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)


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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!

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 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.