The "This Isn't March 2020" Edition
Covid-19 news, an escaped cow gets a happy ending, Prospect Park and Roosevelt Island's renovations, the city's first net-zero community, where to get Thai takeout and delivery, and more
We’re back to the news being dominated by Covid-19, and rightfully so. Things are feeling scary again. Stay safe and if you’ve had too much of this already, scroll down to the photo of Spongebob in the Thanksgiving Parade.
Today - Low: 29˚ High: 42˚
Mostly cloudy throughout the day.
• Mayor de Blasio insists that the recent uptick in cases won't cause widespread shutdowns of schools and businesses, insisting that "this isn't March 2020." That much is true. The total volume of probable and confirmed cases of Covid-19 is higher than at any point in March of 2020 or since. Next York State had a new record-high number of cases this week. We have never had as many cases per 100k people as we currently do and we've never tested as many people as are currently being tested. (Matt Troutman for Patch)
• Interview: Acting Health Commissioner Dr. Mary Bassett offers advice among the Covid-19 surge. (Katherine Fung, Sean Carlson, and Nsikan Akpan for Gothamist)
• The list of temporarily closed restaurants and bars is growing. (Hannah Albertine for The Infatuation)
• Ten Broadway and Off-Broadway shows have had performances canceled this weekend due to positive Covid-19 in the productions. (Ben Yakas for Gothamist)
• The Radio City Christmas Spectacular is done for the year, canceling all remaining shows due to challenges from the pandemic. (Adam Feldman for Time Out)
• Saturday Night Live with Paul Rudd, Tina Fey, and Tom Hanks was mostly pre-taped and without a crowd as the cast dealt with cases of Covid-19. (Erin Jensen for USA Today)
• The Nets lost to the Orlando Magic as ten players are out due to Covid-19-related absences. (Aidan Graham for The Brooklyn Game)
• Did anyone order a group of idiots? Anyone? dozens of idiots descended on the Cheesecake Factory at the Queens Center Mall to "protest" the governor's new mask mandate by not showing proof of vaccination, cutting the line, and refusing to leave the restaurant. Half a dozen of these delights were arrested, but not before making comparisons between the Cheesecake Factory staff and Nazis. (Jacob Kaye for Queens Eagle)
• The state has opened dozens of new vaccination sites in the face of the surge in Covid-19 cases. (Sophia Chang for Gothamist)
The rest of this newsletter is Covid-19 free!
• Inside and out the newly refurbished Williamsburg Opera House, constructed in 1897. The "theme" of the Opera House performances is "the presence of God in our world and our lives." Not sure how Jonathon Richman plays into that theme, but he's on the calendar for February. (Scott Lynch for Brooklyn Magazine)
• Resigned-in-disgrace Andrew Cuomo is being ordered to pay back the $5.1 million he received for writing his book because the state Assembly Judiciary Committee concluded he used state resources to write it. (Jon Campbell for Gothamist)
• The Billion Oyster Project is so cool. Oysters make water more inviting for marine life, so adding a billion of them to the city's water by 2035 should hopefully have a huge impact. Their latest work, along with the Hudson River Park Trust, the state's Department of Environmental Conservation, and Moffatt and Nichol (and engineering firm), is putting 11.2 juvenile oysters into the Hudson River. (Anna Rahmanan for Time Out)
• The $11 million renovations and expansion of Southpoint Park on Roosevelt Island is complete, finishing ahead of schedule and under budget. The park was heavily damaged by Superstorm Sandy and is now built to be more resilient against extreme weather while also boasting new walkways, green spaces, and native vegetation. (Sebastian Morris for New York YIMBY)
• There's a new monument honoring investigative journalist Nellie Bly designed by Amanda Matthews of Prometheus Art. The monument is on Roosevelt Island, formerly Blackwell's Island, the location of the Women's Lunatic Asylum, where Bly had herself committed for ten days to investigate undercover on its conditions. Bly's life is worth investigating yourself. (Aaron Ginsburg for 6sqft)
• Photos: Staten Island wild turkeys and the Winter Lantern Festival. (Laura Goggin Photography)
• Where are the giant snowflake lights on the Upper West Side? An investigation into their disappearance and partial return. (Bobby Panza for I Love the Upper West Side)
• Farewell to Dress Shoppe II on Second Ave, closing at the end of January after 20 years. (EV Grieve)
• The Vale at Prospect Park, the area between Grand Army Plaza and the Prospect Park Zoo, will be getting a $40 million makeover by adding a sensory garden, a nature play area, and an amphitheater/community-building, as well as restoring the Children's Pool. Construction won't begin until 2023 at the earliest and will take 12-18 months. (Ben Yakas for Gothamist)
• 11 Revolutionary War sites across the city. (Noah Sheidlower for Untapped New York)
• Inside the nation's first supervised drug-injection sites. (Caroline Lewis for Gothamist)
• The MTA has plans to make Steinway Street station in Astoria 100% accessible, following years of advocacy by State Senator Michael Giannaris. The project is expected to be completed in 2025. (Christian Murray for Queens Post)
• Far Rockaway will become the home of the city's first net-zero community, with 1,650 new units of housing on a 116-acre oceanfront site that will include a 35-acre nature preserve, a connection between the 36th St A train and the beach, a new restaurant from the Rockaway Brewing Company, protection against sea surges and flooding, and more. There is no timetable for completion. (Aaron Ginsburg for 6sqft)
• Everyone can relax. The ultra-rich have not abandoned New York City. Luxury home sales in Manhattan in November broke a single-month record. (Matt Troutman for Patch)
• "Eric Adams Wants to Sell You Some Bitcoin" is a headline that makes me sad. (R.C. Baker for Village Voice)
• What we know about Queens Councilmember Adrienne Adams, who will be the next City Council speaker after Councilmember Francisco Moya conceded after declaring victory last week. Moya was supported by Mayor-elect Eric Adams. Adams and Adams. This won't get confusing. (David Crus for Gothamist)
• 10 Beaux-Arts buildings from the Gilded Age in NYC. (Laura Itzkowitz for Untapped New York)
• Renderings: The new Terminal One at JFK Airport, expected to be completed by 2026. (Anna Rahmanan for Time Out)
• Where to get Thai takeout and delivery, if you’re ready. (Hannah Albertine and Bryan Kim for The Infatuation)
Featured Animal: The Escaped Cow!
Something I mentioned in my Doing What Works interview is how much I love escaped animals. Today has brought us this escaped cow in Queens, which escaped from “a local business,” which was a slaughterhouse, and is headed to a sanctuary in New Jersey. Good cow!
Thanks to the reader that contributed to The Briefly since the last edition using this Ko-Fi link. Your contributions are extremely generous thank you all.