The Briefly for January 7, 2020 – The “Saving Penn Station and a Guy on the BQE” Edition

Today’s daily NY news digest: Amazon’s HQ2 deal for LIC was $800 million sweeter than we previously knew, the Queens boro president special election date is set, and more

Today – Low: 32˚ High: 44˚
Possible light rain in the evening and overnight.

The first Monday of 2020 saw an unprecedented meltdown of the MTA’s ability to get us all to work. 12 of 22 possible subway lines were experiencing major delays. Happy Monday everyone! (Jake Offenhartz for Gothamist)

What caused the delays? In the 7 train’s case it was “an isolated case of human error.” Don’t forget that the MTA will still write you a late note for work if you ask for it. (Mark Hallum for amNewYork)

New York City’s greatest export is garbage. Literal garbage. In 2018, over 680 thousand tons (over 1.3 billion pounds) of garbage from NYC was exported to Seneca Meadows, NY, a 270+ mile drive from Manhattan. Over half a million tons were sent to Morrisville, PA, a 70+ mile journey. Businesses, stores and restaurants recycle 24% of the time, construction recycles 50%, and residential homes only hit 18% of a maximum 68%. The mayor promised to reduce the city’s trash exports by 90% in 2018 and trash exports went up in 2019. (Sally Goldenberg and Danielle Muoio for Politico)

Governor Cuomo has a plan for Penn Station. He plans to add 40% capacity to everyone’s favorite train station. The expansion of Penn Station into the Post Office building will do nothing to increase its capacity, so the governor plans to add eight tracks to service an additional 175,000 riders each day. This all hinges on the state buying or taking a city’s block worth of land between 30th and 31st between Seventh and Eighth Aves. That block is has businesses and apartments, and land owned by the Archdiocese of New York and Amtrak. (Erin Durkin for Politico)

Perhaps the Penn Station expansion can help out New Jersey’s newest form of tourism: people taking a train from New York to make sports bets using their phones over the New Jersey border. (Christopher Palmeri for Bloomberg, thanks to reader Timothy for sending this in)

The governor had a busy day with his speech announcing the Penn Station upgrades followed by literally pulling a trapped man out of a crashed van on the BQE. (Kathleen Culliton for Patch)

The governor isn’t the only good samaritan in the city. Shaq helped a woman who has fallen at the intersection of Pitt and East Houston. (EV Grieve)

What’s $800 million between a giant corporation that pays $0 in taxes and the City of New York? Turns out the sweet deal the mayor and governor tried to give Amazon had $2.5 billion of incentives, $800 more than previously reported. (The Real Deal)

Pro wrestling runs in Ridgewood’s roots. In the modern day, House of Glory calls it home, but the pedigree runs back to the New Ridgewood Grove Arena, the WWF, Bruno Sammartino and Andre the Giant. (The Old Timer for QNS)

Pier 76 sits behind the Javits Center and is currently an NYPD tow yard, but thanks to Governor Cuomo the pier will be added to the Hudson River Park Trust later this year. (Mark Hallum for amNewYork)

Food delivery workers with electric bikes had to worry about the NYPD confiscating their bikes as part of the mayor’s anti-electric bike crusade. Now, since September, 24 workers’ bikes have been stolen, each costing as much as $2,000. (Sarah Maslin Nir and Jeffrey E. Singer for NY Times)

Video: Walking through Yorkville, from 97th to 74th on York Ave. (ActionKid)

There are 12 Human Trafficking Intervention Courts in New York, aimed at intervention and sending people to counseling instead of prison. Six years into their operation, there is criticism that they are not living up to their promise. (Christina Goldbaum for NY Times)

Could you identify this tribute to the 1939 World’s Fair on a building in Queens without being told what it was? (Michelle Young for Untapped New York)

Yes, this is a story about another ice skating rink in the city, but this one is a synthetic rink. (Dana Schulz for 6sqft)

Photos: During the renovation of Moishe’s on Second Ave, removing some walls revealed beautiful 100-plus-year-old tile work behind the dummy walls constructed in the 70s. (Scott Lynch for Gothamist)

Evictions are down nearly 20 percent since new rent laws were enacted last June. (Gabe Herman for amNewYork)

The Harvey Weinstein trial started on Monday. Always an imitator, Los Angeles announced its own case against Weinstein. (Kathleen Culliton for Patch)

The Anish Kapoor bean sculpture at 56 Leaonard’s construction continues as we’re currently at half bean. (Jen Carlson for Gothamist)

There will be a special election on March 24 to elect a new Queens borough president after former President Melinda Katz assumed her new position as Queens DA. (Loulou Chryssides for Give Me Astoria)

9 ways to embrace winter in Brooklyn. (Lore Croghan for Brooklyn Eagle)

Kal Penn, who recently starred in NBC’s ‘Sunnyside,’ endorsed City Councilperson Jimmy Van Bramer for Queens President. Penn was also the Associate Director in the White House Office of Public Engagement under the Obama administration. (Kristen Torres for LIC Post)

The husband to state Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie’s chief of staff was arrested Monday for conspiring to import cocaine, according to a source and court records. (Kathleen Culliton for Patch)

Sometimes we can assume that New York has everything. When faced with the news that Sip N’ Play, a board game cafe, has opened in Park Slope, we can be sure we’ve hit all the checkmarks. (Ben Verde for Brooklyn Paper)

Quick tip: The NYPD is warning against abbreviated 2020 as “20” on checks, as it could be an invitation for fraud. (John Del Signore for Gothamist)

A little bit more on some of the owners of land that Governor Cuomo wants to take to expand Penn Station. (Rich Bockmann and Kathryn Brenzel for The Real Deal)

The state’s new bail laws aren’t even a week old, but thanks to the recent anti-Semite attacks some state lawmakers are considering amending it so those accused of hate crimes could be held on bail. (Beth Fertig for Gothamist)

Where to have a last minute group dinner. (The Infatuation)

The Briefly for July 3, 2019 – The “Pick A Side: Iced Coffee vs Cold Brew” Edition

Everything you need for July 4, the drink of the summer, new school gender inclusion guidelines, lying roaches, and more in today’s daily NYC news digest.

Here’s the deal with the subways and buses on July 4. (6sqft)

Expect massive crowds and tight security if you’re checking out the fireworks over the east river. (Patch)

Safety tips for pet owners on July 4. (amNY)

Each year’s Fourth of July fireworks display in the city starts in the California desert, in 11 underground bunkers in high-security facilities. (NY Times)

What’s open and what’s closed on July 4. (Patch)

The New York Times is never why when it comes to controversy, and they jumped in head-first with this one. Is cold brew better than iced coffee? (NY Times)

Checking in with Tom’s Restaurant on the Upper West Side 30 years after Seinfeld‘s pilot aired. (Gothamist)

The top 10 secrets of Arthur Avenue in the Bronx. (Untapped Cities)

Despite every last inch of Manhattan having been developed, there is still wildlife. With the year half over, coyote sightings in Central Park are at quadruple the level they were for all of 2018. If you encounter one, leave it alone and report it. (I Love the Upper West Side)

While conservatives around the country are mounting challenges to Roe v Wade, New York City has become more accommodating to those seeking an abortion. Charities helping women afford abortions are seeing a higher percentage of those women come from outside the city. The city even set aside a quarter of a million dollars in support for the New York Abortion Access Fund to assist people from outside the city be able to afford an abortion. (Gothamist)

The okapi diorama at the Museum of Natural History is considered to be one of the world’s most impressive taxidermy dioramas. Here’s the story behind the diorama and even the one riddle/practical joke that can be found if you look close enough. (Atlas Obscura)

NYC Schools Chancellor Richard Carranza issued new gender inclusion guidelines to better support the city’s 1.1 million students. The guide touches on sports, name and gender changes, dress codes, and more. While they are still only guidelines, they are being praised by advocacy groups as a good start. (Brooklyn Daily Eagle)

Don’t be alarmed, but we’ve hit “the cockroaches are flying” time of year. (Gothamist)

Right now the city’s homeless shelters turn away people with pets, which becomes a real problem for the 10-25% of people experiencing homelessness who have pets. More than 98% of animals surrendered to the city’s Animal Care Centers in the last six months are due to their owners’ homelessness. Two bills making their way towards the city council could change that. (Brooklyn Daily Eagle)

The city’s restaurants have begun to embrace the latest food trend: chickpeas. (amNY)

Sometimes it’s better not to ask. Like, “What is that black, smelly liquid pouring out of the elevator at Grand Central?” Maybe that’s information we should never know. “Why was it gushing out and why did it smell like sewage?” These are more questions that should not be asked because you probably don’t want to know the answer. (Gothamist)

On any given day you can find multiple photos of NYPD vehicles using the city’s bike lanes like personal parking garages, which makes the mayor’s declaration that the NYPD is going to start taking drivers in the city’s bike lanes laughable. (Streetsblog)

Apologies to our mayor, who had his time in Iowa interrupted to discuss the three bicyclist deaths in the city in the last week. A “crisis,” but not enough of a crisis to deal with it within the confines of the city that he’s supposed to be in charge of. The mayor was short on details, aside from increased NYPD enforcement of pre-existing laws. (Gothamist)

The crackdown is not permanent, but a three-week targeted enforcement. (Streetsblog)

Fact-checking the president’s claims that New York’s taxes are driving people away. (NY Times)

Our president is a serial liar, so no one should be surprised that despite his claims that he’s never had an alcoholic drink that he regularly drank in New York City, according to a new book by Allen Salkin. (Vice)

The first section of a state park honoring the first African-American woman elected to Congress, Shirley Chisholm, is open in Brooklyn. (Curbed)

The city is speckled with the history of the revolutionary war if you know where to look. (amNY)

Remember the city’s styrofoam ban? It’s in effect and the first fines have been issued. (Gothamist)

Central Park’s Belvedere Castle is open after a 15-month renovation. (Time Out)

The drink of the summer: The Gin and Tonic Plus (Grub Street)

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The Briefly for April 8, 2019 – The “One More Thing in the List of What Can Kill Us in the City” Edition

Subway graffiti cleaning costs are up over 300%, a new antibiotic-resistant superbug, the late night subway changes and more in today’s daily NYC news digest.

If it’s headed towards midnight and you need to get somewhere, better check the late night subway changes before you do. (Subway Changes)

Why is Mayor de Blasio talking about running for president? No really, why is he doing this? (NY Times)

The CDC added another antibiotic-resistant superbug to their list of urgent threats after three run-ins with the Candida Auris fungus in city hospitals. Add it to the list of things in the city that will one day kill us all. (NY Post)

The fight over the city’s ferry system continues. Scott Stringer has blocked the purchase of any new ferries and a new report from the Citizens Budget Commission shows how we’re spending $11-24 to subsidize every Ferry NYC ride. Maybe we could, you know, spend that money to fix the subways and buses? (Second Ave Sagas)

Where to eat in Hudson Yards, if you’re going to actually eat there. (The Infatuation)

The city has been testing facial recognition technology for drivers on the Triborough Bridge and not only did it fail, it failed to a magnificent degree. (Engadget)

Have you ever heard of the New York & Atlantic Railway? (NY Times)

The isn’t unlike the rest of the country, but sometimes without the same amounts of space. Things like an old school bowling alley, or paintball, or amusement park happens more towards the city’s fringes, but they’re all still here. The Bay Ridge Model Railroad Club, however, has its days numbered as the landlord of their space has told them to vacate their space. A GoFundMe wasn’t enough to save the club established in 1946, but a Trolley Museum in Kingston has volunteered to make a home for their model railroad. (amNY)

There’s more than one way to skin a cat. The state’s legislature is considering a bill that would allow the state’s Department of Taxation and Finance to release any New Yorker’s tax returns (like, you know, the president) to the House of Representatives for a “specific and legitimate legislative purpose.” (NY Times)

“There is absolutely no promposals to be conducted anywhere in the school or even around the school and that includes anywhere on your way to school or on your way home from school.” Yes, that sais PROMposals and no this isn’t the Onion, it’s a school in Queens. (NY Post)

Michael Laidlaw, the former head of Human Resources for NYC Social Services, was allowed to resign after groping and sexually harassing his assistant. (Bronx Justice News)

So the city couldn’t verify 86% of the “random” inspections of the rides in Coney Island, looking at 1,857 spot checks by the Department of Buildings’ Elevator Unit. An audit also found that over 13% of the years’ records for the last three years were completely missing. The city is blaming poor record keeping and not shoddy inspections on the discrepancy and that all the rides have been inspected before this weekend’s opening. (amNY)

Do renters get any tax breaks? (Streeteasy)

Will the state continue to poke holes in congestion pricing with exceptions? (Curbed)

The MTA’s graffiti cleaning costs were up 364% in 2018 compared to 2017, delays were up too. (The City)

Where to get a last-minute dinner in the West Village. (The Infatuation)

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