(Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)

Dearest New Yorkers

Man, the news looks bad. In fact, if I read it last thing at night I actually can’t sleep. And singing, which is the ultimate synthesizer of pain, is not hitting the spot in the silence of my lonely room without the added chemistry of you.

So no, I won’t be at the 55 tonight – it feels surreal that we were even there last month! – and I don’t know when our next gigs will be. But I am trying not to be too despondent about everything. And the giant hullaballoo every night at 7pm of children and adults cheering and cars tooting their horns works (for me) as a kind of call to prayer for all our frontline workers – of course medical staff, but also door people, transport workers and grocery store staff. I don’t even like going to the shops. Being there all the time must be doubly stressful – especially if you have to get there on the subway.

But there is good news out there. Look, the giant pandas in Hong Kong Zoo, because it is closed to visitors, have finally mated – after ten years! I hope they were successful because baby pandas are adorable beyond belief. If you don’t believe me, here is some gratuitous cute baby panda video taken at a place where they breed and reintroduce them into the wild.

Meanwhile, in lieu of meeting (I said meeting, not mating!) and actually singing for you, I am sharing my personal list of alternative activities:

  1. Decluttering. I did my bookcase and am going to start on my CDs. If it doesn’t spark joy, out it goes! I recommend a sweet series on Netflix, Tidying Up With Marie Kondo. Not as good as her fantastic book, but still good.
  2. Playing Codenames with friends on Zoom using Horsepaste
  3. Having dinner on Zoom. Billy and his son had dinner with me for my birthday and it was surprisingly fun.
  4. Trying to try to paste various 55 Bar video snippets on my Facebook music page so you can still “come to the gig” kinda sorta. Thank you Caroline Borderies for the video snips. PS This is an ongoing project.
  5. Looking out of the window and thinking I really must go for a walk.
  6. Watching and crushing on the Cuomo Brothers. Stockholm Syndrome? Part of me feels it is must be wrong but I don’t care!
  7. Bingeing on this video of Naturally 7 over and over again singing ‘Feel It In The Air Tonight.’ 782,420 views. 420 of those were me! They took a great song and made it into an anthem about bravery and faith in the face of fear. And this is how to make an entrance! I’m expecting you all to learn your parts so we can do it at the 55 next time!
  8. And here they are doing it in the Paris metro.
  9. Reading the Good News Network stories.
  10. Missing you all, especially right this second when I would be fixing my hair and make up and wondering what clothes to wear. On which note … this is from me to you.