Tuesday News Links

It's come to this: State Senate Majority Leader Malcolm Smith says "it's not about merit… it's just about what gets us there with the votes that we need to get it passed." Yes, they're still arguing over an MTA bailout bill in Albany. It's still a city vs. suburban tug of war.  The New York Times has the full saga here. Meanwhile, as predicted, the MTA says its budget woes have only gotten worse.

Banh Mi Beat: An Choi on Orchard Street, one of the darlings of the Banh Mi Vietnamese sandwich craze sweeping the city, is stepping up its quest for a liquor license. Grub Street explains.

As part of Mayor Bloomberg's "Million Trees" program, 20 thousand trees were planted in 77 parks and public spaces, including East River Park, this past weekend. See the press release here.