When I wandered through Times Square just two weeks ago, the city was still its vibrant, spirited self. (You can see some photos from that Wednesday evening in this blog post.) But since that spur-of-the-moment stroll, New York has become a wildly different place.
The energy has dwindled, and the morale is probably at its lowest since 9/11. There’s also a sense of uneasiness on the streets, as I’m sure there is around the world––a fear of the unknown. New Yorkers scramble, panic shopping while keeping their distance from others, wondering what the future holds. Coronavirus has taken its toll on this city, and knocked the wind out of its sails.
After dark, the streets are scarily desolate with hardly a taxi in site as a few stragglers walk their dogs. All restaurants and bars in the five boroughs closed, and Broadway went dark. I feel awful for people in the service industry, as well as anyone in the theatre world. These are trying times for everybody, but especially people who cannot work and have no source of income.
I anticipate more of a shutdown will come in the next day or two. I’m glad I really love my apartment. Like millions of others, I’m going to spend a lot of hours there.
In the midst of COVID-19, however, New Yorkers will stay strong. We are incredibly resilient, and history proves this. One day, the city will reflect and mourn those we lost but rejoice in the recovery, bringing New York back to the thriving, most exciting city in the world.
Below, a few photos of the five boroughs taken in happier times.
New York has experienced its share of tragedy, including September 11, 2001, Hurricane Irene, and Superstorm Sandy. We will get through COVID-19 too. You can count on it.
Sending love and light to all our friends around the globe.
Brooklyn, Queens, and Staten Island photos by Eric Barao.