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.

The Briefly for March 24, 2020 – The “Quarantine Rainbow Scavenger Hunt” Edition

Today’s daily NYC news digest: The first day of remote learning for NYC, C trains temporarily shut down after an MTA worker tests positive for COVID-19, Economy Candy adapts, and more

Today – Low: 42˚ High: 52˚
Clear throughout the day.

How to access unemployment and other government benefits right now. (Jake Offenhartz for Gothamist)

You won’t find a social media presence for Corona Courier, a community pairing bike couriers with people who need to self-quarantine. They deliver based on where their volunteers are located. If you’ve got some time on your hands and a desire to help, this is an opportunity for you. (Nicole Davis for Brooklyn Based)

The mayor is starting to talk about schools being closed for the rest of the year, despite being hopeful about letting students back in on April 20. (East New York News)

Here’s what NYC’s first day of remote learning looked like. (Alex Zimmerman, Christina Veiga, and Reema Amin for Chalkbeat)

The city’s playgrounds are open. Are they safe? “It would take a Herculean effort every five minutes, literally, that we simply can’t do.” -Mayor de Blasio. (Curtis Brodner for BKLYNER)

If you’ve been seeing rainbows in the windows of apartments around Brooklyn, welcome to the quarantine rainbow scavenger hunt. (Devin Gannon for 6sqft)

Commuting in Corona Times” by Kera Hill is the new subway map that you have to see. (Michelle Young for Untapped New York)

Three depressing charts that spell out the demise of the subways. (Streetsblog)

The work has begun to go through the articles that survived the fire at the MoCA archives on Mulberry St. (Julia Jacobs for NY Times)

Brooklyn has the highest count of positive COVID-19, but so far it hasn’t been included in the state’s plans for a temporary hospital to deal with the sick and Borough President Eric Adams isn’t happy about that. (Mary Frost for Brooklyn Eagle)

How do you enjoy life?” was the note left behind by Robert Herman, photographer, and Tribeca resident, before jumping to his death from his 16th-floor window. (Jeremiah Moss for Jeremiah’s Vanishing New York)

Video: Drone footage of American cities, nearly deserted. (Matt Novak for Gizmodo)

The idea behind closing off some streets to automobile traffic is to alleviate the density in the city’s parks. Think about it like an ongoing block party where everyone has to remain six feet away from each other. (Amy Plitt for Curbed)

Here’s a list of the streets that TransAlt and Bike New York are calling for closure. The most surprising on the list is the Jackie Robinson Parkway, which also includes the NYC marathon route, NYC street fair routes, summer streets and car-free day streets, and more. (Dave Colon for Streetsblog)

Turns out restaurants that were popular before coronavirus closed all the city’s restaurants are still popular now that we’re in “take-out only” mode. (Gary He for Eater)

Rao’s, NYC’s most exclusive restaurant, is offering take-out for the first time ever. (Emma Orlow for Time Out)

Does Scott Stringer realize he’s made a The Lox featuring Lil’ Kim and DMX reference when talking about why the census is important? (@NYCComptroller)

The city could be looking at a $6 billion hit during the projected six-month COVID-19 crisis according to City Comptroller Scott Stringer. As far as I can tell, that doesn’t include the $4 billion the MTA is asking for or the $1.9 billion the Port Authority is asking for. (Robert Pozarycki for QNS)

Photos: An empty NYC just before the PAUSE. (Jen Carlson with photos by Gretchen Robinette, Scott Lynch, and David “Dee” Delgado for Gothamist)

The MTA has announced that it has suspended fare collection on all of its local and select bus routes in order to keep its drivers safe from coronavirus. (Michael Dorgan for Jackson Heights Post)

I used to work with someone whose weekly routine included taking a lunch break and going to Economy Candy to stock up for her desk and apartment. If you're someone for whom candy is a part of life, Economy Candy is now offering CandyCare Packs to keep you sugared up. (Holly Louise Perry for Bowery Boogie)

Now is the absolute worst time to open a restaurant, right? Say hello to the brand new Sofia’s Panificio e Vino in Little Italy. (Emma Orlow for Time Out)

Mike Bloomberg claimed that he’d be paying his campaign staff through November regardless if he dropped out of the race. He dropped out of the race and 2,000 of his former campaign staffers are suing him for fraud in a class-action lawsuit. (Christopher Cadelago for Politico)

Rough Trade NYC closed its online store without an explicitly stated reason. Relatedly, Amazon announced that it was pausing restocking vinyl and CDs, so this could be a supply chain issue. (Bill Pearis for BrooklynVegan)

RIP Nashom Wooden, aka drag legend Mona Foot, a victim of COVID-19. (Mickey Boardman for Paper)

WABC 770 radio relaunched under a new owner. They had a party on March 16 for the relaunch on March 16, the same day the state limited gatherings to 50 and closed bars, restaurants, and gyms. Look at the photos of these idiots at a party in the radio studio. (amNewYork Metro, with no writer credited)

Community Gardens in the city are closed to the public “effective immediately” and “until further notice.” (Sydney Pereira for Gothamist)

The EPA is evaluating if the Coney Island Creek is eligible to become a Superfund site. The waterway has been polluted for decades after the historical manufacturing of dye and gas in the area. (Scott Enman for Brooklyn Eagle)

Gladson Ltd normally supplies Gucci, Paul Smith, Stella McCartney, and others with luxury fabrics, but they’ll be churning out a million facemasks for local hospitals. (Emily Davenport for amNewYork Metro)

Video: A walk by the Long Island City Waterfront at Hunters Point South Park and Gantry Plaza State Park at night. (ActionKid)

City Harvest is looking for volunteers to pack food for fellow New Yorkers. (Allie Griffin for LIC Post)

On Monday morning the MTA stopped running C trains after an employee tested positive for COVID-19. 30 workers have tested positive for coronavirus. (Stephen Nessen for Gothamist)

The end of the month is coming. Are we going to see a rent freeze? (Collier Sutter for Time Out)

The list of the best things the editors of Eater ate and drank this week looks vastly different while sheltering-in-place. (Eater)

“I always knew that when the end came, New Yorkers would watch it from a bar. But this was not the end any of us had imagined. Crowding together, not just a survival skill but an engine of the city in normal times, was the most dangerous thing of all.” -Pete Wells for NY Times