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Your Monday Briefing

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How did this mission begin?

When the pandemic struck, I noticed it as a problem, to suppose what I may do that will not be simply wild prognosticating about what would occur to the town. So I wrote to a bunch of individuals I knew, architects, historians and others, proper earlier than the lockdown. I requested, “What about taking a stroll round city?”

You started simulating the walks after the town shut down in March. How did that work?

By the point we revealed the second stroll, about Museum Mile, it had develop into impractical to stroll across the metropolis safely with somebody, and it additionally despatched the incorrect sign. So I started doing the walks nearly: over the cellphone or by way of Zoom.

The reality is that digital walks have been in some ways simpler to do as a result of we may pack extra right into a dialog with out having to cope with really strolling lengthy distances or speaking over site visitors. That stated, I used to be glad to return to strolling, as I did round Chinatown, as a result of it let me meet up with numerous individuals and since, effectively, really strolling the town is a pleasure.

You do handle the pandemic within the Chinatown walk.

I had Chinatown in thoughts from the beginning as a result of that neighborhood was, even earlier than the lockdown, laborious hit by a wave of xenophobia. I needed to remind individuals not simply how fantastic the neighborhood is however how central it’s to New York’s historic id and variety.

You have been born and raised in New York. How did this mission change your perspective on the town?

I needed even individuals who had walked these locations earlier than to see them by way of completely different eyes. For me, a lot of this environmental, pre-colonial and Nineteenth-century historical past was information, and exhilarating and humbling as a result of it jogged my memory simply how a lot I don’t know but in addition how limitless New York is.


That’s it for this briefing. Have an amazing week.

— Natasha


Thanks
To Theodore Kim and Jahaan Singh for the break from the information. You possibly can attain the workforce at briefing@nytimes.com.

P.S.
• We’re listening to “The Daily.” Our newest episode is about evictions within the U.S. in the course of the pandemic.
• Right here’s our Mini Crossword, and a clue: Foreign money of Cuba and Colombia (4 letters). You can find all our puzzles here.
• The latest Book Review podcast options Kerri Greenidge on African-American resistance and Neal Gabler on Edward Kennedy.