The Briefly for July 16, 2019 – The “No One Knows What Caused the Blackout” Edition

ConEd is not untouchable, the Queens DA race is giving Bush v Gore vibes, the best restaurants in the East Village, the ice cream wars of Dumbo have begun, and more in today’s daily NYC news digest.

Deep below the Flatiron Building, there’s an unused coal-fueled power plant that pre-dates the building’s steam systems. You probably will never get a personal tour of it, so experiencing it through this photo gallery is the closest you’ll get. (Untapped Cities)

The pizza wars of Dumbo continue on, but the ice cream war between Ample Hills and the Brooklyn Ice Cream Factory are only just beginning. (Brooklyn Daily Eagle)

Want to prepare for the next (inevitable) blackout? Here’s a list of six things you can do to get yourself ready. (Curbed)

Why are so many of the escalators in the new Q train subway stations broken so often? Don’t ask the MTA, because they can’t figure it out. (amNY)

Put ConEd down in the same category as the MTA, because they can’t seem to get their story straight about what caused this blackout. (NY Times)

Governor Cuomo appears to be sick of ConEd’s shit between this outage, the fire in Astoria that lit the sky, and transformer fires in Lower Manhattan and Brooklyn, and he’s open to replacing them. (Gothamist)

How has ConEd responded to this massive outage? By making a public statement that the heat this week could cause more outages. Lovely. (Huff Post)

The cost of the blackout was $3.5 on Broadway alone, with 26 of 30 possible performances being canceled. Saturday in July is Broadway’s most popular night in the most popular month. (NY Times)

A brief history of blackouts in New York City. (amNY)

The NYPD won’t share details about an off-duty Queens cop who was arrested on charges of false imprisonment and assault, calling it a “confidential investigation” while flagrantly showing the NYPD’s “fundamental and pervasive lack of transparency,” as cited in a report earlier this year. (Gothamist)

From romantic to the club to sporty to outdoors: where to go for date night in Astoria. (We Heart Astoria)

Staten Island politicians are urging the governor to start a “microtransit” pilot program to expand transit options throughout the city’s largest borough. Microtransit refers to buses and not alternative modes of transportation, as Staten Island remains a borough without any bike lanes. (Curbed)

With Jeff Bezos buying a Manhattan apartment, protestors of Amazon have a new target to make their voices heard. (Patch)

It seemed the public call for volunteers worked, the Giglio Lift went off without a hitch last weekend, which is the largest of the lifts during Williamsburg’s Giglio Feast. The feast continues through the weekend with more lifts on Wednesday and Sunday nights. (Gothamist)

There is a fight for survival happening all around us, as invasive species are threatening the city’s flora. The problem is only a biodiversity one, but fighting invasive bugs and plants can be costly. The treatment and removal of ash trees due to a beetle infestation will cost the city nearly $10 million over three years. (amNY)

What’s the latest on the Mandarin Duck? He seems to have left the city a few months ago and we should expect him back after the summer. Ducks molt in the summer and while they’re flightless they look for safer and more private bodies of water. (Gothamist)

Residents of the financial district are trying to get the city to pump the brakes before construction begins on the last building in the World Trade Center in an attempt to keep the project selection process fair and to ensure the neighborhood benefits from another massive construction project. (amNY)

Photos from the Queens DA primary recount is giving off major Bush v Gore vibes. (NY Times)

The next expansions of CitiBike’s coverage will be painfully slow. The current roll-out will take until 2023– the service’s decade anniversary– to complete. (Streetsblog)

The statue outside of the Museum of Natural History of Teddy Roosevelt atop a horse, flanked by an African-American and a Native American was one of the monuments the city was reconsidered in 2017. The statue has attracted negative attention for Roosevelt’s racist views and statements about Native Americans and Africans and has been the target of protest multiple times since installation in 1940. The museum is leaning into controversy by highlighting the criticism of the statue and of the museum’s history to complicate and contextualize without glorification. (NY Times)

The best restaurants in the East Village. (The infatuation)

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The Briefly for June 12, 2019 – The “You’re A Landmark if You Like It or Not” Edition

The state’s legislature agreed to rent reforms, the best restaurants of 2019 so far, Cuomo gets serious about MTA overtime, and more in today’s daily NYC news digest.

The state legislature agreed on a package of bills aimed at strengthening tenants rights and rent laws. The bills also would become permanent, so no more regular lobbying from the real estate industry to let the laws lapse when their expiration dates come. (NY Times)

Some of the rent reforms include ending vacancy decontrol, eliminating the ability of landlords to raise rents on vacancies, it would retain preferential rents for the life of a tenant, and dramatically limit improvement charges. (Politico)

Cool down with a look at the ice creams of Astoria. (Give Me Astoria)

The Strand Bookstore is now a city landmark and as you might expect, despite a long campaign from owner Nancy Wyden against the idea. (Gothamist)

“My friend later told me that most of the businesses in this area dealt in cash only…so guns were pretty much everywhere…in every store.” New York was a different place in the late 70s. (Bowery Boogie)

Your regular reminder that you can check the city’s beaches for too much poop (how much poop is too much?) on the internet. (Gothamist)

If you’ve wanted to live in the Waldorf Astoria (and have more money than you know what to do with), the condos will be hitting the market this fall. (Curbed)

New York is the third most fun state in the country, behind Florida and California. The thing holding it back? It’s not the ratpocalypse or the mountains of trash on the sidewalks, it’s the high costs. (Patch)

Hundreds rallied after the death of Layleen Polanco in Rikers Island last week. She was being held and her bail was set at $500. The city is looking into the case, where she was sent into solitary confinement despite a history of seizures. (Gothamist)

Catch a sneak peek at NYC’s largest rainbow “flag”. (HuffPost)

The helicopter pilot who crashed into a building on Monday was lost in the rain and fog. Investigators are looking into how the craft ended up where it did instead of an airport in New Jersey. (NY Times)

FAA officials said that Timothy McCormack did not have the proper license to be operating the helicopter in low-visibility conditions. (HuffPost)

Congressmember Carolyn Maloney wants to ban all nonessential helicopter flights from Manhattan. The city banned rooftop helicopter landings after a 1977 crash on the roof of the MetLife building. (The Villager)

In the 1977 crash, five people were killed when an idling helicopter tipped over, four were on the roof, one was on the street below. (Gothamist)

The High Line’s final section is open. The Spur is the home of the High Line Plinth, a site dedicated to a rotating series of artists. (6sqft)

Watch the complete debate for Queens DA. (NY1)

During the debate, Queens Borough President Melinda Katz was the favored punching bag of the seven candidates. (Politico)

We could be seeing the beginning of the end of the measles epidemic in Brooklyn. Everyone celebrate by making sure you’re vaccinated. (amNY)

New York state is one of three that doesn’t allow paid surrogacy, but even with a progressive legislature, it isn’t certain to be abolished. Abolishment of the prohibition has the governor’s support and a bill passed the state senate, but it is stalled in the assembly, where it has split progressive support. (NY Times)

The “Flower Flashes” by Lewis Miller Design might be the city’s most wholesome vandalism the city has ever seen. (amNY)

Governor Cuomo plans on hiring the former federal prosecutor that convicted former Speaker of the State Assembly, Sheldon Siver, to investigate a former federal prosecutor to look into the overtime issue plaguing the MTA. (Politico)

Remember that T-Mobile/Spring merger? New York is suing to block it from happening. (Patch)

Riverside Park is getting a new skate park at 108th St. (I Love the Upper West Side)

Riverside at W 108th has a history as a skatepark. The Riverside Skate Park was the first “solid” skate park in the city, originally built by NYC skateboarding pioneer Andy Kessler. This piece in the Times from 2013 shows the history of the community’s dedication to maintaining it in honor of Kessler’s vision. (NY Times)

A guide to the pizza ovens of Brooklyn, illustrated by Koren Shadmi. (NY Times)

Jon Stewart, the conscience of New Yorkers, took to Congress on Tuesday to rightfully shame our government for not fully funding the 9/11 Victim Compensation Fund. (Patch)

John Jay College is being sued by students who allege the college botched sexual misconduct allegations against four professors, called “The Swamp.” (Patch)

The best restaurants of 2019 so far, according to Eater critic Robert Sietsema. (Eater)

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