Even before a mandate to do so, New York City started to shut itself down last week, as the spread of COVID-19 forced people indoors. By the weekend, it no longer felt responsible to go out and socialize. (Not everyone agreed.) And by Monday, Mayor Bill de Blasio and Governor Andrew Cuomo announced it was no longer a choice, really— by that time, theaters, movie theaters, restaurants, bars, museums, bookstores... they were all shutting down. Monday evening saw an eerily quiet last call, for the most part.
While some bars and restaurants are remaining open for now through the take-out-only rule, many have shut their doors and laid off staff. And where we once saw menus and declarations of happy hour specials, we now see signs of closure and uncertainty. It's an unsettling and downright depressing change to the once bustling landscape of New York City, where signs that once offered the opportunity of fun, now only offer warnings.
We've been documenting some of those changing signs over the past week—from Burger King to Russ & Daughters—scroll through for a look and know that they'll change again, one day.