The Briefly for May 16, 2019 – The “Maybe NYC is Better Off With An Absentee Mayor?” Edition

The TWA Hotel is open, the best tiki bars in the city, the governor blocks the Williams gas pipeline, a helicopter crashed in the Hudson, and more in today’s daily NYC news digest.

A new bill is looking to ban landlords from using facial recognition technology in their buildings and would allow tenants to pursue civil lawsuits against any landlord who did. (Gothamist)

You’ve got four chances to check out Manhattanhenge this summer, starting in two weeks. (amNY)

By the time you read this, there’s a good chance that our dummy of a mayor has decided to not listen to New Yorkers, or his friends, or common sense, or the rest of the country, and launched his presidential bid on Good Morning America. Maybe the city will be better off if he’s never around? (Splinter)

The City Council wants to provide the NYPD with more funding for the understaffed Collision Investigation Squad to investigate the 2,000 – 3,000 fatal crashes annually, of which they respond to just over 5% of. James O’Neill, NYPD commissioner, isn’t interested. (Streetsblog)

A dump truck driver struck and killed a 58-year-old man while he was crossing W. 21st Street in Coney Island on Saturday. (Brooklyn Paper)

The TWA Hotel is open in all its retro glory. (Curbed)

More photos from inside the TWA Hotel. (6sqft)

Has the TWA Hotel truly opened if there was not a list of ten fun facts about it? (Untapped Cities)

New York City is nothing without its eccentricities, including Washington Square Park’s Bubble Man, Stephen Duncan. (GVSHP)

The best happy hours in Brooklyn. (The Infatuation)

There are over 1.6 million feet of sidewalk sheds in the city, and now there’s an interactive map to keep tabs on them all. (Viewing NYC)

Over 120,000 New Yorkers rely on the MTA’s Acess-A-Ride to get around the city, but just because they rely on it, it doesn’t mean it’s at all reliable. (NY Times)

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, except when it comes to the big dumb idiots at Big Seven Travel, which declared the Boston Accent “sexier” than the New York accent. (Patch)

A look at Cafe Phin, the city’s only authentic Vietnamese coffee roaster. (Brooklyn Daily Eagle)

The Metropolitan Museum of Art will no longer accept gifts from the human monsters of the Sackler family, architects of the country’s opioid crisis. (NY Times)

The gala honoring Brazil’s president and the man who is so outwardly homophobic it wouldn’t be a shock if he was secretly gay himself Jair Bolsonaro happened without his presence, but not without interruptions and protests. (Gothamist)

How did the subway lines get their letters or numbers? Let’s take a look. (amNY)

LaGuardia and JFK are nowhere near the top-ranked airports in the world, which is no shock to anyone who has the dubious pleasure of traveling through them. (Patch)

Don’t look now, but the company responsible for Northside Festival and Brooklyn Magazine, which had held tens of thousands of dollar from former employees, seems to have ghosted. The website for the festival says the 2019 information is “coming soon.” (Gothamist)

Check out the architectural finalists for the city’s Big Ideas for Small Lots NYC competition, which challenged firms to design affordable housing on small lots across the city. (Curbed)

A “severely decomposed” body was found in the basement of a Brooklyn Heights building by maintenance workers. An NYPD investigation is ongoing. (Bklyner)

Marijuana isn’t legal for recreational use, but that hasn’t stopped the state legislature from moving on to “important” issues like trying to make texting or using or looking at any portable electronic device while crossing the road punishable by fines. (Gothamist)

A helicopter operated by “the Uber of helicopters” Blade landed in the Hudson River on Wednesday with no serious injuries or deaths, so it’s safe to watch the videos of it all going down without guilt. (Gothamist)

Non-profit internet service provider and privacy-friendly company NYC Mesh is expanding its service to Greenpoint. (Greenpointers)

Governor Cuomo’s administration blocked the Williams gas pipeline that would terminate just off the Rockaways, pointing out it would result in a failure to meet the state’s water quality standards. The company plans on reapplying, but with the governor’s focus on environmental issues, the chance of approval seems very low. (Politico)

The absolute best places for tiki drinks in the city. (Grub Street)

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The Briefly for May 14, 2019 – The “Four Billion Dollar Leaky Roof” Edition

Bill de Blasio tries to hold a rally, another yeshiva is closed, more speed cameras are coming to the city, a wallaby has a new home, and more in today’s daily NYC news digest.

Video: How much do you love your partner? Enough to get married on the Q train? (ABC 7 NY)

It seems like a bad idea to stop paying your mortgage for five years, but that’s what legendarily stubborn Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer did with her four-story Upper West Side townhouse in protest of a tax issue. (The City)

This is your weekly warning that if you have allergies, never leave the house. This week will bring blooming flowers and misery for you while the tree and grass pollen count remains very high or high through Monday. (Patch)

The Oculus is leaking. After spending $4 billion on the building, $32 million on the skylight, and $30,000 on filling leaks with sealant, you’d think the problem would be under control. The Port Authority will replace the skylight’s rubber seal this summer. (6sqft)

The new Essex Market opened its doors, across the street from the original location. (Eater)

10 fun facts about the new Essex Market. You can’t have an opening without some fun facts! (Untapped Cities)

Video: Watch 24 hours of city transit in one minute. (Will Geary)

Daniel Pantaleo, the NYPD officer accused of choking Eric Garner to death, faces a possible firing during his NYPD internal trial. Pantaleo’s lawyer says he did not use a chokehold and did not have his arm around Eric Garner’s throat when Garner was saying he could not breathe. The trial will last two weeks. (Patch)

With the new price of a MetroCard and no bonuses, does a value or a timed card make more sense? More often than not, even if you commute to work 5x a week, the pay per ride card is a cheaper option. (Gothamist)

Award-winning cocktails and vegan BBQ in the East Village. (Bedford + Bowery)

Mayor de Blasio attempted to create a vision of a man who was running for president by mounting a climate change rally outside of Trump Tower only to be heckled by people with “Trump 2020” and “Worst Mayor Ever” signs. The man no one wants to see run for president said that he’ll make his decision this week about if he wants to spend the next year of his life on a losing endeavor instead of his job as mayor. (amNY)

Mayor de Blasio was attempting to tout the city’s New Green Deal’s impact on the Trump Organization, which will cost the company millions of dollars in fines if they don’t renovate their buildings to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in half by 2030. (Splinter)

Subway maps used to be pretty cool, as evidence of this map from 1958. (Viewing NYC)

It appears that marijuana legalization in New York is on life support. (NY Times)

63% of city voters changing the SHSAT to boost diversity, with 57% willing to scrap the test altogether. (Brooklyn Daily Eagle)

“What the hell does the ‘night mayor’ even do?” No one’s really sure, but at the very least the night mayor’s office has a Facebook and Instagram account now. (BrooklynVegan)

This year a New York Times piece by an Aperol Spritz denier kicked up a city-wide argument in defense of the summer-y drink. There will be a “Rally for Aperol” on Friday, which sounds less like a rally and more like a sponsored event at a bar. (Time Out)

Manhattanhenge approcheth. (I Love the Upper West Side)

An update on Charter Communications, the company trying to buy Time Warner Cable and was subsequently told to leave New York because of poor service, broken promises, and defrauding the state. They’re being allowed to stay after promising they won’t break any more promises. (Boing Boing)

Howie, the wallaby that ended up in the case of the Animal Care Centers of NYC, will find a new home in the Bronx Zoo. (Patch)

The governor signed a bill into law that will increase the number of speed cameras in school zones from 140 to 750 this summer, which makes last year’s fight over cameras feel like an extremely distant memory. The cameras will operate from 6am to 10pm. (Brooklyn Daily Eagle)

Here are the eight hopefuls in the 45th Council District in Flatbush’s special election, vying for Jumaane William’s former seat. (Brooklyn Daily Eagle)

Video: Is this the subway car of the future? Forget high tech, just give us a place to stand where our crotch isn’t directly in someone’s face while they eat their carton of egg salad. (Cheddar)

If you’re someone who collected limited edition MetroCards, 9/11 Emergency Responder MetroCard will soon be available at 10 stations. If you’d like to avoid a daily reminder of the city’s terrorist disaster, there are 10 stations you should not buy your MetroCard at. (Gothamist)

A yeshiva in Queens was closed as the city’s cases of the measles is nearly at 500 people. Eight of the nine schools and daycare centers previously closed have reopened under Department of Health supervision. (amNY)

Video: A tour from a real New York insider. Richard Splett’s New York Splett of Mind for Splettnet.net. Richard Splett was recently Richard Splett on HBO’s Veep. (Splettnet)

The five best chocolate chip cookies in the city. (Thrillist)

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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.

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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