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)

The Briefly for December 13, 2019 – The “When Calling 311 is Not the Answer” Edition

Today’s daily NYC digest: The weekend’s weekend subway closures, all the info you need to avoid SantaCon, Bloomberg’s toxic legacy with lead, the best Italian restaurants, and more

Today – Low: 48˚ High: 49˚
Rain starting in the afternoon.
This weekend – Low: 33˚ High: 45˚

Lots of disruptions on the subways this weekend on the 1, 3, A, C, F, N, Q, and R trains. Check the scheduled shutdowns before you go. (Subway Weekender)

The Old Farmer’s Almanac, a competitor to the Farmer’s Almanac, has a prediction for NYC weather on Christmas day: “It should be a snowy, picturesque Christmas Day.” (Adam Nichols for Patch)

The mayor has a new plan to address homelessness, which centers around training city workers to call 311. An op-ed, credited to current and former outreach workers, the plan “is a massive misdirection of effort and resources, and has the potential to undermine the city’s ability to house and serve the people it is supposed to be helping”. A worthwhile read breaking down why this doesn’t approach a solution to the problem. (Gothamist)

How to survive SantaCon if you feel you both hate your fellow New Yorkers and absolutely MUST participate. (Alexandra Alex for 6sqft)

Here’s a SantaCon map of places to avoid on Saturday. (Kathleen Culliton for Patch)

Why all the SantaCon hate? Check out some horror stories of SantaCon’s past. (Kathleen Culliton for Patch)

CUNY started a $1 million pilot program to address food insecurity among the students at BMCC. 50% of students enrolled are food insecure according to self-reports. (Alejandra O’Connell-Domenech for amNewYork)

Alcoholic candy? Yup. Smith & Sinclair has brought boozy gummies to New York. (Emma Orlow for Time Out)

Con Ed is planning on raising rates 16% on electricity and between 25% and 34% for gas over the next three years, and the chairman of the City Council’s Committee on Environmental Protection isn’t having it. The Public Service Commission must vote on the price hike before it can be implemented. (Bill Parry for QNS)

Mrs. Claus is paid about half of what a Santa is paid, making the pay closer to an elf than the big red fat man. (Michelle Cohen for 6sqft)

This new development planned for the Williamsburg waterfront is really goin to divide people. Giant, unconventionally shaped buildings? Yes. A promise to build a new public park? Yes. A man-made beach? Yup. (Devin Gannon or 6sqft)

Ecco! has been on Chambers St for over 25 years, but the end of the “Italian saloon” may be nigh, as a new application for a liquor license for another location fo The Grey Dog was filed for the address. (Tribeca Citizen)

Public defenders and justice advocates are calling on new NYPD Commissioner Dermot Shea to abolish a policing tool he’s strongly defended: the department’s gang database. (Ese Olumhense and Eileen Grench for The City)

Are we so starved for nature in the city that we’re willing to pay someone for pinecones for $1 to $5 and tree branches for $10? Yes we are. (Jen Carlson for Gothamist)

More than 1,000 mourners streamed onto a Williamsburg street Wednesday evening to pay their final respects to two of the civilian victims of the Jersey City shooting. The crowd carried the bodies of the dead through the street before they were taken to their final resting places. (Noah Goldberg for Brooklyn Eagle)

Apartment Porn: Take a look at Giorgio Armani’s new $17.5 million penthouse on Central Park West. (Michele Petry for StreetEasy)

A first-year student at Barnard College was killed in an upper Manhattan park early Wednesday evening. Police say the young woman was slain during a mugging. (Jen Chung for Gothamist)

Thursday morning was a shit-souffle of a commute, with nine different lines experiencing signal problems, door malfunctions, and activated brakes all before 9am. (Kathleen Culliton for Patch)

Winters seems like a terrible time to surf the East River, but Santa took to the water for half an hour in frigid temperatures. (Claire Lampen for Gothamist)

Six picks for top holiday windows to see this year. (Michelle Young for Untapped New York)

Photos: The 2019 holiday windows. (Dana Schulz for 6sqft, photos by James and Karla Murray)

Some of the city’s best and most affordable museums. (Gabe Herman for amNewYork)

New York City’s best museum gift shops. (Amy Plitt for Curbed)

The Infatuation’s favorite new restaurants of 2019. (The Infatuation)

Undocumented immigrants can get legal drivers licenses in New York starting on Monday, as the state’s Greenlight law is set to take effect. (Zack Fink for NY1)

The 5 best restaurants in Cobble Hill. (Scott Enman for Brooklyn Eagle)

Suit up for a Sunday in the life of Storm Marrero, the first Afro-Latina singing ringmaster for the Big Apple Circus. (Alix Strauss for NY Times)

A look at the recent struggles of Birdcamp, a store and boarding facility for birds. Birdcamp has been an institution for nearly two decades for bird lovers on E 53rd and is in danger of closing. (Alix Strauss for NY Times)

Mayor Bloomberg’s legacy with lead is toxic and steeped in institutional racism. (Alexander C. Kaufman for HuffPost)

The city passed a law banning vendors from the Dyker Heights Christmas lights in an attempt to ease the difficulties the neighborhood was experiencing with the crowds, but the vendors found a loophole and have come back. (Meaghan McGoldrick and Paul Frangipane for Brooklyn Eagle)

NYC’s 31 top Italian restaurants. (Eater)