The Briefly for November 20-12, 2020 – The “Rockefeller the Owl” Friday Edition

The latest NYC news digest: The school building shutdown, how restaurants may be impacted, Dupree G.O.D. turns himself in, the best Brazilian restaurants, and more

Today – Low: 47˚ High: 61˚
Clear throughout the day.
This weekend – Low: 42˚ High: 61˚

The Rockefeller Christmas Tree has arrived and holy shit, it’s very sad. (Brian Kahn for Gizmodo)

How sad? Crews were seen adding extra branches to the tree to make it look less 2020. (Nicholas Rice for People)

The only good part about the tree is the tiny owl that hitched a ride in the tree and was rescued after being discovered. It’s a good owl. (Jen Carlson for Gothamist)

Rockefeller the Owl joins Central Park’s Barry the barred owl as this year’s hot duck. (Lisa M. Collins for NY Times)

Okay, so school buildings are shut down and all learning is now remote because the city hit the 3% threshold set by the mayor, right? (Christina Veiga with contributions from Alex Zimmerman for Chalkbeat)

There is currently no school reopening plan yet. (Jillian Jorgensen for NY1)

But some preschools are still open. Nonprofit and private-operated pre-K can remain open, but in education department buildings, pre-K is closed. (Christina Veiga for Chalkbeat)

Wednesday was a confusing day if you were paying attention to the news. In the middle of a press conference by Governor Cuomo, the mayor announced schools would close on Thursday. We are past cute with these two politicians who can’t see eye-to-eye and we are at a dangerous moment if they can’t get on the same page. (Emily Ngo for NY1)

Meanwhile, Governor Cuomo says that if the city’s positivity rate hits 3%, new restrictions will hit the city’s restaurants, businesses, gyms, hair salons, and houses of worship. According to the state on Wednesday, the positivity rate was 2.5%. (Elizabeth Kim and Christoper Robbins for Gothamist)

The state says the positivity rate was at 2.5% on Wednesday, the city says 3.0%. A look at why the city and state report different numbers and it’s not, as Governor Cuomo put it, “a difference of opinion.” (Elizabeth Kim for Gothamist)

While the city is closing all school buildings, indoor dining remains open. Why? The mayor controls the closing of school buildings, the governor controls the closing of everything else. (Tanay Warerkar for Eater)

There were 11,000 restaurant positions added in the city in October, and over 100,000 jobs have been regained since March. A 3.0% in the state’s positivity rate could upend that progress. (Greg David for The City)

“I don’t think it’s if the city is going into an orange zone, it’s a when the city’s going into an orange zone.” The mayor isn’t optimistic about our chances of staying under 3.0% in the state’s eyes. (Noah Singer for Brooklyn Eagle)

The governor announced new yellow zone micro-clusters in Mott Haven, Parkchester, and Highbridge in the Bronx, and Astoria, Jackson Heights, and Woodside in Queens. (Tanay Warerkar for Eater)

A new bill from the City Council would allow restaurants to charge a 15% Covid-19 surcharge if they pay their staff a minimum wage of $15. A law last month allows restaurants to charge a 10% surcharge. (Erika Adams for Eater)

The MTA says without federal support, the sky will be falling. For the MTA, the sky falling looks like a 40% cut in subway service, a 50% cut in the LIRR and MetroNorth, and cutting 9,367 jobs. (Christina Goldbaum for NY Times)

The City Reliquary, a museum of city artifacts, is fighting to stay open with a new membership program. (Keira Wingate for Bklyner)

Apartment Porn: I’ll be honest, this might be the most jaw-dropping apartment the city has. A three-level penthouse in Billionaires’ Row will be up for auction at the end of the year at 150 Central Park South. Five beds, five and a half baths, and four terraces with Central Park views. (Devin Gannon for 6sqft)

A billionaire is teaming up with a real estate developer to put up a billboard in hopes to inspire New Yorkers into believing that New York isn’t dead. Are you ready to be inspired by Jerry Seinfeld and Miki Naftali’s billboard? (Erin Hudson for The Real Deal)

Opponents of the city’s billion-dollar East Side Coastal Resilience project begun putting posters across the neighborhood calling Mayor de Blasio and Councilmember Carolina Rivera “destroyers” of East River Park. (Elie Z. Perler for Bowery Boogie)

Remember the eco-yogi slumlords of Brooklyn? They’re being sued by the city of New York for violating eviction law, for tenant harassment, and for construction and code violations. (Bridget Read for The Cut)

Need a refresher? The Eco–Yogi Slumlords of 1214 Dean Street, Brooklyn. (Bridget Read for The Cut)

The fastest places to get a COVID-19 test in NYC. (Collier Sutter for Time Out)

Meet the luckiest woman in NYC. She was pushed onto the subway tracks with a train arriving at the station and survived by ducking under the train. (Jake Offenhartz for Gothamist)

Photos: Inside the new glass dome atop Union Square’s Tammany Hall. (Dana Schulz, Photos by Christopher Payne for 6sqft)

One of my favorite things when walking around the city is to look for pieces of history that have outlived the people who built them. The New York Sun clock on Broadway between Reade and Chambers outlived two incarnations of the newspaper. Fun fact: I worked for The New York Sun during its last year from 2007 to 2008 and would pass this clock every day on my way to work. (Ephemeral New York)

Earlier this week, rapper Dupree G.O.D. jumped on top of a B26 bus with a flame thrower and began… throwing flames. It was a part of filming a video for a song, but no one on the bus knew they were in a music video. He turned himself in to the NYPD on Wednesday. (Amanda Hatfield for BrooklynVegan)

What to expect when you’re expecting the Gowanus Canal to be cleaned up. (Kevin Duggan for Brooklyn Paper)

The 15 best Brazilian restaurants in NYC. (Matt Tervooren for The Infatuation)

Thanks to reader Zlata for today’s photo from Central Park!

The Briefly for September 27-28, 2020 – The “Indoor Dining Returns, Outdoor Dining Becomes Permanent” Sunday Edition

The latest NYC news digest: 600k kids return to school this week, the mayor announces future announcements, the best new burgers in the city

Today – Low: 68˚ High: 76˚
Partly cloudy throughout the day.

Video: In case you were wondering, the NYPD’s tactics have not changed in the face of months straight of protests throughout the city. This was the scene last night in the West Village as the NYPD swarmed protesters on 6th St after the “Celebration of Art Of Protest” in Washington Square Park (FreedomNewsTV)

The NYPD ended its training program for officers to de-escalate encounters with people in a mental health crisis. The future of the program is in limbo. (Gwynne Hogan for Gothamist)

Indoor dining returns this Wednesday in NYC. Here’s how restaurants are preparing. Keep in mind, not every restaurant will be taking part. (Rachel Sugar for Grub Street)

Outdoor dining is now permanent. Here’s everything to know about the city’s permanent outdoor dining plan. (Erika Adams for Eater)

Coronavirus anxiety and depression have hit NYC, as a new study says 44% of New Yorkers are feeling anxiety about the virus and 36% felt depressed since the start of our PAUSE. (Matt Troutman for Patch)

How will the city’s souvenir shops survive the pandemic without tourists? Maybe they won’t. (Carson Kessler for The City)

Good news for you if you’re someone who has been collecting your compost since the city’s collections stopped in March. Compost drop-off locations return to six Greenmarkets. (Tequila Minsky for The Villager)

The American Museum of Natural History fired Mark E. Siddall after the museum found that he had sexually harassed and bullied a graduate student who was doing research under his supervision. (Julia Jacobs for NY Times)

Tourist helicopters are back to annoy city dwellers and, in a surprising twist, they’re coming from Jersey. (David Cruz for Gothamist)

Next year’s city-wide elections will be ranked-choice. I’ve linked to this explainer video multiple times already, so when city officials and candidates argue that we’re not ready for a new voting system, you can tell them to go to hell. (Clifford Michel for The City)

Home sales are surging on Brooklyn. Tell that to the next person who bemoans how many people are leaving the city for the suburbs. (Stefanos Chen for NY Times)

Dianne Smith has a new installation titled “Styling: Black Expression, Rebellion and Joy Through Fashion” that pays tribute to Black women who shape and redefine what it means to be stylish. The location? Nordstrom at Columbus Circle. This is the first full-scale art exhibition at the location. (Roger Clark for NY1)

The MTA is set to run out of money before 2021 and will likely be forced to borrow money to survive. (Mark Hallum for amNewYork Metro)

When someone vandalized the A train tracks last week, Rikien Wilder was there to clear some of the items thrown on the tracks and tackle the vandal as they tried to get away. The MTA showed their appreciation for Wilder’s heroics with a free year of subway rides. (Jen Chung for Gothamist)

Here’s someone trying to find the silver lining in the clouds of Century 21’s closing in Bay Ridge. (Jessica Parks for Brooklyn Paper)

It’s a renters market, the Times gives some advice about how to negotiate with your landlord. (Ronda Kaysen for NY Times)

On August 23, 1974, John Lennon claims he saw a UFO outside Midtown East apartment. (Dave Lifton for Ultimate Classic Rock)

The apartment that John Lennon was living in, and saw the UFO from, is now for sale for $5.5 million. It’s a 4,000 triplex and it’s also where the iconic John Lennon “New York City” photo was taken. (Devin Gannon for 6sqft)

Maybe you’ll see your own UFOs after purchasing the apartment because UFO sightings are up in New York. At 184 sightings, we’ve already exceeded the 151 sightings total for 2019. (Adam Nichols for Patch)

The asshole of the week is Heshy Tischler, who crashed a press conference about the uptick in Covid-19 cases in the Ocean Parkway Cluster without a mask and denying the existence of the virus, causing the press conference to be cut short. (Aidan Graham and Meaghan McGoldrick for amNewYork Metro)

“There’s rampant COVID denialism and misinformation abound in the community. People are not getting tested and are refusing care even when sick. This is deeply distressing.” Three men from Orthodox communities died from Covid-19 last week at Maimonides Hospital. (Jen Chung for Gothamist)

Bill de Blasio held a press conference announcing that he will hold future press conferences about the city’s “rebirth.” I’d argue the city’s rebirth starts on election day 2021 when we pick a new mayor. (Jake Offenhartz for Gothamist)

The mayor bowed to pressure from Upper West Siders to remove 300 homeless men from a temporary shelter. Then he took that decision back. Then he took that decision back and removing the 300 homeless New Yorkers from their temporary shelter and move them to another shelter in the Financial District in a move being called “the pinnacle of cowardliness.” Most politicians reveal their true selves once they are no longer up for re-election. I guess the mayor is showing us all who he really is. (Jake Offenhartz and Gwynne Hogan for Gothamist)

The mayor’s pledge to close Rikers Island is falling apart. (Caroline Spivack for Curbed)

Thanks to a federal judge’s ruling, you have until October 31 to fill out your census information. The Trump administration had tried to shorten the deadline to September 30 and the city is woefully behind on people filling it out. (David Cruz for Gothamist)

John Burns, a longtime friend of the mayor and first deputy commissioner at the Office of Administrative Trials and Hearings, resigned under fire after an investigation found he mistreated a female employee and created a hostile workplace. (Reuven Blau for The City)

Photos: A first look at Eataly’s honey-themed rooftop restaurant. (Bao Ong for Time Out)

It’s a fantastical idea: The Mandragore would use half of Roosevelt Island to build the country’s tallest building and the world’s tallest “carbon sink” that would actually reduce the amount of carbon dioxide in the city and generate energy with wind turbines and solar panels. (Collier Sutter for Time Out)

Miles Morales: Spider-Man, coming for the PlayStation 4 and 5, uses Harlem as its setting, a rare location for a digital depiction of New York City. (Charles Pulliam-Moore for Gizmodo)

The six best new burgers in the city. (Hannah Albertine, Nikko Duren, & Matt Tervooren for The Infatuation)

Photos: Check out the new bike-based cargo delivery vehicles you’ll be seeing around the city soon. (Gersh Kuntzman for Streetsblog)

What’s your subway station number? An interactive subway map that gives you a ranking as a New Yorker based on every subway station you’ve ever been to. (My score was 152, giving me the title of “NYC Lifer”) (The Cleverest)

10 great places to see on a Brooklyn Greenway bike ride. (Michelle Young for Untapped New York)

Photos: Inside the secret train track hidden in the depths of Grand Central Terminal. (Emily Nonko for 6sqft)

Restoration work on the Empire State Building’s Art Deco spire is complete, giving the building’s “hat” its original silhouette. (Devin Gannon for 6sqft)

The mayor announced 9,000 furloughs of managers and city employees not under union contracts. The unlucky 9,000 will be laid off for five cays between October and March. The mayor’s looking to save a billion dollars to prevent 22,000 layoffs and these furloughs will save $21 million. (Matt Troutman for Patch)

Among these 9,000? The Department of Education announced furloughs for superintendents and other non-union management will be furloughed. Perfect timing as schools are reopening. (Sophia Chang for Gothamist)

70 staff members as IS 51 in Staten Island are in quarantine after a teacher tested positive for Covid-19. (Amanda Farinacci for NY1)

In a reversal of education department policy, city teachers will now be allowed to work remotely if they are teaching students who are learning from home, according to a new agreement reached Friday between the city and the teachers union. Seems weird they’d be forced to come to a school building to teach remote students, right? (Alex Zimmerman for Chalkbeat)

Here’s what you need to know about K-8 students returning to schools this week. (Matt Troutman for Patch)

The secret patios of NYC, where you can eat and drink away from the street. (Hannah Albertine & Bryan Kim for The Infatuation)

Thanks to reader Zlata for today’s featured photo from The Edge!

The Briefly for June 29, 2020 – The “Even Aliens and UFOs Have Left New York” Edition

Today’s daily NYC news digest: Macy’s unannounced fireworks start tonight, the NYPD pepper-sprays a Pride march, open street dining, beaches opening this week and more

Today – Low: 69˚ High: 85˚
Clear throughout the day.

Get ready, because tonight starts Macy’s ill-conceived fireworks displays across the city for the next five nights. The city said they will send notifications a few minutes before they start(Ron Lee for NY1)

The story of Charlie H. Cochrane, Jr., the NYPD’s first openly gay cop, who joined the force in 1967. (Carey Reed Zamarriego for Untapped Cities)

Photos: Pride Weekend’s Drag March. (Scott Lynch for Gothamist)

More Photos: The Drag March. (EV Grieve)

The NYPD celebrated Pride in their traditional style by pepper-spraying and arresting participants of the Queer Liberation March during a dance party in Washington Square Park. (Duncan Osborne for Gothamist)

Answering questions about the availability of the NYPD’s disciplinary records, which will become available in July. (David Cruz for Gothamist)

17 members of the city’s Corrections Department will face departmental charges for their roles in the death of Rikers Island inmate Layleen Polanco last June. Bronx District Attorney Darcel D. Clark and the city’s Department of Investigation have refused to pursue criminal charges. (Jan Ransom and Ed Shanahan for NY Times)

How Occupy City Hall’s 24-hour protests came to be. (Juliana Kim, photos by Amr Alfiky for NY Times)

“Yet on day one of his mayoralty, de Blasio betrayed his word—and even more, the Black and Hispanic communities of New York City—by bringing back an even more blatantly discriminatory policing strategy: the practice of aggressive misdemeanor arrests known as “broken windows policing.””
-Bernard E. Harcourt, professor of law and political science at Columbia University, for Gothamist, Mayor De Blasio’s Police Strategy Has Always Been Racist

The number of UFOs reported across America in the first three months of the year shot up by 112%, but New York’s UFO sightings are among the country’s lowest. Even the aliens know it’s not a good time to see the city. (Adam Nichols for Patch)

The headline says it best: The Garbage-Scented, Siren-Laden, and Yet Still Pleasant Reality of Dining Outside Right Now (Robert Sietsema for Eater)

There are over 5,650 restaurants open for outdoor dining in the city, the Department of Transportation has an interactive map. (Devin Gannon for 6sqft)

Maybe some of these locations need to be double-checked since they’re in the middle of bike lanes, which is forbidden by the new guidelines. (Gersh Kuntzman for Streetsblog)

The experience of a day of phase two inside Veselka. (Ryan Sutton, photos by Gary He for Eater)

Six ways restaurants have been innovating to enforce social distancing. (Bao Ong for Time Out)

The state has extended its to-go cocktail laws for an additional 30 days. (Erika Adams for Eater)

Five years of lessons learned from writing about food and dining. (Serena Dai for Eater, good luck on your new gig)

“For years, the NYPD has used the city’s public drinking laws as a simple pretext for the harassment of communities of color. Of the 15 city police precincts that wrote the most summonses for open-containers in 2010, 12 were located in communities of color. A separate Brooklyn study found that 85 percent of open container citations in that borough were given to Black and brown residents, and only 4 percent to whites.”
-Shabazz Stuart, CEO of Oonee, for Streetsblog, It’s Time to Legalize Public Drinking for All New Yorkers

Dog runs, basketball courts, tennis courts, volleyball courts, handball courts, and bocce courts are returning to the city’s parks with phase three. (Shaye Weaver for Time Out)

Everything known about indoor dining, which starts on July 6 in phase three of the city’s reopening. (Hannah Albertine for The Infatuation)

For the second time in two decades, the MTA is facing a “doomsday budget.” (Robert Pozarycki for amNewYork Metro)

James Dolan owns Madison Square Garden and the Knicks and might be one of the biggest idiots in the entire city. The CDC’s website with information on Covid-19 antibodies clearly states “Having antibodies to the virus that causes COVID-19 might provide protection from getting infected with the virus again. If it does, we do not know how much protection the antibodies might provide or how long this protection might last.” Has that stopped James Dolan from saying he wants to fill Madison Square Garden with people who have tested positive for antibodies for a benefit show? No it has not. (Amanda Hatfield for BrooklynVegan)

A deeper dive into the Summer Youth Employment Program, how its elimination by the de Blasio administration disproportionally affects people of color, and why kids are fighting to bring it back. (Rainer Harris for Curbed)

Red Hook’s Fairway will close by July 17. The landlord will look for a grocery store to take its place. (Liena Zagare for BKLYNER)

Mayor de Blasio is calling for a full eviction moratorium through August 20 and for the state place tenants who miss rent on a year-long payment plan to make up for back rent once they are able to work. (Alejandra O’Connell-Domenech for amNewYork Metro)

New York Hall of Science won’t be reopening in 2020, opting for a 2021 date. (Bill Parry for QNS)

Getting students into classrooms in the fall, if that is an option at all, will be a difficult task. The CDC calling for children to be six feet apart, which would be impossible in the city’s 150 schools that are already operating at a capacity of 150% or more. For instance, Francis Lewis High School in Queens is built for 2,188, has 4,492 students and capacity will have to be cut to around 1,000. Whatever happens, school will not be returning to normal in the fall. (Ashleigh Garrison for Chalkbeat)

RIP Milton Glaser, who created the I ♥ NY logo. (William Grimes for NY Times)

It’s a great apartment that will be plagued with construction noise through 2035, but you’ll be close to the trains! (Norman Oder for Atlantic Yards/Pacific Park Report)

Spring training hasn’t begun yet and Vegas is already predicting a better season for the Yankees than the Mets. (Joe Pantorno for amNewYork Metro)

St. Patrick’s Cathedral welcomed people for Sunday Mass for the first time since March. (Robert Pozarycki for amNewYork Metro)

The city’s affordable housing lottery is anything but fair to the people who can afford the least. For each apartment available for “extremely low-income” families there are 650 applicants. That is nearly 5x as many applicants for apartments for families making between $122k and $168k/year. (Rachel Holliday Smith for The City)

Sunday’s double rainbow. What does it mean? (EV Grieve)

Do you know what this city doesn’t need? A sinkhole problem. A sinkhole nearly ate an SUV on the Lower East Side over the weekend. (EV Grieve)

There are nine NYC beaches opening for swimming on July 1st. (Noah Sheidlower for Untapped New York)

Thanks to reader Jenny for today’s featured photo!