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Viral New York: The sheltering city

Photographer Jefferson Siegel left the safety of sheltering in place over the past few days and was out and about documenting the scene during the coronavirus crisis.

From shuttered stores along Avenue A in the East Village to a shockingly empty Grand Central Terminal, he found a desolate metropolis.

The only gathering of any size was the line of shoppers he found waiting to stock up at a Trader Joe’s.

Paul Bowles wrote the powerful novel “The Sheltering Sky,” about existential alienation in Northern Africa. In the “sheltering city” right now, you wouldn’t go wrong by choosing “The Sheltering Sky” for your reading material.

A closed sign on the Good Stuff Diner on W. 14th St. near Sixth Ave. on Wednesday. (Photo by © Jefferson Siegel)
Some things never change, even in a global pandemic, as witnessed by this freshly laid concrete on W. 14th St. on Wednesday. (Photo by © Jefferson Siegel)
The normally popular plaza in Tompkins Square Park by the Hare Krishna Tree had only few people in it on Tuesday afternoon. Parks were still a place one could go to enjoy a bit of fresh air while maintaining social distancing. (Photo by © Jefferson Siegel)
Peter McManus Cafe, the iconic Chelsea watering hole at 19th St. and Seventh Ave., on Wednesday was offering food and alcohol for take-out, which is currently being allowed by the state and city. (Photo by © Jefferson Siegel)
On Thursday, the Best Buy electronics and computer store in Union Square was limiting customers to 15 at a time inside, with a line forming outside. (Photo by © Jefferson Siegel)
Shoppers queued up to get into the Trader Joe’s in Kips Bay, on Third Ave. at 31st St., Thursday afternoon. The supermarket chain is reportedly doing a great job of maintaining social distancing among shoppers by limiting how many people are allowed into into its stores at any one time. (Photo by © Jefferson Siegel)
It looks like you could have heard a pin drop in the normally bustling Grand Central Terminal on Thursday at 3 p.m. (Photo by © Jefferson Siegel)

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