Frozen in Time

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Samuel Seabury Playground, Lexington Ave., E. 95 St. Photo: JH.

Friday, April 17, 2020.  A sunny day, yesterday in New York, but temps were in the mid-40s and there was a chill in the occasional breezes. It’s still warm jacket time. Or at least it was yesterday afternoon.

A Matter of Time. JH and I had a long phone interview with Dr. Jay Levy out in San Francisco. Dr. Levy is one of the four scientist-doctors who discovered the AIDS virus, HIV. We’re running the interview on Monday’s Diary, but one thing that was clarified was that TIME is of the essence. The less time spent with the crowds, the sooner that matter is under control.

Jay A. Levy, M.D.

That struck home with me because I’m one whose life among the savages (so to speak) is what life IS for me. It’s New York New York. I know I’m not alone. The idea of being locked down or quarantined, or disallowed to get out among our specie, is very difficult to deal with. Depression enters the the vocabulary. In my case I’m often struck dumb these days as to what to write – and that is mainly how I spend my time. Pauvre David (say it in French) could mean even poorer.

Taking in Dr. Levy’s wisdom, I had nothing relievingly optimistic to counter this isolation. It is probably going to take longer to get back to “normal” than we’d wish, dream, hope or need. So I decided to get out of the house and go out to the market. Making something special out of getting some grub. I photo-recorded the highlights of this venture; maybe I’d find something interesting to convey. 

First I had to take the dogs out. We walked down the block to Gracie Square and out onto the Promenade which runs along the river. I couldn’t resist that photo of the motorbikes in front of 10 Gracie. His and Hers? How about a Manhattan based re-make of “Easy Rider” but now with a Him and a Her. No?

Then onto the Promenade, I was surprised to not see more people taking in the sunny weather. Usually it’s semi-crowded on these sunny Spring days. Probably a little too chilly for many. There was also barely any traffic on the River. Just this tanker — which is definitely full up with oil.

Along the Promenade looking north from Gracie Square.
An oil tanker heading for Long Island Sound; Roosevelt Island in the background, and the Con Ed Towers in Queens.

On the other side of the water is Roosevelt Island. Beyond in the distance (to the right of the photo) are the red and white smoke stack towers of Con Edison in Queens. It’s been written more than once that they were constructed there instead of on the island of Manhattan because there is a Fault that runs from the Lower East Side of Manhattan across and up to the Upper West Side. If there were to be a major earthquake, Con Ed was safer over in Queens.

Along the Promenade where the dogs like to pee and sniff; 10 Gracie facade in the back ground.

The Wearing of the Mask. That’s really taken hold in the past week. Practically everyone is wearing something to suffice. Some look like 21st century version of the Lone Ranger. Others look like it was their old bib back in the day. Still others practically are missing behind the mask. Then there’s the stock one that I have with the folds.

On the Promenade (officially the John Finley Walk), looking south toward the 59th Street Ed Koch Bridge. the FDR Drive runs underneath from 79th Street to 90th Street. Three of the strollers are wearing masks. The woman standing by the  riverside isn’t wearing one. She’s been tossing a ball for her Jack Russell. He had just retrieved it and is waiting for her to throw it again. He never even noticed my Rosemary’s growling, much to her tail-wagging disappointment.

Chilly winds and bright Sun on our way home has got these tulips about to blossom beauty. That’s the tip of Rosemary’s tail at the bottom.

It’s a lot cheaper to eat at home (and often a lot healthier). But it has been my habit and my business for a long time to lunch and dine out. It’s been mainly business but also the pleasure of good company. Well, strike that one for now (and the past six weeks).

Some of the best pizza on the UES is found on Lex between 70th and 71st Street, usually a very busy sidewalk at this time of day, and always customers waiting inside for the goods.
Next door: Sette Mezzo, usually a lunch and dinner hub for the nabe and then some, now sitting homeless and forced abandonment. Looking forward to its return.
Stopped for the light at 71st and Third.
At 75th and Third, across the avenue from Citarella. Joe’s is open! Wow!
Do you know this man? He looks like he’s pleading something underneath that mask. But what? Who cares!! At least he got to go outside. What more could he ask for? By the way, that’s the Brearley School in the background. It’s been closed for past few weeks and perhaps for the rest of the school year. The New York Times and the Post have been bearing the weather stacking up helter skelter by the front door to the school.

The business at hand for all of who can contribute or help is making sure that this vast unemployment and lack of weekly earnings/salary doesn’t prevent everyone from getting their daily breakfast, lunch and dinner. The greatest danger of all is if our neighbors, our citizens and residents are without nourishment. That is a danger that history has warned us about down through the centuries.

Among our friends: CITY HARVEST is working on it day by day. According to the New York State Labor Department, unemployment claims in our state have increased over the previous year by 2,580%, and New York City alone has seen 336,587 new unemployment claims since March 14! 

City Harvest — Nourishing Our Neighbors. You can help. A little goes a long way.

City Harvest’s fleet of 22 trucks continues to be on the road every day, rescuing food, free of charge, and delivering it to community food programs that remain open across the five boroughs, as well as to City Harvest’s nine Mobile Markets. 

Since March 9th, they have distributed 6.6 million pounds of food to help feed our neighbors who were relying on them before the pandemic, along with the many more who are turning to CH in its wake.

As of this week, 96 of the soup kitchens and food pantries that City Harvest regularly serves have closed their doors, due to the lack of staffing or as a precautionary measure, making at 12% increase in closure since last week. City Harvest added three more weekly Emergency Food Distribution Sites, bringing the total to 10, each of which brings between 4,000 and 12,000 pounds of food to high-need neighborhoods, particularly where community food programs have shut down. 

So far, City Harvest has delivered 111,628 pounds of food through their Emergency Food Distribution Sites. It’s ALL ABOUT NEIGHBORS HELPING NEIGHBORS since 1982 because TOGETHER, WE ARE NEW YORKERS. AND, TOGETHER, WE WILL FIND A WAY TO FEED THE CITY.

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