Good morning and welcome to the weekend. I celebrated the end of my first week back to work with a bar crawl in Hell’s Kitchen with my favorite people. Life is good…

Covenant House — the nonprofit focused on youth homelessness — has just opened up a new headquarters in its first ever purpose-built facility. The new location is at 460 W41st Street, just around the corner from their longtime home at 550 10th Avenue. More here…

Here’s what’s been happening in the neighborhood this week…

The three-week break from the daily newsletter seems a long way away now! If you want to hear about my healthcare adventures (and discover the cost of a vacation heart attack complete with a helicopter ride) — the details are all here!

We got back to business with the launch of the 2nd Annual W42ST Best of Awards — sponsored by Wells Fargo with support from HYHK Alliance and The Durst Organization.

The W42ST Best Of Awards 2021 are different — this community is the very special judging panel. YOU nominate and award the winners. Last year, our community of 35,000 strong picked the neighborhood favorites. It’s time to do it again!

Nominations are open and you can make your choices across seven categories:

Best Bar
Best Place to Eat
Best Place to Work Out
Best Coffee Shop
Best Retail Store
Best Service Provider (e.g. nail salons, dog walkers, dentists, etc)
Best Newcomer (businesses that opened since March 2020)

The first round of nominations for the W42ST Best of Awards 2021 will officially close at 5pm on Monday, November 22. Your votes will lead to the shortlists for each category. After that, we’ll hold a final vote across all seven categories.

Now tell us about your absolute favorite places on the west side!

Suzy Darling might have pocket-sized bars, but she’s always thinking big. When she reached out to world-renowned artist fnnch, she didn’t hold out much hope of getting him to create a mural at the Back Pocket Bar, but she succeeded! See the results and read the story.

We will be hosting my son and my sister from the UK next week for their first Thanksgiving. We’ll be making extensive use of this Hell’s Kitchen list that Mackenzie has pulled together of where you can order and eat in the neighborhood for the holiday. List here…

We’re planning on profiling more Hell’s Kitchen locals with our West Side Stories in the coming weeks.

Judy Kuan talks about her love for the Hell’s Kitchen neighborhood — and how she developed her piano playing (mixed with personal training) and discovered a love of rock climbing during the pandemic. Read more…


We popped by the new Craft+Carry that’s just opened up on 9th Avenue. There are 24 craft beers on tap (which was pretty impressive until I checked on Valhalla which has 48!). Either way, Hell’s Kitchen has many more craft options than it used to.

Following a year without crowds, Times Square is gearing up to welcome back revelers this New Year’s Eve — but you’ll need to be fully vaccinated if you want to be there to witness the ball drop. Details here…

We took a trip over to Fifth Avenue for the Grand Opening of the holiday lights at the Pulitzer Fountain in front of The Plaza Hotel. Check out our video and pics of the oversized lit toys along the sidewalks. It’s a great time to go before the tourists arrive. Bright lights here…

At the height of the pandemic, the Homeless Services chief Steve Banks came under enormous pressure. Now the big question is whether the new Mayor Eric Adams will keep him on from 2022. Read more…

Sting took a tour of the Power Station at Berklee NYC this week with recording studio boss Stephen Webber. He seemed to like the mural honoring artists who recorded at the historic studio that has been created by Hell’s Kitchen artist Mikel Glass. “Wow, I’m right in the middle; look at those neck muscles!” said Sting, according to Webber, who added that it “was great to have the Police man back at the Station.”

So what were the spectacular fireworks on the Hudson River for on Thursday night? 311 were filing illegal fireworks complaints, Hell’s Kitchen dogs were “freaking out”… in the end, it appears it was for a gala with Mayor Bill de Blasio as guest of honor! Back in June, the outgoing Mayor promised to crack down on ‘dangerous” and illegal fireworks! More here…

Meghan Picerno has been playing Christine in The Phantom of the Opera, Broadway’s longest-running show, since before COVID. Now, she’s back in the role, giving credit to the community of artists that made the revival of art, theater and music possible. Here’s her West Side Story… [and she has some great Hell’s Kitchen recommendations]

What we’ve been reading

The debate about propane heaters for outdoor dining is heating up! (New York Daily News)

Take in the view from the top of The Spiral at Hudson Yards. (New York Yimby)

A Broadway costume designer has been accused of sexual abuse. (NPR)

This year’s Rockefeller Christmas kickoff will be a star-studded celebration. (amNY)

Rock and roll photographer Mick Rock dies at 72. (Vulture)

Freeze Frame

While we were out carousing around town, Gary Hershorn was capturing the full Beaver Moon rising over the neighborhood last night.

Have a great weekend!