The Briefly for April 6, 2020 – The “We Have Infected the Tigers in the Bronx Zoo” Edition

Today’s daily NYC news digest: Dog parks are closed in NYC, NYSC forced to stop charging memberships, a map of essential construction, art for physical distancing, and more

Today – Low: 50˚ High: 62˚
Clear throughout the day.

Mario Salerno, hero. Mario’s the landlord in Williamsburg who waived April’s rent for all his tenants. (Rebeca Ibarra for Gothamist)

The city is closing all dog parks and runs

Baruch Feldheim, who was arrested for price gouging over 100,000 masks, over half a million gloves and 192,000 N95 respirators, is an asshole and his supply is being given to doctors and nurses for their fair market value. (Neil Vigdor for NY Times)

The USNS Comfort is here with its 1,000 hospital beds, and there are 20 patients on it. (Kathleen Culliton for Patch)

China sent 1,000 ventilators to assist in the state’s efforts to keep us all alive. (Alyse Stanley for Gizmodo)

The state launched a new COVID-19 tracker that gives county by county information, including numbers on testing, infections, and deaths. (Dana Schulz for 6sqft)

The city leased at least 20 hotels to deal with the coronavirus hospital surge, converting entire floors into hospital wards for a total of 10,000 additional beds. (Mary Frost for Brooklyn Eagle)

11 pieces of art to discover at a safe physical distance. (Noah Sheidlower for Untapped New York)

Wear something over your nose and mouth when you go out in public. This is to save the rest of the city from you, even if you don’t think that you’re sick, you may still be carrying COVID-19. (Collier Sutter for Time Out)

It’s an awful benchmark, but here we are. New York’s deaths from COVID-19 outnumber the deaths on 9/11. (Dana Rubenstein for Politico)

A clarification on last week’s “the NYPD won’t show up if you have a minor car crash” story, outlining the scenarios where the NYPD will actually show up. (Gersh Kuntzman for Streetsblog)

Amazon’s PR campaign to shift blame to Christopher Smalls, the man who organized the walkout in their Staten Island facility, is failing. (Sydney Pereira for Gothamist)

The Metropolitan Opera is back this week, streaming performances of Puccini, Mozart, Verdi, Wagner, Donizetti, and Gounod every night. (Adam Feldman for Time Out)

State legislators are pushing for the city to provide EMS workers with housing during the COVID-19 crisis, as some have resorted to sleeping in their cars to avoid bringing the virus into their homes. (Anna Quinn for Patch)

Complaints to 311 about noise have dropped significantly, despite everyone being told to stay home as much as possible. Reports are down over 30% from last year. Are we being quieter or are we deciding it’s not worth bothering the police? (Zijia Song for Bedford + Bowery)

RIP Carmine Notaro, the owner of Carmine’s Original Pizza in Greenpoint. (Greenpointers)

Video: Union Square, Greenwich Village, and Washington Square Park in a pandemic. (James and Karla)

Curious if a construction site near your apartment is deemed “essential?” Check out the new map from the Department of Buildings listing Essential Active Construction Sites. (Norman Oder for Atlantic Yards/Pacific Park Project)

The bleak reality inside Rikers Island’s coronavirus quarantine unit. (Angelina Chapin for HuffPost)

A 51-year-old woman was beaten on a city bus in the Bronx last week by a group of riders who blamed her for the COVID-19 outbreak. Three 15-year-old girls were arrested for hate crime assault, menacing, and harassment. The NYPD is searching for a fourth teen. (Sydney Pereira for Gothamist)

360° Video: Driving through an empty Times Square. (ActionKid)

The state’s Attorney General’s office ordered New York Sports Club to stop charging for membership while their gyms are forcibly closed. If anyone has ever had a membership with NYSC, you know how impossible it is to get them to stop charging your credit card. (Sophia Chang for Gothamist)

Video: Learn about Manhattan’s original citizens, the Lenape. (Matt Coneybeare for Viewing NYC)

“Only in the last really 48 hours or so do they feel they’ve seen evidence around the world ― particularly a new study coming out of Singapore ― that shows more evidence that this disease can be spread by asymptomatic people.” This wasn’t a quote from the governor of Georgia, this was our own idiot mayor saying something that the rest of us have assumed for weeks. (Ja’han Jones for HuffPost)

The city banned the use of Zoom for remote learning over security and privacy concerns. (Alex Zimmerman for Chalkbeat)

The Department of Education’s grab-and-go free meal service has been expanded to include anyone who wants food, no questions asked. There are 435 pickup spots across the city for pickups between 7:30 am and 11:30 am. (Sophia Cheng for Gothamist)

What kind of idiot do you have to be to gather by the hundreds for a funeral for a man who died of COVID-19? The death itself should stand as a literal reminder to treat this pandemic seriously, yet the NYPD had to break up a crowd of hundreds who gathered for the funeral of a rabbi. (Molly Crane-Newman for Daily News)

The best burgers in NYC still available for delivery. (Emma Orlow for Time Out)

Thanks to Chris Walker for today’s featured photo.

The Briefly for February 21, 2020 – The Weekend “Real Villain was New York City the Whole Time” Edition

Today’s daily NYC news digest: The Trump vs Cuomo plan could derail congestion pricing, an insane amount of amenities in Bushwick, the best brunch in the city, and more

Today – Low: 29˚ High: 35˚
Clear throughout the day.
This weekend – Low: 32˚ High: 52˚

How good is your math? Lucky Deli in the Bronx is giving away one item to anyone who can answer math questions. There’s a GoFundMe for people who want to see this continue on. (Anna Ben Yehuda for Time Out)

Who was the villain in the taxicab medallion crisis? NYC. New York City is to blame for the crushing debt that thousands of cab drivers face in order to pay for their medallions. The state’s attorney general’s office is suing the city for $810 million for fraud, unlawful profit, and other violations of state law. The $810 million would go to the taxi drivers. (Winnie Hu for NY Times)

Photos: Restoration is on way at the New York State Pavilion at Flushing Meadows–Corona Park. (Michelle Young for Untapped New York)

Governor Cuomo isn’t confident the federal government will approve the state’s congestion pricing plan, which is supposed to generate $15 billion for the Metropolitan Transportation Authority’s overhaul plan. The Trump administration is already looking for every possible way to punish New York, so why not this next? (Dana Rubenstein for Politico)

The new target in New York for the Trump administration is making exporting cars from New York nearly impossible. The federal government is stating that without access to the state’s DMV records, they can’t verify vehicle ownership. This is, of course, more bullshit from the Trump administration as it tries to find ways to punish the state for passing its Green Light Law, which gives undocumented immigrants the right to get a driver’s license and also blocks federal agencies from accessing the DMV databases. (Annie Correal for NY Times)

When it rains in NYC and the sewers are filled with rain water, most of the city’s sewage is flushed into our waterways. More than 20 billion gallons of our bathroom waste is released into our waters annually. The city has a plan to deal with this, but their plan doesn’t even deal with 3% of the total combined sewage overflow. (Nathan Kensinger for Curbed)

An interview with Shoshanah Bewlay, the new executive director of New York state’s Committee on Open Government on the challenges of a three person staff inside the entire state government, Andy Byford’s resignation letter, her background, and more. Christopher Robbins for Gothamist)

How many amenities are too many? A bowling alley, a pool, a mini golf course, a rock climbing wall, a gym, open air plazas, murals, a dog park, and the list goes on. Just some of the amenities in a Bushwick “city within a city” apartment complex. With nearly anything recreationally you can think of inside the complex, you have to wonder how much the people who live there will be contributing tot he neighborhood’s economy? (Alexandra Alexa for 6sqft)

Harlem photographer Shawn Walker’s collection of over 100,000 photos dating back to 1963 will be made public in the Library of Congress. (Sydney Pereira for Gothamist)

We are a lucky city that we are getting a second Scarr’s pizza location, even if it’s in at the Midtown food hall Le Whit. (Erika Adams for Eater)

21 in 21 is trying to seat at least 21 women on the city council in 2021. The organization will be endorsing 35 candidates for the 2021 election. (Ayse Kelce for Queens County Politics)

If a judge of 17 years and Yale-educated attorney can’t navigate the Queens Surrogate’s Courts and have been in limbo for over a decade, what change do any of the rest of us have? This highlights the absurdity of electing surrogate judges, who rarely ever provide information beyond their names. (Ross Barkan for Gothamist)

Apartment Porn: See Anne Hathaway’s $3.5 million Upper West Side apartment. (Valeria Ricciulli for Curbed)

The Department of Transportation announced on Wednesday the Queens Blvd bike land would be completed this summer. The mayor, in front of a crowd, demanded that agency reconsider its plan. Polly Trottenberg, the DOT commissioner who made the announcement, was appointed by Mayor de Blasio. Does he know that he’s supposed to be running this city? He’s certainly not leading it. (Julianne Cuba for Streetsblog)

The mayor was speaking in Forest Hills, where he was met with protestors outside, and inside he was as welcome as Mayor Bloomberg on a democratic primary stage. He was booed the moment he stepped into the town hall meeting. (Max Parrot for QNS)

Video: How the city’s stop signs are made. (Matt Coneybeare for Viewing NYC)

Here’s what you need to know to be ready for the plastic bag ban on March 1. (Sydney Pereira for Gothamist)

The law passed in April of last year, and city lawmakers say the city isn’t ready to ban plastic bags. (Kathleen Culliton for Patch)

The NYPD say they will start removing some of the 82,000 people in their DNA database who have never been convicted of a crime. Advocates say this doesn’t go far enough and the city needs more oversight and to ban unregulated DNA collection by the NYPD. (Edgar Sandoval for NY Times)

Like the Mona Lisa’s eyes, One Manhattan Square is always shining a reflection of the sun back at you. (Jen Carlson for Gothamist)

Transit Workers Union Local 100 wants to make spitting on an MTA employee punishable by a year in jail. In their defense, spitting incidents were up 35% in 2019 from 2018. (Mark Hallum for amNewYork Metro)

Fines from the plastic bag ban add to the feat of death by 1,000 for small businesses in the city. The mayor is looking to reduce fines on small businesses by 40% by eliminating “outdated and ridiculous rules that no longer apply,” giving $100 million back to mom and pops across the city. (Todd Maisel for amNewYork Metro)

Despite zero coronavirus cases in the city, Sunset Park is suffering. (Alex Williamson for Brooklyn Eagle)

The Inheritance, the two-part play about gay culture and the legacy of AIDS, is set to close March 15. (Michael Paulson for NY Times)

A “muddled, self-conscious, pretentious, humorless, dizzying, bewildering mess.” What is the show? The West Side Story revival. (Matt Windman for amNewYork Metro)

CatVideoFest is a 70-minute cat video complication that is playing at Nitehawk Cinema and the Alamo Drafthouse. Ticket sales will raise money for two rescue organizations. Finally, a cat based movie experience people will enjoy. (Noah Singer for The Brooklyn Home Reporter)

Mayor Bloomberg in 2011 said that New York City has “virtually no discrimination” and “virtually no racial problems.” A lot has changed since 2011, a year when 700,000 people, more than half of them Black, were stopped by police. (Sarah Ruiz-Grossman for HuffPost)

What to see right now in the city’s art galleries. (Jillion Steinhauer for NY Times)

What to drink at the city’s newest cocktail bars. (Nikita Richardson for Grub Street)

The best brunch in the city? Balthazar, according to The Daily Meal. (Adam Nichols for Patch)

Thanks to reader MG Ashdown for today’s featured photo.

The Briefly for January 13, 2019 – The “Caught Speeding Without Consequence” Edition

Today’s daily NYC news digest: Fingers start pointing over Book Culture’s closure, a tribute to Bowie, the NYC Bar Association calls for an investigation of William Barr, and more

Today – Low: 37˚ High: 48˚
Overcast throughout the day.

A water main broke near Lincoln Center, causing flooding and train delays between 96th and Tims Square on the Upper West Side. (@tomkaminskiwcbs)

A timeline of the incidents that caused 300 subway cars to be pulled from the MTA’s fleet last week. The cars are sidelined “indefinitely.” (Stephen Nessen for Gothamist)

The biggest Harry Potter store in the world is opening in the city this summer in the former Restoration Hardware in Flatiron. (Shaye Weaver for Time Out)

Warner Brothers asked Manhattan’s Community Board 5 if it could install a dragon on the facade of the 19 century building to a frosty reception. (Dennis Lynch for The Real Deal)

If you want to apply to join your Community Board in Manhattan, the deadline is coming up. Make sure to have your application postmarked by the 21st. (Holly Louise Perry for Bowery Boogie)

The Reckless Driver Accountability Act was introduced in 2018. The bill would boot or impound the cars of anyone who received five or more red light or speed camera violations in a year until an accountability program was completed. Since its introduction, 362 have been killed on the city’s roads. What is the holdup in City Council? (Mark Hallum for amNewYork Metro)

The city’s speed cameras caught cabs speeding 117,042 times in 2019. (Gersh Kuntzman for Streetsblog)

An argument to dissolve the city’s Economic Development Corporation, represented by its 27 member unelected board appointed by the mayor and has an oversized amount of influence on the city’s direction. (Emily Sharp for Queens Eagle)

Photos: The 2020 No Pants Subway Ride. (Todd Maisel for amNewYork)

Net neutrality, consumer protections, women’s equity, and more of 16 notable proposals not included in Governor Cuomo’s State of the State speech. (Samir Khurshid for Gotham Gazette)

“If we’re going to discuss gun safety, what’s a nautical themed way to make a nod toward that?” An interview with the artist who helped create the masterpiece that is Governor Cuomo’s fever dream poster. (Jake Offenhartz for Gothamist)

Central Park’s Sheep Meadow earned that nickname, giving a home to about 200 sheep up through the 1930’s, as part of Olmstead and Vaux’s original vision for the park. (Sam Neubauer for I Love the Upper West Side)

Protected bike lanes are coming to Franklin and Quay streets on the Greenpoint-Williamsburg border. (Kevin Duggar for Brooklyn Paper)

Here’s a fun riddle: How do you pay for a MetroCard if no bills are accepted, no coins are accepted, no credit cards are accepted, no debit cards are accepted, no single tickets are given and only exact change is allowed? (ActionKid)

The Broadway-Lafayette station, the closest station to his old home, sported a tribute to David Bowie four years after his death. (Elie Perler for Bowery Boogie)

The New York City Bar Association is calling on Congress to investigate whether William Barr is too politically biased to fulfill his legal obligations as the nation’s attorney general. (Mary Papenfuss for HuffPost)

A new bill from Queens City Council Member Francisco Moya would declare aliens from another planet and replace “alien” and “illegal immigrant” with “noncitizen.” (Kathleen Culliton for Patch)

Interactive Map: How frequently subway lines and buses are delayed across the city. (Viewing NYC)

What does the mayor have to say about Politico’s “Wasted Potential” series, which shows just how piss poor the city has been at recycling after Mayor de Blasio’s 2015 pledge to reduce the garbage shipped out of the city? “I’ll have more to say on it in the coming weeks as we figure out the next steps of what we have to do.” Basically nothing. (Danielle Muoio for Politico)

The federal government has launched an investigation into the Hunter’s Point Library for possible violations of the Americans with Disabilities Act. (NY1)

With 119 points on their health department inspection, Tyme & Patience Bakery & Grill has the early lead on highest violation of the year. (Adam Nichols for Patch)

After coming right up to the brink, Neir’s Tavern in Woodhaven has a new lease, literally. A handshake deal between landlord and bar owner will extend the bar’s lease five years, which means we could be back in the position again in a few years. The landlord caved after a combination of public pressure from the Mayor de Blasio, Assemblyman Mike Miller, and City Council Member Robert Holden all made their support of Neir’s public and help from the city to get the building up to code. (Carlotta Mohamed for QNS)

When Schneps Media buys a publication, it means journalists get fired. When Schneps Media bought amNewYork, most of the editorial staff was laid off. When Schneps Media bought Metro, they laid off the entire editorial staff without severance and at this point no former editorial staffers from either publication works for amNewYork Metro, the new Schneps Media Frankenstein. (Jake Offenhartz for Gothamist)

After buying Metro and laying off their editorial staff without any severance, Victoria Schneps went on vacation in the Poconos for facials and massages. (Victoria Schneps for QNS)

Marie’s Crisis is a New York institution where singing along to the musical theater song being played by the pianists is always encouraged. The name came from a work of Thomas Payne, who died at that address in 1809, American Crisis and the original owner Marie DeMont. (Atlas Obscura)

A harlequin duck, native to the Pacific northwest was spotted in Sheepshead Bay, an exciting find for New York’s bird crowd. An unusually warm winter has extended the birdwatching season past its usual November ending. (Jessica Parks for Brooklyn Paper)

Is the city monitoring and mapping the locations of homeless New Yorkers? that’s the worry behind The Coalition for the Homeless pulling its support for Mayor de Blasio’s homelessness command center after seeing a photo published of the NYPD’s massive surveillance operation. (Kathleen Culliton for Patch)

I am in love with single story buildings in Manhattan. Manhattan has a tendency to feel like it’s literally overbearing and coming across a single story building is like a quick breath of air. It’s why Adam Friedberg’s Single-Story Project exhibit at the Center for Architecture is so appealing to me. The exhibit is on display through February 29th. (Elizabeth Kim for Gothamist)

South Richmond Hill, Queens is mourning Maria Fuertes, the neighborhood’s beloved 92-year-old cat lady who was attacked close to her home and was found dead on the sidewalk. A suspect has been arrested and charged with murder and sex abuse. (Andrea Salcedo for NY Times)

A look back at Kawkab America, America’s first Arabic newspaper, which launched in 1892 in New York. (Mateo Nelson for Bedford + Bowery)

I’ve fallen in love with ActionKid’s video walks around the city. While this may seem trivial now, having video like this is a great document to have of the city in a specific point in time. At the pace the city is changing, even in a few months this same walk could be drastically different. From Long Island City to Bushwick on foot, narrated. (ActionKid)

Book Culture’s majority owner Chris Doeblin is blaming the city marshal seizure of the store on corporate greed, but pretty much everyone else including his business partners and landlord blame his mismanagement. (Gwynne Hogan for Gothamist)

Anassa, Cantina 33, and Shang Kitchen join Eater’s list of the hottest restaurants in Queens. (Eater)

Thanks to reader Zlata for today’s featured photo!