New York City

Midtown Manhattan Coronavirus Views

Midtown Manhattan coronavirus views presents a random selection from a once rambunctious area, now caught in a kind of shock, on a warm spring afternoon.

By David Stone

No one saw this coming. Not this.

Roaring, smelly, wealthy, cocky, elegant Midtown Manhattan stripped of its essence. Tourists gone. The few pedestrians mostly hidden behind masks. Flocks of bikes dominating no longer congested streets.

Park Avenue
All dressed up and nowhere to go, Park Avenue, looking south toward Grand Central Station. Trees reborn green with spring, flowers in bloom, as if still expecting company.

My wife said she missed the city streets, the buzz defining our town. So, on a Saturday in May, we abandoned our usual walk in a park or along the East River.

Aware that many of our friends are staying close to home, if they go outside at all, I took some photos to share, to bring them some of what’s out there.

We saw a very familiar Midtown Manhattan but in view of the coronavirus crisis, one also very different.

Papillon
In normal times, Manhattan has unexpected outbreaks of casual beauty. Now, they remain, but closed and isolated, resembling a stage set.
La Bonne Soup in Midtown Manhattan, closed for the first time in 47 years.
Poignant may not be the best word, but when I saw this sign, it reminded me of casual midtown lunches taken for granted.

A favorite French restaurant, La Bonne Soup, on 55th Street, proudly announced a first closing in 47 years. But they promised a return… on March 30th.

Jim Rennert's "Listen" on 6th Avenue, tourist free.
Jim Rennert‘s Listen on 6th Avenue, tourist free, its message no longer ironic.
2nd Avenue in Midtown Manhattan
Bicycles outnumber cars, a coronavirus view of 2nd Avenue, where masses of vehicles normally crunch onto the 59th Street Bridge.

Coronavirus View: Midtown Manhattan, Room for Bicycles

Like never before, Sixth Avenue in Midtown has plenty of room for bikes.

The shocking absence of cars and trucks in Midtown Manhattan hit by the coronavirus is matched by an increase in bicycles.

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Freed from hazards as never before, bike riders cruise in flocks. But in a nod to normalcy, they still ignore traffic laws, gliding through red lights without a pause.

Empty storefronts on Fifth Avenue, certain to increase, as an untold number of businesses fold under coronavirus pressures.
On the edge of Midtown Manhattan, Alice Aycock's Roundabout
At the edge of Midtown along the East River, Upper East Siders find solace, under Alice Aycock’s Roundabout, from city streets without businesses.
Midtown Manhattan, 5th Avenue, Coronavirus Lockdown
In a startling coronavirus view: you can now jog safely down Fifth Avenue on a sunny Saturday afternoon.
3rd Avenue and 54th Street
On Third Avenue at 54th Street, only the BID cleanup crew interrupted an empty block.
Finally, a sign of the times, maybe a harbinger of things to come, H&M shut down their shop at 59th, just across the street from idled Bloomingdales.
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