I took a long walk up to my 93rd & Amsterdam 99-cent store last night, then down to Westerly Natural Market on 54th & Broadway for the exercise and stress release (gym closed) and saw that Key Food on Amsterdam & 86th was closed with a sign saying: “Closed early; Received no food delivery today.” It’s eerie how quiet it is out there; even the guy who usually screams at the traffic on 79th & Broadway was doing more pacing than screaming. And Westerly was closing early last night as well.
It’s hard to imagine all the damage quietly taking place all around me while at the same time my net worth has dropped with the speed of a safe hurtling out of a window… I’m stunned but I’m guessing that despondency will probably be the next stop on this emotional whirling carousel ride we’re on. The only real question remains, what’s next? Will hundreds of victims start to drop all around us, or will this whole thing just fade away like a desert mirage as evening falls?
— Lawrence Braverman
Yesterday morning I made a trip to Zabar’s to stock up on food for the foreseeable future. There were only a couple of other customers there, and when I got on the M104 bus with my loot, I was the only passenger. The driver asked where I was going so that he could let me off on my block. The times are definitely out of joint, but this was a sweet gesture. I’ve never traveled in a private bus on my own before.
— Toinette Lippe
I’ve tiptoed to the laundry room for the second night — hoping it empty and that Princess Corona doesn’t “hear” me. As the washing cycles do their job, I sit in the garden… waiting. I’m wearing a cotton mask and disposable gloves. Such an alien fashion statement. It’s a warm night — not as invigorating as last night still I’m breathing and that’s good enough. No, it’s a blessing. I look up at the windows of my apartment building. Many residents have fled to their country homes. The Penthouse, where I first lived in the 60s has light. And my one-bedroom, my home now, has light. I feel reassured. The garden, usually full of flowering springtime plants, is barren. Yet to me, everything is beautiful and luminescent. At 79, I’m in the high-risk group. I’m aware of each inhale and exhale. A hapless creature from a wet market in a city I never heard of has changed everything. I think it’s been made clear. We’re all connected.
— Marian Hailey-Moss
UWS Encounters is adapting. We’d like to give you a chance to express and share your thoughts, feelings and experiences for the purposes of clarifying them for yourselves and offering them to others who might benefit. Try not to write an opus, 175 words or less would be great, and include your real name. Photographs are welcome. Send to firstname.lastname@example.org or put in the comments below. Sorry, no mugs for now, but we’ll be out delivering as soon as we’re able. Be well.