The Briefly for April 16, 2020 – The “Quarantine Cannibal of New York City” Edition

Today’s daily NYC news digest: The most books read under quarantine, Cuomo forces masks in grocery stores, the most expensive home in Brooklyn history, the status of your stimulus, & more

Today – Low: 38˚ High: 49˚
Clear throughout the day.

It looks like we may have a plan to reopening the state. This week the state is starting with 2,000 finger prick antibody tests a day and asked the FDA to expedite tests for 100,000 New Yorkers a day. That really makes the city’s plan of producing 50,000 tests a week seem puny. (Dana Schulz for 6sqft)

Sometime you just wanna hear someone talk. Check out there oral histories of different NYC neighborhoods. (Shaye Weaver for Time Out)

A guide to restaurants that are now selling groceries. (Robert Sietsema for Eater)

A conversation between historian Daniel Okrent and Times architecture critic Michael Kimmelman about the art deco of Rockefeller Center. (Michael Kimmelman for NY Times)

The New York City quarantine cannibal allegedly killed and partially ate his father. (Rose Adams for Brooklyn Paper)

Are those free books on the sidewalk safe from germs? (Kim Velsey for NY Times)

What are New Yorkers reading in quarantine? According to the list of the most checked out books from the NYPL, it’s Becoming by Michelle Obama. (Will Gleason for Time Out)

At $20.3 million, it’s the most expensive home ever sold in Brooklyn. The view is pretty good. (Amy Plitt for Curbed)

This morning, Mayor de Blasio expressed a desire in grocery stores to force shoppers to wear masks. (Nikita Richardson for Grub Street)

Flexing his muscle, Governor Cuomo made it happen, even if there is no fine for violating the order. (Kathleen Culliton for Patch)

President Cuomo? According to the betting markets, there’s a 3% chance. (Jordan Muller for Politico)

RIP Jimmy Webb, the longtime manager and buyer for the East Village’s Trash & Vaudeville. The cause of death was cancer. (Ben Yakas for Gothamist)

The MTA initially asked for $3.7 billion to help keep the agency running, turns out the amount of money needed is actually closer to $12 billion. (Gersh Kuntzman for Streetsblog)

If you’re a nurse, you shouldn’t have to sue your employer in order to get personal protective equipment in a pandemic, and yet here we are. The New York State Nurses Association is filing three lawsuits against the Montefiore Health System and Westchester Medical Center for not following guidance from the state’s health department. (Amanda Eisenberg for Politico)

Where’s your stimulus payment? There’s a tool to check your status. (Adam Nichols for Patch)

Pity Reverend Franklin Graham, who is “being harassed” by New Yorkers because he previously said that homosexuals will burn in the “flames of hell,” described Islam as “evil,” and railed against the “transgender lie.” (Jake Offenhartz for Gothamist)

What’s worse than dog runs and playgrounds closed temporarily? How about no beaches open all summer? It’s a possibility. (Caroline Spivack for Curbed)

In what could be the worst economic crisis since the 70s, the city could be looking at 475,000 job losses and nearly $10 billion in lost revenue. (Erin Durkin for Politico)

An MIT study argues New York City’s public transit system was a “major disseminator” of novel coronavirus and the spread was made worse by decisions to cut service. The MTA disagrees. (Kathleen Culliton for Patch)

What’s it like to fly into LaGuardia? Ever been the only person on a commercial flight? (Patrick McGeehan for NY Times)

Kudos to Ponyboy, which is staying creative by pairing their bottled cocktails with labels from street artist Gazoo. (Collier Sutter for Time Out)

Thanks to reader @leecohen1 for today’s featured photo in Flushing Meadows–Corona Park.

The Briefly for April 2, 2020 – The “Is Governor Cuomo’s Nipple Pierced?” Edition

Today’s daily NYC news digest: Governor Cuomo shuts down playgrounds, a map of infections by zip code, Ina Garten makes an appropriately sized margarita, free coloring books, and more

Today – Low: 46˚ High: 57˚
Clear throughout the day.

Don’t ask AOC to make a TikTok. (@AOC)

Farmers’ markets are still happening across the city, but with stricter rules. (Anne Barnard for NY Times)

The Right to Counsel NYC Coalition and Housing Justice for All have released a guide for tenants interesting in organizing a rent strike. (Brendan Krisel for Patch)

The NYS Bar Association and the state’s Unified Court System announced they partnered to create a network of pro bono lawyers willing to help out with the surge in legal matters that are expected to come out of the coronavirus pandemic and the likely economic fallout. (Alex Williamson for Brooklyn Eagle)

One of the weirder things to come out of this whole pandemic will be the unanswered question “Is the governor’s nipple pierced?” No one is shaming the governor, I think we all need something to distract us from the state of the world for a few moments. (Jelisa Castrodale for Vice)

Sanra Lee, his ex-girlfriend, took to Instagram to talk about it and while she didn’t say they were pierced, she didn’t deny it either. (Charlie Nash for Mediaite)

Queens’ demographics may be the reason why it has become the epicenter of the city’s coronavirus outbreak. (Clodagh McGowan for NY1)

The city released hard numbers of positive COVID-19 cases per zip code, exposing the tale of two cities as wealthy neighborhoods have rates at 44%, while lower-income zip codes have infection rates as high as 77%. (Howard Halle for Time Out)

Imagine you move into a 600-square-foot Manhattan shoebox apartment and two days later the two of you are locked down together. (Anne McCarthy for HuffPost)

“I basically want to address the idiots out there, and you know who you are.” Watch Larry David’s COVID-19 PSA. (Devon Ivie for Vulture)

Spring break is canceled for public schools. (Kathleen Culliton for Patch)

“During a crisis, cocktail hour can be almost any hour.” -Ine Garten, hero. (Nikita Richardson for Grub Street)

Representatives Carolyn B. Maloney and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez have added their voices to the cause of ending the ban on blood donations from gay and bisexual men. (LIC Post)

The New York City burger delivery guide. (Matt Tervooren for The Infatuation)

Video: Lower Manhattan’s skyline from 1903 through today. (Matt Coneybeare for Viewing NYC)

In the state’s budget, which passed on Wednesday night, is the legalization of electric bikes and scooters in the state, allowing municipalities to regulate electric bikes. Electric scooters that travel up to 15 miles per hour are legalized. (Dave Colon for Streetsblog)

Also in the budget is a new state campaign finance system, with public matching money for candidates who choose to participate and lower individual contribution limits. (Samar Khurshid for Gotham Gazette)

Say farewell to legal weed in 2020. The state failed to put it in the budget last year. A good lesson in not procrastinating. (Rebecca C. Lewis, Amanda Luz Hanning Santiago for City and State)

What New York City looked like, including a startling infographic about daily deaths, during the 1918 flu pandemic. (Michael Wilson for NY Times)

You can now call 311 to report physical distancing violations. Of the 289 complaints in Manhattan in the first three days of the week, the NYPD “took action” on 88 of those complaints. (Zijia Song for Bedford + Bowery)

A man in the Bronx attempted suicide-by-NYPD after receiving a COVID-19 diagnosis. After multiple warnings, the NYPD shot the man in the stomach and is in stable condition at NYC Health & Hospitals/Jacobi. (Ben Yakas for Gothamist)

Former Police Commissioner James O’Neill is returning to public service to be a senior advisor in charge of distributing medical equipment and protective gear to city hospitals. (Erin Durkin for Politico)

210 of Coney Island Hospital’s 317 beds are full of COVID-19 patients and the facility is low on staff, gear, and space, as each employee is being issued one masks every five days. (Rose Adams for Brooklyn Paper)

Mayor de Blasio waivered on closing down the city’s playgrounds, Governor Cuomo did not. All playgrounds, swing sets, basketball courts, and similar spaces are closed. (Allie Griffin for Sunnyside Post)

Mayor de Blasio continues to be a punching bag in the media and doesn’t help himself when his public wavering constantly ends with Governor Cuomo making difficult, but right, decisions. This Times piece starts with an anecdote about Mayor de Blasio walking in Prospect Park on the morning of April 1, which means he was driven from the Upper West Side to Park Slope just to walk in Prospect Park when Central Park is one mile away. (Ben Smith for NY Times)

Love to color? Here are a few free coloring books from NYC artists. (Collier Sutter for Time Out)

Thanks to reader Francesca for today’s featured photo!

The Briefly for March 12, 2020 – The “Why is Mayor Bill de Blasio So Hated?” Edition

Today’s daily NYC news digest: Expect six months before we return to pre-COVID19 normalcy, the best of Midtown East, Modell’s says goodbye, Harvey Weinstein is off to rot, and more

Today – Low: 46˚ High: 49˚
Light rain in the evening and overnight.

The census begins today. Last time around, the city’s participation rate was 62%, compared to the national average of 76%. With as much effort the city and state have put into marketing the census, it’s gonna be mighty embarrassing if we maintain that low rate. (Alex Williamson for Brooklyn Eagle)

Why is DeBlasio so hated? (AskNYC)

Rapist and rotting ghoul Harvey Weinstein was sentenced to 23 years in prison. His layer had previously said that he may not outlive any sentence over five years. May he live a long life to experience every single day of that sentence. (Jen Ransom for NY Times)

Even Harvey Weinstein’s own body hates him, as he was hospitalized again with heart problems and chest pain. Let’s all hope he’s got great doctors because he has at least 23 years minus a day to live. (Dean Meminger for amNewYork Metro)

RIP Modell’s, who will be liquidating all of its stores starting Friday. The company is pointing to an unusually warm winter as the final nail in the coffin. If you gotta go to Mo’s, make sure it’s soon. (Crain’s)

The $3.2 million revamp of Woodside’s Little Bush Playground is set to start next month and should take about a year to finish. (Michael Dorgan for Sunnyside Post)

The Chelsea Hotel renovations continue to be an utter mess. Work has stopped because the building did not qualify for a Certificate of No Harassment with multiple tenants complaining about unlivable conditions dating back years. (Michelle Cohen for 6sqft)

Governors Island announced its free programming for the 2020 season, which starts on May 1. (Devin Gannon for 6sqft)

May we all be lucky to have birthday parties half as wild as 87-year-old Ray from Ray’s Candy Store. (Bob Krasner for amNewYork Metro)

Sometimes you don’t even have to go outside to birdwatch. (Mike Mishkin for I Love the Upper West Side)

Crown Heights has a new vegan Ethiopian restaurant in Ras Plant Based. (Scott Lynch for Gothamist)

The number of families in shelters each night was 46 percent higher last year than it was in December 2009, and one out of every 100 babies born in the city was brought to a shelter, rather than a permanent home. Needless to say, Governor Cuomo and Mayor de Blasio did not earn high marks on The Coalition for the Homeless’ annual report. (Janaki Chadha for Politico)

“I can now proudly call myself an NYC housing lottery winner.” One person’s story of how they won the lottery. (Kim Turner for StreetEasy)

Frank’s Cocktail Lounge in Fort Greene has been the backdrop to a changing neighborhood since the 1950s, and on April 10 of this year, that comes to an end. (S.E. Blackwell for East New York News)

Photos: A first look from the observation deck of Edge. (Michelle Young for Untapped New York)

The lone Yelp review gave it four stars, but still called it “crack head city.” KN Mi Delicia Bakery and Coffee Shop in Mott Haven was part of a drug ring and multi-state 14-person arrest, with a raid finding $50,000 cash and bags stuffed with what is suspected to be heroin and cocaine. (Kathleen Culliton for Patch)

Brooklyn Democratic Party’s leaders have endorsed Councilmember Donovan Richards for Queens borough president. (Alex Williamson for Brookly Eagle)

The city is beginning to experiment with, get this, actual dumpsters for businesses that will be set on the street to remove trash bag mountains that pile up on our sidewalks. It’s almost like the sidewalks should be for people to walk on, not for businesses to store trash on. (Gersh Kuntzman for Streetsblog)

26 excellent Midtown East bars and restaurants to try. (Alexandra Ilyashov for Eater)


Six months. According to the mayor, that’s how long the fight against COVID-19 will take before things return to normal again. Get ready for the worst summer ever. (Adam Nichols for Patch)

The economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic on restaurants will be akin to a major natural disaster. (Serena Dai for Eater)

Restaurants, open-air markets, and catering companies are expected to take a hard hit, Grub Street takes a look at how businesses are preparing to support their hourly staffs if at all. (Chris Crowley for Grub Street)

“We’re not in a position where we can rely on the CDC or the FDA to manage this testing protocol.” -Governor Cuomo. New York will start contracting 28 private labs to help administer coronavirus testing for New York residents. (Emily Davenport for amNewYork Metro)

Daytime talk shows filming in New York will be forgoing live studio audiences during the COVID-19 outbreak. (Kimberley Richards for HuffPost)

SUNY and CUNY schools will halt in-person classes for the rest of the semester, beginning on March 19. The dorms won’t be closing and classes that are impossible to hold remotely will still be held. (Niedzwiadek and Madina Touré for Politico)

Coronavirus fears may jeopardize the election process, which requires candidates to collect up to thousands of signatures of supporters. This may lead to the governor altering election law, as he did following Superstorm Sandy. (Max Parrott for QNS)

If you’re healthy, you should still consider dining out. The virus is not transmitted via food or drink. (Serena Dai for Eater)

An usher for “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?” and “Six” has tested positive for COVID-19. Both theaters underwent a deep clean, the shows are continuing, and the usher is now in quarantine. (Michael Paulson for NY Times)

Manhattan’s St. Patrick’s Day Parade is officially canceled. (Todd Maisel and Robert Pozarycki for amNewYork Metro)

How to help during the coronavirus outbreak. (Azi Paybarahf or NY Times)

A big thank you to reader Taina for today’s featured photo, taken in Red Hook.