The Briefly for February 3, 2020 – The “Dropping the Ball, Not the Groundhog” Edition

Today’s daily NYC news digest: How NYC became “Gotham,” Governor Cuomo’s ego pushed Andy Byford out, the mayor ignoes his BQE panel, the best restaurants in Sunset Park and more.

Today – Low: 41˚ High: 51˚
Partly cloudy throughout the day.

16 places to celebrate Black History Month in NYC. (Devin Gannon for 6sqft)

Interested in changing your political party affiliation before the June primaries? Act quickly, the deadline is February 14th. (Samar Khurshid for Gotham Gazette)

Staten Island’s Chuck the Groundhog didn’t see his shadow on Sunday morning, which means that an early spring should be on its way. At least no one dropped him. (Adams Nichols for Patch)

Let’s never forget when Mayor de Blasio murdered Staten Island Chuck by dropping him on Groundhog’s Day. Chuck died a week after the drop. (Abby Ohlheiser for The Washington Post)

The City Council has taken the reigns on leading the city, due to the oiler vacuum left behind by Mayor de Blasio’s complete lack of projected strength as the leader of the city. (Joe Anuta for Politico)

11 days before volunteers participated in an annual count of the homeless sleeping on the city’s streets, the mayor’s office attempted to misrepresent the actual number by attempting to find more beds for the homeless. (Mirela Iverac for Gothamist)

Mayor de Blasio is walking away from his own “expert” panel’s central recommendation for fixing the BQE because he believes the disproven fallacy that eliminating lanes of traffic adds to congestion, instead of actually reducing it. (Julianne Cuba for Streetsblog)

Here’s how “induced demand” works, a concept known since the 60’s: “on urban commuter expressways, peak-hour traffic congestion rises to meet maximum capacity.” (Benjamin Schneider for CityLab)

The city is going to start enforcing the law when it comes to overweight trucks on the BQE, per the panels suggestion. (Mary Frost for Brooklyn Eagle)

One thing’s for sure, we have less than five years if the city doesn’t do something about the BQE. (Alexandra Alexa for 6sqft)

The governor has been attempting to avoid political controversy sticking to him by assigning the most difficult problems to commissions and panels. Think back his sudden swooping in to present the L train shutdown. He assigned the problem to a panel who gave the alternative. Here are his current panels: Medicaid Redesign, Traffic Mobility, Climate Action, Digital Marketplace Worker Classification, and Public Campaign Finance. (Fred Mogul for Gothamist)

The story of how Governor Cuomo’s oversized ego made it impossible for Andy Byford to stay on a President of New York City Transit Authority. (Jim Dwyer for NY Times)

If you enjoy yelling at the MTA, they’ve added more pubic feedback meetings about their redesigned bus network in Queens. (Bill Parry for QNS)

After a horrifying case of animal abuse was uncovered at a Manhattan pet store, a bill in the state legislature would ban the sale of dogs, cats, and rabbits in pet stores across the state is gaining support. The bill would ban the sale from stores, but not from breeders. (Sarah Maslin Nir for NY Times)

The city’s first suspected case of coronavirus is being investigated at NYC Health + Hospitals/Bellevue. This is no reason to panic. (Robert Pozarycki for amNewYork Metro)

A second and third case of coronavirus are already being investigated. Still no reason to panic. (Elizabeth Kim for Gothamist)

While coronavirus is on your mind, you should be worrying about the flu. his year we face a double-trouble scenario where it’s possible to get sick more than once during flu season. Two strains are hitting, so your chances of getting sick have doubled. The death toll from the flu this season is already at 10,000. (Adam Nichols for Patch)

Where to eat sushi omakase for under $125. (Lorelei Yang for Eater)

“When you build high, folks will jump” were seven words included in an ArchDaily review of Vessel. Unfortunately on Saturday night, those words were proved true when a 19-year-old man committed suicide by jumping from the structure. (Jen Chung for Gothamist)

The city’s had a goal of planting 20,000 new trees every year, but has only managed to plant less than 1/3 of that lately. The Department of Parks and Recreation points to the rising costs of planting and maintaining trees. (Len Maniace for amNewYork Metro)

Hiram Monserrate was expelled from the state’s senate in 2009 for committing domestic assault in a horrifying story. In 2012 he plead guilty for illegally using money from a nonprofit he controlled to support a run for senate and has only paid back $8,400 of $79,000 in restitution for stealing public funds. He’s trying to make a political comeback. (Vivian Wang for NY Times)

Would you live in Bay Ridge? Localize lays out a case with eight reasons to move to Bay Ridge. (Localize Labs)

The story of Taste of Persia leaving Pizza Paradise just took a turn. Saeed Pourkay, chef and owner of Taste of Persia is accusing that Pizza Paradise stole his recipes shortly after his restaurant was forced out of Pizza Paradise. (Tanay Warerkar for Eater)

A major overhaul to the city’s property taxes could fundamentally shift the tax burden from low- and moderate-income homeowners to wealthy neighborhoods. A panel has been at work on the proposal since 2018, but mayors have attempted to tackle the subject for over a quarter century. The plan wouldn’t result in higher tax revenues. (Emma G. Fitzsimmons, Matthew Haag and Jeffery C. Mays for NY Times)

The mayor is optimistic about getting the reforms done. “This is something I believe can and will be done during my administration.” (Janaki Chadha for Politico)

Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams says if elected to be mayor, he would regularly carry a gun. (NY1)

What’s the history behind New York’s nickname “Gotham?” (Noah Sheidlower for Untapped New York)

A truck driver killed a Bushwick cyclist while making an illegal U-turn in Williamsburg on Jan. 30, marking the first cyclist death of 2020. (Kevin Duggan for Brooklyn Paper)

There’s a video showing how Pedro Lopez was killed, and it is shocking. Despite killing Lopez, the driver of the truck was not issued a ticket and the NYPD’s comment about it was there was “no criminality suspected.” (Jake Offenhartz for Gothamist)

The Department of Environmental Protection has reversed course and will fill the Jerome Park Reservoir basin in the Bronx. Previously the plan was to keep the basin empty. (Jason Cohen for Bronx Times)

Friday night’s “FTP” protests called for free public transit, an end to the harassment of the homeless, vendors and musicians in the subways, and full accessibility for people of all physical abilities throughout the transit system. The protest gathered at Grand Central Terminal at 5pm to maximally disrupt the evening commute and spread out from there. (Nick Pinto for Gothamist)

The Meatball Shop’s Lower East Side flagship location will be closing this weekend. (Bowery Boogie)

The best restaurants in Sunset Park. (Bryan Kim for The Infatuation)

The Briefly for January 15, 2020 – The “New Yorkers, Known Historically for Their Patience” Edition

Today’s daily NYC news digest: Nine things New Yorkers will judge you for, adoptees can see their original birth certificates, the three remaining four star restaurants in NYC, and more

Today – Low: 42˚ High: 52˚
Clear throughout the day.

Op-Ed: Public Advocate Jumaane Williams on how knee-jerk reactions have drowned out common sense conversation and reform when it comes to desegregating the city’s schools when it comes to the gifted and talented program. (Jumaane Williams for amNewYork Metro)

If a fire breaks out in your apartment and you flee, make sure to close the door behind you. An open door turned a one apartment fire into multi-hour ordeal that left 22 people injured in an Upper West Side high-rise. (Sydney Pereira for Gothamist)

An off-duty Secret Service agent shot and killed a dog in Brooklyn early Tuesday morning, claiming the dog was “unleashed and aggressive,” despite photos form the scene showing a leash peeking out from under a white sheet. (Sophia Chang for Gothamist)

The mayor is urging patience when it comes to the BQE panel report, saying last week’s leak of the report was only partial and everyone should “see the whole thing and judge when we all get to look at it.” Yes, New York City is known for its patience and ability to wait before jumping to a conclusion. (Mary Frost for Brooklyn Eagle)

Next month McNally Jackson is set to open a new store in CityPoint in Downtown Brooklyn. (Craig Hubert for Brownstoner)

A guerrilla art installation using decommissioned railroad corridor in Queens is meant to question the ongoing cycle of building, abandonment and redevelopment looming over the city. Railroad Eraser by Aaron Asis highlights the unused corridor with white paint on the tracks. While temporary, it’ll be there until the area is redeveloped. (Michelle Young for Untapped New York)

Stop eating sad salads. How to game the salad bar at lunch, from 11 hefts and food writers. (Nikita Richardson for Grub Street)

Nine things New Yorkers will judge tourists for and nine things they won’t. Wearing flip-flops and eating bagels at Dunkin making the “judging” list, as I’m pretty sure they are both classified as misdemeanors in Manhattan. (Mary Lane for New York Cliche)

Prospect Park’s Concert Grove Pavilion is getting a $2 million renovation. The pavilion was designed by Calvert Vaux, one of the park’s original architects, and has been roped off from the public since 2014 due to structural issues. Along with the renovation, the “Oriental Pavilion” is likely to be renamed. (Ben Verde for Brooklyn Paper)

Starting today, adoptees in the state who are over 18 can request their previously sealed original birth certificates. The law was passed by the state’s legislature and signed in November, making New York the 10th state with unrestricted access to birth certificates. (Gwynne Hogan for Gothamist)

The city is sending a 24-person team to Puerto Rico to assist in the relief efforts following almost 2,000 earthquakes since December 28. The team heading down are building inspectors, engineers, emergency managers, and mental health professionals. The governor also sent a team and personally went to survey the damage as well. (Kathleen Culliton for Patch)

A tale of two diners (and a competitive review) in Clinton Hill. (Scott Lynch for Gothamist)

A man walked into a Sunday mass in Brooklyn and doused the priest and altar with bright red juice. (Kathleen Culliton for Patch)

Liquiteria, which claimed to be the city’s first cold-pressed juice bar, closed all five NYC locations abruptly and have all but disappeared online. (Tanay Warerkar for Eater)

The Bronx saw the highest wage jump in the state from the second quarter of 2018 to second quarter of 2019 with a 5.7% increase. The US Bureau of Labor Statistics report doesn’t indicate a reason, but the state’s minimum wage increases probably have something to do with it. (Ed García Conde for Welcome2TheBronx)

The city’s newest celebrity is the Staten Island Bus Raccoon, who tried to jump aboard an S44 bus and being thwarted by some closed doors. The NYPD relocated the raccoon. (Sydney Pereira for Gothamist)

Turn back the clock with 20 photos of the city form the 1920s. (Lucie Levine for 6sqft)

The MTA is taking issue with the report that says 4/5 commutes in 2019 we’re delayed due to signal issues. They’ve not refuted the data, instead saying “the devil is in the details.” Technically, 78% of commutes delayed isn improvement from 2018’s 92%. (Mark Hallum for amNewYork Metro)

Six New York City corrections officers were arrested on Tuesday in connection to a drug-smuggling ring on Rikers Island. (Robert Pozarycki for amNewYork Metro)

Is it the year of glowing seesaws? The city’s second set of glowing seesaws have been set up next to Pier 17, each making unique sounds. The seesaws will be at Pier 17 through March. (Collier Sutter for Time Out)

What’s the oldest bar in Brooklyn? It’s a complicated answer. (Brooklyn Eagle)

Perhaps inspired by yesterday’s Mama’s Too meatball parm news, Robert Sietsema has declared where you can find his favorite meatball parm in the city at Faicco’s Italian Specialties•. (Robert Sietsema for Eater)

Rockefeller Center may be headed for a renovation, depending if owner Tichman Speyer can get approval from the landmarks commission. (Elizabeth Kim for Gothamist)

How New York became Gotham City from Joker‘s production designer Mark Friedberg. (Ben Yakas for Gothamist)

The cottage where Edgar Allan Poe wrote “Annabel Lee” and “The Bells” is in the Bronx. The Edgar Allan Poe Cottage was built in 1812 and is at 2640 Grand Concourse, where Poe lived in 1846 with his wife and mother-in-law. (Ariel Kates for GVSHP)

A book that Anthony Bourdain was working on before his death with co-author Laurie Woolever will be published on October 13. (Chris Crowley for Grub Street)

Congress approved a measure last month to reinstate two-way tolls on the Verrazzano, but the MTA has announced no set date for the change to happen. (Paula Katinas for The Brooklyn Home Reporter)

The City owns most of the land adjacent to the Coney Island boardwalk and leases it to Zamperla, who operates Luna Park and leases to shops and places to eat on the boardwalk like Lola Star, Nathan’s, Ruby’s, Tom’s Restaurant, and the Coney Island Beach Shop. Zamperla is trying to raise rents between 50 and 400% for the independent businesses. When the Times attempted to reach Zamperla officials for comment, they were vacationing in Italy. (Aaron Randle for NY Times)

The water main that played havoc with the Upper Wets Side and Monday morning’s subway commutes was 98 years old. (Jen Chung for Gothamist)

Ahead of his anticipated Hall of Fame induction, two Bronx City Councilmembers are introducing legislation to rename East 161st Street as “Jeter Street.” (Alex Mitchell for amNewYork Metro)

Pete Wells from the Times knocked Sushi Nakazawa from four stars to three, leaving only three restaurants in the city with four stars, Jean-Georges, Le Bernardin, and Eleven Madison Park. (Sara Boinsteel for NY Times)

Brooklyn’s best ramen restaurants. (Julien Levy for Thrillist)

The Briefly for July 24, 2019 – The “You Can Beat This Bus in A Walking Race” Edition

A tale of two kinds of fare evasion, an alligator on Staten Island, the Queens Night Market in Manhattan, the Goop of pot, and more in today’s daily NYC news digest.

City Comptroller Scott Stringer asked the MTA board to slow down their reorganizing plan, requesting that it be thoughtful, thorough, and transparent, three words that do not describe the MTA. (Streetsblog)

The Jet Ski Invasion seems to be just about as punk rock as the East River can get, and for two hours at the end of June, controlled chaos ruled the water. (NY Times)

Want to see the Department of Sanitation’s new trash bins being field-tested? If you’re near Castle Hill in the Bronx, you can keep a lookout for them. (Bronx Times)

The city’s slowest and least reliable bus is the M14A-SBS, at a blazing speed of 4.3 mph. This is the bus is feeling the effect of the petitions and legal arguments to turn 14th St into a busway. (amNY)

If you ask the CEO of the Emerald Media Group, someone who is trying to “make pot pretty” and appears to be trying position herself the Gweneth Paltrow of pot, about privilege and incarceration rates in NYC for people of color, you should expect a goopy answer. (Bushwick Daily)

Who will have the final say over the fate of the Industry City rezoning? Councilmember Carlos Menchaca. The community board will vote, which is purely advisory, the borough president will make a recommendation, but it’s only a recommendation. From there it goes to the City Planning Commission, which can approve, strike down, or make changes, and then it goes to the City Council, which will defer to the local councilmember for approval. (Brooklyn Daily Eagle)

More rain, more power outages. ConEd hadn’t fully restored power from its man-made power outage on Sunday before Monday’s storm knocked out thousands of more customers’ power. (Curbed)

One of the main issues that the city has been having with heavy rain is that the sewers and grates were not built with this kind of volume in mind. Monday night’s storm dumped over three inches of water, an amount we haven’t seen since 1996. If the grates are clogged, the streets can’t drain. That was the case on the Long Island Expressway near Utopia Parkway, and it would have stayed that way if not for Daphne Youree’s work to clear the grates herself. (Gothamist)

Manhattan DA Cy Vance announced last year that he would stop prosecuting subway fare evasion due to the racial bias that came along with the arrests and arrested dropped by 96%. Meanwhile, the Manhattan DA has prosecuted 100% of the people who were caught evading fares on buses, and those people happen to have disproportionately low income and are people of color. (Streetsblog)

If the New York Times is covering it, you know the trend already crested. The Gray Lady says traditional Irish sessions, a gathering where people perform traditional Irish music, are thriving. (NY Times)

If you’re received preferential rent, described as rent below the legal maximum allowed and accounts for about a quarter of all rent-stabilized apartments, your preferential rent is now your base rent and your rent increases are limited by the Rent Guideline Boards instead of your landlord’s whims. Anything above a 1.5% increase for a one-year lease (or 2.5% for a two year) is illegal. (Gothamist)

The weather-made and ConEd-made blackouts have been devastating to restaurants. It goes beyond the loss of business during the blackouts, like equipment damaged as a result of losing power, or food spoiled by a lack of power. (Eater)

The MTA hired a contractor to handle its homeless outreach in Penn Station and Grand Central Terminal. Is anyone surprised that the MTA’s pick, Bowery Residents Committee, was slacking on the jobs, reporting false data, and regularly ignored people asking for help? A report from the state’s comptroller audit shone a spotlight on the shameful performance. (amNY)

The recount rages on between Queens Borough President Melinda Katz and Public Defender Tiffany Cabán. Cabán’s campaign has spent over $70,000 on its attorneys, while Katz has spent a total of $0 because hers are being provided by the Queens Democratic Party. How does this seem remotely fair? Blame a loophole in the state’s election laws. (Gothamist)

Will the Queens Night Market retain its name when it opens an output in Manhattan? (Time Out)

Pity the real estate developer who might not “break-even” on their plan to build a 105,000 square foot underground gym at the Atlantic Yards. The plan was postponed by the site’s board of directors who are investigating why an environmental impact study was not conducted. (Brooklyn Daily Eagle)

They won’t be able to legally drink for another six years, but Control the Sound is already playing bars and opening for Questlove. (Bedford + Bowery)

Okay, here are some answers about drinking alcohol on the city’s beaches. Here’s a hint: don’t make it obvious if you won’t want a fine. (amNY)

How to spend 10 hours in the Rockaways. (Brooklyn Based)

The 16th cyclist to be killed by a driver on the city’s streets in 2019 was 17-year-old Alex Cordero on Castleton Ave on Staten Island. (Streetsblog)

The 17th cyclist killed by a driver was being withheld, but they were killed on McGuinness Blvd in Williamsburg. There were a total of 10 cyclists killed by drivers in 2018. (Gothamist)

An oral history of Margot Gayle, an author, city councilmember, activist, and preservationist. (GVSHP)

The Fraunces Tavern unveiled a new exhibition, celebrating the 300 years of history that the building has witnessed and been a part of/a>. (amNY)

Traffic news rarely makes it into The Briefly, but the BQE near the Brooklyn Promenade will have multiple lanes shutdown overnight every night for the next month. (Brooklyn Paper)

The president is suing New York state for its recently passed law that would allow his tax returns to be made public. (Politico)

The Bronx Zoo will be bringing back its holiday light show now that LED technology will allow the Wildlife Conservation Society to run the show without violating its core mission of conservation. (amNY)

An alligator was found in the woods of Staten Island. How the hell did it get there? (SI Live)

It’s time to up your bar game, here are the best boat bars in the city. (6sqft)

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