The Briefly for August 24, 2020 – The “One Thing the Pandemic Can’t Stop” Edition

Today’s daily NYC news digest: The eviction moratorium is extended, teachers fight back against starting school, the city sued over indoor dining, and more

Today – Low: 75˚ High: 88˚
Clear throughout the day.

Do not wait. Click here to apply for your absentee ballot today. Everyone in the city can apply.

The Times lays out why an antibody test and its results are useless if you want to know if you’ve ever had Covid-19 or if you can’t get it again. (Donald G. McNeil Jr for NY Times)

Here comes the fall foliage, the greatest show in New York City this fall. Also, it’s the only show in New York City this fall. Here are some spots to check out the fall foliage. (Katrina Makayan for New York Family)

Of all the things that the Covid-19 pandemic has taken away from New York, but the $2 billion AirTrain to LGA isn’t one of those things, as the FAA’s draft Environmental Impact Study concludes it “best meets the stated Purpose and Need.” (Eve Kessler for Streetsblog)

Even Governor Cuomo wouldn’t give an answer when asked if he has school-age kids if he would send them back to NYC schools. Classes start on September 10. (Matt Troutman for Patch)

Last week teachers rallied at Grand Army Plaza against reopening the city’s schools, citing unsafe conditions, a lack of a comprehensive testing program, and decades of neglect of the buildings themselves. (Emily Freedman for Bedford + Bowery)

Can the city force teachers back into classrooms if teachers feel the classrooms are unsafe? The teacher’s union has begun gauging support for a strike over school reopening plans. (Reema Amin for Chalkbeat)

The subways will continue to stay shut down overnight, but the MTA is ending its program that gave free cab rides to stranded late-night essential workers. (Jake Offenhartz for Gothamist)

Steiner Studios announced plans to build a 500,000-square-foot production facility on the waterfront in Sunset Park (less than a mile south of Industry City). This is a part of the city’s “Made in NY Campus,” which the mayor announced in his last “State of the City” speech, which is supposed to offer “more attractive rents than private property owners.” The city is contributing $15 million to construction costs. (Sebastian Morris for New York YIMBY)

The ACLU has released data on complaints against over 81,000 current or former NYPD officers after the 2nd US Circuit Court of Appeals lifted the stay which blocked them from releasing the information. (Noah Singer for Brooklyn Eagle)

NYPD Misconduct Complaint Database. (New York Civil Liberties Union)

It’s been four months since Francisco Garcia, an officer with a history of misconduct complaints and lawsuits and was caught on video beating a bystander and kneeling on his head while “enforcing” social distancing on the Lower East Side. It was one of the early indications that the NYPD would treat social distance enforcement like Stop And Frisk. According to the NYPD, the disciplinary process is “ongoing.” (David Cruz for Gothamist)

A look at Crocheron Park in Bayside. At a time when the city’s parks have never been more valuable, Crocheron Park has never looked worse. (Queens Crap)

The Brooklyn Museum will reopen to the public on September 12 and the Brooklyn Aquarium will be reopening on August 27. Like everything else in life in 2020, there will be new restrictions. (Noah Singer for Brooklyn Eagle)

All New York evictions are suspended until October 1 thanks to a ruling from the Office of Court Administration. Advocates are calling for an indefinite moratorium and landlords’ attorneys want to start evicting people yesterday. (Isaac Scher for Bushwick Daily)

As more and more types of businesses reopen, Coney Island is left behind. (Erin Durkin for Politico)

It’s hard not to make the NYU-Fyre Fest comparison with students sharing what the “meals” the school has served them. (Ben Yakas for Gothamist)

A lawsuit against New York’s statewide plastic bag ban was struck down by the state Supreme Court. The Bodega Association and plastic bag manufacturers brought the lawsuit. Nice to see this finally come to an end (for now). (Jen Chung for Gothamist)

Following the city’s July 4th celebration, the de Blasio administration is working with Macy’s to ruin the Thanksgiving day Parade in similar fashion. (Matt Troutman for Patch)

The city has no plans to reinstate indoor dining and 100 restauranteurs announced plans to sue the city to allow indoor dining in a reduced capacity. Outdoor dining is set to expire for the year on October 31. (Erika Adams for Eater)

Following Governor Cuomo’s “alcohol must be ordered with a substantial amount of food” is having an effect, causing the closure of the cocktail bar Mister Paradise in the East Village. (Erika Adams for Eater)

The State Liquor Authority has banned any advertised or ticketed music, karaoke, or other forms of live entertainment at bars and restaurants. This one is personal for me. I have been hosting socially distanced trivia since the start of July in an outdoor venue where every rule the state has implemented was strictly followed. It was free to attend, but we advertised it regularly. Is trivia entertainment? Depends on who you ask, but as of now, we have to stop. (Ben Yakas for Gothamist)

The Old Farmer’s Almanac has spoken about this coming winter. “Snowfall will be greater than normal in the Northeast.” Go to hell, Old Farmer’s Almanac. (Adam Nichols for Patch)

The New York Supreme Court dismissed a lawsuit challenging the East Side Coastal Resiliency Project, a multi-year effort to overhaul a stretch of the Lower East Side’s shore to protect the area from future flooding and storms. (Rachel Holliday Smith for The City)

There will be a TONY award ceremony for the abbreviated 2019-2020 season. The show will take place this fall and it will be, of course, virtual. Broadway is currently closed through January 3, 2021, at the earliest. (Michael Paulson for NY Times)

Streetsblog asks a solid question: Why the hell are the double-decker tour buses still operating around the city? (Adam Light for Streetsblog)

11 inexpensive Times Square restaurants for takeout and outdoor dining. (Robert Sietsema for Eater)

The Briefly for August 3, 2020 – The “Fired Anywhere But New York City” Edition

Today’s daily NYC news digest: The mayor’s staff keeps quitting, 15 new Open Restaurant streets, AOC weighs in on the Port Authority’s federal funding, a whale saved, and more

Today – Low: 75˚ High: 88˚
Possible light rain overnight.

Tuesday is looking rough in the city. Tropical Storm Isaias is predicted to hit the city sometime Tuesday afternoon. Just in time for my dogs to need a walk. (Adam Nichols for Patch)

“I’m telling you we’re going to have an issue.” Governor Cuomo isn’t an optimist when it comes to the city’s economic recovery. (Matt Troutman for Patch)

Katz’s launched its own delivery service. (Erika Adams for Eater)

The mayor has been suspending alternate side parking on and off for months and he was never aware that the city uses street cleaning days for bike lane work. Good thing the mayor spent all that effort to “lighten the burden” of car ownership, in his own words. (Gersh Kuntzman for Streetsblog)

The mayor is doing such a great job serving the city that six high-ranking staffers of Mayor de Blasio’s have quit in the last month. As everyone knows, there’s no better time to leave your government job than during an economic crisis in the middle of a pandemic for a mayor who will be out of office in less than two years. (Jake Offenhartz for Gothamist)

Calls for NYPD Commissioner Dermot Shea to resign have grown louder in the past few weeks. The pandemic and protests following the murder of George Floyd have shown that the NYPD’s commissioner has the back of the citizens of the NYPD and not the citizens of NYC and has exacerbated problems between the two. (Gwynne Hogan for Gothamist)

It’s hard to imagine another city where the commissioner, who is appointed by and serves at the pleasure of the mayor, would keep their job in the face of everything that Dermot Shea has said and done, but most cities aren’t governed by the coward Bill de Blasio. Sometimes I editorialize in these moments, but this piece in the Times looks at just how weird it is that Shea has kept his job despite almost a decade of de Blasio calling for police reforms. (Emma G. Fitzsimmons for NY Times)

Following Andrew Coté, who spent his pandemic rescuing beehives across the city. (Stephanie Simon)

The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey was hit with a $777 million drop in revenues in the first half of the year and is pleading for federal assistance, potentially losing $3 billion by March 2022. (Sophia Chang for Gothamist)

“While some of this funding may be critical to stabilize Port Authority operations, no funding should be provided to the AirTrain; the AirTrain is an unnecessary boondoggle that will hamper economic recovery in our watershed, a region in Northern Queens that has been heavily impacted by Covid-19,” -AOC (Angélica Acevedo for QNS)

You might have done everything right when it came to your absentee ballot and the Board of Elections still may have invalidated it. In a misunderstanding between the state and the post office, it’s possible the post office didn’t postmark your ballot and it also didn’t deliver it before the June 30 deadline. The exact number of rejected ballots will be announced on Tuesday. (Emily Ngo for NY1)

Even if we admit that everyone who touched the ballots (except voters) was at fault, what are the next steps? We’re expecting a ruling this week in a court case that will decide the fate of many of these invalidated votes. (Brigid Bergin for Gothamist)

One of the things that sucks the most about the voting mess from the June 23 primary is that the city is now being held up by President Trashbag as a reason to not move forward with mail-in voting. There was no malfeasance involved, but the state and the federal government let us down with a failure to perform in June and we don’t have much time before November roars through. (Jesse McKinley for NY Times)

It has taken the city an embarrassingly long amount of time to create the No-Penalty Business Accessory Sign Inspection program in reaction to the panic going around small businesses after hundreds of complaints were filed in November of 2018, leading to many businesses just ripping their signs down in confusion/fear. It shouldn’t take a deadly pandemic for the city to help small businesses become compliant with regulations. (Jaime DeJesus for The Brooklyn Home Reporter)

The Top of the Rock will reopen this Thursday with free admission to essential workers and a guest from August 14-16. (Shaye Weaver for Time Out)

American Museum of Natural History is reopening on Sept. 9, pending permission from state and city officials, with a 25% capacity. (Sarah Bahr for NY Times)

Ronny Vargas and Alex Sauzo were arrested for throwing an illegal and non-socially distanced three-hour boat party in the East River with 17u2 people aboard. (Sydney Pereira for Gothamist)

A humpback whale was successfully freed by NOAA over the weekend after being entangled in a mess of buoys and fishing line for several days. Humpback whales returning to NYC’s waterways is a positive sign that preservation efforts are working, but also a sign that we’ll need to continue those efforts to keep them safe. (Sydney Pereira for Gothamist)

Photos: If you don’t have an easy means to see it yourself, there is a tribute to Elijah McClain by artist Vincent Ballentine in the First Street Green Art Park. (EV Grieve)

3% is the city’s threshold for keeping the schools open. As long as the city’s seven-day rolling average positivity rate stays below 3%, schools will stay open. The rate has been between 1% and 2% for about two months. The city will no mandate that staff or students get tested for Covid-19. The chair of the City Council’s education committee calls the city’s plans “an unfunded proposal that is incomplete.” The head of the teacher’s union says “This is not enough to protect students and staff.” (Elizabeth Kim and David Cruz for Gothamist)

15 more streets were added to the city’s Open Restaurants program, which allows restaurants to expand into the streets on the weekend. (Tanay Warerkar for Eater)

NYPD officer Kevin Martin was arrested and charged with evidence tampering and official misconduct. Martin has been the subject of 14 investigations by the Civilian Complaint Review Board and 18 of the 45 different allegations brought against him have been substantiated and he was named in six lawsuits, which cost the city over $1 million in settlements. (Jake Offenhartz for Gothamist)

Good morning to Murphy, the newborn harbor seal pup in the New York Aquarium in Coney Island. (Ben Verde for amNewYork Metro)

Photos: The MTA is trying out six new kinds of subway maps. If you want to see them in person, take the R all the way to 86th St in Brooklyn, or just look at the photos. (Ben Yakas, photos by Scott Lynch for Gothamist)

17 public art installations not to miss in August, including the new installation in the Socrates Sculpture Park. (Nicholas Loud for Untapped New York)

An airport replacing Central Park? Is this some sort of joke? Yes, it is. (Josh Vogel for NYC Urbanism)

11 food and drink pop-ups in NYC this summer. Happy to see Bad Trip on the list in Dumbo, it’s my favorite of this summer’s picks. (Hannah Albertine & Matt Tervooren for The Infatuation)

The Briefly for July 22, 2020 – The “$400 Million Extra in Overtime” Edition

Today’s daily NYC news digest: A guide to Governors Island, the state’s legislature sets an agenda for its summer session, where to heat outside in the East Village, and more

Today – Low: 78˚ High: 88˚
Possible rain in the evening.

What to expect when you’re expecting the state legislature’s summer session to start soon. In focus will be nursing homes, automatic voter registration, redistricting, contract tracing privacy, and more. (Ross Barkan for Gothamist)

Following the June 23 primary and election, State Assemblymember Jeffrey Dinowitz is pushing legislation that would extend the state’s relaxed absentee voting rules until January 2022, which is the earliest the state’s constitution could be amended. (Norwood News)

What’s open, what’s closed, what to eat, and what to wear (a mask). A guide to Government Island. (Scott Lynch for Gothamist)

A Queens man claimed NYPD officers beat him, twice Tased him, and yanked out one of his dreadlocks, according to a federal police brutality lawsuit. (Matt Troutman for Patch)

The NYPD pledged to cut overtime by $335 million in an attempt to cut its budget by $1 billion. Instead, they are predicted to overspend on overtime by $400 million by the Independent Budget Office. (Erin Durkin for Politico)

Our absentee voting mess is giving the White House ammo against main-in voting. Great. (Daniel Marans for HuffPost)

12 ways to picnic in Tompkins Square Park. (Rob Patronite for Grub Street)

New York Attorney General Letitia James along with 23 other Democratic attorney generals are suing the Trump administration to stop a new rule that removes non-discrimination protections against LGBTQ people when it comes to health care and health insurance, which is set to take effect in mid-August. (Alejandra O’Connell-Domenech for QNS)

The latest Black Lives Matter / Blue Lives Matter protest clash happened in Marine Park in Brooklyn, but this time there were words exchanged without violence. (amNewYork Metro)

Photos: The new take-out only Smorgasburg. (Scott Lynch for Gothamist)

A woman was found floating in the East River on Monday night with no signs of trauma on her body. (Emily Davenport for amNewYork Metro)

Jonathan Rodriguez was the second person arrested in connection with the death of Richard Hamlet, whose body was discovered wrapped in plastic atop a Bronx McDonald’s last week. (Matt Troutman for Patch)

If it didn’t fully set in the other day, the F train will be shutting down on nights and weekends for eight months starting in August. Ruining subway reliability? Now THAT is how we start feeling normal again. (Dana Schulz for 6sqft)

Is it possible that the Mets’ deal with Jed Lowrie is the worst in the franchise’s history? The Mets started paying him $20 million a year last year, he’s made eight plate appearances, was injured for the rest of the season and is already on the injured list. (Joe Pantorno for amNewYork Metro)

In an attempt to “resolve problems outside the court system,” Mayor de Blasio announced a mediation project for the city to work with landlords and tenants. Renters will receive legal assistance and advice to negotiate with landlords. (Matt Troutman for Patch)

After 21 years, radical bookstore, cafe, and activist center Bluestockings is looking for a new home. The bookstore is being pushed from the location by their landlord’s demands for higher rent. (Amanda Hatfield for BrooklynVegan)

Interview: Storm King Art Center’s Director of Facilities Mike Seaman on what it takes to maintain Storm King year round, keeping it a beautiful place that everyone is already tired of seeing your photos of on Instagram. (Luna Shyr for Atlas Obscura)

The closing Fairway grocery stores in Red Hook and Douglaston, Queens will become Food Bazaar stores. (Sophia Chang for Gothamist)

Rooftop Films is back to create a summer movie drive-in theater in Flushing Meadows Park. It started on Friday night with John Lewis: Good Trouble, which was a few hours before the news of Lewis’s beath became public. (Daniel Maurer for Bedford + Bowery)

Interview: Melba’s restaurant’s Melba Wilson on the future of NYC restaurants. (James Ramsay for Gothamist)

M.I.A. and Brik Bar in Astoria and Maspeth Pizza House in Maspeth have all had their liquor licenses revoked. (Robert Pozarycki for amNewYork Metro)

The Brooklyn Botanical Garden will reopen on August 7. (Noah Singer for Brooklyn Eagle)

Meet Street Riders NYC, the mobile protest movement with over 60,000 among its ranks. (Peter Rugh for The Indypendent)

Wear your damn mask on the subway. That’s the message of the MTA’s Mask Force, an arm of “Operation Respect.” (Shaye Weaver for Time Out)

Upper East Side for Black Lives Matter has held 50 consecutive nights of vigils in Charles Schurz Park. (Amanda Hatfield for BrooklynVegan)

Black Tap is selling its Instagram-ready milkshakes to-go for the first time. (Bao Ong for Time Out)

I don’t know a single person who would say that the COVID-19 pandemic has been easy to get through, but as a disabled New Yorker, it came with extra challenges and stressors. Politicians talked about the importance of protecting the elderly but failed to mention disabled people as if we didn’t exist. Do you know what it’s like to be erased during a pandemic?
-Michele Kaplan, disability rights advocate, Disability and dignity in the age of COVID-19 for amNewyork Metro

From Tuesday to Saturday from 12-4 pm and 5-9 pm at Lincoln Center until August 1, Lincoln Center will be playing music in the Josie Robertson Plaza, the initiative is being called Sounds of Lincoln Center. (Mike Mishkin for I Love The Upper West Side)

Riders are up on the city’s buses, but speeds are down. New York City is healing herself. (Dave Colon for Streetsblog)

Someone is using Republican Assemblymember and congressional candidate Nicole Malliotakis’s name to talk shit about the mayor and governor on flyers in Bay Ridge. Malliotakis says someone is trying to defame her by putting up the flyers. (Jamie DeJesus for The Brooklyn Home Reporter)

Councilmember Donovan Richards won the Queens borough president primary and will go on to the general election in November to likely become the first Black man elected to the office. (Clarissa Sosin for Queens County Politics)

Interview: Joycelyn Taylor, candidate for NYC mayor is 2021.(Liena Zagare for Bklyner)

Photos: As the summer heat cooks the city, the city is no longer just living through the pandemic, we’re living with it. (Ben Fractenberg for The City)

Where to eat outside in the East Village. (Hannah Albertine & Matt Tervooren for The Infatuation)

Thanks to reader Zlata for today’s featured photo from a recent Bowery walk!