W42ST Daily — 9/8/2020

Picture the scene. A Labor Day picnic in Riverside Park. The sun is shining, and Rob is waiting as I arrive, his bike propped in the shade against a weeping willow. It’s hard to imagine a more idyllic spot.

He stands and we hug. Then, as I unfurl the blanket, he stops me suddenly, pulls me back, and points, his eyes wide. A wasp the size of a crocodile is hovering over the grass, menacingly, exactly where he’d been sitting. 

We back off slowly, no sudden moves, but never take our eyes off the prehistoric insect just a few feet away. It’s like Jurassic Park, and we’re the kids. Except there are no kitchen cupboards to hide in.

After a few patient minutes, the monster hornet makes its move, descending suddenly on its prey and wrestling with it until it is either paralyzed by fear at this unexpected turn of events. Or, more likely, it’s dead. Happy Labor Day!

The striped killer then makes its way – with a huge cicada in its clutches – across the grass. It’s a beautiful, bright iridescent color, with translucent wings, and measures around three inches. It’s a massive MF! And it’s being carried by another massive MF. We literally can’t look away. 

When it reaches the tree, it starts to CLIMB. Holy shit! Up, up it goes, wrapping around the trunk, until we’re convinced we’ve chosen to have a picnic under a nest of wasps the size of velociraptors.

But, once the enormous beast is just a few feet from my head, it takes off suddenly, and is gone.

The whole, murderous scenario really put us off our meatball subs. 

Friends, be careful out there. If coronavirus really is Mother Nature’s revenge, she’s not messing around. 

This weekend, Phil snuck out and surprised the winners of Hell’s Kitchen’s best store and the Hell’s Hero, as voted by you, the W42ST readers. Look out for us this week, as we hand-deliver more awards. And our printed map of all the winners will be on the streets on Thursday.

Governor Cuomo has asked the feds for $59 billion to plug the NYS deficit. An idea is being floated of a “so-called billionaire’s tax, which would tax the unrealized capital gains of New York’s nearly 120 billionaires.”

Coming soon, at Waterline Square. Harry’s Table by Cipriani.

Chef José Andrés is serving up a pan full of goodness at Mercado Little Spain.

Here’s your pandemic traffic report

Spot check finds mask wearing is poor. “It’s no respect for everyone else on the bus when someone doesn’t wear a mask,” said Mary Judge, 71, who rides the bus. “It’s like people don’t care.” 

Plan for an underground Port Authority?

Looking forward to a winter without indoor dining?