W42ST Daily 8/15/2020

Well, that was a week, amiright?

We suffered through record temperatures, found hope in Joe Biden’s choice of Veep, and found out Israel was working on a 30-second COVID test. Whaaaat?

On a personal note, I came back from a friend’s lake house in Vermont – but not before discovering a dead mouse under the carpet, then spending three hours at the train station in Albany, hoping to catch sight of Andrew Cuomo.

Which all goes to say that you’d be forgiven for missing some of the conversation this week. So here’s a reminder.

Jamie Valentino discovered the joy of self love during lockdown. “Me engaging in a thrilling sex life must have acted as the final anomaly that caused the cataclysmic Bermuda Triangle of the universe that is 2020,” he wrote. “Soon after I experienced my first post-breakup one-night-stand, COVID-19 started trending on Twitter. Overnight, Governor Cuomo put New York on Pause indefinitely, and the coronavius has wreaked havoc across the nation while blue balling me ever since.”

I confessed to losing my workout mojo after a strong start in March. “Four months on, the city heat melts my yoga mat the minute it hits the tar, my body has forgotten what a waistband feels like, and that early enthusiasm has given way to a more general malaise. A kind of meh-xercise regime.” This is how I got it back.

In a two-parter interview, Sal Salomon talked about the reality of life in a homeless shelter. “I approached the program director at one place in Brooklyn. I told her, ‘Do you realize everybody here is on K2 or heroin, everyone’s selling drugs and taking drugs here?’ You know what she did? She had police officers surround me and take control of me. And then she had me transferred out to a worse place.”

Come From Away producer Sue Frost talked about the slow recovery for Broadway – and why New York will be soulless without it. “Within phase one, phase two, phase three, phase four, there are ways for some businesses to come back with social distancing, people wearing masks, and people being careful,” she said. “We can’t do it now. You’ve seen my show. It’s like one big petri dish on stage. You’ve got the band, you’ve got the actors, but there’s no way they can be socially distant.”

We reported that rental apartments in the city are now in free fall, showing the biggest drop on record. “New leases slumped 23%, and although the move-in incentives have increased on average to 1.7 months rent-free, we’re hearing it can be as much as four months on a two-year deal.” Read the full story here. And find out how one renter negotiated a deal on her two-year lease here.

And Anna Angelidakis talked about how a bunch of renegade gardeners rescued vacant lots from the drug dealers and junkies of 1970s and 1980s New York and turned them into community gardens. “The more I read about the history of New York City’s community gardens, and their struggle to reclaim the devastated lots, the more fascinated I became,” she said. “A world had opened before me, and it was impossible to go back and close the gate.” 

Have a wonderful, restful weekend, friends. You made it!

Four months on, Mary Geneva revisits her pandemic dating diary, and discovers there have been a few changes along the way. “If I’m asked one more time how I’m holding up, I think I’ll go crazy,” she wails. But some things never change. “Virtual ghosting is a real thing! And it started when outdoor bar/restaurant seating opened up.” Read her full diary here. 


There will be no 9/11 Tribute in Light this year.

New York gyms, bowling alleys, and those museums passed over in Phase 4 will soon be allowed to reopen.

Crunching the numbers on pandemic restaurant suspensions – with indoor dining violations topping the list.

RIP Rosalia Zona, 108, who was born in Hell’s Kitchen in 1912. Here she is at her socially-distanced celebrations in June.

You can register now for Intrepid Museum’s Virtual Astronomy Live: Visualization of Spaceflight Experiences – coming this Thursday.