Best of CH 2020: Good Measure

Moments, movements and the people behind them that inspired us this year

Every year calls for continued contributions to individuals and organizations that need support. This year, COVID-19 taxed people beyond imagination—from illness and isolation, to housing and food insecurity. As the pandemic raged, the Black Lives Matter movement gained momentum and unified people around the world who demand an end to systemic racism. Through it all, we shared stories of artists and initiatives that sought to assist along the way and the inspiration that came from it. Further, we found that in a year when restaurants were struggling to survive, the hospitality community came together time and again.

All the while, we tagged stories pertaining to progress like this (so long as they include components that give back) with the words good measure to allow us to delve in and continue to support, or seek empowerment. The 10 community-minded stories below represent some that we were proudest to share. We hope that they brought and continue to bring brightness to anyone who reads them. They serve as a reminder that we must value people and community over all else.

Courtesy of Allison Janae Hamilton and Downtown For Democracy

Downtown for Democracy’s “ABORTION IS NORMAL” Art Show

Organized by political action committee Downtown for Democracy, the ABORTION IS NORMAL show featuring work by powerhouse artists including Nan Goldin, Barbara Kruger, Marilyn Minter and Cindy Sherman opens today and is both a cultural event and a political call to action. Curated by Jasmine Wahi (curator, activist, speaker, and founder and co-director of Project for Empty Space) and Rebecca Pauline Jampol (curator, designer and co-director at Project For Empty Space), the exhibition will display work by Allison Janae Hamilton, Grace Graupe Pillard, Hank Willis Thomas, Chloe Wise and others. The show addresses reproductive rights, access and understanding. We spoke with Downtown For Democracy co-founder Gina Nanni ahead of the opening… Read more.

Courtesy of Sonnyboy

Australia Bushfire Benefit at NYC’s Sonnyboy

As the headlines about the bushfire crisis in Australia diminish, the fires and devastation continue. Some 12.35 million acres have been destroyed, an almost incomprehensible amount of space. Humans and fauna have been killed; thousands remain displaced and face immense challenges. With various these long-lasting obstacles in mind, Australian-owned LES venue Sonnyboy (a CH favorite) is hosting a bushfire benefit dinner with all proceeds going to GIVIT—an Australian non-profit organization that purchases essential items (from groceries to school uniforms, diapers, tampons, kitchenware, art supplies, tools and more) for those in need, many of whom have lost so much over the past few months… Read more.

Courtesy of Specialized

Specialized Gives Bikes to Essential Workers

Channeling their concern over the current crisis, the team at Specialized Bicyclessought a way to do their part and provide much-needed assistance to essential workers. As those still asked to report to work must commute—and are likely to face delayed, rerouted, unsafe or even shuttered public transportation lines—the brand opened an online portal for anyone impacted and still working to apply for a free bike. Specialized also notes that these folks can be nominated by a friend, colleague, neighbor, family member or anyone else… Read more.

Courtesy of ASOS

Meaningful Pride Style 2020

Year after year, LGBTQ+ rights and representation have grown. To have had the ability, as editors, to choose our favorite products from a huge selection seems like a privilege that didn’t exist only a decade ago. And yet, it’s not enough. Of course charity plays a crucial component to the items below. All of the brands selected donate a portion of (or the entirety of) proceeds to organizations championing, supporting and celebrating the LGBTQ+ community. But we, too, must champion those rights—by donating money, if we can; volunteering, whenever possible; and vocalizing, always. Members of the LGBTQ+ community must protect each other, especially those at greater risk of harm. And allies have an obligation to fight homophobia, biphobia, and transphobia in all its insidious forms. As we say when marching, we hold true here: Black Trans Lives Matter. So, wear your pride—and wear it while actively contributing to the queer community… Read more.

Courtesy of Ghetto Gastro

Ghetto Gastro’s “Juneteenth Cook-In” Celebrates Black Food Culture

Celebrating Black culture this Juneteenth, Ghetto Gastro will host an Instagram Live“Cook-In” featuring Kelis, HealHaus co-founder Elisa Shankle, chef Nyesha Arrington and Black Thought. At 2PM EST, the interactive, virtual cooking experience will include recipes, tips and conversation around Black joy and food culture—which is inherently linked to the foundation of American cuisine… Read more.

Courtesy of Only NY + Brooklyn Museum

Merch from Beloved NYC Book Stores, Tattoo Shops, Museums + More

As businesses begin to reopen in NYC, much media and consumer attention hones in on restaurants and bars. There are plenty of places, however, that remain closed, or cannot open to their full capacity, that still need support. While most of these spots sell gift cards and vouchers, merchandise is another way to send dollars in their direction—and represent your favorites wherever you wander. From tattoo parlors to book stores, record shops, museums, cinemas, bath houses and beyond, here’s a selection of our favorite merch from across the city… Read more.

Courtesy of Sloomoo Institute

Interview: Artist Katherine Bernhardt on Her Slimy Collaboration with NYC’s Sloomoo Institute

Artist Katherine Bernhardt—whose gestural, colorful and playful pieces feature a cast of nostalgic characters and iconography painted in a deliciously digestible way with drippy paint and broad strokes—teamed up with the Sloomoo Institute to make slime that ultimately benefits mental health organizations. While Gen X may lovingly recall the gooey substance from Nickelodeon shows like You Can’t Do That On Television and Double Dare, it’s had a recent resurgence via Instagram, TikTok and ASMR culture—thanks to the countless iterations possible and its stress-relieving nature… Read more.

Courtesy of LIMBO

Interview: Non-Profit LIMBO Magazine Founder, Nick Chapin

Born from a global pandemic, but perhaps even more from a dedication to the creative community, LIMBO magazine is a non-profit publication whose proceeds go to out-of-work artists, designers, illustrators, photographers, writers and other creatives. Founder and publisher Nick Chapin started the publication after finding himself at a loss for paid work. Rather than panic, he began mobilizing. Teaming up with Francesca Gavin (curator, writer and editor) and David Lane (creative director at The Gourmandand Frieze), Chapin devised a profit-share structure which means contributors are paid evenly from all funds raised… Read more.

Courtesy of Shannon Martinez + Hardie Grant Books

Interview: Australian Vegan Chef Shannon Martinez

For over 20 years, Shannon Martinez has been cooking professionally, but it was a moment of good will—stepping into the kitchen of Melbourne pub the East Brunswick Club to make vegan food after the chef “went to the bank and never came back”—that started her on the path to becoming Australia’s plant-based poster girl. The owner and head chef of beloved restaurant Smith & Daughters (housed in a historic Fitzroy bluestone, with its trademark upside down “EAT VEGAN” neon cross) and to-go outpost Smith & Deli, Martinez just finished her third cookbook, Vegan With Bite, and was starting on her fourth when she was diagnosed with a rare type of breast cancer… Read more.

“Think Tomorrow” (2020) by Tide

“Drawn Together,” Unit London Gallery’s Charitable, Expansive Group Exhibition

For Unit London‘s first-ever online exhibition, Drawn Together, the gallery brought together the works of 150 different international artists—from their roster of talent and those of peer institutions—to demonstrate the collective impact the art world can make in times of crisis. Styles and subject matter stretch between dynamic figurative compositions by the likes of AlphachannelingBianca NemelcEniwaye Oluwasey, Ryan Hewett, Adam Lupton and Kwesi Botchway to surreal landscapes by Lise Stoufflet, and Mr Jago‘s brilliant abstraction. The vast majority of works were produced in 2019 and 2020 and prices begin just above $100 and rise into the thousands. In addition to the more accessible price range, 100% of the gallery’s proceeds and more than 50% of the artists’ proceeds will be donated to  Médicins Sans Frontières and World Vision, with a total potential donation value of more than £50,000… Read more.

Hero image is “55 Yoga Photograms” (2019) by Rob and Nick Carter