The Briefly for February 5-6, 2021 – The “New York is Dead. Don’t Come Back.” Friday Edition

The latest NYC news digest: Pity the millionaires on Park Ave, mayoral candidates back away from defund the police, searching for the perfect mozzarella stick, & more

Today – Low: 28˚ High: 41˚
Light rain in the morning and afternoon.
This weekend – Low: 21˚ High: 37˚

• Battery-powered sweatshirts, blanket rentals, navigating a meal in the dark, and the highs and lows of eating outside in sub-freezing temperature. (Robert Sietsema for Eater)

• Nothing is as New York as putting up billboards in Los Angeles and Miami saying “New York is Dead. Don’t Come Back.” Kudos to The Locker Room, a female-owned Brooklyn-based creative house, for the idea. (Shaye Weaver for Time Out)

Restaurant workers are now eligible for the Covid-19 vaccine. It took less than a day after announcing indoor dining’s that Governor Cuomo realized that sending people indoors to interact with a staff that is unvaccinated is the idea of an idiot. (Erika Adams for Eater)

Eastern Queens is a vaccine desert. (Clodagh McGowan for NY1)

Yankee Stadium opens as a vaccination spot today with appointments available for Bronx residents. There are appointments available. (Shannan Ferry for NY1)

• The MTA opened a new entrance to the Nostrand A/C station on Thursday. (Ben Verde for Brooklyn Paper)

• It’s pretty common advice in the city to avoid looking like a tourist by not looking up as you walk, that likely makes the Walk of Fame at Theater 80 on St. Marks one of the city’s most well-seen landmarks. (Nicole Saraniero for Untapped New York)

12 new public art installations in February at Times Square, Rockefeller Center, the Port Authority and more. (Michelle Young Untapped New York)

• Real Estate Lust: A $2.65 million Crown Heights townhouse with a massive backyard and beautiful an en-suite bathroom with separate tub and shower. Sometimes a listing is just nice to look at because you’ve been inside your apartment for nearly a year and it’s just nice to think about being somewhere else for a moment. (Dana Schulz for 6sqft)

• No one should be surprised at a headline that reads “Rockaway ‘pizza nazi’ charged with harassing ex-girlfriend.” (David Brand for Queens Post)

The search for the impossibly perfect mozzarella stick with Big Stick Willy’s in the East Village. (Megan Pzetzhold for Grub Street)

• The discriminatory loitering law known as a ban on “walking while trans” has been repealed by the state’s legislature. State Senator Brad Hoylman of Manhattan and Assemmblymember Amy Paulin of Westchester were the bill’s lead sponsors. (Matt Tracy for Gay City News)

The Harriet and Thomas Truesdell House at 227 Duffield Street was designated an individual landmark by the Landmarks Preservation Commission, ending a sixteen year-long fight to preserve the structure which is to believed had once been a stop on the Underground Railroad. (Sophia Chang for Gothamist)

Ranked Choice Voting was unnecessary for the city’s first election utilizing it. Congrats to Democrat James Gennaro on winning the Queens City Council District 24 election. (Christine Chung for The City)

Meet the self-appointed and self-proclaimed Nut-Butter Don of Flatbush. (Emma Orlow for Grub Street)

• Remember the nets installed under the 7 train to prevent debris from falling onto pedestrians and vehicles? Well now they’re full of snow and are being described as “vast, pendulous sacks.” Apparently the MTA didn’t think about what happens when it snows when installing them. (Jake Offenhartz for Gothamist)

• The Hess spite triangle, my favorite spot in NYC, is for sale with the Village Cigars Building on the corner of Seventh Ave South and Christopher Street for $5.5 million. (Sophia Chang and Jake Offenhartz for Gothamist)`

• Pity the inhabitants of 432 Park, one of the wealthiest addresses and once the tallest residential buildings in the world, who complain about leaks, a creaky building, and elevator malfunctions. One prerequisite for living in the building is spending $15,000 a year at its private restaurant, overseen bu a Michelin-star chef. (Stefanos Chen for NY Times)

• Chicago pizza, Philly cheesesteaks, Nashville hot chicken, Detroit pizza, and now St. Louis wings? (Robert Sietsema for Eater)

• Staten Island’s Republican Representative Nicole Malliotakis voted against certifying the 2020 election results, held a “Get Well Soon” rally for former President Trump, and one of her campaign operatives and longtime friend posted a video saying “Heil Hitler” on Facebook. Now Malliotakis has a new opponent. The Nicole is Complicit PAC raised $20,000 within four hours of launching its website to ensure that Malliotakis is a one term member of Congress. (Jazmine Hughes for NY Times)

The filming locations for Netflix’s Unorthodox. (Michelle Young for Untapped New York)

• Patch wants to find NYC’s worst slush puddle. (Adam Nichols for Patch)

The Brooklyn Botanic Garden has launched a series of guided audio walks and installations, offering in-depth visits that remain socially distanced. (Ben Verde for Brooklyn Paper)

• Photos: Swoon’s sculpture and mobile performance stage The House Our Families Built, now at Brooklyn Bridge Park. (Scott Lynch for Gothamist)

• Two men being held on Rikers Island filed a lawsuit in that the state’s rules allowing immunizations for residents of other congregate settings like nursing homes, shelters and long-term care facilities while excluding incarcerated people is “arbitrary and capricious.” The lawsuit argues that all people in prisons and jails should be given access to vaccines. (Gwynne Hogan for Gothamist)

• City Councilman Carlos Menchaca is seeking to remove Former President Trump’s name from city properties citing a Department of Buildings statute that regulates signs effect on “quality of life in a particular neighborhood.” (Brian Braiker for Brooklyn Magazine)

3 Super Bowl specials to order, even if you don’t watch the game. (Hannah Albertine for The Infatuation)

New York has been declared the best city in the country for pizza addicts. It isn’t an addiction, it’s a deep and undying appreciation! (Anna ben Yehuda for Time Out)

• Mayor de Blasio appointed a new head of the Department of Transportation and he’s a political ally with no experience in transportation. Commissioner Gutman, who now runs the $1.3 billion department, promised the installation of 10,000 bike parking racks. (Gersh Kuntzman for Streetsblog)

21 restaurants offering Valentine’s Day specials. (Hannah Albertine for The Infatuation)

• The New York Botanical Garden announced new dates for Yayoi Kusama’s KUSAMA: Cosmic Nature exhibition, Saturday, April 10 to Sunday, October 31, 2021. (6sqft)

What you need to know about the District Attorney races in 2021. (Rachel Holliday Smith for The City)

Andrew Yang tested positive for Covid-19. He’s been the candidate for mayor who has held the most in-person events and already had to quarantine once due to a staffer testing positive. (Katie Glueck for NY Times)

• Following up with the mayoral candidates that supported calls to Defund the Police when it was the politically expedient thing to say. Unsurprisingly, as candidates, everyone’s tone has changed. (Jeffery C. Mays and Emma G. Fitzsimmons for NY Times)

• Mayoral candidates Shaun Donovan, Kathryn Garcia, Andrew Yang, Carlos Menchaca, Maya Wiley, and Ray McGuire support requiring NYPD officers to live in NYC. More than half of the NYPD’s uniformed officers currently live outside the city. (Gwynne Hogan for Gothamist)

• Interview: Isaac Wright Jr. discusses his run for mayor. (Ben Max for Gotham Gazette)

A running list of new restaurants that opened in February. (Luke Fortney for Eater)

Thanks to reader Amanda Hatfield for today’s featured photo!

The Briefly for January 29, 2020 – The “Hell Freezes Over on the Brooklyn Bridge” Friday Edition

The latest NYC news digest: The State of the City, Covid-sniffing dogs, the BQE remains the BQE, ranking NYC sinks on Tik Tok, a Snowy Owl in Central Park, and more

Today – Low: 17˚ High: 23˚
Windy in the morning.
This weekend – Low: 21˚ High: 31˚

NYC’s Vaccine Finder. The site isn’t great, but provide links/phone numbers to specific locations. As of writing, the city has less than 67,524 first doses left before a new shipment arrives.

Birds! A meta-rare Snowy Owl was seen in Central Park, the first spotting of one in the park since December of 1890. (Jake Offenhartz and Jen Chung for Gothamist)

A majority of city voters support adding more protected bike lanes, wider sidewalks, greenery, and spaces for children to play, even if it means sacrificing parking or space for vehicles. Also, the sky is blue. (Christopher Robbins for Gothamist)

Hell has frozen over and the Brooklyn and Queensboro bridges are getting dedicated bike lanes by the end of the year. The Brooklyn Bridge bike lanes will take the place of one of the Manhattan-bound lanes of traffic, leaving the existing shared path above the road exclusively for pedestrians. The Queensboro Bridge lane will take over the north outer roadway. (Gersh Kuntzman for Streetsblog)

Video: Mayor de Blasio delivers his last State of the City address. (NYC Mayor’s Office)

In the address, the mayor outlines his theme for the speech, “A Recovery for All of Us,” including his pledge to vaccinate five million New Yorkers by June. (Emma G. Fitzsimmons for NY Times)

Covid sniffing dogs? Yeah, Covid sniffing dogs. (Fred Mogul for Gothamist)

A look at the human toll of the restaurant unemployment crisis during this never-ending pandemic. (Chris Crowley for Grub Street)

The mayor, full of unearned confidence, says that public schools will be open at full strength” in the fall. (Sophia Chang for Gothamist)

No one wants to hear this, but the fastest way to open up New York is to shut it down first. (Nick Reisman for NY1)


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A New Jersey man was caught on camera trying to set fire to a Queens restaurant called Ignited Restaurant & Lounge. (Chris Crowley for Grub Street)

The last link I’ll ever put in this newsletter containing analysis of Andrew Yang’s bodega video. (Andrew Silverstein for Grub Street)

Kal Penn, former member of the White House Office of Public Liaison and Kumar from the Harold and Kumar movies, endorsed Jimmy Van Bramer for Queens Borough President. (Allie Griffin for LIC Post)

The city created a $1 million, 280-page “vision plan” for making East Harlem resilient to climate change in 2017. It was completed in 2018. Like a magic trick, it has since disappeared. (Rachel Holliday Smith for The City)

A cheat-sheet to the Gowanus rezoning kerfuffle. (Brian Braiker for Brooklyn Magazine)

The Puppy Bowl is coming up on February 7, here are NYC’s five rescue pups headed for the big game. (Shaye Weaver for Time Out)

Turns out the BQE didn’t stop being a giant turd because we’re in a pandemic. The mayor is “hopeful for help” from the Biden Administration when it comes to repairs. (Claude Scales for Brooklyn Heights Blog)

A city education panel early rejected a testing contract, temporarily stopping the controversial practice of testing incoming kindergartners for admission to gifted programs. How will the city’s gifted and talented programs move forward? 🤷‍♂️ (Christina Veiga for Chalkbeat)

Burgie’s, the new burger spot from Roberta’s, is now open (again.) (Kara Zuaro for Brooklyn Based)

Do you know the history of the railroad apartment. (Cait Etherington for 6sqft)

The City Council voted to approve legislation to create 4,000 new permits for street vendors in the city over the next decade and will create a separate law enforcement unit to oversee the street vending community. Opponents say that an increase in street vendors will drive business from restaurants. (Tanay Warerkar for Eater)

The Times Square Margaritaville resort is scheduled to open in the fall, including the only outdoor pool in Times Square. (Emma Alpern for Curbed)

The story of how Scott Green, a lifelong civil rights activist, was buried in a mass grave on Hart Island. (Corey Kilgannon for NY Times)

In the perfect metaphor, the barge full of dredged up black mayo from the Gowanus Canal fro the Superfund cleanup sank into the Gowanus. (Sydney Pereira for Gothamist)

Did you attempt to vote in the 2016 election by text? You have Douglass Mackey to blame. (Nicole Hong for NY Times)

Meet Sink Reviews, the Tik Tok account rating NYC’s sinks. (Shaye Weaver for Time Out)

Photos: Okay, so here are a bunch of photos of NYC in the snow. Maybe this is cruel based on Monday’s weather forecast. (Will Gleason for Time Out)

What to know about the City Comptroller’s race in 2021. (Rachel Holliday Smith for The City)

Everything you need to know about the special elections in Queens and the Bronx, including what neighborhoods are included, candidates, dates, and what happened to cause the elections. (Claudia Irizarry Aponte for The City)

NYPD Officer Carmine Simpson was arrested on child pornography charges after requesting and obtaining sexually explicit photos and videos from at least 46 minors. Simpson is one of more than half a dozen officers from the NYPD that have been charged with sexual crimes against minors in the last two years. (Jonah Engel Bromwich for NY Times)

20 NYC spots with restaurant week deals. (Hannah Albertine for The Infatuation)

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!