The Briefly for April 30, 2019 – The “Luxury Living in a Toxic Waste Flood Zone” Edition

A gun buyback program in Queens, the NYPD strays from following the law, the new Airbnb/office building hybrid takes Rockefeller Center, and more in today’s daily NYC news digest.

Borough President Melinda Katz put forward a plan to address Queens’ gun violence, including a 24/7 gun buyback program and new education programs. We’re two weeks from the primary for the Queens District Attorney and Katz is a candidate. (QNS)

The allergy forecast continues to be at “high” or “very High” without a sign of “moderate” in sight. Stay indoors. (Patch)

The 6 oldest buildings in the Bronx. (Untapped Cities)

30-story buildings on toxic waste sites that are in flood zones. Welcome to the Gowanus rezoning. (Curbed)

Another hidden tax. Restaurants have begun charging customers fees for paying with a credit card. (MarketWatch)

Photos from Sakura Matsuri Cherry Blossom festival at the Brooklyn Botanical Garden. (Gothamist)

Watch a time-lapse of the Goethals Bridge construction. (EarthCam)

Sounds like no one like Rhode Island style “pizza.” (Eater)

Welcome to the neighborhoods in the city with seven playgrounds for every 10,000 kids, the playground deserts. (Patch)

10 stories of a 33 story office building in Rockefeller Center will be converted from offices to Airbnbs. This is one of a few office/hotel hybrids coming to the city. (Curbed)

Take a historic tour of the 2,200 buildings of Greenwich Village, 50 years after it was given landmark designation. (6sqft)

Seems like The Palm is the new Spotted Pig. The chain is accused multiple times over of nurturing an atmosphere of sexual harassment. The restaurant’s attorney denies the claims. (Eater)

The story of how McGuinness Blvd became McGuinness Blvd, from its start as the cobblestone Oakland Street. (Greenpointers)

AOC had her first town hall, fielding questions about the Green New Deal and Amazon HQ2. (QNS)

Legal Aid is suing the city in an attempt to get the NYPD to actually follow the law and stop penalizing workers who use electric bikes for deliveries. (Gothamist)

The big boards at Grand Central Terminal are going all digital and it’s hard not to see that as a loss, no matter how convenient the upgrade may be. (Gothamist)

Uber and Lyft’s explosive growth in the city has stopped on a dime, as neither are hiring new drivers. The city’s pay regulations appear to be having the intended effect. Since the $17.22 minimum wage for drivers went into effect, drivers have earned $56 million more than they would have otherwise. (Politico)

The B39 bus gets the New York Times profile treatment. (New York Times)

Six of the season's best neighborhood food festivals. (6sqft)

Everything new you need to know about camping on Governors Island. (Time Out)

“IT WAS PROFISIZED [sic] IN THE LATE 20th CENTURY. AN Angel OF DEATH SHALL WASTE THIS PLACE. NOW I ASK YOU DO YOU BELIEVE IT TO BE TRUE?….THE DOCTOR.” No one asked for this on their mozzarella cheese packaging. (Gothamist)

“By entering these premises you agree not to run for President of the United States in 2020 or in any future presidential race,” says the signs at the YMCA that Mayor de Blasio visits to work out. Not all heroes wear capes. (Patch)

Early voting is likely coming to NYC. The mayor proposed 100 early voting sites for the 2019 general election, the 2020 presidential primary, and the 2020 June primary. (amNY)

The Right to Know Act went into effect in October, which mandated that NYPD officers give business cards to people they stop and ask permission to perform stop and frisk searches. According to the Justice Committee, they haven’t been doing either. (Patch)

The MTA’s express buses are no longer accept cash, but without the OMNY system and without MetroCard machines at express bus stops, some New Yorkers are feeling their commutes threatened. While less than 1% of people use cash, that 1% likely depend on it for their ability to pay the $6.75 fare. (Gothamist)

The five best burritos in New York this week. (Thrillist)

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The Briefly for April 29, 2019 – The “Here Comes Another Disease We Have to Worry About” Edition

We have begun the era of the L Train Slowdown, there’s a struggle for control of Governor’s Island, Pete Davidson moves in with his mom, and more in today’s daily NYC news digest.

Here are the late night subway diversions you can expect this week. (Subway Changes)

Rockefeller Center is turning into a sculpture park for Frieze New York. Tell that to your friend that wants to drag you up to Storm King. (Untapped Cities)

Are the NYPD’s gang raids about justice or vengeance? A new report from CUNY Law Professor Babe Howell shows most of the people caught in gang raids in the Bronx were not accused of violence. Many of the arrested’s offenses were already resolved or dismissed at the state level. (Gothamist)

Great to hear that we have another horrid disease to worry about. Chagas disease, the “kissing bug,” which is usually never found North of South Carolina. Climate change? What climate change? (Patch)

The state’s budget is at the heart of the constant back-and-forth between the state’s legislature and the governor. Queens Assemblymember Brian Barnwell is looking to change that with a proposed constitutional amendment that will wrestle some of the control away from the governor. (Gothamist)

“What do those hawks that fly around the city eat?” Well this one ate a damn pigeon in broad daylight while standing on top of a car. (Viewing NYC)

The city abandoned plans to bring 200 dockless bikes to Coney Island. Locals were worried that allowing bikes to be stashed anywhere would be chaos, even for a neighborhood nicknamed ‘Sodom by the Sea.’ (Brooklyn Paper)

How “protected” could a bike lane be if the only protection is some paint? (Streetsblog)

A look at the nine different bills that could change how rent works in New York state. (amNY)

This week’s high score violation points among the nine restaurants ordered closed by the Department of Health is 99. (Patch)

The 2019 Astoria outdoor dining guide. Make a note for when you find yourself in Astoria this summer with no idea where to eat. (We Heart Astoria)

BABY LEMUR! (Wildlife Conservation Society)

The Lit. Bar is open, and the Bronx finally has a bookstore. (Curbed)

How much would you be willing to pay for a used MTA garbage can? Bet it’s not $375! (Gothamist)

RIP Michael Fesco, whose gay clubs were trendsetters in Manhattan and Fire Island. (NY Times)

The man who allegedly threw a cup on urine on two MTA workers has been arrested. Still super gross. (NBC New York)

New York Archdiocese named 115 priests and five deacons who were accused of sexually abusing a child. (NY Times)

The Daily Meal’s 101 best pizzas in the nation include 29 NYC pizzas. Not #1, which makes the whole list suspect. (Patch)

How New York is this beer? It’s literally made from bagels. (6sqft)

Ever move back in with your parents after a bad breakup? Pete Davidson bought a $1.3 million house with his mom on Staten Island. (The Real Deal)

It would be more surprising if the L Train Slowdown happened flawlessly. The problems with the slowdown started 30 minutes before the slowdown did. Before the trains were expected to arrive, the first train took 40 minutes. Eventually, the MTA hid their shame by taking their countdown clocks offline. But really, it the L train service any worse than what the MTAs been shoveling our way for years? (Gothamist)

It wasn’t a total disaster of a weekend, but let’s not get our hopes up too high. (amNY)

There’s a block in Jamaica where it appears the raccoons have taken over. Welcome to Trash Panda City. (Patch)

A look at the history of 143 East Houston, from church to fight club to Sunshine Cinema to wrecking ball. (Ephemeral New York)

Of New York City’s 10,000 bodegas, 4-6,000 of them are owned by Yemeni-Americans. In 2017, they closed their shows to protest President Trump’s travel ban. Now they’re taking a stand against the New York Post. (NY Times)

There’s a power struggle over who can control the fate of Governor’s Island as former Deputy Mayor Alicia Glen, Mayor de Blasio’s point person for his real estate initiatives, seemed to have pushed out Michael Samuelian, the President and CEO of the Trust for Governors Island, in a political power play. (Politico)

If you’re registered to vote and live in the city, the city’s Board of Elections has posted your name, address, and political party affiliation online. (WNYC)

Sick of tapas? Where to eat when you’re sick of being told to order 2-3 small plates each. (The Infatuation)

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The Briefly for April 26, 2019 – The “We Never Thought It Happen, But Here We Are” Edition

This weekend begins the L train apocalypse-lite, the Flower District is endangered, a bottle of seltzer stopped the F train cold, and more in today’s daily NYC newsletter.

It’s been three years in the making and three months in the re-making, but this weekend the L train construction finally begins. Getting around is gonna be trying, but if you take the MTA at their word, things are still gonna be terrible if you need to get anywhere along the line. (Gothamist)

Here we go. The L Train Slowdown is finally upon us. You won’t find the L train on any lists of diversions or service changes, it will be running once every 20 minutes. The damage to the subways this weekend is relatively minimal. (Subway Changes)

One thing is certain about the L train slowdown: Like any great compromise, no one is happy. (NY Times)

Pollen is high and AccuWeather suggests if you have allergies that you should stay indoors until October. (Patch)

Mayor de Blasio revealed his budget, which increased by $300 million compared to his preliminary budget and is up $3.4 billion from last year. (Gotham Gazette)

Say farewell to Show World, which survived from 1977 until 2019, the last vestige of Midtown’s porno and prostitution history. (Curbed)

Body parts were found on the F tracks in Gravesend after NYPD officials supposedly removed the victim from the scene on Monday night. The body hasn’ been identified, but the police believe he was a Marine Park resident. (Bklyner)

The 64 people killed on NYC streets in 2019 is up by 49% from last year at the same time. The total amount of crashes are down, but there are still 560 crashes every day. (Streetsblog)

Deep breaths while you hear this. It was a bottle of seltzer, not an emergency brake, that jammed up the F train on Wednesday morning. A bottle of seltzer. (Gothamist)

10 “fun” facts about Central Park. (Untapped Cities)

The Queens Public Library’s One Court Square branch has been paying an annual rent of $1 since 1989 for the first floor of the Citigroup Building in Long Island City, but without Amazon temporarily taking up residence in the building the library is facing the boot when their lease ends on August 31. (The City)

Built that wall, but instead of a megalomaniac’s useless pet-project, it’s a 4.3-mile seawall off the coast of Staten Island to protect against climate change and prevent another Sandy. (Curbed)

Bushwick is heading for a rezoning. Five years after residents complained about the development in the neighborhood the Bushwick Neighborhood Plan calls for creating and preserving affordable homes, parks, historic buildings, and small businesses. (6sqft)

“Every time you say you’re taking out a lane, you’re slowing traffic down. I don’t care what they’re saying, it slows traffic down.” -Community Board 9’s Transportation Chairperson Carolyn Thompson. There’s no arguing with someone who concedes they don’t and won’t believe facts. (Streetsblog)

The NYC version of “Millennials are killing,” is “rising rents are killing.” Their next victim could be Manhattan’s flower district. (NY Times)

Next time you find yourself between the Brooklyn and Manhattan bridges in Manhattan, think about how that neighborhood was once known as the “Lung Block,” a slum with whose name indicates the high rate of tuberculosis. (6sqft)

New Yorkers love some dog breeds more than others, and a king of the canines has been crowned. (Patch)

After a staff revolt at the Museum of Natural History, a gala honoring Brazilian president and a man who “would be incapable of loving a homosexual son,” Jair Bolsonaro will take place at the Marriott Marquis in Times Square. (Gothamist)

Sweetgreen, makers of salad and a once favorite of former HQ host Scott Rogowsky, has abandoned their cashless policy amid a growing backlash against cashless businesses. (NY Times)

Broadway is car-free from Union Square to Times Square to celebrate Earth Day on Saturday from 9am to 3pm. (Gothamist)

It’s National Pretzel Day, go out on the street and get yourself a classic NYC salty bread snack at the nearest cart. If you’re too good for a street pretzel, here are some snootier options. (Patch)

Is Jersey Governor Phil Murphy playing make-believe or is MTA chairperson Pat Foye out of the loop? Murphy continues to insist that he has a “conceptual understanding” with Governor Cuomo about giving Jersey drivers a congestion pricing discount and Foye says he has “no idea” about what Murphy is talking about. (Politico)

Maybe it’s time we accept that the LinkNYC kiosks are surveillance data-sponges. Police arrested 41-year-old Juan Rodriguez for smashing up dozens of the kiosks. (Gothamist)

The mayor, now known for keeping to a deadline, moved up his estimation of when Rikers Island will close from 2027 to 2026. (Patch)

The worst person in the city has been found. Dominiqua Parrish is accused of throwing a small dog down a trash chute on the seventh floor, believing she was throwing the dog into an incinerator. The dog was saved and was treated for scrapes and bruises by the ASPCA. (QNS)

Over 40 art shows to see right now. (NY Times)

Anna Delvey/Sorokin, the Soho Grifter, was found guilty of most of the charges against her. “Fake it till you make it” said her lawyer. Looks like she might make 15 years in prison. (NY Times)

Support for driver’s licenses for all is growing amongst New York voters. (Gotham Gazette)

10 neighborhoods where rents are going down. (Street Easy)

A good (and long) weekend read: “Her ‘Prince Charming’ Turned Out to Be a Crazed Hit Man on the Run” (NY Times)

Fabián von Hauske Valtierra, the winner of Eater’s best desserts award in 2018, picks his top five desserts in the city. (Eater)

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