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 11, 2020 – The “Make It A Little Kinky” Edition

Today’s daily NYC news digest: A breakdown of arrests during curfew, the Barclays Center embraces its role as Brooklyn’s town square, the #1 sought-after apartment amenity, and more

Today – Low: 69˚ High: 79˚
Rain in the afternoon.

How the Barclays Center became Brooklyn’s new town square and how the Barclays Center has embraced its role as Brooklyn’s home for non-violent protest. A very off change of pace for an arena that was fought against so hard by the community. (Norman Oder for BKLYNER)

Suggestions for how to keep your orgies clean, stop kissing people, wear masks, “make it a little kinky,” and promoting the use of glory holes. The city’s guidelines for practicing safe sex in the age of Covid-19, and they’re… not what you might expect. (Anna Iovine for Mashable)

Having sex in a subway station? Not on the list of how to stay safe, but ªit didn’t stop these two from getting in on in the High Street-Brooklyn Bridge A/C station back in May. (Emily Davenport for amNewYork Metro)

Three groups are suing to block a rezoning proposal on the Flushing waterfront, arguing that an environmental review needs to be conducted before the development proposal can go through. The groups are looking to block a 13-building complex with plans for retail, hotels, offices, and over 1,700 apartments. (Christine Chung for The City)

What do you want in an apartment when all of this is over? According to anonymized StreetEasy searches, being pet friendly is no longer the #1 amenity people are looking for. The new king? In-unit laundry. (Emily McDonald for StreetEasy)

Two men, dressed like NYPD officers, pulled off a $150,000 jewelry heist. They would have gotten away with it too if it wasn’t for those pesky cops. (Johnny Diaz for NY Times)

Inside of Peter Luger’s attempts to survive. (Gary He for Eater)

A few months ago we welcomed places like H&M, Urban Outfitters, and Gap into the rent resistance, now they’re being sued for unpaid rent. (Rich Bockmann and Sasha Jones for The Real Deal)

It’s been ten weeks since the governor closed all of the city’s playgrounds. When a playground couldn’t properly be closed, the entire park that contains it was closed, shutting out entire communities from green space. (Rachel Holliday Smith for The City)

It was a misunderstanding and not malice that led to a Black Lives Matter mural being painted over in Gowanus. Artists have begun refilling the painted walls with new protest art with the support of the developer who owns the property. (Kevin Duggan for Brooklyn Paper)

If you’re looking for restaurants to reopen in the city because you want to feel normal again, restaurants are going to feel weird for a while. (Rachel Sugar for Grub Street)

A running list of new restaurants that opened during the pandemic. (Luke Fortney for Eater)

Video: Rep. Eliot Engel, Jamaal Bowman and Chris Fink debated ahead of the June 23 Democratic primary for Engel’s congressional seat, with topics mostly focused on policing and the Black experience. (Emily Ngo for NY1)

Transit workers rallied in Staten Island on Wednesday, calling for raises for their service during the Covid-19 pandemic. (Mark Hallum for amNewYork Metro)

Photos: Inside LaGuardia Airport’s new Terminal B. (Devin Gannon for 6sqft)

A history of the NYPD using deadly force in NYC. (Errol Louis for NY1)

What the hell is going on with the NYPD that they aren’t wearing masks when interacting with the public? (Michael Wilson for NY Times)

Who answers phones and files paperwork at police precincts? Uniformed police officers. Multiple legal rulings have instructed the NYPD to replace those roles with less expensive civilians, but there are still 500 uniformed officers in clerical roles across the city. Replacing those officers with police administrative aides could save the city $30 million a year. This argument has found a new home in the defund the police movement. (Reuven Blau for The City)

Interview: Meet Shannon Jones, the co-founder of Bronxites for NYPD Accountability (aka Why Accountability); and Shellyne Rodriguez of Take Back the Bronx, the organizers of the Bronx march that was violently attacked by the NYPD and whom NYPD Commissioner Dermot Shea called “outside agitators.” (Jake Offenhartz for Gothamist)

A breakdown of the summonses issued and arrests made during NYC’s curfew. (Sydney Pereira and Gwynne Hogan for Gothamist)

State Attorney General Letitia James tapped former US Attorney General Loretta Lynch as a special advisor to help investigate the NYPD’s “interactions” with demonstrators during the George Floyd protests. (Robert Pozarycki for Gay City News)

Mayor de Blasio doesn’t want to remove NYPD officers from city schools. How long before the City Council has a veto-proof majority to make this happen, rendering the mayor’s opinion moot? (Alejandra O’Connell-Domenech for amNewYork Metro)

Nix is closing. The Michelin-starred restaurant won’t live to see phase two, with blame placed on the Covid-19 financial hardship. (Beth Landman for Eater)

The Coney Island gated community Sea Gate’s private Sea Gate Police Department is under fire for hassling nonwhite residents, roughly arresting a fisherman, discriminating against black members of the force, and more. (Clifford Michael for The City)

35+ black-owned restaurants in NYC by borough. (Devin Gannon for 6sqft)

Thanks to reader Elizabeth for today’s featured photo!

The Briefly for June 10, 2020 – The “An Actual Piece of Good News for NYC” Edition

Today’s daily NYC news digest: The future of NYC restaurants, the repeal of 50a, each borough gets a Black Lives Matter street, support for disbanding the NYPD, restaurant guide, and more

Today – Low: 72˚ High: 80˚
Rain overnight.

Mayor de Blasio announced that while the city may seem ready for a June 22 phase two reopening, we shouldn’t expect phase two to begin before July. (Alejandra O’Connell-Domenech for amNewYork Metro)

Sunday was a new low for the city in a good way. Only 1% of people tested for Covid-19 tested positive. Hospital admittances were at 52 on Sunday, far from the peak at 850. Transmission is still high, with hundreds of new cases every day. This good news isn’t a reason to stop being careful, it’s signs that what we are doing is working. (Kathleen Culliton for Patch)

City Council Speaker Corey Johnson is supporting the idea of disbanding the NYPD, looking to follow Minneapolis’s lead. Police Benevolent Association President Pat Lynch is against the idea, but let’s be clear about this, he doesn’t get to have a seat at the table or a voice in this discussion. (Kathleen Culliton for Patch)

The State Senate voted to repeal 50a. Governor Cuomo has vowed to sign the legislation. (Andrew Sacher for BrooklynVegan)

City courts are scheduled to reopen starting today since their closure in March, with precautions. Outside of emergencies, most matters will still be handled virtually. (Noah Singer for Brooklyn Eagle)

Here are the rules for outdoor dining, which is allowed starting with phase two, slated for June 22. (Bao Ong for Time Out)

That hasn’t stopped restaurants from putting out tables and chairs for customers, which are inevitably used for dining. The most blatant is the White Horse Tavern, which announced it was open for business on Instagram and has been encouraging customers to use the tables and chairs for dining. (Erika Adams for Eater)

The state has released its rules for indoor dining, as portions of the state are already looking at phase three. (Tanay Warerkar for Eater)

If tables aren’t placed more than six feet apart, restaurants may have to construct five-foot barriers, ie. cubicles, between the tables with a maximum of 10 people per table. (Kathleen Culliton for Patch)

A deeper look at six critical points for restaurants before reopening. (Ryan Sutton for Eater)

The Alibi Lounge, one of the city’s only Black-owned LGBTQ bars is in danger of closing. There is a GoFundMe, which is at $11,000 of its $50,000 goal. (Tanay Warerkar for Eater)

When will you be ready to go back to concerts, fly in an airplane, or attend a dinner party? The Times asked 511 epidemiologists and the short version is that it could be a year or more before things come close to returning to normal. (Margot Sanger-Katz, Claire Cain Miller and Quoctrung Bui for NY Times)

Today’s hero is former Mayor de Blasio Senior Adviser Alison Hirsh, who resigned after the mayor’s near-unconditional defense of the NYPD and will begin as an adviser to Schools Chancellor Richard Carranza in the Department of Education. (Sally Goldenberg for Politico)

Now that the City Council and state legislature have rendered his opinion unnecessary for public debate, the mayor is in support of banning chokeholds and possible NYPD funding cuts. Always ready to take a stand one second after it doesn’t matter. (Erin Durkin for Politico)

“But right now we’re asking him to speak up, we’re asking him to stand behind his campaign, we’re asking him to stand behind his mission of equity, we’re asking him to just support us. He isn’t listening to us.” Why did Mayor de Blasio’s staffers protest him on Monday? (Caroline Lewis for Gothamist)

Photos: Just because curfew is over does not mean the protests in support of Black Lives Matter have stopped. (Ben Yakas for Gothamist)

Portraits: Why we are protesting. (Hiram Alejandro Durán for The City)

Officer Vincent D’Andraia was charged with assault for shoving a woman protesting to the ground. He’ll be charged with misdemeanor assault for the incident. The victim of his assault hit her head on the ground and sustained a concussion and seizure after the attack. (John Del Signore and JB Nicholas for Gothamist)

Video: Wrapping up the NYPD union’s garbage rhetoric in one minute and nine seconds. (@bubbaprog)

One street in each of the five boroughs will be painted to send a message to New York City: Black Lives Matter, mirroring Washington DC’s tactics. The streets were not specified when the announcement was made. (Kathleen Culliton for Patch)

Recent reports have been raising concerns that the NYPD’s Intelligence Division, along with the FBI, have been questioning protesters arrested on curfew violations about their political sympathies and affiliations, along with their social media behavior. This would violate a 35-year-old consent decree meant to keep the police from investigation protected political speech. (Nick Pinto for Gothamist)

A guide to New York City’s sculpture parks. (Noah Sheidlower for Untapped New York)

Sometimes you need to turn your mind off and look at a list of banal things. Here are 11 celebrities spending their quarantine in NYC. (Michele Petry for StreetEasy)

So you’ve optimized your bedroom and workspace while suffering through the quarantine for Covid-19, it’s time to turn your attention to some creative entryway ideas. (Erika Riley for StreetEasy)

Brooklyn’s Community Board 1, representing Greenpoint and Williamsburg, bought itself an SUV with public funds last year, which wasn’t the most popular decision. It was scheduled to hold executive committee elections this month, but the board has introduced a measure to suspend this year’s elections. Nothing like an old-fashioned power grab in the middle of a crisis. (Claudia Irizarry Aponte for The City)

Say farewell to whatever the hell “Rhode Island-style” pizza was supposed to be. After a year in the East Village, Violet is closing its doors. (Erika Adams for Eater)

A Bronx Democrat City Councilmember who has publicly said may vote for Trump, has made openly homophobic statements, and opposes abortion. Meet Rubén Díaz Sr., who wants to represent the Bronx in Congress. (Shane Goldmacher for NY Times)

“The winner in the 15th Congressional District will face untold numbers of issues in office next year. The candidate we believe will most closely align himself with the values and goals we hold dear is Ritchie Torres. And we know only too well that the election of Ruben Diaz, Sr., would be a tragic step backwards for the cause of equality and inclusion in American society.
-Paul Schindler for Gay City News, Progressives Must Unite Around Ritchie Torres in the Bronx

Photos: Congrats to the winners of Coney Island USA’s “Maskies” face mask competition. (Rose Adams for Brooklyn Paper)

Apartment Porn: An $2 million Hamilton Heights apartment with a roof deck as big as the apartment. (Dana Schulz for 6sqft)

Harlem’s Schomburg Center released the Black Liberation Reading List, a list of 95 books that foster a greater understanding of Black history and culture. (Devin Gannon for 6sqft)

NYC restaurant reopening guide. (Dana Schulz for 6sqft)

Thank you to reader Laura for today’s featured photo!