The Briefly for March 31, 2020 – The “Panda Express, You Will Be Missed” Edition

Today’s daily NYC news digest: The USNS Comfort arrives in NYC, on the edge of a rent crisis, NYPD changes enforcement tactics, neighborhood delivery and takeout directory, and more

Today – Low: 39˚ High: 47˚
Mostly cloudy throughout the day.

Remember the field hospital in Central Park? Well, the group is led by Franklin Graham, a notorious anti-LGBTQ and Islamophobic preacher with a track record of using humanitarian missions to proselytize an evangelical agenda. He’s also the guy that said that God intervened in the 2016 election to make Donald Trump president. (Jake Offenhartz for Gothamist)

Welcome to the resistance, Mike Francesa. (Ed Mazza for HuffPost)

The Empire State Building’s “heartbeat of America” display really freaked some people out. (Ed Mazza for HuffPost)

Looking to up your baking game? Christina Tosi of Milk Bar is hitting Instagram every day at 2 pm for a distanced baking club. (Bao Ong for Time Out)

Farewell, Panda Express. Panda Express closed all 11 NYC locations temporarily “out of advanced precaution.” The company will pay employees impacted by the closure and gave away the rest of its food to hospitals before it closed. (Serena Dai for Eater)

WeWork is in the running for “worst possible COVID-19 reaction.” They haven’t closed their rental offices, they’re trying to entice workers to come in with a daily $100 bonus, are continuing to collect membership fees, and fired 250 employees. WeWork is claiming that since some businesses that rent from them are essential, they should remain completely open. (Sylvia Varnham O’Regan and E.B. Solomont for The Real Deal)

Photos: The city’s closed streets. (Noah Sheidlower for Untapped New York)

Mayor de Blasio called for a rent freeze on the one million rent-stabilized apartments in the city. (Michael Dogan for LIC Post)

We’re a day away from the first of the month and rent strikes are beginning to come forward as a path forward. (Jake Offenhartz for Gothamist)

Once the 90-day eviction suspension, what’s going to happen? Mass displacement? (Caroline Spivack for Curbed)

Who the hell are these monsters who are getting together for coronavirus speakeasies and potlucks? (Tanay Warerkar for Eater)

Workers in Amazon’s Staten Island fulfillment center walked out today at 1 pm and called for the facility to be shut down after they say at least 10 workers have tested positive for COVID-19. Amazon fired Chris Smalls after the walkout, one of the organizers of the walkout, for supposedly violating safety regulations. (Josh Dzieza for The Verge)

Whole Foods workers are planning a nationwide sick-out protest on Tuesday. Workers are calling for increased hazard pay while the company reaps record sales. (Lauren Kaori Gurley for Vice)

The Onion: New York City Health Officials Board Up Sun To Discourage Large Groups From Gathering Outside. (The Onion)

13% of NYPD officers are out on sick leave. (Todd Maisel for amNewYork Metro)

The NYPD can now give tickets for a lack of social distancing at their own discretion. Enforcing the law at their discretion fairly isn’t exactly the NYPD’s strong suit. (Howard Halle for Time Out)

86-year-old Janie Marshall was attacked on Saturday at NYC Health and Hospitals/Woodhull in Bed-Stuy for not socially distancing by a 32-year-old woman. Unfortunately, Janie hit her head on the flood after being attacked and was pronounced dead a few hours later. If you see someone doing something dangerous, use your words and keep your own distance. (Ben Yakas for Gothamist)

Shortly after Edge opened in Hudson Yards, a worker was diagnosed with COVID-19. Edge closed, but the adjacent Peak restaurant didn’t. The VP of the operating company told the managers of Peak to not tell guests about the reported case and lie about why Edge was closed. (Erika Adams for Eater)

How the Long Island Rail Road is working to keep its customers safe, from Phillip Eng, the president of the LIRR. (Phillip Eng for QNS)

How’s the MTA’s subway cleanups going? “It looks good on paper, but in a lot of cases, it’s not happening.” -JP Patafio, a vice president for TWU Local 100. (Jose Martinez for The City)

12 epidemics that have plagued New York throughout history. (Noah Sheidlower for Untapped New York)

The USNS Comfort hospital ship arrived in New York City Monday morning. (Kathleen Culliton for Patch)

Photos: The USNS Comfort arrives. (Devin Gannon for 6sqft)

What kind of stupidity is necessary to watch a hospital ship arriving, sent to relieve the hospitals during a pandemic that has killed over a thousand New Yorkers, and idiots watching the ship arrive en masse to take photos? (@kirkpate)

Video: Trucks are being used at hospitals across the city as makeshift morgues, but it might not hit you of how dire the situation is until you see a hospital staff using a forklift to transport bodies into a truck on a sidewalk. Watch at your own discretion. (Kevin Duggan for Brooklyn Paper)

This hand-drawn map of the Met by artist John Kerschbaum is absolutely stunning. (Claire Voon for Atlas Obscura)

RIP Father Jorge Ortiz-Garay, the first-known Catholic priest in the city to die of COVID-19. (Jamie DeJesus for The Brooklyn Home Reporter)

The favorite NYC restaurant cookbooks of the Eater staff. (Eater)

FEMA is sending refrigerated trucks to the city to serve as temporary morgues as the death toll from the coronavirus grows. (Erin Durkin for Politico)

NYPD will no longer respond to 911 calls for vehicle collisions on Staten Island that result in only property damage because people in Staten Island can’t stop hitting each other with their cars and too much of the police’s time is being spent on providing loss adjustment services for the insurance industry. (Gersh Kuntzman for Streetsblog)

What to expect when you’re expecting to give birth during the COVID-19 pandemic. (Catherine Pearson for HuffPost)

How to shop for groceries, according to doctors and epidemiologists. (Marian Bull for Grub Street)

Video: Drone video of Hart Island, New York City’s mass grave, containing over one million bodies. (Find and Seek)

82 percent of New York City voters approve of Cuomo’s handling of the pandemic, according to a Siena College poll. (Kathleen Culliton for Patch)

Air purifiers can’t kill the coronavirus. New York Attorney General Letitia James is ordering companies selling purifiers to cease and desist marketing their products as being effective against COVID-19. (The Brooklyn Reader)

The case for why jails are so important in the fight against COVID-19. (Anna Flagg and Joseph Neff for NY Times)

360° Video: Driving through Chinatown, Little Italy, and the Bowery. (ActionKid)

What the BrooklynVegan staff is listening to in isolation. (BrooklynVegan)

The neighborhood delivery and takeout directory. (Hannah Albertine, Nikko Duren, Bryan Kim, Arden Shore, & Matt Tervooren for The Infatuation)

Thanks to reader Kathryn for today’s featured photo!

The Briefly for March 26, 2020 – The “Plenty of Dogs and Cats to Adopt” Edition

Today’s daily NYC news digest: Elmhurst hospital is overwhelmed with COVID-19, Jumaane Williams calls for full lockdown, the MTA is losing $125 million a week, and more

Are you hiring? I’m working with the skint to help surface jobs in New York for New Yorkers. If you’re hiring or know someone who is, please pass this link along to them.


Today – Low: 47˚ High: 54˚
Clear throughout the day.

PDF Guide: Know Your Rights Guide for Transgender New Yorkers Navigating COVID-19 (Transgender Legal Defense & Education Fund)

The only beds we’ve been able to free up are people who have died.” Elmhurst Hospital in Queens is the center of NYC’s COVID-19 crisis. (Yoav Gonen for The City)

Video: The Times spent 72 hours following an emergency room doctor at Elmhurst hospital. (Robin Stein and Caroline Kim for NY Times)

A heartbreaking plea from Rachel Sobolev, an emergency medicine resident in the city, begging the president to take this pandemic more seriously. (Rachel Sobolev for HuffPost)

No matter what you read, New York City is not running out of pets to adopt. The Bloomberg story was changed after publication, and probably after most people read it, to say that it was referring to foster animals. There are still plenty of animals that are looking for a forever home. (Hilary Hanson for HuffPost)

If you’ve ever wondered why it seems to take forever for the city to do anything, here’s a perfect example. The city has been in the process of installing a protected bike lane on Sixth Ave for seven years. Community Board 5 requested a study in 2013 and approved the design in 2015. What’s the holdup now? The Department of Transportation wants another approval from CB5. (Julianne Cuba for Streetsblog)

Governor Cuomo said on Wednesday that we may have made incremental progress on slowing the wave of coronavirus cases. This is not a reason to celebrate or to stop creating physical distance between you and anyone else, but it’s a sign that some of our shared sacrifices might be working. (Ben Verde for Gay City News)

New York, you’ve got the rest of the week to prove to the mayor that you can use playgrounds responsibly or he will close them all. (Mary Frost for Brooklyn Eagle)

Photos: New Yorkers are not good at physical distancing. These are the people to blame. (Ben Yakas and Jen Carlson for Gothamist)

Between Hicks and Henry Streets in Brooklyn Heights, you’ll find Love Lane, the city’s possible original “Lover’s Lane” dating back to the 1800s. (Atlas Obscura)

From the discovery of dendritic cells to the cure for tuberculosis, 10 medical discoveries made in NYC. (Noah Sheidlower for Untapped New York)

A second Trader Joe’s was temporarily closed this week after a staffer tested positive for COVID-19. The closure of the Soho store will last at least three days while the store is sanitized. The Union Square store closed temporarily on Sunday and expects to reopen on Saturday. (Luke Fortney for Eater)

Whole Foods is limiting the number of customers in its stores to 50, causing some mega lines outside the East Houston St store. (Luke Fortney for Eater)

A look at Elizabeth Blackwell, the first woman in the United States to receive a medical degree who created the first hospital run by and for women on Bleecker St. (Harry Bubbins for GVSHP)

Remembering the Happy Land social club fire of 1990 and how it changed New York. (Allison Gilbert for NY Times)

The Trickle Up” is a streaming service from performer and playwright Taylor Mac that charges subscribers $10 per month to access original performances from 50 different artists, with proceeds going to artists struggling financially. (Devin Gannon for 6sqft)

The FDA approved a new potential COVID-19 treatment that takes blood plasma from people who have recovered from the virus and transfuses it into people suffering from the disease. The New York Blood Center will be the first in the country to collect blood for the treatment. (Grant Lancaster for amNewYork Metro)

Subway ridership is down 87%, buses are don 70%, Metro-North is down 91% and the LIRR is down 71%. The MTA is estimating its weekly losses at $125 million a week and that the federal bailout’s $4 billion might not be enough for the MTA to survive. (Kathleen Culliton for Patch)

A Piece of Work” is a podcast tour of collection highlights at the Museum of Modern Art hosted by comedian and actor Abbi Jacobson. Listen, when it comes to “understanding” modern art, I’ll take all the help I can get. (Howard Halle for Time Out)

Going through this crisis is enough, but imagine going through a divorce right now on top of everything. (Hannah Ingber for NY Times)

Photos: What life is like for a delivery person. (Ryan Christopher Jones and Amber Jamieson for BuzzFeed News)

With defendants accused of crimes now facing judges by video because of the coronavirus pandemic, the city’s court system no longer has a way of supervising the vast majority of suspects being released back into their communities. One of the many messes that COVID-19 is making that we’re all going to have to figure out how to fix after it’s over. (Beth Fertig for Gothamist)

We’re still early in the crisis and there are thousands of hourly workers across the city running out of time and money for multiple sectors of the economy that were abruptly shuttered. (Sydney Pereira and Danny Lewis for Gothamist)

RIP Terrence McNally, a playwright whose accolades and body of work is beyond what I could summarize here. (Andy Humm for Gay City News)

The city is sending homeless shelter residents and public hospital patients with coronavirus to hotels and officials aren’t providing hotel staff or the city employees monitoring the infected guests with protective equipment — instead instructing them to maintain social distance. The homeless shelter residents is a change in policy, prior to this they were sending them back to shelters. (Greg B. Smith for The City)

Jumaane Williams, the city’s public advocate, is advocating for a “full lockdown” that would close parks and construction sites and ban New Yorkers from leaving their neighborhoods except for essential work. (Kathleen Culliton for Patch)

Where to get pizza delivery in NYC. It’s a little light on suggestions in the outer boroughs, but it’s fun to remember when we used to be able to go places to do things. (Matt Tervooren for The Infatuation)

Thank you to Lily from Hellgate Farm for today’s featured photo, which is allowing me to relax for a moment if I stare hard enough at it.

The Briefly for March 20, 2020 – The “Someone Check on Jen Carlson” Weekend Edition

Today’s daily NYC news digest: COVID-19, how to help restaurants, landlords find a loophole in the eviction moratorium, some mortgages are paused, alcohol delivery & pickup guide, and more

Today – Low: 40˚ High: 72˚
Possible light rain in the morning and afternoon.
This weekend – Low: 34˚ High: 50˚

Governor Cuomo suspended mortgage payments for anyone who lost hours or is working part-time. The full details of who is eligible are not available yet, but it’s a step in the right direction. (Georgia Kromrei for The Real Deal)

Okay but what about rent? (Valeria Ricciulli for Curbed)

If you heard that New York was freezing medical and student debt, you didn’t hear the whole story. As usual, it’s more complicated than it sounds and isn’t nearly as wide-spread as it should be. It specifically refers to delinquent debt owed to state-run institutions that were been referred to the Attorney General’s office for collection. (Caroline Lewis for Gothamist)

In the era of coronavirus, 911 calls are getting weird. (EV Grieve)

Someone check on Jen Carlson at Gothamist, because she seems to have fallen in love with the pre-Governor Cuomo press briefing announcement music and dubbed it “Cuomocore.” (Jen Carlson for Gothamist)

Chinatown’s Nom Wah Tea Parlor is 100-years old. It’s seen the Great Depression, multiple wars, and now COVID-19. Can it survive? (Joshua David Stein for Grub Street)

Video: A bike ride through a desolate Chinatown. (ActionKid)

Whole Foods added an early hour for customers over 60 to allow the most vulnerable to COVID-19 to feel comfortable while shopping for necessities. (EV Grieve)

Our parks will never go unappreciated again, they’ve provided us with a place to go and still stay distant from other New Yorkers. (Ariama Long for Kings County Politics)

“We’re writing to let you know that a positive case of the coronavirus (COVID-19) was found at our facility today.” -A text sent on Wednesday announcing COVID-19 had found its way inside of an Amazon warehouse in Queens. (Olga Khazan for The Atlantic)

Amazon reopened the warehouse after four hours, saying it was disinfected, but employees are skeptical and continue their calls for the company to do more to protects its workforce. (Jake Offenhartz for Gothamist)

Governor Cuomo is still cleaning up the panic and confusion that Mayor de Blasio created when he off-handedly decided to make a comment about how he may order the city to shelter-in-place. The governor is the only person who can declare that and he has said multiple times that he never would. (Kathleen Culliton for Patch)

The mayor, desperate, asked Elon Musk for help making ventilators via Twitter. Elon Musk’s companies have never made ventilators, but that didn’t stop him from Tweeting that he thinks that they could. (Danielle Muoio for Politico)

Are you stir-crazy enough to sing “Yellow Submarine” with your neighbors? (Mike Mishkin for I Love the Upper West Side)

A judge put a moratorium on new eviction cases last week, so why can new eviction cases still be filed this week? Landlords have, of course, found a loophole and the confusion is dangerous. (Caroline Spivack for Curbed)

Photos: The city’s transit hubs are barren. (Michelle Young with photos by Aaron Asis for Untapped New York)

The governor further restricted the maximum percent of any company that will be allowed to work onsite to 25% from the previously mandated 50%. (Alex Williamson for Brooklyn Eagle)

There are free breakfast and lunch available at local schools for students, but not many are taking advantage of it. (Tribeca Citizen)

“Who cleans those outfits?” is not a common question when it comes to Broadway, but someone has to clean them, right? Unfortunately with Broadway closed, Tony Award winners Ernest Winzer Cleaners is hurting. They give out Tony awards for dry cleaning? I’ve got to re-align my EGOT strategy. (Nancy Coleman for NY Times)

Rose O’Donnell is bringing back ‘The Rosie O’Donnell Show,’ virtually, for one night to raise money for The Actors Fund. You can catch the show streaming on The Actors Fund’s YouTube channel on Sunday at 7 pm. There are over 40 guests lined up for the show. (Dana Schulz for 6sqft)

A look at The Tiny Cupboard, the self-proclaimed “world’s smallest venue.” It’s up three flights of stairs, behind multiple doors and artist’s spaces, and yes, it’s in Bushwick. How did you know? (Serena Tara for Bedford + Bowery)

Add Marie’s Crisis to the list of streaming activities you can take part in during a… crisis. If you’re looking to get loaded and poorly belt out some Broadway tunes, here’s your opportunity. (Adam Feldman for Time Out)

Biqtch Puddiń is bringing a drag show with over 20 performers to Twitch. You can catch Digital Drag: An Online Drag Show on Friday, March 20 at 7pm. (Collier Sutter for Time Out)

New York City’s ambulance crews, which are stretched thin, have been told to work even if exposed to the coronavirus — as long as they are asymptomatic. Last week there was one paramedic infected, now 150 are in quarantine. (Ali Watkins for NY Times)

As the city’s hospitals are becoming overwhelmed with patients, 1,000 retired health care professionals are returning to service. Between retired, student, and faculty volunteers, 1,746 have stepped up to help. (Adan Nichols for Patch)

An interview with Rafael Espinal, President of the Freelancers’ Union. (Tyler Wetherall for Brooklyn Based)

The Metropolitan Opera, the largest performing arts organization in the U.S., has laid off all of its union members, including all of the opera’s musicians, chorus singers, and stagehands. The remainder of the Met’s season has been canceled and union employees have been offered health care coverage through the crisis. Non-full-time performers are out of luck. (Ben Yakas for Gothamist)

This year is the 100th anniversary of the opening of the Wonder Wheel in Coney Island. One day we may be able to celebrate that. (Lore Croghan for Brooklyn Eagle)

An interview with and lockdown advice from the author of “How to Drag a Body and Other Safety Tips You Hope to Never Need.” (Alix Strauss for NY Times)

15 NYC bookstores offering curbside pickup and delivery. (Devin Gannon for 6sqft)

Stuyvesant High School admitted ten black students this year, up from seven last year, out of a freshman class of 760. (Eliza Shapiro for NY Times)
s
A list of galleries that are creating online viewing rooms to exhibit art. (Howard Halle for Time Out)

A first look at Staten Island’s drive-through center for COVID-19 testing. (Fred Mogul for Gothamist)

Eight Rikers Island detainees have shown COVID-19 symptoms after one inmate in his 30s tested positive. 40 detainees who are considered higher risk are being considered for release in an attempt to prevent further spread. (Kathleen Culliton for Patch)

Use some of your time to do something good this weekend. The Library of Congress has a program called “By the People!,” which is asking for your help to transcribe significant documents. You can even do it while you re-watch Parks & recreation for the 2nd time this year. (Shaye Weaver for Time Out)

New York City Council Members Inez Barron (East New York, Brooklyn) and Richie Torres (Bronx) have tested positive for COVID-19. Inez Barron’s husband Assemblymember Charles Barron announced a few days ago he tested positive. (East New York News)

Dispatches from the last night of drinking in bars. (Nick McManus for Bedford + Bowery)

Here’s what restaurant and delivery workers need to know about the new paid sick leave laws. (Ryan Sutton for Eater)

How to help restaurants and bars right now. One thing: Stop using Seamless or GrubHub to order. They haven’t waived their fees (which can be up to 25% of your bill), they’ve only deferred them. Use Seamless to make your decision, but actually call the restaurant and give them all your money directly. (Bao Ong for Time Out)

The alcohol delivery & pick-up guide. (Nikko Duren for The Infatuation)

Thanks to reader Chris for today’s featured photo!