The Briefly for December 20-21, 2020 – The “Not A Few Bad Apples” Sunday Edition

The latest NYC news digest: You can pee indoors again, you can buy the Gem Spa sign, the best meals of the year, the worst time to travel, and more

Today – Low: 34˚ High: 38˚
Possible light rain in the afternoon.

You can pee in restaurants again. It was less than an hour after Tuesday’s email that the city to reversed guidance that barred outdoor diners from coming inside if they needed to tinkle or drop a deuce. (Benjamin Hart for Grub Street)

22 years after the city said it would move the NYPD tow pound from Pier 76 at 36th St, which sits on state parkland. The state’s budget imposed a $3 million monthly fine on the city that starts in January for not moving the tow pound, which are on top of an additional $12 million in fines that already exist. (Zack Fink for NY1)

Believe it or not, the city’s Department of Investigation found that the problems in the NYPD that caused escalations of violence after the death of George Floyd by its officers was systemic and not caused by a few bad apples, that there was a racial tilt to how people were charged after arrested, and “lacked a clearly defined strategy” to respond to the protests. (Greg B. Smith for The City)

The Legal Aid Society is suing the state for the release of information on the spread of COVID-19 in prisons, arguing that the Department of Corrections has failed to identify the facilities where officers have contracted the virus, making it impossible to trace how widespread the virus is within the prison system. (Gwynne Hogan for Gothamist)

Critically-acclaimed restaurant Hunky Dory in Crown Heights opened the Hunky Depot, a small holiday market in the restaurant’s dining room. There’s room for six at a time so the lines may be as long as their pre-pandemic brunch lines. (Michelle Young for Untapped New York)

The New York City Housing Authority is NYC’s worst landlord for the third year in a row, according to Public Advocate Jumaane Williams’s 100 worst landlords list. Williams lays the blame at the de Blasio administration’s feet for their management of the federal program. (David Cruz for Gothamist)

Looking for a last-minute gift for someone who absolutely loves NYC? How about the Gem Spa sign? Gem Spa is auctioning off just about anything they could rip off the walls to those who can afford it. (Ben Yakas for Gothamist)

If you’re looking for some Christmas history in Manhattan, look no further than the seemingly-innocuous flagpole with a star on it in Madison Square Park. The Star of Hope markets the spot of NYC’s first Christmas tree lighting ceremony in 1912. (Nicole Saraniero for Untapped New York)

13 places to find spectacular holiday decorations in NYC. (Nicole Saraniero for Untapped New York)

Apartment Lust: A $22 million, 7,400 square foot, seemingly endless townhouse on the Upper East Side with a roof deck, wine cellar, multiple smaller decks, and a tub big enough to look like a small pool. (Dana Schulz for 6sqft)

Documentary: “I’ve had women who fondled my dog more than they fondled me” The Dogs of Manhattan from 1998, an often accidentally comedic look at dog walking culture in NYC in the late 90s. (Fat Building/YouTube)

The story of good boy Balto, who has a statue dedicated to him in Central Park, who famously helped bring the diphtheria antitoxin to Nome, Alaska 95 years ago this week seems fitting today. Balto’s statue is just east of the Willowdell Arch. (Jen Carlson for Gothamist)

Video: Subway station secrets. (GoGoSupertoe)

A look at Brooklyn-based photographer Katia Repina’s exhibition “Intimacy in the Time of Corona” at NYU’s Gallatin Galleries. (Brian Braiker for Brooklyn Magazine)

Two bills passed by the City Council this week will increase protections for workers at fast-food companies. The first prohibits firing workers without “just cause” and the other requires that layoffs occur by seniority, protecting workers who have worked for companies longer. (Sydney Pereira for Gothamist)

Who wants to bet that the auction to destroy Donald Trump’s Atlantic City casino will raise more money than the GoFundMe to buy his childhood house? (Devin Gannon for 6qsft)

The city’s schools are making big changes to deal with the havoc caused by the pandemic, including eliminating academic screens for Middle schools, virtual performing art school auditions, widespread administration of the SHSAT, and eliminating district-based admissions preference. (Christina Veiga for Chalkbeat)

There’s been a spike in the number of reported puppy scams lately and this is a reminder that there are plenty of shelters across the city and region. Don’t be the asshole that buys a dog. (Gillian Smith for Patch)

The New York City Parks Department is looking to evict one of the city’s biggest processors of food waste at the end of the year. (Julie Levy for Bedford + Bowery)

The story of how the Blue Light Speak Cheesy went from operating out of an apartment window with paper bags and a pulley system to a full-on operation. (Amy Rowe for Grub Street)

Pernil at La Isla Cuchifritos, Gumbo at FieldTrip, and the rest of Ryan Sutton’s favorite dishes of 2020. (Ryan Sutton for Eater)

Roberta’s Burgie’s, “burger and fries concept” in East Williamsburg from the folks behind the pizza at Roberta’s is open for take out and delivery only. (Rachel Sugar for Grub Street)

Hats off to Ben Weiss, who took a ride on a double-decker tour bus this week. (Ben Weiss for Bedford + Bowery)

If you feel like you absolutely must travel this week, and you should absolutely without question not be doing that, the worst time to be on the road is 4:30 p.m. on Dec. 30. (Adam Nichols for Patch)

31 brunch spots with outdoor heat lamps. (Matt Tervooren for The Infatuation)

Thanks to reader Madeline for today’s featured photo!

The Briefly for May 14, 2020 – The “Your Reservation for The L Train is in 45 Minutes” Edition

Today’s daily NYC news digest: 12 miles of new open streets, the NYPD take aim at Dr Oxiris Barbot, the possible end of the Staten Island Yankees, a brunch delivery guide, and more

Today – Low: 58˚ High: 62˚
Possible light rain overnight.

I haven’t been tested this whole time.” -Mayor de Blasio (Kathleen Culliton for Patch)

The city is adding 12 additional miles of open streets today/Thursday. Some protected bike lanes that have been long-planned were also announced for opening throughout the month. (Dana Schulz for 6sqft)

The MTA is looking into “everything” when it comes to crowd control and reducing packed subway cars once the city starts reopening, including reserving space on subways and buses. (Collier Sutter for Time Out)

The chaos at Elmhurst hospital exposes the city’s lack of a cohesive healthcare system and shows that all we have are a series of hospitals that are ill-equipped to work as a team. (Jim Dwyer for NY Times)

The police union is calling for the head of Dr. Oxiris Barbot after she denied an NYPD request for 500,000 surgical masks during the height of the pandemic. Her response was that she “didn’t give two rats’ asses about your cops.” Okay, maybe that’s not the best response, but the NYPD’s total headcount is 55,000, why do they need 500,000 masks during a PPE shortage? (NY1)

It must be fun to be NYPD Commissioner Dermot Shea because he seems to exist in a reality that the rest of us don’t inhabit. According to Shea, the problem with the NYPD’s selective and racially biased enforcement isn’t the NYPD, the problem is the people the NYPD are enforcing the rules on. No one doubts that being an NYPD officer is one of the toughest possible jobs in the city, but to argue that when a cop with a violent history beats the shit out of an NYCHA groundskeeper with no criminal history, it’s the groundskeeper’s fault? (Jake Offenhartz for Gothamist)

It was only a few months ago that I linked to a story about Brian Quinn, aka Q from “Impractical Jokers” on TruTV reviving the Rubsam and Horrmann name for brewing company in Staten Island. Covid-19, like with most things, pumped the brakes on his places. Now their unused beer is being used to create hand santizer, working with Kings County Distillery in Brooklyn. (Roger Clark for NY1)

State Senator Julia Salazar earned Bernie Sanders’s endorsement in her re-election campaign, along with financial support from his followers. State Senator Mike Gianaris also earned Sanders’s support for his beating back of Amazon in Queens. (Andrew Karpan for Bushwick Daily)

82 kids are being treated for pediatric multi-system inflammatory syndrome. Fourteen states and five European countries are investigating the syndrome. (Kathleen Culliton for Patch)

The move by Major League Baseball to downsize minor league teams is still moving forward, and the Staten Island Yankees are still on the chopping block. Game attendance was at its lowest last season and its games are the third-lowest attended games in the league. This could be the last season for the team if the season ever gets started. (Amanda Farinacci for NY1)

There’s a commissioned new mural at Atlantic Terminal by Brooklyn artist Jason Naylor which adds a splash of bright color, titled “Hope,” to the city. (Meaghan McGoldrick for Brooklyn Paper)

Governor Cuomo added a sign language interpreter to his daily press conferences after being sued by Disability Rights New York for not including one. (Marina Fang for HuffPost)

Crews at Green-Wood Cemetery have been working seven days a week with shifts that can be longer than 17 hours to keep up with the demand for cremation and burials. (Gwynne Hogan for Gothamist)

In a sign of good news, healthcare workers now have a lower rate of infection than the general population, which points at being careful and taking precautions actually working. (Mark Hallum for amNewYork Metro)

Are we ready for in-person shopping to look very different? (Collier Sutter for Time Out)

David Chang is closing Momofuku Nishi for good. (Emma Orlow for Time Out)

The City Council passed a package of legislation to help small businesses on Wednesday that aims to protect commercial tenants from harassment by their landlords and restrict the fees that third-party apps such as Grubhub and Uber Eats can charge businesses during states of emergency. (Ben Verde for amNewYork Metro)

The New York Times has discovered something new during the pandemic: the outside. (Alexis Soloski for NY Times)

The city is supposed to be stepping up to help New York’s homeless when the subways close at 1 am. NY1 followed the trains to the end of the tracks to find a city that was not equipped to help the people that need it the most. (Courtney Gross for NY1)

Plan your weekend, here’s a brunch delivery guide. (Nikko Duren for The Infatuation)

Thanks to reader Karen for today’s featured photo of a new way to get car-free streets in the city.

The Briefly for April 30, 2020 – The “I Will Report You To 311 For This!” Edition

Today’s daily NYC news digest: Alternatives for grocery delivery, Governor Cuomo’s quizzical piece of art, 40 inexpensive takeout suggestions, IKEA Rego Park’s opening delayed, and more

Today – Low: 53˚ High: 57˚
Rain until morning, starting again in the evening.

Waiting for an antibody test is the new waiting for a table at brunch. (Zijia Song for Bedford + Bowery)

One of Brooklyn’s best places to go for peace and quiet is now closed to the public. Floyd Bennett Field is being used to store MTA buses, cutting off access to the Gateway National Recreation Area, Floyd Bennett Gardens Association’s access to their gardens, and some of the city’s best spots for biking. (Gabriel Sandoval and Jose Martinez for The City)

Andrew Yang is suing New York state for canceling the Democratic presidential primary, trying to get it reinstated. (Emily Ngo for NY1)

“I am not happy at all, and this doesn’t have to do with what candidate you are supporting.” –AOC on the primary’s cancelation. (Juan Manuel Benitez for NY1)

Residential noise complaints to 311 have gone up by 22% during everyone’s quarantine. I’m sorry, I’m trying to perfect my tap dancing. I’ll try to keep it down. (Charles Woodman for Patch)

A look inside the Hunts Point Food Distribution Center and how it’s kept itself, and the city’s food supply chain, going during the pandemic. (Gary He for Eater)

VIDEO: “The Central Park,” a mashup of scenes from movies in or around Central Park. (Flaming Pablum)

Major League Baseball continues to think of how to play the remainder of the season, whenever that might start. The latest idea disbands the American and National Leagues in favor of three geographic-based leagues and highlights local rivalries, giving us a season’s worth of Subway Series games. (Joe Pantorno for amNewYork Metro)

The cover of the April 15 New Yorker sums life up pretty well right now. An interview with Chris Ware about “Still Life.” (Françoise Mouly for The New Yorker)

Sara Erenthal’s work, which uses the city’s trash as a canvas for years, has been featured multiple times in The Briefly’s daily photos (including one claiming “our president is an absolute piece of shit, which I got an angry email about). Here’s an interview with Erenthal about her art and experience creating it. (Ben Yakas for Gothamist)

A series of interviews with N.Y.U. Langone Health nurses, who bear the burden and weight of the city’s sick and dying. (David Gonzalez and Sinna Nasseri for NY Times)

“You know what it spells? It spells love.” When Governor Cuomo unveiled a wall of masks, I spent a few moments actually searching for the word “LOVE” within it. He was speaking metaphorically and I’m glad no one was around to watch me lean in and squint to try to see it. I wasn’t the only one confused. (Kathleen Culliton for

Go beyond Amazon Prime and Instacart. 10 grocery delivery services that are locally focused. (amNewYork Metro)

The funeral in Williamsburg is putting the NYPD and city officials in a tough spot. More than 2,000 Satmar Hasidic Jewish residents flooded the streets, despite an attempt to work with the NYPD to socially distance, endangering everyone involved. (Todd Maisel for Brooklyn Paper)

NYPD Commissioner Dermot Shea stated it bluntly: there will be “zero tolerance” for gatherings like this in the future because the crowds are “putting my cops at risk.” (Todd Maisel for amNewYork Metro)

“I have no regrets about calling out this danger and saying we’re going to be dealing with it very, very aggressively” -Mayor de Blasio on future enforcement of social distancing after the funeral. (Nina Golgowski for HuffPost)

CitiBike is expanding into upper Manhattan and the Bronx starting the week of May 4 with 100 new docking stations. (Caroline Spivack for Curbed)

A map of the Bronx’s new CitiBike locations. (Ed García Conde for Welcome2TheBronx)

The city will offer COVID-19 antibody tests to 150,000 health care workers and first responders to determine whether they’ve been infected. The Department of Defense will also be setting up a program to treat health care workers for “combat stress.” Chirlane McCray is in charge of the mental health program. Hopefully, unlike her past work with ThriveNYC, this will be proven to be effective. (Erin Durkin for Politico)

Throughout May, the city will transfer 1,000 New Yorkers living in city homeless shelters every week to vacant hotel rooms, according to the mayor. The city has approximately 30,000 empty hotel rooms. (Alejandra O’Connell-Domenech for amNewYork Metro)

The YMCA launched YMCA @ Home, free workout classes. (Will Gleason for Time Out)

The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum is offering 200 exhibition catalogs from its archives for free, dating back to 1936. (Howard Halle for Time Out)

Last weekend you baked Junior’s cheesecake, this weekend are you ready for another challenge? Here’s the recipe for Magnolia Bakery’s iconic cupcakes. (Bao Ong for Time Out)

A closer look at the MTA’s new code of conduct that is written with the explicit intention of clearing homeless New Yorkers from trains and enable daily disinfecting of each car. (Mark Hallum for amNewYork Metro)

IKEA Rego Park’s store opening has been pushed back to the fall. (Michael Dorgan for LIC Post)

Dozens of bodies — many of which were the remains of coronavirus victims – were seen being loaded from several U-Haul trucks to a refrigerator truck outside of a Brooklyn funeral home on Wednesday. (Todd Maisel and Jessica Parks for amNewYork Metro)

RIP Samuel Hargress Jr., owner of Paris Blues in Harlem and “the soul ambassador of, that culture of community.” (Steven Kurutz for NY Times)

Vox Media furloughed 9% of its staff and will be making Curbed a part of New York Magazine. Starting May 1, Curbed will be completely furloughed for three months. There is a GoFundMe for the Vox staff who have been furloughed. (Vox Media Furlough Fund)

Looking to donate food to the city’s essential workers? Here are eight ways to deliver food without having to leave your couch. (Emma Orlow for Time Out)

40 inexpensive dining destinations still open, straight from Robert Sietsema’s inexpensive dining column. (Robert Sietsema for Eater)

Thanks to reader Natalie for today’s featured photo!