The Briefly for January 12-15, 2020 – The “No, You Don’t Gotta Say That” Tuesday Edition

The latest NYC news digest: Vaccines available for group 1b, the best Thai restaurants, the High Line will be extended, Andrew Yang puts his foot in his mouth, and more

Today – Low: 32˚ High: 40˚
Partly cloudy throughout the day.

A list of who is eligible for the Covid-19 vaccine. Groups 1a and 1b are currently eligible. You can also call the vaccine hotline at 888-364-3065. (NYC.gov)

After failing to disburse more than half of the federal funding in a COVID-19 rent relief program, New York opened a new application window in order to hand out the remaining $60 million. The application closes at the end of January, so get moving. (Emily Lang for Gothamist)

Vice President for Manhattanville Development at Columbia University, Marcelo Velez, is accused of engaging in sex acts with a girl under the age of 13 inside his New Jersey home. (Jake Offenhartz for Gothamist)

Sometimes you gotta say Heil Hitler” – Republican candidate for Staten Island Boro President Leticia Remauro is apologizing for accidentally saying the quiet part out loud during a video she posted online protesting the closure of Mac’s Public House. (Chris Sommerfeldt and Cathy Burke for Daily News)

The NYPD’s investigation into Deputy Inspector James F. Kobel, who oversaw the NYPD’s Equal Employment Opportunity Division, was using a pseudonym online to hide his racist posts in a police officer message board. Kobel, a coward, filed for retirement last week. (William K. Rashbaum and Alan Feuer for NY Times)

Nicole Malliotakis’ Bay Ridge office was greeted by hundreds of protesters over the weekend, showing her just how appreciated her opposition to certifying the election results is with her constituents. (Brian Braiker for Brooklyn Magazine)

An NYPD member is under investigation over accusations they participated in the attack on the Capitol. The mayor stated any city employee at the attack would be fired. (Matt Troutman for Patch)

William Pepe, a worker for Metro-North, “called out sick Wednesday to attend” the attack on the Capitol last week. He’s been suspended without pay pending an investigation. (Jen Chung for Gothamist)

A look into the Home Alone group show at the ATM Gallery on Henry Street. (EV Grieve)

New York state is looking to enact a law that would fine food delivery apps for creating listings for restaurants without their written permission. GrubHub currently adds local restaurants without the restaurants’ permission when they see local “demand.” (Christopher Robins for Gothamist)

Lap dances, karaoke, and secret parties. The NYC speakeasies of Covid-19. (Mihir Zaveri for NY Times)

Real Estate Lust: Six bedrooms, a front porch, side porch, rear deck, a driveway, built-in 1899 $2.6 million house in Prospect Park South. (Dana Schulz for 6sqft)


Media Career Makeover
by Mediabistro

This is definitely the month to focus on your career, especially if you work in creative fields. That’s why Mediabistro, New York’s legendary creative careers community, is offering a four week online workshop (starting January 27th) to boost your career for 2021.

The Mediabistro Media Career Makeover will give you the tools, personal brand uplift, and grit to energize your freelance or full-time career with guidance from guest speakers and personalized feedback from a coach.

Special offer for The Briefly readers: As a reader of The Briefly, you can get a full 33% off the regular price right now with code thebriefly33 (about $100 in savings)! This discount was supposed to expire on 12/30, but Mediabistro extended it for The Briefly readers!

BOOK NOW before costs go up – offer expires on Friday, 1/15 – and do your career a giant favor to start off the year.


Queens Public Defenders are attempting to unionize and their management is calling them a “mob.” (Sam Mellins for New York Focus, in partnership with The City)

Sammy Revelo, Retired NYPD Lieutenant, declared his candidacy for Bronx Boro President. (Nowrood News)

One advantage of having Community Board meetings virtually is that anyone can show up, like Chuck Schumer, who popped into a CB2 meeting on the day after the attack on the Capitol. Maybe he needed a break from everything happening that week. (Christian Murray for LIC Post)

Speaking of Chuck, here’s what his future as Senate Majority leader means for NYC. (Jesse McKinley and Christina Goldbaum for NY Times)

Video: Meet Violet Brill, a 16-year-old urban forager. (Daniela Sirtori-Cortina for Bedford + Bowery)

Esquire’s list “100 Restaurants American Can’t Afford To Lose” includes 12 NYC restaurants, including Proto’s Pizza, Keens, Bar Tabac, and nine more. (Matt Troutman for Patch)

Prismatica, an immersive art installation consisting of 25 rainbow-like prisms between 39th and 40th streets. The installation is by RAW Design in collaboration with ATOMIC3. (Will Gleason for Time Out)

A supervisor for the NYCHA certified an apartment lead-free, but it was never actually inspected. Now a child has lead poisoning. (Greg B. Smith for The City)

“We live in a two-bedroom apartment in Manhattan. And so, like, can you imagine trying to have two kids on virtual school in a two-bedroom apartment, and then trying to do work yourself?” –Andrew Yang actually gave that quote to the Times about spending most of his time outside of New York City while he’s thinking about running for mayor of New York City. (Katie Glueck for NY Times)

14 hours later, Andrew Yang was on the defensive while all the other mayoral candidates saw an opportunity to pounce. (Katie Glueck for NY Times)

The city’s Independent Budget Office says that jobs won’t bounce back until at least 2024, but the state and city’s budget hole initially predicted wouldn’t be as bad as predicted. (Greg David for The City)

Dr. Fauci told the conference of the Association of Performing Arts Professionals that live concerts could return “some time in the fall of 2021,” depending on reaching herd immunity. (Amanda Hatfield for BrooklynVegan)

We are not going to achieve any levels of population immunity or herd immunity in 2021” -WHO’s chief scientist Soumya Swaminathan. (Science Alert)

Interview Emily Gallagher started her term as a state assembly member representing the state’s 50th district. (Julia Kott for Greenpointers)

“Why is New York spending so much money on giant waiting room/malls that all have nowhere to sit? And what does this say about how we’ve chosen to treat our public spaces and transit infrastructure? Must we make every public space so inhospitable to the people using it or can we find a better way?”
-Benjamin Kabak, Some thoughts on Moynihan Train Hall and designing public spaces with nowhere to sit, for Second Ave Sagas

The High Line will be extended to connect to the new Moynihan Train Hall. The $60 million project does not have an expected completion date yet. (Michelle Young for Untapped New York)

If you’ve got the bitcoin, you could be the new owner of Hellcat Annie’s Tap Room and Scruffy Duffy’s on Tenth Avenue. Two bars for 25 bitcoins, which works out to be about $862k. (Tanay Warerkar for Eater)

Every business is Schrödinger’s cat during the pandemic. Despite rumors to the contrary, Economy Candy is still alive. (Elie Z. Perler for Bowery Boogie)

Sorry Upper West Side crafters, Michael’s on Columbus Ave is closing. (Mike Mishkin for I Love the Upper West Side)

The governor’s State of the State address (watch the 43-minute speech here) is an outline to “win” the Covid war, but not without a lot of help from Washington. (Jesse McKinley and Luis Ferré-Sadurní for NY Times)

Mayor de Blasio will likely be remembered for two terms of broken promises. In July he promised to accelerate his “affordable” high-speed internet plan for public housing and low-income areas hit hard by the pandemic. IT’s been six months and the city has not made a single deal on the initiative the mayor has been talking about since 2013. (Reuven Blau for The City)

The best Thai restaurants in NYC, if you’re ready. (Hannah Albertine, Nikko Duren, Bryan Kim, and Arden Shore for The Infatuation)

Thanks to reader Francesca for today’s featured photo!

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 November 24 – 26, 2020 – The “Staten Island is a Problem” Tuesday Edition

The latest NYC news digest: Governor Cuomo’s Covid-19 announcement, Astor Place Hairstylists saved, 2020’s Thanksgiving parade, apartment lust, and more

Today – Low: 42˚ High: 48˚
Clear throughout the day.

RIP David Dinkins, NYC’s first Black mayor. (Robert D. McFadden for NY Times)

What you should know before getting testing for Covid-19. (Elizabeth Kim for Gothamist)

Here’s what to expect from the Thanksgiving Day parade this year. (Gas Saltonstall for Patch)

5 places to get a vegetarian Thanksgiving meal. (Nicoleta Papavasilakis for Untapped New York)

Tracy Morgan joined the non-profit Food Bank For New York City and Councilman Robert Cornegy in giving away 1,000 turkeys outside the Sumner Houses in Bed-Stuy. (Todd Maisel for Brooklyn Paper)

On Central Park’s Pilgrim Hill stands a statue “to commemorate the landing of the Pilgrim fathers on Plymouth Rock.” On the 400th anniversary of the Pilgrims’ landing, how appropriate that we’re about to all give each other disease while giving thanks. (Ephemeral New York)

Upper Manhattan and Staten Island are now Covid-19 yellow and orange zones. Staten Island is, in the words of Governor Cuomo, “a problem.” (Ben Yakas for Gothamist)

The state is reopening an emergency COVID-19 field hospital on Staten Island in South Beach to accommodate the uptick in hospitalizations. (Noah Singer for Brooklyn Eagle)

The governor is in some hot water after letting it out that he had invited his mother and daughters over for Thanksgiving while telling the rest of us to stay distanced from each other. (Jesse McKinley and Luis Ferré-Sadurní for NY Times)

Cuomo isn’t the only elected official making idiotic moves this week. Mayoral hopeful Eric Adams decided that the middle of a pandemic is the perfect time to host an indoor fundraiser with 18 supporters on the Upper West Side. Technically, the NYC Sheriff should be fining Adams $15,000 for organizing and promoting a violation of the state’s rules regarding indoor dining. (David Cruz for Gothamist)

On the menu at City Winery? A mandatory $50 Covid-19 test. (Christina Izzo for Time Out)

Despite the drop in subway ridership, the number of incidents where someone was reported on the tracks is on pace to top last year’s number. (Jose Martinez for The City)

In response to an uptick in people being shoved onto subway tracks as of late, Mayor de Blasio says the NYPD presence on the subways will be increased. The mayor also noted that he hadn’t spoken to NYPD Commissioner Dermot Shea about his plan. (Ben Yakas for Gothamist)

The Blind Pig has begun its transformation into the new Coyote Ugly. (EV Grieve)

Bluestockings, which had closed earlier this year, has a new location and “a lot of magic is happening.” (Pooja Salhotra for Bedford + Bowery)

Apartment Lust: A four-floor, $4.85 million, 1899 Clinton Hill townhouse with wide outdoor space, a side-by-side dual shower (!!!), an open outdoor space, and five bedrooms. (Dana Schulz for 6qsft)

The Times is anticipating that the departure of Polly Trottenberg, the city’s Commissioner of the Department of Transportation, is the first in a long line of people who will be abandoning the mayor’s sinking ship as his term comes to a close. Trottenberg is most closely tied to Mayor de Blasio’s Vision Zero campaign, which aims to end traffic fatalities by 2024. Traffic fatalities are up this year. (Dana Rubenstein for NY Times)

This is unexpected. Governor Cuomo won an International Emmy award for his daily press briefings. (Anna Quinn for Patch)

Video: A drone’s eye view of Harlem and Crown Heights. (Drone Fanatic)

Briget Rein, City Council Candidate for the 39th District in Brooklyn, is calling for a moratorium on Gowanus rezoning, citing the ULURP process cannot proceed fairly during a pandemic that would lock out the voices of many in the neighborhood, even if it was moved online. (Katia Kelly for Pardon Me for Asking)

Attention! There is a glut of apples and squash at the city’s farmer’s markets! (Robert Sietsema for Eater)

Astor Place Hairstylists was saved by a group of extremely wealthy investors that would keep the barbershop open “for at least another 75 years.” Maybe spread some of that wealth to other businesses that are also being driven out of existence? (Devin Gannon for 6sqft)

The Metropolitan Museum of Art announced that Lavita McMath Turner will be its first chief diversity officer, five months after a staff letter urged the museum to look at the white supremacy and systemic racism in the institution. (Zachary Small for NY Times)

Mayor de Blasio laid out the city’s strategy to get the city’s schools open. Students with disabilities will return first, following by early education programs, then elementary school students, then middle and high school students. This is assuming the city avoids the state’s “orange zone” status, which seems unlikely. (Sydney Pereira for Gothamist)

Beginning in 2021, the Democrats in the New York state senate will have a supermajority and the legislature will be able to stand up to and override vetos from Governor Cuomo. This is the first state supermajority since 1846. (Bill Mahoney for Politico)

The story behind the closing of Gloria’s in Crown Heights goes back 20 years and might be one of the most bizarre stories of the entire year. (Jake Offenhartz for Gothamist)

Up in the air! It’s a bird! It’s a plane! It’s a New York City property tax assessment drone! (Peter Senzamici for The City)

The best Black Friday + Cyber Week deals from NYC brands and small businesses. (Dana Schulz for 6sqft)

A wonderful story of how Ariel Cordova-Rojas saved a swan. How many times will you see a swan on the subway? (Troy Closson for NY Times)

In tribute to Century 21. (Reginald Ferguson for Brooklyn Based)

If you were one of the people who bought the “Virus Shut Out Cards,” congratulations, you’ve been scammed. (Payton Potter for Patch)

Apartment Lust: The photos of this $1.45 million Morningside Heights apartment may not look like much, but it was once the home of President Obama. (Dana Schulz for 6sqft)

Behind the scenes with the decision by the de Blasio administration to close the city’s schools after the city hit a 3% positivity rate. (Eliza Shapiro for NY Times)

With the GSA recognizing Biden as the winner of the presidential election, what’s the status of congestion pricing? Governor Cuomo doesn’t think it’s important enough to discuss with President-elect Biden. (Dave Colon for Streetsblog)

A look at how the city’s TV shows and movies resumed production. (Sharon Otterman for NY Times)

If you’ve been obsessing over Queen’s Gambit, maybe it’s time to explore NYC’s chess scene. (Victoria Choe for Untapped New York)

The best new delivery options in Manhattan. (Nikko Duren for The Infatuation)

Thank you to reader Francesca for today’s featured photo of the ginkgo foliage at Broadway and 143rd!