In August of 2020, the New York Post ran an article by James Altucher, declaring New York City dead. It caused quite a stir for those of us who love Manhattan. Four days after the article in the Post ran, comedian Jerry Seinfeld responded in an op-ed in the New York Times, calling the city “the brilliant diamond of activity it will one day be again.”
That day has come.
With the recent lifting of most restrictions placed on our great city during the pandemic, I am here to tell you—New York is very much alive.
You see, I have always said, “Never bet against New York.” If you do, you will surely lose.
New York has survived some unimaginable challenges. We were the epicenter of the pandemic when it started, with some of the worst numbers– if not the worst in the country. We have endured terrorist attacks, bombings, 9/11 and so much more. Yet we always emerge—stronger and better than ever.
Walking the city streets this past week, the energy was inspiring. I could feel the joy, happiness and relief emanating from everyone. Central Park was filled with families and tourists, enjoying the glorious weather and wonders of such a beautiful park. Fifth Avenue was bustling with traffic. Taxis were darting across town, horns honking as the smell of, well, the city filled the air in my neighborhood. I never thought I’d miss the traffic—and for the past 14 months, I hadn’t. But as they say, you don’t know what you had until it’s gone. Something about the return of that made me feel like I was home.
For the first time in years, there’s a new invigorating promise in our city. We have seen the opening of the Little Island on Hudson River Park, an architectural marvel and extraordinary gift to our city from the Diller-Von Furstenberg Family Foundation. And, for the first time in many years, those who had been priced out of the skyrocketing real estate market here are now able to buy or rent in the city. Retail rents are down, so I suspect we will soon see a resurgence of new, exciting and cutting-edge boutiques pop up all over the city. In many ways, New York City today reminds me of the way the city was when I first came here so many years ago. Diverse, and full of opportunity.
I can’t help but feel excited about what’s ahead. If the past year taught me anything, it’s to appreciate the little things. In an effort to overcome my fear, I decided to drive in the city for the first time. I never wanted to before the pandemic. Ever. But I thought it was time to tackle something as simple as getting into my own car and navigating a course that once scared me. As the song says, “if I can make it there, I can make it anywhere.” I am happy to share, I didn’t hit anyone or anything! I can now check this one off my list.
As we begin re-entry from the past year, what are you most excited about? What fears might you want to overcome? Share your thoughts with me. I’d love to hear them.