The Briefly for Valentine’s Day, 2020 – The “Your Plant Stylist Appointment is Coming Up” Weekend Edition

Today’s daily NYC news digest: 12 places to smooch your Valentine, Bloomberg tries to distract from his record with memes, the 27 top burgers, Trump vs NY rolls on, and more

Today – Low: 18˚ High: 34˚
Clear throughout the day.
This weekend – Low: 30˚ High: 47˚

12 places to smooch on Valentine’s Day. (Lore Croghan for Brooklyn Eagle)

There have been no cases of coronavirus in New York City and despite this, the city’s Chinatowns are suffering. (Marina Fang for Huff Post)

A look forward on this frigid morning to the spring’s street festivals on the Upper West Side. (Mike Mishkin for I Love the Upper West Side)

For $2,000 someone will come to your home and style your plants. Welcome to the world of plant stylists. (Steven Kurutz for NY Times)

About half the adult population of the city, roughly 3.4 million people, spent one of the last few years living below the poverty line, according to a new report from the Robin Hood Foundation and Columbia University. (Jake Offenhartz for Gothamist)

Ready for a cocktail crawl? Here’s how to get it done on Atlantic Avenue. (Meredith Craig de Pietro for Brooklyn Based)

Michael Bloomberg’s forceful push into meme culture is being lead by Mick Purzycki, who is the CEO of Jerry Media, famous for stealing content without crediting the original creators. Can the people who brought you the marketing for the Fyre Festival distract us enough from the negative headlines and quotes from Bloomberg’s past? (Ashley Reese for Jezebel)

Roses are red, Violets are blue, Unlike the F train, I'll be there for you

The mayor signed a bill this week that will extend government-funded health care to families of all municipal workers, not just firefighters and police, who died in the line of duty or from 9/11 related diseases. (Todd Maisel for amNewYork Metro)

The annual tradition continues: Phil Collins Day is on Saturday. (Kate Hooker for Brooklyn Based)

The moment the state announced the end of brokers’ fees, rents jumped up about 6% across the board. Now that the fees are gone, it’s unlikely we’ll see a 6% drop back down. (Kathleen Culliton for Patch)

City Comptroller Scott String is calling for a Bill of Rights for NYC tenants to protect them from unscrupulous landlords. He has a proposal as well, including limiting security deposits to one month of rent, providing itemized statements of damage, a five-day gras period for late rent, requiring a court order for evictions, and much more. (Kathleen Culliton for Patch)

GZA played ‘Liquid Swords’ at the Blue Note Jazz Club in honor of the album’s 25th anniversary. (BrooklynVegan)

The top five potato dishes in the city, according to Robert Sietsema. (Robert Sietsema for Eater)

The governor is making a new push for legalizing compensated gestational surrogacy with a campaign called “Love Makes A Family.” New York is one of three states that hasn’t legalized the practice. (Matt Tracy for Gay City News)

Real Estate Porn: Don Lemon is selling his Harlem condo. You can live like Don Lemon for only $1.75 million. The condo looks like a great place to get drunk on New Year’s Eve and make mistakes. (Devin Gannon for 6sqft)

The story of a meander and 14 photos of central Park Slope. (Lore Croghan for Brooklyn Eagle)

48 pictures of the beautiful Bronx. (Ed García Conde for Welcome2TheBronx)

Manhattan, we have to have a serious conversation. We know you’re not going to Brooklyn on the weekends, even if you need groceries and Brooklyn has the only Wegmans in the city. You want to veg out, binge the new season of Narcos and order some Seamless. That’s cool, because now Wegmans delivers to Manhattan. (Nikita Richardson for Grub Street)

In a literal quid pro quo, the president said if New York stops suing the president, the president will restore New Yorkers’ access to Trusted Traveler Programs programs. This ban happened the day he was acquitted after being impeached. Letitia James has filed 35 lawsuits against the federal government since January 2019. (Xeni Jardin for BoingBoing)

A look into the illegal, but welcome, underground of street car washers. (Sandra E. Garcia and Stephen Speranza for NY Times)

Mayor Bill de Blasio and Schools Chancellor Richard Carranza came to a tentative agreement on a contract that gives increased pay and paid parental leave to principals and assistant principals. (Alejandra O’Connell-Domenech for amNewYork Metro)

Got furniture you want to get rid of but it’s too nice for the curb (note: nothing is too nice for @stoopingnyc)? Here’s where to sell used, vintage, and antique furniture in the city. (Zachary Solomon for StreetEasy)

Bronx City Council Member Vanessa Gibson is going to pay $5,000 for abusing her position on City Council to get out of paying a $50 ticket for driving while using her phone. (Kathleen Culliton for Patch)

A developer in Crown Heights was ordered to remove all construction equipment from the potential site of two 16-story towers after they were discovered violating a temporary restraining order. Activists have targeted the buildings as part of an anti-gentrification campaign lead by Movement to Protect the People. The group claimed the buildings would block sunlight for the Brooklyn Botanical Garden, but this has been refuted by the BBG and should not be confused with the 39-story tower that the BBG is actively campaigning against in its “Fight for Sunlight” campaign. (Ben Verde for Brooklyn Paper)

27 top burgers in the city. (Eater)

Thank you to my valentine Meg Blatt for today’s featured photo.

The Briefly for January 21, 2020 – The “Go Back to Iowa, Go Back to Ohio” Edition

Today’s daily NYC news digest: The pink gumball machine mystery has been solved, the secrets of the city’s oldest comedy barker, the true history of Central Park’s Great Lawn, and more

Today – Low: 21˚ High: 32˚
Clear throughout the day.

A longtime staffer to Assemblyperson Catherine Nolan and Long Island City resident, Edwin Cadiz, has been named the 2020 NAACP “Man of the Year.” (QNS)

The origin of the pink gumball machines that popped up around Manhattan and Brooklyn has been revealed. They were installed in promotion of Strokes’s drummer Fabrizio Moretti’s new project called machinegum. (Bill Pearis for BrooklynVegan)

“”Go back to Iowa, you go back to Ohio. New York City belongs to the people that were here and made New York City what it is,” is a fine thing for your local loon to scream on a corner, but not for Eric Adams, the current borough president of Brooklyn and mayoral hopeful in 2021. The comments came at an event in Harlem about Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s impact, where more than a few speakers spoke about gentrification without weirdly xenophobic comments. He followed it up with “I’m a New Yorker. I protected this city. I have a right to put my voice in how this city should run.” (Gloria Pazmino for NY1)

Internal emails show that New York City’s special drug prosecutor has a database of police officers with potential honesty problems. Similar databases from the DA’s office from each of the five boroughs’ offices have been released thanks to Freedom of Information requests. (George Joseph for Gothamist)

Video: Inside Staten Island’s secret Chinese Scholar’s Garden. (ActionKid)

The Union Square Coffee Shop neon “COFFEE” sign was replaced with a Chase bank sign. (EV Grieve)

Apartment Porn: Go inside this $4 million custom build Williamsburg penthouse loft apartment. (Matt Coneybeare for Viewing NYC)

Gospel Missionary Baptist Church was booted from West 149th Street near Riverside Drive after a foreclosure sale, despite more than two decades in the neighborhood, thanks to a foreclosure sale due to unpair condo fees. (Sydney Pereira for Gothamist)

89.5% of jaywalking tickets in 2019 went to blacks and Hispanics and the city’s politicians are taking notice of the seemingly racist enforcement by the NYPD. (Gersh Kuntzman for Streetsblog)

The home of “The Original Spaghetti Donut” is coming to Smith St in Brooklyn. (Katia Kelly for Pardon Me For Asking)

An interview with the New York Knicks’ Reggie Bullock about Pride Night at MSG and his LGBTQ activism since the murder of his transgender sister Mia. (Matt Tracy for Gay City News)

The city’s 30 most dangerous school zones for pedestrians and cyclists. (Emily Davenport for amNewYork Metro)

You know what’s better than camera enforcement of cars blocking bus lanes? Streets without cars. (Gersh Kuntzman for Streetsblog)

Video: Watch the day turn to night behind lower Manhattan in a time lapse. (Matt Coneybeare for Viewing NYC)

After two water main breaks in one week caused extensive delays across the MTA, the MTA announced they’ll be examining the infrastructure in hopes of avoiding similar situations in the future. They also put blame on the city for slow response times to the broken water mains. (Hannah Rosenfield for I Love the Upper West Side)

In praise of the long dessert menu. (Nikita Richardson for Grub Street)

The secrets of Pete Burdette, the elder statesman of the city’s comedy club barkers who always keeps a rubber chicken in his pocket. (Alex Taub for NY Times)

Central Park’s Great Lawn began its existence not as a place to exercise or relax, but as a symbol of crippling poverty during the Great Depression. (Sam Neubauer for I Love the Upper West Side)

Nightmare: Your AirPods Pro headphone falls out of your ear and down a sidewalk grate. What do you do? Here’s how to get them back. (Sandra E. Garcia for NY Times)

The best speakeasy-themed bars in the city. (Amber Sutherland-Namako for Thrillist)

The Briefly for November 25, 2019 – The “We Have A Heart, Also You’re Under Arrest” Edition

The mayor’s Rockefeller Center pedestrian plaza plans meets resistance, where to eat on Thanksgiving, Bloomberg gets into the race, and more in today’s daily NYC news digest

This week’s late night subway disruptions end on Wednesday night, because holiday schedules start on Thursday. (Subway Weekender)

It’s that time of year again, time to start speculating if weather will ground the Thanksgiving Day Parade balloons. (CNN)

Construction injuries were up 61% last year and the city is mobilizing its inspectors to make surprise visits to the largest construction sites to crack down on dangerous conditions and it seems to be working. Injuries are down 26% this yer. The team of 38 has carried out 10,256 surprise inspections and that still only covers a quarter of active construction sites. (NY Times)

Portraits of the city’s Black vegan movement from Black VegFest. (Civil Eats)

FedEx’s delivery robots have made their way to Lower Manhattan. (Gothamist)

It’s hard enough to figure out what is temperature appropriate to wear on a daily basis in the city when the outside temperature is below freezing, some subway platforms are roughly 85 degrees, and your average office temperature fluctuates between chilly and uncomfortably cold, let along if you’re moving from California. Welcome to New York Joan Summers, none of us know how to dress in New York City. (Jezebel NYC)

The NYPD’s Chief of Transit is committed to go on a four borough “tour” to meet with subway vendors and community members to show that transit cops “have a heart.” (Gothamist)

Those same NYPD transit cops gave Matthew Chavez, the creator of the “Subway Therapy” project, a ticket for his post-it note-based project which has been going for over two years without incident in the tunnel between 6th and 7th Aves in the 14th St subway stop. (Gothamist)

NYPD transit cops pinned a homeless woman to the ground and handcuffed her in another disturbing video made public by passersby. The mayor’s office claims the woman was being sent to a hospital as a part of the MTA’s “homeless outreach.” Weird how helping someone with a mental illness looks a lot like arresting them. (Gothamist)

Protests against the NYPD’s policing of the subways briefly shut down the 125th St stop on the 4/5/6 on Friday night. (amNewYork)

Photos from the protest, which resulted in 58 arrests. (The Independent)

The Coney Island subway station is roofed with solar panels, but they’ve been off-line since in 2012. When installed, the panels were supposed to cut back on 17,000 tons of carbon dioxide emissions over 40 years. That is, of course, if they are operational. (Brooklyn Daily Eagle)

The city will shut down Fifth and Sixth Aves surrounding Rockefeller Plaza to cars for portions fo the day from Thanksgiving to January in hopes of relieving sidewalk congestion and forcing automobile traffic to find another way around the neighborhood. This is the plan that the Department of Transportation announced last month and the mayor said wasn’t yet approved. (NY Times)

The FDNY has “deep health and safety concerns” about the pedestrian plaza plan, claiming it will make it harder to get around the area due to rerouting of vehicles and that the mayor’s office didn’t adequately notify the local fire companies. (amNewYork)

The MTA isn’t happy with the plan either, due to the bus stops that will be bypassed during the hours the pedestrian plazas will be in operation. (Streetsblog)

The city’s reported HIV cases are at their lowest since the city started tracking them in 2001, with until 2000 cases reported in 2018. That number is 67% down from 2001. (amNewYork)

The NYPD agreed to give the Civilian Complaint Review Board access to body-cam footage except in the most serious cases. It sounds simple, but the actual agreement is ridiculous. There will be a “secure room” where one NYPD member will look for footage and one CCRB member will oversee. This is meant to get the CCRB footage without 10-25 days instead of the current 18-month backlog that exists. (Gothamist)

If you love Christmas more than anything else in this world, this Buddy the Elf-themed hotel room at the Midtown 45 is probably up your alley. (Time Out)

The NYPD took time to attend a Community Board 6 meeting to spread fear about the bail reforms kicking in starting in January. Bail reforms were signed into law in April. (Bronx Times)

The NYPD aren’t the only ones fear-mongering over bail reform. Republican State Assemblymember Nicole Malliotakis, who represents Bay Ridge and a portion of Staten Island, is hopping on the scare train. Crime in New York has declined for 28 years straight and is at post-World War II levels. (The Brooklyn Home Reporter)

Photos from the Harlem Light It Up parade. (amNewYork)

A LIRR train derailed on Friday night at Jamaica. There were no injuries, but the MTA is investigating what caused the derailment. This is the second derailment in that area on that track. (amNewYork)

With Mike Bloomberg getting into the presidential race, every NYC mayor since 1993 is or has run for president. Maybe David Dinkins has some ambitions we don’t know about. Either way, Bloomberg is in. (Patch)

Here’s his announcement video. (Bloomberg 2020)

A water main break caused flooding in Sunset Park on Sunday after a 30-foot wide crater opened up and shot out water for six hours. There were no injuries or major damage. (amNewYork)

The Coast Guard pulled 23 out of 32 ferries out of operation over “safety discrepancies” after annual inspections were performed on Sunday. Six ferries are back in the water. (amNewYork)

Someone posted a Times Square bomb threat to Reddit on Sunday morning. The threat was deemed not credible and the NYPD are investigating the post. (NY Times)

Where to go out for Thanksgiving dinner in NYC

Thanks to MG Ashdown for today’s featured photo