The Briefly for April 2, 2020 – The “Is Governor Cuomo’s Nipple Pierced?” Edition

Today’s daily NYC news digest: Governor Cuomo shuts down playgrounds, a map of infections by zip code, Ina Garten makes an appropriately sized margarita, free coloring books, and more

Today – Low: 46˚ High: 57˚
Clear throughout the day.

Don’t ask AOC to make a TikTok. (@AOC)

Farmers’ markets are still happening across the city, but with stricter rules. (Anne Barnard for NY Times)

The Right to Counsel NYC Coalition and Housing Justice for All have released a guide for tenants interesting in organizing a rent strike. (Brendan Krisel for Patch)

The NYS Bar Association and the state’s Unified Court System announced they partnered to create a network of pro bono lawyers willing to help out with the surge in legal matters that are expected to come out of the coronavirus pandemic and the likely economic fallout. (Alex Williamson for Brooklyn Eagle)

One of the weirder things to come out of this whole pandemic will be the unanswered question “Is the governor’s nipple pierced?” No one is shaming the governor, I think we all need something to distract us from the state of the world for a few moments. (Jelisa Castrodale for Vice)

Sanra Lee, his ex-girlfriend, took to Instagram to talk about it and while she didn’t say they were pierced, she didn’t deny it either. (Charlie Nash for Mediaite)

Queens’ demographics may be the reason why it has become the epicenter of the city’s coronavirus outbreak. (Clodagh McGowan for NY1)

The city released hard numbers of positive COVID-19 cases per zip code, exposing the tale of two cities as wealthy neighborhoods have rates at 44%, while lower-income zip codes have infection rates as high as 77%. (Howard Halle for Time Out)

Imagine you move into a 600-square-foot Manhattan shoebox apartment and two days later the two of you are locked down together. (Anne McCarthy for HuffPost)

“I basically want to address the idiots out there, and you know who you are.” Watch Larry David’s COVID-19 PSA. (Devon Ivie for Vulture)

Spring break is canceled for public schools. (Kathleen Culliton for Patch)

“During a crisis, cocktail hour can be almost any hour.” -Ine Garten, hero. (Nikita Richardson for Grub Street)

Representatives Carolyn B. Maloney and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez have added their voices to the cause of ending the ban on blood donations from gay and bisexual men. (LIC Post)

The New York City burger delivery guide. (Matt Tervooren for The Infatuation)

Video: Lower Manhattan’s skyline from 1903 through today. (Matt Coneybeare for Viewing NYC)

In the state’s budget, which passed on Wednesday night, is the legalization of electric bikes and scooters in the state, allowing municipalities to regulate electric bikes. Electric scooters that travel up to 15 miles per hour are legalized. (Dave Colon for Streetsblog)

Also in the budget is a new state campaign finance system, with public matching money for candidates who choose to participate and lower individual contribution limits. (Samar Khurshid for Gotham Gazette)

Say farewell to legal weed in 2020. The state failed to put it in the budget last year. A good lesson in not procrastinating. (Rebecca C. Lewis, Amanda Luz Hanning Santiago for City and State)

What New York City looked like, including a startling infographic about daily deaths, during the 1918 flu pandemic. (Michael Wilson for NY Times)

You can now call 311 to report physical distancing violations. Of the 289 complaints in Manhattan in the first three days of the week, the NYPD “took action” on 88 of those complaints. (Zijia Song for Bedford + Bowery)

A man in the Bronx attempted suicide-by-NYPD after receiving a COVID-19 diagnosis. After multiple warnings, the NYPD shot the man in the stomach and is in stable condition at NYC Health & Hospitals/Jacobi. (Ben Yakas for Gothamist)

Former Police Commissioner James O’Neill is returning to public service to be a senior advisor in charge of distributing medical equipment and protective gear to city hospitals. (Erin Durkin for Politico)

210 of Coney Island Hospital’s 317 beds are full of COVID-19 patients and the facility is low on staff, gear, and space, as each employee is being issued one masks every five days. (Rose Adams for Brooklyn Paper)

Mayor de Blasio waivered on closing down the city’s playgrounds, Governor Cuomo did not. All playgrounds, swing sets, basketball courts, and similar spaces are closed. (Allie Griffin for Sunnyside Post)

Mayor de Blasio continues to be a punching bag in the media and doesn’t help himself when his public wavering constantly ends with Governor Cuomo making difficult, but right, decisions. This Times piece starts with an anecdote about Mayor de Blasio walking in Prospect Park on the morning of April 1, which means he was driven from the Upper West Side to Park Slope just to walk in Prospect Park when Central Park is one mile away. (Ben Smith for NY Times)

Love to color? Here are a few free coloring books from NYC artists. (Collier Sutter for Time Out)

Thanks to reader Francesca for today’s featured photo!

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 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.