The Briefly for November 21, 2019 – The “Raccoons Take Control, De Blasio’s MTA Influence Weakens” Edition

The best falafel, the city pays out $1 billion in lawsuits annually, Corey Johnson continues the tradition of playing politics with the budget, and more in today’s daily NYC digest.

Trash pandas rule the city’s parks at night, but now they are turning their little bandit-faced gaze towards becoming the kinds of the subterranean. Raccoon-related subway delays are up this year, way up. (Gothamist)

Let’s call it The Great Bell Blvd Oil Heist. The NYPD arrested Nigeme Rowe for stealing used oil from restaurants that put out the oil for recycling companies to be turned into biodiesel. (QNS)

The Daily News’ owners sold 25% of the company to the Tribune Company, the “destroyer of newspapers.” Sound promising. (Patch)

The city has paid $84.5 million annually to the victims of traffic violence caused by city employees in the Departments of Fire, Sanitation, Police, Transportation, and Parks. Add in all claims against the city? The number balloons to $1 billion. (Streetsblog)

The candy vendor arrested in a Harlem subway station last week plans to sue the city for $5 million for excessive force used by the four police officers who arrested him. (amNewYork)

The Queens DA will release its internal “credibility database” of cops who are suspected of lying in court. (Gothamist)

Are there enough places to buy coffee in NYC? Bandit is a new company that plans to open a coffee stand where you can buy a cup via their app with their eventual goal to be within a five minute walk from anyone who wants coffee. (Eater)

Broadway is Broadway, but Off Broadway, Off-Off Broadway and smaller theaters far beyond still has a strong economical presence. Non-Broadway theater generates $584 million annually and employs 3,000 people according to a new study form the mayor’s office. (NY Times)

Five holiday decoration tips for small spaces, including the very sad “put branches in the shape of a tree on your wall.” (StreetEasy)

Lyft and the New York City Department of Transportation (DOT) announced the formation of a new Equity Advisory Board for Citi Bike to discuss and evaluate Citi Bike’s equity strategy to better serve New York. (Curbed)

This look back at the history of 57th St starts with the quintessential Manhattan question: “Does anyone actually want to go to Midtown?” (Gothamist)

13 Brooklyn condos with the best waterfront views. (6sqft)

The case for ending free parking in NYC is getting stronger. (NY Times)

Here are the things that New Yorkers are looking for when they search for a new home. Here’s a hint: low crime and good light. (Localize Labs)

Add another name to the great fried chicken fight of 2019. From Philly, the latest contestant is Starliner in Bushwick. (Gothamist)

Evictions are down in Manhattan, Staten Island, Brooklyn, and Queens, but not in the Bronx according to a new report issued by NYU’s Furman Center. (Welcome2TheBronx)

The Times is searching for stories about your neighborhood bodega. (NY Times)

Is your regular hookup becoming “a thing?” Here’s where to go when you’re not sure that your friend with benefits might want to have the “what ARE we?” talk. (The Infatuation)

Mayor de Blasio’s influence over the MTA is diminishing as one of his appointees, Veronica Vanterpool, is resigning from the MTA’s board. Vanterpool was also the youngest board member at 44 and its only woman of color. (Politico)

The MTA’s automated bus-mounted camera ticketing system is coming to the 14th St busway and will be online on December 2 and for the first sixty days, drivers will only receive a warning. (Gothamist)

Ten city zip codes are among the United States’ most expensive when it comes to home prices at numbers 5 and 8, respectively. Tribeca and Hudson Square broke through to the top ten. (Patch)

It seems that as long as you say you “didn’t realize” you hit and killed someone with your car, the NYPD will absolve you of wrongdoing. (Streetsblog)

A second New Yorker has died due to a vaping-related illness. (Patch)

More than two dozen homes in Dyker Heights have begun their annual Christmas light transformation. (Brooklyn Paper)

In September of 2018, the Department of Sanitation begun parking garbage trucks overnight on 10th between 1st and 2nd, which quite honestly sucks for the people who live on that block. It took 14 months, but State Senator Brad Hoylman and State Assemblymember Deborah J. Glick have introduced a bill that will prevent the DSNY from parking on residential streets. As a result, the DSNY has decided to move its trucks to Pier 42 for the next three months. (EV Grieve)

Starting next year, some buildings in the city will be required to display a letter grade, similar to restaurants, showing how energy efficient they are. (NY Times)

Is Corey Johnson using the City Council’s budget to reward his allies and make political deals? Yes. Has this been common practice in the City Council for long before Corey Johnson because the speaker? Also yes. (Politico)

NYC needs more weird, like Mother Pigeon, the bird woman artist and animal rights advocate who makes acrylic pigeon sculptures and sets them up in Union Square. (Viewing NYC)

Inside a celebration of Fet Gede in Downtown Brooklyn, the Haitian voodoo Festival of the Dead. (NY Times)

The best falafel in NYC. (Grub Street)

Thank you to MG Ashdown for today’s featured photo!