Just like old times - Stop orders. Stays. Waits. Gone. Forgotten. Fini. We’re back to where we left off in building the buildings of NYC. This past Monday, non-essential construction got the go-ahead to start building. So look for the convening of cranes at the northwest corner of 85th and Madison where Dean & DeLuca once stood and where a 13-story tower is in its future. Patch.com reported that the residential-commercial edifice will have 12 floors of large apartments, a gym, a squash court, children’s play room, and theater among the amenities. And a commercial tenant in the ground floor commercial space.
Yes, we’re NY Tough. Neither protests nor pandemics can stop NYC from taking the next steps to getting buildings built. Whether building luxury housing is a priority at this time is a topic for another day. It’s just good that the COVID fear is abating and that we’re ready to move on. At the same time, it’s unfortunate that restaurants in NYC have to wait until at least the first week in July to be able to serve diners even if it’s only outdoors. Can’t wait. And ruing that my first post-COVID restaurant experience was in Connecticut where I dined outdoors with sister and bro-in-law. Connecticut’s restaurant restrictions were lifted during first week of June. NYC awaits me.
Reader redux - The real subject of last week’s column article, “Far and Away Neighbors,” has responded. And here it is, lightly edited:
“Just finished reading your article, and reflecting on my actual experience, I appreciate all the acts of kindness I received. I will never forget all the efforts made on my behalf; and I know when given the opportunity I will reciprocate gladly. The [national publication’s] story had the attention of a certain type of reader reading about a certain type of individual. What I’m trying to convey is this: We see true need, poverty and desperation every single day right in front of our eyes, and yet most have just become immured and do nothing or very little. I am grateful for the outpouring I received and frankly am enjoying all the lovely things I received. So, I guess I am conflicted. I will need more time to process everything. Being alone and scared is horrible and leaves one vulnerable. I never want to think of myself as a delicate snowflake! I enjoy being strong, self-reliant and independent. All of these features, however, depend on being in good health. I always enjoy your articles and hope the man or women responsible for the artwork you point out will come forward and be proud to be noticed. Yes, indeed our postal workers also need applause as do newspaper deliverers. I have been fortunate in getting my three day a week paper all this time and I know I have to personally find a way to thank this person.”
Art rant - Another reader took exception to my writing about Anton Russev’s art work in various empty storefronts on the UES. Liking Russev’s or his client’s artwork was not the intention of my ink. It was that the inside of the empty storefronts where the artwork was displayed were cleaned up as opposed to pre-COVID days when Russev and the landlord didn’t care about how the store looked from the street. Here’s the lightly edited reader’s readback: “Arlene - Sometimes your articles give ink to people that don’t deserve it.”