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 January 5, 2021 – The “Thresholds? We Don’t Need No Stinkin Thresholds!” Tuesday Edition

The latest NYC news digest: Moynihan Train Hall opens, the city is failing its vaccine rollout, the best new restaurants of 2020, NYC’s first baby of 2021, and more

Today – Low: 33˚ High: 41˚
Mostly cloudy throughout the day.

Slash came out in support of city renaming a portion of St. Marks Jimmy Webb Place. There is a change.org petition if you want to add your name in support. (Bowery Boogie)

The top new restaurants in the city in 2020 from writers, photographers, chefs, restaurateurs, entrepreneurs, and elected officials. (Eater)

Video: Walking through the new Moynihan Train Hall in Penn Station. (ActionKid)

Photos: Inside the new Moynihan Train Hall. (Sophia Chang with photos by Jake Dobkin for Gothamist)

Did you know that old Penn Station had a women-only waiting room? (Ephemeral New York)

Photos: The art of the new Moynihan Train Hall. (Shaye Weaver for Time Out)

This January marks 75 years since the shutdown of the City Hall Station. (Nicole Saraniero for Untapped New York)

12 restaurants with heated outdoor dining in Queens. (Erika Adams for Eater)

There’s a new push to build a windmill farm off the shore of Sunset Park, spearheaded by Senator Charles Schumer, Public Advocate Jumaane Williams, and City Councilmember Carlos Menchaca. (Ariama C. Long for Kings County Politics)

Governor Cuomo has long said that if the city hits a 7-day 9% positivity rate for Covid-19, he would close the schools in the city. The city hit 9% and Governor Cuomo decided schools will stay open. (Alejandra O’Connell-Domenech for amNewYork Metro)

The more infectious UK strain of Covid-19 was found in New York state in Saratoga Springs. (Mark Hallum for amNewYork Metro)

The city has only used 25% of its Covid-19 vaccine allocation. The mayor announced a goal of one million vaccinations by the end of January. That’s going to be a tough task considering the city has only administered 110k vaccines as of this morning. (Dana Schulz for 6sqft)

The Coney Island History Project launched a new podcast, Coney Island Stories Podcast. If you missed the opportunity to get the sand in your shoes this year, take a dip into some history. (Coney Island History Project)

Bird Alert! A bald eagle was spotted in Central Park. (Mike Mishkin for I Love the Upper West Side)

Meet the NYC queens on this season of RuPaul’s Drag Race. (Rose Adams for Brooklyn Paper)

The NYPD will file charges against “SoHo Karen,” who accused a Black child of stealing her phone and scratched and tackled him in the process. (Ishena Robinson for The Root)

City Sheriffs broke up three New Year’s Eve parties, including a 300 person karaoke party in Queens. (Michael Wilson for NY Times)

Farewell to Sammy’s Roumanian Steakhouse, closing after 47 years, but it sounds like they have plans of reopening. (EV Grieve)

Max Rose is not running for mayor, saving himself a quick L. (NY1)

The NYPD’s 73rd Precinct tried a radical experiment for five days in December in what could be a model for the future. They removed police officers and replaced them with community members preventing minor incidents. (Yoav Gonen for The City)

10 new public art installations in NYC for January. (Nicole Saraniero for Untapped New York)

Public Advocate Jumaane Williams plans to appoint Cea Weaver, the campaign coordinator for Housing Justice for All, to the City Planning Commission. This would be one of thirteen seats on the commission. (Akiko Matsuda for The Real Deal)

Congrats to Ivett Rodriguez on the birth of her son Jaxel, the first baby in NYC to be born in 2021. (Robert Pozarycki for Brooklyn Paper)

Mayor de Blasio announced the there will be a special election on March 23 for the empty 11th and 15th City Council seats. (Alex Mitchell for amNewYork Metro)

This week is your last opportunity to own a piece of Gem Spa, the auction ends January 7. (Flaming Pablum)

Marine Park Democratic District Leader Lori Maslow resigned after a weird weekend Twitter rant against Chinese people. She’s since deleted her Twitter account. (Brian Braiker for Brooklyn Magazine)

A technical glitch that took down the NYC Department of Correction’s Inmate Lookup Service last month has left some incarcerated New Yorkers without access to their lawyers or families. (Jake Offenhartz for Gothamist)

State Senator Brian Benjamin is running for City Comptroller, the chief fiscal officer for the city, but The City has uncovered multiple phantom donations, including one from a two-year-old, to his campaign. Benjamin says that he will “return” the money. To whom? Not a great omen for someone who wants to oversee the city’s finances. (Clifford Michel for The City)

Six women have been assaulted at the Morgan Ave L Station since November. If you’re using this station, please be alert when you do. (Matt Fink for Bushwick Daily)

From the “No Sympathy” department comes this story from the Times on how difficult it is to find parking in NYC ever since car ownership soared this year. I used to live downstairs from a guy in Park Slope who never moved his car for street cleaning because, as he explained it, paying for every ticket you get because you don’t move your car is cheaper than paying for a spot in any garage in the neighborhood. (Christina Goldbaum for NY Times)

Be careful when crossing 1st Ave and 7th St, because the freshly prepared intersection is now the hole to some sinkholes. (EV Grieve)

Apartment Lust: An historic $4.4 million house in Park Slope’s historic district, complete with garage, two outdoor areas, a full bath in an unfinished basement, and four stories. (Susan De Vries for Brownstoner)

Know a restaurant that opened in 2020? Time Out is making a list. (Christina Izzo for Time Out)

Robert Sietsema’s 2020 in sandwiches. (Robert Sietsema for Eater)

Thanks to reader Zlata for today’s featured photo!

The Briefly for December 20-21, 2020 – The “Not A Few Bad Apples” Sunday Edition

The latest NYC news digest: You can pee indoors again, you can buy the Gem Spa sign, the best meals of the year, the worst time to travel, and more

Today – Low: 34˚ High: 38˚
Possible light rain in the afternoon.

You can pee in restaurants again. It was less than an hour after Tuesday’s email that the city to reversed guidance that barred outdoor diners from coming inside if they needed to tinkle or drop a deuce. (Benjamin Hart for Grub Street)

22 years after the city said it would move the NYPD tow pound from Pier 76 at 36th St, which sits on state parkland. The state’s budget imposed a $3 million monthly fine on the city that starts in January for not moving the tow pound, which are on top of an additional $12 million in fines that already exist. (Zack Fink for NY1)

Believe it or not, the city’s Department of Investigation found that the problems in the NYPD that caused escalations of violence after the death of George Floyd by its officers was systemic and not caused by a few bad apples, that there was a racial tilt to how people were charged after arrested, and “lacked a clearly defined strategy” to respond to the protests. (Greg B. Smith for The City)

The Legal Aid Society is suing the state for the release of information on the spread of COVID-19 in prisons, arguing that the Department of Corrections has failed to identify the facilities where officers have contracted the virus, making it impossible to trace how widespread the virus is within the prison system. (Gwynne Hogan for Gothamist)

Critically-acclaimed restaurant Hunky Dory in Crown Heights opened the Hunky Depot, a small holiday market in the restaurant’s dining room. There’s room for six at a time so the lines may be as long as their pre-pandemic brunch lines. (Michelle Young for Untapped New York)

The New York City Housing Authority is NYC’s worst landlord for the third year in a row, according to Public Advocate Jumaane Williams’s 100 worst landlords list. Williams lays the blame at the de Blasio administration’s feet for their management of the federal program. (David Cruz for Gothamist)

Looking for a last-minute gift for someone who absolutely loves NYC? How about the Gem Spa sign? Gem Spa is auctioning off just about anything they could rip off the walls to those who can afford it. (Ben Yakas for Gothamist)

If you’re looking for some Christmas history in Manhattan, look no further than the seemingly-innocuous flagpole with a star on it in Madison Square Park. The Star of Hope markets the spot of NYC’s first Christmas tree lighting ceremony in 1912. (Nicole Saraniero for Untapped New York)

13 places to find spectacular holiday decorations in NYC. (Nicole Saraniero for Untapped New York)

Apartment Lust: A $22 million, 7,400 square foot, seemingly endless townhouse on the Upper East Side with a roof deck, wine cellar, multiple smaller decks, and a tub big enough to look like a small pool. (Dana Schulz for 6sqft)

Documentary: “I’ve had women who fondled my dog more than they fondled me” The Dogs of Manhattan from 1998, an often accidentally comedic look at dog walking culture in NYC in the late 90s. (Fat Building/YouTube)

The story of good boy Balto, who has a statue dedicated to him in Central Park, who famously helped bring the diphtheria antitoxin to Nome, Alaska 95 years ago this week seems fitting today. Balto’s statue is just east of the Willowdell Arch. (Jen Carlson for Gothamist)

Video: Subway station secrets. (GoGoSupertoe)

A look at Brooklyn-based photographer Katia Repina’s exhibition “Intimacy in the Time of Corona” at NYU’s Gallatin Galleries. (Brian Braiker for Brooklyn Magazine)

Two bills passed by the City Council this week will increase protections for workers at fast-food companies. The first prohibits firing workers without “just cause” and the other requires that layoffs occur by seniority, protecting workers who have worked for companies longer. (Sydney Pereira for Gothamist)

Who wants to bet that the auction to destroy Donald Trump’s Atlantic City casino will raise more money than the GoFundMe to buy his childhood house? (Devin Gannon for 6qsft)

The city’s schools are making big changes to deal with the havoc caused by the pandemic, including eliminating academic screens for Middle schools, virtual performing art school auditions, widespread administration of the SHSAT, and eliminating district-based admissions preference. (Christina Veiga for Chalkbeat)

There’s been a spike in the number of reported puppy scams lately and this is a reminder that there are plenty of shelters across the city and region. Don’t be the asshole that buys a dog. (Gillian Smith for Patch)

The New York City Parks Department is looking to evict one of the city’s biggest processors of food waste at the end of the year. (Julie Levy for Bedford + Bowery)

The story of how the Blue Light Speak Cheesy went from operating out of an apartment window with paper bags and a pulley system to a full-on operation. (Amy Rowe for Grub Street)

Pernil at La Isla Cuchifritos, Gumbo at FieldTrip, and the rest of Ryan Sutton’s favorite dishes of 2020. (Ryan Sutton for Eater)

Roberta’s Burgie’s, “burger and fries concept” in East Williamsburg from the folks behind the pizza at Roberta’s is open for take out and delivery only. (Rachel Sugar for Grub Street)

Hats off to Ben Weiss, who took a ride on a double-decker tour bus this week. (Ben Weiss for Bedford + Bowery)

If you feel like you absolutely must travel this week, and you should absolutely without question not be doing that, the worst time to be on the road is 4:30 p.m. on Dec. 30. (Adam Nichols for Patch)

31 brunch spots with outdoor heat lamps. (Matt Tervooren for The Infatuation)

Thanks to reader Madeline for today’s featured photo!