Empty Park Avenue???
It is Memorial Day today.
And this is Park Avenue, usually bustling with hectic traffic typical for Manhattan. Not today though. The feel actually is surreal. I was choosing between this and an identical picture without the dog. Without, it could look like I just caught a rare moment of emptiness. But no, this is a general mood on the Upper East Side this morning. Everybody left. Well, speaking relatively of course.
The Memorial Day marks the start of summer. This is a “long” weekend (3 days) around which many choose to add days off, turning it into a mini-vacation. This is the weekend when the beaches are officially declared open and many families make their first long trip to summer houses, emptying the streets of residential parts of Manhattan. The summer mood installs itself all over, and this is a welcomed change. I personally love New York during summer.
If you click on the picture, you will see on the background the MetLife Building which is located 40-something blocks away – it towers over the Grand Central on 42nd street.
Memorial Day, originally called Decoration Day, commemorates U.S. soldiers who died while in the military service and dates back to 1868. The first state to officially recognize the holiday was New York in 1873. Soon it was picked up by all states. Since 1971 Memorial Day is celebrated on the last Monday of May. And since 2000 on this day at 3 in the afternoon all Americans are asked “To voluntarily and informally observe in their own way a Moment of remembrance and respect, pausing from whatever they are doing for a moment of silence”.