The Briefly for June 25, 2018 – Blackface MTA Supervisor Suspended, The Free Store on Ludlow, LGBT Deadlock, and More

The MTA official who partied in blackface is suspended (with pay), Suraj Patel is cat fishing voters, Rockaway Beach is reopening, and more.

Sunset in Prospect Lefferts Gardens
Sunset in Prospect Lefferts Gardens

New York’s primary is June 26. Vote.

There has been no substantive LGBT legislation in New York State since 2011. State Senator Brad Hoylman came forward in 2016 to point out that all LGBT bills are “dead on arrival” due to the Independent Democratic Conference. That includes bills put forward by Hoylman like surrogacy, ending the gay/trans panic defense, restoring benefits for gay veterans improving HIV-related services, and more.

Park Slope’s Ninth Street is getting updated with a new design that includes pedestrian safety features and protected bike lanes after the March 5 death of two children in a car crash.

The 30th Avenue and 36th Avenue N/W stations in Astoria are open after eight months of esthetic renovations.

Suraj Patel, who is running for Congress in NY-13 against incumbent Carolyn Maloney, is catfishing people on Tinder and in other apps to try to gain support. That’s creepy, dude.

Cynthia Nixon has had some strong takes, but calling ICE a “terrorist organization” is her hottest take.

Filming Around Town: Spike Lee and Netflix’s She’s Gotta Have It is at Spring and Wooster, Once Upon A Time in Staten Island, starring Naomi Watts, is at Bay Ridge Ave in Brooklyn, and The Kitchen, starring Melissa McCarthy, is down at Avenue U and 12th St in Brooklyn.

The city’s first “virtual” food hall is opening in Flatiron. No one knows what that means.

A little league baseball game in the East Village was delayed 45 minutes because a red-tailed hawk was eating a pigeon on the field’s backstop.

Governor Cuomo directed the state’s Health Department to prevent health insurance companies from discriminating against transgendered New Yorkers to prevent President Trump from taking away their rights.

A high-ranking MTA employee was promoted despite complaints that he showed up to a party in blackface. Metro-North supervisor Richard Ranallo is suspended indefinitely, but he’s still being paid his $246,255 salary.

The previously closed sections of Rockaway Beach are reopening on June 30 on a trial basis.

The city’s top drug prosecutor seems to be on the wrong side of the evidence when it comes to the city’s proposed safe injection sites. The city had over 1,400 deaths from overdoses in the last two years.

The free store on Ludlow is about 12 years old and still going strong.


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The Briefly for May 10 , 2018 – Cuomo Doesn’t Debate, A Salad in Staten Island, Blissville is Mad, Keep Your Doggos Safe, and More

Governor Cuomo revealed himself to be a coward and did not debate Cynthia Nixon. Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul was there in his place. Nixon’s new campaign slogan is something to behold and calls back to a cringe-worthy slogan of the past.

Elizabeth Blackwell, the United States’ first woman doctor, will be honored by The Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation with a plaque commemorating the building on the corner of Bleecker and Crosby where she started her first clinic.

CB6 voted unanimously against Woodland on Flatbush Ave in Park Slope’s liquor license renewal application. It’s worth noting that these votes are advisory for the state liquor authority. Their license was renewed by the state. Who wants a $20 bottomless mimosa?

Movers at Two Men and a Truck are voting this week to join the Teamsters Union this week. They rallied ahead of the vote calling out what they call poverty wages, racially coded language, and unfair promotions.

If the Parks Department is willing to lie about the health of trees it wants to remove in Ft Greene Park for the sake of renovations, what else are they willing to lie about? The misinformation is at the heart of a lawsuit stalling construction until more information is made public.

No happy endings for these three massage parlor employees arrested in Bayside last month for alleged prostitution.

Something about this photo essay of the Dual Specialty Store, which has been in the East Village for over 30 years, and owner Abdul Patwary is touching in a very New York City way.

Filming around the city: The usual cast of characters. Mrs Maisel, Punisher, Daredevil, Torture Report, James Franco’s mustache’s latest project, along with newcomer Younger with Sutton Foster.

A salad bar grows in Staten Island.

The famed Red Hook ball fields are isolated from most of the city and have been empty for years. Unsafe levels of lead in the soils closed them in 2015, and construction bidding delays will make sure they remain partially empty until at least 2021.

Update! The NYPD believe they’ve caught the man who attempted to kidnap a 3 year old and was stopped by a grandma.

More subway station closures are imminent: This time it’s 28th St on the 6 and 23rd on the F/M. Both stations will close in July until December.

NYC Health + Hospitals/ Woodhull’s Pride Health Center in Williamsburg/Bushwick (depending who you ask) was awarded a 2018 Gay City News Impact Award.

Please keep your doggos safe! A very good pup ate a sandwich in Fort Tryon Park in Fort George that was full of nails. Murphy is doing well after emergency surgery and she may go home this week. Feel better Murphy!

Three years after 10,000 migrant workers working on NYU’s Abu Dhabi campus hadn’t been paid what they were owed, thousands of workers are still owed millions of dollars. The school is challenging the “Forced Labor at NYU Abu Dhabi” report.

Blissville, a sub-neighborhood of Long Island City, formed a civic association to protest the third homeless hotel shelter in their neighborhood arguing that their small population of 475 is shouldering more than their share of the burden with a shelter population of over 500. The city promises the end the use of hotels as shelters, but not until 2021.

The near 1,000 foot tall 80 Flatbush Ave hit another snag with a 32-1 CB2 vote against their proposal.

A waitress at a Brooklyn diner stole almost half a million dollars from a widow in her 80s over the course of four years and was sentenced to three to nine years of prison and has to pay back all the money she stole.

The lineup for the 16th annual Big Apple Barbecue Block Party has been released.

Update! Remember yesterday’s “no chopping” rule at Just Salad? Salad eaters are very mad.


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May 4, 2018 – Subway Closures, Human Remains on Hart Island, Flying Pizza to LA, and More

Mayor de Blasio announced that the city will push to open safe injection sites for heroin users. The sites would be built into existing needle exchanges without city finding. Overdoses killed 1,441 people in 2017, which is more than suicide, homicide, and motor vehicle deaths combined. A study claimed that this could save over 100 lives a year and save the city over $7 million in health care costs.

This weekend’s subway closures include fun things like “no 2 or 3 between Manhattan and Brooklyn,” “the N runs express from Canal to Dekalb,” and “maybe you should get a bike.”

The Jamaica Together program will partner with The Association of Community Employment Programs for the Homeless to clean and beautify Guy R. Brewer Boulevard in Queens between Tuskegee Airmen Way and 109th Ave. The program will provide jobs for New Yorkers in need and is backed by Queens Borough President Melinda Katz.

Film Forum is temporarily closed for two months to renovate and upgrade its three theaters and add a fourth screen.

There’s an inter-agency struggle between Parks and Corrections over who should manage Hart Island, the city’s off-limits mass grave site. Erosion has been exposing human remains on the island’s shore and Parks thinks they can manage the island better.

Second Avenue has a new plant-based Japanese restaurant from Matthew Kenney. If his name is familiar, he was involved with 00 + Co, Bar Verde, and Pure Green.

72 St & 86 St B/C stations are closing on May 7 and June 4 and won’t reopen until October. Happy Friday!

Since no decent pizza exists outside of the city, JetBlue has resorted to delivering 350 pies a day from Patsy’s Pizzeria in East Harlem. It’s only happening between May 9-11, and after that California becomes the pizza desert we all know it to be.

State Senator Simcha Felder, who is a part of the cabal of Democrats in the state Senate who caucus with Republicans and prevent NY from being a truly Democratic state, made a visit to the Bay Democrats. BKLYNER was there and has the audio.

Represent your old school Williamsburg cred with a shirt with the logo of everyone’s favorite 90s cocaine bar Kokie’s.

The Sunnyside Yards mega project, mentioned in yesterday’s briefly, is already upsetting local officials.

Don’t be racist, like this guy was on the LIRR. The MTA is “actively investigating this report.”

The story about how a beloved UWS pizza shop turned Gyroshop turned beloved pizza shop slash Gyroshop that also serves burgers.

A 29-year-old man was shot and killed in a playground on Dekalb Ave and Syyvesant Ave in Bed-Stuy. No arrests have been made and an investigation is underway.

If you can’t participate in one of the many Jane’s Walks today, 6sqft has put one together through her home neighborhood of the Village for you.

Eater put together The Eater’s Guide to New York City, which includes their five favorite pizzerias. Michael Scott’s favorite isn’t included.

The Village Voice is celebrating May the Fourth with a 1977 interview with Mark Hamill.