The Briefly for March 23, 2020 – The “NYC’s First COVID-19 Scumbag Politician Has Emerged” Edition

Today’s daily NYC news digest: It is no longer showtime folks, COVID-19 updates, DMV closed, Amazon is possibly coming to Red Hook, Harvey Weinstein has coronavirus, and more

Today – Low: 40˚ High: 45˚
Rain throughout the day.

New York is now considered a disaster area. Hooray? (Michelle Young for Untapped New York)

The Department of Environmental Conservation was planning to begin enforcement of the plastic bag ban on April 1, but it has been delayed until May 1. (Scott Enman for Brooklyn Daily Eagle)

This is the moment when local politicians are starting to use the coronavirus outbreak for their own purposes. City Councilmember Chaim Deutsch, representing Brighton Beach, Midwood, and Sheepshead Bay, is using this moment to call for an end to the plastic bag ban. Deutsch was the lone vote on the City Council against the 5 cent paper bag fee and wrote an op-ed for The Yeshiva World titled “Are Plastic Bags The New Bail Reform?” arguing against the plastic bag ban. This is a disgusting use of a genuine crisis to push a personal agenda. (Jessica Parks for Brooklyn Paper)

Harvey Weinstein, an expert in non-consent, has something inside of him that he did not ask for: COVID-19. (Rebecca Fishbein for Jezebel)

An updated resource guide for artists and freelancers. (Savannah James for Bushwick Daily)

How to support the city’s venues during the outbreak. (Amanda Hatfield for BrooklynVegan)

Photos: One of the most devastating weeks for NYC restaurants. (Gary He for Eater)

A list of relief funds for the city’s restaurant workers. (Luke Fortney for Eater)

A tiny sliver of good news: You’ve got until July 15 to file your taxes. (Brian Faler for Politico)

Marine Park Hardware Corporation: a destination for tomato sauce? (Jessica Parks for Brooklyn Paper)

Video: A bike ride through the neighborhoods surrounding Wall Street and City Hall. (ActionKid)

I was planning on growing out a “plague beard,” but it seems like we’re all headed in a shaggier direction, as salons and barbershops were ordered closed but the governor. (Kathleen Culliton for Patch)

Douglas Elliman executive chairman Howard Lorber warns that a tax on second homes for the rich could “be a disaster, not just for real estate, but for the economy in New York.” Buddy, maybe it’s time to rethink the use of the term disaster. (Georgia Kromrei for The Real Deal)

Love is dead. The city’s marriage bureau is closed until further notice. (Kathleen Culliton for Patch)

The DMV is closed until further notice. The concern over traveling with a REAL ID come October isn’t nearly as pressing right now, but unless that deadline gets extended, New York is in for a real mess come October. (Gus Saltonstall for Patch)

Gem Spa is closed, temporarily. (EV Grieve)

Calls are getting louder to put a construction moratorium in place during the outbreak. (Caroline Spivack for Curbed)

Thanks to Governor Cuomo, we’re all on PAUSE, which is absolutely not a shelter-in-place order, or else he’d be agreeing to something Mayor de Blasio proposed. (Christopher Robbins for Gothamist)

In order to allow the real estate industry to continue moving forward, the governor is authorizing notaries to sign documents virtually. Wait, how does something get virtually notarized? (E.B.Solomont for The Real Deal)

Amazon is bidding on four former Fairway Market stores, including a Brooklyn location which I assume is the former Red Hook store. The other three are outside the city. (Devin Gannon for 6sqft)

Revel is offering free memberships to healthcare workers and is expanding its service area to cover multiple additional medical centers. (Devin Gannon for 6sqft)

The governor requested that FEMA erect four 250-bed Federal hospitals at the Javits Center. (Devin Gannon for 6sqft)

The city’s hospitals are running dangerously low on personal protective gear. City health officials told hospitals to stop testing patients unless they needed hospitalization. Each test administered requires an entire set of gowns, gloves, and masks that can’t be reused. Without help, the city will run out of supplies in two weeks. (Gwynne Hogan for Gothamist)

How to donate supplies to hospitals. (Rachel Holliday Smith for The City)

It’s the worst time to give birth in New York City. All visitors, including partners, are banned from maternity wards in NewYork-Presbyterian hospitals. (Rebecca Fishbein for Jezebel)

Andrew Yang announced his foundation Humanity Forward was partnering with One Fair Wage for a Universal Basic Income pilot program to give $1,000 to 1,000 families in the Bronx and more for families across the country hit with job losses during the COVID-19 outbreak. (Jason Cohen for Bronx Times)

10 great outdoor sculptures in NYC you can visit without getting too close to other people. (Howard Halle for Time Out)

Broadway producers reached an “emergency relief agreement” agreement to pay hundreds of actors, musicians, stagehands, and others for the first few weeks of the industry shut down, and to cover their health insurance for at least a month. (Michael Paulson for NY Times)

Bike shops are now considered essential businesses and will stay open across the city. (Gersh Kuntsman for Streetsblog)

The city will add emergency protected bike lanes on Second Ave in Manhattan and on Smith Street in Brooklyn by the end of next week in an effort to increase bike safety. (Gersh Kuntzman for Streetsblog)

Saying that “a storm is coming” is an absolutely terrifying thing for the jail’s chief physician to say. (Jan Ransom and Alan Feuer for NY Times)

Here’s how students and teachers are prepping for their first day of remote learning. (Shumita Basu for Gothamist)

For the first time in a long time, it’s no longer showtime. (Jake Bittle for Gothamist)

A look at the role of doormen during an epidemic. (Guy Trebay for NY Times)

RIP Eli Miller, one of the last seltzer men of NYC. (Daniel E. Slotnik for NY Times)

Go watch some birds. Not birdwatching, but just watch some birds. Without crowds of people to sit and watch, the Times makes the case to relax and imagine what all those geese are gossiping about. (James Gorman and Natalie Keyssar for NY Times)

Don’t flush disinfectant wipes or toilet paper down the toilet. DO NOT. (Michael Levenson for NY Times)

New York state passed a new sick-leave bill for employees who are subject to a mandatory quarantine or isolation due to COVID-19. (The Brooklyn Reader)

Headlines: Help, I Think I’m In Love With Andrew Cuomo??? and My Best Recollection of the Call I Just Had With Andrew Cuomo. (Rebecca Fishbein for Jezebel)

Thank you to reader Robert for today’s featured photo from the Imani Garden in Crown Heights!

The Briefly for September 18, 2018 – NYC vs DOJ, a Seven Alarm Fire, the U.N. and More

Midtown will slow down even more once the U.N. is in town, the DOJ comments about safe injection sites, de Blasio deflects school bus complaints and more.

What you need to know about the United Nations general assembly that’s starting this week.

The worst days of the year for driving in Manhattan aren’t Christmas or Thanksgiving, it’s when the U.N. is in session. In Midtown, traffic slows from the average of 4.7mph to 3mph and the city’s new message is simple: “Your trip through Midtown will take three times as long.”

The bridge that connects Brooklyn Bridge Park and the Brooklyn Heights is indefinitely closed. It seems that high moisture levels are causing the problem with the bridge. That’s outside. Near the water.

The creepy LinkNYC/ice cream jingle mystery is one step closer to being solved.

A seven alarm fire broke out at Kings Plaza Mall’s parking garage. Avon Stephens, 23, was arrested for causing damage to over 100 Mercedes-Benzes. A local dealership was storing cars there, not everyone who goes to Kings Plaza drives a Benz. No one suffered life-threatening injuries. He said he was sorry.

Rose III by Isa Genzken is a new 26-foot-tall sculpture of a rose in Zuccotti Park.

Cuomo defeated Nixon and Gothamist asks “Are the subways screwed forever?

Joe Crowley will remain chairman of the Queens Democratic Party after being defeated by Amexandria Ocasio-Cortez. He’s remained the chairman since 2006.

A 33-year-old man was found dead at Union Square after attempting to walk between train cars while moving.

Just when you thought it was safe to go back on Instagram, here comes Human’s Best Friend. It’s an Instagram bait installation, but it’s for dogs.

What’s going on with Australian coffee culture in the city?

The man behind the Society for Indecency to Naked Animals, Alan Abel, has earned himself a second obituary in The New York Times 38 years after his first.

The Justice Department is calling NYC’s proposed safe injection sites a “violation of the Controlled Substances Act.” This is coming to a head after a letter from state Assembly member Nicole Malliotakis (R-Staten Island) was sent to the DOJ.

Mayor de Blasio is blaming bus companies for the 82,225 complaints the DOE has already received in the first two weeks of school, but no action has yet been taken by his administration.


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