W42ST Daily 8/31/2020

A few years back, when I still loved running, and running still loved my knees, I took part in a couple of Tough Mudders, 10K runs in which each kilometer or so brought with it some form of tortuous obstacle.

It occurred to me the other day, while hiking through a field of waist-height stinging nettles, how a Tough Mudder is a lot like life. There you’ll be, jogging along nicely, enjoying the scenery, listening to your jam, when – HOLY SHIT, FOR THE LOVE OF ALL THAT IS HOLY, WTF IS THAT? – as a skip full of ice, or a field of live electric cables, or burning tires, or a pit of stinking mud appears on the horizon, and you just have to get through it to continue on the obstacle course we call life.

Where Tough Mudders differ from other similar events is that they are not races. They are not timed, and are completed in groups – so are about camaraderie, not competition. You “win” by meeting personal challenges head on and overcoming them, with the physical help and moral support of the people around you.

So, while we navigate the giant swamp-fest that is 2020, gird your loins, my friends. Gather your team around you. Lift them up when they stumble, and allow them to do the same for you. And, don’t forget, there’s a cold beer and an orange headband waiting at the end.

Dionne Figgins can still remember the first thing she bought at Couture du Jour, a little vintage store on W44th St – 8th/9th Ave that you’d miss if you blinked. 

“It must’ve been a 1950s black cocktail dress that had eggplant lace over a silk satin slip. It just peeked out, with a scallop at the bottom.” 

The year was 2009, and the Broadway actress was starring in Memphis. Since then, she says, she must have spent “thousands of dollars” there. “One of my favorite acquisitions was a pair of white thigh-high wedding boots. I had a silk, leopard print wiggle dress …”

Tomorrow, Dionne reopens the vintage store she fell in love with more than 10 years ago, as sole proprietor (and with up to 80 percent off everything). This is her story.

One of the things I’m thankful for is my new love of poetry, and how it can reach in and touch the soul in profound ways. Here, the glorious Emma Thompson reads ‘Kindness’ by Naomi Shihab Nye, and dedicates it to our future selves, the people we’ll be after this pandemic. Just beautiful.

Coming to play at a location near you … the NY Phil

After a rise in incidents of violence, shoplifting and harassment, the city’s bodega owners are calling for better police support. 

David Blaine won’t be “floating over the Hudson” after all. 

Those energy drinks we chug down today? They once had a little more pep…