W42ST Daily 7/25/2020

What a week! You survived the apocalyptic storms intact (though your Birkenstocks probably didn’t). You got your COVID antibody test results back – eventually (negative – damn!). And two people on a floating swan had to be rescued from the East River by the FDNY.

Don’t even get me started on all the sweating.

So you’ve been busy – I get it. If you’ve missed anything we’ve been talking about this week, here’s a reminder. 

Photographer Tom Zuback set himself a photo assignment to show New York men who were always willing to wear a face mask 

“If the toughest men of the country are smart enough and willing to wear their masks,” he said, “then the rest of the country can see our results, and do the logical step in wearing their masks too.”

Rae Lambert explained why she’d packed up her 400 square foot Hell’s Kitchen apartment and left the city. “Never did I ever think we would move to the suburbs,” she said, “but life changed swiftly and bigly. Even though I’m a big fan of small space urban living (I even started a damn blog about it), there were too many reasons to ignore.”

She gave her reasons here (and some of you were brutally unkind about her choice – shame on you).

In yesterday’s follow-up, there were two sides to the story.

“My relationship with NYC is the longest relationship in my life,” said Jeff Dyksterhouse. “I moved here in 1985 with $300 in my pocket. My first apartment was at 525 W49th St, and NYC and I have gone through a lot together over the past 35 years, good and bad. But during that time she became my home, and an integral part of who I am, and I fell madly in love with her.”

But Sean-Patrick Merron Hillman, a third generation New Yorker, voiced what many are feeling. “The reality is that this Mayor and City Council have undone all of the hard work my fellow native New Yorkers have put in for the last 25 years. 

“I was born and raised during the single most violent time in New York’s history. From the 70s until the mid-90s, this city was a wasteland. It was fun, but often lawless. My wife is from Australia, and I’ve tried to impart how dangerous this city can be at its worst. However, now that I have started worrying when she just goes out to walk the dog, I am considering the move.”

We reported on the sad news that Therapy bar is to close.

Phil walked 9th Avenue in the sun and photographed the street scene. “Maybe this will be the only summer Hell’s Kitchen will ever have street dining,” he said, “so let’s make the most of it. Businesses have been innovating, waiters are dodging bikes, and the city is coming alive.”

There’s a bold new NYPD initiative to cut crime on our streets. 

And you responded to our call for your favorite burgers in your hundreds. The results have been counted, and these are the results: Hell’s Kitchen’s best burgers. You’re welcome.

“That’s the thing about growing up in Hell’s Kitchen,” says Kimani Ashley, “you grow up fast.

“I’m fortunate to have my parents. Growing up fast could be a negative or it could be a positive; they used it as a positive, and got me to channel all that energy.”

The 52nd Street Project saved his life. “Just right there, in the middle of ‘uptown’ Hell’s Kitchen, was a mecca of creativity. It was one of the biggest life-changing periods in my life. They took me when I was 10, a massive stutterer – I had a huge speech impediment, couldn’t speak a full sentence without stuttering – to be able to write and direct my first play.”

This is his story – and what he thinks about the neighborhood he grew up in now.

Feeling the heat? Get used to it – New York now sits within the humid subtropical climate zone. It’s hot, hot, hot!

This AP reporter has spent his time in the pandemic keeping tally of the strangest things… What a collection.

Laurie Anderson gazes into the future of NYC. This is what she sees. 

Tourists. Love ’em or hate ’em, this city is really missing their dollars. Cash is king.

If you like what you see, don’t keep it to yourself. Spread the love and invite a friend to join the W42ST family. They can sign up on that there yellow blob …