The Briefly for May 26, 2020 – The “Summer of Cannibalistic Rats” Edition

Today’s daily NYC news digest: It’s gonna be a hot and wet summer, de Blasio sets the city’s thresholds for reopening, where to get frozen cocktails, Melinda Katz breaks a promise, & more

Today – Low: 60˚ High: 72˚
Partly cloudy throughout the day.

The city remains on PAUSE, with 4/7 metrics met.

Here’s a beginner’s guide to biking to the beach, for the uninitiated. (Christopher Robbins for Gothamist)

ConEd says the city should expect higher than usual electricity bills this summer in a combination of people being home more often and an increase in supply charges. (Collier Sutter for Time Out)

Also, this summer is predicted to unusually hotter and rainier than usual. (Adam Nichols for Patch)

Why stop the bad news train now? This year’s hurricane season has been described as “brutal,” with double the number of hurricanes expected with six major storms and 19 named storms expected in total. (Kathleen Culliton for Patch)

The bad news train keeps on rolling. The city’s rats have depended on the trash from restaurants for hundreds of generations, with restaurants either closed or producing much less food waste, rats are getting desperate and aggressive. They don’t pose a threat to humans but are turning on each other, turning to cannibalization. (Mariel Padilla for NY Times)

The city will be contacting you if you’ve had exposure using the same technology that Uber uses to text you that your driver is arriving. (Rachel Kraus for Mashable)

Queens DA Melinda Katz is breaking one of her campaign promises less than a year into office. While campaigning, Katz claimed she supported the legalization of sex work, but according to DecrimNY she has been targeting the buyers of sex work as part of her new Human Trafficking Bureau. (Matt Tracy for Gay City News)

Errick Allen, an NYPD officer, was arrested on murder charges for fatally shooting his childhood friend in the head on Long Island. (Kathleen Culliton for Patch)

If you’re looking for a new apartment and pizza is your #1 priority, here are listings available near some of the city’s best pizzerias. (Localize.City)

As part of a new four-part plan to support nursing homes during the pandemic, the city will offer on-site COVID-19 testing to patients and staff at all 169 nursing homes across the city. (Jason Cohen for Bronx Times)

Every public school student in New York City will soon receive $420 to help pay for food while school buildings are shut down, regardless of family income. (Christina Veiga for Chalkbeat)

The NYPD’s enforcement of social distancing measures continues to hit black and brown New Yorkers hardest, according to new data gleaned by the Legal Aid Society. (Mark Hallum for Brooklyn Paper)

The city has opened up 45 miles of open streets in May, surprisingly exceeding its own goal for the month. (Dana Schulz for 6sqft)

Mayor de Blasio set new thresholds for the city to begin reopening, separate from the state’s thresholds. Fewer than 200 daily hospitalizations, fewer than 375 patients in the ICU, and a positive testing rate below 15%, all for at least 10 to 14 days. (Brendan Krisel for Patch)

It’s not the mayor’s decision on when the city reopens, as Governor Cuomo said in a press conference on Friday “it’s a statewide decision across the board.” The city’s guidelines, if met before the state’s, only serve to confuse. (Elizabeth Kim for Gothamist)

More than 100,000 small businesses have shut down permanently since the start of the pandemic, so the state is putting forward over $100 million towards a loan program for small businesses to help them amid the pandemic. Pre-applications start today. (Emily Davenport for amNewYork Metro)

Anybody who believes they have symptoms or who has been in contact with somebody who has tested positive is now urged to be tested for Covid-19. Here’s how to get tested. (Adam Nichols for Patch)

At this point it seems like people are expecting Councilmember Brad Lander and Mayor de Blasio to botch the Gowanus rezoning. With both leaving power in 2021, will they rush a poorly-thought plan through or will both of their legacies be an empty promise for the neighborhood? (Eddie Small for The Real Deal)

New York will pay death benefits for essential government workers who lost their lives to novel coronavirus. (Kathleen Culliton for Patch)

What is the “new normal?” No one knows yet, but it could look something like the wall of vending machines full of N95 masks on Delancey Street. (Elie Z. Perler for Bowery Boogie)

Swimming at the city’s beaches remains banned, but the City Council is working on guidelines to help open the city’s waters to swimmers. (Sydney Pereira for Gothamist)

Video: A walk through an empty Grand Central Terminal. (ActionKid)

The woman who started the #ClapForOurCarers at 7 pm says it’s time to stop. Annemarie Plas says that people have shown their appreciation and its time for people in power to reward them and give them the respect they deserve. Plas started the clapping in the UK, we’ll see if her calls for it to stop are heard across the Atlantic. (Derrick Bryson Taylor for NY Times)

Daci Zudi was riding his bike when he was hit and killed by Faustino Rebollar Garcia, driving his pickup truck. For the death of Zudi, Garcia was charged with failure to exercise due care and driving without a license, both minor charges. (Gersh Kuntzman for Streetsblog)

If you’ve got a soft spot for doughnuts, three Doughnut Plan locations have reopened. (Scott Lynch for Gothamist)

The governor allowed religious gatherings of 10 or fewer people at the end of last week and was sued by the New York Civil Liberties Union, forcing the governor to change his executive order to allow non-essential gatherings of ten or fewer people across the state. The NYCLU seems to be pushing that responsibly distanced protests should be allowed, but it’s difficult to not see this being bused in other ways. (Jen Chung for Gothamist)

Where to get frozen cocktails. (Hannah Albertine for The Infatuation)

The amazing story of Alice, the elephant who escaped from Coney Island and swam the five miles to Staten Island. She retired to the Bronx Zoo, which is a whole other story. (Thomas Hynes for Untapped New York)

20 Michelin-starred restaurants still open. (Ryan Sutton for Eater)

Thank you to reader Ariana for today’s featured photo.

The Briefly for May 22, 2020 – The “The Beaches Will Be Open This Weekend” Memorial Day Edition

Today’s daily NYC news digest: A new plan for Long Island City, a threat to SantaCon, Scarr’s Pizza and McSorley return, late-night fireworks, restaurant reopenings to celebrate, and more

Today – Low: 60˚ High: 69˚
Possible drizzle in the evening.
This weekend – Low: 53˚ High: 65˚

Do you have blood? Can you spare some? The city’s blood supply is running “dangerously low.” (Kathleen Culliton for Patch)

What are you doing to experience new things while staying at home? SNL’s Heidi Gardner is trying a new cereal each week. (Chris Crowley for Grub Street)

If the ban on city dwellers continues, City Council Member Keith Powers has threatened to cancel SantaCon and ban Long Islanders from St. Patrick’s Day celebrations. Please? Will you promise? (Adam Nichols for Patch)

After a week of back and forth, the city’s beaches will be open this weekend, but with no lifeguards and swimming won’t be allowed. (Todd Maisel for amNewYork Metro)

Nathan’s is the biggest game in Coney Island hot dogs right now, but they got there by playing dirty. Coney Island’s original hot dogger is Feltman’s. (Alyson Krueger for NY Times)

McSorley’s is back after its longest closure since opening in 1854. (EV Grieve)

Scarr’s Pizza is back too. (Elie Z. Perler for Bowery Boogie)

Archdiocese of NY shared a “Faith Forward” plan, which outlines a five-step plan to reopen New York’s churches. (Ron Lee for NY1)

Religious institutions can begin holding services, assuming they limit occupancy to ten or fewer people indoors, everyone must wear a mask and follow social distancing protocols. (NY1)

Some suggested Memorial Day reading, care of the city’s independent book shops. (Danielle Valente for Time Out)

The mayor ran for office on the idea that he wanted to bridge the gap between the two New York Cities, but if you look at the neighborhoods that have received open streets and those that have not, he’s continuing in the tradition he rallied against by denying some of the hardest-hit neighborhoods by the Covid-19 virus open spaces. (Julianne Cuba for Streetsblog)

State Assemblymember Carmen Arroyo has been removed from the Democratic primary ballot after being caught altering signatures and dates on her petition to remain on the ballot. (Ed García Conde for Welcome2TheBronx)

Central Park Park Ranger Ashley Whited rescued a team of orphaned ducks after a snapping turtle attacked and killed their mother. (Anthony Pascale for NY1)

The pandemic has shown what has always been possible, including to-go drinks from bars and restaurants. State Senator Brad Hoylman introduced legislation that would allow bars and restaurants to sell to-go drinks for two years after the pandemic is over. (Tanay Warerkar for Eater)

This weekend kicks off the Loisaida Festival, digitally of course. (EV Grieve)

Here’s the latest plan from a giant developer for the “future” of Long Island City, leaning heavily on commercial property, with 10-to-12 million square feet of space on 28 acres of land surrounding the area that Amazon HQ2 never was. (Christian Murray for LIC Post)

Big companies like Facebook and Mastercard are rethinking massive leases in Manhattan after allowing employees to work remotely on an ongoing basis. Facebook is or was close to signing a lease int he Farley Post Office building next to Penn Station, so it remains to be seen if they’ll go through with the deal. I guess you could say it’s complicated 🥴. (Danielle Balbi for The Real Deal)

Video: Climbing to the top of the Woolworth Building, in what appears to be less than legal means. (Matt Coneybeare for Viewing NYC)

The mayor says the city could be on its way to start phase one of reopening in the first half of June. This is, of course, not a guarantee, and we’ll have to see how well the city fares during this holiday weekend as temperatures are looking favorable. One spike and we ain’t opening in June. (Alejandra O’Connell-Domenech for amNewYork Metro)

I don’t know if it’s welcome news, but it’s a step towards normalcy. Beginning on Monday, you can file lawsuits electronically for the first time in multiple weeks. (Brendan Krisel for Patch)

A guide to New York’s contact tracing programs. (Danny Lewis for Gothamist)

With the rise of MIS-C cases in the state, Governor Cuomo hasn’t made a decision about summer camps across the state, but it’s looking less likely. (Zack Fink for NY1)

176,000 students will be attending summer school, but it won’t be in person. The governor canceled in-person summer classes. The governor went as far as to say that it’s in question if schools will reopen in the fall. (Kathleen Culliton for Patch)

The Landmarks Preservation Commission approved an $8 million project to install a new pedestrian plaza beneath Brooklyn Bridge Park, which will replace a fenced-in parking lot, which is there today. (Kevin Duggan for Brooklyn Paper)

What is New York without New York bars? (Megan Abbott for NY Times)

Ridership is on an uptick, so the Staten Island ferry will increase its rush-hour service. (NY1)

Fleet Week is still happening… virtually? (Ron Lee for NY1)

15 restaurants and bars that have permanently closed because of the coronavirus. (Noah Sheidlower for Untapped New York)

This shouldn’t be a surprise, but that all-male restaurant panel the president has convened, which called him “one of us,” ain’t gonna help. (Chris Crowley for Grub Street)

Here are the CDC’s guidance on using cloth face coverings. (Norwood News)

Is this NYC’s oldest manhole cover? (Michelle Young for Untapped New York)

* Seinfeld voice* What’s the deal with all these late-night fireworks? (David Cruz for Gothamist)

8 restaurant reopenings to be excited about this week. (Serena Dai for Eater)

Thank you to reader Shiloh for today’s featured photo!

The Briefly for May 6, 2020 – The “Getting Punched in the Head Feels Excessive” Edition

Today’s daily NYC news digest: Everything you need to know about NYC’s subway overnight shut down, The Rent and Mortgage Cancellation Act, New York wants to “Reimagine Education,” & more

Today – Low: 46˚ High: 55˚
Light rain starting in the afternoon.

Last night was the start of the four-hour subway shut down for cleaning. The MTA will be testing UV lights and anti-microbial products after each car is disinfected. While the trains are shut down buses will be operating for free. (Stephen Nessen for Gothamist)

The overnight shut down of the subways, explained. (Caroline Spivack for Curbed)

The Times chronicled the historic night one of the MTA’s first-ever planned subway shutdown. (Christina Goldbaum for NY Times)

Is the end of 24-hour subway service? No, according to the governor. (Kathleen Culliton for Patch)

Video: Another day, another video of NYPD officer punching a black New Yorker in the head during a social distancing arrest. “A punch should not be assumed to be excessive force.” -Dermot Shea, NYPD Commissioner. The person being arrested appeared to be handcuffed, on the ground, and had three officers on top of them when punched. (Kathleen Culliton for Patch)

The 10 best bike shops in New York City. (Devin Gannon for 6sqft)

We’ve got an Aerogarden in the kitchen with some cherry tomatoes, how’s your quarantine garden going? (Chris Crowley for Grub Street)

Like many of us, Andy Warhol bounced around the city, and so did where he did his work, The Factory. A look at where Andy Warhol lived and worked in NYC. (Laura Vecsey for StreetEasy)

Looking to work on your art in quarantine? The Metropolitan Museum of Art is offering a free botanical drawing class online. (Howard Halle for Time Out)

The Metropolitan Detention Center in Brooklyn is “ill equipped” to identify cases of COVID-19 and stop the disease from spreading among its nearly 1,700 detainees, according to a doctor who visited the federal jail last month. (Beth Fertig for Gothamist)

Mariah Kennedy-Cuomo, the governor’s daughter, made the suggestion that not everyone wants to listen to Governor Cuomo tell them what to do, so the state is launching a competition for New Yorkers to submit videos explaining why its important to wear masks in public. (Dana Schulz for 6sqft)

It’s National Nurses Week from May 6-12 commemorating Florence Nightingale’s work in Crimea in 1854, and it couldn’t have come at a more appropriate time to honor the nurses in the city and across the country. (Isabelle Bousquette for QNS)

More information on the possible Covid-19-relate illness that has stricken over a dozen children in the city, from ages 2-15. If you have a child with a rash, abdominal pain, vomiting, or diarrhea, please contact a doctor.(Amanda Eisenberg and Erin Curkin for Politico)

Welcome2TheBronx has started a fundraising campaign to continue its coverage of the Bronx. The site has been around since 2009 and has become one of the more important voices when it comes to covering and changing the narrative about the Bronx. (Welcome2TheBronx)

There wasn’t much good news to be found in City Comptroller Scott Stringer’s analysis of the city’s 2021 fiscal budget, which starts on July 1. The budget gap is looking to total about $8.7 billion and with an unemployment rate of 22% this quarter, the city is finding itself dug into a pretty deep hole. (Robert Pozarycki for amNewYork Metro)

A last-minute NYC mother’s day gift guide. Yes, during a pandemic, Wednesday is the last minute when it comes to Mother’s Day. (The Infatuation)

Video: These sidewalk tents are a pretty good way to keep your social distance. (Ben Yakas for Gothamist)

Governor Cuomo is turning to The Gates Foundation to help “reimagine education” for the state of New York as we continue forward with our new normal. (Sophia Chang for Gothamist)

Over 1,200 independent music venues and promoters have banded together to form the National Independent Venue Association, or NIVA, with the goal of “securing financial support to preserve the national ecosystem of independent venues and promoters.” There is a letter template you can use to send to your state and city officials to show support for the city’s independent music venues. (Amanda Hatfield for BrooklynVegan)

A worker at Amazon’s Staten Island, New York, fulfillment center has died of Covid-19, the company confirmed. Workers at the facility, called JFK8, have been calling for greater safety precautions since early March. (Josh Dzieza for The Verge)

A look into how The Rent and Mortgage Cancellation Act, proposed by Representative Ilhan Omar, may affect you. (Localize Labs)

All hail Hakki Akdeniz, the pizza champ, for distributing pizzas and snacks to those in need on the Bowery over the weekend. (Bowery Boogie)

It’s looking like a rainy set of days ahead, but when it gets warm here is where to get freshly made ice cream and pies in NYC. (Leah Rosenzweig for Eater)

Thanks to Jenny for today’s featured photo from the Upper West Side!