The Briefly for March 30, 2020 – The “Buying Whiskey for a Good Cause” Edition

Today’s daily NYC news digest: Central Park becomes a field hospital for COVID-19 patients, Amazon continues to expand its NYC footprint, you can still move apartments, and more

Today – Low: 46˚ High: 48˚
Drizzle in the morning and afternoon.

Can you move during the pandemic? Yes. (Devin Gannon for 6sqft)

In September of 2018, a construction crew in Elmhurst accidentally exhumed the mummified remains of a smallpox victim from the 1850s. Was that a bad omen? (Ephemeral New York)

The New York Bacon and Beer Classic was rescheduled to September 26. Isn’t it nice to think that life will return to normal at some point in the future? (Alex Mitchell for amNewYork Metro)

Wheated is selling off its whiskey collection to help its laid-off employees. If you were looking to get your hands on some great whiskey at a reasonable price in Ditmas Park, you know where to go. (Robert Sietsema for Eater)

Maybe whiskey’s not your thing? Some restaurants have merch available. (Tanay Warerkar for Eater)

The definition of what consists of a “real emergency” has changed. With a record volume of 911 calls, the FDNY is asking anyone who is thinking of calling 911 for coronavirus-related reasons to call a doctor first. (Jenna Amatulli for HuffPost)

Photos: Inside the new 1,000-bed Javits Center hospital. (Dana Schulz for 6sqft)

Aqueduct Racetrack, the Brooklyn Cruise Terminal, the CUNY College of Staten Island, and the New York Expo Center will become temporary hospital sites that will add an additional 4,000 hospital beds to the city. (Devin Gannon for 6sqft)

Central Park’s East Meadow is being used as an emergency field hospital for COVID-19 patients. (John Del Signore for Gothamist)

Elon Musk is sending 615 ventilators to the city, wait, why did Elon Musk have 615 ventilators to start? (Kathleen Culliton for Patch)

Ample Hills is laying off all 101 of its workers. This, unlike their recent bankruptcy announcement, is related to the COVID-19 pandemic. (Eddie Small for The Real Deal)

Photos: New York’s first complete week of pandemic dining. (Gary He for Eater)

It started as a list of the best things to eat in New York, now it’s a list of 101 things we hope we can eat again soon. (Grub Street)

Here are all the Michelin-rated restaurants in the city that are now offering takeout or delivery. (Bao Ong for Time Out)

If you’ve always wanted a pet, there is quite literally no time like the present to adopt one. (Kevin Duggan for amNewYork Metro)

The bars are closed, the restaurants shuttered, the gyms are barren, but there is a place for some New Yorkers to be social and remain physically distant: the stoop. (Doug Gordon for Curbed)

Con Ed suspended checking gas and electric meters, so if someone comes to your door claiming to be from Con Ed, ignore them. (Brooklyn Eagle)

The state has put an end to “non-essential” construction, limiting active construction to building hospitals, infrastructure projects, affordable housing, and homeless shelters. (Janaki Chadha for Politico)

The Empire State building is working with Z100 to put together a light show every night at 9pm with new shows debuting on Friday nights. (Howard Halle for Time Out)

So how did the first week of remote learning go? (Shumita Basu for Gothamist)

Add the New York Philharmonic to the list of organizations streaming free performances. Check out past performances on Thursday nights. (Shaye Weaver for Time Out)

The city’s first map with any COVID-19 information is exceptionally unhelpful. Par for the course from the de Blasio administration. (Kathleen Culliton for Patch)

Amazon bought the Lord & Taylor Building at 424 Fifth Avenue for one billion dollars. Amazon continues to expand its NYC footprint, despite not getting a ridiculous tax break from the city and state. (Sebastian Morris for New York YIMBY)

Photos: Turns out we’re still pretty bad at social distancing in city parks. (Jen Carlson for Gothamist)

The NYPD was authorized to give $250 – $500 fines to people who aren’t maintaining social distance, but only if they fail to disperse when ordered or if officers find people in the same place twice. (Erin Durkin for Politico)

Pregnant women will not be forced to give birth without having someone with them. A new executive order from Governor Cuomo breaks any ban that was previously put in place by hospitals. It’s amazing how quickly the government can move when it is motivated. (Katie Van Syckle and Christina Caron for NY Times)

The state’s tax deadline and the presidential primary were moved. The tax deadline to July 15 and the primary to June 23. (Anna Quinn for Patch)

Along with the presidential primary, local elections were moved, creating questions about how the elections for Queens borough president and open city council seats. (Claudia Irizarry Aponte and Christine Chung for The City)

One week after calling for a complete lockdown of the city, Public Advocate Jumaane Williams is calling for the city to close all parks and playgrounds. (Ben Yakas for Gothamist)

Over the weekend, Rhode Island restricted access to the state for New Yorkers and then lifted their restrictions after Cuomo threatened to sue. (Bill Mahoney for amNewYork Metro)

A look at the “new” Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, who is starting to appear much more like the rest of the democrats than her previous spitfire self. (Alex Thompson and Holly Otterbein for Politico)

A brief list of notable people who have tested positive for COVID-19 this weekend: MTA Chairman and CEO Pat Foye, Knicks owner James Dolan, Queens District Attorney Melinda Katz. All three are isolating and seem to be doing okay. (Robert Pozarycki for amNewYork Metro, Joe Pantorno for amNewYork Metro, and Erin Durkin for Politico)

17 Thai delivery and takeout picks. (Bryan Kim for The Infatuation)

Thanks to Dylan for today’s featured photo in Domino Park, which accurately captures how we’re all feeling.

The Briefly for March 26, 2020 – The “Plenty of Dogs and Cats to Adopt” Edition

Today’s daily NYC news digest: Elmhurst hospital is overwhelmed with COVID-19, Jumaane Williams calls for full lockdown, the MTA is losing $125 million a week, and more

Are you hiring? I’m working with the skint to help surface jobs in New York for New Yorkers. If you’re hiring or know someone who is, please pass this link along to them.


Today – Low: 47˚ High: 54˚
Clear throughout the day.

PDF Guide: Know Your Rights Guide for Transgender New Yorkers Navigating COVID-19 (Transgender Legal Defense & Education Fund)

The only beds we’ve been able to free up are people who have died.” Elmhurst Hospital in Queens is the center of NYC’s COVID-19 crisis. (Yoav Gonen for The City)

Video: The Times spent 72 hours following an emergency room doctor at Elmhurst hospital. (Robin Stein and Caroline Kim for NY Times)

A heartbreaking plea from Rachel Sobolev, an emergency medicine resident in the city, begging the president to take this pandemic more seriously. (Rachel Sobolev for HuffPost)

No matter what you read, New York City is not running out of pets to adopt. The Bloomberg story was changed after publication, and probably after most people read it, to say that it was referring to foster animals. There are still plenty of animals that are looking for a forever home. (Hilary Hanson for HuffPost)

If you’ve ever wondered why it seems to take forever for the city to do anything, here’s a perfect example. The city has been in the process of installing a protected bike lane on Sixth Ave for seven years. Community Board 5 requested a study in 2013 and approved the design in 2015. What’s the holdup now? The Department of Transportation wants another approval from CB5. (Julianne Cuba for Streetsblog)

Governor Cuomo said on Wednesday that we may have made incremental progress on slowing the wave of coronavirus cases. This is not a reason to celebrate or to stop creating physical distance between you and anyone else, but it’s a sign that some of our shared sacrifices might be working. (Ben Verde for Gay City News)

New York, you’ve got the rest of the week to prove to the mayor that you can use playgrounds responsibly or he will close them all. (Mary Frost for Brooklyn Eagle)

Photos: New Yorkers are not good at physical distancing. These are the people to blame. (Ben Yakas and Jen Carlson for Gothamist)

Between Hicks and Henry Streets in Brooklyn Heights, you’ll find Love Lane, the city’s possible original “Lover’s Lane” dating back to the 1800s. (Atlas Obscura)

From the discovery of dendritic cells to the cure for tuberculosis, 10 medical discoveries made in NYC. (Noah Sheidlower for Untapped New York)

A second Trader Joe’s was temporarily closed this week after a staffer tested positive for COVID-19. The closure of the Soho store will last at least three days while the store is sanitized. The Union Square store closed temporarily on Sunday and expects to reopen on Saturday. (Luke Fortney for Eater)

Whole Foods is limiting the number of customers in its stores to 50, causing some mega lines outside the East Houston St store. (Luke Fortney for Eater)

A look at Elizabeth Blackwell, the first woman in the United States to receive a medical degree who created the first hospital run by and for women on Bleecker St. (Harry Bubbins for GVSHP)

Remembering the Happy Land social club fire of 1990 and how it changed New York. (Allison Gilbert for NY Times)

The Trickle Up” is a streaming service from performer and playwright Taylor Mac that charges subscribers $10 per month to access original performances from 50 different artists, with proceeds going to artists struggling financially. (Devin Gannon for 6sqft)

The FDA approved a new potential COVID-19 treatment that takes blood plasma from people who have recovered from the virus and transfuses it into people suffering from the disease. The New York Blood Center will be the first in the country to collect blood for the treatment. (Grant Lancaster for amNewYork Metro)

Subway ridership is down 87%, buses are don 70%, Metro-North is down 91% and the LIRR is down 71%. The MTA is estimating its weekly losses at $125 million a week and that the federal bailout’s $4 billion might not be enough for the MTA to survive. (Kathleen Culliton for Patch)

A Piece of Work” is a podcast tour of collection highlights at the Museum of Modern Art hosted by comedian and actor Abbi Jacobson. Listen, when it comes to “understanding” modern art, I’ll take all the help I can get. (Howard Halle for Time Out)

Going through this crisis is enough, but imagine going through a divorce right now on top of everything. (Hannah Ingber for NY Times)

Photos: What life is like for a delivery person. (Ryan Christopher Jones and Amber Jamieson for BuzzFeed News)

With defendants accused of crimes now facing judges by video because of the coronavirus pandemic, the city’s court system no longer has a way of supervising the vast majority of suspects being released back into their communities. One of the many messes that COVID-19 is making that we’re all going to have to figure out how to fix after it’s over. (Beth Fertig for Gothamist)

We’re still early in the crisis and there are thousands of hourly workers across the city running out of time and money for multiple sectors of the economy that were abruptly shuttered. (Sydney Pereira and Danny Lewis for Gothamist)

RIP Terrence McNally, a playwright whose accolades and body of work is beyond what I could summarize here. (Andy Humm for Gay City News)

The city is sending homeless shelter residents and public hospital patients with coronavirus to hotels and officials aren’t providing hotel staff or the city employees monitoring the infected guests with protective equipment — instead instructing them to maintain social distance. The homeless shelter residents is a change in policy, prior to this they were sending them back to shelters. (Greg B. Smith for The City)

Jumaane Williams, the city’s public advocate, is advocating for a “full lockdown” that would close parks and construction sites and ban New Yorkers from leaving their neighborhoods except for essential work. (Kathleen Culliton for Patch)

Where to get pizza delivery in NYC. It’s a little light on suggestions in the outer boroughs, but it’s fun to remember when we used to be able to go places to do things. (Matt Tervooren for The Infatuation)

Thank you to Lily from Hellgate Farm for today’s featured photo, which is allowing me to relax for a moment if I stare hard enough at it.

The Briefly for March 3, 2020 – The “Kill it! Kill It All With Bleach!” Edition

Today’s daily NYC news digest: Inside a Bushwick arts collective, Gale Brewer accidentally violates the Civil Rights Act of 1968, the tale of two of “the city’s best” burgers, and more

Today – Low: 43˚ High: 58˚
Light rain starting in the afternoon.

A look inside Bohemian Grove, part venue, part apartment building full of artists and performers that are all paying under $1,000 rent and that is, yes, in Bushwick. (Kim Kelsey for NY Times)

Video: A POV experience going to the top of One World Observatory. (ActionKid)

An argument that restaurant letter grades, health inspections, and fines work against the public interest and instead are a great source of revenue for the city. (Demian Repucci for Grub Street)

Governor Cuomo directed NY health insurers to waive cost sharing associated with testing for coronavirus, including emergency room, urgent care and office visits. (@NYGovCuomo)

KILL IT WITH BLEACH. That the’s MTA’s plan to fight the spread of coronavirus on our buses, trains, and schools. New York will never be so clean again. (Mark Hallum for amNewYork Metro)

The numbers of New Yorkers infected with coronavirus will go up, but it does not mean that the virus is spreading. It means we’re identifying the people who have it already. In the meantime, cough and sneeze into your elbow, wash your hands with soap, and please stop touching your face. Are you doing it right now? Stop it. (Jesse McKinley and Joseph Goldstein for NY Times)

Top 5 pizza shops in the Bronx. (Ed García Conde for Welcome2TheBronx)

Whoops. Gale Brewer’s stated argument against the rezoning for Lenox Terrace technically goes against the 1968 Civil Rights Act. Brewer specifically says the rezoning should be stopped to prevent a decrease in the area’s Black population. Attempts to preserve racial composition of a neighborhood goes against the act, even if it the original intention was to criminalize keeping white neighborhoods white. The argument made here lays it on a bit thick, but it highlights why our politicians need to be careful when laying out their arguments. (Nikolai Fedak for New York YIMBY)

Rendering: The Waldorf Astoria’s residents-only pool, 6,000 square feet with 19-foot ceilings and a retractible roof. (Alexandra Alexa for 6sqft)

The Democratic Socialists of America have allies in City Councilmember Costa Costantinides, State Senator Michael Gianaris, and Assemblymembers Ron Kim and Brian Barnwell in replacing Con Ed with publicly owned power. (Max Parrott for QNS)

Amtrak has a new chief executive in William J. Flynn, the third in the last three years. Good luck. ((Patrick McGeehan for NY Times)

RIP Joe Coulombe, Trader Joe. (Alan Sytsma for Grub Street)

A moderate Democrat drops out of the race in hopes that it ives another moderate enough of the vote to beat the Democratic Socialist at the top of the ticket. No, this isn’t about Mayor Pete or Amy dropping out of the race in hopes of stopping Bernie, this is Fernando Cabrera dropping out of the race for 14th Congressional District against Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez in hopes that Michelle Caruso-Cabrera has a better chance. (David Cruz for Norwood News)

Residents in East New York are looking to Albany to declare a cease-and-desist zone for house flippers after reporting multiple phone calls and door knocks a day from people attempting to buy their homes unsolicited. (Allison Dikanovic for The City)

A Q&A with the new Interim President of New York City Transit, where Feinberg offers no good answer as to why she supports hiring 500 additional cops with no measure of success on the job would look like for them and at the same time cutting 700 operational positions to save money. (Stephen Nessen for Gothamist)

Free rent and getting paid to explore downtown Manhattan. Welcome to the Explorer-in Chief job. (Shaye Weaver for Time Out)

Without visible enforcement, the rules get relaxed. That’s what’s happening in Sunset Park as truck drivers are deviating from the city’s legal through streets and getting stuck in attempts to make impossible turns. The NYPD issued 16 tickets for commercial vehicles on residential streets in all of Brooklyn in January. (Ben Verde for Brooklyn Paper)

Could this be the year the city takes decisive action to protect pedestrians against drivers? State Sen. Andrew Gounardes is sponsoring a package of bills at the state level aimed at making the city’s streets safer. You’d think the City Council would be leading the way on this, but I’m glad to see that someone is attempting to take action. (Paula Katinas for The Brooklyn Home Reporter)

A carriage horse was euthanized shortly after she collapsed in Central Park on Saturday. The incident that lead to the horse’s death was captured on video. (Sydney Pereira for Gothamist)

Mayor de Blasio as yet to make good on his campaign promise from 2013, where he said he would ban horse carriages from Central Park on day one. A promise which earned him the support of animal rights activists over Christine Quinn in the Democratic primary. (Elizabeth Titus for Politico)

The Sergeants Benevolent Association and Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association, two loudmouth organizations when it comes to bail reform, are suspiciously quiet when it comes to the case of narcotics officer Stephen Abreu, who was charged with attempted murder, criminal possession of a weapon and other charges. Awaiting a felony murder charge, he was released without bail. (Jake Offenhartz for Gothamist)

Kudos to Streetsblog, who heard about the stupid campaign in Staten Island to tie yellow ribbons around phone poles to warn drivers of speed cameras, and decided to go to Staten Island to tie as many ribbons around as many poles as they could find in protest. (Gersh Kuntzman for Streetsblog)

Mayor de Blasio ran for president and his campaign died. He endorsed Bernie Sanders and Joe Biden is seeing a resurgence. Now he’s taking his kiss of death home to Chirlane McCray in hopes that he can help make his wife the next Brooklyn borough president. (J. David Goodman for NY Times)

Scarr’s Pizza is moving, but only down the street to a larger location on Orchard St. Get your slices now so you can talk down to people waiting on line for pizza at the new location. (Elie Z. Perler for Bowery Boogie)

Sometimes you can’t pass up a sign (or two in this case) declaring the best burger in New York City. (Robert Sietsema for Eater)

10 new public art installations not to miss in March. (Michelle Young for Untapped New York)

Thank you to reader Dylan for sending in today’s featured photo from outside the Brooklyn Museum of this Leon Karssen sticker.