The Briefly for May 28, 2020 – The “Can You Spare $9 Billion?” Edition

Today’s daily NYC news digest: Farewell to Train Daddy for real, Mayor de Blasio continues to be content to not lead, one of the happiest places in NYC, and more

Today – Low: 64˚ High: 69˚
Overcast throughout the day.

The city remains on PAUSE, with 5/7 metrics met.

Andy Byford, you’re gone for real. Train Daddy is headed to London to become their new Transport Commissioner. (Benjamin Kabak for Second Ave Sagas)

When New York City beings phase one of reopening, does the MTA have a plan to allow that to happen? We’ve heard multiple ideas floated in the last few months for the subways, but the MTA hasn’t yet put forward their plan on how to deal with construction and manufacturing workers returning to their jobs. Stephen Nessen and Christopher Robbins for Gothamist)

Curbed puts it best: Did New York City just give up on public transit? (Alissa Walker for Curbed)

Got $9 billion to spare? New York could use it. The city’s budget is due by the end of June and with a $9 billion hole to crawl out of, things are likely to get worse before they get better. (Kathleen Culliton for Patch)

Say hello to Bobby Catone, the city’s biggest jackass. He plans on opening his Staten Island tanning salon to the public today in defiance of the governor’s orders. (Amanda Farinacci for NY1)

It seems that when people fled New York City, they also left behind their census forms. Also: An interactive map to see how you’re district is responding to the 2020 census. (Rachel Holliday Smith for The City)

The coronavirus layoffs are hitting Black households in New York harder than white households. 44% of Black households have seen a layoff compared to 27% of white households, but 84% of Black voters feared reopening too quickly compared to 59% white. There’s a reason for that fear, more than double the number of Black New Yorkers have died during the pandemic than white New Yorkers. (Kathleen Culliton for Patch)

Photos: Construction on “Little Island,” the two-acre park being built on Pier 55 is progressing ahead of its scheduled spring 2021 opening. (Devin Gannon for 6sqft)

A bodybag protest was laid at the doorstep of city hall to show the plight of homeless New Yorkers, who crowd into the city’s shelters every night. Protesters demanded the city open up hotel rooms as an alternative to crowded shelters. (Toss Maisel for amNewYork Metro)

Okay, we’re all sick of cooking every meal for ourselves, right? Here comes WoodSpoon to allow you to order home-cooked meals prepared by out-of-work chefs. (Emma Orlow for Time Out)

The New York Public Library is considering curbside service at libraries. Reserve your book in advance and swing by a kiosk to pick it up. If it can happen at Best Buy without the pandemic, it can happen at the NYPL during it. (Reuven Blau for The City)

A look inside a plasma donation center, which the Times is calling “one of the happiest places in New York.” (Eliza Shapiro for NY Times)

Beyond Sushi is opening a ghost kitchen in Long Island City. (Jacob Kaye for QNS)

The city has offered very little in terms of help for restaurant and bar owners and has offered absolutely nothing in terms of a plan for reopening. Not only have they offered nothing in terms of help, but Mayor de Blasio is also stepping up enforcement of bars and restaurants in nine neighborhoods. Where the hell has the “Nightlife Mayor” been on this? Isn’t this a job specifically designed for them to be helping with? (Erika Adams for Eater)

The mayor’s response to this entire crisis has been to sit back and let other cities lead. Instead of leading the city’s help and support restaurants and bars and small businesses, he sits on his hands and watches. (Gersh Kuntzman for Streetsblog)

RIP Larry Kramer, whose activism helped shifted the nation’s policies towards AIDS. (Daniel Lewis for NY Times)

Have you become the master of your kitchen under quarantine? Are you ready for a challenge? Step up to the word’s stinkiest fruit, durian, and make some desserts with this dessert box available for delivery. (Bao Ong for Time Out)

Attorney General Letitia James filed an amicus brief on Tuesday as part of a coalition of 14 attorneys general who are hoping to keep the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement out of courthouses unless they have a judicial warrant or court order. (Noah Singer for Brooklyn Eagle)

With budget cuts looming large, CUNY plans to continue online courses through the fall semester, with only a small fraction of courses and services offered in-person. (Sophia Chang for Gothamist)

There is no specific place in the city to collectively grieve, but the Naming the Lost project has set up a memorial outside of Green-Wood Cemetery for people to post tributes to those who lost their lives to Covid-19. (Rose Adams for Brooklyn Paper)

A few neighborhood restaurants and bakeries selling housemade sourdough starter by the ounce, cup, and jar. (Luke Fortney for Eater)

“If we are going to make progress, we’ve got to address these things, and if this painful process is going to help us address this — there’s the yellow warbler!” –Christian Cooper on the Central Park incident, racism, his thoughts on Amy Cooper, and birdwatching in Central Park. (Sarah Maslin Nir for NY Times)

After the Central Park Karen story, State Assemblymember Felix Ortix and State Senator Brian Benjamin have introduced a new bill that would criminalize falsely reporting an incident to police and make the offense eligible for hate crime status. (Zack Linly for The Root)

Yesterday I made mention that Governor Cuomo was headed to DC to talk President Trump into helping the state’s infrastructure projects. He came back and declared good government “extinct” in America. I’m not a political scientist, but I’m not sure that’s a good sign. (Mark Hallum for amNewYork Metro)

Interactive Map: New York City’s wisteria is in bloom, here’s where to see it. (Collier Sutter for Time Out)

Ruben Diaz, Sr. is an opponent of same-sex marriage and women’s reproductive rights and is also a Democrat. What does it mean to be a Democrat in New York City? (Matt Tracy for Gay City News)

How to get hired as a contact tracer in NYC and what the job entails. (Shaye Weaver for Time Out)

The state’s legislature has effectively killed the rent cancellation bill, taking up a “totally inadequate” bill instead. In its place is a bill that gives landlords vouchers if a landlord’s tenants must earn 80% below an area’s income anad have been paying more than 30% of their household income on rent before March 30. The total budget would give 50,000 tenants two monthly vouchers of $1,000. For perspective, one-quarter of the city’s 5.4 million renters did not pay rent last month. (Jake Offenhartz for Gothamist)

The numbers have slowed, but not enough for reopening. A look into who are the New Yorkers who are getting sick? (Andy Newman for NY Times)

Okay, what is going on with “The Power Broker: Robert Moses and the Fall of New York,” being surreptitiously placed on the bookshelf in nearly every cable news interview? (Dana Rubenstein for NY Times)

A somewhat complete (for now) guide to beach food at Rockaway Beach. (Scott Lynch for Gothamist)

The latest openings, reopenings, takeout specials, and other exciting or noteworthy updates in the weekly restaurant update from The Infatuation. (Hannah Albertine for the Infatuation)

Thanks to reader Lizzy for today’s featured photo!

The Briefly for March 12, 2020 – The “Why is Mayor Bill de Blasio So Hated?” Edition

Today’s daily NYC news digest: Expect six months before we return to pre-COVID19 normalcy, the best of Midtown East, Modell’s says goodbye, Harvey Weinstein is off to rot, and more

Today – Low: 46˚ High: 49˚
Light rain in the evening and overnight.

The census begins today. Last time around, the city’s participation rate was 62%, compared to the national average of 76%. With as much effort the city and state have put into marketing the census, it’s gonna be mighty embarrassing if we maintain that low rate. (Alex Williamson for Brooklyn Eagle)

Why is DeBlasio so hated? (AskNYC)

Rapist and rotting ghoul Harvey Weinstein was sentenced to 23 years in prison. His layer had previously said that he may not outlive any sentence over five years. May he live a long life to experience every single day of that sentence. (Jen Ransom for NY Times)

Even Harvey Weinstein’s own body hates him, as he was hospitalized again with heart problems and chest pain. Let’s all hope he’s got great doctors because he has at least 23 years minus a day to live. (Dean Meminger for amNewYork Metro)

RIP Modell’s, who will be liquidating all of its stores starting Friday. The company is pointing to an unusually warm winter as the final nail in the coffin. If you gotta go to Mo’s, make sure it’s soon. (Crain’s)

The $3.2 million revamp of Woodside’s Little Bush Playground is set to start next month and should take about a year to finish. (Michael Dorgan for Sunnyside Post)

The Chelsea Hotel renovations continue to be an utter mess. Work has stopped because the building did not qualify for a Certificate of No Harassment with multiple tenants complaining about unlivable conditions dating back years. (Michelle Cohen for 6sqft)

Governors Island announced its free programming for the 2020 season, which starts on May 1. (Devin Gannon for 6sqft)

May we all be lucky to have birthday parties half as wild as 87-year-old Ray from Ray’s Candy Store. (Bob Krasner for amNewYork Metro)

Sometimes you don’t even have to go outside to birdwatch. (Mike Mishkin for I Love the Upper West Side)

Crown Heights has a new vegan Ethiopian restaurant in Ras Plant Based. (Scott Lynch for Gothamist)

The number of families in shelters each night was 46 percent higher last year than it was in December 2009, and one out of every 100 babies born in the city was brought to a shelter, rather than a permanent home. Needless to say, Governor Cuomo and Mayor de Blasio did not earn high marks on The Coalition for the Homeless’ annual report. (Janaki Chadha for Politico)

“I can now proudly call myself an NYC housing lottery winner.” One person’s story of how they won the lottery. (Kim Turner for StreetEasy)

Frank’s Cocktail Lounge in Fort Greene has been the backdrop to a changing neighborhood since the 1950s, and on April 10 of this year, that comes to an end. (S.E. Blackwell for East New York News)

Photos: A first look from the observation deck of Edge. (Michelle Young for Untapped New York)

The lone Yelp review gave it four stars, but still called it “crack head city.” KN Mi Delicia Bakery and Coffee Shop in Mott Haven was part of a drug ring and multi-state 14-person arrest, with a raid finding $50,000 cash and bags stuffed with what is suspected to be heroin and cocaine. (Kathleen Culliton for Patch)

Brooklyn Democratic Party’s leaders have endorsed Councilmember Donovan Richards for Queens borough president. (Alex Williamson for Brookly Eagle)

The city is beginning to experiment with, get this, actual dumpsters for businesses that will be set on the street to remove trash bag mountains that pile up on our sidewalks. It’s almost like the sidewalks should be for people to walk on, not for businesses to store trash on. (Gersh Kuntzman for Streetsblog)

26 excellent Midtown East bars and restaurants to try. (Alexandra Ilyashov for Eater)


Six months. According to the mayor, that’s how long the fight against COVID-19 will take before things return to normal again. Get ready for the worst summer ever. (Adam Nichols for Patch)

The economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic on restaurants will be akin to a major natural disaster. (Serena Dai for Eater)

Restaurants, open-air markets, and catering companies are expected to take a hard hit, Grub Street takes a look at how businesses are preparing to support their hourly staffs if at all. (Chris Crowley for Grub Street)

“We’re not in a position where we can rely on the CDC or the FDA to manage this testing protocol.” -Governor Cuomo. New York will start contracting 28 private labs to help administer coronavirus testing for New York residents. (Emily Davenport for amNewYork Metro)

Daytime talk shows filming in New York will be forgoing live studio audiences during the COVID-19 outbreak. (Kimberley Richards for HuffPost)

SUNY and CUNY schools will halt in-person classes for the rest of the semester, beginning on March 19. The dorms won’t be closing and classes that are impossible to hold remotely will still be held. (Niedzwiadek and Madina Touré for Politico)

Coronavirus fears may jeopardize the election process, which requires candidates to collect up to thousands of signatures of supporters. This may lead to the governor altering election law, as he did following Superstorm Sandy. (Max Parrott for QNS)

If you’re healthy, you should still consider dining out. The virus is not transmitted via food or drink. (Serena Dai for Eater)

An usher for “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?” and “Six” has tested positive for COVID-19. Both theaters underwent a deep clean, the shows are continuing, and the usher is now in quarantine. (Michael Paulson for NY Times)

Manhattan’s St. Patrick’s Day Parade is officially canceled. (Todd Maisel and Robert Pozarycki for amNewYork Metro)

How to help during the coronavirus outbreak. (Azi Paybarahf or NY Times)

A big thank you to reader Taina for today’s featured photo, taken in Red Hook.

The Briefly for March 11, 2020 – The “Bill de Blasio’s Kiss of Death Endorsement” Edition

Today’s daily NYC news digest: The latest with COVID-19 in NYC, the five best cheese dishes in NYC, the Sunnyside Yards project is still decades away, and more

Today – Low: 43˚ High: 55˚
Partly cloudy throughout the day.

10 City Island restaurants worth the trip to the city’s remote New England town. (Noah Sheidlower for Untapped New York)

Photos: Rockaway’s St. Patrick’s Day Parade. (Scott Lynch for Gothamist)

Bob Dylan was added to the summer lineup at Forest Hills Stadium. Tickets go on sale Friday for the July 8 show. (Emily Davenport for amNewyork Metro)

Mayor Bill de Blasio, with nothing better to dedicate his time to, has taken to Twitter to attempt to sway Elizabeth Warren to support Bernie Sanders. I called de Blasio’s February 14th endorsement of Bernie Sanders a “Kiss of Death” and less than a month later FiveThirtyEight is giving Sanders a 0.1% chance of winning the Democratic nomination. (Sally Goldenberg for Politico)

Guardian Angels founder and WABC talk-radio shock jock Curtis Sliwa says he plans to run for mayor as a Republican in 2021. (NY1)

StreetsPAC endorsed Council Member Costa Constantinides for Queens borough president. Election Day is March 28. (Streetsblog)

If you’ve been waiting to see To Kill a Mockingbird, West Side Story, The Lehman Trilogy, Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, and The Book of Mormon, now may be your time. Each show is offering $50 tickets through the end of the month. (Emily Davenport for amNewYork Metro)

The best restaurants in Elmhurst. (Hannah Albertine & Bryan Kim for The Infatuation)

A deep dive into how a 40-year-old law has blocked police transparency in New York. For the fifth year in a row, the state’s legislature is considering a repeal of the law, with near-universal support outside of police unions. (Nick Pinto for Gothamist)

If you aren’t tired enough of hearing about the 2020 census, the Department of Sanitation is using Oscar the Grouch to encourage us to participate. Please participate in the census, especially if it means not enduring more of this kind of advertising in ten years. (Emily Davenport for amNewYork Metro)

Today marks the start of the Colossus Festival, which is bringing over 200 shows and hundreds of bands to the city. (Collier Sutter for Time Out)

Do you know the difference between a legal dollar van and an illegal one? Public Advocate Jumaane Williams is pushing riders to educate themselves. Hint: Not having a NY license plate is a good indication it’s illegal. (Mark Hallum for amNewYork Metro)

The curious case of the disappearing bike lanes in Bay Ridge. (Christopher Robbins and Jake Offenhartz for Gothamist)

The Sunnyside Yards project “is not something that would happen overnight.” according to the director of the project. He clarified that it is more likely a “multi-decade plan.” (Christian Murray and Michael Dorgan for Sunnyside Post)

The Strand on the Upper West Side is eyeing an April opening date. (Sara Lewin Lebwohl for I Love the Upper West Side)

The reason more pedestrians and cyclists are dying on the city’s streets is straight forward. Drivers are killing them. (Emma G. Fitzsimmons for NY Times)

Robert Sietsema’s top five cheese dishes around NYC. (Robert Sietsema for Eater)


As of this digest’s publication, the St. Patrick’s Day Parade is still scheduled to happen, but the NYC Half-Marathon was canceled. (Elizabeth Kim for Gothamist)

SARS, Swine Flu, Ebola, Zika, and Measles. NYC’s recent history of fighting outbreaks. (Zijia Song for Bedford + Bowery)

When will the mania end? Costco has ended their free samples policy due to COVID-19. (Nikita Richardson for Grub Street)

If any New York state student or staffer tests positive for the new coronavirus, their school will close for at least 24 hours.That the edict from Governor Cuomo. (Reema Amin for ChalkBeat)

A list of schools across the city that are closed or running under altered schedules. When you read this, it may already be out of date. (QNS)

The Department of Education is telling parents not to attend parent-teacher conferences. They will instead be conducted on the phone. (Zachary Gewelb for QNS)

A note from the President and CEO of the Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce. (Randy Peers for Brooklyn Eagle)

Dim sum parlors East Harbor Seafood Palace, Bamboo Garden, Park Asia, and Affable in Sunset Park have all closed as a result of COVID-19 related declines in business. Dims um parlors are being hit hardest because of their large rooms and communal tables. (Serena Dai for Eater)

The state’s Attorney General Letitia James has begun sending cease and desist orders over price gouging of hand sanitizers and disinfectant sprays. (Gabe Herman for amNewYork Metro)

While real estate seems to be unaffected by COVID-19 fears, it’s still too early to tell according to experts. If a pandemic can’t help you find somewhere cheap to rent, nothing can. (Amy Plitt for Curbed)

If reading about the coronavirus in this digest (and everywhere else) isn’t enough for you, the city introduced a text line for updates. Text COVID to 692692 and you’ll get texts from the city about the outbreak. (Dana Schulz for 6sqft)

Thanks to reader Alex for today’s featured photo from Edge NYC’s sneak peek in the Hudson Yards.