The Briefly for July 23, 2020 – The “Abolition Park, Abolished” Edition

Today’s daily NYC news digest: Facial recognition ban in schools, de Blasio’s Open Streets plan “lacks ambition,” the NYPD’s misuse of plastic handcuffs, where to eat outdoors, and more

Today – Low: 76˚ High: 89˚
Possible light rain in the evening and overnight.

Congrats to Emily Gallagher for defeating 47-year incumbent Joe Lentol in the election for the state assemblymember in the 50th district. (Greenpointers)

With a return date for theater in New York City a complete unknown, Off-Broadway’s Playroom Theater in Times Square closed for good. (Matt Windman for amNewYork Metro)

Mayor de Blasio’s Open Streets plan “lacks vision and ambition,” just like the mayor himself. Instead of supplementing the city’s transportation and economy, Open Streets is a disconnected network with management challenges and does little to help. (Ben Yakas for Gothamist)

With a legislative session starting, expect the fight over nursing homes to be center stage for legislation. (Jesse McKinley and Luis Ferré-Sadurní for NY Times)

There will be no use of facial recognition in New York schools until 2022 at the earliest thanks to a new bill created in the state legislature. This was in response to a school district upstate introducing facial recognition into all of its schools. (Kyle Wiggers for VentureBeat)

In the early hours of Wednesday morning, the NYPD cleared out Abolition Park, the center of the City Hall occupation, in a move that was reminiscent of the NYPD’s clearing out fo Occupy Wall Street. (Jen Chung, Jake Offenhartz, and Gwynne Hogan for Gothamist)

Mayor de Blasio says it was coincidental that City Hall Park was cleared out shortly after President Trump threatened to send federal troops to New York City and the raid on Abolition Park has been planned for weeks. Let’s not forget that Mayor de Blasio implemented city-wide curfews to prevent Governor Cuomo from stepping in. (Rocco Vertuccio for NY1)

The city’s defense against federal agents? Lawsuits. (Matt Troutman for Patch)

15 public pools will start reopening in NYC, eight this Friday and seven on August 1. (Dana Schulz for 6sqft)

Queens District Attorney Melinda Katz says three Queens residents and a man from Virginia have been arrested in connection with a gun trafficking operation in which dozens of firearms were purchased legally in Virginia but then sold illegally in Queens. (Ron Lee for amNewyork Metro)

The NYPD won’t strip the officer caught on video punching a homeless man on the subway of any duties, but will be put on “modified duty.”All from the same NYPD commissioner that praised the NYPD for “incredible restraint” during the George Floyd protests. (Erin Durkin for Politico)

Photos: Inside Susan Sarandon’s $7.9 million Chelsea duplex. Is that a bathtub in the bedroom? Yes it is. (Devin Gannon for 6sqft)

The myMTA app will now include information about how crowded buses are. (Adam Light for Streetsblog)

The city’s Doughnut Plant locations are closed due to financial fallout from Covid-19. This isn’t a permanent closure, but temporary while owner Mark Israel secures funding to reopen (hopefully) in September. (Tanay Warerkar for Eater)

Interviews with four restaurant owners on why to-go windows feel safer than table service. (Hannah Albertine for The Infatuation)

NYPD officer Joseph Recca was arrested and charged with conspiracy, drug sales, and drug possession in connection with an Oxycodone ring and a fatal overdose of a Long Island man last September. (Sophia Chang for Gothamist)

Photo Preview: The Frieze Sculpture at Rockefeller Center will return on September 1 with works of art by Ghada Amer, Beatriz Cortez, Andy Goldsworthy, Lena Henke, Camille Henrot and Thaddeus Mosley. (Howard Halle for Time Out)

Exploring the idea of what would happen if there was a major blackout in the city. ConEd says there is an overall lowered use of energy due to all of the empty office buildings and businesses, but the NYC Prepper’s Group is getting ready anyway. Yup, of course there’s an NYC Prepper’s Group. (Virginia Breen for The City)

Despite recommendations to review their use of plastic cuffs, the NYPD continues to use them while making arrests, often leaving people in cuffs too tight for hours on end, threatening permanent damage. (Peter Senzamici for The City)

A look back at the city’s lost amusement parks. (Noah Sheidlower for Untapped New York)

Are you starved for some social distance? How about taking a canoe tour of the Gowanus Canal? (Dana Schulz for 6sqft)

Where to eat outside in Williamsburg. (Matt Tervooren for The Infatuation)

The city’s $3 million Graffiti-Free NYC program was cut from the city’s budget. (Elie Z. Perler for Bowery Boogie)

Modern Pinball on Third Avenue is closing due to pandemic-related financial hardship. (Elie Z. Perler for Bowery Boogie)

10 iconic streets and spots in NYC open for outdoor dining. (Devin Gannon for 6sqft)

Thanks to reader Lisa for today’s featured photo of the storm that postponed John Trivialta at Parklife and A League of Their Own until Sunday night.

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 May 4, 2020 – The “Reviewing the Best and Worst Frozen Pizzas” Edition

Today’s daily NYC news digest: The city tries open streets again, a brutal social distancing arrest caught on video, rent strikes take footing, 22 iconic dishes still available, and more

Today – Low: 44˚&nbspHigh: 65˚
Partly cloudy throughout the day.

You come across a cement fountain full of apples in a city park, what do you do? (EV Grieve)

The Times goes galaxy brain and asks “whether it will be even possible for riders to practice social distancing on a system whose core purpose is to carry throngs of people in confined spaces.” (Christina Goldbaum for NY Times)

Watch Steve “ESPO” Powers work on a mural on boarded-up windows in Soho. (Noah Shiedlower for Untapped New York)

A judge dismissed the New York State Nurses Association’s lawsuit against Montefiore Medical Center in The Bronx demanding more protective gear and COVID-19 testing for health care workers, ruling that arbitration under a collective bargaining agreement between the union and the hospital was necessary. (Maya Kaufman for Patch)

Restaurant critics tackle the best and worst of NYC’s frozen pizzas. (Robert Sietsema for Eater)

If you were playing the “I know where that was filmed!” game with the season premiere of Billions last night, you can check the answers with Billions’ NYC filming locations. (Michelle Young for Untapped New York)

A team of film and television set builder volunteers is building intubation boxes for local hospitals out of an IATSE union training workshop in Queens. The team of six has built 46 boxes so far, thanks to their time and a GoFuneMe account. (Ben Verge for Brooklyn Paper)

Evangelical Christian relief organization Samaritan’s Purse and their field hospital are leaving Central Park in two weeks as COVID-19 hospital admission is reaching “manageable levels.” (Sophia Chang for NY Times)

The field hospital is leaving, but that doesn’t mean you can let your guard down. The city’s next focus should be on preventing a second wave, which is why the city won’t be lifting restrictions. (Brendan Krisel for Patch)

Videos are emerging of an absolutely brutal pair of arrests by the NYPD. While three plainclothes officers are arresting someone for marijuana possession while supposedly enforcing social distancing on Saturday, a fourth officer who was not wearing a mask or gloves brutally beat someone for standing too close. (Mark Hallum for amNewYork Metro)

The Metropolitan Opera’s weekly streaming schedule has been released. (Adam Feldman for Time Out)

The connection between New York and Puerto Rico has always been special. This week, 16,000 pounds of fresh fruit and produce from Puerto Rican farmers arrived in the Bronx, which will be donated to community centers, senior citizens, and low-income families. (Ed García Conde for Welcome2TheBronx)

A touch of good news: Lenox Hill Hospital released its 1,000th COVID-19 patient on Thursday afternoon. (Emily Davenport for amNewYork Metro)

Governor Cuomo made it official: No one is going back to school this school year. (Kathleen Culliton for Patch)

Each month calls for Governor Cuomo to take more action to provide real rent relief, not just displacing payments, will grow louder and the resources for tenants looking to form rent strikes in their buildings become more readily available. (Jake Offenhartz for Gothamist)

A guide to rare liquors being sold by restaurants and distilleries. (Leah Rosenzweig for Eater)

The Brooklyn funeral home that was stacking bodies in an unrefrigerated truck had its license suspended by state health officials. (David Cruz for Gothamist)

The New York Public Library released “Missing Sounds of New York” on Soundcloud and Spotify, an album of collected sounds that you might be missing from your life lately, like stumbling on an unwelcomed performance on the subway, or a party you weren’t invited to happening outside your window, or a loud bar. (Bill Pearis for BrooklynVegan)

The Physical Plant, a LIC nonprofit, put together “Dance Shorts,” a compilation of 16 dance videos that run together to make an 80-minute series. The Physical Plant is having a Facebook Watch party tonight to celebrate the release. (Michael Dorgan for Jackson Heights Post)

For $10,000, you can have Death & Co set up their bar in your home for five hours of drinking. This is, of course, redeemable after its safe for anyone to come to your home. They’ll bring the necessary glasses, booze, bartenders, and everything for a four-course dinner. It’s not just an outrageous purchase, which is it is, but 20% of the sales will go towards the bar’s emergency staff relief fund. (Bao Ong for Time Out)

The NYPD was forced to break up another funeral for a rabbi in Borough Park, Brooklyn. (NBC News)

The Statue of Liberty-Ellis Island Foundation is offering personal help to look through their archives of over 65 million documents to research your family’s history if they came through Ellis Island. The documents are available online for free, but the help costs $30. (Shaye Weaver for Time Out)

This is why we can’t have nice things. Green-Wood Cemetery opened its gates for extended hours to help ease the stress of always being around the living, and a small percentage of people have violated the cemetery’s rules, which could cause the cemetery to close. (Ben Verde for amNewYork Metro)

The city’s first wave of open streets kicks off this week and it seems as stupid as possible. Of this month’s 40 miles of streets to open up, 7 miles of open streets were open this weekend. 4.5 miles are inside parks and 2.7 miles are adjacent to parks. What’s the point of adding open streets next to a park? (Devin Gannon for 6sqft)

The NYPD and the Department of Transportation are doing their best to walk back their comments about needing “a legion of cops” to man the barricades. That and running coverage from Streetsblog of the first weekend of open streets. (Streetsblog)

22 restaurants still offering iconic NYC dishes. (Carla Vianna for Eater)

Thank you to Katie for today’s featured photo! Hello Katie’s mom!