The Briefly for August 12, 2019 – The “LaGuardia Airport: A Hellhole of Hellholes” Edition

Zombie homes, free subways and buses on holidays, the ultra-rich New Yorkers funding Trump’s campaign, the Islanders are leaving Brooklyn, and more in today’s daily NYC news digest.

This week’s planned late-night subway disruptions are extensive, double-check the trains before staying out late. (Subway Weekender)

The second phase of the Hudson Yards construction involves something pretty common to NYC: delays from the MTA. (6sqft)

A history, explanation, and timeline of the LaGuardia construction. (amNY)

Saying LaGuardia Airport sucks in 2019 is underselling the sheer nightmare that is trying to escape the city from an airport where 90% of people are using private transportation to get to. Thursday’s disaster scenario of people walking on the highways and ramps to catch their flights was blamed on it being of the 45 peak travel days for the summer. Between the MTA’s stellar track record for buses, the Port Authority’s control of the airport, the DOT’s control of the roads and individual airlines’ construction on terminals, this is a problem that will persist for years.

Where’s the governor on all of this? He’s called this whole mess “unavoidable,” while also taking no specific action to make traveling to the airport any less hellish. If you’re traveling on any of the 19 “peak” days in August, the Port Authority suggests leaving multiple hours earlier to account for the travel disaster waiting for you. (Gothamist)

The “zombie homes” in Sheepshead bay are becoming a real problem for the neighborhood. (Brooklyn Paper)

New York state has a case against ExxonMobil for misleading its shareholders by lying about knowledge of climate change as early as 1977, and now the state has caught ExxonMobil attempting to intimidate the witnesses. Opening statements are scheduled for October 23. (Inside Climate News)

If you’re the type of person who hates having money and loves martinis, maybe The Algonquin Hotel’s $10,000 martini is for you, which comes with a diamond ring. (Untapped Cities)

The Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade replaced animals from the Central Park Zoo with balloons in 1927. The company turned to Greenwich Villager Tony Sarg to create the first iconic balloons for the parade. (GVSHP)

Incomplete data and sporadic surveys make measuring storefront vacancies difficult, but a study from the Department of City Planning shows the problem doesn’t exist everywhere in the city. Jackson Heights has the lowest vacancy rate of the areas surveyed at 5.1% compared to Canal Street, which is at 25.9%. (Curbed)

The history of how a natural gas pipeline turned into a 30-mile offshore windfarm. (The Indypendent)

This week’s forced restaurant closures do not disappoint with two different places being closed by the Department of Health, both scoring over 100 violation points in the process. (Patch)

The worry over rentable Revel scooters in Brooklyn and Queens is just that, worry. The company’s mission enjoys rare support from both the Department of Transportation’s Polly Trottenberg and Transportation Alternatives, and if they proved to be dangerous, you’d be reading about the danger they pose to pedestrians in The Briefly on a regular basis. (NY Times)

These are the city’s top high schools. (Patch)

The city is transforming two East Harlem lots into all below-market-rate apartments with 30% set aside for the homeless as part of the East Harlem Housing Plan. (Curbed)

Does no one ride the subways on major holidays because the MTA cuts service or does the MTA cut service because no one rides the subways on holidays? City Councilmember Justin Brannan will propose a non-binding resolution to request the MTA offer free subway and bus service during New Year’s Day, Memorial Day, Independence Day, Labor Day Thanksgiving Day, and Christmas Day in a similar fashion to how parking meters are suspended on those days. The MTA is, of course, against anything that would promote more people to take the train or buses. (6sqft)

85% of people stopped for mass transit fare evasion are black or Latinx, which echoes the unmistakable racist enforcement of stop and frisk. (Brooklyn Daily Eagle)

The Islanders are getting a permanent home in Belmont Park with a 19,000 seat arena for the team is dead last when it comes to attendance figures for the last two seasons. (QNS)

A list of the 1% of the 1% of New York City that is fueling Trump’s reelection campaign. Of course, the city’s worst musician and Knicks owner James Dolan is on the list. (Gothamist)

The condo board of 25 Central Park West is asking neighbor buildings for money to continue to fight their lawsuit against a protected bike lane that could have saved the life of cyclist Madison Lyden. (Streetsblog)

Mike Chen is testing the six top burgers in the city, which will come out ahead? (Viewing NYC)

Already tired of the 2020 primary race among Democrats? Here is a list of possible 2021 hopefuls for NYC mayor. (amNY)

As Sunset Park becomes more popular thanks to a gentrifying neighborhood and Industry City, Third Avenue’s dangers become more pronounced. The death of Em Samolewicz is one of eight fatalities and 2,000 injuries on Third Ave since 2011. (The Brooklyn Home Reporter)

A judge issued a stay and once again blocked the 14th St busway from becoming a reality. Every single headline about this story has used some variation of the phrase “slams brakes on” like it was legally mandated. (Downtown Express)

29% of the 15,500 structural components at subway stations were found to be worn or damaged, and that number is up since 2012. Comforting, right? (amNY)

Anti-ICE protestors shut down the West Side Highway at 26th St on Saturday for an hour. (Splinter)

Were you among the 10,253 people treated by the FDNY between 2011 and 2018 whose personal information, including social security number, was accidentally left on a hard drive and misplaced? (amNY)

The New York Philharmonic’s Free Fridays are returning, giving away tickets to people between 13 and 26 with an online reservation system. (I Love the Upper West Side)

Jeffrey Epstein is dead of an apparent suicide, but the investigation into his crimes is not. The FBI and prosecutors will turn their attention to his accomplices. (NY Times)

The city’s 19th cyclist was killed by a teenage driver on Sunday in Midwood. (Brooklyn Paper)

City Hall Park is now adorned by “Estructuras Monumentales“, works by 104-year-old local artist Carmen Herrera and will be on display through November 8. (Downtown Express)

A deep look into Corey Johnson’s plans to kill the city’s car culture. (Gotham Gazette)

35 solid happy hours. (Eater)

The Briefly for May 20, 2019 – The “Casting Literal and Figurative Shade” Edition

A legendary pizza place is temporarily closed, Scott Stringer is making his mayoral candidacy clear, the NYPL’s secrets, and more in today’s daily NYC news digest.

This week’s planned late-night subway disruptions are along the 3, 6, A, D and E lines, but double check before you go anywhere after 10pm. (Subway Weekender)

The BQE Rehab panel is asking for feedback. If you want to provide your feedback, there’s a phone number and a form for the kind of constructive, polite feedback New Yorkers are known for. (BQE Panel)

The developer of the building that would cast literal shade on the Brooklyn Botanical Gardens is attempting a char offensive campaign to promote the site’s affordable housing. I’m not sure there’s a New Yorker gullible enough to believe that a company would pay $75 million for a plot of land and then build 1,500 apartments (50% would be “affordable”) because they believe in affordable housing. (Gothamist)

From the pneumatic tubes, to the book train, to the actual visible history you can see in the building, ten secrets of the NYPL’s main branch on 42nd St. (Untapped Cities)

Not on the list is the number of empty floors of stacks. There are some parts of the NYPL that can’t safely store its research collection, which has been moved into storage underneath Bryant Park, where its 11 million book collection is safe. (NY Times)

Wave hello to the city’s newest bars and restaurants. (amNY)

The restaurants ordered closed last week, including surprising inclusions Barcade on 24th and Di Fara Pizza in Midwood. (Patch)

Di Fara says it will be reopening today. (Eater)

If you need more proof that the MTA wasn’t prepared for the L Train Slowdown, the initial cuts to the M14’s route have been altered with this “final compromise.” (Curbed)

35 years after opening, Bookbook in Greenwich Village is closing. It’s not the city’s rising rents, but retirement that’s calling the owners. (NY Times)

This Gothamist piece about a protest from contractors over the proposed rent reforms takes a turn midway through, accusing real estate and landlord groups of astroturfing the hearings. (Gothamist)

630 Fifth Avenue. Quickly, what’s the nearest corner? Take off the last number and you’ve got 63. Divide it by 2 and you have 31. Add 20 because it’s over 600 and the answer is 51st St. Finding a cross street used to involve a little math. (Ephemeral New York)

The city lost 7,500 affordable apartments in 2018, but gained 11,800. There’s a catch. 80% of the new apartments’ affordability status is temporary. (The Real Deal)

Brooklyn’s bra whisperer. (NY City Lens)

The Bronx’s Tibbetts Brook was “moved” underground by Robert Moses. As a result of Robert Moses’s brilliant idea, the surrounding area floods when it rains, the flooding overwhelms the sewers and overflow has to be dumped into the Harlem River. The Parks Department has a plan to bring the brook back above ground to remedy this, but a private rail company stands in their way. (Gothamist)

If you’re unfamiliar with the Combined Sewage Overflow system, the city collects rainwater in its sewer system, and when the combination of rainwater, human waste, and whatever else on the street overload the sewer system, it dumps out in the NYC waters in 13 locations, dumping 377 million gallons of raw sewage into our waters. (Newsweek)

This is why the city closely monitors the water at the city’s beaches for sewage runoff. Beaches were on warning for 49 days in 2018 with one closure. The Swim Guide and website is also available for water condition reports. (nyc.gov and The Brooklyn Eagle)

Notify NYC now offers transit alerts. Why would you want transit alerts from the Department of Emergency Management, a city agency, instead of the MTA, a state agency, or one of the dozens of transit apps? No idea. A quick look shows that the Notify system doesn’t have the same breadth of coverage as @NYCTsubway on twitter. (amNY)

It shouldn’t be to anyone’s surprise at the width of the chasm of difference between the rezoning plans of the Department of City Planning and the Bushwick Community Plan for Bushwick’s future. (Bklyner)

Normal people put up curtains or shades in their bathrooms so people can’t watch them poop. Alex Rodriguez does not appear to be a normal person, or else this photo of A-Rod taking a deuce wouldn’t be on the internet. (Gothamist)

Morgenstern’s is adding a twist to its flagship ice cream location on Houston: booze. (Eater)

The most popular baby names in NYC are Liam, Noah, Jacob, Emma, and Olivia. Not many future kinds named Bran. (Patch)

Turns out the TWA hotel wasn’t actually as ready for visitors like it should have been. (Gothamist)

If you want to attract birds, here are the plants for you to grow. (Patch)

. Turns out the MTA is as good at maintaining its toilets as it is its subways. (Gothamist)

The Brooklyn Navy Yard ferry stop opens today. (Brooklyn Paper)

Scott Stringer, who has clearly been making a visibility play to run for mayor, says a new tax on the city’s largest businesses could expand subsidies for childcare for 84,000 kids younger than 3. (Patch)

The best cocktails under $10. (Thrillist)

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