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!

The Briefly for June 17, 2020 – The “Don’t Believe What Cops Say” Edition

Today’s daily NYC news digest: Playgrounds will open with phase 2, the mayor finally gets a coronavirus test, the AG’s hearing on NYPD interactions during protests, and more

Today – Low: 65˚ High: 74˚
Partly cloudy throughout the day.

You can watch the Public Hearing Via Video Conference on Police/Public Interactions During Recent Protests at that link at 11am on Wednesday.

Nine protesters detail their violent encounters with the NYPD. (Sydney Pereira, Jake Offenhartz, and Gwynne Hogan for Gothamist)

Why the hell are NYPD cruisers playing ice cream man music? This isn’t an isolated incident and there is a video. (Luke Fater for Atlas Obscura)

The first wave of lawsuits against the NYPD has begun, with 18 notice of claims being lodged with City Comptroller Scott Stringer’s office. (Reuven Blau for The City)

The lesson from yesterday’s story about the NYPD poisoning that never was is clear: Stop believing the police. (Ashley Reese for Jezebel)

The moment is demanding it, but is the NYPD capable of reform? (Nate File for Bedford + Bowery)

A new policy mandates that body cam footage when the NYPD’s weapons are fired. I hope we’re all ready for a million reasons why cameras “malfunction.” (Kathleen Culliton for Patch)

The 1.8 acre 50 Kent pop-up park will open on July 9 on a part-time basis from Thursday to Sunday from 10am to 6pm. (Greenpointers)

Mayor de Blasio announced that playgrounds will reopen in the city’s second phase of reopening. Yeah, it sucks, but we’re all fighting that same anxiousness in service of a greater good. (Todd Maisel for amNewYork Metro)

It hasn’t been confirmed that we’ll be hitting phase 2 on June 22, and if we don’t, it’s because of assholes like Dani Zoldan on the Upper West Side, who has been running comedy shows inside Stand Up NY, the comedy club he owns. (Mike Mishkin for I Love the Upper West Side)

Oh, look, more assholes. State Senator Simcha Felder, Assemblyman Simcha Eichenstein, and Councilman Kalman Yeger decided their community in Midwood has had enough of being careful and used a grinder to open the chains keeping the Kolbert Playground closed. (Lindsay Tuchman for NY1)

When CMJ announced it was coming back, a virtual festival wasn’t what we pictured. (Bill Pearis for BrooklynVegan)

The stoop is the new bar. And the new restaurant. And everything else too. (Marie Solis for Gothamist)

A look at Dennin Winser’s hand-painted signs, which he’s offering for free for Black-owned businesses. (Emma Orlow for Time Out)

Sometimes a headline is perfect. A gay socialist could be the first LGBTQ person of color in the New York legislature. Get to know Jabari Brisport. (Molly Sprayregen for LGBTQ Nation)

Ahead of the June 23 primary, Attorney General Letitia James opened a hotline for election issues. If you haven’t applied for an absentee ballot already, you’ll be voting in person. (Brendan Krisel for Patch)

The city is providing free air conditioners for eligible households this summer. There are a few different guidelines to qualify and it’s best to check before it starts getting unreasonably warm. (East New York News)

Someone hung a noose inside Marcus Garvey Park in Harlem. The Hate Crimes Task Force is investigating. (Greg B. Smith for The City)

Should you sign a new lease right now? Rents look like they might be on the decline through the end of the year. (Nancy Wu for StreetEasy)

Kudos to the MTA for their creative social distancing decals on the subway. (Noah Sheidlower for Untapped Cities)

We’ve all seen photos of the Unisphere in Flushing Meadows-Corona Park, but have you thought about it represents? It’s meant to be a celebration the start of the Space Age, symbolize the theme of the 1964 World’s Fair “Peace Through Understanding” and also a part of Robert Moses’s plans for New York City. (Lillia Paynch for Untapped New York)

Juneteenth isn’t a recognized holiday in New York, but we could be on the road to changing that. (Nick Reisman for NY1)

Photos: What Michelin-starred restaurant takeout looks like. (Gary He for Eater)

This year’s 4th of July hot dog eating championship will happen without a crowd and will be in a secret location, leaving this the first year in a long time without the competition at the corner of Surf and Stillwell. (Bao Ong for Time Out)

The U.S. Open tennis tournament will also be held without a crowd this summer. I hope they fill the stands with stuffed animals and sex dolls like the Korean baseball teams have. (Ben Yakas for Gothamist)

Hospitals and group homes can now accept visitors with their discretion. (Emily Davenport for Gothamist)

Housing courts in the state are starting to reopen, but there’s some confusion over if evictions are allowed to resume. With no additional guidance, Chief Administrative Judge Lawrence Marks’s order from March halting evictions stands, but with pushback from eviction-hungry attorneys and landlords. (Georgia Kromrei for The Real Deal)

The state and city government is trying to get anyone who thinks they’ve been exposed to Covid-19 to get tested. If that’s the case, why were less than 100 prisoners tested over the first two weeks of June? (Rosa Goldensohn for The City)

Never trust the first thing Mayor de Blasio says. After taking a sick day on Monday and spreading the message that he didn’t feel there was a need to get tested… he got tested. Everything de Blasio says is a three-day story. Day One: Thing happens. day Two: Mayor says something stupid, ruining credibility. Day Three: Mayor backtracks, becomes joke. (Kathleen Culliton for Patch)

A conversation with Judd Apatow about his new film “The King of Staten Island.” (Molly Given for amNewYork Metro)

The Briefly for May 20, 2020 – The “What to Do if You Find a Baby Bird” Edition

Today’s daily NYC news digest: Long Island beaches shut out city residents, Peter Luger’s opens for delivery, delivery by drag queens, Magnolia and the MTA start using UVC lights, & more

Today – Low: 48˚ High: 63˚
Mostly cloudy throughout the day.

After cancelation, reinstatement, appeal, and a rejection the June 23 presidential primary is officially back. This means an additional 615 in-person poll sites, 22 early voting poll sites, and 4,617 poll workers will be required. This is also a reminder that you can and should vote absentee this year. Here’s how. (Brigid Bergin for Gothamist)

The Chrysler Building applied to the Landmarks Preservation Commission to add an observation deck on the 61st floor. (Sebastian Morris for New York YIMBY)

177,700 students will be attending virtual summer school this year. It’s been a tough year for students, so comparing this year’s numbers to any year in the past is not an apples-to-apples comparison, but this is the highest number of students in history. (Sophia Chang for Gothamist)

What to do if you find a baby bird. Hint: its parents won’t smell you on them. (Beth Skwarecki for Lifehacker)

“My fingernails are breaking, I’ve got hangnails, I’ve been getting my nails done for 14 years … I’m very much into yoga, I can’t go to my Bikram yoga studios, I can’t go get my eyelashes done, I can’t go and socialize with the people that are my friends. It’s led me to depression, it’s made me not feel sexual — I mean it’s awful.” This is a real quote from someone protesting outside a barbershop in Williamsburg, but the protestors were sparse mostly from out of state. If you’re looking for a barbershop to avoid, it’s the Beard Barberia Cut and Shave on the corner of Grand Street, who organized the protest (which drew six!!! people) with the pro-Trump group Liberate America, whose organizer was arrested in 2017 for allegedly jerking off in the back seat of an Uber in CA. (Kevin Dugan for Brooklyn Paper)

This year’s virtual pride celebration’s grand marshals are the Ali Forney Center, Dan Levy, showrunner and star of “Schitt’s Creek,” Yanzi Peng, executive director of LGBT Rights China, and Victoria Cruz, a queer rights activist. (Paul Schindler for Gay City News)

The mayor announced the city’s heatwave plan, which includes air conditioners for NYCHA and low-income homes, electricity subsidies, misting oases in parks, and open fire hydrants on certain blocks. (Alejandra O’Connell-Domenech for amNewYork Metro)

Nearly 70% of offices were open concept, what will offices look like when they reopen? (Shaye Weaver for Time Out)

Have you been in a car around the city lately? It’s very weird. (Michael Wilson for NY Times)

It’s amazing what a bit of yarn on a fence can do to lift your spirits. A look at the yarn bombing in East Harlem. (Roger Clark for NY1)

Momofuku announced that Ssäm Bar will be moving from the East Village to the Wayō space in Manhattan’s Seaport District. David Chang’s restaurants have chosen increasingly more touristy areas for its restaurants since Trump-supporting billionaire Stephen Ross came on board in 2016. (Ryan Sutton for Eater)

Peter Luger is offering take-out and delivery for the first time ever. If you’ve been clamoring for food from the restaurants that recently received a zero-star rating from NY Times’s Pete Wells, here’s your chance. (Dana Schulz for 6sqft)

Today (Wednesday) is the Naming The Lost: A 24 Hour COVID Vigil, a 24-hour virtual vigil that starts at 2 pm to provide an opportunity for collective mourning as the number of deaths reaches for 100,000. (Sydney Pereira for Gothamist)

Mayor Bill de Blasio will press the state to approve line-of-duty benefits for families of city workers killed by the coronavirus. The mayor wants the benefits to expand beyond first responders, which is the current limit of federal legislation. (Erin Durkin for Politico)

A weekend project: make Shake Shack’s cheese sauce at home. (Claire Lower for Lifehacker)

Nine hospitals in the city are about to begin allowing visitors again in a test program as Covid-19 is showing signs of abatement. There will be restrictions, but to those who have been in the hospital during this pandemic, I’m sure that any friendly face would be a welcome one. (Kathleen Culliton for Patch)

Five of the most cringe-worthy excerpts from President Trump’s talk with NYC restaurant owners. Thomas Keller from Per Se is kissing the president’s ass so hard these moments he should be embarrassed. (Erika Adams for Eater)

Fresco’s Cantina in Astoria is putting a new spin on delivery with its new “DRAG-livery” service, which involves sending drag queens out to deliver food and perform. The service is an additional $15 on top of a food order. (NY1)

A look at David Bowie’s favorite NYC sandwiches. (Robert Sietsema for Eater)

Magnolia Bakery’s locations on the Upper West Side and in the West Village are experimenting with new ultraviolet lights that supposedly kill airborne virus particles as people enter the bakery. The light will be in addition to every other protective measure that has been put in place. (Tanay Warerkar for Eater)

Magnolia isn’t the only one getting in on UV lights, the MTA announced it is launching a three-week pilot program using UVC lights, which has been used to disinfect buses in Shanghai. (Kathleen Culliton for Patch)

If your plan was to hear out to Long Island this weekend because the city’s beaches will be closed, tough shit because Long Island’s beaches will be off-limits to city residents. (Marcus Navarro for Politico)

Taste Of Persia, the Persian restaurant once inside a pizza place in Flatiron, is reopening as a delivery-only business. (Ben Yakas for Gothamist)

Why hasn’t Dr. Oxiris Barbot been at the forefront of the city’s communication with the public? The root of the problem seems to be the mayor, who has had a tense history with his Health Department. (J. David Goodman and Jeffrey C. Mays for NY Times)

Where to find NYC’s best bread delivery right now. (Bao Ong for Time Out)

NYU is planning on allowing students back on campus for the fall semester. (Shannan Ferry for NY1)

13% of the city’s nearly 10,000 corrections officers have caught Covid-19. (Jan Ransom for NY Times)

Being a fan of the Knicks is fun because every year the Knicks try something new or hire new people and still manage to produce the same garbage results. The Knicks’ latest move is hiring Frank Zanin as an assistant general manager. The Knicks are 67-163 under their current general manager, so Zanin has a tough road ahead of him whenever the NBA starts up again. (Joe Pantorno for amNewYork Metro)

Health inspectors are two months into a hiatus on examining local restaurants still open for takeout during the coronavirus pandemic. (Reuven Blau for The City)

Where to get Chinese takeout and delivery. (Hannah Albertine & Bryan Kim for The Infatuation)

Thanks to reader Emma for today’s featured photo!