The Briefly for July 8, 2020 – The “Manhattan is the Actual Worst (at Socially Distancing)” Edition

Today’s daily NYC news digest: The city begins counting absentee ballots, a 28 second NYC horror movie, assigning blame for gun violence, a look at PPP loans in NYC, and more

Today – Low: 74˚ High: 84˚
Rain in the evening.

A complete NYC horror movie in only 28 seconds. (/u/NewYorkShenanigans)

Dog runs have reopened. (Angi Gonzalez for NY1)

Who’s the worst at socially distancing? We’re looking at you, Manhattan! (Luke Fortney for Eater)

The city’s absentee ballots, by the numbers. (Emily Ngo for NY1)

Absentee ballots will begin to be counted in the Bronx, Queens, Manhattan, and Brooklyn today (Staten Island started their count on Monday), and everyone is getting ready to challenge votes like it’s the 2000 election and we’re in Florida. (Claudia Irizarry Aponte for The City)

There is no official count of New York children who have lost a parent or caregiver to the virus — and even less idea of how the city will help support the likely hundreds or more kids who have suddenly suffered a life-altering loss. (Rosa Goldensohn for The City)

A look at the data of how the federal government’s Payroll Protection Program’s loans were distributed. The top three zip codes for loan approval were in Greenpoint, Park Slope, and Brooklyn Heights. (Robert Pozarycki for amNewYork Metro)

The International Culinary Center and the Institute of Culinary Education will be merging. Calling it a “merger” may be generous, the ICE has no plans of expansion and announced nothing when it comes to ICC’s faculty. The ICC is planning on closing its doors but will allow the current students to graduate before doing so. (Erika Adams for Eater)

Other cities may be bouncing back from the massive amount of people filing for unemployment, but in New York City unemployment is near 20%, forcing at least a million people out of work. With jobs tied to the city’s reopening and the city’s reopening tied to the country’s recovery, it doesn’t look like the city will be bouncing back soon. (Patrick McGeehan for NY Times)

These are the measures that NYC courthouses will take to prevent the spread of Covid-19. Get used to seeing thermometers everywhere. (Noah Singer for Brooklyn Daily Eagle)

The mayor pledged 100 miles of Open Streets in May, and he is now touting that New York has the most Open Street mileage of any city in the country. That seems to have led the project to prioritize raw mileage over a holistic view of how people and communities want to use their streets or any sense of what conditions it takes for an Open Street site to be successful.
-Sasha Aickin for Streetsblog, ‘Open Streets’ Isn’t Working for All of the People

A Brooklyn man was indicted for allegedly smuggling hundreds of ancient Egyptian artifacts through JFK earlier this year. This is the second-worst Indiana Jones movie ever. (NBC News New York)

Summer school officially kicked off Monday, but some of the 143,000 students enrolled in the remote program have yet to start their coursework due to technical glitches. (Alex Zimmerman for Chalkbeat)

City Comptroller Scott Stringer unveiled a plan to reopen the city’s schools, including smaller class sizes, mandatory masks for all teachers and students in second grade or higher, realigned scheduled for remote learning, restricted movement within schools, and more. The plan also calls for at least one full-time nurse at each school in the city. (Robert Pozarycki with Alejandra O’Connell-Domenech for amNewYork Metro)

The “37th Avenue Sidewalk Cafe Coalition” is calling on the city to simplify the permit process for sidewalk seating on a permanent basis. (Allie Griffin for Jackson Heights)

In an attempt to close the digital divide in low-income communities of color, the city will expand its “Internet Master Plan” over the next 18 months to 600,000 more New Yorkers. The cost is $157 million, with $87 million of it is coming from the NYPD’s budget. (Sydney Pereira for Gothamist)

The Yankees and Mets will plan two exhibition games against each other on July 18 and 19. (Joe Pantorno for amNewYork Metro)

Who wants to spend two billion dollars for a baseball team that loses $50 million a year? No seriously, who wants to buy the Mets? The Steve Cohen watch continues. (Joe Pantorno for amNewYork Metro)

Speaking of losing money: Ruminating on if Uber’s purchase of Postmates deal is good for restaurants. One business that only loses money buying another that only loses money. What could go wrong? (Rachel Sugar for Grub Street)

How Black organizers fed the Occupy City Hall protests with restaurant and homemade meals. (Luke Fortney for Eater)

The MTA is adding 9,000 more digital screens to subway stations to better inform people. Sorry, typo. I meant to sell more advertising. (Mark Hallum for amNewYork Metro)

Photos: The fledgling hawks in Tompkins Square Park are beginning to explore outside the park, but the family is doing extremely well. (Laura Goggin Photography)

When Lambda Lounge in Harlem opens this weekend, it will become only the second Black-owned LGBTQ+ bar in New York City. (Bao Ong for Time Out)

22 places Lin-Manuel Miranda left his mark in NYC. (Hannah Nice for StreetEasy)

Privately run child care centers in New York City can reopen as early as Monday, about three months after the coronavirus forced 3,000 programs to shut their doors. (Christina Veiga for Chalkbeat)

City Councilmember Rory Lancman, representing central Queens, is calling on Mayor de Blasio to fire NYPD Commissioner Dermot Shea for blaming the recent surge in violent crime on criminal justice and police brutality reforms. (Michael Dorgan for Jackson Heights Post)

The mayor thinks that a majority of New Yorkers think more policing will mean that they’re safe. A recent Sienna poll points out that only 33% of New Yorkers said they feel “more secure” when they see a police officer. Who does the mayor think he represents? (James Ramsay for Gothamist)

“We have the knowledge to stop shootings; it’s unfortunate that most of our powers were taken away to stop the shootings. Knowledge is power? Well, we have the knowledge, we don’t have the power.” -Chief of Crime Control Strategies Michael LiPetri, committing a crime by murdering an idiom while looking to place blame anywhere but the NYPD for an uptick in shootings. (Christopher Robbins for Gothamist)

“Crime has been going up since 2018. This was before there were any reforms around bail or there was a release from Rikers Island.” Manhattan District Attorney Cy Vance has his own theories. (NY1)

“We’ve had violence that we haven’t seen in many years and the police strategy is to reduce crime. In the past few days, we’ve been trying to reimagine policing, by listening to the community, set up meetings with community leaders and find out what they value, their cultures, and give the community the police service they desire.” Chief of Community Affairs Jeffrey Maddrey isn’t here to win, he’s here to make friends. (Todd Maisel for amNewYork Metro)

Meet Touchy Blinky, a mobile interactive art/music/tech installation that is helping keep the East Village and the city weird. (Stacie Joy for EV Grieve)

Where to eat when it might randomly rain for twenty minutes. (Hannah Albertine for The Infatuation)

Thanks to reader Nai for today’s featured photo!

The Briefly for July 7, 2020 – The “Long Island City is Empty” Edition

Today’s daily NYC news digest: Looking at phase three and phase four, Mayor de Blasio “doubles down” on crime for the second time this year, the NYPD protects a statue 24/7, and more

Today – Low: 74˚ High: 81˚
Humid and partly cloudy throughout the day.

There’s mounting scientific evidence that Covid-19 can hang in stagnant air on tiny droplets for hours. Wear your masks and keep your distance while indoors, because they are just as important as washing your hands. (Apoorva Mandavilli for NY Times)

Everything you need to know about phase three of NYC’s reopening. (Jen Carlson for Gothamist)

There are no current plans to allow the city’s music venues or movie theaters to open and indoor dining remains on hold. (Bill Pearis for BrooklynVegan)

Let’s look ahead to what we need to know about phase four. (Shaye Weaver for Time Out)

This week the absentee ballots form the June 23 election will begin to be counted. Statistically speaking, if you voted, you voted absentee. Here are why your absentee ballots may be invalid. (Brigid Bergin for Gothamist)

It’s time for the latest battle in the city’s ongoing war against mosquitos. The city will begin spraying non-residential wetlands on Wednesday morning. (Emily Davenport for amNewYork Metro)

What else is the city losing in the annual budget? On top of the Fair Fares program, an OT cut in the Department of Corrections by $66 million, and the Department of Social Services losing 700 employees? The deer sterilization project, Sunday litter collection, and two-hour parking meters will become more expensive, to start. (Bobby Cuza for NY1)

Nearly 60% of condo units built in Long Island City, Queens, since 2018 remain unsold. Seems like no one wants to pay $1.5 million for an apartment under one thousand square feet. (The Real Deal)

“In these uncertain times” isn’t just a phrase you’re extremely tired of hearing in commercials. It’s easier than ever yo find a short-term rental in NYC. (Valeria Ricciulli for Curbed)

The message is simple: Rename the Barclays Center after Jackie Robinson. (Rose Adams for Brooklyn Paper)

The High Line is reopening next week, but you’ll need a (free) reservation to gain access. Reservations start at 10 am on July 9. (Devin Gannon for 6sqft)

Plans: Check out the long-awaited revamp of Woodside’s Sohncke Square. (Christian Murray for Sunnyside Post)

I want to feel safe, and to know that others do, too. I want their feelings to be validated by real safety. The harsh reality is that many systems and institutions in our society have failed. Historically marginalized communities are waiting—we stand together, on the streets and in our homes, watching this fire burn night after night.
– Aleina D. for Gothamist, “Burn The Car, We’ll Find A New Way There”: Thoughts On Protests From NYC Teens

A press conference with Public Advocate Jumaane Williams, Congressional candidate Jamaal Bowman, Iesha Sekou from Street Corner Resources, and anti-violence groups was interrupted by protesters. Rather than escalate the situation, the protesters were invited to speak alongside the organizers. Everyone was calling for a solution to end the city’s recent gun violence. (Alejandra O’Connell-Domenech for amNewYork Metro)

July 4th weekend was a violent one in the city, with 64 people shot. (Anna Quinn for Patch)

The NYPD blamed bail reform for the rise in violence, which is a tired refrain from the NYPD, anecdotal at best, and a claim that can be verified. (Todd Maisel for amNewYork Metro)

“This is something we have to double down on to address.” Mayor de Blasio’s solution for the spike in violence in the city is to beef up neighborhood policing and work with clergy, local groups, and Cure Violence groups. “Doubling down” is a favorite phrase of the mayor’s. He “doubled down” on social distancing in April, “doubled down” on fighting crime in February, “doubled down” on improving schools for Black and Hispanic children in June of 2019, “doubled down” on efforts to help the homeless in April of 2019, and “doubled down” on Vision Zero in February of 2019. How many of those are still issues? (Sydney Pereira for Gothamist)

The NYPD has deployed 2 officers for 24 hours a day and seven days a week to protect the Christopher Columbus statue in Astoria. Hard to believe some people think the NYPD’s budget is too big. (Adam Light for Streetsblog)

The NYPD hired multiple companies to attempt to fix its relationship with Black and Latino New Yorkers. The companies they hired had one thing in common: They were all white-owned. (Greg B. Smith for The City)

Photos: Lower Manhattan’s new colorful Black Lives Matter mural. (Michelle Young for Untapped New York)

In February, the Mets rejected a $2.6 billion sale price. Now the Wilpons have opened up to bids and “bid indications appear weak” and under $2 billion. (Joe Pantorno for amNewYork Metro)

The Yankees and Mets 2020 schedule has been released. (Joe Pantorno for amNewYork Metro)

A failed Ferris wheel, a minor league baseball stadium with a team that’s scheduled to be dropped, a $350 million mall with more than half the stores closed, a quarter-billion-dollar mixed-use development with no timeline for completion. The billion-dollar Staten Island shoreline is sputtering. (Clifford Michel for The City)

A fast-growing fire in East Flatbush killed a boy and his grandfather early Monday morning. Five firefighters were injured in the rescue, none of the injuries serious. The rescue was complicated because the house was a Collyer’s Mansion. (Todd Maisel for Brooklyn Paper)

A Collyer’s Mansion is a home so full of stuff that it presents a danger to firefighters who enter in an emergency and named for a pair of brothers infamous for their compulsive hoarding and paranoia. Their home was a series of traps and boxes and when it was cleaned out after the brothers’ death, there were over 120 tons of possessions and trash removed. (Harlem World Magazine)

NYC is the fifth-worst city in America for first-time home buyers, according to a new study from WalletHub. They used 26 metrics, including affordability, cost of living, tax rates, and more. (Nikki Gaskins for Patch)

A new three-acre portion of Brooklyn Bridge Park opened next to Pier 2. Once the plaza under the Brooklyn Bridge opens, Brooklyn Bridge Park will be considered “complete.” Don’t get too excited, construction doesn’t start until December 2021. (Kevin Duggan for Brooklyn Paper)

Amy Cooper, the asshole in Central Park who called the police on a Black bird watcher, will be facing misdemeanor charges for filing a false police report. (Jan Ransom for NY Times)

It wasn’t readmitting patients into nursing homes, but employees and visitors caused the horrible spread of Covid-19 into the state’s nursing homes according to a new study from the state, Mount Sinai Hospital, and Northwell Health. Governor Cuomo has been catching shit for his decisions around nursing homes and being given the blame for deaths, but a combination of this study and New York’s low death per capita in nursing homes compared to other states would suggest the anger is misplaced. (Elizabeth Kim for Gothamist)

The former Jeffrey Epstein companion Ghislaine Maxwell was transferred to the Metropolitan Detention Center in Brooklyn from New Hampshire. (Ben Yakas for Gothamist)

That didn’t take long. Less than a month after the sale of their company, the founders of Ample Hills are out. (Kevin Duggan for Brooklyn Paper)

Three art galleries in the city are opening this week with phase three. Here’s a look at the exhibits, which you’ll need to reserve time in advance, wear a mask, and socially distance from everyone else present. (Howard Halle for Time Out)

Farewell to China Chalet in Chinatown, an LGBTQ-friendly business, lunch spot for the working crowd, an underground party spot for NYU kids, and well-known celebrity hang out. (Robert Sietsema for Eater)

Farewell to Beverly’s on Essex. After seven years, the strains of the Covid-19 pandemic have forced the bar’s closure. (Mili Godio for Bedford + Bowery)

Farewell to Cranberry’s in Brooklyn Heights, which had been in the neighborhood for 42 years. For each restaurant or bar or coffee shop that you read about closing, there are countless others that don’t get a writeup from a local news site. (Tanay Warerkar for Eater)

15 breweries for drinking locally. (Jenny Hart and Liz Provencher for Thrillist)

Thanks to reader Jenny for today’s featured photo!

The Briefly for June 26, 2020 – The “Welcome to Manhattan, $20 Please” Weekend Edition

Today’s daily NYC news digest: The CBGB Caucus, phase three could start on July 6, vendors return to Rockaway Beach, Harlem gets a Black Lives Matter street mural, and more

Today – Low: 72˚ High: 85˚
Clear throughout the day.
This weekend – Low: 74˚ High: 86˚

2020 is the year that everyone wants to start selling nutcrackers. (Margot Boyer-Dry for NY Times)

Without federal assistance, the MTA is leaving nothing in the table when it comes to attempting to make up for a combined $15 billion of lost revenue over two years. Already discussed are the disastrous combinations of non‐personnel expense reductions, reductions in force, fare and toll increases, service reductions, and “long‐term deficit financing.” (Stephen Nessen for Gothamist)

With the MTA’s trouble at the front of mind, let’s not forget that the city is waiting on federal approval for congestion pricing to enter Manhattan. A Cornell University study found that a $20 toll could reduce Manhattan’s traffic by 40%, greenhouse gas emission could be cut by 15%, and ridership on mass transit would increase by 6%. (Mark Hallum for amNewYork Metro)

The MTA will rename two Brooklyn subway stops to include the name of Medgar Evers College, thanks to legislation from Assembly Member Diana Richardson and State Senator Zellnor Myrie. The new stops will be named Franklin Avenue-Medgar Evers College and President Street-Medgar Evers College. (David Cruz for Gothamist)

One of the hardest-hit industries during the pandemic is dog walkers. As life slowly edges towards normal and dog adoptions have spiked, can dog walker rebound? (Mili Godio for Bedford + Bowery)

City Councilmember Ritchie Torres has a sizable lead in the 15th Congressional District in the South Bronx. If that lead persists through the counting of absentee ballots, he could be the first out gay Afro-Latinx member of Congress. (Matt Tracy for Gay City News)

The NYPD promoted three people of color to chief positions. (Todd Maisel for amNewYork Metro)

David Afanador, the cop who allegedly put a man in an illegal chokehold in Queens days after it became illegal across the state, turned himself in and was charged with attempted aggravated strangulation and strangulation in the second degree. If convicted, he could face seven years in prison. (NY1)

Identifying 10 streets that would be ideal to close for outdoor dining. (Eater)

22 branches of the NYPL, QPL, and BPL will be opening on July 13 for grab-and-go service. (Jen Carlson for Gothamist)

Grub Street floats an interesting idea: Should this be the end of the traditional menu? Chris Crowley for Grub Street)

We’re five days into phase two, which means the city is turning its eyes towards phase three, which includes basketball courts, dog runs, indoor restaurant service, nail salons, massage therapists, and other personal care services. The city is on pace to hit phase three on July 6. (Adam Nichols for Patch)

City Councilmembers Justin Brannan and Keith Powers have formed the “CBGB Caucus” as a way to help support independent music venues that remain closed and will remain closed through phase three, across the city. In a letter to the city’s Congressional Delegation, they outline support for a benefit for venues that have been completely unable to open due to the pandemic and emergency unemployment benefits for their workers. (Amanda Hatfield for BrooklynVegan)

The New-York Historical Society will, with approval from the city, be opening on August 14 with an outdoor exhibition called “Hope Wanted: New York City Under Quarantine“. (Howard Halle for Time Out)

As stores slowly reopen, there’s a movement to preserve the protest art that adorned storefronts around SoHo. (NY1)

It’s less than reassuring to know that in the week of a primary, the NYC Board of Elections Director was fined for violating the city’s ethics law. The center of the violation is a hotel stay in 2018 that was paid for by Election Systems & Software while he was serving on their board, a company that the city purchases election machines and supplies from. He resigned from his position with ES&S later in 2018. (Brigid Bergin for Gothamist)

The local election to watch this fall will be Trump-supporting Republican challenger Assemblywoman Nicole Malliotakis trying to unseat Democratic incumbent Rep. Max Rose. Only a few days out from the primaries and both are on the attack. Rose called Malliotakis “a fraud who represents everything we hate about our politics.” (Rose Adams for amNewyork Metro)

Farewell to the Way Station, the Doctor Who-themed bar in Prospect Heights, who will not be regenerating after the pandemic. (Serena Dai for Eater)

10 chefs and restauranteurs discuss how they feel about reopening. (The Infatuation)

The New York City Council voted Thursday to legalize e-bikes and e-scooters for use on city streets, forcing the mayor to confront a reversal of his ill-conceived and poorly-executed crackdown of electric bikes. (Brendan Krisel for Patch)

Take a walk around the Rink at Rockefeller Center and it will become impossible to not see the 100 Pride flags flying around the plaza as a part of Rockefeller Center’s celebration of World Pride Day. (Howard Halle for Time Out)

If you can’t get out and do a socially-distant tour of LGBTQ+ landmarks across the city the NYC LGBT Historic Sites Project and CyArk created a 3D virtual tour. (Shaye Weaver for Time Out)

A look at Attorney General William Barr’s attempt to undermine New York’s federal prosecutors. (Benjamin Weiser, Ben Protess, Katie Benner and William K. Rashbaum for NY Times)

New York is releasing $65 million in federal money to help preschools and daycare centers reopen after the coronavirus forced many to close down. The preschools and daycares say it isn’t enough. (Christina Veiga for Chalkbeat)

Harlem will be getting a Black Lives Matter street mural on Adam Clayton Powell Jr. Boulevard between 125th and 127th Streets. (Howard Halle for Time Out)

A look at the positive impact the city’s use of hotel rooms as homeless shelters can have. (Courtney Gross for NY1)

It won’t be happening this weekend, but along with lifeguards, food vendors are coming back to Rockaway Beach on July 1. (Alexander Jusdanis for Bedford + Bowery)

28 NYC restaurants with new outdoor dining. (Hannah Albertine, Nikko Duren, & Matt Tervooren for The Infatuation)

Thanks to reader Chris for today’s photo of the new VBallentine mural in Crown Heights.