Last week, after exhausting hours at work, I decided to take a walk around Manhattan and made my way to one of the most vibrant areas of the city. Now if you were to believe the reports coming out of the media and read the stories on the internet, you would have thought that NYC is a ghost-town right now. Back a couple months ago, it actually did feel like that.

Now slowly, as Phase 2 came around, I started noticing a different kind of a vibe in the city. You are not actually allowed to eat inside of the restaurant so the restaurants decided to put their tables outdoors. As the protests happened a few weeks ago, the foot traffic started to get heavier.

If there is one thing NYC does not disappoint in, well, it’s the “talent”.

I live in a walkup and have a nice window view of the streets from my apartment. About every hour, I see a beauty walking by dressed for the summer. Nice sexy bodies with cute faces, dressed for the summer. I have been to a lot of cities before and lived in quite a few, very few can actually hold a candle to what NYC offers in terms of the sheer amounts of good looking women. At times, I wish I was more emboldened and back to my cold approaching days but even the COVID-19 scare has me on edge right now. As a guy still in his twenties, needless to say that with the economic opportunity still here and the “talent” still around, NYC is going to be keeping me.

The “talent” is starting not to give a fuck about COVID-19.

Not only do you see a lot of younger beautiful women walking around dressed fancy for the summer, most are not even wearing masks. Walk around the city and all you will see are restaurants with outdoor seating where people are having pitchers of beer and having fun drinking. As I was going on a quick grocery run, I walked through a block with a couple bars on it only to find the outdoors flooded with young and attractive women, mostly white since it is Manhattan.

“Why socially distance if you’re hot?” (if you are a Manhattan local you’re thinking “wait?!?!?! Just three?”).

In fact, young white people don’t give a fuck about COVID-19.

I hate to generalize but I see that majority of young whites just do not care about COVID-19, not one bit. Most of them are walking around getting hammered drunk on the streets and enjoying the summer outside the bars. With remote work being the norm for now even in the city? All the more reason to get hammered since you can just roll out of bed ten minutes before work and get on the meetings you need to get on. At some point, about a month ago, perhaps due to the protests, the mood immediately shifted from slight fear to just outright dismissal of COVID-19.

“Toasts to no masks!”

At the same time, the city is still kind of “on edge” and you can feel the tension and anger in the air.

Months back, I could sleep peacefully but now, fireworks at 3 AM will wake you up. Now this is minor except for one thing, I have overheard a lot more shouting on my block and even seen a couple of fists fights break out. At times, even as I walk around the area, I can see and feel predatory looks from otherwise sketchy characters. As over 200 police officers recently filed for retirement in the city, let’s just say that I have a reason to worry for my own safety right now as I walk around. Not that long ago as the riots happened, places like Soho were looted and broken into.

Two different worlds, only one city.

You walk around the city during the day to find young attractive people drinking pitchers of beers with their friends. Not too far removed, on the same block as the night falls, you see shoutings and even shades of the riots. In some ways, you see an unfolding happening of what seem like the haves and the have nots. Given how we are in tough economic times right now which might only get tougher, a part of me wonders just how long this peace can last and all of wishes it lasts forever. NYC has given me so many great memories and even though I was not fortunate enough to be born and raised here, it will always be home to me.

My prediction?

Oh if 2020 has taught us all one thing, it is that none of us are the prophets we thought we were.

I think that as the second wave of COVID-19 comes, it is likely that the economy still remains on tough times and things get a bit trickier. The gap between the haves and the have nots will get wider. Given all I have observed about NYC, it is kind of scary to think about when you add in the recent protests.

At the same time, I still believe that there is a silver lining to all of this. I think that for guys like me and people who came to NYC for reasons like partying, meeting other young professionals like themselves, escaping the Pickett fence with house and kids by 30 cycle, and to truly live a fun lifestyle? NYC has the potential to get even better.

The people who came here for a job and then complain about how Manhattan is so unwelcoming to their spouse and baby? Those people are going to run from Manhattan at the first opportunity due to the possibility of remote work. At the same time, the “talent” in the city is likely to stick it through and stick around.