Portrait of New York City on Lockdown

March 29, 2020

An eerie silence has descended New York City. Taxis drive by one after the other, lights on, searching for a rare customer. It’s so foreign to walk out onto the street and see no people. The masses of people trying to get to work, heads buried in their cellphones, are gone. Grand Central Station is a ghost town. It’s like being in a movie that’s not entertaining. We are fueled by human interaction. In a city filled with unpredictability, we rely on daily routines to ground us. These certainties have been up-ended. I think of the man I would get my morning coffee from. I wonder if he and his cart will ever return. 

—Phil Penman