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  • Writer's pictureRobin Gilmore

Exploring NYC During A Pandemic

In the span of only a few weeks, New York City went from being famous for its popularity, entertainment, and culture to making headlines for being the epicenter of the COVID-19 pandemic.

While things seem to be improving, most people are still steering clear of New York City. However, there are a select few who appreciate the opportunity to visit safely without the crowds. On Sunday, June 14, 2020 Reggie and his friend ventured to NYC to explore.

Q. Why did you choose to visit New York City?

A. Before COVID-19, going into NYC was one of my favorite things to do. I grew up in New Jersey, about 30 minutes from the city, without traffic. Going to Knicks or Mets games, seeing a show, or grabbing a bite to eat were all things that were a part of my rhythms growing up.

One night in early June my father and I drove to the city to our favorite pizza spot, Ben's Pizza in Greenwich Village. The usually vibrant neighborhood was a ghost town at 9:00pm.

As I was reflecting on how empty the city was, I thought this would be a perfect time to walk around and explore places I hadn't been. And as the temperature is rising, the temptation to be outside and go places is very strong.

Q. Tell us about your trip.

A. We drove from New Jersey to Staten Island and took the Staten Island Ferry to Lower Manhattan. We walked north through the Financial District, Soho and Tribeca up to Greenwich Village. We took our time walking through Soho and Tribeca admiring the massive and luxurious condos, apartment buildings, restaurants, and galleries thinking about how sweet it would be to live there.

The streets were pretty empty until we got to Greenwich Village. In the Village we went to my favorite pizza place, Ben's Pizza, then we headed to Washington Square Park.

Later we walked east through the East Village and the Lower East Side to the pier overlooking Brooklyn. After we admired the views of Brooklyn's skyline, we headed back to the ferry to go back to Staten Island.

Brooklyn Bridge

Q. How was the social distancing?

A. On the ferry, it was good. I think taking the ferry was a smart idea because it's large and not enclosed, which allowed for fresh air to be continuously circulating. Also they marked out where you could and couldn't sit, which made social distancing pretty easy.

Washington Square Park was filled with people, with very little social distancing going on. We found a secluded spot, but there had to be over 1,000 people in the park, plus a protest that was also present when we were there.

Greenwich Village

Q. Do you have any advice for someone wanting to visit New York City?

A. If you are concerned about taking a train or subway, I think the ferry is a smart way to go. But if you want to explore Upper Manhattan without taking a subway, your best bet is driving unless you are planning to do a lot of walking.


As things open back up, we've definitely seen an increase in domestic travel. Whether you'd like to plan a domestic trip now or an international trip for later, give us a call. We're here to make sure you travel comfortably and safely to your next destination.

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