The Briefly for July 1, 2020 – The “$88.1 Billion of Unhappiness for Everyone” Edition

Today’s daily NYC news digest: A look at what was cut and what was saved in the city’s budget, counting absentee ballots delayed a week, the best places to BBQ in the city, and more

Today – Low: 71˚ High: 80˚
Rain in the evening.

Photos and Video: Macy’s first night of “surprise” fireworks on the East River. Macy’s laid off 4,000 employees, the fireworks show’s costs are $6 million. (Michelle Young, Video and Photos by Jessica Gardner for Untapped Cities)

RIP Carl Reiner, legend and Bronx native. (Robert Berkvist and Peter Keepnews for NY Times)

No one is happy with the city’s $88.1 billion budget. What it will do is reduce the NYPD’s headcount by 1,160 officers, moves monitoring of illegal vending, the homeless, and school safety away from the NYPD, implements a city-wide hiring freeze, kills composting, removed $65 million from Fair Fares, and more. We will be hearing about the missteps and mistakes that the budget contains for years to come. (Dana Rubenstein and Jeffery C. Mays for NY Times)

There’s no better source of education news than Chalkbeat, which gives an overview of the budget’s impact on the city’s schools, which undoes a $100 million cut to school budgets and restores the summer youth employment program. (Alex Zimmerman for Chalkbeat)

In a last-minute play, Public Advocate Jumaane Williams threatened to derail the city’s budget if the NYPD’s funding wasn’t meaningfully reduced. Can he do that? Questionable, but he managed to keep the pressure on the mayor’s office to defund the NYPD. (Matt Troutman for Patch)

Early Tuesday morning the NYPD did what the NYPD does best, roughing up protesters. This time it was the Occupy City Hall protesters, ahead of the City Council’s vote. (Jake Offenhartz and Gwynne Hogan for Gothamist)

Should the NYPD be involved in as much as it is? Should the NYPD have been the ones to save a hiker after being bitten by a Rattlesnake in Rockland County by helicopter? (Adam Nichols for Patch)

The budget passed 32-17. (Matt Troutman for Patch)

The budget includes $1 billion in labor savings, which the mayor has given himself an October deadline to figure out, or 22,000 municipal jobs will be cut. If we have learned anything about the mayor and deadlines is that he will not come close to making this deadline. (Alejandra O’Connell-Domenech for QNS)

Medical residents at the city-run Kings County Hospital are urging elected officials to stop what they say will be the termination of women’s reproductive cancer surgical treatment at the central Brooklyn medical complex. (Ese Olumhense for The City)

Citi Bike will be raising its annual membership fee by $10 (it was $169, it will be $179) at the end of July. (Gersh Kuntzman for Streetsblog)

When the NYPL’s Culture Pass debuted, it gave you access to 30 or so museums and cultural institutions, with everything closed, a virtual Culture Pass has launched with over 70 original online programs for the culturally adventurous. (Dana Schulz for 6sqft)

The time for action is now, but that action continues to fall on private citizens — business owners and workers alike — forced to feel their way through the dark. Yet, here we are, talking about reopening bars in New York City, while the coronavirus flares up all around us. Are we going to stand up, or let ourselves get knocked back down on our asses?
-Chris Crowley for Grub Street, This Is Not the Time to Reopen New York’s Bars

An interactive map of privately owned public spaces, as the spaces are being opened. (Tribeca Citizen)

LA’s E Stretto sandwich shop is opening a New York City outpost inside Long Island City’s Dutch Kills bar. (Tanay Warerkar for Eater)

Wear a mask, disinfect everything, and more tips on how to move during a pandemic. (Sydney Pereira for Gothamist)

The pandemic has done a fantastic job of bringing to light our societal problems, almost none of them starker than the institutional inequality and bias against Puerto Ricans. The areas with the highest number of COVID-19 infections and deaths coincide with the counties with the highest proportion of Puerto Ricans in the United States. (Vanessa Colón Almenas, Víctor Rodríguez Velázquez, Mc Nelly Torres and Coral Murphy for The City)

Some people can’t handle the responsibility that comes with Open Streets and it seems that the people that chose to turn Berry Street in Williamsburg into Bourbon Street are at the top of the list. The NYPD has begun ending Open Streets hours early as a result of abuse of social distancing rules, noise complaints, and public drinking. The governor has threatened taking liquor and business licenses away from bars and restaurants that don’t enforce the state’s rules, but there have been no reports of that happening in the city. (Ben Weiss for Greenpointers)

The city’s free school lunch program has ended, but there still are plenty of places for students to get free meals from the city and elsewhere. (Luana Harumi for Bedford + Bowery)

It was inevitable, but now it’s official: 2020’s Minor League Baseball season is canceled. (Joe Pantorno for amNewYork Metro)

Remember the election? It might seem like a lifetime ago, but it was only a week and a day. Today is the day the Board of Elections was set to start counting absentee ballots, but ballot-counting won’t begin for another week due to being swamped with more than 10x the usual amount and needing more time to organize. (Bill Mahoney for Politico)

The Yankees say that Aaron Judge, Giancarlo Stanton, James Paxton, and Aaron Hicks will be ready for opening day on July 23. (Joe Pantorno for amNewYork Metro)

The MTA has added PPE vending machines in select subway stations. This is in addition to, not instead of, the hand sanitizer and masks being distributed at subway station booths. (Michelle Young for Untapped New York)

The MTA will end free bus rides that have been offered since the start of the pandemic. The scheduled end is in August when bus drivers will be separated from riders with protective glass and OMNY readers will begin to be installed in buses. (Mark Hallum for amNewYork Metro)

New York’s retail hasn’t completely bounced back, but with year-over-year retail visits down 22% for the week of June 15, it’s the strongest they’ve been in months. (Joe Pantorno for amNewYork Metro)

Comic shops have been hit hard during the pandemic. Bay Ridge rallied to save its local shop, Galaxy Comics on Fifth and 68th St, which has been closed most weeks since March. (Jessica Parks for amNewYork Metro)

A bill is in the state’s legislature that will extend eviction protections for some tenants but is being called a “short-term fix” as it doesn’t go far enough to protect tenants. It would still allow money judgments for nonpayment of rent and provides little or no details about who would be eligible for protection. The protections will be extended as long as any part of a county is closed by the government due to Covid-19. (Georgie Kromrei for The Real Deal)

A while ago I included a story about comedian Elayne Boosler’s cousin, who was given a pricy Catholic burial in New Jersey, which doesn’t make much sense for a Jew from Brooklyn who had a burial plot already purchased on Long Island. In a follow-up, Dorothea Buschell has been buried on Long Island in her family’s burial plot. (Virginia Breen for The City)

Did George Floyd protests lead to a surge in Covid-19 cases? Not yet. In the city, the number of cases was already on a steady decline when the protests started, which reduced the possible spread of infection and if you look at photos from the protests, you’ll find most of the people participating wore masks when they weren’t being pulled off by the NYPD or being treated for the after-effects of pepper spray. (Joseph Goldstein for NY Times)

How likely are you to survive a case of Covid-19? It might depend on which hospital you are admitted to. (Brian M. Rosenthal, Joseph Goldstein, Sharon Otterman and Sheri Fink for NY Times)

The Stonewall Inn announced a GoFundMe less than a week ago to keep their business afloat and people responded in spades, giving $250,000 to keep the bar open. (Ben Yakas for Gothamist)

The 15 best spots in NYC for outdoor grilling. (Devin Gannon for 6sqft)

Thanks to reader Jenny for today’s featured photo!

The Briefly for June 2, 2020 – The “Repeal Civil Rights Law Section 50-a” Edition

Today’s daily NYC news digest: An NYPD union is suspended from Twitter, the arguments for defunding the NYPD, Revel and Citi Bike shut down during curfew, cute trash pandas, and more

Today – Low: 63˚ High: 71˚
Rain overnight.

Over the weekend, an NYPD officer pulled his gun out and pointed it at a crowd of protestors and it was caught on video. The NYPD is conducting an internal review, but the mayor took no time to call for this cop’s gun and badge. (Kevin Duggan for amNewYork Metro)

The NYPD’s union has spent millions of dollars protecting Civil Rights Law section 50-a, which prohibits the city from releasing findings of misbehavior of NYPD cops, and they are getting ready to dig into their pockets to fight reform, which has the support of the governor and mayor. (Greg B. Smith for The City)

On the state senate’s website, you can sign your support for the repeal of 50-a.

The cries to defund the NYPD are getting louder and they’re starting to come from elected officials. (Gersh Kuntzman for Streetsblog)

It took public shaming from AOC to Corey Johnson to literally everyone who saw the footage, but the mayor is ready to admit that the NYPD driving an SUV into a crowd of people is “dangerous and unacceptable” and doesn’t think he “expressed it as well as I should have.” (Elizabeth Kim for Gothamist)

When Frederick Law Olmsted and Calvert Vaux designed Union Square, they specifically designed a portion of the park for public gatherings and protests. (Michelle Young for Untapped New York)

“We have to call out everyone who says anything that is racist, on any level. Don’t be scared of telling Cuomo that he’s speaking racist language. If you sit in these city agency and Corporate meetings as a black person but afraid to call racism out then YOU are part of the problem. Stop being scared. Be strong for your children and grandchildren.”
– Vernon Jones / CEO of JIG Media for East New York News, The NYPD Slave Catching Tactics Give Reason to Create a New Way To Hold Police Accountable for Their Violations Against Black New Yorkers

At 11:00 last night, the first night of NYC’s curfew, I found myself on my way home from the people gathering outside Brooklyn’s 77th precinct, realizing I could have gotten there quicker had I jumped on a Revel or Citi Bike but kept walking anyway. I was wrong because both services shut down at 11 pm with the curfew. (Gersh Kuntzman for Streetsblog)

“It’s a mafia mentality. It’s a ‘If you speak out against us, you’re not with us’ kind of deal. If the writing on the wall is ‘let’s go arrest people’ and the people happen to be black, [then you have to do it or] you’re not with us. It’s a shit system.” An interview with a Brooklyn cop. (Zainab Iqbal for BKLYNER)

Two Brooklynites and one upstate New Yorker were arraigned in federal court for allegedly throwing Molotov cocktails at police cars in two separate incidents during protests against police brutality on May 30. (Ben Verde for amNewYork Metro)

Manhattan state Senator Brad Hoylman called upon the city’s five district attorneys Monday not to prosecute people arrested for disorderly conduct or unlawful assembly during protests, charging that “protesting injustice is not a crime.” (Robert Pozarycki for amNewYork Metro)

“We can no longer tolerate the police officers who do not uphold the rule of law but instead engage in murder, assault and racial profiling, and then protect each other.”
– Francis Greenburger and Cheryl Roberts for amNew York Metro, Is there any justice left in America?

How did you learn about the arrest of the mayor’s daughter? The same way the mayor did, he read about it in the news. How did the information about the mayor’s daughter get to the news? The union that represents the NYPD’s sergeants tweeted out personal information about Chiara de Blasio. They were temporarily suspended from Twitter for the privacy breach. (Dana Rubenstein and Jeffrey C. Mays for NY Times)

“Behind the crowd, a four-year-old black boy tried to teach his baby brother how to clap hands. He held his hands and moved them towards as the crowd loudly clapped and shouted: “I can’t breathe.” ” (Ali Tufan Koc for Bedford + Bowery)

“I am tired. Tired of how routine violence against African Americans at the hands of white people has been and continues to be. Angry as a journalist that this has happened so often that we all know the angles that must be covered, the questions to be asked, the stories to be written. Angrier still that as an African American journalist, I must explain, again and again, how dehumanizing this all is.”
– Amanda Barrett for Brooklyn Eagle, American Diary: To be Black and a journalist at this moment

Five things to know if you’re going out to protest in New York City. (Shaye Weaver for Time Out)

Council Speaker Corey Johnson and Bronx Councilmember Ritchie Torres are demanding an independent investigation into the NYPD’s actions during a weekend of protests, challenging Mayor de Blasio’s plan to direct the Corporation Counsel and Department of Investigations to investigate. They want an investigation that is not done by any office controlled by the mayor. (Matt Tracy for Gay City News)

10 riots in the city’s history. (Noah Sheidlower for Untapped New York)

This will be the only mention of damage caused in Soho during protests. Don’t mix the message of protestors with the damage of looters. (Daniel Maurer for Bedford + Bowery) note: I’m not saying that Bedford + Bowery is doing this, they do a good job of pointing out that the damage was caused by people separate from the George Floyd protests.

Adorable: To close out today, here are some photos of a trash panda and her babies of Carroll Park, who have taken up residence ever since the park has been closed to people. (Katia Kelly for Pardon Me For Asking, photos by Gary Dolan)

The Briefly for April 30, 2020 – The “I Will Report You To 311 For This!” Edition

Today’s daily NYC news digest: Alternatives for grocery delivery, Governor Cuomo’s quizzical piece of art, 40 inexpensive takeout suggestions, IKEA Rego Park’s opening delayed, and more

Today – Low: 53˚ High: 57˚
Rain until morning, starting again in the evening.

Waiting for an antibody test is the new waiting for a table at brunch. (Zijia Song for Bedford + Bowery)

One of Brooklyn’s best places to go for peace and quiet is now closed to the public. Floyd Bennett Field is being used to store MTA buses, cutting off access to the Gateway National Recreation Area, Floyd Bennett Gardens Association’s access to their gardens, and some of the city’s best spots for biking. (Gabriel Sandoval and Jose Martinez for The City)

Andrew Yang is suing New York state for canceling the Democratic presidential primary, trying to get it reinstated. (Emily Ngo for NY1)

“I am not happy at all, and this doesn’t have to do with what candidate you are supporting.” –AOC on the primary’s cancelation. (Juan Manuel Benitez for NY1)

Residential noise complaints to 311 have gone up by 22% during everyone’s quarantine. I’m sorry, I’m trying to perfect my tap dancing. I’ll try to keep it down. (Charles Woodman for Patch)

A look inside the Hunts Point Food Distribution Center and how it’s kept itself, and the city’s food supply chain, going during the pandemic. (Gary He for Eater)

VIDEO: “The Central Park,” a mashup of scenes from movies in or around Central Park. (Flaming Pablum)

Major League Baseball continues to think of how to play the remainder of the season, whenever that might start. The latest idea disbands the American and National Leagues in favor of three geographic-based leagues and highlights local rivalries, giving us a season’s worth of Subway Series games. (Joe Pantorno for amNewYork Metro)

The cover of the April 15 New Yorker sums life up pretty well right now. An interview with Chris Ware about “Still Life.” (Françoise Mouly for The New Yorker)

Sara Erenthal’s work, which uses the city’s trash as a canvas for years, has been featured multiple times in The Briefly’s daily photos (including one claiming “our president is an absolute piece of shit, which I got an angry email about). Here’s an interview with Erenthal about her art and experience creating it. (Ben Yakas for Gothamist)

A series of interviews with N.Y.U. Langone Health nurses, who bear the burden and weight of the city’s sick and dying. (David Gonzalez and Sinna Nasseri for NY Times)

“You know what it spells? It spells love.” When Governor Cuomo unveiled a wall of masks, I spent a few moments actually searching for the word “LOVE” within it. He was speaking metaphorically and I’m glad no one was around to watch me lean in and squint to try to see it. I wasn’t the only one confused. (Kathleen Culliton for

Go beyond Amazon Prime and Instacart. 10 grocery delivery services that are locally focused. (amNewYork Metro)

The funeral in Williamsburg is putting the NYPD and city officials in a tough spot. More than 2,000 Satmar Hasidic Jewish residents flooded the streets, despite an attempt to work with the NYPD to socially distance, endangering everyone involved. (Todd Maisel for Brooklyn Paper)

NYPD Commissioner Dermot Shea stated it bluntly: there will be “zero tolerance” for gatherings like this in the future because the crowds are “putting my cops at risk.” (Todd Maisel for amNewYork Metro)

“I have no regrets about calling out this danger and saying we’re going to be dealing with it very, very aggressively” -Mayor de Blasio on future enforcement of social distancing after the funeral. (Nina Golgowski for HuffPost)

CitiBike is expanding into upper Manhattan and the Bronx starting the week of May 4 with 100 new docking stations. (Caroline Spivack for Curbed)

A map of the Bronx’s new CitiBike locations. (Ed García Conde for Welcome2TheBronx)

The city will offer COVID-19 antibody tests to 150,000 health care workers and first responders to determine whether they’ve been infected. The Department of Defense will also be setting up a program to treat health care workers for “combat stress.” Chirlane McCray is in charge of the mental health program. Hopefully, unlike her past work with ThriveNYC, this will be proven to be effective. (Erin Durkin for Politico)

Throughout May, the city will transfer 1,000 New Yorkers living in city homeless shelters every week to vacant hotel rooms, according to the mayor. The city has approximately 30,000 empty hotel rooms. (Alejandra O’Connell-Domenech for amNewYork Metro)

The YMCA launched YMCA @ Home, free workout classes. (Will Gleason for Time Out)

The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum is offering 200 exhibition catalogs from its archives for free, dating back to 1936. (Howard Halle for Time Out)

Last weekend you baked Junior’s cheesecake, this weekend are you ready for another challenge? Here’s the recipe for Magnolia Bakery’s iconic cupcakes. (Bao Ong for Time Out)

A closer look at the MTA’s new code of conduct that is written with the explicit intention of clearing homeless New Yorkers from trains and enable daily disinfecting of each car. (Mark Hallum for amNewYork Metro)

IKEA Rego Park’s store opening has been pushed back to the fall. (Michael Dorgan for LIC Post)

Dozens of bodies — many of which were the remains of coronavirus victims – were seen being loaded from several U-Haul trucks to a refrigerator truck outside of a Brooklyn funeral home on Wednesday. (Todd Maisel and Jessica Parks for amNewYork Metro)

RIP Samuel Hargress Jr., owner of Paris Blues in Harlem and “the soul ambassador of, that culture of community.” (Steven Kurutz for NY Times)

Vox Media furloughed 9% of its staff and will be making Curbed a part of New York Magazine. Starting May 1, Curbed will be completely furloughed for three months. There is a GoFundMe for the Vox staff who have been furloughed. (Vox Media Furlough Fund)

Looking to donate food to the city’s essential workers? Here are eight ways to deliver food without having to leave your couch. (Emma Orlow for Time Out)

40 inexpensive dining destinations still open, straight from Robert Sietsema’s inexpensive dining column. (Robert Sietsema for Eater)

Thanks to reader Natalie for today’s featured photo!