The Briefly for July 15, 2020 – The “Governor Cuomo’s Latest Abomination of Art” Edition

Today’s daily NYC news digest: The city’s Covid-19 rent assistance program, how NYC’s PPP loans were distributed, where to eat outside in Harlem, invalid absentee votes, and more

Today – Low: 70˚ High: 79˚
Partly cloudy throughout the day.

How to apply for NY’s coronavirus rent assistance. (Matt Troutman for Patch)

For the first time, the city introduced a 15-minute diagnostic test for Covid-19 as part of its new test and trace pilot program in the Bronx. (Elizabeth Kim for Gothamist)

Governor Cuomo has released another exceptionally ugly poster, this one titled “New York Tough.” It’s meant to communicate “what we went through with COVID,” but maybe the governor shouldn’t be prematurely celebrating before this is over. (Dana Schulz for 6sqft)

Looking to green up your apartment and clean up the air? Here are the 15 best air-purifying plants for your home. (Diane Pham for 6sqft)

Amazingly, the MTA has no organizational chart for its 70,000 employees. (Clayton Guse for Daily News)

Black women are three to four times more likely than white women to die from pregnancy complications. Protesters have been shining a light on this after the death of 26-year-old Sha-Asia Washington at Woodhull Medical Center on July 3, whose heart stopped after receiving an epidural she didn’t want. (Rose Adams for Brooklyn Paper)

A look at how the 323,900 PPP loans distributed $38.5 billion in New York. (Sydney Pereira, Matthew Schuerman, Jake Dobkin, Autumn Harris for Gothamist)

The Central Park West bike lane will stretch from Columbus Circle to Frederick Douglass Circle and is scheduled to be completed this summer. (Mike Mishkin for I Love the Upper West Side)

Meet Gowanus Lands, the group trying to convince the city to develop a park on the condemned city-owned land on the west side of the Gowanus Canal. An alternative plan called for a mixed-use, 950 apartment development to be built on the space. (Katia Kelly for Pardon Me For Asking)

The city’s 2021 budget for tree pruning was… ahem… pruned down $7.2 million to a total of $1.5 million. It’s hard to imagine the Parks Department doing the same amount of work with 83% less budget, so what’s likely to happen is an increase in falling tree limbs. Want an example? Pruning contracts were cut back by $1 million in 2010 and lawsuit settlements over injuries caused by trees increased by $15 million. (Carson Kessler for The City)

Toilet paper and flour are back in stores, but with less variety than before and they’re not the only products that have scaled back on options. (Daniel E. Slotnik for NY Times)

Corey Walker, 19, and Keandre Rodgers, 18, were arrested and charged with murder with a special circumstance in connection with the murder of Pop Smoke and possibly face the death penalty. Two minors were also charged with murder and robbery in juvenile court. (Andrew Sacher for BrooklynVegan)

As stores close and their signs are pulled down, we’re getting a glimpse at the city’s history in the form of signage that has remained hidden for decades. (Michelle Young for Untapped New York)

The Empire State Building’s observatory will open on Monday, replete with reduced capacity, temperature checks, and a new air purification system. These kinds of systems with MERV 13 filters will dominate the conversation when talking about reopening indoor spaces. (Devin Gannon for 6sqft)

Minnesota, New Mexico, Ohio, and Wisconsin have been added to New York’s quarantine list, bringing the number of quarantined states to 22. (Nick Reisman for NY1)

Riis Park Beach Bazaar is open for food. This year will skip the karaoke and DJs. (Collier Sutter for Time Out)

Bastille Day came and went without the usual parties in Cobble Hill and Carroll Gardens. In celebration, Brooklyn Based took a promenade through the neighborhoods. (Kerri Allen for Brooklyn Based)

The Mets have begun using MCU Park in Coney Island as an alternate spring training location, ensuring there is a tiny bit of professional baseball in Brooklyn this year. (Jaime DeJesus for The Brooklyn Home Reporter)

A look at what it’s like to work in a city restaurant, according to staffers. (Gary He for Eater)

Eater NY is looking for a new lead editor. (Missy Frederick for Eater)

State Senator Andrew Gounardes and Councilmember Justin Brannan are demanding that the city forgive any fines levied in the NYC Open Restaurants program on restaurant owners due to the shifting guidelines. (Jamie DeJesus for The Brooklyn Home Reporter)

West Nile Virus was detected in NYC mosquitoes. There have been no human cases reported. (Matt Troutman for Patch)

The latest on the four groups trying to save the Mets from the Wilpon family. Joe Pantorno for amNewYork Metro)

Unless there’s a Biden victory in November, NYC may never see congestion pricing. (Gersh Kuntzman for Streetsblog)

A decapitated and dismembered corpse was found in a luxury LES apartment at 265 East Houston St on Tuesday afternoon. (David Cruz and Christopher Robbins for Gothamist)

In some portions of the city, over 20% of absentee ballots are being invalidated for one of a possible 13 reasons. The city has 110 days until the election to get its shit together. (Emily Ngo for NY1)

City Councilmember Jimmy Van Bramer stopped answering email from the Queens Post and their response has been to run an editorial making vague threats about ending positive coverage of him. (Czarinna Andres and Christian Murray, co-publishers, for Queens Post)

Where to eat outside in Harlem. (Hannah Albertine for The Infatuation)

Thank to reader Joe for today’s featured photo!

The Briefly for July 14, 2020 – The “Like Noise Canceling for Your Open Windows” Edition

Today’s daily NYC news digest: All politics is beans, the NYPD protects a Blue Lives Matter rally, marriage can wait (it has to), the Mets have a possible buyer, and more

Today – Low: 71˚ High: 85˚
Clear throughout the day.

10 things you must know about NYC before moving here. It’s probably too late for all of you. Do you know these things? #1 is “It’s expensive,” so you probably know that one. (Localize.City)

Shake Shack gave its PPP loan back. Danny Meyer’s Union Square Hospitality Group fired 2,000 of its 2,300 employees in March and used different LLCs to apply and receive loans between $11.4 million and $27 million. (Matthew Schuerman with research by Jake Dobkin and Megan Zerez for Gothamist)

It’s not ready for purchase, but researchers in Singapore have developed an early version of noise canceling headphones for your apartment windows. (David Waldstein for NY Times)

Goya is at the center of politics in 2020, a statement no one saw coming, from Republican Nicole Malliotakis’s Goya canned food drive to AOC publishing an Adobo recipe. This is all because the CEO of Goya said the USA is “truly blessed” to have a leader like President Trump. (Clarissa Sosin for Queens County Politics)

The White Horse Tavern, which openly flaunted the state’s social distancing guidelines, had its liquor license temporarily suspended. (Devin Gannon for 6sqft)

Looking for a break from everyday life? Six unique NYC Airbnbs. (Shaye Weaver for Time Out)

Looking to get married in the city? You’re gonna have to wait. Appointments to get a license using the city’s “Project Cupid” site has a backlog that stretches on for months. (Rachel Holliday Smith for The City)

Davell Gardner, a 1-year-old boy, was shot dead at a BBQ in Bed-Stuy at the Raymond Bush playground on Sunday night. Three other people were shot, but are expected to survive. (NY1)

If C.K. McWhorter’s $1.8 billion bid to buy the Mets goes through, he would become the only black owner in Major League Baseball. (Joe Pantorno for amNewYork Metro)

Trigg Brown — the chef and co-owner of one of NYC’s most buzzed-about restaurants, Win Son — is temporarily stepping away from day-to-day operations after employees leveled allegations that he fostered a hostile workplace. (Erika Adams for Eater)

The Black Lives Matter mural outside of Trump Tower was already defaced. (Ben Yakas for Gothamist)

Sunday on the beach at Coney Island was a great example of a failure to socially distance. In a neighborhood without Open Streets or many parks, the beach is the only viable place to gather outdoors. (Ariama C. Long for Kings County Politics)

Say hello to Chi Ossé, an activist running for City Council in the 36th District and the youngest candidate to ever run for City Council. (Ben Verde for Brooklyn Paper)

36 members of the City Council are calling on Joe Borelli, a City Councilmember from Staten Island, to apologize after his obviously racist attack on the celebration. (Jessica Parks for Brooklyn Paper)

It seems the city has finally rid itself of a noted homophobe and City Councilmember Rubén Díaz Sr., whose Congressional bid was met with a responding “NOPE.” Díaz Sr. won’t be seeking office after his term is up in 2021. (Matt Tracy for Gay City News)

City Councilmember Helen Rosenthal is dropping out of the race for Comptroller in 2021, blaming her dropping out on the coronavirus pandemic. (Samar Khurshid for Gotham Gazette)

Manhattan District Attorney Cy Vance hasn’t announced if he’ll be seeking another term in office, but his list of challengers is growing. Despite making recent headlines with cases against President Trump and Harvey Weinstein, Vance’s office has garnered a lot of well-earned criticism for how it’s handled abuse cases against the rich and famous. (Jan Ransom for NY Times)

The five candidates vying for Vance’s job will participate in a forum today, essentially the race’s first debate, without Vance. (Andrew Millman for Gotham Gazette)

All travelers flying into airports in New York state will now have to fill out a form providing contact and itinerary information or face a $2,000 fine. (Elizabeth Kim for Gothamist)

The Strand’s new Upper West Side location opens on Wednesday, but rather than hiring more staff, the book store has fired a dozen of their recently rehired staffers. (Ben Yakas for Gothamist)

NYPD traffic agent Jeanisidor Jean Baptiste was arrested in Brooklyn after an investigation uncovered years of alleged sexual abuse to a five-year-old girl from 2008 through 2012. The victim is now 17. (Emily Davenport for amNewYork Metro)

If the NYPD is called on to keep the peace during rival Black Lives Matter and Blue Lives Matter protests, who do you think they’ll defend? On Sunday in Bay Ridge, the NYPD made two arrests after Blue Lives Matter protesters attacked the Black Lives Matter protesters. Both men arrested were Black. (Jake Offenhartz and Gwynne Hogan for Gothamist)

Sex workers joined together outside of the Stonewall Inn on July 9 to rally against police brutality and send a message that sex work is work. (Matt Tracy for Gay City News)

A new bill is calling for a ban of the NYPD’s use of drones for recording or collecting data on the general public in open spaces. The bill also restricts the use of drones without a warrant and bans facial recognition, and is sponsored by State Senator Jessica Ramos. (NY1)

It was a few days of good news about Covid-19 infections in New York, so it’s time to tamp that down a bit. There’s a new spike in infections in New Yorkers in their 20s. (Matt Troutman for Patch)

It’s nice to think that the city really had zero Covid-19 deaths on Saturday, but that’s probably not true. The way the city assigns death dates means that we won’t actually know for a few days. Over the last week, there have been 12 confirmed Covid-19 deaths, and one probable death each day. (Jen Carlson and Jake Dobkin for Gothamist)

Schools can reopen in the fall for regions in phase four and have infection rates below 5%, according to the guidelines set forward by Governor Cuomo. (Matt Troutman for Patch)

It’s not all good news for schools. If the city’s infection rate surges past 9% later in August or after the school year starts, schools will be forced to close. (Reema Amin for Chalkbeat)

For months following Amazon’s decision to pull out, we felt forgotten and it appeared that our goal of creating a Long Island City waterfront that would empower our community and create a significant number of jobs was lost. Then last year, a new process emerged.
-Carol Wilkins, April Simpson-Taylor, Claudia Coger & Annie Cotton-Morris, NYCHA Tenant Leaders: Where Amazon Never Arrived, New Opportunity Arises for Gotham Gazette

6 Manhattan homes with their own private pools and hot tubs. Must be nice. (Michele Petry for StreetEasy)

It was only a matter of time. A driver crashed his car into an outdoor dining area on Roosevelt Ave in Queens. Four diners and a server were injured. (Justine Re for NY1)

16 places to pick up food news Prospect Park has a few good gems, even if a few of them are laughably far away and other picks ignore where the park’s entrances are. (Nikko Duren & Matt Tervooren for The Infatuation)

Thanks to reader Micah Eames for today’s featured photo!

The Briefly for July 7, 2020 – The “Long Island City is Empty” Edition

Today’s daily NYC news digest: Looking at phase three and phase four, Mayor de Blasio “doubles down” on crime for the second time this year, the NYPD protects a statue 24/7, and more

Today – Low: 74˚ High: 81˚
Humid and partly cloudy throughout the day.

There’s mounting scientific evidence that Covid-19 can hang in stagnant air on tiny droplets for hours. Wear your masks and keep your distance while indoors, because they are just as important as washing your hands. (Apoorva Mandavilli for NY Times)

Everything you need to know about phase three of NYC’s reopening. (Jen Carlson for Gothamist)

There are no current plans to allow the city’s music venues or movie theaters to open and indoor dining remains on hold. (Bill Pearis for BrooklynVegan)

Let’s look ahead to what we need to know about phase four. (Shaye Weaver for Time Out)

This week the absentee ballots form the June 23 election will begin to be counted. Statistically speaking, if you voted, you voted absentee. Here are why your absentee ballots may be invalid. (Brigid Bergin for Gothamist)

It’s time for the latest battle in the city’s ongoing war against mosquitos. The city will begin spraying non-residential wetlands on Wednesday morning. (Emily Davenport for amNewYork Metro)

What else is the city losing in the annual budget? On top of the Fair Fares program, an OT cut in the Department of Corrections by $66 million, and the Department of Social Services losing 700 employees? The deer sterilization project, Sunday litter collection, and two-hour parking meters will become more expensive, to start. (Bobby Cuza for NY1)

Nearly 60% of condo units built in Long Island City, Queens, since 2018 remain unsold. Seems like no one wants to pay $1.5 million for an apartment under one thousand square feet. (The Real Deal)

“In these uncertain times” isn’t just a phrase you’re extremely tired of hearing in commercials. It’s easier than ever yo find a short-term rental in NYC. (Valeria Ricciulli for Curbed)

The message is simple: Rename the Barclays Center after Jackie Robinson. (Rose Adams for Brooklyn Paper)

The High Line is reopening next week, but you’ll need a (free) reservation to gain access. Reservations start at 10 am on July 9. (Devin Gannon for 6sqft)

Plans: Check out the long-awaited revamp of Woodside’s Sohncke Square. (Christian Murray for Sunnyside Post)

I want to feel safe, and to know that others do, too. I want their feelings to be validated by real safety. The harsh reality is that many systems and institutions in our society have failed. Historically marginalized communities are waiting—we stand together, on the streets and in our homes, watching this fire burn night after night.
– Aleina D. for Gothamist, “Burn The Car, We’ll Find A New Way There”: Thoughts On Protests From NYC Teens

A press conference with Public Advocate Jumaane Williams, Congressional candidate Jamaal Bowman, Iesha Sekou from Street Corner Resources, and anti-violence groups was interrupted by protesters. Rather than escalate the situation, the protesters were invited to speak alongside the organizers. Everyone was calling for a solution to end the city’s recent gun violence. (Alejandra O’Connell-Domenech for amNewYork Metro)

July 4th weekend was a violent one in the city, with 64 people shot. (Anna Quinn for Patch)

The NYPD blamed bail reform for the rise in violence, which is a tired refrain from the NYPD, anecdotal at best, and a claim that can be verified. (Todd Maisel for amNewYork Metro)

“This is something we have to double down on to address.” Mayor de Blasio’s solution for the spike in violence in the city is to beef up neighborhood policing and work with clergy, local groups, and Cure Violence groups. “Doubling down” is a favorite phrase of the mayor’s. He “doubled down” on social distancing in April, “doubled down” on fighting crime in February, “doubled down” on improving schools for Black and Hispanic children in June of 2019, “doubled down” on efforts to help the homeless in April of 2019, and “doubled down” on Vision Zero in February of 2019. How many of those are still issues? (Sydney Pereira for Gothamist)

The NYPD has deployed 2 officers for 24 hours a day and seven days a week to protect the Christopher Columbus statue in Astoria. Hard to believe some people think the NYPD’s budget is too big. (Adam Light for Streetsblog)

The NYPD hired multiple companies to attempt to fix its relationship with Black and Latino New Yorkers. The companies they hired had one thing in common: They were all white-owned. (Greg B. Smith for The City)

Photos: Lower Manhattan’s new colorful Black Lives Matter mural. (Michelle Young for Untapped New York)

In February, the Mets rejected a $2.6 billion sale price. Now the Wilpons have opened up to bids and “bid indications appear weak” and under $2 billion. (Joe Pantorno for amNewYork Metro)

The Yankees and Mets 2020 schedule has been released. (Joe Pantorno for amNewYork Metro)

A failed Ferris wheel, a minor league baseball stadium with a team that’s scheduled to be dropped, a $350 million mall with more than half the stores closed, a quarter-billion-dollar mixed-use development with no timeline for completion. The billion-dollar Staten Island shoreline is sputtering. (Clifford Michel for The City)

A fast-growing fire in East Flatbush killed a boy and his grandfather early Monday morning. Five firefighters were injured in the rescue, none of the injuries serious. The rescue was complicated because the house was a Collyer’s Mansion. (Todd Maisel for Brooklyn Paper)

A Collyer’s Mansion is a home so full of stuff that it presents a danger to firefighters who enter in an emergency and named for a pair of brothers infamous for their compulsive hoarding and paranoia. Their home was a series of traps and boxes and when it was cleaned out after the brothers’ death, there were over 120 tons of possessions and trash removed. (Harlem World Magazine)

NYC is the fifth-worst city in America for first-time home buyers, according to a new study from WalletHub. They used 26 metrics, including affordability, cost of living, tax rates, and more. (Nikki Gaskins for Patch)

A new three-acre portion of Brooklyn Bridge Park opened next to Pier 2. Once the plaza under the Brooklyn Bridge opens, Brooklyn Bridge Park will be considered “complete.” Don’t get too excited, construction doesn’t start until December 2021. (Kevin Duggan for Brooklyn Paper)

Amy Cooper, the asshole in Central Park who called the police on a Black bird watcher, will be facing misdemeanor charges for filing a false police report. (Jan Ransom for NY Times)

It wasn’t readmitting patients into nursing homes, but employees and visitors caused the horrible spread of Covid-19 into the state’s nursing homes according to a new study from the state, Mount Sinai Hospital, and Northwell Health. Governor Cuomo has been catching shit for his decisions around nursing homes and being given the blame for deaths, but a combination of this study and New York’s low death per capita in nursing homes compared to other states would suggest the anger is misplaced. (Elizabeth Kim for Gothamist)

The former Jeffrey Epstein companion Ghislaine Maxwell was transferred to the Metropolitan Detention Center in Brooklyn from New Hampshire. (Ben Yakas for Gothamist)

That didn’t take long. Less than a month after the sale of their company, the founders of Ample Hills are out. (Kevin Duggan for Brooklyn Paper)

Three art galleries in the city are opening this week with phase three. Here’s a look at the exhibits, which you’ll need to reserve time in advance, wear a mask, and socially distance from everyone else present. (Howard Halle for Time Out)

Farewell to China Chalet in Chinatown, an LGBTQ-friendly business, lunch spot for the working crowd, an underground party spot for NYU kids, and well-known celebrity hang out. (Robert Sietsema for Eater)

Farewell to Beverly’s on Essex. After seven years, the strains of the Covid-19 pandemic have forced the bar’s closure. (Mili Godio for Bedford + Bowery)

Farewell to Cranberry’s in Brooklyn Heights, which had been in the neighborhood for 42 years. For each restaurant or bar or coffee shop that you read about closing, there are countless others that don’t get a writeup from a local news site. (Tanay Warerkar for Eater)

15 breweries for drinking locally. (Jenny Hart and Liz Provencher for Thrillist)

Thanks to reader Jenny for today’s featured photo!