Happy Monday. Get ready for social media feeds full of blossom and more neighborhood favorite restaurants reopening.

On my first visit to New York City back in 1991, one of the highlights of my trip was a boat ride around Manhattan on the Circle Line on a sunny winter’s day. Now, most of my time in Hell’s Kitchen has been spent overlooking (and hearing) the boats heading out with tourists.

This week, they return from a winter of hibernation. There may not be the fireworks of Chinese New Year 2015 to celebrate, but we’re happy to get aboard and cheer them back!

My friend, Mark Lanham, is a ghost writer — and spends each Saturday serving coffee to the homeless at Union Square.

He made friends with Isma’il Abbas. Isma’il grew up in Hell’s Kitchen, the son of Palestinian emigrants. His crime as a child led to thirty years of incarceration. Four years of homelessness later, he’s writing a book (with Mark’s help). We publish the prologue today and encourage you to help with the GoFundMe to get the full book published. It’s an amazing story.

What we’ve been reading

A look back at Songs in A Minor — the album that pushed Alicia Keys into the spotlight. (Pitchfork)

What’s life like after getting fully vaccinated? (New York Times)

There’s a jaw-dropping amount owed in uncollected parking fines in NYC. (Gothamist)

The city council has thrown a lifeline to small businesses by extending protections. (Crain’s)

The story of the abandoned train track under Grand Central Terminal. (Untapped Cities)

Freeze Frame

Jim Lahey from Sullivan Street Bakery posted this picture. “These were some of the keys of the 300 accounts that we could no longer make bread for, many of which have closed permanently. This was one year ago. There was no certain path forward. To all of our customers who have continued to support us — retail and wholesale, we are grateful,” he said.