“The city that never sleeps has been put to bed…”
I am NYC all the way. I was born there, raised there, it’s what I know best. I’ve explored every borough, shopped every district, been to every arena or stadium. I’ve spent nights in its nicest hotels and in its dirtiest apartments. I lived in the Bronx for 23 years, went to high school in Harlem, and college in Brooklyn. I’ve spent years navigating NYC subways until I knew where every train went. I’ve stood in the cold for hours as the ball dropped in Times Square, watched Jeter play his last home game in Yankee Stadium, and walked home from school 15 miles the morning the towers fell. Macys day parades, Fourth of July fireworks down by the seaport, cheap but delicious seafood on a hot summer day in City Island. From SoHo to Soundview. Southern Blvd to South Street. Long Island to Yonkers… NYC will always be home no matter how far away I am. My eyes light up when I see that George Washington Bridge and I enter the one place where I feel secure amongst chaos.
But this is chaos on a different level. This is chaos you can’t even see. The Corona Virus has done something I have never seen done to NYC even in its most trying times. When the attack on the World Trade Center happened, places remained open. People were afraid, but went on with their daily lives. Riding the train with armed soldiers was a sight to see, but life in NYC continued. When the Northeast blackout happened, places closed, but people were out until the early morning grilling and playing loud music as if the city was one big block party. But this Corona Virus (or Rona as it is known on the streets of NYC) has killed so many people that the city that never sleeps has been put to bed. Schools Pre-K through college have been closed indefinitely. Restaurants, bars, and other businesses have been closed or reduced to take out only. The busiest places and streets, empty. Although, there are some places in NYC filled with people, hospitals. As I write this as of March 29th 2020 and according to the New York Post, there are nearly 30,000 cases in the five boroughs with 517 deaths. The highest number of sick are in Queens with 9,228. Brooklyn is next with 7,789, followed by the Bronx with 5,352, and Manhattan with 5,036. I have never written a blog with fucking stats, and yet, here I am.
I am literally sad right now. I’m in upstate NY and all I want to do is drive down, cross that George Washington Bridge, and see my family. Maybe grab a Bacon Egg and Cheese from the corner store. But with everything shut down and all these health warnings, I don’t know when’s the next time I’ll be able to curse out a cab driver for cutting me off, stand on the corner of my block and just kick it with the homies, or show HP a different part of the greatest city in the world through my eyes. Showing her NYC is one of my favorite things to do! Everything is always so new to her but she fits in so well. She loves the Yankees, she loves South Street Seaport. She definitely loves the shopping. She seems so glamorous to me even though she wouldn’t think so. You wouldn’t be able to tell she was from a small town and not the upper east side.
It’s weird to think that in NYC right now crime is down but deaths are up. I don’t know when things will return to normal. I pray soon being that I have a wedding in 35 days and would like my family and friends from home to attend. But people are losing their jobs because of the shutdown and their lives because of the virus and it would be selfish to put them or myself at risk if things do not change. NYC means everything to me. I was taught in its educational system and in its streets. I know the games, the players, and most importantly, the giant board itself like the back of my hand. To see it how it is today.. my heart is broken for the concrete jungle where dreams are made of. Where if you can make it there you can make it anywhere. The city that never sleeps. Almost