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 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!

The Briefly for April 30, 2020 – The “I Will Report You To 311 For This!” Edition

Today’s daily NYC news digest: Alternatives for grocery delivery, Governor Cuomo’s quizzical piece of art, 40 inexpensive takeout suggestions, IKEA Rego Park’s opening delayed, and more

Today – Low: 53˚ High: 57˚
Rain until morning, starting again in the evening.

Waiting for an antibody test is the new waiting for a table at brunch. (Zijia Song for Bedford + Bowery)

One of Brooklyn’s best places to go for peace and quiet is now closed to the public. Floyd Bennett Field is being used to store MTA buses, cutting off access to the Gateway National Recreation Area, Floyd Bennett Gardens Association’s access to their gardens, and some of the city’s best spots for biking. (Gabriel Sandoval and Jose Martinez for The City)

Andrew Yang is suing New York state for canceling the Democratic presidential primary, trying to get it reinstated. (Emily Ngo for NY1)

“I am not happy at all, and this doesn’t have to do with what candidate you are supporting.” –AOC on the primary’s cancelation. (Juan Manuel Benitez for NY1)

Residential noise complaints to 311 have gone up by 22% during everyone’s quarantine. I’m sorry, I’m trying to perfect my tap dancing. I’ll try to keep it down. (Charles Woodman for Patch)

A look inside the Hunts Point Food Distribution Center and how it’s kept itself, and the city’s food supply chain, going during the pandemic. (Gary He for Eater)

VIDEO: “The Central Park,” a mashup of scenes from movies in or around Central Park. (Flaming Pablum)

Major League Baseball continues to think of how to play the remainder of the season, whenever that might start. The latest idea disbands the American and National Leagues in favor of three geographic-based leagues and highlights local rivalries, giving us a season’s worth of Subway Series games. (Joe Pantorno for amNewYork Metro)

The cover of the April 15 New Yorker sums life up pretty well right now. An interview with Chris Ware about “Still Life.” (Françoise Mouly for The New Yorker)

Sara Erenthal’s work, which uses the city’s trash as a canvas for years, has been featured multiple times in The Briefly’s daily photos (including one claiming “our president is an absolute piece of shit, which I got an angry email about). Here’s an interview with Erenthal about her art and experience creating it. (Ben Yakas for Gothamist)

A series of interviews with N.Y.U. Langone Health nurses, who bear the burden and weight of the city’s sick and dying. (David Gonzalez and Sinna Nasseri for NY Times)

“You know what it spells? It spells love.” When Governor Cuomo unveiled a wall of masks, I spent a few moments actually searching for the word “LOVE” within it. He was speaking metaphorically and I’m glad no one was around to watch me lean in and squint to try to see it. I wasn’t the only one confused. (Kathleen Culliton for

Go beyond Amazon Prime and Instacart. 10 grocery delivery services that are locally focused. (amNewYork Metro)

The funeral in Williamsburg is putting the NYPD and city officials in a tough spot. More than 2,000 Satmar Hasidic Jewish residents flooded the streets, despite an attempt to work with the NYPD to socially distance, endangering everyone involved. (Todd Maisel for Brooklyn Paper)

NYPD Commissioner Dermot Shea stated it bluntly: there will be “zero tolerance” for gatherings like this in the future because the crowds are “putting my cops at risk.” (Todd Maisel for amNewYork Metro)

“I have no regrets about calling out this danger and saying we’re going to be dealing with it very, very aggressively” -Mayor de Blasio on future enforcement of social distancing after the funeral. (Nina Golgowski for HuffPost)

CitiBike is expanding into upper Manhattan and the Bronx starting the week of May 4 with 100 new docking stations. (Caroline Spivack for Curbed)

A map of the Bronx’s new CitiBike locations. (Ed García Conde for Welcome2TheBronx)

The city will offer COVID-19 antibody tests to 150,000 health care workers and first responders to determine whether they’ve been infected. The Department of Defense will also be setting up a program to treat health care workers for “combat stress.” Chirlane McCray is in charge of the mental health program. Hopefully, unlike her past work with ThriveNYC, this will be proven to be effective. (Erin Durkin for Politico)

Throughout May, the city will transfer 1,000 New Yorkers living in city homeless shelters every week to vacant hotel rooms, according to the mayor. The city has approximately 30,000 empty hotel rooms. (Alejandra O’Connell-Domenech for amNewYork Metro)

The YMCA launched YMCA @ Home, free workout classes. (Will Gleason for Time Out)

The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum is offering 200 exhibition catalogs from its archives for free, dating back to 1936. (Howard Halle for Time Out)

Last weekend you baked Junior’s cheesecake, this weekend are you ready for another challenge? Here’s the recipe for Magnolia Bakery’s iconic cupcakes. (Bao Ong for Time Out)

A closer look at the MTA’s new code of conduct that is written with the explicit intention of clearing homeless New Yorkers from trains and enable daily disinfecting of each car. (Mark Hallum for amNewYork Metro)

IKEA Rego Park’s store opening has been pushed back to the fall. (Michael Dorgan for LIC Post)

Dozens of bodies — many of which were the remains of coronavirus victims – were seen being loaded from several U-Haul trucks to a refrigerator truck outside of a Brooklyn funeral home on Wednesday. (Todd Maisel and Jessica Parks for amNewYork Metro)

RIP Samuel Hargress Jr., owner of Paris Blues in Harlem and “the soul ambassador of, that culture of community.” (Steven Kurutz for NY Times)

Vox Media furloughed 9% of its staff and will be making Curbed a part of New York Magazine. Starting May 1, Curbed will be completely furloughed for three months. There is a GoFundMe for the Vox staff who have been furloughed. (Vox Media Furlough Fund)

Looking to donate food to the city’s essential workers? Here are eight ways to deliver food without having to leave your couch. (Emma Orlow for Time Out)

40 inexpensive dining destinations still open, straight from Robert Sietsema’s inexpensive dining column. (Robert Sietsema for Eater)

Thanks to reader Natalie for today’s featured photo!