The Briefly for February 28-29, 2021 – The “#1 Amenity New Yorkers Are Looking For” Sunday Edition

The latest NYC news digest: More accusations against Governor Cuomo, the best new doughnuts, the city’s new Asian hate crime task force, and more

Today – Low: 41˚ High: 45˚
Rain starting in the afternoon.

• A second woman has come forward about sexual harassment from Governor Cuomo.(Jesse McKinley for NY Times)

• Dropping charges against Amy Cooper for calling the police against Christian Cooper was referred to as “restorative justice” by the Manhattan district attorney’s office, but restorative justice advocates arguing dropping the charges under the term is a misleading co-optation of the term. (Arun Venugopal for Gothamist)

• Votes are being counted in the elections for City Council, making this the first election where the city’s new ranked-choice voting is being utilized. Going into the vote count, Selevena Brooks-Powers started with 38% of the vote and Pesach Osina had 35%. In third was Manny Silva with 10%. (Cindy Rodriguez for Gothamist)

The #1 amenity that New Yorkers are looking for in their next apartment. Before clicking on the link, take 2-3 guesses what it might be. (Shaye Weaver for Time Out)

Say hello Digidog, the terrifying/cute robot from Boston Dynamics that we’ve been watching videos of for years. Now the NYPD has one and advocates are worried it could become a surveillance tool. (Maria Cramer and Christine Hauser for NY Times)

• Apropos of nothing, here’s how to remove the battery from one of these Digidogs. (@lenkusov)

Eviction cases can now move forward against tenants that did not file hardship forms during the moratorium. For the 8,901 hardship declarations, the pause ends on May 1. (Beth Fertig for Gothamist)

Eleven people were injured in a five-car pileup on the Prospect Expressway on Friday afternoon. (Lloyd Mitchell for Brooklyn Paper)

Andrew Yang stepped in during an assault on the Staten Island Ferry, helping a photographer being attacked by a man with a metal pole, talking the man with the pole down. (Clifford Michel for The City)

Balthazar will be opening for the first time in a year on March 24 with indoor and outdoor dining. The bakery will also open on the same day. (Tanay Warerkar for Eater)

• Governor Cuomo seemed to lift the limits on nursing home visitations last week, but the fine print puts unforeseen limitations in place, including a 14-day pause on any visitations after any new Covid-19 cases. Of the 610 nursing homes in the state, only 1/3 are eligible for visitation. (Gwynne Hogan for Gothamist)

• Podcast: Michelle Caruso-Cabrera on running for City Comptroller. (Ben Max for Gotham Gazette)

Who’s running for public advocate? (Afia Eama for Gothamist)

• Everything you need to know about the city’s new Asian hate crime task force. (Hannah Albertine for The Infatuation)

New York City Schools Chancellor Richard Carranza is resigning from the job. Mayor de Blasio says that reports of the resignation being related to their clashes over school desegregation are “totally inaccurate.” (Sophia Chang and Jessica Gould for Gothamist)

Meisha Porter is the next NYC Schools Chancellor. She’s got ten months before a new mayoral administration but inherits a struggle over desegregation, opening school buildings, remote learning, just to start. (Sophia Chang and David Cruz for Gothamist)

6 great birra tacos. (Hannah Albertine & Nikko Duren for The Infatuation)

Shaun Donovan is promoting the idea of “Equity Bonds,” would establish government savings accounts for all New York City children through annual contributions to those in low-income families. (Elizabeth Kim for Gothamist)

• The Music Workers Alliance is calling for Governor Cuomo to create a “new WPA.” The Works Progress Administration, was a federal program that helped artists of all stripes survive the Great Depression. (Jim O’Grady for Gothamist)

The best new doughnuts in NYC. (Nikko Duren for The Infatuation)

Thanks to reader Sean for today’s featured photo!

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 December 13-14, 2020 – The “Second Wave” Sunday Edition

The latest NYC news digest: Indoor dining shuts down on Monday, stay the night at FAO Schwarz, a Manhattan sushi delivery guide, Mayor de Blasio makes a threat, and more

Today – Low: 41˚ High: 60˚
Partly cloudy throughout the day.

Tonight is the peak of the Geminid meteor shower for those in the darker areas of the city with “relaxed” eyes with up to 120 meteors per hour. (David Cruz for Gothamist)

Rendering: A look at the giant apartment complex coming to Coney Island, complete with roof pool, in the old Gargiulo’s Restaurant parking lot of.

The Tompkins Square Park Holiday tree is lit. (EV Grieve)

The state’s pension fund will divest from many fossil fuels in the next five years and sell its shares in other companies that contribute to global warming by 2040. (Anne Barnard for NY Times)

Looking for an interesting place to spend a night in the city? You can Airbnb FAO Schwarz for a night. (Nicole Saraniero for Untapped New York)

Here’s an explanation of the NYC Sheriff’s office, because if you’re confused about the distinction between the NYPD and the NYC Sheriff, I don’t blame you. (David Cruz for Gothamist)

A guide to the Victorian mansions of Flatbush. (Nicole Saraniero for Untapped New York)

Two officers lied in paperwork and in court about their arrest of a Black Lives Matter protester in 2016. Manhattan DA Cy Vance’s office cleared them of perjery. (Nick Pinto for Gothamist)

Where to go ice skating in Brooklyn this winter. (Jessica Parks for Brooklyn Paper)

If you never stepped inside CBGB, this virtual version of the club from 2006 will be the closest you’ll ever get. Yes, it includes the bathrooms. (Alex at Flaming Pablum)

DCLA and Borough Arts Council funded artist and cultural organizations, venues, or institutions to be able to utilize public outdoor spaces for ticketed events and performances starting on March 1 thanks to a new Open Culture bill passed by the City Council. The maximum charge for a program will be $20. This will be the first ticketed live entertainment legally allowed in the city since March 2020. The Open Culture program is an extension of the Open Restaurants, Open Streets, and Open Storefronts programs. (Ben Yakas for Gothamist)

If you’re feeling like you just have to get out of the city for good, may I suggest Topeka, Kansas, which will pay you $10,000 if you are a remote worker and move there. There are many cities that will pay you to move there. (Matt Troutman for Patch)

Kathleen Casillo was charged with reckless endangerment after she drove her sedan into a crowd of ICE protesters in Murray Hill on Friday, sending six people to the hospital. Casillo says she panicked and hit the gas when protesters were banging on her car. (Sophia Chang for Gothamist)

It seems New Yorkers got an early jump on buying Christmas trees this year. (Caroline Lewis for Gothamist)

If you’ve had your usual Christmas plans canceled, this year presents a great opportunity to shake things up and join the Audubon Society’s Christmas Bird Count. Don’t lie, you’ve loved following this year’s bird news. (Matt Troutman for Patch)

Max Rose, fresh off a defeat for Congress, filed paperwork to run for mayor. (Rose Adams for Brooklyn Paper)

The Google Doc of holiday light displays, that everyone could edit as they please, from Time Out has been updated into an interactive map. (Shaye Weaver for Time Out)

The Manhattan sushi delivery guide. (Matt Tervooren for The Infatuation)


The city is well beyond its thresholds for new hospitalizations, the 7-day average of new cases, and the 7-day rolling positivity average. “This is clearly a second wave in New York City” -Mayor de Blasio. (Jake Offenhartz for Gothamist)

The governor has shut down indoor dining in the city (again) starting Monday the 14th, thanks to an increase in every single Covid-19 metric the state and city have established. (Michael Gold for NY Times)

Eight hospitals in the city have reached more than 90 percent fullness in their ICUs. Flushing Hospital in Queens is at over 100% capacity. (Anna Quinn for Patch)

Only 1.4% of the state’s Covid-19 spread comes from restaurants and bars, but that number doesn’t specify between indoor and outdoor dining. 73.84% of COVID-19 cases spread through private gatherings. (Erika Adams for Eater)

The reactions from restaurant owners ranges from sad, but understanding, to absolutely delusional. (Christina Izzo for Time Out)

“Anyone who thinks that their privilege puts them ahead of other people in greater need, that’s not going to happen in New York City.” -Mayor de Blasio. (Matt Troutman for Patch)

An ultra-Orthodox synagogue in Williamsburg seems to have broken social distancing rules for the last time. The mayor stated this week that the city will “move to shut down the building once and for all” after a funeral on Monday brought hundreds of people into the building with no masks. The article threads the needle between the recent Supreme Court case the state lost about religious gatherings and the rules that are still in place regardless of the lawsuit. But also this is a threat coming from Mayor de Blasio, who regularly ignores his own deadlines and threats. (Jake Offenhartz for Gothamist)

Staten Island’s Mac’s Public House liquor license has been suspended, finally. It was one of 23 city businesses whose licenses were suspended last week. (Robert Pozarycki for amNewYork Metro)

The Brooklyn Monarch is also on the list of businesses whose liquor licenses were suspended after city sheriffs broke up a party with nearly 400 people inside. (Amanda Hatfield for BrooklynVegan)

Congrats to Gravesend, which has the highest Covid-19 positivity rate in the city. (Anna Quinn for Patch)

The city clarified when outdoor dining can remain open during snow and when snow removal is happening. When a Winter Operations Advisory is given, outdoor dining will stay open, but during a Snow Alert, outdoor dining will close. (Ben Yakas for Gothamist)

How scientists are tracking the flow of the city’s Covid-19 outbreak, using your poop. (Corey Kilgannon for NY Times)

A day in the life of a contract tracer. (Fred Mogul for Gothamist)

Find your public school’s Covid-19 testing rate online. (Sophia Chang for Gothamist)

The New York City Board of Health passed a measure extending the order for total mask compliance at every school in the city, not just public schools for students, staff, and faculty. Yes, before this order, there was no enforcement of masks in non-public school buildings. (David Cruz for Gothamist)

Thanks to reader Francesca for today’s featured photo of Fortitude, the NYPL lion, dressed for the season, and the pandemic.