The Briefly for August 28, 2020 – The “Indoor Dining, I Don’t Know Her” Edition

Today’s daily NYC news digest: A look at the state of bars and restaurants vs the SLA, where we stand with the start of NYC’s school year, great spots buffalo wings, & more

Today – Low: 75˚ High: 86˚
Rain in the evening and overnight.
This weekend – Low: 65˚ High: 80˚

Try not to roll your eyes, but here’s the big “New York is dead. Here’s why” link. Try to prevent your eyes from rolling all the way out of your head when reading this dipshit’s thinly veiled “Why I’m Leaving New York” essay. (James Altucher)

“Listening to him go, “I used to play chess all day. I could meet people. I could start any type of business.” Wipe your tears, wipe your butt and pull it together. He says he knows people who have left New York for Maine, Vermont, Tennessee, Indiana. I have been to all of these places many, many, many times over many decades. And with all due respect and affection, Are .. You .. Kidding .. Me?!”
-Jerry Seinfeld, So You Think New York Is ‘Dead’ for NY Times

The city’s school will have the option to hold classes outdoors in yards, nearby streets, or parks. PTAs will be responsible for fundraising for supplies and equipment for schools to hold classes outdoors. (Alejandra O’Connell-Domenech for amNewYork Metro)

“Chinatown is very traditional, almost to a fault, where we’ve let our elders take over. And we need to learn from our elders, but young people need to be making decisions now, and move Chinatown further. And seeing people like Patrick Mock start standing up and speaking out on the injustices we’ve suffered, it gives us a hope for the future.” -Conversations with politicians, business owners, and locals about the future of Chinatown. (James Ramsay for Gothamist)

State Attorney General Letitia James asked a judge to order Eric Trump to testify in the state’s inquiry into possible fraud committed by the Trump Organization and President Trump. (William K. Rashbaum and Danny Hakim for NY Times)

NYPD officer Kyle Erickson has been twice accused of planting marijuana during traffic stops on Staten Island and despite bodycam footage to prove he did it, he was cleared of any wrongdoing. Just a sample of the 4,000 pages of documents released by the Staten Island District Attorney’s office about NYPD officers’ dishonesty and (lack) of discipline. (George Joseph and Sydney Pereira for Gothamist)

Restaurants have been closing, but not failing. An argument for why the distinction matters. (Talia Saxe for Eater)

A series of bars and restaurants sued the SLA this week to roll back their recent rule change that barred live music ticketed events, and other forms of outdoor entertainment. Disclosure: The lawsuit includes Littlefield, where I was hosting trivia all summer on Wednesdays. (Ben Yakas for Gothamist)

More than 20 state senators are calling on the State Liquor Authority to ease up on their restaurant and bar crackdown. Since mid-June, the SLA conducted over 41,000 checks, 165 businesses lost their liquor licenses temporarily, and 886 were charged with violations. (Luke Fortney for Eater)

The City Council voted to extend the 20% commission cap on delivery fees for restaurants until 90 days after they are allowed to operate at full capacity with indoor dining. (Erika Adams for Eater)

And when will indoor dining return? The mayor says that depends on how our return to schools goes on September 10. (Tanay Warerkar for Eater)

Although he also hinted that 2021 was a possibility for a return to indoor dining. (Erika Adams for Eater)

What’s the return to schools look like? A friend of mine who’s a teacher in the city told me they are getting ready to strike, but in the meantime the city has to inspect 1,700 public schools housed in 1,300 buildings by September 1 with plans to release a report on September 4. (David Cruz for Gothamist)

Of the city’s 1,700 schools, 1,030 of them had some kind of documented problem with air supply or exhaust components. Chalkbeat compiled the most recent inspection reports publicly available for each school. (Amy Zimmer for Chalkbeat)

An additional 30,000 students opted out of any in-person classes this year, bringing the total to 337,394 students that will not step inside a school this school year. (Alejandra O’Connell-Domenech for amNewYork Metro)

Photos: Reopening day at the New York Aquarium. (Rose Adams for Brooklyn Paper)

This Saturday is the reimagined Coney Island Mermaid Parade. (Rose Adams for amNewYork Metro)

This Sunday is the MTV Video Music Awards that Governor Cuomo announced back in June. MTV built a stage in Greenpoint instead of using the Barclay Center, citing that an outdoor event without an audience would be safer than an indoor one. Performers will be getting an exemption from the state’s 14-day mandatory quarantine. (Greenpointers)

According to the mayor, 20% of the city’s new Cobid-19 patients are linked to travelers. (Matt Troutman for Patch)

US and UK authorities are discussing an “air bridge” exemption from quarantine for travel between New York and London. (Payton Potter for Patch)

With a filing for bankruptcy back in May, the future of the John Varvatos shop in the old home of CBGB might be in jeopardy. Which camp are you in when it comes to John Varvatos replacing CBGB? “At least it’s not a Duane Reade” or “Who cares, let it die?” (EV Grieve)

Revel’s electric mopeds relaunched with new safety protocols. Not sure how I feel about sending the company a selfie of me wearing one of their helmets. (Matt Troutman for Patch)

Unmown lawns, unemptied garbage cans, and littered playgrounds. Welcome to the city’s parks when the city needs them the most. (Sarah Maslin Nir for NY Times)

An engagement while canoeing on the Gowanus Canal: Doomed or beautiful? (Kevin Duggan for Brooklyn Paper)

Do you know who makes the decision to return the subway back to 24/7 service? No, seriously, no one seems to know. The governor says to ask the MTA Chairman. The MTA Chairman says to ask the health commissioner. Can I declare the subways open 24/7 again? I hereby declare the subways open 24/7! Did it work? (Dave Colon for Streetsblog)

Photos: King Nyani, the city’s largest bronze gorilla statue, which can hold 2 or 3 people at once. (Michelle Young for Untapped Cities)

Everything you need to know about living in a first-floor apartment. (Michele Petry for StreetEasy)

Front-door boarding of city buses returns on Monday and so do fares on buses. (Benjamin Kabak for Second Ave Sagas)

The Mets and Marlins walked off the field after a moment of silence for 42 seconds with a Black Lives Matter t-shirt draped over home plate. (Joe Pantorno for amNewYork Metro)

The assholes of the week are “The Illmore,” which has reportedly hosting secret indoor parties since June. The Illmore is, of course, in Bushwick. (Luke Fortney for Eater)

Second place goes to Beavis and Butthead over here: Crime in NYC is near an all-time low, historically speaking, which is why former mayor Rudy Giuliani and current Police Benevolent Association president Pat Lynch were at the RNC calling crime in NYC a “public safety disaster.” Murders in NYC in 2019 were down about 50% from Rudy Giuliani’s last year in office. (Emily Ngo for NY1)

Six great buffalo wings in the city. (Matt Tervooren for The Infatuation)

Thanks to reader Helena for today’s featured photo.

The Briefly for June 1, 2020 – The “Sworn to Protect” Edition

Today’s daily NYC news digest: Photos and video from the city’s George Floyd protests, Letitia James will be investigating, the city and state legislature’s reactions, and more

Today – Low: 52˚ High: 70˚
Clear throughout the day.

“When will it end? Amadou Diallo. 42 shots. Police officers found not guilty. Sean Bell. 50 shots. Police officers found not guilty. Eric Garner. Choked to death. Police officers let go by the Grand Jury. ” –Congressman Hakeem Jeffries (D-Brooklyn/Queens) on the floor of the House of Representatives

Video: The NYPD attempting to drive over a crowd of protestors. (@chieffymac11)

If those protesters had just gotten out of the way and not created an attempt to surround that vehicle, we would not be talking about this situation.” -Mayor de Blasio (Andrew Sacher for BrooklynVegan)

Video: An NYPD officer grabs a mask of a peaceful protestor whose hands are in the air and pepper sprays him. (@AJRupchandani)

I really believe that the NYPD knows how to handle protests and respect whoever is protesting but I want to see a light touch because people are undeniably angry for a reason.” -Mayor de Blasio (Alejandra O’Connell-Domenech for amNewYork Metro)

2021 mayoral candidate Dianne Morales’s children were pepper-sprayed outside the Barclays Center. “The violence and brutality the NYPD unleashed on protesters was staggering. So much rage targeted toward the very people they are sworn to protect.” (@Dianne4NYC)

I’m not going to blame officers who were trying to deal with an absolutely impossible situation.” – Mayor de Blasio (Sally Goldenberg for Politico)

Video: An NYPD officer calls a protestor a “stupid f*****g bitch” and shoves her to the ground (Olivia Niland for BuzzFeed News)

“I want you to know that I’m extremely proud of the way you’ve comported yourselves in the face of such persistent danger, disrespect, and denigration” -NYPD Commissioner Dermot Shea

Photos: State Senator Zellnor Myrie was pepper-sprayed by the NYPD. (@zellnor4ny)

“If you or anyone else was inside that police vehicle surrounded by people, you would’ve had a really tough decision to make” -Mayor de Blasio (Ja’han Jones for HuffPost)

Video: An officer from the 44th precinct purposefully coughing on people in the Bronx. (@biggaballa__)

“Anyone who starts off without acknowledging the righteousness of the protest and how do we address the concerns being raised is having an honest conversation.” -NYC Public Advocate Jumaane Williams (Todd Maisel for amNewYork Metro)


“New Yorkers need a police department that respects them as citizens and human beings. Until then, this city that has suffered so much will suffer more.”
The Nation’s Largest Police Force Is Treating Us as an Enemy by Mara Gay for NY Times

“He should resign because his comments on Saturday night were brazen and disgusting lies. Two New York Police Department vehicles were filmed ramming into protesters behind a barricade. The mayor said the video was “upsetting” but claimed that it was “inappropriate for protesters to surround a police vehicle and threaten police officers,” adding that the officers had to “get out” of that “impossible” situation.”
Bill de Blasio Needs to Resign. By Defending Police Violence, He Has Betrayed New Yorkers by Mehdi Hasan for The Intercept.

“After years of disrespect and opprobrium, how did you expect things to turn out? By ignoring it, did you think it would just go away? That’s not how the world works.” – George Floyd protests are no time for us to ‘stick to sports’ by Joe Pantorno for amNewYork Metro

“Hitting police officers in the pocket and having them truly face prison time will in fact lead to less killings at the hands of the police. Let’s all make it a point to bring this discussion to every person we know and let’s put political candidates on the spot by asking them how they feel about this concept.” – Suing NYPD Officers Personally and Their Police Union for Violating Rights of Citizens Is The Change We Need by Kamal Smith for East New York News


The city remains on PAUSE, with 5/7 metrics met.

Here is how to report police misconduct. (Rachel Holliday Smith for The City)

The mayor’s first term started with his taking credit for the beginning of Mayor Bloomberg’s ending of stop-and-frisk, followed by the death of Eric Garner. He campaigned on reforming the NYPD and finds himself at the end of his second term defending the NYPD beating, ramming, and pepper spraying his citizens. (Dana Rubenstein and Jeffrey C. Mays for NY Times)

In 2014, after the murder of Eric Garner, Mayor de Blasio vowed to veto a bill that would make a chokehold illegal. The City Council is planning on calling the mayor out on his bullshit by putting the bill forward along with a bill that would require the NYPD to create a disciplinary matrix for all officers that would create a disciplinary standard. The City Council should put the bill forward, regardless of the threat of a veto by the mayor. If Mayor de Blasio doesn’t want the chokehold to be illegal, he should be forced to show it. (Gloria Pazmino for NY1)

The NYPD’s Internal Affairs Bureau is recommending that Officer Francisco Garcia face internal charges for punching and tackling Donni Wright during a social distancing stop on the Lower East Side earlier this month. (Christopher Robbins for Gothamist)

Photos: The Times’ most striking photos of the weekend’s protests. (Photos by Chang W. Lee, Gabriela Bhaskar, Stephanie Keith, Kirsten Luce, Demetrius Freeman, and Hiroko Masuike for NY Times)

As the NYPD attempted to make arrests at the Barclays Center protest, they loaded people onto an MTA bus. The bus driver refused to drive it and walked the bus. HE has the support of the Transport Workers Union of America and they will act “in solidarity” with the bus drivers of Minneapolis. (Hillary Hanson for HuffPost)

State Attorney General Letitia James will lead an independent investigation into the NYPD’s actions while responding to Friday night’s protest outside Brooklyn’s Barclays Center. (Robert Pozarycki for Brooklyn Paper)

“I’m telling them that if that review looks at those videos and finds that there was improper police conduct there will be ramifications.” – Governor Cuomo (Sydney Pereira for Gothamist)

Staten Island’s protest was led by Al Sharpton and Gwen Carr, Eric Garner’s mother, who finds herself mourning George Floyd, some of whose last words echoed those of her son. (Todd Maisel for amNewYork Metro)

“I’m tired. I’m tired of seeing it, I’m tired of living it, I’m tired of being in fear. Something has to change.” Nearly a thousand protesters took to the streets of Jackson Heights and Woodside Saturday. (Angelica Acevedo, Jeffrey Harrell, Grant Lancaster, and Robert Pozarycki for amNewYork Metro)

The NYPD didn’t force every push in the city towards violence, as officers in Queens joined the Jackson Heights protest peacefully. (Zachary Gewelb for QNS)

A timeline of the nationwide George Floyd protests. (Derrick Bryson Taylor for NY Times)

Photos: Burnt out cop cars, graffiti, and anger. Sunday morning around Union Square. (Photos by Stacie Joy for EV Grieve)

The mayor has appointed two of his own commissioners — Corporation Counsel Jim Johnson and Department of Investigation Commissioner Margaret Garnett — to investigate the police response. (Gersh Kuntzman for Streetsblog)

Two Brooklyn residents and a Greene County resident were charged in connection with the use of Molotov cocktails in an attempt to destroy NYPD vehicles during city-wide protests early Saturday morning. (Joe Pantorno for amNewYork Metro)

The mayor edited a statement from the City Council’s Black, Latino and Asian Caucus, in a fashion that would suggest they took a neutral stance on police violence. Let’s be clear, they are not okay with the NYPD’s unnecessary reaction to this weekend’s protests. Read their full statement and their reaction to our cowardly mayor’s placation of the NYPD. (Gersh Kuntzman for Streetsblog)

The state is ready to repeal a law known as 50-a, which protests police personnel records from public view. The state’s legislature has Governor Cuomo’s support to repeal the law. To quote Assemblymember Danny O’Donnell from Manhattan, “the pendulum swings both ways.” (Josefa Velasquez for The City)

Chiara de Blasio, the mayor’s daughter, was arrested Saturday night in Union Square amid protests. (NY1)

A palate cleanser: Video of the two baby guars that were born at the Bronx Zoo during the Covid-19 pandemic. We almost got through a full email without a mention of Covid-19. (Emily Davenport for Bronx Times)

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!