The Briefly for June 12, 2019 – The “You’re A Landmark if You Like It or Not” Edition

The state’s legislature agreed to rent reforms, the best restaurants of 2019 so far, Cuomo gets serious about MTA overtime, and more in today’s daily NYC news digest.

The state legislature agreed on a package of bills aimed at strengthening tenants rights and rent laws. The bills also would become permanent, so no more regular lobbying from the real estate industry to let the laws lapse when their expiration dates come. (NY Times)

Some of the rent reforms include ending vacancy decontrol, eliminating the ability of landlords to raise rents on vacancies, it would retain preferential rents for the life of a tenant, and dramatically limit improvement charges. (Politico)

Cool down with a look at the ice creams of Astoria. (Give Me Astoria)

The Strand Bookstore is now a city landmark and as you might expect, despite a long campaign from owner Nancy Wyden against the idea. (Gothamist)

“My friend later told me that most of the businesses in this area dealt in cash only…so guns were pretty much everywhere…in every store.” New York was a different place in the late 70s. (Bowery Boogie)

Your regular reminder that you can check the city’s beaches for too much poop (how much poop is too much?) on the internet. (Gothamist)

If you’ve wanted to live in the Waldorf Astoria (and have more money than you know what to do with), the condos will be hitting the market this fall. (Curbed)

New York is the third most fun state in the country, behind Florida and California. The thing holding it back? It’s not the ratpocalypse or the mountains of trash on the sidewalks, it’s the high costs. (Patch)

Hundreds rallied after the death of Layleen Polanco in Rikers Island last week. She was being held and her bail was set at $500. The city is looking into the case, where she was sent into solitary confinement despite a history of seizures. (Gothamist)

Catch a sneak peek at NYC’s largest rainbow “flag”. (HuffPost)

The helicopter pilot who crashed into a building on Monday was lost in the rain and fog. Investigators are looking into how the craft ended up where it did instead of an airport in New Jersey. (NY Times)

FAA officials said that Timothy McCormack did not have the proper license to be operating the helicopter in low-visibility conditions. (HuffPost)

Congressmember Carolyn Maloney wants to ban all nonessential helicopter flights from Manhattan. The city banned rooftop helicopter landings after a 1977 crash on the roof of the MetLife building. (The Villager)

In the 1977 crash, five people were killed when an idling helicopter tipped over, four were on the roof, one was on the street below. (Gothamist)

The High Line’s final section is open. The Spur is the home of the High Line Plinth, a site dedicated to a rotating series of artists. (6sqft)

Watch the complete debate for Queens DA. (NY1)

During the debate, Queens Borough President Melinda Katz was the favored punching bag of the seven candidates. (Politico)

We could be seeing the beginning of the end of the measles epidemic in Brooklyn. Everyone celebrate by making sure you’re vaccinated. (amNY)

New York state is one of three that doesn’t allow paid surrogacy, but even with a progressive legislature, it isn’t certain to be abolished. Abolishment of the prohibition has the governor’s support and a bill passed the state senate, but it is stalled in the assembly, where it has split progressive support. (NY Times)

The “Flower Flashes” by Lewis Miller Design might be the city’s most wholesome vandalism the city has ever seen. (amNY)

Governor Cuomo plans on hiring the former federal prosecutor that convicted former Speaker of the State Assembly, Sheldon Siver, to investigate a former federal prosecutor to look into the overtime issue plaguing the MTA. (Politico)

Remember that T-Mobile/Spring merger? New York is suing to block it from happening. (Patch)

Riverside Park is getting a new skate park at 108th St. (I Love the Upper West Side)

Riverside at W 108th has a history as a skatepark. The Riverside Skate Park was the first “solid” skate park in the city, originally built by NYC skateboarding pioneer Andy Kessler. This piece in the Times from 2013 shows the history of the community’s dedication to maintaining it in honor of Kessler’s vision. (NY Times)

A guide to the pizza ovens of Brooklyn, illustrated by Koren Shadmi. (NY Times)

Jon Stewart, the conscience of New Yorkers, took to Congress on Tuesday to rightfully shame our government for not fully funding the 9/11 Victim Compensation Fund. (Patch)

John Jay College is being sued by students who allege the college botched sexual misconduct allegations against four professors, called “The Swamp.” (Patch)

The best restaurants of 2019 so far, according to Eater critic Robert Sietsema. (Eater)

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The Briefly for April 30, 2019 – The “Luxury Living in a Toxic Waste Flood Zone” Edition

A gun buyback program in Queens, the NYPD strays from following the law, the new Airbnb/office building hybrid takes Rockefeller Center, and more in today’s daily NYC news digest.

Borough President Melinda Katz put forward a plan to address Queens’ gun violence, including a 24/7 gun buyback program and new education programs. We’re two weeks from the primary for the Queens District Attorney and Katz is a candidate. (QNS)

The allergy forecast continues to be at “high” or “very High” without a sign of “moderate” in sight. Stay indoors. (Patch)

The 6 oldest buildings in the Bronx. (Untapped Cities)

30-story buildings on toxic waste sites that are in flood zones. Welcome to the Gowanus rezoning. (Curbed)

Another hidden tax. Restaurants have begun charging customers fees for paying with a credit card. (MarketWatch)

Photos from Sakura Matsuri Cherry Blossom festival at the Brooklyn Botanical Garden. (Gothamist)

Watch a time-lapse of the Goethals Bridge construction. (EarthCam)

Sounds like no one like Rhode Island style “pizza.” (Eater)

Welcome to the neighborhoods in the city with seven playgrounds for every 10,000 kids, the playground deserts. (Patch)

10 stories of a 33 story office building in Rockefeller Center will be converted from offices to Airbnbs. This is one of a few office/hotel hybrids coming to the city. (Curbed)

Take a historic tour of the 2,200 buildings of Greenwich Village, 50 years after it was given landmark designation. (6sqft)

Seems like The Palm is the new Spotted Pig. The chain is accused multiple times over of nurturing an atmosphere of sexual harassment. The restaurant’s attorney denies the claims. (Eater)

The story of how McGuinness Blvd became McGuinness Blvd, from its start as the cobblestone Oakland Street. (Greenpointers)

AOC had her first town hall, fielding questions about the Green New Deal and Amazon HQ2. (QNS)

Legal Aid is suing the city in an attempt to get the NYPD to actually follow the law and stop penalizing workers who use electric bikes for deliveries. (Gothamist)

The big boards at Grand Central Terminal are going all digital and it’s hard not to see that as a loss, no matter how convenient the upgrade may be. (Gothamist)

Uber and Lyft’s explosive growth in the city has stopped on a dime, as neither are hiring new drivers. The city’s pay regulations appear to be having the intended effect. Since the $17.22 minimum wage for drivers went into effect, drivers have earned $56 million more than they would have otherwise. (Politico)

The B39 bus gets the New York Times profile treatment. (New York Times)

Six of the season's best neighborhood food festivals. (6sqft)

Everything new you need to know about camping on Governors Island. (Time Out)

“IT WAS PROFISIZED [sic] IN THE LATE 20th CENTURY. AN Angel OF DEATH SHALL WASTE THIS PLACE. NOW I ASK YOU DO YOU BELIEVE IT TO BE TRUE?….THE DOCTOR.” No one asked for this on their mozzarella cheese packaging. (Gothamist)

“By entering these premises you agree not to run for President of the United States in 2020 or in any future presidential race,” says the signs at the YMCA that Mayor de Blasio visits to work out. Not all heroes wear capes. (Patch)

Early voting is likely coming to NYC. The mayor proposed 100 early voting sites for the 2019 general election, the 2020 presidential primary, and the 2020 June primary. (amNY)

The Right to Know Act went into effect in October, which mandated that NYPD officers give business cards to people they stop and ask permission to perform stop and frisk searches. According to the Justice Committee, they haven’t been doing either. (Patch)

The MTA’s express buses are no longer accept cash, but without the OMNY system and without MetroCard machines at express bus stops, some New Yorkers are feeling their commutes threatened. While less than 1% of people use cash, that 1% likely depend on it for their ability to pay the $6.75 fare. (Gothamist)

The five best burritos in New York this week. (Thrillist)

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The Briefly for February 15, 2019 – The “Billion Dollar Breakup with Free Delivery” Edition

Amazon leaves behind a mess by pulling out on Valentine’s Day and five stories that are 100% unrelated to Amazon HQ2 in today’s daily NYC news digest.

This weekend’s subway diversions and changes gets a bonus day thanks to Presidents’ Day on Monday. If you’ve gotta get around on Monday, the weekend’s schedule might impact how you do so. (6sqft)


Amazon broke up with New York on Valentine’s Day! (The Indypendent)

Amazon assumed Mayor de Blasio and Governor Cuomo spoke for New York. They miscalculated the power of local politicians. (Politico)

Remember how Amazon was going to rent one million square feet in the Citibank building? That deal is off. Anyone need a million square feet of office space in Long Island City? (The Real Deal)

As late as Wednesday night, Amazon and labor leaders agreed to discuss ground rules for worker unionization. (NY Times)

10 things NYC should do now that the Amazon HQ2 deal is over. (Curbed)

“After much thought and deliberation, we’ve decided not to move forward with our plans to build a headquarters for Amazon in Long Island City, Queens.” -Amazon

The New York State Senate has done tremendous damage. They should be held accountable for this lost economic opportunity.” -Governor Andrew Cuomo

I was flabbergasted” -Mayor Bill de Blasio

“We all want jobs to come to Queens, and Amazon used the promise of job creation to extract major concessions for this project.” -Queens Borough President Melinda Katz

“This process was clearly flawed and did not include the affected community nor their legislative representatives until after the deal was signed.” -State Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins

“This is another indication proving what I have been saying is correct.” -City Councilmember and Elected Homophobe Ruben Diaz Sr, tripling down on his statement on how the city is “controlled by the homosexual community.”

This is devastating. We just sent a message that New York City is closed for business.” -Eric Benaim, CEO of Modern Spaces

“I hope this is the start of a conversation about vulture capitalism and where our tax dollars are best spent. I know I’d choose mass transit over helipads any day.” -Speaker of the City Council and acting Public Advocate Corey Johnson

“Anything is possible: today was the day a group of dedicated, everyday New Yorkers & their neighbors defeated Amazon’s corporate greed, its worker exploitation, and the power of the richest man in the world.” -Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez

“Long Island City will forever be known as the city that let the big one get away, and there are two people overwhelmingly responsible for it.  You own this Mike Gianaris and Jimmy Van Bramer, you own it.” LIC Talk Editorial

“Like a petulant child, Amazon insists on getting its way or takes its ball and leaves.” -State Senator Michael Gianaris

Why I’m Leaving New York,” by Jeff Bezos -@DaveWeigel, winning the Twitter reaction to today’s news.


St Marks Place, West 4th Street and other misnamed streets. (StreetEasy)

Solo dining is up 80% in the last four years. (Eater)

Speaking of, 13 of the best places to be alone in the city. (Gothamist)

Hate crimes are up 81% from last year, with two thirds of them anti-Semitic incidents. (Patch)

17 restaurants that aren’t “hot” but are still “cool.” That’s the real headline. Blame The Infatuation. (The Infatuation)

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