W42ST Daily 8/25/2020

A friend who lives in the West Village is out for her evening constitutional when, turning a corner on to Minetta Lane, she hears the unmistakable sound of … LIVE MUSIC? A jazz band from the Blue Note has set up on the sidewalk and is playing for passers by and it is, she says, magical. A pure New York moment. What joy!

Rumors of New York’s demise have been greatly exaggerated. Jerry Seinfeld says so! Yes, people are leaving faster than the moving companies can handle, businesses are drowning, not waving, and live theater is a distant, poignant memory. But for those of us still here, there is so much to be thankful for; silver linings in the dark clouds cast by COVID.

“I am thankful for living in Hell’s Kitchen,” says Henry. “I seem to have lived my life as a salmon, always going upstream, against the current. As a gay child in a Roman Catholic family and school; as a science nerd when it was all about psychedelics; as an LSD kinda guy when all my college nerd buddies were about, well, being science nerds; always a ‘reverse commute’.”

He’s selling up his country house upstate and is preparing to have only a city address, as large swathes of the city seem to be doing the opposite. 

“As everyone is leaving the city I love,” he says, “we are finalizing our NYC citizenship. We are in contract with our house sale and await only the closing date. I move out completely today.”

Yesterday, I asked what you’re thankful for.

“I am thankful for realizing one of the items on my bucket list: a Manhattan mailing address,” says Henry. “And, as the goddess would have it, I landed in Hell’s Kitchen to meet W42ST.

“I am thankful for the love of my husband. I am thankful for being able to hug my cats. I am thankful for waking up each morning to be happy/sad/ amazed/confused/angry/curious/tired/bored/

“And I guess i’m even thankful for this freakin’ 9th Ave construction that has continued for over three years. Because – what are my options?”

Others of you said you were thankful for family. For your health. For “a great neighbor that has become a great friend during quarantine.” AC (I hear you, sister!). “My balcony.” Time with loved ones. 

Stay real, Hell’s Kitchen. Stay thankful. We’re not dead yet.

Why? But why? But why? You’ve experienced it, yeah? The two-year old that asks you a question. And then asks why. And asks why again. And again. No matter how far down the rabbit hole you answer, they’re greedy little explanation vampires, never interested in anything but why, and they won’t take any of your garbage attempts to put them off as an answer.  Jess Ryan gets to the root of her own why: why she’s working 15-hour days in a freaking pandemic, building a business that she says will fundamentally change the theater industry, and make it more valuable. “Because I just happen to believe we are the best storytellers in the world. And that matters.” This is her story.

Last night, Jenn Gambatese, star of School of Rock and Mrs Doubtfire on Broadway, took part in a sleep out, to raise money for the young people supported by Covenant House. “I wanted to sleep out on the street in front of our town’s community center,” she says, “but I couldn’t get permission. Liability. The irony is not lost on me that the young people we’re raising money for don’t have a choice to ask for permission to sleep out on the street. And I feel we as a society have a liability to them … so that’s why I’m doing it. Outside my own front door.”

You can still sponsor her here.

A reclining gorilla by the name of ‘King Nyani’ is unveiled today, in Bella Abzug Park, Hudson Yards. It’s the largest bronze gorilla sculpture on the planet.

Bryant Park Whole Foods is getting ready to reopen. 

Centro Maria Women’s Home is to close.

Outdoor learning is GO! But do NYC schools have enough time to prepare? 

These theater creatives are so darned … creative! Check out the cat flap!

This cool interactive street map uses nearly 700,000 images to capture New York City in 1940. 

Tomorrow is National Toilet Paper Day. OK, admit it, who still has a bunch of rolls left over from their hoarding?