listings available near some of the city’s best pizzerias. (Localize.City)

As part of a new four-part plan to support nursing homes during the pandemic, the city will offer on-site COVID-19 testing to patients and staff at all 169 nursing homes across the city. (Jason Cohen for Bronx Times)

Every public school student in New York City will soon receive $420 to help pay for food while school buildings are shut down, regardless of family income. (Christina Veiga for Chalkbeat)

The NYPD’s enforcement of social distancing measures continues to hit black and brown New Yorkers hardest, according to new data gleaned by the Legal Aid Society. (Mark Hallum for Brooklyn Paper)

The city has opened up 45 miles of open streets in May, surprisingly exceeding its own goal for the month. (Dana Schulz for 6sqft)

Mayor de Blasio set new thresholds for the city to begin reopening, separate from the state’s thresholds. Fewer than 200 daily hospitalizations, fewer than 375 patients in the ICU, and a positive testing rate below 15%, all for at least 10 to 14 days. (Brendan Krisel for Patch)

It’s not the mayor’s decision on when the city reopens, as Governor Cuomo said in a press conference on Friday “it’s a statewide decision across the board.” The city’s guidelines, if met before the state’s, only serve to confuse. (Elizabeth Kim for Gothamist)

More than 100,000 small businesses have shut down permanently since the start of the pandemic, so the state is putting forward over $100 million towards a loan program for small businesses to help them amid the pandemic. Pre-applications start today. (Emily Davenport for amNewYork Metro)

Anybody who believes they have symptoms or who has been in contact with somebody who has tested positive is now urged to be tested for Covid-19. Here’s how to get tested. (Adam Nichols for Patch)

At this point it seems like people are expecting Councilmember Brad Lander and Mayor de Blasio to botch the Gowanus rezoning. With both leaving power in 2021, will they rush a poorly-thought plan through or will both of their legacies be an empty promise for the neighborhood? (Eddie Small for The Real Deal)

New York will pay death benefits for essential government workers who lost their lives to novel coronavirus. (Kathleen Culliton for Patch)

What is the “new normal?” No one knows yet, but it could look something like the wall of vending machines full of N95 masks on Delancey Street. (Elie Z. Perler for Bowery Boogie)

Swimming at the city’s beaches remains banned, but the City Council is working on guidelines to help open the city’s waters to swimmers. (Sydney Pereira for Gothamist)

Video: A walk through an empty Grand Central Terminal. (ActionKid)

The woman who started the #ClapForOurCarers at 7 pm says it’s time to stop. Annemarie Plas says that people have shown their appreciation and its time for people in power to reward them and give them the respect they deserve. Plas started the clapping in the UK, we’ll see if her calls for it to stop are heard across the Atlantic. (Derrick Bryson Taylor for NY Times)

Daci Zudi was riding his bike when he was hit and killed by Faustino Rebollar Garcia, driving his pickup truck. For the death of Zudi, Garcia was charged with failure to exercise due care and driving without a license, both minor charges. (Gersh Kuntzman for Streetsblog)

If you’ve got a soft spot for doughnuts, three Doughnut Plan locations have reopened. (Scott Lynch for Gothamist)

The governor allowed religious gatherings of 10 or fewer people at the end of last week and was sued by the New York Civil Liberties Union, forcing the governor to change his executive order to allow non-essential gatherings of ten or fewer people across the state. The NYCLU seems to be pushing that responsibly distanced protests should be allowed, but it’s difficult to not see this being bused in other ways. (Jen Chung for Gothamist)

Where to get frozen cocktails. (Hannah Albertine for The Infatuation)

The amazing story of Alice, the elephant who escaped from Coney Island and swam the five miles to Staten Island. She retired to the Bronx Zoo, which is a whole other story. (Thomas Hynes for Untapped New York)

20 Michelin-starred restaurants still open. (Ryan Sutton for Eater)

Thank you to reader Ariana for today’s featured photo.

The Briefly for May 22, 2020 – The “The Beaches Will Be Open This Weekend” Memorial Day Edition

Today’s daily NYC news digest: A new plan for Long Island City, a threat to SantaCon, Scarr’s Pizza and McSorley return, late-night fireworks, restaurant reopenings to celebrate, and more

Today – Low: 60˚ High: 69˚
Possible drizzle in the evening.
This weekend – Low: 53˚ High: 65˚

Do you have blood? Can you spare some? The city’s blood supply is running “dangerously low.” (Kathleen Culliton for Patch)

What are you doing to experience new things while staying at home? SNL’s Heidi Gardner is trying a new cereal each week. (Chris Crowley for Grub Street)

If the ban on city dwellers continues, City Council Member Keith Powers has threatened to cancel SantaCon and ban Long Islanders from St. Patrick’s Day celebrations. Please? Will you promise? (Adam Nichols for Patch)

After a week of back and forth, the city’s beaches will be open this weekend, but with no lifeguards and swimming won’t be allowed. (Todd Maisel for amNewYork Metro)

Nathan’s is the biggest game in Coney Island hot dogs right now, but they got there by playing dirty. Coney Island’s original hot dogger is Feltman’s. (Alyson Krueger for NY Times)

McSorley’s is back after its longest closure since opening in 1854. (EV Grieve)

Scarr’s Pizza is back too. (Elie Z. Perler for Bowery Boogie)

Archdiocese of NY shared a “Faith Forward” plan, which outlines a five-step plan to reopen New York’s churches. (Ron Lee for NY1)

Religious institutions can begin holding services, assuming they limit occupancy to ten or fewer people indoors, everyone must wear a mask and follow social distancing protocols. (NY1)

Some suggested Memorial Day reading, care of the city’s independent book shops. (Danielle Valente for Time Out)

The mayor ran for office on the idea that he wanted to bridge the gap between the two New York Cities, but if you look at the neighborhoods that have received open streets and those that have not, he’s continuing in the tradition he rallied against by denying some of the hardest-hit neighborhoods by the Covid-19 virus open spaces. (Julianne Cuba for Streetsblog)

State Assemblymember Carmen Arroyo has been removed from the Democratic primary ballot after being caught altering signatures and dates on her petition to remain on the ballot. (Ed García Conde for Welcome2TheBronx)

Central Park Park Ranger Ashley Whited rescued a team of orphaned ducks after a snapping turtle attacked and killed their mother. (Anthony Pascale for NY1)

The pandemic has shown what has always been possible, including to-go drinks from bars and restaurants. State Senator Brad Hoylman introduced legislation that would allow bars and restaurants to sell to-go drinks for two years after the pandemic is over. (Tanay Warerkar for Eater)

This weekend kicks off the Loisaida Festival, digitally of course. (EV Grieve)

Here’s the latest plan from a giant developer for the “future” of Long Island City, leaning heavily on commercial property, with 10-to-12 million square feet of space on 28 acres of land surrounding the area that Amazon HQ2 never was. (Christian Murray for LIC Post)

Big companies like Facebook and Mastercard are rethinking massive leases in Manhattan after allowing employees to work remotely on an ongoing basis. Facebook is or was close to signing a lease int he Farley Post Office building next to Penn Station, so it remains to be seen if they’ll go through with the deal. I guess you could say it’s complicated 🥴. (Danielle Balbi for The Real Deal)

Video: Climbing to the top of the Woolworth Building, in what appears to be less than legal means. (Matt Coneybeare for Viewing NYC)

The mayor says the city could be on its way to start phase one of reopening in the first half of June. This is, of course, not a guarantee, and we’ll have to see how well the city fares during this holiday weekend as temperatures are looking favorable. One spike and we ain’t opening in June. (Alejandra O’Connell-Domenech for amNewYork Metro)

I don’t know if it’s welcome news, but it’s a step towards normalcy. Beginning on Monday, you can file lawsuits electronically for the first time in multiple weeks. (Brendan Krisel for Patch)

A guide to New York’s contact tracing programs. (Danny Lewis for Gothamist)

With the rise of MIS-C cases in the state, Governor Cuomo hasn’t made a decision about summer camps across the state, but it’s looking less likely. (Zack Fink for NY1)

176,000 students will be attending summer school, but it won’t be in person. The governor canceled in-person summer classes. The governor went as far as to say that it’s in question if schools will reopen in the fall. (Kathleen Culliton for Patch)

The Landmarks Preservation Commission approved an $8 million project to install a new pedestrian plaza beneath Brooklyn Bridge Park, which will replace a fenced-in parking lot, which is there today. (Kevin Duggan for Brooklyn Paper)

What is New York without New York bars? (Megan Abbott for NY Times)

Ridership is on an uptick, so the Staten Island ferry will increase its rush-hour service. (NY1)

Fleet Week is still happening… virtually? (Ron Lee for NY1)

15 restaurants and bars that have permanently closed because of the coronavirus. (Noah Sheidlower for Untapped New York)

This shouldn’t be a surprise, but that all-male restaurant panel the president has convened, which called him “one of us,” ain’t gonna help. (Chris Crowley for Grub Street)

Here are the CDC’s guidance on using cloth face coverings. (Norwood News)

Is this NYC’s oldest manhole cover? (Michelle Young for Untapped New York)

* Seinfeld voice* What’s the deal with all these late-night fireworks? (David Cruz for Gothamist)

8 restaurant reopenings to be excited about this week. (Serena Dai for Eater)

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