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!

The Briefly for June 18, 2020 – The “One Billion Dollars in Cuts” Edition

Today’s daily NYC news digest: The NYPD’s new disciplinary transparency, phase two can start on Monday, a guide to the June 23 primary, where to find red velvet cake, and more

Today – Low: 66˚ High: 73˚
Mostly cloudy throughout the day.

Governor Cuomo says the city can start phase 2 of reopening on Monday. (Jen Carlson for Gothamist)

This is the last year that Juneteenth will not be a New York State holiday. State employees will get Juneteenth as a holiday via executive order and Governor Cuomo said he’ll introduce legislation to recognize Juneteenth as a state holiday for 2021. (Devin Gannon for 6sqft)

The City’s guide to the June 23 primaries. (Christine Chung for The City)

Video: The Democratic primary debate between Suraj Patel, Lauren Ashcraft, Peter Harrison, and Rep. Carolyn Maloney to represent portions of Manhattan, Brooklyn, and Queens. (Emily Ngo, primary moderated by Errol Lewis for NY1)

Planned Parenthood hasn’t made an endorsement in the 15th Congressional District Democratic primary, but they have come out in opposition of City Councilmember Rubén Díaz Sr. in a new set of ads, highlighting his anti-abortion and homophobic comments from his past. (Emily Ngo for NY1)

Senator Chuck Schumer endorsed Rep. Eliot Engel as the Democratic establishment has lined up behind Engle, who recently said “If I didn’t have a primary, I wouldn’t care” about the George Floyd protests around the city. (Marianne LeVine for Politico)

Cutting overtime, not replacing 2,300 retiring cops, replacing school cops with safety agents, and more. A look at the City Council’s proposed $1 billion in cuts to the NYPD’s budget. (Sally Goldenberg and Joe Anuta for Politico)

“As I’m standing there with my riot helmet and being called a ‘coon,’ people have no idea that I identify with them. I understand them. I’m here for them. I’ve been trying to be here as a change agent.” -Black NYPD officers sound off on how they feel about the George Floyd Protesters. (Ashley Southall and Edgar Sandoval for NY Times)

Where was the good cop to help me?” -Dounya Zayer, the woman shoved to the street by a cop, who suffers from a concussion, seizures, nausea, insomnia, and migraines as a result. Through the testimony during NY Attorney General’s first day of hearing about the NYPD’s actions during George Floyd protests, James attempted to make the case that there are “good cops” in the NYPD, despite none of them stepping up to actually protect and serve the people of the city. (Kathleen Culliton for Patch)

The NYPD’s disciplinary records will soon be available in an online database, according to Mayor de Blasio. The NYPD will also be required to publish all internal trial decisions and information for all pending cases. There is no deadline for these measures and no known punishment if they aren’t followed. (Ben Verde for Brooklyn Paper)

What the hell is the NYPD doing by barricading off sections of Carl Schulz Park near the NYC Ferry docks? They are “protecting” Gracie Mansion from “protesters,” who have rarely ever used the park as a place to protest. The NYPD is selectively allowing people through, which you should read as “letting white people through.” While park space is at a premium, this is despicable. (Steven Yago for Streetsblog)

There are several additional blocks in the city that are blocked off that aren’t on the list of Open Streets. They are streets that the NYPD has illegally blocked off streets outside their precincts. The NYPD nor Mayor de Blasio have anything to say about this. (Jake Offenhartz for Gothamist)

A Brooklyn man plans to sue the NYPD after an officer tackled him during a barbecue on Memorial Day in Crown Heights, causing burns from hot coals and scrapes, according to a notice of claim filed by his lawyer. (Sydney Pereira for Gothamist)

A class-action lawsuit was filed against the City of New York, NYPD Commissioner Dermot Shea, and a series of individual police officers for allegedly violating a bail reform law by allegedly wrongfully detaining New Yorkers following a DUI. (Noah Singer for Brooklyn Eagle)

Without tourists or office workers, Times Square is a ghost town.

Thousands of New Yorkers sleeping in shelters face a disproportionately high mortality rate during the pandemic, according to a Coalition for the Homeless report. (Valeria Ricciulli for Curbed)

The Bowery Residents’ Committee’s work to get homeless New Yorkers on the subways into shelters has been questionable at best. A recent report from the MTA Inspector General notes they are “very expensive” while having “minimal effectiveness.” Despite the report, they are in line for a new $68.5 million contract with the MTA. (Jose Martinex for The City)

City Councilmember Brad Lander and Mayor de Blasio are worried that no one will continue their fight to rezone Gowanus if the work isn’t done before they both leave office. Maybe that’s a sign that it isn’t a good idea? (Eddie Small for The Real Deal)

Will the late summer and fall resemble a bustling springtime market when it comes to real estate in the city? The plan to reopen the city’s real-estate industry. (Caroline Spivack for Curbed)

The MTA has deemed its disinfecting UV light pilot program a success and is expanding it. Last month, a doctor working at Columbia University demonstrated the first-ever UV light that killed the virus on the subway. (Nicholas Loud for Untapped New York)

The mayor has tested negative for Covid-19. (Kathleen Culliton for Patch)

Lincoln Center is honoring Pride by lighting its fountains and columns with a rainbow light installation. (Mike Mishkin for I Love the Upper West Side)

Prestigious all-girls schools, including Spence, Brearley, and Chapin, have been rocked by allegations of racism made by generations of black graduates on Instagram. (Eliza Shapiro for NY Times)

Ippudo will allow takeout for the first time in 12 years. (Erika Adams for Eater)

Photos: “A Love Letter to New York,” an art installation that has placed elaborate floral arrangements across the city. (Howard Halle for Time Out)

Where to find red velvet cake ahead of Juneteenth. (Kristen Adaway For Thrillist)

Thanks to reader Lisa for today’s featured photo!

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!