The Briefly for January 20, 2020 – The “You Trust the MTA, Right?” Edition

Today’s daily NYC news digest: Martin Luther King’s address to Queens College, the de Blasio’s aren’t done with NYC, your ConEd bill will increase for years to come, and more

Today – Low: 21˚ High: 43˚
Possible drizzle in the morning.

“I still have faith in the future. However dark the night, however dreary the day, I still believe that we shall overcome.” -Martin Luther King Jr at his address to Queens College in 1965 as part of the John F. Kennedy Memorial Lectures. (Carlotta Mohamed for QNS)

Listen to clips from the May 13, 1965 address. (Queens College Civil Rights Archives)

Martin Luther King Jr, in his own words, on anti-Semitism. (Martin Luther King Jr in the Village Voice, 1967)

The neighborhood with the highest median prices in any neighborhood in the city is in Cobble Hill in Brooklyn. Prices increased 117% in a decade going from $1.15 million to $2.5 million. (Emily Davenport for amNewYork Metro)

The L train slowdown will finish with a $850 million budget below the initially announced budget by $75 million. If you want proof, you’ll just have to trust the MTA, because there has been no review and no public accounting for the cost savings. You trust the MTA, right? (Stephen Nessen and Christopher Robbins for Gothamist)

The Upper West Side and water mains aren’t getting along this month. A water main broke at the corner of 102nd and Central Park West, causing havoc on traffic and the A, C, and D trains. (Jen Chung for Gothamist)

Our subways continue to fall apart. This time a piece of a wall along the F/G train fell onto the sidewalk below with no reported injuries. According to the MTA the wall is over a century old and they are now conducting inspections in the area. (Ben Yakas for Gothamist)

The history of how Mayor Fiorello LaGuardia fought the mob by banning artichokes. (Mark Hay for Atlas Obscura)

The East Side Coastal Resiliency project may force the Lower East Side Ecology Center, a compost yard in East River Park that takes in eight tons of compost a week, to relocate to an MTA lot in East Harlem by April. (Caroline Spivack for Curbed)

How will New York defend itself against the horrors of the next Hurricane Sandy? It’s still up for debate, but one of five options being explored is a $119 billion seawall that would take 25 years to build and may not prevent flooding caused by rising sea levels. (Anne Barnard for NY Times)

Is Community Board 2’s wealth and political connections preventing Soho and Soho from being rezoned for the first time since the 70s? (Elizabeth Kim for Gothamist)

Renderings: A look at the future look of the Hudson Yards with 3 Hudson Boulevard. Spoiler: it’s another large glass building. (Michelle Cohen for 6sqft)

Papyrus is closing all of its stores, including the dozen plus stores in Manhattan. Looking for cheap cute paper goods? They’re liquidating everything. (Mike Mishkin for I Love the Upper West Side)

12 hidden gems of Lincoln Square and Lincoln Center. (Michelle Young for Untapped New York)

Will the Gowanus Canal ever be clean? Simple answer: no, and here’s why. (Joseph Alexiou for Brooklyn Eagle)

Mandatory helmet laws do two things: They reduce cycling and increase head injuries. (Jessica Roberts and Caron Whitaker for Streetsblog)

Homeless deaths in New York City are up 40% year over year. (Cindy Rodriguez for Gothamist)

It’s a Broadway musical about emojis, and it’s a Times Critic’s Pick. (Laura Collins-Hughes for NY Times)

The landlord and two contractors in the East Village who installed an illegal gas line which lead to an explosion that killed two men, injured over a dozen, and destroyed two buildings, Maria Hrynenko, was sentenced to 4-12 years for manslaughter for their roles in the explosion. (Aaron Randle for NY Times)

Schools Chancellor Richard Carranza refused to answer the father of a teenager who was sexually assaulted at M.S. 158 in Bayside during an education town hall2 and eventually cut the town hall short and left without addressing the issue with the crowd. (Jenna Bagcal for amNewYork Metro)

Want to go out to eat for a good cause? Here are the NYC restaurants raising money for Australia. (Nikita Richardson or Grub Street)

After being called out for turning a “play street” cul-de-sac into a teacher’s parking lot at Park Slope’s M.S. 51, a Department of Education spokesperson said teachers would stop abusing their parking placards and no longer park there. That was a blatant lie. (Streetsblog)

Photos: Take a loo kinsinde The Sill’s first Brooklyn brick-and-mortar store in Cobble Hill. (Alexandra Alexa for 6sqft)

New Yorkers pay 35-40% more for electricity than the rest of the country, and expect what you pay to increase by over 4% each year for the next three years. The state approved rate hikes for ConEd. We really held them accountable for their service outages. (Jake Offenhartz for Gothamist)

The Trump administration is using a rape and murder as a way to condemn New York’s sanctuary city policy. (Annie Correal for NY Times)

A new law in New York City lets parents remove their obstetricians’ names if their medical licenses were revoked for misconduct. (Michael Gold for NY Times)

Evelyn Yang, whose husband is Democratic hopeful Andrew Yang, is one of 18 patients suing obstetrician Dr. Robert A Hadden for sexual abuse. In 2016, Manhattan DA CyVance’s office agreed to a plea deal with Hadden that involved no jail time for his crimes and reduced his sex-offender status to Level 1, keeping his name off online lists of offenders. (Sophia Chang for Gothamist)

The husband of “Mob Wives” star Drita D’avanzo is facing federal charges after he and his wife were arrested on state weapons charges last month. So guess it’s not just a clever name for a TV show. (Emily Davenport for amNewYork Metro)

Ready for the next step in the war on cigarettes? The Tobacco Product Waste Reduction Act would ban the sale of single-use cigarette filters, virtually all cigarettes, framed as an anti-pollution measure. The bill was introduced in the state senate with three co-sponsors. (Jake Offenhartz for Gothamist)

The de Blasio family is not done with New York City. Mayor de Blasio is reportedly pushing Chirlane McCray, his wife, to run for Brooklyn borough president. Supposedly the de Blasio’s would give an endorsement to Eric Adams for mayor in exchange for an endorsement of McCray for borough president. (Matt Troutman for Patch)

Here’s what is known about the BQX‘s design. (Kevin Duggan for Brooklyn Paper)

What else is there to do at the Brooklyn Navy Yard after you’ve shopped at Brooklyn’s new favorite supermarket? (Meredith Craig de Pietro for Brooklyn Based)

There was once a rumor that John Wilkes Booth’s diary was hidden in an abandoned subway tunnel under Atlantic Avenue. While the diary hasn’t been found, you can find Le Boudoir, a speakeasy partially built inside the tunnel, through a secret door at Chez Moi. (Reina Gattuso for Atlas Obscura)

12 actually quiet restaurants to try. (Beth Landman for Eater)

The Briefly for January 16, 2020 – The “Most Important Story Today: Our Mayor’s Dumb Bagel Order” Edition

Today’s daily NYC news update: A look at the propsoed Rock Center renovation, a guide to donating in NYC, the impeachment features a Queens vs Brooklyn fight, and more

Today – Low: 23˚ High: 49˚
Light rain in the morning.

The story of how Anne Carroll Moore successfully banned Goodnight Moon from New York’s Public Libraries for 25 years. (Dan Kois for Slate)

National Grid is digging a natural gas pipeline that runs through Bushwick and Williamsburg and connects to Maspeth. People are predictably angry. (Kevin Duggan for Brooklyn Paper)

New Jersey tried to claim it has the best bagels. Stick to Bon Jovi and Springsteen, jerkwads. (Ben Yakas for Gothamist)

I don’t go out of my way to call Mayor de Blasio an idiot, even if 100% of respondents from The Briefly said they don’t think he’s doing a good job, but I can’t resist here. Our idiot mayor took to Twitter to declare the best bagel in New York is a toasted wheat bagel with cream cheese. Excuse me? Toasted wheat? What else would you expect from someone who eats pizza with a fork and loves the Red Sox? (Chris Crowley for Grub Street)

Here’s the best part of the “idiot mayor orders bagel for idiots” story. The very specific bagel he is referring to, toasted wheat with cream cheese from the Bagel Hole in Park Slope is not possible to get at the Bagel Hole. The Bagel Hole does not toast bagels or even own a bagel toaster. The mayor deleted the offending tweet. (Kathleen Culliton for Patch)

While were on the subject of politicians with bad bagel orders, let’s not forget Cynthia Nixon’s abomination of a bagel order. (Whitney Filloon for Eater)

The Parks Department needs to remove and move nearly 15,000 tons of lead-contaminated soil from the Red Hook ballfields. Where will it go? Concrete is being recycled in the city and the rest is being hauled off in trucks to a landfill in Falls Township, PA. (Helene Stapinkski for NY Times)

Governor Cuomo was in Puerto Rico this week to survey the damage done by the series of earthquakes that have plagued the island. This is a task that would any normal president would be doing, but we do not live in normal times. (Anna Gronewald for Politico)

The A/C/E lines have been approved for a signal upgrade, which should start later this year with the signals replaced from Columbus Circle to High St by 2025. (Mary Frost for Brooklyn Eagle)

The Onion: Top 10 things to do in New York City. (The Onion)

The Parks Department had plans to renovate Fort Greene Park, but the New York Supreme Court has decided that the 30-acre landscape would not be subject to a redesign or the removal of 83 mature trees until a proper environmental impact review is conducted. (Sydney Franklin for The Architect’s Newspaper)

New Brooklyn bars and restaurants to check out this winter. (Jennifer Indig for Brooklyn Based)

Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents continued to arrest people in and around New York courthouses in 2019, flouting a state directive to curtail such operations, according to a new report from the Immigrant Defense Project. (Jake Offenhartz for Gothamist)

Photos: Buzz-a-Rama is the city’s last slot car raceway. Run by Frank “Buzz” Perri, Buzz-A-Rama is open on the weekends in Kensington from September through June. (Michelle Young for Untapped New York)

The IDNYC program is now making cards available in braille and have added new perks for cardholders, including more free one-year memberships to cultural institutions and free admission to the Queens Botanical Garden on Wednesdays. (Emily Davenport for amNewYork Metro)

Congrats smokers, New York is the most expensive state for smokers. (Kathleen Culliton for Patch)

Video: Watch Christmas trees go from curb to mulch. (Matt Coneybeare for Viewing NYC)

The state’s Board of Elections are considering buying a new system of voting machines that are less secure than our current systems, expensive, and can’t handle a ranked choice voting election, which we will see in the city in 2021. (Brigid Bergin for Gothamist)

A guide to drinking and buying natural wine. (Hannah Howard for Grub Street)

Here are the eight candidates for Queens borough president that will be on the ballot on March 24: Council Members Jimmy Van Bramer, Costa Constantinides, Donovan Richards; former Council Member Elizabeth Crowley; former Assistant District Attorney Jim Quinn, police reform advocate Anthony Miranda, William Kregler, Danniel Maio, and Dao Yin. (Allie Griffin got Jackson Heights Post)

The city effectively deregulated a so-called “play street” located outside of a Park Slope middle school earlier this month, eliminating recreational space for students in favor of placard parking for teachers and faculty. In an even more incompetent move, the city claims the special designation of “play street” was revoked in 2014, but no one removed the sign until a few weeks ago. (Ben Verde for Brooklyn Paper)

What should you do if you one across a seal? It may seem like a weird question in New York City, but this week there have already been three seal sightings reported across the city. First and foremost, don’t approach it. Are you some kind of marine mammal expert? You’re probably not. Call the New York Marine Rescue Center’s 24-hour hotline (631-369-9829). (Ben Yakas for Gothamist)

Spring cleaning is coming soon. A guide to donating your clothes, furniture, books, and electronics. (Valeria Ricciulli for Curbed)

Renderings: See the proposed renovations to Rockefeller Center. (Alexandra Alexa for 6sqft)

The Christmas Tree in Rockefeller Center has been replaced by a giant peacock. (Michelle Young for Untapped New York)

Renders: The Hudson Yards shared renderings of the next phase of development in an attempt to dispel rumors of plans to build a wall to separate the Western Yards from the rest of us plebes. (Alexandra Alexa for 6sqft)

Representatives Jerrold Nadler and Hakeem Jeffries from Brooklyn will serve as the house managers for the impeachment hearings in the Senate, setting up a Queens vs Brooklyn battle on a federal level. (Paula Katinas for The Brooklyn Home Reporter)

Video: A walk from Wall Street to Downtown Brooklyn. (ActionKid)

A panel appointed by Mayor de Blasio and others intends to propose a public-private partnership to bailout thousands of taxi drivers trapped in exploitative loans that could cost as much as $500 million. (Brian M. Rosenthal for NY Times)

A look inside Brownie’s Hobby Shop, one of the city’s last true hobby shops. (Amanda Fairinacci for NY1)

Chief Martine Materasso is the first woman to lead the NYPD’s Bureau of Counterterrorism. (Jeanine Ramirez for NY1)

Some answers, not satisfying ones but they’re still answers, about what the hell is going on with Grand Central’s lack of accessibility. (Shumita Basu for Gothamist)

20 stellar jewish delis. (Robert Sietsema for Eater)

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)