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The Briefly for January 7, 2020 – The "Saving Penn Station and a Guy on the BQE" Edition
Today - Low: 32˚ High: 44˚
Possible light rain in the evening and overnight.
The first Monday of 2020 saw an unprecedented meltdown of the MTA's ability to get us all to work. 12 of 22 possible subway lines were experiencing major delays. Happy Monday everyone! (Jake Offenhartz for Gothamist) What caused the delays? In the 7 train's case it was "an isolated case of human error." Don't forget that the MTA will still write you a late note for work if you ask for it. (Mark Hallum for amNewYork) New York City's greatest export is garbage. Literal garbage. In 2018, over 680 thousand tons (over 1.3 billion pounds) of garbage from NYC was exported to Seneca Meadows, NY, a 270+ mile drive from Manhattan. Over half a million tons were sent to Morrisville, PA, a 70+ mile journey. Businesses, stores and restaurants recycle 24% of the time, construction recycles 50%, and residential homes only hit 18% of a maximum 68%. The mayor promised to reduce the city's trash exports by 90% in 2018 and trash exports went up in 2019. (Sally Goldenberg and Danielle Muoio for Politico) Governor Cuomo has a plan for Penn Station. He plans to add 40% capacity to everyone's favorite train station. The expansion of Penn Station into the Post Office building will do nothing to increase its capacity, so the governor plans to add eight tracks to service an additional 175,000 riders each day. This all hinges on the state buying or taking a city's block worth of land between 30th and 31st between Seventh and Eighth Aves. That block is has businesses and apartments, and land owned by the Archdiocese of New York and Amtrak. (Erin Durkin for Politico) Perhaps the Penn Station expansion can help out New Jersey's newest form of tourism: people taking a train from New York to make sports bets using their phones over the New Jersey border. (Christopher Palmeri for Bloomberg, thanks to reader Timothy for sending this in) The governor had a busy day with his speech announcing the Penn Station upgrades followed by literally pulling a trapped man out of a crashed van on the BQE. (Kathleen Culliton for Patch) The governor isn't the only good samaritan in the city. Shaq helped a woman who has fallen at the intersection of Pitt and East Houston. (EV Grieve) What's $800 million between a giant corporation that pays $0 in taxes and the City of New York? Turns out the sweet deal the mayor and governor tried to give Amazon had $2.5 billion of incentives, $800 more than previously reported. (The Real Deal) Pro wrestling runs in Ridgewood's roots. In the modern day, House of Glory calls it home, but the pedigree runs back to the New Ridgewood Grove Arena, the WWF, Bruno Sammartino and Andre the Giant. (The Old Timer for QNS) Pier 76 sits behind the Javits Center and is currently an NYPD tow yard, but thanks to Governor Cuomo the pier will be added to the Hudson River Park Trust later this year. (Mark Hallum for amNewYork) Food delivery workers with electric bikes had to worry about the NYPD confiscating their bikes as part of the mayor's anti-electric bike crusade. Now, since September, 24 workers' bikes have been stolen, each costing as much as $2,000. (Sarah Maslin Nir and Jeffrey E. Singer for NY Times) Video: Walking through Yorkville, from 97th to 74th on York Ave. (ActionKid) There are 12 Human Trafficking Intervention Courts in New York, aimed at intervention and sending people to counseling instead of prison. Six years into their operation, there is criticism that they are not living up to their promise. (Christina Goldbaum for NY Times) Could you identify this tribute to the 1939 World's Fair on a building in Queens without being told what it was? (Michelle Young for Untapped New York) Yes, this is a story about another ice skating rink in the city, but this one is a synthetic rink. (Dana Schulz for 6sqft) Photos: During the renovation of Moishe's on Second Ave, removing some walls revealed beautiful 100-plus-year-old tile work behind the dummy walls constructed in the 70s. (Scott Lynch for Gothamist) Evictions are down nearly 20 percent since new rent laws were enacted last June. (Gabe Herman for amNewYork) The Harvey Weinstein trial started on Monday. Always an imitator, Los Angeles announced its own case against Weinstein. (Kathleen Culliton for Patch) The Anish Kapoor bean sculpture at 56 Leaonard's construction continues as we're currently at half bean. (Jen Carlson for Gothamist) There will be a special election on March 24 to elect a new Queens borough president after former President Melinda Katz assumed her new position as Queens DA. (Loulou Chryssides for Give Me Astoria) 9 ways to embrace winter in Brooklyn. (Lore Croghan for Brooklyn Eagle) Kal Penn, who recently starred in NBC's 'Sunnyside,' endorsed City Councilperson Jimmy Van Bramer for Queens President. Penn was also the Associate Director in the White House Office of Public Engagement under the Obama administration. (Kristen Torres for LIC Post) The husband to state Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie's chief of staff was arrested Monday for conspiring to import cocaine, according to a source and court records. (Kathleen Culliton for Patch) Sometimes we can assume that New York has everything. When faced with the news that Sip N’ Play, a board game cafe, has opened in Park Slope, we can be sure we've hit all the checkmarks. (Ben Verde for Brooklyn Paper) Quick tip: The NYPD is warning against abbreviated 2020 as "20" on checks, as it could be an invitation for fraud. (John Del Signore for Gothamist) A little bit more on some of the owners of land that Governor Cuomo wants to take to expand Penn Station. (Rich Bockmann and Kathryn Brenzel for The Real Deal) The state’s new bail laws aren’t even a week old, but thanks to the recent anti-Semite attacks some state lawmakers are considering amending it so those accused of hate crimes could be held on bail. (Beth Fertig for Gothamist) Where to have a last minute group dinner. (The Infatuation)