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 September 20-21, 2020 – The “Don’t Call This A Staycation” Sunday Edition

Sunday’s NYC news digest: A potpourri of news, a RBG statue, City Hall’s annual report card, what we miss from pre-pandemic NYC, how to pack an emergency bag, and more

Today – Low: 52˚ High: 64˚
Clear throughout the day.

Ruth Bader Ginsburg will be honored with a statue in Brooklyn. (Jen Chung for Gothamist)

NYC’s legal community reflects on RBG’s life and work. (Sophia Chang for Gothamist)

It feels insulting for for the city to push an advertising campaign that New Yorkers should “staycation” in New York City. Turns out when you remove the tourists from midtown, we still hate midtown. (Matt Coneybeare for Viewing NYC)

The MTA has issued exactly zero summonses for mask non-compliance. (Stephen Nessen for Gothamist)

The anatomy of an NYC protest. Which role do you play? (Juliana Kim and Simbarashe Cha for NY Times)

New York City’s school reopening plans are still missing a key ingredient: enough teachers. (Christina Veiga for Chalkbeat)

Parents and students react to the city’s constant waffling about the start of the school year. This feels like trying to read all of your summer reading in the weekend before school starts. (Sophia Chang, Gwynne Hogan, Jessica Gould for Gothamist)

The de Blasio administration released a 420-page document tracking City Hall operations for the last year. Murders are up. Juvenile arrests are up. Violent incidents in jails are up while population is down. The “excess death” rate” suggests the death toll from Covid-19 might be well over 50,000. NYPD response times are up. Response times for emergency complaints in NYCHA buildings is up. The homeless population increased. The good news? Rat complaints are down and there were new bike lanes built. (Jake Offenhartz for Gothamist)

The report “Discipline in the NYPD 2019” outlines, but doesn’t detail, 339 cases in which officers faced departmental charges. Cops pleaded or were found guilty in 322 of those cases. Only 27 lost their jobs. (Matt Troutman for Patch)

Murderinos: Look no further than your own backyard. The untold story of the Tompkins Square murder. (David Swanson for Village Voice from 1989)

Businesses around Yankee Stadium held a rally Thursday afternoon demanding that the city renegotiate the lease and tax deal that Yankee management worked out to stay in the Bronx under the Bloomberg administration, claiming that extra money obtained through the negotiation could help keep businesses surrounding the stadium stay afloat until fans are able to return to the stadium. (Todd Maisel for amNewYork Metro)

The 2020 fall foliage map. (Jen Carlson for Gothamist)

At the crossroads of art and commerce is the controversy at the Whitney, who canceled an exhibition of arresting responses to the pandemic and Black Lives Matter protests after artists of color criticized the Whitney for acquiring their work without consent and through discount sales. (Zachary Small for NY Times)

A look at how Governors Island could become a climate center for the city. (Michael Kimmelman for NY Times)

The mayor, possibly unaware that he is the mayor, made public comments about how outdoor dining “should become permanent.” Will he walk the walk or just talk the talk? (Luke Fortney for Eater)

The pandemic tax? City Council voted in favor of giving restaurants the option to add a 10% charge to bills as an economic recovery support measure. The mayor supports the bill and once he signs it, it will be in effect immediately until indoor dining returns to full capacity. I guess the city’s response to us asking it to help restaurants is “help them yourself.” (Erika Adams for Eater)

If the last few years have seen the food world grapple with systemic issues like pay disparities, culinary credit, tipping, and harassment from either big-time chefs or everyday customers, the poorly regulated return of indoor dining — during a deadly pandemic, no less — feels like a middle finger to hospitality workers.
-Ryan Sutton, chief food critic for Eater, NYC’s Indoor Dining Comeback Fails Restaurant Workers. Here’s Why. for Eater

The city’s first store dedicated to Covid-19 essentials opened in Herald Square. (Dana Schulz for 6sqft)

A new report from Comptroller Scott Stringer’s office found that 57 percent of dogs tested at city-run shelters developed respiratory disease during their stays, among other troubling findings. (Matt Troutman for Patch)

The NYPD is working with the Trump administration to blame violent crime on bail reform by bringing federal charges instead of local charges against people suspected of involvement in shootings. The NYPD’s own data shows a lack of a link between bail reform and the increase in violent crime, but the truth has never stopped the NYPD of Trump administration before. (Christopher Robbins for Gothamist)

The mayor announced he will force his staff to take an unpaid one-week furlough between October 2020 and March 2021 to save money. It will save under a million dollars. The mayor is currently looking for a billion dollars of savings or will lay off 22,000 city employees. (Dana Rubenstein for NY Times)

Wanna buy a T. rex skeleton? Stan, the T. rex, is up for auction on October 6 at Christie’s. (Zachary Smalls for NY Times)

Photos: Sunnyside has become the home of fairies. No, really. (Allie Griffin for Sunnyside Post)

Where to eat outside in Prospect Heights. (Nikko Duren for The Infatuation)

A love letter to the 1993 Super Mario Bros movie, a movie about two brothers from Brooklyn. (Charles Pulliam-Moore for Gizmodo)

Indoor pools will be able to open on September 30 at 33% capacity. (Collier Sutter for Time Out)

Apartment Porn: A $16.5 million Upper East Side townhouse with a miniature pool and a roof garden. (Dana Schulz for 6sqft)

More than 170 New York City transit workers have been harassed or assaulted for asking passengers to wear masks. (Christina Goldbaum for NY Times)

38 glorious Chinese restaurants open right now. (Robert Sietsema for Eater)

It’s not uncommon to see people sitting outside libraries in an attempt to use the free wifi. (Reuven Blau for The City)

Columbia’s marching band disbanded itself for “a history riddled with offensive behavior.” (Corey Kilgannon for NY Times)

Bankruptcy will not stop New York Sports Clubs from charging you your monthly fee. The state attorney general’s office is investigating. (Caroline Lewis for Gothamist)

Trick or treating is nor canceled this year, ensuring the scariest Halloween of all time. (Ben Yakas for Gothamist)

There will be no snow days at all this year, as classes will move to remote learning in case of snow. (Amy Zimmer for Chalkbeat)

Dante in Greenwich Village, voted world’s best bar by Time Out) is now offering canned cocktails. (Bao Ong for Time Out)

In praise of Gloria’s Caribbean, a Crown Heights mainstay. (Scott Lynch for Gothamist)

Brooklyn’s real estate market has been hotter than Manhattan’s, pre- and post-pandemic. (Kael Goodman for amNewYork Metro)

Time Out looks back to the 10 things we miss the most about the Before Times in NYC. (Shaye Weaver for Time Out)

Photos: “Doggy Bags” brings giant dog sculptures to the Garment District. (Michelle Young for Untapped New York)

How to pack an emergency bag. Just in case. (A. C. Shilton for NY Times)

NYC’s most anticipated restaurants openings of fall 2020. (Tanay Warerkar for Eater)

The Briefly for July 24, 2020 – The “Fight For Your Right To Party Or Not?” Edition

Today’s daily NYC news digest: New York’s rent relief program, the 2020 blue wave headed for Albany, the NYPD fight against disclosure, where to eat in LIC, and more

Today – Low: 75˚ High: 81˚
Rain in the morning and afternoon.
This weekend – Low: 76˚ High: 90˚

Here’s a combination of words you wouldn’t expect to describe New York City: “humid subtropical climate zone.” Welcome to the era of the sultry night in New York City. (Lisa M Collins for NY Times)

The details about applying for Covid-19 rent relief. (Caroline Spivack for Curbed)

With the program being called “an endless pit of despair,” the rollout of the program has been anything but smooth, with technical problems plaguing literally every step of the way. The deadline closes for applications on July 30. (Gwynne Hogan for Gothamist)

Videos: Watch purple lightning hit NYC, including the Statue of Liberty. (Jake Offenhartz for Gothamist)

Because life isn’t hard enough for the owners of bars right now, the State Liquor Authority is demanding that bars must provide a “sit-down experience” with enough food to be shared by a small group and food must be ordered with the first round. Listen, let me drink my beer and leave me alone with this. (Matt Troutman for Patch)

Ellen’s Stardust Diner on W 51st may be shutting down due to $618,459.22 in unpaid rent. In a confusing move, the landlords have put up a notice that they will assume possession of the property by August 7, despite the eviction moratorium in place through August 20. (Erika Adams for Eater)

A federal judge temporarily blocked the de Blasio administration’s plan to disclose tens of thousands of newly available police disciplinary records. Police unions argued that the public should not see “unsubstantiated” claims, while the rest of us argue that being able to see how many claims are listed as unsubstantiated is a part of seeing how the NYPD holds itself accountable. The NYCLU has some of the records, which they obtained with a FOIL request, but have been ordered not to release them. (Christopher Robbins and George Joseph for Gothamist)

The City, Gothamist/WNYC, ProPublica, and The Marshall Project want to hear about your experiences with the NYPD to help hold the NYPD accountable. (Terry Parris Jr for The City)

20 restaurants with takeout windows and seat-yourself tables. (Hannah Albertine for The Infatuation)

The story of U Thant Island, the city’s smallest island. (Michelle Young for Untapped New York)

Councilman Ritchie Torres declared himself the winner in the NY-15 Democratic Congressional primary. The results aren’t official, but it doesn’t look likely he’ll lose. If elected, he’ll be one of the first two Black openly LGBTQ members of Congress, along with Mondaire Jones from NY-17. (Jason Cohen for Bronx Times)

Jabari Brisport declared victory in Brooklyn’s 25th Senate District Democratic primary over Assemblywoman Tremaine Wright. If elected (and there’s a pretty darn good chance of that in the general election), Brisport will become the first openly gay person of color in the State Senate. (Ben Verde for Brooklyn Paper)

How Brooklyn Assembly insurgents rode absentee ballots to upset incumbents in this year’s even more blue wave. (Claudia Irizarry Aponte for The City)

Results for Covid-19 test conducted by the city have been dramatically cut down to two days and the city’s “Test + Trace” program found and isolated 2,000 people with coronavirus symptoms. (Matt Troutman for Patch)

The driver of a pickup truck drove into an outdoor dining area in Sunset Park, sending three people to the hospital with minor injuries. (Julianne Cuba for Streetsblog)

Robert Sietsema’s 10 favorite pandemic takeout dishes. (Robert Sietsema for Eater)

In a message to the youths, Governor Cuomo said that while he respects your right to party, “ThIs Is NoT tHe TiMe To FiGhT FoR YoUr RiGhT tO pArTy” (Matt Troutman for Patch)

“The severe hailstorm was well-forecasted. Policing systems have forever been weaponized against minority groups to galvanize white supremacist agendas. To attack systemic racism is to acknowledge history and our own ignorance of it: Black lives have suffered injustice since the inception of our country. The change we bled for yesterday is the change we die for today.”
-Michela Wang, a student at Newark Academy, “This Is Not New”: Thoughts On Protests From NYC Teens for Gothamist

If you’ve got $88 million to spare, you can buy Jeffrey Epstein’s Upper East Side mansion. If you’ve got an additional $2 million, you should invest in enough bleach to clean the house. (6sqft)

What’s a carriage house? An explanation on the short, but wide homes with large interior spaces you may see dotted around the city. (Erika Riley for StreetEasy)

Attention America: Costco still does not trust you with sheet cakes. (Rachel Sugar for Grub Street)

Congrats to Brett Gardener for becoming the 18th player in history to appear in 1,500 career games with the Yankees. (Joe Pantorno for amNewYork Metro)

“The gathering there got smaller and smaller, was less and less about protests. More and more, it became an area where homeless folks are gathering,” said the mayor, defending the dismantling of Abolition Park while simultaneously erasing the city’s homeless population’s participation in protests. (Emily Ngo for NY1)

Citing an “alarming lack of direction” in the city’s plans for reopening school buildings, a Sept. 10 start date seems increasingly difficult to achieve, according to a letter sent by the head of the union that represents school administrators this week. (Alex Zimmerman for Chalkbeat)

The State Senate passed a bill that would mandate the 24/7 operation of the city’s subways unless a state of emergency is in effect, finally giving us an answer if 24/7 would ever come back. Next stop: The Assembly. (Devin Gannon for 6qft)

The pandemic has hit the city’s arts organizations to the tune of $550 million, according to NYC’s Department of Cultural Affairs, SMU DataArts, and Americans for Arts. (Zijia Song for Bedford + Bowery)

More than a dozen New York City Councilmembers are already asking for Albany’s support in canceling state math and reading tests for third-to-eighth graders this upcoming school year. (Reema Amin for Chalkbeat)

The federal government will allow New Yorkers back into trusted traveler programs after federal lawyers admitted that Homeland Security officials made false statements in a bid to justify expelling New York residents from programs that let United States travelers speed through borders and airport lines. Another lie from the Trump administration. (Ed Shanahan with Benjamin Weiser for NY Times)

MLB is expanding its postseason to 16 teams, giving four third-place teams a spot in the playoffs. (Joe Pantorno for amNewYork Metro)

The Tenement Museum laid off 76 part-time workers. (Shannan Ferry for NY1)

A look at the Billion Oyster Project’s latest effort, shipping containers turned oyster farms using discarded shells from restaurants, to restore 100 million oysters into the New York Harbor a year. (Jeanine Ramirez for NY1)

How will baseball games deal with rain delays in a shortened season? If it starts raining, the game’s over. The Yankees won a five-inning game last night to kick off their 2020 season. (NY1)

City Council Member Brad Lander is calling on the city to close streets to use them for outdoor instruction for the city’s schools. (Amy Zimmer for Chalkbeat)

The Times used the right word when describing the exodus of tourists from the city: “flushed.” Will they come back? (Patrick McGeehan for NY Times)

Where to eat outside in Long Island City. (Matt Tervooren for The Infatuation)

Thanks to reader Stacy for today’s featured photo from the Elizabeth Street Garden.