The Briefly for February 18, 2020 – The “Decapitating a Luxury Condo” Edition

Today’s daily NYC news digest: The city tries to control the private garbage industry, the best happy hours in 31 neighborhoods, Staten Island makes an untrusted cop list, and more

Today – Low: 38˚ High: 49˚
Light rain starting in the afternoon.

In appreciation of mosaic subway station signs. (Ephemeral New York)

Photos: A tour of NYC’s oldest library, once used by George Washington. (Michelle Young for Untapped New York)

Off with its head, literally. The Department of Buildings is being ordered to revoke the permits for an indeterminate amount of floors from a luxury condo on the Upper West Side. Amazingly, the developer will have to demolish potentially 20 floors of the 55-story building. (Jake Offenhartz for Gothamist)

The NYPD has always insisted that it’s facial recognition database is only checked against mugshots, but there is some evidence that points to photos from social media being used to assist in creating matches for suspects. This wouldn’t be the first time the NYPD lied about their facial recognition database. (Mike Hayes for HuffPost)

Prosecutors in Staten Island are building an internal list of NYPD officers who they will not allow to testify in court because they can’t be trusted to testify honestly. Seems like if they an’t be trusted to tell the truth in court, there might be issues trusting them to honestly uphold the law? (George Joseph for Gothamist)

It started with a white picket fence and quickly escalated to racial discrimination in Flushing. (Elizabeth Kim for Gothamist)

It took 125 years, but the lions outside the NYPL are finally reading thanks to some very large books. (Michelle Young for Untapped New York)

Newkirk Plaza is America’s oldest outdoor shopping plaza, and it seems no one wants to be responsible for it. The city and MTA have discussed who is responsible for management, funding and safety without a conclusion, mirroring most disagreements between the state and city. If neither step up, maybe the growing rat population will start cleaning the place up. (Katie Herchenroeder for Bklyner)

New ethics violations charges have been filed against Andy King, who finished the punishment for his last ethics violation charges less than three months ago. This time around it’s disorderly induct and conflict-of-interest violations by using public funds for personal benefit. This happened while a court-appointed monitor was watching over King’s actions. The city council voted to not expel King 34-12 back in October. Maybe they’ll change their tune this time. (Emma G. Fitzsimmons for NY Times)

If you’ve ever been walking through the city late at night, you’ve watched private garbage trucks blow through red lights without slowing down or drive the wrong way on one way streets. Between 2016 and 1018 privately owned garbage trucks were involved in 73 series accidents. A new law is looking to control the private garbage industry over the next three years, which picks up half of the city’s garbage. (Anne Barnard for NY Times)

After half a century, a legendary pool hall in Bay Ridge, Hall of Fame Billiards, is closing. (Kimon de Green for Bedford + Bowery)

Here are the four people running for City Councilmember Rafael Espinal’s seat after he abruptly quit his job representing Cypress Hills, Bushwick, East New York, and Brownsville. (Sydney Pereira for Gothamist)

The Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum continues to unravel after the forced resignation of director Caroline Baumann, with five trustees resigning in protest. (Robin Pogrebin for NY Times)

LGBTQ groups have once again been rejected from participating in the Staten Island St. Patrick’s Day Parade on March 1. (Matt Tracy for Gay City News)

What’s the difference between co-ops and condos and what the heck is a condop? (Localize.City)

Reminder: If you see a hawk, don’t go close to it. It’s likely hunting and you’re ruining its potential meal. (Laura Goggin)

A ban on brokers fees will benefit tenants in the long run to the tune of $7,000 on average in the first year, and that includes a rent hike. (Beth Dedman for amNewYork Metro)

The best happy hours in 31 neighborhoods. (Rachel Pelz for Thrillist)

The Briefly for January 23, 2020 – The “Hipsters Have Left the Neighborhood” Edition

Today’s daily NYC news digest: MSG hasn’t paid propoerty tax in 37 years, Mayor de Blasio’s homeless strategy is failing, the best Brooklyn bars with fireplaces, and more

Today – Low: 33˚ High: 45˚
Mostly cloudy throughout the day.

Madison Square Garden has gone 37 years without paying a single cent of property taxes, not paying the city over half a billion dollars of taxes in that time. James Dolan, awful musician and owner of MSG, is a major contributor to Governor Cuomo which makes it unlikely that the governor would change the deal. (Neil deMause for Gothamist)

Why do I mention he’s an awful musician? Listen to this garbage he wrong about being friends with Harvey Weinstein. (JD & The Straight Shot)

A new exhibit in Chelsea Market looks at life inside the Hotel Chelsea’s apartments, featuring work from Colin Miller’s “Hotel Chelsea: Living in the Last Bohemian Haven.” (Gabe Herman for amNewYork Metro)

Taco Chulo in Williamsburg is closing on March 1, blaming the closing on “the hipsters leaving and going to Bushwick.” (Tanay Warekar for Eater)

Is Fairway closing all of its stores? Depends who you listen to. (Chris Crowley for Grub Hub)

Vegans, despite what you’ve heard, are people too and sometimes they want a good junk food burger. (Ryan Sutton for Eater)

Another look at the subway cars of the future, which will start to be brought unto service later this year. (Mark Hallum for amNewYork Metro)

About 75% of you answered that you think you’ll never own a home in the city, for those of you who think you might, here are 8 great city starter homes. (Amy Plitt for Curbed)

Mayor de Blasio’s new strategy to help the homeless, giving them the option between going to a homeless shelter and be given a summons or engaging with outreach providers, isn’t working. 60% of homeless New Yorkers chose to get a summons instead of accepting services. Instead of helping the homeless, we’re punishing them. (Mirela Iverac for Gothamist)

A dead homeless man was found on the D train following a report of an unconscious man on the train and instead found a dead man covered in maggots. The police do not suspect foul play. (Anna Quinn for Patch)

RIP John “Butch” Purcell, the “Mayor of Stuy Town.” (Gabe Herman for amNewYork Metro)

Brooklyn’s 8 best bars with fireplaces. (Scott Enman for Brooklyn Eagle)

What should happen to Jeffrey Epstein’s “cursed mansion” on the Upper East Side: The Frick should buy it. (Alexandra Alexa for 6sqft)

The Gowanus Souvenir Shop, which has been a real thing for quite a while now, is closing at the end of the month. (Katia Kelly for Pardon Me For Asking)

Electric bike and scooters could become legal in New York on April 1, if Governor Cuomo’s budget passes as expected. (Christopher Robbins for Gothamist)

The governor intends to assemble a task force to assess the conditions of employment in the gig economy and present findings with the intention of voting on legislation by June 1. Cuomo’s previously compared the gig economy to sweatshops. (Anna Gronewold for Politico)

DeliverZero is food delivery with a twist. If you don’t return the packaging the food was delivered to be recycled, you’ll be charged extra. It’s currently available in 8 restaurants. (Nicole Davis for Brooklyn Based)

Here are the finalists in the 2020 City of Dreams Pavilion Design Competition for Lighthouse Park on Roosevelt Island. (Michelle Cohen for 6sqft)

NYC & Company wants you to get out of your apartment for the NYC Winter Outing, which started on Monday, runs for three weeks, and combines NYC Broadway Week, NYC Restaurant Week and NYC Must-See Week. (Emily Davenport for amNewYork Metro)

The Bronx Zoo’s Name A Roach program is back for Valentine’s Day. (Shaye Weaver for Time Out)

Five Democrats Socialist primary challenges are using the worry about the state’s pre-trial criminal justice reforms to stake out a position to the left of Democrats who have been considering a repeal to push additional ideas like restricting the use of solitary confinement, legalizing marijuana, and decriminalizing sex work. (Alex Williamson or Brooklyn Eagle)

The Mini Brooklyn Flea Record Fair was announced for February 8 & 9 at the Winter BK Flea. (Bill Pearis for BrooklynVegan)

You never know where Justin Bieber will show up, looking for gluten-free pizza. (Jenna Bagcal for QNS)

It’s Pod Save Astoria week at We Heart Astoria, focusing on a different podcast originating from Astoria every day. Today’s podcast is “We’ll Be Right Back” with Astoria locals Kevin Ross and Brian Dean. (Claire Leaden for We Heart Astoria)

The Triboro Line, which would connect Bay Ridge to Astoria to the Bronx, is one tiny step closer to becoming a reality. It has miles to go, but each step forward is still progress. (Ed García Conde for Welcome2TheBronx)

Transit Workers Union Local 100 are also in support of the project. (Mark Hallum for amNewYork Metro)

Video: This video game parody of Hudson Yards was both very funny and also the most perplexing thing I’ve seen in a long time. (Ethan Gach for Kotaku)

Video: Say hello to a belter kingfisher, which is a bird, on Randalls Island. (D. Bruce Yolton for Urban Hawks)

The best soups and stews you can get in the city. (Scott Lynch for Gothamist)

The Briefly for January 9, 2020 – The “300 Defective Subway Cars and State of the State” Edition

Today’s daily NYC news digest: Legal weed, 12 bloody hours for pedestrians, the OMNY system is stealing fares, rent in Williamsburg hits an all-time high, the best bagels, and more

Today – Low: 32˚ High: 34˚
Clear throughout the day.

Video: Watch the full State of the State Address. (NYGovCuomo on YouTube)

An overview of homeless funding, small business tax cuts, a “Restore Mother Nature” bond, and other proposals that could come from the speech. (Kathryn Brenzel for The Real Deal)

With the state legislature being in firm control of Democrats in 2019 and making real progress on Cuomo’s agenda, the governor was forced to find new material for this year’s speech. (Politico)

The state failed to legalize weed in the summer of 2019, could 2020 be the year? The governor called it an ethical imperative to legalize it. (Kathleen Culliton for Patch)

During the speech, Cuomo called for labeling certain hate crimes as domestic terrorism, which is punishable by life in prison. (Zack Fink for NY1)

The governor is calling to end the “fraud” of the gig economy, comparing gig economy corporations to sweatshops and legislation could re-classify independent contractors as employees, similar to the recently passed (and challenged) California law. (Dana Rubenstein for Politico)

The Restore Mother Nature Bond Act, mentioned in the speech, would pump $3 billion into resiliency efforts across the state, city included. (Mark Hallum for amNewYork)

Governor Cuomo vetoed a bill that independent pharmacists said would protect them and patients against health care middlemen causing higher fees. The governor cited higher fees and anti-competition concerns in his message. (Gabe Herman for The Villager)

Governor Cuomo wants to ban repeat sex offenders from the subway. How? No one has an answer to that question and this is the second year in a row he’s expressed that desire. (Jake Offenhartz for Gothamist)

The MTA pulled nearly 300 brand new-but-faulty subway cars from their tracks overnight on Tuesday for “repeated issues.” The cars represent 4.5% of the MTA’s fleet. These are the same cars that the MTA paid $600 million for and only received 18 on time and have since cost the city $35 million in repairs and $300 million in lost labor. (Kathleen Culliton for Patch)

The OMNY system celebrated its 5 millionth payment, but there’s more to this story. It seems that some scanners have been double charging unwitting riders. As riders scan their MetroCards, the sensitive scanners pick up the near field signal and also charge their credit cards. In order to fix this on an iPhone, disable “Express Transit Card” in your Wallet and Apple Pay settings. (Jake Offenhartz for Gothamist)

In a very MTA moment, someone managed to jump a turnstile in the middle of an OMNY press conference. (Bowery Boogie)

The MTA is being sued by Surveillance Technology Oversight Project (yeah, it spells STOP) to get information about a camera in the Times Square station installed to deter fare evasion. STOP believes the MTA is deploying facial recognition technology, but the MTA denies any facial recognition. (Elizabeth Kim for Gothamist)

46% of families living below the poverty line do not have broadband internet access as home. To alleviate this, the mayor announced an Internet Master Plan. It’s low on details, but the idea is the city will partner with private providers to expand the current infrastructure. (Adam Nichols for Patch)

The LaGuardia AirTrain situation is a complete mess. If the AirTrain moves forward, it will be Governor Cuomo’s sheer force of will, and not what is the best actual option. (Benjamin Kabak for Second Ave Sagas)

Ever sine the L train shutdown was shutdown, rent in Williamsburg started creeping up and are now 26.7% higher and have hit an all-time high of $3,675/month. (Valeria Ricciulli for Curbed)

The city witnessed a 12 bloody hours as four pedestrians were killed or critically injured. A man was killed but he driver of a bus in Midtown, a 10-year-old boy and his mother were hit by a garbage truck and the boy was killed by the driver, and a 68-year-old woman was killed by the driver of a cement truck in Borough Park. 122 pedestrians were killed in 2019, up from 105 in 2018. (Jen Chung for Gothamist)

Mulchfest continues through January 11, so bring your Christmas trees to one of the 67 drop-off sites across the city to participate. (Gabe Herman for The Villager)

The best momo (Himalayan dumplings) in the city, ranked. (Joe DiStefano for Grub Street)

Phots: The vintage typewriters of the closed to the public Bankers Club on the 40th floor of the Equitable Building. (Michelle Young for Untaped New York)

2019 seemed like the year for Universal Healthcare in New York state. What happened? (Ross Barkan for Gothamist)

Stop buying books on Amazon and borrow them from the library. An arduous task, I know. Use Library Extension to make it easier, the Chrome and Firefox extension will tell you what books and audiobooks are available at the nearest libraries to you. Shaye Weaver for Time Out)

Book Culture, the beloved book shop on the Upper West Side, suddenly closed due to owed rent payments. (Dana Schulz for 6sqft)

Here’s a different kind of “world’s tallest.” The 707-foot tall 270 Park Ave is about to become the tallest building to be intentionally razed. chase has decided it wants a 70-story building there instead, nearly twice the height of the old building. (Elizabeth Kim for Gothamist)

Renderings: See inside Peak, the 101st-floor restaurant coming to Hudson Yards. (Devin Gannon for 6sqft)

Another food hall is opening in Midtown. Take a look at the 12,000 square foot Urbanspace, which will include Roberta’s Pizza, LoLo’s, Call Me Pasta, City Tamale, an Eisenberg’s sandwich shop, and more. (Scott Lynch for Gothamist)

Brooklyn Public Library’s Sheepshead Bay branch reopened Tuesday after a five-month closure. (Jessica Parks for Brooklyn Paper)

Is the city’s healthiest neighborhood Midtown? (Emily Davenport for amNewYork)

Meet Dena Cooper, the artist transforming Alexander Jackson into Harriet Tubman on $20 bills. (Scott Enman for Brooklyn Eagle)

A look at The Duplex, the city’s longest running cabaret bar. (Dawson Knick for GVSHP)

The finest bagels of NYC, mapped. (Eater)

How the city’s bagel union fought off a mafia takeover. (Jason Turbow for Grub Street)