What’s there to say about New York City? Everything and nothing, really. The city speaks for itself, rising triumphantly out of the ground and into the sky. But while its landmarks — the Statue of Liberty, the Empire State Building, the Brooklyn Bridge — tell part of the story, it’s the whispers and yelling and stomping and rushing and laughter and tears of eight million individual souls across five sweeping boroughs that tell the other. Not to mention the eight million who came before and the eight million before them.
This year, 2020, New York had a new word attached to its story: epicenter. One day in March people took the subway to work and then took the subway home — not realizing that it would be the last time for a very long time. While desks gathered dust in Midtown towers, ambulances whirled and buzzed across the city, the world watched in shock and awe as a Navy hospital ship cruised down the Hudson, and rooftops and windows became a 7 p.m. social club of sorts, where previously unknown neighbors smiled and waved each night from a distance while clanging pots and pans for frontline workers.
Eventually, though, the sirens began to fade, the Navy ship returned to sea, and New York City opened its heavy, heavy eyes again. The fallout of the situation is real: we’ve lost our favorite restaurants, stores that always had just the right thing, and the curtains remain closed on Broadway. But New York City is a resilient one, home to resilient people.
New York City is not dead — and it will never be dead. At Travel + Leisure, we say New York City forever! Here, our love letter to the City That Never Sleeps in the form of a beautiful essay from a born and raised New Yorker, guides to experiencing the city virtually and safely in person, rebuttals from locals challenging the idea that New York is “over,” and more. We love you, New York, thanks for being our home.