The Briefly for January 24-25, 2020 – The “If You Can’t Beat ‘Em, Switch Parties” Sunday Edition

Today – Low: 26˚ High: 34˚
Clear throughout the day.

There are currently 54 of the city’s zip codes with a Covid-19 test rate over 10%. Remember when Governor Cuomo said he was gonna lock down areas that hit over 4%? (Sharon Otterman for NY Times)

The number of the city’s elementary schools and classrooms that are closed keep rising. (Jessica Gould for Gothamist)

Bill O’ Reilly and Rudy Giuliani have radio shows in NYC? Yup. After failed Republican mayoral candidate John Catsimatidis bought the station in 2019 they pivoted to right wing talk. (Azi Paybarah for NY Times)

New Yorkers United for Change is trying to change the 1.6 NYC million Republicans’ voter registration to Democrat because rather than build viable candidates that appeal to the city’s population, they’ve decided “if you can’t beat ’em, join ’em.” (Clifford Michel for The City)

2021 Election: Who’s running for mayor? (Rachel Holliday Smith for The City)

Franklin Ave’s Crown Heights community space Public Assistants is facing eviction so the landlord to make room for a gourmet supermarket. (Ben Verde for Brooklyn Paper)

In 2019, the Staten Island District Attorney’s Office quietly purchased software from Clearview AI, a controversial facial recognition company. Critics argue Clearview AI violates rights by using photos from social media and image searches without knowledge or consent. (George Joseph for Gothamist)

The new NYPD discipline rules will make chokeholds a fireable offense will apply to all future chokeholds. (Matt Troutman for Patch)

Meet the couple walking a marathon every day for a year. Yes, they’re from Bushwick. (Raanan Geberer for Brooklyn Eagle)

Documentary: The story of how artists, organizers, and neighbors all came together to reclaim their streets with Bed-Stuy’s Black Live sMatter street murals. (Mustache)

The 31-story building above the old J&R Music World sold for $140 million. (Rich Bockman for The Real Deal)

Sarah Jessica Parker misses restaurants “so much it hurts.” The more interesting part of this piece about what she ate from January 14 through 18 is Matthew Broderick’s bean obsession. (Chris Crowley for Grub Street)

Don’t let the real estate lobby convince you that casinos in Manhattan are a good way to raise tax revenue, because the data doesn’t support that. Most of the state’s “gaming revenue” comes from the lottery. (Christopher Robbins for Gothamist)

Be wary of “NY Forever,” a PR campaign dressed up with celebrities, but funded by NY’s real estate trade association, Goldman Sachs, and co-founded by Ivanka Trump’s public relations adviser. (Norman ODer for Atlantic Yards/Pacific Park Report)

New York City Restaurant Week is back for winter as NYC Restaurant Week To Go with 571 restaurants, all offering specials for $20.21. (Melissa Kravitz Hoeffner for Greenpointers)

Farewell to the original Big Gay Ice Cream location in the East Village. The company isn’t closing, just the location. (Tanay Warerkar for Eater)

A look at Bellucci Pizza, a new pizza spot in Astoria with a pedigree that runs through Rubirosa and Lombardi’s. (Scott Lynch for Gothamist)

Museum of Natural History is displaying the Subway Garnet for the first time in 40 years in the Mignone Halls of Gens and Minerals. If you’re looking to impress your friends, you can tell them that the garnet was found when exhumed during the sewer excavation and it was renamed later. I guess it depend on your friends if they’ll be impressed by that. (Stephanie Simon for NY1)

The Hunts Point Produce Market strike is over with an agreement to a minimum 70-cent-per-hour raise in the first year, eventually rising to a $1.85 bump by the third year. (Claudia Irizarry Aponte for The City)

The Bernie meme has materialized in real life. You can find it in the East Village. (EV Grieve)

2,600 New York City public school students have completely dropped off the radar this school year, according to a Department of Education at a City Council hearing last week. The students are “still being pursued.” (Sophia Chang for Gothamist)

Video: The history of the Times Square Toys “R” Us. (Defunctland)

In praise of the rise of NYC’s flour tortillas. (Luke Fortney for Eater)

Video: Walking over Washington Bridge, NYC’s most confusing bridge. (ActionKid)

6 NYC rooftops with outdoor heating lamps. (Nikko Duren for The Infatuation)

Thanks to reader Lindsey for today’s featured photo!

The Briefly for January 8, 2021 – The “Call the Terrorists Terrorists” Friday Edition

The latest NYC news digest: “Am I Eligible” Covid-19 website site launches, defending a parking lot of housing, a Tim Burton-themed restaurant opens, and more

Today – Low: 27˚ High: 40˚
Partly cloudy throughout the day.
This weekend – Low: 27˚ High: 39˚

Between empty offices and Covid-19 restrictions, Financial District restaurants are struggling. (Tanay Warerkar for Eater)

Who would advocate for an NYPD tow pound instead of a residential building? The lunatics in lower Manhattan. (Sydney Pereira for Gothamist)

Pro-Trump Terrorist Louis Shenker, 22, of Amherst, Massachusetts was charged with placing a false bomb and making a terroristic threat for a bomb hoax at the Queens Place Mall on Monday. The Gothamist headline claims he was a “Pro-Trump Activist,” but that’s bullshit. Gothamist, you should be better than that. He’s literally being charged for making terroristic threats and has known ties to white nationalists. Louis Shenker is a terrorist and shame on the editors of Gothamist for not acknowledging reality. (Sophia Chang for Gothamist)

More than 30 percent of New York City’s health care workers remain “hesitant” to get a coronavirus vaccine. (Matt Troutman for Patch)

The city’s schools shortened their quarantine period from 14 days to 10 days after a possible exposure to Covid-19, following a CDC recommendation. (Alex Zimmerman for Chalkbeat)

The state has a new “Am I Eligible” website that will notify you when you are eligible for the Covid-19 vaccine. (Collier Sutter for Time Out)

Beetle House, a Tim Burton-themed restaurant, is open for outdoor dining in the East Village. (Shaye Weaver for Time Out)

Bombora House, an interactive stained glass house installation from Tom Fruin, can be seen at the corner of 13th and Ninth Ave. (Dana Schulz for 6sqft)

Old John’s Luncheonette on the Upper West Side, which closed in October, is reopening next month under new ownership. (Erika Adams for Eater)

Another judge ruled in favor of the homeless New Yorkers that were relocated to the Lucerne Hotel. The case is still working its way through the courts, but they won’t be forced to leave for a few more months. (Courtney Gross for NY1)

The city is moving the homeless New Yorkers in the DoubleTree Hotel on West 36th Street to another hotel on 40th St after a request by the Community Board, claiming density as the main issue. (Courtney Gross for NY1)

10 new delivery-only restaurants born out of the pandemic. (Nikko Duren for The Infatuation)

Pixar’s Soul takes place in NYC, eight ways ‘Soul’ gets NYC right. (Shaye Weaver for Time Out)

There are 100 free car parking spaces for every bicycle spot in NYC, according to a new study from Transportation Alternatives, which asks the city to make the city more bike-friendly by installing 1,500 new bike parking spaces, among other changes. (Matt Troutman for Patch)

Actions have consequences, but inaction also has consequences. 66-year-old Eleanor Dowe left her 19th-floor apartment on her way to a dialysis appointment and used the stairs because the elevators were out and slipped and struck her head, causing a severe brain injury. She had made 15 calls about broken elevators to NYCHA since August. Now she’s in a coma. (Greg B. Smith for The City)

The NYPD sent around a memo reminding its members that illegal parking is illegal. Mayor de Blasio cut two units from the city’s budget that were dedicated to enforcing placard abuse. (Gersh Kuntzman for Streetsblog)

The former tenants of a Dean Street building are looking to be included in the city’s lawsuit against their former eco-yogi slumlords. (Ben Verde for Brooklyn Paper)

A Trader Joe’s is coming to Harlem. (Christina Izzo for Time Out)

“Moynihan is not perfect, and I know better than anyone else that this train hall is technically not Pennsylvania Station. But for the moment it’s close enough.”
-Justin Rivers, Moynihan Train Hall is Not Perfect, But It’s Close Enough for Untapped New York

An NYPD officer was seen on video appearing to kneel on a Black man’s neck during an arrest in Queens last week. You’ve gotta be kidding me with this. The city’s chokehold ban makes kneeling on a person’s back or neck a misdemeanor. The man arrested is said to have suffered knee and neck injuries while being arrested. (Jake Offenhartz for Gothamist)

Say hello to the latest list of the most expensive neighborhoods in the city, with NoHo taking the top spot with a median sales price of $3,250,000. (Shaye Weaver for Time Out)

Governor Cuomo says this is the year for legal weed in New York. But also 2020 was the year for legal weed in New York. But also 2019 was the year for legal weed in New York. What’s different this time? New York needs money. (Luis Ferré-Sadurní and Jesse McKinley for NY Times)

In another attempt to make some cash, Governor Cuomo has also stated his support for legalizing online sports betting in New York. (Joe Pantorno for amNewYork Metro)

Farewell to Halloween Adventure in the East Village, the city’s only Halloween Store open in January. After 39 years, the store will be closing soon. (Shaye Weaver for Time Out)

Only 52 people were arrested in connection with the attack on the Capitol, compare that to the more than 40 people arrested on the first night of NYC protests after the death of George Floyd. (Rachel Holliday Smith and Eileen Grench for The City)

Queens’ first IKEA is set to open later this month in Rego Center on Queens Blvd. (Allie Griffin for Sunnyside Post)

Have you ever wanted to see what $2 million in heroin and fentanyl looks like? A packaging mill in the Bronx was busted by the DEA and five people are facing criminal charges. (Matt Troutman for Patch)

If you missed Mean Girls on Broadway before the pandemic, you really missed it. Mean Girls will not reopen when Broadway returns, whenever that might be. (Adam Feldman for Time Out)

[plant-baked] opens today on 7th St, a plant-based bakery. They’re already open and will close when they run out of baked goods to sell. (EV Grieve)

2020’s saddest restaurant closures. (Eater)

The Briefly for December 15-17, 2020 – The “Sandra Lindsay, First to be Vaccinated” Tuesday Edition

The latest NYC news digest: Snow is headed for NYC, the Met Museum reopens 21 galleries, the city’s “Situation Room” is failing, the best new restaurants, and more

Today – Low: 29˚ High: 39˚
Partly cloudy throughout the day.

Today's edition is sponsored by Media Career Makeover by Mediabistro

Meet Sandra Lindsay, a nurse at a Queens hospital, who was the first person in the United States to be vaccinated against Covid-19. (Sharon Otterman for NY Times)

Answering questions about the Covid-19 vaccine rollout in NY and NJ. (Caroline Lewis for Gothamist)

Alright, let’s brace ourselves for a possible strong snowstorm this week. I am not looking forward to fighting to put my pups’ tiny boots on their unwilling feet. (John Del Signore for Gothamist)

With the rising number of Covid-19 hospitalization, the mayor is warning that the city is headed for another full-on lockdown as we experienced in the spring. (Erika Adams for Eater)

The NYPL is back to phase one service, with only grab-and-go service in yellow zones. (Norwood News)

Rao’s in East Harlem is now delivering for the first time in its 124 year history. (Devin Gannon for 6sqft)

Mayor de Blasio has accepted a challenge to ride the subway to show that it’s safe to ride the subway. How very brave of him. (Gersh Kuntzman for Streetsblog)

The 21 Club, which if you don’t know is the random building in Midtown with 21 jockey statues outside, is closing after being open since 1930. (NY1)

“We have heard from principals, families, and Learning Bridges partners that the communications from the Situation Room can be frustrating and opaque — far from what you characterized in the mayor’s initial press release as ‘resulting in quick, decisive action for our schools and clarity and transparency for all families.’” What the hell is going on with the city’s “Situation Room,” which was supposed to make the city able to quickly respond to Covid-19 cases in schools? (Amy Zimmer and Christina Veiga for Chalkbeat)

A man committed suicide by cop after opening fire near a crowd of hundreds of people gathered for a Christmas concert outside the Cathedral of St. John the Divine in Morningside Heights on Sunday afternoon. According to City Councilmember Mark Levine, the shooting was yelling he wanted to be killed. (Mihir Zaveri, Troy Closson and Liam Stack for NY Times)

Here is what’s known about Luis Vasquez, the Cathedral of St. John the Devine gunman. (Ashley Southall for NY Times)

What a 421a tax abatement is and how it works. (Jordi Lippe-McGraw for StreetEasy)

Photos: The Barrel Owls of Riverside Park are this year’s hot duck. (D. Bruce Yolton for Urban Hawks)

Attention Bobby Flay: Everyone has to pay rent, you included. (Sasha Jones for The Real Deal)
The city’s outreach at the end-of-line subway stations to New York’s homeless population as the subway closes overnight seems to be seeing success according to the city’s figures. (Mirela Iverac for Gothamist)

Faulty wiring was the cause of the Middle Collegiate Church fire in the East Village, according to a report from the FDNY. (Holly Louise Perry for Bowery Boogie)

Apartment Lust: The ‘Dean & Deluca Loft’, a $5.8 million, 3,600 square foot, open-style loft in Soho, is up for sale. The loft’s seller is Rhonda Sassoon, fourth wife and widow of famed hairdresser Vidal Sassoon, and the previous owner was Jack Ceglic, the co-founder of Dean & Deluca. (Dana Schulz for 6sqft)

Where to do Christmas stuff in NYC. (Matt Tervooren for The Infatuation)


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15 Hudson Yards has won “2020 Building of the Year” from 6sqft. 15 Hudson Yards is attached to The Shed in Hudson Yards. (Dana Schulz for 6sqft)

A holiday tipping guide. Spoilers: tip cash. (Matt Troutman for Patch)

Does your tap water taste a little different? It’s a regular occurrence as plants die off in the upstate reservoirs that hold the city’s water. The Department for Environmental Protection has stated that it is 100% harmless. (Nick Garber for Patch)

Governor Cuomo denies allegations of years of sexual harassment by former deputy press secretary Lindsey Boylan. (Sydney Pereira for Gothamist)

Superiority Burger is moving… across the street to a larger space. (Tanay Warerkar for Eater)

It’s not all good news for the city’s plant-based restaurants, as By Chloe has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection with plans to sell the company. (Erika Adams for Eater)

Shepard Fairy’s Blondie mural on Bleecker at the Bowery was restored over the weekend by artist PraxisVgz. (EV Grieve)

Dounya Zayer, who was thrown on the pavement by Officer Vincent D’Andraia during a protest in May following George Floyd’s murder filed a federal civil rights lawsuit against the city, the NYPD, D’Andraia, and his supervisor. D’Andraia was suspended without pay and charged with assault with a hearing scheduled for April 2021. His supervisor was transferred. (Eileen Grench for The City)

A new ‘Central Park Five’ law requires police to videotape all interrogations of minors to prevent cops from extracting false confessions. The law was intended to close a gap left in Gover Cuomo’s 2018 criminal justice reforms (Rose Adams for Brooklyn Paper)

Vodka doughnuts? Vodka doughnuts. (Christina Izzo for Time Out)

Franklin Park in Crown Heights closed for good on Sunday night after 12 years in the neighborhood. The attached burger joint Dutch Boy will remain open for takeout and delivery. (Tanay Warerkar for Eater)

The Met Museum opened 21 renovated galleries that contain more than 500 works after two and a half years of renovations to add new skylights. The work is on all 45 galleries in total is expected to be complete in spring 2022. (Shaye Weaver for Time Out)

Early voting for the special election to replace former Bronx Councilmember Andy King began over the weekend. The hopefuls to replace king are nonpartisan candidates Pamela Johnson-Hamilton, Neville Mitchell, and Kevin Riley. The winner will serve until the end of 2021. (Gloria Cruz for Gothamist)

Video: Drone footage of Central Park Tower, Billionaires Row, Central Park, Columbus Circle, and 53 West 53. (the Dronalist)

The 11 best new restaurants of 2020, according to Time Out. (Christina Izzo for Time Out)

Thanks to reader Flo for today’s featured photo!