There is an ongoing debate about when and if New York City will bounce back from the coronavirus pandemic. As a global center of culture, commerce, and finance, NYC has been a shell of its former self since the wave of shutdown orders and COVID-19 infections swept through the five boroughs earlier this year.
People are asking: Are these changes permanent? Will people ever feel safe on the subway again?
Whatever your feelings about the city, it is facing an unprecedented and hard-to-predict situation.
Entering the fray, hometown comedian Jerry Seinfeld penned an op-ed for The New York Times recently, arguing that the city’s best days are most definitely ahead. In his article, Seinfeld addressed a particular LinkedIn post, where entrepreneur James Altucher expressed the opposite view, that NYC is “dead forever.”
While these debates can make for compelling online theater, they can also obscure some of the more urgent issues facing the city – including record job losses, increasing crime, and an ongoing public health crisis. While many readers applauded Seinfeld for urging New Yorkers to stick with the city through the worst of times, others were quick to point out that the rich celebrity is not exactly feeling the same economic pain as the average New Yorker.
For this reason, the part of the article that resonated most was a response in the comments section. It came from a reader identifying himself as a cab driver, who described the exhilaration of driving a brand-new New Yorker across the upper level of the 59th Street Bridge and into Manhattan for the first time.
Here’s a snippet: “Touching down on E. 62nd Street, my newly minted New Yorker is experiencing for the first time the ‘energy’ that is so often spoken of. It’s like watching a child approaching a roomful of birthday presents. All things are possible.”
Even better than the comment was the response it inspired – countless commenters recounting their own first-time experiences seeing the city. Those anecdotes are continuing on Twitter, where the cab driver’s comment went viral after it was reposted by a user who said it made her “tear up.” Some Twitter users even said they’d been in this driver’s cab before.
Source: Fast Company