Weather: A sunny morning gives way to scattered thunderstorms that may bring heavy rain and dangerously strong gusts. High in the low 90s.
Alternate-side parking: In effect until Sept. 7 (Labor Day). Read about the amended regulations here.
During the early months of the coronavirus pandemic, large swaths of New York City looked like ghost towns. Many businesses were closed, and plenty of New Yorkers — particularly the wealthy — fled to second homes.
The city has since slowly begun reopening, but things are far from normal. The changes — no Broadway, no nightlife, uncrowded subways — have led some people to proclaim that New York City is “over” as we know it.
For instance, in a much-talked-about LinkedIn post this month titled “N.Y.C. Is Dead Forever. Here’s Why,” James Altucher, an author and podcaster, argued that the city was at a low in terms of financial ruin, culture and real estate.
“This time it’s different,” he wrote. “You’re never supposed to say that but this time it’s true.”
Here are some reasons people say New York is ‘over’ …
The concern about a second wave of infections has made it unclear when countless employees will return to work. Office towers sit empty. Foot traffic has dwindled in Midtown Manhattan and other commercial centers.
And worries about a resurgence of the virus also have New Yorkers leaving faster than some movers can handle.
A report last month by the Partnership for New York City, an influential business group, estimated that roughly one-third of the city’s small businesses may never reopen. To that point, my colleague Troy Closson wrote about shops that survived the Great Depression and both World Wars, but were unable to weather the pandemic.
Also, a recent study by the city said that about 1,200 restaurants had permanently closed since March. Indoor dining is still not allowed in the five boroughs, and restaurants that are trying to take advantage of outdoor dining are struggling.
Even the sounds of the city have changed.
… and here are some reasons people say it’s not.
Several New Yorkers have argued that cynics aren’t giving the city enough credit. Some have also suggested that the people who fled were wealthy and would have eventually left anyway.
On Monday in a Times op-ed, the comedian Jerry Seinfeld responded to the LinkedIn article: “Real, live, inspiring human energy exists when we coagulate together in crazy places like New York City,” he wrote. “Feeling sorry for yourself because you can’t go to the theater for a while is not the essential element of character that made New York the brilliant diamond of activity it will one day be again.”
There are glimmers of a rebound, too: According to Resy, a reservation app, restaurants are performing at around 23 percent of last year’s volume. My colleague Sharon Otterman wrote that while that number is still very low, in mid-July it was only 10 percent.
And while the city’s vacancy rate is climbing, big companies like Facebook and Amazon have recently acquired buildings in Midtown.
The Queens Village Republican Club was still planning to host an event with Stephen K. Bannon, President Trump’s former adviser, who was charged last week with fraud. [Queens Daily Eagle]
And finally: Crummy college quarantine food
The Times’s Amanda Rosa writes:
A lemon as a side dish. Some lettuce in a plastic bag. A sandwich for a student with gluten allergies. Salads with chicken for vegetarians.
Welcome to college. Bon appétit.
As students arrive on campuses in New York for an academic year upended by the coronavirus pandemic, administrators are grappling with an array of challenges — including how to isolate students coming from the many states subject to New York’s 14-day quarantine rule.
The Coronavirus Outbreak ›
Frequently Asked Questions
Updated August 24, 2020
What are the symptoms of coronavirus?
- In the beginning, the coronavirus seemed like it was primarily a respiratory illness — many patients had fever and chills, were weak and tired, and coughed a lot. Those who seemed sickest had pneumonia or acute respiratory distress syndrome — which caused their blood oxygen levels to plummet — and received supplemental oxygen. In severe cases, they were placed on ventilators to help them breathe. By now, doctors have identified many more symptoms and syndromes. (And some people don’t show many symptoms at all.) In April, the C.D.C. added to the list of early signs sore throat, fever, chills and muscle aches. Gastrointestinal upset, such as diarrhea and nausea, has also been observed. Another telltale sign of infection may be a sudden, profound diminution of one’s sense of smell and taste. Teenagers and young adults in some cases have developed painful red and purple lesions on their fingers and toes — nicknamed “Covid toe” — but few other serious symptoms. More serious cases can lead to inflammation and organ damage, even without difficulty breathing. There have been cases of dangerous blood clots, strokes and brain impairments.
Why does standing six feet away from others help?
- The coronavirus spreads primarily through droplets from your mouth and nose, especially when you cough or sneeze. The C.D.C., one of the organizations using that measure, bases its recommendation of six feet on the idea that most large droplets that people expel when they cough or sneeze will fall to the ground within six feet. But six feet has never been a magic number that guarantees complete protection. Sneezes, for instance, can launch droplets a lot farther than six feet, according to a recent study. It’s a rule of thumb: You should be safest standing six feet apart outside, especially when it’s windy. But keep a mask on at all times, even when you think you’re far enough apart.
I have antibodies. Am I now immune?
- As of right now, that seems likely, for at least several months. There have been frightening accounts of people suffering what seems to be a second bout of Covid-19. But experts say these patients may have a drawn-out course of infection, with the virus taking a slow toll weeks to months after initial exposure. People infected with the coronavirus typically produce immune molecules called antibodies, which are protective proteins made in response to an infection. These antibodies may last in the body only two to three months, which may seem worrisome, but that’s perfectly normal after an acute infection subsides, said Dr. Michael Mina, an immunologist at Harvard University. It may be possible to get the coronavirus again, but it’s highly unlikely that it would be possible in a short window of time from initial infection or make people sicker the second time.
I’m a small-business owner. Can I get relief?
- The stimulus bills enacted in March offer help for the millions of American small businesses. Those eligible for aid are businesses and nonprofit organizations with fewer than 500 workers, including sole proprietorships, independent contractors and freelancers. Some larger companies in some industries are also eligible. The help being offered, which is being managed by the Small Business Administration, includes the Paycheck Protection Program and the Economic Injury Disaster Loan program. But lots of folks have not yet seen payouts. Even those who have received help are confused: The rules are draconian, and some are stuck sitting on money they don’t know how to use. Many small-business owners are getting less than they expected or not hearing anything at all.
What are my rights if I am worried about going back to work?
Feeding those students, it turns out, is a big task. New York University and Cornell University, among others, have dealt with it by providing meals at no charge to out-of-state students who have been allowed to move into dormitories before classes start.
The prospect of free food may sound good, but what showed up in brown paper bags three times a day at N.Y.U. got poor reviews from students, who were quick to share TikTok videos and memes of their unripe oranges, watermelon chicken salads and other unhappy meals.
Danielle Gould, a sophomore, tried to make the best of the situation, posting a video of a breakfast she received as an “incoherent sounds” meme on TikTok. What did it show? A cookie, chips, salad dressing, salt and pepper.
Even if students are not well fed, Ms. Gould said, “at least people can be entertained.”
Annette Yang, a first-year N.Y.U. student studying media, culture and communications, said that she had not received some meals and that some of the food she did get smelled as if it had gone bad.
“PLEASE DON’T SKIP MY ROOM FOR FOOD!” Ms. Yang wrote on a sign she posted on her door. “I haven’t gotten food today or yesterday. Pls help.”
On Thursday, N.Y.U. issued a statement apologizing to the 2,600 students who are living in isolation, for what it said were “valid” complaints about a “particularly regrettable error.”
It’s Tuesday — keep on keeping on.
Metropolitan Diary: Trick or treat
It was my first Halloween in my first Manhattan apartment.
Having grown up on Long Island, I assumed that trick-or-treating was strictly a suburban phenomenon, so I had not kept track of the date.
But shortly after I returned home from work on Oct. 31, my bell rang. When I opened the door, I was surprised to find a small boy wearing a costume and holding a shopping bag that appeared to be empty.
“Trick or treat?” he said hopefully.
“Wait a minute,” I said before running off to the kitchen.
No treats anywhere. But I didn’t want to send him away empty-handed.
In desperation, I grabbed a cantaloupe from the counter, rushed back to the door and dropped the melon into the boy’s bag.
As he walked away silently, he appeared to be staggering under the weight of the unusual treat.
— Karen R. Caccavo
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