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)

The Briefly for September 15-17, 2020 – The “Flesh Eating Bacteria? Who Cares, It’s 2020” Tuesday Edition

The latest NYC news digest: Industry City’s rezoning, the number of Covid-19 positive tests in schools increases, where to eat outside in Park Slope, and more

Today – Low: 61˚ High: 68˚
Clear throughout the day.

This isn’t NYC specific, but Rochester Mayor Lovely Warren fired Police Chief La’Ron Singletary, demonstrating that some mayors know how and when to yield their powers. (Michael Wilson and Edgar Sandoval for NY Times)

Photos: Behind the scenes in Chinatown. (Molly Tavoletti for RESY)

New York City’s highways, reimagined in a subway map. (Zirocket on r/NYC)

We’re inching closer to normal because the F train is closing on nights and weekends for construction. (Shaye Weaver for Time Out)

It’s not all bad news for the subway, there’s a new escalator in Union Square on the L platform. (Mark Hallum for amNewYork Metro)

Five Connecticut residents were hospitalized with a flesh eating bacteria after going in the water in the Long Island Sound this summer” barely even was a blip on the radar. What a year. (Sydney Pereira for Gothamist)

Can you help identify this woman, who had a shitfit in a Verizon store when told to wear a mask, throwing around the N-word as she left the store? In a city with so many assholes, she still managed to be the asshole of the week and it’s only Tuesday. (John Del Signore for Gothamist)

Want to ride the subway or bus without a mask? Get ready for a $50 fine. Next question: Will they fine the NYPD when they ride without masks? (Mark Hallum for amNewYork Metro)

NYU’s dorm Rubin Hall is on lockdown after 4 students tested positive for Covid-19. (Matthew Fischetti and Trace Miller for Washington Square News)

Photos: The “new” Chelsea Flea opened over the weekend. (Scott LYnch for Gothamist)

Brooklyn Public Libraries in Midwood, Kensington, Mill Basin, Walt Whitman, Washington Irving, and the Annex in Dumbo are open for grab-and-go lending. (Rose Adams for Brooklyn Paper)

The City Council will vote on the Industry City rezoning today. City Councilmember Carlos Menchaca, whose district contains Industry City, has come out against the rezoning. The City Council usually defers to the local councilmember for these decisions, but multiple members have come out against his stance. (Greg David for The City)

What’s happening to us? New York City’s zip codes don’t even touch the ten most expensive zip codes in the country. (Tim Moran for Patch)

Photos: Baby lynx cubs in the Queens Zoo! (Emily Davenport for amNewYork Metro)

The Cloister Cafe was shut down by the SLA in August du to social distancing violations by its patrons but reopened this week thanks to a temporary restraining order against the suspension by a judge. (Tanay Warerkar for Eater)

The story of how the police unions, full of white Republicans who live in the suburbs, betrayed the city they are supposed to serve by endorsing President Trump. (Alan Feuer for NY Times)

The year in (sad) photos. (Tribeca Citizen)

The NYPD takes a full minute longer to respond to shootings and other crisis incidents than they did a year ago. Ambulances are arriving faster than ever before. (Suhali Bhat for The City)

A new vegetarian burger spot, Pop’s Eat-Rite, is opening up a block from Superiority Burger. I, for one, look forward to this burgeoning vegetarian burger district. (Luke Fortney for Eater)

Farewell to Coyote Ugly, whose original location is officially gone, but it sounds like a new location is coming. (EV Grieve)

Photos: I’ll never not link to photos of goats mowing the grass. (Forrest Michael Bomann for Untapped New York)

The MTA is betting big on the federal government bailing them out to the tune of $12 billion. The rest of us live here on earth. (Jose Martinez for The City)

The Thanksgiving Day Parade isn’t happening. Let’s just go take a nap until it’s 2021. (Jen Chung for Gothamist)

Want to ask the 2021 mayoral candidates a question? Here’s your chance. (The City)

This isn’t new, but sometimes I think about how Governor Cuomo said he changed his mind about the L train because someone yelled at him on the street. (Christopher Robbins for Gothamist in 2019)

Satire: Help! I’m Being Priced out of the Neighborhood I Gentrified. (Graham Isador The Hard Times)

“Teaching has a powerful way of consuming your time that is antipode to the stay-at-home summer of 2020. I’m optimistic that the new school year will sweep away my grief — grief for the hardship and loss my students experienced these past few months, for not being there to offer hugs and high fives, for missing yearbook signing and graduation photo swapping, and for a lackluster farewell. I trust that the new school year will bring with it acceptance, even as I hold on to the wonderful young learners who have filled this classroom with laughter and wonder before.”
Krisy Lawlor, a teacher in the Bronx, My classroom is a time capsule , for Chalkbeat

Last week the number was 19, this week 55 school employees tested positive for Covid-19. (Erin Durkin for Politico)

The state threatened to cut 9,000 jobs from NYC school less than one month ago. (Reema Amin for Patch)

Monday, the mayor announced the city will hire 2,000 additional teachers to meet the demands of blended learning. 2,000 is extremely short of the 10,000 teachers the principal’s union called for to make blended learning possible. (Alejandra O’Connell-Domenech for amNewYork Metro)

School nurses are reporting that they’ve yet to receive any PPE for the school year. (Fred Mogul for Gothamist)

42% of NYC students opted for remote learning, up from 26% a few weeks ago. (Lauren Cook for PIX11)

A look at the next Bowery Mural from Mojo, in progress. (Elie Z. Perler for Bowery Boogie)

Turns out New York’s most famous guitar teacher Dan Smith will still teach you guitar. A story of how Smith is teaching former Governor David Patterson to play guitar. (Ben Yakas for Gothamist)

Expect a marketing campaign to persuade you to vote for Joe Biden under the Working Families Party, as without either 130,000 votes or 2% of the total vote, the Working Families Party will lose ballot access. (Dana Rubenstein for NY Times)

Where to eat outside in Park Slope. (Nikko Duren for The Infatuation)

Thanks to reader Helene for today’s featured photo!

The Briefly for September 1, 2020 – The “A $3.75 Reduced-Service Subway Ride” Tuesday Edition

The latest NYC news digest: The latest with school openings, the mayor wants a vaccine before indoor dining returns, where to eat outside in Staten Island, and more

Today – Low: 71˚ High: 78˚
Possible light rain in the morning.

Today (Sept 1), the United Federation of Teachers’ executive board will meet to vote to authorize a strike at 3:30 pm. From a friend, I’ve heard the teachers will push for an October opening of school for in-person instruction. (Alejandra O’Connell-Domenech for amNewYork Metro)

Looking to make a temporary change in your address? The Times has some service journalism for you to make sure your mail gets delivered. (A.C. Shilton for NY Times)

Free bus rides are over. Front boarding started on Monday. (Matt Troutman for Patch)

A bus or subway fare could be raised a dollar, as hinted by MTA officials, paired with a 40% reduction in service, in an attempt to close the $9 billion gap in the MTA’s budget. (Todd Maisel for Brooklyn Paper)

Five cheap ways to improve the subway from a policy analyst from the Manhattan Institute. Not all of these ideas are good. (Connor Harris for Streetsblog)

There is no combination of state efforts that can address New York’s financial crisis. The full damage that the Covid-19 virus has laid upon New York state is $59 billion, meaning there is no possible way the state can tax its way out of this hole. Watch this argument carefully, because Governor Cuomo will use this to defend his decision to never increase taxes on the state’s super-rich. (Mark Hallum for amNewYork Metro)

The state kicked the can down the road, but October 1 is the new date for the tidal wave of evictions when the moratorium ends. (Caroline Spivack for Curbed)

The mayor created his own deadline of October 1 to either cut one billion from the city’s costs from labor or he would fire 22,000 municipal employees. On Monday, the day city employees were ready to hear about who was “at-risk” for being fired, the mayor announced that unions have asked for more time to resolve the issue. The sword of Damocles still hangs. (Brigid Bergin for Gothamist)

September 1 gives us two months left of outdoor dining in NYC. As bars and restaurants look ahead, the question becomes “How do we survive this?” A spotlight on Jeremy’s Ale House, who doesn’t see past Halloween, unless people are allowed inside. (Todd Maisel for amNewYork Metro)

The biggest question looming over the city might not be “when will The Briefly return to five days a week?,” but “when is indoor dining coming back?” The mayor’s answer seems to change every day. In the last week, he’s said that the school openings would dictate it, that it wouldn’t return until the new year, and now until we see a vaccine. (Matt Troutman for Patch)

How much is a life worth? Layleen Polanco’s family was awarded $5.9 million after her death after nine days in solitary confinement at Rikers Island while being held on $500 bail, a record for an inmate’s death. (Rosa Goldensohn for The City)

The NYPD has issued a “discipline penalty matrix” that outlines specific punishments for instances of police misconduct. This isn’t in response to recent violence from the NYPD against the citizens it is supposed to protect, but form the recommendation of a 2018 independent panel. Despite the matrix, the NYPD Commissioner has the ability to ignore the matrix. The NYCLU says this is no reason to celebrate because it doesn’t show a culture of change in the NYPD and Commissioner Shea and Mayor de Blasio’s comments appear to be on the side of protecting police officers. (Christopher Robbins for Gothamist)

A 2017 NYPD “challenge coin” from East Flatbush is so racist you may have to see it to believe it that celebrates the “hunting of man” and features a caricature of a black man with dreadlocks with the shadow of a deer. (Jon Campbell for Gothamist)

Riis Park’s popularity in the last few years partially has Riis Park Beach Bazaar to thank. The lease for Riis Park Beach Bazaar is up and won’t be renewed. Instead, they have been invited to submit a proposal to compete with other vendors. (The Rockaway Times)

This is what life is like when you’re quarantined in an apartment with Miss Universe and Miss USA. (Kim Velsey for NY Times)

Gyms in the city will be virtually inspected before reopening on Wednesday. (Matt Troutman for Patch)

Yeah, you’ve been to Governors Island, but have you been to the haunted basketball court on Governors Island? (Michelle Young for Untapped New York)

The Sutphin Blvd-Archer Ave. and Jamaica Center-Parsons/Archer E train stations will be closed from September 19 through November as the MTA replaces 5,500 feet of track and more than 7,800 feet of third rail. (Allie Griffin for Queens Post)

It’s pronounced “How-stun.” Here’s why. (Dana Schulz for 6sqft)

One of the three lawsuits blocking the Two Bridges megadevelopment was reversed, but it’s still not a green light to move forward. (Rachel Holliday Smith for The City)

The city’s land use review process comes back mid-month, which will mean Gowanus will become the epicenter of the fight over redevelopment in the city. (Amy Plitt for BKLYNER)

“The fight against Industry City has implications beyond the neighborhood. It has implications for any of us who see the city as a site of civic engagement, as a place where community thrives. It’s community, the very idea of it, that’s destroyed, as the privatization of neighborhoods grows bolder and less restrained.”
– Peter Rugh, Sunset Park is Afraid of Industry City’s Expansion, The Rest of Us Should Be Too for The Indypendent

The Mermaid Inn in the East Village is closing. (Erika Adams for Eater)

A look at waacking and its history from dance clubs in the city in the 70s and how it ended up as a Tik Tok sensation. (Ted Alcorn, video by Mohamed Sadek for NY Times)

Columbia University removed “pretty significant” slave owner Samuel Bard’s name from Bard Hall, with a promise to rename the building in the fall. (Amanda Rosa for NY Times)

Why was a statue of Christopher Columbus and the green space surrounding it in the Bronx’s Little Italy locked up? The Parks Department says it was a staff error. The statue has been protected by the NYPD since June. (Ese Olumhense for The City)

Former Queens DA hopeful Tiffany Cabán is expected to run for City Council in Astoria when Costa Constantinides’s term limit is up in 2021. (Allie Griffin for Queens Post)

Where to eat out on Staten Island. (Hannah Albertine for The Infatuation)