The Briefly for March 5, 2020 – The “Are We Supposed to Be Freaking Out Yet?” Edition

Today’s daily NYC news digest: Two colleges close due to COVID-19 fears, the loudest borough in the city, 60,000 children owe late library fees, 30 excellent weekday breakfasts, and more

Today – Low: 40˚ High: 52˚
Clear throughout the day.

30 excellent spots for weekday breakfast. (Nikko Duren & Bryan Kim for The Infatuation)

Could New York be the first state to decriminalize sex work? There’s a bill working its way through the state’s legislature that could make it happen. (Arima Long for Kings County Politics)

How many people get a sandwich named after them and how many of those people get to eat that sandwich? Experiencing the Wayne Diamond at Russo’s Mozzarella and Pasta with Wayne Diamond himself. (EV Grieve)

A New York City public school teacher who vacationed in Italy during the February winter break is set to undergo testing after experiencing possible coronavirus symptoms after spending several days last week in a classroom with children before she showed any signs of potential infection. Remain calm. (Greg B. Smith and Yoav Gonen for The City)

The person with the third confirmed coronavirus case in New York state is a student at Yeshiva University, which closed its campus temporarily in upper Manhattan. (Jen Chung and Elizabeth Kim for Gothamist)

How are restaurants preparing for coronavirus? Following the city’s sanitary guidelines have become more important than ever. (Hannah Howard for Grub Street)

All your coronavirus questions answered. Okay, maybe not ALL of them, but it’s a pretty comprehensive list of questions. If you’re the person people turn to with questions about it, this is a good link to send the people asking you questions. (Jen Chung and Elizabeth King for Gothamist)

New York Law School closed its Tribeca campus after a student reported contact with the New Rochelle lawyer seriously ill with novel coronavirus. (Kathleen Culliton for Patch)

Here is how the city is stepping up its coronavirus prevention efforts. (Emily Davenport for amNewYork Metro)

A brief note from City Council Speaker Corey Johnson about coronavirus. (Corey Johnson for The Brooklyn Reader)

Historic restaurant Gage & Tollner is ready to return to the city on March 15th. (Robert Simonson for NY Times)

No matter the changes, New York real estate can still be a mostly lawless place where brokers are willing to charge whatever they want for whatever they want before you get your keys. (Matthew Haag for NY Times)

9 buildings in the city that have lost their landmark status. (Noah Sheidlower for Untapped New York)

At the moment it’s a parking lot sitting atop the toxic leftovers of a 19th-century thermometer factory near the South Street Seaport, but it soon may be a 990-foot tall mixed use tower. (Caroline Spivack for Curbed)

The “Ladies Burger” at Long Island Bar in Cobble Hill, a single patty option of its Long Island Burger, is dead. The name is gone, but the single patty option lives on. (Luke Fortney for Eater)

14 ways to celebrate Women’s History Month in NYC. (Devin Gannon for 6sqft)

Andy Kessler was an early pioneer of skateboarding in Riverside Park and on the Upper West Side, and Community Board 7 will name the Riverside Skate Park in his honor when it reopens in May. (amNewYork Metro)

Buckle up, no matter where you’re sitting. A new bill is headed to Governor Cuomo’s desk that would make it mandatory for seatbelts to be worn in every seat of the car. (Adam Nichols for Patch)

The story of how a living room turned into Lion’s Roar Karaoke House in East Williamsburg. (Lauren Vespoli for NY Times)

The Double Chocolate Cookie with Oat Ganache, “the greatest cookie” (Gothamist’s words, not mine), will be available in the city this month only. (Jen Carlson for Gothamist)

60,000 delinquent children have $15 or more of late fees at New York’s public libraries, preventing them from borrowing more books. The head librarians of New York, Queens, and Brooklyn public libraries asked the City Council to wipe out late fees for children altogether to get books back in the hands of children. (Kathleen Culliton for Patch)

A guide to prewar vs post-war apartments. (Localize Labs)

Congrats Brooklyn, you’re the noisiest borough in the city. (Beth Dedman for amNewYork Metro)

16 exemplary Chinese soup dumplings in NYC. (Robert Sietsema for Eater)

Thank you to reader Emily for sending in today’s featured photo!

The Briefly for February 21, 2020 – The Weekend “Real Villain was New York City the Whole Time” Edition

Today’s daily NYC news digest: The Trump vs Cuomo plan could derail congestion pricing, an insane amount of amenities in Bushwick, the best brunch in the city, and more

Today – Low: 29˚ High: 35˚
Clear throughout the day.
This weekend – Low: 32˚ High: 52˚

How good is your math? Lucky Deli in the Bronx is giving away one item to anyone who can answer math questions. There’s a GoFundMe for people who want to see this continue on. (Anna Ben Yehuda for Time Out)

Who was the villain in the taxicab medallion crisis? NYC. New York City is to blame for the crushing debt that thousands of cab drivers face in order to pay for their medallions. The state’s attorney general’s office is suing the city for $810 million for fraud, unlawful profit, and other violations of state law. The $810 million would go to the taxi drivers. (Winnie Hu for NY Times)

Photos: Restoration is on way at the New York State Pavilion at Flushing Meadows–Corona Park. (Michelle Young for Untapped New York)

Governor Cuomo isn’t confident the federal government will approve the state’s congestion pricing plan, which is supposed to generate $15 billion for the Metropolitan Transportation Authority’s overhaul plan. The Trump administration is already looking for every possible way to punish New York, so why not this next? (Dana Rubenstein for Politico)

The new target in New York for the Trump administration is making exporting cars from New York nearly impossible. The federal government is stating that without access to the state’s DMV records, they can’t verify vehicle ownership. This is, of course, more bullshit from the Trump administration as it tries to find ways to punish the state for passing its Green Light Law, which gives undocumented immigrants the right to get a driver’s license and also blocks federal agencies from accessing the DMV databases. (Annie Correal for NY Times)

When it rains in NYC and the sewers are filled with rain water, most of the city’s sewage is flushed into our waterways. More than 20 billion gallons of our bathroom waste is released into our waters annually. The city has a plan to deal with this, but their plan doesn’t even deal with 3% of the total combined sewage overflow. (Nathan Kensinger for Curbed)

An interview with Shoshanah Bewlay, the new executive director of New York state’s Committee on Open Government on the challenges of a three person staff inside the entire state government, Andy Byford’s resignation letter, her background, and more. Christopher Robbins for Gothamist)

How many amenities are too many? A bowling alley, a pool, a mini golf course, a rock climbing wall, a gym, open air plazas, murals, a dog park, and the list goes on. Just some of the amenities in a Bushwick “city within a city” apartment complex. With nearly anything recreationally you can think of inside the complex, you have to wonder how much the people who live there will be contributing tot he neighborhood’s economy? (Alexandra Alexa for 6sqft)

Harlem photographer Shawn Walker’s collection of over 100,000 photos dating back to 1963 will be made public in the Library of Congress. (Sydney Pereira for Gothamist)

We are a lucky city that we are getting a second Scarr’s pizza location, even if it’s in at the Midtown food hall Le Whit. (Erika Adams for Eater)

21 in 21 is trying to seat at least 21 women on the city council in 2021. The organization will be endorsing 35 candidates for the 2021 election. (Ayse Kelce for Queens County Politics)

If a judge of 17 years and Yale-educated attorney can’t navigate the Queens Surrogate’s Courts and have been in limbo for over a decade, what change do any of the rest of us have? This highlights the absurdity of electing surrogate judges, who rarely ever provide information beyond their names. (Ross Barkan for Gothamist)

Apartment Porn: See Anne Hathaway’s $3.5 million Upper West Side apartment. (Valeria Ricciulli for Curbed)

The Department of Transportation announced on Wednesday the Queens Blvd bike land would be completed this summer. The mayor, in front of a crowd, demanded that agency reconsider its plan. Polly Trottenberg, the DOT commissioner who made the announcement, was appointed by Mayor de Blasio. Does he know that he’s supposed to be running this city? He’s certainly not leading it. (Julianne Cuba for Streetsblog)

The mayor was speaking in Forest Hills, where he was met with protestors outside, and inside he was as welcome as Mayor Bloomberg on a democratic primary stage. He was booed the moment he stepped into the town hall meeting. (Max Parrot for QNS)

Video: How the city’s stop signs are made. (Matt Coneybeare for Viewing NYC)

Here’s what you need to know to be ready for the plastic bag ban on March 1. (Sydney Pereira for Gothamist)

The law passed in April of last year, and city lawmakers say the city isn’t ready to ban plastic bags. (Kathleen Culliton for Patch)

The NYPD say they will start removing some of the 82,000 people in their DNA database who have never been convicted of a crime. Advocates say this doesn’t go far enough and the city needs more oversight and to ban unregulated DNA collection by the NYPD. (Edgar Sandoval for NY Times)

Like the Mona Lisa’s eyes, One Manhattan Square is always shining a reflection of the sun back at you. (Jen Carlson for Gothamist)

Transit Workers Union Local 100 wants to make spitting on an MTA employee punishable by a year in jail. In their defense, spitting incidents were up 35% in 2019 from 2018. (Mark Hallum for amNewYork Metro)

Fines from the plastic bag ban add to the feat of death by 1,000 for small businesses in the city. The mayor is looking to reduce fines on small businesses by 40% by eliminating “outdated and ridiculous rules that no longer apply,” giving $100 million back to mom and pops across the city. (Todd Maisel for amNewYork Metro)

Despite zero coronavirus cases in the city, Sunset Park is suffering. (Alex Williamson for Brooklyn Eagle)

The Inheritance, the two-part play about gay culture and the legacy of AIDS, is set to close March 15. (Michael Paulson for NY Times)

A “muddled, self-conscious, pretentious, humorless, dizzying, bewildering mess.” What is the show? The West Side Story revival. (Matt Windman for amNewYork Metro)

CatVideoFest is a 70-minute cat video complication that is playing at Nitehawk Cinema and the Alamo Drafthouse. Ticket sales will raise money for two rescue organizations. Finally, a cat based movie experience people will enjoy. (Noah Singer for The Brooklyn Home Reporter)

Mayor Bloomberg in 2011 said that New York City has “virtually no discrimination” and “virtually no racial problems.” A lot has changed since 2011, a year when 700,000 people, more than half of them Black, were stopped by police. (Sarah Ruiz-Grossman for HuffPost)

What to see right now in the city’s art galleries. (Jillion Steinhauer for NY Times)

What to drink at the city’s newest cocktail bars. (Nikita Richardson for Grub Street)

The best brunch in the city? Balthazar, according to The Daily Meal. (Adam Nichols for Patch)

Thanks to reader MG Ashdown for today’s featured photo.

The Briefly for February 18, 2020 – The “Decapitating a Luxury Condo” Edition

Today’s daily NYC news digest: The city tries to control the private garbage industry, the best happy hours in 31 neighborhoods, Staten Island makes an untrusted cop list, and more

Today – Low: 38˚ High: 49˚
Light rain starting in the afternoon.

In appreciation of mosaic subway station signs. (Ephemeral New York)

Photos: A tour of NYC’s oldest library, once used by George Washington. (Michelle Young for Untapped New York)

Off with its head, literally. The Department of Buildings is being ordered to revoke the permits for an indeterminate amount of floors from a luxury condo on the Upper West Side. Amazingly, the developer will have to demolish potentially 20 floors of the 55-story building. (Jake Offenhartz for Gothamist)

The NYPD has always insisted that it’s facial recognition database is only checked against mugshots, but there is some evidence that points to photos from social media being used to assist in creating matches for suspects. This wouldn’t be the first time the NYPD lied about their facial recognition database. (Mike Hayes for HuffPost)

Prosecutors in Staten Island are building an internal list of NYPD officers who they will not allow to testify in court because they can’t be trusted to testify honestly. Seems like if they an’t be trusted to tell the truth in court, there might be issues trusting them to honestly uphold the law? (George Joseph for Gothamist)

It started with a white picket fence and quickly escalated to racial discrimination in Flushing. (Elizabeth Kim for Gothamist)

It took 125 years, but the lions outside the NYPL are finally reading thanks to some very large books. (Michelle Young for Untapped New York)

Newkirk Plaza is America’s oldest outdoor shopping plaza, and it seems no one wants to be responsible for it. The city and MTA have discussed who is responsible for management, funding and safety without a conclusion, mirroring most disagreements between the state and city. If neither step up, maybe the growing rat population will start cleaning the place up. (Katie Herchenroeder for Bklyner)

New ethics violations charges have been filed against Andy King, who finished the punishment for his last ethics violation charges less than three months ago. This time around it’s disorderly induct and conflict-of-interest violations by using public funds for personal benefit. This happened while a court-appointed monitor was watching over King’s actions. The city council voted to not expel King 34-12 back in October. Maybe they’ll change their tune this time. (Emma G. Fitzsimmons for NY Times)

If you’ve ever been walking through the city late at night, you’ve watched private garbage trucks blow through red lights without slowing down or drive the wrong way on one way streets. Between 2016 and 1018 privately owned garbage trucks were involved in 73 series accidents. A new law is looking to control the private garbage industry over the next three years, which picks up half of the city’s garbage. (Anne Barnard for NY Times)

After half a century, a legendary pool hall in Bay Ridge, Hall of Fame Billiards, is closing. (Kimon de Green for Bedford + Bowery)

Here are the four people running for City Councilmember Rafael Espinal’s seat after he abruptly quit his job representing Cypress Hills, Bushwick, East New York, and Brownsville. (Sydney Pereira for Gothamist)

The Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum continues to unravel after the forced resignation of director Caroline Baumann, with five trustees resigning in protest. (Robin Pogrebin for NY Times)

LGBTQ groups have once again been rejected from participating in the Staten Island St. Patrick’s Day Parade on March 1. (Matt Tracy for Gay City News)

What’s the difference between co-ops and condos and what the heck is a condop? (Localize.City)

Reminder: If you see a hawk, don’t go close to it. It’s likely hunting and you’re ruining its potential meal. (Laura Goggin)

A ban on brokers fees will benefit tenants in the long run to the tune of $7,000 on average in the first year, and that includes a rent hike. (Beth Dedman for amNewYork Metro)

The best happy hours in 31 neighborhoods. (Rachel Pelz for Thrillist)