The Briefly for March 30, 2020 – The “Buying Whiskey for a Good Cause” Edition

Today’s daily NYC news digest: Central Park becomes a field hospital for COVID-19 patients, Amazon continues to expand its NYC footprint, you can still move apartments, and more

Today – Low: 46˚ High: 48˚
Drizzle in the morning and afternoon.

Can you move during the pandemic? Yes. (Devin Gannon for 6sqft)

In September of 2018, a construction crew in Elmhurst accidentally exhumed the mummified remains of a smallpox victim from the 1850s. Was that a bad omen? (Ephemeral New York)

The New York Bacon and Beer Classic was rescheduled to September 26. Isn’t it nice to think that life will return to normal at some point in the future? (Alex Mitchell for amNewYork Metro)

Wheated is selling off its whiskey collection to help its laid-off employees. If you were looking to get your hands on some great whiskey at a reasonable price in Ditmas Park, you know where to go. (Robert Sietsema for Eater)

Maybe whiskey’s not your thing? Some restaurants have merch available. (Tanay Warerkar for Eater)

The definition of what consists of a “real emergency” has changed. With a record volume of 911 calls, the FDNY is asking anyone who is thinking of calling 911 for coronavirus-related reasons to call a doctor first. (Jenna Amatulli for HuffPost)

Photos: Inside the new 1,000-bed Javits Center hospital. (Dana Schulz for 6sqft)

Aqueduct Racetrack, the Brooklyn Cruise Terminal, the CUNY College of Staten Island, and the New York Expo Center will become temporary hospital sites that will add an additional 4,000 hospital beds to the city. (Devin Gannon for 6sqft)

Central Park’s East Meadow is being used as an emergency field hospital for COVID-19 patients. (John Del Signore for Gothamist)

Elon Musk is sending 615 ventilators to the city, wait, why did Elon Musk have 615 ventilators to start? (Kathleen Culliton for Patch)

Ample Hills is laying off all 101 of its workers. This, unlike their recent bankruptcy announcement, is related to the COVID-19 pandemic. (Eddie Small for The Real Deal)

Photos: New York’s first complete week of pandemic dining. (Gary He for Eater)

It started as a list of the best things to eat in New York, now it’s a list of 101 things we hope we can eat again soon. (Grub Street)

Here are all the Michelin-rated restaurants in the city that are now offering takeout or delivery. (Bao Ong for Time Out)

If you’ve always wanted a pet, there is quite literally no time like the present to adopt one. (Kevin Duggan for amNewYork Metro)

The bars are closed, the restaurants shuttered, the gyms are barren, but there is a place for some New Yorkers to be social and remain physically distant: the stoop. (Doug Gordon for Curbed)

Con Ed suspended checking gas and electric meters, so if someone comes to your door claiming to be from Con Ed, ignore them. (Brooklyn Eagle)

The state has put an end to “non-essential” construction, limiting active construction to building hospitals, infrastructure projects, affordable housing, and homeless shelters. (Janaki Chadha for Politico)

The Empire State building is working with Z100 to put together a light show every night at 9pm with new shows debuting on Friday nights. (Howard Halle for Time Out)

So how did the first week of remote learning go? (Shumita Basu for Gothamist)

Add the New York Philharmonic to the list of organizations streaming free performances. Check out past performances on Thursday nights. (Shaye Weaver for Time Out)

The city’s first map with any COVID-19 information is exceptionally unhelpful. Par for the course from the de Blasio administration. (Kathleen Culliton for Patch)

Amazon bought the Lord & Taylor Building at 424 Fifth Avenue for one billion dollars. Amazon continues to expand its NYC footprint, despite not getting a ridiculous tax break from the city and state. (Sebastian Morris for New York YIMBY)

Photos: Turns out we’re still pretty bad at social distancing in city parks. (Jen Carlson for Gothamist)

The NYPD was authorized to give $250 – $500 fines to people who aren’t maintaining social distance, but only if they fail to disperse when ordered or if officers find people in the same place twice. (Erin Durkin for Politico)

Pregnant women will not be forced to give birth without having someone with them. A new executive order from Governor Cuomo breaks any ban that was previously put in place by hospitals. It’s amazing how quickly the government can move when it is motivated. (Katie Van Syckle and Christina Caron for NY Times)

The state’s tax deadline and the presidential primary were moved. The tax deadline to July 15 and the primary to June 23. (Anna Quinn for Patch)

Along with the presidential primary, local elections were moved, creating questions about how the elections for Queens borough president and open city council seats. (Claudia Irizarry Aponte and Christine Chung for The City)

One week after calling for a complete lockdown of the city, Public Advocate Jumaane Williams is calling for the city to close all parks and playgrounds. (Ben Yakas for Gothamist)

Over the weekend, Rhode Island restricted access to the state for New Yorkers and then lifted their restrictions after Cuomo threatened to sue. (Bill Mahoney for amNewYork Metro)

A look at the “new” Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, who is starting to appear much more like the rest of the democrats than her previous spitfire self. (Alex Thompson and Holly Otterbein for Politico)

A brief list of notable people who have tested positive for COVID-19 this weekend: MTA Chairman and CEO Pat Foye, Knicks owner James Dolan, Queens District Attorney Melinda Katz. All three are isolating and seem to be doing okay. (Robert Pozarycki for amNewYork Metro, Joe Pantorno for amNewYork Metro, and Erin Durkin for Politico)

17 Thai delivery and takeout picks. (Bryan Kim for The Infatuation)

Thanks to Dylan for today’s featured photo in Domino Park, which accurately captures how we’re all feeling.

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!

The Briefly for March 13, 2020 – The “How Does A Strip Club Fight COVID-19?” Edition

Today’s daily NYC news digest: COVID-19 in NYC, the secret gardens of the Upper West Side, new restrictions on gatherings, Broadway is closed, there are no more pro sports, and more

Today – Low: 40˚ High: 66˚
Light rain in the morning and afternoon.
This weekend – Low: 35˚ High: 55˚

Video: Four of six candidates for Queens borough president debated at Queens College on March 9. (Angélica Acevedo for QNS)

The Palm steakhouses have been owned for 93 years by the family that launched them, but they have sold to the company that owns the Rainforest Cafe in a $45 million deal. (Serena Dai for Eater)

360° Video: From the top of Edge NY’s outdoor deck. (Action Kid)

The Coney Island Polar Bear Plunge raised $60,000, which was distributed to multiple community organizations, including the New York Aquarium, the Alliance for Coney Island, Coney Island USA, the Coney Island History Project, Coney Beach Brighton Beach Open Water Swimmers, New York State Marine Education Association, New York City Parks Foundation, the Coney Island YMCA, and Parachute Literary Arts. If you ever wondered “why does anyone do that?,” this is the benefit of having a wild idea on January 1. (John Alexander for The Brooklyn Home Reporter)

The title is 12 buildings that should be brought back, but if you’re looking to explore some of old New York’s masterpieces, here are 12 of them. (Michelle Young for Untapped New York)

The Bronx Brewery in planning a second location in the East Village on Second Ave between 3rd and 4th. The location should be opening in the fall with a brewery, live music, and a kitchen with “special guest” chefs. (Devin Gannon for 6sqft)

The best restaurants in the West Village, because we’re not all going to be making all of our own meals in perpetuity. (Bryan Kim, Katherine Lewin, Hillary Reinsberg, & Matt Tervooren for The Infatuation)

Conor McGregor donated $1 million to the first responder Steven Siller Tunnel To Towers Foundation to make good on a 2018 promise. (amNewYork Metro)

If you’ve got plans to binge the Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, you might ask yourself, “If I were her friend, where would I live?” and also “Could I afford it?” Here are your answers. (Localize.City)

The secret gardens of the Upper West Side. (Mike Mishkin for I Love the Upper West Side)


I won’t list things that are closing but assume that everything, everything pro sports and everything Broadway, is canceled or postponed unless you explicitly hear otherwise, with the exception of city schools, the Queens borough president election, and the census. Before going anywhere or doing anything, please call and confirm.

The state’s public emergency health plan has two prongs: reducing the spread and treating the infected. “There is no end date.” (Emily Davenport for amNewYork Metro)

Video: The mayor’s press conference about the coronavirus outbreak on Thursday afternoon was somber and reassuring at the same time. If you have the endurance to watch over 90 minutes, the video is available. (NBC News)

The Archdiocese of New York announced it was closing all of its elementary schools for at least a week and would reassess the situation on March 20. (Adam Nichols for Patch)

Early voting in the Queens borough president’s race starts on Saturday. Is the city ready for its first coronavirus election? (Ben Brachfeld for Gothamist)

Subway ridership is unsurprisingly down 18.65% from a year ago as as many people as possible are staying home. (Dana Rubinstein for Politico)

The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, Late Night with Seth Meyers, The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon, Full Frontal with Samantha Bee, Last Week Tonight, and The Daily Show with Trevor Noah are joining most daytime shows in filming without studio audiences moving forward. (Ben Yakas for Gothamist)

I got a text from a friend yesterday that the school nurse for their school was out and one of their students was displaying signs of a fever and coughing. He told me his school didn’t have a backup plan aside from sending the student home immediately.

COVID-19 is showing is just how woefully unprepared our school nurse situation is. The city plans on hiring enough nurses to distribute one in each building by today, but these nurses will be contractors with the city and as a result will be unable to access students’ medical records. Not an ideal situation for making medical decisions. (Jessica Gould for Gothamist)

When people stop showing up to a senior center like the Open Door Senior Center over COVID-19 fears, it doesn’t mean they aren’t in need of a meal. How do you provide a meal to someone staying home in fear? ( Gabriel Sandoval and Claudia Irizarry Aponte with additional reporting by Josefa Velasquez for The City)

If we’re all going to be seeing more of the inside of our apartments more, maybe it’s time to tackle some of those long-standing projects we’ve been thinking about. The story of how Lauren Rothman was unable to change to a different apartment, so she changed her apartment. (Lauren Rothman for Curbed)

The state’s finances are based on economic growth, which means the next fiscal year, which starts on April 1st, is completely screwed by COVID-19, which will have years of ramifications for the state. (Fred Mogul for Gothamist)

Advocates are worried undocumented New Yorkers will be scared to seek medical help for COVID-19 symptoms. (Sophia Chang for Gothamist)

No matter what you heard early in the day on Thursday, the child who self-reported as having COVID-19 in the Bronx does not have the illness and the school they attended will be open on Friday. The school system may explore a “summer school model,” with a limited shutdown. (Sophia Chang, Jessica Gould, Yasmeen Khan for Gothamist)

There’s gonna be a lot of beer that goes undrank and a lot of corned beef that goes uneaten on St Patricks Day. (Erika Adams for Eater)

No gathering of more than 500 people can happen in New York and the legal capacity of just about everywhere has been cut in half. In addition, the mayor said that MSG and the Barclays Center should be expected to be closed for months. (Amanda Hatfield for BrooklynVegan)

Restaurants will have to reduce their capacity by 50% as part of the new preventative measures put in place. The mayor re-iterated while outlining the new policy that this could be a six0month health crisis with a longer economic recovery period. The city is offering no-interest loans, but this crisis is going to be absolutely apocalyptic for the city’s restaurants, which already operate on slim margins. (Serena Dai for Eater)

A longstanding New York trade organization representing restaurants is calling for the state to offer tax breaks and cap food delivery service fees — in addition to a host of other requests, as the industry prepares for drastic economic consequences of the COVID-19 crisis. (Erika Adam for Eater)

Alex Jones, a human backflowing sewer pipe and conspiracy theorist, was selling toothpaste, creams and several other products that claim to treat or prevent and cure COVID-19 on his website. Attorney Letitia James immediately sent him a cease and desist. (Noah Higgins-Dunn for CNBC)

How does a strip club like FlashDancers handle an outbreak like COVID-19? (Tribeca Citizen)