The Briefly for February 23-25, 2021 – The “Movie Theaters Reopen on March 5” Tuesday Edition

The latest NYC news digest: The biggest idiot in New York, a deathbed confession links the NYPD to Malcolm X’s assassination, the best doughnuts and more

Today – Low: 34˚ High: 40˚
Drizzle in the morning and afternoon.

• Only an idiot would steal a bunch of merchandise from a Chanel store and then brag online about having enough merchandise to open a small boutique. Meet Eric Spencer, that alleged idiot, who was arrested in Florida for allegedly sticking up a SoHo Chanel store in broad daylight earlier this month. (Jake Offenhartz for Gothamist)

• Thanks to a deathbed confession, there is new evidence that the NYPD and FBI conspired in the assassination of Malcolm X. (Sydney Pereira for Gothamist)

The Metropolitan Opera may not return in 2021. The Met’s General Manager Peter Gelb is trying to cut wages 30% long term across the opera’s workforce and the stage employee union is standing up to Gelb with the campaign “Without People the Opera is Nothing.” (Bobby Panza for I Love the Upper West Side)

New York City movie theaters can reopen on March 5 at 25% capacity and PCR tests will not be required to enter. (Shaye Weaver for Time Out)

• The Times questions if Governor Cuomo’s bullying style can still work in politics, detailing years of intimidation, insults, and threats. (Jesse McKinley and Luis Ferré-Sadurní for NY Times)

• As reported last week, Pearl River Mart is re-opening this spring in a new location in Soho. (Elie Z. Perler for Bowery Boogie)

• Ask an epidemiologist: Dr. Jessica Justman on how to stay safe on the subway. The clean surfaces don’t matter nearly as much as wearing a mask and keeping your distance. (Sydney Pereira for Gothamist)

MTA transit crews will now give out a second mask to anyone who asks for it. (Anna Ben Yehuda for Time Out)

• Interview: What it’s like to start a nursing career during the Covid-19 crisis. (Alexa Shahrestani for Bedford + Bowery)

• While not NYC specific, this data visualization of the 500,000 American deaths due to the Coronavirus is absolutely staggering and worth of your time to understand its impact. (Sam Hart for Reuters)

• Advocates for charter schools hope more can reopen soon, after a judge ruled the city must include them in the program that provides free weekly tests at traditional public schools. The city is appealing the ruling, arguing the city’s obligation to provide free, random sample testing beyond Department of Education schools. (Jessica Gould for Gothamist)

The city now has a “recovery czar,” whatever that means. Recovery from the pandemic seems like it should be the top focus of the mayor, but since we haven’t fully recovered yet from Hurricane Sandy, we can hardly expect the mayor to treat this like it’s his job either. (Matt Troutman for Patch)

New FEMA-managed vaccination sites will open on Wednesday at Medgar Evers College in Brooklyn and York College in Queens with appointments available for people who are currently eligible and live in nearby zip codes. (Sydney Pereira for Gothamist)

• Despite what the mayor has publicly said, some second doses of the Covid-19 vaccine were delayed by the weather. NYC Health + Hospitals claim they will be resupplied by mid-week. (Caroline Lewis for Gothamist)

Madison Square Garden announced its first concert in 2021. Colombian reggaeton artist Maluma is scheduled to perform on October 1. (Amanda Hatfield for BrooklynVegan)

The Peoples Improv Theater is vacating its main location on East 24th Street. The PIT List and Pioneers bar on 29th St will remain for now. (Anne Victoria Clark for Vulture)

The NYCHA keeps poisoning kids with lead with apartments they declare are “lead-free.” It is shameful that the city has poisoned over 1,000 children in the last decade. (Greg B. Smith for The City)

• This is a great moment to ask the question “What is the NYCHA?” and other questions about public housing. (Rachel Holliday Smith for The City)

• The City Council seems ready to take a serious look at reducing certain helicopter traffic around the city to the degree that they can. (Gersh Kuntzman for Streetsblog)

• Podcast: Guiddalia Emilien discusses her run for mayor. (Ben Max for Gotham Gazette)

Who is running for Staten Island borough president? Surprise! They’re both Republicans. (David Cruz for Gothamist)

• If you’re horny for watching Trump lose, I’ve got some great news for you. The Supreme Court denied the unemployed Florida man’s attempts to block Manhattan District Attorney Cy Vance from obtaining eight years of his personal tax records. A grand jury will see his tax records “almost immediately.” (Jake Offenhartz for Gothamist)

• The city is severing its contracts with the Trump Organization to operate the Wollman Rink and Lasker Rink in Central Park ahead of April. The rinks will stay open through the end of the season despite the city first announcing they would close early. (Sydney Pereira for Gothamist)

• Photos: Check out these massive, climbable sculptures are headed to MoMA PS1. (Shaye Weaver for Time Out)

• Photos: The Lake in Central Park is frozen solid! (Michelle Young with photography by Ryan Lahiff for Untapped New York)

10 black baseball sites in New York City. (Dave Kaplan for Untapped New York)

The best doughnut shops in the city. (Swathi Reddy for Thrillist)

Thanks to reader Francesca for today’s featured photo!

The Briefly for February 12-13, 2021 – The “Mayor of Flavortown for Mayor of NYC” Friday Edition

The latest NYC news digest: Indoor dining returns today, new vaccination sites, mayoral candidates want more power over the MTA, splurge-worthy takeout and more

Today – Low: 21˚ High: 29˚
Mostly cloudy throughout the day.
This weekend – Low: 27˚ High: 37˚

• The annual Valentine’s Day tour of the Shit Tits in Greenpoint, the Newtown Creek Wastewater Treatment Facility, is going virtual. All the experience with none of the smell. of the city’s largest sewage plant. (Melissa Kravitz Hoeffner for Greenpointers)

• Forget the mayor of NYC. The Mayor of Flavortown is back in Manhattan. All hail Guy Fieri. (Erika Adams for Eater)

• Photos: Go back in time with this newly digitized library of photos of Central PArk in the 80s. (Jen Carlson for Gothamist)

• Remember when the NYPD started babysitting Christopher Columbus statues across the city? Well the NYPD are still babysitting these statues ten months later. (Jose Martinez for The City)

Construction will begin in the spring on Gansevoort Peninsula, Manhattan’s first public beach. The park will be built off Little West 12th St. (Christopher Robbins for Gothamist)

• In a surprise to everyone, New York concert venues and arenas can reopen on February 23. Each venue’s safety plan needs to be reviewed by the state, everyone needs proof of a negative PCR test within 3 days of the event, and venues that hold over 10,000 will have a maximum capacity of 10%. (Anna Ben Yehuda for Time Out)

How NYC’s bars and restaurants are preparing for today’s return to indoor dining. (Rachel Sugar for Grub Street)

“We’re grateful to be able to provide our guests with a slice of hope through an experience as simple as dining out. We welcome indoor dining not only as a lifeline for our business, but also as an opportunity to safely bring our customers a little more normalcy in these very abnormal times.”
– Simone Tiligna, co-owner of Sola Pasta Bar, Why I’m Opening My Restaurant for Indoor Dining in NYC for Eater

“One wonders why Cuomo can’t wait a little longer for more vaccines to come online, instead of conducting such a grand social experiment on a group of staffers who have disproportionately struggled during the pandemic. Latinx folks, for example, have suffered COVID death rates that are nearly double those of white New Yorkers.”
– Ryan Sutton, Cuomo’s Reckless Return to Indoor Dining Values NYC Restaurants Over Lives, for Eater

The top two affordable neighborhoods in NYC are Parkchester and Bedford Park in the Bronx. (Ed García Conde FOR Welcome2TheBronx)

• 2021 will be the year of legal marijuana in New York state? Maybe. Governor Cuomo and Democrats in the legislature can’t get on the same page when it comes to legal weed. (Caroline Lewis for Gothamist)

• The NYPD announced that it is ready to relinquish that responsibility to another city agency. The City Council is already debating stripping the NYPD of that responsibility as part of a package of bills aimed at police reform. (Christopher Robbins for Gothamist)

• The New York state Attorney General filed a lawsuit against Bevelyn Beatty and Edmee Chavannes, two anti-abortion protesters, accusing them of repeated “obstructive, threatening, harassing, and violent activity” at a Planned Parenthood clinic in Manhattan. Their behavior has continued through the pandemic without wearing masks. (Brooklyn Eagle)

• Turning away eligible people, poor communication, lack of translators, impossible appointments, navigators who can’t navigate. The Citi Field mass vaccination site is a Mets-level disaster. (Caroline Lewis for Gothamist)

• Starting at some point next week, 188 Walgreens sites, 75 Rite Aid sites and five Costco sites will have vaccinations available (in limited quantity). (Matt Troutman for Patch)

Vaccine stories from restaurant industry pros who’ve managed to get appointments range from ‘easy-peasy’ to ‘total shitshow.’ (Jennifer Joan Nelson for Brooklyn Magazine)

Three pop-up COVID-19 vaccination sites are set to open in northeast Queens, in Bayside, Jamaica and South Richmond Hill for Queens residents. (Jenna Bagcal for QNS)

Three small vaccine dispensary sites came online in the Lower East Side this week at community centers, public housing complexes, and cultural centers which will eventually lead to dispensaries opening at all 33 NYCHA Senior Housing Developments. (Elie Z Perler for Bowery Boogie)

• Covid-19 vaccine providers can start redistributing second doses if someone doesn’t get their second shot within the 42-day timeframe, including moving unused doses from long-term care facilities. (Sydney Pereira for Gothamist)

• The federal government increased New York’s vaccine allocation by 5% this week, making the new allocation “inadequate plus 5%.” (Matt Troutman for Patch)

• Andrew Yang has declared a new enemy: eternal sidewalk scaffolding. (Mark Hallum for amNewYork Metro)

• The mayoral race looks to AOC. (Katie Glueck for NY Times)

• In the eternal battle between the city and state, some mayoral candidates have begun talking about changing the balance of power of the MTA’s board to give the city a bigger say over the MTA. (Dave Colon for Streetsblog)

A look at Scott Stringer’s transportation plan, including more bike lanes, more pedestrian zones, reforming parking rules, reducing parking placards for city employees, more buses, and reducing community boards’ ability to block street safety projects. (Gersh Kuntzman for Streetsblog)

Here are the Republican candidates running for mayor. (Juan Manuel Benitez for NY1)

• Brownsville’s Betsy Head Park officially reopened to the public last week after a $30 million renovation. (Jake Samieske for Brooklyn Magazine)

Everything you need to know about buying your first home in NYC. (Jordi Lippe-McGraw for StreetEasy)

• Interactive Map: Explore New York City’s Black history with the Landmarks Preservation Commissions “Preserving Significant Places of Black History.” (Kevin Duggan for Brooklyn Paper)

• A new state mandate will ensure health insurance companies in New York must immediately cover fertility treatments for queer couples. (Tat Bellamy-Walker for Gay City News)

What does NYC’s Public Advocate do? (Afia Eama for Gothamist)

• Real Estate Lust: A $6.5 million Noho loft with huge, arched windows overlooking Broadway, 10-foot-long fireplace, 20 feet of closets in the main bedroom, and more. (Dana Schulz for 6qsft)

A guide to splurge-worthy takeout. (Emily Wilson for RESY)

The Briefly for January 5, 2021 – The “Thresholds? We Don’t Need No Stinkin Thresholds!” Tuesday Edition

The latest NYC news digest: Moynihan Train Hall opens, the city is failing its vaccine rollout, the best new restaurants of 2020, NYC’s first baby of 2021, and more

Today – Low: 33˚ High: 41˚
Mostly cloudy throughout the day.

Slash came out in support of city renaming a portion of St. Marks Jimmy Webb Place. There is a change.org petition if you want to add your name in support. (Bowery Boogie)

The top new restaurants in the city in 2020 from writers, photographers, chefs, restaurateurs, entrepreneurs, and elected officials. (Eater)

Video: Walking through the new Moynihan Train Hall in Penn Station. (ActionKid)

Photos: Inside the new Moynihan Train Hall. (Sophia Chang with photos by Jake Dobkin for Gothamist)

Did you know that old Penn Station had a women-only waiting room? (Ephemeral New York)

Photos: The art of the new Moynihan Train Hall. (Shaye Weaver for Time Out)

This January marks 75 years since the shutdown of the City Hall Station. (Nicole Saraniero for Untapped New York)

12 restaurants with heated outdoor dining in Queens. (Erika Adams for Eater)

There’s a new push to build a windmill farm off the shore of Sunset Park, spearheaded by Senator Charles Schumer, Public Advocate Jumaane Williams, and City Councilmember Carlos Menchaca. (Ariama C. Long for Kings County Politics)

Governor Cuomo has long said that if the city hits a 7-day 9% positivity rate for Covid-19, he would close the schools in the city. The city hit 9% and Governor Cuomo decided schools will stay open. (Alejandra O’Connell-Domenech for amNewYork Metro)

The more infectious UK strain of Covid-19 was found in New York state in Saratoga Springs. (Mark Hallum for amNewYork Metro)

The city has only used 25% of its Covid-19 vaccine allocation. The mayor announced a goal of one million vaccinations by the end of January. That’s going to be a tough task considering the city has only administered 110k vaccines as of this morning. (Dana Schulz for 6sqft)

The Coney Island History Project launched a new podcast, Coney Island Stories Podcast. If you missed the opportunity to get the sand in your shoes this year, take a dip into some history. (Coney Island History Project)

Bird Alert! A bald eagle was spotted in Central Park. (Mike Mishkin for I Love the Upper West Side)

Meet the NYC queens on this season of RuPaul’s Drag Race. (Rose Adams for Brooklyn Paper)

The NYPD will file charges against “SoHo Karen,” who accused a Black child of stealing her phone and scratched and tackled him in the process. (Ishena Robinson for The Root)

City Sheriffs broke up three New Year’s Eve parties, including a 300 person karaoke party in Queens. (Michael Wilson for NY Times)

Farewell to Sammy’s Roumanian Steakhouse, closing after 47 years, but it sounds like they have plans of reopening. (EV Grieve)

Max Rose is not running for mayor, saving himself a quick L. (NY1)

The NYPD’s 73rd Precinct tried a radical experiment for five days in December in what could be a model for the future. They removed police officers and replaced them with community members preventing minor incidents. (Yoav Gonen for The City)

10 new public art installations in NYC for January. (Nicole Saraniero for Untapped New York)

Public Advocate Jumaane Williams plans to appoint Cea Weaver, the campaign coordinator for Housing Justice for All, to the City Planning Commission. This would be one of thirteen seats on the commission. (Akiko Matsuda for The Real Deal)

Congrats to Ivett Rodriguez on the birth of her son Jaxel, the first baby in NYC to be born in 2021. (Robert Pozarycki for Brooklyn Paper)

Mayor de Blasio announced the there will be a special election on March 23 for the empty 11th and 15th City Council seats. (Alex Mitchell for amNewYork Metro)

This week is your last opportunity to own a piece of Gem Spa, the auction ends January 7. (Flaming Pablum)

Marine Park Democratic District Leader Lori Maslow resigned after a weird weekend Twitter rant against Chinese people. She’s since deleted her Twitter account. (Brian Braiker for Brooklyn Magazine)

A technical glitch that took down the NYC Department of Correction’s Inmate Lookup Service last month has left some incarcerated New Yorkers without access to their lawyers or families. (Jake Offenhartz for Gothamist)

State Senator Brian Benjamin is running for City Comptroller, the chief fiscal officer for the city, but The City has uncovered multiple phantom donations, including one from a two-year-old, to his campaign. Benjamin says that he will “return” the money. To whom? Not a great omen for someone who wants to oversee the city’s finances. (Clifford Michel for The City)

Six women have been assaulted at the Morgan Ave L Station since November. If you’re using this station, please be alert when you do. (Matt Fink for Bushwick Daily)

From the “No Sympathy” department comes this story from the Times on how difficult it is to find parking in NYC ever since car ownership soared this year. I used to live downstairs from a guy in Park Slope who never moved his car for street cleaning because, as he explained it, paying for every ticket you get because you don’t move your car is cheaper than paying for a spot in any garage in the neighborhood. (Christina Goldbaum for NY Times)

Be careful when crossing 1st Ave and 7th St, because the freshly prepared intersection is now the hole to some sinkholes. (EV Grieve)

Apartment Lust: An historic $4.4 million house in Park Slope’s historic district, complete with garage, two outdoor areas, a full bath in an unfinished basement, and four stories. (Susan De Vries for Brownstoner)

Know a restaurant that opened in 2020? Time Out is making a list. (Christina Izzo for Time Out)

Robert Sietsema’s 2020 in sandwiches. (Robert Sietsema for Eater)

Thanks to reader Zlata for today’s featured photo!