The Briefly for January 29, 2020 – The “Hell Freezes Over on the Brooklyn Bridge” Friday Edition

The latest NYC news digest: The State of the City, Covid-sniffing dogs, the BQE remains the BQE, ranking NYC sinks on Tik Tok, a Snowy Owl in Central Park, and more

Today – Low: 17˚ High: 23˚
Windy in the morning.
This weekend – Low: 21˚ High: 31˚

NYC’s Vaccine Finder. The site isn’t great, but provide links/phone numbers to specific locations. As of writing, the city has less than 67,524 first doses left before a new shipment arrives.

Birds! A meta-rare Snowy Owl was seen in Central Park, the first spotting of one in the park since December of 1890. (Jake Offenhartz and Jen Chung for Gothamist)

A majority of city voters support adding more protected bike lanes, wider sidewalks, greenery, and spaces for children to play, even if it means sacrificing parking or space for vehicles. Also, the sky is blue. (Christopher Robbins for Gothamist)

Hell has frozen over and the Brooklyn and Queensboro bridges are getting dedicated bike lanes by the end of the year. The Brooklyn Bridge bike lanes will take the place of one of the Manhattan-bound lanes of traffic, leaving the existing shared path above the road exclusively for pedestrians. The Queensboro Bridge lane will take over the north outer roadway. (Gersh Kuntzman for Streetsblog)

Video: Mayor de Blasio delivers his last State of the City address. (NYC Mayor’s Office)

In the address, the mayor outlines his theme for the speech, “A Recovery for All of Us,” including his pledge to vaccinate five million New Yorkers by June. (Emma G. Fitzsimmons for NY Times)

Covid sniffing dogs? Yeah, Covid sniffing dogs. (Fred Mogul for Gothamist)

A look at the human toll of the restaurant unemployment crisis during this never-ending pandemic. (Chris Crowley for Grub Street)

The mayor, full of unearned confidence, says that public schools will be open at full strength” in the fall. (Sophia Chang for Gothamist)

No one wants to hear this, but the fastest way to open up New York is to shut it down first. (Nick Reisman for NY1)


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A New Jersey man was caught on camera trying to set fire to a Queens restaurant called Ignited Restaurant & Lounge. (Chris Crowley for Grub Street)

The last link I’ll ever put in this newsletter containing analysis of Andrew Yang’s bodega video. (Andrew Silverstein for Grub Street)

Kal Penn, former member of the White House Office of Public Liaison and Kumar from the Harold and Kumar movies, endorsed Jimmy Van Bramer for Queens Borough President. (Allie Griffin for LIC Post)

The city created a $1 million, 280-page “vision plan” for making East Harlem resilient to climate change in 2017. It was completed in 2018. Like a magic trick, it has since disappeared. (Rachel Holliday Smith for The City)

A cheat-sheet to the Gowanus rezoning kerfuffle. (Brian Braiker for Brooklyn Magazine)

The Puppy Bowl is coming up on February 7, here are NYC’s five rescue pups headed for the big game. (Shaye Weaver for Time Out)

Turns out the BQE didn’t stop being a giant turd because we’re in a pandemic. The mayor is “hopeful for help” from the Biden Administration when it comes to repairs. (Claude Scales for Brooklyn Heights Blog)

A city education panel early rejected a testing contract, temporarily stopping the controversial practice of testing incoming kindergartners for admission to gifted programs. How will the city’s gifted and talented programs move forward? 🤷‍♂️ (Christina Veiga for Chalkbeat)

Burgie’s, the new burger spot from Roberta’s, is now open (again.) (Kara Zuaro for Brooklyn Based)

Do you know the history of the railroad apartment. (Cait Etherington for 6sqft)

The City Council voted to approve legislation to create 4,000 new permits for street vendors in the city over the next decade and will create a separate law enforcement unit to oversee the street vending community. Opponents say that an increase in street vendors will drive business from restaurants. (Tanay Warerkar for Eater)

The Times Square Margaritaville resort is scheduled to open in the fall, including the only outdoor pool in Times Square. (Emma Alpern for Curbed)

The story of how Scott Green, a lifelong civil rights activist, was buried in a mass grave on Hart Island. (Corey Kilgannon for NY Times)

In the perfect metaphor, the barge full of dredged up black mayo from the Gowanus Canal fro the Superfund cleanup sank into the Gowanus. (Sydney Pereira for Gothamist)

Did you attempt to vote in the 2016 election by text? You have Douglass Mackey to blame. (Nicole Hong for NY Times)

Meet Sink Reviews, the Tik Tok account rating NYC’s sinks. (Shaye Weaver for Time Out)

Photos: Okay, so here are a bunch of photos of NYC in the snow. Maybe this is cruel based on Monday’s weather forecast. (Will Gleason for Time Out)

What to know about the City Comptroller’s race in 2021. (Rachel Holliday Smith for The City)

Everything you need to know about the special elections in Queens and the Bronx, including what neighborhoods are included, candidates, dates, and what happened to cause the elections. (Claudia Irizarry Aponte for The City)

NYPD Officer Carmine Simpson was arrested on child pornography charges after requesting and obtaining sexually explicit photos and videos from at least 46 minors. Simpson is one of more than half a dozen officers from the NYPD that have been charged with sexual crimes against minors in the last two years. (Jonah Engel Bromwich for NY Times)

20 NYC spots with restaurant week deals. (Hannah Albertine for The Infatuation)

The Briefly for January 19-20 – The “Lena Dunham and Bill de Blasio?” Tuesday Edition

The latest NYC news digest: MTA delays fare hikes, Union Square plans to expand 33%, Mayor de Blasio drops another ball, MLK protests, and more

Today – Low: 32˚ High: 40˚
Partly cloudy throughout the day.

Another week, another broken promise from Mayor de Blasio. After he spent all summer painting “BLACK LIVES MATTER” on the city’s streets, the mayor’s “Racial Justice and Reconciliation Commission” has done zero public work and hasn’t been mentioned since August. (Ethan Geringer-Sameth for Gotham Gazette)

The Times looks at five takeaways from the mayor’s race. (Emma G. Fitzsimmons and Jeffery C. Mays for NY Times)

Here’s a weird one. Someone is putting up flyers announcing the wedding of Lena Dunham and Mayor de Blasio on Valentine’s Day in Union Square. This seems somehow connected to the very weird Fiona Apple flyer from October. Congrats to the happy couple? (EV Grieve)

Photos: The new glass sculpture I dreamed a world and called it Love by Jim Hodges in Grand Central Terminal. (Nicole Saraniero, photos by David Regen for Untapped New York)

With Inauguration Day approaching, it’s a great time to remember that the nation’s first inauguration happened outside the Federal Hall National Memorial in the Financial District on April 30, 1789. The original bible George Washington placed his hand on is still in the building. (Nicole Saraniero for Untapped New York)

A Martin Luther King Jr Day protest started at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn and ended with the NYPD making dozens of arrests of peaceful protesters near City Hall. (Azi Paybarah for NY Times)

The NYPD is being sued by the state’s attorney general over its handling of protests over the summer because violence against protesters isn’t a bug in the system, it’s a feature. (Erin O’Brien for Bedford + Bowery)

Nicolas Moncada, 20, of Staten Island was arrested for his role in the January 5 insurrection. How did they know he was there” Because he posted a selfie of himself outside Speaker Pelosi’s office to Instagram. Neighbors describe his arrest as “like they were looking for a terrorist.” They were and they arrested him. (Elina Tarkazikis for NY1)


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The city’s graduation rate hit an all-time high of 78.8% in 2020. (Matt Troutman for Patch)

The MTA claims the driver of the bus that drove off an overpass refused a drug test, but the driver, whose jaw had been fractured in the accident, says a drug test was taken in the hospital. (Sydney Pereira for Gothamist)

The Biden-Harris administration nominated Polly Trottenberg, the city’s former commissioner of the Department of Transportation, for Deputy Secretary for the U.S. Department of Transportation to work under Pete Buttigieg. (Stephen Nessen for Gothamist)

Foot traffic is down 70% year over year in Times Square. (Jake Dobkin for Gothamist)

Want to send someone some cheer? You can record a birthday greeting for Ray or Ray’s Candy Store, who turns 88 on January 25, to be a part of a Guinness World Record for “biggest video hug ever.” (EV Grieve)

The MTA is postponing their scheduled 2021 fare hike because, quite frankly, we’ve all had enough already. (Benjamin Kabak for Second Ave. Sagas)

The Union Square Partnership unveiled a $100 million plan for a car-free Union Square that would expand the park 33% into the surrounding streets. The plan will be officially presented on January 26. (Gersh Kuntzman for Streetsblog)

The public review process for the Gowanus rezoning has been temporarily halted by a Brooklyn Supreme Court judge over concerns that holding virtual meetings violates city law that requires public hearings. The lawsuit that halted the process asks that public hearings be held when it is safe to do so. (David Cruz for Gothamist)

The MTA is looking into temporarily reducing service on some subway lines because of worker shortages due to illness, retirements, and a lack of new hires. (Jose Martinez for The City)

Governor Cuomo is tired of the federal government’s shit and has asked Pfizer to sell vaccines directly to the state, which is possible because Pfizer is not a part of “Project Warp Speed.” (Lisa Finn for Patch)

Sunset Park’s South Brooklyn Marine Terminal will become an offshore wind assembly port for the state’s new offshore wind farms. (Sydney Pereira for Gothamist)

Repairs of the Cherry Walk segment of the Hudson River Greenway, stretching from 100th to 125th St, are complete. (Streetsblog)

Gothamist gets giddy about Medan Pasar, a new Malaysian restaurant in the East Village. (Scott Lynch for Gothamist)

What you need to know about the 2021 Bronx, Brooklyn, Manhattan, and Staten Island borough president races. (Rachel Holliday Smith for The City)

Thanks to reader Francesca for today’s featured photo of Fort Tryon Park!

The Briefly for January 15-16, 2020 – The “A Zabar’s Bag Appears” Friday Edition

The latest NYC news digest: NY sues the NYPD, Andrew Yang’s mayoral run is official, how to get vaccinated, James Harden comes to Brooklyn, and more

Today – Low: 44˚ High: 46˚
Rain in the evening and overnight.
This weekend – Low: 34˚ High: 48˚

How to get vaccinated for Covid-19 in New York City. (Jen Carlson and Jen Chung for Gothamist)

Nearly 28% of the people who have gotten vaccinated against the coronavirus in New York City live outside the city. (Reuven Blau and Will Welch for The City)

If you are getting a vaccine, consider making an appointment in the middle of the night to take the burden off the people who don’t have another option but to get it during the day. (Jose Martinez for The City)

According to the mayor, the city is in danger of running out of vaccines next week unless it receives more from the federal government. (Matt Troutman for Patch)

Two cases of the more contagious UK strain of Covid-19 have been found in the city. The variant is known as B.1.1.7. and both cases are from late December. (Elizabeth Kim for Gothamist)

Citi Field is set to become a 24/7 mega Covid-19 vaccination site. (Angélica Acevedo for QNS)

Photos: Inside the mass vaccination site at the Javits Center. (Devin Gannon for 6sqft)

People over 65, grocery store workers, and people who work in shelters are now eligible to get the COVID-19 vaccine. (Matt Troutman for Patch)

NY Attorney General Letitia James is suing the city, saying the NYPD has used “a pattern of excessive force” for years and wants a federal monitor to oversee the department’s tactics at future protests. (Ashley Southall for NY Times)

The NYPD is looking into expanding its experiment that removed cops from two streets in Brownsville and replaced them with community information booths. (Eileen Grench for The City)

“No one can afford to live in New York. Yet, eight million people do. How do we do this? We don’t know!” 20 Fran Lebowitz quotes from the absolutely recommended “Pretend It’s a City.” (Christina Izzo for Time Out)


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*Offer available to new openigloo subscribers only.


Real Estate Lust: Three terraces, an open-air zen garden, three bedrooms, two floors, in Soho and only $10.9 million. (Dana Schulz for 6sqft)

There is no show set in New York City without a Zabar’s joke or tote bag, but Jerry Nadler actually brought a Zabar’s bag to the impeachment. (Gus Saltonstall for Patch)

Governor Cuomo announced indoor dining can resume at half capacity in New York state, except in the city. (Tanay Warerkar for Eater)

70 bars and restaurants are suing Governor Cuomo alleging that the state’s constantly changing dining regulations violate the businesses’ civil rights. (Erika Adams for Eater)

Last year the mayor announced that Juneteenth would become “an official city holiday.” That was a broken promise. (Gabriel Sandoval for The City)

Mayor de Blasio had a goal to make composting mandatory citywide by 2018. Last year he tried to cut the budget completely. The City Council restored a portion of the funding but it is quickly deteriorating. (Audrey Carleton for Gothamist)

AOC took to Instagram to explain what happened after the attack on the Capitol last week. (@AOC)

What is known about the New York insurrectionists. (Sarah Maslin Nir for NY Times)

Aaron Mostofsky was photographed during last week’s insurrection wearing animal pelts, sporting a police shield and vest, and wizard walking stick is an entire jackass and the son of a Brooklyn Supreme Court Judge and the brother of the vice president of the South Brooklyn Conservative Club. He was arrested on Tuesday in Midwood and released on a $100,000 bond. His animal pelts were confiscated. (Jake Offenhartz for Gothamist)

The FBI stopped Eduard Florea, an aspiring Proud Boy (deemed a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center), from an attack on “target rick” New York City. (Jake Offenhartz for Gothamist)

The Vessel is closed until further notice after a 21-year-old jumped to his death, the third suicide from the structure in less than a year. (Ed Shanahan and Kimiko de Freytas-Tamura for NY Times)

The story of Roxy, a bed bug sniffing pit bull terrier in the center of a legal battle over “ownership” of Roxy between Roxy’s people and the exterminator that laid her people off in March. (Stephanie Simon for NY1)

There’s a food fight brewing on Rockaway Beach over the new lease on boardwalk concessions. (Maggie McGlinchy for Grub Street)

James Harden, welcome to the Brooklyn Nets. (Brian Braiker for Brooklyn Magazine)

860 of the city’s 878 schools offer some form of all-classroom instruction and 247 schools offer five-day-a-week classes to all of their students. (Matt Troutman for Patch)

The city will stop giving the Gifted and Talented test to kindergarteners after this spring, citing the test’s unfairness. Mayor de Blasio doesn’t have a plan to replace the test, that’ll be the next mayor’s problem. (Alejandra O’Connell-Domenech for amNewYork Metro)

Photos: The “most expensive piece of art in the world” and it’s in Grand Central Terminal. The Da Vinci of Debt of 2,600 real college diplomas, each on loan for $100. (Michelle Young for Untapped New York)

It’s official: Andrew Yang is running for mayor and he’s bringing modified Universal Basic Income with him. (Brigid Bergin for Gothamist)

Mayoral candidate Maya Miley unveiled her New Deal New York roadmap, including a $10 billion investment fund to fuel job creation, transforming NYCHA, and more. (Ariama Long for Queens County Politics)

Voice of Gowanus, a coalition of neighborhood civic groups, retained a lawyer and an environmental consultant to fight the city’s Gowanus rezoning. (Katia Kelly for Pardon Me For Asking)

New York City is finally flushing the toilet and will be seeking to cancel all outstanding contracts with the Trump Organization, including the Wollman Rink, Lasker Rink, and a carousel in Central Park and the Trump Golf Links at Ferry Point in the Bronx. (Elizabeth Kim for Gothamist)

The mayor unveiled his $92.28 billion 2022 preliminary budget, including $5.25 billion in cuts due to Covid-19 costs and a loss of property tax revenue. (Matt Troutman for Patch)

Governors Ball, a group of optimists, announced dates for September 24-26, 2021. (Amanda Hatfield for BrooklynVegan)

The NYPD found a dead body floating in the East River near the Astoria Ferry Terminal. The identity and cause of death is yet unknown. (Christina Santucci for LIC Post)

A guide to vegetable-forward dining in New York City. (Deanna Ting for Resy)

The 10 best things about living in NYC, according to New Yorkers. Not on the list, but should be, is “it’s not the midwest.” (Shaye Weaver for Time Out)

Thanks to reader Amy for today’s featured photo!