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 December 6-7, 2020 – The “Fight of the Year” Sunday Edition

The latest NYC news digest: Staten Island’s “problem” continues, James Comey gets a new job, Kate Winslet is selling her townhouse, how to stop porch pirates, and more

Today – Low: 31˚ High: 41˚
Clear throughout the day.

Video: Someone driving down the Brooklyn Promenade at 40 mph is something I’ve never seen before today. (David Cruz)

If the story of Mac’s Public House couldn’t get any more stupid, the bar reopened on Friday in defiance of the city’s sheriffs and the arrest of one of the bar’s co-owners. (Angi Gonzalez for NY1)

Turns out it can get much more stupid. On Saturday night Danni Resti resisted arrest, ran to his car, and hit a sheriff with his car, driving with him on the hood of his car for 100 yards, according to police. He was arrested after that. (Thomas Giardino for NY1)

The NYPD will stop making people who have been arrested remove their religious headwear for mug shots with limited exceptions as part of a settlement in a federal lawsuit. (Noah Singer for Brooklyn Eagle)

What to know about moving to NYC in a pandemic. (Kathryn O’Shea-Evans for StreetEasy)

Eater released a 2020 holiday gift guide. (Erika Adams for Eater)

Photos: No Particular Hours in Chelsea is a part thrift store, part garage sale, and all spectacular. (Nicoleta Papavasilakis for Untapped New York)

The Infatuation’s 9 favorite Brazilian dishes in NYC. (Matt Tervooren for The Infatuation)

Why is the NYPD stockpiling tasers? (David Cruz for Gothamist)

Manhattan District Attorney Cy Vance hasn’t made a decision about running for the positive again, but he has nine challengers who have already stepped up. (Emily Ngo for NY1)

New York’s 2020 election was certified on Tuesday of last week, showing a record-breaking three million votes cast in the city. 22% of them cast absentee. (Brigid Bergin for Gothamist)

The 2020 NYC Hanukkah food guide. (Hannah Albertine for The Infatuation)

Congrats to Todd Maisel on his retirement after 38 years of work. (Todd Maisel for amNewYork Metro)

How to negotiate next year’s rent. (Lee Lin for RentHop)

The fight of the year is the lawsuit between The Meatball Shop and the Jersey Shore’s Snooki and Deena over merchandise. (Elie Z. Perler for Bowery Boogie)

Go beyond the names. Learn why New York City wears Marcus Garvey’s name in multiple places. (Julio Yarce for Untapped New York)

Video: A walk through the Bryant Part Winter Village. (ActionKid)

The DOT is expanding Citi Bike service into Sunnyside, Woodside, and Maspeth in the spring of 2021. (Michael Dorgan for Sunnyside Post)

Apartment Porn: Kate Winslet is selling her 3,000 square foot $5.7 million Manhattan Penthouse. (Mark David for Variety)

In praise of the nearly 24-hour Empanada Mama. (Ryan Sutton for Eater)

It seems like New Jersey doesn’t have enough assholes because New York has begun exporting some of ours. The NY Young Republicans moved their unmasked gala to New Jersey. Not to be outdone, the Metropolitan Republican Club held their own unmasked holiday party on the Upper East Side, complete with an open bar. (Nick Garber with contributions from Caren Lissner for Patch)

Meet Guy Stanley Philoche, a painter who has spent more than $65,000 buying work from struggling artists affected by the coronavirus pandemic. (Alaa Elassar for CNN)

Hello to Columbia Law School’s newest professor, James Comey. (Mike Mishkin for I Love the Upper West Side)

Five ways to stop porch pirates. Yes, I did include this just so I could say porch pirates. Porch pirates. (Matt Troutman for Patch)

Don’t expect overnight service to return until at least the summer of 2021, according to the MTA. (Dave Colon for Streetsblog)

Meanwhile, two former workers claim New York Waterway, the biggest private ferry operator in the city, would dump the toilet waste into the Hudson River. (Tracey Tully for NY Times)

The Geminids meteor shower already started, but it peaks on the 13 and 14, so keep your eyes to the sky when the night is clear. (Adam Nichols for Patch)

Breaking down what students are going back to school buildings this week. (David Cruz for NY Times)

A five-alarm fire tore through a 128-old Middle Collegiate Church in the East Village early Saturday morning. The Middle Collegiate Church was established in 1628 and is considered the oldest corporation in the country. (David Cruz and Jen Chung for Gothamist)

What the city’s sewers are telling us about Covid-19. (Caroline Lewis for Gothamist)

The city is expecting around 450k Covid-19 vaccines later this month, with healthcare workers, nursing home residents, and long-term facility staff having priority. (Sydney Pereira for Gothamist)

Confessions of a Queens Santa in a pandemic. (Jim O’Grady for Gothamist)

A Covid-19 rent relief program will be resurrected with revamped rules for who will get a slice of $60 million of remaining aid. (Matt Troutman for Patch)

The team that is no longer the Staten Island Yankees is suing Major League Baseball and the New York Yankees for cutting them from the squad. (J.J. Cooper for Baseball America)

Wall Street executive Ray McGuire is stepping into the mayoral race. (Sally Goldenberg for Politico)

The best holiday gifts from NYC restaurants. (Hannah Albertine for The Infatuation)

Sick of Christmas already? The Astor Place KMart has you covered because their St Patrick’s Day decorations are already on sale. (EV Grieve)

Thanks to reader Amy for today’s featured photo!

The Briefly for December 4-5, 2020 – The “Where to Cry in Public” Friday Edition

The latest NYC news digest: The vaccine arrives in NYC by December 15, Marie’s Crisis reopens, the Dyker Heights lights are back (with controversy), and more

Today – Low: 45˚ High: 51˚
Rain starting in the afternoon.
This weekend – Low: 32˚ High: 46˚

Get a jump on January and learn how to run in the winter. (Jen A. Miller for NY Times)

The state’s Green Light Law, which allowed undocumented immigrants to apply for driver’s licenses, survived a federal appeals court challenge. (Nick Reisman for NY1)

12 new public art installations this month. (Untapped New York)

There’s a screenshot of the best places to cry in NYC making its way around the internet but experienced public cryers will know there was an entire Tumblr account dedicated to places to cry. (NYC Crying Guide)

Gothamist wants your help to write NYC a love letter for 2020. (Jen Carlson for Gothamist)

Video: Did you see (and hear) the terrifying sights and sounds of the Verrazzano Bridge on Monday during the storm? (Ben Yakas for Gothamist)

Remember that guy who experienced a living nightmare of falling 12 feet through the sidewalk into a sinkhole that was full of rats where he was trapped for 30 minutes? He’s suing. It doesn’t matter what the amount is, it isn’t enough. (Jake Offenhartz for Gothamist)

Meet Charles Barry, who has been scamming subway riders for nearly 40 years and has been arrested about 160 times. (Reuven Blau for The City)

Marie’s Crisis is ready to open again on December 8 at a 25% capacity, allowing only 15 patrons in at a time. (Bill Pearis for BrooklynVegan)

A list of NYC-themed gifts. (Dana Schulz for 6sqft)

“These employees allegedly worked very hard – to steal MTA time and money,” say hello to the five MTA employees accused of “brazen, repeated” overtime fraud. (Jake Offenhartz for Gothamist)

Photos: The construction of the Statue of Liberty. (Jen Carlson for Gothamist)

It’s the future site of 1,000 below-market-rate apartments and according to the EPA, it’s also home to a ton of toxic pollution a few feet underground. (Kevin Duggan for Brooklyn Paper)

Staten Island’s Mac’s Public House declared itself an “autonomous zone” from the state’s Covid-19 laws. It’s co-owner Danny Presti was arrested. This was followed by a swam of shitheads gathering to protest. The zip code has the fourth-highest Covid-19 positivity rate in the city. (Amanda Hatfield for BrooklynVegan)

Two dozen subway cars were hit by a graffiti storm over the weekend, hitting the 1, 6, M, G, and Q lines. (Jose Martinez for The City)

Photos: The Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree is lit. (Michelle Young for Untapped New York)

Despite what you may have read in this very newsletter, you don’t actually need a ticket to see the Christmas tree, but they are limiting the number of people who can be in the plaza at once. (Michelle Young for Untapped New York)

The history of the Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree (Dana Schulz for 6sqft)

Looking for a less auspicious holiday light display? Check out this Google Doc with almost 30 holiday light displays across the city. (Shaye Weaver for Time Out)

Speaking of holiday displays, the Dyker Heights Christmas lights are coming back this year, and people are not happy about it. 2020, amirite? (Noah Singer for Brooklyn Eagle)

6 department store holiday windows to check out. (Nicole Saraniero for Untapped New York)

RIP Betsy Wade, the first woman to edit news copy for The New York Times. (Robert D. McFadden for NY Times)

The city can’t move the homeless New Yorkers from the Upper West Side’s Lucerne Hotel for at least two more weeks after an Appellate Court issued a temporary stay that prevents the city from moving them. This story has been ongoing since July. (Mirela Iverac for Gothamist)

It’s looking more and more like auditions for city schools’ performing arts programs will be moving online. (Christina Veiga for Chalkbeat)

Outdoor dining is looking more and more like indoor dining. Bedford + Bowery asks and answers if it’s safe. The answer is that it is not. (Justin McGowan for Bedford + Bowery)

A new report that looks at data from 121 cities over 10 years shows that mass transit is not a significant vector for spreading viruses. That being said, wear your damn masks on the subway. (Stephen Nessen for Gothamist)

Photos: Inside NYC’s biggest Covid-19 lab. (Elizabeth Kim with photos by Scott Heins for Gothamist)

78% of the surveyed restaurant workers report hostile behavior from customers when staff try to enforce COVID-19 safety rules according to a new study from the One Fair Wage advocacy group. (Sophia Chang for Gothamist)

New York will get 170,000 doses of the Covid-19 vaccine by December 15, according to Governor Cuomo. The first phase of distribution will be focused on healthcare workers and residents of nursing homes and other long-term care facilities. (Ben Yakas for Gothamist)

Unboxing videos on YouTube hit their peak in popularity around 2014, but that didn’t stop Governor Cuomo’s live unboxing of an empty Pfizer vaccine box during a press conference this week. “What’s up, it’s ya boy Gov Cuomo and today we’re unboxing a vaccine. Remember to like, comment, and subscribe if you wanna see more content like this in the future and also to smash that bell icon to get notifications because you might miss a video if you don’t.” (Ben Yakas for Gothamist)

The CDC shortened its recommended quarantine to 10 days, but included a plea to just stop traveling. Roni Caryn Rabin for NY Times)

Dr Fauci, who will be staying on with the Biden administration, said we could get “back to normal, or at least approaching close to normal, as you get into the late summer and early fall,” if 75-85% of Americans get vaccinated. This was in response to a question about Broadway reopening, which has been closed since March 12 of this year. (Devin Gannon for 6sqft)

The New York Blood Center fears a blood shortage. Here’s how to help. (Ron Lee for NY1)

10 holiday markets, pop-ups, and sales this weekend. (the skint)