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So, it’s Earth Day tomorrow. She does have a strong sense of irony, doesn’t she, Mother Earth? Because, since the world went into lockdown mode, carbon dioxide and nitrogen dioxide levels have fallen by as much as 40%.

Air and road traffic have plummeted, resulting in lower vibrations from “cultural noise,” making things, in general, much more peaceful. You’d noticed, hadn’t you.

Carbon emissions are down and wildlife is thriving. Coyotes have been spotted meandering across the Golden Gate Bridge. In DC, deer are grazing close to the White House. In Barcelona and Bergamo, wild boar are growing more bold. And footage of sheep having fun in a village playground in Wales went viral (it really is too cute).

The canals in Venice are clearer than they have been in 60 years – welcoming swans, fish, seabirds – even dolphins. And the oceans are quieter, thanks to the removal of the cruise ships that raise the stress hormone levels in marine life (whales, apparently, stop singing when cargo ships are close by, and start again when they’ve passed).

But we’re still in a state of crisis. And tomorrow, Earth Day goes digital, with messages from people as diverse as John Kerry and Zac Efron, and a call for change, lest our current state — a world of pandemics and extreme weather – becomes the new normal.

Let’s hear it for the sheep.


SPREAD THE LOVE
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.

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NEW YORK STORIES 
When New York’s gyms closed, Sara Hirshman headed back to Oregon – now she’s leading her small classes from there. And she explains why what you do between the sheets is as important as what happens when you’re working out. Read her story – and more like it – at w42st.com.


ANYONE NEED MASKS? 
Friends, I have taken delivery of masks – 600 medical grade surgical bad boys – thanks to the incredible efforts of Patty LaRocco and Kathleen Plate

If you know of a group in the Hell’s Kitchen community that could use them – firehouse, clinic, hospital, soup kitchen, homeless shelter, etc – please let me know and I’ll get some to you.


DON’T CLIMB THE WALLS … DO THESE THINGS INSTEAD
Go on a field trip
Mums, dads, teachers, nannies, mannies, grandparents, aunties, uncles, godparents, oddparents, uncles, and carers. We see you. Home schooling is no joke. Which is why I loved this fun and informative “field guide”  which turns being stuck inside into an adventure. Start exploring here. And thanks to Tom Blackie and Henri Myers at Maison 10 for the heads up.

High kick like a Rockette
Every Tuesday at midday, join a Radio City Rockette for live fitness and choreography lessons. Be spectacular here.

Go to the ballet
From today, New York City Ballet brings its spring season online. Tonight at 8pm, there’s a chance to see George Balanchine’s Allegro Brillante, filmed in January 2017 and featuring Tiler Peck and Andrew Veyette. See it here.

Celebrate Nina Simone
On the 17th anniversary of the legendary singer’s death, The Town Hall hosts this special event with Jeff L Lieberman, director of The Amazing Nina Simone, in conversation with archivist Melay Araya. Watch here.

Make space pudding
Our friends at the Intrepid have just launched a series of online activities for the families, and this one caught my eye (me = food obsessed?). On Thursday, find out what astronauts eat in space, and make your own space pudding. Register here.


NAME GAME
In honor of the playground sheep, I want to know: what’s your name, and what was your favorite piece of playground equipment?

I’ll go first. Hi everyone, my name’s Ruth, and I loved the old rocking horse. I think they were all removed after too many children were horribly maimed playing on them. But, man, what a ride!

Your turn … 

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