The City Awakens: Our New York Issue

Chronicling the month it surged back to life.

This year, our New York Issue is dedicated to the reawakening of the city as it recovers from the pandemic. The masks are coming off. The subways are becoming crowded. People are eating indoors. Uber prices are surging. New York is returning to normal. But is normal what we want?

The pandemic brought out New York's long-term failures, but there may finally be an opportunity to make it a better, fairer place. The writer Jonathan Mahler spent the last six months traveling around the city, talking to people who are trying to shape its post-pandemic future and tried to answer the question: What will New York do with this moment?

We also documented the city's reawakening through the eyes of 15 photographers, all of them age 25 or younger. From the opening of a new public park to a block party on Tompkins Avenue, from Eid celebrations in Queens to a graduation ceremony — for all 31 days in May, our photographers captured the hope, excitement, anxiety and energy of a city surging back to life.

Victor LLorente



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