The Briefly for January 13, 2019 – The “Caught Speeding Without Consequence” Edition

Today’s daily NYC news digest: Fingers start pointing over Book Culture’s closure, a tribute to Bowie, the NYC Bar Association calls for an investigation of William Barr, and more

Today – Low: 37˚ High: 48˚
Overcast throughout the day.

A water main broke near Lincoln Center, causing flooding and train delays between 96th and Tims Square on the Upper West Side. (@tomkaminskiwcbs)

A timeline of the incidents that caused 300 subway cars to be pulled from the MTA’s fleet last week. The cars are sidelined “indefinitely.” (Stephen Nessen for Gothamist)

The biggest Harry Potter store in the world is opening in the city this summer in the former Restoration Hardware in Flatiron. (Shaye Weaver for Time Out)

Warner Brothers asked Manhattan’s Community Board 5 if it could install a dragon on the facade of the 19 century building to a frosty reception. (Dennis Lynch for The Real Deal)

If you want to apply to join your Community Board in Manhattan, the deadline is coming up. Make sure to have your application postmarked by the 21st. (Holly Louise Perry for Bowery Boogie)

The Reckless Driver Accountability Act was introduced in 2018. The bill would boot or impound the cars of anyone who received five or more red light or speed camera violations in a year until an accountability program was completed. Since its introduction, 362 have been killed on the city’s roads. What is the holdup in City Council? (Mark Hallum for amNewYork Metro)

The city’s speed cameras caught cabs speeding 117,042 times in 2019. (Gersh Kuntzman for Streetsblog)

An argument to dissolve the city’s Economic Development Corporation, represented by its 27 member unelected board appointed by the mayor and has an oversized amount of influence on the city’s direction. (Emily Sharp for Queens Eagle)

Photos: The 2020 No Pants Subway Ride. (Todd Maisel for amNewYork)

Net neutrality, consumer protections, women’s equity, and more of 16 notable proposals not included in Governor Cuomo’s State of the State speech. (Samir Khurshid for Gotham Gazette)

“If we’re going to discuss gun safety, what’s a nautical themed way to make a nod toward that?” An interview with the artist who helped create the masterpiece that is Governor Cuomo’s fever dream poster. (Jake Offenhartz for Gothamist)

Central Park’s Sheep Meadow earned that nickname, giving a home to about 200 sheep up through the 1930’s, as part of Olmstead and Vaux’s original vision for the park. (Sam Neubauer for I Love the Upper West Side)

Protected bike lanes are coming to Franklin and Quay streets on the Greenpoint-Williamsburg border. (Kevin Duggar for Brooklyn Paper)

Here’s a fun riddle: How do you pay for a MetroCard if no bills are accepted, no coins are accepted, no credit cards are accepted, no debit cards are accepted, no single tickets are given and only exact change is allowed? (ActionKid)

The Broadway-Lafayette station, the closest station to his old home, sported a tribute to David Bowie four years after his death. (Elie Perler for Bowery Boogie)

The New York City Bar Association is calling on Congress to investigate whether William Barr is too politically biased to fulfill his legal obligations as the nation’s attorney general. (Mary Papenfuss for HuffPost)

A new bill from Queens City Council Member Francisco Moya would declare aliens from another planet and replace “alien” and “illegal immigrant” with “noncitizen.” (Kathleen Culliton for Patch)

Interactive Map: How frequently subway lines and buses are delayed across the city. (Viewing NYC)

What does the mayor have to say about Politico’s “Wasted Potential” series, which shows just how piss poor the city has been at recycling after Mayor de Blasio’s 2015 pledge to reduce the garbage shipped out of the city? “I’ll have more to say on it in the coming weeks as we figure out the next steps of what we have to do.” Basically nothing. (Danielle Muoio for Politico)

The federal government has launched an investigation into the Hunter’s Point Library for possible violations of the Americans with Disabilities Act. (NY1)

With 119 points on their health department inspection, Tyme & Patience Bakery & Grill has the early lead on highest violation of the year. (Adam Nichols for Patch)

After coming right up to the brink, Neir’s Tavern in Woodhaven has a new lease, literally. A handshake deal between landlord and bar owner will extend the bar’s lease five years, which means we could be back in the position again in a few years. The landlord caved after a combination of public pressure from the Mayor de Blasio, Assemblyman Mike Miller, and City Council Member Robert Holden all made their support of Neir’s public and help from the city to get the building up to code. (Carlotta Mohamed for QNS)

When Schneps Media buys a publication, it means journalists get fired. When Schneps Media bought amNewYork, most of the editorial staff was laid off. When Schneps Media bought Metro, they laid off the entire editorial staff without severance and at this point no former editorial staffers from either publication works for amNewYork Metro, the new Schneps Media Frankenstein. (Jake Offenhartz for Gothamist)

After buying Metro and laying off their editorial staff without any severance, Victoria Schneps went on vacation in the Poconos for facials and massages. (Victoria Schneps for QNS)

Marie’s Crisis is a New York institution where singing along to the musical theater song being played by the pianists is always encouraged. The name came from a work of Thomas Payne, who died at that address in 1809, American Crisis and the original owner Marie DeMont. (Atlas Obscura)

A harlequin duck, native to the Pacific northwest was spotted in Sheepshead Bay, an exciting find for New York’s bird crowd. An unusually warm winter has extended the birdwatching season past its usual November ending. (Jessica Parks for Brooklyn Paper)

Is the city monitoring and mapping the locations of homeless New Yorkers? that’s the worry behind The Coalition for the Homeless pulling its support for Mayor de Blasio’s homelessness command center after seeing a photo published of the NYPD’s massive surveillance operation. (Kathleen Culliton for Patch)

I am in love with single story buildings in Manhattan. Manhattan has a tendency to feel like it’s literally overbearing and coming across a single story building is like a quick breath of air. It’s why Adam Friedberg’s Single-Story Project exhibit at the Center for Architecture is so appealing to me. The exhibit is on display through February 29th. (Elizabeth Kim for Gothamist)

South Richmond Hill, Queens is mourning Maria Fuertes, the neighborhood’s beloved 92-year-old cat lady who was attacked close to her home and was found dead on the sidewalk. A suspect has been arrested and charged with murder and sex abuse. (Andrea Salcedo for NY Times)

A look back at Kawkab America, America’s first Arabic newspaper, which launched in 1892 in New York. (Mateo Nelson for Bedford + Bowery)

I’ve fallen in love with ActionKid’s video walks around the city. While this may seem trivial now, having video like this is a great document to have of the city in a specific point in time. At the pace the city is changing, even in a few months this same walk could be drastically different. From Long Island City to Bushwick on foot, narrated. (ActionKid)

Book Culture’s majority owner Chris Doeblin is blaming the city marshal seizure of the store on corporate greed, but pretty much everyone else including his business partners and landlord blame his mismanagement. (Gwynne Hogan for Gothamist)

Anassa, Cantina 33, and Shang Kitchen join Eater’s list of the hottest restaurants in Queens. (Eater)

Thanks to reader Zlata for today’s featured photo!

The Briefly for April 24, 2019 – The “14th Street Will Be Closed to Cars” Edition

“Grab a cop’s taser” is still a bad idea, the 14th St bike lanes will be permanent, Shirley Chisholm’s statue design was unveiled, the Charging Bull’s balls, and more in today’s daily NYC news digest.

The design for the Shirley Chisholm statue at Prospect Park has been selected. Artists Amanda Williams and Olalekan Jeyifous’s design is the first of five She Built NYC monuments announced. (Women.nyc)

Finally, some decision about 14th St during the L Train Slowdown. Starting in June, 14th St will be closed to traffic from 3rd Ave to 9th Ave. In addition to 14h St, the bike lanes on 12th and 13th will be made permanent. Maybe this is in hopes of softening the blow of just how rough it will get for commuters. The MTA is already warning that even if you allocate extra time to your journey on the L train once the Slowdown takes hold, you probably won’t make it on the first train anyway. (amNY)

Federal immigration trial attorneys refuse make the 1.1 mile trip between Federal Plaza and the new immigration courtrooms on Varick St and are choosing to appear via video conference instead. (Gothamist)

Cardinal Timothy Dolan announced an affordable housing portfolio with 866 apartments across six developments in the city. (Bronx Times)

There are bad ideas and then there are “grab a cop’s taser and zap three NYPD officers” bad ideas. (Gothamist)

Over fifteen years since it was set up, the makeshift memorial for 9/11 victims in the Union Square subway station is beginning to show its age. (Untapped Cities)

It’s shocking just how bad the city’s procedures can be for the people affected by lead paint. Local Law One was the city’s promise to end lead poisoning by 2010. Even with a spotlight shone by WNYC/Gothamist, the city’s Housing Preservation and Development failed the city’s residents while their children are poisoned by their homes. (Gothamist)

Two NYPD officers are being investigated for the police’s response to the horrific ax murder and attempted murder in the Bushwick Houses. (amNY)

If laying in the sun under JFK’s busiest runways, the TWA Hotel’s pool and observation deck are right up your alley. (6sqft)

A love letter to the MTA’s R-46 subway cars, the ones with a faux wood interior, orange and yellow seats, and have been in service since the mid-70s. (Gothamist)

Those newly $3.00 expensive MetroCards could win you an all-expenses-paid vacation to Hawaii if you buy one of the quarter million qualifying cards at specific subway stations. Once you have a card, you have to remember to register it online and a single winner will be chosen next month. Good luck. (Gothamist)

The SummerStage lineup was announced. (Time Out)

59% of New Yorkers support having a homeless shelter in their neighborhood. It seems the NIMBY opposition to shelters appears to be the minority. (Patch)

Watch this hypnotic animation showing how the L trains will operate during the Slowdown. (@NYCTSubway)

NYC’s recycling program’s mascots finally have names and OH MY GOD WHAT ARE THOSE THINGS. (amNY)

Planned Parenthood of New York City’s Project Street Beat is bringing a mobile health center which will offer HIV testing, overdose prevention, counseling, and other services in an attempt to expand coverage to marginalized communities. (amNY)

Two new ax-throwing bars are coming to Brooklyn. Just when you thought Brooklyn couldn’t get more Brooklyn. (Gothamist)

The average commute to work in the city is 43 minutes, the longest of any large American city. Just another way to show that NYC is #1. Only 4% of New Yorkers can get to work within 30 minutes. (Patch)

Go to Bowling Green and you’ll see two lines of people waiting to take photos at the Charging Bull. One by the bull’s head and the longer line are of people looking to snap a photo of themselves rubbing its balls. Why? (Atlas Obscura)

Shanghai has its own Charging Bull, but in contrast, no one is rubbing its balls. (Business Insider)

The five best cakes in the city.

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The Briefly for April 23, 2019 – The “DA’s Secret List of Tainted Police Officers” Edition

Someone is smashing the LinkNYC kiosks, $3,000 “affordable” apartments, Di Fara’s pizza, fighting back against the paper bag tax, and more in today’s daily NYC news digest.

Someone is smashing LinkNYC kiosks in Chelsea. It could be someone trying to send a message to neighborhood resident Google, who basically owns them and the data they collect. (Jeremiah’s Vanishing New York)

It’s been discussed for over a dozen years, but the federal government’s Opportunity Zone program may be the catalyst that changes Willets Point forever. (The Real Deal)

Taxed to death. That’s how Queens City Councilmember Robert Holden views the city’s paper bag nickel tax when plastic bags become banned. (QNS)

The city’s DAs keep secret lists of NYPD officers who have perjured themselves in criminal prosecutions in order to avoid using them as witnesses. Civil-liberties advocates are calling for a review of past convictions based on testimony from potentially tainted officers. (Gothamist)

He’s not wrong, New York’s taxes paid per income is 12.7%, the highest in the nation and 22 of the top 25 counties paying the highest amount of taxes are in New York state. Manhattan specifically pays 2.7% of all federal income tax collected with only 0.48% of the country’s population. (Business Insider)

Say hello to the newest restaurants in the city. (amNY)

Kudos to Queens educator Danielle Hnath, who promised her students she would dye her hair blue if they raised over $8,000 for the American Heart Association. They raised $10,000. (QNS)

Technically they apply, but something doesn’t seem right about a $3,000/month apartment on Staten Island qualifying as fulfilling the mayor’s promise to create 300,000 “affordable” apartments. (The City)

The top twelve restaurants serving the underrated food of Puebla, Mexico. A very specific list. (Eater)

NYCWiN, which went down for a full week due to a Y2K-esque bug, cost the city a billion dollars. Northrup Grumman’s contract has been extended to June 2020 for $40 million. (Patch)

A look back at Five Points, not the mural space, the most notorious neighborhood in the city’s history. (StreetEasy)

The best neighborhoods for New Yorkers over 65, or the best neighborhoods for people under 65 who want to live in a very quiet apartment building. (6sqft)

A series of self-guided and thematic NYC exploration walks, created by New Yorkers. (r/NYC)

The NYPD, having solved the city’s other problems, targeted a “Race and Bake” bike ride on 4/20, showing up to arrest the organizer with printouts of his social media posts. He was arrested for an open ticket container ticket he got in 2015. (Gothamist)

How Di Fara became an NYC pizza institution. (Viewing NYC)

Inside a recycling center, from truck to 1,000 plastic bales. (Brooklyn Daily Eagle)

The city wants to expand Staten Island’s dockless bike share program, but without the entire island having a single bike lane. (Streetsblog)

The eight oldest buildings in Queens. (Untapped Cities)

The MTA, in a surprisingly logical move, is looking to add solar panels to the roofs of its train yards, bus depots, and buildings. (amNY)

Get ready to vote in a completely different way. The Charter Revision Commission’s preliminary staff report hint that the city will end the practice of costly runoff elections during primaries by adopting ranked choice voting. (The City)

Ranked choice voting, aka the alternative vote, explained. (CGP Gray)

Where to have a unique dining experience. Yeah, it’s not exactly a descriptive title for a list of restaurants, but lets’ be honest that you’ll probably click on it anyway because it’s the last link in the email and you’re probably more than a little curious, no? (The Infatuation)

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