W42ST Daily — 9/18/2020

Forty five percent of small, local businesses are not expected to get through the next three months. And while you digest the stark reality of what that means for our daily lives and the communities we live in, know that it doesn’t have to be that way. You can help these gems – often mom and pop (or mom and mom, or pop and pop) – to not just survive but thrive.

Here’s how. My friend Tom, himself a small business owner and entrepreneur, has these ten little tips, born from personal experience. Make a point of doing one of them every day.

1. If your favorite store has reopened, stop by to say hi, tell them you’ve missed them, and do some shopping.

2. If they haven’t reopened yet, support them by shopping online

3. Tell as many of your friends as possible about them, and what it is that you love about them. Share the love.

4. Make sure you’re following them on social media – all the usual ones: Instagram, Facebook, Twitter etc.

5. Next time you click on Amazon, think twice, and consider whether you could shop smaller or shop local. Jeff Bezos doesn’t need any more of your dollars.

6. Take a photo of something you’ve bought there that you love, post it on social media, and tag the shop so that your friends hear about it.

7. If you have any “influencer” or media friends, tell them about your favorite local business.

8. Be political. Write to local and state politicians about your neighborhood and why small businesses are key to its character and survival.

9. If you’re a local activist, ensure that the fate of local small businesses is on your agenda.

10. If you are a local business, don’t live in a bubble. Tell your customers about your favorite neighborhood gems and build a community of like-mined, mutually supportive businesses. This is Tom’s list (there’s a couple of Hell’s Kitchen goodies in there).

And thanks to David for this, which pretty much sums up where I am in life right now.

Talking of small businesses, we presented the latest in our Best of HK awards this week – find out who won the best gym gong here. And catch up on the best bars, places to eat, coffee shops, and retails stores too – these are the places voted the neighborhood’s best, by locals who love them.


Shake your booty (I don’t need to be asked twice!). BC (Before COVID), Alvin Ailey’s high-energy zumba class was one my greatest joys. This one is virtual, but I’ll still be there, annoying the downstairs neighbors! Class starts at 11.30am and costs $15. Find out more. 

All day, Summer Stage will present a day of dance, with performances on the hour, every hour. See the full program here.

Broadway On Demand streams the turbulent tale of Anna Karenina, filmed in front of a live audience at the Moscow Operetta Theatre. Tune in here.

Nothing – not even a pandemic – stops the might of the Broadway Flea Market. It’s going virtual for the first time in its history – and is a chance to pick up pieces of theater history, as well as see one-on-one chats with the stars. Find out more.

The American Symphony Orchestra is performing pop-up concerts in Bryant Park. There is limited seating IRL, and you can also view the performance online. Find out more.

Jim Caruso’s Pajama Cast Party is going from strength to strength. The mother of all open mic nights, this week’s virtual phenomenon features Broadway leading men T Oliver Reid and Adam Roberts, and director-of-the-stars Richard Jay-Alexander, who will regale the viewers with stories of working for Streisand, Chenoweth, and Midler. Find out more.

On April 30, 1971, Norman Mailer, Germaine Greer, Jill Johnston, Diana Trilling, and Jacqueline Ceballos participated in a panel on women’s liberation at The Town Hall. This week, filmmaker Chris Hegadus talks about the release of the documentary Town Bloody Hall, A Century of Story & Song. Watch it here.

Is it just my imagination, or are New York’s rats getting BIGGER? Find out how to manage the monsters at a rat academy. Yes, this is A Thing. Register here.

Signature Theatre’s Inside the Rehearsal Zoom Room series continues as Alan C Edwards and Steve H Broadnax III reflect on the production of Katori Hall’s The Hot Wing King! This live event will be a closed affinity space for Black-identifying artists and audience members only. Find out more.

Let America Be America is a new virtual exhibition at Fountain House Gallery Exhibition, inspired by Langston Hughes Poem, in which artists explore what it means to be “We the people.” View it here. 

Theatre For One: Here We Are is a new, live digital theatrical experience that brings together one actor and one audience member, featuring eight new micro-plays which speak to these times we are in. Tickets are free, and while this week’s performance is sold out, there is a waiting list (and you can sign up early for next week’s play). Find out more.

This is my last newsletter for W42ST. Thank you from the very depths of my being for your love, support, and laughter over the last five years. You are my family. I leave you with one last request. As you think about supporting small businesses, consider contributing to W42ST as it fights for its own survival, as well as that of the community of Hell’s Kitchen. OK, two requests. I’m launching an editorial consultancy, with storytelling at its heart. I’d love to work with you on your project. You can find me at ruthwalker.me. Stay in touch.