The Briefly for October 25 – 26, 2020 – The “Vote or Die” Sunday Edition

The latest NYC news digest: Early voting is open, the best Vietnamese food in the city, dredging the Gowanus, Mayor de Blasio’s legacy of failure, and more

Today – Low: 50˚ High: 56˚
Light rain in the evening and overnight.

The best restaurants near NYC’s early voting locations. (Hannah Albertine and Nikko Duren for The Infatuation)

Early voting is open, now let’s talk about the legality of ballot selfies. (Valeriya Safronova for NY Times)

Speaking of early voting, it started across the city on Saturday and there were lines everywhere. Nearly 100,0000 voted on the first day of early voting, more than in all of 2018’s early voting. (David Cruz and Jen Chung for Gothamist)

On Friday, Mayor de Blasio announced a plan to recruit hundreds of city workers in a matter of days to join an “Election Observer Corps.” He has not recruited a single person, nor has he trained anyone. By contrast, AG Letitia James, Public Advocate Jumaane Williams, and the head of Common Cause NY, Susan Lerner, already have 600 statewide volunteers who have been training for weeks for the election and have been monitoring polling sites already. Seems like the mayor could have endorsed this effort instead of announcing a new one less than 24 hours before early voting began. (Brigid Bergin for Gothamist)

We will have hundreds of additional cops in uniform citywide who will be at the ready should they be needed.” -NYPD Chief of Department Terence Monahan, who maybe doesn’t realize that having a larger NYPD presence during an election may only serve to make things worse. (Danny Lewish for Gothamist)

This is the same NYPD whose union endorsed President Trump. (NBC New York)

Photos and Video: A Barred Owl hanging out. (D. Bruce Yolton for Urban Hawks)

Video: The Animal Care Centers rescued a pig from a Brooklyn backyard. (Anna Quinn for Patch)

The city sells off unpaid property debts on a regular basis. The sale of debt was the subject of a Last Week Tonight program from a few years ago. While it raises money for the city, it also encourages foreclosures and the displacement of lower-income homeowners. This year’s tax lien sale has been postponed multiple times and City Council members are pushing to eliminate the program altogether. (Peter Senzamici for The City)

The EPA will begin dredging the Gowanus Canal mid-November. At the bottom of the canal sits a very thick and very old layer of tar, human poop and if the rumors are true, a few dead bodies. (Red Hook Star-Revue)

Video: No questions asked about how these daredevils found their way to the roof of the GE Building, which is closed to visitors, but the views are spectacular. (svvvk on YouTube)

State officials have pulled a controversial proposal that would have allowed non-lawyers to oversee special education complaints in New York City. The proposal was first made in January. In the 2019-2020 school year, the city had 10,797 complaints, 96% of New York state’s complaints. Each complaint is legally supposed to be resolved in under 75 days, but NYC’s cases take 259 days on average. The penalty for such a failure? Nothing. These students deserve better. (Reema Amin for The City)

Interview: Meet Brenda Suchilt, the Newtown Creek Alliance’s new horticulturist. (Billy McEntee for Greenpointers)

Apartment Porn: A $12.75 million Cobble Hill townhouse with a vineyard-like garden that’s bigger than almost every bar with outdoor space, gated parking, and two wine cellars. One wine cellar? Please. (Dana Schulz for 6sqft)

The best Vietnamese restaurants in NYC. (Matt Tervooren for The Infatuation)

The secrets of the new Greenpoint public library. (Will Gleason for Time Out)

The number of young children in NYCHA housing at risk of lead exposure is three times greater than previously thought, according to Bart Schwartz, the federal monitor overseeing the NYCHA. The city certified the number at 3,000 two years ago. The number is 9,000. Poisoning the children of the city will likely end up high on the list of Bill de Blasio’s legacy as mayor. (Matt Troutman for Patch)

Speaking of Bill de Blasio’s accomplishments and legacy, the city is headed for the highest level of traffic deaths since the mayor took office, the third straight year of rising deaths, completely erasing any and all progress he could claim as part of his own Vision Zero program. This year includes two months of zero traffic fatalities due to the pandemic, it’s hard to imagine how high the body count would be without it. (Jake Offenhartz for Gothamist)

The TWA Hotel has just reopened its pool-cuzzi and Runway Chalet at JFK airport. The pool purifies itself every 30 minutes and is kept at a cozy 95 degrees. (Shaye Weaver for Time Out)

A look at the new public art available across Brooklyn. (Keira Wingate for Bklyner)

Three bars within the zoned shutdown areas in Brooklyn and Queens had their liquor licenses temporarily suspended for throwing illegal indoor parties. 30 Fantastic Bar in Sunset Park, Da Mikelle Palace in Forest Hills, and Wise Bar & Grill in Sheepshead Bay. (Tanay Warerkar for Eater)

Before you feel bad for The Strand posting they may close (Amanda Hatfield for BrooklynVegan), let’s look a little deeper. The Strand fired union workers while accepting $1-2 million of PPP loans (Labor Notes) Owner Nancy Bass Wyder, who is married to Oregon Senator Ron Wyden, purchased $115,000 in Amazon stock in April and made an additional purchase of up to $200,000 in June. (Ed Lin for Barrons) The Upper West Side location was met with protests. (Carol Tannenhauser and Kate Koza for West Side Rag) On a micro scale, buying at The Strand instead of your neighborhood bookstore is no different than buying from Amazon.

On a micro scale, supporting The Strand over your neighborhood bookstore is akin to buying from Amazon instead of locally.

At this point, let’s celebrate that NYC isn’t the rattiest city in America. Los Angeles and Chicago are worse than we are and you take the wins where you can get them. (Adam Nichols for Patch)

Times Square really wants you to visit. Their latest ploy to get you to the one place you never want to visit is the Taste of Times Square Week, which runs through October 30 and offers a $35 prix fixe menu at 20 different restaurants with an appetizer, main and dessert. (Tanay Warerkar for Eater)

The Shed in Hudson Yards has reopened with a solo exhibition by artist Howardena Pindell called Rope/Fire/Water, which explores the historical traumas of America, namely slavery, racism, and white supremacy. (Monika Hankova for Untapped New York)

An examination of how New York’s slavery history is still present all over the city. (Zachary Kussin for Untapped New York)

The Green-Wood Cemetery is hosting a Dia de los Muertos celebration all this week. (Dozier Hasty for Brooklyn Eagle)

The best Mapo Tofu in the city. (Hannah Albertine for The Infatuation)

Thanks to reader Michael for today’s featured photo.

The Briefly for October 20 – 21, 2020 – The “Times Square Gets A PerFect Addition” Tuesday Edition

The latest NYC news digest: NY releases its Covid-19 vaccine plan and a new matrix, hot cocktail season is upon us, the scariest thing about Blood Manor, and more

Today – Low: 64˚ High: 68˚
Mostly cloudy throughout the day.

In a touch of good news, there were only 18 positive Covid-19 tests out of the 10,676 that were administered in schools. (Dana Rubenstein and J. David Goodman for NY Times)

JFK and Newark airports are now offering Rapid Nasal Swab Tests for Covid-19 with results in under 15 minutes. (Will Gleason for Time Out)

In the last days of warm-enough weather, here’s where to work outside with wifi. (Matt Tervooren for The Infatuation)

Welcome to NYC, P.F. Chang’s, you will fit in perfectly in Times Square. (Bao Ong for Time Out)

In one of the weirder stories this week, we all found out that the city can be shut out of its own ferry docks, as it was in Greenpoint for most of Monday. (Matt Troutman for Patch)

The Greenpoint Library is now open for grab-and-go service. (Greenpointers)

Everything to know about putting up temporary walls in an NYC apartment. (Lambeth Hochwald for StreetEasy)

With a drop in Covid-19 cases in hot spots, expect Governor Cuomo to make adjustments to the red zone maps this week. (Robert Pozarycki for Brooklyn Paper)

A fire in Cypress Hills burnt down a marijuana grow house. (John Del Signore for Gothamist)

215 idiots were busted mid-party inside the Queens Luxe Banquet Hall on Rockaway Boulevard in Queens. The owner and staff were charged with misdemeanors. (Sydney Pereira for Gothamist)

New York City Comptroller Scott Stringer has released a new plan that would make CUNY community colleges free to all students in an attempt to close the inequality gap. (The Brooklyn Reader)

For $4.75 million, you can own Toni Morrison’s Tribeca loft. (Erin Hudson for The Real Deal)

New Hope Family Services refuses to provide services to married same-sex couples and won a preliminary injunction to block the Office of Children and Family Services from shutting them down for doing so. (Arthur S> Leonard for Gay City News)

Photos: Inside Frenchette’s takeover of the old Arcade Barkery space. (Tanay Warerkar for Eater)

Remember when I linked to a report that said the homeless New Yorkers in The Lucerne would be moved to the Financial District on Sunday? That has been reversed again. A state supreme court judge approved a restraining order preventing anyone from being moved until at least November 16. (Mirela Iverac for Gothamist)

Andres Fernandez was convicted of killing the owner of the legendary L&B Spumoni Gardens pizzeria in 2016 and will face 25 years to life behind bars. (Rose Adams for Brooklyn Adams)

Here’s what you need to know about New York’s plastic bag ban. (Michelle Young for Untapped New York)

The scariest thing about Blood Manor haunted house is the giant, maskless crowds. (Tribeca Citizen)

Governor Cuomo’s office released its Covid-19 vaccination plan, including a vaccine prioritization matrix, with New Yorkers falling into Priority 1-6. First we were dealing with “phases,” now we’re dealing with “zones,” next up is “priority.” Most of us will fall into Priority 5. (Sydney Pereira for Gothamist)

Another look at Times Square’s “Plastic Bag Store” now that the plastic bag ban is real and being enforced. (Michelle Young for Untapped New York)

AOC is encouraging voting on the Working Families Party line instead of the Democratic line for the presidential election to help preserve WFP’s place on the ballot moving forward. (Daniel Marans for HuffPost)

The New York Times has discovered Breezy Point, the NYC right-wing hideout full of police and firefighters. (Corey Kilgannon for NY Times)

Holding up a magnifying glass to the NYPD’s impunity when it comes to killing people on NYC streets with their cars in light of NY Attorney General Letitia James opening an investigation into the killing of Sofia Gomex, who was killed by an NYPD highway officer. (Julianne Cuba for Streetsblog)

Everything that the city did to campaign for New Yorkers to fill out their census forms ended up raising the response rate by a measly 0.1%. The city is pushing this as a win. (David Cruz for Gothamist)

The Times already declared cuffing season starting early this year. That means it’s time for hot cocktails. (Tanay Warerkar for Eater)

The Briefly for October 18-19, 2020 – The “Phenomenal Cosmic Powers!” Sunday Edition

The latest NYC news digest: The plastic bag ban is back, empty office space is nearly at post-9/11 levels, how to celebrate Halloween, live music outdoors, and more

Today – Low: 55˚ High: 64˚
Partly cloudy throughout the day.

The state passed bail reform last in 2019 and it took effect at the beginning of the year. Since the beginning of the year, people have been poking holes in it. The latest is judges are using overly complicated partially secured bonds to keep people imprisoned. (Akash V. Mehta for NY Focus in partnership with The City)

In 2015, President Obama called the Gateway project better connecting New York and New Jersey “the most important project in the country.” Here’s a look at how the Trump administration has destroyed it. (Stephen Nessen for Gothamist)

Apartment Porn: Rachel Maddow’s West Village apartment is for sale for $2.4 million. (Dana Schulz for 6sqft)

Back in March, the state’s legislature gave Governor Cuomo “unlimited” power and maybe it’s time to rethink that. (Gwynne Hogan for Gothamist)

Bring your totes, NYC’s plastic bag enforcement kicks off for real on Monday. Bring your totes. (Matt Troutman for Patch)

16 bars and restaurants with live music outdoors. (Hannah Albertine for The Infatuation)

The pandemic drinking experience is still more convivial than drinking at home, but in bars forced to operate under elaborate and restrictive anti-COVID-19 setups, the experience sometimes more closely evokes the transactional nature of an airport Buffalo Wild Wings than a place where everybody knows your name.
-Ryan Sutton, When Will New York’s Bars Feel Like Bars Again? for Eater

A wedding with over 10,000 guests? It’s planned for Monday in Williamsburg, but the state is stepping in and demanding that the Hasidic wedding of a grandchild of the community’s leader is limited to 50 people. (Sophia Chang for Gothamist)

In a geographically and time-challenging move, The Queens Night Market has opened in Rockefeller Center from 11am-5pm. (Bao Ong for Time Out)

Video: Go beyond the pail with a look at what happens to metal, glass, and plastic recycling after the curb. (Matt Coneybeare for Viewing NYC)

“Trans women, particularly trans women of more color, are being killed with impunity, and it is past time to meet that emergency with real change that can end this epidemic of violence. Today I am calling upon the governor to acknowledge anti-trans violence as a state of crisis, and encourage the mayor and all of my colleagues in government to join me and the countless advocates who have joined us today in developing comprehensive plans that put an end to anti-trans violence once and for all.” -Public Advocate Jumaane Williams on two bills he’s introducing to the City Council to require medical professionals be trained to care for transgender and gender non-conforming patients and to include signage in all hospitals showing transgender patients’ rights and services available. (Paul Schindler for Gay City News)

A 2020 election reading list. (Sara Webster for Brooklyn Based)

“We don’t know yet how many restaurants will be razed by the pandemic. Anecdotally, the answer seems to be: a lot. Every few days, another restaurant closes, and every few days, I think, Oh, I never went.”
-Rachel Sugar, Mourning the Restaurants I’ll Never Get to Visit, for Grub Street

A look at the dozen vegan or vegetarian restaurants that have opened during the pandemic and how personal politics, sustainability, and price all play a part in their successes. (Emma Orlow for Eater)

Vegan “kind of Chineses” Fat Choy gets a Quick Bites review, “an instant winner.” (Scott Lynch for Gothamist)

11 helpful New York social distancing hacks. Don’t hold the door, the smell of perfume is a bad sign, and more. (Shaye Weaver for Time Out)

Budgeting for an NYC rental: rent to income ratio. (Erika Riley for StreetEasy)

Fracking doesn’t seem like an NYC-centric story until you read about protestors who locked themselves to a fracked gas pipeline construction project in Williamsburg on Thursday morning. (Kevin Duggan for Brooklyn Paper)

Manhattan’s empty office space is creeping towards post-9/11 levels. (Greg David for The City)

The Loisaida Open Streets Community Coalition is seeking volunteers to help set up barricades in the mornings/evenings. (EV Grieve)

Turns out Chirlane McCray, leader of the city’s Thrive NYC initiative and wife of Mayor de Blasio will not be running for Brooklyn borough president. There are eight candidates who have already created campaign committees. (Brigid Bergin for Gothamist)

Want to own a piece of the Waldorf Astoria? The hotel is auctioning off over 15,000 fine furnishings. (Justin Wu for Untapped New York)

The MTA is piloting a new air filtration and purification system on the LIRR and MetroNorth that the manufacturer claims can capture and kill 99.9998% of viruses and other germs through a three-stage process, including Covid-19. (Stephen Nessen for Gothamist)

Wilmer Ferrara attempted to climb the New York Times building, but only got as high as the sixth floor and got tired, waiting for the police to get him. He was arrested. (ABC7)

Meet Ronald Lauder, the billionaire Republican trying to fight a Democratic supermajority in the state. A supermajority would give the legislature much more power against Governor Cuomo when it comes to budget discussions. (Jesse McKinley for NY Times)

The NYPD’s oversight board will recommend discipline for Officer Wayne Isaacs, more than four years after the cop fatally shot Delrawn Small in front of his girlfriend and two children. (Jake Offenhartz for Gothamist)

NOAA has released their winter prediction for New York and it looks like we’re in for a dried and warmer winter than usual. (Adam Nichols for Patch)

Get ready, because restaurants can legally add a 10% “recovery charge to your bill starting this weekend. (Bao Ong for Time Out)

An independent commission tasked with reviewing institutional racism in the New York court system detailed a “culture of toxicity and unprofessionalism” among court officers across the state in a report from the Equal Justice in the Courts task force. (Noah Singer for Brooklyn Eagle)

A planned move of homeless men from the Lucerne Hotel on the Upper West Side to another hotel in the Financial District will proceed after a state Supreme Court judge declined to block the move. (Sophia Chang for Gothamist)

Construction on the 2/3/4/5 between Franklin Ave in Brooklyn and Manhattan will interrupt traveling for 64 weekends over the course of 33 months. Oh boy. (Claude Scales for Brooklyn Heights Blog)

The best ways to celebrate Halloween 2020 in NYC. (6sqft)