It has been difficult to like living in New York this past month. I mean–it can be difficult to like living in New York under normal circumstances, but it has been particularly so in the context of this pandemic. We have no other options, of course: driving to my parents’ would have put them at risk; renting a house somewhere else seemed financially and logistically irresponsible given that we’d no sense for the duration of this situation; and we weren’t comfortable with the ethics of leaving the “epicenter” of the pandemic anyhow. But it has been tough. There have been strings of days where ambulances have careened down the street outside my window every other minute, en route to Mount Sinai. There have been heart-rending stories of how this virus has impacted loved ones and their loved ones. There have been desperate emails from doctors in our social network asking for spare PPE for their hospitals, and a particularly disheartening text from one dear doctor friend and former neighbor: “I’m just trying to survive.” On the self-pitying front, there have been limited trips to Central Park in weeks: we rarely leave our apartment unless to walk the dog or make an emergency food run. The Mayor insists exercise is essential to wellness but how on earth to balance with the narrowness of sidewalks and the lurking potential of contracting the virus from, say, the handrail in our lobby, at least during what seems to be the peak of this pandemic? There has been the startling, pit-forming realization that we are one of four units in our building that remains occupied. There have been moments of frustration when our groceries have not arrived, or we are unable to place a new order, and we are lingering over a few sad-looking strawberries and the last dregs of milk for mini. There have been very long days of entertaining two small children while running on fumes in under 2,000 square feet.
We have felt cooped up and desperate for sunshine and one afternoon I must have terrified my father when I went silent on the other end of the line before saying, through a wobbly voice: “This is hard.”
It is hard for everyone, everywhere. And it is very hard for some.
But I have been wondering why we live here right now.
And yet. New York always makes it up to you. More than that: she always makes it, period. She is tough. She hangs in there. Britain’s known for its stiff upper lip, but New York’s is nothing to shake a stick at. When you least expect it, she cheers you on through the text of a neighbor wishing you a Happy Easter! and inquiring after your children and you feel a new bloom of kinship with this city. And she still shows off in the spring, even when that spring can only be enjoyed from a window fourteen stories above a street on the Upper West Side, and reminds you, through the reverberating cheers that echo across her sixteen (?) avenues every night at 7 p.m., that she is sturdy, resilient, all-American grit and that she’s not going anywhere.
I miss seeing more of her than the ten or twelve windows in my apartment permit, but that day will come.
In the meantime, sending extra love to my fellow New Yorkers today–hang in there. We are, it seems, through the worst.
+Swings — a memory from Central Park in the not-so-distant past (though it feels like a different life, now).
+These floral hoops are just so pretty.
+Micro’s Patagonia fleece is now marked down to an astonishing $31.
+Such a pretty set for a little lady.
+These espadrilles in the blue floral stripe would look just perfect with a breezy white dress this summer.
+Have you stocked up on new loungewear? You deserve some.