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 June 19, 2019 – The “That’s Not Pizza, It’s A Strawberry Tart” Edition

The new head of the NYCHA is the highest paid city employee, the city okays six new LGBTQ landmarks, the MTA gets sued for its ad practices, and more in today’s daily NYC new digest,

2019 is the summer of the NYPL’s Bookmobile. The Bookmobile is making its debut this week, operating as a mobile library and offering all the same services. By the end of the summer, the NYPL will have three Bookmobiles. (Untapped Cities)

The Mermaid Parade is this weekend, here are the routes and street closures in the People’s Playground. (Curbed)

Dominique Ansel’s latest creation is here and boy is it an eye-roller. They’re tiramisu made to look like greek coffee cups, strawberry tarts that look like a slice of pizza, pavlova that looks like an everything bagel, and other twists on New York staples. (Time Out)

The new head of the NYCHA’s salary of $400,000 will make him the highest paid city official. Gregory Russ is going from the Minneapolis Housing Authority to the largest in the nation. The $400k salary is $231,000 higher than the last permanent head of the agency. (The City)

Three Lives, on the corner of Waverly and W 10th, has reopened after being closed by the Department of Buildings and having to sell books on the sidewalk. (Jeremiah’s Vanishing New York)

Someone left a life-like baby doll in Crocheron Park in Bayside, which triggered a full-on NYPD and FDNY response. (QNS)

DUMBO is celebrating the ten year anniversary of the Manhattan Bridge Archway becoming open to the public. Prior to its life as a plaza, it was used for Department of Transportation storage. (6sqft)

The Metropolitan Museum of Art is covering up Marc Chagall’s “The Lovers” until Thursday in honor of World Refugee Day, to highlight what a world would look like without the art of refugees. (Gothamist)

Some suggestions for unofficial places to watch the July 4th fireworks. (Patch)

Add another entry to your list of unconventional museums in the city. Poster House is “the first museum in the United States dedicated exclusively to posters.” No word if there will be a blacklight and velvet section. (Untapped Cities)

Six of NYC’s historic LGBTQ sites are now city landmarks. The Gay Activists Alliance Firehouse, Caffee Cino, the LGBT Center, the Women’s Liberation Center, the James Baldwin Residence, and Audre Lorde’s Residence made the list. (Curbed)

The city’s critics seem to hate Au Cheval, but that isn’t slowing down people who willingly wait over an hour for a burger. (Grub Street)

Fighting back investors and developers, four areas of Sunset Park have received landmark designation from the Landmarks Preservation Commission, which will prevent demolition or large changes to the homes inside the landmark districts. Quick trivia: If you see a brown street sign instead of a green one, you’re in a historic district. (6sqft)

If someone visiting New York asked you how to get tickets to the Statue of Liberty, would you know how? Either buy them online or walk past the dozens of guys trying to sell you tickets all around Bowling Green and buy them at Castle Clinton. While the article is clearly an SEO play, it’s still something most New Yorkers probably didn’t know. (Curbed)

Where does the MTA draw the line with subway ads when it comes to sex? Boner pills, the Museum of Sex, breast implants, condoms, and Tinder all get the go ahead, but they draw the line with sex toys because they are a “sexually oriented business.” Dame Products is suing the MTA over their murky advertising rules. Somehow Tinder’s “DTF” campaign wasn’t about sex? (Patch)

A guide to the elections on June 25. (amNY)

An interview with State Senator Julia Salazar focused on real estate, which took place on the eve of the passage of the state’s new rent reform laws. (The Real Deal)

10 dishes under $20 to try in Hudson Yards. (Eater)

Mayor de Blasio nominated Jeffrey Roth, a deputy commissioner for policy and external affairs at the TLC, to lead the Taxi & Limousine Commission in a pick that, in the early stages, seems relatively free of controversy. He must be approved by the City Council before taking the position (amNY)

The city is debating banning Foie Gras as part of a dozen animal welfare bills that were discussed this week. Earlier this year the US Supreme Court upheld California’s foie gras ban, so the legislative path is clear if the city wants to go down it. (amNY)

No one was as vocal a supporter for the death penalty for the Central Park Five than the current president of the United States. If you think he was apologetic when asked about it this week, I would like to sell you the Brooklyn Bridge. (NY Times)

10 walking tours that even New Yorkers will love. A lofty claim, but who wouldn’t be interested a Chinatown food tour, a speakeasy tour of the West Village, or a ghost tour of Greenwich Village? (6sqft)

There’s a new Frank Ape mural in the East Village, part of the 100 Gates Project. (EV Grieve)

10 summer bottomless brunch spots in Astoria. (hint: take the ferry there). (We Heart Astoria)

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