W42ST Daily 5/03/2020

“How will I know?”

It’s a Whitney Houston anthem that I sing (or used to sing) at the top of my voice at The Pocket Bar.

Now it’s how I feel when people talk about getting back to “normal”. What the hell is that? Read my interview with Rick McGuire from Subway Creatures today.  Normal might well be when he starts posting funny, absurd, weird videos of subway life again – and we start complaining again about the MTA at rush hour!

How do we know the right social distance ethic – mixed with our basic human need to be around humans?  We’ve been making this up on the fly for weeks.  Refining, judging, testing, pushing, defending… It’s all new, not normal.

Yesterday, we traveled to my GF’s apartment in the West Village for a break.  We wandered around an empty Soho.  I hate shopping anyway, so I was not disappointed at the empty streets and shops not open. However, it was so so far away from normal.  It was spooky, unsettling, worrying

We headed on bikes down to the river to find space to take in the sun and read books. It was nerve wracking on the bikes, So many people around.  Is that normal, or are we just so sensitive?  We found a spot that was at least 20 feet from other people and enjoyed the space.  It felt normal for a while.  We talked about lockdown restrictions in other countries. We people watched.  Worried about runners without masks.  Was that normal just 7 days ago?

Toward 7pm we walked to Lenox Health Greenwich Village ER.  I’d seen and heard the 7pm applause, singing, pan banging for weeks. I’d encouraged it. Was it just an empty platitude? Eye rollable activity to ease the guilt of those not on the front line? I’d been told by friends in ER that it was important support.

We’re human. How will I know? I needed to see with my own eyes.  We stood and applauded, and applauded. We were at the back of a large crowd. All keeping our distance. After 5 minutes, I walked nearer. I took just one video. You can see the joy of “being seen” from the staff at the hospital. Let’s keep applauding. It’s not normal, we are all just doing what we can do for our own normal.

We’re all about NOT spreading things around right now. But if you’re enjoying our daily missives – if they’re bringing you a little joy in these dark times and helping you feel connected to your neighbors as social distancing becomes the new normal – tell your friends. They can sign up by clicking on this big yellow blob. 


Rick McGuire’s Subway Creatures is challenged to find funny, absurd, weird content at the moment. But people are missing the subway. I’ve had people reach out to me who said, “I can’t believe I’m saying this. I actually miss the subway”. Read more at W42ST.com.

The New York we know and love is one click away: cabs honking, pigeons cooing, bike messengers whizzing by, strangers gossiping, the hum of a local library. You can listen to a collection of audio landscapes thanks to the New York Public Library (on West 42nd St) in partnership with creative agency Mother New York (in Hell’s Kitchen on 11th Ave).  It is a love letter to NYC.  Normal New York.  HT to Edith Gonzalez for the link.

Great news.  There are more places opening every day in Hell’s Kitchen for pick up and delivery. Today we will be adding to the W42ST open list 42nd Street Pizza, Kochi, Queen of Sheba and Scruffy Duffy’s.  In celebration Pat Hughes is promoting his world famous Scruffy Duffy Wings with a cartoon video (which includes a guest appearance from yours truly!).

“New York City will do what New York City has always done. Grow, despite the pain” – a writer answers the city’s naysayers. Yes yes…

If you haven’t completed your census form yet, do it today! Tick here…

How’s your pandemic haircut looking? Trim here…

Worth a second glance if you’re passing by on your daily exercise. Snoop here…

Where music is making a difference for COVID-19 patients. Tune in…

We are all missing loved ones. Feeling detached, remote. This morning I am feeling that as I am an ocean away from my daughter, Millie, as she celebrates her 21st birthday.

More importantly, she’s missing friends. Missing her last weeks at Leeds University before graduation. We are all missing so much – but life goes on. Airbuds have been bought. A card sent. Promises of getting together soon to do this celebration properly. Well this is going to be a memorable birthday for the rest of Millie’s life. 

Happy birthday, darling. With all my love xxx


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