The Briefly for January 12-15, 2020 – The “No, You Don’t Gotta Say That” Tuesday Edition

The latest NYC news digest: Vaccines available for group 1b, the best Thai restaurants, the High Line will be extended, Andrew Yang puts his foot in his mouth, and more

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

A list of who is eligible for the Covid-19 vaccine. Groups 1a and 1b are currently eligible. You can also call the vaccine hotline at 888-364-3065. (NYC.gov)

After failing to disburse more than half of the federal funding in a COVID-19 rent relief program, New York opened a new application window in order to hand out the remaining $60 million. The application closes at the end of January, so get moving. (Emily Lang for Gothamist)

Vice President for Manhattanville Development at Columbia University, Marcelo Velez, is accused of engaging in sex acts with a girl under the age of 13 inside his New Jersey home. (Jake Offenhartz for Gothamist)

Sometimes you gotta say Heil Hitler” – Republican candidate for Staten Island Boro President Leticia Remauro is apologizing for accidentally saying the quiet part out loud during a video she posted online protesting the closure of Mac’s Public House. (Chris Sommerfeldt and Cathy Burke for Daily News)

The NYPD’s investigation into Deputy Inspector James F. Kobel, who oversaw the NYPD’s Equal Employment Opportunity Division, was using a pseudonym online to hide his racist posts in a police officer message board. Kobel, a coward, filed for retirement last week. (William K. Rashbaum and Alan Feuer for NY Times)

Nicole Malliotakis’ Bay Ridge office was greeted by hundreds of protesters over the weekend, showing her just how appreciated her opposition to certifying the election results is with her constituents. (Brian Braiker for Brooklyn Magazine)

An NYPD member is under investigation over accusations they participated in the attack on the Capitol. The mayor stated any city employee at the attack would be fired. (Matt Troutman for Patch)

William Pepe, a worker for Metro-North, “called out sick Wednesday to attend” the attack on the Capitol last week. He’s been suspended without pay pending an investigation. (Jen Chung for Gothamist)

A look into the Home Alone group show at the ATM Gallery on Henry Street. (EV Grieve)

New York state is looking to enact a law that would fine food delivery apps for creating listings for restaurants without their written permission. GrubHub currently adds local restaurants without the restaurants’ permission when they see local “demand.” (Christopher Robins for Gothamist)

Lap dances, karaoke, and secret parties. The NYC speakeasies of Covid-19. (Mihir Zaveri for NY Times)

Real Estate Lust: Six bedrooms, a front porch, side porch, rear deck, a driveway, built-in 1899 $2.6 million house in Prospect Park South. (Dana Schulz for 6sqft)


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Queens Public Defenders are attempting to unionize and their management is calling them a “mob.” (Sam Mellins for New York Focus, in partnership with The City)

Sammy Revelo, Retired NYPD Lieutenant, declared his candidacy for Bronx Boro President. (Nowrood News)

One advantage of having Community Board meetings virtually is that anyone can show up, like Chuck Schumer, who popped into a CB2 meeting on the day after the attack on the Capitol. Maybe he needed a break from everything happening that week. (Christian Murray for LIC Post)

Speaking of Chuck, here’s what his future as Senate Majority leader means for NYC. (Jesse McKinley and Christina Goldbaum for NY Times)

Video: Meet Violet Brill, a 16-year-old urban forager. (Daniela Sirtori-Cortina for Bedford + Bowery)

Esquire’s list “100 Restaurants American Can’t Afford To Lose” includes 12 NYC restaurants, including Proto’s Pizza, Keens, Bar Tabac, and nine more. (Matt Troutman for Patch)

Prismatica, an immersive art installation consisting of 25 rainbow-like prisms between 39th and 40th streets. The installation is by RAW Design in collaboration with ATOMIC3. (Will Gleason for Time Out)

A supervisor for the NYCHA certified an apartment lead-free, but it was never actually inspected. Now a child has lead poisoning. (Greg B. Smith for The City)

“We live in a two-bedroom apartment in Manhattan. And so, like, can you imagine trying to have two kids on virtual school in a two-bedroom apartment, and then trying to do work yourself?” –Andrew Yang actually gave that quote to the Times about spending most of his time outside of New York City while he’s thinking about running for mayor of New York City. (Katie Glueck for NY Times)

14 hours later, Andrew Yang was on the defensive while all the other mayoral candidates saw an opportunity to pounce. (Katie Glueck for NY Times)

The city’s Independent Budget Office says that jobs won’t bounce back until at least 2024, but the state and city’s budget hole initially predicted wouldn’t be as bad as predicted. (Greg David for The City)

Dr. Fauci told the conference of the Association of Performing Arts Professionals that live concerts could return “some time in the fall of 2021,” depending on reaching herd immunity. (Amanda Hatfield for BrooklynVegan)

We are not going to achieve any levels of population immunity or herd immunity in 2021” -WHO’s chief scientist Soumya Swaminathan. (Science Alert)

Interview Emily Gallagher started her term as a state assembly member representing the state’s 50th district. (Julia Kott for Greenpointers)

“Why is New York spending so much money on giant waiting room/malls that all have nowhere to sit? And what does this say about how we’ve chosen to treat our public spaces and transit infrastructure? Must we make every public space so inhospitable to the people using it or can we find a better way?”
-Benjamin Kabak, Some thoughts on Moynihan Train Hall and designing public spaces with nowhere to sit, for Second Ave Sagas

The High Line will be extended to connect to the new Moynihan Train Hall. The $60 million project does not have an expected completion date yet. (Michelle Young for Untapped New York)

If you’ve got the bitcoin, you could be the new owner of Hellcat Annie’s Tap Room and Scruffy Duffy’s on Tenth Avenue. Two bars for 25 bitcoins, which works out to be about $862k. (Tanay Warerkar for Eater)

Every business is Schrödinger’s cat during the pandemic. Despite rumors to the contrary, Economy Candy is still alive. (Elie Z. Perler for Bowery Boogie)

Sorry Upper West Side crafters, Michael’s on Columbus Ave is closing. (Mike Mishkin for I Love the Upper West Side)

The governor’s State of the State address (watch the 43-minute speech here) is an outline to “win” the Covid war, but not without a lot of help from Washington. (Jesse McKinley and Luis Ferré-Sadurní for NY Times)

Mayor de Blasio will likely be remembered for two terms of broken promises. In July he promised to accelerate his “affordable” high-speed internet plan for public housing and low-income areas hit hard by the pandemic. IT’s been six months and the city has not made a single deal on the initiative the mayor has been talking about since 2013. (Reuven Blau for The City)

The best Thai restaurants in NYC, if you’re ready. (Hannah Albertine, Nikko Duren, Bryan Kim, and Arden Shore for The Infatuation)

Thanks to reader Francesca for today’s featured photo!

The Briefly for January 10, 2020 – The “Soho Karen was Arrested” Sunday AMA Edition

The latest NYC news digest: A first-person vaccine story, what’s news for NYC dining, Nicole Malliotakis votes against the election results, and more

Today – Low: 30˚ High: 40˚
Clear throughout the day.

Today’s digest is starting with something different. Today’s photo came from to reader Michele, who I asked to talk about her experience receiving the Covie-19 vaccine. If you’ve got your own story, please feel free to email it to thebriefly at gmail.com.

I’m an optometrist in NYC, and I was surprised how quickly I was able to get an appointment to get the Covid vaccine after I saw the announcement on nyc.gov that new slots had opened up for healthcare workers. I got an appointment the first week at a “pop up” clinic in a city government building in Manhattan, and the process was streamlined and efficient even though it had only been up and running for a few days. My site had appointments every 15 minutes, and I didn’t have to wait at any point in the process — initial screening/paperwork, vaccination station, post-processing (you sit for 20 minutes afterward to make sure you don’t pass out). Everyone working there was helpful and excited, and the entire experience was lovely. I asked the nurse if I could take a picture (like 900 people before me probably had) and he even suggested how I should stage it. After I finished my 20 minute post-vaccine chill period I saw a man ask two nurses if he could take their picture with his dog, and they were really sweet about it. The one thing I would say surprised me was that the nurse who gave me the vaccine said he hadn’t gotten it yet, though he was on the schedule to have it soon.

As promised, today’s digest is centered around a few Ask Me Anything questions I received from the readers of The Briefly.

Q from Katie: Hi Rob, Happy New Year! I hope 2021 is going okay so far. :) I had one (two) question(s) for your AMA, which I assume someone has already asked but just in case: what is your strategy for choosing articles to highlight? And my follow-up: how many articles do you usually read to get enough good ones for one email? Take care, be well, and all the other hopeful clichés for the new year.

In terms of a daily volume of links for a newsletter, it’s about 300-400 a day from 100 different sources. From there I usually narrow that down to about 50 before I start writing, and by the time I’m done writing it’s somewhere between 25-40. When I look through the news, I usually look for something that’s important, interesting, different, or time-sensitive. I’ve been writing The Briefly for a few years and have some idea of what the readers are most interested in (check out 2020’s top ten stories), so you’ll see something things pop up regularly like lists of restaurants, public art, ridiculous apartments, and things like that. I also tend to favor certain newsrooms when it comes to certain types of news. I love The City and have an immense amount of respect for their writers, I’ll trust Chalkbeat above all else for educational news, Gothamist is a regular favorite of mine for daily stories, and I have a deep love for the most niche blogs I can find like Urban Hawks and Laura Goggin Photography for their bird photos or The Q at Parkside, which has the smallest area of coverage of anything I regularly look at, and I really enjoy Mary Lane’s writing at New York Cliche. I’ve had a post from her saved since March 12 about how to get tickets to see Last Week Tonight and her experience seeing the show in person that I will eventually include.

Q from Brigid: Hey Rob! I’d love to know what your favorite NYC bridge is. Asking because I started an Instagram account where I post different bridges throughout the city (@brig.on.bridges) and would love an established New Yorker’s take on the best bridge in the city. Hope you and yours have a happy and healthy new year!

My favorite NYC bridge is going to be unexpected. It’s the Hunters Point Avenue Bridge! Let me explain why. The bridge was built in 1910 but rebuilt in 1983 and my father did the redesign for it. My father was a civil engineer and worked in NYC for nearly 50 years. I had known most of his work as being in the sewers, so having something above ground that he worked on has always been very special to me. If you were to tell me that a 60-foot bridge doesn’t count, I’d pick the Manhattan Bridge. It’s the best bridge to walk or bike over, and you can’t beat the views.

Q: NYC question just based on your time in the City since I’m always looking for ideas! What has been one of your favorite day activities around the City where you didn’t spend any money?

My favorite zero-cost activity in the city is a bike ride and a bike ride to Coney Island (I live in Brooklyn) is my favorite of all my bike rides. Coney Island is my favorite place in the city when it’s warm. I’m not someone who feels a strong need to spend money there because there’s so much people watching to do and things to see in general. If you’re willing to spend a few bucks on snacks, I recommend the bodega near the subway station on Stillwell Ave, where you can grab some cut up fruit and a drink and the sideshow is probably the best $10 you could spend for at least an hour of entertainment (plus it’s air-conditioned). I could walk around Coney Island for hours.

Most of the other ideas that came to mind are trips and long walks in and around parks. Challenge yourself to walk the length of Riverside Park, get lost in Chinatown, wander Flushing-Meadows Corona Park, find John Randel Jr.’s authentic survey bolt from 1811 in Central Park, walk through all the arches of Prospect Park, and lastly I’d always recommend taking a look at the skint on any quiet day, because there’s always something going on that’s cheap or free.

A few news bits to close out today:

Soho Karen, aka Miya Ponsetto, was arrested for falsely accusing a Black teenager of stealer her phone and tackling him in a Soho hotel. It was a bad week for this idiot, who decided to do a CBS This Morning interview that was so bad even her lawyer said she was embarrassed. She was arrested in California and brought back to New York. (Edgar Sandoval for NY Times)

Prince Street Pizza owners Frank and Dominic Morano are stepping down from day-to-day operations after accounts of racist comments made to customers on Yelp, Facebook, and Instagram. They aren’t removing themselves from the business, just from day-to-day operations. (Hannah Albertine for The Infatuation)

Now’s a good time to go wander around Chinatown because hundreds of paper lanterns were installed on Mott St with plans to expand. (Shaye Weaver for Time Out)

There is a silver lining to this winter, which is that the flu season only a fraction of what it was in years past. (Matt Troutman for Patch)

The Brooklyn Public Library is holding a contest to design a library card in celebration of Black History Month and will award the winning artist with $2,000. (Shaye Weaver for Time Out)

NYPD Commissioner Dermot Shea tested positive for Covid-19. (Matt Troutman for PAtch)

Someone tied a confederate flag to the door of the Museum of Jewish Heritage – A Living Memorial to the Holocaust after the attack on the Capitol this week. (Jen Chung for Gothamist)2

Staten Island’s congress member and Republican Nicole Malliotakis voted against certifying the election results after the attack on the Capitol building. Malliotakis’s district will be redrawn by the state’s Democratic legislature after the 2020 Census. Don’t expect Malliotakis to hold that seat for long. (Clifford Michel for The City)

Photos: Thursday’s anti-Trump rally in Brooklyn. (Brian Braiker, photos by Statia Grossman for Brooklyn Magazine)

The Brooklyn Democratic Party passed a law that allows non-binary and transgender people to run for county committee seats. It seems ridiculous that it was necessary, but there was a gender quota in place before this. (Julia Kott for Greenpointers)

20 local chefs forecast what’s next for NYC dining. (Christina Izzo for Time Out)

Everything you always wanted to know about sex work (but were afraid to ask). (Brian Braiker for Brooklyn Magazine)

The Briefly for January 8, 2021 – The “Call the Terrorists Terrorists” Friday Edition

The latest NYC news digest: “Am I Eligible” Covid-19 website site launches, defending a parking lot of housing, a Tim Burton-themed restaurant opens, and more

Today – Low: 27˚ High: 40˚
Partly cloudy throughout the day.
This weekend – Low: 27˚ High: 39˚

Between empty offices and Covid-19 restrictions, Financial District restaurants are struggling. (Tanay Warerkar for Eater)

Who would advocate for an NYPD tow pound instead of a residential building? The lunatics in lower Manhattan. (Sydney Pereira for Gothamist)

Pro-Trump Terrorist Louis Shenker, 22, of Amherst, Massachusetts was charged with placing a false bomb and making a terroristic threat for a bomb hoax at the Queens Place Mall on Monday. The Gothamist headline claims he was a “Pro-Trump Activist,” but that’s bullshit. Gothamist, you should be better than that. He’s literally being charged for making terroristic threats and has known ties to white nationalists. Louis Shenker is a terrorist and shame on the editors of Gothamist for not acknowledging reality. (Sophia Chang for Gothamist)

More than 30 percent of New York City’s health care workers remain “hesitant” to get a coronavirus vaccine. (Matt Troutman for Patch)

The city’s schools shortened their quarantine period from 14 days to 10 days after a possible exposure to Covid-19, following a CDC recommendation. (Alex Zimmerman for Chalkbeat)

The state has a new “Am I Eligible” website that will notify you when you are eligible for the Covid-19 vaccine. (Collier Sutter for Time Out)

Beetle House, a Tim Burton-themed restaurant, is open for outdoor dining in the East Village. (Shaye Weaver for Time Out)

Bombora House, an interactive stained glass house installation from Tom Fruin, can be seen at the corner of 13th and Ninth Ave. (Dana Schulz for 6sqft)

Old John’s Luncheonette on the Upper West Side, which closed in October, is reopening next month under new ownership. (Erika Adams for Eater)

Another judge ruled in favor of the homeless New Yorkers that were relocated to the Lucerne Hotel. The case is still working its way through the courts, but they won’t be forced to leave for a few more months. (Courtney Gross for NY1)

The city is moving the homeless New Yorkers in the DoubleTree Hotel on West 36th Street to another hotel on 40th St after a request by the Community Board, claiming density as the main issue. (Courtney Gross for NY1)

10 new delivery-only restaurants born out of the pandemic. (Nikko Duren for The Infatuation)

Pixar’s Soul takes place in NYC, eight ways ‘Soul’ gets NYC right. (Shaye Weaver for Time Out)

There are 100 free car parking spaces for every bicycle spot in NYC, according to a new study from Transportation Alternatives, which asks the city to make the city more bike-friendly by installing 1,500 new bike parking spaces, among other changes. (Matt Troutman for Patch)

Actions have consequences, but inaction also has consequences. 66-year-old Eleanor Dowe left her 19th-floor apartment on her way to a dialysis appointment and used the stairs because the elevators were out and slipped and struck her head, causing a severe brain injury. She had made 15 calls about broken elevators to NYCHA since August. Now she’s in a coma. (Greg B. Smith for The City)

The NYPD sent around a memo reminding its members that illegal parking is illegal. Mayor de Blasio cut two units from the city’s budget that were dedicated to enforcing placard abuse. (Gersh Kuntzman for Streetsblog)

The former tenants of a Dean Street building are looking to be included in the city’s lawsuit against their former eco-yogi slumlords. (Ben Verde for Brooklyn Paper)

A Trader Joe’s is coming to Harlem. (Christina Izzo for Time Out)

“Moynihan is not perfect, and I know better than anyone else that this train hall is technically not Pennsylvania Station. But for the moment it’s close enough.”
-Justin Rivers, Moynihan Train Hall is Not Perfect, But It’s Close Enough for Untapped New York

An NYPD officer was seen on video appearing to kneel on a Black man’s neck during an arrest in Queens last week. You’ve gotta be kidding me with this. The city’s chokehold ban makes kneeling on a person’s back or neck a misdemeanor. The man arrested is said to have suffered knee and neck injuries while being arrested. (Jake Offenhartz for Gothamist)

Say hello to the latest list of the most expensive neighborhoods in the city, with NoHo taking the top spot with a median sales price of $3,250,000. (Shaye Weaver for Time Out)

Governor Cuomo says this is the year for legal weed in New York. But also 2020 was the year for legal weed in New York. But also 2019 was the year for legal weed in New York. What’s different this time? New York needs money. (Luis Ferré-Sadurní and Jesse McKinley for NY Times)

In another attempt to make some cash, Governor Cuomo has also stated his support for legalizing online sports betting in New York. (Joe Pantorno for amNewYork Metro)

Farewell to Halloween Adventure in the East Village, the city’s only Halloween Store open in January. After 39 years, the store will be closing soon. (Shaye Weaver for Time Out)

Only 52 people were arrested in connection with the attack on the Capitol, compare that to the more than 40 people arrested on the first night of NYC protests after the death of George Floyd. (Rachel Holliday Smith and Eileen Grench for The City)

Queens’ first IKEA is set to open later this month in Rego Center on Queens Blvd. (Allie Griffin for Sunnyside Post)

Have you ever wanted to see what $2 million in heroin and fentanyl looks like? A packaging mill in the Bronx was busted by the DEA and five people are facing criminal charges. (Matt Troutman for Patch)

If you missed Mean Girls on Broadway before the pandemic, you really missed it. Mean Girls will not reopen when Broadway returns, whenever that might be. (Adam Feldman for Time Out)

[plant-baked] opens today on 7th St, a plant-based bakery. They’re already open and will close when they run out of baked goods to sell. (EV Grieve)

2020’s saddest restaurant closures. (Eater)