The Briefly for May 19, 2020 – The “Central Park Has Exorcised its Demons” Edition

Today’s daily NYC news digest: Where to get a Covid-19 test, good news for vegans, de Blasio eyes a September reopening of the city, subway ridership starts to return, and more

Today – Low: 52˚ High: 65˚
Mostly cloudy throughout the day.

The city remains on PAUSE, hitting only 3 of the 7 metrics necessary to start phase one of reopening.

It’s time to register to vote by mail for the June 23 primary. Here’s how. (Brigid Bergin for Gothamist)

There was a protest to open up Staten Island, which included all the hits like “it’s just like the flu” and “you don’t coward in your house and stay afraid.” (Amy Yensi for NY1)

Samaritan’s Purse, the temporary hospital run by Franklin Graham, who believes same-sex relationships are an “abomination,” is gone from Central Park. Members of Reclaim Pride, Rise and Resist, and Reverend Billy Talen’s Stop Shopping Choir have exorcised the demons left behind by Franklin Graham. (Donna Aceto for amNewYork Metro)

The loss of Gem Spa beings up an important question. Will we recognize our city when we emerge from our forced hibernation? (Max Falkowitz for Grub Street)

“That’s a real natural point to start reopening more if all goes well because that’s when everyone would normally come back from the summer.” Mayor de Blasio has tentatively pegged September for a full reopening of the city. (Kathleen Culliton for Patch)

If you’re taking the subway or bus, look down. The MTA is adding social distancing markers to encourage you to keep your damn distance. (Devin Gannon for 6sqft)

“I want to watch the Buffalo Bills,” is not something anyone says earnestly, but here we are. It’s 2020 and Governor Cuomo wants New York teams to play in empty stadiums, even if he has to watch the Buffalo Bills. (Kathleen Culliton for Patch)

Let’s face it. 2020 is a wash. Let’s start thinking about 2021, campsite reservations across New York state are open. (Emma Orlow for Time Out)

Of the city’s 21 miles of open streets, Staten Island only has 1.3 miles. (Kamillah Hanks and Rose Uscianowski for Streetsblog)

It’s a combination of the worst and the best time to start looking for a new apartment. (Caroline Spivack for Curbed)

WeWork wants a rent break. Its customers do too. (Peter Eavis for NY Times)

Rockefeller Center is looking 192 pieces of artwork that celebrate New York City to fly as flags above the rink in August as part of “The Flag Project” competition. Now you know how many flags are in the plaza at Rockefeller Plaza. (Devin Gannon for 6sqft)

Dr. Oxiris Barbot issued a public apology for telling an NYPD top brass “I don’t give two rats’ asses about your cops.” Now we wait for an apology from the Sergeant’s Benevolent Association for calling Dr. Barbot a bitch on Twitter. (Kathleen Culliton for Patch)

The Circa is a condo in Harlem at the corner of 110th and Central Park West and its glass facade is gaining a reputation for bird slaughter. (Jen Chung for Gothamist)

NYC Nightlife United is an emergency fund providing immediate relief to shuttered cultural spaces affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. Small business owners can start applying for aid on June 5. (Amanda Hatfield for Brooklyn Vegan)

Congrats to Brooklyn’s Andre Kulikov for winning the 6th-8th grade category of the Ezra Jack Keats Bookmaking Competition. (Nigel Roberts for The Brooklyn Reader)

It’s not summer without Coney Island, so we may just cancel summer this year. Here’s what Coney Island may look like once it’s allowed to open up. (Shaye Weaver for Time Out)

The city is preparing fencing to keep people off the beaches in Coney Island and Brighton Beach to keep crowd sizes down during Memorial Day weekend. (Todd Maisel for amNewYork Metro)

Whoever vandalized the Covid-19 memorial on the corner of 10th and Ave A, you are the city’s worst scumbag this week. (EV Grieve)

The MTA’s Essential Connector program is live, giving essential workers a free trip in a for-hire-vehicle per night while the subways are shut down. (Anna Quinn for Patch)

Porn star Ron Jeremy is trying to prevent a tree from being cut down outside his childhood home in Queens. Make your own “wood” jokes. (Brooklyn Vegan)

The City Council is pushing a bill forward that would create three drop-off sites for organics and community recycling centers for hazardous or e-waste in each community district by June 2021. Existing drop-off locations are closed. (Sydney Pereira for Gothamist)

Inside the Guggenheim is the “Countryside, The Future” show in the windows facing Fifth Avenue, which features cherry tomato plants. The Times found David Litvin, who moved his family to New York from Tel Aviv for six months so he can tend to the plants for the museum. The tomatoes are looking great, but his six-month stay hasn’t been going according to his original plan. (Elizabeth A. Harris for NY Times)

Video: Take a tour of Prospect Park’s Lefferts House. (Matt Coneybeare for Viewing NYC)

The Brooklyn Botanical Garden is hoping to open in July. (Collier Sutter for Time Out)

Vegans rejoice! Superiority Burger is offering a unique menu of to-go options every Thursday, starting this week. You have to order in advance, so don’t start showing up on Thursdays expecting to be able to buy anything on the spot. (EV Grieve)

Maybe Covid-19 will usher in a new era of automat-style restaurants in the city. (Tanay Warerkar for Eater)

Governor Cuomo was tested during his Sunday press briefing and tested negative. The test was an encouragement for New Yorkers to utilize the 700 testing sites set up across the state. (Kathleen Culliton for Patch)

If you’re uninsured, CityMD is offering free Covid-19 testing. (Allie Griffin for Queens Post)

All churches in the city are closed to the public, some are finding a higher calling as Covid-19 testing sites, mostly in Queens and the Bronx. (Carol Kuruvilla for HuffPost)

The state is providing antibody tests for all MTA employees as part of Governor Cuomo’s mandate that all essential workers are tested. (Mark Hallum for amNewYork Metro)

The Covid-19 death count per NYC zip code. The highest death rate is in Canarsie, at 612.24 deaths per 100,000, followed by Rockaway with 444.73 deaths per 100,000. (Kathleen Culliton for Patch)

The NYPD shut down up a Brooklyn Yeshiva in Bed-Stuy for violating the state’s orders that all schools be closed. I’m not a big “call the cops” kinda guy, but if you see kids walking into a school, it’s time to call the cops. (Liam Stack and Nate Schweber for NY Times)

It’s happening slowly, but riders are returning to the subways. We’re not at pre-pandemic levels, but the numbers are going up. (Dave Colon for Streetsblog)

The quarantine and takeout guide. (Hannah Albertine, Nikko Duren, Arden Shore, & Matt Tervooren for The Infatuation)

Thanks to reader Molly for today’s featured flower photo!

The Briefly for April 2, 2020 – The “Is Governor Cuomo’s Nipple Pierced?” Edition

Today’s daily NYC news digest: Governor Cuomo shuts down playgrounds, a map of infections by zip code, Ina Garten makes an appropriately sized margarita, free coloring books, and more

Today – Low: 46˚ High: 57˚
Clear throughout the day.

Don’t ask AOC to make a TikTok. (@AOC)

Farmers’ markets are still happening across the city, but with stricter rules. (Anne Barnard for NY Times)

The Right to Counsel NYC Coalition and Housing Justice for All have released a guide for tenants interesting in organizing a rent strike. (Brendan Krisel for Patch)

The NYS Bar Association and the state’s Unified Court System announced they partnered to create a network of pro bono lawyers willing to help out with the surge in legal matters that are expected to come out of the coronavirus pandemic and the likely economic fallout. (Alex Williamson for Brooklyn Eagle)

One of the weirder things to come out of this whole pandemic will be the unanswered question “Is the governor’s nipple pierced?” No one is shaming the governor, I think we all need something to distract us from the state of the world for a few moments. (Jelisa Castrodale for Vice)

Sanra Lee, his ex-girlfriend, took to Instagram to talk about it and while she didn’t say they were pierced, she didn’t deny it either. (Charlie Nash for Mediaite)

Queens’ demographics may be the reason why it has become the epicenter of the city’s coronavirus outbreak. (Clodagh McGowan for NY1)

The city released hard numbers of positive COVID-19 cases per zip code, exposing the tale of two cities as wealthy neighborhoods have rates at 44%, while lower-income zip codes have infection rates as high as 77%. (Howard Halle for Time Out)

Imagine you move into a 600-square-foot Manhattan shoebox apartment and two days later the two of you are locked down together. (Anne McCarthy for HuffPost)

“I basically want to address the idiots out there, and you know who you are.” Watch Larry David’s COVID-19 PSA. (Devon Ivie for Vulture)

Spring break is canceled for public schools. (Kathleen Culliton for Patch)

“During a crisis, cocktail hour can be almost any hour.” -Ine Garten, hero. (Nikita Richardson for Grub Street)

Representatives Carolyn B. Maloney and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez have added their voices to the cause of ending the ban on blood donations from gay and bisexual men. (LIC Post)

The New York City burger delivery guide. (Matt Tervooren for The Infatuation)

Video: Lower Manhattan’s skyline from 1903 through today. (Matt Coneybeare for Viewing NYC)

In the state’s budget, which passed on Wednesday night, is the legalization of electric bikes and scooters in the state, allowing municipalities to regulate electric bikes. Electric scooters that travel up to 15 miles per hour are legalized. (Dave Colon for Streetsblog)

Also in the budget is a new state campaign finance system, with public matching money for candidates who choose to participate and lower individual contribution limits. (Samar Khurshid for Gotham Gazette)

Say farewell to legal weed in 2020. The state failed to put it in the budget last year. A good lesson in not procrastinating. (Rebecca C. Lewis, Amanda Luz Hanning Santiago for City and State)

What New York City looked like, including a startling infographic about daily deaths, during the 1918 flu pandemic. (Michael Wilson for NY Times)

You can now call 311 to report physical distancing violations. Of the 289 complaints in Manhattan in the first three days of the week, the NYPD “took action” on 88 of those complaints. (Zijia Song for Bedford + Bowery)

A man in the Bronx attempted suicide-by-NYPD after receiving a COVID-19 diagnosis. After multiple warnings, the NYPD shot the man in the stomach and is in stable condition at NYC Health & Hospitals/Jacobi. (Ben Yakas for Gothamist)

Former Police Commissioner James O’Neill is returning to public service to be a senior advisor in charge of distributing medical equipment and protective gear to city hospitals. (Erin Durkin for Politico)

210 of Coney Island Hospital’s 317 beds are full of COVID-19 patients and the facility is low on staff, gear, and space, as each employee is being issued one masks every five days. (Rose Adams for Brooklyn Paper)

Mayor de Blasio waivered on closing down the city’s playgrounds, Governor Cuomo did not. All playgrounds, swing sets, basketball courts, and similar spaces are closed. (Allie Griffin for Sunnyside Post)

Mayor de Blasio continues to be a punching bag in the media and doesn’t help himself when his public wavering constantly ends with Governor Cuomo making difficult, but right, decisions. This Times piece starts with an anecdote about Mayor de Blasio walking in Prospect Park on the morning of April 1, which means he was driven from the Upper West Side to Park Slope just to walk in Prospect Park when Central Park is one mile away. (Ben Smith for NY Times)

Love to color? Here are a few free coloring books from NYC artists. (Collier Sutter for Time Out)

Thanks to reader Francesca for today’s featured photo!

The Briefly for February 10, 2020 – The “NYPD Declares War on Mayor de Blasio” Edition

Today’s daily NYC news digest: The brokers’ fees mess, NY sues the federal government over the Truster Traveler Programs ban, AOC’s BEC, touristy restaurants that are good, and more

Today – Low: 44˚ High: 49˚
Light rain throughout the day.

Photos: The Pet Fashion Show. (Gabe Herman, photos by Milo Hess for amNewYork Metro)

New York City is better than any other city. Why? Everyone has their reason that makes New York their city. For Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez, as we discovered on Desus and Metro one of the reasons is the bacon, egg, and cheeses. (Ashley Reese for Jezebel)

It doesn’t matter if it’s Chicago Pizza, California In-N-Out, or New Jersey laughably calling itself the pizza capital of the world, New York doesn’t care if you think your food is better. It’s not. (Serena Dai for Eater)

High Maintenance came back to HBO on Sunday, here is a list of filing locations. (Michelle Young for Untapped New York)

A man shot two police officers on Sunday in the Bronx in targeted assassination attempts. There is currently no known connection to any protests or politics and the man, Robert Williams, was out on parole since 2017, pre-dating recent reforms. Williams’s son was shot and killed in the street and according to Williams’s grandmother he “never got over it.” He surrender himself to the police. (Elisha Brown and Michael Levenson for NY Times)

In response to the shootings, the Police Benevolent Association’s message to the mayor was straight forward. “The members of the NYPD are declaring war on you!” and “This isn’t over, Game on!” Oh boy. (Sanjana Karanth for HuffPost)

Because nothing is easy, real estate agents are trying to find every last way around the new Department of State guidance about broker’s fees. Most of the confusion they are creating is who they work for. Does the broker represent you or do they represent the landlord? Check your paperwork. (Jake Offenhartz and Elizabeth Kim for Gothamist)

The Real Estate Board of New York will, of course, try to stop the guidance with a lawsuit. (Matthew Haag for NY Times)

An overview on what’s happening with broker’s fees. (Localize Labs)

A look and some recent history of the city’s protest murals. (Yoonji Han)

Photos: Scenes from the Golden Gauntlet Graffiti Battle. (Elie Z. Perler for Bowery Boogie)

The City Council is taking a look into ghost kitchens, with the possibility of wanting oversight over them, specifically if they prove to be unfair competition against real restaurants. (Georgia Kromrei for The Real Deal)

Stop me if you’ve heard this one before. On Friday morning, a water main broke on Broadway, flooding the immediate area and causing all varieties of chaos. This third break in four weeks was at 110th. (Ben Yakas for Gothamist)

The mayor’s “fix” for the crumbling NYCHA, the Rental Assistance Demonstration (RAD) program, may be putting the apartments that are a part of the program into an even worse predicament. Apartments under the RAD program are no longer under the oversight of the city and federal monitor. (Greg B. Smith for The City)

RAD is a national program enacted in 2012 that allows public housing agencies to switch the way they get money from the feds — moving from Section 9 (the way NYCHA-owned properties have historically been funded) to Section 8 (a program that funds private landlords). (Rachel Holliday Smith for The City)

Play around with interactive charts showing the most popular and most money-making Broadway shows of the past 20-some odd years. (Matt Coneybeare for Viewing NYC)

amNewYork Metro has “3 ideas for a Knicks rebrand.” All three of them are basically “make it the 90s again.” (Joe Pantorno for amNewYork Metro)

Here’s what the proposed 900-foot tall tower that will be built on top of Macy’s in Herald square will look like. (Michelle Cohen for 6sqft)

You’ve got the rest of the week to “Name A Roach” at the Bronx Zoo. (Emily Davenport for amNewYork Metro)

Does the city need another stadium? Your answer doesn’t seem to matter, the N.Y.C.F.C. are close to moving forward with a plan to put a brand new soccer stadium a few blocks south of Yankee Stadium. There is an affordable housing component to the deal as well that will no doubt please the mayor and help ram this project through the city’s approval process. (David Waldstein for NY Times)

While the coronavirus isn’t a welcome addition to the city originating in China, hot pot restaurants are a different story. (Tony Lin for Eater)

Where to eat in the city’s Chinatowns. (Chris Crowley for Grub Street)

Wired: Fearing the flu. Tired: Fearing the coronavirus. (Adam Nichols)

New York will sue the Trump administration over the Truster Traveler Programs ban, arguing the government’s decision was arbitrary, violate’s the state’s covering immunity, and was (not a real quote) “a dick move.” (Luis Ferré-Sadurní for NY Times)

The MTA is planning to connect the Livonia Avenue L station and the Junius Street 3 station in Brooklyn by 2024. (Grant Lancaster for amNewYork Metro)

Photos: Chinatown’s Lunar New Year Parade. (Scott Lynch for Gothamist)

Another story about how some city officials want to push the BQX forward, but this was included for a great photo of a board in a meeting asking for feedback, full of Post-It notes saying things like “NO BQX.” (Alex Williamson for Brooklyn Eagle)

Video: A walk through the Bronx. (ActionKid)

Caroline Baumann, the director of the Cooper Hewitt Smithsonian Design Museum in Manhattan, abruptly quit on Friday with no explanation given as to why. (Robin Pogrebin for NY Times)

The XFL is here (again) and The New York Guardians won their first game. (Joe Pantorno for amNewYork Metro)

13 touristy restaurants that are actually good. (Matt Tervooren for The Infatuation)

Thanks to @directorchick for today’s featured photo!