The Briefly for March 2-4, 2021 – The “Let’s Learn About the Lt. Governor” Tuesday Edition

The latest NYC news digest: The continuing disaster that is Governor Cuomo, the Moonstruck house is for sale, where to eat hot pot, and more

Today – Low: 32˚ High: 33˚
Clear throughout the day.

• Six Knicks fans on what it was like at the first game back at MSG. (Jeff Andrews for Curbed)

• Weddings can return to New York with some very bizarre rules. Dance zones, wedding bands behind glass, separated cocktail hours, and more. (Shaye Weaver for Time Out)

Governor Cuomo had a bad Sunday (boo-friggin-hoo). In typical Cuomo fashion, he responded for calls for an independent investigation with appointing a judge that worked with a longtime ally of Cuomo. Next he asked the Chief Judge of the State of New York and Attorney General Letitia James to choose a private lawyer to investigate but the Chief Judge is a political appointment made by the governor, so now Cuomo is zero for two. After his second failed idea, he relented to Letitia James’ demands to fully investigate the sexual harassment claims against him. Kudos to Sydney Pereira who kept on top of this story, making updates as the day went on. (Sydney Pereira for Gothamist)

• Yes, Governor Cuomo did do the sexual harassment training that he mandated in 2019. No, it did not seem to help. (Josefa Velasquez for The City)

A third woman has come forward with allegations of sexual harassment against the governor, stemming from an incident at a September 2019 wedding. (Matt Flegenheimer and Jesse McKinley for NY Times)

• As a part of Letitia James’ investigation of the governor, Cuomo could be compelled to testify. (Luis Ferré-Sadurní for NY Times)

• This seems like a good time to educate ourselves about Lt. Governor Kathy Hochul, who is next in line for the office of governor. (Brigid Bergin for Gothamist)

RIP to David Mintz, the man who invented Tofutti in a basement in Chinatown. (Hugh Merwin for Grub Street)

• “You need to put a wall around your family because you might get shanked,” was “friendly advice” from mayoral candidate Eric Adams to mayoral opponent Ray McGuire. Seems like a threat. (Jeffrey C. Mays for NY Times)

• Podcast: Aaron Foldenauer on his run for mayor. (Ben Max for Gotham Gazette)

• Photos: You can never have enough Snowy Owl. (D. Bruce Yolton for Urban Hawks)

• Trader Joe’s is finding itself in some hot water after firing an employee for advocating for workplace safety in an email to the CEO. Trader Joe’s claims he was fired for showing disrespecting customers. (Erika Adams for Eater)

Meet Meisha Ross Porter, NYC’s new schools chancellor. (Alex Zimmerman, Christina Veiga, and Reema Amin for Chalkbeat)

• “Giving up on the subway” is the new “I don’t own a TV.” (Jose Martinez for The City)

• For only $12.85 million you can own the house from Moonstruck. On top of being built in 1829, having 4-stories and what’s described as “5+” bedrooms, your home would also have a direct connection to Cher, and that’s all any of us could ask for. (Ben Yakas for Gothamist)

• New Yorkers working and volunteering at nonprofits that help meet the huge pandemic-driven demand for food are now eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine as of Monday. Things are a bit muddy for people who are members of mutual aid groups. (Reuven Blau for The City)

• You wouldn’t normally read about a Smashburger opening in Brooklyn in The Briefly, but the first five people on line for breakfast, lunch, and dinner on March 3 will win free burgers for a year. (Carsen Holaday for amNewYork Metro)

• The Bushwick-based Mil Mundos Books is back at Essex Market “until further notice.” (EV Grieve)

Where to eat hot pot outside in NYC. (Hannah Albertine for The Infatuation)

The Briefly for February 23-25, 2021 – The “Movie Theaters Reopen on March 5” Tuesday Edition

The latest NYC news digest: The biggest idiot in New York, a deathbed confession links the NYPD to Malcolm X’s assassination, the best doughnuts and more

Today – Low: 34˚ High: 40˚
Drizzle in the morning and afternoon.

• Only an idiot would steal a bunch of merchandise from a Chanel store and then brag online about having enough merchandise to open a small boutique. Meet Eric Spencer, that alleged idiot, who was arrested in Florida for allegedly sticking up a SoHo Chanel store in broad daylight earlier this month. (Jake Offenhartz for Gothamist)

• Thanks to a deathbed confession, there is new evidence that the NYPD and FBI conspired in the assassination of Malcolm X. (Sydney Pereira for Gothamist)

The Metropolitan Opera may not return in 2021. The Met’s General Manager Peter Gelb is trying to cut wages 30% long term across the opera’s workforce and the stage employee union is standing up to Gelb with the campaign “Without People the Opera is Nothing.” (Bobby Panza for I Love the Upper West Side)

New York City movie theaters can reopen on March 5 at 25% capacity and PCR tests will not be required to enter. (Shaye Weaver for Time Out)

• The Times questions if Governor Cuomo’s bullying style can still work in politics, detailing years of intimidation, insults, and threats. (Jesse McKinley and Luis Ferré-Sadurní for NY Times)

• As reported last week, Pearl River Mart is re-opening this spring in a new location in Soho. (Elie Z. Perler for Bowery Boogie)

• Ask an epidemiologist: Dr. Jessica Justman on how to stay safe on the subway. The clean surfaces don’t matter nearly as much as wearing a mask and keeping your distance. (Sydney Pereira for Gothamist)

MTA transit crews will now give out a second mask to anyone who asks for it. (Anna Ben Yehuda for Time Out)

• Interview: What it’s like to start a nursing career during the Covid-19 crisis. (Alexa Shahrestani for Bedford + Bowery)

• While not NYC specific, this data visualization of the 500,000 American deaths due to the Coronavirus is absolutely staggering and worth of your time to understand its impact. (Sam Hart for Reuters)

• Advocates for charter schools hope more can reopen soon, after a judge ruled the city must include them in the program that provides free weekly tests at traditional public schools. The city is appealing the ruling, arguing the city’s obligation to provide free, random sample testing beyond Department of Education schools. (Jessica Gould for Gothamist)

The city now has a “recovery czar,” whatever that means. Recovery from the pandemic seems like it should be the top focus of the mayor, but since we haven’t fully recovered yet from Hurricane Sandy, we can hardly expect the mayor to treat this like it’s his job either. (Matt Troutman for Patch)

New FEMA-managed vaccination sites will open on Wednesday at Medgar Evers College in Brooklyn and York College in Queens with appointments available for people who are currently eligible and live in nearby zip codes. (Sydney Pereira for Gothamist)

• Despite what the mayor has publicly said, some second doses of the Covid-19 vaccine were delayed by the weather. NYC Health + Hospitals claim they will be resupplied by mid-week. (Caroline Lewis for Gothamist)

Madison Square Garden announced its first concert in 2021. Colombian reggaeton artist Maluma is scheduled to perform on October 1. (Amanda Hatfield for BrooklynVegan)

The Peoples Improv Theater is vacating its main location on East 24th Street. The PIT List and Pioneers bar on 29th St will remain for now. (Anne Victoria Clark for Vulture)

The NYCHA keeps poisoning kids with lead with apartments they declare are “lead-free.” It is shameful that the city has poisoned over 1,000 children in the last decade. (Greg B. Smith for The City)

• This is a great moment to ask the question “What is the NYCHA?” and other questions about public housing. (Rachel Holliday Smith for The City)

• The City Council seems ready to take a serious look at reducing certain helicopter traffic around the city to the degree that they can. (Gersh Kuntzman for Streetsblog)

• Podcast: Guiddalia Emilien discusses her run for mayor. (Ben Max for Gotham Gazette)

Who is running for Staten Island borough president? Surprise! They’re both Republicans. (David Cruz for Gothamist)

• If you’re horny for watching Trump lose, I’ve got some great news for you. The Supreme Court denied the unemployed Florida man’s attempts to block Manhattan District Attorney Cy Vance from obtaining eight years of his personal tax records. A grand jury will see his tax records “almost immediately.” (Jake Offenhartz for Gothamist)

• The city is severing its contracts with the Trump Organization to operate the Wollman Rink and Lasker Rink in Central Park ahead of April. The rinks will stay open through the end of the season despite the city first announcing they would close early. (Sydney Pereira for Gothamist)

• Photos: Check out these massive, climbable sculptures are headed to MoMA PS1. (Shaye Weaver for Time Out)

• Photos: The Lake in Central Park is frozen solid! (Michelle Young with photography by Ryan Lahiff for Untapped New York)

10 black baseball sites in New York City. (Dave Kaplan for Untapped New York)

The best doughnut shops in the city. (Swathi Reddy for Thrillist)

Thanks to reader Francesca for today’s featured photo!

The Briefly for February 21-22, 2021 – The “Take the Tone Down” Sunday Edition

The latest NYC news digest: The NYPD loses another lawsuit over misconduct records, the Empire Station Complex plans, Brooklyn gets crabs, and more

Today – Low: 30˚ High: 34˚
Clear throughout the day.

• After a group of trans leaders called on Heritage of Pride (HOP) to hand over control of New York City’s Pride festivities to Black and Brown transgender individuals, a planned meeting between the two sides was cancelled — and a bitter controversy flared up. (Tat Bellamy-Walker for Gay City News)

Joe’s Pizza, Scarr’s Pizza and Uncle Mike’s Hometown Pizza are NYC’s favorite pizza places, according to Google Maps searches in 2020. (Anna Ben Yehuda for Time Out)

Indoor dining will increase in capacity on Friday, February 26 from 25% to 35%. (Hannah Albertine for The Infatuation)

• Now that he’s in deep shit with state and federal investigations into how his administration hid nursing home death numbers, the state’s legislature is about to strip him of his emergency powers, and public sentiment is turning against him, Governor Cuomo wants to “take the tone down.” (Christopher Robbins and Gwynne Hogan for Gothamist)

92% of NYC restaurants were either unable to pay some or all of their rent in December. 46% were able to pay some, 45% couldn’t pay any. (Matt Troutman for Patch)

Farewell Jing Fong, Chinatown’s legendary Chinatown dim sum banquet hall, open since 1972. (Jen Chung for Gothamist)

“Ghost kitchens have been meticulously engineered to be infinitely adaptable and fantastically efficient. The Wall Street Journal loves them. But what they really are is a trend that manages, triumphantly, to strip away all joy from the act of eating. They are devoid of every feature that makes restaurants great, and they are not, despite what the many, many headlines say, the true future of the restaurant industry.”
-Rachel Sugar, Ghost Kitchens Will Always Be Dumb, for Grub Street

• Pete Wells goes a bit behind-the-scenes on what it’s been like being a restaurant critic during a pandemic that has shattered all of our norms about eating outside (and sometimes inside) the home. It’s hard to remain anonymous when your name is on your delivery order. (Pete Wells for NY Times)

• Podcast: They’re more than just the front door to the Teenage Mutant Nina Turtles’ home. Looking at the history of manhole covers. (Michelle Young for Untapped New York)

• Apartment Porn: Actress Sela Ward’s $5.8 million Soho loft, with 14-foot ceilings, exposed brick walls, a deep soacking tub, whatever a smart toilet is, a 300-bottle wine fridge, and more. (Dana Schulz for 6sqft)

• A majority of Democratic candidates running for Manhattan District Attorney are promising to end the agency’s use of software from Palantir, whose invasive surveillance software has been seen as unreliable and rife with racial justice and privacy issues. (George Joseph for Gothamist)

• Manhattan DA Cy Vance added Mark F. Pomerantz to the Donald Trump criminal investigation team. Pomerantz has a history of investigating and defending white-collar and organized crime cases. (William K. Rashbaum, Ben Protess and Jonah E. Bromwich for NY Times)

The NYPD’s secret misconduct records must be made public after a judge ruled against the Police Benevolent Association and other unions. This is the 50-a shielding law that’s been the focus of conversation for some time. The records have not been made public yet as Mayor de Blasio waits for clearance from the court about when the records can be released. (Greg B. Smith for The City)

A video shows an NYPD officer repeatedly punching a man as he’s held down on the ground at the South Ferry subway station during an arrest for allegedly smoking a cigarette on the platform on Tuesday. Is this what 500 more cops will look like in the subways? (David Cruz for Gothamist)

• How the NYPD’s Strategic Response Group, an anti-terror squad, became the city’s tool for cracking down on protests. (Jake Offenhartz for Gothamist)

• One day after signaling his plan not to enforce basic education standards within the community’s yeshivas Andrew Yang is the frontrunner for the ultra-Orthodox vote. Yang credits a month-long course on the Bible he took at a Westchester prep school as his reason for his stance. (Jake Offenhartz for Gothamist)

A focus on the City Council showdown in Coney Island. (Rose Adams for Kinds County Politics)

• Corey Johnson got out of the mayor’s race, but now he’s thinking about running for comptroller. (Jeffery C. Mays and Emma G. Fitzsimmons for NY Times)

• Podcast: Quanda Francis on her campaign for mayor. (Ben Max for Gotham Gazette)

• Maya Wiley, the former MSNBC analyst and legal counsel to Mayor Bill de Blasio running for mayor, has the endorsement of Local 1199 of the Service Employees International Union, The National Health Care Workers’ Union, which also endorsed Mayor de Blasio before he was elected. (Emma G. Fitzsimmons for NY Times)

• Congratulations Brooklyn, you have the lowest vaccination rates in the city. (Jake Samieske for Brooklyn Magazine)

Meet artist Devon Rodriguez, whose drawings of strangers on the subway is providing sparks of joy on his Instagram and TikTok accounts. (Will Gleason for Time Out)

KAWS: WHAT PARTY is coming to the Brooklyn Museum from February 26 – September 5. (Brooklyn Street Art)

RIP Arturo Di Modica, the sculptor of the Charging Bull statue. (NY1)

• Remember the Tribeca “bean” by Anish Kapoor, the creator of the Chicago bean, on Leonard St? It’s only partially built, half shiny bean, half plywood construction site. (Michael Young for New York YIMBY)

11 Black-owned wine shops across the city. (Hannah Albertine and Nikko Duren for The Infatuation)

A Park Slope Food Co-Op member started a GoFundMe to raise $10,000 to sue the organization, alleging racial discrimination. (Erika Adams for Eater)

• Move over lobster, here come the crab boils. (Ellie Plass for Bklyner)

The city will not test rising kindergarteners for admission to gifted programs, the education department announced Wednesday. Instead, students will be evaluated by their pre-K teacher or sign up for an interview. (Christina Veiga for Chalkbeat)

Black Seed Bagels is getting into pizza, but disappointingly there are no pizza bagels on the menu. (Shaye Weaver for Time Out)

The top 10 places to find the best pastrami in NYC. (Robert Sietsema for Eater)

The state’s plan for the 20-million-square-foot Empire Station Complex surrounding Penn Station was adopted by the board of directors of Empire State Development. The plan calls for five buildings over 1,000 feet tall, up to 1,300 feet. For reference, the Empire State building’s roof is 1,250 feet tall. The project is expected to be completed by 2038. (Vanessa Londono for New York YIMBY)

Five snacks to try across the city. (Hannah Albertine for The Infatuation)