The Briefly for October 25 – 26, 2020 – The “Vote or Die” Sunday Edition

The latest NYC news digest: Early voting is open, the best Vietnamese food in the city, dredging the Gowanus, Mayor de Blasio’s legacy of failure, and more

Today – Low: 50˚ High: 56˚
Light rain in the evening and overnight.

The best restaurants near NYC’s early voting locations. (Hannah Albertine and Nikko Duren for The Infatuation)

Early voting is open, now let’s talk about the legality of ballot selfies. (Valeriya Safronova for NY Times)

Speaking of early voting, it started across the city on Saturday and there were lines everywhere. Nearly 100,0000 voted on the first day of early voting, more than in all of 2018’s early voting. (David Cruz and Jen Chung for Gothamist)

On Friday, Mayor de Blasio announced a plan to recruit hundreds of city workers in a matter of days to join an “Election Observer Corps.” He has not recruited a single person, nor has he trained anyone. By contrast, AG Letitia James, Public Advocate Jumaane Williams, and the head of Common Cause NY, Susan Lerner, already have 600 statewide volunteers who have been training for weeks for the election and have been monitoring polling sites already. Seems like the mayor could have endorsed this effort instead of announcing a new one less than 24 hours before early voting began. (Brigid Bergin for Gothamist)

We will have hundreds of additional cops in uniform citywide who will be at the ready should they be needed.” -NYPD Chief of Department Terence Monahan, who maybe doesn’t realize that having a larger NYPD presence during an election may only serve to make things worse. (Danny Lewish for Gothamist)

This is the same NYPD whose union endorsed President Trump. (NBC New York)

Photos and Video: A Barred Owl hanging out. (D. Bruce Yolton for Urban Hawks)

Video: The Animal Care Centers rescued a pig from a Brooklyn backyard. (Anna Quinn for Patch)

The city sells off unpaid property debts on a regular basis. The sale of debt was the subject of a Last Week Tonight program from a few years ago. While it raises money for the city, it also encourages foreclosures and the displacement of lower-income homeowners. This year’s tax lien sale has been postponed multiple times and City Council members are pushing to eliminate the program altogether. (Peter Senzamici for The City)

The EPA will begin dredging the Gowanus Canal mid-November. At the bottom of the canal sits a very thick and very old layer of tar, human poop and if the rumors are true, a few dead bodies. (Red Hook Star-Revue)

Video: No questions asked about how these daredevils found their way to the roof of the GE Building, which is closed to visitors, but the views are spectacular. (svvvk on YouTube)

State officials have pulled a controversial proposal that would have allowed non-lawyers to oversee special education complaints in New York City. The proposal was first made in January. In the 2019-2020 school year, the city had 10,797 complaints, 96% of New York state’s complaints. Each complaint is legally supposed to be resolved in under 75 days, but NYC’s cases take 259 days on average. The penalty for such a failure? Nothing. These students deserve better. (Reema Amin for The City)

Interview: Meet Brenda Suchilt, the Newtown Creek Alliance’s new horticulturist. (Billy McEntee for Greenpointers)

Apartment Porn: A $12.75 million Cobble Hill townhouse with a vineyard-like garden that’s bigger than almost every bar with outdoor space, gated parking, and two wine cellars. One wine cellar? Please. (Dana Schulz for 6sqft)

The best Vietnamese restaurants in NYC. (Matt Tervooren for The Infatuation)

The secrets of the new Greenpoint public library. (Will Gleason for Time Out)

The number of young children in NYCHA housing at risk of lead exposure is three times greater than previously thought, according to Bart Schwartz, the federal monitor overseeing the NYCHA. The city certified the number at 3,000 two years ago. The number is 9,000. Poisoning the children of the city will likely end up high on the list of Bill de Blasio’s legacy as mayor. (Matt Troutman for Patch)

Speaking of Bill de Blasio’s accomplishments and legacy, the city is headed for the highest level of traffic deaths since the mayor took office, the third straight year of rising deaths, completely erasing any and all progress he could claim as part of his own Vision Zero program. This year includes two months of zero traffic fatalities due to the pandemic, it’s hard to imagine how high the body count would be without it. (Jake Offenhartz for Gothamist)

The TWA Hotel has just reopened its pool-cuzzi and Runway Chalet at JFK airport. The pool purifies itself every 30 minutes and is kept at a cozy 95 degrees. (Shaye Weaver for Time Out)

A look at the new public art available across Brooklyn. (Keira Wingate for Bklyner)

Three bars within the zoned shutdown areas in Brooklyn and Queens had their liquor licenses temporarily suspended for throwing illegal indoor parties. 30 Fantastic Bar in Sunset Park, Da Mikelle Palace in Forest Hills, and Wise Bar & Grill in Sheepshead Bay. (Tanay Warerkar for Eater)

Before you feel bad for The Strand posting they may close (Amanda Hatfield for BrooklynVegan), let’s look a little deeper. The Strand fired union workers while accepting $1-2 million of PPP loans (Labor Notes) Owner Nancy Bass Wyder, who is married to Oregon Senator Ron Wyden, purchased $115,000 in Amazon stock in April and made an additional purchase of up to $200,000 in June. (Ed Lin for Barrons) The Upper West Side location was met with protests. (Carol Tannenhauser and Kate Koza for West Side Rag) On a micro scale, buying at The Strand instead of your neighborhood bookstore is no different than buying from Amazon.

On a micro scale, supporting The Strand over your neighborhood bookstore is akin to buying from Amazon instead of locally.

At this point, let’s celebrate that NYC isn’t the rattiest city in America. Los Angeles and Chicago are worse than we are and you take the wins where you can get them. (Adam Nichols for Patch)

Times Square really wants you to visit. Their latest ploy to get you to the one place you never want to visit is the Taste of Times Square Week, which runs through October 30 and offers a $35 prix fixe menu at 20 different restaurants with an appetizer, main and dessert. (Tanay Warerkar for Eater)

The Shed in Hudson Yards has reopened with a solo exhibition by artist Howardena Pindell called Rope/Fire/Water, which explores the historical traumas of America, namely slavery, racism, and white supremacy. (Monika Hankova for Untapped New York)

An examination of how New York’s slavery history is still present all over the city. (Zachary Kussin for Untapped New York)

The Green-Wood Cemetery is hosting a Dia de los Muertos celebration all this week. (Dozier Hasty for Brooklyn Eagle)

The best Mapo Tofu in the city. (Hannah Albertine for The Infatuation)

Thanks to reader Michael for today’s featured photo.

The Briefly for May 22, 2020 – The “The Beaches Will Be Open This Weekend” Memorial Day Edition

Today’s daily NYC news digest: A new plan for Long Island City, a threat to SantaCon, Scarr’s Pizza and McSorley return, late-night fireworks, restaurant reopenings to celebrate, and more

Today – Low: 60˚ High: 69˚
Possible drizzle in the evening.
This weekend – Low: 53˚ High: 65˚

Do you have blood? Can you spare some? The city’s blood supply is running “dangerously low.” (Kathleen Culliton for Patch)

What are you doing to experience new things while staying at home? SNL’s Heidi Gardner is trying a new cereal each week. (Chris Crowley for Grub Street)

If the ban on city dwellers continues, City Council Member Keith Powers has threatened to cancel SantaCon and ban Long Islanders from St. Patrick’s Day celebrations. Please? Will you promise? (Adam Nichols for Patch)

After a week of back and forth, the city’s beaches will be open this weekend, but with no lifeguards and swimming won’t be allowed. (Todd Maisel for amNewYork Metro)

Nathan’s is the biggest game in Coney Island hot dogs right now, but they got there by playing dirty. Coney Island’s original hot dogger is Feltman’s. (Alyson Krueger for NY Times)

McSorley’s is back after its longest closure since opening in 1854. (EV Grieve)

Scarr’s Pizza is back too. (Elie Z. Perler for Bowery Boogie)

Archdiocese of NY shared a “Faith Forward” plan, which outlines a five-step plan to reopen New York’s churches. (Ron Lee for NY1)

Religious institutions can begin holding services, assuming they limit occupancy to ten or fewer people indoors, everyone must wear a mask and follow social distancing protocols. (NY1)

Some suggested Memorial Day reading, care of the city’s independent book shops. (Danielle Valente for Time Out)

The mayor ran for office on the idea that he wanted to bridge the gap between the two New York Cities, but if you look at the neighborhoods that have received open streets and those that have not, he’s continuing in the tradition he rallied against by denying some of the hardest-hit neighborhoods by the Covid-19 virus open spaces. (Julianne Cuba for Streetsblog)

State Assemblymember Carmen Arroyo has been removed from the Democratic primary ballot after being caught altering signatures and dates on her petition to remain on the ballot. (Ed García Conde for Welcome2TheBronx)

Central Park Park Ranger Ashley Whited rescued a team of orphaned ducks after a snapping turtle attacked and killed their mother. (Anthony Pascale for NY1)

The pandemic has shown what has always been possible, including to-go drinks from bars and restaurants. State Senator Brad Hoylman introduced legislation that would allow bars and restaurants to sell to-go drinks for two years after the pandemic is over. (Tanay Warerkar for Eater)

This weekend kicks off the Loisaida Festival, digitally of course. (EV Grieve)

Here’s the latest plan from a giant developer for the “future” of Long Island City, leaning heavily on commercial property, with 10-to-12 million square feet of space on 28 acres of land surrounding the area that Amazon HQ2 never was. (Christian Murray for LIC Post)

Big companies like Facebook and Mastercard are rethinking massive leases in Manhattan after allowing employees to work remotely on an ongoing basis. Facebook is or was close to signing a lease int he Farley Post Office building next to Penn Station, so it remains to be seen if they’ll go through with the deal. I guess you could say it’s complicated 🥴. (Danielle Balbi for The Real Deal)

Video: Climbing to the top of the Woolworth Building, in what appears to be less than legal means. (Matt Coneybeare for Viewing NYC)

The mayor says the city could be on its way to start phase one of reopening in the first half of June. This is, of course, not a guarantee, and we’ll have to see how well the city fares during this holiday weekend as temperatures are looking favorable. One spike and we ain’t opening in June. (Alejandra O’Connell-Domenech for amNewYork Metro)

I don’t know if it’s welcome news, but it’s a step towards normalcy. Beginning on Monday, you can file lawsuits electronically for the first time in multiple weeks. (Brendan Krisel for Patch)

A guide to New York’s contact tracing programs. (Danny Lewis for Gothamist)

With the rise of MIS-C cases in the state, Governor Cuomo hasn’t made a decision about summer camps across the state, but it’s looking less likely. (Zack Fink for NY1)

176,000 students will be attending summer school, but it won’t be in person. The governor canceled in-person summer classes. The governor went as far as to say that it’s in question if schools will reopen in the fall. (Kathleen Culliton for Patch)

The Landmarks Preservation Commission approved an $8 million project to install a new pedestrian plaza beneath Brooklyn Bridge Park, which will replace a fenced-in parking lot, which is there today. (Kevin Duggan for Brooklyn Paper)

What is New York without New York bars? (Megan Abbott for NY Times)

Ridership is on an uptick, so the Staten Island ferry will increase its rush-hour service. (NY1)

Fleet Week is still happening… virtually? (Ron Lee for NY1)

15 restaurants and bars that have permanently closed because of the coronavirus. (Noah Sheidlower for Untapped New York)

This shouldn’t be a surprise, but that all-male restaurant panel the president has convened, which called him “one of us,” ain’t gonna help. (Chris Crowley for Grub Street)

Here are the CDC’s guidance on using cloth face coverings. (Norwood News)

Is this NYC’s oldest manhole cover? (Michelle Young for Untapped New York)

* Seinfeld voice* What’s the deal with all these late-night fireworks? (David Cruz for Gothamist)

8 restaurant reopenings to be excited about this week. (Serena Dai for Eater)

Thank you to reader Shiloh for today’s featured photo!

The Briefly for March 20, 2020 – The “Someone Check on Jen Carlson” Weekend Edition

Today’s daily NYC news digest: COVID-19, how to help restaurants, landlords find a loophole in the eviction moratorium, some mortgages are paused, alcohol delivery & pickup guide, and more

Today – Low: 40˚ High: 72˚
Possible light rain in the morning and afternoon.
This weekend – Low: 34˚ High: 50˚

Governor Cuomo suspended mortgage payments for anyone who lost hours or is working part-time. The full details of who is eligible are not available yet, but it’s a step in the right direction. (Georgia Kromrei for The Real Deal)

Okay but what about rent? (Valeria Ricciulli for Curbed)

If you heard that New York was freezing medical and student debt, you didn’t hear the whole story. As usual, it’s more complicated than it sounds and isn’t nearly as wide-spread as it should be. It specifically refers to delinquent debt owed to state-run institutions that were been referred to the Attorney General’s office for collection. (Caroline Lewis for Gothamist)

In the era of coronavirus, 911 calls are getting weird. (EV Grieve)

Someone check on Jen Carlson at Gothamist, because she seems to have fallen in love with the pre-Governor Cuomo press briefing announcement music and dubbed it “Cuomocore.” (Jen Carlson for Gothamist)

Chinatown’s Nom Wah Tea Parlor is 100-years old. It’s seen the Great Depression, multiple wars, and now COVID-19. Can it survive? (Joshua David Stein for Grub Street)

Video: A bike ride through a desolate Chinatown. (ActionKid)

Whole Foods added an early hour for customers over 60 to allow the most vulnerable to COVID-19 to feel comfortable while shopping for necessities. (EV Grieve)

Our parks will never go unappreciated again, they’ve provided us with a place to go and still stay distant from other New Yorkers. (Ariama Long for Kings County Politics)

“We’re writing to let you know that a positive case of the coronavirus (COVID-19) was found at our facility today.” -A text sent on Wednesday announcing COVID-19 had found its way inside of an Amazon warehouse in Queens. (Olga Khazan for The Atlantic)

Amazon reopened the warehouse after four hours, saying it was disinfected, but employees are skeptical and continue their calls for the company to do more to protects its workforce. (Jake Offenhartz for Gothamist)

Governor Cuomo is still cleaning up the panic and confusion that Mayor de Blasio created when he off-handedly decided to make a comment about how he may order the city to shelter-in-place. The governor is the only person who can declare that and he has said multiple times that he never would. (Kathleen Culliton for Patch)

The mayor, desperate, asked Elon Musk for help making ventilators via Twitter. Elon Musk’s companies have never made ventilators, but that didn’t stop him from Tweeting that he thinks that they could. (Danielle Muoio for Politico)

Are you stir-crazy enough to sing “Yellow Submarine” with your neighbors? (Mike Mishkin for I Love the Upper West Side)

A judge put a moratorium on new eviction cases last week, so why can new eviction cases still be filed this week? Landlords have, of course, found a loophole and the confusion is dangerous. (Caroline Spivack for Curbed)

Photos: The city’s transit hubs are barren. (Michelle Young with photos by Aaron Asis for Untapped New York)

The governor further restricted the maximum percent of any company that will be allowed to work onsite to 25% from the previously mandated 50%. (Alex Williamson for Brooklyn Eagle)

There are free breakfast and lunch available at local schools for students, but not many are taking advantage of it. (Tribeca Citizen)

“Who cleans those outfits?” is not a common question when it comes to Broadway, but someone has to clean them, right? Unfortunately with Broadway closed, Tony Award winners Ernest Winzer Cleaners is hurting. They give out Tony awards for dry cleaning? I’ve got to re-align my EGOT strategy. (Nancy Coleman for NY Times)

Rose O’Donnell is bringing back ‘The Rosie O’Donnell Show,’ virtually, for one night to raise money for The Actors Fund. You can catch the show streaming on The Actors Fund’s YouTube channel on Sunday at 7 pm. There are over 40 guests lined up for the show. (Dana Schulz for 6sqft)

A look at The Tiny Cupboard, the self-proclaimed “world’s smallest venue.” It’s up three flights of stairs, behind multiple doors and artist’s spaces, and yes, it’s in Bushwick. How did you know? (Serena Tara for Bedford + Bowery)

Add Marie’s Crisis to the list of streaming activities you can take part in during a… crisis. If you’re looking to get loaded and poorly belt out some Broadway tunes, here’s your opportunity. (Adam Feldman for Time Out)

Biqtch Puddiń is bringing a drag show with over 20 performers to Twitch. You can catch Digital Drag: An Online Drag Show on Friday, March 20 at 7pm. (Collier Sutter for Time Out)

New York City’s ambulance crews, which are stretched thin, have been told to work even if exposed to the coronavirus — as long as they are asymptomatic. Last week there was one paramedic infected, now 150 are in quarantine. (Ali Watkins for NY Times)

As the city’s hospitals are becoming overwhelmed with patients, 1,000 retired health care professionals are returning to service. Between retired, student, and faculty volunteers, 1,746 have stepped up to help. (Adan Nichols for Patch)

An interview with Rafael Espinal, President of the Freelancers’ Union. (Tyler Wetherall for Brooklyn Based)

The Metropolitan Opera, the largest performing arts organization in the U.S., has laid off all of its union members, including all of the opera’s musicians, chorus singers, and stagehands. The remainder of the Met’s season has been canceled and union employees have been offered health care coverage through the crisis. Non-full-time performers are out of luck. (Ben Yakas for Gothamist)

This year is the 100th anniversary of the opening of the Wonder Wheel in Coney Island. One day we may be able to celebrate that. (Lore Croghan for Brooklyn Eagle)

An interview with and lockdown advice from the author of “How to Drag a Body and Other Safety Tips You Hope to Never Need.” (Alix Strauss for NY Times)

15 NYC bookstores offering curbside pickup and delivery. (Devin Gannon for 6sqft)

Stuyvesant High School admitted ten black students this year, up from seven last year, out of a freshman class of 760. (Eliza Shapiro for NY Times)
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A list of galleries that are creating online viewing rooms to exhibit art. (Howard Halle for Time Out)

A first look at Staten Island’s drive-through center for COVID-19 testing. (Fred Mogul for Gothamist)

Eight Rikers Island detainees have shown COVID-19 symptoms after one inmate in his 30s tested positive. 40 detainees who are considered higher risk are being considered for release in an attempt to prevent further spread. (Kathleen Culliton for Patch)

Use some of your time to do something good this weekend. The Library of Congress has a program called “By the People!,” which is asking for your help to transcribe significant documents. You can even do it while you re-watch Parks & recreation for the 2nd time this year. (Shaye Weaver for Time Out)

New York City Council Members Inez Barron (East New York, Brooklyn) and Richie Torres (Bronx) have tested positive for COVID-19. Inez Barron’s husband Assemblymember Charles Barron announced a few days ago he tested positive. (East New York News)

Dispatches from the last night of drinking in bars. (Nick McManus for Bedford + Bowery)

Here’s what restaurant and delivery workers need to know about the new paid sick leave laws. (Ryan Sutton for Eater)

How to help restaurants and bars right now. One thing: Stop using Seamless or GrubHub to order. They haven’t waived their fees (which can be up to 25% of your bill), they’ve only deferred them. Use Seamless to make your decision, but actually call the restaurant and give them all your money directly. (Bao Ong for Time Out)

The alcohol delivery & pick-up guide. (Nikko Duren for The Infatuation)

Thanks to reader Chris for today’s featured photo!