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 February 16-18, 2021 – The “Because Whoopi Goldberg Told Me To” Tuesday Edition

The latest NYC news digest: 22 hour subway service starts soon, drama in the bird community, the Soho Grifter is out, the oldest bars on the UWS, and more

Today – Low: 20˚ High: 44˚
Rain in the morning and afternoon.

22-hour subway service will start on 2/22, shutting down daily from 2-4 am. (Christopher Robbins for Gothamist)

Nearly a quarter of New York City’s students with disabilities have not received all of the services they’re entitled to this school year, according to new figures that offer the most comprehensive picture yet of special education during the pandemic. (Alex Zimmerman for Chalkbeat)

The MTA got 25 celebrities to record Covid-19 PSAs for the subways. Finally New Yorkers will follow mask and social distancing guidelines because Michael Rapaport and Whoopi Goldberg told them to. (Dana Schulz for 6sqft)

• The seawall to protect Staten Island from another Hurricane Sandy was scheduled to be finished this year, but construction isn’t expected to be finished for another five years or more. Radiation from a 1940s landfill in Great Kills Park halted progress on the East Shore Seawall as the city, state, and federal governments fight over who”s responsible for getting rid of the radiation. (Clifford Michel for The City)

The Bronx is #2 highest risk in the country from natural disasters only behind Los Angeles. (Ed García Conde for Welcome2TheBronx)

• Green-Wood Cemetery wants your help to identify thousands of WWII soldiers buried at the cemetery. (Kevin Duggan for Brooklyn Paper)

• Good question: What does the mayor of NYC actually do? (Brigid Bergin for Gothamist)

A look at how the roots of the NAACP run through Greenwich Village. (Joey Rodriguez for GVSHP)

• Video: Kissaki chef Mark Garcia makes 200-300 omakase to-go boxes every night. (Director Pelin Keskin for Eater)

• It’s not just your imagination, the city’s snowstorms have been getting worse. (Lydia McMullen-Laird for Gothamist)

• If you’re in the latest group of New Yorkers eligible for the vaccine, you’ve learned that the state’s vaccine website is utter garbage and can’t keep up with demand. (Sydney Pereira for Gothamist)

The alleged subway stabber, Rigoberto Lopez, was arrested. (Ashley Southall for NY Times)

NYC’s bird watching community is feeling the pressure of popularity after getting a wider amount of interest form the general public in the last year. (Daniel E. Slotnik for NY Times)

• Anna Sorokin aka Anna Delvey, the fake heiress grifter convicted of grand larceny, is out of prison and working on a memoir and a TV show. (Jen Chung for Gothamist)

Revel is expanding its service to electric bikes for a subscription cost of $90/month. you’ll get a pedal-assisted bike to use for as long as you’re a subscriber rather than their traditional model of looking for one on the street. (Julianne Cuba for Streetsblog)

9 indie Brooklyn bookstores to visit. (Emilie Murphy for Brooklyn Magazine)

• Governor Cuomo almost apologized, but still didn’t, for his administration’s actions that led to the Covid-19 nursing scandal. (Jesse McKinley for NY Times)

What it’s like to run a movie theater, the Cobble Hill Cinema, in a pandemic. (Red Hook Star-Revue)

Thanks to reader Lolita for today’s featured photo!

The Briefly for December 27-28, 2020 – The “Most Wonderful Time of the Year” Sunday Edition

The latest NYC news digest: Two exciting new birds, reanimating the Village Voice, Andrew Yang files for a mayoral run, a vaccine dashboard, and more

Today – Low: 34˚ High: 37˚
Clear throughout the day.

Interview: Author John Birdsall on how James Beard’s queerness influenced American culture. *Sean Carlson and Danny Lewis for Gothamist)

22 celebratory restaurants open on New Year’s Eve. (Lorelei Yang for Eater)

A better idea, takeout. The best NYE takeout specials. (Hannah Albertine for The Infatuation)

It’s the most wonderful time of the year, it’s Mulchfest! Bring your trees for mulching to one of the city’s 33 sites for mulching on Saturdays through January 9. Bring your own bag to bring home your mulch or donate it to the city. (Sophia Chang for Gothamist)

Two more rare birds for the bird lovers! A western tanager was seen in Carl Schurz Park and a greater white-fronted goose was spotted on Randall’s Island. (Nick Garber for Patch)

Someone is digging up and reanimating the bones of The Village Voice, which died in September 2017. Unfortunately that someone is Brian Calle, who most recently ruined the L.A. Weekly after purchasing it. The death of The Village Voice was one of the things that pushed me to start The Briefly. (Bill Pearis for BrooklynVegan)

Farewell to Pizza Beach, which closed its doors for good right before the indoor dining ban took effect earlier this month. (Elie Z Perler for Bowery Boogie)

The New York Automatic Voter Registration Act became law on December 22. It will automatically register eligible New Yorkers to vote when they interact with different governmental agencies. (Angélica Acevedo for QNS)

Meet Los Deliveristas Unidos, a group of independent (most of the city’s 80,000 deliveristas are independent) restaurant delivery workers who are fighting for better pay and improved worker protections while the city relies on them more than ever. (Valeria Ricciulli for Grub Street)

The governor announced the coronavirus eviction moratorium will stay in place after January 1. Governor Cuomo did not announce how long the moratorium would be extended. (Anna Quinn for Patch)

Congrats to @SidetalkNYC for making this list of things Ashley Reese was inexplicably horny for in 2020. (Ashley Reese for Jezebel)

What’s it like to date right now? Here are the answers from 20 single New Yorkers. (Will Gleason for Time Out)

Trump gained voters in NYC? Yup. Trump increased his share of votes in almost all of the city’s assembly districts. (Sarah Maslin Nir for NY Times)

The city killed off two rezonings on Franklin Ave in Crown Heights. In one case, Judge Reginald Boddie reversed the 2018 rezoning certification for two 16-story developments at 40 Crown Street and 931 Carroll Street and Franklin. Mayor de Blasio spoke up against the proposed 960 Franklin Avenue redevelopment, calling it “grossly out of scale with the neighborhood.” This is the development that the Brooklyn Botanical Garden was also fighting against with its “Fight for Sunlight” campaign. (Ben Verde for Brownstoner)

Tony Robbins might be New York’s biggest asshole. In a new lawsuit, an employee for 18 years alleges Tony Robbins discriminated against her for getting Covid-19. (Azi Paybarah and Michael Levenson for NY Times)

RIP Roger Berlind, producer of over 100 plays and musicals and winner of over 25 Tony Awards. (Katharine Q. Seelye for NY Times)

A 32-year-old woman died after being struck by a Brooklyn-bound 2 subway train on Saturday morning after she was spotted standing between cars on the moving train. (David Cruz for Gothamist)

A photo ode to mom-and-pops. (Brian Braiker with photos by Mich Cardin for Brooklyn Magazine)

What to expect for New Year’s Eve. Here’s a hint: Not a normal NYE. (Nick Garber for Patch)

A look at the Republican field for the 2021 mayor’s race. (Samar Khurshid for Gotham Gazette)

On the Democratic side, the Times asks if progressives will rule the mayoral race. (Katie Glueck and Dana Rubinstein for NY Times)

Bike maniac (I mean that in a good way) Dave Colon has invited all the mayoral candidates to go on a bike ride with him. To his credit Carlos Menchaca took him up on the offer. (Dave Colon for Streetsblog)

Andrew Yang filed for a mayoral run. I’ve seen photos of him on a bike, so maybe he’ll take Dave up on his offer. (Matt Troutman for Patch)

The city launched a new online tool to track Covid-19 vaccinations. (Davin Gannon for 6sqft)

The mayor announced that the NYC sheriff’s department will enforce the city’s two-week quarantine visiting homes or hotel rooms. Does this mean the city hasn’t been enforcing its mandated two-week quarantine period? I’m joking, of course, it means exactly that. (Brooklyn Eagle)

The city was ill-prepared for the first Covid-19 wave, so the mayor set up a Covid-19 “situation room” to handle the city’s schools’ response to further outbreaks. Turns out, the mayor’s situation room is still ill-prepared to deal with rising cases, failing the schools and children the situation room was set up to support. (Christina Veiga for Chalkbeat)

“And now this thing we should be celebrating — the arrival of this much anticipated vaccine — it’s turning into a rivalry. There is competitiveness and skepticism and mistrust.” Like an episode of the Twilight Zone, the camaraderie that fighting against Covid-19 is falling apart when it comes to who gets the vaccine first. (Joseph Goldstein for NY Times)

Buskers, sitting in the cold, and the 8 things Ginia Bellafante hated about New York until 2020. (Ginia Bellafante for NY Times)

9 restaurants with heated outdoor dining in the Bronx. (Tanay Warerkar for Eater)

A visit to the $100 per person speakeasy Stoned Gourmet Cannabis Pizza somewhere in the East Village. (EV Grieve)

Borscht at Verōnika, Pasta A La Presse at The Grill, A Very Good Side Salad at Hunky Dory, and the rest of The Infatuation’s favorite dishes of 2020. (Hannah Albertine, Nikko Duren, Hillary Reinsberg, Arden Shore, and Matt Tervooren for The Infatuation)

Thanks to Francesca for today’s featured photo!