We are back in the city and I am 100% relieved and happy to be back as we experience this challenging reckoning together. I love this city and everything about it, but one would be a little cold and callous to not have their heart broken numerous times a day as one discovers yet another cherished local business shuttered for good. My first heartbreak was on my initial walk home from the garage where we stash our car. Double whammy with Cafe Jax (the best local barista) and Medicine for the Soul Yoga studio (the sweetest little yoga studio with a giant heart) shuttered. Closed. Finito.
My first thought was where will my author friend sit and write? My second thought, I never said a proper thank you for all of the folks being there in the first place (so many places I just up and took for granted). Then I considered the ripple effects of the lives shattered just from these two places and so many others like them for reasons way beyond their or anyone else’s control.For the stores that soldier on? They are DESPERATE for business. My favorite floral/gift store Michael’s Florists on 85th and 1st? Michael sits outside surrounded by an abundance of beauty that is for sale always ready with a smile, a chat and a pet for Florence, but when I asked him how business was…”Slow…scratch that. Business is dead.” Sad. Florence and I popped in and made an immediate purchase offering a nano second of life support to an establishment we want to keep in business.
My favorite teensy tiny hair salon greeted me with hopeful eyes when I ambled past and asked if I would be by soon. “We need customers!” I will go next week. Here’s a blog post I wrote about them a while back if you want to go there too.
NYC is listing, but it is not sunk and it is certainly not dead as the news media would like the nation and world to believe. But it needs help in the form of support – life support by fellow New Yorkers supporting and lifting the businesses we can. Develop a bit of an Amazon habit over the quarantine? Me too. Time to break it. Slap on that mask and walk to a hardware store/supply store/grocery store/bookstore/pet store/hair salon/pharmacy.
Miss seeing your friends? Be like Cindy and Nancy and pick from a whole slew of creative and quite lovely outdoor dining options and have a mother/daughter sushi night. Be like them too and call me over if you see me wandering aimlessly with Florence (and Po)! I love random street encounters – quite possibly my favorite thing about city living. Grab coffees or green juices and go for long walks with friends.
While you are out and about, use your spirit to lift people up. Greet the mail person with vigor – wave to any and all doormen. Read this post for inspo on how and why to do this. This city needs a positive influx of energy along with a swift injection of cash. And we group – we can be the people that do this.
This is going to take some time. Consider yourselves endurance players on the NYC life support team. Our fellow humans in this city are what has always made living here such an incredible experience – our fellow humans just need our help a little, okay a lot, more than usual. Let’s GIVE IT. Get out there GROUP.