The Briefly for November 21, 2019 – The “Raccoons Take Control, De Blasio’s MTA Influence Weakens” Edition

The best falafel, the city pays out $1 billion in lawsuits annually, Corey Johnson continues the tradition of playing politics with the budget, and more in today’s daily NYC digest.

Trash pandas rule the city’s parks at night, but now they are turning their little bandit-faced gaze towards becoming the kinds of the subterranean. Raccoon-related subway delays are up this year, way up. (Gothamist)

Let’s call it The Great Bell Blvd Oil Heist. The NYPD arrested Nigeme Rowe for stealing used oil from restaurants that put out the oil for recycling companies to be turned into biodiesel. (QNS)

The Daily News’ owners sold 25% of the company to the Tribune Company, the “destroyer of newspapers.” Sound promising. (Patch)

The city has paid $84.5 million annually to the victims of traffic violence caused by city employees in the Departments of Fire, Sanitation, Police, Transportation, and Parks. Add in all claims against the city? The number balloons to $1 billion. (Streetsblog)

The candy vendor arrested in a Harlem subway station last week plans to sue the city for $5 million for excessive force used by the four police officers who arrested him. (amNewYork)

The Queens DA will release its internal “credibility database” of cops who are suspected of lying in court. (Gothamist)

Are there enough places to buy coffee in NYC? Bandit is a new company that plans to open a coffee stand where you can buy a cup via their app with their eventual goal to be within a five minute walk from anyone who wants coffee. (Eater)

Broadway is Broadway, but Off Broadway, Off-Off Broadway and smaller theaters far beyond still has a strong economical presence. Non-Broadway theater generates $584 million annually and employs 3,000 people according to a new study form the mayor’s office. (NY Times)

Five holiday decoration tips for small spaces, including the very sad “put branches in the shape of a tree on your wall.” (StreetEasy)

Lyft and the New York City Department of Transportation (DOT) announced the formation of a new Equity Advisory Board for Citi Bike to discuss and evaluate Citi Bike’s equity strategy to better serve New York. (Curbed)

This look back at the history of 57th St starts with the quintessential Manhattan question: “Does anyone actually want to go to Midtown?” (Gothamist)

13 Brooklyn condos with the best waterfront views. (6sqft)

The case for ending free parking in NYC is getting stronger. (NY Times)

Here are the things that New Yorkers are looking for when they search for a new home. Here’s a hint: low crime and good light. (Localize Labs)

Add another name to the great fried chicken fight of 2019. From Philly, the latest contestant is Starliner in Bushwick. (Gothamist)

Evictions are down in Manhattan, Staten Island, Brooklyn, and Queens, but not in the Bronx according to a new report issued by NYU’s Furman Center. (Welcome2TheBronx)

The Times is searching for stories about your neighborhood bodega. (NY Times)

Is your regular hookup becoming “a thing?” Here’s where to go when you’re not sure that your friend with benefits might want to have the “what ARE we?” talk. (The Infatuation)

Mayor de Blasio’s influence over the MTA is diminishing as one of his appointees, Veronica Vanterpool, is resigning from the MTA’s board. Vanterpool was also the youngest board member at 44 and its only woman of color. (Politico)

The MTA’s automated bus-mounted camera ticketing system is coming to the 14th St busway and will be online on December 2 and for the first sixty days, drivers will only receive a warning. (Gothamist)

Ten city zip codes are among the United States’ most expensive when it comes to home prices at numbers 5 and 8, respectively. Tribeca and Hudson Square broke through to the top ten. (Patch)

It seems that as long as you say you “didn’t realize” you hit and killed someone with your car, the NYPD will absolve you of wrongdoing. (Streetsblog)

A second New Yorker has died due to a vaping-related illness. (Patch)

More than two dozen homes in Dyker Heights have begun their annual Christmas light transformation. (Brooklyn Paper)

In September of 2018, the Department of Sanitation begun parking garbage trucks overnight on 10th between 1st and 2nd, which quite honestly sucks for the people who live on that block. It took 14 months, but State Senator Brad Hoylman and State Assemblymember Deborah J. Glick have introduced a bill that will prevent the DSNY from parking on residential streets. As a result, the DSNY has decided to move its trucks to Pier 42 for the next three months. (EV Grieve)

Starting next year, some buildings in the city will be required to display a letter grade, similar to restaurants, showing how energy efficient they are. (NY Times)

Is Corey Johnson using the City Council’s budget to reward his allies and make political deals? Yes. Has this been common practice in the City Council for long before Corey Johnson because the speaker? Also yes. (Politico)

NYC needs more weird, like Mother Pigeon, the bird woman artist and animal rights advocate who makes acrylic pigeon sculptures and sets them up in Union Square. (Viewing NYC)

Inside a celebration of Fet Gede in Downtown Brooklyn, the Haitian voodoo Festival of the Dead. (NY Times)

The best falafel in NYC. (Grub Street)

Thank you to MG Ashdown for today’s featured photo!

The Briefly for September 18, 2019 – The “Is Astoria the Coolest Neighborhood in the City?” Edition

How to make congestion pricing work, National Grid continues to hold customers’ service hostage, everyone hates the new license plates, and more in today’s daily NYC news digest

Elizabeth Warren hit Washington Square Park on Monday night to give a presidential speech on corruption. (NY Times)

Kopitiam is the only restaurant in the city to be on Bon Appétit’s 10 Best New Restaurants in America list. (Grub Street)

Time Out put together a list of the 50 coolest neighborhoods to visit in the world. On the list? Astoria. Here are three spots in Astoria to visit.(Time Out)

How will congestion pricing pay for the MTA’s 2020-2024 capital plan? A flat fee of $6.62 that could go up to $9.18 during the day and $3.06 at night and with no exceptions. (Gothamist)

Uber and Lyft drivers are showing their true power over the city with a protest against Uber and Lyft’s non-compliance with the state’s minimum wage laws by driving slowly in packs down some of the city’s busiest roads like FDR Drive and the Brooklyn Bridge. (Gothamist)

If you don’t have $11 million on hand, you can still see what an 11-room residence looks like in the Dakota on West 72nd Street. (6sqft)

The Department of Transportation is installing 50 public charging stations for electric vehicles across the city with each station being able to charge two vehicles. (Jackson Heights Post)

Six places to go apple picking near the city without a car. (Brooklyn Daily Eagle)

“I am unequivocally against, and will never, ever, allow Industry City to move forward with a rezoning proposal through ULURP in the form that they submitted to the City Planning Commission in February earlier this year.” – City Councilmember Carlos Menchaca (Curbed)

Turns out 60% of voters polled are opposed to the new rule to replace license plates over ten years old. 75% of voters polled oppose the $25 fee for the newly designed plates. (Patch)

Donald Trump’s childhood home is up for auction in Queens. You’ve got until November 14 to bid. (Curbed)

National Grid continues to hold customers’ gas service hostage in protest of the state’s rejection of the billion-dollar Williams Pipeline that would terminate in the Rockaways over concerns it could contaminate the New York Harbor. (Brooklyn Daily Eagle)

Here are the views from the top of the city’s tallest residential building. (Curbed)

Is Sunnyside Yards the next Hudson Yards? (Greenpointers)

A food tour of Little Italy’s Feast of San Gennaro. (6sqft)

Rates of violence in Rikers Island is up across the board, including violence between inmates, inmates assaults against staff, use of force against prisoners, and use of force against adolescent inmates. (Politico)

The ten oldest and intact cemeteries in the city. (Untapped Cities)

The city has spent $673 million on NYC Ferry but hasn’t spent a dime on Citi Bikes. NYC Ferry averages 17,842 riders per day, Citi Bike recently hit a new record of 91,529 trips on Thursday, September 5. (Streetsblog)

Here’s who over 100 people will be crawling down 1.5 miles on Manhattan’s streets this weekend. (Untapped Cities)

26 of the Upper East Side’s best bars and resaurants. (Eater)

thanks to reader The Unisphere from Lindsey for today’s featured photo.

The Briefly for September 9, 2019 – The “Attacked by a Metal Banjo” Edition

New York’s new license plates have been chosen, a new tomato plant grows on the East River, the Port Authority’s new bus depot comes up short, and more in today’s daily NYC news digest

This week’s late-night subway service change lottery losers are the 3, 4, 6, A, F, N, and Q trains. And always the L train. (Subway Weekender)

This is our new license plate. (Patch)

For the people who loved the tomato plant discovered along the East River, here’s some good news: there is another. (NY Times)

The Charging Bull was attacked with a metal banjo. (NY Times)

It’s a nasty cycle. Bus service degrades to a point where walking will get you where you need to be faster. As a result of the poor service, ridership declines. The MTA doesn’t see the cause, just the effect, and along routes like the B38 and B54, they cut service to match the lowered demand. Now with the degraded service, the buses are still slow, still unreliable and now there are less of them. The MTA can’t fix the problems with the buses because that’s the Department of Transportation’s street designs and the NYPD’s lack of enforcement of what can make traffic flow easily and keep the streets safe for vehicles pedestrians and cyclists. (Brooklyn Daily Eagle)

The Friends (The worst show to celebrate in the age of Trump) experience pop-up on Mercer Street is all sold out, so some photos of the inside are all you’ll get unless more tickets become available. (Gothamist)

Bill de Blasio’s campaign for president hopefully ends on October 1st and someone should throw a party in celebration, especially if it means the mayor will stop doing things like show up on Tucker Carlson’s show looking for anyone who will support him. (Gothamist)

277 people leave New York for good every day, making it the #1 city people want to leave in the country. (Bloomberg)

Here comes fall, which means here comes food festivals. (6sqft)

The Apple cube is back on 5th Ave, and it’s trippy as hell. (Gothamist)

The Port Authority presented some of its ideas to replace the Port Authority Bus Terminal, and none of them accommodated services like Megabus, which use the sidewalks of midtown for their pickups and dropoffs, into their plans. There was worry that the Port Authority would eventually screw up replacing the bus terminal, and they are already meeting expectations. (Gothamist)

Digging in on bad ideas is now a hallmark of the mayor’s public statements. (Streetsblog)

Here are this week’s restaurants shut down by the Department of Health, including Tasty Popcorn Chicken in Queens with a whopping 121 violation points. (Patch)

New Yorkers already received over 1.25 billion robocalls this year. (Patch)

The 5 Boro Pizza Challenge is an attempt to eat a slice of pizza in every borough in one day, only using public transportation. Think you have what it takes? (6sqft)

Take a look inside Bette Midler’s $50 million penthouse, which is for sale. (Curbed)

New York will soon get more Detroit-style pizza when Michigan chain Jet’s Pizza sets up its first outpost on Ninth Ave between 17th and 18th St. (Eater)

Last Thursday set the record for the most Citi Bike rides in a day with 90,000. (Streetsblog)

The historic boardwalk in Coney Island is landmarked, but still bears scars from Superstorm Sandy. If you walk west on the boardwalk, past the amusement zone, you’ll encounter a section of plywood boards that freeze over in the winter. You’ll see nails sticking up, you’ll see missing boards, plants growing through, and other hazards. Residents are sick of it and are demanding change. (Brooklyn Daily Eagle)

The governor is flirting with the idea of holding the 2020 New York presidential primaries to February, one day after the Iowa caucuses. (NY Times)

Texting while crossing the street is safe, according to a new study by the Department of Transportation. Remember this the next time some old fuddy-duddy tries to argue otherwise. (NY Times)

Joe Namath is selling his (empty) $1.19 Upper West Side duplex. (I Love the Upper West Side)

There are more hate crimes against black people in NYC this year, but there were more arrests in cases with hate crimes against white people, according to numbers released by the NYPD. (Patch)

A look at five new restaurants in the city. (amNY)

A Times Square Elmo was arrested for groping a teenage girl. (Pix 11)

The history of Central Park’s Shakespeare Garden. (Ephemeral New York)

15 places to try when the company is picking up the tab for lunch. (Grub Street)

Thanks to reader Zlata for today’s featured photo!