The lights are on, but no one is home in the heart of Manhattan. Midtown, and Times Square in particular, has seen a drastic change since New York City went on PAUSE last month to help curb the spread of the coronavirus. While typically a bustling hellscape, the crossroads of the world has emptied out — no tourists, no non-essential office workers, no comedy barkers, just an eerie silence.
John Huntington drove his car through the area this week, on the evening of April 22nd, and he captured the scene with a camera attached to the roof. The nearly five-minutes of footage is as soothing as Norwegian Slow TV, and in stark contrast to what it would have looked like just a couple of months ago. "Seeing it empty was spooky," he wrote, "but to a New Yorker the real spookiness is the pace. The frenetic energy that we all love (or hate) is gone, for now." It's hard to enjoy the calm without the chaos that typically accompanies it.