Happy Monday. Yesterday’s 68 degrees in Central Park tied the record set in 1935. The temperature was more typical of early May and was 21 degrees above average. Oh, and the forecasted high this afternoon is 71 degrees!

Everyone hopes that today’s lifting of the vaccination check mandate is a pivotal moment in New York moving on from the pandemic. During this time, we have been lucky to have community-minded folks who have created volunteer organizations for good. We highlight two of them today.

The HK Free Store, founded by neighborhood residents Bailey Sperling and Chana Widawski, will turn one next weekend. There are birthday celebrations planned. Read more…

The Hell’s Kitchen Litter Legion has been helping keep our streets clean throughout COVID. Yesterday Borough President Mark Levine turned out to clean up trash with the volunteers. Thanks to Grace Copeland for this lovely photo essay…

What we’ve been reading

When a raccoon pops by your New York apartment for a snack. (New York Post)

The spending spree behind the 1MDB swindle is creating one of the most remarkable cases to hit New York’s justice system in years. (The Guardian)

Restaurants with Russian names are getting harassment and losing business. (CBS)

There have been 1,500 tickets and over 140 arrests so far in subway safety plan. (NBC)

Have you spotted any of these new loading zones in the neighborhood? (PIX11)

Freeze Frame

Thanks to Malcolm McPherson for his Hell’s Kitchen creation from last night simply entitled “Good Evening”. Bonus point if you can identify where it is…