The Briefly for August 14, 2019 – The “Hangry Squirrels Want Your Blood” Edition

Corey Johnson’s Rat Academy, the city and state challenge the “public charge” rule, Inwood fights rezoning, the best pastrami and more in today’s daily NYC news digest

Are you ready for Rat Academy? City Council Speaker Corey Johnson is hosting an event with the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene on August 22 for free training on safe and effective methods for rat prevention. (Facebook)

In the first year of the city’s Culture Pass program, 70,000 tickets to 50 cultural institutions across the city like the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Second Stage, and others were given out. Anyone with a library card is eligible for CulturePass. (amNY)

Google Maps will now show the location of Lime bikes in the city. (Curbed)

The squirrels in Battery Park are out for blood. Don’t let them woo you into a false sense of security with their fluffy tails and seeming meekness. According to a new warning from city officials, they’re vicious little hellbeasts who will go for your food at any cost. (Gothamist)

The city’s subway stations are in pretty poor shape, but they’re the worst in Queens, where 44% of the structural components are in disrepair. The good news in this is that the overall number od station with serious structural deficiencies actually fell from 2012 to 2017. (LIC Post)

The governor signed a new law into place strengthening the state’s sexual harassment protections. (Gothamist)

David Chang continues his “I built my businesses on the foundation of Stephen Ross’s money” apology tour, donating all of the profits his restaurants to different progressive organizations. (Eater)

An oral (and visual!) history of Winston the Wonder Dog that jumped off a roof, fell through a sunroof and seems to be doing okay. (Gothamist)

Broadway producer Ben Sprecher was arrested on Tuesday morning on child pornography charges. (Gothamist)

What does “parents buying” mean on a real estate listing? Pretty much what you might imagine it would. (StreetEasy)

An NYPD officer committed suicide on Tuesday morning, the eighth of the year. An average year sees five officers commit suicide. (NY Times)

The Off-Broadway “How I Learned to Drive” won a Pulitzer Prize for drama in 1998 and 23 years later the show will reunite on Broadway in 2020 with David Morse and Mary-Louise Parker reprising their original roles. (NY Times)

Snapple is spending the summer paying tribute to “Boroughs & Burbs,” and the label designs are about as embarrassing as a drink designed by Bret Michaels. (Brooklyn Daily Eagle)

The warden at the Metropolitan Correctional Center in Manhattan has been temporarily reassigned after the suicide of Jeffrey Epstein and the two guards guarding him have been put on administrative leave pending the outcome of the investigation into his death. (NY Times)

The Metropolitan Correctional Center historically has had issues with overcrowding, understaffing, cleanliness, and medical care. This is the same facility that experienced a multi-day heat and electricity outage during the coldest days of last winter. (Gothamist)

The new transit fare OMNY system hit its millionth fare on August 8, four times faster than planned. The MTA has no plans to roll out the system ahead of schedule and will be in all stations and buses by the end of 2020. (amNY)

The 1, 2, and 3 trains are headed for some big outages over the next two weekends as the MTA is wrapping up a rehab project. Service will be shut down between Harlem and Downtown Brooklyn. (amNY)

Today is the first day of the special “look-back” period for sexual abuse lawsuits in the state and thousands of cases are expected to be filed. The suits are being triggered by the Child Victims Act, which increased the statute of limitation for child sexual abuse from age 23 to age 55 and included this one-year “look-back” period. (amNY)

This weekend Apartment 5A: A Tribute to the Show About Nothing takes over Parasol Projects on the Bowery. It’s an exhibition dedicated to all things Seinfeld in celebration of the show’s 30th anniversary. (Gothamist)

Meet Jamaal Bowman, Cornerstone Academy for Social Action’s principal, who is challenging Congressperson Eliot Engel for the 16th Congressional District seat in the House of Representatives. Bowman has the backing of Justice Democrats, the group who pushed Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez into office. (Gothamist)

The city and state are once again planning to take the federal government to court. This time it’s over the final “public charge” rule, which would require immigrants seeking green cards or visas to show they are not likely to rely on certain government programs like food stamps. Without challenge, the rule would go into effect in October. (Patch)

There is only one legal hostel in New York City thanks to the city’s building codes. Council members Mark Gjonaj and Margaret Chin are looking to change that with a new bill that will give hostels their own classification and a regulatory agency to look over them. (Gothamist)

Video: What’s the best pastrami sandwich in the city? (Viewing NYC)

Five finalists in the Big Ideas for Small Lots architecture competition are being displayed at the Center for Architecture. The competition highlights the challenges facing a number of the city’s 10,000 small and/or oddly-shaped lots and faces those challenges with unconventional developments. (Curbed)

A look back at the efforts of Jackie O and preservationists to save Grand Central Terminal from the same fate as the original Penn Station. (6sqft)

Opening arguments were heard on Tuesday in a lawsuit meant to prevent the rezoning of Inwood. The lawsuit accuses the city of failing to look at the environmental impact of the rezoning, particularly among racial lines. The rezoning was approved after three years of community protest that the rezoning continues Mayor de Blasio’s selling out the city to developers. (Gothamist)

A 3.2-acre farm is opening in Brooklyn on the rooftop of the Liberty View Industrial Plaza mall in Sunset Par and operated by Brooklyn Grange. Once the space officially opens, it will be open to the public on Sundays through October. (The Brooklyn Home Reporter)

The opening of a sanitation garage may not seem like a big deal, but it is when a neighborhood’s been waiting for it since 1985. Having a local garage means trash pickup times can change from evenings to mornings, which means a change in how the neighborhood looks and smells. (Kings County Politics)

The classic steakhouses of New York City. (Eater)

The Briefly for November 29, 2018 – The “Your Delivered Packages Are Becoming A Problem” Edition

A closer look at the Amazon HQ2 tax breaks, the Fearless Girl is no longer staring down the Charing Bull, the best splurge meals in the city, Central Park destroyed, and more in today’s daily NYC news digest.

Have you RSVP’d to break 6ix9ine out of federal prison?

Amazon Cuomo makes a plea to the president to fund The Gateway Program, a new train tunnel for Amtrak and New Jersey Transit under the Hudson. (NY Times) Cuomo claimed the meetings were positive, but with no actual progress. (Politico)

Central Park, destroyed by a (theoretical) eco-terrorist attack. (6sqft)

Have you been noticing the amount of packages sitting in the lobby of your building piling up? You’re not alone and it’s becoming a problem. (The Real Deal)

The 20 best splurge meals in the city. (Eater)

Fearless Girl, who stared down Wall St’s Charging Bull since March 2017, is gone. (amNY)

More anti-Semitic vandalism, this time at Columbia University. (Gothamist)

The incoming investigation commissioner isn’t planning to take any shit from Mayor de Blasio. (NY Times)

Roman’s, Diner, and Marlow & Sons Are giving up on their “no tips” policy starting December 17. (Eater)

Inwood’s Carrot Top Pastries is closing in January after 40 years. The building the bakery is in has been without gas since December 2017 and business has suffered tremendously as a result. (amNY)

Mayor de Blasio’s “replace Rikers” plan has started to fall apart. The Manhattan location has been scrapped. Will the mayor fulfill his dream of breaking ground before he exits office? (Curbed)

The guide to dining in the Theater District. (Eater)

An Uber driver is accused of dragging a man with his car after allegedly verbally berating the passenger and his husband with homophobic slurs. The man who was dragged was refunded, the driver’s Uber account was suspended, and the NYPD is investigating. (NY Post)

A closer look at Amazon’s HQ2 tax breaks. (Gotham Gazette)

Photos from the Rockefeller Center Christmas tree lighting. (Untapped Cities)

This is the happiest news you’ll read all day. Hooray for Pickles and Violet, reunited with their humans after both going lost. (Bklyner) A close second? Mark Ruffalo lost his backpack in a cab, and it was returned to him after a public call to assemble for the Avenger. (@MarkRuffalo)

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The Briefly for September 6, 2018 – A New Entrance to Penn Station, Ice Cream Noise Complaints, and More

Is Governor Cuomo’s endorsement toxic? Ice cream trucks generate over 1,000 noise complaints/year, Staten Island’s ferris wheel’s future is in question, and more in today’s NYC news digest.

A ballot initiative in November will give voters the option to lower the maximum donation in city elections from $5,100 to $2,000.

There were 1,279 ice cream truck noise complaints in the last year.

Does New York City needs the BQX? Curbed asks if the $2.7 billion streetcar project is worth the price after the recent revision to the plan.

The governor is rumored to announce a new entrance to Penn Station on Thursday morning. 650,000 use Penn Station on a daily basis and that number is expected to double in the next 15 years.

A flight from Dubai to JFK touched down with multiple people sick with flu-like symptoms. One of the people trapped on the “flu plane” was Vanilla Ice.

The World Trade Center/Cortland St subway stop opens this Saturday.

The culture is double parking!” Inwood’s bike lane drama is getting complicated.

“Equal Pay for Equal Work” has an origin story in NYC classrooms.

Landlords in the city owe more than $1.5 billion in fines. Kushner Companies owes the city over $500,000 alone.

The New York Wheel, Staten Island’s giant ferris wheel, may never be built. The contractor walked off the job in May and the whole project has become a series of lawsuits. The original plan had the wheel opening in October 2016 and costing $250 million. The current estimate is $600 million and it’s unknown if it will ever be built.

The Supreme Court decision that allowed government workers to not pay union dues is costing the city’s unions over $100,000 a week.

Will Governor Cuomo’s endorsement hurt Leticia James’s bid for Attorney General?

This year’s cronut is Duck’s Eatery’s smoked watermelon “ham.” Each costs $75 and they’re sold out through November.

The largest state park in New York City will open next summer in Brooklyn and will be named after Shirley Chisholm, the first black woman elected to Congress.

LIRR delays are the worst they’ve been in over 18 years. The MTA is fine.

Passenger service ended sixty five years ago on Staten Island’s North Shore Branch and there are still ghosts of the rail line marking the island.


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