April 21, 2020

"The very features that make New York attractive to businesses, workers and tourists — Broadway, the subway system, world-class restaurants..."

"... and innumerable cultural institutions — were among the hardest-hit in the pandemic. And they will take the longest to come back. Half of the hotels in the city are not operating, and with no reliable forecast for when tourists might return, many may stay shut. Nearly the same portion of the city’s smallest businesses — some 186,000 shops employing fewer than 10 people — could fail, city officials fear.... Large and midsize companies... are thinking about how to use their existing office space when workers cannot be packed together as tightly, and questioning how much they should be expected to pay for it. 'Because of the need for social distancing, that space is far less valuable.... We’re all going to need more space, or use it less.'... [W]orkers from around the country and the world would think twice about relocating to the city — for at least a few years — and... those already here might move out.... Swiftly shutting down the city’s more than 25,000 restaurants and bars was one thing. But getting customers back may not be a matter of simply allowing them to reopen, even with servers in masks and gloves and diners ordering from an app on their phones.... [T]ourists are not likely to come back to a closed city, and the sorts of activities that draw crowd and visitors — parades, performing arts, museums, sports, festivals — are likely to be among the last parts of the local economy to reopen...."

From "'I Don’t Think the New York That We Left Will Be Back for Some Years'/The features that made the city’s economy distinctive — Broadway, restaurants and museums — were hard hit and will take the longest to come back" (NYT).

From the comments over there:
Lets all hope that the pre-virus Manhattan will not return. It was a place of excess, a playground for the uber-rich, where middle class people could work but not live. $500 jeans with engineered rips in the knees, insipid Jeff Koons sculpture made by "assistants" selling for millions while sycophantic curators belly up to donors who treat art like commodities. Our whole society, not just NYC, needs structural change. Our economy needs to work for everybody, not just hedge fund managers and silk stocking law firms. We need a health care system which delivers quality care to all. Why have we given up on an America which delivers on its promise to all?

144 comments:

Buckwheathikes said...

I'd remind the writer that the vaunted subway system in New York was never shut down. It's still operating. Still spreading this deadly disease.

According to MIT scientists, the subway system in New York is a major vector for the spread of death in New York.

And the Democrats have kept it running the whole time.

I'm Not Sure said...

"Our whole society, not just NYC, needs structural change."

Translation: "The world will be a better place when everybody else thinks the same way I do."

Meh. Nobody's stopping you from making structural changes in your life, are they?

Can Of Cheese for Hunter said...

hedge fund managers = Clinton family. +Chelsea and her Husband. Their children will grow up to be "hedge fund managers" too.

I Have Misplaced My Pants said...

Regarding the comment - "I don't approve so it shouldn't exist."

I prefer a large and diverse world where anything is possible and we each go to where we feel drawn, and can live in benign indifference alongside the things we do not feel drawn to.

I Have Misplaced My Pants said...

How childish, to look at Manhattan, and instead of being awed by what humans have achieved, you want to kick it down because it's better than you. Because you're petty and spiteful and envious.

This is why envy is a sin. Because it's a powerful anticreative force.

Ann Althouse said...

"I'd remind the writer that the vaunted subway system in New York was never shut down. It's still operating. Still spreading this deadly disease."

Read the article. This is discussed there and not something the writer forgot.

There are simply far fewer people in the subway now, perhaps 10% of normal. How can people go back to work when it would crowd the subway?

MadisonMan said...

Does the commenter understand that those most adversely affected aren't the wealthy who are buying $500 jeans?

MayBee said...

I don't think there will be long lasting effects like that. Everybody thought New Orleans was down for the count, but the Saints were playing in the Super Dome again really quickly.

I do think people need to rethink over reliance on mass transit.

Can Of Cheese for Hunter said...

We CAN have health care for all. But if you place the corruptocrats in charge, your dream will never come true. The nightmare of managed and restricted care will!

Actual health care for all = more competition in care and insurance options, less government micro-management and waste, more price transparency... etc...

Wince said...

This and the divisions it will engender in his state is what's haunting, humbling Andrew Cuomo.

brylun said...

I'm wondering what happens if NY State and NY City are not given the bailout that they are asking for... and the rest of the country opens up and starts economic recovery.

Yesterday, Cuomo in his press conference railed on about a federal bailout, and then after that, said that the health care workers deserved a huge "combat" pay increase. I was thinking that he was trying to give them money he doesn't have, from the pocket of someone else.

brylun said...

And in the NY Times this morning there was the story about the wealth tax...

zipity said...


Speaking of NY. Dennis Prager hits the nail on the head.

If Half the Country's Deaths Were in Montana, Would New York Shut Down?

https://townhall.com/columnists/dennisprager/2020/04/21/if-half-the-countrys-deaths-were-in-montana-would-new-york-shut-down-n2567282

Gahrie said...

Why have we given up on an America which delivers on its promise to all?

When and where were we promised healthcare? Because I don't remember.

How much longer until we are told that access to the internet is a right?

MayBee said...

If Half the Country's Deaths Were in Montana, Would New York Shut Down?

Yes! I've been saying this all along! Note Hurricane Sandy vs any midwestern flood or tornado.

I Have Misplaced My Pants said...

I don't care if the fabulously wealthy hoard some of their fabulous wealth. They also employ people and fund philanthropic activities that make all of our lives better. How does a person experience, say, the Art Institute of Chicago and on her way out look at that giant wall with donors' names and think Screw those rich assholes instead of Thank you so much for enabling what I was just able to add to my brain and my heart?? If you do that, the problem is with you. You'll be a miserable envious person no matter what you have.

Gahrie said...

I was thinking that he was trying to give them money he doesn't have, from the pocket of someone else.

Isn't that the standard definition of a Democrat?

Kevin said...

Shorter article: People railing about others' carbon footprints surprised to be living off tourism.

gspencer said...

“I don’t think the New York that we left will be back for some years”

This guy doesn’t know what he’s tawkin’ about. The hos (all kinds to fit your fancy), the pimps, the dealers, all still in place, ready for action, open for business. Along with high prices and filthy streets.

brylun said...

Meanwhile, Cuomo's Health Department issued an order requiring nursing homes to accept COVID-19 patients. This was previously pointed out by Narciso, and that at yesterday's press conference Cuomo wasn't aware of this order. Meanwhile, there have been clusters of nursing home deaths in New York State, and the State just started reported death clusters of 5 or more people per nursing home. The order seems tone deaf because of the high level of contagion COVID=19 has.

Buckwheathikes said...

"How can people go back to work when it would crowd the subway?"

They haven't shut the subway down; the people leading New York don't care if you die of this disease. They know, based on scientific data widely presented to them, that the subway is a MAJOR VECTOR for the spread of this disease.

If New York City was serious about protecting people from dying, they'd shut the subway. Until a vaccine is widely deployed.

So, how will people go back to work when it will crowd the subway? The answer is the Democrats do not care if the subways are packed.

That's the whole plan. The Democrats truly don't care if people are dying from their public policy decisions.

James K said...

In other words, never let a crisis go to waste.

Regarding the subways, there's no other realistic way for hundreds of thousands of essential workers (nurses, doctors, lab techs, food industry people, etc.) to get to work in a city with long commutes and most not owning cars.

The subways are largely empty, though they should not have cut back service to the extent they did, and they should not be allowing homeless to move in.

Shouting Thomas said...

Oh, for Christ’s sake, NYC has many sides.

One of them is that it offered limitless opportunity for this Deplorable born in a shack in the cornfields in Illinois.

Always another job, you can’t be blacklisted, a hustler’s paradise.

And the sex! Someday I’ll tell you about that, but only at the right price.

It’s Oz! Who cares if the Wizard was just a crazy old con artist behind the curtain! It works! You just gotta believe!

brylun said...

AP is reporting a $500 billion deal reached in Congress...

Sebastian said...

"We’re all going to need more space"

Who dat we?

Healthy young people under 40 should mingle, both to sustain the local economy and to build up herd immunity.

traditionalguy said...

The only hope left for NYC is that after making America great again, Trump will be bored and become their Mayor and make the Big Apple thrive again. He would do it just to beat the SOBs one more time.

Balfegor said...

There's a lot of restaurants I like in NYC, so that is a pity. When I have the chance again, I'd like to patronise them . . . even in DC, I've donated some money to restaurants I like (or rather, to a fund set up for their employees) that I hope will still be around after the plague. Restaurants are a tough business at the best of times, and this has been devastating for the industry.

But the hotels in Manhattan are absolutely garbage-tier, despite costing $400, $500/night. You have to pay like $800 a night or more for a room that in Houston might be maybe $300 a night? If one of the effects of the catastrophe in New York is that its hotel prices align better with quality, well, that will be a silver lining. They should get rid of those ridiculous destination fees while they're at it.

brylun said...

Schumer: Deal reached on major parts of $500B virus aid

Thistlerose said...

One of the German exchange students that stayed with my brother is planning a trip to the US this summer to visit him and had planned on spending three days in New York. He is telling her not to go there because most things will not be open and if there is a resurgence of the virus she may be unable to leave the city. Better to spend the time here in Dallas visiting with friends and being in a comfortable home if they do lock down travel and she can't get a flight to Germany. Lots of people are going to be making these types of decisions on where to travel in the next year and it doesn't look good for New York.

As part of his job he gets daily updates of Dallas Covas-19 deaths by zip code and age. Says there is no reason not to travel to Dallas. Most of the deaths in Dallas are nursing home patients with pre-existing conditions

Mike (MJB Wolf) said...

Crises are clarifying moments in history. It is not up to our petty tyrants to decide who is and is not essential. Scarcity presents hard choices. Necessity itself will guide the decisions of people on the margins already and those marginalized by The Great Shutdown. Interesting times ahead, as they say.

Unknown said...

So let's stay locked down for the rest of the year, eh?

MayBee said...

Why not get some buses and dedicate them to specific routes going to hospitals? Drive the dedicated bus instead of the subway.

There are a lot of places where dedicated buses are the way people get to their place of work.

Michael said...

I prefer the NY of Giuliani. N the 70s a stroll down 7th was to encounter a bum, possibly with a box cutter, demanding a toll to proceed. Then another a block down. Rudy cleaned that up. Billy boy bringing back the old days.

The commenter is a kid or a B&T wannabe. A loser. The type Manhattan has always left behind. Or crushed.

rhhardin said...

I lived a half hour from NYC by train for 20 years and never went there.

Sebastian said...

MatBee et al.: "If Half the Country's Deaths Were in Montana, Would New York Shut Down?

Yes! I've been saying this all along!"

Hey, so have I! Thought experiment offered just the other day! I claim priority!

Anyway, as I also explained, in my wisdom, the answer is not obvious: prog govs might still hav been tempted by a CYA power trip.

Still, the NYC experience intensified The Panic of 2020. What if we are all like NYC! We just don't know, so let's do the most drastic and destructive thing possible!

Fueled by NYC-oriented media, of course.

Buckwheathikes said...

"The subways are largely empty, though they should not have cut back service to the extent they did, and they should not be allowing homeless to move in."

I'm all for restricting subway access to officially-certified ESSENTIAL medical workers only.

But yeah, allowing the homeless to take over subway cars - with no requirements for hygiene, etc., shows just how serious Democrats are about the lives of the citizenry in New York (and by extension, all over America, since nobody there is currently prohibited from traveling from New York to anywhere else.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

I am heartily sick of hearing about freaking NYC. I know that there are good people who live there (for some God unknown reason). But seriously. NYC is not the effing center of the universe or even the most important thing in the United States.

Stop with all the NYC boo hoo, sob, woe is them, stories. I just don't care.

narciso said...

even an epidemic, can't break them out of their navel gazing,

Shouting Thomas said...

If you're an old fart like me, you notice that NYC runs thru a repetitive cycle.

When I arrived, it was Taxi Driver and the crack epidemic. It was grubby, violent, overloaded with sex and psychotic. All because that was what the people who migrated and lived there wanted. NYC is composed of Deplorables from all over the world who want to live in a chaotic Wild West of opportunity for hustling. It just spins out of control over time, especially with the malignant influx of knucklehead Marxists from the colleges out in the Styx.

Then the Sheriff rides into town and tries to make it livable again so that the Ivy League lawyers and financiers can still service their kinks without getting mugged and murdered. The bad guys are shipped up the river and relative peace and calm descends on Gotham.

Then, slowly, it unravels again, as it is now. And it's back to Taxi Driver. The ambitions and lusts of people make this happen.

Shouting Thomas said...

But seriously. NYC is not the effing center of the universe or even the most important thing in the United States.

Seriously, NYC is the effing center of the universe and the most important thing in the world.

donald said...

Sooo...I have four family members, one a respiratory aid, one an emergency room nurse (At Grady!),a doctor and I don’t know what the other one does.

They are waist deep in the panic, we’re all gonna die and Kemp is a Fascist.

So I asked a simple question: My understanding is that this virus’ like all other virus’s, HAS to cycle through the population to establish immunity and that all the actions being taken are to lengthen this process due to a fear of overwhelming hospitals, supplies etc...Not one of them will even address my question. I’m guessing I’m right, cause they can’t be involved in that profession and not realize that right?

daskol said...

You can't shut the subway down--even for just a few hours, it would be devastating, as it's the main way people move around the city, so the disruption would be near total. Ironically, the correct move would have been to INCREASE train frequency as ridership declined during the pandemic, to further reduce rider density. It's an expensive proposition, but it's clearly what the city needs to be doing.

I was here on 9/11, working just a few blocks from ground 0, and I was convinced the city would never be the same. The vibe changed forever, but the city as we more or less knew it more or less came back. A few years after 9/11 there was a huge blackout, and I marveled at how normal life in the city had quietly become. Took years for real estate prices to rebound on the commercial side, but they did, although lower Manhattan remains a relative bargain on the residential side in Manhattan--that's probably more an effect of transforming a business district into a residential one, as swathes of the area are still dead at night.

So it's really hard to imagine NYC of two months ago coming back because indeed the density, the crowds, the subway all feel very different to most of us now, threatening and dangerous in a way that will be hard to forget. I have always had some issues with the hygiene of the subways, and it will be difficult for me to ride them again without thinking about the petrie dish I've dived into. This pandemic targets NYC's lifestyle even more than a terrorist attack on a landmark, but it's not like the challenges of urbanization are new to humanity. We've had plagues longer than we've had cities, and still the cities grew and grew until they were where a majority of humanity resided. Hard to imagine, but we will eventually forget this as well, and other people will become annoying again for their voices, their clothes, their disrespect for the social contract and not their germs.

narciso said...

I would say escape from new York, but the revolutionaries who were on the plane, are now running the city, mayor bane and the head of the city council, viverito (lne)

Bay Area Guy said...

I have so many fond memories of NYC, I don't even know where to start!

But, it's definitely changed over the years -- obviously.

In the early 70s, I remember taking the Subway from the Bronx with my Grandfather to the Museum of Natural History in upper Manhattan.

In the late 70s, I remember how many parts of Times Square were a "no-go" zone, and that my Uncle Richie, NYPD, went undercover as a cabbie trying to catch muggers, and often getting held up himself.

In the 80s, I remember long walks in Central Park, and getting pastrami sandwiches at Carnegie Deli.

I remember in the 90s, when Guiliani beat Dinkins and "cleaned up" the City, and Disneyfied Times Square.

I remember the catastrophic day in September 2001 -- a real dagger to the heart, not a fake one -- and how it ruined and impacted so many lives. Concretely. No ambiguity. No twitter wars for fake "modeling" by egg-headed scientists. Real life tragedy, real life damage.

Anyway, I could on and on. I hope NYC doesn't commit suicide over a new virus, that is less lethal than an ordinary flu season. I hope they stop inflating the death numbers by counting folks with real other diseases, who are "presumed" to have the virus. I hope they get some common sense and recover from this mass psychosis.

Bob Boyd said...

Why have we given up on an America which delivers on its promise to all?

A great question. Isn't that what the Trump phenomenon is all about?

MayBee said...

Here's the Cuomo video. This week they announced his wife has it too, but here she is hanging out with the kids?????

BUMBLE BEE said...

Been a while since you rode the subways there Prof? It's where dregs go to shit.

MayBee said...

Here's the Cuomo video:
https://twitter.com/CuomoPrimeTime/status/1252411300598038529

They announced his wife has it too....but here she is hanging out with the kids. What???

Yancey Ward said...

Apropos of nothing:

Bagel shop in New Jersey burns.

How many of you can figure out why I posted this?

rcocean said...

NYC is not America. In fact, its hard to think of place that is less like America. Our elite news media and "Cultural" elite live there, so we are constantly bombarded with news stories about this City of 8 million. Even if you assume the NYC metro area has 20 million people that means 88 percent of America - 300 million - Americans DONT LIVE in NYC metro area.

And we're constantly told of the rich of Manhattan. Why don't we ever hear about the demographic make up of the city, or the who exactly is living in Queens or the Bronx? I get the impression the NYT editors not only care nothing about the USA west of the Hudson, they don't care about anything in NYC outside of Manhattan and Brooklyn.

gilbar said...

even with servers in masks and gloves and diners ordering from an app on their phones

hmmm, you know what I'm NOT in a hurry to do?
Go to a restaurant, order from my phone, have someone in a mask flop down a plate; and a bill for $147

fancy restaurants without smiling attentive waiteresses? No THANX!

Bilwick said...

The two blogs I look at most regularly--this one, and Instapunit--seem for whatever reason to attract a lot of anti-NYC comments (made, I suspect, mostly by people from the sticks who see it as Babylon on the Hudson); but I lived there when, for me, it was at its peak. And it was wonderful. Now I live in a Sun Belt "Edge City" that is basically a suburb wrapped around a ghetto and a barrio; where Urban Sprawl is the name of the game; and where, instead of individuals, you have four or five basic tribes, within each of which everyone is basically a clone of everyone else. It's sort of the anti-Manhattan. And at its peak Manhattan was glorious, although not for everyone.

Just for one example: the yokels complain about New Yorkers being rude, but I never experienced widespread rudeness until I moved to this sprawling cultural wasteland. It's the difference between a street culture and a car culture. In the former, if you are determined to be a jackass, sooner or later (probably sooner) you will encounter comeone who will show you the error of your ways; whereas in the car culture, people who spend most of their lives in their cars seem to fall into a kind of solipsism, and Heaven help the pedestrian who is crossing the street when one of these jackasses-on-wheels decides his or her right to turn outweighs your right not to get run over.

It was also great living in a city with a high rate of cultural literacy, as opposed to the philistinism that is the norm here.

Ron Winkleheimer said...

"Our economy needs to work for everybody, not just hedge fund managers and silk stocking law firms. We need a health care system which delivers quality care to all. Why have we given up on an America which delivers on its promise to all?"

If you tried to tell that person that that message was what got Trump elected they would shriek like a vampire tricked into drinking holy water.

rcocean said...

So far, the CV-19 crisis has been almost entirely a NY-NJ crisis. Out of 42,000 deaths, 25,000 are in NY-NJ-Conn. Four times as many people in NJ have died as in Calf.

Fernandinande said...

"Why have we given up on an America which delivers on its promise to all?"

Not worth the hassle.

rcocean said...

"I lived a half hour from NYC by train for 20 years and never went there."

Is that a boast or words of regret?

gilbar said...

If Half the Country's Deaths Were in Montana, Would New York Shut Down?

More realistic Question
If Half the Country's Deaths Were in Montana, Would New York even NOTICE?

Balfegor said...

Re: Sebastian:

Still, the NYC experience intensified The Panic of 2020. What if we are all like NYC! We just don't know, so let's do the most drastic and destructive thing possible!

I think part of this is that the people who live and work in NYC have a heavy psychological investment in the idea that they do things better than people elsewhere in the US. And the reality that they screwed up their response to the coronavirus worse than almost anywhere else in the developed world is producing massive cognitive dissonance. I think that's part of why you see them flailing for someone else to blame: that it's Trump's fault NY didn't do what California did, or that it's all because Fox News didn't make the threat posed by coronavirus clear (not that the New York Times or CNN did either). I think the constant assertion that everywhere else in the US was going to go through what NY had gone through was part of this too -- the desire to reassure themselves that as a society they really did the best they could, and everyone else was just a few weeks behind.

It's been a few weeks, though, and it's now clear that the rest of the country isn't just a few weeks behind New York. Most of the rest of the country is on a different, much better trajectory, with a few exceptions. New York really has been uniquely inept in its response.

daskol said...

I haven't lived in Manhattan since the 90s. I work there, but besides the occasional museum or play or restaurant rarely venture there for recreation. There are some nice areas to live that feel still like a neighborhood, but most of Manhattan does have an overbuilt, unnatural "playground of the world's affluent trash" feel to it. Outer boroughs all the way.

rcocean said...

Some of the worst New Yorkers are those born in the South and Midwest. They're more Royalist than the King. Shaking the small town dust off their boots they came to the big city determined to snobby, urbane sophisticates.

James K said...

What if we are all like NYC! We just don't know, so let's do the most drastic and destructive thing possible!

Fueled by NYC-oriented media, of course.


Actually it was mainly driven by what happened in Italy. In any case, I don't think you can blame NY for what the governors in places like CA and WI decided to do. They were just looking for reasons to flex their dictatorial and socialist impulses. They listened to the "experts" who told them what they wanted to hear.

Shouting Thomas said...

Those of you who think NYC won't be back should have been there during the shithole of the universe days of the crack epidemic.

The filth, crime, gang domination of the streets and general air of perversion and madness was so odious and threatening that many corporations were talking about moving their HQs out to the suburbs to protect their employees.

I had six law firm clients at the time, and I generally did shift work. Finding competent people willing to brave venturing out at night into the brawl was so difficult that all six firms gave me a package of vouchers for limos and I took one to work and another back home.

And then, Sheriff Rudi rode into town.

Bilwick said...

"'I lived a half hour from NYC by train for 20 years and never went there.'

"Is that a boast or words of regret?"

It reminds me of those inevitable comments, when a popular tv show is under discussion, "I never watched it." As Steve Allen used to say, "From the movie 'Who Cares?'"

narciso said...

it would be interesting what a dispatch from London, would indicate like that book by ben Judah which oddly hasn't been stocked in many bookstores, about the disparities in that city from the riches of Chelsea to the less well off in Tottenham, for shorthands sake,

rcocean said...

"seem for whatever reason to attract a lot of anti-NYC comments (made, I suspect, mostly by people from the sticks who see it as Babylon on the Hudson)"

Sorry pal. The picture in your head doesn't match reality. New Yorkers are like the self-centered braggart at work. They think everyone who criticizes them is motivated by envy and jealousy, when we just want them to shut up and stop praising themselves.

Mr Wibble said...

The two blogs I look at most regularly--this one, and Instapunit--seem for whatever reason to attract a lot of anti-NYC comments (made, I suspect, mostly by people from the sticks who see it as Babylon on the Hudson);

The dislike stems in large part from the attempts by too many on the left to try and turn everywhere else into another NYC. Politicians push mass transit and dense housing in areas where it makes no sense. Hipsters try to turn midwestern cities into an imitation of the Brooklyn they can't afford to move to. It's the same reason that people hate Californians: LA may be wonderful to visit, but I don't want Denver turning into it.

Yancey Ward said...

I always loved spending the weekend in NYC- I usually went 4-5 times a year when I lived in western Connecticut. Always made for a great date weekend with whoever I was seeing at the time, but I was there at the city's recent peak (late 90s to late oughts). Only hiccup that entire time was 9-11.

Temujin said...

This whole thing completely dumps the new urbanists who have been working to proclaim that the suburbs must be eliminated, the exurbs bulldozed over, and everyone outside of rural areas needed to move into denser cities that build up, not out. Individual transportation had to go, while public transportation (subways, busses, high speed rail) was to replace our cars. Multiple families in every building- no exceptions. Except for those granted exceptions- of course.

We've had a couple of decades of urbanists proclaiming this was the future.

However, even before Covidamania the actual numbers showed that the people had no desire for this plan whatsoever. The suburbs continue to be the fastest growing areas, with exurban rings continuing to grow around most metropolitan areas. (New York being the exception). Now that the virus has injected itself into our world, the new urbanists may have been the first casualties. Want to live among a few million, right on top of each other, taking the subway or train to work with them, and standing shoulder to shoulder while you wait for some take-out Chinese food?

As for the rural areas, at this point I think even the new urbanists would agree- we should leave the farms alone. As it turns out, that's where the food comes from. Huh. Who'd a thought that?

Funny thing is- the 'experts' who spend so much time telling us how to live, have been so spectacularly wrong on so many topics for so many years, it's a wonder that they aren't just laughed off of any medium in which they appear. Going forward, I hope they are.

Nonapod said...

I greatly dislike cities. I don't fully understand the appeal of living so closely packed in. But up till now there has been a general trend of more and more people moving into cities. Somthing like 60% of humans worldwide now live in cities. This may be practical in the short term but I don't think that's a good thing or even a necessary thing in the longer term.

One hope I have is that in the aftermath of this pandemic we start to see a reversal f the trend of urbanization. With the rise of the internet and telecommuting and the gradual robotization of all manual labor I just don't see the need for everyone to live packed on top of each other in the long run. I could be wrong. Maybe we're doomed to a future of gargantuan arcologies and vast urban sprawl like Mega City One in Judge Dredd or Coruscant in Star Wars. I sure hope not though.

daskol said...

Bagel shop in New Jersey burns.

How many of you can figure out why I posted this?


Perhaps you have a keen nose for insurance fraud?

I Have Misplaced My Pants said...

the yokels complain about New Yorkers being rude, but I never experienced widespread rudeness until I moved to this sprawling cultural wasteland

Agree. I committed a very embarrassing yokelish faux pas in that in a coffee shop in Rockefeller Center I ordered vanilla in my latte. The girl behind the counter very kindly said they did not have flavored syrups but offered me some sugar. She had every right in the world to treat my stupid tourist ass like the moron from the Starbucks sticks that I presented as, but she was courteous and kind and sweet about it. If that had happened in, say, Bellevue, Washington, the barista would have been a gigantic asshole. Trust me; that is where I am from.

I haven't lived in New York but have travelled there many times and and my husband grew up there and goes back (or did, pre-corona) approximately once a month for work. I have never experienced this legendary New York rudeness. But I have also spent plenty of time in the kind of new cities in the south that you describe and there is definitely a kind of vacuous self-centeredness that I suppose you get when you choose a place to live based on the availability of chain stores, freeway access roads and subdivisions named after what was paved over to build them. I am not denigrating those places, exactly, just agreeing with you.

narciso said...

this isn'r a problem unique to nyc slate also snipes at desantis, because reasons,

stevew said...

Many people are naturally pessimistic and looking to anticipate the worst case. NYC will be back to its pre-virus vibrancy shortly after the shelter in place order is removed.

Bay Area Guy said...

A gentle reminder -- up until a month or 2 ago, the NYC subways had an average daily ridership of 5.4 Million people. Lotta places to go, lotta New Yorkers goin' there.

NYC subway opened in 1904, at which time, NY had 3.4 Million people -- even way back then! By 1940, NYC had 7.5 Million people. So this has been going on for decades, even a century.

Lotta "modes of transmission" on uptown express. Every day. Strangers. Coughing and sneezing. Close quarters. No open windows. Quite the opposite of social distancing.

And, yet, no major viral outbreaks from 1918 (Spanish Flu) until 2020 (Kung Flu)?

Ignoring the "yuck factor," how is that possible?

narciso said...

slate buries the story on the nyc subways, because you can't point fingers at other than trump,

TreeJoe said...

I travel a good bit for a living, mainly to major cities in the U.S.

I have an expense account that covers all my personal and professional expenses on such travel, so I'm fairly inured from prices but I'm still aware of them since I grew up in the 20-40% income quintile for the first 20 years of life.

And I had a job whose office was in Manhattan from 2015-2017 where I went there ~3x a month.

Manhattan to me is ridiculous as a major city that is considered desirable to visit or live in. It's extremely dirty - both looking and in reality. It's extremely cramped - both in population density and by design. It's ludicrously expensive - real estate, food, taxi's, business services, hotels, tourist stuff, retail goods. All marked up ~30% compared to many other standard city fare like Philadelphia, Baltimore, Orlando, Miami, San Diego, Seattle...

It's taxed to death yet has horrible infrastructure. Government has sought to reduce the ability to drive in and out of the city through excessive fees on every part of driving or owning a car around the city. Roads are in terrible conditions. Subways are not in great conditions either.

The city relies upon an underbelly of people to make it run but who can't afford to live there unless it's 3+ entry level workers sharing a very small apartment.

Frankly, I hope one outcome of this pandemic is the pendulum beginning to swing back towards ex-urbanization and to help further grow suburbs and rural areas. We don't need to pack people in like sardines anymore in cities in this age of remote service work. We can and should be more diffuse. For so many reasons.





GRW3 said...

There's been some bellyaching that the rest of the country hasn't stood up for New York like after 9/11. I suppose that's sort of true but there are a couple of good reasons. First, unlike 9/11 the whole country is experiencing this China Virus problem. We're shocked and concerned at the magnitude of the NY toll but we have our own issues with which to deal. Second, this was not a terrorist attack (assuming the CCP wasn't just incompetent and decided to let the problem ride for a potential benefit) delivered by airplane. Some of their problem was clearly self inflicted.

Also, anybody that thinks Trump doesn't care about New York hasn't watched the Virus Press Briefings where he talks about the Elmhurst Hospital, near his boyhood home in Queens. You can tell by the anguish on his face it's personal.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

Bilwick said The two blogs I look at most regularly--this one, and Instapunit--seem for whatever reason to attract a lot of anti-NYC comments (made, I suspect, mostly by people from the sticks who see it as Babylon on the Hudson);

The points being made by people who are sick of NYC are

1. The trend to want to force everyone to BE like NYC (or insert other Big City) and put us all into densely packed urban areas. Eliminate cars. Mass transportation. No more individual houses or yards. Everyone on top of each other. Packed in like sardines. How dare others want to live not like NYC.

2. During this current event (I hesitate to say crisis) the whole damned country...hell the whole WORLD, should be treated the same way as NYC (or other urban cesspits). Montana is not NYC. Hell, upstate NY is not NYC.

Look. People can live where they like. You aren't slaves. MOVE or STAY. I lived in SF for some years and while living there appreciated and still miss "some" of the features...like restaurants, museums, concerts, shopping. The downsides more than outweighed those few upsides.

I don't denigrate people who live there or wish them ill. That is their choice to stay. Mine was to leave. Live in NYC and think it is the center of the universe if you like....however.....be aware that many many others don't hold that view.

Choices. My choice should not be forced upon everyone. NYC (SF, LA, etc) should not be forced on others.

Perhaps some of the 'rudeness' you are experiencing is from the tendency of Urban Dwellers to move someplace and constantly say..."Weeellll back in NYC/SF we did it THIS way...sniff." (because obviously, your way is soooo much better/sophisticates and you all are a bunch of deplorable, uneducated rubes)

The unspoken thought is if you think that NYC is so freaking hot and want to do it that way... go the F home then. Don't let the door hitya where the Good Lord split ya.

Howard said...

Good. Those rat dwelling Libtards deserve this collapse of their house of cards by over-reacting to a normal flu season.

James K said...

Only hiccup that entire time was 9-11.

Other than that, Mrs. Lincoln, how was the play?

More like a heart attack than a hiccup, but the city did recover well until DeBlasio came along to try to bring us back to the pre-Giuliani days.

Patrick Henry was right! said...

What, no $500.00 per night hotel rooms anymore????!!!!
The horror!!!!!

Shouting Thomas said...

Good. Those rat dwelling Libtards deserve this collapse of their house of cards by over-reacting to a normal flu season.

As soon as I can, I'll take a trip to NYC to see what's really happening.

I doubt that the media is telling the truth (or capable of telling the truth) even about that.

I bet the hustlers are still hustling, the con men are still conning, the whores are still whoring and the financiers and lawyers are still minting coin.

Life is a Carnival, from my old friends from Woodstock, may most of them RIP.

Patrick Henry was right! said...

What, no more $500.00 per might hotel rooms???!!!
Why, its the end of civilization!!!
The horror!!!!!

Bilwick said...

"'seem for whatever reason to attract a lot of anti-NYC comments (made, I suspect, mostly by people from the sticks who see it as Babylon on the Hudson),

"Sorry pal. The picture in your head doesn't match reality. New Yorkers are like the self-centered braggart at work. They think everyone who criticizes them is motivated by envy and jealousy, when we just want them to shut up and stop praising themselves."

Sorry, mac: The picture in your head doesn't match the picture actually in my head. What I wrote was solely impressionistic. The word "seem" and the phrase "I suspect" should have been the tip-off. But my impression wasn't formed in a bubble: it came from people I worked with. As usual, your mileage may vary.

Lucien said...

Pants:
If you keep talking that way about envy you’ll never make a good socialist.

narciso said...

a punch to the solar plexus, certainly,

Bilwick said...

Dust Bunny Queen, I try to keep my "well, back in NYC we did things this way" to myself or my close friends, mostly. One of them used to object to my complaints, but even she--who has lived here longer than I have--has started calling this megalopolis (so aptly described by "I Misplaced My Pants in a post above) "Stupid Town." It isn't so much stupidity as a widespread complacency. In NYC (at least when I lived there--and that is my constant caveat) there was an expectation of competence and efficiency. You didn't always get it, but you expected it, and that seemed to make a difference. This place always reminds me of JFK's description (which I think he lifted from an earlier source) of Washington DC being a town that "combines Northern Charm with Southern efficiency." Or, if you like, a town that combines First World technology with Third World efficiency.

Personally I don't want to force anyone to live like I lived in Manhattan in days of yore. After I left NYC (the result of being conned by a "close friend" to leave the city for an alleged "great opportunity" in the Sun Belt), I lived in the country, and liked what it had to offer just fine. For one thing, I liked their directness and openness about who and what they were. Here in the Sun Belt megalopolis you get a kind of surface politeness that conceals very unevolved ethics.

Skookum John said...

Even in the Giuliani/Bloomberg years, I couldn’t bear to be in New York City for more than 36 hours at a time. One of my two least-favorite cities, the other being Las Vegas. I doubt I will ever set foot there again.

narciso said...

pther problems

Yancey Ward said...

Daskol for the win. Expect this sort of thing to go exponential if the lockdown doesn't end, and to increase regardless now. Arson has employment opportunities.

Bay Area Guy said...

Last time in NYC, hmm, Spring of 2018? Yes, we went to Walt Frazier's bar/restaurant on the west side with a buncha uncles/aunts and cousins. Also, dinner at Tavern on the Green, after some museums and strolls thru Central Park.

Obviously, I don't live there, so almost all my memories of visiting are highly positive!

Jamie said...

I lived in London after college for a time - lived poor, that is. My then-boyfriend and I loved it madly, though we didn't have the money to go, even once, to a West End show that wasn't years old, and without a pillar literally in front of our seats (half price ticket booths, you know...) or to a restaurant with tablecloths. But we loved it anyway.

So I imagine that if I lived in NYC, I'd find that I loved it there too, despite my now-husband's continued frugality. We lived in the Philly suburbs for 12 years, and never once during that time, for all our many day trips into NYC (never stayed overnight - why should we, when we had a lovely, 3,600sf house on an acre just two hours away, in a neighborhood so safe that we literally sometimes left our door unlocked when we went on vacation?) did I either see a show, any show, much less on Broadway, or eat at a restaurant with tablecloths. My husband traveled there for business a lot, slept and ate on someone else's dime, and knew how much it all cost. So my typical NYC experience was walking around Central Park and eating from a hot dog vendor's cart. Ah, romance is alive. You'd better believe I remind him of that all the time!

But. I am heartily sick of the dismissiveness of city-dwellers generally toward those who make a different choice. I'm perfectly fine with people whose lifestyle calculus is "pro - more restaurants and a higher entertainment standard; con - smaller and dingier living space." Why can they not be perfectly fine with my current "pro - my backyard is like a resort; con - not as many mom-and-pop places, so I have to look harder to find them"?

Original Mike said...

Blogger I Have Misplaced My Pants said..."I don't care if the fabulously wealthy hoard some of their fabulous wealth. They also employ people and fund philanthropic activities that make all of our lives better. How does a person experience, say, the Art Institute of Chicago and on her way out look at that giant wall with donors' names and think Screw those rich assholes instead of Thank you so much for enabling what I was just able to add to my brain and my heart?? If you do that, the problem is with you. You'll be a miserable envious person no matter what you have."

This.

Shouting Thomas said...

And, professor, without NYC and a an army of Jewish managers, lawyers, agents and flacks, there would be no Bob Dylan.

Whether that is a good or bad thing is a matter of taste.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

Bilwick The word "seem" and the phrase "I suspect" should have been the tip-off. But my impression wasn't formed in a bubble: it came from people I worked with. As usual, your mileage may vary. Complaining about the people who live in "Stupid Town" that he has moved to, where people don't act or think the way he thinks they should.

I don't know you so of course my impression is only from what you are writing and you may not be what you "seem". I may be totally off base.

Have you ever heard the saying "if everyone around you seems like an asshole, you're the asshole," ...?

Moving to a small city or an environment or culture that you aren't used to DOES take some adjusting. On your part. It is like the British Colonist moving to India and complaining about all the Indian culture, smelly food and why can't they just be British.

The joke in the area that I live in now is that it takes 15 years before you become a "local". It is hard because things are different. The first thing you learn is to not bitch about things....until you become a local...THEN bitch away. Either you adapt. Or you don't. It isn't up to other people to adapt to you.

Original Mike said...

Blogger Bay Area Guy said..."NYC subway opened in 1904, at which time, NY had 3.4 Million people -- even way back then! By 1940, NYC had 7.5 Million people. So this has been going on for decades, even a century.

Lotta "modes of transmission" on uptown express. Every day. Strangers. Coughing and sneezing. Close quarters. No open windows. Quite the opposite of social distancing.

And, yet, no major viral outbreaks from 1918 (Spanish Flu) until 2020 (Kung Flu)?

Ignoring the "yuck factor," how is that possible?"


It's called an immune system. Wish I still had one.

Original Mike said...

"… but the city did recover well until DeBlasio came along to try to bring us back to the pre-Giuliani days."

Whenever I lapse toward sympathy for New Yorkers I am reminded that they did this to themselves.

Shouting Thomas said...

Here, I’ll settle this.

NYC is every bit the grand and wonderful Oz of my dreams.

NYC is the miserable shithole and Gotham of your nightmares.

Ain’t that grand?

James K said...

But. I am heartily sick of the dismissiveness of city-dwellers generally toward those who make a different choice.

It seems that there's as much dismissiveness going in the other direction as there is in the one you're sick of. How about a ceasefire?

Ambrose said...

Re the comment - it irks me when someone says something or someone else "needs" to describe what the speaker "wants."

Sebastian said...

Donald: "My understanding is that this virus’ like all other virus’s, HAS to cycle through the population to establish immunity and that all the actions being taken are to lengthen this process due to a fear of overwhelming hospitals, supplies etc...Not one of them will even address my question."

Well, yeah, that's The Panic of 2020 for you. Nature will take its course. Nature always takes its course. Herd immunity helps humans deal with nature, it is part of nature. Targeted isolation to lighten potential hospital demand made sense, but even that turned out to be unnecessary.

Blogger daskol said..."So it's really hard to imagine NYC of two months ago coming back because indeed the density, the crowds, the subway all feel very different to most of us now, threatening and dangerous in a way that will be hard to forget . . . This pandemic targets NYC's lifestyle."

Perhaps. We know certain groups will remain at risk for some time. The Panic itself may linger, the insanity epidemic may leave a legacy. But healthy young people are at little risk, and herd immunity will build, so soon a large segment of the population will go back to its "lifestyle." Not that I would like to descend into the bowels of the NYC subway, but that's a pre-Panic preference.

With every bit of data that comes out, it's becoming even more clear, what the data have shown from the outset, that WuFlu is nasty for particular groups but not "threatening" to "most of us."

Sebastian said...

"Targeted isolation to lighten potential hospital demand made sense, but even that turned out to be unnecessary"

Clarification: While hospitals manage well enough to undercut half the rationale for the shutdowns, targeted isolation still makes sense as a preventive health measure. Old people out of the stores, nursing homes closed, grandkids not visiting -- etc.

In fact, we still need better services for the old and sick. Example: WSJ had a piece on two guys with cerebral palsy. One was worried about navigating his wheelchair at the store. Why? WTF?

Yancey Ward said...

It is apparent we could have cut the deaths in half if we had just housed COVID-19 patients in their own separate hospitals with their own separate staff; and if we had just closed the nursing homes to visitors, and banned the staff from working anywhere else if they chose to keep the job (we could have paid them with CARES funds to take this burden on). Then, all you really need to do is to test these staff every couple of days and monitor them for symptoms. All the other elderly would be the responsibility of themselves, or their family members.

All the data suggests half the deaths are from nursing homes, and I suspect a good fraction of the rest are from patients who caught the disease in the hospitals while they were there for some other ailment.

MayBee said...

Pritzker announced last night that Illinois is going to increase testing in nursing homes. Which seems like a heck of a good idea.

daskol said...

I know it's early and there's conflicting data, but the subway and other public commuter transport does seem to have been a major transmission vector. It makes sense: it's why in addition to the measures some suggest with respect to protecting relatively easily protected vulnerable populations, common sense advice about masks and travel, both international and local, would have gone a long ways to mitigating the spread in NYC. We need to be prepared to seal our national borders promptly in the future. Had we taken such a step along with common sense protection for individuals such as work from home if you can and wear a mask in public, and a localized lockdown for hotspots, hard to imagine the need for the national lockdown. Act early, aggressively and it will be more effective and cheaper, and will prevent the petty tyrants from exploiting a crisis.

daskol said...

I have to take a drive each morning across my borough, and I have observed a change in the last couple of weeks: traffic was dead for a few weeks, whatever the time of day. There's a rush hour again now in the morning, anyway. People have grown restless, even in NYC. Those who aren't interested in resorting to arson are reopening in whatever way they can. Even my favorite local pizza shop, where the owner is an old-timer and owns his building, has re-opened after closing for a few weeks. I see fitness classes being conducted on the sidewalks or street areas in front of gyms. Politicians better keep up or they'll lose what authority they still have, which in NYC for deBlasio and even Cuomo isn't a whole lot to begin with.

Monica said...

I have repeatedly seen exhortations to shut the NYC subway down, but as others have mentioned in this thread, they really can't because too many people have no other way to get around.

Why does no one mention Japan? They have an equally (if not more) crowded subway system in several cities, yet their cases did not skyrocket like New York's did. Why not? If we can figure that out, and emulate it, the subway as a disease vector may be greatly mitigated. A few guesses I've heard: mask use (which New York was not encouraged to do), lack of handshaking, and no chitchat while on the train.

daskol said...

Actually, there were some articles late last week about a resurgence in numbers in Tokyo, with speculation based on where the cases were found that it was being driven by their mass transit.

Birkel said...

The comment reflects an attitude toward control. That is the Left's only purpose. They want to exercise power.

No!

Yancey Ward said...

"Why does no one mention Japan? They have an equally (if not more) crowded subway system in several cities, yet their cases did not skyrocket like New York's did. Why not?"

There is a concerted effort in the media, as I write this, to claim that Japan exploding with COVID-19 cases and deaths- similar to the effort to discredit the Swedes. When the numbers don't bear out the claims, then they claim the numbers are fake, but they never offer any support for the claim.

daskol said...

The numbers in Tokyo were "soaring," to a whopping 143/day a couple weeks ago.

daskol said...

In NYC, we would poke fun at the little old Asian ladies walking around with surgical masks during flu season or on days of particularly bad air quality. We are all little old Asian ladies now.

Bilwick said...


'Have you ever heard the saying 'if everyone around you seems like an asshole, you're the asshole?" Indeed I have. It is often used by assholes to justify their assholism. But seriously. . .

I don't think everyone around me is an asshole. But the narcissists and even sociopaths seem to predominate enough to set the pace in this city. (The identity of which you don't know, unless you've guessed, so therefore are unable to make an intelligent or well-informed defense of.) I've been fortunate to know a great many different types of people, and all the educated ones that have voiced any opinion of agree that there is something "low" (as one put it) about the collective consciousness of this megalopolis. The WSJ captured it when they called the town "the Big Hustle." There was another WSJ article that described the place as being overly concerned with the Fast Buck and "underly" concerned with culture and the arts. So while my opinion may be in the minority, it is not exclusive to me. Again, your mileage may vary. If you like rural or suburban life, fine and dandy. I just miss being around people who read books (even non-fiction)* regularly or saw movies other than superhero movies.

*I mean other than "How to Make a Million Overnight" type books, or books about Jesus.

Buckwheathikes said...

Look folks; if Democrats want to claim they're the party of science, then that means they should be closing the subway in New York City.

MIT Scientists point to the subway as being a CRITICAL VECTOR point for the virus spread in New York City. That's the science.

So, if you're saying we have to run the subways, then you're just a science denier and you have ulterior motives. It means that you are willing to sacrifice the lives of some people so as not to inconvenience the lives of others.

That's anti-science and it's an immoral stance to take.

The subways in New York can absolutely be shut down or made exclusive ONLY for the use of medical personnel until such time as there is a vaccine available.

It's just not convenient to do that; so lives are being traded by Democrats for convenience sake.

Original Mike said...

"I just miss being around people who read books (even non-fiction)* regularly or saw movies other than superhero movies."

Just say 'deplorables'. It's shorter.

stlcdr said...

New york, or any metropolitan city, is vulnerable to all kinds of man-made and non-man-made 'troubles'; huge over-reliance on others to provide essentially everything.

Power, water, transportation, heating, cooling, food. Even normal weather can cause issues.

Caligula said...

"The very features that make New York attractive to businesses, workers and tourists — Broadway, the subway system, world-class restaurants..."

Umm, the subway does not attract people to New York any more than high rents do: it's just what those without the means for something better must put up with.


So, the new headline: "Virus strikes, New Urbanists hardest hit." Yes, you still want to get everyone out of their cars and into crowded public transit??

Readering said...

I would read the article but I have to find and put on my silk stockings to jump on a zoom call.

Krumhorn said...

Why have we given up on an America which delivers on its promise to all?

All we have been promised is the pursuit of happiness. We have not been promised that we will all actually find it. I can’t think of a better way to define the difference between the deplorables and the lefties.

- Krumhorn

Robert Cook said...

"Umm, the subway does not attract people to New York any more than high rents do: it's just what those without the means for something better must put up with."

It's not something by itself that would attract one to move to NYC, but, having lived here for 39 years, I have happy as hell to have it. It's not something I just "put up with," I consider it one of the great advantages of the city. I love not having to drive, and Il love being able to read while commuting. Thank Dog (sic) I don't have to be burdened with owning a car! I did own a car for about three years when I lived in Florida before moving here, bought used from my brother. Having a car is a great convenience, and driving could be meditative...at times when traffic was thin (i.e., later at night). However, the downsides are: cost of purchase, cost of insurance, cost of gas, cost of maintenance and repairs, and cost of replacement when the car is done. A comprehensive transit system of cars and buses is a gem in any great city, and that America as a whole has shitty public transit is a testament to the successful machinations of those who wanted Americans to buy cars, cars, and more cars decades ago.

Bilwick said...

"Umm, the subway does not attract people to New York any more than high rents do: it's just what those without the means for something better must put up with."

Unlike Dust Bunny Queen and other Althouse commenters, I'm not a mind-reader, so I can't tell you if people who have moved to NYC in the recent past have been drawn to it by the subway, or not. It's been decades since I moved from NYC to Appalachia and then to The Big Hustle, and my impression is that a lot of residents there now are a different breed than the New Yorkers of yesteryear. But as dirty and unpunctual as they often were, I for one miss the subways and the ease of getting around the city in a relatively short amount of time. When I lived in midtown Manhattan, I could jog around the neighborhood in the pre-dawn hours, hop a train to the office, get there early enough to read a book before work, then in the evening go to the gym or dojo and still have enough time to take some kind of class in the evening, stop off at the corner grocery on mway home, and still get home early enough to do yoga, meditate and read before bedtime. You can't live that kind of life where
you have to sit in traffic for hours.

As a friend of mine, a Southerner who lived here until he got disgusted with it, once said to me before he moved, "I'm tired of having to get in my car and drive to a convenience store every time I need a quart of milk."

Lurker21 said...

Is NYC really that much more educated or cultured than any number of college towns, suburbs or smaller cities? NYC has people who want to be big players in the arts and people who have money, but does the city actually have a monopoly on people who read books and see non-Marvel movies? That's doubtful. The case seems to be similar with San Francisco, except that SF's reputation is even more inflated than NYC's.

Because so many essential workers in NYC don't have cars they have to keep the subways open. They are much less crowded now, and I assume people are wearing masks.

Robert Cook said...

"As a friend of mine, a Southerner who lived here until he got disgusted with it, once said to me before he moved, 'I'm tired of having to get in my car and drive to a convenience store every time I need a quart of milk.'"

BOY HOWDY!

robother said...

A duly elected Congress critter from NYC was on Twitter just last night, glorying in the downfall of the oil and gas industry, heralding the New Green Deal. Far from decrying the demise of all things tourism in NYC, New Yorkers should realize that they are living in their green paradise on Earth. 94% reduction in domestic air travel? Great, lets make it 100%! And buy local--eliminate all food deliveries into NYC, befouling our air and hogging the bike lanes. There's plenty of artisanal veggies growing in Brooklyn and Bronx Community gardens. Pasta? We've just enough time to plow up and plant NGO wheat in JFK and Laguardia, for a fall harvest.
Occasio Cortez, this is your closeup moment.

Bilwick said...

"Is NYC really that much more educated or cultured than any number of college towns, suburbs or smaller cities? NYC has people who want to be big players in the arts and people who have money, but does the city actually have a monopoly on people who read books and see non-Marvel movies? That's doubtful."

I don't know because as I said it's been decades since I marooned myself in the Sun Belt, and I'm guessing the Rise of the Dumbest Generation has lowered the collective cultural-literacy rate in NYC as well as elsewhere. It certainly was true when I lived there, compared to the cultural wasteland where I now live; at least based on my experience. I was saddened when a couple of years ago I read a book about Elaine's, the now-defunct restaurant and watering hole that one might view as the epicenter of what I think of as "my" York." The author in a closing chapter said that if one were to visit Elaine's in its twilight years, you would find the same type of show-biz hustler and yuppie scum one might find in Los Angeles. (And I would say, here.)

Meanwhile, someone--sounds like another in Althouse's Legion of Mind-Readers--says that I should just call the kind of unlettered philistine I describe "deplorables." Because that's a Hillary term, and I am nothing like a Hillary person. I prefer the late Jean Shepherd's term, "The Slob." And I'm always remembering Shepherd's statement that The Slob's track-record isn't much better than The Intellectual.

stevew said...

Further to my previous comment: lots of people are quite happy, energized even, to go out of their way to piss on people that have made different choices in their life around where to live, who to love, what to do for work, who to vote for, etc. Sad.

When not in lock down I visit NYC regularly. When I am at home I am in a rural suburb of Boston, about 25 miles from downtown. I love visiting and staying in NYC, but living there, or in any city, is not for me.

Balfegor said...

Re: daskol

We hit 201 new cases in Tokyo on 4/17. Prior high was 197 on 4/11. Total for Tokyo is a bit over 3,100 right now, but new case growth seems to be slowing. Yesterday was 123. The days before were 107 and 102 (although casegrowth is typically lighter on the weekends and Monday because some doctors and test labs take the weekend off).

I think the big change was the governor asking large businesses to switch as many office employees as possible to telework (~4/10). Lessens the chance of infection spreading through the office, and especially lessens chance of it spreading through the subways. Last week, subway use on the Toei subway line was down 65% during major commuting hours, which would translate to a reduction of pairwise interactions of about 90%. Hopefully that will have an effect -- we should see this week.

Since 4/12, there has been a big jump in calls to the coronavirus call center from about 1,000 calls per day to about 2,000 calls per day. That's for people with mild symptoms, e.g. a cough or a fever that lasts only a day. The examination consultation line for people with more severe symptoms, e.g. trouble breathing or a sustained fever, has held pretty steady with weekday numbers between 1,500 and 2,000 per day. If I eyeball it, I see a slight increase at the end of March and the start of April, followed by a slight decrease, but it's really basically flat. So while I do think Tokyo is undertesting now (they are getting positivity rates of 35-45%, aggregating across days, with the caveat that the number of people tested denominator excludes tests by medical institutions, so the real positivity rate is lower), we're not seeing an explosive increase in new possible cases coming in through the consultation line.

All told, I'm pretty optimistic at the moment.

n.n said...

Why have we given up on an America which delivers on its promise to all?

Individual dignity, intrinsic value, and inordinate worth, too. We need to lose our Pro-Choice religion, and recognize s separation of Church and State. #NoDiversity #EqualNotPC #HateLovesAbortion

Kai Akker said...

I hope they stop inflating the death numbers by counting folks with real other diseases, who are "presumed" to have the virus

@BayAreaGuy Very good comment on NYC out of which this is taken. I could relate to a lot of what you recalled and evoked. Shouting Thomas at 856 a.m. also right on the money!

But the above -- it's time to retire this argument, please. They count the actual flu deaths the same way. With even more estimation. So let's stop pretending there is some apples-to-dapples comparison that is being maneuvered by our political enemies to fool all the other guys. They are trying to get the most accurate numbers they can. In no case are any of these widespread diseases counted by abacus for a perfect clean clear single number.

Jamie said...

There was a call up-thread for a cease fire between the urbanists and the suburbanite/rural/small town faction. I call false equivalence: public policy is, too often, driven by the forces of urbanism, and "informed," if you can call it that, by the "concerns" of urbanists that the other side just isn't up to the task of self-government.

So yes, I'm still sick of the city-dwellers' overly influential belief that my suburban life is empty and soulless, simply by virtue of its physical details and location. I don't believe their lives are empty and soulless - and indeed, we have plans to move downtown for a while, for grins, once we no longer need good public schools; I only know that right now, and for me, it's not the best option.

IOW, they threw the first punch, and the second, and the third, and until they stop trying to run my life by setting policy, I will consider it appropriate for me to keep my hands up.

Monica said...

Thanks, Balfoger and daskol. So we have maybe around 200 new cases a day in Tokyo, which had over 9 million people in 2015 (a little more than NYC), compared to around 5000 new cases in NYC? (Source: https://www1.nyc.gov/site/doh/covid/covid-19-data-archive.page) Testing rates are very low though (923 per million in Japan vs. 33K per million in New York, according to worldometers.info). OTOH maybe they've got fewer people with the requisite symptoms. I'll keep watching with interest.

daskol said...

Thanks Balfegor, that's great info that is not easy to come by in English. Sounds encouraging. In particular for NYC area shut-ins, since sounds like work from home is going to be with us for a while.

BAS said...

So after all this trouble New York should be close to herd immunity. If this virus comes around a second time - and we should probably assume it will New York will not suffer nearly as much as other states.

Howard said...

Balfegor, what's the percentage of people wearing masks in public in Tokyo?

bagoh20 said...

If you wanted to hurt America with a biological weapon it would be hard to skip over New York City. Compared to the damage possible from a contagion designed as a weapon, this virus was like a musket compared to a nuclear warhead. If you had such a weapon and the vaccine, what could you make the United States do?

bagoh20 said...

"Why have we given up on an America which delivers on its promise to all?"

When was that? Other than products created and produced by private companies, I don't see much ever was delivered to all.

Bay Area Guy said...

Does anyone know if those great old Italian restaurants on Mulberry Steet, lower east side, are still there? I hope they survive this mess. used to love those places, even as a kid. Delicioso! We weren't even Italian (Polish-Gernan), but one of my uncles married an Italian gal and over the years he just started to look and tawk Italian himself. I married an Italian gal too. Fuhgeddaboudit!

Balfegor said...

Re: Howard:

I'm mostly puttering around at home since the governor requested people avoid unnecessary excursions so I don't have a clear impression of mask-wearing rates now.

I did go for an unnecessary long walk on Sunday, though (through Hibiya and the Ginza -- wanted to see if the wisteria in Hibiya Park were in bloom but no luck) and nearly everyone was wearing a mask. There were a handful of people with no masks, and a handful more with the masks exposing the nose, but I'd guess 90%+ masked up. My impression is that mask use is back up to where it was in early March. When I returned to Tokyo March 18, my impression was that mask wearing was significantly down, but it increased again after we had two days with 40+ new cases March 24-25.

Howard said...

Thanks Balfegor.

Balfegor said...

Re: Monica

The ~200 daily total is for the entirety of Tokyo, or about 14 million, not just the 23 wards that used to be Tokyo City until the Tojo administration merged the city with Tokyo prefecture.

Tokyo is definitely undertesting, but it's hard to say how much. That's why I think the trends on the two call centre figures are important, particularly the examination consultation line. If we were experiencing a sharp increase in cases that weren't getting tested, or for which testing was delayed due to capacity issues (NHK reported that this was an issue in some wards), I would expect to see the number of calls increasing, but we aren't seeing a clear upward trend. Rather, much like the daily new case figures, we're seeing the daily calls bounce around in roughly the same range these past three weeks. So the available data suggests to me that the situation is mostly stable. Which is good.

That said, even with stable growth, the pressure on the health system is growing. Some of the biggest clusters in Tokyo have been at hospitals, e.g. the cluster at the Eijuu hospital in Taito ward has over 200 people to date, and seems to have spawned a second cluster at Keio. Egota hospital in Nakano ward had at least 90 people, but I think they're still testing possible contacts. And there have been others. Most hospitals are declining patients with possible coronavirus symptoms to protect their patients and staff, resulting in stories about people having to call 50 or 100 hospitals before they find one that will take them. And the pressure on the system is exacerbated by the fact that every time there's a hospital cluster, that hospital shuts down new admissions and sends a huge chunk of its personnel into self isolation while they test and trace.

320Busdriver said...

The subways in New York can absolutely be shut down or made exclusive ONLY for the use of medical personnel until such time as there is a vaccine available.

Well, first you will have to eject the homeless from their new digs. That city won’t run without crowded subways and buses.

320Busdriver said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Lurker21 said...

Not sure what the "new urbanism" is about. Maybe about townhouses, and walking distances to the store rather than single family homes on large lots and shopping malls. Maybe about light rail or monorails, rather than highways or subways. Isn't it more about planned towns than about megacities? You can create a "new urbanist" community in the suburbs. It's a lot tougher to do so in an existing city (though I suppose the option is there to remake Detroit into something new now that so many people have moved out).

Bunkypotatohead said...

"Our whole society, not just NYC, needs structural change."
Vote Republican for a change.