The Briefly for December 28, 2018 – The “What the Hell Was That In the Sky? Was It Aliens?” Edition

This weekend’s subway outages and changes, the Astoria borealis, a record low number of homicides in Brooklyn, New Year’s Eve notes, and more in today’s daily NYC news digest.

The Astoria Borealis by Dustin Brown

All things considered the planned changes and outages on the subway this weekend are minimal. (6qsft)


Holy shit! Did you see the sky last night? (NY Post)

A transformer fire at a Con Edison substation in Astoria lit up the night sky around 9pm with a Independence Day style light show. (NY Times)

The (non) alien explosion caused a relatively small number of power outages, but the most significant was LaGuardia Airport. (Gothamist)

The explosion should remind us all about the city’s reliance on burning oil. Astoria and Long Island City have the highest rates of air pollution in the city thanks to the ConEd generating stations in each neighborhood which burn over six million gallons of oil a year combined. (HuffPost)


Which neighborhoods dominated NYC’s dining scene in 2018? (Eater)

A city Sanitation Department employee, Mervin Freeman, was arrested for allegedly strangling his 14-year-old daughter. The Sanitation Department is launching an investigation as Freeman denies the incident. (NY Post)

There’s an easier way to make a buck than to try to walk away with an ATM, but it didn’t stop these four guys in Prospect Heights. (NY Post)

Someone in East New York won $298.3 million on Wednesday night’s Powerball. Did you buy a ticket at Arnold’s Service Station on Linden Blvd? (NY Post)

What a year. Nine of the most improbable political transformations in 2018. (NY Times)

Governor Cuomo stripped the State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli of the ability to review construction contracts for SUNY schools. Kinda weird for someone whose former top aide is going to prison for corruption. (NY Post)

The NYPD will file more serious charges against the homeless men who fought an officer in a subway station, including riot, obstructing a governmental administration, and attempted assault. (Gothamist)

The NIMBY’s at the West 58th Street Coalition, representing Billionaire’s Row, has successfully sued the city to grant a temporary injunction against the construction of a homeless shelter in the former Savoy Hotel. (NY Post)

When the MTA gets to define “good service,” the subways can easily run with “good service.” (Gothamist)

Brooklyn’s Winterfest won’t be back next year. Here’s a complete look behind the bedlam at the Brooklyn Museum. (The Bridge)

Who thought in the same year New York Magazine would write about Union Pool and The New York Times would be on the Output beat? The Times is soliciting stories about Output. (NY Times)

Manhattan’s Hudson Square has become so dangerous (how dangerous is it?) the city’s Transportation Department hired crossing guards for adults. (NY Times)

Brooklyn is headed to set a record with under 100 homicides in 2018. (Brooklyn Daily Eagle)

On January 1, it will become illegal for pharmacies to sell cigarettes in the city. (amNY)

The updated list of the city’s hottest cocktail bars. (Eater)


Here are the New Year’s Eve street closures for Times Square. (Curbed)

Times Square isn’t the only fireworks in town on New Year’s Eve. Here are four alternatives. (Curbed)

Meet Tom Brennan, the man in charge of the most famous ball of crystal in the world. (NY Times)

It takes a full year of preparation to coordinate the dumping of 3,000 pounds of confetti. (NY Times)

Getting around the city on New Year’s Day won’t be simple. (amNY)

Astoria Borealis Reflection by Dustin Brown
Astoria Borealis Reflection by Dustin Brown

Thank you to Dustin Brown for the images of last night’s fire

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