The Briefly for October 20 – 21, 2020 – The “Times Square Gets A PerFect Addition” Tuesday Edition

The latest NYC news digest: NY releases its Covid-19 vaccine plan and a new matrix, hot cocktail season is upon us, the scariest thing about Blood Manor, and more

Today – Low: 64˚ High: 68˚
Mostly cloudy throughout the day.

In a touch of good news, there were only 18 positive Covid-19 tests out of the 10,676 that were administered in schools. (Dana Rubenstein and J. David Goodman for NY Times)

JFK and Newark airports are now offering Rapid Nasal Swab Tests for Covid-19 with results in under 15 minutes. (Will Gleason for Time Out)

In the last days of warm-enough weather, here’s where to work outside with wifi. (Matt Tervooren for The Infatuation)

Welcome to NYC, P.F. Chang’s, you will fit in perfectly in Times Square. (Bao Ong for Time Out)

In one of the weirder stories this week, we all found out that the city can be shut out of its own ferry docks, as it was in Greenpoint for most of Monday. (Matt Troutman for Patch)

The Greenpoint Library is now open for grab-and-go service. (Greenpointers)

Everything to know about putting up temporary walls in an NYC apartment. (Lambeth Hochwald for StreetEasy)

With a drop in Covid-19 cases in hot spots, expect Governor Cuomo to make adjustments to the red zone maps this week. (Robert Pozarycki for Brooklyn Paper)

A fire in Cypress Hills burnt down a marijuana grow house. (John Del Signore for Gothamist)

215 idiots were busted mid-party inside the Queens Luxe Banquet Hall on Rockaway Boulevard in Queens. The owner and staff were charged with misdemeanors. (Sydney Pereira for Gothamist)

New York City Comptroller Scott Stringer has released a new plan that would make CUNY community colleges free to all students in an attempt to close the inequality gap. (The Brooklyn Reader)

For $4.75 million, you can own Toni Morrison’s Tribeca loft. (Erin Hudson for The Real Deal)

New Hope Family Services refuses to provide services to married same-sex couples and won a preliminary injunction to block the Office of Children and Family Services from shutting them down for doing so. (Arthur S> Leonard for Gay City News)

Photos: Inside Frenchette’s takeover of the old Arcade Barkery space. (Tanay Warerkar for Eater)

Remember when I linked to a report that said the homeless New Yorkers in The Lucerne would be moved to the Financial District on Sunday? That has been reversed again. A state supreme court judge approved a restraining order preventing anyone from being moved until at least November 16. (Mirela Iverac for Gothamist)

Andres Fernandez was convicted of killing the owner of the legendary L&B Spumoni Gardens pizzeria in 2016 and will face 25 years to life behind bars. (Rose Adams for Brooklyn Adams)

Here’s what you need to know about New York’s plastic bag ban. (Michelle Young for Untapped New York)

The scariest thing about Blood Manor haunted house is the giant, maskless crowds. (Tribeca Citizen)

Governor Cuomo’s office released its Covid-19 vaccination plan, including a vaccine prioritization matrix, with New Yorkers falling into Priority 1-6. First we were dealing with “phases,” now we’re dealing with “zones,” next up is “priority.” Most of us will fall into Priority 5. (Sydney Pereira for Gothamist)

Another look at Times Square’s “Plastic Bag Store” now that the plastic bag ban is real and being enforced. (Michelle Young for Untapped New York)

AOC is encouraging voting on the Working Families Party line instead of the Democratic line for the presidential election to help preserve WFP’s place on the ballot moving forward. (Daniel Marans for HuffPost)

The New York Times has discovered Breezy Point, the NYC right-wing hideout full of police and firefighters. (Corey Kilgannon for NY Times)

Holding up a magnifying glass to the NYPD’s impunity when it comes to killing people on NYC streets with their cars in light of NY Attorney General Letitia James opening an investigation into the killing of Sofia Gomex, who was killed by an NYPD highway officer. (Julianne Cuba for Streetsblog)

Everything that the city did to campaign for New Yorkers to fill out their census forms ended up raising the response rate by a measly 0.1%. The city is pushing this as a win. (David Cruz for Gothamist)

The Times already declared cuffing season starting early this year. That means it’s time for hot cocktails. (Tanay Warerkar for Eater)

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 4, 2020 – The “Six Billion Dollars” Edition

Today’s daily NYC news digest: An open letter to the mayor from hundreds of current and former staffers makes four demands. Demand number one is to defund the NYPD. That and more.

Today – Low: 66˚ High: 81˚
Rain overnight.

Request an absentee ballot before June 16
Click and sign support for the repeal of 50-a
Donate to The Equal Justice Initiative and The Bail Project

The city remains on PAUSE, with 5/7 metrics met. We are expected to start phase one on June 8.

Sign the Black Lives Matter petition to #DefundPolice.

“It’s absolutely shameful, that in the wake of all of these protests, our mayor still clings to the notion that the NYPD’s massive budget doesn’t play a huge role in the inequities and racism that we see in this city” -Councilmember Carlina Rivera, underscoring the debate over the city’s budget and defunding the NYPD. A budget agreement is due at the end of June. (Gloria Pazmino for NY1)

Want to give money for bail funds but also want a pretty sweet rainbow cookie tote bag? Laura Chautin has you covered. (Emma Orlow for Time Out)

Photos: NYPD officers bludgeoned, pepper-sprayed, and picked fights with protesters marching peacefully. (Jake Offenhartz, Gwynne Hogan, Nick Pinto, and Sydney Pereira for Gothamist)

The story of the Brooklyn Bridge stampede from May 30, 1883. (Alex Wallach and Michelle Young for Untapped New York)

It took ONE day for Governor Cuomo to apologize to the NYPD for calling their response to rioters a disgrace. (Joseph Spector for USA Today)

“In a society in which leaders have little political appetite to tackle inequality or to address structural racism, and in a city that has become more unequal with COVID and may become more so, the choice to increase the number of MTA police and thus the policing of people of color — like George Floyd — is perversely sensible. It suggests that our policy makers have not only accepted the reality of structural inequality, but that they see their primary task as simply managing it.”
– Kaufi Attoh for Streetsblog, Protests Lay Bare Structural Racism in Mass-Transit Policing

Mayor de Blasio stood in front of us all and promised that internal NYPD investigations into excessive force during protests will proceed at a quicker pace, but his history with police reform says otherwise. (Samar Khurshid for Gotham Gazette)

The rules for everyone under curfew. Is this the “new normal” we keep hearing about? (Howard Halle for Time Out)

Here are the detailed curfew guidelines for restaurant workers. No Ubers between 8 and 12:30, no Citi Bikes or Revels, no specific rules for ID, no passing through roadblocks, and more. (Tanay Warerkar for Eater)

Do you know what pepper spray is good for? Potentially spreading Covid-19 among crowds, according to the chief of emergency medicine at NYU Langone Hospital – Brooklyn. (Virginia Breen for The City)

If phase one starts on June 8, phase 2 starts June 22 and with it a surprise, as outdoor dining at restaurants will be included. (Bao Ong for Time Out)

The city is poised to start phase one of reopening on Monday, but the mayor’s ideas are pure fantasy on how the MTA should operate. (Jose Martinez for The City)

How good design and “placemaking” can help the city ease into post-pandemic life. (Tucker Reed and J. Manuel Mansylla for amNewYork Metro)

Need a haircut? Keep it quiet, but there’s someone in Central Park giving haircuts. (Mike Mishkin for I Love the Upper West Side)

The city’s curfew is at 8 pm, but Citi Bikes are unavailable starting at 6 pm. Citi Bike made the announcement that the mayor’s office is forcing them to shut down two hours before the curfew starts. (Anna Quinn for Patch)

Video: Representative Yvette Clarke debates Adem Bunkeddeko and Isiah James ahead of the June 23 Democratic primary. (Emily Ngo for NY1)

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez endorsed Jamaal Bowman in the Democratic primary against longtime Democratic incumbent Rep. Eliot Engel in New York’s 16th congressional district. (David Giambusso for Politico)

How is Staten Island faring with the Covid-19 pandemic? It depends on which side of its Mason-Dixon line you live on. The northern part of Staten Island accounts for 40% of its population, but 54% of its Covid-19 cases. (Clifford Michel for The City)

$600 million of brand new subway cars were pulled from service this week after a car disconnected from the rest of the train at Chambers Street. These are the same cars that were pulled from service in January after their doors were opening when they shouldn’t have been. The cars, already defective twice, have cost the city $35 million in repairs and $300 million in lost labor. Almost a billion dollars for subway cars that don’t work. Perfect. (Adam Nichols for Patch)

There has been a sharp rise in glass recycling in the city than in years past. Our trash is tattling on us, and it turns out we’ve been drinking a lot of wine. (Anne Barnard, Azi Paybarah and Jacob Meschke for NY Times)

A new exhibition, titled “Monuments Now” is coming to Queens’s Socrates Sculpture Park this summer, bringing a brightly colored ziggurat, an obelisk that doubles as a BBQ, and a cenotaph frame. (Howard Halle for Time Out)

We used to be able to lay on a beach and wait for someone to offer us a concoction that was as strong as it was mysterious about its contents. The Nutcracker isn’t like to make a big comeback to beaches this year, but bars are now selling their own Nutcrackers you can take to go. (Daniel Maurer for Bedford + Bowery)

SummerStage is going digital this summer, starting June 6. (Emily Davenport for amNewYork Metro)

Thank you to reader Lisa for today’s featured photo!