In early March I took a walk along
the North Shore of Staten Island feeling anxious and sensing this might be my last tour of the neighborhood for a while. I walked down the steep hill of Wall Street, past the Staten Island Yankees Stadium to Bank Street, which runs along New York Bay. From there, you can see the southern tip of Manhattan, New Jersey, Brooklyn, and the end journeys of both the Hudson and the East Rivers. They built a mall between Bank Street and the Ferry Terminal but it had to close down due to COVID before it ever really got off the ground. Lots of empty architecture. From the mall I entered the Terminal and took the stairs at the far end to Level 2, a shortcut to the other side of the building.
By the first week in March, the virus was everywhere but none of us had a good sense of it, only a nagging fear that we were in trouble. The signs were already there plain as day: Wuhan in December, Seattle in January. But we couldn't read them.
From Level 2 you can take a walkway down and around to Bay Street. I turned north and then headed eastward to Front Street. I like this street - it runs behind the new-ish apartment buildings alongside the Bay and then the scene becomes nautical for a minute or two. This part of the city is, for the time being, left to its own development or lack thereof - a wonder in itself.
Thinking back, early January was bursting with opportunity for OUR government to act responsibly. But the White House preferred narcissistic posturing to science and this was an act of hatred towards all of US. Donald Trump provided only mis-information to the people and COVID was traveling in our direction - was already here. It's not because viruses are invisible that we were confused. It's because of the daily stream of contemptuous lies from Trump.
Worried now, I turned south on Hannah Street, taking the overpass above the Tompkinsville SIR station and ended up back on Bay St. There's a small green park at Bay and Victory that's a rest stop for junkies and people with nowhere else to go, as well as being a hub for buses on their way back to the Ferry from points south. In early March, buses were still crowded.
at war apparently, but a pandemic isn't that kind of enemy, is it? Trump's sociopathic schemes have killed people during this crisis; there seems to be no end to the abyss of his malice. This is exactly how the United States of America becomes a shit-hole country. Everyone's plans shot to hell. Viral capitalism, a veritable expanding universe of greed, is a system unchecked and cruel to the point of gauging an acceptable level of human death as the
virus runs its course.
Normally, I like to continue this particular walk into Stapleton, a remarkable neighborhood that is somehow stuck in 1965, but on this day I crossed Victory Blvd. where St. Paul's and Van Duzer meet and walked up St. Mark's, headed for home, realizing it was most likely time to get off the streets. It's up to each of us now.