Happy Friday. The weekend’s looking good for brunches and walks. Woot woot…

I stood in an empty Birdland yesterday evening. After interviewing owner Gianni Valenti in the afternoon by phone, I popped by to take his picture. It’s devastating to see New York’s entertainment industry as an empty shell.

The GoFundMe for Birdland is gathering pace, but Gianni knows the entertainment industry is hurting, one person at a time: “What about the piano tuner that came in four or five times a week? What about his job? What about the managers? The cooks, the folks that worked in jazz clubs or music venues? There are Broadway singers and dancers and artists that are sitting home, waiting for a phone to ring, living on a small unemployment check. It’s sad.”

Read Gianni’s story here…


We reported on the tragic death of Food Emporium worker Maria Sanchez last month. Her daughter has launched a GoFundMe.

“My mom was so amazing. She was hardworking, caring, understanding, open-minded, so charismatic and so much more. Anyone who has ever met her knows how full of life she was. Her smile and laugh could brighten anyone’s day. She was the sole provider not only for my siblings and me, but also for my very sick grandma in Mexico. Unfortunately, she leaves behind my three siblings who fully depended on her. My baby sister is 5, my brother is 11 and my sister is 16. Times are really tough right now for everyone, so the little help that you decide to contribute will be so gladly appreciated.”

Read more and contribute here…

What We’ve Been Reading

New York’s fiscal watchdog is forecasting a dark future for the city.(PYMNTS.com)

A ferry service from Pier 79 to Staten Island is coming soon. (Patch)

Hilton Times Square has thrown in the towel and given the keys back… (The Real Deal)

Who’s who (so far!) in the race to be NYC Mayor. (Curbed)

Struggling restaurants can apply to get a slice of the $3 million ‘Raising The Bar’ Restaurant Recovery Fund. (Brooklyn Eagle)

Homeless men to move from W36th Street Hotel — to W40th Street Hotel. (NY1)

Freeze Frame

What do you do after a hard day at the office? Chuck Schumer boots up his computer and joins a local Community Board meeting. Yes, that’s what he was doing last night in Queens! Thank you, Chuck!