The Briefly for December 30, 2019 – The "Are FaceTime Calls on the Subway A Form of Terrorism?" Edition
Today - Low: 40˚ High: 44˚
Rain until evening.
Sometimes it all goes according to plan and sometimes you're the guy who stole a cherry picker, spray painted "BIRD GOD" on the arch in Grand Army Plaza, got stuck and had to be rescued and arrested by the NYPD. (Gabe Herman for amNewYork) Does any construction project in New York ever complete? The Hudson Yards were supposed to be completed by 2024, but now the developer isn't giving a timetable for when they'll be done. (The Real Deal) This isn't a new concept, Atlantic Yards was supposed to be a ten year project, but now it'll scheduled to for at least 25 years. It's becoming more and more common that the first phase of these massive, neighborhood-disrupting construction projects is completed with much fanfare and the rest of the projects, which usually include schools for the neighborhood, quietly linger forever. (Pamela Wong for Bklyner) Are you one of the monsters who has FaceTime video calls while on the subway? Well good news for you, the MTA will add phone and wifi access to the L train tunnels below the East River. (Robert Pozarycki for amNewYork) The Times Square ball drop by the numbers. (Diane Pham for 6sqft) Photos: Take a look at the Times Square NYE ball, since you're not crazy enough to go see it drop in person. (Scott Lynch for Gothamist) How to spend New Year’s Eve 2020 in NYC without going near Times Square. (Michelle Cohen for 6sqft) "We are not adequately preparing to launch a successful congestion pricing program by January 2021" writes Corey Johnson. Congestion pricing is supposed to drive, no pun intended, people to use public transit rather than their cars when traveling into Manhattan. The MTA, trying to find the silver lining to the recent downturn in ridership, says that the downturn actually created capacity for those who will switch back from cars to public transit. (Vincent Barone for amNewYork) The Annex Antiques Fair and Flea Market in Chelsea, NYC's largest flea market and counted Andy Warhol among those who frequented it, has lost its lease. After 45 years, finding a new home for the flea market is nearly impossible, as any raw space in the area has been swallowed up by developers. (Katie Van Syckle for NY Times) The East Village's Zum Schneider is closing in February after their landlord was "not interested" in renewing their lease. (Sydney Pereira for Gothamist) New Yorkers with the flu exploded from 1,130 reported cases to 3,010 reported cases over the two weeks ending on December 21. The flu season doesn't end until May, so there's still plenty of time to get your shot. (Adam Nichols for Patch) At the opening of Stonewall House, the city’s first LGBTQ-friendly affordable senior housing development, Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams invoked slavery and predicted that the residence could lead to trouble in the neighborhood. His comments were confusing, questionable in nature, and invoked an us-vs-them mentality that flies in the face of the purpose of Stonewall House. Adams didn't return calls about this speech, but maybe he will when he's trying to be the city's mayor in 2021. (Matt Tracy and Paul Schindler for Gay City News) In the wake of Tessa Majors's murder in Morningside Park, an undisclosed white supremecist group is targeting Barnard College and Columbia University staff with racist robocalls. The NYPD's Racial and Ethnically Motivated Extremism group is looking into the calls. (Julia Reinstein for BuzzFeed News) The mayor will ramp up police presences in Williamsburg, Crown Heights and Borough Park as well as implementing a new school curriculum focusing on the danger of hate crimes after a Hanukkah rife with anti-Semitic attacks. The new Office for the Prevention of Hate Crimes will be overseeing the efforts. (Sanjana Karanth for HuffPost) When Justin Theroux opened Ray's Bar, there was a lot of questioning whether it was even possible to open a brand new bar and call it a dive bar. Enter Dolly's Swing & Dive, meant to evoke Dolly Parton. The owners push the concept of a dive bar by claiming they're taking the things they like about a dive bar and "made it a little more grown up." Can a dive bar have a crab-and-shrimp roll you'd be willing to eat? (Bao Ong for Time Out) The Nevins Street raccoon, named Chepe by the MTA, continues to evade capture by the NYPD. I bet they'd catch it in a heartbeat if it jumped a turnstile. (Jen Chung for Gothamist) Video: What makes Scarr's Pizza's one of the city's best and healthiest? House-milled flour. (Murilo Ferreira for Eater) Video: Selfish lady holds up traffic for 2 blocks because she won't move her double parked car, with over a million views on YouTube. Welcome to Forest Hills. (ActionKid) 12 new restaurants worth checking out while the rest of New York is still on vacation.(Nikita Richardson for Grub Street)