The Briefly for February 28-29, 2021 – The “#1 Amenity New Yorkers Are Looking For” Sunday Edition

The latest NYC news digest: More accusations against Governor Cuomo, the best new doughnuts, the city’s new Asian hate crime task force, and more

Today – Low: 41˚ High: 45˚
Rain starting in the afternoon.

• A second woman has come forward about sexual harassment from Governor Cuomo.(Jesse McKinley for NY Times)

• Dropping charges against Amy Cooper for calling the police against Christian Cooper was referred to as “restorative justice” by the Manhattan district attorney’s office, but restorative justice advocates arguing dropping the charges under the term is a misleading co-optation of the term. (Arun Venugopal for Gothamist)

• Votes are being counted in the elections for City Council, making this the first election where the city’s new ranked-choice voting is being utilized. Going into the vote count, Selevena Brooks-Powers started with 38% of the vote and Pesach Osina had 35%. In third was Manny Silva with 10%. (Cindy Rodriguez for Gothamist)

The #1 amenity that New Yorkers are looking for in their next apartment. Before clicking on the link, take 2-3 guesses what it might be. (Shaye Weaver for Time Out)

Say hello Digidog, the terrifying/cute robot from Boston Dynamics that we’ve been watching videos of for years. Now the NYPD has one and advocates are worried it could become a surveillance tool. (Maria Cramer and Christine Hauser for NY Times)

• Apropos of nothing, here’s how to remove the battery from one of these Digidogs. (@lenkusov)

Eviction cases can now move forward against tenants that did not file hardship forms during the moratorium. For the 8,901 hardship declarations, the pause ends on May 1. (Beth Fertig for Gothamist)

Eleven people were injured in a five-car pileup on the Prospect Expressway on Friday afternoon. (Lloyd Mitchell for Brooklyn Paper)

Andrew Yang stepped in during an assault on the Staten Island Ferry, helping a photographer being attacked by a man with a metal pole, talking the man with the pole down. (Clifford Michel for The City)

Balthazar will be opening for the first time in a year on March 24 with indoor and outdoor dining. The bakery will also open on the same day. (Tanay Warerkar for Eater)

• Governor Cuomo seemed to lift the limits on nursing home visitations last week, but the fine print puts unforeseen limitations in place, including a 14-day pause on any visitations after any new Covid-19 cases. Of the 610 nursing homes in the state, only 1/3 are eligible for visitation. (Gwynne Hogan for Gothamist)

• Podcast: Michelle Caruso-Cabrera on running for City Comptroller. (Ben Max for Gotham Gazette)

Who’s running for public advocate? (Afia Eama for Gothamist)

• Everything you need to know about the city’s new Asian hate crime task force. (Hannah Albertine for The Infatuation)

New York City Schools Chancellor Richard Carranza is resigning from the job. Mayor de Blasio says that reports of the resignation being related to their clashes over school desegregation are “totally inaccurate.” (Sophia Chang and Jessica Gould for Gothamist)

Meisha Porter is the next NYC Schools Chancellor. She’s got ten months before a new mayoral administration but inherits a struggle over desegregation, opening school buildings, remote learning, just to start. (Sophia Chang and David Cruz for Gothamist)

6 great birra tacos. (Hannah Albertine & Nikko Duren for The Infatuation)

Shaun Donovan is promoting the idea of “Equity Bonds,” would establish government savings accounts for all New York City children through annual contributions to those in low-income families. (Elizabeth Kim for Gothamist)

• The Music Workers Alliance is calling for Governor Cuomo to create a “new WPA.” The Works Progress Administration, was a federal program that helped artists of all stripes survive the Great Depression. (Jim O’Grady for Gothamist)

The best new doughnuts in NYC. (Nikko Duren for The Infatuation)

Thanks to reader Sean for today’s featured photo!

The Briefly for February 26-27, 2021 – The “NYC Anarchy No More” Friday Edition

The latest NYC news digest: The breakfast burrito worth a wait in the cold, sexual harassment claims against Governor Cuomo, Jojo Siwa plays MSG first, and more

Today – Low: 36˚ High: 42˚
Possible light rain overnight.
This weekend – Low: 40˚ High: 48˚

• Turns out the Maluma concert in October isn’t MSG’s first show of the year. JoJo Siwa will play MSG on July 30. MSG will have a 10% capacity and everyone will need proof of a negative PCR test within 72 hours, not a rapid test. (Will Gleason for Time Out)

7 queer-friendly barbershops in Brooklyn. (Nick Gallagher for Brooklyn Magazine)

We’re no longer anarchists in the eyes of the federal government. (Matt Troutman for Patch)

Former NYPD officer Thomas Webster was turned himself in on charges that he assaulted a Washington police officer during the January 6 insurrection. (Jonah E. Bromwich for NY Times)

The anti-Nicole Malliotakis PAC raised more than $20,000 in three weeks to help push out the freshman Republican congressmember. (Rose Adams for Brooklyn Paper)

• Malliotakis says she will vote against the Covid-19 stimulus package, citing unspent money from the last relief bill. (Faraz Toor and AP for NY1)

NYC Beer Week will be virtual this year from February 28 – March 7. (Brew York)

• Moynihan Train Hall has a new photo installation, Penn Station’s Half Century, with photos form the original Penn Station from 1910 to 1963. (Nicole Saraniero for Untapped New York)

• Turns out Century 21 isn’t dead. Without specifics, they announced a relaunch for later this year. (Anna Ben Yehuda for Time Out)

Tracing the travels of the Frito Pie from the invention from Teresa Hernandez in New Mexico in the 1960s to New York City. (Robert Sietsema for Eater)

• Video: Defunctland covers Coney Island’s history. (Defunctland)

• The MTA is trying to keep the pandemic-level of service on the C and F trains moving forward, Transport Workers Union Local 100 is fighting against them. (Jose Martinez for The City)

• The hottest slice of pizza right now is the pizza made from Gabriele Lamonaca’s kitchen in Harlem. How can you get some in your mouth? Bartering! (Anna Ben Yehuda for Time Out)

• A survey shows that after restaurants implemented the city’s optional Covid-19 surcharge, restaurant workers tips declined. (Tanay Warerkar for Eater)

North Brooklyn gay bars to support during the pandemic. (Billy McEntee for Greenpointers)

Cy Vance has eight years of Donald Trump’s tax returns. (Jonah E. Bromwich for NY Times)

A new variant of the Covid-19 virus is spreading in New York. Say hello to B.1.526, which is different fro the UK and South African variants. (Apoorva Mandavilli for NY Times)

• Dr Howard Zucker, Commissioner of Health for New York State, defended the use of hydroxychloroquine and azithromycin in state-run nursing homes early in the pandemic. (Dean Russell for The City)

Lindsey Boylan’s post about her experiences of abuse with Governor Cuomo. (Lindsey Boylan)

• Mayor de Blasio is calling for an independent investigation into the accusations of sexual harassment against Governor Cuomo. (Matt Troutman for Patch)

Peter Luger filled its main dining room with wax figures from Madame Tussauds. (Luke Fortney for Eater)

A definitive ranking of celebrity wax figures at Peter Luger. (Hannah Albertine for The Infatuation)

NYPD Chief Terence Monahan is retiring and taking a new role as senior adviser for public safety under newly-named “recovery czar” Lorraine Grillo. Monahan has been partially blamed for the NYPD’s response to the George Floyd protests over last summer. (Matt Troutman for Patch)

Lincoln Center will be opening ten new outdoor performance and rehearsal spaces on April 7, part of their Restart Stages initiative. (Mike Mishkin for I Love the Upper West Side)

• Since its recovery, the wreckage of TWA flight 800 has been in a warehouse in Virginia, used for training plane crash investigators. It’s scheduled for destruction later this year. (Michael Gold for NY Times)

• Mayoral candidate and City Comptroller Stringer released out a detailed 27-point compendium of progressive housing goals called “Housing is a Right, Not a Privilege,” rebutting Mayor de Blasio’s approach. (Elizabeth Kim for Gothamist)

• Podcast: Maya Wiley discusses her run for mayor. (Ben Max for Gotham Gazette)

The Harlem Chocolate Factory’s Golden Brownstone chocolate bars, inspired by Harlem’s brownstones, landed on Oprah’s favorite things list. (Will Gleason for Time Out)

The Queens Drive-In will return on March 5 with a free screening of Coming 2 America. (Daniel Maurer for Bedford + Bowery)

9 Brooklyn restaurants with great patios for outdoor dining. (Andrew Cotto for Brooklyn Magazine)

• Waiting in line for trendy food is back and Ryan Sutton says the line for a breakfast burrito at Ursula in Crown Heights is worth the wait, even in the winter. (Ryan Sutton for Eater)

Thanks to reader Zlata for today’s featured photo!

The Briefly for February 23-25, 2021 – The “Movie Theaters Reopen on March 5” Tuesday Edition

The latest NYC news digest: The biggest idiot in New York, a deathbed confession links the NYPD to Malcolm X’s assassination, the best doughnuts and more

Today – Low: 34˚ High: 40˚
Drizzle in the morning and afternoon.

• Only an idiot would steal a bunch of merchandise from a Chanel store and then brag online about having enough merchandise to open a small boutique. Meet Eric Spencer, that alleged idiot, who was arrested in Florida for allegedly sticking up a SoHo Chanel store in broad daylight earlier this month. (Jake Offenhartz for Gothamist)

• Thanks to a deathbed confession, there is new evidence that the NYPD and FBI conspired in the assassination of Malcolm X. (Sydney Pereira for Gothamist)

The Metropolitan Opera may not return in 2021. The Met’s General Manager Peter Gelb is trying to cut wages 30% long term across the opera’s workforce and the stage employee union is standing up to Gelb with the campaign “Without People the Opera is Nothing.” (Bobby Panza for I Love the Upper West Side)

New York City movie theaters can reopen on March 5 at 25% capacity and PCR tests will not be required to enter. (Shaye Weaver for Time Out)

• The Times questions if Governor Cuomo’s bullying style can still work in politics, detailing years of intimidation, insults, and threats. (Jesse McKinley and Luis Ferré-Sadurní for NY Times)

• As reported last week, Pearl River Mart is re-opening this spring in a new location in Soho. (Elie Z. Perler for Bowery Boogie)

• Ask an epidemiologist: Dr. Jessica Justman on how to stay safe on the subway. The clean surfaces don’t matter nearly as much as wearing a mask and keeping your distance. (Sydney Pereira for Gothamist)

MTA transit crews will now give out a second mask to anyone who asks for it. (Anna Ben Yehuda for Time Out)

• Interview: What it’s like to start a nursing career during the Covid-19 crisis. (Alexa Shahrestani for Bedford + Bowery)

• While not NYC specific, this data visualization of the 500,000 American deaths due to the Coronavirus is absolutely staggering and worth of your time to understand its impact. (Sam Hart for Reuters)

• Advocates for charter schools hope more can reopen soon, after a judge ruled the city must include them in the program that provides free weekly tests at traditional public schools. The city is appealing the ruling, arguing the city’s obligation to provide free, random sample testing beyond Department of Education schools. (Jessica Gould for Gothamist)

The city now has a “recovery czar,” whatever that means. Recovery from the pandemic seems like it should be the top focus of the mayor, but since we haven’t fully recovered yet from Hurricane Sandy, we can hardly expect the mayor to treat this like it’s his job either. (Matt Troutman for Patch)

New FEMA-managed vaccination sites will open on Wednesday at Medgar Evers College in Brooklyn and York College in Queens with appointments available for people who are currently eligible and live in nearby zip codes. (Sydney Pereira for Gothamist)

• Despite what the mayor has publicly said, some second doses of the Covid-19 vaccine were delayed by the weather. NYC Health + Hospitals claim they will be resupplied by mid-week. (Caroline Lewis for Gothamist)

Madison Square Garden announced its first concert in 2021. Colombian reggaeton artist Maluma is scheduled to perform on October 1. (Amanda Hatfield for BrooklynVegan)

The Peoples Improv Theater is vacating its main location on East 24th Street. The PIT List and Pioneers bar on 29th St will remain for now. (Anne Victoria Clark for Vulture)

The NYCHA keeps poisoning kids with lead with apartments they declare are “lead-free.” It is shameful that the city has poisoned over 1,000 children in the last decade. (Greg B. Smith for The City)

• This is a great moment to ask the question “What is the NYCHA?” and other questions about public housing. (Rachel Holliday Smith for The City)

• The City Council seems ready to take a serious look at reducing certain helicopter traffic around the city to the degree that they can. (Gersh Kuntzman for Streetsblog)

• Podcast: Guiddalia Emilien discusses her run for mayor. (Ben Max for Gotham Gazette)

Who is running for Staten Island borough president? Surprise! They’re both Republicans. (David Cruz for Gothamist)

• If you’re horny for watching Trump lose, I’ve got some great news for you. The Supreme Court denied the unemployed Florida man’s attempts to block Manhattan District Attorney Cy Vance from obtaining eight years of his personal tax records. A grand jury will see his tax records “almost immediately.” (Jake Offenhartz for Gothamist)

• The city is severing its contracts with the Trump Organization to operate the Wollman Rink and Lasker Rink in Central Park ahead of April. The rinks will stay open through the end of the season despite the city first announcing they would close early. (Sydney Pereira for Gothamist)

• Photos: Check out these massive, climbable sculptures are headed to MoMA PS1. (Shaye Weaver for Time Out)

• Photos: The Lake in Central Park is frozen solid! (Michelle Young with photography by Ryan Lahiff for Untapped New York)

10 black baseball sites in New York City. (Dave Kaplan for Untapped New York)

The best doughnut shops in the city. (Swathi Reddy for Thrillist)

Thanks to reader Francesca for today’s featured photo!