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New York in the time of COVID-19.

I stopped counting after 100 days of lockdown in a city I love so dearly. Those who stick around in New York are in it for better or for worse. So when the pandemic hit, I didn't know what it would take away or add to how I view the city and its people. Days seemed hazy and dystopian. Overnight, a city that sounds like a conglomeration of every sound you can imagine became scary and ghostly. Laughter from playgrounds and music from the neighborhood bar was taken over by mind numbing, anxiety-inducing incessant rings of sirens from ambulances, police cars, and fire trucks. I used this time to take stock of the things I'm grateful for. I watched my neighbors not let confinement define their spirits. I heard it in the 7pm cheers that celebrated the gift of life, rainbow sketches on windows by children who can't fully fathom the nebulous world outside but wanted to spread hope. I saw people waving from windows, dogs play fetch on roofs, pigeons confused by the lack of scraps, Ubers with makeshift protective barriers inside cars, and more people take to biking than ever before. I don't know what a new normal is yet, as I believe we're shaping it as we go, but there are things I miss from a pre-pandemic world that are quintessentially New York. I drew them over the lockdown to remind myself of the crowded, big-hearted, beautiful, and chaotic city that I fall more in love with every day. And while New York is slowly reopening and evolving in the resilient way it always does, take a moment to remember what makes the city unique for you.

I love you, New York.

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Featured in the Gothamist︎︎︎