The Briefly for June 12, 2020 – The “Mr Mayor, Unlock This Playground” Edition

Today’s daily NYC news digest: The “blood in the streets” protest, the NYPD refuse to be interviewed online for the CCRB, a call to stop the Gowanus rezoning, and more

Today – Low: 62˚ High: 83˚
Clear throughout the day.
This weekend – Low: 58˚ High: 73˚

Has the pandemic and protests made you think about starting getting involved on a hyper-local level? Maybe you’ve thought about starting a neighborhood association? The Times breaks down how to do it. (Katherine Cusumano for NY Times)

Do you know the Muffin House? The Muffin House? The Muffin House. The roots of the nooks and crannies of Thomas’ English Muffins are in New York. (Nicholas Loud for Untapped New York)

Governor Cuomo says that pools and playgrounds across the state can reopen. The city’s pools and playgrounds remain closed. (Rachel Holliday Smith for The City)

In the 1970s, the NYPD’s unions distributed a flyer called “WELCOME TO FEAR CITY” meant to keep tourists out of New York City, teaching them how to survive with the city’s crime. A new version of “WELCOME TO FEAR CITY” has begun to be distributed, but with the twist of how to survive the police when protesting in New York. (Jeremiah Moss for Jeremiah’s Vanishing New York)

The City has created a searchable memorial of nearly 1,000 New York City victims of Covid-19. Right now it only covers a little over 4% of the city’s victims, but they are working with journalism schools to expand the memorials one person at a time. (The City)

Governor Cuomo is deciding to use the political capital he earned on defending statues of Christopher Columbus, saying Columbus represents Italian-American pride. This argument seems to pop up more and more often, making me think it’s not a matter of if but when the statue of Columbus in Columbus Circle is taken down. (Zack Fink for NY1)

People are calling for Police Seargeant Terri Napolitano to be fired for sharing a racist message on Facebook which showed President Obama being lynched with Hillary Clinton next in line for hanging. The Office of Court Administration suspended her for 30 days without pay, took away her gun, and launched an investigation. Napolitano has since deleted her social media accounts. (Jeanine Ramirez for NY1)

It shouldn’t be a surprise, but Manhattan’s rental vacancy rate is the highest it’s been in fourteen years. (Erin Hudson for The Real Deal)

“Unless people are interfering with a Barclays Center event, or there are safety concerns, we would not take action to have someone removed from our plaza.” Unfortunately, the NYPD has had a different opinion about how people should use the plaza outside the Barclays Center. (Norman Oder for Atlantic Yards/Pacific Park Report)

Jahmel Leach is a teenager who was tasered in the face by the NYPD. After the NYPD tasered and arrested the minor, they never notified his family he was in custody because he was tall and they thought he was an adult. The mayor says he’s “really troubled” by what happened to Leach but hasn’t vowed any specific actions he’s going to take to get answers. (Kathleen Culliton for Patch)

America has historically sought to arrest and prosecute its way through community issues that could be dealt with by understanding the history of this nation, our states & our community. Frustration comes from a lot of these things being ignored in impoverished communities: education, finances and health services. COVID-19 has exposed these inequities. So what will the city do beyond policing? We should build a comprehensive plan that addresses these shortfalls and provide the community with a say in how it defines the safety of its own neighborhoods.
– Taylonn Murphy Sr. for Gothamist, New York City Must Actually Invest In Black Communities—Right Now

How to celebrate Pride in quarantine. (Gabrielle Lenart for Brooklyn Based)

Phase one of reopening has begun, but there has been an uptick in Covid-19 cases and hospitalizations, which trails about two weeks behind New York City’s massive protests. We are still under the threshold for phase two. (Kathleen Culliton for Patch)

Politicians in Queens are calling to make a 1.3 mile stretch of 34th Avenue in Jackson Heights permanently car-free. (Steven Vago for Streetsblog)

Render Stetson-Shanahan was found guilty of manslaughter for brutally killing Carolyn Bush, at their apartment on Sept. 28, 2016. He avoided murder charges by testifying that he had a mental lapse. (Christian Murray for Queens Post)

If you’ve wondered why there hasn’t been a leader to step up and speak for all of the city’s protesters, it because there isn’t one. The city isn’t being led by one voice, but by the voices of many. (Jan Ransom and Annie Correal for NY Times)

“The commissioner held a Twitter Q&A on Thursday morning, but took no questions.” Great job Commissioner Shea, great job. (Todd Maisel for amNewYork Metro)

The award for most questionable headline and lead image combination goes to “Gay Pride embraces its roots by teaming up with U.S. black activists” by amNewYork Metro.

Congressmembers Max Rose and Yvette D. Clarke along with Mayor de Blasio ar asking the military to rename General Lee Avenue in Brooklyn’s Fort Hamilton army base. (Michael Gold for NY Times)

The city will spend $3 million to helping 100 restaurants in the city forced to close by the novel coronavirus pandemic subsidize paying 1,000 furloughed or fired workers at $20 per hour for at least six weeks and serve 53,000 free meals to people in communities hardest hit by the virus. (Alejandra O’Connell-Domenech for amNewYork Metro)

A dumpling automat is opening in the East Village, confusingly named Brooklyn Dumpling Shop. (Emma Orlow for Time Out)

The city will spend $3.65 million to give roughly 3,300 young people in paid 6 to 8-week online summer youth programs this year. (Alejandra O’Connell-Domenech for amNewYork Metro)

As a resident of New York City, I am writing to demand that a moratorium be placed on proceeding with the Gowanus Rezone Proposal, which incorporates parts of Boerum Hill, Park Slope, and Carroll Gardens, until the city’s needs can be reassesed. In the wake of COVID-19, with both the city and state budgets in crisis, the economy in free fall, and as many as 20% of Americans having lost their jobs—including a disproportionate number of people of color— this plan is woefully out of step with what the city needs right now, or what it can afford.
– Voice of Gowanus, Demand a Moratorium on the Gowanus Rezone

The Alliance for Quality Education and The Dignity in Schools Campaign NY today denounced the mayor’s comments and refusal to remove NYPD officers from public schools. (Allie Griffin for Queens Post)

The Yankees are distributing $50,000 in scholarships among five different college-bound seniors, at $10,000 apiece, with one student coming from each borough through The Stonewall Scholars initiative. (Matt Tracy for Gay City News)

Demonstrations and protests continue into week three as protesters spilled red paint to represent “blood in the streets” on Thursday, symbolizing “the blood militant forces such as the police cause black people to shed.” It created a powerful image. (Debora Fougere for NY1)

How to calculate how much rent you can afford right now. (Localize.City)

1,109 Civilian Complaint Review Board investigations are awaiting police officer interviews, but the police union will not allow officers to be interviewed online. What bullshit. (Eileen Grench for The City)

Where to get a restaurant-made picnic spread in the city. (Luke Fortney for Eater)

Thanks to reader Jenny for today’s featured photo!

The Briefly for June 13, 2018 – Fair Fares, Placard Reform, Keeping Chickens in Brooklyn, and More

Low-income New Yorkers will finally have a chance to get subsidized MetroCards thanks to the city’s budget, Brooklyn restaurants are boycotting delivering food to the Fort Hamilton army base, and more

Brownstoner has instructions on how to keep chickens in your Brooklyn backyard. Perhaps there’s a step by step set of instructions on how to not be a stereotype.

Cobble Hill gained a ten-foot-tall statue of Pablo Picasso wearing flip flops mowing grass by Elliott Arkin. The Spanish Gardener was unveiled by the Brooklyn Greenway Initiative on the corner of Columbia and Degraw Streets and remains there until July 15.

Fair Fares is finally a reality. Mayor Bill de Blasio and City Council speaker Corey Johnson reached an agreement on funding half-priced MetroCards for low-income New Yorkers.

“I feel like Brooklyn has been in my DNA since Welcome Back Kotter. I love you all so very much, thank you for giving me such a foundation for my career.” John Travolta day was a hell of a party.

IHOb’s burgers are… decent. Stick to pancakes.

The New York Transit Museum’s annual Parade of Trains is this weekend. Six different lines will sport vintage cars.

CUNY is renaming its journalism school after Craig Newmark. His $20 million donation helped.

Filming Around Town: The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel is at Astoria Blvd and 27th St in Astoria, and The Kitchen, starring Melissa McCarthy, is at 4th and the Bowery.

It’s been over a year since Mayor de Blasio pledged to “crack down” on parking placard abuse, and there aren’t many signs of change.

Former Brooklyn Assemblymember Pamela Harris plead guilty to 11 counts of wire fraud and witness tampering. Harris represented Bay Ridge, Coney Island, Bath Beach and Dyker Heights and defrauded the city of $45,600 and FEMA of $25,000. She will be sentenced in September and faces up to 30 years.

Brooklyn restaurants are boycotting delivery of food to the army base where Pablo Villavicencio was detained.

Street artist Symbol is using Monopoly cards to highlight the insane prices for commercial rents around the city.

The Briefly for June 11, 2018 – No SHSAT Decision This Year, ICE Detainee Given Stay, The Most Confusing Traffic Light In The City, and more

State Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie announced the state is punting on a SHSAT decision until next year. Maybe if they wait long enough, it’ll all just go away.

Pablo Villavicencio, the pizza deliveryman detained at the Fort Hamilton military base, was given a stay of removal until July 20. Governor Cuomo issued a letter of support over the weekend. He will remain detained in New Jersey, he can still work on obtaining residency.

This could very well be the most confusing traffic light the city has to offer.

The toll for the Verrazzano Narrows Bridge is being reduced 32% if you live in Brooklyn and cross the bridge more than three times a month. There’s a joke about going to Staten Island that often, but sometimes it’s about the jokes that you don’t make.

Filming Around Town: After the Wedding starring Michelle Williams is at Ludlow and Houston, Still Life is at 69th Park, Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt is at Forsyth and Rivington, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel is at W 3rd and 6th, The Kitchen starring Melissa McCarthy is at Reade and Broadway, and The Deuce with James Franco’s face tickler is at Malcolm X Blvd and W 122nd.

Ephemeral New York dives into the significance behind the bronze relief sculptures at 195 Broadway. The building was completed in 1922 and became the new headquarters for AT&T. There are four 24-foot sculptures from the man who designed 30 Rock’s Prometheus.

The NYPD’s James Frascatore wrongfully tackled and detained returned tennis star James Blake. Two and a half years later, Frascatore was found guilty in an internal investigation of using excessive force and his punishment was a loss of five days of paid vacation. Blake is, as you might expect, not happy about the outcome.

Tompins Square Park has a new resident. Photographer Laura Goggin spotted a baby red-tailed hawk and has some great photos of it. Laura’s blog is worth looking at for the 10+ years of NYC photography she’s posted. Her blog has been added to The Briefly’s sources, so you’ll be seeing more of her work linked here in the future.