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.

The Briefly for October 13 – 15, 2020 – The “Winter is Coming” Tuesday Edition

The latest NYC news digest: The city issued $150k in fines for Covid-19 violations, Halloween candy, 600 students and teachers have tested positive, and more

Today – Low: 52˚ High: 61˚
Possible light rain in the morning.

Here’s a revelation from the Times. Women ride bikes! In June 53% of new riders on Citi Bikes were women. (Christina Goldbaum for NY Times)

The “new normal” will never seem normal and that includes the new autonomous pool hall on Grand St in Brooklyn. (Emily Davenport for amNewYork Metro)

If you see a snowplow driving around the city on a Sunday, you’re not going crazy and the city isn’t moving invisible snow. Much like seeing the Christmas section inside a Walgreens, it’s a sign that winter is coming. (EV Grieve)

The best Senegalese restaurants in Harlem. (Matt Tervooren for The Infatuation)

A state audit has come to the same conclusion that anyone who has been on a road in the city already came to: the Department of Transportation is a damn mess. (Eve Kessler for Streetsblog)

Seven cyclists were killed on the city’s streets in September, an all-time one month high since Mayor de Blasio took office in 2014. (Matt Troutman for Patch)

A look at the two newest buildings in the Atlantic Yards development. (Craig Hubert for Brownstoner)

The latest rumors are that Governor Cuomo would be offered the position of Attorney General. Governor Cuomo says he has “no interest in going to Washington.” (Bobby Cuza for NY1)

Governor Cuomo unveiled his Mother Cabrini statue in Battery Park City on Monday. This is the statue that Cuomo funded after he felt that Cabrini deserved to the on the city’s “She Built NYC” list. (Todd Maisel for amNewYork Metro)

Next step, Van Halen Ave? Van Siclen Ave was transformed in a tribute to Eddie Van Halen by Adrian Wilson, who was responsible for the RBG tribute last month. (Andrew Sacher for BrooklynVegan)

Fresh from stomping the Industry City rezoning into the ground, Sunset Park City Councilman Carlos Menchaca appears to be getting ready for a run for mayor. (Paul Schindler for Brooklyn Paper)

Ways to fall for autumn in NYC. Get it? Fall? Autumn? (Adam Nichols for Patch)

Economy Candy unveiled Halloween CandyCare packs. (EV Grieve)

Rabbi Mordechai Dovid Unger tested positive for Covid-19 last Friday and still had indoor services was fined for $15,000 for violating hot spot restrictions. He continued to hold services. (Jake Offenhartz and Scott Heinz for Gothamist)

Right-wing radio host, asshole, and City Council candidate Heshy Tischler was arrested by police outside his Borough Park home on Sunday night and charged with unlawful imprisonment and inciting a riot for his part in the riots in Borough Park. (Jake Offenhartz for Gothamist)

The NYPD broke up a party with more than 100 people in Cunningham Park in Queens early Sunday morning. (NY1)

The city handed out 62 summonses over the weekend, totaling $150,000 in fines. (Ali Watkins for NY Times)

The city’s public, private and charter schools saw nearly 600 students and staff test positive for Covid-19 since classrooms reopened. (Matt Troutman for Patch)

The city’s Board of Elections handed Phoenix Graphics a $4.6 million no-bid contract to print and send out nearly 100,000 incorrect ballots to Brooklyn residences. The city’s elected representatives are singing Ben Folds Five’s ‘Song for the Dumped,’ “Give me my money back.” (Greg B. Smith for The City)

Photos and Video: A Barred Owl in Central Park. (D. Bruce Yolton for Urban Hawks)

A few years ago I adopted Scooter from Sean Casey Animal Rescue. They’re having a Halloween fundraiser raffle and for a few dollars, you can help them pay for monthly vet bills and support the shelter. I’ll be forever grateful to them for bringing Scooter into my home. You’ve got two weeks to enter the raffle. (Keira Wingate for Bklyner)

Less than two weeks after reopening for the first time in over six months, Grand Central Oyster Bar is closed again without enough business to stay open. It’s not expected to be permanent, but no reopening plans have been announced. (Devin Gannon for 6sqft)

Hey, New York sports teams? What’s with the championship drought? (Joe Pantorno for amNewYork Metro)

The shitty weather guide to outdoor dining. (Hannah Albertine for The Infatuation)

The Briefly for September 13 – 14, 2020 – The “A Bat Is In Your Home. What Do You Do?” Sunday Edition

The latest NYC news digest: The UWS hates the homeless, the 1st Covid-19 school shutdown, the Village Halloween parade is canceled, reactions to indoor dining, & more

Today – Low: 69˚ High: 76˚
Partly cloudy throughout the day.

Dr. Anthony Fauci said a vaccine would need to exist for nearly a year before people might feel comfortable returning to theaters unmasked, which he said would likely be mid to late 2021. (Sarah Bahr for NY Times)

Flying military planes over NYC on 9/11 is pretty high on the list of 2020’s stupidest ideas and 2020 is a banner year for stupid ideas. It was canceled on request of the city after Mayor de Blasio admitted he didn’t know it was happening. That guy really has his finger on the pulse. (Jake Offenhartz for Gothamist)

The Village Halloween Parade is canceled. It was inevitable yet still sad. (Ben Yakas for Gothamist)

167 CEOs and corporate bosses wrote the mayor an open letter, asking him to take action on crime and quality of life issues or else “people will be slow to return.” It was signed by the CEOs of Lyft, Warby Parker, and the WNBA among others. Not only is their message extremely deaf to the moment, but they are also asking the mayor to be a leader, which is something he has proven he’s not. (Matt Troutman for Patch)

The letter is 242 words and of these business leaders “need to send a strong, consistent message that our employees, customers, clients and visitors will be coming back to a safe and healthy work environment.” These are economic descriptions of people, not how you talk about your family, friends, and neighbors. These millionaires do not offer support for a city that is facing an economic crisis, they demand action from someone else. They want everyone to come back to their offices but haven’t said how they’ll protect us. They want our support for their cause but use the language of the president when describing our streets. (J. David Goodman, Emma G. Fitzsimmons, and Jeffrey C. Mays for NY Times)

Upper West Siders banded together and hired a lawyer to expel the “scum,” “trash,” and “thugs” in their neighborhood. On Facebook, they discussed an armed uprising and how they could use wasp spray and dog shit against them. They hung a noose outside of where this “scum” was living. They even convinced the mayor to move them. Who was their enemy? Homeless New Yorkers. (Gwynne Hogan and Jake Offenhartz for Gothamist)

The mayor’s decision to remove 300 homeless New Yorkers from a shelter on the UWS has cascading effects that will force 900 New Yorkers in shelters to be moved to accommodate the change. The personal stories of the city treating people like objects that can easily be moved around are heartbreaking, but at least those people on the Upper West Side are happy. (Gwynne Hogan for Gothamist)

The Legal Aid Society has plans to sue the city over the “knee-jerk capitulation” over the ejection. (Shannan Ferry for NY1)

There are bats in all five boroughs. Here’s what to do if a bat gets into your home. Step one: Impossibly, stay calm. (Christopher Mele for NY Times)

A senior advisor to Chancellor Richard Carranza, Alison Hirsh, has resigned her post from the Department of Education. She left the mayor’s office in June after the NYPD’s treatment of Black Lives Matter protesters. (Alejandra O’Connell-Domenech for amNewYork Metro)

Here’s the story of how a 19-year-old in federal custody ended up hiding behind a loom in someone’s apartment in Sunset Park. (Jake Offenhartz for Gothamist)

SNL is returning on October 3. There’s been no word on guests, hosts, or audiences. (Amanda Hatfield for BrooklynVegan)

Congrats to Abeda Khanam, a teacher at Robert F. Wagner High School in Long Island City, for being named state Senator John Liu’s Woman of Distinction for 2020. (QNS)

Local Law 1932-A suspends enforcement of the personal-liability provision in commercial leases of COVID-impacted tenants and it’s set to expire on September 30, but City Council has plans of extending it through March of 2021. (Chris Crowley for Grub Street)

Photos: The Trump Statues Initiative, which is bringing “living performance pieces” to the city’s streets, like “The Final Push” which features a “gold” President Trump in a golf cart being pushed by Laura Ingram and Sean Hannity over headstones. (Untapped New York)

NYC is now home to the world’s first-ever Makeup Museum. It’s now open with its debut exhibition “Pink Jungle: 1950’s Makeup in America.” (Collier Sutter for Time Out)

NYPD Commissioner Dermot Shea posted a photo to Twitter of the top brass of the NYPD and officers openly violating the state’s mask and event mandates at an indoor gathering with over 50 people inside police headquarters. The mayor called it “a mistake that needs to be rectified going forward.” (Christopher Robbins for Gothamist)

A stroll through Pomander Walk, the city’s most exclusive street. (Michelle Young for Untapped New York)

I Love NY is looking for volunteers to give foliage reports each week. Leaf peeper wanted! (Shaye Weaver for Time Out)

The Department of Education confirmed there were 19 positive Covid-19 tests in city schools among teachers with two in one school, triggering an automatic 24 closure. Students don’t return until September 21. (Reema Amin for Chalkbeat)

A look at Chloë Bass’s outdoor art exhibition “Wayfinding” in St. Nicholas Park. (Brian Boucher for NY Times)

A look at an unlikely for crime detterance: More pools. (Ginia Bellafante for NY Times)

“Even with these ongoing concerns, expanded outdoor dining is … nice. Freed of these unnerving matters, expanded outdoor dining would be almost unthinkably pleasant. The fact is, for an ad hoc system that was initiated to help New York’s restaurants survive, expanded outdoor dining works remarkably well.”
-Alan Systma, Let’s Just Make Expanded Outdoor Dining Permanent for Grub Street

Indoor dining returns at a 25% capacity on September 30, but that alone will not save the restaurant industry. A look at what 25% looks like and interviews with several restauranteurs about what business looks like for them going forward. (Ben Yakas with additional reporting by Danny Lewis for Gothamist)

“The 25% is not going to buy us very much at all.” Paul Giannone, owners of Paulie Gee’s and Paulie G’s Slice Shop. Restaurants react to the return of indoor dining. (Hannah Albertine & Chris Mohney for The Infatuation)

Learn about Elizabeth Jennings: The NYC teacher who desegregated NYC transit. (Jerry Mikorenda for Atlas Obscura)

Apartment Porn: What’s a solarium? This $1.6 million East Village condo has a solarium. (Dana Schulz for 6sqft)

Where to eat outside in Fort Greene. (Nikko Duren for The Infatuation)

The state’s Department of Labor has announced that an extra $300 in weekly federal pandemic unemployment benefits will start hitting bank accounts as soon as next week. (Erika Adams for Eater)

The Trump administration has secretly siphoned nearly $4 million away from a program that tracks and treats FDNY firefighters and medics suffering from 9/11 related illnesses. (Michael McAuliff for Daily News)

When the headline is enough: Thoughts on the politics and possibilities behind the MTA’s Doomsday budget proposal. (Benjamin Kabak for Second Ave. Sagas)

Photos: A Red Phalarope found its way to Stuyvesant Cove Park on Saturday morning. It’s a rare sight in the city for birders and for the rest of us, it’s a cool little bird. (D. Bruce Yolton for Urban Hawks)

The ten best fried chicken sandwiches in NYC. Yes, the Popeye’s sandwich made the list. (Hannah Albertine & Matt Tervooren for The Infatuation)

Thanks to Meg Blatt for today’s featured photo!

Note from Rob: Thursday’s article about NYPD Assistant Chief Christopher McCormack was written by Joaquin Sapien, Topher Sanders, and Nate Schweber and co-published with ProPublica and included reporting and analysis from The City.