The Briefly for January 24-25, 2020 – The “If You Can’t Beat ‘Em, Switch Parties” Sunday Edition

Today – Low: 26˚ High: 34˚
Clear throughout the day.

There are currently 54 of the city’s zip codes with a Covid-19 test rate over 10%. Remember when Governor Cuomo said he was gonna lock down areas that hit over 4%? (Sharon Otterman for NY Times)

The number of the city’s elementary schools and classrooms that are closed keep rising. (Jessica Gould for Gothamist)

Bill O’ Reilly and Rudy Giuliani have radio shows in NYC? Yup. After failed Republican mayoral candidate John Catsimatidis bought the station in 2019 they pivoted to right wing talk. (Azi Paybarah for NY Times)

New Yorkers United for Change is trying to change the 1.6 NYC million Republicans’ voter registration to Democrat because rather than build viable candidates that appeal to the city’s population, they’ve decided “if you can’t beat ’em, join ’em.” (Clifford Michel for The City)

2021 Election: Who’s running for mayor? (Rachel Holliday Smith for The City)

Franklin Ave’s Crown Heights community space Public Assistants is facing eviction so the landlord to make room for a gourmet supermarket. (Ben Verde for Brooklyn Paper)

In 2019, the Staten Island District Attorney’s Office quietly purchased software from Clearview AI, a controversial facial recognition company. Critics argue Clearview AI violates rights by using photos from social media and image searches without knowledge or consent. (George Joseph for Gothamist)

The new NYPD discipline rules will make chokeholds a fireable offense will apply to all future chokeholds. (Matt Troutman for Patch)

Meet the couple walking a marathon every day for a year. Yes, they’re from Bushwick. (Raanan Geberer for Brooklyn Eagle)

Documentary: The story of how artists, organizers, and neighbors all came together to reclaim their streets with Bed-Stuy’s Black Live sMatter street murals. (Mustache)

The 31-story building above the old J&R Music World sold for $140 million. (Rich Bockman for The Real Deal)

Sarah Jessica Parker misses restaurants “so much it hurts.” The more interesting part of this piece about what she ate from January 14 through 18 is Matthew Broderick’s bean obsession. (Chris Crowley for Grub Street)

Don’t let the real estate lobby convince you that casinos in Manhattan are a good way to raise tax revenue, because the data doesn’t support that. Most of the state’s “gaming revenue” comes from the lottery. (Christopher Robbins for Gothamist)

Be wary of “NY Forever,” a PR campaign dressed up with celebrities, but funded by NY’s real estate trade association, Goldman Sachs, and co-founded by Ivanka Trump’s public relations adviser. (Norman ODer for Atlantic Yards/Pacific Park Report)

New York City Restaurant Week is back for winter as NYC Restaurant Week To Go with 571 restaurants, all offering specials for $20.21. (Melissa Kravitz Hoeffner for Greenpointers)

Farewell to the original Big Gay Ice Cream location in the East Village. The company isn’t closing, just the location. (Tanay Warerkar for Eater)

A look at Bellucci Pizza, a new pizza spot in Astoria with a pedigree that runs through Rubirosa and Lombardi’s. (Scott Lynch for Gothamist)

Museum of Natural History is displaying the Subway Garnet for the first time in 40 years in the Mignone Halls of Gens and Minerals. If you’re looking to impress your friends, you can tell them that the garnet was found when exhumed during the sewer excavation and it was renamed later. I guess it depend on your friends if they’ll be impressed by that. (Stephanie Simon for NY1)

The Hunts Point Produce Market strike is over with an agreement to a minimum 70-cent-per-hour raise in the first year, eventually rising to a $1.85 bump by the third year. (Claudia Irizarry Aponte for The City)

The Bernie meme has materialized in real life. You can find it in the East Village. (EV Grieve)

2,600 New York City public school students have completely dropped off the radar this school year, according to a Department of Education at a City Council hearing last week. The students are “still being pursued.” (Sophia Chang for Gothamist)

Video: The history of the Times Square Toys “R” Us. (Defunctland)

In praise of the rise of NYC’s flour tortillas. (Luke Fortney for Eater)

Video: Walking over Washington Bridge, NYC’s most confusing bridge. (ActionKid)

6 NYC rooftops with outdoor heating lamps. (Nikko Duren for The Infatuation)

Thanks to reader Lindsey for today’s featured photo!

The Briefly for June 19, 2020 – The “Here Comes Phase Two” Weekend Edition

Today’s daily NYC news digest: Ways to honor Juneteenth, a true bike lane for the Brooklyn Bridge is possible, NYC’s latest notable racist, the Rent Guidelines Board vote, and more

Today – Low: 68˚ High: 78˚
Partly cloudy throughout the day.
This weekend – Low: 68˚ High: 79˚

A guide to Juneteenth marching, mourning, picnicking, and dancing. (Emmy Freedman and Erin O’Brien)

We’re only at the tail end of phase one, but why are some people acting like we’re past it all? (Michael Wilson for NY Times)

It’s official, we’re headed to phase two on Monday. (Brendan Krisel for Patch)

What this also means is that outdoor dining returns on Monday. (Bao Ong for Time Out)

Let’s hope we don’t see more clusters of idiots hanging out outside bars in large groups drinking and eating. Governor Cuomo has expanded the power os the State Liquor Authority to revoke or suspend liquor licenses for restaurants and bars that don’t enforce proper social distancing rules. (Ryan Sutton for Eater)

The Department of Transportation is in talks with Mayor Bill de Blasio to study turning a roadway on the Brooklyn Bridge into a bike lane. Someone check to see if hell’s frozen over yet. (Kevin Duggan for Brooklyn Paper)

There will always be people who naysay transportation evolutions. In Flushing, Queens, the businesses on Main Street are the ones making a stink about it. (Dan Rivoli for NY1)

Remember when the city pledged to bring a bike-share program with 1,000 dockless bikes to Staten Island? Bike sales are up, Citi Bike usage shot up in May, and Staten Island remains the only borough without any bike-share program. (Clifford Michel for The City)

Video: Relax with a tour through the blooming roses at the Brooklyn Botanical Garden. (Jake Dobkin for Gothamist)

Who should have the power in the process of approving liquor licenses? Should it be the community board, which represents the people of the neighborhood or a business improvement district, which represents local businesses? The Lower West Side Partnership is attempting to muscle its way into the decision making process. (Bowery Boogie)

The scandals at the Metropolitan Detention Center in Sunset Park are too long to list. Most recently inmate Jamel Floyd died after being pepper-sprayed in the face. New reports are surfacing that inmates are being confined to their cells nearly 24 hours a day and have provided very little response to Covid-19. (Jessica Parks for Brooklyn Paper)

The mayor has the talent to make people hate him. Two different City Councilmembers put forward different resolutions for his removal by Governor Cuomo, one because he did too much to maintain order during George Floyd protests and another because he didn’t do enough to maintain order. (Maya Kaufman for Patch)

The MTA’s influence goes far beyond NYC. The MTA’s budget is spent in all but one of the continental US states, meaning the MTA’s finding is also America’s funding. (Gersh Kuntzman for Streetsblog)

I Need More, the boutique owned by the late Jimmy Webb, will be (closing for good at the end of July. (Elie Z. Perler for Bowery Boogie)

Rents will freeze for roughly 2 million New Yorkers with rent-regulated apartments for the next year to help ease the financial burden of the novel coronavirus pandemic. (Kathleen Culliton for Patch)

The Rent Guidelines Board vote, explained. (Amy Plitt for Curbed)

Photos: Photographer Peter Schafer’s portrait series of New Yorkers in mask. (Howard Halle, photos by Peter Schafer for Time Out)

Meet Elisa Crespo, the trans candidate looking to succeed Richie Torres as a Bronx City Councilmember. Matt Tracy for Gay City News)

Ready to start riding a bike? Check out these nine tips from cyclists. (Monica Torres for HuffPost)

It’s been over a year since the death of Layleen Polanco and there still haven’t been any significant reforms around solitary confinement. One of the reasons reforms stalled was Mayor de Blasio’s opposition to them. (Rosa Goldensohn for The City)

New York State’s 118 billionaires increased their net worth by an estimated $44.9 billion, or 8.6 percent, from March 18 to May 15. More than 100 state legislators won’t approve any spending cuts without raising taxes on the wealthy. (Christian Murray for Queens Post)

The City Council passed a ban on police chokeholds the mayor said he’ll sign, despite weeks of his arguing for an exception for potentially fatal situations. (Kathleen Culliton for Patch)

Say hello to Abraham Knofler, the city’s latest noted racist. He’s the guy who stood outside of Burly Coffee in Bed-Stuy for at least eleven minutes arguing that their Black Lives Matter sign was somehow offensive. IT’s a miracle that he didn’t get his ass beaten. (Tanay Warerkar for Eater)

Did you know that New York City has a “Rat Row?” Well due to the city’s restaurants being closed, Rat Row has been expanding. (Jeff Arnold for Patch)

If you’re looking for a mud-slinging primary, look no further than the 43rd Assembly district contest between incumbent Diana Richardson and former State Senator Jesse Hamilton. (Ben Verde for Brooklyn Paper)

Looking for more nature in your life? Here are 10 Forever Wild nature preserves in the city. (Noah Sheidlower for Untapped New York)

Get ready, because New York City is entering phase two of reopening on Monday. (Kathleen Culliton for Patch)

16 books about New York City by Black authors. (6sqft)

If you’re formulating an escape for Rikers Island, how do you get to freedom? IF you’re the inmate who tried to escape on Thursday, you try to swim across the East River. Sadly, they didn’t make it without being caught. (Brendan Krisel for Patch)

It felt like we just rid ourselves of the Islanders, but they may be coming back. The owners of the Nassau Coliseum indefinitely closed the arena, leaving the team with nowhere to play their home games. With no other options, the Isles could come back to Brooklyn until their new home at the Belmont Racetrack is constructed. (JT Torenli for Brooklyn Eagle)

More than 50 New York lawmakers called for Gov. Andrew Cuomo to strengthen his eviction ban extension, which ends on Monday. (Georgia Kromrei for The Real Deal)

The Naval Cemetery Landscape is once again open to the public for those that want a moment of respite and also one surrounded by buried bodies. (Noah Sheidlower for Untapped New York)

The Association of Jewish Camp Operators is suing Governor Andrew Cuomo over his closure of sleepaway camps this summer, arguing the order violates their constitutional rights of the free exercise of religion. (Sophia Chang for Gothamist)

If the idea of spending the summer with your kids is daunting (or terrifying), the Times has some idea of how to entertain your kids. (Alexis Soloski for NY Times)

City Councilmember Donovan Richards is calling for the removal of NYPD officers from school security duties. (Michael Dorgan for Queens Post)

The NYPD has vacated Carl Schurz Park after blocking access for no good reason. (Steven Vago for Streetsblog)

The City Council passed the POST Act, which will require the NYPD to reveal information about their arsenal of surveillance tools, which include stingray devices, drones, facial recognition, and more. The mayor is expected to sign the bill into law. (Alan Feuer for NY Times)

45 ice cream shops open for summer 2020. (Regan Miles for amNewYork Metro)

Thanks to reader Arden for today’s featured photo!

The Briefly for February 18, 2020 – The “Decapitating a Luxury Condo” Edition

Today’s daily NYC news digest: The city tries to control the private garbage industry, the best happy hours in 31 neighborhoods, Staten Island makes an untrusted cop list, and more

Today – Low: 38˚ High: 49˚
Light rain starting in the afternoon.

In appreciation of mosaic subway station signs. (Ephemeral New York)

Photos: A tour of NYC’s oldest library, once used by George Washington. (Michelle Young for Untapped New York)

Off with its head, literally. The Department of Buildings is being ordered to revoke the permits for an indeterminate amount of floors from a luxury condo on the Upper West Side. Amazingly, the developer will have to demolish potentially 20 floors of the 55-story building. (Jake Offenhartz for Gothamist)

The NYPD has always insisted that it’s facial recognition database is only checked against mugshots, but there is some evidence that points to photos from social media being used to assist in creating matches for suspects. This wouldn’t be the first time the NYPD lied about their facial recognition database. (Mike Hayes for HuffPost)

Prosecutors in Staten Island are building an internal list of NYPD officers who they will not allow to testify in court because they can’t be trusted to testify honestly. Seems like if they an’t be trusted to tell the truth in court, there might be issues trusting them to honestly uphold the law? (George Joseph for Gothamist)

It started with a white picket fence and quickly escalated to racial discrimination in Flushing. (Elizabeth Kim for Gothamist)

It took 125 years, but the lions outside the NYPL are finally reading thanks to some very large books. (Michelle Young for Untapped New York)

Newkirk Plaza is America’s oldest outdoor shopping plaza, and it seems no one wants to be responsible for it. The city and MTA have discussed who is responsible for management, funding and safety without a conclusion, mirroring most disagreements between the state and city. If neither step up, maybe the growing rat population will start cleaning the place up. (Katie Herchenroeder for Bklyner)

New ethics violations charges have been filed against Andy King, who finished the punishment for his last ethics violation charges less than three months ago. This time around it’s disorderly induct and conflict-of-interest violations by using public funds for personal benefit. This happened while a court-appointed monitor was watching over King’s actions. The city council voted to not expel King 34-12 back in October. Maybe they’ll change their tune this time. (Emma G. Fitzsimmons for NY Times)

If you’ve ever been walking through the city late at night, you’ve watched private garbage trucks blow through red lights without slowing down or drive the wrong way on one way streets. Between 2016 and 1018 privately owned garbage trucks were involved in 73 series accidents. A new law is looking to control the private garbage industry over the next three years, which picks up half of the city’s garbage. (Anne Barnard for NY Times)

After half a century, a legendary pool hall in Bay Ridge, Hall of Fame Billiards, is closing. (Kimon de Green for Bedford + Bowery)

Here are the four people running for City Councilmember Rafael Espinal’s seat after he abruptly quit his job representing Cypress Hills, Bushwick, East New York, and Brownsville. (Sydney Pereira for Gothamist)

The Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum continues to unravel after the forced resignation of director Caroline Baumann, with five trustees resigning in protest. (Robin Pogrebin for NY Times)

LGBTQ groups have once again been rejected from participating in the Staten Island St. Patrick’s Day Parade on March 1. (Matt Tracy for Gay City News)

What’s the difference between co-ops and condos and what the heck is a condop? (Localize.City)

Reminder: If you see a hawk, don’t go close to it. It’s likely hunting and you’re ruining its potential meal. (Laura Goggin)

A ban on brokers fees will benefit tenants in the long run to the tune of $7,000 on average in the first year, and that includes a rent hike. (Beth Dedman for amNewYork Metro)

The best happy hours in 31 neighborhoods. (Rachel Pelz for Thrillist)