The Briefly for January 19-20 – The “Lena Dunham and Bill de Blasio?” Tuesday Edition

The latest NYC news digest: MTA delays fare hikes, Union Square plans to expand 33%, Mayor de Blasio drops another ball, MLK protests, and more

Today – Low: 32˚ High: 40˚
Partly cloudy throughout the day.

Another week, another broken promise from Mayor de Blasio. After he spent all summer painting “BLACK LIVES MATTER” on the city’s streets, the mayor’s “Racial Justice and Reconciliation Commission” has done zero public work and hasn’t been mentioned since August. (Ethan Geringer-Sameth for Gotham Gazette)

The Times looks at five takeaways from the mayor’s race. (Emma G. Fitzsimmons and Jeffery C. Mays for NY Times)

Here’s a weird one. Someone is putting up flyers announcing the wedding of Lena Dunham and Mayor de Blasio on Valentine’s Day in Union Square. This seems somehow connected to the very weird Fiona Apple flyer from October. Congrats to the happy couple? (EV Grieve)

Photos: The new glass sculpture I dreamed a world and called it Love by Jim Hodges in Grand Central Terminal. (Nicole Saraniero, photos by David Regen for Untapped New York)

With Inauguration Day approaching, it’s a great time to remember that the nation’s first inauguration happened outside the Federal Hall National Memorial in the Financial District on April 30, 1789. The original bible George Washington placed his hand on is still in the building. (Nicole Saraniero for Untapped New York)

A Martin Luther King Jr Day protest started at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn and ended with the NYPD making dozens of arrests of peaceful protesters near City Hall. (Azi Paybarah for NY Times)

The NYPD is being sued by the state’s attorney general over its handling of protests over the summer because violence against protesters isn’t a bug in the system, it’s a feature. (Erin O’Brien for Bedford + Bowery)

Nicolas Moncada, 20, of Staten Island was arrested for his role in the January 5 insurrection. How did they know he was there” Because he posted a selfie of himself outside Speaker Pelosi’s office to Instagram. Neighbors describe his arrest as “like they were looking for a terrorist.” They were and they arrested him. (Elina Tarkazikis for NY1)


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The city’s graduation rate hit an all-time high of 78.8% in 2020. (Matt Troutman for Patch)

The MTA claims the driver of the bus that drove off an overpass refused a drug test, but the driver, whose jaw had been fractured in the accident, says a drug test was taken in the hospital. (Sydney Pereira for Gothamist)

The Biden-Harris administration nominated Polly Trottenberg, the city’s former commissioner of the Department of Transportation, for Deputy Secretary for the U.S. Department of Transportation to work under Pete Buttigieg. (Stephen Nessen for Gothamist)

Foot traffic is down 70% year over year in Times Square. (Jake Dobkin for Gothamist)

Want to send someone some cheer? You can record a birthday greeting for Ray or Ray’s Candy Store, who turns 88 on January 25, to be a part of a Guinness World Record for “biggest video hug ever.” (EV Grieve)

The MTA is postponing their scheduled 2021 fare hike because, quite frankly, we’ve all had enough already. (Benjamin Kabak for Second Ave. Sagas)

The Union Square Partnership unveiled a $100 million plan for a car-free Union Square that would expand the park 33% into the surrounding streets. The plan will be officially presented on January 26. (Gersh Kuntzman for Streetsblog)

The public review process for the Gowanus rezoning has been temporarily halted by a Brooklyn Supreme Court judge over concerns that holding virtual meetings violates city law that requires public hearings. The lawsuit that halted the process asks that public hearings be held when it is safe to do so. (David Cruz for Gothamist)

The MTA is looking into temporarily reducing service on some subway lines because of worker shortages due to illness, retirements, and a lack of new hires. (Jose Martinez for The City)

Governor Cuomo is tired of the federal government’s shit and has asked Pfizer to sell vaccines directly to the state, which is possible because Pfizer is not a part of “Project Warp Speed.” (Lisa Finn for Patch)

Sunset Park’s South Brooklyn Marine Terminal will become an offshore wind assembly port for the state’s new offshore wind farms. (Sydney Pereira for Gothamist)

Repairs of the Cherry Walk segment of the Hudson River Greenway, stretching from 100th to 125th St, are complete. (Streetsblog)

Gothamist gets giddy about Medan Pasar, a new Malaysian restaurant in the East Village. (Scott Lynch for Gothamist)

What you need to know about the 2021 Bronx, Brooklyn, Manhattan, and Staten Island borough president races. (Rachel Holliday Smith for The City)

Thanks to reader Francesca for today’s featured photo of Fort Tryon Park!

The Briefly for January 17-18, 2021 – The “Micheal Scott in Times Square at Sbarro” Sunday Edition

The latest NYC news digest: MLK day in NYC, how to get vaccinated in NYC, meet the 38 mayoral candidates, Cuomo’s infrastructure projects, and more

Today – Low: 35˚ High: 43˚
Partly cloudy throughout the day.

What’s open and closed on Martin Luther King Day on Monday, January 18. (Matt Troutman for PAtch)

A list of NYC’s tributes to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. (Devin Gannon for 6sqft)

BAM is presenting The 35th Annual Brooklyn Tribute to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., which is free and virtual on Monday at 11 am. (BAM)

How to get the Coronavirus vaccine in NYC. (Ron Lieber)

Map: How New York state is doing with its vaccine rollout. (Hint: New York City has the lowest percentage of first doses administered. (Jen Chung and Jake Dobkin for Gothamist)

On Thursday afternoon a message was going online around that there would be vaccines administered on a first-come, first-served basis at the Brooklyn Army Terminal. This was called a hoax by some but there was truth to the message. Very quickly, the vaccination site was overwhelmed with people. Vaccination sites have the ability to administer “extra” vaccines at the end of the day if they are going to expire but the city isn’t looking for a Black Friday scenario every day at every vaccination site. I’d expect this policy to change as a result of these lines. (Jake Offenhartz for Gothamist)

It seems impossible that there are “extra” doses of the vaccine lying around when tens of thousands of vaccination appointments are being canceled in New York due to the limited supply of the vaccine provided by the federal government. The state’s supply was cut from 300,000 per week to 250,000 per week with 100,000 being allocated to the city. (Joseph Goldstein and Sharon Otterman for NY Times)

There are over 30 people running for mayor in 2021. Here’s a quick rundown of them all. (Matt Troutman for Patch)

Of the 38 candidates, Eric Adams and Scott Stringer have received the most cash support. (Jeffrey C. Mays for NY Times)

It is decided that Andrew Yang will be this mayoral cycle’s punching bag. He’s not helping himself when the first question asked of him is “don’t you live in the Hudson Valley?” and the second question is now “don’t you know what a bodega is?” While it’s still early in his campaign, he’s making a few unforced communication errors that are not endearing him to the city as “one of our own.” (Erika Adams for Eater)

Real Estate Lust: This penthouse has so much outdoor space the first photo doesn’t even look real. $12.5 million, 3,500 square feet of outdoor space, and a dining room that can seat 30. (Dana Schulz for 6sqft)

Satire: “My work seeks to interrogate the parameters by which we define and demarcate physical space, exploring the fertile liminal zone between the falsely binary notions of “indoors” and “outdoors” we too often take for granted.” –I Am The Designer Of This Restaurant’s Outdoor Seating Space, And This Is My Artist’s Statement (Simon Henriques for McSweeney’s)

Takeout in Greenpoint for under $10. (Katie White for Greenpointers)

On Tuesday night, the Empire State Building will beat like a heart, bathed in red light, as a part of Joe Biden’s Covid-19 memorial from 5:30 pm to 2 am. (Shaye Weaver for Time Out)

160 secrets about New York City, enough to impress some of your friends but bore the rest. For instance: Einstein’s eyeballs are stored in a safety deposit box in the city. (Michelle Young for Untapped New York)

A look at ranked-choice voting ahead of the first election to use it in NYC, the February 2 City Council District 24 election. (Pia Koh for Queens County Politics)

Governor Cuomo is floating the idea of using rapid Covid testing to determine entry into live events. (Anna Ben Yehuda for Time Out)

Four restaurants that recently started selling groceries. (Hannah Albertine for The Infatuation)

A running list of restaurants that are temporarily closing this winter. (Luke Fortney for Eater)

Governor Cuomo unveiled a $306 billion infrastructure plan that would replace the Port Authority Bus Terminal with a new state-of-the-art facility, reconstruct Penn Station and add at least eight new tracks along with 14 new buildings with retail space and up to 1,400 affordable apartments, a new waterfront park at Pier 76, and a $1.5 billion expansion of the Jacob K. Javits Center. (Maya Kaufman for Patch)

Atlas Obscura usually highlights mysteries or fascinations. There is no fascinating mystery quite like the Gowanus Canal. (Jessica Leigh Hester for Atlas Obscura)

The Times highlights the life and tireless work of Michael Evans, the project manager of the Moynihan Hall transformation. Evans took his own life seemingly due to the stress of the project only ten months before its completion. (Christina Goldbaum for NY Times)

The City jumps into NY AG Letitia James’s lawsuit against the city and NYPD Chief of Department Terence Monahan’s role as the architect of the aggressive and violent response to the city’s protests over the summer and his history of over-policing peaceful protests, directing cops to make unlawful arrests and allowing the use of excessive force going back 16 years. (Greg B. Smith for The City)

The visuals of the MTA bus that fell off an overpass are amazing, especially considering no one died and only eight were injured. The bus was going 17-26 mph when it should have been going 3-4 mph. (Jen Chung and Stephen Nessen for Gothamist)

More photos from the MTA of the bus incident and the media briefing. (Photographer Marc A. Hermann for MTA on Flickr)

For a laugh, the best pizza places in New Jersey. (Matt Tervooren for The Infatuation)

Filming locations for Martin Scorsese & Fran Lebowitz’s “Pretend It’s a City.” I’m extremely jealous they got to walk in the Queens Museum’s Panorama of the City of New York. (Michelle Young for Untapped New York)

Deanne Criswell, city’s Emergency Management Commissioner, is Joe Biden’s pick for the next head of FEMA. (NY1)

Kyrie Irving, Brooklyn Nets point guard and complete asshole, was fined $50,000 for breaking the NBA’s Covid-19 protocols. (Jen Chung for Gothamist)

The argument for Mets owner Steven Cohen to bring Coney Island’s original hot dog, Feltman’s, to Citi Field. (The Coney Island Blog)

The New York City Campaign Finance Board fined current City Councilmember Mathieu Eugene $10,717 for nine violations of campaign finance law, including failure to report transactions and making impermissible post-election expenditures. (Billy Richling for Bklyner)

Here’s wishing Congressmember, Adriano Espaillat, who represents parts of the Bronx and Manhattan, a speedy recovery after testing positive for Covid-19, likely contracting the virus during the attack on the Capitol and sheltering in place with Republicans who refused to wear masks. (Norwood News)

For the spooky set, part four of the GVSHP’s Cemeteries of the East Village. (Sam Moskowitz for GVSHP)

Where to eat when staying warm is a top priority. Restaurants with outdoor heating lamps. (Hannah Albertine and Nikko Duren for The Infatuation)

Today’s featured photo is by Marc A. Hermann, courtesy of the MTA

The Briefly for January 15-16, 2020 – The “A Zabar’s Bag Appears” Friday Edition

The latest NYC news digest: NY sues the NYPD, Andrew Yang’s mayoral run is official, how to get vaccinated, James Harden comes to Brooklyn, and more

Today – Low: 44˚ High: 46˚
Rain in the evening and overnight.
This weekend – Low: 34˚ High: 48˚

How to get vaccinated for Covid-19 in New York City. (Jen Carlson and Jen Chung for Gothamist)

Nearly 28% of the people who have gotten vaccinated against the coronavirus in New York City live outside the city. (Reuven Blau and Will Welch for The City)

If you are getting a vaccine, consider making an appointment in the middle of the night to take the burden off the people who don’t have another option but to get it during the day. (Jose Martinez for The City)

According to the mayor, the city is in danger of running out of vaccines next week unless it receives more from the federal government. (Matt Troutman for Patch)

Two cases of the more contagious UK strain of Covid-19 have been found in the city. The variant is known as B.1.1.7. and both cases are from late December. (Elizabeth Kim for Gothamist)

Citi Field is set to become a 24/7 mega Covid-19 vaccination site. (Angélica Acevedo for QNS)

Photos: Inside the mass vaccination site at the Javits Center. (Devin Gannon for 6sqft)

People over 65, grocery store workers, and people who work in shelters are now eligible to get the COVID-19 vaccine. (Matt Troutman for Patch)

NY Attorney General Letitia James is suing the city, saying the NYPD has used “a pattern of excessive force” for years and wants a federal monitor to oversee the department’s tactics at future protests. (Ashley Southall for NY Times)

The NYPD is looking into expanding its experiment that removed cops from two streets in Brownsville and replaced them with community information booths. (Eileen Grench for The City)

“No one can afford to live in New York. Yet, eight million people do. How do we do this? We don’t know!” 20 Fran Lebowitz quotes from the absolutely recommended “Pretend It’s a City.” (Christina Izzo for Time Out)


Enter to win a $100 Amazon gift card from openigloo, a new app that allows NYC renters to rate landlords and buildings

Enter for a chance to win a $300 Amazon Gift Card* in 2 easy steps:
• Download openigloo
• Anonymously review your NYC rental experiences

The winner will be randomly drawn on Wednesday morning at 10 AM and notified by email (the same email you use to create your openigloo account).

openigloo is a community of 50,000 NYC renters who are sharing the good, bad, and ugly of renting in this city. You can learn about a building’s open violations, eviction history, bedbug complaints, and more. Moving in 2021? Read building and landlord reviews on openigloo before signing your next lease! Renewing your lease? Get the inside scoop of your building to help with rent negotiations. Together we can build a more transparent New York and hold landlords accountable!

Get the app here.

For any inquiries, please email info@openigloo.com.
*Offer available to new openigloo subscribers only.


Real Estate Lust: Three terraces, an open-air zen garden, three bedrooms, two floors, in Soho and only $10.9 million. (Dana Schulz for 6sqft)

There is no show set in New York City without a Zabar’s joke or tote bag, but Jerry Nadler actually brought a Zabar’s bag to the impeachment. (Gus Saltonstall for Patch)

Governor Cuomo announced indoor dining can resume at half capacity in New York state, except in the city. (Tanay Warerkar for Eater)

70 bars and restaurants are suing Governor Cuomo alleging that the state’s constantly changing dining regulations violate the businesses’ civil rights. (Erika Adams for Eater)

Last year the mayor announced that Juneteenth would become “an official city holiday.” That was a broken promise. (Gabriel Sandoval for The City)

Mayor de Blasio had a goal to make composting mandatory citywide by 2018. Last year he tried to cut the budget completely. The City Council restored a portion of the funding but it is quickly deteriorating. (Audrey Carleton for Gothamist)

AOC took to Instagram to explain what happened after the attack on the Capitol last week. (@AOC)

What is known about the New York insurrectionists. (Sarah Maslin Nir for NY Times)

Aaron Mostofsky was photographed during last week’s insurrection wearing animal pelts, sporting a police shield and vest, and wizard walking stick is an entire jackass and the son of a Brooklyn Supreme Court Judge and the brother of the vice president of the South Brooklyn Conservative Club. He was arrested on Tuesday in Midwood and released on a $100,000 bond. His animal pelts were confiscated. (Jake Offenhartz for Gothamist)

The FBI stopped Eduard Florea, an aspiring Proud Boy (deemed a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center), from an attack on “target rick” New York City. (Jake Offenhartz for Gothamist)

The Vessel is closed until further notice after a 21-year-old jumped to his death, the third suicide from the structure in less than a year. (Ed Shanahan and Kimiko de Freytas-Tamura for NY Times)

The story of Roxy, a bed bug sniffing pit bull terrier in the center of a legal battle over “ownership” of Roxy between Roxy’s people and the exterminator that laid her people off in March. (Stephanie Simon for NY1)

There’s a food fight brewing on Rockaway Beach over the new lease on boardwalk concessions. (Maggie McGlinchy for Grub Street)

James Harden, welcome to the Brooklyn Nets. (Brian Braiker for Brooklyn Magazine)

860 of the city’s 878 schools offer some form of all-classroom instruction and 247 schools offer five-day-a-week classes to all of their students. (Matt Troutman for Patch)

The city will stop giving the Gifted and Talented test to kindergarteners after this spring, citing the test’s unfairness. Mayor de Blasio doesn’t have a plan to replace the test, that’ll be the next mayor’s problem. (Alejandra O’Connell-Domenech for amNewYork Metro)

Photos: The “most expensive piece of art in the world” and it’s in Grand Central Terminal. The Da Vinci of Debt of 2,600 real college diplomas, each on loan for $100. (Michelle Young for Untapped New York)

It’s official: Andrew Yang is running for mayor and he’s bringing modified Universal Basic Income with him. (Brigid Bergin for Gothamist)

Mayoral candidate Maya Miley unveiled her New Deal New York roadmap, including a $10 billion investment fund to fuel job creation, transforming NYCHA, and more. (Ariama Long for Queens County Politics)

Voice of Gowanus, a coalition of neighborhood civic groups, retained a lawyer and an environmental consultant to fight the city’s Gowanus rezoning. (Katia Kelly for Pardon Me For Asking)

New York City is finally flushing the toilet and will be seeking to cancel all outstanding contracts with the Trump Organization, including the Wollman Rink, Lasker Rink, and a carousel in Central Park and the Trump Golf Links at Ferry Point in the Bronx. (Elizabeth Kim for Gothamist)

The mayor unveiled his $92.28 billion 2022 preliminary budget, including $5.25 billion in cuts due to Covid-19 costs and a loss of property tax revenue. (Matt Troutman for Patch)

Governors Ball, a group of optimists, announced dates for September 24-26, 2021. (Amanda Hatfield for BrooklynVegan)

The NYPD found a dead body floating in the East River near the Astoria Ferry Terminal. The identity and cause of death is yet unknown. (Christina Santucci for LIC Post)

A guide to vegetable-forward dining in New York City. (Deanna Ting for Resy)

The 10 best things about living in NYC, according to New Yorkers. Not on the list, but should be, is “it’s not the midwest.” (Shaye Weaver for Time Out)

Thanks to reader Amy for today’s featured photo!