The Briefly for February 19, 2020 – The “Rat, Roach, and Mouse Census of 2020” Edition

Today’s daily NYC news digest: The East Village’s most resilient dive bar, Manhattan rents are the highest in the country, the best Italian restaurants in the West Village, and more

Today – Low: 29˚ High: 46˚
Clear throughout the day.

Another reminder to start bringing your tote bags around, because the plastic bag ban is coming. (Alyssa Paolicelli for NY1)

The story of The Hard Swallow, the East Village’s most resilient dive bar and its owners Sasha and Lee Lloyd. (Drew Schwartz for Vice)

A coalition of North Brooklyn residents and environmental groups are fighting to stop National Grid’s plan to extend a natural gas pipeline through Bushwick, Williamsburg and Greenpoint. (Sydney Pereira for Gothamist)

A census of rats, roaches, mice, and vermin. After a special “rat academy,” the NYCHA is ready to count its pests. (Greg B. Smith for The City)

The NYPL has released a list of its favorite 125 books of all time. They aren’t ranked, so you don’t get to brag that your favorite Harry Potter book is #1. (Shaye Weaver for Time Out)

Luna Park and its Italian owner company Zamperla have been trying to kick Lola Star Souvenir Boutique off the boardwalk for a decade and they finally got what they wanted after raising the rent on the gift shop 500% and “negotiating” down to 400%. Zamperla doesn’t care about Coney Island the neighborhood, they only care about owning Coney Island and this is proof. (Rose Adams)

High Fidelity’s filming locations, listed. (Michelle Young for Untapped New York)

Do you operate an historic boat? Brooklyn Bridge Park would like to know if you want to show it off. (Davin Gannon for 6sqft)

Trader Joe’s is looking to expand on the Upper East Side in the former location of the Food Emporium under the Queensboro Bridge. (6sqft)

14 cozy bars to stay warm at all winter. (Lidia Ryan)

Congratulations to Manhattan for having the highest rents in the entire country for the month of January at $4,210. The national average is $1,463. (Emily Davenport for amNewYork Metro)

Apartment Porn: Inside the newly listed $8 million and $18 million apartments of the landmarked Steinway Building. (Alexandra Alexa for 6sqft)

President Trump pardoned former NYPD Commissioner Bernie Kerik, who was imprisoned from 2010 to 2013 on tax fraud and corruption charges. He accepted a quarter million dollars from a company tied to organized crime to renovate his apartment and lied to the Department of Homeland Security. (Kathleen Culliton for Patch)

The MTA is boasting the best on-time performance since 2013 for January. Hidden in this article is the fun fact that congestion pricing will require federal approval, so that’s another fight we can all look forward to. (Mark Hallum for amNewYork Metro)

What’s it take to be a “real” New Yorker? (Jessica Leibowitz and Jen Carlson for Gothamist)

FedEx and UPS receive over a thousand parking violations a day, but they’ll never pay the full price of the tickets they receive because they pay in bulk and at a steep discount, thanks to the Stipulated Fines and Commercial Abatement program. Offering an immediate discount on parking fines allows delivery companies to flout parking laws or clog the city’s street by parking illegally. The city’s attempted to update its double parking laws for trucks, but if these companies won’t pay for their violations what does it matter? City Councilmember Costa Consantinides put forward a bill to abolish the abatement program, but it’s stalled in committee. (Sophia Chang for Gothamist)

This is the headline: “Sexy Time for Tompkins Square Hawks” (Laura Goggin)

The New York City Planning Commission is looking into developing a 2.4 million-square-foot urban living complex close to the East New York, Brooklyn waterfront that includes 13 new buildings ranging in height from 2 stories to 17. (Gowanus Lounge)

The best Italian restaurants in the West Village. (Bryan Kim & Matt Tervooren for The Infatuation)

The Briefly for Valentine’s Day, 2020 – The “Your Plant Stylist Appointment is Coming Up” Weekend Edition

Today’s daily NYC news digest: 12 places to smooch your Valentine, Bloomberg tries to distract from his record with memes, the 27 top burgers, Trump vs NY rolls on, and more

Today – Low: 18˚ High: 34˚
Clear throughout the day.
This weekend – Low: 30˚ High: 47˚

12 places to smooch on Valentine’s Day. (Lore Croghan for Brooklyn Eagle)

There have been no cases of coronavirus in New York City and despite this, the city’s Chinatowns are suffering. (Marina Fang for Huff Post)

A look forward on this frigid morning to the spring’s street festivals on the Upper West Side. (Mike Mishkin for I Love the Upper West Side)

For $2,000 someone will come to your home and style your plants. Welcome to the world of plant stylists. (Steven Kurutz for NY Times)

About half the adult population of the city, roughly 3.4 million people, spent one of the last few years living below the poverty line, according to a new report from the Robin Hood Foundation and Columbia University. (Jake Offenhartz for Gothamist)

Ready for a cocktail crawl? Here’s how to get it done on Atlantic Avenue. (Meredith Craig de Pietro for Brooklyn Based)

Michael Bloomberg’s forceful push into meme culture is being lead by Mick Purzycki, who is the CEO of Jerry Media, famous for stealing content without crediting the original creators. Can the people who brought you the marketing for the Fyre Festival distract us enough from the negative headlines and quotes from Bloomberg’s past? (Ashley Reese for Jezebel)

Roses are red, Violets are blue, Unlike the F train, I'll be there for you

The mayor signed a bill this week that will extend government-funded health care to families of all municipal workers, not just firefighters and police, who died in the line of duty or from 9/11 related diseases. (Todd Maisel for amNewYork Metro)

The annual tradition continues: Phil Collins Day is on Saturday. (Kate Hooker for Brooklyn Based)

The moment the state announced the end of brokers’ fees, rents jumped up about 6% across the board. Now that the fees are gone, it’s unlikely we’ll see a 6% drop back down. (Kathleen Culliton for Patch)

City Comptroller Scott String is calling for a Bill of Rights for NYC tenants to protect them from unscrupulous landlords. He has a proposal as well, including limiting security deposits to one month of rent, providing itemized statements of damage, a five-day gras period for late rent, requiring a court order for evictions, and much more. (Kathleen Culliton for Patch)

GZA played ‘Liquid Swords’ at the Blue Note Jazz Club in honor of the album’s 25th anniversary. (BrooklynVegan)

The top five potato dishes in the city, according to Robert Sietsema. (Robert Sietsema for Eater)

The governor is making a new push for legalizing compensated gestational surrogacy with a campaign called “Love Makes A Family.” New York is one of three states that hasn’t legalized the practice. (Matt Tracy for Gay City News)

Real Estate Porn: Don Lemon is selling his Harlem condo. You can live like Don Lemon for only $1.75 million. The condo looks like a great place to get drunk on New Year’s Eve and make mistakes. (Devin Gannon for 6sqft)

The story of a meander and 14 photos of central Park Slope. (Lore Croghan for Brooklyn Eagle)

48 pictures of the beautiful Bronx. (Ed García Conde for Welcome2TheBronx)

Manhattan, we have to have a serious conversation. We know you’re not going to Brooklyn on the weekends, even if you need groceries and Brooklyn has the only Wegmans in the city. You want to veg out, binge the new season of Narcos and order some Seamless. That’s cool, because now Wegmans delivers to Manhattan. (Nikita Richardson for Grub Street)

In a literal quid pro quo, the president said if New York stops suing the president, the president will restore New Yorkers’ access to Trusted Traveler Programs programs. This ban happened the day he was acquitted after being impeached. Letitia James has filed 35 lawsuits against the federal government since January 2019. (Xeni Jardin for BoingBoing)

A look into the illegal, but welcome, underground of street car washers. (Sandra E. Garcia and Stephen Speranza for NY Times)

Mayor Bill de Blasio and Schools Chancellor Richard Carranza came to a tentative agreement on a contract that gives increased pay and paid parental leave to principals and assistant principals. (Alejandra O’Connell-Domenech for amNewYork Metro)

Got furniture you want to get rid of but it’s too nice for the curb (note: nothing is too nice for @stoopingnyc)? Here’s where to sell used, vintage, and antique furniture in the city. (Zachary Solomon for StreetEasy)

Bronx City Council Member Vanessa Gibson is going to pay $5,000 for abusing her position on City Council to get out of paying a $50 ticket for driving while using her phone. (Kathleen Culliton for Patch)

A developer in Crown Heights was ordered to remove all construction equipment from the potential site of two 16-story towers after they were discovered violating a temporary restraining order. Activists have targeted the buildings as part of an anti-gentrification campaign lead by Movement to Protect the People. The group claimed the buildings would block sunlight for the Brooklyn Botanical Garden, but this has been refuted by the BBG and should not be confused with the 39-story tower that the BBG is actively campaigning against in its “Fight for Sunlight” campaign. (Ben Verde for Brooklyn Paper)

27 top burgers in the city. (Eater)

Thank you to my valentine Meg Blatt for today’s featured photo.

The Briefly for January 15, 2020 – The “New Yorkers, Known Historically for Their Patience” Edition

Today’s daily NYC news digest: Nine things New Yorkers will judge you for, adoptees can see their original birth certificates, the three remaining four star restaurants in NYC, and more

Today – Low: 42˚ High: 52˚
Clear throughout the day.

Op-Ed: Public Advocate Jumaane Williams on how knee-jerk reactions have drowned out common sense conversation and reform when it comes to desegregating the city’s schools when it comes to the gifted and talented program. (Jumaane Williams for amNewYork Metro)

If a fire breaks out in your apartment and you flee, make sure to close the door behind you. An open door turned a one apartment fire into multi-hour ordeal that left 22 people injured in an Upper West Side high-rise. (Sydney Pereira for Gothamist)

An off-duty Secret Service agent shot and killed a dog in Brooklyn early Tuesday morning, claiming the dog was “unleashed and aggressive,” despite photos form the scene showing a leash peeking out from under a white sheet. (Sophia Chang for Gothamist)

The mayor is urging patience when it comes to the BQE panel report, saying last week’s leak of the report was only partial and everyone should “see the whole thing and judge when we all get to look at it.” Yes, New York City is known for its patience and ability to wait before jumping to a conclusion. (Mary Frost for Brooklyn Eagle)

Next month McNally Jackson is set to open a new store in CityPoint in Downtown Brooklyn. (Craig Hubert for Brownstoner)

A guerrilla art installation using decommissioned railroad corridor in Queens is meant to question the ongoing cycle of building, abandonment and redevelopment looming over the city. Railroad Eraser by Aaron Asis highlights the unused corridor with white paint on the tracks. While temporary, it’ll be there until the area is redeveloped. (Michelle Young for Untapped New York)

Stop eating sad salads. How to game the salad bar at lunch, from 11 hefts and food writers. (Nikita Richardson for Grub Street)

Nine things New Yorkers will judge tourists for and nine things they won’t. Wearing flip-flops and eating bagels at Dunkin making the “judging” list, as I’m pretty sure they are both classified as misdemeanors in Manhattan. (Mary Lane for New York Cliche)

Prospect Park’s Concert Grove Pavilion is getting a $2 million renovation. The pavilion was designed by Calvert Vaux, one of the park’s original architects, and has been roped off from the public since 2014 due to structural issues. Along with the renovation, the “Oriental Pavilion” is likely to be renamed. (Ben Verde for Brooklyn Paper)

Starting today, adoptees in the state who are over 18 can request their previously sealed original birth certificates. The law was passed by the state’s legislature and signed in November, making New York the 10th state with unrestricted access to birth certificates. (Gwynne Hogan for Gothamist)

The city is sending a 24-person team to Puerto Rico to assist in the relief efforts following almost 2,000 earthquakes since December 28. The team heading down are building inspectors, engineers, emergency managers, and mental health professionals. The governor also sent a team and personally went to survey the damage as well. (Kathleen Culliton for Patch)

A tale of two diners (and a competitive review) in Clinton Hill. (Scott Lynch for Gothamist)

A man walked into a Sunday mass in Brooklyn and doused the priest and altar with bright red juice. (Kathleen Culliton for Patch)

Liquiteria, which claimed to be the city’s first cold-pressed juice bar, closed all five NYC locations abruptly and have all but disappeared online. (Tanay Warerkar for Eater)

The Bronx saw the highest wage jump in the state from the second quarter of 2018 to second quarter of 2019 with a 5.7% increase. The US Bureau of Labor Statistics report doesn’t indicate a reason, but the state’s minimum wage increases probably have something to do with it. (Ed García Conde for Welcome2TheBronx)

The city’s newest celebrity is the Staten Island Bus Raccoon, who tried to jump aboard an S44 bus and being thwarted by some closed doors. The NYPD relocated the raccoon. (Sydney Pereira for Gothamist)

Turn back the clock with 20 photos of the city form the 1920s. (Lucie Levine for 6sqft)

The MTA is taking issue with the report that says 4/5 commutes in 2019 we’re delayed due to signal issues. They’ve not refuted the data, instead saying “the devil is in the details.” Technically, 78% of commutes delayed isn improvement from 2018’s 92%. (Mark Hallum for amNewYork Metro)

Six New York City corrections officers were arrested on Tuesday in connection to a drug-smuggling ring on Rikers Island. (Robert Pozarycki for amNewYork Metro)

Is it the year of glowing seesaws? The city’s second set of glowing seesaws have been set up next to Pier 17, each making unique sounds. The seesaws will be at Pier 17 through March. (Collier Sutter for Time Out)

What’s the oldest bar in Brooklyn? It’s a complicated answer. (Brooklyn Eagle)

Perhaps inspired by yesterday’s Mama’s Too meatball parm news, Robert Sietsema has declared where you can find his favorite meatball parm in the city at Faicco’s Italian Specialties•. (Robert Sietsema for Eater)

Rockefeller Center may be headed for a renovation, depending if owner Tichman Speyer can get approval from the landmarks commission. (Elizabeth Kim for Gothamist)

How New York became Gotham City from Joker‘s production designer Mark Friedberg. (Ben Yakas for Gothamist)

The cottage where Edgar Allan Poe wrote “Annabel Lee” and “The Bells” is in the Bronx. The Edgar Allan Poe Cottage was built in 1812 and is at 2640 Grand Concourse, where Poe lived in 1846 with his wife and mother-in-law. (Ariel Kates for GVSHP)

A book that Anthony Bourdain was working on before his death with co-author Laurie Woolever will be published on October 13. (Chris Crowley for Grub Street)

Congress approved a measure last month to reinstate two-way tolls on the Verrazzano, but the MTA has announced no set date for the change to happen. (Paula Katinas for The Brooklyn Home Reporter)

The City owns most of the land adjacent to the Coney Island boardwalk and leases it to Zamperla, who operates Luna Park and leases to shops and places to eat on the boardwalk like Lola Star, Nathan’s, Ruby’s, Tom’s Restaurant, and the Coney Island Beach Shop. Zamperla is trying to raise rents between 50 and 400% for the independent businesses. When the Times attempted to reach Zamperla officials for comment, they were vacationing in Italy. (Aaron Randle for NY Times)

The water main that played havoc with the Upper Wets Side and Monday morning’s subway commutes was 98 years old. (Jen Chung for Gothamist)

Ahead of his anticipated Hall of Fame induction, two Bronx City Councilmembers are introducing legislation to rename East 161st Street as “Jeter Street.” (Alex Mitchell for amNewYork Metro)

Pete Wells from the Times knocked Sushi Nakazawa from four stars to three, leaving only three restaurants in the city with four stars, Jean-Georges, Le Bernardin, and Eleven Madison Park. (Sara Boinsteel for NY Times)

Brooklyn’s best ramen restaurants. (Julien Levy for Thrillist)