The Briefly for October 25 – 26, 2020 – The “Vote or Die” Sunday Edition

The latest NYC news digest: Early voting is open, the best Vietnamese food in the city, dredging the Gowanus, Mayor de Blasio’s legacy of failure, and more

Today – Low: 50˚ High: 56˚
Light rain in the evening and overnight.

The best restaurants near NYC’s early voting locations. (Hannah Albertine and Nikko Duren for The Infatuation)

Early voting is open, now let’s talk about the legality of ballot selfies. (Valeriya Safronova for NY Times)

Speaking of early voting, it started across the city on Saturday and there were lines everywhere. Nearly 100,0000 voted on the first day of early voting, more than in all of 2018’s early voting. (David Cruz and Jen Chung for Gothamist)

On Friday, Mayor de Blasio announced a plan to recruit hundreds of city workers in a matter of days to join an “Election Observer Corps.” He has not recruited a single person, nor has he trained anyone. By contrast, AG Letitia James, Public Advocate Jumaane Williams, and the head of Common Cause NY, Susan Lerner, already have 600 statewide volunteers who have been training for weeks for the election and have been monitoring polling sites already. Seems like the mayor could have endorsed this effort instead of announcing a new one less than 24 hours before early voting began. (Brigid Bergin for Gothamist)

We will have hundreds of additional cops in uniform citywide who will be at the ready should they be needed.” -NYPD Chief of Department Terence Monahan, who maybe doesn’t realize that having a larger NYPD presence during an election may only serve to make things worse. (Danny Lewish for Gothamist)

This is the same NYPD whose union endorsed President Trump. (NBC New York)

Photos and Video: A Barred Owl hanging out. (D. Bruce Yolton for Urban Hawks)

Video: The Animal Care Centers rescued a pig from a Brooklyn backyard. (Anna Quinn for Patch)

The city sells off unpaid property debts on a regular basis. The sale of debt was the subject of a Last Week Tonight program from a few years ago. While it raises money for the city, it also encourages foreclosures and the displacement of lower-income homeowners. This year’s tax lien sale has been postponed multiple times and City Council members are pushing to eliminate the program altogether. (Peter Senzamici for The City)

The EPA will begin dredging the Gowanus Canal mid-November. At the bottom of the canal sits a very thick and very old layer of tar, human poop and if the rumors are true, a few dead bodies. (Red Hook Star-Revue)

Video: No questions asked about how these daredevils found their way to the roof of the GE Building, which is closed to visitors, but the views are spectacular. (svvvk on YouTube)

State officials have pulled a controversial proposal that would have allowed non-lawyers to oversee special education complaints in New York City. The proposal was first made in January. In the 2019-2020 school year, the city had 10,797 complaints, 96% of New York state’s complaints. Each complaint is legally supposed to be resolved in under 75 days, but NYC’s cases take 259 days on average. The penalty for such a failure? Nothing. These students deserve better. (Reema Amin for The City)

Interview: Meet Brenda Suchilt, the Newtown Creek Alliance’s new horticulturist. (Billy McEntee for Greenpointers)

Apartment Porn: A $12.75 million Cobble Hill townhouse with a vineyard-like garden that’s bigger than almost every bar with outdoor space, gated parking, and two wine cellars. One wine cellar? Please. (Dana Schulz for 6sqft)

The best Vietnamese restaurants in NYC. (Matt Tervooren for The Infatuation)

The secrets of the new Greenpoint public library. (Will Gleason for Time Out)

The number of young children in NYCHA housing at risk of lead exposure is three times greater than previously thought, according to Bart Schwartz, the federal monitor overseeing the NYCHA. The city certified the number at 3,000 two years ago. The number is 9,000. Poisoning the children of the city will likely end up high on the list of Bill de Blasio’s legacy as mayor. (Matt Troutman for Patch)

Speaking of Bill de Blasio’s accomplishments and legacy, the city is headed for the highest level of traffic deaths since the mayor took office, the third straight year of rising deaths, completely erasing any and all progress he could claim as part of his own Vision Zero program. This year includes two months of zero traffic fatalities due to the pandemic, it’s hard to imagine how high the body count would be without it. (Jake Offenhartz for Gothamist)

The TWA Hotel has just reopened its pool-cuzzi and Runway Chalet at JFK airport. The pool purifies itself every 30 minutes and is kept at a cozy 95 degrees. (Shaye Weaver for Time Out)

A look at the new public art available across Brooklyn. (Keira Wingate for Bklyner)

Three bars within the zoned shutdown areas in Brooklyn and Queens had their liquor licenses temporarily suspended for throwing illegal indoor parties. 30 Fantastic Bar in Sunset Park, Da Mikelle Palace in Forest Hills, and Wise Bar & Grill in Sheepshead Bay. (Tanay Warerkar for Eater)

Before you feel bad for The Strand posting they may close (Amanda Hatfield for BrooklynVegan), let’s look a little deeper. The Strand fired union workers while accepting $1-2 million of PPP loans (Labor Notes) Owner Nancy Bass Wyder, who is married to Oregon Senator Ron Wyden, purchased $115,000 in Amazon stock in April and made an additional purchase of up to $200,000 in June. (Ed Lin for Barrons) The Upper West Side location was met with protests. (Carol Tannenhauser and Kate Koza for West Side Rag) On a micro scale, buying at The Strand instead of your neighborhood bookstore is no different than buying from Amazon.

On a micro scale, supporting The Strand over your neighborhood bookstore is akin to buying from Amazon instead of locally.

At this point, let’s celebrate that NYC isn’t the rattiest city in America. Los Angeles and Chicago are worse than we are and you take the wins where you can get them. (Adam Nichols for Patch)

Times Square really wants you to visit. Their latest ploy to get you to the one place you never want to visit is the Taste of Times Square Week, which runs through October 30 and offers a $35 prix fixe menu at 20 different restaurants with an appetizer, main and dessert. (Tanay Warerkar for Eater)

The Shed in Hudson Yards has reopened with a solo exhibition by artist Howardena Pindell called Rope/Fire/Water, which explores the historical traumas of America, namely slavery, racism, and white supremacy. (Monika Hankova for Untapped New York)

An examination of how New York’s slavery history is still present all over the city. (Zachary Kussin for Untapped New York)

The Green-Wood Cemetery is hosting a Dia de los Muertos celebration all this week. (Dozier Hasty for Brooklyn Eagle)

The best Mapo Tofu in the city. (Hannah Albertine for The Infatuation)

Thanks to reader Michael for today’s featured photo.

The Briefly for December 12, 2019 – The “New Subway Signals Have Been Foiled by Snow” Edition

Today’s daily NYC news digest: LIC gets a Trader Joe’s, a plan to punish bad drivers in the NYPD, the Javits center construction is set to be mostly complete by the spring, and more

Today – Low: 32˚ High: 35˚
Clear throughout the day.

With four Republican state senators not seeking re-election in 2020, the path is open for the state’s Democrats to form a supermajority. (Jesse McKinley for NY Times)

Is there room in NYC for this Frankenstein’s monster of wafer-thin pizza? We accepted Detroit-style, we’d even begrudgingly allow Chicago-style to come in to the city, we we’re hot about Rhode Island-style, but this? Has pizza science finally gone too far? (Jen Carlson for Gothamist)

There are calls for Mayor de Blasio to cancel SantaCon. While SantaCon being an event sponsored by the mayor’s office, there is a petition you can sign. (EV Grieve)

Columbia University made a promise 14 years ago to create a new public school in exchange for a 49-year rent-free lease on a piece of land. Imagine the surprise when Columbia presented a plan to build a 400-foot-tall residential tower on that land. Columbia has been slowly expanding its footprint and the neighborhood is justifiably worried. (Elizabeth Kim for Gothamist)

People move to NYC every day, so every day it’s useful to have a link that answers the question “what’s a bodega?” (Lauren Paley for StreetEasy)

The 7 train’s new signal communication was foiled on Wednesday by… some snow and slush. Yup. The MTA spent $800 million on new signals and there’s a “known phenomenon” that’s been known about since March. When a transponder malfunctions due to snow or slush, the train essentially becomes “lost” to the MTA’s computers and its speed is reduced from 50 mph to 25 mph. Very reassuring. (Stephen Nessen for Gothamist)

New York City, get ready to be REMEd. Of course REME is the new Racially and Ethnically Motivated Extremism unit of the NYPD targeting far-right and extremist hate groups like The Proud Boys or Atomwaffen Division. This comes in response to the shootings in New Jersey. (Ali Watkins for NY Times)

Turns out, those no-doors, dangle-your-feet-over-NYC-for-maximally-impressive-content- helicopter experiences may be pretty unsafe — by design. (Claire Lampen for Gothamist)

Anti-violence programs across Coney Island are getting $850,000 in city funding to address an uptick in gun violence in the community, starting with gaps in social services. (Meaghan McGoldrick for Brooklyn Daily Eagle)

A remote starting feature on a Lexus caused the death of 21-year-old Michael Kosanovich last week on 148th St in South Jamaica. Kosanovich was crushed between the Lexus and another car when the Lexus rolled forward after being started. Pedestrians were able to push the car off of him, but the car slipped and pinned him between the cars for a second time. (Jake Offenhartz for Gothamist)

Former President Clinton visited Bed-Stuy’s Cornerstone Baptist Church to check out the energy-efficient upgrades the church was able to install thanks to a commitment from the Clinton Global Initiative University. (Raymond Hagans for The Brooklyn Reader)

The latest episode of the What’s The [DATA] Point? podcast takes a look at the $28.8 billion cumulative four-year budget gap for New York between 2020 and 2023. (Ben Max for Gotham Gazette)

From the team behind the excellent pizza and wine restaurant Ops comes Leo, a new pizza place in Williamsburg split between a cafe/slice shop and a restaurant. (Scott Lynch for Gothamist)

Harvey Weinstein and more than 30 actresses and former employees accusing him of sexual harassment and rape reached a tentative $25 million settlement that would not require Weinstein to pay a single dime out of his own pocket. The money would come from the $47 million settlement closing down the Weinstein Company. (Kathleen Culliton for Patch)

The best and worst architecture of 2019. (Amy Plitt for Curbed)

A two-year-old boy was caught between a moving 2 train and the platform at Fulton Street during rush hour on Wednesday. He died at the hospital. (Jen Chung for Gothamist)

The Dry aged Red Hook Tavern burger at Red Hook Tavern, the gruyère fritters at Crown Shy, the Sicilian slice and regular slice at F & F Pizzeria, and the rest of Pete Wells’s top 10 dishes of 2019. (Pete Wells for NY Times)

Long Island City is getting a Trader Joe’s. (Eddie Small for The Real Deal)

The Department of Transportation has a plan to address the insanity on the roads surrounding Essex Place, but it’s gonna take some time. Not months, but years, and by then congestion pricing will be in place. (Christopher Robbins for Gothamist)

A combination of miscommunication and faulty construction lead to the slow response to 80 homes’ basements being flooded with raw sewage on Thanksgiving weekend. (Max Parrott for amNewYork)

What to see right now in the city’s art galleries. (Martha Schwindener for NY Times)

The construction at the Javits center is on-time, on-budget, and expected to be “substantially complete” by the spring. (Caroline Spivack for Curbed)

The cleanup of the Newtown Creek has hit some murky waters. The EPA decided on a plan that reduces the combined sewer overflow pollution by 61% rather than an option that would eliminate it completely. Combined sewer overflow basically boils down to the neighborhoods toilets flushing directly into the creek when the sewer system is overloaded. (Scott Enman for Brooklyn Daily Eagle)

Interested in the city’s combined sewer overflows? You might enjoy the @combinedsewer Twitter account. It tweets when the city’s sewer system can’t handle a combination of sewage and rain and the overflow is released into the city’s waterways. (@combinedsewer)

The de Blasio administration is getting moving on actually punishing NYPD officers with parking placard for being unable to follow the law while behind the wheel of their own cars. Starting next year, NYPD officers and employees will lose their city-issued parking placard if they get too many moving violation tickets. (Gersh Kuntzman for Streetsblog)

Whoops! A mixup meant that a dozen city classrooms didn’t receive the emergency lead-removal that were supposed to before the school year started. (Christoper Werth for Gothamist)

A calculator to help you decide if you should be renting or buying in NYC. (Nancy Wu for StreetEasy)

The best sports bars in the city. (The Infatuation)

The Briefly for March 19, 2019 – The “Arrested for the Murder of a Man Who is Still Alive” Edition

Specialized high schools still lack diversity, the photos you take at the Vessel don’t belong to you, the man who shot the Gambino boss, and more in today’s daily NYC news digest.

Newtown Creek is the city’s “other” Gowanus when it comes to toxic waterways that people want to kayak and boat on. (QNS)

The pied-à-terre tax is gaining steam while real estate industry insiders are suggesting lowering taxes even further. (Curbed)

Mesmerizing photos from inside the Hudson Yards’ Vessel. (6sqft)

Here’s an interesting “turns out.” Turns out the photos you take at the Vessel don’t belong to you. They belong to ERY Vessel LLC. (6sqft)

A Florida man was arrested last week for killing an NYPD officer 20 years ago. Someone should tell the NYPD officer, who is still alive. (Patch)

Does anyone actually shop at the Oculus? (r/AskNYC)

“You can’t fit a construction beam onto the subway!” Hold my beer. (@ECM_LP)

A second body was discovered floating in the water by the Brooklyn Army Terminal over the weekend. The NYPD is seeking clues to the identity of the first body found in the water by releasing photos of tattoos on the body. (Bklyner)

Spring is ready to start on Wednesday with a supermoon. (Patch)

The Astoria Blvd N/W station is closed for nine months while it gets a renovation. All service north of Queensboro Plaza will be out of commission for the next 13 weekends. (Gothamist)

BAM is expanding down Fulton Street with the BAM Strong project, set to open in October. (The Brooklyn Reader)

2/3 of voters say that Amazon pulling out was bad for New York. (LIC Post)

It’s like affordable housing, but for retail. City Council member Raphel Espinal’s bill was discussed by the council on Monday, which would mandate affordable commercial rents on the ground floor of any building receiving more than $1 million or more in financial aid from the city. (Brooklyn Daily Eagle)

Ooooh Yeah, the New York Daily News” – Macho Man Randy Savage in 1994 (Kingdom of Madness – YouTube)

Kudos to Fallon Schwurack for opening up her finances and life to show how she’s making it happen in her 30s in the city while pursuing a career in dance. (CNBC)

The mystery surrounding the bones found in a Queens backyard continues to unfold. (Gothamist)

A look inside Bluestockings, a 10-year-old feminist bookstore on the Lower East Side. (amNY)

Why is it that poorer neighborhoods seem to have the oldest buses in the MTA’s fleet? (Brooklyn Daily Eagle)

The 24-year-old charged with shooting the leader of the Gambino crime family says he did so because he was high and feared for his life. (NY Times)

Next month it might actually be warm for a few days. (Patch)

Should serial subway sex offenders be banned from public transit for life? Council member Chaim Deutsch wants to see it happen. (NY Post)

The city’s nurse strike has a potential date of April 2 if a deal isn’t made. (amNY)

The latest specialized high school acceptance rates still don’t reflect the city’s diversity. (Gothamist)

You have more fingers than the number of black students who were offered admission to Stuyvesant High School. (Patch)

Maybe if Mayor de Blasio wants to create 100,000 new jobs, he should start by filling these 14 high-level jobs within his own administration. (NY Post)

The best new restaurants in the city. (The Infatuation)

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