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 February 20, 2020 – The “A Diner by Any Other Name” Edition

Today’s daily NYC news digest: “The Joy Goddess” of Harlem, the Lowline is dead, the best cocktail bars, Myles makes its NYC app debut, Lyft’s electric bikes are back and more

Today – Low: 22˚ High: 38˚
Mostly cloudy throughout the day.

A look at A’Lelia Walker, daughter of Madam C.J. Walker, who 100 years ago in Harlem was given the nickname of “the Joy Goddess” by Langston Hughes, and whose parties and events provided a central location for the Harlem Renaissance. Part of a series by The Root focusing on little-known or forgotten rebels, celebrating Black History Month. (Anne Branigin for The Root)

Mayor Bloomberg started off his debate night getting ruined by Elizabeth Warren. The rest of the night didn’t go so great for him either. (John F. Harris for Politico)

A timeline of Michael Bloomberg’s support of stop and frisk. (Maggie Astor for NY Times)

The Lowline, once an extremely cool idea of putting a Highline style park in an abandoned trolley terminal in the Lower East Side, is dead. After more than a decade of work, the project is out of money. (Bowery Boogie)

Let’s grapple with an existential question for a moment: Is the Soho Diner really a diner? In Robert Sietsema’s review, he points towards no, with food choices pointing more towards “Top Chef” than “greasy spoon.” The desserts earned a compliment, but those are from Petee’s Pies and not made in house. Is a diner by name still a diner? (Robert Sietsema for Eater)

Myles is a new ride-hailing app available this week in NYC. The company claims rides will be 10% cheer than Lyft and Uber on average and they won’t make use of surge pricing. (Igor Bonifacic for Engadget)

Say hello to Eugene Hernandez, the new director of the New York Film Festival. (Sara Aridi for NY Times)

The MTA is betting $15 billion of its $51 billion 2020 – 2024 capital plan on the Trump Administration giving congestion pricing the go ahead and not delaying the 2021 rollout. If there is a delay or a call for an environmental impact study, congestion pricing won’t start on time and the MTA would likely have to borrow money, eventually leading to a transit financial disaster. (Dave Colon for Streetsblog)

Lyft’s pedal-assisted electric bikes are finally back, after being pulled out of commission in April 2019 for malfunctioning brakes and batteries. (Tina Bellon for amNewYork Metro)

Chairnobyl? Chairnobyl. (EV Grieve)

NYC’s best under-the-radar museums, mapped. (Ameena Walker for Curbed)

This ain’t the piercing pagoda kiosk in the mall. A “hole new you” is ht promise of the new piercing studio Studs in Nolita. (Lindsay Tuchman for NY1)

The NYPD arrested a 14-year-old, the third and final suspect in the killing of 18-year-old Barnard College student Tessa Majors on Wednesday. (JB Nicholas for Gothamist)

Apartment Porn: Take a look inside the ex-WeWork CEO’s three-story $27.5 million Gramercy Park apartment. (Valeria Ricciulli for Curbed)

John Ciero, a former NYPD officer, is among five people indicted in federal court for dealing meth and a date rape drug called GBL, the U.S. Attorney’s Office in the Southern District of New York announced on Wednesday. (Sydney Pereira for Gothamist)

New York City’s first weed dummies are arriving in Queens. Of course, you need to have a prescription to get them for the moment. (Jacob Kaye for QNS)

Here are the new protected bike lanes coming to Manhattan this year. From the plan, it looks like you’ll finally be able to bike around the perimeter of Manhattan completely in 2021. (Jake Offenhartz for Gothamist)

This story of a parrot who got loose in Manhattan, is frankly amazing. (Emily Flitter for NY Times)

Plush seating and carpets. That sounds like a good idea for the subways, right? (Jen Carlson for Gothamist)

Citywide alternate side parking tickets will be increasing from $45 to $65 starting today. I used to live in Park Slope and my upstairs neighbor never moved his car for ASP because if he never moved his car and just paid the tickets once a week, he was still going to pay less than if he put his car in any garage in the neighborhood for the month. At $65, three tickets a month is still cheaper than any garage. (Kristen Torres for Sunnyside Post)

James Dolan has won more legal victories over former-Knicks star Charles Oakley than the actual Knicks have won championships over anyone. (Ben Yakas for Gothamist)

The West Side Story revival has been met with protests, as demonstrators have been calling for Amar Ramasar’s removal from the cast because of his role in a photo-sharing scandal at City Ballet. (Julia Jacobs for NY Times)

Chirlane McCray, Mayor de Blasio’s wife, launched a podcast called “Thrive with Chirlane McCray” on the Brooklyn Free Speech podcast network and we are all paying for it. The podcast is funded by Thrive NYC, which has received $850 million in taxpayer funds. (Sophia Chang for Gothamist)

Do you know about “The Atlantic Ticket?” That’s a LIRR ticket that allows you to go from one of Brooklyn’s three stops to Jamaica, Hollis, Queens Village, Locust Manor, St. Albans, Laurelton or Rosedale for only $5. The success of this ticket is renewing calls that traveling within the city on the LIRR should cost $2.75. (Jose Martinez and Trone Dowd for The City)

Happy the elephant, who resides in the Bronx Zoo, does not have human-like rights and does not have to be transferred to a sanctuary. (NY1)

Believe it or not, there are people that live in the Financial District, and those people showed up in force to show their support against the creators of Sleep No More getting a liquor license at a Manhattan Community Board 1 licensing committee meeting. The new show is looking to set up shop in a mostly residential building. The NIMBYs voted against recommending a liquor license be granted and the proposal goes to a full vote of the community board next week, and the State Liquor Authority only uses community board votes as guidance, so it’s still possible the show moves forward as planned. (Ben Brachfield for Gothamist)

RIP Swamp Trump. We hardly knew ye. (Scott Enman for Brooklyn Eagle)

NYC’s top cocktail bars. (Melissa Kravitz Hoeffner for Eater)

thanks to reader Jacqueline for today’s featured photo!

The Briefly for November 25, 2019 – The “We Have A Heart, Also You’re Under Arrest” Edition

The mayor’s Rockefeller Center pedestrian plaza plans meets resistance, where to eat on Thanksgiving, Bloomberg gets into the race, and more in today’s daily NYC news digest

This week’s late night subway disruptions end on Wednesday night, because holiday schedules start on Thursday. (Subway Weekender)

It’s that time of year again, time to start speculating if weather will ground the Thanksgiving Day Parade balloons. (CNN)

Construction injuries were up 61% last year and the city is mobilizing its inspectors to make surprise visits to the largest construction sites to crack down on dangerous conditions and it seems to be working. Injuries are down 26% this yer. The team of 38 has carried out 10,256 surprise inspections and that still only covers a quarter of active construction sites. (NY Times)

Portraits of the city’s Black vegan movement from Black VegFest. (Civil Eats)

FedEx’s delivery robots have made their way to Lower Manhattan. (Gothamist)

It’s hard enough to figure out what is temperature appropriate to wear on a daily basis in the city when the outside temperature is below freezing, some subway platforms are roughly 85 degrees, and your average office temperature fluctuates between chilly and uncomfortably cold, let along if you’re moving from California. Welcome to New York Joan Summers, none of us know how to dress in New York City. (Jezebel NYC)

The NYPD’s Chief of Transit is committed to go on a four borough “tour” to meet with subway vendors and community members to show that transit cops “have a heart.” (Gothamist)

Those same NYPD transit cops gave Matthew Chavez, the creator of the “Subway Therapy” project, a ticket for his post-it note-based project which has been going for over two years without incident in the tunnel between 6th and 7th Aves in the 14th St subway stop. (Gothamist)

NYPD transit cops pinned a homeless woman to the ground and handcuffed her in another disturbing video made public by passersby. The mayor’s office claims the woman was being sent to a hospital as a part of the MTA’s “homeless outreach.” Weird how helping someone with a mental illness looks a lot like arresting them. (Gothamist)

Protests against the NYPD’s policing of the subways briefly shut down the 125th St stop on the 4/5/6 on Friday night. (amNewYork)

Photos from the protest, which resulted in 58 arrests. (The Independent)

The Coney Island subway station is roofed with solar panels, but they’ve been off-line since in 2012. When installed, the panels were supposed to cut back on 17,000 tons of carbon dioxide emissions over 40 years. That is, of course, if they are operational. (Brooklyn Daily Eagle)

The city will shut down Fifth and Sixth Aves surrounding Rockefeller Plaza to cars for portions fo the day from Thanksgiving to January in hopes of relieving sidewalk congestion and forcing automobile traffic to find another way around the neighborhood. This is the plan that the Department of Transportation announced last month and the mayor said wasn’t yet approved. (NY Times)

The FDNY has “deep health and safety concerns” about the pedestrian plaza plan, claiming it will make it harder to get around the area due to rerouting of vehicles and that the mayor’s office didn’t adequately notify the local fire companies. (amNewYork)

The MTA isn’t happy with the plan either, due to the bus stops that will be bypassed during the hours the pedestrian plazas will be in operation. (Streetsblog)

The city’s reported HIV cases are at their lowest since the city started tracking them in 2001, with until 2000 cases reported in 2018. That number is 67% down from 2001. (amNewYork)

The NYPD agreed to give the Civilian Complaint Review Board access to body-cam footage except in the most serious cases. It sounds simple, but the actual agreement is ridiculous. There will be a “secure room” where one NYPD member will look for footage and one CCRB member will oversee. This is meant to get the CCRB footage without 10-25 days instead of the current 18-month backlog that exists. (Gothamist)

If you love Christmas more than anything else in this world, this Buddy the Elf-themed hotel room at the Midtown 45 is probably up your alley. (Time Out)

The NYPD took time to attend a Community Board 6 meeting to spread fear about the bail reforms kicking in starting in January. Bail reforms were signed into law in April. (Bronx Times)

The NYPD aren’t the only ones fear-mongering over bail reform. Republican State Assemblymember Nicole Malliotakis, who represents Bay Ridge and a portion of Staten Island, is hopping on the scare train. Crime in New York has declined for 28 years straight and is at post-World War II levels. (The Brooklyn Home Reporter)

Photos from the Harlem Light It Up parade. (amNewYork)

A LIRR train derailed on Friday night at Jamaica. There were no injuries, but the MTA is investigating what caused the derailment. This is the second derailment in that area on that track. (amNewYork)

With Mike Bloomberg getting into the presidential race, every NYC mayor since 1993 is or has run for president. Maybe David Dinkins has some ambitions we don’t know about. Either way, Bloomberg is in. (Patch)

Here’s his announcement video. (Bloomberg 2020)

A water main break caused flooding in Sunset Park on Sunday after a 30-foot wide crater opened up and shot out water for six hours. There were no injuries or major damage. (amNewYork)

The Coast Guard pulled 23 out of 32 ferries out of operation over “safety discrepancies” after annual inspections were performed on Sunday. Six ferries are back in the water. (amNewYork)

Someone posted a Times Square bomb threat to Reddit on Sunday morning. The threat was deemed not credible and the NYPD are investigating the post. (NY Times)

Where to go out for Thanksgiving dinner in NYC

Thanks to MG Ashdown for today’s featured photo