The Briefly for February 3, 2020 – The “Dropping the Ball, Not the Groundhog” Edition

Today’s daily NYC news digest: How NYC became “Gotham,” Governor Cuomo’s ego pushed Andy Byford out, the mayor ignoes his BQE panel, the best restaurants in Sunset Park and more.

Today – Low: 41˚ High: 51˚
Partly cloudy throughout the day.

16 places to celebrate Black History Month in NYC. (Devin Gannon for 6sqft)

Interested in changing your political party affiliation before the June primaries? Act quickly, the deadline is February 14th. (Samar Khurshid for Gotham Gazette)

Staten Island’s Chuck the Groundhog didn’t see his shadow on Sunday morning, which means that an early spring should be on its way. At least no one dropped him. (Adams Nichols for Patch)

Let’s never forget when Mayor de Blasio murdered Staten Island Chuck by dropping him on Groundhog’s Day. Chuck died a week after the drop. (Abby Ohlheiser for The Washington Post)

The City Council has taken the reigns on leading the city, due to the oiler vacuum left behind by Mayor de Blasio’s complete lack of projected strength as the leader of the city. (Joe Anuta for Politico)

11 days before volunteers participated in an annual count of the homeless sleeping on the city’s streets, the mayor’s office attempted to misrepresent the actual number by attempting to find more beds for the homeless. (Mirela Iverac for Gothamist)

Mayor de Blasio is walking away from his own “expert” panel’s central recommendation for fixing the BQE because he believes the disproven fallacy that eliminating lanes of traffic adds to congestion, instead of actually reducing it. (Julianne Cuba for Streetsblog)

Here’s how “induced demand” works, a concept known since the 60’s: “on urban commuter expressways, peak-hour traffic congestion rises to meet maximum capacity.” (Benjamin Schneider for CityLab)

The city is going to start enforcing the law when it comes to overweight trucks on the BQE, per the panels suggestion. (Mary Frost for Brooklyn Eagle)

One thing’s for sure, we have less than five years if the city doesn’t do something about the BQE. (Alexandra Alexa for 6sqft)

The governor has been attempting to avoid political controversy sticking to him by assigning the most difficult problems to commissions and panels. Think back his sudden swooping in to present the L train shutdown. He assigned the problem to a panel who gave the alternative. Here are his current panels: Medicaid Redesign, Traffic Mobility, Climate Action, Digital Marketplace Worker Classification, and Public Campaign Finance. (Fred Mogul for Gothamist)

The story of how Governor Cuomo’s oversized ego made it impossible for Andy Byford to stay on a President of New York City Transit Authority. (Jim Dwyer for NY Times)

If you enjoy yelling at the MTA, they’ve added more pubic feedback meetings about their redesigned bus network in Queens. (Bill Parry for QNS)

After a horrifying case of animal abuse was uncovered at a Manhattan pet store, a bill in the state legislature would ban the sale of dogs, cats, and rabbits in pet stores across the state is gaining support. The bill would ban the sale from stores, but not from breeders. (Sarah Maslin Nir for NY Times)

The city’s first suspected case of coronavirus is being investigated at NYC Health + Hospitals/Bellevue. This is no reason to panic. (Robert Pozarycki for amNewYork Metro)

A second and third case of coronavirus are already being investigated. Still no reason to panic. (Elizabeth Kim for Gothamist)

While coronavirus is on your mind, you should be worrying about the flu. his year we face a double-trouble scenario where it’s possible to get sick more than once during flu season. Two strains are hitting, so your chances of getting sick have doubled. The death toll from the flu this season is already at 10,000. (Adam Nichols for Patch)

Where to eat sushi omakase for under $125. (Lorelei Yang for Eater)

“When you build high, folks will jump” were seven words included in an ArchDaily review of Vessel. Unfortunately on Saturday night, those words were proved true when a 19-year-old man committed suicide by jumping from the structure. (Jen Chung for Gothamist)

The city’s had a goal of planting 20,000 new trees every year, but has only managed to plant less than 1/3 of that lately. The Department of Parks and Recreation points to the rising costs of planting and maintaining trees. (Len Maniace for amNewYork Metro)

Hiram Monserrate was expelled from the state’s senate in 2009 for committing domestic assault in a horrifying story. In 2012 he plead guilty for illegally using money from a nonprofit he controlled to support a run for senate and has only paid back $8,400 of $79,000 in restitution for stealing public funds. He’s trying to make a political comeback. (Vivian Wang for NY Times)

Would you live in Bay Ridge? Localize lays out a case with eight reasons to move to Bay Ridge. (Localize Labs)

The story of Taste of Persia leaving Pizza Paradise just took a turn. Saeed Pourkay, chef and owner of Taste of Persia is accusing that Pizza Paradise stole his recipes shortly after his restaurant was forced out of Pizza Paradise. (Tanay Warerkar for Eater)

A major overhaul to the city’s property taxes could fundamentally shift the tax burden from low- and moderate-income homeowners to wealthy neighborhoods. A panel has been at work on the proposal since 2018, but mayors have attempted to tackle the subject for over a quarter century. The plan wouldn’t result in higher tax revenues. (Emma G. Fitzsimmons, Matthew Haag and Jeffery C. Mays for NY Times)

The mayor is optimistic about getting the reforms done. “This is something I believe can and will be done during my administration.” (Janaki Chadha for Politico)

Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams says if elected to be mayor, he would regularly carry a gun. (NY1)

What’s the history behind New York’s nickname “Gotham?” (Noah Sheidlower for Untapped New York)

A truck driver killed a Bushwick cyclist while making an illegal U-turn in Williamsburg on Jan. 30, marking the first cyclist death of 2020. (Kevin Duggan for Brooklyn Paper)

There’s a video showing how Pedro Lopez was killed, and it is shocking. Despite killing Lopez, the driver of the truck was not issued a ticket and the NYPD’s comment about it was there was “no criminality suspected.” (Jake Offenhartz for Gothamist)

The Department of Environmental Protection has reversed course and will fill the Jerome Park Reservoir basin in the Bronx. Previously the plan was to keep the basin empty. (Jason Cohen for Bronx Times)

Friday night’s “FTP” protests called for free public transit, an end to the harassment of the homeless, vendors and musicians in the subways, and full accessibility for people of all physical abilities throughout the transit system. The protest gathered at Grand Central Terminal at 5pm to maximally disrupt the evening commute and spread out from there. (Nick Pinto for Gothamist)

The Meatball Shop’s Lower East Side flagship location will be closing this weekend. (Bowery Boogie)

The best restaurants in Sunset Park. (Bryan Kim for The Infatuation)

The Briefly for January 29, 2020 – The “Peanut Butter Subway Bandit, I Hate You” Edition

Today’s daily NYC news digest: A dog is rescued from the FDR, the best restaurants in the West Village, the city’s oldest espresso machine, why recycling doesn’t work in NYC, and more

Today – Low: 26˚ High: 41˚
Clear throughout the day.

An interview with New York’s first ever Director of Cannabis Programs, Norman Birenbaum. (Fred Mogul for Gothamist)

In 2020 government agencies are competing for your attention on Twitter, and you know what that means: memes. How do you do fellow kids? (Luke Winkie for NY Times)

The amazing rescue of Daiki, a Shiba Inu who got loose on the FDR. (Jen Chung for Gothamist)

Do the N95 respirator masks people are wearing around the city work against the Coronavirus? The CDC says they’re unnecessary and they’re backordered almost everywhere, but they are the respirators that are recommended for medical workers who are exposed to the virus. (Elizabeth Kim for Gothamist)

There are many reasons to avoid taking the subways, but Health Commissioner Dr. Oxiris Barbot says there’s no reason to avoid them due to Coronavirus fears. (Kathleen Culliton for Patch)

Nightmare: A reason to avoid the subways. Whoever smeared peanut butter all over a subway pole this morning on the A train, I hate you. (Ben Yakas for Gothamist)

Seven reasons recycling isn’t working in New York City. (Anne Barnard for NY Times)

Captain America is from the Lower East Side, or maybe he’s from Brooklyn? It depends if you read the comics or watch the movies. The people behind the Captain America statue in Brooklyn believe Steve Rogers is “just a kid from Brooklyn.” (Anne Ewbank for Atlas Obscura)

New York City’s best hotels for design lovers. (Zoe Rosenberg for Curbed)

Central Park belongs to the coyotes now. Keep your distance. (Mike Mishkin for I Love the Upper West Side)

Photos: Celebrating the Lunar New Year in Sunset Park. (Paul Frangipane for The Brooklyn Home Reporter)

15 restaurants to help get you through the winter. (Matt Tervooren for The Infatuation)

A new public schools initiative reduced absenteeism improved graduation rates by bringing social services to campuses across New York City, according to a new study from the Rand Corporation. (Kathleen Culliton for Patch)

Tributes to artist Jason Polan have been posted since his death, highlighting Polan’s love of humanity, his founding of the Taco Bell Drawing Club, and warm heart. (Luke Fortney for Eater)

A tribute to the street art of the East Village. (Dawson Knick for GVSHP)

Light-up seesaws were installed in Midtown three weeks ago. This week, The New York Times is on it. (Aaron Readle for NY Times)

Whoops. Chipotle was fined $1.3 million for 13,253 child-labor violations across dozens of locations in the state. (Nikita Richardson for Grub Street)

The new City Winery location on Pier 57 is set to open later this year and the first show have been announced with Colin Hay, Sinead O’Connor, Vaness Carlton, Har Mar Superstar, and The Maintain Goats. (Amanda Hatfield for BrooklynVegan)

A search for the best pork bun in Flushing’s Chinatown. (Mary Lane for New York Cliché)

The city has chosen an NYC Ferry location for Staten Island, next door to the Staten Island Ferry that connects to lower Manhattan. The launch date for the ferry to connect to Midtown West should be announced by the summer. (NY1)

Amazon is expending its 855,000 square foot distribution center in West Shore, Staten Island, signing a lease on an adjacent 450,000 square foot warehouse. The new warehouse should be up and running by the summer. (Eddie Small for The Real Deal)

A searchable database of the thousands of Catholic clergy who have been “credibly accused” of sexual abuse across the country was published Tuesday and includes hundreds of members of the dioceses and religious orders in the New York City area. (Sophia Chang for Gothamist)

There are three types of driver’s licenses. Standard, READ ID, and enhanced. Things are going start getting confusing on October 1, when you can’t board a flight with a standard license. Here’s what you need to know about the difference between the three types and how to get a REAL ID or an enhanced license. (Lauren Paley for StreetEasy)

Op-ed: New Yorkers didn’t flinch when the NYPD was revealed to have a DNA database of juveniles or were performing dangerous body scans on pregnant women, but the controversy surrounding facial recognition company Clearview was enough for people to take notice. Albert Fox Cahn and Lindsay Greyerbiehl make the case why more NYPD oversight is necessary. (Albert Fox Cahn and Lindsay Greyerbiehl from Surveillance Technology Oversight Project for The Independent)

It took Mayor de Blasio five years to let his feelings be known about Daniel Pantleo, whose choke hold lead to the death of Eric Garner, but NYPD officer Michael Valva, who is accused of beating his autistic son and leaving him to freeze to death in his car, he’s already commented that “this is someone who should burn in hell.” (Kathleen Culliton for Patch)

The NYPD’s Joseph Stokes and Jose Aracena are accused of stealing cash during an “integrity test” held by the department. (Emily Davenport for amNewyork Metro)

Photos: Meet the dogs and cats of the American Kennel Club’s Meet the Breeds event. (Keilin Huang for Untapped New York)

Cafe Reggio has the city’s oldest espresso machine. It’s so old (how old is it?) that it originally ran on coal. (Michelle Young for Untapped New York)

The Department of Transportation announced the location of 10 miles of new protected bike lanes in Brooklyn, where 17 of last year’s 29 cyclists were killed by drivers last year. (Gersh Kuntzman for Streetsblog)

13 simple ways to make your apartment more green. (Lidia Ryan for 6sqft)

The 22 beset West Village restaurants to try. (Robert Sietsema for Eater)

The Briefly for January 8, 2020 – The “Crime is Down but Murder is Up” Edition

Today’s daily NYC news digest: Is de Blasio’s common sense acutally common sense, the best restaurants, Stevie Nicks headlines Gov Ball, the NYPD ends the “which seat” meme, and more

Today – Low: 22˚ High: 42˚
Partly cloudy throughout the day.

Te state denied a Chinatown landlord’s request to install a fingerprint scanner at the entrance in a rent-regulated building, citing privacy concerns. (Elizabeth Kim for Gothamist)

There are 700 Seke language speakers on Earth, the language indigenous to Equatorial Guinea and Gabon, 100 live in NYC, and half of them live in one building.(Kimiko de Freytas-Tamura for NY Times)

Despite rises in hate crimes and murders, NYC’s crime is at an all-time low. (Emily Davenport for QNS)

A 15-year-old was charged with the murder of Juan Fresnada, 60, who was killed during a Christmas Eve mugging in Morrisania for a single dollar in the Bronx. (Kathleen Culliton for Patch)

Even with the rise in murders as a percentage, the actual number of murders is when lower compared with past eras. (Edgar Sandoval for NY Times)

Mayor Bill de Blasio says that his directed NYPD crackdown on delivery workers’ electric bikes isn’t based on data and numbers. It’s based on “common sense.” There are a lot of people whose common sense the city may trust, but Bill de Blasio ain’t on that list. 0.07% of vehicular crashes in the city, 31 in 2018, were caused by electric bike riders. (Christopher Robbins for Gothamist)

The city’s attempts to rezone Bushwick look to be at a stalemate. Bushwick’s City Councilperson Antonio Reynoso has pushed back against the city, limiting the number of new apartments he’ll consider at 2,000 and all affordable. This isn’t a new story, as Inwood successfully fought off a rezoning effort and the Sunset Park/Industry City rezoning also appears to be headed for defeat. (Kevin Sun for The Real Deal)

Everything you need to know about affordable housing: applying, getting in, and staying put. (Dana Schulz for 6sqft)

It’s a seven-course VR meal, but it’s served while you wear a VR headset. This isn’t some experience in a Bushwick art studio, it’s presented by the James Beard Foundation. (Daniel Modlin for Grub Street)

Ken Friedman is leaving The Spotted Pig following an attorney general’s investigation into sexual harassment and workplace discrimination. He also agreed to pay $240,000 and 10% of his profits for the next decade to the 11 staffers who accused him of misconduct. (Serena Dai for Eater)

The Meadowlands Arena closed in 2015, but it’s still standing and found a second life as a production facility. NBC is renting out the arena through March while it films Lincoln Rhyme: Hunt for the Bone Collector where the Nets and Devils once played. (Seth Berkman for NY Times)

The last night at Tad’s Steakhouse in Times Square, one of the last vestiges of old Times Square. (Untapped New York)

Photos: The anti-war rally in Times Square. (The Villager)

After experiencing what Fifth and Sixth Avenues could be without cars or trucks, Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer and Councilperson Keith Powers have requested a meeting to discuss keeping the traffic restrictions permanently. (Michelle Cohen for 6sqft)

An ode to Taste of Persia, which is closing at the end of the month. (Max Falkowitz for Grub Street)

Woodland, a Park Slope bar and restaurant closed after its liquor license was revoked by the state. Woodland’s famous black brunch wasn’t enough to save it from hundreds of complaints including noice and customers urinating on the streets, a stabbing on December 22. (Tanay Warerkar for Eater)

Governors Ball’s headliners for 2020 are Stevie Nicks, Solange, & Miley Cyrus. A full lineup is expected this week. (Ben Yakas for Gothamist)

Paw It Forward is a non-profit that walks dogs for free for the elderly, ill, and disabled in Long Island City and is expanding to Rego Park, Forest Hills, and the West Village. (Kristen Torres for LIC Post)

Video: A narrated walk on 9th Ave from 14th to 34th. (ActionKid, YouTube)

Governor Cuomo wants to ban repeat and high-risk sexual offenders from the MTA. (Robert Pozarycki for amNewYork)

A minor mistake paying for a busied can cost you $100. (Elizabeth Brico for Talk Poverty)

The MTA released a map of OMNY enabled stations for January of 2020. (MTA)

The NYPD will start including hate crimes in its Compstat crime-tracking system. (Paula Katinas for The Brooklyn Home Reporter)

Photos: The giant dogs of the Upper West Side. (Sara Lewin Lebwohl for I Love the Upper West Side)

The NYPD have thoroughly ended the which seat is best meme. (Kathleen Culliton for Patch)

If you actually get mail in Greenpoint and Williamsburg, congrats on the mail you actually receive. According to a recent audit, these neighborhoods are plagued with delivery issues, including failure to secure valuable items, inadequate safety measures in residential buildings, delayed mail, and mail that never arrives. (Scott Enman for Brooklyn Eagle)

Photos: Three Kings Day parade in Williamsburg. (Rose Adams with photos by Caroline Ourso for Brooklyn Paper)

White supremacy posters have popped up in Bay Ridge, linked to a neo-Nazi group which was formed after the Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville. Members of these groups usually attempt to stay anonymous for fear of being outed as the worst people on earth, but these geniuses uploaded a video of themselves doing a banner drop over the Belt Parkway in Bay Ridge and the NYPD is investigating. (Jake Offenhartz for Gothamist)

The Infatuation updated its best restaurants in NYC list with the addition of Noods n’ Chill, Bar Bête, Banty Rooster. (The Infatuation)

Noods n’ Chill is a new Thai food restaurant in Williamsburg, not just a rude suggestion on Tinder. (Scott Lynch for Gothamist)