Happy humpday. It’s that day of the year when you do a double-take on telling folks they have a big black mark in the middle of their forehead — it’s Ash Wednesday and the start of Lent. What are you giving up for the next 40 days?

We enjoyed spending time yesterday searching through our photo archive for pictures of the 9th Avenue International Food Festival. The oldest street food festival in New York is returning on Saturday and Sunday May 14-15 after a two-year pandemic enforced hiatus. Read more…

9th Avenue International Food Festival

New York Mayor Eric Adams’ intention to end vaccination checks next week has served up uncertainty in Hell’s Kitchen’s dining community. While some restaurateurs have expressed cautious optimism and a hope for increased tourism, many local diners voiced a newfound hesitancy to dine indoors alongside potentially unvaccinated patrons. In a W42ST reader poll, 61% of respondents told us that the city should not let the mandate expire, with 32% believing it was time to let vaccination checks go. Read more…

Vaccination Checks Indoor Dining Tacuba

What we’ve been reading

If you fill up in New Jersey, you might soon have to pump your own gas! (NBC)

Good news as Broadway audiences reach a new season high. (Broadway News)

Homeless services operators are still under investigation as millions flow into the system. (New York Times_

The story behind “whisper listings” in New York’s luxury real estate. (Business Insider)

Creating store signs in New York with a “maximalist approach”. (Localish)

Freeze Frame

Phil O'Brien W42ST magazine 9th Avenue International Food Festival

We sadly won’t be giving out W42ST magazine at this year’s 9th Avenue International Food Festival — but we will be there doing something. So far our brainstorming has produced ideas around NFTs, burger competitions, funky t-shirts, mug sales and more… We’re open to suggestions, readers. Hit reply!

Happy birthday to Deborah Gaffaney.