You may recall, about three years ago, the many cries that New York was over thanks to the pandemic. One major newspaper ran an opinion piece that went viral, titled “New York City Is Dead Forever.” This obituary was a tad premature. Wonderful, maddening, thrilling New York still thrums with energy and vigor despite everything, as our recent stay there confirmed.
Certain responses to the “Dead Forever” piece claimed it wasn’t the pandemic that had ruined New York but gentrification. However, laments on that subject have a long history: “[N]ow the sentimentalist feels a heart pang to see the order, the cleanliness, the wide streets, the playgrounds, the big boulevards, the absence of indigence that have spoiled the most interesting part of New York City.” That’s from my copy of “New Cosmopolis,” by James Huneker, published in 1915. If we dig deep enough, I’m sure we can find some Dutch diary whinge about how New Amsterdam is boring now that the British are in charge.
New York is many things, but boring is never one of them. It’s always changing, and in many ways for the better. Several enticing new luxury hotels have opened recently in various neighborhoods around the city, labor shortages haven’t stopped the exciting restaurant scene, plays and musicals draw sellout crowds, and the nightlife is back in full swing. We spent a sensational week full of art, shopping, cocktails and far too much delicious food.