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 September 9, 2019 – The “Attacked by a Metal Banjo” Edition

New York’s new license plates have been chosen, a new tomato plant grows on the East River, the Port Authority’s new bus depot comes up short, and more in today’s daily NYC news digest

This week’s late-night subway service change lottery losers are the 3, 4, 6, A, F, N, and Q trains. And always the L train. (Subway Weekender)

This is our new license plate. (Patch)

For the people who loved the tomato plant discovered along the East River, here’s some good news: there is another. (NY Times)

The Charging Bull was attacked with a metal banjo. (NY Times)

It’s a nasty cycle. Bus service degrades to a point where walking will get you where you need to be faster. As a result of the poor service, ridership declines. The MTA doesn’t see the cause, just the effect, and along routes like the B38 and B54, they cut service to match the lowered demand. Now with the degraded service, the buses are still slow, still unreliable and now there are less of them. The MTA can’t fix the problems with the buses because that’s the Department of Transportation’s street designs and the NYPD’s lack of enforcement of what can make traffic flow easily and keep the streets safe for vehicles pedestrians and cyclists. (Brooklyn Daily Eagle)

The Friends (The worst show to celebrate in the age of Trump) experience pop-up on Mercer Street is all sold out, so some photos of the inside are all you’ll get unless more tickets become available. (Gothamist)

Bill de Blasio’s campaign for president hopefully ends on October 1st and someone should throw a party in celebration, especially if it means the mayor will stop doing things like show up on Tucker Carlson’s show looking for anyone who will support him. (Gothamist)

277 people leave New York for good every day, making it the #1 city people want to leave in the country. (Bloomberg)

Here comes fall, which means here comes food festivals. (6sqft)

The Apple cube is back on 5th Ave, and it’s trippy as hell. (Gothamist)

The Port Authority presented some of its ideas to replace the Port Authority Bus Terminal, and none of them accommodated services like Megabus, which use the sidewalks of midtown for their pickups and dropoffs, into their plans. There was worry that the Port Authority would eventually screw up replacing the bus terminal, and they are already meeting expectations. (Gothamist)

Digging in on bad ideas is now a hallmark of the mayor’s public statements. (Streetsblog)

Here are this week’s restaurants shut down by the Department of Health, including Tasty Popcorn Chicken in Queens with a whopping 121 violation points. (Patch)

New Yorkers already received over 1.25 billion robocalls this year. (Patch)

The 5 Boro Pizza Challenge is an attempt to eat a slice of pizza in every borough in one day, only using public transportation. Think you have what it takes? (6sqft)

Take a look inside Bette Midler’s $50 million penthouse, which is for sale. (Curbed)

New York will soon get more Detroit-style pizza when Michigan chain Jet’s Pizza sets up its first outpost on Ninth Ave between 17th and 18th St. (Eater)

Last Thursday set the record for the most Citi Bike rides in a day with 90,000. (Streetsblog)

The historic boardwalk in Coney Island is landmarked, but still bears scars from Superstorm Sandy. If you walk west on the boardwalk, past the amusement zone, you’ll encounter a section of plywood boards that freeze over in the winter. You’ll see nails sticking up, you’ll see missing boards, plants growing through, and other hazards. Residents are sick of it and are demanding change. (Brooklyn Daily Eagle)

The governor is flirting with the idea of holding the 2020 New York presidential primaries to February, one day after the Iowa caucuses. (NY Times)

Texting while crossing the street is safe, according to a new study by the Department of Transportation. Remember this the next time some old fuddy-duddy tries to argue otherwise. (NY Times)

Joe Namath is selling his (empty) $1.19 Upper West Side duplex. (I Love the Upper West Side)

There are more hate crimes against black people in NYC this year, but there were more arrests in cases with hate crimes against white people, according to numbers released by the NYPD. (Patch)

A look at five new restaurants in the city. (amNY)

A Times Square Elmo was arrested for groping a teenage girl. (Pix 11)

The history of Central Park’s Shakespeare Garden. (Ephemeral New York)

15 places to try when the company is picking up the tab for lunch. (Grub Street)

Thanks to reader Zlata for today’s featured photo!

The Briefly for August 12, 2019 – The “LaGuardia Airport: A Hellhole of Hellholes” Edition

Zombie homes, free subways and buses on holidays, the ultra-rich New Yorkers funding Trump’s campaign, the Islanders are leaving Brooklyn, and more in today’s daily NYC news digest.

This week’s planned late-night subway disruptions are extensive, double-check the trains before staying out late. (Subway Weekender)

The second phase of the Hudson Yards construction involves something pretty common to NYC: delays from the MTA. (6sqft)

A history, explanation, and timeline of the LaGuardia construction. (amNY)

Saying LaGuardia Airport sucks in 2019 is underselling the sheer nightmare that is trying to escape the city from an airport where 90% of people are using private transportation to get to. Thursday’s disaster scenario of people walking on the highways and ramps to catch their flights was blamed on it being of the 45 peak travel days for the summer. Between the MTA’s stellar track record for buses, the Port Authority’s control of the airport, the DOT’s control of the roads and individual airlines’ construction on terminals, this is a problem that will persist for years.

Where’s the governor on all of this? He’s called this whole mess “unavoidable,” while also taking no specific action to make traveling to the airport any less hellish. If you’re traveling on any of the 19 “peak” days in August, the Port Authority suggests leaving multiple hours earlier to account for the travel disaster waiting for you. (Gothamist)

The “zombie homes” in Sheepshead bay are becoming a real problem for the neighborhood. (Brooklyn Paper)

New York state has a case against ExxonMobil for misleading its shareholders by lying about knowledge of climate change as early as 1977, and now the state has caught ExxonMobil attempting to intimidate the witnesses. Opening statements are scheduled for October 23. (Inside Climate News)

If you’re the type of person who hates having money and loves martinis, maybe The Algonquin Hotel’s $10,000 martini is for you, which comes with a diamond ring. (Untapped Cities)

The Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade replaced animals from the Central Park Zoo with balloons in 1927. The company turned to Greenwich Villager Tony Sarg to create the first iconic balloons for the parade. (GVSHP)

Incomplete data and sporadic surveys make measuring storefront vacancies difficult, but a study from the Department of City Planning shows the problem doesn’t exist everywhere in the city. Jackson Heights has the lowest vacancy rate of the areas surveyed at 5.1% compared to Canal Street, which is at 25.9%. (Curbed)

The history of how a natural gas pipeline turned into a 30-mile offshore windfarm. (The Indypendent)

This week’s forced restaurant closures do not disappoint with two different places being closed by the Department of Health, both scoring over 100 violation points in the process. (Patch)

The worry over rentable Revel scooters in Brooklyn and Queens is just that, worry. The company’s mission enjoys rare support from both the Department of Transportation’s Polly Trottenberg and Transportation Alternatives, and if they proved to be dangerous, you’d be reading about the danger they pose to pedestrians in The Briefly on a regular basis. (NY Times)

These are the city’s top high schools. (Patch)

The city is transforming two East Harlem lots into all below-market-rate apartments with 30% set aside for the homeless as part of the East Harlem Housing Plan. (Curbed)

Does no one ride the subways on major holidays because the MTA cuts service or does the MTA cut service because no one rides the subways on holidays? City Councilmember Justin Brannan will propose a non-binding resolution to request the MTA offer free subway and bus service during New Year’s Day, Memorial Day, Independence Day, Labor Day Thanksgiving Day, and Christmas Day in a similar fashion to how parking meters are suspended on those days. The MTA is, of course, against anything that would promote more people to take the train or buses. (6sqft)

85% of people stopped for mass transit fare evasion are black or Latinx, which echoes the unmistakable racist enforcement of stop and frisk. (Brooklyn Daily Eagle)

The Islanders are getting a permanent home in Belmont Park with a 19,000 seat arena for the team is dead last when it comes to attendance figures for the last two seasons. (QNS)

A list of the 1% of the 1% of New York City that is fueling Trump’s reelection campaign. Of course, the city’s worst musician and Knicks owner James Dolan is on the list. (Gothamist)

The condo board of 25 Central Park West is asking neighbor buildings for money to continue to fight their lawsuit against a protected bike lane that could have saved the life of cyclist Madison Lyden. (Streetsblog)

Mike Chen is testing the six top burgers in the city, which will come out ahead? (Viewing NYC)

Already tired of the 2020 primary race among Democrats? Here is a list of possible 2021 hopefuls for NYC mayor. (amNY)

As Sunset Park becomes more popular thanks to a gentrifying neighborhood and Industry City, Third Avenue’s dangers become more pronounced. The death of Em Samolewicz is one of eight fatalities and 2,000 injuries on Third Ave since 2011. (The Brooklyn Home Reporter)

A judge issued a stay and once again blocked the 14th St busway from becoming a reality. Every single headline about this story has used some variation of the phrase “slams brakes on” like it was legally mandated. (Downtown Express)

29% of the 15,500 structural components at subway stations were found to be worn or damaged, and that number is up since 2012. Comforting, right? (amNY)

Anti-ICE protestors shut down the West Side Highway at 26th St on Saturday for an hour. (Splinter)

Were you among the 10,253 people treated by the FDNY between 2011 and 2018 whose personal information, including social security number, was accidentally left on a hard drive and misplaced? (amNY)

The New York Philharmonic’s Free Fridays are returning, giving away tickets to people between 13 and 26 with an online reservation system. (I Love the Upper West Side)

Jeffrey Epstein is dead of an apparent suicide, but the investigation into his crimes is not. The FBI and prosecutors will turn their attention to his accomplices. (NY Times)

The city’s 19th cyclist was killed by a teenage driver on Sunday in Midwood. (Brooklyn Paper)

City Hall Park is now adorned by “Estructuras Monumentales“, works by 104-year-old local artist Carmen Herrera and will be on display through November 8. (Downtown Express)

A deep look into Corey Johnson’s plans to kill the city’s car culture. (Gotham Gazette)

35 solid happy hours. (Eater)