W42ST Daily 4/23/2020

I took a virtual walk along 9th Avenue with Rick Rodriguez yesterday. Rick’s the right hand man of “the ladies of 9th Avenue” (as he calls them) who organize the 9th Avenue International Food Festival. Unfortunately, we’re going to have to wait until next year for that.

We were both saddened by the closure of Empire Coffee & Tea Co. Open in Hell’s Kitchen since 1908 – 112 years – tomorrow will be their last day. Go make a visit while you can.

We shared a virtual eye roll over the fact that Panda Express has packed up and gone. But were delighted that Ray Park has opened up Red Poke again for pickup and delivery (Tuesday-Saturday 12-8pm).

Rick reminisced about the 1970s in Hell’s Kitchen – it was “like dancing on the edge of a volcano, beyond sketchy” – before moving on to the future, and what we hope we can help create. 

We agreed we need some big ideas, to get creative, then all work together to build a groundswell. A significant part of that will be around food. When things have been tough, it’s the locals from the Tri-state area who have supported the small businesses. We know that 9th Avenue will need to be the artery to get Hell’s Kitchen’s heart pumping again. What’s your big idea? Email me – or set up a virtual coffee.

Rick, as always, had a cute observation on life. He is pondering how we are going to deal with the tan lines from our masks as summer comes along.  I’m thinking we’re all going to look like a reverse Barney Rubble…

Talking of first world, COVID world worries, is anyone else suffering from cracked spoons? This household has been too active with the pans at 7pm and is going to have to go back to clapping. The wooden spoon death toll is up to three here!

We’re all about NOT spreading things around right now. But if you’re enjoying this daily newsletter – 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 – please tell your friends. They can sign up here and make us stronger together. 


Call me nostalgic (or call me lazy). Today we are digging into the W42ST archive for a TBT feature.  What do Miami Beach, a drugs bust, ‘God Bless America’, and the the People’s Republic of China have in common? They all come together in the dazzling (sometimes checkered) history of the Chinese Consulate on the corner of the West Side Highway and W42nd St. Read more at w42st.com.

Our friends at Intrepid Museum would like to recognize local heroes – the Intrepid Among Us. Throughout its history, 50,000 people have served aboard the legendary aircraft carrier, sacrificing their personal safety for the greater good. Now the frontline heroes are healthcare professionals, bus drivers, teachers, delivery persons, grocery store workers, and many more – those selflessly putting their own health at risk and providing essential services for the benefit of all.

I nominated ER Doctor Dr Amir Mortazavi. Who would you like to nominate? Post and share their story with videos/photos. #IntrepidAmongUs

It’s true. Zoom meetings really ARE exhausting! Zoom in…

Why wearing gloves to the grocery store is not such a great idea. Gloves off…

The city’s summer youth jobs program may not be dead just yet. Job news…

The Bryant Park lawn is all heart – “It’s a message of love to all New Yorkers, especially essential workers, who are weathering the pandemic crisis in a heroic way.” Love it…

Farewell USNS Comfort leaving Pier 90 soon. Bye bye…

Tonight’s sing along is ‘Lean On Me’. All together now… “Sometimes in our lives …” I’ll be your friend…


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