Happy Monday. If you’re getting back to work today, I hope that 2021 is a fabulous year for you.
On Saturday, I headed to Penn Station to look at the new Moynihan Train Hall. It’s marvelous, impressive and something for New York to be proud of. Look up and you will see breathtaking art — take time to let it all in.
Then, it’s worth wandering just a little further. Take a trip up the magnificent steps of the building to the Post Office — and it’s a very different world. It will be interesting to see when that gets back to normal.
And if you cross the road to Penn Station, you enter another world of the very darkest New York. As Andrew Rigie from the New York City Hospitality Alliance said on Twitter: “The new Moynihan train station is a beautiful accomplishment but there’s a crisis at Penn Station. My family got off the 2 train at Penn and had to maneuver around and over horrible addiction, mental illness, crime and squalor, with no support or security in sight for people.”
The places are important — but we’ve got to keep an eye always on the people.
We all know the city is in crisis, we’re committed to the rebound — my appeal on this is for critical thinking and making decisions based around people, not places!
In recent weeks we’ve delighted in the business of Steve Olsen, our W42ST Hell’s Hero, being saved by the generosity of thousands. People who had fond memories of the West Bank Cafe and Laurie Beechman Theater — but most of all saw a good man struggling to survive, making sacrifices to keep staff employed, and continuing to be the best neighbor we could have in the worst of times.
We saw Connie Rogers, a member of the Schiattarella Family who started Mama Mia 44SW in Hell’s Kitchen back in 1971, make a last-ditch appeal via video to Dave Portnoy at The Barstool Fund — and have her business saved.
There are going to be many more appeals over the next few months. I’d encourage you to really think and research what you can help with. There are SO MANY in need at the moment. You can check out the emotional appeals that Nicholas Heller has given his @NewYorkNico Instagram platform over to. Tom D’Angora has launched an appeal to save Birdland via another GoFundMe campaign (we will be reporting more on that in the next few days). Sadly, many of our business owners will be attending a seminar this afternoon on filing for bankruptcy protection.
Until the vaccine kicks in, the places are important — but we’ve got to keep an eye on the people.
What we’ve been reading
Work is progressing on the transformation of Times Square Theater. (New York Yimby)
What’s the city to do as the state says open windows alone aren’t sufficient for outdoor dining? (Gothamist)
Searching for love in the time of COVID. (CBS)
Coney Island’s past revealed in oral histories. (Brooklyn Paper)
An awesome montage of movie clips starring the New York subway. Recognize any locations? (Cannibal Milkshake)