The Briefly for December 27-28, 2020 – The “Most Wonderful Time of the Year” Sunday Edition

The latest NYC news digest: Two exciting new birds, reanimating the Village Voice, Andrew Yang files for a mayoral run, a vaccine dashboard, and more

Today – Low: 34˚ High: 37˚
Clear throughout the day.

Interview: Author John Birdsall on how James Beard’s queerness influenced American culture. *Sean Carlson and Danny Lewis for Gothamist)

22 celebratory restaurants open on New Year’s Eve. (Lorelei Yang for Eater)

A better idea, takeout. The best NYE takeout specials. (Hannah Albertine for The Infatuation)

It’s the most wonderful time of the year, it’s Mulchfest! Bring your trees for mulching to one of the city’s 33 sites for mulching on Saturdays through January 9. Bring your own bag to bring home your mulch or donate it to the city. (Sophia Chang for Gothamist)

Two more rare birds for the bird lovers! A western tanager was seen in Carl Schurz Park and a greater white-fronted goose was spotted on Randall’s Island. (Nick Garber for Patch)

Someone is digging up and reanimating the bones of The Village Voice, which died in September 2017. Unfortunately that someone is Brian Calle, who most recently ruined the L.A. Weekly after purchasing it. The death of The Village Voice was one of the things that pushed me to start The Briefly. (Bill Pearis for BrooklynVegan)

Farewell to Pizza Beach, which closed its doors for good right before the indoor dining ban took effect earlier this month. (Elie Z Perler for Bowery Boogie)

The New York Automatic Voter Registration Act became law on December 22. It will automatically register eligible New Yorkers to vote when they interact with different governmental agencies. (Angélica Acevedo for QNS)

Meet Los Deliveristas Unidos, a group of independent (most of the city’s 80,000 deliveristas are independent) restaurant delivery workers who are fighting for better pay and improved worker protections while the city relies on them more than ever. (Valeria Ricciulli for Grub Street)

The governor announced the coronavirus eviction moratorium will stay in place after January 1. Governor Cuomo did not announce how long the moratorium would be extended. (Anna Quinn for Patch)

Congrats to @SidetalkNYC for making this list of things Ashley Reese was inexplicably horny for in 2020. (Ashley Reese for Jezebel)

What’s it like to date right now? Here are the answers from 20 single New Yorkers. (Will Gleason for Time Out)

Trump gained voters in NYC? Yup. Trump increased his share of votes in almost all of the city’s assembly districts. (Sarah Maslin Nir for NY Times)

The city killed off two rezonings on Franklin Ave in Crown Heights. In one case, Judge Reginald Boddie reversed the 2018 rezoning certification for two 16-story developments at 40 Crown Street and 931 Carroll Street and Franklin. Mayor de Blasio spoke up against the proposed 960 Franklin Avenue redevelopment, calling it “grossly out of scale with the neighborhood.” This is the development that the Brooklyn Botanical Garden was also fighting against with its “Fight for Sunlight” campaign. (Ben Verde for Brownstoner)

Tony Robbins might be New York’s biggest asshole. In a new lawsuit, an employee for 18 years alleges Tony Robbins discriminated against her for getting Covid-19. (Azi Paybarah and Michael Levenson for NY Times)

RIP Roger Berlind, producer of over 100 plays and musicals and winner of over 25 Tony Awards. (Katharine Q. Seelye for NY Times)

A 32-year-old woman died after being struck by a Brooklyn-bound 2 subway train on Saturday morning after she was spotted standing between cars on the moving train. (David Cruz for Gothamist)

A photo ode to mom-and-pops. (Brian Braiker with photos by Mich Cardin for Brooklyn Magazine)

What to expect for New Year’s Eve. Here’s a hint: Not a normal NYE. (Nick Garber for Patch)

A look at the Republican field for the 2021 mayor’s race. (Samar Khurshid for Gotham Gazette)

On the Democratic side, the Times asks if progressives will rule the mayoral race. (Katie Glueck and Dana Rubinstein for NY Times)

Bike maniac (I mean that in a good way) Dave Colon has invited all the mayoral candidates to go on a bike ride with him. To his credit Carlos Menchaca took him up on the offer. (Dave Colon for Streetsblog)

Andrew Yang filed for a mayoral run. I’ve seen photos of him on a bike, so maybe he’ll take Dave up on his offer. (Matt Troutman for Patch)

The city launched a new online tool to track Covid-19 vaccinations. (Davin Gannon for 6sqft)

The mayor announced that the NYC sheriff’s department will enforce the city’s two-week quarantine visiting homes or hotel rooms. Does this mean the city hasn’t been enforcing its mandated two-week quarantine period? I’m joking, of course, it means exactly that. (Brooklyn Eagle)

The city was ill-prepared for the first Covid-19 wave, so the mayor set up a Covid-19 “situation room” to handle the city’s schools’ response to further outbreaks. Turns out, the mayor’s situation room is still ill-prepared to deal with rising cases, failing the schools and children the situation room was set up to support. (Christina Veiga for Chalkbeat)

“And now this thing we should be celebrating — the arrival of this much anticipated vaccine — it’s turning into a rivalry. There is competitiveness and skepticism and mistrust.” Like an episode of the Twilight Zone, the camaraderie that fighting against Covid-19 is falling apart when it comes to who gets the vaccine first. (Joseph Goldstein for NY Times)

Buskers, sitting in the cold, and the 8 things Ginia Bellafante hated about New York until 2020. (Ginia Bellafante for NY Times)

9 restaurants with heated outdoor dining in the Bronx. (Tanay Warerkar for Eater)

A visit to the $100 per person speakeasy Stoned Gourmet Cannabis Pizza somewhere in the East Village. (EV Grieve)

Borscht at Verōnika, Pasta A La Presse at The Grill, A Very Good Side Salad at Hunky Dory, and the rest of The Infatuation’s favorite dishes of 2020. (Hannah Albertine, Nikko Duren, Hillary Reinsberg, Arden Shore, and Matt Tervooren for The Infatuation)

Thanks to Francesca for today’s featured photo!

The Briefly for December 22 – 26, 2020 – The “Tracy Morgan is the Good Dude of 2020” Tuesday Edition

The latest NYC news digest: Coney Island’s new coaster, 2020 most popular NYPL books, you don’t love Christmas like this guy does, 19 cozy outdoor dining spots, and more

Today – Low: 31˚ High: 42˚
Possible drizzle in the morning.

Little Island, legal weed, the Open Culture program, and the 11 things we can actually look forward to in NYC in 2021. (Shaye Weaver for Time Out)

The NYPL’s most popular books of 2020, which are very 2020 in their themes. (Shaye Weaver for Time Out)

Yeah, you might love Christmas, but not as much as “Frankie Christmas” whose back is adorned with a giant Santa tattoo under “Merry Christmas” and whose house is fully adorned for Christmas starting in September. (Stacie Joy for EV Grieve)

Tracy Morgan continues to be the good dude of the year, this time partnering with the Food Bank for New York City and Councilwoman Vanessa Gibson to give turkeys and toys to NYCHA residents of Highbridge Houses in the Bronx. (Jason Cohen for Bronx Times)

It’s not doomsday, at least when it comes to the MTA. The $908 billion federal stimulus includes $4 billion for the MTA which avoids a doomsday scenario. Now, instead of being in a $12 billion hole, the MTA is in an $8 billion hole. Wait, this isn’t doomsday? (Jake Offenhartz for Gothamist)

A look at what else NYC gets besides $600 each from the latest pandemic stimulus bill. (Matt Troutman for Patch)

A part of the bill was $15 billion for the Save Our Stages Act, which will go a long way to help venues and theaters by allowing them to apply for Small Business Administration grants to support six months of payments to employees, rent, utilities, and maintenance. Venues that have lost more than 90% of their revenue can apply first. (Elie Z Perler for Bowery Boogie)

A running list of Williamsburg & Greenpoint places closed for good during COVID-19, the latest addition to the list is The Diamond, which closes January 3. (Bill Pearis for BrooklynVegan)

The Classic Coffee Shop on Hester Street is closing on Christmas after forty years. This isn’t a pandemic closure or an eviction, owner Carmine Morales decided to retire. (Elie Z. Perler for Bowery Boogie)

The Times looks at the 2021 mayor’s race through the lens of hired political consultants, riding the subway, early contenders, failures in leadership, and ranked-choice voting. Yeah, but which contenders have ever had a drink at The Continental? (Emma G. Fitzsimmons and Jeffrey C Mays for NY Times)

360° Video: If you miss riding the subway, take a ride from Astoria to Bay Ridge. (ActionKid)

Video: The finished Surrogate’s Courthouse skylight restoration project, which is absolutely stunning, and quite honestly might be one of the most beautiful interiors in the entire city. (Nicole Saraniero for Untapped New York)

Speaking of 2021, the “2021” numbers have arrived in Times Square, signaling an end to a cursed year. (Jen Carlson and Jen Chung for Gothamist)

The city plans to launch a mental health screening initiative for public school students, which will be in place by September and not whenever all students are allowed back inside school buildings. (David Cruz for Gothamist)

Coney Island is getting a new roller coaster called the Phoenix as a part of Deno’s Wonder Wheel Amusement Park. The coaster is expected to be built along W. 12th St between the Bowery and the boardwalk. (Brian Braiker for Brooklyn Magazine)

Apartment Lust: A $2.3 million, 2,000 square foot condo in Hudson Square with wood-beamed ceilings, brick walls, rustic wood floors, a terrace, and a completely updated kitchen. (Dana Schulz for 6sqft)

19 restaurants for cozy outdoor dining in Brooklyn. (Erika Adams for Eater)

Workers under 25 made up just 10 percent of the city’s total workforce before the pandemic, holding 15 percent of the jobs in the hardest-hit service industries. As the Times headline goes, They’re Young, Unemployed and Facing Bleak Prospects. Not a catchy chant, but it’s the truth. (Winnie Hu for NY Times)

Dozens of judges are being forced to retire to close a pandemic budget gap and in response they’re suing New York state, charging age discrimination. (Benjamin Weiser for NY Times)

Answering the question: What is a pied-à-terre? (Laura Vacsey for StreetEasy)

Why New Yorkers love New York. (Jen Carlson for Gothamist)

The 2020 NYC Christmas food guide. (Nikko Duren for The Infatuation)

Thanks to reader Alex for todays featured photo!

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!