The Briefly for January 20, 2020 – The “You Trust the MTA, Right?” Edition

Today’s daily NYC news digest: Martin Luther King’s address to Queens College, the de Blasio’s aren’t done with NYC, your ConEd bill will increase for years to come, and more

Today – Low: 21˚ High: 43˚
Possible drizzle in the morning.

“I still have faith in the future. However dark the night, however dreary the day, I still believe that we shall overcome.” -Martin Luther King Jr at his address to Queens College in 1965 as part of the John F. Kennedy Memorial Lectures. (Carlotta Mohamed for QNS)

Listen to clips from the May 13, 1965 address. (Queens College Civil Rights Archives)

Martin Luther King Jr, in his own words, on anti-Semitism. (Martin Luther King Jr in the Village Voice, 1967)

The neighborhood with the highest median prices in any neighborhood in the city is in Cobble Hill in Brooklyn. Prices increased 117% in a decade going from $1.15 million to $2.5 million. (Emily Davenport for amNewYork Metro)

The L train slowdown will finish with a $850 million budget below the initially announced budget by $75 million. If you want proof, you’ll just have to trust the MTA, because there has been no review and no public accounting for the cost savings. You trust the MTA, right? (Stephen Nessen and Christopher Robbins for Gothamist)

The Upper West Side and water mains aren’t getting along this month. A water main broke at the corner of 102nd and Central Park West, causing havoc on traffic and the A, C, and D trains. (Jen Chung for Gothamist)

Our subways continue to fall apart. This time a piece of a wall along the F/G train fell onto the sidewalk below with no reported injuries. According to the MTA the wall is over a century old and they are now conducting inspections in the area. (Ben Yakas for Gothamist)

The history of how Mayor Fiorello LaGuardia fought the mob by banning artichokes. (Mark Hay for Atlas Obscura)

The East Side Coastal Resiliency project may force the Lower East Side Ecology Center, a compost yard in East River Park that takes in eight tons of compost a week, to relocate to an MTA lot in East Harlem by April. (Caroline Spivack for Curbed)

How will New York defend itself against the horrors of the next Hurricane Sandy? It’s still up for debate, but one of five options being explored is a $119 billion seawall that would take 25 years to build and may not prevent flooding caused by rising sea levels. (Anne Barnard for NY Times)

Is Community Board 2’s wealth and political connections preventing Soho and Soho from being rezoned for the first time since the 70s? (Elizabeth Kim for Gothamist)

Renderings: A look at the future look of the Hudson Yards with 3 Hudson Boulevard. Spoiler: it’s another large glass building. (Michelle Cohen for 6sqft)

Papyrus is closing all of its stores, including the dozen plus stores in Manhattan. Looking for cheap cute paper goods? They’re liquidating everything. (Mike Mishkin for I Love the Upper West Side)

12 hidden gems of Lincoln Square and Lincoln Center. (Michelle Young for Untapped New York)

Will the Gowanus Canal ever be clean? Simple answer: no, and here’s why. (Joseph Alexiou for Brooklyn Eagle)

Mandatory helmet laws do two things: They reduce cycling and increase head injuries. (Jessica Roberts and Caron Whitaker for Streetsblog)

Homeless deaths in New York City are up 40% year over year. (Cindy Rodriguez for Gothamist)

It’s a Broadway musical about emojis, and it’s a Times Critic’s Pick. (Laura Collins-Hughes for NY Times)

The landlord and two contractors in the East Village who installed an illegal gas line which lead to an explosion that killed two men, injured over a dozen, and destroyed two buildings, Maria Hrynenko, was sentenced to 4-12 years for manslaughter for their roles in the explosion. (Aaron Randle for NY Times)

Schools Chancellor Richard Carranza refused to answer the father of a teenager who was sexually assaulted at M.S. 158 in Bayside during an education town hall2 and eventually cut the town hall short and left without addressing the issue with the crowd. (Jenna Bagcal for amNewYork Metro)

Want to go out to eat for a good cause? Here are the NYC restaurants raising money for Australia. (Nikita Richardson or Grub Street)

After being called out for turning a “play street” cul-de-sac into a teacher’s parking lot at Park Slope’s M.S. 51, a Department of Education spokesperson said teachers would stop abusing their parking placards and no longer park there. That was a blatant lie. (Streetsblog)

Photos: Take a loo kinsinde The Sill’s first Brooklyn brick-and-mortar store in Cobble Hill. (Alexandra Alexa for 6sqft)

New Yorkers pay 35-40% more for electricity than the rest of the country, and expect what you pay to increase by over 4% each year for the next three years. The state approved rate hikes for ConEd. We really held them accountable for their service outages. (Jake Offenhartz for Gothamist)

The Trump administration is using a rape and murder as a way to condemn New York’s sanctuary city policy. (Annie Correal for NY Times)

A new law in New York City lets parents remove their obstetricians’ names if their medical licenses were revoked for misconduct. (Michael Gold for NY Times)

Evelyn Yang, whose husband is Democratic hopeful Andrew Yang, is one of 18 patients suing obstetrician Dr. Robert A Hadden for sexual abuse. In 2016, Manhattan DA CyVance’s office agreed to a plea deal with Hadden that involved no jail time for his crimes and reduced his sex-offender status to Level 1, keeping his name off online lists of offenders. (Sophia Chang for Gothamist)

The husband of “Mob Wives” star Drita D’avanzo is facing federal charges after he and his wife were arrested on state weapons charges last month. So guess it’s not just a clever name for a TV show. (Emily Davenport for amNewYork Metro)

Ready for the next step in the war on cigarettes? The Tobacco Product Waste Reduction Act would ban the sale of single-use cigarette filters, virtually all cigarettes, framed as an anti-pollution measure. The bill was introduced in the state senate with three co-sponsors. (Jake Offenhartz for Gothamist)

The de Blasio family is not done with New York City. Mayor de Blasio is reportedly pushing Chirlane McCray, his wife, to run for Brooklyn borough president. Supposedly the de Blasio’s would give an endorsement to Eric Adams for mayor in exchange for an endorsement of McCray for borough president. (Matt Troutman for Patch)

Here’s what is known about the BQX‘s design. (Kevin Duggan for Brooklyn Paper)

What else is there to do at the Brooklyn Navy Yard after you’ve shopped at Brooklyn’s new favorite supermarket? (Meredith Craig de Pietro for Brooklyn Based)

There was once a rumor that John Wilkes Booth’s diary was hidden in an abandoned subway tunnel under Atlantic Avenue. While the diary hasn’t been found, you can find Le Boudoir, a speakeasy partially built inside the tunnel, through a secret door at Chez Moi. (Reina Gattuso for Atlas Obscura)

12 actually quiet restaurants to try. (Beth Landman for Eater)

The Briefly for January 14, 2020 – The “AOC vs Cuomo, Round 2” Edition

Today’s daily NYC news digest: The AG looks at the NYPD’s subway fare evasion, how Tiffany’s moved hundreds of millions in jewlery, the head of Brooklyn’s democrats resigns, and more

Today – Low: 40˚ High: 48˚
Possible light rain in the afternoon.

How do you move hundreds of millions of dollars in view of the public in NYC without getting robbed? Very carefully. Here’s the story of how Tiffany’s moved everything in its store overnight. (James Barron for NY Times)

Attorney General Letitia James announced on Monday that her office would investigate the NYPD and if its fare evasion policing in the subways has illegally targeted New Yorkers of color. (Kathleen Culliton for Patch)

The winners and losers of the Queens bus network redesign. (Dave Colon for Streetsblog)

Cuomo’s AirTrain is about to hit a new obstacle: Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. (Patrick McGeehan for NY Times)

There are thirteen million registered voters in New York state, with one million designated as “inactive,” and whose names were not on the voter rolls at election sites, which is a violation of the 14th Amendment and the National Voting Rights Act of 1993 according to a federal judge. While it may seem trivial, remember that the Queens DA race was decided by 55 votes. Moving forward, all registered voters’ names will be available at polling sites. (Brigid Bergin for Gothamist)

Information on how to register to vote.

The leader of the Brooklyn Democratic Party, Frank Seddio, is stepping down amid concerns about the party’s and his own finances. Seddio is facing $2.2 million in lawsuits and the party’s cash reserves have dwindled from $505,000 in 2013 to $32,800 in 2019. (Aidan Graham and Kevin Duggan for amNewYorkMetro)

Photos: When it comes to the city’s skies, birds usually get all the attention. Don’t forget the city’s bats. (D. Bruce Yolton for Urban Hawks)

RIP Matthew Maher, owner of McSorley’s since the 60s. The bar is staying in the family, daughter Teresa Maher de a Haba is the owner now. (EV Grieve)

Here are the top ten checked out books in the NYPL’s history. You’ll notice a theme running through the list. “Goodnight Moon” did not make the list do to a personal vendetta against the book by children’s librarian Anne Carroll Moore. (Holly Louise Perry for Bowery Boogie)

Have you seen “The Geographic Center of NYC” in Woodside on the corner of 58th Street and Queens Boulevard? Besides being a cool piece of trivia it’s also completely wrong. If this isn’t the place, where is it? (Michelle Young for Untapped New York)

If your usual subway station is outdoors, the winters can be brutal. A century ago, the IRT provided potbelly stoves in stations for its riders to stay warm while waiting for the train. (Ephemeral New York)

Signal problems ruined about four out of every five morning commutes in 2019, according to a new Riders Alliance analysis. (Kathleen Culliton for Patch)

The L train showdown is running ahead of schedule and should be completed by April, but not without some weekend closures. The MTA announced the weekends of January 17, February 14, and March 20 with closures from 8th Av to Broadway Junction. (Alexandra Alexa for 6sqft)

In addition to the L construction, the MTA announced emergency overnight construction was necessary on the G train this week through Friday night from midnight to 1:30am. (Greenpointers)

On a dry day, the MTA pumps 13 million gallons of water from its system. Monday’s water main break added half a million gallons to that, causing chaos on the 4, 5, 6, A, B, and C lines. (Jake Offenhartz for Gothamist)

It’s time to declare the days of the cooking competition celebrity chef over. (Robert Sietsema for Eater)

It started as an argument between two dads about their kids near Dyker Park, but it turned into a double stabbing. One was stabbed in the chest and neck and the other was stabbed in the leg. (Todd Maisel for amNewYork Metro)

In terms of housing and transportation costs, NYC ranks tenth in the nation, right after Houston but right before Minneapolis-St Paul. (Emily Davenport for amNewYork Metro)

Photos: Baby Yoda has a mural in the East Village. (Ben Yakas for Gothamist)

The plan to rezone Bushwick hit a possibly fatal roadblock Monday after city officials and local politicians failed to reach an agreement on affordable housing requirements. (Devin Gannon for 6sqft)

The de Blasio administration testified at a 2019 City Council meeting that they did not have information about who was riding the heavily subsidized NYC Ferry system. The mayor used his insistence that the boats were being used by low-income New Yorkers as justification to dramatically expand the ferry system. It was all a lie, because the city’s Economic Development Corporation had already conducted two rider surveys that showed the median income of riders was over $100,000. For each rider on the ferry that pays $2.75, the city pays $9.34. (Caroline Spivack for Curbed)

Vans opened Skate Space 198, a free indoor skatepark right off the Jefferson stop in Bushwick. (Collier Sutter for Time Out)

NYCHA residents filed about 59,770 bug infestation complaints in the first nine months of 2019, according to the Legal Aid Society. (Kathleen Culliton for Patch)

What’s the best pizza in NYC? In honor of National Pizza Week, Patch asked politicians, comedians, and Broadway stars where to get their favorite slice. It’s mostly unconventional picks for the city’s best, even if Chuck Schumer’s pick is one of the closest pizza places to his apartment. (Kathleen Culliton for Patch)

Mama’s Too, on the list, is rolling out a meatball parm that is already being described as “the city’s best meatball parm.” (Scott Lynch for Gothamist)

The Briefly for January 7, 2020 – The “Saving Penn Station and a Guy on the BQE” Edition

Today’s daily NY news digest: Amazon’s HQ2 deal for LIC was $800 million sweeter than we previously knew, the Queens boro president special election date is set, and more

Today – Low: 32˚ High: 44˚
Possible light rain in the evening and overnight.

The first Monday of 2020 saw an unprecedented meltdown of the MTA’s ability to get us all to work. 12 of 22 possible subway lines were experiencing major delays. Happy Monday everyone! (Jake Offenhartz for Gothamist)

What caused the delays? In the 7 train’s case it was “an isolated case of human error.” Don’t forget that the MTA will still write you a late note for work if you ask for it. (Mark Hallum for amNewYork)

New York City’s greatest export is garbage. Literal garbage. In 2018, over 680 thousand tons (over 1.3 billion pounds) of garbage from NYC was exported to Seneca Meadows, NY, a 270+ mile drive from Manhattan. Over half a million tons were sent to Morrisville, PA, a 70+ mile journey. Businesses, stores and restaurants recycle 24% of the time, construction recycles 50%, and residential homes only hit 18% of a maximum 68%. The mayor promised to reduce the city’s trash exports by 90% in 2018 and trash exports went up in 2019. (Sally Goldenberg and Danielle Muoio for Politico)

Governor Cuomo has a plan for Penn Station. He plans to add 40% capacity to everyone’s favorite train station. The expansion of Penn Station into the Post Office building will do nothing to increase its capacity, so the governor plans to add eight tracks to service an additional 175,000 riders each day. This all hinges on the state buying or taking a city’s block worth of land between 30th and 31st between Seventh and Eighth Aves. That block is has businesses and apartments, and land owned by the Archdiocese of New York and Amtrak. (Erin Durkin for Politico)

Perhaps the Penn Station expansion can help out New Jersey’s newest form of tourism: people taking a train from New York to make sports bets using their phones over the New Jersey border. (Christopher Palmeri for Bloomberg, thanks to reader Timothy for sending this in)

The governor had a busy day with his speech announcing the Penn Station upgrades followed by literally pulling a trapped man out of a crashed van on the BQE. (Kathleen Culliton for Patch)

The governor isn’t the only good samaritan in the city. Shaq helped a woman who has fallen at the intersection of Pitt and East Houston. (EV Grieve)

What’s $800 million between a giant corporation that pays $0 in taxes and the City of New York? Turns out the sweet deal the mayor and governor tried to give Amazon had $2.5 billion of incentives, $800 more than previously reported. (The Real Deal)

Pro wrestling runs in Ridgewood’s roots. In the modern day, House of Glory calls it home, but the pedigree runs back to the New Ridgewood Grove Arena, the WWF, Bruno Sammartino and Andre the Giant. (The Old Timer for QNS)

Pier 76 sits behind the Javits Center and is currently an NYPD tow yard, but thanks to Governor Cuomo the pier will be added to the Hudson River Park Trust later this year. (Mark Hallum for amNewYork)

Food delivery workers with electric bikes had to worry about the NYPD confiscating their bikes as part of the mayor’s anti-electric bike crusade. Now, since September, 24 workers’ bikes have been stolen, each costing as much as $2,000. (Sarah Maslin Nir and Jeffrey E. Singer for NY Times)

Video: Walking through Yorkville, from 97th to 74th on York Ave. (ActionKid)

There are 12 Human Trafficking Intervention Courts in New York, aimed at intervention and sending people to counseling instead of prison. Six years into their operation, there is criticism that they are not living up to their promise. (Christina Goldbaum for NY Times)

Could you identify this tribute to the 1939 World’s Fair on a building in Queens without being told what it was? (Michelle Young for Untapped New York)

Yes, this is a story about another ice skating rink in the city, but this one is a synthetic rink. (Dana Schulz for 6sqft)

Photos: During the renovation of Moishe’s on Second Ave, removing some walls revealed beautiful 100-plus-year-old tile work behind the dummy walls constructed in the 70s. (Scott Lynch for Gothamist)

Evictions are down nearly 20 percent since new rent laws were enacted last June. (Gabe Herman for amNewYork)

The Harvey Weinstein trial started on Monday. Always an imitator, Los Angeles announced its own case against Weinstein. (Kathleen Culliton for Patch)

The Anish Kapoor bean sculpture at 56 Leaonard’s construction continues as we’re currently at half bean. (Jen Carlson for Gothamist)

There will be a special election on March 24 to elect a new Queens borough president after former President Melinda Katz assumed her new position as Queens DA. (Loulou Chryssides for Give Me Astoria)

9 ways to embrace winter in Brooklyn. (Lore Croghan for Brooklyn Eagle)

Kal Penn, who recently starred in NBC’s ‘Sunnyside,’ endorsed City Councilperson Jimmy Van Bramer for Queens President. Penn was also the Associate Director in the White House Office of Public Engagement under the Obama administration. (Kristen Torres for LIC Post)

The husband to state Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie’s chief of staff was arrested Monday for conspiring to import cocaine, according to a source and court records. (Kathleen Culliton for Patch)

Sometimes we can assume that New York has everything. When faced with the news that Sip N’ Play, a board game cafe, has opened in Park Slope, we can be sure we’ve hit all the checkmarks. (Ben Verde for Brooklyn Paper)

Quick tip: The NYPD is warning against abbreviated 2020 as “20” on checks, as it could be an invitation for fraud. (John Del Signore for Gothamist)

A little bit more on some of the owners of land that Governor Cuomo wants to take to expand Penn Station. (Rich Bockmann and Kathryn Brenzel for The Real Deal)

The state’s new bail laws aren’t even a week old, but thanks to the recent anti-Semite attacks some state lawmakers are considering amending it so those accused of hate crimes could be held on bail. (Beth Fertig for Gothamist)

Where to have a last minute group dinner. (The Infatuation)