The "We'll Forget This in 2024, Right?" Edition
File your taxes for free, everyone loves the Independent Budget Office, no one likes George Santos, two delays that the city hope's we'll forget about, food, drinks, and games, and more
Thanks to Megan for contributing to The Briefly on Ko-Fi since the last edition!
• How to file your taxes for free in NYC. (Divya Murthy for The City)
• In search of the greatest crunchwrap supreme. (Luke Forney for Eater)
• I love the Independent Budget Office, I won't lie. This year's "Budget Options for New York City" is a great read with some suggestions for New York City to save money: Ban broker fees ($22 million), make police pay for their misconduct ($45 million), stop paying charter schools' rent ($75 million), enforce blocked bike lands ($6 million), increase the number of tax auditors ($165 million, and more. The IBO is my favorite governmental agency. (Hell Gate)
• In a real "I love New York" moment, noted coward George Santos barricaded himself in his office to hide from two dozen protestors. Congratulations to the parts of Queens and Long Island that voted for this clown. (Richard Hall for The Independent)
• Madison Square Garden's operating permit could not be renewed, but that is a very small possibility. Community Board 5 is voting to extend the permit, and if they don't vote in favor, it would mean that MSG wouldn't be able to have more than 2,500 people for an event. (Gabriel Poblete for The City)
• The state comptroller’s office calls for stronger oversight of the New York City government’s artificial intelligence programs after an audit identified lapses that heighten risks of bias, inaccuracies, and harm “for those who live, work, or visit NYC.” The agencies audited were the NYPD, the Department of Education, the Department of Buildings, and the Administration for Children’s Services, which is like the four horsemen of "oh, god, no." (Arya Sundaram for Gothamist)
• Thin-skinned Louis Molina, Correction Department Commissioner, revoked the Board of Correction's independent access to video from surveillance cameras and body-worn cameras from inside the jails and will only let board members view footage from inside Department of Correction facilities. Why? Because he didn't think they were being nice enough to the agency, it became too easy for the public to see the conditions of our jails. This is our government in action. (Nick Pinto for Hell Gate)
Two stories that center on the idea that 2024 seems far enough away that we might forget about these stories that originated in 2019:
• Speaking of government in action, congestion pricing was delayed until spring 2024. Remember when congestion pricing passed in 2019 with a plan to start in 2021? What idiots we all were. (Dave Colon for Streetsblog)
• The city delayed the pilot program for an overhaul of private trash pickup until 2024, calling the original timeline of 2023 "wildly unrealistic" despite being passed in 2019. (Michelle Bocanegra for Gothamist)
• About 90% of drivers searched or arrested by the NYPD in 2022 were Black or Latino. A depressing stat for people who love depressing stats. (Samantha Max for Gothamist)
• The City of New York, clarifying reporting from the website that calls itself The City, said not all of the one hundred million dollars of never-used Covid-19 emergency equipment was being auctioned off for fractions of a penny on the dollar. Some of it is being tossed in the garbage. I've never had to clarify the difference between the city and The City, but it was bound to happen one day. (Greg B. Smith for The City)
• "We are in the midst of peak norovirus season" is a thing no one wants to actually hear, but we are in the midst of peak norovirus season. ER visits due to vomiting or diarrhea have risen by about 50% from December to mid-February. Hand sanitizer doesn't work against norovirus, so you'll actually have to wash your hands. (Betsy Ladyzhets for Gothamist)
• Where can you find some good pizza to dip in ranch dressing?
• A Broadway show about a Jewish man who was lynched, Parade, was protested by neo-Nazis. I missed the days when Nazis would have the shit beat out of them in Times Square for being Nazis. (Kathleen Culliton for Patch)
• Angelina Cando, a 30-year-old Manhattanite, has been arrested and charged with arson, criminal mischief, and reckless endangerment as hate crimes for setting fire to a pride flag outside Little Prince in Soho. (Michelle Bocanegra for Gothamist)
• Farewell to Sir Kensington’s Ketchup, Sir Kensington will continue to make other products. (Chris Crowley for Grub Street)
• Twenty-seven Underground Railroad abolitionist sites in NYC. (Untapped New York)
• Long Island City's hottest cheesesteak destination is in the Home Depot parking lot, which is not a joke. (Diana Arnold for Eater)
• Check out the new wide-aisle subway turnstile coming to a station near you, but only if you're near the Sutphin Boulevard-Archer Avenue or Atlantic Avenue-Barclays Center stops. (Anna Rahmanan for Time Out)
• Michigan's Jet’s Pizza comes to Prospect Heights with Detroit- and New York-style pizza options. (Adam Daly for Brooklyn Paper)
• Fifteen spots for games, along with a full food and drink menu. (Aaron Ginsburg for 6sqft)
Top Clicked Links from the Last Edition:
In an UWS studio building, $4.4M co-op has original stained glass and 17-foot ceilings
Tours of NYC’s old City Hall subway station return this spring
Featured Pet: Bigs!
Holy cow, LOOK AT BIGS! Thank you, Lela for sending in this photo of Bigs waiting for some bacon to fall. Send pics of your pet, adoptable animals, or bodega cats to firstname.lastname@example.org.