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!

The Briefly for February 20, 2020 – The “A Diner by Any Other Name” Edition

Today’s daily NYC news digest: “The Joy Goddess” of Harlem, the Lowline is dead, the best cocktail bars, Myles makes its NYC app debut, Lyft’s electric bikes are back and more

Today – Low: 22˚ High: 38˚
Mostly cloudy throughout the day.

A look at A’Lelia Walker, daughter of Madam C.J. Walker, who 100 years ago in Harlem was given the nickname of “the Joy Goddess” by Langston Hughes, and whose parties and events provided a central location for the Harlem Renaissance. Part of a series by The Root focusing on little-known or forgotten rebels, celebrating Black History Month. (Anne Branigin for The Root)

Mayor Bloomberg started off his debate night getting ruined by Elizabeth Warren. The rest of the night didn’t go so great for him either. (John F. Harris for Politico)

A timeline of Michael Bloomberg’s support of stop and frisk. (Maggie Astor for NY Times)

The Lowline, once an extremely cool idea of putting a Highline style park in an abandoned trolley terminal in the Lower East Side, is dead. After more than a decade of work, the project is out of money. (Bowery Boogie)

Let’s grapple with an existential question for a moment: Is the Soho Diner really a diner? In Robert Sietsema’s review, he points towards no, with food choices pointing more towards “Top Chef” than “greasy spoon.” The desserts earned a compliment, but those are from Petee’s Pies and not made in house. Is a diner by name still a diner? (Robert Sietsema for Eater)

Myles is a new ride-hailing app available this week in NYC. The company claims rides will be 10% cheer than Lyft and Uber on average and they won’t make use of surge pricing. (Igor Bonifacic for Engadget)

Say hello to Eugene Hernandez, the new director of the New York Film Festival. (Sara Aridi for NY Times)

The MTA is betting $15 billion of its $51 billion 2020 – 2024 capital plan on the Trump Administration giving congestion pricing the go ahead and not delaying the 2021 rollout. If there is a delay or a call for an environmental impact study, congestion pricing won’t start on time and the MTA would likely have to borrow money, eventually leading to a transit financial disaster. (Dave Colon for Streetsblog)

Lyft’s pedal-assisted electric bikes are finally back, after being pulled out of commission in April 2019 for malfunctioning brakes and batteries. (Tina Bellon for amNewYork Metro)

Chairnobyl? Chairnobyl. (EV Grieve)

NYC’s best under-the-radar museums, mapped. (Ameena Walker for Curbed)

This ain’t the piercing pagoda kiosk in the mall. A “hole new you” is ht promise of the new piercing studio Studs in Nolita. (Lindsay Tuchman for NY1)

The NYPD arrested a 14-year-old, the third and final suspect in the killing of 18-year-old Barnard College student Tessa Majors on Wednesday. (JB Nicholas for Gothamist)

Apartment Porn: Take a look inside the ex-WeWork CEO’s three-story $27.5 million Gramercy Park apartment. (Valeria Ricciulli for Curbed)

John Ciero, a former NYPD officer, is among five people indicted in federal court for dealing meth and a date rape drug called GBL, the U.S. Attorney’s Office in the Southern District of New York announced on Wednesday. (Sydney Pereira for Gothamist)

New York City’s first weed dummies are arriving in Queens. Of course, you need to have a prescription to get them for the moment. (Jacob Kaye for QNS)

Here are the new protected bike lanes coming to Manhattan this year. From the plan, it looks like you’ll finally be able to bike around the perimeter of Manhattan completely in 2021. (Jake Offenhartz for Gothamist)

This story of a parrot who got loose in Manhattan, is frankly amazing. (Emily Flitter for NY Times)

Plush seating and carpets. That sounds like a good idea for the subways, right? (Jen Carlson for Gothamist)

Citywide alternate side parking tickets will be increasing from $45 to $65 starting today. I used to live in Park Slope and my upstairs neighbor never moved his car for ASP because if he never moved his car and just paid the tickets once a week, he was still going to pay less than if he put his car in any garage in the neighborhood for the month. At $65, three tickets a month is still cheaper than any garage. (Kristen Torres for Sunnyside Post)

James Dolan has won more legal victories over former-Knicks star Charles Oakley than the actual Knicks have won championships over anyone. (Ben Yakas for Gothamist)

The West Side Story revival has been met with protests, as demonstrators have been calling for Amar Ramasar’s removal from the cast because of his role in a photo-sharing scandal at City Ballet. (Julia Jacobs for NY Times)

Chirlane McCray, Mayor de Blasio’s wife, launched a podcast called “Thrive with Chirlane McCray” on the Brooklyn Free Speech podcast network and we are all paying for it. The podcast is funded by Thrive NYC, which has received $850 million in taxpayer funds. (Sophia Chang for Gothamist)

Do you know about “The Atlantic Ticket?” That’s a LIRR ticket that allows you to go from one of Brooklyn’s three stops to Jamaica, Hollis, Queens Village, Locust Manor, St. Albans, Laurelton or Rosedale for only $5. The success of this ticket is renewing calls that traveling within the city on the LIRR should cost $2.75. (Jose Martinez and Trone Dowd for The City)

Happy the elephant, who resides in the Bronx Zoo, does not have human-like rights and does not have to be transferred to a sanctuary. (NY1)

Believe it or not, there are people that live in the Financial District, and those people showed up in force to show their support against the creators of Sleep No More getting a liquor license at a Manhattan Community Board 1 licensing committee meeting. The new show is looking to set up shop in a mostly residential building. The NIMBYs voted against recommending a liquor license be granted and the proposal goes to a full vote of the community board next week, and the State Liquor Authority only uses community board votes as guidance, so it’s still possible the show moves forward as planned. (Ben Brachfield for Gothamist)

RIP Swamp Trump. We hardly knew ye. (Scott Enman for Brooklyn Eagle)

NYC’s top cocktail bars. (Melissa Kravitz Hoeffner for Eater)

thanks to reader Jacqueline for today’s featured photo!

The Briefly for February 16, 2020 – The “Peanut Butter Bandit Needs to Be Caught” Edition

Today’s daily NYC news digest: Bernie Sanders gets the Bill de Blasio kiss of death, the cutest thing in the city, a 500% rent increase in Coney Island, the Amazon killer, and more

Today – Low: 36˚ High: 48˚
Clear throughout the day.

What’s open and what’s closed on President’s Day. (Kathleen Culliton for Patch)

The Bernie Sanders campaign received the presidential kiss of death over the weekend: Bill de Blasio’s endorsement. De Blasio was, no doubt, looking for any excuse to leave NYC and jumped at the opportunity. (Gloria Pazmino for NY1)

The subway is ubiquitious in the city, but at some point it needed to be built. The latest photo exhibition at the New York Transit Museum shows how the subway was built. (Noah Sheidlower for Untapped New York)

Apartment Porn: For only $45 million, you can live like a Russian oligarch in the Plaza. The apartment used to be two separate apartments that were combined into one insane apartment covered in onyx and crystal. (Dana Schulz for 6sqft)

Someone needs to stop the Peanut Butter Bandit. The worst person in the city hit the A train once more with the gooey atrocity on the poles of the train early Friday morning. (Ben Yakas for Gothamist)

He helped kill the Amazon HQ2 deal, and now he’s set his sights on making sure nothing like the Amazon deal ever happens again. Michael Gianaris wants to reform how the city gives tax breaks to giant companies. (Erin Hudson for The Real Deal)

It’s like a normal store, but it only sells flutes. (Noah Sheidlower for Untapped New York)

JFK’s Terminal 4 will be getting a $3.8 billion makeover. (Erin Hudson for The Real Deal)

It’s 3:30 am on a Wednesday and you desperately want pierogis, where will you go? Behind the scenes at Veselka, the Ukrainian restaurant that’s been part of the East Village since the 50s. (Dana Schulz for 6sqft)

Despite early reporting, Governor Cuomo and President Trump’s meeting about the ban on New Yorkers from the Truster Traveler Program and giving the government access to New York’s DMV records was “productive,” but no solution was reached. (Sophia Chang for Gothamist)

Caroline Baumann didn’t resign as director of the Cooper Hewitt Smithsonian Design Museum out of nowhere, she was forced out after an investigation into her wedding found she violated policy when it came to acquiring her dress and venue. The Smithsonian isn’t run by the government, but is partially funded by the government and has a similar conflict of interest policy. (Robin Pogrebin for NY Times)

The ax is finally falling, all Barney’s stores will close at the end of the month. (Devin Gannon for 6sqft)

Only three restaurants in the city were closed last week by the Department of Health, but one of them is the city’s newest member of the 100+ point violation club. (Adam Nichols for Patch)

The NYC condoms have a new wrapper, but here’s something that’s a little confusing: The name of the wrapper design is the “NYC Legend XL.” While it sounds like this is the magnum of free condoms, there’s no indication if this is for your average or not-so-average New Yorker (Kathleen Culliton for Patch)

The man shot in the face by an ICE agent last week plans to sue the agency and is calling for an investigation of the incident. (Rose Adams for Brooklyn Paper)

Should the subway be free? According to City Councilmember Mark Treyger, the answer is yes. (Adam Thalenfeld for NYC Urbanism)

Black Lives Matter President Anthony Beckford is the latest to stand up in support City Councimember Mark Treyger’s call to make transit free to use. (Alex Williamson for Brooklyn Eagle)

He’s not alone. Meet the state’s assemblymember hopefuls who agree the fairest fare is no fare at all. (Dave Colon for Streetsblog)

Meet Pancakes, the Staten Island Zoo’s brand newborn sloth, the cutest thing in the city. (Matt Coneybeare for Viewing NYC)

The NYPD reportedly issued a subpoena to Twitter requesting access to the account of NY Post police bureau chief Tina Moore, citing the Patriot Act as their justification to try to find leaks within the department. The effort was lead by new police commissioner Dermot Shea. (Jake Offenhartz for Gothamist)

It’s like a grocery store, but it’s an art installation where everything is made from plastic bags. The Plastic Bag Store, from Robin Frohardt, will be viewable in Times Square on March 1, coinciding with the state’s plastic bag ban. (Howard Halle for Time Out)

A 14-year-old boy suspected of fatally stabbing a Tessa Majors to death in a Morningside Park robbery last December has been indicted on murder charges. (Robert Pozarycki for amNewYork Metro)

Rent increases are a part of life in the city, but a 500% rent increase is reprehensible. The Lola Star Gift Shop on the boardwalk in Coney Island faces a 500% increase in her rent from Luna Park and the company’s owner’s Zamperla. (Alyssa Paolicelli for NY1)

22 trendy restaurants you can still get into. (Hannah Albertine, Bryan Kim, Katherine Lewin, & Matt Tervooren for The Infatuation)

Thanks to reader MG Ashdown for today’s featured photo!