The Briefly for November 20-12, 2020 – The “Rockefeller the Owl” Friday Edition

The latest NYC news digest: The school building shutdown, how restaurants may be impacted, Dupree G.O.D. turns himself in, the best Brazilian restaurants, and more

Today – Low: 47˚ High: 61˚
Clear throughout the day.
This weekend – Low: 42˚ High: 61˚

The Rockefeller Christmas Tree has arrived and holy shit, it’s very sad. (Brian Kahn for Gizmodo)

How sad? Crews were seen adding extra branches to the tree to make it look less 2020. (Nicholas Rice for People)

The only good part about the tree is the tiny owl that hitched a ride in the tree and was rescued after being discovered. It’s a good owl. (Jen Carlson for Gothamist)

Rockefeller the Owl joins Central Park’s Barry the barred owl as this year’s hot duck. (Lisa M. Collins for NY Times)

Okay, so school buildings are shut down and all learning is now remote because the city hit the 3% threshold set by the mayor, right? (Christina Veiga with contributions from Alex Zimmerman for Chalkbeat)

There is currently no school reopening plan yet. (Jillian Jorgensen for NY1)

But some preschools are still open. Nonprofit and private-operated pre-K can remain open, but in education department buildings, pre-K is closed. (Christina Veiga for Chalkbeat)

Wednesday was a confusing day if you were paying attention to the news. In the middle of a press conference by Governor Cuomo, the mayor announced schools would close on Thursday. We are past cute with these two politicians who can’t see eye-to-eye and we are at a dangerous moment if they can’t get on the same page. (Emily Ngo for NY1)

Meanwhile, Governor Cuomo says that if the city’s positivity rate hits 3%, new restrictions will hit the city’s restaurants, businesses, gyms, hair salons, and houses of worship. According to the state on Wednesday, the positivity rate was 2.5%. (Elizabeth Kim and Christoper Robbins for Gothamist)

The state says the positivity rate was at 2.5% on Wednesday, the city says 3.0%. A look at why the city and state report different numbers and it’s not, as Governor Cuomo put it, “a difference of opinion.” (Elizabeth Kim for Gothamist)

While the city is closing all school buildings, indoor dining remains open. Why? The mayor controls the closing of school buildings, the governor controls the closing of everything else. (Tanay Warerkar for Eater)

There were 11,000 restaurant positions added in the city in October, and over 100,000 jobs have been regained since March. A 3.0% in the state’s positivity rate could upend that progress. (Greg David for The City)

“I don’t think it’s if the city is going into an orange zone, it’s a when the city’s going into an orange zone.” The mayor isn’t optimistic about our chances of staying under 3.0% in the state’s eyes. (Noah Singer for Brooklyn Eagle)

The governor announced new yellow zone micro-clusters in Mott Haven, Parkchester, and Highbridge in the Bronx, and Astoria, Jackson Heights, and Woodside in Queens. (Tanay Warerkar for Eater)

A new bill from the City Council would allow restaurants to charge a 15% Covid-19 surcharge if they pay their staff a minimum wage of $15. A law last month allows restaurants to charge a 10% surcharge. (Erika Adams for Eater)

The MTA says without federal support, the sky will be falling. For the MTA, the sky falling looks like a 40% cut in subway service, a 50% cut in the LIRR and MetroNorth, and cutting 9,367 jobs. (Christina Goldbaum for NY Times)

The City Reliquary, a museum of city artifacts, is fighting to stay open with a new membership program. (Keira Wingate for Bklyner)

Apartment Porn: I’ll be honest, this might be the most jaw-dropping apartment the city has. A three-level penthouse in Billionaires’ Row will be up for auction at the end of the year at 150 Central Park South. Five beds, five and a half baths, and four terraces with Central Park views. (Devin Gannon for 6sqft)

A billionaire is teaming up with a real estate developer to put up a billboard in hopes to inspire New Yorkers into believing that New York isn’t dead. Are you ready to be inspired by Jerry Seinfeld and Miki Naftali’s billboard? (Erin Hudson for The Real Deal)

Opponents of the city’s billion-dollar East Side Coastal Resilience project begun putting posters across the neighborhood calling Mayor de Blasio and Councilmember Carolina Rivera “destroyers” of East River Park. (Elie Z. Perler for Bowery Boogie)

Remember the eco-yogi slumlords of Brooklyn? They’re being sued by the city of New York for violating eviction law, for tenant harassment, and for construction and code violations. (Bridget Read for The Cut)

Need a refresher? The Eco–Yogi Slumlords of 1214 Dean Street, Brooklyn. (Bridget Read for The Cut)

The fastest places to get a COVID-19 test in NYC. (Collier Sutter for Time Out)

Meet the luckiest woman in NYC. She was pushed onto the subway tracks with a train arriving at the station and survived by ducking under the train. (Jake Offenhartz for Gothamist)

Photos: Inside the new glass dome atop Union Square’s Tammany Hall. (Dana Schulz, Photos by Christopher Payne for 6sqft)

One of my favorite things when walking around the city is to look for pieces of history that have outlived the people who built them. The New York Sun clock on Broadway between Reade and Chambers outlived two incarnations of the newspaper. Fun fact: I worked for The New York Sun during its last year from 2007 to 2008 and would pass this clock every day on my way to work. (Ephemeral New York)

Earlier this week, rapper Dupree G.O.D. jumped on top of a B26 bus with a flame thrower and began… throwing flames. It was a part of filming a video for a song, but no one on the bus knew they were in a music video. He turned himself in to the NYPD on Wednesday. (Amanda Hatfield for BrooklynVegan)

What to expect when you’re expecting the Gowanus Canal to be cleaned up. (Kevin Duggan for Brooklyn Paper)

The 15 best Brazilian restaurants in NYC. (Matt Tervooren for The Infatuation)

Thanks to reader Zlata for today’s photo from Central Park!

The Briefly for August 24, 2020 – The “One Thing the Pandemic Can’t Stop” Edition

Today’s daily NYC news digest: The eviction moratorium is extended, teachers fight back against starting school, the city sued over indoor dining, and more

Today – Low: 75˚ High: 88˚
Clear throughout the day.

Do not wait. Click here to apply for your absentee ballot today. Everyone in the city can apply.

The Times lays out why an antibody test and its results are useless if you want to know if you’ve ever had Covid-19 or if you can’t get it again. (Donald G. McNeil Jr for NY Times)

Here comes the fall foliage, the greatest show in New York City this fall. Also, it’s the only show in New York City this fall. Here are some spots to check out the fall foliage. (Katrina Makayan for New York Family)

Of all the things that the Covid-19 pandemic has taken away from New York, but the $2 billion AirTrain to LGA isn’t one of those things, as the FAA’s draft Environmental Impact Study concludes it “best meets the stated Purpose and Need.” (Eve Kessler for Streetsblog)

Even Governor Cuomo wouldn’t give an answer when asked if he has school-age kids if he would send them back to NYC schools. Classes start on September 10. (Matt Troutman for Patch)

Last week teachers rallied at Grand Army Plaza against reopening the city’s schools, citing unsafe conditions, a lack of a comprehensive testing program, and decades of neglect of the buildings themselves. (Emily Freedman for Bedford + Bowery)

Can the city force teachers back into classrooms if teachers feel the classrooms are unsafe? The teacher’s union has begun gauging support for a strike over school reopening plans. (Reema Amin for Chalkbeat)

The subways will continue to stay shut down overnight, but the MTA is ending its program that gave free cab rides to stranded late-night essential workers. (Jake Offenhartz for Gothamist)

Steiner Studios announced plans to build a 500,000-square-foot production facility on the waterfront in Sunset Park (less than a mile south of Industry City). This is a part of the city’s “Made in NY Campus,” which the mayor announced in his last “State of the City” speech, which is supposed to offer “more attractive rents than private property owners.” The city is contributing $15 million to construction costs. (Sebastian Morris for New York YIMBY)

The ACLU has released data on complaints against over 81,000 current or former NYPD officers after the 2nd US Circuit Court of Appeals lifted the stay which blocked them from releasing the information. (Noah Singer for Brooklyn Eagle)

NYPD Misconduct Complaint Database. (New York Civil Liberties Union)

It’s been four months since Francisco Garcia, an officer with a history of misconduct complaints and lawsuits and was caught on video beating a bystander and kneeling on his head while “enforcing” social distancing on the Lower East Side. It was one of the early indications that the NYPD would treat social distance enforcement like Stop And Frisk. According to the NYPD, the disciplinary process is “ongoing.” (David Cruz for Gothamist)

A look at Crocheron Park in Bayside. At a time when the city’s parks have never been more valuable, Crocheron Park has never looked worse. (Queens Crap)

The Brooklyn Museum will reopen to the public on September 12 and the Brooklyn Aquarium will be reopening on August 27. Like everything else in life in 2020, there will be new restrictions. (Noah Singer for Brooklyn Eagle)

All New York evictions are suspended until October 1 thanks to a ruling from the Office of Court Administration. Advocates are calling for an indefinite moratorium and landlords’ attorneys want to start evicting people yesterday. (Isaac Scher for Bushwick Daily)

As more and more types of businesses reopen, Coney Island is left behind. (Erin Durkin for Politico)

It’s hard not to make the NYU-Fyre Fest comparison with students sharing what the “meals” the school has served them. (Ben Yakas for Gothamist)

A lawsuit against New York’s statewide plastic bag ban was struck down by the state Supreme Court. The Bodega Association and plastic bag manufacturers brought the lawsuit. Nice to see this finally come to an end (for now). (Jen Chung for Gothamist)

Following the city’s July 4th celebration, the de Blasio administration is working with Macy’s to ruin the Thanksgiving day Parade in similar fashion. (Matt Troutman for Patch)

The city has no plans to reinstate indoor dining and 100 restauranteurs announced plans to sue the city to allow indoor dining in a reduced capacity. Outdoor dining is set to expire for the year on October 31. (Erika Adams for Eater)

Following Governor Cuomo’s “alcohol must be ordered with a substantial amount of food” is having an effect, causing the closure of the cocktail bar Mister Paradise in the East Village. (Erika Adams for Eater)

The State Liquor Authority has banned any advertised or ticketed music, karaoke, or other forms of live entertainment at bars and restaurants. This one is personal for me. I have been hosting socially distanced trivia since the start of July in an outdoor venue where every rule the state has implemented was strictly followed. It was free to attend, but we advertised it regularly. Is trivia entertainment? Depends on who you ask, but as of now, we have to stop. (Ben Yakas for Gothamist)

The Old Farmer’s Almanac has spoken about this coming winter. “Snowfall will be greater than normal in the Northeast.” Go to hell, Old Farmer’s Almanac. (Adam Nichols for Patch)

The New York Supreme Court dismissed a lawsuit challenging the East Side Coastal Resiliency Project, a multi-year effort to overhaul a stretch of the Lower East Side’s shore to protect the area from future flooding and storms. (Rachel Holliday Smith for The City)

There will be a TONY award ceremony for the abbreviated 2019-2020 season. The show will take place this fall and it will be, of course, virtual. Broadway is currently closed through January 3, 2021, at the earliest. (Michael Paulson for NY Times)

Streetsblog asks a solid question: Why the hell are the double-decker tour buses still operating around the city? (Adam Light for Streetsblog)

11 inexpensive Times Square restaurants for takeout and outdoor dining. (Robert Sietsema for Eater)

The Briefly for August 3, 2020 – The “Fired Anywhere But New York City” Edition

Today’s daily NYC news digest: The mayor’s staff keeps quitting, 15 new Open Restaurant streets, AOC weighs in on the Port Authority’s federal funding, a whale saved, and more

Today – Low: 75˚ High: 88˚
Possible light rain overnight.

Tuesday is looking rough in the city. Tropical Storm Isaias is predicted to hit the city sometime Tuesday afternoon. Just in time for my dogs to need a walk. (Adam Nichols for Patch)

“I’m telling you we’re going to have an issue.” Governor Cuomo isn’t an optimist when it comes to the city’s economic recovery. (Matt Troutman for Patch)

Katz’s launched its own delivery service. (Erika Adams for Eater)

The mayor has been suspending alternate side parking on and off for months and he was never aware that the city uses street cleaning days for bike lane work. Good thing the mayor spent all that effort to “lighten the burden” of car ownership, in his own words. (Gersh Kuntzman for Streetsblog)

The mayor is doing such a great job serving the city that six high-ranking staffers of Mayor de Blasio’s have quit in the last month. As everyone knows, there’s no better time to leave your government job than during an economic crisis in the middle of a pandemic for a mayor who will be out of office in less than two years. (Jake Offenhartz for Gothamist)

Calls for NYPD Commissioner Dermot Shea to resign have grown louder in the past few weeks. The pandemic and protests following the murder of George Floyd have shown that the NYPD’s commissioner has the back of the citizens of the NYPD and not the citizens of NYC and has exacerbated problems between the two. (Gwynne Hogan for Gothamist)

It’s hard to imagine another city where the commissioner, who is appointed by and serves at the pleasure of the mayor, would keep their job in the face of everything that Dermot Shea has said and done, but most cities aren’t governed by the coward Bill de Blasio. Sometimes I editorialize in these moments, but this piece in the Times looks at just how weird it is that Shea has kept his job despite almost a decade of de Blasio calling for police reforms. (Emma G. Fitzsimmons for NY Times)

Following Andrew Coté, who spent his pandemic rescuing beehives across the city. (Stephanie Simon)

The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey was hit with a $777 million drop in revenues in the first half of the year and is pleading for federal assistance, potentially losing $3 billion by March 2022. (Sophia Chang for Gothamist)

“While some of this funding may be critical to stabilize Port Authority operations, no funding should be provided to the AirTrain; the AirTrain is an unnecessary boondoggle that will hamper economic recovery in our watershed, a region in Northern Queens that has been heavily impacted by Covid-19,” -AOC (Angélica Acevedo for QNS)

You might have done everything right when it came to your absentee ballot and the Board of Elections still may have invalidated it. In a misunderstanding between the state and the post office, it’s possible the post office didn’t postmark your ballot and it also didn’t deliver it before the June 30 deadline. The exact number of rejected ballots will be announced on Tuesday. (Emily Ngo for NY1)

Even if we admit that everyone who touched the ballots (except voters) was at fault, what are the next steps? We’re expecting a ruling this week in a court case that will decide the fate of many of these invalidated votes. (Brigid Bergin for Gothamist)

One of the things that sucks the most about the voting mess from the June 23 primary is that the city is now being held up by President Trashbag as a reason to not move forward with mail-in voting. There was no malfeasance involved, but the state and the federal government let us down with a failure to perform in June and we don’t have much time before November roars through. (Jesse McKinley for NY Times)

It has taken the city an embarrassingly long amount of time to create the No-Penalty Business Accessory Sign Inspection program in reaction to the panic going around small businesses after hundreds of complaints were filed in November of 2018, leading to many businesses just ripping their signs down in confusion/fear. It shouldn’t take a deadly pandemic for the city to help small businesses become compliant with regulations. (Jaime DeJesus for The Brooklyn Home Reporter)

The Top of the Rock will reopen this Thursday with free admission to essential workers and a guest from August 14-16. (Shaye Weaver for Time Out)

American Museum of Natural History is reopening on Sept. 9, pending permission from state and city officials, with a 25% capacity. (Sarah Bahr for NY Times)

Ronny Vargas and Alex Sauzo were arrested for throwing an illegal and non-socially distanced three-hour boat party in the East River with 17u2 people aboard. (Sydney Pereira for Gothamist)

A humpback whale was successfully freed by NOAA over the weekend after being entangled in a mess of buoys and fishing line for several days. Humpback whales returning to NYC’s waterways is a positive sign that preservation efforts are working, but also a sign that we’ll need to continue those efforts to keep them safe. (Sydney Pereira for Gothamist)

Photos: If you don’t have an easy means to see it yourself, there is a tribute to Elijah McClain by artist Vincent Ballentine in the First Street Green Art Park. (EV Grieve)

3% is the city’s threshold for keeping the schools open. As long as the city’s seven-day rolling average positivity rate stays below 3%, schools will stay open. The rate has been between 1% and 2% for about two months. The city will no mandate that staff or students get tested for Covid-19. The chair of the City Council’s education committee calls the city’s plans “an unfunded proposal that is incomplete.” The head of the teacher’s union says “This is not enough to protect students and staff.” (Elizabeth Kim and David Cruz for Gothamist)

15 more streets were added to the city’s Open Restaurants program, which allows restaurants to expand into the streets on the weekend. (Tanay Warerkar for Eater)

NYPD officer Kevin Martin was arrested and charged with evidence tampering and official misconduct. Martin has been the subject of 14 investigations by the Civilian Complaint Review Board and 18 of the 45 different allegations brought against him have been substantiated and he was named in six lawsuits, which cost the city over $1 million in settlements. (Jake Offenhartz for Gothamist)

Good morning to Murphy, the newborn harbor seal pup in the New York Aquarium in Coney Island. (Ben Verde for amNewYork Metro)

Photos: The MTA is trying out six new kinds of subway maps. If you want to see them in person, take the R all the way to 86th St in Brooklyn, or just look at the photos. (Ben Yakas, photos by Scott Lynch for Gothamist)

17 public art installations not to miss in August, including the new installation in the Socrates Sculpture Park. (Nicholas Loud for Untapped New York)

An airport replacing Central Park? Is this some sort of joke? Yes, it is. (Josh Vogel for NYC Urbanism)

11 food and drink pop-ups in NYC this summer. Happy to see Bad Trip on the list in Dumbo, it’s my favorite of this summer’s picks. (Hannah Albertine & Matt Tervooren for The Infatuation)