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The "Can I Get Another Booster for $100?" Edition
Omicron, Covid-19, where to eat on Christmas, where to order Chinese delivery, NYE changes, don't go out on the ice, farewell to the R-32 subway cars, and more
To skip the Covid-19 news, scroll down until you see the embedded tweet about illegal parking in the middle of this email.
Today - Low: 42˚ High: 45˚
Possible light rain in the morning and overnight.
This weekend - Low: 34˚ High: 50˚
The latest seven-day positivity rate: 11.25%
71.5% of city residents have received two shots, 79.97% of city residents have received more than one shot. Source: NYC Department of Health.
• The Omicron coronavirus variant now accounts for 92 percent of new cases in New York and New Jersey, according to the CDC. (Matt Troutman for Patch)
• Covid-19 pop-up testing sites will come to Grand Central and Times Square's subway stations starting on Monday. This is not the holiday pop-up news we wanted this year. (Elizabeth Kim and Jon Campbell for Gothamist)
• If you work for the city, only if you're unvaccinated or if you're more than two weeks away from your second vaccine do you get notified that someone in your office tests positive for Covid-19. It seems foolish that all city employees have to go into the office daily when 23,000 people tested positive on Wednesday of this week. Yes, vaccination may be our best defense, but it's not our only defense. The mayor has been using the city's employees as set pieces of a diorama entitled "Things are normal!" It will be interesting to see if Mayor-elect Adams will keep this policy in place. (Katie Honan for The City)
• The Times Square New Year's Eve celebration will be scaled back to 15,000 fully-masked, fully-vaccinated spectators. (Jen Chung for Gothamist)
• Poor timing, but New York City topped the list of best cities to celebrate New Year's Eve in. (Anna Rahmanan for Time Out)
• Eric Adams's inauguration at the Kings Theater has been canceled. (Brooklyn Magazine)
• Phish's New Year's Eve shows have been rescheduled to April. (Amanda Hatfield for BrooklynVegan)
• Yo La Tengo canceled their NYE and January shows. (Amanda Hatfield for BrooklynVegan)
• The winter Regents exams have been canceled in New York state, citing the spike in Covid-19 cases. (Christina Veiga for Chalkbeat)
• If you haven't gotten your booster shot yet, the city will pay you $100 to get your third shot. (Elizabeth Kim for Gothamist)
• CityMD temporarily closed 19 of their offices. Even CityMD got hit by staffing shortages around Covid-19. (Jaclyn Jeffrey-Wilensky for Gothamist)
• If you got a Covid-19 test at LabQ Diagnostics, you've already noticed that your test took much longer than expected or a result hasn't been reported yet. You're not alone, NY Attorney General Letitia James issued a warning to LabQ for misrepresenting the turnaround time for Covid-19 tests. (Brooklyn Magazine)
• Mayor de Blasio unveiled a "digital" placard pilot program in a last-days attempt to curb placard parking abuse. The stickers can be scanned to tell if a placard is valid or not. This assumes that the reason people who abuse their parking placards don't get tickets when they park in bike lanes, bus stops, driveways, sidewalks, etc is that the person issuing the ticket can't tell if a placard is valid or not and not that cops won't ticket "one of their own." This variety of corruption is disgusting and pardon my jaded point of view on this, but I don't see this changing anything. (Dave Colon for Streetsblog)
• The city completed a $1.8 million makeover of Doughboy Park in Woodside, including re-setting the 9/11 Memorial Plaque, repaving the plaza, adding seating, and more. It's named Doughboy Park for the "Doughboy" monument that commemorates those who served in World War I. (Bill Parry for QNS)
• The Old Stone House, one of Mayor de Blasio's twenty-year pet projects in his backyard, just received $11 million from the city for preservation and restoration. The old Stone House in Park Slope, was demolished, buried under a landfill, and eventually dug out and rebuilt, is on Washington Park, the site of the Battle of Long Island, a battle that General George Washington lost. When you know the history, it's a very weird building to preserve. (Ben Brachfeld for Brooklyn Paper)
• Gothamist makes some suggestions for you if your holiday plans have been ruined. (Ben Yakas for Gothamist)
• Don't wander out onto the ice in the city parks. Amazingly, this has to be said, but none of the city's lakes, ponds, etc can support being walked on. Do you see those red ladders dotted around the city’s parks? Those are to fish dummies out of the water. (Lynn Lieberman for GothamToGo)
• What the hell is going on with Luna Park? Luna Park is the landlord of the businesses of the Coney Island Boardwalk, and Luna Park is refusing to offer a lease extension to Lola Star, one of the best boardwalk shops in Coney Island, after the city granted Luna Park a 10-year lease extension with rental assistance and every other boardwalk business has received an extension. (Jessica Parks for Brooklyn Paper)
• Where to get pizza delivery. (The Infatuation)
• NYCHA announced a new plan to monitor public housing apartments once they’re placed into private management to ensure that tenants aren’t plagued by toxic mold. Turns out private landlords are just as willing to turn a blind eye to conditioning in NYCHA buildings as the NYCHA was. This is part of a court-monitored oversight of the mold problems in NYCHA buildings. (Greg B. Smith for The City)
• Mulchfest starts the day after Christmas for those of us who can't wait to see these trees be destroyed. (Melissa Kravitz Hoeffner for Greenpointers)
• Photos: Inside The Hugh, Midtown's new food hall. (Scott Lynch for Gothamist)
• A look at how Mayor-elect Eric Adams's inner circle abused their political connections to help one another out. (Greg B. Smith for The City)
• Inside the final rides of the iconic R-32 subway cars. The last runs are 12/26, 1/2, and 1/9. (Jen Carlson with additional reporting by Scott Heins for Gothamist)
• Real Estate Lust: A $2.5 million East Village duplex with two beds, two and a half baths, a 1,000 square foot backyard patio and garden, a separate balcony, open layout, a very high-end kitchen, spiral staircases (inside and out), and more. (Devin Gannon for 6sqft)
• 11 Jean-Michel Basquiat haunts across the city. (Noah Sheidlower for Untapped New York)
• Where to eat on Christmas Day. (Eater)
• Where to get Chinese delivery and takeout. (Hannah Albertine and Bryan Kim for The Infatuation)
Featured Pet: Little Jerry!
Get ready to have your heart melt. Thank you to Rebecca for sending in this photo of Little Jerry. After 12 years of ear tumors and antibiotic-resistant ear infections, Little Jerry got the surgery he needed. According to Rebecca, “He may be deaf in that ear now, but he somehow can hear the treat box from anywhere.”
There are lots of neighborhood haunts that are getting hit extremely hard by the Covid-19 surge. Maybe you’re not going out to eat or drink this weekend because you can’t justify it. Take some of that money you’d otherwise spend and buy shirts, hoodies, merch, or gift cards from your favorite bars. A zip-up hoodie for $35 is a pretty good deal in the case of this one from Young Ethel’s.
Note from Rob: Hey friends! I want to genuinely thank you for being a part of The Briefly. For the third year in a row, I am telling myself “next year will be the year to really build The Briefly” but this time I actually mean it. I’m excited for some big steps forward in 2022. What are your plans for next year? No matter how small they may be, please send them my way! One of my pre-New Year’s resolutions is to answer all my emails and to work through my backlog.