The Briefly for November 20-12, 2020 – The “Rockefeller the Owl” Friday Edition

The latest NYC news digest: The school building shutdown, how restaurants may be impacted, Dupree G.O.D. turns himself in, the best Brazilian restaurants, and more

Today – Low: 47˚ High: 61˚
Clear throughout the day.
This weekend – Low: 42˚ High: 61˚

The Rockefeller Christmas Tree has arrived and holy shit, it’s very sad. (Brian Kahn for Gizmodo)

How sad? Crews were seen adding extra branches to the tree to make it look less 2020. (Nicholas Rice for People)

The only good part about the tree is the tiny owl that hitched a ride in the tree and was rescued after being discovered. It’s a good owl. (Jen Carlson for Gothamist)

Rockefeller the Owl joins Central Park’s Barry the barred owl as this year’s hot duck. (Lisa M. Collins for NY Times)

Okay, so school buildings are shut down and all learning is now remote because the city hit the 3% threshold set by the mayor, right? (Christina Veiga with contributions from Alex Zimmerman for Chalkbeat)

There is currently no school reopening plan yet. (Jillian Jorgensen for NY1)

But some preschools are still open. Nonprofit and private-operated pre-K can remain open, but in education department buildings, pre-K is closed. (Christina Veiga for Chalkbeat)

Wednesday was a confusing day if you were paying attention to the news. In the middle of a press conference by Governor Cuomo, the mayor announced schools would close on Thursday. We are past cute with these two politicians who can’t see eye-to-eye and we are at a dangerous moment if they can’t get on the same page. (Emily Ngo for NY1)

Meanwhile, Governor Cuomo says that if the city’s positivity rate hits 3%, new restrictions will hit the city’s restaurants, businesses, gyms, hair salons, and houses of worship. According to the state on Wednesday, the positivity rate was 2.5%. (Elizabeth Kim and Christoper Robbins for Gothamist)

The state says the positivity rate was at 2.5% on Wednesday, the city says 3.0%. A look at why the city and state report different numbers and it’s not, as Governor Cuomo put it, “a difference of opinion.” (Elizabeth Kim for Gothamist)

While the city is closing all school buildings, indoor dining remains open. Why? The mayor controls the closing of school buildings, the governor controls the closing of everything else. (Tanay Warerkar for Eater)

There were 11,000 restaurant positions added in the city in October, and over 100,000 jobs have been regained since March. A 3.0% in the state’s positivity rate could upend that progress. (Greg David for The City)

“I don’t think it’s if the city is going into an orange zone, it’s a when the city’s going into an orange zone.” The mayor isn’t optimistic about our chances of staying under 3.0% in the state’s eyes. (Noah Singer for Brooklyn Eagle)

The governor announced new yellow zone micro-clusters in Mott Haven, Parkchester, and Highbridge in the Bronx, and Astoria, Jackson Heights, and Woodside in Queens. (Tanay Warerkar for Eater)

A new bill from the City Council would allow restaurants to charge a 15% Covid-19 surcharge if they pay their staff a minimum wage of $15. A law last month allows restaurants to charge a 10% surcharge. (Erika Adams for Eater)

The MTA says without federal support, the sky will be falling. For the MTA, the sky falling looks like a 40% cut in subway service, a 50% cut in the LIRR and MetroNorth, and cutting 9,367 jobs. (Christina Goldbaum for NY Times)

The City Reliquary, a museum of city artifacts, is fighting to stay open with a new membership program. (Keira Wingate for Bklyner)

Apartment Porn: I’ll be honest, this might be the most jaw-dropping apartment the city has. A three-level penthouse in Billionaires’ Row will be up for auction at the end of the year at 150 Central Park South. Five beds, five and a half baths, and four terraces with Central Park views. (Devin Gannon for 6sqft)

A billionaire is teaming up with a real estate developer to put up a billboard in hopes to inspire New Yorkers into believing that New York isn’t dead. Are you ready to be inspired by Jerry Seinfeld and Miki Naftali’s billboard? (Erin Hudson for The Real Deal)

Opponents of the city’s billion-dollar East Side Coastal Resilience project begun putting posters across the neighborhood calling Mayor de Blasio and Councilmember Carolina Rivera “destroyers” of East River Park. (Elie Z. Perler for Bowery Boogie)

Remember the eco-yogi slumlords of Brooklyn? They’re being sued by the city of New York for violating eviction law, for tenant harassment, and for construction and code violations. (Bridget Read for The Cut)

Need a refresher? The Eco–Yogi Slumlords of 1214 Dean Street, Brooklyn. (Bridget Read for The Cut)

The fastest places to get a COVID-19 test in NYC. (Collier Sutter for Time Out)

Meet the luckiest woman in NYC. She was pushed onto the subway tracks with a train arriving at the station and survived by ducking under the train. (Jake Offenhartz for Gothamist)

Photos: Inside the new glass dome atop Union Square’s Tammany Hall. (Dana Schulz, Photos by Christopher Payne for 6sqft)

One of my favorite things when walking around the city is to look for pieces of history that have outlived the people who built them. The New York Sun clock on Broadway between Reade and Chambers outlived two incarnations of the newspaper. Fun fact: I worked for The New York Sun during its last year from 2007 to 2008 and would pass this clock every day on my way to work. (Ephemeral New York)

Earlier this week, rapper Dupree G.O.D. jumped on top of a B26 bus with a flame thrower and began… throwing flames. It was a part of filming a video for a song, but no one on the bus knew they were in a music video. He turned himself in to the NYPD on Wednesday. (Amanda Hatfield for BrooklynVegan)

What to expect when you’re expecting the Gowanus Canal to be cleaned up. (Kevin Duggan for Brooklyn Paper)

The 15 best Brazilian restaurants in NYC. (Matt Tervooren for The Infatuation)

Thanks to reader Zlata for today’s photo from Central Park!

The Briefly for October 18-19, 2020 – The “Phenomenal Cosmic Powers!” Sunday Edition

The latest NYC news digest: The plastic bag ban is back, empty office space is nearly at post-9/11 levels, how to celebrate Halloween, live music outdoors, and more

Today – Low: 55˚ High: 64˚
Partly cloudy throughout the day.

The state passed bail reform last in 2019 and it took effect at the beginning of the year. Since the beginning of the year, people have been poking holes in it. The latest is judges are using overly complicated partially secured bonds to keep people imprisoned. (Akash V. Mehta for NY Focus in partnership with The City)

In 2015, President Obama called the Gateway project better connecting New York and New Jersey “the most important project in the country.” Here’s a look at how the Trump administration has destroyed it. (Stephen Nessen for Gothamist)

Apartment Porn: Rachel Maddow’s West Village apartment is for sale for $2.4 million. (Dana Schulz for 6sqft)

Back in March, the state’s legislature gave Governor Cuomo “unlimited” power and maybe it’s time to rethink that. (Gwynne Hogan for Gothamist)

Bring your totes, NYC’s plastic bag enforcement kicks off for real on Monday. Bring your totes. (Matt Troutman for Patch)

16 bars and restaurants with live music outdoors. (Hannah Albertine for The Infatuation)

The pandemic drinking experience is still more convivial than drinking at home, but in bars forced to operate under elaborate and restrictive anti-COVID-19 setups, the experience sometimes more closely evokes the transactional nature of an airport Buffalo Wild Wings than a place where everybody knows your name.
-Ryan Sutton, When Will New York’s Bars Feel Like Bars Again? for Eater

A wedding with over 10,000 guests? It’s planned for Monday in Williamsburg, but the state is stepping in and demanding that the Hasidic wedding of a grandchild of the community’s leader is limited to 50 people. (Sophia Chang for Gothamist)

In a geographically and time-challenging move, The Queens Night Market has opened in Rockefeller Center from 11am-5pm. (Bao Ong for Time Out)

Video: Go beyond the pail with a look at what happens to metal, glass, and plastic recycling after the curb. (Matt Coneybeare for Viewing NYC)

“Trans women, particularly trans women of more color, are being killed with impunity, and it is past time to meet that emergency with real change that can end this epidemic of violence. Today I am calling upon the governor to acknowledge anti-trans violence as a state of crisis, and encourage the mayor and all of my colleagues in government to join me and the countless advocates who have joined us today in developing comprehensive plans that put an end to anti-trans violence once and for all.” -Public Advocate Jumaane Williams on two bills he’s introducing to the City Council to require medical professionals be trained to care for transgender and gender non-conforming patients and to include signage in all hospitals showing transgender patients’ rights and services available. (Paul Schindler for Gay City News)

A 2020 election reading list. (Sara Webster for Brooklyn Based)

“We don’t know yet how many restaurants will be razed by the pandemic. Anecdotally, the answer seems to be: a lot. Every few days, another restaurant closes, and every few days, I think, Oh, I never went.”
-Rachel Sugar, Mourning the Restaurants I’ll Never Get to Visit, for Grub Street

A look at the dozen vegan or vegetarian restaurants that have opened during the pandemic and how personal politics, sustainability, and price all play a part in their successes. (Emma Orlow for Eater)

Vegan “kind of Chineses” Fat Choy gets a Quick Bites review, “an instant winner.” (Scott Lynch for Gothamist)

11 helpful New York social distancing hacks. Don’t hold the door, the smell of perfume is a bad sign, and more. (Shaye Weaver for Time Out)

Budgeting for an NYC rental: rent to income ratio. (Erika Riley for StreetEasy)

Fracking doesn’t seem like an NYC-centric story until you read about protestors who locked themselves to a fracked gas pipeline construction project in Williamsburg on Thursday morning. (Kevin Duggan for Brooklyn Paper)

Manhattan’s empty office space is creeping towards post-9/11 levels. (Greg David for The City)

The Loisaida Open Streets Community Coalition is seeking volunteers to help set up barricades in the mornings/evenings. (EV Grieve)

Turns out Chirlane McCray, leader of the city’s Thrive NYC initiative and wife of Mayor de Blasio will not be running for Brooklyn borough president. There are eight candidates who have already created campaign committees. (Brigid Bergin for Gothamist)

Want to own a piece of the Waldorf Astoria? The hotel is auctioning off over 15,000 fine furnishings. (Justin Wu for Untapped New York)

The MTA is piloting a new air filtration and purification system on the LIRR and MetroNorth that the manufacturer claims can capture and kill 99.9998% of viruses and other germs through a three-stage process, including Covid-19. (Stephen Nessen for Gothamist)

Wilmer Ferrara attempted to climb the New York Times building, but only got as high as the sixth floor and got tired, waiting for the police to get him. He was arrested. (ABC7)

Meet Ronald Lauder, the billionaire Republican trying to fight a Democratic supermajority in the state. A supermajority would give the legislature much more power against Governor Cuomo when it comes to budget discussions. (Jesse McKinley for NY Times)

The NYPD’s oversight board will recommend discipline for Officer Wayne Isaacs, more than four years after the cop fatally shot Delrawn Small in front of his girlfriend and two children. (Jake Offenhartz for Gothamist)

NOAA has released their winter prediction for New York and it looks like we’re in for a dried and warmer winter than usual. (Adam Nichols for Patch)

Get ready, because restaurants can legally add a 10% “recovery charge to your bill starting this weekend. (Bao Ong for Time Out)

An independent commission tasked with reviewing institutional racism in the New York court system detailed a “culture of toxicity and unprofessionalism” among court officers across the state in a report from the Equal Justice in the Courts task force. (Noah Singer for Brooklyn Eagle)

A planned move of homeless men from the Lucerne Hotel on the Upper West Side to another hotel in the Financial District will proceed after a state Supreme Court judge declined to block the move. (Sophia Chang for Gothamist)

Construction on the 2/3/4/5 between Franklin Ave in Brooklyn and Manhattan will interrupt traveling for 64 weekends over the course of 33 months. Oh boy. (Claude Scales for Brooklyn Heights Blog)

The best ways to celebrate Halloween 2020 in NYC. (6sqft)

The Briefly for September 15-17, 2020 – The “Flesh Eating Bacteria? Who Cares, It’s 2020” Tuesday Edition

The latest NYC news digest: Industry City’s rezoning, the number of Covid-19 positive tests in schools increases, where to eat outside in Park Slope, and more

Today – Low: 61˚ High: 68˚
Clear throughout the day.

This isn’t NYC specific, but Rochester Mayor Lovely Warren fired Police Chief La’Ron Singletary, demonstrating that some mayors know how and when to yield their powers. (Michael Wilson and Edgar Sandoval for NY Times)

Photos: Behind the scenes in Chinatown. (Molly Tavoletti for RESY)

New York City’s highways, reimagined in a subway map. (Zirocket on r/NYC)

We’re inching closer to normal because the F train is closing on nights and weekends for construction. (Shaye Weaver for Time Out)

It’s not all bad news for the subway, there’s a new escalator in Union Square on the L platform. (Mark Hallum for amNewYork Metro)

Five Connecticut residents were hospitalized with a flesh eating bacteria after going in the water in the Long Island Sound this summer” barely even was a blip on the radar. What a year. (Sydney Pereira for Gothamist)

Can you help identify this woman, who had a shitfit in a Verizon store when told to wear a mask, throwing around the N-word as she left the store? In a city with so many assholes, she still managed to be the asshole of the week and it’s only Tuesday. (John Del Signore for Gothamist)

Want to ride the subway or bus without a mask? Get ready for a $50 fine. Next question: Will they fine the NYPD when they ride without masks? (Mark Hallum for amNewYork Metro)

NYU’s dorm Rubin Hall is on lockdown after 4 students tested positive for Covid-19. (Matthew Fischetti and Trace Miller for Washington Square News)

Photos: The “new” Chelsea Flea opened over the weekend. (Scott LYnch for Gothamist)

Brooklyn Public Libraries in Midwood, Kensington, Mill Basin, Walt Whitman, Washington Irving, and the Annex in Dumbo are open for grab-and-go lending. (Rose Adams for Brooklyn Paper)

The City Council will vote on the Industry City rezoning today. City Councilmember Carlos Menchaca, whose district contains Industry City, has come out against the rezoning. The City Council usually defers to the local councilmember for these decisions, but multiple members have come out against his stance. (Greg David for The City)

What’s happening to us? New York City’s zip codes don’t even touch the ten most expensive zip codes in the country. (Tim Moran for Patch)

Photos: Baby lynx cubs in the Queens Zoo! (Emily Davenport for amNewYork Metro)

The Cloister Cafe was shut down by the SLA in August du to social distancing violations by its patrons but reopened this week thanks to a temporary restraining order against the suspension by a judge. (Tanay Warerkar for Eater)

The story of how the police unions, full of white Republicans who live in the suburbs, betrayed the city they are supposed to serve by endorsing President Trump. (Alan Feuer for NY Times)

The year in (sad) photos. (Tribeca Citizen)

The NYPD takes a full minute longer to respond to shootings and other crisis incidents than they did a year ago. Ambulances are arriving faster than ever before. (Suhali Bhat for The City)

A new vegetarian burger spot, Pop’s Eat-Rite, is opening up a block from Superiority Burger. I, for one, look forward to this burgeoning vegetarian burger district. (Luke Fortney for Eater)

Farewell to Coyote Ugly, whose original location is officially gone, but it sounds like a new location is coming. (EV Grieve)

Photos: I’ll never not link to photos of goats mowing the grass. (Forrest Michael Bomann for Untapped New York)

The MTA is betting big on the federal government bailing them out to the tune of $12 billion. The rest of us live here on earth. (Jose Martinez for The City)

The Thanksgiving Day Parade isn’t happening. Let’s just go take a nap until it’s 2021. (Jen Chung for Gothamist)

Want to ask the 2021 mayoral candidates a question? Here’s your chance. (The City)

This isn’t new, but sometimes I think about how Governor Cuomo said he changed his mind about the L train because someone yelled at him on the street. (Christopher Robbins for Gothamist in 2019)

Satire: Help! I’m Being Priced out of the Neighborhood I Gentrified. (Graham Isador The Hard Times)

“Teaching has a powerful way of consuming your time that is antipode to the stay-at-home summer of 2020. I’m optimistic that the new school year will sweep away my grief — grief for the hardship and loss my students experienced these past few months, for not being there to offer hugs and high fives, for missing yearbook signing and graduation photo swapping, and for a lackluster farewell. I trust that the new school year will bring with it acceptance, even as I hold on to the wonderful young learners who have filled this classroom with laughter and wonder before.”
Krisy Lawlor, a teacher in the Bronx, My classroom is a time capsule , for Chalkbeat

Last week the number was 19, this week 55 school employees tested positive for Covid-19. (Erin Durkin for Politico)

The state threatened to cut 9,000 jobs from NYC school less than one month ago. (Reema Amin for Patch)

Monday, the mayor announced the city will hire 2,000 additional teachers to meet the demands of blended learning. 2,000 is extremely short of the 10,000 teachers the principal’s union called for to make blended learning possible. (Alejandra O’Connell-Domenech for amNewYork Metro)

School nurses are reporting that they’ve yet to receive any PPE for the school year. (Fred Mogul for Gothamist)

42% of NYC students opted for remote learning, up from 26% a few weeks ago. (Lauren Cook for PIX11)

A look at the next Bowery Mural from Mojo, in progress. (Elie Z. Perler for Bowery Boogie)

Turns out New York’s most famous guitar teacher Dan Smith will still teach you guitar. A story of how Smith is teaching former Governor David Patterson to play guitar. (Ben Yakas for Gothamist)

Expect a marketing campaign to persuade you to vote for Joe Biden under the Working Families Party, as without either 130,000 votes or 2% of the total vote, the Working Families Party will lose ballot access. (Dana Rubenstein for NY Times)

Where to eat outside in Park Slope. (Nikko Duren for The Infatuation)

Thanks to reader Helene for today’s featured photo!