Pandemic Views: A Cat’s-Eye View, A Construction-Site Infinity Pool; An Icy Gin and Tonic and a Book

By Carol Tannenhauser

We have all become “inside cats” this year, looking at the outside world through our windows. Several Upper West Siders sent us photos of the views they’ve had throughout the pandemic as part of our Pandemic View contest. It was tough to choose the winners, because we got so many good ones, but the ones we picked tended to have some emotional resonance.

Our first set of six contest winners is here. Thanks to everyone who sent in their photos.

Here I am with my new pandemic cat flown in from Texas on March 13. Now I have a buddy to listen to the 7 pm grateful clanking, yells, cheers, and claps heard from the many rooftops, terraces and windows, including mine, facing out of my bedroom. He loves the view and so do I. We have watched the fireworks and the rain, and stay close when there is a lightening storm that lights up the sky. The pleasant, yes, pleasant, New York air and barbecue smells waft into the apt. The view is an ever-changing canvas of light and seasons and color. – Susan F.

This has been my pandemic view — I’m surrounding myself with plants and a cute dog in attempts to stay happy. The posters you see across the street are themselves pandemic views put up by the NY Historical Society, so the view got a bit meta. – Melanie K.

Pandemic view from my ground floor studio in the West 80s. – Alanna A.

It’s a bit like a construction-site infinity pool. 50 W 66th, just sitting around waiting for something to happen. We’re enjoying the continued silence and extra sunlight. And even though it’s a view of nothing, it beats staring directly into a mechanical void. – Nick H.

This summer, still anxious about all the people on the street, and finding that wearing a mask over my beard in the heat was no way to relax, I spent many a day safely at home in the air conditioning, gazing out the window at the fire escapes in the beautiful sunlight. Around five o’clock I’d climb out and sit on our escape, blissfully mask-free, with an icy gin and tonic and a book. The quiet sounds in the alley of people at home, supers sweeping the pavement, distant Broadway traffic, and the regular soft rumble of the subway seemed only to amplify the summery stillness. Even the pigeons were listless in the sultry air. I suppose I’ll always remember those dreamlike days. – Peter C.

Usually, when leaves begin to turn or fall, we consider all trees as a group: “The trees” are turning or “the trees” are losing their leaves. But because we spent so much time inside during the pandemic, I often found myself sitting at our window looking at one gingko. When that happens, you eventually begin to see it and appreciate it as an individual tree, not merely as part of a tree-lined street. In a weird way, you bond with it. It becomes “our” gingko instead of “a” gingko. I can tell you, our gingko hung tough! It was the last tree on our street to turn, almost as if it were giving a gift to my wife and  me. – Alex R.

ART, NEWS | 11 comments | permalink
    1. LL says:

      These are so beautiful. And oh how i miss the sound of non-construction.

    2. UWSer says:

      Lovely. Thanks WSR. Would like to see more of this sort of thing.

    3. Lorene says:

      How wonderful your lives must be. My life is so different, I’m trying to keep my dogs alive in the midst of a pandemic, with very little money. I doubt you’ll ever see this, because of this paper shielding you from such things.

      • kaylord says:

        I’m sorry. It’s been so difficult. We’re hanging on but it’s been stressful and dicey so many times while we wait to hear about stimulus payments UI bumps etc. The maximum UI doesn’t even cover rent! We need rent and mortgage relief!

      • Well, they did post your comment! I feel for what you’re enduring these days. As a freelance musician, I’ve had many times with little money or prospects. Somehow I just had faith that things would turn around and they always did, eventually. I hope you can hang in and that this pandemic doesn’t totally damage the qualities that make our neighborhood so special. Of course, most of my work just vanished In mid-March, so I’m also just hangin’ and hoping’.

      • UWSer says:

        I’m so sorry you’re having a rough time, Lorene. Sending you and your puppies well wishes for a better New Year.

    4. sg says:

      Great article. If one positive thing has come from this, it’s that we should all appreciate the little things in life. It’s so easy, especially in a city like NY where there is usually so much going on all the time, to forget that.

    5. JS says:

      Cool photos!

      For a future WSR article, how about an article on things people did to help others?

    6. Caryn says:

      I’ve been enjoying the view of my construction site (before I lose my sunrise skies) and watching the development, deliveries of material, the various equipment deployed and how they do that… as the senior resident building proceeds at the corner of 85th and Broadway.

    7. Cheryl says:

      Gingkos usually change together and all drop their leaves the same 24 hours, when the temperature goes below 32.

    8. Yoram says:

      I like the cat watching from the window.