The Briefly for August 3, 2020 – The “Fired Anywhere But New York City” Edition

Today’s daily NYC news digest: The mayor’s staff keeps quitting, 15 new Open Restaurant streets, AOC weighs in on the Port Authority’s federal funding, a whale saved, and more

Today – Low: 75˚ High: 88˚
Possible light rain overnight.

Tuesday is looking rough in the city. Tropical Storm Isaias is predicted to hit the city sometime Tuesday afternoon. Just in time for my dogs to need a walk. (Adam Nichols for Patch)

“I’m telling you we’re going to have an issue.” Governor Cuomo isn’t an optimist when it comes to the city’s economic recovery. (Matt Troutman for Patch)

Katz’s launched its own delivery service. (Erika Adams for Eater)

The mayor has been suspending alternate side parking on and off for months and he was never aware that the city uses street cleaning days for bike lane work. Good thing the mayor spent all that effort to “lighten the burden” of car ownership, in his own words. (Gersh Kuntzman for Streetsblog)

The mayor is doing such a great job serving the city that six high-ranking staffers of Mayor de Blasio’s have quit in the last month. As everyone knows, there’s no better time to leave your government job than during an economic crisis in the middle of a pandemic for a mayor who will be out of office in less than two years. (Jake Offenhartz for Gothamist)

Calls for NYPD Commissioner Dermot Shea to resign have grown louder in the past few weeks. The pandemic and protests following the murder of George Floyd have shown that the NYPD’s commissioner has the back of the citizens of the NYPD and not the citizens of NYC and has exacerbated problems between the two. (Gwynne Hogan for Gothamist)

It’s hard to imagine another city where the commissioner, who is appointed by and serves at the pleasure of the mayor, would keep their job in the face of everything that Dermot Shea has said and done, but most cities aren’t governed by the coward Bill de Blasio. Sometimes I editorialize in these moments, but this piece in the Times looks at just how weird it is that Shea has kept his job despite almost a decade of de Blasio calling for police reforms. (Emma G. Fitzsimmons for NY Times)

Following Andrew Coté, who spent his pandemic rescuing beehives across the city. (Stephanie Simon)

The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey was hit with a $777 million drop in revenues in the first half of the year and is pleading for federal assistance, potentially losing $3 billion by March 2022. (Sophia Chang for Gothamist)

“While some of this funding may be critical to stabilize Port Authority operations, no funding should be provided to the AirTrain; the AirTrain is an unnecessary boondoggle that will hamper economic recovery in our watershed, a region in Northern Queens that has been heavily impacted by Covid-19,” -AOC (Angélica Acevedo for QNS)

You might have done everything right when it came to your absentee ballot and the Board of Elections still may have invalidated it. In a misunderstanding between the state and the post office, it’s possible the post office didn’t postmark your ballot and it also didn’t deliver it before the June 30 deadline. The exact number of rejected ballots will be announced on Tuesday. (Emily Ngo for NY1)

Even if we admit that everyone who touched the ballots (except voters) was at fault, what are the next steps? We’re expecting a ruling this week in a court case that will decide the fate of many of these invalidated votes. (Brigid Bergin for Gothamist)

One of the things that sucks the most about the voting mess from the June 23 primary is that the city is now being held up by President Trashbag as a reason to not move forward with mail-in voting. There was no malfeasance involved, but the state and the federal government let us down with a failure to perform in June and we don’t have much time before November roars through. (Jesse McKinley for NY Times)

It has taken the city an embarrassingly long amount of time to create the No-Penalty Business Accessory Sign Inspection program in reaction to the panic going around small businesses after hundreds of complaints were filed in November of 2018, leading to many businesses just ripping their signs down in confusion/fear. It shouldn’t take a deadly pandemic for the city to help small businesses become compliant with regulations. (Jaime DeJesus for The Brooklyn Home Reporter)

The Top of the Rock will reopen this Thursday with free admission to essential workers and a guest from August 14-16. (Shaye Weaver for Time Out)

American Museum of Natural History is reopening on Sept. 9, pending permission from state and city officials, with a 25% capacity. (Sarah Bahr for NY Times)

Ronny Vargas and Alex Sauzo were arrested for throwing an illegal and non-socially distanced three-hour boat party in the East River with 17u2 people aboard. (Sydney Pereira for Gothamist)

A humpback whale was successfully freed by NOAA over the weekend after being entangled in a mess of buoys and fishing line for several days. Humpback whales returning to NYC’s waterways is a positive sign that preservation efforts are working, but also a sign that we’ll need to continue those efforts to keep them safe. (Sydney Pereira for Gothamist)

Photos: If you don’t have an easy means to see it yourself, there is a tribute to Elijah McClain by artist Vincent Ballentine in the First Street Green Art Park. (EV Grieve)

3% is the city’s threshold for keeping the schools open. As long as the city’s seven-day rolling average positivity rate stays below 3%, schools will stay open. The rate has been between 1% and 2% for about two months. The city will no mandate that staff or students get tested for Covid-19. The chair of the City Council’s education committee calls the city’s plans “an unfunded proposal that is incomplete.” The head of the teacher’s union says “This is not enough to protect students and staff.” (Elizabeth Kim and David Cruz for Gothamist)

15 more streets were added to the city’s Open Restaurants program, which allows restaurants to expand into the streets on the weekend. (Tanay Warerkar for Eater)

NYPD officer Kevin Martin was arrested and charged with evidence tampering and official misconduct. Martin has been the subject of 14 investigations by the Civilian Complaint Review Board and 18 of the 45 different allegations brought against him have been substantiated and he was named in six lawsuits, which cost the city over $1 million in settlements. (Jake Offenhartz for Gothamist)

Good morning to Murphy, the newborn harbor seal pup in the New York Aquarium in Coney Island. (Ben Verde for amNewYork Metro)

Photos: The MTA is trying out six new kinds of subway maps. If you want to see them in person, take the R all the way to 86th St in Brooklyn, or just look at the photos. (Ben Yakas, photos by Scott Lynch for Gothamist)

17 public art installations not to miss in August, including the new installation in the Socrates Sculpture Park. (Nicholas Loud for Untapped New York)

An airport replacing Central Park? Is this some sort of joke? Yes, it is. (Josh Vogel for NYC Urbanism)

11 food and drink pop-ups in NYC this summer. Happy to see Bad Trip on the list in Dumbo, it’s my favorite of this summer’s picks. (Hannah Albertine & Matt Tervooren for The Infatuation)

The Briefly for July 27, 2020 – The “Do You Think He’s Talking About Me?” Edition

Today’s daily NYC news digest: The city expands the Open Streets programs by 0.1 miles, the NYPD won’t stop using the illegal chokehold, the world’s tallest residential building, & more

Today – Low: 81˚ High: 93˚
Humid throughout the day.

Have you had Covid-19? According to the CDC, a quarter of New Yorkers have had it this year. (Adam Nichols for Patch)

Apartment Porn: Inside the apartments inside Central Park Tower, the world’s tallest residential building. (Dana Schulz for 6sqft)

Is there any question that when the governor says “Local government, step up and do your job,” he's specifically talking about Mayor de Blasio? The State Liquor Authority issued 37 violations for violating social-distancing measures on Friday, most of them inside the city. He threatened to shut down all bars and restaurants unless "local government" steps up in enforcement. On the list in the city was Cipriani Downtown, Aqua, in Belmont, Guaro’s Tapas Bar and La Pollera Colorado II in Jackson Heights, Set L.E.S. on the Lower East Side, and Kandela in Ozone Park. (Tanay Warerkar for Eater)

Mayor de Blasio has once again suspended alternate side parking, this time until August 2. (Alejandra O’Connell-Domenech for amNewYork Metro)

The mayor added 2.87 miles to its Open Streets program, but also removed 2.77 miles from the Open Streets program, ultimately adding 0.1 miles to the total open streets. (Gersh Kuntzman for Streetsblog)

The Covid-19 pandemic exposed the inequalities of the city’s design. 1.1 million New Yorkers don’t live within a 10-minute walk of a public park. When the city closed the playgrounds, it meant those New Yorkers lost their only public space. In a poor neighborhood, the average park is 6.4 acres, in a wealthy neighborhood, it averages 14 acres. In predominantly Black neighborhoods, the parks are 7.9 acres. In predominantly white neighborhoods, they are 29.8 acres. (Winnie Hu and Nate Schweber for NY Times)

Mayor de Blasio’s Open Streets program was supposed to balance out some of this inequity, but the Open Streets program favors wealthier neighborhoods in Brooklyn, Queens, and Manhattan. (Julianne Cuba for Streetsblog)

A Covid-19 funding moratorium has frozen any fixes that were scheduled to be made at more than 20 NYCHA playgrounds, keeping them closed or mid-construction. (Reuven Blau for The City)

The New York Giants released kicker Aldrick Rosas after he was arrested for an alleged hit-and-run last month. (Joe Pantorno for amNewYork Metro)

The city’s Restaurant Revitalization Program comes with some interesting strings attached. The program is awarding $30,000 grants to 100 restaurants in target neighborhoods identified by the city’s Racial Inclusion and Equity Task Force, but part of accepting the grant is agreeing to pay employees full minimum wage, not inclusive of tips, to all workers within five years of returning to regular business practices. (Sophia Chang for Gothamist)

Chief of Department of the NYPD, Terence Monahan, says that NYPD officers “can’t be afraid” of using a now-illegal chokehold and “We can’t be afraid of what we do. We can’t walk away.” (Ishena Robinson for The Root)

It’s no wonder that voices calling for NYPD Commissioner Dermot Shea’s ouster are growing while the public sees no discipline for cops who flagrantly use violence against the citizens they serve. (Rosa Goldensohn for The City)

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

The New York Civil Liberties Union is fighting a gag order preventing them from publishing a vast database containing NYPD disciplinary records. (David Cruz for Gothamist)

While we don’t have those records, there is now a searchable database of closed cases of every active-duty police officer who had at least one substantiated allegation against them. (Derek Willis, Eric Umansky and Moiz Syed for ProPublica)

If you’ve ever seen the lakes in Prospect Park in the summer, you know about the algae that bloom over the water’s surface, giving it the water the appearance of a solid green surface. The city feels compelled to put up signs warning that it is, indeed, a lake and not a solid surface. (Reuven Blau for The City)

The President backed out of an offer that he claims came from Yankees president Randy Levine to throw out the first pitch at Yankee Stadium on August 15, stating he’ll do it “later in the season.” (Tim Moran for Patch)

Giancarlo Stanton and Aaron Hicks have begun kneeling during the national anthem before Yankees games and have the support of multiple teammates. (Thomas Carannante for Yanks Go Hard)

“We all deserve better than a careless Major League Baseball organization that consistently ignores the surrounding community while pandering to an unapologetic white supremacist like Donald Trump.” -Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr (David Cruz for Gothamist)

Photos: Inside the newly reopened Central Park Zoo. (Scott LYnch for Gothamist)

The state’s interim commissioner of education is quitting after 8 months. She replaced another interim commissioner of education who quit after two months. She replaced the commissioner of education who quit last August. Multiple deputy commissioners have also quit over the last year. What’s going on over there? (Reema Amin for Chalkbeat)

Neiman Marcus is closing its flagship at Hudson Yards, looking ahead to life after the pandemic, stating customers’ shopping habits aren’t likely to go back to how they once were. Developers are already trying to lease the space for offices instead of retail. (Devin Gannon for 6sqft)

Green-Wood cemetery is looking for an artist-in-residence to make the cemetery the inspiration for their art from January through September. (Collier Sutter for Time Out)

New York state is suing President Trump over his attempt to exclude undocumented immigrants from the Census. (Sophia Chang for Gothamist)

The Times takes a hard and depressing look at the block in Midtown surrounding the Time & Life Building, calling its current dead state “omen for the city’s future.” (Michael Wilson for NY Times)

The first eviction cases have been filed since Governor Cuomo’s initial moratorium expired. His extension is not as extensive, leading to the first look at an expected tidal wave headed towards the city once the extension ends. (Michael Herzenberg for NY1)

Where to eat outside in Woodside and Sunnyside. (Nikko Duren for The Infatuation)

The Briefly for June 24, 2020 – The “Operation Righteous Cowboy Lightning” Edition

Today’s daily NYC news digest: The possible end of the to-go cocktail, fighting white supremacy in museums, Ample Hills finds a buyer, the City Council move to open beaches, and more

Today – Low: 74˚ High: 83˚
Partly cloudy throughout the day.

Tired of waiting for the mayor, the City Council is set to introduce a bill this week that would force the beaches open. (Joe Anuta for Politico)

Last night’s primary and election results. It’s still too early to declare winners due to the high volume of absentee voting, but Donovan Richards is leading for Queens Borough President, Jamaal Bowman has a sizable lead over incumbent Eliot Engel, Ritchie Torres is leading the pack in House District 15, AOC is cruising to victory, Yvette Clarke has a large lead, and Jerry Nadler is winning. (NY1)

How did the Democratic primary and election go yesterday?

Over 229,806 absentee ballots distributed in Manhattan for the Democratic primary, only 13% had been received before June 23. (Mark Hallum for amNewYork Metro)

Mayor de Blasio is tackling the city’s biggest problem. Obviously, that problem is Alternate Side Parking. For some reason, the mayor is making ASP more difficult to understand, only demanding that cars be moved once a week instead of multiple times. Of course, this doesn’t apply on streets where cars are only moved once a week. If this sounds complicated, it’s because the mayor took a subject that only pertains to 45% of households in the city and made it complicated. (Ben Yakas for Gothamist)

Kudos to the people who chose to protest the mayor’s inaction on the amount of fireworks regularly being set off by sitting outside Gracie Mansion all night while laying on car horns. (Kathleen Culliton for Patch)

Where are the illegal fireworks? Take a look at a map of the ballooning complaints across the city through the month of June. (Sydney Pereira, Clarisa Diaz, Jen Chung, Jake Dobkin, and Beth Fertig for Gothamist)

The mayor announced a crack down on fireworks, but don’t expect any relief on the nightly displays across the city. The mayor’s approach is mostly supply chain based and not enforcement based. (Matt Troutman for Patch)

In the hall of fame of bad ideas, this may be the king. The mayor announced that instead of a July 4th fireworks display, Macy’s will set off fireworks for five minutes, unannounced, on a nightly basis for every night next week and a highlights package will air on July 4th. This is the literal plot of the 30 Rock episode “Operation Righteous Cowboy Lightning” and it ends poorly. This truly is the Mayor de Blasio of fireworks displays. (Ben Yakas for Gothamist)

Layleen Polanco, the trans woman who died in a Rikers Island solitary confinement cell last year, was pushed there by jailers over a doctor’s objections and despite her seizure disorder, according to a new report from thecdty’s Board of Corrections. (Rosa Goldensohn for The City)

The complaint history of Daniel Pantaleo, whose illegal chokehold caused the death of Eric Garner, has been released and, surprise surprise, Daniel Panteleo was a piece of shit with seven misconduct complaints before using an illegal chokehold on Garner in 2014. (NY1)

The NYPD Tasered George Zapantis to death. Video was taken of Zapantis being taken from his home with hands tied behind his back has surfaced while four or five officers tased him and screamed at him not to resist arrest. (David Cruz for Gothamist)

The city’s criminal courts have a 39,200 case backlog right. The city’s justice is on hold and people waiting for trial are sitting in jail cells. (Alan Feuer, Nicole Hong, Benjamin Weiser and Jan Ransom for The City)

Museums can open their doors, if all goes according to plan, on July 20. The Metropolitan Museum of Art has plans to open on August 29. (Julia Jacobs for NY Times)

The Met Breuer will be closing for good in July, with The Frick moving in while its home on the Upper East Side gets renovated. (Howard Halle for Time Out)

The Museum of Jewish Heritage is laying off over 40% of its staff due to the Covid-19 pandemic. (Colin Moynihan for NY Times)

“We write to inform you that your covert and overt white supremacy that has benefited the institution, through the unrecognized dedication and hard labor of Black/Brown employees, with the expectation that we remain complacent with the status quo, is over.”
An open letter to New York City’s Cultural Institutions

A look at the heroic efforts of the people who step in to help the pets of New Yorkers who become seriously ill with coronavirus. (Sarah Maslin Nir for NY Times)

Over a quarter-million of the city’s food jobs were lost since March, with only about 14,000 returning to work so far. It’s the lowest level of hospitality employment since before 1992. (Ryan Sutton for Eater)

The city’s cocktail-takeout law expires this weekend. Without action from Governor Cuomo, this is the end of the to-go cocktail. (Erika Adams for Eater)

There are only two kinds of people in the world, according to Serena Day, those who like Van Leeuwen and those who like Ample Hills. Which are you? (Serena Day for Eater)

Ample Hills was sold to Schmitt Industries for one million dollars. They were the only company to submit a qualifying bid. Technically the sale is pending with a court hearing set for June 30. (Erika Adams for Eater)

85 restaurants where you can eat outside today. (Hannah Albertine, Nikko Duren, Bryan Kim, & Matt Tervooren for The Infatuation)