I don’t have a lot to say here so I’ll talk about something else. Why not? My cartoon post today has four comments on Facebook. My bagel photo has nearly 80. I am in New York City.
As my son asked, “Why?” Except, he sounded kinda upset over it. Why would I come to ground zero for the coronavirus in the United States?
I only told four people I was coming to town. My friends Gordon, Mike, Alexandra, and my son. I didn’t want to have to explain it over and over again before I got here. But, I’ve been explaining it ever since. It’s not a big deal.
First, it’s my birthday. Thank you. I wanted to do something a little different. My plan is to see a few things and experience New York City food. Granted, most things are shut down for another week so it’s not like I can take in a play on Broadway or have a sandwich at Katz, but I can get a sandwich to go. So far, I had a real NYC bagel with lox and the Kung Pao chicken I had last night was the spiciest I’ve ever encountered.
But the biggest reason I’m here is that I wanted to see something instead of just writing about it. I wanted to see Times Square as a dead zone. From some of the photos I’ve posted online, you can see by usual standards, NYC is a ghost town. Then, I got the added bonus of riots and protests. There’s graffiti on nearly every building near my hotel (which is by 30 Rock and Radio City Music Hall). I was going to go out last night, not to partake in some anarchy (as Bradley Nowell sang), but to witness, like the time I went to a Trump rally. Ew. But I only ventured out for a minute because I was tired and my feet were killing me. I’m getting old.
As it turned out, I didn’t need to come to NYC to see a protest…or even leave Fredericksburg…or my apartment. A protest started in the burg shortly after I left. They were nearby and I could have seen it from my window. Yes, I’m sure the protest wasn’t about my cartoons.
Speaking of seeing things from your window, I passed Trump Tower and there’s NO WAY he could have seen people leaping to their deaths from the World Trade Center on 9/11. See? The trip is already paying off. Research.
Another reason I’m here now is that it’s really cheap. I feel what I’m spending is an investment that will pay off through my work. I would rather take a working vacation that pays off with research than travel to sit on a beach and forget work (though I do like beaches). I haven’t taken a real day off in years.
I don’t intend to draw or write about me going to New York City (other than now). I expect this experience to seep into my work and be a reference for years to come.
And if you’re worried about me, don’t be. Everyone I’ve met has been really nice. Granted, I haven’t walked into a protest but ya’ know, that prospect doesn’t scare me at all. Cops scare me more though, to be honest, they’ve been nice too. I’ve had NYPD walk up to me just to say hello. Weird. Though they were all female cops so maybe they just liked what they saw. That makes sense.
In regards to the pandemic, the city opens in a week. There are people out and nobody is hassling them. Stores won’t allow anyone in without a mask which is something I wish I saw in Virginia. People seem to be practicing social distancing well which is why the numbers of coronavirus cases are going down. And, the more you wear a mask, the less it bothers you. You’ll forget you’re wearing it and to remove it before biting into an ice cream cone bought from a street vendor. At least, I hope other people do that.
Go ahead and tell me what you think I should do while I’m here. I already have a list in my head and I’m probably not going to accomplish it all. But if you’re in the city and see me, say hi.
I’m the guy with the big chocolate ice cream stain on his mask.
Tip Jar: This pandemic is hitting everyone, including your favorite goofy cartoonist. I have lost clients and I’m afraid I might lose more. The PayPal button has always been included here for those who can and want to voluntarily support what I do. I understand this time is hard on everyone. If you can’t, don’t contribute. Take care of yourself and your family first.
But, all and any help is greatly appreciated and it helps keep me going. Think of me like a street performing busking out tunes on a corner (I won’t play “Wonderwall.” I promise). If you like the tune, or in this case, toon, throw a buck into the tip jar. It’ll help me play another song, draw another toon, write another blog, make another video, and post another snarky post on social media. It’ll help keep me alive. You can also order a signed print for $40. And if you don’t like the PayPal option, you can snail mail it to my P.O. Box.
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