The Briefly for March 2-4, 2021 – The “Let’s Learn About the Lt. Governor” Tuesday Edition

The latest NYC news digest: The continuing disaster that is Governor Cuomo, the Moonstruck house is for sale, where to eat hot pot, and more

Today – Low: 32˚ High: 33˚
Clear throughout the day.

• Six Knicks fans on what it was like at the first game back at MSG. (Jeff Andrews for Curbed)

• Weddings can return to New York with some very bizarre rules. Dance zones, wedding bands behind glass, separated cocktail hours, and more. (Shaye Weaver for Time Out)

Governor Cuomo had a bad Sunday (boo-friggin-hoo). In typical Cuomo fashion, he responded for calls for an independent investigation with appointing a judge that worked with a longtime ally of Cuomo. Next he asked the Chief Judge of the State of New York and Attorney General Letitia James to choose a private lawyer to investigate but the Chief Judge is a political appointment made by the governor, so now Cuomo is zero for two. After his second failed idea, he relented to Letitia James’ demands to fully investigate the sexual harassment claims against him. Kudos to Sydney Pereira who kept on top of this story, making updates as the day went on. (Sydney Pereira for Gothamist)

• Yes, Governor Cuomo did do the sexual harassment training that he mandated in 2019. No, it did not seem to help. (Josefa Velasquez for The City)

A third woman has come forward with allegations of sexual harassment against the governor, stemming from an incident at a September 2019 wedding. (Matt Flegenheimer and Jesse McKinley for NY Times)

• As a part of Letitia James’ investigation of the governor, Cuomo could be compelled to testify. (Luis Ferré-Sadurní for NY Times)

• This seems like a good time to educate ourselves about Lt. Governor Kathy Hochul, who is next in line for the office of governor. (Brigid Bergin for Gothamist)

RIP to David Mintz, the man who invented Tofutti in a basement in Chinatown. (Hugh Merwin for Grub Street)

• “You need to put a wall around your family because you might get shanked,” was “friendly advice” from mayoral candidate Eric Adams to mayoral opponent Ray McGuire. Seems like a threat. (Jeffrey C. Mays for NY Times)

• Podcast: Aaron Foldenauer on his run for mayor. (Ben Max for Gotham Gazette)

• Photos: You can never have enough Snowy Owl. (D. Bruce Yolton for Urban Hawks)

• Trader Joe’s is finding itself in some hot water after firing an employee for advocating for workplace safety in an email to the CEO. Trader Joe’s claims he was fired for showing disrespecting customers. (Erika Adams for Eater)

Meet Meisha Ross Porter, NYC’s new schools chancellor. (Alex Zimmerman, Christina Veiga, and Reema Amin for Chalkbeat)

• “Giving up on the subway” is the new “I don’t own a TV.” (Jose Martinez for The City)

• For only $12.85 million you can own the house from Moonstruck. On top of being built in 1829, having 4-stories and what’s described as “5+” bedrooms, your home would also have a direct connection to Cher, and that’s all any of us could ask for. (Ben Yakas for Gothamist)

• New Yorkers working and volunteering at nonprofits that help meet the huge pandemic-driven demand for food are now eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine as of Monday. Things are a bit muddy for people who are members of mutual aid groups. (Reuven Blau for The City)

• You wouldn’t normally read about a Smashburger opening in Brooklyn in The Briefly, but the first five people on line for breakfast, lunch, and dinner on March 3 will win free burgers for a year. (Carsen Holaday for amNewYork Metro)

• The Bushwick-based Mil Mundos Books is back at Essex Market “until further notice.” (EV Grieve)

Where to eat hot pot outside in NYC. (Hannah Albertine for The Infatuation)

The Briefly for February 9-11, 2021 – The “Indoor Dining is Back on Friday” Tuesday Edition

The latest NYC news digest: New vaccine eligibility, the MTA’s cruelty on display, Governor Cuomo’s emergency powers called into question, the best pizza in NYC, and more

Today – Low: 21˚ High: 34˚
Overcast throughout the day.

• There is a new list of people eligible for the Covid-19 vaccine. If you are someone with cancer, chronic kidney disease, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, Type 2 diabetes, Type 1 diabetes, severe obesity, obesity, certain heart conditions, sickle cell disease, pregnancy, liver disease and neurologic conditions, people with immune systems weakened by HIV and immune deficiencies, asthma, hypertension, cerebrovascular disease or is using of immunosuppressive medications, you are eligible for the vaccine on February 15. You must provide a doctor’s letter or medical information proving your eligibility. (Brooklyn Eagle)

TurboVax finds the latest vaccine appointments from 43 city and state-run administration sites in the NYC area. Think of it as the website the city or state never created. (TurboVax)

• There’s also a Twitter account that tweets availabilities. (@turbovax)

• Here’s the story behind TurboVax, which was created by Huge Ma, a software engineer at Airbnb. (Sharon Otterman for NY Times)

• The state’s legislature gave Governor Cuomo emergency pandemic powers about a year ago, but now the question is for how long? (Christopher Robbins for Gothamist)

Indoor dining will now return at 25% capacity on Friday instead of Sunday, as Governor Cuomo originally announced. (Tanay Warerkar for EAter)

Citi Field will open as a mass vaccination site on Wednesday morning. Citi Field’s appointments will be set aside 50 percent for drivers with TLC licenses and food delivery workers and 50 percent for Queens residents. (Dana Schulz for 6sqft)

• Even with the announcement of Citi Field, the system for booking appointments is difficult to navigate and there is heavy confusion at vaccination sites over eligibility, leaving restaurant workers out in the cold before Friday’s return to indoor dining. (Josefa Velasquez for The City)

• Despite months of talk about vaccine equity from Mayor de Blasio and Governor Cuomo, vaccine inequity is very much here. (Sydney Pereira and Jake Dobkin for Gothamist)

• Welcome to another virtual Fleet Week. (Raanan Geberer for Brooklyn Eagle)

• Victor Rivera, the chief executive of the Bronx Parent Housing Network, one of the largest operators of homeless shelters in New York City, was accused of sexual abuse and financial impropriety. 10 women, including homeless women staying in his organization’s shelters, had accused him of sexual assault and harassment. Rivera also used his nonprofit, the Bronx Parent Housing Network, to enrich himself and his family. He faces a criminal investigation and has been fired from the non-profit. (Amy Julia Harris for NY Times)

The city’s middle schools will return to in-person classes, grades 6-8, on February 25. Not all schools will be opening up for full-time in-person classes. Teachers are eligible for the Covid-19 vaccine. (Eliza Shapiro for NY Times)

• A 64-year-old woman was killed by a truck driver in Times Square on Saturday afternoon. The driver was not charged. (Gersh Kuntzman for Streetsblog)

NYC’s first plant-based community fridge is up and running outside Overthrow on Bleecker St. (EV Grieve)

• “Hi Jeremy Benches were removed from stations to prevent the homeless from sleeping on them. ^JP” The MTA says this response on Twitter was “posted in error.” Despite stating the tweet was posted in error, the MTA hasn’t corrected the reason why the benches in the 23rd St station were removed. (Bronx Times)

FEMA will help pay for the funeral and burial of COVID-19 victims whose families can’t afford the expenses. Families seeking to file for the coverage will need documentation, such as a death certificate or obituary, to verify the person died. Senator Chuck Schumer and Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez announced the news on Monday. (Reuven Blau for The City)

The 20 best pizza places in NYC, according to The Infatuation. Paulie Gee’s Slice Shop makes the list but Paulie Gee’s doesn’t and New York Pizza Suprema’s inclusion in these lists always surprises me, but for the neighborhood around Penn Station, it can’t be beat. (Hannah Albertine, Nikko Duren, Bryan Kim, Katherine Lewin, Hillary Reinsberg, Arden Shore, and Matt Tervooren for The Infatuation)

Thanks to reader Flo for today’s featured photo!

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)