The Briefly for February 28-29, 2021 – The “#1 Amenity New Yorkers Are Looking For” Sunday Edition

The latest NYC news digest: More accusations against Governor Cuomo, the best new doughnuts, the city’s new Asian hate crime task force, and more

Today – Low: 41˚ High: 45˚
Rain starting in the afternoon.

• A second woman has come forward about sexual harassment from Governor Cuomo.(Jesse McKinley for NY Times)

• Dropping charges against Amy Cooper for calling the police against Christian Cooper was referred to as “restorative justice” by the Manhattan district attorney’s office, but restorative justice advocates arguing dropping the charges under the term is a misleading co-optation of the term. (Arun Venugopal for Gothamist)

• Votes are being counted in the elections for City Council, making this the first election where the city’s new ranked-choice voting is being utilized. Going into the vote count, Selevena Brooks-Powers started with 38% of the vote and Pesach Osina had 35%. In third was Manny Silva with 10%. (Cindy Rodriguez for Gothamist)

The #1 amenity that New Yorkers are looking for in their next apartment. Before clicking on the link, take 2-3 guesses what it might be. (Shaye Weaver for Time Out)

Say hello Digidog, the terrifying/cute robot from Boston Dynamics that we’ve been watching videos of for years. Now the NYPD has one and advocates are worried it could become a surveillance tool. (Maria Cramer and Christine Hauser for NY Times)

• Apropos of nothing, here’s how to remove the battery from one of these Digidogs. (@lenkusov)

Eviction cases can now move forward against tenants that did not file hardship forms during the moratorium. For the 8,901 hardship declarations, the pause ends on May 1. (Beth Fertig for Gothamist)

Eleven people were injured in a five-car pileup on the Prospect Expressway on Friday afternoon. (Lloyd Mitchell for Brooklyn Paper)

Andrew Yang stepped in during an assault on the Staten Island Ferry, helping a photographer being attacked by a man with a metal pole, talking the man with the pole down. (Clifford Michel for The City)

Balthazar will be opening for the first time in a year on March 24 with indoor and outdoor dining. The bakery will also open on the same day. (Tanay Warerkar for Eater)

• Governor Cuomo seemed to lift the limits on nursing home visitations last week, but the fine print puts unforeseen limitations in place, including a 14-day pause on any visitations after any new Covid-19 cases. Of the 610 nursing homes in the state, only 1/3 are eligible for visitation. (Gwynne Hogan for Gothamist)

• Podcast: Michelle Caruso-Cabrera on running for City Comptroller. (Ben Max for Gotham Gazette)

Who’s running for public advocate? (Afia Eama for Gothamist)

• Everything you need to know about the city’s new Asian hate crime task force. (Hannah Albertine for The Infatuation)

New York City Schools Chancellor Richard Carranza is resigning from the job. Mayor de Blasio says that reports of the resignation being related to their clashes over school desegregation are “totally inaccurate.” (Sophia Chang and Jessica Gould for Gothamist)

Meisha Porter is the next NYC Schools Chancellor. She’s got ten months before a new mayoral administration but inherits a struggle over desegregation, opening school buildings, remote learning, just to start. (Sophia Chang and David Cruz for Gothamist)

6 great birra tacos. (Hannah Albertine & Nikko Duren for The Infatuation)

Shaun Donovan is promoting the idea of “Equity Bonds,” would establish government savings accounts for all New York City children through annual contributions to those in low-income families. (Elizabeth Kim for Gothamist)

• The Music Workers Alliance is calling for Governor Cuomo to create a “new WPA.” The Works Progress Administration, was a federal program that helped artists of all stripes survive the Great Depression. (Jim O’Grady for Gothamist)

The best new doughnuts in NYC. (Nikko Duren for The Infatuation)

Thanks to reader Sean for today’s featured photo!

The Briefly for February 12-13, 2021 – The “Mayor of Flavortown for Mayor of NYC” Friday Edition

The latest NYC news digest: Indoor dining returns today, new vaccination sites, mayoral candidates want more power over the MTA, splurge-worthy takeout and more

Today – Low: 21˚ High: 29˚
Mostly cloudy throughout the day.
This weekend – Low: 27˚ High: 37˚

• The annual Valentine’s Day tour of the Shit Tits in Greenpoint, the Newtown Creek Wastewater Treatment Facility, is going virtual. All the experience with none of the smell. of the city’s largest sewage plant. (Melissa Kravitz Hoeffner for Greenpointers)

• Forget the mayor of NYC. The Mayor of Flavortown is back in Manhattan. All hail Guy Fieri. (Erika Adams for Eater)

• Photos: Go back in time with this newly digitized library of photos of Central PArk in the 80s. (Jen Carlson for Gothamist)

• Remember when the NYPD started babysitting Christopher Columbus statues across the city? Well the NYPD are still babysitting these statues ten months later. (Jose Martinez for The City)

Construction will begin in the spring on Gansevoort Peninsula, Manhattan’s first public beach. The park will be built off Little West 12th St. (Christopher Robbins for Gothamist)

• In a surprise to everyone, New York concert venues and arenas can reopen on February 23. Each venue’s safety plan needs to be reviewed by the state, everyone needs proof of a negative PCR test within 3 days of the event, and venues that hold over 10,000 will have a maximum capacity of 10%. (Anna Ben Yehuda for Time Out)

How NYC’s bars and restaurants are preparing for today’s return to indoor dining. (Rachel Sugar for Grub Street)

“We’re grateful to be able to provide our guests with a slice of hope through an experience as simple as dining out. We welcome indoor dining not only as a lifeline for our business, but also as an opportunity to safely bring our customers a little more normalcy in these very abnormal times.”
– Simone Tiligna, co-owner of Sola Pasta Bar, Why I’m Opening My Restaurant for Indoor Dining in NYC for Eater

“One wonders why Cuomo can’t wait a little longer for more vaccines to come online, instead of conducting such a grand social experiment on a group of staffers who have disproportionately struggled during the pandemic. Latinx folks, for example, have suffered COVID death rates that are nearly double those of white New Yorkers.”
– Ryan Sutton, Cuomo’s Reckless Return to Indoor Dining Values NYC Restaurants Over Lives, for Eater

The top two affordable neighborhoods in NYC are Parkchester and Bedford Park in the Bronx. (Ed García Conde FOR Welcome2TheBronx)

• 2021 will be the year of legal marijuana in New York state? Maybe. Governor Cuomo and Democrats in the legislature can’t get on the same page when it comes to legal weed. (Caroline Lewis for Gothamist)

• The NYPD announced that it is ready to relinquish that responsibility to another city agency. The City Council is already debating stripping the NYPD of that responsibility as part of a package of bills aimed at police reform. (Christopher Robbins for Gothamist)

• The New York state Attorney General filed a lawsuit against Bevelyn Beatty and Edmee Chavannes, two anti-abortion protesters, accusing them of repeated “obstructive, threatening, harassing, and violent activity” at a Planned Parenthood clinic in Manhattan. Their behavior has continued through the pandemic without wearing masks. (Brooklyn Eagle)

• Turning away eligible people, poor communication, lack of translators, impossible appointments, navigators who can’t navigate. The Citi Field mass vaccination site is a Mets-level disaster. (Caroline Lewis for Gothamist)

• Starting at some point next week, 188 Walgreens sites, 75 Rite Aid sites and five Costco sites will have vaccinations available (in limited quantity). (Matt Troutman for Patch)

Vaccine stories from restaurant industry pros who’ve managed to get appointments range from ‘easy-peasy’ to ‘total shitshow.’ (Jennifer Joan Nelson for Brooklyn Magazine)

Three pop-up COVID-19 vaccination sites are set to open in northeast Queens, in Bayside, Jamaica and South Richmond Hill for Queens residents. (Jenna Bagcal for QNS)

Three small vaccine dispensary sites came online in the Lower East Side this week at community centers, public housing complexes, and cultural centers which will eventually lead to dispensaries opening at all 33 NYCHA Senior Housing Developments. (Elie Z Perler for Bowery Boogie)

• Covid-19 vaccine providers can start redistributing second doses if someone doesn’t get their second shot within the 42-day timeframe, including moving unused doses from long-term care facilities. (Sydney Pereira for Gothamist)

• The federal government increased New York’s vaccine allocation by 5% this week, making the new allocation “inadequate plus 5%.” (Matt Troutman for Patch)

• Andrew Yang has declared a new enemy: eternal sidewalk scaffolding. (Mark Hallum for amNewYork Metro)

• The mayoral race looks to AOC. (Katie Glueck for NY Times)

• In the eternal battle between the city and state, some mayoral candidates have begun talking about changing the balance of power of the MTA’s board to give the city a bigger say over the MTA. (Dave Colon for Streetsblog)

A look at Scott Stringer’s transportation plan, including more bike lanes, more pedestrian zones, reforming parking rules, reducing parking placards for city employees, more buses, and reducing community boards’ ability to block street safety projects. (Gersh Kuntzman for Streetsblog)

Here are the Republican candidates running for mayor. (Juan Manuel Benitez for NY1)

• Brownsville’s Betsy Head Park officially reopened to the public last week after a $30 million renovation. (Jake Samieske for Brooklyn Magazine)

Everything you need to know about buying your first home in NYC. (Jordi Lippe-McGraw for StreetEasy)

• Interactive Map: Explore New York City’s Black history with the Landmarks Preservation Commissions “Preserving Significant Places of Black History.” (Kevin Duggan for Brooklyn Paper)

• A new state mandate will ensure health insurance companies in New York must immediately cover fertility treatments for queer couples. (Tat Bellamy-Walker for Gay City News)

What does NYC’s Public Advocate do? (Afia Eama for Gothamist)

• Real Estate Lust: A $6.5 million Noho loft with huge, arched windows overlooking Broadway, 10-foot-long fireplace, 20 feet of closets in the main bedroom, and more. (Dana Schulz for 6qsft)

A guide to splurge-worthy takeout. (Emily Wilson for RESY)

The Briefly for January 26-28, 2020 – The “Getting Away with Attempted Murder” Tuesday Edition

The latest NYC news digest: NYC gets more vaccines (but not enough), how to defund the police, new hot dog restaurants, a primer on the city’s biryanis, and more

Today – Low: 34˚ High: 37˚
Rain starting in the afternoon.

What do the new Covid-19 variants mean for daily life from an epidemiologist from Columbia University. (Jen Carlson for Gothamist)

The city will receive more Covid-19 vaccine doses this week, but only 108,000 doses. The vaccination mega sites at Citi Field, Yankee Stadium, and Empire Outlets will remain closed. (Matt Troutman for Patch)

What you need to know about the Public Advocate race for 2021. (Rachel Holliday Smith for The City)

Daniel Presti, the co-owner of Macs Public House that hit a sheriff’s deputy with his car, avoided felony charges with a grand jury charging him with two misdemeanors instead. (John Del Signore for Gothamist)

It’s like real life imitating ranked-choice voting. State Senator Gustavo Rivera gave Scott Stringer his endorsement as a first pick for mayor and endorsing Dianne Morales as a second choice. (Sydney Pereira for Gothamist)

The Times lays out how much time each mayoral candidate spent outside of NYC, Andrew Yang wants to build a casino on Governor’s Island, NYPD Commissioner Shea does not have most candidates’ support, and highlights from the mayor’s race. (Emma G. Fitzsimmons, Jeffery C. Mays, Dana Rubinstein and Katie Glueck for NY Times)

We are so used to treating the police and policing as the solutions that they most clearly are not. Even conversations with progressives and leftists, it’s hard to shake the language and framework around incarceration. But I know we can do it if we are intentional and clear about how we want to do this work.
– Brandon West, City Council candidate, We Can Defund The Police—Here’s How for The Indypendent

Pickle Alley is, despite your dirty jokes, is the historic home of NYC’s pickle scene in the Lower East Side. (Nicole Saraniero for Untapped New York)

North Brooklyn’s guerrilla-style, free store, pop-ups. Where to find them, who’s running them, and how to help them. (Erin Conlon for Greenpointers)

Marcia Sells has been hired as the first chief diversity officer of the Metropolitan Opera to rethink equity and inclusion at the largest performing arts institution in the country. (Joshua Barone for NY Times)

The Metropolitan Museum of Art launched The Met Unframed, an interactive virtual art exhibit featuring augmented reality versions of some of the museum’s most iconic masterpieces. (Anna Ben Yehuda for Time Out)

A primer to New York City’s biryanis. (Robert Sietsema for Eater)

Real Estate Lust: A cozy $1.75 million Brooklyn Heights duplex with three fireplaces, exposed brick and ceiling beams, a private terrace, and a quick walk to Brooklyn Bridge Park. (Dana Schulz for 6sqft)

The Council has led the way calling for re-authorizing the $25 million in emergency food pantry funding distributed last May. Mayor de Blasio must act again. Millions of New Yorkers still need this support.
-City Council Speaker Corey Johnson, Met Council CEO David Greenfield and United Way of New York City President & CEO Sheena Wright, Mayor de Blasio Must Reauthorize Emergency Funding for Hungry New Yorkers for amNewYork Metro

The high cost of closing a restaurant. (Kevin Rouse for Gothamist)

Photos: The original 1910 abandoned Penn Station power plant, the largest remnant form the original station. (Nicole Saraniero for Untapped New York)

Senator Chuck Schumer is feeling confident about the future of the Hudson River tunnel Gateway Project and congestion pricing in Manhattan under the Biden administration. (Stephen Nessen for Gothamist)

The NYC Sheriff’s Office broke up a 75-person party inside a cramped basement in Woodside, Queens late Saturday night. Sixty-three partygoers face a rare $1,000 fine each for health code violations at the location. The party’s organizer was hit with second-degree obstruction, disorderly conduct, resisting arrest, and organizing a nonessential mass gathering charges on top of pending alcohol beverage charges that are pending. Idiot. (David Cruz for Gothamist)

Average rents in Long Island City are down, from $4,397 for a two-bedroom apartment to $3,660. Even with the declines, Long Island City is the most expensive neighborhood in Queens. (Allie Griffin for Queens Post)

There are two new hot dog restaurants in Manhattan amid a decade-long decline in hot dog popularity. (Robert Sietsema for Eater)

Architecture: “Inspired by biology,” “snake-like,” and a “ghostly stance.” Take a look at a proposed idea for the weirdest-shaped building in New York City. (Shaye Weaver for Time Out)

I’ll never not celebrate the opening of a new pizza place. Austin Street Pizza is now open in Forest Hills. (Drake for Edge of the City)

New York will ask the federal government to waive state tests for a second consecutive year due to the coronavirus pandemic. (Reema Amin for Chalkbeat)

The MTA unveiled a memorial dedicated to the 136 employees who have died from the coronavirus since March. It can be seen on three-panel digital screens across 107 subway stations. (Devin Gannon for 6sqft)

There are millions of on-street parking spaces for cars in the city. Compare that to only 56,000 spots for bicycles for the 1.6 million riders, embarrassingly low compared to other cities. (Winnie Hu for NY Times)

The hottest heat lamps in NYC and where to find them. (Hannah Albertine for The Infatuation)

Thanks to reader Francesca for today’s featured photo!