Photos: a month of signs, sounds and symbols in Harlem during the pandemic

Updated: May 26


The marquee at the Apollo Theater reads "Be Well." during the coronavirus pandemic

It's been a little more than a month since the coronavirus crisis drastically altered New York's landscape, closing down non-essential businesses and requiring anyone who could to stay home.


Empty of people, the city's streets have slowly filled with new signs, sounds and symbols reflecting the times.


Through it all, The Curious Uptowner has been documenting the scene during short solo walks through Harlem and the South Bronx.


Here is a sampling of what people have been writing, drawing and cheering, in somewhat chronological order:



First came the notes from restaurants that decided to shut down during the crisis, punctuated with heartfelt messages:




Then came the official notices posted on entrances to city playgrounds:




Chalk signs in Riverside Park tried to lift spirits:




While new rules went into effect in grocery stores, including dedicated shopping hours for seniors:




Stores like the Fairway in Harlem posted lists of products that were in limited supply–something that would have been unimaginable only a few weeks ago:




Accompanying the signs and lists came lines on sidewalks showing how to keep six feet apart:




Street graffiti in Hamilton Heights made it clear:




Some bodegas decided to close down, too:




Meanwhile, the post office showed the proper way to social distance:




And there were also rays of hope, written in magic marker:




The Apollo Theater soothed with a series of messages on its iconic marquee:



As did the childrens' rainbows showing their support (thanks to Carmen Keels for the first image, a window painted by her kids):




And through it all, the soundtrack of the city cheering and clapping at 7pm every night, thanking our health care and other essential workers:



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THE CURIOUS

A Curated guide to life in Harlem And beyond
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