The Briefly for April 1, 2020 – The “Biggest Jerk in New York City” Edition

Today’s daily NYC news digest: The NYPD is using unmanned drones to enforce physical distancing, Dr. Anthony Fauci’s NYC roots, photos inside the Central Park field hospital, and more

Today – Low: 40˚ High: 52˚
Partly cloudy throughout the day.

Praise of the calming ritual of the cocktail hour, and a recipe for a gin and tonic. (Adam Platt for Grub Street)

“Despite the logistical isolation and the very real physical distress, however, there were moments of connection that kept me from feeling truly alone.” –How Kelli Dunham fell ill to COVID-19 and lived to tell about it. (Kelli Dunham for HuffPost)

How to safely order restaurant delivery and takeout. (Bao Ong for Time Out)

The MTA is struggling to maintain a full staff, as 2,200 subway and bus workers are in quarantine. Even if they wanted to expand service to reduce congestion, they couldn’t. (Mark Hallum for amNewYork Metro)

Meet Baruch Feldheim, a complete asshole. Baruch faces five years in prison and fines of up to $350,000 for price-gouging N95 masks and personal protective gear. When the FBI came to arrest him, he claimed to have novel coronavirus and tried to cough on them. (Sophia Chang for Gothamist)

Photos: “But the thoroughfares have been abandoned. The energy that once crackled along the concrete has eased. The throngs of tourists, the briskly striding commuters, the honking drivers have mostly skittered away.” This city was not meant to be empty. (Corina Knoll and photographers Bryan Derballa, Mark Abramson, Diana Zeyneb Alhindawi, Gabriela Bhaskar, Marian Carrasquero, Juan Arredondo, Jonah Markowitz, Stephen Speranza, Gareth Smit, Sarah Blesener, Victor J. Blue, Jeenah Moon, Desiree Rios, Jose A. Alvarado Jr., and Ryan Christopher Jones for NY Times)

Looking at Dr. Anthony Fauci’s Brooklyn roots. (Jessica Parks for Brooklyn Paper)

The city is extending its car-free pilot program through Sunday but won’t expand the number of streets closed off to vehicular traffic. (Gersh Kuntzman for Streetsblog)

St. Patrick’s Cathedral will be closed off to the public on Easter and Palm Sunday, but you can catch them both on WPIX and on YouTube. (Robert Pozarycki for amNewYork Metro)

The Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in Flushing Meadows is going to be converted to a temporary 350-bed medical facility. The original plan was to house non-COVID-19 patients, but the final plans haven’t been made. (Joe Pantorno for amNewYork Metro)

Photos: The Central Park COVID-19 field hospital. (Michelle Young for Untapped New York)

Job searching is tough enough without a global pandemic. Here are a few things to do to help your search. (Mindy Stern for amNewYork Metro)

It’s a seven-course $600 dinner party, but you have to cook it yourself. This is what fine dining looks like in 2020. (Erika Adams for Eater)

New York state’s restaurants lost nearly $2 billion in revenue in the first 22 days of March. (Tanay Warerkar for Eater)

This pandemic may be troubling us humans, but this expectant mother goose in the Gowanus Canal is living her best life. (Pardon Me for Asking)

When you go to the grocery store or order food, please remember that the people working to provide you that food wants to be infected just as little as you do. (Daniela Galarza for Grub Street)

Photos: A dramatic black-and-white Carroll Gardens, bereft of its usual life. (Katia Kelly for Pardon Me for Asking)

Actor and comedian Paul Scheer (The League, Veep) on his quarantine diet. (Paul Scheer for Grub Street)

An interview with Deborah Feldman, the subject of Netflix mini-series and New York Times bestseller ‘Unorthodox,’ who left her ultra-Orthodox Jewish community for a new life in Berlin. (Marisa Mazria-Katz for NY Times)

Video: The NYPD is using unmanned drones to monitor physical distancing, or the lack thereof. (Ben Yakas for Gothamist)

10 Bronx restaurants to take out from during COVID-19. (Alex Mitchell for Bronx Times)

What Time Out’s editors are reading while staying physically distant. (Will Gleason for Time Out)

RIP Michael Sorkin and William Helmreich, two of the city’s most prolific walkers. Helmreich was the author of The New York Nobody Knows walked 6,000 miles in an ongoing effort to walk every street in New York and Sorkin was the author of Twenty Minutes in Manhattan, which detailed a walk from Greenwich Village to Tribeca. Both taken by COVID-19. (Jake Bittle for Curbed)

Parks@Home is here to bring the city’s parks to you. The new series features virtual walks in the park with Urban Park Rangers. (Jamie DeJesus for The Brooklyn Home Reporter)

The state hired more than 700 additional people to answer unemployment-related phone calls, with hundreds more being hired and trained, and they’re still having trouble keeping up with the demand. (Ryan Sutton for Eater)

The city shut down ten playgrounds throughout all five boroughs, because, as a city, we remain poor at physical distancing.

The city’s Human Rights Commission is investigating the firing of Chris Smalls, the Amazon worker who organized a strike outside of the company’s Staten Island facility on Monday. (Sydney Pereira for Gothamist)

The City University of New York is scrambling to distribute as many as 30,000 computers to students, after delaying online classes designed to keep coursework going after coronavirus-prompted campus shutdowns. (Gabriel Sandoval for The City)

Photos: Inside Woodhaven’s 95-year-old Schmidt’s Candy, making handmade candies for Eater. (James and Karla Murray for 6sqft)

The MoMA is offering free online art courses to help you finally answer the question “is this art?” (Howard Halle for Time Out)

Nine tips on how to create the quintessential NYC balcony garden. (Shaye Weaver for Time Out)

Thanks to Micah Eames for today’s featured photo from Crown Heights!

The Briefly for March 25, 2020 – The “Beneath the Lowest Possible Expectations” Edition

Today’s daily NYC news digest: The latest on COVID-19, the NYPD begins to call out sick, a bodega delivery app, Cuomo vs Trump is coming to a head, how to support music venues, and more

Today – Low: 37˚ High: 48˚
Possible drizzle in the afternoon.

The governor demanded the mayor ban cars on city streets to give pedestrians more room and the mayor’s response would be laughable if we could all stop saying “this is so crazy” for just a minute. The mayor will shut down 10 streets with a maximum of two per borough for pedestrian use. Which two streets in each borough? The mayor announced no specifics. Once again, Mayor de Blasio manages to crawl beneath the lowest possible expectations. (Gersh Kuntzman for Streetsblog)

What do you do when someone tests positive for COVID-19 but doesn’t require intensive medical care? The city is grappling with how to encourage physical distancing for the 57,000 homeless people. At the moment, patients are being sent back to the shelter system for isolation. (Greg B. Smith for The City)

Over 100 employees of the New York Police Department have tested positive for the coronavirus and nearly 7% of cops have called out sick. It was less than two days ago that TMZ ran the headline “Cops Across The Country Aren’t Scared Of Coronavirus, Used To Danger” (Christopher Mathias for HuffPost)

To add to our current dystopia, the NYPD will be cruising around the city blaring a PSA on social distancing. (Elie Z. Perler for Bowery Boogie)

Video: One day we’ll look back at this moment and ask “what it even real,” and thankfully we’ll have video evidence, like videos like this bike ride over the Brooklyn Bridge to prove it actually happened. (ActionKid)

New York City from 1993 to 2019, through the camera of Grégoire Alessandrini. (Michelle Young for Untapped New York)

The USNS Comfort, the floating hospital with 1,200 doctors and 12 operating rooms, is “on its way” to the city, but it won’t arrive until mid-April and its focus will be treating non-coronavirus patients, freeing up space in hospitals for COVID-19 patients. (Matt Fink for Bushwick Daily)

NYC Taxi & Limousine Commission is asking taxi and ride-share drivers to deliver food to senior citizens who need to stay home. The city is offering $15 an hour plus gas and tolls, which isn’t much but it’s something. (Gillian Smith for Patch)

Con Edison has announced it has ceased service shutoffs over non-payment, waived new late-payment charges, and suspended fees for customers who fail to grant access to their properties during the coronavirus pandemic. (Robert Pozarycki for Gay City News)

Two things we need at a time like this, both produced in the same place: whiskey and hand sanitizer. (Gillian Smith for Patch)

Now there’s a bodega delivery app. Enter My Bodega Online. (Devin Gannon for 6sqft)

Where’s the state on rent cancellation? There’s a push for it, but Cuomo’s MIA on it. (Jake Offenhartz for Gothamist)

Governor Cuomo has the attention of the nation for his leadership. How did we get here? (Jesse McKinley and Shane Goldmacher for NY Times)

With attention, Cuomo has also become Trump’s latest target in Trump’s never-ending quest to convince us that he, the Emporer, is wearing clothes. (Asawin Suebsaeng, Erin Banco, and Sam Stein for The Daily Beast)

The federal government is sending New York 4,000 ventilators, which is only about 25,000 shy of what the state needs. (Kathleen Culliton for Patch)

The bad news is that we haven’t flattened the curve. The worse news is that COVID-19 has an attack rate five times the national rate in New York and it’s only gonna get worse. There is no good news. (Kathleen Culliton for Patch)

Okay, a tiny bit of good news. With everyone staying at home and not taking cars, carbon monoxide emissions are below 50% of their typical levels. (Shaye Weaver for Time Out)

Congrats Queens, you’re winning the which borough has the most cases of coronavirus competition. (Allie Griffin for LIC Post)

Manhattan State Senator Brad Hoylman is calling for an end on gay blood donations. (Paul Schindler for Gay City News)

If you’re out of work, these restaurants are offering free or affordable meals. (Emma Orlow for Time Out)

Help Main Street aggregates restaurant gift cards in one place, even if it’s missing a very large swath of the city. (Tanay Warerkar for Eater)

Photos: We’re nearing I Am Legend territory. (Gillian Smith for Patch)

All of the MTA’s transactions are going to be conducted by MetroCard vending machines, whenever possible. Remember when we were scared of robots taking jobs? (Jamie DeJesus for The Brooklyn Home Reporter)

If you’re worried that Prospect Park is too crowded, you can take a detour to Green-Wood Cemetery for a moment of serenity away from the living. The cemetery is extending its visiting hours to help prevent you from dying of boredom inside your apartment. (Andrew Cotto for NY Times)

300 of the city’s inmates are scheduled for release to reduce the population density in the city’s jails. The detainees have less than a one-year sentence and were convicted of non-violent misdemeanors and whose age and health make them vulnerable. The city is eyes an additional 800 detainees for possible release. (Kathleen Culliton for Patch)

The MTA is adjusting weekday train and bus schedules to Saturday levels to closer meet the city’s current demand. (Mark Hallum for amNewYork Metro)

With an occupancy rate as low as 15%, hotels across the city are beginning to temporarily close. (Serena Tara for Bedford + Bowery)

New York City’s teachers union said Tuesday the city health department put educators and students at risk, prior to the city’s system-wide shutdown, by not evenly applying a closure policy for individual schools when a staff member contracted the coronavirus. (Madina Touré for Politico)

David Rockwell, the architect and Tony-winning show designer, talks about the stories and history behind his favorite theaters. (Michael Kimmelman for NY Times)

The best ways you can help New York City’s struggling music venues. (Collier Sutter for Time Out)

The College of Staten Island’s dorms are being emptied of students to become a makeshift hospital. Students who can’t easily find somewhere else to live are being offered rooms in the dorms of other CUNY schools. (Amanda Farinacci for NY1)

If you’re in self-quarantine with another person, are they a good chef? Here’s what it’s like to self-quarantine with a Michelin-starred chef. (Kaitlin Menza for Grub Street)

Thanks to reader Zlata for today’s featured photo!

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!