The World Feels Smaller
For the past 20 years the world progressively became smaller. I lived and worked in cities around the world from Montreal to Bangkok, Shanghai to Eugene, Berlin to Portland and now New York City. In each location I also traveled frequently for both work and pleasure. Exotic destinations were just a couple fights away. I could wake up in Portland, hop on a plane, watch a few movies and land in Tokyo. I flew to Shenzhen and Singapore for conferences, Quito and Vietnam for an adventure, Japan for work and fun, and to destinations across the US for architecture events. Planes made the world small.
Of course, things dramatically changed with the COVID-19 Pandemic. Travel shut down, businesses closed, people hunkered down in their homes, and the world we experience on a daily basis quickly shrunk to how far we could conveniently walk. From our new apartment in Park Slope Brooklyn, our world is now a couple mile radius. We walk to the park for exercise, to the grocery store a few blocks away for food, and occasionally the liquor store for wine and cocktail ingredients. We found a coffee shop that is open for to-go drinks and a butcher that brings in meat from family farms in the area. We work from home, learn to cook from cookbooks and youtube, and read or eat lunch on the rooftop of our building. Twice we hopped on CitiBikes to explore a bit further afield, but for the most part our lives are confined to a the geography within a short walk from our apartment. With flights grounded, trains hardly running, and lockdown orders keeping us off the subway, the lack of transportation keeps the world small.
Trains in the West Side Yard on Manhattan.