The Briefly for January 9, 2019 – The “300 Defective Subway Cars and State of the State” Edition

Today’s daily NYC news digest: Legal weed, 12 bloody hours for pedestrians, the OMNY system is stealing fares, rent in Williamsburg hits an all-time high, the best bagels, and more

Today – Low: 32˚ High: 34˚
Clear throughout the day.

Video: Watch the full State of the State Address. (NYGovCuomo on YouTube)

An overview of homeless funding, small business tax cuts, a “Restore Mother Nature” bond, and other proposals that could come from the speech. (Kathryn Brenzel for The Real Deal)

With the state legislature being in firm control of Democrats in 2019 and making real progress on Cuomo’s agenda, the governor was forced to find new material for this year’s speech. (Politico)

The state failed to legalize weed in the summer of 2019, could 2020 be the year? The governor called it an ethical imperative to legalize it. (Kathleen Culliton for Patch)

During the speech, Cuomo called for labeling certain hate crimes as domestic terrorism, which is punishable by life in prison. (Zack Fink for NY1)

The governor is calling to end the “fraud” of the gig economy, comparing gig economy corporations to sweatshops and legislation could re-classify independent contractors as employees, similar to the recently passed (and challenged) California law. (Dana Rubenstein for Politico)

The Restore Mother Nature Bond Act, mentioned in the speech, would pump $3 billion into resiliency efforts across the state, city included. (Mark Hallum for amNewYork)

Governor Cuomo vetoed a bill that independent pharmacists said would protect them and patients against health care middlemen causing higher fees. The governor cited higher fees and anti-competition concerns in his message. (Gabe Herman for The Villager)

Governor Cuomo wants to ban repeat sex offenders from the subway. How? No one has an answer to that question and this is the second year in a row he’s expressed that desire. (Jake Offenhartz for Gothamist)

The MTA pulled nearly 300 brand new-but-faulty subway cars from their tracks overnight on Tuesday for “repeated issues.” The cars represent 4.5% of the MTA’s fleet. These are the same cars that the MTA paid $600 million for and only received 18 on time and have since cost the city $35 million in repairs and $300 million in lost labor. (Kathleen Culliton for Patch)

The OMNY system celebrated its 5 millionth payment, but there’s more to this story. It seems that some scanners have been double charging unwitting riders. As riders scan their MetroCards, the sensitive scanners pick up the near field signal and also charge their credit cards. In order to fix this on an iPhone, disable “Express Transit Card” in your Wallet and Apple Pay settings. (Jake Offenhartz for Gothamist)

In a very MTA moment, someone managed to jump a turnstile in the middle of an OMNY press conference. (Bowery Boogie)

The MTA is being sued by Surveillance Technology Oversight Project (yeah, it spells STOP) to get information about a camera in the Times Square station installed to deter fare evasion. STOP believes the MTA is deploying facial recognition technology, but the MTA denies any facial recognition. (Elizabeth Kim for Gothamist)

46% of families living below the poverty line do not have broadband internet access as home. To alleviate this, the mayor announced an Internet Master Plan. It’s low on details, but the idea is the city will partner with private providers to expand the current infrastructure. (Adam Nichols for Patch)

The LaGuardia AirTrain situation is a complete mess. If the AirTrain moves forward, it will be Governor Cuomo’s sheer force of will, and not what is the best actual option. (Benjamin Kabak for Second Ave Sagas)

Ever sine the L train shutdown was shutdown, rent in Williamsburg started creeping up and are now 26.7% higher and have hit an all-time high of $3,675/month. (Valeria Ricciulli for Curbed)

The city witnessed a 12 bloody hours as four pedestrians were killed or critically injured. A man was killed but he driver of a bus in Midtown, a 10-year-old boy and his mother were hit by a garbage truck and the boy was killed by the driver, and a 68-year-old woman was killed by the driver of a cement truck in Borough Park. 122 pedestrians were killed in 2019, up from 105 in 2018. (Jen Chung for Gothamist)

Mulchfest continues through January 11, so bring your Christmas trees to one of the 67 drop-off sites across the city to participate. (Gabe Herman for The Villager)

The best momo (Himalayan dumplings) in the city, ranked. (Joe DiStefano for Grub Street)

Phots: The vintage typewriters of the closed to the public Bankers Club on the 40th floor of the Equitable Building. (Michelle Young for Untaped New York)

2019 seemed like the year for Universal Healthcare in New York state. What happened? (Ross Barkan for Gothamist)

Stop buying books on Amazon and borrow them from the library. An arduous task, I know. Use Library Extension to make it easier, the Chrome and Firefox extension will tell you what books and audiobooks are available at the nearest libraries to you. Shaye Weaver for Time Out)

Book Culture, the beloved book shop on the Upper West Side, suddenly closed due to owed rent payments. (Dana Schulz for 6sqft)

Here’s a different kind of “world’s tallest.” The 707-foot tall 270 Park Ave is about to become the tallest building to be intentionally razed. chase has decided it wants a 70-story building there instead, nearly twice the height of the old building. (Elizabeth Kim for Gothamist)

Renderings: See inside Peak, the 101st-floor restaurant coming to Hudson Yards. (Devin Gannon for 6sqft)

Another food hall is opening in Midtown. Take a look at the 12,000 square foot Urbanspace, which will include Roberta’s Pizza, LoLo’s, Call Me Pasta, City Tamale, an Eisenberg’s sandwich shop, and more. (Scott Lynch for Gothamist)

Brooklyn Public Library’s Sheepshead Bay branch reopened Tuesday after a five-month closure. (Jessica Parks for Brooklyn Paper)

Is the city’s healthiest neighborhood Midtown? (Emily Davenport for amNewYork)

Meet Dena Cooper, the artist transforming Alexander Jackson into Harriet Tubman on $20 bills. (Scott Enman for Brooklyn Eagle)

A look at The Duplex, the city’s longest running cabaret bar. (Dawson Knick for GVSHP)

The finest bagels of NYC, mapped. (Eater)

How the city’s bagel union fought off a mafia takeover. (Jason Turbow for Grub Street)

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)

The Briefly for November 14, 2019 – The “Problem Goes Deeper Than Policing Churros” Edition

Virginity tests, the NYPD’s illegal child fingerprint database was destroyed, the food at Wegmans gets reviewed, OMNY expands, pie shops, and more in today’s daily NYC news digest.

The punishment for killing a woman with a car? $750 and a suspended license. (Streetsblog)

“I am calling on the governor to immediately remove these additional officers from the MTA and put that money into actually improving the system. The governor cannot expect the public to pay the fare when the State is refusing to hold up its own financial responsibility.” – City Council Member Antonio Reynoso of Brooklyn (Streetsblog)

Will the 500 new police officers on buses and in subway stations prevent 33 million evaded fares a year for ten years? That figure, of course, doesn’t include any lawsuits that spawn from arrests made by those officers. That’s the monetary argument, but if the surge of officers is about fare evasion and protecting MTA workers, why are the headlines about churro ladies and teenagers selling candy? It’s about the kind of city we want to be. (Second Ave Sagas)

A look at the new Tompkins Square Playground’s equipment for kids with special needs. (EV Grieve)

The City Council voted to give themselves a $36,000 raise, but haven’t been nearly as generous with their staff, who make $47,784 annually on average. There has been conversations about unionization to improve salaries. (Politico)

A vegetarian restaurant that only serves one item, but is it any good? Yes is the answer. (Gothamist)

The city owns most of the land in the amusement area of Coney Island, but Central Amusement International (owners of Luna Park) operates the lease on the boardwalk shops. In addition to rent, they take 10% of their overall sales. In recent years they’ve been favoring their own games, shops, and food options over mom and pop shops. This is a private business deciding on the future of businesses who are on land owned by the city. Lola Star, the woman behind the boardwalk shop and roller discos across Brooklyn is stepping up and resurrecting the advocacy group Save Coney Island. (Coney Island Blog)

Every rental building in Manhattan ranked by price. (StreetEasy)

The Charging Bull isn’t moving… yet. Despite the mayor talking big in public about how it has to be moved due to Bowling Green being an unsafe place for that high number of visitors it receives, a location to move it to was never decided on. For now, the bull remains. (Gothamist)

The Coalition for Affordable Homes is introducing a proposal for a Small Home Anti-Speculation Tax that would impose a 15-20% tax on property transferred to a new owner within two years of ownership. While they may not prevent flipping houses, it would reinvest in affordable housing in the neighborhood. (Brooklyn Daily Eagle)

After 24,200 calls to 911 since June using a burner cellphone, Yogit Persaud was arrested. Each time she would call, the police or FDNY or both would have to respond to the claim, regardless if they knew it was from her and it was a false report. Persaud purports the NYPD has conspired against her. She was arrested for making a false emergency report, obstructing governmental administration, and aggravated harassment. (Gothamist)

Bishop Nicholas DiMarzio, leader of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Brooklyn and current investigator of sexual abuse the Buffalo diocese, sexually assaulted an 11-year-old altar boy when he was a priest in New Jersey in the 70s, according to a new lawsuit. (NY Times)

Billionaire Barry Diller’s public park island off Pier 55 has a new name and it’s “Little Island.” A modest name considering the price tag ballooned from $35 million to $250 million. (Gothamist)

Junior’s Law, named for Lesandro “Junior” Guzman-Feliz, is a bill that will reimburse small businesses owners the cost of a panic button, which could have saved the teenager’s life. The bill has 31 supporters in the City Council. (amNewYork)

Greenwich Village Chelsea Chamber of Commerce wants you to remember that there are still stores that are open left on Bleecker Street to shop at and has declared November 23 “Shop Bleecker Day,” where participating shops will provide deals and discounts. (amNewYork)

Virginity tests are still a thing in the year 2019. A bill was introduced to ban them in New York. This is, of course, coming into headlines now because T.I. admitted in an interview that he forces his 18-year-old daughter to undergo hymen checks annually, which is awful. (Gothamist)

While Staten Island is still a part of New York City (you can read about that in yesterday’s edition of The Briefly), it has a new dockless bike program. Beryl will operate 1,000 bikes across the island starting in the spring. (Streetsblog)

Take a look inside (renderings of) Disney’s upcoming Hudson Square HQ. (amNewYork)

The governor gave National Grid two weeks to hook up new customers of he will revoke their franchise to supply gas to New York City. (Gothamist)

The NYPD’s illegal database of children’s fingerprints was confirmed to be destroyed after a years-long investigation into it by the Legal Aid Society. (Patch)

“Wegmans is not good enough to be your destination food court.” Eater reviews the food at Wegmans. (Eater)

OMNY is hitting more subway stations next month, including Penn Station. (6sqft)

A guide to OMNY. (Curbed)

The city fines landlords for lead, but rarely ever collects. Even the highest estimates put the figure at 10%. (Gothamist)

The new age for tobacco or e-cigarette purchases is now 21 years old. (amNewYork)

Seven ways to fix your overheated apartment. Yes, “open the windows” is number one. (StreetEasy)

14 spectacular pie shops. (Eater)

Thanks to Meg Blatt for today’s featured photo!