The Briefly for December 30, 2019 – The “Are FaceTime Calls on the Subway A Form of Terrorism?” Edition

Today’s daily NYC news digest: Hudson Yards may never be completed, the Chelsea flea market closed, the flu ramps up, a brand new “dive” bar, what makes Scarr’s Pizza the best, and more

Today – Low: 40˚ High: 44˚
Rain until evening.

Sometimes it all goes according to plan and sometimes you’re the guy who stole a cherry picker, spray painted “BIRD GOD” on the arch in Grand Army Plaza, got stuck and had to be rescued and arrested by the NYPD. (Gabe Herman for amNewYork)

Does any construction project in New York ever complete? The Hudson Yards were supposed to be completed by 2024, but now the developer isn’t giving a timetable for when they’ll be done. (The Real Deal)

This isn’t a new concept, Atlantic Yards was supposed to be a ten year project, but now it’ll scheduled to for at least 25 years. It’s becoming more and more common that the first phase of these massive, neighborhood-disrupting construction projects is completed with much fanfare and the rest of the projects, which usually include schools for the neighborhood, quietly linger forever. (Pamela Wong for Bklyner)

Are you one of the monsters who has FaceTime video calls while on the subway? Well good news for you, the MTA will add phone and wifi access to the L train tunnels below the East River. (Robert Pozarycki for amNewYork)

The Times Square ball drop by the numbers. (Diane Pham for 6sqft)

Photos: Take a look at the Times Square NYE ball, since you’re not crazy enough to go see it drop in person. (Scott Lynch for Gothamist)

How to spend New Year’s Eve 2020 in NYC without going near Times Square. (Michelle Cohen for 6sqft)

“We are not adequately preparing to launch a successful congestion pricing program by January 2021” writes Corey Johnson. Congestion pricing is supposed to drive, no pun intended, people to use public transit rather than their cars when traveling into Manhattan. The MTA, trying to find the silver lining to the recent downturn in ridership, says that the downturn actually created capacity for those who will switch back from cars to public transit. (Vincent Barone for amNewYork)

The Annex Antiques Fair and Flea Market in Chelsea, NYC’s largest flea market and counted Andy Warhol among those who frequented it, has lost its lease. After 45 years, finding a new home for the flea market is nearly impossible, as any raw space in the area has been swallowed up by developers. (Katie Van Syckle for NY Times)

The East Village’s Zum Schneider is closing in February after their landlord was “not interested” in renewing their lease. (Sydney Pereira for Gothamist)

New Yorkers with the flu exploded from 1,130 reported cases to 3,010 reported cases over the two weeks ending on December 21. The flu season doesn’t end until May, so there’s still plenty of time to get your shot. (Adam Nichols for Patch)

At the opening of Stonewall House, the city’s first LGBTQ-friendly affordable senior housing development, Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams invoked slavery and predicted that the residence could lead to trouble in the neighborhood. His comments were confusing, questionable in nature, and invoked an us-vs-them mentality that flies in the face of the purpose of Stonewall House. Adams didn’t return calls about this speech, but maybe he will when he’s trying to be the city’s mayor in 2021. (Matt Tracy and Paul Schindler for Gay City News)

In the wake of Tessa Majors’s murder in Morningside Park, an undisclosed white supremecist group is targeting Barnard College and Columbia University staff with racist robocalls. The NYPD’s Racial and Ethnically Motivated Extremism group is looking into the calls. (Julia Reinstein for BuzzFeed News)

The mayor will ramp up police presences in Williamsburg, Crown Heights and Borough Park as well as implementing a new school curriculum focusing on the danger of hate crimes after a Hanukkah rife with anti-Semitic attacks. The new Office for the Prevention of Hate Crimes will be overseeing the efforts. (Sanjana Karanth for HuffPost)

When Justin Theroux opened Ray’s Bar, there was a lot of questioning whether it was even possible to open a brand new bar and call it a dive bar. Enter Dolly’s Swing & Dive, meant to evoke Dolly Parton. The owners push the concept of a dive bar by claiming they’re taking the things they like about a dive bar and “made it a little more grown up.” Can a dive bar have a crab-and-shrimp roll you’d be willing to eat? (Bao Ong for Time Out)

The Nevins Street raccoon, named Chepe by the MTA, continues to evade capture by the NYPD. I bet they’d catch it in a heartbeat if it jumped a turnstile. (Jen Chung for Gothamist)

Video: What makes Scarr’s Pizza’s one of the city’s best and healthiest? House-milled flour. (Murilo Ferreira for Eater)

Video: Selfish lady holds up traffic for 2 blocks because she won’t move her double parked car, with over a million views on YouTube. Welcome to Forest Hills. (ActionKid)

12 new restaurants worth checking out while the rest of New York is still on vacation.(Nikita Richardson for Grub Street)

The Briefly for September 9, 2019 – The “Attacked by a Metal Banjo” Edition

New York’s new license plates have been chosen, a new tomato plant grows on the East River, the Port Authority’s new bus depot comes up short, and more in today’s daily NYC news digest

This week’s late-night subway service change lottery losers are the 3, 4, 6, A, F, N, and Q trains. And always the L train. (Subway Weekender)

This is our new license plate. (Patch)

For the people who loved the tomato plant discovered along the East River, here’s some good news: there is another. (NY Times)

The Charging Bull was attacked with a metal banjo. (NY Times)

It’s a nasty cycle. Bus service degrades to a point where walking will get you where you need to be faster. As a result of the poor service, ridership declines. The MTA doesn’t see the cause, just the effect, and along routes like the B38 and B54, they cut service to match the lowered demand. Now with the degraded service, the buses are still slow, still unreliable and now there are less of them. The MTA can’t fix the problems with the buses because that’s the Department of Transportation’s street designs and the NYPD’s lack of enforcement of what can make traffic flow easily and keep the streets safe for vehicles pedestrians and cyclists. (Brooklyn Daily Eagle)

The Friends (The worst show to celebrate in the age of Trump) experience pop-up on Mercer Street is all sold out, so some photos of the inside are all you’ll get unless more tickets become available. (Gothamist)

Bill de Blasio’s campaign for president hopefully ends on October 1st and someone should throw a party in celebration, especially if it means the mayor will stop doing things like show up on Tucker Carlson’s show looking for anyone who will support him. (Gothamist)

277 people leave New York for good every day, making it the #1 city people want to leave in the country. (Bloomberg)

Here comes fall, which means here comes food festivals. (6sqft)

The Apple cube is back on 5th Ave, and it’s trippy as hell. (Gothamist)

The Port Authority presented some of its ideas to replace the Port Authority Bus Terminal, and none of them accommodated services like Megabus, which use the sidewalks of midtown for their pickups and dropoffs, into their plans. There was worry that the Port Authority would eventually screw up replacing the bus terminal, and they are already meeting expectations. (Gothamist)

Digging in on bad ideas is now a hallmark of the mayor’s public statements. (Streetsblog)

Here are this week’s restaurants shut down by the Department of Health, including Tasty Popcorn Chicken in Queens with a whopping 121 violation points. (Patch)

New Yorkers already received over 1.25 billion robocalls this year. (Patch)

The 5 Boro Pizza Challenge is an attempt to eat a slice of pizza in every borough in one day, only using public transportation. Think you have what it takes? (6sqft)

Take a look inside Bette Midler’s $50 million penthouse, which is for sale. (Curbed)

New York will soon get more Detroit-style pizza when Michigan chain Jet’s Pizza sets up its first outpost on Ninth Ave between 17th and 18th St. (Eater)

Last Thursday set the record for the most Citi Bike rides in a day with 90,000. (Streetsblog)

The historic boardwalk in Coney Island is landmarked, but still bears scars from Superstorm Sandy. If you walk west on the boardwalk, past the amusement zone, you’ll encounter a section of plywood boards that freeze over in the winter. You’ll see nails sticking up, you’ll see missing boards, plants growing through, and other hazards. Residents are sick of it and are demanding change. (Brooklyn Daily Eagle)

The governor is flirting with the idea of holding the 2020 New York presidential primaries to February, one day after the Iowa caucuses. (NY Times)

Texting while crossing the street is safe, according to a new study by the Department of Transportation. Remember this the next time some old fuddy-duddy tries to argue otherwise. (NY Times)

Joe Namath is selling his (empty) $1.19 Upper West Side duplex. (I Love the Upper West Side)

There are more hate crimes against black people in NYC this year, but there were more arrests in cases with hate crimes against white people, according to numbers released by the NYPD. (Patch)

A look at five new restaurants in the city. (amNY)

A Times Square Elmo was arrested for groping a teenage girl. (Pix 11)

The history of Central Park’s Shakespeare Garden. (Ephemeral New York)

15 places to try when the company is picking up the tab for lunch. (Grub Street)

Thanks to reader Zlata for today’s featured photo!