The Briefly for January 19-20 – The “Lena Dunham and Bill de Blasio?” Tuesday Edition

The latest NYC news digest: MTA delays fare hikes, Union Square plans to expand 33%, Mayor de Blasio drops another ball, MLK protests, and more

Today – Low: 32˚ High: 40˚
Partly cloudy throughout the day.

Another week, another broken promise from Mayor de Blasio. After he spent all summer painting “BLACK LIVES MATTER” on the city’s streets, the mayor’s “Racial Justice and Reconciliation Commission” has done zero public work and hasn’t been mentioned since August. (Ethan Geringer-Sameth for Gotham Gazette)

The Times looks at five takeaways from the mayor’s race. (Emma G. Fitzsimmons and Jeffery C. Mays for NY Times)

Here’s a weird one. Someone is putting up flyers announcing the wedding of Lena Dunham and Mayor de Blasio on Valentine’s Day in Union Square. This seems somehow connected to the very weird Fiona Apple flyer from October. Congrats to the happy couple? (EV Grieve)

Photos: The new glass sculpture I dreamed a world and called it Love by Jim Hodges in Grand Central Terminal. (Nicole Saraniero, photos by David Regen for Untapped New York)

With Inauguration Day approaching, it’s a great time to remember that the nation’s first inauguration happened outside the Federal Hall National Memorial in the Financial District on April 30, 1789. The original bible George Washington placed his hand on is still in the building. (Nicole Saraniero for Untapped New York)

A Martin Luther King Jr Day protest started at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn and ended with the NYPD making dozens of arrests of peaceful protesters near City Hall. (Azi Paybarah for NY Times)

The NYPD is being sued by the state’s attorney general over its handling of protests over the summer because violence against protesters isn’t a bug in the system, it’s a feature. (Erin O’Brien for Bedford + Bowery)

Nicolas Moncada, 20, of Staten Island was arrested for his role in the January 5 insurrection. How did they know he was there” Because he posted a selfie of himself outside Speaker Pelosi’s office to Instagram. Neighbors describe his arrest as “like they were looking for a terrorist.” They were and they arrested him. (Elina Tarkazikis for NY1)


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The city’s graduation rate hit an all-time high of 78.8% in 2020. (Matt Troutman for Patch)

The MTA claims the driver of the bus that drove off an overpass refused a drug test, but the driver, whose jaw had been fractured in the accident, says a drug test was taken in the hospital. (Sydney Pereira for Gothamist)

The Biden-Harris administration nominated Polly Trottenberg, the city’s former commissioner of the Department of Transportation, for Deputy Secretary for the U.S. Department of Transportation to work under Pete Buttigieg. (Stephen Nessen for Gothamist)

Foot traffic is down 70% year over year in Times Square. (Jake Dobkin for Gothamist)

Want to send someone some cheer? You can record a birthday greeting for Ray or Ray’s Candy Store, who turns 88 on January 25, to be a part of a Guinness World Record for “biggest video hug ever.” (EV Grieve)

The MTA is postponing their scheduled 2021 fare hike because, quite frankly, we’ve all had enough already. (Benjamin Kabak for Second Ave. Sagas)

The Union Square Partnership unveiled a $100 million plan for a car-free Union Square that would expand the park 33% into the surrounding streets. The plan will be officially presented on January 26. (Gersh Kuntzman for Streetsblog)

The public review process for the Gowanus rezoning has been temporarily halted by a Brooklyn Supreme Court judge over concerns that holding virtual meetings violates city law that requires public hearings. The lawsuit that halted the process asks that public hearings be held when it is safe to do so. (David Cruz for Gothamist)

The MTA is looking into temporarily reducing service on some subway lines because of worker shortages due to illness, retirements, and a lack of new hires. (Jose Martinez for The City)

Governor Cuomo is tired of the federal government’s shit and has asked Pfizer to sell vaccines directly to the state, which is possible because Pfizer is not a part of “Project Warp Speed.” (Lisa Finn for Patch)

Sunset Park’s South Brooklyn Marine Terminal will become an offshore wind assembly port for the state’s new offshore wind farms. (Sydney Pereira for Gothamist)

Repairs of the Cherry Walk segment of the Hudson River Greenway, stretching from 100th to 125th St, are complete. (Streetsblog)

Gothamist gets giddy about Medan Pasar, a new Malaysian restaurant in the East Village. (Scott Lynch for Gothamist)

What you need to know about the 2021 Bronx, Brooklyn, Manhattan, and Staten Island borough president races. (Rachel Holliday Smith for The City)

Thanks to reader Francesca for today’s featured photo of Fort Tryon Park!

The Briefly for August 21, 2019 – The “Bragging About Being Better Than Queens” Edition

Two Proud Boys are convicted, Cuomo bans floating billboards, the city’s secret waterfalls, the Ritz-Carlton penthouse is for sale, and more in today’s daily NYC news digest

What are your neighbors complaining about the most? (The Real Deal)

The latest exhibit at the Transit Museum focuses on the history of subway signs. (Untapped Cities)

Have you been indoctrinated into the cult of cauliflower gnocchi? (Grub Street)

Nothing is as Brooklyn as bragging about being better than Queens. (Brooklyn Paper)

Photos: The abandoned Miller Air Field in Staten Island. (Untapped Cities)

Manero’s Pizza has stepped into the city’s pizza battles with a hybrid New York/Neapolitan slice. (Grub Street)

It’s not a pre-snowstorm run on food, this disaster is the modern-day Dean & Deluca’s. (Eater)

A guide to $1 happy hour oysters, the holy grail, in Bushwick. (Bushwick Daily)

The safest neighborhoods in the city. (StreeyEasy)

Wayla vs Wayan vs Wayo. Getting the restaurant names straight in the city isn’t as always simple. (Eater)

Following the firing of Daniel Pantaleo, activists have named five additional officers who they say should be fired for their connection to the death of Eric Garner. (Politico)

New York joined the lawsuit against the federal government over the finalized changes to the “public charge” rule, which will deny citizenship, visas, and green cards to immigrants enrolled in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program. (amNY)

July was the tenth hottest month in NYC history. (Gothamist)

Where to find the city’s secret waterfalls. (6sqft)

Not on the list is the Marcy Houses, where tenants were battling a waterfall in their stairwell due to a burst pipe. (Patch)

The mayor has claimed victory in reforming the NYPD, but the reality isn’t as simple. (Gotham Gazette)

The AirTrain to JFK will be increasing in price from $5 to $7.75 starting November 1. (Second Ave Sagas)

The digital billboards that have been floating around Manhattan are illegal as of Monday, when Governor Cuomo signed a bill to law making them immediately illegal. The company behind the billboards has vowed to find a new loophole to continue their annoying goal of making sure New Yorkers are always looking at advertising somewhere. (NY Times)

Everyone is prone to make real estate mistakes, but not everyone writes an essay for Domino Magazine about it, but then again Lena Dunham isn’t everyone. (Domino)

Vendors could be banned from the Dyker Heights Christmas lights displays this year because of the volume of trash visitors left lying around in previous years. New Yorkers are renown for disposing of their garbage anywhere they’d like, and a neighborhood that’s residential through most of the year isn’t meant to hold the trash of 150,000 visitors. (The Brooklyn Home Reporter)

Mayor Bill de Blasio vowed to address the homelessness crisis in his last mayoral campaign, but critics say his plans are falling short. (amNY)

Governor Cuomo signed the “Deed Theft Bill” into law, which provides greater protections for owners of homes that are in default or foreclosure. (Kings County Politics)

Does the opening of the Brooklyn Grange, the city’s largest rooftop farm, signal a real change for the city? (Brooklyn Based)

Maxwell Hare, 27, and John Kinsman, 39, guilty of attempted gang assault, attempted assault, and rioting as part of the Proud Boys fight on the Upper East Side in October of last year. They’ll be sentenced in October and face up to 15 years in prison. (Gothamist)

The best new restaurants on the Upper West Side. (I Love the Upper West Side)

The ultimate guide to renting in NYC. (Curbed)

If you’ve got $49 million and a burning desire to live in the Ritz-Carlton’s penthouse, I’ve got an apartment to sell you. (The Real Deal)

The PlayStation Theater in Times Square will be closing January 1. The last shows at the theater will be a four-night run by the Disco Biscuits. (Brooklyn Vegan)

Nike York City? The city agreed to license its logo and a few dozen other ephemera to Nike to print them on its merchandise. Does anyone want an NYPD Bomb Squad sneaker? (Patch)

Here are the companies in NYC with the fastest revenue growth. (Patch)

Whatever a “classic NYC experience” is, amNY has a list of restaurants where you can still experience it. (amNY)

The Briefly for May 2, 2019 – The “The MTA, Like A Fish, Rots From the Head Down” Edition

A proposed constitutional right to clean air and water, the city’s best new restaurant, kick Lena Dunham out of Brooklyn, billionaires fight to keep the SHSAT, and more in today’s daily NYC news digest.

The state senate passed a handful of environmentally friendly bills, including S.2072 is a bill in the state Senate that would add a constitutional right to clean air and water to the state’s constitution. (Grist)

A look under the microscope at a few of New York City’s billions of bacteria, fungi and microbes. Germophobes need not apply. (Business Insider)

The MTA’s board fails to reflect the city at every opportunity. The median income of the MTA board is $555,000, which is roughly 10x the median of MTA riders and underrepresents women and people of color. (Patch)

The MTA might be out of touch with the average rider, but the problem with the MTA isn’t the board. The man who won’t stop saying he’s not in charge of the MTA but keeps meddling in the MTA’s plans is the focus of a 170-page report from Reinvent Albany calls for 50 proposals for a more accountable and transparent transit authority. Page one? “The governor controls the MTA.” Now trying getting Governor Cuomo to admit it. (amNY)

The city’s animal intake centers take any kinds of animals, even this wallaby. How did a wallaby get into the city to begin with? (r/NYC)

The East Village’s best-kept secret was kept a secret until it closed. The Bijou was an underground movie theater and cruising spot and was also a throwback to Manhattan’s bad old days. The speakeasy has a history that goes back over 60 years that includes a music venue, a mafia-run club, and finally The Bijou. (Bedford + Bowery)

Here’s a look at the 2019-2020 NYC school year. (Patch)

Wegmans has an opening date: October 27. (Eater)

Sesame Street has a permanent location in Manhattan. 63rd St between Central Park West and Broadway. (Mashable)

For $2.65 million, you can be the person who kicked Lena Dunham out of Brooklyn. (6sqft)

There are still four remnants of the original 1904 Times Square subway station that exist today. (Untapped Cities)

The site where the New York Wheel, the massive Ferris wheel on Staten Island, still sits dormant and the city has no plans for the site six months after the project officially died. (6sqft)

A group of billionaires are trying to keep the SHSAT in place by financially backing the South Brooklyn Coalition for Quality Education. The purpose of removing the test from the specialized high school admissions process is to desegregate NYC’s school and bring more racial diversity to elite high schools (The Brooklyn Home Reporter)

There’s a pop-up cat cafe this weekend in the East Village, so if you’re looking to adopt a new fuzzy friend, this is your opportunity. (Bedford + Bowery)

20 outdoor art installations not to miss this month. (Untapped Cities)

NYPD Officer Daniel Pantaleo, whose chokehold led to the death of Eric Garner, is fighting to delay his hearing with the Civilian Complaint Review Board. (Gothamist)

Gothamist declared Wayla is the city’s best new restaurant, citing the food, green patio, and decor as standouts. (Gothamist)

A membership to The Sentry’s rooftop pool might be more than your portion of the rent, but that won’t stop you from ogling the photos of it. (Time Out)

A real estate developer is trying to bargain for more square footage by offering to build an accessible subway station for $11 million in Gowanus. (Brooklyn Paper)

The father of Aurilla Lawrence, who died after being run over by an oil tanker truck at the end of February, makes a plea to the mayor to take action to stop making excuses and prevent senseless traffic deaths. (Gothamist)

Did you take a photo of a couple who for engaged in Grand Central Terminal on Sunday? They are looking for anyone who took surreptitious photos of the event. (amNY)

The MTA is investigating excessive overtime payments to transit workers, in some cases hundreds of thousands of dollars per person per year. A 16% increase in overtime led to a $418 million payroll increase. (Gothamist)

Lyft’s attempt to fight against a $17.22 after expenses minimum wage for drivers failed. (Gothamist)

Meet the 2019 James Beard Award finalists for best NYC chef. (amNY)

Is the cost of living higher in New York or Los Angeles? Come on, you know the answer to that. (StreetEasy)

The state seemed to have momentum on its side when pushing a bill that would end religious exemptions for vaccines, but the bill seems to be dead in the water. Why? (NY Times)

Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer stopped by the Max & Murphy podcast for a 30-minute conversation about her lawsuit against the city centering around housing developments on NYCHA land, NIMBYism, dealing with the mayor, what she’ll do after she hets her term limit, and more. (Gotham Gazette)

17 bars with outstanding agave-based tequila drinks. (Eater)

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