The Briefly for May 2, 2019 – The “The MTA, Like A Fish, Rots From the Head Down” Edition

A proposed constitutional right to clean air and water, the city’s best new restaurant, kick Lena Dunham out of Brooklyn, billionaires fight to keep the SHSAT, and more in today’s daily NYC news digest.

Prospect Park's Endale Arch

The state senate passed a handful of environmentally friendly bills, including S.2072 is a bill in the state Senate that would add a constitutional right to clean air and water to the state’s constitution. (Grist)

A look under the microscope at a few of New York City’s billions of bacteria, fungi and microbes. Germophobes need not apply. (Business Insider)

The MTA’s board fails to reflect the city at every opportunity. The median income of the MTA board is $555,000, which is roughly 10x the median of MTA riders and underrepresents women and people of color. (Patch)

The MTA might be out of touch with the average rider, but the problem with the MTA isn’t the board. The man who won’t stop saying he’s not in charge of the MTA but keeps meddling in the MTA’s plans is the focus of a 170-page report from Reinvent Albany calls for 50 proposals for a more accountable and transparent transit authority. Page one? “The governor controls the MTA.” Now trying getting Governor Cuomo to admit it. (amNY)

The city’s animal intake centers take any kinds of animals, even this wallaby. How did a wallaby get into the city to begin with? (r/NYC)

The East Village’s best-kept secret was kept a secret until it closed. The Bijou was an underground movie theater and cruising spot and was also a throwback to Manhattan’s bad old days. The speakeasy has a history that goes back over 60 years that includes a music venue, a mafia-run club, and finally The Bijou. (Bedford + Bowery)

Here’s a look at the 2019-2020 NYC school year. (Patch)

Wegmans has an opening date: October 27. (Eater)

Sesame Street has a permanent location in Manhattan. 63rd St between Central Park West and Broadway. (Mashable)

For $2.65 million, you can be the person who kicked Lena Dunham out of Brooklyn. (6sqft)

There are still four remnants of the original 1904 Times Square subway station that exist today. (Untapped Cities)

The site where the New York Wheel, the massive Ferris wheel on Staten Island, still sits dormant and the city has no plans for the site six months after the project officially died. (6sqft)

A group of billionaires are trying to keep the SHSAT in place by financially backing the South Brooklyn Coalition for Quality Education. The purpose of removing the test from the specialized high school admissions process is to desegregate NYC’s school and bring more racial diversity to elite high schools (The Brooklyn Home Reporter)

There’s a pop-up cat cafe this weekend in the East Village, so if you’re looking to adopt a new fuzzy friend, this is your opportunity. (Bedford + Bowery)

20 outdoor art installations not to miss this month. (Untapped Cities)

NYPD Officer Daniel Pantaleo, whose chokehold led to the death of Eric Garner, is fighting to delay his hearing with the Civilian Complaint Review Board. (Gothamist)

Gothamist declared Wayla is the city’s best new restaurant, citing the food, green patio, and decor as standouts. (Gothamist)

A membership to The Sentry’s rooftop pool might be more than your portion of the rent, but that won’t stop you from ogling the photos of it. (Time Out)

A real estate developer is trying to bargain for more square footage by offering to build an accessible subway station for $11 million in Gowanus. (Brooklyn Paper)

The father of Aurilla Lawrence, who died after being run over by an oil tanker truck at the end of February, makes a plea to the mayor to take action to stop making excuses and prevent senseless traffic deaths. (Gothamist)

Did you take a photo of a couple who for engaged in Grand Central Terminal on Sunday? They are looking for anyone who took surreptitious photos of the event. (amNY)

The MTA is investigating excessive overtime payments to transit workers, in some cases hundreds of thousands of dollars per person per year. A 16% increase in overtime led to a $418 million payroll increase. (Gothamist)

Lyft’s attempt to fight against a $17.22 after expenses minimum wage for drivers failed. (Gothamist)

Meet the 2019 James Beard Award finalists for best NYC chef. (amNY)

Is the cost of living higher in New York or Los Angeles? Come on, you know the answer to that. (StreetEasy)

The state seemed to have momentum on its side when pushing a bill that would end religious exemptions for vaccines, but the bill seems to be dead in the water. Why? (NY Times)

Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer stopped by the Max & Murphy podcast for a 30-minute conversation about her lawsuit against the city centering around housing developments on NYCHA land, NIMBYism, dealing with the mayor, what she’ll do after she hets her term limit, and more. (Gotham Gazette)

17 bars with outstanding agave-based tequila drinks. (Eater)

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