Good morning. We’re going to have a summer-like Monday with humidity and a high of 85 degrees — and those hazy skies from the wildfire smoke are back. The weather service Currently is reporting that there have been over 44,000 wildfires so far in 2021 that have burned over 5 million acres of land.

Back in May 2020, we interviewed Brian Keyser, the owner of Casellula Cheese and Wine Café, about his challenges to keep his business open during the pandemic. “My restaurant is my baby — my family — and now I’m thinking of closing it for good” was the story we ran. As Casellula prepares to finally reopen, we caught up at the end of last week for an update. Read here…

If there’s ever been a time to put feet on the ground in Hell’s Kitchen — it’s NOW! We spent the weekend squishing spotted lanternflies. In the three weeks since our initial report, they have proliferated in the neighborhood. Please can you circulate our story to your friends (and if you have a message board in your building, please repost). If you watch the video in our report, you will realize why we really need to stomp out this pest.


Mark Fisher Fitness is offering two free workouts at NYC’s friendliest, quirkiest gym! Click here…

What we’ve been reading

What’s been selling at the Armory Art Fair? (Artsy) [HT to Tanya]

City workers return to work in person this morning. (Gothamist)

Judge blocks restaurant owner’s plea to stop mandatory vaccination checks. (SI Live)

Enforcement against New York street vendors is back. (Documented)

Ever wondered how to grill those Piccinini steaks? (Real Baking with Rose)

Freeze Frame

This was on Reddit this morning. We’re not sure if it’s an opening in Hell’s Kitchen, but do you know anyone qualified for the role?

Happy birthday to Sam Hysell.