The Briefly for December 20, 2019 – The “Do You Know About the Secret Pet Tree?” Weekend Edition

Today’s daily NYC news digest: The Inwood rezoning is killed in court, New York state’s $6 billion deficit, the city moves to kill its relationship with the Trump Organization, and more

Today – Low: 23˚ High: 33˚
Clear throughout the day.
This weekend – Low: 27˚ High: 42˚

This weekend’s subway disruptions hit the 1, 3, 6, A, E, F, and Q trains. (Subway Weekender)

The story of the two menorahs claiming to be the world’s largest and why there can’t ever be a bigger menorah. (Alexandra Alexa for 6sqft)

13 places to find festive holiday decorations in the city. Do you know where to find the secret pet tree in Central Park? (Nicole Saraniero for Untapped New York)

Landlords are blaming the new rent laws on why they’re cutting back on apartment renovations. Or maybe it’s because landlords are always cutting back on apartment renovations? (The Real Deal)

The fourth annual Kwanzaa crawl is happening on the 26th with stops in Harlem and Brooklyn to celebrate the city’s black-owned restaurants and bars. (Tanay Warerkar for Eater)

Will less garbage cans in Prospect Park lead to people carrying their garbage out of the park? The Prospect Park Alliance will be trying a “carry-in, carry-out” policy modeled after the National Parks Service policy. (Colin Mixson for Brooklyn Paper)

The MTA tried a similar program for five years where garbage cans were removed form stations and riders were encouraged to carry their garbage out with them. It ended because the amount of track fires caused by trash doubled after the program was implemented. (Vincent Barone for amNewYork)

The MTA unveiled 68 subway stations that will be getting elevator upgrades as part of their 2020-2024 capital plan. Among the 68 are Broadway Junction, Woodhaven Boulevard, and Van Cortlandt Park-242 St. (Vincent Barone for amNewYork)

There are over 100 subway stations across the city where one or more entrance is “temporarily” closed, some since the 70s or 80s. Maybe it’s time to reopen some of these entrances? (Canaan Geberer for Brooklyn Eagle)

After a nine month renovation, the Astoria Boulevard stop on the N/W line reopened on Wednesday, but construction will continue as workers instal elevators, staircases, walkways, and more. (NY1)

Turns out Christmas is predicted to be warmer than average this year and more importantly, no snow. (Adam Nichols for Patch)

We will all wake up on January 1, 2020 sharing the state’s fresh $6 billion deficit. (Ross Barkan for Gothamist)

14 historic sites of the abolitionist movement in Greenwich Village. (Andrew Berman for 6sqft)

Video: Meet Hannah Gavios, who completed the 2019 New York City Marathon on a pair of crutches. (Great Big Story)

Governors Ball wants to move to Van Cortlandt Park the Bronx. (Ese Olumhense for The City)

Where to eat with a really big group. (Bryan Kim for The Infatuation)

Queens man impeached. (Victoria Merlino for Queens Eagle)

RIP Felix Rohatyn, “Felix the Fixer,” the man who saved NYC from financial collapse in 1975. (Bruce Nelan for Washington Post)

For a brief period of time on Thursday you could come across impeachment-themed postcards in the Trump Tower gift shop thanks to comedians Davram Steifler and Jason Selvig. They’ve done it in the past too, with Russian flags, Putin postcards, and KKK hoods. (Lee Moran for HuffPost)

For the second year in a row we are ending the year with less chain stores in the city than we started. The city overall is down 304 chains. (Kevin Sun for The Real Deal)

Terra cotta building facades have a history of disrepair and danger, from the death of Grace Gold in 1979 to this week’s death of Erica Tishman. (Elizabeth Kim for Gothamist)

Governor Cuomo’s Mother Cabrini statue has found a home in Battery Park City’s South Cove. The patron saint of immigrants will be across the harbor from the Statue of Liberty. (John Alexander for The Brooklyn Home Reporter)

Meet Athena Soules: The artist and co-founder of NYC Light Brigade, whose signs are shaping the image of New York’s resistance movement. (Paul Frangipane for Brooklyn Eagle)

The City Council appears to be ready to flush the Trump Organization, targeting city contracts with the Trump Organization at the skating rinks in Central Park and the Trump Golf Links in the Bronx. Both locations are underperforming and losing funds for city parks. (Mark Hallum for amNewYork)

The Heartland Brewery is on its last legs. Down to three locations, one in the Empire State Building and two in Times Square, the Empire State Building location is set to close next month with rumors of the last two locations closing following suit in 2020. (Erika Adams for Grub Street)

We better start getting used to seeing humpback whales in city waters, because they’re hanging out even in winter. (Ben Yakas for Gothamist)

One day people will look back at the 2019 trend of erecting plastic “igloos” outside in winter and laugh. We’re not there yet. (Adam Goldman for Time Out)

It’s in violation of the city’s paid sick law to require employees to find replacements when calling out sick, but that didn’t stop Starbucks from doing that for years. A settlement with the city is forcing Starbucks to pay $150,000 in restitution. (Kate Offenhartz for Gothamist)

How Jona Rechnitz, “a liar and a felon,” became a star witness after being arrested on corruption charges. (Jan Ramson for NY Times)

The Department of Transportation is hiring seven “apprentice highway and sewer inspectors” to inspect bike lanes and review road work done by contractors. Bike team, assemble! (Eve Kessler for Streetsblog)

A look back at Mayor Bill de Blasio’s 2019, a year spent trying to convince everyone they were wrong when they said no one wanted him to run for president and eventually he learned the truth and kept pushing until he had no money left and came home. (Gloria Pazmino for NY1)

The City Council and the mayor blew their own self-imposed deadline of the end of the year to reform the city’s property tax system. That’s politician-speak for “broken promise.” (Janaki Chadha for Politico)

Speaking of blown self-imposed deadlines, it looks like the NYPD won’t actually be encrypting their radios in 2020. (Todd Maisel for amNewYork)

A judge nullified Inwoods rezoning, finding that the de Blasio administration “failed to take a hard look” at how the land use changes will impact the neighborhood. (Caroline Spivack for Curbed)

Only two out of 28 yeshivas investigated by the city’s Department of Education were deemed to be providing an education “substantially equivalent“ to that given at secular public schools, according to the city’s report on the long-delayed investigation into failing yeshivas. (Madina Touré for Politico)

A straightforward guide to holiday tipping. (Kathleen Culliton for Patch)

The best new restaurants of 2019. (The Infatuation)

The Briefly for December 3, 2019 – The “Jet Engine Powered Snow Blowers” Edition

Today’s daily NYC news digest with standing up to big real estate, the best restaurants in Crown Heights, an NYPD cop walking into a queer dance night with a Trump lanyard, and more.

A truly amazing interactive history of today’s subway map, including the history of the map, its digitization and you may learn a few things along the journey. (Antonio de Luca and Sasha Portis for NY Times)

Bill de Blasio is having an immature fit about Mike Bloomberg’s presidential run. Is it jealousy that Bloomberg’s campaign is more successful than de Blasio’s could ever hope to be or is it that de Blasio has always been petty and petulent when it comes to his predecessor? (Sally Goldenberg for Politico)

How does the MTA deal with snowstorms? Jet engine powered snow blowers. (Devin Gannon for 6sqft)

Imagine going to see Slave Play on Broadway to interrupt a Q&A session to complain that the playwright is “racist against white people.” Say hello to Talkback Tammy. (Ben Yakas for Gothamist)

This was the year that New York state and city government stood up to big real estate interests and made appreciable change. The real estate industry is looking for new ways to influence governmental decisions moving forward. (John Leland for NY Times)

The best restaurants in Crown Heights. (The Infatuation)

The NRA is challenging a city law that was aimed at stopping interstate gun trafficking in the Supreme Court. A decision isn’t expected until June. (Amanda Eisenberg for Politico)

Remember last year’s HOLLAND TONNEL Christmas decoration OCD nightmare? This year’s decorations are much less cringe-worthy. (Claire Lampen for Gothamist)

Welcome to the Dermot Shea era of the NYPD. (Kathleen Culliton for Patch)

Have you had a package mysteriously disappear from your building? You’re not alone. 90,000 packages go missing every day. (Winnie Hu and Matthew Haag for NY Times)

The “Brooklyn’s Fyre Festival” nightmare is never-ending. Arch-villain and architect of the Frozen Fare Festival Lena Romanova is suing the Brooklyn Daily Eagle for defamation for its coverage of Winterfest, the winter shitshow to end all winter shitshows at the Brooklyn Museum one year ago. Winterfest is, thankfully, never coming back. (Kathleen Culliton for Patch)

An NYPD officer walked into a queer dance night in Jackson Heights for an inspection wearing a Trump lanyard on Sunday. Officers are required to remain politically neutral and as a result their commander is investigating the inspection. (Max Parrott for QNS)

The homes in Ozone Park that were flooded with the city’s raw sewage have been pumped from the basements and officials are blaming the backup on a possible “Fatberg.” (Mark Hallum for amNewYork)

Stay ho ho home. SantaCon is coming. (Kathleen Culliton for Patch)

10 new public art installations to see this month. (Michelle Young for Untapped New York)

Photos: The Empire State Building’s new $165 million 80th floor observatory is open. (Devin Gannon for 6sqft)

A first look at the new Rockefeller Center pedestrian zones. (Scott Lynch for Gothamist)

The York Street F-line station may be one of the city’s most potentially dangerous. The station serves 14,000 workers and 4,000 residents who travel through the station’s single stairwell with no escalator, elevator, or second exit. (Scott Enman for Brooklyn Daily Eagle)

CitiBike’s pedal assisted electric bikes are coming back “this winter,” breaking the promise for a fall return. (Gersh Kuntzman for Streetsblog)

The Eater 38, 38 restaurants that define New York City’s dining scene right now, has been updated with Williamsburg’s Gertie making the list. (Eater)

The Briefly for Thanksgiving 2019 – The “What’s The Worst That Could Happen During the Parade” Thanksgiving Edition

What’s going for Thanksgiving, James O’Neill’s parting words as NYC’s top cop, a history of Pete’s Candy Store, your salads are trash, and more in today’s Thanksgiving daily news digest.

Hello.

This is Rob Blatt, I'm the person who has written and sent out The Briefly just about every weekday for the last eighteen months. Unless I've given credit, all the photos included are from me too. The Briefly is a passion project of mine.

Thanksgiving has always been special for me and I wanted to share some of my thanks with you. Thank you for sending me your photos. Thank you for sending me your story suggestions. Thank you for the attention you've given this newsletter and for sharing in my love of New York.

I'd love to make working and expanding The Briefly my full-time job.  If you'd like to help make that a reality, the best way to do that is to tell someone about it. If you have a business and would display The Briefly postcards, please reply to this email with your address and I'll send you some. If you don't have a business and just want to get a postcard in the mail, send me your address and you'll get a postcard! The Briefly is the last thing I work on before I go to sleep and the first thing I work on when I wake up so I can get it to you every morning. (If it's ever late, it means I slept in a little!) Even if it never becomes my job, I don't have any plans of stopping.

Happy Thanksgiving from me, the person who writes these emails every morning, my wife Meg and Scooter, our toy poodle, who we adopted from Sean Casey Animal Rescue in Windsor Terrace.

Sincerely,
Rob.


How are you getting around today? Here’s how getting around below ground is gonna work. (Patch)

The best spots to watch the parade. (6sqft)

10 things you didn’t know about the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. (6sqft)

What’s open today and what’s not. (Patch)

Photos: The Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade balloon inflation on the Upper West Side. (Untapped New York)

How to watch today’s parade. (HuffPost)

When this email goes out, we’ll have no idea if the balloons will be allowed to fly or not. (Gothamist)

What’s the worst that could happen? Watch the Cat in the Hat crash into a light post in 1997, injuring four people and putting one of the four into a month-long coma. (Viewing NYC)

Here’s another example from 1997: The Barney balloon’s untimely death thanks to wind and a flagpole around 50th St. (DelhiTheCat on YouTube)

Toss your Thanksgiving salads in the trash. There’s another romaine lettuce e.coli outbreak. (Gothamist)

Photos: The redesigned 80th floor “landing spot” of the Empire State Building. (Untapped New York)

What does James O’Neill have to say as he exits the position of top cop in NYC? Don’t criticize subway cops so much. Thanks for firing Daniel Pantaleo James, but don’t let the door hit you on the way out. (Gothamist)

Photos: Inside the newly saved Paris Theater. (Untapped New York)

Here comes the Holiday Nostalgia Rides! You can find the vintage trains on the A, F, and D lines on most Sundays in December. (6sqft)

Is there Black Friday in NYC? Yes, and here’s a compiled list of when the biggest chains open across the city. (Patch)

16 dazzling NYC holiday displays. (Curbed)

RIP Harlem’s Adelia Murphy, America’s oldest person at 114 years old. (amNewYork)

NYC’s 10 most important buildings of the past decade. (Curbed)

Looking back on 20 years of Pete’s Candy Store, who is celebrating its anniversary this weekend. (Bedford + Bowery)

This weekend is the last weekend of Brooklyn Bazaar. Friday’s show wasn’t sold out (at press time), but tickets are all gone for Saturday. You can still grab something in the liquidation sale. (Greenpointers)