It’s the weekend! I’m meeting a friend for tacos near Times Square, taking photos of a couple of locals who will be featuring in our West Side Stories, trying to write tomorrow’s newsletter today so I can have a sleep in tomorrow, being entertained by the Hell’s Kitchen Happiness Krewe outside Rudy’s at 2pm on Sunday, and looking for a new apartment (thinking of up in the 50s — you got any recommends?)! Exhausted just thinking about it… What are you up to?

The rats are leaving New York!

It’s official, the rats are leaving the city. The one below is grabbing breakfast before the eyes of photographer Gary Hershorn before heading out. City health officials say the number of reported rat sightings has actually fallen since last year, from 3,034 in September 2019 to 2,777 in September 2020. Read on for more #RATSTATS and where New York came in the national league table.

What’s been happening this week

You all got some voting practice on Saturday and Sunday to try and help W42ST take the lead in the Best of NYC Awards. We won the public vote for Manhattan, thank you! We’ve now got to wait until October 28 for the final decision of the judges. Fingers crossed!

You got warned to look out for snowplows on Sundays (don’t worry they are just out every weekend in October for training). We also started to get revved up for the reopening of Joe Allen Restaurant.

We wandered the empty Dining Concourse at Grand Central Terminal after hearing that the Oyster Bar had reopened, and then closed again after only 12 days of service.

Down in the subway, we’re being advised to STFU. Talking spreads the virus, be quiet!

Read our exclusive interview with two-week old Laila Ortiz, via her news reporter mom, Elisha, for our West Side Story.

The MTA became New York’s model landlord when it agreed to percentage rents with vendors at its city properties like Grand Central Terminal and Turnstyle Underground Market at Columbus Circle.

Tom Fervoy went back to interview Wally and Hamza, our Hell’s Kitchen bodega heroes, about their life running 24/7 corner delis during the pandemic.

Victor Rallo at Esca wrote about his traumatic Saturday night when a man came into the middle of the patio and demanded money.

We shared the words (and moving video) of the McNamee brothers as they decided to close The Mean Fiddler after 15 years. Another victim of the pandemic and intransigent landlords.

Finally, we shared a video of the Odd Brokers selling an apartment at Parc Vendôme on W57th Street (that used to be owned by a star of The Odd Couple). Busy week!

What we’ve been reading

How can New York bounce back from all this? They’re already planning for the future… (NY1)

Why picnics in the park are becoming more and more popular. (New York Times)

Grab free tickets to The Shed’s reopening exhibition. (GothamToGo)

A new wine bar opened this week in Hudson River Park – and it’s BIG!!! (6sqft)

Remember to head to the Guest Services Desk at Hudson Yards and/or Shops at Columbus Circle to pick up your complimentary gift from our partners. We’ve not picked ours up yet — so send us a picture of what it is #W42ST. And check out our list of local shops to head to this weekend. Happy Weekend!