March is usually one of my favourite months of the year. St. Patrick’s Day, my birthday, and I would usually have a lot of concerts thrown in there too. This March was a lot different.
The Coronavirus took over New York, I began working from home for the foreseeable and found myself in quarantine due to my roommate contracting and testing positive for the virus, forcing us all into lockdown.
The beginning of March was quite promising and I got a lot packed in. Looking back, I thankfully packed in enough that made the month very varied and productive. I attended two concerts, a Broadway show, a stand-up comedian, was in the audience of a live TV show, explored more of Brooklyn and tried out some new brunch spots.
I guess March wasn’t all bad.
March always seems to be quite a musical month for me. This year it was Dermot Kennedy, last year it was Picture This and Lewis Capaldi. The year before it was Niall Horan (twice) and Harry Styles. Before that, I remember I have seen Jessie J, Ellie Goulding and Kodaline in the month of March. No idea why March seems to be so popular for gigs.
Before isolation happened, I went to see Dermot Kennedy perform live for the second time since moving to New York. I have wanted to see Dermot Kennedy perform for a very long time, and there was no way I was missing him perform in New York while I was here.
The first time I saw Dermot perform live was pure luck. Someone contacted me via Twitter with a free ticket to watch him perform in a room of 200 people. He only performed five songs that day, but it was still an incredible experience.
He’s one of the best voices I’ve heard live and I’m in love with his songwriting capabilities. You can read the full review of that gig here. And if you want to read about the first time I saw him live in a record store in Brooklyn, you can read that blog here.
ST. PATRICK’S DAY
St. Patrick’s Day didn’t really take place this year. Even back in Ireland, all the bars and pubs closed during one of their busiest days of the year. I guess I kind of had my own St. Patrick’s Day as an Irish band had traveled over to New York to play four consecutive nights at Connolly’s Irish bar in Times Square.
I went to their first performance and it was a little worrying as you would have thought the Coronavirus didn’t exist. Everyone was getting drunk, hugging each other, bumping into one another and had no worries about passing any virus along.
The subways we took to get there were empty, as were the streets around Times Square. For 9pm on a Friday night, it was very eerie. But I listened and sang along to a lot of Irish music that night, heard a lot of Irish accents and had my own mini-Paddy’s Day.
It wasn’t long before the seriousness of the Corona set in and the band played only two of their four nights before flying back to Ireland. On the Tuesday, 17th March, a lot of us were due to watch the Knicks play in Madison Square Garden. It had been announced the day before that the NBA would be suspending all play. So those plans were out of the question.
A QUARANTINED BIRTHDAY
My birthday was very different this year compared to previous years. I don’t think it was the worst, but it wasn’t the best, that’s for sure. As you can imagine, I hadn’t planned for a quarantine birthday, but I made do with all that I could.
The week before my birthday, my flatmate had been tested for the Coronavirus. Not the greatest St. Patrick’s Day ever. So we were ten days into the quarantine when my birthday rolled around.
My flatmates were great and cooked me a brunch and we ordered in some takeaway in the evening and had a few drinks. My new flatmates that I couldn’t yet move in with even baked me a cake and sang happy birthday 6ft from my front door.
MORE BRUNCH AND MORE EXPLORING
One thing you’ll not be surprised that I miss the most is going out for brunch. It was my favourite weekend activity and I was hoping to sample as many avocado toasts that I could in New York and further afield.
Thankfully, I made the most of the first few weekends of March and tried out a few more on my list. First on the list was Shuka in West Village, then Bwe in Jersey City once again as I took my first few days working from home to the local cafe, then it was Liberty in midtown while watching some rugby, ending with Milk and Honey in Brooklyn and The Butcher’s Daughter in the West Village.
I ticked off the Whitney Museum of Modern Art, a visit to Broadway to see Mean Girls, my live audience debut at Trevor Noah’s The Daily Show and a day out in Brooklyn wandering around Prospect Park, through the Orthodox region of Williamsburg and our final night out in New York in Greenpoint.
Another area of New York that we explored was Astoria in Queens. It’s known for it’s Greek area and as one of my good friends here (and now roommate) is Greek, she took us on a tour of the best food places Astoria has to offer.
The month of March ended with a lot less excitement and hope than the start of March. There were a lot of cancelled plans and a lot of bleak days.
I was due to go to Vermont for the weekend to celebrate my birthday and to tick off another state. It was a converted barn in the middle of the mountains, so we wouldn’t have come into contact with anyone all weekend, but the AirBnB felt it best to cancel our trip due to all of the quarantine rules in the US.
I’ve had all of my upcoming concerts cancelled including James Arthur, Niall Horan and Lewis Capaldi. I was due to go to Puerto Rico in May, but it would appear that will also be cancelled.
I’m not sure what I’m going to be able to write about when I sum up my month of April. Maybe about all of the books I’ve read, the emails I’ve written and the movies I’ve watched on Netflix. That’s all I have to look forward to these days.