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 July 14, 2020 – The “Like Noise Canceling for Your Open Windows” Edition

Today’s daily NYC news digest: All politics is beans, the NYPD protects a Blue Lives Matter rally, marriage can wait (it has to), the Mets have a possible buyer, and more

Today – Low: 71˚ High: 85˚
Clear throughout the day.

10 things you must know about NYC before moving here. It’s probably too late for all of you. Do you know these things? #1 is “It’s expensive,” so you probably know that one. (Localize.City)

Shake Shack gave its PPP loan back. Danny Meyer’s Union Square Hospitality Group fired 2,000 of its 2,300 employees in March and used different LLCs to apply and receive loans between $11.4 million and $27 million. (Matthew Schuerman with research by Jake Dobkin and Megan Zerez for Gothamist)

It’s not ready for purchase, but researchers in Singapore have developed an early version of noise canceling headphones for your apartment windows. (David Waldstein for NY Times)

Goya is at the center of politics in 2020, a statement no one saw coming, from Republican Nicole Malliotakis’s Goya canned food drive to AOC publishing an Adobo recipe. This is all because the CEO of Goya said the USA is “truly blessed” to have a leader like President Trump. (Clarissa Sosin for Queens County Politics)

The White Horse Tavern, which openly flaunted the state’s social distancing guidelines, had its liquor license temporarily suspended. (Devin Gannon for 6sqft)

Looking for a break from everyday life? Six unique NYC Airbnbs. (Shaye Weaver for Time Out)

Looking to get married in the city? You’re gonna have to wait. Appointments to get a license using the city’s “Project Cupid” site has a backlog that stretches on for months. (Rachel Holliday Smith for The City)

Davell Gardner, a 1-year-old boy, was shot dead at a BBQ in Bed-Stuy at the Raymond Bush playground on Sunday night. Three other people were shot, but are expected to survive. (NY1)

If C.K. McWhorter’s $1.8 billion bid to buy the Mets goes through, he would become the only black owner in Major League Baseball. (Joe Pantorno for amNewYork Metro)

Trigg Brown — the chef and co-owner of one of NYC’s most buzzed-about restaurants, Win Son — is temporarily stepping away from day-to-day operations after employees leveled allegations that he fostered a hostile workplace. (Erika Adams for Eater)

The Black Lives Matter mural outside of Trump Tower was already defaced. (Ben Yakas for Gothamist)

Sunday on the beach at Coney Island was a great example of a failure to socially distance. In a neighborhood without Open Streets or many parks, the beach is the only viable place to gather outdoors. (Ariama C. Long for Kings County Politics)

Say hello to Chi Ossé, an activist running for City Council in the 36th District and the youngest candidate to ever run for City Council. (Ben Verde for Brooklyn Paper)

36 members of the City Council are calling on Joe Borelli, a City Councilmember from Staten Island, to apologize after his obviously racist attack on the celebration. (Jessica Parks for Brooklyn Paper)

It seems the city has finally rid itself of a noted homophobe and City Councilmember Rubén Díaz Sr., whose Congressional bid was met with a responding “NOPE.” Díaz Sr. won’t be seeking office after his term is up in 2021. (Matt Tracy for Gay City News)

City Councilmember Helen Rosenthal is dropping out of the race for Comptroller in 2021, blaming her dropping out on the coronavirus pandemic. (Samar Khurshid for Gotham Gazette)

Manhattan District Attorney Cy Vance hasn’t announced if he’ll be seeking another term in office, but his list of challengers is growing. Despite making recent headlines with cases against President Trump and Harvey Weinstein, Vance’s office has garnered a lot of well-earned criticism for how it’s handled abuse cases against the rich and famous. (Jan Ransom for NY Times)

The five candidates vying for Vance’s job will participate in a forum today, essentially the race’s first debate, without Vance. (Andrew Millman for Gotham Gazette)

All travelers flying into airports in New York state will now have to fill out a form providing contact and itinerary information or face a $2,000 fine. (Elizabeth Kim for Gothamist)

The Strand’s new Upper West Side location opens on Wednesday, but rather than hiring more staff, the book store has fired a dozen of their recently rehired staffers. (Ben Yakas for Gothamist)

NYPD traffic agent Jeanisidor Jean Baptiste was arrested in Brooklyn after an investigation uncovered years of alleged sexual abuse to a five-year-old girl from 2008 through 2012. The victim is now 17. (Emily Davenport for amNewYork Metro)

If the NYPD is called on to keep the peace during rival Black Lives Matter and Blue Lives Matter protests, who do you think they’ll defend? On Sunday in Bay Ridge, the NYPD made two arrests after Blue Lives Matter protesters attacked the Black Lives Matter protesters. Both men arrested were Black. (Jake Offenhartz and Gwynne Hogan for Gothamist)

Sex workers joined together outside of the Stonewall Inn on July 9 to rally against police brutality and send a message that sex work is work. (Matt Tracy for Gay City News)

A new bill is calling for a ban of the NYPD’s use of drones for recording or collecting data on the general public in open spaces. The bill also restricts the use of drones without a warrant and bans facial recognition, and is sponsored by State Senator Jessica Ramos. (NY1)

It was a few days of good news about Covid-19 infections in New York, so it’s time to tamp that down a bit. There’s a new spike in infections in New Yorkers in their 20s. (Matt Troutman for Patch)

It’s nice to think that the city really had zero Covid-19 deaths on Saturday, but that’s probably not true. The way the city assigns death dates means that we won’t actually know for a few days. Over the last week, there have been 12 confirmed Covid-19 deaths, and one probable death each day. (Jen Carlson and Jake Dobkin for Gothamist)

Schools can reopen in the fall for regions in phase four and have infection rates below 5%, according to the guidelines set forward by Governor Cuomo. (Matt Troutman for Patch)

It’s not all good news for schools. If the city’s infection rate surges past 9% later in August or after the school year starts, schools will be forced to close. (Reema Amin for Chalkbeat)

For months following Amazon’s decision to pull out, we felt forgotten and it appeared that our goal of creating a Long Island City waterfront that would empower our community and create a significant number of jobs was lost. Then last year, a new process emerged.
-Carol Wilkins, April Simpson-Taylor, Claudia Coger & Annie Cotton-Morris, NYCHA Tenant Leaders: Where Amazon Never Arrived, New Opportunity Arises for Gotham Gazette

6 Manhattan homes with their own private pools and hot tubs. Must be nice. (Michele Petry for StreetEasy)

It was only a matter of time. A driver crashed his car into an outdoor dining area on Roosevelt Ave in Queens. Four diners and a server were injured. (Justine Re for NY1)

16 places to pick up food news Prospect Park has a few good gems, even if a few of them are laughably far away and other picks ignore where the park’s entrances are. (Nikko Duren & Matt Tervooren for The Infatuation)

Thanks to reader Micah Eames for today’s featured photo!

The Briefly for July 13, 2020 – The “A Summer Without Street Fairs” Edition

Today’s daily NYC news digest: Public libraries are opening, the first day without a Covid-19 death since March, the MTA looks for ideas, the NYPD steals streets, and more

Today – Low: 71˚ High: 86˚
Clear throughout the day.

You’ll see some headlines that some areas of Queens are seeing a 58% or 68% positive rate for antibodies. While this seems like good news, having antibodies is no way to guarantee that you can’t get the infection again or even that you’ve had the infection in the past. The hope would be that neighborhoods may develop herd immunity. (Joseph Goldstein for NY Times)

The city has not built up herd immunity, which is the message from Jay Varna, the Senior Advisor for Public Health, NYC Mayor’s Office, and a vast majority of New Yorkers are still susceptible. (Brendan Krisel for Patch)

The city’s ban on events means a summer without street fairs. This also includes Celebrate Brooklyn!, the Dominican Day Parade, San Gennaro, and the West Indian-American Day Carnival. (Collier Sutter for Time Out)

As you might expect, the Electric Zoo 2020 has been canceled. (Amanda Hatfield for BrooklynVegan)

Saturday was the first day since March 13 that no one was recorded as dying due to the coronavirus. Since March 23,283 were reported dead. (Nick Visser for HuffPost)

A look at the more difficult side of the Occupy City Hall, as the organizers have realized that their roles include caretakers for dozens of the city’s homeless that have taken to making their home in the occupation. (Alan Feuer, Juliana Kim and Byron Smith for NY Times)

Kudos to Sasha Baron Cohen, who hasn’t let the pandemic stop him from freaking out Rudy Giuliani so badly that he called the police. (Amanda Hatfield for BrooklynVegan)

An overview of The Montefiore Family Resilience Fund, which supplies assistance for households that have lost a breadwinner or caregiver to Covid-19. The fund will assist 375 families. (Norwood News)

Officer Ernie Moran, an off-duty NYPD cop was arrested in Queens during the early hours Wednesday morning for harassing and stalking his ex-girlfriend. (Michael Dorgan for Queens Post)

Mayor de Blasio’s cuts to the NYPD included killing off the parking placard abuse unit, ensuring that he will do absolutely nothing as a mayor to end this form of low-level corruption from the NYPD. The mayor and the City Council have announced multiple initiatives to curb this type of corruption, but literally nothing has been done so far. (Julianne Cuba for Streetsblog)

The NYPD has seized streets all across the city that are adjacent to station houses. Why? Don’t ask the mayor, who refuses to confront the NYPD on this theft of public space. (Gersh Kuntzman for Streetsblog)

Is the Staten Island Ferris wheel returning from the dead? The details haven’t been released, but it seems like a smaller version of the original idea might still have life. (Howard Halle for Time Out)

Financial struggles brought on by the coronavirus pandemic will keep 15 Catholic schools across New York City closed for good. (Alex Mitchell and Robert Pozarycki for amNewYork Metro)

The MTA is turning to the public for ideas for how to keep trains and buses virus-free. Have any ideas? (Mark Hallum for amNewYork Metro)

A look at the work of the Brooklyn Conviction Review Unit, whose job it is to correct hundreds of years of wrongful convictions in Brooklyn of Black and Latinx Brooklynites. (Christopher Robbins for Gothamist)

“We take responsibility for what happens in our stores—both on and off our sales floors—and we are committed to doing the work to improve how we treat our employees and customers.” Greenlight Bookstore co-owners Rebecca Fitting and Jessica Stockton-Bagnulo have made a public apology for creating an unwelcoming environment for Black customers and employees. (Brooklyn Reader)

15 New York City pools that will be reopening in August. (Jenna Fanelli for amNewYork Metro)

Here’s what a car-free, pedestrian-friendly NYC could look like., according to a plan from Architect Vishaan Chakrabarti and his firm Practice for Architecture and Urbanism. (Davin Gannon 6sqft)

Another look at the mass die-offs of fish in the Hudson river. A combination of sewage being dumped into the waters, lack of rain, and the heat are creating an extreme situation leading to the massive deaths of fish. (David Cruz for Gothamist)

Wo Hop returns today for takeout orders. (Elie Z. Perler for Bowery Boogie)

Who isn’t filling out their census forms? It might be the rich. (Dana Rubenstein for NY Times)

Jose Barrera, a 50-year-old Brooklyn man was fatally run over in Borough Park while unloading his car outside his home on Saturday night. The driver was taken into custody, passed a DWI test, and was released without being charged Barrera is the 29th pedestrian to be killed by someone driving a car in 2020. (John Del Signore for Gothamist)

Video: Drone footage of NYC’s Black Lives Matter murals. (Ben Yakas for Gothamist)

Alt-side parking is suspended until July 19. (Alejandra O’Connell-Domenech for amNewYork Metro)

22 public libraries in the city are reopening today. (Gillian Smith for Patch)

14 unique outdoor dining options. (Matt Tervooren for The Infatuation)

Thanks to reader Nai for today’s featured photo!