The Briefly for August 6, 2020 – The “NYC is Horny for Books” Edition

Today’s daily NYC news digest: More on the mayor firing Dr. Oxiris Barbot, the MTA’s bad options to continue operating, where to eat in Queens, can you afford an apartment, and more

Today – Low: 71˚ High: 81˚
Rain overnight.

Liquored up ice cream is now legal in New York. The new liquor ice cream can be alcoholic up to 5% by volume. (Luke Fortney for Eater)

Photos and Video: Inside an abandoned Brooklyn warehouse and a look at the treasures left behind. (Noah Sheidlower for Untapped New York)

In parts of the city, the fireworks stopped shortly after July 4. Apparently Norwood didn’t get the message because there was a 45-minute fireworks display over the weekend in a memorial for James Wimmer, who was a lifelong resident, on what would have been his 45th birthday. In 45 minutes, how many police showed up? Exactly zero. (Norwood News)

Mayor de Blasio wants you to know that he fired Dr. Oxiris Barbot, the city’s former health commissioner, and she did not resign in protest. Yes, it makes total sense to fire your top health official in the middle of a health crisis. (Elizabeth Kim for Gothamist)

The city’s libraries’ grab-and-go service has proven one thing: New Yorkers are horny for reading. (Reuven Blau for The City)

Why did Mayor de Blasio push Dr. Oxiris Barbot out in the middle of a pandemic? He says he wants the “atmosphere of unity.” Nothing says unity like people quitting your administration in frustration and forcing out the top health official in the middle of a health emergency. That must also be why you keep around NYPD Commissioner Dermot Shea, who shit talks in public. Bill, we all know you’re a simp for cops. (Erin Durkin for Politico)

There are six botanical gardens you can visit in the city this summer. (Nicole Saraniero for Untapped New York)

A look through the archives of the Brooklyn Eagle at Irving Kaufman’s photography, with a focus this week on NYC construction in the 1930’s. (Phil Kaufman for Brooklyn Eagle)

RIP Pete Hamill, a celebrated NYC reporter whose work was featured in nearly any publication you can name. (Robert D. McFadden for NY Times)

There were still nearly 100,000 customers without power after Tropical Storm Isaias on Wednesday night as ConEd reports it may take days to restore power across the city. Governor Cuomo directed the Department of Public Service to investigate ConEd’s response to the storm. (Matt Troutman for Patch)

If you thought that the city’s bootleg bartenders selling drinks from coolers was going to dwindle in the pandemic, you’re wrong. (Avery Stone for Eater)

With Isaias fresh in mind and with repairs from Hurricane Sandy still going, it’s a good time to examine the loopholes that allow home sellers from disclosing if their home may flood or not. (Rachel Holliday Smith for The City)

Where to get takeout and delivery in Queens, updated for August. (Eater)

It’s like a “Why I’m leaving New York” personal essay, but it’s about a restaurant. Why the Banty Rooster is leaving New York. (Matthew Sedacca with Delores Tronco-DePierro and John DiPierro for Grub Street)

The city will be installing checkpoints to identify out-of-state travelers who are required to quarantine and handing out fines up to $10,000 for violations. (Elizabeth Kim for Gothamist)

The Metropolitan Museum of Art announced firings of 79 employees, 181 furloughs, and 93 voluntary retirements. (Julia Jacobs for NY Times)

This is a good link to have when someone asks you if you think they can afford an apartment in NYC: What is a good rent-to-income ratio in NYC. I’ve always used the 40:1 rule, but this goes a bit deeper. (AJ Jordan for Localize Labs)

“If you’ve never been to courts in New York City, even the newest buildings are teeming with people and their germs. Just to call a single case, there have to be at least 10 people in the room. One judge. One clerk. One court reporter. Four court officers. One prosecutor. One defense attorney. One person who stands accused of a crime and possibly their family members. So when OCA tells us that it will only have 10 cases on at once, that doesn’t mean just 10 people confined to one courtroom, but many, many more, all at risk of contracting and spreading the same virus that killed so many, including my colleague.”
-Martha Lineberger, public defender for the Legal Aid Society, Lives Hang in the Balance as Courts Resume In-Person Work for City Limits

Welcome to the first day after Governor Cuomo’s eviction moratorium is over. Without protections form the state, this could be the start of mass evictions and a huge jump in preventable homelessness in the city. (Matt Troutman for Patch)

NYC will dedicate a team of contact tracers to investigate coronavirus cases in schools, but based on the city’s contact tracing program so far (reminder: the NY Times called it a “disaster”), don’t get your hopes too high. (Christina Veiga for Chalkbeat)

Go home, NY Times, you’re drunk. Headline: New York’s Sidewalk Prophets Are Heirs of the Lascaux Cave Artisans (Seph Rodney for NY Times)

According to RentHop’s rental report, rents dropped 5% year-over-year in Manhattan. (RentHop)

A rundown of all of the bad options the MTA has now that it seems clear that the federal government is not going to be helping and congestion pricing isn’t happening anytime soon. Reduced service with raised fares? Check. Signal upgrade delays? Check. Shelving new construction? Check. It’s like a Choose Your Own Adventure book, but every choice past page one is bad. (Dave Colon for Streetsblog)

The best places to eat sushi outside” is a very 2020 headline. (Hannah Albertine for The Infatuation)

The Briefly for July 21, 2020 – The “Don’t Make Me Turn This Car Around” Edition

Today’s daily NYC news digest: Night and weekend subway construction returns next month, Domino Park gets private security, the new owner of Ample Hills, and more

Today – Low: 77˚ High: 89˚
Humid throughout the day.

Video: Walking through Occupy City Hall. (Action Kid)

Apartment Porn: A $4 million townhouse in Windsor Terrace with an inground saltwater pool. (Valeria Ricciulli for Curbed)

Reducing service, slashing the transit workforce, scrapping planned infrastructure improvements, raising tolls beyond scheduled increases, and some of the other “hard choices no matter what happens” at the MTA over the next few years with a projected $16 billion loss. (Christina Goldbaum for NY Times)

The pandemic is making more New Yorkers consider buying cars. (Mark Hallum for amNewyork Metro)

There’s never been a better time to have contactless payment on the subways. OMNY is available throughout the Bronx. (Ed García Conde for Welcome2TheBronx)

It feels like we haven’t heard anything about subway closures for construction in forever, but here we are. The F line’s Rutgers Tube, which connects Brooklyn and Manhattan, will close nights and weekends starting in August through the spring to finish Hurricane Sandy repairs and fortification. (Matt Troutman for Patch)

Governor Cuomo is going full-on “don’t make me turn this car around” when it comes to bar and restaurant openings. (Alan Sytsma for Grub Street)

Mayor de Blasio saw the video of a homeless man being punched in the face by an NYPD and decided that everyone and no one is to blame for the situation continuing his longstanding tradition of never taking a stand on anything and upsetting everyone on every side of every situation. A true ally to nobody. (Rosa Goldensohn for The City)

Pulling the enforcement of the city’s Open Streets away from the NYPD and asking community partners to take over was supposed to make things easier. Now, the NYPD are harassing volunteers. (Dave Colon for Streetsblog)

Apparently asking that the NYPD stop beating and killing New Yorkers is too much to ask if you’re NYPD Commissioner Dermot Shea. (Joe Jurado for The Root)

“The NYPD demands accountability from everyone but themselves. The Department refuses to require personnel to attend virtual misconduct hearings or provide body camera footage to investigators. Officers without masks beat masked demonstrators on video, after weeks of sometimes-violent mask-wearing enforcement, then insisted that more cops were essential for public safety.”
– Maryanne Kaishian, senior policy counsel at Brooklyn Defender Services, Cops continue misinformation campaign to smear policies they don’t like for Brooklyn Eagle

The widely cited and incorrect talking point of a politician who is trying to convince their constituents that using tax dollars to pay for a sports stadium is beneficial for the neighborhood. The Yankees received $1.186 billion in public money and tax breaks to build their new stadium in 2009. Eleven years later, the Yankees pay no property taxes on an estimated $5 billion of city-owned land, the Bronx will not see any baseball fans in 2020, and the neighborhood surrounding Yankee stadium is economically dying, with the average merchant behind on rent to the tune of $60,000. This year, the Yankees signed pitched Gerrit Cole for $324 million. (Patrick McGeehan for NY Times)

Deep in the city’s budget is 4.1 million dedicated to supporting people involved in the sex trade, but what does that even mean? (Zijia Song for Bedford + Bowery)

An interview with Brian Nagy, an NYC teacher in the school system’s remote teaching pilot program that says remote learning may, in some form, be here to stay. (Gabrielle Birkner for Chalkbeat)

What to expect in phase four. (Nicholas Loud for Untapped New York)

The FDNY had to save two people whose inflatable swan drifted into the East River and began sinking. (Robert Pozarycki for amNewYork Metro)

RIP Jerry Wolkoff, the man best known as the developer that demolished 5Pointz. (Christian Murray for Queens Post)

The 7 best hikes near New York City. (Rebecca Fishbein for 6sqft)

RIP Nina Kapur, CBS2 reporter who died after a moped crash in Manhattan. (Emily Davenport for amNewYork Metro)

Interview: Michael Zapata, the new owner of Ample Hills on why a guy who manufactures precision lasers in Oregon just bought an ice cream company in Brooklyn. (Joshua David Stein for Grub Street)

Apartment Porn: A $3.5 million townhouse with an “enchanted garden” backyard, six fireplaces, and private parking. (Dana Schulz for 6sqft)

Sheldon Silver, the former New York State Assembly speaker, is going to prison for 78 months after being convicted on corruption charges. (Benjamin Weiser and Jesse McKinley for NY Times)

Why the hell does Domino Park, a public space, have private security guards posted at its entrances? (Ben Weiss for Greenpointers)

Danny Meyer’s Union Square Hospitality Group restaurants are ending their move towards no-tipping policies. Meyer believes tipping contributes to inequitable pay, wage instability, and other problems. He says he’s ending the policies because “guests want to tip generously right now.” That’s extending a lot of trust, considering it’s not his income he’s making policies about. (Julia Moskin for NY Times)

The president is threatening to send federal agents to the city to “keep this city safe.” We have heard some awful ideas this year, each dumber than the last, but I can’t ever imagine this ending well. (Jake Offenhartz for Gothamist)

The William Vale’s pool is now open to the public with the price tag starting at a hefty $75 for a few hours and going up to $500 for two people. (Collier Sutter for Time Out)

Check out this wonderful pen and ink cityscape from artist Kaylie Fairclough. (Matt Coneybeare for Viewing NYC)

A call for Mayor de Blasio to shut off the lights so the city can see the comet Neowise. (Jen Carlson for Gothamist)

Wait times for results for Covid-19 tests across the city are slipping. The free tests available at the city’s publicly run hospital network are beyond the advertised 3-5 days and are drifting towards the two-week territory. (Anastassia Gliadkovskaya for The City)

Attention mallrats: Indoor malls are still closed. (Jeanine Ramirez for NY1)

A deeper look at the temporary hospital that was built at U.S.T.A. Billie Jean King National Tennis Center, which cost $52 and treated 79 patients. (Brian M. Rosenthal for NY Times)

Where to eat dim sum outdoors in Chinatown. (Hannah Albertine for The Infatuation)

The Briefly for July 16, 2020 – The “She Doesn’t Even Go Here” Edition

Today’s daily NYC news digest: The mayor signed the chokehold ban, congestion pricing is dead, the Times asks if the NYPD has given up on investigating shootings, and more

Today – Low: 70˚ High: 77˚
Partly cloudy throughout the day.

In 2019, the state budget anticipated a January 2021 start for congestion pricing in the city, which would have helped to the tune of $15 billion over five years to help the MTA. What’s the status? Without federal approval, the project is dead. (Caroline Spivack for Curbed)

A look at the six finalists in the Brooklyn Bridge redesign competition, organized by the city and the Van Alen Institute. (Nicholas Loud for Untapped New York)

A prayer match from Brooklyn to City Hall, led by Black clergy leaders and sold as a community-focused Christian unity event, turned ugly when it was co-opted by the NYPD and Blue Lives Matter protesters. An NYPD union promoted the event as one of their own, perhaps to make it appear like they have community support. An avoidable situation without the NYPD’s meddling. (Jake Offenhartz for Gothamist)

NY Times, welcome to the resistance. Today the Times questions if the piles of unsolved shootings across the city, is the NYPD pulling back from its job? The NYPD’s Dermot Shea has a ton of excuses, but ultimately the NYPD made arrests in only 23% of the 634 shootings this year through July 12. (Ashley Southall for NY Times)

The NYPD confirmed the dismembered body found in a LES apartment was tech CEO Fahim Saleh. Saleh was the CEO of Gokada, a motorbike-hailing app in Nigeria. (Matt Troutman for Patch)

A body was found wrapped in plastic underneath a UHaul blanket on the roof of a McDonald’s in The Bronx on Wednesday morning. The cause of death has yet to be determined. (Ben Yakas for Gothamist)

A deeper look at the federal government’s roadblocks on NYC’s congestion pricing. (Christopher Robbins for Gothamist)

West Indian American Day Carnival is going digital for 2020. (Yannise Jean for The Brooklyn Reader)

When baseball officially returns, gets ready for a very odd extra-inning rule that puts a runner on second base automatically. Listen guys, if you don’t want to play past nine innings, just say so. You don’t have to make up new rules. (Joe Pantorno for amNewYork Metro)

The High Line opens to the public today, but with a reservation system and from noon to 8 pm. (Emily Davenport for amNewyork Metro)

Apartment Porn: A $9.4 multi-story Upper East Side penthouse with four terraces, a 24-hour doorman, a built-in library and whatever a “supplemental laundry room” is. (Dana Schulz for 6sqft)

The Metropolitan Museum of Art will reopen five days a week starting on August 29. (Peter Libbey for NY Times)

The Brooklyn Navy Yard has a new website to promote and sell PPE manufactured at the Navy Yard. They’ll also be selling them in PPE vending machines at West Elms and Wegmans. (Dana Schulz for 6sqft)

Seems that most people are still paying rent. According to the National Multifamily Housing Council, 88% of tenants are paying rent, down only a percent or two from the same time last year. (Georgia Kromrei for The Real Deal)

“The only reason you’re out here is because you feel guilty.” City Councilmember Stephen Levin’s meeting with his constituents in McCarren Park to explain his “yes” vote on the city’s budget probably didn’t go as he planned. (Ben Weiss for Greenpointers)

The Empire Center for Public Policy plans to take the Metropolitan Transportation Authority to court for allegedly violating the Freedom of Information Act for failure hand over payroll records of MTA cops. (Mark Hallum for amNewYork Metro)

Robert Bolden is still in the hospital for long-term heart damage after being shot with a stun gun by the NYPD and for multiple fractures to his humerus bone from last weekend’s clash between a pro-police rally and Black Lives Matter protesters in Bay Ridge. Bolden’s lawyer is calling for criminal charges against the NYPD officers who caused the damage to him. (Gwynne Hogan for Gothamist)

This is the last story I’m going to link to about the people who ran Ample Hills into the ground for a while. It’s an interview with the owners, which took place before the sale of the business after declaring bankruptcy, which was unrelated to the Covid-19 pandemic. It’s enough with these two, who are already talking about starting another ice cream-related business. (Erika Adams for Eater)

Video: 9-year-old chess champion Tanitoluwa Adewumi isn’t letting the pandemic get in his way of trying to become a chess grand master. (Matt Coneybeare for Viewing NYC)

Mayor de Blasio signed the chokehold ban and police accountability bills into city law on Wednesday. (Matt Troutman for Patch)

The NYPD forced a homeless man off the subway, cuffed him, beat him, and sent him to the hospital. Cy Vance chose to charge him with assault. One day later and after watching the video of the homeless man getting pepper-sprayed, punched, and pummeled by NYPD officers, District Attorney Vance decided to drop the assault charges but is continuing to pursue charges of resisting arrest. (Rosa Goldensohn for The City)

AOC is the latest person to pressure Governor Cuomo to back a tax on New York’s billionaires. (Jeffrey C. Mays and Jesse McKinley for NY Times)

Feature: Brooklynite Siobhan O’Loughlin’s art requires an interactive audience in an intimate setting. Her show Broken Bone Bathtub literally asks audience members to wash her while she sits in a tub. Under a shelter-in-place order, O’Loughlin pivoted to the heavy task of creating intimate environments with audiences regardless of distance. Her latest show, “My Heart Will Go Zoom,” tells the honest, engaging story of quarantine romance. (Hoa P Nguyen for Brooklyn Based)

9 rooftops your can visit today. (Nikko Duren for The Infatuation)

Thanks to reader Lisa for today’s featured photo!