The Briefly for May 29, 2020 – The “Our ‘Let Someone Else Figure It Out’ Mayor” Weekend Edition

Today’s daily NYC news digest: The future of movie theaters, George Floyd demonstrations, the city’s contact tracing program is a mess, the Tompkins Square hawks grow up, and more

Today – Low: 69˚ High: 75˚
Possible drizzle overnight.
This weekend – Low: 53˚ High: 79˚

The City Council is pushing a sidewalk-table bill forward that would allow restaurants to apply for permits that would expire on October 31 for outdoor dining. This isn’t a revolutionary idea, even Cincinnatti got it done already. Mayor de Blasio’s complete lack of leadership constantly leaves voids for others to fill. (Gabriel Sandoval for The City)

When the city starts phase one of reopening, employees of construction jobs, wholesale, manufacturing, agriculture, and retail companies (with safety procedures in place) can go back to work. This will mean somewhere between 200,000 and 400,000 New Yorkers will return to work. (Shaye Weaver for Time Out)

Once New yorkers start to get back to work, how are they getting there? Are the city and state committed to making sure that our public transportation can get those workers to work safely? Our mayor, not known for being proactive, is leaving that decision up to workers and is expecting that the “short-term reality” is that there will be a spike in drivers. No talk about making sure the subways and buses are safe and will be ready no conversation about more opportunities for bicycles, just more cars. (Elizabeth Kim for Gothamist)

All the borough presidents have sent a letter to the mayor demanding the city set aside 40 miles of “emergency” bus lanes to get ahead of the expected car congestion. My favorite bit of reporting from this article is “In a press conference on Thursday, the mayor did not allude specifically to the letters, but told reporters that he’s thinking about what to do, but hasn’t done anything yet.” Beautiful. (Gersh Kuntzman for Streetsblog)

So you’ve made sourdough bread, countless cocktails, Shake Shack sauces, Junior’s cheesecakes, and pizza at home during the pandemic. What’s next? Boba Guys have a DIY bubble tea kit. (Bao Ong for Time Out)

The same groups that sued the city over its stop-and-frisk policy have sued the city over the NYPD’s Covid-19 social distancing enforcement, calling it “stop and frisk 2.0.” Their original case against the city led to a ruling that declared stop and frisk unconstitutional and racially discriminatory. (Kevin Duggan for amNewYork Metro)

Union Square was full of protestors on Thursday night as a part of nationwide demonstrations sparked by the killing of George Floyd by the Minneapolis police. The demonstrators were met with an aggressive police presence, including an eye witness seeing an officer put a knee on someone’s neck as a part of their arrest. Another rally is planned for 4 pm in Foley Square and at night outside the Barclays Center. (Jake Offenhartz for Gothamist)

Photos: 10 weeks of a quiet Tribeca. (Tribeca Citizen)

Video: Over 100 years of bread-baking experience at Madonia Bakery in the Bronx. (Ed García Conde for Welcome2TheBronx)

Williamsburg has a new mural, courtesy of street artist Swoon, on S. Fifth Street. (Rose Adams for Brooklyn Paper)

When we think back to what was different about the summer of 2020, the return of drive-in movies to the city should be close to the top of the list. (Erika Adams for Eater)

Five tech-forward strategies restaurants are testing to ease back into dining in NYC. (Tanay Warerkar for Eater)

The Times’ review of the animated “Central Park” on Apple TV+ from the makers of Bob’s Burgers: “Delightful, not depressing.” (James Poniewozik for NY Times)

Video: The stunning sights of empty NYC landmarks. (Shaye Weaver for Time Out)

One of the reasons that I love New York City is that a headline that reads “Gay, democratic-socialist candidate leads Clinton Hill state senate race in fundraising” is not remotely out of the ordinary. One reason Jabari Brisport is out ahead for his senate race is the support of Bernie Sanders’ Our Revolution. (Matt Tracy for Brooklyn Paper)

A feature on artist Sara Erenthal, whose work you’ve likely strewn about the city, and her latest series of work dedicated to the city under lockdown. (Howard Halle for Time Out)

How many of the city’s 1.1 million students are taking classes online? Don’t ask the Department of Education. No, seriously, don’t ask because they don’t know. (Jessica Gould for Gothamist)

Movie theaters are a part of phase four of New York’s reopening plan, which could be July or later. What will movie theaters look like when they reopen? (Collier Sutter for Time Out)

No mask, no service. The governor signed an executive order allowing businesses to refuse service to people for not wearing masks. (Kathleen Culliton for Patch)

Video: Maybe it was partially inspired by this video of Staten Islanders screaming at an unmasked woman to get the hell out of a grocery store until she left. (TMZ)

How do you wear a mask to a bar or restaurant? Good question. Grub Street dives in. (Chris Crowley for Grub Street)

Bobby Catone, known jackass and owner of a tanning salon on Staten Island, opened his tanning salon for a moment on Thursday morning when he was warned by police he could be thrown in jail and have his license revoked if he disobeys and opens his salon again. (David Cruz for Gothamist)

Apartment Porn: Hillary Swank’s former townhouse in the West Village sold for $9.8 million. (Devin Gannon for 6sqft)

More than 190,000 New Yorkers applied for unemployment last week as national joblessness rates reached 41 million. (Kathleen Culliton for Patch)

The city supposedly hired over 1,700 contract tracers, but the reality of the situation is uncertain and the blame is being put on Mayor de Blasio for making NYC Health & Hospitals in charge of the effort instead of the Department of Health. (Jake Offenhartz for Gothamist)

The Brooklyn Museum will become a temporary food pantry starting in June. (Emma Orlow for Time Out)

It’s art you’ll need a drone to appreciate. Jorge Rodriguez-Gerada is painting a 20,000 square-foot mural in Flushing Meadows/Corona Park. (Howard Halle for Time Out)

Photos: The Tompkins Square hawks are growing up right before our eyes. (Lauge Goggin Photography)

The mayor is flirting with a financial tactic with the intention of digging the city out of its current financial hole that brought the city to the brink of bankruptcy in the 1970s. The idea is to borrow up to $7 billion from the state, which would put the city on the hook for $500 million payments for the next twenty years. The idea was called “fiscally questionable” by the governor. (Luis Ferré-Sadurní, Jeffery C. Mays and Jesse McKinley for NY Times)

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

The Briefly for May 18, 2020 – The “Bored Enough to Give Yourself a Tattoo?” Edition

Today’s daily NYC news digest: The entire city will take a huge financial hit in 2020, except the NYPD, the late-night delivery guide, the Williams Pipeline is dead, baby bears, and more

Today – Low: 55˚ High: 68˚
Mostly cloudy throughout the day.

The city remains on PAUSE, hitting only 3 of the 7 metrics necessary to start phase one of reopening.

There will be no city beaches open for Memorial Day weekend. (Anna Quinn for Patch)

As New York state is losing billions of dollars, politicians are turning their eyes towards a source of revenue they’ve failed to pull the trigger on for years: legal marijuana. (Kathleen Culliton for Patch)

Video: Watch Andean Bear cubs Brienne and Benny explore their habitat in the Queens Zoo for the first time. (Emily Davenport for amNewYork Metro)

How bored are you at home? Are you ready to do your own stick and poke tattoo? (Dani Blum for NY Times)

Will the Covid-19 pandemic mean the end of the walk-in tattoo appointment? When the city’s tattoo shops reopen, there’s a chance. What will all the tattoo parlors do with their very clever Christopher Walken-related signs? (Emma Orlow for Time Out)

The city’s park conservancies are expecting a massive financial hit this year, forcing them to drastically alter their organizations, including a reduction of over 350,000 hours of work, a half-million trees not being planted, an 80% reduction of park improvements, with up to a 68% loss of income in the worst case. (Jason Cohen for Bronx Times)

Governor Cuomo warned that without the HEROES Act, there would be devastating cuts to the budgets of education and medical programs, as well as local governments. (Robert Pzarycki for amNewYork Metro)

The NYC Ferry system is looking at a 20% reduction on top of the 30% reduction in service, with an intent to save the city up to $10 million. In addition, new ferry locations are being pushed back to 2021. (Mark Hallum for amNewYork Metro)

The city is no different. The $10 billion shortfall will impact pretty much everything the city offers, like canceling the youth employment program, freezing new teacher hires, and killing environmental initiatives. As crime is at historic lows, the NYPD is not poised to take much of a financial hit at all, as de Blasio’s administration prioritizes policing its citizens over helping them. (Jake Offenhartz for Gothamist)

This is the same NYPD that was incapable of enforcing social distancing without immediately reminding us all about its racist enforcement of stop-and-frisk as officers beat and pummeled people of color all across the city while glad-handing white people in parks. The NYPD has shown us the Peter Principle up close, as the mayor has reduced their role in enforcing social distancing because they can’t be trusted to treat all New Yorkers like people. (Joe Anuta for Politico)

This is the same NYPD that can’t be bothered to actually execute the city’s open streets plans while its people are desperate for space. (Gersh Kuntzman for Streetsblog)

The NYPD won’t even be fully in charge of the city’s plans to limit access to portions of parks to prevent overcrowding. A portion of the work will be going to the city’s 2,260 new “social distancing ambassadors.” (Alejandra O’Connell-Domenech for amNewyork Metro)

Jadakiss donated 250 pizzas to medicals centers throughout in the Bronx, Harlem, and Yonkers as part of the Pizza vs. Pandemic initiative. (Alex Mitchell for Bronx Times)

The Times rides-along with the subway shutdown. (Christina Goldbaum for NY Times)

Photos from the inside of the 30th Street Men’s Shelter on First Avenue in Manhattan show people in close quarters sleeping on stairs and in hallways, proving the city is failing its population of homeless New Yorkers. (Courtney Gross for NY1)

The city’s response to the photos was to put more homeless New Yorkers into hotel rooms but has been pairing them up, which seems counterproductive if you’re trying to prevent the spread of Covid-19. The City Council is preparing a bill that would require hotel rooms used as an alternative to shelters to be single occupancy. (Sophia Chang for Gothamist)

WNYC and Gothamistreceived an $8.9 million Paycheck Protection Program loan from the federal government to help the $10 million deficit it was projecting, saving many journalism jobs. (Christopher Robbins for Gothamist)

VICE, owned by Refinery29, announced its laying off 155 employees. There is local support to add financial support for digital media in the HEROES Act in Congress, but I can’t fathom a world where the Trump administration does anything to actually help journalists. (Caroline Lewis for Gothamist)

An analysis puts the number of people who fled the city between Match and May at 420,000. In some neighborhoods like the Upper East Side, the West Village, SoHo, and Brooklyn Heights, the population has decreased by up to 40%. It should be no surprise that the more wealthy someone is, the most likely they were to abandon New York City. (Kevin Quealy for NY Times)

The New York Department of Environmental Conservation denied a permit necessary for the construction of the Williams Pipeline, essentially killing the fracked gas pipeline that would have terminated in the Rockaways and was at the center of National Grid’s refusal of service to new customers at the end of last year. (Peter Rugh for The Indypendent)

Someone is trying to plan a drive-in festival in “Yankee Stadium’s parking lot,” including live music, movies, games, etc. Take a moment and open up a map app or website and take a look at Yankee Stadium. Try to find “the parking lot.” Yankee Stadium doesn’t actually have a large parking lot. There are parking garages and a few dirt lots that double as parking when there are games, but there isn’t one large parking lot near the stadium like there is at Citi Field where you would think an elevated stage would let anyone see a performance. (Amanda Hatfield for BrooklynVegan)

Notify NYC sent out a mass text on Saturday saying there’s an “alarming shortage of donated blood.” The FDA amended its homophobic rule about not accepting blood donations from gay or bisexual men (but still won’t accept blood from a man who has had sexual contact with another man in the last three months) but the New York Blood Center says it can’t adopt those changes until June. (Emily Ngo for NY1)

The signs for Gem Spa came down over the weekend. (EV Grieve)

“You could feel it going through your veins and it was almost like someone injected you with straight-up fire.” The new syndrome linked to Covid-19 that is impacting kids sounds like actual hell. (Pan Belluck for NY Times)

New York children of color may be more vulnerable to the toxic shock-like syndrome linked to new coronavirus, according to demographic data released by City Hall. (Kathleen Culliton for Patch)

The city closed the field hospital at the Billie Jean King Tennis Center, which housed 79 patients, the last of whom left the hospital on Saturday. (Allie Griffin for Queens Post)

The late-night delivery guide. (Matt Tervooren for The Infatuation)

Thanks to reader Zlata for today’s featured flower photo from Grand Army Plaza in Central Park.

The Briefly for May 14, 2020 – The “Your Reservation for The L Train is in 45 Minutes” Edition

Today’s daily NYC news digest: 12 miles of new open streets, the NYPD take aim at Dr Oxiris Barbot, the possible end of the Staten Island Yankees, a brunch delivery guide, and more

Today – Low: 58˚ High: 62˚
Possible light rain overnight.

I haven’t been tested this whole time.” -Mayor de Blasio (Kathleen Culliton for Patch)

The city is adding 12 additional miles of open streets today/Thursday. Some protected bike lanes that have been long-planned were also announced for opening throughout the month. (Dana Schulz for 6sqft)

The MTA is looking into “everything” when it comes to crowd control and reducing packed subway cars once the city starts reopening, including reserving space on subways and buses. (Collier Sutter for Time Out)

The chaos at Elmhurst hospital exposes the city’s lack of a cohesive healthcare system and shows that all we have are a series of hospitals that are ill-equipped to work as a team. (Jim Dwyer for NY Times)

The police union is calling for the head of Dr. Oxiris Barbot after she denied an NYPD request for 500,000 surgical masks during the height of the pandemic. Her response was that she “didn’t give two rats’ asses about your cops.” Okay, maybe that’s not the best response, but the NYPD’s total headcount is 55,000, why do they need 500,000 masks during a PPE shortage? (NY1)

It must be fun to be NYPD Commissioner Dermot Shea because he seems to exist in a reality that the rest of us don’t inhabit. According to Shea, the problem with the NYPD’s selective and racially biased enforcement isn’t the NYPD, the problem is the people the NYPD are enforcing the rules on. No one doubts that being an NYPD officer is one of the toughest possible jobs in the city, but to argue that when a cop with a violent history beats the shit out of an NYCHA groundskeeper with no criminal history, it’s the groundskeeper’s fault? (Jake Offenhartz for Gothamist)

It was only a few months ago that I linked to a story about Brian Quinn, aka Q from “Impractical Jokers” on TruTV reviving the Rubsam and Horrmann name for brewing company in Staten Island. Covid-19, like with most things, pumped the brakes on his places. Now their unused beer is being used to create hand santizer, working with Kings County Distillery in Brooklyn. (Roger Clark for NY1)

State Senator Julia Salazar earned Bernie Sanders’s endorsement in her re-election campaign, along with financial support from his followers. State Senator Mike Gianaris also earned Sanders’s support for his beating back of Amazon in Queens. (Andrew Karpan for Bushwick Daily)

82 kids are being treated for pediatric multi-system inflammatory syndrome. Fourteen states and five European countries are investigating the syndrome. (Kathleen Culliton for Patch)

The move by Major League Baseball to downsize minor league teams is still moving forward, and the Staten Island Yankees are still on the chopping block. Game attendance was at its lowest last season and its games are the third-lowest attended games in the league. This could be the last season for the team if the season ever gets started. (Amanda Farinacci for NY1)

There’s a commissioned new mural at Atlantic Terminal by Brooklyn artist Jason Naylor which adds a splash of bright color, titled “Hope,” to the city. (Meaghan McGoldrick for Brooklyn Paper)

Governor Cuomo added a sign language interpreter to his daily press conferences after being sued by Disability Rights New York for not including one. (Marina Fang for HuffPost)

Crews at Green-Wood Cemetery have been working seven days a week with shifts that can be longer than 17 hours to keep up with the demand for cremation and burials. (Gwynne Hogan for Gothamist)

In a sign of good news, healthcare workers now have a lower rate of infection than the general population, which points at being careful and taking precautions actually working. (Mark Hallum for amNewYork Metro)

Are we ready for in-person shopping to look very different? (Collier Sutter for Time Out)

David Chang is closing Momofuku Nishi for good. (Emma Orlow for Time Out)

The City Council passed a package of legislation to help small businesses on Wednesday that aims to protect commercial tenants from harassment by their landlords and restrict the fees that third-party apps such as Grubhub and Uber Eats can charge businesses during states of emergency. (Ben Verde for amNewYork Metro)

The New York Times has discovered something new during the pandemic: the outside. (Alexis Soloski for NY Times)

The city is supposed to be stepping up to help New York’s homeless when the subways close at 1 am. NY1 followed the trains to the end of the tracks to find a city that was not equipped to help the people that need it the most. (Courtney Gross for NY1)

Plan your weekend, here’s a brunch delivery guide. (Nikko Duren for The Infatuation)

Thanks to reader Karen for today’s featured photo of a new way to get car-free streets in the city.