The Briefly for October 20 – 21, 2020 – The “Times Square Gets A PerFect Addition” Tuesday Edition

The latest NYC news digest: NY releases its Covid-19 vaccine plan and a new matrix, hot cocktail season is upon us, the scariest thing about Blood Manor, and more

Today – Low: 64˚ High: 68˚
Mostly cloudy throughout the day.

In a touch of good news, there were only 18 positive Covid-19 tests out of the 10,676 that were administered in schools. (Dana Rubenstein and J. David Goodman for NY Times)

JFK and Newark airports are now offering Rapid Nasal Swab Tests for Covid-19 with results in under 15 minutes. (Will Gleason for Time Out)

In the last days of warm-enough weather, here’s where to work outside with wifi. (Matt Tervooren for The Infatuation)

Welcome to NYC, P.F. Chang’s, you will fit in perfectly in Times Square. (Bao Ong for Time Out)

In one of the weirder stories this week, we all found out that the city can be shut out of its own ferry docks, as it was in Greenpoint for most of Monday. (Matt Troutman for Patch)

The Greenpoint Library is now open for grab-and-go service. (Greenpointers)

Everything to know about putting up temporary walls in an NYC apartment. (Lambeth Hochwald for StreetEasy)

With a drop in Covid-19 cases in hot spots, expect Governor Cuomo to make adjustments to the red zone maps this week. (Robert Pozarycki for Brooklyn Paper)

A fire in Cypress Hills burnt down a marijuana grow house. (John Del Signore for Gothamist)

215 idiots were busted mid-party inside the Queens Luxe Banquet Hall on Rockaway Boulevard in Queens. The owner and staff were charged with misdemeanors. (Sydney Pereira for Gothamist)

New York City Comptroller Scott Stringer has released a new plan that would make CUNY community colleges free to all students in an attempt to close the inequality gap. (The Brooklyn Reader)

For $4.75 million, you can own Toni Morrison’s Tribeca loft. (Erin Hudson for The Real Deal)

New Hope Family Services refuses to provide services to married same-sex couples and won a preliminary injunction to block the Office of Children and Family Services from shutting them down for doing so. (Arthur S> Leonard for Gay City News)

Photos: Inside Frenchette’s takeover of the old Arcade Barkery space. (Tanay Warerkar for Eater)

Remember when I linked to a report that said the homeless New Yorkers in The Lucerne would be moved to the Financial District on Sunday? That has been reversed again. A state supreme court judge approved a restraining order preventing anyone from being moved until at least November 16. (Mirela Iverac for Gothamist)

Andres Fernandez was convicted of killing the owner of the legendary L&B Spumoni Gardens pizzeria in 2016 and will face 25 years to life behind bars. (Rose Adams for Brooklyn Adams)

Here’s what you need to know about New York’s plastic bag ban. (Michelle Young for Untapped New York)

The scariest thing about Blood Manor haunted house is the giant, maskless crowds. (Tribeca Citizen)

Governor Cuomo’s office released its Covid-19 vaccination plan, including a vaccine prioritization matrix, with New Yorkers falling into Priority 1-6. First we were dealing with “phases,” now we’re dealing with “zones,” next up is “priority.” Most of us will fall into Priority 5. (Sydney Pereira for Gothamist)

Another look at Times Square’s “Plastic Bag Store” now that the plastic bag ban is real and being enforced. (Michelle Young for Untapped New York)

AOC is encouraging voting on the Working Families Party line instead of the Democratic line for the presidential election to help preserve WFP’s place on the ballot moving forward. (Daniel Marans for HuffPost)

The New York Times has discovered Breezy Point, the NYC right-wing hideout full of police and firefighters. (Corey Kilgannon for NY Times)

Holding up a magnifying glass to the NYPD’s impunity when it comes to killing people on NYC streets with their cars in light of NY Attorney General Letitia James opening an investigation into the killing of Sofia Gomex, who was killed by an NYPD highway officer. (Julianne Cuba for Streetsblog)

Everything that the city did to campaign for New Yorkers to fill out their census forms ended up raising the response rate by a measly 0.1%. The city is pushing this as a win. (David Cruz for Gothamist)

The Times already declared cuffing season starting early this year. That means it’s time for hot cocktails. (Tanay Warerkar for Eater)

The Briefly for October 18-19, 2020 – The “Phenomenal Cosmic Powers!” Sunday Edition

The latest NYC news digest: The plastic bag ban is back, empty office space is nearly at post-9/11 levels, how to celebrate Halloween, live music outdoors, and more

Today – Low: 55˚ High: 64˚
Partly cloudy throughout the day.

The state passed bail reform last in 2019 and it took effect at the beginning of the year. Since the beginning of the year, people have been poking holes in it. The latest is judges are using overly complicated partially secured bonds to keep people imprisoned. (Akash V. Mehta for NY Focus in partnership with The City)

In 2015, President Obama called the Gateway project better connecting New York and New Jersey “the most important project in the country.” Here’s a look at how the Trump administration has destroyed it. (Stephen Nessen for Gothamist)

Apartment Porn: Rachel Maddow’s West Village apartment is for sale for $2.4 million. (Dana Schulz for 6sqft)

Back in March, the state’s legislature gave Governor Cuomo “unlimited” power and maybe it’s time to rethink that. (Gwynne Hogan for Gothamist)

Bring your totes, NYC’s plastic bag enforcement kicks off for real on Monday. Bring your totes. (Matt Troutman for Patch)

16 bars and restaurants with live music outdoors. (Hannah Albertine for The Infatuation)

The pandemic drinking experience is still more convivial than drinking at home, but in bars forced to operate under elaborate and restrictive anti-COVID-19 setups, the experience sometimes more closely evokes the transactional nature of an airport Buffalo Wild Wings than a place where everybody knows your name.
-Ryan Sutton, When Will New York’s Bars Feel Like Bars Again? for Eater

A wedding with over 10,000 guests? It’s planned for Monday in Williamsburg, but the state is stepping in and demanding that the Hasidic wedding of a grandchild of the community’s leader is limited to 50 people. (Sophia Chang for Gothamist)

In a geographically and time-challenging move, The Queens Night Market has opened in Rockefeller Center from 11am-5pm. (Bao Ong for Time Out)

Video: Go beyond the pail with a look at what happens to metal, glass, and plastic recycling after the curb. (Matt Coneybeare for Viewing NYC)

“Trans women, particularly trans women of more color, are being killed with impunity, and it is past time to meet that emergency with real change that can end this epidemic of violence. Today I am calling upon the governor to acknowledge anti-trans violence as a state of crisis, and encourage the mayor and all of my colleagues in government to join me and the countless advocates who have joined us today in developing comprehensive plans that put an end to anti-trans violence once and for all.” -Public Advocate Jumaane Williams on two bills he’s introducing to the City Council to require medical professionals be trained to care for transgender and gender non-conforming patients and to include signage in all hospitals showing transgender patients’ rights and services available. (Paul Schindler for Gay City News)

A 2020 election reading list. (Sara Webster for Brooklyn Based)

“We don’t know yet how many restaurants will be razed by the pandemic. Anecdotally, the answer seems to be: a lot. Every few days, another restaurant closes, and every few days, I think, Oh, I never went.”
-Rachel Sugar, Mourning the Restaurants I’ll Never Get to Visit, for Grub Street

A look at the dozen vegan or vegetarian restaurants that have opened during the pandemic and how personal politics, sustainability, and price all play a part in their successes. (Emma Orlow for Eater)

Vegan “kind of Chineses” Fat Choy gets a Quick Bites review, “an instant winner.” (Scott Lynch for Gothamist)

11 helpful New York social distancing hacks. Don’t hold the door, the smell of perfume is a bad sign, and more. (Shaye Weaver for Time Out)

Budgeting for an NYC rental: rent to income ratio. (Erika Riley for StreetEasy)

Fracking doesn’t seem like an NYC-centric story until you read about protestors who locked themselves to a fracked gas pipeline construction project in Williamsburg on Thursday morning. (Kevin Duggan for Brooklyn Paper)

Manhattan’s empty office space is creeping towards post-9/11 levels. (Greg David for The City)

The Loisaida Open Streets Community Coalition is seeking volunteers to help set up barricades in the mornings/evenings. (EV Grieve)

Turns out Chirlane McCray, leader of the city’s Thrive NYC initiative and wife of Mayor de Blasio will not be running for Brooklyn borough president. There are eight candidates who have already created campaign committees. (Brigid Bergin for Gothamist)

Want to own a piece of the Waldorf Astoria? The hotel is auctioning off over 15,000 fine furnishings. (Justin Wu for Untapped New York)

The MTA is piloting a new air filtration and purification system on the LIRR and MetroNorth that the manufacturer claims can capture and kill 99.9998% of viruses and other germs through a three-stage process, including Covid-19. (Stephen Nessen for Gothamist)

Wilmer Ferrara attempted to climb the New York Times building, but only got as high as the sixth floor and got tired, waiting for the police to get him. He was arrested. (ABC7)

Meet Ronald Lauder, the billionaire Republican trying to fight a Democratic supermajority in the state. A supermajority would give the legislature much more power against Governor Cuomo when it comes to budget discussions. (Jesse McKinley for NY Times)

The NYPD’s oversight board will recommend discipline for Officer Wayne Isaacs, more than four years after the cop fatally shot Delrawn Small in front of his girlfriend and two children. (Jake Offenhartz for Gothamist)

NOAA has released their winter prediction for New York and it looks like we’re in for a dried and warmer winter than usual. (Adam Nichols for Patch)

Get ready, because restaurants can legally add a 10% “recovery charge to your bill starting this weekend. (Bao Ong for Time Out)

An independent commission tasked with reviewing institutional racism in the New York court system detailed a “culture of toxicity and unprofessionalism” among court officers across the state in a report from the Equal Justice in the Courts task force. (Noah Singer for Brooklyn Eagle)

A planned move of homeless men from the Lucerne Hotel on the Upper West Side to another hotel in the Financial District will proceed after a state Supreme Court judge declined to block the move. (Sophia Chang for Gothamist)

Construction on the 2/3/4/5 between Franklin Ave in Brooklyn and Manhattan will interrupt traveling for 64 weekends over the course of 33 months. Oh boy. (Claude Scales for Brooklyn Heights Blog)

The best ways to celebrate Halloween 2020 in NYC. (6sqft)

The Briefly for October 11-12, 2020 – The “SERENITY NOW!” Sunday Edition

The latest NYC news digest: The Raccoon Show, Dermot Shea calls BLM protesters “spoiled brats”, cuffing season declared, the top 12 neighborhood pizza slices, and more

Today – Low: 55˚ High: 68˚
Rain in the evening and overnight.

Midtown’s Roosevelt Hotel is closing at the end of the month after 96 years. (David Cruz for Gothamist)

There is a law in NYC that local police cannot enforce federal immigration law, that does not stop ICE agents from pretending to be local police during raids. (Sophia Chang for Gothamist)

When the city lacks its usual entertainment, it turns to the trash pandas. Welcome to The Raccoon Show. (Ben Yakas for Gothamist)

Spider-Man 3 has begun filming in Queens. Look for the filming notices for “SERENITY NOW.” Yes, all of the fake filming titles for Spider-Man movies have been George Costanza references. (Jacob Kaye for amNewYork Metro)

Inside a Bronx freshman’s first day back in the classroom. (Alex Zimmerman for Chalkbeat)

Maybe after this is all over, we should stop putting schools in windowless basements. (Cindy Rodriguez for Gothamist)

The city owes its public school teachers $900 million, which dates back a decade and has its roots in the Bloomberg administration’s dealing of the last financial crisis. The city tried to punt on those payments until an arbitrator ruled the city must pay its teachers half of what is owed by the end of the month, the other half in July 2021 and agree to a no-layoffs provision through June 2021 along with teachers getting a 3.5% pay bump by May 2021. (David Cruz for Gothamist)

A new state requirement will demand that 20% of all students and staff enrolled in in-person learning be tested weekly for Covid-19 inside the state’s “yellow” zones with the mandate in effect by Friday, October 16. (Sophia Chang for Gothamist)

Farewell to Queens Comfort on 30th Ave in Astoria. Today is its last day of service. (Luke Fortney for Eater)

Broadway will remain shut down through May 2021, extending past the last “end date” in March. (Broadway World)

Satire: Hundreds Of Cane-Wielding Demonstrators Pull Governor Into Kickline To Protest Broadway Shutdown. (The Onion)

Broadway is known as “The Great White Way” thanks to the volume of lights on the various marquees, but the nickname remains appropriate for other reasons too, as a new report shows that only 20% of shows on Broadway or Off-Broadway during the 2017-2018 season were created by people of color, two-thirds were filled by white actors and 94% directors were white. (Sahar Bahr for NY Times)

Had enough of apartment living in NYC and yearn for a life on the seas but still in the city? Here’s everything you need to know about houseboat living in NYC. (Cait Etherington for 6sqft)

Mayor de Blasio has chosen the city’s next rezoning battleground: SoHo and NoHo, from Astor Place down to Canal Street. The opponents say it will “ruin” the neighborhood’s character and the proponents argue that it will bring 3,200 apartments to the area, with 800 below-market rate. The deciding City Councilmember will be Margaret Chin, provided the city moves forward with approval before she’s term-limited out in 2021. (Sydney Pereira for Gothamist)

Apartment Porn: There’s a house in Prospect-Lefferts Gardens that’s for sale that my wife is obsessed with. Once you see the photos of the $2.75 million pre-war house, you’ll become obsessed too. (Dana Schulz for 6sqft)

Photos: Tribeca’s Pier 26 is now open, complete with a man-made tidal marsh called the Tide Deck. (Devin Gannon for 6sqft)

The City Reliquary is in danger of closing. It’s one of the city’s oddest and most unique and interesting museums in addition to being a non-profit civic organization. In non-pandemic times, it is worth your visit. Now it needs your help. (Dana Schulz for 6sqft)

There will never be a story about the Grand Central Terminal lost and found that I will not link to. Years ago my best friend left an acoustic guitar on a Metro-North train and found it at the lost and found a few days later, just one of the roughly 2,500 items lost every month. (Nicole Saraniero for Untapped New York)

Here is the full list of NYC politicians being endorsed by Our Revolution, founded by Bernie Sanders. (amNewYork Metro)

How much does a life cost? Last year Matt Palacios was killed by Luc C. Vu, who was driving a dump truck and made an illegal left turn. Court records indicate that Vu’s driver’s license has been revoked for six months, that he paid a $250 fine on the failure to yield to a bicyclist charge, and that he will receive a conditional discharge in one year if he does not get into additional legal trouble. $250 for taking Matt’s life. (Mike Johnson for PWInsider)

“I don’t know what you call them — peaceful protesters — maybe spoiled brats at this point.” -NYPD Commissioner Dermot Shea on NY1. The NYPD is on pace to spend more than $100 million beyond its budget for overtime this year. (Christopher Robbins for Gothamist)

On the same night that NYPD officers stood by while protesters attacked civilians and a journalist during a Borough Park protest against Covid-19 restrictions, the police department arrested four Black Lives Matter activists in Bedford-Stuyvesant for low-level offenses and detained them for two nights before they were released. (Gwynne Hogan for Gothamist)

Video: Watch the NYPD be unable to break up a massive celebration full of unmasked people blocking a street in Crown Heights last week and eventually give up and go home. (Jake Offenhartz for Gothamist)

Hundreds of ultra-Orthodox congregants attended an indoor prayer service in Borough Park on Friday in open defiance of Governor Andrew Cuomo’s newly imposed restrictions on religious gatherings in COVID hotspots. The service was led by a rabbi who tested positive for Covid-19 one week ago. (Jake Offenhartz for Gothamist)

MSG and the Barclays Center are becoming voting locations on November 3. Yankee Stadium? Silence. In a neighborhood that could use the most help from a neighbor, the Yankees, who pay $0 in real state taxes and pay $1/year for the land their stadium occupies, have turned their back on the local community at nearly every opportunity. (Mary Steffenhagen for New York City News Service)

Congratulations to the NYC girls who have become some of the first to ever join Scouts BSA, formerly the Boy Scouts of America. (Yasmeen Khan for Gothamist)

The NYPL released a list of 200 book titles to get you election-ready. (Dana Schulz for 6sqft)

Farewell to Dizzy’s Diner in Park Slope after 22 years. (Ben Verde for Brooklyn Paper)

Turns out it pays to be in the crowd for SNL. No literally, the audience is being paid $150 to be considered cast members, since audience members aren’t allowed. Each “cast member” is given a rapid Covid-19 test before entering the studio. (Julia Jacobs and Dave Itzkoff for NY Times)

The Times is declaring cuffing season, but did the last cuffing season ever officially end? (Johan Engel Bromwich and Sandra E. Garcia for NY Times)

Farewell to 88 Lan Zhou in Chinatown, who will be closing on October 31. (Elie Z. Perler for Bowery Boogie)

The top 12 neighborhood pizza slices. (Robert Sietsema for Eater)

How to support independent restaurants. (Bonnie Tsui for NY Times)