to let us know how you are managing during these trying times.
To the editor:
I’ve lived in lower Manhattan for almost 20 years. During that time, it has become an increasingly popular place to live, work and visit. And while it is far from being one of the loudest spots in NYC, as many residents know, there is a fair amount of “background noise” at virtually all hours: traffic from the West Side Highway, buses and delivery trucks passing thru the local streets, the occasional motorcycle, intermittent chatter of people walking around (from the hallways of my residential building and outside), skateboards and the kids who belong to them rumbling by, dogs being walked, comings-and-goings from nearby stores and the school across the street, in addition to ferries and other boats on the Hudson river, and helicopters overhead.
Tonight, as we ate dinner by an open window in our apartment (how is it already the first day of Spring??), my family and I paused at the same moment, looked at one another and whispered “listen” — the only sound to be heard was the chirping of birds, nesting in a tree that is several floors below our apartment. We sat, wide-eyed and silent, for several minutes — listening to a song that is more often heard in a suburban backyard than in the midst of one of the biggest cities in the world.
During the years that I’ve lived here, I’ve grumbled many times about how noisy the neighborhood has become, and how much I crave some quiet in NYC. I never thought about how or why that quiet would be delivered, nor did I ever really believe that my wish for quiet would be granted — and certainly not due to a global pandemic, with its new rules and awkward vocabulary: social distancing, sheltering in place, and self-quarantine.
The bird finishes its song, and the sound of a police siren in the distance breaks the beautiful yet haunting silence of this March evening. I exhale, and begin to clear the dishes from the table — telling myself that someday soon, it will be lively around here once again. The rhythms of life will resume, along with the accompanying noise of this amazing city — and when those familiar sounds return, I will no longer complain about it.
Battery Park City
Arrivals & Departures
Cruise Ships in the Harbor
Norwegian Bliss anchored in the harbor
Due to the COVID19 Pandemic, the cruise ship industry has cancelled cruises through the middle of April and possibly longer.