The Briefly for December 20-21, 2020 – The “Not A Few Bad Apples” Sunday Edition

The latest NYC news digest: You can pee indoors again, you can buy the Gem Spa sign, the best meals of the year, the worst time to travel, and more

Today – Low: 34˚ High: 38˚
Possible light rain in the afternoon.

You can pee in restaurants again. It was less than an hour after Tuesday’s email that the city to reversed guidance that barred outdoor diners from coming inside if they needed to tinkle or drop a deuce. (Benjamin Hart for Grub Street)

22 years after the city said it would move the NYPD tow pound from Pier 76 at 36th St, which sits on state parkland. The state’s budget imposed a $3 million monthly fine on the city that starts in January for not moving the tow pound, which are on top of an additional $12 million in fines that already exist. (Zack Fink for NY1)

Believe it or not, the city’s Department of Investigation found that the problems in the NYPD that caused escalations of violence after the death of George Floyd by its officers was systemic and not caused by a few bad apples, that there was a racial tilt to how people were charged after arrested, and “lacked a clearly defined strategy” to respond to the protests. (Greg B. Smith for The City)

The Legal Aid Society is suing the state for the release of information on the spread of COVID-19 in prisons, arguing that the Department of Corrections has failed to identify the facilities where officers have contracted the virus, making it impossible to trace how widespread the virus is within the prison system. (Gwynne Hogan for Gothamist)

Critically-acclaimed restaurant Hunky Dory in Crown Heights opened the Hunky Depot, a small holiday market in the restaurant’s dining room. There’s room for six at a time so the lines may be as long as their pre-pandemic brunch lines. (Michelle Young for Untapped New York)

The New York City Housing Authority is NYC’s worst landlord for the third year in a row, according to Public Advocate Jumaane Williams’s 100 worst landlords list. Williams lays the blame at the de Blasio administration’s feet for their management of the federal program. (David Cruz for Gothamist)

Looking for a last-minute gift for someone who absolutely loves NYC? How about the Gem Spa sign? Gem Spa is auctioning off just about anything they could rip off the walls to those who can afford it. (Ben Yakas for Gothamist)

If you’re looking for some Christmas history in Manhattan, look no further than the seemingly-innocuous flagpole with a star on it in Madison Square Park. The Star of Hope markets the spot of NYC’s first Christmas tree lighting ceremony in 1912. (Nicole Saraniero for Untapped New York)

13 places to find spectacular holiday decorations in NYC. (Nicole Saraniero for Untapped New York)

Apartment Lust: A $22 million, 7,400 square foot, seemingly endless townhouse on the Upper East Side with a roof deck, wine cellar, multiple smaller decks, and a tub big enough to look like a small pool. (Dana Schulz for 6sqft)

Documentary: “I’ve had women who fondled my dog more than they fondled me” The Dogs of Manhattan from 1998, an often accidentally comedic look at dog walking culture in NYC in the late 90s. (Fat Building/YouTube)

The story of good boy Balto, who has a statue dedicated to him in Central Park, who famously helped bring the diphtheria antitoxin to Nome, Alaska 95 years ago this week seems fitting today. Balto’s statue is just east of the Willowdell Arch. (Jen Carlson for Gothamist)

Video: Subway station secrets. (GoGoSupertoe)

A look at Brooklyn-based photographer Katia Repina’s exhibition “Intimacy in the Time of Corona” at NYU’s Gallatin Galleries. (Brian Braiker for Brooklyn Magazine)

Two bills passed by the City Council this week will increase protections for workers at fast-food companies. The first prohibits firing workers without “just cause” and the other requires that layoffs occur by seniority, protecting workers who have worked for companies longer. (Sydney Pereira for Gothamist)

Who wants to bet that the auction to destroy Donald Trump’s Atlantic City casino will raise more money than the GoFundMe to buy his childhood house? (Devin Gannon for 6qsft)

The city’s schools are making big changes to deal with the havoc caused by the pandemic, including eliminating academic screens for Middle schools, virtual performing art school auditions, widespread administration of the SHSAT, and eliminating district-based admissions preference. (Christina Veiga for Chalkbeat)

There’s been a spike in the number of reported puppy scams lately and this is a reminder that there are plenty of shelters across the city and region. Don’t be the asshole that buys a dog. (Gillian Smith for Patch)

The New York City Parks Department is looking to evict one of the city’s biggest processors of food waste at the end of the year. (Julie Levy for Bedford + Bowery)

The story of how the Blue Light Speak Cheesy went from operating out of an apartment window with paper bags and a pulley system to a full-on operation. (Amy Rowe for Grub Street)

Pernil at La Isla Cuchifritos, Gumbo at FieldTrip, and the rest of Ryan Sutton’s favorite dishes of 2020. (Ryan Sutton for Eater)

Roberta’s Burgie’s, “burger and fries concept” in East Williamsburg from the folks behind the pizza at Roberta’s is open for take out and delivery only. (Rachel Sugar for Grub Street)

Hats off to Ben Weiss, who took a ride on a double-decker tour bus this week. (Ben Weiss for Bedford + Bowery)

If you feel like you absolutely must travel this week, and you should absolutely without question not be doing that, the worst time to be on the road is 4:30 p.m. on Dec. 30. (Adam Nichols for Patch)

31 brunch spots with outdoor heat lamps. (Matt Tervooren for The Infatuation)

Thanks to reader Madeline for today’s featured photo!

The Briefly for October 18-19, 2020 – The “Phenomenal Cosmic Powers!” Sunday Edition

The latest NYC news digest: The plastic bag ban is back, empty office space is nearly at post-9/11 levels, how to celebrate Halloween, live music outdoors, and more

Today – Low: 55˚ High: 64˚
Partly cloudy throughout the day.

The state passed bail reform last in 2019 and it took effect at the beginning of the year. Since the beginning of the year, people have been poking holes in it. The latest is judges are using overly complicated partially secured bonds to keep people imprisoned. (Akash V. Mehta for NY Focus in partnership with The City)

In 2015, President Obama called the Gateway project better connecting New York and New Jersey “the most important project in the country.” Here’s a look at how the Trump administration has destroyed it. (Stephen Nessen for Gothamist)

Apartment Porn: Rachel Maddow’s West Village apartment is for sale for $2.4 million. (Dana Schulz for 6sqft)

Back in March, the state’s legislature gave Governor Cuomo “unlimited” power and maybe it’s time to rethink that. (Gwynne Hogan for Gothamist)

Bring your totes, NYC’s plastic bag enforcement kicks off for real on Monday. Bring your totes. (Matt Troutman for Patch)

16 bars and restaurants with live music outdoors. (Hannah Albertine for The Infatuation)

The pandemic drinking experience is still more convivial than drinking at home, but in bars forced to operate under elaborate and restrictive anti-COVID-19 setups, the experience sometimes more closely evokes the transactional nature of an airport Buffalo Wild Wings than a place where everybody knows your name.
-Ryan Sutton, When Will New York’s Bars Feel Like Bars Again? for Eater

A wedding with over 10,000 guests? It’s planned for Monday in Williamsburg, but the state is stepping in and demanding that the Hasidic wedding of a grandchild of the community’s leader is limited to 50 people. (Sophia Chang for Gothamist)

In a geographically and time-challenging move, The Queens Night Market has opened in Rockefeller Center from 11am-5pm. (Bao Ong for Time Out)

Video: Go beyond the pail with a look at what happens to metal, glass, and plastic recycling after the curb. (Matt Coneybeare for Viewing NYC)

“Trans women, particularly trans women of more color, are being killed with impunity, and it is past time to meet that emergency with real change that can end this epidemic of violence. Today I am calling upon the governor to acknowledge anti-trans violence as a state of crisis, and encourage the mayor and all of my colleagues in government to join me and the countless advocates who have joined us today in developing comprehensive plans that put an end to anti-trans violence once and for all.” -Public Advocate Jumaane Williams on two bills he’s introducing to the City Council to require medical professionals be trained to care for transgender and gender non-conforming patients and to include signage in all hospitals showing transgender patients’ rights and services available. (Paul Schindler for Gay City News)

A 2020 election reading list. (Sara Webster for Brooklyn Based)

“We don’t know yet how many restaurants will be razed by the pandemic. Anecdotally, the answer seems to be: a lot. Every few days, another restaurant closes, and every few days, I think, Oh, I never went.”
-Rachel Sugar, Mourning the Restaurants I’ll Never Get to Visit, for Grub Street

A look at the dozen vegan or vegetarian restaurants that have opened during the pandemic and how personal politics, sustainability, and price all play a part in their successes. (Emma Orlow for Eater)

Vegan “kind of Chineses” Fat Choy gets a Quick Bites review, “an instant winner.” (Scott Lynch for Gothamist)

11 helpful New York social distancing hacks. Don’t hold the door, the smell of perfume is a bad sign, and more. (Shaye Weaver for Time Out)

Budgeting for an NYC rental: rent to income ratio. (Erika Riley for StreetEasy)

Fracking doesn’t seem like an NYC-centric story until you read about protestors who locked themselves to a fracked gas pipeline construction project in Williamsburg on Thursday morning. (Kevin Duggan for Brooklyn Paper)

Manhattan’s empty office space is creeping towards post-9/11 levels. (Greg David for The City)

The Loisaida Open Streets Community Coalition is seeking volunteers to help set up barricades in the mornings/evenings. (EV Grieve)

Turns out Chirlane McCray, leader of the city’s Thrive NYC initiative and wife of Mayor de Blasio will not be running for Brooklyn borough president. There are eight candidates who have already created campaign committees. (Brigid Bergin for Gothamist)

Want to own a piece of the Waldorf Astoria? The hotel is auctioning off over 15,000 fine furnishings. (Justin Wu for Untapped New York)

The MTA is piloting a new air filtration and purification system on the LIRR and MetroNorth that the manufacturer claims can capture and kill 99.9998% of viruses and other germs through a three-stage process, including Covid-19. (Stephen Nessen for Gothamist)

Wilmer Ferrara attempted to climb the New York Times building, but only got as high as the sixth floor and got tired, waiting for the police to get him. He was arrested. (ABC7)

Meet Ronald Lauder, the billionaire Republican trying to fight a Democratic supermajority in the state. A supermajority would give the legislature much more power against Governor Cuomo when it comes to budget discussions. (Jesse McKinley for NY Times)

The NYPD’s oversight board will recommend discipline for Officer Wayne Isaacs, more than four years after the cop fatally shot Delrawn Small in front of his girlfriend and two children. (Jake Offenhartz for Gothamist)

NOAA has released their winter prediction for New York and it looks like we’re in for a dried and warmer winter than usual. (Adam Nichols for Patch)

Get ready, because restaurants can legally add a 10% “recovery charge to your bill starting this weekend. (Bao Ong for Time Out)

An independent commission tasked with reviewing institutional racism in the New York court system detailed a “culture of toxicity and unprofessionalism” among court officers across the state in a report from the Equal Justice in the Courts task force. (Noah Singer for Brooklyn Eagle)

A planned move of homeless men from the Lucerne Hotel on the Upper West Side to another hotel in the Financial District will proceed after a state Supreme Court judge declined to block the move. (Sophia Chang for Gothamist)

Construction on the 2/3/4/5 between Franklin Ave in Brooklyn and Manhattan will interrupt traveling for 64 weekends over the course of 33 months. Oh boy. (Claude Scales for Brooklyn Heights Blog)

The best ways to celebrate Halloween 2020 in NYC. (6sqft)

The Briefly for September 8, 2020 – The “The Suburban Exodus That Never Was” Tuesday Edition

The latest NYC news digest: The Covid-19 school dashboard, how to track your absentee ballot, the best new pizza in Brooklyn, the BQX is dead, and more

Today – Low: 69˚ High: 82˚
Clear throughout the day.

The Board of Elections in the city launched an Absentee Ballot Tracking system to confirm they received your request, mailed your ballot, accepted your ballot, and how to fix it if they didn’t accept it. (David Cruz for Gothamist)

How helpful is New York’s Covid-19 infection rate? It’s the metric we’re using for keeping public schools open and arguing that we’re ready for indoor restaurants to open. It’s a self-selecting number and experts are pointing out that it’s artificially low in New York. (Fred Mogul for Gothamist)

A Bay Ridge couple was escorted off an NYC Ferry in handcuffs and given a summons for their refusal to wear masks. They also claimed they were being targeted because they were white. (Jake Offenhartz for Gothamist)

Normally getting hit with a “here come the stink bugs” headline is fine, but in 2020? Give me a break. (Adam Nichols, Reported by Beth Dalby for Patch)

The mass migration to the suburbs isn’t happening. (Jeff Andrews for Curbed)

A quiet Trump administration rule change that could pull FEMA Covid-19 disinfection funding for the city’s subways and schools. (Matt Troutman for Patch)

City Comptroller Scott Stringer put forward a proposal to add 75 miles of bike lanes around 50 schools. (Dave Colon for Streetsblog)

The state is launching a dashboard to track Covid-19 cases in public schools. It’ll be available on September 9. (Jen Chung for Gothamist)

21 schools in the city will not reopen due to problems with ventilation systems, switching to remote-only instruction. (Christina Veiga for Chalkbeat)

798 of the city’s 1,600 public schools have been approved for outdoor learning this fall. Schools can still apply, so expect that number to increase. (Sophia Chang for Gothamist)

Apartment Porn: Make your way downtown and Vanessa Carlton’s Soho loft can be yours for a cool $15,500 a month. (Devin Gannon for 6sqft)

Often you’ll see headlines about high-end restaurants or restaurants with chefs with a pedigree, but let’s celebrate the more normal. A 99 cent Pizza and hot dog joint opened up on Ave A. (EV Grieve)

Video: Héctor Zamora discusses “Lattice Detour,” his exhibition on the roof of The Met. (Matt Coneybeare for Viewing NYC)

Where to eat and drink with your dog. (Hannah Albertine, Bryan Kim, & Matt Tervooren for The Infatuation)

The city missed its own August 31 deadline for the final report in the investigation into the summer’s protests. The Civilian Complaint Review Board received 750 complaints from 250 incidents. What is the repercussion for missing the deadline? There are no repercussions. (Ethan Geringer-Sameth for Gotham Gazette)

A look at the Black Surfing Association, who organized their fifth paddle out to protest police violence against Black people. (Brigid Bergin for Gothamist)

J’Ouvert this year was marked with an eerily quiet Brooklyn with a heavy police presence with occasional small gatherings. (Jake Offenhartz for Gothamist)

The city’s recent uptick in shooting violence was felt at an unofficial J’Ouvert celebration, with five people being shot, including a six-year-old boy. (Alan Feuer for NY Times)

Photos: It’s a tough bird to find, but a sora was spotted in Bryant Park over the weekend. (D. Bruce Yolton for Urban Hawks)

How Astoria’s Niko’s Souvlaki persevered through the pandemic. (Loulou Chryssides for Give Me Astoria)

Buglisi Dance Theatre and Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts’ Table of Silence Project 9/11 performance ritual for peace will be streamed online. (Emily Davenport for amNewYork Metro)

It looks like the Mets may have a new owner in Steve Cohen for about $2.35 billion. He’ll need to get 23 team owners to approve the purchase of 80% of the team. (Joe Pantorno for amNewYork Metro)

The shooting death of Henryk Siwiak, killed on 9/11/2001, is the last unsolved murder of 9/11. (Ephemeral New York)

Governor Cuomo continues to fight against taxing the ultrarich. (Luis Ferré-Sadurní and Jesse McKinley for NY Times)

Photos and Video: The NYC Deep Playa Night Ride, New York’s one-night answer to Burning Man, but on bikes and without the tech executives. (EV Grieve)

No, it’s not you, there are more mosquitoes this year than in years past. (Amy Pearl for Gothamist)

“Contingent and student workers have been disproportionately burdened by the NYU administration’s choices, and plans for Fall 2020 reproduce this inequity. High-level administrators and tenured faculty have been allowed to work remotely, while contingent faculty and workers must weigh health concerns against job security. This approach will compound existing inequalities, and will not keep us safe. We must make different choices.”
NYU: Keep Our Campus Safe petition

The Brooklyn Flea is bringing the open-air Chelsea Flea Market back on Saturdays and Sundays. (Collier Sutter for Time Out)

The mayor won’t make a decision about anything unless he’s forced to, including his own pet project, the BQX. Instead of just saying “this thing ain’t happening,” he’s punted the entire project to the next mayor. (Allie Griffin for Queens Post)

New York Attorney General Letitia James suspended the collection of medical and student debt that has been specifically referred to her office for collection for an additional 30 days. (Norwood News)

How to break a lease in NYC. (Jordi Lippe-McGraw for StreetEasy)

The de Blasio administration withdrew its support for the YourLIC Coalition, the group of developers who were going to develop a 28-acre area on the Long Island City waterfront, the cursed spot o the Amazon HQ 2 development. (Christian Murray for LIC Post)

The story of Jess La Bombera, aka Jessica A. Krug, the white woman from Kansas City pretending to be Afro Latina and from the Bronx. (Ed García Conde for Welcome2TheBronx)

The most beautiful post offices in NYC. (Noah Sheidlower for Untapped New York)

The best new pizza in Brooklyn. (Hannah Albertine, Nikko Duren, & Bryan Kim for The Infatuation)

Thanks to reader Lizzy for today’s featured photo!