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 June 4, 2020 – The “Six Billion Dollars” Edition

Today’s daily NYC news digest: An open letter to the mayor from hundreds of current and former staffers makes four demands. Demand number one is to defund the NYPD. That and more.

Today – Low: 66˚ High: 81˚
Rain overnight.

Request an absentee ballot before June 16
Click and sign support for the repeal of 50-a
Donate to The Equal Justice Initiative and The Bail Project

The city remains on PAUSE, with 5/7 metrics met. We are expected to start phase one on June 8.

Sign the Black Lives Matter petition to #DefundPolice.

“It’s absolutely shameful, that in the wake of all of these protests, our mayor still clings to the notion that the NYPD’s massive budget doesn’t play a huge role in the inequities and racism that we see in this city” -Councilmember Carlina Rivera, underscoring the debate over the city’s budget and defunding the NYPD. A budget agreement is due at the end of June. (Gloria Pazmino for NY1)

Want to give money for bail funds but also want a pretty sweet rainbow cookie tote bag? Laura Chautin has you covered. (Emma Orlow for Time Out)

Photos: NYPD officers bludgeoned, pepper-sprayed, and picked fights with protesters marching peacefully. (Jake Offenhartz, Gwynne Hogan, Nick Pinto, and Sydney Pereira for Gothamist)

The story of the Brooklyn Bridge stampede from May 30, 1883. (Alex Wallach and Michelle Young for Untapped New York)

It took ONE day for Governor Cuomo to apologize to the NYPD for calling their response to rioters a disgrace. (Joseph Spector for USA Today)

“In a society in which leaders have little political appetite to tackle inequality or to address structural racism, and in a city that has become more unequal with COVID and may become more so, the choice to increase the number of MTA police and thus the policing of people of color — like George Floyd — is perversely sensible. It suggests that our policy makers have not only accepted the reality of structural inequality, but that they see their primary task as simply managing it.”
– Kaufi Attoh for Streetsblog, Protests Lay Bare Structural Racism in Mass-Transit Policing

Mayor de Blasio stood in front of us all and promised that internal NYPD investigations into excessive force during protests will proceed at a quicker pace, but his history with police reform says otherwise. (Samar Khurshid for Gotham Gazette)

The rules for everyone under curfew. Is this the “new normal” we keep hearing about? (Howard Halle for Time Out)

Here are the detailed curfew guidelines for restaurant workers. No Ubers between 8 and 12:30, no Citi Bikes or Revels, no specific rules for ID, no passing through roadblocks, and more. (Tanay Warerkar for Eater)

Do you know what pepper spray is good for? Potentially spreading Covid-19 among crowds, according to the chief of emergency medicine at NYU Langone Hospital – Brooklyn. (Virginia Breen for The City)

If phase one starts on June 8, phase 2 starts June 22 and with it a surprise, as outdoor dining at restaurants will be included. (Bao Ong for Time Out)

The city is poised to start phase one of reopening on Monday, but the mayor’s ideas are pure fantasy on how the MTA should operate. (Jose Martinez for The City)

How good design and “placemaking” can help the city ease into post-pandemic life. (Tucker Reed and J. Manuel Mansylla for amNewYork Metro)

Need a haircut? Keep it quiet, but there’s someone in Central Park giving haircuts. (Mike Mishkin for I Love the Upper West Side)

The city’s curfew is at 8 pm, but Citi Bikes are unavailable starting at 6 pm. Citi Bike made the announcement that the mayor’s office is forcing them to shut down two hours before the curfew starts. (Anna Quinn for Patch)

Video: Representative Yvette Clarke debates Adem Bunkeddeko and Isiah James ahead of the June 23 Democratic primary. (Emily Ngo for NY1)

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez endorsed Jamaal Bowman in the Democratic primary against longtime Democratic incumbent Rep. Eliot Engel in New York’s 16th congressional district. (David Giambusso for Politico)

How is Staten Island faring with the Covid-19 pandemic? It depends on which side of its Mason-Dixon line you live on. The northern part of Staten Island accounts for 40% of its population, but 54% of its Covid-19 cases. (Clifford Michel for The City)

$600 million of brand new subway cars were pulled from service this week after a car disconnected from the rest of the train at Chambers Street. These are the same cars that were pulled from service in January after their doors were opening when they shouldn’t have been. The cars, already defective twice, have cost the city $35 million in repairs and $300 million in lost labor. Almost a billion dollars for subway cars that don’t work. Perfect. (Adam Nichols for Patch)

There has been a sharp rise in glass recycling in the city than in years past. Our trash is tattling on us, and it turns out we’ve been drinking a lot of wine. (Anne Barnard, Azi Paybarah and Jacob Meschke for NY Times)

A new exhibition, titled “Monuments Now” is coming to Queens’s Socrates Sculpture Park this summer, bringing a brightly colored ziggurat, an obelisk that doubles as a BBQ, and a cenotaph frame. (Howard Halle for Time Out)

We used to be able to lay on a beach and wait for someone to offer us a concoction that was as strong as it was mysterious about its contents. The Nutcracker isn’t like to make a big comeback to beaches this year, but bars are now selling their own Nutcrackers you can take to go. (Daniel Maurer for Bedford + Bowery)

SummerStage is going digital this summer, starting June 6. (Emily Davenport for amNewYork Metro)

Thank you to reader Lisa for today’s featured photo!

The Briefly for May 19, 2020 – The “Central Park Has Exorcised its Demons” Edition

Today’s daily NYC news digest: Where to get a Covid-19 test, good news for vegans, de Blasio eyes a September reopening of the city, subway ridership starts to return, and more

Today – Low: 52˚ High: 65˚
Mostly cloudy throughout the day.

The city remains on PAUSE, hitting only 3 of the 7 metrics necessary to start phase one of reopening.

It’s time to register to vote by mail for the June 23 primary. Here’s how. (Brigid Bergin for Gothamist)

There was a protest to open up Staten Island, which included all the hits like “it’s just like the flu” and “you don’t coward in your house and stay afraid.” (Amy Yensi for NY1)

Samaritan’s Purse, the temporary hospital run by Franklin Graham, who believes same-sex relationships are an “abomination,” is gone from Central Park. Members of Reclaim Pride, Rise and Resist, and Reverend Billy Talen’s Stop Shopping Choir have exorcised the demons left behind by Franklin Graham. (Donna Aceto for amNewYork Metro)

The loss of Gem Spa beings up an important question. Will we recognize our city when we emerge from our forced hibernation? (Max Falkowitz for Grub Street)

“That’s a real natural point to start reopening more if all goes well because that’s when everyone would normally come back from the summer.” Mayor de Blasio has tentatively pegged September for a full reopening of the city. (Kathleen Culliton for Patch)

If you’re taking the subway or bus, look down. The MTA is adding social distancing markers to encourage you to keep your damn distance. (Devin Gannon for 6sqft)

“I want to watch the Buffalo Bills,” is not something anyone says earnestly, but here we are. It’s 2020 and Governor Cuomo wants New York teams to play in empty stadiums, even if he has to watch the Buffalo Bills. (Kathleen Culliton for Patch)

Let’s face it. 2020 is a wash. Let’s start thinking about 2021, campsite reservations across New York state are open. (Emma Orlow for Time Out)

Of the city’s 21 miles of open streets, Staten Island only has 1.3 miles. (Kamillah Hanks and Rose Uscianowski for Streetsblog)

It’s a combination of the worst and the best time to start looking for a new apartment. (Caroline Spivack for Curbed)

WeWork wants a rent break. Its customers do too. (Peter Eavis for NY Times)

Rockefeller Center is looking 192 pieces of artwork that celebrate New York City to fly as flags above the rink in August as part of “The Flag Project” competition. Now you know how many flags are in the plaza at Rockefeller Plaza. (Devin Gannon for 6sqft)

Dr. Oxiris Barbot issued a public apology for telling an NYPD top brass “I don’t give two rats’ asses about your cops.” Now we wait for an apology from the Sergeant’s Benevolent Association for calling Dr. Barbot a bitch on Twitter. (Kathleen Culliton for Patch)

The Circa is a condo in Harlem at the corner of 110th and Central Park West and its glass facade is gaining a reputation for bird slaughter. (Jen Chung for Gothamist)

NYC Nightlife United is an emergency fund providing immediate relief to shuttered cultural spaces affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. Small business owners can start applying for aid on June 5. (Amanda Hatfield for Brooklyn Vegan)

Congrats to Brooklyn’s Andre Kulikov for winning the 6th-8th grade category of the Ezra Jack Keats Bookmaking Competition. (Nigel Roberts for The Brooklyn Reader)

It’s not summer without Coney Island, so we may just cancel summer this year. Here’s what Coney Island may look like once it’s allowed to open up. (Shaye Weaver for Time Out)

The city is preparing fencing to keep people off the beaches in Coney Island and Brighton Beach to keep crowd sizes down during Memorial Day weekend. (Todd Maisel for amNewYork Metro)

Whoever vandalized the Covid-19 memorial on the corner of 10th and Ave A, you are the city’s worst scumbag this week. (EV Grieve)

The MTA’s Essential Connector program is live, giving essential workers a free trip in a for-hire-vehicle per night while the subways are shut down. (Anna Quinn for Patch)

Porn star Ron Jeremy is trying to prevent a tree from being cut down outside his childhood home in Queens. Make your own “wood” jokes. (Brooklyn Vegan)

The City Council is pushing a bill forward that would create three drop-off sites for organics and community recycling centers for hazardous or e-waste in each community district by June 2021. Existing drop-off locations are closed. (Sydney Pereira for Gothamist)

Inside the Guggenheim is the “Countryside, The Future” show in the windows facing Fifth Avenue, which features cherry tomato plants. The Times found David Litvin, who moved his family to New York from Tel Aviv for six months so he can tend to the plants for the museum. The tomatoes are looking great, but his six-month stay hasn’t been going according to his original plan. (Elizabeth A. Harris for NY Times)

Video: Take a tour of Prospect Park’s Lefferts House. (Matt Coneybeare for Viewing NYC)

The Brooklyn Botanical Garden is hoping to open in July. (Collier Sutter for Time Out)

Vegans rejoice! Superiority Burger is offering a unique menu of to-go options every Thursday, starting this week. You have to order in advance, so don’t start showing up on Thursdays expecting to be able to buy anything on the spot. (EV Grieve)

Maybe Covid-19 will usher in a new era of automat-style restaurants in the city. (Tanay Warerkar for Eater)

Governor Cuomo was tested during his Sunday press briefing and tested negative. The test was an encouragement for New Yorkers to utilize the 700 testing sites set up across the state. (Kathleen Culliton for Patch)

If you’re uninsured, CityMD is offering free Covid-19 testing. (Allie Griffin for Queens Post)

All churches in the city are closed to the public, some are finding a higher calling as Covid-19 testing sites, mostly in Queens and the Bronx. (Carol Kuruvilla for HuffPost)

The state is providing antibody tests for all MTA employees as part of Governor Cuomo’s mandate that all essential workers are tested. (Mark Hallum for amNewYork Metro)

The Covid-19 death count per NYC zip code. The highest death rate is in Canarsie, at 612.24 deaths per 100,000, followed by Rockaway with 444.73 deaths per 100,000. (Kathleen Culliton for Patch)

The NYPD shut down up a Brooklyn Yeshiva in Bed-Stuy for violating the state’s orders that all schools be closed. I’m not a big “call the cops” kinda guy, but if you see kids walking into a school, it’s time to call the cops. (Liam Stack and Nate Schweber for NY Times)

It’s happening slowly, but riders are returning to the subways. We’re not at pre-pandemic levels, but the numbers are going up. (Dave Colon for Streetsblog)

The quarantine and takeout guide. (Hannah Albertine, Nikko Duren, Arden Shore, & Matt Tervooren for The Infatuation)

Thanks to reader Molly for today’s featured flower photo!