The Briefly for January 10, 2020 – The “Soho Karen was Arrested” Sunday AMA Edition

The latest NYC news digest: A first-person vaccine story, what’s news for NYC dining, Nicole Malliotakis votes against the election results, and more

Today – Low: 30˚ High: 40˚
Clear throughout the day.

Today’s digest is starting with something different. Today’s photo came from to reader Michele, who I asked to talk about her experience receiving the Covie-19 vaccine. If you’ve got your own story, please feel free to email it to thebriefly at gmail.com.

I’m an optometrist in NYC, and I was surprised how quickly I was able to get an appointment to get the Covid vaccine after I saw the announcement on nyc.gov that new slots had opened up for healthcare workers. I got an appointment the first week at a “pop up” clinic in a city government building in Manhattan, and the process was streamlined and efficient even though it had only been up and running for a few days. My site had appointments every 15 minutes, and I didn’t have to wait at any point in the process — initial screening/paperwork, vaccination station, post-processing (you sit for 20 minutes afterward to make sure you don’t pass out). Everyone working there was helpful and excited, and the entire experience was lovely. I asked the nurse if I could take a picture (like 900 people before me probably had) and he even suggested how I should stage it. After I finished my 20 minute post-vaccine chill period I saw a man ask two nurses if he could take their picture with his dog, and they were really sweet about it. The one thing I would say surprised me was that the nurse who gave me the vaccine said he hadn’t gotten it yet, though he was on the schedule to have it soon.

As promised, today’s digest is centered around a few Ask Me Anything questions I received from the readers of The Briefly.

Q from Katie: Hi Rob, Happy New Year! I hope 2021 is going okay so far. :) I had one (two) question(s) for your AMA, which I assume someone has already asked but just in case: what is your strategy for choosing articles to highlight? And my follow-up: how many articles do you usually read to get enough good ones for one email? Take care, be well, and all the other hopeful clichés for the new year.

In terms of a daily volume of links for a newsletter, it’s about 300-400 a day from 100 different sources. From there I usually narrow that down to about 50 before I start writing, and by the time I’m done writing it’s somewhere between 25-40. When I look through the news, I usually look for something that’s important, interesting, different, or time-sensitive. I’ve been writing The Briefly for a few years and have some idea of what the readers are most interested in (check out 2020’s top ten stories), so you’ll see something things pop up regularly like lists of restaurants, public art, ridiculous apartments, and things like that. I also tend to favor certain newsrooms when it comes to certain types of news. I love The City and have an immense amount of respect for their writers, I’ll trust Chalkbeat above all else for educational news, Gothamist is a regular favorite of mine for daily stories, and I have a deep love for the most niche blogs I can find like Urban Hawks and Laura Goggin Photography for their bird photos or The Q at Parkside, which has the smallest area of coverage of anything I regularly look at, and I really enjoy Mary Lane’s writing at New York Cliche. I’ve had a post from her saved since March 12 about how to get tickets to see Last Week Tonight and her experience seeing the show in person that I will eventually include.

Q from Brigid: Hey Rob! I’d love to know what your favorite NYC bridge is. Asking because I started an Instagram account where I post different bridges throughout the city (@brig.on.bridges) and would love an established New Yorker’s take on the best bridge in the city. Hope you and yours have a happy and healthy new year!

My favorite NYC bridge is going to be unexpected. It’s the Hunters Point Avenue Bridge! Let me explain why. The bridge was built in 1910 but rebuilt in 1983 and my father did the redesign for it. My father was a civil engineer and worked in NYC for nearly 50 years. I had known most of his work as being in the sewers, so having something above ground that he worked on has always been very special to me. If you were to tell me that a 60-foot bridge doesn’t count, I’d pick the Manhattan Bridge. It’s the best bridge to walk or bike over, and you can’t beat the views.

Q: NYC question just based on your time in the City since I’m always looking for ideas! What has been one of your favorite day activities around the City where you didn’t spend any money?

My favorite zero-cost activity in the city is a bike ride and a bike ride to Coney Island (I live in Brooklyn) is my favorite of all my bike rides. Coney Island is my favorite place in the city when it’s warm. I’m not someone who feels a strong need to spend money there because there’s so much people watching to do and things to see in general. If you’re willing to spend a few bucks on snacks, I recommend the bodega near the subway station on Stillwell Ave, where you can grab some cut up fruit and a drink and the sideshow is probably the best $10 you could spend for at least an hour of entertainment (plus it’s air-conditioned). I could walk around Coney Island for hours.

Most of the other ideas that came to mind are trips and long walks in and around parks. Challenge yourself to walk the length of Riverside Park, get lost in Chinatown, wander Flushing-Meadows Corona Park, find John Randel Jr.’s authentic survey bolt from 1811 in Central Park, walk through all the arches of Prospect Park, and lastly I’d always recommend taking a look at the skint on any quiet day, because there’s always something going on that’s cheap or free.

A few news bits to close out today:

Soho Karen, aka Miya Ponsetto, was arrested for falsely accusing a Black teenager of stealer her phone and tackling him in a Soho hotel. It was a bad week for this idiot, who decided to do a CBS This Morning interview that was so bad even her lawyer said she was embarrassed. She was arrested in California and brought back to New York. (Edgar Sandoval for NY Times)

Prince Street Pizza owners Frank and Dominic Morano are stepping down from day-to-day operations after accounts of racist comments made to customers on Yelp, Facebook, and Instagram. They aren’t removing themselves from the business, just from day-to-day operations. (Hannah Albertine for The Infatuation)

Now’s a good time to go wander around Chinatown because hundreds of paper lanterns were installed on Mott St with plans to expand. (Shaye Weaver for Time Out)

There is a silver lining to this winter, which is that the flu season only a fraction of what it was in years past. (Matt Troutman for Patch)

The Brooklyn Public Library is holding a contest to design a library card in celebration of Black History Month and will award the winning artist with $2,000. (Shaye Weaver for Time Out)

NYPD Commissioner Dermot Shea tested positive for Covid-19. (Matt Troutman for PAtch)

Someone tied a confederate flag to the door of the Museum of Jewish Heritage – A Living Memorial to the Holocaust after the attack on the Capitol this week. (Jen Chung for Gothamist)2

Staten Island’s congress member and Republican Nicole Malliotakis voted against certifying the election results after the attack on the Capitol building. Malliotakis’s district will be redrawn by the state’s Democratic legislature after the 2020 Census. Don’t expect Malliotakis to hold that seat for long. (Clifford Michel for The City)

Photos: Thursday’s anti-Trump rally in Brooklyn. (Brian Braiker, photos by Statia Grossman for Brooklyn Magazine)

The Brooklyn Democratic Party passed a law that allows non-binary and transgender people to run for county committee seats. It seems ridiculous that it was necessary, but there was a gender quota in place before this. (Julia Kott for Greenpointers)

20 local chefs forecast what’s next for NYC dining. (Christina Izzo for Time Out)

Everything you always wanted to know about sex work (but were afraid to ask). (Brian Braiker for Brooklyn Magazine)

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!

The Briefly for December 11, 2020 – The “Rats Run This Chipotle Now” Friday Edition

The latest NYC news digest: A raccoon is saved, the world’s largest menorah, the headless Santa, Andrew Yang weighs his options for mayor, NYC’s iconic food, and more

Today – Low: 43˚ High: 53˚
Clear throughout the day.
This weekend – Low: 39˚ High: 57˚

A deep dive into the Art Deco works of Ralph Walker. (Jeff Reuben for Untapped New York)

Service on the E and M lines will be rerouted between Christmas and New Year’s Day between Roosevelt Avenue and West 4th Street from 5 a.m. on Saturday, Dec. 26 to 5 a.m. on Monday., Jan. 4. (Allie Griffin for Jackson Heights Post)

A guide for first-time buyers of co-ops in NYC. (Ann Lien for StreetEasy)

Video: The city still has our love for our trash panda overlods. Check out this raccoon rescue from the ledge of a building in Tribeca. (Ben Yakas for Gothamist)

The rats may be slowly taking over the city from the raccoons. A Chipotle in the Bronx have been taken over by rats, who have been biting the staff and eating the avocados. (Luke Fortney for Eater)

The voters in New York City chose to utilize ranked-choice voting with a referndum in 2019 election, but that isn’t stopping the City Council from speaking out against it, calling it voter suppression. (Brigid Gergin for Gothamist)

Council Majority Leader Laurie Cumbo; the co-chairs of the Black, Latino and Asian Caucus, Adrienne Adams and I. Daneek Miller; and Councilmembers Alicka Ampry-Samuel, Farah Louis, and Robert Cornegy, a candidate for Brooklyn borough president, along with 10 community organizations are suing to stop ranked choice voting. (Brigid Bergin for Gothamist)

A little Christmas horror anyone? the headless Santa of Rite-Aid on 1st Ave. (EV Grieve)

Welcome Chaun Donovan to the packed list of mayoral contenders. Donovan served under Mayor Bloomberg as the head of housing and under President Obama as the head of HUD and OMB. (Sophia Chang for Gothamist)

Andrew Yang is still weighing his options when it comes to running for mayor. (Sally Goldenberg for Politico)

We had our first snowfall of the season this week. It’s time to ask the usual question this time of year: Will we have a white Christmas this year? (Adam Nichols for Patch)

How to send a letter to Santa. (Matt Troutman for Patch)

Pizza is NYC’s most iconic dish, according to the people who answered the Time Out Index survey. (Christina Izzo for Time Out)

Donald Trump’s childhood home is up for sale and you can still swoop in and create NYC’s largest public toilet because the fundraiser trying to buy the home for $3 million only raised $125. (Sarah Maslin Nir for NY Times)

Where to east in Bushwick. (Olivia Laskowski for Eater)

Winter is coming. Well, it already snowed once. 15 things New Yorkers do to prepare for winter. (Shaye Weaver for Time Out)

Brooklyn Assembly Member Robert Carroll has one of the worst ideas of the year, and this year has been full of awful ideas. Taxing every delivered package by $3. Thanks, McLovin. (Matt Troutman for Patch)

Along with taxing every delivered package in the city, there’s also talk about killing unlimited MetroCards. (Benjamin Kabak for Second Ave Sagas)

Happy Hanukkah to all readers celebrating. The world’s largest menorah is on display outside the Plaza Hotel. (Nicole Saraniero for Untapped New York)

McSorley’s doesn’t change much. Say hello to Teresa Maher de la Haba, the first female bartender, representing one of top five changes in the bar’s history. (Molly Wilcox for Bedford + Bowery)

Pat Kiernan’s contract with NY1 is now at the center of the lawsuit by five of his female colleagues over gender and age bias. (Matt Troutman for Patch)

I’m a sucker for a very specific list. The best West Village & Tribeca restaurants on Caviar. (Matt Tervooren for The Infatuation)

New York representatives Elise Stefanik and Lee Zeldin are on the list of the 106 Republicans that refuse to accept reality. Neither represents the city. (Stephanie K. Baer for BuzzFeed News)

Apartment Porn: Unfortunately you missed out on this $57 million duplex penthouse on W 57th with Central Park views, four bedrooms and five and a half baths. (Devin Gannon for 6sqft)

Some more good news? There was a humpback whale spotted swimming in the Hudson River. (Shaye Weaver for Time Out)

There aren’t many surprises in NYC’s top Google searches of 2020. (Matt Troutman for Patch)

Here’s where all the surprises are: Dredgers found two cars at the bottom of the Gowanus. (Katia Kelly for Pardon Me For Asking)

January 19 is the official start of the Gowanus rezoning. (Kevin Duggan for Brooklyn Paper)

Photos: Who doesn’t love a good holiday window? (Ben Yakas for Gothamist)

NYC filming locations for HBO Max’s The Flight Attendant. (Michelle Young for Untapped New York)

Where to find some fancy latkes for Hanukkah. (Erika Adams for Eater)

Data Visualization: Comparing the coverage of the subway vs the replacement buses, overlaid with racial and occupational data. (@julestrainman)

The statue of Christopher Columbus in Downtown Brooklyn appears to be on borrowed time. (Kevin Duggan for Brooklyn Paper)

Robert Sietsema’s 15 best dishes of 2020. (Robert Sietsema for Eater)

Thanks to reader Zlata for today’s featured photo from the Hudson Yards!