Tuesday, August 18, 2020. Yesterday was a perfect summer day weather-wise in New York, with temperatures in the mid-70s, plus a gentle breeze dancing through. I take this to be Mother Nature’s little gift to us citizens after the very hot humid days just past.
We are very fortunate. You may have read that out in the Southwest they’re having record temperatures. Yesterday Death Valley registered the highest number ever recorded at 130 degrees. That can easily kill you. Many think it’s related to Climate Change. No kidding. The planet Earth is on her own schedule, as history has generously demonstrated for us.
And all that comes down to The Now. A friend of mine was telling me how so many people who don’t live here have heard the worst things New York during this pandemic and lockdown. I’ve frequently heard the same from friends elsewhere.
The “horror” show is mainly site specific. The New York where I live has been mainly very quiet and peaceful. Although many have felt the instability and insecurity personally in this metropolitan isolation. With the city basically closed, such as midtown business, many areas are almost deserted. Because of the destructive political activities, much of Fifth Avenue and other commercial areas are boarded up.
But what I’ve been looking at for the past five months is nevertheless, a beautiful stage set. The vistas of the city are magical. You’ve seen them in JH’s photos on the NYSD. He has a natural eye for that. It really does look like that. New York for a script is a perfect location: beautiful, interesting, old, new, bizarre and even a green metropolis. It is also a vast array of wonderful people of all shades and colors, ages, religions, languages, opinions, talents, and heart.
That last sentence almost looks like an exaggeration. But it’s true. There are always exceptions — the terrible side to a mass of civilization under one roof. Or the injustices that we creatures slam on each other freely and abundantly when we’re “angry” or just plain selfish. All characteristics can be attributed to us, to our families, to our friends, and most certainly to our leaders. At times.
This past weekend besides Mother Nature’s gifts, there were more than two dozen shootings and several deaths by gunshot in New York. Last night at dinner I heard police sirens about eight o’clock. There had been a hold up on the sidewalk at 72nd and Third – a residential area of what last century was known as the “Silk Stocking District.”
However — and here’s the denouement — we have all kinds of troubles as a society right now. All of us. The situation has been infected by the pandemic and the lockdown, although they are separate entities. It has created a kind of sociological paralysis because business — the ways of the world — was stopped in its tracks, dead. If there has been a real horror, it has been that.
People have been deeply depressed in ways they’ve never experienced before because everything stopped. We are social creatures, the most social of all animal groups living on this planet. This hasn’t been a vacation. It’s been an extremely troublesome moment in our history. Not just for New York but for all of us. I don’t know the solution although the aforementioned Mother Nature undoubtedly will provide one. In the meantime, Love Thy Neighbor.