The Briefly for January 8, 2020 – The “Crime is Down but Murder is Up” Edition

Today’s daily NYC news digest: Is de Blasio’s common sense acutally common sense, the best restaurants, Stevie Nicks headlines Gov Ball, the NYPD ends the “which seat” meme, and more

Today – Low: 22˚ High: 42˚
Partly cloudy throughout the day.

Te state denied a Chinatown landlord’s request to install a fingerprint scanner at the entrance in a rent-regulated building, citing privacy concerns. (Elizabeth Kim for Gothamist)

There are 700 Seke language speakers on Earth, the language indigenous to Equatorial Guinea and Gabon, 100 live in NYC, and half of them live in one building.(Kimiko de Freytas-Tamura for NY Times)

Despite rises in hate crimes and murders, NYC’s crime is at an all-time low. (Emily Davenport for QNS)

A 15-year-old was charged with the murder of Juan Fresnada, 60, who was killed during a Christmas Eve mugging in Morrisania for a single dollar in the Bronx. (Kathleen Culliton for Patch)

Even with the rise in murders as a percentage, the actual number of murders is when lower compared with past eras. (Edgar Sandoval for NY Times)

Mayor Bill de Blasio says that his directed NYPD crackdown on delivery workers’ electric bikes isn’t based on data and numbers. It’s based on “common sense.” There are a lot of people whose common sense the city may trust, but Bill de Blasio ain’t on that list. 0.07% of vehicular crashes in the city, 31 in 2018, were caused by electric bike riders. (Christopher Robbins for Gothamist)

The city’s attempts to rezone Bushwick look to be at a stalemate. Bushwick’s City Councilperson Antonio Reynoso has pushed back against the city, limiting the number of new apartments he’ll consider at 2,000 and all affordable. This isn’t a new story, as Inwood successfully fought off a rezoning effort and the Sunset Park/Industry City rezoning also appears to be headed for defeat. (Kevin Sun for The Real Deal)

Everything you need to know about affordable housing: applying, getting in, and staying put. (Dana Schulz for 6sqft)

It’s a seven-course VR meal, but it’s served while you wear a VR headset. This isn’t some experience in a Bushwick art studio, it’s presented by the James Beard Foundation. (Daniel Modlin for Grub Street)

Ken Friedman is leaving The Spotted Pig following an attorney general’s investigation into sexual harassment and workplace discrimination. He also agreed to pay $240,000 and 10% of his profits for the next decade to the 11 staffers who accused him of misconduct. (Serena Dai for Eater)

The Meadowlands Arena closed in 2015, but it’s still standing and found a second life as a production facility. NBC is renting out the arena through March while it films Lincoln Rhyme: Hunt for the Bone Collector where the Nets and Devils once played. (Seth Berkman for NY Times)

The last night at Tad’s Steakhouse in Times Square, one of the last vestiges of old Times Square. (Untapped New York)

Photos: The anti-war rally in Times Square. (The Villager)

After experiencing what Fifth and Sixth Avenues could be without cars or trucks, Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer and Councilperson Keith Powers have requested a meeting to discuss keeping the traffic restrictions permanently. (Michelle Cohen for 6sqft)

An ode to Taste of Persia, which is closing at the end of the month. (Max Falkowitz for Grub Street)

Woodland, a Park Slope bar and restaurant closed after its liquor license was revoked by the state. Woodland’s famous black brunch wasn’t enough to save it from hundreds of complaints including noice and customers urinating on the streets, a stabbing on December 22. (Tanay Warerkar for Eater)

Governors Ball’s headliners for 2020 are Stevie Nicks, Solange, & Miley Cyrus. A full lineup is expected this week. (Ben Yakas for Gothamist)

Paw It Forward is a non-profit that walks dogs for free for the elderly, ill, and disabled in Long Island City and is expanding to Rego Park, Forest Hills, and the West Village. (Kristen Torres for LIC Post)

Video: A narrated walk on 9th Ave from 14th to 34th. (ActionKid, YouTube)

Governor Cuomo wants to ban repeat and high-risk sexual offenders from the MTA. (Robert Pozarycki for amNewYork)

A minor mistake paying for a busied can cost you $100. (Elizabeth Brico for Talk Poverty)

The MTA released a map of OMNY enabled stations for January of 2020. (MTA)

The NYPD will start including hate crimes in its Compstat crime-tracking system. (Paula Katinas for The Brooklyn Home Reporter)

Photos: The giant dogs of the Upper West Side. (Sara Lewin Lebwohl for I Love the Upper West Side)

The NYPD have thoroughly ended the which seat is best meme. (Kathleen Culliton for Patch)

If you actually get mail in Greenpoint and Williamsburg, congrats on the mail you actually receive. According to a recent audit, these neighborhoods are plagued with delivery issues, including failure to secure valuable items, inadequate safety measures in residential buildings, delayed mail, and mail that never arrives. (Scott Enman for Brooklyn Eagle)

Photos: Three Kings Day parade in Williamsburg. (Rose Adams with photos by Caroline Ourso for Brooklyn Paper)

White supremacy posters have popped up in Bay Ridge, linked to a neo-Nazi group which was formed after the Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville. Members of these groups usually attempt to stay anonymous for fear of being outed as the worst people on earth, but these geniuses uploaded a video of themselves doing a banner drop over the Belt Parkway in Bay Ridge and the NYPD is investigating. (Jake Offenhartz for Gothamist)

The Infatuation updated its best restaurants in NYC list with the addition of Noods n’ Chill, Bar Bête, Banty Rooster. (The Infatuation)

Noods n’ Chill is a new Thai food restaurant in Williamsburg, not just a rude suggestion on Tinder. (Scott Lynch for Gothamist)

The Briefly for December 27, 2019: The “Rudest City? I’ll Show You How Rude This City Can Get” Weekend Edition

Today’s daily NYC news digest: The electric bike bill is dead, the “gentrification tax” debate, meet State Assembly hopeful Emily Gallagher, the most beautiful restaurants of 2019 & more

Today – Low: 39˚ High: 52˚
Overcast throughout the day.
This weekend – Low: 35˚ High: 48˚

It’s not the weekend without subway disruptions. (Subway Weekender)

The city’s lights never dim, but why? Turns out New York earned the nickname “The City That Never Sleeps.” (Derek M. Norman for NY Times)

New York City has a idling problem. Yes, idling trucks have been in issue for years, but one truck is nothing compared to cruise ships, which pump the city’s air full of 1,200 tons of toxic fumes every year. (Lisa M. Collins for NY Times)

New York City is the rudest city in America according to the dumb yokel idiots at Business Insider. (Shaye Weaver for Time Out)

If 2019 was the year of the “pied-à-terre tax” debate, 2020 will be the year of the gentrification tax debate. Currently, homebuyers pay taxes based on the assessed value of the home, which is usually lower than the market value in gentrifying neighborhoods. The lead to change the law is being led by Republican City Councilmember Joe Borelli. Speaker Corey Johnson has said it’s “highly unlikely it will get fixed” this session. (Devin Gannon for 6sqft)

We missed a white Christmas and it looks like we’ll miss a white New Year’s Eve as well. (Kathleen Culliton for Patch)

What were the top restaurant standbys of the year for the staff of Eater? (Eater)

Don’t play on the ice in city parks. Two boys earned that lesson the hard way, but they were rescued by a friend. If you’re ever in this unfortunate circumstance, these are why there are rescue ladders all around. (Jen Chung for Gothamist)

Did you recently buy Egg White Salad and Old Fashioned Potato Salad from Trader Joe’s? There’s a recall. (Adam Nichols for Patch)

They’ve been mum on details, but the NYPD has located the third suspend in Tessa Majors’s stabbing. (Mark Hellum for amNewYork)

What’s in a nickname? What’s the origin of The Big Apple? (Zachary Solomon for StreetEasy)

Governor Cuomo wants to put a high-speed train system to connect New York City with upstate and is assemble a panel of engineers to review feasibility. For a low cost of $14 billion, the trains will go 77 mph instead of 51 mph. The current average speed of the subway is 17mph. Maybe we could use $14 billion to improve that instead. (Kathleen Culliton for Patch)

The governor vetoed the electric bike and scooter bill that overwhelmingly passed the legislature in Albany. The legislature is out of session, so despite veto-proof majorities, it’s nearly impossible to override the veto. (Gersh Kuntzman for Streetsblog)

Congratulations to the jackass who drove their car into the protected pedestrian lane of the Pulaski Bridge. (Greenpointers)

Mulchfest has begun! (Todd Maisel for amNewYork)

Meet Greenpoint’s Emily Gallagher, an activist and primary challenger against the 77-year-old Joe Lentol who has been in the State Assembly since 1973. Gallagher is running on a progressive platform of environmental sustainability, housing justice, and transit improvement. (Claudia Irizarry Aponte for The City)

The most beautiful restaurants of the year. (Serena Dai for Eater)

The Briefly for December 26, 2019 – The “Christmas Trees Don’t Belong on the Beach” Edition

Today’s daily NYC news digest: When to throw out your Christmas tree, the secret economy and industry of five cent deposits, Cuomo’s feud with Trump heats up over weddings, and more

Today – Low: 42˚ High: 45˚
Mostly cloudy throughout the day.

A look back at the City Hall Christmas tree lighting, a bygone NYC tradition. (Alexandra Alexa for 6sqft)

The Rockefeller Center Christmas has an 88-year history. (Adam Thalenfeld for NYC Urbanism)

Video: The inspiring story of Sydney Mesher, the first Rockette with a visible disability. (The Rockettes)

Videos and Photos: The Saks Fifth Avenue Frozen 2 holiday lights. (Jen Carlson for Gothamist)

How long should you keep your Christmas tree up? At least until January 6, because that’s the first day of the Department of Sanitation’s tree disposal. (Mariela Quintana for StreetEasy)

Video: No matter what you read on Facebook, don’t leave your old Christmas tree at the beach. (Anginas Gonzalez for NY1)

Tompkins Square Park has some new trees. (EV Grieve)

Governor Cuomo vetoed a bill that would have allowed federal judges, Trump’s judges, to officiate weddings in New York state. I guess federal judges will have to become online ministers if they want to officiate weddings, just like the rest of us. (Jesse McKinley for NY Times)

The fascinating history of 28 Old Fulton St, from old Dutch farmland to Revolutionary War battle site, from the Eagle pressroom to a warehouse for silver, furniture and then electoral ballots, to its latest use as luxury apartments. (Chase DiBenedetto for Bedford + Bowery)

Years ago two toy stores within a few blocks of each other would be at war around the holidays, but in 2019 Stationary and Toy World and West Side Kids in the Upper West Side are joining forces to fight back against online shopping. (Sara Lewin Lebwohl for I Love the Upper West Side)

Video: Got $75,000 lying around? You can afford one night at the Mark Hotel. (Matt Coneybeare for Viewing NYC)

With the mayor's potentially illegal "horse trading" collusion with ultra-Orthodox state lawmakers surrounding a Department of Education report about the quality of education at the city's yeshivas, advocates are calling for accountability. The city has made no indication of punishment for the 26 of 28 failing schools, instead requiring "timelines for improvement" by January 15 with no information about if schools fail to meet the deadline. (Jake Offenhartz for Gothamist)

A state Supreme Court judge has struck down an upcoming New York City rule that would have restricted the amount of time app-based drivers for companies like Uber and Lyft can spend cruising without passengers below 96th Street in Manhattan. (Elizabeth Kim for Gothamist)

Profiles of five African-American high-profile prisoners from New York City who were convicted of violent crimes that included murder and attempted murder. All committed their first crimes as teenagers. All are now in late middle age, ranging from 48 to 61 and seeking release. A great piece from students at CUNY's Craigs Newmark Graduate School of Journalism. (Stephanie Chukwuma, Trone Dowd, Jeffery Harrell, Brenda León, Hannah Miller, Rosemary Misdary, Rachel Rippetoe, Maria Robins-Somerville, Sean Sanders, and Annie Todd for Gothamist)

8 cultural attractions to visit on NYC’s Museum Mile. (Zachary Solomon for StreetEasy)

StreetEasy and Douglas Elliman appear to be ready to lock horns. While the details aren’t exciting, it could portend a coming fracturing of real estate listings. (E. B. Solomont for The Real Deal)

A train delay because of a pencil. (Ben Yakas for Gothamist)

A Bronx police officer is facing accusations of groping a 14-year-old teenager while she was handcuffed in the back of a squad car last month. (Jake Offenhartz for Gothamist)

Christmas is gone. No literally, Christmas is literally buried in Green-Wood Cemetery. (Kevin Walsh for Forgotten New York)

The city doesn’t just get rid of its useless junk, it auctions it off. (Winnie Hu and James Sprankle for NY Times)

What’s the opposite of a Christmas miracle? Ask the 1,000 residents in NYCHA housing in Coney Island who woke up with no heat or hot water on Christmas. (Sydney Pereira for Gothamist)

As of this week, bicyclists can use the walk/won’t walk indicators rather than the lights are use. (Christopher Robbins for Gothamist)

The latest in the seemingly never-ending battle of Industry City’s rezoning is that things are looking bleak for Industry City after the city is refusing to provide funds for new schools, housing and tenant programs to benefit the neighborhood. The decision to move forward rests with City Councilmember Carlos Menchaca, who has been skeptical of the process since the start. It would be unheard of for the city to commit funds for a private application, Menchaca is justifying the request based on how dramatically the rezoning would change Sunset Park. (Rose Adams for Brooklyn Paper)

Has Midtown South become more pleasant for residents in the last few years? Finally, an answer to the eternal question of “who lives here?” (Aileen Jacobson for NY Times)

There is an entire underground economy centered around plastic bottle and metal can deposits, where the world turns five cents at a time. It’s all in a legal gray area that the city turns a blind eye towards, but once you have an understanding of how the canner economy works, you can understand why there is opposition to expanding the five cent deposit program. (Andy Newman for NY Times)

After eating at 300 restaurants this year, Scott Lynch picks his 16 best bites of 2019. (Scott Lynch for Eater)