The Briefly for August 6, 2020 – The “NYC is Horny for Books” Edition

Today’s daily NYC news digest: More on the mayor firing Dr. Oxiris Barbot, the MTA’s bad options to continue operating, where to eat in Queens, can you afford an apartment, and more

Today – Low: 71˚ High: 81˚
Rain overnight.

Liquored up ice cream is now legal in New York. The new liquor ice cream can be alcoholic up to 5% by volume. (Luke Fortney for Eater)

Photos and Video: Inside an abandoned Brooklyn warehouse and a look at the treasures left behind. (Noah Sheidlower for Untapped New York)

In parts of the city, the fireworks stopped shortly after July 4. Apparently Norwood didn’t get the message because there was a 45-minute fireworks display over the weekend in a memorial for James Wimmer, who was a lifelong resident, on what would have been his 45th birthday. In 45 minutes, how many police showed up? Exactly zero. (Norwood News)

Mayor de Blasio wants you to know that he fired Dr. Oxiris Barbot, the city’s former health commissioner, and she did not resign in protest. Yes, it makes total sense to fire your top health official in the middle of a health crisis. (Elizabeth Kim for Gothamist)

The city’s libraries’ grab-and-go service has proven one thing: New Yorkers are horny for reading. (Reuven Blau for The City)

Why did Mayor de Blasio push Dr. Oxiris Barbot out in the middle of a pandemic? He says he wants the “atmosphere of unity.” Nothing says unity like people quitting your administration in frustration and forcing out the top health official in the middle of a health emergency. That must also be why you keep around NYPD Commissioner Dermot Shea, who shit talks in public. Bill, we all know you’re a simp for cops. (Erin Durkin for Politico)

There are six botanical gardens you can visit in the city this summer. (Nicole Saraniero for Untapped New York)

A look through the archives of the Brooklyn Eagle at Irving Kaufman’s photography, with a focus this week on NYC construction in the 1930’s. (Phil Kaufman for Brooklyn Eagle)

RIP Pete Hamill, a celebrated NYC reporter whose work was featured in nearly any publication you can name. (Robert D. McFadden for NY Times)

There were still nearly 100,000 customers without power after Tropical Storm Isaias on Wednesday night as ConEd reports it may take days to restore power across the city. Governor Cuomo directed the Department of Public Service to investigate ConEd’s response to the storm. (Matt Troutman for Patch)

If you thought that the city’s bootleg bartenders selling drinks from coolers was going to dwindle in the pandemic, you’re wrong. (Avery Stone for Eater)

With Isaias fresh in mind and with repairs from Hurricane Sandy still going, it’s a good time to examine the loopholes that allow home sellers from disclosing if their home may flood or not. (Rachel Holliday Smith for The City)

Where to get takeout and delivery in Queens, updated for August. (Eater)

It’s like a “Why I’m leaving New York” personal essay, but it’s about a restaurant. Why the Banty Rooster is leaving New York. (Matthew Sedacca with Delores Tronco-DePierro and John DiPierro for Grub Street)

The city will be installing checkpoints to identify out-of-state travelers who are required to quarantine and handing out fines up to $10,000 for violations. (Elizabeth Kim for Gothamist)

The Metropolitan Museum of Art announced firings of 79 employees, 181 furloughs, and 93 voluntary retirements. (Julia Jacobs for NY Times)

This is a good link to have when someone asks you if you think they can afford an apartment in NYC: What is a good rent-to-income ratio in NYC. I’ve always used the 40:1 rule, but this goes a bit deeper. (AJ Jordan for Localize Labs)

“If you’ve never been to courts in New York City, even the newest buildings are teeming with people and their germs. Just to call a single case, there have to be at least 10 people in the room. One judge. One clerk. One court reporter. Four court officers. One prosecutor. One defense attorney. One person who stands accused of a crime and possibly their family members. So when OCA tells us that it will only have 10 cases on at once, that doesn’t mean just 10 people confined to one courtroom, but many, many more, all at risk of contracting and spreading the same virus that killed so many, including my colleague.”
-Martha Lineberger, public defender for the Legal Aid Society, Lives Hang in the Balance as Courts Resume In-Person Work for City Limits

Welcome to the first day after Governor Cuomo’s eviction moratorium is over. Without protections form the state, this could be the start of mass evictions and a huge jump in preventable homelessness in the city. (Matt Troutman for Patch)

NYC will dedicate a team of contact tracers to investigate coronavirus cases in schools, but based on the city’s contact tracing program so far (reminder: the NY Times called it a “disaster”), don’t get your hopes too high. (Christina Veiga for Chalkbeat)

Go home, NY Times, you’re drunk. Headline: New York’s Sidewalk Prophets Are Heirs of the Lascaux Cave Artisans (Seph Rodney for NY Times)

According to RentHop’s rental report, rents dropped 5% year-over-year in Manhattan. (RentHop)

A rundown of all of the bad options the MTA has now that it seems clear that the federal government is not going to be helping and congestion pricing isn’t happening anytime soon. Reduced service with raised fares? Check. Signal upgrade delays? Check. Shelving new construction? Check. It’s like a Choose Your Own Adventure book, but every choice past page one is bad. (Dave Colon for Streetsblog)

The best places to eat sushi outside” is a very 2020 headline. (Hannah Albertine for The Infatuation)

The Briefly for July 20, 2020 – The “A Hot, Gross, and Dirty Week” Edition

Today’s daily NYC news digest: The confusion around phase four, Jimmy Webb’s I Need More is closing, Steinway Street is punished, where to eat outside in Red Hook, and more

Today – Low: 78˚ High: 91˚
Humid and partly cloudy throughout the day.

Weather warning for this week: It’s gonna be hot, gross, and dirty. (John Del Signore for Gothamist)

Remember all those museums that announced plans to open with phase four? Governor Cuomo has removed museums and malls from the plans. (Sarah Bahr for NY Times)

With indoor dining happening… maybe never? The mayor has extended outdoor dining through October. (Chris Crowley for Grub Street)

Who among us hasn’t >asked Citi Bike to move a bike rack so your favorite restaurant in Greenwich Village can have outdoor seating during a pandemic, (Dana Schulz for 6sqft)

Of course, they could try what Deux Amis did in Midtown, which is building their outdoor seating on top of the Citi Bike docks. They’ve already been issued a cease and desist. (Gresh Kuntzman for Streetsblog)

The City Council wants the mayor to create a clearer universal set of standards when it comes to setting and enforcing outdoor dining regulations. “Welcome to the party.” -Restaurant and bar owners. (Erika Adams for Eater)

Videos: The epicenter of stupidity in Queens has become Steinway Street, “The Party Street of Queens.” (Christopher Robbins for Gothamist)

It didn’t take long until Steinway Street was removed from the city’s Open Streets program. (Sydney Pereira and Scott Heins for Gothamist)

If you missed Sunday’s email, Governor Cuomo has not banned to-go cocktails. Bars will have to give you some kind of bullshit mandatory snacks with your drinks. (Rachel Sugar for Grub Street)

Tyrese Haspil has been charged with the murder of Fahim Saleh, the CEO murdered and dismembered in the Lower East Side. (William K. Rashbaum, Alan Feuer and Michael Gold for NY Times)

The history of how Grand Central Terminal became the first railroad station in the US to adopt standard time. (Noah Sheidlower for Untapped New York)

Matt Damon, welcome to Brooklyn. (Laura Vecsey for StreetEasy)

Think you were in Brooklyn before it was cool? The Brooklyn Historical Society released nearly 1,500 maps of Brooklyn dating back to 1562. (Devin Gannon for 6sqft)

13 hidden patios, backyards and gardens for outdoor dining in NYC. (Bao Ong for Time Out)

Photos: Inside the newly renovated Starvos Niarchos Foundation Library after a $200 million renovation. It’s the only free, public rooftop space in the city. (Shaye Weaver for Time Out)

Manhattan rents are still stupid high, but they’re slightly less stupid high, with the median rent falling from $3,395 to… $3,300. (Jake Offenhartz for Gothamist)

Unlike Manhattan rents, car rental prices are soaring. (Christina Goldbaum and Daniel E. Slotnik for NY Times)

The 13 best soft serve options in NYC. (Hannah Albertine for The Infatuation)

Some election results have come in:

Jamaal Bowman is the new Democratic candidate for the 16th congressional district, having officially beating incumbent Eliot Engel in the primary. (Jesse McKinley for NY Times)

Democratic Socialists of America–backed Marcela Mitaynes beat State Assemblymember and Assistant Speaker Felix Ortiz in the Democratic primary. (Georgia Kromrei for The Real Deal)

Jessica González-Rojas has won the Democratic primary for the 34th Assembly District seat over incumbent Michael DenDekker conceding today. (Allie Griffin for Jackson Heights Post)

The election’s results are still in the process of being certified, but that hasn’t stopped the lawsuits over voting from starting. (Brigid Bergin for Gothamist)

Nowadays’ 16,000 square foot backyard is now open in Ridgewood. (Collier Sutter for Time Out)

An idiot was arrested twice in one day for defacing Black Lives Matter murals. (Julie Coleman for NY1)

Jimmy Webb’s ‘I Need More’ closes today. (Elie Z. Perler for Bowery Boogie)

Photos: Inside the last days at Jimmy Webb’s I Need More. (Stacie Joy for EV Grieve)

A scaffold collapsed at a non-union site in Murray Hill, killing worker Mario Salas Vittorio, and injuring three others. (Sophia Chang for Gothamist)

Photo: Yeah, this guy is walking across the street wearing shoes and nothing else, but is he wearing a mask? (@Newyorkist)

Ayame Stamoulis was arrested and charged with the murder of a man found wrapped in a plastic bag on the roof of McDonald’s in the South Bronx. (Sydney Pereira for Gothamist)

5,000 people get to see Mets games this season, kind of. There are 5,000 cardboard cutouts of people at Citi Field. At least one of them is a dog! (John Del Signore for Gothamist)

A look at the Central Park Barber Herman James’s Sundays. (Emily Palmer for NY Times)

The Jay Street subway will have a positive unintended consequence: Getting the NYPD to stop parking on the street illegally. (Dave Colon for Streetsblog)

Where to eat outside in Red Hook. (Hannah Albertine for The Infatuation)

Gowanus’ Public Records, Prospect Lefferts Gardens’ & Sons, the Flatiron District’s Undercote, Times Square’s 701 West and Greenwich Village’s Bar Pisellino are on Esquire’s 27 best bars in America. (Esquire)

The Briefly for July 6, 2020 – The “Another Sign of the Apocalypse” Edition

Today’s daily NYC news digest: Phase three starts today, where to eat hot dogs, Dekalb Market goes above ground, The NYPD’s SpotShotter is put to the test, and more

Today – Low: 73˚ High: 88˚
Rain in the evening.

Today starts phase three of the city’s reopening. Here’s what you can and can’t do under phase three. First and foremost, don’t stop wearing your damn masks. (Robert Pozarycki for amNewYork Metro)

Everyone’s got a friend outside the city that’s been talking about moving here on and off. Here’s a link you can send them instead of answering every question they have. How to know if you’re ready fo move to NYC. (Localize.City)

You’d think business interruption insurance would cover a moment like the Covid-19 pandemic, where businesses were… interrupted. You’d be giving the insurance industry too much credit, because they’ve been rejecting claims because businesses haven’t paid for “pandemic insurance.” (Peter Senzamici for The City)

Sound familiar? That’s because insurers were turning down business interruption insurance claims by the thousands after Hurricane Sandy, blaming specific damage on a flood at a Con Ed substation on E. 14th St. (Reuven Blau for Daily News in 2013)

There’s something killing the fish in the Hudson River. While officials say it’s nothing to be alarmed about, it’s hard to not see this as another sign of the apocalypse. (David Cruz for Gothamist)

Ailing parents, dying family members, and economic insecurity, and all while trying to graduate high school. (Rebecca Klein for HuffPost)

Video: A look at the history of the “Freedom” tunnel that runs under Riverside Park and how it became the canvas for Chris “Freedom” Pape’s art and a homeless community. (Vice)

In the last month, there have been 95 lawsuits against the Archdiocese of New York with dozens more on the way. When Covid-19 put a pause on all court cases except “essential matters,” it paused all the court cases against the church, prompting the state’s legislature to extend the window for filing cases from January 2021 until August. The governor hasn’t signed the legislation yet, prompting the sudden flood. (Virginia Breen for The City)

The price of renting a one-bedroom apartment in the city dropped 2% and two-bedroom dropped 0.3% in June and rents are 5% down from last year, according to a new report from Zumper. (Emily Davenport for amNewYork Metro)

In 2018, the Gowanus Canal’s 4th St basin was supposedly cleaned of “Black Mayo,” aka coal tar, by the EPA as a pilot program for the entire waterway. Work on cleaning the entire canal was scheduled to start later this year, using the same techniques. This week, unfortunately, the black mayo returned. (Katia Kelly for Pardon Me for Asking)

Dog owners are turning to CBD dog treats amid the endless stream of fireworks leading up to July 4. (Kathleen Culliton for NY1, congrats on the new job Kathleen)

The pandemic has brought a classic NYC staple back: rooftop culture. (Monika Hankova for Untapped New York)

Dekalb Market, the underground food hall underneath City Point in Downtown Brooklyn is reopening, but not underground. It will be taking over a portion of Gold Street and Willoughby Square Park as a reimagined Dekalb “Open-Air” Market. (Meaghan McGoldrick for amNewYork Metro)

Rafael Espinal couldn’t have picked a worse time to abandon his post as the City Councilmember for Brooklyn’s 37th District if he tried, essentially robbing his former constituents of their voice through the Covid-19 pandemic, protests, and city budget/defund the NYPD debates. A special election was canceled by Governor Cuomo and Bushwick, East New York, and Cypress Hills won’t have representation on the City Council until Janaury. (Nigel Roberts for The Brooklyn Reader)

Van Leeuwen Ice Cream is introducing their summer flavors this week. How does Caramelized Banana Praline sound? (Emily Davenport for amNewYork Metro)

The union representing 30,000 faculty and staff at CUNY is suing, alleging CUNY violated the terms of its federal bailout by laying off hundreds of adjunct faculty members, and are demanding that they be rehired. (Ben Brachfeld for Gothamist)

Tips from a hospital stint on protecting yourself from Covid-19. (Donna Duarte-Ladd for amNewYork Metro)

What’s the purpose of legal observers if the NYPD keep arresting them? (Sydney Pereira for Gothamist)

It’s been half a year since the mayor boasted to the press about the NYPD and Department of Homeless Services’ command center. A look at the change coming now that the NYPD are being kicked out. (Courtney Gross for NY1)

A memorial was held for Pop Smoke on Friday night outside his parents’ house in Canarsie the night of his album “Shoot for the Stars, Aim for the Moon.” (Todd Maisel for amNewYork Metro)

If you’re headed to the city’s beaches, there’s nothing that says you can’t combine the city’s new hobby of birdwatching with your beach-going. It’s piping plover nesting season, so keep an eye out for the endangered (and super cute) bird! (Jen Chung for Gothamist)

Governor Cuomo instituted a mandatory 14-day quarantine if you’re traveling to New York from 16 different states. How is it being enforced? 🤷‍♂️ (Fred Mogul for Gothamist)

Highlights from NBC’s recap of a week of “surprise” fireworks displays from Macy’s, including an unexplained shot of a building in South Korea for some reason? (John Del Signore for Gothamist)

The rats have been quiet, but with restaurants opening, expect that to change. (Amy Pearl for Gothamist)

Visitors are now able to go to the September 11th Memorial for the first time since March. The museum is still closed. (NY1)

The Strand is opening its Upper West Side location this month on Columbus Ave between 81st and 82nd St, the former home of Book Culture. (Sara Lebwohl for I Love The Upper West Side)

A rundown of the fatal five shootings in the city Sunday. (Todd Maisel for amNewyork Metro)

SpotShotter, the system the NYPD uses to detect gunshots, is under a real test with all the fireworks around the city. The system is, pardon the pun, shoddy at best, and its implementation has resulted in the targeting of Black and brown communities. (Gabriel Sandoval for The City)

RIP Nick Cordero, Tony-nominated Broadway performer, who passed away due to Covid-19. (Michael Paulson for NY Times)

The de Blasio administration is giving up on the idea of reworking the Brooklyn Bridge promenade, leaving the pedestrian and cyclist nightmare for the city’s next mayor. Here are Scott Stringer, Corey Johnson, and Eric Adams’ takes on the future of the bridge. (Dave Colon for Streetsblog)

More people are riding the MTA’s buses than subways for the first time since volume numbers have been kept. (Christina Goldblum and Winnie Hu for NY Times)

A look at the history of Firemen’s Garden on E 8th St, where the NYFD’s Martin Celic lost his life in 1977. (Ephemeral New York)

A guide to the real-life NYC locations from Hamilton. (Untapped New York)

Congrats to Joey Chestnut and Miki Sudo, this year’s hot dog eating champions who both set new records and are $10,000 richer for it. (ESPN)

Where to eat hot dogs this summer. (Melissa Kravitz Hoeffner for Thrillist)

Thanks to reader Nai for today’s featured photo!