The Briefly for June 26, 2020 – The "Welcome to Manhattan, $20 Please" Weekend Edition
Today - Low: 72˚ High: 85˚
Clear throughout the day.
This weekend - Low: 74˚ High: 86˚
2020 is the year that everyone wants to start selling nutcrackers. (Margot Boyer-Dry for NY Times) Without federal assistance, the MTA is leaving nothing in the table when it comes to attempting to make up for a combined $15 billion of lost revenue over two years. Already discussed are the disastrous combinations of non‐personnel expense reductions, reductions in force, fare and toll increases, service reductions, and “long‐term deficit financing.” (Stephen Nessen for Gothamist) With the MTA's trouble at the front of mind, let's not forget that the city is waiting on federal approval for congestion pricing to enter Manhattan. A Cornell University study found that a $20 toll could reduce Manhattan's traffic by 40%, greenhouse gas emission could be cut by 15%, and ridership on mass transit would increase by 6%. (Mark Hallum for amNewYork Metro) The MTA will rename two Brooklyn subway stops to include the name of Medgar Evers College, thanks to legislation from Assembly Member Diana Richardson and State Senator Zellnor Myrie. The new stops will be named Franklin Avenue-Medgar Evers College and President Street-Medgar Evers College. (David Cruz for Gothamist) One of the hardest-hit industries during the pandemic is dog walkers. As life slowly edges towards normal and dog adoptions have spiked, can dog walker rebound? (Mili Godio for Bedford + Bowery) City Councilmember Ritchie Torres has a sizable lead in the 15th Congressional District in the South Bronx. If that lead persists through the counting of absentee ballots, he could be the first out gay Afro-Latinx member of Congress. (Matt Tracy for Gay City News) The NYPD promoted three people of color to chief positions. (Todd Maisel for amNewYork Metro) David Afanador, the cop who allegedly put a man in an illegal chokehold in Queens days after it became illegal across the state, turned himself in and was charged with attempted aggravated strangulation and strangulation in the second degree. If convicted, he could face seven years in prison. (NY1) Identifying 10 streets that would be ideal to close for outdoor dining. (Eater) 22 branches of the NYPL, QPL, and BPL will be opening on July 13 for grab-and-go service. (Jen Carlson for Gothamist) Grub Street floats an interesting idea: Should this be the end of the traditional menu? Chris Crowley for Grub Street) We're five days into phase two, which means the city is turning its eyes towards phase three, which includes basketball courts, dog runs, indoor restaurant service, nail salons, massage therapists, and other personal care services. The city is on pace to hit phase three on July 6. (Adam Nichols for Patch) City Councilmembers Justin Brannan and Keith Powers have formed the "CBGB Caucus" as a way to help support independent music venues that remain closed and will remain closed through phase three, across the city. In a letter to the city's Congressional Delegation, they outline support for a benefit for venues that have been completely unable to open due to the pandemic and emergency unemployment benefits for their workers. (Amanda Hatfield for BrooklynVegan) The New-York Historical Society will, with approval from the city, be opening on August 14 with an outdoor exhibition called "Hope Wanted: New York City Under Quarantine". (Howard Halle for Time Out) As stores slowly reopen, there's a movement to preserve the protest art that adorned storefronts around SoHo. (NY1) It's less than reassuring to know that in the week of a primary, the NYC Board of Elections Director was fined for violating the city's ethics law. The center of the violation is a hotel stay in 2018 that was paid for by Election Systems & Software while he was serving on their board, a company that the city purchases election machines and supplies from. He resigned from his position with ES&S later in 2018. (Brigid Bergin for Gothamist) The local election to watch this fall will be Trump-supporting Republican challenger Assemblywoman Nicole Malliotakis trying to unseat Democratic incumbent Rep. Max Rose. Only a few days out from the primaries and both are on the attack. Rose called Malliotakis "a fraud who represents everything we hate about our politics." (Rose Adams for amNewyork Metro) Farewell to the Way Station, the Doctor Who-themed bar in Prospect Heights, who will not be regenerating after the pandemic. (Serena Dai for Eater) 10 chefs and restauranteurs discuss how they feel about reopening. (The Infatuation) The New York City Council voted Thursday to legalize e-bikes and e-scooters for use on city streets, forcing the mayor to confront a reversal of his ill-conceived and poorly-executed crackdown of electric bikes. (Brendan Krisel for Patch) Take a walk around the Rink at Rockefeller Center and it will become impossible to not see the 100 Pride flags flying around the plaza as a part of Rockefeller Center's celebration of World Pride Day. (Howard Halle for Time Out) If you can't get out and do a socially-distant tour of LGBTQ+ landmarks across the city the NYC LGBT Historic Sites Project and CyArk created a 3D virtual tour. (Shaye Weaver for Time Out) A look at Attorney General William Barr's attempt to undermine New York's federal prosecutors. (Benjamin Weiser, Ben Protess, Katie Benner and William K. Rashbaum for NY Times) New York is releasing $65 million in federal money to help preschools and daycare centers reopen after the coronavirus forced many to close down. The preschools and daycares say it isn't enough. (Christina Veiga for Chalkbeat) Harlem will be getting a Black Lives Matter street mural on Adam Clayton Powell Jr. Boulevard between 125th and 127th Streets. (Howard Halle for Time Out) A look at the positive impact the city's use of hotel rooms as homeless shelters can have. (Courtney Gross for NY1) It won't be happening this weekend, but along with lifeguards, food vendors are coming back to Rockaway Beach on July 1. (Alexander Jusdanis for Bedford + Bowery) 28 NYC restaurants with new outdoor dining. (Hannah Albertine, Nikko Duren, & Matt Tervooren for The Infatuation) Thanks to reader Chris for today's photo of the new VBallentine mural in Crown Heights.