The Briefly for May 27, 2020 – The “The Last Region Under PAUSE” Edition

Today’s daily NYC news digest: The city caps Seamless fees for restaurants, a $1,000 to fill out the census, Uber and Lyft drivers sue for unemployment, Central Park Karen, and more

Today – Low: 62˚ High: 70˚
Overcast throughout the day.

Queens has a new Cold Case Unit under DA Melinda Katz, dedicated to solving the borough’s oldest and unsolved homicide cases. There are currently about 2,200 unsolved homicides in Queens. (Queens County Politics)

“I”m going to tell them there’s an African-American man threatening my life.” The story of the Central Park Karen, Amy Cooper, whose week started with a threatening to use the NYPD as a weapon, and two days later she was fired for her job and surrendered her dog. (Zack Linly for The Root)

It’s no surprise, but today it’s a reality. New York City is the only region of the state still under the PAUSE order by Governor Cuomo. (Mark Hallum for amNewYork Metro)

Have you filled out the census yet? Only 50% of the city has and we’re lagging 10% behind the rest of the country. In an effort to bump up the numbers, NYC Census 2020 is giving away $1,000 Seamless gift cards. More than a gift card, I’m sure you’re seeing photos and videos from around the country of idiots getting together without masks. These are the people who will have more representation and funding in and from the government because they filled out their census this year. These yahoos are gonna fly to NYC from whatever podunk, backwater town they live in, and infect more New Yorkers while they go out for SantaCon or take photos with the Naked Cowboy or puke on the floor of a bathroom in the East Village or walk extremely slowly on the sidewalk right in front of you. These are the people that can fill in their census and yet we can’t seem to get our shit together and need gift cards to Seamless as an incentive. Rant over. (Robert Pozarycki for amNewyork Metro)

Want to bring a smile to someone? Send some letters to some older Upper West Siders. (Claude Benjamin for I Love the Upper West Side)

Uber and Lyft drivers are suing the state for timely payment of unemployment benefits. Currently, drivers have to wait months to receive standard unemployment benefits, unlike the standard two to three weeks like most workers. (Noam Scheiber for NY Times)

Video: Watch former New Yorkers try L.A. bagels. (Matt Coneybeare for Viewing NYC)

The city has hired more than 1,700 contact tracers to get the city closer to the metrics necessary to start its reopening. (NY1)

How good of a salesman is Governor Cuomo? We’re about to find out, as the governor heads to Washington to convince President Trump to fund the extension of the Second Ave subway, the new Penn Station, and a train to LaGuardia. (Kathleen Culliton for Patch)

A quick look at the 80-year history of the Copacabana. (Maria Sherman for Jezebel)

The Obie Awards, honoring Off and Off Off Broadway theater, is going virtual. You can catch the Obie Awards on YouTube on June 4, hosted by Cole Escola. (Michael Paulson for NY Times)

Alt-side parking is suspended through June 7. (Alejandra O’Connell-Domenech for amNewYork Metro)

What if no one wants to save New York’s restaurants? (Alan Sytsma for Grub Street)

ConEd is trying to raise rates this summer and the City Council is having none of it. ConEd is warning that demand may exceed last summer where brown and blackouts plagued portions of the city. (Kathleen Culliton for Patch)

Video: A pre/post Covid-19 comparison walk around Midtown. (ActionKid)

Seventeen of the city’s 20 hate crimes against Asians in 2020 have been coronavirus related. 20 may not seem like much, but compare that to 2019’s hate crimes against Asians at 3. (Sydney Pereira for Gothamist)

The mayor signed a package of bills into laws intended to protect small businesses by imposing limits on third-party food delivery services, extending the suspension of sidewalk cafe fee collection, and protecting commercial tenants from harassment and personal liability. (Emily Davenport for amNewYork Metro)

Would you go to a concert if it meant having to wear this weird neon spacesuit? How do you drink or go to the bathroom if you’re sealed inside a spacesuit at a show? (Erin Christie for BrooklynVegan)

Video: New York’s “Wear A MAsk” PSA contest has a winner. (Howard Halle for Time Out)

The New York Stock Exchange partially opened on Tuesday and is prohibiting employees and visitors from taking mass transit, something extremely impractical to use as an example for other businesses. (Ben Yakas for Gothamist)

The Nets opened its training facility in Sunset Park to players for voluntary workouts with a limit of four players in the facility at a time. (JT Torenli for Brooklyn Daily Eagle)

Restrictions on third-party delivery companies like Seamless or Uber Eats caps fees at 15 percent per order for delivery and 5 percent per order for any other charge while the city is under emergency and for 90 days beyond. (Chris Crowley for Grub Street)

Actors’ Equity Association barred its 51,000 members from in-person auditions, rehearsals, and performances and says they will not lift that restriction until there is fast, reliable testing for the novel coronavirus and widespread contact tracing. (Michael Paulson for NY Times)

A breakdown of the costs of what’s recommended before you move to NYC. (Localize.City)

Why hasn’t Mayor de Blasio visited Rikers Island at all during his second term? (Samar Khurshid for Gotham Gazette)

Recreating recipes from restaurants is a long-standing tradition which has seen a revival under stay-at-home orders. Are we chasing the recipe and a meal or are we chasing a feeling and trying to rekindle memories? (Pete Wells for NY Times)

Video: Recreating New York’s best pancakes from Clinton St Baking Company. (Matt Coneybeare for Viewing NYC)

Thanks to reader Alexa for today’s featured photo!

The Briefly for May 13, 2020 – The “Social Distance Chicken is the Mascot We Need Right Now” Edition

Today’s daily NYC news digest: When happens when “work from home” becomes “work,” the best Cuban sandwiches, how to do your brows at home, opening up Queens’ golf courses, and more

Today – Low: 46˚ High: 59˚
Clear throughout the day.

Broadway will be closed through Labor Day, at least. It’s tough news but is necessary for ticket holders, who have had the fate of their summer ticket purchases up in the air for some time. (Michael Paulson for NY Times)

The “new normal” that everyone is talking about has one universal theme: a lot of new rules to follow. Greenmarkets could provide a glimpse into our future, as they’ve remained open throughout the pandemic. (Robin Raisfeld for Grub Street)

Remember haircuts? What’s a haircut gonna look like once salons and barbershops reopen? Here’s a peek into what we may be in for. (Shaye Weaver for Time Out)

Good morning, and only good morning, to Greenpoint bar Magazine’s mascot, the Social Distance Chicken. (Collier Sutter for Time Out)

Between March 16 and May 10, the NYPD made 125 arrests that were related to the coronavirus, and 166 people, 93% of those arrested were people of color. (Kevin Duggan for Brooklyn Paper)

The city’s Public Advocate Jumaane Williams doesn’t blame the NYPD for the racial discrepancy in arrests and summons, but Governor Cuomo and Mayor de Blasio. Williams led a protest march in Manhattan on Monday, which the NYPD allowed to complete, despite first amendment rallies being momentarily banned. Williams’s point isn’t that the rules that are established are being arbitrarily enforced, but that the rules represent an undue burden on people of color? It’s such a ponderous argument to make that I assume I haven’t read the article right. (Todd Maisel for amNewYork Metro)

In a potentially unholy pairing, Uber is looking at eating GrubHub. (Chris Crowley for Grub Street)

City Council has modified a proposed emergency bill capping third-party food delivery fees for restaurants — raising the maximum fee from 10 percent to 20 percent, depending on how the restaurant uses the services, with a $1,000 fine per restaurant per day for non-compliance. Currently, delivery app companies charge upwards of 30%. (Erika Adams for Eater)

“If our employees are in a role and situation that enables them to work from home and they want to continue to do so forever, we will make that happen.” Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey laid out a future where working in the company’s Midtown South offices won’t be required for NYC employees. (Kathryn Brenzel for The Real Deal)

Is putting thousands of people inside of one building a thing of the past? Facebook and Google have extended work-from-home through the end of the year. Chase is re-evaluating whether to send its 180,000 employees back to its NYC offices. If more companies follow where Twitter is going, get ready for Manhattan, with the country’s largest business district, to face a reckoning it’s never experienced before. (Matthew Haag for NY Times)

Impossibly adding a pop-up office to an 400-square-foot apartment, a miraculous feat by small-space connoisseur Rae Lambert. (Dana Schulz for 6sqft)

Apartment Porn: For $13.5 million in Brooklyn Heights, you get two terraces, a garden, arched entrances, five beds, and seven baths. That’s enough room to display all your Beanie Babies and Trolls dolls. (Amy Plitt for Curbed)

The best Cuban sandwiches available for takeout and delivery. (Florence Fabricant for NY Times)

A horrifying dive into how the Department of Education continually downplayed the threat of Covid-19 on the city’s children, including allowing large gatherings, withholding information, improperly cleaning, not contacting the Health Department if a teacher had tested positive and more. (Greg B. Smith for The City)

Pedestrianize Queens’ gold courses is the out-of-the-box thinking that we need right now. Kudos to City Council Member Constantinides for proposing the idea. (Loulou Chryssides for Give Me Astoria)

Video: What’s the story with the 18-mile wire circling most of Manhattan? An investigation into Manhattan’s eruv. (Half as Interesting)

Mayor de Blasio signed the Dangerous Vehicle Abatement Program into law in February but has allocated zero dollars towards it, effectively killing the program. Since de Blasio signed the bill, over 700 drivers have received more than 15 speeding tickets each. The program would mandate training for drivers with fifteen or more speeding tickets or five or more red light tickets in a year. (Gersh Kuntzman for Streetsblog)

Videos: Highlights of the Rise Up New York! COVID-19 benefit. (Ben Yakas for Gothamist)

Video: Take a look back 110 years into what Coney Island was like in 1910 with this colorized video from the original Luna Park at its peak. (Shaye Weaver for Time Out)

New York City’s jail population has been reduced by 28% since March, only 8% have been rearrested, although an unnamed police official told Gothamist that 8% is a high number. There were several major crimes, but no murders. It’s hard to determine the real impact because the releases happened due to a change in the bail law and the coronavirus outbreak. (Beth Fertig for Gothamist)

Video: Are ice cream trucks essential? The co-founder of Funtime Frostee makes his case. (Nilo Tabrizy, Ainara Tiefenthäler, and Noah Throop for NY Times)

Are your brows looking more like two caterpillars than you want them to? Tips form city’s salons on shaping and tweezing your own eyebrows. Desperate times call for desperate measures. (Shaye Weaver for Time Out)

Once restaurants reopen, Mayor de Blasio said the city is open to the idea of allowing restaurants to use street space for seating to allow for more space for patrons. (Ben Yakas for Gothamist)

New York City has hired over 500 contact tracing staff and will be providing hotel rooms and support for the tracers as needed so they can remain as isolated as possible while completing their task. (Mark Hallum for amNewYork Metro)

Are you tired of the same options for takeout and delivery from the same places? A look at NYC restaurants with new takeout and delivery options. (Hannah Albertine for The Infatuation)

Thanks to reader Emma for today’s featured flower photo from Chelsea!

The Briefly for December 26, 2019 – The “Christmas Trees Don’t Belong on the Beach” Edition

Today’s daily NYC news digest: When to throw out your Christmas tree, the secret economy and industry of five cent deposits, Cuomo’s feud with Trump heats up over weddings, and more

Today – Low: 42˚ High: 45˚
Mostly cloudy throughout the day.

A look back at the City Hall Christmas tree lighting, a bygone NYC tradition. (Alexandra Alexa for 6sqft)

The Rockefeller Center Christmas has an 88-year history. (Adam Thalenfeld for NYC Urbanism)

Video: The inspiring story of Sydney Mesher, the first Rockette with a visible disability. (The Rockettes)

Videos and Photos: The Saks Fifth Avenue Frozen 2 holiday lights. (Jen Carlson for Gothamist)

How long should you keep your Christmas tree up? At least until January 6, because that’s the first day of the Department of Sanitation’s tree disposal. (Mariela Quintana for StreetEasy)

Video: No matter what you read on Facebook, don’t leave your old Christmas tree at the beach. (Anginas Gonzalez for NY1)

Tompkins Square Park has some new trees. (EV Grieve)

Governor Cuomo vetoed a bill that would have allowed federal judges, Trump’s judges, to officiate weddings in New York state. I guess federal judges will have to become online ministers if they want to officiate weddings, just like the rest of us. (Jesse McKinley for NY Times)

The fascinating history of 28 Old Fulton St, from old Dutch farmland to Revolutionary War battle site, from the Eagle pressroom to a warehouse for silver, furniture and then electoral ballots, to its latest use as luxury apartments. (Chase DiBenedetto for Bedford + Bowery)

Years ago two toy stores within a few blocks of each other would be at war around the holidays, but in 2019 Stationary and Toy World and West Side Kids in the Upper West Side are joining forces to fight back against online shopping. (Sara Lewin Lebwohl for I Love the Upper West Side)

Video: Got $75,000 lying around? You can afford one night at the Mark Hotel. (Matt Coneybeare for Viewing NYC)

With the mayor's potentially illegal "horse trading" collusion with ultra-Orthodox state lawmakers surrounding a Department of Education report about the quality of education at the city's yeshivas, advocates are calling for accountability. The city has made no indication of punishment for the 26 of 28 failing schools, instead requiring "timelines for improvement" by January 15 with no information about if schools fail to meet the deadline. (Jake Offenhartz for Gothamist)

A state Supreme Court judge has struck down an upcoming New York City rule that would have restricted the amount of time app-based drivers for companies like Uber and Lyft can spend cruising without passengers below 96th Street in Manhattan. (Elizabeth Kim for Gothamist)

Profiles of five African-American high-profile prisoners from New York City who were convicted of violent crimes that included murder and attempted murder. All committed their first crimes as teenagers. All are now in late middle age, ranging from 48 to 61 and seeking release. A great piece from students at CUNY's Craigs Newmark Graduate School of Journalism. (Stephanie Chukwuma, Trone Dowd, Jeffery Harrell, Brenda León, Hannah Miller, Rosemary Misdary, Rachel Rippetoe, Maria Robins-Somerville, Sean Sanders, and Annie Todd for Gothamist)

8 cultural attractions to visit on NYC’s Museum Mile. (Zachary Solomon for StreetEasy)

StreetEasy and Douglas Elliman appear to be ready to lock horns. While the details aren’t exciting, it could portend a coming fracturing of real estate listings. (E. B. Solomont for The Real Deal)

A train delay because of a pencil. (Ben Yakas for Gothamist)

A Bronx police officer is facing accusations of groping a 14-year-old teenager while she was handcuffed in the back of a squad car last month. (Jake Offenhartz for Gothamist)

Christmas is gone. No literally, Christmas is literally buried in Green-Wood Cemetery. (Kevin Walsh for Forgotten New York)

The city doesn’t just get rid of its useless junk, it auctions it off. (Winnie Hu and James Sprankle for NY Times)

What’s the opposite of a Christmas miracle? Ask the 1,000 residents in NYCHA housing in Coney Island who woke up with no heat or hot water on Christmas. (Sydney Pereira for Gothamist)

As of this week, bicyclists can use the walk/won’t walk indicators rather than the lights are use. (Christopher Robbins for Gothamist)

The latest in the seemingly never-ending battle of Industry City’s rezoning is that things are looking bleak for Industry City after the city is refusing to provide funds for new schools, housing and tenant programs to benefit the neighborhood. The decision to move forward rests with City Councilmember Carlos Menchaca, who has been skeptical of the process since the start. It would be unheard of for the city to commit funds for a private application, Menchaca is justifying the request based on how dramatically the rezoning would change Sunset Park. (Rose Adams for Brooklyn Paper)

Has Midtown South become more pleasant for residents in the last few years? Finally, an answer to the eternal question of “who lives here?” (Aileen Jacobson for NY Times)

There is an entire underground economy centered around plastic bottle and metal can deposits, where the world turns five cents at a time. It’s all in a legal gray area that the city turns a blind eye towards, but once you have an understanding of how the canner economy works, you can understand why there is opposition to expanding the five cent deposit program. (Andy Newman for NY Times)

After eating at 300 restaurants this year, Scott Lynch picks his 16 best bites of 2019. (Scott Lynch for Eater)