Forget 1967, This Is the Summer of Love
Françoise Hardy was a little ahead of her time: c’est actuellement l’authentique Temps de l”amour. This is what happens when you lock people down, terrorize them with sixteen months of divide-and-conquer schemes…and then suddenly they break free.
This is seismic. A paradigm shift. And once paradigms shift, they never go back.
This summer in New York has turned into get-out-of-jail syndrome on steroids. Bars and restaurants are full, every night. If you can remember as far back as 2001, think back to the camaraderie and the outpouring of compassion among our fellow citizens in the wake of 9/11. That’s small potatoes compared to what’s been happening since Andrew Cuomo was forced to concede defeat to the voices of reason and normalcy.
There’s one force in the world that’s stronger than fear, stronger than death, even. That force is love.
Are you feeling it? Just take a walk down your block, or wherever people are congregating. It’s impossible NOT to feel it. And much as that may seem weird, completely alien, even, it sure feels good.
Everywhere you turn, there are couples. It seems like every night is date night, from old people just glad to get out for a cup of coffee and the paper, to all the kids who are too young to get into bars and have therefore turned every city park and every other stoop into a makeout spot.
People have been hurt, horribly, over the last sixteen months. If you had the misfortune to spend the lockdown alone, you know how soul-crushing it is to believe that you’ll never ever again be close enough to someone to be able to love them.
We may be a city of walking wounded right now, but a tsunami of healing is coursing through our streets. And it couldn’t have hit our shore at a more opportune moment. Tessa Lena says that it is the soul that dissolves the algorithms. She’s right.
If you’re one of the lucky ones starting a relationship or bolstering an old one now, hold on like it’s Edgar Cayce’s silver cord. You’re going to need it. If you aren’t in a relationship right now, the time is ripe. People are reaching out, taking chances like never before. This blog has never seen anything like it.
Life is all about taking chances, anyway. Risk aversion is for losers. If you can see someone’s face, that means they’re probably friendly. Strike up a conversation. What have you got to lose? Loneliness and alienation, that’s what.
If you’ve spent any time in Manhattan over the past few years, you’ve undoubtedly stepped across one of James De La Vega’s inspirational slogans chalked on the sidewalk. “Dream until it comes true.” That’s not bullshit: this summer that really could happen if you put enough muscle behind it.
We took back most of our concert spaces, the ones that still exist, anyway. More and more, we’re taking back our nightlife. Those propaganda posters festooning the doors of every other bar and restaurant in town sure look intimidating, but they’re just there for show.
The other night, what a beautiful feeling it was to saunter alongside a smoldering, brown-eyed devochka, right past a wall full of that terror propaganda, then march up to the maitre d’ and request a table. And then get the perfect one for the evening.
Now, it would be romantic to credit that success to a beautiful woman’s otherworldly charms. Realistically, neither devochka nor smoldering brown eyes had anything to do with it. She could have been as ugly as a hybrid clone of Bill Gates and Klaus Schwab, and we still would have scored that table. Restaurants just need the money.
And what a beautiful feeling it was to stop into a favorite pizza spot the other day right at dinnertime and discover that not a single customer, nor any of the guys behind the counter, were huffing and puffing beneath ugly aquamarine facewear.
And no matter how many lies the tv spews about computer-simulated “variants,” or meaningless results of a test that was rigged from day one to generate false positives, or sour-faced warnings of more lockdowns and muzzlemania and an apartheid state looming on the horizon, none of that is going to happen if we stand up for the people and the communities we love.
At this point, it really looks like love is going to save the day. It’s the only choice we have, anyway.