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Recovering cities

Resilience of New York through a monochromatic lens


Earlier this year, New York City was hit hard by the pandemic that has now engulfed the

entire world. Following the massive discussions, arguments, and debates between various

stakeholders in the administration, the city witnessed a complete lockdown barring essential

businesses.Almost parallel to the pandemic, the Black Lives Matter Movement further triggered the

quarantine-struck state of New Yorkers. People participated in BLM protests advocating for the

rights of people of color and the city underwent a massive makeover.

With the privileged New Yorkers abandoning their upper-east-side residences for holiday

homes in the Hamptons, the city was repeatedly referred to as a ghost-town. There were pieces in

the New York Times with headings like ‘Is New York City over?’

However, the urban jungle often has a way of adapting through the resilience of its

structures and, more importantly, its people. New York City Art scene is not just restricted to the

murals and graffiti, it applies to life itself.

As Charles Darwin beautifully explained survival of the fittest in evolutionary biology,

New York demonstrated it in the times of Corona.

Without losing on its essence, the city adapted to a new normal.

So, the night clubs on Saturday Night were replaced by cars with large boomboxes

vibrating the city’s floor with ‘Here I go again’ by Whitesnake played on full volume. The crowd

of protestors gathered on the city’s avenues were replaced by a community of cyclists circling

Bryant Park as they all yelled ‘Black Lives Matter’ in full synchrony. Zoom hangouts turned to

movie dates. And restaurants opened outside. The exchange of smiles was replaced with the

exchange of happy glances through wrinkly eyes.


The city evolved but still remained the same. The Covid19 cases plateaued, then peaked

again. Like all other cities grappling with the virus, New York is still in recovery mode. The city

needs time to heal, but there is a thing or two one could still learn from New York. 

Maybe how to survive. Or maybe how to live.

Photo Credits : Rachita Ramya Singh , New York

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The Early Years - Virtual Art & Science Exhibition
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