The Briefly for October 18-19, 2020 – The “Phenomenal Cosmic Powers!” Sunday Edition

The latest NYC news digest: The plastic bag ban is back, empty office space is nearly at post-9/11 levels, how to celebrate Halloween, live music outdoors, and more

Today – Low: 55˚ High: 64˚
Partly cloudy throughout the day.

The state passed bail reform last in 2019 and it took effect at the beginning of the year. Since the beginning of the year, people have been poking holes in it. The latest is judges are using overly complicated partially secured bonds to keep people imprisoned. (Akash V. Mehta for NY Focus in partnership with The City)

In 2015, President Obama called the Gateway project better connecting New York and New Jersey “the most important project in the country.” Here’s a look at how the Trump administration has destroyed it. (Stephen Nessen for Gothamist)

Apartment Porn: Rachel Maddow’s West Village apartment is for sale for $2.4 million. (Dana Schulz for 6sqft)

Back in March, the state’s legislature gave Governor Cuomo “unlimited” power and maybe it’s time to rethink that. (Gwynne Hogan for Gothamist)

Bring your totes, NYC’s plastic bag enforcement kicks off for real on Monday. Bring your totes. (Matt Troutman for Patch)

16 bars and restaurants with live music outdoors. (Hannah Albertine for The Infatuation)

The pandemic drinking experience is still more convivial than drinking at home, but in bars forced to operate under elaborate and restrictive anti-COVID-19 setups, the experience sometimes more closely evokes the transactional nature of an airport Buffalo Wild Wings than a place where everybody knows your name.
-Ryan Sutton, When Will New York’s Bars Feel Like Bars Again? for Eater

A wedding with over 10,000 guests? It’s planned for Monday in Williamsburg, but the state is stepping in and demanding that the Hasidic wedding of a grandchild of the community’s leader is limited to 50 people. (Sophia Chang for Gothamist)

In a geographically and time-challenging move, The Queens Night Market has opened in Rockefeller Center from 11am-5pm. (Bao Ong for Time Out)

Video: Go beyond the pail with a look at what happens to metal, glass, and plastic recycling after the curb. (Matt Coneybeare for Viewing NYC)

“Trans women, particularly trans women of more color, are being killed with impunity, and it is past time to meet that emergency with real change that can end this epidemic of violence. Today I am calling upon the governor to acknowledge anti-trans violence as a state of crisis, and encourage the mayor and all of my colleagues in government to join me and the countless advocates who have joined us today in developing comprehensive plans that put an end to anti-trans violence once and for all.” -Public Advocate Jumaane Williams on two bills he’s introducing to the City Council to require medical professionals be trained to care for transgender and gender non-conforming patients and to include signage in all hospitals showing transgender patients’ rights and services available. (Paul Schindler for Gay City News)

A 2020 election reading list. (Sara Webster for Brooklyn Based)

“We don’t know yet how many restaurants will be razed by the pandemic. Anecdotally, the answer seems to be: a lot. Every few days, another restaurant closes, and every few days, I think, Oh, I never went.”
-Rachel Sugar, Mourning the Restaurants I’ll Never Get to Visit, for Grub Street

A look at the dozen vegan or vegetarian restaurants that have opened during the pandemic and how personal politics, sustainability, and price all play a part in their successes. (Emma Orlow for Eater)

Vegan “kind of Chineses” Fat Choy gets a Quick Bites review, “an instant winner.” (Scott Lynch for Gothamist)

11 helpful New York social distancing hacks. Don’t hold the door, the smell of perfume is a bad sign, and more. (Shaye Weaver for Time Out)

Budgeting for an NYC rental: rent to income ratio. (Erika Riley for StreetEasy)

Fracking doesn’t seem like an NYC-centric story until you read about protestors who locked themselves to a fracked gas pipeline construction project in Williamsburg on Thursday morning. (Kevin Duggan for Brooklyn Paper)

Manhattan’s empty office space is creeping towards post-9/11 levels. (Greg David for The City)

The Loisaida Open Streets Community Coalition is seeking volunteers to help set up barricades in the mornings/evenings. (EV Grieve)

Turns out Chirlane McCray, leader of the city’s Thrive NYC initiative and wife of Mayor de Blasio will not be running for Brooklyn borough president. There are eight candidates who have already created campaign committees. (Brigid Bergin for Gothamist)

Want to own a piece of the Waldorf Astoria? The hotel is auctioning off over 15,000 fine furnishings. (Justin Wu for Untapped New York)

The MTA is piloting a new air filtration and purification system on the LIRR and MetroNorth that the manufacturer claims can capture and kill 99.9998% of viruses and other germs through a three-stage process, including Covid-19. (Stephen Nessen for Gothamist)

Wilmer Ferrara attempted to climb the New York Times building, but only got as high as the sixth floor and got tired, waiting for the police to get him. He was arrested. (ABC7)

Meet Ronald Lauder, the billionaire Republican trying to fight a Democratic supermajority in the state. A supermajority would give the legislature much more power against Governor Cuomo when it comes to budget discussions. (Jesse McKinley for NY Times)

The NYPD’s oversight board will recommend discipline for Officer Wayne Isaacs, more than four years after the cop fatally shot Delrawn Small in front of his girlfriend and two children. (Jake Offenhartz for Gothamist)

NOAA has released their winter prediction for New York and it looks like we’re in for a dried and warmer winter than usual. (Adam Nichols for Patch)

Get ready, because restaurants can legally add a 10% “recovery charge to your bill starting this weekend. (Bao Ong for Time Out)

An independent commission tasked with reviewing institutional racism in the New York court system detailed a “culture of toxicity and unprofessionalism” among court officers across the state in a report from the Equal Justice in the Courts task force. (Noah Singer for Brooklyn Eagle)

A planned move of homeless men from the Lucerne Hotel on the Upper West Side to another hotel in the Financial District will proceed after a state Supreme Court judge declined to block the move. (Sophia Chang for Gothamist)

Construction on the 2/3/4/5 between Franklin Ave in Brooklyn and Manhattan will interrupt traveling for 64 weekends over the course of 33 months. Oh boy. (Claude Scales for Brooklyn Heights Blog)

The best ways to celebrate Halloween 2020 in NYC. (6sqft)

The Briefly for March 3, 2020 – The “Kill it! Kill It All With Bleach!” Edition

Today’s daily NYC news digest: Inside a Bushwick arts collective, Gale Brewer accidentally violates the Civil Rights Act of 1968, the tale of two of “the city’s best” burgers, and more

Today – Low: 43˚ High: 58˚
Light rain starting in the afternoon.

A look inside Bohemian Grove, part venue, part apartment building full of artists and performers that are all paying under $1,000 rent and that is, yes, in Bushwick. (Kim Kelsey for NY Times)

Video: A POV experience going to the top of One World Observatory. (ActionKid)

An argument that restaurant letter grades, health inspections, and fines work against the public interest and instead are a great source of revenue for the city. (Demian Repucci for Grub Street)

Governor Cuomo directed NY health insurers to waive cost sharing associated with testing for coronavirus, including emergency room, urgent care and office visits. (@NYGovCuomo)

KILL IT WITH BLEACH. That the’s MTA’s plan to fight the spread of coronavirus on our buses, trains, and schools. New York will never be so clean again. (Mark Hallum for amNewYork Metro)

The numbers of New Yorkers infected with coronavirus will go up, but it does not mean that the virus is spreading. It means we’re identifying the people who have it already. In the meantime, cough and sneeze into your elbow, wash your hands with soap, and please stop touching your face. Are you doing it right now? Stop it. (Jesse McKinley and Joseph Goldstein for NY Times)

Top 5 pizza shops in the Bronx. (Ed García Conde for Welcome2TheBronx)

Whoops. Gale Brewer’s stated argument against the rezoning for Lenox Terrace technically goes against the 1968 Civil Rights Act. Brewer specifically says the rezoning should be stopped to prevent a decrease in the area’s Black population. Attempts to preserve racial composition of a neighborhood goes against the act, even if it the original intention was to criminalize keeping white neighborhoods white. The argument made here lays it on a bit thick, but it highlights why our politicians need to be careful when laying out their arguments. (Nikolai Fedak for New York YIMBY)

Rendering: The Waldorf Astoria’s residents-only pool, 6,000 square feet with 19-foot ceilings and a retractible roof. (Alexandra Alexa for 6sqft)

The Democratic Socialists of America have allies in City Councilmember Costa Costantinides, State Senator Michael Gianaris, and Assemblymembers Ron Kim and Brian Barnwell in replacing Con Ed with publicly owned power. (Max Parrott for QNS)

Amtrak has a new chief executive in William J. Flynn, the third in the last three years. Good luck. ((Patrick McGeehan for NY Times)

RIP Joe Coulombe, Trader Joe. (Alan Sytsma for Grub Street)

A moderate Democrat drops out of the race in hopes that it ives another moderate enough of the vote to beat the Democratic Socialist at the top of the ticket. No, this isn’t about Mayor Pete or Amy dropping out of the race in hopes of stopping Bernie, this is Fernando Cabrera dropping out of the race for 14th Congressional District against Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez in hopes that Michelle Caruso-Cabrera has a better chance. (David Cruz for Norwood News)

Residents in East New York are looking to Albany to declare a cease-and-desist zone for house flippers after reporting multiple phone calls and door knocks a day from people attempting to buy their homes unsolicited. (Allison Dikanovic for The City)

A Q&A with the new Interim President of New York City Transit, where Feinberg offers no good answer as to why she supports hiring 500 additional cops with no measure of success on the job would look like for them and at the same time cutting 700 operational positions to save money. (Stephen Nessen for Gothamist)

Free rent and getting paid to explore downtown Manhattan. Welcome to the Explorer-in Chief job. (Shaye Weaver for Time Out)

Without visible enforcement, the rules get relaxed. That’s what’s happening in Sunset Park as truck drivers are deviating from the city’s legal through streets and getting stuck in attempts to make impossible turns. The NYPD issued 16 tickets for commercial vehicles on residential streets in all of Brooklyn in January. (Ben Verde for Brooklyn Paper)

Could this be the year the city takes decisive action to protect pedestrians against drivers? State Sen. Andrew Gounardes is sponsoring a package of bills at the state level aimed at making the city’s streets safer. You’d think the City Council would be leading the way on this, but I’m glad to see that someone is attempting to take action. (Paula Katinas for The Brooklyn Home Reporter)

A carriage horse was euthanized shortly after she collapsed in Central Park on Saturday. The incident that lead to the horse’s death was captured on video. (Sydney Pereira for Gothamist)

Mayor de Blasio as yet to make good on his campaign promise from 2013, where he said he would ban horse carriages from Central Park on day one. A promise which earned him the support of animal rights activists over Christine Quinn in the Democratic primary. (Elizabeth Titus for Politico)

The Sergeants Benevolent Association and Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association, two loudmouth organizations when it comes to bail reform, are suspiciously quiet when it comes to the case of narcotics officer Stephen Abreu, who was charged with attempted murder, criminal possession of a weapon and other charges. Awaiting a felony murder charge, he was released without bail. (Jake Offenhartz for Gothamist)

Kudos to Streetsblog, who heard about the stupid campaign in Staten Island to tie yellow ribbons around phone poles to warn drivers of speed cameras, and decided to go to Staten Island to tie as many ribbons around as many poles as they could find in protest. (Gersh Kuntzman for Streetsblog)

Mayor de Blasio ran for president and his campaign died. He endorsed Bernie Sanders and Joe Biden is seeing a resurgence. Now he’s taking his kiss of death home to Chirlane McCray in hopes that he can help make his wife the next Brooklyn borough president. (J. David Goodman for NY Times)

Scarr’s Pizza is moving, but only down the street to a larger location on Orchard St. Get your slices now so you can talk down to people waiting on line for pizza at the new location. (Elie Z. Perler for Bowery Boogie)

Sometimes you can’t pass up a sign (or two in this case) declaring the best burger in New York City. (Robert Sietsema for Eater)

10 new public art installations not to miss in March. (Michelle Young for Untapped New York)

Thank you to reader Dylan for sending in today’s featured photo from outside the Brooklyn Museum of this Leon Karssen sticker.

The Briefly for February 27, 2020 – The “Who is the Most Powerful Person in New York City?” Edition

Today’s daily NYC news digest: Staten Island’s rebellion against speed cameras, the F train is headed for construction, the Gowanus Canal cleanup, eating in Mott Haven, and more

Today – Low: 29˚ High: 43˚
Light rain in the morning.

Central Park has a turtle problem. The red-eared slider turtle, technically listed as an invasive species, is having its run of Central Park and muscling out the park’s other species of turtles. How did they get there? They’re usually pets who are abandoned in the park because they’ve grown to an unmanageable size, or their humans weren’t ready for a potentially 50+ year commitment to their new shelled friend. (Sarah Lewin Lebwohl for I Love the Upper West Side)

Video: See life in NYC from 1911 with this colorized and restored 4K footage. (Ben Yakas for Gothamist)

The 100 most powerful people in New York City. The mayor is #4, which seems high. No, I did not make the list as the person who runs The Briefly, maybe in 2021. (City and State)

Pedro Colon, 61, faces criminal charges after his bus hit Patience Albert, 10, and a 15-year-old boy on the corner of Wortman Avenue and Crescent Street in Brooklyn. The 15-year-old survived, Patience Albert did not. (Kathleen Culliton for Patch)

Get ready for over a year’s worth of construction on the F train to repair damage caused by Hurricane Sandy. The 14+ month job will also add cell service and wifi to the tunnel, so the next time you’re imprisoned by the MTA underneath the East River, you’ll also have to endure someone making a FaceTime call at the same time. Work is slated to start sometime later this year. (Jose Martinez for The City)

It’s not time to freak out, but the coronavirus in the United States is “more of a question of exactly when this will happen” and not if, according to the National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases. Here is how to prepare for coronavirus in NYC. (Elizabeth Kim for Gothamist)

The mayor has been requesting the CDC allow New York City labs to test for coronavirus and that passengers arriving in NYC be screened for it. (Robert Pozarycki for amNewYork Metro)

New York, as we know it, will no longer exist tomorrow. […] It’ll be the 1970’s all over again. People will get mean, the streets won’t be safe, graffiti everywhere, and movies will only cost three dollars.” -Tracey Jordan (30 Rock)

Here are NYC’s James Beard Awards semifinalists. (Tanay Warerkar for Eater)

First Lady Chirlane McCray is considering running for Brooklyn Borough President. People of Brooklyn, I implore you to stop electing anyone in the de Blasio family into any public office in New York City. (Kathleen Culliton for Patch)

A look back at the Depression-era shanty towns in New York City parks. (Lucie Levine for 6sqft)

The NYPD is investigating police union boss Ed Mullins, the head of the Sergeants Benevolent Association. Mullins, who will never be accused of making the rational move, has taken to Facebook to declare “I WILL NOT BE SILENCED BY THE THREAT OF DISCIPLINE, NOW OR EVER!” This is a man who was quoted as saying “Ferguson Missouri was a lie,” declared war on the mayor, NYPD officers should stand “shoulder-to-shoulder” with ICE and the list goes on. The investigation is to see if his views undermine his capacity as a sergeant, where he earns a salary of $133,524. (Jake Offenhartz for Gothamist)

State Supreme Court Judge Arthur Engoron upheld an August 2019 ruling that four towers planned for the Lower East Side Two Bridges development cannot move forward. The ruling says the land-review process was illegally bypassed and that 2,775 new apartments and 2.5 million square feet of new space does not qualify as “minor modifications.” (Michelle Cohen for 6sqft)

The MTA announced 1,800 planned job cuts on Wednesday, but hasn’t said where they are coming from or if they are part of the 2,700 job cuts announced in the summer. The agency is hoping to close the projected billion dollar plus deficit projected by 2023. (Mark Hallum for amNewYork Metro)

Harvey Weinstein may never see the inside of Rikers Island to avoid “another Epstein incident.” (Ben Yakas for Gothamist)

A look back on when Mayor Bloomberg wanted poor people to drink less soda. (Arthur Delaney for HuffPost)

Maybe Mayor Bloomberg should never have uttered “we treated our teachers the right way” during this week’s Democratic debate, because NYC’s teachers have the receipts. (Sophia Chang for Gothamist)

Amazon continues to rent buildings across the city, this time it’s a 300,000 square foot space in Middle Village, taking over the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s former space. (Bill Parry for amNewYork Metro)

The Trump administration can withhold millions of dollars in law enforcement grants from so-called sanctuary jurisdictions that refuse to cooperate with immigration authorities, according to a ruling issued on Wednesday from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit in Manhattan, a break from three previous court rulings. NYC received about $4 million a year in law enforcement grants. (Annie Correal for NY Times)

The City Council will consider a package of bills aimed at limiting how much food delivery apps like GrubHub and Seamless can charge restaurants. (Jeffery C. Mays and David Yaffe-Bellany for NY Times)

Staging a Broadway should is tough, staging a Broadway show in Madison Square Garden for 18,000 students is tougher. (Julia Jacobs for NY Times)

Staten Islanders have been wrapping yellow ribbons around utility poles to indicate the presence of speed cameras. The argument of the Facebook group behind the effort is that the speed cameras are nothing more than a money grab from the city. (Amanda Farinacci for NY1)

Most elected officials in Staten Island won’t be participating in the island’s St. Patrick’s Day parade because the parade’s organizers will not allow Staten Island’s largest LGBT to march. Republican State Assemblymembers Nicole Malliotakis and Mike Reilly have announced they will be marching, perhaps making the political decision that Staten Islanders hate the LGBT community more than they hate bigotry in general. (Amanda Farinacci for NY1)

Here’s how the Gowanus Canal clean-up will proceed. (Pardon Me for Asking)

Where to eat in Mott Haven. (Robert Sietsema for Eater)

Thanks to reader Camila for today’s featured photo!