The Briefly for June 26, 2020 – The “Welcome to Manhattan, $20 Please” Weekend Edition

Today’s daily NYC news digest: The CBGB Caucus, phase three could start on July 6, vendors return to Rockaway Beach, Harlem gets a Black Lives Matter street mural, and more

Today – Low: 72˚ High: 85˚
Clear throughout the day.
This weekend – Low: 74˚ High: 86˚

2020 is the year that everyone wants to start selling nutcrackers. (Margot Boyer-Dry for NY Times)

Without federal assistance, the MTA is leaving nothing in the table when it comes to attempting to make up for a combined $15 billion of lost revenue over two years. Already discussed are the disastrous combinations of non‐personnel expense reductions, reductions in force, fare and toll increases, service reductions, and “long‐term deficit financing.” (Stephen Nessen for Gothamist)

With the MTA’s trouble at the front of mind, let’s not forget that the city is waiting on federal approval for congestion pricing to enter Manhattan. A Cornell University study found that a $20 toll could reduce Manhattan’s traffic by 40%, greenhouse gas emission could be cut by 15%, and ridership on mass transit would increase by 6%. (Mark Hallum for amNewYork Metro)

The MTA will rename two Brooklyn subway stops to include the name of Medgar Evers College, thanks to legislation from Assembly Member Diana Richardson and State Senator Zellnor Myrie. The new stops will be named Franklin Avenue-Medgar Evers College and President Street-Medgar Evers College. (David Cruz for Gothamist)

One of the hardest-hit industries during the pandemic is dog walkers. As life slowly edges towards normal and dog adoptions have spiked, can dog walker rebound? (Mili Godio for Bedford + Bowery)

City Councilmember Ritchie Torres has a sizable lead in the 15th Congressional District in the South Bronx. If that lead persists through the counting of absentee ballots, he could be the first out gay Afro-Latinx member of Congress. (Matt Tracy for Gay City News)

The NYPD promoted three people of color to chief positions. (Todd Maisel for amNewYork Metro)

David Afanador, the cop who allegedly put a man in an illegal chokehold in Queens days after it became illegal across the state, turned himself in and was charged with attempted aggravated strangulation and strangulation in the second degree. If convicted, he could face seven years in prison. (NY1)

Identifying 10 streets that would be ideal to close for outdoor dining. (Eater)

22 branches of the NYPL, QPL, and BPL will be opening on July 13 for grab-and-go service. (Jen Carlson for Gothamist)

Grub Street floats an interesting idea: Should this be the end of the traditional menu? Chris Crowley for Grub Street)

We’re five days into phase two, which means the city is turning its eyes towards phase three, which includes basketball courts, dog runs, indoor restaurant service, nail salons, massage therapists, and other personal care services. The city is on pace to hit phase three on July 6. (Adam Nichols for Patch)

City Councilmembers Justin Brannan and Keith Powers have formed the “CBGB Caucus” as a way to help support independent music venues that remain closed and will remain closed through phase three, across the city. In a letter to the city’s Congressional Delegation, they outline support for a benefit for venues that have been completely unable to open due to the pandemic and emergency unemployment benefits for their workers. (Amanda Hatfield for BrooklynVegan)

The New-York Historical Society will, with approval from the city, be opening on August 14 with an outdoor exhibition called “Hope Wanted: New York City Under Quarantine“. (Howard Halle for Time Out)

As stores slowly reopen, there’s a movement to preserve the protest art that adorned storefronts around SoHo. (NY1)

It’s less than reassuring to know that in the week of a primary, the NYC Board of Elections Director was fined for violating the city’s ethics law. The center of the violation is a hotel stay in 2018 that was paid for by Election Systems & Software while he was serving on their board, a company that the city purchases election machines and supplies from. He resigned from his position with ES&S later in 2018. (Brigid Bergin for Gothamist)

The local election to watch this fall will be Trump-supporting Republican challenger Assemblywoman Nicole Malliotakis trying to unseat Democratic incumbent Rep. Max Rose. Only a few days out from the primaries and both are on the attack. Rose called Malliotakis “a fraud who represents everything we hate about our politics.” (Rose Adams for amNewyork Metro)

Farewell to the Way Station, the Doctor Who-themed bar in Prospect Heights, who will not be regenerating after the pandemic. (Serena Dai for Eater)

10 chefs and restauranteurs discuss how they feel about reopening. (The Infatuation)

The New York City Council voted Thursday to legalize e-bikes and e-scooters for use on city streets, forcing the mayor to confront a reversal of his ill-conceived and poorly-executed crackdown of electric bikes. (Brendan Krisel for Patch)

Take a walk around the Rink at Rockefeller Center and it will become impossible to not see the 100 Pride flags flying around the plaza as a part of Rockefeller Center’s celebration of World Pride Day. (Howard Halle for Time Out)

If you can’t get out and do a socially-distant tour of LGBTQ+ landmarks across the city the NYC LGBT Historic Sites Project and CyArk created a 3D virtual tour. (Shaye Weaver for Time Out)

A look at Attorney General William Barr’s attempt to undermine New York’s federal prosecutors. (Benjamin Weiser, Ben Protess, Katie Benner and William K. Rashbaum for NY Times)

New York is releasing $65 million in federal money to help preschools and daycare centers reopen after the coronavirus forced many to close down. The preschools and daycares say it isn’t enough. (Christina Veiga for Chalkbeat)

Harlem will be getting a Black Lives Matter street mural on Adam Clayton Powell Jr. Boulevard between 125th and 127th Streets. (Howard Halle for Time Out)

A look at the positive impact the city’s use of hotel rooms as homeless shelters can have. (Courtney Gross for NY1)

It won’t be happening this weekend, but along with lifeguards, food vendors are coming back to Rockaway Beach on July 1. (Alexander Jusdanis for Bedford + Bowery)

28 NYC restaurants with new outdoor dining. (Hannah Albertine, Nikko Duren, & Matt Tervooren for The Infatuation)

Thanks to reader Chris for today’s photo of the new VBallentine mural in Crown Heights.

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 21, 2020 – The “Is This Guy A Complete Idiot?” Edition

Today’s daily NYC news digest: The city struggles to keep yeshivas closed, 19 organizations helping essential workers, 10 lesser-known picnic spots, and more

Today – Low: 54˚ High: 61˚
Clear throughout the day.

More and more, people are waking up to the realization that whatever the city looks like after this is all over, it doesn’t have to be what it was before this started. Manhattan President Gale Brewer wants an expanded Street Seats program and less parking. (Dave Colon for Streetsblog)

“Do you have reservations? No? Please leave.” Is reservations only the future of restaurants? (Emma Orlow for Time Out)

Is Dr. Mitchell Katz, the head of the city’s public hospital system and also the city’s tracing system for Covid-19, a delusional idiot? He made mention that everyone should do what he did to help his ailing parents and just find an apartment in your building to put her in instead of a nursing home. Everyone has the ability to do that, right? Just pay for another apartment and also maybe hire a caretaker. What do you mean he’s making $700,000 and you’re not? Just get a $700,000 a year job and then you’re all set. (Kathleen Culliton for Patch)

It looks like Michael Cohen may serve the rest of his prison sentence at home thanks to an early release over Covid-19 concerns. (Benjamin Weiser, Katie Benner and William K. Rashbaum for NY Times)

The Metropolitan Museum of Art is planning a mid-August reopening “or perhaps a few weeks later,” which is a lot of wiggle room. Whenever they reopen, the rest of the year will have additional social distancing requirements with the hope that things can be relaxed sometime in 2021, when the Met Gala might also return. (Ben Yakas for Gothamist)

The city’s politicians and advocacy groups are beginning to share one message to the mayor, and that is when we open up, we have to stop using streets for cars and let businesses and people take over the streets. (Kathleen Culliton for Patch)

19 organizations helping essential workers in NYC. (Hannah Albertine for The Infatuation)

The NYPD dispursed three yeshivas that had illegally opened up for classes and gatherings on Wednesday and were issued “polite warnings.” The mayor was pushed about this on Inside City Hall with Errol Louis, who asked him if he had “some kind of political understanding with the leaders of the Orthodox community that there would basically be no enforcement around this?” The mayor insisted they are receiving no special treatment, despite multiple pieces of evidence that gatherings are happening regularly. Let’s not forget that the mayor’s wife has aspirations of running for Brooklyn borough president. (Jake Offenhartz for Gothamist)

Child vaccination rates plummeted 63% as Covid-19 spread across New York City. (Kathleen Culliton for Patch)

City landmarks will be lit up green tonight in honor of the parks workers. (Dana Schulz for 6sqft)

The 10 best lesser-known spots for a lovely NYC picnic. (Bao Ong for Time Out)

Thanks to reader Monty for today’s featured photo!