The Briefly for October 20 – 21, 2020 – The “Times Square Gets A PerFect Addition” Tuesday Edition

The latest NYC news digest: NY releases its Covid-19 vaccine plan and a new matrix, hot cocktail season is upon us, the scariest thing about Blood Manor, and more

Today – Low: 64˚ High: 68˚
Mostly cloudy throughout the day.

In a touch of good news, there were only 18 positive Covid-19 tests out of the 10,676 that were administered in schools. (Dana Rubenstein and J. David Goodman for NY Times)

JFK and Newark airports are now offering Rapid Nasal Swab Tests for Covid-19 with results in under 15 minutes. (Will Gleason for Time Out)

In the last days of warm-enough weather, here’s where to work outside with wifi. (Matt Tervooren for The Infatuation)

Welcome to NYC, P.F. Chang’s, you will fit in perfectly in Times Square. (Bao Ong for Time Out)

In one of the weirder stories this week, we all found out that the city can be shut out of its own ferry docks, as it was in Greenpoint for most of Monday. (Matt Troutman for Patch)

The Greenpoint Library is now open for grab-and-go service. (Greenpointers)

Everything to know about putting up temporary walls in an NYC apartment. (Lambeth Hochwald for StreetEasy)

With a drop in Covid-19 cases in hot spots, expect Governor Cuomo to make adjustments to the red zone maps this week. (Robert Pozarycki for Brooklyn Paper)

A fire in Cypress Hills burnt down a marijuana grow house. (John Del Signore for Gothamist)

215 idiots were busted mid-party inside the Queens Luxe Banquet Hall on Rockaway Boulevard in Queens. The owner and staff were charged with misdemeanors. (Sydney Pereira for Gothamist)

New York City Comptroller Scott Stringer has released a new plan that would make CUNY community colleges free to all students in an attempt to close the inequality gap. (The Brooklyn Reader)

For $4.75 million, you can own Toni Morrison’s Tribeca loft. (Erin Hudson for The Real Deal)

New Hope Family Services refuses to provide services to married same-sex couples and won a preliminary injunction to block the Office of Children and Family Services from shutting them down for doing so. (Arthur S> Leonard for Gay City News)

Photos: Inside Frenchette’s takeover of the old Arcade Barkery space. (Tanay Warerkar for Eater)

Remember when I linked to a report that said the homeless New Yorkers in The Lucerne would be moved to the Financial District on Sunday? That has been reversed again. A state supreme court judge approved a restraining order preventing anyone from being moved until at least November 16. (Mirela Iverac for Gothamist)

Andres Fernandez was convicted of killing the owner of the legendary L&B Spumoni Gardens pizzeria in 2016 and will face 25 years to life behind bars. (Rose Adams for Brooklyn Adams)

Here’s what you need to know about New York’s plastic bag ban. (Michelle Young for Untapped New York)

The scariest thing about Blood Manor haunted house is the giant, maskless crowds. (Tribeca Citizen)

Governor Cuomo’s office released its Covid-19 vaccination plan, including a vaccine prioritization matrix, with New Yorkers falling into Priority 1-6. First we were dealing with “phases,” now we’re dealing with “zones,” next up is “priority.” Most of us will fall into Priority 5. (Sydney Pereira for Gothamist)

Another look at Times Square’s “Plastic Bag Store” now that the plastic bag ban is real and being enforced. (Michelle Young for Untapped New York)

AOC is encouraging voting on the Working Families Party line instead of the Democratic line for the presidential election to help preserve WFP’s place on the ballot moving forward. (Daniel Marans for HuffPost)

The New York Times has discovered Breezy Point, the NYC right-wing hideout full of police and firefighters. (Corey Kilgannon for NY Times)

Holding up a magnifying glass to the NYPD’s impunity when it comes to killing people on NYC streets with their cars in light of NY Attorney General Letitia James opening an investigation into the killing of Sofia Gomex, who was killed by an NYPD highway officer. (Julianne Cuba for Streetsblog)

Everything that the city did to campaign for New Yorkers to fill out their census forms ended up raising the response rate by a measly 0.1%. The city is pushing this as a win. (David Cruz for Gothamist)

The Times already declared cuffing season starting early this year. That means it’s time for hot cocktails. (Tanay Warerkar for Eater)

The Briefly for October 11-12, 2020 – The “SERENITY NOW!” Sunday Edition

The latest NYC news digest: The Raccoon Show, Dermot Shea calls BLM protesters “spoiled brats”, cuffing season declared, the top 12 neighborhood pizza slices, and more

Today – Low: 55˚ High: 68˚
Rain in the evening and overnight.

Midtown’s Roosevelt Hotel is closing at the end of the month after 96 years. (David Cruz for Gothamist)

There is a law in NYC that local police cannot enforce federal immigration law, that does not stop ICE agents from pretending to be local police during raids. (Sophia Chang for Gothamist)

When the city lacks its usual entertainment, it turns to the trash pandas. Welcome to The Raccoon Show. (Ben Yakas for Gothamist)

Spider-Man 3 has begun filming in Queens. Look for the filming notices for “SERENITY NOW.” Yes, all of the fake filming titles for Spider-Man movies have been George Costanza references. (Jacob Kaye for amNewYork Metro)

Inside a Bronx freshman’s first day back in the classroom. (Alex Zimmerman for Chalkbeat)

Maybe after this is all over, we should stop putting schools in windowless basements. (Cindy Rodriguez for Gothamist)

The city owes its public school teachers $900 million, which dates back a decade and has its roots in the Bloomberg administration’s dealing of the last financial crisis. The city tried to punt on those payments until an arbitrator ruled the city must pay its teachers half of what is owed by the end of the month, the other half in July 2021 and agree to a no-layoffs provision through June 2021 along with teachers getting a 3.5% pay bump by May 2021. (David Cruz for Gothamist)

A new state requirement will demand that 20% of all students and staff enrolled in in-person learning be tested weekly for Covid-19 inside the state’s “yellow” zones with the mandate in effect by Friday, October 16. (Sophia Chang for Gothamist)

Farewell to Queens Comfort on 30th Ave in Astoria. Today is its last day of service. (Luke Fortney for Eater)

Broadway will remain shut down through May 2021, extending past the last “end date” in March. (Broadway World)

Satire: Hundreds Of Cane-Wielding Demonstrators Pull Governor Into Kickline To Protest Broadway Shutdown. (The Onion)

Broadway is known as “The Great White Way” thanks to the volume of lights on the various marquees, but the nickname remains appropriate for other reasons too, as a new report shows that only 20% of shows on Broadway or Off-Broadway during the 2017-2018 season were created by people of color, two-thirds were filled by white actors and 94% directors were white. (Sahar Bahr for NY Times)

Had enough of apartment living in NYC and yearn for a life on the seas but still in the city? Here’s everything you need to know about houseboat living in NYC. (Cait Etherington for 6sqft)

Mayor de Blasio has chosen the city’s next rezoning battleground: SoHo and NoHo, from Astor Place down to Canal Street. The opponents say it will “ruin” the neighborhood’s character and the proponents argue that it will bring 3,200 apartments to the area, with 800 below-market rate. The deciding City Councilmember will be Margaret Chin, provided the city moves forward with approval before she’s term-limited out in 2021. (Sydney Pereira for Gothamist)

Apartment Porn: There’s a house in Prospect-Lefferts Gardens that’s for sale that my wife is obsessed with. Once you see the photos of the $2.75 million pre-war house, you’ll become obsessed too. (Dana Schulz for 6sqft)

Photos: Tribeca’s Pier 26 is now open, complete with a man-made tidal marsh called the Tide Deck. (Devin Gannon for 6sqft)

The City Reliquary is in danger of closing. It’s one of the city’s oddest and most unique and interesting museums in addition to being a non-profit civic organization. In non-pandemic times, it is worth your visit. Now it needs your help. (Dana Schulz for 6sqft)

There will never be a story about the Grand Central Terminal lost and found that I will not link to. Years ago my best friend left an acoustic guitar on a Metro-North train and found it at the lost and found a few days later, just one of the roughly 2,500 items lost every month. (Nicole Saraniero for Untapped New York)

Here is the full list of NYC politicians being endorsed by Our Revolution, founded by Bernie Sanders. (amNewYork Metro)

How much does a life cost? Last year Matt Palacios was killed by Luc C. Vu, who was driving a dump truck and made an illegal left turn. Court records indicate that Vu’s driver’s license has been revoked for six months, that he paid a $250 fine on the failure to yield to a bicyclist charge, and that he will receive a conditional discharge in one year if he does not get into additional legal trouble. $250 for taking Matt’s life. (Mike Johnson for PWInsider)

“I don’t know what you call them — peaceful protesters — maybe spoiled brats at this point.” -NYPD Commissioner Dermot Shea on NY1. The NYPD is on pace to spend more than $100 million beyond its budget for overtime this year. (Christopher Robbins for Gothamist)

On the same night that NYPD officers stood by while protesters attacked civilians and a journalist during a Borough Park protest against Covid-19 restrictions, the police department arrested four Black Lives Matter activists in Bedford-Stuyvesant for low-level offenses and detained them for two nights before they were released. (Gwynne Hogan for Gothamist)

Video: Watch the NYPD be unable to break up a massive celebration full of unmasked people blocking a street in Crown Heights last week and eventually give up and go home. (Jake Offenhartz for Gothamist)

Hundreds of ultra-Orthodox congregants attended an indoor prayer service in Borough Park on Friday in open defiance of Governor Andrew Cuomo’s newly imposed restrictions on religious gatherings in COVID hotspots. The service was led by a rabbi who tested positive for Covid-19 one week ago. (Jake Offenhartz for Gothamist)

MSG and the Barclays Center are becoming voting locations on November 3. Yankee Stadium? Silence. In a neighborhood that could use the most help from a neighbor, the Yankees, who pay $0 in real state taxes and pay $1/year for the land their stadium occupies, have turned their back on the local community at nearly every opportunity. (Mary Steffenhagen for New York City News Service)

Congratulations to the NYC girls who have become some of the first to ever join Scouts BSA, formerly the Boy Scouts of America. (Yasmeen Khan for Gothamist)

The NYPL released a list of 200 book titles to get you election-ready. (Dana Schulz for 6sqft)

Farewell to Dizzy’s Diner in Park Slope after 22 years. (Ben Verde for Brooklyn Paper)

Turns out it pays to be in the crowd for SNL. No literally, the audience is being paid $150 to be considered cast members, since audience members aren’t allowed. Each “cast member” is given a rapid Covid-19 test before entering the studio. (Julia Jacobs and Dave Itzkoff for NY Times)

The Times is declaring cuffing season, but did the last cuffing season ever officially end? (Johan Engel Bromwich and Sandra E. Garcia for NY Times)

Farewell to 88 Lan Zhou in Chinatown, who will be closing on October 31. (Elie Z. Perler for Bowery Boogie)

The top 12 neighborhood pizza slices. (Robert Sietsema for Eater)

How to support independent restaurants. (Bonnie Tsui for NY Times)

The Briefly for August 3, 2020 – The “Fired Anywhere But New York City” Edition

Today’s daily NYC news digest: The mayor’s staff keeps quitting, 15 new Open Restaurant streets, AOC weighs in on the Port Authority’s federal funding, a whale saved, and more

Today – Low: 75˚ High: 88˚
Possible light rain overnight.

Tuesday is looking rough in the city. Tropical Storm Isaias is predicted to hit the city sometime Tuesday afternoon. Just in time for my dogs to need a walk. (Adam Nichols for Patch)

“I’m telling you we’re going to have an issue.” Governor Cuomo isn’t an optimist when it comes to the city’s economic recovery. (Matt Troutman for Patch)

Katz’s launched its own delivery service. (Erika Adams for Eater)

The mayor has been suspending alternate side parking on and off for months and he was never aware that the city uses street cleaning days for bike lane work. Good thing the mayor spent all that effort to “lighten the burden” of car ownership, in his own words. (Gersh Kuntzman for Streetsblog)

The mayor is doing such a great job serving the city that six high-ranking staffers of Mayor de Blasio’s have quit in the last month. As everyone knows, there’s no better time to leave your government job than during an economic crisis in the middle of a pandemic for a mayor who will be out of office in less than two years. (Jake Offenhartz for Gothamist)

Calls for NYPD Commissioner Dermot Shea to resign have grown louder in the past few weeks. The pandemic and protests following the murder of George Floyd have shown that the NYPD’s commissioner has the back of the citizens of the NYPD and not the citizens of NYC and has exacerbated problems between the two. (Gwynne Hogan for Gothamist)

It’s hard to imagine another city where the commissioner, who is appointed by and serves at the pleasure of the mayor, would keep their job in the face of everything that Dermot Shea has said and done, but most cities aren’t governed by the coward Bill de Blasio. Sometimes I editorialize in these moments, but this piece in the Times looks at just how weird it is that Shea has kept his job despite almost a decade of de Blasio calling for police reforms. (Emma G. Fitzsimmons for NY Times)

Following Andrew Coté, who spent his pandemic rescuing beehives across the city. (Stephanie Simon)

The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey was hit with a $777 million drop in revenues in the first half of the year and is pleading for federal assistance, potentially losing $3 billion by March 2022. (Sophia Chang for Gothamist)

“While some of this funding may be critical to stabilize Port Authority operations, no funding should be provided to the AirTrain; the AirTrain is an unnecessary boondoggle that will hamper economic recovery in our watershed, a region in Northern Queens that has been heavily impacted by Covid-19,” -AOC (Angélica Acevedo for QNS)

You might have done everything right when it came to your absentee ballot and the Board of Elections still may have invalidated it. In a misunderstanding between the state and the post office, it’s possible the post office didn’t postmark your ballot and it also didn’t deliver it before the June 30 deadline. The exact number of rejected ballots will be announced on Tuesday. (Emily Ngo for NY1)

Even if we admit that everyone who touched the ballots (except voters) was at fault, what are the next steps? We’re expecting a ruling this week in a court case that will decide the fate of many of these invalidated votes. (Brigid Bergin for Gothamist)

One of the things that sucks the most about the voting mess from the June 23 primary is that the city is now being held up by President Trashbag as a reason to not move forward with mail-in voting. There was no malfeasance involved, but the state and the federal government let us down with a failure to perform in June and we don’t have much time before November roars through. (Jesse McKinley for NY Times)

It has taken the city an embarrassingly long amount of time to create the No-Penalty Business Accessory Sign Inspection program in reaction to the panic going around small businesses after hundreds of complaints were filed in November of 2018, leading to many businesses just ripping their signs down in confusion/fear. It shouldn’t take a deadly pandemic for the city to help small businesses become compliant with regulations. (Jaime DeJesus for The Brooklyn Home Reporter)

The Top of the Rock will reopen this Thursday with free admission to essential workers and a guest from August 14-16. (Shaye Weaver for Time Out)

American Museum of Natural History is reopening on Sept. 9, pending permission from state and city officials, with a 25% capacity. (Sarah Bahr for NY Times)

Ronny Vargas and Alex Sauzo were arrested for throwing an illegal and non-socially distanced three-hour boat party in the East River with 17u2 people aboard. (Sydney Pereira for Gothamist)

A humpback whale was successfully freed by NOAA over the weekend after being entangled in a mess of buoys and fishing line for several days. Humpback whales returning to NYC’s waterways is a positive sign that preservation efforts are working, but also a sign that we’ll need to continue those efforts to keep them safe. (Sydney Pereira for Gothamist)

Photos: If you don’t have an easy means to see it yourself, there is a tribute to Elijah McClain by artist Vincent Ballentine in the First Street Green Art Park. (EV Grieve)

3% is the city’s threshold for keeping the schools open. As long as the city’s seven-day rolling average positivity rate stays below 3%, schools will stay open. The rate has been between 1% and 2% for about two months. The city will no mandate that staff or students get tested for Covid-19. The chair of the City Council’s education committee calls the city’s plans “an unfunded proposal that is incomplete.” The head of the teacher’s union says “This is not enough to protect students and staff.” (Elizabeth Kim and David Cruz for Gothamist)

15 more streets were added to the city’s Open Restaurants program, which allows restaurants to expand into the streets on the weekend. (Tanay Warerkar for Eater)

NYPD officer Kevin Martin was arrested and charged with evidence tampering and official misconduct. Martin has been the subject of 14 investigations by the Civilian Complaint Review Board and 18 of the 45 different allegations brought against him have been substantiated and he was named in six lawsuits, which cost the city over $1 million in settlements. (Jake Offenhartz for Gothamist)

Good morning to Murphy, the newborn harbor seal pup in the New York Aquarium in Coney Island. (Ben Verde for amNewYork Metro)

Photos: The MTA is trying out six new kinds of subway maps. If you want to see them in person, take the R all the way to 86th St in Brooklyn, or just look at the photos. (Ben Yakas, photos by Scott Lynch for Gothamist)

17 public art installations not to miss in August, including the new installation in the Socrates Sculpture Park. (Nicholas Loud for Untapped New York)

An airport replacing Central Park? Is this some sort of joke? Yes, it is. (Josh Vogel for NYC Urbanism)

11 food and drink pop-ups in NYC this summer. Happy to see Bad Trip on the list in Dumbo, it’s my favorite of this summer’s picks. (Hannah Albertine & Matt Tervooren for The Infatuation)