The Briefly for March 23, 2020 – The “NYC’s First COVID-19 Scumbag Politician Has Emerged” Edition

Today’s daily NYC news digest: It is no longer showtime folks, COVID-19 updates, DMV closed, Amazon is possibly coming to Red Hook, Harvey Weinstein has coronavirus, and more

Today – Low: 40˚ High: 45˚
Rain throughout the day.

New York is now considered a disaster area. Hooray? (Michelle Young for Untapped New York)

The Department of Environmental Conservation was planning to begin enforcement of the plastic bag ban on April 1, but it has been delayed until May 1. (Scott Enman for Brooklyn Daily Eagle)

This is the moment when local politicians are starting to use the coronavirus outbreak for their own purposes. City Councilmember Chaim Deutsch, representing Brighton Beach, Midwood, and Sheepshead Bay, is using this moment to call for an end to the plastic bag ban. Deutsch was the lone vote on the City Council against the 5 cent paper bag fee and wrote an op-ed for The Yeshiva World titled “Are Plastic Bags The New Bail Reform?” arguing against the plastic bag ban. This is a disgusting use of a genuine crisis to push a personal agenda. (Jessica Parks for Brooklyn Paper)

Harvey Weinstein, an expert in non-consent, has something inside of him that he did not ask for: COVID-19. (Rebecca Fishbein for Jezebel)

An updated resource guide for artists and freelancers. (Savannah James for Bushwick Daily)

How to support the city’s venues during the outbreak. (Amanda Hatfield for BrooklynVegan)

Photos: One of the most devastating weeks for NYC restaurants. (Gary He for Eater)

A list of relief funds for the city’s restaurant workers. (Luke Fortney for Eater)

A tiny sliver of good news: You’ve got until July 15 to file your taxes. (Brian Faler for Politico)

Marine Park Hardware Corporation: a destination for tomato sauce? (Jessica Parks for Brooklyn Paper)

Video: A bike ride through the neighborhoods surrounding Wall Street and City Hall. (ActionKid)

I was planning on growing out a “plague beard,” but it seems like we’re all headed in a shaggier direction, as salons and barbershops were ordered closed but the governor. (Kathleen Culliton for Patch)

Douglas Elliman executive chairman Howard Lorber warns that a tax on second homes for the rich could “be a disaster, not just for real estate, but for the economy in New York.” Buddy, maybe it’s time to rethink the use of the term disaster. (Georgia Kromrei for The Real Deal)

Love is dead. The city’s marriage bureau is closed until further notice. (Kathleen Culliton for Patch)

The DMV is closed until further notice. The concern over traveling with a REAL ID come October isn’t nearly as pressing right now, but unless that deadline gets extended, New York is in for a real mess come October. (Gus Saltonstall for Patch)

Gem Spa is closed, temporarily. (EV Grieve)

Calls are getting louder to put a construction moratorium in place during the outbreak. (Caroline Spivack for Curbed)

Thanks to Governor Cuomo, we’re all on PAUSE, which is absolutely not a shelter-in-place order, or else he’d be agreeing to something Mayor de Blasio proposed. (Christopher Robbins for Gothamist)

In order to allow the real estate industry to continue moving forward, the governor is authorizing notaries to sign documents virtually. Wait, how does something get virtually notarized? (E.B.Solomont for The Real Deal)

Amazon is bidding on four former Fairway Market stores, including a Brooklyn location which I assume is the former Red Hook store. The other three are outside the city. (Devin Gannon for 6sqft)

Revel is offering free memberships to healthcare workers and is expanding its service area to cover multiple additional medical centers. (Devin Gannon for 6sqft)

The governor requested that FEMA erect four 250-bed Federal hospitals at the Javits Center. (Devin Gannon for 6sqft)

The city’s hospitals are running dangerously low on personal protective gear. City health officials told hospitals to stop testing patients unless they needed hospitalization. Each test administered requires an entire set of gowns, gloves, and masks that can’t be reused. Without help, the city will run out of supplies in two weeks. (Gwynne Hogan for Gothamist)

How to donate supplies to hospitals. (Rachel Holliday Smith for The City)

It’s the worst time to give birth in New York City. All visitors, including partners, are banned from maternity wards in NewYork-Presbyterian hospitals. (Rebecca Fishbein for Jezebel)

Andrew Yang announced his foundation Humanity Forward was partnering with One Fair Wage for a Universal Basic Income pilot program to give $1,000 to 1,000 families in the Bronx and more for families across the country hit with job losses during the COVID-19 outbreak. (Jason Cohen for Bronx Times)

10 great outdoor sculptures in NYC you can visit without getting too close to other people. (Howard Halle for Time Out)

Broadway producers reached an “emergency relief agreement” agreement to pay hundreds of actors, musicians, stagehands, and others for the first few weeks of the industry shut down, and to cover their health insurance for at least a month. (Michael Paulson for NY Times)

Bike shops are now considered essential businesses and will stay open across the city. (Gersh Kuntsman for Streetsblog)

The city will add emergency protected bike lanes on Second Ave in Manhattan and on Smith Street in Brooklyn by the end of next week in an effort to increase bike safety. (Gersh Kuntzman for Streetsblog)

Saying that “a storm is coming” is an absolutely terrifying thing for the jail’s chief physician to say. (Jan Ransom and Alan Feuer for NY Times)

Here’s how students and teachers are prepping for their first day of remote learning. (Shumita Basu for Gothamist)

For the first time in a long time, it’s no longer showtime. (Jake Bittle for Gothamist)

A look at the role of doormen during an epidemic. (Guy Trebay for NY Times)

RIP Eli Miller, one of the last seltzer men of NYC. (Daniel E. Slotnik for NY Times)

Go watch some birds. Not birdwatching, but just watch some birds. Without crowds of people to sit and watch, the Times makes the case to relax and imagine what all those geese are gossiping about. (James Gorman and Natalie Keyssar for NY Times)

Don’t flush disinfectant wipes or toilet paper down the toilet. DO NOT. (Michael Levenson for NY Times)

New York state passed a new sick-leave bill for employees who are subject to a mandatory quarantine or isolation due to COVID-19. (The Brooklyn Reader)

Headlines: Help, I Think I’m In Love With Andrew Cuomo??? and My Best Recollection of the Call I Just Had With Andrew Cuomo. (Rebecca Fishbein for Jezebel)

Thank you to reader Robert for today’s featured photo from the Imani Garden in Crown Heights!

The Briefly for March 11, 2020 – The “Bill de Blasio’s Kiss of Death Endorsement” Edition

Today’s daily NYC news digest: The latest with COVID-19 in NYC, the five best cheese dishes in NYC, the Sunnyside Yards project is still decades away, and more

Today – Low: 43˚ High: 55˚
Partly cloudy throughout the day.

10 City Island restaurants worth the trip to the city’s remote New England town. (Noah Sheidlower for Untapped New York)

Photos: Rockaway’s St. Patrick’s Day Parade. (Scott Lynch for Gothamist)

Bob Dylan was added to the summer lineup at Forest Hills Stadium. Tickets go on sale Friday for the July 8 show. (Emily Davenport for amNewyork Metro)

Mayor Bill de Blasio, with nothing better to dedicate his time to, has taken to Twitter to attempt to sway Elizabeth Warren to support Bernie Sanders. I called de Blasio’s February 14th endorsement of Bernie Sanders a “Kiss of Death” and less than a month later FiveThirtyEight is giving Sanders a 0.1% chance of winning the Democratic nomination. (Sally Goldenberg for Politico)

Guardian Angels founder and WABC talk-radio shock jock Curtis Sliwa says he plans to run for mayor as a Republican in 2021. (NY1)

StreetsPAC endorsed Council Member Costa Constantinides for Queens borough president. Election Day is March 28. (Streetsblog)

If you’ve been waiting to see To Kill a Mockingbird, West Side Story, The Lehman Trilogy, Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, and The Book of Mormon, now may be your time. Each show is offering $50 tickets through the end of the month. (Emily Davenport for amNewYork Metro)

The best restaurants in Elmhurst. (Hannah Albertine & Bryan Kim for The Infatuation)

A deep dive into how a 40-year-old law has blocked police transparency in New York. For the fifth year in a row, the state’s legislature is considering a repeal of the law, with near-universal support outside of police unions. (Nick Pinto for Gothamist)

If you aren’t tired enough of hearing about the 2020 census, the Department of Sanitation is using Oscar the Grouch to encourage us to participate. Please participate in the census, especially if it means not enduring more of this kind of advertising in ten years. (Emily Davenport for amNewYork Metro)

Today marks the start of the Colossus Festival, which is bringing over 200 shows and hundreds of bands to the city. (Collier Sutter for Time Out)

Do you know the difference between a legal dollar van and an illegal one? Public Advocate Jumaane Williams is pushing riders to educate themselves. Hint: Not having a NY license plate is a good indication it’s illegal. (Mark Hallum for amNewYork Metro)

The curious case of the disappearing bike lanes in Bay Ridge. (Christopher Robbins and Jake Offenhartz for Gothamist)

The Sunnyside Yards project “is not something that would happen overnight.” according to the director of the project. He clarified that it is more likely a “multi-decade plan.” (Christian Murray and Michael Dorgan for Sunnyside Post)

The Strand on the Upper West Side is eyeing an April opening date. (Sara Lewin Lebwohl for I Love the Upper West Side)

The reason more pedestrians and cyclists are dying on the city’s streets is straight forward. Drivers are killing them. (Emma G. Fitzsimmons for NY Times)

Robert Sietsema’s top five cheese dishes around NYC. (Robert Sietsema for Eater)


As of this digest’s publication, the St. Patrick’s Day Parade is still scheduled to happen, but the NYC Half-Marathon was canceled. (Elizabeth Kim for Gothamist)

SARS, Swine Flu, Ebola, Zika, and Measles. NYC’s recent history of fighting outbreaks. (Zijia Song for Bedford + Bowery)

When will the mania end? Costco has ended their free samples policy due to COVID-19. (Nikita Richardson for Grub Street)

If any New York state student or staffer tests positive for the new coronavirus, their school will close for at least 24 hours.That the edict from Governor Cuomo. (Reema Amin for ChalkBeat)

A list of schools across the city that are closed or running under altered schedules. When you read this, it may already be out of date. (QNS)

The Department of Education is telling parents not to attend parent-teacher conferences. They will instead be conducted on the phone. (Zachary Gewelb for QNS)

A note from the President and CEO of the Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce. (Randy Peers for Brooklyn Eagle)

Dim sum parlors East Harbor Seafood Palace, Bamboo Garden, Park Asia, and Affable in Sunset Park have all closed as a result of COVID-19 related declines in business. Dims um parlors are being hit hardest because of their large rooms and communal tables. (Serena Dai for Eater)

The state’s Attorney General Letitia James has begun sending cease and desist orders over price gouging of hand sanitizers and disinfectant sprays. (Gabe Herman for amNewYork Metro)

While real estate seems to be unaffected by COVID-19 fears, it’s still too early to tell according to experts. If a pandemic can’t help you find somewhere cheap to rent, nothing can. (Amy Plitt for Curbed)

If reading about the coronavirus in this digest (and everywhere else) isn’t enough for you, the city introduced a text line for updates. Text COVID to 692692 and you’ll get texts from the city about the outbreak. (Dana Schulz for 6sqft)

Thanks to reader Alex for today’s featured photo from Edge NYC’s sneak peek in the Hudson Yards.

The Briefly for February 20, 2020 – The “A Diner by Any Other Name” Edition

Today’s daily NYC news digest: “The Joy Goddess” of Harlem, the Lowline is dead, the best cocktail bars, Myles makes its NYC app debut, Lyft’s electric bikes are back and more

Today – Low: 22˚ High: 38˚
Mostly cloudy throughout the day.

A look at A’Lelia Walker, daughter of Madam C.J. Walker, who 100 years ago in Harlem was given the nickname of “the Joy Goddess” by Langston Hughes, and whose parties and events provided a central location for the Harlem Renaissance. Part of a series by The Root focusing on little-known or forgotten rebels, celebrating Black History Month. (Anne Branigin for The Root)

Mayor Bloomberg started off his debate night getting ruined by Elizabeth Warren. The rest of the night didn’t go so great for him either. (John F. Harris for Politico)

A timeline of Michael Bloomberg’s support of stop and frisk. (Maggie Astor for NY Times)

The Lowline, once an extremely cool idea of putting a Highline style park in an abandoned trolley terminal in the Lower East Side, is dead. After more than a decade of work, the project is out of money. (Bowery Boogie)

Let’s grapple with an existential question for a moment: Is the Soho Diner really a diner? In Robert Sietsema’s review, he points towards no, with food choices pointing more towards “Top Chef” than “greasy spoon.” The desserts earned a compliment, but those are from Petee’s Pies and not made in house. Is a diner by name still a diner? (Robert Sietsema for Eater)

Myles is a new ride-hailing app available this week in NYC. The company claims rides will be 10% cheer than Lyft and Uber on average and they won’t make use of surge pricing. (Igor Bonifacic for Engadget)

Say hello to Eugene Hernandez, the new director of the New York Film Festival. (Sara Aridi for NY Times)

The MTA is betting $15 billion of its $51 billion 2020 – 2024 capital plan on the Trump Administration giving congestion pricing the go ahead and not delaying the 2021 rollout. If there is a delay or a call for an environmental impact study, congestion pricing won’t start on time and the MTA would likely have to borrow money, eventually leading to a transit financial disaster. (Dave Colon for Streetsblog)

Lyft’s pedal-assisted electric bikes are finally back, after being pulled out of commission in April 2019 for malfunctioning brakes and batteries. (Tina Bellon for amNewYork Metro)

Chairnobyl? Chairnobyl. (EV Grieve)

NYC’s best under-the-radar museums, mapped. (Ameena Walker for Curbed)

This ain’t the piercing pagoda kiosk in the mall. A “hole new you” is ht promise of the new piercing studio Studs in Nolita. (Lindsay Tuchman for NY1)

The NYPD arrested a 14-year-old, the third and final suspect in the killing of 18-year-old Barnard College student Tessa Majors on Wednesday. (JB Nicholas for Gothamist)

Apartment Porn: Take a look inside the ex-WeWork CEO’s three-story $27.5 million Gramercy Park apartment. (Valeria Ricciulli for Curbed)

John Ciero, a former NYPD officer, is among five people indicted in federal court for dealing meth and a date rape drug called GBL, the U.S. Attorney’s Office in the Southern District of New York announced on Wednesday. (Sydney Pereira for Gothamist)

New York City’s first weed dummies are arriving in Queens. Of course, you need to have a prescription to get them for the moment. (Jacob Kaye for QNS)

Here are the new protected bike lanes coming to Manhattan this year. From the plan, it looks like you’ll finally be able to bike around the perimeter of Manhattan completely in 2021. (Jake Offenhartz for Gothamist)

This story of a parrot who got loose in Manhattan, is frankly amazing. (Emily Flitter for NY Times)

Plush seating and carpets. That sounds like a good idea for the subways, right? (Jen Carlson for Gothamist)

Citywide alternate side parking tickets will be increasing from $45 to $65 starting today. I used to live in Park Slope and my upstairs neighbor never moved his car for ASP because if he never moved his car and just paid the tickets once a week, he was still going to pay less than if he put his car in any garage in the neighborhood for the month. At $65, three tickets a month is still cheaper than any garage. (Kristen Torres for Sunnyside Post)

James Dolan has won more legal victories over former-Knicks star Charles Oakley than the actual Knicks have won championships over anyone. (Ben Yakas for Gothamist)

The West Side Story revival has been met with protests, as demonstrators have been calling for Amar Ramasar’s removal from the cast because of his role in a photo-sharing scandal at City Ballet. (Julia Jacobs for NY Times)

Chirlane McCray, Mayor de Blasio’s wife, launched a podcast called “Thrive with Chirlane McCray” on the Brooklyn Free Speech podcast network and we are all paying for it. The podcast is funded by Thrive NYC, which has received $850 million in taxpayer funds. (Sophia Chang for Gothamist)

Do you know about “The Atlantic Ticket?” That’s a LIRR ticket that allows you to go from one of Brooklyn’s three stops to Jamaica, Hollis, Queens Village, Locust Manor, St. Albans, Laurelton or Rosedale for only $5. The success of this ticket is renewing calls that traveling within the city on the LIRR should cost $2.75. (Jose Martinez and Trone Dowd for The City)

Happy the elephant, who resides in the Bronx Zoo, does not have human-like rights and does not have to be transferred to a sanctuary. (NY1)

Believe it or not, there are people that live in the Financial District, and those people showed up in force to show their support against the creators of Sleep No More getting a liquor license at a Manhattan Community Board 1 licensing committee meeting. The new show is looking to set up shop in a mostly residential building. The NIMBYs voted against recommending a liquor license be granted and the proposal goes to a full vote of the community board next week, and the State Liquor Authority only uses community board votes as guidance, so it’s still possible the show moves forward as planned. (Ben Brachfield for Gothamist)

RIP Swamp Trump. We hardly knew ye. (Scott Enman for Brooklyn Eagle)

NYC’s top cocktail bars. (Melissa Kravitz Hoeffner for Eater)

thanks to reader Jacqueline for today’s featured photo!