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)

The Briefly for September 3, 2019 – The “Paying to Sleep in a Van in the East Village” Edition

Cuomo calls for a National Grid alternative, a giraffe corpse found in the water, the Boerum Hill chicken massacre mystery, fall foliage, and more in today’s daily NYC news digest.

The Brooklyn Detention Complex will close by the end of the year and its inmates will be transferred to Rikers Island. This is the jail that had a fire in the winter that robbed it of heat for days on end and struggled with the heat during the hottest days of summer. Mayor de Blasio’s community jail plan is set for a vote in city council this month. (The City)

Three illegal Airbnb landlords agreed to a $1 million settlement after making $21.4 million from illegal rentals. Seems like a good deal to me. (Patch)

$85 a night on Airbnb to sleep in a van in the East Village. (Airbnb)

Everyone’s talking about the end of summer, and even though it doesn’t end for three more weeks, here’s a map of when to see peak fall foliage in the city. (Patch)

Meet the Houdini Museum of New York’s 23-year-old director. (amNY)

The top 10 secrets of Madison Square Garden, although “they dress up the backstage area for artists” doesn’t seem like much of a secret. (Untapped Cities)

The restaurants ordered closed by the Department of Health, including 3 restaurants ordered closed after 100+ point violations. (Patch)

The boiler room of the Chelsea Market is now an art space, with ARTECHOUSE taking over the space. The first show is Machine Hallucinations from digital artist Refik Anadol. (Untapped Cities)

The state finished the Kosciuszko Bridge early and the city’s Department of Transportation was caught with their pants down and the bike paths to the bridge weren’t ready. (Curbed)

Did you see the mystery Boerum Hill chicken massacre aftermath video? (Gothamist)

NYPD Commissioner James O’Neill has no plans to step down in light of the Police Benevolent Association’s vote of no confidence. (amNY)

If you’re thinking about a new look for the fall, you’re in luck because Cheetos and Forever21 are giving out free Flamin’ Haute Cheeto makeovers on Friday and Saturday. (Time Out)

NYC Office for the Prevention of Hate Crimes will open next week. (amNY)

Just in time, they can investigate who vandalized the Silver Gull in Queens with anti-semitic, pro-Nazi, and racist graffiti. (NY Times)

National Grid has been refusing to serve new businesses as a tactic to get their gas pipeline approved by the state and the governor isn’t having it, making public statements that the Department of Public Service should consider alternative franchisees. (Brooklyn Paper)

The NYPD’s leadership is very white. (The City)

This weekend was a particularly violent one when it came to shootings. The NYPD shot and killed a man in Jamaica, Queens who was the suspect in a bodega shooting. (Gothamist)

A shootout with the NYPD in Brownsville, Brooklyn has left a man dead. (amNY)

A shooting in Richmond Hill, Queens left one dead and two seriously injured. (QNS)

Smithsonian Museum Day is coming up on September 21, which means free admission to 30 of the city’s museums if you register in advance. (Time Out)

The Paris Theater, the city’s last single-screen movie theater, is closed. As John Waters comments in this Times piece Where will old art movie fans go to see rarified foreign films in the safety of a rich neighborhood?” (NY Times)

Cars were removed from Central Park last June but traffic signals and lines painted on the streets haven’t been changed, causing chaos and creating a wild atmosphere for pedestrians and cyclists alike. (Streetsblog)

Photos from the Electric Zoo on Randall’s Island. (Gothamist)

How the global diamond trade helped shape the city’s skyline. (The Real Deal)

An SUV driver hit and killed a man he suspected broke into his car on Monday, marking the 21st cyclist to be killed by a driver in the city this year. (Gothamist)

How did a giraffe corpse end up at the bottom of the Lower New York Bay? How about a piano in the Bronx River? These are the mysteries of Underwater New York. (Patch)

Photos from J’Ouvert 2019. (Gothamist)

Where to go when you want dinner to feel like going out. (The Infatuation)