The Briefly for January 19-20 – The “Lena Dunham and Bill de Blasio?” Tuesday Edition

The latest NYC news digest: MTA delays fare hikes, Union Square plans to expand 33%, Mayor de Blasio drops another ball, MLK protests, and more

Today – Low: 32˚ High: 40˚
Partly cloudy throughout the day.

Another week, another broken promise from Mayor de Blasio. After he spent all summer painting “BLACK LIVES MATTER” on the city’s streets, the mayor’s “Racial Justice and Reconciliation Commission” has done zero public work and hasn’t been mentioned since August. (Ethan Geringer-Sameth for Gotham Gazette)

The Times looks at five takeaways from the mayor’s race. (Emma G. Fitzsimmons and Jeffery C. Mays for NY Times)

Here’s a weird one. Someone is putting up flyers announcing the wedding of Lena Dunham and Mayor de Blasio on Valentine’s Day in Union Square. This seems somehow connected to the very weird Fiona Apple flyer from October. Congrats to the happy couple? (EV Grieve)

Photos: The new glass sculpture I dreamed a world and called it Love by Jim Hodges in Grand Central Terminal. (Nicole Saraniero, photos by David Regen for Untapped New York)

With Inauguration Day approaching, it’s a great time to remember that the nation’s first inauguration happened outside the Federal Hall National Memorial in the Financial District on April 30, 1789. The original bible George Washington placed his hand on is still in the building. (Nicole Saraniero for Untapped New York)

A Martin Luther King Jr Day protest started at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn and ended with the NYPD making dozens of arrests of peaceful protesters near City Hall. (Azi Paybarah for NY Times)

The NYPD is being sued by the state’s attorney general over its handling of protests over the summer because violence against protesters isn’t a bug in the system, it’s a feature. (Erin O’Brien for Bedford + Bowery)

Nicolas Moncada, 20, of Staten Island was arrested for his role in the January 5 insurrection. How did they know he was there” Because he posted a selfie of himself outside Speaker Pelosi’s office to Instagram. Neighbors describe his arrest as “like they were looking for a terrorist.” They were and they arrested him. (Elina Tarkazikis for NY1)


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The city’s graduation rate hit an all-time high of 78.8% in 2020. (Matt Troutman for Patch)

The MTA claims the driver of the bus that drove off an overpass refused a drug test, but the driver, whose jaw had been fractured in the accident, says a drug test was taken in the hospital. (Sydney Pereira for Gothamist)

The Biden-Harris administration nominated Polly Trottenberg, the city’s former commissioner of the Department of Transportation, for Deputy Secretary for the U.S. Department of Transportation to work under Pete Buttigieg. (Stephen Nessen for Gothamist)

Foot traffic is down 70% year over year in Times Square. (Jake Dobkin for Gothamist)

Want to send someone some cheer? You can record a birthday greeting for Ray or Ray’s Candy Store, who turns 88 on January 25, to be a part of a Guinness World Record for “biggest video hug ever.” (EV Grieve)

The MTA is postponing their scheduled 2021 fare hike because, quite frankly, we’ve all had enough already. (Benjamin Kabak for Second Ave. Sagas)

The Union Square Partnership unveiled a $100 million plan for a car-free Union Square that would expand the park 33% into the surrounding streets. The plan will be officially presented on January 26. (Gersh Kuntzman for Streetsblog)

The public review process for the Gowanus rezoning has been temporarily halted by a Brooklyn Supreme Court judge over concerns that holding virtual meetings violates city law that requires public hearings. The lawsuit that halted the process asks that public hearings be held when it is safe to do so. (David Cruz for Gothamist)

The MTA is looking into temporarily reducing service on some subway lines because of worker shortages due to illness, retirements, and a lack of new hires. (Jose Martinez for The City)

Governor Cuomo is tired of the federal government’s shit and has asked Pfizer to sell vaccines directly to the state, which is possible because Pfizer is not a part of “Project Warp Speed.” (Lisa Finn for Patch)

Sunset Park’s South Brooklyn Marine Terminal will become an offshore wind assembly port for the state’s new offshore wind farms. (Sydney Pereira for Gothamist)

Repairs of the Cherry Walk segment of the Hudson River Greenway, stretching from 100th to 125th St, are complete. (Streetsblog)

Gothamist gets giddy about Medan Pasar, a new Malaysian restaurant in the East Village. (Scott Lynch for Gothamist)

What you need to know about the 2021 Bronx, Brooklyn, Manhattan, and Staten Island borough president races. (Rachel Holliday Smith for The City)

Thanks to reader Francesca for today’s featured photo of Fort Tryon Park!

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)


Enter to win a $100 Amazon gift card from openigloo, a new app that allows NYC renters to rate landlords and buildings

Enter for a chance to win a $300 Amazon Gift Card* in 2 easy steps:
• Download openigloo
• Anonymously review your NYC rental experiences

The winner will be randomly drawn on Wednesday morning at 10 AM and notified by email (the same email you use to create your openigloo account).

openigloo is a community of 50,000 NYC renters who are sharing the good, bad, and ugly of renting in this city. You can learn about a building’s open violations, eviction history, bedbug complaints, and more. Moving in 2021? Read building and landlord reviews on openigloo before signing your next lease! Renewing your lease? Get the inside scoop of your building to help with rent negotiations. Together we can build a more transparent New York and hold landlords accountable!

Get the app here.

For any inquiries, please email info@openigloo.com.
*Offer available to new openigloo subscribers only.


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 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.