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A Little Happier: This Nightly Ritual Gives Me the “New York City Feeling” During the Pandemic.


I’ve spoken many times about my “America Feeling.” It’s the feeling I get when I vote, or look at the Statue of Liberty, or listen to the song “The Farmer and the Cowman” from the musical Oklahoma! And I’ve spoken about when I’ve had a similar feeling in a different context, such as when I experienced the “Austria Feeling” when listening to Captain von Trapp sing the song “Edelweiss” from the movie The Sound of Music.

Lately, I’ve had the America Feeling every day—or maybe it’s the New York City feeling, or the world feeling—right on schedule.

Every evening, here in New York City where I live, at 7:00 p.m., I can hear people cheering, clapping, and banging pots to express gratitude for all the people working on the front lines of the COVID-19 situation.

Here's a video I took the other week of the cheering.

The cheering has a very particular, New York City quality, because the sound bounces off the tall buildings as people cheer from windows, balconies, and roof tops.

It’s uncanny, too, because although I can hear the people cheering, for the most part, I can’t see them. The sidewalks and streets are deserted. And because of the tall buildings, I can’t get a wide view. I can see a few people on balconies or roofs, or sticking their heads out their windows, but for the most part, I just hear them.

This ritual gives me the New York City feeling, the America feeling, when I hear everyone join together in this moment of recognition.

We can reach out with love—from a safe distance of six feet.

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