The Briefly for December 27-28, 2020 – The “Most Wonderful Time of the Year” Sunday Edition

The latest NYC news digest: Two exciting new birds, reanimating the Village Voice, Andrew Yang files for a mayoral run, a vaccine dashboard, and more

Today – Low: 34˚ High: 37˚
Clear throughout the day.

Interview: Author John Birdsall on how James Beard’s queerness influenced American culture. *Sean Carlson and Danny Lewis for Gothamist)

22 celebratory restaurants open on New Year’s Eve. (Lorelei Yang for Eater)

A better idea, takeout. The best NYE takeout specials. (Hannah Albertine for The Infatuation)

It’s the most wonderful time of the year, it’s Mulchfest! Bring your trees for mulching to one of the city’s 33 sites for mulching on Saturdays through January 9. Bring your own bag to bring home your mulch or donate it to the city. (Sophia Chang for Gothamist)

Two more rare birds for the bird lovers! A western tanager was seen in Carl Schurz Park and a greater white-fronted goose was spotted on Randall’s Island. (Nick Garber for Patch)

Someone is digging up and reanimating the bones of The Village Voice, which died in September 2017. Unfortunately that someone is Brian Calle, who most recently ruined the L.A. Weekly after purchasing it. The death of The Village Voice was one of the things that pushed me to start The Briefly. (Bill Pearis for BrooklynVegan)

Farewell to Pizza Beach, which closed its doors for good right before the indoor dining ban took effect earlier this month. (Elie Z Perler for Bowery Boogie)

The New York Automatic Voter Registration Act became law on December 22. It will automatically register eligible New Yorkers to vote when they interact with different governmental agencies. (Angélica Acevedo for QNS)

Meet Los Deliveristas Unidos, a group of independent (most of the city’s 80,000 deliveristas are independent) restaurant delivery workers who are fighting for better pay and improved worker protections while the city relies on them more than ever. (Valeria Ricciulli for Grub Street)

The governor announced the coronavirus eviction moratorium will stay in place after January 1. Governor Cuomo did not announce how long the moratorium would be extended. (Anna Quinn for Patch)

Congrats to @SidetalkNYC for making this list of things Ashley Reese was inexplicably horny for in 2020. (Ashley Reese for Jezebel)

What’s it like to date right now? Here are the answers from 20 single New Yorkers. (Will Gleason for Time Out)

Trump gained voters in NYC? Yup. Trump increased his share of votes in almost all of the city’s assembly districts. (Sarah Maslin Nir for NY Times)

The city killed off two rezonings on Franklin Ave in Crown Heights. In one case, Judge Reginald Boddie reversed the 2018 rezoning certification for two 16-story developments at 40 Crown Street and 931 Carroll Street and Franklin. Mayor de Blasio spoke up against the proposed 960 Franklin Avenue redevelopment, calling it “grossly out of scale with the neighborhood.” This is the development that the Brooklyn Botanical Garden was also fighting against with its “Fight for Sunlight” campaign. (Ben Verde for Brownstoner)

Tony Robbins might be New York’s biggest asshole. In a new lawsuit, an employee for 18 years alleges Tony Robbins discriminated against her for getting Covid-19. (Azi Paybarah and Michael Levenson for NY Times)

RIP Roger Berlind, producer of over 100 plays and musicals and winner of over 25 Tony Awards. (Katharine Q. Seelye for NY Times)

A 32-year-old woman died after being struck by a Brooklyn-bound 2 subway train on Saturday morning after she was spotted standing between cars on the moving train. (David Cruz for Gothamist)

A photo ode to mom-and-pops. (Brian Braiker with photos by Mich Cardin for Brooklyn Magazine)

What to expect for New Year’s Eve. Here’s a hint: Not a normal NYE. (Nick Garber for Patch)

A look at the Republican field for the 2021 mayor’s race. (Samar Khurshid for Gotham Gazette)

On the Democratic side, the Times asks if progressives will rule the mayoral race. (Katie Glueck and Dana Rubinstein for NY Times)

Bike maniac (I mean that in a good way) Dave Colon has invited all the mayoral candidates to go on a bike ride with him. To his credit Carlos Menchaca took him up on the offer. (Dave Colon for Streetsblog)

Andrew Yang filed for a mayoral run. I’ve seen photos of him on a bike, so maybe he’ll take Dave up on his offer. (Matt Troutman for Patch)

The city launched a new online tool to track Covid-19 vaccinations. (Davin Gannon for 6sqft)

The mayor announced that the NYC sheriff’s department will enforce the city’s two-week quarantine visiting homes or hotel rooms. Does this mean the city hasn’t been enforcing its mandated two-week quarantine period? I’m joking, of course, it means exactly that. (Brooklyn Eagle)

The city was ill-prepared for the first Covid-19 wave, so the mayor set up a Covid-19 “situation room” to handle the city’s schools’ response to further outbreaks. Turns out, the mayor’s situation room is still ill-prepared to deal with rising cases, failing the schools and children the situation room was set up to support. (Christina Veiga for Chalkbeat)

“And now this thing we should be celebrating — the arrival of this much anticipated vaccine — it’s turning into a rivalry. There is competitiveness and skepticism and mistrust.” Like an episode of the Twilight Zone, the camaraderie that fighting against Covid-19 is falling apart when it comes to who gets the vaccine first. (Joseph Goldstein for NY Times)

Buskers, sitting in the cold, and the 8 things Ginia Bellafante hated about New York until 2020. (Ginia Bellafante for NY Times)

9 restaurants with heated outdoor dining in the Bronx. (Tanay Warerkar for Eater)

A visit to the $100 per person speakeasy Stoned Gourmet Cannabis Pizza somewhere in the East Village. (EV Grieve)

Borscht at Verōnika, Pasta A La Presse at The Grill, A Very Good Side Salad at Hunky Dory, and the rest of The Infatuation’s favorite dishes of 2020. (Hannah Albertine, Nikko Duren, Hillary Reinsberg, Arden Shore, and Matt Tervooren for The Infatuation)

Thanks to Francesca for today’s featured photo!

The Briefly for New Year’s Eve, 2019 – The “Best of the Year, Best of the Decade” Edition

Today’s daily NYC news digest: The best restaurants, the dumbest things de Blasio has said, the best on Broadway, the most popular baby names, Times Square on NYE, and more

Today – Low: 33˚ High: 46˚
Mostly cloudy throughout the day.

Vita Coco and Postmates are giving out hangover recovery kits on New Year’s Day. Plan accordingly. (Collier Sutter for Time Out)

Everything you need to know about the Coney Island Polar Plunge on New Year’s Day. (Meaghan McGoldrick for The Brooklyn Home Reporter)

Rachel Harrison, Hans Haacke and the top ten art exhibitions of the year. (Howard Halle for Time Out)

13 good things that happened in 2019. (Amy Plitt)

76,000 people left New York in 2019, more than any other state. To those who left, we all say “See ya!” (Adam Nichols for Patch)

The world’s longest boa, the world’s tallest politician, a $70,000 dreidel, and the rest of the year in world records set by New Yorkers. (Kathleen Culliton for Patch)

Look for a live stream of Times Square? (Shaye Weaver for Time Out)

How to get around on New Year’s Eve. (Alexandra Alexa for 6sqft)

If you’re the kind of psychopath who must do Times Square tonight, here’s what to expect for security. (Robert Pozarycki for amNewYork)

The dumbest things said by Mayor de Blasio in 2019 .(Streetsblog)

The Times gets a little navel-gazey looking back at nine ways the city changed in the past decade. (Gina Bellafante for NY Times)

The Women’s March movement, a solo LEGO art exhibition, the Mermaid Parade, and the rest of the best photos of 2019. (Brooklyn Eagle)

Looking at the best and worst of the year in Broadway theater. (Matt Windman for amNewYork)

A Strange Loop from Michael R. Jackson tops Adam Feldman’s top ten theater productions of the year. (Adam Feldman for Time Out)

The top baby names of 2018 were released by the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene. Emma was the top name for girls for the second year in a row and Liam topped the boys for the third year straight .(Mark Hallum for amNewYork)

The two biggest design stories of the year, the Hudson Yards’ Vessel and the Hunters Point Library, are both stories of accessibility failures. (Alexandra Lange for Curbed)

Delays, fare increases, construction, fare increases, unexpected express trains, fare increases, and the rest of the best and worst of the decade in NYC transit . Seriously there was five fare increases this decade.(Ben Yakas for Gothamist)

Ryan Sutton’s best restaurants of the year: Kāwi and Llama San and 13 runners up. (Ryan Sutton for Eater)

Eater asked 19 writers, editors, directors, and photographers their favorite new restaurants this year. It’s like eavesdropping at a party you have to attend. (Eater)

From the “overheard at a party” category, the top complaints about dining in the city. (Eater)

The cheese and tomato sandwich at USHA Foods, Mama’s Special at Leo’s Latticini, and the full list of Robert Sietsema’s 11 best sandwiches of the year. (Robert Sietsema for Eater)

The top dishes of the year according to Ryan Sutton were the rice cake fundido at Haenyeo, the Duck Nigiri at Llama San, and The Electric Lemon Curd at Electric Lemon. (Ryan Sutton for Eater)

Ceviche at Restaurante Y Panaderia Guatemalteco, The Brighton Beach at Wheated and the the complete list of Robert Sietsema’s 15 best dishes of the year. (Robert Sietsema for Eater)

A suitable way to end the year: Widow Rat. (Ben Yakas for Gothamist)

The Briefly for December 30, 2019 – The “Are FaceTime Calls on the Subway A Form of Terrorism?” Edition

Today’s daily NYC news digest: Hudson Yards may never be completed, the Chelsea flea market closed, the flu ramps up, a brand new “dive” bar, what makes Scarr’s Pizza the best, and more

Today – Low: 40˚ High: 44˚
Rain until evening.

Sometimes it all goes according to plan and sometimes you’re the guy who stole a cherry picker, spray painted “BIRD GOD” on the arch in Grand Army Plaza, got stuck and had to be rescued and arrested by the NYPD. (Gabe Herman for amNewYork)

Does any construction project in New York ever complete? The Hudson Yards were supposed to be completed by 2024, but now the developer isn’t giving a timetable for when they’ll be done. (The Real Deal)

This isn’t a new concept, Atlantic Yards was supposed to be a ten year project, but now it’ll scheduled to for at least 25 years. It’s becoming more and more common that the first phase of these massive, neighborhood-disrupting construction projects is completed with much fanfare and the rest of the projects, which usually include schools for the neighborhood, quietly linger forever. (Pamela Wong for Bklyner)

Are you one of the monsters who has FaceTime video calls while on the subway? Well good news for you, the MTA will add phone and wifi access to the L train tunnels below the East River. (Robert Pozarycki for amNewYork)

The Times Square ball drop by the numbers. (Diane Pham for 6sqft)

Photos: Take a look at the Times Square NYE ball, since you’re not crazy enough to go see it drop in person. (Scott Lynch for Gothamist)

How to spend New Year’s Eve 2020 in NYC without going near Times Square. (Michelle Cohen for 6sqft)

“We are not adequately preparing to launch a successful congestion pricing program by January 2021” writes Corey Johnson. Congestion pricing is supposed to drive, no pun intended, people to use public transit rather than their cars when traveling into Manhattan. The MTA, trying to find the silver lining to the recent downturn in ridership, says that the downturn actually created capacity for those who will switch back from cars to public transit. (Vincent Barone for amNewYork)

The Annex Antiques Fair and Flea Market in Chelsea, NYC’s largest flea market and counted Andy Warhol among those who frequented it, has lost its lease. After 45 years, finding a new home for the flea market is nearly impossible, as any raw space in the area has been swallowed up by developers. (Katie Van Syckle for NY Times)

The East Village’s Zum Schneider is closing in February after their landlord was “not interested” in renewing their lease. (Sydney Pereira for Gothamist)

New Yorkers with the flu exploded from 1,130 reported cases to 3,010 reported cases over the two weeks ending on December 21. The flu season doesn’t end until May, so there’s still plenty of time to get your shot. (Adam Nichols for Patch)

At the opening of Stonewall House, the city’s first LGBTQ-friendly affordable senior housing development, Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams invoked slavery and predicted that the residence could lead to trouble in the neighborhood. His comments were confusing, questionable in nature, and invoked an us-vs-them mentality that flies in the face of the purpose of Stonewall House. Adams didn’t return calls about this speech, but maybe he will when he’s trying to be the city’s mayor in 2021. (Matt Tracy and Paul Schindler for Gay City News)

In the wake of Tessa Majors’s murder in Morningside Park, an undisclosed white supremecist group is targeting Barnard College and Columbia University staff with racist robocalls. The NYPD’s Racial and Ethnically Motivated Extremism group is looking into the calls. (Julia Reinstein for BuzzFeed News)

The mayor will ramp up police presences in Williamsburg, Crown Heights and Borough Park as well as implementing a new school curriculum focusing on the danger of hate crimes after a Hanukkah rife with anti-Semitic attacks. The new Office for the Prevention of Hate Crimes will be overseeing the efforts. (Sanjana Karanth for HuffPost)

When Justin Theroux opened Ray’s Bar, there was a lot of questioning whether it was even possible to open a brand new bar and call it a dive bar. Enter Dolly’s Swing & Dive, meant to evoke Dolly Parton. The owners push the concept of a dive bar by claiming they’re taking the things they like about a dive bar and “made it a little more grown up.” Can a dive bar have a crab-and-shrimp roll you’d be willing to eat? (Bao Ong for Time Out)

The Nevins Street raccoon, named Chepe by the MTA, continues to evade capture by the NYPD. I bet they’d catch it in a heartbeat if it jumped a turnstile. (Jen Chung for Gothamist)

Video: What makes Scarr’s Pizza’s one of the city’s best and healthiest? House-milled flour. (Murilo Ferreira for Eater)

Video: Selfish lady holds up traffic for 2 blocks because she won’t move her double parked car, with over a million views on YouTube. Welcome to Forest Hills. (ActionKid)

12 new restaurants worth checking out while the rest of New York is still on vacation.(Nikita Richardson for Grub Street)