The Briefly for December 15-17, 2020 – The “Sandra Lindsay, First to be Vaccinated” Tuesday Edition

The latest NYC news digest: Snow is headed for NYC, the Met Museum reopens 21 galleries, the city’s “Situation Room” is failing, the best new restaurants, and more

Today – Low: 29˚ High: 39˚
Partly cloudy throughout the day.

Today's edition is sponsored by Media Career Makeover by Mediabistro

Meet Sandra Lindsay, a nurse at a Queens hospital, who was the first person in the United States to be vaccinated against Covid-19. (Sharon Otterman for NY Times)

Answering questions about the Covid-19 vaccine rollout in NY and NJ. (Caroline Lewis for Gothamist)

Alright, let’s brace ourselves for a possible strong snowstorm this week. I am not looking forward to fighting to put my pups’ tiny boots on their unwilling feet. (John Del Signore for Gothamist)

With the rising number of Covid-19 hospitalization, the mayor is warning that the city is headed for another full-on lockdown as we experienced in the spring. (Erika Adams for Eater)

The NYPL is back to phase one service, with only grab-and-go service in yellow zones. (Norwood News)

Rao’s in East Harlem is now delivering for the first time in its 124 year history. (Devin Gannon for 6sqft)

Mayor de Blasio has accepted a challenge to ride the subway to show that it’s safe to ride the subway. How very brave of him. (Gersh Kuntzman for Streetsblog)

The 21 Club, which if you don’t know is the random building in Midtown with 21 jockey statues outside, is closing after being open since 1930. (NY1)

“We have heard from principals, families, and Learning Bridges partners that the communications from the Situation Room can be frustrating and opaque — far from what you characterized in the mayor’s initial press release as ‘resulting in quick, decisive action for our schools and clarity and transparency for all families.’” What the hell is going on with the city’s “Situation Room,” which was supposed to make the city able to quickly respond to Covid-19 cases in schools? (Amy Zimmer and Christina Veiga for Chalkbeat)

A man committed suicide by cop after opening fire near a crowd of hundreds of people gathered for a Christmas concert outside the Cathedral of St. John the Divine in Morningside Heights on Sunday afternoon. According to City Councilmember Mark Levine, the shooting was yelling he wanted to be killed. (Mihir Zaveri, Troy Closson and Liam Stack for NY Times)

Here is what’s known about Luis Vasquez, the Cathedral of St. John the Devine gunman. (Ashley Southall for NY Times)

What a 421a tax abatement is and how it works. (Jordi Lippe-McGraw for StreetEasy)

Photos: The Barrel Owls of Riverside Park are this year’s hot duck. (D. Bruce Yolton for Urban Hawks)

Attention Bobby Flay: Everyone has to pay rent, you included. (Sasha Jones for The Real Deal)
The city’s outreach at the end-of-line subway stations to New York’s homeless population as the subway closes overnight seems to be seeing success according to the city’s figures. (Mirela Iverac for Gothamist)

Faulty wiring was the cause of the Middle Collegiate Church fire in the East Village, according to a report from the FDNY. (Holly Louise Perry for Bowery Boogie)

Apartment Lust: The ‘Dean & Deluca Loft’, a $5.8 million, 3,600 square foot, open-style loft in Soho, is up for sale. The loft’s seller is Rhonda Sassoon, fourth wife and widow of famed hairdresser Vidal Sassoon, and the previous owner was Jack Ceglic, the co-founder of Dean & Deluca. (Dana Schulz for 6sqft)

Where to do Christmas stuff in NYC. (Matt Tervooren for The Infatuation)


Media Career Makeover
by Mediabistro

Get your creative career going in 2021!

Restart, re-energize, and redirect your freelance or full-time media career with Mediabistro's Media Career Makeover, a four-week online bootcamp that includes live webinars from career and personal brand experts, networking, tactical plans for finding new full-time or freelance work, and personalized guidance from a coach.

Join other media and creative professionals in getting 2021 off to the best start!

Special offer for The Briefly readers: use code thebriefly33 for 33% off at checkout here. Classes begin January 27. Offer expires December 30.


15 Hudson Yards has won “2020 Building of the Year” from 6sqft. 15 Hudson Yards is attached to The Shed in Hudson Yards. (Dana Schulz for 6sqft)

A holiday tipping guide. Spoilers: tip cash. (Matt Troutman for Patch)

Does your tap water taste a little different? It’s a regular occurrence as plants die off in the upstate reservoirs that hold the city’s water. The Department for Environmental Protection has stated that it is 100% harmless. (Nick Garber for Patch)

Governor Cuomo denies allegations of years of sexual harassment by former deputy press secretary Lindsey Boylan. (Sydney Pereira for Gothamist)

Superiority Burger is moving… across the street to a larger space. (Tanay Warerkar for Eater)

It’s not all good news for the city’s plant-based restaurants, as By Chloe has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection with plans to sell the company. (Erika Adams for Eater)

Shepard Fairy’s Blondie mural on Bleecker at the Bowery was restored over the weekend by artist PraxisVgz. (EV Grieve)

Dounya Zayer, who was thrown on the pavement by Officer Vincent D’Andraia during a protest in May following George Floyd’s murder filed a federal civil rights lawsuit against the city, the NYPD, D’Andraia, and his supervisor. D’Andraia was suspended without pay and charged with assault with a hearing scheduled for April 2021. His supervisor was transferred. (Eileen Grench for The City)

A new ‘Central Park Five’ law requires police to videotape all interrogations of minors to prevent cops from extracting false confessions. The law was intended to close a gap left in Gover Cuomo’s 2018 criminal justice reforms (Rose Adams for Brooklyn Paper)

Vodka doughnuts? Vodka doughnuts. (Christina Izzo for Time Out)

Franklin Park in Crown Heights closed for good on Sunday night after 12 years in the neighborhood. The attached burger joint Dutch Boy will remain open for takeout and delivery. (Tanay Warerkar for Eater)

The Met Museum opened 21 renovated galleries that contain more than 500 works after two and a half years of renovations to add new skylights. The work is on all 45 galleries in total is expected to be complete in spring 2022. (Shaye Weaver for Time Out)

Early voting for the special election to replace former Bronx Councilmember Andy King began over the weekend. The hopefuls to replace king are nonpartisan candidates Pamela Johnson-Hamilton, Neville Mitchell, and Kevin Riley. The winner will serve until the end of 2021. (Gloria Cruz for Gothamist)

Video: Drone footage of Central Park Tower, Billionaires Row, Central Park, Columbus Circle, and 53 West 53. (the Dronalist)

The 11 best new restaurants of 2020, according to Time Out. (Christina Izzo for Time Out)

Thanks to reader Flo for today’s featured photo!

The Briefly for December 8-10, 2020 – The “There is Pizza and There is Everything Else” Tuesday Edition

The latest NYC news digest: The Staten Island mess continues (with video), Pearl River Mart’s flagship is closing, a look at West Farms in the Bronx, and more

Today – Low: 33˚ High: 38˚
Mostly cloudy throughout the day.

In praise of Andrea Stewart-Cousins’s ability to get the New York legislature on the same page. (Bill Mahoney for Politico)

The fire that destroyed the Middle Collegiate Church also displaced 22 women from a single women’s shelter next door. (Cydney Pereira for Gothamist)

Pearl River Mart’s flagship store has “no other choice but to shut down” due to pressure from an unforgiving landlord. (Elie Z. Perler for Bowery Boogie)

President Obama has ruled that New York pizza, also known as pizza, is better than Chicago-style pizza, which is also known as Chicago-style pizza. (Christina Izzo for Time Out)

Just over seven years ago John Stewart gave us this rant about Chicago deep-dish pizza. (The Daily Show)

Ghouls get Covid-19 too, as Rudy Giuliani tested positive. (Tim Moran for Patch)

55% of the FDNY is unwilling to be vaccinated against Covid-19. Their union is defending their right to refuse. (Dean Moses for amNewYork Metro)

In June, the mayor announced he would end solitary confinement in the city’s jails after getting recommendations “in the fall.” The mayor has once again set a deadline for himself and appears ready to blow it. (Rosa Goldensohn for The City)

A look at the history of how New York City became a stoop town. (Ephemeral New York)

Putting West Farms in the Bronx into focus, the epicenter of the city’s economic crisis where one of four workers is out of work. (Winnie Hu, Juliana Kim, Jo Corona and Amr Alfiky for NY Times)

Senator Schumer paid Arlene’s Grocery a visit in support of the Save Our Stages Ace in congress before Arlene’s potential closure on February 1. (Elie Z. Perler for Bowery Boogie)

An NYC-themed holiday gift guide. (Untapped New York)

The state’s legislature is ready to make another attempt at a pied-à-terre tax in 2021. (Oshrat Carmiel for Bloomberg)

Sharp eyes in the East Village will spot Marvel’s ‘Hawkeye’ filming this week. (EV Grieve)

It seems ridiculous that NYCHA residents in Coney Island would be demanding repairs from Hurricane Sandy, but here we are. (Rose Adams for Brooklyn Paper)

Governor Cuomo announced that regions of the state that reach 90% hospital capacity would face new shutdowns. (Elizabeth Kim for Gothamist)

The governor also warned that indoor dining in NYC could be shutdown by next week based on the city’s rising hospitalization rates. (Tanay Warerkar for Eater)

Video: Watch Bruce Springsteen & Bleachers play “Chinatown” on the roof of Electric Lady recording studio. (Bill Pearis for BrooklynVegan)

The winner of the seventh annual Flatiron Plaza Holiday Design installation program is “Point of Action” by Studio Cooke John that’s meant to evoke the feeling of seeing other New Yorkers from a distance, which is something we’re a little familiar with now. (Bill Gleason for Time Out)

Photos: This year’s Dyker Heights Christmas lights (Collier Sutter for Time Out)

Did you know that New York City is unable to lower the speed limit on its roads? It’s strictly a state responsibility right now, but State Senator Brad Hoylman is looking to change that with new legislation. (Jake Offenhartz for Gothamist)

Confessions of an orthodox Jewish drug dealer. (Aaron Lefkov for Brooklyn Magazine)

Photos and Video: Birds? Birds. Check out the brightly-colored Western Tanager seen in Chelsea.

Video: Watch Danny Presti, manager of the dumbest bar in all of New York City, who says he “did nothing wrong” drive away with a New York City Sheriff on the hood of his car while being arrested. (Lydia Hu for NY1)

Video: Watch Pete Davidson dunk on Staten Island’s Covid-19 protests on Weekend Update. (SNL)

The mess over Mac’s Public House exposed the Mason-Dixon line in Staten Island. (Clifford Michel for The City)

The city’s most festive outdoor dining set-ups for the holidays. (Christina Izzo for Time Out)

Thanks to reader Alex for today’s featured photo from Dyker Heights where it “wasn’t very crowded (yet) and most people wore their masks.”

The Briefly for October 25 – 26, 2020 – The “Vote or Die” Sunday Edition

The latest NYC news digest: Early voting is open, the best Vietnamese food in the city, dredging the Gowanus, Mayor de Blasio’s legacy of failure, and more

Today – Low: 50˚ High: 56˚
Light rain in the evening and overnight.

The best restaurants near NYC’s early voting locations. (Hannah Albertine and Nikko Duren for The Infatuation)

Early voting is open, now let’s talk about the legality of ballot selfies. (Valeriya Safronova for NY Times)

Speaking of early voting, it started across the city on Saturday and there were lines everywhere. Nearly 100,0000 voted on the first day of early voting, more than in all of 2018’s early voting. (David Cruz and Jen Chung for Gothamist)

On Friday, Mayor de Blasio announced a plan to recruit hundreds of city workers in a matter of days to join an “Election Observer Corps.” He has not recruited a single person, nor has he trained anyone. By contrast, AG Letitia James, Public Advocate Jumaane Williams, and the head of Common Cause NY, Susan Lerner, already have 600 statewide volunteers who have been training for weeks for the election and have been monitoring polling sites already. Seems like the mayor could have endorsed this effort instead of announcing a new one less than 24 hours before early voting began. (Brigid Bergin for Gothamist)

We will have hundreds of additional cops in uniform citywide who will be at the ready should they be needed.” -NYPD Chief of Department Terence Monahan, who maybe doesn’t realize that having a larger NYPD presence during an election may only serve to make things worse. (Danny Lewish for Gothamist)

This is the same NYPD whose union endorsed President Trump. (NBC New York)

Photos and Video: A Barred Owl hanging out. (D. Bruce Yolton for Urban Hawks)

Video: The Animal Care Centers rescued a pig from a Brooklyn backyard. (Anna Quinn for Patch)

The city sells off unpaid property debts on a regular basis. The sale of debt was the subject of a Last Week Tonight program from a few years ago. While it raises money for the city, it also encourages foreclosures and the displacement of lower-income homeowners. This year’s tax lien sale has been postponed multiple times and City Council members are pushing to eliminate the program altogether. (Peter Senzamici for The City)

The EPA will begin dredging the Gowanus Canal mid-November. At the bottom of the canal sits a very thick and very old layer of tar, human poop and if the rumors are true, a few dead bodies. (Red Hook Star-Revue)

Video: No questions asked about how these daredevils found their way to the roof of the GE Building, which is closed to visitors, but the views are spectacular. (svvvk on YouTube)

State officials have pulled a controversial proposal that would have allowed non-lawyers to oversee special education complaints in New York City. The proposal was first made in January. In the 2019-2020 school year, the city had 10,797 complaints, 96% of New York state’s complaints. Each complaint is legally supposed to be resolved in under 75 days, but NYC’s cases take 259 days on average. The penalty for such a failure? Nothing. These students deserve better. (Reema Amin for The City)

Interview: Meet Brenda Suchilt, the Newtown Creek Alliance’s new horticulturist. (Billy McEntee for Greenpointers)

Apartment Porn: A $12.75 million Cobble Hill townhouse with a vineyard-like garden that’s bigger than almost every bar with outdoor space, gated parking, and two wine cellars. One wine cellar? Please. (Dana Schulz for 6sqft)

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

The secrets of the new Greenpoint public library. (Will Gleason for Time Out)

The number of young children in NYCHA housing at risk of lead exposure is three times greater than previously thought, according to Bart Schwartz, the federal monitor overseeing the NYCHA. The city certified the number at 3,000 two years ago. The number is 9,000. Poisoning the children of the city will likely end up high on the list of Bill de Blasio’s legacy as mayor. (Matt Troutman for Patch)

Speaking of Bill de Blasio’s accomplishments and legacy, the city is headed for the highest level of traffic deaths since the mayor took office, the third straight year of rising deaths, completely erasing any and all progress he could claim as part of his own Vision Zero program. This year includes two months of zero traffic fatalities due to the pandemic, it’s hard to imagine how high the body count would be without it. (Jake Offenhartz for Gothamist)

The TWA Hotel has just reopened its pool-cuzzi and Runway Chalet at JFK airport. The pool purifies itself every 30 minutes and is kept at a cozy 95 degrees. (Shaye Weaver for Time Out)

A look at the new public art available across Brooklyn. (Keira Wingate for Bklyner)

Three bars within the zoned shutdown areas in Brooklyn and Queens had their liquor licenses temporarily suspended for throwing illegal indoor parties. 30 Fantastic Bar in Sunset Park, Da Mikelle Palace in Forest Hills, and Wise Bar & Grill in Sheepshead Bay. (Tanay Warerkar for Eater)

Before you feel bad for The Strand posting they may close (Amanda Hatfield for BrooklynVegan), let’s look a little deeper. The Strand fired union workers while accepting $1-2 million of PPP loans (Labor Notes) Owner Nancy Bass Wyder, who is married to Oregon Senator Ron Wyden, purchased $115,000 in Amazon stock in April and made an additional purchase of up to $200,000 in June. (Ed Lin for Barrons) The Upper West Side location was met with protests. (Carol Tannenhauser and Kate Koza for West Side Rag) On a micro scale, buying at The Strand instead of your neighborhood bookstore is no different than buying from Amazon.

On a micro scale, supporting The Strand over your neighborhood bookstore is akin to buying from Amazon instead of locally.

At this point, let’s celebrate that NYC isn’t the rattiest city in America. Los Angeles and Chicago are worse than we are and you take the wins where you can get them. (Adam Nichols for Patch)

Times Square really wants you to visit. Their latest ploy to get you to the one place you never want to visit is the Taste of Times Square Week, which runs through October 30 and offers a $35 prix fixe menu at 20 different restaurants with an appetizer, main and dessert. (Tanay Warerkar for Eater)

The Shed in Hudson Yards has reopened with a solo exhibition by artist Howardena Pindell called Rope/Fire/Water, which explores the historical traumas of America, namely slavery, racism, and white supremacy. (Monika Hankova for Untapped New York)

An examination of how New York’s slavery history is still present all over the city. (Zachary Kussin for Untapped New York)

The Green-Wood Cemetery is hosting a Dia de los Muertos celebration all this week. (Dozier Hasty for Brooklyn Eagle)

The best Mapo Tofu in the city. (Hannah Albertine for The Infatuation)

Thanks to reader Michael for today’s featured photo.