Special Report

Shutdown: The Coronavirus

East Village life slows to a crawl

At the corner of Tompkins Square Park residents created a memorial for lives lost to COVID-19. March 31, 2020. Photo by Thomas Hengge

As the COVID-19 outbreak spreads through the five boroughs and restrictions were placed on the city to combat the pandemic, life in Manhattan’s East Village slowed to a crawl.

With the East Village being a hotbed for hip bars, restaurants, cafes, and shopping, on any given day, the streets are normally packed with people. The neighborhood is also a popular hangout spot for NYU students, giving it an even higher volume of foot-traffic than most places in the surrounding area. But now that schools have shut down for the semester, nonessential businesses have closed their doors and social distancing orders are in effect, the streets have emptied, making the neighborhood almost unrecognizable.

Local businesses such as bars, tattoo studios, hair salons and barbershops that once thrived now have their gates down indefinitely, leaving signs in their windows, letting customers know they will reopen as soon as possible.

This is the East Village during the COVID-19 pandemic.

A man passes shutdown businesses mid-day, March 31, 2020. Photo by Thomas Hengge

A salon hangs signs and an image of COVID-19 in the window for people passing by. March 27, 2020. Photo by Thomas Hengge

A person passes by East Village City Cinema, which has been shut down since Mayor Bill de Blasio ordered to close all nightclubs, theaters, and music venues on March 17. March 28, 2020. Photo by Thomas Hengge

People stand in front of Westside Market, March 28, 2020. Photo by Thomas Hengge

A man waits for his laundry, March 28, 2020. Photo by Thomas Hengge

A restaurant on St. Marks Place with a sign that reads, “We are closed due to the pandemic.” March 28, 2020. Photo by Thomas Hengge

People pass a man sleeping on the sidewalk in front of Miss Lily’s on Avenue A. March 28, 2020. Photo by Thomas Hengge

A man wearing a mask and gloves walks down a near-empty 2nd Avenue, March 28, 2020.

A masked elderly worker at Ray’s Candy Store prepares an ice cream cone for a customer, March 28, 2020. Photo by Thomas Hengge

A newsstand in the East Village offers New Yorker free snacks and drinks with a sign that reads, “To Customer: Here, Today!!! All Free!!! Cheer Up!!!” March 31, 2020. Photo by Thomas Hengge



Other Stories in Special Report: Shutdown: The Coronavirus

The Spirit of Little Haiti

Savannah Daniels October 14, 2020

Small business owners hope for future relief

Courtney Guarino October 2, 2020

Brooklyn Book Festival held virtually

Chuyan Jiang September 28, 2020

NYC Restaurant owners worry about maintaining business during winter 

Isabel Beer September 27, 2020

The pandemic is causing mental health struggles for many Latinos

Paola Michelle Ortiz September 24, 2020

Politically divided family can agree on one thing, rallies are bad during a pandemic

Michelle Diaz September 23, 2020

New Yorkers are vulnerable to mental issues due to pandemic

Sughnen Yongo-Okochi September 23, 2020

Healthcare professionals struggle with Trump’s decisions during pandemic

Tori Luecking September 23, 2020

Some Americans Say “Not So Fast” on Operation Warp Speed

James Pothen September 23, 2020

Trump voters unfazed by morality of Trump’s Covid response

Norah Hogan September 22, 2020

Trump rallies continue, despite the rising Covid-19 death toll

Isabel Beer September 22, 2020

Latinos weigh in on President Trump’s management of the pandemic

Paola Michelle Ortiz September 21, 2020

Fast track vaccine causes fear

Kaity Assaf September 21, 2020

It’s business as usual at McSorley’s Old Ale House

Tori Luecking September 20, 2020

Trump defiance to hold indoor rallies amidst COVID-19 sparks polarized responses 

Courtney Guarino September 20, 2020

NYC Cafes and restaurants try and survive the pandemic

Isabel Beer September 19, 2020

A typical afternoon at Shade Bar NYC

Kaity Assaf September 19, 2020

West Village staple, Caffe Reggio, remains open for outdoor dining in the wake of coronavirus restrictions 

Norah Hogan September 19, 2020

Fort Greene’s Dino adds outdoor dining to keep business flowing

Courtney Guarino September 19, 2020

COVID-19 hampers Fashion Week for photographers

Daniel Karel September 18, 2020

On the heels of revelation that Trump downplayed the covid threat, voters question rallies resuming

Sughnen Yongo-Okochi September 16, 2020

Overburdened mothers in Pakistan are relieved as schools reopens

Quratulain Tejani September 13, 2020

Students from different parts of the world struggle as schools reopen during a pandemic

Chuyan Jiang September 12, 2020

Special needs students face learning obstacles during Covid-19

Courtney Guarino September 12, 2020

Back to school – COVID-19 style 

Isabel Beer September 12, 2020

The new normal for school life is abnormal in Michigan

Sughnen Yongo-Okochi September 11, 2020

California School District Parents and Teachers Clash About Return to School

Norah Hogan September 10, 2020

A tribute to the mask pioneers

Bohao Liu July 11, 2020

Air pollution in China rebounds to pre-COVID level

Hannah Zhang July 11, 2020

ICE takes aim at international students

Maria Abreu July 10, 2020

Chinese students trapped by new ICE policy

Zishu Sherry Qin July 10, 2020

New ICE policy adds more turmoil to the lives of international students

Shiyu Xu July 10, 2020

Lawsuits follow ICE policy barring international students who are taking online classes

Joanna Lin Su July 10, 2020

Economists say the US needs a bold, generous fiscal response. Congress is likely to disappoint. 

Ahmed Mohamed July 9, 2020

Overseas Singaporeans have pandemic obstacles to voting

Yifan Yu July 9, 2020

Proximity sensors and hygiene stations are the “new normal”

Joanna Lin Su July 9, 2020

 Tour ticket vendors miss the hustle and bustle of Times Square

Narkwor Kwabla July 8, 2020

Dengue outbreak could be a greater threat than covid in Singapore

Yifan Yu July 8, 2020

Corporate bankruptcy: ‘A story that’s not going away’

Gaurav Sharma July 7, 2020

Beijing reopens as the second wave of coronavirus dies down

Hannah Zhang July 6, 2020

Masks or no masks?

Bohao Liu July 5, 2020

Varsity Flu

Madeline Gunderson July 3, 2020

Rail travel in China is popular during the pandemic and filled with safety measures

Bohao Liu July 3, 2020

Brazilian international student caught in US travel ban.

Marina Guimaraes July 3, 2020

MTA faces crisis following COVID shutdown

Daniel Girma July 2, 2020

Easter Market goes back to its roots

Kyla Milberger July 2, 2020

China’s Airline Industry Aims to Lure Back Passengers with Unlimited Flight Pass

Zishu Sherry Qin July 1, 2020

US corporate debt soars during coronavirus outbreak

Gaurav Sharma June 30, 2020

In Singapore, gay pride goes online

Yifan Yu June 29, 2020

The Hair Room reopens

Shiyu Xu June 29, 2020