The Briefly for April 3, 2020 – The “A Bad Omen Washes Ashore at Jacob Riis Park” Edition

Today’s daily NYC news digest: The Javits Center opens to COVID-19 patients, a takeout and delivery guide, 369,000 New Yorkers file for unemployment, Tekashi69 goes free, and more

Today – Low: 47˚ High: 53˚
Possible drizzle until evening.
This weekend – Low: 46˚ High: 57˚

The Governor Cuomo’s nipple piercing mystery may be solved? But also the mystery rages on. (Hudon Hongo for Gizmodo)

No matter who you are, if you’re sick or not, it’s time to wear a mask, a bandana, a balaclava, a Spider-Man mask, just cover your face with something if you go out in public. (Ben Yakas for Gothamist)

A 28-foot-long humpback whale washed ashore Tuesday at Jacob Riis Park in Queens. If everything hadn’t already gone to hell, this might be a bad omen. (Maya Kaufman for Patch)

Just as the coronavirus season is expected to end, this year’s hurricane season is expected to be 40% more active than the average season. (Kathleen Culliton for Patch)

Photos: Inside the USNS Comfort. (Michelle Young for Untapped New York)

The Javits Center now has 2,500 beds, up from 1,000, and has been approved for COVID-19 patients. (Dana Schulz for 6sqft)

What happens if we run out of ventilators? While Governor Cuomo says “there’s no protocol,” there’s a 266-page document from 2015 available for download on the state’s website that lays it out step by step. Basically, it boils down to saving the most lives. (Gwynne Hogan and Fred Mogul for Gothamist)

Craving NYC without going outside? Here’s an exhaustive list of movies featuring Greenwich Village. (Ariel Kates for GVSHP)

The history of the Brooklyn Blackout cake. (Noah Sheidlower for Untapped New York)

I linked to the wrong story yesterday giving hard numbers on COVID-19 infections by zip code, here’s a better breakdown of how many are sick per zip code in NYC. (Michelle Young for Untapped New York)

Michelin-starred Eleven Madison Park is turning into a kitchen for Rethink Food, a city-based food nonprofit, thanks to “an undisclosed amount of funding” from American Express. (Erika Adams for Eater)

Rethink Food NYC is offering 30 restaurants $40,000 each to stay open and provide 24,000 meals per day for New Yorkers in need. Eleven Madison Park is not on the list. (Devin Gannon for 6sqft)

“Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night stays these couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds,” but also the postal service has been struggling to deliver the mail with some areas not receiving mail for days at a time due to a severe staffing shortage. (Jake Offenhartz for Gothamist)

Maybe the last place you want to hang out in during a global pandemic that’s infected over a million people, but the longer the state is on PAUSE, the more outdoor space becomes a luxury. The case for Green-Wood Cemetery. (Nathan Kensinger for Curbed)

Photos: Sakura Park in the Bronx’s cherry blossoms are hitting their peak. It’s been so warm that the cherry blossoms across the city have been blooming. Time to steal a peek if you can find one. (HARLEM + BESPOKE)

A map of who’s open in Western Queens, with over 250 businesses that are open. (Michael Dorgan for Sunnyside Post)

A federal judge ordered Gaspar Avendano-Hernandez released from ICE’s custody. You might remember his arrest because Erick Diaz-Cruz his girlfriend’s son was shot in the face by an ICE officer while he was being arrested. Tragically, Diaz-Cruz did not survive. (Rose Adams for amNewYork Metro)

If you’re among the 369,000 New Yorkers who lost a job in the last week, you know all too well that attempting to apply for benefits is a full-time job in itself. (Daniel Moritz-Rabson for Gothamist)

Governor Cuomo’s daily chats with New York and the nation are getting weird. He dedicated some of Thursday’s press conference to a chat with his brother, who is in quarantine after a COVID-19 diagnosis earlier in the week. (Gus Saltonstall for Patch)

Maps: New York City is so big (how big is it?) that you can fit the population of multiple cities inside each borough. Brooklyn? Chicago. Staten Island? Sacramento. (Matt Coneybeare for Viewing NYC)

Quarantee is like a nightclub, except it all happens on Zoom. You’re charged a cover and somehow “bouncers” enforce a dress code and they even offer “private tables.” I’m at a loss for words. (Tanay Warerkar for Eater)

Anyone else notice lots of masks and rubber gloves littering the streets? (Katia Kelly for Pardon Me for Asking)

It depends on who you believe, but the staff of Montefiore Medical Center may or may not have been given Yankees rain ponchos as personal protective gear for their shifts. (Brian M. Rosenthal and James Wagner for NY Times)

One of the inmates that was released to prevent further COVID-19 outbreaks in the city’s federal prisons? Tekashi69. (Melena Ryzik and Nancy Coleman for NY Times)

A federal judge struck down a portion of the state’s new rent laws that dealt with retroactive rent overcharge claims. (Valeria Ricciulli for Curbed)

Video: “Typologies of New York City: A Crowdsourced Hyperlapse” 1,246 photos of NY to make one great video. (Howard Halle for Time Out)

Do the animals in the Bronx Zoo know something has changed? (Julia Jacobs for NY Times)

Traffic to the city’s domestic violence website is up 7.8x for the first full week following the state’s declaration of PAUSE. There has been no increase in domestic violence calls to 911, which could mean domestic violence could be going unreported. Call 911 in an emergency, otherwise, the Domestic Violence hotline’s phone number is 1-800-621-4673 (HOPE). (David Cruz for Gothamist)

Mount Sinai researchers are tracking COVID-19 across New York City through a program called STOP COVID NYC. If you have any symptoms, you can participate and help track and predict smaller outbreaks. (Norwood News)

The happy haunts of Green-Wood Cemetery are open to the public for longer in new, expanded hours. (Mary Frost for Brooklyn Eagle)

Mayor Bill de Blasio greeted EMT and paramedics from across the country at Fort Totten Park Thursday morning as they prepared to help New York City’s overburdened emergency medical workers. (Alejandra ‘Connell-Domenech for amNewYork Metro)

Residential and commercial real estate showings are considered “essential,” but showings can’t happen in person. Are you ready to buy an apartment based on a FaceTime call? (Sylvia Varnham O’Regan and E.B. Solomont for The Real Deal)

How the 2021 mayoral candidates have responded to the coronavirus. (Samar Khurshid for Gotham Gazette)

Takeout and delivery options for every situation. (Hannah Albertine, Nikko Duren, Bryan Kim, Arden Shore, & Matt Tervooren for The Infatuation)

The Briefly for Match 9, 2020 – The “Herald Square Smells Like A Toilet For A Reason” Edition

Today’s daily NYC news digest: The latest on COVID-19, the nuanced argument around the NYPD’s possible manipulation of crime data, RIP Marnie the Dog, the hottest lunch spots, and more

Today – Low: 50˚ High: 66˚
Clear throughout the day.

I’m going to be breaking up The Briefly’s coverage of COVID-19 for a while. The coronavirus-related news will be at the bottom of the digest, so if you want to avoid reading about it, you may.

Because 2020 isn’t already weird enough, we are experiencing the earliest spring recorded in the last 124 years. (Adam Nichols for Patch)

Photos: Inside The Nature of Color, a new exhibit at the American Museum of Natural History. (Michelle Young with photos by Mickey Blank for Untapped New York)

This week’s “Ask the MTA” features this amazing statement: “I am a consistent daily rider of the R-W trains at Herald Sq-34th Street. Every single day I smell urine.” They go on to ask what the MTA is doing about it, with an answer from Germaine Jackson, the group station manager that boils down to “we’re trying.” (amNew York Metro)

I have some bad news for the person who wrote that question. Herald Square has smelled like a toilet for years. In 2016, it was discovered that literal raw sewage was leaking onto the subway tracks from a building nearby. There has been nothing online in the remaining four years if it has been fixed. Maybe someone ought to look into this? (Nathan Tempey for Gothamist, 2016)

10 secrets of Manhattan’s Central Synagogue. (Michelle Young for Untapped New York)

If you’ve got millions upon millions of dollars to spend on real estate, please invest in The Briefly and also know that condo sales have begun in the revamped Waldorf Astoria. (C.J. Hughes for NY Times)

Henry Vidal, a veteran NYPD Manhattan officer, was arrested on Friday morning for allegedly assaulting his fiancée in Harlem. (Jake Offenhartz for Gothamist)

Janelle Monáe will headline Pride Island 2020. (Emily Davenport for amNewYork Metro)

Eleven Madison Park on Madison Avenue was voted the second-best restaurant in America. Only Chicago’s Alinea was considered better. (Adam Nichols for Patch)

Mayor de Blasio denies that the NYPD has been manipulating crime stats to justify supporting a rollback of criminal justice reforms, but the truth is way more nuanced. (Christopher Robbins for Gothamist)

Attention nerds! Nitehawk Cinema in Park Slope is hosting free D&D nights on the second Wednesday of each month. (Bill Roundy for Brooklyn Paper)

How the hell did a handgun end up inside the federal Metropolitan Correction Center? Federal investigators searching for the gun also found phones, narcotics, and homemade weapons. (Jake Offenhartz for Gothamist)

New York Jets defensive lineman Quinnen Williams was arrested on Thursday night for allegedly bringing a handgun through LaGuardia Airport. (Jake Offenhartz for Gothamist)

A look at Granville and Pierre Pullis, two men who documented the birth of the city’s subways. (Jessica Leigh Hester for Atlas Obscura)

360 Video: From the 102nd flood observatory of the Empire State Building. (Action Kid)

Ram-dom is popular in NYC’s Korean restaurants following the success of Parasite, even if it isn’t technically a Korean dish. (Luke Fortney for Eater)

RIP Marnie the Dog, the adorable fixture at NYC’s indie rock shows after 18 beautiful years. (Bill Pearis for BrooklynVegan)

It’s a 3D replica of Manhattan that took over 1,000 hours to complete, and you can see it in the window of the base of the Empire State Building. (Alexandra Alexa for 6sqft)

It’s been 10 years from the start of the Gowanus Canal cleanup, here’s where it stands. (Brooklyn Eagle)

After the news spread of a Woody Allen memoir being published at Hachette Book Group, the same publisher of Ronan Farrow’s Catch and Kill, employees staged a walkout of their midtown offices. On Friday the company announced “We stand in solidarity with Ronan Farrow, Dylan Farrow and survivors of sexual assault,” and it would not publish the Woody Allen book. (Ben Yakas for Gothamist)

Workers removed 2,000 boxes from 70 Mulberry St, the former home of the Museum of Chinese in America’s archives. The monumental task of saving the archives will take a long time, with the city working since the January fire to get the building to a place where the archives could safely be removed. (Todd Maisel for amNewYork Metro)

Who likes to party? According to the number of 311 complaints, Brooklyn likes to party. It also likes to complain about parties. (Kathleen Culliton for Patch)

A history of activism in Washington Square Park. (Adam Thalenfeld for NYC Urbanism)

The celebrities who call the Upper West Side home. (Michele Perry for StreetEasy)

Twelve teenagers are now under arrest in connection with the beating and robbery of a 15-year-old girl in Brooklyn last week. All of them are charged with robbery and gang assault. (NY1)

Thai Diner, Babs, and Doma have been added to Eater’s 13 hottest lunch spots in NYC (Eater)


Q&A with a CDC disease detective that is investigating NYC’s coronavirus cases. (Gwynne Hogan for Gothamist)

The mayor is talking tough about how the city’s schools being prepared to take the threat of coronavirus seriously, but school staffs tell a very different story. (Jessica Gould for Gothamist)

Why can’t we just close the city’s schools? Because they double as social service centers for hundreds of thousands of poor students. (Eliza Shapiro for NY Times)

The New York Blood Center’s staff is taking precautions and your blood is still needed. The New York Blood Center is asking organizations not to cancel blood drives. (Emily Davenport for amNewYork Metro)

The Gap’s Tribeca offices are closed after an employee tested positive for COVID-19. Everyone will be working from home for the meanwhile. (Tribeca Citizen)

Classes are canceled on Monday and Tuesday’s at Columbia University in a pre-emptive move after a someone in the university’s community was quarantined for exposure to the coronavirus. Residence halls are open, but all events and gatherings on campus have been canceled. (Neil Vigdor for NY Times)

If you’ve got a trip booked and you have some kind of insurance, double-check the policy. Most don’t include pandemics. The state hasn’t allowed “cancel for any reason” policies in over a decade, but new guidance is allowing them to be some bi insurance companies and travel agents. The policies are costly and only offer a partial refund, but if you have to book your trip this is likely better than nothing. (Dana Schulz for 6sqft)

New York is in a state of emergency. Governor Cuomo declared it on Saturday, which gives the state the ability to speed up hiring workers at health facilities and the purchase of supplies. Of the state’s 4,000+ who have been asked to self-quarantine, about 2,300 are in New York City. (Jesse McKinley and Edgar Sandoval for NY Times)

Amtrak’s Acela service between New York and Washington, DC will be suspended beginning Tuesday and through Memorial Day. (Robert Pozarycki for amNewYork Metro)

After days of advocacy from the governor, the FDA expanded COVID-19 testing to Northwell Labs, New York’s first facility to conduct testing. The tests are manual, with the facility only able to process 75-80, automated testing has not been approved yet. (Mark Hallum for amNewYork Metro)

St. Patrick’s Cathedral’s Sunday mass looked very different this week, with pardoners having to bring their own books, hand sanitizer at the alter and peace offerings from a distance. Cardinal Timothy Dolan wants churches to take precaution, but remain open. (Alyssa Paolicelli for NY1)

If you need a laugh during this time of very serious news all the time, the mayor has asked New Yorkers to avoid “packed” subways. It is very obvious that the mayor does not take the subway with any regularity. (Adam Nichols for Patch)

“For anyone worried about using public transportation, I can assure you that the MTA has taken aggressive and proactive steps to ensure the safety of our 8 million daily customers and our valued employees who keep it running.” (Pat Foye, CEO and Chairman of the MTA for amNewYork Metro)

If it gives you any inner peace, here is a photo of a man sanitizing a city bus. (MTAPhotos on Flickr)

The city will be giving grants to businesses with under five employees up to $6,000 to help them maintain employees in the face of economic hardship. (Mark Hallum for amNewYork Metro)

Video: Times Square wasn’t in an “I am Legend” scenario over the weekend, but it’s not remotely business as usual . (Patrick Mulligan and Yoonji Han for NY City Lens)

Global pet adoption are at a standstill because of COVID-19. Pets that would be brought from abroad to New York to be adopted aren’t finding the lights or volunteers to make the trips. (Christine Chung for The City)

The Briefly for February 20, 2020 – The “A Diner by Any Other Name” Edition

Today’s daily NYC news digest: “The Joy Goddess” of Harlem, the Lowline is dead, the best cocktail bars, Myles makes its NYC app debut, Lyft’s electric bikes are back and more

Today – Low: 22˚ High: 38˚
Mostly cloudy throughout the day.

A look at A’Lelia Walker, daughter of Madam C.J. Walker, who 100 years ago in Harlem was given the nickname of “the Joy Goddess” by Langston Hughes, and whose parties and events provided a central location for the Harlem Renaissance. Part of a series by The Root focusing on little-known or forgotten rebels, celebrating Black History Month. (Anne Branigin for The Root)

Mayor Bloomberg started off his debate night getting ruined by Elizabeth Warren. The rest of the night didn’t go so great for him either. (John F. Harris for Politico)

A timeline of Michael Bloomberg’s support of stop and frisk. (Maggie Astor for NY Times)

The Lowline, once an extremely cool idea of putting a Highline style park in an abandoned trolley terminal in the Lower East Side, is dead. After more than a decade of work, the project is out of money. (Bowery Boogie)

Let’s grapple with an existential question for a moment: Is the Soho Diner really a diner? In Robert Sietsema’s review, he points towards no, with food choices pointing more towards “Top Chef” than “greasy spoon.” The desserts earned a compliment, but those are from Petee’s Pies and not made in house. Is a diner by name still a diner? (Robert Sietsema for Eater)

Myles is a new ride-hailing app available this week in NYC. The company claims rides will be 10% cheer than Lyft and Uber on average and they won’t make use of surge pricing. (Igor Bonifacic for Engadget)

Say hello to Eugene Hernandez, the new director of the New York Film Festival. (Sara Aridi for NY Times)

The MTA is betting $15 billion of its $51 billion 2020 – 2024 capital plan on the Trump Administration giving congestion pricing the go ahead and not delaying the 2021 rollout. If there is a delay or a call for an environmental impact study, congestion pricing won’t start on time and the MTA would likely have to borrow money, eventually leading to a transit financial disaster. (Dave Colon for Streetsblog)

Lyft’s pedal-assisted electric bikes are finally back, after being pulled out of commission in April 2019 for malfunctioning brakes and batteries. (Tina Bellon for amNewYork Metro)

Chairnobyl? Chairnobyl. (EV Grieve)

NYC’s best under-the-radar museums, mapped. (Ameena Walker for Curbed)

This ain’t the piercing pagoda kiosk in the mall. A “hole new you” is ht promise of the new piercing studio Studs in Nolita. (Lindsay Tuchman for NY1)

The NYPD arrested a 14-year-old, the third and final suspect in the killing of 18-year-old Barnard College student Tessa Majors on Wednesday. (JB Nicholas for Gothamist)

Apartment Porn: Take a look inside the ex-WeWork CEO’s three-story $27.5 million Gramercy Park apartment. (Valeria Ricciulli for Curbed)

John Ciero, a former NYPD officer, is among five people indicted in federal court for dealing meth and a date rape drug called GBL, the U.S. Attorney’s Office in the Southern District of New York announced on Wednesday. (Sydney Pereira for Gothamist)

New York City’s first weed dummies are arriving in Queens. Of course, you need to have a prescription to get them for the moment. (Jacob Kaye for QNS)

Here are the new protected bike lanes coming to Manhattan this year. From the plan, it looks like you’ll finally be able to bike around the perimeter of Manhattan completely in 2021. (Jake Offenhartz for Gothamist)

This story of a parrot who got loose in Manhattan, is frankly amazing. (Emily Flitter for NY Times)

Plush seating and carpets. That sounds like a good idea for the subways, right? (Jen Carlson for Gothamist)

Citywide alternate side parking tickets will be increasing from $45 to $65 starting today. I used to live in Park Slope and my upstairs neighbor never moved his car for ASP because if he never moved his car and just paid the tickets once a week, he was still going to pay less than if he put his car in any garage in the neighborhood for the month. At $65, three tickets a month is still cheaper than any garage. (Kristen Torres for Sunnyside Post)

James Dolan has won more legal victories over former-Knicks star Charles Oakley than the actual Knicks have won championships over anyone. (Ben Yakas for Gothamist)

The West Side Story revival has been met with protests, as demonstrators have been calling for Amar Ramasar’s removal from the cast because of his role in a photo-sharing scandal at City Ballet. (Julia Jacobs for NY Times)

Chirlane McCray, Mayor de Blasio’s wife, launched a podcast called “Thrive with Chirlane McCray” on the Brooklyn Free Speech podcast network and we are all paying for it. The podcast is funded by Thrive NYC, which has received $850 million in taxpayer funds. (Sophia Chang for Gothamist)

Do you know about “The Atlantic Ticket?” That’s a LIRR ticket that allows you to go from one of Brooklyn’s three stops to Jamaica, Hollis, Queens Village, Locust Manor, St. Albans, Laurelton or Rosedale for only $5. The success of this ticket is renewing calls that traveling within the city on the LIRR should cost $2.75. (Jose Martinez and Trone Dowd for The City)

Happy the elephant, who resides in the Bronx Zoo, does not have human-like rights and does not have to be transferred to a sanctuary. (NY1)

Believe it or not, there are people that live in the Financial District, and those people showed up in force to show their support against the creators of Sleep No More getting a liquor license at a Manhattan Community Board 1 licensing committee meeting. The new show is looking to set up shop in a mostly residential building. The NIMBYs voted against recommending a liquor license be granted and the proposal goes to a full vote of the community board next week, and the State Liquor Authority only uses community board votes as guidance, so it’s still possible the show moves forward as planned. (Ben Brachfield for Gothamist)

RIP Swamp Trump. We hardly knew ye. (Scott Enman for Brooklyn Eagle)

NYC’s top cocktail bars. (Melissa Kravitz Hoeffner for Eater)

thanks to reader Jacqueline for today’s featured photo!