The Briefly for February 20, 2020 – The “A Diner by Any Other Name” Edition

Today’s daily NYC news digest: “The Joy Goddess” of Harlem, the Lowline is dead, the best cocktail bars, Myles makes its NYC app debut, Lyft’s electric bikes are back and more

Today – Low: 22˚ High: 38˚
Mostly cloudy throughout the day.

A look at A’Lelia Walker, daughter of Madam C.J. Walker, who 100 years ago in Harlem was given the nickname of “the Joy Goddess” by Langston Hughes, and whose parties and events provided a central location for the Harlem Renaissance. Part of a series by The Root focusing on little-known or forgotten rebels, celebrating Black History Month. (Anne Branigin for The Root)

Mayor Bloomberg started off his debate night getting ruined by Elizabeth Warren. The rest of the night didn’t go so great for him either. (John F. Harris for Politico)

A timeline of Michael Bloomberg’s support of stop and frisk. (Maggie Astor for NY Times)

The Lowline, once an extremely cool idea of putting a Highline style park in an abandoned trolley terminal in the Lower East Side, is dead. After more than a decade of work, the project is out of money. (Bowery Boogie)

Let’s grapple with an existential question for a moment: Is the Soho Diner really a diner? In Robert Sietsema’s review, he points towards no, with food choices pointing more towards “Top Chef” than “greasy spoon.” The desserts earned a compliment, but those are from Petee’s Pies and not made in house. Is a diner by name still a diner? (Robert Sietsema for Eater)

Myles is a new ride-hailing app available this week in NYC. The company claims rides will be 10% cheer than Lyft and Uber on average and they won’t make use of surge pricing. (Igor Bonifacic for Engadget)

Say hello to Eugene Hernandez, the new director of the New York Film Festival. (Sara Aridi for NY Times)

The MTA is betting $15 billion of its $51 billion 2020 – 2024 capital plan on the Trump Administration giving congestion pricing the go ahead and not delaying the 2021 rollout. If there is a delay or a call for an environmental impact study, congestion pricing won’t start on time and the MTA would likely have to borrow money, eventually leading to a transit financial disaster. (Dave Colon for Streetsblog)

Lyft’s pedal-assisted electric bikes are finally back, after being pulled out of commission in April 2019 for malfunctioning brakes and batteries. (Tina Bellon for amNewYork Metro)

Chairnobyl? Chairnobyl. (EV Grieve)

NYC’s best under-the-radar museums, mapped. (Ameena Walker for Curbed)

This ain’t the piercing pagoda kiosk in the mall. A “hole new you” is ht promise of the new piercing studio Studs in Nolita. (Lindsay Tuchman for NY1)

The NYPD arrested a 14-year-old, the third and final suspect in the killing of 18-year-old Barnard College student Tessa Majors on Wednesday. (JB Nicholas for Gothamist)

Apartment Porn: Take a look inside the ex-WeWork CEO’s three-story $27.5 million Gramercy Park apartment. (Valeria Ricciulli for Curbed)

John Ciero, a former NYPD officer, is among five people indicted in federal court for dealing meth and a date rape drug called GBL, the U.S. Attorney’s Office in the Southern District of New York announced on Wednesday. (Sydney Pereira for Gothamist)

New York City’s first weed dummies are arriving in Queens. Of course, you need to have a prescription to get them for the moment. (Jacob Kaye for QNS)

Here are the new protected bike lanes coming to Manhattan this year. From the plan, it looks like you’ll finally be able to bike around the perimeter of Manhattan completely in 2021. (Jake Offenhartz for Gothamist)

This story of a parrot who got loose in Manhattan, is frankly amazing. (Emily Flitter for NY Times)

Plush seating and carpets. That sounds like a good idea for the subways, right? (Jen Carlson for Gothamist)

Citywide alternate side parking tickets will be increasing from $45 to $65 starting today. I used to live in Park Slope and my upstairs neighbor never moved his car for ASP because if he never moved his car and just paid the tickets once a week, he was still going to pay less than if he put his car in any garage in the neighborhood for the month. At $65, three tickets a month is still cheaper than any garage. (Kristen Torres for Sunnyside Post)

James Dolan has won more legal victories over former-Knicks star Charles Oakley than the actual Knicks have won championships over anyone. (Ben Yakas for Gothamist)

The West Side Story revival has been met with protests, as demonstrators have been calling for Amar Ramasar’s removal from the cast because of his role in a photo-sharing scandal at City Ballet. (Julia Jacobs for NY Times)

Chirlane McCray, Mayor de Blasio’s wife, launched a podcast called “Thrive with Chirlane McCray” on the Brooklyn Free Speech podcast network and we are all paying for it. The podcast is funded by Thrive NYC, which has received $850 million in taxpayer funds. (Sophia Chang for Gothamist)

Do you know about “The Atlantic Ticket?” That’s a LIRR ticket that allows you to go from one of Brooklyn’s three stops to Jamaica, Hollis, Queens Village, Locust Manor, St. Albans, Laurelton or Rosedale for only $5. The success of this ticket is renewing calls that traveling within the city on the LIRR should cost $2.75. (Jose Martinez and Trone Dowd for The City)

Happy the elephant, who resides in the Bronx Zoo, does not have human-like rights and does not have to be transferred to a sanctuary. (NY1)

Believe it or not, there are people that live in the Financial District, and those people showed up in force to show their support against the creators of Sleep No More getting a liquor license at a Manhattan Community Board 1 licensing committee meeting. The new show is looking to set up shop in a mostly residential building. The NIMBYs voted against recommending a liquor license be granted and the proposal goes to a full vote of the community board next week, and the State Liquor Authority only uses community board votes as guidance, so it’s still possible the show moves forward as planned. (Ben Brachfield for Gothamist)

RIP Swamp Trump. We hardly knew ye. (Scott Enman for Brooklyn Eagle)

NYC’s top cocktail bars. (Melissa Kravitz Hoeffner for Eater)

thanks to reader Jacqueline for today’s featured photo!

The Briefly for February 19, 2020 – The “Rat, Roach, and Mouse Census of 2020” Edition

Today’s daily NYC news digest: The East Village’s most resilient dive bar, Manhattan rents are the highest in the country, the best Italian restaurants in the West Village, and more

Today – Low: 29˚ High: 46˚
Clear throughout the day.

Another reminder to start bringing your tote bags around, because the plastic bag ban is coming. (Alyssa Paolicelli for NY1)

The story of The Hard Swallow, the East Village’s most resilient dive bar and its owners Sasha and Lee Lloyd. (Drew Schwartz for Vice)

A coalition of North Brooklyn residents and environmental groups are fighting to stop National Grid’s plan to extend a natural gas pipeline through Bushwick, Williamsburg and Greenpoint. (Sydney Pereira for Gothamist)

A census of rats, roaches, mice, and vermin. After a special “rat academy,” the NYCHA is ready to count its pests. (Greg B. Smith for The City)

The NYPL has released a list of its favorite 125 books of all time. They aren’t ranked, so you don’t get to brag that your favorite Harry Potter book is #1. (Shaye Weaver for Time Out)

Luna Park and its Italian owner company Zamperla have been trying to kick Lola Star Souvenir Boutique off the boardwalk for a decade and they finally got what they wanted after raising the rent on the gift shop 500% and “negotiating” down to 400%. Zamperla doesn’t care about Coney Island the neighborhood, they only care about owning Coney Island and this is proof. (Rose Adams)

High Fidelity’s filming locations, listed. (Michelle Young for Untapped New York)

Do you operate an historic boat? Brooklyn Bridge Park would like to know if you want to show it off. (Davin Gannon for 6sqft)

Trader Joe’s is looking to expand on the Upper East Side in the former location of the Food Emporium under the Queensboro Bridge. (6sqft)

14 cozy bars to stay warm at all winter. (Lidia Ryan)

Congratulations to Manhattan for having the highest rents in the entire country for the month of January at $4,210. The national average is $1,463. (Emily Davenport for amNewYork Metro)

Apartment Porn: Inside the newly listed $8 million and $18 million apartments of the landmarked Steinway Building. (Alexandra Alexa for 6sqft)

President Trump pardoned former NYPD Commissioner Bernie Kerik, who was imprisoned from 2010 to 2013 on tax fraud and corruption charges. He accepted a quarter million dollars from a company tied to organized crime to renovate his apartment and lied to the Department of Homeland Security. (Kathleen Culliton for Patch)

The MTA is boasting the best on-time performance since 2013 for January. Hidden in this article is the fun fact that congestion pricing will require federal approval, so that’s another fight we can all look forward to. (Mark Hallum for amNewYork Metro)

What’s it take to be a “real” New Yorker? (Jessica Leibowitz and Jen Carlson for Gothamist)

FedEx and UPS receive over a thousand parking violations a day, but they’ll never pay the full price of the tickets they receive because they pay in bulk and at a steep discount, thanks to the Stipulated Fines and Commercial Abatement program. Offering an immediate discount on parking fines allows delivery companies to flout parking laws or clog the city’s street by parking illegally. The city’s attempted to update its double parking laws for trucks, but if these companies won’t pay for their violations what does it matter? City Councilmember Costa Consantinides put forward a bill to abolish the abatement program, but it’s stalled in committee. (Sophia Chang for Gothamist)

This is the headline: “Sexy Time for Tompkins Square Hawks” (Laura Goggin)

The New York City Planning Commission is looking into developing a 2.4 million-square-foot urban living complex close to the East New York, Brooklyn waterfront that includes 13 new buildings ranging in height from 2 stories to 17. (Gowanus Lounge)

The best Italian restaurants in the West Village. (Bryan Kim & Matt Tervooren for The Infatuation)

The Briefly for December 30, 2019 – The “Are FaceTime Calls on the Subway A Form of Terrorism?” Edition

Today’s daily NYC news digest: Hudson Yards may never be completed, the Chelsea flea market closed, the flu ramps up, a brand new “dive” bar, what makes Scarr’s Pizza the best, and more

Today – Low: 40˚ High: 44˚
Rain until evening.

Sometimes it all goes according to plan and sometimes you’re the guy who stole a cherry picker, spray painted “BIRD GOD” on the arch in Grand Army Plaza, got stuck and had to be rescued and arrested by the NYPD. (Gabe Herman for amNewYork)

Does any construction project in New York ever complete? The Hudson Yards were supposed to be completed by 2024, but now the developer isn’t giving a timetable for when they’ll be done. (The Real Deal)

This isn’t a new concept, Atlantic Yards was supposed to be a ten year project, but now it’ll scheduled to for at least 25 years. It’s becoming more and more common that the first phase of these massive, neighborhood-disrupting construction projects is completed with much fanfare and the rest of the projects, which usually include schools for the neighborhood, quietly linger forever. (Pamela Wong for Bklyner)

Are you one of the monsters who has FaceTime video calls while on the subway? Well good news for you, the MTA will add phone and wifi access to the L train tunnels below the East River. (Robert Pozarycki for amNewYork)

The Times Square ball drop by the numbers. (Diane Pham for 6sqft)

Photos: Take a look at the Times Square NYE ball, since you’re not crazy enough to go see it drop in person. (Scott Lynch for Gothamist)

How to spend New Year’s Eve 2020 in NYC without going near Times Square. (Michelle Cohen for 6sqft)

“We are not adequately preparing to launch a successful congestion pricing program by January 2021” writes Corey Johnson. Congestion pricing is supposed to drive, no pun intended, people to use public transit rather than their cars when traveling into Manhattan. The MTA, trying to find the silver lining to the recent downturn in ridership, says that the downturn actually created capacity for those who will switch back from cars to public transit. (Vincent Barone for amNewYork)

The Annex Antiques Fair and Flea Market in Chelsea, NYC’s largest flea market and counted Andy Warhol among those who frequented it, has lost its lease. After 45 years, finding a new home for the flea market is nearly impossible, as any raw space in the area has been swallowed up by developers. (Katie Van Syckle for NY Times)

The East Village’s Zum Schneider is closing in February after their landlord was “not interested” in renewing their lease. (Sydney Pereira for Gothamist)

New Yorkers with the flu exploded from 1,130 reported cases to 3,010 reported cases over the two weeks ending on December 21. The flu season doesn’t end until May, so there’s still plenty of time to get your shot. (Adam Nichols for Patch)

At the opening of Stonewall House, the city’s first LGBTQ-friendly affordable senior housing development, Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams invoked slavery and predicted that the residence could lead to trouble in the neighborhood. His comments were confusing, questionable in nature, and invoked an us-vs-them mentality that flies in the face of the purpose of Stonewall House. Adams didn’t return calls about this speech, but maybe he will when he’s trying to be the city’s mayor in 2021. (Matt Tracy and Paul Schindler for Gay City News)

In the wake of Tessa Majors’s murder in Morningside Park, an undisclosed white supremecist group is targeting Barnard College and Columbia University staff with racist robocalls. The NYPD’s Racial and Ethnically Motivated Extremism group is looking into the calls. (Julia Reinstein for BuzzFeed News)

The mayor will ramp up police presences in Williamsburg, Crown Heights and Borough Park as well as implementing a new school curriculum focusing on the danger of hate crimes after a Hanukkah rife with anti-Semitic attacks. The new Office for the Prevention of Hate Crimes will be overseeing the efforts. (Sanjana Karanth for HuffPost)

When Justin Theroux opened Ray’s Bar, there was a lot of questioning whether it was even possible to open a brand new bar and call it a dive bar. Enter Dolly’s Swing & Dive, meant to evoke Dolly Parton. The owners push the concept of a dive bar by claiming they’re taking the things they like about a dive bar and “made it a little more grown up.” Can a dive bar have a crab-and-shrimp roll you’d be willing to eat? (Bao Ong for Time Out)

The Nevins Street raccoon, named Chepe by the MTA, continues to evade capture by the NYPD. I bet they’d catch it in a heartbeat if it jumped a turnstile. (Jen Chung for Gothamist)

Video: What makes Scarr’s Pizza’s one of the city’s best and healthiest? House-milled flour. (Murilo Ferreira for Eater)

Video: Selfish lady holds up traffic for 2 blocks because she won’t move her double parked car, with over a million views on YouTube. Welcome to Forest Hills. (ActionKid)

12 new restaurants worth checking out while the rest of New York is still on vacation.(Nikita Richardson for Grub Street)