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The Briefly for February 21, 2020 – The Weekend "Real Villain was New York City the Whole Time" Edition
Today - Low: 29˚ High: 35˚
Clear throughout the day.
This weekend - Low: 32˚ High: 52˚
How good is your math? Lucky Deli in the Bronx is giving away one item to anyone who can answer math questions. There's a GoFundMe for people who want to see this continue on. (Anna Ben Yehuda for Time Out) Who was the villain in the taxicab medallion crisis? NYC. New York City is to blame for the crushing debt that thousands of cab drivers face in order to pay for their medallions. The state's attorney general's office is suing the city for $810 million for fraud, unlawful profit, and other violations of state law. The $810 million would go to the taxi drivers. (Winnie Hu for NY Times) Photos: Restoration is on way at the New York State Pavilion at Flushing Meadows–Corona Park. (Michelle Young for Untapped New York) Governor Cuomo isn't confident the federal government will approve the state's congestion pricing plan, which is supposed to generate $15 billion for the Metropolitan Transportation Authority’s overhaul plan. The Trump administration is already looking for every possible way to punish New York, so why not this next? (Dana Rubenstein for Politico) The new target in New York for the Trump administration is making exporting cars from New York nearly impossible. The federal government is stating that without access to the state's DMV records, they can't verify vehicle ownership. This is, of course, more bullshit from the Trump administration as it tries to find ways to punish the state for passing its Green Light Law, which gives undocumented immigrants the right to get a driver's license and also blocks federal agencies from accessing the DMV databases. (Annie Correal for NY Times) When it rains in NYC and the sewers are filled with rain water, most of the city's sewage is flushed into our waterways. More than 20 billion gallons of our bathroom waste is released into our waters annually. The city has a plan to deal with this, but their plan doesn't even deal with 3% of the total combined sewage overflow. (Nathan Kensinger for Curbed) An interview with Shoshanah Bewlay, the new executive director of New York state's Committee on Open Government on the challenges of a three person staff inside the entire state government, Andy Byford's resignation letter, her background, and more. Christopher Robbins for Gothamist) How many amenities are too many? A bowling alley, a pool, a mini golf course, a rock climbing wall, a gym, open air plazas, murals, a dog park, and the list goes on. Just some of the amenities in a Bushwick "city within a city" apartment complex. With nearly anything recreationally you can think of inside the complex, you have to wonder how much the people who live there will be contributing tot he neighborhood's economy? (Alexandra Alexa for 6sqft) Harlem photographer Shawn Walker's collection of over 100,000 photos dating back to 1963 will be made public in the Library of Congress. (Sydney Pereira for Gothamist) We are a lucky city that we are getting a second Scarr's pizza location, even if it's in at the Midtown food hall Le Whit. (Erika Adams for Eater) 21 in 21 is trying to seat at least 21 women on the city council in 2021. The organization will be endorsing 35 candidates for the 2021 election. (Ayse Kelce for Queens County Politics) If a judge of 17 years and Yale-educated attorney can't navigate the Queens Surrogate's Courts and have been in limbo for over a decade, what change do any of the rest of us have? This highlights the absurdity of electing surrogate judges, who rarely ever provide information beyond their names. (Ross Barkan for Gothamist) Apartment Porn: See Anne Hathaway's $3.5 million Upper West Side apartment. (Valeria Ricciulli for Curbed) The Department of Transportation announced on Wednesday the Queens Blvd bike land would be completed this summer. The mayor, in front of a crowd, demanded that agency reconsider its plan. Polly Trottenberg, the DOT commissioner who made the announcement, was appointed by Mayor de Blasio. Does he know that he's supposed to be running this city? He's certainly not leading it. (Julianne Cuba for Streetsblog) The mayor was speaking in Forest Hills, where he was met with protestors outside, and inside he was as welcome as Mayor Bloomberg on a democratic primary stage. He was booed the moment he stepped into the town hall meeting. (Max Parrot for QNS) Video: How the city's stop signs are made. (Matt Coneybeare for Viewing NYC) Here's what you need to know to be ready for the plastic bag ban on March 1. (Sydney Pereira for Gothamist) The law passed in April of last year, and city lawmakers say the city isn't ready to ban plastic bags. (Kathleen Culliton for Patch) The NYPD say they will start removing some of the 82,000 people in their DNA database who have never been convicted of a crime. Advocates say this doesn't go far enough and the city needs more oversight and to ban unregulated DNA collection by the NYPD. (Edgar Sandoval for NY Times) Like the Mona Lisa's eyes, One Manhattan Square is always shining a reflection of the sun back at you. (Jen Carlson for Gothamist) Transit Workers Union Local 100 wants to make spitting on an MTA employee punishable by a year in jail. In their defense, spitting incidents were up 35% in 2019 from 2018. (Mark Hallum for amNewYork Metro) Fines from the plastic bag ban add to the feat of death by 1,000 for small businesses in the city. The mayor is looking to reduce fines on small businesses by 40% by eliminating "outdated and ridiculous rules that no longer apply," giving $100 million back to mom and pops across the city. (Todd Maisel for amNewYork Metro) Despite zero coronavirus cases in the city, Sunset Park is suffering. (Alex Williamson for Brooklyn Eagle) The Inheritance, the two-part play about gay culture and the legacy of AIDS, is set to close March 15. (Michael Paulson for NY Times) A "muddled, self-conscious, pretentious, humorless, dizzying, bewildering mess." What is the show? The West Side Story revival. (Matt Windman for amNewYork Metro) CatVideoFest is a 70-minute cat video complication that is playing at Nitehawk Cinema and the Alamo Drafthouse. Ticket sales will raise money for two rescue organizations. Finally, a cat based movie experience people will enjoy. (Noah Singer for The Brooklyn Home Reporter) Mayor Bloomberg in 2011 said that New York City has “virtually no discrimination” and “virtually no racial problems.” A lot has changed since 2011, a year when 700,000 people, more than half of them Black, were stopped by police. (Sarah Ruiz-Grossman for HuffPost) What to see right now in the city's art galleries. (Jillion Steinhauer for NY Times) What to drink at the city's newest cocktail bars. (Nikita Richardson for Grub Street) The best brunch in the city? Balthazar, according to The Daily Meal. (Adam Nichols for Patch) Thanks to reader MG Ashdown for today's featured photo.