Good morning. We’re looking forward to the weekend — especially as we plan to extend it through Monday. Enjoy your Independence Day fireworks and we’ll see you all on Tuesday!

On Wednesday, the $28.6 billion Restaurant Revitalization Fund ran out of money, leaving some Hell’s Kitchen bars and restaurants as lucky winners — but many frustrated and worried for their futures. Here’s what we know…

New York’s worldwide reputation as the “City that Never Sleeps” could become even more of a reality if a pilot 24-hour nightlife scheme is a success. Read more…

group of people in a concert

Here’s what’s been happening in Hell’s Kitchen this week…

Forty years ago this week, at the age of 18, I started my first job as a trainee press photographer in Liverpool. One of my first jobs was to photograph the Toxteth Riots (picture below). My sister, Sandra, recalls: “I remember you coming home with a huge bruise on your ribs where you’d been hit by a brick — and you begged me not to tell mum and dad.” I went on to photograph many famous people — from Princess Diana to Mother Teresa, from Freddie Mercury to Nelson Mandela.

On March 13 last year, I started my career as a writer with this daily newsletter. When the PPP money ran out last September, I began my apprenticeship as an editor. Thanks for indulging me as I learn — I’m enjoying this journalism adventure as much as my teenage self did all those years ago!

Two weeks into the pandemic — and his 17 years run at Birdland with the iconic weekly Cast Party broken — Jim Caruso was in bed “watching every single episode of West Wing, eating Oreos and ice cream and basically pulling my covers over my head.”

Even though he was “sad and depressed and stuff” his next action created a brand new show — Pajama Cast Party — that created a weekly audience which peaked at 15,000 (the maximum Birdland crowd is 150) and connected him with a young producer (who had first attended Cast Party at age 6). Read more…

For what was supposed to be PRIDE’s second “virtual” year — up close and personal celebrations took over this city last weekend. Thanks to Jeffrey LeFrancois for this amazing photo, simply captioned: “And we march.”


Dance to all the hits that shaped NYC club culture – Funk & Soul, Disco, Hip-Hop, House, Latin + more, all spun on vinyl. Details here…

On Monday, we listened in to the response of Mayor Bill de Blasio and NYPD Chief of Department Rodney Harrison to Sunday’s shooting in Times Square. They pointed the finger at Times Square CD panhandlers as they promised to “flood the zone” with police. More here…

The Department of Homeless Services started to move homeless residents from Hell’s Kitchen hotels back to congregate shelters this week. Residents at one hotel told us that the prospect returning to 16-men dormitories was “scary” with the vaccination rate for residents at 14%.

Ninth Avenue is looking brighter after Il Punto Ristorante brought some traditional Sicilian color to their outdoor dining area on the corner of W38th Street. Antonio at Il Punto told us that he’d seen artist, c1mah, working a block away on a Curbside Canvas project for #nowyork and had commissioned him to brighten up the eatery. Grazie Mille!

The restaurant business in New York is always tough — but add to that a far west side location, a flood, a pandemic and the closure of the movie house next door — and the chances get slimmer. However, the Livanos family are three generations of survivors and innovators — and this week they changed their Greek American restaurant, Ousia, in Hell’s Kitchen to a new eatery called Hudson West Kitchen + Craft Bar. Find out more…

It was wonderful to see Brian Keyser back at Casellula on W52nd Street on Tuesday evening. After a pandemic break, he’s easing the team in gently with a number of pop-up events (this was a delicious Filipino Tasting Menu) — and will be fully open in September.

Brian opened his heart to us back in May 2020 with an interview that resonated with so many New York business owners struggling to survive the pandemic. We wish him well!

We know what we’re doing this holiday weekend. We’re sailing on the NY Waterway ferry to Red Hook. Thanks to IKEA, there are free weekend trips for the rest of this summer — we’re looking forward to exploring! See you there…

Cycling along 11th Avenue, we spotted this fleet of Daisy May’s BBQ food carts for sale. The famed Hell’s Kitchen BBQ joint closed in October 2017, saying: “Not all great businesses are meant to go on forever…. It was our privilege to serve you over these 14 challenging years.”

We called up and asked Bob at Metropolitan Lumber & Hardware how much they are. “They’re three to four depending on size,” he said. We asked “hundreds or thousands?” The answer was “thousands!” His number is (212) 246-9090. If you find a use for one, please send us pictures!

Our post on the free weekend ferries to Red Hook got readers very excited. If you are feeling more energetic —but still want a river adventure — check out Manhattan Community Boathouse. They have just reopened after the pandemic for free kayaking. Details here…

For this weekend only, you can see two Statues of Liberty in New York! Lady Liberty got a “Little Sister” yesterday as a 9-foot-tall bronze statue crafted from the original 1878 plaster model by Auguste Bartholdi was put on display at Ellis Island. More here…

A Reddit user took the time to create a map of the New York Subway for those with disabilities. It’s a thin skeleton of the map most of us have the privilege to access every day.

You might have noticed that at we’ve been trialing a service that makes our site more accessible. All stories can now be listened to. Please give the service a trial, tell your friends — and we would welcome your feedback. We are working to fine-tune the pronunciations of the automated service (although the way they say “de Blasio” amuses us so much that we think we will leave that as is!).

What we’ve been reading

The West Side is brought to life by augmented reality on the High Line. (New York Times)

79th Street Boat Basin residents face eviction. (Curbed)

Summer Streets returns — mark your calendars for Saturday August 7 and 14. (NBC)

PETA will be handing out vegan dogs rather than protesting at Nathan’s in Coney Island this July 4th. (Brooklyn Paper)

Remembering New York’s Fat Men’s Clubs. (Inside Hook)

Freeze Frame

Thanks to Peter Shankman for this view of yesterday afternoon’s storms from W42nd Street. “NYC has amazing super-quick thunderstorms. This one approached, did its thing, and bailed, all within five minutes. I took this right as the rain stopped.” he said on Instagram.

Keep dry today — see you Tuesday!