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 June 8, 2020 – The “I Guess This Is Phase One?” Edition

Today’s daily NYC news digest: Phase one kicks off today, the mayor is forced to lift the city’s curfew early, the MTA’s plans for phase one, a protest of the mayor, and more

Are you absentee voting this month? (You should be absentee voting this month.) Here’s how to make sure your absentee vote counts. (Ethan Geringer-Sameth for Gotham Gazette)

The absentee ballot deadline was extended to June 23. Get your application in now. (Matt Troutman for Patch)

Here we go, phase one. Here’s what it means. (Brendan Krisel for Patch)

The mayor announced he would end the city’s curfew one day early because, according to him, there had been a night without violent protests. In the reality that the rest of us live in, a lawsuit from the NYCLU, the Legal Aid Society, the Thurgood Marchall Civil Rights Center, and the Center for Constitutional Rights were about to force the mayor to lift the curfew and three different district attorneys in the city refused to charge most protestors that were arrested. (Ali Tufan Koc and Daniel Maurer for Bedford + Bowery)

A protest of the mayor is expected on Monday morning (or was expected, depending on when you read this) to push de Blasio into actually enacting police reforms. The march, which includes members of the mayor’s administration, isn’t organized by the same people who wrote the open letter tot he mayor, but it shows how unified the city is in its disgust over the mayor’s ability to talk a lot and do very little. (Yoav Gonen for The City)

As Minneapolis already has, activists are calling on the NYC Department of Education to cut ties with the NYPD. Chancellor Richard Carranza, appointed by the mayor, does not favor a “counselors not cops” approach to school safety. Since 2014 the school safety budget has increased by 25% and while the school budget for next year is decreasing under the budget already revealed by the mayor, the budget for safety is increasing. (Alex Zimmerman for The City)

What can the city do with the NYPD’s $6 billion? Quite a bit. (Valeria Ricciulli for Curbed)

Thursday night’s NYPD ambush of peaceful protesters was, according to Commissioner Dermont Shea, “executed flawlessly.” It included beating and arresting legal observers, medics, pepper-spraying a pregnant woman, and featured Terence Monahan kneeling with protesters one moment and directing officers to arrest the protest’s leaders the next. The NYPD claimed that “interlopers” were to blame for the police violence but a video of what happened shows otherwise and the NYPD has yet to show any evidence of this. (Jake Offenhartz and Nick Pinto for Gothamist)

A look at the NYPD’s strategy of “kettling” protestors, which shows a shift in police tactics towards aggression. Of course, the mayor has defended this practice, saying it is sometimes necessary for public safety. I’m not sure which public he’s referring to. (Ali Watkins for NY Times)

Does the name Terence Monahan ring a bell? It should because he was the person in charge of the city’s response to protesters during the 2004 GOP convention. In 2004 the protesters had been told they could march and were then arrested en masse. Charges were dismissed against all 227 arrested. The city later settling a lawsuit with the protesters for $18 million. (Greg B. Smith for The City)

Terence Monahan has a legacy of brutality. (Peter Rugh for The Indypendent)

Governor Cuomo announced a “Say Their Name” package of bills which would criminalize making a false race-based 911 call, ban chokeholds, revise 50-1 (unknown what this means), and assign the Attorney General an independent prosecutor for matters related to the death of unarmed citizens caused by law enforcement. (Anna Quinn for Patch)

The state’s Black, Puerto Rican, Hispanic and Asian Legislative Caucus has their own package of 13 bills they’ve unveiled which also adds mandates for body cameras for state and MTA police, establishes strangulation as a crime mandates medical attention for people under arrest, and more. (Caroline Lewis for Gothamist)

We’re committed to seeing a shift of funding to youth services, to social services, that will happen literally in the course of the next three weeks, but I’m not going to go into detail because it is subject to negotiation and we want to figure out what makes sense.” -Mayor de Blasio, talking big, one more time. He says “literally in the course of the next three weeks” because it literally has to get done because of the city’s budget, not because he wants to enact reforms quickly. (Dana Rubenstein for NY Times)

Two NYPD officers were suspended for violence against protesters. One is the officer who pushed a woman to the ground and the other the officer who pulled down a protester’s face mask and pepper-sprayed him. Just two. (John Del Signore for Gothamist)

Next, suspend every cop who covered their badge number during the protests with the bullshit excuse of the covers being “mourning bands.” (Adam Nichols for Patch)

Photos: East Village storefronts show their support for Black Lives Matter. (EV Grieve)

In comparison, the award for “the shittiest tribute to victims of racial violence” goes to the Museum of Ice Cream’s “I Scream For…” painted boards. (Elie Perler for Bowery Boogie)

Returning to the subways today? Here’s what you need to know. (Christina Goldbaum for NY Times)

The MTA clearly has a plan for people who will be riding the subway. It may not be a perfect plan, but it’s a plan. The mayor? Come on, you know he doesn’t have a plan based in reality. (Benjamin Kabak for Second Ave Sagas)

“This week and going forward, you might notice some other helpful additions to your local station — like new hand sanitizer dispensers and new signs reminding you how to keep yourself safe. You’ll also see floor markings, floor decals, and new directions aimed at communicating with you clearly about how to safely move around our system.
-Sarah Feinberg, acting President of MTA New York City Transit for amNewyork Metro, MTA is glad to have you back for the NYC reopening

With June 8’s phase one reopening of the city, you might be asking a few questions that are closer to home, like “will my building’s gym/pool be opening soon?” Get ready for a complicated road back. (Joanne Kaufman for NY Times)

The city will begin testing sewage for Covid-19, to get an idea of how the virus is spreading hundreds or thousands of people at a time. (Anna Quinn for Patch)

Governor Cuomo signed a bill into a law that will grant death benefits to Covid-19 frontline workers’ families. (Emily Davenport for amNewYork Metro)

A peek into what remains of Park, a Chelsea restaurant that abruptly closed last year and appears to be slowly taken over by trees. (Michelle Young for Untapped Cities)

If you’re like me, at this point in the summer you’d have ridden the Coney Island Cyclone multiple times. If you’ve been missing the anticipation of the climb of the first hill and the exhilaration of the drop, these 360° videos of the Cyclone and Thunderbolt are gonna be as close as we can get for a while. (Amanda Hatfield for BrooklynVegan)

Last Wednesday night the city’s known Covid-19 death toll hit 0 for the first time since March 12. (Matt Troutman for Patch)

James Bennet, who oversaw the editorial pages of the NY Times, is out. The paper blames it on “a significant breakdown of our editorial process” because of the Senator Tom Cotton editorial which promoted violence against protesters. (Gus Saltonstall for Patch)

RIP Kanela, a red-headed Siberian husky and the unofficial mascot of Welcome2TheBronx. (Ed García Conde for Welcome2TheBronx)

In 1982, the MTA thought they could paint their cars brilliant white to prevent them from being spray painted. “The Great White Fleet” idea was as stupid as it sounds. (Kevin Walsh for Forgotten New York)

A bit of news that passed by in the insanity that was Memorial Day weekend and every single day since then, the City Council banned the use of the terms “alien” and “illegal immigrant” on official city documents. (Allie Griffin for Queens Post)

Central Park West’s mystery manhole cover. (Ephemeral New York)

Apartment Porn: A $3.5 million townhouse in Prospect Heights with outdoor space, amazing woodwork, and one of the most wildly-colored bathrooms I’ve ever seen. (Dana Schulz for 6sqft)

A list of lists: A roundup of NYC’s Black-owned restaurant lists. (Tanay Warerkar for Eater)

Thank you to reader Michael for today’s featured photo!

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)