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Photographer Tom Zuback started to see love appear on 9th Avenue, in the form of hearts and messages like: “You will be OK. Storms don’t last forever”, “This is tough but so are you”, and “One kind word can change someone’s entire day.”
He sent W42ST a message saying “Do you know who is behind these well planned and carefully crafted, time consuming, put together signs on Ninth Ave?” Here’s the answer…
Lizzy Savage started to post these colorful hearts with inspirational quotes as the pandemic started. She has an Instagram account @heartsny where she shares her work that she hopes “makes your day a little brighter.”
Lizzy told us: “I started putting up these hearts in March of last year when the pandemic started, to help cheer people up. I have put up over 4,000 from Harlem to the South Ferry. This is the 3rd time I have done Hell’s Kitchen. I was born and raised in Hell’s Kitchen on 43rd and 10th a long time ago and have been living in the West Village for many years now — but my heart will always be in Hell’s Kitchen.”
Incredibly, Savage wasn’t an artist before COVID-19. She was, and still is, a bartender in Greenwich Village.
But good deeds have their rewards. Lizzy was appointed as Artist in Residence for New York Fashion Week (NYFW) earlier this month. “I just couldn’t believe it. You know, it was really a dream come true,” she said.