The Briefly for February 19, 2020 – The “Rat, Roach, and Mouse Census of 2020” Edition

Today’s daily NYC news digest: The East Village’s most resilient dive bar, Manhattan rents are the highest in the country, the best Italian restaurants in the West Village, and more

Today – Low: 29˚ High: 46˚
Clear throughout the day.

Another reminder to start bringing your tote bags around, because the plastic bag ban is coming. (Alyssa Paolicelli for NY1)

The story of The Hard Swallow, the East Village’s most resilient dive bar and its owners Sasha and Lee Lloyd. (Drew Schwartz for Vice)

A coalition of North Brooklyn residents and environmental groups are fighting to stop National Grid’s plan to extend a natural gas pipeline through Bushwick, Williamsburg and Greenpoint. (Sydney Pereira for Gothamist)

A census of rats, roaches, mice, and vermin. After a special “rat academy,” the NYCHA is ready to count its pests. (Greg B. Smith for The City)

The NYPL has released a list of its favorite 125 books of all time. They aren’t ranked, so you don’t get to brag that your favorite Harry Potter book is #1. (Shaye Weaver for Time Out)

Luna Park and its Italian owner company Zamperla have been trying to kick Lola Star Souvenir Boutique off the boardwalk for a decade and they finally got what they wanted after raising the rent on the gift shop 500% and “negotiating” down to 400%. Zamperla doesn’t care about Coney Island the neighborhood, they only care about owning Coney Island and this is proof. (Rose Adams)

High Fidelity’s filming locations, listed. (Michelle Young for Untapped New York)

Do you operate an historic boat? Brooklyn Bridge Park would like to know if you want to show it off. (Davin Gannon for 6sqft)

Trader Joe’s is looking to expand on the Upper East Side in the former location of the Food Emporium under the Queensboro Bridge. (6sqft)

14 cozy bars to stay warm at all winter. (Lidia Ryan)

Congratulations to Manhattan for having the highest rents in the entire country for the month of January at $4,210. The national average is $1,463. (Emily Davenport for amNewYork Metro)

Apartment Porn: Inside the newly listed $8 million and $18 million apartments of the landmarked Steinway Building. (Alexandra Alexa for 6sqft)

President Trump pardoned former NYPD Commissioner Bernie Kerik, who was imprisoned from 2010 to 2013 on tax fraud and corruption charges. He accepted a quarter million dollars from a company tied to organized crime to renovate his apartment and lied to the Department of Homeland Security. (Kathleen Culliton for Patch)

The MTA is boasting the best on-time performance since 2013 for January. Hidden in this article is the fun fact that congestion pricing will require federal approval, so that’s another fight we can all look forward to. (Mark Hallum for amNewYork Metro)

What’s it take to be a “real” New Yorker? (Jessica Leibowitz and Jen Carlson for Gothamist)

FedEx and UPS receive over a thousand parking violations a day, but they’ll never pay the full price of the tickets they receive because they pay in bulk and at a steep discount, thanks to the Stipulated Fines and Commercial Abatement program. Offering an immediate discount on parking fines allows delivery companies to flout parking laws or clog the city’s street by parking illegally. The city’s attempted to update its double parking laws for trucks, but if these companies won’t pay for their violations what does it matter? City Councilmember Costa Consantinides put forward a bill to abolish the abatement program, but it’s stalled in committee. (Sophia Chang for Gothamist)

This is the headline: “Sexy Time for Tompkins Square Hawks” (Laura Goggin)

The New York City Planning Commission is looking into developing a 2.4 million-square-foot urban living complex close to the East New York, Brooklyn waterfront that includes 13 new buildings ranging in height from 2 stories to 17. (Gowanus Lounge)

The best Italian restaurants in the West Village. (Bryan Kim & Matt Tervooren for The Infatuation)

The Briefly for February 3, 2020 – The “Dropping the Ball, Not the Groundhog” Edition

Today’s daily NYC news digest: How NYC became “Gotham,” Governor Cuomo’s ego pushed Andy Byford out, the mayor ignoes his BQE panel, the best restaurants in Sunset Park and more.

Today – Low: 41˚ High: 51˚
Partly cloudy throughout the day.

16 places to celebrate Black History Month in NYC. (Devin Gannon for 6sqft)

Interested in changing your political party affiliation before the June primaries? Act quickly, the deadline is February 14th. (Samar Khurshid for Gotham Gazette)

Staten Island’s Chuck the Groundhog didn’t see his shadow on Sunday morning, which means that an early spring should be on its way. At least no one dropped him. (Adams Nichols for Patch)

Let’s never forget when Mayor de Blasio murdered Staten Island Chuck by dropping him on Groundhog’s Day. Chuck died a week after the drop. (Abby Ohlheiser for The Washington Post)

The City Council has taken the reigns on leading the city, due to the oiler vacuum left behind by Mayor de Blasio’s complete lack of projected strength as the leader of the city. (Joe Anuta for Politico)

11 days before volunteers participated in an annual count of the homeless sleeping on the city’s streets, the mayor’s office attempted to misrepresent the actual number by attempting to find more beds for the homeless. (Mirela Iverac for Gothamist)

Mayor de Blasio is walking away from his own “expert” panel’s central recommendation for fixing the BQE because he believes the disproven fallacy that eliminating lanes of traffic adds to congestion, instead of actually reducing it. (Julianne Cuba for Streetsblog)

Here’s how “induced demand” works, a concept known since the 60’s: “on urban commuter expressways, peak-hour traffic congestion rises to meet maximum capacity.” (Benjamin Schneider for CityLab)

The city is going to start enforcing the law when it comes to overweight trucks on the BQE, per the panels suggestion. (Mary Frost for Brooklyn Eagle)

One thing’s for sure, we have less than five years if the city doesn’t do something about the BQE. (Alexandra Alexa for 6sqft)

The governor has been attempting to avoid political controversy sticking to him by assigning the most difficult problems to commissions and panels. Think back his sudden swooping in to present the L train shutdown. He assigned the problem to a panel who gave the alternative. Here are his current panels: Medicaid Redesign, Traffic Mobility, Climate Action, Digital Marketplace Worker Classification, and Public Campaign Finance. (Fred Mogul for Gothamist)

The story of how Governor Cuomo’s oversized ego made it impossible for Andy Byford to stay on a President of New York City Transit Authority. (Jim Dwyer for NY Times)

If you enjoy yelling at the MTA, they’ve added more pubic feedback meetings about their redesigned bus network in Queens. (Bill Parry for QNS)

After a horrifying case of animal abuse was uncovered at a Manhattan pet store, a bill in the state legislature would ban the sale of dogs, cats, and rabbits in pet stores across the state is gaining support. The bill would ban the sale from stores, but not from breeders. (Sarah Maslin Nir for NY Times)

The city’s first suspected case of coronavirus is being investigated at NYC Health + Hospitals/Bellevue. This is no reason to panic. (Robert Pozarycki for amNewYork Metro)

A second and third case of coronavirus are already being investigated. Still no reason to panic. (Elizabeth Kim for Gothamist)

While coronavirus is on your mind, you should be worrying about the flu. his year we face a double-trouble scenario where it’s possible to get sick more than once during flu season. Two strains are hitting, so your chances of getting sick have doubled. The death toll from the flu this season is already at 10,000. (Adam Nichols for Patch)

Where to eat sushi omakase for under $125. (Lorelei Yang for Eater)

“When you build high, folks will jump” were seven words included in an ArchDaily review of Vessel. Unfortunately on Saturday night, those words were proved true when a 19-year-old man committed suicide by jumping from the structure. (Jen Chung for Gothamist)

The city’s had a goal of planting 20,000 new trees every year, but has only managed to plant less than 1/3 of that lately. The Department of Parks and Recreation points to the rising costs of planting and maintaining trees. (Len Maniace for amNewYork Metro)

Hiram Monserrate was expelled from the state’s senate in 2009 for committing domestic assault in a horrifying story. In 2012 he plead guilty for illegally using money from a nonprofit he controlled to support a run for senate and has only paid back $8,400 of $79,000 in restitution for stealing public funds. He’s trying to make a political comeback. (Vivian Wang for NY Times)

Would you live in Bay Ridge? Localize lays out a case with eight reasons to move to Bay Ridge. (Localize Labs)

The story of Taste of Persia leaving Pizza Paradise just took a turn. Saeed Pourkay, chef and owner of Taste of Persia is accusing that Pizza Paradise stole his recipes shortly after his restaurant was forced out of Pizza Paradise. (Tanay Warerkar for Eater)

A major overhaul to the city’s property taxes could fundamentally shift the tax burden from low- and moderate-income homeowners to wealthy neighborhoods. A panel has been at work on the proposal since 2018, but mayors have attempted to tackle the subject for over a quarter century. The plan wouldn’t result in higher tax revenues. (Emma G. Fitzsimmons, Matthew Haag and Jeffery C. Mays for NY Times)

The mayor is optimistic about getting the reforms done. “This is something I believe can and will be done during my administration.” (Janaki Chadha for Politico)

Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams says if elected to be mayor, he would regularly carry a gun. (NY1)

What’s the history behind New York’s nickname “Gotham?” (Noah Sheidlower for Untapped New York)

A truck driver killed a Bushwick cyclist while making an illegal U-turn in Williamsburg on Jan. 30, marking the first cyclist death of 2020. (Kevin Duggan for Brooklyn Paper)

There’s a video showing how Pedro Lopez was killed, and it is shocking. Despite killing Lopez, the driver of the truck was not issued a ticket and the NYPD’s comment about it was there was “no criminality suspected.” (Jake Offenhartz for Gothamist)

The Department of Environmental Protection has reversed course and will fill the Jerome Park Reservoir basin in the Bronx. Previously the plan was to keep the basin empty. (Jason Cohen for Bronx Times)

Friday night’s “FTP” protests called for free public transit, an end to the harassment of the homeless, vendors and musicians in the subways, and full accessibility for people of all physical abilities throughout the transit system. The protest gathered at Grand Central Terminal at 5pm to maximally disrupt the evening commute and spread out from there. (Nick Pinto for Gothamist)

The Meatball Shop’s Lower East Side flagship location will be closing this weekend. (Bowery Boogie)

The best restaurants in Sunset Park. (Bryan Kim for The Infatuation)

The Briefly for October 10, 2019 – The “Subways Could Be Running 50% Faster” Edition

The voter registration deadline is coming up, unmasking the identity of real estate buyers, corruption along the 4th Ave bike lane, and more in today’s daily NYC news digest

The deadline to vote in this year’s general election is October 11. Get moving if you haven’t registered. (Brooklyn Daily Eagle)

Early voting runs from October 26 through November 3 this year, but not every polling site will be an early voting site, so make sure to check where to take part in early voting. (amNY)

Construction has begun on Google’s 1.3 million square-foot Hudson Square campus. (6sqft)

A new report from the MTA notes that the subways are slower than they were 20 years ago and could be running 50% faster and to make it happen they only have to make four improvements. Don’t hold your breath, because one of the improvements is fixing the signal problems that plague just about every line. (6sqft)

It’s finally fall and Brooklyn Based has 18 ways to celebrate pumpkin season, none of them the PSL. (Brooklyn Based)

What to see in the city’s art galleries right now. (NY Times)

Excuse me, bagel tacos? (Gothamist)

The battle for Boerum Hill’s WBAI, which has been in operation since the ’60s, has gone legal between the Pacifica Foundation and the employees of the station. (Brooklyn Paper)

An interview with artist Shai Dahan, whose new Swedish Dala horse mural can be found on Broome St. (Brooklyn Street Art)

The 4th Ave bike lane in Brooklyn’s paint was barely dry before the 72nd Precinct decided that they would use it for parking. This is corruption. (Gothamist)

Where to get an Impossible Burger on the Upper West Side. (I Love the Upper West Side)

Tips and advice to upgrade your candy game this Halloween. (Grub Street)

There is a peanut-related recall of some Ample Hills ice cream, so if you or you know someone with allergies and a love for Peppermint Patty ice cream, here is your heads up. (Patch)

Video: Step inside the Brooklyn Superhero Supply Company and embrace your inner superhero… or villain. (Viewing NYC)

“Dedicated to the many tourists that go missing every year in New York City. And a reminder as to why the parks close at dusk. Erected by the Ed Koch Wolf Foundation and the NYC Fellowship.” A monument to the missing tourists taken by wolves appeared in Battery Park this week. (Untapped Cities)

The Bain Center, a literal jail on a boat in city waters, holds up to 800 prisoners a day that was brought to the city in 1992 as a temporary solution but has stuck around ever since. It’s scheduled to close by 2026. (NY Times)

Behind the scenes at the Forgotten NY blog. (amNY)

The famous and ultra-rich don’t buy homes in their names, they buy them using LLCs to hide their identity, but a bill signed into law by Governor Cuomo in September is going to possibly make the purchasers of real estate publicly available information. (Curbed)

Do you like The Strokes? How much? How about so much that you’ll rent an apartment in Nolita from their guitarist for $6,750 a month? (6sqft)

The best upscale seafood in NYC. (Grub Street)