The Briefly for July 10, 2020 – The “Everyone Can Hear Your Phone Conversation” Edition

Today’s daily NYC news digest: The city paints another Black Lives Matter mural, the zoos are reopening, Manhattanhenge, all public events are canceled until September 30, and more

Today – Low: 73˚ High: 78˚
Heavy rain and humid throughout the day.
This weekend – Low: 74˚ High: 86˚

This weekend is your last chance to see Manhattanhenge this year. (Shaye Weaver for Time Out)

Video: Looking to turn your apartment into an indoor garden oasis? Here are some tips and tricks to turn your black thumb green. (Matt Coneybeare for Viewing NYC)

Predictably, Mayor de Blasio doesn’t like Attorney General James’ plan to move control of the NYPD under a commission. This might be the biggest endorsement to move forward with this plan. (Erin Durkin for Politico)

If you event needs a city-issued permit between now and September 30, it’s canceled. All events in the city are canceled, with exceptions for some street fairs, events in parks, and events smaller than one block. (Alejandra O’Connell-Domenech for amNewYork Metro)

It used to be that NYC’s public spaces were where you could go to take a private phone call. The city’s indifference towards any individual person was an asset if you were in a restaurant or at work and needed to have a conversation, Now? Our public space has become more valuable than ever and in the comparative spareness of the streets, you can’t find the same level of anonymity. Now, when you’re on the phone while waiting outside a Trader Joe’s, not only can everyone hear you, they’ll make signs to inform you that your conversations aren’t private. (Judith Newman for NY Times)

Centre Street in Lower Manhattan has been co-named Black Lives Matter Boulevard. (Noah Sheidlower for Untapped New York)

The city painted a Black Lives Matter mural in front of Trump Tower, which is a nice gesture, but I worry that the city’s government has lost sight of their goals in pursuit of public art projects. (Michael Gold and Daniel E. Slotnik for NY Times)

Many New York City Council members of color say that in their communities people aren’t screaming for police defunding or abolition. One wonders, did they just close their windows each time a #BlackLivesMatter protest marched by their house? It is true that this year’s #BlackLivesMatter protests have engaged far more white people than they did when Eric Garner was killed, but in response to those protests the Council voted through a budget that added 1,300 new police officers. What Black or Latino Council member can honestly say their communities were screaming “Build new jails!“ when they approved billions to do just that in 2019? (None.)
-Andrew J. Padilla, Member of Community Board 11, for Gotham Gazette. Deconstructing the #DefundNYPD Clash with City Council Members of Color

Remember when the NYPD said that the spike in shootings was caused by the city’s bail reforms? Well, the data is out and the NYPD lied, again. Only one person released was re-arrested for a shooting. (Sydney Pereira for Gothamist)

The MTA is getting back to work in their offices, check out their guide to getting back to work. (Jose Martinez for The City)

Here’s what to expect when the Museum of the City of New York reopens later this month. (Ben Yakas for Gothamist)

Congrats to the winners of the Time Out Time In Awards. (Will Gleason for Time Out)

Restaurant Daniel, a Michelin-starred restaurant is jumping into outdoor dining, making it one of two starred restaurants still operating. (Bao Ong for Time Out)

Photos: It’s been five years since the reopening of the High Bridge, which absolutely gorgeous, connects Manhattan to the Bronx, and is the city’s oldest surviving bridge. (Duane Bailey-Castro for Untapped New York)

In admiration of the city’s restaurants that have gotten creative with their outdoor dining setups. (Pete Wells and Karsten Moran for NY Times)

Photos: Michael Che has been hosting regular, outdoor, socially-distanced, pop-up comedy shows in Long Island City outside the Plaxall Gallery, working with The Creek and the Cave. The next show is July 15. (Michael Dorgan for Queens Post)

Lots of questions about masks, answered. (Jen Carlson for Gothamist)

No matter what the mayor says publicly, the Department of Education says it is too early for a plan to be in place for opening schools in the fall. (Sophia Chang for Gothamist)

Take a look at the six finalists announced for the Brooklyn Bridge walkway redesign competition. (Kevin Duggan for Brooklyn Paper)

The Bronx Zoo, Central Park Zoo, Prospect Park Zoo, Queens Zoo, and the New York Aquarium will reopen to members on July 20 and will open to the public on July 24. (Julia Jacobs for NY Times)

Paulie Gee’s is offering takeout pies for the first time since 2014. (Collier Sutter for Time Out)

The Citi logo has been removed from One Court Square. (John Bolger for LIC Post)

After being temporarily released from prison, Michael Cohen is back behind bars and in custody to serve the rest of his sentence. (Maggie Haberman, William K. Rashbaum and Nicole Hong for NY Times)

No matter what safety precautions they’re taking, these rooftop pool parties in Long Island City don’t look safe. (Ben Yakas for Gothamist)

Yes, some beaches are open, but some remain closed because the city has a shortage of lifeguards. (Rose Adams for amNewYork Metro)

How to always get your security deposit back. (Localize.City)

The Briefly for July 9, 2020 – The “They Don’t Call it a Subway Doomsday for Nothing” Edition

Today’s daily NYC news digest: The mayor’s plan for schools in September, the worst place in NYC, wait times for Covid-19 test results slip, frozen boozy drinks, and more

Today – Low: 76˚ High: 85˚
Humid throughout the day.

What’s the worst place in NYC? Seems there’s some consensus around Penn Station. (Collier Sutter for Time Out)

Despite what he may think, the president doesn’t actually have control over how the city’s schools operate. Mayor de Blasio’s plan, which is only a plan, is still subject to the state’s approval. Early August is the state’s deadline for approving or modifying the city’s plan. (Alejandra O’Connell-Domenech for amNewYork Metro)

The city’s schools are facing $642 million in budget cuts. The city’s private schools received tens of millions of dollars from the federal government’s PPP program. (Sophia Chang for Gothamist)

The mayor announced his plan for school openings in the fall. His plans call for a partial reopening this September. Classroom attendance would be limited to one to three days a week. While it’s a burden for children, teachers, parents, the economy, and everyone involved, it’s a burden that is not worse than death, which is what his plan is hoping to prevent. (Eliza Shapiro for NY Times)

A deeper dive into the options already presented for the city’s schools for in-person learning. (Christina Veiga for Chalkbeat)

Here’s a terrifying map of what the city’s subways could look like if the MTA doesn’t get any federal assistance and uses the Riders Alliance 2010 “Doomsday on the MTA” report. To accommodate the loss in revenues, the MTA would have to cut the 1, 2, 3, 7, B, D, F, M, G, J, Z, and Franklin Avenue Shuttle. They don’t call it doomsday for nothing. (Dave Colon for Streetsblog)

Things were already projected to be bad for the MTA, but for each tax dollar the city doesn’t collect, the MTA is pushed further and further into the economic abyss. The MTA’s projected tax revenue for 2021 will be $1.4 billion lower than expected. (Robert Pozarycki for amNewYork Metro)

The subways shut down for four hours a day and that may seem inconvenient, but a transit strike in 1966 shut the subways down for two weeks. (Nicholas Loud for Untapped New York)

A Queens driver hit and killed 64-year-old Richard O’Flaherty in Far Rockaway on Tuesday. The driver was not charged. (Gersh Kuntzman for Streetsblog)

Governors Island will reopen on July 15th for “passive recreation” from 10 am – 7 pm. You’ll need tickets in advance and they can be reserved beginning on Friday. (Michelle Young for Untapped New York)

Apartment Porn: It used to be a school, now it’s a $22.5 million penthouse with four bedrooms, a two-level terrace, and a double-sided marble fireplace. (Dana Schulz for 6sqft)

Photos: Why the hell is the NYPD protecting statues of Christopher Columbus across the city 24/7? (Gerch Kuntzman for Streetsblog)

Someone driving an SUV drove through a crowd of protesters in Times Square, sending at least one to the hospital. The driver was taken into custody, but not arrested or charged. If the NYPD can do it with initial mayoral support and no consequences, what’s to stop a citizen from doing the same thing? (Sydney Pereira for Gothamist)

New York Attorney General Letitia James is calling for an “entirely new accountability structure” for the NYPD, including reducing Mayor Bill de Blasio’s role in overseeing the force. Under James’ recommendation, a commission of the City Council, Public Advocate, Comptroller, and the mayor would have control over the NYPD’s budget. (Anna Quinn for Patch)

The development announced for the failed Amazon HQ2 site has hit a wall: City Councilmember Jimmy Van Bramer. Without Van Bramer’s support, the project’s needed rezoning can’t happen. Long Island City’s newly constructed apartments are 60% empty. This plan would bring an additional 2,700 apartments to the area. Van Bramer’s idea for the land is simple: it’s public land and should be used by the public. (Christian Murray for Queens Post)

8 tips for negotiating your lease renewal in NYC. (Localize.City)

In an article about how graffiti is on the rise during the Covid-19 pandemic, the Times starts by saying the conditions are perfect for “a new generation of graffiti writers.” The Old Gray Lady indeed. (David Gonzalez for NY Times)

The city’s oldest gay bar, Julius’ Bar, launched a GoFundMe campaign to keep the bar and it employees afloat until indoor dining comes back, which may be a while. (Dana Schulz for 6sqft)

The availability for Covid-19 testing has increased across the city, but the availability of labs to process those tests hasn’t risen to meet the demand. As a result, wait times for test results have slipped from the three-day range to upwards of a week. Is your result still relevant if it’s been a week since the test? (Elizabeth Kim and Fred Mogul for Gothamist)

Where to pick up food near Central Park. (Matt Tervooren for The Infatuation)

The staff at Jack the Horse in Brooklyn Heights are accusing the owners of misusing thousands of dollars in donations intended for employees. The GoFundMe states (errors and all) “We still hoping to raise money to support our wonderful staff who are out of work due to COVID-19.” The owners paid food and alcohol vendors and insurance bills with the $15,000+ of donations to the GoFundMe. (Erika Adams for Eater)

A five-story building partially collapsed in Murray Hill on E 38th in Manhattan on Wednesday afternoon. One person was injured and was brought to the hospital. (Ben Yakas and Gwynne Hogan for Gothamist)

What’s your favorite pre-pandemic food? (Robert Sietsema for Eater)

A few NYC holy grail apartments: 2 bedrooms for under $2,000 a month. (Erika Riley for StreetEasy)

The story of how an Angela Davis quote ended up being displayed prominently towards the Barclays Center subway entrance. (Norman Oder for BKLYNER)

The Board of Elections in New York City turns Election Day into Groundhog Day—we see the same problematic deficiencies each cycle: despite a bipartisan cross-ideological desire to fix them, they reoccur like clockwork. The time has come to use the important expansion of vote-by-mail to finally fix these consistent problems.
– City Councilmember Carline Rivera, Voting by mail must be expanded to fix existing problems

Interactive Map: More than 13,000 Manhattan-based businesses secured loans of more than $150,000 from the federal government through the Paycheck Protection Program. (Brendan Krisel for Patch)

Major League Soccer announced the schedule for their summer tournament and NYCFC’s first game is today (Thursday) morning at 9 am. (Joe Pantorno for Bronx Times)

RIP Jane Walentas, the artist behind the three-decade restoration of Jane’s Carousel in Brooklyn Bridge Park. (Rose Adams for amNewYork Metro)

Twenty places across the city to enjoy nature. (Jenna Fanelli for Bronx Times)

The city will only retain 50 of its 95 park rangers, thanks to the city’s budget cuts. In a budget of $88.2 billion, the cuts to the park ranger program are saving $10 million, or 0.01% of the budget. (Reuven Blau for The City)

13 places to get frozen boozy drinks in Astoria. (Claire Leaden for We Heart Astoria)

Thanks to reader Lisa 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!