The Briefly for April 1, 2020 – The “Biggest Jerk in New York City” Edition

Today’s daily NYC news digest: The NYPD is using unmanned drones to enforce physical distancing, Dr. Anthony Fauci’s NYC roots, photos inside the Central Park field hospital, and more

Today – Low: 40˚ High: 52˚
Partly cloudy throughout the day.

Praise of the calming ritual of the cocktail hour, and a recipe for a gin and tonic. (Adam Platt for Grub Street)

“Despite the logistical isolation and the very real physical distress, however, there were moments of connection that kept me from feeling truly alone.” –How Kelli Dunham fell ill to COVID-19 and lived to tell about it. (Kelli Dunham for HuffPost)

How to safely order restaurant delivery and takeout. (Bao Ong for Time Out)

The MTA is struggling to maintain a full staff, as 2,200 subway and bus workers are in quarantine. Even if they wanted to expand service to reduce congestion, they couldn’t. (Mark Hallum for amNewYork Metro)

Meet Baruch Feldheim, a complete asshole. Baruch faces five years in prison and fines of up to $350,000 for price-gouging N95 masks and personal protective gear. When the FBI came to arrest him, he claimed to have novel coronavirus and tried to cough on them. (Sophia Chang for Gothamist)

Photos: “But the thoroughfares have been abandoned. The energy that once crackled along the concrete has eased. The throngs of tourists, the briskly striding commuters, the honking drivers have mostly skittered away.” This city was not meant to be empty. (Corina Knoll and photographers Bryan Derballa, Mark Abramson, Diana Zeyneb Alhindawi, Gabriela Bhaskar, Marian Carrasquero, Juan Arredondo, Jonah Markowitz, Stephen Speranza, Gareth Smit, Sarah Blesener, Victor J. Blue, Jeenah Moon, Desiree Rios, Jose A. Alvarado Jr., and Ryan Christopher Jones for NY Times)

Looking at Dr. Anthony Fauci’s Brooklyn roots. (Jessica Parks for Brooklyn Paper)

The city is extending its car-free pilot program through Sunday but won’t expand the number of streets closed off to vehicular traffic. (Gersh Kuntzman for Streetsblog)

St. Patrick’s Cathedral will be closed off to the public on Easter and Palm Sunday, but you can catch them both on WPIX and on YouTube. (Robert Pozarycki for amNewYork Metro)

The Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in Flushing Meadows is going to be converted to a temporary 350-bed medical facility. The original plan was to house non-COVID-19 patients, but the final plans haven’t been made. (Joe Pantorno for amNewYork Metro)

Photos: The Central Park COVID-19 field hospital. (Michelle Young for Untapped New York)

Job searching is tough enough without a global pandemic. Here are a few things to do to help your search. (Mindy Stern for amNewYork Metro)

It’s a seven-course $600 dinner party, but you have to cook it yourself. This is what fine dining looks like in 2020. (Erika Adams for Eater)

New York state’s restaurants lost nearly $2 billion in revenue in the first 22 days of March. (Tanay Warerkar for Eater)

This pandemic may be troubling us humans, but this expectant mother goose in the Gowanus Canal is living her best life. (Pardon Me for Asking)

When you go to the grocery store or order food, please remember that the people working to provide you that food wants to be infected just as little as you do. (Daniela Galarza for Grub Street)

Photos: A dramatic black-and-white Carroll Gardens, bereft of its usual life. (Katia Kelly for Pardon Me for Asking)

Actor and comedian Paul Scheer (The League, Veep) on his quarantine diet. (Paul Scheer for Grub Street)

An interview with Deborah Feldman, the subject of Netflix mini-series and New York Times bestseller ‘Unorthodox,’ who left her ultra-Orthodox Jewish community for a new life in Berlin. (Marisa Mazria-Katz for NY Times)

Video: The NYPD is using unmanned drones to monitor physical distancing, or the lack thereof. (Ben Yakas for Gothamist)

10 Bronx restaurants to take out from during COVID-19. (Alex Mitchell for Bronx Times)

What Time Out’s editors are reading while staying physically distant. (Will Gleason for Time Out)

RIP Michael Sorkin and William Helmreich, two of the city’s most prolific walkers. Helmreich was the author of The New York Nobody Knows walked 6,000 miles in an ongoing effort to walk every street in New York and Sorkin was the author of Twenty Minutes in Manhattan, which detailed a walk from Greenwich Village to Tribeca. Both taken by COVID-19. (Jake Bittle for Curbed)

Parks@Home is here to bring the city’s parks to you. The new series features virtual walks in the park with Urban Park Rangers. (Jamie DeJesus for The Brooklyn Home Reporter)

The state hired more than 700 additional people to answer unemployment-related phone calls, with hundreds more being hired and trained, and they’re still having trouble keeping up with the demand. (Ryan Sutton for Eater)

The city shut down ten playgrounds throughout all five boroughs, because, as a city, we remain poor at physical distancing.

The city’s Human Rights Commission is investigating the firing of Chris Smalls, the Amazon worker who organized a strike outside of the company’s Staten Island facility on Monday. (Sydney Pereira for Gothamist)

The City University of New York is scrambling to distribute as many as 30,000 computers to students, after delaying online classes designed to keep coursework going after coronavirus-prompted campus shutdowns. (Gabriel Sandoval for The City)

Photos: Inside Woodhaven’s 95-year-old Schmidt’s Candy, making handmade candies for Eater. (James and Karla Murray for 6sqft)

The MoMA is offering free online art courses to help you finally answer the question “is this art?” (Howard Halle for Time Out)

Nine tips on how to create the quintessential NYC balcony garden. (Shaye Weaver for Time Out)

Thanks to Micah Eames for today’s featured photo from Crown Heights!

The Briefly for March 31, 2020 – The “Panda Express, You Will Be Missed” Edition

Today’s daily NYC news digest: The USNS Comfort arrives in NYC, on the edge of a rent crisis, NYPD changes enforcement tactics, neighborhood delivery and takeout directory, and more

Today – Low: 39˚ High: 47˚
Mostly cloudy throughout the day.

Remember the field hospital in Central Park? Well, the group is led by Franklin Graham, a notorious anti-LGBTQ and Islamophobic preacher with a track record of using humanitarian missions to proselytize an evangelical agenda. He’s also the guy that said that God intervened in the 2016 election to make Donald Trump president. (Jake Offenhartz for Gothamist)

Welcome to the resistance, Mike Francesa. (Ed Mazza for HuffPost)

The Empire State Building’s “heartbeat of America” display really freaked some people out. (Ed Mazza for HuffPost)

Looking to up your baking game? Christina Tosi of Milk Bar is hitting Instagram every day at 2 pm for a distanced baking club. (Bao Ong for Time Out)

Farewell, Panda Express. Panda Express closed all 11 NYC locations temporarily “out of advanced precaution.” The company will pay employees impacted by the closure and gave away the rest of its food to hospitals before it closed. (Serena Dai for Eater)

WeWork is in the running for “worst possible COVID-19 reaction.” They haven’t closed their rental offices, they’re trying to entice workers to come in with a daily $100 bonus, are continuing to collect membership fees, and fired 250 employees. WeWork is claiming that since some businesses that rent from them are essential, they should remain completely open. (Sylvia Varnham O’Regan and E.B. Solomont for The Real Deal)

Photos: The city’s closed streets. (Noah Sheidlower for Untapped New York)

Mayor de Blasio called for a rent freeze on the one million rent-stabilized apartments in the city. (Michael Dogan for LIC Post)

We’re a day away from the first of the month and rent strikes are beginning to come forward as a path forward. (Jake Offenhartz for Gothamist)

Once the 90-day eviction suspension, what’s going to happen? Mass displacement? (Caroline Spivack for Curbed)

Who the hell are these monsters who are getting together for coronavirus speakeasies and potlucks? (Tanay Warerkar for Eater)

Workers in Amazon’s Staten Island fulfillment center walked out today at 1 pm and called for the facility to be shut down after they say at least 10 workers have tested positive for COVID-19. Amazon fired Chris Smalls after the walkout, one of the organizers of the walkout, for supposedly violating safety regulations. (Josh Dzieza for The Verge)

Whole Foods workers are planning a nationwide sick-out protest on Tuesday. Workers are calling for increased hazard pay while the company reaps record sales. (Lauren Kaori Gurley for Vice)

The Onion: New York City Health Officials Board Up Sun To Discourage Large Groups From Gathering Outside. (The Onion)

13% of NYPD officers are out on sick leave. (Todd Maisel for amNewYork Metro)

The NYPD can now give tickets for a lack of social distancing at their own discretion. Enforcing the law at their discretion fairly isn’t exactly the NYPD’s strong suit. (Howard Halle for Time Out)

86-year-old Janie Marshall was attacked on Saturday at NYC Health and Hospitals/Woodhull in Bed-Stuy for not socially distancing by a 32-year-old woman. Unfortunately, Janie hit her head on the flood after being attacked and was pronounced dead a few hours later. If you see someone doing something dangerous, use your words and keep your own distance. (Ben Yakas for Gothamist)

Shortly after Edge opened in Hudson Yards, a worker was diagnosed with COVID-19. Edge closed, but the adjacent Peak restaurant didn’t. The VP of the operating company told the managers of Peak to not tell guests about the reported case and lie about why Edge was closed. (Erika Adams for Eater)

How the Long Island Rail Road is working to keep its customers safe, from Phillip Eng, the president of the LIRR. (Phillip Eng for QNS)

How’s the MTA’s subway cleanups going? “It looks good on paper, but in a lot of cases, it’s not happening.” -JP Patafio, a vice president for TWU Local 100. (Jose Martinez for The City)

12 epidemics that have plagued New York throughout history. (Noah Sheidlower for Untapped New York)

The USNS Comfort hospital ship arrived in New York City Monday morning. (Kathleen Culliton for Patch)

Photos: The USNS Comfort arrives. (Devin Gannon for 6sqft)

What kind of stupidity is necessary to watch a hospital ship arriving, sent to relieve the hospitals during a pandemic that has killed over a thousand New Yorkers, and idiots watching the ship arrive en masse to take photos? (@kirkpate)

Video: Trucks are being used at hospitals across the city as makeshift morgues, but it might not hit you of how dire the situation is until you see a hospital staff using a forklift to transport bodies into a truck on a sidewalk. Watch at your own discretion. (Kevin Duggan for Brooklyn Paper)

This hand-drawn map of the Met by artist John Kerschbaum is absolutely stunning. (Claire Voon for Atlas Obscura)

RIP Father Jorge Ortiz-Garay, the first-known Catholic priest in the city to die of COVID-19. (Jamie DeJesus for The Brooklyn Home Reporter)

The favorite NYC restaurant cookbooks of the Eater staff. (Eater)

FEMA is sending refrigerated trucks to the city to serve as temporary morgues as the death toll from the coronavirus grows. (Erin Durkin for Politico)

NYPD will no longer respond to 911 calls for vehicle collisions on Staten Island that result in only property damage because people in Staten Island can’t stop hitting each other with their cars and too much of the police’s time is being spent on providing loss adjustment services for the insurance industry. (Gersh Kuntzman for Streetsblog)

What to expect when you’re expecting to give birth during the COVID-19 pandemic. (Catherine Pearson for HuffPost)

How to shop for groceries, according to doctors and epidemiologists. (Marian Bull for Grub Street)

Video: Drone video of Hart Island, New York City’s mass grave, containing over one million bodies. (Find and Seek)

82 percent of New York City voters approve of Cuomo’s handling of the pandemic, according to a Siena College poll. (Kathleen Culliton for Patch)

Air purifiers can’t kill the coronavirus. New York Attorney General Letitia James is ordering companies selling purifiers to cease and desist marketing their products as being effective against COVID-19. (The Brooklyn Reader)

The case for why jails are so important in the fight against COVID-19. (Anna Flagg and Joseph Neff for NY Times)

360° Video: Driving through Chinatown, Little Italy, and the Bowery. (ActionKid)

What the BrooklynVegan staff is listening to in isolation. (BrooklynVegan)

The neighborhood delivery and takeout directory. (Hannah Albertine, Nikko Duren, Bryan Kim, Arden Shore, & Matt Tervooren for The Infatuation)

Thanks to reader Kathryn for today’s featured photo!

The Briefly for March 30, 2020 – The “Buying Whiskey for a Good Cause” Edition

Today’s daily NYC news digest: Central Park becomes a field hospital for COVID-19 patients, Amazon continues to expand its NYC footprint, you can still move apartments, and more

Today – Low: 46˚ High: 48˚
Drizzle in the morning and afternoon.

Can you move during the pandemic? Yes. (Devin Gannon for 6sqft)

In September of 2018, a construction crew in Elmhurst accidentally exhumed the mummified remains of a smallpox victim from the 1850s. Was that a bad omen? (Ephemeral New York)

The New York Bacon and Beer Classic was rescheduled to September 26. Isn’t it nice to think that life will return to normal at some point in the future? (Alex Mitchell for amNewYork Metro)

Wheated is selling off its whiskey collection to help its laid-off employees. If you were looking to get your hands on some great whiskey at a reasonable price in Ditmas Park, you know where to go. (Robert Sietsema for Eater)

Maybe whiskey’s not your thing? Some restaurants have merch available. (Tanay Warerkar for Eater)

The definition of what consists of a “real emergency” has changed. With a record volume of 911 calls, the FDNY is asking anyone who is thinking of calling 911 for coronavirus-related reasons to call a doctor first. (Jenna Amatulli for HuffPost)

Photos: Inside the new 1,000-bed Javits Center hospital. (Dana Schulz for 6sqft)

Aqueduct Racetrack, the Brooklyn Cruise Terminal, the CUNY College of Staten Island, and the New York Expo Center will become temporary hospital sites that will add an additional 4,000 hospital beds to the city. (Devin Gannon for 6sqft)

Central Park’s East Meadow is being used as an emergency field hospital for COVID-19 patients. (John Del Signore for Gothamist)

Elon Musk is sending 615 ventilators to the city, wait, why did Elon Musk have 615 ventilators to start? (Kathleen Culliton for Patch)

Ample Hills is laying off all 101 of its workers. This, unlike their recent bankruptcy announcement, is related to the COVID-19 pandemic. (Eddie Small for The Real Deal)

Photos: New York’s first complete week of pandemic dining. (Gary He for Eater)

It started as a list of the best things to eat in New York, now it’s a list of 101 things we hope we can eat again soon. (Grub Street)

Here are all the Michelin-rated restaurants in the city that are now offering takeout or delivery. (Bao Ong for Time Out)

If you’ve always wanted a pet, there is quite literally no time like the present to adopt one. (Kevin Duggan for amNewYork Metro)

The bars are closed, the restaurants shuttered, the gyms are barren, but there is a place for some New Yorkers to be social and remain physically distant: the stoop. (Doug Gordon for Curbed)

Con Ed suspended checking gas and electric meters, so if someone comes to your door claiming to be from Con Ed, ignore them. (Brooklyn Eagle)

The state has put an end to “non-essential” construction, limiting active construction to building hospitals, infrastructure projects, affordable housing, and homeless shelters. (Janaki Chadha for Politico)

The Empire State building is working with Z100 to put together a light show every night at 9pm with new shows debuting on Friday nights. (Howard Halle for Time Out)

So how did the first week of remote learning go? (Shumita Basu for Gothamist)

Add the New York Philharmonic to the list of organizations streaming free performances. Check out past performances on Thursday nights. (Shaye Weaver for Time Out)

The city’s first map with any COVID-19 information is exceptionally unhelpful. Par for the course from the de Blasio administration. (Kathleen Culliton for Patch)

Amazon bought the Lord & Taylor Building at 424 Fifth Avenue for one billion dollars. Amazon continues to expand its NYC footprint, despite not getting a ridiculous tax break from the city and state. (Sebastian Morris for New York YIMBY)

Photos: Turns out we’re still pretty bad at social distancing in city parks. (Jen Carlson for Gothamist)

The NYPD was authorized to give $250 – $500 fines to people who aren’t maintaining social distance, but only if they fail to disperse when ordered or if officers find people in the same place twice. (Erin Durkin for Politico)

Pregnant women will not be forced to give birth without having someone with them. A new executive order from Governor Cuomo breaks any ban that was previously put in place by hospitals. It’s amazing how quickly the government can move when it is motivated. (Katie Van Syckle and Christina Caron for NY Times)

The state’s tax deadline and the presidential primary were moved. The tax deadline to July 15 and the primary to June 23. (Anna Quinn for Patch)

Along with the presidential primary, local elections were moved, creating questions about how the elections for Queens borough president and open city council seats. (Claudia Irizarry Aponte and Christine Chung for The City)

One week after calling for a complete lockdown of the city, Public Advocate Jumaane Williams is calling for the city to close all parks and playgrounds. (Ben Yakas for Gothamist)

Over the weekend, Rhode Island restricted access to the state for New Yorkers and then lifted their restrictions after Cuomo threatened to sue. (Bill Mahoney for amNewYork Metro)

A look at the “new” Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, who is starting to appear much more like the rest of the democrats than her previous spitfire self. (Alex Thompson and Holly Otterbein for Politico)

A brief list of notable people who have tested positive for COVID-19 this weekend: MTA Chairman and CEO Pat Foye, Knicks owner James Dolan, Queens District Attorney Melinda Katz. All three are isolating and seem to be doing okay. (Robert Pozarycki for amNewYork Metro, Joe Pantorno for amNewYork Metro, and Erin Durkin for Politico)

17 Thai delivery and takeout picks. (Bryan Kim for The Infatuation)

Thanks to Dylan for today’s featured photo in Domino Park, which accurately captures how we’re all feeling.