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 8-10, 2020 – The “There is Pizza and There is Everything Else” Tuesday Edition

The latest NYC news digest: The Staten Island mess continues (with video), Pearl River Mart’s flagship is closing, a look at West Farms in the Bronx, and more

Today – Low: 33˚ High: 38˚
Mostly cloudy throughout the day.

In praise of Andrea Stewart-Cousins’s ability to get the New York legislature on the same page. (Bill Mahoney for Politico)

The fire that destroyed the Middle Collegiate Church also displaced 22 women from a single women’s shelter next door. (Cydney Pereira for Gothamist)

Pearl River Mart’s flagship store has “no other choice but to shut down” due to pressure from an unforgiving landlord. (Elie Z. Perler for Bowery Boogie)

President Obama has ruled that New York pizza, also known as pizza, is better than Chicago-style pizza, which is also known as Chicago-style pizza. (Christina Izzo for Time Out)

Just over seven years ago John Stewart gave us this rant about Chicago deep-dish pizza. (The Daily Show)

Ghouls get Covid-19 too, as Rudy Giuliani tested positive. (Tim Moran for Patch)

55% of the FDNY is unwilling to be vaccinated against Covid-19. Their union is defending their right to refuse. (Dean Moses for amNewYork Metro)

In June, the mayor announced he would end solitary confinement in the city’s jails after getting recommendations “in the fall.” The mayor has once again set a deadline for himself and appears ready to blow it. (Rosa Goldensohn for The City)

A look at the history of how New York City became a stoop town. (Ephemeral New York)

Putting West Farms in the Bronx into focus, the epicenter of the city’s economic crisis where one of four workers is out of work. (Winnie Hu, Juliana Kim, Jo Corona and Amr Alfiky for NY Times)

Senator Schumer paid Arlene’s Grocery a visit in support of the Save Our Stages Ace in congress before Arlene’s potential closure on February 1. (Elie Z. Perler for Bowery Boogie)

An NYC-themed holiday gift guide. (Untapped New York)

The state’s legislature is ready to make another attempt at a pied-à-terre tax in 2021. (Oshrat Carmiel for Bloomberg)

Sharp eyes in the East Village will spot Marvel’s ‘Hawkeye’ filming this week. (EV Grieve)

It seems ridiculous that NYCHA residents in Coney Island would be demanding repairs from Hurricane Sandy, but here we are. (Rose Adams for Brooklyn Paper)

Governor Cuomo announced that regions of the state that reach 90% hospital capacity would face new shutdowns. (Elizabeth Kim for Gothamist)

The governor also warned that indoor dining in NYC could be shutdown by next week based on the city’s rising hospitalization rates. (Tanay Warerkar for Eater)

Video: Watch Bruce Springsteen & Bleachers play “Chinatown” on the roof of Electric Lady recording studio. (Bill Pearis for BrooklynVegan)

The winner of the seventh annual Flatiron Plaza Holiday Design installation program is “Point of Action” by Studio Cooke John that’s meant to evoke the feeling of seeing other New Yorkers from a distance, which is something we’re a little familiar with now. (Bill Gleason for Time Out)

Photos: This year’s Dyker Heights Christmas lights (Collier Sutter for Time Out)

Did you know that New York City is unable to lower the speed limit on its roads? It’s strictly a state responsibility right now, but State Senator Brad Hoylman is looking to change that with new legislation. (Jake Offenhartz for Gothamist)

Confessions of an orthodox Jewish drug dealer. (Aaron Lefkov for Brooklyn Magazine)

Photos and Video: Birds? Birds. Check out the brightly-colored Western Tanager seen in Chelsea.

Video: Watch Danny Presti, manager of the dumbest bar in all of New York City, who says he “did nothing wrong” drive away with a New York City Sheriff on the hood of his car while being arrested. (Lydia Hu for NY1)

Video: Watch Pete Davidson dunk on Staten Island’s Covid-19 protests on Weekend Update. (SNL)

The mess over Mac’s Public House exposed the Mason-Dixon line in Staten Island. (Clifford Michel for The City)

The city’s most festive outdoor dining set-ups for the holidays. (Christina Izzo for Time Out)

Thanks to reader Alex for today’s featured photo from Dyker Heights where it “wasn’t very crowded (yet) and most people wore their masks.”

The Briefly for November 22-23, 2020 – The “We Are An Owl City Now” Sunday Edition

Thanksgiving, travel, owls, the Rockefeller Christmas tree, NYC’s tallest building, what to carry out for Thanksgiving, and more

Today – Low: 53˚ High: 54˚
Rain in the evening and overnight.

Interactive Map: Are you in a Covid-19 hot spot zone? (Shaye Weaver for The Out)

This takes the cake. The NYC Sheriff’s office broke up a sex party in Queens in a yellow hot spot zone. (Sydney Pereira for Gothamist)

If you’re headed to Penn Station, here are some carry out restaurant options. This is not an endorsement of traveling anywhere for Thanksgiving. (Robert Sietsema for Eater)

The CDC wants you to stay home for Thanksgiving. (Roni Caryn Rabin for NY Times)

It’s a great year to change up some traditions. Here’s a look at some New Yorkers that are planning multicultural Thanksgiving celebrations this year. (Charu Suri for Eater)

The best takeout and delivery options for Thanksgiving this year. (Christina Izzo for Time Out)

A list of the holiday traditions that have been canceled this year and suggestions on how to replace them. (Collier Sutter for Time Out)

While the pandemic has destroyed seemingly everything else, the Bowery Mission will still be distributing thousands of pounds of food to those who need it this year in to-go meals instead of their traditional indoor dining. (EV Grieve)

What is a law that isn’t enforced? Good question, because Governor Cuomo’s 10-person limit on indoor celebrations will not be enforced by the NYPD according to NYPD Commissioner Dermot Shea. If you publicly declare that you won’t be doing a portion of your job, would you get to keep your job? (Matt Troutman for Patch)

Video: Walking tour of 5th Ave and Rockefeller Center. (CitiBikeWalkEat)

Four ways to show Chinatown some love this season. (Christina Izzo for Time Out)

Map: A subway map that shows what sections were open in what decades. (vanshnookenraggen on r/NYCrail)

Jaythan Kendrick was released from prison on Thursday night after 25 years, after his conviction in a Long Island City murder case was overturned. (Clodagh McGowan for NY1)

The state only distributed $40 million of its $100 million federal rent relief money. What the hell is it waiting for? (Sydney Pereira for Gothamist)

A look back at the history of the Grand Army Plaza arch in Brooklyn and forward to its renovations, but more important is the detail that the interior of the arch and its roof will be open to the public for special occasions. (John Freeman Gill for NY Times)

“She is an intelligent, autonomous being who should be treated with respect and dignity, and who may be entitled to liberty.” The court case that asks the question “Is Happy the Elephant in the Bronx Zoo a person?” is moving forward after a judge’s decision included the earlier quote. (Matt Troutman for Patch)

The MetLife Building Sky Bridge is being demolished. (Michelle Young for Untapped New York)

Looking to avoid people? Here are the days and times to avoid people at coffee shops, grocery stores, and more. The data comes from Google Maps. Restaurants are least busy on Wednesdays at 11 am. (Matt Troutman for Patch)

A history of owls that hitched a ride on Rockefeller Center Christmas trees. (Jen Carlson for Gothamist)

The Times, determined to ruin our fun, defends the Rockefeller Christmas tree as going through a normal awkward phase. (Ed Shanahan for NY Times)

Oh. My. God. There is a second barred owl! (Mike Mishkin for I Love the Upper West Side)

Rendering: A look at what could become the tallest building in NYC (measured by roof height) at 1646′. (Vanessa Londono for New York YIMBY)

Photos: The giant dogs of the Upper West Side. (Sara Lewin Lebwohl for I Love the Upper West Side)

The best things the staff of The Infatuation ate this week. (The Infatuation)