The Briefly for March 12, 2020 – The “Why is Mayor Bill de Blasio So Hated?” Edition

Today’s daily NYC news digest: Expect six months before we return to pre-COVID19 normalcy, the best of Midtown East, Modell’s says goodbye, Harvey Weinstein is off to rot, and more

Today – Low: 46˚ High: 49˚
Light rain in the evening and overnight.

The census begins today. Last time around, the city’s participation rate was 62%, compared to the national average of 76%. With as much effort the city and state have put into marketing the census, it’s gonna be mighty embarrassing if we maintain that low rate. (Alex Williamson for Brooklyn Eagle)

Why is DeBlasio so hated? (AskNYC)

Rapist and rotting ghoul Harvey Weinstein was sentenced to 23 years in prison. His layer had previously said that he may not outlive any sentence over five years. May he live a long life to experience every single day of that sentence. (Jen Ransom for NY Times)

Even Harvey Weinstein’s own body hates him, as he was hospitalized again with heart problems and chest pain. Let’s all hope he’s got great doctors because he has at least 23 years minus a day to live. (Dean Meminger for amNewYork Metro)

RIP Modell’s, who will be liquidating all of its stores starting Friday. The company is pointing to an unusually warm winter as the final nail in the coffin. If you gotta go to Mo’s, make sure it’s soon. (Crain’s)

The $3.2 million revamp of Woodside’s Little Bush Playground is set to start next month and should take about a year to finish. (Michael Dorgan for Sunnyside Post)

The Chelsea Hotel renovations continue to be an utter mess. Work has stopped because the building did not qualify for a Certificate of No Harassment with multiple tenants complaining about unlivable conditions dating back years. (Michelle Cohen for 6sqft)

Governors Island announced its free programming for the 2020 season, which starts on May 1. (Devin Gannon for 6sqft)

May we all be lucky to have birthday parties half as wild as 87-year-old Ray from Ray’s Candy Store. (Bob Krasner for amNewYork Metro)

Sometimes you don’t even have to go outside to birdwatch. (Mike Mishkin for I Love the Upper West Side)

Crown Heights has a new vegan Ethiopian restaurant in Ras Plant Based. (Scott Lynch for Gothamist)

The number of families in shelters each night was 46 percent higher last year than it was in December 2009, and one out of every 100 babies born in the city was brought to a shelter, rather than a permanent home. Needless to say, Governor Cuomo and Mayor de Blasio did not earn high marks on The Coalition for the Homeless’ annual report. (Janaki Chadha for Politico)

“I can now proudly call myself an NYC housing lottery winner.” One person’s story of how they won the lottery. (Kim Turner for StreetEasy)

Frank’s Cocktail Lounge in Fort Greene has been the backdrop to a changing neighborhood since the 1950s, and on April 10 of this year, that comes to an end. (S.E. Blackwell for East New York News)

Photos: A first look from the observation deck of Edge. (Michelle Young for Untapped New York)

The lone Yelp review gave it four stars, but still called it “crack head city.” KN Mi Delicia Bakery and Coffee Shop in Mott Haven was part of a drug ring and multi-state 14-person arrest, with a raid finding $50,000 cash and bags stuffed with what is suspected to be heroin and cocaine. (Kathleen Culliton for Patch)

Brooklyn Democratic Party’s leaders have endorsed Councilmember Donovan Richards for Queens borough president. (Alex Williamson for Brookly Eagle)

The city is beginning to experiment with, get this, actual dumpsters for businesses that will be set on the street to remove trash bag mountains that pile up on our sidewalks. It’s almost like the sidewalks should be for people to walk on, not for businesses to store trash on. (Gersh Kuntzman for Streetsblog)

26 excellent Midtown East bars and restaurants to try. (Alexandra Ilyashov for Eater)


Six months. According to the mayor, that’s how long the fight against COVID-19 will take before things return to normal again. Get ready for the worst summer ever. (Adam Nichols for Patch)

The economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic on restaurants will be akin to a major natural disaster. (Serena Dai for Eater)

Restaurants, open-air markets, and catering companies are expected to take a hard hit, Grub Street takes a look at how businesses are preparing to support their hourly staffs if at all. (Chris Crowley for Grub Street)

“We’re not in a position where we can rely on the CDC or the FDA to manage this testing protocol.” -Governor Cuomo. New York will start contracting 28 private labs to help administer coronavirus testing for New York residents. (Emily Davenport for amNewYork Metro)

Daytime talk shows filming in New York will be forgoing live studio audiences during the COVID-19 outbreak. (Kimberley Richards for HuffPost)

SUNY and CUNY schools will halt in-person classes for the rest of the semester, beginning on March 19. The dorms won’t be closing and classes that are impossible to hold remotely will still be held. (Niedzwiadek and Madina Touré for Politico)

Coronavirus fears may jeopardize the election process, which requires candidates to collect up to thousands of signatures of supporters. This may lead to the governor altering election law, as he did following Superstorm Sandy. (Max Parrott for QNS)

If you’re healthy, you should still consider dining out. The virus is not transmitted via food or drink. (Serena Dai for Eater)

An usher for “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?” and “Six” has tested positive for COVID-19. Both theaters underwent a deep clean, the shows are continuing, and the usher is now in quarantine. (Michael Paulson for NY Times)

Manhattan’s St. Patrick’s Day Parade is officially canceled. (Todd Maisel and Robert Pozarycki for amNewYork Metro)

How to help during the coronavirus outbreak. (Azi Paybarahf or NY Times)

A big thank you to reader Taina for today’s featured photo, taken in Red Hook.

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)

The Briefly for January 13, 2019 – The “Caught Speeding Without Consequence” Edition

Today’s daily NYC news digest: Fingers start pointing over Book Culture’s closure, a tribute to Bowie, the NYC Bar Association calls for an investigation of William Barr, and more

Today – Low: 37˚ High: 48˚
Overcast throughout the day.

A water main broke near Lincoln Center, causing flooding and train delays between 96th and Tims Square on the Upper West Side. (@tomkaminskiwcbs)

A timeline of the incidents that caused 300 subway cars to be pulled from the MTA’s fleet last week. The cars are sidelined “indefinitely.” (Stephen Nessen for Gothamist)

The biggest Harry Potter store in the world is opening in the city this summer in the former Restoration Hardware in Flatiron. (Shaye Weaver for Time Out)

Warner Brothers asked Manhattan’s Community Board 5 if it could install a dragon on the facade of the 19 century building to a frosty reception. (Dennis Lynch for The Real Deal)

If you want to apply to join your Community Board in Manhattan, the deadline is coming up. Make sure to have your application postmarked by the 21st. (Holly Louise Perry for Bowery Boogie)

The Reckless Driver Accountability Act was introduced in 2018. The bill would boot or impound the cars of anyone who received five or more red light or speed camera violations in a year until an accountability program was completed. Since its introduction, 362 have been killed on the city’s roads. What is the holdup in City Council? (Mark Hallum for amNewYork Metro)

The city’s speed cameras caught cabs speeding 117,042 times in 2019. (Gersh Kuntzman for Streetsblog)

An argument to dissolve the city’s Economic Development Corporation, represented by its 27 member unelected board appointed by the mayor and has an oversized amount of influence on the city’s direction. (Emily Sharp for Queens Eagle)

Photos: The 2020 No Pants Subway Ride. (Todd Maisel for amNewYork)

Net neutrality, consumer protections, women’s equity, and more of 16 notable proposals not included in Governor Cuomo’s State of the State speech. (Samir Khurshid for Gotham Gazette)

“If we’re going to discuss gun safety, what’s a nautical themed way to make a nod toward that?” An interview with the artist who helped create the masterpiece that is Governor Cuomo’s fever dream poster. (Jake Offenhartz for Gothamist)

Central Park’s Sheep Meadow earned that nickname, giving a home to about 200 sheep up through the 1930’s, as part of Olmstead and Vaux’s original vision for the park. (Sam Neubauer for I Love the Upper West Side)

Protected bike lanes are coming to Franklin and Quay streets on the Greenpoint-Williamsburg border. (Kevin Duggar for Brooklyn Paper)

Here’s a fun riddle: How do you pay for a MetroCard if no bills are accepted, no coins are accepted, no credit cards are accepted, no debit cards are accepted, no single tickets are given and only exact change is allowed? (ActionKid)

The Broadway-Lafayette station, the closest station to his old home, sported a tribute to David Bowie four years after his death. (Elie Perler for Bowery Boogie)

The New York City Bar Association is calling on Congress to investigate whether William Barr is too politically biased to fulfill his legal obligations as the nation’s attorney general. (Mary Papenfuss for HuffPost)

A new bill from Queens City Council Member Francisco Moya would declare aliens from another planet and replace “alien” and “illegal immigrant” with “noncitizen.” (Kathleen Culliton for Patch)

Interactive Map: How frequently subway lines and buses are delayed across the city. (Viewing NYC)

What does the mayor have to say about Politico’s “Wasted Potential” series, which shows just how piss poor the city has been at recycling after Mayor de Blasio’s 2015 pledge to reduce the garbage shipped out of the city? “I’ll have more to say on it in the coming weeks as we figure out the next steps of what we have to do.” Basically nothing. (Danielle Muoio for Politico)

The federal government has launched an investigation into the Hunter’s Point Library for possible violations of the Americans with Disabilities Act. (NY1)

With 119 points on their health department inspection, Tyme & Patience Bakery & Grill has the early lead on highest violation of the year. (Adam Nichols for Patch)

After coming right up to the brink, Neir’s Tavern in Woodhaven has a new lease, literally. A handshake deal between landlord and bar owner will extend the bar’s lease five years, which means we could be back in the position again in a few years. The landlord caved after a combination of public pressure from the Mayor de Blasio, Assemblyman Mike Miller, and City Council Member Robert Holden all made their support of Neir’s public and help from the city to get the building up to code. (Carlotta Mohamed for QNS)

When Schneps Media buys a publication, it means journalists get fired. When Schneps Media bought amNewYork, most of the editorial staff was laid off. When Schneps Media bought Metro, they laid off the entire editorial staff without severance and at this point no former editorial staffers from either publication works for amNewYork Metro, the new Schneps Media Frankenstein. (Jake Offenhartz for Gothamist)

After buying Metro and laying off their editorial staff without any severance, Victoria Schneps went on vacation in the Poconos for facials and massages. (Victoria Schneps for QNS)

Marie’s Crisis is a New York institution where singing along to the musical theater song being played by the pianists is always encouraged. The name came from a work of Thomas Payne, who died at that address in 1809, American Crisis and the original owner Marie DeMont. (Atlas Obscura)

A harlequin duck, native to the Pacific northwest was spotted in Sheepshead Bay, an exciting find for New York’s bird crowd. An unusually warm winter has extended the birdwatching season past its usual November ending. (Jessica Parks for Brooklyn Paper)

Is the city monitoring and mapping the locations of homeless New Yorkers? that’s the worry behind The Coalition for the Homeless pulling its support for Mayor de Blasio’s homelessness command center after seeing a photo published of the NYPD’s massive surveillance operation. (Kathleen Culliton for Patch)

I am in love with single story buildings in Manhattan. Manhattan has a tendency to feel like it’s literally overbearing and coming across a single story building is like a quick breath of air. It’s why Adam Friedberg’s Single-Story Project exhibit at the Center for Architecture is so appealing to me. The exhibit is on display through February 29th. (Elizabeth Kim for Gothamist)

South Richmond Hill, Queens is mourning Maria Fuertes, the neighborhood’s beloved 92-year-old cat lady who was attacked close to her home and was found dead on the sidewalk. A suspect has been arrested and charged with murder and sex abuse. (Andrea Salcedo for NY Times)

A look back at Kawkab America, America’s first Arabic newspaper, which launched in 1892 in New York. (Mateo Nelson for Bedford + Bowery)

I’ve fallen in love with ActionKid’s video walks around the city. While this may seem trivial now, having video like this is a great document to have of the city in a specific point in time. At the pace the city is changing, even in a few months this same walk could be drastically different. From Long Island City to Bushwick on foot, narrated. (ActionKid)

Book Culture’s majority owner Chris Doeblin is blaming the city marshal seizure of the store on corporate greed, but pretty much everyone else including his business partners and landlord blame his mismanagement. (Gwynne Hogan for Gothamist)

Anassa, Cantina 33, and Shang Kitchen join Eater’s list of the hottest restaurants in Queens. (Eater)

Thanks to reader Zlata for today’s featured photo!