The Briefly for December 13-14, 2020 – The “Second Wave” Sunday Edition

The latest NYC news digest: Indoor dining shuts down on Monday, stay the night at FAO Schwarz, a Manhattan sushi delivery guide, Mayor de Blasio makes a threat, and more

Today – Low: 41˚ High: 60˚
Partly cloudy throughout the day.

Tonight is the peak of the Geminid meteor shower for those in the darker areas of the city with “relaxed” eyes with up to 120 meteors per hour. (David Cruz for Gothamist)

Rendering: A look at the giant apartment complex coming to Coney Island, complete with roof pool, in the old Gargiulo’s Restaurant parking lot of.

The Tompkins Square Park Holiday tree is lit. (EV Grieve)

The state’s pension fund will divest from many fossil fuels in the next five years and sell its shares in other companies that contribute to global warming by 2040. (Anne Barnard for NY Times)

Looking for an interesting place to spend a night in the city? You can Airbnb FAO Schwarz for a night. (Nicole Saraniero for Untapped New York)

Here’s an explanation of the NYC Sheriff’s office, because if you’re confused about the distinction between the NYPD and the NYC Sheriff, I don’t blame you. (David Cruz for Gothamist)

A guide to the Victorian mansions of Flatbush. (Nicole Saraniero for Untapped New York)

Two officers lied in paperwork and in court about their arrest of a Black Lives Matter protester in 2016. Manhattan DA Cy Vance’s office cleared them of perjery. (Nick Pinto for Gothamist)

Where to go ice skating in Brooklyn this winter. (Jessica Parks for Brooklyn Paper)

If you never stepped inside CBGB, this virtual version of the club from 2006 will be the closest you’ll ever get. Yes, it includes the bathrooms. (Alex at Flaming Pablum)

DCLA and Borough Arts Council funded artist and cultural organizations, venues, or institutions to be able to utilize public outdoor spaces for ticketed events and performances starting on March 1 thanks to a new Open Culture bill passed by the City Council. The maximum charge for a program will be $20. This will be the first ticketed live entertainment legally allowed in the city since March 2020. The Open Culture program is an extension of the Open Restaurants, Open Streets, and Open Storefronts programs. (Ben Yakas for Gothamist)

If you’re feeling like you just have to get out of the city for good, may I suggest Topeka, Kansas, which will pay you $10,000 if you are a remote worker and move there. There are many cities that will pay you to move there. (Matt Troutman for Patch)

Kathleen Casillo was charged with reckless endangerment after she drove her sedan into a crowd of ICE protesters in Murray Hill on Friday, sending six people to the hospital. Casillo says she panicked and hit the gas when protesters were banging on her car. (Sophia Chang for Gothamist)

It seems New Yorkers got an early jump on buying Christmas trees this year. (Caroline Lewis for Gothamist)

If you’ve had your usual Christmas plans canceled, this year presents a great opportunity to shake things up and join the Audubon Society’s Christmas Bird Count. Don’t lie, you’ve loved following this year’s bird news. (Matt Troutman for Patch)

Max Rose, fresh off a defeat for Congress, filed paperwork to run for mayor. (Rose Adams for Brooklyn Paper)

The Google Doc of holiday light displays, that everyone could edit as they please, from Time Out has been updated into an interactive map. (Shaye Weaver for Time Out)

The Manhattan sushi delivery guide. (Matt Tervooren for The Infatuation)


The city is well beyond its thresholds for new hospitalizations, the 7-day average of new cases, and the 7-day rolling positivity average. “This is clearly a second wave in New York City” -Mayor de Blasio. (Jake Offenhartz for Gothamist)

The governor has shut down indoor dining in the city (again) starting Monday the 14th, thanks to an increase in every single Covid-19 metric the state and city have established. (Michael Gold for NY Times)

Eight hospitals in the city have reached more than 90 percent fullness in their ICUs. Flushing Hospital in Queens is at over 100% capacity. (Anna Quinn for Patch)

Only 1.4% of the state’s Covid-19 spread comes from restaurants and bars, but that number doesn’t specify between indoor and outdoor dining. 73.84% of COVID-19 cases spread through private gatherings. (Erika Adams for Eater)

The reactions from restaurant owners ranges from sad, but understanding, to absolutely delusional. (Christina Izzo for Time Out)

“Anyone who thinks that their privilege puts them ahead of other people in greater need, that’s not going to happen in New York City.” -Mayor de Blasio. (Matt Troutman for Patch)

An ultra-Orthodox synagogue in Williamsburg seems to have broken social distancing rules for the last time. The mayor stated this week that the city will “move to shut down the building once and for all” after a funeral on Monday brought hundreds of people into the building with no masks. The article threads the needle between the recent Supreme Court case the state lost about religious gatherings and the rules that are still in place regardless of the lawsuit. But also this is a threat coming from Mayor de Blasio, who regularly ignores his own deadlines and threats. (Jake Offenhartz for Gothamist)

Staten Island’s Mac’s Public House liquor license has been suspended, finally. It was one of 23 city businesses whose licenses were suspended last week. (Robert Pozarycki for amNewYork Metro)

The Brooklyn Monarch is also on the list of businesses whose liquor licenses were suspended after city sheriffs broke up a party with nearly 400 people inside. (Amanda Hatfield for BrooklynVegan)

Congrats to Gravesend, which has the highest Covid-19 positivity rate in the city. (Anna Quinn for Patch)

The city clarified when outdoor dining can remain open during snow and when snow removal is happening. When a Winter Operations Advisory is given, outdoor dining will stay open, but during a Snow Alert, outdoor dining will close. (Ben Yakas for Gothamist)

How scientists are tracking the flow of the city’s Covid-19 outbreak, using your poop. (Corey Kilgannon for NY Times)

A day in the life of a contract tracer. (Fred Mogul for Gothamist)

Find your public school’s Covid-19 testing rate online. (Sophia Chang for Gothamist)

The New York City Board of Health passed a measure extending the order for total mask compliance at every school in the city, not just public schools for students, staff, and faculty. Yes, before this order, there was no enforcement of masks in non-public school buildings. (David Cruz for Gothamist)

Thanks to reader Francesca for today’s featured photo of Fortitude, the NYPL lion, dressed for the season, and the pandemic.

The Briefly for December 8-10, 2020 – The “There is Pizza and There is Everything Else” Tuesday Edition

The latest NYC news digest: The Staten Island mess continues (with video), Pearl River Mart’s flagship is closing, a look at West Farms in the Bronx, and more

Today – Low: 33˚ High: 38˚
Mostly cloudy throughout the day.

In praise of Andrea Stewart-Cousins’s ability to get the New York legislature on the same page. (Bill Mahoney for Politico)

The fire that destroyed the Middle Collegiate Church also displaced 22 women from a single women’s shelter next door. (Cydney Pereira for Gothamist)

Pearl River Mart’s flagship store has “no other choice but to shut down” due to pressure from an unforgiving landlord. (Elie Z. Perler for Bowery Boogie)

President Obama has ruled that New York pizza, also known as pizza, is better than Chicago-style pizza, which is also known as Chicago-style pizza. (Christina Izzo for Time Out)

Just over seven years ago John Stewart gave us this rant about Chicago deep-dish pizza. (The Daily Show)

Ghouls get Covid-19 too, as Rudy Giuliani tested positive. (Tim Moran for Patch)

55% of the FDNY is unwilling to be vaccinated against Covid-19. Their union is defending their right to refuse. (Dean Moses for amNewYork Metro)

In June, the mayor announced he would end solitary confinement in the city’s jails after getting recommendations “in the fall.” The mayor has once again set a deadline for himself and appears ready to blow it. (Rosa Goldensohn for The City)

A look at the history of how New York City became a stoop town. (Ephemeral New York)

Putting West Farms in the Bronx into focus, the epicenter of the city’s economic crisis where one of four workers is out of work. (Winnie Hu, Juliana Kim, Jo Corona and Amr Alfiky for NY Times)

Senator Schumer paid Arlene’s Grocery a visit in support of the Save Our Stages Ace in congress before Arlene’s potential closure on February 1. (Elie Z. Perler for Bowery Boogie)

An NYC-themed holiday gift guide. (Untapped New York)

The state’s legislature is ready to make another attempt at a pied-à-terre tax in 2021. (Oshrat Carmiel for Bloomberg)

Sharp eyes in the East Village will spot Marvel’s ‘Hawkeye’ filming this week. (EV Grieve)

It seems ridiculous that NYCHA residents in Coney Island would be demanding repairs from Hurricane Sandy, but here we are. (Rose Adams for Brooklyn Paper)

Governor Cuomo announced that regions of the state that reach 90% hospital capacity would face new shutdowns. (Elizabeth Kim for Gothamist)

The governor also warned that indoor dining in NYC could be shutdown by next week based on the city’s rising hospitalization rates. (Tanay Warerkar for Eater)

Video: Watch Bruce Springsteen & Bleachers play “Chinatown” on the roof of Electric Lady recording studio. (Bill Pearis for BrooklynVegan)

The winner of the seventh annual Flatiron Plaza Holiday Design installation program is “Point of Action” by Studio Cooke John that’s meant to evoke the feeling of seeing other New Yorkers from a distance, which is something we’re a little familiar with now. (Bill Gleason for Time Out)

Photos: This year’s Dyker Heights Christmas lights (Collier Sutter for Time Out)

Did you know that New York City is unable to lower the speed limit on its roads? It’s strictly a state responsibility right now, but State Senator Brad Hoylman is looking to change that with new legislation. (Jake Offenhartz for Gothamist)

Confessions of an orthodox Jewish drug dealer. (Aaron Lefkov for Brooklyn Magazine)

Photos and Video: Birds? Birds. Check out the brightly-colored Western Tanager seen in Chelsea.

Video: Watch Danny Presti, manager of the dumbest bar in all of New York City, who says he “did nothing wrong” drive away with a New York City Sheriff on the hood of his car while being arrested. (Lydia Hu for NY1)

Video: Watch Pete Davidson dunk on Staten Island’s Covid-19 protests on Weekend Update. (SNL)

The mess over Mac’s Public House exposed the Mason-Dixon line in Staten Island. (Clifford Michel for The City)

The city’s most festive outdoor dining set-ups for the holidays. (Christina Izzo for Time Out)

Thanks to reader Alex for today’s featured photo from Dyker Heights where it “wasn’t very crowded (yet) and most people wore their masks.”

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!