The Briefly for March 12, 2020 – The “Why is Mayor Bill de Blasio So Hated?” Edition

Today’s daily NYC news digest: Expect six months before we return to pre-COVID19 normalcy, the best of Midtown East, Modell’s says goodbye, Harvey Weinstein is off to rot, and more

Today – Low: 46˚ High: 49˚
Light rain in the evening and overnight.

The census begins today. Last time around, the city’s participation rate was 62%, compared to the national average of 76%. With as much effort the city and state have put into marketing the census, it’s gonna be mighty embarrassing if we maintain that low rate. (Alex Williamson for Brooklyn Eagle)

Why is DeBlasio so hated? (AskNYC)

Rapist and rotting ghoul Harvey Weinstein was sentenced to 23 years in prison. His layer had previously said that he may not outlive any sentence over five years. May he live a long life to experience every single day of that sentence. (Jen Ransom for NY Times)

Even Harvey Weinstein’s own body hates him, as he was hospitalized again with heart problems and chest pain. Let’s all hope he’s got great doctors because he has at least 23 years minus a day to live. (Dean Meminger for amNewYork Metro)

RIP Modell’s, who will be liquidating all of its stores starting Friday. The company is pointing to an unusually warm winter as the final nail in the coffin. If you gotta go to Mo’s, make sure it’s soon. (Crain’s)

The $3.2 million revamp of Woodside’s Little Bush Playground is set to start next month and should take about a year to finish. (Michael Dorgan for Sunnyside Post)

The Chelsea Hotel renovations continue to be an utter mess. Work has stopped because the building did not qualify for a Certificate of No Harassment with multiple tenants complaining about unlivable conditions dating back years. (Michelle Cohen for 6sqft)

Governors Island announced its free programming for the 2020 season, which starts on May 1. (Devin Gannon for 6sqft)

May we all be lucky to have birthday parties half as wild as 87-year-old Ray from Ray’s Candy Store. (Bob Krasner for amNewYork Metro)

Sometimes you don’t even have to go outside to birdwatch. (Mike Mishkin for I Love the Upper West Side)

Crown Heights has a new vegan Ethiopian restaurant in Ras Plant Based. (Scott Lynch for Gothamist)

The number of families in shelters each night was 46 percent higher last year than it was in December 2009, and one out of every 100 babies born in the city was brought to a shelter, rather than a permanent home. Needless to say, Governor Cuomo and Mayor de Blasio did not earn high marks on The Coalition for the Homeless’ annual report. (Janaki Chadha for Politico)

“I can now proudly call myself an NYC housing lottery winner.” One person’s story of how they won the lottery. (Kim Turner for StreetEasy)

Frank’s Cocktail Lounge in Fort Greene has been the backdrop to a changing neighborhood since the 1950s, and on April 10 of this year, that comes to an end. (S.E. Blackwell for East New York News)

Photos: A first look from the observation deck of Edge. (Michelle Young for Untapped New York)

The lone Yelp review gave it four stars, but still called it “crack head city.” KN Mi Delicia Bakery and Coffee Shop in Mott Haven was part of a drug ring and multi-state 14-person arrest, with a raid finding $50,000 cash and bags stuffed with what is suspected to be heroin and cocaine. (Kathleen Culliton for Patch)

Brooklyn Democratic Party’s leaders have endorsed Councilmember Donovan Richards for Queens borough president. (Alex Williamson for Brookly Eagle)

The city is beginning to experiment with, get this, actual dumpsters for businesses that will be set on the street to remove trash bag mountains that pile up on our sidewalks. It’s almost like the sidewalks should be for people to walk on, not for businesses to store trash on. (Gersh Kuntzman for Streetsblog)

26 excellent Midtown East bars and restaurants to try. (Alexandra Ilyashov for Eater)


Six months. According to the mayor, that’s how long the fight against COVID-19 will take before things return to normal again. Get ready for the worst summer ever. (Adam Nichols for Patch)

The economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic on restaurants will be akin to a major natural disaster. (Serena Dai for Eater)

Restaurants, open-air markets, and catering companies are expected to take a hard hit, Grub Street takes a look at how businesses are preparing to support their hourly staffs if at all. (Chris Crowley for Grub Street)

“We’re not in a position where we can rely on the CDC or the FDA to manage this testing protocol.” -Governor Cuomo. New York will start contracting 28 private labs to help administer coronavirus testing for New York residents. (Emily Davenport for amNewYork Metro)

Daytime talk shows filming in New York will be forgoing live studio audiences during the COVID-19 outbreak. (Kimberley Richards for HuffPost)

SUNY and CUNY schools will halt in-person classes for the rest of the semester, beginning on March 19. The dorms won’t be closing and classes that are impossible to hold remotely will still be held. (Niedzwiadek and Madina Touré for Politico)

Coronavirus fears may jeopardize the election process, which requires candidates to collect up to thousands of signatures of supporters. This may lead to the governor altering election law, as he did following Superstorm Sandy. (Max Parrott for QNS)

If you’re healthy, you should still consider dining out. The virus is not transmitted via food or drink. (Serena Dai for Eater)

An usher for “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?” and “Six” has tested positive for COVID-19. Both theaters underwent a deep clean, the shows are continuing, and the usher is now in quarantine. (Michael Paulson for NY Times)

Manhattan’s St. Patrick’s Day Parade is officially canceled. (Todd Maisel and Robert Pozarycki for amNewYork Metro)

How to help during the coronavirus outbreak. (Azi Paybarahf or NY Times)

A big thank you to reader Taina for today’s featured photo, taken in Red Hook.

The Briefly for March 2, 2020 – The “Yes, We Are All Out of Hand Sanitizer” Edition

Today’s daily NYC news edition: NY and NYC get approval for coronavirus testing, the Islanders are leaving Brooklyn, the East Village’s best restaurants, and more

Today – Low: 46˚ High: 57˚
Possible drizzle overnight.

The MTA will shut down the F train on nights and weekends beginning on March 21 through next year to install and upgrade the line’s signals between Church and Stillwell Ave. Who on planet earth decided it was a good idea that one of the trains that beings people to Coney Island should be out of commission for the entire summer? (Irina Groushevaia for Bklyner)

February 2020 was the second-smallest snow on record in New York City since records began in 1868. Technically it snowed the smallest bit on Saturday, Leap Day. In all of winter so far, we’ve had 4.8″ total, compares to 61.9″ nine years ago. (Anne Barnard for NY Times)

Mayor de Blasio’s plan to convert basement apartments into legal apartments is hitting one significant problem: reality. (Kathryn Brenzel for The Real Deal)

The state has confirmed its first Coronavirus (COVID-19) case, and it’s in Manhattan. The woman in her late 30s who contracted the virus had traveled to Iran and is now isolated in her home. People who had close contact with the patient have already been identified. The New York Health Commissioner, Dr. Oxiris Barbot, has called the spread to other New Yorkers from this woman “low risk.” (Joseph Goldstein and Jesse McKinley for NY Times)

The city and state both received approvals for testing the Coronavirus, previously the city had been sending potentially contaminated samples via FexEd to the CDC in Atlanta. (Robert Pozarycki for amNewYork Metro)

Looking for hand sanitizer only to find out that it’s sold out? You’re not alone. Also, washing your hands for 20 seconds will prevent the spread of disease better than hand sanitizer. (Julie Creswell for NY Times)

For the COVID-19 paranoid person in your life: The Wuhan Virus: How to Stay Safe. (Laurie Garret, a Pulitzer Prize winning science writer, for Foreign Policy)

There are five works by Isamu Noguchi on display in New York City outside of the Noguchi Museum in Long Island City. Once of those pieces, an installation in the lobby of 666 Fifth Avenue, is in danger of being disassembled thanks to a pending renovation by the building’s new owners. (Michelle Young for Untapped New York)

Staten Island’s City Councilmember Joe Borelli doesn’t like speed camera tickets or the Reckless Driver Accountability Act, he should know because he’s earned himself five tickets issued by speed cameras. 22 pedestrians have been killed by drivers in 2020. (Sophia Chang for Gothamist)

Miss Staten Island Madison L’Insalata came out as bisexual and was promptly banned from marching in last weekend’s Staten Island St Patrick’s Day parade. Another pageant winner who showed support for her was also banned. Congrats Staten Island, you’re the worst. (CBS News)

Photos: Over at the Queens “St. Pat’s for All” Parade, the mayor, Speaker Corey Johnson Senator Chuck Schumer, AOC, and other federal and local officials marched and partied. (Todd Maisel for amNewYork Metro)

The former president of the Stonewall Democratic Club is eyeing a seat on the City Council in Queens. (Matt Tracy for Gay City News)

10 surprising places to discover on Queens Blvd. (Michelle Young for Untapped New York)

Video: How many of the places can you see in this video of the East Village in the 1960s are still there today? (Jen Carlson for Gothamist)

Most of the city’s remaining public phone booths will be removed. Not on the list for removal are the phone booths which offers free calls on West End and 66th, 90th, and 100th Streets. (Jen Carlson for Gothamist)

Yes, plastic bags are banned in NYC, but the Department of Environmental Conservation is delaying enforcement of the ban until April 1. (Marie J. French for Politico)

Back in October, Andy Byford submitted a letter of resignation to the MTA that he would later retract, only to quit again at the beginning of the year. Freedom of Information Law requests have been filed to reveal the letters and the MTA claims to “not have it is its possession.” (Dana Rubenstein for Politico)

If you graduated high school in New York, you know the stress of the Regents exams. All that may change. (Alex Williamson for Brooklyn Eagle)

The Department of Education released a new recommended reading catalog that represents a wider range of diversity to the authors and book subjects. (Alejandra O’Connell-Domenech for amNewYork Metro)

It took drivers less than 24 hours to destroy the city-installed bike and “protection” on 13th St. An example of how plastic barriers are useless. (Gersh Kuntzman for Streetsblog)

An investigator with the Office of Special Narcotics Prosecutor, Stephen Abreu, punched a bouncer in the face and fired two gunshots inside the bar because his drunken attempts to flirt with women were failures, according to first-hand accounts and a police report. Stephen Abreu was suspended from work, arrested and charged with felony attempted murder, reckless endangerment, attempted assault, menacing, and more. For some reason, he was released without bail when his charges qualify for bail. (Jake Offenhartz for Gothamist)

Say farewell to Islanders games at the Barclays Center. They’ll finally be returning to Long Island. (Norman Oder for Atlantic Yards/Pacific Park Report)

New York is the most tax burdened in the country according to a new analysis. (Kathleen Culliton for Patch)

28 restaurants that define the East Village. (Stefanie Tuder for Eater)

The Briefly for Valentine’s Day, 2020 – The “Your Plant Stylist Appointment is Coming Up” Weekend Edition

Today’s daily NYC news digest: 12 places to smooch your Valentine, Bloomberg tries to distract from his record with memes, the 27 top burgers, Trump vs NY rolls on, and more

Today – Low: 18˚ High: 34˚
Clear throughout the day.
This weekend – Low: 30˚ High: 47˚

12 places to smooch on Valentine’s Day. (Lore Croghan for Brooklyn Eagle)

There have been no cases of coronavirus in New York City and despite this, the city’s Chinatowns are suffering. (Marina Fang for Huff Post)

A look forward on this frigid morning to the spring’s street festivals on the Upper West Side. (Mike Mishkin for I Love the Upper West Side)

For $2,000 someone will come to your home and style your plants. Welcome to the world of plant stylists. (Steven Kurutz for NY Times)

About half the adult population of the city, roughly 3.4 million people, spent one of the last few years living below the poverty line, according to a new report from the Robin Hood Foundation and Columbia University. (Jake Offenhartz for Gothamist)

Ready for a cocktail crawl? Here’s how to get it done on Atlantic Avenue. (Meredith Craig de Pietro for Brooklyn Based)

Michael Bloomberg’s forceful push into meme culture is being lead by Mick Purzycki, who is the CEO of Jerry Media, famous for stealing content without crediting the original creators. Can the people who brought you the marketing for the Fyre Festival distract us enough from the negative headlines and quotes from Bloomberg’s past? (Ashley Reese for Jezebel)

Roses are red, Violets are blue, Unlike the F train, I'll be there for you

The mayor signed a bill this week that will extend government-funded health care to families of all municipal workers, not just firefighters and police, who died in the line of duty or from 9/11 related diseases. (Todd Maisel for amNewYork Metro)

The annual tradition continues: Phil Collins Day is on Saturday. (Kate Hooker for Brooklyn Based)

The moment the state announced the end of brokers’ fees, rents jumped up about 6% across the board. Now that the fees are gone, it’s unlikely we’ll see a 6% drop back down. (Kathleen Culliton for Patch)

City Comptroller Scott String is calling for a Bill of Rights for NYC tenants to protect them from unscrupulous landlords. He has a proposal as well, including limiting security deposits to one month of rent, providing itemized statements of damage, a five-day gras period for late rent, requiring a court order for evictions, and much more. (Kathleen Culliton for Patch)

GZA played ‘Liquid Swords’ at the Blue Note Jazz Club in honor of the album’s 25th anniversary. (BrooklynVegan)

The top five potato dishes in the city, according to Robert Sietsema. (Robert Sietsema for Eater)

The governor is making a new push for legalizing compensated gestational surrogacy with a campaign called “Love Makes A Family.” New York is one of three states that hasn’t legalized the practice. (Matt Tracy for Gay City News)

Real Estate Porn: Don Lemon is selling his Harlem condo. You can live like Don Lemon for only $1.75 million. The condo looks like a great place to get drunk on New Year’s Eve and make mistakes. (Devin Gannon for 6sqft)

The story of a meander and 14 photos of central Park Slope. (Lore Croghan for Brooklyn Eagle)

48 pictures of the beautiful Bronx. (Ed García Conde for Welcome2TheBronx)

Manhattan, we have to have a serious conversation. We know you’re not going to Brooklyn on the weekends, even if you need groceries and Brooklyn has the only Wegmans in the city. You want to veg out, binge the new season of Narcos and order some Seamless. That’s cool, because now Wegmans delivers to Manhattan. (Nikita Richardson for Grub Street)

In a literal quid pro quo, the president said if New York stops suing the president, the president will restore New Yorkers’ access to Trusted Traveler Programs programs. This ban happened the day he was acquitted after being impeached. Letitia James has filed 35 lawsuits against the federal government since January 2019. (Xeni Jardin for BoingBoing)

A look into the illegal, but welcome, underground of street car washers. (Sandra E. Garcia and Stephen Speranza for NY Times)

Mayor Bill de Blasio and Schools Chancellor Richard Carranza came to a tentative agreement on a contract that gives increased pay and paid parental leave to principals and assistant principals. (Alejandra O’Connell-Domenech for amNewYork Metro)

Got furniture you want to get rid of but it’s too nice for the curb (note: nothing is too nice for @stoopingnyc)? Here’s where to sell used, vintage, and antique furniture in the city. (Zachary Solomon for StreetEasy)

Bronx City Council Member Vanessa Gibson is going to pay $5,000 for abusing her position on City Council to get out of paying a $50 ticket for driving while using her phone. (Kathleen Culliton for Patch)

A developer in Crown Heights was ordered to remove all construction equipment from the potential site of two 16-story towers after they were discovered violating a temporary restraining order. Activists have targeted the buildings as part of an anti-gentrification campaign lead by Movement to Protect the People. The group claimed the buildings would block sunlight for the Brooklyn Botanical Garden, but this has been refuted by the BBG and should not be confused with the 39-story tower that the BBG is actively campaigning against in its “Fight for Sunlight” campaign. (Ben Verde for Brooklyn Paper)

27 top burgers in the city. (Eater)

Thank you to my valentine Meg Blatt for today’s featured photo.