The Briefly for February 21, 2020 – The Weekend “Real Villain was New York City the Whole Time” Edition

Today’s daily NYC news digest: The Trump vs Cuomo plan could derail congestion pricing, an insane amount of amenities in Bushwick, the best brunch in the city, and more

Today – Low: 29˚ High: 35˚
Clear throughout the day.
This weekend – Low: 32˚ High: 52˚

How good is your math? Lucky Deli in the Bronx is giving away one item to anyone who can answer math questions. There’s a GoFundMe for people who want to see this continue on. (Anna Ben Yehuda for Time Out)

Who was the villain in the taxicab medallion crisis? NYC. New York City is to blame for the crushing debt that thousands of cab drivers face in order to pay for their medallions. The state’s attorney general’s office is suing the city for $810 million for fraud, unlawful profit, and other violations of state law. The $810 million would go to the taxi drivers. (Winnie Hu for NY Times)

Photos: Restoration is on way at the New York State Pavilion at Flushing Meadows–Corona Park. (Michelle Young for Untapped New York)

Governor Cuomo isn’t confident the federal government will approve the state’s congestion pricing plan, which is supposed to generate $15 billion for the Metropolitan Transportation Authority’s overhaul plan. The Trump administration is already looking for every possible way to punish New York, so why not this next? (Dana Rubenstein for Politico)

The new target in New York for the Trump administration is making exporting cars from New York nearly impossible. The federal government is stating that without access to the state’s DMV records, they can’t verify vehicle ownership. This is, of course, more bullshit from the Trump administration as it tries to find ways to punish the state for passing its Green Light Law, which gives undocumented immigrants the right to get a driver’s license and also blocks federal agencies from accessing the DMV databases. (Annie Correal for NY Times)

When it rains in NYC and the sewers are filled with rain water, most of the city’s sewage is flushed into our waterways. More than 20 billion gallons of our bathroom waste is released into our waters annually. The city has a plan to deal with this, but their plan doesn’t even deal with 3% of the total combined sewage overflow. (Nathan Kensinger for Curbed)

An interview with Shoshanah Bewlay, the new executive director of New York state’s Committee on Open Government on the challenges of a three person staff inside the entire state government, Andy Byford’s resignation letter, her background, and more. Christopher Robbins for Gothamist)

How many amenities are too many? A bowling alley, a pool, a mini golf course, a rock climbing wall, a gym, open air plazas, murals, a dog park, and the list goes on. Just some of the amenities in a Bushwick “city within a city” apartment complex. With nearly anything recreationally you can think of inside the complex, you have to wonder how much the people who live there will be contributing tot he neighborhood’s economy? (Alexandra Alexa for 6sqft)

Harlem photographer Shawn Walker’s collection of over 100,000 photos dating back to 1963 will be made public in the Library of Congress. (Sydney Pereira for Gothamist)

We are a lucky city that we are getting a second Scarr’s pizza location, even if it’s in at the Midtown food hall Le Whit. (Erika Adams for Eater)

21 in 21 is trying to seat at least 21 women on the city council in 2021. The organization will be endorsing 35 candidates for the 2021 election. (Ayse Kelce for Queens County Politics)

If a judge of 17 years and Yale-educated attorney can’t navigate the Queens Surrogate’s Courts and have been in limbo for over a decade, what change do any of the rest of us have? This highlights the absurdity of electing surrogate judges, who rarely ever provide information beyond their names. (Ross Barkan for Gothamist)

Apartment Porn: See Anne Hathaway’s $3.5 million Upper West Side apartment. (Valeria Ricciulli for Curbed)

The Department of Transportation announced on Wednesday the Queens Blvd bike land would be completed this summer. The mayor, in front of a crowd, demanded that agency reconsider its plan. Polly Trottenberg, the DOT commissioner who made the announcement, was appointed by Mayor de Blasio. Does he know that he’s supposed to be running this city? He’s certainly not leading it. (Julianne Cuba for Streetsblog)

The mayor was speaking in Forest Hills, where he was met with protestors outside, and inside he was as welcome as Mayor Bloomberg on a democratic primary stage. He was booed the moment he stepped into the town hall meeting. (Max Parrot for QNS)

Video: How the city’s stop signs are made. (Matt Coneybeare for Viewing NYC)

Here’s what you need to know to be ready for the plastic bag ban on March 1. (Sydney Pereira for Gothamist)

The law passed in April of last year, and city lawmakers say the city isn’t ready to ban plastic bags. (Kathleen Culliton for Patch)

The NYPD say they will start removing some of the 82,000 people in their DNA database who have never been convicted of a crime. Advocates say this doesn’t go far enough and the city needs more oversight and to ban unregulated DNA collection by the NYPD. (Edgar Sandoval for NY Times)

Like the Mona Lisa’s eyes, One Manhattan Square is always shining a reflection of the sun back at you. (Jen Carlson for Gothamist)

Transit Workers Union Local 100 wants to make spitting on an MTA employee punishable by a year in jail. In their defense, spitting incidents were up 35% in 2019 from 2018. (Mark Hallum for amNewYork Metro)

Fines from the plastic bag ban add to the feat of death by 1,000 for small businesses in the city. The mayor is looking to reduce fines on small businesses by 40% by eliminating “outdated and ridiculous rules that no longer apply,” giving $100 million back to mom and pops across the city. (Todd Maisel for amNewYork Metro)

Despite zero coronavirus cases in the city, Sunset Park is suffering. (Alex Williamson for Brooklyn Eagle)

The Inheritance, the two-part play about gay culture and the legacy of AIDS, is set to close March 15. (Michael Paulson for NY Times)

A “muddled, self-conscious, pretentious, humorless, dizzying, bewildering mess.” What is the show? The West Side Story revival. (Matt Windman for amNewYork Metro)

CatVideoFest is a 70-minute cat video complication that is playing at Nitehawk Cinema and the Alamo Drafthouse. Ticket sales will raise money for two rescue organizations. Finally, a cat based movie experience people will enjoy. (Noah Singer for The Brooklyn Home Reporter)

Mayor Bloomberg in 2011 said that New York City has “virtually no discrimination” and “virtually no racial problems.” A lot has changed since 2011, a year when 700,000 people, more than half of them Black, were stopped by police. (Sarah Ruiz-Grossman for HuffPost)

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

What to drink at the city’s newest cocktail bars. (Nikita Richardson for Grub Street)

The best brunch in the city? Balthazar, according to The Daily Meal. (Adam Nichols for Patch)

Thanks to reader MG Ashdown for today’s featured photo.

The Briefly for February 13, 2020 – The “Are We Ready for an NYC Yang Gang?” Edition

Today’s daily NYC news digest: Cuomo negotiates for the Trusted Traveler Program to return, Pennsy is closing, a spiked seltzer festival is coming, the Knicks are worth too much, and more

Today – Low: 30˚ High: 48˚
Light rain until evening.

Pennsy, the food hall attached to Madison Square Garden, is closing at the end of the month. The closure is part of a renovation of the area by Vornado Realty Trust, the landlord, and extend the first four floors of the building. Hiding in this news the announced closure of The Cinnamon Snail, the amazing vegan eatery with fantastic desserts, for good. (Jen Carlson for Gothamist)

What the hell is going on at Etiquette in Williamsburg, a cafe and bar that features a queen-sized bed. (Emma Orlow for Time Out)

Photos: Jeff Leatham’s Kaleidoscope at the New York Botanical Garden Orchid Show, which adds light installations and sculpture to the show. (Michelle Young for Untapped New York)

2021’s mayoral candidates think we need more education about ranked choice voting. (Mark Hallum for amNewYork Metro)

Will the math add up for Andrew Yang to run for mayor? (Emily Ngo for NY1)

Governor Cuomo seems to have come to an agreement with the Trump administration that would allow New Yorkers back into the Trusted Traveler Program without giving the federal government unfettered access to the state’s DMV records. (Azi Paybarah and Jesse McKinley for NY Times)

The NYPD arrested a journalist for filming an arrest of a man in Chinatown. It is 100% legal in NYC to photograph or video record anything that is happening in public, including police actions, as long as you’re not in the way. (Jake Offenhartz for Gothamist)

NYC is coronavirus free! All suspected cases were negative. (Adam Nichols for Patch)

Photos: Backstage at the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show. (Photos by Milo Hess for amNewYork Metro)

Meet Momo, the city’s hospital system’s very good first resident therapy dog. (Lydia Hu for NY1)

Here comes the city’s first ever spiked seltzer festival on May 16. Oh boy. (Alex Mitchell for amNewYork Metro)

The inside story of the long, slow, and painful death of Fairway. (Hannah Howard for Grub Street)

Come on restaurants, post your menus with prices online. (Ryan Sutton for Eater)

How to make a reservation in NYC. It’s not always as simple as opening an app. (Alan Sytsma for Grub Street)

These are the city’s top high schools, with Trinity High School coming in at #1 overall and Stuyvesant as the top public high school. (Adam Nichols for Patch)

With a seven season losing streak, the Knicks have been a very bad team for a long time, but that doesn’t seem to impact their value. The team was valued at $4.6 billion, making it unlikely that someone is rich enough to take the team from James Dolan’s grubby hands. (Gus Saltonstall for Patch)

The R-42 subway cars have been retired from service after fifty years years of use. (NY1)

Photos: The last ride for the R-42s with a cameo from Train Daddy Andy Byford. (Sydney Pereira, photos by David “Dee” Delgado for Gothamist)

Tension surrounding Morningside Park has not eased since the murder of Tessa Majors. (Elizabeth Kim for Gothamist)

Video: A walk over the Brooklyn Bridge, through the city’s ugliest subway station, and Battery Park. (Action Kid)

Lawyers representing undocumented immigrants are fighting to stop ICE officers from making arrests at courthouses, which they say are interfering with court cases. (Todd Maisel for amNewYork Metro)

There is a potential battle in Albany brewing over bail reform, with Governor Cuomo saying the door is open for possible changes, some state senators have jumped on the opportunity to voice their displeasure with the bill they passed last year before anyone has had time to properly judge its repercussions. Albany will always find a way to fight with itself. (Zack Fink for NY1)

When Mario’s Pizza on Arthur Avenue in the Bronx opened in 1915, the biggest concern was World War I, 100 years later it’s still going strong. (The pizza place, not the war) (Jason Cohen for Bronx Times)

Debutante Balls still exist in Manhattan. (James Barron and Elizabeth D. Herman for NY Times)

The 38 best beer bars in NYC. (Hannah Albertine, Bryan Kim, & Matt Tervooren for The Infatuation)

Thanks to reader Mackenzie for today’s featured photo

The Briefly for February 10, 2020 – The “NYPD Declares War on Mayor de Blasio” Edition

Today’s daily NYC news digest: The brokers’ fees mess, NY sues the federal government over the Truster Traveler Programs ban, AOC’s BEC, touristy restaurants that are good, and more

Today – Low: 44˚ High: 49˚
Light rain throughout the day.

Photos: The Pet Fashion Show. (Gabe Herman, photos by Milo Hess for amNewYork Metro)

New York City is better than any other city. Why? Everyone has their reason that makes New York their city. For Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez, as we discovered on Desus and Metro one of the reasons is the bacon, egg, and cheeses. (Ashley Reese for Jezebel)

It doesn’t matter if it’s Chicago Pizza, California In-N-Out, or New Jersey laughably calling itself the pizza capital of the world, New York doesn’t care if you think your food is better. It’s not. (Serena Dai for Eater)

High Maintenance came back to HBO on Sunday, here is a list of filing locations. (Michelle Young for Untapped New York)

A man shot two police officers on Sunday in the Bronx in targeted assassination attempts. There is currently no known connection to any protests or politics and the man, Robert Williams, was out on parole since 2017, pre-dating recent reforms. Williams’s son was shot and killed in the street and according to Williams’s grandmother he “never got over it.” He surrender himself to the police. (Elisha Brown and Michael Levenson for NY Times)

In response to the shootings, the Police Benevolent Association’s message to the mayor was straight forward. “The members of the NYPD are declaring war on you!” and “This isn’t over, Game on!” Oh boy. (Sanjana Karanth for HuffPost)

Because nothing is easy, real estate agents are trying to find every last way around the new Department of State guidance about broker’s fees. Most of the confusion they are creating is who they work for. Does the broker represent you or do they represent the landlord? Check your paperwork. (Jake Offenhartz and Elizabeth Kim for Gothamist)

The Real Estate Board of New York will, of course, try to stop the guidance with a lawsuit. (Matthew Haag for NY Times)

An overview on what’s happening with broker’s fees. (Localize Labs)

A look and some recent history of the city’s protest murals. (Yoonji Han)

Photos: Scenes from the Golden Gauntlet Graffiti Battle. (Elie Z. Perler for Bowery Boogie)

The City Council is taking a look into ghost kitchens, with the possibility of wanting oversight over them, specifically if they prove to be unfair competition against real restaurants. (Georgia Kromrei for The Real Deal)

Stop me if you’ve heard this one before. On Friday morning, a water main broke on Broadway, flooding the immediate area and causing all varieties of chaos. This third break in four weeks was at 110th. (Ben Yakas for Gothamist)

The mayor’s “fix” for the crumbling NYCHA, the Rental Assistance Demonstration (RAD) program, may be putting the apartments that are a part of the program into an even worse predicament. Apartments under the RAD program are no longer under the oversight of the city and federal monitor. (Greg B. Smith for The City)

RAD is a national program enacted in 2012 that allows public housing agencies to switch the way they get money from the feds — moving from Section 9 (the way NYCHA-owned properties have historically been funded) to Section 8 (a program that funds private landlords). (Rachel Holliday Smith for The City)

Play around with interactive charts showing the most popular and most money-making Broadway shows of the past 20-some odd years. (Matt Coneybeare for Viewing NYC)

amNewYork Metro has “3 ideas for a Knicks rebrand.” All three of them are basically “make it the 90s again.” (Joe Pantorno for amNewYork Metro)

Here’s what the proposed 900-foot tall tower that will be built on top of Macy’s in Herald square will look like. (Michelle Cohen for 6sqft)

You’ve got the rest of the week to “Name A Roach” at the Bronx Zoo. (Emily Davenport for amNewYork Metro)

Does the city need another stadium? Your answer doesn’t seem to matter, the N.Y.C.F.C. are close to moving forward with a plan to put a brand new soccer stadium a few blocks south of Yankee Stadium. There is an affordable housing component to the deal as well that will no doubt please the mayor and help ram this project through the city’s approval process. (David Waldstein for NY Times)

While the coronavirus isn’t a welcome addition to the city originating in China, hot pot restaurants are a different story. (Tony Lin for Eater)

Where to eat in the city’s Chinatowns. (Chris Crowley for Grub Street)

Wired: Fearing the flu. Tired: Fearing the coronavirus. (Adam Nichols)

New York will sue the Trump administration over the Truster Traveler Programs ban, arguing the government’s decision was arbitrary, violate’s the state’s covering immunity, and was (not a real quote) “a dick move.” (Luis Ferré-Sadurní for NY Times)

The MTA is planning to connect the Livonia Avenue L station and the Junius Street 3 station in Brooklyn by 2024. (Grant Lancaster for amNewYork Metro)

Photos: Chinatown’s Lunar New Year Parade. (Scott Lynch for Gothamist)

Another story about how some city officials want to push the BQX forward, but this was included for a great photo of a board in a meeting asking for feedback, full of Post-It notes saying things like “NO BQX.” (Alex Williamson for Brooklyn Eagle)

Video: A walk through the Bronx. (ActionKid)

Caroline Baumann, the director of the Cooper Hewitt Smithsonian Design Museum in Manhattan, abruptly quit on Friday with no explanation given as to why. (Robin Pogrebin for NY Times)

The XFL is here (again) and The New York Guardians won their first game. (Joe Pantorno for amNewYork Metro)

13 touristy restaurants that are actually good. (Matt Tervooren for The Infatuation)

Thanks to @directorchick for today’s featured photo!