The Briefly for January 2, 2020 – The “De Blasio Argues $30 Pizza, Not the $51 Billion MTA Plan” Edition

Today’s daily NYC news digest: 2020’s new laws, a tribute to Tom’s Restaurant, the MTA embrace’s “Train Daddy” Andy Byford, Prohibition Bakery closes, and more

Today – Low: 40˚ High: 47˚
Possible light rain overnight.

Photos: Times Square celebrates the coming of a new decade. (Jen Chung for Gothamist)

Why does anyone camp out all day in Times Square to watch the ball drop? Here are some answers. (Jen Chung, who got the Times Square assignment, for Gothamist)

Photos: Cleaning up Times Square. (Ben Yakas, Gretchen Robinette for Gothamist)

A full 2020 calendar of meteor showers, supermoons and lunar events you can see from the city. (Adam Nichols for Patch)

Welcome to Little Aidan Zobnin and Anthony Saraceno Jr., New York City’s midnight babies for 2020. (Robert Pozarycki for amNewYork)

Election Day. When is the NYC Marathon? When does the U.S. Open start? Comic Con is what days? A look ahead at major events in the city for 2020. (Robert Pozarycki for amNewYork)

Five laws that will hit the city in 2020: the plastic bag ban, $15 minimum wage for all, cash bail, the end of pot testing, and pre-registering to vote for teens. (Kathleen Culliton for Patch)

More new laws coming this year: Discovery reform and the end of “blindfold laws,” insurance companies will be required to cover in vitro-fertilization and adoptees can access their birth certificates after turning 18. (Sydney Pereira for Gothamist)

“Another Tech Guy Tries to Disrupt Food Space” and other predicted 2020 headlines from Eater’s peanut gallery. (Eater)

Clamoring for more holiday cheer? A list of the best holiday pop-up bars in NYC. Most are open this weekend. (Bao Ong with Collier Sutter for Time Out)

Is one of your 2020 resolutions to get more civically involved? Here’s how to join your community board. (Curbed)

Mayor de Blasio has the opportunity to directly influence the MTA’s $51 billion capital plan for 2020-2024, but he is declining to be directly involved. Everyone else with appointment power for the review board has named themselves at the governor’s request. Thanks for stepping up and representing the city Mr. Mayor. (Dana Rubenstein for Politico)

The mayor doesn’t want to get involved in the MTA’s capital plan, he’ll get involved in trying to shame Domino’s for selling $30 pizzas in Times Square on New Year’s Eve. The mayor, never one to have a connection with the city he’s supposed to be in charge of, seems to forget that most pizzas in Times Square, albeit not from Domino’s, costs around $30. (Lee Moran for HuffPost)

An illustrated tribute to Tom’s Diner in Prospect Heights. (Jessica Olien for NY Times)

Even the MTA has begun using the nickname Train Daddy for President Andy Byford. (@nyctsubway)

Photos: The 2020 Coney Island New Year’s Day Polar Bear Plunge. (Amanda Hatfield for BrooklynVegan)

Video: Take a walk from Brooklyn Bridge Park to Chinatown with a 360° view. (ActionKid)

Sometimes the performer on the subway is playing the didgeridoo, sometimes it’s the equivalent of a punk rock music festival. (The Villager)

Elon Musk spent last week being a genius inventor on Twitter, coming up with the idea… for the subway. What a genius! Traveling underground! (Dave Colon for Streetsblog)

Video: How much wind is too much? Watch a wind turbine in Co-op City fall apart under heavy winds. (Ed García Conde for Welcome2TheBronx)

It took a death, but the Department of Buildings is doubling the size of their facade inspection team from 12 to 24. Every building in the city over six stories has to undergo a physical inspection. That still seems like it isn’t enough. (Elizabeth Kim for Gothamist)

The NYPD’s Michael J. Reynolds, a white man, traveled to Nashville for a bachelor party and ended up kicking in a black woman’s door while drunk, threatening her and her sons with a racist slur and violence. He was sentenced to 15 days in jail and three years’ probation. There’s a petition signed by 10,000 people calling for his firing, but he’s still an officer. As a reminder, it took five years for Daniel Pantaleo to be fired. (Ed Shanahan for NY Times)

Northeast Queens’ biggest stories to watch in 2020. (Jenna Bagcal for QNS)

Nightmare: A 36-year-old fell 15 feet off the roof of a building on Mott Street and was trapped between two buildings. She was rescued from between the buildings and her name has not been released. (Sydney Pereira for Gothamist)

Prohibition Bakery, the boozy bakery in the basement of Subject Bar on Suffolk St, closed on Christmas Day. It’s a different story than most closings, instead of rent it was “an enormous drain of time and energy, and frankly had stopped bringing me any real happiness.” (Stacie Joy for EV Grieve)

Having defeated Airbnb, the Hotels Trade Council is happy to accept its role as a political heavyweight. It’s the latest focus is to convince the City Council to require hotels to acquire a special permit to essentially ban the construction of new hotels. (J. David Goodman for NY Times)

Republican State Assembly Minority Leader Brian Kolbys wrote an op-ed urging New Yorkers not to drink and drive. He was arrested on New Year’s Eve after crashing his car while drunk just outside of Rochester. (NY 1)

Chicken and waffles. Eggs Benedict. Meatloaf sandwich. 18 hangover-busting dishes. (Eater)

The Briefly for December 26, 2019 – The “Christmas Trees Don’t Belong on the Beach” Edition

Today’s daily NYC news digest: When to throw out your Christmas tree, the secret economy and industry of five cent deposits, Cuomo’s feud with Trump heats up over weddings, and more

Today – Low: 42˚ High: 45˚
Mostly cloudy throughout the day.

A look back at the City Hall Christmas tree lighting, a bygone NYC tradition. (Alexandra Alexa for 6sqft)

The Rockefeller Center Christmas has an 88-year history. (Adam Thalenfeld for NYC Urbanism)

Video: The inspiring story of Sydney Mesher, the first Rockette with a visible disability. (The Rockettes)

Videos and Photos: The Saks Fifth Avenue Frozen 2 holiday lights. (Jen Carlson for Gothamist)

How long should you keep your Christmas tree up? At least until January 6, because that’s the first day of the Department of Sanitation’s tree disposal. (Mariela Quintana for StreetEasy)

Video: No matter what you read on Facebook, don’t leave your old Christmas tree at the beach. (Anginas Gonzalez for NY1)

Tompkins Square Park has some new trees. (EV Grieve)

Governor Cuomo vetoed a bill that would have allowed federal judges, Trump’s judges, to officiate weddings in New York state. I guess federal judges will have to become online ministers if they want to officiate weddings, just like the rest of us. (Jesse McKinley for NY Times)

The fascinating history of 28 Old Fulton St, from old Dutch farmland to Revolutionary War battle site, from the Eagle pressroom to a warehouse for silver, furniture and then electoral ballots, to its latest use as luxury apartments. (Chase DiBenedetto for Bedford + Bowery)

Years ago two toy stores within a few blocks of each other would be at war around the holidays, but in 2019 Stationary and Toy World and West Side Kids in the Upper West Side are joining forces to fight back against online shopping. (Sara Lewin Lebwohl for I Love the Upper West Side)

Video: Got $75,000 lying around? You can afford one night at the Mark Hotel. (Matt Coneybeare for Viewing NYC)

With the mayor's potentially illegal "horse trading" collusion with ultra-Orthodox state lawmakers surrounding a Department of Education report about the quality of education at the city's yeshivas, advocates are calling for accountability. The city has made no indication of punishment for the 26 of 28 failing schools, instead requiring "timelines for improvement" by January 15 with no information about if schools fail to meet the deadline. (Jake Offenhartz for Gothamist)

A state Supreme Court judge has struck down an upcoming New York City rule that would have restricted the amount of time app-based drivers for companies like Uber and Lyft can spend cruising without passengers below 96th Street in Manhattan. (Elizabeth Kim for Gothamist)

Profiles of five African-American high-profile prisoners from New York City who were convicted of violent crimes that included murder and attempted murder. All committed their first crimes as teenagers. All are now in late middle age, ranging from 48 to 61 and seeking release. A great piece from students at CUNY's Craigs Newmark Graduate School of Journalism. (Stephanie Chukwuma, Trone Dowd, Jeffery Harrell, Brenda León, Hannah Miller, Rosemary Misdary, Rachel Rippetoe, Maria Robins-Somerville, Sean Sanders, and Annie Todd for Gothamist)

8 cultural attractions to visit on NYC’s Museum Mile. (Zachary Solomon for StreetEasy)

StreetEasy and Douglas Elliman appear to be ready to lock horns. While the details aren’t exciting, it could portend a coming fracturing of real estate listings. (E. B. Solomont for The Real Deal)

A train delay because of a pencil. (Ben Yakas for Gothamist)

A Bronx police officer is facing accusations of groping a 14-year-old teenager while she was handcuffed in the back of a squad car last month. (Jake Offenhartz for Gothamist)

Christmas is gone. No literally, Christmas is literally buried in Green-Wood Cemetery. (Kevin Walsh for Forgotten New York)

The city doesn’t just get rid of its useless junk, it auctions it off. (Winnie Hu and James Sprankle for NY Times)

What’s the opposite of a Christmas miracle? Ask the 1,000 residents in NYCHA housing in Coney Island who woke up with no heat or hot water on Christmas. (Sydney Pereira for Gothamist)

As of this week, bicyclists can use the walk/won’t walk indicators rather than the lights are use. (Christopher Robbins for Gothamist)

The latest in the seemingly never-ending battle of Industry City’s rezoning is that things are looking bleak for Industry City after the city is refusing to provide funds for new schools, housing and tenant programs to benefit the neighborhood. The decision to move forward rests with City Councilmember Carlos Menchaca, who has been skeptical of the process since the start. It would be unheard of for the city to commit funds for a private application, Menchaca is justifying the request based on how dramatically the rezoning would change Sunset Park. (Rose Adams for Brooklyn Paper)

Has Midtown South become more pleasant for residents in the last few years? Finally, an answer to the eternal question of “who lives here?” (Aileen Jacobson for NY Times)

There is an entire underground economy centered around plastic bottle and metal can deposits, where the world turns five cents at a time. It’s all in a legal gray area that the city turns a blind eye towards, but once you have an understanding of how the canner economy works, you can understand why there is opposition to expanding the five cent deposit program. (Andy Newman for NY Times)

After eating at 300 restaurants this year, Scott Lynch picks his 16 best bites of 2019. (Scott Lynch for Eater)

The Briefly for December 23, 2019 – The “Sitting Around the Apartment, Staring at Your Family” Edition

Today’s daily NYC news digest: The two worst hours to drive in the city, the world’s largest gingerbread village, tour a $30 million apartment, a $5,000 cocktail, and more

Today – Low: 35˚ High: 50˚
Clear throughout the day.

Gramercy Park will open to the public on Christmas Eve for one hour between 6 and 7pm. (Devin Gannon for 6sqft)

A $1,550 coffee can, a $150 meal for a child, a home decorated for only $50,000. These are the holiday deals for New York’s obscenely rich. (Kathleen Culliton for Patch)

A $5000 cocktail at The Baccarat. (Matt Coneybeare for Viewing NYC)

Okay, you’ve got family in town this week? Here are some suggestions on what to do with them instead of staring at each other inside your apartment. (Meredith Craig de Pietro for Brooklyn Based)

Christmas day activities for anyone not into Christmas. (Sara Lewin Lebwohl for I Love the Upper West Side)

More Christmas day activities. (Rebecca Fishbein for 6sqft)

Photos: Brooklyn’s largest Hanukkah menorah’s night one celebration. (Todd Maisel for amNewYork)

It’s the record-holder of the Guinness World Records for largest gingerbread village, with 800 pounds of candy, 600 pounds of gingerbread dough, and 2,300 pounds of royal icing. (Stephanie Simon for NY1)

AAA declared Thursday between 4:15pm and 6:15pm the absolute worst time to drive in the city with traffic 2.7x the usual amount. (Adam Nichols for Patch)

The population in Downtown Brooklyn is expected to double in the 2020s. The future of the neighborhood, as envisioned by Downtown Brooklyn Partnership could include protected bike lanes, a mix of some of the most pedestrian-friendly features the city has to offer between 14th St’s busway and Times Square’s pedestrian plazas. (Benjamin Schneider for The City)

Advocates want more New York City school staff to be better educated in how to guide undocumented high school seniors through Dream Act application process. (Alejandra O’Connell-Domenech for amNewYork)

A federal judge on Thursday rejected a motion from ICE officials to dismiss a New York lawsuit challenging the federal agency over courthouse arrests. The judge ruled that ICE agents should not be allowed to make arrests while witnesses or parties are coming in and out of court proceedings. (Stephen Rex Brown and Leonard Greene for NY Daily News)

We’ve got a new entry into the 100+ point violation club in the weekly list of restaurants ordered closed by the Department of Health. (Adam Nichols for Patch)

Parents are accusing the two out of 28 yeshivas that were reported as providing the minimum secular educations of making superficial changes when administrators knew about the inspections in advance, possibly making the already embarrassing report even worse. How bad can it get? Five of the 28 schools inspected offered zero math or English classes at all. (Jessica Gould and Jake Offenhartz for Gothamist)

One of the Mob Wives was arrested? Quelle surprise! (Corey Kilgannon for NY Times)

Want some good news? Here’s a story about a firefighter that saved and adopted a kitten. (Jen Chung for Gothamist)

Apartment Porn: Take a tour of a $30 million Park Ave penthouse with a rooftop pool, 14-foot ceilings, and a bathtub with a view. (Architectural Digest)

2019 was not a memorable year for sports in New York. (Robert Pozarycki for amNewYork)

Please meet Elizabeth Warrhen, a lost rooster found in Park Slope trying to root atop an inflatable Santa. (Ben Yakas for Gothamist)

D’ussé Palooza went from a basement party in Harlem thrown by two unemployed friends to 9,000 revelers at the Barclays Center, sponsored by Jay-Z and a half-million dollar budget in seven years with a plan to expand globally. (Aaron Randle for NY Times)

“Why not use drones to do building inspections?” is a perfectly good question to ask. Installing a sidewalk shed and scaffolding is an expensive, time consuming and may contribute to why some building owners don’t get it done. So what’s stopping it from happening? There’s a 1948 law that requires that all aircraft take off and land in a location designated for flight by the Port Authority. (Mark Hallum for amNewYork)

2019 has been “a difficult and challenging year under Vision Zero,” according to the city’s transportation commissioner, and the end of the year isn’t letting up. In three days drivers killed six pedestrians in Brooklyn, Queens, and Manhattan, bringing the death toll on city streets to 119 this year, topping last year’s 110. (Christina Goldbaum for NY Times)

Are you ready for the Brooklyn version of High Fidelity? (Ben Yakas for Gothamist)

A vigil for the five people killed by drivers on 3rd Ave in Brooklyn was held, calling for the mayor to not wait another year or for another vigil to take action to make 3rd Ave safer for everyone. (Julianne Cuba for Streetsblog)

A detective involved in the Tessa Majors stabbing investigation, Wilfredo Acevedo, has been sued multiple times for allegations that include withholding exculpatory evidence and making false accusations. He’s already facing scrutiny for interrogating a thirteen-year-old suspect with no attorney present. He also has three disciplinary findings from the NYPD. (George Joseph for Gothamist)

The Josephine Shaw Lowell Fountain in Bryant Park is never turned off, which makes a beautiful ice sculpture every time the temperature goes below freezing. (Matt Coneybeare for Viewing NYC)

A Bronx soccer stadium may be closer than we think, despite neighborhood opposition. (Ed García Conde for Welcome2TheBronx)

What do you do when the leader of a gang is already in prison? Howard Smith is accused of being the leader of the Brick Squad gang, giving orders through coded phone calls from prison. (Nicole Hong for NY Times)

Despite the city-wide reduction in chain stores, Dunkin’ and MetroPCS saw a booming 2019. Dunkin’ is the city’s largest chain with 636 stores, followed by MetroPCS with 468. (Devin Gannon for 6sqft)

If you love sushi omakases and hate having money, there are at least 10 sushi omakases that are over $300 before tax or drinks. (Ryan Sutton for Eater)

Where to go when you’ve eaten “everywhere” in Soho. (The Infatuation)