Since the start of the current health crisis and the stay-at-home order that's followed, New York has basically transformed into a post-apocalyptic version of itself: Times Square is so empty, you call practically picture tumbleweed rolling down Broadway; the Oculus stands as silent as a tomb; and even Grand Central is devoid of the hoards of tourists, straphangers and commuters that make the place synonymous with crowds. It isn’t natural for the city that never sleeps, but it is, as videographer Matt Chirico puts it in the title of his new video, The New Normal.
Shot at night, "The New Normal#Quarantine" (as it's properly called) features Chirico's camera gliding across NYC's busiest places, which are now eerily desolate. Among them are Columbus Circle, Rockefeller Center and the Hudson Yards, as well as the aforementioned locations.
Chirico told Time Out that, "I wanted to show NYC [in] a way in which nobody could have ever imagined or only seen in movies," adding that "it's really got some I Am Legend vibes."
Indeed it does. Though the scenes are accompanied by a musical soundtrack, the sounds of people are noticeably absent—except in a couple of ghostly instances. In a shot of Radio City Music Hall, for instance, you can hear applause coming from the now-shuttered theater. In another scene, a robotic subway announcement plays over a hushed Fulton Transit Center.
The New Normal concludes outside the New York Stock Exchange, which has Old Glory covering its entire facade. The scene could be read as both a shout-out to America's can-do spirit and as a sign of the country's economic collapse. Chirico says only that the video is meant to show the seriousness of the situation, while offering a message of hope “that we'll get through this at some point."