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 November 1-2, 2020 – The “Time to Buy Discount Candy” Sunday Edition

The latest NYC news digest: New York’s new travel rules, Halloween in NYC, the MTA proposes a doomsday scenario, must-try vegan dishes, an NYC book cart, and more

Today – Low: 35˚ High: 57˚
Rain in the afternoon and evening.

Halloween is over. The first time you’ll hear “All I Want For Christmas Is You” this year could happen any minute now.

New York City is the second-best city in the world. Who did we lose out to? Those bastards in London. (Will Gleason for Time Out)

“I have to urge all New Yorkers—do not travel out of state for the holidays.” -Mayor de Blasio, laying out that this year, everyone gets a pass on visiting family. (Shaye Weaver for Time Out)

Ask An Epidemiologist: How should I handle the holidays? Bullet point number one: If in doubt, don’t go. (Jen Carlson for Gothamist)

An autumn NYC bingo card. (Jen Carlson and Sarah Butler for Gothamist)

The rules have changed for interstate travel, so let’s take a look. If you’re coming to New York, you’re supposed to have a negative Covid-19 test within three days of traveling and once you’re in New York, you’ll have to isolate until the fourth day after returning and take another Covid-19 test. If you decline a test, you have to quarantine for 14 days. This doesn’t apply to travel to and from Connecticut or New Jersey. This applies to travel from everywhere, not just specific states. How will this be enforced? Once again Cuomo has made his favorite move: shifting the blame onto “local health departments.” No doubt, he will have a press conference in a few weeks, blaming another surge in numbers of a lack of local enforcement. (Sophia Chang for Gothamist)

Governor Cuomo gave the go-ahead for schools in the city’s hot zones to reopen with stricter testing guidelines. Everyone, staff and students, must first test negative for Covid-19 and after that testing, 25% of the school must be tested on a weekly basis. A school will be shut down if nine positive tests come back or if any school with over 300 tests has a 2% positivity rate. The city’s rules state if a school has two positive cases, the school must close, so we are left in a weird place where the city’s rules apple on top of the state’s. (Alex Zimmerman for Chalkbeat)

How’s the city doing when it comes to Covid-19? Not great, Bob. There are 67 of 177 zip codes where the average positivity rate is over 2%. Sixteen of them are over 3%. (Elizabeth Kim and Jake Dobkin for Gothamist)

Covid-19 hospitalizations are up, but the situation is not nearly as dire as it was in the spring, with multiple factors preventing a high death count. (J. David Goodman and Joseph Goldstein for NY Times)

A Tale of Two Cities: Looking at why the rate of Covid-19 testing is 4x higher in wealthy neighborhoods compared to low-income neighborhoods. (Ginia Bellafante for NY Times)

Only 15% of Manhattan office employees are expected to return by the end of this year, which is down from the estimated 26%, an estimate made in August. (Matt Troutman for Patch)

Are you headed back to the office? Here are the perks companies are using to entice their workers to come back. (J. David Goodman for NY Times)

The only way to really self-isolate is to go to your own island. Ask Kim Kardashian-West, she’ll agree. For only $4.9 million, you can own your own private island in New York with a century-old mansion on the property along with 24/7 security, a private beach, and a kitchen larger than most restaurants in the city. (Dana Schulz for 6qsft)

The great divide in New York isn’t partisan or ideological. And it’s not about where Upstate begins, or which side of that mythical border you fall on. It’s a divide by wealth – of who is struggling amid this pandemic, and who is profiting off of it. Who faces the catastrophic consequences of New York’s budget deficit, and who is insulated from both the stakes of the problem and the policies that could be the solution.
-Public Advocate Jumaane Williams and State Senator Jessica Ramos, A just recovery: It’s time for a billionaires’ tax, for amNewYork Metro

Look at this warehouse full of 400 assholes in Williamsburg. Nearly 400 people were at an illegal Halloween party that was broken up by the city. eight people face multiple charges over the party. (David Cruz for Gothamist)

Photos: Some traditions shouldn’t die. November 1? Time to look at photos of costumes and go raid the stores for candy. There was no Village Halloween parade this year, but here’s a photo gallery from Halloween parades past. Now go buy yourself some cheap candy (Amanda Hatfield for BrooklynVegan)

This year’s greatest Halloween innovation is the candy chute. (Jen Carlson for Gothamist)

Photos: Before we get into the election stuff, let’s take a moment to find serenity. Fall foliage is about to peak in NYC. (Jen Carlson for Gothamist)

Photos: More photos of foliage in the city. (Collier Sutter for Time Out)

Along with peak foliage, the bufflehead ducks are here. This link is complete with a guide to help you spot them. (Jen Carlson for Gothamist)

Staten Island has a duck problem. It seems that people have been releasing domestic ducks into the wild and domestic ducks don’t have natural camouflage or know that it’s time to leave the city once it gets too cold. Urban Rangers have been doing their best to capture them and bring them to sanctuaries in order to prevent them from freezing to death in the winter. (Bree Driscoll for NY1)

How to avoid election stress. (Katherine Cusumano for NY Times)

The most hotly contested election in NYC will be between Congressmember Max Rose and Assemblymember Nicole Malliotakis, and with a toss-up in the polls and a high number of absentee ballots, the fight will extend far beyond election day. (Clifford Michel for The City)

Who doesn’t love Paul Rudd? He showed up at the Barclay’s Center to give out cookies to people waiting to cast an early ballot. (Josephine Harvey for HuffPost)

Governor Cuomo once said that he wasn’t going to wait for neighboring states to legalize marijuana before he made it happen in New York. On Tuesday New Jersey is voting to legalize marijuana and New York has nothing aside from multiple years of promises that it’s gonna happen. Legalization is currently polling at 66%. (Karen Rouse for Gothamist)

The MTA will not be restoring overnight service on Election Day, forcing poll workers who need to have polling locations open at 6 am looking for other plans. The MTA says that poll workers can get car service if their commute is over 90 minutes on Election Day, but the Board of Education will foot the bill. (NY1)

The MTA has put a 50% reduction of service and scuttling improvements on the table when it comes to trying to fix a gaping hole in its budget. This is a doomsday scenario that would cause New York to lose nearly 450,000 jobs by 2022 and losing $50 billion in the process. (Christina Goldbaum for NY Times)

This is the headline: Driver, Union Say MTA Bus Dispatchers Need Empathy Training After Menstrual Ordeal. (Hasani Gittens for The City)

Make sure that all of your non-internet-based clocks have been set for Daylight Saving Time. (Shaye Weaver for Time Out)

Francisco Garcia, the NYPD officer with a history of seven misconduct lawsuits in five years who also was caught on video punching and then kneeling on a man’s neck during a social distance stop, quit the NYPD before a department trial was able to begin. (Jake Offenhartz for Gothamist)

Demonstrators and police faced off Tuesday outside the New York City Police Benevolent Association’s headquarters in Lower Manhattan as part of a “Strike The PBA” event, calling for the PBA to be kicked out from the larger labor movement due to its support of officers who have killed New Yorkers and its endorsement of former New Yorker and known racist President Donald Trump. (Amba Guerguerian for The Indypendent)

NYPD Commissioner Dermot Shea announced Juanita Holmes as the new Chief of Patrol, making her the first woman to ever hold the position in the 175-year history of the department and the highest-ranking Black woman on the police force. (Jake Offenhartz for Gothamist)

“Police are on the scene after a car jumped the curb in Queens, killing a woman and child, and injuring a second child.” -Mayor de Blasio, who is not speaking from inside an alternative Cars-based alternate reality where cars are sentient and are capable of murder. In this reality, people who drive cars kill people. (Gersh Kuntzman for Streetsblog)

A crane accident in the city’s second-tallest building sent debris falling to 57th in Billionaire’s Row. Thankfully no one was hurt. (Ed Shanahan for NY Times)

Mayor de Blasio gave the go-ahead for the sale of The Mets to billionaire Steve Cohen. Starting today, Cohen is re-instituting unionized employees’ pre-pandemic salaries. (Ben Yakas for Gothamist)

Say hello to Brittany Bond, founder of Common Books, who operates the city’s only traveling book cart. (Nicoleta Papavasilakis for Untapped New York)

“Always read the plaque” is a mantra we should all live by. Stop by 555 Hudson St to find a new plaque honoring Jane Jacobs, who lived at the address from 1947 – 1968. (Davin Gannon for 6sqft)

19 stand-out vegan dishes to try right now. (Emily Wilson for Eater)

The New York Times has discovered that people have roommates. (Kim Velsey for NY Times)

Apartment Porn: A $15 million, three-story Upper East Side penthouse that overlooks Central Park, complete with a glass solarium, two terraces, and a separate one-bedroom guest residence. (Dana Schulz for 6sqft)

Heist! They stole more than 4,000 Prada, Gucci, and Chanel items from a cargo area at JFK, making off with $6 million in goods… until they were arrested. (Troy Closson for NY Times)

The best Filipino restaurants in the city. (Nikko Duren for The Infatuation)

Thanks to reader Lisa for today’s featured photo!

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)