I am so happy our beloved New York City is roaring back this Independence Day 2021. I am also pausing for thought on what an extraordinary time it has been to be here since early 2020. As Paul Simon wrote, “Time it was, and what a time it was, a time of innocence, a time of confidences”.
Every day, I felt like I was living in my own ethnography, realizing that the only way to survive emotionally was to embrace reality. So I started photographing every nook and cranny of my neighborhood (here, Tribeca Grill) and created new rituals like walking around the “piazza” on Duane Park evenings with my man, a marker to end the day.
This New York Times article captures the feeling beautifully.
”If you stayed in New York through the duration of the pandemic, you may remember the past year unfolding not in months but in chapters. There was the Incessant Sirens chapter. The Banging Pots and Pans Out the Window at 7 p.m. chapter. The Fireworks Every Night chapter. And, of course, the (sadly now ended) Strolling the Boulevard With a To-Go Cocktail chapter.
There’s also a bewildering, magical chapter that began sometime last summer. After the initial terrifying pandemic wave had crested, New York was left eerily quiet, nearly emptied of tourists, and re-emerging residents could experience our city in a way that most of us have never been able to before and probably never will again”.
“For an all-too-brief window, New York belonged to New Yorkers.”