The Briefly for July 9, 2020 – The “They Don’t Call it a Subway Doomsday for Nothing” Edition

Today’s daily NYC news digest: The mayor’s plan for schools in September, the worst place in NYC, wait times for Covid-19 test results slip, frozen boozy drinks, and more

Today – Low: 76˚ High: 85˚
Humid throughout the day.

What’s the worst place in NYC? Seems there’s some consensus around Penn Station. (Collier Sutter for Time Out)

Despite what he may think, the president doesn’t actually have control over how the city’s schools operate. Mayor de Blasio’s plan, which is only a plan, is still subject to the state’s approval. Early August is the state’s deadline for approving or modifying the city’s plan. (Alejandra O’Connell-Domenech for amNewYork Metro)

The city’s schools are facing $642 million in budget cuts. The city’s private schools received tens of millions of dollars from the federal government’s PPP program. (Sophia Chang for Gothamist)

The mayor announced his plan for school openings in the fall. His plans call for a partial reopening this September. Classroom attendance would be limited to one to three days a week. While it’s a burden for children, teachers, parents, the economy, and everyone involved, it’s a burden that is not worse than death, which is what his plan is hoping to prevent. (Eliza Shapiro for NY Times)

A deeper dive into the options already presented for the city’s schools for in-person learning. (Christina Veiga for Chalkbeat)

Here’s a terrifying map of what the city’s subways could look like if the MTA doesn’t get any federal assistance and uses the Riders Alliance 2010 “Doomsday on the MTA” report. To accommodate the loss in revenues, the MTA would have to cut the 1, 2, 3, 7, B, D, F, M, G, J, Z, and Franklin Avenue Shuttle. They don’t call it doomsday for nothing. (Dave Colon for Streetsblog)

Things were already projected to be bad for the MTA, but for each tax dollar the city doesn’t collect, the MTA is pushed further and further into the economic abyss. The MTA’s projected tax revenue for 2021 will be $1.4 billion lower than expected. (Robert Pozarycki for amNewYork Metro)

The subways shut down for four hours a day and that may seem inconvenient, but a transit strike in 1966 shut the subways down for two weeks. (Nicholas Loud for Untapped New York)

A Queens driver hit and killed 64-year-old Richard O’Flaherty in Far Rockaway on Tuesday. The driver was not charged. (Gersh Kuntzman for Streetsblog)

Governors Island will reopen on July 15th for “passive recreation” from 10 am – 7 pm. You’ll need tickets in advance and they can be reserved beginning on Friday. (Michelle Young for Untapped New York)

Apartment Porn: It used to be a school, now it’s a $22.5 million penthouse with four bedrooms, a two-level terrace, and a double-sided marble fireplace. (Dana Schulz for 6sqft)

Photos: Why the hell is the NYPD protecting statues of Christopher Columbus across the city 24/7? (Gerch Kuntzman for Streetsblog)

Someone driving an SUV drove through a crowd of protesters in Times Square, sending at least one to the hospital. The driver was taken into custody, but not arrested or charged. If the NYPD can do it with initial mayoral support and no consequences, what’s to stop a citizen from doing the same thing? (Sydney Pereira for Gothamist)

New York Attorney General Letitia James is calling for an “entirely new accountability structure” for the NYPD, including reducing Mayor Bill de Blasio’s role in overseeing the force. Under James’ recommendation, a commission of the City Council, Public Advocate, Comptroller, and the mayor would have control over the NYPD’s budget. (Anna Quinn for Patch)

The development announced for the failed Amazon HQ2 site has hit a wall: City Councilmember Jimmy Van Bramer. Without Van Bramer’s support, the project’s needed rezoning can’t happen. Long Island City’s newly constructed apartments are 60% empty. This plan would bring an additional 2,700 apartments to the area. Van Bramer’s idea for the land is simple: it’s public land and should be used by the public. (Christian Murray for Queens Post)

8 tips for negotiating your lease renewal in NYC. (Localize.City)

In an article about how graffiti is on the rise during the Covid-19 pandemic, the Times starts by saying the conditions are perfect for “a new generation of graffiti writers.” The Old Gray Lady indeed. (David Gonzalez for NY Times)

The city’s oldest gay bar, Julius’ Bar, launched a GoFundMe campaign to keep the bar and it employees afloat until indoor dining comes back, which may be a while. (Dana Schulz for 6sqft)

The availability for Covid-19 testing has increased across the city, but the availability of labs to process those tests hasn’t risen to meet the demand. As a result, wait times for test results have slipped from the three-day range to upwards of a week. Is your result still relevant if it’s been a week since the test? (Elizabeth Kim and Fred Mogul for Gothamist)

Where to pick up food near Central Park. (Matt Tervooren for The Infatuation)

The staff at Jack the Horse in Brooklyn Heights are accusing the owners of misusing thousands of dollars in donations intended for employees. The GoFundMe states (errors and all) “We still hoping to raise money to support our wonderful staff who are out of work due to COVID-19.” The owners paid food and alcohol vendors and insurance bills with the $15,000+ of donations to the GoFundMe. (Erika Adams for Eater)

A five-story building partially collapsed in Murray Hill on E 38th in Manhattan on Wednesday afternoon. One person was injured and was brought to the hospital. (Ben Yakas and Gwynne Hogan for Gothamist)

What’s your favorite pre-pandemic food? (Robert Sietsema for Eater)

A few NYC holy grail apartments: 2 bedrooms for under $2,000 a month. (Erika Riley for StreetEasy)

The story of how an Angela Davis quote ended up being displayed prominently towards the Barclays Center subway entrance. (Norman Oder for BKLYNER)

The Board of Elections in New York City turns Election Day into Groundhog Day—we see the same problematic deficiencies each cycle: despite a bipartisan cross-ideological desire to fix them, they reoccur like clockwork. The time has come to use the important expansion of vote-by-mail to finally fix these consistent problems.
– City Councilmember Carline Rivera, Voting by mail must be expanded to fix existing problems

Interactive Map: More than 13,000 Manhattan-based businesses secured loans of more than $150,000 from the federal government through the Paycheck Protection Program. (Brendan Krisel for Patch)

Major League Soccer announced the schedule for their summer tournament and NYCFC’s first game is today (Thursday) morning at 9 am. (Joe Pantorno for Bronx Times)

RIP Jane Walentas, the artist behind the three-decade restoration of Jane’s Carousel in Brooklyn Bridge Park. (Rose Adams for amNewYork Metro)

Twenty places across the city to enjoy nature. (Jenna Fanelli for Bronx Times)

The city will only retain 50 of its 95 park rangers, thanks to the city’s budget cuts. In a budget of $88.2 billion, the cuts to the park ranger program are saving $10 million, or 0.01% of the budget. (Reuven Blau for The City)

13 places to get frozen boozy drinks in Astoria. (Claire Leaden for We Heart Astoria)

Thanks to reader Lisa for today’s featured photo!

The Briefly for July 6, 2020 – The “Another Sign of the Apocalypse” Edition

Today’s daily NYC news digest: Phase three starts today, where to eat hot dogs, Dekalb Market goes above ground, The NYPD’s SpotShotter is put to the test, and more

Today – Low: 73˚ High: 88˚
Rain in the evening.

Today starts phase three of the city’s reopening. Here’s what you can and can’t do under phase three. First and foremost, don’t stop wearing your damn masks. (Robert Pozarycki for amNewYork Metro)

Everyone’s got a friend outside the city that’s been talking about moving here on and off. Here’s a link you can send them instead of answering every question they have. How to know if you’re ready fo move to NYC. (Localize.City)

You’d think business interruption insurance would cover a moment like the Covid-19 pandemic, where businesses were… interrupted. You’d be giving the insurance industry too much credit, because they’ve been rejecting claims because businesses haven’t paid for “pandemic insurance.” (Peter Senzamici for The City)

Sound familiar? That’s because insurers were turning down business interruption insurance claims by the thousands after Hurricane Sandy, blaming specific damage on a flood at a Con Ed substation on E. 14th St. (Reuven Blau for Daily News in 2013)

There’s something killing the fish in the Hudson River. While officials say it’s nothing to be alarmed about, it’s hard to not see this as another sign of the apocalypse. (David Cruz for Gothamist)

Ailing parents, dying family members, and economic insecurity, and all while trying to graduate high school. (Rebecca Klein for HuffPost)

Video: A look at the history of the “Freedom” tunnel that runs under Riverside Park and how it became the canvas for Chris “Freedom” Pape’s art and a homeless community. (Vice)

In the last month, there have been 95 lawsuits against the Archdiocese of New York with dozens more on the way. When Covid-19 put a pause on all court cases except “essential matters,” it paused all the court cases against the church, prompting the state’s legislature to extend the window for filing cases from January 2021 until August. The governor hasn’t signed the legislation yet, prompting the sudden flood. (Virginia Breen for The City)

The price of renting a one-bedroom apartment in the city dropped 2% and two-bedroom dropped 0.3% in June and rents are 5% down from last year, according to a new report from Zumper. (Emily Davenport for amNewYork Metro)

In 2018, the Gowanus Canal’s 4th St basin was supposedly cleaned of “Black Mayo,” aka coal tar, by the EPA as a pilot program for the entire waterway. Work on cleaning the entire canal was scheduled to start later this year, using the same techniques. This week, unfortunately, the black mayo returned. (Katia Kelly for Pardon Me for Asking)

Dog owners are turning to CBD dog treats amid the endless stream of fireworks leading up to July 4. (Kathleen Culliton for NY1, congrats on the new job Kathleen)

The pandemic has brought a classic NYC staple back: rooftop culture. (Monika Hankova for Untapped New York)

Dekalb Market, the underground food hall underneath City Point in Downtown Brooklyn is reopening, but not underground. It will be taking over a portion of Gold Street and Willoughby Square Park as a reimagined Dekalb “Open-Air” Market. (Meaghan McGoldrick for amNewYork Metro)

Rafael Espinal couldn’t have picked a worse time to abandon his post as the City Councilmember for Brooklyn’s 37th District if he tried, essentially robbing his former constituents of their voice through the Covid-19 pandemic, protests, and city budget/defund the NYPD debates. A special election was canceled by Governor Cuomo and Bushwick, East New York, and Cypress Hills won’t have representation on the City Council until Janaury. (Nigel Roberts for The Brooklyn Reader)

Van Leeuwen Ice Cream is introducing their summer flavors this week. How does Caramelized Banana Praline sound? (Emily Davenport for amNewYork Metro)

The union representing 30,000 faculty and staff at CUNY is suing, alleging CUNY violated the terms of its federal bailout by laying off hundreds of adjunct faculty members, and are demanding that they be rehired. (Ben Brachfeld for Gothamist)

Tips from a hospital stint on protecting yourself from Covid-19. (Donna Duarte-Ladd for amNewYork Metro)

What’s the purpose of legal observers if the NYPD keep arresting them? (Sydney Pereira for Gothamist)

It’s been half a year since the mayor boasted to the press about the NYPD and Department of Homeless Services’ command center. A look at the change coming now that the NYPD are being kicked out. (Courtney Gross for NY1)

A memorial was held for Pop Smoke on Friday night outside his parents’ house in Canarsie the night of his album “Shoot for the Stars, Aim for the Moon.” (Todd Maisel for amNewYork Metro)

If you’re headed to the city’s beaches, there’s nothing that says you can’t combine the city’s new hobby of birdwatching with your beach-going. It’s piping plover nesting season, so keep an eye out for the endangered (and super cute) bird! (Jen Chung for Gothamist)

Governor Cuomo instituted a mandatory 14-day quarantine if you’re traveling to New York from 16 different states. How is it being enforced? 🤷‍♂️ (Fred Mogul for Gothamist)

Highlights from NBC’s recap of a week of “surprise” fireworks displays from Macy’s, including an unexplained shot of a building in South Korea for some reason? (John Del Signore for Gothamist)

The rats have been quiet, but with restaurants opening, expect that to change. (Amy Pearl for Gothamist)

Visitors are now able to go to the September 11th Memorial for the first time since March. The museum is still closed. (NY1)

The Strand is opening its Upper West Side location this month on Columbus Ave between 81st and 82nd St, the former home of Book Culture. (Sara Lebwohl for I Love The Upper West Side)

A rundown of the fatal five shootings in the city Sunday. (Todd Maisel for amNewyork Metro)

SpotShotter, the system the NYPD uses to detect gunshots, is under a real test with all the fireworks around the city. The system is, pardon the pun, shoddy at best, and its implementation has resulted in the targeting of Black and brown communities. (Gabriel Sandoval for The City)

RIP Nick Cordero, Tony-nominated Broadway performer, who passed away due to Covid-19. (Michael Paulson for NY Times)

The de Blasio administration is giving up on the idea of reworking the Brooklyn Bridge promenade, leaving the pedestrian and cyclist nightmare for the city’s next mayor. Here are Scott Stringer, Corey Johnson, and Eric Adams’ takes on the future of the bridge. (Dave Colon for Streetsblog)

More people are riding the MTA’s buses than subways for the first time since volume numbers have been kept. (Christina Goldblum and Winnie Hu for NY Times)

A look at the history of Firemen’s Garden on E 8th St, where the NYFD’s Martin Celic lost his life in 1977. (Ephemeral New York)

A guide to the real-life NYC locations from Hamilton. (Untapped New York)

Congrats to Joey Chestnut and Miki Sudo, this year’s hot dog eating champions who both set new records and are $10,000 richer for it. (ESPN)

Where to eat hot dogs this summer. (Melissa Kravitz Hoeffner for Thrillist)

Thanks to reader Nai for today’s featured photo!

The Briefly for July 1, 2020 – The “$88.1 Billion of Unhappiness for Everyone” Edition

Today’s daily NYC news digest: A look at what was cut and what was saved in the city’s budget, counting absentee ballots delayed a week, the best places to BBQ in the city, and more

Today – Low: 71˚ High: 80˚
Rain in the evening.

Photos and Video: Macy’s first night of “surprise” fireworks on the East River. Macy’s laid off 4,000 employees, the fireworks show’s costs are $6 million. (Michelle Young, Video and Photos by Jessica Gardner for Untapped Cities)

RIP Carl Reiner, legend and Bronx native. (Robert Berkvist and Peter Keepnews for NY Times)

No one is happy with the city’s $88.1 billion budget. What it will do is reduce the NYPD’s headcount by 1,160 officers, moves monitoring of illegal vending, the homeless, and school safety away from the NYPD, implements a city-wide hiring freeze, kills composting, removed $65 million from Fair Fares, and more. We will be hearing about the missteps and mistakes that the budget contains for years to come. (Dana Rubenstein and Jeffery C. Mays for NY Times)

There’s no better source of education news than Chalkbeat, which gives an overview of the budget’s impact on the city’s schools, which undoes a $100 million cut to school budgets and restores the summer youth employment program. (Alex Zimmerman for Chalkbeat)

In a last-minute play, Public Advocate Jumaane Williams threatened to derail the city’s budget if the NYPD’s funding wasn’t meaningfully reduced. Can he do that? Questionable, but he managed to keep the pressure on the mayor’s office to defund the NYPD. (Matt Troutman for Patch)

Early Tuesday morning the NYPD did what the NYPD does best, roughing up protesters. This time it was the Occupy City Hall protesters, ahead of the City Council’s vote. (Jake Offenhartz and Gwynne Hogan for Gothamist)

Should the NYPD be involved in as much as it is? Should the NYPD have been the ones to save a hiker after being bitten by a Rattlesnake in Rockland County by helicopter? (Adam Nichols for Patch)

The budget passed 32-17. (Matt Troutman for Patch)

The budget includes $1 billion in labor savings, which the mayor has given himself an October deadline to figure out, or 22,000 municipal jobs will be cut. If we have learned anything about the mayor and deadlines is that he will not come close to making this deadline. (Alejandra O’Connell-Domenech for QNS)

Medical residents at the city-run Kings County Hospital are urging elected officials to stop what they say will be the termination of women’s reproductive cancer surgical treatment at the central Brooklyn medical complex. (Ese Olumhense for The City)

Citi Bike will be raising its annual membership fee by $10 (it was $169, it will be $179) at the end of July. (Gersh Kuntzman for Streetsblog)

When the NYPL’s Culture Pass debuted, it gave you access to 30 or so museums and cultural institutions, with everything closed, a virtual Culture Pass has launched with over 70 original online programs for the culturally adventurous. (Dana Schulz for 6sqft)

The time for action is now, but that action continues to fall on private citizens — business owners and workers alike — forced to feel their way through the dark. Yet, here we are, talking about reopening bars in New York City, while the coronavirus flares up all around us. Are we going to stand up, or let ourselves get knocked back down on our asses?
-Chris Crowley for Grub Street, This Is Not the Time to Reopen New York’s Bars

An interactive map of privately owned public spaces, as the spaces are being opened. (Tribeca Citizen)

LA’s E Stretto sandwich shop is opening a New York City outpost inside Long Island City’s Dutch Kills bar. (Tanay Warerkar for Eater)

Wear a mask, disinfect everything, and more tips on how to move during a pandemic. (Sydney Pereira for Gothamist)

The pandemic has done a fantastic job of bringing to light our societal problems, almost none of them starker than the institutional inequality and bias against Puerto Ricans. The areas with the highest number of COVID-19 infections and deaths coincide with the counties with the highest proportion of Puerto Ricans in the United States. (Vanessa Colón Almenas, Víctor Rodríguez Velázquez, Mc Nelly Torres and Coral Murphy for The City)

Some people can’t handle the responsibility that comes with Open Streets and it seems that the people that chose to turn Berry Street in Williamsburg into Bourbon Street are at the top of the list. The NYPD has begun ending Open Streets hours early as a result of abuse of social distancing rules, noise complaints, and public drinking. The governor has threatened taking liquor and business licenses away from bars and restaurants that don’t enforce the state’s rules, but there have been no reports of that happening in the city. (Ben Weiss for Greenpointers)

The city’s free school lunch program has ended, but there still are plenty of places for students to get free meals from the city and elsewhere. (Luana Harumi for Bedford + Bowery)

It was inevitable, but now it’s official: 2020’s Minor League Baseball season is canceled. (Joe Pantorno for amNewYork Metro)

Remember the election? It might seem like a lifetime ago, but it was only a week and a day. Today is the day the Board of Elections was set to start counting absentee ballots, but ballot-counting won’t begin for another week due to being swamped with more than 10x the usual amount and needing more time to organize. (Bill Mahoney for Politico)

The Yankees say that Aaron Judge, Giancarlo Stanton, James Paxton, and Aaron Hicks will be ready for opening day on July 23. (Joe Pantorno for amNewYork Metro)

The MTA has added PPE vending machines in select subway stations. This is in addition to, not instead of, the hand sanitizer and masks being distributed at subway station booths. (Michelle Young for Untapped New York)

The MTA will end free bus rides that have been offered since the start of the pandemic. The scheduled end is in August when bus drivers will be separated from riders with protective glass and OMNY readers will begin to be installed in buses. (Mark Hallum for amNewYork Metro)

New York’s retail hasn’t completely bounced back, but with year-over-year retail visits down 22% for the week of June 15, it’s the strongest they’ve been in months. (Joe Pantorno for amNewYork Metro)

Comic shops have been hit hard during the pandemic. Bay Ridge rallied to save its local shop, Galaxy Comics on Fifth and 68th St, which has been closed most weeks since March. (Jessica Parks for amNewYork Metro)

A bill is in the state’s legislature that will extend eviction protections for some tenants but is being called a “short-term fix” as it doesn’t go far enough to protect tenants. It would still allow money judgments for nonpayment of rent and provides little or no details about who would be eligible for protection. The protections will be extended as long as any part of a county is closed by the government due to Covid-19. (Georgie Kromrei for The Real Deal)

A while ago I included a story about comedian Elayne Boosler’s cousin, who was given a pricy Catholic burial in New Jersey, which doesn’t make much sense for a Jew from Brooklyn who had a burial plot already purchased on Long Island. In a follow-up, Dorothea Buschell has been buried on Long Island in her family’s burial plot. (Virginia Breen for The City)

Did George Floyd protests lead to a surge in Covid-19 cases? Not yet. In the city, the number of cases was already on a steady decline when the protests started, which reduced the possible spread of infection and if you look at photos from the protests, you’ll find most of the people participating wore masks when they weren’t being pulled off by the NYPD or being treated for the after-effects of pepper spray. (Joseph Goldstein for NY Times)

How likely are you to survive a case of Covid-19? It might depend on which hospital you are admitted to. (Brian M. Rosenthal, Joseph Goldstein, Sharon Otterman and Sheri Fink for NY Times)

The Stonewall Inn announced a GoFundMe less than a week ago to keep their business afloat and people responded in spades, giving $250,000 to keep the bar open. (Ben Yakas for Gothamist)

The 15 best spots in NYC for outdoor grilling. (Devin Gannon for 6sqft)

Thanks to reader Jenny for today’s featured photo!