W42ST Daily — 9/19/2020

We sat at dinner last night chatting about jobs that we did in the holidays from school.  Mine were tea boy, baker, and builder’s mate. Everyone else had done work at bars or restaurants. It prompted me to think about my only bartending experience, a guest appearance at The Pocket Bar — and that was exactly a year ago today.  For those who cannot remember what a bar feels like, here’s a little video.

Like last year, time to say Happy Birthday, Alex.

It’s been a mixed week for our local bars and restaurants. Last Saturday we reported that Mont Blanc 52 would close.  The restaurant has been around the neighborhood for over 30 years. You can still go and see Maria Lohmeyer and the team until Monday, September 28.

There was better news later in the week when New York City Council voted to extend commercial tenant protections. The bill, known as Local Law 1932-A, temporarily suspends personal liability provisions in the leases of certain COVID-impacted businesses through March 31, 2021.

Then yesterday, Mayor de Blasio told the city that outdoor dining would become a permanent thing from now on.  Details are still to be ironed out, but that’s good news for local hospitality businesses and their staff.

However, as Sean Hayden from Jasper’s Taphouse told us this week: “There is no restaurateur or business on the planet that can balance the books at 25% revenue, it’s a death sentence.”  If you want to join their march on the Governor’s Office on Monday, the details are here.

Alicia Keys has been launching her new album, “Alicia”, and talking about her childhood in Hell’s Kitchen. She said: “I was supposed to end up a prostitute or addicted to drugs”.

We discovered a documentary about New York in 1977. It follows a thread of music, interspersed with commentary on how rough the city was.  The need then for a new mayor reflects present-day feelings, and the winner at the time was Ed Koch, who championed the city.  He said: “Most people thought that New York city’s great days were over. My attitude was fuck ’em.”

The 2021 race for mayor lost a Mayoral contender this week when New York City Council Speaker Corey Johnson stepped out of the reckoning. He talked about his struggle with depression during the pandemic and says he intends to continue in public service. We wish him well.

This week, the scaffolding came down on Bloom on Forty Fifth, a new condo building on Tenth Avenue that will house Target and 92 new apartments for sale on the site of the old Hess Gas Station.

We reported on Hell’s Kitchen artist Gwyneth Leech’s new exhibition documenting the construction of One Vanderbilt on 42nd Street. 

We were delighted that our W42ST award-winning gym, Manhattan Plaza Health Club was back in action.  Next week (from September 30) their pool will be available too.

On Friday, Intrepid Museum opened again. Some of our readers helped out in the pre-opening to test the new visitor safety systems and had fun.

From Monday, if you are heading north on the west side bike path, you will have to take a 53 street detour. The repairs to a stretch of path from W100th to W125th Street date back to damage caused by Superstorm Sandy in 2012.

Finally, if you’ve been hoping to wait in a huge crowd for hours in Times Square to see 2021 in, you will be disappointed  This year’s ball drop is going virtual.

How one Hell’s Kitchener managed to negotiate a rent cut. Deal…

Heating lamps may be keeping outdoor diners warm – but what are they doing to the planet? Heat…

The controversy over homeless hotels rumbles on… 

The curious tale of three men and a… mancave? Tracks…