The "Legal Weed and Free Doughnuts" Edition

The subways get speedy, a new Instagram trap, Franklin Park is back, dolphins in the East River, the best plant shops, and more

Today - Low: 47˚ High: 72˚
Windy in the afternoon and evening.
This weekend - Low: 40˚ High: 63˚

The state is actually ready to legalize marijuana, finally. The bill could be passed as early as next week, which will also create "consumption sites" (like a marijuana bar) where you can smoke weed but not drink alcohol, allow anyone to grow up to six plants at their home, allow dispensaries, wholesalers, and more. The legalization efforts go hand in hand with making amends in communities impacted by the "war on drugs" by reinvesting millions of dollars in tax revenue into minority communities with business licenses reserved for minority business owners. (Luis Ferré-Sadurní for NY Times)

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A pod of dolphins was spotted in the East River! (Shaye Weaver for Time Out)

• The City Council passed a bill today that establishes a crash investigation and analysis unit inside the Department of Transportation, which strips the NYPD of their status as the lead agency in investigating crashes. (Eve Kessler for Streetsblog)

• The City Council is readying another bill set to strip the NYPD of issuing press credentials, making the Mayor's Office of Movies and Entertainment responsible for issuing credentials. (Robert Pozarycki for amNewYork Metro)

• The NYPD updated their website to allow the filing of police reports for graffiti, petit larceny, lost property, and criminal mischief instead of having to go to a precinct and interact with a cop yourself. The four categories make up 23% of all reports filed with the NYPD. (Mark Hallum for amNewYork Metro)

• The City Council also passed a bill that limits qualified immunity for the NYPD, which was a protection officers had against lawsuits. This will make it much easier to sue officers for conducting illegal searches or using excessive force. (Jeffery C. Mays and Ashley Southall for NY Times)

• Did you know the city pays into a union-controlled legal defense fund for officers every year? Yup, you're paying $75 per cop to the tune of $2 million annually to help defend officers of the NYPD from lawsuits when the city decides an officer's conduct is indefensible. the PBA's contract expired in 2017 and this rule is in place until a new one is negotiated. (Jake Pearson for The City, co-published with ProPublica)

Retired NYPD officer and spokesperson Sara Carpenter was arrested for storming the U.S. Capitol building on January 6th. She was released without bail. (Jake Offenhartz for Gothamist)

A round-up of Cuomo's crises, which is much less fun than Marie's Crises. (Ari Ephraim Feldman for NY1)

• Tack this one to the list. When the rest of the state was scrambling in fear to find Covid-19 tests, Governor Cuomo made sure that he, his family, and friends were tested several times. When Chris Cuomo announced he had tested positive on March 31 last year, the test was thanks to his brother prioritizing a test for him. this isn't enough to be a scandal on its own, but another piece of the Cuomo puzzle that spells out the word "ASSHOLE" when fully assembled. (D. David Goodman and Ed Shanahan for NY Times)

• The State Assembly's inquiry into Cuomo and his administration could take months and has no deadline for completion. The assembly's investigation focuses on his sexual harassment allegations, how the state managed Covid-19 in nursing homes, and structural issues on the Mario Cuomo Bridge. (Gwynne Hogan for Gothamist)

Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie and Assemblymember Ron Kim tested positive for Covid-19 this week. (Sydney Pereira for Gothamist)

Up to 10% of the city's Covid-19 victims are destined to be buried on Hart Island, the city's Potter's Field. There are currently 780 unclaimed bodies in storage that will be brought to Hart Island unless claimed by family members. The 2,334 adults buried on Hart Island in 2020 is 1,000 more than in 1988, the peak year for AIDS burials on the island. (Haidee Chu, Rajaa Elidrissi, Jacob Geanous, Téa Kvetenadze, Cassidy Jensen, Josh Merchant, Savannah Tryens-Fernandes and Megan Zerez for The City, in collaboration with Columbia Journalism School's Stabile Center of Investigative Journalism)

The MTA increased subway speeds in 270 locations in the last year. The increases were thanks to 900 signals being digitized. According to the article, you'll notice the difference the most on the E, F, M, and R lines. (Stephen Nessen for Gothamist)

• It's gonna hit 70 degrees today! Let's take a review of NYC grilling rules and how to not start a fire. (Lauren Paley for StreetEasy)

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• If you hate things that don't look like cake, but still are, this bagel-and-lox cake is not for you. (Will Gleason for Time Out)

• 70 Willow Street in Brooklyn Heights is where Truman Capote wrote Breakfast at Tiffany's, In Cold Blood, and Brooklyn Heights: A Personal Memoir. There's no plaque, but if you're looking for a random walk to take this weekend, this isn't a bad place to visit. (Michelle Young for Untapped New York)

• How many pay phones are left in the city? Even less than you'd imagine because they've been disappearing in the East Village. One year ago the city announced a plan to remove 3,000 payphones. (EV Grieve)

"Walk Through the Midst Bloom" is a new "immersive exhibit," aka Instagram trap, that wants you to "leave this exhibit with a fresh outlook towards a better tomorrow." Yes, this is happening in Bushwick, how did you know? (Anna Ben Yehuda for Time Out)

• thanks to the federal stimulus, the MTA is resuming work on the Second Ave Subway extension to Harlem. (Dan Rivoli for NY1)

• Apartment Lust: A $2 million apartment in Gramercy with a roof terrace, vaulted ceilings, and an incredibly sleek look inside The Abbey. My guess is that the building is haunted since it was a former parish house built in 1888. (Dana Schulz for 6sqft)

• Coney Island Brewery has launched a program called Hops for Hospitality to raise money for the NYC Hospitality Alliance where $1 from every can, draft, 6-pack, or 12-pack will go to the organization. (Brew York)

Where to take a work-from-home snack break in Astoria. (Hannah Albertine for The Infatuation)

Franklin Park in Crown Heights is back! It announced a permanent closure in December and is now open seven days a week with outdoor seating. (Takay Warerkar for Eater)

• Attention allergy-havers: Pollen levels are expected to rise for the next week. Maybe our regular mask wearing will save us from our allergies? (Gus Saltonstall for Patch)

50% of Democrats don't know who they'll vote for in the upcoming mayoral primary, giving everyone plenty of opportunities to convince their friends not to vote for Andrew Yang or Eric Adams. (Katie Glueck for NY Times)

Carlos Menchaca has ended his mayoral bid. (Cindy Rodriguez for Gothamist)

How the mayoral candidates would handle homelessness from Gothamist's One Issue Explainer series. (Elizabeth Kim for Gothamist)

• After tossing their universally hated plan for Marsha P. Johnson State Park, the state is seeking design alternatives from the public to honor the late gay liberation activist and celebrate the LGBTQ+ movement in five public sessions. (Kevin Duggan for Brooklyn Paper)

Krispy Kreme is giving a free doughnut to the vaccinated. That's one free doughnut EVERY DAY through the end of the year. No, seriously. One free doughnut a day. (Rachel Sugar for Grub Street)

The 10 best plant shops in the city. (Rebecca Fishbein for 6sqft)

• The Hayden Planetarium Space Theater at the American Museum of Natural History re-opened at limited capacity this week. (Anna Ben Yehuda for Time Out)

Featured Pet: Toby!