The Briefly for April 2, 2020 – The “Is Governor Cuomo’s Nipple Pierced?” Edition

Today’s daily NYC news digest: Governor Cuomo shuts down playgrounds, a map of infections by zip code, Ina Garten makes an appropriately sized margarita, free coloring books, and more

Today – Low: 46˚ High: 57˚
Clear throughout the day.

Don’t ask AOC to make a TikTok. (@AOC)

Farmers’ markets are still happening across the city, but with stricter rules. (Anne Barnard for NY Times)

The Right to Counsel NYC Coalition and Housing Justice for All have released a guide for tenants interesting in organizing a rent strike. (Brendan Krisel for Patch)

The NYS Bar Association and the state’s Unified Court System announced they partnered to create a network of pro bono lawyers willing to help out with the surge in legal matters that are expected to come out of the coronavirus pandemic and the likely economic fallout. (Alex Williamson for Brooklyn Eagle)

One of the weirder things to come out of this whole pandemic will be the unanswered question “Is the governor’s nipple pierced?” No one is shaming the governor, I think we all need something to distract us from the state of the world for a few moments. (Jelisa Castrodale for Vice)

Sanra Lee, his ex-girlfriend, took to Instagram to talk about it and while she didn’t say they were pierced, she didn’t deny it either. (Charlie Nash for Mediaite)

Queens’ demographics may be the reason why it has become the epicenter of the city’s coronavirus outbreak. (Clodagh McGowan for NY1)

The city released hard numbers of positive COVID-19 cases per zip code, exposing the tale of two cities as wealthy neighborhoods have rates at 44%, while lower-income zip codes have infection rates as high as 77%. (Howard Halle for Time Out)

Imagine you move into a 600-square-foot Manhattan shoebox apartment and two days later the two of you are locked down together. (Anne McCarthy for HuffPost)

“I basically want to address the idiots out there, and you know who you are.” Watch Larry David’s COVID-19 PSA. (Devon Ivie for Vulture)

Spring break is canceled for public schools. (Kathleen Culliton for Patch)

“During a crisis, cocktail hour can be almost any hour.” -Ine Garten, hero. (Nikita Richardson for Grub Street)

Representatives Carolyn B. Maloney and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez have added their voices to the cause of ending the ban on blood donations from gay and bisexual men. (LIC Post)

The New York City burger delivery guide. (Matt Tervooren for The Infatuation)

Video: Lower Manhattan’s skyline from 1903 through today. (Matt Coneybeare for Viewing NYC)

In the state’s budget, which passed on Wednesday night, is the legalization of electric bikes and scooters in the state, allowing municipalities to regulate electric bikes. Electric scooters that travel up to 15 miles per hour are legalized. (Dave Colon for Streetsblog)

Also in the budget is a new state campaign finance system, with public matching money for candidates who choose to participate and lower individual contribution limits. (Samar Khurshid for Gotham Gazette)

Say farewell to legal weed in 2020. The state failed to put it in the budget last year. A good lesson in not procrastinating. (Rebecca C. Lewis, Amanda Luz Hanning Santiago for City and State)

What New York City looked like, including a startling infographic about daily deaths, during the 1918 flu pandemic. (Michael Wilson for NY Times)

You can now call 311 to report physical distancing violations. Of the 289 complaints in Manhattan in the first three days of the week, the NYPD “took action” on 88 of those complaints. (Zijia Song for Bedford + Bowery)

A man in the Bronx attempted suicide-by-NYPD after receiving a COVID-19 diagnosis. After multiple warnings, the NYPD shot the man in the stomach and is in stable condition at NYC Health & Hospitals/Jacobi. (Ben Yakas for Gothamist)

Former Police Commissioner James O’Neill is returning to public service to be a senior advisor in charge of distributing medical equipment and protective gear to city hospitals. (Erin Durkin for Politico)

210 of Coney Island Hospital’s 317 beds are full of COVID-19 patients and the facility is low on staff, gear, and space, as each employee is being issued one masks every five days. (Rose Adams for Brooklyn Paper)

Mayor de Blasio waivered on closing down the city’s playgrounds, Governor Cuomo did not. All playgrounds, swing sets, basketball courts, and similar spaces are closed. (Allie Griffin for Sunnyside Post)

Mayor de Blasio continues to be a punching bag in the media and doesn’t help himself when his public wavering constantly ends with Governor Cuomo making difficult, but right, decisions. This Times piece starts with an anecdote about Mayor de Blasio walking in Prospect Park on the morning of April 1, which means he was driven from the Upper West Side to Park Slope just to walk in Prospect Park when Central Park is one mile away. (Ben Smith for NY Times)

Love to color? Here are a few free coloring books from NYC artists. (Collier Sutter for Time Out)

Thanks to reader Francesca for today’s featured photo!

The Briefly for March 24, 2020 – The “Quarantine Rainbow Scavenger Hunt” Edition

Today’s daily NYC news digest: The first day of remote learning for NYC, C trains temporarily shut down after an MTA worker tests positive for COVID-19, Economy Candy adapts, and more

Today – Low: 42˚ High: 52˚
Clear throughout the day.

How to access unemployment and other government benefits right now. (Jake Offenhartz for Gothamist)

You won’t find a social media presence for Corona Courier, a community pairing bike couriers with people who need to self-quarantine. They deliver based on where their volunteers are located. If you’ve got some time on your hands and a desire to help, this is an opportunity for you. (Nicole Davis for Brooklyn Based)

The mayor is starting to talk about schools being closed for the rest of the year, despite being hopeful about letting students back in on April 20. (East New York News)

Here’s what NYC’s first day of remote learning looked like. (Alex Zimmerman, Christina Veiga, and Reema Amin for Chalkbeat)

The city’s playgrounds are open. Are they safe? “It would take a Herculean effort every five minutes, literally, that we simply can’t do.” -Mayor de Blasio. (Curtis Brodner for BKLYNER)

If you’ve been seeing rainbows in the windows of apartments around Brooklyn, welcome to the quarantine rainbow scavenger hunt. (Devin Gannon for 6sqft)

Commuting in Corona Times” by Kera Hill is the new subway map that you have to see. (Michelle Young for Untapped New York)

Three depressing charts that spell out the demise of the subways. (Streetsblog)

The work has begun to go through the articles that survived the fire at the MoCA archives on Mulberry St. (Julia Jacobs for NY Times)

Brooklyn has the highest count of positive COVID-19, but so far it hasn’t been included in the state’s plans for a temporary hospital to deal with the sick and Borough President Eric Adams isn’t happy about that. (Mary Frost for Brooklyn Eagle)

How do you enjoy life?” was the note left behind by Robert Herman, photographer, and Tribeca resident, before jumping to his death from his 16th-floor window. (Jeremiah Moss for Jeremiah’s Vanishing New York)

Video: Drone footage of American cities, nearly deserted. (Matt Novak for Gizmodo)

The idea behind closing off some streets to automobile traffic is to alleviate the density in the city’s parks. Think about it like an ongoing block party where everyone has to remain six feet away from each other. (Amy Plitt for Curbed)

Here’s a list of the streets that TransAlt and Bike New York are calling for closure. The most surprising on the list is the Jackie Robinson Parkway, which also includes the NYC marathon route, NYC street fair routes, summer streets and car-free day streets, and more. (Dave Colon for Streetsblog)

Turns out restaurants that were popular before coronavirus closed all the city’s restaurants are still popular now that we’re in “take-out only” mode. (Gary He for Eater)

Rao’s, NYC’s most exclusive restaurant, is offering take-out for the first time ever. (Emma Orlow for Time Out)

Does Scott Stringer realize he’s made a The Lox featuring Lil’ Kim and DMX reference when talking about why the census is important? (@NYCComptroller)

The city could be looking at a $6 billion hit during the projected six-month COVID-19 crisis according to City Comptroller Scott Stringer. As far as I can tell, that doesn’t include the $4 billion the MTA is asking for or the $1.9 billion the Port Authority is asking for. (Robert Pozarycki for QNS)

Photos: An empty NYC just before the PAUSE. (Jen Carlson with photos by Gretchen Robinette, Scott Lynch, and David “Dee” Delgado for Gothamist)

The MTA has announced that it has suspended fare collection on all of its local and select bus routes in order to keep its drivers safe from coronavirus. (Michael Dorgan for Jackson Heights Post)

I used to work with someone whose weekly routine included taking a lunch break and going to Economy Candy to stock up for her desk and apartment. If you're someone for whom candy is a part of life, Economy Candy is now offering CandyCare Packs to keep you sugared up. (Holly Louise Perry for Bowery Boogie)

Now is the absolute worst time to open a restaurant, right? Say hello to the brand new Sofia’s Panificio e Vino in Little Italy. (Emma Orlow for Time Out)

Mike Bloomberg claimed that he’d be paying his campaign staff through November regardless if he dropped out of the race. He dropped out of the race and 2,000 of his former campaign staffers are suing him for fraud in a class-action lawsuit. (Christopher Cadelago for Politico)

Rough Trade NYC closed its online store without an explicitly stated reason. Relatedly, Amazon announced that it was pausing restocking vinyl and CDs, so this could be a supply chain issue. (Bill Pearis for BrooklynVegan)

RIP Nashom Wooden, aka drag legend Mona Foot, a victim of COVID-19. (Mickey Boardman for Paper)

WABC 770 radio relaunched under a new owner. They had a party on March 16 for the relaunch on March 16, the same day the state limited gatherings to 50 and closed bars, restaurants, and gyms. Look at the photos of these idiots at a party in the radio studio. (amNewYork Metro, with no writer credited)

Community Gardens in the city are closed to the public “effective immediately” and “until further notice.” (Sydney Pereira for Gothamist)

The EPA is evaluating if the Coney Island Creek is eligible to become a Superfund site. The waterway has been polluted for decades after the historical manufacturing of dye and gas in the area. (Scott Enman for Brooklyn Eagle)

Gladson Ltd normally supplies Gucci, Paul Smith, Stella McCartney, and others with luxury fabrics, but they’ll be churning out a million facemasks for local hospitals. (Emily Davenport for amNewYork Metro)

Video: A walk by the Long Island City Waterfront at Hunters Point South Park and Gantry Plaza State Park at night. (ActionKid)

City Harvest is looking for volunteers to pack food for fellow New Yorkers. (Allie Griffin for LIC Post)

On Monday morning the MTA stopped running C trains after an employee tested positive for COVID-19. 30 workers have tested positive for coronavirus. (Stephen Nessen for Gothamist)

The end of the month is coming. Are we going to see a rent freeze? (Collier Sutter for Time Out)

The list of the best things the editors of Eater ate and drank this week looks vastly different while sheltering-in-place. (Eater)

“I always knew that when the end came, New Yorkers would watch it from a bar. But this was not the end any of us had imagined. Crowding together, not just a survival skill but an engine of the city in normal times, was the most dangerous thing of all.” -Pete Wells for NY Times

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)