This Is The Last Fun Thing You Did In Pre-Pandemic NYC

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There’s a time period in Portuguese, saudade, which my Portuguese-American sister-in-law tells me has “no absolute English translation.” However it’s meant to explain “a deep emotional state of nostalgic or profound melancholic eager for an absent one thing or somebody that one loves,” in accordance with Wikipedia, which additionally notes that, “Furthermore, it usually carries a repressed information that the thing of longing may by no means be had once more.” It is secure to say the sentiments of saudade are in every single place proper now as we hit the one yr mark of life in pandemic instances. And people last days lived in ignorant bliss are each a salve and melancholic set off.

The final enjoyable factor I did in pre-pandemic New York Metropolis was go to Saturday Night time Stay, which I have been fortunate sufficient to expertise from backstage for years because of a buddy. I introduced my sister-in-law that evening, who arrived at my house and instantly declared she had been at a celebration the evening earlier than with a girl who simply flew again from Wuhan. “Do not freak out,” she stated. “I did not get too near her.”

I knocked this piece of knowledge out of my mind with some whisky at Del Frisco’s Grille, a pre-SNL ritual for me, loved with their flatbread pizza. As soon as we have been backstage, we made ourselves some drinks and settled in, solely heading to the ground for Justin Bieber — who delivered what can be the final reside music efficiency I would see for a yr and counting.

The afterparty — although hosted in a bigger area than among the earlier ones — was notably crowded, and I figured if I used to be going to get COVID, it would be there. I’d quickly be sporting my first masks, working from house, and have been primarily alone in my house ever since. The “on-air rundown” for that evening’s present continues to be on my fridge, like a word from the day that point stopped.

In any second, my mind can take me again to that evening like a time machine — it feels concurrently close to and much, and delivers an intense saudade.


We not too long ago requested so that you can share the Final Enjoyable Factor you probably did in the beginning modified. Under are among the submissions we obtained, which include private reminiscences, now cringe-worthy accounts of unmasked nights out in town, and a reminder of simply how fantastic this metropolis is.

Please word: for size, we now have minimize roughly 250 submissions recalling seeing Celine Dion at Barclays Heart.


In early March, my husband and I met a buddy for a late afternoon snack and occasional at Lucien and I keep in mind the brilliant winter daylight made the within of the restaurant so heat and wonderful. We solely selected Lucien, which often made me slightly uncomfortable due to its hip clientele, due to its proximity to the ever-glamorous homosexual dive bar Boiler Room. My buddy had left his cellphone there after a late evening out and after we completed at Lucien, we walked a number of blocks to the bar to go get it. Naturally, as a result of we have been there already, my husband and buddy ordered beers. I used to be about 16 weeks pregnant with twins so I had a seltzer. However the thrill of sitting in a bar that I had been to many instances in my 20s very late at evening throughout daytime having fun with a drink with a buddy was not misplaced at me even then, earlier than I knew issues can be shut down only some weeks later.

— Kelly, Harlem


Live performance — Nada Surf at Music Corridor of Williamsburg on January thirty first, after dinner at Radegast with an expensive buddy who has since handed away.

Film — Parasite on the IFC Heart, someday in February, earlier than it received greatest image.

Museum — Invoice Graham exhibit at New York Historic Society, someday in later February.

Dinner — at 181 Cabrini on March 14th (the evening earlier than eating places shut down)

— From Nameless Native New Yorker


After 10 years, we lastly succeeded in getting my musical Love Quirks off-Broadway at St. Luke’s Theater.  We began previews on my birthday, and it was one of the best birthday I’ve ever had.  We had 2 weekends of performances, and I used to be simply on high of the world.  The thrill of bringing a present that we labored on for thus lengthy to its industrial debut is incomparable. Seeing the standing ovations introduced tears to my eyes, and I’ve by no means felt so joyful. Then, we needed to cancel the third weekend three days earlier than the official opening evening, which was to incorporate a celebration with celebrities and dozens of my associates.  However I’ll at all times have the reminiscence of these first two superb weekends, and we recorded the solid album this [past] fall, and it is going to be launched as quickly as we’re allowed to reopen.  I can’t wait til my final enjoyable factor is my subsequent enjoyable factor once more!
— Seth Bisen-Hersh




View from One World Trade Center observatory

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The view from a brand new job that would not exist a number of days later, March 2020.


Jon V.

I can’t think about anybody considering that work is the “final enjoyable factor” they did earlier than the shut down, however for me, it was undoubtedly work. Just a few days earlier than the shut down, after on the lookout for work for a few month, I received employed to work within the bar at One World Observatory. The place was nice, individuals have been enjoyable to work with, and the view was phenomenal. Previous to that, I had been unemployed for a few month or so, so it was thrilling to be again being productive particularly in such a stunning institution. After a number of days, indoor eating can be shut down indefinitely, and finally the town would observe. My final day there I took a photograph of the view not figuring out once I’d be again. I haven’t been again there since, however am wanting ahead to a future the place we are able to all return to work, or perhaps a future the place we are able to take pleasure in a drink with associates indoors after a tough day’s work. 

— Jon V., Washington Heights


The final enjoyable factor I did, March tenth — went to a yoga class within the morning earlier than work, witnessed a gorgeous dawn, which I now know was a relaxed earlier than the storm. That evening I noticed Dashboard Confessional and The Get Up Youngsters at Webster Corridor for Dashboard’s “The Locations You Have Come to Worry the Most” set. All of us joked about getting coronavirus from the present, as if this factor was going to be completely fleeting and an afterthought quickly, and made plans to buy tickets to summer season festivals that evening. It was nice and I am joyful to report nobody in our group received COVID at that present.

— Nameless, UES


My buddy and I had gotten tickets to see a play that was scheduled for the final evening that Broadway was open. The world hadn’t stopped simply but, so we determined to proceed with our plans, though the upcoming, ominous cloud of doom that was our COVID future was undoubtedly about to start out looming over our heads. The play was hosted at Second Stage Theatre and it was referred to as, “We’re Gonna Die.”

— Rebecca G., Inwood


In accordance with my Google calendar it was a day with my buddy Colleen, two days in the beginning shut down. 2:40 p.m. Alfred Hitchcock’s The Ring at The Movie Discussion board, then pizza and beer at some random joint whereas ready for the 6:50 p.m., Alfred Hitchcock’s Rebecca.

— Briton,  Greenwood Heights, Brooklyn




St. Patrick's Day Parade in Queens, 2020

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St. Patrick’s Day Parade in Queens, 2020


Courtesy Max in Astoria

For me it was the St. Pat’s For All parade in Sunnyside, Queens. I lived a half-block from the parade route, so I went out to take some images with a Polaroid I would just gotten movie for. After I received house, my favourite shot was from simply as issues kicked off. I assumed the picture was unusually ominous for being of such a cheerful day: everybody’s dealing with in the identical path, cops are within the distance. It appears to be like like there’s one thing horrible taking place. I assume on reflection, there was.

— Max, Astoria


My final enjoyable factor was a Van Hunt x Nate Smith live performance at Rockwood on February twenty eighth. Bought out reveals at Rockwood have been fantastic issues.
— Mr. M


The final enjoyable factor I did was watch the USWNT play within the She Believes Cup on the Pink Bull Area in Newark on March eighth, 2020. It was a gorgeous day, and the USWNT received. It feels really insane to assume I used to be in a stadium with 25,000 individuals one week earlier than NYC fully shut down. 

— Diane Shea, UWS


My accomplice and I went to the She Believes Cup at Pink Bull Area in Jersey on March eighth. We saved considering they have been going to cancel it, however nope. It was superior! They have been nice seats and a small group of associates have been additionally in attendance so we mingled and beered and cheered. Worry was already within the air, however principally the whole lot appeared routine. On our return to the town, feeling peckish, we determined to see if the uneasy ambiance may lastly beget a seat at By way of Carota. It completely did! Yu-um.

— Kimchi, East New York


The Final Enjoyable Factor I did was see West Aspect Story on Broadway with my spouse. We went on March tenth, when COVID had already hit NYC and the numbers have been drastically rising. In hindsight it was a reckless factor to do. I had heard blended opinions of this model of WSS, however as a Wisconsin boy who grew up loving the movie, I needed to leap on the alternative to see it reside on Broadway. I am most grateful that neither of us received sick from that evening, however I am additionally so glad that I had one final Broadway present in the beginning went darkish. 

— Miles W, UWS

The final enjoyable factor I did earlier than NYC shut down was see Celine Dion on the Barclays Heart on March fifth, 2020. I have been attempting to see Celine for years and purchased the tickets for a highschool buddy and I in October 2019. I keep in mind utilizing hand sanitizer incessantly and looking out across the giant crowd with shifty eyes. Nevertheless, as soon as the live performance began, I used to be singing (or quite screaming) songs like “My Coronary heart Will Go On” with hundreds of strangers. On the way in which house, we entered the subway and noticed a crowd singing “It is All Coming Again to Me Now.” It was one of many final instances I used to be carefree within the metropolis and surrounded by that many individuals with out freaking out. 

— Jess I., Astoria 


On March eleventh, I used to be informed our workplace was shutting down and I ought to take house something I wanted with me. I packed my backpack as full as I may, and I went straight to Six, which I would been planning to see with my husband and in-laws for months. As I used to be strolling as much as the theater to have them scan my ticket, I learn this text on Gothamist. Feeling it was too late to show again, I nonetheless went in and tried desperately to not contact something. I used to be shocked to find the subsequent day that Broadway was going darkish. I used to be glad to be there on the final evening, and I’ve each intention of being there when it reopens. It is my favourite factor about residing right here, and it has been heartbreaking to be with out it for thus lengthy. 

— Sarah Sheppard , Kensington, Brooklyn


The final enjoyable factor I did was see (f.okay.a. Girl) Rizo’s present at Joe’s Pub, Dropping The Girl, in late January of 2020. I have been a fan of hers for nearly ten years and seeing her at Joe’s Pub for nearly as lengthy. I’ve fibromyalgia, and a late evening out is one thing I can actually deal with a number of instances a yr, so I savored it. After I can see her once more at considered one of her life-changing reveals, that is once I’ll really feel in my bones that the pandemic is admittedly behind us.
— Melissa Gellert


Sony Corridor, Tuesday, March third, 2020. Eric Johnson performed his classics, like “Cliffs of Dover” and, effectively, “Manhattan,” to a energetic crowd of aged New Yorkers. An indoor occasion, packed wall to wall. Laughter, cheers, plenty of beer. After the present, a drunken stroll house by way of a crowded Instances Sq..
— John, UWS


I went out to dinner and to a debate on Public Transit insurance policies by the candidates for Queens Borough President. My buddy advised we get Chinese language meals beforehand, with all this virus discuss, individuals hadn’t been displaying Chinese language meals eating places the love. I spent considered one of my final evenings out listening to 5 politicians discuss how they have been going to get us all of the locations we wished to go. How they have been going to guard the motion of New Yorkers. How going locations can be simpler than ever and find out how to get us there safely, equitably, and effectively. There was even discuss how we make sidewalks and roads higher for pedestrians, and alleviate parking on sidewalks. The candidates talked about how we’d have the ability to journey from one finish of the borough to a different, to Manhattan, how we may restore our connections to Brooklyn. What ought to we do about MTA fare hikes and is the FareShare program sufficient? They fought over bus lane designs, the necessity for elevated capability, the sheer variety of individuals touring by way of this borough to get locations.

Actually, the one half I ought to have paid consideration to was the half about pedestrians.
— Dani




Audience at Brothers at MSG, March 10th, 2020.

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Brothers at MSG, March tenth, 2020.


Jaime Shifrin

The Brothers at Madison Sq. Backyard — March tenth! Wasn’t the best thought primarily based on the details about COVID-19 that was coming in, however received superb tickets for $22!!! Was an incredible present regardless of the attention of what we have been doing.

— Jaime Shifrin, Chelsea


I reside in Connecticut, and my daughters and I’ve made common journeys into the town since they have been sufficiently old to stroll. On January fifteenth, 2020, we caught a practice to a Moth Story Slam on the Housing Works on Crosby Avenue. The theme of that evening’s tales was “Beg Borrow Steal.” The store was strung with lights and rearranged with stools and folding chairs. It was packed and comfy, and on a regular basis individuals took turns on the mic telling tales that have been humorous, sensible, unusual, and generally unhappy. Once we left, it was raining. We ran to the closest subway station and received to Grand Central out of breath and simply in time to see our practice pulling away. With us that night was an exquisite man named Tom, who’s now my husband. A few week or two later, we felt actually sick—exhausting to breathe, unfavorable for the flu—and couldn’t shake the sensation for weeks. COVID hadn’t made the headlines but. Months later we made the connection. Our vaccines at the moment are scheduled. Pictures of us at Housing Works got here up on my cellphone on the one-year anniversary of that final journey. We miss New York so, a lot.

— Lesia Day


I now confer with my meal at Upland on March twelfth, 2020 as “the final supper.” All of us went out for a scrumptious dinner, all of us conscious that this was in all probability it for some time. Submit dinner, whereas doomsday-watching CNN we noticed flights have been now banned from Europe and Tom Hanks had COVID, and formally began to get involved. Flash ahead 24 hours later and I used to be on a airplane out of New York and wouldn’t be again for six months.
— Alexa V


I went to see a theatrical adaptation of Eric Marcus’s e book, Making Homosexual Historical past, in a packed little theater off Washington Sq.. The play was nice. Everybody was excited. However I keep in mind assembly associates of associates within the viewers who had simply flown in from Italy and considering, “We’re not doing this once more.” Italy had already been in lockdown.

— Stephanie B.


My spouse and I went to Bar 43 in Sunnyside for rooster wings and day-drinking.  It was simply earlier than they closed eating places and bars.  We had enjoyable, however it didn’t take the sting out of getting to cancel our anniversary journey to New Orleans the next week.

— Dave




Last night of Six on Broadway

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Final evening of Six on Broadway.


Josh Scheer

On March eleventh, 2020, my accomplice and I have been fortunate sufficient to attend what can be the ultimate efficiency of SIX on Broadway. We had each come from work, met on the now closed Bocca di Bacco for a fast dinner, after which headed to The Brooks Atkinson for the present. We learn within the information that day that an usher who had labored at that theatre had not too long ago examined constructive, however we went to the present anyway and casually took word of the white material gloves all of the ushers have been now sporting. The present itself was completely implausible and was set to have its official opening the subsequent day. We left the theater on cloud 9; each of us had that rush that’s so particular to seeing a brand new musical that’s on the precipice of turning into an enormous hit. We received to the subway platform and checked our telephones whereas ready for the Q, and realized that within the 90 or so minutes we have been within the theatre, the NBA had shut down, all journey to Europe had been cancelled, and Tom Hanks and Rita Wilson had each examined constructive for COVID. It was like the entire world modified in the course of the course of a musical. I actually hope Broadway can safely reopen this yr, and can’t wait to see Six once more when it does.  

— Josh Scheer, Yorkville


The Final Enjoyable Factor I did in pre-pandemic NYC was attend the Tibet Home profit live performance at Carnegie Corridor. The reminiscence of artists like Laurie Anderson, Patti Smith, Phoebe Bridgers and a shirtless Iggy Pop in particular person nonetheless thrills greater than any reside streamed live performance. However there was already an uneasiness within the air within the live performance corridor — every time somebody coughed within the viewers, all of us stared; I could not assist however surprise, “Is that this how I’ll get contaminated with the virus?”

The ultimate play, artwork exhibit and movie I noticed with audiences all coincidentally handled our mortality — Second Stage’s “We’re Gonna Die,” The Met Breuer’s “Gerhard Richter: Portray After All,” the extraordinarily short-lived exhibit which I noticed on what would change into the final afternoon ever for the Breuer and the documentary “Dick Johnson is Useless,” which I watched in a historic theatre to a bought out movie competition viewers of 1,200. 

— Sylvia, Yorkville 


The Final Enjoyable Factor I did was have an ideal evening out with girlfriends. First, we crammed right into a tiny, crowded bar the place we struggled to tote pickleback pictures again to our desk, and sang with strangers earlier than strolling to the Barclays Heart to see Celine Dion convey down the home. We high-fived seatmates, had fellow followers take our image in live performance tees and helped fill the sector with pleasure. I took the subway house and in excellent New York trend, bumped into considered one of my oldest associates additionally taking the G. We caught up and capped the evening with a hug. It was excellent and I can not wait to get again there.

— Jen, Carroll Gardens




A basketball game at MSG, March 7th, 2020.

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A basketball recreation at MSG, March seventh, 2020.


Rebecca Bratek

My husband and I went to a St. John’s basketball recreation at MSG on March seventh — the identical day the primary case was introduced in Queens, our house borough. As a reporter who had been masking COVID spreading outdoors the US, I keep in mind wanting across the area and fascinated about how many individuals may have been contaminated as we watched the Johnnies narrowly beat Marquette. We had a good time, hugged a number of associates we bumped into on the snack bar, however we did not contact the poles on the subway on the way in which house. March Insanity was canceled simply 5 days later.

— Rebecca Bratek, Forest Hills


Went to a film, The Hunt, on the LES on Saturday, March 14th.  Lowered capability within the theater, however masks weren’t a factor but. Bought in an argument with my buddy on the way in which out as a result of neither of us wished to be the one to the touch the door deal with.  All the things closed that coming Tuesday.  Me and that very same buddy are excited to go to the films!

— Andrew Campbell


Final March, I visited NYC for an expensive buddy’s fortieth celebration at a happenin’ bar in Bushwick. All of my associates have been there and we danced all evening lengthy. I seemed superb in a black bodysuit and beret. It was the type of evening I’d have on a typical weekend in any of my 12 years within the metropolis. (I moved to L.A. in June 2018 and this journey was solely my second time again since.) The remainder of the weekend was spent gallivanting about city, ingesting an excessive amount of, and staying up all evening with outdated associates and lovers. I spent the flight again to LA plotting my transfer again to New York. The following day, my workplace went fully distant and LA locked down. Nothing has been as enjoyable since. 

— Amira Nader


The final enjoyable factor I did earlier than the world closed down was to see Dashboard Confessional’s 20 yr reunion tour at Webster Corridor. Reliving our youth, simply earlier than our lives got here to a screeching halt. 2 days later, I used to be laid off from my job in TV “for two weeks” and did not get again to work till August. The two weeks main as much as the world ending, I would 1) had my boyfriend on the town from Sweden, 2) gone to brunch with my greatest gal friends, 3) seen my greatest associates child christened 4) celebrated one other shut buddy’s thirty first birthday. Little did I do know I would know I would wind up going 10 months earlier than seeing my boyfriend, and lots of months earlier than seeing any of my family and friends.

— Liz Okay, Williamsburg, NY 




TOWN HALL show in January 2020

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City Corridor, January sixteenth.


Mary Taylor

The final enjoyable factor I did was see Seu Jorge and Rogê on January sixteenth at City Corridor.

I miss reside music a lot.

— Mary Taylor


The final enjoyable factor I did in NYC was on March eleventh, a semi-private whole-fish dinner at a small Japanese storefront with a educating kitchen within the again. My spouse was already working from house and we knew the pandemic was severe, however the necessary shutdown order from Cuomo hadn’t come down but, so we determined to maintain our reservation. It was for my birthday and we simply had no thought what was about to occur over the next days. Chef Yuji Haraguchi cooked a whole tuna in entrance of us and we ate every a part of it over a number of programs. He defined all of it as he went alongside. There was a household visiting from out of city who sat on the bar stools subsequent to us, and I keep in mind feeling slightly nervous when considered one of them coughed. At this level I actually cannot think about being in such an intimate and small area with maskless strangers, sharing from the identical giant bowl of rice. I am undecided when that may occur once more. That reminiscence would have been particular by itself (a complete tuna!) however mixed with the truth that the whole lot shut down indefinitely and we now have since moved out of the town, it is a fairly vivid window into the second the place we knew one thing was happening however had no thought simply how unhealthy it might be. 

— Nameless


The final enjoyable factor I did earlier than the pandemic was on Saturday, March 14th, my husband’s fiftieth birthday. We had deliberate to host drinks at an area bar in Midtown subsequent to Grand Central, and invited a broad vary of associates to have a good time. Because the day approached, we needed to determine whether or not to maintain the occasion on, or cancel it. We talked to the venue, and so they have been keen to maintain the reserving if we have been up for it. So we talked to a few of our associates, and determined to do it with the stipulation that visitors didn’t should attend if they didn’t really feel secure. Solely three didn’t be a part of. All anybody may discuss was coronavirus. On the time, none of us imagined it might get as unhealthy because it did, as shortly because it did. And on reflection, we clearly shouldn’t have saved the occasion on. Nobody wore masks at that time, and the venue’s employees wore surgical gloves as they served the share plates. There have been no birthday presents, however one particular person gave a gift-set of hand sanitizers. Everybody received a squirt. It was the final occasion any of us attended. We have been very fortunate that nobody received sick.

— Jeff


The week earlier than shelter in place occurred, my spouse and I had an incredible NYC week. We noticed Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf on Broadway on March seventh, top-of-the-line reveals we would seen in a very long time, after which headed to a CONCACAF Champions League recreation in New Jersey on Wednesday, March eleventh. En path to the soccer recreation we have been knowledgeable by associates that an usher on the Broadway present had been COVID-positive, and there have been followers within the stands clad in biohazard fits. All of it created a basic sense of unease, however we nonetheless had a good time, and had completely no thought what we have been in for in simply a few days.

— Pete


My husband and I went to tiny Barbes on ninth Avenue in Park Slope for a ten p.m. present (I can not keep in mind the band!) on March seventh.  It was packed and brimming with evening power.  People shared seats, stood like sardines behind the scattered chairs, coughed, whispered, applauded, and shouted. As typical, we cherished being at Barbes. Every week later, we have been surprised that we hadn’t gotten sick…

— Elizabeth, Brooklyn




Billy Griffin, ollie, the Brooklyn Banks, Manhattan, March 2020

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Billy Griffin, ollie, the Brooklyn Banks, Manhattan, March 2020.


Andrew Murrell

In early March, phrase received out that the Brooklyn Banks [skate park] on-again, off-again development was on once more. The next Sunday, March eighth, a small group made our method over… After seeing the extent of the work achieved thus far, we selected to leap the fence. As we began skating the pillars and the rail, an increasing number of crews jumped the fence and the session ballooned from three individuals to fifteen or so. I believe all of us received about thirty minutes of skating in earlier than somebody noticed us from the opposite finish and we needed to make a break for it. We spent the remainder of the day skating round Seaport earlier than swinging by the Hopps pop-up, the bump-to-bar on the finish of Houston, and the mural ledge within the playground. Unbeknownst to any of us, that was the final day of worry-free avenue skating earlier than the pandemic overtook New York Metropolis. For the primary half of that week, the destiny of the Brooklyn Banks was weighing on my thoughts, and I used to be emailing development companies and the NYC Division of Transportation for an official assertion on the venture. Every week later, these considerations appeared futile in mild of a world disaster.

— Andrew Murrell


My girlfriend lives in Nashville and I reside in NYC. The weekend of March thirteenth, she was getting back from a piece journey to Mexico, and so we determined it might be enjoyable for her to go to NYC as a detour. We had been speaking about staying on the TWA Resort, and since her flight landed at JFK, it was the proper alternative. We had a gorgeous room overlooking the runway, took images within the picture sales space, received all dressed up, had drinks on the Connie Cocktail Lounge, had dinner at Szechuan Mountain Home in Flushing, and capped the evening at Eddie’s Candy Store. It was such a particular and enjoyable weekend, even when the brand new presence of hand sanitizer in every single place felt disconcerting. Folks have been out, laughing, having a traditional weekend.
Later that week, I grew to become sick with a low fever, a dry cough, and muscle aches, however recovered  and did not actually assume a lot about it on the time. Out of curiosity, I received a COVID antibody check in Might of 2020. The outcomes got here again constructive.

I reside with plenty of guilt that I seemingly unfold COVID-19 that weekend. I used to be so extremely naive and shortsighted on the time. We have tried to reside as safely and cautiously as doable since then. However typing this out, I actually really feel like an asshole.
— Nameless, UWS


I noticed Bob Mould play in an actual membership with an actual viewers. He was nice. Loud, righteous nice. I went into 2020 meaning to go to extra reside performances and was off to a powerful begin. I noticed “Come From Away” on Broadway simply earlier than it closed, and Marc Maron carry out his eerily prescient “Finish Instances Enjoyable” tour. Then Bob Mould, then the whole lot shut down and I’ve spent the final yr on the lookout for methods to help performers who can’t carry out and looking out ahead to being in an viewers once more.

— Ben T.


The final enjoyable factor I did in the beginning shut down was to have a good time my mother’s seventieth Birthday, which fell on March 14th, 2020. What was imagined to be a shock occasion that includes a piano, a sushi chef, and about 40-50 visitors, turned out to be a brunch for about 10+ individuals with slightly little bit of a cappella singing. Afterwards a number of of us joined my father, who had separated himself after being identified with a chilly (however had given him a scare earlier within the week), on the close by Roxy Resort. My dad and mom knew the pianist/singer who was performing of their unusually quiet lounge. When it was time for my dad and mom to hit the hay I made a decision to go to a close-by bar in my neighborhood figuring out then that the lockdown was solely hours away. Total it was a reasonably nice final hoorah that I didn’t even know the way vital the reminiscence would change into.

— Adrienne Cooper, Harlem


The Allman Brothers Band fiftieth Anniversary Live performance at MSG on Tuesday March tenth, 2020.  Wonderful present, superb setlist and felt regular though individuals have been already sporting masks and gloves on subway and the “lockdown” was the discuss of the evening.

— Christopher S.


It was late February once I noticed progressive steel band Opeth play on the Apollo Theater. Between songs, the frontman informed us concerning the giant gong behind the drummer. He stated it was from Wuhan, China, at which level the complete viewers booed.

— Joe J.


I received to see Céline Dion carry out on the Barclays Heart! I had bought the tickets nearly a yr prior, as a birthday present to myself. I moved right here from Montréal 7 years in the past, so to see her right here in Brooklyn was particularly vital to me. It was the whole lot I hoped. She in fact is a tremendous performer, the present was so tight, and she or he is so goofy. The group went wild. It was an incredible final present earlier than….you understand….

— Geneviève


It was a gorgeous early spring day. I had a implausible exercise with my coach on the Vanderbilt YMCA in Midtown East. I then went again house for lunch in Astoria solely to comprehend I used to be the one particular person on the platform ready for an Astoria sure practice. My spouse and I then went again to Manhattan to volunteer on the meals kitchen in Christ Church United Methodist Church. We ended our service sooner than typical and we have been in a position to see a stunning sundown on the stroll to the subway. Little did we all know that was “the second” our lives would change.

— John Paul, Astoria





Black Queens Matter show

On March sixth, 2020, a buddy and I went to catch “Black Queens Matter” on the Roulette Intermedium in Boerum Hill. The present was a part of the Nubia tour, that includes 6 iconic Black drag queens, and celebrated queer Black excellence in efficiency. The occasion was standing-room solely and it is really wild to consider what shut proximity we have been all in, to one another and to the performers!

— Dan Ngai, SoHo


That week of March 1st (the final week I keep in mind it being “regular”) I used to be truly driving a excessive. I used to be wrapping a contract gig and was enthusiastic about beginning a full time producing job the very subsequent Monday. To have a good time, I packed that week stuffed with actions; a taping of WWE Uncooked on the Barclays Heart on Monday, dinner and drinks with a buddy in from Canada on Wednesday, topped off by a Ramy Youssef present at The Bell Home on Friday (what would find yourself being my last “actual” Friday evening out). My buddy and I made a decision to get a drink earlier than we made our solution to the present, and he was going off about how COVID wasn’t going to be a giant deal. I keep in mind entering into The Bell Home and the place being completely packed. On the time, I used to be actually wanting ahead to the subsequent season of Ramy, which at that time was months away. My buddy and I agreed we would watch the season premiere collectively when it got here out in Might. That was the final time I noticed my buddy for 8 months. Season 2 of Ramy ended up being an incredible quarantine deal with. 

— Jake, Bushwick 


I participated in a Sacred Harp singing in Brooklyn.  I introduced some do-it-yourself cookies to share on the break, however this time I individually wrapped them.

— Sara Schoenwetter


We truly held a giant potluck/home occasion on March seventh, 2020 for about 40 individuals. I keep in mind a few of those that took the subway insisted on taking some additional precautions to clean their palms with the information circulating about COVID in all probability being within the metropolis. However the phrases “social distancing” or “flattening the curve” definitely didn’t exist but that weekend. We invested quite a bit in establishing our newish house to host individuals and enjoyable gatherings… and that was the final time we have been in a position to.

— Anne, UWS


The Final Enjoyable Factor I did was truly considered one of my favourite NYC reminiscences up to now. I last-minute went to Trine, which was a weekly (?) comedy present on the Freehand Resort on Sunday nights hosted by Bowen Yang, Mo Fry, and Sudi Inexperienced. The present was superb after which John Mulaney dropped in and did a bit, which ended up being his observe for his SNL monologue the next week. It was superb. Afterwards, we went downstairs to Simon & The Whale and received french fries, oysters, and desserts for dinner. 

— Claire, Alphabet Metropolis 


I went to a Dashboard Confessional’s twentieth anniversary present at Webster Corridor on March eleventh. I used to be stunned they didn’t cancel it; in the course of the present Chris Carrabba informed us the remainder of his tour had been canceled. The very subsequent day Cuomo issued a moratorium on gatherings with 500 individuals or extra. I received to expertise the final evening of concert events in NYC…

— Sarah S.


It is surreal to assume that on Tuesday, March tenth, 2020, I sat within the viewers at Nationwide Sawdust to see Fritz Lang’s silent masterpiece “Metropolis” with a reside orchestral accompaniment by composer Ricardo Romaneiro. We already knew COVID-19 was a factor, however we did not actually know what sort of factor. I am amazed to assume how close to one another we viewers members have been, and naturally, unmasked. That nearness is one thing I miss. However the occasion sums  up one thing else about what’s lacking on this new reality–it was a confluence of previous (the almost century-old movie), current (the newly composed rating), and future (within the creativeness of Lang and his collaborator Thea von Harbou, and naturally in our personal imaginations as effectively). You may solely expertise a simulation of that on Zoom. And does not a dystopian future appear a step nearer now?

On the time, I used to be residing with my spouse in her artwork studio in Clinton Hill, Brooklyn. I used to be imagined to journey to Chicago that Thursday, two days later, for work. On Wednesday the journey was canceled and I stated to my spouse, my agenda is all of the sudden clear, let’s exit to our nation home in Lengthy Island and keep there for a number of weeks till this pandemic factor blows over. Just a few weeks has became a yr.
— Barry Schwabsky


The final enjoyable issues I did within the Earlier than Instances have been two consecutive weeknights out. First was an exhibition opening on the Metropolitan Museum on March ninth. It was a images present that my firm designed the e book for. The images galleries on the Met aren’t big, so the reception was filled with individuals all crowded collectively in three small rooms, laughing and hugging and kissing and generally pretending to not shake palms due to this new virus going round. It was enjoyable, however it additionally had this heightened sense of weirdness to it, like all of us knew this was the top of the road.

Then the subsequent evening I went to a buddy’s celebration at Pepolino downtown. Once more, we have been all packed in tightly and hugging and kissing. We realized some days later that one amongst us had COVID, however nobody else from that occasion received sick. 
— David Zaza, Midtown




At BKLYN Clay

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At BKLYN Clay


Teresa Hoerres

Final enjoyable factor was February fifteenth, 2020. We celebrated Valentine’s Day by taking a non-public pottery class at BKLYN CLAY. We had a buddy watch our child for the evening, and we set out on journey on the coldest, most windy evening of February. Neither of us had ever achieved pottery earlier than, however we strapped on some aprons and cracked some chilly beers as we listened to our teacher. We made 4 stunning items that evening. Later we walked over to James, an exquisite restaurant in prospect heights. We had cocktails, dinner, a bottle of wine, and even dessert. By no means would have thought it might be our final date for a really, very very long time. I’m glad we went out with a bang.
— Teresa Hoerres


On February twenty eighth, 2020, my greatest buddy and I had a women evening to see Celine Dion’s Braveness tour on the Barclays Heart. It was an intimate night with 20,000 of our fellow (unmasked) New Yorkers, screaming and singing alongside to each music on the high of our lungs. Afterwards we went for burgers at Rose’s on Flatbush Ave, the place the bartender humored us by taking part in Celine on the sound system and the occasion continued. Just a few nights afterward March 4th, I noticed the premiere of Nederlands Dans Theater, the extraordinary fashionable dance firm, at New York Metropolis Heart, the place I work. Celine occurred to be within the viewers too—what a thrill to sit down just some rows away from her! It was a sold-out present. We had additional Purell stations out there all through the theater. One yr later, Celine has simply introduced rescheduled European tour dates for Might 2022, Rose’s on Flatbush has sadly closed their doorways for good, and Metropolis Heart’s digital performances can be found on-line as we await the day audiences can return to the theater. 

— Naomi, Prospect Heights


I undoubtedly did a number of much less enjoyable issues within the final days of the Earlier than Instances, however the final actually enjoyable factor I did was see the Improvised Shakespeare Firm carry out at Theatre 80 on January thirteenth. Improv Shakespeare involves NYC twice a yr, as soon as in January and as soon as in the summertime, and I have been going each time they’re right here since 2014. They’re essentially the most hilarious improv theater reveals I’ve ever seen: they placed on a very new, Shakespeare-inspired play primarily based on a suggestion from the viewers. My husband and I nonetheless quote traces from varied productions we now have seen (“It is a occasion on many ranges!”). It has been over a yr, and I miss it a lot, similar to I miss reside theater a lot. As one other reminder of how a lot has modified, the Xi’an Well-known Meals throughout the road we at all times went to afterwards, and the place we at all times ended up ready on line with the solid, closed throughout COVID.

— Christina, West Village


The evening earlier than my roommate’s workplace shut down resulting from a Covid case being reported within the constructing, we determined to stroll as much as considered one of our favourite native bars within the Heights, Hilltop Park Alehouse, for joyful hour. We took two seats on the bar, ordered a plate of mussels to share and two glasses of rosé from the joyful hour menu. That is what I miss essentially the most, sharing time with my greatest buddy in my favourite metropolis on the planet. Additionally drinks I didn’t make myself at a bar that’s not in my house — that too. 

— Sam


I keep in mind effectively my final social outing earlier than the pandemic. I am a lecture agent, and considered one of my purchasers, the poet Ilya Kaminsky, was on the town to do an occasion at BAM. I used to be on the BAM occasion with Ilya, and his spouse, the poet Katie Farris, and a bunch of different literary varieties. That was March tenth. Ilya and Katie have been nonetheless on the town the next day, and all of us met for drinks at a bar in Downtown Brooklyn — we had some tequila, traded some innocent literary gossip, and all of us went our personal method that evening. I can nonetheless keep in mind the desk we sat at, the sense of feeling at sea, of not figuring out what was coming subsequent — it was lockdown in fact. This story is not notably dramatic, however I’ve considered that night incessantly for the reason that pandemic, and the way really fortunate I used to be to have associates like Ilya and Katie.

— Leslie


Had a newly single buddy flying in from Florida seeking to blow off some steam. So, 6 of us, all lifelong childhood associates, met up with him on Saturday evening, March 14th, at his Midtown lodge. We have been a bit on edge with all of the reviews concerning the virus coming from in every single place. Our wives have been furious, angrily sending texts our method all night demanding we come house.  Not one masks was to be seen anyplace. Jarrett wished a great steak so we hit Del Frisco’s the place we proceeded to sit down subsequent to 50 Cent. We then walked by Tracy Morgan in a Lamborghini SUV as we headed downtown to the LES, the place we hit packed bar and lounge after packed bar and lounge. Now, crucial a part of this story is my buddy has an enormous coronary heart and is a giant, massive hugger… Jarrett made his method by way of the town hugging actually anybody… all informed perhaps over 100 strangers have been hugged that night as all of us watched mortified  Bartenders, waiters, doormen, women and gents. ‘A hoax’, he stated. ‘Come on, gimme a hug.’ By Monday each restaurant and bar in NYC was shutdown. 

— Justin




Performer at Zum Schneider.

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At Zum Schneider.


Blake Ward

I went to a Karneval occasion for the ultimate day of Zum Schneider, a legendary beer backyard on Avenue C within the East Village. It was an annual custom. The bar was closing due to hire negotiations, not the pandemic. Sadly it was a harbinger of closures to come back. I used to be dressed as an enormous squid. The Tubaist performed his instrument nude.
— Blake Ward, Fort Greene


On February twenty ninth, 2020 in Greenpoint, I used to be in a position to have a good time together with my husband, daughter, and my son’s future in-laws and grandmother his engagement to his fiancé earlier that day. My future daughter in legislation’s grandmother who we cherished dearly, handed away all of the sudden in September. The final time we have been collectively celebrating our kids’s future collectively was proper earlier than the shut down. I’d give something to get again 2/29/20 and linger slightly longer and luxuriate in everybody’s firm.  — Sandra Feldman


I flew in for all 4 nights of the Fowl 99 celebration at Smoke. Vincent Herring, Gary Bartz & Bobby Watson blew everyone away; three of the best Jazz gamers on the planet hovering full blast each set. Speak concerning the tragedy of dropping your intimate NYC Jazz Golf equipment… I sat amongst basic Harlem outdated timers one evening, sat subsequent to a captivating Italian girl the subsequent, met legendary UWS Jazz denizens on the bar and had hip conversations with all of the Jazz giants within the sextet. All of that vanished in a Corona haze.

— Carnak


On March eleventh, my spouse and I went to the Met to see Mozart’s “Cosi Fan Tutte.” Little did we all know it might be their last evening. Just some days prior, we had picked our daughter up at JFK after she and her classmates have been evacuated from Florence by SUNY, bringing her study-abroad program to a untimely finish. The opera home that evening was like a ghost city; solely a fraction of the seats have been stuffed. Chatting with others earlier than the present, everybody was fairly freaked out on the empty home. Strolling again to our automotive that evening, by way of a near-desolate UWS, my spouse stated it was the primary time that she truly felt scared. The next day, the Met cancelled the rest of the season.

— Carmine DeMarco





playbills




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José María Perazzo

Proper round this time final yr, I noticed 19 performs in 20 days. For a lot of of them I used to be a volunteer usher. It was too early for masked viewers members or canceled performances, however issues have been getting hairier day-after-day (I keep in mind my co-usher waving from his ticket-tearing place one night to alert me to not contact a ticket that he had seen a patron sneeze into). In the direction of the top of the stint I used to be sporting gloves and would have gladly canceled a gig, however honored my dedication. I assume the primary New York circumstances have been merely not off-Broadway followers, or I may need change into an unwitting super-spreader (I’ve examined unfavorable many instances since). Little did I do know I used to be saying goodbye  for the foreseeable future to considered one of my favourite New York issues to do…

— José María Perazzo, Midtown


The final enjoyable factor I did in New York was come house. I have been going to highschool in DC, and got here again to New York for a long-overdue lengthy weekend on the finish of February. Amtrak felt bizarre, the subway felt bizarre, like the town was bracing for one thing. However then I received to the bar (our bar) and squeezed right into a 6-person sales space with so many (many greater than 6) individuals I cherished and missed a lot, and it was house — heat, and comfy, and simply one way or the other okay. The final day, leap day, we had a celebration. It was an exquisite blur; scorching pot and ingesting video games, and piles of individuals on couches; somebody absent-mindedly braiding my hair whereas I sat on the ground taking part in playing cards; smoking my last-ever cigarette outdoors within the chilly. I left the subsequent day, and have not been house since. 

— Olivia


We had a celebration on the finish of February at our house in Brooklyn. It was 70s ski home themed and we had fondue and crock pot meatballs and pink grapefruit margaritas. I wore a leopard-print housedress—to the ground. Just a few of us arrived in knit ponchos and classic ski sweaters. There may need been some lederhausen. We invited children too and one youngster drank two actual Coca-Colas in glass bottles and ate a plate of chocolate fondue and began to cry from all of the sugar. Little did we all know it was the final of the Earlier than Instances. All yr, I discovered myself saying  to my husband, I’m so glad we had that occasion. We froze the leftover fondue cheese combination and I made it once more in Vermont over Christmas, a yr later, the place our household have been the one visitors in a quarantined inn — some odd model of previous being prologue. We wore our ’70s sweaters once more, grateful for the reminiscences, eager for the subsequent time.

— Caroline A. Koster


I play in a twenty-piece brass band.  On March fifth, 2020, we had our final pre-lockdown gig, a fundraising gala for a Manhattan personal college.  The occasion’s theme was outer area, so we enhanced our typical glam-pocalyptic stagewear with some futuristic thrives.  Decked out in silver sequins with alien antennae bobbing on our heads, we paraded by way of rooms adorned like the within of a rocketship or the floor of Mars. We received individuals dancing and loved fancy hors d’oeuvres between songs.  We provided one another hand sanitizer and laughed nervously about what the long run right here on Earth may maintain for us. 

— Jamie, Ridgewood, Queens


I performed tenor sax in a bunch referred to as the 69th Avenue Band which had a gradual weekend gig on the well-known membership Paris Blues on Adam Clayton Powell Boulevard in Harlem, which had a global in addition to home clientele.  The final time I performed there was March 14th , 2020.   Sadly, the proprietor of the membership, 84 yr outdated Samuel Hargress Jr., died from Covid-19 in early April 2020.   

— Steve Golub 


The final enjoyable factor I did final yr was on the first of March, 2020. It was a live performance/fundraiser on the Apollo to have a good time the 93rd birthday of the luminous Harry Bellafonte. An expensive buddy of mine was the organizer of the star-studded occasion – an evening of lovely music by Aloe Blacc, Alice Smith, Talib Kweli, Widespread, Sheila E, Usher and Doug E. Contemporary. Mr Bellafonte was there within the third row, absorbing all of the birthday love of the greater than 1000 attendees. Consistent with his lifelong activism, the occasion benefited the Heart for Standard Democracy. After the present, all of us ended up on the Pink Rooster for the after occasion. And that was the final enjoyable factor I did earlier than NYC went into lockdown.
— Auria Abraham, Flatbush


On Friday, March sixth, 2020, I went on a primary date with an informal acquaintance I would been attempting to make plans with for some time. We went to Brooklyn Museum’s final First Friday occasion, and the place was packed—the foyer throbbed with dancing individuals, and the Egyptian wing, particularly, was a mob scene. We chatted concerning the coronavirus and determined the media would in all probability transfer on when one other, larger story broke. Afterward we strolled over to Sunshine Co for cocktails and appetizers, and on the finish of a stable first date he hesitated when my Uber pulled up—so I gave him a hug, figuring there’d be loads of alternative for a goodnight kiss on Date 2. How improper I used to be! 

— Andrea Bartz, South Slope




A Brooklyn wedding reception




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Ali Rickards & Rob Embers

Weekend of March seventh, 2020: We hosted 150 family and friends from throughout the U.S. and seven totally different international locations for a marriage reception.  The Friday evening “Welcome Drinks” was at our favourite bar, the at all times cozy, Soiled Treasured in Gowanus and the Saturday night reception was at The Lotos Membership.  We wished to point out our visitors two very totally different sides of the town we love, and except for a number of day-of cancellations and discussions of including hand washing stations, nothing felt too out of the strange. We went off on our honeymoon and returned from Sri Lanka with the assistance of the State Division to a unique world, and did not come again to our house in Brooklyn till the top of Might — by no means returning to reside in NYC full time once more.  After 14 years of residing in Manhattan and Brooklyn, for months I could not even take into consideration this final weekend celebration with out getting very emotional, however with a while to replicate, I can not consider a greater goodbye occasion to essentially the most unimaginable metropolis on the planet.

— Ali Rickards & Rob Embers, previously of Gowanus


There have been 8 of us who celebrated our 58th birthdays at Nat Tapas within the East Village. Karen, Barb and I’ve celebrated our February birthdays collectively since we turned 19 in school collectively. Since we have been out on the Saturday evening that was my precise birthday, one dancer invited me to affix her on the dance ground. SO FUN. This yr, to have a good time 59, we had a Zoom dance occasion.
— Susan Gross


On March tenth, 2020, my associates and I attended the kick off occasion for Seltzerland, a nationally touring exhausting seltzer competition that was sponsored by Corona Onerous Seltzer. The occasion passed off at Slate in Chelsea. My associates and I have been discussing if we should always go however in the end thought if that is our final outing for some time, let’s exit with a bang. The group turned out to be intimate (social distancing earlier than social distancing was a factor) and we have been in a position to benefit from the expertise with just some different occasion goers. Everybody loved limitless exhausting seltzer, good eats, occasion favors, and music. I have to say it was an effective way to take pleasure in one final outing earlier than being caught at house for a yr. 

— John Simon


On March tenth, 2020, a buddy and I noticed Six on Broadway. It was nonetheless in previews; we met for dinner and drinks earlier than the present. I keep in mind going straight for the toilet as quickly as we received to the restaurant so I may wash my palms, twice. Six was implausible. The theater was packed, and everybody screamed and cheered together with the music like we have been in Madison Sq. Backyard, not a Broadway theater—it was top-of-the-line reveals I’ve ever seen. The following day, my workplace despatched us all house for not less than two weeks (ha). Two days after that, there was a information report that an usher at Six for the present the evening earlier than ours had examined constructive for COVID-19. Broadway was shut down inside the week.

— Lauren P., UES


My husband and I had a wonderful time with one other couple, celebrating the vacation season at Birdland. It has been our custom to have a music-related evening out collectively at the moment of yr, and the night did not disappoint. Monty Alexander was the principle draw however within the viewers was Tony Bennett. We have now a enjoyable image of ourselves taken that evening. Such power! Oh, how we miss the reside music and tradition.

— Maria and Invoice Terrone, Jackson Heights, Queens

On Monday, March ninth, 2020 I went to a studying of the Ebook of Esther for Purim, hosted at a buddy’s house in Park Slope. For the uninitiated, Purim is often fairly debaucherous, however final yr it was fairly tame, although nonetheless some fairly nice costumes. I dressed as Instagram’s @dudewithsign — as I wrote the signal on the subway, a random girl took an image, laughing to herself, displaying that she understood. She Tweeted about it. Everybody already had some sense that it was the top, however we had no thought what that meant. It is the final time I gathered unmasked, indoors with a bunch of individuals.

— Mike Schwartz


I take into consideration this incessantly… Considered one of my greatest associates was going by way of a breakup in Colorado. I obtained a 4 a.m. textual content that stated “I’m coming Tuesday.” It was the top of February 2020, she crashed on my sofa, tried oat milk for the primary time (not a success), and we did as a lot as doable. A present at Comedy Cellar, an evening of music at Groove, cocktails at The Cubbyhole, wine college at Parcelle, scrumptious dinner (and hilarious individuals watching) at a brilliant crowded Buddakan, gallery reveals, fabulous singalongs with cabbies, and ramen noodles. These three excellent days culminated in a correct pre-pandemic ship off — a crowded rush hour Penn Station with all of the trains to JFK being “considerably delayed.” We hugged quite a bit, but when I had recognized what the subsequent weeks, months, yr would convey, I’d’ve squeezed her longer.  Miss you, Kel. We’ll see one another once more quickly. 

— Alison, UWS


The Final Enjoyable Factor I did was me and my husband’s pre-baby brunch with a number of of my favourite individuals at an area restaurant. We have been all slightly nervous about hugging, however could not resist. The following morning my obstetrician referred to as with a pre-eclampsia analysis, and would have me go to the hospital immediately for remark. When admitted, issues appeared to function as regular round me. I ended up being induced the subsequent evening – three weeks early. By the time I went into the restoration room, the complete hospital employees was masked and no guests apart from companions have been allowed in. We emerged from the hospital three days later to an official world pandemic and a radically totally different metropolis.  Little did I do know, that celebratory brunch can be the final time I would see a bunch of  associates indoors for a yr. 

— Annie, Hudson Sq.


I went to the Roxy Cinema with associates, after I heard Nicolas Cage was going to drop in. They’d had a complete sequence of his films and he determined to go to at least one and provides an impromptu interview for Bangkok Harmful. His interview was stuffed with pseudo-philosophical musings and weird statements.

— Thomas Rowley


On Friday, March thirteenth, 2020, I grew to become a US citizen! We arrived on the Brooklyn Courthouse at 7 a.m., and by the point we left at midday, it felt like the entire world had shifted. The streets have been quiet however for me and the 250 or so others who had additionally change into residents that day. We have been taking photos, and waving mini-US flags. It ended up being the ultimate hurrah earlier than months indoors.

— Rebecca Cardwell, Kensington


The Final Enjoyable Issues was a preview of Six with two associates and their daughters—a mother’s evening out. We had dinner at Cafe Un Duex Trois—we love their crepes—noticed the present and had after-dinner drinks. It was an exquisite evening. Considered one of my associates purchased us silk scarves and I received everybody the tiny hand sanitizers from Duane Reade.

I got here down with COVID that weekend. I ended coughing in Might. And haven’t left the neighborhood since do business from home began on March sixteenth, 2020.
—Anna




Laverne in Brooklyn Bridge Park

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Laverne saves the (beginning)day with a distanced picnic within the park.


Steve Miller

My birthday is on March twentieth, which was the beginning of the weekend when New York went into lockdown.  A few weeks earlier, my expensive buddy Valentin, flew into New York from Italy to assist me set up and host a birthday banquet.  For some time, we had a good time having fun with New York and planning the occasion.  However, because the date approached, information of the pandemic’s unfold elevated and we scrapped the birthday plans and centered on getting him again house to Italy earlier than that grew to become not possible. He lastly managed to get house on March 18th! I disinvited all of the visitors and resigned myself to an sudden birthday in lockdown. The following day, my outdated, shut buddy Laverne got here up with a method for us to mark the day… she advised that we meet on the twentieth at Brooklyn Bridge Park for a distanced picnic. We every introduced blankets to lie on and laid them out close to one another so we may hold the required six ft between us.  At the moment, we didn’t assume we wanted masks but.   She arrived with some favourite meals and desserts that she’d ordered and picked up on the way in which and we had essentially the most fantastic, spontaneous, celebratory picnic by the aspect of the East River and received to observe the solar set behind Manhattan.   After I returned house that night, I discovered a bag with items from neighbors in my constructing hanging on my door and a video from Italy of the candles burning down on a cake that Valentin had managed to bake the day after his exhausting, hectic flights.  It was one of many essentially the most memorable birthdays I’ve ever had.   The following day, the whole lot shut down.

— Steve Miller, UWS


March twelfth, 2020 was the Biggest Hits of Final Enjoyable Issues for me. I went to my workplace, a restaurant, a film on the AMC Village 7, and a efficiency on the Rockwood Music Corridor. Afterward I met somebody at a bar and took the subway house. I have never achieved any of these issues since! It was a day of wonderful spontaneity, however I keep in mind telling my buddy that it appeared like this may be our final regular evening for some time. Discuss an understatement!

— Katie Anderson, Brooklyn


I met my now-partner for patio margs at Rosie’s as a result of it was the primary day it  appeared heat sufficient to sit down outdoors. We weren’t on talking phrases for the weeks prior for causes I can’t even keep in mind now, however within the spirit of the primary patio joyful hour of the season, I texted hello again and stated “One marg received’t damage.” One marg became three and we wandered the eerily empty streets of the town, determined to make use of it to our benefit and check out our luck for a desk at Bobo, received a desk and determined it was each too pretentious and too intently sat, and opted as an alternative for a giant six high to ourselves downstairs at an empty Alta. We closed out the evening at Smalls earlier than grabbing a late evening burger at Nook Bistro. That Sunday, he took a fast subway as much as his studio on the united statesto pack a bag for the week. He’s been residing with me ever since.
— Maria


I had fairly an satisfying final romp across the metropolis Friday, March 6, 2020. I took the day without work of labor to attend in line on the DMV to register an outdated automotive my brother lent me earlier than he moved to the west coast (serendipitous timing!). I completed sooner than anticipated, so I stuffed the hours earlier than my bus to Jersey to select up the automotive with some questionable actions… I strolled round Time Sq., even attempting some coats on at H&M! I hesitantly took a seat in an nearly empty movie show to see Fowl of Prey whereas ready for my bus (hey, I loved it!). I rolled into Port Authority proper as my NJ Transit bus to Jersey was boarding — the final out-of-town bus I’ve taken in a yr. Fortunately, I didn’t contract the virus from my adventures that day, however I’ve treasured these easy final reminiscences of the Earlier than Instances day-after-day since, even when they make me concurrently cringe!

— Meg, Bushwick


March sixth, 2020 — A Magical Dinner. I used to be invited to my buddy’s stunning Artwork Deco house within the Village for considered one of her implausible dinner events. An awesome prepare dinner, she’s a famend translator and cultural promoter of all issues Catalan, a born and bred New Yorker who generously connects every kind of individuals. As typical, I knew I’d seemingly meet associates in addition to new individuals from all around the world, artists, journalists, academics, writers, activists. Earlier than her dinners we often went as much as her constructing’s roof, from the place we have seen big moons, the lights turning on at twilight, ESB and Chrysler glittering, moments that make me really feel awe that I get to reside right here. I informed her I used to be penning this so we emailed attempting to reconstruct the meal, all I keep in mind was a succulent salmon and the standard dialog happening hours after dessert. I discovered a textual content from the day after the dinner thanking her after which on the tenth a fast one telling her I used to be scared and that my college was closing so I would be educating from house. 

— Miriam M. Basilio Gaztambide





Dim Sum run group photo

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Dim Sum Run


William Ngo

One of many final enjoyable issues I did in New York Metropolis was a brunch dim solar run from Prospect Park to Golden Unicorn in Chinatown with my operating membership, Prospect Park Monitor Membership (PPTC). In a traditional yr, PPTC hosts a number of meals runs as a result of there’s nothing higher than operating a number of miles together with your greatest operating associates after which consuming scrumptious meals. We did the dim sum in late February to have a good time Lunar New Yr and we have been additionally joyful to help a Chinese language restaurant in response to the rising anti-Asian sentiment and aggression as a result of coronavirus. It is unhappy to assume {that a} yr later, a number of dim sum eating places are now not in enterprise or are susceptible to shutting down due to the COVID-19 pandemic. I hope once we attain herd immunity and may meet in giant teams indoors with out masks, we’ll nonetheless have the ability to do our dim sum runs. 

— Lillian


The final enjoyable I did earlier than the pandemic shut down the world was go to karaoke on St. Marks. Two of my associates from out of city have been visiting. We booked a non-public room and sang after which when our time was up we joined a stranger’s room and sang with them. It was a hilariously bizarre evening that may not be in any respect doable proper now. We ended the evening on the bar Marshall Stack and stayed out til 3a.m. Every week later our lives modified unimaginably.
— Grace Wilson


My associates and I had ground seats on the Corridor & Oates Live performance on February twenty eighth, 2020 — the bought out crowd was FIRED UP, and singing all of the phrases to each music (are you able to think about? 10s of 1,000s of individuals all singing maskless indoors??). We have been toasting our neighbors and dancing to each music (with the compulsory claps in “Non-public Eyes”) — even Amy Poelher and Rachel Dratch, who have been two rows in entrance of us, have been rocking out. 

— Alex B, FiDi


The final enjoyable factor I did was seeing Riverdance at Radio Metropolis on Wednesday, March eleventh, which ended up being the final efficiency of their twenty fifth anniversary tour. On reflection we in all probability should not have gone. The tickets have been a Valentine’s day present to my fiancee and meant to be our final evening out earlier than we have been to be married the next week. After the efficiency (which was nice, however I discovered it exhausting to focus) we sought out a ramen restaurant earlier than heading house. The restaurant would usually have a little bit of a wait from the after-theatre weekday crowd in Instances Sq., however there have been solely two {couples} in there together with ourselves. The paranoia actually began on the subway experience house — open mouth coughing riders, attempting to not contact the pole, my face, all of the sudden conscious of the stale air on the R practice. We agreed we could not be in public main as much as the marriage and can be working from house going ahead. We had already canceled our Japan honeymoon, and the “simply checking in” texts from visitors began in earnest. Company flying worldwide, these with younger kids, an immunocompromised uncle, and extra despatched their regrets. New Rochelle was beneath quarantine, the nationwide guard was referred to as in however issues nonetheless appeared containable. Wash your palms, cowl your mouth, perhaps put on a masks, and we would be tremendous. Issues got here at us quick on Thursday, which ended with a European journey ban, Broadway canceled, a state of emergency, and our firms declaring distant working. Our visitor checklist had dropped by greater than 1 / 4 and I threw away the seating playing cards. Lower than 24 hours later, on Friday the thirteenth, we referred to as the marriage off.

— Alex F., Astoria


The final “enjoyable” factor I did earlier than lockdown was go to the Celine Dion’s Braveness live performance at Barclays Heart on March 5 in Brooklyn. It felt weird as a result of at that time individuals have been beginning to query how secure it was to assemble. I am fairly positive I turned to my buddy and stated, “I’m wondering if we’re all simply giving one another COVID!”. I keep in mind going to the lads’s bogs and noticing that for as soon as the lads have been all lined up on the sinks to clean their palms totally!  And sure I received caught in that huge Celine Dion subway sing-a-long that occurred spontaneously (which Gothamist coated). It was pure JOY to finish on that prime word in the beginning shut down.

— David Ninh



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