The Briefly for December 18-19, 2020 – The “Song For The Dumped” Friday Edition

The latest NYC news digest: Vaccine plans, you can’t pee indoors while outdoor dining, the best hot chocolate, a bobcat in the Bronx River, and more

Today – Low: 19˚ High: 32˚
Partly cloudy throughout the day.
This weekend – Low: 30˚ High: 40˚

A look at the state’s plan to distribute the Covid-19 vaccine to the general public. So far the state received 87,750 doses that are being given to healthcare workers. (Dana Schulz for 6sqft)

All New Yorkers will receive Covid-19 vaccines free of charge thanks to an order from Governor Cuomo, including the uninsured. (Sydney Pereira for Gothamist)

Five takeaways from the first week of vaccines in NYC. (Joseph Goldstein for NY Times)

A look back to 1947, when NYC vaccinated six million people against smallpox in less than a month. (John Florio and Ouisie Shapiro for NY Times)

The city has been singing the chorus to Ben Folds Five’s “Song For The Dumped” to a number of vendors who either didn’t deliver on PPP goods or canceled orders to the tune of over half a billion dollars. (Michael Rothfeld and J. David Goodman for NY Times)

The mayor’s office updated their guidance for restaurants and bars with outdoor dining and it includes the rule that patrons are not allowed to use the indoor bathrooms if you are dining outdoors. I’ve asked this before, but where the hell is Ariel Palitz, this city’s “night mayor,” when it comes to bullshit like this? (@nycmayorcounsel)

What does it take to keep a restaurant open in 2020? Here’s insight from Littlefield and Parklife co-owner Julie Kim on the monumental effort it has been to follow the state and city’s rules and keep the experience positive for patrons. Yes, this is where I hosted pop-culture trivia for most of this year. (Julie Kim for Brooklyn Based)

Kudos to Honey Badger, the restaurants in Prospect-Lefferts Gardens, for using its outdoor dining area for a holiday market when the restaurant is closed during the day. (Ben Verde for Brooklyn Paper)

Coney Island Creek is being evaluated to become a possible Superfund site. (Rose Adams for Brownstoner)

A new tunnel to Grand Central Terminal is open, one of Grand Central’s long-hidden tunnels, from 150 E 42nd St, across 42nd from the Chrysler Building. (Nicole Saraniero for Untapped New York)

Forget the barred owl, there’s a new hot bird in the city. Say hello to Central Park’s long-eared owl. (Mike Mishkin for I Love The Upper West Side)

Eataly is paying almost $2 million to settle a labor lawsuit that alleged Eataly was “failing to pay wages for all hours worked due to a policy of time shaving,” “failing to provide proper wage and hour notice,” and “failing to provide proper wage statements.” (Chris Crowley for Grub Street)

The luckiest traffic agent in the city was hit by a tractor-trailer and pinned underneath in Astoria. Miraculously, she was taken to the hospital for back and neck pain, but no other injuries. (Michael Dorgan for LIC Post)

Get yourself ready, because the mayor is talking about a full city shutdown after Christmas. (Allie Griffin for Sunnyside Post)

The one exception to all of the mayor’s talk about a full shutdown of the city? Keeping school buildings open. The teachers’ union isn’t supporting that idea, calling a move to keep schools open during a “shelter-in-place” scenario “irresponsible.” (Alex Zimmerman for Chalkbeat)

The Ferris wheel that was supposed to be built on Staten Island is taking center stage for city council hopefuls. Get ready for every failed project and waterfront to become a debate point in 2021 as the entire city council is up for re-election. (Clifford Michel for The City)

One shortage we didn’t expect to see is Christmas trees. Turns out when everyone is in their own homes for Christmas, the city needs more trees. (Daniel E. Slotnik for NY Times)

Video: An eerily quiet walk through Chinatown, Soho, and Washington Square Park. (ActionKid)

New Year’s Eve is going literally virtual this year, with a VNYE app that uses galleries and augmented reality to put you in a Times Square full of art. Plus you don’t have to wear a diaper to take part, so it’s kind of a win. (Nicole Saraniero for Untapped New York)

Apartment Lust: A $1.4 million Carroll Gardens two-story apartment with an astounding amount of open space and natural light, one of the weirder bed situations I’ve come across, and a roof deck. (Dana Schulz for 6sqft)

More than 100 New York LGBTQ groups have issued an open letter to Governor Andrew Cuomo urging him to sign a law before next week making all public single-stall restrooms statewide open to people of all genders. (Tat Bellamy-Walker for Gay City News)

A best of the borough shopping guide for Queens, as voted by the QNS readers. (Robin Khatsernov for QNS)

Looking for something unique on New York’s Eve? How about sleeping in a geodesic dome on top of the NASDAQ building in Times Square for $21? The dome is complete with a welcome message from Mariah Carey, a $5,000 shopping spree on Fifth Age, an indoor art lounge, a private chef for dinner, and cheesecake from Junior’s. Better rush, it’s first-come, first-served when it becomes available on December 21 at 9am. (Shaye Weaver for Time Out)

Got cabin fever? A pandemic winter bucket list. (Meredith Craig de Pietro for Brooklyn Based)

There were sightings of a bobcat in the trails along the Bronx River, which is a good sign for the health of the waterway and very cool, but also stay away from large cats if you see them. (David Cruz for Gothamist)

The rollout of ranked-choice voting will continue after a Manhattan Supreme Court Judge refused to issue a temporary restraining order. (Emily Ngo for NY1)

Video: Watch Xi’an Famous Foods prepare its biang biang noodles and perfectly coat them in their homemade chili sauce. (Matt Coney Beare for Viewing NYC)

Industry City announced three massive new heated outdoor space with four open sides in its courtyards. (Dozier Hasty for Brooklyn Eagle)

You think your Zoom calls suck? Thanks to a complete inability to organize themselves, the Brooklyn Democratic Party’s first membership meeting lasted 13 hours long and included a vote where the total votes exceeded the total number of members. Great job you guys. (Kevin Duggan for Brooklyn Paper)

Bookmark This: Where to go sledding in NYC after it snows. (Matt Troutman for Patch)

10 ways you know you’re a real New Yorker during a snow day. (Shaye Weaver for Time Out)

Photos: Snow rats, sledding, and winter scenes from NYC. (Ben Yakas with photos by Scott Lynch for Gothamist)

The best hot chocolate in the city. (Nikko Duren for The Infatuation)

Thanks to reader Michael for today’s featured photo! I don’t usually use photos of faces, but look at the joy!

The Briefly for December 15-17, 2020 – The “Sandra Lindsay, First to be Vaccinated” Tuesday Edition

The latest NYC news digest: Snow is headed for NYC, the Met Museum reopens 21 galleries, the city’s “Situation Room” is failing, the best new restaurants, and more

Today – Low: 29˚ High: 39˚
Partly cloudy throughout the day.

Today's edition is sponsored by Media Career Makeover by Mediabistro

Meet Sandra Lindsay, a nurse at a Queens hospital, who was the first person in the United States to be vaccinated against Covid-19. (Sharon Otterman for NY Times)

Answering questions about the Covid-19 vaccine rollout in NY and NJ. (Caroline Lewis for Gothamist)

Alright, let’s brace ourselves for a possible strong snowstorm this week. I am not looking forward to fighting to put my pups’ tiny boots on their unwilling feet. (John Del Signore for Gothamist)

With the rising number of Covid-19 hospitalization, the mayor is warning that the city is headed for another full-on lockdown as we experienced in the spring. (Erika Adams for Eater)

The NYPL is back to phase one service, with only grab-and-go service in yellow zones. (Norwood News)

Rao’s in East Harlem is now delivering for the first time in its 124 year history. (Devin Gannon for 6sqft)

Mayor de Blasio has accepted a challenge to ride the subway to show that it’s safe to ride the subway. How very brave of him. (Gersh Kuntzman for Streetsblog)

The 21 Club, which if you don’t know is the random building in Midtown with 21 jockey statues outside, is closing after being open since 1930. (NY1)

“We have heard from principals, families, and Learning Bridges partners that the communications from the Situation Room can be frustrating and opaque — far from what you characterized in the mayor’s initial press release as ‘resulting in quick, decisive action for our schools and clarity and transparency for all families.’” What the hell is going on with the city’s “Situation Room,” which was supposed to make the city able to quickly respond to Covid-19 cases in schools? (Amy Zimmer and Christina Veiga for Chalkbeat)

A man committed suicide by cop after opening fire near a crowd of hundreds of people gathered for a Christmas concert outside the Cathedral of St. John the Divine in Morningside Heights on Sunday afternoon. According to City Councilmember Mark Levine, the shooting was yelling he wanted to be killed. (Mihir Zaveri, Troy Closson and Liam Stack for NY Times)

Here is what’s known about Luis Vasquez, the Cathedral of St. John the Devine gunman. (Ashley Southall for NY Times)

What a 421a tax abatement is and how it works. (Jordi Lippe-McGraw for StreetEasy)

Photos: The Barrel Owls of Riverside Park are this year’s hot duck. (D. Bruce Yolton for Urban Hawks)

Attention Bobby Flay: Everyone has to pay rent, you included. (Sasha Jones for The Real Deal)
The city’s outreach at the end-of-line subway stations to New York’s homeless population as the subway closes overnight seems to be seeing success according to the city’s figures. (Mirela Iverac for Gothamist)

Faulty wiring was the cause of the Middle Collegiate Church fire in the East Village, according to a report from the FDNY. (Holly Louise Perry for Bowery Boogie)

Apartment Lust: The ‘Dean & Deluca Loft’, a $5.8 million, 3,600 square foot, open-style loft in Soho, is up for sale. The loft’s seller is Rhonda Sassoon, fourth wife and widow of famed hairdresser Vidal Sassoon, and the previous owner was Jack Ceglic, the co-founder of Dean & Deluca. (Dana Schulz for 6sqft)

Where to do Christmas stuff in NYC. (Matt Tervooren for The Infatuation)


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15 Hudson Yards has won “2020 Building of the Year” from 6sqft. 15 Hudson Yards is attached to The Shed in Hudson Yards. (Dana Schulz for 6sqft)

A holiday tipping guide. Spoilers: tip cash. (Matt Troutman for Patch)

Does your tap water taste a little different? It’s a regular occurrence as plants die off in the upstate reservoirs that hold the city’s water. The Department for Environmental Protection has stated that it is 100% harmless. (Nick Garber for Patch)

Governor Cuomo denies allegations of years of sexual harassment by former deputy press secretary Lindsey Boylan. (Sydney Pereira for Gothamist)

Superiority Burger is moving… across the street to a larger space. (Tanay Warerkar for Eater)

It’s not all good news for the city’s plant-based restaurants, as By Chloe has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection with plans to sell the company. (Erika Adams for Eater)

Shepard Fairy’s Blondie mural on Bleecker at the Bowery was restored over the weekend by artist PraxisVgz. (EV Grieve)

Dounya Zayer, who was thrown on the pavement by Officer Vincent D’Andraia during a protest in May following George Floyd’s murder filed a federal civil rights lawsuit against the city, the NYPD, D’Andraia, and his supervisor. D’Andraia was suspended without pay and charged with assault with a hearing scheduled for April 2021. His supervisor was transferred. (Eileen Grench for The City)

A new ‘Central Park Five’ law requires police to videotape all interrogations of minors to prevent cops from extracting false confessions. The law was intended to close a gap left in Gover Cuomo’s 2018 criminal justice reforms (Rose Adams for Brooklyn Paper)

Vodka doughnuts? Vodka doughnuts. (Christina Izzo for Time Out)

Franklin Park in Crown Heights closed for good on Sunday night after 12 years in the neighborhood. The attached burger joint Dutch Boy will remain open for takeout and delivery. (Tanay Warerkar for Eater)

The Met Museum opened 21 renovated galleries that contain more than 500 works after two and a half years of renovations to add new skylights. The work is on all 45 galleries in total is expected to be complete in spring 2022. (Shaye Weaver for Time Out)

Early voting for the special election to replace former Bronx Councilmember Andy King began over the weekend. The hopefuls to replace king are nonpartisan candidates Pamela Johnson-Hamilton, Neville Mitchell, and Kevin Riley. The winner will serve until the end of 2021. (Gloria Cruz for Gothamist)

Video: Drone footage of Central Park Tower, Billionaires Row, Central Park, Columbus Circle, and 53 West 53. (the Dronalist)

The 11 best new restaurants of 2020, according to Time Out. (Christina Izzo for Time Out)

Thanks to reader Flo for today’s featured photo!

The Briefly for December 13-14, 2020 – The “Second Wave” Sunday Edition

The latest NYC news digest: Indoor dining shuts down on Monday, stay the night at FAO Schwarz, a Manhattan sushi delivery guide, Mayor de Blasio makes a threat, and more

Today – Low: 41˚ High: 60˚
Partly cloudy throughout the day.

Tonight is the peak of the Geminid meteor shower for those in the darker areas of the city with “relaxed” eyes with up to 120 meteors per hour. (David Cruz for Gothamist)

Rendering: A look at the giant apartment complex coming to Coney Island, complete with roof pool, in the old Gargiulo’s Restaurant parking lot of.

The Tompkins Square Park Holiday tree is lit. (EV Grieve)

The state’s pension fund will divest from many fossil fuels in the next five years and sell its shares in other companies that contribute to global warming by 2040. (Anne Barnard for NY Times)

Looking for an interesting place to spend a night in the city? You can Airbnb FAO Schwarz for a night. (Nicole Saraniero for Untapped New York)

Here’s an explanation of the NYC Sheriff’s office, because if you’re confused about the distinction between the NYPD and the NYC Sheriff, I don’t blame you. (David Cruz for Gothamist)

A guide to the Victorian mansions of Flatbush. (Nicole Saraniero for Untapped New York)

Two officers lied in paperwork and in court about their arrest of a Black Lives Matter protester in 2016. Manhattan DA Cy Vance’s office cleared them of perjery. (Nick Pinto for Gothamist)

Where to go ice skating in Brooklyn this winter. (Jessica Parks for Brooklyn Paper)

If you never stepped inside CBGB, this virtual version of the club from 2006 will be the closest you’ll ever get. Yes, it includes the bathrooms. (Alex at Flaming Pablum)

DCLA and Borough Arts Council funded artist and cultural organizations, venues, or institutions to be able to utilize public outdoor spaces for ticketed events and performances starting on March 1 thanks to a new Open Culture bill passed by the City Council. The maximum charge for a program will be $20. This will be the first ticketed live entertainment legally allowed in the city since March 2020. The Open Culture program is an extension of the Open Restaurants, Open Streets, and Open Storefronts programs. (Ben Yakas for Gothamist)

If you’re feeling like you just have to get out of the city for good, may I suggest Topeka, Kansas, which will pay you $10,000 if you are a remote worker and move there. There are many cities that will pay you to move there. (Matt Troutman for Patch)

Kathleen Casillo was charged with reckless endangerment after she drove her sedan into a crowd of ICE protesters in Murray Hill on Friday, sending six people to the hospital. Casillo says she panicked and hit the gas when protesters were banging on her car. (Sophia Chang for Gothamist)

It seems New Yorkers got an early jump on buying Christmas trees this year. (Caroline Lewis for Gothamist)

If you’ve had your usual Christmas plans canceled, this year presents a great opportunity to shake things up and join the Audubon Society’s Christmas Bird Count. Don’t lie, you’ve loved following this year’s bird news. (Matt Troutman for Patch)

Max Rose, fresh off a defeat for Congress, filed paperwork to run for mayor. (Rose Adams for Brooklyn Paper)

The Google Doc of holiday light displays, that everyone could edit as they please, from Time Out has been updated into an interactive map. (Shaye Weaver for Time Out)

The Manhattan sushi delivery guide. (Matt Tervooren for The Infatuation)


The city is well beyond its thresholds for new hospitalizations, the 7-day average of new cases, and the 7-day rolling positivity average. “This is clearly a second wave in New York City” -Mayor de Blasio. (Jake Offenhartz for Gothamist)

The governor has shut down indoor dining in the city (again) starting Monday the 14th, thanks to an increase in every single Covid-19 metric the state and city have established. (Michael Gold for NY Times)

Eight hospitals in the city have reached more than 90 percent fullness in their ICUs. Flushing Hospital in Queens is at over 100% capacity. (Anna Quinn for Patch)

Only 1.4% of the state’s Covid-19 spread comes from restaurants and bars, but that number doesn’t specify between indoor and outdoor dining. 73.84% of COVID-19 cases spread through private gatherings. (Erika Adams for Eater)

The reactions from restaurant owners ranges from sad, but understanding, to absolutely delusional. (Christina Izzo for Time Out)

“Anyone who thinks that their privilege puts them ahead of other people in greater need, that’s not going to happen in New York City.” -Mayor de Blasio. (Matt Troutman for Patch)

An ultra-Orthodox synagogue in Williamsburg seems to have broken social distancing rules for the last time. The mayor stated this week that the city will “move to shut down the building once and for all” after a funeral on Monday brought hundreds of people into the building with no masks. The article threads the needle between the recent Supreme Court case the state lost about religious gatherings and the rules that are still in place regardless of the lawsuit. But also this is a threat coming from Mayor de Blasio, who regularly ignores his own deadlines and threats. (Jake Offenhartz for Gothamist)

Staten Island’s Mac’s Public House liquor license has been suspended, finally. It was one of 23 city businesses whose licenses were suspended last week. (Robert Pozarycki for amNewYork Metro)

The Brooklyn Monarch is also on the list of businesses whose liquor licenses were suspended after city sheriffs broke up a party with nearly 400 people inside. (Amanda Hatfield for BrooklynVegan)

Congrats to Gravesend, which has the highest Covid-19 positivity rate in the city. (Anna Quinn for Patch)

The city clarified when outdoor dining can remain open during snow and when snow removal is happening. When a Winter Operations Advisory is given, outdoor dining will stay open, but during a Snow Alert, outdoor dining will close. (Ben Yakas for Gothamist)

How scientists are tracking the flow of the city’s Covid-19 outbreak, using your poop. (Corey Kilgannon for NY Times)

A day in the life of a contract tracer. (Fred Mogul for Gothamist)

Find your public school’s Covid-19 testing rate online. (Sophia Chang for Gothamist)

The New York City Board of Health passed a measure extending the order for total mask compliance at every school in the city, not just public schools for students, staff, and faculty. Yes, before this order, there was no enforcement of masks in non-public school buildings. (David Cruz for Gothamist)

Thanks to reader Francesca for today’s featured photo of Fortitude, the NYPL lion, dressed for the season, and the pandemic.