The Briefly for February 19-20, 2021 – The “Cuomo Versus the World” Friday Edition

The latest NYC news digest: Pearl River Mart has a new home, where to go sledding, the greatest fictional NYC mayor, Amazon gets sued, Block-owned coffee shops, and more

Today – Low: 25˚ High: 34˚
Snow (1–2 in.) in the morning and afternoon.
This weekend – Low: 22˚ High: 34˚

• Ask An Epidemiologist: Should you wear two masks? Dr. David Chokshi, the city’s health commissioner and guy in all those commercials on Hulu, says two are better than one. (Caroline Lewis for Gothamist)

Farewell to Park Slope’s Mission Delores, a fantastic bar. (Jason Diamond for Grub Street)

17 spots to go sledding in New York City. (Devin Gannon for 6sqft)

A timeline of Governor Cuomo’s nursing home controversy. (Nick Reisman for NY1)

• Not everyone is fighting Governor Cuomo. Cuomo took $145 million from the MTA’s budget and they aren’t challenging it. Of the $145 million, $107 million is being taken from an operating fund that is supposed to be dedicated to fund mass transit. Cuomo has not stated the reason for removing the money from the MTA’s budget. (Dave Colon for Streetsblog)

• The Department of Justice and FBI are investigating Governor Cuomo’s administration over the nursing home issue. (Jen Chung for Gothamist)

• Assemblyman Ron Kim has been criticizing Governor Cuomo for months about how Cuomo handled the state’s nursing homes. When Kim said Cuomo was “trying to dodge any incriminating evidence,” it resulted in the governor calling up Kim to let him know Cuomo would “destroy” him. (Luis Ferré-Sadurní and Jesse McKinley for NY Times)

• Answering the question of who is Ron Kim? (Christine Chung for The City)

Pearl River Mart has found itself a new home at 452 Broadway, near Canal St. (Bowery Boogie)

• Gothamist held a vote for the greatest fictional mayor of New York City, using ranked choice voting, and the results are in! Mayor Lenny from Ghostbusters is the city’s greatest fictional mayor, who also has one of my favorite quotes in history about NYC: “Being miserable and treating other people like dirt is every New Yorker’s God-given right.” (Jake Dobkin and Jen Carlson for Gothamist)

• Photos: 16 stunning photos of NYC landmarks blanketed in snow. (Shaye Weaver for Time Out)

• Where does Greenwich Village end? What are the boundaries of Bed-Stuy? How far So of Ho does SoHo extend? The fight over perceived neighborhood borders is heating up again. (Anna Ben Yehuda for Time Out)

• Interview: Did you watch us land on Mars on Thursday? Meet Vishnu Sridhar, a Queens boy who is the lead systems engineer for the SuperCam on the Mars 2020 rover. (Sydney Pereira for Gothamist)

A look into keeping pigeons, a dwindling hobby in NYC. (Allie Conti for NY Times)

Coney Island will be able to reopen on April 9 at a 33% capacity, but if you want to get in, you must buy tickets in advance and wear face coverings, and the parks must conduct temperature checks and clean the rides frequently. (Rose Adams for Brooklyn Paper)

The city has new guidance for indoor dining, which includes limiting parties to 4 or fewer, wearing a mask whenever you are not actively eating or drinking, and more. (Tanay Warerkar for Eater)

“I’ve had to cancel counseling sessions to stand by metal detectors that children are required to go through, to monitor the hallways, or to “watch” a group of suspended students. I could fill pages with all the jobs I’ve done that have nothing to do with social work. The rationalization is that any type of human interaction automatically translates into “social work.” That’s because most people have no idea what a social worker does.”
– Vanessa Vélez, Nobody knows what a social worker does. That is hurting our students., for Chalkbeat

• Maps: How Covid-19 impacted internet speeds across the city. (Jameson Zimmer for Untapped New York)

Mount Sinai Health System has been canceling thousands of first dose vaccine appointments in the last few days due to low supply. (Caroline Lewis and Sydney Pereira for Gothamist)

• Sections of Queens, Hunts Point in the Bronx, and East New York and Brownsville in Brooklyn had among the lowest percent of residents who have received at least one dose of a Cocid-19 vaccine. (Sydney Pereira and Jake Dobkin for Gothamist)

• Maps: Vaccine data by zip code. (Davin Gannon for 6sqft)

• The case against Amy Cooper, the woman who falsely called the police on a Black man in Central Park for “threatening” her, was dropped on Tuesday after she completed a therapeutic program that included instruction about racial biases. (Jonah E. Bromwich for NY Times)

How New York City’s delivery workers survive snowstorms. (Jasmine Fernandez for NY City Lens)

• Amazon tried to block it with a lawsuit of their own, but Attorney General Letitia James is suing Amazon over the company’s failure to provide safety measures for its NYC workers during the pandemic. (Sophia Chang for Gothamist)

• Barstool Sports is 100% garbage and founder Dave Portnoy is a piece of human shit. I hold these opinions for reasons outside of Portnoy calling New Haven the pizza capital of the world. The Coney Island Blog makes the (correct) argument that the best pizza int he world is made in Brooklyn. (The Coney Island Blog)

• Check out BKFoxx’s new mural for the Year of the Ox in Chinatown at Dr. Sun Yat Middle School on Eldridge and Hester. (Anna Ben Yehuda for Time Out)

• The State Liquor Authority has begun to crack down on obvious violations of the rules of outdoor dining, suspending the liquor licenses of nine restaurants and bars. Most suspensions appear to be as a result of fully enclosed outdoor dining structures. (Tanay Warerkar for Eater)

• Real Estate Lust: A $2.3 million Brownstone in Brooklyn Heights with two outdoor spaces and three fireplaces. (Devin Gannon for 6sqft)

Governor Cuomo has gone back to the drawing board on his marijuana legalization bill after being widely criticized for his last attempt over not doing enough to address communities hit hardest by the war on drugs and still criminalized offenses in ways that would disproportionally impact people of color. (Caroline Lewis for Gothamist)

Where to find a work from home snack break in the East Village. (Hannah Albertine for The Infatuation)

• New York region’s subway system is the worst for air pollution in the Northeast. We’re #1! We’re #1! We’re #1! Suck it, Boston and DC, you can’t keep up with our air pollution in the subways. Maybe after reading this I’ll keep wearing a mask on the subway forever. (Shaye Weaver for Time Out)

Overanalyzing Andrew Yang’s Instagram meals because sometimes we need a break from criticizing the stream of dumb things this guy keeps saying in public. (Hannah Albertine for The Infatuation)

28 Black-owned coffee shops in NYC. (Hannah Albertine and Nikko Duren for The Infatuation)

The Briefly for November 8-9, 2020 – The “Pure Joy in One Specific Eviction” Sunday Edition

The latest NYC news digest: Legal weed gets Cuomo’s support, date night delivery in Manhattan, Covid rates hit 2%, a new BLM mural, and more

Today – Low: 50˚ High: 70˚
Clear throughout the day.

Governor Cuomo says the conditions are “ripe” for legalizing marijuana sales. The “ripe” conditions appear to be after years of promises and after New York’s third neighbor has legalized it. (Bronx Times)

Apartment Porn: A $1.7 Park Slope condo with some of the highest ceilings I’ve ever seen and two stunning outdoor spaces that are bigger than the apartment. (Dana Schulz for 6sqft)

It was hard to ignore the pure joy that swept most of the city on Saturday as the country decided to give Joe Biden a new job and evict Donald Trump from the White House. (Edgar Sandoval for NY Times)

From November 15 through December 15, you can catch the 2020 Creative Climate Awards, hosted by the Human Impacts Institute, across four boroughs. 15 artists will each create window installations in previously empty storefronts that highlight the climate crisis. (Jessy Edwards for The Brooklyn Reader)

How “Defund the Police” became a flashpoint in competitive New York races. (Luis Ferré-Sadurní and Jesse McKinley for NY Times)

He’s called Black NYPD officers as “animals,” Public Advocate Jumaane Williams as a “twitching missing link” on a police message board, and according to a report from the City Council, he’s Deputy Inspector James Kobek, the commanding officer of the NYPD’s Office of Equal Employment Opportunity, whose duties include “promoting a fair and inclusive workplace that is free from discrimination and harassment.” He has been removed from his post as the investigation continues. (Jake Offenhartz for Gothamist)

“Black Lives Matter” is a political statement according to the NYPD officer that ejected a 23-year-old from wearing a BLM shirt at a polling site. The shirt wearer was threatened with arrest if he didn’t leave the polling site. The officer was, of course, white and the incident was caught on video. (Nick Pinto for Gothamist)

The NYPD seized a Brooklyn playground and is using it to park their personal vehicles. (Julianne Cuba for Streetsblog)

There is a new Black Lives Matter mural in midtown by artist Alexandre Keto. You can find it at 1100 Sixth Avenue at 43rd Street and it will be on display for at least four months and was commissioned by ArtBridge and done via the Department of Cultural Affairs’ City Canvas program, which turns construction fencing into art. (Shaye Weaver for Time Out)

Five things to know if you’re going out to protest in New York City. (Shaye Weaver for Time Out)

Steve Cohen is the new owner of the Mets and he’s starting by flushing the team’s front office from Citi Field in, ahem, Flushing. (Robert Pozarycki for amNewyork Metro)

Want to hike or bike from NYC to Canada? Weird idea, but the Empire State Trail will be finished this week and will, yes indeed, connect NYC to Canada. (Will Gleason for Time Out)

NYC filming locations for The Undoing on HBO Max. (Michelle Young for Untapped New York)

Governor Cuomo gave the go-ahead for some restaurants inside the previous Brooklyn “red zones” to resume indoor dining. (Tanay Warerkar for Eater)

The city’s average positivity rate continues to climb, hitting 2% for the first time since June. (Elizabeth Kim for Gothamist)

Did you know that Thomas D. Rice, the creator of the “Jim Crow” song and dance, is buried in Green-Wood Cemetery? (Noah Singer for Brooklyn Eagle)

If you want to gleefully count down the days left in the Trump presidency, head over to Long Island City to see the Trump countdown clock on 44th Dr. (Michael Dorgan for LIC Post)

The city will have a special election on February 2, 20201 to fill the City Council seat recently vacated by Rory Lancman in the 24th City Council District, which covers Kew Gardens Hills, Fresh Meadows, Hillcrest, Pomonok, Jamaica Estate, and Briarwood. Lancman was appointed by the governor as Special Counsel for Ratepayer Protection. (Allie Griffin for Queens Post)

QAnon supporter Mark Szuszkiewicz has been elected to the New York State Assembly, defeating Assemblymember Mathylde Frontus, to represent Coney Island, Bay Ridge, Brighton Beach, Sea Gate. He’s claimed that Tom Hanks is a pedophile, downplayed the severity of Covid-19, and claimed face masks spread Covid-19. (Rose Adams for Brooklyn Paper)

The NYC Sheriff’s Office broke up a hookah party inside a warehouse in Kingsbridge in the Bronx with over 125 attendees. (David Cruz for Gothamist)

There are signs of Christmas all over the city, but who would have expected an anarchist Christmas wreath to pop up on St Marks so early? It’s anarchy! (EV Grieve)

The Manhattan date night delivery guide. (Hannah Albertine for The Infatuation)

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!