The Briefly for October 2-3, 2020 – The “Vaccinate All Your Trash Pandas” Friday Edition

The latest NYC news digest: Indoor dining, indoor schooling, the Brooklyn ballot blunder, NYSC gets sued, Kora’s doughnuts go pop-up, outdoor movies, and more

Today – Low: 54˚ High: 67˚
Possible drizzle in the morning.
This weekend – Low: 51˚ High: 67˚

If you’re one of the nearly 100,000 people who received incorrect ballots, the Board of Elections is sending you a few ballot. The Board of Elections is not doing much to earn our confidence in the last few years. (Brigid Bergin for Gothamist)

How’d the ballots get so screwed up? Blame Phoenix Graphics, the company hired to produce the ballots, which has historically supported Republicans and was paid $4.6 million to bungle our ballots, so to speak. (Clifford Michel for The City)

A look into the Brooklyn Psychedelic Society, and no, they do not provide drugs at their meetings. (Diana Kruzman for Bedford + Bowery)

A group of assholes from the Upper West Side rallied for the mayor to remove 240 homeless New Yorkers from their neighborhood and the mayor gave them what they wanted. The plan is to move them into a new shelter in the Financial District. Now, of course, there is a new group of assholes in the Financial District demanding they be moved elsewhere. (Tribeca Citizen)

The city is launching its annual campaign to vaccinate… the population of raccoons in the city against rabies. If you find your pet eating something that looks like a brown ketchup packet filled with a pink liquid, do your best to take it away from them, but it should not be harmful to them. (Liena Zagare for Bklyner)

There are ten neighborhoods in the city with positive Covid-19 testing rates above 3%, adding Fresh Meadows and Hillcrest to the already existing list. There are seven neighborhoods, East Williamsburg, Bed-Stuy, Windsor Terrace, Brighton Beach, Crown Heights, Rego Park and Jamaica Hills whose numbers are getting close to 3%. (Alehandra O’Connell-Domenech for amNewYork Metro)

An interactive map of Covid-19 cases. (Michelle Young for Untapped New York)

Mayor Bill de Blasio announced that people who refuse to wear masks will be fined up to $1,000. Does this extend to police officers? There were zero fines issued on the first day of enforcement. (Noah Singer for Brooklyn Eagle)

The city’s plans to test 10-20% of each school every two weeks may miss large outbreaks of the virus according to a new student from NYU and recommends that half of every school be tested twice a month in order to catch outbreaks before they quickly spread out of control. (Benedict Carey, James Glanz and Eliza Shapiro for NY Times)

John F. Kennedy Jr. School in Elmhurst is the first NYC school to shut down for two weeks after two positive Covid-19 cases. (Matt Troutman for Patch)

“I keep saying there appears to be a real separation between what’s happening in the neighborhoods versus what’s happening in the public schools that really do have a different constituency.” – That was Mayor de Blasio before the positive tests in Elmhurst that shut down John F. Kennedy Jr. School and 100% contradicted this sentiment. He also said “We did it!” talking about opening the schools, words he would immediately come to regret if he were capable of shame. (Matt Troutman for Patch)

Before schools opened, Mayor de Blasio said that children that were unwilling or unable to be tested for Covid-19 would be moved into 100% remote learning. He has backed down on that claim. (Christina Veiga for Chalkbeat)

Schools are still open across the city, but a single day spike of positive test results at 3.25% is waking people up to the realizing that it’s possible for the city to hit the 3% seven-day average tripwire that would shut down all schools. (Elizabeth Kim for Gothamist)

Keep your eyes out for special pennies. Jill Magid is releasing 120,000 pennies into the world as part of her project “Tender,” in which each penny has “The body was already so fragile” engraved on their side. (Allie Conti for NY Times)

NYPD officer Eduardo Vite from East Harlem’s 25th precinct was arrested for beating and pulling a gun on his girlfriend. Vite has a history of alleged domestic violence and proven complaints of on-duty misconduct. He is facing an internal investigation and remains on the force. (Jake Offenhartz for Gothamist)

The NYPD committed violations of international human rights laws during the June 4 protests, according to a new report by Human Rights Watch. (Ese Olumhense for The City)

Minutes after Governor Andrew Cuomo implored local governments to rethink the role of police in public safety after mass protests against racist police brutality, Cuomo said police officers should arrest people injecting drugs on city streets during a Tuesday press conference. (Sydney Pereira and Quari Alleyne for Gothamist)

James W. Cahill, president of the New York State Building & Construction Trades Council, was indicted on racketeering and fraud charges along with ten current and former members of the steamfitters Local 638. (Benjamin Weiser and Jesse McKinley for NY Times)

It’s the last few days of Century 21, if you think you’re gonna find a deal, get ready to wait in line. (NY1)

Indoor dining is (sort of) back in NYC. How nervous should you be about it? (Pete Wells for NY Times)

How to spot the risks of indoor dining. (Also Pete Wells for NY Times)

The mayor did not eat indoors on the first night of its availability. (Erika Adams for Eater)

“Overall, the restaurants where I ate, and the many others into which I popped my head during my tour, were operating well under the mandated 25% capacity. In fact, most dining rooms everywhere remained nearly empty even as their outdoor space filled up, perhaps not surprising given the exceptionally pleasant weather yesterday evening, not to mention the whole fear of catching a terrible contagious disease thing.”
-Scott Lynch, I Ate Inside A NYC Restaurant. This Is My Story for Gothamist

A last meal at Mission Chinese. (Robert Sietsema for Eater)

Some bars and restaurants are fighting back against the state SLA and winning, including Lucky in the East Village. (Chris Crowley for Grub Street)

Say farewell to the Islanders, who have played their last game in Brooklyn and will return to Long Island next season. (JT Torenli for Brooklyn Eagle)

Is it possible that America’s best bathroom is in Greely Square? Maybe it’s in the JFK AirTrain station? Both have been nominated. (Michelle Young for Untapped New York)

“We, the undersigned WSN Fall 2020 Editorial Staff, have collectively decided to resign from Washington Square News, effective immediately. This was extensively deliberated in collaboration with 43 staff editors, and it was not a decision we enjoyed making. However, we understand that continuing to work at WSN in our current circumstance would do more harm than good, and we refuse to condone what we have seen over the past three weeks.”
-Washington Square News Staff, We’re Resigning from WSN. Here’s Why. for Washington Square News

Queens Filipino bakery Kora is having a pop-up this weekend, featuring their innovative and extremely hard to get your hands on doughnuts. (Erika Adams for Eater)

Apartment Porn: This Hell’s Kitchen condo has a rooftop pool, a pocket park, a dog run, a library, and two guest suites. Apartments start at $910k for a studio. (Dana Schulz for 6sqft)

New York Sports Club is being sued for fraud by the Letitia James’s Attorney General office after it illegally charged customers fees during its legally mandated Covid-19 shutdown and then failed to issue reimbursements. (Sydney Pereira for Gothamist)

11 spots showing outdoor movies. I suggest Parklife on Wednesday nights, where you’ll find me hosting trivia before the movie, even if The Infatuation didn’t mention me I’m still linking to them! (Hannah Albertine for The Infatuation)

Thanks to reader Christopher V. for today’s featured photo.

The Briefly for August 28, 2020 – The “Indoor Dining, I Don’t Know Her” Edition

Today’s daily NYC news digest: A look at the state of bars and restaurants vs the SLA, where we stand with the start of NYC’s school year, great spots buffalo wings, & more

Today – Low: 75˚ High: 86˚
Rain in the evening and overnight.
This weekend – Low: 65˚ High: 80˚

Try not to roll your eyes, but here’s the big “New York is dead. Here’s why” link. Try to prevent your eyes from rolling all the way out of your head when reading this dipshit’s thinly veiled “Why I’m Leaving New York” essay. (James Altucher)

“Listening to him go, “I used to play chess all day. I could meet people. I could start any type of business.” Wipe your tears, wipe your butt and pull it together. He says he knows people who have left New York for Maine, Vermont, Tennessee, Indiana. I have been to all of these places many, many, many times over many decades. And with all due respect and affection, Are .. You .. Kidding .. Me?!”
-Jerry Seinfeld, So You Think New York Is ‘Dead’ for NY Times

The city’s school will have the option to hold classes outdoors in yards, nearby streets, or parks. PTAs will be responsible for fundraising for supplies and equipment for schools to hold classes outdoors. (Alejandra O’Connell-Domenech for amNewYork Metro)

“Chinatown is very traditional, almost to a fault, where we’ve let our elders take over. And we need to learn from our elders, but young people need to be making decisions now, and move Chinatown further. And seeing people like Patrick Mock start standing up and speaking out on the injustices we’ve suffered, it gives us a hope for the future.” -Conversations with politicians, business owners, and locals about the future of Chinatown. (James Ramsay for Gothamist)

State Attorney General Letitia James asked a judge to order Eric Trump to testify in the state’s inquiry into possible fraud committed by the Trump Organization and President Trump. (William K. Rashbaum and Danny Hakim for NY Times)

NYPD officer Kyle Erickson has been twice accused of planting marijuana during traffic stops on Staten Island and despite bodycam footage to prove he did it, he was cleared of any wrongdoing. Just a sample of the 4,000 pages of documents released by the Staten Island District Attorney’s office about NYPD officers’ dishonesty and (lack) of discipline. (George Joseph and Sydney Pereira for Gothamist)

Restaurants have been closing, but not failing. An argument for why the distinction matters. (Talia Saxe for Eater)

A series of bars and restaurants sued the SLA this week to roll back their recent rule change that barred live music ticketed events, and other forms of outdoor entertainment. Disclosure: The lawsuit includes Littlefield, where I was hosting trivia all summer on Wednesdays. (Ben Yakas for Gothamist)

More than 20 state senators are calling on the State Liquor Authority to ease up on their restaurant and bar crackdown. Since mid-June, the SLA conducted over 41,000 checks, 165 businesses lost their liquor licenses temporarily, and 886 were charged with violations. (Luke Fortney for Eater)

The City Council voted to extend the 20% commission cap on delivery fees for restaurants until 90 days after they are allowed to operate at full capacity with indoor dining. (Erika Adams for Eater)

And when will indoor dining return? The mayor says that depends on how our return to schools goes on September 10. (Tanay Warerkar for Eater)

Although he also hinted that 2021 was a possibility for a return to indoor dining. (Erika Adams for Eater)

What’s the return to schools look like? A friend of mine who’s a teacher in the city told me they are getting ready to strike, but in the meantime the city has to inspect 1,700 public schools housed in 1,300 buildings by September 1 with plans to release a report on September 4. (David Cruz for Gothamist)

Of the city’s 1,700 schools, 1,030 of them had some kind of documented problem with air supply or exhaust components. Chalkbeat compiled the most recent inspection reports publicly available for each school. (Amy Zimmer for Chalkbeat)

An additional 30,000 students opted out of any in-person classes this year, bringing the total to 337,394 students that will not step inside a school this school year. (Alejandra O’Connell-Domenech for amNewYork Metro)

Photos: Reopening day at the New York Aquarium. (Rose Adams for Brooklyn Paper)

This Saturday is the reimagined Coney Island Mermaid Parade. (Rose Adams for amNewYork Metro)

This Sunday is the MTV Video Music Awards that Governor Cuomo announced back in June. MTV built a stage in Greenpoint instead of using the Barclay Center, citing that an outdoor event without an audience would be safer than an indoor one. Performers will be getting an exemption from the state’s 14-day mandatory quarantine. (Greenpointers)

According to the mayor, 20% of the city’s new Cobid-19 patients are linked to travelers. (Matt Troutman for Patch)

US and UK authorities are discussing an “air bridge” exemption from quarantine for travel between New York and London. (Payton Potter for Patch)

With a filing for bankruptcy back in May, the future of the John Varvatos shop in the old home of CBGB might be in jeopardy. Which camp are you in when it comes to John Varvatos replacing CBGB? “At least it’s not a Duane Reade” or “Who cares, let it die?” (EV Grieve)

Revel’s electric mopeds relaunched with new safety protocols. Not sure how I feel about sending the company a selfie of me wearing one of their helmets. (Matt Troutman for Patch)

Unmown lawns, unemptied garbage cans, and littered playgrounds. Welcome to the city’s parks when the city needs them the most. (Sarah Maslin Nir for NY Times)

An engagement while canoeing on the Gowanus Canal: Doomed or beautiful? (Kevin Duggan for Brooklyn Paper)

Do you know who makes the decision to return the subway back to 24/7 service? No, seriously, no one seems to know. The governor says to ask the MTA Chairman. The MTA Chairman says to ask the health commissioner. Can I declare the subways open 24/7 again? I hereby declare the subways open 24/7! Did it work? (Dave Colon for Streetsblog)

Photos: King Nyani, the city’s largest bronze gorilla statue, which can hold 2 or 3 people at once. (Michelle Young for Untapped Cities)

Everything you need to know about living in a first-floor apartment. (Michele Petry for StreetEasy)

Front-door boarding of city buses returns on Monday and so do fares on buses. (Benjamin Kabak for Second Ave Sagas)

The Mets and Marlins walked off the field after a moment of silence for 42 seconds with a Black Lives Matter t-shirt draped over home plate. (Joe Pantorno for amNewYork Metro)

The assholes of the week are “The Illmore,” which has reportedly hosting secret indoor parties since June. The Illmore is, of course, in Bushwick. (Luke Fortney for Eater)

Second place goes to Beavis and Butthead over here: Crime in NYC is near an all-time low, historically speaking, which is why former mayor Rudy Giuliani and current Police Benevolent Association president Pat Lynch were at the RNC calling crime in NYC a “public safety disaster.” Murders in NYC in 2019 were down about 50% from Rudy Giuliani’s last year in office. (Emily Ngo for NY1)

Six great buffalo wings in the city. (Matt Tervooren for The Infatuation)

Thanks to reader Helena for today’s featured photo.

The Briefly for June 1, 2020 – The “Sworn to Protect” Edition

Today’s daily NYC news digest: Photos and video from the city’s George Floyd protests, Letitia James will be investigating, the city and state legislature’s reactions, and more

Today – Low: 52˚ High: 70˚
Clear throughout the day.

“When will it end? Amadou Diallo. 42 shots. Police officers found not guilty. Sean Bell. 50 shots. Police officers found not guilty. Eric Garner. Choked to death. Police officers let go by the Grand Jury. ” –Congressman Hakeem Jeffries (D-Brooklyn/Queens) on the floor of the House of Representatives

Video: The NYPD attempting to drive over a crowd of protestors. (@chieffymac11)

If those protesters had just gotten out of the way and not created an attempt to surround that vehicle, we would not be talking about this situation.” -Mayor de Blasio (Andrew Sacher for BrooklynVegan)

Video: An NYPD officer grabs a mask of a peaceful protestor whose hands are in the air and pepper sprays him. (@AJRupchandani)

I really believe that the NYPD knows how to handle protests and respect whoever is protesting but I want to see a light touch because people are undeniably angry for a reason.” -Mayor de Blasio (Alejandra O’Connell-Domenech for amNewYork Metro)

2021 mayoral candidate Dianne Morales’s children were pepper-sprayed outside the Barclays Center. “The violence and brutality the NYPD unleashed on protesters was staggering. So much rage targeted toward the very people they are sworn to protect.” (@Dianne4NYC)

I’m not going to blame officers who were trying to deal with an absolutely impossible situation.” – Mayor de Blasio (Sally Goldenberg for Politico)

Video: An NYPD officer calls a protestor a “stupid f*****g bitch” and shoves her to the ground (Olivia Niland for BuzzFeed News)

“I want you to know that I’m extremely proud of the way you’ve comported yourselves in the face of such persistent danger, disrespect, and denigration” -NYPD Commissioner Dermot Shea

Photos: State Senator Zellnor Myrie was pepper-sprayed by the NYPD. (@zellnor4ny)

“If you or anyone else was inside that police vehicle surrounded by people, you would’ve had a really tough decision to make” -Mayor de Blasio (Ja’han Jones for HuffPost)

Video: An officer from the 44th precinct purposefully coughing on people in the Bronx. (@biggaballa__)

“Anyone who starts off without acknowledging the righteousness of the protest and how do we address the concerns being raised is having an honest conversation.” -NYC Public Advocate Jumaane Williams (Todd Maisel for amNewYork Metro)


“New Yorkers need a police department that respects them as citizens and human beings. Until then, this city that has suffered so much will suffer more.”
The Nation’s Largest Police Force Is Treating Us as an Enemy by Mara Gay for NY Times

“He should resign because his comments on Saturday night were brazen and disgusting lies. Two New York Police Department vehicles were filmed ramming into protesters behind a barricade. The mayor said the video was “upsetting” but claimed that it was “inappropriate for protesters to surround a police vehicle and threaten police officers,” adding that the officers had to “get out” of that “impossible” situation.”
Bill de Blasio Needs to Resign. By Defending Police Violence, He Has Betrayed New Yorkers by Mehdi Hasan for The Intercept.

“After years of disrespect and opprobrium, how did you expect things to turn out? By ignoring it, did you think it would just go away? That’s not how the world works.” – George Floyd protests are no time for us to ‘stick to sports’ by Joe Pantorno for amNewYork Metro

“Hitting police officers in the pocket and having them truly face prison time will in fact lead to less killings at the hands of the police. Let’s all make it a point to bring this discussion to every person we know and let’s put political candidates on the spot by asking them how they feel about this concept.” – Suing NYPD Officers Personally and Their Police Union for Violating Rights of Citizens Is The Change We Need by Kamal Smith for East New York News


The city remains on PAUSE, with 5/7 metrics met.

Here is how to report police misconduct. (Rachel Holliday Smith for The City)

The mayor’s first term started with his taking credit for the beginning of Mayor Bloomberg’s ending of stop-and-frisk, followed by the death of Eric Garner. He campaigned on reforming the NYPD and finds himself at the end of his second term defending the NYPD beating, ramming, and pepper spraying his citizens. (Dana Rubenstein and Jeffrey C. Mays for NY Times)

In 2014, after the murder of Eric Garner, Mayor de Blasio vowed to veto a bill that would make a chokehold illegal. The City Council is planning on calling the mayor out on his bullshit by putting the bill forward along with a bill that would require the NYPD to create a disciplinary matrix for all officers that would create a disciplinary standard. The City Council should put the bill forward, regardless of the threat of a veto by the mayor. If Mayor de Blasio doesn’t want the chokehold to be illegal, he should be forced to show it. (Gloria Pazmino for NY1)

The NYPD’s Internal Affairs Bureau is recommending that Officer Francisco Garcia face internal charges for punching and tackling Donni Wright during a social distancing stop on the Lower East Side earlier this month. (Christopher Robbins for Gothamist)

Photos: The Times’ most striking photos of the weekend’s protests. (Photos by Chang W. Lee, Gabriela Bhaskar, Stephanie Keith, Kirsten Luce, Demetrius Freeman, and Hiroko Masuike for NY Times)

As the NYPD attempted to make arrests at the Barclays Center protest, they loaded people onto an MTA bus. The bus driver refused to drive it and walked the bus. HE has the support of the Transport Workers Union of America and they will act “in solidarity” with the bus drivers of Minneapolis. (Hillary Hanson for HuffPost)

State Attorney General Letitia James will lead an independent investigation into the NYPD’s actions while responding to Friday night’s protest outside Brooklyn’s Barclays Center. (Robert Pozarycki for Brooklyn Paper)

“I’m telling them that if that review looks at those videos and finds that there was improper police conduct there will be ramifications.” – Governor Cuomo (Sydney Pereira for Gothamist)

Staten Island’s protest was led by Al Sharpton and Gwen Carr, Eric Garner’s mother, who finds herself mourning George Floyd, some of whose last words echoed those of her son. (Todd Maisel for amNewYork Metro)

“I’m tired. I’m tired of seeing it, I’m tired of living it, I’m tired of being in fear. Something has to change.” Nearly a thousand protesters took to the streets of Jackson Heights and Woodside Saturday. (Angelica Acevedo, Jeffrey Harrell, Grant Lancaster, and Robert Pozarycki for amNewYork Metro)

The NYPD didn’t force every push in the city towards violence, as officers in Queens joined the Jackson Heights protest peacefully. (Zachary Gewelb for QNS)

A timeline of the nationwide George Floyd protests. (Derrick Bryson Taylor for NY Times)

Photos: Burnt out cop cars, graffiti, and anger. Sunday morning around Union Square. (Photos by Stacie Joy for EV Grieve)

The mayor has appointed two of his own commissioners — Corporation Counsel Jim Johnson and Department of Investigation Commissioner Margaret Garnett — to investigate the police response. (Gersh Kuntzman for Streetsblog)

Two Brooklyn residents and a Greene County resident were charged in connection with the use of Molotov cocktails in an attempt to destroy NYPD vehicles during city-wide protests early Saturday morning. (Joe Pantorno for amNewYork Metro)

The mayor edited a statement from the City Council’s Black, Latino and Asian Caucus, in a fashion that would suggest they took a neutral stance on police violence. Let’s be clear, they are not okay with the NYPD’s unnecessary reaction to this weekend’s protests. Read their full statement and their reaction to our cowardly mayor’s placation of the NYPD. (Gersh Kuntzman for Streetsblog)

The state is ready to repeal a law known as 50-a, which protests police personnel records from public view. The state’s legislature has Governor Cuomo’s support to repeal the law. To quote Assemblymember Danny O’Donnell from Manhattan, “the pendulum swings both ways.” (Josefa Velasquez for The City)

Chiara de Blasio, the mayor’s daughter, was arrested Saturday night in Union Square amid protests. (NY1)

A palate cleanser: Video of the two baby guars that were born at the Bronx Zoo during the Covid-19 pandemic. We almost got through a full email without a mention of Covid-19. (Emily Davenport for Bronx Times)