In this moment, nothing seems stupider than being trapped on an island packed with people and governed by an inept mayor. City living feels unstable, perhaps nowhere more so than in New York. Infrastructure is decaying, the rent is too damn high and there are more homeless people than ever before. The subways were a disaster even before the pandemic cut ridership by 90 percent. Public pools won’t open this summer in order to save the city $12 million.
Yet cities have been the great engines of our culture and the economy, nowhere more so than New York, where I moved at 19 years old, fell in love and never looked back.
Who can tell us what life in America’s cities should look like, in the era of social distancing?
I don’t know. I want to find out.