I'm in a New York State of Mind!

Updated: May 22

It’s unclear exactly how New York City’s Hell’s Kitchen received its moniker; the most commonly accepted etymology dating back to a man history calls Dutch Fred the Cop.


Walking a beat in the neighborhood which spans from 34th Street north to 59th and from 8th Avenue west to the Hudson River, Dutch Fred and his rookie partner stumbled across a riot common to the neighborhood’s streets at the time.


“This place is Hell itself!” the rookie cop is reported to exclaim.


“Hell has a milder climate!” Dutch Fred responded. Adding, “This place is Hell’s kitchen!”


The neighborhood’s violent history making the name “Hell’s Kitchen” more epithet than nickname.


But as the longshoreman and gangs who gave the neighborhood its reputation and name were replaced by gentrified housing and upscale restaurants, Hell’s Kitchen was left with just the gritty affection the neighborhood associated with to this day.


More than 150-years since Dutch Fred walked his beat, Hell’s Kitchen is now a destination for tourists and locals looking to experience the best of New York. THE neighborhood now home to some of THE Big Apple’s most notable attractions; among them the USS Intrepid Museum, Hudson Yards and THE Vessel.


But with its array of attractions scattered across the neighborhood’s 538 acres, it’s Hell’s Kitchen’s southeast corner which brings in more visitors than all the remaining attractions.


Combined.


THE Most Famous!


This weekend, for the first time since a global pandemic made indoor gatherings rarer than a paint delivery with no backorders, my fiancéeic Gaetana and I made the 33-mile journey from Stamford, Connecticut to THE entertainment capital of the city known for entertainment.


Madison Square Garden.


THE Garden size causing it to straddle the boundaries between New York neighborhoods Hell’s Kitchen and Midtown West.


And while the Garden is home to basketball’s Knicks and hockey’s Rangers, it was a concert by country music star Eric Church who inspired Guy to shed fears of sharing air and return us to one of our favorite pre-pandemic activities: events at THE world’s most famous arena.


We should have gone to a Ranger game!


An Urban Cowboy?


I forgave Church for choosing to begin his set with an (inadequate) cover of Billy Joel’s “New York State of Mind.” The song’s selection both geographically appropriate and a homage to its writer Billy Joel. Joel the New York born Piano Man who has played the Garden’s stage more than 130 times! And any other person alive.


But it was later in the show, while attempting a cover of Springsteen’s Thunder Road, when I decided I could no-long grant this Church absolution from his sins.


Church’s bungling of the lyrics and his reordering of the verses leaving the opening track of the iconic Born to Run album hard to recognize.


The (lack of) effort an offense to anyone who had participated in any of the nearly 50 nights THE Boss made that song echo from the Garden’s rafters.


As the show neared its conclusion Church addressed the Garden crowd, the ones who stuck around, and thanked them for the high decibel level.


The singer’s statement confirming he had never heard the Garden’s lungs howl for Billy, Elton, Bruce or THE Great One.



A late-night smoke on our hotel’s terrace enough to save the (any!) night.


In THE (Paint) News!


According to their web site the American Coatings Association is a “voluntary, nonprofit trade association working to advance the needs of the paint and coatings industry.” The ACA representing American paint manufacturers as well as raw material suppliers and other stakeholders in the coatings supply chain.


The board of the ACA is comprised of the CEOs of the member companies, with the board’s chair and vice chairpersons selected from that group to serve two-year terms in the positions.


Recently, the ACA announced their leadership for the next two years tapping #BenjaminMoore CEO Dan Calkins as its chairperson and Diamond-Vogel CEO Jeff Powell as its vice-chair and treasurer.


Both executives have bona-fides in the independent channel.

As the chief executive of Benjamin Moore, Calkins can find his paints in-stock at more than 7500 locations nationwide if you include Ace stores.

Well, maybe not all his paints!



And while Powell’s Diamond-Vogel paints are less-known in the channel than Benjamin Moore his Old Master’s brand of stains and lacquers is a popular choice among independent paint retailers.


It seems unlikely that as chairman and vice-chairman of ACA Calkins and Powell could have more of an impact on the independent channel than they have in their current positions. Though, it must be seen as positive for dealers to have these two executives with such intimate knowledge of the channel sitting at the head of the table.


And it’s not chair placement which Powell and Calkins have in common.


The two executives share an appreciation for a good podcast(er)!