New York City

PHOTOS: How New Yorkers Forged on Through 2020, a Year Like No Other

Ben Fractenberg, THE CITY

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Here are some images from a year that will forever link us as New Yorkers — offering glimpses into a city again surviving by finding connections even amid heartbreak and isolation.

Hundreds of Bellevue healthcare workers held a rally outside the hospital in solidarity with people protesting the death of George Floyd, June 4, 2020.
Hundreds of Bellevue healthcare workers held a rally outside the hospital in solidarity with people protesting the death of George Floyd, June 4, 2020. | Ben Fractenberg/THE CITY

Every new year starts with hope. The measure of where we are as a city is whether the year ends with it.

After a year like 2020 — not that there’s been another like this — we’re left with no choice but to look ahead even as we grapple with unprecedented losses, reckonings and dire challenges. 

Here are some images from a year that will forever link us as New Yorkers — offering glimpses into a city once again surviving by forging connections even amid heartbreak and isolation.

Weeks before the coronavirus reach New York, Mayor Bill de Blasio started 2020 with an ambitious agenda to help small businesses, boost graduation rates and provide more affordable housing, during his State of The City address at the Museum of Natural History.


By spring the Brooklyn Hospital Center was forced to create a mobile morgue inside a refrigerated truck after being overwhelmed with sick patients during the start of the coronavirus outbreak.


Queens residents waited in long lines to get tested at Elmhurst Hospital in early April.


A socially distant birthday message aimed to cheer up an Inwood resident at the start of quarantine.


In Corona, New Yorkers waited on a blocks-long line to collect food from a church during coronavirus outbreak in late April. The neighborhood, filled with essential workers, was one of the hardest hit early in the pandemic.


A man crosses 42nd Street in an eerily-empty midtown.


Signs of the times popped up all around town.


Joseph Friday isolated in his Bronx home after losing his mother and brother to the virus.


Upper Manhattan resident Carla Zanoni found a creative way to hug friends and family.


Tashani Kerr took part in a rolling socially distanced high school graduation ceremony.

“My mother told me she’s proud to have me as a daughter,” Kerr said. “I’m young but I’ve already achieved something a lot of people in my family never got the chance too.”


Hundreds of protesters packed into the plaza at Brooklyn’s Barclays Center at the start of the racial justice protests ignited by the death George Floyd at the hands of Minneapolis police.


Dr. Damilola Idowu took part in a moment of silence for Floyd outside Bellevue Hospital.


Residents gathered food to give away during a block party on St. John’s Place in Prospect Heights.


Tonya Gonzalez helped kids cool down on an open street in Williamsburg during a sizzling summer day.


People enjoyed outdoor dining along Orchard Street on the Lower East Side.


Voters waited in line at P.S. 168 in The Bronx on Election Day.


Harlem residents danced and banged pots while singing “Na Na Hey Hey Kiss Him Goodbye” after Joe Biden was declared the winner of the 2020 presidential election.


Nurses at Montefiore Medical Center in The Bronx protested a lack of protective equipment as the second wave of the virus spread across the city.


Two people found a way to have a safe meeting in the East Village.


Restaurant workers rallied in Times Square, calling on state leaders to provide more support through the long winter.


Nurse Sandra Lindsay became the first person in the country to get the coronavirus vaccine after receiving a shot at the Long Island Jewish Medical Center in Queens.

THE CITY is an independent, nonprofit news outlet dedicated to hard-hitting reporting that serves the people of New York.

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