The Briefly for December 26, 2019 – The “Christmas Trees Don’t Belong on the Beach” Edition

Today’s daily NYC news digest: When to throw out your Christmas tree, the secret economy and industry of five cent deposits, Cuomo’s feud with Trump heats up over weddings, and more

Today – Low: 42˚ High: 45˚
Mostly cloudy throughout the day.

A look back at the City Hall Christmas tree lighting, a bygone NYC tradition. (Alexandra Alexa for 6sqft)

The Rockefeller Center Christmas has an 88-year history. (Adam Thalenfeld for NYC Urbanism)

Video: The inspiring story of Sydney Mesher, the first Rockette with a visible disability. (The Rockettes)

Videos and Photos: The Saks Fifth Avenue Frozen 2 holiday lights. (Jen Carlson for Gothamist)

How long should you keep your Christmas tree up? At least until January 6, because that’s the first day of the Department of Sanitation’s tree disposal. (Mariela Quintana for StreetEasy)

Video: No matter what you read on Facebook, don’t leave your old Christmas tree at the beach. (Anginas Gonzalez for NY1)

Tompkins Square Park has some new trees. (EV Grieve)

Governor Cuomo vetoed a bill that would have allowed federal judges, Trump’s judges, to officiate weddings in New York state. I guess federal judges will have to become online ministers if they want to officiate weddings, just like the rest of us. (Jesse McKinley for NY Times)

The fascinating history of 28 Old Fulton St, from old Dutch farmland to Revolutionary War battle site, from the Eagle pressroom to a warehouse for silver, furniture and then electoral ballots, to its latest use as luxury apartments. (Chase DiBenedetto for Bedford + Bowery)

Years ago two toy stores within a few blocks of each other would be at war around the holidays, but in 2019 Stationary and Toy World and West Side Kids in the Upper West Side are joining forces to fight back against online shopping. (Sara Lewin Lebwohl for I Love the Upper West Side)

Video: Got $75,000 lying around? You can afford one night at the Mark Hotel. (Matt Coneybeare for Viewing NYC)

With the mayor's potentially illegal "horse trading" collusion with ultra-Orthodox state lawmakers surrounding a Department of Education report about the quality of education at the city's yeshivas, advocates are calling for accountability. The city has made no indication of punishment for the 26 of 28 failing schools, instead requiring "timelines for improvement" by January 15 with no information about if schools fail to meet the deadline. (Jake Offenhartz for Gothamist)

A state Supreme Court judge has struck down an upcoming New York City rule that would have restricted the amount of time app-based drivers for companies like Uber and Lyft can spend cruising without passengers below 96th Street in Manhattan. (Elizabeth Kim for Gothamist)

Profiles of five African-American high-profile prisoners from New York City who were convicted of violent crimes that included murder and attempted murder. All committed their first crimes as teenagers. All are now in late middle age, ranging from 48 to 61 and seeking release. A great piece from students at CUNY's Craigs Newmark Graduate School of Journalism. (Stephanie Chukwuma, Trone Dowd, Jeffery Harrell, Brenda León, Hannah Miller, Rosemary Misdary, Rachel Rippetoe, Maria Robins-Somerville, Sean Sanders, and Annie Todd for Gothamist)

8 cultural attractions to visit on NYC’s Museum Mile. (Zachary Solomon for StreetEasy)

StreetEasy and Douglas Elliman appear to be ready to lock horns. While the details aren’t exciting, it could portend a coming fracturing of real estate listings. (E. B. Solomont for The Real Deal)

A train delay because of a pencil. (Ben Yakas for Gothamist)

A Bronx police officer is facing accusations of groping a 14-year-old teenager while she was handcuffed in the back of a squad car last month. (Jake Offenhartz for Gothamist)

Christmas is gone. No literally, Christmas is literally buried in Green-Wood Cemetery. (Kevin Walsh for Forgotten New York)

The city doesn’t just get rid of its useless junk, it auctions it off. (Winnie Hu and James Sprankle for NY Times)

What’s the opposite of a Christmas miracle? Ask the 1,000 residents in NYCHA housing in Coney Island who woke up with no heat or hot water on Christmas. (Sydney Pereira for Gothamist)

As of this week, bicyclists can use the walk/won’t walk indicators rather than the lights are use. (Christopher Robbins for Gothamist)

The latest in the seemingly never-ending battle of Industry City’s rezoning is that things are looking bleak for Industry City after the city is refusing to provide funds for new schools, housing and tenant programs to benefit the neighborhood. The decision to move forward rests with City Councilmember Carlos Menchaca, who has been skeptical of the process since the start. It would be unheard of for the city to commit funds for a private application, Menchaca is justifying the request based on how dramatically the rezoning would change Sunset Park. (Rose Adams for Brooklyn Paper)

Has Midtown South become more pleasant for residents in the last few years? Finally, an answer to the eternal question of “who lives here?” (Aileen Jacobson for NY Times)

There is an entire underground economy centered around plastic bottle and metal can deposits, where the world turns five cents at a time. It’s all in a legal gray area that the city turns a blind eye towards, but once you have an understanding of how the canner economy works, you can understand why there is opposition to expanding the five cent deposit program. (Andy Newman for NY Times)

After eating at 300 restaurants this year, Scott Lynch picks his 16 best bites of 2019. (Scott Lynch for Eater)

The Briefly for December 18, 2019 – The “AOC vs Cuomo Round 2: The NYPD Subway Surge” Edition

Today’s daily NYC news digest: Mayor de Blasio has another new approach for the city’s homeless population, the hoax that led to an AMBER alert, the most expensive street on the planet, & more

Today – Low: 17˚ High: 37˚
Clear throughout the day.

Search for “de Blasio” “homeless” and “new approach.” Here are some highlights you’ll find:
– Jan 2015: “Shifts Strategy on Homeless Help”
– Dec 2015: “The most comprehensive street homeless outreach effort.”
– Apr 2016: “sweeping homelessness reforms”
– Feb 2017: A “blood and guts” war on homelessness.
– Dec 2017: “playing catch-up on unsheltered homelessness.”
– Mar 2018: an “innovative solution to the crisis.”
– Dec 2019: A new approach addressing street homelessness. (Mark Hellum for amNewYork)

Cluster sites are temporary apartments for the homeless in privately owned buildings and the mayor announced in 2016 that he would end the practice of using them by 2019. There are still 3,000 units of cluster housing in the city. Many nonprofits that operate cluster sites have hundreds or thousands of open violations, and continue to get business from the city despite it. (Joan Goldberg for Brooklyn Eagle)

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez was one of the leading voices in the effort that killed Amazon’s HQ2. Can AOC help the fight against Governor Cuomo’s NYPD surge in the subways? (Gersh Kuntzman for Streetsblog)

When the United States misses its targets to reduce climate emissions, New York won’t be on the list of states that caused it to happen. (Aaron Short for Streetsblog)

The best Chinese food on the Upper West Side. (Acrienne Cooper for I Love the Upper West Side)

The scumbag of the week award goes to FDNY lieutenant Christopher Hughes, who was caught stealing from a charity event at a Catholic school fundraiser on Staten Island. (Jake Offenhartz for Gothamist)

Governor Cuomo seeks to redefine conditions under which a person is capable of giving consent, specifically in when someone is drunk. In a steady stream of announcements like a legislative “12 Days of Christmas” the governor has been unveiling one proposal a day leading up to his 2020 State of the State address. (Sarah Midkiff for Refinery29)

Revisiting Le Bernardin, “one of the city’s most thrilling and technically astute restaurants.” (Ryan Sutton for Eater)

Everyone got the AMBER alert on Tuesday (unless you’re a monster and turned them off) for Karol Sanchez, who was kidnapped in the Bronx. A few hours later we found out it was a hoax set up by Sanchez as part of a feud with her mother, who she deems to be overprotective. (Edgar Sandoval for NY Times)

The video for All I Want for Christmas is You has a New York connection, it was filmed in front of the iconic “Bronx Christmas House.” Unfortunately this year the house is dark for the first time in 46 years. (Ed Garcia Conde for Welcome2TheBronx)

Harvey Weinstein, NYC’s resident goblin, claims his back hurts too much to deal with a lawsuit to recoup a $45 million loan from him. What a tough year this much have been for him. 🙄 (Claire Lampen for Gothamist)

The LES, Sunset Park, Gowanus and the rest of the six NYC neighborhoods poised for major change in 2020. (Caroline Spivack for Curbed)

The most expensive street not he planet is 57th St, aka Billionaire’s Row. It end one of four Manhattan streets in the top ten. (Alexandra Alexa for 6sqft)

Mail-order iconic foods, the foie gras debates, bowl restaurants and all the restaurant trends Adam Platt never wants to see again. (Adam Platt for Grub Street)

There is a second legal fight against an apartment complex that would cast a literal shadow over the Brooklyn Botanical Gardens. A lawsuit is looking to overturn the City council’s approval and force the developer to do an Environmental Impact Survey. (Lore Croghan for Brooklyn Eagle)

Falling building debris fatally crushed a 60-year-old woman on West 49th Street and Seventh Avenue in Manhattan on Tuesday morning. (Kathleen Culliton for Patch)

The MTA gave a “sneak peek” at a complete redesign of Queens’ bus system on Monday night with an eye towards less redundancy, easier transfers, and more inter borough options. The full book on the redesign will be released in the spring of 2020. (Angelica Acevedo for amNewYork)

New York City has agreed to pay $12.5 million dollars to settle a class action lawsuit by people who were subject to invasive strip searches while visiting loved ones in jail. (Cindy Rodriguez for Gothamist)

The 24-hour NYC diner isn’t dead. Say hello to the new Soho Diner. (Chris Crowley for Grub Street)

Attention NYC Millennials: The suburbs want you! (Jake Offenhartz for Gothamist)

Here’s how the local centrists in Congress will vote on the impeachment. (Fred Mogul for Gothamist)

A defense lawyer suggested detectives had badgered and yelled at a 13-year-old boy before he admitted participating in the fatal mugging of Tessa Majors. (Jan Ransom for NY Times)

The NYPD will encrypt their radios in 2020, cutting off press from real time reporting and also essentially killing how the Citizen app, Scanner 911, and Broadcastify get their reports. The move seems to fly in the face of the city’s attempts at making the NYPD more transparent and accountable. (Todd Maisel for amNewYork)

The hidden fees in no fee apartments. (Kael Goodman for amNewYork)

NYPD arrested a truck driver who they say fatally struck bicyclist Matt Travis in East Harlem last month and left the scene. (Eyewitness News)

Time Out New York’s 20 best dishes of 2019. (Bao Ong for Time Out)

The Briefly for December 17, 2019 – The “End Fare Evasion by Ending Fares” Edition

Today’s daily NYC news digest: Pasta cake, the City Council looks to work around the governor, the most beautiful homes of 2019, a buy/rent calculator, mulchfest approaches, and more

Today – Low: 29˚ High: 36˚
Light rain until evening.

The best & worst of SantaCon 2019. (Ben Yakas for Gothamist)

SantaCon’s aftermath was predictably awful. (Nikita Richardson for Grub Street)

Despite being illegal for a decade, discrimination against people with Section 8 vouchers persists. (Cindy Rodriguez for Gothamist)

A well laid out plan to cut fare evasion to zero: make public transit free. (The Independent)

The City Council could circumvent the governor in making electric bikes legal. Councilmember Rafael Espinal is pushing forward with his bill that would legalize the bikes and cap their speeds at 20 mph. The governor has a bill on his desk since June that would legalize them. (Dave Colon for Streetsblog)

This year’s legislative session was, in Governor Cuomo’s words, the “most productive legislative session in modern history” thanks to truly Democratic control. There’s been one major bottleneck in getting those bills into law: the governor himself. (Luis Ferré-Sadurní for NY Times)

The NYCHA is the city’s worst landlord for the second year running, topping Public Advocate Jumaane Williams’s list of the worst landlords in the city. (Kathleen Culliton for Patch)

Does it make more sense to buy or rent? Depends how long you’re gonna stay in your apartment. In Canarsie the time is under two years, but in the Lower East Side, it’s thirty. Don’t worry, there’s a calculator. (Ameena Walker for Curbed)

A look at Brooklyn’s first public bike parking hub, the confusingly named Oonee Pod. While it’s only 20 bike racks, it’s a start. (Paul Frangipane for Brooklyn Eagle)

14th St’s buses will be going all-electric in March. The busway’s improved service has meant a ridership increase of nearly 25% over last year at this time. Turns out people will take the bus if it’s reliable. Who knew? (Devin Gannon for 6sqft)

If you can’t fight the addictiveness of old photos of New York City, the archive of photographs from Carole Teller from the 60s through the 90s is enthralling. (Dawson Knick for GVSHP)

Who can fight the charm of Billy On The Street with Mariah Carey? (@billyeichner)

Four first responders who died from 9/11-related illnesses were posthumously awarded Bronze Medallions from Mayor de Blasio on Monday for advocacy work that ensured fellow responders will receive medical care throughout their lifetimes. Nineteen people were honored, including Jon Stewart. (Kathleen Culliton for Patch)

Apartment Porn: The most beautiful homes of 2019. (Valeria Ricciulli for Curbed)

In one of the most classless moves of the year, Ed Mullins, president of the Sergeants Benevolent Association, is using the death of Tessa Majors to baselessly claim she was in the park where she was murdered to buy drugs and criticize the change in the city’s marijuana enforcement laws. (Ja’han Jones for HuffPost)

New York’s law allowing undocumented immigrants to obtain licenses went into effect on Monday and there were lines. (Tracey Tully and Michael Gold for NY Times)

A look back at a full decade of the rent being too damn high across the city. (Valeria Ricciulli for Curbed)

You know who thinks the MTA is doing great? The MTA. (Kathleen Culliton for Patch)

A wholly acceptable “Why I’m leaving New York” essay. (Joan Summers for Jezebel)

Here are the stories of the 28 bicyclists who were killed on city streets by drivers. 2019 is the bloodiest year since 2000 for cyclist deaths. (Emma Whitford for Gothamist)

Pasta cake? (Emma Orlow for Time Out)

Say farewell to Tootsie, Oklahoma!, and Waitress as seven Broadway shows are coming to a close in January. (Matt Windman for Gothamist)

Just in case you were wondering if Harvey Weinstein wasn’t a Scooby Doo-level villain, his recent interview where he calls himself a “pioneer” in providing opportunities for female actors and directors and that he is a “forgotten man” will clarify that issue for you. (Alan Feuer for NY Times)

MetroCard scammers cost the MTA about $40 million a year. These aren’t turnstile jumpers, but people intentionally breaking machines or disguising themselves as an MTA employee and asking for a dollar to walk through the emergency exits, or one of the dozens of other ways people have thought of to outsmart the MTA. (Vincent Barone for amNewYork)

“All the current administration cares about is getting to the day where they can have a press release saying that we’re not at an all time high [of homelessness].” Former City Council Speaker Christine Quinn is now the CEO of a nonprofit that is the largest provider of shelter and supportive housing and has some things to say about how the city treats its homeless. (Ben Max and Stephen Wyer for Gotham Gazette)

When Veronica Vanterpool resigns from the MTA’s board, it will leave the city severely underrepresented. (Benjamin Kabak for Second Ave Sagas)

It’s not even Christmas, but here comes the signs for Mulchfest. (EV Grieve)

It’s like a greatest hits record, but for NYC restaurants. (The Infatuation)

Thanks to reader Zlata for today’s featured photo!