Happy Black History Month. Emily McGill wrote this week: “We are all welcome to highlight the celebration of the impact that Black folks have on the world, and it is also something that must be honored 365 days a year. As someone who has an immense amount of privilege, I’ve often said that I want to use that privilege to help. This could look like many different things from making donations, to amplifying the voices of creatives of color, to holding the space for marginalized communities to safely express the fullness of their complexity and beauty. Ultimately, the best way to help is to support these communities in the way that they request.” I couldn’t have written that better.
Keri Jordan-Leander reconnected with me this week. You might know Keri from her baking at Kahve or her Abstract Tart stand at local food festivals. She also wrote for W42ST on Juneteenth last year about what she had learned about racism from her cop father and tortured grandfather. During COVID she’s got a new job (in the accounts department at Levain Bakery) and at weekends is facilitating fun virtual cooking classes connecting folks from as far away as Ohio and Australia to her Hell’s Kitchen kitchen. Here’s her West Side Story…
One of our readers, Emma, wrote in. She said: “The events of last summer (BLM protests and COVID-19) saw many people rally to support Black-owned businesses. Sadly, since summer ended, people forgot to keep sharing and supporting these businesses.”
Here is our updated list of black-owned businesses in Hell’s Kitchen we can support.
Massage Envy — call in to see Rita and the team, or buy a gift card for Valentine’s Day.
Maison 10 is home to a curated collection of gorgeous home goods, candles, jewelry, bags, and the best face mask (they call it a face glove) for sidewalk drinking. They recently had a devastating fire — you can contribute to their GoFundMe.
Rude Red is the ONLY hot sauce you need in your fridge — it goes on everything (you can pick it up at Westerly Market).
Fresh From Hell is open, selling smoothies, juices, salads, and healthy breakfasts.
Little Pie Company is Sarah Jessica Parker’s Thanksgiving go-to for good reason.
This is the story of our discovery of Ethiopian food at Queen of Sheba.
Jasmine’s Caribbean Cuisine opened on Restaurant Row during the pandemic.
Couture du Jour turned Broadway’s Dionne Figgins from a vintage shopper to the owner of this little vintage store on W44th Street between 8/9th Ave.
Other local, black-owned businesses include Meske (two Ethiopian restaurants within two blocks — so spoiled), Le Soleil Brilliant Haitian restaurant, and Rostelle shoe repair. If you know of any others, please add to the list by replying to this email.
What we’ve been reading
How to stay warm while dining alfresco this winter. (Eater)
This amazing collection shows how magazines helped to shape America. (NY1)
The City Council has called for NYPD reform. (ProPublica)
It celebrated its 108th birthday earlier this week, now an ambitious hotel plan looks set to transform Grand Central Terminal. (NBC)
The books that launched the Golden Globe nominees. (New York Public Library)
Dawn snowscape in New York City this morning. Thanks to Gary Hershorn for this stunning photo.