NYC’s Quiet Rush Hour (video)

Walking the Pandemic in NYC

The city is eerily quiet these days. Fewer cars and buses on the streets, no sidewalk disputes, no children squealing in the playground.

Empty playground.

Without the usual ambient noise, other sounds seem louder. The pigeon family that hangs out on our window ledges seems to coo more loudly.

Pigeon parent (red eyes).
Pigeon baby (brown eyes).

Even the wing claps of rising flocks seem louder.

Rising flock.

The mockingbird on the roof seems to sing more wildly than ever.

Mockingbird not singing, for the moment.

And from our own perch above 109th Street, we hear ambulance sirens as we’ve never heard them before. There have been days when the sound of sirens threatened to merge into one continuous urban wail. Or so it seemed.

Happily, in recent days, the sirens have diminished in number. Maybe this is only at our neighborhood hospital, Mount Sinai Morningside (formerly Saint Luke’s). The news this morning reports that the daily death toll in New York has dropped below 500 for the second day in a row. Hospitals remain overwhelmed, and hospital workers are drawing on extraordinary personal reserves each day. I hope fewer sirens equates to fewer hospital admissions and is a sign that NYC is entering the long slow movement away from our COVID peak.

Mount Sinai Morningside – Emergency.

It’s going to be a long quiet haul. Last Friday around 5:15 PM, I stood on the roof of our building and thought the street sounded just the tiniest bit busier than usual. A bus belching down Broadway, one horn honking, a sparrow cheeping relentlessly. And then I realized, So this is what passes for Friday rush hour in the middle of a pandemic.

Have a look.

Explore posts in the same categories: 2020, In the City, Spring, Walking the Pandemic

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5 Comments on “NYC’s Quiet Rush Hour (video)”

  1. Charlotte Says:

    I’ve been meaning to tell you I saw a clip of a scientist from Cornell Labs explain why the birds are actually singing louder during the pandemic; can’t find it online but i can swear they are!

  2. Kurt Mantooth Says:


  3. Here in the Cape we’ve been tuning into Gov Cuomo’s updates on CNN, and awed to see the staunch commitment from health care workers under extreme hardships and the resilience of communities. You’ve been in thoughts, Melissa …. way back to visiting in 2015! Hope Esau is okay? Good to see your posts again. Hope you stay safe and healthy.

  4. memadtwo Says:

    The mockingbirds in Montclair are also singing lustily. We saw a fox last night and the deer are walking in groups across Valley Road.

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