Good morning and happy Saturday. It’s going to be bright and sunny today but we have a winter storm warning on Sunday with around 6 inches of wet and heavy snow forecast in the city.

However, we’ve got summer to look forward to — and especially summer 2023, when the beach is coming to the Hudson River. Check out the plans for Gansevoort Peninsula.

Here’s what’s been happening around Hell’s Kitchen for the last 7 days…

The week’s news has been dominated by winter storm Orlena. As the snow was heading towards us, we did a flashback to 2016 and Snowpocalypse. After that we’ve been out and about reporting on how Hell’s Kitchen is slip-sliding its way back to normal (we’re not there yet!)

The team at Hell’s Kitchen Hospitality has been working for the past couple of months to create a recipe book with other local restaurants and bars. It’s a 74-page e-book that you can download on a pay-what-you-can basis. The ideal book to have on hand for snow days. Read more (and download)…

Shkumbin ‘Bini’ Mustafa came to New York in 1999, as an ethnic Albanian Muslim refugee from Kosovo. He had heard from a friend that the United States would allow in 20,000 immigrants seeking escape from war-torn Yugoslavia. “So I said, you know what? I always wanted to come to New York. I can’t go back home — I’ll just come in and try to see if I can make a better life,” said Bini. “I packed my small bag with a tennis racquet, a pair of jeans and 2 T-shirts. Hey, I’m going to New York.”

Bini ended up making his new life in Hell’s Kitchen. He’s connected with the community through a combination of tennis, his family, his love of the Olympic team sport Handball — which he describes as “either water polo without water, lacrosse without the sticks, or soccer with your hands” — and his branding agency, 47and10. Here’s his West Side Story

I miss our bars, the intimacy, the serendipity, and the music. I went in search of our May 2017 feature on the playlists of Hell’s Kitchen bars.

I messaged my friend, Suzy Darling, to check if she’s spending her time in Pocket Bar hibernation creating a new playlist. She told me: “I’m not changing a thing! I’m living for the day the whole bar sings again. I feel after this incredibly challenging year (that’s code for complete and absolute crap) every song of the old playlist has taken on a new meaning anyway, from Miley’s Party In The USA to Celine’s It’s All Coming Back To Me Now. The playlist always was and still is about survivors.”

Set your Spotify or Pandora or Sirius Radio to these lists and enjoy…

You might know Keri Jordan-Leander from her baking at Kahve or her Abstract Tart stand at local food festivals. She also wrote for W42ST on Juneteenth last year about what she had learned about racism from her cop father and tortured grandfather. During COVID she’s got a new job (in the accounts department at Levain Bakery) and at weekends is facilitating fun virtual cooking classes connecting folks from as far away as Ohio and Australia to her Hell’s Kitchen kitchen. Here’s her West Side Story…

One of our readers, Emma, wrote in. She said: “The events of last summer (BLM protests and COVID-19) saw many people rally to support Black-owned businesses. Sadly, since summer ended, people forgot to keep sharing and supporting these businesses.”

Here is our updated list of black-owned businesses in Hell’s Kitchen we can support.

Massage Envy — call in to see Rita and the team, or buy a gift card for Valentine’s Day. 

Maison 10 is home to a curated collection of gorgeous home goods, candles, jewelry, bags, and masks. They recently had a devastating fire — you can contribute to their GoFundMe.

Rude Red is the ONLY hot sauce you need in your fridge — it goes on everything (you can pick it up at Westerly Market).

Fresh From Hell is open, selling smoothies, juices, salads, and healthy breakfasts.

Little Pie Company is Sarah Jessica Parker’s Thanksgiving go-to for good reason.

This is the story of our discovery of Ethiopian food at Queen of Sheba.

Jasmine’s Caribbean Cuisine opened on Restaurant Row during the pandemic.

Couture du Jour turned Broadway’s Dionne Figgins from a vintage shopper to the owner of this little vintage store on W44th Street between 8/9th Ave.

Other local, black-owned businesses include Meske (two Ethiopian restaurants within two blocks — so spoiled), Le Soleil Brilliant Haitian restaurant, and Rostelle shoe repair. If you know of any others, please add to the list by replying to this email.

While the city sees the number of positive tests for coronavirus go down, it’s been concerning that public figures like Andrew Yang and New York City Health Commissioner, Dr David Chokshi, have contracted the virus.

We asked Dr Vino Palli from MiDoctor on 9th Avenue for updated health advice and listened in on a telemedicine session with Andrew Yang and his doctor. Have a read of the doctors’ orders…

George Georgiou continues to check out what’s being created in the real world for the virtual world (remember his previous stories on digital drag and burlesque on demand?). This week he zoomed into Missed Connections — an homage to Craigslist with a little magic.

What we’ve been reading

Bars ask for a curfew lift for Super Bowl Sunday. (Democrat & Chronicle)

CBS extends its Hell’s Kitchen footprint at W57th Street. (The Real Deal)

These outdoor eateries are built to last. (Curbed)

Why the bike lanes stay full of snow… (Streetsblog)

Exploring the history of the Tenement Fire Escape. (Village Preservation)

Freeze Frame

Annemieke de Keijzer shared the “fair balance” photo after the “beautiful snow” pictures.