The Briefly for February 21-22, 2021 – The “Take the Tone Down” Sunday Edition

The latest NYC news digest: The NYPD loses another lawsuit over misconduct records, the Empire Station Complex plans, Brooklyn gets crabs, and more

Today – Low: 30˚ High: 34˚
Clear throughout the day.

• After a group of trans leaders called on Heritage of Pride (HOP) to hand over control of New York City’s Pride festivities to Black and Brown transgender individuals, a planned meeting between the two sides was cancelled — and a bitter controversy flared up. (Tat Bellamy-Walker for Gay City News)

Joe’s Pizza, Scarr’s Pizza and Uncle Mike’s Hometown Pizza are NYC’s favorite pizza places, according to Google Maps searches in 2020. (Anna Ben Yehuda for Time Out)

Indoor dining will increase in capacity on Friday, February 26 from 25% to 35%. (Hannah Albertine for The Infatuation)

• Now that he’s in deep shit with state and federal investigations into how his administration hid nursing home death numbers, the state’s legislature is about to strip him of his emergency powers, and public sentiment is turning against him, Governor Cuomo wants to “take the tone down.” (Christopher Robbins and Gwynne Hogan for Gothamist)

92% of NYC restaurants were either unable to pay some or all of their rent in December. 46% were able to pay some, 45% couldn’t pay any. (Matt Troutman for Patch)

Farewell Jing Fong, Chinatown’s legendary Chinatown dim sum banquet hall, open since 1972. (Jen Chung for Gothamist)

“Ghost kitchens have been meticulously engineered to be infinitely adaptable and fantastically efficient. The Wall Street Journal loves them. But what they really are is a trend that manages, triumphantly, to strip away all joy from the act of eating. They are devoid of every feature that makes restaurants great, and they are not, despite what the many, many headlines say, the true future of the restaurant industry.”
-Rachel Sugar, Ghost Kitchens Will Always Be Dumb, for Grub Street

• Pete Wells goes a bit behind-the-scenes on what it’s been like being a restaurant critic during a pandemic that has shattered all of our norms about eating outside (and sometimes inside) the home. It’s hard to remain anonymous when your name is on your delivery order. (Pete Wells for NY Times)

• Podcast: They’re more than just the front door to the Teenage Mutant Nina Turtles’ home. Looking at the history of manhole covers. (Michelle Young for Untapped New York)

• Apartment Porn: Actress Sela Ward’s $5.8 million Soho loft, with 14-foot ceilings, exposed brick walls, a deep soacking tub, whatever a smart toilet is, a 300-bottle wine fridge, and more. (Dana Schulz for 6sqft)

• A majority of Democratic candidates running for Manhattan District Attorney are promising to end the agency’s use of software from Palantir, whose invasive surveillance software has been seen as unreliable and rife with racial justice and privacy issues. (George Joseph for Gothamist)

• Manhattan DA Cy Vance added Mark F. Pomerantz to the Donald Trump criminal investigation team. Pomerantz has a history of investigating and defending white-collar and organized crime cases. (William K. Rashbaum, Ben Protess and Jonah E. Bromwich for NY Times)

The NYPD’s secret misconduct records must be made public after a judge ruled against the Police Benevolent Association and other unions. This is the 50-a shielding law that’s been the focus of conversation for some time. The records have not been made public yet as Mayor de Blasio waits for clearance from the court about when the records can be released. (Greg B. Smith for The City)

A video shows an NYPD officer repeatedly punching a man as he’s held down on the ground at the South Ferry subway station during an arrest for allegedly smoking a cigarette on the platform on Tuesday. Is this what 500 more cops will look like in the subways? (David Cruz for Gothamist)

• How the NYPD’s Strategic Response Group, an anti-terror squad, became the city’s tool for cracking down on protests. (Jake Offenhartz for Gothamist)

• One day after signaling his plan not to enforce basic education standards within the community’s yeshivas Andrew Yang is the frontrunner for the ultra-Orthodox vote. Yang credits a month-long course on the Bible he took at a Westchester prep school as his reason for his stance. (Jake Offenhartz for Gothamist)

A focus on the City Council showdown in Coney Island. (Rose Adams for Kinds County Politics)

• Corey Johnson got out of the mayor’s race, but now he’s thinking about running for comptroller. (Jeffery C. Mays and Emma G. Fitzsimmons for NY Times)

• Podcast: Quanda Francis on her campaign for mayor. (Ben Max for Gotham Gazette)

• Maya Wiley, the former MSNBC analyst and legal counsel to Mayor Bill de Blasio running for mayor, has the endorsement of Local 1199 of the Service Employees International Union, The National Health Care Workers’ Union, which also endorsed Mayor de Blasio before he was elected. (Emma G. Fitzsimmons for NY Times)

• Congratulations Brooklyn, you have the lowest vaccination rates in the city. (Jake Samieske for Brooklyn Magazine)

Meet artist Devon Rodriguez, whose drawings of strangers on the subway is providing sparks of joy on his Instagram and TikTok accounts. (Will Gleason for Time Out)

KAWS: WHAT PARTY is coming to the Brooklyn Museum from February 26 – September 5. (Brooklyn Street Art)

RIP Arturo Di Modica, the sculptor of the Charging Bull statue. (NY1)

• Remember the Tribeca “bean” by Anish Kapoor, the creator of the Chicago bean, on Leonard St? It’s only partially built, half shiny bean, half plywood construction site. (Michael Young for New York YIMBY)

11 Black-owned wine shops across the city. (Hannah Albertine and Nikko Duren for The Infatuation)

A Park Slope Food Co-Op member started a GoFundMe to raise $10,000 to sue the organization, alleging racial discrimination. (Erika Adams for Eater)

• Move over lobster, here come the crab boils. (Ellie Plass for Bklyner)

The city will not test rising kindergarteners for admission to gifted programs, the education department announced Wednesday. Instead, students will be evaluated by their pre-K teacher or sign up for an interview. (Christina Veiga for Chalkbeat)

Black Seed Bagels is getting into pizza, but disappointingly there are no pizza bagels on the menu. (Shaye Weaver for Time Out)

The top 10 places to find the best pastrami in NYC. (Robert Sietsema for Eater)

The state’s plan for the 20-million-square-foot Empire Station Complex surrounding Penn Station was adopted by the board of directors of Empire State Development. The plan calls for five buildings over 1,000 feet tall, up to 1,300 feet. For reference, the Empire State building’s roof is 1,250 feet tall. The project is expected to be completed by 2038. (Vanessa Londono for New York YIMBY)

Five snacks to try across the city. (Hannah Albertine for The Infatuation)

The Briefly for September 25-26, 2020 – The “Now You Annoyed the Anarchists” Friday Edition

Friday’s NYC news digest: The growing Covid-19 cluster neighborhoods, restaurant reviews return with no stars, Corey Johnson steps away from the mayoral race, and more

Today – Low: 66˚ High: 78˚
Mostly cloudy throughout the day.
This weekend – Low: 69˚ High: 76˚

10 big differences between fall in NYC this year vs. last year.” I bet I could think of at least one of them. (Shaye Weaver for Time Out)

If we raise taxes on New Yorkers making more than a million a year, are they really gonna turn tail and leave? While the governor says he won’t raise their taxes for that very reason, he hasn’t shown any evidence that’s the case. Millionaires aren’t gonna choose to move to Hoboken because their taxes are high. That’s nobody’s first choice. (Christopher Robbins for Gothamist)

Even anarchists are annoyed that New York City was designated an anarchist jurisdiction. (Carson Kessler for The City)

Apartment Porn: This 5,500 square foot home in Brooklyn Heights is stunning, complete with a rooftop yoga studio, garden, and an indoor pool. For $8 million, it better be! (Dana Schulz for 6sqft)

Two Sunset Park meat purveyors face up to 20 years behind bars for pasting fake labels on their low-grade beef products to inflate their prices. (Rose Adams for Brooklyn Paper)

After 21 years, the Amish Market in Tribeca is closing. (Dana Schulz for 6sqft)

The Brooklyn Municipal Building (I was married in that building) will be named after Ruth Bader Ginsberg. (NY1)

“Advocates for the LaGuardia AirTrain such as Gov. Cuomo and Port Authority Executive Director Rick Cotton promise a 30-minute or less connection from LaGuardia Airport to Manhattan via the AirTrain. It’s a myth.”
-Larry Penner, transportation advocate and historian, The Myth of the 30-Minute, One-Seat Ride on the LGA AirTrain for Streetsblog

The Times’ Pete Wells is back to writing restaurant reviews, but without any stars. This is similar to The Infatuation, who dropped its rating system while we’re in the end times. (Luke Fortney for Eater)

Next week, the City Council will take up new legislation to potentially make outdoor dining permanent. (Erika Adams for Eater)

Did you know that NYC has a fruit-filled Instagram bakery scene? (Luke Fortney for Eater)

Najhim Luke was indicted on second-degree murder and additional charges in the death of Brandon Hendricks, a 17-year-old high school basketball player who was shot in the Bronx by a stray bullet on June 28, 2020. (Norwood News)

According to a lawsuit, a CUNY graduate alleges that she was suspended after City Council Majority Leader Laurie Cumbo intervened in response to the student’s protest against Cumbo at a community board meeting last year. (Sydney Pereira for Gothamist)

How many times have we said that the Industry City rezoning plan is dead? This time it’s actually dead. The developers have pulled their proposal. (Greg David The City)

The history of how the Industry City rezoning completely fell apart. (Caroline Spivack for Curbed)

The MTA is looking to ban pooping on the subway. Does this mean that pooping on the subway is not currently banned? (Matt Troutman for Patch)

Responding to a tip in February 2019, the MTA discovered a a “man cave” was discovered underneath Grand Central Terminal, complete with couch, fridge, and TV. (Jen Chung for Gothamist)

A look at The Elevated Acre, a little patch of (fake) grass overlooking the water in the Financial District. (Marianne Howard for Untapped New York)

The Met Opera canceled its spring season. (Adam Feldman for Time Out)

There have been Covid-19 cases in 100 NYC school buildings. (Charon Otterman for NY Times)

Two yeshivas will shut down amid a coronavirus spike in several neighborhoods in southern Brooklyn. (NY1)

Congrats to Borough Park, Far Rockaway, Flatbush, Kew Gardens, Midwood, and Williamsburg, the six neighborhoods the city will be focusing a “hyper-local effort” to increase testing and outreach to fight Covid-19. (Matt Troutman for Patch)

“The ship has sailed. We’re headed toward another super spreading event.” Life in a Borough Park. (Jake Offenbartz for Gothamist)

“Last week, the New York City Council announced that it had passed a new bill allowing restaurants to add a COVID surcharge of 10 percent. The law will stay in place until 90 days after indoor dining is brought back to full capacity, but like so much else done over the past six months, it’s a gesture of help that does too little.”
-Chris Crowley, The COVID Recovery Surcharge Is a Farce for Grub Street

It’s not illegal to not wear a helmet while riding a bike in the city. Someone should tell these Barney Fifes who ticketed a cyclist for not wearing a helmet after being hit by a car. (Julianne Cuba for Streetsblog)

The number of women running for the state Legislature has hit an all-time high, shattering the record set just two years ago. Good. (Bill Mahoney for Politico)

The Gowanus Canal dredging is going to start mid-November. (Kevin Duggan for Brooklyn Paper)

When’s the EPA’s cleanup of the Gowanus going to be finished? At least another dozen years. (Kevin Duggan for Brownstoner)

Eric Trump, the human toothpaste and orange juice combo, must testify in the state’s probe into the Trump Organization before the election on October 7. (Noah Singer for Brooklyn Eagle)

Interview: Here is why Corey Johnson dropped out of the mayor’s race. (Brigid Bergin for Gothamist)

Video: The Krispy Kreme glaze waterfall in Time Square. (Scott Lynch for Gothamist)

Governo Cuomo is back to what he’s doing best, talking shit about Mayor de Blasio’s inaction. This time, it’s focused on NYC being the only jurisdiction in the state that hasn’t started a mandated community dialogue on public safety. (Matt Troutman for Patch)

You knew it was coming: New Years Eve in Times Square is canceled. (Bill Pearls for BrooklynVegan)

15 exciting restaurants in Brooklyn open for outdoor dining. (Eater)

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!