The Briefly for February 14-15, 2021 – The “It’s Not Good News for Governor Cuomo” Valentine’s Edition

The latest NYC news digest: Latest on the subway stabbings, restaurant and bad curfew raised to 11pm, Amazon sues Letitia James, and the best new bakeries in NYC

Today – Low: 30˚ High: 36˚
Overcast throughout the day.

What’s open and what’s closed on Presidents’ Day. (Matt Troutman for Patch)

• Governor Cuomo is facing allegations of a coverup of the Covid-19 death toll in nursing homes. Melissa DeRosa, a top aide, admitted that the state withheld data because they feared an investigation by the Trump Justice Department. In an unrelated accusation, Attorney General Letitia James accused the governor of undercounting Covid-19 deaths connected to nursing homes. As a result, the state legislature is considering ending the emergency powers given to Governor Cuomo earlier in the pandemic. (Jesse McKinley and Luis Ferré-Sadurní for NY Times)

• In other Governor Cuomo-connected bad news, Cuomo is trying to distance himself from a state-run nursing home that was gave more than 60 residents a combination of antibiotics and hydroxchloroquine last spring. (Dean Russell for The City)

• Over 100 candidates and supporters are suing Governor Cuomo and Mayor de Blasio over the signature collecting requirement ahead of the June primaries, arguing that the practice is unconstitutional because it poses a direct threat to public health. (Brigid Bergin for Gothamist)

The barricades in front of Trump Tower have come down. (Christopher Robbins for Gothamist)

• Did You Know: There are two landmarked trees in NYC. Weeping Beech & Magnolia Grandiflora. (Michelle Young for Untapped New York)

• The city’s Open Culture program that will begin issuing permits for socially distanced street performers on 100 specified streets. The city will also help venues, workers, and organizations who are applying for federal relief through Save Our Stages grants. The state has its own live performances in public places program called NY PopsUp, which seems to be competing with the city’s Open Culture program. NY PopsUp starts February 20, 10 days before the city’s program starts. (Bill Pearis for BrooklynVegan)

• Starting tonight outdoor dining is being allowed until 11pm. (Tanay Warerkar for Eater)

• As restaurants are partially open for indoor dining and the Barclays Center will host its first basketball game with a crowd in nearly a year, there is no word on if or when Coney Island will be able to reopen. (Brooklyn Eagle)

• After four stabbings along the A line within 24 hours, the NYPD is sending 500 officers into the subway system. The stabbings, two of which were fatal, happened at the Fort-Washington-181st St, the Mott Ave and Beach 22nd Street, and the West 207th St and Broadway stations. (David Cruz for Gothamist)

• Detectives are questioning a person of interest in connection with the stabbings. (Robert Pozarycki for QNS)

• Advocates for homeless New Yorkers sued the MTA over a series of Covid-19 rules that the suit says unfairly target people who shelter in the city’s subways. (Andy Newman for NY Times)

1.7 million counterfeit N95 masks were seized from a Queens warehouse. The masks were fake 3M masks. If you have 3M masks, you can check that they are genuine using barcodes and lot numbers on their website. All N95 masks include approval numbers that can be checked on the CDC’s website. (Ron Lee for NY1)

A crane on top of a 31-story building in Greenpoint partially collapsed on Thursday afternoon. There were no reports of injuries or anything hitting the ground. Developers are blaming the collapse on a malfunction. The crane’s girlfriend said it happens to a lot of cranes. Oof, sorry, that was an awful joke. (Kevin Duggan for Brooklyn Paper)

In praise of Red Hook’s The Record Shop. (Gene Bray for Red Hook Star-Revue)

• This is a weird one. Amazon is suing Attorney General Letitia James in order to prevent her office from bringing charges against Amazon after investigating Amazon’s workplace safety, claiming she does not have the right to investigate workplace safety during the Covid-19 pandemic. Does that seem like a pre-admission of guilt to anyone? (Karen Weise for NY Times)

How to celebrate Mardi Gras in NYC (it’s on Tuesday). (Dana Schulz for 6sqft)

Top ten secrets of the Morris-Jumel Mansion, one of Manhattan’s oldest buildings. (Untapped New York)

The Frick Collection has announced that it will open its temporary home at 945 Madison Ave on March 18. (Shaye Weaver for Time Out)

What is a City Comptroller and why should you care? (Gwynne Hogan for Gothamist)

• Interview: Carlos Menchaca discusses his run for mayor. (Ben Max for Gotham Gazette)

• “We Are: The Brooklyn Saints” tells the story of a boys’ youth football team in East New York and is available on Netflix now. (Brian Braiker for Brooklyn Magazine)

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

Thanks to reader Francesca for today’s featured photo!

The Briefly for January 24-25, 2020 – The “If You Can’t Beat ‘Em, Switch Parties” Sunday Edition

Today – Low: 26˚ High: 34˚
Clear throughout the day.

There are currently 54 of the city’s zip codes with a Covid-19 test rate over 10%. Remember when Governor Cuomo said he was gonna lock down areas that hit over 4%? (Sharon Otterman for NY Times)

The number of the city’s elementary schools and classrooms that are closed keep rising. (Jessica Gould for Gothamist)

Bill O’ Reilly and Rudy Giuliani have radio shows in NYC? Yup. After failed Republican mayoral candidate John Catsimatidis bought the station in 2019 they pivoted to right wing talk. (Azi Paybarah for NY Times)

New Yorkers United for Change is trying to change the 1.6 NYC million Republicans’ voter registration to Democrat because rather than build viable candidates that appeal to the city’s population, they’ve decided “if you can’t beat ’em, join ’em.” (Clifford Michel for The City)

2021 Election: Who’s running for mayor? (Rachel Holliday Smith for The City)

Franklin Ave’s Crown Heights community space Public Assistants is facing eviction so the landlord to make room for a gourmet supermarket. (Ben Verde for Brooklyn Paper)

In 2019, the Staten Island District Attorney’s Office quietly purchased software from Clearview AI, a controversial facial recognition company. Critics argue Clearview AI violates rights by using photos from social media and image searches without knowledge or consent. (George Joseph for Gothamist)

The new NYPD discipline rules will make chokeholds a fireable offense will apply to all future chokeholds. (Matt Troutman for Patch)

Meet the couple walking a marathon every day for a year. Yes, they’re from Bushwick. (Raanan Geberer for Brooklyn Eagle)

Documentary: The story of how artists, organizers, and neighbors all came together to reclaim their streets with Bed-Stuy’s Black Live sMatter street murals. (Mustache)

The 31-story building above the old J&R Music World sold for $140 million. (Rich Bockman for The Real Deal)

Sarah Jessica Parker misses restaurants “so much it hurts.” The more interesting part of this piece about what she ate from January 14 through 18 is Matthew Broderick’s bean obsession. (Chris Crowley for Grub Street)

Don’t let the real estate lobby convince you that casinos in Manhattan are a good way to raise tax revenue, because the data doesn’t support that. Most of the state’s “gaming revenue” comes from the lottery. (Christopher Robbins for Gothamist)

Be wary of “NY Forever,” a PR campaign dressed up with celebrities, but funded by NY’s real estate trade association, Goldman Sachs, and co-founded by Ivanka Trump’s public relations adviser. (Norman ODer for Atlantic Yards/Pacific Park Report)

New York City Restaurant Week is back for winter as NYC Restaurant Week To Go with 571 restaurants, all offering specials for $20.21. (Melissa Kravitz Hoeffner for Greenpointers)

Farewell to the original Big Gay Ice Cream location in the East Village. The company isn’t closing, just the location. (Tanay Warerkar for Eater)

A look at Bellucci Pizza, a new pizza spot in Astoria with a pedigree that runs through Rubirosa and Lombardi’s. (Scott Lynch for Gothamist)

Museum of Natural History is displaying the Subway Garnet for the first time in 40 years in the Mignone Halls of Gens and Minerals. If you’re looking to impress your friends, you can tell them that the garnet was found when exhumed during the sewer excavation and it was renamed later. I guess it depend on your friends if they’ll be impressed by that. (Stephanie Simon for NY1)

The Hunts Point Produce Market strike is over with an agreement to a minimum 70-cent-per-hour raise in the first year, eventually rising to a $1.85 bump by the third year. (Claudia Irizarry Aponte for The City)

The Bernie meme has materialized in real life. You can find it in the East Village. (EV Grieve)

2,600 New York City public school students have completely dropped off the radar this school year, according to a Department of Education at a City Council hearing last week. The students are “still being pursued.” (Sophia Chang for Gothamist)

Video: The history of the Times Square Toys “R” Us. (Defunctland)

In praise of the rise of NYC’s flour tortillas. (Luke Fortney for Eater)

Video: Walking over Washington Bridge, NYC’s most confusing bridge. (ActionKid)

6 NYC rooftops with outdoor heating lamps. (Nikko Duren for The Infatuation)

Thanks to reader Lindsey for today’s featured photo!

The Briefly for January 19-20 – The “Lena Dunham and Bill de Blasio?” Tuesday Edition

The latest NYC news digest: MTA delays fare hikes, Union Square plans to expand 33%, Mayor de Blasio drops another ball, MLK protests, and more

Today – Low: 32˚ High: 40˚
Partly cloudy throughout the day.

Another week, another broken promise from Mayor de Blasio. After he spent all summer painting “BLACK LIVES MATTER” on the city’s streets, the mayor’s “Racial Justice and Reconciliation Commission” has done zero public work and hasn’t been mentioned since August. (Ethan Geringer-Sameth for Gotham Gazette)

The Times looks at five takeaways from the mayor’s race. (Emma G. Fitzsimmons and Jeffery C. Mays for NY Times)

Here’s a weird one. Someone is putting up flyers announcing the wedding of Lena Dunham and Mayor de Blasio on Valentine’s Day in Union Square. This seems somehow connected to the very weird Fiona Apple flyer from October. Congrats to the happy couple? (EV Grieve)

Photos: The new glass sculpture I dreamed a world and called it Love by Jim Hodges in Grand Central Terminal. (Nicole Saraniero, photos by David Regen for Untapped New York)

With Inauguration Day approaching, it’s a great time to remember that the nation’s first inauguration happened outside the Federal Hall National Memorial in the Financial District on April 30, 1789. The original bible George Washington placed his hand on is still in the building. (Nicole Saraniero for Untapped New York)

A Martin Luther King Jr Day protest started at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn and ended with the NYPD making dozens of arrests of peaceful protesters near City Hall. (Azi Paybarah for NY Times)

The NYPD is being sued by the state’s attorney general over its handling of protests over the summer because violence against protesters isn’t a bug in the system, it’s a feature. (Erin O’Brien for Bedford + Bowery)

Nicolas Moncada, 20, of Staten Island was arrested for his role in the January 5 insurrection. How did they know he was there” Because he posted a selfie of himself outside Speaker Pelosi’s office to Instagram. Neighbors describe his arrest as “like they were looking for a terrorist.” They were and they arrested him. (Elina Tarkazikis for NY1)


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The city’s graduation rate hit an all-time high of 78.8% in 2020. (Matt Troutman for Patch)

The MTA claims the driver of the bus that drove off an overpass refused a drug test, but the driver, whose jaw had been fractured in the accident, says a drug test was taken in the hospital. (Sydney Pereira for Gothamist)

The Biden-Harris administration nominated Polly Trottenberg, the city’s former commissioner of the Department of Transportation, for Deputy Secretary for the U.S. Department of Transportation to work under Pete Buttigieg. (Stephen Nessen for Gothamist)

Foot traffic is down 70% year over year in Times Square. (Jake Dobkin for Gothamist)

Want to send someone some cheer? You can record a birthday greeting for Ray or Ray’s Candy Store, who turns 88 on January 25, to be a part of a Guinness World Record for “biggest video hug ever.” (EV Grieve)

The MTA is postponing their scheduled 2021 fare hike because, quite frankly, we’ve all had enough already. (Benjamin Kabak for Second Ave. Sagas)

The Union Square Partnership unveiled a $100 million plan for a car-free Union Square that would expand the park 33% into the surrounding streets. The plan will be officially presented on January 26. (Gersh Kuntzman for Streetsblog)

The public review process for the Gowanus rezoning has been temporarily halted by a Brooklyn Supreme Court judge over concerns that holding virtual meetings violates city law that requires public hearings. The lawsuit that halted the process asks that public hearings be held when it is safe to do so. (David Cruz for Gothamist)

The MTA is looking into temporarily reducing service on some subway lines because of worker shortages due to illness, retirements, and a lack of new hires. (Jose Martinez for The City)

Governor Cuomo is tired of the federal government’s shit and has asked Pfizer to sell vaccines directly to the state, which is possible because Pfizer is not a part of “Project Warp Speed.” (Lisa Finn for Patch)

Sunset Park’s South Brooklyn Marine Terminal will become an offshore wind assembly port for the state’s new offshore wind farms. (Sydney Pereira for Gothamist)

Repairs of the Cherry Walk segment of the Hudson River Greenway, stretching from 100th to 125th St, are complete. (Streetsblog)

Gothamist gets giddy about Medan Pasar, a new Malaysian restaurant in the East Village. (Scott Lynch for Gothamist)

What you need to know about the 2021 Bronx, Brooklyn, Manhattan, and Staten Island borough president races. (Rachel Holliday Smith for The City)

Thanks to reader Francesca for today’s featured photo of Fort Tryon Park!