Food means so much to us. It’s not just that the first prayer many of us learned includes the line “give us this day our daily bread.” It’s not just about the food. It’s the communing together. It’s the act of service by those who produce and share. It’s essential to our being, not just for nutrition – but for our soul.
I’ve spent the last few days in conversation with many local business owners. The conversations start with survival (how to apply for the new Federal grants– is this just taking on debt?). It then moves on to hygiene, and everything they are doing, from checking staff temperatures to bleaching soles of shoes, contactless service, etc …. and then their voice lightens and they talk of FOOD.
Jim Lahey has told me with passion about his Community Loaf. He says it’s the best bread he’s ever baked. He’s delighted that he can focus on just the one type of bread. He explains that he’s baking to order, it’s only available on Tuesday and Fridays. He’s designed the loaf so that it can last four days. You can slice it into six big pieces for toasted wedges, or thinner slices for sandwiches. He exudes enthusiasm to bake and serve. His community rewards him with wine left on the doorstep. Order yours by 2pm today for pick up tomorrow.
Charlie Marshall tells me about converting his high-end farm-to-table restaurant, The Marshal, to baking pizza. It’s what he could create at a price point that would work for the few blocks he can serve with one delivery guy. He talks about continually improving, making the pizzas better, donating the ones he’s not got right to a local charity (I see him in the street delivering them).
Murat at The Jolly Goat and Erol at Kahve are keeping going with their coffee service. It’s not about the coffee, it’s serving the soul of this struggling community. It’s about human interaction (at a distance).
Brandon & Faith at Bird & Branch took the difficult decision to close their coffee shop to the public temporarily. They describe their business as “a speciality coffee shop with a mission to restore the city.” They’ve not stopped serving though. They’ve converted to creating breakfasts and packages of goodies for care workers. Just place your order and they will deliver to hospital staff.
We’ve got at least another month of this. Let’s make sure we feed our soul and support those around who serve us.
W42ST is compiling a list of all of those places that are doing pick up or delivery. See the list here – share with friends. If you are a restaurant owner (or a fan of place that’s open), please fill out this form with details you know and we’ll keep this list updated.
NEW YORK STORIES
Our fabulous food writer, Michael Muñoz, was out on the streets compiling a list of the grocery stores heroes for our April Best of awards issue. He’s updated that list for time of COVID-19. Enjoy – and keep six feet apart in those narrow aisles. Read – at w42st.com.
HOW CAN YOU HELP?
Many of you have asked what you can do to get involved. Here are some ideas:
1. Tell us your self-isolation survival hacks. And send us photographs (or videos) of how you’re making the most of your days.
2. Talk to us. Say thank you. Say hi. Say you haven’t showered or worn pants in a week. We want to hear from you – we’re feeling isolated too.
3. Encourage five of your friends to sign up to this newsletter – those numbers will make a huge difference to our business (and our egos).
Thank you! Hell’s Kitchen, we love you.
WHAT WE’VE BEEN READING
Over the next three weeks you can watch as Billy Hipkins – legendary Broadway dresser and designer of Broadway bonnets for The Book of Mormon, The Band’s Visit, Phantom and more – creates a hat in honor of the Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS COVID-19 Emergency Assistance Fund. More here…
The battle over the NYPD tow pound just stepped up another gear. More here…
Dolly Parton reading bedtime stories is all we need right now. More Dolly…
Until April 8, Intrepid Museum is lit red and white to thank the city’s healthcare professionals for their work and honor the arrival of USNS Comfort. More here…
How you can donate essential goods, such as medical masks, to the city’s medical professionals. More here…
If you could share one link to keep our readers updated and upbeat, what would it be? Tell me, and I will share on Sunday when I am back in the newsletter hot seat.
Ruth will be with you tomorrow with her Friday magic.
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