The Briefly for July 27, 2020 – The “Do You Think He’s Talking About Me?” Edition

Today’s daily NYC news digest: The city expands the Open Streets programs by 0.1 miles, the NYPD won’t stop using the illegal chokehold, the world’s tallest residential building, & more

Today – Low: 81˚ High: 93˚
Humid throughout the day.

Have you had Covid-19? According to the CDC, a quarter of New Yorkers have had it this year. (Adam Nichols for Patch)

Apartment Porn: Inside the apartments inside Central Park Tower, the world’s tallest residential building. (Dana Schulz for 6sqft)

Is there any question that when the governor says “Local government, step up and do your job,” he's specifically talking about Mayor de Blasio? The State Liquor Authority issued 37 violations for violating social-distancing measures on Friday, most of them inside the city. He threatened to shut down all bars and restaurants unless "local government" steps up in enforcement. On the list in the city was Cipriani Downtown, Aqua, in Belmont, Guaro’s Tapas Bar and La Pollera Colorado II in Jackson Heights, Set L.E.S. on the Lower East Side, and Kandela in Ozone Park. (Tanay Warerkar for Eater)

Mayor de Blasio has once again suspended alternate side parking, this time until August 2. (Alejandra O’Connell-Domenech for amNewYork Metro)

The mayor added 2.87 miles to its Open Streets program, but also removed 2.77 miles from the Open Streets program, ultimately adding 0.1 miles to the total open streets. (Gersh Kuntzman for Streetsblog)

The Covid-19 pandemic exposed the inequalities of the city’s design. 1.1 million New Yorkers don’t live within a 10-minute walk of a public park. When the city closed the playgrounds, it meant those New Yorkers lost their only public space. In a poor neighborhood, the average park is 6.4 acres, in a wealthy neighborhood, it averages 14 acres. In predominantly Black neighborhoods, the parks are 7.9 acres. In predominantly white neighborhoods, they are 29.8 acres. (Winnie Hu and Nate Schweber for NY Times)

Mayor de Blasio’s Open Streets program was supposed to balance out some of this inequity, but the Open Streets program favors wealthier neighborhoods in Brooklyn, Queens, and Manhattan. (Julianne Cuba for Streetsblog)

A Covid-19 funding moratorium has frozen any fixes that were scheduled to be made at more than 20 NYCHA playgrounds, keeping them closed or mid-construction. (Reuven Blau for The City)

The New York Giants released kicker Aldrick Rosas after he was arrested for an alleged hit-and-run last month. (Joe Pantorno for amNewYork Metro)

The city’s Restaurant Revitalization Program comes with some interesting strings attached. The program is awarding $30,000 grants to 100 restaurants in target neighborhoods identified by the city’s Racial Inclusion and Equity Task Force, but part of accepting the grant is agreeing to pay employees full minimum wage, not inclusive of tips, to all workers within five years of returning to regular business practices. (Sophia Chang for Gothamist)

Chief of Department of the NYPD, Terence Monahan, says that NYPD officers “can’t be afraid” of using a now-illegal chokehold and “We can’t be afraid of what we do. We can’t walk away.” (Ishena Robinson for The Root)

It’s no wonder that voices calling for NYPD Commissioner Dermot Shea’s ouster are growing while the public sees no discipline for cops who flagrantly use violence against the citizens they serve. (Rosa Goldensohn for The City)

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

The New York Civil Liberties Union is fighting a gag order preventing them from publishing a vast database containing NYPD disciplinary records. (David Cruz for Gothamist)

While we don’t have those records, there is now a searchable database of closed cases of every active-duty police officer who had at least one substantiated allegation against them. (Derek Willis, Eric Umansky and Moiz Syed for ProPublica)

If you’ve ever seen the lakes in Prospect Park in the summer, you know about the algae that bloom over the water’s surface, giving it the water the appearance of a solid green surface. The city feels compelled to put up signs warning that it is, indeed, a lake and not a solid surface. (Reuven Blau for The City)

The President backed out of an offer that he claims came from Yankees president Randy Levine to throw out the first pitch at Yankee Stadium on August 15, stating he’ll do it “later in the season.” (Tim Moran for Patch)

Giancarlo Stanton and Aaron Hicks have begun kneeling during the national anthem before Yankees games and have the support of multiple teammates. (Thomas Carannante for Yanks Go Hard)

“We all deserve better than a careless Major League Baseball organization that consistently ignores the surrounding community while pandering to an unapologetic white supremacist like Donald Trump.” -Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr (David Cruz for Gothamist)

Photos: Inside the newly reopened Central Park Zoo. (Scott LYnch for Gothamist)

The state’s interim commissioner of education is quitting after 8 months. She replaced another interim commissioner of education who quit after two months. She replaced the commissioner of education who quit last August. Multiple deputy commissioners have also quit over the last year. What’s going on over there? (Reema Amin for Chalkbeat)

Neiman Marcus is closing its flagship at Hudson Yards, looking ahead to life after the pandemic, stating customers’ shopping habits aren’t likely to go back to how they once were. Developers are already trying to lease the space for offices instead of retail. (Devin Gannon for 6sqft)

Green-Wood cemetery is looking for an artist-in-residence to make the cemetery the inspiration for their art from January through September. (Collier Sutter for Time Out)

New York state is suing President Trump over his attempt to exclude undocumented immigrants from the Census. (Sophia Chang for Gothamist)

The Times takes a hard and depressing look at the block in Midtown surrounding the Time & Life Building, calling its current dead state “omen for the city’s future.” (Michael Wilson for NY Times)

The first eviction cases have been filed since Governor Cuomo’s initial moratorium expired. His extension is not as extensive, leading to the first look at an expected tidal wave headed towards the city once the extension ends. (Michael Herzenberg for NY1)

Where to eat outside in Woodside and Sunnyside. (Nikko Duren for The Infatuation)

The Briefly for July 1, 2020 – The “$88.1 Billion of Unhappiness for Everyone” Edition

Today’s daily NYC news digest: A look at what was cut and what was saved in the city’s budget, counting absentee ballots delayed a week, the best places to BBQ in the city, and more

Today – Low: 71˚ High: 80˚
Rain in the evening.

Photos and Video: Macy’s first night of “surprise” fireworks on the East River. Macy’s laid off 4,000 employees, the fireworks show’s costs are $6 million. (Michelle Young, Video and Photos by Jessica Gardner for Untapped Cities)

RIP Carl Reiner, legend and Bronx native. (Robert Berkvist and Peter Keepnews for NY Times)

No one is happy with the city’s $88.1 billion budget. What it will do is reduce the NYPD’s headcount by 1,160 officers, moves monitoring of illegal vending, the homeless, and school safety away from the NYPD, implements a city-wide hiring freeze, kills composting, removed $65 million from Fair Fares, and more. We will be hearing about the missteps and mistakes that the budget contains for years to come. (Dana Rubenstein and Jeffery C. Mays for NY Times)

There’s no better source of education news than Chalkbeat, which gives an overview of the budget’s impact on the city’s schools, which undoes a $100 million cut to school budgets and restores the summer youth employment program. (Alex Zimmerman for Chalkbeat)

In a last-minute play, Public Advocate Jumaane Williams threatened to derail the city’s budget if the NYPD’s funding wasn’t meaningfully reduced. Can he do that? Questionable, but he managed to keep the pressure on the mayor’s office to defund the NYPD. (Matt Troutman for Patch)

Early Tuesday morning the NYPD did what the NYPD does best, roughing up protesters. This time it was the Occupy City Hall protesters, ahead of the City Council’s vote. (Jake Offenhartz and Gwynne Hogan for Gothamist)

Should the NYPD be involved in as much as it is? Should the NYPD have been the ones to save a hiker after being bitten by a Rattlesnake in Rockland County by helicopter? (Adam Nichols for Patch)

The budget passed 32-17. (Matt Troutman for Patch)

The budget includes $1 billion in labor savings, which the mayor has given himself an October deadline to figure out, or 22,000 municipal jobs will be cut. If we have learned anything about the mayor and deadlines is that he will not come close to making this deadline. (Alejandra O’Connell-Domenech for QNS)

Medical residents at the city-run Kings County Hospital are urging elected officials to stop what they say will be the termination of women’s reproductive cancer surgical treatment at the central Brooklyn medical complex. (Ese Olumhense for The City)

Citi Bike will be raising its annual membership fee by $10 (it was $169, it will be $179) at the end of July. (Gersh Kuntzman for Streetsblog)

When the NYPL’s Culture Pass debuted, it gave you access to 30 or so museums and cultural institutions, with everything closed, a virtual Culture Pass has launched with over 70 original online programs for the culturally adventurous. (Dana Schulz for 6sqft)

The time for action is now, but that action continues to fall on private citizens — business owners and workers alike — forced to feel their way through the dark. Yet, here we are, talking about reopening bars in New York City, while the coronavirus flares up all around us. Are we going to stand up, or let ourselves get knocked back down on our asses?
-Chris Crowley for Grub Street, This Is Not the Time to Reopen New York’s Bars

An interactive map of privately owned public spaces, as the spaces are being opened. (Tribeca Citizen)

LA’s E Stretto sandwich shop is opening a New York City outpost inside Long Island City’s Dutch Kills bar. (Tanay Warerkar for Eater)

Wear a mask, disinfect everything, and more tips on how to move during a pandemic. (Sydney Pereira for Gothamist)

The pandemic has done a fantastic job of bringing to light our societal problems, almost none of them starker than the institutional inequality and bias against Puerto Ricans. The areas with the highest number of COVID-19 infections and deaths coincide with the counties with the highest proportion of Puerto Ricans in the United States. (Vanessa Colón Almenas, Víctor Rodríguez Velázquez, Mc Nelly Torres and Coral Murphy for The City)

Some people can’t handle the responsibility that comes with Open Streets and it seems that the people that chose to turn Berry Street in Williamsburg into Bourbon Street are at the top of the list. The NYPD has begun ending Open Streets hours early as a result of abuse of social distancing rules, noise complaints, and public drinking. The governor has threatened taking liquor and business licenses away from bars and restaurants that don’t enforce the state’s rules, but there have been no reports of that happening in the city. (Ben Weiss for Greenpointers)

The city’s free school lunch program has ended, but there still are plenty of places for students to get free meals from the city and elsewhere. (Luana Harumi for Bedford + Bowery)

It was inevitable, but now it’s official: 2020’s Minor League Baseball season is canceled. (Joe Pantorno for amNewYork Metro)

Remember the election? It might seem like a lifetime ago, but it was only a week and a day. Today is the day the Board of Elections was set to start counting absentee ballots, but ballot-counting won’t begin for another week due to being swamped with more than 10x the usual amount and needing more time to organize. (Bill Mahoney for Politico)

The Yankees say that Aaron Judge, Giancarlo Stanton, James Paxton, and Aaron Hicks will be ready for opening day on July 23. (Joe Pantorno for amNewYork Metro)

The MTA has added PPE vending machines in select subway stations. This is in addition to, not instead of, the hand sanitizer and masks being distributed at subway station booths. (Michelle Young for Untapped New York)

The MTA will end free bus rides that have been offered since the start of the pandemic. The scheduled end is in August when bus drivers will be separated from riders with protective glass and OMNY readers will begin to be installed in buses. (Mark Hallum for amNewYork Metro)

New York’s retail hasn’t completely bounced back, but with year-over-year retail visits down 22% for the week of June 15, it’s the strongest they’ve been in months. (Joe Pantorno for amNewYork Metro)

Comic shops have been hit hard during the pandemic. Bay Ridge rallied to save its local shop, Galaxy Comics on Fifth and 68th St, which has been closed most weeks since March. (Jessica Parks for amNewYork Metro)

A bill is in the state’s legislature that will extend eviction protections for some tenants but is being called a “short-term fix” as it doesn’t go far enough to protect tenants. It would still allow money judgments for nonpayment of rent and provides little or no details about who would be eligible for protection. The protections will be extended as long as any part of a county is closed by the government due to Covid-19. (Georgie Kromrei for The Real Deal)

A while ago I included a story about comedian Elayne Boosler’s cousin, who was given a pricy Catholic burial in New Jersey, which doesn’t make much sense for a Jew from Brooklyn who had a burial plot already purchased on Long Island. In a follow-up, Dorothea Buschell has been buried on Long Island in her family’s burial plot. (Virginia Breen for The City)

Did George Floyd protests lead to a surge in Covid-19 cases? Not yet. In the city, the number of cases was already on a steady decline when the protests started, which reduced the possible spread of infection and if you look at photos from the protests, you’ll find most of the people participating wore masks when they weren’t being pulled off by the NYPD or being treated for the after-effects of pepper spray. (Joseph Goldstein for NY Times)

How likely are you to survive a case of Covid-19? It might depend on which hospital you are admitted to. (Brian M. Rosenthal, Joseph Goldstein, Sharon Otterman and Sheri Fink for NY Times)

The Stonewall Inn announced a GoFundMe less than a week ago to keep their business afloat and people responded in spades, giving $250,000 to keep the bar open. (Ben Yakas for Gothamist)

The 15 best spots in NYC for outdoor grilling. (Devin Gannon for 6sqft)

Thanks to reader Jenny for today’s featured photo!

The Briefly for June 5, 2020 – The “Black Lives Matter. Say Their Names.” Weekend Edition

Today’s daily NYC news digest: An open letter from the neighborhood around the Barclays Center, the NYC memorial for George Floyd, calling for a repeal of “Walking While Trans,” and more

Today – Low: 68˚ High: 77˚
Rain throughout the day.
This weekend – Low: 60˚ High: 82˚

Terrance Floyd, George Floyd’s brother, was in attendance for a memorial service for George Floyd in Cadman Plaza on Thursday afternoon. Speakers included Terrance Floyd, Cirlane McCray. Mayor de Blasio (who was showered with boos and calls for his resignation), Attorney General Letitia James, members of New York’s congressional delegation, and Reverend Kevin McCall. (Emmy Freedman for Bedford + Bowery)

Photos: Workers from Bellevue Hospital demonstrated and knelt for eight minutes and 46 seconds to honor George Floyd on Thursday, the length of time a Minneapolis police officer knelt on Floyd’s neck to kill him. (Ben Fractenberg for The City)

Breonna Taylor was killed by a police officer in Louisville, Kentucky in her own home. A Wednesday night protest through Brooklyn was in her name to ensure she is not forgotten in the national Black Lives Matter conversation and her family can achieve the justice they deserve. (Emmy Freedman for Bedford + Bowery)

“The incidents that took place over the last several days in the neighborhoods surrounding the Barclays Center in Brooklyn where members of the NYPD showed that they are not capable of de-escalating protest activity without an egregious use of force are inexcusable. As organizations who have committed to ensuring that our neighborhoods remain places where commerce, retail, livability and safety are actualized, we will not settle for harsh policing as the answer — not now, not in our neighborhoods, and not in our City.”
-Hundreds of residents, politicians, and civic organizations that border the Barclays Center, Brooklyn’s central hub for protests, Community Letter to New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio

There was an 1845 New York law that said it was illegal for two or more people wearing masks or any face covering from congregating in a public place. It was repealed by the state’s legislature. Maybe next time I try to wear my horse mask to watch the Thanksgiving Day parade, I can do so in peace. (Michelle Young for Untapped New York)

The city is allocating $500,000 in grants for Bronx businesses that were recently vandalized and looted, up to $10,000 for each business. The city worked with SOMOS Community Care to help secure funding. (Alejandra O’Connell-Domenech for amNewYork Metro)

Jamel Floyd, an inmate at the Metropolitan Detention Center in Sunset Park, died on Wednesday after corrections officers pepper-sprayed him in the face for being disruptive. (Aidan Graham for Brooklyn Paper)

The NYPD’s poor handling of protesters doesn’t stop after their done beating them on the streets. Once inside One Police Plaza, arrestees denied due process, held for over 24 hours, and are subjected to increase risks of Covid-19, according to the Legal Aid Society. (Rosa Goldensohn for The City)

Manhattan’s DA Cy Vance wants to hold looting suspects without bail, looking to Governor Cuomo to bypass state laws and calling for more “judicial discretion.” (Brendan Krisel for Patch)

The Civilian Complaint Review Board, an independent agency that investigates reports of police misconduct, has logged more than 500 complaints related to the George Floyd protests during six days. (Rose Adams and Kevin Duggan for amNewYork Metro)

You can file a complaint of police misconduct to the CCRB online.

City Comptroller Scott Stringer has outlined three specificities to accompany his demand that the NYPD’s budget is reduced by $1.1 billion. A hiring freeze and a reduction of police officers to pre-de Blasio numbers (35,000), a 5% cut in overtime, and better disciplining of officers to reduce brutality settlements. When it comes to the settlements, I would assume that the city’s comptroller knows this, but police brutality settlements come from a separate budget than the NYPD’s budget. In 2018 the city paid $237.4 million to settle lawsuits, but that was in addition to the NYPD’s budget. Every settlement that the city has to make with victims of the NYPD’s disgusting acts of violence is additional money they are taking from the city’s budget. (Gersh Kuntzman for Streetsblog)

The NYPD has begun taking bikes from protesters. There have been multiple reports of bikes being confiscated with no paperwork on retrieving them once they are seized. (Julianne Cuba for Streetsblog)

“What pressing responsibilities have so occupied these two officials that they do not have the time to make sure the safety of New Yorkers is protected and the rights of New Yorkers are respected? How is it possible that after so many reports of police misconduct, they still can’t be bothered to supervise the police?”
-The New York Times Editorial Board, Mayor de Blasio, Open Your Eyes. The Police Are Out of Control

New York’s Street Vendor Project released a statement in “unconditional solidarity” with the Movement for Black Lives. This may seem like a quizzical statement to report on, but silence in compliance. (Chris Crowley for Grub Street)

Donald Trump Jr has decided that his new target for trolling is City Councilmember Justin Brannan. Good thing he doesn’t have anything better to do. (Andrew Sacher for BrooklynVegan)

Mayor de Blasio’s plan for the MTA to reopen on Monday would serve about 8% of riders as 200,000-400,000 will return to work next week. The MTA has installed hand sanitizer dispensers at some stations and is looking to distribute two million face masks to those who need them. The subway will continue to cease overnight operations from 1-5 am. (Devin Gannon for 6sqft)

How will people stay safe on the subways when returning to work? “I really want to push back on the notion we can solve everything all the time.” -Mayor de Blasio (Kathleen Culliton for Patch)

Train operators and conductors have recorded the highest number of COVID-19 infections among subway workers, according to internal documents. the MTA had a ban on face masks that was lifted only days before the state went on pause. (Jose Martinez for The City)

Governor Cuomo is urging that between protests, New Yorkers find time for a Covid-19 test. Free Covid-19 tests have been expanded to all New Yorkers. (Maya Kaufman for Patch)

Dentists offices will reopen for business on Monday. (Robert Pozarycki for Bronx Times)

NYC is on track to start phase one of reopening on Monday. (Erik Engquist for The Real Deal)

Speaker Nancy Pelosi endorsed Congressmember Eliot Engel in his primary against Jamaal Bowman, despite Engel being caught on a live mic saying “If I didn’t have a primary, I wouldn’t care,” when asked about vandalism in the Bronx. I would imagine that Pelosi feels a pressure to endorse established Democrats against challengers, but this feels egregious. (Heather Caygle and Sarah Ferris for Politico)

Request an absentee ballot to vote in the June 23 primary before June 16.

A look at Francesca “Sol” Chaney’s Black Supper, a free food program only for Black people who might be protesting nearby or simply need a pick-me-up. (Emma Orlow for Time Out)

Republican City Councilmember Eric Ulrich (whose website appears to be a dead Squarespace site) is making some big talking about calling for the City Council a vote of no confidence in Mayor de Blasio. In the last few months, he’s also demanded the firing of Commissioner of Health of the City of New York Dr. Oxiris Barbot. He will hit his term limit on the City Council in 2021 and has made multiple failed attempts to be elected to a higher office since his 2009 election. (1010 WINS)

A look at new outdoor art exhibitions coming this summer. (Howard Halle for Time Out)

The MTA is calling for 60 miles of bus lanes in all five boroughs for the city’s phase one reopening to ensure that it can get New Yorkers to work. The mayor, a noted coward when it comes to leading, was noncommittal. (Dave Colon for Streetsblog)

A map of all the subway stations equipped with OMNY readers. (MTAPhotos)

More than 90 organizations signed onto a letter addressed to Governor Andrew Cuomo and other top lawmakers in the state urging them to ensure forthcoming criminal justice packages include repeal of a discriminatory loitering law frequently used by law enforcement to stop, profile, and arrest innocent transgender women of color. (Matt Tracy for Gay City News)

Our libraries are returning, here are their reopening plans. (Shaye Weaver for Time Out)

An interactive NYC map that shows the closest bit of nature to your home. (Shaye Weaver for Time Out)

13 NYC restaurants supporting the Black community. (Hannah Albertine for The Infatuation)

Thanks to reader Mike for today’s featured photo of the Geoge Floyd Memorial in Brooklyn!