The Briefly for January 31 – February 1, 2021 – The “Indoor Dining Returns to NYC” Sunday Edition

The latest NYC news digest: The City Council works towards reforming the NYPD, Restaurant Week To Go is extended, the end of the renter’s market, Lunar New Year, & more

Today – Low: 26˚ High: 29˚
Snow overnight.

Due to Monday’s snow storm all Covid-19 vaccination appointments are being rescheduled, in-person classes are canceled, some food distribution and childcare programs are canceled, and the city’s Code Blue emergency cold weather plan is in effect. The National Weather Service is predicting 17 inches of snow with wind gusts up to 50 mph. (John Del Signore for Gothamist)

An illustrated guide to what it’s like to give the Covid-19 vaccine. (Julia Rothman and Shaina Feinberg for NY Times)

Raise your hand if you’re surprised that white New Yorkers have received a disproportionate amount of vaccine doses. No hands? Just checking. (Sydney Pereira, Jake Dobkin, and Nsikan Akpan for Gothamist)

Believe it or not, hundreds of candidates for the June primaries are still required to collect signatures in-person, creating a democratically-mandated super spreader event. The state’s legislature put a bill together to lower the number of signatures required, which Governor Cuomo hasn’t signed yet. (Brigid Bergin for Gothamist)

Interview: Loree Sutton on running for mayor. (Ben Max for Gotham Gazette)

Indoor dining will return to the city at 25% on Valentine’s Day. (Tanay Warerkar for Eater)

NYC Restaurant Week To Go was extended three additional weeks until February 28, overlapping past the re-opening of indoor dining. (Erika Adams for Eater)

The boogeyman of NYC is “if you do that, people will leave the city.” The latest person to invoke the boogeyman is Andrew Yang, saying if the city scraps its gifted programs, families will leave the city. Critics say the people with the ability to leave the city are middle-class white families and protecting the program is akin to protecting those families over others. (Elizabeth Kim for Gothamist)

The City Council is one step closer to taking the NYPD out of traffic enforcement and investigating crashes, handing that off to the Department of Transportation. It’s part of the Council’s 12-part agenda which includes many other police reforms. (Gersh Kuntzman for Streetsblog)

Included in the reform package: Ending qualified immunity for NYPD officers who commit misconduct, giving the City Commission on Human Rights the power to investigate police officers with a history of bigotry, Giving press credentialing to the Department of Citywide Administrative Services instead of the NYPD, Creating a new task force to handle mental health emergencies, and more. The reform package answers Governor Cuomo’s call to submit a plan for police reform before April 1 or risk losing state funds. (Christopher Robbins and Yasmeen Khan for Gothamist)

Always read the plaque. Like this one on Pearl Street marketing the site of the city’s first printing press. (Nicole Saraniero for Untapped New York)

If you hated the “everything is cake” memes, Double Chicken Please on the Lower East Side is selling ice cream that looks just like a hot dog. (Anna Ben Yehuda for Time Out)

I felt proud of myself after making a batch of chocolate chip cookies last night. Patrick LaMarca’s 4AM CANDY CO. is putting me to shame with these over the top, massive gourmet peanut butter cups available for order. (Shaye Weaver for Time Out)

Photos and Video: The 75th anniversary of NYC’s World War II victory parade. (Abby Gweon for Untapped New York)

Brooklyn District Attorney Eric Gonzalez vacated 262 warrants related to prostitution charges last week, stating he’s aiming to remove the negative consequences for individuals. There’s a much larger conversation to be had about prostitution in New York, but I haven’t seen an article that properly communicates the nuanced problems with the state’s latest efforts. Please feel free to send me links to educated arguments on this. (Kevin Duggan for Brooklyn Paper)

If you’ve ventured out to Red Hook and looked behind the (former) Fairway Market, you’ll find a trolley car. Here’s a brief history of how that trolley got there and how it’s connected to the secret tunnel under Atlantic Ave, and the modern (failed) attempts at a Brooklyn-Queens trolley. (Brooklyn Eagle)

William Pepe, the MTA employee arrested in connection to the Capitol insurrection, has been connected to the Proud Boys by the federal government. Pepe continues to be suspended without pay from the MTA. (Sophia Chang for Gothamist)

Who’s running for Queens borough president? Get yourself educated ahead of the June primary. (David Cruz for Gothamist)

A federal judge is appointing a monitor to oversee the city’s special education complaint system, since the city has failed to live up to its side of a 2007 lawsuit requiring the education department to provide services or payments to families within 35 days of receiving a hearing officer’s order. (Alex Zimmerman for Chalkbeat)

Get your leases signed now, because there are some early indicators that the renter’s market could be at an end. (Matt Troutman for Patch)

42 date spots with outdoor heat lamps. (Matt Tervooren for The Infatuation)

Mets fans rejoice! The new owner of the Mets managed to not Mets things up when it came to the GameStop stock. There was a worry that Steve Cohen’s support of Melvin Capital would require him to take funds away form the team, a very Mets situation indeed. (Joe Pantorno for amNewYork Metro)

The Lunar New Year is on Friday. 7 restaurants with Lunar New Year specials. (Hannah Albertine for The Infatuation)

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 18-19, 2020 – The “Song For The Dumped” Friday Edition

The latest NYC news digest: Vaccine plans, you can’t pee indoors while outdoor dining, the best hot chocolate, a bobcat in the Bronx River, and more

Today – Low: 19˚ High: 32˚
Partly cloudy throughout the day.
This weekend – Low: 30˚ High: 40˚

A look at the state’s plan to distribute the Covid-19 vaccine to the general public. So far the state received 87,750 doses that are being given to healthcare workers. (Dana Schulz for 6sqft)

All New Yorkers will receive Covid-19 vaccines free of charge thanks to an order from Governor Cuomo, including the uninsured. (Sydney Pereira for Gothamist)

Five takeaways from the first week of vaccines in NYC. (Joseph Goldstein for NY Times)

A look back to 1947, when NYC vaccinated six million people against smallpox in less than a month. (John Florio and Ouisie Shapiro for NY Times)

The city has been singing the chorus to Ben Folds Five’s “Song For The Dumped” to a number of vendors who either didn’t deliver on PPP goods or canceled orders to the tune of over half a billion dollars. (Michael Rothfeld and J. David Goodman for NY Times)

The mayor’s office updated their guidance for restaurants and bars with outdoor dining and it includes the rule that patrons are not allowed to use the indoor bathrooms if you are dining outdoors. I’ve asked this before, but where the hell is Ariel Palitz, this city’s “night mayor,” when it comes to bullshit like this? (@nycmayorcounsel)

What does it take to keep a restaurant open in 2020? Here’s insight from Littlefield and Parklife co-owner Julie Kim on the monumental effort it has been to follow the state and city’s rules and keep the experience positive for patrons. Yes, this is where I hosted pop-culture trivia for most of this year. (Julie Kim for Brooklyn Based)

Kudos to Honey Badger, the restaurants in Prospect-Lefferts Gardens, for using its outdoor dining area for a holiday market when the restaurant is closed during the day. (Ben Verde for Brooklyn Paper)

Coney Island Creek is being evaluated to become a possible Superfund site. (Rose Adams for Brownstoner)

A new tunnel to Grand Central Terminal is open, one of Grand Central’s long-hidden tunnels, from 150 E 42nd St, across 42nd from the Chrysler Building. (Nicole Saraniero for Untapped New York)

Forget the barred owl, there’s a new hot bird in the city. Say hello to Central Park’s long-eared owl. (Mike Mishkin for I Love The Upper West Side)

Eataly is paying almost $2 million to settle a labor lawsuit that alleged Eataly was “failing to pay wages for all hours worked due to a policy of time shaving,” “failing to provide proper wage and hour notice,” and “failing to provide proper wage statements.” (Chris Crowley for Grub Street)

The luckiest traffic agent in the city was hit by a tractor-trailer and pinned underneath in Astoria. Miraculously, she was taken to the hospital for back and neck pain, but no other injuries. (Michael Dorgan for LIC Post)

Get yourself ready, because the mayor is talking about a full city shutdown after Christmas. (Allie Griffin for Sunnyside Post)

The one exception to all of the mayor’s talk about a full shutdown of the city? Keeping school buildings open. The teachers’ union isn’t supporting that idea, calling a move to keep schools open during a “shelter-in-place” scenario “irresponsible.” (Alex Zimmerman for Chalkbeat)

The Ferris wheel that was supposed to be built on Staten Island is taking center stage for city council hopefuls. Get ready for every failed project and waterfront to become a debate point in 2021 as the entire city council is up for re-election. (Clifford Michel for The City)

One shortage we didn’t expect to see is Christmas trees. Turns out when everyone is in their own homes for Christmas, the city needs more trees. (Daniel E. Slotnik for NY Times)

Video: An eerily quiet walk through Chinatown, Soho, and Washington Square Park. (ActionKid)

New Year’s Eve is going literally virtual this year, with a VNYE app that uses galleries and augmented reality to put you in a Times Square full of art. Plus you don’t have to wear a diaper to take part, so it’s kind of a win. (Nicole Saraniero for Untapped New York)

Apartment Lust: A $1.4 million Carroll Gardens two-story apartment with an astounding amount of open space and natural light, one of the weirder bed situations I’ve come across, and a roof deck. (Dana Schulz for 6sqft)

More than 100 New York LGBTQ groups have issued an open letter to Governor Andrew Cuomo urging him to sign a law before next week making all public single-stall restrooms statewide open to people of all genders. (Tat Bellamy-Walker for Gay City News)

A best of the borough shopping guide for Queens, as voted by the QNS readers. (Robin Khatsernov for QNS)

Looking for something unique on New York’s Eve? How about sleeping in a geodesic dome on top of the NASDAQ building in Times Square for $21? The dome is complete with a welcome message from Mariah Carey, a $5,000 shopping spree on Fifth Age, an indoor art lounge, a private chef for dinner, and cheesecake from Junior’s. Better rush, it’s first-come, first-served when it becomes available on December 21 at 9am. (Shaye Weaver for Time Out)

Got cabin fever? A pandemic winter bucket list. (Meredith Craig de Pietro for Brooklyn Based)

There were sightings of a bobcat in the trails along the Bronx River, which is a good sign for the health of the waterway and very cool, but also stay away from large cats if you see them. (David Cruz for Gothamist)

The rollout of ranked-choice voting will continue after a Manhattan Supreme Court Judge refused to issue a temporary restraining order. (Emily Ngo for NY1)

Video: Watch Xi’an Famous Foods prepare its biang biang noodles and perfectly coat them in their homemade chili sauce. (Matt Coney Beare for Viewing NYC)

Industry City announced three massive new heated outdoor space with four open sides in its courtyards. (Dozier Hasty for Brooklyn Eagle)

You think your Zoom calls suck? Thanks to a complete inability to organize themselves, the Brooklyn Democratic Party’s first membership meeting lasted 13 hours long and included a vote where the total votes exceeded the total number of members. Great job you guys. (Kevin Duggan for Brooklyn Paper)

Bookmark This: Where to go sledding in NYC after it snows. (Matt Troutman for Patch)

10 ways you know you’re a real New Yorker during a snow day. (Shaye Weaver for Time Out)

Photos: Snow rats, sledding, and winter scenes from NYC. (Ben Yakas with photos by Scott Lynch for Gothamist)

The best hot chocolate in the city. (Nikko Duren for The Infatuation)

Thanks to reader Michael for today’s featured photo! I don’t usually use photos of faces, but look at the joy!