Articles about how New York City will be reborn out of COVID better than ever, like in the 80s when she spawned the Ramones and Anthony Bourdain, miss the significance of what COVID has revealed: there is no longer a need for a place, like New York.

Places die. Most die easy, like mining towns out in the Southwest that lasted only as long as a gold strike. Some die harder, like Youngstown and Weirton, when America found it cheaper to sacrifice its manhood and buy steel overseas. Some, like Detroit, died but just won’t admit it, caught in a pantomime of one eroding rebirth after another, maybe some local crafty manufacturing, an art districts, a high tech something, a corporate tax haven. …

About

Peter Van Buren

Author of Hooper’s War: A Novel of WWII Japan and WE MEANT WELL: How I Helped Lose the Battle for the Hearts + Minds of the Iraqi People

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