Dear readers, both of you, or whoever is left. Not many according to my stat team. I hope this blog post finds you well wherever you are in this crazy world. Much has changed since my last post two weeks ago. Its fitting that it was about Green-Wood Cemetery in more ways than you may think. In NYC at the moment Green-Wood is the safest place to be outside of your residence. Imagine Central Park without the crowds (I was there last Friday). Its a world that even days ago none of us could imagine. Something as simple as a quick milk run to the deli requires careful planning.
I also want to take this opportunity to inform you that Food Tour guides, and restaurant bloggers turns out considered non-essential personnel in NYC. While some professions like barbers and sex workers are in sort of a gray area right now, my occupation is in what the city calls “Oh, God No” group. I even got a certificate that I must carry with me at all times while outside and it just has a giant red cross on it. It basically means that I can get heavily fined, and anyone with a proper certificate (without a red cross) is allowed to use physical violence on me and confiscate all my toilet paper and baby wipes. There’s a list of what they can take in the back.
In other words, no food tours for a while. I’ve been home on and off pretty much for two weeks now. No symptoms for any of us, but this has been quite an adjustment for my family (as for pretty much any family). The whole experience feels like a super long flight. You are just sitting there, waiting for the next meh meal, while looking aimlessly at the screen in front of you. And the people next to you are starting to get annoying. You are forced to do things you never do like watch CNBC, look at old shutterfly albums, and have conversations with your spouse.
Anywho, unless you’ve been on an isolated, disconnected retreat for the past two weeks with Jared Leto, you probably know that our NYC restaurant universe is in shambles at the moment. Restaurants essentially turned into charities overnight, and some are doing things they’ve never done before, like deliveries. Hard to imagine Rezdora, a tough table a month ago turn into a glorified Domino’s. Its a weird time to ask for help. So many people are hurting right now, and there’s so much uncertainty at the moment that restaurants and their employees are on the back-burner for most Americans. We are all trying to survive right now.
But restaurants, not airlines, are the backbone of our economy. Some New Yorkers are hurting more than others. While most still have jobs and many even can work from home, restaurant workers in NYC are scrambling. The way it often works in the food business is this. Food workers meet other food workers. They make babies. And now both parents are unemployed. Food workers often work paycheck to paycheck and dont save much. Ever met a wealthy waiter, or even a restaurant owner. Its a tough business to begin with.
Anyway, these are just a few ways you can help right now besides the obvious (deliveries, ask the gov’t for help, etc). But feel free to list more.
- Buy a gift card. Its a win-win for everyone. Some, like Pig and Khao are offering gift cards at a discount. ie $100 for $75. I purchased one yesterday
- Donate to an employee relief fund like Momofuku who employ(ed) hundreds of workers.
- Buy online from distributors and stores like Despana. While we focus on our stressful supermarket and Costco visits, there’s a lot of goodies out there available.
Thanks for reading. I’ll have more soon. Stay in, stay safe, stay strong.