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 February 5, 2020 – The “Why Bother Having A Public Transit System At All?” Edition

Today’s daily NYC news digest: The Upper West Side asks for a study on street parking, the five best bacon dishes, the NYPD blames a jump in crime on the latest boogeyman, and more

Today – Low: 37˚ High: 44˚
Light rain in the morning and overnight.

A not completely accurate comic portrayal of New York’s zoos. (@pixelatedboat)

Here’s the full list of Catholic clergy accused of sex abuse in NYC. (Adam Nichols for Patch)

29 things that are regular here and weird almost anywhere else. (Mary Lane for New York Cliche)

Andy Byford’s last day on the job for the New York Transit Authority will be February 22 and advocates are starting to get worried about the MTA’s ability to move forward without him. (Mark Hallum for amNewYork Metro)

The MTA is seeking proposals from ride-hailing services to help service transit deserts better by adding cars to bring people to the nearest subway stop during the hours of midnight and 5am. The details are nearly non-existent, like price and what locations would be served, but it’s a start. (Jose Martinez and Trone Dowd for The City)

Transit advocates are less than impressed with the MTA’s potential plan to subsidize for-hire car rides. Rather than address a real issue with transit availability, the MTA is punting to cabs to fill in the gaps it created. How long until the MTA uses this as an excuse to further cut back on night and weekend service? (Jake Offenhartz for Gothamist)

The city is working on a pilot program to bring a potential 5,000 basement apartments up to code in East New York, but at the same time they are also cracking down on illegal basement apartments elsewhere. (Kevin Sun for The Real Deal)

Robert Sietsema’s top five bacon dishes across the city. (Robert Sietsema for Eater)

What’s the top hotel in the city? Was your pick The Lowell Hotel New York on 62nd? According to US News and Reports, it’s #1. Check out the rest of the top ten. (Kathleen Culliton for Patch)

Renderings: Check out what the pedestrian plaza will look like outside Grand Central this summer. (Devin Gannon for 6sqft)

Does a perfect carrot cake exist? Does it come from Lloyd’s Carrot Cake in Riverdale? (Ed García Conde for Welcome2TheBronx)

The train that lost power between Secaucus and Penn Station left New Jersey at 6pm and didn’t arrive at Penn Station until 10pm for a ride that usually takes 15 minutes. (Sophia Chang for Gothamist)

17 hidden gems in Flushing. (Noah Sheidlower for Untapped New York)

All hail Pizza Rat, the unofficial subway mascot. (Ben Yakas for Gothamist)

New York’s tourism industry is taking a hard hit from the lack of Chinese tourists around the city, representing the second-largest foreign travelers in the world. (James Barron for NY Times)

The first person showing signs of coronavirus symptoms does not have coronavirus. The other two people showing symptoms have not been given a diagnosis. (Joseph Goldstein for NY Times)

The Knicks fired their team president Steve Mills. Whoever takes the job for James Dolan next will either become a very wealthy person or the biggest idiot in the NBA. (Joe Pantorno for amNewYork Metro)

Kids born later in the year are up to 70% more likely to be diagnosed as having a learning disability by the city’s public schools according to a new data analysis from the Independent Budget Office. (Kathleen Culliton for Patch)

It’s an inclusive sauna on wheels, and yes, it’s in Bushwick. (Collier Sutter for Time Out)

The NYPD isn’t supposed to talk about public policy, so why are they opening their mouths about bail reform? Oh right, because they police themselves and basically feel like they can do almost anything they want. (Christopher Robbins for Gothamist)

January saw a 20% drop in murder, a 24% drop in hate crimes and an 18% drop in rape, but the overall volume of crime was up 17% compared to last January. The Police Benevolent Association’s Pat Lynch has decided this overall jump can be blamed on the NYPD’s latest boogeyman: bail reform. With the reforms being on the books for one month, it is impossible to make a direct connection between the two. (Kathleen Culliton for Patch)

Incidents of slashings and stabbings in city jails surged 10.4 percent last year and physical confrontations between detainees and corrections officers rose sharply to a staggering 37 percent—and the City Council Committee on Criminal Justice is trying to find out why. (Matthew Benedetti for NY City Lens)

The NYPD is phasing out its activity log memo books in favor of an iPhone app. The books have been in use since the 1800s and the new app will centralize the information and leave less room for fudging the facts. (Corey Kilgannon for NY Times)

22 go-to fast casual spots in the Financial District. (Urvija Banerji for Eater)

Brooklyn Bridge Park has new a public art installation at Pier 3. The large metal hoops are called “New York Clearing” by Antony Gormley and I’m going to withhold my judgement on this until I experience it firsthand, because it’s looking a little weird in the photos. (Gabe Herman amNewYork Metro)

An adult tree house is coming to this luxury Lower East Side high-rise. Of course it is. (Howard Halle for Time Out)

It took eight months, two closed-door sessions, and an hour of debate on the last night, but Community Board 7 on the Upper West Side has asked the city for a study curbside usage on the Upper West Side and explores the idea of paid residential parking permits. Eight months. (Eve Kessler for Streetsblog)

“The usual?” 26 restaurants where you’ll want to become a regular. (Hannah Albertine, Bryan Kim, & Matt Tervooren for The Infatuation)

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)