The Briefly for February 15, 2019 – The “Billion Dollar Breakup with Free Delivery” Edition

Amazon leaves behind a mess by pulling out on Valentine’s Day and five stories that are 100% unrelated to Amazon HQ2 in today’s daily NYC news digest.

This weekend’s subway diversions and changes gets a bonus day thanks to Presidents’ Day on Monday. If you’ve gotta get around on Monday, the weekend’s schedule might impact how you do so. (6sqft)


Amazon broke up with New York on Valentine’s Day! (The Indypendent)

Amazon assumed Mayor de Blasio and Governor Cuomo spoke for New York. They miscalculated the power of local politicians. (Politico)

Remember how Amazon was going to rent one million square feet in the Citibank building? That deal is off. Anyone need a million square feet of office space in Long Island City? (The Real Deal)

As late as Wednesday night, Amazon and labor leaders agreed to discuss ground rules for worker unionization. (NY Times)

10 things NYC should do now that the Amazon HQ2 deal is over. (Curbed)

“After much thought and deliberation, we’ve decided not to move forward with our plans to build a headquarters for Amazon in Long Island City, Queens.” -Amazon

The New York State Senate has done tremendous damage. They should be held accountable for this lost economic opportunity.” -Governor Andrew Cuomo

I was flabbergasted” -Mayor Bill de Blasio

“We all want jobs to come to Queens, and Amazon used the promise of job creation to extract major concessions for this project.” -Queens Borough President Melinda Katz

“This process was clearly flawed and did not include the affected community nor their legislative representatives until after the deal was signed.” -State Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins

“This is another indication proving what I have been saying is correct.” -City Councilmember and Elected Homophobe Ruben Diaz Sr, tripling down on his statement on how the city is “controlled by the homosexual community.”

This is devastating. We just sent a message that New York City is closed for business.” -Eric Benaim, CEO of Modern Spaces

“I hope this is the start of a conversation about vulture capitalism and where our tax dollars are best spent. I know I’d choose mass transit over helipads any day.” -Speaker of the City Council and acting Public Advocate Corey Johnson

“Anything is possible: today was the day a group of dedicated, everyday New Yorkers & their neighbors defeated Amazon’s corporate greed, its worker exploitation, and the power of the richest man in the world.” -Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez

“Long Island City will forever be known as the city that let the big one get away, and there are two people overwhelmingly responsible for it.  You own this Mike Gianaris and Jimmy Van Bramer, you own it.” LIC Talk Editorial

“Like a petulant child, Amazon insists on getting its way or takes its ball and leaves.” -State Senator Michael Gianaris

Why I’m Leaving New York,” by Jeff Bezos -@DaveWeigel, winning the Twitter reaction to today’s news.


St Marks Place, West 4th Street and other misnamed streets. (StreetEasy)

Solo dining is up 80% in the last four years. (Eater)

Speaking of, 13 of the best places to be alone in the city. (Gothamist)

Hate crimes are up 81% from last year, with two thirds of them anti-Semitic incidents. (Patch)

17 restaurants that aren’t “hot” but are still “cool.” That’s the real headline. Blame The Infatuation. (The Infatuation)

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The Briefly for February 12, 2019 – The “Sometimes You Need To Look at Photos of Dogs” Edition

Congestion pricing and legal recreational marijuana get real, the mayor won’t act on parking placard abuse, but the City Council will, and more in today’s daily NYC news digest.

If you haven’t gone outside yet, today’s weather is going to be miserable. (Patch)

Take a look inside Seth Meyers’ apartment. (Curbed)

The story behind the Harriet Tubman Memorial “Swing Low” on 122nd Street. (6sqft)

Photos from The Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show. You know you can’t resist. (Gothamist)

It’s 0.0000797113 of an acre on the corner of Seventh Ave and Christopher Street and if you don’t look down at the right moment you’ll miss a significant piece of defiant private property that defines the spirit of the Village. (NY Times)

There is a 2017 city law that dictates that all entrances used by pedestrians must have visible numbers. Over 53% of buildings on 42nd Street are missing numbers. City Councilmember Jumaane Williams introduced the law and is tired of selective enforcement. (amNY)

The five oldest buildings in Manhattan. (Untapped Cities)

Mayor Bill de Blasio’s public school report that addresses segregation in education is released. Now that his crutch of talking about how the report is coming has been removed, the mayor has to actually do something, which is not his strong suit. (NY Times)

New York will likely lose a seat in the House of Representatives in 2020, and New York Democrats could redraw Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’ district to remove her from Congress. If AOC is asked to leave with such a large national profile, she could target Chuck Schumer’s senate seat in 2022. (The Intercept)

Getting a tattoo in a subway car? Unless you love staph infections, it’s not a great idea. Maybe that’s why TuffCity Tattoo created a replica car. (Untapped Cities)

Just in time for Valentine’s Day, the New York Public Library has released an interactive map of fictional love in the city. (6sqft)

CatVideoFest is shockingly not happening in Williamsburg or Bushwick. (Brooklyn Paper)

Governor Cuomo’s transportation deputy unveiled their latest proposal for congestion pricing. Implementation would go into effect in 2021 and any vehicle going into the “central business district” in Manhattan would be charged roughly $11.52, no matter where you enter. There will be no business exemption and the funds will be put into a “lockbox” for the MTA. (Brooklyn Daily Eagle)

McNally Jackson is staying in SoHo. They’re not moving, but they’re opening two new stores in City Point in Brooklyn and the South Street Seaport. (The Real Deal)

Upstate says they’ll take Amazon HQ2 if we don’t want it. Maybe the Syracuse-Rochester corridor forgets that Amazon has to want to be there. (NY Post)

“We have reminded the folks there that we are still here” New Jersey also would take HQ2, but Governor Phil Murphy said it in the saddest way possible. (NY Post)

Ruben Diaz Sr, noted homophobe and city council member, says that he is the victim in this story. (Patch)

Curbed is hiring a full-time, junior-level reporter. (Curbed)

Kings Plaza Shopping Center, the site of the large fire that injured over 20 people in September of last year, continues to receive fines for illegally storing cars. Their latest fine could be $25,000, their second in the last six months. (Brooklyn Paper)

You haven’t missed the news. The jury in the El Chapo trial are still deliberating. (NY Post)

Here are the city’s 20 most dangerous one-lane intersections for pedestrians and cyclists. (Localize.city)

The L train mystery odor is one week old and it has two new siblings. Joining the party is a thick fog and the smell of rubbing alcohol. The smell appears to be permeating the subways into nearby apartments. (Gothamist)

The City Council unveiled multiple bills that would mandate proactive enforcement and increase oversight of parking placard abuse. One bill would ban city vehicles from blocking crosswalks, fire hydrants, sidewalks, bike lanes and bus lanes unless there is an emergency. It’s maddening that this is currently legal. (Patch)

According to the state budget: Recreational marijuana will come with three taxes. $1 per dry weight gram of flower and $0.25 per gram of trim, 20% sales tax and a 2% local sales tax. You would be able to grow and process up to six plants on private property, using it would be illegal except for private property and can’t take it across state lines. (amNY)

A gym teacher in Brooklyn was fired for playing Fortnite with his students. (NY Post)

HUD administrator Lynne Patton’s stunt of living in different NYCHA buildings for the next four weeks has already been proven to be a farce. (NY Post)

The mayor is so sure that he’s such done a great job that he’s headed to New Hampshire to continue flirting with running for president. (NY Post)

Where to eat near Grand Central.

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The Briefly for February 11, 2019 – The “Controlled by the Homosexual Community” Edition

Cuomo’s approval rating takes a dip, the origins on NYC pizza are questioned, Rosemary’s and Raul Candy Store are closing, and more in today’s daily NYC news digest.

Oh, you think just because the weekend is over that the subway service changes are too? Nope. Here are this week’s late night closures, diversions and express trains. (Subway Changes)

Raul Candy Store on Avenue B is closing at the end of the month after 45 years. As Jimmy McMillan would say, “The rent is too damn high.” Whatever candy is left on February 28 will be free. (NY1)

The City Council is “controlled by the homosexual community,” according to Councilmemeber and noted homophobe Rubén Díaz Sr. (NY Post)

Díaz Sr doubled down when asked about his statement, stating “they control the politics in the state.” And cited gay relatives as his excuse for his comments. “I’m surrounded by gay [people].” The LGBTQ caucus is demanded his resignation. (NY Post)

From Welcome2TheBronx’s Ed García Conde: What You Should Know: Councilman Ruben Diaz Sr Shouldn’t Apologize—He Needs to Resign

The TWA Hotel at JFK opens in May, the first rooms will be available for booking on Thursday at noon. (Curbed)

Did Gennaro Lombardi really bring pizza to NYC? Research is starting to question accepted pizza lore. (Gothamist)

How roni cup pizza took over NYC. Here’s where to find the best roni cup. (Eater)

Rosemary’s, which opened in 1955 on Bedford Ave in Williamsburg, will close at the end of February. Demolition and construction on either side of the bar puts it at structural risk. Join in the fun on the 28th by trying to drink the bar dry to say farewell. (Gothamist)

Dan Smith will teach you guitar. (Bedford + Bowery)

The Museum of the Dog is open fur all. (amNY)

A personal essay of the impact of an ultra-Orthodox education on high school girls and the long-term ramifications it can have on their lives and careers. (HuffPost)

Amazon doesn’t think NYC has been “welcoming” enough. “Being miserable and treating other people like dirt is every New Yorker’s God-given right.” -Mayor Lenny, Ghostbusters II (Gothamist)

Governor Cuomo is ready to blame Democrats if Amazon pulls out, and not the secretive process he engaged in without input from the politicians who oppose the deal as it stands today or Amazon’s spotty history worker treatment and opposition to unions. (Politico)

The MTA says they maybe found the source of the oil smell in the L train tunnels that caused some riders and workers to faint and vomit last week. Monday’s commute will tell the story if it was addressed over the weekend. (Gothamist)

“My favorite M.T.A. decision — because you have to laugh, otherwise you cry — is the one they made to pick a product to clean the subway stations … What product did they pick? Tide.” Listen governor, no one cares what the MTA uses to clean the subways as long as they actually clean them. (NY Times)

Did the MTA deliberately distort the reasons for more than 500,000 subway delays? City Comptroller Scott Stringer accused the MTA of lying and covering up major incidents and construction as “unknown” delays. (NY Post)

Cuomo’s approval ratings are at their lowest. Only 35% of those polled said he was good an “excellent” or “good” job. (NY Times)

The former NYC jail union boss is headed to jail for five years for taking a $60k bribe to invest $20 million of pension money into a hedge fund that failed. (amNY)

Say hello to the black blob oozing out of a vent in the 23rd Street subway’s stairwell. (Gothamist)

Jason Reeves was arraigned on Friday for the alleged murder of his mother in Crown Heights. She was found dead in her closet with stab wounds. (Bklyner)

Turns out de Blasio’s “city-wide” healthcare plan doesn’t include Staten Island. (NY Post)

President Trump’s US Housing and Urban Development Regional Director Lynne Patton will be living in various NYCHA buildings for the next four weeks instead of her usual digs in Trump Tower. Patton was appointed to the job in 2017 after serving the president as a daily aide and event planner and has no prior governmental experience. (NY Post)

Since the mayor seems incapable of doing anything about parking placard abuse, the City Council is ready to take action. (Streetsblog)

The best Mexican restaurants in Manhattan. (The Infatuation)


– Today’s edition of The Briefly is sponsored by Symphony Space –

Red Room Orchestra
Margaret Cho, Jon Glaser, Dave Hill, James Marshall, and Hether Fortune join Red Room Orchestra in recreating remarkable soundtrack and score selections from Twin Peaks and the films of Wes Anderson in two back-to-back evenings of live music on February 15 & 16 at Symphony Space. Buy tickets


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