The Briefly for February 23-25, 2021 – The “Movie Theaters Reopen on March 5” Tuesday Edition

The latest NYC news digest: The biggest idiot in New York, a deathbed confession links the NYPD to Malcolm X’s assassination, the best doughnuts and more

Today – Low: 34˚ High: 40˚
Drizzle in the morning and afternoon.

• Only an idiot would steal a bunch of merchandise from a Chanel store and then brag online about having enough merchandise to open a small boutique. Meet Eric Spencer, that alleged idiot, who was arrested in Florida for allegedly sticking up a SoHo Chanel store in broad daylight earlier this month. (Jake Offenhartz for Gothamist)

• Thanks to a deathbed confession, there is new evidence that the NYPD and FBI conspired in the assassination of Malcolm X. (Sydney Pereira for Gothamist)

The Metropolitan Opera may not return in 2021. The Met’s General Manager Peter Gelb is trying to cut wages 30% long term across the opera’s workforce and the stage employee union is standing up to Gelb with the campaign “Without People the Opera is Nothing.” (Bobby Panza for I Love the Upper West Side)

New York City movie theaters can reopen on March 5 at 25% capacity and PCR tests will not be required to enter. (Shaye Weaver for Time Out)

• The Times questions if Governor Cuomo’s bullying style can still work in politics, detailing years of intimidation, insults, and threats. (Jesse McKinley and Luis Ferré-Sadurní for NY Times)

• As reported last week, Pearl River Mart is re-opening this spring in a new location in Soho. (Elie Z. Perler for Bowery Boogie)

• Ask an epidemiologist: Dr. Jessica Justman on how to stay safe on the subway. The clean surfaces don’t matter nearly as much as wearing a mask and keeping your distance. (Sydney Pereira for Gothamist)

MTA transit crews will now give out a second mask to anyone who asks for it. (Anna Ben Yehuda for Time Out)

• Interview: What it’s like to start a nursing career during the Covid-19 crisis. (Alexa Shahrestani for Bedford + Bowery)

• While not NYC specific, this data visualization of the 500,000 American deaths due to the Coronavirus is absolutely staggering and worth of your time to understand its impact. (Sam Hart for Reuters)

• Advocates for charter schools hope more can reopen soon, after a judge ruled the city must include them in the program that provides free weekly tests at traditional public schools. The city is appealing the ruling, arguing the city’s obligation to provide free, random sample testing beyond Department of Education schools. (Jessica Gould for Gothamist)

The city now has a “recovery czar,” whatever that means. Recovery from the pandemic seems like it should be the top focus of the mayor, but since we haven’t fully recovered yet from Hurricane Sandy, we can hardly expect the mayor to treat this like it’s his job either. (Matt Troutman for Patch)

New FEMA-managed vaccination sites will open on Wednesday at Medgar Evers College in Brooklyn and York College in Queens with appointments available for people who are currently eligible and live in nearby zip codes. (Sydney Pereira for Gothamist)

• Despite what the mayor has publicly said, some second doses of the Covid-19 vaccine were delayed by the weather. NYC Health + Hospitals claim they will be resupplied by mid-week. (Caroline Lewis for Gothamist)

Madison Square Garden announced its first concert in 2021. Colombian reggaeton artist Maluma is scheduled to perform on October 1. (Amanda Hatfield for BrooklynVegan)

The Peoples Improv Theater is vacating its main location on East 24th Street. The PIT List and Pioneers bar on 29th St will remain for now. (Anne Victoria Clark for Vulture)

The NYCHA keeps poisoning kids with lead with apartments they declare are “lead-free.” It is shameful that the city has poisoned over 1,000 children in the last decade. (Greg B. Smith for The City)

• This is a great moment to ask the question “What is the NYCHA?” and other questions about public housing. (Rachel Holliday Smith for The City)

• The City Council seems ready to take a serious look at reducing certain helicopter traffic around the city to the degree that they can. (Gersh Kuntzman for Streetsblog)

• Podcast: Guiddalia Emilien discusses her run for mayor. (Ben Max for Gotham Gazette)

Who is running for Staten Island borough president? Surprise! They’re both Republicans. (David Cruz for Gothamist)

• If you’re horny for watching Trump lose, I’ve got some great news for you. The Supreme Court denied the unemployed Florida man’s attempts to block Manhattan District Attorney Cy Vance from obtaining eight years of his personal tax records. A grand jury will see his tax records “almost immediately.” (Jake Offenhartz for Gothamist)

• The city is severing its contracts with the Trump Organization to operate the Wollman Rink and Lasker Rink in Central Park ahead of April. The rinks will stay open through the end of the season despite the city first announcing they would close early. (Sydney Pereira for Gothamist)

• Photos: Check out these massive, climbable sculptures are headed to MoMA PS1. (Shaye Weaver for Time Out)

• Photos: The Lake in Central Park is frozen solid! (Michelle Young with photography by Ryan Lahiff for Untapped New York)

10 black baseball sites in New York City. (Dave Kaplan for Untapped New York)

The best doughnut shops in the city. (Swathi Reddy for Thrillist)

Thanks to reader Francesca for today’s featured photo!

The Briefly for February 19-20, 2021 – The “Cuomo Versus the World” Friday Edition

The latest NYC news digest: Pearl River Mart has a new home, where to go sledding, the greatest fictional NYC mayor, Amazon gets sued, Block-owned coffee shops, and more

Today – Low: 25˚ High: 34˚
Snow (1–2 in.) in the morning and afternoon.
This weekend – Low: 22˚ High: 34˚

• Ask An Epidemiologist: Should you wear two masks? Dr. David Chokshi, the city’s health commissioner and guy in all those commercials on Hulu, says two are better than one. (Caroline Lewis for Gothamist)

Farewell to Park Slope’s Mission Delores, a fantastic bar. (Jason Diamond for Grub Street)

17 spots to go sledding in New York City. (Devin Gannon for 6sqft)

A timeline of Governor Cuomo’s nursing home controversy. (Nick Reisman for NY1)

• Not everyone is fighting Governor Cuomo. Cuomo took $145 million from the MTA’s budget and they aren’t challenging it. Of the $145 million, $107 million is being taken from an operating fund that is supposed to be dedicated to fund mass transit. Cuomo has not stated the reason for removing the money from the MTA’s budget. (Dave Colon for Streetsblog)

• The Department of Justice and FBI are investigating Governor Cuomo’s administration over the nursing home issue. (Jen Chung for Gothamist)

• Assemblyman Ron Kim has been criticizing Governor Cuomo for months about how Cuomo handled the state’s nursing homes. When Kim said Cuomo was “trying to dodge any incriminating evidence,” it resulted in the governor calling up Kim to let him know Cuomo would “destroy” him. (Luis Ferré-Sadurní and Jesse McKinley for NY Times)

• Answering the question of who is Ron Kim? (Christine Chung for The City)

Pearl River Mart has found itself a new home at 452 Broadway, near Canal St. (Bowery Boogie)

• Gothamist held a vote for the greatest fictional mayor of New York City, using ranked choice voting, and the results are in! Mayor Lenny from Ghostbusters is the city’s greatest fictional mayor, who also has one of my favorite quotes in history about NYC: “Being miserable and treating other people like dirt is every New Yorker’s God-given right.” (Jake Dobkin and Jen Carlson for Gothamist)

• Photos: 16 stunning photos of NYC landmarks blanketed in snow. (Shaye Weaver for Time Out)

• Where does Greenwich Village end? What are the boundaries of Bed-Stuy? How far So of Ho does SoHo extend? The fight over perceived neighborhood borders is heating up again. (Anna Ben Yehuda for Time Out)

• Interview: Did you watch us land on Mars on Thursday? Meet Vishnu Sridhar, a Queens boy who is the lead systems engineer for the SuperCam on the Mars 2020 rover. (Sydney Pereira for Gothamist)

A look into keeping pigeons, a dwindling hobby in NYC. (Allie Conti for NY Times)

Coney Island will be able to reopen on April 9 at a 33% capacity, but if you want to get in, you must buy tickets in advance and wear face coverings, and the parks must conduct temperature checks and clean the rides frequently. (Rose Adams for Brooklyn Paper)

The city has new guidance for indoor dining, which includes limiting parties to 4 or fewer, wearing a mask whenever you are not actively eating or drinking, and more. (Tanay Warerkar for Eater)

“I’ve had to cancel counseling sessions to stand by metal detectors that children are required to go through, to monitor the hallways, or to “watch” a group of suspended students. I could fill pages with all the jobs I’ve done that have nothing to do with social work. The rationalization is that any type of human interaction automatically translates into “social work.” That’s because most people have no idea what a social worker does.”
– Vanessa Vélez, Nobody knows what a social worker does. That is hurting our students., for Chalkbeat

• Maps: How Covid-19 impacted internet speeds across the city. (Jameson Zimmer for Untapped New York)

Mount Sinai Health System has been canceling thousands of first dose vaccine appointments in the last few days due to low supply. (Caroline Lewis and Sydney Pereira for Gothamist)

• Sections of Queens, Hunts Point in the Bronx, and East New York and Brownsville in Brooklyn had among the lowest percent of residents who have received at least one dose of a Cocid-19 vaccine. (Sydney Pereira and Jake Dobkin for Gothamist)

• Maps: Vaccine data by zip code. (Davin Gannon for 6sqft)

• The case against Amy Cooper, the woman who falsely called the police on a Black man in Central Park for “threatening” her, was dropped on Tuesday after she completed a therapeutic program that included instruction about racial biases. (Jonah E. Bromwich for NY Times)

How New York City’s delivery workers survive snowstorms. (Jasmine Fernandez for NY City Lens)

• Amazon tried to block it with a lawsuit of their own, but Attorney General Letitia James is suing Amazon over the company’s failure to provide safety measures for its NYC workers during the pandemic. (Sophia Chang for Gothamist)

• Barstool Sports is 100% garbage and founder Dave Portnoy is a piece of human shit. I hold these opinions for reasons outside of Portnoy calling New Haven the pizza capital of the world. The Coney Island Blog makes the (correct) argument that the best pizza int he world is made in Brooklyn. (The Coney Island Blog)

• Check out BKFoxx’s new mural for the Year of the Ox in Chinatown at Dr. Sun Yat Middle School on Eldridge and Hester. (Anna Ben Yehuda for Time Out)

• The State Liquor Authority has begun to crack down on obvious violations of the rules of outdoor dining, suspending the liquor licenses of nine restaurants and bars. Most suspensions appear to be as a result of fully enclosed outdoor dining structures. (Tanay Warerkar for Eater)

• Real Estate Lust: A $2.3 million Brownstone in Brooklyn Heights with two outdoor spaces and three fireplaces. (Devin Gannon for 6sqft)

Governor Cuomo has gone back to the drawing board on his marijuana legalization bill after being widely criticized for his last attempt over not doing enough to address communities hit hardest by the war on drugs and still criminalized offenses in ways that would disproportionally impact people of color. (Caroline Lewis for Gothamist)

Where to find a work from home snack break in the East Village. (Hannah Albertine for The Infatuation)

• New York region’s subway system is the worst for air pollution in the Northeast. We’re #1! We’re #1! We’re #1! Suck it, Boston and DC, you can’t keep up with our air pollution in the subways. Maybe after reading this I’ll keep wearing a mask on the subway forever. (Shaye Weaver for Time Out)

Overanalyzing Andrew Yang’s Instagram meals because sometimes we need a break from criticizing the stream of dumb things this guy keeps saying in public. (Hannah Albertine for The Infatuation)

28 Black-owned coffee shops in NYC. (Hannah Albertine and Nikko Duren for The Infatuation)

The Briefly for February 12-13, 2021 – The “Mayor of Flavortown for Mayor of NYC” Friday Edition

The latest NYC news digest: Indoor dining returns today, new vaccination sites, mayoral candidates want more power over the MTA, splurge-worthy takeout and more

Today – Low: 21˚ High: 29˚
Mostly cloudy throughout the day.
This weekend – Low: 27˚ High: 37˚

• The annual Valentine’s Day tour of the Shit Tits in Greenpoint, the Newtown Creek Wastewater Treatment Facility, is going virtual. All the experience with none of the smell. of the city’s largest sewage plant. (Melissa Kravitz Hoeffner for Greenpointers)

• Forget the mayor of NYC. The Mayor of Flavortown is back in Manhattan. All hail Guy Fieri. (Erika Adams for Eater)

• Photos: Go back in time with this newly digitized library of photos of Central PArk in the 80s. (Jen Carlson for Gothamist)

• Remember when the NYPD started babysitting Christopher Columbus statues across the city? Well the NYPD are still babysitting these statues ten months later. (Jose Martinez for The City)

Construction will begin in the spring on Gansevoort Peninsula, Manhattan’s first public beach. The park will be built off Little West 12th St. (Christopher Robbins for Gothamist)

• In a surprise to everyone, New York concert venues and arenas can reopen on February 23. Each venue’s safety plan needs to be reviewed by the state, everyone needs proof of a negative PCR test within 3 days of the event, and venues that hold over 10,000 will have a maximum capacity of 10%. (Anna Ben Yehuda for Time Out)

How NYC’s bars and restaurants are preparing for today’s return to indoor dining. (Rachel Sugar for Grub Street)

“We’re grateful to be able to provide our guests with a slice of hope through an experience as simple as dining out. We welcome indoor dining not only as a lifeline for our business, but also as an opportunity to safely bring our customers a little more normalcy in these very abnormal times.”
– Simone Tiligna, co-owner of Sola Pasta Bar, Why I’m Opening My Restaurant for Indoor Dining in NYC for Eater

“One wonders why Cuomo can’t wait a little longer for more vaccines to come online, instead of conducting such a grand social experiment on a group of staffers who have disproportionately struggled during the pandemic. Latinx folks, for example, have suffered COVID death rates that are nearly double those of white New Yorkers.”
– Ryan Sutton, Cuomo’s Reckless Return to Indoor Dining Values NYC Restaurants Over Lives, for Eater

The top two affordable neighborhoods in NYC are Parkchester and Bedford Park in the Bronx. (Ed García Conde FOR Welcome2TheBronx)

• 2021 will be the year of legal marijuana in New York state? Maybe. Governor Cuomo and Democrats in the legislature can’t get on the same page when it comes to legal weed. (Caroline Lewis for Gothamist)

• The NYPD announced that it is ready to relinquish that responsibility to another city agency. The City Council is already debating stripping the NYPD of that responsibility as part of a package of bills aimed at police reform. (Christopher Robbins for Gothamist)

• The New York state Attorney General filed a lawsuit against Bevelyn Beatty and Edmee Chavannes, two anti-abortion protesters, accusing them of repeated “obstructive, threatening, harassing, and violent activity” at a Planned Parenthood clinic in Manhattan. Their behavior has continued through the pandemic without wearing masks. (Brooklyn Eagle)

• Turning away eligible people, poor communication, lack of translators, impossible appointments, navigators who can’t navigate. The Citi Field mass vaccination site is a Mets-level disaster. (Caroline Lewis for Gothamist)

• Starting at some point next week, 188 Walgreens sites, 75 Rite Aid sites and five Costco sites will have vaccinations available (in limited quantity). (Matt Troutman for Patch)

Vaccine stories from restaurant industry pros who’ve managed to get appointments range from ‘easy-peasy’ to ‘total shitshow.’ (Jennifer Joan Nelson for Brooklyn Magazine)

Three pop-up COVID-19 vaccination sites are set to open in northeast Queens, in Bayside, Jamaica and South Richmond Hill for Queens residents. (Jenna Bagcal for QNS)

Three small vaccine dispensary sites came online in the Lower East Side this week at community centers, public housing complexes, and cultural centers which will eventually lead to dispensaries opening at all 33 NYCHA Senior Housing Developments. (Elie Z Perler for Bowery Boogie)

• Covid-19 vaccine providers can start redistributing second doses if someone doesn’t get their second shot within the 42-day timeframe, including moving unused doses from long-term care facilities. (Sydney Pereira for Gothamist)

• The federal government increased New York’s vaccine allocation by 5% this week, making the new allocation “inadequate plus 5%.” (Matt Troutman for Patch)

• Andrew Yang has declared a new enemy: eternal sidewalk scaffolding. (Mark Hallum for amNewYork Metro)

• The mayoral race looks to AOC. (Katie Glueck for NY Times)

• In the eternal battle between the city and state, some mayoral candidates have begun talking about changing the balance of power of the MTA’s board to give the city a bigger say over the MTA. (Dave Colon for Streetsblog)

A look at Scott Stringer’s transportation plan, including more bike lanes, more pedestrian zones, reforming parking rules, reducing parking placards for city employees, more buses, and reducing community boards’ ability to block street safety projects. (Gersh Kuntzman for Streetsblog)

Here are the Republican candidates running for mayor. (Juan Manuel Benitez for NY1)

• Brownsville’s Betsy Head Park officially reopened to the public last week after a $30 million renovation. (Jake Samieske for Brooklyn Magazine)

Everything you need to know about buying your first home in NYC. (Jordi Lippe-McGraw for StreetEasy)

• Interactive Map: Explore New York City’s Black history with the Landmarks Preservation Commissions “Preserving Significant Places of Black History.” (Kevin Duggan for Brooklyn Paper)

• A new state mandate will ensure health insurance companies in New York must immediately cover fertility treatments for queer couples. (Tat Bellamy-Walker for Gay City News)

What does NYC’s Public Advocate do? (Afia Eama for Gothamist)

• Real Estate Lust: A $6.5 million Noho loft with huge, arched windows overlooking Broadway, 10-foot-long fireplace, 20 feet of closets in the main bedroom, and more. (Dana Schulz for 6qsft)

A guide to splurge-worthy takeout. (Emily Wilson for RESY)