The Briefly for October 25 – 26, 2020 – The “Vote or Die” Sunday Edition

The latest NYC news digest: Early voting is open, the best Vietnamese food in the city, dredging the Gowanus, Mayor de Blasio’s legacy of failure, and more

Today – Low: 50˚ High: 56˚
Light rain in the evening and overnight.

The best restaurants near NYC’s early voting locations. (Hannah Albertine and Nikko Duren for The Infatuation)

Early voting is open, now let’s talk about the legality of ballot selfies. (Valeriya Safronova for NY Times)

Speaking of early voting, it started across the city on Saturday and there were lines everywhere. Nearly 100,0000 voted on the first day of early voting, more than in all of 2018’s early voting. (David Cruz and Jen Chung for Gothamist)

On Friday, Mayor de Blasio announced a plan to recruit hundreds of city workers in a matter of days to join an “Election Observer Corps.” He has not recruited a single person, nor has he trained anyone. By contrast, AG Letitia James, Public Advocate Jumaane Williams, and the head of Common Cause NY, Susan Lerner, already have 600 statewide volunteers who have been training for weeks for the election and have been monitoring polling sites already. Seems like the mayor could have endorsed this effort instead of announcing a new one less than 24 hours before early voting began. (Brigid Bergin for Gothamist)

We will have hundreds of additional cops in uniform citywide who will be at the ready should they be needed.” -NYPD Chief of Department Terence Monahan, who maybe doesn’t realize that having a larger NYPD presence during an election may only serve to make things worse. (Danny Lewish for Gothamist)

This is the same NYPD whose union endorsed President Trump. (NBC New York)

Photos and Video: A Barred Owl hanging out. (D. Bruce Yolton for Urban Hawks)

Video: The Animal Care Centers rescued a pig from a Brooklyn backyard. (Anna Quinn for Patch)

The city sells off unpaid property debts on a regular basis. The sale of debt was the subject of a Last Week Tonight program from a few years ago. While it raises money for the city, it also encourages foreclosures and the displacement of lower-income homeowners. This year’s tax lien sale has been postponed multiple times and City Council members are pushing to eliminate the program altogether. (Peter Senzamici for The City)

The EPA will begin dredging the Gowanus Canal mid-November. At the bottom of the canal sits a very thick and very old layer of tar, human poop and if the rumors are true, a few dead bodies. (Red Hook Star-Revue)

Video: No questions asked about how these daredevils found their way to the roof of the GE Building, which is closed to visitors, but the views are spectacular. (svvvk on YouTube)

State officials have pulled a controversial proposal that would have allowed non-lawyers to oversee special education complaints in New York City. The proposal was first made in January. In the 2019-2020 school year, the city had 10,797 complaints, 96% of New York state’s complaints. Each complaint is legally supposed to be resolved in under 75 days, but NYC’s cases take 259 days on average. The penalty for such a failure? Nothing. These students deserve better. (Reema Amin for The City)

Interview: Meet Brenda Suchilt, the Newtown Creek Alliance’s new horticulturist. (Billy McEntee for Greenpointers)

Apartment Porn: A $12.75 million Cobble Hill townhouse with a vineyard-like garden that’s bigger than almost every bar with outdoor space, gated parking, and two wine cellars. One wine cellar? Please. (Dana Schulz for 6sqft)

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

The secrets of the new Greenpoint public library. (Will Gleason for Time Out)

The number of young children in NYCHA housing at risk of lead exposure is three times greater than previously thought, according to Bart Schwartz, the federal monitor overseeing the NYCHA. The city certified the number at 3,000 two years ago. The number is 9,000. Poisoning the children of the city will likely end up high on the list of Bill de Blasio’s legacy as mayor. (Matt Troutman for Patch)

Speaking of Bill de Blasio’s accomplishments and legacy, the city is headed for the highest level of traffic deaths since the mayor took office, the third straight year of rising deaths, completely erasing any and all progress he could claim as part of his own Vision Zero program. This year includes two months of zero traffic fatalities due to the pandemic, it’s hard to imagine how high the body count would be without it. (Jake Offenhartz for Gothamist)

The TWA Hotel has just reopened its pool-cuzzi and Runway Chalet at JFK airport. The pool purifies itself every 30 minutes and is kept at a cozy 95 degrees. (Shaye Weaver for Time Out)

A look at the new public art available across Brooklyn. (Keira Wingate for Bklyner)

Three bars within the zoned shutdown areas in Brooklyn and Queens had their liquor licenses temporarily suspended for throwing illegal indoor parties. 30 Fantastic Bar in Sunset Park, Da Mikelle Palace in Forest Hills, and Wise Bar & Grill in Sheepshead Bay. (Tanay Warerkar for Eater)

Before you feel bad for The Strand posting they may close (Amanda Hatfield for BrooklynVegan), let’s look a little deeper. The Strand fired union workers while accepting $1-2 million of PPP loans (Labor Notes) Owner Nancy Bass Wyder, who is married to Oregon Senator Ron Wyden, purchased $115,000 in Amazon stock in April and made an additional purchase of up to $200,000 in June. (Ed Lin for Barrons) The Upper West Side location was met with protests. (Carol Tannenhauser and Kate Koza for West Side Rag) On a micro scale, buying at The Strand instead of your neighborhood bookstore is no different than buying from Amazon.

On a micro scale, supporting The Strand over your neighborhood bookstore is akin to buying from Amazon instead of locally.

At this point, let’s celebrate that NYC isn’t the rattiest city in America. Los Angeles and Chicago are worse than we are and you take the wins where you can get them. (Adam Nichols for Patch)

Times Square really wants you to visit. Their latest ploy to get you to the one place you never want to visit is the Taste of Times Square Week, which runs through October 30 and offers a $35 prix fixe menu at 20 different restaurants with an appetizer, main and dessert. (Tanay Warerkar for Eater)

The Shed in Hudson Yards has reopened with a solo exhibition by artist Howardena Pindell called Rope/Fire/Water, which explores the historical traumas of America, namely slavery, racism, and white supremacy. (Monika Hankova for Untapped New York)

An examination of how New York’s slavery history is still present all over the city. (Zachary Kussin for Untapped New York)

The Green-Wood Cemetery is hosting a Dia de los Muertos celebration all this week. (Dozier Hasty for Brooklyn Eagle)

The best Mapo Tofu in the city. (Hannah Albertine for The Infatuation)

Thanks to reader Michael for today’s featured photo.

The Briefly for October 23 – 24, 2020 – The “2,400 Subway Cars on the Ocean Floor” Friday Edition

The latest NYC news digest: The new Rudy Giuliani fiasco, the city is behind on hundreds of reporting deadlines, median rents in Manhattan fall under $3k, and more

Today – Low: 61˚ High: 66˚
Mostly cloudy throughout the day.
This weekend – Low: 46˚ High: 70˚

If you need some fresh hell to wade through, there’s the Giuliani story coming out of the new Borat movie. Never in my life did I want to be reading this much analysis if Rudy Giuliani was touching his dick or not, but here we are. (Bill Pearis for BrooklynVegan)

The attorney behind the lawsuit trying to shut down the temporary homeless shelter on the Upper West Side, Randy Mastro, had his townhouse vandalized. Couldn’t have happened to a nicer guy. (Mike Mishkin for I Love the Upper West Side)

Video: What do you call 2,400 subway cars at the bottom of the ocean? A good start! Just kidding. Let’s ask a marine biologist. (Matt Coneybeare for Viewing NYC)

What the hell is going on at city hall that they’ve missed hundreds of deadlines to provide statistical reports? Name a department and they’ve blown a deadline. (Claudia Irizarry Apone for The City)

Among the list of things the city hasn’t reported on? School attendance data. You might say that they’re… absent. (Christina Veiga for Chalkbeat)

Photos: New York City’s most impressive Halloween decorated house. (Ben Yakas for Gothamist)

The time for baking artisanal bread is over. Welcome to the era of funfetti cake. (Rachel Sugar for Grub Street)

Apartment Porn: Susan Sarandon’s Chelsea duplex sold for $7.9 million. That’s a lot of ping pong money. (Dana Schulz for 6sqft)

Nothing to see here, just NYPD officers Kyle Erickson and Elmer Pastran caught on video planting pot on someone during a traffic stop. They’ve been caught doing it before too. The Staten Island DA says he sees no criminal activity. (George Joseph for Gothamist)

An elderly woman in the Seward Park Co-op on the Lower East Side had been living with her husband’s rotting corpse for the last two weeks. 2020. (Elie Z. Perler for Bowery Boogie)

The MTA has released a new nearly real-time subway map. While the animations are cool and having it be “real time” is cool, “How real is real-time? You’re still getting some train data minutes after it comes in.” (Christopher Bonanos for Curbed)

Travel isn’t banned, but the governor thinks you shouldn’t be going to Connecticut or New Jersey right now. (Nick Reisman for NY1)

New Jersey appears to be headed towards a second Covid-19 wave. (Karen Yi for Gothamist)

Just in case the city’s new Covid-19 restrictions weren’t confusing enough, the state has instituted a new microcluster strategy. At this point, trying to round up how this works is beyond this email. (Jesse McKinley and J. David Goodman for NY Times)

Check the map, enter your address to check your zone. (Arcgis)

Nothing to see here, just a prisoner who escaped police custody Thursday morning outside Harlem Hospital. (Nick Garber for Patch)

Go on a hike without needing a car. (Adam Nichols for Patch)

Environmentalists stormed the headquarters of National Grid in Downtown Brooklyn Thursday calling for state ownership over the local power grid. (Kevin Duggan for Brooklyn Paper)

10 local illustrators on how New Yorkers feel about the upcoming election. I just want it to be over already. (Collier Sutter for Time Out)

New York City is suing the federal government over the whole “Anarchist Jurisdiction” thing. (Matt Troutman for Patch)

Millions of Republican dollars are flowing into Staten Island in an attempt to push out freshman Congressperson Max Rose in support of his Republican opponent Nicole Malliotakis. (Clifford Michel for The City)

Photos: The Village Halloween parade is canceled, so this photo gallery set might be your way to enjoy Halloween in the Village. (Tequila Minsky for amNewYork Metro)

24 percent of the city’s subway and bus workers have had Covid-19. (Devin Gannon for 6sqft)

Keep your eyes peeled for these @WildCityNYC flyers strewn about the city. Learn things like which birds are “FAST AS F*CK” or what famous hot duck is currently “MISSING” or who the real “NEW YORK GIANTS” are. (Michelle Young for Untapped New York)

A Manhattan “milestone” has been reached: Median rents fell below $3,000. (Stefanos Chen for NY Times)

Photos: Check out the world’s largest pumpkins at the New York Botanical Garden. (Collier Sutter for Time Out)

29 top Vietnamese restaurants in NYC. (Robert Sietsema for Eater)

The Briefly for October 16 – 17, 2020 – The “Greatest Mystery of 2020” Friday Edition

The latest NYC news digest: NYPD’s Chief of Patrol resigns, the new rules for outdoor dining, how to negotiate rent, all the mayoral candidates dunk on de Blasio & more

Today – Low: 46˚ High: 64˚
Rain throughout the day.
This weekend – Low: 48˚ High: 62˚

Video: Watch the congressional debate between Congressmember Max Rose and NY Assemblyperson Nicole Malliotakis. Vote for Max Rose. (NY1)

“Time and time again, Trump-loving State Assemblymember Nicole Malliotakis has used votes and influence as an elected official to fight against efforts to improve LGBTQ rights — and there’s a chance she could bring her bigoted politics to the national stage.”
-Matt Tracy, Nicole Malliotakis’ Dismal Record on LGBTQ Issues for Gay City News

Farewell to Dangerfield’s on the Upper East Side, which was forced to close after 50 years. (Bill Pearis for BrooklynVegan)

This is, and I can’t understate this enough, the greatest mystery of the year. (EV Grieve)

City civilian inspectors gave out 1,095 Covid-19 safety measure violations to 247 spots between Sept. 29 and Oct. 13, according to Mayor de Blasio’s office. The biggest offense? Lack of cleaning log. (Reuven Blau for The City)

Another fight in the endless battle between Governor Cuomo and Mayor de Blasio: if yeshivas can decide they’re “childcare centers to skirt the state’s red zone rules. Cuomo says no, of course, the mayor disagrees. (Sydney Pereira for Gothamist)

Governor Cuomo has gone as far as saying that he’ll revoke funding from non-compliant yeshivas, threatening to “withhold funding until the matter is resolved to our satisfaction.” (Jake Offenhartz for Gothamist)

52% of the city’s public school students are enrolled in remote learning. That’s a 2% increase from last week. (Sophia Chang for Gothamist)

Juneteenth is now an official public holiday in New York State. Governor Cuomo signed it into legislation this week, beating Mayor de Blasio to the punch, who claimed he would make it a holiday in the city by 2021. (Zainab Iqbal for Bklyner)

Apartment Porn: A $6.25 million Brooklyn Heightsfive-bedroom townhouse with a velour reading nook, a backyard, and lots of color. (Dana Schulz for 6sqft)

The NYPD is preparing for election protests according to a new memo issued by Commissioner Dermot Shea. (Matt Troutman for Patch)

Attorney General Letitia James is recommending that the NYPD be removed from conducting traffic stops after the fatal shooting of Allan Feliz, whom cops killed during a so-called routine traffic stop in the Bronx last year. Her recommendation is to shift to automated enforcement and redesigning roads to make it harder to speed and break traffic rules. (Julianne Cuba for Streetsblog)

The New York Philharmonic canceled all of its performances through June 2021. This is an extension of their previous cancelation that was scheduled to end January 5. (Mike Mishkin for I Love the Upper West Side)

A statue of Ruth Bader Ginsburg is coming to Downtown Brooklyn’s City Point in 2021. (Kevin Duggan for Brooklyn Paper)

Speaking of statues, check out the new sculpture of Medusa holding the decapitated of Perseus that is now outside the New York County Criminal Courthouse on Centre Street. The sculpture was created by artist Luciano Garbati. (Mark Hallum for amNewYork Metro)

The city has new rules for outdoor dining this winter that will allow for electric heaters, natural gas heaters, and propane heaters. Maybe it’s time to invest in some “restaurant blankets.” (Will Gleason for Time Out)

For now, here’s a list of restaurants with outdoor heating lamps. (Nikko Duren for The Infatuation)

Grand Central is looking to alter its rent agreement with its tenants, with the MTA will take a percentage of rent from the restaurants and other small businesses based on gross revenue. Apple won’t be getting a break, just the smaller businesses. (Tanay Warerkar for Eater)

No need to panic (yet), but State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli said that without federal aid, we’re looking at “the end of regional public transit as we have known it.” (Stephen Nessen for Gothamist)

What we’re talking about when we say tax the rich. (Josefa Velasquez for The City)

“After hearing that I would be kicked out of the Lucerne, I felt traumatized – dehumanized at the thought of being moved from shelter to shelter like a pawn on a chessboard during a global pandemic. The words of the mayor brought back thoughts of traumatic experiences from my past, as a young child growing up in New York City’s foster care system.”
-Shams DaBaron, City’s Move to Vacate UWS Hotel Shelter is Adding ‘Trauma on Top of Trauma,’ Resident Says for City Limits

How to negotiate rent on a city apartment. (Jordi Lippe-McGraw for StreetEasy)

In May, Mayor de Blasio assembled a Surface Transportation Advisory Council to provide suggestions to keep people safe as the city reopens. The mayor has ignored all of their recommendations has not responded to their open letter written on September 1. (Christopher Robbins for Gothamist)

Mayor de Blasio’s five head “neighborhood policing” effort has done little to slow crime or eliminate racial bias in who gets charged, according to a new study. (Greg B. Smith for The City)

With less than a year in the position, NYPD Chief of Patrol Fausto Pichardo decided to reture. Reports say that he was a “leave the NYPD alone” guy and “always hated the mayor.” (Jake Offenhartz, Jen Chung, and Gwynne Hogan for Gothamist)

Mayor de Blasio has denied there was “friction” between him and Pichardo, so you there was friction. (Matt Troutman for Patch)

Gallery: The spooky homes of NYC. (Collier Sutter for Time Out)

Maybe we all need to embrace this makeshift shrine to Mercury that was left at the Utica Ave A/C stop. (Nicole Saraniero for Untapped New York)

Here are the 2020 Tony Award nominees. (Michael Paulson for NY Times)

The first virtual mayoral forum featuring seven potential mayoral candidates was held this week and there was one thing they all had in common. No one likes the mayor. (Brigid Bergin for Gothamist)

The 10 best bánh mì in the city. (Hannah Albertine & Matt Tervooren for The Infatuation)