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 September 11-12, 2020 – The “Let’s Eat Some Indoor One Dollar Sushi” Friday Edition

The latest NYC news digest: Indoor dining is coming back to NYC, sixteen teachers test positive for Covid-19 before students come back, outdoor happy hours, and more

Today – Low: 70˚ High: 81˚
Rain and humid throughout the day.

16 New York City teachers have tested positive for Covid-19 in 16 different schools. Schools open on September 21. (East New York News)

Photos: Inside the abandoned City Hall subway station, which served as the inspiration for the Turtles’ lair in the second Ninja Turtles movie. (Dana Schulz for 6sqft)

The Times asks the impolite question: What happens when no one invites you into their quarantine pod? (Ronda Kaysen for NY Times)

September 30, indoor dining is back at 25% capacity. (Jesse McKinley for NY Times)

Indoor dining will increase to 50% on November 1 if cases don’t significantly increase, just in time for outdoor dining to end on October 31. The state and city, of course, are giving restaurants less than a month to get their indoor areas ready and overhaul their HVAC systems. Many restaurants will have to make a choice is opening their doors at 25% capacity is financially worth opening their doors at all. (Erika Adams for Eater)

An epidemiologist weighs in on the question of how safe is indoor dining? (Jen Carlson for Gothamist)

There’s a new Whole Foods in Brooklyn, but no one is allowed inside. (Chris Crawley for Grub Street)

Okay, let’s jump into this. Is dollar sushi any good? (Scott Lynch for Gothamist)

Apartment Porn: A $5.75 million brownstone in Harlem with a secret garden. (Dana Schulz for 6sqft)

Activists are calling on the MTA to fire two of their employees, Willion Wurm Jr and William Wurm, who drove through demonstrators near Times Square during a Black Lives Matter protest this summer. The MTA will not fire the employeees. (Stephan Nessen for Gothamist)

A look at the CDC’s eviction moratorium for tenants who can’t pay rent and make under $99,000 annually. (Sydney Pereira for Gothamist)

Farewell to the Hilton hotel in Times Square. (Rich Bockmann for The Real Deal)

What could make your commute worse between Bedford Ave and Manhattan? Someone who is FaceTiming the entire time. The L train tunnel is the first train tunnel to get cell signal. (Greenpointers)

Meet Jenny Olbrich, the Greenpoint’s Pizza Girl. (Greenpointers)

A look at the “For ⟶ forever” mural by Mierle Laderman Ukeles that’s on display outside the Queens Museum. (Jane Margolies for NY Times)

Delaware, Maryland, Ohio, and West Virginia were added to New York’s quarantine list for travelers. (NY1)

City Comptroller Scott Stringer officially kicked off his 2021 mayoral bid on Tuesday with a speech taking aim at the city’s real estate industry. (Kathryn Brenzel for The Real Deal)

It’s that wonderful time of the year again: It’s time for goats to cut the grass. (EV Grieve)

As the title says, “Everything you need to know about NYC’s Open Streets Restaurants program.” (Hannah Albertine for The Infatuation)

A 15-year-old Brooklyn boy was charged on Tuesday with five counts of attempted murder in a J’Ouvert shooting that left a 6-year-old boy, his mother, and three men wounded. (Ed Shanahan and Ashley Southall for NY Times)

James Gordon Bennett Medal is one of the FDNY’s highest honors, but it’s named for the published of The New York Herald newspaper, who pushed racist and segregationist views during the Civil War. The award will be renamed in honor of Chief Peter J. Ganci, who was the highest-ranked uniformed member of the FDNY killing in the 9/11 attacks. (Ali Watkins for NY Times)

Christian Cooper, the bird watcher who had the police called on him for insisting a dog be put on a leash. has turned his experience into a graphic novel about racism. (Sarah Maslin Nir for NY Times)

Did you miss the earthquake that happened early in the morning on Wednesday? Yes, there was an earthquake. Just toss it on the pile for 2020. (Matt Troutman for Patch)

Angry Upper West Siders that threatened to sue the city after homeless shelter residents were temporarily moved into neighborhood hotels are celebrating the decision to move the 300 residents of one hotel back into traditional shelter facilities. NIMBY indeed. (Caroline Lewis for Gothamist)

Patricia Marroquin Norby is the Met’s first-ever full-time Native American curator and will assume the role of associate curator for Native American art. (Sarah Bahr for NY Times)

The Covid-19 pandemic hit NYC neighborhoods the hardest that were already experiencing the greatest rent burden, according to new research from StreetEasy. (Nancy Wu for StreetEasy)

Meet “Red Rage” Assistant Chief Christopher McCormack, who has the most credible misconduct allegations of any NYPD officer. Over a dozen Black and Latino men accused McCormack of touching them inappropriately during searches or ordered others to do so. Despite the complaints, he kept being promoted. (Joaquin Sapien for The City)

A guide to Central Park’s “Great Trees.” (Amanda Quaid for Untapped Cities)

Some gyms are open in the city, but indoor fitness classes remain banned. A group of boutique fitness studios is suing the city for $250 million in damages over the ban (Matt Troutman for Patch)

Ride the subway without a mask? $50 fine. (Matt Troutman for Patch)

Century 21 declared bankruptcy and will be closing its stores. (Christopher Bonanos for Curbed)

A new study from the CDC says adults with Covid-19 were twice as likely to say they ate at a restaurant. (Elizabeth Kim for Gothamist)

Tiffany Cabán launched her campaign for City Council for district 22, which encompasses Astoria, East Elmhurst, Jackson Heights, Woodside, and Rikers Island. If she wins her election, it would put her in control of rezoning Rikers Island after it has been vacated. (Clarissa Sosin for Queens County Politics)

The outdoor happy hour guide. (Hannah Albertine & Nikko Duren for The Infatuation)

The Briefly for July 24, 2020 – The “Fight For Your Right To Party Or Not?” Edition

Today’s daily NYC news digest: New York’s rent relief program, the 2020 blue wave headed for Albany, the NYPD fight against disclosure, where to eat in LIC, and more

Today – Low: 75˚ High: 81˚
Rain in the morning and afternoon.
This weekend – Low: 76˚ High: 90˚

Here’s a combination of words you wouldn’t expect to describe New York City: “humid subtropical climate zone.” Welcome to the era of the sultry night in New York City. (Lisa M Collins for NY Times)

The details about applying for Covid-19 rent relief. (Caroline Spivack for Curbed)

With the program being called “an endless pit of despair,” the rollout of the program has been anything but smooth, with technical problems plaguing literally every step of the way. The deadline closes for applications on July 30. (Gwynne Hogan for Gothamist)

Videos: Watch purple lightning hit NYC, including the Statue of Liberty. (Jake Offenhartz for Gothamist)

Because life isn’t hard enough for the owners of bars right now, the State Liquor Authority is demanding that bars must provide a “sit-down experience” with enough food to be shared by a small group and food must be ordered with the first round. Listen, let me drink my beer and leave me alone with this. (Matt Troutman for Patch)

Ellen’s Stardust Diner on W 51st may be shutting down due to $618,459.22 in unpaid rent. In a confusing move, the landlords have put up a notice that they will assume possession of the property by August 7, despite the eviction moratorium in place through August 20. (Erika Adams for Eater)

A federal judge temporarily blocked the de Blasio administration’s plan to disclose tens of thousands of newly available police disciplinary records. Police unions argued that the public should not see “unsubstantiated” claims, while the rest of us argue that being able to see how many claims are listed as unsubstantiated is a part of seeing how the NYPD holds itself accountable. The NYCLU has some of the records, which they obtained with a FOIL request, but have been ordered not to release them. (Christopher Robbins and George Joseph for Gothamist)

The City, Gothamist/WNYC, ProPublica, and The Marshall Project want to hear about your experiences with the NYPD to help hold the NYPD accountable. (Terry Parris Jr for The City)

20 restaurants with takeout windows and seat-yourself tables. (Hannah Albertine for The Infatuation)

The story of U Thant Island, the city’s smallest island. (Michelle Young for Untapped New York)

Councilman Ritchie Torres declared himself the winner in the NY-15 Democratic Congressional primary. The results aren’t official, but it doesn’t look likely he’ll lose. If elected, he’ll be one of the first two Black openly LGBTQ members of Congress, along with Mondaire Jones from NY-17. (Jason Cohen for Bronx Times)

Jabari Brisport declared victory in Brooklyn’s 25th Senate District Democratic primary over Assemblywoman Tremaine Wright. If elected (and there’s a pretty darn good chance of that in the general election), Brisport will become the first openly gay person of color in the State Senate. (Ben Verde for Brooklyn Paper)

How Brooklyn Assembly insurgents rode absentee ballots to upset incumbents in this year’s even more blue wave. (Claudia Irizarry Aponte for The City)

Results for Covid-19 test conducted by the city have been dramatically cut down to two days and the city’s “Test + Trace” program found and isolated 2,000 people with coronavirus symptoms. (Matt Troutman for Patch)

The driver of a pickup truck drove into an outdoor dining area in Sunset Park, sending three people to the hospital with minor injuries. (Julianne Cuba for Streetsblog)

Robert Sietsema’s 10 favorite pandemic takeout dishes. (Robert Sietsema for Eater)

In a message to the youths, Governor Cuomo said that while he respects your right to party, “ThIs Is NoT tHe TiMe To FiGhT FoR YoUr RiGhT tO pArTy” (Matt Troutman for Patch)

“The severe hailstorm was well-forecasted. Policing systems have forever been weaponized against minority groups to galvanize white supremacist agendas. To attack systemic racism is to acknowledge history and our own ignorance of it: Black lives have suffered injustice since the inception of our country. The change we bled for yesterday is the change we die for today.”
-Michela Wang, a student at Newark Academy, “This Is Not New”: Thoughts On Protests From NYC Teens for Gothamist

If you’ve got $88 million to spare, you can buy Jeffrey Epstein’s Upper East Side mansion. If you’ve got an additional $2 million, you should invest in enough bleach to clean the house. (6sqft)

What’s a carriage house? An explanation on the short, but wide homes with large interior spaces you may see dotted around the city. (Erika Riley for StreetEasy)

Attention America: Costco still does not trust you with sheet cakes. (Rachel Sugar for Grub Street)

Congrats to Brett Gardener for becoming the 18th player in history to appear in 1,500 career games with the Yankees. (Joe Pantorno for amNewYork Metro)

“The gathering there got smaller and smaller, was less and less about protests. More and more, it became an area where homeless folks are gathering,” said the mayor, defending the dismantling of Abolition Park while simultaneously erasing the city’s homeless population’s participation in protests. (Emily Ngo for NY1)

Citing an “alarming lack of direction” in the city’s plans for reopening school buildings, a Sept. 10 start date seems increasingly difficult to achieve, according to a letter sent by the head of the union that represents school administrators this week. (Alex Zimmerman for Chalkbeat)

The State Senate passed a bill that would mandate the 24/7 operation of the city’s subways unless a state of emergency is in effect, finally giving us an answer if 24/7 would ever come back. Next stop: The Assembly. (Devin Gannon for 6qft)

The pandemic has hit the city’s arts organizations to the tune of $550 million, according to NYC’s Department of Cultural Affairs, SMU DataArts, and Americans for Arts. (Zijia Song for Bedford + Bowery)

More than a dozen New York City Councilmembers are already asking for Albany’s support in canceling state math and reading tests for third-to-eighth graders this upcoming school year. (Reema Amin for Chalkbeat)

The federal government will allow New Yorkers back into trusted traveler programs after federal lawyers admitted that Homeland Security officials made false statements in a bid to justify expelling New York residents from programs that let United States travelers speed through borders and airport lines. Another lie from the Trump administration. (Ed Shanahan with Benjamin Weiser for NY Times)

MLB is expanding its postseason to 16 teams, giving four third-place teams a spot in the playoffs. (Joe Pantorno for amNewYork Metro)

The Tenement Museum laid off 76 part-time workers. (Shannan Ferry for NY1)

A look at the Billion Oyster Project’s latest effort, shipping containers turned oyster farms using discarded shells from restaurants, to restore 100 million oysters into the New York Harbor a year. (Jeanine Ramirez for NY1)

How will baseball games deal with rain delays in a shortened season? If it starts raining, the game’s over. The Yankees won a five-inning game last night to kick off their 2020 season. (NY1)

City Council Member Brad Lander is calling on the city to close streets to use them for outdoor instruction for the city’s schools. (Amy Zimmer for Chalkbeat)

The Times used the right word when describing the exodus of tourists from the city: “flushed.” Will they come back? (Patrick McGeehan for NY Times)

Where to eat outside in Long Island City. (Matt Tervooren for The Infatuation)

Thanks to reader Stacy for today’s featured photo from the Elizabeth Street Garden.