The Briefly for May 29, 2020 – The “Our ‘Let Someone Else Figure It Out’ Mayor” Weekend Edition

Today’s daily NYC news digest: The future of movie theaters, George Floyd demonstrations, the city’s contact tracing program is a mess, the Tompkins Square hawks grow up, and more

Today – Low: 69˚ High: 75˚
Possible drizzle overnight.
This weekend – Low: 53˚ High: 79˚

The City Council is pushing a sidewalk-table bill forward that would allow restaurants to apply for permits that would expire on October 31 for outdoor dining. This isn’t a revolutionary idea, even Cincinnatti got it done already. Mayor de Blasio’s complete lack of leadership constantly leaves voids for others to fill. (Gabriel Sandoval for The City)

When the city starts phase one of reopening, employees of construction jobs, wholesale, manufacturing, agriculture, and retail companies (with safety procedures in place) can go back to work. This will mean somewhere between 200,000 and 400,000 New Yorkers will return to work. (Shaye Weaver for Time Out)

Once New yorkers start to get back to work, how are they getting there? Are the city and state committed to making sure that our public transportation can get those workers to work safely? Our mayor, not known for being proactive, is leaving that decision up to workers and is expecting that the “short-term reality” is that there will be a spike in drivers. No talk about making sure the subways and buses are safe and will be ready no conversation about more opportunities for bicycles, just more cars. (Elizabeth Kim for Gothamist)

All the borough presidents have sent a letter to the mayor demanding the city set aside 40 miles of “emergency” bus lanes to get ahead of the expected car congestion. My favorite bit of reporting from this article is “In a press conference on Thursday, the mayor did not allude specifically to the letters, but told reporters that he’s thinking about what to do, but hasn’t done anything yet.” Beautiful. (Gersh Kuntzman for Streetsblog)

So you’ve made sourdough bread, countless cocktails, Shake Shack sauces, Junior’s cheesecakes, and pizza at home during the pandemic. What’s next? Boba Guys have a DIY bubble tea kit. (Bao Ong for Time Out)

The same groups that sued the city over its stop-and-frisk policy have sued the city over the NYPD’s Covid-19 social distancing enforcement, calling it “stop and frisk 2.0.” Their original case against the city led to a ruling that declared stop and frisk unconstitutional and racially discriminatory. (Kevin Duggan for amNewYork Metro)

Union Square was full of protestors on Thursday night as a part of nationwide demonstrations sparked by the killing of George Floyd by the Minneapolis police. The demonstrators were met with an aggressive police presence, including an eye witness seeing an officer put a knee on someone’s neck as a part of their arrest. Another rally is planned for 4 pm in Foley Square and at night outside the Barclays Center. (Jake Offenhartz for Gothamist)

Photos: 10 weeks of a quiet Tribeca. (Tribeca Citizen)

Video: Over 100 years of bread-baking experience at Madonia Bakery in the Bronx. (Ed García Conde for Welcome2TheBronx)

Williamsburg has a new mural, courtesy of street artist Swoon, on S. Fifth Street. (Rose Adams for Brooklyn Paper)

When we think back to what was different about the summer of 2020, the return of drive-in movies to the city should be close to the top of the list. (Erika Adams for Eater)

Five tech-forward strategies restaurants are testing to ease back into dining in NYC. (Tanay Warerkar for Eater)

The Times’ review of the animated “Central Park” on Apple TV+ from the makers of Bob’s Burgers: “Delightful, not depressing.” (James Poniewozik for NY Times)

Video: The stunning sights of empty NYC landmarks. (Shaye Weaver for Time Out)

One of the reasons that I love New York City is that a headline that reads “Gay, democratic-socialist candidate leads Clinton Hill state senate race in fundraising” is not remotely out of the ordinary. One reason Jabari Brisport is out ahead for his senate race is the support of Bernie Sanders’ Our Revolution. (Matt Tracy for Brooklyn Paper)

A feature on artist Sara Erenthal, whose work you’ve likely strewn about the city, and her latest series of work dedicated to the city under lockdown. (Howard Halle for Time Out)

How many of the city’s 1.1 million students are taking classes online? Don’t ask the Department of Education. No, seriously, don’t ask because they don’t know. (Jessica Gould for Gothamist)

Movie theaters are a part of phase four of New York’s reopening plan, which could be July or later. What will movie theaters look like when they reopen? (Collier Sutter for Time Out)

No mask, no service. The governor signed an executive order allowing businesses to refuse service to people for not wearing masks. (Kathleen Culliton for Patch)

Video: Maybe it was partially inspired by this video of Staten Islanders screaming at an unmasked woman to get the hell out of a grocery store until she left. (TMZ)

How do you wear a mask to a bar or restaurant? Good question. Grub Street dives in. (Chris Crowley for Grub Street)

Bobby Catone, known jackass and owner of a tanning salon on Staten Island, opened his tanning salon for a moment on Thursday morning when he was warned by police he could be thrown in jail and have his license revoked if he disobeys and opens his salon again. (David Cruz for Gothamist)

Apartment Porn: Hillary Swank’s former townhouse in the West Village sold for $9.8 million. (Devin Gannon for 6sqft)

More than 190,000 New Yorkers applied for unemployment last week as national joblessness rates reached 41 million. (Kathleen Culliton for Patch)

The city supposedly hired over 1,700 contract tracers, but the reality of the situation is uncertain and the blame is being put on Mayor de Blasio for making NYC Health & Hospitals in charge of the effort instead of the Department of Health. (Jake Offenhartz for Gothamist)

The Brooklyn Museum will become a temporary food pantry starting in June. (Emma Orlow for Time Out)

It’s art you’ll need a drone to appreciate. Jorge Rodriguez-Gerada is painting a 20,000 square-foot mural in Flushing Meadows/Corona Park. (Howard Halle for Time Out)

Photos: The Tompkins Square hawks are growing up right before our eyes. (Lauge Goggin Photography)

The mayor is flirting with a financial tactic with the intention of digging the city out of its current financial hole that brought the city to the brink of bankruptcy in the 1970s. The idea is to borrow up to $7 billion from the state, which would put the city on the hook for $500 million payments for the next twenty years. The idea was called “fiscally questionable” by the governor. (Luis Ferré-Sadurní, Jeffery C. Mays and Jesse McKinley for NY Times)

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

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 2, 2020 – The “Yes, We Are All Out of Hand Sanitizer” Edition

Today’s daily NYC news edition: NY and NYC get approval for coronavirus testing, the Islanders are leaving Brooklyn, the East Village’s best restaurants, and more

Today – Low: 46˚ High: 57˚
Possible drizzle overnight.

The MTA will shut down the F train on nights and weekends beginning on March 21 through next year to install and upgrade the line’s signals between Church and Stillwell Ave. Who on planet earth decided it was a good idea that one of the trains that beings people to Coney Island should be out of commission for the entire summer? (Irina Groushevaia for Bklyner)

February 2020 was the second-smallest snow on record in New York City since records began in 1868. Technically it snowed the smallest bit on Saturday, Leap Day. In all of winter so far, we’ve had 4.8″ total, compares to 61.9″ nine years ago. (Anne Barnard for NY Times)

Mayor de Blasio’s plan to convert basement apartments into legal apartments is hitting one significant problem: reality. (Kathryn Brenzel for The Real Deal)

The state has confirmed its first Coronavirus (COVID-19) case, and it’s in Manhattan. The woman in her late 30s who contracted the virus had traveled to Iran and is now isolated in her home. People who had close contact with the patient have already been identified. The New York Health Commissioner, Dr. Oxiris Barbot, has called the spread to other New Yorkers from this woman “low risk.” (Joseph Goldstein and Jesse McKinley for NY Times)

The city and state both received approvals for testing the Coronavirus, previously the city had been sending potentially contaminated samples via FexEd to the CDC in Atlanta. (Robert Pozarycki for amNewYork Metro)

Looking for hand sanitizer only to find out that it’s sold out? You’re not alone. Also, washing your hands for 20 seconds will prevent the spread of disease better than hand sanitizer. (Julie Creswell for NY Times)

For the COVID-19 paranoid person in your life: The Wuhan Virus: How to Stay Safe. (Laurie Garret, a Pulitzer Prize winning science writer, for Foreign Policy)

There are five works by Isamu Noguchi on display in New York City outside of the Noguchi Museum in Long Island City. Once of those pieces, an installation in the lobby of 666 Fifth Avenue, is in danger of being disassembled thanks to a pending renovation by the building’s new owners. (Michelle Young for Untapped New York)

Staten Island’s City Councilmember Joe Borelli doesn’t like speed camera tickets or the Reckless Driver Accountability Act, he should know because he’s earned himself five tickets issued by speed cameras. 22 pedestrians have been killed by drivers in 2020. (Sophia Chang for Gothamist)

Miss Staten Island Madison L’Insalata came out as bisexual and was promptly banned from marching in last weekend’s Staten Island St Patrick’s Day parade. Another pageant winner who showed support for her was also banned. Congrats Staten Island, you’re the worst. (CBS News)

Photos: Over at the Queens “St. Pat’s for All” Parade, the mayor, Speaker Corey Johnson Senator Chuck Schumer, AOC, and other federal and local officials marched and partied. (Todd Maisel for amNewYork Metro)

The former president of the Stonewall Democratic Club is eyeing a seat on the City Council in Queens. (Matt Tracy for Gay City News)

10 surprising places to discover on Queens Blvd. (Michelle Young for Untapped New York)

Video: How many of the places can you see in this video of the East Village in the 1960s are still there today? (Jen Carlson for Gothamist)

Most of the city’s remaining public phone booths will be removed. Not on the list for removal are the phone booths which offers free calls on West End and 66th, 90th, and 100th Streets. (Jen Carlson for Gothamist)

Yes, plastic bags are banned in NYC, but the Department of Environmental Conservation is delaying enforcement of the ban until April 1. (Marie J. French for Politico)

Back in October, Andy Byford submitted a letter of resignation to the MTA that he would later retract, only to quit again at the beginning of the year. Freedom of Information Law requests have been filed to reveal the letters and the MTA claims to “not have it is its possession.” (Dana Rubenstein for Politico)

If you graduated high school in New York, you know the stress of the Regents exams. All that may change. (Alex Williamson for Brooklyn Eagle)

The Department of Education released a new recommended reading catalog that represents a wider range of diversity to the authors and book subjects. (Alejandra O’Connell-Domenech for amNewYork Metro)

It took drivers less than 24 hours to destroy the city-installed bike and “protection” on 13th St. An example of how plastic barriers are useless. (Gersh Kuntzman for Streetsblog)

An investigator with the Office of Special Narcotics Prosecutor, Stephen Abreu, punched a bouncer in the face and fired two gunshots inside the bar because his drunken attempts to flirt with women were failures, according to first-hand accounts and a police report. Stephen Abreu was suspended from work, arrested and charged with felony attempted murder, reckless endangerment, attempted assault, menacing, and more. For some reason, he was released without bail when his charges qualify for bail. (Jake Offenhartz for Gothamist)

Say farewell to Islanders games at the Barclays Center. They’ll finally be returning to Long Island. (Norman Oder for Atlantic Yards/Pacific Park Report)

New York is the most tax burdened in the country according to a new analysis. (Kathleen Culliton for Patch)

28 restaurants that define the East Village. (Stefanie Tuder for Eater)