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 December 4, 2019 – The “Another Reason Not to Eat Sushi From Walgreens” Edition

Today’s daily NYC news digest: Mayor de Blasio says a new stupid thing, the most popular dog names in the city, a french fry shortage is on the horizon, the Rock Center tree, and more.

The city won’t reveal its master plan for the Sunnyside Yards at a traditional town hall meeting, instead favoring a digital town hall, requiring participants to register in advance. Does the EDC expect a massive turnout and couldn’t find an appropriate space or are they trying to suppress opposition to their plan? (Michael Dorgan and Christian Murray for LIC Post)

If you’re the Governors Ball-going type, tickets are available for presale and they’re dropping hints about the lineup on Instagram. (Bill Pearis for BrooklynVegan)

There’s a recall of ready-to-eat sushi, salads, and spring rolls from Trader Joe’s and Walgreens due to a contamination of Listeria. Trader Joe’s has reported no illnesses and if you have contaminated food you can bring it back for a refund. (Adam Nichols for Patch)

Is Hurricane Dorian going to cause a french fry shortage? (Ben Yakas for Gothamist)

A cargo delivery bike pilot program will be announced today with Amazon, DHL, and Whole Foods among its participants. The bikes look to be part truck and part bike, but will take up a much smaller footprint in regards to carbon and parking. (Dave Colon for Streetsblog)

More info on the cargo bikes: They’ll be big, but also pedal assisted, allowed in commercial loading spaces, and will be concentrated from 60th to the Battery. (Winnie Hu and Matthew Hang for NY Times)

The process to make Rikers Island a public space kicked off this week to make way for the jail’s closing in 2026. (Alex Mitchell for amNewYork)

Lincoln Center’s David Geffen Hall is getting a $550 million remodel. (Gabe Herman for amNewYork)

Has Mayor de Blasio’s control over the city’s schools been effective? The state Assembly will hold a hearing on the 16th. (Samar Khurshid for Gotham Gazette)

What’s coming to Off-Broadway this December. (Matt Windman for amNewYork)

Vending machines like the CVS machines in Union Square and Chambers St station is both a new and nearly 120 year old idea. (Elizabeth Kim for Gothamist)

A holiday tipping guide: How much to tip your doorman, super, porter, and more. (Brick Underground)

New York spends the most per student than any other state in the country and has the 13th lowest graduation rate. (Kathleen Culliton for Patch)

Quickly: What’s the different between hemp and marijuana? The Brooklyn District Attorney’s office doesn’t know either. Earlier this year they boasted about stopping 106 pounds of marijuana from hitting the streets, but it was hemp, and they arrested Oren Levy from Green Angel CBD under the same assumption. (Jake Offenhartz for Gothamist)

It’ll be easier to prove tenant harassment from landlords thanks to new bills signed into law by Governor Cuomo. The laws expand the definition of harassment, remove the requirement that tenants prove they’ve been physically hurt by their landlords, and increases punishment for landlords who try to force out rent-regulated tenants. (Kathleen Culliton for Patch)

Everything you need to know about the 2019 Rockefeller enter Christmas tree. (Claire Lampen for Gothamist)

New Yorkers pride themselves on knowing the best alternatives. The best delis that aren’t Katz, the best pizza in DUMBO that isn’t from Grimaldi’s, the best food that isn’t outside your neighborhood, etc. Here are 20 Christmas trees that aren’t in Rockefeller Center. (Devin Gannon for 6sqft)

A new public light installation at Brookfield Place called Light Up Luminaries creates a canopy of multi-colored, lit up cubes suspended from the ceiling with a “show” every hour. (Adam Goldman for Time Out)

Lord & Taylor is returning to the city for two weeks in December in the form of a 2,400 square foot pop-up shop in Soho, a far cry from their 676,000 square foot Fifth Avenue flagship location that was shuttered at the beginning of the year. (Michelle Cohen for 6sqft)

The NYPD has been shooting surveillance films of “individuals and enemies of the state” for decades and thanks to the Handschu agreement, over a hundred hours of digitized footage from the 1960s through the 1980s is available through the Department of Records & Information Services. (Ben Yakas for Gothamist)

The laws passed on Tuesday are only the start of what advocates hope will be a fruitful 2020 session when it comes to rent reforms. Multiple bills addressing evictions, tenant protections and housing stability are still in-process in Albany. (Mark Hallum for amNewyork)

The mayor is venturing towards full-on idiot mode with every passing day. When asked if the NYPD should be allowed to publicly display Thin Blue Line flags on NYPD property, the mayor said “There’s a lot of Photoshop in this world, so we’ll see.” The Thin Blue Line flag has been adopted by neo-Nazis and white supremacists in response to the Black Lives Matter movement. (Jake Offenhartz for Gothamist)

40 inexpensive dining destinations. (Robert Sietsema for Eater)

New Yorkers speak 637 languages, and the Endangered Language Alliance has mapped them all. (Christopher Robbins for Gothamist)

Let’s start with the obvious, we did not arrest Wolverine.” (Kathleen Culliton for Patch)

How much did your school’s PTA bring in last year? (Alex Mitchell for amNewYork)

The most popular dog names in the city and Max and Bella. You’ve gotta step up your dog naming game. (Adam Nichols for Patch)

The Brooklyn Botanic Garden is offering free admission Tuesday to Friday, noon to 4:30pm. (Shaye Weaver for Time Out)

At least five Rikers Island correction officers have been suspended as investigators examine their failure to stop an 18-year-old detainee’s suicide attempt. (Ed Shanahan and William K. Rashbaum for NY Times)

Where to go when you’ve eaten everywhere in Williamsburg. (The Infatuation)