The Briefly for August 6, 2020 – The “NYC is Horny for Books” Edition

Today’s daily NYC news digest: More on the mayor firing Dr. Oxiris Barbot, the MTA’s bad options to continue operating, where to eat in Queens, can you afford an apartment, and more

Today – Low: 71˚ High: 81˚
Rain overnight.

Liquored up ice cream is now legal in New York. The new liquor ice cream can be alcoholic up to 5% by volume. (Luke Fortney for Eater)

Photos and Video: Inside an abandoned Brooklyn warehouse and a look at the treasures left behind. (Noah Sheidlower for Untapped New York)

In parts of the city, the fireworks stopped shortly after July 4. Apparently Norwood didn’t get the message because there was a 45-minute fireworks display over the weekend in a memorial for James Wimmer, who was a lifelong resident, on what would have been his 45th birthday. In 45 minutes, how many police showed up? Exactly zero. (Norwood News)

Mayor de Blasio wants you to know that he fired Dr. Oxiris Barbot, the city’s former health commissioner, and she did not resign in protest. Yes, it makes total sense to fire your top health official in the middle of a health crisis. (Elizabeth Kim for Gothamist)

The city’s libraries’ grab-and-go service has proven one thing: New Yorkers are horny for reading. (Reuven Blau for The City)

Why did Mayor de Blasio push Dr. Oxiris Barbot out in the middle of a pandemic? He says he wants the “atmosphere of unity.” Nothing says unity like people quitting your administration in frustration and forcing out the top health official in the middle of a health emergency. That must also be why you keep around NYPD Commissioner Dermot Shea, who shit talks in public. Bill, we all know you’re a simp for cops. (Erin Durkin for Politico)

There are six botanical gardens you can visit in the city this summer. (Nicole Saraniero for Untapped New York)

A look through the archives of the Brooklyn Eagle at Irving Kaufman’s photography, with a focus this week on NYC construction in the 1930’s. (Phil Kaufman for Brooklyn Eagle)

RIP Pete Hamill, a celebrated NYC reporter whose work was featured in nearly any publication you can name. (Robert D. McFadden for NY Times)

There were still nearly 100,000 customers without power after Tropical Storm Isaias on Wednesday night as ConEd reports it may take days to restore power across the city. Governor Cuomo directed the Department of Public Service to investigate ConEd’s response to the storm. (Matt Troutman for Patch)

If you thought that the city’s bootleg bartenders selling drinks from coolers was going to dwindle in the pandemic, you’re wrong. (Avery Stone for Eater)

With Isaias fresh in mind and with repairs from Hurricane Sandy still going, it’s a good time to examine the loopholes that allow home sellers from disclosing if their home may flood or not. (Rachel Holliday Smith for The City)

Where to get takeout and delivery in Queens, updated for August. (Eater)

It’s like a “Why I’m leaving New York” personal essay, but it’s about a restaurant. Why the Banty Rooster is leaving New York. (Matthew Sedacca with Delores Tronco-DePierro and John DiPierro for Grub Street)

The city will be installing checkpoints to identify out-of-state travelers who are required to quarantine and handing out fines up to $10,000 for violations. (Elizabeth Kim for Gothamist)

The Metropolitan Museum of Art announced firings of 79 employees, 181 furloughs, and 93 voluntary retirements. (Julia Jacobs for NY Times)

This is a good link to have when someone asks you if you think they can afford an apartment in NYC: What is a good rent-to-income ratio in NYC. I’ve always used the 40:1 rule, but this goes a bit deeper. (AJ Jordan for Localize Labs)

“If you’ve never been to courts in New York City, even the newest buildings are teeming with people and their germs. Just to call a single case, there have to be at least 10 people in the room. One judge. One clerk. One court reporter. Four court officers. One prosecutor. One defense attorney. One person who stands accused of a crime and possibly their family members. So when OCA tells us that it will only have 10 cases on at once, that doesn’t mean just 10 people confined to one courtroom, but many, many more, all at risk of contracting and spreading the same virus that killed so many, including my colleague.”
-Martha Lineberger, public defender for the Legal Aid Society, Lives Hang in the Balance as Courts Resume In-Person Work for City Limits

Welcome to the first day after Governor Cuomo’s eviction moratorium is over. Without protections form the state, this could be the start of mass evictions and a huge jump in preventable homelessness in the city. (Matt Troutman for Patch)

NYC will dedicate a team of contact tracers to investigate coronavirus cases in schools, but based on the city’s contact tracing program so far (reminder: the NY Times called it a “disaster”), don’t get your hopes too high. (Christina Veiga for Chalkbeat)

Go home, NY Times, you’re drunk. Headline: New York’s Sidewalk Prophets Are Heirs of the Lascaux Cave Artisans (Seph Rodney for NY Times)

According to RentHop’s rental report, rents dropped 5% year-over-year in Manhattan. (RentHop)

A rundown of all of the bad options the MTA has now that it seems clear that the federal government is not going to be helping and congestion pricing isn’t happening anytime soon. Reduced service with raised fares? Check. Signal upgrade delays? Check. Shelving new construction? Check. It’s like a Choose Your Own Adventure book, but every choice past page one is bad. (Dave Colon for Streetsblog)

The best places to eat sushi outside” is a very 2020 headline. (Hannah Albertine for The Infatuation)

The Briefly for July 16, 2020 – The “She Doesn’t Even Go Here” Edition

Today’s daily NYC news digest: The mayor signed the chokehold ban, congestion pricing is dead, the Times asks if the NYPD has given up on investigating shootings, and more

Today – Low: 70˚ High: 77˚
Partly cloudy throughout the day.

In 2019, the state budget anticipated a January 2021 start for congestion pricing in the city, which would have helped to the tune of $15 billion over five years to help the MTA. What’s the status? Without federal approval, the project is dead. (Caroline Spivack for Curbed)

A look at the six finalists in the Brooklyn Bridge redesign competition, organized by the city and the Van Alen Institute. (Nicholas Loud for Untapped New York)

A prayer match from Brooklyn to City Hall, led by Black clergy leaders and sold as a community-focused Christian unity event, turned ugly when it was co-opted by the NYPD and Blue Lives Matter protesters. An NYPD union promoted the event as one of their own, perhaps to make it appear like they have community support. An avoidable situation without the NYPD’s meddling. (Jake Offenhartz for Gothamist)

NY Times, welcome to the resistance. Today the Times questions if the piles of unsolved shootings across the city, is the NYPD pulling back from its job? The NYPD’s Dermot Shea has a ton of excuses, but ultimately the NYPD made arrests in only 23% of the 634 shootings this year through July 12. (Ashley Southall for NY Times)

The NYPD confirmed the dismembered body found in a LES apartment was tech CEO Fahim Saleh. Saleh was the CEO of Gokada, a motorbike-hailing app in Nigeria. (Matt Troutman for Patch)

A body was found wrapped in plastic underneath a UHaul blanket on the roof of a McDonald’s in The Bronx on Wednesday morning. The cause of death has yet to be determined. (Ben Yakas for Gothamist)

A deeper look at the federal government’s roadblocks on NYC’s congestion pricing. (Christopher Robbins for Gothamist)

West Indian American Day Carnival is going digital for 2020. (Yannise Jean for The Brooklyn Reader)

When baseball officially returns, gets ready for a very odd extra-inning rule that puts a runner on second base automatically. Listen guys, if you don’t want to play past nine innings, just say so. You don’t have to make up new rules. (Joe Pantorno for amNewYork Metro)

The High Line opens to the public today, but with a reservation system and from noon to 8 pm. (Emily Davenport for amNewyork Metro)

Apartment Porn: A $9.4 multi-story Upper East Side penthouse with four terraces, a 24-hour doorman, a built-in library and whatever a “supplemental laundry room” is. (Dana Schulz for 6sqft)

The Metropolitan Museum of Art will reopen five days a week starting on August 29. (Peter Libbey for NY Times)

The Brooklyn Navy Yard has a new website to promote and sell PPE manufactured at the Navy Yard. They’ll also be selling them in PPE vending machines at West Elms and Wegmans. (Dana Schulz for 6sqft)

Seems that most people are still paying rent. According to the National Multifamily Housing Council, 88% of tenants are paying rent, down only a percent or two from the same time last year. (Georgia Kromrei for The Real Deal)

“The only reason you’re out here is because you feel guilty.” City Councilmember Stephen Levin’s meeting with his constituents in McCarren Park to explain his “yes” vote on the city’s budget probably didn’t go as he planned. (Ben Weiss for Greenpointers)

The Empire Center for Public Policy plans to take the Metropolitan Transportation Authority to court for allegedly violating the Freedom of Information Act for failure hand over payroll records of MTA cops. (Mark Hallum for amNewYork Metro)

Robert Bolden is still in the hospital for long-term heart damage after being shot with a stun gun by the NYPD and for multiple fractures to his humerus bone from last weekend’s clash between a pro-police rally and Black Lives Matter protesters in Bay Ridge. Bolden’s lawyer is calling for criminal charges against the NYPD officers who caused the damage to him. (Gwynne Hogan for Gothamist)

This is the last story I’m going to link to about the people who ran Ample Hills into the ground for a while. It’s an interview with the owners, which took place before the sale of the business after declaring bankruptcy, which was unrelated to the Covid-19 pandemic. It’s enough with these two, who are already talking about starting another ice cream-related business. (Erika Adams for Eater)

Video: 9-year-old chess champion Tanitoluwa Adewumi isn’t letting the pandemic get in his way of trying to become a chess grand master. (Matt Coneybeare for Viewing NYC)

Mayor de Blasio signed the chokehold ban and police accountability bills into city law on Wednesday. (Matt Troutman for Patch)

The NYPD forced a homeless man off the subway, cuffed him, beat him, and sent him to the hospital. Cy Vance chose to charge him with assault. One day later and after watching the video of the homeless man getting pepper-sprayed, punched, and pummeled by NYPD officers, District Attorney Vance decided to drop the assault charges but is continuing to pursue charges of resisting arrest. (Rosa Goldensohn for The City)

AOC is the latest person to pressure Governor Cuomo to back a tax on New York’s billionaires. (Jeffrey C. Mays and Jesse McKinley for NY Times)

Feature: Brooklynite Siobhan O’Loughlin’s art requires an interactive audience in an intimate setting. Her show Broken Bone Bathtub literally asks audience members to wash her while she sits in a tub. Under a shelter-in-place order, O’Loughlin pivoted to the heavy task of creating intimate environments with audiences regardless of distance. Her latest show, “My Heart Will Go Zoom,” tells the honest, engaging story of quarantine romance. (Hoa P Nguyen for Brooklyn Based)

9 rooftops your can visit today. (Nikko Duren for The Infatuation)

Thanks to reader Lisa for today’s featured photo!

The Briefly for July 15, 2020 – The “Governor Cuomo’s Latest Abomination of Art” Edition

Today’s daily NYC news digest: The city’s Covid-19 rent assistance program, how NYC’s PPP loans were distributed, where to eat outside in Harlem, invalid absentee votes, and more

Today – Low: 70˚ High: 79˚
Partly cloudy throughout the day.

How to apply for NY’s coronavirus rent assistance. (Matt Troutman for Patch)

For the first time, the city introduced a 15-minute diagnostic test for Covid-19 as part of its new test and trace pilot program in the Bronx. (Elizabeth Kim for Gothamist)

Governor Cuomo has released another exceptionally ugly poster, this one titled “New York Tough.” It’s meant to communicate “what we went through with COVID,” but maybe the governor shouldn’t be prematurely celebrating before this is over. (Dana Schulz for 6sqft)

Looking to green up your apartment and clean up the air? Here are the 15 best air-purifying plants for your home. (Diane Pham for 6sqft)

Amazingly, the MTA has no organizational chart for its 70,000 employees. (Clayton Guse for Daily News)

Black women are three to four times more likely than white women to die from pregnancy complications. Protesters have been shining a light on this after the death of 26-year-old Sha-Asia Washington at Woodhull Medical Center on July 3, whose heart stopped after receiving an epidural she didn’t want. (Rose Adams for Brooklyn Paper)

A look at how the 323,900 PPP loans distributed $38.5 billion in New York. (Sydney Pereira, Matthew Schuerman, Jake Dobkin, Autumn Harris for Gothamist)

The Central Park West bike lane will stretch from Columbus Circle to Frederick Douglass Circle and is scheduled to be completed this summer. (Mike Mishkin for I Love the Upper West Side)

Meet Gowanus Lands, the group trying to convince the city to develop a park on the condemned city-owned land on the west side of the Gowanus Canal. An alternative plan called for a mixed-use, 950 apartment development to be built on the space. (Katia Kelly for Pardon Me For Asking)

The city’s 2021 budget for tree pruning was… ahem… pruned down $7.2 million to a total of $1.5 million. It’s hard to imagine the Parks Department doing the same amount of work with 83% less budget, so what’s likely to happen is an increase in falling tree limbs. Want an example? Pruning contracts were cut back by $1 million in 2010 and lawsuit settlements over injuries caused by trees increased by $15 million. (Carson Kessler for The City)

Toilet paper and flour are back in stores, but with less variety than before and they’re not the only products that have scaled back on options. (Daniel E. Slotnik for NY Times)

Corey Walker, 19, and Keandre Rodgers, 18, were arrested and charged with murder with a special circumstance in connection with the murder of Pop Smoke and possibly face the death penalty. Two minors were also charged with murder and robbery in juvenile court. (Andrew Sacher for BrooklynVegan)

As stores close and their signs are pulled down, we’re getting a glimpse at the city’s history in the form of signage that has remained hidden for decades. (Michelle Young for Untapped New York)

The Empire State Building’s observatory will open on Monday, replete with reduced capacity, temperature checks, and a new air purification system. These kinds of systems with MERV 13 filters will dominate the conversation when talking about reopening indoor spaces. (Devin Gannon for 6sqft)

Minnesota, New Mexico, Ohio, and Wisconsin have been added to New York’s quarantine list, bringing the number of quarantined states to 22. (Nick Reisman for NY1)

Riis Park Beach Bazaar is open for food. This year will skip the karaoke and DJs. (Collier Sutter for Time Out)

Bastille Day came and went without the usual parties in Cobble Hill and Carroll Gardens. In celebration, Brooklyn Based took a promenade through the neighborhoods. (Kerri Allen for Brooklyn Based)

The Mets have begun using MCU Park in Coney Island as an alternate spring training location, ensuring there is a tiny bit of professional baseball in Brooklyn this year. (Jaime DeJesus for The Brooklyn Home Reporter)

A look at what it’s like to work in a city restaurant, according to staffers. (Gary He for Eater)

Eater NY is looking for a new lead editor. (Missy Frederick for Eater)

State Senator Andrew Gounardes and Councilmember Justin Brannan are demanding that the city forgive any fines levied in the NYC Open Restaurants program on restaurant owners due to the shifting guidelines. (Jamie DeJesus for The Brooklyn Home Reporter)

West Nile Virus was detected in NYC mosquitoes. There have been no human cases reported. (Matt Troutman for Patch)

The latest on the four groups trying to save the Mets from the Wilpon family. Joe Pantorno for amNewYork Metro)

Unless there’s a Biden victory in November, NYC may never see congestion pricing. (Gersh Kuntzman for Streetsblog)

A decapitated and dismembered corpse was found in a luxury LES apartment at 265 East Houston St on Tuesday afternoon. (David Cruz and Christopher Robbins for Gothamist)

In some portions of the city, over 20% of absentee ballots are being invalidated for one of a possible 13 reasons. The city has 110 days until the election to get its shit together. (Emily Ngo for NY1)

City Councilmember Jimmy Van Bramer stopped answering email from the Queens Post and their response has been to run an editorial making vague threats about ending positive coverage of him. (Czarinna Andres and Christian Murray, co-publishers, for Queens Post)

Where to eat outside in Harlem. (Hannah Albertine for The Infatuation)

Thank to reader Joe for today’s featured photo!