The Briefly for April 1, 2020 – The “Biggest Jerk in New York City” Edition

Today’s daily NYC news digest: The NYPD is using unmanned drones to enforce physical distancing, Dr. Anthony Fauci’s NYC roots, photos inside the Central Park field hospital, and more

Today – Low: 40˚ High: 52˚
Partly cloudy throughout the day.

Praise of the calming ritual of the cocktail hour, and a recipe for a gin and tonic. (Adam Platt for Grub Street)

“Despite the logistical isolation and the very real physical distress, however, there were moments of connection that kept me from feeling truly alone.” –How Kelli Dunham fell ill to COVID-19 and lived to tell about it. (Kelli Dunham for HuffPost)

How to safely order restaurant delivery and takeout. (Bao Ong for Time Out)

The MTA is struggling to maintain a full staff, as 2,200 subway and bus workers are in quarantine. Even if they wanted to expand service to reduce congestion, they couldn’t. (Mark Hallum for amNewYork Metro)

Meet Baruch Feldheim, a complete asshole. Baruch faces five years in prison and fines of up to $350,000 for price-gouging N95 masks and personal protective gear. When the FBI came to arrest him, he claimed to have novel coronavirus and tried to cough on them. (Sophia Chang for Gothamist)

Photos: “But the thoroughfares have been abandoned. The energy that once crackled along the concrete has eased. The throngs of tourists, the briskly striding commuters, the honking drivers have mostly skittered away.” This city was not meant to be empty. (Corina Knoll and photographers Bryan Derballa, Mark Abramson, Diana Zeyneb Alhindawi, Gabriela Bhaskar, Marian Carrasquero, Juan Arredondo, Jonah Markowitz, Stephen Speranza, Gareth Smit, Sarah Blesener, Victor J. Blue, Jeenah Moon, Desiree Rios, Jose A. Alvarado Jr., and Ryan Christopher Jones for NY Times)

Looking at Dr. Anthony Fauci’s Brooklyn roots. (Jessica Parks for Brooklyn Paper)

The city is extending its car-free pilot program through Sunday but won’t expand the number of streets closed off to vehicular traffic. (Gersh Kuntzman for Streetsblog)

St. Patrick’s Cathedral will be closed off to the public on Easter and Palm Sunday, but you can catch them both on WPIX and on YouTube. (Robert Pozarycki for amNewYork Metro)

The Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in Flushing Meadows is going to be converted to a temporary 350-bed medical facility. The original plan was to house non-COVID-19 patients, but the final plans haven’t been made. (Joe Pantorno for amNewYork Metro)

Photos: The Central Park COVID-19 field hospital. (Michelle Young for Untapped New York)

Job searching is tough enough without a global pandemic. Here are a few things to do to help your search. (Mindy Stern for amNewYork Metro)

It’s a seven-course $600 dinner party, but you have to cook it yourself. This is what fine dining looks like in 2020. (Erika Adams for Eater)

New York state’s restaurants lost nearly $2 billion in revenue in the first 22 days of March. (Tanay Warerkar for Eater)

This pandemic may be troubling us humans, but this expectant mother goose in the Gowanus Canal is living her best life. (Pardon Me for Asking)

When you go to the grocery store or order food, please remember that the people working to provide you that food wants to be infected just as little as you do. (Daniela Galarza for Grub Street)

Photos: A dramatic black-and-white Carroll Gardens, bereft of its usual life. (Katia Kelly for Pardon Me for Asking)

Actor and comedian Paul Scheer (The League, Veep) on his quarantine diet. (Paul Scheer for Grub Street)

An interview with Deborah Feldman, the subject of Netflix mini-series and New York Times bestseller ‘Unorthodox,’ who left her ultra-Orthodox Jewish community for a new life in Berlin. (Marisa Mazria-Katz for NY Times)

Video: The NYPD is using unmanned drones to monitor physical distancing, or the lack thereof. (Ben Yakas for Gothamist)

10 Bronx restaurants to take out from during COVID-19. (Alex Mitchell for Bronx Times)

What Time Out’s editors are reading while staying physically distant. (Will Gleason for Time Out)

RIP Michael Sorkin and William Helmreich, two of the city’s most prolific walkers. Helmreich was the author of The New York Nobody Knows walked 6,000 miles in an ongoing effort to walk every street in New York and Sorkin was the author of Twenty Minutes in Manhattan, which detailed a walk from Greenwich Village to Tribeca. Both taken by COVID-19. (Jake Bittle for Curbed)

Parks@Home is here to bring the city’s parks to you. The new series features virtual walks in the park with Urban Park Rangers. (Jamie DeJesus for The Brooklyn Home Reporter)

The state hired more than 700 additional people to answer unemployment-related phone calls, with hundreds more being hired and trained, and they’re still having trouble keeping up with the demand. (Ryan Sutton for Eater)

The city shut down ten playgrounds throughout all five boroughs, because, as a city, we remain poor at physical distancing.

The city’s Human Rights Commission is investigating the firing of Chris Smalls, the Amazon worker who organized a strike outside of the company’s Staten Island facility on Monday. (Sydney Pereira for Gothamist)

The City University of New York is scrambling to distribute as many as 30,000 computers to students, after delaying online classes designed to keep coursework going after coronavirus-prompted campus shutdowns. (Gabriel Sandoval for The City)

Photos: Inside Woodhaven’s 95-year-old Schmidt’s Candy, making handmade candies for Eater. (James and Karla Murray for 6sqft)

The MoMA is offering free online art courses to help you finally answer the question “is this art?” (Howard Halle for Time Out)

Nine tips on how to create the quintessential NYC balcony garden. (Shaye Weaver for Time Out)

Thanks to Micah Eames for today’s featured photo from Crown Heights!

The Briefly for March 31, 2020 – The “Panda Express, You Will Be Missed” Edition

Today’s daily NYC news digest: The USNS Comfort arrives in NYC, on the edge of a rent crisis, NYPD changes enforcement tactics, neighborhood delivery and takeout directory, and more

Today – Low: 39˚ High: 47˚
Mostly cloudy throughout the day.

Remember the field hospital in Central Park? Well, the group is led by Franklin Graham, a notorious anti-LGBTQ and Islamophobic preacher with a track record of using humanitarian missions to proselytize an evangelical agenda. He’s also the guy that said that God intervened in the 2016 election to make Donald Trump president. (Jake Offenhartz for Gothamist)

Welcome to the resistance, Mike Francesa. (Ed Mazza for HuffPost)

The Empire State Building’s “heartbeat of America” display really freaked some people out. (Ed Mazza for HuffPost)

Looking to up your baking game? Christina Tosi of Milk Bar is hitting Instagram every day at 2 pm for a distanced baking club. (Bao Ong for Time Out)

Farewell, Panda Express. Panda Express closed all 11 NYC locations temporarily “out of advanced precaution.” The company will pay employees impacted by the closure and gave away the rest of its food to hospitals before it closed. (Serena Dai for Eater)

WeWork is in the running for “worst possible COVID-19 reaction.” They haven’t closed their rental offices, they’re trying to entice workers to come in with a daily $100 bonus, are continuing to collect membership fees, and fired 250 employees. WeWork is claiming that since some businesses that rent from them are essential, they should remain completely open. (Sylvia Varnham O’Regan and E.B. Solomont for The Real Deal)

Photos: The city’s closed streets. (Noah Sheidlower for Untapped New York)

Mayor de Blasio called for a rent freeze on the one million rent-stabilized apartments in the city. (Michael Dogan for LIC Post)

We’re a day away from the first of the month and rent strikes are beginning to come forward as a path forward. (Jake Offenhartz for Gothamist)

Once the 90-day eviction suspension, what’s going to happen? Mass displacement? (Caroline Spivack for Curbed)

Who the hell are these monsters who are getting together for coronavirus speakeasies and potlucks? (Tanay Warerkar for Eater)

Workers in Amazon’s Staten Island fulfillment center walked out today at 1 pm and called for the facility to be shut down after they say at least 10 workers have tested positive for COVID-19. Amazon fired Chris Smalls after the walkout, one of the organizers of the walkout, for supposedly violating safety regulations. (Josh Dzieza for The Verge)

Whole Foods workers are planning a nationwide sick-out protest on Tuesday. Workers are calling for increased hazard pay while the company reaps record sales. (Lauren Kaori Gurley for Vice)

The Onion: New York City Health Officials Board Up Sun To Discourage Large Groups From Gathering Outside. (The Onion)

13% of NYPD officers are out on sick leave. (Todd Maisel for amNewYork Metro)

The NYPD can now give tickets for a lack of social distancing at their own discretion. Enforcing the law at their discretion fairly isn’t exactly the NYPD’s strong suit. (Howard Halle for Time Out)

86-year-old Janie Marshall was attacked on Saturday at NYC Health and Hospitals/Woodhull in Bed-Stuy for not socially distancing by a 32-year-old woman. Unfortunately, Janie hit her head on the flood after being attacked and was pronounced dead a few hours later. If you see someone doing something dangerous, use your words and keep your own distance. (Ben Yakas for Gothamist)

Shortly after Edge opened in Hudson Yards, a worker was diagnosed with COVID-19. Edge closed, but the adjacent Peak restaurant didn’t. The VP of the operating company told the managers of Peak to not tell guests about the reported case and lie about why Edge was closed. (Erika Adams for Eater)

How the Long Island Rail Road is working to keep its customers safe, from Phillip Eng, the president of the LIRR. (Phillip Eng for QNS)

How’s the MTA’s subway cleanups going? “It looks good on paper, but in a lot of cases, it’s not happening.” -JP Patafio, a vice president for TWU Local 100. (Jose Martinez for The City)

12 epidemics that have plagued New York throughout history. (Noah Sheidlower for Untapped New York)

The USNS Comfort hospital ship arrived in New York City Monday morning. (Kathleen Culliton for Patch)

Photos: The USNS Comfort arrives. (Devin Gannon for 6sqft)

What kind of stupidity is necessary to watch a hospital ship arriving, sent to relieve the hospitals during a pandemic that has killed over a thousand New Yorkers, and idiots watching the ship arrive en masse to take photos? (@kirkpate)

Video: Trucks are being used at hospitals across the city as makeshift morgues, but it might not hit you of how dire the situation is until you see a hospital staff using a forklift to transport bodies into a truck on a sidewalk. Watch at your own discretion. (Kevin Duggan for Brooklyn Paper)

This hand-drawn map of the Met by artist John Kerschbaum is absolutely stunning. (Claire Voon for Atlas Obscura)

RIP Father Jorge Ortiz-Garay, the first-known Catholic priest in the city to die of COVID-19. (Jamie DeJesus for The Brooklyn Home Reporter)

The favorite NYC restaurant cookbooks of the Eater staff. (Eater)

FEMA is sending refrigerated trucks to the city to serve as temporary morgues as the death toll from the coronavirus grows. (Erin Durkin for Politico)

NYPD will no longer respond to 911 calls for vehicle collisions on Staten Island that result in only property damage because people in Staten Island can’t stop hitting each other with their cars and too much of the police’s time is being spent on providing loss adjustment services for the insurance industry. (Gersh Kuntzman for Streetsblog)

What to expect when you’re expecting to give birth during the COVID-19 pandemic. (Catherine Pearson for HuffPost)

How to shop for groceries, according to doctors and epidemiologists. (Marian Bull for Grub Street)

Video: Drone video of Hart Island, New York City’s mass grave, containing over one million bodies. (Find and Seek)

82 percent of New York City voters approve of Cuomo’s handling of the pandemic, according to a Siena College poll. (Kathleen Culliton for Patch)

Air purifiers can’t kill the coronavirus. New York Attorney General Letitia James is ordering companies selling purifiers to cease and desist marketing their products as being effective against COVID-19. (The Brooklyn Reader)

The case for why jails are so important in the fight against COVID-19. (Anna Flagg and Joseph Neff for NY Times)

360° Video: Driving through Chinatown, Little Italy, and the Bowery. (ActionKid)

What the BrooklynVegan staff is listening to in isolation. (BrooklynVegan)

The neighborhood delivery and takeout directory. (Hannah Albertine, Nikko Duren, Bryan Kim, Arden Shore, & Matt Tervooren for The Infatuation)

Thanks to reader Kathryn for today’s featured photo!

The Briefly for March 25, 2020 – The “Beneath the Lowest Possible Expectations” Edition

Today’s daily NYC news digest: The latest on COVID-19, the NYPD begins to call out sick, a bodega delivery app, Cuomo vs Trump is coming to a head, how to support music venues, and more

Today – Low: 37˚ High: 48˚
Possible drizzle in the afternoon.

The governor demanded the mayor ban cars on city streets to give pedestrians more room and the mayor’s response would be laughable if we could all stop saying “this is so crazy” for just a minute. The mayor will shut down 10 streets with a maximum of two per borough for pedestrian use. Which two streets in each borough? The mayor announced no specifics. Once again, Mayor de Blasio manages to crawl beneath the lowest possible expectations. (Gersh Kuntzman for Streetsblog)

What do you do when someone tests positive for COVID-19 but doesn’t require intensive medical care? The city is grappling with how to encourage physical distancing for the 57,000 homeless people. At the moment, patients are being sent back to the shelter system for isolation. (Greg B. Smith for The City)

Over 100 employees of the New York Police Department have tested positive for the coronavirus and nearly 7% of cops have called out sick. It was less than two days ago that TMZ ran the headline “Cops Across The Country Aren’t Scared Of Coronavirus, Used To Danger” (Christopher Mathias for HuffPost)

To add to our current dystopia, the NYPD will be cruising around the city blaring a PSA on social distancing. (Elie Z. Perler for Bowery Boogie)

Video: One day we’ll look back at this moment and ask “what it even real,” and thankfully we’ll have video evidence, like videos like this bike ride over the Brooklyn Bridge to prove it actually happened. (ActionKid)

New York City from 1993 to 2019, through the camera of Grégoire Alessandrini. (Michelle Young for Untapped New York)

The USNS Comfort, the floating hospital with 1,200 doctors and 12 operating rooms, is “on its way” to the city, but it won’t arrive until mid-April and its focus will be treating non-coronavirus patients, freeing up space in hospitals for COVID-19 patients. (Matt Fink for Bushwick Daily)

NYC Taxi & Limousine Commission is asking taxi and ride-share drivers to deliver food to senior citizens who need to stay home. The city is offering $15 an hour plus gas and tolls, which isn’t much but it’s something. (Gillian Smith for Patch)

Con Edison has announced it has ceased service shutoffs over non-payment, waived new late-payment charges, and suspended fees for customers who fail to grant access to their properties during the coronavirus pandemic. (Robert Pozarycki for Gay City News)

Two things we need at a time like this, both produced in the same place: whiskey and hand sanitizer. (Gillian Smith for Patch)

Now there’s a bodega delivery app. Enter My Bodega Online. (Devin Gannon for 6sqft)

Where’s the state on rent cancellation? There’s a push for it, but Cuomo’s MIA on it. (Jake Offenhartz for Gothamist)

Governor Cuomo has the attention of the nation for his leadership. How did we get here? (Jesse McKinley and Shane Goldmacher for NY Times)

With attention, Cuomo has also become Trump’s latest target in Trump’s never-ending quest to convince us that he, the Emporer, is wearing clothes. (Asawin Suebsaeng, Erin Banco, and Sam Stein for The Daily Beast)

The federal government is sending New York 4,000 ventilators, which is only about 25,000 shy of what the state needs. (Kathleen Culliton for Patch)

The bad news is that we haven’t flattened the curve. The worse news is that COVID-19 has an attack rate five times the national rate in New York and it’s only gonna get worse. There is no good news. (Kathleen Culliton for Patch)

Okay, a tiny bit of good news. With everyone staying at home and not taking cars, carbon monoxide emissions are below 50% of their typical levels. (Shaye Weaver for Time Out)

Congrats Queens, you’re winning the which borough has the most cases of coronavirus competition. (Allie Griffin for LIC Post)

Manhattan State Senator Brad Hoylman is calling for an end on gay blood donations. (Paul Schindler for Gay City News)

If you’re out of work, these restaurants are offering free or affordable meals. (Emma Orlow for Time Out)

Help Main Street aggregates restaurant gift cards in one place, even if it’s missing a very large swath of the city. (Tanay Warerkar for Eater)

Photos: We’re nearing I Am Legend territory. (Gillian Smith for Patch)

All of the MTA’s transactions are going to be conducted by MetroCard vending machines, whenever possible. Remember when we were scared of robots taking jobs? (Jamie DeJesus for The Brooklyn Home Reporter)

If you’re worried that Prospect Park is too crowded, you can take a detour to Green-Wood Cemetery for a moment of serenity away from the living. The cemetery is extending its visiting hours to help prevent you from dying of boredom inside your apartment. (Andrew Cotto for NY Times)

300 of the city’s inmates are scheduled for release to reduce the population density in the city’s jails. The detainees have less than a one-year sentence and were convicted of non-violent misdemeanors and whose age and health make them vulnerable. The city is eyes an additional 800 detainees for possible release. (Kathleen Culliton for Patch)

The MTA is adjusting weekday train and bus schedules to Saturday levels to closer meet the city’s current demand. (Mark Hallum for amNewYork Metro)

With an occupancy rate as low as 15%, hotels across the city are beginning to temporarily close. (Serena Tara for Bedford + Bowery)

New York City’s teachers union said Tuesday the city health department put educators and students at risk, prior to the city’s system-wide shutdown, by not evenly applying a closure policy for individual schools when a staff member contracted the coronavirus. (Madina Touré for Politico)

David Rockwell, the architect and Tony-winning show designer, talks about the stories and history behind his favorite theaters. (Michael Kimmelman for NY Times)

The best ways you can help New York City’s struggling music venues. (Collier Sutter for Time Out)

The College of Staten Island’s dorms are being emptied of students to become a makeshift hospital. Students who can’t easily find somewhere else to live are being offered rooms in the dorms of other CUNY schools. (Amanda Farinacci for NY1)

If you’re in self-quarantine with another person, are they a good chef? Here’s what it’s like to self-quarantine with a Michelin-starred chef. (Kaitlin Menza for Grub Street)

Thanks to reader Zlata for today’s featured photo!