Sights And Sounds Around NYC In The Age of Coronavirus

Line for the latest Supreme drop. Photo: Sam Schube for GQ

“You Kinda Thug It Out”

Anthony, 29, in the Supreme Line (Per GQ)
I’m 100% “still thugging it out,” BUT the mood of the city shifted on Thursday.

First came the announcements that all Broadway shows were shutting down, then all the museums and even some galleries announced they were temporarily closing (Zwirner, Hauser & Wirth).

Entertainment and sports venues are shut tight until at least the end of March. Madison Square Garden and Barclay Center down for the count (along with the NBA, NHL, MBL and on and on).

Retailers are starting to close too. Apple just announced that all its stores (worldwide) will be closed through March 27, except those in China which recently re-opened. Other retailers will undoubtedly follow suit, especially if nobody is shopping anyway.

Restaurants have been especially hard hit. Jing Fong, the biggest dim sum restaurant in Chinatown (it seats 800) announced it was shuttering for the foreseeable future. Business has been horrid but the city’s mandate that all establishments with capacity for over 500 have to close, left them with no alternative. On Friday, several other restaurants announced they too were closing temporarily, e.g., Oceana in midtown which has seen business plummet by 75%. But the most ominous announcement came from Danny Meyer who has decided to close ALL 19 of his restaurants until further notice. Staff is being paid for the next couple of weeks, but then what?

Bars? an entirely different story. Many have tripled their business.

I heard (secondhand) about two bars in Brooklyn owned by friends of friends that have seen their businesses skyrocket as #WorkFromHome has become a thing. One bar owner said the minute he opens his bar at 4pm, customers are lining up to get their booze on. Another bar owner in Bushwick mentioned that she has been doing over $38,000 per week which is triple her pre-Coronavirus tally.

Scroll down for more including how South Korea and Italy have taken different tacks and gotten radically different results.
Avoiding The Gym? You’re not alone.

Friday morning at the Chinatown Y (below). It was the emptiest I’ve ever seen it.

Even my die-hard workout crew who I could always count on to be here no matter what, was MIA.

9 AM at Whole Foods was another story. not a single shopping cart.
That means only one thing: jam-packed, empty shelves!

If you were looking to buy fresh produce or anything from the meat or seafood counters, you were in luck. Otherwise, shelves were picked clean especially pasta and junk food, e.g., chips, cookies.

Checking out required patience. It took me an hour.
Finally, highly recommend this insightful piece on South Korea’s approach/outcome vs. Italy’s (link below in the quote).

In Italy, millions are locked down and more than 1,000 people have died from the coronavirus. In South Korea, hit by the disease at about the same time, only a few thousand are quarantined and 67 people have died.

Reuters (3/12/20)

Bottom Line.

Hang in there everyone. I’m doing my part to “flatten the curve.” I’m going to be focusing on “social distancing” for the next few days. Not because I want to – or because I’m afraid to go out – but there is literally NOTHING going on in NYC at the moment. It’s shut tighter than a drum.

Will report back if anything even marginally interesting transpires. My big calendar item for today (Saturday) is to try to get a pedicure. But the odds are not looking good.

In the meanwhile, big virtual hugs and elbow greetings to one and all.

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