The Briefly for February 19-20, 2021 – The “Cuomo Versus the World” Friday Edition

The latest NYC news digest: Pearl River Mart has a new home, where to go sledding, the greatest fictional NYC mayor, Amazon gets sued, Block-owned coffee shops, and more

Today – Low: 25˚ High: 34˚
Snow (1–2 in.) in the morning and afternoon.
This weekend – Low: 22˚ High: 34˚

• Ask An Epidemiologist: Should you wear two masks? Dr. David Chokshi, the city’s health commissioner and guy in all those commercials on Hulu, says two are better than one. (Caroline Lewis for Gothamist)

Farewell to Park Slope’s Mission Delores, a fantastic bar. (Jason Diamond for Grub Street)

17 spots to go sledding in New York City. (Devin Gannon for 6sqft)

A timeline of Governor Cuomo’s nursing home controversy. (Nick Reisman for NY1)

• Not everyone is fighting Governor Cuomo. Cuomo took $145 million from the MTA’s budget and they aren’t challenging it. Of the $145 million, $107 million is being taken from an operating fund that is supposed to be dedicated to fund mass transit. Cuomo has not stated the reason for removing the money from the MTA’s budget. (Dave Colon for Streetsblog)

• The Department of Justice and FBI are investigating Governor Cuomo’s administration over the nursing home issue. (Jen Chung for Gothamist)

• Assemblyman Ron Kim has been criticizing Governor Cuomo for months about how Cuomo handled the state’s nursing homes. When Kim said Cuomo was “trying to dodge any incriminating evidence,” it resulted in the governor calling up Kim to let him know Cuomo would “destroy” him. (Luis Ferré-Sadurní and Jesse McKinley for NY Times)

• Answering the question of who is Ron Kim? (Christine Chung for The City)

Pearl River Mart has found itself a new home at 452 Broadway, near Canal St. (Bowery Boogie)

• Gothamist held a vote for the greatest fictional mayor of New York City, using ranked choice voting, and the results are in! Mayor Lenny from Ghostbusters is the city’s greatest fictional mayor, who also has one of my favorite quotes in history about NYC: “Being miserable and treating other people like dirt is every New Yorker’s God-given right.” (Jake Dobkin and Jen Carlson for Gothamist)

• Photos: 16 stunning photos of NYC landmarks blanketed in snow. (Shaye Weaver for Time Out)

• Where does Greenwich Village end? What are the boundaries of Bed-Stuy? How far So of Ho does SoHo extend? The fight over perceived neighborhood borders is heating up again. (Anna Ben Yehuda for Time Out)

• Interview: Did you watch us land on Mars on Thursday? Meet Vishnu Sridhar, a Queens boy who is the lead systems engineer for the SuperCam on the Mars 2020 rover. (Sydney Pereira for Gothamist)

A look into keeping pigeons, a dwindling hobby in NYC. (Allie Conti for NY Times)

Coney Island will be able to reopen on April 9 at a 33% capacity, but if you want to get in, you must buy tickets in advance and wear face coverings, and the parks must conduct temperature checks and clean the rides frequently. (Rose Adams for Brooklyn Paper)

The city has new guidance for indoor dining, which includes limiting parties to 4 or fewer, wearing a mask whenever you are not actively eating or drinking, and more. (Tanay Warerkar for Eater)

“I’ve had to cancel counseling sessions to stand by metal detectors that children are required to go through, to monitor the hallways, or to “watch” a group of suspended students. I could fill pages with all the jobs I’ve done that have nothing to do with social work. The rationalization is that any type of human interaction automatically translates into “social work.” That’s because most people have no idea what a social worker does.”
– Vanessa Vélez, Nobody knows what a social worker does. That is hurting our students., for Chalkbeat

• Maps: How Covid-19 impacted internet speeds across the city. (Jameson Zimmer for Untapped New York)

Mount Sinai Health System has been canceling thousands of first dose vaccine appointments in the last few days due to low supply. (Caroline Lewis and Sydney Pereira for Gothamist)

• Sections of Queens, Hunts Point in the Bronx, and East New York and Brownsville in Brooklyn had among the lowest percent of residents who have received at least one dose of a Cocid-19 vaccine. (Sydney Pereira and Jake Dobkin for Gothamist)

• Maps: Vaccine data by zip code. (Davin Gannon for 6sqft)

• The case against Amy Cooper, the woman who falsely called the police on a Black man in Central Park for “threatening” her, was dropped on Tuesday after she completed a therapeutic program that included instruction about racial biases. (Jonah E. Bromwich for NY Times)

How New York City’s delivery workers survive snowstorms. (Jasmine Fernandez for NY City Lens)

• Amazon tried to block it with a lawsuit of their own, but Attorney General Letitia James is suing Amazon over the company’s failure to provide safety measures for its NYC workers during the pandemic. (Sophia Chang for Gothamist)

• Barstool Sports is 100% garbage and founder Dave Portnoy is a piece of human shit. I hold these opinions for reasons outside of Portnoy calling New Haven the pizza capital of the world. The Coney Island Blog makes the (correct) argument that the best pizza int he world is made in Brooklyn. (The Coney Island Blog)

• Check out BKFoxx’s new mural for the Year of the Ox in Chinatown at Dr. Sun Yat Middle School on Eldridge and Hester. (Anna Ben Yehuda for Time Out)

• The State Liquor Authority has begun to crack down on obvious violations of the rules of outdoor dining, suspending the liquor licenses of nine restaurants and bars. Most suspensions appear to be as a result of fully enclosed outdoor dining structures. (Tanay Warerkar for Eater)

• Real Estate Lust: A $2.3 million Brownstone in Brooklyn Heights with two outdoor spaces and three fireplaces. (Devin Gannon for 6sqft)

Governor Cuomo has gone back to the drawing board on his marijuana legalization bill after being widely criticized for his last attempt over not doing enough to address communities hit hardest by the war on drugs and still criminalized offenses in ways that would disproportionally impact people of color. (Caroline Lewis for Gothamist)

Where to find a work from home snack break in the East Village. (Hannah Albertine for The Infatuation)

• New York region’s subway system is the worst for air pollution in the Northeast. We’re #1! We’re #1! We’re #1! Suck it, Boston and DC, you can’t keep up with our air pollution in the subways. Maybe after reading this I’ll keep wearing a mask on the subway forever. (Shaye Weaver for Time Out)

Overanalyzing Andrew Yang’s Instagram meals because sometimes we need a break from criticizing the stream of dumb things this guy keeps saying in public. (Hannah Albertine for The Infatuation)

28 Black-owned coffee shops in NYC. (Hannah Albertine and Nikko Duren for The Infatuation)

The Briefly for February 2-4, 2021 – The “Who Needs Health Experts?” Tuesday Edition

The latest NYC news digest: Mayoral candidates debate, the 16 year wait for a park, Sunnyside’s “Limpdick Landlord,” Yankee Stadium becomes a vaccination site, and more

Today – Low: 27˚ High: 33˚
Snow (1–2 in.) until evening.

PlowNYC is an interactive map to find out when the last time your street was plowed. (cityofnewyork.us)

The special election for Queens Council District 24 is still happening today, despite the storm. Early voting has been open since January 23. Four of the eight candidates have requested a delay, but the mayor’s office said the election will push forward. (Christine Chung for The City)

Find your City Council district using your address with this map.

How does ranked choice voting work in NYC? (Rachel Holliday Smith for The City)

Yankee Stadium will become a mass vaccination site for Bronx residents only. Ten zip codes near the stadium are at a 10.32% positivity rate. (Ed García Conde for Welcome2TheBronx)

Interview: Gothamist asked Dr. Adam Berman, a toxicologist and chairman of emergency medicine at Northwell Health’s Long Island Jewish Hospital, should you avoid pain relievers before or after taking the Covid-19 vaccine? The simple answer is that if you can avoid doing them, avoid them, but there’s not enough evidence against it. (Fred Mogul for Gothamist)

“As the vaccine effort ramps up, Cuomo and the MTA have a very easy way to gracefully usher in the return of passengers to the subways on a 24/7 by tying it to access to vaccination hubs.”
-Benjamin Kabak, How the vaccine creates a politically expedient way to end the overnight subway closures, for Second Ave. Sagas

Governor Cuomo said in a press conference that he doesn’t really trust health experts. Maybe that’s why nine of his top health officials quit their jobs in the last year. This guy literally released a book about leadership lessons. (J. David Goodman, Joseph Goldstein, and Jesse McKinley for NY Times)

Restaurant workers, deemed to be “essential” by Governor Cuomo, are not essential enough to be eligible for the coronavirus vaccine as indoor dining resumes on February 14. Governor Cuomo was forced to defend his decision, saying it was based on “data and expert advice.” Which experts? (Tanay Warerkar for Eater)

Mayor de Blasio announced the Mayor’s Action Plan for Neighborhood Safety (MAP) in 2014 to reduce crime in 15 high-crime housing developments. In those 15 developments, the number of major crimes in those developments was up in 2020. (Greg B. Smith for The City)

Death by Speculation, Starring Limpdick Landlord.” The sign of the year goes to the shuttered Center Cinemas in Sunnyside. (Christian Murray for Sunnyside Post)

New York spent $18.2 billion in 2019 on police, jails, prisons, prosecutors, parole, and probation while only spending about $6.2 billion on mental health services, public health, youth programs and services, recreation, and elder services according to a new report from the Center for Community Alternatives. (Samar Khurshid for Gotham Gazette)

The mayoral candidates had their first debate. Focus seemed to be on the Yang campaign’s use of NDAs for campaign staffers, Eric Adams’ comments that some New Yorkers should “go back to Iowa,” and Raymond McGuire’s work with CitiBank after the financial collapse. (Dana Rubinstein for NY Times)

One topic that’s bubbling up again amongst the candidates is city control over the subways, which is sound like a conceptually good idea until the city has to take on the subway’s debt. (Stephen Nessen for Gothamist)

Interview: Zach Iscol discusses his mayoral campaign. (Ben Max for Gotham Gazette)

Another week, another story about NYC Sheriffs breaking up a party in an illegal club, this time in Jackson Heights. This pandemic is never going to end with jackasses like this. (Allie Griffin for Jackson Heights Post)

The city promised to build a new 3-acre park in Greenpoint in 2005 in exchange for allowing new luxury condos to be built in the neighborhood. Sixteen years later Greenpoint is still waiting for its park. (Kevin Duggan for Brooklyn Paper)

The Barclays Center is looking to diversify its vendors, looking for Brooklyn-based suppliers that are a minimum 51% owned, operated, and managed by minorities, women, disabled, and/or military veterans. (Jake Samieske for Brooklyn Magazine)

Super Bowl spreads from NYC restaurants. (Dana Schulz for 6sqft)

Fifteen favorite tofu dishes in city restaurants. (Robert Sietsema for Eater)

Thanks to reader Jenn for today’s featured photo!

The Briefly for January 26-28, 2020 – The “Getting Away with Attempted Murder” Tuesday Edition

The latest NYC news digest: NYC gets more vaccines (but not enough), how to defund the police, new hot dog restaurants, a primer on the city’s biryanis, and more

Today – Low: 34˚ High: 37˚
Rain starting in the afternoon.

What do the new Covid-19 variants mean for daily life from an epidemiologist from Columbia University. (Jen Carlson for Gothamist)

The city will receive more Covid-19 vaccine doses this week, but only 108,000 doses. The vaccination mega sites at Citi Field, Yankee Stadium, and Empire Outlets will remain closed. (Matt Troutman for Patch)

What you need to know about the Public Advocate race for 2021. (Rachel Holliday Smith for The City)

Daniel Presti, the co-owner of Macs Public House that hit a sheriff’s deputy with his car, avoided felony charges with a grand jury charging him with two misdemeanors instead. (John Del Signore for Gothamist)

It’s like real life imitating ranked-choice voting. State Senator Gustavo Rivera gave Scott Stringer his endorsement as a first pick for mayor and endorsing Dianne Morales as a second choice. (Sydney Pereira for Gothamist)

The Times lays out how much time each mayoral candidate spent outside of NYC, Andrew Yang wants to build a casino on Governor’s Island, NYPD Commissioner Shea does not have most candidates’ support, and highlights from the mayor’s race. (Emma G. Fitzsimmons, Jeffery C. Mays, Dana Rubinstein and Katie Glueck for NY Times)

We are so used to treating the police and policing as the solutions that they most clearly are not. Even conversations with progressives and leftists, it’s hard to shake the language and framework around incarceration. But I know we can do it if we are intentional and clear about how we want to do this work.
– Brandon West, City Council candidate, We Can Defund The Police—Here’s How for The Indypendent

Pickle Alley is, despite your dirty jokes, is the historic home of NYC’s pickle scene in the Lower East Side. (Nicole Saraniero for Untapped New York)

North Brooklyn’s guerrilla-style, free store, pop-ups. Where to find them, who’s running them, and how to help them. (Erin Conlon for Greenpointers)

Marcia Sells has been hired as the first chief diversity officer of the Metropolitan Opera to rethink equity and inclusion at the largest performing arts institution in the country. (Joshua Barone for NY Times)

The Metropolitan Museum of Art launched The Met Unframed, an interactive virtual art exhibit featuring augmented reality versions of some of the museum’s most iconic masterpieces. (Anna Ben Yehuda for Time Out)

A primer to New York City’s biryanis. (Robert Sietsema for Eater)

Real Estate Lust: A cozy $1.75 million Brooklyn Heights duplex with three fireplaces, exposed brick and ceiling beams, a private terrace, and a quick walk to Brooklyn Bridge Park. (Dana Schulz for 6sqft)

The Council has led the way calling for re-authorizing the $25 million in emergency food pantry funding distributed last May. Mayor de Blasio must act again. Millions of New Yorkers still need this support.
-City Council Speaker Corey Johnson, Met Council CEO David Greenfield and United Way of New York City President & CEO Sheena Wright, Mayor de Blasio Must Reauthorize Emergency Funding for Hungry New Yorkers for amNewYork Metro

The high cost of closing a restaurant. (Kevin Rouse for Gothamist)

Photos: The original 1910 abandoned Penn Station power plant, the largest remnant form the original station. (Nicole Saraniero for Untapped New York)

Senator Chuck Schumer is feeling confident about the future of the Hudson River tunnel Gateway Project and congestion pricing in Manhattan under the Biden administration. (Stephen Nessen for Gothamist)

The NYC Sheriff’s Office broke up a 75-person party inside a cramped basement in Woodside, Queens late Saturday night. Sixty-three partygoers face a rare $1,000 fine each for health code violations at the location. The party’s organizer was hit with second-degree obstruction, disorderly conduct, resisting arrest, and organizing a nonessential mass gathering charges on top of pending alcohol beverage charges that are pending. Idiot. (David Cruz for Gothamist)

Average rents in Long Island City are down, from $4,397 for a two-bedroom apartment to $3,660. Even with the declines, Long Island City is the most expensive neighborhood in Queens. (Allie Griffin for Queens Post)

There are two new hot dog restaurants in Manhattan amid a decade-long decline in hot dog popularity. (Robert Sietsema for Eater)

Architecture: “Inspired by biology,” “snake-like,” and a “ghostly stance.” Take a look at a proposed idea for the weirdest-shaped building in New York City. (Shaye Weaver for Time Out)

I’ll never not celebrate the opening of a new pizza place. Austin Street Pizza is now open in Forest Hills. (Drake for Edge of the City)

New York will ask the federal government to waive state tests for a second consecutive year due to the coronavirus pandemic. (Reema Amin for Chalkbeat)

The MTA unveiled a memorial dedicated to the 136 employees who have died from the coronavirus since March. It can be seen on three-panel digital screens across 107 subway stations. (Devin Gannon for 6sqft)

There are millions of on-street parking spaces for cars in the city. Compare that to only 56,000 spots for bicycles for the 1.6 million riders, embarrassingly low compared to other cities. (Winnie Hu for NY Times)

The hottest heat lamps in NYC and where to find them. (Hannah Albertine for The Infatuation)

Thanks to reader Francesca for today’s featured photo!