The Briefly for December 23, 2019 – The “Sitting Around the Apartment, Staring at Your Family” Edition

Today’s daily NYC news digest: The two worst hours to drive in the city, the world’s largest gingerbread village, tour a $30 million apartment, a $5,000 cocktail, and more

Today – Low: 35˚ High: 50˚
Clear throughout the day.

Gramercy Park will open to the public on Christmas Eve for one hour between 6 and 7pm. (Devin Gannon for 6sqft)

A $1,550 coffee can, a $150 meal for a child, a home decorated for only $50,000. These are the holiday deals for New York’s obscenely rich. (Kathleen Culliton for Patch)

A $5000 cocktail at The Baccarat. (Matt Coneybeare for Viewing NYC)

Okay, you’ve got family in town this week? Here are some suggestions on what to do with them instead of staring at each other inside your apartment. (Meredith Craig de Pietro for Brooklyn Based)

Christmas day activities for anyone not into Christmas. (Sara Lewin Lebwohl for I Love the Upper West Side)

More Christmas day activities. (Rebecca Fishbein for 6sqft)

Photos: Brooklyn’s largest Hanukkah menorah’s night one celebration. (Todd Maisel for amNewYork)

It’s the record-holder of the Guinness World Records for largest gingerbread village, with 800 pounds of candy, 600 pounds of gingerbread dough, and 2,300 pounds of royal icing. (Stephanie Simon for NY1)

AAA declared Thursday between 4:15pm and 6:15pm the absolute worst time to drive in the city with traffic 2.7x the usual amount. (Adam Nichols for Patch)

The population in Downtown Brooklyn is expected to double in the 2020s. The future of the neighborhood, as envisioned by Downtown Brooklyn Partnership could include protected bike lanes, a mix of some of the most pedestrian-friendly features the city has to offer between 14th St’s busway and Times Square’s pedestrian plazas. (Benjamin Schneider for The City)

Advocates want more New York City school staff to be better educated in how to guide undocumented high school seniors through Dream Act application process. (Alejandra O’Connell-Domenech for amNewYork)

A federal judge on Thursday rejected a motion from ICE officials to dismiss a New York lawsuit challenging the federal agency over courthouse arrests. The judge ruled that ICE agents should not be allowed to make arrests while witnesses or parties are coming in and out of court proceedings. (Stephen Rex Brown and Leonard Greene for NY Daily News)

We’ve got a new entry into the 100+ point violation club in the weekly list of restaurants ordered closed by the Department of Health. (Adam Nichols for Patch)

Parents are accusing the two out of 28 yeshivas that were reported as providing the minimum secular educations of making superficial changes when administrators knew about the inspections in advance, possibly making the already embarrassing report even worse. How bad can it get? Five of the 28 schools inspected offered zero math or English classes at all. (Jessica Gould and Jake Offenhartz for Gothamist)

One of the Mob Wives was arrested? Quelle surprise! (Corey Kilgannon for NY Times)

Want some good news? Here’s a story about a firefighter that saved and adopted a kitten. (Jen Chung for Gothamist)

Apartment Porn: Take a tour of a $30 million Park Ave penthouse with a rooftop pool, 14-foot ceilings, and a bathtub with a view. (Architectural Digest)

2019 was not a memorable year for sports in New York. (Robert Pozarycki for amNewYork)

Please meet Elizabeth Warrhen, a lost rooster found in Park Slope trying to root atop an inflatable Santa. (Ben Yakas for Gothamist)

D’ussé Palooza went from a basement party in Harlem thrown by two unemployed friends to 9,000 revelers at the Barclays Center, sponsored by Jay-Z and a half-million dollar budget in seven years with a plan to expand globally. (Aaron Randle for NY Times)

“Why not use drones to do building inspections?” is a perfectly good question to ask. Installing a sidewalk shed and scaffolding is an expensive, time consuming and may contribute to why some building owners don’t get it done. So what’s stopping it from happening? There’s a 1948 law that requires that all aircraft take off and land in a location designated for flight by the Port Authority. (Mark Hallum for amNewYork)

2019 has been “a difficult and challenging year under Vision Zero,” according to the city’s transportation commissioner, and the end of the year isn’t letting up. In three days drivers killed six pedestrians in Brooklyn, Queens, and Manhattan, bringing the death toll on city streets to 119 this year, topping last year’s 110. (Christina Goldbaum for NY Times)

Are you ready for the Brooklyn version of High Fidelity? (Ben Yakas for Gothamist)

A vigil for the five people killed by drivers on 3rd Ave in Brooklyn was held, calling for the mayor to not wait another year or for another vigil to take action to make 3rd Ave safer for everyone. (Julianne Cuba for Streetsblog)

A detective involved in the Tessa Majors stabbing investigation, Wilfredo Acevedo, has been sued multiple times for allegations that include withholding exculpatory evidence and making false accusations. He’s already facing scrutiny for interrogating a thirteen-year-old suspect with no attorney present. He also has three disciplinary findings from the NYPD. (George Joseph for Gothamist)

The Josephine Shaw Lowell Fountain in Bryant Park is never turned off, which makes a beautiful ice sculpture every time the temperature goes below freezing. (Matt Coneybeare for Viewing NYC)

A Bronx soccer stadium may be closer than we think, despite neighborhood opposition. (Ed García Conde for Welcome2TheBronx)

What do you do when the leader of a gang is already in prison? Howard Smith is accused of being the leader of the Brick Squad gang, giving orders through coded phone calls from prison. (Nicole Hong for NY Times)

Despite the city-wide reduction in chain stores, Dunkin’ and MetroPCS saw a booming 2019. Dunkin’ is the city’s largest chain with 636 stores, followed by MetroPCS with 468. (Devin Gannon for 6sqft)

If you love sushi omakases and hate having money, there are at least 10 sushi omakases that are over $300 before tax or drinks. (Ryan Sutton for Eater)

Where to go when you’ve eaten “everywhere” in Soho. (The Infatuation)

The Briefly for August 23, 2019 – The “Can No Longer Get Away With Murder” Edition

NYC’s students are still less than 50% proficient in English and math, 15 restaurants to BYOB, Di Fara reopens, the Museum of Ice Cream find a home, and more in today’s NYC news digest

This weekend’s scheduled subway disruptions look minimal on the surface, but the 1, 2, 3 and 5 trains are still taking a big hit. (Subway Weekender)

The Times is starting to take guesses as to when the mayor finally ends his joke of a presidential bid. (NY Times)

The Museum of Ice Cream is getting a permanent home in Soho on Broadway this fall. Get your Instagram accounts ready. (Curbed)

The NYC Police Benevolent Association’s response to the Daniel Pantaleo firing, who caused the death of Eric Garner with an illegal chokehold, is to tour the city’s precincts to say that “no one has our backs,” circulating photos of James O’Neill saying he’s “wanted for killing the NYPD,” and posting in a message board for police officers called the “Law Enforcement Rant” calling Eric Garner’s family “savages” and “ghetto dwellers.” It’s like they no longer think they can get away with murder at their jobs. (Gothamist)

There used to be a bowling alley in the basement, the secret top floor bar, and more secrets of the Jane Hotel. (Untapped Cities)

Keens in Midtown is wallpapered with history, with newspaper clippings, photos, playbills, etc on display all over the steakhouse. Until recently, that history included about 10 pieces that featured racist stereotypes. Nothing will put a hamper on your night like finding out your “thumbs up” photo with your steak also featured a large “rival darkies” minstrel show ad in the background. (Eater)

A venomous snake went missing two weeks ago in the Bronx Zoo’s “Jungle World” exhibit. It’s still missing. (Bronx Times)

A man was crushed to death by an elevator in Kips Bay in an elevator that was ordered to be shut down in May by the Department of Buildings. (NY Times)

Billionaire’s Row residents tried to take the mayor up on his offer to do “anything” to rescue the Di Fara pizzeria by offering to pay Di Fara’s tax bill if the mayor would stop a homeless shelter from opening in their neighborhood. (Patch)

No need, because Di Fara reopened on Thursday afternoon. (Grub Street)

NYC student achievement is rising, but still, only 46% of the city’s third through eighth-graders passed the state’s math exam and only 47% passed the English exam. Both numbers are up from last year, but both fall short of the city’s 50% goal. (NY Times)

The 7 train continues to drop debris from its elevated tracks in Queens. This time it was a piece of metal the size of a brick that luckily avoided hitting anyone. The MTA has installed netting as part of a pilot program in some areas of the 7 train, but clearly not in enough locations. (Gothamist)

The new Kosciuszko Bridge is scheduled to open next month, four years ahead of schedule. (Sunnyside Post)

The Department of Homeless Services announced a joint operation between DHS and NYPD in an effort to offer services and not punishment to the city’s homeless on the subways. (Curbed)

Next month the MLB FoodFest brings foods from every Major League Baseball stadium to Midtown. You won’t have to go to Texas to get the dilly-dog: a hot dog stuffed inside a pickle and fried like a corn dog. (amNY)

The top 15 restaurants where you can BYOB. (Eater)

The Briefly for March 29, 2019 – The “The Final Year of Plastic Bags in New York” Edition

Mayor de Blasio is afraid to say “bike lane,” a protest in support of Kalman Yeger’s Palestine comments, the best pancakes, where to eat in the LES, and more in today’s daily NYC news digest.

It’s the tail end of the month and no one can escape the weekend subway closures and diversions. (6sqft)

“We’re allowed our opinions… There is no such thing as Palestine… He tweeted the truth and we came here to stand up for him.” Welcome to the protest in support of Kalman Yeger’s “Palestine doesn’t exist” comment. Kalman Yeger is on the city’s immigration committee, and that is jeopardy now. (Bklyner)

Say farewell to single-use plastic bags at retail stores. (NY Times)

Barneys is going to give up more than half of its space on Madison Ave to cut back on its $30 million annual rent. This follows Lord & Taylor jettisoning their Fifth Ave store and the complete closure of Henri Bendel. (The Real Deal)

The state’s budget is due by midnight on Sunday, can the Governor and the legislature get their priorities in order to pass it? (Gotham Gazette)

Inside Whole Foods’ new convenience store in Chelsea. (Gothamist)

Want to live a long life? Move to Queens. Queens is in the top 20 counties in the country for life expectancy. (QNS)

Brooklyn’s most endangered buildings. (Curbed)

The Upper West Side’s best pancakes. KofiMania is running wild. (I Love The Upper West Side)

Kudos to the Coney Island Polar Bear Club for raising $60,000 during their New Year’s Day swim. The money will do towards half a dozen charities in and around Coney Island. (The Brooklyn Home Reporter)

Some people argue at work and some Amtrak employees shoot their co-worker in the leg. (Gothamist)

Can the Knicks be freed from the tyranny of James Dolan? Can we ever be free from the awfulness of his band? (Gothamist)

New York is expanding its lawsuit the Sackler family, the billionaires behind OxyContin. (NY Times)

City Council Speaker Corey Johnson added his voice to those calling for the abolition of the Specialized High Schools Admission Test, in addition to expanding the number of city-designated elite high schools. (Chalkbeat)

The mayor’s claim of “fewer vehicles” is hard to believe when he makes a promise to reduce the city’s fleet by 1,000 when he added over 5,000 since being elected. (NY Post)

The proposed rezoning of Gowanus will add 8,200 new apartments to the neighborhood by 2035, including 3,000 that will be below market rate. The city published a draft scope of work, a step towards a land use review. (Curbed)

How the city influenced its baseball teams. (Streeteasy)

A ride on an NYC Ferry will cost you $2.75, but it could be costing the city an additional $24.75. (amNY)

Grub Street just couldn’t help themselves. They went around and tried to order the “St. Louis Style” bagel at a number of bagel places. (Grub Street)

Why is Mayor de Blasio afraid of saying “bike lanes” when it comes to Queens Blvd? (Streetsblog)

Something else the mayor can’t seem to do is pick a new head of NYCHA by the April 6 deadline. (NY Post)

Tracy Morgan has not forgotten his Brooklyn roots and paid for a makeover to the Bed-Stuy Marcy Houses where he grew up and partnered with GrowNYC, Feeding America, and City Harvest to improve the Harrie Carthan Community Garden. (amNY)

Parents can now remove a doctor’s name from a birth certificate if their license was suspended for misconduct or abuse. (NY Post)

If you love being creeped out, you can now book an overnight stay at Madame Tussauds in Times Square. (Time Out)

Where to eat on the Lower East Side. (The Infatuation)

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