The Briefly for January 15-16, 2020 – The “A Zabar’s Bag Appears” Friday Edition

The latest NYC news digest: NY sues the NYPD, Andrew Yang’s mayoral run is official, how to get vaccinated, James Harden comes to Brooklyn, and more

Today – Low: 44˚ High: 46˚
Rain in the evening and overnight.
This weekend – Low: 34˚ High: 48˚

How to get vaccinated for Covid-19 in New York City. (Jen Carlson and Jen Chung for Gothamist)

Nearly 28% of the people who have gotten vaccinated against the coronavirus in New York City live outside the city. (Reuven Blau and Will Welch for The City)

If you are getting a vaccine, consider making an appointment in the middle of the night to take the burden off the people who don’t have another option but to get it during the day. (Jose Martinez for The City)

According to the mayor, the city is in danger of running out of vaccines next week unless it receives more from the federal government. (Matt Troutman for Patch)

Two cases of the more contagious UK strain of Covid-19 have been found in the city. The variant is known as B.1.1.7. and both cases are from late December. (Elizabeth Kim for Gothamist)

Citi Field is set to become a 24/7 mega Covid-19 vaccination site. (Angélica Acevedo for QNS)

Photos: Inside the mass vaccination site at the Javits Center. (Devin Gannon for 6sqft)

People over 65, grocery store workers, and people who work in shelters are now eligible to get the COVID-19 vaccine. (Matt Troutman for Patch)

NY Attorney General Letitia James is suing the city, saying the NYPD has used “a pattern of excessive force” for years and wants a federal monitor to oversee the department’s tactics at future protests. (Ashley Southall for NY Times)

The NYPD is looking into expanding its experiment that removed cops from two streets in Brownsville and replaced them with community information booths. (Eileen Grench for The City)

“No one can afford to live in New York. Yet, eight million people do. How do we do this? We don’t know!” 20 Fran Lebowitz quotes from the absolutely recommended “Pretend It’s a City.” (Christina Izzo for Time Out)


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Real Estate Lust: Three terraces, an open-air zen garden, three bedrooms, two floors, in Soho and only $10.9 million. (Dana Schulz for 6sqft)

There is no show set in New York City without a Zabar’s joke or tote bag, but Jerry Nadler actually brought a Zabar’s bag to the impeachment. (Gus Saltonstall for Patch)

Governor Cuomo announced indoor dining can resume at half capacity in New York state, except in the city. (Tanay Warerkar for Eater)

70 bars and restaurants are suing Governor Cuomo alleging that the state’s constantly changing dining regulations violate the businesses’ civil rights. (Erika Adams for Eater)

Last year the mayor announced that Juneteenth would become “an official city holiday.” That was a broken promise. (Gabriel Sandoval for The City)

Mayor de Blasio had a goal to make composting mandatory citywide by 2018. Last year he tried to cut the budget completely. The City Council restored a portion of the funding but it is quickly deteriorating. (Audrey Carleton for Gothamist)

AOC took to Instagram to explain what happened after the attack on the Capitol last week. (@AOC)

What is known about the New York insurrectionists. (Sarah Maslin Nir for NY Times)

Aaron Mostofsky was photographed during last week’s insurrection wearing animal pelts, sporting a police shield and vest, and wizard walking stick is an entire jackass and the son of a Brooklyn Supreme Court Judge and the brother of the vice president of the South Brooklyn Conservative Club. He was arrested on Tuesday in Midwood and released on a $100,000 bond. His animal pelts were confiscated. (Jake Offenhartz for Gothamist)

The FBI stopped Eduard Florea, an aspiring Proud Boy (deemed a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center), from an attack on “target rick” New York City. (Jake Offenhartz for Gothamist)

The Vessel is closed until further notice after a 21-year-old jumped to his death, the third suicide from the structure in less than a year. (Ed Shanahan and Kimiko de Freytas-Tamura for NY Times)

The story of Roxy, a bed bug sniffing pit bull terrier in the center of a legal battle over “ownership” of Roxy between Roxy’s people and the exterminator that laid her people off in March. (Stephanie Simon for NY1)

There’s a food fight brewing on Rockaway Beach over the new lease on boardwalk concessions. (Maggie McGlinchy for Grub Street)

James Harden, welcome to the Brooklyn Nets. (Brian Braiker for Brooklyn Magazine)

860 of the city’s 878 schools offer some form of all-classroom instruction and 247 schools offer five-day-a-week classes to all of their students. (Matt Troutman for Patch)

The city will stop giving the Gifted and Talented test to kindergarteners after this spring, citing the test’s unfairness. Mayor de Blasio doesn’t have a plan to replace the test, that’ll be the next mayor’s problem. (Alejandra O’Connell-Domenech for amNewYork Metro)

Photos: The “most expensive piece of art in the world” and it’s in Grand Central Terminal. The Da Vinci of Debt of 2,600 real college diplomas, each on loan for $100. (Michelle Young for Untapped New York)

It’s official: Andrew Yang is running for mayor and he’s bringing modified Universal Basic Income with him. (Brigid Bergin for Gothamist)

Mayoral candidate Maya Miley unveiled her New Deal New York roadmap, including a $10 billion investment fund to fuel job creation, transforming NYCHA, and more. (Ariama Long for Queens County Politics)

Voice of Gowanus, a coalition of neighborhood civic groups, retained a lawyer and an environmental consultant to fight the city’s Gowanus rezoning. (Katia Kelly for Pardon Me For Asking)

New York City is finally flushing the toilet and will be seeking to cancel all outstanding contracts with the Trump Organization, including the Wollman Rink, Lasker Rink, and a carousel in Central Park and the Trump Golf Links at Ferry Point in the Bronx. (Elizabeth Kim for Gothamist)

The mayor unveiled his $92.28 billion 2022 preliminary budget, including $5.25 billion in cuts due to Covid-19 costs and a loss of property tax revenue. (Matt Troutman for Patch)

Governors Ball, a group of optimists, announced dates for September 24-26, 2021. (Amanda Hatfield for BrooklynVegan)

The NYPD found a dead body floating in the East River near the Astoria Ferry Terminal. The identity and cause of death is yet unknown. (Christina Santucci for LIC Post)

A guide to vegetable-forward dining in New York City. (Deanna Ting for Resy)

The 10 best things about living in NYC, according to New Yorkers. Not on the list, but should be, is “it’s not the midwest.” (Shaye Weaver for Time Out)

Thanks to reader Amy for today’s featured photo!

The Briefly for January 10, 2020 – The “Soho Karen was Arrested” Sunday AMA Edition

The latest NYC news digest: A first-person vaccine story, what’s news for NYC dining, Nicole Malliotakis votes against the election results, and more

Today – Low: 30˚ High: 40˚
Clear throughout the day.

Today’s digest is starting with something different. Today’s photo came from to reader Michele, who I asked to talk about her experience receiving the Covie-19 vaccine. If you’ve got your own story, please feel free to email it to thebriefly at gmail.com.

I’m an optometrist in NYC, and I was surprised how quickly I was able to get an appointment to get the Covid vaccine after I saw the announcement on nyc.gov that new slots had opened up for healthcare workers. I got an appointment the first week at a “pop up” clinic in a city government building in Manhattan, and the process was streamlined and efficient even though it had only been up and running for a few days. My site had appointments every 15 minutes, and I didn’t have to wait at any point in the process — initial screening/paperwork, vaccination station, post-processing (you sit for 20 minutes afterward to make sure you don’t pass out). Everyone working there was helpful and excited, and the entire experience was lovely. I asked the nurse if I could take a picture (like 900 people before me probably had) and he even suggested how I should stage it. After I finished my 20 minute post-vaccine chill period I saw a man ask two nurses if he could take their picture with his dog, and they were really sweet about it. The one thing I would say surprised me was that the nurse who gave me the vaccine said he hadn’t gotten it yet, though he was on the schedule to have it soon.

As promised, today’s digest is centered around a few Ask Me Anything questions I received from the readers of The Briefly.

Q from Katie: Hi Rob, Happy New Year! I hope 2021 is going okay so far. :) I had one (two) question(s) for your AMA, which I assume someone has already asked but just in case: what is your strategy for choosing articles to highlight? And my follow-up: how many articles do you usually read to get enough good ones for one email? Take care, be well, and all the other hopeful clichés for the new year.

In terms of a daily volume of links for a newsletter, it’s about 300-400 a day from 100 different sources. From there I usually narrow that down to about 50 before I start writing, and by the time I’m done writing it’s somewhere between 25-40. When I look through the news, I usually look for something that’s important, interesting, different, or time-sensitive. I’ve been writing The Briefly for a few years and have some idea of what the readers are most interested in (check out 2020’s top ten stories), so you’ll see something things pop up regularly like lists of restaurants, public art, ridiculous apartments, and things like that. I also tend to favor certain newsrooms when it comes to certain types of news. I love The City and have an immense amount of respect for their writers, I’ll trust Chalkbeat above all else for educational news, Gothamist is a regular favorite of mine for daily stories, and I have a deep love for the most niche blogs I can find like Urban Hawks and Laura Goggin Photography for their bird photos or The Q at Parkside, which has the smallest area of coverage of anything I regularly look at, and I really enjoy Mary Lane’s writing at New York Cliche. I’ve had a post from her saved since March 12 about how to get tickets to see Last Week Tonight and her experience seeing the show in person that I will eventually include.

Q from Brigid: Hey Rob! I’d love to know what your favorite NYC bridge is. Asking because I started an Instagram account where I post different bridges throughout the city (@brig.on.bridges) and would love an established New Yorker’s take on the best bridge in the city. Hope you and yours have a happy and healthy new year!

My favorite NYC bridge is going to be unexpected. It’s the Hunters Point Avenue Bridge! Let me explain why. The bridge was built in 1910 but rebuilt in 1983 and my father did the redesign for it. My father was a civil engineer and worked in NYC for nearly 50 years. I had known most of his work as being in the sewers, so having something above ground that he worked on has always been very special to me. If you were to tell me that a 60-foot bridge doesn’t count, I’d pick the Manhattan Bridge. It’s the best bridge to walk or bike over, and you can’t beat the views.

Q: NYC question just based on your time in the City since I’m always looking for ideas! What has been one of your favorite day activities around the City where you didn’t spend any money?

My favorite zero-cost activity in the city is a bike ride and a bike ride to Coney Island (I live in Brooklyn) is my favorite of all my bike rides. Coney Island is my favorite place in the city when it’s warm. I’m not someone who feels a strong need to spend money there because there’s so much people watching to do and things to see in general. If you’re willing to spend a few bucks on snacks, I recommend the bodega near the subway station on Stillwell Ave, where you can grab some cut up fruit and a drink and the sideshow is probably the best $10 you could spend for at least an hour of entertainment (plus it’s air-conditioned). I could walk around Coney Island for hours.

Most of the other ideas that came to mind are trips and long walks in and around parks. Challenge yourself to walk the length of Riverside Park, get lost in Chinatown, wander Flushing-Meadows Corona Park, find John Randel Jr.’s authentic survey bolt from 1811 in Central Park, walk through all the arches of Prospect Park, and lastly I’d always recommend taking a look at the skint on any quiet day, because there’s always something going on that’s cheap or free.

A few news bits to close out today:

Soho Karen, aka Miya Ponsetto, was arrested for falsely accusing a Black teenager of stealer her phone and tackling him in a Soho hotel. It was a bad week for this idiot, who decided to do a CBS This Morning interview that was so bad even her lawyer said she was embarrassed. She was arrested in California and brought back to New York. (Edgar Sandoval for NY Times)

Prince Street Pizza owners Frank and Dominic Morano are stepping down from day-to-day operations after accounts of racist comments made to customers on Yelp, Facebook, and Instagram. They aren’t removing themselves from the business, just from day-to-day operations. (Hannah Albertine for The Infatuation)

Now’s a good time to go wander around Chinatown because hundreds of paper lanterns were installed on Mott St with plans to expand. (Shaye Weaver for Time Out)

There is a silver lining to this winter, which is that the flu season only a fraction of what it was in years past. (Matt Troutman for Patch)

The Brooklyn Public Library is holding a contest to design a library card in celebration of Black History Month and will award the winning artist with $2,000. (Shaye Weaver for Time Out)

NYPD Commissioner Dermot Shea tested positive for Covid-19. (Matt Troutman for PAtch)

Someone tied a confederate flag to the door of the Museum of Jewish Heritage – A Living Memorial to the Holocaust after the attack on the Capitol this week. (Jen Chung for Gothamist)2

Staten Island’s congress member and Republican Nicole Malliotakis voted against certifying the election results after the attack on the Capitol building. Malliotakis’s district will be redrawn by the state’s Democratic legislature after the 2020 Census. Don’t expect Malliotakis to hold that seat for long. (Clifford Michel for The City)

Photos: Thursday’s anti-Trump rally in Brooklyn. (Brian Braiker, photos by Statia Grossman for Brooklyn Magazine)

The Brooklyn Democratic Party passed a law that allows non-binary and transgender people to run for county committee seats. It seems ridiculous that it was necessary, but there was a gender quota in place before this. (Julia Kott for Greenpointers)

20 local chefs forecast what’s next for NYC dining. (Christina Izzo for Time Out)

Everything you always wanted to know about sex work (but were afraid to ask). (Brian Braiker for Brooklyn Magazine)

The Briefly for December 29 – 30, 2020 – The “Penn Station, A Little Less Terrible” Tuesday Edition

The latest NYC news digest: The stimulus bill, the MTA looks for new ways to raise money, the post-Christmas Covid-19 spike is here, frozen NYC dinners, and more

Today – Low: 28˚ High: 39˚
Partly cloudy throughout the day.

Photos: Up close with the New Year’s Eve ball. (Shaye Weaver for Time Out)

With the stimulus bill passing, here’s what you need to know about the additional weekly $300 for unemployed workers. (Lauren Costantino for The City)

Buildings in the city are being graded like restaurants, the building I live in got a C, but almost half of the city’s buildings were given Ds and Fs. There’s no punishment for bad grades until 2024. (Lydia McMullen-Laird for Gothamist)

Video: The entire length of Broadway on an E-Scooter. (ActionKid)

Apartment Lust: This one-bedroom apartment in Greenwich Village is nice but its best feature is its pricetag under one million dollars. (Dana Schulz for 6sqft)

It’s a great week to look for a dog or cat to add to your life. Patch highlights some dogs and cats available, including Petunia, the super affectionate lap cat. (Patch)

The new Moynihan Train Hall at Penn Station is set to open on January 1. Penn Station will still be a terrible nightmare, but with one nice area, available by a tunnel. (Sydney Pereira for Gothamist)

Half of the MTA’s budget comes from fares and tolls and the state is waking up to the idea that maybe that’s not a great idea, which is why we’re getting ideas like taxing packages or raising gas taxes from the state. (Jose Martinez for The City)

If you’ve wondered how some of the city’s restaurants’ outdoor structures are possibly legal, you have the SLA’s unclear regulations and the city’s lack of enforcement to thank. (Ben Yakas for Gothamist)

Video: Say hello to the city’s asshole of the week, an unidentified woman who falsely accused a Black teenager of stealing her iPhone in the lobby of the Arlo Hotel. Her phone was found in an Uber later. (Ashley Reese for Jezebel)

There’s a new Pastrami Queen location on the Upper West Side. (Scott Lynch for Gothamist)

A look into what arts groups are doing to keep itself afloat through gala season. (Robin Pogrebin for NY Times)

The post-Christmas Covid-19 spike is here. (Matt Troutman for Patch)

Healthcare providers who violate the law by distributing the coronavirus vaccine could lose their license, be fined up to $1 million, and face possible prison time, under a new executive order from Governor Cuomo. (Devin Gannon for 6sqft)

Interview: The staff of Arlene’s Grocery on the struggles to exist through the pandemic. (Ben Yakas for Gothamist)

RIP Betty Campbell-Adams, founder of founded Lloyd’s Carrot Cake in the Bronx. (Alex Vadukul for NY Times)

Wanna make yourself hungry for bucatini? (It’s the pasta that looks like spaghetti, but it’s hollow). Read about the bizarre bucatini shortage of 2020. (Rachel Handler for Grub Street)

Given up on dinner? Here are 10 frozen options from NYC restaurants to upgrade your lazy dinners. (Christina Izzo for Time Out)

Thanks to reader Francesca for today’s featured photo!