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 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 November 15-16, 2020 – The “President of NYC Buses?” Sunday Edition

The latest NYC news digest: The city’s new Covid-19 restrictions, the Brooklyn Cyclones are expanding, Pearl River Mark expands, a new RBG mural, and more

Today – Low: 43˚ High: 60˚
Rain in the evening and overnight.

The CDC updated its mask guidance to explicitly say that masks help prevent the spread of disease by protecting people in the mask wearer’s vicinity, but wearing a mask will also help prevent you from contracting Covid-19. (Jen Chung for Gothamist)

The state is implementing new rules on the city in light of the rise in Covid-19 cases. Indoor and outdoor dining, along with gyms, will close at 10 pm and Indoor and outdoor gatherings in private will be limited to 10 people. These are the three vectors for spread, according to the state’s contact tracers. (Dana Schulz for 6sqft)

The protected Crescent St bike lane in Astoria was finished last month to complaints from cyclists that it didn’t provide adequate protection. This week, a scooter rider was killed by a delivery truck driver, making it the 205th person to be killed on city streets this year, up from 185 last year. (Julianne Cuba for Streetsblog)

Speaking of protected bike lanes, there has been a car parking in the 4th Ave protected bike lane in Brooklyn for at least four months. The protected bike lane is literally painted around this car. (Gersh Kuntzman for Streetsblog)

Interview: MTA Bus President Craig Cipriano on a fully electric fleet, what the MTA would do with funding from a Biden administration, and wait, there’s a bus president? (Gersh Kuntzman for Streetsblog)

Where to pre-order Thanksgiving pies in NYC. (Hannah Albertine for The Infatuation)

The Congressional race for the 11th congressional district is over with Max Rose conceding to Nicole Malliotakis, who will go on to represent a portion of Brooklyn and all of Staten Island in the House of Representatives. (Nick Reisman for NY1)

While the Staten Island Yankees are dead, the Brooklyn Cyclones have received an upgrade from the Mets. The team will become a full-season High-A team, meaning more games in Coney Island from April through September. (Jim Dolan for The Brooklyn Home Reporter)

The city is set to launch a pilot program next year that will see healthcare professionals responding to people suffering a mental health crisis instead of the NYPD. The pilot will start in two yet to be named communities. (Joe Jurado for The Root)

Starting December 3 through March 4, you can catch a monthly light show projected onto the side of the Manhattan Bridge. The installations are part of the LIGHT YEAR project and will be viewable online because who the hell knows when this pandemic will ever end. (Shaye Weaver for Time Out)

The lawsuit seeking to expand indoor dining from 25% capacity to 50% capacity was thrown out. (Luke Fortney for Eater)

Photo: A new mural of Ruth Bader Ginsburg on the corner of 1st and 11th. This replaces the Shepard Fairey “Rise Above” mural. (@ellestreetart)

The top 100 albums of the year, from Williamsburg’s Rough Trade. (Bill Pearis for BrooklynVegan)

Farewell to The Creek & The Cave, the comedy club in Long Island City open for 14 years, forced closed bt the pandemic. (Bill Pearis for BrooklynVegan)

On Tuesday I was worried about a cold being something worse and found out what all people looking to get tested have discovered, with the rise in cases in NYC, long lines for testing have returned. I tested negative. (Jake Offenhartz for Gothamist)

This is the same Staten Island that is now NYC’s epicenter for Covid-19. Or as the Times puts it “Staten Island has bristled at coronavirus restrictions, but now has the highest positive test rate in the city,” which is the most inappropriate use of the word “but” in the history of the Times. (Emma G. Fitzsimmons and Alexandra E. Petri for NY Times)

This week Dr. Anthony Fauci was honored by Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams for being a Covid-19 Hero. (Devin Gannon for 6sqft)

Inside the city’s billion-dollar PPE bungle. (Greg B. Smith for The City)

Attention Upper West Siders with dogs: don’t use the Museum of Natural History’s fenced off as a dog toilet. The museum is adjacent to a dog run and across the street from Central Park. (I Love the Upper West Side)

No matter what side you land on in the Industry City rezoning, the debate over the plan’s merits made clear that our Sunset Park community is in dire need of new housing — especially affordable units.
-Nelson Santana, Without Industry City rezoning, Sunset Parks needs affordable housing to stop displacement, for Brooklyn Paper

Marseille and Nizza in Hell’s Kitchen are giving actors a break and allowing them to eat now and pay whenever they’re able to again. (NY1)

Pearl River Mart is expanding beyond its original concept as a department store. The Pearl River Mart Foods is now open at the Chelsea Market, a market devoted to Ascian foods. (Roger Clark for NY1)

A look at the city’s manufacturing industry and what businesses are doing to stay relevant and in NYC. (Greg David for The City)

It is sad to see how deep this cowardice goes.” -AOC on Republicans refusing to acknowledge Biden’s victory. (Erin Durkin for Politico)

RIP Pearl Chin, founder of the Upper West Side’s Knitty City. (Alex Vadukul for NY Times)

Two years after the Civilian Complaint Review Board announced that it would begin to investigate police sexual misconduct, the CCRB is starting the process again and seeking public comment on new rules that allow it to probe sexual misconduct claims against the NYPD. (Josefa Velasquez for The City)

The unmasking of “Clouseau” set us back, not only in the relationship between the NYPD and the community but within the department itself. The NYPD is one of the most diverse police departments in the country, with over 50 percent of its members being non-white. It should come as no surprise that members of the NYPD experience racism and sexism, just like the citizens they protect.
-Berby St. Fort and Eric Adams, a ranking member of the NYPD and the Brooklyn borough president, Time for NYPD to have a reckoning over equality within the ranks, for Brooklyn Paper

The restaurant rent crisis is continuing, with 88% of restaurants and bars unable to make rent in October. (Tanay Warerkar for Eater)

Brian Maiorana was ordered heled without bail for threatening violence against people celebrating the election results and also violating restrictions imposed against him as a registered sex offender. (Noah Singer for Brooklyn Eagle)

Where to eat in Williamsburg right now. (Eater)