The Briefly for January 11, 2019 – The “Long On Promises, Short On Details” Edition

A closer look at the State of the City, “Rhode Island-style” pizza, election reform, UCB East is closing, a “bike mayor” for the city, and more in today’s daily NYC news digest.

This weekend’s scheduled subway service changes: The 5 is gonna be super slow, the 7, J and M trains are out between Queens and Manhattan, and that’s just the start of it. (6sqft)


Mayor Bill de Blasio’s 2019 State of the City address highlights:

Watch the 2019 State of the City address given by Mayor Bill de Blasio

Five takeaways from the State of the City. (NY Times)

“Plenty of money in the city. It’s just in the wrong hands!” The mayor preached distribution of wealth, came up short on the details. (NY Times)

The speech was focused on equality, workers and tenants’ rights, and income inequality, to go “bigger, bolder, and aim higher.” (Politico)

The city’s free 3-K program will expand to districts 6, 8, 9, 19 and 32. (Bklyner)

Bus speeds should increase 25% by the end of 2020 from 7.44 to 9.03 mph. Some tactics will be adding between 10 and 15 miles of dedicated lanes, revamp five miles, and installing barriers to protect bus lanes from drivers. The NYPD will also add a team of tow truck drivers dedicated to clearing bus lanes. (amNY)

New and modified ferry routes: Staten Island will be connected to Battery Park and W 39th Street and a new Coney Island line will stop at Bay Ridge on its way to Wall Street. The Soundview, South Brooklyn and Astoria routes will be expanded. (Curbed)

The mayor created the Office of Tenant Protection, whose details were long on promises and short on details. The office will seize the buildings of the city’s “worst landlords,” which is an interesting phrase considering the worst landlord in the city was recently declared to be… the city. (The Real Deal & Curbed)

Free eyeglasses will be provided to kindergarteners or first graders need them starting next school year in a partnership with Warby Parker. (Chalkbeat)

While the mayor touted successes on old pledges like the styrofoam ban and a plan to divest the city’s pensions from fossil fuels, there was no plans for new green initiatives. (Politico)

Also missing? The NYCHA crisis. (Gotham Gazette)


Albany is looking to make some sense out of our state’s elections, limiting donations from LLCs, create early voting, combining election days, voting by affidavit, and pre-registering to vote at the age of 16. (Politico)

The modernist treasures of Queens. (Curbed)

A Bike Mayor? Transportation Alternatives has a petition looking to add the position to champion cycling across city agencies. Is it any more odd than a “Night Mayor?” (Streetsblog)

The average jail population in the city is at its lowest since 1980. (Daily News)

UCB will close their East Village theater on February 9 amid financial problems. Some shows will be moved to SubCulture. (Vulture)

LIRR will begin service to Grand Central Terminal by the end of 2022. (6sqft)

The secrets of the St. Marks historic district. (6sqft)

The most dangerous neighborhood to walk in Queens? Flushing. (Streetsblog)

Okay, what the hell is “Rhode Island-style” pizza? (Bedford + Bowery)

A teacher who was fired for allegedly forcing black students to lie on the floor while she stepped on their backs is planning on suing the city for one billion dollars. (NY Post)

The 15 most anticipated restaurant openings this winter. (Eater)

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The Briefly for August 21, 2018 – The N Train Goats, the Tinder Date Marketing Stunt, and More

The lovely N train goats, the woman who used Tinder to ensnare dozens of men to one spot in Union Square for some sort of marketing stunt, the man behind Staten Island’s little league success, a map of every trash can, and more.

The goats on the N train tracks were Monday’s purest news story. The goats are being sent to an animal sanctuary upstate after delaying Coney Island bound trains for two hours.

Someone managed to cover an entire Q train in graffiti while it was off-platform overnight.

Five witching hot spots in Brooklyn, according to Brokelyn.

Dig into your block’s history with the new NYC Street Map, which launched on Monday. Check out the history of your building, or see how the city has changed over the years.

The Lower East Side and East Village contain the highest concentration of community gardens in the United States. Untapped Cities takes a look at 11 of them.

Despite the press announcing that Mayor de Blasio was going to bike over the Brooklyn Bridge on his way to work this morning, he was nowhere to be found. The mayor’s office claims he never promised to make the ride, but his staff was there. The mayor’s office is pitching 1,000 pedal assisted electronic bikes as an option for stranded commuters during the L train shutdown. No word on what those riders should do when it snows.

A vintage photo from 1965 shows that Times Square used to experience times of relative darkness.

The city will be spraying for mosquitoes tonight in Queens, check the map to see if your neighborhood is being targeted.

Here’s the insane story (and video!) of how dozens of guys were lured to Union Square by one woman on Tinder. Of course it was a marketing stunt.

Take a look inside the diners that are keeping NYC traditions alive.

With all the talk about the city’s removal of trash bins throughout the city, you might want to know where the nearest bin is. The location of every trash bin in the city is available in one map.

The man who ran across four sets of subway tracks to stab someone claims he was doing so to stop a racist harasser. Bilal Abdullah, 52, is being held without bail and will undergo a psychiatric assessment.

Meet the man behind Staten Island’s Little League dynasty.


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The Briefly for August 13, 2018 – Machete Bandit, Subway Platforms are Boiling, No More Watchtower Sign, and More

The city’s Subway platforms are regularly over 100 degreees, the Watchtower sign overlooking Brooklyn Bridge Park can’t be replaced, and more in the NYC news digest.

The temperature on subway platforms regularly comes close to 100 and when the Regional Plan Association tested last week, Union Square, Columbus Circle, and Brooklyn Bridge-City Hall were over 100, with Penn Station’s 2/3 platform and Times Square sitting 99.

One portion of the Uber “cap” that passed the City Council last week was a minimum wage for drivers. Despite the growth of Lyft and Uber, the median hourly earning of a driver was $14.25. The new $17.22/hour wage brings drivers in line with the minimum wage that the state is moving towards while also taking considerations into the cost of driving the cars themselves. 40% of drivers qualify for Medicaid and 18% for food stamps.

The “zombie” raccoon problem persists in Central Park. The city is warning dog owners to keep their dogs on leashes to prevent from from catching distemper from the trash pandas.

Vegan tacos in Brooklyn? Brokelyn runs down the best you can find.

New ferry schedules are available for preview on the Soundview and Lower East Side routes. Each runs once every 30 minutes during work hours and hourly at nights and on weekends. The Soundview line starts operating this week.

Jim Allen, thirty-year pianist at Marie’s Crisis Cafe, lost his battle with cancer at 52.

NYPD are looking for the “Machete Bandit,” who robbed six women who were walking alone between 29th Street and 43rd Street in Astoria.

Is Instagram culture ruining sushi?

The Commuter’s Lament” poetic installation between Times Square and the Port Authority has lost its humor in 2018.

The MTA had their stupidest idea ever to stop subway car graffiti in 1981.

Filming around town: Marvelous Mrs. Maisel w/Rachel Brosnahanis at Lorimer St and Calyer St in Brooklyn and also Waverly Pl and Macdougal St, The Deuce w/James Franco is at Walnut Ave and E 136th St in the Bronx, God Friended Me w/Joe Morton is at W. 81st and Central Park West, Leave Not One Behind is at 2nd and Bowery, Orange Is The New Black is at 33rd St and 30th Ave in Astoria, Tell Me A Story w/Kim Cattrall is at 23rd Ave and 37th St in Astoria, Netflix/Marvel’s Jessica Jones is at 51st and Park and 58th and 6th Ave, Law and Order: SVU is at Pierpont St and Montague St in Brooklyn, and Manifest w/Josh Dallas is at 17th and 3rd.

Over 10% of privately owned rental housing in Bushwick had serious violations between 2016 and 2017.

Mayor de Blasio says the city will “aggressively enforce the current policy” regarding the 90 degree cap on carriage horses operating in Central Park but his record on keeping promises when it comes to those horses is already full of failures.

State Sen. Simcha Felder lost his attempt to throw his primary challenger off the ballot for using a middle name. “Blake Morris” will appear on the ballot instead of “Lawrence Blake Morris” thanks to the Marty Markowitz defense.

A series of tragic actions lead to the death of 23-year-old Madison Jane Lyden on Central Park West. She was biking in the bike lane when an Uber double parked ahead of her. To get around the illegally parked car, she merged into traffic and was hit by Felipe Chairez, who was driving a Mellifont Construction Corp private sanitation truck while under the influence. A protected bike lane would have prevented her death.

Ben Shapiro, an insufferable asshole who is not running for Congress, challenged Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez to a debate and offered her campaign $10,000 to do so. She said no and likened being catcalled, calling it an “unsolicited request from men with bad intentions.” Shapiro, of course, missed the point of the metaphor and likened Ocasio-Cortez’ challenge to Joe Crowley, who she was actually running against in the primary, catcalling.

The “Watchtower” sign that once overlooked Brooklyn Bridge Park can’t be replaced because it was illegal the whole time. The developer who purchased the buildings are appealing the city’s decision.

Halloween comes earlier and earlier each year.


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