The Briefly for Valentine’s Day, 2020 – The “Your Plant Stylist Appointment is Coming Up” Weekend Edition

Today’s daily NYC news digest: 12 places to smooch your Valentine, Bloomberg tries to distract from his record with memes, the 27 top burgers, Trump vs NY rolls on, and more

Today – Low: 18˚ High: 34˚
Clear throughout the day.
This weekend – Low: 30˚ High: 47˚

12 places to smooch on Valentine’s Day. (Lore Croghan for Brooklyn Eagle)

There have been no cases of coronavirus in New York City and despite this, the city’s Chinatowns are suffering. (Marina Fang for Huff Post)

A look forward on this frigid morning to the spring’s street festivals on the Upper West Side. (Mike Mishkin for I Love the Upper West Side)

For $2,000 someone will come to your home and style your plants. Welcome to the world of plant stylists. (Steven Kurutz for NY Times)

About half the adult population of the city, roughly 3.4 million people, spent one of the last few years living below the poverty line, according to a new report from the Robin Hood Foundation and Columbia University. (Jake Offenhartz for Gothamist)

Ready for a cocktail crawl? Here’s how to get it done on Atlantic Avenue. (Meredith Craig de Pietro for Brooklyn Based)

Michael Bloomberg’s forceful push into meme culture is being lead by Mick Purzycki, who is the CEO of Jerry Media, famous for stealing content without crediting the original creators. Can the people who brought you the marketing for the Fyre Festival distract us enough from the negative headlines and quotes from Bloomberg’s past? (Ashley Reese for Jezebel)

Roses are red, Violets are blue, Unlike the F train, I'll be there for you

The mayor signed a bill this week that will extend government-funded health care to families of all municipal workers, not just firefighters and police, who died in the line of duty or from 9/11 related diseases. (Todd Maisel for amNewYork Metro)

The annual tradition continues: Phil Collins Day is on Saturday. (Kate Hooker for Brooklyn Based)

The moment the state announced the end of brokers’ fees, rents jumped up about 6% across the board. Now that the fees are gone, it’s unlikely we’ll see a 6% drop back down. (Kathleen Culliton for Patch)

City Comptroller Scott String is calling for a Bill of Rights for NYC tenants to protect them from unscrupulous landlords. He has a proposal as well, including limiting security deposits to one month of rent, providing itemized statements of damage, a five-day gras period for late rent, requiring a court order for evictions, and much more. (Kathleen Culliton for Patch)

GZA played ‘Liquid Swords’ at the Blue Note Jazz Club in honor of the album’s 25th anniversary. (BrooklynVegan)

The top five potato dishes in the city, according to Robert Sietsema. (Robert Sietsema for Eater)

The governor is making a new push for legalizing compensated gestational surrogacy with a campaign called “Love Makes A Family.” New York is one of three states that hasn’t legalized the practice. (Matt Tracy for Gay City News)

Real Estate Porn: Don Lemon is selling his Harlem condo. You can live like Don Lemon for only $1.75 million. The condo looks like a great place to get drunk on New Year’s Eve and make mistakes. (Devin Gannon for 6sqft)

The story of a meander and 14 photos of central Park Slope. (Lore Croghan for Brooklyn Eagle)

48 pictures of the beautiful Bronx. (Ed García Conde for Welcome2TheBronx)

Manhattan, we have to have a serious conversation. We know you’re not going to Brooklyn on the weekends, even if you need groceries and Brooklyn has the only Wegmans in the city. You want to veg out, binge the new season of Narcos and order some Seamless. That’s cool, because now Wegmans delivers to Manhattan. (Nikita Richardson for Grub Street)

In a literal quid pro quo, the president said if New York stops suing the president, the president will restore New Yorkers’ access to Trusted Traveler Programs programs. This ban happened the day he was acquitted after being impeached. Letitia James has filed 35 lawsuits against the federal government since January 2019. (Xeni Jardin for BoingBoing)

A look into the illegal, but welcome, underground of street car washers. (Sandra E. Garcia and Stephen Speranza for NY Times)

Mayor Bill de Blasio and Schools Chancellor Richard Carranza came to a tentative agreement on a contract that gives increased pay and paid parental leave to principals and assistant principals. (Alejandra O’Connell-Domenech for amNewYork Metro)

Got furniture you want to get rid of but it’s too nice for the curb (note: nothing is too nice for @stoopingnyc)? Here’s where to sell used, vintage, and antique furniture in the city. (Zachary Solomon for StreetEasy)

Bronx City Council Member Vanessa Gibson is going to pay $5,000 for abusing her position on City Council to get out of paying a $50 ticket for driving while using her phone. (Kathleen Culliton for Patch)

A developer in Crown Heights was ordered to remove all construction equipment from the potential site of two 16-story towers after they were discovered violating a temporary restraining order. Activists have targeted the buildings as part of an anti-gentrification campaign lead by Movement to Protect the People. The group claimed the buildings would block sunlight for the Brooklyn Botanical Garden, but this has been refuted by the BBG and should not be confused with the 39-story tower that the BBG is actively campaigning against in its “Fight for Sunlight” campaign. (Ben Verde for Brooklyn Paper)

27 top burgers in the city. (Eater)

Thank you to my valentine Meg Blatt for today’s featured photo.

The Briefly for February 13, 2020 – The “Are We Ready for an NYC Yang Gang?” Edition

Today’s daily NYC news digest: Cuomo negotiates for the Trusted Traveler Program to return, Pennsy is closing, a spiked seltzer festival is coming, the Knicks are worth too much, and more

Today – Low: 30˚ High: 48˚
Light rain until evening.

Pennsy, the food hall attached to Madison Square Garden, is closing at the end of the month. The closure is part of a renovation of the area by Vornado Realty Trust, the landlord, and extend the first four floors of the building. Hiding in this news the announced closure of The Cinnamon Snail, the amazing vegan eatery with fantastic desserts, for good. (Jen Carlson for Gothamist)

What the hell is going on at Etiquette in Williamsburg, a cafe and bar that features a queen-sized bed. (Emma Orlow for Time Out)

Photos: Jeff Leatham’s Kaleidoscope at the New York Botanical Garden Orchid Show, which adds light installations and sculpture to the show. (Michelle Young for Untapped New York)

2021’s mayoral candidates think we need more education about ranked choice voting. (Mark Hallum for amNewYork Metro)

Will the math add up for Andrew Yang to run for mayor? (Emily Ngo for NY1)

Governor Cuomo seems to have come to an agreement with the Trump administration that would allow New Yorkers back into the Trusted Traveler Program without giving the federal government unfettered access to the state’s DMV records. (Azi Paybarah and Jesse McKinley for NY Times)

The NYPD arrested a journalist for filming an arrest of a man in Chinatown. It is 100% legal in NYC to photograph or video record anything that is happening in public, including police actions, as long as you’re not in the way. (Jake Offenhartz for Gothamist)

NYC is coronavirus free! All suspected cases were negative. (Adam Nichols for Patch)

Photos: Backstage at the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show. (Photos by Milo Hess for amNewYork Metro)

Meet Momo, the city’s hospital system’s very good first resident therapy dog. (Lydia Hu for NY1)

Here comes the city’s first ever spiked seltzer festival on May 16. Oh boy. (Alex Mitchell for amNewYork Metro)

The inside story of the long, slow, and painful death of Fairway. (Hannah Howard for Grub Street)

Come on restaurants, post your menus with prices online. (Ryan Sutton for Eater)

How to make a reservation in NYC. It’s not always as simple as opening an app. (Alan Sytsma for Grub Street)

These are the city’s top high schools, with Trinity High School coming in at #1 overall and Stuyvesant as the top public high school. (Adam Nichols for Patch)

With a seven season losing streak, the Knicks have been a very bad team for a long time, but that doesn’t seem to impact their value. The team was valued at $4.6 billion, making it unlikely that someone is rich enough to take the team from James Dolan’s grubby hands. (Gus Saltonstall for Patch)

The R-42 subway cars have been retired from service after fifty years years of use. (NY1)

Photos: The last ride for the R-42s with a cameo from Train Daddy Andy Byford. (Sydney Pereira, photos by David “Dee” Delgado for Gothamist)

Tension surrounding Morningside Park has not eased since the murder of Tessa Majors. (Elizabeth Kim for Gothamist)

Video: A walk over the Brooklyn Bridge, through the city’s ugliest subway station, and Battery Park. (Action Kid)

Lawyers representing undocumented immigrants are fighting to stop ICE officers from making arrests at courthouses, which they say are interfering with court cases. (Todd Maisel for amNewYork Metro)

There is a potential battle in Albany brewing over bail reform, with Governor Cuomo saying the door is open for possible changes, some state senators have jumped on the opportunity to voice their displeasure with the bill they passed last year before anyone has had time to properly judge its repercussions. Albany will always find a way to fight with itself. (Zack Fink for NY1)

When Mario’s Pizza on Arthur Avenue in the Bronx opened in 1915, the biggest concern was World War I, 100 years later it’s still going strong. (The pizza place, not the war) (Jason Cohen for Bronx Times)

Debutante Balls still exist in Manhattan. (James Barron and Elizabeth D. Herman for NY Times)

The 38 best beer bars in NYC. (Hannah Albertine, Bryan Kim, & Matt Tervooren for The Infatuation)

Thanks to reader Mackenzie for today’s featured photo

The Briefly for January 31, 2020 – The Weekend “Three Story Tall Taco Ball in Midtown” Edition

Today’s daily NYC news digest: Breaking car culture on the BQE, Decolonize This Place wants to “f**k s**t up” on the subways, a Dolly Parton cover band reviews a Dolly Parton bar and more

Today – Low: 37˚ High: 44˚
Mostly cloudy throughout the day.
This weekend – Low: 34˚ High: 45˚

Decolonize This Place plans to “fuck shit up” on the subways today. The group declared the 31st as a day of protest to send the message that New York will not tolerate the surge of police on the subways. (Kathleen Culliton for Patch)

100 bus stations in 18 neighborhoods across the city will sport a photo exhibition from artist Farah Al Qasimi called Back and Forth Disco, which celebrates “individuality and the aesthetic choices that make spaces and surroundings uniquely personal.” (Howard Halle for Time Out)

De Blasio’s panel focused on what to do with the crumbling BQE has a recommendation: Preserve the Brooklyn Promenade and close one lane in either direction, limiting the amount of traffic that can be on the road and encourage diversions. The recommendations are for the remaining time the BQE stands, but it will have to be replaced at some point in the future. If the city wants to break car culture, things have to get worse for drivers before it gets better for everyone. (Winnie Hu for NY Times)

Is Midtown ready for a three story Taco Bell Cantina? (Nicholas Rizzi for Commercial Observer)

City Comptroller Scott Stringer has a plan for universal affordable housing. The mayoral hopeful’s plan would require a quarter of new apartments in any development with more than 10 apartments be set aside for tenants earning 60% of the area median income or $58,000 a year for a family of three. (Allie Griffin for LIC Post)

The most “affordable” neighborhood in Manhattan is Washington Heights, where you’ll only pay $652 per square foot. (emily Davenport for amNewYork Metro)

Four Queens borough president candidates have been eliminated from the ballot, leaving Consta Constantinides, Elizabeth Crowler, Jim Quinn, and Dao Yin for March 24. (Allie Griffin for Sunnyside Post)

Nearly 2,000 kids might not be able to find a kindergarten to meet their needs this spring, amid a shortage of space in special education pre-K classrooms, according to a new study released Thursday. (Kathleen Culliton for Patch)

Dermot Shea is the city’s first NYPD commissioner registered with a political party. in over 30 years. Does the Republican Shea support the president’s anti-immigration policies? (Jake Offenhartz for Gothamist)

Photos: The Times Square Valentine Heart Design Competition winner was unveiled on Thursday. Heart Squared is a 125 mirror installation arranged in the shape of a heart and is in Father Duffy Square in Times Square. Check it out the next time someone tricks you into going there. (Michelle Young for Untapped New York)

The Brooklyn Eagle fired four employees, their editor-in-chief Ned Berke, managing editor Sara Bosworth, reporter Meaghan McGoldrick, and growth manager Cambria Roth, in what seems to be a combination of a failed attempt to secure investment and the publisher of the company’s issues with “woke journalism.” (Sydney Pereira for Gothamist)

The First National City Bank building, on the corner of Canal and Broadway, will become Mercato Fabbrica, a 35,000-square-foot Italian-style food hall, with groceries, a tea parlor, coffee house, nano-brewery, boutique, rooftop terrace, and a “culinary social club with cowering lounge”. (Alexandra Alexa for 6sqft)

Using the Tessa Majors murder as a backdrop, Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer is calling for every school in the city to have a full-time social worker. The three suspects in the case are all teenage boys who were attending P.S. 180 in Manhattan. P.S. 180 has 500 students and until recently had only been served by a single part-time social worker. (Elizabeth Kim for Gothamist)

Who better to review a Dolly Parton-themed bar than Doll Parts, a Dolly Parton cover band. (Maggie Robinson Katz and Julie Sirna-Frest for Brooklyn Paper)

In a “just when you thought it couldn’t get worse” scenario, a Brooklyn mother’s day went from “no good” to “very bad” very quickly. One of her children got sick and puked on a bus, which was taken out of service. On the street, another passenger on the bus pulled a knife and slashed her face before running off. The mother went to Brookdale Hospital for the slash. (Jake Offenhartz for Gothamist)

Say hello to the four new flavors at Van Leeuwen: marionberry cheesecake, Irish cream, ginger lemon poppy seed crumble, and churros & fudge. (Alex Mitchell for amNewYork Metro)

Video: Maybe We Woke Up: The Saving of Neir’s Tavern, a six minute documentary. (Christopher Ming Ryan and Evan Fairbanks)

The NYPD is sending high ranking officers to talk to the public to scare monger against the state’s new bail reforms. (Christian Murray for Sunnyside Post)

Shakespeare in the Park announced its shows in its 2020 season: Richard II and As You Like It (Adam Feldman for Time Out)

When contemplating a cab vs a Lyft/Uber, you weight the options. The inconvenience but lower price of a cab vs the convenience and potential surge pricing of a Lyft/Uber. Throw that out the window, because a panel is set to recommend surge pricing for taxis. (NY Times)

The best meals for around $20 on the Upper East Side. (Hannah Albertine & Bryan Kim for The Infatuation)

Thanks to reader Murat for today’s featured photo!