The Briefly for January 8, 2020 – The “Crime is Down but Murder is Up” Edition

Today’s daily NYC news digest: Is de Blasio’s common sense acutally common sense, the best restaurants, Stevie Nicks headlines Gov Ball, the NYPD ends the “which seat” meme, and more

Today – Low: 22˚ High: 42˚
Partly cloudy throughout the day.

Te state denied a Chinatown landlord’s request to install a fingerprint scanner at the entrance in a rent-regulated building, citing privacy concerns. (Elizabeth Kim for Gothamist)

There are 700 Seke language speakers on Earth, the language indigenous to Equatorial Guinea and Gabon, 100 live in NYC, and half of them live in one building.(Kimiko de Freytas-Tamura for NY Times)

Despite rises in hate crimes and murders, NYC’s crime is at an all-time low. (Emily Davenport for QNS)

A 15-year-old was charged with the murder of Juan Fresnada, 60, who was killed during a Christmas Eve mugging in Morrisania for a single dollar in the Bronx. (Kathleen Culliton for Patch)

Even with the rise in murders as a percentage, the actual number of murders is when lower compared with past eras. (Edgar Sandoval for NY Times)

Mayor Bill de Blasio says that his directed NYPD crackdown on delivery workers’ electric bikes isn’t based on data and numbers. It’s based on “common sense.” There are a lot of people whose common sense the city may trust, but Bill de Blasio ain’t on that list. 0.07% of vehicular crashes in the city, 31 in 2018, were caused by electric bike riders. (Christopher Robbins for Gothamist)

The city’s attempts to rezone Bushwick look to be at a stalemate. Bushwick’s City Councilperson Antonio Reynoso has pushed back against the city, limiting the number of new apartments he’ll consider at 2,000 and all affordable. This isn’t a new story, as Inwood successfully fought off a rezoning effort and the Sunset Park/Industry City rezoning also appears to be headed for defeat. (Kevin Sun for The Real Deal)

Everything you need to know about affordable housing: applying, getting in, and staying put. (Dana Schulz for 6sqft)

It’s a seven-course VR meal, but it’s served while you wear a VR headset. This isn’t some experience in a Bushwick art studio, it’s presented by the James Beard Foundation. (Daniel Modlin for Grub Street)

Ken Friedman is leaving The Spotted Pig following an attorney general’s investigation into sexual harassment and workplace discrimination. He also agreed to pay $240,000 and 10% of his profits for the next decade to the 11 staffers who accused him of misconduct. (Serena Dai for Eater)

The Meadowlands Arena closed in 2015, but it’s still standing and found a second life as a production facility. NBC is renting out the arena through March while it films Lincoln Rhyme: Hunt for the Bone Collector where the Nets and Devils once played. (Seth Berkman for NY Times)

The last night at Tad’s Steakhouse in Times Square, one of the last vestiges of old Times Square. (Untapped New York)

Photos: The anti-war rally in Times Square. (The Villager)

After experiencing what Fifth and Sixth Avenues could be without cars or trucks, Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer and Councilperson Keith Powers have requested a meeting to discuss keeping the traffic restrictions permanently. (Michelle Cohen for 6sqft)

An ode to Taste of Persia, which is closing at the end of the month. (Max Falkowitz for Grub Street)

Woodland, a Park Slope bar and restaurant closed after its liquor license was revoked by the state. Woodland’s famous black brunch wasn’t enough to save it from hundreds of complaints including noice and customers urinating on the streets, a stabbing on December 22. (Tanay Warerkar for Eater)

Governors Ball’s headliners for 2020 are Stevie Nicks, Solange, & Miley Cyrus. A full lineup is expected this week. (Ben Yakas for Gothamist)

Paw It Forward is a non-profit that walks dogs for free for the elderly, ill, and disabled in Long Island City and is expanding to Rego Park, Forest Hills, and the West Village. (Kristen Torres for LIC Post)

Video: A narrated walk on 9th Ave from 14th to 34th. (ActionKid, YouTube)

Governor Cuomo wants to ban repeat and high-risk sexual offenders from the MTA. (Robert Pozarycki for amNewYork)

A minor mistake paying for a busied can cost you $100. (Elizabeth Brico for Talk Poverty)

The MTA released a map of OMNY enabled stations for January of 2020. (MTA)

The NYPD will start including hate crimes in its Compstat crime-tracking system. (Paula Katinas for The Brooklyn Home Reporter)

Photos: The giant dogs of the Upper West Side. (Sara Lewin Lebwohl for I Love the Upper West Side)

The NYPD have thoroughly ended the which seat is best meme. (Kathleen Culliton for Patch)

If you actually get mail in Greenpoint and Williamsburg, congrats on the mail you actually receive. According to a recent audit, these neighborhoods are plagued with delivery issues, including failure to secure valuable items, inadequate safety measures in residential buildings, delayed mail, and mail that never arrives. (Scott Enman for Brooklyn Eagle)

Photos: Three Kings Day parade in Williamsburg. (Rose Adams with photos by Caroline Ourso for Brooklyn Paper)

White supremacy posters have popped up in Bay Ridge, linked to a neo-Nazi group which was formed after the Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville. Members of these groups usually attempt to stay anonymous for fear of being outed as the worst people on earth, but these geniuses uploaded a video of themselves doing a banner drop over the Belt Parkway in Bay Ridge and the NYPD is investigating. (Jake Offenhartz for Gothamist)

The Infatuation updated its best restaurants in NYC list with the addition of Noods n’ Chill, Bar Bête, Banty Rooster. (The Infatuation)

Noods n’ Chill is a new Thai food restaurant in Williamsburg, not just a rude suggestion on Tinder. (Scott Lynch for Gothamist)

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 20, 2019 – The “Do You Know About the Secret Pet Tree?” Weekend Edition

Today’s daily NYC news digest: The Inwood rezoning is killed in court, New York state’s $6 billion deficit, the city moves to kill its relationship with the Trump Organization, and more

Today – Low: 23˚ High: 33˚
Clear throughout the day.
This weekend – Low: 27˚ High: 42˚

This weekend’s subway disruptions hit the 1, 3, 6, A, E, F, and Q trains. (Subway Weekender)

The story of the two menorahs claiming to be the world’s largest and why there can’t ever be a bigger menorah. (Alexandra Alexa for 6sqft)

13 places to find festive holiday decorations in the city. Do you know where to find the secret pet tree in Central Park? (Nicole Saraniero for Untapped New York)

Landlords are blaming the new rent laws on why they’re cutting back on apartment renovations. Or maybe it’s because landlords are always cutting back on apartment renovations? (The Real Deal)

The fourth annual Kwanzaa crawl is happening on the 26th with stops in Harlem and Brooklyn to celebrate the city’s black-owned restaurants and bars. (Tanay Warerkar for Eater)

Will less garbage cans in Prospect Park lead to people carrying their garbage out of the park? The Prospect Park Alliance will be trying a “carry-in, carry-out” policy modeled after the National Parks Service policy. (Colin Mixson for Brooklyn Paper)

The MTA tried a similar program for five years where garbage cans were removed form stations and riders were encouraged to carry their garbage out with them. It ended because the amount of track fires caused by trash doubled after the program was implemented. (Vincent Barone for amNewYork)

The MTA unveiled 68 subway stations that will be getting elevator upgrades as part of their 2020-2024 capital plan. Among the 68 are Broadway Junction, Woodhaven Boulevard, and Van Cortlandt Park-242 St. (Vincent Barone for amNewYork)

There are over 100 subway stations across the city where one or more entrance is “temporarily” closed, some since the 70s or 80s. Maybe it’s time to reopen some of these entrances? (Canaan Geberer for Brooklyn Eagle)

After a nine month renovation, the Astoria Boulevard stop on the N/W line reopened on Wednesday, but construction will continue as workers instal elevators, staircases, walkways, and more. (NY1)

Turns out Christmas is predicted to be warmer than average this year and more importantly, no snow. (Adam Nichols for Patch)

We will all wake up on January 1, 2020 sharing the state’s fresh $6 billion deficit. (Ross Barkan for Gothamist)

14 historic sites of the abolitionist movement in Greenwich Village. (Andrew Berman for 6sqft)

Video: Meet Hannah Gavios, who completed the 2019 New York City Marathon on a pair of crutches. (Great Big Story)

Governors Ball wants to move to Van Cortlandt Park the Bronx. (Ese Olumhense for The City)

Where to eat with a really big group. (Bryan Kim for The Infatuation)

Queens man impeached. (Victoria Merlino for Queens Eagle)

RIP Felix Rohatyn, “Felix the Fixer,” the man who saved NYC from financial collapse in 1975. (Bruce Nelan for Washington Post)

For a brief period of time on Thursday you could come across impeachment-themed postcards in the Trump Tower gift shop thanks to comedians Davram Steifler and Jason Selvig. They’ve done it in the past too, with Russian flags, Putin postcards, and KKK hoods. (Lee Moran for HuffPost)

For the second year in a row we are ending the year with less chain stores in the city than we started. The city overall is down 304 chains. (Kevin Sun for The Real Deal)

Terra cotta building facades have a history of disrepair and danger, from the death of Grace Gold in 1979 to this week’s death of Erica Tishman. (Elizabeth Kim for Gothamist)

Governor Cuomo’s Mother Cabrini statue has found a home in Battery Park City’s South Cove. The patron saint of immigrants will be across the harbor from the Statue of Liberty. (John Alexander for The Brooklyn Home Reporter)

Meet Athena Soules: The artist and co-founder of NYC Light Brigade, whose signs are shaping the image of New York’s resistance movement. (Paul Frangipane for Brooklyn Eagle)

The City Council appears to be ready to flush the Trump Organization, targeting city contracts with the Trump Organization at the skating rinks in Central Park and the Trump Golf Links in the Bronx. Both locations are underperforming and losing funds for city parks. (Mark Hallum for amNewYork)

The Heartland Brewery is on its last legs. Down to three locations, one in the Empire State Building and two in Times Square, the Empire State Building location is set to close next month with rumors of the last two locations closing following suit in 2020. (Erika Adams for Grub Street)

We better start getting used to seeing humpback whales in city waters, because they’re hanging out even in winter. (Ben Yakas for Gothamist)

One day people will look back at the 2019 trend of erecting plastic “igloos” outside in winter and laugh. We’re not there yet. (Adam Goldman for Time Out)

It’s in violation of the city’s paid sick law to require employees to find replacements when calling out sick, but that didn’t stop Starbucks from doing that for years. A settlement with the city is forcing Starbucks to pay $150,000 in restitution. (Kate Offenhartz for Gothamist)

How Jona Rechnitz, “a liar and a felon,” became a star witness after being arrested on corruption charges. (Jan Ramson for NY Times)

The Department of Transportation is hiring seven “apprentice highway and sewer inspectors” to inspect bike lanes and review road work done by contractors. Bike team, assemble! (Eve Kessler for Streetsblog)

A look back at Mayor Bill de Blasio’s 2019, a year spent trying to convince everyone they were wrong when they said no one wanted him to run for president and eventually he learned the truth and kept pushing until he had no money left and came home. (Gloria Pazmino for NY1)

The City Council and the mayor blew their own self-imposed deadline of the end of the year to reform the city’s property tax system. That’s politician-speak for “broken promise.” (Janaki Chadha for Politico)

Speaking of blown self-imposed deadlines, it looks like the NYPD won’t actually be encrypting their radios in 2020. (Todd Maisel for amNewYork)

A judge nullified Inwoods rezoning, finding that the de Blasio administration “failed to take a hard look” at how the land use changes will impact the neighborhood. (Caroline Spivack for Curbed)

Only two out of 28 yeshivas investigated by the city’s Department of Education were deemed to be providing an education “substantially equivalent“ to that given at secular public schools, according to the city’s report on the long-delayed investigation into failing yeshivas. (Madina Touré for Politico)

A straightforward guide to holiday tipping. (Kathleen Culliton for Patch)

The best new restaurants of 2019. (The Infatuation)