The Briefly for July 9, 2020 – The “They Don’t Call it a Subway Doomsday for Nothing” Edition

Today’s daily NYC news digest: The mayor’s plan for schools in September, the worst place in NYC, wait times for Covid-19 test results slip, frozen boozy drinks, and more

Today – Low: 76˚ High: 85˚
Humid throughout the day.

What’s the worst place in NYC? Seems there’s some consensus around Penn Station. (Collier Sutter for Time Out)

Despite what he may think, the president doesn’t actually have control over how the city’s schools operate. Mayor de Blasio’s plan, which is only a plan, is still subject to the state’s approval. Early August is the state’s deadline for approving or modifying the city’s plan. (Alejandra O’Connell-Domenech for amNewYork Metro)

The city’s schools are facing $642 million in budget cuts. The city’s private schools received tens of millions of dollars from the federal government’s PPP program. (Sophia Chang for Gothamist)

The mayor announced his plan for school openings in the fall. His plans call for a partial reopening this September. Classroom attendance would be limited to one to three days a week. While it’s a burden for children, teachers, parents, the economy, and everyone involved, it’s a burden that is not worse than death, which is what his plan is hoping to prevent. (Eliza Shapiro for NY Times)

A deeper dive into the options already presented for the city’s schools for in-person learning. (Christina Veiga for Chalkbeat)

Here’s a terrifying map of what the city’s subways could look like if the MTA doesn’t get any federal assistance and uses the Riders Alliance 2010 “Doomsday on the MTA” report. To accommodate the loss in revenues, the MTA would have to cut the 1, 2, 3, 7, B, D, F, M, G, J, Z, and Franklin Avenue Shuttle. They don’t call it doomsday for nothing. (Dave Colon for Streetsblog)

Things were already projected to be bad for the MTA, but for each tax dollar the city doesn’t collect, the MTA is pushed further and further into the economic abyss. The MTA’s projected tax revenue for 2021 will be $1.4 billion lower than expected. (Robert Pozarycki for amNewYork Metro)

The subways shut down for four hours a day and that may seem inconvenient, but a transit strike in 1966 shut the subways down for two weeks. (Nicholas Loud for Untapped New York)

A Queens driver hit and killed 64-year-old Richard O’Flaherty in Far Rockaway on Tuesday. The driver was not charged. (Gersh Kuntzman for Streetsblog)

Governors Island will reopen on July 15th for “passive recreation” from 10 am – 7 pm. You’ll need tickets in advance and they can be reserved beginning on Friday. (Michelle Young for Untapped New York)

Apartment Porn: It used to be a school, now it’s a $22.5 million penthouse with four bedrooms, a two-level terrace, and a double-sided marble fireplace. (Dana Schulz for 6sqft)

Photos: Why the hell is the NYPD protecting statues of Christopher Columbus across the city 24/7? (Gerch Kuntzman for Streetsblog)

Someone driving an SUV drove through a crowd of protesters in Times Square, sending at least one to the hospital. The driver was taken into custody, but not arrested or charged. If the NYPD can do it with initial mayoral support and no consequences, what’s to stop a citizen from doing the same thing? (Sydney Pereira for Gothamist)

New York Attorney General Letitia James is calling for an “entirely new accountability structure” for the NYPD, including reducing Mayor Bill de Blasio’s role in overseeing the force. Under James’ recommendation, a commission of the City Council, Public Advocate, Comptroller, and the mayor would have control over the NYPD’s budget. (Anna Quinn for Patch)

The development announced for the failed Amazon HQ2 site has hit a wall: City Councilmember Jimmy Van Bramer. Without Van Bramer’s support, the project’s needed rezoning can’t happen. Long Island City’s newly constructed apartments are 60% empty. This plan would bring an additional 2,700 apartments to the area. Van Bramer’s idea for the land is simple: it’s public land and should be used by the public. (Christian Murray for Queens Post)

8 tips for negotiating your lease renewal in NYC. (Localize.City)

In an article about how graffiti is on the rise during the Covid-19 pandemic, the Times starts by saying the conditions are perfect for “a new generation of graffiti writers.” The Old Gray Lady indeed. (David Gonzalez for NY Times)

The city’s oldest gay bar, Julius’ Bar, launched a GoFundMe campaign to keep the bar and it employees afloat until indoor dining comes back, which may be a while. (Dana Schulz for 6sqft)

The availability for Covid-19 testing has increased across the city, but the availability of labs to process those tests hasn’t risen to meet the demand. As a result, wait times for test results have slipped from the three-day range to upwards of a week. Is your result still relevant if it’s been a week since the test? (Elizabeth Kim and Fred Mogul for Gothamist)

Where to pick up food near Central Park. (Matt Tervooren for The Infatuation)

The staff at Jack the Horse in Brooklyn Heights are accusing the owners of misusing thousands of dollars in donations intended for employees. The GoFundMe states (errors and all) “We still hoping to raise money to support our wonderful staff who are out of work due to COVID-19.” The owners paid food and alcohol vendors and insurance bills with the $15,000+ of donations to the GoFundMe. (Erika Adams for Eater)

A five-story building partially collapsed in Murray Hill on E 38th in Manhattan on Wednesday afternoon. One person was injured and was brought to the hospital. (Ben Yakas and Gwynne Hogan for Gothamist)

What’s your favorite pre-pandemic food? (Robert Sietsema for Eater)

A few NYC holy grail apartments: 2 bedrooms for under $2,000 a month. (Erika Riley for StreetEasy)

The story of how an Angela Davis quote ended up being displayed prominently towards the Barclays Center subway entrance. (Norman Oder for BKLYNER)

The Board of Elections in New York City turns Election Day into Groundhog Day—we see the same problematic deficiencies each cycle: despite a bipartisan cross-ideological desire to fix them, they reoccur like clockwork. The time has come to use the important expansion of vote-by-mail to finally fix these consistent problems.
– City Councilmember Carline Rivera, Voting by mail must be expanded to fix existing problems

Interactive Map: More than 13,000 Manhattan-based businesses secured loans of more than $150,000 from the federal government through the Paycheck Protection Program. (Brendan Krisel for Patch)

Major League Soccer announced the schedule for their summer tournament and NYCFC’s first game is today (Thursday) morning at 9 am. (Joe Pantorno for Bronx Times)

RIP Jane Walentas, the artist behind the three-decade restoration of Jane’s Carousel in Brooklyn Bridge Park. (Rose Adams for amNewYork Metro)

Twenty places across the city to enjoy nature. (Jenna Fanelli for Bronx Times)

The city will only retain 50 of its 95 park rangers, thanks to the city’s budget cuts. In a budget of $88.2 billion, the cuts to the park ranger program are saving $10 million, or 0.01% of the budget. (Reuven Blau for The City)

13 places to get frozen boozy drinks in Astoria. (Claire Leaden for We Heart Astoria)

Thanks to reader Lisa for today’s featured photo!

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 March 5, 2020 – The “Are We Supposed to Be Freaking Out Yet?” Edition

Today’s daily NYC news digest: Two colleges close due to COVID-19 fears, the loudest borough in the city, 60,000 children owe late library fees, 30 excellent weekday breakfasts, and more

Today – Low: 40˚ High: 52˚
Clear throughout the day.

30 excellent spots for weekday breakfast. (Nikko Duren & Bryan Kim for The Infatuation)

Could New York be the first state to decriminalize sex work? There’s a bill working its way through the state’s legislature that could make it happen. (Arima Long for Kings County Politics)

How many people get a sandwich named after them and how many of those people get to eat that sandwich? Experiencing the Wayne Diamond at Russo’s Mozzarella and Pasta with Wayne Diamond himself. (EV Grieve)

A New York City public school teacher who vacationed in Italy during the February winter break is set to undergo testing after experiencing possible coronavirus symptoms after spending several days last week in a classroom with children before she showed any signs of potential infection. Remain calm. (Greg B. Smith and Yoav Gonen for The City)

The person with the third confirmed coronavirus case in New York state is a student at Yeshiva University, which closed its campus temporarily in upper Manhattan. (Jen Chung and Elizabeth Kim for Gothamist)

How are restaurants preparing for coronavirus? Following the city’s sanitary guidelines have become more important than ever. (Hannah Howard for Grub Street)

All your coronavirus questions answered. Okay, maybe not ALL of them, but it’s a pretty comprehensive list of questions. If you’re the person people turn to with questions about it, this is a good link to send the people asking you questions. (Jen Chung and Elizabeth King for Gothamist)

New York Law School closed its Tribeca campus after a student reported contact with the New Rochelle lawyer seriously ill with novel coronavirus. (Kathleen Culliton for Patch)

Here is how the city is stepping up its coronavirus prevention efforts. (Emily Davenport for amNewYork Metro)

A brief note from City Council Speaker Corey Johnson about coronavirus. (Corey Johnson for The Brooklyn Reader)

Historic restaurant Gage & Tollner is ready to return to the city on March 15th. (Robert Simonson for NY Times)

No matter the changes, New York real estate can still be a mostly lawless place where brokers are willing to charge whatever they want for whatever they want before you get your keys. (Matthew Haag for NY Times)

9 buildings in the city that have lost their landmark status. (Noah Sheidlower for Untapped New York)

At the moment it’s a parking lot sitting atop the toxic leftovers of a 19th-century thermometer factory near the South Street Seaport, but it soon may be a 990-foot tall mixed use tower. (Caroline Spivack for Curbed)

The “Ladies Burger” at Long Island Bar in Cobble Hill, a single patty option of its Long Island Burger, is dead. The name is gone, but the single patty option lives on. (Luke Fortney for Eater)

14 ways to celebrate Women’s History Month in NYC. (Devin Gannon for 6sqft)

Andy Kessler was an early pioneer of skateboarding in Riverside Park and on the Upper West Side, and Community Board 7 will name the Riverside Skate Park in his honor when it reopens in May. (amNewYork Metro)

Buckle up, no matter where you’re sitting. A new bill is headed to Governor Cuomo’s desk that would make it mandatory for seatbelts to be worn in every seat of the car. (Adam Nichols for Patch)

The story of how a living room turned into Lion’s Roar Karaoke House in East Williamsburg. (Lauren Vespoli for NY Times)

The Double Chocolate Cookie with Oat Ganache, “the greatest cookie” (Gothamist’s words, not mine), will be available in the city this month only. (Jen Carlson for Gothamist)

60,000 delinquent children have $15 or more of late fees at New York’s public libraries, preventing them from borrowing more books. The head librarians of New York, Queens, and Brooklyn public libraries asked the City Council to wipe out late fees for children altogether to get books back in the hands of children. (Kathleen Culliton for Patch)

A guide to prewar vs post-war apartments. (Localize Labs)

Congrats Brooklyn, you’re the noisiest borough in the city. (Beth Dedman for amNewYork Metro)

16 exemplary Chinese soup dumplings in NYC. (Robert Sietsema for Eater)

Thank you to reader Emily for sending in today’s featured photo!