Open Thread: Disappearing Act

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I look back at the time BP (Before Pandemic) with a pair of rose-tinted glasses. Gem Spa was still around!  You could look at people’s faces!  Walking on the sidewalk didn’t involve an obstacle course with bags of trash on one side and sidewalk sheds on the other! You could visit other people and go to gatherings and not need proof of vaccination!  Stores gave out free food samples! Masks were for Halloween!


Life has definitely changed since then…for good (so many more people are on board with washing their hands, telecommuting is now a thing).

And for the not so good, like businesses that were part of my inner map of my hometown. Lord and Taylor (read about it here); Gem Spa and its egg creams; the Roosevelt Hotel (my go to when I needed a clean restroom in Midtown); the Cupping Room (from my Camelot days); the New York Health and Racquet Club gym chain (my exercise program took a BIG hit).

I miss the people that worked at these places too – all  out of work). I miss stores open 24 hours, and full store shelves.  Luckily, I haven’t lost anyone to Covid but I know plenty of people who have.

What disappeared? 

The plague has certainly taken more than its share from us, some minor, some major, some drawbacks and some improvements.  I’ve shared some of mine.

But how about you? What disappeared during the Plague? Tell us about it in the comments!

Virge Randall is Senior Planet’s Managing Editor. She is also a freelance culture reporter who seeks out hidden gems and unsung (or undersung) treasures for Straus Newspapers; her blog “Don’t Get Me Started” puts a quirky new spin on Old School New York City. Send  Open Thread suggestions to

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