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At the start of fall, Nicholas Heller — better known as @NewYorkNico on Instagram — embarked on a partnership with Hudson Whiskey to shed light on the revitalization of New York City after months of stillness during the coronavirus pandemic. 

Nico is based in New York City but his efforts are a lesson all cities can learn from. As a photographer, he used his influence and passion during quarantine to raise money for organizations like The Campaign Against Hunger, the NAACP, God’s Love We Deliver and more. He also re-birthed his #MomNPopDrop hashtag in support of small businesses. 

In his partnership with Hudson Whiskey, together they hosted four socially distant “Lifting Spirits” happy hours throughout the past month to spread awareness to the power of a community that was able to band together in this new way of living. 

Hudson Whiskey was a part of this reinvention: Baby Bourbon was renamed “Bright Lights, Big Bourbon” and Manhattan Rye was renamed “Do The Rye Thing.” As a yearly limited edition release, Maple Cask Rye is now Short Stack and an exciting innovation with a one-time release, Back Room Deal is a straight rye whiskey finished in peated Scotch barrels. With a bit of smoke and a bit of spice, it’s a liquid good enough to seal the deal. Now that time is on its side and with the expertise of its world class distilling team, Hudson Whiskey plans to experiment with older age statements to release additional innovations in the near future. 

The events included Hudson Whiskey samples, giveaways, art displays and more. 

“New York is known for its people, the brave, resilient and creative individuals who make it home,” Paul Coffey, Senior Brand Manager of Hudson Whiskey, says. “They are known for coming together to help and support one another. Hudson Whiskey is proud to celebrate that spirit and our fellow New Yorkers through “Lifting Spirits,” a month of uplifting activities to show support and appreciation to those who embody the New York spirit while also raising funds to help those in need.”

In our interview up top, New York Nico discusses why his partnership with Hudson Whiskey was important, what inspired his #MomNPopDrop hashtag for small businesses, how he responded to backlash from speaking up for the Black Lives Matter movement and more. 

When you’re done hearing his story, check out some of his photos below! 

How A New York Photographer Is Helping ‘Lift Spirits’ Of Small Businesses During The Pandemic  was originally published on












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