The Briefly for March 23, 2020 – The “NYC’s First COVID-19 Scumbag Politician Has Emerged” Edition

Today’s daily NYC news digest: It is no longer showtime folks, COVID-19 updates, DMV closed, Amazon is possibly coming to Red Hook, Harvey Weinstein has coronavirus, and more

Today – Low: 40˚ High: 45˚
Rain throughout the day.

New York is now considered a disaster area. Hooray? (Michelle Young for Untapped New York)

The Department of Environmental Conservation was planning to begin enforcement of the plastic bag ban on April 1, but it has been delayed until May 1. (Scott Enman for Brooklyn Daily Eagle)

This is the moment when local politicians are starting to use the coronavirus outbreak for their own purposes. City Councilmember Chaim Deutsch, representing Brighton Beach, Midwood, and Sheepshead Bay, is using this moment to call for an end to the plastic bag ban. Deutsch was the lone vote on the City Council against the 5 cent paper bag fee and wrote an op-ed for The Yeshiva World titled “Are Plastic Bags The New Bail Reform?” arguing against the plastic bag ban. This is a disgusting use of a genuine crisis to push a personal agenda. (Jessica Parks for Brooklyn Paper)

Harvey Weinstein, an expert in non-consent, has something inside of him that he did not ask for: COVID-19. (Rebecca Fishbein for Jezebel)

An updated resource guide for artists and freelancers. (Savannah James for Bushwick Daily)

How to support the city’s venues during the outbreak. (Amanda Hatfield for BrooklynVegan)

Photos: One of the most devastating weeks for NYC restaurants. (Gary He for Eater)

A list of relief funds for the city’s restaurant workers. (Luke Fortney for Eater)

A tiny sliver of good news: You’ve got until July 15 to file your taxes. (Brian Faler for Politico)

Marine Park Hardware Corporation: a destination for tomato sauce? (Jessica Parks for Brooklyn Paper)

Video: A bike ride through the neighborhoods surrounding Wall Street and City Hall. (ActionKid)

I was planning on growing out a “plague beard,” but it seems like we’re all headed in a shaggier direction, as salons and barbershops were ordered closed but the governor. (Kathleen Culliton for Patch)

Douglas Elliman executive chairman Howard Lorber warns that a tax on second homes for the rich could “be a disaster, not just for real estate, but for the economy in New York.” Buddy, maybe it’s time to rethink the use of the term disaster. (Georgia Kromrei for The Real Deal)

Love is dead. The city’s marriage bureau is closed until further notice. (Kathleen Culliton for Patch)

The DMV is closed until further notice. The concern over traveling with a REAL ID come October isn’t nearly as pressing right now, but unless that deadline gets extended, New York is in for a real mess come October. (Gus Saltonstall for Patch)

Gem Spa is closed, temporarily. (EV Grieve)

Calls are getting louder to put a construction moratorium in place during the outbreak. (Caroline Spivack for Curbed)

Thanks to Governor Cuomo, we’re all on PAUSE, which is absolutely not a shelter-in-place order, or else he’d be agreeing to something Mayor de Blasio proposed. (Christopher Robbins for Gothamist)

In order to allow the real estate industry to continue moving forward, the governor is authorizing notaries to sign documents virtually. Wait, how does something get virtually notarized? (E.B.Solomont for The Real Deal)

Amazon is bidding on four former Fairway Market stores, including a Brooklyn location which I assume is the former Red Hook store. The other three are outside the city. (Devin Gannon for 6sqft)

Revel is offering free memberships to healthcare workers and is expanding its service area to cover multiple additional medical centers. (Devin Gannon for 6sqft)

The governor requested that FEMA erect four 250-bed Federal hospitals at the Javits Center. (Devin Gannon for 6sqft)

The city’s hospitals are running dangerously low on personal protective gear. City health officials told hospitals to stop testing patients unless they needed hospitalization. Each test administered requires an entire set of gowns, gloves, and masks that can’t be reused. Without help, the city will run out of supplies in two weeks. (Gwynne Hogan for Gothamist)

How to donate supplies to hospitals. (Rachel Holliday Smith for The City)

It’s the worst time to give birth in New York City. All visitors, including partners, are banned from maternity wards in NewYork-Presbyterian hospitals. (Rebecca Fishbein for Jezebel)

Andrew Yang announced his foundation Humanity Forward was partnering with One Fair Wage for a Universal Basic Income pilot program to give $1,000 to 1,000 families in the Bronx and more for families across the country hit with job losses during the COVID-19 outbreak. (Jason Cohen for Bronx Times)

10 great outdoor sculptures in NYC you can visit without getting too close to other people. (Howard Halle for Time Out)

Broadway producers reached an “emergency relief agreement” agreement to pay hundreds of actors, musicians, stagehands, and others for the first few weeks of the industry shut down, and to cover their health insurance for at least a month. (Michael Paulson for NY Times)

Bike shops are now considered essential businesses and will stay open across the city. (Gersh Kuntsman for Streetsblog)

The city will add emergency protected bike lanes on Second Ave in Manhattan and on Smith Street in Brooklyn by the end of next week in an effort to increase bike safety. (Gersh Kuntzman for Streetsblog)

Saying that “a storm is coming” is an absolutely terrifying thing for the jail’s chief physician to say. (Jan Ransom and Alan Feuer for NY Times)

Here’s how students and teachers are prepping for their first day of remote learning. (Shumita Basu for Gothamist)

For the first time in a long time, it’s no longer showtime. (Jake Bittle for Gothamist)

A look at the role of doormen during an epidemic. (Guy Trebay for NY Times)

RIP Eli Miller, one of the last seltzer men of NYC. (Daniel E. Slotnik for NY Times)

Go watch some birds. Not birdwatching, but just watch some birds. Without crowds of people to sit and watch, the Times makes the case to relax and imagine what all those geese are gossiping about. (James Gorman and Natalie Keyssar for NY Times)

Don’t flush disinfectant wipes or toilet paper down the toilet. DO NOT. (Michael Levenson for NY Times)

New York state passed a new sick-leave bill for employees who are subject to a mandatory quarantine or isolation due to COVID-19. (The Brooklyn Reader)

Headlines: Help, I Think I’m In Love With Andrew Cuomo??? and My Best Recollection of the Call I Just Had With Andrew Cuomo. (Rebecca Fishbein for Jezebel)

Thank you to reader Robert for today’s featured photo from the Imani Garden in Crown Heights!

The Briefly for March 17, 2020 – The “Order A Cocktail With Your Take Out” Edition

Today’s daily NYC news digest: The mayor was forced into making the decision to close the schools, Barclays Center workers will be paid during the NBA shut down, and more

Today – Low: 40˚ High: 54˚
Light rain in the morning.

Ample Hills Creamery filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, citing cost overruns on its Red Hook factory. Ample Hills has taken $12 million in investments since 2015. (Nikita Richardson for Grub Street)

A woman who was handcuffed by the NYPD during active labor before her son’s birth, as well immediately following delivery, has filed a civil rights lawsuit against the city, saying the incident made her feel “less than human.” (Yasmeen Khan for Gothamist)

An alternate subway map from 1939, which included a plan for the D train to go to Staten Island and the N train going to LaGuardia. (Matt Coneybeare for Viewing NYC)


Here is a crowdsourced document with resources for everyone ranging from medical and mental health resources, virtual tours, places to donate, etc. (Thanks to Ariana for sending this in)

Caveat, the nerdy and quirky venue on Clinton St in Manhattan, will be streaming its programming this week, including Let’s Play with Comedians with Mark Vigeant tonight (Tuesday) at 7pm. (Caveat)

Tonight Puccini’s “La Bohème” will be streaming for free from the Met Opera tonight. You can catch Bizet’s Carmen until 3:30pm. (Met Opera)

Veselka in the East Village is offering buy one get one for Tuesday. Give them a call if you’re interested. (@veselkanyc)

The city is offering grab and go lunches for students and to aid in remote learning the city is providing as many laptops as possible to households with no internet connectivity. (Sophia Chang for Gothamist)

What you need to know about NYC’s school closures. (Devin Gannon for 6sqft)

Wu-Tang has some advice about how to Protect Ya Neck Against Coronavirus. (Andrew Sacher for BrooklynVegan)

Most co-working facilities are closed. WeWork remains open. But why? (Eddie Small for The Real Deal)

John Oliver is on hiatus, but not without putting the entirety of his last show for HBO on YouTube. (Last Week Tonight)

Mayor de Blasio has done some stupid things in his time as mayor, but this might take the cake. Despite everything going on, this dope was driven 12 miles to the YMCA in Park Slope to get one last workout session in, despite telling the city to assume that we have already been exposed to the virus. (Gloria Pazmino for NY1)

The response to the pandemic shows us all what is possible but just doesn’t happen. Yes, bars and restaurants are shut down, but now you can order a cocktail to go with your meal. Anything that’s sold behind the bar can also be ordered. This is a good moment to tell you to order directly from the restaurant. Yes, Seamless is easier, but we are in a moment where every small business in your neighborhood needs every dime possible to stay afloat. (Bill Pearis for BrooklynVegan)

The impact of COVID-19 on the city’s economy is likely to be worse than 9/11 with over half a million people losing jobs in the tourism and hospitality sectors alone. (Patrick McGreen for NY Times)

The city’s nightlife industry accounts for $35 billion in revenue, with workers earning $13 billion. There is no timeline for reopening. (Jake Offenhartz for Gothamist)

Mayor de Blasio’s crackdown on electric bikes is on hold. Now would be an excellent time to make them legal instead of illegal, but accepted. (Jake Offenhartz for Gothamist)

Workers at the Barclay Center will be paid lost wages during the NBA shutdown. (Ben Verde for Brooklyn Vegan)

Photos: The Gotham Bar and Grill closed for good on Saturday Night, and they celebrated with a party full of a lack of irresponsible social distancing and a disregard for the long-term consequences for it. (Gary He for Eater)

You’re home, you have your favorite restaurants or bars on the mind. If you’re looking for a way to show your support, get a gift certificate. (Bao Ong for Time Out)

As we learn, the mayor didn’t come to the decision to close schools and bars and gyms himself, he didn’t trust the advice of the people closest to him either, he was forced into the decisions by his staff and a rebellious teacher’s union. (Jeffery C. Mays and Joseph Goldstein for NY Times)

A Department of Correction staffer who tested positive for COVID-19 died on Sunday evening, one of seven deaths of coronavirus patients reported in New York state so far. They supposedly had limited contact with people in custody. (Christopher Robbins for Gothamist)

Photos: Some photos of Lower Manhattan looking very empty. (Gabe Herman for amNewYork Metro)

Photos: This is what Carroll Gardens looks like during the pandemic. Hopefully showing people what these areas look like without people in them reduces anyone’s need to go to these places. (Katia Kelly for Pardon Me For Asking)

Are cancelations newsworthy anymore? Reading through an endless list of things closing or being postponed shows just how much is happening in the city on a regular basis and none of it is happening this year. The Met Gala has been postponed indefinitely. (Vanessa Friedman and Jessica Testa for NY Times)

Get your grocery shopping done and don’t wait until the store’s last listed hours on their Google Maps listing. Trader Joe’s, Whole Foods, Stop&Shop, and Aldi are reducing hours. As one Trader Joe’s employee put it, it’s like the day before Superstorm Sandy every day for the last three weeks. (Sydney Pereira for Gothamist)

Despite everything else being up in the air, there have not been any service changes for the MTA. (Mark Hallum for amNewYork Metro)

A look at the evolving and regularly infinite job of a group station manager for the MTA in the time of a pandemic. (Andy Newman and Earl Wilson)

The Brooklyn Arts Council organized a digital booklet of resources on healthcare, newly available funding, organizing tips, and other critical information for artists. (The Brooklyn Reader)

New York may soon need 18,000 ventilators, right now it’s 15,783 short. The federal government has a stockpile of ventilators, but President Trump’s literally response to a call for them was “try getting it yourselves.” Encouraging. (Brian M. Rosenthal and Joseph Goldstein for NY Times)

A statewide suspension of evictions is in place indefinitely, as all non-essential functions of the courts have been postponed until further notice. (Caroline Spivack for Curbed)

Judges, ICE prosecutors, and immigration lawyers are all asking for the same thing. Shut down the immigration courts. (Beth Fertig for Gothamist)

18 picks for restaurants offering new takeout and delivery options. (Hannah Albertine for The Infatuation)

Thanks to reader Francesca for today’s featured photo!

The Briefly for March 16, 2020 – The “A City Without Restaurants and Bars” Edition

Today’s daily NYC news digest: The mayor shuts down schools, bars, restaurants, and venues, bike riding is up, the story of Typhoid Mary, a walk through Central Park, and more

Today – Low: 42˚ High: 47˚
Partly cloudy throughout the day.

Everything is being canceled and it sucks, but it’s also the right thing to do. (Ben Yakas for Gothamist)

“States cannot build more hospitals, acquire ventilators or modify facilities quickly enough. At this point, our best hope is to utilize the Army Corps of Engineers to leverage its expertise, equipment and people power to retrofit and equip existing facilities — like military bases or college dormitories — to serve as temporary medical centers. Then we can designate existing hospital beds for the acutely ill.” -Governor Cuomo, making the case for the Army to step-in during this national natural disaster. (Governor Andrew Cuomo for NY Times)

The city will shut down bars and restaurants on Tuesday morning. Bars, restaurants, venues, and nightclubs will close completely for an undetermined amount of time. Think about where you would want to go to eat or drink and ask if they have gift certificates. Give them money now without physically going to those locations. (Ryan Sutton for Eater)

Seamless has deferred commissions from independent restaurants, but is that enough to actually help restaurants? (Erin Hudson for The Real Deal)

The city’s schools are closed until April 20. That doesn’t mean there’s no school, as remote learning is set to start on March 23. (Eliza Shapiro for NY Times)

Weed dealers are cleaning up now that everyone is staying home and freaking out. (Matthew Schneier for The Cut)

The Food Bank for NYC has a GoFundMe page for people who want to help, but don’t knowhow. (Food Bank of NYC)

How to talk to kids about COVID-19, from Dr. Rebecca Berry, PhD, an NYU professor who is an expert in child and adolescent psychiatry. (Isabelle Bousquette for New York Family)

Videos: Here’s how the MTA is cleaning the subways. (Michelle Young for Untapped New York)

Jing Fong in Chinatown, the city’s largest Chinese food restaurant, is temporarily closed. With the CDC recommending limiting nationwide gatherings at 50 people, there isn’t much place for a restaurant that seats 800. (Georgia Kromrei for The Real Deal)

Record Store Day has been postponed from April 18 to June 20. Let’s all hope it doesn’t need another postponement. No one wants to have to wait that long for their Britney Spears – Oops!…I Did It Again (Remixes and B-Sides) vinyl (Bill Pearis for BrooklynVegan)

“For the most part when I talk to my colleagues they realize that, yeah, this has the potential to be really serious on a systems level. All in all though, I’d say there’s a calm acceptance about how crazy it’s going to be.” An interview with an ER doc. (Jake Offenhartz for Gothamist)

Last week late-night shows had plans to continue without audiences, but as of this week, nearly all of them are off the air. The exceptions are the shows filmed in Los Angeles. (Ben Yakas for Gothamist)

Utilities in New York have suspended power, heat, or water shut-offs through the end of April. (Samantha Maldonado and Marie J. French for Politico)

Airbnb is allowing coronavirus-related cancellations without penalty. (Sophia Chang for Gothamist)

Welcome to the Park Slope Food Coop: a COVID-19 “petri dish.” (Matt Troutman for Patch)

So the event you had tickets to was canceled, what now? (Shaye Weaver for Time Out)

The city’s libraries are closed to you in person, but there is plenty to be done online. (Jennifer Schuessler for NY Times)

The headline is “how NYC restaurant workers are getting help so far,” but I’m not naive enough to say that the entirety of the city’s 325,000 workers is actually getting help. (Ryan Sutton for Eater)

Catholics have had their obligations to attend mass waived by Bishop Nicholas DiMarzio. (Robert Pozaryski for amNewYork Metro)

“This is a moment we all knew would come. That doesn’t make it any easier.” -Bill de Blasio on the first New Yorker to die due to COVID-19, an 82-year-old woman from Brooklyn. (Mary Frost for Brooklyn Eagle)

State Assemblymembers Charles Barron, who represents East New York, and Helene Weinstein, who represents Canarsie and Flatbush, were diagnosed with coronavirus Saturday. (Adam Nichols for Patch)

The Queens borough presidential election has been postponed from March 24, with a rescheduled date to be announced. (Christian Murray for LIC Post)


These YouTube walks through the city, like this one through Central Park, might be a good way to seem like you’re going outside without actually having to go outside. (ActionKid)

ICE has expanded its inhumane arrest patterns as part of Operation Noble Guardian and is now making arrests at JFK airport. (Maxx Katz for Gothamist)

The Metropolitan Opera is dark but they’ll be offering free HD streams every night for a week starting on Monday night. (Jasmine Ting for Paper)

Meet Jacqueline VanDusen, who wants to bike every street in Brooklyn. (Kevin Duggan for Brooklyn Paper)

This might have been a list of restaurants with openings in the spring. Now it’s a list of restaurants that might open sometime soon. (Eater)

Typhoid Mary, New Yorker. If you don’t know her story, this seems like the perfect time to read up on how isolation can prevent the spread of disease. (Noah Sheidlower for Untapped New York)

Want a distraction from COVID-19? How about bed bugs? What do you know about them? Do you know things? Let’s find out. (StreetEasy)

Black city residents are jailed on Rikers Island for alleged state parole violations 12 times more than whites, while Latinx people are accused of parole violations nearly four times more. Just some of the gems in a new report issued by Columbia Univerity’s Justice Lab on the New York state parole system. (JB Nicholas for Gothamist)

A look at New York’s former quarantine islands and hospitals. (Michelle Young for Untapped New York)

How screwed up is our healthcare system? If you need further evidence beyond “look around,” New York hospitals sued their patients 31,000 in the last four years. (Caroline Lewis for Gothamist)

The first signs of real spring, migrating birds, are here. (D. Bruce Yolton for Urban Hawks)

Do starter homes exist in NYC? (Localize.City)

A look at Edgar Allan Poe’s farmhouse on the Upper West Side. (Mike Mishkin for I Love the Upper West Side)

Subway ridership is down 20%, but CitiBike riding is up 70%. (Alexandra Alexa for 6sqft)

RIP Genesis Breyer P-Orridge, avant-garde music legend and industrial pioneer. (Andrew Sacher for BrooklynVegan)