Good morning and happy Tuesday. We’ve got a sunny start to the day — but by lunchtime, the clouds will have settled in. The temperature will creep up to 43 degrees mid-afternoon. Tomorrow’s much the same, with rain and temperatures in the 50s predicted for Thursday and Friday.

Despite reports describing the Big Apple as a deserted COVID-19 wasteland, Manhattan’s population has increased since the days of pandemic shutdowns — but not in Hell’s Kitchen. New figures reveal the population of Hell’s Kitchen is down by as much as 10 percent since February 2018, putting it at odds with the borough as a whole, which has seen a net increase in the same period of 3.9 percent, despite plunging by up to 10.9 percent by June 2020, the depth of the pandemic. Read more…


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With 14 miles of public beaches and more than 100 indoor and outdoor pools to oversee, New York City lifeguards have no shortage of work. But last year the city Department of Parks and Recreation faced a dearth of able bodies as the season of sun and surf rolled around. It’s going to be easier for recruits this year. Read more…

What we’ve been reading

In some places, New York’s subway ridership is starting to head past pre-pandemic levels. (Streetsblog)

Steve Cuozzo celebrates 50 years of writing about the city. (New York Post)

New York’s wastewater is becoming more useful in monitoring the spread of disease. (Gothamist)

The prices of the priciest New York City menus are soaring. (Eater)

This is how New York looked in 1999 through the eyes of an 11-year-old Czech boy. (Honest Guide)

Freeze Frame

Thanks to Renne Lutz Stanley for this picture. We’re doing a reader survey today about Local Law 18 — the bill the City Council passed last year to require short-term rental hosts to register with the City, and that also prohibits booking services like Airbnb from processing transactions for unregistered listings. The law is scheduled to become effective in March this year.

Those for Local Law 18 say that once fully implemented, it will curtail illegal hotel activity in New York City and put tens of thousands of apartments back on the market. Meanwhile, Airbnb is pressing to water down the regulations. Many homeowners (including in Hell’s Kitchen) say that they will not be able to make ends meet unless these regulations are weakened. There is a hearing tomorrow.

What do you think? Please take the survey here…

Happy birthday to Mark Guay.