Good morning — and happy Earth Day. The dramatic subject line to our newsletter this morning is a reiteration of a New York Times advertisement from March 5, 1916 — “Shall We Save New York?”
After over 100 years has passed, it does look like that’s possible! Yesterday, I had breakfast with photographer Gary Hershorn who has been documenting the rise of Manhattan (particularly in Midtown and Hudson Yards). He lamented the disappearance of the views of the Empire State and Chrysler Buildings from the New York skyline — buildings that were hard to imagine when zoning began in 1916.
The reason that I continued down this rabbit hole was a bizarre set of stories that were in my newsfeed yesterday. First off, was the much-respected Hell’s Kitchen food critic Ryan Sutton calling out Vornado, the developers of Moynihan Train Hall, on their food offering. Read more here on the “public transit gentrification”.
No sooner had I consumed that than I read Politico’s article on former Speaker and Hell’s Kitchen council member Corey Johnson consulting for the same developer, Vornado, on the new Penn station plan — which includes the demolition of the Hotel Pennsylvania to make way for the Empire State Building-obscuring PENN 15.
After my trip to see Gary in Hoboken, my phone buzzed to tell me that CNN+ — the much-heralded streaming news service based at Hudson Yards — had been canceled by owner Warner Media. I looked up… and there was a billboard of CNN’s finest with a backdrop of Hudson Yards! Shall we save New York…?
Nearly 60,000 students have danced through the halls of the Maravel Arts Center as a part of the Rosie’s Theater Kids program, and after an extended pause, the nearly 20-year organization this week welcomed back young performers to the Hell’s Kitchen stage. Read more…
What we’ve been reading
An average homeless family now stays over 500 days in the city’s shelters. (Gothamist)
Folks in Brooklyn are calling Midtown the new hotspot. (Brooklyn Based)
Stephen Ross and other NYC property magnates share a career’s worth of crazy tales and unforgettable quips. (The Real Deal)
Local man arrested in Turkish hate crime stabbing. (New York Post)
How’s your circle of friends looking? (WSJ)
Back to Earth Day… You just need to head out to 9th Avenue to get involved in a “Foster Our Tree Canopy for Earth Day!” event. This composting effort is organized by Elizabeth Young, a neighborhood advocate and NYC Parks volunteer tree steward.
Meet at the SE Corner of W44th St and 9th Ave today (Friday) between 1-4pm or tomorrow (Saturday) 9:30-11am. Just RSVP to Liz by text at (646) 286-8065. “DSNY Big Apple Compost brings their gorgeous compost, and participants cultivate, clean, and add compost to nearby tree beds,” said Liz. “Did you know that trees reduce urban heat zones, divert stormwater, promote carbon capture, and provide fresh air? Adding compost and cultivating the ground of tree beds improves the soil quality and helps rainwater reach roots by reducing compaction.”
Happy belated birthday to Clayton Howe.