The Briefly for December 18-19, 2020 – The “Song For The Dumped” Friday Edition

The latest NYC news digest: Vaccine plans, you can’t pee indoors while outdoor dining, the best hot chocolate, a bobcat in the Bronx River, and more

Today – Low: 19˚ High: 32˚
Partly cloudy throughout the day.
This weekend – Low: 30˚ High: 40˚

A look at the state’s plan to distribute the Covid-19 vaccine to the general public. So far the state received 87,750 doses that are being given to healthcare workers. (Dana Schulz for 6sqft)

All New Yorkers will receive Covid-19 vaccines free of charge thanks to an order from Governor Cuomo, including the uninsured. (Sydney Pereira for Gothamist)

Five takeaways from the first week of vaccines in NYC. (Joseph Goldstein for NY Times)

A look back to 1947, when NYC vaccinated six million people against smallpox in less than a month. (John Florio and Ouisie Shapiro for NY Times)

The city has been singing the chorus to Ben Folds Five’s “Song For The Dumped” to a number of vendors who either didn’t deliver on PPP goods or canceled orders to the tune of over half a billion dollars. (Michael Rothfeld and J. David Goodman for NY Times)

The mayor’s office updated their guidance for restaurants and bars with outdoor dining and it includes the rule that patrons are not allowed to use the indoor bathrooms if you are dining outdoors. I’ve asked this before, but where the hell is Ariel Palitz, this city’s “night mayor,” when it comes to bullshit like this? (@nycmayorcounsel)

What does it take to keep a restaurant open in 2020? Here’s insight from Littlefield and Parklife co-owner Julie Kim on the monumental effort it has been to follow the state and city’s rules and keep the experience positive for patrons. Yes, this is where I hosted pop-culture trivia for most of this year. (Julie Kim for Brooklyn Based)

Kudos to Honey Badger, the restaurants in Prospect-Lefferts Gardens, for using its outdoor dining area for a holiday market when the restaurant is closed during the day. (Ben Verde for Brooklyn Paper)

Coney Island Creek is being evaluated to become a possible Superfund site. (Rose Adams for Brownstoner)

A new tunnel to Grand Central Terminal is open, one of Grand Central’s long-hidden tunnels, from 150 E 42nd St, across 42nd from the Chrysler Building. (Nicole Saraniero for Untapped New York)

Forget the barred owl, there’s a new hot bird in the city. Say hello to Central Park’s long-eared owl. (Mike Mishkin for I Love The Upper West Side)

Eataly is paying almost $2 million to settle a labor lawsuit that alleged Eataly was “failing to pay wages for all hours worked due to a policy of time shaving,” “failing to provide proper wage and hour notice,” and “failing to provide proper wage statements.” (Chris Crowley for Grub Street)

The luckiest traffic agent in the city was hit by a tractor-trailer and pinned underneath in Astoria. Miraculously, she was taken to the hospital for back and neck pain, but no other injuries. (Michael Dorgan for LIC Post)

Get yourself ready, because the mayor is talking about a full city shutdown after Christmas. (Allie Griffin for Sunnyside Post)

The one exception to all of the mayor’s talk about a full shutdown of the city? Keeping school buildings open. The teachers’ union isn’t supporting that idea, calling a move to keep schools open during a “shelter-in-place” scenario “irresponsible.” (Alex Zimmerman for Chalkbeat)

The Ferris wheel that was supposed to be built on Staten Island is taking center stage for city council hopefuls. Get ready for every failed project and waterfront to become a debate point in 2021 as the entire city council is up for re-election. (Clifford Michel for The City)

One shortage we didn’t expect to see is Christmas trees. Turns out when everyone is in their own homes for Christmas, the city needs more trees. (Daniel E. Slotnik for NY Times)

Video: An eerily quiet walk through Chinatown, Soho, and Washington Square Park. (ActionKid)

New Year’s Eve is going literally virtual this year, with a VNYE app that uses galleries and augmented reality to put you in a Times Square full of art. Plus you don’t have to wear a diaper to take part, so it’s kind of a win. (Nicole Saraniero for Untapped New York)

Apartment Lust: A $1.4 million Carroll Gardens two-story apartment with an astounding amount of open space and natural light, one of the weirder bed situations I’ve come across, and a roof deck. (Dana Schulz for 6sqft)

More than 100 New York LGBTQ groups have issued an open letter to Governor Andrew Cuomo urging him to sign a law before next week making all public single-stall restrooms statewide open to people of all genders. (Tat Bellamy-Walker for Gay City News)

A best of the borough shopping guide for Queens, as voted by the QNS readers. (Robin Khatsernov for QNS)

Looking for something unique on New York’s Eve? How about sleeping in a geodesic dome on top of the NASDAQ building in Times Square for $21? The dome is complete with a welcome message from Mariah Carey, a $5,000 shopping spree on Fifth Age, an indoor art lounge, a private chef for dinner, and cheesecake from Junior’s. Better rush, it’s first-come, first-served when it becomes available on December 21 at 9am. (Shaye Weaver for Time Out)

Got cabin fever? A pandemic winter bucket list. (Meredith Craig de Pietro for Brooklyn Based)

There were sightings of a bobcat in the trails along the Bronx River, which is a good sign for the health of the waterway and very cool, but also stay away from large cats if you see them. (David Cruz for Gothamist)

The rollout of ranked-choice voting will continue after a Manhattan Supreme Court Judge refused to issue a temporary restraining order. (Emily Ngo for NY1)

Video: Watch Xi’an Famous Foods prepare its biang biang noodles and perfectly coat them in their homemade chili sauce. (Matt Coney Beare for Viewing NYC)

Industry City announced three massive new heated outdoor space with four open sides in its courtyards. (Dozier Hasty for Brooklyn Eagle)

You think your Zoom calls suck? Thanks to a complete inability to organize themselves, the Brooklyn Democratic Party’s first membership meeting lasted 13 hours long and included a vote where the total votes exceeded the total number of members. Great job you guys. (Kevin Duggan for Brooklyn Paper)

Bookmark This: Where to go sledding in NYC after it snows. (Matt Troutman for Patch)

10 ways you know you’re a real New Yorker during a snow day. (Shaye Weaver for Time Out)

Photos: Snow rats, sledding, and winter scenes from NYC. (Ben Yakas with photos by Scott Lynch for Gothamist)

The best hot chocolate in the city. (Nikko Duren for The Infatuation)

Thanks to reader Michael for today’s featured photo! I don’t usually use photos of faces, but look at the joy!

The Briefly for July 15, 2020 – The “Governor Cuomo’s Latest Abomination of Art” Edition

Today’s daily NYC news digest: The city’s Covid-19 rent assistance program, how NYC’s PPP loans were distributed, where to eat outside in Harlem, invalid absentee votes, and more

Today – Low: 70˚ High: 79˚
Partly cloudy throughout the day.

How to apply for NY’s coronavirus rent assistance. (Matt Troutman for Patch)

For the first time, the city introduced a 15-minute diagnostic test for Covid-19 as part of its new test and trace pilot program in the Bronx. (Elizabeth Kim for Gothamist)

Governor Cuomo has released another exceptionally ugly poster, this one titled “New York Tough.” It’s meant to communicate “what we went through with COVID,” but maybe the governor shouldn’t be prematurely celebrating before this is over. (Dana Schulz for 6sqft)

Looking to green up your apartment and clean up the air? Here are the 15 best air-purifying plants for your home. (Diane Pham for 6sqft)

Amazingly, the MTA has no organizational chart for its 70,000 employees. (Clayton Guse for Daily News)

Black women are three to four times more likely than white women to die from pregnancy complications. Protesters have been shining a light on this after the death of 26-year-old Sha-Asia Washington at Woodhull Medical Center on July 3, whose heart stopped after receiving an epidural she didn’t want. (Rose Adams for Brooklyn Paper)

A look at how the 323,900 PPP loans distributed $38.5 billion in New York. (Sydney Pereira, Matthew Schuerman, Jake Dobkin, Autumn Harris for Gothamist)

The Central Park West bike lane will stretch from Columbus Circle to Frederick Douglass Circle and is scheduled to be completed this summer. (Mike Mishkin for I Love the Upper West Side)

Meet Gowanus Lands, the group trying to convince the city to develop a park on the condemned city-owned land on the west side of the Gowanus Canal. An alternative plan called for a mixed-use, 950 apartment development to be built on the space. (Katia Kelly for Pardon Me For Asking)

The city’s 2021 budget for tree pruning was… ahem… pruned down $7.2 million to a total of $1.5 million. It’s hard to imagine the Parks Department doing the same amount of work with 83% less budget, so what’s likely to happen is an increase in falling tree limbs. Want an example? Pruning contracts were cut back by $1 million in 2010 and lawsuit settlements over injuries caused by trees increased by $15 million. (Carson Kessler for The City)

Toilet paper and flour are back in stores, but with less variety than before and they’re not the only products that have scaled back on options. (Daniel E. Slotnik for NY Times)

Corey Walker, 19, and Keandre Rodgers, 18, were arrested and charged with murder with a special circumstance in connection with the murder of Pop Smoke and possibly face the death penalty. Two minors were also charged with murder and robbery in juvenile court. (Andrew Sacher for BrooklynVegan)

As stores close and their signs are pulled down, we’re getting a glimpse at the city’s history in the form of signage that has remained hidden for decades. (Michelle Young for Untapped New York)

The Empire State Building’s observatory will open on Monday, replete with reduced capacity, temperature checks, and a new air purification system. These kinds of systems with MERV 13 filters will dominate the conversation when talking about reopening indoor spaces. (Devin Gannon for 6sqft)

Minnesota, New Mexico, Ohio, and Wisconsin have been added to New York’s quarantine list, bringing the number of quarantined states to 22. (Nick Reisman for NY1)

Riis Park Beach Bazaar is open for food. This year will skip the karaoke and DJs. (Collier Sutter for Time Out)

Bastille Day came and went without the usual parties in Cobble Hill and Carroll Gardens. In celebration, Brooklyn Based took a promenade through the neighborhoods. (Kerri Allen for Brooklyn Based)

The Mets have begun using MCU Park in Coney Island as an alternate spring training location, ensuring there is a tiny bit of professional baseball in Brooklyn this year. (Jaime DeJesus for The Brooklyn Home Reporter)

A look at what it’s like to work in a city restaurant, according to staffers. (Gary He for Eater)

Eater NY is looking for a new lead editor. (Missy Frederick for Eater)

State Senator Andrew Gounardes and Councilmember Justin Brannan are demanding that the city forgive any fines levied in the NYC Open Restaurants program on restaurant owners due to the shifting guidelines. (Jamie DeJesus for The Brooklyn Home Reporter)

West Nile Virus was detected in NYC mosquitoes. There have been no human cases reported. (Matt Troutman for Patch)

The latest on the four groups trying to save the Mets from the Wilpon family. Joe Pantorno for amNewYork Metro)

Unless there’s a Biden victory in November, NYC may never see congestion pricing. (Gersh Kuntzman for Streetsblog)

A decapitated and dismembered corpse was found in a luxury LES apartment at 265 East Houston St on Tuesday afternoon. (David Cruz and Christopher Robbins for Gothamist)

In some portions of the city, over 20% of absentee ballots are being invalidated for one of a possible 13 reasons. The city has 110 days until the election to get its shit together. (Emily Ngo for NY1)

City Councilmember Jimmy Van Bramer stopped answering email from the Queens Post and their response has been to run an editorial making vague threats about ending positive coverage of him. (Czarinna Andres and Christian Murray, co-publishers, for Queens Post)

Where to eat outside in Harlem. (Hannah Albertine for The Infatuation)

Thank to reader Joe for today’s featured photo!

The Briefly for April 1, 2020 – The “Biggest Jerk in New York City” Edition

Today’s daily NYC news digest: The NYPD is using unmanned drones to enforce physical distancing, Dr. Anthony Fauci’s NYC roots, photos inside the Central Park field hospital, and more

Today – Low: 40˚ High: 52˚
Partly cloudy throughout the day.

Praise of the calming ritual of the cocktail hour, and a recipe for a gin and tonic. (Adam Platt for Grub Street)

“Despite the logistical isolation and the very real physical distress, however, there were moments of connection that kept me from feeling truly alone.” –How Kelli Dunham fell ill to COVID-19 and lived to tell about it. (Kelli Dunham for HuffPost)

How to safely order restaurant delivery and takeout. (Bao Ong for Time Out)

The MTA is struggling to maintain a full staff, as 2,200 subway and bus workers are in quarantine. Even if they wanted to expand service to reduce congestion, they couldn’t. (Mark Hallum for amNewYork Metro)

Meet Baruch Feldheim, a complete asshole. Baruch faces five years in prison and fines of up to $350,000 for price-gouging N95 masks and personal protective gear. When the FBI came to arrest him, he claimed to have novel coronavirus and tried to cough on them. (Sophia Chang for Gothamist)

Photos: “But the thoroughfares have been abandoned. The energy that once crackled along the concrete has eased. The throngs of tourists, the briskly striding commuters, the honking drivers have mostly skittered away.” This city was not meant to be empty. (Corina Knoll and photographers Bryan Derballa, Mark Abramson, Diana Zeyneb Alhindawi, Gabriela Bhaskar, Marian Carrasquero, Juan Arredondo, Jonah Markowitz, Stephen Speranza, Gareth Smit, Sarah Blesener, Victor J. Blue, Jeenah Moon, Desiree Rios, Jose A. Alvarado Jr., and Ryan Christopher Jones for NY Times)

Looking at Dr. Anthony Fauci’s Brooklyn roots. (Jessica Parks for Brooklyn Paper)

The city is extending its car-free pilot program through Sunday but won’t expand the number of streets closed off to vehicular traffic. (Gersh Kuntzman for Streetsblog)

St. Patrick’s Cathedral will be closed off to the public on Easter and Palm Sunday, but you can catch them both on WPIX and on YouTube. (Robert Pozarycki for amNewYork Metro)

The Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in Flushing Meadows is going to be converted to a temporary 350-bed medical facility. The original plan was to house non-COVID-19 patients, but the final plans haven’t been made. (Joe Pantorno for amNewYork Metro)

Photos: The Central Park COVID-19 field hospital. (Michelle Young for Untapped New York)

Job searching is tough enough without a global pandemic. Here are a few things to do to help your search. (Mindy Stern for amNewYork Metro)

It’s a seven-course $600 dinner party, but you have to cook it yourself. This is what fine dining looks like in 2020. (Erika Adams for Eater)

New York state’s restaurants lost nearly $2 billion in revenue in the first 22 days of March. (Tanay Warerkar for Eater)

This pandemic may be troubling us humans, but this expectant mother goose in the Gowanus Canal is living her best life. (Pardon Me for Asking)

When you go to the grocery store or order food, please remember that the people working to provide you that food wants to be infected just as little as you do. (Daniela Galarza for Grub Street)

Photos: A dramatic black-and-white Carroll Gardens, bereft of its usual life. (Katia Kelly for Pardon Me for Asking)

Actor and comedian Paul Scheer (The League, Veep) on his quarantine diet. (Paul Scheer for Grub Street)

An interview with Deborah Feldman, the subject of Netflix mini-series and New York Times bestseller ‘Unorthodox,’ who left her ultra-Orthodox Jewish community for a new life in Berlin. (Marisa Mazria-Katz for NY Times)

Video: The NYPD is using unmanned drones to monitor physical distancing, or the lack thereof. (Ben Yakas for Gothamist)

10 Bronx restaurants to take out from during COVID-19. (Alex Mitchell for Bronx Times)

What Time Out’s editors are reading while staying physically distant. (Will Gleason for Time Out)

RIP Michael Sorkin and William Helmreich, two of the city’s most prolific walkers. Helmreich was the author of The New York Nobody Knows walked 6,000 miles in an ongoing effort to walk every street in New York and Sorkin was the author of Twenty Minutes in Manhattan, which detailed a walk from Greenwich Village to Tribeca. Both taken by COVID-19. (Jake Bittle for Curbed)

Parks@Home is here to bring the city’s parks to you. The new series features virtual walks in the park with Urban Park Rangers. (Jamie DeJesus for The Brooklyn Home Reporter)

The state hired more than 700 additional people to answer unemployment-related phone calls, with hundreds more being hired and trained, and they’re still having trouble keeping up with the demand. (Ryan Sutton for Eater)

The city shut down ten playgrounds throughout all five boroughs, because, as a city, we remain poor at physical distancing.

The city’s Human Rights Commission is investigating the firing of Chris Smalls, the Amazon worker who organized a strike outside of the company’s Staten Island facility on Monday. (Sydney Pereira for Gothamist)

The City University of New York is scrambling to distribute as many as 30,000 computers to students, after delaying online classes designed to keep coursework going after coronavirus-prompted campus shutdowns. (Gabriel Sandoval for The City)

Photos: Inside Woodhaven’s 95-year-old Schmidt’s Candy, making handmade candies for Eater. (James and Karla Murray for 6sqft)

The MoMA is offering free online art courses to help you finally answer the question “is this art?” (Howard Halle for Time Out)

Nine tips on how to create the quintessential NYC balcony garden. (Shaye Weaver for Time Out)

Thanks to Micah Eames for today’s featured photo from Crown Heights!