The Briefly for February 21-22, 2021 – The “Take the Tone Down” Sunday Edition

The latest NYC news digest: The NYPD loses another lawsuit over misconduct records, the Empire Station Complex plans, Brooklyn gets crabs, and more

Today – Low: 30˚ High: 34˚
Clear throughout the day.

• After a group of trans leaders called on Heritage of Pride (HOP) to hand over control of New York City’s Pride festivities to Black and Brown transgender individuals, a planned meeting between the two sides was cancelled — and a bitter controversy flared up. (Tat Bellamy-Walker for Gay City News)

Joe’s Pizza, Scarr’s Pizza and Uncle Mike’s Hometown Pizza are NYC’s favorite pizza places, according to Google Maps searches in 2020. (Anna Ben Yehuda for Time Out)

Indoor dining will increase in capacity on Friday, February 26 from 25% to 35%. (Hannah Albertine for The Infatuation)

• Now that he’s in deep shit with state and federal investigations into how his administration hid nursing home death numbers, the state’s legislature is about to strip him of his emergency powers, and public sentiment is turning against him, Governor Cuomo wants to “take the tone down.” (Christopher Robbins and Gwynne Hogan for Gothamist)

92% of NYC restaurants were either unable to pay some or all of their rent in December. 46% were able to pay some, 45% couldn’t pay any. (Matt Troutman for Patch)

Farewell Jing Fong, Chinatown’s legendary Chinatown dim sum banquet hall, open since 1972. (Jen Chung for Gothamist)

“Ghost kitchens have been meticulously engineered to be infinitely adaptable and fantastically efficient. The Wall Street Journal loves them. But what they really are is a trend that manages, triumphantly, to strip away all joy from the act of eating. They are devoid of every feature that makes restaurants great, and they are not, despite what the many, many headlines say, the true future of the restaurant industry.”
-Rachel Sugar, Ghost Kitchens Will Always Be Dumb, for Grub Street

• Pete Wells goes a bit behind-the-scenes on what it’s been like being a restaurant critic during a pandemic that has shattered all of our norms about eating outside (and sometimes inside) the home. It’s hard to remain anonymous when your name is on your delivery order. (Pete Wells for NY Times)

• Podcast: They’re more than just the front door to the Teenage Mutant Nina Turtles’ home. Looking at the history of manhole covers. (Michelle Young for Untapped New York)

• Apartment Porn: Actress Sela Ward’s $5.8 million Soho loft, with 14-foot ceilings, exposed brick walls, a deep soacking tub, whatever a smart toilet is, a 300-bottle wine fridge, and more. (Dana Schulz for 6sqft)

• A majority of Democratic candidates running for Manhattan District Attorney are promising to end the agency’s use of software from Palantir, whose invasive surveillance software has been seen as unreliable and rife with racial justice and privacy issues. (George Joseph for Gothamist)

• Manhattan DA Cy Vance added Mark F. Pomerantz to the Donald Trump criminal investigation team. Pomerantz has a history of investigating and defending white-collar and organized crime cases. (William K. Rashbaum, Ben Protess and Jonah E. Bromwich for NY Times)

The NYPD’s secret misconduct records must be made public after a judge ruled against the Police Benevolent Association and other unions. This is the 50-a shielding law that’s been the focus of conversation for some time. The records have not been made public yet as Mayor de Blasio waits for clearance from the court about when the records can be released. (Greg B. Smith for The City)

A video shows an NYPD officer repeatedly punching a man as he’s held down on the ground at the South Ferry subway station during an arrest for allegedly smoking a cigarette on the platform on Tuesday. Is this what 500 more cops will look like in the subways? (David Cruz for Gothamist)

• How the NYPD’s Strategic Response Group, an anti-terror squad, became the city’s tool for cracking down on protests. (Jake Offenhartz for Gothamist)

• One day after signaling his plan not to enforce basic education standards within the community’s yeshivas Andrew Yang is the frontrunner for the ultra-Orthodox vote. Yang credits a month-long course on the Bible he took at a Westchester prep school as his reason for his stance. (Jake Offenhartz for Gothamist)

A focus on the City Council showdown in Coney Island. (Rose Adams for Kinds County Politics)

• Corey Johnson got out of the mayor’s race, but now he’s thinking about running for comptroller. (Jeffery C. Mays and Emma G. Fitzsimmons for NY Times)

• Podcast: Quanda Francis on her campaign for mayor. (Ben Max for Gotham Gazette)

• Maya Wiley, the former MSNBC analyst and legal counsel to Mayor Bill de Blasio running for mayor, has the endorsement of Local 1199 of the Service Employees International Union, The National Health Care Workers’ Union, which also endorsed Mayor de Blasio before he was elected. (Emma G. Fitzsimmons for NY Times)

• Congratulations Brooklyn, you have the lowest vaccination rates in the city. (Jake Samieske for Brooklyn Magazine)

Meet artist Devon Rodriguez, whose drawings of strangers on the subway is providing sparks of joy on his Instagram and TikTok accounts. (Will Gleason for Time Out)

KAWS: WHAT PARTY is coming to the Brooklyn Museum from February 26 – September 5. (Brooklyn Street Art)

RIP Arturo Di Modica, the sculptor of the Charging Bull statue. (NY1)

• Remember the Tribeca “bean” by Anish Kapoor, the creator of the Chicago bean, on Leonard St? It’s only partially built, half shiny bean, half plywood construction site. (Michael Young for New York YIMBY)

11 Black-owned wine shops across the city. (Hannah Albertine and Nikko Duren for The Infatuation)

A Park Slope Food Co-Op member started a GoFundMe to raise $10,000 to sue the organization, alleging racial discrimination. (Erika Adams for Eater)

• Move over lobster, here come the crab boils. (Ellie Plass for Bklyner)

The city will not test rising kindergarteners for admission to gifted programs, the education department announced Wednesday. Instead, students will be evaluated by their pre-K teacher or sign up for an interview. (Christina Veiga for Chalkbeat)

Black Seed Bagels is getting into pizza, but disappointingly there are no pizza bagels on the menu. (Shaye Weaver for Time Out)

The top 10 places to find the best pastrami in NYC. (Robert Sietsema for Eater)

The state’s plan for the 20-million-square-foot Empire Station Complex surrounding Penn Station was adopted by the board of directors of Empire State Development. The plan calls for five buildings over 1,000 feet tall, up to 1,300 feet. For reference, the Empire State building’s roof is 1,250 feet tall. The project is expected to be completed by 2038. (Vanessa Londono for New York YIMBY)

Five snacks to try across the city. (Hannah Albertine for The Infatuation)

The Briefly for December 20-21, 2020 – The “Not A Few Bad Apples” Sunday Edition

The latest NYC news digest: You can pee indoors again, you can buy the Gem Spa sign, the best meals of the year, the worst time to travel, and more

Today – Low: 34˚ High: 38˚
Possible light rain in the afternoon.

You can pee in restaurants again. It was less than an hour after Tuesday’s email that the city to reversed guidance that barred outdoor diners from coming inside if they needed to tinkle or drop a deuce. (Benjamin Hart for Grub Street)

22 years after the city said it would move the NYPD tow pound from Pier 76 at 36th St, which sits on state parkland. The state’s budget imposed a $3 million monthly fine on the city that starts in January for not moving the tow pound, which are on top of an additional $12 million in fines that already exist. (Zack Fink for NY1)

Believe it or not, the city’s Department of Investigation found that the problems in the NYPD that caused escalations of violence after the death of George Floyd by its officers was systemic and not caused by a few bad apples, that there was a racial tilt to how people were charged after arrested, and “lacked a clearly defined strategy” to respond to the protests. (Greg B. Smith for The City)

The Legal Aid Society is suing the state for the release of information on the spread of COVID-19 in prisons, arguing that the Department of Corrections has failed to identify the facilities where officers have contracted the virus, making it impossible to trace how widespread the virus is within the prison system. (Gwynne Hogan for Gothamist)

Critically-acclaimed restaurant Hunky Dory in Crown Heights opened the Hunky Depot, a small holiday market in the restaurant’s dining room. There’s room for six at a time so the lines may be as long as their pre-pandemic brunch lines. (Michelle Young for Untapped New York)

The New York City Housing Authority is NYC’s worst landlord for the third year in a row, according to Public Advocate Jumaane Williams’s 100 worst landlords list. Williams lays the blame at the de Blasio administration’s feet for their management of the federal program. (David Cruz for Gothamist)

Looking for a last-minute gift for someone who absolutely loves NYC? How about the Gem Spa sign? Gem Spa is auctioning off just about anything they could rip off the walls to those who can afford it. (Ben Yakas for Gothamist)

If you’re looking for some Christmas history in Manhattan, look no further than the seemingly-innocuous flagpole with a star on it in Madison Square Park. The Star of Hope markets the spot of NYC’s first Christmas tree lighting ceremony in 1912. (Nicole Saraniero for Untapped New York)

13 places to find spectacular holiday decorations in NYC. (Nicole Saraniero for Untapped New York)

Apartment Lust: A $22 million, 7,400 square foot, seemingly endless townhouse on the Upper East Side with a roof deck, wine cellar, multiple smaller decks, and a tub big enough to look like a small pool. (Dana Schulz for 6sqft)

Documentary: “I’ve had women who fondled my dog more than they fondled me” The Dogs of Manhattan from 1998, an often accidentally comedic look at dog walking culture in NYC in the late 90s. (Fat Building/YouTube)

The story of good boy Balto, who has a statue dedicated to him in Central Park, who famously helped bring the diphtheria antitoxin to Nome, Alaska 95 years ago this week seems fitting today. Balto’s statue is just east of the Willowdell Arch. (Jen Carlson for Gothamist)

Video: Subway station secrets. (GoGoSupertoe)

A look at Brooklyn-based photographer Katia Repina’s exhibition “Intimacy in the Time of Corona” at NYU’s Gallatin Galleries. (Brian Braiker for Brooklyn Magazine)

Two bills passed by the City Council this week will increase protections for workers at fast-food companies. The first prohibits firing workers without “just cause” and the other requires that layoffs occur by seniority, protecting workers who have worked for companies longer. (Sydney Pereira for Gothamist)

Who wants to bet that the auction to destroy Donald Trump’s Atlantic City casino will raise more money than the GoFundMe to buy his childhood house? (Devin Gannon for 6qsft)

The city’s schools are making big changes to deal with the havoc caused by the pandemic, including eliminating academic screens for Middle schools, virtual performing art school auditions, widespread administration of the SHSAT, and eliminating district-based admissions preference. (Christina Veiga for Chalkbeat)

There’s been a spike in the number of reported puppy scams lately and this is a reminder that there are plenty of shelters across the city and region. Don’t be the asshole that buys a dog. (Gillian Smith for Patch)

The New York City Parks Department is looking to evict one of the city’s biggest processors of food waste at the end of the year. (Julie Levy for Bedford + Bowery)

The story of how the Blue Light Speak Cheesy went from operating out of an apartment window with paper bags and a pulley system to a full-on operation. (Amy Rowe for Grub Street)

Pernil at La Isla Cuchifritos, Gumbo at FieldTrip, and the rest of Ryan Sutton’s favorite dishes of 2020. (Ryan Sutton for Eater)

Roberta’s Burgie’s, “burger and fries concept” in East Williamsburg from the folks behind the pizza at Roberta’s is open for take out and delivery only. (Rachel Sugar for Grub Street)

Hats off to Ben Weiss, who took a ride on a double-decker tour bus this week. (Ben Weiss for Bedford + Bowery)

If you feel like you absolutely must travel this week, and you should absolutely without question not be doing that, the worst time to be on the road is 4:30 p.m. on Dec. 30. (Adam Nichols for Patch)

31 brunch spots with outdoor heat lamps. (Matt Tervooren for The Infatuation)

Thanks to reader Madeline for today’s featured photo!

The Briefly for September 4 – 5, 2020 – The “A Real Turd of an Idea From Cuomo” Friday Edition

The latest NYC news digest: The latest on indoor dining, mall and gym reopenings, indoor and outdoor schooling, the rolled-up cheese sandwich, 13 to-go negronis, and more

Today – Low: 67˚ High: 85˚
Clear throughout the day.
This weekend – Low: 66˚ High: 81˚

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

62% of New Yorkers believe the worst is yet to come when it comes to Covid-19, according to a Siena College Research Institute poll. 82% believe the state will face another large outbreak in the fall. Who says New Yorkers aren’t optimistic? Apparently New Yorkers. (Matt Troutman for Patch)

The bonkers story of Gennaro Brooks-Church and Loretta Gendville, the eco-yogi slumlords of Brooklyn. (Bridget Read for The Cut)

A rolled-up cheese sandwich, a cup o noodles, Pop-Tarts, and the other Bushwick-esque foods being offered by bars in, yes, Bushwick. (Jackson Schroeder for Bushwick Daily)

A year ago, the city’s jobless rate was at 4.3%. This year unemployment is sitting at 20%. (Matt Troutman for Patch)

The first statue of historical women in Central Park was unveiled, Women’s Rights Pioneers Monument, featuring Sojourner Truth, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, and Susan B. Anthony. (Noah Sheidlower for Untapped New York)

A Ford Taurus drove into a group of protesters on Thursday night in Times Square, injuring multiple people protesting the killing of Daniel Prude. The NYPD declined to say if the driver had been arrested. (Jake Offenhartz and Gwynne Hogan for Gothamist)

The New York City public school system’s reopening will be delayed, with “instructional transition and orientation” starting remotely on September 16th and in-person learning pushed back to September 21st. (Sophia Chang, Jen Chung, and Jessica Gould for Gothamist)

“We’re trying to move heaven and earth to try to get buses in place by the first day of school.” How is it possible that the city has had the entire summer to get ready for schools to open and it’s not a given that the city’s children will have buses to bring them to school. According to the executive director of pupil transportation, “it’s really a day-to-day scenario.” (Alex Zimmerman for Chalkbeat)

The City Council met to hear concerns about Mayor de Blasio’s school opening plans. 140 people spoke, not one of them was a Department of Education official. According to one of de Blasio’s advisors, we’ll see”a resurgence.” Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer said she allocated $12 million for ventilation system upgrades in schools and the money hasn’t been spent, despite the city claiming poverty. School starts on September 21 and in-person classes start one week later. (David Cruz for Gothamist)

Success Academy, the city’s largest charter school system, is going completely remote for the remainder of 2020a first look at what Covid-19 outdoor classes will look like. (Caroline Lewis for Gothamist)

Several city school teachers are filing for injunctive relief against the city and Chancellor Richard Carranza, asking a judge to block in-person learning at the city’s public schools. (David Cruz for Gothamist)

“Since coronavirus is less likely to spread outdoors, letting all New York City schools hold class in public parks and on cordoned-off city streets, on its face, seems like a positive development. But I didn’t need to read the fine print to know that our immigrant, Black, and brown communities — the ones that have been hit hardest by the COVID-19 crisis — would get the short end of the stick. I didn’t need to know who organized and petitioned for outdoor learning to know that the “nice white parents,” a perennial force for maintaining inequities in one of the nation’s most segregated school systems, would get their way. Again.”
-Lynn Shoh, a public school teacher, I advocate for outdoor learning. But NYC’s plan for it will further privilege ‘nice white parents’ for Chalkbeat

Diddy and educational speaker Dr. Steve Perry announced on Thursday that they are opening their latest charter school, Capital Prep Bronx, which aims to provide “historically disadvantaged” students with a standout curriculum, in order to prepare them with “college and career readiness skills.” (J’na Jefferson for The Root)

J’Ouvert festivities are canceled, but that isn’t stopping the NYPD from stepping up their presence this weekend in Brooklyn. (Ben Verde for Brooklyn Paper)

A look at the history of the NYPD’s computerized system CompStat and why NYPD captains want to stop its usage. (Alexander Jusdanis for Bedford + Bowery)

The NYPD’s Police Benevolent Association endorsed Donald Trump president, which was a surprise to the Guardians Association, a fraternal order of Black police officers, who called the endorsement a “lack of respect” and takes police to “a dark place.” Let’s be honest here, the NYPD endorsing Trump is as surprising as your very obviously racist uncle from Alabama telling you about his collection of knives from WWII that just so happen to be from Germany. (Jake Offenhartz for Gothamist)

Bronx Country District Attorney Darcel Clark announced that she would move to dismiss more than 300 of the curfew summonses issued during protests in Mott Haven on June 4. (Christopher Robbins for Gothamist)

In the wake of the death of Layleen Polanco, the mayor said the NYPD should not be arresting people for sex work. The mayor has no authority over what the NYPD does and does not do and it’s up to district attorneys to decide to press charges against people who have been arrested. (Rosa Goldensohn for The City)

There are 200 people in city jails due to technical parole violations, lower than last year’s 726, but mostly due to Governor Cuomo’s push to reduce jail populations du to Covid-19 fears. Criminal justice advocates are pushing for the number to be zero. (Reuven Blau for The City)

Does the mayor have any authority in this city? Mayor de Blasio asked community boards to voluntarily lay off some of their pad staff to help contribute to the city’s $9 billion budget shortfall. The answer from some boards was “no.” (Kevin Duggan for Brownstoner)

Add the Barclays Center to MSG as a polling site this November, making both the largest polling site in their respective boroughs. (David Gannon for 6sqft)

Noticing a whole lot more “no-fee” apartments throughout the city? Pandemic, pandemic, pandemic. Normally in August, there might be 50% of all apartments in Brooklyn and Manhattan. This year the number is closer to 75 or 85%. (Michael Kolomatsky for NY Times)

RIP Tom Seaver, the Mets’ greatest player. (Kevin Walsh for Forgotten New York)

Have you received a random copy of The Epoch Times, which is also known as “garbage?” You’re not alone. The pro-Trump newspaper was suddenly delivered to people in multiple Brooklyn neighborhoods surrounding Bed Stuy. (Jessy Edwards for The Brooklyn Reader)

A look at U Thant Island, Manhattan’s smallest island that’s also off-limits to the public. Wanna go visit? U Thant! I’ll be here all weekend. (Devin Gannon for 6sqft)

I’ll admit this has been a lot of bad news, but here’s a palate cleanser for you. 25 quotes about New York that fill us with immeasurable pride. (Will Gleason for Time Out)

Photos: Rockefeller Center’s new major sculpture installation. (Shaye Weaver for Time Out)

The Governor is allowing malls will be reopening in the city on September 9. Food courts and other eateries will remain closed and no mallrats. (Matt Troutman for Patch)

Myths and secrets of the Grand Central Clock. (Michelle Young for Untapped New York)

The city is lowering the speed limit on nine roads to 25 miles an hour, the standard speed limit on city roads. This includes parts of Riverside Drive, Flatbush Ave, Northern Blvd, Bruckner Blvd, Short Parkway Service Rd, Dahlgren Pl, Webster Ave, and Targee St. (Christina Goldbaum for NY Times)

Apartment Porn: Four outdoor spaces, a wine cellar, and a ludicrously large shower can be found in shis $6 million Park Slope brownstone.

Another portion of the Highline, The Spur, is reopening to the public this weekend (Robert Pozarycki for amNewYork Metro)

Congrats to Alaska and Montana for making the NY Covid-19 quarantine list. (Matt Troutman for Patch)

A makeshift Breonna Taylor memorial has popped up outside St. Mark’s Church-in-the-Bowery. (EV Grieve)

Here’s what to expect inside the city’s newly reopened gyms. (Daniel E. Slotnik for NY Times)

Over 60% of restaurants and bars in the state are “likely” or “somewhat likely” to permanently close by next year, according to a New York State Restaurant Association survey of 1,042 responses. (Luke Fortney for Eater)

Over 300 restaurants are suing the city for $2 billion for the city’s ongoing indoor dining plan. (Luke Fortney for Eater)

What’s the latest on indoor dining from the mayor? In his ever-changing public comments about it, he’s now pivoted to saying that there will be an answer by the end fo the month. (Matt Troutman for Patch)

Governor Cuomo has a real turd of an idea. According to the governor, indoor dining could resume in NYC if the NYPD enforces compliance of regulations. Maybe he doesn’t remember why the NYPD was pulled from enforcing social distancing in the first place? It looks like an NYPD officer not wearing a mask properly with his knee on the neck of a person of color on the sidewalk. (Devin Gannon for 6sqft)

Eater is keeping a running list of restaurants that have permanently closed. (Eater)

Opposite of that list, here’s a list of new restaurants that opened in NYC. (Eater)

The 21 most in-demand NYC outdoor dining reservations. (Bao Ong for Time Out)

13 to-go Negronis you can grab today. (Hannah Albertine & Nikko Duren for The Infatuation)