The Briefly for July 10, 2020 – The “Everyone Can Hear Your Phone Conversation” Edition

Today’s daily NYC news digest: The city paints another Black Lives Matter mural, the zoos are reopening, Manhattanhenge, all public events are canceled until September 30, and more

Today – Low: 73˚ High: 78˚
Heavy rain and humid throughout the day.
This weekend – Low: 74˚ High: 86˚

This weekend is your last chance to see Manhattanhenge this year. (Shaye Weaver for Time Out)

Video: Looking to turn your apartment into an indoor garden oasis? Here are some tips and tricks to turn your black thumb green. (Matt Coneybeare for Viewing NYC)

Predictably, Mayor de Blasio doesn’t like Attorney General James’ plan to move control of the NYPD under a commission. This might be the biggest endorsement to move forward with this plan. (Erin Durkin for Politico)

If you event needs a city-issued permit between now and September 30, it’s canceled. All events in the city are canceled, with exceptions for some street fairs, events in parks, and events smaller than one block. (Alejandra O’Connell-Domenech for amNewYork Metro)

It used to be that NYC’s public spaces were where you could go to take a private phone call. The city’s indifference towards any individual person was an asset if you were in a restaurant or at work and needed to have a conversation, Now? Our public space has become more valuable than ever and in the comparative spareness of the streets, you can’t find the same level of anonymity. Now, when you’re on the phone while waiting outside a Trader Joe’s, not only can everyone hear you, they’ll make signs to inform you that your conversations aren’t private. (Judith Newman for NY Times)

Centre Street in Lower Manhattan has been co-named Black Lives Matter Boulevard. (Noah Sheidlower for Untapped New York)

The city painted a Black Lives Matter mural in front of Trump Tower, which is a nice gesture, but I worry that the city’s government has lost sight of their goals in pursuit of public art projects. (Michael Gold and Daniel E. Slotnik for NY Times)

Many New York City Council members of color say that in their communities people aren’t screaming for police defunding or abolition. One wonders, did they just close their windows each time a #BlackLivesMatter protest marched by their house? It is true that this year’s #BlackLivesMatter protests have engaged far more white people than they did when Eric Garner was killed, but in response to those protests the Council voted through a budget that added 1,300 new police officers. What Black or Latino Council member can honestly say their communities were screaming “Build new jails!“ when they approved billions to do just that in 2019? (None.)
-Andrew J. Padilla, Member of Community Board 11, for Gotham Gazette. Deconstructing the #DefundNYPD Clash with City Council Members of Color

Remember when the NYPD said that the spike in shootings was caused by the city’s bail reforms? Well, the data is out and the NYPD lied, again. Only one person released was re-arrested for a shooting. (Sydney Pereira for Gothamist)

The MTA is getting back to work in their offices, check out their guide to getting back to work. (Jose Martinez for The City)

Here’s what to expect when the Museum of the City of New York reopens later this month. (Ben Yakas for Gothamist)

Congrats to the winners of the Time Out Time In Awards. (Will Gleason for Time Out)

Restaurant Daniel, a Michelin-starred restaurant is jumping into outdoor dining, making it one of two starred restaurants still operating. (Bao Ong for Time Out)

Photos: It’s been five years since the reopening of the High Bridge, which absolutely gorgeous, connects Manhattan to the Bronx, and is the city’s oldest surviving bridge. (Duane Bailey-Castro for Untapped New York)

In admiration of the city’s restaurants that have gotten creative with their outdoor dining setups. (Pete Wells and Karsten Moran for NY Times)

Photos: Michael Che has been hosting regular, outdoor, socially-distanced, pop-up comedy shows in Long Island City outside the Plaxall Gallery, working with The Creek and the Cave. The next show is July 15. (Michael Dorgan for Queens Post)

Lots of questions about masks, answered. (Jen Carlson for Gothamist)

No matter what the mayor says publicly, the Department of Education says it is too early for a plan to be in place for opening schools in the fall. (Sophia Chang for Gothamist)

Take a look at the six finalists announced for the Brooklyn Bridge walkway redesign competition. (Kevin Duggan for Brooklyn Paper)

The Bronx Zoo, Central Park Zoo, Prospect Park Zoo, Queens Zoo, and the New York Aquarium will reopen to members on July 20 and will open to the public on July 24. (Julia Jacobs for NY Times)

Paulie Gee’s is offering takeout pies for the first time since 2014. (Collier Sutter for Time Out)

The Citi logo has been removed from One Court Square. (John Bolger for LIC Post)

After being temporarily released from prison, Michael Cohen is back behind bars and in custody to serve the rest of his sentence. (Maggie Haberman, William K. Rashbaum and Nicole Hong for NY Times)

No matter what safety precautions they’re taking, these rooftop pool parties in Long Island City don’t look safe. (Ben Yakas for Gothamist)

Yes, some beaches are open, but some remain closed because the city has a shortage of lifeguards. (Rose Adams for amNewYork Metro)

How to always get your security deposit back. (Localize.City)

The Briefly for July 7, 2020 – The “Long Island City is Empty” Edition

Today’s daily NYC news digest: Looking at phase three and phase four, Mayor de Blasio “doubles down” on crime for the second time this year, the NYPD protects a statue 24/7, and more

Today – Low: 74˚ High: 81˚
Humid and partly cloudy throughout the day.

There’s mounting scientific evidence that Covid-19 can hang in stagnant air on tiny droplets for hours. Wear your masks and keep your distance while indoors, because they are just as important as washing your hands. (Apoorva Mandavilli for NY Times)

Everything you need to know about phase three of NYC’s reopening. (Jen Carlson for Gothamist)

There are no current plans to allow the city’s music venues or movie theaters to open and indoor dining remains on hold. (Bill Pearis for BrooklynVegan)

Let’s look ahead to what we need to know about phase four. (Shaye Weaver for Time Out)

This week the absentee ballots form the June 23 election will begin to be counted. Statistically speaking, if you voted, you voted absentee. Here are why your absentee ballots may be invalid. (Brigid Bergin for Gothamist)

It’s time for the latest battle in the city’s ongoing war against mosquitos. The city will begin spraying non-residential wetlands on Wednesday morning. (Emily Davenport for amNewYork Metro)

What else is the city losing in the annual budget? On top of the Fair Fares program, an OT cut in the Department of Corrections by $66 million, and the Department of Social Services losing 700 employees? The deer sterilization project, Sunday litter collection, and two-hour parking meters will become more expensive, to start. (Bobby Cuza for NY1)

Nearly 60% of condo units built in Long Island City, Queens, since 2018 remain unsold. Seems like no one wants to pay $1.5 million for an apartment under one thousand square feet. (The Real Deal)

“In these uncertain times” isn’t just a phrase you’re extremely tired of hearing in commercials. It’s easier than ever yo find a short-term rental in NYC. (Valeria Ricciulli for Curbed)

The message is simple: Rename the Barclays Center after Jackie Robinson. (Rose Adams for Brooklyn Paper)

The High Line is reopening next week, but you’ll need a (free) reservation to gain access. Reservations start at 10 am on July 9. (Devin Gannon for 6sqft)

Plans: Check out the long-awaited revamp of Woodside’s Sohncke Square. (Christian Murray for Sunnyside Post)

I want to feel safe, and to know that others do, too. I want their feelings to be validated by real safety. The harsh reality is that many systems and institutions in our society have failed. Historically marginalized communities are waiting—we stand together, on the streets and in our homes, watching this fire burn night after night.
– Aleina D. for Gothamist, “Burn The Car, We’ll Find A New Way There”: Thoughts On Protests From NYC Teens

A press conference with Public Advocate Jumaane Williams, Congressional candidate Jamaal Bowman, Iesha Sekou from Street Corner Resources, and anti-violence groups was interrupted by protesters. Rather than escalate the situation, the protesters were invited to speak alongside the organizers. Everyone was calling for a solution to end the city’s recent gun violence. (Alejandra O’Connell-Domenech for amNewYork Metro)

July 4th weekend was a violent one in the city, with 64 people shot. (Anna Quinn for Patch)

The NYPD blamed bail reform for the rise in violence, which is a tired refrain from the NYPD, anecdotal at best, and a claim that can be verified. (Todd Maisel for amNewYork Metro)

“This is something we have to double down on to address.” Mayor de Blasio’s solution for the spike in violence in the city is to beef up neighborhood policing and work with clergy, local groups, and Cure Violence groups. “Doubling down” is a favorite phrase of the mayor’s. He “doubled down” on social distancing in April, “doubled down” on fighting crime in February, “doubled down” on improving schools for Black and Hispanic children in June of 2019, “doubled down” on efforts to help the homeless in April of 2019, and “doubled down” on Vision Zero in February of 2019. How many of those are still issues? (Sydney Pereira for Gothamist)

The NYPD has deployed 2 officers for 24 hours a day and seven days a week to protect the Christopher Columbus statue in Astoria. Hard to believe some people think the NYPD’s budget is too big. (Adam Light for Streetsblog)

The NYPD hired multiple companies to attempt to fix its relationship with Black and Latino New Yorkers. The companies they hired had one thing in common: They were all white-owned. (Greg B. Smith for The City)

Photos: Lower Manhattan’s new colorful Black Lives Matter mural. (Michelle Young for Untapped New York)

In February, the Mets rejected a $2.6 billion sale price. Now the Wilpons have opened up to bids and “bid indications appear weak” and under $2 billion. (Joe Pantorno for amNewYork Metro)

The Yankees and Mets 2020 schedule has been released. (Joe Pantorno for amNewYork Metro)

A failed Ferris wheel, a minor league baseball stadium with a team that’s scheduled to be dropped, a $350 million mall with more than half the stores closed, a quarter-billion-dollar mixed-use development with no timeline for completion. The billion-dollar Staten Island shoreline is sputtering. (Clifford Michel for The City)

A fast-growing fire in East Flatbush killed a boy and his grandfather early Monday morning. Five firefighters were injured in the rescue, none of the injuries serious. The rescue was complicated because the house was a Collyer’s Mansion. (Todd Maisel for Brooklyn Paper)

A Collyer’s Mansion is a home so full of stuff that it presents a danger to firefighters who enter in an emergency and named for a pair of brothers infamous for their compulsive hoarding and paranoia. Their home was a series of traps and boxes and when it was cleaned out after the brothers’ death, there were over 120 tons of possessions and trash removed. (Harlem World Magazine)

NYC is the fifth-worst city in America for first-time home buyers, according to a new study from WalletHub. They used 26 metrics, including affordability, cost of living, tax rates, and more. (Nikki Gaskins for Patch)

A new three-acre portion of Brooklyn Bridge Park opened next to Pier 2. Once the plaza under the Brooklyn Bridge opens, Brooklyn Bridge Park will be considered “complete.” Don’t get too excited, construction doesn’t start until December 2021. (Kevin Duggan for Brooklyn Paper)

Amy Cooper, the asshole in Central Park who called the police on a Black bird watcher, will be facing misdemeanor charges for filing a false police report. (Jan Ransom for NY Times)

It wasn’t readmitting patients into nursing homes, but employees and visitors caused the horrible spread of Covid-19 into the state’s nursing homes according to a new study from the state, Mount Sinai Hospital, and Northwell Health. Governor Cuomo has been catching shit for his decisions around nursing homes and being given the blame for deaths, but a combination of this study and New York’s low death per capita in nursing homes compared to other states would suggest the anger is misplaced. (Elizabeth Kim for Gothamist)

The former Jeffrey Epstein companion Ghislaine Maxwell was transferred to the Metropolitan Detention Center in Brooklyn from New Hampshire. (Ben Yakas for Gothamist)

That didn’t take long. Less than a month after the sale of their company, the founders of Ample Hills are out. (Kevin Duggan for Brooklyn Paper)

Three art galleries in the city are opening this week with phase three. Here’s a look at the exhibits, which you’ll need to reserve time in advance, wear a mask, and socially distance from everyone else present. (Howard Halle for Time Out)

Farewell to China Chalet in Chinatown, an LGBTQ-friendly business, lunch spot for the working crowd, an underground party spot for NYU kids, and well-known celebrity hang out. (Robert Sietsema for Eater)

Farewell to Beverly’s on Essex. After seven years, the strains of the Covid-19 pandemic have forced the bar’s closure. (Mili Godio for Bedford + Bowery)

Farewell to Cranberry’s in Brooklyn Heights, which had been in the neighborhood for 42 years. For each restaurant or bar or coffee shop that you read about closing, there are countless others that don’t get a writeup from a local news site. (Tanay Warerkar for Eater)

15 breweries for drinking locally. (Jenny Hart and Liz Provencher for Thrillist)

Thanks to reader Jenny 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!