The Briefly for July 23, 2020 – The “Abolition Park, Abolished” Edition

Today’s daily NYC news digest: Facial recognition ban in schools, de Blasio’s Open Streets plan “lacks ambition,” the NYPD’s misuse of plastic handcuffs, where to eat outdoors, and more

Today – Low: 76˚ High: 89˚
Possible light rain in the evening and overnight.

Congrats to Emily Gallagher for defeating 47-year incumbent Joe Lentol in the election for the state assemblymember in the 50th district. (Greenpointers)

With a return date for theater in New York City a complete unknown, Off-Broadway’s Playroom Theater in Times Square closed for good. (Matt Windman for amNewYork Metro)

Mayor de Blasio’s Open Streets plan “lacks vision and ambition,” just like the mayor himself. Instead of supplementing the city’s transportation and economy, Open Streets is a disconnected network with management challenges and does little to help. (Ben Yakas for Gothamist)

With a legislative session starting, expect the fight over nursing homes to be center stage for legislation. (Jesse McKinley and Luis Ferré-Sadurní for NY Times)

There will be no use of facial recognition in New York schools until 2022 at the earliest thanks to a new bill created in the state legislature. This was in response to a school district upstate introducing facial recognition into all of its schools. (Kyle Wiggers for VentureBeat)

In the early hours of Wednesday morning, the NYPD cleared out Abolition Park, the center of the City Hall occupation, in a move that was reminiscent of the NYPD’s clearing out fo Occupy Wall Street. (Jen Chung, Jake Offenhartz, and Gwynne Hogan for Gothamist)

Mayor de Blasio says it was coincidental that City Hall Park was cleared out shortly after President Trump threatened to send federal troops to New York City and the raid on Abolition Park has been planned for weeks. Let’s not forget that Mayor de Blasio implemented city-wide curfews to prevent Governor Cuomo from stepping in. (Rocco Vertuccio for NY1)

The city’s defense against federal agents? Lawsuits. (Matt Troutman for Patch)

15 public pools will start reopening in NYC, eight this Friday and seven on August 1. (Dana Schulz for 6sqft)

Queens District Attorney Melinda Katz says three Queens residents and a man from Virginia have been arrested in connection with a gun trafficking operation in which dozens of firearms were purchased legally in Virginia but then sold illegally in Queens. (Ron Lee for amNewyork Metro)

The NYPD won’t strip the officer caught on video punching a homeless man on the subway of any duties, but will be put on “modified duty.”All from the same NYPD commissioner that praised the NYPD for “incredible restraint” during the George Floyd protests. (Erin Durkin for Politico)

Photos: Inside Susan Sarandon’s $7.9 million Chelsea duplex. Is that a bathtub in the bedroom? Yes it is. (Devin Gannon for 6sqft)

The myMTA app will now include information about how crowded buses are. (Adam Light for Streetsblog)

The city’s Doughnut Plant locations are closed due to financial fallout from Covid-19. This isn’t a permanent closure, but temporary while owner Mark Israel secures funding to reopen (hopefully) in September. (Tanay Warerkar for Eater)

Interviews with four restaurant owners on why to-go windows feel safer than table service. (Hannah Albertine for The Infatuation)

NYPD officer Joseph Recca was arrested and charged with conspiracy, drug sales, and drug possession in connection with an Oxycodone ring and a fatal overdose of a Long Island man last September. (Sophia Chang for Gothamist)

Photo Preview: The Frieze Sculpture at Rockefeller Center will return on September 1 with works of art by Ghada Amer, Beatriz Cortez, Andy Goldsworthy, Lena Henke, Camille Henrot and Thaddeus Mosley. (Howard Halle for Time Out)

Exploring the idea of what would happen if there was a major blackout in the city. ConEd says there is an overall lowered use of energy due to all of the empty office buildings and businesses, but the NYC Prepper’s Group is getting ready anyway. Yup, of course there’s an NYC Prepper’s Group. (Virginia Breen for The City)

Despite recommendations to review their use of plastic cuffs, the NYPD continues to use them while making arrests, often leaving people in cuffs too tight for hours on end, threatening permanent damage. (Peter Senzamici for The City)

A look back at the city’s lost amusement parks. (Noah Sheidlower for Untapped New York)

Are you starved for some social distance? How about taking a canoe tour of the Gowanus Canal? (Dana Schulz for 6sqft)

Where to eat outside in Williamsburg. (Matt Tervooren for The Infatuation)

The city’s $3 million Graffiti-Free NYC program was cut from the city’s budget. (Elie Z. Perler for Bowery Boogie)

Modern Pinball on Third Avenue is closing due to pandemic-related financial hardship. (Elie Z. Perler for Bowery Boogie)

10 iconic streets and spots in NYC open for outdoor dining. (Devin Gannon for 6sqft)

Thanks to reader Lisa for today’s featured photo of the storm that postponed John Trivialta at Parklife and A League of Their Own until Sunday night.

The Briefly for July 20, 2020 – The “A Hot, Gross, and Dirty Week” Edition

Today’s daily NYC news digest: The confusion around phase four, Jimmy Webb’s I Need More is closing, Steinway Street is punished, where to eat outside in Red Hook, and more

Today – Low: 78˚ High: 91˚
Humid and partly cloudy throughout the day.

Weather warning for this week: It’s gonna be hot, gross, and dirty. (John Del Signore for Gothamist)

Remember all those museums that announced plans to open with phase four? Governor Cuomo has removed museums and malls from the plans. (Sarah Bahr for NY Times)

With indoor dining happening… maybe never? The mayor has extended outdoor dining through October. (Chris Crowley for Grub Street)

Who among us hasn’t >asked Citi Bike to move a bike rack so your favorite restaurant in Greenwich Village can have outdoor seating during a pandemic, (Dana Schulz for 6sqft)

Of course, they could try what Deux Amis did in Midtown, which is building their outdoor seating on top of the Citi Bike docks. They’ve already been issued a cease and desist. (Gresh Kuntzman for Streetsblog)

The City Council wants the mayor to create a clearer universal set of standards when it comes to setting and enforcing outdoor dining regulations. “Welcome to the party.” -Restaurant and bar owners. (Erika Adams for Eater)

Videos: The epicenter of stupidity in Queens has become Steinway Street, “The Party Street of Queens.” (Christopher Robbins for Gothamist)

It didn’t take long until Steinway Street was removed from the city’s Open Streets program. (Sydney Pereira and Scott Heins for Gothamist)

If you missed Sunday’s email, Governor Cuomo has not banned to-go cocktails. Bars will have to give you some kind of bullshit mandatory snacks with your drinks. (Rachel Sugar for Grub Street)

Tyrese Haspil has been charged with the murder of Fahim Saleh, the CEO murdered and dismembered in the Lower East Side. (William K. Rashbaum, Alan Feuer and Michael Gold for NY Times)

The history of how Grand Central Terminal became the first railroad station in the US to adopt standard time. (Noah Sheidlower for Untapped New York)

Matt Damon, welcome to Brooklyn. (Laura Vecsey for StreetEasy)

Think you were in Brooklyn before it was cool? The Brooklyn Historical Society released nearly 1,500 maps of Brooklyn dating back to 1562. (Devin Gannon for 6sqft)

13 hidden patios, backyards and gardens for outdoor dining in NYC. (Bao Ong for Time Out)

Photos: Inside the newly renovated Starvos Niarchos Foundation Library after a $200 million renovation. It’s the only free, public rooftop space in the city. (Shaye Weaver for Time Out)

Manhattan rents are still stupid high, but they’re slightly less stupid high, with the median rent falling from $3,395 to… $3,300. (Jake Offenhartz for Gothamist)

Unlike Manhattan rents, car rental prices are soaring. (Christina Goldbaum and Daniel E. Slotnik for NY Times)

The 13 best soft serve options in NYC. (Hannah Albertine for The Infatuation)

Some election results have come in:

Jamaal Bowman is the new Democratic candidate for the 16th congressional district, having officially beating incumbent Eliot Engel in the primary. (Jesse McKinley for NY Times)

Democratic Socialists of America–backed Marcela Mitaynes beat State Assemblymember and Assistant Speaker Felix Ortiz in the Democratic primary. (Georgia Kromrei for The Real Deal)

Jessica González-Rojas has won the Democratic primary for the 34th Assembly District seat over incumbent Michael DenDekker conceding today. (Allie Griffin for Jackson Heights Post)

The election’s results are still in the process of being certified, but that hasn’t stopped the lawsuits over voting from starting. (Brigid Bergin for Gothamist)

Nowadays’ 16,000 square foot backyard is now open in Ridgewood. (Collier Sutter for Time Out)

An idiot was arrested twice in one day for defacing Black Lives Matter murals. (Julie Coleman for NY1)

Jimmy Webb’s ‘I Need More’ closes today. (Elie Z. Perler for Bowery Boogie)

Photos: Inside the last days at Jimmy Webb’s I Need More. (Stacie Joy for EV Grieve)

A scaffold collapsed at a non-union site in Murray Hill, killing worker Mario Salas Vittorio, and injuring three others. (Sophia Chang for Gothamist)

Photo: Yeah, this guy is walking across the street wearing shoes and nothing else, but is he wearing a mask? (@Newyorkist)

Ayame Stamoulis was arrested and charged with the murder of a man found wrapped in a plastic bag on the roof of McDonald’s in the South Bronx. (Sydney Pereira for Gothamist)

5,000 people get to see Mets games this season, kind of. There are 5,000 cardboard cutouts of people at Citi Field. At least one of them is a dog! (John Del Signore for Gothamist)

A look at the Central Park Barber Herman James’s Sundays. (Emily Palmer for NY Times)

The Jay Street subway will have a positive unintended consequence: Getting the NYPD to stop parking on the street illegally. (Dave Colon for Streetsblog)

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

Gowanus’ Public Records, Prospect Lefferts Gardens’ & Sons, the Flatiron District’s Undercote, Times Square’s 701 West and Greenwich Village’s Bar Pisellino are on Esquire’s 27 best bars in America. (Esquire)

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!