Happy Saturday. How was your week?

It’s been a challenging seven days for our restaurants and bars. In the run-up to Governor Cuomo’s announcement about indoor dining stopping from Monday, we saw Esca join the list of local eateries heading into hibernation. Vic Rallo at Esca messaged us on Saturday night to say that he and Dave Pasternack had decided to close for now. “Tonight is Esca’s last night until New York City is normal again. We’re expecting that to be Spring 2021. Thanks to everyone for their support and hope to see you soon.”

Yesterday, they were joined by Suzy Darling putting her two bars, The Pocket Bar and Back Pocket Bar, on furlough from Monday with a plan to “reopen when there is 50% capacity for indoor seating.”

Nick Zippilli from West Side Steakhouse joined two of his celebrity clients on TV to appeal for the government to “drop us a lifeline or we won’t survive.”

Unfortunately, Rustic Table decided it was time to “throw in the towel” on their W42nd Street Mediterranean style eatery from tomorrow.

Rustic Table at full capacity back in March 2018.

From Monday, W42ST.nyc will be maintaining an up-to-date list of the opening times of local businesses and what they are offering in terms of outdoor dining and takeout.

We’re taking an interest in who will become Mayor of New York in 2021. We attended the West Side Tenants Conference hosted by Hell’s Kitchen based Housing Conservation Coordinators. In the Zoom call, 8 mayoral candidates talked about housing and homelessness. Our article focuses on what they have to say about homelessness, which has been a hot topic in Hell’s Kitchen.

Yesterday, we asked the question — “Will This Hell’s Kitchen Foodie be the Next Mayor of New York?” — as Andrew Yang looks increasingly likely to enter the race and become a front runner for the role.

Chef Marcus Samuelsson has made an appeal to raise funds for Chef Lay Alston, an alumna of the Food and Finance High School, who was shot and paralyzed in New York. Read more…

Karin Schall is the person chalking up Hell’s Kitchen sidewalks with messages about masks, voting, staying home, and democracy. She says that her superpower is her “outrage”. Read on for Karin’s West Side Story (which features Timothée Chalamet and Mariska Hargitay!)

It’s been a tough week. We followed the advice of Alicia Keys (with a little help from Jay-Z) and took the “These streets will make you feel brand new. Big lights will inspire you” Tour!

It’s highly recommended. Took a couple of hours on a Citi Bike and truly lifted spirits — “9 Ways for New York City’s Big Lights to Inspire YOU!”

We added a tenth lighting marvel later! How about taking control of the city lights on your mobile phone? Unless you are an advertising mogul we cannot promise Times Square — and The Empire State Building is for special occasions only — however, the two in the middle of our picture are up for grabs (courtesy of the Durst Organization)! Big Lights, Big City…

Have you been lucky enough to spot the humpback whale in the Hudson River this week?

W42nd Street resident, Andrés Javier was taking a sunset walk on Pier 84 on Monday and spotted the huge mammal at play as a NY Waterway ferry went by. Andrés’s video (set to his own music) is enchanting.

When I’m looking around for something to read, my first point of call is Patrick Key’s Instagram account. He’s always got a good recommendation, and he’s just shared his top 10 fiction for 2020. Enjoy, go read!

What we’ve been reading

Sprinklers in every apartment? Better not burn the toast! (The Real Deal)

Coming soon to a sidewalk near you – “Open Streets: Garbage.” (Streetsblog)

Something to look forward to in springtime – art in the open! (Gothamist)

The historic White Horse Tavern is at the center of controversy. (Curbed)

New York’s art deco heritage – including Stella Towers, home to Trevor Noah. (Untapped Cities)

Freeze Frame

There’s no escape that winter is upon us. We’d like to finish the newsletter each day with a warming or inspiring picture from the season. Tag @w42st in your social posts with your best shots.

The moon rises over 42nd Street in the pre-dawn sky in New York City, Saturday morning. Photo: Gary Hershorn.