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)

The Briefly for December 12, 2019 – The “New Subway Signals Have Been Foiled by Snow” Edition

Today’s daily NYC news digest: LIC gets a Trader Joe’s, a plan to punish bad drivers in the NYPD, the Javits center construction is set to be mostly complete by the spring, and more

Today – Low: 32˚ High: 35˚
Clear throughout the day.

With four Republican state senators not seeking re-election in 2020, the path is open for the state’s Democrats to form a supermajority. (Jesse McKinley for NY Times)

Is there room in NYC for this Frankenstein’s monster of wafer-thin pizza? We accepted Detroit-style, we’d even begrudgingly allow Chicago-style to come in to the city, we we’re hot about Rhode Island-style, but this? Has pizza science finally gone too far? (Jen Carlson for Gothamist)

There are calls for Mayor de Blasio to cancel SantaCon. While SantaCon being an event sponsored by the mayor’s office, there is a petition you can sign. (EV Grieve)

Columbia University made a promise 14 years ago to create a new public school in exchange for a 49-year rent-free lease on a piece of land. Imagine the surprise when Columbia presented a plan to build a 400-foot-tall residential tower on that land. Columbia has been slowly expanding its footprint and the neighborhood is justifiably worried. (Elizabeth Kim for Gothamist)

People move to NYC every day, so every day it’s useful to have a link that answers the question “what’s a bodega?” (Lauren Paley for StreetEasy)

The 7 train’s new signal communication was foiled on Wednesday by… some snow and slush. Yup. The MTA spent $800 million on new signals and there’s a “known phenomenon” that’s been known about since March. When a transponder malfunctions due to snow or slush, the train essentially becomes “lost” to the MTA’s computers and its speed is reduced from 50 mph to 25 mph. Very reassuring. (Stephen Nessen for Gothamist)

New York City, get ready to be REMEd. Of course REME is the new Racially and Ethnically Motivated Extremism unit of the NYPD targeting far-right and extremist hate groups like The Proud Boys or Atomwaffen Division. This comes in response to the shootings in New Jersey. (Ali Watkins for NY Times)

Turns out, those no-doors, dangle-your-feet-over-NYC-for-maximally-impressive-content- helicopter experiences may be pretty unsafe — by design. (Claire Lampen for Gothamist)

Anti-violence programs across Coney Island are getting $850,000 in city funding to address an uptick in gun violence in the community, starting with gaps in social services. (Meaghan McGoldrick for Brooklyn Daily Eagle)

A remote starting feature on a Lexus caused the death of 21-year-old Michael Kosanovich last week on 148th St in South Jamaica. Kosanovich was crushed between the Lexus and another car when the Lexus rolled forward after being started. Pedestrians were able to push the car off of him, but the car slipped and pinned him between the cars for a second time. (Jake Offenhartz for Gothamist)

Former President Clinton visited Bed-Stuy’s Cornerstone Baptist Church to check out the energy-efficient upgrades the church was able to install thanks to a commitment from the Clinton Global Initiative University. (Raymond Hagans for The Brooklyn Reader)

The latest episode of the What’s The [DATA] Point? podcast takes a look at the $28.8 billion cumulative four-year budget gap for New York between 2020 and 2023. (Ben Max for Gotham Gazette)

From the team behind the excellent pizza and wine restaurant Ops comes Leo, a new pizza place in Williamsburg split between a cafe/slice shop and a restaurant. (Scott Lynch for Gothamist)

Harvey Weinstein and more than 30 actresses and former employees accusing him of sexual harassment and rape reached a tentative $25 million settlement that would not require Weinstein to pay a single dime out of his own pocket. The money would come from the $47 million settlement closing down the Weinstein Company. (Kathleen Culliton for Patch)

The best and worst architecture of 2019. (Amy Plitt for Curbed)

A two-year-old boy was caught between a moving 2 train and the platform at Fulton Street during rush hour on Wednesday. He died at the hospital. (Jen Chung for Gothamist)

The Dry aged Red Hook Tavern burger at Red Hook Tavern, the gruyère fritters at Crown Shy, the Sicilian slice and regular slice at F & F Pizzeria, and the rest of Pete Wells’s top 10 dishes of 2019. (Pete Wells for NY Times)

Long Island City is getting a Trader Joe’s. (Eddie Small for The Real Deal)

The Department of Transportation has a plan to address the insanity on the roads surrounding Essex Place, but it’s gonna take some time. Not months, but years, and by then congestion pricing will be in place. (Christopher Robbins for Gothamist)

A combination of miscommunication and faulty construction lead to the slow response to 80 homes’ basements being flooded with raw sewage on Thanksgiving weekend. (Max Parrott for amNewYork)

What to see right now in the city’s art galleries. (Martha Schwindener for NY Times)

The construction at the Javits center is on-time, on-budget, and expected to be “substantially complete” by the spring. (Caroline Spivack for Curbed)

The cleanup of the Newtown Creek has hit some murky waters. The EPA decided on a plan that reduces the combined sewer overflow pollution by 61% rather than an option that would eliminate it completely. Combined sewer overflow basically boils down to the neighborhoods toilets flushing directly into the creek when the sewer system is overloaded. (Scott Enman for Brooklyn Daily Eagle)

Interested in the city’s combined sewer overflows? You might enjoy the @combinedsewer Twitter account. It tweets when the city’s sewer system can’t handle a combination of sewage and rain and the overflow is released into the city’s waterways. (@combinedsewer)

The de Blasio administration is getting moving on actually punishing NYPD officers with parking placard for being unable to follow the law while behind the wheel of their own cars. Starting next year, NYPD officers and employees will lose their city-issued parking placard if they get too many moving violation tickets. (Gersh Kuntzman for Streetsblog)

Whoops! A mixup meant that a dozen city classrooms didn’t receive the emergency lead-removal that were supposed to before the school year started. (Christoper Werth for Gothamist)

A calculator to help you decide if you should be renting or buying in NYC. (Nancy Wu for StreetEasy)

The best sports bars in the city. (The Infatuation)