A Journal of the Plague Year 2020–chapter 82

A New York police car on fire in Brooklyn on Saturday.

Sunday, May 31

It seems we’ve been missing all the action.

A set of Marella Gayla photos on The New Yorker website shows intense protests at Union Square—right outside our apartment window on 4th Avenue at 14th Street.

Where hundreds of demonstrators confronted uniformed cops on Thursday, you can see Zeckendorff Towers looming in the background. Another photographer’s work shows demonstrations a block away at 5th Avenue. In the background of photos there, you can see a telltale CVS Pharmacy.

The cause of the protests is, of course, the police killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis, where there have been five nights of fierce protest. In over three dozen cities across the U.S.—from New York to Detroit, Atlanta, and San Francisco—there have been mass demonstrations, looting, and even the burning of buildings. In Brooklyn, one woman was arrested for throwing a Molotov cocktail at a police vehicle. In Washington, protests compelled police to cordon off several blocks around the White House. Curfews were imposed in Los Angeles, Atlanta, and Chicago.

I have been amazed, perplexed, and outraged for years about the police killings of black youth–and the cops’ seeming impunity.

But there’s not much I can do about it out here. So, I just had a nice walk out in the sunshine. One worry is that our new little rabbit pal is being bullied by the territorial squirrels. Oh, there is also incessant noise from the neighbor’s crew of lawn-cutters and leaf-blowers.

I’m not sorry to miss the city protests. I’m too old to run from baton-wielding police. And it’s one thing to go to demonstrations of your own volition, and another to have protests taking place right at your doorstep, with no exit. 

According to reports I’ve gotten from an NYC neighbor, the building scene is weird. At times, people wait in the lobby so they can go onto an elevator one at a time. We have a rented parking space in the lot below the building, but it’s not clear that the parking lot is even open. No one answers the phone when you call. Yet on the parking service’s website, that particular lot isn’t listed as being closed. Should I pay the bill? I am of course paying rent on our apartment upstairs, where we have not been since early March.

A modest dinner tonight: Progresso canned soup, roasted potatoes, and a salad.

Entertainment: final episodes of the Britbox video A Confession.