The Briefly for January 13, 2019 – The “Caught Speeding Without Consequence” Edition

Today’s daily NYC news digest: Fingers start pointing over Book Culture’s closure, a tribute to Bowie, the NYC Bar Association calls for an investigation of William Barr, and more

Today – Low: 37˚ High: 48˚
Overcast throughout the day.

A water main broke near Lincoln Center, causing flooding and train delays between 96th and Tims Square on the Upper West Side. (@tomkaminskiwcbs)

A timeline of the incidents that caused 300 subway cars to be pulled from the MTA’s fleet last week. The cars are sidelined “indefinitely.” (Stephen Nessen for Gothamist)

The biggest Harry Potter store in the world is opening in the city this summer in the former Restoration Hardware in Flatiron. (Shaye Weaver for Time Out)

Warner Brothers asked Manhattan’s Community Board 5 if it could install a dragon on the facade of the 19 century building to a frosty reception. (Dennis Lynch for The Real Deal)

If you want to apply to join your Community Board in Manhattan, the deadline is coming up. Make sure to have your application postmarked by the 21st. (Holly Louise Perry for Bowery Boogie)

The Reckless Driver Accountability Act was introduced in 2018. The bill would boot or impound the cars of anyone who received five or more red light or speed camera violations in a year until an accountability program was completed. Since its introduction, 362 have been killed on the city’s roads. What is the holdup in City Council? (Mark Hallum for amNewYork Metro)

The city’s speed cameras caught cabs speeding 117,042 times in 2019. (Gersh Kuntzman for Streetsblog)

An argument to dissolve the city’s Economic Development Corporation, represented by its 27 member unelected board appointed by the mayor and has an oversized amount of influence on the city’s direction. (Emily Sharp for Queens Eagle)

Photos: The 2020 No Pants Subway Ride. (Todd Maisel for amNewYork)

Net neutrality, consumer protections, women’s equity, and more of 16 notable proposals not included in Governor Cuomo’s State of the State speech. (Samir Khurshid for Gotham Gazette)

“If we’re going to discuss gun safety, what’s a nautical themed way to make a nod toward that?” An interview with the artist who helped create the masterpiece that is Governor Cuomo’s fever dream poster. (Jake Offenhartz for Gothamist)

Central Park’s Sheep Meadow earned that nickname, giving a home to about 200 sheep up through the 1930’s, as part of Olmstead and Vaux’s original vision for the park. (Sam Neubauer for I Love the Upper West Side)

Protected bike lanes are coming to Franklin and Quay streets on the Greenpoint-Williamsburg border. (Kevin Duggar for Brooklyn Paper)

Here’s a fun riddle: How do you pay for a MetroCard if no bills are accepted, no coins are accepted, no credit cards are accepted, no debit cards are accepted, no single tickets are given and only exact change is allowed? (ActionKid)

The Broadway-Lafayette station, the closest station to his old home, sported a tribute to David Bowie four years after his death. (Elie Perler for Bowery Boogie)

The New York City Bar Association is calling on Congress to investigate whether William Barr is too politically biased to fulfill his legal obligations as the nation’s attorney general. (Mary Papenfuss for HuffPost)

A new bill from Queens City Council Member Francisco Moya would declare aliens from another planet and replace “alien” and “illegal immigrant” with “noncitizen.” (Kathleen Culliton for Patch)

Interactive Map: How frequently subway lines and buses are delayed across the city. (Viewing NYC)

What does the mayor have to say about Politico’s “Wasted Potential” series, which shows just how piss poor the city has been at recycling after Mayor de Blasio’s 2015 pledge to reduce the garbage shipped out of the city? “I’ll have more to say on it in the coming weeks as we figure out the next steps of what we have to do.” Basically nothing. (Danielle Muoio for Politico)

The federal government has launched an investigation into the Hunter’s Point Library for possible violations of the Americans with Disabilities Act. (NY1)

With 119 points on their health department inspection, Tyme & Patience Bakery & Grill has the early lead on highest violation of the year. (Adam Nichols for Patch)

After coming right up to the brink, Neir’s Tavern in Woodhaven has a new lease, literally. A handshake deal between landlord and bar owner will extend the bar’s lease five years, which means we could be back in the position again in a few years. The landlord caved after a combination of public pressure from the Mayor de Blasio, Assemblyman Mike Miller, and City Council Member Robert Holden all made their support of Neir’s public and help from the city to get the building up to code. (Carlotta Mohamed for QNS)

When Schneps Media buys a publication, it means journalists get fired. When Schneps Media bought amNewYork, most of the editorial staff was laid off. When Schneps Media bought Metro, they laid off the entire editorial staff without severance and at this point no former editorial staffers from either publication works for amNewYork Metro, the new Schneps Media Frankenstein. (Jake Offenhartz for Gothamist)

After buying Metro and laying off their editorial staff without any severance, Victoria Schneps went on vacation in the Poconos for facials and massages. (Victoria Schneps for QNS)

Marie’s Crisis is a New York institution where singing along to the musical theater song being played by the pianists is always encouraged. The name came from a work of Thomas Payne, who died at that address in 1809, American Crisis and the original owner Marie DeMont. (Atlas Obscura)

A harlequin duck, native to the Pacific northwest was spotted in Sheepshead Bay, an exciting find for New York’s bird crowd. An unusually warm winter has extended the birdwatching season past its usual November ending. (Jessica Parks for Brooklyn Paper)

Is the city monitoring and mapping the locations of homeless New Yorkers? that’s the worry behind The Coalition for the Homeless pulling its support for Mayor de Blasio’s homelessness command center after seeing a photo published of the NYPD’s massive surveillance operation. (Kathleen Culliton for Patch)

I am in love with single story buildings in Manhattan. Manhattan has a tendency to feel like it’s literally overbearing and coming across a single story building is like a quick breath of air. It’s why Adam Friedberg’s Single-Story Project exhibit at the Center for Architecture is so appealing to me. The exhibit is on display through February 29th. (Elizabeth Kim for Gothamist)

South Richmond Hill, Queens is mourning Maria Fuertes, the neighborhood’s beloved 92-year-old cat lady who was attacked close to her home and was found dead on the sidewalk. A suspect has been arrested and charged with murder and sex abuse. (Andrea Salcedo for NY Times)

A look back at Kawkab America, America’s first Arabic newspaper, which launched in 1892 in New York. (Mateo Nelson for Bedford + Bowery)

I’ve fallen in love with ActionKid’s video walks around the city. While this may seem trivial now, having video like this is a great document to have of the city in a specific point in time. At the pace the city is changing, even in a few months this same walk could be drastically different. From Long Island City to Bushwick on foot, narrated. (ActionKid)

Book Culture’s majority owner Chris Doeblin is blaming the city marshal seizure of the store on corporate greed, but pretty much everyone else including his business partners and landlord blame his mismanagement. (Gwynne Hogan for Gothamist)

Anassa, Cantina 33, and Shang Kitchen join Eater’s list of the hottest restaurants in Queens. (Eater)

Thanks to reader Zlata for today’s featured photo!

The Briefly for December 18, 2019 – The “AOC vs Cuomo Round 2: The NYPD Subway Surge” Edition

Today’s daily NYC news digest: Mayor de Blasio has another new approach for the city’s homeless population, the hoax that led to an AMBER alert, the most expensive street on the planet, & more

Today – Low: 17˚ High: 37˚
Clear throughout the day.

Search for “de Blasio” “homeless” and “new approach.” Here are some highlights you’ll find:
– Jan 2015: “Shifts Strategy on Homeless Help”
– Dec 2015: “The most comprehensive street homeless outreach effort.”
– Apr 2016: “sweeping homelessness reforms”
– Feb 2017: A “blood and guts” war on homelessness.
– Dec 2017: “playing catch-up on unsheltered homelessness.”
– Mar 2018: an “innovative solution to the crisis.”
– Dec 2019: A new approach addressing street homelessness. (Mark Hellum for amNewYork)

Cluster sites are temporary apartments for the homeless in privately owned buildings and the mayor announced in 2016 that he would end the practice of using them by 2019. There are still 3,000 units of cluster housing in the city. Many nonprofits that operate cluster sites have hundreds or thousands of open violations, and continue to get business from the city despite it. (Joan Goldberg for Brooklyn Eagle)

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez was one of the leading voices in the effort that killed Amazon’s HQ2. Can AOC help the fight against Governor Cuomo’s NYPD surge in the subways? (Gersh Kuntzman for Streetsblog)

When the United States misses its targets to reduce climate emissions, New York won’t be on the list of states that caused it to happen. (Aaron Short for Streetsblog)

The best Chinese food on the Upper West Side. (Acrienne Cooper for I Love the Upper West Side)

The scumbag of the week award goes to FDNY lieutenant Christopher Hughes, who was caught stealing from a charity event at a Catholic school fundraiser on Staten Island. (Jake Offenhartz for Gothamist)

Governor Cuomo seeks to redefine conditions under which a person is capable of giving consent, specifically in when someone is drunk. In a steady stream of announcements like a legislative “12 Days of Christmas” the governor has been unveiling one proposal a day leading up to his 2020 State of the State address. (Sarah Midkiff for Refinery29)

Revisiting Le Bernardin, “one of the city’s most thrilling and technically astute restaurants.” (Ryan Sutton for Eater)

Everyone got the AMBER alert on Tuesday (unless you’re a monster and turned them off) for Karol Sanchez, who was kidnapped in the Bronx. A few hours later we found out it was a hoax set up by Sanchez as part of a feud with her mother, who she deems to be overprotective. (Edgar Sandoval for NY Times)

The video for All I Want for Christmas is You has a New York connection, it was filmed in front of the iconic “Bronx Christmas House.” Unfortunately this year the house is dark for the first time in 46 years. (Ed Garcia Conde for Welcome2TheBronx)

Harvey Weinstein, NYC’s resident goblin, claims his back hurts too much to deal with a lawsuit to recoup a $45 million loan from him. What a tough year this much have been for him. 🙄 (Claire Lampen for Gothamist)

The LES, Sunset Park, Gowanus and the rest of the six NYC neighborhoods poised for major change in 2020. (Caroline Spivack for Curbed)

The most expensive street not he planet is 57th St, aka Billionaire’s Row. It end one of four Manhattan streets in the top ten. (Alexandra Alexa for 6sqft)

Mail-order iconic foods, the foie gras debates, bowl restaurants and all the restaurant trends Adam Platt never wants to see again. (Adam Platt for Grub Street)

There is a second legal fight against an apartment complex that would cast a literal shadow over the Brooklyn Botanical Gardens. A lawsuit is looking to overturn the City council’s approval and force the developer to do an Environmental Impact Survey. (Lore Croghan for Brooklyn Eagle)

Falling building debris fatally crushed a 60-year-old woman on West 49th Street and Seventh Avenue in Manhattan on Tuesday morning. (Kathleen Culliton for Patch)

The MTA gave a “sneak peek” at a complete redesign of Queens’ bus system on Monday night with an eye towards less redundancy, easier transfers, and more inter borough options. The full book on the redesign will be released in the spring of 2020. (Angelica Acevedo for amNewYork)

New York City has agreed to pay $12.5 million dollars to settle a class action lawsuit by people who were subject to invasive strip searches while visiting loved ones in jail. (Cindy Rodriguez for Gothamist)

The 24-hour NYC diner isn’t dead. Say hello to the new Soho Diner. (Chris Crowley for Grub Street)

Attention NYC Millennials: The suburbs want you! (Jake Offenhartz for Gothamist)

Here’s how the local centrists in Congress will vote on the impeachment. (Fred Mogul for Gothamist)

A defense lawyer suggested detectives had badgered and yelled at a 13-year-old boy before he admitted participating in the fatal mugging of Tessa Majors. (Jan Ransom for NY Times)

The NYPD will encrypt their radios in 2020, cutting off press from real time reporting and also essentially killing how the Citizen app, Scanner 911, and Broadcastify get their reports. The move seems to fly in the face of the city’s attempts at making the NYPD more transparent and accountable. (Todd Maisel for amNewYork)

The hidden fees in no fee apartments. (Kael Goodman for amNewYork)

NYPD arrested a truck driver who they say fatally struck bicyclist Matt Travis in East Harlem last month and left the scene. (Eyewitness News)

Time Out New York’s 20 best dishes of 2019. (Bao Ong for Time Out)

The Briefly for December 17, 2019 – The “End Fare Evasion by Ending Fares” Edition

Today’s daily NYC news digest: Pasta cake, the City Council looks to work around the governor, the most beautiful homes of 2019, a buy/rent calculator, mulchfest approaches, and more

Today – Low: 29˚ High: 36˚
Light rain until evening.

The best & worst of SantaCon 2019. (Ben Yakas for Gothamist)

SantaCon’s aftermath was predictably awful. (Nikita Richardson for Grub Street)

Despite being illegal for a decade, discrimination against people with Section 8 vouchers persists. (Cindy Rodriguez for Gothamist)

A well laid out plan to cut fare evasion to zero: make public transit free. (The Independent)

The City Council could circumvent the governor in making electric bikes legal. Councilmember Rafael Espinal is pushing forward with his bill that would legalize the bikes and cap their speeds at 20 mph. The governor has a bill on his desk since June that would legalize them. (Dave Colon for Streetsblog)

This year’s legislative session was, in Governor Cuomo’s words, the “most productive legislative session in modern history” thanks to truly Democratic control. There’s been one major bottleneck in getting those bills into law: the governor himself. (Luis Ferré-Sadurní for NY Times)

The NYCHA is the city’s worst landlord for the second year running, topping Public Advocate Jumaane Williams’s list of the worst landlords in the city. (Kathleen Culliton for Patch)

Does it make more sense to buy or rent? Depends how long you’re gonna stay in your apartment. In Canarsie the time is under two years, but in the Lower East Side, it’s thirty. Don’t worry, there’s a calculator. (Ameena Walker for Curbed)

A look at Brooklyn’s first public bike parking hub, the confusingly named Oonee Pod. While it’s only 20 bike racks, it’s a start. (Paul Frangipane for Brooklyn Eagle)

14th St’s buses will be going all-electric in March. The busway’s improved service has meant a ridership increase of nearly 25% over last year at this time. Turns out people will take the bus if it’s reliable. Who knew? (Devin Gannon for 6sqft)

If you can’t fight the addictiveness of old photos of New York City, the archive of photographs from Carole Teller from the 60s through the 90s is enthralling. (Dawson Knick for GVSHP)

Who can fight the charm of Billy On The Street with Mariah Carey? (@billyeichner)

Four first responders who died from 9/11-related illnesses were posthumously awarded Bronze Medallions from Mayor de Blasio on Monday for advocacy work that ensured fellow responders will receive medical care throughout their lifetimes. Nineteen people were honored, including Jon Stewart. (Kathleen Culliton for Patch)

Apartment Porn: The most beautiful homes of 2019. (Valeria Ricciulli for Curbed)

In one of the most classless moves of the year, Ed Mullins, president of the Sergeants Benevolent Association, is using the death of Tessa Majors to baselessly claim she was in the park where she was murdered to buy drugs and criticize the change in the city’s marijuana enforcement laws. (Ja’han Jones for HuffPost)

New York’s law allowing undocumented immigrants to obtain licenses went into effect on Monday and there were lines. (Tracey Tully and Michael Gold for NY Times)

A look back at a full decade of the rent being too damn high across the city. (Valeria Ricciulli for Curbed)

You know who thinks the MTA is doing great? The MTA. (Kathleen Culliton for Patch)

A wholly acceptable “Why I’m leaving New York” essay. (Joan Summers for Jezebel)

Here are the stories of the 28 bicyclists who were killed on city streets by drivers. 2019 is the bloodiest year since 2000 for cyclist deaths. (Emma Whitford for Gothamist)

Pasta cake? (Emma Orlow for Time Out)

Say farewell to Tootsie, Oklahoma!, and Waitress as seven Broadway shows are coming to a close in January. (Matt Windman for Gothamist)

Just in case you were wondering if Harvey Weinstein wasn’t a Scooby Doo-level villain, his recent interview where he calls himself a “pioneer” in providing opportunities for female actors and directors and that he is a “forgotten man” will clarify that issue for you. (Alan Feuer for NY Times)

MetroCard scammers cost the MTA about $40 million a year. These aren’t turnstile jumpers, but people intentionally breaking machines or disguising themselves as an MTA employee and asking for a dollar to walk through the emergency exits, or one of the dozens of other ways people have thought of to outsmart the MTA. (Vincent Barone for amNewYork)

“All the current administration cares about is getting to the day where they can have a press release saying that we’re not at an all time high [of homelessness].” Former City Council Speaker Christine Quinn is now the CEO of a nonprofit that is the largest provider of shelter and supportive housing and has some things to say about how the city treats its homeless. (Ben Max and Stephen Wyer for Gotham Gazette)

When Veronica Vanterpool resigns from the MTA’s board, it will leave the city severely underrepresented. (Benjamin Kabak for Second Ave Sagas)

It’s not even Christmas, but here comes the signs for Mulchfest. (EV Grieve)

It’s like a greatest hits record, but for NYC restaurants. (The Infatuation)

Thanks to reader Zlata for today’s featured photo!