The Briefly for December 15-17, 2020 – The “Sandra Lindsay, First to be Vaccinated” Tuesday Edition

The latest NYC news digest: Snow is headed for NYC, the Met Museum reopens 21 galleries, the city’s “Situation Room” is failing, the best new restaurants, and more

Today – Low: 29˚ High: 39˚
Partly cloudy throughout the day.

Today's edition is sponsored by Media Career Makeover by Mediabistro

Meet Sandra Lindsay, a nurse at a Queens hospital, who was the first person in the United States to be vaccinated against Covid-19. (Sharon Otterman for NY Times)

Answering questions about the Covid-19 vaccine rollout in NY and NJ. (Caroline Lewis for Gothamist)

Alright, let’s brace ourselves for a possible strong snowstorm this week. I am not looking forward to fighting to put my pups’ tiny boots on their unwilling feet. (John Del Signore for Gothamist)

With the rising number of Covid-19 hospitalization, the mayor is warning that the city is headed for another full-on lockdown as we experienced in the spring. (Erika Adams for Eater)

The NYPL is back to phase one service, with only grab-and-go service in yellow zones. (Norwood News)

Rao’s in East Harlem is now delivering for the first time in its 124 year history. (Devin Gannon for 6sqft)

Mayor de Blasio has accepted a challenge to ride the subway to show that it’s safe to ride the subway. How very brave of him. (Gersh Kuntzman for Streetsblog)

The 21 Club, which if you don’t know is the random building in Midtown with 21 jockey statues outside, is closing after being open since 1930. (NY1)

“We have heard from principals, families, and Learning Bridges partners that the communications from the Situation Room can be frustrating and opaque — far from what you characterized in the mayor’s initial press release as ‘resulting in quick, decisive action for our schools and clarity and transparency for all families.’” What the hell is going on with the city’s “Situation Room,” which was supposed to make the city able to quickly respond to Covid-19 cases in schools? (Amy Zimmer and Christina Veiga for Chalkbeat)

A man committed suicide by cop after opening fire near a crowd of hundreds of people gathered for a Christmas concert outside the Cathedral of St. John the Divine in Morningside Heights on Sunday afternoon. According to City Councilmember Mark Levine, the shooting was yelling he wanted to be killed. (Mihir Zaveri, Troy Closson and Liam Stack for NY Times)

Here is what’s known about Luis Vasquez, the Cathedral of St. John the Devine gunman. (Ashley Southall for NY Times)

What a 421a tax abatement is and how it works. (Jordi Lippe-McGraw for StreetEasy)

Photos: The Barrel Owls of Riverside Park are this year’s hot duck. (D. Bruce Yolton for Urban Hawks)

Attention Bobby Flay: Everyone has to pay rent, you included. (Sasha Jones for The Real Deal)
The city’s outreach at the end-of-line subway stations to New York’s homeless population as the subway closes overnight seems to be seeing success according to the city’s figures. (Mirela Iverac for Gothamist)

Faulty wiring was the cause of the Middle Collegiate Church fire in the East Village, according to a report from the FDNY. (Holly Louise Perry for Bowery Boogie)

Apartment Lust: The ‘Dean & Deluca Loft’, a $5.8 million, 3,600 square foot, open-style loft in Soho, is up for sale. The loft’s seller is Rhonda Sassoon, fourth wife and widow of famed hairdresser Vidal Sassoon, and the previous owner was Jack Ceglic, the co-founder of Dean & Deluca. (Dana Schulz for 6sqft)

Where to do Christmas stuff in NYC. (Matt Tervooren for The Infatuation)


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15 Hudson Yards has won “2020 Building of the Year” from 6sqft. 15 Hudson Yards is attached to The Shed in Hudson Yards. (Dana Schulz for 6sqft)

A holiday tipping guide. Spoilers: tip cash. (Matt Troutman for Patch)

Does your tap water taste a little different? It’s a regular occurrence as plants die off in the upstate reservoirs that hold the city’s water. The Department for Environmental Protection has stated that it is 100% harmless. (Nick Garber for Patch)

Governor Cuomo denies allegations of years of sexual harassment by former deputy press secretary Lindsey Boylan. (Sydney Pereira for Gothamist)

Superiority Burger is moving… across the street to a larger space. (Tanay Warerkar for Eater)

It’s not all good news for the city’s plant-based restaurants, as By Chloe has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection with plans to sell the company. (Erika Adams for Eater)

Shepard Fairy’s Blondie mural on Bleecker at the Bowery was restored over the weekend by artist PraxisVgz. (EV Grieve)

Dounya Zayer, who was thrown on the pavement by Officer Vincent D’Andraia during a protest in May following George Floyd’s murder filed a federal civil rights lawsuit against the city, the NYPD, D’Andraia, and his supervisor. D’Andraia was suspended without pay and charged with assault with a hearing scheduled for April 2021. His supervisor was transferred. (Eileen Grench for The City)

A new ‘Central Park Five’ law requires police to videotape all interrogations of minors to prevent cops from extracting false confessions. The law was intended to close a gap left in Gover Cuomo’s 2018 criminal justice reforms (Rose Adams for Brooklyn Paper)

Vodka doughnuts? Vodka doughnuts. (Christina Izzo for Time Out)

Franklin Park in Crown Heights closed for good on Sunday night after 12 years in the neighborhood. The attached burger joint Dutch Boy will remain open for takeout and delivery. (Tanay Warerkar for Eater)

The Met Museum opened 21 renovated galleries that contain more than 500 works after two and a half years of renovations to add new skylights. The work is on all 45 galleries in total is expected to be complete in spring 2022. (Shaye Weaver for Time Out)

Early voting for the special election to replace former Bronx Councilmember Andy King began over the weekend. The hopefuls to replace king are nonpartisan candidates Pamela Johnson-Hamilton, Neville Mitchell, and Kevin Riley. The winner will serve until the end of 2021. (Gloria Cruz for Gothamist)

Video: Drone footage of Central Park Tower, Billionaires Row, Central Park, Columbus Circle, and 53 West 53. (the Dronalist)

The 11 best new restaurants of 2020, according to Time Out. (Christina Izzo for Time Out)

Thanks to reader Flo for today’s featured photo!

The Briefly for March 12, 2020 – The “Why is Mayor Bill de Blasio So Hated?” Edition

Today’s daily NYC news digest: Expect six months before we return to pre-COVID19 normalcy, the best of Midtown East, Modell’s says goodbye, Harvey Weinstein is off to rot, and more

Today – Low: 46˚ High: 49˚
Light rain in the evening and overnight.

The census begins today. Last time around, the city’s participation rate was 62%, compared to the national average of 76%. With as much effort the city and state have put into marketing the census, it’s gonna be mighty embarrassing if we maintain that low rate. (Alex Williamson for Brooklyn Eagle)

Why is DeBlasio so hated? (AskNYC)

Rapist and rotting ghoul Harvey Weinstein was sentenced to 23 years in prison. His layer had previously said that he may not outlive any sentence over five years. May he live a long life to experience every single day of that sentence. (Jen Ransom for NY Times)

Even Harvey Weinstein’s own body hates him, as he was hospitalized again with heart problems and chest pain. Let’s all hope he’s got great doctors because he has at least 23 years minus a day to live. (Dean Meminger for amNewYork Metro)

RIP Modell’s, who will be liquidating all of its stores starting Friday. The company is pointing to an unusually warm winter as the final nail in the coffin. If you gotta go to Mo’s, make sure it’s soon. (Crain’s)

The $3.2 million revamp of Woodside’s Little Bush Playground is set to start next month and should take about a year to finish. (Michael Dorgan for Sunnyside Post)

The Chelsea Hotel renovations continue to be an utter mess. Work has stopped because the building did not qualify for a Certificate of No Harassment with multiple tenants complaining about unlivable conditions dating back years. (Michelle Cohen for 6sqft)

Governors Island announced its free programming for the 2020 season, which starts on May 1. (Devin Gannon for 6sqft)

May we all be lucky to have birthday parties half as wild as 87-year-old Ray from Ray’s Candy Store. (Bob Krasner for amNewYork Metro)

Sometimes you don’t even have to go outside to birdwatch. (Mike Mishkin for I Love the Upper West Side)

Crown Heights has a new vegan Ethiopian restaurant in Ras Plant Based. (Scott Lynch for Gothamist)

The number of families in shelters each night was 46 percent higher last year than it was in December 2009, and one out of every 100 babies born in the city was brought to a shelter, rather than a permanent home. Needless to say, Governor Cuomo and Mayor de Blasio did not earn high marks on The Coalition for the Homeless’ annual report. (Janaki Chadha for Politico)

“I can now proudly call myself an NYC housing lottery winner.” One person’s story of how they won the lottery. (Kim Turner for StreetEasy)

Frank’s Cocktail Lounge in Fort Greene has been the backdrop to a changing neighborhood since the 1950s, and on April 10 of this year, that comes to an end. (S.E. Blackwell for East New York News)

Photos: A first look from the observation deck of Edge. (Michelle Young for Untapped New York)

The lone Yelp review gave it four stars, but still called it “crack head city.” KN Mi Delicia Bakery and Coffee Shop in Mott Haven was part of a drug ring and multi-state 14-person arrest, with a raid finding $50,000 cash and bags stuffed with what is suspected to be heroin and cocaine. (Kathleen Culliton for Patch)

Brooklyn Democratic Party’s leaders have endorsed Councilmember Donovan Richards for Queens borough president. (Alex Williamson for Brookly Eagle)

The city is beginning to experiment with, get this, actual dumpsters for businesses that will be set on the street to remove trash bag mountains that pile up on our sidewalks. It’s almost like the sidewalks should be for people to walk on, not for businesses to store trash on. (Gersh Kuntzman for Streetsblog)

26 excellent Midtown East bars and restaurants to try. (Alexandra Ilyashov for Eater)


Six months. According to the mayor, that’s how long the fight against COVID-19 will take before things return to normal again. Get ready for the worst summer ever. (Adam Nichols for Patch)

The economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic on restaurants will be akin to a major natural disaster. (Serena Dai for Eater)

Restaurants, open-air markets, and catering companies are expected to take a hard hit, Grub Street takes a look at how businesses are preparing to support their hourly staffs if at all. (Chris Crowley for Grub Street)

“We’re not in a position where we can rely on the CDC or the FDA to manage this testing protocol.” -Governor Cuomo. New York will start contracting 28 private labs to help administer coronavirus testing for New York residents. (Emily Davenport for amNewYork Metro)

Daytime talk shows filming in New York will be forgoing live studio audiences during the COVID-19 outbreak. (Kimberley Richards for HuffPost)

SUNY and CUNY schools will halt in-person classes for the rest of the semester, beginning on March 19. The dorms won’t be closing and classes that are impossible to hold remotely will still be held. (Niedzwiadek and Madina Touré for Politico)

Coronavirus fears may jeopardize the election process, which requires candidates to collect up to thousands of signatures of supporters. This may lead to the governor altering election law, as he did following Superstorm Sandy. (Max Parrott for QNS)

If you’re healthy, you should still consider dining out. The virus is not transmitted via food or drink. (Serena Dai for Eater)

An usher for “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?” and “Six” has tested positive for COVID-19. Both theaters underwent a deep clean, the shows are continuing, and the usher is now in quarantine. (Michael Paulson for NY Times)

Manhattan’s St. Patrick’s Day Parade is officially canceled. (Todd Maisel and Robert Pozarycki for amNewYork Metro)

How to help during the coronavirus outbreak. (Azi Paybarahf or NY Times)

A big thank you to reader Taina for today’s featured photo, taken in Red Hook.

The Briefly for January 16, 2020 – The “Most Important Story Today: Our Mayor’s Dumb Bagel Order” Edition

Today’s daily NYC news update: A look at the propsoed Rock Center renovation, a guide to donating in NYC, the impeachment features a Queens vs Brooklyn fight, and more

Today – Low: 23˚ High: 49˚
Light rain in the morning.

The story of how Anne Carroll Moore successfully banned Goodnight Moon from New York’s Public Libraries for 25 years. (Dan Kois for Slate)

National Grid is digging a natural gas pipeline that runs through Bushwick and Williamsburg and connects to Maspeth. People are predictably angry. (Kevin Duggan for Brooklyn Paper)

New Jersey tried to claim it has the best bagels. Stick to Bon Jovi and Springsteen, jerkwads. (Ben Yakas for Gothamist)

I don’t go out of my way to call Mayor de Blasio an idiot, even if 100% of respondents from The Briefly said they don’t think he’s doing a good job, but I can’t resist here. Our idiot mayor took to Twitter to declare the best bagel in New York is a toasted wheat bagel with cream cheese. Excuse me? Toasted wheat? What else would you expect from someone who eats pizza with a fork and loves the Red Sox? (Chris Crowley for Grub Street)

Here’s the best part of the “idiot mayor orders bagel for idiots” story. The very specific bagel he is referring to, toasted wheat with cream cheese from the Bagel Hole in Park Slope is not possible to get at the Bagel Hole. The Bagel Hole does not toast bagels or even own a bagel toaster. The mayor deleted the offending tweet. (Kathleen Culliton for Patch)

While were on the subject of politicians with bad bagel orders, let’s not forget Cynthia Nixon’s abomination of a bagel order. (Whitney Filloon for Eater)

The Parks Department needs to remove and move nearly 15,000 tons of lead-contaminated soil from the Red Hook ballfields. Where will it go? Concrete is being recycled in the city and the rest is being hauled off in trucks to a landfill in Falls Township, PA. (Helene Stapinkski for NY Times)

Governor Cuomo was in Puerto Rico this week to survey the damage done by the series of earthquakes that have plagued the island. This is a task that would any normal president would be doing, but we do not live in normal times. (Anna Gronewald for Politico)

The A/C/E lines have been approved for a signal upgrade, which should start later this year with the signals replaced from Columbus Circle to High St by 2025. (Mary Frost for Brooklyn Eagle)

The Onion: Top 10 things to do in New York City. (The Onion)

The Parks Department had plans to renovate Fort Greene Park, but the New York Supreme Court has decided that the 30-acre landscape would not be subject to a redesign or the removal of 83 mature trees until a proper environmental impact review is conducted. (Sydney Franklin for The Architect’s Newspaper)

New Brooklyn bars and restaurants to check out this winter. (Jennifer Indig for Brooklyn Based)

Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents continued to arrest people in and around New York courthouses in 2019, flouting a state directive to curtail such operations, according to a new report from the Immigrant Defense Project. (Jake Offenhartz for Gothamist)

Photos: Buzz-a-Rama is the city’s last slot car raceway. Run by Frank “Buzz” Perri, Buzz-A-Rama is open on the weekends in Kensington from September through June. (Michelle Young for Untapped New York)

The IDNYC program is now making cards available in braille and have added new perks for cardholders, including more free one-year memberships to cultural institutions and free admission to the Queens Botanical Garden on Wednesdays. (Emily Davenport for amNewYork Metro)

Congrats smokers, New York is the most expensive state for smokers. (Kathleen Culliton for Patch)

Video: Watch Christmas trees go from curb to mulch. (Matt Coneybeare for Viewing NYC)

The state’s Board of Elections are considering buying a new system of voting machines that are less secure than our current systems, expensive, and can’t handle a ranked choice voting election, which we will see in the city in 2021. (Brigid Bergin for Gothamist)

A guide to drinking and buying natural wine. (Hannah Howard for Grub Street)

Here are the eight candidates for Queens borough president that will be on the ballot on March 24: Council Members Jimmy Van Bramer, Costa Constantinides, Donovan Richards; former Council Member Elizabeth Crowley; former Assistant District Attorney Jim Quinn, police reform advocate Anthony Miranda, William Kregler, Danniel Maio, and Dao Yin. (Allie Griffin got Jackson Heights Post)

The city effectively deregulated a so-called “play street” located outside of a Park Slope middle school earlier this month, eliminating recreational space for students in favor of placard parking for teachers and faculty. In an even more incompetent move, the city claims the special designation of “play street” was revoked in 2014, but no one removed the sign until a few weeks ago. (Ben Verde for Brooklyn Paper)

What should you do if you one across a seal? It may seem like a weird question in New York City, but this week there have already been three seal sightings reported across the city. First and foremost, don’t approach it. Are you some kind of marine mammal expert? You’re probably not. Call the New York Marine Rescue Center’s 24-hour hotline (631-369-9829). (Ben Yakas for Gothamist)

Spring cleaning is coming soon. A guide to donating your clothes, furniture, books, and electronics. (Valeria Ricciulli for Curbed)

Renderings: See the proposed renovations to Rockefeller Center. (Alexandra Alexa for 6sqft)

The Christmas Tree in Rockefeller Center has been replaced by a giant peacock. (Michelle Young for Untapped New York)

Renders: The Hudson Yards shared renderings of the next phase of development in an attempt to dispel rumors of plans to build a wall to separate the Western Yards from the rest of us plebes. (Alexandra Alexa for 6sqft)

Representatives Jerrold Nadler and Hakeem Jeffries from Brooklyn will serve as the house managers for the impeachment hearings in the Senate, setting up a Queens vs Brooklyn battle on a federal level. (Paula Katinas for The Brooklyn Home Reporter)

Video: A walk from Wall Street to Downtown Brooklyn. (ActionKid)

A panel appointed by Mayor de Blasio and others intends to propose a public-private partnership to bailout thousands of taxi drivers trapped in exploitative loans that could cost as much as $500 million. (Brian M. Rosenthal for NY Times)

A look inside Brownie’s Hobby Shop, one of the city’s last true hobby shops. (Amanda Fairinacci for NY1)

Chief Martine Materasso is the first woman to lead the NYPD’s Bureau of Counterterrorism. (Jeanine Ramirez for NY1)

Some answers, not satisfying ones but they’re still answers, about what the hell is going on with Grand Central’s lack of accessibility. (Shumita Basu for Gothamist)

20 stellar jewish delis. (Robert Sietsema for Eater)