The Briefly for January 11, 2019 – The “Long On Promises, Short On Details” Edition

A closer look at the State of the City, “Rhode Island-style” pizza, election reform, UCB East is closing, a “bike mayor” for the city, and more in today’s daily NYC news digest.

This weekend’s scheduled subway service changes: The 5 is gonna be super slow, the 7, J and M trains are out between Queens and Manhattan, and that’s just the start of it. (6sqft)


Mayor Bill de Blasio’s 2019 State of the City address highlights:

Watch the 2019 State of the City address given by Mayor Bill de Blasio

Five takeaways from the State of the City. (NY Times)

“Plenty of money in the city. It’s just in the wrong hands!” The mayor preached distribution of wealth, came up short on the details. (NY Times)

The speech was focused on equality, workers and tenants’ rights, and income inequality, to go “bigger, bolder, and aim higher.” (Politico)

The city’s free 3-K program will expand to districts 6, 8, 9, 19 and 32. (Bklyner)

Bus speeds should increase 25% by the end of 2020 from 7.44 to 9.03 mph. Some tactics will be adding between 10 and 15 miles of dedicated lanes, revamp five miles, and installing barriers to protect bus lanes from drivers. The NYPD will also add a team of tow truck drivers dedicated to clearing bus lanes. (amNY)

New and modified ferry routes: Staten Island will be connected to Battery Park and W 39th Street and a new Coney Island line will stop at Bay Ridge on its way to Wall Street. The Soundview, South Brooklyn and Astoria routes will be expanded. (Curbed)

The mayor created the Office of Tenant Protection, whose details were long on promises and short on details. The office will seize the buildings of the city’s “worst landlords,” which is an interesting phrase considering the worst landlord in the city was recently declared to be… the city. (The Real Deal & Curbed)

Free eyeglasses will be provided to kindergarteners or first graders need them starting next school year in a partnership with Warby Parker. (Chalkbeat)

While the mayor touted successes on old pledges like the styrofoam ban and a plan to divest the city’s pensions from fossil fuels, there was no plans for new green initiatives. (Politico)

Also missing? The NYCHA crisis. (Gotham Gazette)


Albany is looking to make some sense out of our state’s elections, limiting donations from LLCs, create early voting, combining election days, voting by affidavit, and pre-registering to vote at the age of 16. (Politico)

The modernist treasures of Queens. (Curbed)

A Bike Mayor? Transportation Alternatives has a petition looking to add the position to champion cycling across city agencies. Is it any more odd than a “Night Mayor?” (Streetsblog)

The average jail population in the city is at its lowest since 1980. (Daily News)

UCB will close their East Village theater on February 9 amid financial problems. Some shows will be moved to SubCulture. (Vulture)

LIRR will begin service to Grand Central Terminal by the end of 2022. (6sqft)

The secrets of the St. Marks historic district. (6sqft)

The most dangerous neighborhood to walk in Queens? Flushing. (Streetsblog)

Okay, what the hell is “Rhode Island-style” pizza? (Bedford + Bowery)

A teacher who was fired for allegedly forcing black students to lie on the floor while she stepped on their backs is planning on suing the city for one billion dollars. (NY Post)

The 15 most anticipated restaurant openings this winter. (Eater)

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The Briefly for October 18, 2018 – The “This Will Make the L Train Shutdown Look Easy” Edition

The MTA has not properly maintained the subways, NYC’s haunted history, the mayor is accused of selective animal-cruelty enforcement, this November’s election is going to be confusing, and more.

The L train is not running between Broadway Junction and 8th 8 Ave, from 10:45 pm until 5 a.m. every weekday until November 30. The MTA is also reducing service to one train every 12 minutes between Myrtyle-Wckoff and Rockaway Parkway from 11am to 3pm. Add that to the L not running at all on the weekends during October. Good lord. (Gothamist)

According to the Department of Transportation commissioner Polly Tottenberg, the challenge the impending BQE construction poses to the city “makes the L train look like a piece of cake.” Oh, cool.

15 ways to celebrate Halloween. (Untapped Cities)

Activists are accusing Mayor de Blasio of refusing to enforce animal-cruelty laws against Orthodox Jews who ritually slaughter tens of thousands of chickens Brooklyn streets ahead of Yom Kippur. The Alliance to End Chickens as Kaproros wants to show in court that the selective enforcement favors a particular class. (NY Post)

November 6’s election ballots will be two pages for the first time which is expected to cause multiple logistics issues at polling locations throughout the city. Uh oh. (Bklyner)

A sample election ballot.

Could one way to reduce the burden on the subway system be lowering the cost of in-city trips on the LIRR and Metro-North to subway fares? (Curbed)

LA chef Ilan Hall is back in NYC with Ramen Hood, a pop-up vegan noodle bar at the Chef’s Club in SoHo. (Gothamist)

Speaking of challenges Tottenberg also said “I’m the first to admit we have a long way to go.” when talking about parking placard abuse. She’s recommending automatic license plate readers, which likely won’t be a hit with civil liberties groups. (NY Post)

Three Crown Heights parks will see their first improvements in 20 to 30 years. It’s a double edged sword, as investments in these parks could result in higher rents and sale prices in the already fragile neighborhood. (The Brooklyn Reader)

Ferry buffs, sorry to see that Hurricane Michael forced a delay in the delivery of new boats for the Staten Island Ferry. The first boat was opting in late 2019 and there is no new delivery date yet. (amNY)

Governor Cuomo is actually praising Mayor de Blasio. Cuomo is joining de Blasio in calling for a boycott of NY1 by any state officials over an ongoing strike by the electrical workers union. (NY Post)

A new audit of the MTA between 2015 and 2017 shows, surprise surprise, the MTA has not properly maintained the system. 76% of inspections are not completed on time and thousands of inspections never happened at all. (NY Post)

Low-level offenders (disorderly conduct, littering, drinking alcohol in public) with outstanding warrants have the opportunity to clear their record in Woodside on Saturday. (Sunnyside Post)

Trump Place at 200 Riverside Blvd will now be known as…200 Riverside Blvd. The building is the latest of many in Manhattan to dump Trump signage due to the actions of our current president. (NY Times)

The former NYPD detective on the Harvey Weinstein case allegedly told one of his victims that she could delete text messages from her phones before turning them over to prosecutors. She didn’t, but that sounds shady to say the least. (Gothamist)

The baby Trump balloon is making its way to the city for the Impeachment Parade on October 27. (amNY)

10 spots that will reveal the city’s haunted history. (6sqft)


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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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