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!

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 March 16, 2020 – The “A City Without Restaurants and Bars” Edition

Today’s daily NYC news digest: The mayor shuts down schools, bars, restaurants, and venues, bike riding is up, the story of Typhoid Mary, a walk through Central Park, and more

Today – Low: 42˚ High: 47˚
Partly cloudy throughout the day.

Everything is being canceled and it sucks, but it’s also the right thing to do. (Ben Yakas for Gothamist)

“States cannot build more hospitals, acquire ventilators or modify facilities quickly enough. At this point, our best hope is to utilize the Army Corps of Engineers to leverage its expertise, equipment and people power to retrofit and equip existing facilities — like military bases or college dormitories — to serve as temporary medical centers. Then we can designate existing hospital beds for the acutely ill.” -Governor Cuomo, making the case for the Army to step-in during this national natural disaster. (Governor Andrew Cuomo for NY Times)

The city will shut down bars and restaurants on Tuesday morning. Bars, restaurants, venues, and nightclubs will close completely for an undetermined amount of time. Think about where you would want to go to eat or drink and ask if they have gift certificates. Give them money now without physically going to those locations. (Ryan Sutton for Eater)

Seamless has deferred commissions from independent restaurants, but is that enough to actually help restaurants? (Erin Hudson for The Real Deal)

The city’s schools are closed until April 20. That doesn’t mean there’s no school, as remote learning is set to start on March 23. (Eliza Shapiro for NY Times)

Weed dealers are cleaning up now that everyone is staying home and freaking out. (Matthew Schneier for The Cut)

The Food Bank for NYC has a GoFundMe page for people who want to help, but don’t knowhow. (Food Bank of NYC)

How to talk to kids about COVID-19, from Dr. Rebecca Berry, PhD, an NYU professor who is an expert in child and adolescent psychiatry. (Isabelle Bousquette for New York Family)

Videos: Here’s how the MTA is cleaning the subways. (Michelle Young for Untapped New York)

Jing Fong in Chinatown, the city’s largest Chinese food restaurant, is temporarily closed. With the CDC recommending limiting nationwide gatherings at 50 people, there isn’t much place for a restaurant that seats 800. (Georgia Kromrei for The Real Deal)

Record Store Day has been postponed from April 18 to June 20. Let’s all hope it doesn’t need another postponement. No one wants to have to wait that long for their Britney Spears – Oops!…I Did It Again (Remixes and B-Sides) vinyl (Bill Pearis for BrooklynVegan)

“For the most part when I talk to my colleagues they realize that, yeah, this has the potential to be really serious on a systems level. All in all though, I’d say there’s a calm acceptance about how crazy it’s going to be.” An interview with an ER doc. (Jake Offenhartz for Gothamist)

Last week late-night shows had plans to continue without audiences, but as of this week, nearly all of them are off the air. The exceptions are the shows filmed in Los Angeles. (Ben Yakas for Gothamist)

Utilities in New York have suspended power, heat, or water shut-offs through the end of April. (Samantha Maldonado and Marie J. French for Politico)

Airbnb is allowing coronavirus-related cancellations without penalty. (Sophia Chang for Gothamist)

Welcome to the Park Slope Food Coop: a COVID-19 “petri dish.” (Matt Troutman for Patch)

So the event you had tickets to was canceled, what now? (Shaye Weaver for Time Out)

The city’s libraries are closed to you in person, but there is plenty to be done online. (Jennifer Schuessler for NY Times)

The headline is “how NYC restaurant workers are getting help so far,” but I’m not naive enough to say that the entirety of the city’s 325,000 workers is actually getting help. (Ryan Sutton for Eater)

Catholics have had their obligations to attend mass waived by Bishop Nicholas DiMarzio. (Robert Pozaryski for amNewYork Metro)

“This is a moment we all knew would come. That doesn’t make it any easier.” -Bill de Blasio on the first New Yorker to die due to COVID-19, an 82-year-old woman from Brooklyn. (Mary Frost for Brooklyn Eagle)

State Assemblymembers Charles Barron, who represents East New York, and Helene Weinstein, who represents Canarsie and Flatbush, were diagnosed with coronavirus Saturday. (Adam Nichols for Patch)

The Queens borough presidential election has been postponed from March 24, with a rescheduled date to be announced. (Christian Murray for LIC Post)


These YouTube walks through the city, like this one through Central Park, might be a good way to seem like you’re going outside without actually having to go outside. (ActionKid)

ICE has expanded its inhumane arrest patterns as part of Operation Noble Guardian and is now making arrests at JFK airport. (Maxx Katz for Gothamist)

The Metropolitan Opera is dark but they’ll be offering free HD streams every night for a week starting on Monday night. (Jasmine Ting for Paper)

Meet Jacqueline VanDusen, who wants to bike every street in Brooklyn. (Kevin Duggan for Brooklyn Paper)

This might have been a list of restaurants with openings in the spring. Now it’s a list of restaurants that might open sometime soon. (Eater)

Typhoid Mary, New Yorker. If you don’t know her story, this seems like the perfect time to read up on how isolation can prevent the spread of disease. (Noah Sheidlower for Untapped New York)

Want a distraction from COVID-19? How about bed bugs? What do you know about them? Do you know things? Let’s find out. (StreetEasy)

Black city residents are jailed on Rikers Island for alleged state parole violations 12 times more than whites, while Latinx people are accused of parole violations nearly four times more. Just some of the gems in a new report issued by Columbia Univerity’s Justice Lab on the New York state parole system. (JB Nicholas for Gothamist)

A look at New York’s former quarantine islands and hospitals. (Michelle Young for Untapped New York)

How screwed up is our healthcare system? If you need further evidence beyond “look around,” New York hospitals sued their patients 31,000 in the last four years. (Caroline Lewis for Gothamist)

The first signs of real spring, migrating birds, are here. (D. Bruce Yolton for Urban Hawks)

Do starter homes exist in NYC? (Localize.City)

A look at Edgar Allan Poe’s farmhouse on the Upper West Side. (Mike Mishkin for I Love the Upper West Side)

Subway ridership is down 20%, but CitiBike riding is up 70%. (Alexandra Alexa for 6sqft)

RIP Genesis Breyer P-Orridge, avant-garde music legend and industrial pioneer. (Andrew Sacher for BrooklynVegan)