On August 16, I wrote:
New York City isn’t going to recover from this. The sad truth is that the city completely destroyed itself in a spasm of hubris, cowardice and folly and you don’t come back from that, not for a long time and not without painful introspection and remorse. There is no evidence that that is going to happen, so the death spiral continues. New Yorkers either actively support or passively acquiesce to the madness that has wrecked their city. Or they flee.
Four months later, I see no reason to revise that judgment. In the news today:
As vaccines began being put into arms in New York City and indoor dining was shut down again Monday, Mayor Bill de Blasio and Gov. Andrew Cuomo warned that additional restrictions could be coming — potentially including a return to a full shutdown.
“There’s the potential of having to do a full pause, a full shutdown, in the coming weeks, because we can’t let this kind of momentum go,” de Blasio said on CNN when asked about comments made by Gov. Andrew Cuomo last week, in which the state’s top executive said a fuller shutdown could be in the offing this winter.
The fact that this sort of thing is tolerated anyone, as we approach the end of 2020, strikes me as proof that it’s over for the Big Apple. Why is everyone cool with these draconian restrictions? Where are the mass demonstrations and civil disobedience? Where are the attempts to get a law passed allowing the recall of the governor and mayor, followed swiftly by their recall? Why does everyone seem to be in a dazed stupor all the time, as thousands of businesses are destroyed and their city implodes around them? I wish I understood.
Goodbye, New York. You were fun while you lasted.
UPDATE: On the other, I may have underestimated the resilience and creativity of the average business owner in New York. As the tweet below illustrates, restaurants have begun adapting to the city’s psychotic and ever-changing restrictions by offering indoor dining… outdoors!
Outdoor dining has gradually escalated into what might reasonably be called a buildings. pic.twitter.com/dTi7bDpg6O
— James Hamblin (@jameshamblin) November 22, 2020