The Briefly for February 23-25, 2021 – The “Movie Theaters Reopen on March 5” Tuesday Edition

The latest NYC news digest: The biggest idiot in New York, a deathbed confession links the NYPD to Malcolm X’s assassination, the best doughnuts and more

Today – Low: 34˚ High: 40˚
Drizzle in the morning and afternoon.

• Only an idiot would steal a bunch of merchandise from a Chanel store and then brag online about having enough merchandise to open a small boutique. Meet Eric Spencer, that alleged idiot, who was arrested in Florida for allegedly sticking up a SoHo Chanel store in broad daylight earlier this month. (Jake Offenhartz for Gothamist)

• Thanks to a deathbed confession, there is new evidence that the NYPD and FBI conspired in the assassination of Malcolm X. (Sydney Pereira for Gothamist)

The Metropolitan Opera may not return in 2021. The Met’s General Manager Peter Gelb is trying to cut wages 30% long term across the opera’s workforce and the stage employee union is standing up to Gelb with the campaign “Without People the Opera is Nothing.” (Bobby Panza for I Love the Upper West Side)

New York City movie theaters can reopen on March 5 at 25% capacity and PCR tests will not be required to enter. (Shaye Weaver for Time Out)

• The Times questions if Governor Cuomo’s bullying style can still work in politics, detailing years of intimidation, insults, and threats. (Jesse McKinley and Luis Ferré-Sadurní for NY Times)

• As reported last week, Pearl River Mart is re-opening this spring in a new location in Soho. (Elie Z. Perler for Bowery Boogie)

• Ask an epidemiologist: Dr. Jessica Justman on how to stay safe on the subway. The clean surfaces don’t matter nearly as much as wearing a mask and keeping your distance. (Sydney Pereira for Gothamist)

MTA transit crews will now give out a second mask to anyone who asks for it. (Anna Ben Yehuda for Time Out)

• Interview: What it’s like to start a nursing career during the Covid-19 crisis. (Alexa Shahrestani for Bedford + Bowery)

• While not NYC specific, this data visualization of the 500,000 American deaths due to the Coronavirus is absolutely staggering and worth of your time to understand its impact. (Sam Hart for Reuters)

• Advocates for charter schools hope more can reopen soon, after a judge ruled the city must include them in the program that provides free weekly tests at traditional public schools. The city is appealing the ruling, arguing the city’s obligation to provide free, random sample testing beyond Department of Education schools. (Jessica Gould for Gothamist)

The city now has a “recovery czar,” whatever that means. Recovery from the pandemic seems like it should be the top focus of the mayor, but since we haven’t fully recovered yet from Hurricane Sandy, we can hardly expect the mayor to treat this like it’s his job either. (Matt Troutman for Patch)

New FEMA-managed vaccination sites will open on Wednesday at Medgar Evers College in Brooklyn and York College in Queens with appointments available for people who are currently eligible and live in nearby zip codes. (Sydney Pereira for Gothamist)

• Despite what the mayor has publicly said, some second doses of the Covid-19 vaccine were delayed by the weather. NYC Health + Hospitals claim they will be resupplied by mid-week. (Caroline Lewis for Gothamist)

Madison Square Garden announced its first concert in 2021. Colombian reggaeton artist Maluma is scheduled to perform on October 1. (Amanda Hatfield for BrooklynVegan)

The Peoples Improv Theater is vacating its main location on East 24th Street. The PIT List and Pioneers bar on 29th St will remain for now. (Anne Victoria Clark for Vulture)

The NYCHA keeps poisoning kids with lead with apartments they declare are “lead-free.” It is shameful that the city has poisoned over 1,000 children in the last decade. (Greg B. Smith for The City)

• This is a great moment to ask the question “What is the NYCHA?” and other questions about public housing. (Rachel Holliday Smith for The City)

• The City Council seems ready to take a serious look at reducing certain helicopter traffic around the city to the degree that they can. (Gersh Kuntzman for Streetsblog)

• Podcast: Guiddalia Emilien discusses her run for mayor. (Ben Max for Gotham Gazette)

Who is running for Staten Island borough president? Surprise! They’re both Republicans. (David Cruz for Gothamist)

• If you’re horny for watching Trump lose, I’ve got some great news for you. The Supreme Court denied the unemployed Florida man’s attempts to block Manhattan District Attorney Cy Vance from obtaining eight years of his personal tax records. A grand jury will see his tax records “almost immediately.” (Jake Offenhartz for Gothamist)

• The city is severing its contracts with the Trump Organization to operate the Wollman Rink and Lasker Rink in Central Park ahead of April. The rinks will stay open through the end of the season despite the city first announcing they would close early. (Sydney Pereira for Gothamist)

• Photos: Check out these massive, climbable sculptures are headed to MoMA PS1. (Shaye Weaver for Time Out)

• Photos: The Lake in Central Park is frozen solid! (Michelle Young with photography by Ryan Lahiff for Untapped New York)

10 black baseball sites in New York City. (Dave Kaplan for Untapped New York)

The best doughnut shops in the city. (Swathi Reddy for Thrillist)

Thanks to reader Francesca for today’s featured photo!

The Briefly for February 19-20, 2021 – The “Cuomo Versus the World” Friday Edition

The latest NYC news digest: Pearl River Mart has a new home, where to go sledding, the greatest fictional NYC mayor, Amazon gets sued, Block-owned coffee shops, and more

Today – Low: 25˚ High: 34˚
Snow (1–2 in.) in the morning and afternoon.
This weekend – Low: 22˚ High: 34˚

• Ask An Epidemiologist: Should you wear two masks? Dr. David Chokshi, the city’s health commissioner and guy in all those commercials on Hulu, says two are better than one. (Caroline Lewis for Gothamist)

Farewell to Park Slope’s Mission Delores, a fantastic bar. (Jason Diamond for Grub Street)

17 spots to go sledding in New York City. (Devin Gannon for 6sqft)

A timeline of Governor Cuomo’s nursing home controversy. (Nick Reisman for NY1)

• Not everyone is fighting Governor Cuomo. Cuomo took $145 million from the MTA’s budget and they aren’t challenging it. Of the $145 million, $107 million is being taken from an operating fund that is supposed to be dedicated to fund mass transit. Cuomo has not stated the reason for removing the money from the MTA’s budget. (Dave Colon for Streetsblog)

• The Department of Justice and FBI are investigating Governor Cuomo’s administration over the nursing home issue. (Jen Chung for Gothamist)

• Assemblyman Ron Kim has been criticizing Governor Cuomo for months about how Cuomo handled the state’s nursing homes. When Kim said Cuomo was “trying to dodge any incriminating evidence,” it resulted in the governor calling up Kim to let him know Cuomo would “destroy” him. (Luis Ferré-Sadurní and Jesse McKinley for NY Times)

• Answering the question of who is Ron Kim? (Christine Chung for The City)

Pearl River Mart has found itself a new home at 452 Broadway, near Canal St. (Bowery Boogie)

• Gothamist held a vote for the greatest fictional mayor of New York City, using ranked choice voting, and the results are in! Mayor Lenny from Ghostbusters is the city’s greatest fictional mayor, who also has one of my favorite quotes in history about NYC: “Being miserable and treating other people like dirt is every New Yorker’s God-given right.” (Jake Dobkin and Jen Carlson for Gothamist)

• Photos: 16 stunning photos of NYC landmarks blanketed in snow. (Shaye Weaver for Time Out)

• Where does Greenwich Village end? What are the boundaries of Bed-Stuy? How far So of Ho does SoHo extend? The fight over perceived neighborhood borders is heating up again. (Anna Ben Yehuda for Time Out)

• Interview: Did you watch us land on Mars on Thursday? Meet Vishnu Sridhar, a Queens boy who is the lead systems engineer for the SuperCam on the Mars 2020 rover. (Sydney Pereira for Gothamist)

A look into keeping pigeons, a dwindling hobby in NYC. (Allie Conti for NY Times)

Coney Island will be able to reopen on April 9 at a 33% capacity, but if you want to get in, you must buy tickets in advance and wear face coverings, and the parks must conduct temperature checks and clean the rides frequently. (Rose Adams for Brooklyn Paper)

The city has new guidance for indoor dining, which includes limiting parties to 4 or fewer, wearing a mask whenever you are not actively eating or drinking, and more. (Tanay Warerkar for Eater)

“I’ve had to cancel counseling sessions to stand by metal detectors that children are required to go through, to monitor the hallways, or to “watch” a group of suspended students. I could fill pages with all the jobs I’ve done that have nothing to do with social work. The rationalization is that any type of human interaction automatically translates into “social work.” That’s because most people have no idea what a social worker does.”
– Vanessa Vélez, Nobody knows what a social worker does. That is hurting our students., for Chalkbeat

• Maps: How Covid-19 impacted internet speeds across the city. (Jameson Zimmer for Untapped New York)

Mount Sinai Health System has been canceling thousands of first dose vaccine appointments in the last few days due to low supply. (Caroline Lewis and Sydney Pereira for Gothamist)

• Sections of Queens, Hunts Point in the Bronx, and East New York and Brownsville in Brooklyn had among the lowest percent of residents who have received at least one dose of a Cocid-19 vaccine. (Sydney Pereira and Jake Dobkin for Gothamist)

• Maps: Vaccine data by zip code. (Davin Gannon for 6sqft)

• The case against Amy Cooper, the woman who falsely called the police on a Black man in Central Park for “threatening” her, was dropped on Tuesday after she completed a therapeutic program that included instruction about racial biases. (Jonah E. Bromwich for NY Times)

How New York City’s delivery workers survive snowstorms. (Jasmine Fernandez for NY City Lens)

• Amazon tried to block it with a lawsuit of their own, but Attorney General Letitia James is suing Amazon over the company’s failure to provide safety measures for its NYC workers during the pandemic. (Sophia Chang for Gothamist)

• Barstool Sports is 100% garbage and founder Dave Portnoy is a piece of human shit. I hold these opinions for reasons outside of Portnoy calling New Haven the pizza capital of the world. The Coney Island Blog makes the (correct) argument that the best pizza int he world is made in Brooklyn. (The Coney Island Blog)

• Check out BKFoxx’s new mural for the Year of the Ox in Chinatown at Dr. Sun Yat Middle School on Eldridge and Hester. (Anna Ben Yehuda for Time Out)

• The State Liquor Authority has begun to crack down on obvious violations of the rules of outdoor dining, suspending the liquor licenses of nine restaurants and bars. Most suspensions appear to be as a result of fully enclosed outdoor dining structures. (Tanay Warerkar for Eater)

• Real Estate Lust: A $2.3 million Brownstone in Brooklyn Heights with two outdoor spaces and three fireplaces. (Devin Gannon for 6sqft)

Governor Cuomo has gone back to the drawing board on his marijuana legalization bill after being widely criticized for his last attempt over not doing enough to address communities hit hardest by the war on drugs and still criminalized offenses in ways that would disproportionally impact people of color. (Caroline Lewis for Gothamist)

Where to find a work from home snack break in the East Village. (Hannah Albertine for The Infatuation)

• New York region’s subway system is the worst for air pollution in the Northeast. We’re #1! We’re #1! We’re #1! Suck it, Boston and DC, you can’t keep up with our air pollution in the subways. Maybe after reading this I’ll keep wearing a mask on the subway forever. (Shaye Weaver for Time Out)

Overanalyzing Andrew Yang’s Instagram meals because sometimes we need a break from criticizing the stream of dumb things this guy keeps saying in public. (Hannah Albertine for The Infatuation)

28 Black-owned coffee shops in NYC. (Hannah Albertine and Nikko Duren for The Infatuation)

The Briefly for January 12-15, 2020 – The “No, You Don’t Gotta Say That” Tuesday Edition

The latest NYC news digest: Vaccines available for group 1b, the best Thai restaurants, the High Line will be extended, Andrew Yang puts his foot in his mouth, and more

Today – Low: 32˚ High: 40˚
Partly cloudy throughout the day.

A list of who is eligible for the Covid-19 vaccine. Groups 1a and 1b are currently eligible. You can also call the vaccine hotline at 888-364-3065. (NYC.gov)

After failing to disburse more than half of the federal funding in a COVID-19 rent relief program, New York opened a new application window in order to hand out the remaining $60 million. The application closes at the end of January, so get moving. (Emily Lang for Gothamist)

Vice President for Manhattanville Development at Columbia University, Marcelo Velez, is accused of engaging in sex acts with a girl under the age of 13 inside his New Jersey home. (Jake Offenhartz for Gothamist)

Sometimes you gotta say Heil Hitler” – Republican candidate for Staten Island Boro President Leticia Remauro is apologizing for accidentally saying the quiet part out loud during a video she posted online protesting the closure of Mac’s Public House. (Chris Sommerfeldt and Cathy Burke for Daily News)

The NYPD’s investigation into Deputy Inspector James F. Kobel, who oversaw the NYPD’s Equal Employment Opportunity Division, was using a pseudonym online to hide his racist posts in a police officer message board. Kobel, a coward, filed for retirement last week. (William K. Rashbaum and Alan Feuer for NY Times)

Nicole Malliotakis’ Bay Ridge office was greeted by hundreds of protesters over the weekend, showing her just how appreciated her opposition to certifying the election results is with her constituents. (Brian Braiker for Brooklyn Magazine)

An NYPD member is under investigation over accusations they participated in the attack on the Capitol. The mayor stated any city employee at the attack would be fired. (Matt Troutman for Patch)

William Pepe, a worker for Metro-North, “called out sick Wednesday to attend” the attack on the Capitol last week. He’s been suspended without pay pending an investigation. (Jen Chung for Gothamist)

A look into the Home Alone group show at the ATM Gallery on Henry Street. (EV Grieve)

New York state is looking to enact a law that would fine food delivery apps for creating listings for restaurants without their written permission. GrubHub currently adds local restaurants without the restaurants’ permission when they see local “demand.” (Christopher Robins for Gothamist)

Lap dances, karaoke, and secret parties. The NYC speakeasies of Covid-19. (Mihir Zaveri for NY Times)

Real Estate Lust: Six bedrooms, a front porch, side porch, rear deck, a driveway, built-in 1899 $2.6 million house in Prospect Park South. (Dana Schulz for 6sqft)


Media Career Makeover
by Mediabistro

This is definitely the month to focus on your career, especially if you work in creative fields. That’s why Mediabistro, New York’s legendary creative careers community, is offering a four week online workshop (starting January 27th) to boost your career for 2021.

The Mediabistro Media Career Makeover will give you the tools, personal brand uplift, and grit to energize your freelance or full-time career with guidance from guest speakers and personalized feedback from a coach.

Special offer for The Briefly readers: As a reader of The Briefly, you can get a full 33% off the regular price right now with code thebriefly33 (about $100 in savings)! This discount was supposed to expire on 12/30, but Mediabistro extended it for The Briefly readers!

BOOK NOW before costs go up – offer expires on Friday, 1/15 – and do your career a giant favor to start off the year.


Queens Public Defenders are attempting to unionize and their management is calling them a “mob.” (Sam Mellins for New York Focus, in partnership with The City)

Sammy Revelo, Retired NYPD Lieutenant, declared his candidacy for Bronx Boro President. (Nowrood News)

One advantage of having Community Board meetings virtually is that anyone can show up, like Chuck Schumer, who popped into a CB2 meeting on the day after the attack on the Capitol. Maybe he needed a break from everything happening that week. (Christian Murray for LIC Post)

Speaking of Chuck, here’s what his future as Senate Majority leader means for NYC. (Jesse McKinley and Christina Goldbaum for NY Times)

Video: Meet Violet Brill, a 16-year-old urban forager. (Daniela Sirtori-Cortina for Bedford + Bowery)

Esquire’s list “100 Restaurants American Can’t Afford To Lose” includes 12 NYC restaurants, including Proto’s Pizza, Keens, Bar Tabac, and nine more. (Matt Troutman for Patch)

Prismatica, an immersive art installation consisting of 25 rainbow-like prisms between 39th and 40th streets. The installation is by RAW Design in collaboration with ATOMIC3. (Will Gleason for Time Out)

A supervisor for the NYCHA certified an apartment lead-free, but it was never actually inspected. Now a child has lead poisoning. (Greg B. Smith for The City)

“We live in a two-bedroom apartment in Manhattan. And so, like, can you imagine trying to have two kids on virtual school in a two-bedroom apartment, and then trying to do work yourself?” –Andrew Yang actually gave that quote to the Times about spending most of his time outside of New York City while he’s thinking about running for mayor of New York City. (Katie Glueck for NY Times)

14 hours later, Andrew Yang was on the defensive while all the other mayoral candidates saw an opportunity to pounce. (Katie Glueck for NY Times)

The city’s Independent Budget Office says that jobs won’t bounce back until at least 2024, but the state and city’s budget hole initially predicted wouldn’t be as bad as predicted. (Greg David for The City)

Dr. Fauci told the conference of the Association of Performing Arts Professionals that live concerts could return “some time in the fall of 2021,” depending on reaching herd immunity. (Amanda Hatfield for BrooklynVegan)

We are not going to achieve any levels of population immunity or herd immunity in 2021” -WHO’s chief scientist Soumya Swaminathan. (Science Alert)

Interview Emily Gallagher started her term as a state assembly member representing the state’s 50th district. (Julia Kott for Greenpointers)

“Why is New York spending so much money on giant waiting room/malls that all have nowhere to sit? And what does this say about how we’ve chosen to treat our public spaces and transit infrastructure? Must we make every public space so inhospitable to the people using it or can we find a better way?”
-Benjamin Kabak, Some thoughts on Moynihan Train Hall and designing public spaces with nowhere to sit, for Second Ave Sagas

The High Line will be extended to connect to the new Moynihan Train Hall. The $60 million project does not have an expected completion date yet. (Michelle Young for Untapped New York)

If you’ve got the bitcoin, you could be the new owner of Hellcat Annie’s Tap Room and Scruffy Duffy’s on Tenth Avenue. Two bars for 25 bitcoins, which works out to be about $862k. (Tanay Warerkar for Eater)

Every business is Schrödinger’s cat during the pandemic. Despite rumors to the contrary, Economy Candy is still alive. (Elie Z. Perler for Bowery Boogie)

Sorry Upper West Side crafters, Michael’s on Columbus Ave is closing. (Mike Mishkin for I Love the Upper West Side)

The governor’s State of the State address (watch the 43-minute speech here) is an outline to “win” the Covid war, but not without a lot of help from Washington. (Jesse McKinley and Luis Ferré-Sadurní for NY Times)

Mayor de Blasio will likely be remembered for two terms of broken promises. In July he promised to accelerate his “affordable” high-speed internet plan for public housing and low-income areas hit hard by the pandemic. IT’s been six months and the city has not made a single deal on the initiative the mayor has been talking about since 2013. (Reuven Blau for The City)

The best Thai restaurants in NYC, if you’re ready. (Hannah Albertine, Nikko Duren, Bryan Kim, and Arden Shore for The Infatuation)

Thanks to reader Francesca for today’s featured photo!