The Briefly for January 24, 2020 – The Weekend “Train Daddy Andy Byford Quit His Job” Edition

Today’s daily NYC news digest: A bed bug shuts down a subway station, e-bike legalization is on the horizon, cashless stores are a thing of the past, the best hot chocolate and more

Today – Low: 37˚ High: 49˚
Partly cloudy throughout the day.
This weekend – Low: 36˚ High: 51˚

A headline that cuts right to the bone: Millennials Love Zillow Because They’ll Never Own a Home. (Angela Lashbrook for OneZero)

How many bed bugs does it take to shut down and evacuate a subway station? One. (Jake Offenhartz for Gothamist)

The Stonewall Democratic Club of New York City endorsed Elizabeth Warren for president. (Matt Tracy for Gay City News)

A list of the “absolute best” hot chocolate in the city, with L.A. Burdick at the top of the list. (Leah Koenig for Grub Street)

Say farewell, Train Daddy has left the city. Andy Byford has quit as the president of New York City Transit. (Christina Goldbaum and Emma G. Fitzsimmons for NY Times)

In two years on the job, Andy Byford actually seemed to be doing good work. (Caroline Spivack for Curbed)

Why Andy, why? The likely reason we’re being left behind is the impending MTA restructuring. (Robert Pozarycki for amNewYork Metro)

I don’t think there’s any truth that Byford couldn’t get along with me” -Governor Cuomo, who almost 100% had trouble getting along with Andy Byford. (Mark Hallum for amNewYork Metro)

Will the MTA’s progress be delayed because of Byford’s departure? According to City Councilmember Joe Borelli, “Unfortunately, we lost the good guy and we’re stuck with Andrew.” (Gloria Pazmino for NY 1)

Limited edition ‘Star Trek: Picard’ MetroCards are available at the 14th St and 7th Ave on the 1/2/3, 28th St and 7th Ave on the 1, 57th St and 6th Ave on the F, 42nd St at Union Square on the 4/5/6/L/N/Q/R/W, and 28th and Broadway on the R/W. The MetroCards will be available for the next three weeks. (Ben Yakas for Gothamist)

A preview of the new Hayden Planetarium space show Worlds Beyond Earth, narrated by Lupita Nyong’o. (Jennifer Vanasco for Gothamist)

What’s going to replace Fat Baby on Rivington? Who knows, because the replacement has already been evicted. If you’ve got $23,000 a month, it could be yours. (Bowery Boogie)

Governor Cuomo will push the state’s legislature to pass his electric bike and scooter legalization bill next week, with April 1 being the worst case scenario. (Christopher Robbins for Gothamist)

The comments about pushing the legalization came when talking criticizing the de Blasio administration’s “arbitrary” enforcement of the ban with “no uniformity.” Where he sees no leadership from Mayor de Blasio, he intends to create it himself. (Gresh Kuntzman for Streetsblog)

Cashless stores are a thing of the past. The City Council passed a ban on cashless stores on Thursday, citing that a cash-free business is discriminating against consumers who aren’t in a position to have a back banking you. (Collier Sutter for Time Out)

Anyone Comics in Crown Heights is hosting a 24-hour comic book creation marathon on February 1.

According to a new study, the two most livable neighborhoods in the city are Battery Park and Brooklyn Heights. (Emily Davenport for amNewYork Metro)

Five sights that show how much lower Manhattan has changed. (Jane Margolies for NY Times)

Fairway filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy and will sell off five stores to complete a sale to the company that operates ShopRite and Gourmet Garage. The stores it will sell off are the Upper West Side, Upper East Side, Chelsea, Harlem and Kips Bay. (Chris Crowley is Grub Street)

Mean Girls: The Musical is becoming a movie. Mean Girls: The Movie: The Musical: The Movie: The Book, coming to theaters soon? (Adam Feldman for Time Out)

Governor Cuomo’s $2 billion AirTrain to LaGuardia has ulterior motives: more overall parking. (Eve Kessler for Streetsblog)

The Kehinde Wiley and Amy Sherald portraits of Barack and Michelle Obama are coming to the Brooklyn Museum on August 27 and will be there through October 24. (Howard Halle for Time Out)

Six of the oldest cars on the Upper West Side. (David Cunningham for I Love the Upper West Side)

Seven years ago, Brooklyn borough president Marty Markowitz announced Brooklyn would gets its own friendship arch as a gift from the Chinese government to be placed to welcome people to Brooklyn’s Chinatown. After years of planning and announcements, the project appears to be dead. (Yoav Gonan for The City)

Op/Ed: The argument against rezoning Soho/Noho to allow more affordable housing to be built is an argument that recognizes when the city talks about rezoning for affordable housing, they also rezone for super-luxury apartment buildings. (Andrew Berman for GVSHP)

This Sunday is Australia Day, here are 11 ways to celebrate. (Alexandra Alexa for 6sqft)

Chopt is buying Dos Toros. The new owners are keeping the restaurant chains separate, but they will share a loyalty program. (Tanay Warerkar for Eater)

Congrats to ActionKid on his silver YouTube play button, celebrating 100,000 subscribers. He celebrated by taking a sunrise walk with his new plaque into Manhattan. (ActionKid)

Luxury condo prices are at their lowest levels since 2013, hitting $3,816,835, and the surplus of unsold luxury apartments is still high. Over 25% of Manhattan’s luxury apartments are sitting empty. (Valeri Ricciulli for Curbed)

Photos: For the last few days, a Bald Eagle has been seen in Riverside Park. (D. Bruce Yolton for Urban Hawks)

How John Mulaney spends his Sundays. (Paige Darrah for NY Times)

21 restaurants ideal for solo diners. (Diana Hubbell for Eater)

The Briefly for January 21, 2020 – The “Go Back to Iowa, Go Back to Ohio” Edition

Today’s daily NYC news digest: The pink gumball machine mystery has been solved, the secrets of the city’s oldest comedy barker, the true history of Central Park’s Great Lawn, and more

Today – Low: 21˚ High: 32˚
Clear throughout the day.

A longtime staffer to Assemblyperson Catherine Nolan and Long Island City resident, Edwin Cadiz, has been named the 2020 NAACP “Man of the Year.” (QNS)

The origin of the pink gumball machines that popped up around Manhattan and Brooklyn has been revealed. They were installed in promotion of Strokes’s drummer Fabrizio Moretti’s new project called machinegum. (Bill Pearis for BrooklynVegan)

“”Go back to Iowa, you go back to Ohio. New York City belongs to the people that were here and made New York City what it is,” is a fine thing for your local loon to scream on a corner, but not for Eric Adams, the current borough president of Brooklyn and mayoral hopeful in 2021. The comments came at an event in Harlem about Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s impact, where more than a few speakers spoke about gentrification without weirdly xenophobic comments. He followed it up with “I’m a New Yorker. I protected this city. I have a right to put my voice in how this city should run.” (Gloria Pazmino for NY1)

Internal emails show that New York City’s special drug prosecutor has a database of police officers with potential honesty problems. Similar databases from the DA’s office from each of the five boroughs’ offices have been released thanks to Freedom of Information requests. (George Joseph for Gothamist)

Video: Inside Staten Island’s secret Chinese Scholar’s Garden. (ActionKid)

The Union Square Coffee Shop neon “COFFEE” sign was replaced with a Chase bank sign. (EV Grieve)

Apartment Porn: Go inside this $4 million custom build Williamsburg penthouse loft apartment. (Matt Coneybeare for Viewing NYC)

Gospel Missionary Baptist Church was booted from West 149th Street near Riverside Drive after a foreclosure sale, despite more than two decades in the neighborhood, thanks to a foreclosure sale due to unpair condo fees. (Sydney Pereira for Gothamist)

89.5% of jaywalking tickets in 2019 went to blacks and Hispanics and the city’s politicians are taking notice of the seemingly racist enforcement by the NYPD. (Gersh Kuntzman for Streetsblog)

The home of “The Original Spaghetti Donut” is coming to Smith St in Brooklyn. (Katia Kelly for Pardon Me For Asking)

An interview with the New York Knicks’ Reggie Bullock about Pride Night at MSG and his LGBTQ activism since the murder of his transgender sister Mia. (Matt Tracy for Gay City News)

The city’s 30 most dangerous school zones for pedestrians and cyclists. (Emily Davenport for amNewYork Metro)

You know what’s better than camera enforcement of cars blocking bus lanes? Streets without cars. (Gersh Kuntzman for Streetsblog)

Video: Watch the day turn to night behind lower Manhattan in a time lapse. (Matt Coneybeare for Viewing NYC)

After two water main breaks in one week caused extensive delays across the MTA, the MTA announced they’ll be examining the infrastructure in hopes of avoiding similar situations in the future. They also put blame on the city for slow response times to the broken water mains. (Hannah Rosenfield for I Love the Upper West Side)

In praise of the long dessert menu. (Nikita Richardson for Grub Street)

The secrets of Pete Burdette, the elder statesman of the city’s comedy club barkers who always keeps a rubber chicken in his pocket. (Alex Taub for NY Times)

Central Park’s Great Lawn began its existence not as a place to exercise or relax, but as a symbol of crippling poverty during the Great Depression. (Sam Neubauer for I Love the Upper West Side)

Nightmare: Your AirPods Pro headphone falls out of your ear and down a sidewalk grate. What do you do? Here’s how to get them back. (Sandra E. Garcia for NY Times)

The best speakeasy-themed bars in the city. (Amber Sutherland-Namako for Thrillist)

The Briefly for January 13, 2019 – The “Caught Speeding Without Consequence” Edition

Today’s daily NYC news digest: Fingers start pointing over Book Culture’s closure, a tribute to Bowie, the NYC Bar Association calls for an investigation of William Barr, and more

Today – Low: 37˚ High: 48˚
Overcast throughout the day.

A water main broke near Lincoln Center, causing flooding and train delays between 96th and Tims Square on the Upper West Side. (@tomkaminskiwcbs)

A timeline of the incidents that caused 300 subway cars to be pulled from the MTA’s fleet last week. The cars are sidelined “indefinitely.” (Stephen Nessen for Gothamist)

The biggest Harry Potter store in the world is opening in the city this summer in the former Restoration Hardware in Flatiron. (Shaye Weaver for Time Out)

Warner Brothers asked Manhattan’s Community Board 5 if it could install a dragon on the facade of the 19 century building to a frosty reception. (Dennis Lynch for The Real Deal)

If you want to apply to join your Community Board in Manhattan, the deadline is coming up. Make sure to have your application postmarked by the 21st. (Holly Louise Perry for Bowery Boogie)

The Reckless Driver Accountability Act was introduced in 2018. The bill would boot or impound the cars of anyone who received five or more red light or speed camera violations in a year until an accountability program was completed. Since its introduction, 362 have been killed on the city’s roads. What is the holdup in City Council? (Mark Hallum for amNewYork Metro)

The city’s speed cameras caught cabs speeding 117,042 times in 2019. (Gersh Kuntzman for Streetsblog)

An argument to dissolve the city’s Economic Development Corporation, represented by its 27 member unelected board appointed by the mayor and has an oversized amount of influence on the city’s direction. (Emily Sharp for Queens Eagle)

Photos: The 2020 No Pants Subway Ride. (Todd Maisel for amNewYork)

Net neutrality, consumer protections, women’s equity, and more of 16 notable proposals not included in Governor Cuomo’s State of the State speech. (Samir Khurshid for Gotham Gazette)

“If we’re going to discuss gun safety, what’s a nautical themed way to make a nod toward that?” An interview with the artist who helped create the masterpiece that is Governor Cuomo’s fever dream poster. (Jake Offenhartz for Gothamist)

Central Park’s Sheep Meadow earned that nickname, giving a home to about 200 sheep up through the 1930’s, as part of Olmstead and Vaux’s original vision for the park. (Sam Neubauer for I Love the Upper West Side)

Protected bike lanes are coming to Franklin and Quay streets on the Greenpoint-Williamsburg border. (Kevin Duggar for Brooklyn Paper)

Here’s a fun riddle: How do you pay for a MetroCard if no bills are accepted, no coins are accepted, no credit cards are accepted, no debit cards are accepted, no single tickets are given and only exact change is allowed? (ActionKid)

The Broadway-Lafayette station, the closest station to his old home, sported a tribute to David Bowie four years after his death. (Elie Perler for Bowery Boogie)

The New York City Bar Association is calling on Congress to investigate whether William Barr is too politically biased to fulfill his legal obligations as the nation’s attorney general. (Mary Papenfuss for HuffPost)

A new bill from Queens City Council Member Francisco Moya would declare aliens from another planet and replace “alien” and “illegal immigrant” with “noncitizen.” (Kathleen Culliton for Patch)

Interactive Map: How frequently subway lines and buses are delayed across the city. (Viewing NYC)

What does the mayor have to say about Politico’s “Wasted Potential” series, which shows just how piss poor the city has been at recycling after Mayor de Blasio’s 2015 pledge to reduce the garbage shipped out of the city? “I’ll have more to say on it in the coming weeks as we figure out the next steps of what we have to do.” Basically nothing. (Danielle Muoio for Politico)

The federal government has launched an investigation into the Hunter’s Point Library for possible violations of the Americans with Disabilities Act. (NY1)

With 119 points on their health department inspection, Tyme & Patience Bakery & Grill has the early lead on highest violation of the year. (Adam Nichols for Patch)

After coming right up to the brink, Neir’s Tavern in Woodhaven has a new lease, literally. A handshake deal between landlord and bar owner will extend the bar’s lease five years, which means we could be back in the position again in a few years. The landlord caved after a combination of public pressure from the Mayor de Blasio, Assemblyman Mike Miller, and City Council Member Robert Holden all made their support of Neir’s public and help from the city to get the building up to code. (Carlotta Mohamed for QNS)

When Schneps Media buys a publication, it means journalists get fired. When Schneps Media bought amNewYork, most of the editorial staff was laid off. When Schneps Media bought Metro, they laid off the entire editorial staff without severance and at this point no former editorial staffers from either publication works for amNewYork Metro, the new Schneps Media Frankenstein. (Jake Offenhartz for Gothamist)

After buying Metro and laying off their editorial staff without any severance, Victoria Schneps went on vacation in the Poconos for facials and massages. (Victoria Schneps for QNS)

Marie’s Crisis is a New York institution where singing along to the musical theater song being played by the pianists is always encouraged. The name came from a work of Thomas Payne, who died at that address in 1809, American Crisis and the original owner Marie DeMont. (Atlas Obscura)

A harlequin duck, native to the Pacific northwest was spotted in Sheepshead Bay, an exciting find for New York’s bird crowd. An unusually warm winter has extended the birdwatching season past its usual November ending. (Jessica Parks for Brooklyn Paper)

Is the city monitoring and mapping the locations of homeless New Yorkers? that’s the worry behind The Coalition for the Homeless pulling its support for Mayor de Blasio’s homelessness command center after seeing a photo published of the NYPD’s massive surveillance operation. (Kathleen Culliton for Patch)

I am in love with single story buildings in Manhattan. Manhattan has a tendency to feel like it’s literally overbearing and coming across a single story building is like a quick breath of air. It’s why Adam Friedberg’s Single-Story Project exhibit at the Center for Architecture is so appealing to me. The exhibit is on display through February 29th. (Elizabeth Kim for Gothamist)

South Richmond Hill, Queens is mourning Maria Fuertes, the neighborhood’s beloved 92-year-old cat lady who was attacked close to her home and was found dead on the sidewalk. A suspect has been arrested and charged with murder and sex abuse. (Andrea Salcedo for NY Times)

A look back at Kawkab America, America’s first Arabic newspaper, which launched in 1892 in New York. (Mateo Nelson for Bedford + Bowery)

I’ve fallen in love with ActionKid’s video walks around the city. While this may seem trivial now, having video like this is a great document to have of the city in a specific point in time. At the pace the city is changing, even in a few months this same walk could be drastically different. From Long Island City to Bushwick on foot, narrated. (ActionKid)

Book Culture’s majority owner Chris Doeblin is blaming the city marshal seizure of the store on corporate greed, but pretty much everyone else including his business partners and landlord blame his mismanagement. (Gwynne Hogan for Gothamist)

Anassa, Cantina 33, and Shang Kitchen join Eater’s list of the hottest restaurants in Queens. (Eater)

Thanks to reader Zlata for today’s featured photo!