The Briefly for April 3, 2020 – The “A Bad Omen Washes Ashore at Jacob Riis Park” Edition

Today’s daily NYC news digest: The Javits Center opens to COVID-19 patients, a takeout and delivery guide, 369,000 New Yorkers file for unemployment, Tekashi69 goes free, and more

Today – Low: 47˚ High: 53˚
Possible drizzle until evening.
This weekend – Low: 46˚ High: 57˚

The Governor Cuomo’s nipple piercing mystery may be solved? But also the mystery rages on. (Hudon Hongo for Gizmodo)

No matter who you are, if you’re sick or not, it’s time to wear a mask, a bandana, a balaclava, a Spider-Man mask, just cover your face with something if you go out in public. (Ben Yakas for Gothamist)

A 28-foot-long humpback whale washed ashore Tuesday at Jacob Riis Park in Queens. If everything hadn’t already gone to hell, this might be a bad omen. (Maya Kaufman for Patch)

Just as the coronavirus season is expected to end, this year’s hurricane season is expected to be 40% more active than the average season. (Kathleen Culliton for Patch)

Photos: Inside the USNS Comfort. (Michelle Young for Untapped New York)

The Javits Center now has 2,500 beds, up from 1,000, and has been approved for COVID-19 patients. (Dana Schulz for 6sqft)

What happens if we run out of ventilators? While Governor Cuomo says “there’s no protocol,” there’s a 266-page document from 2015 available for download on the state’s website that lays it out step by step. Basically, it boils down to saving the most lives. (Gwynne Hogan and Fred Mogul for Gothamist)

Craving NYC without going outside? Here’s an exhaustive list of movies featuring Greenwich Village. (Ariel Kates for GVSHP)

The history of the Brooklyn Blackout cake. (Noah Sheidlower for Untapped New York)

I linked to the wrong story yesterday giving hard numbers on COVID-19 infections by zip code, here’s a better breakdown of how many are sick per zip code in NYC. (Michelle Young for Untapped New York)

Michelin-starred Eleven Madison Park is turning into a kitchen for Rethink Food, a city-based food nonprofit, thanks to “an undisclosed amount of funding” from American Express. (Erika Adams for Eater)

Rethink Food NYC is offering 30 restaurants $40,000 each to stay open and provide 24,000 meals per day for New Yorkers in need. Eleven Madison Park is not on the list. (Devin Gannon for 6sqft)

“Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night stays these couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds,” but also the postal service has been struggling to deliver the mail with some areas not receiving mail for days at a time due to a severe staffing shortage. (Jake Offenhartz for Gothamist)

Maybe the last place you want to hang out in during a global pandemic that’s infected over a million people, but the longer the state is on PAUSE, the more outdoor space becomes a luxury. The case for Green-Wood Cemetery. (Nathan Kensinger for Curbed)

Photos: Sakura Park in the Bronx’s cherry blossoms are hitting their peak. It’s been so warm that the cherry blossoms across the city have been blooming. Time to steal a peek if you can find one. (HARLEM + BESPOKE)

A map of who’s open in Western Queens, with over 250 businesses that are open. (Michael Dorgan for Sunnyside Post)

A federal judge ordered Gaspar Avendano-Hernandez released from ICE’s custody. You might remember his arrest because Erick Diaz-Cruz his girlfriend’s son was shot in the face by an ICE officer while he was being arrested. Tragically, Diaz-Cruz did not survive. (Rose Adams for amNewYork Metro)

If you’re among the 369,000 New Yorkers who lost a job in the last week, you know all too well that attempting to apply for benefits is a full-time job in itself. (Daniel Moritz-Rabson for Gothamist)

Governor Cuomo’s daily chats with New York and the nation are getting weird. He dedicated some of Thursday’s press conference to a chat with his brother, who is in quarantine after a COVID-19 diagnosis earlier in the week. (Gus Saltonstall for Patch)

Maps: New York City is so big (how big is it?) that you can fit the population of multiple cities inside each borough. Brooklyn? Chicago. Staten Island? Sacramento. (Matt Coneybeare for Viewing NYC)

Quarantee is like a nightclub, except it all happens on Zoom. You’re charged a cover and somehow “bouncers” enforce a dress code and they even offer “private tables.” I’m at a loss for words. (Tanay Warerkar for Eater)

Anyone else notice lots of masks and rubber gloves littering the streets? (Katia Kelly for Pardon Me for Asking)

It depends on who you believe, but the staff of Montefiore Medical Center may or may not have been given Yankees rain ponchos as personal protective gear for their shifts. (Brian M. Rosenthal and James Wagner for NY Times)

One of the inmates that was released to prevent further COVID-19 outbreaks in the city’s federal prisons? Tekashi69. (Melena Ryzik and Nancy Coleman for NY Times)

A federal judge struck down a portion of the state’s new rent laws that dealt with retroactive rent overcharge claims. (Valeria Ricciulli for Curbed)

Video: “Typologies of New York City: A Crowdsourced Hyperlapse” 1,246 photos of NY to make one great video. (Howard Halle for Time Out)

Do the animals in the Bronx Zoo know something has changed? (Julia Jacobs for NY Times)

Traffic to the city’s domestic violence website is up 7.8x for the first full week following the state’s declaration of PAUSE. There has been no increase in domestic violence calls to 911, which could mean domestic violence could be going unreported. Call 911 in an emergency, otherwise, the Domestic Violence hotline’s phone number is 1-800-621-4673 (HOPE). (David Cruz for Gothamist)

Mount Sinai researchers are tracking COVID-19 across New York City through a program called STOP COVID NYC. If you have any symptoms, you can participate and help track and predict smaller outbreaks. (Norwood News)

The happy haunts of Green-Wood Cemetery are open to the public for longer in new, expanded hours. (Mary Frost for Brooklyn Eagle)

Mayor Bill de Blasio greeted EMT and paramedics from across the country at Fort Totten Park Thursday morning as they prepared to help New York City’s overburdened emergency medical workers. (Alejandra ‘Connell-Domenech for amNewYork Metro)

Residential and commercial real estate showings are considered “essential,” but showings can’t happen in person. Are you ready to buy an apartment based on a FaceTime call? (Sylvia Varnham O’Regan and E.B. Solomont for The Real Deal)

How the 2021 mayoral candidates have responded to the coronavirus. (Samar Khurshid for Gotham Gazette)

Takeout and delivery options for every situation. (Hannah Albertine, Nikko Duren, Bryan Kim, Arden Shore, & Matt Tervooren for The Infatuation)

The Briefly for March 23, 2020 – The “NYC’s First COVID-19 Scumbag Politician Has Emerged” Edition

Today’s daily NYC news digest: It is no longer showtime folks, COVID-19 updates, DMV closed, Amazon is possibly coming to Red Hook, Harvey Weinstein has coronavirus, and more

Today – Low: 40˚ High: 45˚
Rain throughout the day.

New York is now considered a disaster area. Hooray? (Michelle Young for Untapped New York)

The Department of Environmental Conservation was planning to begin enforcement of the plastic bag ban on April 1, but it has been delayed until May 1. (Scott Enman for Brooklyn Daily Eagle)

This is the moment when local politicians are starting to use the coronavirus outbreak for their own purposes. City Councilmember Chaim Deutsch, representing Brighton Beach, Midwood, and Sheepshead Bay, is using this moment to call for an end to the plastic bag ban. Deutsch was the lone vote on the City Council against the 5 cent paper bag fee and wrote an op-ed for The Yeshiva World titled “Are Plastic Bags The New Bail Reform?” arguing against the plastic bag ban. This is a disgusting use of a genuine crisis to push a personal agenda. (Jessica Parks for Brooklyn Paper)

Harvey Weinstein, an expert in non-consent, has something inside of him that he did not ask for: COVID-19. (Rebecca Fishbein for Jezebel)

An updated resource guide for artists and freelancers. (Savannah James for Bushwick Daily)

How to support the city’s venues during the outbreak. (Amanda Hatfield for BrooklynVegan)

Photos: One of the most devastating weeks for NYC restaurants. (Gary He for Eater)

A list of relief funds for the city’s restaurant workers. (Luke Fortney for Eater)

A tiny sliver of good news: You’ve got until July 15 to file your taxes. (Brian Faler for Politico)

Marine Park Hardware Corporation: a destination for tomato sauce? (Jessica Parks for Brooklyn Paper)

Video: A bike ride through the neighborhoods surrounding Wall Street and City Hall. (ActionKid)

I was planning on growing out a “plague beard,” but it seems like we’re all headed in a shaggier direction, as salons and barbershops were ordered closed but the governor. (Kathleen Culliton for Patch)

Douglas Elliman executive chairman Howard Lorber warns that a tax on second homes for the rich could “be a disaster, not just for real estate, but for the economy in New York.” Buddy, maybe it’s time to rethink the use of the term disaster. (Georgia Kromrei for The Real Deal)

Love is dead. The city’s marriage bureau is closed until further notice. (Kathleen Culliton for Patch)

The DMV is closed until further notice. The concern over traveling with a REAL ID come October isn’t nearly as pressing right now, but unless that deadline gets extended, New York is in for a real mess come October. (Gus Saltonstall for Patch)

Gem Spa is closed, temporarily. (EV Grieve)

Calls are getting louder to put a construction moratorium in place during the outbreak. (Caroline Spivack for Curbed)

Thanks to Governor Cuomo, we’re all on PAUSE, which is absolutely not a shelter-in-place order, or else he’d be agreeing to something Mayor de Blasio proposed. (Christopher Robbins for Gothamist)

In order to allow the real estate industry to continue moving forward, the governor is authorizing notaries to sign documents virtually. Wait, how does something get virtually notarized? (E.B.Solomont for The Real Deal)

Amazon is bidding on four former Fairway Market stores, including a Brooklyn location which I assume is the former Red Hook store. The other three are outside the city. (Devin Gannon for 6sqft)

Revel is offering free memberships to healthcare workers and is expanding its service area to cover multiple additional medical centers. (Devin Gannon for 6sqft)

The governor requested that FEMA erect four 250-bed Federal hospitals at the Javits Center. (Devin Gannon for 6sqft)

The city’s hospitals are running dangerously low on personal protective gear. City health officials told hospitals to stop testing patients unless they needed hospitalization. Each test administered requires an entire set of gowns, gloves, and masks that can’t be reused. Without help, the city will run out of supplies in two weeks. (Gwynne Hogan for Gothamist)

How to donate supplies to hospitals. (Rachel Holliday Smith for The City)

It’s the worst time to give birth in New York City. All visitors, including partners, are banned from maternity wards in NewYork-Presbyterian hospitals. (Rebecca Fishbein for Jezebel)

Andrew Yang announced his foundation Humanity Forward was partnering with One Fair Wage for a Universal Basic Income pilot program to give $1,000 to 1,000 families in the Bronx and more for families across the country hit with job losses during the COVID-19 outbreak. (Jason Cohen for Bronx Times)

10 great outdoor sculptures in NYC you can visit without getting too close to other people. (Howard Halle for Time Out)

Broadway producers reached an “emergency relief agreement” agreement to pay hundreds of actors, musicians, stagehands, and others for the first few weeks of the industry shut down, and to cover their health insurance for at least a month. (Michael Paulson for NY Times)

Bike shops are now considered essential businesses and will stay open across the city. (Gersh Kuntsman for Streetsblog)

The city will add emergency protected bike lanes on Second Ave in Manhattan and on Smith Street in Brooklyn by the end of next week in an effort to increase bike safety. (Gersh Kuntzman for Streetsblog)

Saying that “a storm is coming” is an absolutely terrifying thing for the jail’s chief physician to say. (Jan Ransom and Alan Feuer for NY Times)

Here’s how students and teachers are prepping for their first day of remote learning. (Shumita Basu for Gothamist)

For the first time in a long time, it’s no longer showtime. (Jake Bittle for Gothamist)

A look at the role of doormen during an epidemic. (Guy Trebay for NY Times)

RIP Eli Miller, one of the last seltzer men of NYC. (Daniel E. Slotnik for NY Times)

Go watch some birds. Not birdwatching, but just watch some birds. Without crowds of people to sit and watch, the Times makes the case to relax and imagine what all those geese are gossiping about. (James Gorman and Natalie Keyssar for NY Times)

Don’t flush disinfectant wipes or toilet paper down the toilet. DO NOT. (Michael Levenson for NY Times)

New York state passed a new sick-leave bill for employees who are subject to a mandatory quarantine or isolation due to COVID-19. (The Brooklyn Reader)

Headlines: Help, I Think I’m In Love With Andrew Cuomo??? and My Best Recollection of the Call I Just Had With Andrew Cuomo. (Rebecca Fishbein for Jezebel)

Thank you to reader Robert for today’s featured photo from the Imani Garden in Crown Heights!

The Briefly for March 11, 2020 – The “Bill de Blasio’s Kiss of Death Endorsement” Edition

Today’s daily NYC news digest: The latest with COVID-19 in NYC, the five best cheese dishes in NYC, the Sunnyside Yards project is still decades away, and more

Today – Low: 43˚ High: 55˚
Partly cloudy throughout the day.

10 City Island restaurants worth the trip to the city’s remote New England town. (Noah Sheidlower for Untapped New York)

Photos: Rockaway’s St. Patrick’s Day Parade. (Scott Lynch for Gothamist)

Bob Dylan was added to the summer lineup at Forest Hills Stadium. Tickets go on sale Friday for the July 8 show. (Emily Davenport for amNewyork Metro)

Mayor Bill de Blasio, with nothing better to dedicate his time to, has taken to Twitter to attempt to sway Elizabeth Warren to support Bernie Sanders. I called de Blasio’s February 14th endorsement of Bernie Sanders a “Kiss of Death” and less than a month later FiveThirtyEight is giving Sanders a 0.1% chance of winning the Democratic nomination. (Sally Goldenberg for Politico)

Guardian Angels founder and WABC talk-radio shock jock Curtis Sliwa says he plans to run for mayor as a Republican in 2021. (NY1)

StreetsPAC endorsed Council Member Costa Constantinides for Queens borough president. Election Day is March 28. (Streetsblog)

If you’ve been waiting to see To Kill a Mockingbird, West Side Story, The Lehman Trilogy, Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, and The Book of Mormon, now may be your time. Each show is offering $50 tickets through the end of the month. (Emily Davenport for amNewYork Metro)

The best restaurants in Elmhurst. (Hannah Albertine & Bryan Kim for The Infatuation)

A deep dive into how a 40-year-old law has blocked police transparency in New York. For the fifth year in a row, the state’s legislature is considering a repeal of the law, with near-universal support outside of police unions. (Nick Pinto for Gothamist)

If you aren’t tired enough of hearing about the 2020 census, the Department of Sanitation is using Oscar the Grouch to encourage us to participate. Please participate in the census, especially if it means not enduring more of this kind of advertising in ten years. (Emily Davenport for amNewYork Metro)

Today marks the start of the Colossus Festival, which is bringing over 200 shows and hundreds of bands to the city. (Collier Sutter for Time Out)

Do you know the difference between a legal dollar van and an illegal one? Public Advocate Jumaane Williams is pushing riders to educate themselves. Hint: Not having a NY license plate is a good indication it’s illegal. (Mark Hallum for amNewYork Metro)

The curious case of the disappearing bike lanes in Bay Ridge. (Christopher Robbins and Jake Offenhartz for Gothamist)

The Sunnyside Yards project “is not something that would happen overnight.” according to the director of the project. He clarified that it is more likely a “multi-decade plan.” (Christian Murray and Michael Dorgan for Sunnyside Post)

The Strand on the Upper West Side is eyeing an April opening date. (Sara Lewin Lebwohl for I Love the Upper West Side)

The reason more pedestrians and cyclists are dying on the city’s streets is straight forward. Drivers are killing them. (Emma G. Fitzsimmons for NY Times)

Robert Sietsema’s top five cheese dishes around NYC. (Robert Sietsema for Eater)


As of this digest’s publication, the St. Patrick’s Day Parade is still scheduled to happen, but the NYC Half-Marathon was canceled. (Elizabeth Kim for Gothamist)

SARS, Swine Flu, Ebola, Zika, and Measles. NYC’s recent history of fighting outbreaks. (Zijia Song for Bedford + Bowery)

When will the mania end? Costco has ended their free samples policy due to COVID-19. (Nikita Richardson for Grub Street)

If any New York state student or staffer tests positive for the new coronavirus, their school will close for at least 24 hours.That the edict from Governor Cuomo. (Reema Amin for ChalkBeat)

A list of schools across the city that are closed or running under altered schedules. When you read this, it may already be out of date. (QNS)

The Department of Education is telling parents not to attend parent-teacher conferences. They will instead be conducted on the phone. (Zachary Gewelb for QNS)

A note from the President and CEO of the Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce. (Randy Peers for Brooklyn Eagle)

Dim sum parlors East Harbor Seafood Palace, Bamboo Garden, Park Asia, and Affable in Sunset Park have all closed as a result of COVID-19 related declines in business. Dims um parlors are being hit hardest because of their large rooms and communal tables. (Serena Dai for Eater)

The state’s Attorney General Letitia James has begun sending cease and desist orders over price gouging of hand sanitizers and disinfectant sprays. (Gabe Herman for amNewYork Metro)

While real estate seems to be unaffected by COVID-19 fears, it’s still too early to tell according to experts. If a pandemic can’t help you find somewhere cheap to rent, nothing can. (Amy Plitt for Curbed)

If reading about the coronavirus in this digest (and everywhere else) isn’t enough for you, the city introduced a text line for updates. Text COVID to 692692 and you’ll get texts from the city about the outbreak. (Dana Schulz for 6sqft)

Thanks to reader Alex for today’s featured photo from Edge NYC’s sneak peek in the Hudson Yards.