W42ST Daily 7/30/2020

Did you ever think (or realize) that Hell’s Kitchen doesn’t have a subway station?  We’ve got one at W59th St, W50th St, W42nd St, and W34th St – 8th Ave (and the new 7 line at 34th St – 10th Ave). All on our borders. We nearly had one at W42nd St – 10th Ave, but that’s a much longer story, involving the city, the MTA, and property developers, for another time.

I’ve just started listening to an audio book. Jane Jacobs’ The Death and Life of Great American Cities examines urban neighborhood planning. Early on, she identifies two sorts of people — “foot people” and “car people.”  Hell’s Kitchen folk are undoubtedly “foot people.”

I’m pleased to report that some of our sidewalks are looking much better. See this stretch on 10th Ave. What a difference, thanks to our friend Shanti Nagel from Design Wild who did the planting (and took the before and after pics) — but don’t forget the hard work of the HYHK Alliance team who navigated city politics to make this happen.

However, the fight for better sidewalks is not just about new plantings.  Christine Berthet from CHEKPEDS writes about the inequity of funding in the city for the place we spend most time in transit. “The city used to be responsible for sidewalk maintenance but left them in disrepair and was sued constantly for injuries. To remedy the situation, in 2003 the Bloomberg administration transferred the sidewalk maintenance to the adjacent property owner.”

We all know this is a burden for local businesses in terms of effort (and cost of insurance). Christine shared a personal story: “A friend of mine broke an ankle on a sidewalk. After three surgeries, the hospital bills came to $120,000, and just like that, she had to declare bankruptcy.”  Read more…


HELL’S KITCHEN CORONAVIRUS ART
Frederic Lère is one of my favorite Hell’s Kitchen artists. He’s painted a self-portrait of his coronavirus “shelter at home” introspective journey. “Food had become extremely important, and meals deserved to be celebrated as moments of beauty,”  Frederic says. “Sixty-four small breakfast plates of yogurt and fruit construct this self-portrait, evoking a cornucopia, the symbol of endless abundance and nourishment. But as in 17th-century vanitas, one of the plates features the coronavirus crown, a reminder of the fragility of such abundance.” Can you spot the crown?


RING THE BELL – THX DR ZEHRA
Family Practitioner Dr Zehra Siddiqui’s work with the Ryan Chelsea-Clinton Clinic was recognized yesterday by the New York Stock Exchange.  She got to ring the closing bell (virtually).  Dr Zehra is an amazing leader at the organization on 10th Ave – 46th St. Congratulations! HT to reader Raabia Shafi for sharing with us.


WHAT WE’VE BEEN READING
Branded a “repeat offender,” Gossip Bar has been closed for breaching pandemic rules. Enforcers…

We’ve been looking at the database of NYPD complaints just released.  There are more than 400 misconduct allegations against more than 100 local officers. Read more…

Good to see some neighborhood non-profit theaters in this COVID-19 relief aid list. Funders…

Sit back and enjoy an episode of DiverseCITY focusing on Hell’s Kitchen – and featuring our publisher, me! Cringe…

Eater NY samples the menu at neighborhood newbie Tradisyon NYC. Starter…

No Halal Guys here! NYC street vendors in the 19th century. Sellers…


HELL’S KITCHEN IS OPEN!
W42ST continues to do everything we can to support local businesses who are opening up in new and imaginative ways.  Each day we trawl Instagram (with the help of readers adding #w42ST to their posts) and sort through the new offers from our neighbors. Please bookmark “Hell’s Kitchen is OPEN!”, discover what to explore in the neighborhood, and join us in supporting these businesses.

HELL’S KITCHEN IS OPEN