I got an email on my birthday from an old friend who has taken a hard right turn. He wrote, “Be careful what you wish for, NYC has got its “edge” back. I fear it’s going to be tough sledding there for a while”. Fake news. NYC might be a bit funky, but “edge” is relative. It has a new edge. As always, we participated in the city too much! There are too many people on the streets without homes, and most who are indeed out of their minds, and that is painful. But layered over that is a rocking pulse on the streets that feels really good.
We kicked off the week going to the theater. Although we had to be in masks, it felt excellent to be back in a theater. We saw the opening of Is This A Room. Performances through actual transcripts of the FBI who interrogated a 25-year-old woman who had released Government information to the media. Trump cracked down on these leaks, and this woman did five years in federal prison for this. Yep, five years.
On my favorite intersection of Tribeca sits One White Street. Lots of history in the 3-story townhouse it occupies. Once owned by John and Yoko to build their utopian society, as Yoko said, “no land, no boundaries, no passports, only people.” The house had to be renovated from the inside out to look as it has been standing there for centuries as a sparkling gem in the neighborhood. Landmark is good for some things. It feels so good in this space, and the food from chef and owner Austin Johnson is excellent from start to finish.
Back to Gage and Tollner for a family dinner.
The best part is Emily gave us two treats from Apt. 2. Great story behind Apt. 2. Cinnamon rolls for breakfast, and a green olive, pumpkin seed focaccia that I used to make gooey melted swiss cheese sandwiches for lunch.
We made our way uptown, after seeing James Bond, the evening before. Another joy, being in the big theater! I went all in to celebrate with a box of Milk Duds. The Cooper Hewitt, now part of the Smithsonian, is an epic building with 64 rooms that once housed Andrew Carnegie. The museum is dedicated to design. We went to see the Willi Wear exhibit. A brand that I wore in 1983. Fred still remembers the black and white checked comfy double-breasted suit I had. Willi Smith died too young, one of the first major black designers who died suddenly of AIDS-related illnesses in 1987. He was prolific and was hitting his stride.
Lunch uptown is always at Via Quadrono. They have built a substantial outside dining area packed with people inside and waiting on the sidewalk chatting. Great people watching. Always the same lunch for me, but my favorite. Arugula, tomatoes, thinly sliced Parmesan, and Italian tuna. It can’t be beaten.
The evening activity was an NFT party celebrating the opening of the Bright Moments gallery in Soho. Before getting there, I hung outside at Fanneli’s with Emily and Saarim. Soho is genuinely the best mall in America. The people, the hum of the streets. It was pretty awesome just being there. Running into friends and finishing the night at Raoul’s and rolling home for the evening.
Finishing off the weekend with live theater! Dana H. is a one-act show that is powerful and unique. Dana, the playwright’s Mom, a hospice chaplain, tells a harrowing tale of being held hostage by a psychotic client. It is brilliant.
NYC might have too many vacant storefronts, a need for more workers in hospitality, and a slew of other issues that impact all urban areas in this post-Covid world, but this city is booming.