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 January 17-18, 2021 – The “Micheal Scott in Times Square at Sbarro” Sunday Edition

The latest NYC news digest: MLK day in NYC, how to get vaccinated in NYC, meet the 38 mayoral candidates, Cuomo’s infrastructure projects, and more

Today – Low: 35˚ High: 43˚
Partly cloudy throughout the day.

What’s open and closed on Martin Luther King Day on Monday, January 18. (Matt Troutman for PAtch)

A list of NYC’s tributes to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. (Devin Gannon for 6sqft)

BAM is presenting The 35th Annual Brooklyn Tribute to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., which is free and virtual on Monday at 11 am. (BAM)

How to get the Coronavirus vaccine in NYC. (Ron Lieber)

Map: How New York state is doing with its vaccine rollout. (Hint: New York City has the lowest percentage of first doses administered. (Jen Chung and Jake Dobkin for Gothamist)

On Thursday afternoon a message was going online around that there would be vaccines administered on a first-come, first-served basis at the Brooklyn Army Terminal. This was called a hoax by some but there was truth to the message. Very quickly, the vaccination site was overwhelmed with people. Vaccination sites have the ability to administer “extra” vaccines at the end of the day if they are going to expire but the city isn’t looking for a Black Friday scenario every day at every vaccination site. I’d expect this policy to change as a result of these lines. (Jake Offenhartz for Gothamist)

It seems impossible that there are “extra” doses of the vaccine lying around when tens of thousands of vaccination appointments are being canceled in New York due to the limited supply of the vaccine provided by the federal government. The state’s supply was cut from 300,000 per week to 250,000 per week with 100,000 being allocated to the city. (Joseph Goldstein and Sharon Otterman for NY Times)

There are over 30 people running for mayor in 2021. Here’s a quick rundown of them all. (Matt Troutman for Patch)

Of the 38 candidates, Eric Adams and Scott Stringer have received the most cash support. (Jeffrey C. Mays for NY Times)

It is decided that Andrew Yang will be this mayoral cycle’s punching bag. He’s not helping himself when the first question asked of him is “don’t you live in the Hudson Valley?” and the second question is now “don’t you know what a bodega is?” While it’s still early in his campaign, he’s making a few unforced communication errors that are not endearing him to the city as “one of our own.” (Erika Adams for Eater)

Real Estate Lust: This penthouse has so much outdoor space the first photo doesn’t even look real. $12.5 million, 3,500 square feet of outdoor space, and a dining room that can seat 30. (Dana Schulz for 6sqft)

Satire: “My work seeks to interrogate the parameters by which we define and demarcate physical space, exploring the fertile liminal zone between the falsely binary notions of “indoors” and “outdoors” we too often take for granted.” –I Am The Designer Of This Restaurant’s Outdoor Seating Space, And This Is My Artist’s Statement (Simon Henriques for McSweeney’s)

Takeout in Greenpoint for under $10. (Katie White for Greenpointers)

On Tuesday night, the Empire State Building will beat like a heart, bathed in red light, as a part of Joe Biden’s Covid-19 memorial from 5:30 pm to 2 am. (Shaye Weaver for Time Out)

160 secrets about New York City, enough to impress some of your friends but bore the rest. For instance: Einstein’s eyeballs are stored in a safety deposit box in the city. (Michelle Young for Untapped New York)

A look at ranked-choice voting ahead of the first election to use it in NYC, the February 2 City Council District 24 election. (Pia Koh for Queens County Politics)

Governor Cuomo is floating the idea of using rapid Covid testing to determine entry into live events. (Anna Ben Yehuda for Time Out)

Four restaurants that recently started selling groceries. (Hannah Albertine for The Infatuation)

A running list of restaurants that are temporarily closing this winter. (Luke Fortney for Eater)

Governor Cuomo unveiled a $306 billion infrastructure plan that would replace the Port Authority Bus Terminal with a new state-of-the-art facility, reconstruct Penn Station and add at least eight new tracks along with 14 new buildings with retail space and up to 1,400 affordable apartments, a new waterfront park at Pier 76, and a $1.5 billion expansion of the Jacob K. Javits Center. (Maya Kaufman for Patch)

Atlas Obscura usually highlights mysteries or fascinations. There is no fascinating mystery quite like the Gowanus Canal. (Jessica Leigh Hester for Atlas Obscura)

The Times highlights the life and tireless work of Michael Evans, the project manager of the Moynihan Hall transformation. Evans took his own life seemingly due to the stress of the project only ten months before its completion. (Christina Goldbaum for NY Times)

The City jumps into NY AG Letitia James’s lawsuit against the city and NYPD Chief of Department Terence Monahan’s role as the architect of the aggressive and violent response to the city’s protests over the summer and his history of over-policing peaceful protests, directing cops to make unlawful arrests and allowing the use of excessive force going back 16 years. (Greg B. Smith for The City)

The visuals of the MTA bus that fell off an overpass are amazing, especially considering no one died and only eight were injured. The bus was going 17-26 mph when it should have been going 3-4 mph. (Jen Chung and Stephen Nessen for Gothamist)

More photos from the MTA of the bus incident and the media briefing. (Photographer Marc A. Hermann for MTA on Flickr)

For a laugh, the best pizza places in New Jersey. (Matt Tervooren for The Infatuation)

Filming locations for Martin Scorsese & Fran Lebowitz’s “Pretend It’s a City.” I’m extremely jealous they got to walk in the Queens Museum’s Panorama of the City of New York. (Michelle Young for Untapped New York)

Deanne Criswell, city’s Emergency Management Commissioner, is Joe Biden’s pick for the next head of FEMA. (NY1)

Kyrie Irving, Brooklyn Nets point guard and complete asshole, was fined $50,000 for breaking the NBA’s Covid-19 protocols. (Jen Chung for Gothamist)

The argument for Mets owner Steven Cohen to bring Coney Island’s original hot dog, Feltman’s, to Citi Field. (The Coney Island Blog)

The New York City Campaign Finance Board fined current City Councilmember Mathieu Eugene $10,717 for nine violations of campaign finance law, including failure to report transactions and making impermissible post-election expenditures. (Billy Richling for Bklyner)

Here’s wishing Congressmember, Adriano Espaillat, who represents parts of the Bronx and Manhattan, a speedy recovery after testing positive for Covid-19, likely contracting the virus during the attack on the Capitol and sheltering in place with Republicans who refused to wear masks. (Norwood News)

For the spooky set, part four of the GVSHP’s Cemeteries of the East Village. (Sam Moskowitz for GVSHP)

Where to eat when staying warm is a top priority. Restaurants with outdoor heating lamps. (Hannah Albertine and Nikko Duren for The Infatuation)

Today’s featured photo is by Marc A. Hermann, courtesy of the MTA

The Briefly for December 22 – 26, 2020 – The “Tracy Morgan is the Good Dude of 2020” Tuesday Edition

The latest NYC news digest: Coney Island’s new coaster, 2020 most popular NYPL books, you don’t love Christmas like this guy does, 19 cozy outdoor dining spots, and more

Today – Low: 31˚ High: 42˚
Possible drizzle in the morning.

Little Island, legal weed, the Open Culture program, and the 11 things we can actually look forward to in NYC in 2021. (Shaye Weaver for Time Out)

The NYPL’s most popular books of 2020, which are very 2020 in their themes. (Shaye Weaver for Time Out)

Yeah, you might love Christmas, but not as much as “Frankie Christmas” whose back is adorned with a giant Santa tattoo under “Merry Christmas” and whose house is fully adorned for Christmas starting in September. (Stacie Joy for EV Grieve)

Tracy Morgan continues to be the good dude of the year, this time partnering with the Food Bank for New York City and Councilwoman Vanessa Gibson to give turkeys and toys to NYCHA residents of Highbridge Houses in the Bronx. (Jason Cohen for Bronx Times)

It’s not doomsday, at least when it comes to the MTA. The $908 billion federal stimulus includes $4 billion for the MTA which avoids a doomsday scenario. Now, instead of being in a $12 billion hole, the MTA is in an $8 billion hole. Wait, this isn’t doomsday? (Jake Offenhartz for Gothamist)

A look at what else NYC gets besides $600 each from the latest pandemic stimulus bill. (Matt Troutman for Patch)

A part of the bill was $15 billion for the Save Our Stages Act, which will go a long way to help venues and theaters by allowing them to apply for Small Business Administration grants to support six months of payments to employees, rent, utilities, and maintenance. Venues that have lost more than 90% of their revenue can apply first. (Elie Z Perler for Bowery Boogie)

A running list of Williamsburg & Greenpoint places closed for good during COVID-19, the latest addition to the list is The Diamond, which closes January 3. (Bill Pearis for BrooklynVegan)

The Classic Coffee Shop on Hester Street is closing on Christmas after forty years. This isn’t a pandemic closure or an eviction, owner Carmine Morales decided to retire. (Elie Z. Perler for Bowery Boogie)

The Times looks at the 2021 mayor’s race through the lens of hired political consultants, riding the subway, early contenders, failures in leadership, and ranked-choice voting. Yeah, but which contenders have ever had a drink at The Continental? (Emma G. Fitzsimmons and Jeffrey C Mays for NY Times)

360° Video: If you miss riding the subway, take a ride from Astoria to Bay Ridge. (ActionKid)

Video: The finished Surrogate’s Courthouse skylight restoration project, which is absolutely stunning, and quite honestly might be one of the most beautiful interiors in the entire city. (Nicole Saraniero for Untapped New York)

Speaking of 2021, the “2021” numbers have arrived in Times Square, signaling an end to a cursed year. (Jen Carlson and Jen Chung for Gothamist)

The city plans to launch a mental health screening initiative for public school students, which will be in place by September and not whenever all students are allowed back inside school buildings. (David Cruz for Gothamist)

Coney Island is getting a new roller coaster called the Phoenix as a part of Deno’s Wonder Wheel Amusement Park. The coaster is expected to be built along W. 12th St between the Bowery and the boardwalk. (Brian Braiker for Brooklyn Magazine)

Apartment Lust: A $2.3 million, 2,000 square foot condo in Hudson Square with wood-beamed ceilings, brick walls, rustic wood floors, a terrace, and a completely updated kitchen. (Dana Schulz for 6sqft)

19 restaurants for cozy outdoor dining in Brooklyn. (Erika Adams for Eater)

Workers under 25 made up just 10 percent of the city’s total workforce before the pandemic, holding 15 percent of the jobs in the hardest-hit service industries. As the Times headline goes, They’re Young, Unemployed and Facing Bleak Prospects. Not a catchy chant, but it’s the truth. (Winnie Hu for NY Times)

Dozens of judges are being forced to retire to close a pandemic budget gap and in response they’re suing New York state, charging age discrimination. (Benjamin Weiser for NY Times)

Answering the question: What is a pied-à-terre? (Laura Vacsey for StreetEasy)

Why New Yorkers love New York. (Jen Carlson for Gothamist)

The 2020 NYC Christmas food guide. (Nikko Duren for The Infatuation)

Thanks to reader Alex for todays featured photo!