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!

The Briefly for June 26, 2020 – The “Welcome to Manhattan, $20 Please” Weekend Edition

Today’s daily NYC news digest: The CBGB Caucus, phase three could start on July 6, vendors return to Rockaway Beach, Harlem gets a Black Lives Matter street mural, and more

Today – Low: 72˚ High: 85˚
Clear throughout the day.
This weekend – Low: 74˚ High: 86˚

2020 is the year that everyone wants to start selling nutcrackers. (Margot Boyer-Dry for NY Times)

Without federal assistance, the MTA is leaving nothing in the table when it comes to attempting to make up for a combined $15 billion of lost revenue over two years. Already discussed are the disastrous combinations of non‐personnel expense reductions, reductions in force, fare and toll increases, service reductions, and “long‐term deficit financing.” (Stephen Nessen for Gothamist)

With the MTA’s trouble at the front of mind, let’s not forget that the city is waiting on federal approval for congestion pricing to enter Manhattan. A Cornell University study found that a $20 toll could reduce Manhattan’s traffic by 40%, greenhouse gas emission could be cut by 15%, and ridership on mass transit would increase by 6%. (Mark Hallum for amNewYork Metro)

The MTA will rename two Brooklyn subway stops to include the name of Medgar Evers College, thanks to legislation from Assembly Member Diana Richardson and State Senator Zellnor Myrie. The new stops will be named Franklin Avenue-Medgar Evers College and President Street-Medgar Evers College. (David Cruz for Gothamist)

One of the hardest-hit industries during the pandemic is dog walkers. As life slowly edges towards normal and dog adoptions have spiked, can dog walker rebound? (Mili Godio for Bedford + Bowery)

City Councilmember Ritchie Torres has a sizable lead in the 15th Congressional District in the South Bronx. If that lead persists through the counting of absentee ballots, he could be the first out gay Afro-Latinx member of Congress. (Matt Tracy for Gay City News)

The NYPD promoted three people of color to chief positions. (Todd Maisel for amNewYork Metro)

David Afanador, the cop who allegedly put a man in an illegal chokehold in Queens days after it became illegal across the state, turned himself in and was charged with attempted aggravated strangulation and strangulation in the second degree. If convicted, he could face seven years in prison. (NY1)

Identifying 10 streets that would be ideal to close for outdoor dining. (Eater)

22 branches of the NYPL, QPL, and BPL will be opening on July 13 for grab-and-go service. (Jen Carlson for Gothamist)

Grub Street floats an interesting idea: Should this be the end of the traditional menu? Chris Crowley for Grub Street)

We’re five days into phase two, which means the city is turning its eyes towards phase three, which includes basketball courts, dog runs, indoor restaurant service, nail salons, massage therapists, and other personal care services. The city is on pace to hit phase three on July 6. (Adam Nichols for Patch)

City Councilmembers Justin Brannan and Keith Powers have formed the “CBGB Caucus” as a way to help support independent music venues that remain closed and will remain closed through phase three, across the city. In a letter to the city’s Congressional Delegation, they outline support for a benefit for venues that have been completely unable to open due to the pandemic and emergency unemployment benefits for their workers. (Amanda Hatfield for BrooklynVegan)

The New-York Historical Society will, with approval from the city, be opening on August 14 with an outdoor exhibition called “Hope Wanted: New York City Under Quarantine“. (Howard Halle for Time Out)

As stores slowly reopen, there’s a movement to preserve the protest art that adorned storefronts around SoHo. (NY1)

It’s less than reassuring to know that in the week of a primary, the NYC Board of Elections Director was fined for violating the city’s ethics law. The center of the violation is a hotel stay in 2018 that was paid for by Election Systems & Software while he was serving on their board, a company that the city purchases election machines and supplies from. He resigned from his position with ES&S later in 2018. (Brigid Bergin for Gothamist)

The local election to watch this fall will be Trump-supporting Republican challenger Assemblywoman Nicole Malliotakis trying to unseat Democratic incumbent Rep. Max Rose. Only a few days out from the primaries and both are on the attack. Rose called Malliotakis “a fraud who represents everything we hate about our politics.” (Rose Adams for amNewyork Metro)

Farewell to the Way Station, the Doctor Who-themed bar in Prospect Heights, who will not be regenerating after the pandemic. (Serena Dai for Eater)

10 chefs and restauranteurs discuss how they feel about reopening. (The Infatuation)

The New York City Council voted Thursday to legalize e-bikes and e-scooters for use on city streets, forcing the mayor to confront a reversal of his ill-conceived and poorly-executed crackdown of electric bikes. (Brendan Krisel for Patch)

Take a walk around the Rink at Rockefeller Center and it will become impossible to not see the 100 Pride flags flying around the plaza as a part of Rockefeller Center’s celebration of World Pride Day. (Howard Halle for Time Out)

If you can’t get out and do a socially-distant tour of LGBTQ+ landmarks across the city the NYC LGBT Historic Sites Project and CyArk created a 3D virtual tour. (Shaye Weaver for Time Out)

A look at Attorney General William Barr’s attempt to undermine New York’s federal prosecutors. (Benjamin Weiser, Ben Protess, Katie Benner and William K. Rashbaum for NY Times)

New York is releasing $65 million in federal money to help preschools and daycare centers reopen after the coronavirus forced many to close down. The preschools and daycares say it isn’t enough. (Christina Veiga for Chalkbeat)

Harlem will be getting a Black Lives Matter street mural on Adam Clayton Powell Jr. Boulevard between 125th and 127th Streets. (Howard Halle for Time Out)

A look at the positive impact the city’s use of hotel rooms as homeless shelters can have. (Courtney Gross for NY1)

It won’t be happening this weekend, but along with lifeguards, food vendors are coming back to Rockaway Beach on July 1. (Alexander Jusdanis for Bedford + Bowery)

28 NYC restaurants with new outdoor dining. (Hannah Albertine, Nikko Duren, & Matt Tervooren for The Infatuation)

Thanks to reader Chris for today’s photo of the new VBallentine mural in Crown Heights.

The Briefly for April 27, 2020 – The “An Upward Failure of Epic Proportions” Edition

Today’s daily NYC news digest: The threat to the city’s restaurants, antibody tests are unreliable, the Governor cancels the Queens presidential special elections, and more

Today – Low: 43˚ High: 49˚
Overcast throughout the day.

All eligible voters will receive a postage-paid absentee ballot application to vote in the June 23 primary. (Alejandra O-Connell-Domenech for amNewYork Metro)

Grocery stores have adjusted to pandemic life, but seemingly no grocery store has had to make the adjustments the Park Slope Coop has made. Transitioning from an all-volunteer workforce to paid workers and turning the people of Park Slope, whatever you think of them, into patient and understanding shoppers. (Terri Ciccone for Eater)

One of the weekend’s most talked-about pieces is an essay from Gabrielle Hamilton, owner and chef at Prune on 1st between 1st and 2nd Ave for twenty years, about closing her restaurant and wondering if there’s a place in the city for it once the city returns. (Gabrielle Hamilton for The New York Times Magazine)

The governor us looking ahead to when the state can start taking baby steps towards reopening. “Phase one of the reopening will involve construction and manufacturing activities, and within construction and manufacturing, those businesses that have a low risk. Phase two would be more of a business-by-business analysis using the matrix that we’ve discussed: How essential a service does that business provide and how risky is that business.” There will be a two week period between phases where the effectiveness will be measured. (Mark Hallum for amNewYork Metro)

The mayor announced two task forces and a series of advisory councils that will begin the talks about restarting the city’s economy. In one of the most unbelievable examples of failing upwards, Chirlane McCray will be leading one of the task forces. McCray is the head of ThriveNYC, the mental health program which has spent $850 million of the city’s money with very little to show for it. (Zack Fink for NY1)

The current COVID-19 antibody tests are unreliable, according to the City Health Department’s Division of Disease Control, and can not determine if you’re immune to COVID-19. (Caroline Lewis, Sophia Chang, and Gwynne Hogan for Gothamist)

Independent pharmacies will become COVID-19 test collection sites while the state expands testing to essential workers and expands capacity to 40,000 tests a day. (Matt Troutman for Patch)

Over a century ago, the subways had their own baseball league. (Noah Sheidlower for Untapped New York)

The Stonewall Democratic Club of New York City endorsed incumbent Yvette Clarke for Congress over anti-LGBTQ Chaim Deutsch during a five-hour virtual endorsement meeting ahead of the June 23 Democratic primary. (Matt Tracy for Gay City News)

Six maps to help you discover the city from home. (Lillia Panych for Untapped New York)

What happens when a roommate defects from NYC because COVID-19 is coming and rent is due? (Kate Mooney for Curbed)

The best, and more importantly worst, frozen grocery foods. (Ryan Sutton for Eater)

On March 1, NYC had one confirmed case of the novel coronavirus, research shows it was closer to 10,000. (Caroline Lewis for Gothamist)

The first thing Time Out’s staffers are going to do when life returns to “normal.” Personally, I’m looking forward to going to my band’s rehearsal space and playing my drums again. (Will Gleason for Time Out)

The best secret menu items available for delivery. (Bao Ong for Time Out)

AOC was the only Democrat to vote against the federal government’s $484 billion relief package. (Christian Murray for Sunnyside Post)

AOC’s district is the epicenter of the fight against COVID-19 in a city that is already the epicenter of the fight against COVID-19. In an opinion piece, she lays out three policies that a stimulus must include, like $2,000 monthly payments as a first step. (Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez for amNewYork Metro)

The special election for Queens borough president is canceled by executive order by Governor Cuomo. The winner was going to serve until the end of the year, which seems pointless at this point. Acting President Sharon Lee will remain president for the rest of the year. (Michael Dorgan for Sunnyside Post)

The L train construction is complete and ahead of schedule. (John Del Signore for Gothamist)

Remember when congestion pricing was going to happen and the money the state made from it was going to fix the subways? lol. (Yessenia Funes for Gizmodo)

The Metropolitan Opera is continuing its free performances every night this week. (Adam Feldman for Time Out)

New York Sports Club is reimbursing its members for fees during the pandemic, marking this the one time NYSC has done anything that appears to be remotely friendly to the city, even if it was forced by the state’s attorney general. (Sophia Chang for Gothamist)

RIP Richard Hake, beloved WNYC anchor. (Christopher Robbins for Gothamist)

The lost wedding ring on the Upper West Side lost during the 7pm clap? It’s been found! (Mike Mishkin for I Love the Upper West Side)

The worst people in the city this weekend were the joggers without masks. Another good reason to never start running. (EV Grieve)

Jane’s Walk NYC honors Jane Jacobs with a series of free neighborhood walking tours every year, with this year’s offering to be a completely remote event during the first week of May. (Devin Gannon for 6sqft)

The NYPD and the Department of Transportation are against opening streets for pedestrians and cyclists, adding to the complete lack of creativity from this administration when it comes to easing the pain of a multi-month quarantine for this city. According to former city officials and epidemiologists, it is something that is achievable. (Ben Yakas for Gothamist)

A look at the city’s roofs, which have become an oasis for those who have access to them. (Collier Sutter for Time Out)

Eataly, “the world’s largest artisanal Italian food and beverage marketplace,” received a Payroll Protection Program small business loan. Along with their loan, Eataly provided employees an option to receive a paycheck that covers only a portion of missed wages or continue on unemployment and resign. If they resign, they will be ineligible for unemployment. (Chris Crowley for Grub Street)

Eataly gets its loan, but restaurants like the Lower East Side’s LES Enfants de Bohème have not heard back about their application. With $15,000 in bills, while remaining closed, they could be among the half of the city’s small restaurants that may not make it through the pandemic, according to Krishnendu Ray, chair of the Department of Nutrition and Food Studies at New York University. (Rebeca Ibarra for Gothamist)

Five weeks after New York City moved to remote learning, 19,000 students who requested devices still don’t have them. (Alex Zimmerman and Jessica Gould for Gothamist)

Need a kitchen staple and don’t want to fight the grocery store lines? Try a restaurant. The Times shines a light on places like Glou + Glick and M’s Original in Prospect Lefferts Gardens, which are both buying items like eggs, sugar, flour, and hand soap wholesale to ease the stress of needing a single item. (Elspeth Velten for NY Times)

Breaking down the Giants’ complete 2020 NFL Draft. (Joe Pantorno for amNewYork Metro)

Breaking down the Jets’ complete 2020 NFL Draft. (Joe Pantorno for amNewYork Metro)

Since the COVID-19 crisis began, approximately 35 percent of the city’s roughly one thousand food pantries, soup kitchens, and mobile pantries have closed, creating the shocking visuals from last weekend showing a line for food in Queens that was 20 blocks long. (George Joseph for Gothamist)

If you’re someone who has fallen in love with Governor Cuomo, the National Bobblehead Hall of Fame is heeding your call. You can pre-order Governor Cuomo bobblehead and the money raised is going to the Million Mask Challenge and the Protect the Heroes fund. (Emily Davenport for amNewYork Metro)

Have we gone too far? Gothamist is calling Governor Cuomo “the Don Draper of politics.” (Jen Carlson for Gothamist)

Maybe there’s something to this Cuomo idolization, he’s enjoying at 77% approval rating, with 90% support amongst Democrats, 73% with Independents, and 53% with Republicans. By comparison, the president’s approval rating is at 43%. (Joseph Spector for Democrat & Chronicle)

Eater’s top picks, the Eater 38, have been updated for all the restaurants on the list remaining open. (Carla Vianna for Eater)

Thanks to reader Arden for today’s featured photo.