The Briefly for May 18, 2020 – The "Bored Enough to Give Yourself a Tattoo?" Edition
Today - Low: 55˚ High: 68˚
Mostly cloudy throughout the day.
The city remains on PAUSE, hitting only 3 of the 7 metrics necessary to start phase one of reopening. There will be no city beaches open for Memorial Day weekend. (Anna Quinn for Patch) As New York state is losing billions of dollars, politicians are turning their eyes towards a source of revenue they've failed to pull the trigger on for years: legal marijuana. (Kathleen Culliton for Patch) Video: Watch Andean Bear cubs Brienne and Benny explore their habitat in the Queens Zoo for the first time. (Emily Davenport for amNewYork Metro) How bored are you at home? Are you ready to do your own stick and poke tattoo? (Dani Blum for NY Times) Will the Covid-19 pandemic mean the end of the walk-in tattoo appointment? When the city's tattoo shops reopen, there's a chance. What will all the tattoo parlors do with their very clever Christopher Walken-related signs? (Emma Orlow for Time Out) The city's park conservancies are expecting a massive financial hit this year, forcing them to drastically alter their organizations, including a reduction of over 350,000 hours of work, a half-million trees not being planted, an 80% reduction of park improvements, with up to a 68% loss of income in the worst case. (Jason Cohen for Bronx Times) Governor Cuomo warned that without the HEROES Act, there would be devastating cuts to the budgets of education and medical programs, as well as local governments. (Robert Pzarycki for amNewYork Metro) The NYC Ferry system is looking at a 20% reduction on top of the 30% reduction in service, with an intent to save the city up to $10 million. In addition, new ferry locations are being pushed back to 2021. (Mark Hallum for amNewYork Metro) The city is no different. The $10 billion shortfall will impact pretty much everything the city offers, like canceling the youth employment program, freezing new teacher hires, and killing environmental initiatives. As crime is at historic lows, the NYPD is not poised to take much of a financial hit at all, as de Blasio's administration prioritizes policing its citizens over helping them. (Jake Offenhartz for Gothamist) This is the same NYPD that was incapable of enforcing social distancing without immediately reminding us all about its racist enforcement of stop-and-frisk as officers beat and pummeled people of color all across the city while glad-handing white people in parks. The NYPD has shown us the Peter Principle up close, as the mayor has reduced their role in enforcing social distancing because they can't be trusted to treat all New Yorkers like people. (Joe Anuta for Politico) This is the same NYPD that can't be bothered to actually execute the city's open streets plans while its people are desperate for space. (Gersh Kuntzman for Streetsblog) The NYPD won't even be fully in charge of the city's plans to limit access to portions of parks to prevent overcrowding. A portion of the work will be going to the city's 2,260 new "social distancing ambassadors." (Alejandra O'Connell-Domenech for amNewyork Metro) Jadakiss donated 250 pizzas to medicals centers throughout in the Bronx, Harlem, and Yonkers as part of the Pizza vs. Pandemic initiative. (Alex Mitchell for Bronx Times) The Times rides-along with the subway shutdown. (Christina Goldbaum for NY Times) Photos from the inside of the 30th Street Men’s Shelter on First Avenue in Manhattan show people in close quarters sleeping on stairs and in hallways, proving the city is failing its population of homeless New Yorkers. (Courtney Gross for NY1) The city's response to the photos was to put more homeless New Yorkers into hotel rooms but has been pairing them up, which seems counterproductive if you're trying to prevent the spread of Covid-19. The City Council is preparing a bill that would require hotel rooms used as an alternative to shelters to be single occupancy. (Sophia Chang for Gothamist) WNYC and Gothamistreceived an $8.9 million Paycheck Protection Program loan from the federal government to help the $10 million deficit it was projecting, saving many journalism jobs. (Christopher Robbins for Gothamist) VICE, owned by Refinery29, announced its laying off 155 employees. There is local support to add financial support for digital media in the HEROES Act in Congress, but I can't fathom a world where the Trump administration does anything to actually help journalists. (Caroline Lewis for Gothamist) An analysis puts the number of people who fled the city between Match and May at 420,000. In some neighborhoods like the Upper East Side, the West Village, SoHo, and Brooklyn Heights, the population has decreased by up to 40%. It should be no surprise that the more wealthy someone is, the most likely they were to abandon New York City. (Kevin Quealy for NY Times) The New York Department of Environmental Conservation denied a permit necessary for the construction of the Williams Pipeline, essentially killing the fracked gas pipeline that would have terminated in the Rockaways and was at the center of National Grid's refusal of service to new customers at the end of last year. (Peter Rugh for The Indypendent) Someone is trying to plan a drive-in festival in "Yankee Stadium's parking lot," including live music, movies, games, etc. Take a moment and open up a map app or website and take a look at Yankee Stadium. Try to find "the parking lot." Yankee Stadium doesn't actually have a large parking lot. There are parking garages and a few dirt lots that double as parking when there are games, but there isn't one large parking lot near the stadium like there is at Citi Field where you would think an elevated stage would let anyone see a performance. (Amanda Hatfield for BrooklynVegan) Notify NYC sent out a mass text on Saturday saying there's an "alarming shortage of donated blood." The FDA amended its homophobic rule about not accepting blood donations from gay or bisexual men (but still won't accept blood from a man who has had sexual contact with another man in the last three months) but the New York Blood Center says it can't adopt those changes until June. (Emily Ngo for NY1) The signs for Gem Spa came down over the weekend. (EV Grieve) “You could feel it going through your veins and it was almost like someone injected you with straight-up fire.” The new syndrome linked to Covid-19 that is impacting kids sounds like actual hell. (Pan Belluck for NY Times) New York children of color may be more vulnerable to the toxic shock-like syndrome linked to new coronavirus, according to demographic data released by City Hall. (Kathleen Culliton for Patch) The city closed the field hospital at the Billie Jean King Tennis Center, which housed 79 patients, the last of whom left the hospital on Saturday. (Allie Griffin for Queens Post) The late-night delivery guide. (Matt Tervooren for The Infatuation) Thanks to reader Zlata for today's featured flower photo from Grand Army Plaza in Central Park.