The Briefly for March 31, 2020 – The “Panda Express, You Will Be Missed” Edition

Today’s daily NYC news digest: The USNS Comfort arrives in NYC, on the edge of a rent crisis, NYPD changes enforcement tactics, neighborhood delivery and takeout directory, and more

Today – Low: 39˚ High: 47˚
Mostly cloudy throughout the day.

Remember the field hospital in Central Park? Well, the group is led by Franklin Graham, a notorious anti-LGBTQ and Islamophobic preacher with a track record of using humanitarian missions to proselytize an evangelical agenda. He’s also the guy that said that God intervened in the 2016 election to make Donald Trump president. (Jake Offenhartz for Gothamist)

Welcome to the resistance, Mike Francesa. (Ed Mazza for HuffPost)

The Empire State Building’s “heartbeat of America” display really freaked some people out. (Ed Mazza for HuffPost)

Looking to up your baking game? Christina Tosi of Milk Bar is hitting Instagram every day at 2 pm for a distanced baking club. (Bao Ong for Time Out)

Farewell, Panda Express. Panda Express closed all 11 NYC locations temporarily “out of advanced precaution.” The company will pay employees impacted by the closure and gave away the rest of its food to hospitals before it closed. (Serena Dai for Eater)

WeWork is in the running for “worst possible COVID-19 reaction.” They haven’t closed their rental offices, they’re trying to entice workers to come in with a daily $100 bonus, are continuing to collect membership fees, and fired 250 employees. WeWork is claiming that since some businesses that rent from them are essential, they should remain completely open. (Sylvia Varnham O’Regan and E.B. Solomont for The Real Deal)

Photos: The city’s closed streets. (Noah Sheidlower for Untapped New York)

Mayor de Blasio called for a rent freeze on the one million rent-stabilized apartments in the city. (Michael Dogan for LIC Post)

We’re a day away from the first of the month and rent strikes are beginning to come forward as a path forward. (Jake Offenhartz for Gothamist)

Once the 90-day eviction suspension, what’s going to happen? Mass displacement? (Caroline Spivack for Curbed)

Who the hell are these monsters who are getting together for coronavirus speakeasies and potlucks? (Tanay Warerkar for Eater)

Workers in Amazon’s Staten Island fulfillment center walked out today at 1 pm and called for the facility to be shut down after they say at least 10 workers have tested positive for COVID-19. Amazon fired Chris Smalls after the walkout, one of the organizers of the walkout, for supposedly violating safety regulations. (Josh Dzieza for The Verge)

Whole Foods workers are planning a nationwide sick-out protest on Tuesday. Workers are calling for increased hazard pay while the company reaps record sales. (Lauren Kaori Gurley for Vice)

The Onion: New York City Health Officials Board Up Sun To Discourage Large Groups From Gathering Outside. (The Onion)

13% of NYPD officers are out on sick leave. (Todd Maisel for amNewYork Metro)

The NYPD can now give tickets for a lack of social distancing at their own discretion. Enforcing the law at their discretion fairly isn’t exactly the NYPD’s strong suit. (Howard Halle for Time Out)

86-year-old Janie Marshall was attacked on Saturday at NYC Health and Hospitals/Woodhull in Bed-Stuy for not socially distancing by a 32-year-old woman. Unfortunately, Janie hit her head on the flood after being attacked and was pronounced dead a few hours later. If you see someone doing something dangerous, use your words and keep your own distance. (Ben Yakas for Gothamist)

Shortly after Edge opened in Hudson Yards, a worker was diagnosed with COVID-19. Edge closed, but the adjacent Peak restaurant didn’t. The VP of the operating company told the managers of Peak to not tell guests about the reported case and lie about why Edge was closed. (Erika Adams for Eater)

How the Long Island Rail Road is working to keep its customers safe, from Phillip Eng, the president of the LIRR. (Phillip Eng for QNS)

How’s the MTA’s subway cleanups going? “It looks good on paper, but in a lot of cases, it’s not happening.” -JP Patafio, a vice president for TWU Local 100. (Jose Martinez for The City)

12 epidemics that have plagued New York throughout history. (Noah Sheidlower for Untapped New York)

The USNS Comfort hospital ship arrived in New York City Monday morning. (Kathleen Culliton for Patch)

Photos: The USNS Comfort arrives. (Devin Gannon for 6sqft)

What kind of stupidity is necessary to watch a hospital ship arriving, sent to relieve the hospitals during a pandemic that has killed over a thousand New Yorkers, and idiots watching the ship arrive en masse to take photos? (@kirkpate)

Video: Trucks are being used at hospitals across the city as makeshift morgues, but it might not hit you of how dire the situation is until you see a hospital staff using a forklift to transport bodies into a truck on a sidewalk. Watch at your own discretion. (Kevin Duggan for Brooklyn Paper)

This hand-drawn map of the Met by artist John Kerschbaum is absolutely stunning. (Claire Voon for Atlas Obscura)

RIP Father Jorge Ortiz-Garay, the first-known Catholic priest in the city to die of COVID-19. (Jamie DeJesus for The Brooklyn Home Reporter)

The favorite NYC restaurant cookbooks of the Eater staff. (Eater)

FEMA is sending refrigerated trucks to the city to serve as temporary morgues as the death toll from the coronavirus grows. (Erin Durkin for Politico)

NYPD will no longer respond to 911 calls for vehicle collisions on Staten Island that result in only property damage because people in Staten Island can’t stop hitting each other with their cars and too much of the police’s time is being spent on providing loss adjustment services for the insurance industry. (Gersh Kuntzman for Streetsblog)

What to expect when you’re expecting to give birth during the COVID-19 pandemic. (Catherine Pearson for HuffPost)

How to shop for groceries, according to doctors and epidemiologists. (Marian Bull for Grub Street)

Video: Drone video of Hart Island, New York City’s mass grave, containing over one million bodies. (Find and Seek)

82 percent of New York City voters approve of Cuomo’s handling of the pandemic, according to a Siena College poll. (Kathleen Culliton for Patch)

Air purifiers can’t kill the coronavirus. New York Attorney General Letitia James is ordering companies selling purifiers to cease and desist marketing their products as being effective against COVID-19. (The Brooklyn Reader)

The case for why jails are so important in the fight against COVID-19. (Anna Flagg and Joseph Neff for NY Times)

360° Video: Driving through Chinatown, Little Italy, and the Bowery. (ActionKid)

What the BrooklynVegan staff is listening to in isolation. (BrooklynVegan)

The neighborhood delivery and takeout directory. (Hannah Albertine, Nikko Duren, Bryan Kim, Arden Shore, & Matt Tervooren for The Infatuation)

Thanks to reader Kathryn for today’s featured photo!

The Briefly for March 25, 2020 – The “Beneath the Lowest Possible Expectations” Edition

Today’s daily NYC news digest: The latest on COVID-19, the NYPD begins to call out sick, a bodega delivery app, Cuomo vs Trump is coming to a head, how to support music venues, and more

Today – Low: 37˚ High: 48˚
Possible drizzle in the afternoon.

The governor demanded the mayor ban cars on city streets to give pedestrians more room and the mayor’s response would be laughable if we could all stop saying “this is so crazy” for just a minute. The mayor will shut down 10 streets with a maximum of two per borough for pedestrian use. Which two streets in each borough? The mayor announced no specifics. Once again, Mayor de Blasio manages to crawl beneath the lowest possible expectations. (Gersh Kuntzman for Streetsblog)

What do you do when someone tests positive for COVID-19 but doesn’t require intensive medical care? The city is grappling with how to encourage physical distancing for the 57,000 homeless people. At the moment, patients are being sent back to the shelter system for isolation. (Greg B. Smith for The City)

Over 100 employees of the New York Police Department have tested positive for the coronavirus and nearly 7% of cops have called out sick. It was less than two days ago that TMZ ran the headline “Cops Across The Country Aren’t Scared Of Coronavirus, Used To Danger” (Christopher Mathias for HuffPost)

To add to our current dystopia, the NYPD will be cruising around the city blaring a PSA on social distancing. (Elie Z. Perler for Bowery Boogie)

Video: One day we’ll look back at this moment and ask “what it even real,” and thankfully we’ll have video evidence, like videos like this bike ride over the Brooklyn Bridge to prove it actually happened. (ActionKid)

New York City from 1993 to 2019, through the camera of Grégoire Alessandrini. (Michelle Young for Untapped New York)

The USNS Comfort, the floating hospital with 1,200 doctors and 12 operating rooms, is “on its way” to the city, but it won’t arrive until mid-April and its focus will be treating non-coronavirus patients, freeing up space in hospitals for COVID-19 patients. (Matt Fink for Bushwick Daily)

NYC Taxi & Limousine Commission is asking taxi and ride-share drivers to deliver food to senior citizens who need to stay home. The city is offering $15 an hour plus gas and tolls, which isn’t much but it’s something. (Gillian Smith for Patch)

Con Edison has announced it has ceased service shutoffs over non-payment, waived new late-payment charges, and suspended fees for customers who fail to grant access to their properties during the coronavirus pandemic. (Robert Pozarycki for Gay City News)

Two things we need at a time like this, both produced in the same place: whiskey and hand sanitizer. (Gillian Smith for Patch)

Now there’s a bodega delivery app. Enter My Bodega Online. (Devin Gannon for 6sqft)

Where’s the state on rent cancellation? There’s a push for it, but Cuomo’s MIA on it. (Jake Offenhartz for Gothamist)

Governor Cuomo has the attention of the nation for his leadership. How did we get here? (Jesse McKinley and Shane Goldmacher for NY Times)

With attention, Cuomo has also become Trump’s latest target in Trump’s never-ending quest to convince us that he, the Emporer, is wearing clothes. (Asawin Suebsaeng, Erin Banco, and Sam Stein for The Daily Beast)

The federal government is sending New York 4,000 ventilators, which is only about 25,000 shy of what the state needs. (Kathleen Culliton for Patch)

The bad news is that we haven’t flattened the curve. The worse news is that COVID-19 has an attack rate five times the national rate in New York and it’s only gonna get worse. There is no good news. (Kathleen Culliton for Patch)

Okay, a tiny bit of good news. With everyone staying at home and not taking cars, carbon monoxide emissions are below 50% of their typical levels. (Shaye Weaver for Time Out)

Congrats Queens, you’re winning the which borough has the most cases of coronavirus competition. (Allie Griffin for LIC Post)

Manhattan State Senator Brad Hoylman is calling for an end on gay blood donations. (Paul Schindler for Gay City News)

If you’re out of work, these restaurants are offering free or affordable meals. (Emma Orlow for Time Out)

Help Main Street aggregates restaurant gift cards in one place, even if it’s missing a very large swath of the city. (Tanay Warerkar for Eater)

Photos: We’re nearing I Am Legend territory. (Gillian Smith for Patch)

All of the MTA’s transactions are going to be conducted by MetroCard vending machines, whenever possible. Remember when we were scared of robots taking jobs? (Jamie DeJesus for The Brooklyn Home Reporter)

If you’re worried that Prospect Park is too crowded, you can take a detour to Green-Wood Cemetery for a moment of serenity away from the living. The cemetery is extending its visiting hours to help prevent you from dying of boredom inside your apartment. (Andrew Cotto for NY Times)

300 of the city’s inmates are scheduled for release to reduce the population density in the city’s jails. The detainees have less than a one-year sentence and were convicted of non-violent misdemeanors and whose age and health make them vulnerable. The city is eyes an additional 800 detainees for possible release. (Kathleen Culliton for Patch)

The MTA is adjusting weekday train and bus schedules to Saturday levels to closer meet the city’s current demand. (Mark Hallum for amNewYork Metro)

With an occupancy rate as low as 15%, hotels across the city are beginning to temporarily close. (Serena Tara for Bedford + Bowery)

New York City’s teachers union said Tuesday the city health department put educators and students at risk, prior to the city’s system-wide shutdown, by not evenly applying a closure policy for individual schools when a staff member contracted the coronavirus. (Madina Touré for Politico)

David Rockwell, the architect and Tony-winning show designer, talks about the stories and history behind his favorite theaters. (Michael Kimmelman for NY Times)

The best ways you can help New York City’s struggling music venues. (Collier Sutter for Time Out)

The College of Staten Island’s dorms are being emptied of students to become a makeshift hospital. Students who can’t easily find somewhere else to live are being offered rooms in the dorms of other CUNY schools. (Amanda Farinacci for NY1)

If you’re in self-quarantine with another person, are they a good chef? Here’s what it’s like to self-quarantine with a Michelin-starred chef. (Kaitlin Menza for Grub Street)

Thanks to reader Zlata for today’s featured photo!

The Briefly for February 5, 2020 – The “Why Bother Having A Public Transit System At All?” Edition

Today’s daily NYC news digest: The Upper West Side asks for a study on street parking, the five best bacon dishes, the NYPD blames a jump in crime on the latest boogeyman, and more

Today – Low: 37˚ High: 44˚
Light rain in the morning and overnight.

A not completely accurate comic portrayal of New York’s zoos. (@pixelatedboat)

Here’s the full list of Catholic clergy accused of sex abuse in NYC. (Adam Nichols for Patch)

29 things that are regular here and weird almost anywhere else. (Mary Lane for New York Cliche)

Andy Byford’s last day on the job for the New York Transit Authority will be February 22 and advocates are starting to get worried about the MTA’s ability to move forward without him. (Mark Hallum for amNewYork Metro)

The MTA is seeking proposals from ride-hailing services to help service transit deserts better by adding cars to bring people to the nearest subway stop during the hours of midnight and 5am. The details are nearly non-existent, like price and what locations would be served, but it’s a start. (Jose Martinez and Trone Dowd for The City)

Transit advocates are less than impressed with the MTA’s potential plan to subsidize for-hire car rides. Rather than address a real issue with transit availability, the MTA is punting to cabs to fill in the gaps it created. How long until the MTA uses this as an excuse to further cut back on night and weekend service? (Jake Offenhartz for Gothamist)

The city is working on a pilot program to bring a potential 5,000 basement apartments up to code in East New York, but at the same time they are also cracking down on illegal basement apartments elsewhere. (Kevin Sun for The Real Deal)

Robert Sietsema’s top five bacon dishes across the city. (Robert Sietsema for Eater)

What’s the top hotel in the city? Was your pick The Lowell Hotel New York on 62nd? According to US News and Reports, it’s #1. Check out the rest of the top ten. (Kathleen Culliton for Patch)

Renderings: Check out what the pedestrian plaza will look like outside Grand Central this summer. (Devin Gannon for 6sqft)

Does a perfect carrot cake exist? Does it come from Lloyd’s Carrot Cake in Riverdale? (Ed García Conde for Welcome2TheBronx)

The train that lost power between Secaucus and Penn Station left New Jersey at 6pm and didn’t arrive at Penn Station until 10pm for a ride that usually takes 15 minutes. (Sophia Chang for Gothamist)

17 hidden gems in Flushing. (Noah Sheidlower for Untapped New York)

All hail Pizza Rat, the unofficial subway mascot. (Ben Yakas for Gothamist)

New York’s tourism industry is taking a hard hit from the lack of Chinese tourists around the city, representing the second-largest foreign travelers in the world. (James Barron for NY Times)

The first person showing signs of coronavirus symptoms does not have coronavirus. The other two people showing symptoms have not been given a diagnosis. (Joseph Goldstein for NY Times)

The Knicks fired their team president Steve Mills. Whoever takes the job for James Dolan next will either become a very wealthy person or the biggest idiot in the NBA. (Joe Pantorno for amNewYork Metro)

Kids born later in the year are up to 70% more likely to be diagnosed as having a learning disability by the city’s public schools according to a new data analysis from the Independent Budget Office. (Kathleen Culliton for Patch)

It’s an inclusive sauna on wheels, and yes, it’s in Bushwick. (Collier Sutter for Time Out)

The NYPD isn’t supposed to talk about public policy, so why are they opening their mouths about bail reform? Oh right, because they police themselves and basically feel like they can do almost anything they want. (Christopher Robbins for Gothamist)

January saw a 20% drop in murder, a 24% drop in hate crimes and an 18% drop in rape, but the overall volume of crime was up 17% compared to last January. The Police Benevolent Association’s Pat Lynch has decided this overall jump can be blamed on the NYPD’s latest boogeyman: bail reform. With the reforms being on the books for one month, it is impossible to make a direct connection between the two. (Kathleen Culliton for Patch)

Incidents of slashings and stabbings in city jails surged 10.4 percent last year and physical confrontations between detainees and corrections officers rose sharply to a staggering 37 percent—and the City Council Committee on Criminal Justice is trying to find out why. (Matthew Benedetti for NY City Lens)

The NYPD is phasing out its activity log memo books in favor of an iPhone app. The books have been in use since the 1800s and the new app will centralize the information and leave less room for fudging the facts. (Corey Kilgannon for NY Times)

22 go-to fast casual spots in the Financial District. (Urvija Banerji for Eater)

Brooklyn Bridge Park has new a public art installation at Pier 3. The large metal hoops are called “New York Clearing” by Antony Gormley and I’m going to withhold my judgement on this until I experience it firsthand, because it’s looking a little weird in the photos. (Gabe Herman amNewYork Metro)

An adult tree house is coming to this luxury Lower East Side high-rise. Of course it is. (Howard Halle for Time Out)

It took eight months, two closed-door sessions, and an hour of debate on the last night, but Community Board 7 on the Upper West Side has asked the city for a study curbside usage on the Upper West Side and explores the idea of paid residential parking permits. Eight months. (Eve Kessler for Streetsblog)

“The usual?” 26 restaurants where you’ll want to become a regular. (Hannah Albertine, Bryan Kim, & Matt Tervooren for The Infatuation)