The Briefly for February 8, 2019 – The “MTA Is A Disgrace For This State, We All Know It” Edition

The weekend’s subway closures, the Grand Hyatt on 42nd will be torn down, an NYPD captain attacked a cyclist, and more in today’s daily NYC news digest.

If you normally ride the 4, 5, D, N, and Q trains, get ready for a rough weekend. If you’re along the L, you already know what to expect. The weekend is only a few hours away, make sure to check the trains for closures and diversions before you head out. (6sqft)

The city will have to cut $750 million from its 2020 fiscal budget to make up for a near billion dollar shortfall of tax revenues. (amNY)

Andres Lopez Elorez was sentenced to six years in prison for his role in smuggling liquid heroin stuffed inside puppies. (NY Times)

“The MTA is a disgrace for this state, we all know it,” said the man who has so much control over the MTA that he was able to cancel the entire L train shutdown. (Curbed)

Why did an NYPD captain apparently tackle a man riding a bike in Midtown? (Streetsblog)

This is pretty cool. The city’s budget includes money to install technology at 300 intersections that will hold green lights and shorten red lights for keep city buses moving faster. (Streetsblog)

How’s the rezoning going in Gowanus? The community’s not thrilled. (Bklyner)

Did MTV cancel “Made in Staten Island?” Maybe those 9,300 signatures on change.org made a difference. (amNY)

If you don’t love the Mandarin Duck while he molts, you don’t deserve him at his best. (Gothamist)

Happy national pizza day on Saturday. Never forget John Stewart’s epic anti-Chicago deep-dish “pizza” rant.

Margaret Cho, Jon Glaser, Dave Hill, and more join Red Room Orchestra for two back-to-back evenings of live music from Twin Peaks and the films of Wes Anderson at Symphony Space on February 15 & 16. (Sponsored by Symphony Space)

Metropolitan Republican Club, the epicenter of the Proud Boys fights last year, has a new president. Ian Reilly formerly advised a group that endorsed shooting migrants, forgetting the Holocaust, and marched with neo-Nazis. (Gothamist)

The oil smell in the L train tunnels has lingered all week. The smells have made at least three MTA workers sick and caused the train to stop service for a period of time on Wednesday. (Brokelyn)

The 10 most charming spots in the Greenwich Village Historic District. (6sqft)

“Statues for Equality” will bring 10 bronze sculptures of women to the city. The 10 will raise the number of statues of women in the city by 200%. (6sqft)

The 25 most expensive homes for sale, if you’re looking to do a bit of shopping. (Curbed)

Whoops! Public Advocate candidate Ron Kim forgot to mention his ownership of multiple luxury properties to a state ethics agency. (The Real Deal)

The 10 highest grossing Broadway shows of all time. (Viewing NYC)

Say farewell to the Grand Hyatt on 42nd. Donald Trump’s first major Manhattan project is being torn down and replaced. (NY Post)

Etna Tool & Die was a staple of Bond Street for a century in a neighborhood with apartments selling for over ten million dollars. The building’s new owner has no intentions of giving in to the neighborhood’s pressures. (NY Times)

The most romantic restaurants in the city. (Thrillist)

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The Briefly for January 7, 2018 – The “Surviving A Fall Onto the Subway Tracks” Edition

Fair Fares launches with little fanfare, Albany’s been pocketing hundreds of millions of cell phone taxes, Amazon’s charm offensive starts, Oreo squirrel, and more in today’s daily NYC news digest.

The No Pants Subway Ride is this weekend, plan accordingly. (Gothamist)

That L train un-shutdown? It still needs the MTA board’s approval. (amNY)

Forget eggroll squirrel, here comes Oreo Squirrel! (West Side Rag)

He fell onto the subway tracks and SURVIVED! An unidentified man fell onto the track and laid underneath the train as it went over him. He was taken to the hospital as a precaution, but he walked away uninjured. (NY Post)

Brooklyn’s first medical marijuana dispensary opened across from the Barclays Center. Only qualifying patients for now. (Brooklyn Daily Eagle)

Kindergarten impossible. How did this 5-year-old boy escape his school and get on a subway platform without being noticed? (Gothamist)

I Eat from UWS Dumpsters and So Should You” Not me, that’s the headline. (West Side Rag)

The holidays are over, we’ve landed back in full-steam-ahead early January, you know what time it is? Girl Scout cookies. If you don’t have a Girl Scout in your life, here’s how to score some Tagalongs. (amNY)

NYPD Commissioner James O’Neill continues to think of new reasons to worry about marijuana legalization. Last week it was the retirement of marijuana-sniffing dogs, this week the excuses are underage use (which did not go up in Colorado after weed became legal) and grow house explosions. (NY Post)

The history of NYC style pizza in under eight minutes. (DidYouKnowFood)

The 168th and 181st 1 train stations in Washington Heights will be closing for nearly a year, here’s how to get around during the closure. (amNY)

Mayor de Blasio launched the Fair Fares program, as you’d expect from our mayor, with too little information for too little people and late. (Politico)

A portion of Northern Boulevard around 114th Streets collapsed into a construction site on Friday and it is indefinitely closed between 111th and 114th and indefinitely. There were no injuries and no utility disruptions. (Jackson Heights Post)

Apartment owners in the Citylights co-op in Long Island City are protesting the scheduled end of their 20-year real estate tax abatement. Since 1997, the co-op has been paying a discounted tax rate on apartments that originally sold between $10k and $65, which are now worth close to 16x their original value. (LIC Post)

Two firehouses in Queens were closed due to a scabies outbreak. Scabies is… gross and let’s not discuss that it’s caused by bugs that crawl under your skin and lay eggs. (NY Post)

Brooklyn lawyer Rashaun Kelley was arrested in connection to a series of sexual assaults which date back to 2014. He faces sex abuse, burglary and attempted rape charges. (CBS New York)

“Happy New Year from your future neighbors at Amazon.” Amazon has started their charm offensive. (Amazon)

A profile of Figure Skating in Harlem, where young women of color train to compete in a spot dominated by whites. (NY Times)

The First Street Garden Art Park has a new mural to match one of Congress’ new faces: Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. (@lexibellaart)

RIP to one of NYC’s centenarians, “Big Helen” Sieczkowski, who passed away on January 2nd at 100 years young. (Bklyner)

Unsurprisingly, New York was not on the list of cities where you can buy a home with an annual salary of $60k or less. (The Real Deal)

The head of the city’s Taxi and Limousine Commission will step down with no successor announced by City Hall. After the sixth suicide by a cab driver in the last 13 months, there have been calls for Meera Joshi to step down from drivers and politicians. (Crain’s New York)

Albany “diverted” hundreds of millions of dollars over the last ten years meant for emergency communication services, according to the FCC. NY uses the money for “non-public safety or unspecified uses.” The governor’s office refutes that claim. (NY Post)

The Bronx Riviera is planning a roaring comeback with a $75 million renovation of the landmarked Orchard Beach pavilion. The project is still in the planning phase, a date has not been set for completion. (amNY)

Our mayor, the cartoon character. (NY Times)

The city spent $4.1 million over three years to give deer vasectomies in Staten Island in hopes of reducing the number of road accidents, but 2018’s 103 accidents with 17 injuries marked an all-time high. (NY Post)

If you don’t know Paul Manship’s name, you’ve seen his work. His sculptures inhabit Central Park like the “Group of Bears” or the gates to the Children’s Zoo, but Prometeus, which looks over the skating rink at Rockefeller Center, is likely his best known work in the city. (Ephemeral New York)

A map of every bagel shop in New York City. (Brooklyn Bagel Blog)

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The Briefly for January 4, 2019 – The “Shutdown of the L Train Shutdown” Edition

A deep dive into the news about Governor Cuomo’s shutdown of the L train shutdown, with details about the timeline, the work being done, the reactions and more in today’s daily NYC news digest.

The holidays are over, welcome back to the weekend insanity of the MTA’s scheduled subway closures. This weekend starts the end of 7 train service between Queens and Manhattan and a ton of other closures and disruptions. (6sqft)


Let’s take a complete look at the L train un-shutdown.

The rumors hit the @TransitCenter Twitter account at midnight.

The Governor held a press conference to break the news at 12:45pm. (NY Times)

No L-pocalypse” -MTA chairman Fernando Ferrer. (Time Out)

This throws three years of planning out the window. (Second Avenue Sagas)

“There would need to be some night and weekend closures of only one tube, so service would still work because there are two tunnels.” -Governor Cuomo (Brooklyn Paper)

“No, I am not in charge of the MTA…Yes, I did ask this group, I convened this group, I got them access, I facilitated their research, they came up with their conclusion, they presented it to the MTA, and the MTA said it’s a better way to do it.” -Also Governor Cuomo (Greenpointers)

5 bars near the L train Jefferson stop (Bushwick Daily)

The repairs will proceed on a 15-20 month time frame and regular weekday service will continue and nights and weekends will run on a single track. (Second Avenue Sagas)

The methods are innovative and have been implemented in Europe, but never in a tunnel restoration project. (Brooklyn Eagle)

“Either the academics are wrong or the MTA and its vendors are totally incompetent.” -Reinvent Albany’s John Kaehny (Politico)

There will still be additional service on the J/M/Z and 7. (Curbed)

The academics used were experts from Columbia and Cornell Universities. (BrooklynVegan)

The unstable walls in the tunnel that contain ducts for power and communications cables and serves as a maintenance and emergency walkways will be removed and weakened ones will be reinforced. (6sqft)

The existing walls will still be fortified and fitted with sensors to detect further damage, but the power and communication cables will be “racked” to the walls of the main tunnels instead of inside the existing walls. (amNY)

Racking the cables to the wall gives engineers easier access to them. This method is currently being used in London, Riyadh and Hong Kong. (Streetsblog)

The new project will take around the same time and come within the current $477 million contract to replace the tunnel with Judlau and TC Electric and approved by the MTA’s board. (amNY)

The plans for a high-occupancy lane on the Williamsburg Bridge will likely not be moving forward, according to Andy Byford. (NY Times)

While it’s still inconvenient, the people who got reduced rents based on the shutdown are ecstatic. (NY Post)

The City Council is still pushing for transportation alternatives like the CitiBike expansion, new bike lanes, and widening the sidewalks on 14th St. The bike lanes that are already built and the CitiBike expansion are the only confirmed improvements. (Streetsblog)

Where to eat along the L train. (The Infatuation)


If you read these stories about how elevator mishaps killed New Yorkers, you may never want to step foot in an elevator again. (The Real Deal)

Candy Nations, Summer in Winter and 21 more public art installations not to miss this month. (Untapped Cities)

A judge blocked the law that would have forced Airbnb to disclose private information about listings on the site. (NY Times)

Jake the dog was missing since December 30 and has been safely reunited with his family after causing a subway traffic jam on the Williamsburg Bridge. (Gothamist)

If you’re gonna rob an Apple Store of $75 worth of tech, make sure to cover your face. (NY Post)

Noted racist Aaron Schlossberg is suing after his recorded tirade went viral and he learned that actions have consequences. (NY Post)

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