It's been a while. I have chosen not to write for public consumption during the bulk of the pandemic because I prefer to speak when I have something relevant or wise or both to say, that is not already being said, even as we as an industry carry on despite these strange times.
The world has changed so much in the past six months, it's mind boggling to imagine our collective naivety just seven short months ago. We as a community, while at times besieged with our individual challenges, have never experienced the devastation of mass, wartime-like tragedy on this scale in our lifetimes. It's time for proactive change as we emerge (whenever and however that occurs for each of us) from the change that was cast upon us. If we learn the lessons, we've won the game, as tragic as it's been for too many people.
Before we get to "the list", a bit about my pandemic journey:
I struggled through and recovered from Covid-19, I've lost two almost life-long friends, one of whom succumbed to a brutal case of Covid passing from this world well before his time. Along with so many others, I have taken to the streets in protest. I've cooked many, many meals, I've gardened like a homesteader, I've read in search of sating my endless curiosity, and I have begun learning a musical instrument for the first time in my adult life. I've worked hard with renewed determination and focus, and I've somehow managed to laugh, sing, dance and sometimes cry together with family and my pod of people. I've stayed connected to other people I love while we've been physically separated.
I've reflected on my relationships, both intimate and otherwise, in a new light. My time meditating and reflecting has been the key to my sense of balance, belonging, and lovingness. We have just one life to love, and one life to love those souls whom we cherish. I've come to feel that nourishing love may be the most important thing of all in life. It's the sorely needed salve in the most trying times, and a beacon of glory in good times. In my opinion, we don't pay enough attention to loving purely, whatever the idiosyncrasies of our loves. After all, without love, what matters? Love is not only a noun, it is also an active verb. It's the verb I'm talking about here. Love. That's a full sentence and it's my message.
A friend of mine recently reminded me of a piece of Charlie Chaplin's wisdom "Nothing is forever in this world, not even our problems." This resonates with me at this poignant time. Real estate, which can't be separated from any single dynamic occurring outside of real estate, knows this perhaps better than any other sector. It's the most consistent ocean of an industry that, over the course of history, never falters long term, but the ebb and flow of its waves cause constant speculation.
Our markets have been struck by significant change over the course of the pandemic. That said, no pandemic has ever lasted forever, and New York has never been beaten by any disaster, natural or otherwise. New York has heart. Heart was once described by my friend, the legendary Pete Hamill, as "about getting up. It's about seeing the cut above your brow...and calling on some secret reservoir of the self to dominate and win." Let's coach each other to get up off the mat and move forward with our heads, our hearts, and our heart intact, together like never before. It's what we as New Yorkers do. Period.
A bit about the markets we cover:
The Hudson Valley real estate market has blossomed and flowed from pent-up demand amid the crush of people rushing to get their piece of the country life pie, where birds chirp in the window in the morning and the sunlight dappled over the Hudson River graces the land with a magical light show every evening. Locally grown, organic food, sometimes regeneratively farmed, offers seasonal culinary delights of every sort, and the women and men in the local shops are happy to chat about anything and everything, sometimes becoming a close friend over the course of days or weeks. Some have posited that this is a temporary boon, but I disagree. The lifestyle choices people are making to plant a foothold amidst nature is not a temporary construct, no matter the reason for it. It's an enhanced lifestyle which will become more and more of a viable choice for creatives, those working from home, and for those exploring, perhaps for the first time, remote learning environments, which I believe will become a larger trend going forward long after the pandemic.
Does this mean that New York City is over? Heavens no! While New York City has been left for dead by some, there are other prescient individuals who tend to heed Warren Buffet's advice to "be fearful when others are greedy and be greedy when others are fearful." The traction in our NYC market is picking up, slowly, surely and steadily, week after week already, in almost every micro-market arena. It will certainly take time, but as it always happens, our recovery to a robust market will sneak up on most people, who will then envy those who had the courage to buy now. But then, those people will be looking in the rearview mirror at missed opportunity.
This is my educated prediction based on data, my experience, and the life lessons that I've learned along the way. My advice is: don't bet against either of these markets whose strength is only gaining momentum each and every day. Don't bet against our restaurants, or cultural and business growth, either. This period of "reset" will only lead to new incarnations of the innovative evolution that is the hallmark of New York and New Yorkers, whether natives or newbies to our land. People come here to learn, and to become their best selves, in the greatest city in the world. The Hudson Valley, it's northern neighbor, is one of the the most resource-rich lands in the world, and boasts an incredibly lustrous history and provenance that make it a naturally essential outpost for New York City's best and brightest minds. Don't bet against either place that I call home, ever, because we will get up again, every time, to create an even better tomorrow.
18 Reasons Why:
1. New York City has always emerged safer and stronger as a result of disasters, natural and otherwise.
2. New York is New York because of strong, smart, tough New Yorkers who innovate following every hairpin turn along the journey.
3. Every dire prediction about New York has been either short-lived or wrong.
4. There will be more opportunity for a more diverse population now that systemic racism is being confronted head on.
5. New York will lead the charge to a cleaner, safer environment and its steps will ripple across the world.
6. New York's culture won't quit, it will just evolve, as always.
7. For better or for worse, traffic in New York City is back.
8. New Yorkers have the Statue of Liberty, a welcoming symbol of renewal of faith, hope, love and dreams, and we live by her mission.
9. It is not in our DNA not to come back, stronger and better than ever before, always.
10. New Yorkers are determined and don't give up.
11. New Yorkers have heart.
12. New Yorkers are compassionate.
13. New Yorkers are tough.
14. New Yorkers are smart.
15. New Yorkers are lovers of life
16. New York welcomes all people with fortitude, passion and a dream from around the world.
17. New York is beloved by the most passionate of lovers, New Yorkers.
18. New Yorkers just don't quit.
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