Elle’s Edit: The Last 5 Months in NYC

Oh New York, you have my heart forever. 

If you remember, back in June, I reflected on the time that I had at my parents in Florida and my eagerness to get back to my “normal” life here in nyc. It makes me sad reading that post because I genuinely believed that things would be better in the fall, just like what everyone thought, and here we are, entering November and cases are the worst they have ever been.

Fortunately cases have remained flat in nyc since I’ve returned in June, with some upticks (still below 1.5%) here and there, but overall it hasn’t been like what we’ve seen in the early days/weeks of the pandemic. Sure life is forever changed here but as we get used to this way of life it is starting to feel more and more normal. For example, taking an uber or any form of public transportation. Isn’t it crazy how we would not wear a mask or touch the pole in the subway to hold on to and not put on hand sanitizer immediately right after? It’s just weird to think about and also weird to think about if we will be like this forever or slowly ease up on these precautions as we get a vaccine and COVID becomes the next “flu” that we live with every year.

The reason as to why I’m writing this post right now is because the media (and President) is doing a horrible job about describing what nyc is like right now. I want to make a point and say sure nyc is not what it used to be but we are doing just fine.

It is not a ghost town. I mentioned this in my post in June when I came back the city was no where like it was in late march / early april. It definitely rebounded a bit and each week it feels to be getting busier. Outdoor dining and the warmer weather has definitely played a role in doing that but overall there are more people back in the city. To be fair, I do live in the busier part of the city where people tend to flock due to the best outdoor dining and more things to do. I had a doctors appointment in mid town during the day and woof it was empty. Stores closed for good and barely anyone on the street. It is so sad and will definitely take years to recover.

The crime is so bad. I downloaded the citizens app and it notifies you if there was an assault or another incident around you and when I first came back (this is right after the peak of the looting) my phone alerts were through the roof. Now, it definitely has gotten less frequent which is good but part of me questions if I am just paying more attention to all of this now or has it been like this without knowing it? I think in nyc we have our guard down too much and I am definitely more on aware of my surroundings. It isn’t because I am scared it is because I should have always be aware of my surroundings 24/7.

Full of homeless people. I hated even typing that word but everyone in the media is talking about how bad the homeless population is. Let me make this clear, we always have homeless people around, we live in an expensive major city. Sure some cities have a higher rate of their homeless population but nyc isn’t really known to have a massive population. I think it also depends on where you are in the city. I have seen many more than I usually do in the lower east side and east village and in the parks but other than that it’s not like I’m jumping over people in the streets to go to the grocery store. Don’t want to sound mean or dramatic here but it is the truth. There are occasions here and there where people come up to you when you are eating outside and it is likely because we are legitimately eating in the streets. Again, this has only happened to me in the lower east side and in no other places.

NYC is dead. No, New York is not dead, it is just different. We have been through a lot of shit here in this city and this is another major hiccup in the road. We will overcome this and maybe see some light at the end of the tunnel? Who knows. We need to be optimistic, support the local places when we can, and power through. New York will be dead if we make it dead and pretty sure there are sill people here making it come back to life…safely.

Friends will move away. This has been the hardest realization for me. Every single one of my friends has gone “home” to their parents at least once during this time. Even though I am guilty myself, it is hard to comprehend that as someone in their late 20s we resort to going back to our parents. Why can’t we just stay put in our homes and deal with it as adults? As you know, apartments in nyc are so small and I think not having much space it makes it hard to work from home for an extended period of time. Many of my friends who had leases have put their things in storage and moved back home with their parents until this is “over” and they want to be back. What scares me is the question of when will this ever be over? Life will be moving on even though we want life to be paused during this “boring” time. On the positive side when I have had some friends come back for a weekend or two I think they realize being back isn’t as bad as the media portrays it. I honestly believe it is word of mouth that will get people back into this city!

On Tuesday I am going back down to Florida to be with my parents the remainder of the year and even though I am excited to see them, part of me knows I’m going to miss being home in nyc. I am going down to Florida to watch the Masters with my dad (it is our favorite weekend), I need to visit my ill grandmother (from afar), and I want to “self quarantine” for the proper amount of time before Thanksgiving. I would typically head back up to nyc between Thanksgiving and Christmas but since I will be with my parents who are in their 60s, I am going to limit my travel and just come back after the holidays as that is the right and smart thing to do.

In the meantime… New York, hang in there. It is going to be okay and don’t let the media get to you. Most importantly to everyone out there, don’t believe what the media has to say about this city. It certainly is not dead nor will it ever be. Not on my watch!

Thanks for reading Elle’s Edit. If you have any topics that you would like for me to discuss, feel free to email me at elizabeth.lane.dooley@gmail.com. I would love to hear from you! xo

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