The city on hold

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The city from above. Photo: JH.

Tuesday, June 2, 2020. Another beautiful Spring day, yesterday in New York, a little cooler with the temp at 70 degrees and rain in the forecast for late afternoon, early evening. Nada. 

I went down to the flower district, inspired by Barbara Hodes’ column last month about the garden suppliers. It was a quick trip by car because a lot of the roads and avenues are still sparsely traveled. There is a lot more traffic on the roads than a week ago, but rarely did I see a person on the sidewalks. Stopping at the lights gave me a minute just to look up and around. The canyons of steel, stone and glass. It amazes to think that so many of those mammoths of office buildings are people-less and have been for several weeks. The city remains on hold although it is definitely opening up.

As we withdraw from lockdown we now have a curfew for last night and tonight at least, ordered by the mayor. Off the streets by 11 p.m. until 5 a.m. Apparently more of the same was expected. We received these photos taken late yesterday afternoon by Lauren Lawrence along Madison Avenue on the Upper East Side as she passed businesses “boarding up.” It’s particularly quiet that time of day during the lockdown and so the noise of hammers dominated. Scary is another word for it. (ed. note: As we were putting this Diary together at 10:05 pm we received another message from Lauren that they were rioting on Madison Avenue between 54th and 60s.)

The Apple store.
Joe Bananas.
Caroline Herrera.
Sidney Garber.
Ralph Lauren Men’s.
Ralph Lauren Women’s.

It needs to be mentioned that these “measures” of curfew have nothing to do with honoring the memory of George Floyd and the bigger message that the majority of the protestors are trying to peacefully deliver. The dangers we have already experienced in cities all over the nation have to do with the physical destruction of the community and people’s businesses and looting. All of that, on top of the huge losses of employment and earnings of millions of Americans in the last three months, is an enormous threat and loss to everyone’s well-being right now.

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