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  #9581  
Old Posted Mar 8, 2022, 10:01 PM
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My work ended masking on Monday for both vaccinated and unvaccinated employees (prior to that, only unvaccinated employees had to wear them). No longer mandatory, but if you want to wear one, it's up to you, and you'll be provided with one if you ask for one.

Now, only visitors are required to wear a face covering when entering; so, the copier repair guy, the Corodata guy, etc., still have to wear their masks if they want to enter our office.

LA County has basically aligned itself with the rest of California, so masks for the moment are only required at airports, on public transit, in healthcare facilities...

It's been weird for me walking into a restaurant without wearing a mask, and then you see some employees wearing them, and then I feel rude for not wearing one. I've been keeping a KN95 mask in my back pocket just in case a business requires me to wear one.
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  #9582  
Old Posted Mar 10, 2022, 2:40 PM
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2 years later after Covid hit - how does your city "feel" now?

Starting a new thread since the other one is a political clusterf*ck. Really just want to know - 2 years later, is your city feeling back to normal? Still quiet?

Speaking for Los Angeles, things were feeling somewhat more vibrant the last few months even with Omicron, but with mask mandates, still killed the vibe overall.

Now with indoor mask mandates lifted, for the first time in what feels like FOREVER the city feels alive again. Seeing a lot more foot traffic, restaurants are busy, people are going out, and a lot more people seem to be at the office. Covid really dulled out this city and it was super depressing, so I'm hugely relieved to see that we're sunsetting the pandemic and that LA is getting its spark back. The only thing still missing is office worker traffic, def. still not where it was.
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  #9583  
Old Posted Mar 10, 2022, 3:01 PM
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Still doesn't feel normal where I live. A lot of bars/restaurants still aren't open Sundays and early in the week. Way less pedestrian activity. Few people playing music and hanging out on their porches. College students aren't throwing many parties.
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  #9584  
Old Posted Mar 10, 2022, 3:13 PM
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I just had to drive my sick child over to my parent's condo for the day.

It took 24 minutes to go 2.5 miles.

I don't do that drive often anymore (thank Pizza God!), but I used to do it a lot during peak pandemic when my kids were stuck in remote "learning" hell and my mom helped us out big time, and I could usually do that same drive in about half that time back then.

So rush hour is apparently back in full swing in chicago now <sarcastic YAY!>
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  #9585  
Old Posted Mar 10, 2022, 3:38 PM
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Toronto feels like it got capped in the knees while running a marathon.

2019 was a great year in Toronto. Not only did the Raptors win the championship, but 2019 felt like the culminating year of the great 2010s' boom which had been very favourable to our city. There were all these exciting restaurants and events. Downtown had more people in it than ever in our history and they were all out on the streets livening things up. And then 1 year later all of that was lost.

Now we pay 28% more to live in a city where many storefronts are empty and a lot of those that aren't empty got turned into Cannabis dispensaries which have terrible streetfront presence.

Toronto suffered a lot because we had a very strict, very long lockdown. Aside from mask mandates, there have been capacity limits to dining and events of some kind pretty much from the beginning until now.

If you're considering visiting Toronto this year, I'd personally hold off. I think it will bounce back, but it's going to take some time and right now the city is not very flattering. Don't forget that, more than any other city in North America, Toronto needs people on the streets to feel big. We don't have the architectural brawn that will make exploring empty streets worthwhile.
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  #9586  
Old Posted Mar 10, 2022, 4:05 PM
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London is more or less normal now, for this time of year. I went through the City at around 5pm yesterday and the sidewalks were full of commuters. It’s not as busy as it can be but it’s not tourist/festival season yet.

There are zero Covid rules here anymore, including testing or masks. You see maybe 10% of people on the tube wearing them because they want to (like Pedestrian), but the most the operator or shops, etc are allowed to do is put up a sign that says something like “Please consider wearing a mask”.

A report yesterday said that because of high levels of immunity and the mildness of omicron, more people are dying of flu than Covid in the UK.
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  #9587  
Old Posted Mar 10, 2022, 4:08 PM
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NYC is nowhere near pre-pandemic normal, but it feels like the city is starting to recover in a meaningful way. Rush hour vehicular traffic in Manhattan is increasing, but is still far below pre-pandemic normal. Subway rush hour ridership is gradually picking up, but is also well below pre-pandemic normal.

The city was trending recovery in the Fall too, but omicron dealt a pretty substantial setback. The recovery feels more solid now.
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  #9588  
Old Posted Mar 10, 2022, 4:36 PM
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Boise feels bigger. Restaurant wait times are longer, hockey games are packed, the streets seem busier downtown, and all of the construction projects that started back then are now done or close to done.

the new normal is the same as the old normal except more normal-y.
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  #9589  
Old Posted Mar 10, 2022, 4:41 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hipster duck View Post
Toronto feels like it got capped in the knees while running a marathon.

2019 was a great year in Toronto. Not only did the Raptors win the championship, but 2019 felt like the culminating year of the great 2010s' boom which had been very favourable to our city. There were all these exciting restaurants and events. Downtown had more people in it than ever in our history and they were all out on the streets livening things up. And then 1 year later all of that was lost.

Now we pay 28% more to live in a city where many storefronts are empty and a lot of those that aren't empty got turned into Cannabis dispensaries which have terrible streetfront presence.

Toronto suffered a lot because we had a very strict, very long lockdown. Aside from mask mandates, there have been capacity limits to dining and events of some kind pretty much from the beginning until now.

If you're considering visiting Toronto this year, I'd personally hold off. I think it will bounce back, but it's going to take some time and right now the city is not very flattering. Don't forget that, more than any other city in North America, Toronto needs people on the streets to feel big. We don't have the architectural brawn that will make exploring empty streets worthwhile.
I think Toronto this summer will have a lot of pent up energy to release. I was in the city last weekend and went out for the first time since Covid restrictions were removed. There were line-ups at all the usual popular bars in freezing weather. I imagine it will only improve when patios open up, Jays games are back at full capacity, The CNE is back, etc.
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  #9590  
Old Posted Mar 10, 2022, 4:42 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hipster duck View Post
Toronto feels like it got capped in the knees while running a marathon.

2019 was a great year in Toronto. Not only did the Raptors win the championship, but 2019 felt like the culminating year of the great 2010s' boom which had been very favourable to our city. There were all these exciting restaurants and events. Downtown had more people in it than ever in our history and they were all out on the streets livening things up. And then 1 year later all of that was lost.

Now we pay 28% more to live in a city where many storefronts are empty and a lot of those that aren't empty got turned into Cannabis dispensaries which have terrible streetfront presence.

Toronto suffered a lot because we had a very strict, very long lockdown. Aside from mask mandates, there have been capacity limits to dining and events of some kind pretty much from the beginning until now.
.
Ditto for pretty much anywhere in Ontario and Quebec in fact.

Not even close to being back to normal yet.
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  #9591  
Old Posted Mar 10, 2022, 4:43 PM
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Jays games are back
you're quite the optimistic one.
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  #9592  
Old Posted Mar 10, 2022, 4:48 PM
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Everything feels stifled still because of residual pandemic, massive inflation, weird building demand, wars etc
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  #9593  
Old Posted Mar 10, 2022, 4:51 PM
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Chiming in from Philly - things mostly feel back to normal aside from the subways and crime. The vibes are pretty much there as far as I can tell - more people downtown, buses are pretty packed at rush hour, even the commuter train that I reverse commute on occasionally seems to be pretty crowded. Bars and restaurants are as busy as they've ever been. Unfortunately, the subways are pretty sad at the moment, with lots of people openly smoking cigarettes and weed on them, a few instances of people pushing others onto the tracks for no apparent reason, and violent crime in underground walkways . Really hope that changes soon.

I was in LA last month (last time I had been there before that was 2019) and things felt a bit more desolate there than here. Maybe it was just that I was there on a weekend and downtown was super quiet, or I forgot how much people drive in LA, but something definitely still felt off in the areas around downtown at least. In neighborhoods like Ktown, Echo Park, Silverlake, parts of Westlake, things felt pretty normal, but in general, there seemed to be a lot more homelessness than I remembered. My Friday night subway ride from Downtown to Ktown felt a bit dystopian, with a few folks who were not in their right minds ruling the vibes on the train to put it lightly.

On the flip side, I took a trip to Rome, Istanbul and Cairo a few months ago and those cities seemed pretty normal, despite their tourism numbers still being way off their peaks. It actually made it really enjoyable to be there when there weren't so many tourists, I got a much better feel for normal life there and the cities didn't feel like tourist traps as I've heard they can sometimes. Really made it obvious how much American cities rely on their downtown offices for vitality. Even with less than half the tourism of pre-COVID, Istanbul and Rome felt way more bustling than Philadelphia pre-COVID. Cairo was another level of bustling, though it's unfair to compare since Cairo really is still a developing-world city.
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  #9594  
Old Posted Mar 10, 2022, 5:04 PM
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In my Downtown-Seattle-fringe area, life has seemed pretty normal all along after the first few months. But Downtown proper is more work/tourism/shopping oriented. Seattle is probably one of the harder-hit due to software jobs being relatively remote-friendly.

A lot of our issues are peripheral to Covid. Some are trending well.

The homeless surge and crime surge resulted in new City leadership in January, and there's been a lot of cleaning up since. Tents are gone from some key areas. Even before, we were converting a lot of hotels to homeless housing and making some progress.

We're three months into a concrete truck driver strike in King County, our central 2.3m. This has shut major construction down cold, including new starts. This actually has nothing to do with Covid.

Retail is hurt by Covid but also a lack of workers at prices employers will pay. Why open a store if you can't staff it?

But a surge has begun. Employers have been announcing hybrid work plans. This will be a record summer for the cruise industry, with 300 calls. Also we've been finishing construction projects like Climate Pledge Arena, Sea-Tac International Arrivals, and the Link Light Rail extension to Northgate, which all add to my optimism and make the city feel nicer.
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  #9595  
Old Posted Mar 10, 2022, 5:13 PM
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you're quite the optimistic one.
Hoping for a half-season, but Manfred needs to go!
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  #9596  
Old Posted Mar 10, 2022, 5:40 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hipster duck View Post
Toronto feels like it got capped in the knees while running a marathon.

2019 was a great year in Toronto. Not only did the Raptors win the championship, but 2019 felt like the culminating year of the great 2010s' boom which had been very favourable to our city. There were all these exciting restaurants and events. Downtown had more people in it than ever in our history and they were all out on the streets livening things up. And then 1 year later all of that was lost.

Now we pay 28% more to live in a city where many storefronts are empty and a lot of those that aren't empty got turned into Cannabis dispensaries which have terrible streetfront presence.

Toronto suffered a lot because we had a very strict, very long lockdown. Aside from mask mandates, there have been capacity limits to dining and events of some kind pretty much from the beginning until now.

If you're considering visiting Toronto this year, I'd personally hold off. I think it will bounce back, but it's going to take some time and right now the city is not very flattering. Don't forget that, more than any other city in North America, Toronto needs people on the streets to feel big. We don't have the architectural brawn that will make exploring empty streets worthwhile.
Agreed. I was out last Friday night downtown and it was busier than I've seen it in 2 years, but still a shell of it's former self. A bar I went to that normally is packed to the gills on a Friday felt like it was a Tuesday night at 7pm.

Even with everything being open again in terms of government restrictions, not everyone is back to their normal routines. Students are still partially online, people aren't in their offices, and many aren't comfortable returning to restaurants and bars in big ways yet.

I expect by summer it'll be closer to it's normal self again, but it's still a shell of 2019 today. I heard a couple of Americans at the bar discussing how it was their first time in Toronto with the bartender, and man, I felt bad for them. They probably think Toronto is this sleepy little city where nothing happens.
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  #9597  
Old Posted Mar 10, 2022, 5:48 PM
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Agreed. I was out last Friday night downtown and it was busier than I've seen it in 2 years, but still a shell of it's former self. A bar I went to that normally is packed to the gills on a Friday felt like it was a Tuesday night at 7pm.

Even with everything being open again in terms of government restrictions, not everyone is back to their normal routines. Students are still partially online, people aren't in their offices, and many aren't comfortable returning to restaurants and bars in big ways yet.

I expect by summer it'll be closer to it's normal self again, but it's still a shell of 2019 today. I heard a couple of Americans at the bar discussing how it was their first time in Toronto with the bartender, and man, I felt bad for them. They probably think Toronto is this sleepy little city where nothing happens.
I don't think we should underestimate just how many people got into a somewhat comfy rut during the pandemic whereby they got used to not going out much at all and are cocooning in the extreme most of the time.

One can wonder if they might not even be as numerous as those of us who were just itching to get out and do stuff.

Some of these may eventually be "back", but I think a good number of them probably never will come back out much.
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  #9598  
Old Posted Mar 10, 2022, 5:54 PM
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I don't think we should underestimate just how many people got into a somewhat comfy rut during the pandemic whereby they got used to not going out much at all and are cocooning in the extreme most of the time.

One can wonder if they might not even be as numerous as those of us who were just itching to get out and do stuff.

Some of these may eventually be "back", but I think a good number of them probably never will come back out much.
This. My wife and went out pretty often in the 'before times' but have to force ourselves to get out of the house even though Houston is back to near pre-pandemic levels. Covid is going to have lingering effects long have the virus itself has subsided. Plus, things are still place to make staying home easier; Instacart, Doordash and in some states, you can order alcohol to go and even delivered to your house. Never a better time to be an alcoholic...
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  #9599  
Old Posted Mar 10, 2022, 6:04 PM
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Originally Posted by hipster duck View Post
Toronto feels like it got capped in the knees while running a marathon.

2019 was a great year in Toronto. Not only did the Raptors win the championship, but 2019 felt like the culminating year of the great 2010s' boom which had been very favourable to our city. There were all these exciting restaurants and events. Downtown had more people in it than ever in our history and they were all out on the streets livening things up. And then 1 year later all of that was lost.

Now we pay 28% more to live in a city where many storefronts are empty and a lot of those that aren't empty got turned into Cannabis dispensaries which have terrible streetfront presence.

Toronto suffered a lot because we had a very strict, very long lockdown. Aside from mask mandates, there have been capacity limits to dining and events of some kind pretty much from the beginning until now.

Fair assessment. Despite the lifting of capacity limits and most other restrictions, the city still feels like it's been left as a quieter, more subdued version of itself. Granted, it also probably hasn't helped that it's been a particularly bitter winter, and that there's still some inertia in getting back to normal.

Speaking personally though, I've had many friends leave the city over the past 2 years - whether in search of affordable housing or new experiences; while others have just become more reclusive & withdrawn - so for me, it is a lesser version of itself. And with fewer people to go out with, that means I'm less likely to go out as well. While this may be anecdotal, the out-migration of young people from Toronto has been well documented.

That all said, with mask mandates disappearing next week and warmer weather on the way, I'm sure we'll see a bit more liveliness return to our streets. But otherwise, I'm in agreement that it may take a few years to get back to where we were in 2019.
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  #9600  
Old Posted Mar 10, 2022, 6:16 PM
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I rate Portland only 4 Robocops/10. Thats pretty good considering 2020 was thunderdome summer. Downtown is sleepy but seems infinitely cleaner and more safe. Office workers are slowly trickling in I hear. Boarded up storefronts persist but most big national retailers seem to have stuck it out. Rents are supposedly very high at the moment tho and we still have some spotty homeless issues. The desire to get Downtown back in order is palpable tho. NW Portland where all of the better shopping and high density housing is, is doing fine. Seems extremely lively. Weird, schizo level crime is happening all over the city tho. Some dude blew up a strangers car in broad daylight over the weekend. So there's sh!t like that. There is still a 20 ft east german quality security fence in front of the downtown Apple store so you be the judge.
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