The Briefly for May 28, 2020 – The "Can You Spare $9 Billion?" Edition
Today - Low: 64˚ High: 69˚
Overcast throughout the day.
The city remains on PAUSE, with 5/7 metrics met. Andy Byford, you're gone for real. Train Daddy is headed to London to become their new Transport Commissioner. (Benjamin Kabak for Second Ave Sagas) When New York City beings phase one of reopening, does the MTA have a plan to allow that to happen? We've heard multiple ideas floated in the last few months for the subways, but the MTA hasn't yet put forward their plan on how to deal with construction and manufacturing workers returning to their jobs. Stephen Nessen and Christopher Robbins for Gothamist) Curbed puts it best: Did New York City just give up on public transit? (Alissa Walker for Curbed) Got $9 billion to spare? New York could use it. The city's budget is due by the end of June and with a $9 billion hole to crawl out of, things are likely to get worse before they get better. (Kathleen Culliton for Patch) Say hello to Bobby Catone, the city's biggest jackass. He plans on opening his Staten Island tanning salon to the public today in defiance of the governor's orders. (Amanda Farinacci for NY1) It seems that when people fled New York City, they also left behind their census forms. Also: An interactive map to see how you're district is responding to the 2020 census. (Rachel Holliday Smith for The City) The coronavirus layoffs are hitting Black households in New York harder than white households. 44% of Black households have seen a layoff compared to 27% of white households, but 84% of Black voters feared reopening too quickly compared to 59% white. There's a reason for that fear, more than double the number of Black New Yorkers have died during the pandemic than white New Yorkers. (Kathleen Culliton for Patch) Photos: Construction on "Little Island," the two-acre park being built on Pier 55 is progressing ahead of its scheduled spring 2021 opening. (Devin Gannon for 6sqft) A bodybag protest was laid at the doorstep of city hall to show the plight of homeless New Yorkers, who crowd into the city's shelters every night. Protesters demanded the city open up hotel rooms as an alternative to crowded shelters. (Toss Maisel for amNewYork Metro) Okay, we're all sick of cooking every meal for ourselves, right? Here comes WoodSpoon to allow you to order home-cooked meals prepared by out-of-work chefs. (Emma Orlow for Time Out) The New York Public Library is considering curbside service at libraries. Reserve your book in advance and swing by a kiosk to pick it up. If it can happen at Best Buy without the pandemic, it can happen at the NYPL during it. (Reuven Blau for The City) A look inside a plasma donation center, which the Times is calling "one of the happiest places in New York." (Eliza Shapiro for NY Times) Beyond Sushi is opening a ghost kitchen in Long Island City. (Jacob Kaye for QNS) The city has offered very little in terms of help for restaurant and bar owners and has offered absolutely nothing in terms of a plan for reopening. Not only have they offered nothing in terms of help, but Mayor de Blasio is also stepping up enforcement of bars and restaurants in nine neighborhoods. Where the hell has the "Nightlife Mayor" been on this? Isn't this a job specifically designed for them to be helping with? (Erika Adams for Eater) The mayor's response to this entire crisis has been to sit back and let other cities lead. Instead of leading the city's help and support restaurants and bars and small businesses, he sits on his hands and watches. (Gersh Kuntzman for Streetsblog) RIP Larry Kramer, whose activism helped shifted the nation's policies towards AIDS. (Daniel Lewis for NY Times) Have you become the master of your kitchen under quarantine? Are you ready for a challenge? Step up to the word's stinkiest fruit, durian, and make some desserts with this dessert box available for delivery. (Bao Ong for Time Out) Attorney General Letitia James filed an amicus brief on Tuesday as part of a coalition of 14 attorneys general who are hoping to keep the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement out of courthouses unless they have a judicial warrant or court order. (Noah Singer for Brooklyn Eagle) With budget cuts looming large, CUNY plans to continue online courses through the fall semester, with only a small fraction of courses and services offered in-person. (Sophia Chang for Gothamist) There is no specific place in the city to collectively grieve, but the Naming the Lost project has set up a memorial outside of Green-Wood Cemetery for people to post tributes to those who lost their lives to Covid-19. (Rose Adams for Brooklyn Paper) A few neighborhood restaurants and bakeries selling housemade sourdough starter by the ounce, cup, and jar. (Luke Fortney for Eater) “If we are going to make progress, we’ve got to address these things, and if this painful process is going to help us address this — there’s the yellow warbler!” -Christian Cooper on the Central Park incident, racism, his thoughts on Amy Cooper, and birdwatching in Central Park. (Sarah Maslin Nir for NY Times) After the Central Park Karen story, State Assemblymember Felix Ortix and State Senator Brian Benjamin have introduced a new bill that would criminalize falsely reporting an incident to police and make the offense eligible for hate crime status. (Zack Linly for The Root) Yesterday I made mention that Governor Cuomo was headed to DC to talk President Trump into helping the state's infrastructure projects. He came back and declared good government "extinct" in America. I'm not a political scientist, but I'm not sure that's a good sign. (Mark Hallum for amNewYork Metro) Interactive Map: New York City's wisteria is in bloom, here's where to see it. (Collier Sutter for Time Out) Ruben Diaz, Sr. is an opponent of same-sex marriage and women’s reproductive rights and is also a Democrat. What does it mean to be a Democrat in New York City? (Matt Tracy for Gay City News) How to get hired as a contact tracer in NYC and what the job entails. (Shaye Weaver for Time Out) The state's legislature has effectively killed the rent cancellation bill, taking up a "totally inadequate" bill instead. In its place is a bill that gives landlords vouchers if a landlord's tenants must earn 80% below an area's income anad have been paying more than 30% of their household income on rent before March 30. The total budget would give 50,000 tenants two monthly vouchers of $1,000. For perspective, one-quarter of the city's 5.4 million renters did not pay rent last month. (Jake Offenhartz for Gothamist) The numbers have slowed, but not enough for reopening. A look into who are the New Yorkers who are getting sick? (Andy Newman for NY Times) Okay, what is going on with “The Power Broker: Robert Moses and the Fall of New York,” being surreptitiously placed on the bookshelf in nearly every cable news interview? (Dana Rubenstein for NY Times) A somewhat complete (for now) guide to beach food at Rockaway Beach. (Scott Lynch for Gothamist) The latest openings, reopenings, takeout specials, and other exciting or noteworthy updates in the weekly restaurant update from The Infatuation. (Hannah Albertine for the Infatuation) Thanks to reader Lizzy for today's featured photo!