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