The Briefly for October 25 - 26, 2020 – The "Vote or Die" Sunday Edition

Today - Low: 50˚ High: 56˚

Light rain in the evening and overnight.

The best restaurants near NYC's early voting locations. (Hannah Albertine and Nikko Duren for The Infatuation) Early voting is open, now let's talk about the legality of ballot selfies. (Valeriya Safronova for NY Times) Speaking of early voting, it started across the city on Saturday and there were lines everywhere. Nearly 100,0000 voted on the first day of early voting, more than in all of 2018's early voting. (David Cruz and Jen Chung for Gothamist) On Friday, Mayor de Blasio announced a plan to recruit hundreds of city workers in a matter of days to join an “Election Observer Corps.” He has not recruited a single person, nor has he trained anyone. By contrast, AG Letitia James, Public Advocate Jumaane Williams, and the head of Common Cause NY, Susan Lerner, already have 600 statewide volunteers who have been training for weeks for the election and have been monitoring polling sites already. Seems like the mayor could have endorsed this effort instead of announcing a new one less than 24 hours before early voting began. (Brigid Bergin for Gothamist) “We will have hundreds of additional cops in uniform citywide who will be at the ready should they be needed.” -NYPD Chief of Department Terence Monahan, who maybe doesn't realize that having a larger NYPD presence during an election may only serve to make things worse. (Danny Lewish for Gothamist) This is the same NYPD whose union endorsed President Trump. (NBC New York) Photos and Video: A Barred Owl hanging out. (D. Bruce Yolton for Urban Hawks) Video: The Animal Care Centers rescued a pig from a Brooklyn backyard. (Anna Quinn for Patch) The city sells off unpaid property debts on a regular basis. The sale of debt was the subject of a Last Week Tonight program from a few years ago. While it raises money for the city, it also encourages foreclosures and the displacement of lower-income homeowners. This year's tax lien sale has been postponed multiple times and City Council members are pushing to eliminate the program altogether. (Peter Senzamici for The City) The EPA will begin dredging the Gowanus Canal mid-November. At the bottom of the canal sits a very thick and very old layer of tar, human poop and if the rumors are true, a few dead bodies. (Red Hook Star-Revue) Video: No questions asked about how these daredevils found their way to the roof of the GE Building, which is closed to visitors, but the views are spectacular. (svvvk on YouTube) State officials have pulled a controversial proposal that would have allowed non-lawyers to oversee special education complaints in New York City. The proposal was first made in January. In the 2019-2020 school year, the city had 10,797 complaints, 96% of New York state's complaints. Each complaint is legally supposed to be resolved in under 75 days, but NYC's cases take 259 days on average. The penalty for such a failure? Nothing. These students deserve better. (Reema Amin for The City) Interview: Meet Brenda Suchilt, the Newtown Creek Alliance's new horticulturist. (Billy McEntee for Greenpointers) Apartment Porn: A $12.75 million Cobble Hill townhouse with a vineyard-like garden that's bigger than almost every bar with outdoor space, gated parking, and two wine cellars. One wine cellar? Please. (Dana Schulz for 6sqft) The best Vietnamese restaurants in NYC. (Matt Tervooren for The Infatuation) The secrets of the new Greenpoint public library. (Will Gleason for Time Out) The number of young children in NYCHA housing at risk of lead exposure is three times greater than previously thought, according to Bart Schwartz, the federal monitor overseeing the NYCHA. The city certified the number at 3,000 two years ago. The number is 9,000. Poisoning the children of the city will likely end up high on the list of Bill de Blasio's legacy as mayor. (Matt Troutman for Patch) Speaking of Bill de Blasio's accomplishments and legacy, the city is headed for the highest level of traffic deaths since the mayor took office, the third straight year of rising deaths, completely erasing any and all progress he could claim as part of his own Vision Zero program. This year includes two months of zero traffic fatalities due to the pandemic, it's hard to imagine how high the body count would be without it. (Jake Offenhartz for Gothamist) The TWA Hotel has just reopened its pool-cuzzi and Runway Chalet at JFK airport. The pool purifies itself every 30 minutes and is kept at a cozy 95 degrees. (Shaye Weaver for Time Out) A look at the new public art available across Brooklyn. (Keira Wingate for Bklyner) Three bars within the zoned shutdown areas in Brooklyn and Queens had their liquor licenses temporarily suspended for throwing illegal indoor parties. 30 Fantastic Bar in Sunset Park, Da Mikelle Palace in Forest Hills, and Wise Bar & Grill in Sheepshead Bay. (Tanay Warerkar for Eater) Before you feel bad for The Strand posting they may close (Amanda Hatfield for BrooklynVegan), let's look a little deeper. The Strand fired union workers while accepting $1-2 million of PPP loans (Labor Notes) Owner Nancy Bass Wyder, who is married to Oregon Senator Ron Wyden, purchased $115,000 in Amazon stock in April and made an additional purchase of up to $200,000 in June. (Ed Lin for Barrons) The Upper West Side location was met with protests. (Carol Tannenhauser and Kate Koza for West Side Rag) On a micro scale, buying at The Strand instead of your neighborhood bookstore is no different than buying from Amazon. On a micro scale, supporting The Strand over your neighborhood bookstore is akin to buying from Amazon instead of locally. At this point, let's celebrate that NYC isn't the rattiest city in America. Los Angeles and Chicago are worse than we are and you take the wins where you can get them. (Adam Nichols for Patch) Times Square really wants you to visit. Their latest ploy to get you to the one place you never want to visit is the Taste of Times Square Week, which runs through October 30 and offers a $35 prix fixe menu at 20 different restaurants with an appetizer, main and dessert. (Tanay Warerkar for Eater) The Shed in Hudson Yards has reopened with a solo exhibition by artist Howardena Pindell called Rope/Fire/Water, which explores the historical traumas of America, namely slavery, racism, and white supremacy. (Monika Hankova for Untapped New York) An examination of how New York's slavery history is still present all over the city. (Zachary Kussin for Untapped New York) The Green-Wood Cemetery is hosting a Dia de los Muertos celebration all this week. (Dozier Hasty for Brooklyn Eagle) The best Mapo Tofu in the city. (Hannah Albertine for The Infatuation) Thanks to reader Michael for today's featured photo.