The Briefly for February 12-13, 2021 – The “Mayor of Flavortown for Mayor of NYC” Friday Edition

The latest NYC news digest: Indoor dining returns today, new vaccination sites, mayoral candidates want more power over the MTA, splurge-worthy takeout and more

Today – Low: 21˚ High: 29˚
Mostly cloudy throughout the day.
This weekend – Low: 27˚ High: 37˚

• The annual Valentine’s Day tour of the Shit Tits in Greenpoint, the Newtown Creek Wastewater Treatment Facility, is going virtual. All the experience with none of the smell. of the city’s largest sewage plant. (Melissa Kravitz Hoeffner for Greenpointers)

• Forget the mayor of NYC. The Mayor of Flavortown is back in Manhattan. All hail Guy Fieri. (Erika Adams for Eater)

• Photos: Go back in time with this newly digitized library of photos of Central PArk in the 80s. (Jen Carlson for Gothamist)

• Remember when the NYPD started babysitting Christopher Columbus statues across the city? Well the NYPD are still babysitting these statues ten months later. (Jose Martinez for The City)

Construction will begin in the spring on Gansevoort Peninsula, Manhattan’s first public beach. The park will be built off Little West 12th St. (Christopher Robbins for Gothamist)

• In a surprise to everyone, New York concert venues and arenas can reopen on February 23. Each venue’s safety plan needs to be reviewed by the state, everyone needs proof of a negative PCR test within 3 days of the event, and venues that hold over 10,000 will have a maximum capacity of 10%. (Anna Ben Yehuda for Time Out)

How NYC’s bars and restaurants are preparing for today’s return to indoor dining. (Rachel Sugar for Grub Street)

“We’re grateful to be able to provide our guests with a slice of hope through an experience as simple as dining out. We welcome indoor dining not only as a lifeline for our business, but also as an opportunity to safely bring our customers a little more normalcy in these very abnormal times.”
– Simone Tiligna, co-owner of Sola Pasta Bar, Why I’m Opening My Restaurant for Indoor Dining in NYC for Eater

“One wonders why Cuomo can’t wait a little longer for more vaccines to come online, instead of conducting such a grand social experiment on a group of staffers who have disproportionately struggled during the pandemic. Latinx folks, for example, have suffered COVID death rates that are nearly double those of white New Yorkers.”
– Ryan Sutton, Cuomo’s Reckless Return to Indoor Dining Values NYC Restaurants Over Lives, for Eater

The top two affordable neighborhoods in NYC are Parkchester and Bedford Park in the Bronx. (Ed García Conde FOR Welcome2TheBronx)

• 2021 will be the year of legal marijuana in New York state? Maybe. Governor Cuomo and Democrats in the legislature can’t get on the same page when it comes to legal weed. (Caroline Lewis for Gothamist)

• The NYPD announced that it is ready to relinquish that responsibility to another city agency. The City Council is already debating stripping the NYPD of that responsibility as part of a package of bills aimed at police reform. (Christopher Robbins for Gothamist)

• The New York state Attorney General filed a lawsuit against Bevelyn Beatty and Edmee Chavannes, two anti-abortion protesters, accusing them of repeated “obstructive, threatening, harassing, and violent activity” at a Planned Parenthood clinic in Manhattan. Their behavior has continued through the pandemic without wearing masks. (Brooklyn Eagle)

• Turning away eligible people, poor communication, lack of translators, impossible appointments, navigators who can’t navigate. The Citi Field mass vaccination site is a Mets-level disaster. (Caroline Lewis for Gothamist)

• Starting at some point next week, 188 Walgreens sites, 75 Rite Aid sites and five Costco sites will have vaccinations available (in limited quantity). (Matt Troutman for Patch)

Vaccine stories from restaurant industry pros who’ve managed to get appointments range from ‘easy-peasy’ to ‘total shitshow.’ (Jennifer Joan Nelson for Brooklyn Magazine)

Three pop-up COVID-19 vaccination sites are set to open in northeast Queens, in Bayside, Jamaica and South Richmond Hill for Queens residents. (Jenna Bagcal for QNS)

Three small vaccine dispensary sites came online in the Lower East Side this week at community centers, public housing complexes, and cultural centers which will eventually lead to dispensaries opening at all 33 NYCHA Senior Housing Developments. (Elie Z Perler for Bowery Boogie)

• Covid-19 vaccine providers can start redistributing second doses if someone doesn’t get their second shot within the 42-day timeframe, including moving unused doses from long-term care facilities. (Sydney Pereira for Gothamist)

• The federal government increased New York’s vaccine allocation by 5% this week, making the new allocation “inadequate plus 5%.” (Matt Troutman for Patch)

• Andrew Yang has declared a new enemy: eternal sidewalk scaffolding. (Mark Hallum for amNewYork Metro)

• The mayoral race looks to AOC. (Katie Glueck for NY Times)

• In the eternal battle between the city and state, some mayoral candidates have begun talking about changing the balance of power of the MTA’s board to give the city a bigger say over the MTA. (Dave Colon for Streetsblog)

A look at Scott Stringer’s transportation plan, including more bike lanes, more pedestrian zones, reforming parking rules, reducing parking placards for city employees, more buses, and reducing community boards’ ability to block street safety projects. (Gersh Kuntzman for Streetsblog)

Here are the Republican candidates running for mayor. (Juan Manuel Benitez for NY1)

• Brownsville’s Betsy Head Park officially reopened to the public last week after a $30 million renovation. (Jake Samieske for Brooklyn Magazine)

Everything you need to know about buying your first home in NYC. (Jordi Lippe-McGraw for StreetEasy)

• Interactive Map: Explore New York City’s Black history with the Landmarks Preservation Commissions “Preserving Significant Places of Black History.” (Kevin Duggan for Brooklyn Paper)

• A new state mandate will ensure health insurance companies in New York must immediately cover fertility treatments for queer couples. (Tat Bellamy-Walker for Gay City News)

What does NYC’s Public Advocate do? (Afia Eama for Gothamist)

• Real Estate Lust: A $6.5 million Noho loft with huge, arched windows overlooking Broadway, 10-foot-long fireplace, 20 feet of closets in the main bedroom, and more. (Dana Schulz for 6qsft)

A guide to splurge-worthy takeout. (Emily Wilson for RESY)

The Briefly for January 29, 2020 – The “Hell Freezes Over on the Brooklyn Bridge” Friday Edition

The latest NYC news digest: The State of the City, Covid-sniffing dogs, the BQE remains the BQE, ranking NYC sinks on Tik Tok, a Snowy Owl in Central Park, and more

Today – Low: 17˚ High: 23˚
Windy in the morning.
This weekend – Low: 21˚ High: 31˚

NYC’s Vaccine Finder. The site isn’t great, but provide links/phone numbers to specific locations. As of writing, the city has less than 67,524 first doses left before a new shipment arrives.

Birds! A meta-rare Snowy Owl was seen in Central Park, the first spotting of one in the park since December of 1890. (Jake Offenhartz and Jen Chung for Gothamist)

A majority of city voters support adding more protected bike lanes, wider sidewalks, greenery, and spaces for children to play, even if it means sacrificing parking or space for vehicles. Also, the sky is blue. (Christopher Robbins for Gothamist)

Hell has frozen over and the Brooklyn and Queensboro bridges are getting dedicated bike lanes by the end of the year. The Brooklyn Bridge bike lanes will take the place of one of the Manhattan-bound lanes of traffic, leaving the existing shared path above the road exclusively for pedestrians. The Queensboro Bridge lane will take over the north outer roadway. (Gersh Kuntzman for Streetsblog)

Video: Mayor de Blasio delivers his last State of the City address. (NYC Mayor’s Office)

In the address, the mayor outlines his theme for the speech, “A Recovery for All of Us,” including his pledge to vaccinate five million New Yorkers by June. (Emma G. Fitzsimmons for NY Times)

Covid sniffing dogs? Yeah, Covid sniffing dogs. (Fred Mogul for Gothamist)

A look at the human toll of the restaurant unemployment crisis during this never-ending pandemic. (Chris Crowley for Grub Street)

The mayor, full of unearned confidence, says that public schools will be open at full strength” in the fall. (Sophia Chang for Gothamist)

No one wants to hear this, but the fastest way to open up New York is to shut it down first. (Nick Reisman for NY1)


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A New Jersey man was caught on camera trying to set fire to a Queens restaurant called Ignited Restaurant & Lounge. (Chris Crowley for Grub Street)

The last link I’ll ever put in this newsletter containing analysis of Andrew Yang’s bodega video. (Andrew Silverstein for Grub Street)

Kal Penn, former member of the White House Office of Public Liaison and Kumar from the Harold and Kumar movies, endorsed Jimmy Van Bramer for Queens Borough President. (Allie Griffin for LIC Post)

The city created a $1 million, 280-page “vision plan” for making East Harlem resilient to climate change in 2017. It was completed in 2018. Like a magic trick, it has since disappeared. (Rachel Holliday Smith for The City)

A cheat-sheet to the Gowanus rezoning kerfuffle. (Brian Braiker for Brooklyn Magazine)

The Puppy Bowl is coming up on February 7, here are NYC’s five rescue pups headed for the big game. (Shaye Weaver for Time Out)

Turns out the BQE didn’t stop being a giant turd because we’re in a pandemic. The mayor is “hopeful for help” from the Biden Administration when it comes to repairs. (Claude Scales for Brooklyn Heights Blog)

A city education panel early rejected a testing contract, temporarily stopping the controversial practice of testing incoming kindergartners for admission to gifted programs. How will the city’s gifted and talented programs move forward? 🤷‍♂️ (Christina Veiga for Chalkbeat)

Burgie’s, the new burger spot from Roberta’s, is now open (again.) (Kara Zuaro for Brooklyn Based)

Do you know the history of the railroad apartment. (Cait Etherington for 6sqft)

The City Council voted to approve legislation to create 4,000 new permits for street vendors in the city over the next decade and will create a separate law enforcement unit to oversee the street vending community. Opponents say that an increase in street vendors will drive business from restaurants. (Tanay Warerkar for Eater)

The Times Square Margaritaville resort is scheduled to open in the fall, including the only outdoor pool in Times Square. (Emma Alpern for Curbed)

The story of how Scott Green, a lifelong civil rights activist, was buried in a mass grave on Hart Island. (Corey Kilgannon for NY Times)

In the perfect metaphor, the barge full of dredged up black mayo from the Gowanus Canal fro the Superfund cleanup sank into the Gowanus. (Sydney Pereira for Gothamist)

Did you attempt to vote in the 2016 election by text? You have Douglass Mackey to blame. (Nicole Hong for NY Times)

Meet Sink Reviews, the Tik Tok account rating NYC’s sinks. (Shaye Weaver for Time Out)

Photos: Okay, so here are a bunch of photos of NYC in the snow. Maybe this is cruel based on Monday’s weather forecast. (Will Gleason for Time Out)

What to know about the City Comptroller’s race in 2021. (Rachel Holliday Smith for The City)

Everything you need to know about the special elections in Queens and the Bronx, including what neighborhoods are included, candidates, dates, and what happened to cause the elections. (Claudia Irizarry Aponte for The City)

NYPD Officer Carmine Simpson was arrested on child pornography charges after requesting and obtaining sexually explicit photos and videos from at least 46 minors. Simpson is one of more than half a dozen officers from the NYPD that have been charged with sexual crimes against minors in the last two years. (Jonah Engel Bromwich for NY Times)

20 NYC spots with restaurant week deals. (Hannah Albertine for The Infatuation)

The Briefly for December 29 – 30, 2020 – The “Penn Station, A Little Less Terrible” Tuesday Edition

The latest NYC news digest: The stimulus bill, the MTA looks for new ways to raise money, the post-Christmas Covid-19 spike is here, frozen NYC dinners, and more

Today – Low: 28˚ High: 39˚
Partly cloudy throughout the day.

Photos: Up close with the New Year’s Eve ball. (Shaye Weaver for Time Out)

With the stimulus bill passing, here’s what you need to know about the additional weekly $300 for unemployed workers. (Lauren Costantino for The City)

Buildings in the city are being graded like restaurants, the building I live in got a C, but almost half of the city’s buildings were given Ds and Fs. There’s no punishment for bad grades until 2024. (Lydia McMullen-Laird for Gothamist)

Video: The entire length of Broadway on an E-Scooter. (ActionKid)

Apartment Lust: This one-bedroom apartment in Greenwich Village is nice but its best feature is its pricetag under one million dollars. (Dana Schulz for 6sqft)

It’s a great week to look for a dog or cat to add to your life. Patch highlights some dogs and cats available, including Petunia, the super affectionate lap cat. (Patch)

The new Moynihan Train Hall at Penn Station is set to open on January 1. Penn Station will still be a terrible nightmare, but with one nice area, available by a tunnel. (Sydney Pereira for Gothamist)

Half of the MTA’s budget comes from fares and tolls and the state is waking up to the idea that maybe that’s not a great idea, which is why we’re getting ideas like taxing packages or raising gas taxes from the state. (Jose Martinez for The City)

If you’ve wondered how some of the city’s restaurants’ outdoor structures are possibly legal, you have the SLA’s unclear regulations and the city’s lack of enforcement to thank. (Ben Yakas for Gothamist)

Video: Say hello to the city’s asshole of the week, an unidentified woman who falsely accused a Black teenager of stealing her iPhone in the lobby of the Arlo Hotel. Her phone was found in an Uber later. (Ashley Reese for Jezebel)

There’s a new Pastrami Queen location on the Upper West Side. (Scott Lynch for Gothamist)

A look into what arts groups are doing to keep itself afloat through gala season. (Robin Pogrebin for NY Times)

The post-Christmas Covid-19 spike is here. (Matt Troutman for Patch)

Healthcare providers who violate the law by distributing the coronavirus vaccine could lose their license, be fined up to $1 million, and face possible prison time, under a new executive order from Governor Cuomo. (Devin Gannon for 6sqft)

Interview: The staff of Arlene’s Grocery on the struggles to exist through the pandemic. (Ben Yakas for Gothamist)

RIP Betty Campbell-Adams, founder of founded Lloyd’s Carrot Cake in the Bronx. (Alex Vadukul for NY Times)

Wanna make yourself hungry for bucatini? (It’s the pasta that looks like spaghetti, but it’s hollow). Read about the bizarre bucatini shortage of 2020. (Rachel Handler for Grub Street)

Given up on dinner? Here are 10 frozen options from NYC restaurants to upgrade your lazy dinners. (Christina Izzo for Time Out)

Thanks to reader Francesca for today’s featured photo!