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 9, 2019 – The “Amazon Comes Crawling Back” Edition

Today’s daily NYC news digest: Rezoning leads to gentrification, the NYPD is being sued for racist policies, the worst meals of 2019, SantaCon on a boat, and more

The only late-night disruptions on the subways this week are on the 4, 6, D, E, J, and Q trains. Read up before you head out. (Subway Weekender)

Does rezoning lead to gentrification? A study looking at two rezonings during the Bloomberg administration in Park Slope and the Greenpoint-Williamsburg waterfront shows the populations of black and Latino residents dropped by the thousands while the overall population of the neighborhoods grew. (Elizabeth Kim for Gothamist)

With the results of that study, there is pressure on the City Council to pass legislation that would require the city to predict demographical changes before a neighborhood is rezoned. (Christian Murray for LIC Post)

Hello Amazon, look who came crawling back and is opening a new office in Hudson Yards without any taxpayer subsidies. (Caroline Spivack for Curbed)

>Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is for her stance on HQ2 in Long Island City. (@AOC)

The governor and mayor, whose administrations are responsible for the failed HQ2, are still pointing fingers. Cuomo is pointing fingers at the politicians who stepped up in opposition to the deal and de Blasio is blaming Amazon for walking away. (Amy Russo for HuffPost)

The NYPD were targeting black and hispanic people for minor offenses in the subways from 2011 to 2015. That’s not only according to a lawsuit, but also multiple sworn statements from NYPD officers. (Joseph Goldstein and Ashley Southall for NY Times)

The NYCHA has issued a “heat action plan,” which establishes a protocol to fix and prevent heat outages. (Elizabeth Kim for Gothamist)

What did your street look like in the 1800s? Check it out with OldNYC’s StreetView-like viewer. (Matt Coneybeare for Viewing NYC)

The top 10 secrets of Chumley’s, the Greenwich Village speakeasy from 1922. (Claire Leaden for Untapped New York)

Six Astoria restaurants with outdoor dining all year long. (Claire Leaden for We Heart Astoria)

A Park Slope substitute teacher is in trouble after telling his class of 1st graders that Santa isn’t real during a class about convincing. (Jake Offenhartz for Gothamist)

It’s been three years since the last gun buyback program in the city. What’s the history of buyback programs and why has it been so long since the last one? (Noah Goldberg for Brooklyn Daily Eagle)

A look at the history of the Queensboro Bridge. (Lannyl Stephens for GVSHP)

Are the governor and mayor’s strategies to help the city’s homeless working? The answer is somewhere between the data collected is “vague” and completely inconclusive. (Mirela Iverac for Gothamist)

Congressperson Max Rose is trying to save the Staten Island Yankees from obvilion. Part of MLB’s reasoning for announcing the elimination of the team is unacceptable time travel for teams and players not receiving a fare wage for their services. (Jaime DeJesus for The Brooklyn Home Reporter)

The list of restaurants ordered closed is back this week with a new entry into the 100+ point violation club. (Adam Nichols for Patch)

Why is Mike Bloomberg lying that no one asked him about stop-and-frisk until now? (Amy Russo for HuffPost)

The best holiday markets in NYC. (Ameena Walker for Curbed)

31 literary icons of Greenwich Village. (Andrew Berman for 6sqft)

If you don’t like the idea of SantaCon you’re really not gonna like the idea of Fireball whiskey sponsored SantaCon party yachts. (Ben Yakas for Gothamist)

Are you a bus? (Vincent Barone for amNewYork)

Congrats Tribeca, you beat 90210 as the nation’s most expensive zip code. (Kathleen Culliton for amNewYork)

Lucky Lee’s, which claimed to have “clean” Chinese food, is closed a year after it opened. (Serena Dai)

Forget the best. Here are the worst dishes of 2019. (Robert Sietsema for Eater)

The Briefly for November 14, 2019 – The “Problem Goes Deeper Than Policing Churros” Edition

Virginity tests, the NYPD’s illegal child fingerprint database was destroyed, the food at Wegmans gets reviewed, OMNY expands, pie shops, and more in today’s daily NYC news digest.

The punishment for killing a woman with a car? $750 and a suspended license. (Streetsblog)

“I am calling on the governor to immediately remove these additional officers from the MTA and put that money into actually improving the system. The governor cannot expect the public to pay the fare when the State is refusing to hold up its own financial responsibility.” – City Council Member Antonio Reynoso of Brooklyn (Streetsblog)

Will the 500 new police officers on buses and in subway stations prevent 33 million evaded fares a year for ten years? That figure, of course, doesn’t include any lawsuits that spawn from arrests made by those officers. That’s the monetary argument, but if the surge of officers is about fare evasion and protecting MTA workers, why are the headlines about churro ladies and teenagers selling candy? It’s about the kind of city we want to be. (Second Ave Sagas)

A look at the new Tompkins Square Playground’s equipment for kids with special needs. (EV Grieve)

The City Council voted to give themselves a $36,000 raise, but haven’t been nearly as generous with their staff, who make $47,784 annually on average. There has been conversations about unionization to improve salaries. (Politico)

A vegetarian restaurant that only serves one item, but is it any good? Yes is the answer. (Gothamist)

The city owns most of the land in the amusement area of Coney Island, but Central Amusement International (owners of Luna Park) operates the lease on the boardwalk shops. In addition to rent, they take 10% of their overall sales. In recent years they’ve been favoring their own games, shops, and food options over mom and pop shops. This is a private business deciding on the future of businesses who are on land owned by the city. Lola Star, the woman behind the boardwalk shop and roller discos across Brooklyn is stepping up and resurrecting the advocacy group Save Coney Island. (Coney Island Blog)

Every rental building in Manhattan ranked by price. (StreetEasy)

The Charging Bull isn’t moving… yet. Despite the mayor talking big in public about how it has to be moved due to Bowling Green being an unsafe place for that high number of visitors it receives, a location to move it to was never decided on. For now, the bull remains. (Gothamist)

The Coalition for Affordable Homes is introducing a proposal for a Small Home Anti-Speculation Tax that would impose a 15-20% tax on property transferred to a new owner within two years of ownership. While they may not prevent flipping houses, it would reinvest in affordable housing in the neighborhood. (Brooklyn Daily Eagle)

After 24,200 calls to 911 since June using a burner cellphone, Yogit Persaud was arrested. Each time she would call, the police or FDNY or both would have to respond to the claim, regardless if they knew it was from her and it was a false report. Persaud purports the NYPD has conspired against her. She was arrested for making a false emergency report, obstructing governmental administration, and aggravated harassment. (Gothamist)

Bishop Nicholas DiMarzio, leader of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Brooklyn and current investigator of sexual abuse the Buffalo diocese, sexually assaulted an 11-year-old altar boy when he was a priest in New Jersey in the 70s, according to a new lawsuit. (NY Times)

Billionaire Barry Diller’s public park island off Pier 55 has a new name and it’s “Little Island.” A modest name considering the price tag ballooned from $35 million to $250 million. (Gothamist)

Junior’s Law, named for Lesandro “Junior” Guzman-Feliz, is a bill that will reimburse small businesses owners the cost of a panic button, which could have saved the teenager’s life. The bill has 31 supporters in the City Council. (amNewYork)

Greenwich Village Chelsea Chamber of Commerce wants you to remember that there are still stores that are open left on Bleecker Street to shop at and has declared November 23 “Shop Bleecker Day,” where participating shops will provide deals and discounts. (amNewYork)

Virginity tests are still a thing in the year 2019. A bill was introduced to ban them in New York. This is, of course, coming into headlines now because T.I. admitted in an interview that he forces his 18-year-old daughter to undergo hymen checks annually, which is awful. (Gothamist)

While Staten Island is still a part of New York City (you can read about that in yesterday’s edition of The Briefly), it has a new dockless bike program. Beryl will operate 1,000 bikes across the island starting in the spring. (Streetsblog)

Take a look inside (renderings of) Disney’s upcoming Hudson Square HQ. (amNewYork)

The governor gave National Grid two weeks to hook up new customers of he will revoke their franchise to supply gas to New York City. (Gothamist)

The NYPD’s illegal database of children’s fingerprints was confirmed to be destroyed after a years-long investigation into it by the Legal Aid Society. (Patch)

“Wegmans is not good enough to be your destination food court.” Eater reviews the food at Wegmans. (Eater)

OMNY is hitting more subway stations next month, including Penn Station. (6sqft)

A guide to OMNY. (Curbed)

The city fines landlords for lead, but rarely ever collects. Even the highest estimates put the figure at 10%. (Gothamist)

The new age for tobacco or e-cigarette purchases is now 21 years old. (amNewYork)

Seven ways to fix your overheated apartment. Yes, “open the windows” is number one. (StreetEasy)

14 spectacular pie shops. (Eater)

Thanks to Meg Blatt for today’s featured photo!