2020 in 20 Photographs

The year we would all rather forget, the year from hell, the year of shock and loss and pain is nearing its end. With vaccines and a new president, change is in the air for 2021.

 

January 2020 started so peacefully with a summer-like day in Central Park. 


The fourth annual Women’s March in January took place while impeachment proceedings against Donald Trump were underway.

As the coronavirus epidemic raged in Wuhan, China, the Chinese-American community expressed support. The pandemic still seemed far away in February during the Lunar New Year celebrations in Chinatown.


Columbia University students enjoying springlike weather on campus, February 23. The university shut down soon after this photo was taken.

April 14: a dollar store advertises cleaning products, masks, and hand sanitizer. All of these supplies were nearly impossible to find for weeks.

April 6: Finding solace in magnolia blossoms in Riverside Park during the lockdown. The city parks stayed open for respite and recreation. 

May 9: Bicycles and scooters take over the streets as New Yorkers shun public transportation.


A beloved neighborhood diner on Broadway, closed during the pandemic.



June 14: A protester in Harlem. Daily protests against police violence toward Black Americans continued for months all over the city. 


Street vendors selling masks on Broadway in June



June 18: A doorman on West End Avenue bangs a spoon on a pan during the daily salute to front line workers of the coronavirus pandemic.

July 4: Protesters marching from Columbus Circle to Trump Tower

July 12: Hedy, a Trump supporter, on Fifth Avenue near Trump Tower before a demonstration.


People listening to a jazz trio in Central Park, September 27. With all concert venues closed, suddenly unemployed musicians took to the parks to earn money from donations. 

A guest at an outdoor wedding on Bethesda Terrace in Central Park, October 11


When early voting in the presidential election began, New Yorkers waited up to 4 hours on the streets to vote. Amsterdam Avenue, October 30.


Jubilant crowds poured into the streets on the news of Joe Biden’s election victory, November 7, 2020.


A woman celebrating the election results on November 7, Broadway and 104th Street.


November 3, Election Day: A shuttered convenience store that closed after months of the pandemic, Broadway and 99th Street


December 22: Visiting the iconic Christmas tree at Rockefeller Center was strictly limited this year. People were allowed to stand in front of the tree just long enough to take photos.
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Christmas in New York in a Pandemic Year

Everything is different this year, but the quintessential feature of Christmas in New York is still the tree in Rockefeller Center. Crowds were strictly limited, tourists were absent, but visitors still found joy at the beautiful sight.

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A Walk on Rivington Street

The Lower East Side of Manhattan is usually a lively neighborhood of young people, bars, restaurants, street art, and shopping. Not in 2020 in the midst of a pandemic, not even on the last Sunday before Christmas. Rivington Street was bleak with most restaurants and storefronts closed and shuttered. In the spirit of the neighborhood, murals decorate the metal shutters. We need our government to support small businesses or all of the remaining restaurants will disappear.

Rivington Street without cars or pedestrians on a Sunday afternoon
The popular cocktail bar Verlaine NYC is closed due to pandemic restrictions on indoor dining.
Economy Candy, in business since 1937 and barely hanging on, was the only store open on this block
A permanently closed storefront on Rivington and Suffolk Street
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Aftermath

The election is over, and with it the elation that erupted on the streets of New York. These two photos of stores on Broadway on the Upper West Side of New York were taken on the afternoon of Election Day. One shows a shuttered storefront of a business that closed permanently during the pandemic. The other survives, selling cleaning supplies, masks, and gloves that were impossible to find during the early months of the pandemic. Together, the two photographs show the challenges that lie ahead for the Biden administration in the coming months and years: control of Covid and repairing the economy.

Dueling messages on the shutter of a closed store on Broadway

A dollar store selling cleaning supplies, masks, gloves, and rubbing alcohol
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Celebration in the Streets of New York

On Saturday, November 7, 2020 New Yorkers poured into the streets to celebrate the news that Joe Biden and Kamala Harris had won the election. Today, nearly a week later, Biden and Harris are projected to win 306 electoral votes, well over the 270 needed.

Broadway and 104th Street
This young man on Broadway voted in his first Presidential election this year.
Broadway and 104th Street
Columbus Circle, in front of the Trump International Hotel
People brought their children to Columbus Circle be part of the joyful celebration.
A family on Central Park West near the Trump International Hotel
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My photo in the ICPConcerned Exhibit at the International Center of Photography, New York City

My photograph of a Manhattan doorman saluting front line workers of the pandemic with a spoon and pan is now on exhibit at the International Center of Photography, 79 Essex Street, New York. I am proud and honored to have my work shown together with so many amazing photographers from all over the world. The exhibit is online at icpconcerned.icp.org

Doorman saluting front line pandemic workers, West End Avenue, June 18

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New York Faces 2020

More of the most memorable faces I have seen in New York in this pandemic year. Somehow, people express their essence even while wearing a mask.

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New York Faces 2020

Looking back over 2020 so far, these are some of the faces that have stayed in my mind the most after many months of photographing New Yorkers.

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Remembering Ruth Bader Ginsburg

Memorials to Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg sprang up all over New York City, including at her alma mater Columbia University.

People left flowers and notes for Ruth Bader Ginsburg at the statue of Alma Mater on the Columbia University campus

 

The iconic statue of Alma Mater on the steps of Low Library, Columbia University with a sign saying “When There Are Nine.” That was Justice Ginsburg’s answer to a question about when there would be enough women on the Supreme Court. 

 

The law library at the Columbia University School of Law, where Ruth Bader Ginsburg graduated first in her class

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Bronx Zoo Reopening

In spite of the heat wave, New Yorkers were thrilled to return to the Bronx Zoo after it had been closed since March due to the pandemic. They say the animals noticed the absence of people, and the zoo staff was definitely happy to see the public again and thanked visitors repeatedly. We heard sea lions barking, peacocks screaming, and strangest of all, the loud groans of a giant tortoise that sounded like the dragon Fafner in the Wagner opera Siegfried.

A tiger resting in the heat

 

Young giraffes

 

The peacocks were shameless beggars

 

An Aldabra giant tortoise from the Seychelles, about four feet long (shell only)

 

Two Aldabra tortoises producing the next generation

 

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