The Briefly for May 2, 2019 – The “The MTA, Like A Fish, Rots From the Head Down” Edition

A proposed constitutional right to clean air and water, the city’s best new restaurant, kick Lena Dunham out of Brooklyn, billionaires fight to keep the SHSAT, and more in today’s daily NYC news digest.

The state senate passed a handful of environmentally friendly bills, including S.2072 is a bill in the state Senate that would add a constitutional right to clean air and water to the state’s constitution. (Grist)

A look under the microscope at a few of New York City’s billions of bacteria, fungi and microbes. Germophobes need not apply. (Business Insider)

The MTA’s board fails to reflect the city at every opportunity. The median income of the MTA board is $555,000, which is roughly 10x the median of MTA riders and underrepresents women and people of color. (Patch)

The MTA might be out of touch with the average rider, but the problem with the MTA isn’t the board. The man who won’t stop saying he’s not in charge of the MTA but keeps meddling in the MTA’s plans is the focus of a 170-page report from Reinvent Albany calls for 50 proposals for a more accountable and transparent transit authority. Page one? “The governor controls the MTA.” Now trying getting Governor Cuomo to admit it. (amNY)

The city’s animal intake centers take any kinds of animals, even this wallaby. How did a wallaby get into the city to begin with? (r/NYC)

The East Village’s best-kept secret was kept a secret until it closed. The Bijou was an underground movie theater and cruising spot and was also a throwback to Manhattan’s bad old days. The speakeasy has a history that goes back over 60 years that includes a music venue, a mafia-run club, and finally The Bijou. (Bedford + Bowery)

Here’s a look at the 2019-2020 NYC school year. (Patch)

Wegmans has an opening date: October 27. (Eater)

Sesame Street has a permanent location in Manhattan. 63rd St between Central Park West and Broadway. (Mashable)

For $2.65 million, you can be the person who kicked Lena Dunham out of Brooklyn. (6sqft)

There are still four remnants of the original 1904 Times Square subway station that exist today. (Untapped Cities)

The site where the New York Wheel, the massive Ferris wheel on Staten Island, still sits dormant and the city has no plans for the site six months after the project officially died. (6sqft)

A group of billionaires are trying to keep the SHSAT in place by financially backing the South Brooklyn Coalition for Quality Education. The purpose of removing the test from the specialized high school admissions process is to desegregate NYC’s school and bring more racial diversity to elite high schools (The Brooklyn Home Reporter)

There’s a pop-up cat cafe this weekend in the East Village, so if you’re looking to adopt a new fuzzy friend, this is your opportunity. (Bedford + Bowery)

20 outdoor art installations not to miss this month. (Untapped Cities)

NYPD Officer Daniel Pantaleo, whose chokehold led to the death of Eric Garner, is fighting to delay his hearing with the Civilian Complaint Review Board. (Gothamist)

Gothamist declared Wayla is the city’s best new restaurant, citing the food, green patio, and decor as standouts. (Gothamist)

A membership to The Sentry’s rooftop pool might be more than your portion of the rent, but that won’t stop you from ogling the photos of it. (Time Out)

A real estate developer is trying to bargain for more square footage by offering to build an accessible subway station for $11 million in Gowanus. (Brooklyn Paper)

The father of Aurilla Lawrence, who died after being run over by an oil tanker truck at the end of February, makes a plea to the mayor to take action to stop making excuses and prevent senseless traffic deaths. (Gothamist)

Did you take a photo of a couple who for engaged in Grand Central Terminal on Sunday? They are looking for anyone who took surreptitious photos of the event. (amNY)

The MTA is investigating excessive overtime payments to transit workers, in some cases hundreds of thousands of dollars per person per year. A 16% increase in overtime led to a $418 million payroll increase. (Gothamist)

Lyft’s attempt to fight against a $17.22 after expenses minimum wage for drivers failed. (Gothamist)

Meet the 2019 James Beard Award finalists for best NYC chef. (amNY)

Is the cost of living higher in New York or Los Angeles? Come on, you know the answer to that. (StreetEasy)

The state seemed to have momentum on its side when pushing a bill that would end religious exemptions for vaccines, but the bill seems to be dead in the water. Why? (NY Times)

Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer stopped by the Max & Murphy podcast for a 30-minute conversation about her lawsuit against the city centering around housing developments on NYCHA land, NIMBYism, dealing with the mayor, what she’ll do after she hets her term limit, and more. (Gotham Gazette)

17 bars with outstanding agave-based tequila drinks. (Eater)

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The Briefly for May 1, 2019 – The “Wouldn’t We All Love to Ban Tour Guides With Groups” Edition

ApplePay comes to the MTA this summer, Tony Award nominations are in, the Dept of Education is accused of failing to protect students from sexual assault, and more in today’s daily NYC news digest.

The mayor’s “Turning the Tide on the Homeless” program is facing criticism in a new report from the Coalition for the Homeless. The city’s homeless population has grown by 10% for each year Mayor de Blasio has been in office. January was a record-breaking year for the number of men, women, and children spending each night in a shelter at 64,000. (Gothamist)

The list of Tony nominations are in. This year’s big winner is “Hadestown” with 14 nominations. (NY Times)

A new lawsuit filed this week accuses the NYC Department of Education of failing to protect students against sexual assaults, file official complaints, conduct proper investigations, and support survivors dealing with trauma. Legal Services NYC filed the lawsuit on behalf of four girls aged 12 to 18. (Gothamist)

The National Park Service took an action on Liberty Island that most of us wish we could take anywhere we need to go: banned tour guides. (NY Times)

The Essex Market opened in 1940 at the behest of Mayor Fiorello Laguardia. This May the market’s original location closes to move across the street. (Untapped Cities)

“The one that I almost leapt over the counter to get was a quesadilla panino.” Eater’s weekly sandwich column from Robert Sietsema got a bit intense. (Eater)

Coney Island is getting another music venue, located in the center of the Coney Island Art Walls. “Amuse” will have a capacity of 4,000 and have programming between Memorial and Labor Day. (Gothamist)

If you’re looking to make an appreciable change in the city, the charter review process is your opportunity. (Curbed)

Was the body found under the Verrazzano Bridge an NYC Marathon runner? The body under the Verrazzano was one of two bodies found in the city’s waters last weekend. (Gothamist)

An Absolut Ban. An executive order from the mayor put the kibosh on newsstands, bus shelters, and LinkNYC alcohol ads, sponsorship or branding. The city doesn’t expect to lose any revenue as a result of the ban. (Patch)

What’s going on with the hundreds of “unfounded” rape cases in Queens? The 14.2% of reported rapes in Queens being unfounded is significantly higher than the city’s other boroughs. (QNS)

The problem with the city’s plan to divert L train riders to the J and M trains is that the J and M trains are just as reliable as they’ve ever been. Overnight Monday a switch problem brought both train lines to a halt, effectively turning the L train slowdown into a full-on East River shutdown. (Gothamist)

Today is the anniversary of the Empire State Building’s opening in 1931. A piece of trivia to unlease on unsuspecting people in your life. (GVSHP)

Speaking of trivia… tonight’s the night for JOHN TRVIALTA at Parklife:

Amazon is still coming to Queens but in the form of a new distribution center in Woodside. (The City)

Bronx Councilmember Andy King was accused of sexual harassment for the second time in two years. King is refusing to cooperate with the City Council. (Patch)

Billionaires’ Row is missing something significant. Billionaires. Nearly half of the apartments are unsold, including some buildings seven years old that remain half empty. (Curbed)

Take a look, because there are new renderings of Brooklyn’s Wegmans. (6sqft)

The Queens Library got a six-month extension on their Court Square lease to remain in the building through March 31, 2020. (LIC Post)

The NYPD found a new way to make biking or walking over the Brooklyn Bridge a nightmare. (Streetsblog)

What’s that tree outside your building? There’s a map for that. The New York City Street Tree Map is the world’s most accurate and detailed map of a city’s street trees. (Viewing NYC)

The art galleries to see right now. (NY Times)

Nomiki Konst is under fire for questionable practices and payments during her Public Advocate campaign and is accused of being a “plan from the right.” You’d be forgiven if you couldn’t remember her or her campaign, she only garnered 2% of the vote. Konst’s campaign manager came forward about questionable donations, which were publicly matched, and even more questionable invoices. Konst has attempted to distance herself from the potential scandal, but she served as her own treasurer, which makes her legally responsible for her campaign’s financial system. (Politico)

Soon your apartment may be powered by poop! No, we’re not talking about your roommate. (Gothamist)

An appellate court upheld the city’s measles vaccination mandate on Monday, denying a request for a temporary restraining order by a group of anti-vaxxer parents as the number of confirmed cases in New York City rose to 423. (Brooklyn Daily Eagle)

With all the measles talk going around, you’re not alone if you’re wondering if you should get yourself a booster shot as an adult. (NY Times)

Story update. Remember how the Board of Elections put all the city’s voter rolls online for anyone to look at? Well, that’s over. The BOE realized that maybe posting all of our names, addresses and party affiliations online wasn’t the best idea. (NY Times)

The MTA will begin support for ApplePay in the “early summer,” as the OMNY system is scheduled to go live on some 4, 5, and 6 train stops on May 31. (Engadget)

The latest city landmark debate is over Tin Pan Alley, the birthplace of popular music. The conversation made a surprising turn towards some of the racism expressed in songs created there. (Curbed)

The “NOT GONNA SUCK YOUR DICK” graffiti tag is getting attention. (Bowery Boogie)

Featured walk: The essential Upper West Side. (GoRoam)

Where to go if you want to eat a burger at the bar by yourself. (The Infatuation)

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The Briefly for April 12, 2019 – The “Racist If You Do, Racist If You Don’t” Edition

A hall of fame bad statement about a hit and run, Wegmans is opening this year, a gold steak, the bookmobile returns, the future of street meat, and more in today’s daily NYC news digest.

Here’s something you didn’t want to hear: Getting around on the subways this weekend will be more challenging than usual. (Subway Changes)

Why are there religious exemptions for vaccines? (NY Times)

A dragonstone throne will be inside the West Village Shake Shack in anticipation of Sunday’s Game of Thrones premiere. So unless you’re looking to sit on the throne, you may want to avoid that spot today. (amNY)

The city’s use of SHSAT tests for entrance to elite schools was called racist. The city’s attempts to eliminate the SHSAT tests for entrance to elite schools is called racist. (Politico)

A 4/20 guide to Bushwick. (Bushwick Daily)

The NYPL bookmobile is making a comeback this summer, with a first test in the Bronx, while the Grand Concourse Library undergoes a renovation. (amNY)

Every city borough (except Staten Island) has a higher audit rate than the rest of the state. What gives? (Patch)

17 of the 21 buildings the city is buying for $173 million are “immediately hazardous,” which includes mice and roach infestations, lead paint issues, water leaks, and broken locks. There are over 400 open violations in the buildings and the landlords are under federal investigation for tax fraud and the lawyer representing them in the sale is a de Blasio fundraiser. Weird. (The Real Deal)

Wegmans will open this fall in the Brooklyn Navy Yard. If you lived or went to college upstate, your palms are probably sweating right now. (Eater)

Ivan Nieves was found guilty of vandalizing the African Burial Ground National Monument, which happened on November 1. (NY Post)

Does the Playboy Club have a place in modern New York City? (NY Times)

The most affordable restaurants in New York, according to 14 chefs. (Grub Street)

There have been some phenomenal F-bombs on local TV over the years, from Sue Simmons’ random outburst to Ernie Asnastos’ chicken “loving” incident. Kudos to Chris Cimino, an NBC weatherman who dropped an F-bomb on live TV at 8:15am. (NY Post)

Broadway is getting a Tina Turner musical this fall. (Time Out)

The city will no longer buy single-use plastic cups, forks, knives, spoons or plates for its agencies and the mayor has indicated he supports a ban on single-use plastic in restaurants too (read: straws), with exemptions for people with disabilities. (amNY)

As New York heads towards decriminalizing marijuana use, how it’s treated by the Administration for Children’s Services needs to change. (Gothamist)

If you’re aware of the L Project, MTA Chairperson Pay Foye says that is proof enough of the MTA’s transparency about the project. Right. (Gothamist)

P.S. 9 Teunis G. Bergen will be renamed the Sarah Smith Garnet School to remove the history associated with the Bergen family as slave-holders. Garnet was the first African-American woman to become a principal in the city. (The Brooklyn Reader)

How did the city let the Y2K GPS crash happen? Don’t ask the mayor, because he already has his excuse. “I was not involved in the planning. It was not something that came up to my level.” (NY Post)

Meet the members of Community Board 6, who will decide the fate of the Gowanus neighborhood with a rezoning vote. (Pardon Me For Asking)

How to ID the fake monks that hang around tourist hot spots. (Viewing NYC)

A permit to sell street meat costs only $300 form the city but goes for $25,000 on the black market, which is why the Councilmember Margaret Chin wants to phase in an additional 4,000 permits over 10 years. Opponents are calling for more regulation before more permits are given out. (Patch)

A literal golden steak? Yup. It’s available on Staten Island. (SI Live)

“I left because, come on, I hit a little girl, I’m going to jail.“ Just when you think we’ve hit a hall of fame bad statement about someone’s alleged part in a hit and run, Julia Litmonovich also said: “What is the big deal, it was an accident.” (NY Post)

“Why can’t white people open Chinese food restaurants?” asks your uncle, who normally reserves this kind of stuff for his Facebook page. This is why. (NY Times)

Where to go when you’re not sure its a date. (The Infatuation)

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