The Briefly for February 26-27, 2021 – The “NYC Anarchy No More” Friday Edition

The latest NYC news digest: The breakfast burrito worth a wait in the cold, sexual harassment claims against Governor Cuomo, Jojo Siwa plays MSG first, and more

Today – Low: 36˚ High: 42˚
Possible light rain overnight.
This weekend – Low: 40˚ High: 48˚

• Turns out the Maluma concert in October isn’t MSG’s first show of the year. JoJo Siwa will play MSG on July 30. MSG will have a 10% capacity and everyone will need proof of a negative PCR test within 72 hours, not a rapid test. (Will Gleason for Time Out)

7 queer-friendly barbershops in Brooklyn. (Nick Gallagher for Brooklyn Magazine)

We’re no longer anarchists in the eyes of the federal government. (Matt Troutman for Patch)

Former NYPD officer Thomas Webster was turned himself in on charges that he assaulted a Washington police officer during the January 6 insurrection. (Jonah E. Bromwich for NY Times)

The anti-Nicole Malliotakis PAC raised more than $20,000 in three weeks to help push out the freshman Republican congressmember. (Rose Adams for Brooklyn Paper)

• Malliotakis says she will vote against the Covid-19 stimulus package, citing unspent money from the last relief bill. (Faraz Toor and AP for NY1)

NYC Beer Week will be virtual this year from February 28 – March 7. (Brew York)

• Moynihan Train Hall has a new photo installation, Penn Station’s Half Century, with photos form the original Penn Station from 1910 to 1963. (Nicole Saraniero for Untapped New York)

• Turns out Century 21 isn’t dead. Without specifics, they announced a relaunch for later this year. (Anna Ben Yehuda for Time Out)

Tracing the travels of the Frito Pie from the invention from Teresa Hernandez in New Mexico in the 1960s to New York City. (Robert Sietsema for Eater)

• Video: Defunctland covers Coney Island’s history. (Defunctland)

• The MTA is trying to keep the pandemic-level of service on the C and F trains moving forward, Transport Workers Union Local 100 is fighting against them. (Jose Martinez for The City)

• The hottest slice of pizza right now is the pizza made from Gabriele Lamonaca’s kitchen in Harlem. How can you get some in your mouth? Bartering! (Anna Ben Yehuda for Time Out)

• A survey shows that after restaurants implemented the city’s optional Covid-19 surcharge, restaurant workers tips declined. (Tanay Warerkar for Eater)

North Brooklyn gay bars to support during the pandemic. (Billy McEntee for Greenpointers)

Cy Vance has eight years of Donald Trump’s tax returns. (Jonah E. Bromwich for NY Times)

A new variant of the Covid-19 virus is spreading in New York. Say hello to B.1.526, which is different fro the UK and South African variants. (Apoorva Mandavilli for NY Times)

• Dr Howard Zucker, Commissioner of Health for New York State, defended the use of hydroxychloroquine and azithromycin in state-run nursing homes early in the pandemic. (Dean Russell for The City)

Lindsey Boylan’s post about her experiences of abuse with Governor Cuomo. (Lindsey Boylan)

• Mayor de Blasio is calling for an independent investigation into the accusations of sexual harassment against Governor Cuomo. (Matt Troutman for Patch)

Peter Luger filled its main dining room with wax figures from Madame Tussauds. (Luke Fortney for Eater)

A definitive ranking of celebrity wax figures at Peter Luger. (Hannah Albertine for The Infatuation)

NYPD Chief Terence Monahan is retiring and taking a new role as senior adviser for public safety under newly-named “recovery czar” Lorraine Grillo. Monahan has been partially blamed for the NYPD’s response to the George Floyd protests over last summer. (Matt Troutman for Patch)

Lincoln Center will be opening ten new outdoor performance and rehearsal spaces on April 7, part of their Restart Stages initiative. (Mike Mishkin for I Love the Upper West Side)

• Since its recovery, the wreckage of TWA flight 800 has been in a warehouse in Virginia, used for training plane crash investigators. It’s scheduled for destruction later this year. (Michael Gold for NY Times)

• Mayoral candidate and City Comptroller Stringer released out a detailed 27-point compendium of progressive housing goals called “Housing is a Right, Not a Privilege,” rebutting Mayor de Blasio’s approach. (Elizabeth Kim for Gothamist)

• Podcast: Maya Wiley discusses her run for mayor. (Ben Max for Gotham Gazette)

The Harlem Chocolate Factory’s Golden Brownstone chocolate bars, inspired by Harlem’s brownstones, landed on Oprah’s favorite things list. (Will Gleason for Time Out)

The Queens Drive-In will return on March 5 with a free screening of Coming 2 America. (Daniel Maurer for Bedford + Bowery)

9 Brooklyn restaurants with great patios for outdoor dining. (Andrew Cotto for Brooklyn Magazine)

• Waiting in line for trendy food is back and Ryan Sutton says the line for a breakfast burrito at Ursula in Crown Heights is worth the wait, even in the winter. (Ryan Sutton for Eater)

Thanks to reader Zlata for today’s featured photo!

The Briefly for February 21-22, 2021 – The “Take the Tone Down” Sunday Edition

The latest NYC news digest: The NYPD loses another lawsuit over misconduct records, the Empire Station Complex plans, Brooklyn gets crabs, and more

Today – Low: 30˚ High: 34˚
Clear throughout the day.

• After a group of trans leaders called on Heritage of Pride (HOP) to hand over control of New York City’s Pride festivities to Black and Brown transgender individuals, a planned meeting between the two sides was cancelled — and a bitter controversy flared up. (Tat Bellamy-Walker for Gay City News)

Joe’s Pizza, Scarr’s Pizza and Uncle Mike’s Hometown Pizza are NYC’s favorite pizza places, according to Google Maps searches in 2020. (Anna Ben Yehuda for Time Out)

Indoor dining will increase in capacity on Friday, February 26 from 25% to 35%. (Hannah Albertine for The Infatuation)

• Now that he’s in deep shit with state and federal investigations into how his administration hid nursing home death numbers, the state’s legislature is about to strip him of his emergency powers, and public sentiment is turning against him, Governor Cuomo wants to “take the tone down.” (Christopher Robbins and Gwynne Hogan for Gothamist)

92% of NYC restaurants were either unable to pay some or all of their rent in December. 46% were able to pay some, 45% couldn’t pay any. (Matt Troutman for Patch)

Farewell Jing Fong, Chinatown’s legendary Chinatown dim sum banquet hall, open since 1972. (Jen Chung for Gothamist)

“Ghost kitchens have been meticulously engineered to be infinitely adaptable and fantastically efficient. The Wall Street Journal loves them. But what they really are is a trend that manages, triumphantly, to strip away all joy from the act of eating. They are devoid of every feature that makes restaurants great, and they are not, despite what the many, many headlines say, the true future of the restaurant industry.”
-Rachel Sugar, Ghost Kitchens Will Always Be Dumb, for Grub Street

• Pete Wells goes a bit behind-the-scenes on what it’s been like being a restaurant critic during a pandemic that has shattered all of our norms about eating outside (and sometimes inside) the home. It’s hard to remain anonymous when your name is on your delivery order. (Pete Wells for NY Times)

• Podcast: They’re more than just the front door to the Teenage Mutant Nina Turtles’ home. Looking at the history of manhole covers. (Michelle Young for Untapped New York)

• Apartment Porn: Actress Sela Ward’s $5.8 million Soho loft, with 14-foot ceilings, exposed brick walls, a deep soacking tub, whatever a smart toilet is, a 300-bottle wine fridge, and more. (Dana Schulz for 6sqft)

• A majority of Democratic candidates running for Manhattan District Attorney are promising to end the agency’s use of software from Palantir, whose invasive surveillance software has been seen as unreliable and rife with racial justice and privacy issues. (George Joseph for Gothamist)

• Manhattan DA Cy Vance added Mark F. Pomerantz to the Donald Trump criminal investigation team. Pomerantz has a history of investigating and defending white-collar and organized crime cases. (William K. Rashbaum, Ben Protess and Jonah E. Bromwich for NY Times)

The NYPD’s secret misconduct records must be made public after a judge ruled against the Police Benevolent Association and other unions. This is the 50-a shielding law that’s been the focus of conversation for some time. The records have not been made public yet as Mayor de Blasio waits for clearance from the court about when the records can be released. (Greg B. Smith for The City)

A video shows an NYPD officer repeatedly punching a man as he’s held down on the ground at the South Ferry subway station during an arrest for allegedly smoking a cigarette on the platform on Tuesday. Is this what 500 more cops will look like in the subways? (David Cruz for Gothamist)

• How the NYPD’s Strategic Response Group, an anti-terror squad, became the city’s tool for cracking down on protests. (Jake Offenhartz for Gothamist)

• One day after signaling his plan not to enforce basic education standards within the community’s yeshivas Andrew Yang is the frontrunner for the ultra-Orthodox vote. Yang credits a month-long course on the Bible he took at a Westchester prep school as his reason for his stance. (Jake Offenhartz for Gothamist)

A focus on the City Council showdown in Coney Island. (Rose Adams for Kinds County Politics)

• Corey Johnson got out of the mayor’s race, but now he’s thinking about running for comptroller. (Jeffery C. Mays and Emma G. Fitzsimmons for NY Times)

• Podcast: Quanda Francis on her campaign for mayor. (Ben Max for Gotham Gazette)

• Maya Wiley, the former MSNBC analyst and legal counsel to Mayor Bill de Blasio running for mayor, has the endorsement of Local 1199 of the Service Employees International Union, The National Health Care Workers’ Union, which also endorsed Mayor de Blasio before he was elected. (Emma G. Fitzsimmons for NY Times)

• Congratulations Brooklyn, you have the lowest vaccination rates in the city. (Jake Samieske for Brooklyn Magazine)

Meet artist Devon Rodriguez, whose drawings of strangers on the subway is providing sparks of joy on his Instagram and TikTok accounts. (Will Gleason for Time Out)

KAWS: WHAT PARTY is coming to the Brooklyn Museum from February 26 – September 5. (Brooklyn Street Art)

RIP Arturo Di Modica, the sculptor of the Charging Bull statue. (NY1)

• Remember the Tribeca “bean” by Anish Kapoor, the creator of the Chicago bean, on Leonard St? It’s only partially built, half shiny bean, half plywood construction site. (Michael Young for New York YIMBY)

11 Black-owned wine shops across the city. (Hannah Albertine and Nikko Duren for The Infatuation)

A Park Slope Food Co-Op member started a GoFundMe to raise $10,000 to sue the organization, alleging racial discrimination. (Erika Adams for Eater)

• Move over lobster, here come the crab boils. (Ellie Plass for Bklyner)

The city will not test rising kindergarteners for admission to gifted programs, the education department announced Wednesday. Instead, students will be evaluated by their pre-K teacher or sign up for an interview. (Christina Veiga for Chalkbeat)

Black Seed Bagels is getting into pizza, but disappointingly there are no pizza bagels on the menu. (Shaye Weaver for Time Out)

The top 10 places to find the best pastrami in NYC. (Robert Sietsema for Eater)

The state’s plan for the 20-million-square-foot Empire Station Complex surrounding Penn Station was adopted by the board of directors of Empire State Development. The plan calls for five buildings over 1,000 feet tall, up to 1,300 feet. For reference, the Empire State building’s roof is 1,250 feet tall. The project is expected to be completed by 2038. (Vanessa Londono for New York YIMBY)

Five snacks to try across the city. (Hannah Albertine for The Infatuation)

The Briefly for February 9-11, 2021 – The “Indoor Dining is Back on Friday” Tuesday Edition

The latest NYC news digest: New vaccine eligibility, the MTA’s cruelty on display, Governor Cuomo’s emergency powers called into question, the best pizza in NYC, and more

Today – Low: 21˚ High: 34˚
Overcast throughout the day.

• There is a new list of people eligible for the Covid-19 vaccine. If you are someone with cancer, chronic kidney disease, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, Type 2 diabetes, Type 1 diabetes, severe obesity, obesity, certain heart conditions, sickle cell disease, pregnancy, liver disease and neurologic conditions, people with immune systems weakened by HIV and immune deficiencies, asthma, hypertension, cerebrovascular disease or is using of immunosuppressive medications, you are eligible for the vaccine on February 15. You must provide a doctor’s letter or medical information proving your eligibility. (Brooklyn Eagle)

TurboVax finds the latest vaccine appointments from 43 city and state-run administration sites in the NYC area. Think of it as the website the city or state never created. (TurboVax)

• There’s also a Twitter account that tweets availabilities. (@turbovax)

• Here’s the story behind TurboVax, which was created by Huge Ma, a software engineer at Airbnb. (Sharon Otterman for NY Times)

• The state’s legislature gave Governor Cuomo emergency pandemic powers about a year ago, but now the question is for how long? (Christopher Robbins for Gothamist)

Indoor dining will now return at 25% capacity on Friday instead of Sunday, as Governor Cuomo originally announced. (Tanay Warerkar for EAter)

Citi Field will open as a mass vaccination site on Wednesday morning. Citi Field’s appointments will be set aside 50 percent for drivers with TLC licenses and food delivery workers and 50 percent for Queens residents. (Dana Schulz for 6sqft)

• Even with the announcement of Citi Field, the system for booking appointments is difficult to navigate and there is heavy confusion at vaccination sites over eligibility, leaving restaurant workers out in the cold before Friday’s return to indoor dining. (Josefa Velasquez for The City)

• Despite months of talk about vaccine equity from Mayor de Blasio and Governor Cuomo, vaccine inequity is very much here. (Sydney Pereira and Jake Dobkin for Gothamist)

• Welcome to another virtual Fleet Week. (Raanan Geberer for Brooklyn Eagle)

• Victor Rivera, the chief executive of the Bronx Parent Housing Network, one of the largest operators of homeless shelters in New York City, was accused of sexual abuse and financial impropriety. 10 women, including homeless women staying in his organization’s shelters, had accused him of sexual assault and harassment. Rivera also used his nonprofit, the Bronx Parent Housing Network, to enrich himself and his family. He faces a criminal investigation and has been fired from the non-profit. (Amy Julia Harris for NY Times)

The city’s middle schools will return to in-person classes, grades 6-8, on February 25. Not all schools will be opening up for full-time in-person classes. Teachers are eligible for the Covid-19 vaccine. (Eliza Shapiro for NY Times)

• A 64-year-old woman was killed by a truck driver in Times Square on Saturday afternoon. The driver was not charged. (Gersh Kuntzman for Streetsblog)

NYC’s first plant-based community fridge is up and running outside Overthrow on Bleecker St. (EV Grieve)

• “Hi Jeremy Benches were removed from stations to prevent the homeless from sleeping on them. ^JP” The MTA says this response on Twitter was “posted in error.” Despite stating the tweet was posted in error, the MTA hasn’t corrected the reason why the benches in the 23rd St station were removed. (Bronx Times)

FEMA will help pay for the funeral and burial of COVID-19 victims whose families can’t afford the expenses. Families seeking to file for the coverage will need documentation, such as a death certificate or obituary, to verify the person died. Senator Chuck Schumer and Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez announced the news on Monday. (Reuven Blau for The City)

The 20 best pizza places in NYC, according to The Infatuation. Paulie Gee’s Slice Shop makes the list but Paulie Gee’s doesn’t and New York Pizza Suprema’s inclusion in these lists always surprises me, but for the neighborhood around Penn Station, it can’t be beat. (Hannah Albertine, Nikko Duren, Bryan Kim, Katherine Lewin, Hillary Reinsberg, Arden Shore, and Matt Tervooren for The Infatuation)

Thanks to reader Flo for today’s featured photo!