Skip to comments.Back to Manhattan Today (First time since March 13)
Posted on 06/29/2020 4:24:38 PM PDT by SamAdams76
Today I returned to my office on Lexington Avenue (near Grand Central) for the first time since Friday, March 13.
Just wanted to record some observations.
I took the Metro North out of Westport, CT. Arrived around 6:30 am and got my best parking space ever! There were only about 20 cars in the main parking lot when normally it is close to full and people are already jockeying for spaces in the satellite parking lots.
Train showed up right on schedule at 6:52 and it smelled and looked clean. Got a three-seater row all to myself. Very pleasant ride. Grand Central was also very quiet. It had the feel of a Sunday morning. Once out on the street however, it sounded and felt like a typical day in NYC with the taxis, the honks and the occasional sirens.
Lot of people out on the street. Many commuters are choosing to drive in as opposed to taking public transit. So streets are moderately crowded.
Walking into the lobby of my building, a woman took my temperature. 97.8 degrees. I was allowed in and I took my elevator to the 32nd floor. Only four to an elevator and they have red dots painted on the floor in each corner. I was the only one on the elevator the entire day.
My favorite coffee shop (Gregorys) was still closed but Dunkin Donuts was open and doing brisk business.
During lunch, took a walk up and down 5th Avenue, to the Trump Tower and back. Most of the shops were open but not doing a lot of business from what I could tell. At Rockefeller Center, there was a wine vendor setting up shop for later that day. Tables were being setup and POS (point of Sale) terminals were being plugged in.
Many of the stores had signs saying "cashless payments only." The Barnes and Noble was open and I went inside, because I can never pass up a book store. It was not crowded but they had a decent amount of people in there. I bought a couple of books and moved on.
None of the once ubiquitous food trucks from what I could see but restaurants were busy setting up tables out on the streets.
Slowly, the city is coming back to life.
I was struck by how peaceful it all was. I saw very little damage from all the rioting that earlier took place. The graffiti appears to be mostly cleaned up. The streets were clean (at least by NYC standards). There were a few bums here and there but not nearly as bad as I thought it might be. The NYPD was out in full force and they were friendly as ever. I don't know how they do it but they have been able to maintain their professionalism.
Anyway, my purpose for being there today was to get the office ready for re-opening. We have two floors of office space so we were putting up signage and floor arrows and all the other things necessary to facilitate social distancing in the office environment. All conference tables had chairs removed to leave just five. Plan is to have the office 25% occupied by end of July.
I did a few ZOOM meetings from my office and many of my co-workers and clients were still working at home, where it now seems to be pretty much a permanent arrangement. Our go-forward plan is to have about everybody come in maybe one day a week and for client-facing meetings.
Otherwise, work from home appears to be here to stay for a while.
At the end of the day, I went back to Grand Central and once again had a three-seater all to myself. There were a lot more people on the evening train than the morning train, which suggests that nobody was hanging around after the workday having drinks and/or dinner in the city.
I was really struck by how quiet and clean the city was. It was not the hell-hole that the news media would have you believe. Now granted, I was only in the mid-town area between Times Square and 3rd Avenue and between 52nd and 36th Streets. But I had no hassles whatsoever.
Thought I'd pass that on.
I used to live in NYC. Had a house in Darien. Loved NYC and Fairfield County back then.
Since you went up to Trump Tower, how was Columbus Circle?
I didn’t go over to Columbus Circle, I turned around at Trump Tower and headed back downtown.
Thanks for the report.
Just stay away from Bridgeport!
Is the rat population (especially in the Metro North area) down? Word was they were starving with all the restaurants closed.
I didn’t see any rats (they usually come out at night) but my office cafeteria had some giant dead roaches on the floor. They must have starved with all the office workers gone for three months. (No crumbs to feed on).
Thanks for the update. There is hope. Grand Central is so beautiful. We have Jackie O to thank for that.
Yes we do! Thank for for remembering Jackie. The best First Lady ever until Melania Trump.
Thank you for the update.
Thank you. Very interesting. Clean and friendly. Nice. I drove 50 miles through and around downtown Los Angeles today and the traffic was brisk, busy and friendly. Even the speedsters doing 75mph were careful. The Citadel outlet center was 75% full and people seem to be ready to get back to life. Larry Kudlow said last week that savings accounts in America are the highest in fifteen years and people have a lot of savings to spend. Europe needs Americans to start visiting again but Americans are planning more domestic trips than usual. NYC: capital of the world.
I work for one of the big banks in the city. Temporarily slated to go back after Labor Day. Same restrictions you mentioned will be in place. Not sure what to expect, but my last day in office was March 11th. Been home ever since.
“I was really struck by how quiet and clean the city was. It was not the hell-hole that the news media would have you believe.”
That’s typically the case. What you see on TV is always super hyped and pushing some agenda or other.
Turn the damn thing off - you’ll find yourself less angry and enjoy life more.
Thanks for the report.
No mention of a mask? Way to go!
Our last trip into NYC was the night of Saturday March 7th. We went to a Jazz concert at the Miller Theater at Columbia University. I think that was the last event held there. Our group had an after theater snack at the restaurant whose store front is famous in the Seinfeld TV series - it’s actually Tom’s Restaurant.
The trip over and back was by car over the GWB and street parking one block off of Broadway near 116th. It was a sold out event. The lead performer made note of the concerns of the occasion and thanked everyone for coming. Been in touch with all we know who was there with us and some we met that night. No one has reported getting the virus.
I may go in soon, to do pick up for Chinese take out at the family’s favorite Chinese restaurant, when next the family decides to get together. That too will be drive in, park, pick up, and drive out. No other NYC plans yet.
100% agree and I've had no cable TV for close to five years now. As a result, I am a much happier and positive person.
But I do know what the TV news is reporting based on accounts I read here on and Twitter. Glad I'm not seeing it firsthand.
It was a very pleasant trip to NYC today. I decided on Friday I was going in and spent all weekend wondering what I was going to walk into this morning. I was pleasantly surprised.
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