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 19, 2020 – The “Rat, Roach, and Mouse Census of 2020” Edition

Today’s daily NYC news digest: The East Village’s most resilient dive bar, Manhattan rents are the highest in the country, the best Italian restaurants in the West Village, and more

Today – Low: 29˚ High: 46˚
Clear throughout the day.

Another reminder to start bringing your tote bags around, because the plastic bag ban is coming. (Alyssa Paolicelli for NY1)

The story of The Hard Swallow, the East Village’s most resilient dive bar and its owners Sasha and Lee Lloyd. (Drew Schwartz for Vice)

A coalition of North Brooklyn residents and environmental groups are fighting to stop National Grid’s plan to extend a natural gas pipeline through Bushwick, Williamsburg and Greenpoint. (Sydney Pereira for Gothamist)

A census of rats, roaches, mice, and vermin. After a special “rat academy,” the NYCHA is ready to count its pests. (Greg B. Smith for The City)

The NYPL has released a list of its favorite 125 books of all time. They aren’t ranked, so you don’t get to brag that your favorite Harry Potter book is #1. (Shaye Weaver for Time Out)

Luna Park and its Italian owner company Zamperla have been trying to kick Lola Star Souvenir Boutique off the boardwalk for a decade and they finally got what they wanted after raising the rent on the gift shop 500% and “negotiating” down to 400%. Zamperla doesn’t care about Coney Island the neighborhood, they only care about owning Coney Island and this is proof. (Rose Adams)

High Fidelity’s filming locations, listed. (Michelle Young for Untapped New York)

Do you operate an historic boat? Brooklyn Bridge Park would like to know if you want to show it off. (Davin Gannon for 6sqft)

Trader Joe’s is looking to expand on the Upper East Side in the former location of the Food Emporium under the Queensboro Bridge. (6sqft)

14 cozy bars to stay warm at all winter. (Lidia Ryan)

Congratulations to Manhattan for having the highest rents in the entire country for the month of January at $4,210. The national average is $1,463. (Emily Davenport for amNewYork Metro)

Apartment Porn: Inside the newly listed $8 million and $18 million apartments of the landmarked Steinway Building. (Alexandra Alexa for 6sqft)

President Trump pardoned former NYPD Commissioner Bernie Kerik, who was imprisoned from 2010 to 2013 on tax fraud and corruption charges. He accepted a quarter million dollars from a company tied to organized crime to renovate his apartment and lied to the Department of Homeland Security. (Kathleen Culliton for Patch)

The MTA is boasting the best on-time performance since 2013 for January. Hidden in this article is the fun fact that congestion pricing will require federal approval, so that’s another fight we can all look forward to. (Mark Hallum for amNewYork Metro)

What’s it take to be a “real” New Yorker? (Jessica Leibowitz and Jen Carlson for Gothamist)

FedEx and UPS receive over a thousand parking violations a day, but they’ll never pay the full price of the tickets they receive because they pay in bulk and at a steep discount, thanks to the Stipulated Fines and Commercial Abatement program. Offering an immediate discount on parking fines allows delivery companies to flout parking laws or clog the city’s street by parking illegally. The city’s attempted to update its double parking laws for trucks, but if these companies won’t pay for their violations what does it matter? City Councilmember Costa Consantinides put forward a bill to abolish the abatement program, but it’s stalled in committee. (Sophia Chang for Gothamist)

This is the headline: “Sexy Time for Tompkins Square Hawks” (Laura Goggin)

The New York City Planning Commission is looking into developing a 2.4 million-square-foot urban living complex close to the East New York, Brooklyn waterfront that includes 13 new buildings ranging in height from 2 stories to 17. (Gowanus Lounge)

The best Italian restaurants in the West Village. (Bryan Kim & Matt Tervooren for The Infatuation)

The Briefly for February 11, 2020 – The “Brokers’ Fees Are Unbanned” Edition

Today’s daily NYC news digest: The subway mascot Cardvaark, the hottest restaurants in Queens, a sleepover at IKEA, the plastic bag ban, an Oreo slide, and more

Today – Low: 35˚ High: 48˚
Light rain in the morning and afternoon.

Congrats to the Barclays Center subway stop, which has the city’s worst privately owned subway elevator functioning for only 74.2% of 2019, out of service for a total of three months of the year. (Jose Martinez for The City)

Video: Go behind the scenes and back in time with this Metropolitan Museum of Art behind the scenes tour from 1928. (Matt Coneybeare for Viewing NYC)

Remember when brokers’ fees were banned? Brokers’ fees have been unbanned, temporarily at least. The Real Estate Board of New York sued the state and the judge put a temporary restraining order on the rule. Snip snap. (Matthew Haag for NY Times)

Hulu is taking over Rough Trade this weekend in an installation to promote the new Hulu version of High Fidelity. (Grant Lancaster for amNewyork Metro)

New York is the ninth most dangerous state for online dating, which takes into account internet crime rates and STI transmission rates. The safest site for online dating is Maine and the most dangerous is Alaska, which has the country’s highest man to woman ratio. (Kathleen Culliton for Patch)

The best bars on the Upper West Side. (Hannah Rosenfield for I Love the Upper West Side)

Aldea, which arrives a Michelin star, is closing on February 22. Chef George Mendes cites plans to “take a break, recharge creatively, and refocus,” with no other reason given for the closure. (Serena Dai for Eater)

Pizza Rat won Gothamist’s poll for the new subway mascot, but let’s not forget the subway’s previous mascot, Cardvaark, who looks like everyone’s least coolest cousin wearing a homemade Halloween outfit, who was supposed to help us all transition from tokens to MetroCards. Fun fact, the same person who brought us Cardvaark also brought us Poetry in Motion. (Ben Yakas for Gothamist)

Okay, so you’re moving from Manhattan to Brooklyn. Here are 19 answers to common questions. (Mariela Quintana for StreetEasy)

The NYPD is reporting 2019 saw the first rise in the number of Stop and Frisks since 2013, up 22% from 2018. An NYPD spokesperson, who must think that we’re all stupid, said that it’s “unlikely to be a true increase in stops but rather more accurate and complete reporting.” (Jake Offenhartz for Gothamist)

With a history of racist and victim-blaming comments, does the Sergeants Benevolent Association’s Ed Mullins really speak for the actual NYPD? (Emma G. Fitzsimmons and Jeffery C. Mays for NY Times)

Take a deep breath in and release that tension in your body. The Yankees have reported for spring training, which means actual spring is coming. (Joe Pantorno for amNewYork Metro)

Everything you need to know about NYC’s citywide ferry. (Tanay Warerkar for Curbed)

What you need to know about the state’s plastic bag ban, which kicks into gear in less than three weeks. (Adam Nichols for Patch)

Manhattan’s community boards are older than the borough’s population, homeowners hold a disproportionately high number of seats and Hispanic people are underrepresented. Not a great representation. (Rachel Holliday Smith and Ann Choi for The City)

Oreo is building a giant inflatable slide in Herald Square that will open February 21st, so when you’re in Herald Square and your friends see the slide and ask what it is, you can look effortlessly cool by telling them “Oreo put it up.” (Emma Orlow for Time Out)

If you’ve always wanted to sleep in the Red Hook IKEA, here’s your chance. (Devin Gannon for 6sqft)

After an ICE agent shot Eric Diaz in the face, it’s time to ask if New York City really a sanctuary city? (Peter Rugh for The Indypendent)

The Reckless Driver Accountability Act will require drivers who rack up five red light tickets or 15 school speed zone violations within a one year period to take a safe driving course or they’ll lose their car until they do. The bill is expected to pass City Council this week. (Jake Offenhartz for Gothamist)

Photos: Cupid’s Undie Run, kind of like a street version of the No Pants Subway Ride but for charity, hit the streets last weekend. (Collier Sutter for Time Out)

Video: ‘Commute’ by Scott Lazer is a beautiful film, shot on 16mm, even if it’s focused on Penn Station in rush hour. (Matt Coneybeare for Viewing NYC)

1 Dot = 1 Person. Explore how racially divided the city is using 2010 census data. (Weldon Cooper Center for Public Service)

Feds to the Hudson River rail tunnel: Drop Dead. (Ryan Hutchins for Politico)

Another day, another water main break. This time the water main on South Street near Pike Slio broke, flooding the area. (Bowery Boogie)

R40, La Rotisserie du Coin, La Mian Lounge join the hottest restaurants in Queens.

Featured photo sent in from reader @mfireup