Good morning and happy Thursday. It’s going to hit the low 60s today — which might well be a seasonal record. Weather service Currently says: “We’re talkin’ 15-20 degrees above seasonal norms.” Enjoy!

As twenty-first century citizens living in New York, it’s nearly impossible to envision Times Square without ads. Next to the New Year’s Eve Ball, the most recognizable Times Square icon is likely the outsized, electric Coca-Cola billboard. But what would the world’s most identifiable city center look like without a single advertisement? One intrepid Photoshop user decided to find out. Check it out here…

Down The Road pub is closing on 9th Avenue. We spoke with Monique Ryan yesterday afternoon about the tough times the bar has had, even before opening in July 2019. More here…


Much as we wish every new Hell’s Kitchen business luck — and we like a drink or two — it’s so sad to see the Theatre Row Diner replaced by a liquor store!

Aleta LaFargue’s comment on Instagram hit the mark: “I was just thinking — we don’t have enough liquor stores in this area 🙄”

Fred Papert, famed for helping to save Grand Central Terminal with the help of Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, was also responsible for the revitalization of that block with the 42nd Street Development Corporation. He took me for lunch one day at the Theater Row Diner — it was a favorite spot and he worked to make sure Dennis, the owner, got a deal that meant he could stay there. He’d be spinning in his grave if he saw this!

What we’ve been reading

The city has plans for bikes, boats and trains to help with shipping. (amNY)

Welcome Keechant Sewell — the new NYPD Chief. (New York Times)

A hotel on W36th Street that housed the homeless during the pandemic reopens and rebrands as Voco. (Top Hotel)

Vaccination rule confusion sees kids turned away at Broadway shows. (NBC)

Frances Perkins finds her place on a Hell’s Kitchen street. (Patch)

Freeze Frame

Remember The Big Apple in Bella Abzug Park next to Hudson Yards? Well, now it’s got lights and we’ve added it to our collection of Hell’s Kitchen holiday lights!

Happy birthday to Andy Cohen and Frank Burke.