The Briefly for January 29, 2020 – The “Hell Freezes Over on the Brooklyn Bridge” Friday Edition

The latest NYC news digest: The State of the City, Covid-sniffing dogs, the BQE remains the BQE, ranking NYC sinks on Tik Tok, a Snowy Owl in Central Park, and more

Today – Low: 17˚ High: 23˚
Windy in the morning.
This weekend – Low: 21˚ High: 31˚

NYC’s Vaccine Finder. The site isn’t great, but provide links/phone numbers to specific locations. As of writing, the city has less than 67,524 first doses left before a new shipment arrives.

Birds! A meta-rare Snowy Owl was seen in Central Park, the first spotting of one in the park since December of 1890. (Jake Offenhartz and Jen Chung for Gothamist)

A majority of city voters support adding more protected bike lanes, wider sidewalks, greenery, and spaces for children to play, even if it means sacrificing parking or space for vehicles. Also, the sky is blue. (Christopher Robbins for Gothamist)

Hell has frozen over and the Brooklyn and Queensboro bridges are getting dedicated bike lanes by the end of the year. The Brooklyn Bridge bike lanes will take the place of one of the Manhattan-bound lanes of traffic, leaving the existing shared path above the road exclusively for pedestrians. The Queensboro Bridge lane will take over the north outer roadway. (Gersh Kuntzman for Streetsblog)

Video: Mayor de Blasio delivers his last State of the City address. (NYC Mayor’s Office)

In the address, the mayor outlines his theme for the speech, “A Recovery for All of Us,” including his pledge to vaccinate five million New Yorkers by June. (Emma G. Fitzsimmons for NY Times)

Covid sniffing dogs? Yeah, Covid sniffing dogs. (Fred Mogul for Gothamist)

A look at the human toll of the restaurant unemployment crisis during this never-ending pandemic. (Chris Crowley for Grub Street)

The mayor, full of unearned confidence, says that public schools will be open at full strength” in the fall. (Sophia Chang for Gothamist)

No one wants to hear this, but the fastest way to open up New York is to shut it down first. (Nick Reisman for NY1)


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A New Jersey man was caught on camera trying to set fire to a Queens restaurant called Ignited Restaurant & Lounge. (Chris Crowley for Grub Street)

The last link I’ll ever put in this newsletter containing analysis of Andrew Yang’s bodega video. (Andrew Silverstein for Grub Street)

Kal Penn, former member of the White House Office of Public Liaison and Kumar from the Harold and Kumar movies, endorsed Jimmy Van Bramer for Queens Borough President. (Allie Griffin for LIC Post)

The city created a $1 million, 280-page “vision plan” for making East Harlem resilient to climate change in 2017. It was completed in 2018. Like a magic trick, it has since disappeared. (Rachel Holliday Smith for The City)

A cheat-sheet to the Gowanus rezoning kerfuffle. (Brian Braiker for Brooklyn Magazine)

The Puppy Bowl is coming up on February 7, here are NYC’s five rescue pups headed for the big game. (Shaye Weaver for Time Out)

Turns out the BQE didn’t stop being a giant turd because we’re in a pandemic. The mayor is “hopeful for help” from the Biden Administration when it comes to repairs. (Claude Scales for Brooklyn Heights Blog)

A city education panel early rejected a testing contract, temporarily stopping the controversial practice of testing incoming kindergartners for admission to gifted programs. How will the city’s gifted and talented programs move forward? 🤷‍♂️ (Christina Veiga for Chalkbeat)

Burgie’s, the new burger spot from Roberta’s, is now open (again.) (Kara Zuaro for Brooklyn Based)

Do you know the history of the railroad apartment. (Cait Etherington for 6sqft)

The City Council voted to approve legislation to create 4,000 new permits for street vendors in the city over the next decade and will create a separate law enforcement unit to oversee the street vending community. Opponents say that an increase in street vendors will drive business from restaurants. (Tanay Warerkar for Eater)

The Times Square Margaritaville resort is scheduled to open in the fall, including the only outdoor pool in Times Square. (Emma Alpern for Curbed)

The story of how Scott Green, a lifelong civil rights activist, was buried in a mass grave on Hart Island. (Corey Kilgannon for NY Times)

In the perfect metaphor, the barge full of dredged up black mayo from the Gowanus Canal fro the Superfund cleanup sank into the Gowanus. (Sydney Pereira for Gothamist)

Did you attempt to vote in the 2016 election by text? You have Douglass Mackey to blame. (Nicole Hong for NY Times)

Meet Sink Reviews, the Tik Tok account rating NYC’s sinks. (Shaye Weaver for Time Out)

Photos: Okay, so here are a bunch of photos of NYC in the snow. Maybe this is cruel based on Monday’s weather forecast. (Will Gleason for Time Out)

What to know about the City Comptroller’s race in 2021. (Rachel Holliday Smith for The City)

Everything you need to know about the special elections in Queens and the Bronx, including what neighborhoods are included, candidates, dates, and what happened to cause the elections. (Claudia Irizarry Aponte for The City)

NYPD Officer Carmine Simpson was arrested on child pornography charges after requesting and obtaining sexually explicit photos and videos from at least 46 minors. Simpson is one of more than half a dozen officers from the NYPD that have been charged with sexual crimes against minors in the last two years. (Jonah Engel Bromwich for NY Times)

20 NYC spots with restaurant week deals. (Hannah Albertine for The Infatuation)

The Briefly for October 2-3, 2020 – The “Vaccinate All Your Trash Pandas” Friday Edition

The latest NYC news digest: Indoor dining, indoor schooling, the Brooklyn ballot blunder, NYSC gets sued, Kora’s doughnuts go pop-up, outdoor movies, and more

Today – Low: 54˚ High: 67˚
Possible drizzle in the morning.
This weekend – Low: 51˚ High: 67˚

If you’re one of the nearly 100,000 people who received incorrect ballots, the Board of Elections is sending you a few ballot. The Board of Elections is not doing much to earn our confidence in the last few years. (Brigid Bergin for Gothamist)

How’d the ballots get so screwed up? Blame Phoenix Graphics, the company hired to produce the ballots, which has historically supported Republicans and was paid $4.6 million to bungle our ballots, so to speak. (Clifford Michel for The City)

A look into the Brooklyn Psychedelic Society, and no, they do not provide drugs at their meetings. (Diana Kruzman for Bedford + Bowery)

A group of assholes from the Upper West Side rallied for the mayor to remove 240 homeless New Yorkers from their neighborhood and the mayor gave them what they wanted. The plan is to move them into a new shelter in the Financial District. Now, of course, there is a new group of assholes in the Financial District demanding they be moved elsewhere. (Tribeca Citizen)

The city is launching its annual campaign to vaccinate… the population of raccoons in the city against rabies. If you find your pet eating something that looks like a brown ketchup packet filled with a pink liquid, do your best to take it away from them, but it should not be harmful to them. (Liena Zagare for Bklyner)

There are ten neighborhoods in the city with positive Covid-19 testing rates above 3%, adding Fresh Meadows and Hillcrest to the already existing list. There are seven neighborhoods, East Williamsburg, Bed-Stuy, Windsor Terrace, Brighton Beach, Crown Heights, Rego Park and Jamaica Hills whose numbers are getting close to 3%. (Alehandra O’Connell-Domenech for amNewYork Metro)

An interactive map of Covid-19 cases. (Michelle Young for Untapped New York)

Mayor Bill de Blasio announced that people who refuse to wear masks will be fined up to $1,000. Does this extend to police officers? There were zero fines issued on the first day of enforcement. (Noah Singer for Brooklyn Eagle)

The city’s plans to test 10-20% of each school every two weeks may miss large outbreaks of the virus according to a new student from NYU and recommends that half of every school be tested twice a month in order to catch outbreaks before they quickly spread out of control. (Benedict Carey, James Glanz and Eliza Shapiro for NY Times)

John F. Kennedy Jr. School in Elmhurst is the first NYC school to shut down for two weeks after two positive Covid-19 cases. (Matt Troutman for Patch)

“I keep saying there appears to be a real separation between what’s happening in the neighborhoods versus what’s happening in the public schools that really do have a different constituency.” – That was Mayor de Blasio before the positive tests in Elmhurst that shut down John F. Kennedy Jr. School and 100% contradicted this sentiment. He also said “We did it!” talking about opening the schools, words he would immediately come to regret if he were capable of shame. (Matt Troutman for Patch)

Before schools opened, Mayor de Blasio said that children that were unwilling or unable to be tested for Covid-19 would be moved into 100% remote learning. He has backed down on that claim. (Christina Veiga for Chalkbeat)

Schools are still open across the city, but a single day spike of positive test results at 3.25% is waking people up to the realizing that it’s possible for the city to hit the 3% seven-day average tripwire that would shut down all schools. (Elizabeth Kim for Gothamist)

Keep your eyes out for special pennies. Jill Magid is releasing 120,000 pennies into the world as part of her project “Tender,” in which each penny has “The body was already so fragile” engraved on their side. (Allie Conti for NY Times)

NYPD officer Eduardo Vite from East Harlem’s 25th precinct was arrested for beating and pulling a gun on his girlfriend. Vite has a history of alleged domestic violence and proven complaints of on-duty misconduct. He is facing an internal investigation and remains on the force. (Jake Offenhartz for Gothamist)

The NYPD committed violations of international human rights laws during the June 4 protests, according to a new report by Human Rights Watch. (Ese Olumhense for The City)

Minutes after Governor Andrew Cuomo implored local governments to rethink the role of police in public safety after mass protests against racist police brutality, Cuomo said police officers should arrest people injecting drugs on city streets during a Tuesday press conference. (Sydney Pereira and Quari Alleyne for Gothamist)

James W. Cahill, president of the New York State Building & Construction Trades Council, was indicted on racketeering and fraud charges along with ten current and former members of the steamfitters Local 638. (Benjamin Weiser and Jesse McKinley for NY Times)

It’s the last few days of Century 21, if you think you’re gonna find a deal, get ready to wait in line. (NY1)

Indoor dining is (sort of) back in NYC. How nervous should you be about it? (Pete Wells for NY Times)

How to spot the risks of indoor dining. (Also Pete Wells for NY Times)

The mayor did not eat indoors on the first night of its availability. (Erika Adams for Eater)

“Overall, the restaurants where I ate, and the many others into which I popped my head during my tour, were operating well under the mandated 25% capacity. In fact, most dining rooms everywhere remained nearly empty even as their outdoor space filled up, perhaps not surprising given the exceptionally pleasant weather yesterday evening, not to mention the whole fear of catching a terrible contagious disease thing.”
-Scott Lynch, I Ate Inside A NYC Restaurant. This Is My Story for Gothamist

A last meal at Mission Chinese. (Robert Sietsema for Eater)

Some bars and restaurants are fighting back against the state SLA and winning, including Lucky in the East Village. (Chris Crowley for Grub Street)

Say farewell to the Islanders, who have played their last game in Brooklyn and will return to Long Island next season. (JT Torenli for Brooklyn Eagle)

Is it possible that America’s best bathroom is in Greely Square? Maybe it’s in the JFK AirTrain station? Both have been nominated. (Michelle Young for Untapped New York)

“We, the undersigned WSN Fall 2020 Editorial Staff, have collectively decided to resign from Washington Square News, effective immediately. This was extensively deliberated in collaboration with 43 staff editors, and it was not a decision we enjoyed making. However, we understand that continuing to work at WSN in our current circumstance would do more harm than good, and we refuse to condone what we have seen over the past three weeks.”
-Washington Square News Staff, We’re Resigning from WSN. Here’s Why. for Washington Square News

Queens Filipino bakery Kora is having a pop-up this weekend, featuring their innovative and extremely hard to get your hands on doughnuts. (Erika Adams for Eater)

Apartment Porn: This Hell’s Kitchen condo has a rooftop pool, a pocket park, a dog run, a library, and two guest suites. Apartments start at $910k for a studio. (Dana Schulz for 6sqft)

New York Sports Club is being sued for fraud by the Letitia James’s Attorney General office after it illegally charged customers fees during its legally mandated Covid-19 shutdown and then failed to issue reimbursements. (Sydney Pereira for Gothamist)

11 spots showing outdoor movies. I suggest Parklife on Wednesday nights, where you’ll find me hosting trivia before the movie, even if The Infatuation didn’t mention me I’m still linking to them! (Hannah Albertine for The Infatuation)

Thanks to reader Christopher V. for today’s featured photo.

The Briefly for April 10, 2020 – The “Bodegas and Fran Lebowitz Will Be There When Things Go to Hell” Edition

Today’s daily NYC news digest: Normplay, Cuomo doesn’t share de Blasio’s optimism, SNL works from home, Lincoln Center’s summer programming is canceled, restaurant spices, and more

Today – Low: 38˚ High: 50˚
Partly cloudy throughout the day.
This weekend – Low: 44˚ High: 61˚

When the Governor is begging the nation to send healthcare workers to New York, imagine how shitty you have to be to threaten to fire your employees for speaking out about bad conditions in your hospital. Instead, hospital administrators are encouraging “appropriate” social media posts with uplifting messages instead. The City Council is planning legislation to prohibit the firing of health care workers for speaking publicly about hospital conditions. (Noam Scheiber and Brian M. Rosenthal for NY Times)

Video: It’s almost weird to see videos of people crowded into Times Square. (ActionKid)

Plans to turn Cathedral of St. John the Divine into a hospital have hit the breaks. The public story is that a leveling off in infections is the reason, but there are also tensions between the church’s leaders and Samaritan’s Purse, the company operating Central Park’s field hospitals, who hold anti-Muslim and anti-LGBTQ stances. (Liam Stock for NY Times)

New Yorkers always know that when everything goes to hell, we can count on our bodegas. (Aaron Randle for NY Times)

“Never. It didn’t even occur to me. The morning of September 11th, someone called me and said, “We’re going to Connecticut. We can pick you up. Do you want to go?” I was just shocked that anyone would want to leave. I’m not leaving. In fact, I feel that I am like the designated New Yorker. Everyone else can leave. This is beyond saddening for me, to see the town this way.” –Fran Lebowitz is never leaving New York City. (Michael Schulman for The New Yorker)

Inside Coronavirus: Chinatown Stories, a video series making an effort to bring attention and love to Chinatown and Welcome to Chinatown, a grassroots initiative to support Chinatown restaurants. (Cathy Erway for Grub Street)

If you’ve been wondering “Why are the city’s landmarks lit up blue?,” it’s for the city’s essential workers. It started at Windsor Castle in the UK last month. (Devin Gannon for 6sqft)

In praise of making noise at 7 pm every night. (Amanda Hess for NY Times)

Everyone can submit an absentee ballot for the June 23 Democratic primary, thanks to an announcement from Governor Cuomo. (Emily Davenport for QNS)

Are you one of the 1/3 of renters in the country who didn’t pay April’s rent on time? (Devin Gannon for 6sqft)

A look inside the U.S. Open stadium’s makeshift hospital. (Maya Kaufman for Patch)

The story of how the Yankees became the Yankees, 107 years later. (Joe Pantorno for amNewYork Metro)

Traffic is down 60% on the BQE and speeds are up 288%. Proof that when you remove cars from the streets, the remaining vehicles can travel faster. (Winnie Hu for NY Times)

Have you hit the point where you miss all of the city’s inconveniences? Try Normplay. Nothing will make you appreciate staying at home like re-creating the pains of living in the city. (Ben Yakas for Gothamist)

The mayor is feeling optimistic about relaxing the city’s quarantine at the end of May, but Governor Cuomo doesn’t share his optimism. (Mark Hallum for amNewYork Metro)

PHotos: Separate, but together. Portraits of New Yorkers under quarantine. (Caroline Spivack with photos by Johnny Cirillo for Curbed)

Saturday Night Live is doing a “work from home” episode this weekend in what will surely be one of the weirdest television experiences of this pandemic. (Will Gleason for Time Out)

All of Lincoln Center’s summer programming is canceled for 2020. Lincoln Center Out of Doors, Midsummer Night Swing, and Mostly Motzart are all canceled. It’s not all bad news, they’re planning a pop-up festival for whenever we’re allowed to go outside again. (Amanda Hatfield for BrooklynVegan)

There are a lot of dark clouds lately, but let’s discover the silver linings. (6sqft)

Looking to emulate your favorite dishes from your favorite restaurants? Here are some restaurants in the city selling their spices and seasonings. (Luke Forney for Eater)

“We’re working with Google to come up with an online mechanism that bypasses any phone certification.” -The governor is working with Google to update the state’s unemployment verification process and remove phone verification, the hardest part of completing an unemployment claim. (Christopher Robbins for Gothamist)

The New York Historical Society wants your paper and digital ephemera that document all aspects of the current crisis. (Shaye Weaver for Time Out)

St. Patrick’s Cathedral Easter Mass is being streamed to Facebook and YouTube this year. (Shaye Weaver for Time Out)

Hart Island, the city’s potter’s field, normally sees about 25 new bodies buried by inmates each week. Lately, it’s two dozen bodies a day and contract laborers have been brought in to perform the burials. The photography in this article is absolutely chilling. (Christopher Robbins, Sydney Pereira, and Gwynne Hogan for Gothamist)

The latest slap in the face to restauranteurs and their staffs is GoFundMe making it difficult for the donated funds to be withdrawn. (Erika Adams for Eater)

The Times asks “Did New Yorkers Who Fled to Second Homes Bring the Virus?” The answer is yes. (Sarah Maslin Nir and Tracey Tully for NY Times)

10 great cookbooks and cocktail books from NYC restaurants and bars. (Bao Ong for Time Out)