W42ST Daily 6/27/2020

I was reminded of a story this week that struck me as incredibly sad when I heard it years ago. It involved a friend who had gone for a routine dental check-up and, mid-treatment, without warning, she broke down in silent, heaving sobs. Once she’d started there was no stopping her. The seal was broken. There was no pain; it was simply the first time she’d been touched by another human in months, and couldn’t hold in the grief any longer.

I finally secured a hair appointment this week. After three long months of Duane Reade box color and more than one ill-advised hatchet job with the kitchen scissors, I was finally getting the attention of a professional, and I was giddy with excitement.

Every safety protocol was covered. Clients waited outside until their allotted time. A questionnaire about our health was mandatory. So was the mask and hand sanitizer on entry. Every chair was separated by a plexiglass panel. Each stylist wore a mask, a face shield, and protective gown. Through muffled conversations, my stylist and I laughed at stories of the DIY haircuts he’d had to repair, and of the relief we both felt at reclaiming this one small part of our old lives.

Two and a half hours later, back at home and staring at myself in the mirror, I wept for fully 20 minutes. My hair was shorter. Darker. Who was this stranger staring back at me?

The city may be creeping back to a post-COVID new normal, but many of us are still grieving a life that may be lost forever, our emotions more close to the surface than we dared guess. Me? I’m mourning a redhead I once knew. She’ll be back as soon as she can get to Duane Reade …

It’s been a busy week, right, what with Phase 2 starting, easing our way back on to the subway, and crying over our haircuts? So you probably didn’t have time to read all the amazing stuff we were talking about this week. Fear not! You can catch up here. This week’s highlights include:

Phil’s city-wide cycle to track down David Byrne’s bike racks.

Our list of Hell’s Kitchen businesses that are open (and this will come in handy when you need to order take out during the storm).

Memories of Barry Haviv, the Hell’s Kitchen landlord we all wished we’d had.

My attempt to make baked beans, for a legendary, hangover-busting breakfast.

And a bumper Pride celebration that includes: 

The history of the rainbow flag.

An A – Z of LGBTQ.

A masterclass in drag, courtesy of Monet X Change.

And coming out stories that are joyful, life-affirming, and life-saving.

Have a wonderful weekend.

I love these free wellness classes, organized by HYHK Alliance – hatha vinyasa flow yoga today; kundalini yoga tomorrow, both with the fabulously serene and patient Malorie Bryant. Suitable for all levels of fitness.

Our columnist Kristen Jongen has just taken delivery of a ton of Love is Bigger goodies, from T-shirts and hoodies to stickers, bags, and phone cases. All proceeds go to human rights. Start shopping.

A Pride for All Black Lives rally is starting at Times Square today and working its way to Sheridan Square, with performances from Broadway stars including Krystal Joy Brown, DJs, snacks, and speakers. Dress in bright colors and fly the flag for freedom.

Hat Fitz and Cara perform musical that is described as a rollicking combination of folk, roots, and gospel blues, with a dash of old-time flavoring. He’s a veteran “wild man” of the Australian blues scene; she’s toured with Jamiroquai and Corinne Bailey-Rae. Watch them tonight, here.

If you like staying connected to your neighborhood, don’t keep it to yourself. Your friends can join the W42ST tribe too – by signing up on that big yellow blob.