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 16, 2020 – The “A City Without Restaurants and Bars” Edition

Today’s daily NYC news digest: The mayor shuts down schools, bars, restaurants, and venues, bike riding is up, the story of Typhoid Mary, a walk through Central Park, and more

Today – Low: 42˚ High: 47˚
Partly cloudy throughout the day.

Everything is being canceled and it sucks, but it’s also the right thing to do. (Ben Yakas for Gothamist)

“States cannot build more hospitals, acquire ventilators or modify facilities quickly enough. At this point, our best hope is to utilize the Army Corps of Engineers to leverage its expertise, equipment and people power to retrofit and equip existing facilities — like military bases or college dormitories — to serve as temporary medical centers. Then we can designate existing hospital beds for the acutely ill.” -Governor Cuomo, making the case for the Army to step-in during this national natural disaster. (Governor Andrew Cuomo for NY Times)

The city will shut down bars and restaurants on Tuesday morning. Bars, restaurants, venues, and nightclubs will close completely for an undetermined amount of time. Think about where you would want to go to eat or drink and ask if they have gift certificates. Give them money now without physically going to those locations. (Ryan Sutton for Eater)

Seamless has deferred commissions from independent restaurants, but is that enough to actually help restaurants? (Erin Hudson for The Real Deal)

The city’s schools are closed until April 20. That doesn’t mean there’s no school, as remote learning is set to start on March 23. (Eliza Shapiro for NY Times)

Weed dealers are cleaning up now that everyone is staying home and freaking out. (Matthew Schneier for The Cut)

The Food Bank for NYC has a GoFundMe page for people who want to help, but don’t knowhow. (Food Bank of NYC)

How to talk to kids about COVID-19, from Dr. Rebecca Berry, PhD, an NYU professor who is an expert in child and adolescent psychiatry. (Isabelle Bousquette for New York Family)

Videos: Here’s how the MTA is cleaning the subways. (Michelle Young for Untapped New York)

Jing Fong in Chinatown, the city’s largest Chinese food restaurant, is temporarily closed. With the CDC recommending limiting nationwide gatherings at 50 people, there isn’t much place for a restaurant that seats 800. (Georgia Kromrei for The Real Deal)

Record Store Day has been postponed from April 18 to June 20. Let’s all hope it doesn’t need another postponement. No one wants to have to wait that long for their Britney Spears – Oops!…I Did It Again (Remixes and B-Sides) vinyl (Bill Pearis for BrooklynVegan)

“For the most part when I talk to my colleagues they realize that, yeah, this has the potential to be really serious on a systems level. All in all though, I’d say there’s a calm acceptance about how crazy it’s going to be.” An interview with an ER doc. (Jake Offenhartz for Gothamist)

Last week late-night shows had plans to continue without audiences, but as of this week, nearly all of them are off the air. The exceptions are the shows filmed in Los Angeles. (Ben Yakas for Gothamist)

Utilities in New York have suspended power, heat, or water shut-offs through the end of April. (Samantha Maldonado and Marie J. French for Politico)

Airbnb is allowing coronavirus-related cancellations without penalty. (Sophia Chang for Gothamist)

Welcome to the Park Slope Food Coop: a COVID-19 “petri dish.” (Matt Troutman for Patch)

So the event you had tickets to was canceled, what now? (Shaye Weaver for Time Out)

The city’s libraries are closed to you in person, but there is plenty to be done online. (Jennifer Schuessler for NY Times)

The headline is “how NYC restaurant workers are getting help so far,” but I’m not naive enough to say that the entirety of the city’s 325,000 workers is actually getting help. (Ryan Sutton for Eater)

Catholics have had their obligations to attend mass waived by Bishop Nicholas DiMarzio. (Robert Pozaryski for amNewYork Metro)

“This is a moment we all knew would come. That doesn’t make it any easier.” -Bill de Blasio on the first New Yorker to die due to COVID-19, an 82-year-old woman from Brooklyn. (Mary Frost for Brooklyn Eagle)

State Assemblymembers Charles Barron, who represents East New York, and Helene Weinstein, who represents Canarsie and Flatbush, were diagnosed with coronavirus Saturday. (Adam Nichols for Patch)

The Queens borough presidential election has been postponed from March 24, with a rescheduled date to be announced. (Christian Murray for LIC Post)


These YouTube walks through the city, like this one through Central Park, might be a good way to seem like you’re going outside without actually having to go outside. (ActionKid)

ICE has expanded its inhumane arrest patterns as part of Operation Noble Guardian and is now making arrests at JFK airport. (Maxx Katz for Gothamist)

The Metropolitan Opera is dark but they’ll be offering free HD streams every night for a week starting on Monday night. (Jasmine Ting for Paper)

Meet Jacqueline VanDusen, who wants to bike every street in Brooklyn. (Kevin Duggan for Brooklyn Paper)

This might have been a list of restaurants with openings in the spring. Now it’s a list of restaurants that might open sometime soon. (Eater)

Typhoid Mary, New Yorker. If you don’t know her story, this seems like the perfect time to read up on how isolation can prevent the spread of disease. (Noah Sheidlower for Untapped New York)

Want a distraction from COVID-19? How about bed bugs? What do you know about them? Do you know things? Let’s find out. (StreetEasy)

Black city residents are jailed on Rikers Island for alleged state parole violations 12 times more than whites, while Latinx people are accused of parole violations nearly four times more. Just some of the gems in a new report issued by Columbia Univerity’s Justice Lab on the New York state parole system. (JB Nicholas for Gothamist)

A look at New York’s former quarantine islands and hospitals. (Michelle Young for Untapped New York)

How screwed up is our healthcare system? If you need further evidence beyond “look around,” New York hospitals sued their patients 31,000 in the last four years. (Caroline Lewis for Gothamist)

The first signs of real spring, migrating birds, are here. (D. Bruce Yolton for Urban Hawks)

Do starter homes exist in NYC? (Localize.City)

A look at Edgar Allan Poe’s farmhouse on the Upper West Side. (Mike Mishkin for I Love the Upper West Side)

Subway ridership is down 20%, but CitiBike riding is up 70%. (Alexandra Alexa for 6sqft)

RIP Genesis Breyer P-Orridge, avant-garde music legend and industrial pioneer. (Andrew Sacher for BrooklynVegan)

The Briefly for January 14, 2020 – The “AOC vs Cuomo, Round 2” Edition

Today’s daily NYC news digest: The AG looks at the NYPD’s subway fare evasion, how Tiffany’s moved hundreds of millions in jewlery, the head of Brooklyn’s democrats resigns, and more

Today – Low: 40˚ High: 48˚
Possible light rain in the afternoon.

How do you move hundreds of millions of dollars in view of the public in NYC without getting robbed? Very carefully. Here’s the story of how Tiffany’s moved everything in its store overnight. (James Barron for NY Times)

Attorney General Letitia James announced on Monday that her office would investigate the NYPD and if its fare evasion policing in the subways has illegally targeted New Yorkers of color. (Kathleen Culliton for Patch)

The winners and losers of the Queens bus network redesign. (Dave Colon for Streetsblog)

Cuomo’s AirTrain is about to hit a new obstacle: Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. (Patrick McGeehan for NY Times)

There are thirteen million registered voters in New York state, with one million designated as “inactive,” and whose names were not on the voter rolls at election sites, which is a violation of the 14th Amendment and the National Voting Rights Act of 1993 according to a federal judge. While it may seem trivial, remember that the Queens DA race was decided by 55 votes. Moving forward, all registered voters’ names will be available at polling sites. (Brigid Bergin for Gothamist)

Information on how to register to vote.

The leader of the Brooklyn Democratic Party, Frank Seddio, is stepping down amid concerns about the party’s and his own finances. Seddio is facing $2.2 million in lawsuits and the party’s cash reserves have dwindled from $505,000 in 2013 to $32,800 in 2019. (Aidan Graham and Kevin Duggan for amNewYorkMetro)

Photos: When it comes to the city’s skies, birds usually get all the attention. Don’t forget the city’s bats. (D. Bruce Yolton for Urban Hawks)

RIP Matthew Maher, owner of McSorley’s since the 60s. The bar is staying in the family, daughter Teresa Maher de a Haba is the owner now. (EV Grieve)

Here are the top ten checked out books in the NYPL’s history. You’ll notice a theme running through the list. “Goodnight Moon” did not make the list do to a personal vendetta against the book by children’s librarian Anne Carroll Moore. (Holly Louise Perry for Bowery Boogie)

Have you seen “The Geographic Center of NYC” in Woodside on the corner of 58th Street and Queens Boulevard? Besides being a cool piece of trivia it’s also completely wrong. If this isn’t the place, where is it? (Michelle Young for Untapped New York)

If your usual subway station is outdoors, the winters can be brutal. A century ago, the IRT provided potbelly stoves in stations for its riders to stay warm while waiting for the train. (Ephemeral New York)

Signal problems ruined about four out of every five morning commutes in 2019, according to a new Riders Alliance analysis. (Kathleen Culliton for Patch)

The L train showdown is running ahead of schedule and should be completed by April, but not without some weekend closures. The MTA announced the weekends of January 17, February 14, and March 20 with closures from 8th Av to Broadway Junction. (Alexandra Alexa for 6sqft)

In addition to the L construction, the MTA announced emergency overnight construction was necessary on the G train this week through Friday night from midnight to 1:30am. (Greenpointers)

On a dry day, the MTA pumps 13 million gallons of water from its system. Monday’s water main break added half a million gallons to that, causing chaos on the 4, 5, 6, A, B, and C lines. (Jake Offenhartz for Gothamist)

It’s time to declare the days of the cooking competition celebrity chef over. (Robert Sietsema for Eater)

It started as an argument between two dads about their kids near Dyker Park, but it turned into a double stabbing. One was stabbed in the chest and neck and the other was stabbed in the leg. (Todd Maisel for amNewYork Metro)

In terms of housing and transportation costs, NYC ranks tenth in the nation, right after Houston but right before Minneapolis-St Paul. (Emily Davenport for amNewYork Metro)

Photos: Baby Yoda has a mural in the East Village. (Ben Yakas for Gothamist)

The plan to rezone Bushwick hit a possibly fatal roadblock Monday after city officials and local politicians failed to reach an agreement on affordable housing requirements. (Devin Gannon for 6sqft)

The de Blasio administration testified at a 2019 City Council meeting that they did not have information about who was riding the heavily subsidized NYC Ferry system. The mayor used his insistence that the boats were being used by low-income New Yorkers as justification to dramatically expand the ferry system. It was all a lie, because the city’s Economic Development Corporation had already conducted two rider surveys that showed the median income of riders was over $100,000. For each rider on the ferry that pays $2.75, the city pays $9.34. (Caroline Spivack for Curbed)

Vans opened Skate Space 198, a free indoor skatepark right off the Jefferson stop in Bushwick. (Collier Sutter for Time Out)

NYCHA residents filed about 59,770 bug infestation complaints in the first nine months of 2019, according to the Legal Aid Society. (Kathleen Culliton for Patch)

What’s the best pizza in NYC? In honor of National Pizza Week, Patch asked politicians, comedians, and Broadway stars where to get their favorite slice. It’s mostly unconventional picks for the city’s best, even if Chuck Schumer’s pick is one of the closest pizza places to his apartment. (Kathleen Culliton for Patch)

Mama’s Too, on the list, is rolling out a meatball parm that is already being described as “the city’s best meatball parm.” (Scott Lynch for Gothamist)