The Briefly for December 28, 2018 – The “What the Hell Was That In the Sky? Was It Aliens?” Edition

This weekend’s subway outages and changes, the Astoria borealis, a record low number of homicides in Brooklyn, New Year’s Eve notes, and more in today’s daily NYC news digest.

All things considered the planned changes and outages on the subway this weekend are minimal. (6qsft)


Holy shit! Did you see the sky last night? (NY Post)

A transformer fire at a Con Edison substation in Astoria lit up the night sky around 9pm with a Independence Day style light show. (NY Times)

The (non) alien explosion caused a relatively small number of power outages, but the most significant was LaGuardia Airport. (Gothamist)

The explosion should remind us all about the city’s reliance on burning oil. Astoria and Long Island City have the highest rates of air pollution in the city thanks to the ConEd generating stations in each neighborhood which burn over six million gallons of oil a year combined. (HuffPost)


Which neighborhoods dominated NYC’s dining scene in 2018? (Eater)

A city Sanitation Department employee, Mervin Freeman, was arrested for allegedly strangling his 14-year-old daughter. The Sanitation Department is launching an investigation as Freeman denies the incident. (NY Post)

There’s an easier way to make a buck than to try to walk away with an ATM, but it didn’t stop these four guys in Prospect Heights. (NY Post)

Someone in East New York won $298.3 million on Wednesday night’s Powerball. Did you buy a ticket at Arnold’s Service Station on Linden Blvd? (NY Post)

What a year. Nine of the most improbable political transformations in 2018. (NY Times)

Governor Cuomo stripped the State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli of the ability to review construction contracts for SUNY schools. Kinda weird for someone whose former top aide is going to prison for corruption. (NY Post)

The NYPD will file more serious charges against the homeless men who fought an officer in a subway station, including riot, obstructing a governmental administration, and attempted assault. (Gothamist)

The NIMBY’s at the West 58th Street Coalition, representing Billionaire’s Row, has successfully sued the city to grant a temporary injunction against the construction of a homeless shelter in the former Savoy Hotel. (NY Post)

When the MTA gets to define “good service,” the subways can easily run with “good service.” (Gothamist)

Brooklyn’s Winterfest won’t be back next year. Here’s a complete look behind the bedlam at the Brooklyn Museum. (The Bridge)

Who thought in the same year New York Magazine would write about Union Pool and The New York Times would be on the Output beat? The Times is soliciting stories about Output. (NY Times)

Manhattan’s Hudson Square has become so dangerous (how dangerous is it?) the city’s Transportation Department hired crossing guards for adults. (NY Times)

Brooklyn is headed to set a record with under 100 homicides in 2018. (Brooklyn Daily Eagle)

On January 1, it will become illegal for pharmacies to sell cigarettes in the city. (amNY)

The updated list of the city’s hottest cocktail bars. (Eater)


Here are the New Year’s Eve street closures for Times Square. (Curbed)

Times Square isn’t the only fireworks in town on New Year’s Eve. Here are four alternatives. (Curbed)

Meet Tom Brennan, the man in charge of the most famous ball of crystal in the world. (NY Times)

It takes a full year of preparation to coordinate the dumping of 3,000 pounds of confetti. (NY Times)

Getting around the city on New Year’s Day won’t be simple. (amNY)

Astoria Borealis Reflection by Dustin Brown
Astoria Borealis Reflection by Dustin Brown

Thank you to Dustin Brown for the images of last night’s fire

Get your photo featured or suggest stories for The Briefly by responding to this email or tagging your NYC photos and news on Instagram or Twitter with #thebriefly.

The Briefly for September 27, 2018 – 4,800 CitiBikes are Missing, Kids Don’t Read English too Good, and More

CitiBikes are on short supply, the city’s supply of low-rent apartments is declining, the MTA refutes claims of bed bug infestations, and more in today’s NYC news digest.

There are 12,000 CitiBikes in the city, but only 7,166 are on the road the shortages are becoming noticeable.

The MTA calls the bed bug reports are false and “irresponsible.” MTA employees say otherwise.

Stop, close your eyes and ask yourself “What area has the highest population of millennials?” What’s your answer? Don’t over think it, because Williamsburg and East Williamsburg have the highest population of millennials in the country.

The city’s 16 top tapas bars, according to Eater.

Nick Cavy the guinea pig, was rescued in Prospect Park and needs a good home, preferably far away from red-tailed hawks.

The NYCLU launched Equality Watch, an online tool for victims and witnesses of discrimination.

The mayor set out to create or preserve 300,000 units of affordable housing by 2026, but the number of low-rent apartments is declining.

A preview of the new Brooklyn skyline in Prospect Heights as the Pacific Park complex near the Barclays Center enters its next phase.

What’s it gonna cost to live like Dana Barrett in Ghostbusters? Property Shark analyzed the premium you’ll pay to live within one block of Central Park.

The man who attacked two gay men outside a bar in Bushwick is allegedly 25-year-old bigot and homophobe Brandon McNamara from Middle Village, Queens.

Uber will spend $10 million to help develop more efficient transportation policies, reduce congestion, and vehicle emissions, which is a problem partially created by Uber.

Oscar Guevera isn’t a dentist, but that didn’t stop him from putting braces on a 16-year-old girl at his wife’s dental office. He and his wife are being charged with multiple crimes.

City Councilman Ydanis Rodriguez, chairman of the Committee on Transportation, announced the second annual 24-hour Riders Respond Transit Tour. Rodriguez and other city officials will ride the subway from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Oct. 3 and 4. Totally lame to split it into two days, right?

Williamsburg cafe Sands’ is closed temporarily after owner Guy Sands was tied to racist, white supremacist groups like The Proud Boys in a 2016 Vanity Fair article. Sands denies the claims.

The 80 Flatbush mega development continues to march forward, getting City Council approval. The next step is mayoral approval and construction may begin.

With fall’s arrival it’s time to tell yourself that you’ll get a flu shot next week, or the week after that, or the week after that… There were 45,368 confirmed cases of the flu in NYC last year.

The “Dear Future New York City” challenge is offering a $30,000 to connect youth with local businesses to find jobs. The challenge is open to 18-24 year-olds and is sponsored by Liberty Coca-Cola.

Express bus route changes with the intention of shortening commute times in Staten Island has resulted in longer wait times and crowded buses.

Drones strapped with explosives is the latest worry for the NYPD during the United Nations General Assembly.

Mayor de Blasio met with Cuban President Miguel Díaz-Canel, seeking to increase relations between the city and Cuba, despite the Trump administration’s decisions.

The results are in. After a recent standardized state exam, 46.7 percent of kids in grades 3 to 8 in public schools were proficient in English and just 42.7 percent were proficient in math. The same results in charter schools were 57.3% and 59.6%. The mayor remains opposed to expanding charter schools saying “I think the answer is to improve the schools we have.”

City Councilman Rory Lancman announced his candidacy for Queens District Attorney in 2019. The mothers of Sean Bell and Cory Garner have both endorsed Lancman. He also targeted over-policing of marijuana and other crimes referred to as victimless offenses.

Electric scooters are gaining support from the City Council, who believes they have the authority to make the legal in New York City, but the de Blasio administration wants to punt on the idea altogether, saying it’s a matter of state law.

Get your photo featured or suggest stories for The Briefly by responding to this email or tagging your NYC photos and news on Instagram or Twitter with #thebriefly.