The "School's in for Winter. School's in Forever." Edition
The mayor appoints friends and family to key positions, outdoor dating spots with heat lamps, online sports betting becomes legal, and more
Today - Low: 29˚ High: 41˚
A light rain starts in the afternoon.
The latest seven-day positivity rate: 32.64%
72.97% of city residents have received two shots, 82.46% of city residents have received more than one shot. Source: NYC Department of Health.
• Mayor Adams appointed his brother to serve as NYPD deputy commissioner for governmental affairs. Appointing a family member to a top-level position with a $242,000 salary certainly feels like the definition of conflict of interest. This news is on the heels of Mayor Adams appointing a friend to a deputy mayor position that stepped down from the NYPD in 2014 after being named by the federal government as "an unindicted co-conspirator" in a police corruption case. (Gloria Pazmino for NY1)
• Amid Friday's snow, kids were in school. At this point, keeping kids in school seems like a threat from the mayor more than a promise. (Matt Troutman for Patch)
• A look inside the city's school system as it fights to stay open. Thousands of staff tested positive for Covid-19 this past week. Attendance was not over 72% during the week. I spoke to a friend who is a teacher this week who said there were 30 students in the entire school. The schools might be open, but it's hard to see how learning happens. (Christina Veiga for Chalkbeat)
• A Good Question: Why doesn't the city's Covid-19 testing website map the 100+ mobile testing sites? (Jaclyn Jeffrey-Wilensky for Gothamist)
• Where to eat outside when it’s cold and rainy. (Hannah Albertine for The Infatuation)
• RIP Dan Reilly, the original Mr. Met. (Richard Sandomir for NY Times)
• Photos: NYC's first snowfall of 2022 (Shaye Weaver for Time Out)
• The federal government approved phase two of the Second Avenue Subway. It's moving to the engineering phase. Once construction begins, it's expected to take eight years to finish. (Stephen Nessen for Gothamist)
• Real Estate Lust: An $8.9 million Soho penthouse with 1,344 square feet of terrace with an outdoor kitchen, shower, hot tub, and pergola, 2,859 square feet of indoor space, floor-to-ceiling windows, three-bedroom suites, and more. (Michelle Cohen for 6sqft)
• What you need to know about online sports betting in NY now that it is legal. (Jon Campbell for Gothamist)
• The fight over a 26-story tower planned for 250 Water Street continues after the city approved the $850 million project. Opponents argue that the building is out of scale with the rest of the neighborhood. Their last gambit was filing a lawsuit against the Landmarks Preservation Commission, which was thrown out. They've filed a zoning challenge with the Department of Buildings in their latest attempt to stop the project. (Devin Gannon for 6sqft)
• It's four feet by twenty-five feet and is made of over 1,500 flowers, 1,000 leaves, and 1,000 crochet squares. "Stand-Speak-Shape" was created by the Chinatown Yarn Circle in collaboration with the Creative Sanctum, Think Chinatown, and Naomi Lawrence and is on display through October on the fence of Columbus Park in Chinatown. (Anna Rahmanan for Time Out)
• Photos: Progress on Tiffany & Co. flagship expansion on Fifth Ave, wavy glass curtain wall panels and all. (Michael Young for New York YIMBY)
• "The Giving Tree" installation in Flushing Meadows Corona Park will charge your phone. The piece by Haksul Lee uses wind power to generate electricity, lighting up the park and the outlets on the trunk of the "tree." (Anna Rahmanan for Time Out)
• The city announced plans to install ten "public health vending machines" that will distribute anti-overdose medication, free syringes, toiletries, and safe-sex kits in neighborhoods hit hard by drug overdoses. (Isabella Grullón Paz for NY Times)
• 34 date spots with heat lamps for outdoor dating. No one says you shouldn’t date, but do it responsibly. Has the city updated the Covid-19 guidance on eating ass? Gotta stay safe. (The Infatuation)
Featured Pet: Esmé!
Thank you to reader John for sending in this photo and story about Esmé:
This is Esmé. She was found with a gruesome tail injury in a small cat colony on Ocean Avenue next to Prospect Park. A friend who does TNR work spent a month in the dead of winter trying and failing to catch her (but getting the other cats caught and fixed) until she borrowed a nicer trap and got her to a vet. She has been through a lot and is justifiably skittish but extremely affectionate in the right circumstances!
Thank you to the two readers who contributed to The Briefly using this Ko-Fi link since the last edition.