W42ST Daily – 8/21/2020

Gregg’s getting sick of all the stories about the New York City exodus. I can’t blame him. I’ve written a few of those stories myself, including one that went viral, one that brought all the haters to the yard, and one that addressed the pros and cons of staying or going.

We now know there are 13,000 empty apartments in the city, and deals are to be had (if your landlord is open to negotiating). But if you can afford to stay, says Gregg, why the hell would you leave?
“Home is a relationship.” he says. “Long-term relationships require love, yes, and also commitment, compromise, struggle, acceptance, determination, growth, forgiveness, drive. It’s as much about what I can give as what I can get. 

“I’m a bit tired of hearing people moan that NYC doesn’t offer them enough right now. I get it – the city is devastated and much of the regular ‘fun’ has disappeared. But that begs the question: what can I do to help? How can I pump life back into NYC? If my spouse suddenly became mortally ill, would I pack my bags and flee because it’s not fun anymore, or would I dig in and help as much as I can? If I claim to love NYC and if I claim to be a New Yorker – if I claim that this is home – I don’t abandon her when she’s fighting for life.”

He adds: “Home is not only the place that must take me in when I’m down, it is also the place that I must fight for when it is down. It goes both ways. If I’m not willing to stay and push through the tough times, then NYC isn’t really home, it’s simply somewhere I’m spending time.”

Christy seconds that emotion, and believes that, while we’re still in the thick of our Dark Ages, New York is headed for a renaissance. She studied in Italy, in 2015, attending the Lorenzo de’ Medici Institute, whose namesake was one of the most powerful patrons of the arts in 15th-century Italy. 

“My favorite class focused on the period we dub the Renaissance (or rebirth),” she says. “This period of time wasn’t commonly referred to as the Renaissance until the 19th century, so I always wondered if the people who lived through it knew they were witnessing an era that would later be recognized as the catalyst of all creative change in the modern world. 

“To the people living in this monumental era centuries ago, it was simply a cultural movement breathing air into the lungs of a people who only knew war, famine, and plague. It all feels eerily familiar – the light after the darkness, the sun after a long night, the smell of dollar pizza after months of home-cooked “meals” in quarantine, etc.”

Read her full story here. And, just cuz, here’s a gif of renaissance nuns (at least, I think they’re nuns) living their best lives.


Mix HIIT training with African dance moves in a fun 30-minute workout. No dance experience is necessary. Donation based – find out more here.

An in-person, live, outdoor theater event (whaaaaaa?!), Quince is an immersive story about a 14-year-old Mexican American girl confronting her queer identity. Find out more.

Category is: Flashback Friday. Go back to the 80s and 90s for Chris Crowthers’ dance party. Donation based, this my favorite Friday night workout. Sign up here.

Alvin Ailey has moved its weekly beginner salsa class to Saturdays at 3pm. One for partners quarantined together as well as individuals working on their technique. Find out more.

Ben Lee is performing an all-request show via Zoom with City Winery, with a meet and greet package available for a limited number of people. Find out more.

Seriously, take a break. Life is hard right now. I get it. Some days you’re flying. Other days you crash and burn. Today can be your reset day. I’m reading New Yorker Bruce Feiler’s Life is in the Transitions – I can recommend it. Because, kids, if we’re not in some kind of giant, cosmic transition right now, I don’t know what this is.

Michael Almereyda discusses Tesla, his film based on the rivalry between Nikola Tesla and Thomas Edison which stars Ethan Hawke and Kyle MacLachlan. It’s free! Sign up here.

Jim Caruso’s Pajama Cast Party is rapidly becoming the ONLY place to hang on a Monday night, with nearly 9,000 people tuning in from their sofas. This Monday, Kathy Najimy joins Jim, along with comedy juggler Marcus Monroe, Broadway actress/singer Ruby Rakos, and burlesque performer Ariana Savalas. Find out more.

Children and young people can learn about the parts of a plane, and how nature influences shape and design, before creating their own simple flying machines. Register for this free class with the Intrepid Museum.

Playwright David Henry Hwang is in conversation with Diane C Fujino, professor of Asian American Studies about the historical alliances between Black and Asian progressive activists, and how that legacy can shape the future. It’s free to join. Tune in here.