Storefront message (Note to self: no boarded-up windows), SoHo, NYC, 3 June 2020

All of these photos were taken in Manhattan during the first two weeks of June 2020, at the moment when two social situations collided.  One was the first stage of reopening New York City, after the harrowing three-month quarantine against Covid-19.  The second was the rise for social justice after the gruesome killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis by police.  Right as the possibility for social mixing tempted, curfews locked down the city at sunset.  Riots and looting turned iconic districts into boarded up ghost towns.  Graffiti artists took to the plywood.  One artist summoned Superman.  Up and down SoHo and the Meatpacking district, we could read: "Superman, Save Us."  The toniest of boutiques hired artists too, branding themselves as aligned with solidarity and Black Lives Matter.  Which they do.  But some decisions carry a whiff of hypocrisy, just as others reveal privilege in softly insidious, but no less gruesome, ways.  Sidewalk parties outside bars, sidewalk tables at restaurants—social distancing, masking, and the memory of endless ambulance wails discarded.  But also—always, even, in New York—the finding of human poetry in the quietest of gestures.  Like a letter on a (not boarded-up) shop to the many who (with reason) feel they do not matter.  Or, the quiet nod from a fellow subway rider in the first days of protests and rioting, who raised his sign to be photographed.
Kendra Scott boutique, SoHo, NYC, 3 June 2020
Kendra Scott boutique, SoHo, NYC, 3 June 2020
Storefront message (Note to self: no boarded-up windows), SoHo, NYC, 3 June 2020
Storefront message (Note to self: no boarded-up windows), SoHo, NYC, 3 June 2020
Sidewalk Memorial to Don Corlecne, LES, New York, 4 June 2020
Sidewalk Memorial to Don Corlecne, LES, New York, 4 June 2020
Drinks, LES, New York Opening, 9 June 2020
Drinks, LES, New York Opening, 9 June 2020
Say Their Names, New York Opening, 16 June 2020
Say Their Names, New York Opening, 16 June 2020
APART (Fifth Avenue & 52nd, just below a sealed Fifth Avenue), 4 June 2020
APART (Fifth Avenue & 52nd, just below a sealed Fifth Avenue), 4 June 2020
Love and Compassion; I Can't Breath, SoHo, New York Opening, 3 June 2020
Love and Compassion; I Can't Breath, SoHo, New York Opening, 3 June 2020
A long awaited smoke with Friends, Little Italy, New York Opening, 9 June 2020
A long awaited smoke with Friends, Little Italy, New York Opening, 9 June 2020
Superman—#TeachAboutWomen, Meatpacking District, NYC Opening, 16 June 2020
Superman—#TeachAboutWomen, Meatpacking District, NYC Opening, 16 June 2020
God is a Black Woman, SoHo, NYC Opening, 16 June 2020
God is a Black Woman, SoHo, NYC Opening, 16 June 2020
Superman—#YouGoGirl, Meat Packing District, NYC Opening, 2020
Superman—#YouGoGirl, Meat Packing District, NYC Opening, 2020
A Beautiful Night for Love, SoHo, New York City Opening, June 9, 2020
A Beautiful Night for Love, SoHo, New York City Opening, June 9, 2020
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