Photo Essay: Sounds Of Silence

Images via Beatriz Ramos for The Americano

By Yehudit Mam, Beatriz Ramos

March 28, 2020

It’s 8 p.m. on a Saturday in Downtown New York as photographer Beatriz Ramos ventures the empty streets of our beloved New York City. Right before curfew could take away her inspiration, she was able to capture the sounds of silence.

“Visually it was not as shocking to me because I also took photos at the time of Hurricane Sandy, but then there was a power outage and it was much more extreme. This time, the sounds made an impression on me. There were almost no people on the street except for a few people walking their dogs and delivery guys biking around. Suddenly I would hear music blasting from a single fluorescent deli echoing through the entire street, or I would be walking in the silence and could hear music getting nearer and it turned out to be a delivery guy blasting his music as he sped away on his bike. It did not feel creepy to me. Even though there were no police anywhere, I did not feel unsafe and I did not fear”, Ramos said. 

Here’s what she heard. And what she saw.

Houston Street. Imagine that taxis honk. People are loud. Motorcycles roar. Glasses clink. Couples fight. Now only the arrows speak.

Soho. On 9/11 the hum of the air conditioners kept the deadly dust-out. Now, even the buildings are holding their breath.

Crosby Street. Everything stops but the fix.

Lafayette Street. Like the unwieldy scaffolding of New York, are we being propped up by the uneasy calm?

Sixth Avenue. Music blasts from a place that is offering take out and delivery. It echoes festively down the empty streets, beckoning no one.

The Public Theater. Down but not out. The lights are still on. Art will come back.

West 4th Street. The best back rub sounds more questionable than ever. Even the Blue Note is silent.

Broadway. Two world wars, 9/11, major blackouts, hurricane Sandy, and this too shall pass. Grace Church bears witness that New Yorkers are resilient. And obedient.

The NYC Subway. All spiffed up and nowhere to go.

Stay safe. Stay Home. Enjoy the silence.


CATEGORIES: Coronavirus | New York


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