The Briefly for December 20, 2019 – The “Do You Know About the Secret Pet Tree?” Weekend Edition

Today’s daily NYC news digest: The Inwood rezoning is killed in court, New York state’s $6 billion deficit, the city moves to kill its relationship with the Trump Organization, and more

Today – Low: 23˚ High: 33˚
Clear throughout the day.
This weekend – Low: 27˚ High: 42˚

This weekend’s subway disruptions hit the 1, 3, 6, A, E, F, and Q trains. (Subway Weekender)

The story of the two menorahs claiming to be the world’s largest and why there can’t ever be a bigger menorah. (Alexandra Alexa for 6sqft)

13 places to find festive holiday decorations in the city. Do you know where to find the secret pet tree in Central Park? (Nicole Saraniero for Untapped New York)

Landlords are blaming the new rent laws on why they’re cutting back on apartment renovations. Or maybe it’s because landlords are always cutting back on apartment renovations? (The Real Deal)

The fourth annual Kwanzaa crawl is happening on the 26th with stops in Harlem and Brooklyn to celebrate the city’s black-owned restaurants and bars. (Tanay Warerkar for Eater)

Will less garbage cans in Prospect Park lead to people carrying their garbage out of the park? The Prospect Park Alliance will be trying a “carry-in, carry-out” policy modeled after the National Parks Service policy. (Colin Mixson for Brooklyn Paper)

The MTA tried a similar program for five years where garbage cans were removed form stations and riders were encouraged to carry their garbage out with them. It ended because the amount of track fires caused by trash doubled after the program was implemented. (Vincent Barone for amNewYork)

The MTA unveiled 68 subway stations that will be getting elevator upgrades as part of their 2020-2024 capital plan. Among the 68 are Broadway Junction, Woodhaven Boulevard, and Van Cortlandt Park-242 St. (Vincent Barone for amNewYork)

There are over 100 subway stations across the city where one or more entrance is “temporarily” closed, some since the 70s or 80s. Maybe it’s time to reopen some of these entrances? (Canaan Geberer for Brooklyn Eagle)

After a nine month renovation, the Astoria Boulevard stop on the N/W line reopened on Wednesday, but construction will continue as workers instal elevators, staircases, walkways, and more. (NY1)

Turns out Christmas is predicted to be warmer than average this year and more importantly, no snow. (Adam Nichols for Patch)

We will all wake up on January 1, 2020 sharing the state’s fresh $6 billion deficit. (Ross Barkan for Gothamist)

14 historic sites of the abolitionist movement in Greenwich Village. (Andrew Berman for 6sqft)

Video: Meet Hannah Gavios, who completed the 2019 New York City Marathon on a pair of crutches. (Great Big Story)

Governors Ball wants to move to Van Cortlandt Park the Bronx. (Ese Olumhense for The City)

Where to eat with a really big group. (Bryan Kim for The Infatuation)

Queens man impeached. (Victoria Merlino for Queens Eagle)

RIP Felix Rohatyn, “Felix the Fixer,” the man who saved NYC from financial collapse in 1975. (Bruce Nelan for Washington Post)

For a brief period of time on Thursday you could come across impeachment-themed postcards in the Trump Tower gift shop thanks to comedians Davram Steifler and Jason Selvig. They’ve done it in the past too, with Russian flags, Putin postcards, and KKK hoods. (Lee Moran for HuffPost)

For the second year in a row we are ending the year with less chain stores in the city than we started. The city overall is down 304 chains. (Kevin Sun for The Real Deal)

Terra cotta building facades have a history of disrepair and danger, from the death of Grace Gold in 1979 to this week’s death of Erica Tishman. (Elizabeth Kim for Gothamist)

Governor Cuomo’s Mother Cabrini statue has found a home in Battery Park City’s South Cove. The patron saint of immigrants will be across the harbor from the Statue of Liberty. (John Alexander for The Brooklyn Home Reporter)

Meet Athena Soules: The artist and co-founder of NYC Light Brigade, whose signs are shaping the image of New York’s resistance movement. (Paul Frangipane for Brooklyn Eagle)

The City Council appears to be ready to flush the Trump Organization, targeting city contracts with the Trump Organization at the skating rinks in Central Park and the Trump Golf Links in the Bronx. Both locations are underperforming and losing funds for city parks. (Mark Hallum for amNewYork)

The Heartland Brewery is on its last legs. Down to three locations, one in the Empire State Building and two in Times Square, the Empire State Building location is set to close next month with rumors of the last two locations closing following suit in 2020. (Erika Adams for Grub Street)

We better start getting used to seeing humpback whales in city waters, because they’re hanging out even in winter. (Ben Yakas for Gothamist)

One day people will look back at the 2019 trend of erecting plastic “igloos” outside in winter and laugh. We’re not there yet. (Adam Goldman for Time Out)

It’s in violation of the city’s paid sick law to require employees to find replacements when calling out sick, but that didn’t stop Starbucks from doing that for years. A settlement with the city is forcing Starbucks to pay $150,000 in restitution. (Kate Offenhartz for Gothamist)

How Jona Rechnitz, “a liar and a felon,” became a star witness after being arrested on corruption charges. (Jan Ramson for NY Times)

The Department of Transportation is hiring seven “apprentice highway and sewer inspectors” to inspect bike lanes and review road work done by contractors. Bike team, assemble! (Eve Kessler for Streetsblog)

A look back at Mayor Bill de Blasio’s 2019, a year spent trying to convince everyone they were wrong when they said no one wanted him to run for president and eventually he learned the truth and kept pushing until he had no money left and came home. (Gloria Pazmino for NY1)

The City Council and the mayor blew their own self-imposed deadline of the end of the year to reform the city’s property tax system. That’s politician-speak for “broken promise.” (Janaki Chadha for Politico)

Speaking of blown self-imposed deadlines, it looks like the NYPD won’t actually be encrypting their radios in 2020. (Todd Maisel for amNewYork)

A judge nullified Inwoods rezoning, finding that the de Blasio administration “failed to take a hard look” at how the land use changes will impact the neighborhood. (Caroline Spivack for Curbed)

Only two out of 28 yeshivas investigated by the city’s Department of Education were deemed to be providing an education “substantially equivalent“ to that given at secular public schools, according to the city’s report on the long-delayed investigation into failing yeshivas. (Madina Touré for Politico)

A straightforward guide to holiday tipping. (Kathleen Culliton for Patch)

The best new restaurants of 2019. (The Infatuation)

The Briefly for August 27, 2019 – The “End the Gifted Programs to Desegregate the City’s Schools” Edition

This winter will be a tough one, a ghost kitchen haunts Soho, the 7 train destroys a morning commute, officials want answers about the BQE and more in today’s daily NYC news digest.

Why can’t New York be a modern city? The answer lies in the billion-dollar fiefdoms controlled by city and state agencies and can be illustrated by a simple dog walk. (New York Mag)

Another person was killed by a driver on Coney Island Avenue. A 40-year-old man was lying on the sidewalk near a parking garage when he was run over by someone pulling into the garage a little after midnight on Monday. This is the fourth person killed on or near Coney Island Avenue this year. (Streetsblog)

This week marks the 243rd anniversary of the Battle of Brooklyn, the first battle of the Revolutionary War. Ten spots to mark the anniversary of the Battle of Brooklyn. (Untapped Cities)

A panel of experts has a recommendation on how to end segregation in the city’s schools: close all the gifted programs. (NY Times)

If you’re someone who keeps a spreadsheet of the best food in Chinatown (I know more than one person who does this), strike Yee Li, formerly New Big Wang, from the list. After 33 years on the corner of Elizabeth and Bayard, the restaurant is closed but lives on in spirit at the family’s new restaurant, New Yee Li, on Fort Hamilton Parkway in Brooklyn.

Surprise! A broken rail on the 7 train ruined Monday morning’s commute on the 7, E, M, F and R trains. (Gothamist)

Photos and more photos from Afropunk (Gothamist and Brooklyn Vegan)

If you’re wondering what’s going on with the replacement of the BQE near the Brooklyn Promenade, you’re not alone. Multiple city and federal officials signed onto a letter looking for answers from the Department of Transportation. (Curbed)

A ghost kitchen is coming to Soho. Zuul, literally named after Zuul the Gatekeeper of Gozer from Ghostbusters, will house multiple restaurants who will only offer delivery. Sweetgreen, Junzi, Sarge’s, Naya, Stone Bridge Pizza & Salad, and POsitive Foods have already signed on. There is no restaurant, only Zuul. (Eater)

The Farmers’ Almanac has made their predictions for winter 2020 and you’re really gonna hate this. “With colder-than-normal temperatures in the Northeast and above-normal precipitation expected, our outlook forewarns of not only a good amount of snow, but also a wintry mix of rain and sleet—especially along the coast.” They are also predicting an extended winter and a slow start to spring. (Patch)

Today is PSL day in Starbucks across the country, but get ready for the Pumpkin Cream Cold Brew, the latest abomination destined for success. (Grub Street)

The Kosciuszko Bridge will open on Thursday, four years ahead of schedule, and bring with it pedestrian and bike lanes. (Curbed)

A state Supreme Court Judge upheld the state’s ban on religious exemptions to vaccinations for all children in public or private schools, put in place after the measles outbreak this year. The plaintiffs plan to appeal the decision. (Gothamist)

Arthur Schwartz, the lawyer leading the legal arguments against the 14th St busway who likened people protesting him to “white hooded zealots,” has compared Jane Jacobs’ fight in the ’60s against Robert Moses to his fight against “our millennial version of Robert Moses” Polly Trottenberg. Trottenberg, who graduated from Barnard College in 1986 and is not a millennial. (The Villager)

Statues for Equality by Gillie and Marc bring statues of ten women to Sixth Avenue on the anniversary of women getting the right to vote. (Untapped Cities)

Despite the president’s tweet that the federal government is working to extend the Q train to 125th St, nothing has been done by the Trump administration to prove his words remotely true. (6sqft)

Why do some buildings allow roof access and some do not? (Street Easy)

The overall number of overdose deaths in the city is down, but the Bronx, Staten Island, and Manhattan all saw increases. Rates are down among black and white New Yorkers but are up among Latinos. (amNY)

Taylor Swift’s “Cornelia Street” on her new album mentions the townhouse she rented in Greenwich Village. Take a look inside. (Curbed)

Would you believe that the NYPD Detective Darryl Schwartz, who is being sued for allegedly making bogus DWI arrests in order to earn extra overtime, has a history of misconduct? (Gothamist)

Anyerson Delacruz-Rosario was arrested in the Dominican Republic for his part in trafficking hundreds of thousands of packets of heroin and fentanyl to New York City. (Patch)

The lawsuit against the Central Park West bike lane appears to be in jeopardy as the building who filed the suit is facing internal challenges against it and possibly violated state law with the filing. (Streetsblog)

A tribute to the 99 cent pizza slice in the form of a new mural by City Kitty. (EV Grieve)

The best lunch spots in Midtown. (Thrillist)

Thanks to Baily Crawford (@blycrawford) for today’s featured photo!

The Briefly for May 22, 2019 – The “A Carmel Frappuccino with Two Pumps of Pesticide Please” Edition

New York state closes in on the president, Fleet Week starts, a beloved ice cream shop is getting pushed out, where to eat outside, and more in today’s daily NYC news digest

Every subway stop’s median rent mapped. (/r/NYC)

Beyond The Streets” is bringing the work of 150 street artists to Williamsburg this summer. (Time Out)

Turns out Starbucks might have been using an industrial pesticide in an attempt to hide its unsanitary convictions. Which Starbucks? According to a new class-action lawsuit, it’s all of them in the city. (Gothamist)

The sky is falling, but this time it’s not the ceiling on the subways. A tourist is in critical, but stable, condition after a branch from a sickly tree in Washington Square Park fell on her. (Gothamist)

Stop me if you’ve heard this story before. A minority-owned, beloved and long-standing shop in a rapidly gentrifying neighborhood is being forced to close. Scoops in Prospect-Lefferts Gardens is in the process of being evicted by its landlord after being in the neighborhood since 1984. (Bklyner)

Where to eat near the Javits Center (if you must). (Eater)

Naked Shakespeare in Prospect Park, just like the Bard intended it to be performed. (Time Out)

You’d think that after paying $53,000 a year to attend NYU you’d be able to easily get tickets to graduation. You’d be wrong. Tickets are going on the secondary market for hundreds of dollars. (Gothamist)

The Brooklyn Botanical Gardens is giving you an opportunity to listen to plants without having to drop acid. (Brooklyn Daily Eagle)

The absolute worst time to leave for Memorial Day weekend will be between 4:45 and 6:45pm on Thursday, but delays will start today. (Curbed)

Your 2019 guide to city beaches. (Gothamist)

The goats who will landscape Riverside Park started their summer jobs and the photos are delightful. (Untapped Cities)

Today starts Fleet Week. Here’s what you need to know. (Patch)

The Port Authority wants your input to improve the Bus Terminal. No, you can’t say “burn it down.” (Curbed)

Ska is dead. The proof. “I love ska.” -Mayor de Blasio. (BrooklynVegan)

You have a few days to say farewell to the city’s only California Pizza Kitchen before it closes on Friday. (Eater)

There are more people in Manhattan than North and South Dakota, combined! (Viewing NYC)

David Byrne is trying to rally the mayor to restore a $59 million funding cut for cultural programs in this year’s budget. (Patch)

A great white shark continues to prowl near the city’s waters, but you can safely swim in the Long Island Sound. (NY Times)

The Daniel Pantaleo trial over the death of Eric Garner continues with multiple delays. After three hours this week, the case is taking a two-week hiatus. (Gothamist)

New York state is closing in on President Trump. A new bill will allow state prosecutors to pursue anyone granted a presidential pardon and the next up is a bill that will allow the state to release the president’s state tax returns to Congress. (NY Times)

As sea levels continue to rise, the city’s largest threat is literally all around us. (New York City News Service)

Don’t pull the emergency brakes on the subway if you’re not at a station. (NY Times)

City Council Member Helen Rosenthal is planning to introduce legislation that would create an Office on Sexual Harassment Prevention inside the mayor’s office. There was a 1993 executive order from Mayor Dinkins, but it was never put into effect. (Gotham Gazette)

77 places to eat outside. (The Infatuation)

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