The Briefly for January 7, 2020 – The “Saving Penn Station and a Guy on the BQE” Edition

Today’s daily NY news digest: Amazon’s HQ2 deal for LIC was $800 million sweeter than we previously knew, the Queens boro president special election date is set, and more

Today – Low: 32˚ High: 44˚
Possible light rain in the evening and overnight.

The first Monday of 2020 saw an unprecedented meltdown of the MTA’s ability to get us all to work. 12 of 22 possible subway lines were experiencing major delays. Happy Monday everyone! (Jake Offenhartz for Gothamist)

What caused the delays? In the 7 train’s case it was “an isolated case of human error.” Don’t forget that the MTA will still write you a late note for work if you ask for it. (Mark Hallum for amNewYork)

New York City’s greatest export is garbage. Literal garbage. In 2018, over 680 thousand tons (over 1.3 billion pounds) of garbage from NYC was exported to Seneca Meadows, NY, a 270+ mile drive from Manhattan. Over half a million tons were sent to Morrisville, PA, a 70+ mile journey. Businesses, stores and restaurants recycle 24% of the time, construction recycles 50%, and residential homes only hit 18% of a maximum 68%. The mayor promised to reduce the city’s trash exports by 90% in 2018 and trash exports went up in 2019. (Sally Goldenberg and Danielle Muoio for Politico)

Governor Cuomo has a plan for Penn Station. He plans to add 40% capacity to everyone’s favorite train station. The expansion of Penn Station into the Post Office building will do nothing to increase its capacity, so the governor plans to add eight tracks to service an additional 175,000 riders each day. This all hinges on the state buying or taking a city’s block worth of land between 30th and 31st between Seventh and Eighth Aves. That block is has businesses and apartments, and land owned by the Archdiocese of New York and Amtrak. (Erin Durkin for Politico)

Perhaps the Penn Station expansion can help out New Jersey’s newest form of tourism: people taking a train from New York to make sports bets using their phones over the New Jersey border. (Christopher Palmeri for Bloomberg, thanks to reader Timothy for sending this in)

The governor had a busy day with his speech announcing the Penn Station upgrades followed by literally pulling a trapped man out of a crashed van on the BQE. (Kathleen Culliton for Patch)

The governor isn’t the only good samaritan in the city. Shaq helped a woman who has fallen at the intersection of Pitt and East Houston. (EV Grieve)

What’s $800 million between a giant corporation that pays $0 in taxes and the City of New York? Turns out the sweet deal the mayor and governor tried to give Amazon had $2.5 billion of incentives, $800 more than previously reported. (The Real Deal)

Pro wrestling runs in Ridgewood’s roots. In the modern day, House of Glory calls it home, but the pedigree runs back to the New Ridgewood Grove Arena, the WWF, Bruno Sammartino and Andre the Giant. (The Old Timer for QNS)

Pier 76 sits behind the Javits Center and is currently an NYPD tow yard, but thanks to Governor Cuomo the pier will be added to the Hudson River Park Trust later this year. (Mark Hallum for amNewYork)

Food delivery workers with electric bikes had to worry about the NYPD confiscating their bikes as part of the mayor’s anti-electric bike crusade. Now, since September, 24 workers’ bikes have been stolen, each costing as much as $2,000. (Sarah Maslin Nir and Jeffrey E. Singer for NY Times)

Video: Walking through Yorkville, from 97th to 74th on York Ave. (ActionKid)

There are 12 Human Trafficking Intervention Courts in New York, aimed at intervention and sending people to counseling instead of prison. Six years into their operation, there is criticism that they are not living up to their promise. (Christina Goldbaum for NY Times)

Could you identify this tribute to the 1939 World’s Fair on a building in Queens without being told what it was? (Michelle Young for Untapped New York)

Yes, this is a story about another ice skating rink in the city, but this one is a synthetic rink. (Dana Schulz for 6sqft)

Photos: During the renovation of Moishe’s on Second Ave, removing some walls revealed beautiful 100-plus-year-old tile work behind the dummy walls constructed in the 70s. (Scott Lynch for Gothamist)

Evictions are down nearly 20 percent since new rent laws were enacted last June. (Gabe Herman for amNewYork)

The Harvey Weinstein trial started on Monday. Always an imitator, Los Angeles announced its own case against Weinstein. (Kathleen Culliton for Patch)

The Anish Kapoor bean sculpture at 56 Leaonard’s construction continues as we’re currently at half bean. (Jen Carlson for Gothamist)

There will be a special election on March 24 to elect a new Queens borough president after former President Melinda Katz assumed her new position as Queens DA. (Loulou Chryssides for Give Me Astoria)

9 ways to embrace winter in Brooklyn. (Lore Croghan for Brooklyn Eagle)

Kal Penn, who recently starred in NBC’s ‘Sunnyside,’ endorsed City Councilperson Jimmy Van Bramer for Queens President. Penn was also the Associate Director in the White House Office of Public Engagement under the Obama administration. (Kristen Torres for LIC Post)

The husband to state Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie’s chief of staff was arrested Monday for conspiring to import cocaine, according to a source and court records. (Kathleen Culliton for Patch)

Sometimes we can assume that New York has everything. When faced with the news that Sip N’ Play, a board game cafe, has opened in Park Slope, we can be sure we’ve hit all the checkmarks. (Ben Verde for Brooklyn Paper)

Quick tip: The NYPD is warning against abbreviated 2020 as “20” on checks, as it could be an invitation for fraud. (John Del Signore for Gothamist)

A little bit more on some of the owners of land that Governor Cuomo wants to take to expand Penn Station. (Rich Bockmann and Kathryn Brenzel for The Real Deal)

The state’s new bail laws aren’t even a week old, but thanks to the recent anti-Semite attacks some state lawmakers are considering amending it so those accused of hate crimes could be held on bail. (Beth Fertig for Gothamist)

Where to have a last minute group dinner. (The Infatuation)

The Briefly for January 3, 2020 – The “Your Choice of Subway Seat is Always Wrong” Edition

Today’s daily NY news digest: The weekend’s subway changes, sales in Trump buildings fall behind the rest of the city, revisiting Di Fara pizza, Manhattan’s hottest restaurants and more

Today – Low: 45˚ High: 49˚
Light rain until morning, starting again in the evening.
This weekend – Low: 34˚ High: 52˚

Lance at Subway Weekender has retired his blog detailing the weekend’s subway delays. I’m working on either finding a replacement or doing this work myself. In the meantime, check the MTA’s giant list of everything happening to avoid being stranded by the trains this weekend.

Mayor de Blasio’s Vision Zero is modeled on a Swedish approach that views all deaths as preventable. If that’s the case why did the deaths of pedestrians, motorists, and cyclists increase in 2019? (Emma G. Fitzsimmons for NY Times)

There’s an unlikely place to find the city’s history: postcards. (John Freeman Gill for NY Times)

What is the best subway seat? This meme lasted less than a day before de Blasio and Bloomberg ruined the fun. (Jen Carlson for Gothamist)

The Times has the best answer. Your answer is obviously wrong. (Emma G. Fitzsimmons for NY Times)

A record collection that rivals the one maintained by the Library of Congress sits in Tribeca needs a new home. (Derek K. Norman for NY Times)

David Hay, the deputy chief of staff to schools Chancellor Richard Carranza, was fired after he was arrested for allegedly trying to arrange sex with an underage boy online. (Nina Golgowski for HuffPost)

Turns out David Hay, hired by the Department of Education, never received a completed background investigation. The Department of Investigation’s Background Investigation Unit has backlog of thousands of files. (Jen Chung for Gothamist)

6 crucial ways New York City’s landscape will change in 2020. (Zoe Rosenberg for Curbed)

Cardell Gadsden, a corrections officer from Rikers Island, was arrested after he allegedly murdered his uncle Steven Gadsden on the Upper West Side on Thursday. Gadsden was suspended without pay. (Jen Chung for Gothamist)

The 79th Street Boat Basin is the only spot in the city where houseboats can dock year-round. At the moment there’s room for 33 boats and there is a 14-year waitlist for a lease. The Department of Parks is planning a $90 million renovation to triple capacity with construction starting late 2021 or early 2022. (Devin Gannon for 6sqft)

The city’s laws require employers to provide employees with lactation areas, but that doesn’t seem to matter to the NYPD, according to a new lawsuit. Five women are suing the NYPD for forcing them to pump breast-milk in rooms full of garbage bed bugs, their cars, and bathrooms. (Sydney Pereira for Gothamist)

Lasagna. Is this really going to be 2020’s food trend? We can survive anything after the 2019 horny chicken parm craze. (Alan Sytsma for Grub Street)

Video: Think you’ve got what it takes to keep up with a Rockette? You don’t. (Matt Coneybeare for Viewing NYC)

Following a rash of anti-Semitic violence in recent weeks, Brooklyn elected officials are calling for dialogue and camaraderie between the borough’s black and Jewish populations. (Jake Offenhartz for Gothamist)

The Brooklyn House of Detention officially closed on Thursday. The remaining 390 detainees moved to other facilities, including Rikers Island. (Kevin Duggan for Brooklyn Paper)

Ok Kang, 70, is the first pedestrian in the city killed by a driver in 2020 on Northern Boulevard, the “New Boulevard of Death.” (Jake Offenhartz for Gothamist)

A man was caught on video literally trying to grab a sleeping woman on the subway and carry her off the train. The man, Sonny Alloway, was arrested and claims to have been attacked on the street multiple times since the video went public and offered $5,000 to anyone who attacked him if they can knock him out in a boxing match. For $5,000 I might consider giving it a try! (Brooklyn Baldwin for The Root)

The annoyances and adoration of Di Fara pizza. (Michael Fiorito for Red Hook Star-Revue)

All buses on the B44 SBS route are now equipped with the transit agency’s new Automated Bus Lane Enforcement system, issuing fines to cars caught illegally in the bus lane. Doesn’t it defeat the purpose of the system if the MTA announces that its use is limited to the B44, M14, and M15? (Scott Unman for Brooklyn Eagle)

The NY Post continues to be the NY Post. Offensive, exploitative, and I am 100% here for Gothamist shitting on the worst publication in the city. (Christopher Robbins for Gothamist)

NY Yankees Pitcher Domingo German will miss 63 games after accepting a suspension for allegedly assaulting his girlfriend last September. (Alex Mitchell for amNewYork)

NYC Ferry’s ridership was up by 32% in 2019. The increase includes the new Lower East Side and Soundview routes. (Gabe Herman for amNewYork)

Farrell’s Bar and Grill is one of Brooklyn’s oldest bars, dating back to 1933. The biggest change might be the bar’s signature styrofoam cups gave way when the city banned them. Two Brooklynites are raising funds to produce a documentary about the bar that hasn’t changed despite the changes to the city around it. (Scott Unman for The Brooklyn Home Reporter)

Sales at Trump-branded condos continue to fall behind the rest of Manhattan. (Dana Schulz for 6sqft)

The hottest restaurants in Manhattan, January 2020 edition. (Stefanie Tuder and Serena Dai for Eater)

The Briefly for December 26, 2019 – The “Christmas Trees Don’t Belong on the Beach” Edition

Today’s daily NYC news digest: When to throw out your Christmas tree, the secret economy and industry of five cent deposits, Cuomo’s feud with Trump heats up over weddings, and more

Today – Low: 42˚ High: 45˚
Mostly cloudy throughout the day.

A look back at the City Hall Christmas tree lighting, a bygone NYC tradition. (Alexandra Alexa for 6sqft)

The Rockefeller Center Christmas has an 88-year history. (Adam Thalenfeld for NYC Urbanism)

Video: The inspiring story of Sydney Mesher, the first Rockette with a visible disability. (The Rockettes)

Videos and Photos: The Saks Fifth Avenue Frozen 2 holiday lights. (Jen Carlson for Gothamist)

How long should you keep your Christmas tree up? At least until January 6, because that’s the first day of the Department of Sanitation’s tree disposal. (Mariela Quintana for StreetEasy)

Video: No matter what you read on Facebook, don’t leave your old Christmas tree at the beach. (Anginas Gonzalez for NY1)

Tompkins Square Park has some new trees. (EV Grieve)

Governor Cuomo vetoed a bill that would have allowed federal judges, Trump’s judges, to officiate weddings in New York state. I guess federal judges will have to become online ministers if they want to officiate weddings, just like the rest of us. (Jesse McKinley for NY Times)

The fascinating history of 28 Old Fulton St, from old Dutch farmland to Revolutionary War battle site, from the Eagle pressroom to a warehouse for silver, furniture and then electoral ballots, to its latest use as luxury apartments. (Chase DiBenedetto for Bedford + Bowery)

Years ago two toy stores within a few blocks of each other would be at war around the holidays, but in 2019 Stationary and Toy World and West Side Kids in the Upper West Side are joining forces to fight back against online shopping. (Sara Lewin Lebwohl for I Love the Upper West Side)

Video: Got $75,000 lying around? You can afford one night at the Mark Hotel. (Matt Coneybeare for Viewing NYC)

With the mayor's potentially illegal "horse trading" collusion with ultra-Orthodox state lawmakers surrounding a Department of Education report about the quality of education at the city's yeshivas, advocates are calling for accountability. The city has made no indication of punishment for the 26 of 28 failing schools, instead requiring "timelines for improvement" by January 15 with no information about if schools fail to meet the deadline. (Jake Offenhartz for Gothamist)

A state Supreme Court judge has struck down an upcoming New York City rule that would have restricted the amount of time app-based drivers for companies like Uber and Lyft can spend cruising without passengers below 96th Street in Manhattan. (Elizabeth Kim for Gothamist)

Profiles of five African-American high-profile prisoners from New York City who were convicted of violent crimes that included murder and attempted murder. All committed their first crimes as teenagers. All are now in late middle age, ranging from 48 to 61 and seeking release. A great piece from students at CUNY's Craigs Newmark Graduate School of Journalism. (Stephanie Chukwuma, Trone Dowd, Jeffery Harrell, Brenda León, Hannah Miller, Rosemary Misdary, Rachel Rippetoe, Maria Robins-Somerville, Sean Sanders, and Annie Todd for Gothamist)

8 cultural attractions to visit on NYC’s Museum Mile. (Zachary Solomon for StreetEasy)

StreetEasy and Douglas Elliman appear to be ready to lock horns. While the details aren’t exciting, it could portend a coming fracturing of real estate listings. (E. B. Solomont for The Real Deal)

A train delay because of a pencil. (Ben Yakas for Gothamist)

A Bronx police officer is facing accusations of groping a 14-year-old teenager while she was handcuffed in the back of a squad car last month. (Jake Offenhartz for Gothamist)

Christmas is gone. No literally, Christmas is literally buried in Green-Wood Cemetery. (Kevin Walsh for Forgotten New York)

The city doesn’t just get rid of its useless junk, it auctions it off. (Winnie Hu and James Sprankle for NY Times)

What’s the opposite of a Christmas miracle? Ask the 1,000 residents in NYCHA housing in Coney Island who woke up with no heat or hot water on Christmas. (Sydney Pereira for Gothamist)

As of this week, bicyclists can use the walk/won’t walk indicators rather than the lights are use. (Christopher Robbins for Gothamist)

The latest in the seemingly never-ending battle of Industry City’s rezoning is that things are looking bleak for Industry City after the city is refusing to provide funds for new schools, housing and tenant programs to benefit the neighborhood. The decision to move forward rests with City Councilmember Carlos Menchaca, who has been skeptical of the process since the start. It would be unheard of for the city to commit funds for a private application, Menchaca is justifying the request based on how dramatically the rezoning would change Sunset Park. (Rose Adams for Brooklyn Paper)

Has Midtown South become more pleasant for residents in the last few years? Finally, an answer to the eternal question of “who lives here?” (Aileen Jacobson for NY Times)

There is an entire underground economy centered around plastic bottle and metal can deposits, where the world turns five cents at a time. It’s all in a legal gray area that the city turns a blind eye towards, but once you have an understanding of how the canner economy works, you can understand why there is opposition to expanding the five cent deposit program. (Andy Newman for NY Times)

After eating at 300 restaurants this year, Scott Lynch picks his 16 best bites of 2019. (Scott Lynch for Eater)