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Staying in New York – The New York Times

Staying in New York – The New York Times

“The businesses we partner with pay my mortgage and pay for my life. For me it was a real moral obligation,” he said. “I feel part of my job is to give our restaurant partners hope. Anything I could do to support the local economy I wanted to do. If I’m going to spend $3.50 on a coffee, I’d rather spend it in New York City than on Fire Island.”

For her part, Ms. Ruggeri, the president of her co-op board, thought that she could be more helpful in the city as the doormen and porters in her building continued to work.

For some, the decision to stay in the city has brought unexpected dividends. “I’m really interested in real estate so I’ve been going to different blocks and looking at the buildings,” said Christopher Rim, the founder and chief executive of Command Education, a college consultancy, who has a two-bedroom condo in TriBeCa and a house in Bergen County.

“I’d always wanted to bike in the city and I bought a bike,” Mr. Rim continued. “Being able to explore when there’s so little traffic has been pretty incredible. “I didn’t even know some of these streets existed.”

Mr. Hay talks about the experience of watching the city slow down and turn inward. It seems that, perhaps, he himself has also slowed down and turned inward. “I rediscovered Riverside Drive,” Mr. Hay said. “I stopped and looked at the architecture. I stopped and looked on the benches in the park. You notice what you didn’t see before the virus when you were being jostled or when cars were whizzing by.”

Now that it’s July, some of those who had previously resisted the lure of their weekend properties are packing up the car and heading out. Norman and Denise Silverberg are ensconced in the Hamptons. Lisa Ruggeri and her husband will be going back and forth between Long Island and the Upper East Side, their usual summer routine. And Mr. Curtis relocated to the Cape, where he’ll remain until Labor Day; he’s looking forward to more trees and less tension.

What a relief. No more emails from friends wondering what, precisely, has kept these outliers in the city for so long. “You have a country house. You should go there,” pals told Ms. Ruggeri. Mr. Curtis got a lot of “Come to the Cape. We can quarantine together.”

Such has not been the experience of Mr. Hay. “I’ll confess that the phone is not ringing with people from the Hamptons asking ‘Where are you?’” he said. “I guess I’m not as popular as I thought.”

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