W42ST Daily 5/01/2020

Friends, just because we’re in quarantine/self-isolation/social distancing/WFH, it does not excuse a return to the most hated trend of the 1980s. I’m not talking about double denim, or bad perms, or those giant belts I had a bazillion of that made me look like a pro wrestler. I’m talking, of course, about the chain letter.

You see, I really don’t need another recipe from someone I don’t know. Thank you for thinking of me anyway. I don’t need a poem or a motivational quote. That’s what the internet is for. And I certainly don’t need the pressure of forwarding another email to ten of my friends and pissing them off too.

So, #sorrynotsorry, if you send me one of these letters (and I say this in love and respect), I am 100% guaranteed to break your chain, bringing bad luck on us all, ensuring we get fat, fail chemistry, and never find true love.

My friend has started a non chain letter in protest at this worrying development. It’s a fairly revolutionary concept, so bear with me. Every weekend, she sends about 10 postcards, give or take, to people she loves but can’t see right now. She sends them all over the world, and writes about things she’s missing, things she’s looking forward to, and what kind of week she’s had. That’s pretty much it it. “It’s a way of keeping a piece of myself with them in the meantime,” she says. 

Reminiscent of letters between wartime lovers or old school penpals, it took 12 days to travel just five blocks, but was made even more special because of (despite?) that. Anyone can fire off a quick email, and copy and paste it to 10 friends. To write a note by hand, peel of a stamp, and place it in a mailbox, takes time, effort, and care.

It’s perfect in its analogue simplicity. You can buy postcards and stamps online. And, as we seek new ways to connect with each other, perhaps we’ll find that, when we can’t be physically in the same space, some of those old ways really are best, after all.

We’re all about NOT spreading things around right now. But if you’re enjoying this Friday missive – if it’s bringing you a little joy in these dark times and helping you feel connected to your neighbors as social distancing becomes the new normal – you’ll LOVE our daily dispatch. Sign up by clicking on this big yellow blob. And tell your friends to join the party. 👇


Looking for something to do between Zoom cocktails, baking soda bread, and checking emails? So was Karin Schall. What she found was something that “makes me feel that I’m physically doing something that’s outside of me. I’m very, very lucky.” Read her story – and others like it – at w42st.com.


Have lunch with a Cambodian rock band
Signature Theatre’s online SigSpace events continue with an Instagram Live conversation featuring Francis Jue from the recent production of Cambodian Rock Band. Tune in at midday.

Buy a face glove
Remember Wing & Weft, the last, independent glovemaking business in Manhattan that we featured in September 2019? Now they’re making face gloves (they’re like masks, but fashion!). I’m loving their chic collaboration with our friends at Maison 10. Buy one, and $5 goes to City Harvest. Support local, y’all!

Join Joe Iconis and Family
Our favorite neighborhood songwriter with “a knack for story and a taste for strange” brings his trademark mash-up of show-tune cabaret and rock ‘n’ roll jam session to Lincoln Center at Home. The streaming of this show from earlier in the year goes live tonight. Tune in here.

Hear me roar
Feinstein’s/54 Below streams its I Am Woman: A Concert for Female Empowerment tonight, featuring music by Pink, Whitney Houston, Sara Bareilles, Carole King, and more. From sexuality to spirituality, from health to harassment, no subject is off-limits. Watch it here. 

Watch a movie with Jamie Lee Curtis
The star is hosting a weekly Friday night movie night live, with proceeds going to help theater employees furloughed by the COVID-19 crisis. Tonight’s choice: La La Land. Watch (and donate) here.

Shop local
The clever boys and girls on W49th St have come up with a cunning plan. You’ll be able to order lovely things from Fine and Dandy, November 19, and Back Pocket Bar online, over the phone, or by email, and pick them up in person on Saturday, anytime between 1pm and 5pm. That means you could dress up in some dapper duds, make your home look lovely, and toast it all with some of the best rose in town, all in one block. It’ll all be safe, contactless, and curbside. Just sayin’.

I may be broke, but all this time at home is giving me twitchy shopping fingers. So, for today’s name game, tell me your name, and what was the last thing you purchased?

I’ll go first. Hello, friends, my name’s Ruth, and last week I bought a photograph from an art sale. All the money goes to Elmhurst hospital … but I won’t see my lovely print until everyone goes back to work. Sigh.


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