The Briefly for February 2-4, 2021 – The “Who Needs Health Experts?” Tuesday Edition

The latest NYC news digest: Mayoral candidates debate, the 16 year wait for a park, Sunnyside’s “Limpdick Landlord,” Yankee Stadium becomes a vaccination site, and more

Today – Low: 27˚ High: 33˚
Snow (1–2 in.) until evening.

PlowNYC is an interactive map to find out when the last time your street was plowed. (cityofnewyork.us)

The special election for Queens Council District 24 is still happening today, despite the storm. Early voting has been open since January 23. Four of the eight candidates have requested a delay, but the mayor’s office said the election will push forward. (Christine Chung for The City)

Find your City Council district using your address with this map.

How does ranked choice voting work in NYC? (Rachel Holliday Smith for The City)

Yankee Stadium will become a mass vaccination site for Bronx residents only. Ten zip codes near the stadium are at a 10.32% positivity rate. (Ed García Conde for Welcome2TheBronx)

Interview: Gothamist asked Dr. Adam Berman, a toxicologist and chairman of emergency medicine at Northwell Health’s Long Island Jewish Hospital, should you avoid pain relievers before or after taking the Covid-19 vaccine? The simple answer is that if you can avoid doing them, avoid them, but there’s not enough evidence against it. (Fred Mogul for Gothamist)

“As the vaccine effort ramps up, Cuomo and the MTA have a very easy way to gracefully usher in the return of passengers to the subways on a 24/7 by tying it to access to vaccination hubs.”
-Benjamin Kabak, How the vaccine creates a politically expedient way to end the overnight subway closures, for Second Ave. Sagas

Governor Cuomo said in a press conference that he doesn’t really trust health experts. Maybe that’s why nine of his top health officials quit their jobs in the last year. This guy literally released a book about leadership lessons. (J. David Goodman, Joseph Goldstein, and Jesse McKinley for NY Times)

Restaurant workers, deemed to be “essential” by Governor Cuomo, are not essential enough to be eligible for the coronavirus vaccine as indoor dining resumes on February 14. Governor Cuomo was forced to defend his decision, saying it was based on “data and expert advice.” Which experts? (Tanay Warerkar for Eater)

Mayor de Blasio announced the Mayor’s Action Plan for Neighborhood Safety (MAP) in 2014 to reduce crime in 15 high-crime housing developments. In those 15 developments, the number of major crimes in those developments was up in 2020. (Greg B. Smith for The City)

Death by Speculation, Starring Limpdick Landlord.” The sign of the year goes to the shuttered Center Cinemas in Sunnyside. (Christian Murray for Sunnyside Post)

New York spent $18.2 billion in 2019 on police, jails, prisons, prosecutors, parole, and probation while only spending about $6.2 billion on mental health services, public health, youth programs and services, recreation, and elder services according to a new report from the Center for Community Alternatives. (Samar Khurshid for Gotham Gazette)

The mayoral candidates had their first debate. Focus seemed to be on the Yang campaign’s use of NDAs for campaign staffers, Eric Adams’ comments that some New Yorkers should “go back to Iowa,” and Raymond McGuire’s work with CitiBank after the financial collapse. (Dana Rubinstein for NY Times)

One topic that’s bubbling up again amongst the candidates is city control over the subways, which is sound like a conceptually good idea until the city has to take on the subway’s debt. (Stephen Nessen for Gothamist)

Interview: Zach Iscol discusses his mayoral campaign. (Ben Max for Gotham Gazette)

Another week, another story about NYC Sheriffs breaking up a party in an illegal club, this time in Jackson Heights. This pandemic is never going to end with jackasses like this. (Allie Griffin for Jackson Heights Post)

The city promised to build a new 3-acre park in Greenpoint in 2005 in exchange for allowing new luxury condos to be built in the neighborhood. Sixteen years later Greenpoint is still waiting for its park. (Kevin Duggan for Brooklyn Paper)

The Barclays Center is looking to diversify its vendors, looking for Brooklyn-based suppliers that are a minimum 51% owned, operated, and managed by minorities, women, disabled, and/or military veterans. (Jake Samieske for Brooklyn Magazine)

Super Bowl spreads from NYC restaurants. (Dana Schulz for 6sqft)

Fifteen favorite tofu dishes in city restaurants. (Robert Sietsema for Eater)

Thanks to reader Jenn for today’s featured photo!

The Briefly for January 31 – February 1, 2021 – The “Indoor Dining Returns to NYC” Sunday Edition

The latest NYC news digest: The City Council works towards reforming the NYPD, Restaurant Week To Go is extended, the end of the renter’s market, Lunar New Year, & more

Today – Low: 26˚ High: 29˚
Snow overnight.

Due to Monday’s snow storm all Covid-19 vaccination appointments are being rescheduled, in-person classes are canceled, some food distribution and childcare programs are canceled, and the city’s Code Blue emergency cold weather plan is in effect. The National Weather Service is predicting 17 inches of snow with wind gusts up to 50 mph. (John Del Signore for Gothamist)

An illustrated guide to what it’s like to give the Covid-19 vaccine. (Julia Rothman and Shaina Feinberg for NY Times)

Raise your hand if you’re surprised that white New Yorkers have received a disproportionate amount of vaccine doses. No hands? Just checking. (Sydney Pereira, Jake Dobkin, and Nsikan Akpan for Gothamist)

Believe it or not, hundreds of candidates for the June primaries are still required to collect signatures in-person, creating a democratically-mandated super spreader event. The state’s legislature put a bill together to lower the number of signatures required, which Governor Cuomo hasn’t signed yet. (Brigid Bergin for Gothamist)

Interview: Loree Sutton on running for mayor. (Ben Max for Gotham Gazette)

Indoor dining will return to the city at 25% on Valentine’s Day. (Tanay Warerkar for Eater)

NYC Restaurant Week To Go was extended three additional weeks until February 28, overlapping past the re-opening of indoor dining. (Erika Adams for Eater)

The boogeyman of NYC is “if you do that, people will leave the city.” The latest person to invoke the boogeyman is Andrew Yang, saying if the city scraps its gifted programs, families will leave the city. Critics say the people with the ability to leave the city are middle-class white families and protecting the program is akin to protecting those families over others. (Elizabeth Kim for Gothamist)

The City Council is one step closer to taking the NYPD out of traffic enforcement and investigating crashes, handing that off to the Department of Transportation. It’s part of the Council’s 12-part agenda which includes many other police reforms. (Gersh Kuntzman for Streetsblog)

Included in the reform package: Ending qualified immunity for NYPD officers who commit misconduct, giving the City Commission on Human Rights the power to investigate police officers with a history of bigotry, Giving press credentialing to the Department of Citywide Administrative Services instead of the NYPD, Creating a new task force to handle mental health emergencies, and more. The reform package answers Governor Cuomo’s call to submit a plan for police reform before April 1 or risk losing state funds. (Christopher Robbins and Yasmeen Khan for Gothamist)

Always read the plaque. Like this one on Pearl Street marketing the site of the city’s first printing press. (Nicole Saraniero for Untapped New York)

If you hated the “everything is cake” memes, Double Chicken Please on the Lower East Side is selling ice cream that looks just like a hot dog. (Anna Ben Yehuda for Time Out)

I felt proud of myself after making a batch of chocolate chip cookies last night. Patrick LaMarca’s 4AM CANDY CO. is putting me to shame with these over the top, massive gourmet peanut butter cups available for order. (Shaye Weaver for Time Out)

Photos and Video: The 75th anniversary of NYC’s World War II victory parade. (Abby Gweon for Untapped New York)

Brooklyn District Attorney Eric Gonzalez vacated 262 warrants related to prostitution charges last week, stating he’s aiming to remove the negative consequences for individuals. There’s a much larger conversation to be had about prostitution in New York, but I haven’t seen an article that properly communicates the nuanced problems with the state’s latest efforts. Please feel free to send me links to educated arguments on this. (Kevin Duggan for Brooklyn Paper)

If you’ve ventured out to Red Hook and looked behind the (former) Fairway Market, you’ll find a trolley car. Here’s a brief history of how that trolley got there and how it’s connected to the secret tunnel under Atlantic Ave, and the modern (failed) attempts at a Brooklyn-Queens trolley. (Brooklyn Eagle)

William Pepe, the MTA employee arrested in connection to the Capitol insurrection, has been connected to the Proud Boys by the federal government. Pepe continues to be suspended without pay from the MTA. (Sophia Chang for Gothamist)

Who’s running for Queens borough president? Get yourself educated ahead of the June primary. (David Cruz for Gothamist)

A federal judge is appointing a monitor to oversee the city’s special education complaint system, since the city has failed to live up to its side of a 2007 lawsuit requiring the education department to provide services or payments to families within 35 days of receiving a hearing officer’s order. (Alex Zimmerman for Chalkbeat)

Get your leases signed now, because there are some early indicators that the renter’s market could be at an end. (Matt Troutman for Patch)

42 date spots with outdoor heat lamps. (Matt Tervooren for The Infatuation)

Mets fans rejoice! The new owner of the Mets managed to not Mets things up when it came to the GameStop stock. There was a worry that Steve Cohen’s support of Melvin Capital would require him to take funds away form the team, a very Mets situation indeed. (Joe Pantorno for amNewYork Metro)

The Lunar New Year is on Friday. 7 restaurants with Lunar New Year specials. (Hannah Albertine for The Infatuation)

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)