The Briefly for October 25 – 26, 2020 – The “Vote or Die” Sunday Edition

The latest NYC news digest: Early voting is open, the best Vietnamese food in the city, dredging the Gowanus, Mayor de Blasio’s legacy of failure, and more

Today – Low: 50˚ High: 56˚
Light rain in the evening and overnight.

The best restaurants near NYC’s early voting locations. (Hannah Albertine and Nikko Duren for The Infatuation)

Early voting is open, now let’s talk about the legality of ballot selfies. (Valeriya Safronova for NY Times)

Speaking of early voting, it started across the city on Saturday and there were lines everywhere. Nearly 100,0000 voted on the first day of early voting, more than in all of 2018’s early voting. (David Cruz and Jen Chung for Gothamist)

On Friday, Mayor de Blasio announced a plan to recruit hundreds of city workers in a matter of days to join an “Election Observer Corps.” He has not recruited a single person, nor has he trained anyone. By contrast, AG Letitia James, Public Advocate Jumaane Williams, and the head of Common Cause NY, Susan Lerner, already have 600 statewide volunteers who have been training for weeks for the election and have been monitoring polling sites already. Seems like the mayor could have endorsed this effort instead of announcing a new one less than 24 hours before early voting began. (Brigid Bergin for Gothamist)

We will have hundreds of additional cops in uniform citywide who will be at the ready should they be needed.” -NYPD Chief of Department Terence Monahan, who maybe doesn’t realize that having a larger NYPD presence during an election may only serve to make things worse. (Danny Lewish for Gothamist)

This is the same NYPD whose union endorsed President Trump. (NBC New York)

Photos and Video: A Barred Owl hanging out. (D. Bruce Yolton for Urban Hawks)

Video: The Animal Care Centers rescued a pig from a Brooklyn backyard. (Anna Quinn for Patch)

The city sells off unpaid property debts on a regular basis. The sale of debt was the subject of a Last Week Tonight program from a few years ago. While it raises money for the city, it also encourages foreclosures and the displacement of lower-income homeowners. This year’s tax lien sale has been postponed multiple times and City Council members are pushing to eliminate the program altogether. (Peter Senzamici for The City)

The EPA will begin dredging the Gowanus Canal mid-November. At the bottom of the canal sits a very thick and very old layer of tar, human poop and if the rumors are true, a few dead bodies. (Red Hook Star-Revue)

Video: No questions asked about how these daredevils found their way to the roof of the GE Building, which is closed to visitors, but the views are spectacular. (svvvk on YouTube)

State officials have pulled a controversial proposal that would have allowed non-lawyers to oversee special education complaints in New York City. The proposal was first made in January. In the 2019-2020 school year, the city had 10,797 complaints, 96% of New York state’s complaints. Each complaint is legally supposed to be resolved in under 75 days, but NYC’s cases take 259 days on average. The penalty for such a failure? Nothing. These students deserve better. (Reema Amin for The City)

Interview: Meet Brenda Suchilt, the Newtown Creek Alliance’s new horticulturist. (Billy McEntee for Greenpointers)

Apartment Porn: A $12.75 million Cobble Hill townhouse with a vineyard-like garden that’s bigger than almost every bar with outdoor space, gated parking, and two wine cellars. One wine cellar? Please. (Dana Schulz for 6sqft)

The best Vietnamese restaurants in NYC. (Matt Tervooren for The Infatuation)

The secrets of the new Greenpoint public library. (Will Gleason for Time Out)

The number of young children in NYCHA housing at risk of lead exposure is three times greater than previously thought, according to Bart Schwartz, the federal monitor overseeing the NYCHA. The city certified the number at 3,000 two years ago. The number is 9,000. Poisoning the children of the city will likely end up high on the list of Bill de Blasio’s legacy as mayor. (Matt Troutman for Patch)

Speaking of Bill de Blasio’s accomplishments and legacy, the city is headed for the highest level of traffic deaths since the mayor took office, the third straight year of rising deaths, completely erasing any and all progress he could claim as part of his own Vision Zero program. This year includes two months of zero traffic fatalities due to the pandemic, it’s hard to imagine how high the body count would be without it. (Jake Offenhartz for Gothamist)

The TWA Hotel has just reopened its pool-cuzzi and Runway Chalet at JFK airport. The pool purifies itself every 30 minutes and is kept at a cozy 95 degrees. (Shaye Weaver for Time Out)

A look at the new public art available across Brooklyn. (Keira Wingate for Bklyner)

Three bars within the zoned shutdown areas in Brooklyn and Queens had their liquor licenses temporarily suspended for throwing illegal indoor parties. 30 Fantastic Bar in Sunset Park, Da Mikelle Palace in Forest Hills, and Wise Bar & Grill in Sheepshead Bay. (Tanay Warerkar for Eater)

Before you feel bad for The Strand posting they may close (Amanda Hatfield for BrooklynVegan), let’s look a little deeper. The Strand fired union workers while accepting $1-2 million of PPP loans (Labor Notes) Owner Nancy Bass Wyder, who is married to Oregon Senator Ron Wyden, purchased $115,000 in Amazon stock in April and made an additional purchase of up to $200,000 in June. (Ed Lin for Barrons) The Upper West Side location was met with protests. (Carol Tannenhauser and Kate Koza for West Side Rag) On a micro scale, buying at The Strand instead of your neighborhood bookstore is no different than buying from Amazon.

On a micro scale, supporting The Strand over your neighborhood bookstore is akin to buying from Amazon instead of locally.

At this point, let’s celebrate that NYC isn’t the rattiest city in America. Los Angeles and Chicago are worse than we are and you take the wins where you can get them. (Adam Nichols for Patch)

Times Square really wants you to visit. Their latest ploy to get you to the one place you never want to visit is the Taste of Times Square Week, which runs through October 30 and offers a $35 prix fixe menu at 20 different restaurants with an appetizer, main and dessert. (Tanay Warerkar for Eater)

The Shed in Hudson Yards has reopened with a solo exhibition by artist Howardena Pindell called Rope/Fire/Water, which explores the historical traumas of America, namely slavery, racism, and white supremacy. (Monika Hankova for Untapped New York)

An examination of how New York’s slavery history is still present all over the city. (Zachary Kussin for Untapped New York)

The Green-Wood Cemetery is hosting a Dia de los Muertos celebration all this week. (Dozier Hasty for Brooklyn Eagle)

The best Mapo Tofu in the city. (Hannah Albertine for The Infatuation)

Thanks to reader Michael for today’s featured photo.

The Briefly for October 23 – 24, 2020 – The “2,400 Subway Cars on the Ocean Floor” Friday Edition

The latest NYC news digest: The new Rudy Giuliani fiasco, the city is behind on hundreds of reporting deadlines, median rents in Manhattan fall under $3k, and more

Today – Low: 61˚ High: 66˚
Mostly cloudy throughout the day.
This weekend – Low: 46˚ High: 70˚

If you need some fresh hell to wade through, there’s the Giuliani story coming out of the new Borat movie. Never in my life did I want to be reading this much analysis if Rudy Giuliani was touching his dick or not, but here we are. (Bill Pearis for BrooklynVegan)

The attorney behind the lawsuit trying to shut down the temporary homeless shelter on the Upper West Side, Randy Mastro, had his townhouse vandalized. Couldn’t have happened to a nicer guy. (Mike Mishkin for I Love the Upper West Side)

Video: What do you call 2,400 subway cars at the bottom of the ocean? A good start! Just kidding. Let’s ask a marine biologist. (Matt Coneybeare for Viewing NYC)

What the hell is going on at city hall that they’ve missed hundreds of deadlines to provide statistical reports? Name a department and they’ve blown a deadline. (Claudia Irizarry Apone for The City)

Among the list of things the city hasn’t reported on? School attendance data. You might say that they’re… absent. (Christina Veiga for Chalkbeat)

Photos: New York City’s most impressive Halloween decorated house. (Ben Yakas for Gothamist)

The time for baking artisanal bread is over. Welcome to the era of funfetti cake. (Rachel Sugar for Grub Street)

Apartment Porn: Susan Sarandon’s Chelsea duplex sold for $7.9 million. That’s a lot of ping pong money. (Dana Schulz for 6sqft)

Nothing to see here, just NYPD officers Kyle Erickson and Elmer Pastran caught on video planting pot on someone during a traffic stop. They’ve been caught doing it before too. The Staten Island DA says he sees no criminal activity. (George Joseph for Gothamist)

An elderly woman in the Seward Park Co-op on the Lower East Side had been living with her husband’s rotting corpse for the last two weeks. 2020. (Elie Z. Perler for Bowery Boogie)

The MTA has released a new nearly real-time subway map. While the animations are cool and having it be “real time” is cool, “How real is real-time? You’re still getting some train data minutes after it comes in.” (Christopher Bonanos for Curbed)

Travel isn’t banned, but the governor thinks you shouldn’t be going to Connecticut or New Jersey right now. (Nick Reisman for NY1)

New Jersey appears to be headed towards a second Covid-19 wave. (Karen Yi for Gothamist)

Just in case the city’s new Covid-19 restrictions weren’t confusing enough, the state has instituted a new microcluster strategy. At this point, trying to round up how this works is beyond this email. (Jesse McKinley and J. David Goodman for NY Times)

Check the map, enter your address to check your zone. (Arcgis)

Nothing to see here, just a prisoner who escaped police custody Thursday morning outside Harlem Hospital. (Nick Garber for Patch)

Go on a hike without needing a car. (Adam Nichols for Patch)

Environmentalists stormed the headquarters of National Grid in Downtown Brooklyn Thursday calling for state ownership over the local power grid. (Kevin Duggan for Brooklyn Paper)

10 local illustrators on how New Yorkers feel about the upcoming election. I just want it to be over already. (Collier Sutter for Time Out)

New York City is suing the federal government over the whole “Anarchist Jurisdiction” thing. (Matt Troutman for Patch)

Millions of Republican dollars are flowing into Staten Island in an attempt to push out freshman Congressperson Max Rose in support of his Republican opponent Nicole Malliotakis. (Clifford Michel for The City)

Photos: The Village Halloween parade is canceled, so this photo gallery set might be your way to enjoy Halloween in the Village. (Tequila Minsky for amNewYork Metro)

24 percent of the city’s subway and bus workers have had Covid-19. (Devin Gannon for 6sqft)

Keep your eyes peeled for these @WildCityNYC flyers strewn about the city. Learn things like which birds are “FAST AS F*CK” or what famous hot duck is currently “MISSING” or who the real “NEW YORK GIANTS” are. (Michelle Young for Untapped New York)

A Manhattan “milestone” has been reached: Median rents fell below $3,000. (Stefanos Chen for NY Times)

Photos: Check out the world’s largest pumpkins at the New York Botanical Garden. (Collier Sutter for Time Out)

29 top Vietnamese restaurants in NYC. (Robert Sietsema for Eater)

The Briefly for October 20 – 21, 2020 – The “Times Square Gets A PerFect Addition” Tuesday Edition

The latest NYC news digest: NY releases its Covid-19 vaccine plan and a new matrix, hot cocktail season is upon us, the scariest thing about Blood Manor, and more

Today – Low: 64˚ High: 68˚
Mostly cloudy throughout the day.

In a touch of good news, there were only 18 positive Covid-19 tests out of the 10,676 that were administered in schools. (Dana Rubenstein and J. David Goodman for NY Times)

JFK and Newark airports are now offering Rapid Nasal Swab Tests for Covid-19 with results in under 15 minutes. (Will Gleason for Time Out)

In the last days of warm-enough weather, here’s where to work outside with wifi. (Matt Tervooren for The Infatuation)

Welcome to NYC, P.F. Chang’s, you will fit in perfectly in Times Square. (Bao Ong for Time Out)

In one of the weirder stories this week, we all found out that the city can be shut out of its own ferry docks, as it was in Greenpoint for most of Monday. (Matt Troutman for Patch)

The Greenpoint Library is now open for grab-and-go service. (Greenpointers)

Everything to know about putting up temporary walls in an NYC apartment. (Lambeth Hochwald for StreetEasy)

With a drop in Covid-19 cases in hot spots, expect Governor Cuomo to make adjustments to the red zone maps this week. (Robert Pozarycki for Brooklyn Paper)

A fire in Cypress Hills burnt down a marijuana grow house. (John Del Signore for Gothamist)

215 idiots were busted mid-party inside the Queens Luxe Banquet Hall on Rockaway Boulevard in Queens. The owner and staff were charged with misdemeanors. (Sydney Pereira for Gothamist)

New York City Comptroller Scott Stringer has released a new plan that would make CUNY community colleges free to all students in an attempt to close the inequality gap. (The Brooklyn Reader)

For $4.75 million, you can own Toni Morrison’s Tribeca loft. (Erin Hudson for The Real Deal)

New Hope Family Services refuses to provide services to married same-sex couples and won a preliminary injunction to block the Office of Children and Family Services from shutting them down for doing so. (Arthur S> Leonard for Gay City News)

Photos: Inside Frenchette’s takeover of the old Arcade Barkery space. (Tanay Warerkar for Eater)

Remember when I linked to a report that said the homeless New Yorkers in The Lucerne would be moved to the Financial District on Sunday? That has been reversed again. A state supreme court judge approved a restraining order preventing anyone from being moved until at least November 16. (Mirela Iverac for Gothamist)

Andres Fernandez was convicted of killing the owner of the legendary L&B Spumoni Gardens pizzeria in 2016 and will face 25 years to life behind bars. (Rose Adams for Brooklyn Adams)

Here’s what you need to know about New York’s plastic bag ban. (Michelle Young for Untapped New York)

The scariest thing about Blood Manor haunted house is the giant, maskless crowds. (Tribeca Citizen)

Governor Cuomo’s office released its Covid-19 vaccination plan, including a vaccine prioritization matrix, with New Yorkers falling into Priority 1-6. First we were dealing with “phases,” now we’re dealing with “zones,” next up is “priority.” Most of us will fall into Priority 5. (Sydney Pereira for Gothamist)

Another look at Times Square’s “Plastic Bag Store” now that the plastic bag ban is real and being enforced. (Michelle Young for Untapped New York)

AOC is encouraging voting on the Working Families Party line instead of the Democratic line for the presidential election to help preserve WFP’s place on the ballot moving forward. (Daniel Marans for HuffPost)

The New York Times has discovered Breezy Point, the NYC right-wing hideout full of police and firefighters. (Corey Kilgannon for NY Times)

Holding up a magnifying glass to the NYPD’s impunity when it comes to killing people on NYC streets with their cars in light of NY Attorney General Letitia James opening an investigation into the killing of Sofia Gomex, who was killed by an NYPD highway officer. (Julianne Cuba for Streetsblog)

Everything that the city did to campaign for New Yorkers to fill out their census forms ended up raising the response rate by a measly 0.1%. The city is pushing this as a win. (David Cruz for Gothamist)

The Times already declared cuffing season starting early this year. That means it’s time for hot cocktails. (Tanay Warerkar for Eater)