The Briefly for May 8, 2020 – The “Do We Really Need A Polar Vortex Right Now?” Weekend Edition

Today’s daily NYC news digest: The NYPD continues to be the NYPD while enforcing social distancing, the state’s eviction moratorium continues through August, 35 places for dessert, & more

Today – Low: 36˚ High: 56˚
Rain starting in the afternoon.
This weekend – Low: 40˚ High: 61˚

What’s that purple light? The Upper West Side has a minor mystery on its hands. (Mike Mishkin for I Love the Upper West Side)

The eventual design of the new 15 Penn Plaza has changed a few times over the years, and it’s changed again, to a much more boring design. (Vanessa Londono for New York YIMBY)

Slowly, the eyesores in Soho that were boarding up stores are becoming art installations. The Soho Bloomingdales’s boarded up windows is now a canvas for Marco Santini. On one hand, this is better than boarded up windows, on the other hand, will a concentration of street art in Soho begin to become an attraction for people when no one should be gathering together? (Howard Halle for Time Out)

Here are two words you absolutely don’t want to hear in the middle of May: Polar Vortex. (Kathleen Culliton for Patch)

Apartment Porn: 10 jaw-dropping apartments you can tour from your couch. (Shaye Weaver for Time Out)

Los Muralistas de El Puente is filling the walls of a Domino Park in Williamsburg with painted portraits of Brooklyn’s essential workers. You can find the collective’s portraits near the South 4th St entrance near River St. (Jessica Parks for Brooklyn Paper)

The city is looking to administer 140,000 Covid-19 antibody tests to “everyday New Yorkers” in the coming weeks in addition to 140,000 tests for essential workers, in hopes of understanding the spread of the virus. (Devin Gannon for 6sqft)

In the age of only pickup or delivery, Seamless and other delivery apps are holding the city’s restaurants hostage. Use the apps to look at a restaurant’s menu and then call the restaurant using the phone number listed in Google Maps. How much of an impact is this making on restaurants? The example used in the article is on a $131 order, the restaurant gives up $35 to Grubhub. (Rebecca Ibarra for Gothamist)

Video: 13 NYC islands you might not know about. (Matt Coneybeare for Viewing NYC)

Mini-Documentary: The history of the Coney Island Cyclone Roller Coaster. (Matt Coneybeare or Viewing NYC)

The state’s moratorium on evictions was extended by Governor Cuomo until August. He also banned late fees and ordered that security deposits can be used as rent payments. The governor is not acting on calls to cancel rent, essentially kicking the can down the road with this executive order. For landlords, he told them to look to the federal government for relief. (Kathleen Culliton for Patch)

Mister Softee trucks seem like an awful idea if you’re trying to avoid touching other people, but you can never escape the Mister Softee jingle, not even during an epidemic. Did you know the Mister Softee song has lyrics? (Emmo Orlow for Time Out)

Video: NYPD officers making another violent arrest, including punching bystanders while not wearing masks themselves. (East New York News)

Brooklyn District Attorney Eric Gonzalez is investigating multiple “disturbing” violent arrests in Brooklyn, weighing options to bring criminal charges against cops or issue recommendations for disciplinary measures. Hell will freeze over before I believe the city will bring charges against an NYPD officer. (Kevin Duggan for amNewYork Metro)

Of the 79 people who were issued tickets for jaywalking in the first three months of 2020, only one person was identified as white, while 78 were listed as black or Hispanic. (Gersh Kuntzman for Streetsblog)

35 of the 40 people arrested for social distancing are black. (Ashley Southall for NY Times)

The mayor, with the worst possible take on this. Happy birthday, Mayor de Blasio. (@NYCMayor)

Earlier in the week, the NYPD’s labor union said that the NYPD shouldn’t be in charge of enforcing social distancing. Maybe they are incapable of not enforcing every law in the city without an overt racial bias. What should they be doing? Because their latest stroke of genius included shutting down one of the city’s few open streets so they an illegally park their vehicle to get bagels. All without wearing masks or gloves. (Julianne Cuba for Streetsblog)

SNL’s got another At Home episode this week, which they’re calling the “season finale.” (Ben Yakas for Gothamist)

Police are investigating the death of a woman who was found badly decomposed in Marcus Garvey Park in Harlem on Thursday morning. (Emily Davenport for amNewYork Metro)

RIP Michael Halkias, owner of the Grand Prospect Hall. Halias was someone who was famous amongst New Yorker. His commercials for the Grand Prospect Hall are the things of legend. Thank you for making all our dreams come true. (Erika Adams for Eater)

The city also lost Jimmy Glenn, boxing legend and owner of Times Square dive bar Jimmy’s Corner. (Serena Dai for Eater)

Farewell Gem Spa, which will not open after the pandemic is over. (EV Grieve)

The American Museum Of Natural History announced the museum will cut about 20 percent of its workforce, around 450 out of approximately 1,100 employees. (Ben Yakas for Gothamist)

With graduation ceremonies canceled, high schools are having to get creative. (Elizabeth A. Harris for NY Times)

Only four people know the recipe for Gem Spa’s famous egg creams, here are a few recipes for egg creams so you can raise a toast to Gem Spa. (Nicole Schnitzler for Edible Brooklyn)

With Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt returning next week (and me hosting a Kimmy Schmidt edition of Pop Culture Trivia on Wednesday night), let’s explore Tina Fey and Ellie Kempner’s NYC connections. (Michele Petry for Street Easy)

Mayor de Blasio is expected to announce that he is stripping control of Covid-19 tracing away from the Health Department and giving it to Health and Hospitals which runs the city’s public hospitals, breaking with decades of precedent. (J. David Goodman, William K. Rashbaum and Jeffery C. Mays for NY Times)

CUNY Chancellor Félix Matos Rodríguez says federal aid is crucial to determine the university’s budget for next year and hasn’t made a decision about a tuition hike yet. (Juan Manuel Benitez for NY1)

35 dessert destinations serving cake, cookies, and treats. (Leah Rosenzweig for Eater)

Thank you to Katie for today’s featured photo!

The Briefly for February 13, 2020 – The “Are We Ready for an NYC Yang Gang?” Edition

Today’s daily NYC news digest: Cuomo negotiates for the Trusted Traveler Program to return, Pennsy is closing, a spiked seltzer festival is coming, the Knicks are worth too much, and more

Today – Low: 30˚ High: 48˚
Light rain until evening.

Pennsy, the food hall attached to Madison Square Garden, is closing at the end of the month. The closure is part of a renovation of the area by Vornado Realty Trust, the landlord, and extend the first four floors of the building. Hiding in this news the announced closure of The Cinnamon Snail, the amazing vegan eatery with fantastic desserts, for good. (Jen Carlson for Gothamist)

What the hell is going on at Etiquette in Williamsburg, a cafe and bar that features a queen-sized bed. (Emma Orlow for Time Out)

Photos: Jeff Leatham’s Kaleidoscope at the New York Botanical Garden Orchid Show, which adds light installations and sculpture to the show. (Michelle Young for Untapped New York)

2021’s mayoral candidates think we need more education about ranked choice voting. (Mark Hallum for amNewYork Metro)

Will the math add up for Andrew Yang to run for mayor? (Emily Ngo for NY1)

Governor Cuomo seems to have come to an agreement with the Trump administration that would allow New Yorkers back into the Trusted Traveler Program without giving the federal government unfettered access to the state’s DMV records. (Azi Paybarah and Jesse McKinley for NY Times)

The NYPD arrested a journalist for filming an arrest of a man in Chinatown. It is 100% legal in NYC to photograph or video record anything that is happening in public, including police actions, as long as you’re not in the way. (Jake Offenhartz for Gothamist)

NYC is coronavirus free! All suspected cases were negative. (Adam Nichols for Patch)

Photos: Backstage at the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show. (Photos by Milo Hess for amNewYork Metro)

Meet Momo, the city’s hospital system’s very good first resident therapy dog. (Lydia Hu for NY1)

Here comes the city’s first ever spiked seltzer festival on May 16. Oh boy. (Alex Mitchell for amNewYork Metro)

The inside story of the long, slow, and painful death of Fairway. (Hannah Howard for Grub Street)

Come on restaurants, post your menus with prices online. (Ryan Sutton for Eater)

How to make a reservation in NYC. It’s not always as simple as opening an app. (Alan Sytsma for Grub Street)

These are the city’s top high schools, with Trinity High School coming in at #1 overall and Stuyvesant as the top public high school. (Adam Nichols for Patch)

With a seven season losing streak, the Knicks have been a very bad team for a long time, but that doesn’t seem to impact their value. The team was valued at $4.6 billion, making it unlikely that someone is rich enough to take the team from James Dolan’s grubby hands. (Gus Saltonstall for Patch)

The R-42 subway cars have been retired from service after fifty years years of use. (NY1)

Photos: The last ride for the R-42s with a cameo from Train Daddy Andy Byford. (Sydney Pereira, photos by David “Dee” Delgado for Gothamist)

Tension surrounding Morningside Park has not eased since the murder of Tessa Majors. (Elizabeth Kim for Gothamist)

Video: A walk over the Brooklyn Bridge, through the city’s ugliest subway station, and Battery Park. (Action Kid)

Lawyers representing undocumented immigrants are fighting to stop ICE officers from making arrests at courthouses, which they say are interfering with court cases. (Todd Maisel for amNewYork Metro)

There is a potential battle in Albany brewing over bail reform, with Governor Cuomo saying the door is open for possible changes, some state senators have jumped on the opportunity to voice their displeasure with the bill they passed last year before anyone has had time to properly judge its repercussions. Albany will always find a way to fight with itself. (Zack Fink for NY1)

When Mario’s Pizza on Arthur Avenue in the Bronx opened in 1915, the biggest concern was World War I, 100 years later it’s still going strong. (The pizza place, not the war) (Jason Cohen for Bronx Times)

Debutante Balls still exist in Manhattan. (James Barron and Elizabeth D. Herman for NY Times)

The 38 best beer bars in NYC. (Hannah Albertine, Bryan Kim, & Matt Tervooren for The Infatuation)

Thanks to reader Mackenzie for today’s featured photo

The Briefly for August 12, 2019 – The “LaGuardia Airport: A Hellhole of Hellholes” Edition

Zombie homes, free subways and buses on holidays, the ultra-rich New Yorkers funding Trump’s campaign, the Islanders are leaving Brooklyn, and more in today’s daily NYC news digest.

This week’s planned late-night subway disruptions are extensive, double-check the trains before staying out late. (Subway Weekender)

The second phase of the Hudson Yards construction involves something pretty common to NYC: delays from the MTA. (6sqft)

A history, explanation, and timeline of the LaGuardia construction. (amNY)

Saying LaGuardia Airport sucks in 2019 is underselling the sheer nightmare that is trying to escape the city from an airport where 90% of people are using private transportation to get to. Thursday’s disaster scenario of people walking on the highways and ramps to catch their flights was blamed on it being of the 45 peak travel days for the summer. Between the MTA’s stellar track record for buses, the Port Authority’s control of the airport, the DOT’s control of the roads and individual airlines’ construction on terminals, this is a problem that will persist for years.

Where’s the governor on all of this? He’s called this whole mess “unavoidable,” while also taking no specific action to make traveling to the airport any less hellish. If you’re traveling on any of the 19 “peak” days in August, the Port Authority suggests leaving multiple hours earlier to account for the travel disaster waiting for you. (Gothamist)

The “zombie homes” in Sheepshead bay are becoming a real problem for the neighborhood. (Brooklyn Paper)

New York state has a case against ExxonMobil for misleading its shareholders by lying about knowledge of climate change as early as 1977, and now the state has caught ExxonMobil attempting to intimidate the witnesses. Opening statements are scheduled for October 23. (Inside Climate News)

If you’re the type of person who hates having money and loves martinis, maybe The Algonquin Hotel’s $10,000 martini is for you, which comes with a diamond ring. (Untapped Cities)

The Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade replaced animals from the Central Park Zoo with balloons in 1927. The company turned to Greenwich Villager Tony Sarg to create the first iconic balloons for the parade. (GVSHP)

Incomplete data and sporadic surveys make measuring storefront vacancies difficult, but a study from the Department of City Planning shows the problem doesn’t exist everywhere in the city. Jackson Heights has the lowest vacancy rate of the areas surveyed at 5.1% compared to Canal Street, which is at 25.9%. (Curbed)

The history of how a natural gas pipeline turned into a 30-mile offshore windfarm. (The Indypendent)

This week’s forced restaurant closures do not disappoint with two different places being closed by the Department of Health, both scoring over 100 violation points in the process. (Patch)

The worry over rentable Revel scooters in Brooklyn and Queens is just that, worry. The company’s mission enjoys rare support from both the Department of Transportation’s Polly Trottenberg and Transportation Alternatives, and if they proved to be dangerous, you’d be reading about the danger they pose to pedestrians in The Briefly on a regular basis. (NY Times)

These are the city’s top high schools. (Patch)

The city is transforming two East Harlem lots into all below-market-rate apartments with 30% set aside for the homeless as part of the East Harlem Housing Plan. (Curbed)

Does no one ride the subways on major holidays because the MTA cuts service or does the MTA cut service because no one rides the subways on holidays? City Councilmember Justin Brannan will propose a non-binding resolution to request the MTA offer free subway and bus service during New Year’s Day, Memorial Day, Independence Day, Labor Day Thanksgiving Day, and Christmas Day in a similar fashion to how parking meters are suspended on those days. The MTA is, of course, against anything that would promote more people to take the train or buses. (6sqft)

85% of people stopped for mass transit fare evasion are black or Latinx, which echoes the unmistakable racist enforcement of stop and frisk. (Brooklyn Daily Eagle)

The Islanders are getting a permanent home in Belmont Park with a 19,000 seat arena for the team is dead last when it comes to attendance figures for the last two seasons. (QNS)

A list of the 1% of the 1% of New York City that is fueling Trump’s reelection campaign. Of course, the city’s worst musician and Knicks owner James Dolan is on the list. (Gothamist)

The condo board of 25 Central Park West is asking neighbor buildings for money to continue to fight their lawsuit against a protected bike lane that could have saved the life of cyclist Madison Lyden. (Streetsblog)

Mike Chen is testing the six top burgers in the city, which will come out ahead? (Viewing NYC)

Already tired of the 2020 primary race among Democrats? Here is a list of possible 2021 hopefuls for NYC mayor. (amNY)

As Sunset Park becomes more popular thanks to a gentrifying neighborhood and Industry City, Third Avenue’s dangers become more pronounced. The death of Em Samolewicz is one of eight fatalities and 2,000 injuries on Third Ave since 2011. (The Brooklyn Home Reporter)

A judge issued a stay and once again blocked the 14th St busway from becoming a reality. Every single headline about this story has used some variation of the phrase “slams brakes on” like it was legally mandated. (Downtown Express)

29% of the 15,500 structural components at subway stations were found to be worn or damaged, and that number is up since 2012. Comforting, right? (amNY)

Anti-ICE protestors shut down the West Side Highway at 26th St on Saturday for an hour. (Splinter)

Were you among the 10,253 people treated by the FDNY between 2011 and 2018 whose personal information, including social security number, was accidentally left on a hard drive and misplaced? (amNY)

The New York Philharmonic’s Free Fridays are returning, giving away tickets to people between 13 and 26 with an online reservation system. (I Love the Upper West Side)

Jeffrey Epstein is dead of an apparent suicide, but the investigation into his crimes is not. The FBI and prosecutors will turn their attention to his accomplices. (NY Times)

The city’s 19th cyclist was killed by a teenage driver on Sunday in Midwood. (Brooklyn Paper)

City Hall Park is now adorned by “Estructuras Monumentales“, works by 104-year-old local artist Carmen Herrera and will be on display through November 8. (Downtown Express)

A deep look into Corey Johnson’s plans to kill the city’s car culture. (Gotham Gazette)

35 solid happy hours. (Eater)