NYC Is Dead

Christopher McHale
2 min readSep 15, 2020

Wait, is that guacamole?

I’m a lifetime New Yorker. I live 50 blocks south of where I was born. Once I lived overseas on Staten Island.

That also means I’ve witnessed the death of New York dozens of times. So many times we might call this place Lazarus. Or the City of the Walking Dead.

Basically, it works like this: People move here right after college and rent an apartment for maybe seven years. Then they move out and spend the rest of their lives saying the city is not as good as the seven years they were here and it died after they left.

Whatever bars they went to were the best bars, whatever bands they saw were the best bands, whatever neighborhood they lived in was never as good as when they lived there.

What they miss is we tear down and rebuild the city every ten years. When I was kid I asked my father about it. He just shrugged. I’ve been watching perfectly good buildings getting torn down and replaced my whole life. You get used to it.

So here we are in 2020. New York is dead. People are fleeing. Buildings are boarded up. The City is chaos, riots, and looting.

I wanted to check it out so my wife and I took our beagle for protection and went for a walk. We saw a horror show.

People dining out. Mexican! People drinking. Alcohol! Musicians playing. Rap!The New York Philharmonic doing a pop up concert. Mozart! It was awful.

The next day we took our chances and went for a walk in Central Park. Please stop reading if you’re sensitive. I saw a mom chasing a toddler. She caught him too. I’m sorry if that’s upsetting, but we need to get the truth out there. And. There were squirrels.

So the 9,654,931 of us who remain are just going to have to survive somehow. It’s tough living on takeout sushi, but New Yorkers are a tough breed. After all, the pick up and deliver laundry service was closed for a month during the pandemic. Our local coffee shops were reduced from eleven in total to a mere nine. And my pandemic hair is still in desperate need of attention.

I know New York will never again be as good as the ___’s (insert YOUR favorite decade here) but to those of us who call this insane place home, there’s simply no other place we want to be.

We have a saying in New York: If you don’t like it, wait a minute.



Christopher McHale

Writer | Composer | Producer | Human | Christopher writes about creativity, culture, technology, music, writing.