The Briefly for March 19, 2020 – The “These Are the Groceries We Refuse to Buy” Edition

Today’s daily NYC news digest: The first positive case of COVID-19 is not negative, how to help the elderly, a walk through the Brooklyn Botanical Garden, and more

Today – Low: 49˚ High: 53˚
Rain in the morning and overnight.

The first New York City dweller to test positive for novel coronavirus, the teacher who returned from Italy, no longer has the disease and is expected to make a complete recovery. With a negative test, it may mean that she’s immune to the disease going forward. (Kathleen Culliton for Patch)

NYC United Against Coronavirus is a resource Google Doc that breaks out neighborhoods, and multiple ways to send and receive help. (NYC United Against Coronavirus)

The Gowanus Dredgers, the people who canoe in the Gowanus Canal, have put together a Google Doc of Gowanus businesses with verified information bout what’s open and what is not along with if a business has a fund for the staff. It’s a very good model for other neighborhoods. (Katia Kelly for Pardon Me For Asking)

Four ways to help the city’s elderly people. (Collier Sutter for Time Out)

Cheddar cheese ramen noodles? A look at the groceries we refuse to buy, even in a crisis. (Claire Leaden for SecretNYC)

Looking at a map that visualizes ridership drops per subway station, you can get a clear picture of who has to go to work in a crisis and who has the luxury to stay home. (Ben Wellington for I Quant NY)

The MTA sustained $87 million in weekly revenue losses, which might not be great news for an agency that was already projecting being half a billion in the hole in a few years. (Gersh Kuntzman for Streetsblog)

If you’re still taking the subway, Riders Alliance has a survey for you to take.

12 things to livestream or virtually explore. (Noah Sheidlower for Untapped New York)

Despite the environment of fear, the empty streets, riderless transit, and patronless bars and restaurants, private construction continues undeterred across the city. (Rosa Goldensohn for The City)

The city is working on drive-thru clinics for coronavirus testing, but there are no concrete plans for people without cars. (Julianne Cuba for Streetsblog)

If hospital capacity is not vastly increased, Manhattan’s hospitals would be overwhelmed with coronavirus patients even in the most conservative of possible scenarios. (Brendan Krisel for Patch)

The USNS Comfort has been dispatched to the New York harbor. The hospital ship contains 1,000 hospital beds, which New York City is in desperate need of right now. (Curtis Brodner for BKLYNER)

Union Square Hospitality Group is laying off about 2,000 employees. Danny Meyer announced that he was forgoing all of his compensation and donating it to a relief fund for all USHG employees. (Erika Adams for Eater)

The volume of the unemployed has saturated the New York Department of Labor’s phone lines and crashed their website multiple times. This is the new system and it’s absolutely real. People whose last name begins with A through F should file on Monday; G through N on Tuesday; and O through Z on Wednesday. If you missed your day, you can file on Thursday or Friday. (Mary Frost for Brookly Eagle)

A live music critic opines about having no live music without self-pity. (Jon Pareles for NY Times)

Amazon has temporarily paused ordering CDs, vinyl, and all other items other than “household staples, medical supplies, or other high demand products” amid the coronavirus pandemic. Once the warehouses have no more, they won’t be restocked until at least April 5. (Amanda Hatfield for BrooklyVegan)

As the slow-rolling disaster of the COVID-19 pandemic trickles down, the trash hauling industry is bracing for impact without commercial business, there’s less commercial trash to haul. (Danielle Muoio for Politico)

Only 50 percent of a business’s workforce can report to work outside their homes for the duration of the coronavirus outbreak, as mandated by Governor Cuomo. Businesses that provide food, medicine, and shipping supplies are exempt. (Kathleen Culliton for Patch)

Central Park remains Manhattan’s oasis during a crisis. (Roger Clark for NY1)

A list of independent bookstores that are delivering cookbooks if you’re looking for recipe inspiration. They’re delivering normal books too. (Emma Orlow for Time Out)

The Department of Justice announced late Tuesday night that it was closing many of the nation’s immigration courts through early April. (Beth Fertig for Gothamist)

There are two specific populations where a COVID-19 outbreak would become a disaster. The first population is the people in the city’s homeless shelters. A woman was identified as carrying COVID-19 within a shelter and has been hospitalized and the 8 people who shared a room with are all in quarantine. How do you enforce social distancing when you put between 8 and 20 beds in a room? (Greg B. Smith for The City)

The second population is inmates.. An inmate and a Department of Correction officer who works at gate security on Rikers Island have both tested positive for COVID-19. The Board of Correction is recommending finding low-risk inmates to release in order to allow more social distancing to prevent the virus from spreading further (Sydney Pereira for Gothamist)

Liquor deliveries by apps like Drizly or Minibar have skyrocketed since bars closed on Monday. Every day is like New Year’s Eve. (David Gauvey Herbert for Grub Street)

Photos: Personal goodbyes from bars and restaurants across the city. (Jen Carlson for Gothamist)

Photos: The Brooklyn Botanical Garden, on its last day being open to the public. (Lore Croghan for Brooklyn Eagle)

City Health Department officials have warned Hasidic medical professionals in Crown Heights that as much as 80 percent of the neighborhood may have already been exposed to COVID-19. (Jake Offenhartz for Gothamist)

The Met is projecting a $100 million loss in revenues in the coming months, as well as the likelihood of layoffs. (Ben Yakas for Gothamist)

Following yesterday’s story about the Lyft and Uber Pool, the MTA has finally moved to limit Access-a-Ride vehicles to one passenger. (Michelle Bocanegra for Politico)

Mayor de Blasio tried to walk back his shelter-in-place comments, but the damage has been done and almost everyone remembers the de Blasio from two weeks ago that everyone hates. (Amanda Eisenberg for Politico)

The Times profiles Brian Lehrer, the voice of NYC on the radio. (Jazmine Hughes for NY Times)

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

The Briefly for March 17, 2020 – The “Order A Cocktail With Your Take Out” Edition

Today’s daily NYC news digest: The mayor was forced into making the decision to close the schools, Barclays Center workers will be paid during the NBA shut down, and more

Today – Low: 40˚ High: 54˚
Light rain in the morning.

Ample Hills Creamery filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, citing cost overruns on its Red Hook factory. Ample Hills has taken $12 million in investments since 2015. (Nikita Richardson for Grub Street)

A woman who was handcuffed by the NYPD during active labor before her son’s birth, as well immediately following delivery, has filed a civil rights lawsuit against the city, saying the incident made her feel “less than human.” (Yasmeen Khan for Gothamist)

An alternate subway map from 1939, which included a plan for the D train to go to Staten Island and the N train going to LaGuardia. (Matt Coneybeare for Viewing NYC)


Here is a crowdsourced document with resources for everyone ranging from medical and mental health resources, virtual tours, places to donate, etc. (Thanks to Ariana for sending this in)

Caveat, the nerdy and quirky venue on Clinton St in Manhattan, will be streaming its programming this week, including Let’s Play with Comedians with Mark Vigeant tonight (Tuesday) at 7pm. (Caveat)

Tonight Puccini’s “La Bohème” will be streaming for free from the Met Opera tonight. You can catch Bizet’s Carmen until 3:30pm. (Met Opera)

Veselka in the East Village is offering buy one get one for Tuesday. Give them a call if you’re interested. (@veselkanyc)

The city is offering grab and go lunches for students and to aid in remote learning the city is providing as many laptops as possible to households with no internet connectivity. (Sophia Chang for Gothamist)

What you need to know about NYC’s school closures. (Devin Gannon for 6sqft)

Wu-Tang has some advice about how to Protect Ya Neck Against Coronavirus. (Andrew Sacher for BrooklynVegan)

Most co-working facilities are closed. WeWork remains open. But why? (Eddie Small for The Real Deal)

John Oliver is on hiatus, but not without putting the entirety of his last show for HBO on YouTube. (Last Week Tonight)

Mayor de Blasio has done some stupid things in his time as mayor, but this might take the cake. Despite everything going on, this dope was driven 12 miles to the YMCA in Park Slope to get one last workout session in, despite telling the city to assume that we have already been exposed to the virus. (Gloria Pazmino for NY1)

The response to the pandemic shows us all what is possible but just doesn’t happen. Yes, bars and restaurants are shut down, but now you can order a cocktail to go with your meal. Anything that’s sold behind the bar can also be ordered. This is a good moment to tell you to order directly from the restaurant. Yes, Seamless is easier, but we are in a moment where every small business in your neighborhood needs every dime possible to stay afloat. (Bill Pearis for BrooklynVegan)

The impact of COVID-19 on the city’s economy is likely to be worse than 9/11 with over half a million people losing jobs in the tourism and hospitality sectors alone. (Patrick McGreen for NY Times)

The city’s nightlife industry accounts for $35 billion in revenue, with workers earning $13 billion. There is no timeline for reopening. (Jake Offenhartz for Gothamist)

Mayor de Blasio’s crackdown on electric bikes is on hold. Now would be an excellent time to make them legal instead of illegal, but accepted. (Jake Offenhartz for Gothamist)

Workers at the Barclay Center will be paid lost wages during the NBA shutdown. (Ben Verde for Brooklyn Vegan)

Photos: The Gotham Bar and Grill closed for good on Saturday Night, and they celebrated with a party full of a lack of irresponsible social distancing and a disregard for the long-term consequences for it. (Gary He for Eater)

You’re home, you have your favorite restaurants or bars on the mind. If you’re looking for a way to show your support, get a gift certificate. (Bao Ong for Time Out)

As we learn, the mayor didn’t come to the decision to close schools and bars and gyms himself, he didn’t trust the advice of the people closest to him either, he was forced into the decisions by his staff and a rebellious teacher’s union. (Jeffery C. Mays and Joseph Goldstein for NY Times)

A Department of Correction staffer who tested positive for COVID-19 died on Sunday evening, one of seven deaths of coronavirus patients reported in New York state so far. They supposedly had limited contact with people in custody. (Christopher Robbins for Gothamist)

Photos: Some photos of Lower Manhattan looking very empty. (Gabe Herman for amNewYork Metro)

Photos: This is what Carroll Gardens looks like during the pandemic. Hopefully showing people what these areas look like without people in them reduces anyone’s need to go to these places. (Katia Kelly for Pardon Me For Asking)

Are cancelations newsworthy anymore? Reading through an endless list of things closing or being postponed shows just how much is happening in the city on a regular basis and none of it is happening this year. The Met Gala has been postponed indefinitely. (Vanessa Friedman and Jessica Testa for NY Times)

Get your grocery shopping done and don’t wait until the store’s last listed hours on their Google Maps listing. Trader Joe’s, Whole Foods, Stop&Shop, and Aldi are reducing hours. As one Trader Joe’s employee put it, it’s like the day before Superstorm Sandy every day for the last three weeks. (Sydney Pereira for Gothamist)

Despite everything else being up in the air, there have not been any service changes for the MTA. (Mark Hallum for amNewYork Metro)

A look at the evolving and regularly infinite job of a group station manager for the MTA in the time of a pandemic. (Andy Newman and Earl Wilson)

The Brooklyn Arts Council organized a digital booklet of resources on healthcare, newly available funding, organizing tips, and other critical information for artists. (The Brooklyn Reader)

New York may soon need 18,000 ventilators, right now it’s 15,783 short. The federal government has a stockpile of ventilators, but President Trump’s literally response to a call for them was “try getting it yourselves.” Encouraging. (Brian M. Rosenthal and Joseph Goldstein for NY Times)

A statewide suspension of evictions is in place indefinitely, as all non-essential functions of the courts have been postponed until further notice. (Caroline Spivack for Curbed)

Judges, ICE prosecutors, and immigration lawyers are all asking for the same thing. Shut down the immigration courts. (Beth Fertig for Gothamist)

18 picks for restaurants offering new takeout and delivery options. (Hannah Albertine for The Infatuation)

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.