The Briefly for November 20, 2019 – The “These Transit Nightmares Are Real and Preventable” Edition

What happens to the star atop the Rockefeller Center tree, New York sues Juul Labs, behind the scene’s at Scarr’s Pizza, the best restaurant openings and more in today’s daily NYC news digest

A tribute to the hustle of New York City’s fauna, like Soda Can Raccoon and Murder Cat. (NY Times)

Checking in on the red tailed hawks in Tompkins Square Park. (Laura Goggin Photography)

The D train provided a literal nightmare last Friday night when it sat in a tunnel without moving, without cell service, and without announcements. People on the train say it was for two hours while the MTA claims it was only 76 minutes. That’s the kind of experience that makes someone stop taking the train completely. (Gothamist)

The June 2018 ceiling collapse at the Brooklyn Heights subway station could have been prevented. That’s the word from the MTA’s Inspector General, which released a report on the indecent and also points at the MTA’s ineffective inspections of stations and lack of knowledge of terra cotta. It pairs well with a 2010 report which states the MTA’s engineers don’t have enough knowledge of arched brick and suspended ceilings. Reassuring. (Gothamist)

He was expelled from the state senate when he was charged with beating and slashing his then-girlfriend, plead guilty to misappropriating over $100,000 in city funds when he was on the City Council, and now Hiram Monserrate thinks he should get back into elected politics. (Gothamist)

The mayor signed the “Streets Master Plan” into law. The plan that will eventually bring 250 miles of bike lanes won’t kick in until after the 2021 mayoral election. (Patch)

This weekend Netflix will be de-aging Little Italy to 1975 like it did for the stars of its movie “The Irishman.” (Time Out)

Does the Rockefeller Christmas tree use the same 900-pound Swarovski crystal star every year? (Gothamist)

A GoFundMe has popped up in support of Elsa, the churro vendor whose arrest went viral. The GoFundMe was set up in partnership with the Urban Justice Center’s Street Vendor Project and will pay Elsa’s lost wages, cost of food, fines, and confiscated carts. any leftover funds will be distributed to vendors in similar situations. (Jackson Heights Post)

The city is suddenly overrun by ice skating rinks. Rockefeller Center, Bryant Park, DUMBO, Central Park, Prospect Park, and now The Rooftop at Pier 17 at the South Street Seaport is added to the list. (6sqft)

Winter’s Eve at Lincoln Square festival and tree lighting will take place on December 2. (amNewyork)

The city will acquire 14 cluster sites, buildings whose landlords are paid by the city to temporarily house homeless families, and cover them into permanent housing for 200 families. Mayor de Blasio has said he will end the practice, which was put it place by Mayor Giuliani. (amNewYork)

Two corrections officers on duty during Jeffrey Epstein’s suicide were arrested after reportedly skipping their required half hour check-ins with Epstein — on suicide watch — then later fabricated forms to cover their absences. (Patch)

The 2020 NYC Taxi Drivers Calendar, a calendar of “sexy” cab drivers, will be the last. (Gothamist)

The attorney general’s office is suing Juul Labs for targeting kids with e-cigarette campaigns that underplayed the safety risks and emphasized the flavor. (Patch)

A greatest hits of things Mayor Bloomberg has said about stop-and-frisk that he will have to apologize for, like how the NYPD stopped white people “too much,” or how parents should start their own stop-and-frisk programs in the home. (Gothamist)

A preview of what Hudson River Park’s Pier 97 will look like after its $33 million renovation into a park. Pier 97 is at 57th and 12th in Manhattan. (Curbed)

Video: Go behind the scenes at Scarr’s Pizza, one of the best places to get a slice of pizza in the city. (Viewing NYC)

Rep. Nydia Velázquez wants to establish a $1 billion federal program to essentially make mass transit free for people with disabilities, people over 60, and anyone making less than 300% of the federal poverty line. (Daily News)

The best restaurant openings of 2019. (Thrillist)