The Briefly for January 20, 2020 – The “You Trust the MTA, Right?” Edition

Today’s daily NYC news digest: Martin Luther King’s address to Queens College, the de Blasio’s aren’t done with NYC, your ConEd bill will increase for years to come, and more

Today – Low: 21˚ High: 43˚
Possible drizzle in the morning.

“I still have faith in the future. However dark the night, however dreary the day, I still believe that we shall overcome.” -Martin Luther King Jr at his address to Queens College in 1965 as part of the John F. Kennedy Memorial Lectures. (Carlotta Mohamed for QNS)

Listen to clips from the May 13, 1965 address. (Queens College Civil Rights Archives)

Martin Luther King Jr, in his own words, on anti-Semitism. (Martin Luther King Jr in the Village Voice, 1967)

The neighborhood with the highest median prices in any neighborhood in the city is in Cobble Hill in Brooklyn. Prices increased 117% in a decade going from $1.15 million to $2.5 million. (Emily Davenport for amNewYork Metro)

The L train slowdown will finish with a $850 million budget below the initially announced budget by $75 million. If you want proof, you’ll just have to trust the MTA, because there has been no review and no public accounting for the cost savings. You trust the MTA, right? (Stephen Nessen and Christopher Robbins for Gothamist)

The Upper West Side and water mains aren’t getting along this month. A water main broke at the corner of 102nd and Central Park West, causing havoc on traffic and the A, C, and D trains. (Jen Chung for Gothamist)

Our subways continue to fall apart. This time a piece of a wall along the F/G train fell onto the sidewalk below with no reported injuries. According to the MTA the wall is over a century old and they are now conducting inspections in the area. (Ben Yakas for Gothamist)

The history of how Mayor Fiorello LaGuardia fought the mob by banning artichokes. (Mark Hay for Atlas Obscura)

The East Side Coastal Resiliency project may force the Lower East Side Ecology Center, a compost yard in East River Park that takes in eight tons of compost a week, to relocate to an MTA lot in East Harlem by April. (Caroline Spivack for Curbed)

How will New York defend itself against the horrors of the next Hurricane Sandy? It’s still up for debate, but one of five options being explored is a $119 billion seawall that would take 25 years to build and may not prevent flooding caused by rising sea levels. (Anne Barnard for NY Times)

Is Community Board 2’s wealth and political connections preventing Soho and Soho from being rezoned for the first time since the 70s? (Elizabeth Kim for Gothamist)

Renderings: A look at the future look of the Hudson Yards with 3 Hudson Boulevard. Spoiler: it’s another large glass building. (Michelle Cohen for 6sqft)

Papyrus is closing all of its stores, including the dozen plus stores in Manhattan. Looking for cheap cute paper goods? They’re liquidating everything. (Mike Mishkin for I Love the Upper West Side)

12 hidden gems of Lincoln Square and Lincoln Center. (Michelle Young for Untapped New York)

Will the Gowanus Canal ever be clean? Simple answer: no, and here’s why. (Joseph Alexiou for Brooklyn Eagle)

Mandatory helmet laws do two things: They reduce cycling and increase head injuries. (Jessica Roberts and Caron Whitaker for Streetsblog)

Homeless deaths in New York City are up 40% year over year. (Cindy Rodriguez for Gothamist)

It’s a Broadway musical about emojis, and it’s a Times Critic’s Pick. (Laura Collins-Hughes for NY Times)

The landlord and two contractors in the East Village who installed an illegal gas line which lead to an explosion that killed two men, injured over a dozen, and destroyed two buildings, Maria Hrynenko, was sentenced to 4-12 years for manslaughter for their roles in the explosion. (Aaron Randle for NY Times)

Schools Chancellor Richard Carranza refused to answer the father of a teenager who was sexually assaulted at M.S. 158 in Bayside during an education town hall2 and eventually cut the town hall short and left without addressing the issue with the crowd. (Jenna Bagcal for amNewYork Metro)

Want to go out to eat for a good cause? Here are the NYC restaurants raising money for Australia. (Nikita Richardson or Grub Street)

After being called out for turning a “play street” cul-de-sac into a teacher’s parking lot at Park Slope’s M.S. 51, a Department of Education spokesperson said teachers would stop abusing their parking placards and no longer park there. That was a blatant lie. (Streetsblog)

Photos: Take a loo kinsinde The Sill’s first Brooklyn brick-and-mortar store in Cobble Hill. (Alexandra Alexa for 6sqft)

New Yorkers pay 35-40% more for electricity than the rest of the country, and expect what you pay to increase by over 4% each year for the next three years. The state approved rate hikes for ConEd. We really held them accountable for their service outages. (Jake Offenhartz for Gothamist)

The Trump administration is using a rape and murder as a way to condemn New York’s sanctuary city policy. (Annie Correal for NY Times)

A new law in New York City lets parents remove their obstetricians’ names if their medical licenses were revoked for misconduct. (Michael Gold for NY Times)

Evelyn Yang, whose husband is Democratic hopeful Andrew Yang, is one of 18 patients suing obstetrician Dr. Robert A Hadden for sexual abuse. In 2016, Manhattan DA CyVance’s office agreed to a plea deal with Hadden that involved no jail time for his crimes and reduced his sex-offender status to Level 1, keeping his name off online lists of offenders. (Sophia Chang for Gothamist)

The husband of “Mob Wives” star Drita D’avanzo is facing federal charges after he and his wife were arrested on state weapons charges last month. So guess it’s not just a clever name for a TV show. (Emily Davenport for amNewYork Metro)

Ready for the next step in the war on cigarettes? The Tobacco Product Waste Reduction Act would ban the sale of single-use cigarette filters, virtually all cigarettes, framed as an anti-pollution measure. The bill was introduced in the state senate with three co-sponsors. (Jake Offenhartz for Gothamist)

The de Blasio family is not done with New York City. Mayor de Blasio is reportedly pushing Chirlane McCray, his wife, to run for Brooklyn borough president. Supposedly the de Blasio’s would give an endorsement to Eric Adams for mayor in exchange for an endorsement of McCray for borough president. (Matt Troutman for Patch)

Here’s what is known about the BQX‘s design. (Kevin Duggan for Brooklyn Paper)

What else is there to do at the Brooklyn Navy Yard after you’ve shopped at Brooklyn’s new favorite supermarket? (Meredith Craig de Pietro for Brooklyn Based)

There was once a rumor that John Wilkes Booth’s diary was hidden in an abandoned subway tunnel under Atlantic Avenue. While the diary hasn’t been found, you can find Le Boudoir, a speakeasy partially built inside the tunnel, through a secret door at Chez Moi. (Reina Gattuso for Atlas Obscura)

12 actually quiet restaurants to try. (Beth Landman for Eater)

The Briefly for February 27, 2019 – The “Paying For The Subways With Legal Marijuana” Edition

Jumaane Williams is the city’s new Public Advocate, Cuomo and de Blasio are working together on the MTA, NY moves to decriminalizing sex work, and more in today’s daily NYC news digest.

Governor Cuomo and Mayor de Blasio unveiled a 10-point plan for MTA reform. Reorganize the MTA, congestion pricing, fare hike caps, MTA board appointments that end with a mayor or governor’s term, crack down on fare evaders, an audit, a new Regional Transit Committee, the Columbia and Cornell experts will return, expedite Andy Byford’s subway action plan, and the governor and mayor will actually have to work together. That last part is the most unrealistic. (Second Avenue Sagas)

Once marijuana is legal, a portion of the taxes will go towards funding the MTA under the ten-point plan. (NY Post)

Who doesn’t want another boozy Taco Bell in the city? Brooklyn Heights’ community board. (Brooklyn Daily Eagle)

Jumaane Williams is New York City’s new Public Advocate. (NY Times)

Watch Public Advocate Elect Jumaane Williams’ post-election speech. (@JumaaneWilliams)

The NY Islanders are expecting a new $1.18 billion arena for a 2021 opening, but State Senator Leroy Comrie is a member of the Public Authorities Control Board and won’t allow the project to move forward unless concessions are made. We have ourselves a new Amazon-style showdown. (Gothamist)

Therese “Patricia” Okoumou, the woman who climbed the Statue of Liberty last July 4, pulled a similar stunt in Austin, TX. Federal prosecutors asked a judge to revoke her bail. (NY Post)

How much do you need to earn to think about buying a home in NYC? $105,684.33. (Patch)

New York is a baseball state. Soon it may be the law. (amNY)

After $773 million over four years, Mayor de Blasio has pulled the plug on his Renewal turnaround program, which hoped to turn around the city’s 100 lowest performing schools. Unfortunately the new program looks a lot like the old one. (Chalkbeat)

If you love combined sewer overrun, this is the perfect Twitter account for you. (@combinedsewers)

The first eight months of last year, there were 934 schools in the city that had critical health code violations, the kind that would shut a restaurant down. Mice, roaches, flies, mold, and rats. (NY1)

The barnacle Citi Bike likely spent time in the Hudson River, but it’s more fun to believe that the last rider was Aquaman. (Gothamist)

The only good left on the internet is the “Bag Dogs” Instagram account. (Gothamist)

File is under the city’s nightmare file. A man fell down an elevator shaft from the third floor in SoHo and survived. (Gothamist)

Stop feeding the animals in city parks before the City Council makes it illegal. (amNY)

The NYPD still doesn’t know who shot and killed Detective Brian Simonsen in a robbery turned friendly fire in Richmond Hill, Queens. (amNY)

Community Board 3 approved naming the Northeast Corner of 79th Street and 37th Avenue after State Senator Jose Peralta, who died unexpectedly last year. (Jackson Heights Post)

10 historical buildings in Gowanus at risk of demolition. (Untapped Cities)

The city’s compost is potentially worth $22.5 million annually, but we are literally trashing it. (Patch)

State Senators Jessica Ramos and Julia Salazar and Assemblymember Richard Gottfried introduced a series of bills to decriminalize sex work in New York. As Ramos puts it “Ultimately sex work is work.” (Brooklyn Daily Eagle)

Where to go after you delete Tinder in frustration. (The Infatuation)

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The Briefly for November 5, 2018 – The “You Have to Hear About the Election for One More Day” Edition

A focus on the three ballot initiatives on the back of tomorrow’s ballot, 15 years after the “tiger in Harlem” story, smash your pumpkins, and more in your daily NYC news digest.

A Focus on Tomorrow’s Election
skip to non-election stories
89 polling locations were moved, affecting 200,000 voters in the city. Was yours on the list? (Curbed)

There is a lot of information about nearly every election on your ballot on Tuesday except your votes on judges. Even if you wanted to find more information about the judges on your ballot, you won’t find much. 10/12 judges in Manhattan, 2/18 judges in Brooklyn, 2/11 judges in Queens, 7/20 judges in the Bronx, and 4/6 judges in Staten Island have submitted bios to the Judicial Campaign Ethics Center to educate voters.

Why do we vote for judges?

10 things to watch on election day. (Gotham Gazette)

The Brooklyn Paper highlights the following races:

The ballot proposals:

Proposal 1: Campaign Finance
This proposal would lower the amount that anyone would be able to donate to any candidate for city office and would increase public matching funds from 6:1 to 8:1. The Campaign Finance Board lists 20 arguments in favor of the proposal and four against.

Proposal 2: Civic Engagement Commission
This proposal would create a Civic Engagement Commission. The commission will be tasked with implementing a participatory budgeting program, support and encourage civic engagement efforts, and provide language interpreters at city poll sites in 2020. The Campaign Finance Board lists 20 endorsements for yes and eight for no.

Proposal 3: Community Boards
This proposal would impose term limits on community boards to four consecutive two-year terms. The Campaign Finance Board lists 20 endorsements for yes and 16 for no.

A look at the three proposals on the back of Tuesday’s ballot. (NY Times)


There’s no such thing as free parking, right Alec Baldwin? (Gothamist)

“Kill N******” That’s what was spray painted on the African Burial Ground Monument in Manhattan. What the hell is going on? (NY Times) “Gov. Cuomo, your silence is deafening. Mayor de Blasio, your silence is deafening” The mayor and governor have both been silent about the African Burial Ground vandalism, as pointed out by City Assemblyman Charles Barron. De Blasio and Cuomo have both made public comment about the defacement of Jewish temples. (NY Post)

The racist and anti-Semitic graffiti continues to be found across the city, this time on the Upper West Side. (West Side Rag) 26-year-old James Polite was arrested for writing “Kill all Jews” inside a Brooklyn Heights synagogue. (NY Post) A group of teens threw a metal pole through synagogue window in Clinton Hill. (NY Post)

The more we know about the Saudi sisters who were found dead in the Hudson River, the sadder the story gets. (NY Times) The sisters were denied asylum in the United States and had previously said they would rather commit suicide than go back to Saudi Arabia. (Gothamist)

Mayor de Blasio is “not happy” with his administration at times. Join the club, buddy. (NY Post)

Meet the city’s clock master, 79 year old Marvin Schneider, who resets the city’s grandest clocks by hand. (NY Times)

The city’s new electric buses won’t be ready for the L train shutdown and weekend work will severely limit L train service leading up to the April’s full-time shutdown. (Town & Village)

The history of why Staten Island has never, and likely will never, be connected to the rest of the city via the subway. (amNY)

Does the city’s fight against climate change mean rising rents? (HuffPost)

Capitol Prep Bronx has someone watching over them. Diddy pledged $1 million to the charter school, which will open in September 2019. (Bronx Times)

16 year’s after Jam Master Jay’s shooting death, a new Run-D.M.C. mural is up on the corner of 12th and Ave A. (Bedford + Bowery)

Does the city have room or patience for The Goods Mart, the upscale Los Angeles convenience store? (Gothamist)

How many times have you said “I’m going to go to the Botanical Garden this year” and never gone? Don’t worry, now there’s a live camera so you can look at the foliage without having to, you know, actually look</em at the foliage. (6sqft)

It’s been fifteen years since the “Tiger in Harlem” story, and it’s still one of the city’s strangest. (NY Post)

Smash those pumpkins! The city has multiple pumpkin smashing events happening across the city, some with catapults! It’s not only fun, but it’s what’s best for the environment. (amNY)


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