Waking up to the sound of birdsong has been one of the great joys of the last few weeks. The jackhammers from the construction project down the block have been silenced. The 24 auto shop – which is normally replacing taxi tires at crazy o’clock, honking horns and music clearly unaware that SOME PEOPLE ARE TRYING TO SLEEP UP HERE – is largely quiet. The traffic – such as it is – feels like a distant rumble. 

I saw stars last night.

I know, I know. If I’d wanted birdsong and stars, I’d have moved to Cornfield Junction, Iowa. And, for some, the peace is an uneasy reminder that something is very wrong in our city. 

But we’re overdue some happy thoughts. So here goes.

This man has been cured of HIV. 

The air quality index in Delhi has dropped as low as 45 (around the same time last year, it was 160).

Elephants in the Yunnan province in China, who broke into a village searching for food, ended up getting smashed on corn wine and passing out in a tea field. Bless. They’re pretty much doing lockdown like the rest of us.

For those missing sports, there’s this

If you thought you had your Zoom game crushed, this guy just beat you.

And, on a personal note, my home office woes have been solved, thanks to the generosity of a friend, who has offered their home and dining table (and access to their well-stocked bar) while they’re out of town. Thank you! Thank you! If you’re facing your own WFH challenges, Rae Lambert has some timely advice – from her 400 sq ft Hell’s Kitchen studio. 

We’re all about NOT spreading things around right now. But if you’re enjoying this daily newsletter – if it’s bringing you a little joy in these dark times and helping you feel connected to your neighbors as social distancing becomes the new normal – please tell your friends. They can sign up here and make us stronger together. Phil’s coming atcha tomorrow.


When New York was drawing the lines on what constituted an essential business, it must have known we’d man the barricades and fight to the death if it took our liquor stores and coffee shops from us. Murat Yilmaz is helping keep Hell’s Kitchen caffeinated, and has a message of hope. Read his story, and more like it, at w42st.com.

Get updated on epidemics
Today, Zachary Quinto and Andrew Berman, head of Village Preservation, will discuss the role of epidemics – not just coronavirus, but also AIDS – in Manhattan. And Quinto will read a passage from ‘Here is New York’ by EB White. Find out more.

Be full of Glee
There will be a cast reunion of the hit show tonight, including Matthew Morrison, Chris Colfer, Darren Criss, and Jane Lynch. All money raised goes towards The Actors Fund. Find out more.

One for the runners
A webinar tonight about caring for your runner’s body when you can’t be out training as much as you’d like. Find out more.

See stars in their natural habitat
Michelle Visage, Ross Mathews, and Katherine Moennig are the guest stars of tomorrow’s Humpday with Hampshire, hosted by Schitt’s Creek star Emily Hampshire. Tune in here.

Hear Lorna Luft
The star’s To L and Back show is streaming on 54 Below’s At Home channel tomorrow. Hear her here.

Go to a gala
Jazz at Lincoln Center’s 2020 gala will be streaming, free, tomorrow night, featuring culture-defining artists from Japan, Brazil, Russia, Pakistan, South Africa, Germany, Belgium, Spain, Italy, and the US in what it describes as a“first of its kind, high-quality global experience.” Get jazzed here.

Stay healthy
If diet, exercise, and healthy living are taking a hit, this free webinar on Thursday could help (with live music, and a cardio boxing class thrown in). Find out more.

Get a back-up plan
Listen in to Hell’s Kitchen’s Fiona McIntyre, whose new podcast with fellow actor Olivia Valli, interviews actors, writers, musicians, photographers, and directors about the ways that they are staying creative and connected while socially distancing. Listen here.

How are you surviving and staying positive during social isolation? Visit our Faces Project to hear messages from neighbors – then leave your own (I’m doing mine today – look out!)


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