The Briefly for December 1-3, 2020 – The “New York City’s Least Wanted” Tuesday Edition

The latest NYC news digest: The city’s new test time wait “tool,” AOC for mayor?, the plan to reopen schools, a food gift guide, Times Square is sad, and more

Today – Low: 35˚ High: 53˚
Possible drizzle in the morning.

The city launched a Covid-19 test wait time tool for Health + Hospitals test sites. Don’t get too excited. It’s a PDF that updates every 15 minutes, but as of writing this, it was still showing yesterday’s wait times. (Matt Troutman for Patch)

400 idiots were found in a party in Manhattan at 3 am on Saturday by the city’s Sherrif, who broke up the party. (Mihir Zaveri for NY Times)

The Andrew T. Cleckley Funeral Home’s funeral director’s license was revoked. This is after dozens of decomposing bodies were found in trucks outside of the funeral home at the height of the pandemic. (Kimiko de Freytas-Tamura for NY Times)

The MTA was scheduled to receive the first of its new open gangway design cars this year, which won’t be happening due to a supply-chain slowdown. The first of the new cars are expected sometime next year. (Jose Martinez for The City)

Governor Cuomo laid out five strategies to prevent overwhelming the state’s hospitalization system. Hospital capacity, testing, keeping as many schools open as possible, limiting small gatherings, and getting a vaccination program ready. (Dana Schulz for 6sqft)

New York’s least wanted. Accent: Fake Posh. Eyes: Dead Behind. Married to Slenderman? Yes. (@TGLNYC on Instagram)

Being envious of a realistic apartment in a video game may be something that is uniquely New York. (Charles Pulliam-Moore for Gizmodo)

6sqft selects food gifts from 21 NYC restaurants and shops. (Dana Schulz for 6sqft)

I love the idea of secret tunnels and passageways existing throughout the city, like the abandoned passageway between the Hotel Roosevelt and Grand Central Terminal. (Michelle Young for Untapped New York)

Roberta’s Pizza is closed, as a number of workers contracted COVID-19. (David Cruz for Gothamist)

What’s one way to make viewing the Rockefeller Christmas tree worse during a global pandemic? How about a bunch of rules and needing tickets to see it? I appreciate the idea, but this underscores just how much this year is the worst. (Jen Chung for Gothamist)

InThe Coney Island Polar Bear Club has canceled the January 1st swim. (Amanda Hatfield for BrooklynVegan)

In better news, SantaCon is also canceled. (Holly Louise Perry for Bowery Boogie)

Laying out the unlikely case for AOC for mayor in 2021. (Amba Guerguerian for The Indypendent)

Andrew Yang is still considering a run at the mayorship. (Sally Goldenberg for Politico)

Arlene’s Grocery may be forced to close on February 1. They’re looking to raise $80,000 on goFundMe to stay open. (Elie Z. Perler for Bowery Boogie)

“They’re not going to enforce their own laws. Obviously, we’re not seeing the enforcement around precincts, especially some of mine, where police vehicles are parked everywhere, blocking crosswalks.” The City Council is fed up with the NYPD treating sidewalks like their own personal parking lot. (Mark Hallum for amNewYork Metro)

Middle and high school buildings across the city will not reopen for in-person learning until 2021 with no specific date announced. Elementary and younger will reopen on December 3 and the city will lose the 3% threshold that got us into this mess in the first place. (Reema Amin for Chalkbeat)

Also in the “not for a while” category is congestion pricing, which the MTA now says may not be happening until 2023. (Matt Troutman for Patch)

Former UCB employees launched The Squirrel Comedy Theater with an aim towards inclusivity after UCB’s closure in April. Right now you can find them streaming on Wednesday and Thursday nights on Twitch. (Bill Pearis for BrooklynVegan)

The NY Times has discovered that if Times Square is empty, it’s pretty depressing. (Corey Kilgannon for NY Times)

An ode to New York City’s elevated trains. (Joy Masoff for Untapped New York)

A look at why eviction filings are up, despite the eviction moratorium. (Beth Fertig for Gothamist)

The chief executive of the New York Road Runners, the nonprofit behind the NYC Marathon, will step down in the face of allegations that he fostered a toxic and racist work culture. (Jake Offenhartz for Gothamist)

A manhole cover of a mysterious origin. The city’s history still has questions we can’t answer. (Ephemeral New York)

Updated: The ultimate Manhattan delivery guide. (Hannah Albertine, Nikko Duren, & Matt Tervooren for The Infatuation)

Thanks to reader Francesca for today’s featured photo of Harlem at dawn!

The Briefly for December 17, 2019 – The “End Fare Evasion by Ending Fares” Edition

Today’s daily NYC news digest: Pasta cake, the City Council looks to work around the governor, the most beautiful homes of 2019, a buy/rent calculator, mulchfest approaches, and more

Today – Low: 29˚ High: 36˚
Light rain until evening.

The best & worst of SantaCon 2019. (Ben Yakas for Gothamist)

SantaCon’s aftermath was predictably awful. (Nikita Richardson for Grub Street)

Despite being illegal for a decade, discrimination against people with Section 8 vouchers persists. (Cindy Rodriguez for Gothamist)

A well laid out plan to cut fare evasion to zero: make public transit free. (The Independent)

The City Council could circumvent the governor in making electric bikes legal. Councilmember Rafael Espinal is pushing forward with his bill that would legalize the bikes and cap their speeds at 20 mph. The governor has a bill on his desk since June that would legalize them. (Dave Colon for Streetsblog)

This year’s legislative session was, in Governor Cuomo’s words, the “most productive legislative session in modern history” thanks to truly Democratic control. There’s been one major bottleneck in getting those bills into law: the governor himself. (Luis Ferré-Sadurní for NY Times)

The NYCHA is the city’s worst landlord for the second year running, topping Public Advocate Jumaane Williams’s list of the worst landlords in the city. (Kathleen Culliton for Patch)

Does it make more sense to buy or rent? Depends how long you’re gonna stay in your apartment. In Canarsie the time is under two years, but in the Lower East Side, it’s thirty. Don’t worry, there’s a calculator. (Ameena Walker for Curbed)

A look at Brooklyn’s first public bike parking hub, the confusingly named Oonee Pod. While it’s only 20 bike racks, it’s a start. (Paul Frangipane for Brooklyn Eagle)

14th St’s buses will be going all-electric in March. The busway’s improved service has meant a ridership increase of nearly 25% over last year at this time. Turns out people will take the bus if it’s reliable. Who knew? (Devin Gannon for 6sqft)

If you can’t fight the addictiveness of old photos of New York City, the archive of photographs from Carole Teller from the 60s through the 90s is enthralling. (Dawson Knick for GVSHP)

Who can fight the charm of Billy On The Street with Mariah Carey? (@billyeichner)

Four first responders who died from 9/11-related illnesses were posthumously awarded Bronze Medallions from Mayor de Blasio on Monday for advocacy work that ensured fellow responders will receive medical care throughout their lifetimes. Nineteen people were honored, including Jon Stewart. (Kathleen Culliton for Patch)

Apartment Porn: The most beautiful homes of 2019. (Valeria Ricciulli for Curbed)

In one of the most classless moves of the year, Ed Mullins, president of the Sergeants Benevolent Association, is using the death of Tessa Majors to baselessly claim she was in the park where she was murdered to buy drugs and criticize the change in the city’s marijuana enforcement laws. (Ja’han Jones for HuffPost)

New York’s law allowing undocumented immigrants to obtain licenses went into effect on Monday and there were lines. (Tracey Tully and Michael Gold for NY Times)

A look back at a full decade of the rent being too damn high across the city. (Valeria Ricciulli for Curbed)

You know who thinks the MTA is doing great? The MTA. (Kathleen Culliton for Patch)

A wholly acceptable “Why I’m leaving New York” essay. (Joan Summers for Jezebel)

Here are the stories of the 28 bicyclists who were killed on city streets by drivers. 2019 is the bloodiest year since 2000 for cyclist deaths. (Emma Whitford for Gothamist)

Pasta cake? (Emma Orlow for Time Out)

Say farewell to Tootsie, Oklahoma!, and Waitress as seven Broadway shows are coming to a close in January. (Matt Windman for Gothamist)

Just in case you were wondering if Harvey Weinstein wasn’t a Scooby Doo-level villain, his recent interview where he calls himself a “pioneer” in providing opportunities for female actors and directors and that he is a “forgotten man” will clarify that issue for you. (Alan Feuer for NY Times)

MetroCard scammers cost the MTA about $40 million a year. These aren’t turnstile jumpers, but people intentionally breaking machines or disguising themselves as an MTA employee and asking for a dollar to walk through the emergency exits, or one of the dozens of other ways people have thought of to outsmart the MTA. (Vincent Barone for amNewYork)

“All the current administration cares about is getting to the day where they can have a press release saying that we’re not at an all time high [of homelessness].” Former City Council Speaker Christine Quinn is now the CEO of a nonprofit that is the largest provider of shelter and supportive housing and has some things to say about how the city treats its homeless. (Ben Max and Stephen Wyer for Gotham Gazette)

When Veronica Vanterpool resigns from the MTA’s board, it will leave the city severely underrepresented. (Benjamin Kabak for Second Ave Sagas)

It’s not even Christmas, but here comes the signs for Mulchfest. (EV Grieve)

It’s like a greatest hits record, but for NYC restaurants. (The Infatuation)

Thanks to reader Zlata for today’s featured photo!

The Briefly for December 13, 2019 – The “When Calling 311 is Not the Answer” Edition

Today’s daily NYC digest: The weekend’s weekend subway closures, all the info you need to avoid SantaCon, Bloomberg’s toxic legacy with lead, the best Italian restaurants, and more

Today – Low: 48˚ High: 49˚
Rain starting in the afternoon.
This weekend – Low: 33˚ High: 45˚

Lots of disruptions on the subways this weekend on the 1, 3, A, C, F, N, Q, and R trains. Check the scheduled shutdowns before you go. (Subway Weekender)

The Old Farmer’s Almanac, a competitor to the Farmer’s Almanac, has a prediction for NYC weather on Christmas day: “It should be a snowy, picturesque Christmas Day.” (Adam Nichols for Patch)

The mayor has a new plan to address homelessness, which centers around training city workers to call 311. An op-ed, credited to current and former outreach workers, the plan “is a massive misdirection of effort and resources, and has the potential to undermine the city’s ability to house and serve the people it is supposed to be helping”. A worthwhile read breaking down why this doesn’t approach a solution to the problem. (Gothamist)

How to survive SantaCon if you feel you both hate your fellow New Yorkers and absolutely MUST participate. (Alexandra Alex for 6sqft)

Here’s a SantaCon map of places to avoid on Saturday. (Kathleen Culliton for Patch)

Why all the SantaCon hate? Check out some horror stories of SantaCon’s past. (Kathleen Culliton for Patch)

CUNY started a $1 million pilot program to address food insecurity among the students at BMCC. 50% of students enrolled are food insecure according to self-reports. (Alejandra O’Connell-Domenech for amNewYork)

Alcoholic candy? Yup. Smith & Sinclair has brought boozy gummies to New York. (Emma Orlow for Time Out)

Con Ed is planning on raising rates 16% on electricity and between 25% and 34% for gas over the next three years, and the chairman of the City Council’s Committee on Environmental Protection isn’t having it. The Public Service Commission must vote on the price hike before it can be implemented. (Bill Parry for QNS)

Mrs. Claus is paid about half of what a Santa is paid, making the pay closer to an elf than the big red fat man. (Michelle Cohen for 6sqft)

This new development planned for the Williamsburg waterfront is really goin to divide people. Giant, unconventionally shaped buildings? Yes. A promise to build a new public park? Yes. A man-made beach? Yup. (Devin Gannon or 6sqft)

Ecco! has been on Chambers St for over 25 years, but the end of the “Italian saloon” may be nigh, as a new application for a liquor license for another location fo The Grey Dog was filed for the address. (Tribeca Citizen)

Public defenders and justice advocates are calling on new NYPD Commissioner Dermot Shea to abolish a policing tool he’s strongly defended: the department’s gang database. (Ese Olumhense and Eileen Grench for The City)

Are we so starved for nature in the city that we’re willing to pay someone for pinecones for $1 to $5 and tree branches for $10? Yes we are. (Jen Carlson for Gothamist)

More than 1,000 mourners streamed onto a Williamsburg street Wednesday evening to pay their final respects to two of the civilian victims of the Jersey City shooting. The crowd carried the bodies of the dead through the street before they were taken to their final resting places. (Noah Goldberg for Brooklyn Eagle)

Apartment Porn: Take a look at Giorgio Armani’s new $17.5 million penthouse on Central Park West. (Michele Petry for StreetEasy)

A first-year student at Barnard College was killed in an upper Manhattan park early Wednesday evening. Police say the young woman was slain during a mugging. (Jen Chung for Gothamist)

Thursday morning was a shit-souffle of a commute, with nine different lines experiencing signal problems, door malfunctions, and activated brakes all before 9am. (Kathleen Culliton for Patch)

Winters seems like a terrible time to surf the East River, but Santa took to the water for half an hour in frigid temperatures. (Claire Lampen for Gothamist)

Six picks for top holiday windows to see this year. (Michelle Young for Untapped New York)

Photos: The 2019 holiday windows. (Dana Schulz for 6sqft, photos by James and Karla Murray)

Some of the city’s best and most affordable museums. (Gabe Herman for amNewYork)

New York City’s best museum gift shops. (Amy Plitt for Curbed)

The Infatuation’s favorite new restaurants of 2019. (The Infatuation)

Undocumented immigrants can get legal drivers licenses in New York starting on Monday, as the state’s Greenlight law is set to take effect. (Zack Fink for NY1)

The 5 best restaurants in Cobble Hill. (Scott Enman for Brooklyn Eagle)

Suit up for a Sunday in the life of Storm Marrero, the first Afro-Latina singing ringmaster for the Big Apple Circus. (Alix Strauss for NY Times)

A look at the recent struggles of Birdcamp, a store and boarding facility for birds. Birdcamp has been an institution for nearly two decades for bird lovers on E 53rd and is in danger of closing. (Alix Strauss for NY Times)

Mayor Bloomberg’s legacy with lead is toxic and steeped in institutional racism. (Alexander C. Kaufman for HuffPost)

The city passed a law banning vendors from the Dyker Heights Christmas lights in an attempt to ease the difficulties the neighborhood was experiencing with the crowds, but the vendors found a loophole and have come back. (Meaghan McGoldrick and Paul Frangipane for Brooklyn Eagle)

NYC’s 31 top Italian restaurants. (Eater)