The Briefly for December 29 – 30, 2020 – The “Penn Station, A Little Less Terrible” Tuesday Edition

The latest NYC news digest: The stimulus bill, the MTA looks for new ways to raise money, the post-Christmas Covid-19 spike is here, frozen NYC dinners, and more

Today – Low: 28˚ High: 39˚
Partly cloudy throughout the day.

Photos: Up close with the New Year’s Eve ball. (Shaye Weaver for Time Out)

With the stimulus bill passing, here’s what you need to know about the additional weekly $300 for unemployed workers. (Lauren Costantino for The City)

Buildings in the city are being graded like restaurants, the building I live in got a C, but almost half of the city’s buildings were given Ds and Fs. There’s no punishment for bad grades until 2024. (Lydia McMullen-Laird for Gothamist)

Video: The entire length of Broadway on an E-Scooter. (ActionKid)

Apartment Lust: This one-bedroom apartment in Greenwich Village is nice but its best feature is its pricetag under one million dollars. (Dana Schulz for 6sqft)

It’s a great week to look for a dog or cat to add to your life. Patch highlights some dogs and cats available, including Petunia, the super affectionate lap cat. (Patch)

The new Moynihan Train Hall at Penn Station is set to open on January 1. Penn Station will still be a terrible nightmare, but with one nice area, available by a tunnel. (Sydney Pereira for Gothamist)

Half of the MTA’s budget comes from fares and tolls and the state is waking up to the idea that maybe that’s not a great idea, which is why we’re getting ideas like taxing packages or raising gas taxes from the state. (Jose Martinez for The City)

If you’ve wondered how some of the city’s restaurants’ outdoor structures are possibly legal, you have the SLA’s unclear regulations and the city’s lack of enforcement to thank. (Ben Yakas for Gothamist)

Video: Say hello to the city’s asshole of the week, an unidentified woman who falsely accused a Black teenager of stealing her iPhone in the lobby of the Arlo Hotel. Her phone was found in an Uber later. (Ashley Reese for Jezebel)

There’s a new Pastrami Queen location on the Upper West Side. (Scott Lynch for Gothamist)

A look into what arts groups are doing to keep itself afloat through gala season. (Robin Pogrebin for NY Times)

The post-Christmas Covid-19 spike is here. (Matt Troutman for Patch)

Healthcare providers who violate the law by distributing the coronavirus vaccine could lose their license, be fined up to $1 million, and face possible prison time, under a new executive order from Governor Cuomo. (Devin Gannon for 6sqft)

Interview: The staff of Arlene’s Grocery on the struggles to exist through the pandemic. (Ben Yakas for Gothamist)

RIP Betty Campbell-Adams, founder of founded Lloyd’s Carrot Cake in the Bronx. (Alex Vadukul for NY Times)

Wanna make yourself hungry for bucatini? (It’s the pasta that looks like spaghetti, but it’s hollow). Read about the bizarre bucatini shortage of 2020. (Rachel Handler for Grub Street)

Given up on dinner? Here are 10 frozen options from NYC restaurants to upgrade your lazy dinners. (Christina Izzo for Time Out)

Thanks to reader Francesca for today’s featured photo!

The Briefly for December 22 – 26, 2020 – The “Tracy Morgan is the Good Dude of 2020” Tuesday Edition

The latest NYC news digest: Coney Island’s new coaster, 2020 most popular NYPL books, you don’t love Christmas like this guy does, 19 cozy outdoor dining spots, and more

Today – Low: 31˚ High: 42˚
Possible drizzle in the morning.

Little Island, legal weed, the Open Culture program, and the 11 things we can actually look forward to in NYC in 2021. (Shaye Weaver for Time Out)

The NYPL’s most popular books of 2020, which are very 2020 in their themes. (Shaye Weaver for Time Out)

Yeah, you might love Christmas, but not as much as “Frankie Christmas” whose back is adorned with a giant Santa tattoo under “Merry Christmas” and whose house is fully adorned for Christmas starting in September. (Stacie Joy for EV Grieve)

Tracy Morgan continues to be the good dude of the year, this time partnering with the Food Bank for New York City and Councilwoman Vanessa Gibson to give turkeys and toys to NYCHA residents of Highbridge Houses in the Bronx. (Jason Cohen for Bronx Times)

It’s not doomsday, at least when it comes to the MTA. The $908 billion federal stimulus includes $4 billion for the MTA which avoids a doomsday scenario. Now, instead of being in a $12 billion hole, the MTA is in an $8 billion hole. Wait, this isn’t doomsday? (Jake Offenhartz for Gothamist)

A look at what else NYC gets besides $600 each from the latest pandemic stimulus bill. (Matt Troutman for Patch)

A part of the bill was $15 billion for the Save Our Stages Act, which will go a long way to help venues and theaters by allowing them to apply for Small Business Administration grants to support six months of payments to employees, rent, utilities, and maintenance. Venues that have lost more than 90% of their revenue can apply first. (Elie Z Perler for Bowery Boogie)

A running list of Williamsburg & Greenpoint places closed for good during COVID-19, the latest addition to the list is The Diamond, which closes January 3. (Bill Pearis for BrooklynVegan)

The Classic Coffee Shop on Hester Street is closing on Christmas after forty years. This isn’t a pandemic closure or an eviction, owner Carmine Morales decided to retire. (Elie Z. Perler for Bowery Boogie)

The Times looks at the 2021 mayor’s race through the lens of hired political consultants, riding the subway, early contenders, failures in leadership, and ranked-choice voting. Yeah, but which contenders have ever had a drink at The Continental? (Emma G. Fitzsimmons and Jeffrey C Mays for NY Times)

360° Video: If you miss riding the subway, take a ride from Astoria to Bay Ridge. (ActionKid)

Video: The finished Surrogate’s Courthouse skylight restoration project, which is absolutely stunning, and quite honestly might be one of the most beautiful interiors in the entire city. (Nicole Saraniero for Untapped New York)

Speaking of 2021, the “2021” numbers have arrived in Times Square, signaling an end to a cursed year. (Jen Carlson and Jen Chung for Gothamist)

The city plans to launch a mental health screening initiative for public school students, which will be in place by September and not whenever all students are allowed back inside school buildings. (David Cruz for Gothamist)

Coney Island is getting a new roller coaster called the Phoenix as a part of Deno’s Wonder Wheel Amusement Park. The coaster is expected to be built along W. 12th St between the Bowery and the boardwalk. (Brian Braiker for Brooklyn Magazine)

Apartment Lust: A $2.3 million, 2,000 square foot condo in Hudson Square with wood-beamed ceilings, brick walls, rustic wood floors, a terrace, and a completely updated kitchen. (Dana Schulz for 6sqft)

19 restaurants for cozy outdoor dining in Brooklyn. (Erika Adams for Eater)

Workers under 25 made up just 10 percent of the city’s total workforce before the pandemic, holding 15 percent of the jobs in the hardest-hit service industries. As the Times headline goes, They’re Young, Unemployed and Facing Bleak Prospects. Not a catchy chant, but it’s the truth. (Winnie Hu for NY Times)

Dozens of judges are being forced to retire to close a pandemic budget gap and in response they’re suing New York state, charging age discrimination. (Benjamin Weiser for NY Times)

Answering the question: What is a pied-à-terre? (Laura Vacsey for StreetEasy)

Why New Yorkers love New York. (Jen Carlson for Gothamist)

The 2020 NYC Christmas food guide. (Nikko Duren for The Infatuation)

Thanks to reader Alex for todays featured photo!

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!