Echoes of New York

by Brittany Sutton

Photography is one of my newer passions. I always had a deep appreciation for those who could capture a moment in time, but I never attempted it myself until the pandemic hit. I didn’t know that photography would be my lifeline throughout the chaos. Working in a hospital as an essential worker, I could not see friends or family until testing became more readily available. So, photography became my connection and my outlet. It made me resilient; it helped me foster hope and optimism during some of the darkest days of isolation. In addition, photographing New York City at the height of the pandemic and the peak of vulnerability allowed me to fall in love with the city again.

The “Echoes of New York” series was photographed throughout the entirety of lockdown in various areas of New York City.

March 17, 2020

Lockdown Begins

St. Patrick’s Day looked a little different this year. Instead of gathering together to celebrate, it felt as though everyone was leaving the city one by one. At this point, it felt temporary, I remember saying to my sister- "I'll see you in a few days." All bars and restaurants close, except for delivery.
March 17, 2020
March 23, 2020

35th St. & Third Ave

The city was feeling far emptier on this day. This photo was taken at 8:30am on my way to work. Typically, this area is bustling with commuters rushing to work but, on this day, it was eerily quiet. New York State announces that all non-essential personnel must stay home.
March 23, 2020
April 1, 2020

Grand Central Terminal

The Pandemic was in full swing in New York. Walking to and from the hospital felt like an apocalypse movie. Thousands of people commute through Grand Central Terminal each day and on this day, I was there alone during what would be rush hour. The United States had just reported the most Covid-19 cases in the world. USNS Comfort arrived in NYC to assist with the overflow of patients from NY hospitals.
April 1, 2020
April 5, 2020

Times Square

For those who have had the opportunity to experience Times Square in all of its glory know that it is anything but quiet and desolate. In the bottom center of the photo there is a sign that reads "embrace the absurd" which seemed to fit the scene. It all seemed so absurd at this time. New York will soon be the epicenter of the global pandemic in a matter of days.
April 5, 2020
April 5, 2020

Times Square

Signs reading "Thank you healthcare workers" have began popping up on billboards and other areas of the city. The signs were meaningful, but nothing could quite top the feeling of the 7pm clapping every evening. The thundering of clapping is something I will ever forget.
April 5, 2020
April 5, 2020

Times Square

The famous "Naked Cowboy" greets another individual pushing a cart labeled "corpse cart" using the new elbow covid high-five. I never particularly enjoyed Times Square, nor would I have gone out of my way to see the Naked Cowboy but seeing him in Times Square was slightly comforting (if that says anything about this period of isolation).
April 5, 2020
April 11, 2020

Hand-Made Sign – 32nd St.

Although the streets were empty, hand-made signs started to pop up all over the city, these signs offered comfort and community from afar. To me, these signs symbolized the strength and unity of the city. New York State records more COVID-19 cases than any other country (besides U.S.).
April 11, 2020
April 13, 2020

Park Avenue

As cases surged, and NY was officially the epicenter of the global pandemic, the streets became even more desolate. On this day, you could walk down the middle of Park Avenue, which is one of the busiest avenues in the city. Walking along the empty streets were some of my most isolating times.
April 13, 2020
April 13, 2020

Park Avenue

As cases surged, and NY was officially the epicenter of the global pandemic, the streets became even more desolate. On this day, you could walk down the middle of Park Avenue, which is one of the busiest avenues in the city. Walking along the empty streets were some of my most isolating times.
April 13, 2020
April 19, 2020

Madison Square Park

In an effort to regain some semblance of normalcy, brave New Yorkers would retreat to the nearest park to stand six feet apart and see friends of family. Seeing young children in masks was one of the more jarring moments of the pandemic. New York State requires face masks or coverings in public places.
April 19, 2020
April 22, 2020

Hand-Made Sign – 32nd St.

Although the streets were empty, hand-made signs started to pop up all over the city, these signs offered comfort and community from afar. To me, these signs symbolized the strength and unity of the city. New York State records more COVID-19 cases than any other country (besides U.S.).
April 22, 2020
April 25, 2020

Essential Workers – Central Park

Essential workers and FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency) responders taking a much-needed break. At this time, brave first responders from all over the country were arriving to assist in the efforts as cases continued to surge in New York.
April 25, 2020
April 25, 2020

Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis Reservoir – Central Park

In addition to the encouraging hand-made signs, the city displayed signs to ensure people were staying apart.
April 25, 2020
April 28, 2020

Third Avenue

A month into the pandemic, the streets of New York were still desolate. As the cases surged, the louder the streets seemed to echo at 7pm. The emptiness was disconcerting, but hopefulness remained.
April 28, 2020
May 1, 2020

Central Park

I will never forget walking through an empty Central Park. May is one of the most beautiful months in New York, the park is usually filled with picnics and musicians, but on May 1st, 2020, everyone was still doing their part to help stop the spread. State of emergency for New York State extended to June 13.
May 1, 2020
May 14, 2020

Park Avenue

Masked neighbors gather to participate in the 7pm clapping. This was not only a tribute to essential workers, but it was a nightly tradition that brought people together. New York State allows gatherings of up to 10 people with social distancing.
May 14, 2020
June 9, 2020

Union Square

As cases began to decline, thousands of masked protesters swarmed the streets to express their outrage and sorrow following the murder of George Floyd. Streets that were at one time empty, were alive again. New York City begins Phase 1 reopening.
June 9, 2020
August 7, 2020

Madison Square Park

In an effort to adjust to the new normal, parks began painting social distancing circles enabling New Yorkers to be together while staying apart. New York City completed all four stages of reopening.
August 7, 2020
December 3, 2020

West Houston St.

Although the pandemic is far from over, New York has proven to be a place of resilience and hope.
December 3, 2020
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