We know each other because I do web development and you’re welcome to schedule a call with me to discuss that here. But so many people have been asking me what it’s like to be in NYC right now that I figured I’d send out a little diary entry to satisfy your curiosity (rather than go on about websites!). I hope you enjoy this slice of life with a helping of lighthearted positivity.

Mask up and go!

Masked lady standing on sidewalk in morning sunshine with helmet on her armFriends and colleagues can still meet responsibly. The office water cooler is now outdoors!

Walking around the city is different from a year ago. For one thing, we’re all wearing masks. Well, in the Lower East Side where I live, 90-95% of pedestrians wear masks. Life has returned to streets that were deserted in the dark days of March and April.

Where’s my parking spot?

Man at table on sidewalk café with cup of coffee Uzodimma Chiapa, programmer, entrepreneur, at a coffee shop on the Hudson Street sidewalk.

A major change from pre-pandemic NYC is sidewalk cafés and restaurants. Indoor dining is still banned due to COVID-19, but restaurants now have outdoor dining areas on the sidewalks and streets.

If you live here, you will have experienced this yourself. If you’ve been to the city before, you may be asking, “Well, how would that work?” What’s the downside to this? If you’re looking for a spot, it’s hard to find, as people are eating and drinking where you usually park.

Runners and Cyclists use the closed off streets.

The car is taking a backseat in the new order. Many streets are closed to traffic from 8 am to 8 pm, giving people a chance to stretch their legs. Restaurants do well along those streets, where dining is a relaxed affair. Eateries located along busy avenues are less fortunate, where the dinner crowd mixes with traffic at close quarters.

Bikes rule the streets…

Cycling is more popular than ever.

OK, that’s wishful thinking, but many friends who shunned public transport have taken to two wheels for the first time since they were kids. They’re sticking to it as it’s the most convenient way to get around the city.

Shopping is back. Workers still working from home.

An empty Times Square in late March, 2020.

Retail has come back, too. Not all have made it, but most have, and those that did are offering steep discounts to lure customers..

Midtown has been less successful in getting its workers back into their offices. Many who can work from home do. Sidewalks are emptier than they were this time last year, though not as deserted as in March.

Parks are still lovely…

September 2020, a neighborhood park in the West Village.

There’s a small garden out the back of my apartment building. I’ve rigged up WiFi to broadcast just far enough, and though it’s a slow connection, it goes with the peaceful nature of working in a garden in the Village.

It’s up to us.

Adapting to this brave new world is a challenge for all of us. This (hopefully) unique spring and summer in New York City has reminded us how adaptable and resilient people are. Rest assured, if we can make it here, we can make it anywhere. We will get through this.