The Briefly for August 4, 2020 – The “Batten Down the Hatches!” Edition

Today’s daily NYC news digest: The reason for the spike in shootings, Open Restaurants will continue next year, how to stay safe on mass transit, and more

Today – Low: 73˚ High: 81˚
Rain in the morning and afternoon.

President Trump and his company are being investigated for possible bank and insurance fraud by Manhattan District Attorney Cy Vance. (William K. Rashbaum and Benjamin Weiser for NY Times)

Photos: The Brooklyn Botanical Garden is once again open to visitors. (Susan De Vries for Brownstoner)

The city is getting ready for a storm surge of 1-2 feet during Tuesday’s expected downpour from Tropical Storm Isaias. (Christopher Robbins for Gothamist)

Photos: Eataly’s new summer rooftop restaurant, opening on August 7. (Bao Ong for Time Out)

According to an NYC Hospitality Alliance survey, only 17.2% of restaurants and bars say they’re able to pay 50% or more of their rent. (Robert Pozarycki for amNewYork Metro)

One-third of the city’s small businesses may close forever, according to a report from the Partnership for New York City with job losses already at 520,000. (Matthew Haag for NY Times)

New York state is extending its unemployment insurance past the 26-week limit through the end of the year. (East New York News)

All about rent increases. When can it happen, how much can it be, and how to check if your apartment is stabilized. (AJ Jordan for Localize Labs)

The NYPD’s 26th Precinct has a Twitter problem. The precinct is in the heart of Harlem and their Twitter account has a history of hitting the like button on tweets about conspiracy theories, QAnon, and Trump. After being caught, the account removed the likes. (Reuven Blau for The City)

Evergreen headline for the moment: “The NYPD is investigating shootings.” (Rocco Vertuccio for NY1)

The mayor has his own ideas, as does Commissioner Shea, but the data shows the reason for the city’s spike in shootings is a plummeting number of gun crime arrests. (Alan Feuer for NY Times)

NYPD officer Richard Catapano was found dead in his Astoria apartment from an apparent suicide. (Michael Dorgan for Queens Post)

Enjoying Open Restaurants? They’ll be back next year, starting on June 1. (Matt Troutman for Patch)

In addition to Open Restaurants returning next year, the city is making curbside dining permanent from June 1 to October 31. (Gersh Kuntzman for Streetsblog)

Photos: See the 193 new Rockefeller Center flags designed by the public. (Devin Gannon for 6sqft)

Photos: 22 new libraries opened this week to offer grab-and-go service. (Nicole Saraniero for Untapped New York)

Maintenance workers and security guards at Columbia University will not be going on strike after TWO Local 241 reached an agreement with the university. (Michael Herzenberg for NY1)

The most expensive area to live in the city during the first half of the year was the 10014 zip code, covering the West Village and Greenwich Village will set you back a median price of $4.2 million. Tribeca’s 10013 was in second place at $3.1 million. (Emily Davenport for amNewYork Metro)

Video: A walk through Prospect Park from dog beach to Parkside Avenue. (ActionKid)

A Walgreen grows in Brooklyn. (Greenpointers)

A basket intended to prevent debris from falling off of elevated subway tracks onto pedestrians… fell onto a pedestrian on Sunday. An NYC Transit Interim SVP calling it “a very unfortunate incident.” The person hit was taken to the hospital and was reported to be in stable condition. (Jen Chung for Gothamist)

If the city’s schools open, what is the city’s plan to get all 150,000 students who rely on buses to school? “The DOE is recommending that families, wherever possible, help reduce the number of students in need of busing by either transporting their children to school on their own, walking, or biking,” aka “you’re on your own.” Got it. (Julianne Cuba for Streetsblog)

Video: Drone footage of all eight Black Lives Matter murals in NYC. (Ben Yakas for Gothamist, video from @mingomatic)

Despite the city’s plans to reopen the schools for the fall, Governor Cuomo has yet to make a decision to allow any school in the state to reopen. He’s expected to announce a decision this week. (Matt Troutman for Patch)

Shootings jumped 177% in July compared to last year, according to the NYPD. Assaults and reported rapes declined year-over-year. (Emily Davenport for amNewYork Metro)

The Black Lives Matter mural walls in Gowanus were defaced with the tired response of “All Lives Matter.” This is the wall that was accidentally painted over once, so I have confidence that this will be fixed. (Ben Verde for Brooklyn Paper)

Photos and Video: The red-tailed hawks of Governors Island. (D. Bruce Yolton for Urban Hawks)

Tips on how to stay safer on mass transit. (Katherine Cusumano for NY Times)

Photos: What the hell is going on with the splashes of blood outside this meat market in Astoria? (Give Me Astoria)

Can you think of a good reason that Williamsburg has more trash cans than Bed Stuy? No, seriously, it’s not a setup to a joke. “Bed Stuy Strong, Safe and Sanitary” wants your input. (Ben Verde for Brooklyn Paper)

Meet Diana Florence, a candidate for Manhattan District Attorney and a former leader of the Construction Fraud Task Force within the DA’s office. She stepped down in January amid allegations that she withheld evidence. (Josefa Velasquez for The City)

Facebook signed its 730,000 square foot lease in the Farley Post Office building. When will it move in? That’s a whole other story. (Rich Bockmann for The Real Deal)

A judge weighed in on some disputed ballots in NY-12’s Democratic congressional primary allowing some invalidated votes to be counted, but not enough to sway the primary away from incumbent Carolyn Maloney towards challenger Suraj Patel. (Jesse McKinley for NY Times)

15 summery brunch options for takeout and delivery. (Eater)

The Briefly for August 3, 2020 – The “Fired Anywhere But New York City” Edition

Today’s daily NYC news digest: The mayor’s staff keeps quitting, 15 new Open Restaurant streets, AOC weighs in on the Port Authority’s federal funding, a whale saved, and more

Today – Low: 75˚ High: 88˚
Possible light rain overnight.

Tuesday is looking rough in the city. Tropical Storm Isaias is predicted to hit the city sometime Tuesday afternoon. Just in time for my dogs to need a walk. (Adam Nichols for Patch)

“I’m telling you we’re going to have an issue.” Governor Cuomo isn’t an optimist when it comes to the city’s economic recovery. (Matt Troutman for Patch)

Katz’s launched its own delivery service. (Erika Adams for Eater)

The mayor has been suspending alternate side parking on and off for months and he was never aware that the city uses street cleaning days for bike lane work. Good thing the mayor spent all that effort to “lighten the burden” of car ownership, in his own words. (Gersh Kuntzman for Streetsblog)

The mayor is doing such a great job serving the city that six high-ranking staffers of Mayor de Blasio’s have quit in the last month. As everyone knows, there’s no better time to leave your government job than during an economic crisis in the middle of a pandemic for a mayor who will be out of office in less than two years. (Jake Offenhartz for Gothamist)

Calls for NYPD Commissioner Dermot Shea to resign have grown louder in the past few weeks. The pandemic and protests following the murder of George Floyd have shown that the NYPD’s commissioner has the back of the citizens of the NYPD and not the citizens of NYC and has exacerbated problems between the two. (Gwynne Hogan for Gothamist)

It’s hard to imagine another city where the commissioner, who is appointed by and serves at the pleasure of the mayor, would keep their job in the face of everything that Dermot Shea has said and done, but most cities aren’t governed by the coward Bill de Blasio. Sometimes I editorialize in these moments, but this piece in the Times looks at just how weird it is that Shea has kept his job despite almost a decade of de Blasio calling for police reforms. (Emma G. Fitzsimmons for NY Times)

Following Andrew Coté, who spent his pandemic rescuing beehives across the city. (Stephanie Simon)

The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey was hit with a $777 million drop in revenues in the first half of the year and is pleading for federal assistance, potentially losing $3 billion by March 2022. (Sophia Chang for Gothamist)

“While some of this funding may be critical to stabilize Port Authority operations, no funding should be provided to the AirTrain; the AirTrain is an unnecessary boondoggle that will hamper economic recovery in our watershed, a region in Northern Queens that has been heavily impacted by Covid-19,” -AOC (Angélica Acevedo for QNS)

You might have done everything right when it came to your absentee ballot and the Board of Elections still may have invalidated it. In a misunderstanding between the state and the post office, it’s possible the post office didn’t postmark your ballot and it also didn’t deliver it before the June 30 deadline. The exact number of rejected ballots will be announced on Tuesday. (Emily Ngo for NY1)

Even if we admit that everyone who touched the ballots (except voters) was at fault, what are the next steps? We’re expecting a ruling this week in a court case that will decide the fate of many of these invalidated votes. (Brigid Bergin for Gothamist)

One of the things that sucks the most about the voting mess from the June 23 primary is that the city is now being held up by President Trashbag as a reason to not move forward with mail-in voting. There was no malfeasance involved, but the state and the federal government let us down with a failure to perform in June and we don’t have much time before November roars through. (Jesse McKinley for NY Times)

It has taken the city an embarrassingly long amount of time to create the No-Penalty Business Accessory Sign Inspection program in reaction to the panic going around small businesses after hundreds of complaints were filed in November of 2018, leading to many businesses just ripping their signs down in confusion/fear. It shouldn’t take a deadly pandemic for the city to help small businesses become compliant with regulations. (Jaime DeJesus for The Brooklyn Home Reporter)

The Top of the Rock will reopen this Thursday with free admission to essential workers and a guest from August 14-16. (Shaye Weaver for Time Out)

American Museum of Natural History is reopening on Sept. 9, pending permission from state and city officials, with a 25% capacity. (Sarah Bahr for NY Times)

Ronny Vargas and Alex Sauzo were arrested for throwing an illegal and non-socially distanced three-hour boat party in the East River with 17u2 people aboard. (Sydney Pereira for Gothamist)

A humpback whale was successfully freed by NOAA over the weekend after being entangled in a mess of buoys and fishing line for several days. Humpback whales returning to NYC’s waterways is a positive sign that preservation efforts are working, but also a sign that we’ll need to continue those efforts to keep them safe. (Sydney Pereira for Gothamist)

Photos: If you don’t have an easy means to see it yourself, there is a tribute to Elijah McClain by artist Vincent Ballentine in the First Street Green Art Park. (EV Grieve)

3% is the city’s threshold for keeping the schools open. As long as the city’s seven-day rolling average positivity rate stays below 3%, schools will stay open. The rate has been between 1% and 2% for about two months. The city will no mandate that staff or students get tested for Covid-19. The chair of the City Council’s education committee calls the city’s plans “an unfunded proposal that is incomplete.” The head of the teacher’s union says “This is not enough to protect students and staff.” (Elizabeth Kim and David Cruz for Gothamist)

15 more streets were added to the city’s Open Restaurants program, which allows restaurants to expand into the streets on the weekend. (Tanay Warerkar for Eater)

NYPD officer Kevin Martin was arrested and charged with evidence tampering and official misconduct. Martin has been the subject of 14 investigations by the Civilian Complaint Review Board and 18 of the 45 different allegations brought against him have been substantiated and he was named in six lawsuits, which cost the city over $1 million in settlements. (Jake Offenhartz for Gothamist)

Good morning to Murphy, the newborn harbor seal pup in the New York Aquarium in Coney Island. (Ben Verde for amNewYork Metro)

Photos: The MTA is trying out six new kinds of subway maps. If you want to see them in person, take the R all the way to 86th St in Brooklyn, or just look at the photos. (Ben Yakas, photos by Scott Lynch for Gothamist)

17 public art installations not to miss in August, including the new installation in the Socrates Sculpture Park. (Nicholas Loud for Untapped New York)

An airport replacing Central Park? Is this some sort of joke? Yes, it is. (Josh Vogel for NYC Urbanism)

11 food and drink pop-ups in NYC this summer. Happy to see Bad Trip on the list in Dumbo, it’s my favorite of this summer’s picks. (Hannah Albertine & Matt Tervooren for The Infatuation)

The Briefly for July 31, 2020 – The “NYC Loves Until It Destroys” Edition

Today’s daily NYC news digest: School outbreak plans, restaurant openings and closings, looking at a billionaire’s tax, where to eat outdoor brunch, and more

Today – Low: 72˚ High: 78˚
Rain in the morning.
This weekend – Low: 75˚ High: 85˚

Is it legal to sublet your apartment? Yes, but it’s complicated. (Localize.City)

Photos: If you’re looking for a unique experience when it comes to outdoor dining, check out the USS Baylander at the West Harlem Piers near 125th St, which has a dockside bar and restaurant. (Nicholas Loud for Untapped New York)

Real Estate Porn: A $3.4 million Clinton Hill house with a haunted past. (Dana Shulz for 6sqft)

Just in time for school conversations to spin up again, here’s this headline from the Times: Children May Carry Coronavirus at High Levels, Study Finds. (Apoorva Mandavilli for NY Times)

Every student in the city is going to be issued a $420 food stamp card, regardless of their income. This creates a weird dilemma for high-income families. The money on the cards is real and if it isn’t used it’s wasted, and giving the card to someone else to use is fraud. Fortunately, there is a solution. (Matt Katz for Gothamist)

The city released plans for handling Covid-19 outbreaks in schools. (Sophia Chang for Gothamist)

Is it possible for New Yorkers to “discover” a secluded and wonderful spot without destroying it? That’s the question across the entire city. (Anne Barnard for NY Times)

Without a federal stimulus, do NYC schools have enough money to open safely? (Jessica Gould for Gothamist)

Suraj Patel isn’t ready to concede the 12th Congressional district primary to incumbent Carolyn Mahoney, despite Mahony’s 3,700 vote lead, citing 12,000 ballots invalidated by the Board of Elections. (Mark Hallum for amNewYork Metro)

He survived physical abuse, homelessness, and gang violence before coming to America as a refugee, where a homeless shelter trashed his wheelchairs while Saheed Adebayo Aare was put in a Manhattan isolation hotel. (Ben Fractenberg for The City)

Looking for somewhere new and weird to explore? Check out Dead Horse Inlet and Dead Horse Bay. (Kevin Wash for Forgotten New York)

The New York Liberty has a new CEO, just like the Brooklyn Nets do. Joe Tsai owns both teams and has been taking steps to put them both on equal footing with the installation of Keia Clark as CEO of the Liberty with the eventual goal of bringing the Liberty to the Barclays Center once possible. (Noah Singer for Brooklyn Eagle)

Interview: Amanda Cohen, the chef and owner of Dirt Candy on if the no-tipping movement can survive the pandemic. (Rachel Sugar for Grub Street)

The Department of Environmental Protection is looking to delay the Gowanus Canal cleanup from somewhere between 12 to 18 months due to declining revenues during the pandemic. (Kevin Duggan for Brooklyn Paper)

Remember when Governor Cuomo promised states that when New York was over the Covid-19 hump, he’d start sending help? Florida is the first recipient of his pledge, with the state sending gowns, gloves, masks, face shields, and hand santizer. (Mark Hallum for amNewYork Metro)

The state’s legislature is introducing bills to try to prevent a doomsday scenario in the city where a rise in apartment vacancies could put an end to rent regulation. Under the current laws, when more than 5% of NYC apartments are vacant, rent regulation would come to an end. Building apartments and intentionally keeping them empty or working as hard as possible to evict tenants to drive up the vacancy rate sounds like a conspiracy but I’ll never put anything past landlords. (Rachel Holliday Smith for The City)

Governor Cuomo is against raising taxes on billionaires but seems to be totally cool with raising MTA fares and tolls on bridges, essentially taxing every non-billionaire instead. (Zack Fink for NY1)

The arguments for and against the constitutionality of a billionaires’ tax. (Bill Mahoney for Politico)

June and July bring the summer’s heat, but it also brings nesting turtles onto the runways of JFK airport. Inside the annual struggle to protect the turtles in Jamaica Bay. (Lori Chung for NY1)

Even if Columbia University attempts to return to in-person classes in the call a strike by maintenance workers could halt their plans completely unless a new contract is agreed to by Friday night. (Michael Herzenberg for NY1)

With no help from the Yankees, the 161st St BID is trying to create a welcoming atmosphere around the stadium to help many of the area’s struggling businesses. (Alyssa Paolicelli for NY1)

McCarren Tennis Center’s weatherproof bubble over the public tennis courts will stay up all summer. (Melissa Kravitz Hoeffner for Greenpointers)

Only around 14 percent of state prison inmates have been tested for Covid-19 since the crisis began. I’m no epidemiologist, but that seems like a low percentage. In comparison, there has been 2.596 million tests conducted in the city, which would cover about 30% of the population. (Gwynne Hogan for Gothamist)

Tropical Storm Isaias may make landfall in NYC on Monday because things aren’t hard enough already. (Adam Nichols for Patch)

What to expect at today’s “Take Your Knee Off Our Necks” in Midtown. (NY1)

Mayor Bill de Blasio is making the New York City court system into a scapegoat for the recent surge in gun violence according to Chief Administrative Judge Lawrence Marks. (NY1)

Queens got a Black Lives Matter mural in front of the Family Court on Jamaica Avenue. (Todd Maisel for amNewYork Metro)

Get ready, because it’s ConEd blackout season. Southern Brooklyn was the first to be asked to turn down their electrical usage. (Liena Zagare for Bklyner)

Where to get takeout in Greenwich Village and the West Village. Robert Sietsema for Eater)

The MTA is installing free mask dispensers inside city buses. (Dana Schulz for 6sqft)

Farewell to Augustine in the Financial DIstrict. (Erika Adams for Eater)

Farewell to Rosario’s Pizza on the Lower East Side. (Elie Z Perler for Bowery Boogie)

A list of the Williamsburg & Greenpoint places closed for good during COVID-19. (Bill Pearis for Greenpointers)

Farewell to Le Sia in the East Village. (EV Grieve)

Farewell to An Choi on the Lower East Side. (Elie Z Perler for Bowery Boogie)

Union Pool’s patio and taco truck are back! (Bill Pearis for BrooklynVegan)

Mott Street from Worth to Moscoe is closed off to cars and 10 restaurants all have outdoor dining with seating for over 100. (Mark Hallum for amNewYork Metro)

Where to eat outside on the Upper East Side. (Hannah Albertine & Nikko Duren for The Infatuation)

The best outdoor brunch spots in the city. (Matt Tervooren for The Infatuation)

Thanks to reader Lizzy for today’s featured photo!