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 December 22 – 26, 2020 – The “Tracy Morgan is the Good Dude of 2020” Tuesday Edition

The latest NYC news digest: Coney Island’s new coaster, 2020 most popular NYPL books, you don’t love Christmas like this guy does, 19 cozy outdoor dining spots, and more

Today – Low: 31˚ High: 42˚
Possible drizzle in the morning.

Little Island, legal weed, the Open Culture program, and the 11 things we can actually look forward to in NYC in 2021. (Shaye Weaver for Time Out)

The NYPL’s most popular books of 2020, which are very 2020 in their themes. (Shaye Weaver for Time Out)

Yeah, you might love Christmas, but not as much as “Frankie Christmas” whose back is adorned with a giant Santa tattoo under “Merry Christmas” and whose house is fully adorned for Christmas starting in September. (Stacie Joy for EV Grieve)

Tracy Morgan continues to be the good dude of the year, this time partnering with the Food Bank for New York City and Councilwoman Vanessa Gibson to give turkeys and toys to NYCHA residents of Highbridge Houses in the Bronx. (Jason Cohen for Bronx Times)

It’s not doomsday, at least when it comes to the MTA. The $908 billion federal stimulus includes $4 billion for the MTA which avoids a doomsday scenario. Now, instead of being in a $12 billion hole, the MTA is in an $8 billion hole. Wait, this isn’t doomsday? (Jake Offenhartz for Gothamist)

A look at what else NYC gets besides $600 each from the latest pandemic stimulus bill. (Matt Troutman for Patch)

A part of the bill was $15 billion for the Save Our Stages Act, which will go a long way to help venues and theaters by allowing them to apply for Small Business Administration grants to support six months of payments to employees, rent, utilities, and maintenance. Venues that have lost more than 90% of their revenue can apply first. (Elie Z Perler for Bowery Boogie)

A running list of Williamsburg & Greenpoint places closed for good during COVID-19, the latest addition to the list is The Diamond, which closes January 3. (Bill Pearis for BrooklynVegan)

The Classic Coffee Shop on Hester Street is closing on Christmas after forty years. This isn’t a pandemic closure or an eviction, owner Carmine Morales decided to retire. (Elie Z. Perler for Bowery Boogie)

The Times looks at the 2021 mayor’s race through the lens of hired political consultants, riding the subway, early contenders, failures in leadership, and ranked-choice voting. Yeah, but which contenders have ever had a drink at The Continental? (Emma G. Fitzsimmons and Jeffrey C Mays for NY Times)

360° Video: If you miss riding the subway, take a ride from Astoria to Bay Ridge. (ActionKid)

Video: The finished Surrogate’s Courthouse skylight restoration project, which is absolutely stunning, and quite honestly might be one of the most beautiful interiors in the entire city. (Nicole Saraniero for Untapped New York)

Speaking of 2021, the “2021” numbers have arrived in Times Square, signaling an end to a cursed year. (Jen Carlson and Jen Chung for Gothamist)

The city plans to launch a mental health screening initiative for public school students, which will be in place by September and not whenever all students are allowed back inside school buildings. (David Cruz for Gothamist)

Coney Island is getting a new roller coaster called the Phoenix as a part of Deno’s Wonder Wheel Amusement Park. The coaster is expected to be built along W. 12th St between the Bowery and the boardwalk. (Brian Braiker for Brooklyn Magazine)

Apartment Lust: A $2.3 million, 2,000 square foot condo in Hudson Square with wood-beamed ceilings, brick walls, rustic wood floors, a terrace, and a completely updated kitchen. (Dana Schulz for 6sqft)

19 restaurants for cozy outdoor dining in Brooklyn. (Erika Adams for Eater)

Workers under 25 made up just 10 percent of the city’s total workforce before the pandemic, holding 15 percent of the jobs in the hardest-hit service industries. As the Times headline goes, They’re Young, Unemployed and Facing Bleak Prospects. Not a catchy chant, but it’s the truth. (Winnie Hu for NY Times)

Dozens of judges are being forced to retire to close a pandemic budget gap and in response they’re suing New York state, charging age discrimination. (Benjamin Weiser for NY Times)

Answering the question: What is a pied-à-terre? (Laura Vacsey for StreetEasy)

Why New Yorkers love New York. (Jen Carlson for Gothamist)

The 2020 NYC Christmas food guide. (Nikko Duren for The Infatuation)

Thanks to reader Alex for todays featured photo!

The Briefly for July 22, 2020 – The “$400 Million Extra in Overtime” Edition

Today’s daily NYC news digest: A guide to Governors Island, the state’s legislature sets an agenda for its summer session, where to heat outside in the East Village, and more

Today – Low: 78˚ High: 88˚
Possible rain in the evening.

What to expect when you’re expecting the state legislature’s summer session to start soon. In focus will be nursing homes, automatic voter registration, redistricting, contract tracing privacy, and more. (Ross Barkan for Gothamist)

Following the June 23 primary and election, State Assemblymember Jeffrey Dinowitz is pushing legislation that would extend the state’s relaxed absentee voting rules until January 2022, which is the earliest the state’s constitution could be amended. (Norwood News)

What’s open, what’s closed, what to eat, and what to wear (a mask). A guide to Government Island. (Scott Lynch for Gothamist)

A Queens man claimed NYPD officers beat him, twice Tased him, and yanked out one of his dreadlocks, according to a federal police brutality lawsuit. (Matt Troutman for Patch)

The NYPD pledged to cut overtime by $335 million in an attempt to cut its budget by $1 billion. Instead, they are predicted to overspend on overtime by $400 million by the Independent Budget Office. (Erin Durkin for Politico)

Our absentee voting mess is giving the White House ammo against main-in voting. Great. (Daniel Marans for HuffPost)

12 ways to picnic in Tompkins Square Park. (Rob Patronite for Grub Street)

New York Attorney General Letitia James along with 23 other Democratic attorney generals are suing the Trump administration to stop a new rule that removes non-discrimination protections against LGBTQ people when it comes to health care and health insurance, which is set to take effect in mid-August. (Alejandra O’Connell-Domenech for QNS)

The latest Black Lives Matter / Blue Lives Matter protest clash happened in Marine Park in Brooklyn, but this time there were words exchanged without violence. (amNewYork Metro)

Photos: The new take-out only Smorgasburg. (Scott Lynch for Gothamist)

A woman was found floating in the East River on Monday night with no signs of trauma on her body. (Emily Davenport for amNewYork Metro)

Jonathan Rodriguez was the second person arrested in connection with the death of Richard Hamlet, whose body was discovered wrapped in plastic atop a Bronx McDonald’s last week. (Matt Troutman for Patch)

If it didn’t fully set in the other day, the F train will be shutting down on nights and weekends for eight months starting in August. Ruining subway reliability? Now THAT is how we start feeling normal again. (Dana Schulz for 6sqft)

Is it possible that the Mets’ deal with Jed Lowrie is the worst in the franchise’s history? The Mets started paying him $20 million a year last year, he’s made eight plate appearances, was injured for the rest of the season and is already on the injured list. (Joe Pantorno for amNewYork Metro)

In an attempt to “resolve problems outside the court system,” Mayor de Blasio announced a mediation project for the city to work with landlords and tenants. Renters will receive legal assistance and advice to negotiate with landlords. (Matt Troutman for Patch)

After 21 years, radical bookstore, cafe, and activist center Bluestockings is looking for a new home. The bookstore is being pushed from the location by their landlord’s demands for higher rent. (Amanda Hatfield for BrooklynVegan)

Interview: Storm King Art Center’s Director of Facilities Mike Seaman on what it takes to maintain Storm King year round, keeping it a beautiful place that everyone is already tired of seeing your photos of on Instagram. (Luna Shyr for Atlas Obscura)

The closing Fairway grocery stores in Red Hook and Douglaston, Queens will become Food Bazaar stores. (Sophia Chang for Gothamist)

Rooftop Films is back to create a summer movie drive-in theater in Flushing Meadows Park. It started on Friday night with John Lewis: Good Trouble, which was a few hours before the news of Lewis’s beath became public. (Daniel Maurer for Bedford + Bowery)

Interview: Melba’s restaurant’s Melba Wilson on the future of NYC restaurants. (James Ramsay for Gothamist)

M.I.A. and Brik Bar in Astoria and Maspeth Pizza House in Maspeth have all had their liquor licenses revoked. (Robert Pozarycki for amNewYork Metro)

The Brooklyn Botanical Garden will reopen on August 7. (Noah Singer for Brooklyn Eagle)

Meet Street Riders NYC, the mobile protest movement with over 60,000 among its ranks. (Peter Rugh for The Indypendent)

Wear your damn mask on the subway. That’s the message of the MTA’s Mask Force, an arm of “Operation Respect.” (Shaye Weaver for Time Out)

Upper East Side for Black Lives Matter has held 50 consecutive nights of vigils in Charles Schurz Park. (Amanda Hatfield for BrooklynVegan)

Black Tap is selling its Instagram-ready milkshakes to-go for the first time. (Bao Ong for Time Out)

I don’t know a single person who would say that the COVID-19 pandemic has been easy to get through, but as a disabled New Yorker, it came with extra challenges and stressors. Politicians talked about the importance of protecting the elderly but failed to mention disabled people as if we didn’t exist. Do you know what it’s like to be erased during a pandemic?
-Michele Kaplan, disability rights advocate, Disability and dignity in the age of COVID-19 for amNewyork Metro

From Tuesday to Saturday from 12-4 pm and 5-9 pm at Lincoln Center until August 1, Lincoln Center will be playing music in the Josie Robertson Plaza, the initiative is being called Sounds of Lincoln Center. (Mike Mishkin for I Love The Upper West Side)

Riders are up on the city’s buses, but speeds are down. New York City is healing herself. (Dave Colon for Streetsblog)

Someone is using Republican Assemblymember and congressional candidate Nicole Malliotakis’s name to talk shit about the mayor and governor on flyers in Bay Ridge. Malliotakis says someone is trying to defame her by putting up the flyers. (Jamie DeJesus for The Brooklyn Home Reporter)

Councilmember Donovan Richards won the Queens borough president primary and will go on to the general election in November to likely become the first Black man elected to the office. (Clarissa Sosin for Queens County Politics)

Interview: Joycelyn Taylor, candidate for NYC mayor is 2021.(Liena Zagare for Bklyner)

Photos: As the summer heat cooks the city, the city is no longer just living through the pandemic, we’re living with it. (Ben Fractenberg for The City)

Where to eat outside in the East Village. (Hannah Albertine & Matt Tervooren for The Infatuation)

Thanks to reader Zlata for today’s featured photo from a recent Bowery walk!