The Briefly for November 19, 2018 – The “MTA is On the Edge of a Death Spiral” Edition

Holding affordable housing hostage in Brooklyn, Prospect Park Lake’s “Floating Goat,” plans to privatize the NYCHA’s operations, the best burgers in the city, and more in today’s daily NYC news digest.

The house of the man who designed Central Park and Prospect Park sits in ruin on Staten Island. The New York Landmarks Conservancy is looking to restore Frederick Law Olmsted’s house and launched a Kickstarter to get it started. (Untapped Cities)

Here are the two options for the MTA fare hikes headed our way in 2019 as the entire system sits on the edge of a death spiral. (Second Ave Sagas)

A developer in Crown Heights is holding affordable units hostage if the city does not approve an upzoning their new development. (Bklyner)

In some parts of the city, limits on Community Board term-limits is a cause for concern when board seats already have a difficult time being filled. (Bronx Times)

If you’re questioning just how progressive de Blasio really is based on his support of Amazon’s LIC HQ2, you’re not alone. (The Real Deal)

The 24 best burgers in the city. (Eater)

Does the Sanitation Department’s boss, Kathryn Garcia, have too much on her plate? On top of being responsible for the city’s trash removal and snow-removal, the mayor also named her as the person to combat toxic lead across the city. (NY Post)

Can the private sector save the NYCHA? That’s exactly what is being considered. The plan would hand over management of repairs and renovations, but it will also sell unused air rights to develop new apartments on underused NYCHA land. (Curbed)

Signal work on the 7 train that started in 2010 is finally scheduled to finish at the end of the month. The work will allow extra trips when the L train shuts down in April. (Jackson Heights Post)

Why are some portions of Manhattan devoid of skyscrapers? The reason is less geological and more financial. (Laughing Squid)

1,500 affordable apartments were headed for LIC, but a certain online retailer’s plans for new offices have put that in jeopardy. (6sqft)

Breathe in, watch the mandarin duck in Central Park swimming in the snow, breathe out. (@notfapgod69)

What is “The Floating Goat” in Prospect Park Lake? (amNY)

The 25-year history of the Union Square Holiday Market. (6sqft)

Mayor de Blasio fired the chief of the Department of Investigations, and it’s hard to see that it was anything but a personal vendetta against a former friend. (NY Times)

The North Face’s new prototype store in Williamsburg includes a custom-scent made to remind you of Yosemite National Park. (Bedford + Bowery)

The stories of the stray cats of Red Hood. (Red Hook Star-Revue)

A checklist of restaurants and bars to check out before the L train shuts down, but make sure to check that the L train is actually running before venturing out. (amNY)

The best (and worst) spots to watch the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. (amNY)

The city is no longer without an FAO Schwarz. (Untapped Cities)

The chief responsible for the Harvey Weinstein case who led the NYPD’s special victim’s division (not executive produced by Dick Wolf) has been ousted. His replacement will be Deputy Chief Judith Harrison. (NY Times)

Despite the chaos and insane traffic during last week’s snow storm, the subway was… surprisingly functional. (NY Post)

Panna II, one of the city’s worst-reviewed restaurants, is one of the hottest reservations in the city. (Thrillist)

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The Briefly for October 25, 2018 – The “Signs of the L-pocalypse” Edition

Expect multiple fare hikes in the coming years from the MTA, the most annoying woman in Crown Heights, inside the collapse of PilotWorks, the Squirrel Census, and more in today’s daily NYC news digest.

Inside the sudden collapse of Pilotworks, the food incubator that housed about 175 small businesses. (The Bridge)

Bike lanes have been painted on 12th and 13th St, one of the first signs of the L-pocalypse. (Chelsea Now)

The MTA’s new station managers are focusing on making the subways look cleaner, but the results aren’t easily seen. Will a visible difference on the platform make more of an impact than noticeably better service? (Gothamist)

“Unless we get a sustainable new source of revenue, we have no other options to balance our budget after 2019.” Expect fare hikes and service cuts in the coming years as the MTA won’t be able to fill their budget gap. Where’s that $37 billion going to come from to fix the subways? (amNY)

11 NYC restaurants made it on to OpenTable’s 50 best vegetarian restaurants list. (amNY)

Meet Kathleen Reilly, the most annoying woman in Crown Heights. (Brooklyn Eagle)

Thousands of new apartments are being built on the Lower East Side, here is a map of all of them. (Curbed)

After his failed Lieutenant Governor Democratic nomination bid, Councilmember Jumaane Williams has his eyes set on NYC’s Public Advocate position. (The Brooklyn Reader)

The thrill of the Central Park Squirrel Census is real, and it goes beyond the pencils and pins given to the volunteers (but they’re pretty cool too). (Atlas Obscura)

The city’s worst landlords are costing us $300 million annually. (Curbed)

Dean Skelos, once one of the most powerful men in Albany, will be going to jail for over four years for abusing his office to benefit his son. Speaking of his son, he’s going to jail for four years too. (NY Post)

TapeScape, at the Brooklyn’s Children’s Museum, looks like an Instagram-bait installation but in a real museum. (The Brooklyn Reader)

The anti-MAGA #KeepNYCTrashFree posters popping up around the city is the work of artist Winston Tseng, who was the man behind the parody “Your Train is Delayed” ad campaign. (Gothamist)

Will Brooklyn’s Watchtower sign be replaced? The Board of Standards and Appeals will make the decision on November 8. (Curbed)

The race between Marty Golden and his Democratic opponent Andrew Gounardes is one of the city’s most interesting. Their debate, covering gender identity, abortion, state-wide health insurance, and more. (Brooklyn Daily Eagle)

The morning after their debate, Golden’s office had the words “Marty Golden defends Nazis” in chalk in front of his district office, a criticism of his refusal to fire a campaign staffer who invited the leader of the Proud Boys to speak at the GOP club on the Upper East Side. (Kings County Politics)

Consent is mandatory. (Bedford and Bowery)

Two women were found dead and duct-taped together under a pier at W 68th and Riverside Park South on Wednesday afternoon. The NYPD are investigating. (NY Post)

Rent is at an all-time high in Manhattan ($3,247!), but the borough’s home sales in saw their largest drop in Q3 since the financial crisis. (StreetEasy)

Fort Greene’s Great Pupkin Dog Halloween Costume Contest was moved from this Saturday to Sunday. Plan accordingly! (Gothamist)


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The Briefly for October 18, 2018 – The “This Will Make the L Train Shutdown Look Easy” Edition

The MTA has not properly maintained the subways, NYC’s haunted history, the mayor is accused of selective animal-cruelty enforcement, this November’s election is going to be confusing, and more.

The L train is not running between Broadway Junction and 8th 8 Ave, from 10:45 pm until 5 a.m. every weekday until November 30. The MTA is also reducing service to one train every 12 minutes between Myrtyle-Wckoff and Rockaway Parkway from 11am to 3pm. Add that to the L not running at all on the weekends during October. Good lord. (Gothamist)

According to the Department of Transportation commissioner Polly Tottenberg, the challenge the impending BQE construction poses to the city “makes the L train look like a piece of cake.” Oh, cool.

15 ways to celebrate Halloween. (Untapped Cities)

Activists are accusing Mayor de Blasio of refusing to enforce animal-cruelty laws against Orthodox Jews who ritually slaughter tens of thousands of chickens Brooklyn streets ahead of Yom Kippur. The Alliance to End Chickens as Kaproros wants to show in court that the selective enforcement favors a particular class. (NY Post)

November 6’s election ballots will be two pages for the first time which is expected to cause multiple logistics issues at polling locations throughout the city. Uh oh. (Bklyner)

A sample election ballot.

Could one way to reduce the burden on the subway system be lowering the cost of in-city trips on the LIRR and Metro-North to subway fares? (Curbed)

LA chef Ilan Hall is back in NYC with Ramen Hood, a pop-up vegan noodle bar at the Chef’s Club in SoHo. (Gothamist)

Speaking of challenges Tottenberg also said “I’m the first to admit we have a long way to go.” when talking about parking placard abuse. She’s recommending automatic license plate readers, which likely won’t be a hit with civil liberties groups. (NY Post)

Three Crown Heights parks will see their first improvements in 20 to 30 years. It’s a double edged sword, as investments in these parks could result in higher rents and sale prices in the already fragile neighborhood. (The Brooklyn Reader)

Ferry buffs, sorry to see that Hurricane Michael forced a delay in the delivery of new boats for the Staten Island Ferry. The first boat was opting in late 2019 and there is no new delivery date yet. (amNY)

Governor Cuomo is actually praising Mayor de Blasio. Cuomo is joining de Blasio in calling for a boycott of NY1 by any state officials over an ongoing strike by the electrical workers union. (NY Post)

A new audit of the MTA between 2015 and 2017 shows, surprise surprise, the MTA has not properly maintained the system. 76% of inspections are not completed on time and thousands of inspections never happened at all. (NY Post)

Low-level offenders (disorderly conduct, littering, drinking alcohol in public) with outstanding warrants have the opportunity to clear their record in Woodside on Saturday. (Sunnyside Post)

Trump Place at 200 Riverside Blvd will now be known as…200 Riverside Blvd. The building is the latest of many in Manhattan to dump Trump signage due to the actions of our current president. (NY Times)

The former NYPD detective on the Harvey Weinstein case allegedly told one of his victims that she could delete text messages from her phones before turning them over to prosecutors. She didn’t, but that sounds shady to say the least. (Gothamist)

The baby Trump balloon is making its way to the city for the Impeachment Parade on October 27. (amNY)

10 spots that will reveal the city’s haunted history. (6sqft)


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