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Hindsight 2020

New Haven

Slowly Filling Streets


Slowly Filling Streets


I often walk. Downtown, the woods, and over years, across all of New Haven's neighborhoods.

I spent much of Spring walking close to home. The streets were empty. Downtown, vacant. The few people there squinted over masks at each other, crossing to the other side of the street, offering a nod during the passing.

As the weeks wore on, folks returned to New Haven, returned to work, and began the building back toward normalcy. Amid rife injustice, political maelstrom, a ravaged environment, few jobs, and real existential threat looming just feet away, we built toward normal.

People filled the streets more and more. This new normal where some carried placards along with disposable masks, megaphones clutched in gloved hands. Others carried torches, flags, and guns.

Some of us were lucky and gave way to laughter, to socially distant fireworks displays, to backyard barbecues and porch-performance of song. There were dogs being walked. Strollers being pushed. The streets filled more and more.

This has been a time when reality and symbolism interweave. Time, more important than ever, is suspended and indeterminate. We’re walking metaphors – but we’re walking anyway.

As of 25 September 2020 in the United States, there are 190,076 among us who are not.


Steve Ross


I've lived and worked in New Haven for over twenty years.

Date Created


Spatial Coverage


A friend.



Steve Ross, “Slowly Filling Streets,” Hindsight 2020, accessed August 19, 2022,