The Briefly for February 21-22, 2021 – The “Take the Tone Down” Sunday Edition

The latest NYC news digest: The NYPD loses another lawsuit over misconduct records, the Empire Station Complex plans, Brooklyn gets crabs, and more

Today – Low: 30˚ High: 34˚
Clear throughout the day.

• After a group of trans leaders called on Heritage of Pride (HOP) to hand over control of New York City’s Pride festivities to Black and Brown transgender individuals, a planned meeting between the two sides was cancelled — and a bitter controversy flared up. (Tat Bellamy-Walker for Gay City News)

Joe’s Pizza, Scarr’s Pizza and Uncle Mike’s Hometown Pizza are NYC’s favorite pizza places, according to Google Maps searches in 2020. (Anna Ben Yehuda for Time Out)

Indoor dining will increase in capacity on Friday, February 26 from 25% to 35%. (Hannah Albertine for The Infatuation)

• Now that he’s in deep shit with state and federal investigations into how his administration hid nursing home death numbers, the state’s legislature is about to strip him of his emergency powers, and public sentiment is turning against him, Governor Cuomo wants to “take the tone down.” (Christopher Robbins and Gwynne Hogan for Gothamist)

92% of NYC restaurants were either unable to pay some or all of their rent in December. 46% were able to pay some, 45% couldn’t pay any. (Matt Troutman for Patch)

Farewell Jing Fong, Chinatown’s legendary Chinatown dim sum banquet hall, open since 1972. (Jen Chung for Gothamist)

“Ghost kitchens have been meticulously engineered to be infinitely adaptable and fantastically efficient. The Wall Street Journal loves them. But what they really are is a trend that manages, triumphantly, to strip away all joy from the act of eating. They are devoid of every feature that makes restaurants great, and they are not, despite what the many, many headlines say, the true future of the restaurant industry.”
-Rachel Sugar, Ghost Kitchens Will Always Be Dumb, for Grub Street

• Pete Wells goes a bit behind-the-scenes on what it’s been like being a restaurant critic during a pandemic that has shattered all of our norms about eating outside (and sometimes inside) the home. It’s hard to remain anonymous when your name is on your delivery order. (Pete Wells for NY Times)

• Podcast: They’re more than just the front door to the Teenage Mutant Nina Turtles’ home. Looking at the history of manhole covers. (Michelle Young for Untapped New York)

• Apartment Porn: Actress Sela Ward’s $5.8 million Soho loft, with 14-foot ceilings, exposed brick walls, a deep soacking tub, whatever a smart toilet is, a 300-bottle wine fridge, and more. (Dana Schulz for 6sqft)

• A majority of Democratic candidates running for Manhattan District Attorney are promising to end the agency’s use of software from Palantir, whose invasive surveillance software has been seen as unreliable and rife with racial justice and privacy issues. (George Joseph for Gothamist)

• Manhattan DA Cy Vance added Mark F. Pomerantz to the Donald Trump criminal investigation team. Pomerantz has a history of investigating and defending white-collar and organized crime cases. (William K. Rashbaum, Ben Protess and Jonah E. Bromwich for NY Times)

The NYPD’s secret misconduct records must be made public after a judge ruled against the Police Benevolent Association and other unions. This is the 50-a shielding law that’s been the focus of conversation for some time. The records have not been made public yet as Mayor de Blasio waits for clearance from the court about when the records can be released. (Greg B. Smith for The City)

A video shows an NYPD officer repeatedly punching a man as he’s held down on the ground at the South Ferry subway station during an arrest for allegedly smoking a cigarette on the platform on Tuesday. Is this what 500 more cops will look like in the subways? (David Cruz for Gothamist)

• How the NYPD’s Strategic Response Group, an anti-terror squad, became the city’s tool for cracking down on protests. (Jake Offenhartz for Gothamist)

• One day after signaling his plan not to enforce basic education standards within the community’s yeshivas Andrew Yang is the frontrunner for the ultra-Orthodox vote. Yang credits a month-long course on the Bible he took at a Westchester prep school as his reason for his stance. (Jake Offenhartz for Gothamist)

A focus on the City Council showdown in Coney Island. (Rose Adams for Kinds County Politics)

• Corey Johnson got out of the mayor’s race, but now he’s thinking about running for comptroller. (Jeffery C. Mays and Emma G. Fitzsimmons for NY Times)

• Podcast: Quanda Francis on her campaign for mayor. (Ben Max for Gotham Gazette)

• Maya Wiley, the former MSNBC analyst and legal counsel to Mayor Bill de Blasio running for mayor, has the endorsement of Local 1199 of the Service Employees International Union, The National Health Care Workers’ Union, which also endorsed Mayor de Blasio before he was elected. (Emma G. Fitzsimmons for NY Times)

• Congratulations Brooklyn, you have the lowest vaccination rates in the city. (Jake Samieske for Brooklyn Magazine)

Meet artist Devon Rodriguez, whose drawings of strangers on the subway is providing sparks of joy on his Instagram and TikTok accounts. (Will Gleason for Time Out)

KAWS: WHAT PARTY is coming to the Brooklyn Museum from February 26 – September 5. (Brooklyn Street Art)

RIP Arturo Di Modica, the sculptor of the Charging Bull statue. (NY1)

• Remember the Tribeca “bean” by Anish Kapoor, the creator of the Chicago bean, on Leonard St? It’s only partially built, half shiny bean, half plywood construction site. (Michael Young for New York YIMBY)

11 Black-owned wine shops across the city. (Hannah Albertine and Nikko Duren for The Infatuation)

A Park Slope Food Co-Op member started a GoFundMe to raise $10,000 to sue the organization, alleging racial discrimination. (Erika Adams for Eater)

• Move over lobster, here come the crab boils. (Ellie Plass for Bklyner)

The city will not test rising kindergarteners for admission to gifted programs, the education department announced Wednesday. Instead, students will be evaluated by their pre-K teacher or sign up for an interview. (Christina Veiga for Chalkbeat)

Black Seed Bagels is getting into pizza, but disappointingly there are no pizza bagels on the menu. (Shaye Weaver for Time Out)

The top 10 places to find the best pastrami in NYC. (Robert Sietsema for Eater)

The state’s plan for the 20-million-square-foot Empire Station Complex surrounding Penn Station was adopted by the board of directors of Empire State Development. The plan calls for five buildings over 1,000 feet tall, up to 1,300 feet. For reference, the Empire State building’s roof is 1,250 feet tall. The project is expected to be completed by 2038. (Vanessa Londono for New York YIMBY)

Five snacks to try across the city. (Hannah Albertine for The Infatuation)

The Briefly for August 14, 2019 – The “Hangry Squirrels Want Your Blood” Edition

Corey Johnson’s Rat Academy, the city and state challenge the “public charge” rule, Inwood fights rezoning, the best pastrami and more in today’s daily NYC news digest

Are you ready for Rat Academy? City Council Speaker Corey Johnson is hosting an event with the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene on August 22 for free training on safe and effective methods for rat prevention. (Facebook)

In the first year of the city’s Culture Pass program, 70,000 tickets to 50 cultural institutions across the city like the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Second Stage, and others were given out. Anyone with a library card is eligible for CulturePass. (amNY)

Google Maps will now show the location of Lime bikes in the city. (Curbed)

The squirrels in Battery Park are out for blood. Don’t let them woo you into a false sense of security with their fluffy tails and seeming meekness. According to a new warning from city officials, they’re vicious little hellbeasts who will go for your food at any cost. (Gothamist)

The city’s subway stations are in pretty poor shape, but they’re the worst in Queens, where 44% of the structural components are in disrepair. The good news in this is that the overall number od station with serious structural deficiencies actually fell from 2012 to 2017. (LIC Post)

The governor signed a new law into place strengthening the state’s sexual harassment protections. (Gothamist)

David Chang continues his “I built my businesses on the foundation of Stephen Ross’s money” apology tour, donating all of the profits his restaurants to different progressive organizations. (Eater)

An oral (and visual!) history of Winston the Wonder Dog that jumped off a roof, fell through a sunroof and seems to be doing okay. (Gothamist)

Broadway producer Ben Sprecher was arrested on Tuesday morning on child pornography charges. (Gothamist)

What does “parents buying” mean on a real estate listing? Pretty much what you might imagine it would. (StreetEasy)

An NYPD officer committed suicide on Tuesday morning, the eighth of the year. An average year sees five officers commit suicide. (NY Times)

The Off-Broadway “How I Learned to Drive” won a Pulitzer Prize for drama in 1998 and 23 years later the show will reunite on Broadway in 2020 with David Morse and Mary-Louise Parker reprising their original roles. (NY Times)

Snapple is spending the summer paying tribute to “Boroughs & Burbs,” and the label designs are about as embarrassing as a drink designed by Bret Michaels. (Brooklyn Daily Eagle)

The warden at the Metropolitan Correctional Center in Manhattan has been temporarily reassigned after the suicide of Jeffrey Epstein and the two guards guarding him have been put on administrative leave pending the outcome of the investigation into his death. (NY Times)

The Metropolitan Correctional Center historically has had issues with overcrowding, understaffing, cleanliness, and medical care. This is the same facility that experienced a multi-day heat and electricity outage during the coldest days of last winter. (Gothamist)

The new transit fare OMNY system hit its millionth fare on August 8, four times faster than planned. The MTA has no plans to roll out the system ahead of schedule and will be in all stations and buses by the end of 2020. (amNY)

The 1, 2, and 3 trains are headed for some big outages over the next two weekends as the MTA is wrapping up a rehab project. Service will be shut down between Harlem and Downtown Brooklyn. (amNY)

Today is the first day of the special “look-back” period for sexual abuse lawsuits in the state and thousands of cases are expected to be filed. The suits are being triggered by the Child Victims Act, which increased the statute of limitation for child sexual abuse from age 23 to age 55 and included this one-year “look-back” period. (amNY)

This weekend Apartment 5A: A Tribute to the Show About Nothing takes over Parasol Projects on the Bowery. It’s an exhibition dedicated to all things Seinfeld in celebration of the show’s 30th anniversary. (Gothamist)

Meet Jamaal Bowman, Cornerstone Academy for Social Action’s principal, who is challenging Congressperson Eliot Engel for the 16th Congressional District seat in the House of Representatives. Bowman has the backing of Justice Democrats, the group who pushed Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez into office. (Gothamist)

The city and state are once again planning to take the federal government to court. This time it’s over the final “public charge” rule, which would require immigrants seeking green cards or visas to show they are not likely to rely on certain government programs like food stamps. Without challenge, the rule would go into effect in October. (Patch)

There is only one legal hostel in New York City thanks to the city’s building codes. Council members Mark Gjonaj and Margaret Chin are looking to change that with a new bill that will give hostels their own classification and a regulatory agency to look over them. (Gothamist)

Video: What’s the best pastrami sandwich in the city? (Viewing NYC)

Five finalists in the Big Ideas for Small Lots architecture competition are being displayed at the Center for Architecture. The competition highlights the challenges facing a number of the city’s 10,000 small and/or oddly-shaped lots and faces those challenges with unconventional developments. (Curbed)

A look back at the efforts of Jackie O and preservationists to save Grand Central Terminal from the same fate as the original Penn Station. (6sqft)

Opening arguments were heard on Tuesday in a lawsuit meant to prevent the rezoning of Inwood. The lawsuit accuses the city of failing to look at the environmental impact of the rezoning, particularly among racial lines. The rezoning was approved after three years of community protest that the rezoning continues Mayor de Blasio’s selling out the city to developers. (Gothamist)

A 3.2-acre farm is opening in Brooklyn on the rooftop of the Liberty View Industrial Plaza mall in Sunset Par and operated by Brooklyn Grange. Once the space officially opens, it will be open to the public on Sundays through October. (The Brooklyn Home Reporter)

The opening of a sanitation garage may not seem like a big deal, but it is when a neighborhood’s been waiting for it since 1985. Having a local garage means trash pickup times can change from evenings to mornings, which means a change in how the neighborhood looks and smells. (Kings County Politics)

The classic steakhouses of New York City. (Eater)