The Briefly for February 3, 2020 – The “Dropping the Ball, Not the Groundhog” Edition

Today’s daily NYC news digest: How NYC became “Gotham,” Governor Cuomo’s ego pushed Andy Byford out, the mayor ignoes his BQE panel, the best restaurants in Sunset Park and more.

Today – Low: 41˚ High: 51˚
Partly cloudy throughout the day.

16 places to celebrate Black History Month in NYC. (Devin Gannon for 6sqft)

Interested in changing your political party affiliation before the June primaries? Act quickly, the deadline is February 14th. (Samar Khurshid for Gotham Gazette)

Staten Island’s Chuck the Groundhog didn’t see his shadow on Sunday morning, which means that an early spring should be on its way. At least no one dropped him. (Adams Nichols for Patch)

Let’s never forget when Mayor de Blasio murdered Staten Island Chuck by dropping him on Groundhog’s Day. Chuck died a week after the drop. (Abby Ohlheiser for The Washington Post)

The City Council has taken the reigns on leading the city, due to the oiler vacuum left behind by Mayor de Blasio’s complete lack of projected strength as the leader of the city. (Joe Anuta for Politico)

11 days before volunteers participated in an annual count of the homeless sleeping on the city’s streets, the mayor’s office attempted to misrepresent the actual number by attempting to find more beds for the homeless. (Mirela Iverac for Gothamist)

Mayor de Blasio is walking away from his own “expert” panel’s central recommendation for fixing the BQE because he believes the disproven fallacy that eliminating lanes of traffic adds to congestion, instead of actually reducing it. (Julianne Cuba for Streetsblog)

Here’s how “induced demand” works, a concept known since the 60’s: “on urban commuter expressways, peak-hour traffic congestion rises to meet maximum capacity.” (Benjamin Schneider for CityLab)

The city is going to start enforcing the law when it comes to overweight trucks on the BQE, per the panels suggestion. (Mary Frost for Brooklyn Eagle)

One thing’s for sure, we have less than five years if the city doesn’t do something about the BQE. (Alexandra Alexa for 6sqft)

The governor has been attempting to avoid political controversy sticking to him by assigning the most difficult problems to commissions and panels. Think back his sudden swooping in to present the L train shutdown. He assigned the problem to a panel who gave the alternative. Here are his current panels: Medicaid Redesign, Traffic Mobility, Climate Action, Digital Marketplace Worker Classification, and Public Campaign Finance. (Fred Mogul for Gothamist)

The story of how Governor Cuomo’s oversized ego made it impossible for Andy Byford to stay on a President of New York City Transit Authority. (Jim Dwyer for NY Times)

If you enjoy yelling at the MTA, they’ve added more pubic feedback meetings about their redesigned bus network in Queens. (Bill Parry for QNS)

After a horrifying case of animal abuse was uncovered at a Manhattan pet store, a bill in the state legislature would ban the sale of dogs, cats, and rabbits in pet stores across the state is gaining support. The bill would ban the sale from stores, but not from breeders. (Sarah Maslin Nir for NY Times)

The city’s first suspected case of coronavirus is being investigated at NYC Health + Hospitals/Bellevue. This is no reason to panic. (Robert Pozarycki for amNewYork Metro)

A second and third case of coronavirus are already being investigated. Still no reason to panic. (Elizabeth Kim for Gothamist)

While coronavirus is on your mind, you should be worrying about the flu. his year we face a double-trouble scenario where it’s possible to get sick more than once during flu season. Two strains are hitting, so your chances of getting sick have doubled. The death toll from the flu this season is already at 10,000. (Adam Nichols for Patch)

Where to eat sushi omakase for under $125. (Lorelei Yang for Eater)

“When you build high, folks will jump” were seven words included in an ArchDaily review of Vessel. Unfortunately on Saturday night, those words were proved true when a 19-year-old man committed suicide by jumping from the structure. (Jen Chung for Gothamist)

The city’s had a goal of planting 20,000 new trees every year, but has only managed to plant less than 1/3 of that lately. The Department of Parks and Recreation points to the rising costs of planting and maintaining trees. (Len Maniace for amNewYork Metro)

Hiram Monserrate was expelled from the state’s senate in 2009 for committing domestic assault in a horrifying story. In 2012 he plead guilty for illegally using money from a nonprofit he controlled to support a run for senate and has only paid back $8,400 of $79,000 in restitution for stealing public funds. He’s trying to make a political comeback. (Vivian Wang for NY Times)

Would you live in Bay Ridge? Localize lays out a case with eight reasons to move to Bay Ridge. (Localize Labs)

The story of Taste of Persia leaving Pizza Paradise just took a turn. Saeed Pourkay, chef and owner of Taste of Persia is accusing that Pizza Paradise stole his recipes shortly after his restaurant was forced out of Pizza Paradise. (Tanay Warerkar for Eater)

A major overhaul to the city’s property taxes could fundamentally shift the tax burden from low- and moderate-income homeowners to wealthy neighborhoods. A panel has been at work on the proposal since 2018, but mayors have attempted to tackle the subject for over a quarter century. The plan wouldn’t result in higher tax revenues. (Emma G. Fitzsimmons, Matthew Haag and Jeffery C. Mays for NY Times)

The mayor is optimistic about getting the reforms done. “This is something I believe can and will be done during my administration.” (Janaki Chadha for Politico)

Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams says if elected to be mayor, he would regularly carry a gun. (NY1)

What’s the history behind New York’s nickname “Gotham?” (Noah Sheidlower for Untapped New York)

A truck driver killed a Bushwick cyclist while making an illegal U-turn in Williamsburg on Jan. 30, marking the first cyclist death of 2020. (Kevin Duggan for Brooklyn Paper)

There’s a video showing how Pedro Lopez was killed, and it is shocking. Despite killing Lopez, the driver of the truck was not issued a ticket and the NYPD’s comment about it was there was “no criminality suspected.” (Jake Offenhartz for Gothamist)

The Department of Environmental Protection has reversed course and will fill the Jerome Park Reservoir basin in the Bronx. Previously the plan was to keep the basin empty. (Jason Cohen for Bronx Times)

Friday night’s “FTP” protests called for free public transit, an end to the harassment of the homeless, vendors and musicians in the subways, and full accessibility for people of all physical abilities throughout the transit system. The protest gathered at Grand Central Terminal at 5pm to maximally disrupt the evening commute and spread out from there. (Nick Pinto for Gothamist)

The Meatball Shop’s Lower East Side flagship location will be closing this weekend. (Bowery Boogie)

The best restaurants in Sunset Park. (Bryan Kim for The Infatuation)

The Briefly for January 28, 2020 – The “Is See Something, Say Something No Longer Adequate?” Edition

Today’s daily NYC news digest: City Council staff is a step closer to unionizing, Coronavirus, AOC quits the Sunnuyside Yards steering committee, the best fried rice dishes, and more

Today – Low: 31˚ High: 44˚
Clear throughout the day.

The Spotted Pig, as rumored over the weekend is closing. (Chris Crowley for Grub Street)

Here’s how to get a half-priced MetroCard from the city’s Fair Fares program, if you qualify. (Valeria Ricciulli for Curbed)

It’s like a black and white cookie, but it’s a vegan milkshake with chocolate chips, black n’ white cake, whip cream and chocolate drizzle. (Bao Ong for Time Out)

The MTA launched a new “Kindness. Respect. Solidarity.” campaign to encourage riders to report hate crimes, harassment or graffiti on the subways. This differs from the “See Something, Say Something” because for this campaign if you see something, you should… say something. (Shumita Basu for Gothamist)

More than 400 City Council staffers seeking to unionize to improve working conditions asked Council Speaker Corey Johnson to recognize them on Monday. If Recognized, this would be the first independent unionized legislative staff in the country. (Brigid Bergin for Gothamist)

10 secrets of the United Palace, Manhattan’s fourth largest theater, celebrating its 90th year. (Untapped New York)

The best mac and cheese on the Upper West Side. (Mike Mishkin for I Love the Upper West Side)

Photos: Inside the Central Park Club, an exclusive 100th floor private club looking over Central Park. (alexandra Alexa for 6sqft)

Video: New Yorkers rescued a woman trapped under an SUV on Sunday night by “collectively lifting” it off the ground. The woman trapped under the SUV was not hurt. (Jake Offenhartz for Gothamist)

There have been no confirmed cases have been reported in New York , but five people are waiting for Coronavirus test results. Across the country 110 people in 26 states are being tested and there have been five confirmed cases. If you are experiencing fever, cough, or difficulty breathing and have traveled to the central Chinese region, please contact a doctor immediately. (Elizabeth Kim for Gothamist)

Senator Chuck Schumer is demanding the federal government declare a state of emergency as the fifth confirmed case of the deadly coronavirus was found in the U.S. (Adam Nichols for Patch)

New York is the 15th most polluted city in the country. (Kathleen Culliton for Patch)

10 spots in the city to bring you back to relive the Roaring 20s, but without all the Diphtheria. (Lucie Levine for 6sqft)

RIP Jason Polan, an artist whose goal was to draw every person in NYC. I’ve long been enamored by his art and his story is one of those that I’ve always believed as one that made New York special. (Ben Yakas for Gothamist)

The story of how mead went from the Renaissance Fair to city bars. (James Reddicliffe for NY Times)

For the second time in a week, the MTA is dealing with bed bugs at the 71st Avenue stop in Forest Hills. An exterminator crew was seen at a control tower on Monday night. (NY1)

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is stepped down from the Sunnyside Yards steering committee because the city’s Economic Development Corporation is not including feedback from any of the meetings the EDC has had with the public. (Christian Murray for Jackson Heights Post)

Bernie Sanders is stuck in Washington for President Trump’s impeachment, so AOC stepped in to wow the crowds in Iowa. (Christopher Robbins for Gothamist)

Recovery has begun of the Museum of Chinese in America’s archives. Museum staff hasn’t been allowed inside the building, which suffered structural damage from the fire on Friday, but city workers are able to remove boxes from the former home of the archives. (Sophia Chang for Gothamist)

The daily lineups of Governors Ball are available. Stevie Nicks is on Friday night. (Amanda Hatfield for BrooklynVegan)

Queens State Senator Jessica Ramos joined advocates in Albany on Monday to urge passage of a bill that would restrict how schools uses suspensions as part of an effort to end the school-to-prison pipeline. (Alejandra O’Connell-Domenech for amNewyork Metro)

Where to eat the city’s best fried rice dishes.(Nikita Richardson for Grub Street)

The Briefly for January 23, 2020 – The “Hipsters Have Left the Neighborhood” Edition

Today’s daily NYC news digest: MSG hasn’t paid propoerty tax in 37 years, Mayor de Blasio’s homeless strategy is failing, the best Brooklyn bars with fireplaces, and more

Today – Low: 33˚ High: 45˚
Mostly cloudy throughout the day.

Madison Square Garden has gone 37 years without paying a single cent of property taxes, not paying the city over half a billion dollars of taxes in that time. James Dolan, awful musician and owner of MSG, is a major contributor to Governor Cuomo which makes it unlikely that the governor would change the deal. (Neil deMause for Gothamist)

Why do I mention he’s an awful musician? Listen to this garbage he wrong about being friends with Harvey Weinstein. (JD & The Straight Shot)

A new exhibit in Chelsea Market looks at life inside the Hotel Chelsea’s apartments, featuring work from Colin Miller’s “Hotel Chelsea: Living in the Last Bohemian Haven.” (Gabe Herman for amNewYork Metro)

Taco Chulo in Williamsburg is closing on March 1, blaming the closing on “the hipsters leaving and going to Bushwick.” (Tanay Warekar for Eater)

Is Fairway closing all of its stores? Depends who you listen to. (Chris Crowley for Grub Hub)

Vegans, despite what you’ve heard, are people too and sometimes they want a good junk food burger. (Ryan Sutton for Eater)

Another look at the subway cars of the future, which will start to be brought unto service later this year. (Mark Hallum for amNewYork Metro)

About 75% of you answered that you think you’ll never own a home in the city, for those of you who think you might, here are 8 great city starter homes. (Amy Plitt for Curbed)

Mayor de Blasio’s new strategy to help the homeless, giving them the option between going to a homeless shelter and be given a summons or engaging with outreach providers, isn’t working. 60% of homeless New Yorkers chose to get a summons instead of accepting services. Instead of helping the homeless, we’re punishing them. (Mirela Iverac for Gothamist)

A dead homeless man was found on the D train following a report of an unconscious man on the train and instead found a dead man covered in maggots. The police do not suspect foul play. (Anna Quinn for Patch)

RIP John “Butch” Purcell, the “Mayor of Stuy Town.” (Gabe Herman for amNewYork Metro)

Brooklyn’s 8 best bars with fireplaces. (Scott Enman for Brooklyn Eagle)

What should happen to Jeffrey Epstein’s “cursed mansion” on the Upper East Side: The Frick should buy it. (Alexandra Alexa for 6sqft)

The Gowanus Souvenir Shop, which has been a real thing for quite a while now, is closing at the end of the month. (Katia Kelly for Pardon Me For Asking)

Electric bike and scooters could become legal in New York on April 1, if Governor Cuomo’s budget passes as expected. (Christopher Robbins for Gothamist)

The governor intends to assemble a task force to assess the conditions of employment in the gig economy and present findings with the intention of voting on legislation by June 1. Cuomo’s previously compared the gig economy to sweatshops. (Anna Gronewold for Politico)

DeliverZero is food delivery with a twist. If you don’t return the packaging the food was delivered to be recycled, you’ll be charged extra. It’s currently available in 8 restaurants. (Nicole Davis for Brooklyn Based)

Here are the finalists in the 2020 City of Dreams Pavilion Design Competition for Lighthouse Park on Roosevelt Island. (Michelle Cohen for 6sqft)

NYC & Company wants you to get out of your apartment for the NYC Winter Outing, which started on Monday, runs for three weeks, and combines NYC Broadway Week, NYC Restaurant Week and NYC Must-See Week. (Emily Davenport for amNewYork Metro)

The Bronx Zoo’s Name A Roach program is back for Valentine’s Day. (Shaye Weaver for Time Out)

Five Democrats Socialist primary challenges are using the worry about the state’s pre-trial criminal justice reforms to stake out a position to the left of Democrats who have been considering a repeal to push additional ideas like restricting the use of solitary confinement, legalizing marijuana, and decriminalizing sex work. (Alex Williamson or Brooklyn Eagle)

The Mini Brooklyn Flea Record Fair was announced for February 8 & 9 at the Winter BK Flea. (Bill Pearis for BrooklynVegan)

You never know where Justin Bieber will show up, looking for gluten-free pizza. (Jenna Bagcal for QNS)

It’s Pod Save Astoria week at We Heart Astoria, focusing on a different podcast originating from Astoria every day. Today’s podcast is “We’ll Be Right Back” with Astoria locals Kevin Ross and Brian Dean. (Claire Leaden for We Heart Astoria)

The Triboro Line, which would connect Bay Ridge to Astoria to the Bronx, is one tiny step closer to becoming a reality. It has miles to go, but each step forward is still progress. (Ed García Conde for Welcome2TheBronx)

Transit Workers Union Local 100 are also in support of the project. (Mark Hallum for amNewYork Metro)

Video: This video game parody of Hudson Yards was both very funny and also the most perplexing thing I’ve seen in a long time. (Ethan Gach for Kotaku)

Video: Say hello to a belter kingfisher, which is a bird, on Randalls Island. (D. Bruce Yolton for Urban Hawks)

The best soups and stews you can get in the city. (Scott Lynch for Gothamist)