W42ST Daily 8/25/2020

It has been a weekend of saying goodbye to friends leaving New York for ever. But the overwhelming sense was not one of sorrow (although there is certainly sadness at no longer having these beautiful humans in my immediate geography) but one of gratitude – for knowing them in the first place. 

COVID has brought the value of my relationships into sharp focus, and last week in particular demonstrated the mind-blowing generosity, open-heartedness, and goodness that this group of people – some old friends, others just a few months old – brings to my life, and I am insanely thankful for them.

One of those friends talked to me about how he’d leaned into a new, more intimate relationship with his mother since quarantine. Now they speak for half an hour at the end of each day, and it brings him a kind of appreciation for her he’d never imagined.

Another told me how, after months of hating her apartment and feeling like it was a kind of prison, she’d started nesting again, finding a new joy in the four walls she calls home.

What has COVID-19 made you thankful for? Talk to me. Tell me your story.

While we’re on the subject of our chosen family, it seems an appropriate time to remember our Friendly AF issue from August 2019. Flip through the pages of our virtual magazine, in which Broadway leading man Max von Essen talks about his love for Hell’s Kitchen, Mean Girl Kate Rockwell talks about her second love – wine, Jamie Valentino introduces his tribe of New York “orphans”, Jillian Richardson has an antidote to loneliness, and we deliver an ode to the joy of living in a teeny, tiny  apartment. And can you spot anyone familiar on that cover by Chelsey Hill?

This week brings another goodbye – to Jerry Melo, whose wave as I pass Friendly Jerry’s on 10th Ave practically daily brings a smile to my face and a sense of gratitude for this tight-knit neighborhood I’m lucky enough to be part of. Jerry, Hell’s Kitchen will be a less colorful place without you. I wish you well, my friend.

The Fire Island COVID Destroyers are heading to Hell’s Kitchen to spread the word about wearing masks and staying safe in this pandemic. 

Struggling NYC restaurants are fighting to keep their heads above water. 

A man has been stabbed to death on the streets of the neighborhood. 

West Side Rag laments the closure of the Landmark Theaters (Douglas Durst says: “I can promise that the theater will return).