Unfortunately I need to commute to the city now. I say this as a someone who has worked in Manhattan for a couple of decades and always enjoyed New York’s atmosphere.
Now, it is a troubling event from the start to get to work.
At the beginning of the day the Long Island Railroad is still running a modified schedule with limited service to Manhattan, while charging top-shelf pricing for the ride.
When you get off the train at Penn Station you enter a rat’s maze of paths to eventually get to the street due to reconstruction of the troubled train station, which fewer and fewer people need now. Staircases are closed and wooden barriers erected where once there was an exit. Oh and air condition is on a limited basis inn very few select places.
Once you are able to maneuver through the rat’s maze and arrive on the street, that is where the “fun” begins.
Midtown Manhattan streets are now home to every variety of homeless person and con artists. You cannot walk 20 feet without having a negative interaction with someone trying to get between you and your wallet.
There is no positive interaction with other commuters because everyone going to their office has a steely stare of just trying to get to work without becoming a headline in tomorrow’s paper. No one on the subway even approaches the edge of the platform to see if a train is coming for fear of winding up on the tracks from some deranged person pushing you over the edge.
There are no conversations between people you may see on a daily basis, because every commuter has their head on a swivel looking out for the next dangerous interaction with New York City’s new inhabitants.
I’m not sure how any tourist can enjoy being in Midtown these days. This is not the Manhattan that drew hordes for all the magically events and locations that New York once had. No, this Manhattan is an apocalyptic landscape, with zoombies like myself, trying to survive our commute a few days a week.
It’s a damn shame that Manhattan has morphed into the landscape envisioned in films like “Escape From New York.” But everyday the foolhearted like me must run this gauntlet to get to an office that is still threatening to demand mask wearing over the latest variant.
Is it any wonder why only 8% of Midttown office workers are back five days a week?
Not at all. The experience of going to the office has changed forever and probably for the better given what Midtown Manhattan has become under the recent Democratic leadership.
It’s no longer up to you New York, New York. It’s being left to the denizens of the streets to control Manhattan’s future and it’s bleak.