Out with the COVID, in with the crowds! Why I’m thankful for Big Apple clog heaven

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Welcome again, New York City, in all of your congested, untidy, patience-testing glory. Good riddance to the “ghost town” that the world’s media warned us was to be our everlasting future.

I hate loud noise. I hate overcrowding. But I say to the Big Apple on this golden, parade-redux Thanksgiving vacation:

Be as loud and as congested as you could be. Sidewalk trumpet gamers, blow your rusty horns to the skyscraper pinnacles. Bongo drummers, wake the dwelling useless clustered beneath “sidewalk bridges.”

Enough of pandemic hush and its shut cousin, the “Is it over?” tentative, abundance-of-caution, masked-up variant (to make use of that distasteful phrase).

Notoriously cantankerous crank that I’m, perhaps I’ll change my tune six months from now. Today, I’m loving the myriad each day dehumanizing episodes whose 20 months’ absence made them appear valuable.

Slow-moving vacationers downtown who ask the place Wall Street is: Folks, you’re on Wall Street, might I make it easier to with anything?

I really like that pals say they’ll’t get Thanksgiving reservations at any restaurant in city as a result of they’re already booked up.

I really like choosing my approach round sidewalk distributors promoting junky picket animals on Sixth Avenue in Midtown. I cherished steering by a boozy “Welcome back to the office” celebration for a regulation agency in the constructing the place I work.

People kiss while ice skating in Rockefeller Center on November 15, 2021 in New York City.
It’s about time New Yorkers can share a kiss on the rinks with out politicians yapping about masks.
Noam Galai/Getty Images

The zillion-decibel din at eating places Hawksmoor, Gage & Tollner, Le Bilboquet, Carne Mare, Clocktower, Hutong, Polo Bar, Cellini, Nobu Fifty Seven and Fresco by Scotto was music to my 71-year-old ears. The mob scene in the Carlyle Hotel’s foyer and lounges tickled me to the bone.

At Bloomingdale’s males’s division, I (nearly) loved having to hunt for assist as a result of the gross sales guys had been busier with prospects than they’d been in a very long time.

The lengthy wait for the Apple Store Genius Bar was extra soothing than infuriating. Starbucks baristas, dropped at a digital standstill by having to manage once more with a number of orders at a time, charmed me.

I thrill to the sight of younger folks camped out on Rockefeller Center sidewalks hoping for tickets to “Saturday Night Live,” whose forged members weren’t even allowed in the similar rooms final 12 months.

Subway crowds are better of all. Trains are filling up once more — not but to pre-pandemic ranges however trending upward. Not solely in closely trafficked Manhattan however on the J line to Brooklyn’s Broadway Junction, the elevated station of my childhood that was scarily lonely a couple of months in the past.

If you’d somewhat keep in and watch the parade on TV, know that extra folks round make everybody safer. It’s no coincidence that subway crime has lastly begun to fall as the trains grew to become fuller. Times Square’s annoying Elmos and the crowds they draw is perhaps a greater crime deterrent than cops on horses.

A woman throws leaves above her for a photo in Central Park on November 19, 2021 in New York City.
After a 12 months of heinous lockdowns and mandates, it’s time for New Yorkers to have enjoyable in Central Park.
Alexi Rosenfeld/Getty Images

Anyone with a coronary heart, a mind or an oz of affection for Gotham ought to rejoice.

True, there have been small consolations throughout final 12 months’s lockdown and the on-again, off-again, masks-off, masks-on reopening purgatory that adopted.

I briefly loved the unaccustomed solace of Central Park walks with hardly anybody round. I didn’t miss the clamor of youngsters when the foyer in my constructing of 360 flats was devoid of life and the chairs had been roped off with yellow tape as at against the law scene.

A Pikachu and Eevee balloon is inflated in preparation for the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade on November 24, 2021.
A Pikachu and Eevee balloon is inflated in preparation for the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade on November 24, 2021.
REUTERS/Carlo Allegri

On Aug. 1, 2020, I even wrote {that a} minor blessing of the lockdown was its “civilizing” affect on the raucous, tourist-trampled metropolis.

I complained that the pre-pandemic metropolis was a “mosh pit” of jammed restaurant coat checks, too-long traces for Broadway theater bathrooms and weekend gridlock of “overlapping parades, street fairs, street races, fireworks shows and cycling events.”

But all of us went slightly loopy final 12 months — bear in mind after we thought former Gov. Andrew Cuomo was a hero? — and that was my very own second of insanity.

I way back had sufficient “civilizing.” So, judging by this autumn’s revival, did all people else.

The public grasps the fact that mustn’t-let-our-guards-down “experts” keep away from lest they lose their quote-of-the-day media entry: Few absolutely vaccinated New Yorkers are catching the virus. Those who are suffering “breakthrough” infections nearly by no means get significantly sick, a lot much less require hospitalization.

Those who’ll howl that I don’t know what I’m speaking about ought to pipe down and see the metropolis Department of Health’s daily updates, click on on the “recent trends” field and have a look at the information for hospitalizations and deaths amongst the vaccinated. There have been close to none since August regardless of barely rising case numbers.

Bill de Blasio is perhaps our worst mayor ever, however he isn’t too dumb to not learn the charts. They’re why we’re getting our Times Square New Year’s Eve celebration again.

So exit and luxuriate in the chaos. Be good to the vacationers. And let’s all have a beautiful Thanksgiving. We earned it. 


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