The Briefly for May 19, 2020 – The “Central Park Has Exorcised its Demons” Edition

Today’s daily NYC news digest: Where to get a Covid-19 test, good news for vegans, de Blasio eyes a September reopening of the city, subway ridership starts to return, and more

Today – Low: 52˚ High: 65˚
Mostly cloudy throughout the day.

The city remains on PAUSE, hitting only 3 of the 7 metrics necessary to start phase one of reopening.

It’s time to register to vote by mail for the June 23 primary. Here’s how. (Brigid Bergin for Gothamist)

There was a protest to open up Staten Island, which included all the hits like “it’s just like the flu” and “you don’t coward in your house and stay afraid.” (Amy Yensi for NY1)

Samaritan’s Purse, the temporary hospital run by Franklin Graham, who believes same-sex relationships are an “abomination,” is gone from Central Park. Members of Reclaim Pride, Rise and Resist, and Reverend Billy Talen’s Stop Shopping Choir have exorcised the demons left behind by Franklin Graham. (Donna Aceto for amNewYork Metro)

The loss of Gem Spa beings up an important question. Will we recognize our city when we emerge from our forced hibernation? (Max Falkowitz for Grub Street)

“That’s a real natural point to start reopening more if all goes well because that’s when everyone would normally come back from the summer.” Mayor de Blasio has tentatively pegged September for a full reopening of the city. (Kathleen Culliton for Patch)

If you’re taking the subway or bus, look down. The MTA is adding social distancing markers to encourage you to keep your damn distance. (Devin Gannon for 6sqft)

“I want to watch the Buffalo Bills,” is not something anyone says earnestly, but here we are. It’s 2020 and Governor Cuomo wants New York teams to play in empty stadiums, even if he has to watch the Buffalo Bills. (Kathleen Culliton for Patch)

Let’s face it. 2020 is a wash. Let’s start thinking about 2021, campsite reservations across New York state are open. (Emma Orlow for Time Out)

Of the city’s 21 miles of open streets, Staten Island only has 1.3 miles. (Kamillah Hanks and Rose Uscianowski for Streetsblog)

It’s a combination of the worst and the best time to start looking for a new apartment. (Caroline Spivack for Curbed)

WeWork wants a rent break. Its customers do too. (Peter Eavis for NY Times)

Rockefeller Center is looking 192 pieces of artwork that celebrate New York City to fly as flags above the rink in August as part of “The Flag Project” competition. Now you know how many flags are in the plaza at Rockefeller Plaza. (Devin Gannon for 6sqft)

Dr. Oxiris Barbot issued a public apology for telling an NYPD top brass “I don’t give two rats’ asses about your cops.” Now we wait for an apology from the Sergeant’s Benevolent Association for calling Dr. Barbot a bitch on Twitter. (Kathleen Culliton for Patch)

The Circa is a condo in Harlem at the corner of 110th and Central Park West and its glass facade is gaining a reputation for bird slaughter. (Jen Chung for Gothamist)

NYC Nightlife United is an emergency fund providing immediate relief to shuttered cultural spaces affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. Small business owners can start applying for aid on June 5. (Amanda Hatfield for Brooklyn Vegan)

Congrats to Brooklyn’s Andre Kulikov for winning the 6th-8th grade category of the Ezra Jack Keats Bookmaking Competition. (Nigel Roberts for The Brooklyn Reader)

It’s not summer without Coney Island, so we may just cancel summer this year. Here’s what Coney Island may look like once it’s allowed to open up. (Shaye Weaver for Time Out)

The city is preparing fencing to keep people off the beaches in Coney Island and Brighton Beach to keep crowd sizes down during Memorial Day weekend. (Todd Maisel for amNewYork Metro)

Whoever vandalized the Covid-19 memorial on the corner of 10th and Ave A, you are the city’s worst scumbag this week. (EV Grieve)

The MTA’s Essential Connector program is live, giving essential workers a free trip in a for-hire-vehicle per night while the subways are shut down. (Anna Quinn for Patch)

Porn star Ron Jeremy is trying to prevent a tree from being cut down outside his childhood home in Queens. Make your own “wood” jokes. (Brooklyn Vegan)

The City Council is pushing a bill forward that would create three drop-off sites for organics and community recycling centers for hazardous or e-waste in each community district by June 2021. Existing drop-off locations are closed. (Sydney Pereira for Gothamist)

Inside the Guggenheim is the “Countryside, The Future” show in the windows facing Fifth Avenue, which features cherry tomato plants. The Times found David Litvin, who moved his family to New York from Tel Aviv for six months so he can tend to the plants for the museum. The tomatoes are looking great, but his six-month stay hasn’t been going according to his original plan. (Elizabeth A. Harris for NY Times)

Video: Take a tour of Prospect Park’s Lefferts House. (Matt Coneybeare for Viewing NYC)

The Brooklyn Botanical Garden is hoping to open in July. (Collier Sutter for Time Out)

Vegans rejoice! Superiority Burger is offering a unique menu of to-go options every Thursday, starting this week. You have to order in advance, so don’t start showing up on Thursdays expecting to be able to buy anything on the spot. (EV Grieve)

Maybe Covid-19 will usher in a new era of automat-style restaurants in the city. (Tanay Warerkar for Eater)

Governor Cuomo was tested during his Sunday press briefing and tested negative. The test was an encouragement for New Yorkers to utilize the 700 testing sites set up across the state. (Kathleen Culliton for Patch)

If you’re uninsured, CityMD is offering free Covid-19 testing. (Allie Griffin for Queens Post)

All churches in the city are closed to the public, some are finding a higher calling as Covid-19 testing sites, mostly in Queens and the Bronx. (Carol Kuruvilla for HuffPost)

The state is providing antibody tests for all MTA employees as part of Governor Cuomo’s mandate that all essential workers are tested. (Mark Hallum for amNewYork Metro)

The Covid-19 death count per NYC zip code. The highest death rate is in Canarsie, at 612.24 deaths per 100,000, followed by Rockaway with 444.73 deaths per 100,000. (Kathleen Culliton for Patch)

The NYPD shut down up a Brooklyn Yeshiva in Bed-Stuy for violating the state’s orders that all schools be closed. I’m not a big “call the cops” kinda guy, but if you see kids walking into a school, it’s time to call the cops. (Liam Stack and Nate Schweber for NY Times)

It’s happening slowly, but riders are returning to the subways. We’re not at pre-pandemic levels, but the numbers are going up. (Dave Colon for Streetsblog)

The quarantine and takeout guide. (Hannah Albertine, Nikko Duren, Arden Shore, & Matt Tervooren for The Infatuation)

Thanks to reader Molly for today’s featured flower photo!

The Briefly for May 18, 2020 – The “Bored Enough to Give Yourself a Tattoo?” Edition

Today’s daily NYC news digest: The entire city will take a huge financial hit in 2020, except the NYPD, the late-night delivery guide, the Williams Pipeline is dead, baby bears, and more

Today – Low: 55˚ High: 68˚
Mostly cloudy throughout the day.

The city remains on PAUSE, hitting only 3 of the 7 metrics necessary to start phase one of reopening.

There will be no city beaches open for Memorial Day weekend. (Anna Quinn for Patch)

As New York state is losing billions of dollars, politicians are turning their eyes towards a source of revenue they’ve failed to pull the trigger on for years: legal marijuana. (Kathleen Culliton for Patch)

Video: Watch Andean Bear cubs Brienne and Benny explore their habitat in the Queens Zoo for the first time. (Emily Davenport for amNewYork Metro)

How bored are you at home? Are you ready to do your own stick and poke tattoo? (Dani Blum for NY Times)

Will the Covid-19 pandemic mean the end of the walk-in tattoo appointment? When the city’s tattoo shops reopen, there’s a chance. What will all the tattoo parlors do with their very clever Christopher Walken-related signs? (Emma Orlow for Time Out)

The city’s park conservancies are expecting a massive financial hit this year, forcing them to drastically alter their organizations, including a reduction of over 350,000 hours of work, a half-million trees not being planted, an 80% reduction of park improvements, with up to a 68% loss of income in the worst case. (Jason Cohen for Bronx Times)

Governor Cuomo warned that without the HEROES Act, there would be devastating cuts to the budgets of education and medical programs, as well as local governments. (Robert Pzarycki for amNewYork Metro)

The NYC Ferry system is looking at a 20% reduction on top of the 30% reduction in service, with an intent to save the city up to $10 million. In addition, new ferry locations are being pushed back to 2021. (Mark Hallum for amNewYork Metro)

The city is no different. The $10 billion shortfall will impact pretty much everything the city offers, like canceling the youth employment program, freezing new teacher hires, and killing environmental initiatives. As crime is at historic lows, the NYPD is not poised to take much of a financial hit at all, as de Blasio’s administration prioritizes policing its citizens over helping them. (Jake Offenhartz for Gothamist)

This is the same NYPD that was incapable of enforcing social distancing without immediately reminding us all about its racist enforcement of stop-and-frisk as officers beat and pummeled people of color all across the city while glad-handing white people in parks. The NYPD has shown us the Peter Principle up close, as the mayor has reduced their role in enforcing social distancing because they can’t be trusted to treat all New Yorkers like people. (Joe Anuta for Politico)

This is the same NYPD that can’t be bothered to actually execute the city’s open streets plans while its people are desperate for space. (Gersh Kuntzman for Streetsblog)

The NYPD won’t even be fully in charge of the city’s plans to limit access to portions of parks to prevent overcrowding. A portion of the work will be going to the city’s 2,260 new “social distancing ambassadors.” (Alejandra O’Connell-Domenech for amNewyork Metro)

Jadakiss donated 250 pizzas to medicals centers throughout in the Bronx, Harlem, and Yonkers as part of the Pizza vs. Pandemic initiative. (Alex Mitchell for Bronx Times)

The Times rides-along with the subway shutdown. (Christina Goldbaum for NY Times)

Photos from the inside of the 30th Street Men’s Shelter on First Avenue in Manhattan show people in close quarters sleeping on stairs and in hallways, proving the city is failing its population of homeless New Yorkers. (Courtney Gross for NY1)

The city’s response to the photos was to put more homeless New Yorkers into hotel rooms but has been pairing them up, which seems counterproductive if you’re trying to prevent the spread of Covid-19. The City Council is preparing a bill that would require hotel rooms used as an alternative to shelters to be single occupancy. (Sophia Chang for Gothamist)

WNYC and Gothamistreceived an $8.9 million Paycheck Protection Program loan from the federal government to help the $10 million deficit it was projecting, saving many journalism jobs. (Christopher Robbins for Gothamist)

VICE, owned by Refinery29, announced its laying off 155 employees. There is local support to add financial support for digital media in the HEROES Act in Congress, but I can’t fathom a world where the Trump administration does anything to actually help journalists. (Caroline Lewis for Gothamist)

An analysis puts the number of people who fled the city between Match and May at 420,000. In some neighborhoods like the Upper East Side, the West Village, SoHo, and Brooklyn Heights, the population has decreased by up to 40%. It should be no surprise that the more wealthy someone is, the most likely they were to abandon New York City. (Kevin Quealy for NY Times)

The New York Department of Environmental Conservation denied a permit necessary for the construction of the Williams Pipeline, essentially killing the fracked gas pipeline that would have terminated in the Rockaways and was at the center of National Grid’s refusal of service to new customers at the end of last year. (Peter Rugh for The Indypendent)

Someone is trying to plan a drive-in festival in “Yankee Stadium’s parking lot,” including live music, movies, games, etc. Take a moment and open up a map app or website and take a look at Yankee Stadium. Try to find “the parking lot.” Yankee Stadium doesn’t actually have a large parking lot. There are parking garages and a few dirt lots that double as parking when there are games, but there isn’t one large parking lot near the stadium like there is at Citi Field where you would think an elevated stage would let anyone see a performance. (Amanda Hatfield for BrooklynVegan)

Notify NYC sent out a mass text on Saturday saying there’s an “alarming shortage of donated blood.” The FDA amended its homophobic rule about not accepting blood donations from gay or bisexual men (but still won’t accept blood from a man who has had sexual contact with another man in the last three months) but the New York Blood Center says it can’t adopt those changes until June. (Emily Ngo for NY1)

The signs for Gem Spa came down over the weekend. (EV Grieve)

“You could feel it going through your veins and it was almost like someone injected you with straight-up fire.” The new syndrome linked to Covid-19 that is impacting kids sounds like actual hell. (Pan Belluck for NY Times)

New York children of color may be more vulnerable to the toxic shock-like syndrome linked to new coronavirus, according to demographic data released by City Hall. (Kathleen Culliton for Patch)

The city closed the field hospital at the Billie Jean King Tennis Center, which housed 79 patients, the last of whom left the hospital on Saturday. (Allie Griffin for Queens Post)

The late-night delivery guide. (Matt Tervooren for The Infatuation)

Thanks to reader Zlata for today’s featured flower photo from Grand Army Plaza in Central Park.

The Briefly for May 11, 2020 – The “A Huge Amount of Restraint by the NYPD” Edition

Today’s daily NYC news digest: Governor Cuomo did not extend NY PAUSE past May 15, the Rent Guidelines Board explained, the NYC dessert delivery guide, Spike Lee’s NYC love letter, & more

Today – Low: 42˚ High: 60˚
Possible light rain in the morning.

NY is not extending PAUSE through June 6. Early reporting stated that incorrectly. What happened over the weekend is Governor Cuomo extending New York’s state of emergency. Regions of the state that meet the state’s criteria will be opening, but in the city we can all but guarantee that we’re going last. (Kathleen Culliton for Patch)

Apartment Porn: An Upper East Side Townhouse with an indoor pool, a wild spiral staircase, and a dining room larger than most apartments. (Dana Schulz for 6sqft)

Details on the deal that resulted in New York paying some schmuck $86 million for ventilators that never materialized. Maybe New York is the schmuck in this deal. (Luis Ferré-Sadurní and Thomas Kaplan for NY Times)

Black and brown New Yorkers received more than 80 percent of social distancing summons handed out by the NYPD. (Kathleen Culliton for Patch)

“I was on the floor, I thought I was going to die.” A first-hand account from Adegoke Atunbi of being arrested by the NYPD’s 75th precinct, the most-sued precinct in NYC. (Kevin Duggan for amNewYork Metro)

There’s been a huge amount of restraint by the NYPD” -Mayor de Blasio, on the very obvious bias in policing of social distancing observed anecdotally but also in numbers released by the NYPD. (Jake Offenhartz for Gothamist)

After a week of violent arrests of minority New Yorkers and criticism of how differently the NYPD is handling overcrowding in parks, the mayor decided to limit the number of people allowed Hudson River and Domino Park. That fixes everything, right? (NY1)

Take a look at the latest filings for Pacific Park, the set of apartment buildings planned for the Atlantic Yards. (Norman Odler for Atlantic Yards/Pacific Park Report)

Edible Queens will close at the end of the month, after a three-year run. Each Edible publication is independently owned. (Allie Griffin for Queens Post)

Allowing bars and restaurants to sell cocktails to go has been a lifeline to some bars, but to the bars in the city whose appeal is the community and not the cocktails, they continue to struggle. The damage of the ongoing closure is putting the city’s remaining lesbian bars in danger. (Emma Orlow for Time Out)

While restaurants are fighting to survive, Grubhub is reporting record revenue. (Chris Crowley for Grub Street)

Whenever the city’s restaurants are allowed to open back up, expect reduced capacity and new social distancing rules to be put in place. If you thought going back to restaurants and bars was going to be the “all clear” signal, we’ll still have a long road ahead. (Erika Adams for Eater)

The first death of a child due to the syndrome linked to Covid-19 was reported at the end of last week. On Friday, there were 73 children in the state hospitalized because of the syndrome. (Ali Watkins for NY Times)

NYC’s reaction to JetBlue’s low-altitude flyover was a general “could you please not?” (Howard Halle for Time Out)

Gray’s Papaya on the Upper West Side has reopened. It’s not 24 hours (yet), but it’s nice to have an NYC institution back. (Carol Tannenhauser for West Side Rag)

Revel has continued its expansion during the pandemic, reaching into the Bronx. (Ed García Conde for Welcome2TheBronx)

The Rent Guidelines Board (RGB) will vote on June 17 on adjustments for the city’s 1 million rent-stabilized apartments for the coming year. Your questions from “What is the RGB?” to “When does their decision go into effect” explained. (Amy Plitt for Curbed)

Tae Kyong Kim and Jung Soo Lee have been arrested and charged with price gouging for selling face masks for $45 a pack at Whitestone grocery store Raspberry Farm. (Allie Griffin for Queens Post)

Welcome to 2020, where heroin is branded “Coronavirus.” Over a million dollars of Coronavirus heroin and fentanyl was seized in a University Heights bust. (Kathleen Culliton for Patch)

Video: Spike Lee’s short film New York New York is “A Love Letter To It’s People. Plain And Simple”. (Amanda Hatfield for BrooklynVegan)

Governor Andrew Cuomo extended the deadline for filing new childhood sexual abuse claims under New York’s Child Victims Act from August 14, 2020, to January 14, 2021. (Robert Pozarycki for amNewYork Metro)

This weekend my wife found a place on Franklin Ave in Crown Heights that put itself online as an ice cream delivery store. It’s a corner store, but they found their angle to get themselves online. They’re not the only ones, in another example of finding your angle to get online, Annie’s Blue Ribbon General Store in Park Slope has 1,000 piece puzzles for those of you clamoring for new puzzles. (Todd Maisel for amNewYork Metro)

RIP Ben Benson, whose career took him from helping create TGI Friday’s, to creating Smith and Woolensky, to eventually creating his own steakhouse, Ben Benson’s. (Kim Severson for NY Times)

Mayor de Blasio put NYC Health + Hospitals in charge of the city’s Covid-19 testing and tracing programs instead of the Department of Mental Health and Mental Hygiene, a decision universally disliked by the City Council, City Comptroller Scott Stringer, and health officials. (Fred Mogul for Gothamist)

This week’s streaming performances from the Metropolitan Opera. (Adam Feldman for Time Out)

Over the weekend, as temperatures dropped into the 30s, the MTA still closed the subways for disinfecting, and provided “bus shelters” for the homeless New Yorkers that were removed from the trains overnight. (Kathleen Culliton for Patch)

Op-ed: Acting New York City Transit president Sarah Feinberg in her own words on the subway shutdown. (Sarah Feinberg for amNewYork Metro)

Video: In defense of liking New York. (Jeremiah Moss for Jeremiah’s Vanishing New York)

Who the hell thought it was a good idea for the Lower East Side’s open streets to only be open from 8am to noon? Doesn’t anyone know it’s a pandemic? Time has no meaning anymore! We can sleep until whenever we want! (Bowery Boogie)

What do you miss about New York? How about everything. (Michael Wilson for NY Times)

The dessert delivery guide. (Hannah Albertine for The Infatuation)