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 April 10, 2020 – The “Bodegas and Fran Lebowitz Will Be There When Things Go to Hell” Edition

Today’s daily NYC news digest: Normplay, Cuomo doesn’t share de Blasio’s optimism, SNL works from home, Lincoln Center’s summer programming is canceled, restaurant spices, and more

Today – Low: 38˚ High: 50˚
Partly cloudy throughout the day.
This weekend – Low: 44˚ High: 61˚

When the Governor is begging the nation to send healthcare workers to New York, imagine how shitty you have to be to threaten to fire your employees for speaking out about bad conditions in your hospital. Instead, hospital administrators are encouraging “appropriate” social media posts with uplifting messages instead. The City Council is planning legislation to prohibit the firing of health care workers for speaking publicly about hospital conditions. (Noam Scheiber and Brian M. Rosenthal for NY Times)

Video: It’s almost weird to see videos of people crowded into Times Square. (ActionKid)

Plans to turn Cathedral of St. John the Divine into a hospital have hit the breaks. The public story is that a leveling off in infections is the reason, but there are also tensions between the church’s leaders and Samaritan’s Purse, the company operating Central Park’s field hospitals, who hold anti-Muslim and anti-LGBTQ stances. (Liam Stock for NY Times)

New Yorkers always know that when everything goes to hell, we can count on our bodegas. (Aaron Randle for NY Times)

“Never. It didn’t even occur to me. The morning of September 11th, someone called me and said, “We’re going to Connecticut. We can pick you up. Do you want to go?” I was just shocked that anyone would want to leave. I’m not leaving. In fact, I feel that I am like the designated New Yorker. Everyone else can leave. This is beyond saddening for me, to see the town this way.” –Fran Lebowitz is never leaving New York City. (Michael Schulman for The New Yorker)

Inside Coronavirus: Chinatown Stories, a video series making an effort to bring attention and love to Chinatown and Welcome to Chinatown, a grassroots initiative to support Chinatown restaurants. (Cathy Erway for Grub Street)

If you’ve been wondering “Why are the city’s landmarks lit up blue?,” it’s for the city’s essential workers. It started at Windsor Castle in the UK last month. (Devin Gannon for 6sqft)

In praise of making noise at 7 pm every night. (Amanda Hess for NY Times)

Everyone can submit an absentee ballot for the June 23 Democratic primary, thanks to an announcement from Governor Cuomo. (Emily Davenport for QNS)

Are you one of the 1/3 of renters in the country who didn’t pay April’s rent on time? (Devin Gannon for 6sqft)

A look inside the U.S. Open stadium’s makeshift hospital. (Maya Kaufman for Patch)

The story of how the Yankees became the Yankees, 107 years later. (Joe Pantorno for amNewYork Metro)

Traffic is down 60% on the BQE and speeds are up 288%. Proof that when you remove cars from the streets, the remaining vehicles can travel faster. (Winnie Hu for NY Times)

Have you hit the point where you miss all of the city’s inconveniences? Try Normplay. Nothing will make you appreciate staying at home like re-creating the pains of living in the city. (Ben Yakas for Gothamist)

The mayor is feeling optimistic about relaxing the city’s quarantine at the end of May, but Governor Cuomo doesn’t share his optimism. (Mark Hallum for amNewYork Metro)

PHotos: Separate, but together. Portraits of New Yorkers under quarantine. (Caroline Spivack with photos by Johnny Cirillo for Curbed)

Saturday Night Live is doing a “work from home” episode this weekend in what will surely be one of the weirdest television experiences of this pandemic. (Will Gleason for Time Out)

All of Lincoln Center’s summer programming is canceled for 2020. Lincoln Center Out of Doors, Midsummer Night Swing, and Mostly Motzart are all canceled. It’s not all bad news, they’re planning a pop-up festival for whenever we’re allowed to go outside again. (Amanda Hatfield for BrooklynVegan)

There are a lot of dark clouds lately, but let’s discover the silver linings. (6sqft)

Looking to emulate your favorite dishes from your favorite restaurants? Here are some restaurants in the city selling their spices and seasonings. (Luke Forney for Eater)

“We’re working with Google to come up with an online mechanism that bypasses any phone certification.” -The governor is working with Google to update the state’s unemployment verification process and remove phone verification, the hardest part of completing an unemployment claim. (Christopher Robbins for Gothamist)

The New York Historical Society wants your paper and digital ephemera that document all aspects of the current crisis. (Shaye Weaver for Time Out)

St. Patrick’s Cathedral Easter Mass is being streamed to Facebook and YouTube this year. (Shaye Weaver for Time Out)

Hart Island, the city’s potter’s field, normally sees about 25 new bodies buried by inmates each week. Lately, it’s two dozen bodies a day and contract laborers have been brought in to perform the burials. The photography in this article is absolutely chilling. (Christopher Robbins, Sydney Pereira, and Gwynne Hogan for Gothamist)

The latest slap in the face to restauranteurs and their staffs is GoFundMe making it difficult for the donated funds to be withdrawn. (Erika Adams for Eater)

The Times asks “Did New Yorkers Who Fled to Second Homes Bring the Virus?” The answer is yes. (Sarah Maslin Nir and Tracey Tully for NY Times)

10 great cookbooks and cocktail books from NYC restaurants and bars. (Bao Ong for Time Out)

The Briefly for December 5, 2019 – The “Fight of the Year: Duck vs Subway Car” Edition

In today’s daily NYC news digest: Uber’s top tourist destination, Parks takes over the city’s mass grave island, the Mets have a new owner, the best latkes in the city, and more.

The latest restaurant openings with potential. (The Infatuation)

Hart Island, the country’s largest taxpayer-funded mass-grave site, is now under the control of the Department of Parks instead of the Department of Corrections. New York City has been burying its veterans, its poor, its anonymous, and those infected in the early days of the AIDS crisis for over a century. The Department of Parks is tasked with providing access to the public for visitation of the million bodies buried on the 131 acre island. (Kathleen Culliton for Patch)

Anthony Benedetto’s art is on display at the Art Students League. Maybe you know him as Tony Bennett. (Untapped New York)

In the fight of duck vs subway car, ducks win. A duck wandered on its way onto the tracks of the N train in Brooklyn, causing the train line to come to a complete stop while this terrible little scamp was removed. (Claire Lampen for Gothamist)

The 10 neighborhoods to watch in real estate in 2020, with no real surprises. Williamsburg wouldn’t have made the cut if the L train had been shutdown, but it’s sitting at #1 instead. (Nancy Wu for StreetEasy)

Say hello to seven recipients of the 11th Annual Sloan Awards for Excellence in Teaching Science and Mathematics in New York City Public High Schools. (Kathleen Culliton for Patch)

Photos: The tree lighting ceremony at Rockefeller Center. (Michelle Young for Untapped New York)

11-year-old Charlotte Nebres is making history as the first Black dancer cast in the leading role of Marie in the New York City Ballet’s production of “George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker.” (Kimberley Richards for HuffPost)

The best latkes in the city. (Leah Koenig for Grub Street)

After months of negotiation and multiple threats of a transit strike, the MTA and Transport Workers Union Local 100 have reached an agreement. The details won’t be publicly available until after the contract is ratified by TWU 100 members. (Vincent Barone for amNewYork)

Take a look inside Christina Hendricks’s apartment on W 56th. The 800 square foot apartment is on the market after her divorce to Geoffrey Arend. (Michele Petry for StreetEasy)

The Mets have a new majority owner in billionaire Steve Cohen, who increased his investment by $2.6 billion. Cohen became a minority owner in 2008 after former majority owners the Wilpons were caught up in the Bernie Madoff scandal. Unfortunately for the Mets the Wilpons will stay on as CEO and COO for the next five years. (Mark Hallum for amNewYork)

Watch videos from the final performance at Brooklyn Bazaar. (Bill Pearis for BrooklynVegan)

The best vegetarian restaurants on the Upper West Side. (Hannah Rosenfield for I Love the Upper West Side)

What to see, eat and drink near Brooklyn’s new Wegmans. (Lore Croghan for Brooklyn Daily Eagle)

Despite its designation as a “public place” since 1974, architects and developers showed a plan to build nearly one thousand apartments on a 5.8 acre site on the corner of Smith St and Fifth St in Gowanus. Brad Lander, who has been excessively bullish on rezoning Gowanus and adding over 8,000 apartments to the small neighborhood, pushed the development at a Community Board meeting on Monday. (Alexandra Alexa for 6sqft)

The story of the Taxi King, his rise to power and crash back to earth. (Brian M. Rosenthal for NY Times)

One thing that won’t be returning to Lincoln Center after its half-billion dollar renovation is Richard Lippold’s 190-foot-long, 39-foot-high sculpture Orpheus and Apollo. (Elizabeth Kim for Gothamist)

The top destination in the city for Uber trips by tourists in the city is as obvious as it gets: The Empire State Building. It was actually the #1 destination on the planet. The most popular place in the entire state was the Queens Center Mall in Elmhurst. (Michelle Cohen for 6sqft)

Applications for middle and high school are due Friday, December 6. Here’s what you need to know. (Amy Zimmer and Christina Veiga for ChalkBeat)

The tragedy of the red horse hopper, told in three photos. (EV Grieve)

Why the census has always been controversial in New York City. (Diana Buds for Curbed)

The trailer for the fourth season of High Maintenance was released this week, with the show returning in early February. (Ben Yakas for Gothamist)

Everyone could use a story with a happy ending. When Ashley Patrick left her purse with her wallet, headphones and a pair of gloves for her son on the Q train, she assumed they’d never find their way home. Let’s call this one a holiday miracle. (Claire Lampen for Gothamist)

NYC’s 11 most festive bars and restaurants. (Rebecca Fishbein for 6sqft)