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The "Hooked on Cheese, Hooked on Heroin?" Edition
The future of outdoor dining, the first vegan mayor is not the first vegan mayor, Competitive Winter Picknicking, a $29.5 million UES mansion, splurge-worthy dining, and more
Today - Low: 30˚ High: 43˚
Partly cloudy throughout the day.
The latest seven-day positivity rate: 4.52%
75.51% of city residents have received two shots, 84.74% of city residents have received one or more shots. Source: NYC Department of Health.
• Governor Hochul will announce an update on the state's mask rule on Wednesday. The current mandate is set to expire on Thursday. (Nick Reisman for NY1)
• State Senator Alessandra Biaggi is running for congress after seeing an opportunity with the new redistricting map of NY3. (Zach Williams for City and State)
• The New York Public Library’s Ottendorfer branch does not have working fire alarms, which seems like a terrifying idea for a building that is full of books. This has only been going on for 12 years. (Reuven Blau and Farah Javed for The City)
• Victor Rivera, the founder and former chief executive of the nonprofit Bronx Parent Housing Network, pleaded guilty to taking hundreds of thousands of dollars in bribes from contractors. The Bronx Parent Housing Network is one of the largest operators of homeless shelters in the city. He forfeited $1.2 million and is expected to face a prison sentence. (Amy Julia Harris for NY Times)
• Eric Adams is NYC's first vegan mayor, except he's not. Either the mayor doesn't understand what that word means, or he's been lying to himself because the mayor is known to eat fish regularly. The mayor seems to think the media is fixated on this, but it runs deeper than just what is on his plate. It's about what kind of a person he is that he would say one thing in public and do another thing in private. If we can't trust you to be honest about the little stuff, how can you have our trust when it comes to big stuff? (Rachel Sugar for Grub Street)
• I guess the "does he eat fish" conversation is better than this direct quote from Mayor Adams: "You take someone on heroin, put them in one room, and someone hooked on cheese, put 'em in another room, and you take it away, I challenge you to tell me the person who's hooked on heroin and who's hooked on cheese." (Jake Lahut for Insider)
“We voted for the mayor we loved, New York’s son made good, but we got a shell game artist. When a horrific crisis or a crime shocks the city, instead of pointing to the real longstanding class inequality behind most of it, Adams puts out bodega cups with “race” or “victim-blaming” or “law and order” written in Sharpie over it. And the shell game starts.”
-Nicholas Powers, Is Eric Adams Playing Black Voters? for The Indypendent
• Another one of Mayor Adams's reported political appointments is dead before it was made public due to, again, ethics concerns. This time Carlos Scissura will not be the head of the Economic Development Corporation after The City reported last month that he was secretly paid to advocate on behalf of a property owner/friend in dealings with city agencies despite not registering as a lobbyist. (Katie Honan for The City)
• Sue Donoghue, the Prospect Park administrator and president of the Prospect Park Alliance, was named the next commissioner of the City of New York Parks and Recreation. (Brooklyn Magazine)
• Podcast: City Councilmember Sandy Nurse on the future of NYC trash. Nurse is the new chair of the Council's Sanitation Committee. (Ben Max for Gotham Gazette)
• The pandemic is costing the city teachers and school staff. Nearly 2,000 teachers and 3,900 paraprofessionals and teaching assistants left the education department between June 2020 and November 2021 with bigger numbers on the way, according to a new report from the City Comptroller's office. Nationwide, half of teachers polled said they expect to leave the profession earlier than planned. (Jessica Gould for Gothamist)
• Fashion Week is returning with a strict proof of vaccination and indoor masking policy across all shows with decreased capacities. (Alicia Powell for amNY Metro)
Absolutely amazingly bad take right here.
• How do you run a business inside a subway station when the subway station is closed? The Cutting Den is inside the Clark St station, but the station has been closed since November. The Cutting Den is one of many examples throughout the subway system whose rent matches the location but doesn't change when the stations close. (Caroline Spivack for Curbed)
• Expect the City Council's hearing on the future of outdoor dining to be a mess. (Eve Kessler for Streetsblog)
• There's something comforting about seeing Law & Order filming notices return to the city as the show makes its return at the end of the month. (EV Grieve)
• A look at Uncle Lou in Chinatown, opened by Louis Wong on Mulberry St, resident of Chinatown for half a century. Wong retired in his 60s and hated it, so he opened the restaurant with business partners, including his nephew. (Chris Crowley for Grub Street)
• The MTA is running a four-month fare-capping test starting February 28 for people who use the OMNY system. After 12 fares, you'll automatically be upgraded to an unlimited pass for the rest of the week. The MTA dangled the "it could become permanent" carrot, but only if enough people use it. (Stephen Nessen for Gothamist)
• Competitive Winter Picnicking is the winter sport that deserves our attention. A man dressed as a poodle "pooping" brownies for attendees from team Hell on Earth, bloody marys from The Merry Mary Martyr Makers, Happy Dumplings stuffing people inside old rugs and blankets, and more. Yes, there are photos, but no, this did not happen in Bushwick. It was in Fort Greene. You'll have to look out for next year's event, organized by Shadow Traffic. (Scott Lynch for Brooklyn Magazine)
• Real Estate Lust: A $29.5 million Upper East Side mansion with 14,500 square feet of living space, elevator, and more. It's currently being used as a showroom for Dalva Brothers, dealers in 18th-century French furniture and decorative arts. Another way to say 14,500 is a third of an acre. (Michelle Cohen for 6sqft)
• Syphilis and gonorrhea infections spiked amongst women in the first half of 2021. Gonorrhea cases we up 23%, and syphilis infections were up 17%. (Matt Troutman for Patch)
• Interview: Chris Herring, author of Blood In The Garden, on the triumphs and heartbreaks of the Knicks in the 1990s. (Alison Stewart for Gothamist)
• New York State set aside $1000 million to help convert hotels into housing. The program became available in August of 2021 and had only one applicant. (Janaki Chadha for Politico)
• A look into the history of 58 Joralemon Street in Brooklyn Heights, which has hidden a subway emergency exit and a ventilation shaft house for decades behind the facade of a townhouse. (Jen Carlson for Gothamist)
• The ultimate guide to splurge-worthy dining. According to Resy, all splurge-worthy dining, with three exceptions, happens in Manhattan. (Deanna Ting for Resy)
Featured Pet: Stevie!
Thank you to reader Donald for sending in this photo of Stevie, an almost 11-year-old Tibetan Spaniel mix, adopted from Animal Haven around eight years ago.
Thank you to the three readers who contributed to The Briefly using this Ko-Fi link since the last edition.