The Briefly for February 12-13, 2021 – The “Mayor of Flavortown for Mayor of NYC” Friday Edition

The latest NYC news digest: Indoor dining returns today, new vaccination sites, mayoral candidates want more power over the MTA, splurge-worthy takeout and more

Today – Low: 21˚ High: 29˚
Mostly cloudy throughout the day.
This weekend – Low: 27˚ High: 37˚

• The annual Valentine’s Day tour of the Shit Tits in Greenpoint, the Newtown Creek Wastewater Treatment Facility, is going virtual. All the experience with none of the smell. of the city’s largest sewage plant. (Melissa Kravitz Hoeffner for Greenpointers)

• Forget the mayor of NYC. The Mayor of Flavortown is back in Manhattan. All hail Guy Fieri. (Erika Adams for Eater)

• Photos: Go back in time with this newly digitized library of photos of Central PArk in the 80s. (Jen Carlson for Gothamist)

• Remember when the NYPD started babysitting Christopher Columbus statues across the city? Well the NYPD are still babysitting these statues ten months later. (Jose Martinez for The City)

Construction will begin in the spring on Gansevoort Peninsula, Manhattan’s first public beach. The park will be built off Little West 12th St. (Christopher Robbins for Gothamist)

• In a surprise to everyone, New York concert venues and arenas can reopen on February 23. Each venue’s safety plan needs to be reviewed by the state, everyone needs proof of a negative PCR test within 3 days of the event, and venues that hold over 10,000 will have a maximum capacity of 10%. (Anna Ben Yehuda for Time Out)

How NYC’s bars and restaurants are preparing for today’s return to indoor dining. (Rachel Sugar for Grub Street)

“We’re grateful to be able to provide our guests with a slice of hope through an experience as simple as dining out. We welcome indoor dining not only as a lifeline for our business, but also as an opportunity to safely bring our customers a little more normalcy in these very abnormal times.”
– Simone Tiligna, co-owner of Sola Pasta Bar, Why I’m Opening My Restaurant for Indoor Dining in NYC for Eater

“One wonders why Cuomo can’t wait a little longer for more vaccines to come online, instead of conducting such a grand social experiment on a group of staffers who have disproportionately struggled during the pandemic. Latinx folks, for example, have suffered COVID death rates that are nearly double those of white New Yorkers.”
– Ryan Sutton, Cuomo’s Reckless Return to Indoor Dining Values NYC Restaurants Over Lives, for Eater

The top two affordable neighborhoods in NYC are Parkchester and Bedford Park in the Bronx. (Ed García Conde FOR Welcome2TheBronx)

• 2021 will be the year of legal marijuana in New York state? Maybe. Governor Cuomo and Democrats in the legislature can’t get on the same page when it comes to legal weed. (Caroline Lewis for Gothamist)

• The NYPD announced that it is ready to relinquish that responsibility to another city agency. The City Council is already debating stripping the NYPD of that responsibility as part of a package of bills aimed at police reform. (Christopher Robbins for Gothamist)

• The New York state Attorney General filed a lawsuit against Bevelyn Beatty and Edmee Chavannes, two anti-abortion protesters, accusing them of repeated “obstructive, threatening, harassing, and violent activity” at a Planned Parenthood clinic in Manhattan. Their behavior has continued through the pandemic without wearing masks. (Brooklyn Eagle)

• Turning away eligible people, poor communication, lack of translators, impossible appointments, navigators who can’t navigate. The Citi Field mass vaccination site is a Mets-level disaster. (Caroline Lewis for Gothamist)

• Starting at some point next week, 188 Walgreens sites, 75 Rite Aid sites and five Costco sites will have vaccinations available (in limited quantity). (Matt Troutman for Patch)

Vaccine stories from restaurant industry pros who’ve managed to get appointments range from ‘easy-peasy’ to ‘total shitshow.’ (Jennifer Joan Nelson for Brooklyn Magazine)

Three pop-up COVID-19 vaccination sites are set to open in northeast Queens, in Bayside, Jamaica and South Richmond Hill for Queens residents. (Jenna Bagcal for QNS)

Three small vaccine dispensary sites came online in the Lower East Side this week at community centers, public housing complexes, and cultural centers which will eventually lead to dispensaries opening at all 33 NYCHA Senior Housing Developments. (Elie Z Perler for Bowery Boogie)

• Covid-19 vaccine providers can start redistributing second doses if someone doesn’t get their second shot within the 42-day timeframe, including moving unused doses from long-term care facilities. (Sydney Pereira for Gothamist)

• The federal government increased New York’s vaccine allocation by 5% this week, making the new allocation “inadequate plus 5%.” (Matt Troutman for Patch)

• Andrew Yang has declared a new enemy: eternal sidewalk scaffolding. (Mark Hallum for amNewYork Metro)

• The mayoral race looks to AOC. (Katie Glueck for NY Times)

• In the eternal battle between the city and state, some mayoral candidates have begun talking about changing the balance of power of the MTA’s board to give the city a bigger say over the MTA. (Dave Colon for Streetsblog)

A look at Scott Stringer’s transportation plan, including more bike lanes, more pedestrian zones, reforming parking rules, reducing parking placards for city employees, more buses, and reducing community boards’ ability to block street safety projects. (Gersh Kuntzman for Streetsblog)

Here are the Republican candidates running for mayor. (Juan Manuel Benitez for NY1)

• Brownsville’s Betsy Head Park officially reopened to the public last week after a $30 million renovation. (Jake Samieske for Brooklyn Magazine)

Everything you need to know about buying your first home in NYC. (Jordi Lippe-McGraw for StreetEasy)

• Interactive Map: Explore New York City’s Black history with the Landmarks Preservation Commissions “Preserving Significant Places of Black History.” (Kevin Duggan for Brooklyn Paper)

• A new state mandate will ensure health insurance companies in New York must immediately cover fertility treatments for queer couples. (Tat Bellamy-Walker for Gay City News)

What does NYC’s Public Advocate do? (Afia Eama for Gothamist)

• Real Estate Lust: A $6.5 million Noho loft with huge, arched windows overlooking Broadway, 10-foot-long fireplace, 20 feet of closets in the main bedroom, and more. (Dana Schulz for 6qsft)

A guide to splurge-worthy takeout. (Emily Wilson for RESY)

The Briefly for January 22, 2020 – The “Rich New Yorkers Are Not Leaving” Friday Edition

The latest NYC news digest: NYC temporarily closes vaccination sites, the Port Authority could get a renovation, the Hunts Point Produce Market strike, and more

Today – Low: 28˚ High: 41˚
Partly cloudy throughout the day.
This weekend – Low: 22˚ High: 34˚

Mayor de Blasio closed all 15 of the city’s vaccination hubs due to a delay in vaccination shipments of the Moderna vaccine from Washington. The city’s 15 vaccination hubs will reopen when “supplies pick up.” Appointments for people receiving their second shot will be rescheduled, but it’s best to contact the city’s vaccine hotline at 877-VAX-4NYC if you don’t hear anything soon. (Alejandra O’Connell-Domenech for amNewYork Metro)

23,000 vaccination appoints have already been rescheduled. (David Cruz for Gothamist)

It’s not just the city, the state is running low on vaccines too. At the current rate of 250k shipped vaccine doses weekly, it will take seven months to vaccinate New Yorkers that are currently eligible. (Matt Troutman for Patch)

A Covid-19 home test vending machine will be coming to W 34th St on Tuesday the 26th inside the new Wellness 4 Humanity store. Tests will cost $119. (Shaye Weaver for Time Out)

Governor Cuomo is asking the federal government for $15 billion in aid or he’ll be cored to raise taxes on the state’s rich, which he thinks will scare them off. Hey dummy, do both. The rich aren’t going anywhere. (Greg David for The City)

Rents for the biggest and most expensive apartments in Manhattan rose by double-digit percentages in December. It’s time to end the charade that the rich are somehow abandoning New York City. (Jeff Andrews for Curbed)

How desperate is the state for money? Lobbying has begun to try to build casinos in Manhattan. (Dana Rubinstein and Jesse McKinley for NY Times)

The Port Authority in Manhattan may get a $10 billion overhaul. It would take at least a decade to complete and it would be partially financed by selling the air rights to a commercial tower on top of the terminal and nearby buildings. (Patrick McGeehan and Winnie Hu for NY Times)

The Astoria Mutual Aid Network is raising money so their neighbors in public housing don’t have to live without heat in the winter. For those looking to help, you can still donate. (Allie Griffin for Queens Post)

Interview: Joe Lentol reflects on his over forty years of public service as Assemblymember from the state’s 50th district in Greenpoint after being ousted by Emily Gallagher. (Julia Kott for Greenpointers)

Rendering: No one will accuse 555 Broadway in Brooklyn of looking boring, but it does look like someone is about to lose a game of Jenga. (Sebastian Morris for New York YIMBY)

Mets General Manager Jared Porter was fired for sending lewd and explicit text messages to a female reporter in 2016. (Joe Pantorno for amNewYork Metro)

Rough Trade NYC is closing their Williamsburg store in order to relocate. They’ve also cut ties with Bowery Presents, who will not be a part of the new location. They have not announced a new location yet, but hope to be open by summer. Their website will remain open in the meantime. (Bill Pearis for BrooklynVegan)

Jimmy Van Bramer, the thwarter of Amazon’s HQ2 plans, announced he will run for Queens borough president. (Christina Santucci for Queens Post)

Former southern Brooklyn and Staten Island Congressman Max Rose will serve as a senior advisor on Covid-19 in the Pentagon. While serving in Afghanistan, Rose earned a Purple Heart. (Rose Adams for Brooklyn Paper)

Watch Republican Staten Island Congressmember Nicole Malliotakis get pushed around on CNN and called out on her shit after opposing the 2020 election results and calling for unity immediately afterward. (Erin Burnett Out Front on CNN)

The Manhattan District Attorney Democratic Primary is in June and current DA Cy Vance has raised $4,000 to date. Call me crazy, but it doesn’t seem like he’s running again, even if he hasn’t made any announcements. (Josefa Velasquez and Rachel Holliday Smith)

James Dolan, New York City’s worst songwriter, CEO of Madison Square Garden Entertainment Corp, and owner of the Knicks and Rangers, started a new political expenditure committee “The Coalition to Restore New York.” Dolan will likely support anyone for mayor that won’t end MSG’s 38-year real estate tax break. (Rosa Goldensohn for The City)

7 forgotten subway entrances. (Nicole Saraniero for Untapped New York)

Long Island City’s Trump Countdown Clock has finally hit zero. (LICtalk)

NYC’s most anticipated restaurant openings of spring 2021. (Luke Fortney for Eater)

The Bushwick Bar Babes of 2021 calendar is now available. All the charm of Bushwick’s best bars with none of the smell. I miss making jokes about Bushwick. (Matt Fink for Bushwick Daily)

AOC was not at the Inauguration Day in DC because she was backing the workers’ strike at the Hunts Point Produce Market in the Bronx, where 60% of the city’s produce is handled. Workers are striking for a $1/hour raise. (David Cruz for Gothamist)

A rundown of what’s going on at the Hunts Point Produce Market. (Rachel Sugar for Eater)

Success Academy, New York City’s largest charter network, will remain fully virtual for the rest of the school year. (Alex Zimmerman for Chalkbeat)

The alleged serial killer in a Brownsville NYCHA complex was arrested on Thursday. His alleged victims were three elderly women all 78 or older. (NY1)

The New York state lawsuit that seeks to dissolve the NRA will be allowed forward. The NRA had attempted to move the lawsuit to federal court. You might say that Attorney General Letitia James has the NRA in her sights. *groan* (Brooklyn Eagle)

Mayor Bill de Blasio has a new idea for disciplining the NYPD – a promise to fire NYPD cops who use illegal chokeholds. What an innovative idea that the mayor could have had at any moment between the 2014 killing of Eric Garner and today. (Rosa Goldensohn for The City)

A new class-action lawsuit accuses the NYPD of violating the rights of New Yorkers through “demoralizing and brutal shows of force, rather than genuine efforts to facilitate protesters’ protected First Amendment activity” and is seeking monetary damages for those who were brutalized and arrested during demonstrations. (Jake Offenhartz for Gothamist)

The NYPD will serve disciplinary charges against Officer Wayne Isaacs, who used his service weapon to shoot and kill Delrawn Small, an unarmed Black man, following an apparent driving dispute in Brooklyn in 2016. (Yasmeen Khan for Gothamist)

The State Legislature is finally poised to repeal the state’s discriminatory ban on “Walking While Trans” in the coming weeks. (Matt Tracy for Gay City News)

Podcast: Congrats to Untapped New York for the launch of their new Secrets of New York podcast. (Michelle Young for Untapped New York)

Manhattan pickup artist Samuel Fisher encouraged people to bring guns to DC leading up to the insurrection at the Capitol, saying “they can’t arrest us all man.” He was arrested on Wednesday. You might say the pickup artist was “picked up” by the FBI. *groan* (Jake Offenhartz for Gothamist)

U.S. Army soldier Cole James Bridges was arrested Tuesday for trying to assist ISIS by plotting to kill fellow soldiers in the Middle East and providing advice on potential terrorist targets in New York, including the 9/11 Memorial, according to the Department of Justice. (Matt Katz for Gothamist)

Brendan Hunt, who also went by the handle “X-Ray Ultra,” was arrested by the FBI in Queens for allegedly threatening to murder or incite others to murder members of Congress, specifically AOC and Chuck Schumer. He was suspended without pay by the New York State Office of Court Administration where he works full-time. (Jonathan Dienst, Marc Santia and Joe Valiquette for NBC New York)

Five picks from Time Out on what to stream if you’re missing New York City. I would have put the 1990 Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles on the list, but that’s just my pick. (Christina Izzo for Time Out)

A first look at the Brooklyn Dumpling Shop’s Automat. (Tanay Warerkar for Eater)

Quickly, take a look at the Bernie meme in various NYC locations before it stops being amusing. (Shaye Weaver for Time Out)

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!