The Briefly for April 24, 2020 – The “Someone Told Me It Was the Weekend” Weekend Edition

Today’s daily NYC news digest: 21.2% of the city may have already been exposed to COVID-19, a cocktail delivery guide, you cannot have friends over for dinner, and more

Today – Low: 44˚ High: 50˚
Rain until evening.
This weekend – Low: 44˚ High: 61˚

Quick note: Yesterday I said that “At 40,000 a day, it’ll only take 13 and a half years to test the whole state” talking about COVID-19 tests. I mistakenly did the math for 40,000 a month, not 40,000 a day. At 40,000 a day it’ll take 486 days to test everyone in the state once. Thanks to reader Stacy for catching the error

Alright, some cats are getting COVID-19, here’s an interview with experts on what to worry about and what to relax about. (Shame Weaver for Time Out)

A new survey suggests that 21.2% of New York City residents have COVID-19 antibodies, meaning a whole lot of us have already had the virus and never knew it. (Dana Schulz for 6sqft)

A new study from the medical journal JAMA showed 88 percent of COVID-19 patients who received invasive mechanical ventilation in the Northwell Health system lost their lives. The study looked at 5,700 intubated patients. (Kathleen Culliton for Patch)

The cocktail delivery guide, because I heard somewhere that it’s the weekend. (Nikko Duren for The Infatuation)

Mayor de Blasio has never let advice from professionals stop him from making a decision that he wants to make. The entire city told him not to run for president and he did anyway. He doesn’t want to open the city’s streets up for pedestrians and cyclists and he won’t unless he’s forced. He’s canceled two months’ worth of summer events but has decided that the Fourth of July fireworks must go on because it would “hurt the morale of New Yorkers as they’re fighting this fight.” Buddy, 11,000 of your citizens have died. Fireworks aren’t gonna save the city. (Jeff Arnold for Patch)

Shame is a powerful weapon. Ruth’s Chris is going to return their $20 million from the federal government. (Alan Sytsma for Grub Street)

Sweetgreen, not wanting to be left out, will return the $10 million the government loaned to it. (Nikita Richardson for Grub Street)

Briefly favorite Jen Carlson has a question. Is it snowing outside? Seriously, when was the last time you were outside? (Jen Carlson for Gothamist)

Can you have friends over for dinner? For god’s sake, NO! (Ronda Kaysen for NY Times)

People who have dogs live longer. Are people in dog-friendly buildings happier than their dogless counterparts? Yes they are! (Susan Lehman for NY Times)

Pairing takeout with a movie, because there’s only so many times you can heat up something frozen and watch Friends. (Hannah Albertine, Nikko Duren, Bryan Kim, Katherine Lewin, Hillary Reinsberg, Arden Shore, & Matt Tervooren for The Infatuation)

Feeling like going out? Well, you can’t, but you can try out NYC’s best attempts at recreating nightlife virtually with this list of the best clubs to party at online. (Collier Sutter for Time Out)

A look at “Tiger King” with Harlem’s Tiger Man, Antoine Yates, who kept 425-pound Ming the Tiger in his apartment. (Corey Kilgannon for NY Times)

The City Council is moving on helping small businesses with legislation that would put it place a pause on evictions for commercial and residential tenants that would remain in place through April 2021. (Tanay Warerkar for Eater)

If you find a wedding ring on the corner of 87th and West End, please return it to the woman who lost it during the 7pm clap out her window. The ring is a plain platinum band and the couple who lost it has been together for over 50 years. (Mike Michkin for I Love The Upper West Side)

As food suppliers and farmers are looking at having to destroy or dispose of the food they create, State Senator Joseph Addabbo is looking to pair those farmers with those in need to prevent waste and hunger at the same time. (Bill Parry for QNS)

Apartment Porn: A $9.3 million Tribeca penthouse with an irrigated roof garden and outdoor kitchen, two living rooms, a walk-in pantry, and three bedrooms with en-suite bathrooms, on top of everything else. (Dana Schulz for 6qsft)

Here’s how the city ould address its sidewalks after it has become abundantly clear that they have failed us as a place to practice proper social distancing. (Caroline Spivack for Curbed)

Looking to get into a Trader Joe’s? Now there are Twitter accounts telling you how long the lines are. Right now, they’re run by people who live nearby and want to be helpful while quarantining. (Dana Schulz for 6sqft)

An ode to an unlikely restaurant pick, especially in NYC, Blimpie. (Kevin Walsh for Forgotten New York)

This year’s AIDS Walk will now be a virtual happening, with its date moving from May 17 to June 7. (Paul Schindler for Gay City News)

The state’s Department of Health and Attorney General Letitia James are investigating New York nursing homes to determine if management complied with COVID-19 regulations, with violated facing fines and the potential loss of their licenses. (Brendan Krisel for Patch)

The city’s 140,000 coronavirus cases are only the tip of the iceberg. According to Health Commissioner Oxiris Barbot, “we have probably close to a million New Yorkers who have been exposed to COVID-19.” (Erin Durkin for Politico)

The percent of NYPD officers calling out sick has dropped for two weeks straight. (Todd Maisel for QNS)

Spruce up your Zoom backgrounds with some of these images from Parks@Home, historical photos from the Records Department, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, or the NYPL. (Valeria Ricciulli for Curbed)

Know someone who needs a sugar rush? Economy Candy is now selling CandyCare Packs. (Scott Lynch for Gothamist)

When you call a restaurant using the number listed on GrubHub/Seamless, the restaurant is charged a fee from the company, which some are complaining to be as high as $7.17. If you’ve got a question or a problem with your order, look up the restaurant’s phone number using a different method and stop making orders through GrubHub/Seamless. Call the restaurant directly and make your order. (Tanay Warerkar for Eater)

I am 100% on board for Governor Cuomo’s shit-talking on Mitch McConnell. (NY1)

SNL has another quarantine episode this weekend. (Ben Yakas for Gothamist)

Ample Hills is putting itself on the auction block to companies like Cinnabon and Auntie Anne’s owner Focus Brands and Unilever. (Erika Adams for Eater)

A look at Rockefeller Center under construction in 1932. (Matt Coneybeare for Viewing NYC)

8 books for when you miss New York City, even though you’re quarantined here. (Isabel Crabtree for New York Cliche)

A free adult coloring book, full of color from city life, is available for download from Subway Creates and artist David Regone. (Collier Sutter for Time Out)

Take a tour of the first NYC public health lab to test for COVID-19. (Courtney Gross for NY1)

Your questions, answered by The City. (Lauren Costantino and Allison Dikanovic for The City)

40 pizza parlors still open for the best possible Friday night meal. (Diana Hubbell for Eater)

Thanks to reader Annie for today’s featured photo.

The Briefly for March 13, 2020 – The “How Does A Strip Club Fight COVID-19?” Edition

Today’s daily NYC news digest: COVID-19 in NYC, the secret gardens of the Upper West Side, new restrictions on gatherings, Broadway is closed, there are no more pro sports, and more

Today – Low: 40˚ High: 66˚
Light rain in the morning and afternoon.
This weekend – Low: 35˚ High: 55˚

Video: Four of six candidates for Queens borough president debated at Queens College on March 9. (Angélica Acevedo for QNS)

The Palm steakhouses have been owned for 93 years by the family that launched them, but they have sold to the company that owns the Rainforest Cafe in a $45 million deal. (Serena Dai for Eater)

360° Video: From the top of Edge NY’s outdoor deck. (Action Kid)

The Coney Island Polar Bear Plunge raised $60,000, which was distributed to multiple community organizations, including the New York Aquarium, the Alliance for Coney Island, Coney Island USA, the Coney Island History Project, Coney Beach Brighton Beach Open Water Swimmers, New York State Marine Education Association, New York City Parks Foundation, the Coney Island YMCA, and Parachute Literary Arts. If you ever wondered “why does anyone do that?,” this is the benefit of having a wild idea on January 1. (John Alexander for The Brooklyn Home Reporter)

The title is 12 buildings that should be brought back, but if you’re looking to explore some of old New York’s masterpieces, here are 12 of them. (Michelle Young for Untapped New York)

The Bronx Brewery in planning a second location in the East Village on Second Ave between 3rd and 4th. The location should be opening in the fall with a brewery, live music, and a kitchen with “special guest” chefs. (Devin Gannon for 6sqft)

The best restaurants in the West Village, because we’re not all going to be making all of our own meals in perpetuity. (Bryan Kim, Katherine Lewin, Hillary Reinsberg, & Matt Tervooren for The Infatuation)

Conor McGregor donated $1 million to the first responder Steven Siller Tunnel To Towers Foundation to make good on a 2018 promise. (amNewYork Metro)

If you’ve got plans to binge the Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, you might ask yourself, “If I were her friend, where would I live?” and also “Could I afford it?” Here are your answers. (Localize.City)

The secret gardens of the Upper West Side. (Mike Mishkin for I Love the Upper West Side)


I won’t list things that are closing but assume that everything, everything pro sports and everything Broadway, is canceled or postponed unless you explicitly hear otherwise, with the exception of city schools, the Queens borough president election, and the census. Before going anywhere or doing anything, please call and confirm.

The state’s public emergency health plan has two prongs: reducing the spread and treating the infected. “There is no end date.” (Emily Davenport for amNewYork Metro)

Video: The mayor’s press conference about the coronavirus outbreak on Thursday afternoon was somber and reassuring at the same time. If you have the endurance to watch over 90 minutes, the video is available. (NBC News)

The Archdiocese of New York announced it was closing all of its elementary schools for at least a week and would reassess the situation on March 20. (Adam Nichols for Patch)

Early voting in the Queens borough president’s race starts on Saturday. Is the city ready for its first coronavirus election? (Ben Brachfeld for Gothamist)

Subway ridership is unsurprisingly down 18.65% from a year ago as as many people as possible are staying home. (Dana Rubinstein for Politico)

The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, Late Night with Seth Meyers, The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon, Full Frontal with Samantha Bee, Last Week Tonight, and The Daily Show with Trevor Noah are joining most daytime shows in filming without studio audiences moving forward. (Ben Yakas for Gothamist)

I got a text from a friend yesterday that the school nurse for their school was out and one of their students was displaying signs of a fever and coughing. He told me his school didn’t have a backup plan aside from sending the student home immediately.

COVID-19 is showing is just how woefully unprepared our school nurse situation is. The city plans on hiring enough nurses to distribute one in each building by today, but these nurses will be contractors with the city and as a result will be unable to access students’ medical records. Not an ideal situation for making medical decisions. (Jessica Gould for Gothamist)

When people stop showing up to a senior center like the Open Door Senior Center over COVID-19 fears, it doesn’t mean they aren’t in need of a meal. How do you provide a meal to someone staying home in fear? ( Gabriel Sandoval and Claudia Irizarry Aponte with additional reporting by Josefa Velasquez for The City)

If we’re all going to be seeing more of the inside of our apartments more, maybe it’s time to tackle some of those long-standing projects we’ve been thinking about. The story of how Lauren Rothman was unable to change to a different apartment, so she changed her apartment. (Lauren Rothman for Curbed)

The state’s finances are based on economic growth, which means the next fiscal year, which starts on April 1st, is completely screwed by COVID-19, which will have years of ramifications for the state. (Fred Mogul for Gothamist)

Advocates are worried undocumented New Yorkers will be scared to seek medical help for COVID-19 symptoms. (Sophia Chang for Gothamist)

No matter what you heard early in the day on Thursday, the child who self-reported as having COVID-19 in the Bronx does not have the illness and the school they attended will be open on Friday. The school system may explore a “summer school model,” with a limited shutdown. (Sophia Chang, Jessica Gould, Yasmeen Khan for Gothamist)

There’s gonna be a lot of beer that goes undrank and a lot of corned beef that goes uneaten on St Patricks Day. (Erika Adams for Eater)

No gathering of more than 500 people can happen in New York and the legal capacity of just about everywhere has been cut in half. In addition, the mayor said that MSG and the Barclays Center should be expected to be closed for months. (Amanda Hatfield for BrooklynVegan)

Restaurants will have to reduce their capacity by 50% as part of the new preventative measures put in place. The mayor re-iterated while outlining the new policy that this could be a six0month health crisis with a longer economic recovery period. The city is offering no-interest loans, but this crisis is going to be absolutely apocalyptic for the city’s restaurants, which already operate on slim margins. (Serena Dai for Eater)

A longstanding New York trade organization representing restaurants is calling for the state to offer tax breaks and cap food delivery service fees — in addition to a host of other requests, as the industry prepares for drastic economic consequences of the COVID-19 crisis. (Erika Adam for Eater)

Alex Jones, a human backflowing sewer pipe and conspiracy theorist, was selling toothpaste, creams and several other products that claim to treat or prevent and cure COVID-19 on his website. Attorney Letitia James immediately sent him a cease and desist. (Noah Higgins-Dunn for CNBC)

How does a strip club like FlashDancers handle an outbreak like COVID-19? (Tribeca Citizen)

The Briefly for Match 9, 2020 – The “Herald Square Smells Like A Toilet For A Reason” Edition

Today’s daily NYC news digest: The latest on COVID-19, the nuanced argument around the NYPD’s possible manipulation of crime data, RIP Marnie the Dog, the hottest lunch spots, and more

Today – Low: 50˚ High: 66˚
Clear throughout the day.

I’m going to be breaking up The Briefly’s coverage of COVID-19 for a while. The coronavirus-related news will be at the bottom of the digest, so if you want to avoid reading about it, you may.

Because 2020 isn’t already weird enough, we are experiencing the earliest spring recorded in the last 124 years. (Adam Nichols for Patch)

Photos: Inside The Nature of Color, a new exhibit at the American Museum of Natural History. (Michelle Young with photos by Mickey Blank for Untapped New York)

This week’s “Ask the MTA” features this amazing statement: “I am a consistent daily rider of the R-W trains at Herald Sq-34th Street. Every single day I smell urine.” They go on to ask what the MTA is doing about it, with an answer from Germaine Jackson, the group station manager that boils down to “we’re trying.” (amNew York Metro)

I have some bad news for the person who wrote that question. Herald Square has smelled like a toilet for years. In 2016, it was discovered that literal raw sewage was leaking onto the subway tracks from a building nearby. There has been nothing online in the remaining four years if it has been fixed. Maybe someone ought to look into this? (Nathan Tempey for Gothamist, 2016)

10 secrets of Manhattan’s Central Synagogue. (Michelle Young for Untapped New York)

If you’ve got millions upon millions of dollars to spend on real estate, please invest in The Briefly and also know that condo sales have begun in the revamped Waldorf Astoria. (C.J. Hughes for NY Times)

Henry Vidal, a veteran NYPD Manhattan officer, was arrested on Friday morning for allegedly assaulting his fiancée in Harlem. (Jake Offenhartz for Gothamist)

Janelle Monáe will headline Pride Island 2020. (Emily Davenport for amNewYork Metro)

Eleven Madison Park on Madison Avenue was voted the second-best restaurant in America. Only Chicago’s Alinea was considered better. (Adam Nichols for Patch)

Mayor de Blasio denies that the NYPD has been manipulating crime stats to justify supporting a rollback of criminal justice reforms, but the truth is way more nuanced. (Christopher Robbins for Gothamist)

Attention nerds! Nitehawk Cinema in Park Slope is hosting free D&D nights on the second Wednesday of each month. (Bill Roundy for Brooklyn Paper)

How the hell did a handgun end up inside the federal Metropolitan Correction Center? Federal investigators searching for the gun also found phones, narcotics, and homemade weapons. (Jake Offenhartz for Gothamist)

New York Jets defensive lineman Quinnen Williams was arrested on Thursday night for allegedly bringing a handgun through LaGuardia Airport. (Jake Offenhartz for Gothamist)

A look at Granville and Pierre Pullis, two men who documented the birth of the city’s subways. (Jessica Leigh Hester for Atlas Obscura)

360 Video: From the 102nd flood observatory of the Empire State Building. (Action Kid)

Ram-dom is popular in NYC’s Korean restaurants following the success of Parasite, even if it isn’t technically a Korean dish. (Luke Fortney for Eater)

RIP Marnie the Dog, the adorable fixture at NYC’s indie rock shows after 18 beautiful years. (Bill Pearis for BrooklynVegan)

It’s a 3D replica of Manhattan that took over 1,000 hours to complete, and you can see it in the window of the base of the Empire State Building. (Alexandra Alexa for 6sqft)

It’s been 10 years from the start of the Gowanus Canal cleanup, here’s where it stands. (Brooklyn Eagle)

After the news spread of a Woody Allen memoir being published at Hachette Book Group, the same publisher of Ronan Farrow’s Catch and Kill, employees staged a walkout of their midtown offices. On Friday the company announced “We stand in solidarity with Ronan Farrow, Dylan Farrow and survivors of sexual assault,” and it would not publish the Woody Allen book. (Ben Yakas for Gothamist)

Workers removed 2,000 boxes from 70 Mulberry St, the former home of the Museum of Chinese in America’s archives. The monumental task of saving the archives will take a long time, with the city working since the January fire to get the building to a place where the archives could safely be removed. (Todd Maisel for amNewYork Metro)

Who likes to party? According to the number of 311 complaints, Brooklyn likes to party. It also likes to complain about parties. (Kathleen Culliton for Patch)

A history of activism in Washington Square Park. (Adam Thalenfeld for NYC Urbanism)

The celebrities who call the Upper West Side home. (Michele Perry for StreetEasy)

Twelve teenagers are now under arrest in connection with the beating and robbery of a 15-year-old girl in Brooklyn last week. All of them are charged with robbery and gang assault. (NY1)

Thai Diner, Babs, and Doma have been added to Eater’s 13 hottest lunch spots in NYC (Eater)


Q&A with a CDC disease detective that is investigating NYC’s coronavirus cases. (Gwynne Hogan for Gothamist)

The mayor is talking tough about how the city’s schools being prepared to take the threat of coronavirus seriously, but school staffs tell a very different story. (Jessica Gould for Gothamist)

Why can’t we just close the city’s schools? Because they double as social service centers for hundreds of thousands of poor students. (Eliza Shapiro for NY Times)

The New York Blood Center’s staff is taking precautions and your blood is still needed. The New York Blood Center is asking organizations not to cancel blood drives. (Emily Davenport for amNewYork Metro)

The Gap’s Tribeca offices are closed after an employee tested positive for COVID-19. Everyone will be working from home for the meanwhile. (Tribeca Citizen)

Classes are canceled on Monday and Tuesday’s at Columbia University in a pre-emptive move after a someone in the university’s community was quarantined for exposure to the coronavirus. Residence halls are open, but all events and gatherings on campus have been canceled. (Neil Vigdor for NY Times)

If you’ve got a trip booked and you have some kind of insurance, double-check the policy. Most don’t include pandemics. The state hasn’t allowed “cancel for any reason” policies in over a decade, but new guidance is allowing them to be some bi insurance companies and travel agents. The policies are costly and only offer a partial refund, but if you have to book your trip this is likely better than nothing. (Dana Schulz for 6sqft)

New York is in a state of emergency. Governor Cuomo declared it on Saturday, which gives the state the ability to speed up hiring workers at health facilities and the purchase of supplies. Of the state’s 4,000+ who have been asked to self-quarantine, about 2,300 are in New York City. (Jesse McKinley and Edgar Sandoval for NY Times)

Amtrak’s Acela service between New York and Washington, DC will be suspended beginning Tuesday and through Memorial Day. (Robert Pozarycki for amNewYork Metro)

After days of advocacy from the governor, the FDA expanded COVID-19 testing to Northwell Labs, New York’s first facility to conduct testing. The tests are manual, with the facility only able to process 75-80, automated testing has not been approved yet. (Mark Hallum for amNewYork Metro)

St. Patrick’s Cathedral’s Sunday mass looked very different this week, with pardoners having to bring their own books, hand sanitizer at the alter and peace offerings from a distance. Cardinal Timothy Dolan wants churches to take precaution, but remain open. (Alyssa Paolicelli for NY1)

If you need a laugh during this time of very serious news all the time, the mayor has asked New Yorkers to avoid “packed” subways. It is very obvious that the mayor does not take the subway with any regularity. (Adam Nichols for Patch)

“For anyone worried about using public transportation, I can assure you that the MTA has taken aggressive and proactive steps to ensure the safety of our 8 million daily customers and our valued employees who keep it running.” (Pat Foye, CEO and Chairman of the MTA for amNewYork Metro)

If it gives you any inner peace, here is a photo of a man sanitizing a city bus. (MTAPhotos on Flickr)

The city will be giving grants to businesses with under five employees up to $6,000 to help them maintain employees in the face of economic hardship. (Mark Hallum for amNewYork Metro)

Video: Times Square wasn’t in an “I am Legend” scenario over the weekend, but it’s not remotely business as usual . (Patrick Mulligan and Yoonji Han for NY City Lens)

Global pet adoption are at a standstill because of COVID-19. Pets that would be brought from abroad to New York to be adopted aren’t finding the lights or volunteers to make the trips. (Christine Chung for The City)