The Briefly for May 8, 2020 – The “Do We Really Need A Polar Vortex Right Now?” Weekend Edition

Today’s daily NYC news digest: The NYPD continues to be the NYPD while enforcing social distancing, the state’s eviction moratorium continues through August, 35 places for dessert, & more

Today – Low: 36˚ High: 56˚
Rain starting in the afternoon.
This weekend – Low: 40˚ High: 61˚

What’s that purple light? The Upper West Side has a minor mystery on its hands. (Mike Mishkin for I Love the Upper West Side)

The eventual design of the new 15 Penn Plaza has changed a few times over the years, and it’s changed again, to a much more boring design. (Vanessa Londono for New York YIMBY)

Slowly, the eyesores in Soho that were boarding up stores are becoming art installations. The Soho Bloomingdales’s boarded up windows is now a canvas for Marco Santini. On one hand, this is better than boarded up windows, on the other hand, will a concentration of street art in Soho begin to become an attraction for people when no one should be gathering together? (Howard Halle for Time Out)

Here are two words you absolutely don’t want to hear in the middle of May: Polar Vortex. (Kathleen Culliton for Patch)

Apartment Porn: 10 jaw-dropping apartments you can tour from your couch. (Shaye Weaver for Time Out)

Los Muralistas de El Puente is filling the walls of a Domino Park in Williamsburg with painted portraits of Brooklyn’s essential workers. You can find the collective’s portraits near the South 4th St entrance near River St. (Jessica Parks for Brooklyn Paper)

The city is looking to administer 140,000 Covid-19 antibody tests to “everyday New Yorkers” in the coming weeks in addition to 140,000 tests for essential workers, in hopes of understanding the spread of the virus. (Devin Gannon for 6sqft)

In the age of only pickup or delivery, Seamless and other delivery apps are holding the city’s restaurants hostage. Use the apps to look at a restaurant’s menu and then call the restaurant using the phone number listed in Google Maps. How much of an impact is this making on restaurants? The example used in the article is on a $131 order, the restaurant gives up $35 to Grubhub. (Rebecca Ibarra for Gothamist)

Video: 13 NYC islands you might not know about. (Matt Coneybeare for Viewing NYC)

Mini-Documentary: The history of the Coney Island Cyclone Roller Coaster. (Matt Coneybeare or Viewing NYC)

The state’s moratorium on evictions was extended by Governor Cuomo until August. He also banned late fees and ordered that security deposits can be used as rent payments. The governor is not acting on calls to cancel rent, essentially kicking the can down the road with this executive order. For landlords, he told them to look to the federal government for relief. (Kathleen Culliton for Patch)

Mister Softee trucks seem like an awful idea if you’re trying to avoid touching other people, but you can never escape the Mister Softee jingle, not even during an epidemic. Did you know the Mister Softee song has lyrics? (Emmo Orlow for Time Out)

Video: NYPD officers making another violent arrest, including punching bystanders while not wearing masks themselves. (East New York News)

Brooklyn District Attorney Eric Gonzalez is investigating multiple “disturbing” violent arrests in Brooklyn, weighing options to bring criminal charges against cops or issue recommendations for disciplinary measures. Hell will freeze over before I believe the city will bring charges against an NYPD officer. (Kevin Duggan for amNewYork Metro)

Of the 79 people who were issued tickets for jaywalking in the first three months of 2020, only one person was identified as white, while 78 were listed as black or Hispanic. (Gersh Kuntzman for Streetsblog)

35 of the 40 people arrested for social distancing are black. (Ashley Southall for NY Times)

The mayor, with the worst possible take on this. Happy birthday, Mayor de Blasio. (@NYCMayor)

Earlier in the week, the NYPD’s labor union said that the NYPD shouldn’t be in charge of enforcing social distancing. Maybe they are incapable of not enforcing every law in the city without an overt racial bias. What should they be doing? Because their latest stroke of genius included shutting down one of the city’s few open streets so they an illegally park their vehicle to get bagels. All without wearing masks or gloves. (Julianne Cuba for Streetsblog)

SNL’s got another At Home episode this week, which they’re calling the “season finale.” (Ben Yakas for Gothamist)

Police are investigating the death of a woman who was found badly decomposed in Marcus Garvey Park in Harlem on Thursday morning. (Emily Davenport for amNewYork Metro)

RIP Michael Halkias, owner of the Grand Prospect Hall. Halias was someone who was famous amongst New Yorker. His commercials for the Grand Prospect Hall are the things of legend. Thank you for making all our dreams come true. (Erika Adams for Eater)

The city also lost Jimmy Glenn, boxing legend and owner of Times Square dive bar Jimmy’s Corner. (Serena Dai for Eater)

Farewell Gem Spa, which will not open after the pandemic is over. (EV Grieve)

The American Museum Of Natural History announced the museum will cut about 20 percent of its workforce, around 450 out of approximately 1,100 employees. (Ben Yakas for Gothamist)

With graduation ceremonies canceled, high schools are having to get creative. (Elizabeth A. Harris for NY Times)

Only four people know the recipe for Gem Spa’s famous egg creams, here are a few recipes for egg creams so you can raise a toast to Gem Spa. (Nicole Schnitzler for Edible Brooklyn)

With Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt returning next week (and me hosting a Kimmy Schmidt edition of Pop Culture Trivia on Wednesday night), let’s explore Tina Fey and Ellie Kempner’s NYC connections. (Michele Petry for Street Easy)

Mayor de Blasio is expected to announce that he is stripping control of Covid-19 tracing away from the Health Department and giving it to Health and Hospitals which runs the city’s public hospitals, breaking with decades of precedent. (J. David Goodman, William K. Rashbaum and Jeffery C. Mays for NY Times)

CUNY Chancellor Félix Matos Rodríguez says federal aid is crucial to determine the university’s budget for next year and hasn’t made a decision about a tuition hike yet. (Juan Manuel Benitez for NY1)

35 dessert destinations serving cake, cookies, and treats. (Leah Rosenzweig for Eater)

Thank you to Katie for today’s featured photo!

The Briefly for May 7, 2020 – The “Playing Governor Cuomo BINGO” Edition

Today’s daily NYC news digest: The Nets go back on their promise to pay arena workers, the NY presidential primary is back on, a $20 million UES mansion, and more

Today – Low: 49˚ High: 64˚
Clear throughout the day.

There are 64 potential cases of children in New York with a mysterious inflammatory disease associated with COVID-19. (Nick Reisman for NY1)

Photos: The first night of the subway lockdown. (Christina Goldbaum for NY Times)

“Being a bus driver at 1 a.m., you’re already on edge.” With overnight subway service suspended, bus operators are concerned more unruly passengers will be coming their way. (Jose Martinez for The City)

Let’s play Governor Cuomo press briefing BINGO. (Jen Carlson and Sarah Butler for Gothamist)

The New York Democratic presidential primary is back on for June 23, thanks to a ruling by US District Judge Analisa Torres. The ruling is in response to Andrew Yang’s lawsuit. (Robert Pozarycki for amNewYork Metro)

John Bonizio, the owner of Metro Optics in the Bronx, has continued to pay all 56 of his employees through the closure of all their stores. (Ed García Conde for Welcome2TheBronx)

Despite a promise to pay its workers while the NBA is on indefinite hold, but at least 15 workers have not been paid. Joe Tsai, the owner of the Nets, is worth $10.6 billion. (Andy Hirschfeld for Observer)

There are people who will never ride the Cyclone because they will say it’s not safe, so it’s hard to imagine what Coney Island could do to make people feel safe and still open this season, but they’re getting ready with the hopes they’re allowed to celebrate July 4th with the city. (Jeanine Ramirez for NY1)

While the coronavirus has drastically changed many components of American life, the age-old issue of racial disparities in law enforcement has once again come to the fore, thanks to the NYPD. (Anne Branigin for The Root)

10 great seafood dishes still available in NYC. (Robert Sietsema for Eater)

The mayor has been shit-talking the federal government all week but spent Wednesday saying that without a stimulus for the city, city workers will face furloughs and layoffs. The mayor would not get into specifics, ensuring the highest amount of stress possible for all city workers. (Kathleen Culliton for Patch)

In an attempt to widen the state’s Covid-19 testing, there is some unsubstantiated reporting that 3,000 grocery stores will become testing locations. Get some blood testing done while you pick up some more yeast. (Emmo Orlow for Time Out)

“It was a cascade. And, by the way, I fully endorse it. But, literally, our income went to zero.” Inside the ‘Mrs. Doubtfire’ broadway show as it went from night three of previews to indefinite hiatus. (Michael Paulson for NY Times)

It’s been chilly after last weekend’s great weather. Where to order something when you’re in the mood for a bowl of something warm. (Matt Tervooren for The Infatuation)

Manhattan District Attorney Cy Vance Jr. dropped charges in a major construction fraud case this week. But he’s not blaming allegations of prosecutorial misconduct — he’s blaming Covid-19. (Greg B. Smith for The City)

Can a fast food restaurant be considered a NYC treasure? The answer is yes if you’re talking about Roll N Roaster, which has reached legendary status amongst New Yorkers. (Scott Lynch for Gothamist)

As the months tick by, we’re going to see more places go from closed indefinitely to closed permanently. The latest to be added to the permanent list is Daddy-O in the West Village. (Tanay Warerkar for Eater)

A soup kitchen run by the Coalition for the Homeless is seeing a 50% spike in demand since Covid-19 broke out. (Jacqueline Baylon and Claire Molloy for Business Insider)

“I’ve loved producing MUG for the past 28 years, but with things being the way they are, I’m closing MUG today, with a heavy heart for the city I love.” Manhattan User’s Guide, an invaluable resource run by Charlie Suisman has ended its 28-year run. Charlie has a new novel out called Arnold Falls. (Manhattan User’s Guide)

Today marks the next set of streets to close to vehicles and open to pedestrians and cyclists. How many miles of open streets will be added today? Two, bringing the total mileage to 9. The city has a goal of 100 miles by the end of the month. (Mark Hallum for amNewYork Metro)

Apartment Porn: A $20 million mansion on the Upper East Side with multiple fireplaces, a roof deck with a hot tub, a garden, a Juliet balcony, a circular skylight, and just steps from Central Park. If $20 million is too much, you can rent it for $85,000/month. (Valeria Ricciulli for Curbed)

It turns out that storing dead bodies in a UHaul truck on Utica Avenue isn’t a crime, it’s disgusting, but not a crime. (Todd Maisel for Brooklyn Paper)

12 affordable NYC dining options for takeout and delivery. (Emma Orlow for Time Out)

thanks to reader Madeline for today’s featured photo!

The Briefly for March 27, 2020 – The “No One is Stopping You From Leaving” Edition

Today’s daily NYC news digest: The best to-go cocktails available, hospitals begin to share ventilators, the Brooklyn Navy Yard steps up, restaurants become wine shops, and more

Today – Low: 46˚ High: 64˚
Partly cloudy throughout the day.
This weekend – Low: 46˚ High: 56˚

Okay, real question. How do we do our laundry now? (Sanam Yar for NY Times)

Here’s what you can and can’t do in the city right now. (Collier Sutter for Time Out)

When the governor announced that the state would be making 100,000 gallons of hand sanitizer a week using prison labor, we were a little short on details and we still are. The sanitizer is being bottled in state prisons by Corcraft, the public-facing brand name of the New York State Department of Corrections and Community Supervision’s Division of Industries, but as the reporting has discovered, it’s unknown where it’s actually being produced. (Katie Way for VICE)

The summer is approaching, when the city’s wealthy abandon our streets and flee upstate and to the Hamptons. Despite calls for a vacation home travel ban, the governor has no plans to put one in place. (Erik Engquist for The Real Deal)

Here are the streets the city will close this weekend to give us some space. There is one closure in each borough. One. Instead of creating more space for us to stretch out in, the city has created one destination inside each borough, especially the six blocks of Park Ave in Midtown. I predict this pilot program will be hailed as a success because of this weekend’s rain and not because one street in each borough was closed. (Ben Yakas for Gothamist)

If you’ve got a bike gathering dust, donate it to someone who needs it. (Dave Colon for Streetsblog)

Choice bike rides in each borough, even if the weather this weekend isn’t looking great for a leisurely ride. (Lillia Panych for Untapped New York)

It seems we can’t be trusted with basketball courts without breaking physical distancing guidelines, so the basketball hoops in 80 parks across the city have been removed. (Greenpointers)

For the third time this week a Trader Joe’s store, the Chelsea location, is closed due to multiple staffers testing positive for COVID-19. (Tanay Warerkar for Eater)

The story of one couple who saw the ban on partners in the delivery room at NewYork-Presbyterian, left the city. (Catherine Pearson for HuffPost)

Revel quietly expanded its service area into Manhattan, above 65th Street, and doubled the area in Brooklyn and Queens. Healthcare workers can receive free rides by registering online. (Gersh Kuntzman for Streetsblog)

Where to find a birthday cake in the age of the coronavirus. (Robert Sietsema for Eater)

Imagine you’re a college student and you’re given 24 hours to vacate your dorm room. Now Imagine the world went to shit while you were on Spring Break and you never went back to the college because all classes were held online. If you don’t live near the city, how do you vacate your dorm room? What if you’re a student who lives abroad but is studying in New York? What do you do with 24 hours to go home? (Dylan Campbell for Gothamist)

Some restaurants with expansive wine catalogs are pivoting during the pandemic and becoming impromptu wine shops, offering a selection of bottles that would otherwise be difficult to find. (Leah Rosenzweig for Eater)

Hey drivers, don’t be idiots just because the roads are clear. Exactly what this city doesn’t need is more people in hospitals, like this five-vehicle accident on Ocean Parkway. (Julianna Cuba for Streetsblog)

Governors Ball is canceled. Refunds are available or you can transfer your ticket to next year. (Andrew Sacher for BrooklynVegan)

Legal Aid filed suit against New York City’s Administration for Children’s Services Wednesday requesting the immediate release of 22 teens, ages 13 through 17, held on Family Court charges at detention facilities. (Kathleen Culliton for Patch)

“I never thought I would write those words, but I do miss the tourists.” Is it crazy to miss the tourists on the Brooklyn Bridge or are we all yearning for the resemblance of normalcy? (Scott Enman for Brooklyn Eagle)

The Freelancers Union is launching the Freelancers Relief Fund, a direct aid fund that will help independent workers affected by the COVID-19 pandemic so they can pay for their expenses like rent, utilities, and groceries. (Emily Davenport for amNewYork Metro)

Advice: What you can do if you can’t pay your mortgage or rent due to the pandemic. (Cate Corcoran for Brownstoner)

Where to get sushi delivery and takeout, mostly in Manhattan. (Bryan Kim for The Infatuation)

Amateur Night at the Apollo is going all digital. (Devi Lockwood for NY Times)

The Brooklyn Navy Yard has sprung into action during previous world wars and crises, and this is no different. Bednark, a manufacturing company, is churning out thousands of face shields a day. Kings County Distillery and perfume company DS. & Gurga are making sanitizer and tailor Kingsbridge is making face masks. They didn’t call it “The Can-Do Shipyard” for nothing. (Gwynne Hogan for Gothamist)

Photo: You approach a roll of pristine toilet paper on the street. What do you do? (EV Grieve)

The Four Seasons Hotel in New York City will be providing health care workers responding to the coronavirus pandemic with free lodging. (Jenna Amatulli for HuffPost)

NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital has begun sharing ventilators between two patients because “the other option is death.” (Brian M. Rosenthal, Jennifer Pinkowski and Joseph Goldstein for NY Times)

RIP Fred “Curly” Neal, one of the Harlem Globetrotters’ biggest stars. (Marc Stein for NY Times)

The Tenement Museum is struggling to stay afloat, as the COVID-19 shutdown eliminated foot traffic and steady funding. (Elie Z. Perler for Bowery Boogie)

The best to-go cocktails available right now at bars and restaurants in NYC. (Emma Orlow for Time Out)