“The city that sleeps for the first time” was called New York when the metropolis closed almost overnight. In the meantime, the pandemic has also brought some new things to the residents. What will remain of it?
In March 2020, almost no New Yorker could have imagined that the historical exit restrictions in the world metropolis would result in a whole year of emergency. There has been a lot of suffering and pain, a lot has changed – but not all for the worse. An overview:
– OUTDOOR DINING AND PEDESTRIAN ZONES: New Yorkers have got a taste for outside dining. Many streets in Manhattan or Brooklyn have been lined with (heated) wooden outdoor patios for months. Sometimes they are brightly painted or decorated with flowers and – as long as no snowstorm sweeps the city – they are well attended. For some residents, the new street flair with restricted-traffic zones even reminded of street restaurants in Europe – and it could stay: “I want us to adopt this model and make it part of the life of New York City for years and generations,” said Mayor Bill de Blasio.
– INSTAGRAM RESTAURANTS: In addition to traditional restaurants, another gastronomy branch has developed in the New York pandemic. Numerous cooks and bakers relocated to the Internet, in so-called “ghost kitchens”. They do not have a shop, but cook or bake either at home or in a special kitchen and then deliver the food or have it picked up. Many were able to secure their livelihood in this way – and some even became gastronomic stars, such as the 27-year-old Kimberly Camara, whose donuts, shaped by her Filipino roots, are regularly sold out via Instagram within minutes.
– COMEBACK OF CULTURE: The famous New York cultural scene has been one of the hardest hit by the pandemic. According to studies, up to two thirds of all jobs have been lost – at least temporarily. The museums were closed for months, the Broadway theaters will probably reopen in autumn at the earliest, the Metropolitan Opera not until 2022. But after a black year there are now the first signs of hope: the cinemas have recently been allowed to reopen with restrictions, and the first theaters from April . Museums are already announcing large new exhibitions for the summer, and there should also be a large cultural program in the open air – and some of that could remain.
– THE LOVE WHEEL: New York, a bicycle city? Despite more than 2000 kilometers of mostly green tracks for cyclists, not really. But here too the pandemic has caused a rethink. Bicycle sellers cannot keep up with supplies, and bike sharing is booming because tens of thousands no longer want to take the subway. This is why the more than 50,000 bicycle parking spaces in public spaces are becoming scarce at times. The big city has promised to invest more in the infrastructure, because the bike should keep its place in New York in the future.
– PARK ON THE HUDSON: In the pandemic, space and nature were in demand, and New Yorkers rediscovered a love for their many parks – whether small or large, whether Central Park, Prospect Park or Hudson River Park. Now they are all waiting eagerly for a green new addition: “Little Island”, a park built on stilts in the Hudson River and financed with millions of dollars by media mogul Barry Diller, is due to open “this spring”.
© dpa-infocom, dpa: 210319-99-885774 / 2 (dpa)