The Briefly for December 26, 2019 – The “Christmas Trees Don’t Belong on the Beach” Edition

Today’s daily NYC news digest: When to throw out your Christmas tree, the secret economy and industry of five cent deposits, Cuomo’s feud with Trump heats up over weddings, and more

Today – Low: 42˚ High: 45˚
Mostly cloudy throughout the day.

A look back at the City Hall Christmas tree lighting, a bygone NYC tradition. (Alexandra Alexa for 6sqft)

The Rockefeller Center Christmas has an 88-year history. (Adam Thalenfeld for NYC Urbanism)

Video: The inspiring story of Sydney Mesher, the first Rockette with a visible disability. (The Rockettes)

Videos and Photos: The Saks Fifth Avenue Frozen 2 holiday lights. (Jen Carlson for Gothamist)

How long should you keep your Christmas tree up? At least until January 6, because that’s the first day of the Department of Sanitation’s tree disposal. (Mariela Quintana for StreetEasy)

Video: No matter what you read on Facebook, don’t leave your old Christmas tree at the beach. (Anginas Gonzalez for NY1)

Tompkins Square Park has some new trees. (EV Grieve)

Governor Cuomo vetoed a bill that would have allowed federal judges, Trump’s judges, to officiate weddings in New York state. I guess federal judges will have to become online ministers if they want to officiate weddings, just like the rest of us. (Jesse McKinley for NY Times)

The fascinating history of 28 Old Fulton St, from old Dutch farmland to Revolutionary War battle site, from the Eagle pressroom to a warehouse for silver, furniture and then electoral ballots, to its latest use as luxury apartments. (Chase DiBenedetto for Bedford + Bowery)

Years ago two toy stores within a few blocks of each other would be at war around the holidays, but in 2019 Stationary and Toy World and West Side Kids in the Upper West Side are joining forces to fight back against online shopping. (Sara Lewin Lebwohl for I Love the Upper West Side)

Video: Got $75,000 lying around? You can afford one night at the Mark Hotel. (Matt Coneybeare for Viewing NYC)

With the mayor's potentially illegal "horse trading" collusion with ultra-Orthodox state lawmakers surrounding a Department of Education report about the quality of education at the city's yeshivas, advocates are calling for accountability. The city has made no indication of punishment for the 26 of 28 failing schools, instead requiring "timelines for improvement" by January 15 with no information about if schools fail to meet the deadline. (Jake Offenhartz for Gothamist)

A state Supreme Court judge has struck down an upcoming New York City rule that would have restricted the amount of time app-based drivers for companies like Uber and Lyft can spend cruising without passengers below 96th Street in Manhattan. (Elizabeth Kim for Gothamist)

Profiles of five African-American high-profile prisoners from New York City who were convicted of violent crimes that included murder and attempted murder. All committed their first crimes as teenagers. All are now in late middle age, ranging from 48 to 61 and seeking release. A great piece from students at CUNY's Craigs Newmark Graduate School of Journalism. (Stephanie Chukwuma, Trone Dowd, Jeffery Harrell, Brenda León, Hannah Miller, Rosemary Misdary, Rachel Rippetoe, Maria Robins-Somerville, Sean Sanders, and Annie Todd for Gothamist)

8 cultural attractions to visit on NYC’s Museum Mile. (Zachary Solomon for StreetEasy)

StreetEasy and Douglas Elliman appear to be ready to lock horns. While the details aren’t exciting, it could portend a coming fracturing of real estate listings. (E. B. Solomont for The Real Deal)

A train delay because of a pencil. (Ben Yakas for Gothamist)

A Bronx police officer is facing accusations of groping a 14-year-old teenager while she was handcuffed in the back of a squad car last month. (Jake Offenhartz for Gothamist)

Christmas is gone. No literally, Christmas is literally buried in Green-Wood Cemetery. (Kevin Walsh for Forgotten New York)

The city doesn’t just get rid of its useless junk, it auctions it off. (Winnie Hu and James Sprankle for NY Times)

What’s the opposite of a Christmas miracle? Ask the 1,000 residents in NYCHA housing in Coney Island who woke up with no heat or hot water on Christmas. (Sydney Pereira for Gothamist)

As of this week, bicyclists can use the walk/won’t walk indicators rather than the lights are use. (Christopher Robbins for Gothamist)

The latest in the seemingly never-ending battle of Industry City’s rezoning is that things are looking bleak for Industry City after the city is refusing to provide funds for new schools, housing and tenant programs to benefit the neighborhood. The decision to move forward rests with City Councilmember Carlos Menchaca, who has been skeptical of the process since the start. It would be unheard of for the city to commit funds for a private application, Menchaca is justifying the request based on how dramatically the rezoning would change Sunset Park. (Rose Adams for Brooklyn Paper)

Has Midtown South become more pleasant for residents in the last few years? Finally, an answer to the eternal question of “who lives here?” (Aileen Jacobson for NY Times)

There is an entire underground economy centered around plastic bottle and metal can deposits, where the world turns five cents at a time. It’s all in a legal gray area that the city turns a blind eye towards, but once you have an understanding of how the canner economy works, you can understand why there is opposition to expanding the five cent deposit program. (Andy Newman for NY Times)

After eating at 300 restaurants this year, Scott Lynch picks his 16 best bites of 2019. (Scott Lynch for Eater)

The Briefly for December 23, 2019 – The “Sitting Around the Apartment, Staring at Your Family” Edition

Today’s daily NYC news digest: The two worst hours to drive in the city, the world’s largest gingerbread village, tour a $30 million apartment, a $5,000 cocktail, and more

Today – Low: 35˚ High: 50˚
Clear throughout the day.

Gramercy Park will open to the public on Christmas Eve for one hour between 6 and 7pm. (Devin Gannon for 6sqft)

A $1,550 coffee can, a $150 meal for a child, a home decorated for only $50,000. These are the holiday deals for New York’s obscenely rich. (Kathleen Culliton for Patch)

A $5000 cocktail at The Baccarat. (Matt Coneybeare for Viewing NYC)

Okay, you’ve got family in town this week? Here are some suggestions on what to do with them instead of staring at each other inside your apartment. (Meredith Craig de Pietro for Brooklyn Based)

Christmas day activities for anyone not into Christmas. (Sara Lewin Lebwohl for I Love the Upper West Side)

More Christmas day activities. (Rebecca Fishbein for 6sqft)

Photos: Brooklyn’s largest Hanukkah menorah’s night one celebration. (Todd Maisel for amNewYork)

It’s the record-holder of the Guinness World Records for largest gingerbread village, with 800 pounds of candy, 600 pounds of gingerbread dough, and 2,300 pounds of royal icing. (Stephanie Simon for NY1)

AAA declared Thursday between 4:15pm and 6:15pm the absolute worst time to drive in the city with traffic 2.7x the usual amount. (Adam Nichols for Patch)

The population in Downtown Brooklyn is expected to double in the 2020s. The future of the neighborhood, as envisioned by Downtown Brooklyn Partnership could include protected bike lanes, a mix of some of the most pedestrian-friendly features the city has to offer between 14th St’s busway and Times Square’s pedestrian plazas. (Benjamin Schneider for The City)

Advocates want more New York City school staff to be better educated in how to guide undocumented high school seniors through Dream Act application process. (Alejandra O’Connell-Domenech for amNewYork)

A federal judge on Thursday rejected a motion from ICE officials to dismiss a New York lawsuit challenging the federal agency over courthouse arrests. The judge ruled that ICE agents should not be allowed to make arrests while witnesses or parties are coming in and out of court proceedings. (Stephen Rex Brown and Leonard Greene for NY Daily News)

We’ve got a new entry into the 100+ point violation club in the weekly list of restaurants ordered closed by the Department of Health. (Adam Nichols for Patch)

Parents are accusing the two out of 28 yeshivas that were reported as providing the minimum secular educations of making superficial changes when administrators knew about the inspections in advance, possibly making the already embarrassing report even worse. How bad can it get? Five of the 28 schools inspected offered zero math or English classes at all. (Jessica Gould and Jake Offenhartz for Gothamist)

One of the Mob Wives was arrested? Quelle surprise! (Corey Kilgannon for NY Times)

Want some good news? Here’s a story about a firefighter that saved and adopted a kitten. (Jen Chung for Gothamist)

Apartment Porn: Take a tour of a $30 million Park Ave penthouse with a rooftop pool, 14-foot ceilings, and a bathtub with a view. (Architectural Digest)

2019 was not a memorable year for sports in New York. (Robert Pozarycki for amNewYork)

Please meet Elizabeth Warrhen, a lost rooster found in Park Slope trying to root atop an inflatable Santa. (Ben Yakas for Gothamist)

D’ussé Palooza went from a basement party in Harlem thrown by two unemployed friends to 9,000 revelers at the Barclays Center, sponsored by Jay-Z and a half-million dollar budget in seven years with a plan to expand globally. (Aaron Randle for NY Times)

“Why not use drones to do building inspections?” is a perfectly good question to ask. Installing a sidewalk shed and scaffolding is an expensive, time consuming and may contribute to why some building owners don’t get it done. So what’s stopping it from happening? There’s a 1948 law that requires that all aircraft take off and land in a location designated for flight by the Port Authority. (Mark Hallum for amNewYork)

2019 has been “a difficult and challenging year under Vision Zero,” according to the city’s transportation commissioner, and the end of the year isn’t letting up. In three days drivers killed six pedestrians in Brooklyn, Queens, and Manhattan, bringing the death toll on city streets to 119 this year, topping last year’s 110. (Christina Goldbaum for NY Times)

Are you ready for the Brooklyn version of High Fidelity? (Ben Yakas for Gothamist)

A vigil for the five people killed by drivers on 3rd Ave in Brooklyn was held, calling for the mayor to not wait another year or for another vigil to take action to make 3rd Ave safer for everyone. (Julianne Cuba for Streetsblog)

A detective involved in the Tessa Majors stabbing investigation, Wilfredo Acevedo, has been sued multiple times for allegations that include withholding exculpatory evidence and making false accusations. He’s already facing scrutiny for interrogating a thirteen-year-old suspect with no attorney present. He also has three disciplinary findings from the NYPD. (George Joseph for Gothamist)

The Josephine Shaw Lowell Fountain in Bryant Park is never turned off, which makes a beautiful ice sculpture every time the temperature goes below freezing. (Matt Coneybeare for Viewing NYC)

A Bronx soccer stadium may be closer than we think, despite neighborhood opposition. (Ed García Conde for Welcome2TheBronx)

What do you do when the leader of a gang is already in prison? Howard Smith is accused of being the leader of the Brick Squad gang, giving orders through coded phone calls from prison. (Nicole Hong for NY Times)

Despite the city-wide reduction in chain stores, Dunkin’ and MetroPCS saw a booming 2019. Dunkin’ is the city’s largest chain with 636 stores, followed by MetroPCS with 468. (Devin Gannon for 6sqft)

If you love sushi omakases and hate having money, there are at least 10 sushi omakases that are over $300 before tax or drinks. (Ryan Sutton for Eater)

Where to go when you’ve eaten “everywhere” in Soho. (The Infatuation)

The Briefly for December 19, 2019 – The “Here Come Governor Cuomo’s Subway Cops” Edition

Today’s daily NYC news digest: Mayor de Blasio interfered with a report on the schools’ yeshivas, this year’s most checked out books, the South Bronx is not SoBro, and more

Today – Low: 24˚ High: 28˚
Clear throughout the day.

The woman whose instagram posts inside the liana’s enclosure at the Bronx Zoo seemed to heave no fear, except of showing up at court. She no-showed her court date last week and a bench warrant has been issued for her arrest. (NY1)

Non-binary New Yorkers will no longer be labeled as male or female on their death certificates and can instead have an X. The city has offered an intersex designation for birth certificates since 2016 and a nonbinary X since 2018. (Brooklyn Eagle)

The MTA board, controlled but he governor, approved the governor’s proposal of hiring 500 new police officers to patrol subways and buses, costing $249 million in the next four years. The three board nominees appointed by Mayor de Blasio voted against the measure. (Vincent Barone for amNewYork)

Misdemeanors in the city’s public transit system peaked in 2009, then declined, and have since been holding fairly steady, with some minor fluctuations, since 2012. Experts say Governor Cuomo’s claims that misdemeanors are up 11% is based on incomplete data. (Dana Rubenstein for Politico)

Photos: Inside Gramercy Typewriter, one of the city’s last typewriter stores. (Nicole Saraniero for Untapped New York)

The #1 book checked out of the NYPL this year was Becoming by Michelle Obama. Fine out the rest of the top ten and what was popular in each borough. (Jen Carlson for Gothamist)

Stonewall House, New York City’s first affordable LGBT-friendly senior housing complex, is now open in Fort Greene. (Alexandra Alex for 6sqft)

The city’s 29th bicyclist in 2019 killed by a driver is Dr. Daniel J. Cammerman, a doctor at Mount Sinai Health System on the Upper East Side. The Upper East Side is a particularly dangerous place for cyclists. (Todd Maisel for amNewYork)

The NYPD have begun testifying in the juvenile court case of the 13-year-old accused of stabbing Tessa Majors to death. (JB Nicholas for Gothamist)

NYC’s 15 most iconic modern buildings. (Amy Plitt for Curbed)

Chase, Joe Coffee, and By CHLOE, the businesses in the location of the former Union Square Coffee Shop, are now open. (Alexandra Alexa for 6sqft)

So now we all know what a snow squall is. (Ben Yakas for Gothamist)

Okay, but why did everyone in the city get a notification about the squall? The National Weather Service added squalls to their list of weather threats worthy of notifications in January of 2018. Wednesdays pair of notifications were the second and third ever to be issued in the city. (Ed Shanahan for NY Times)

Photos: One upside to freezing temperatures is the look of the plants at the New York Botanical Garden wearing icicles like jewelry. (Jen Chung for Gothamist)

The owners of the building where Erica Tishman was killed by falling debris on 49th St were fined for failure to maintain the building’s facade in October of 2018 and April of this year, which identified falling hazards for pedestrians. The building got approval to begin masonry work to repair the facade last month. Now that someone was killed as a result of their delays, repairs appear to have begun. (Ben Yakas for Gothamist)

The city’s small claims court cases have a new upper limit of $10,000, up from $5,000. (Allie Griffin for LIC Post)

Stop trying to rebrand the South Bronx as SoBro. (Ed García Conde for Welcome2TheBronx)

Two-ways tolls are coming back to the Verrazzano. Rolled up into the $1.4 trillion government spending bill is changing the bridge’s one way $19.00 toll to an each-way $9.50 toll. Drivers re-route their trips to avoid tolls, making the East-bound direction of Staten Island more congested than necessary as a result. The bill is headed to the senate, where it’s expected to pass. (Paula Katinas for The Brooklyn Home Reporter)

The Nevins Street Subway Raccoon was spotted on Tuesday night. What does this little scamp want? Probably the same as the rest of us on the subway, to be left alone. Trash panda-related subway delays have doubled in 2019, up to 11 total. (Claire Lampen for Gothamist)

A history of the Central Park carousel. (Patricia Youngquist for I Love the Upper West Side)

Mayor de Blasio delayed a report about the investigation into if private yeshivas in New York City were not providing their students with an adequate education as long as possible for his own political gain. A report from the DOE’s Special Commissioner of Investigation on the situation states the inquiry itself was delayed at least a year in order to drum up support for mayoral control of city schools. It’s been four years since the inquiry was supposed to start and no report has been produced. (Christopher Robbins for Gothamist)

Mayor de Blasio didn’t break the law, but he did interfere with his own Department of Education’s probe into the yeshivas. Now the mayor’s office sounds like an echo of the president, immediately issuing the statement “There’s no ‘there’ there, as evidenced by the finding of no wrongdoing.” (Eliza Shapiro and Jeffrey C. Mays for NY Times)

Jersey City has joined the federal lawsuit against the de Blasio administration for its placement of homeless families from the city in apartments controlled by slumlords in New Jersey. (Mark Hallum for amNewYork)

OMNY has arrived in the Bronx, starting with the E138 St, Grand Concourse, and 149th St stations. (Ed García Conde for Welcome2TheBronx)

The ten best dishes inside the new Essex Crossing. (Robert Sietsema for Eater)