The Dream Lounge has held a wonderful loft-like office space in the intimate apparel market neighborhood of Madison Ave. and 34th Street for almost 9 years. The office has been my home away from home and a place where our store partners have visited us, viewed our collections, and created lasting relationships that have helped to chart the course of our business. We have loved our corner of the world, and my heart goes out to the small stores and restaurants who share the once lively, now empty spaces where we worked, ate, fueled up on coffee, and shopped in this corner of Midtown Manhattan.

Each time I have gone back to our office during Covid, I have been struck by the emptiness of the streets. Midtown is essentially empty. During the height of the pandemic in NYC, I would jog from my apartment to my office and never stop once for traffic. I just ran in a straight shot to my office because there was no one else outside. I recalled feeling like I was in a zombie apocalypse.

Recently, as people trickle into office spaces, it has become apparent that so many business will not return to our once bustling Nomad neighborhood. Spoon, a small eatery on 33rd Street that was the perfect spot for a cozy lunch, has closed permanently. Buttercup Bake Shop a delicious bakery where I grabbed cupcakes snacks and birthday cakes, located on the ground floor of our office building is gone. Herald Square retail, once the home of flagship retail, is a sea of closed storefronts.

This is the new normal in NYC. While I haven’t seen rampant crime, the economic fallout if very real.

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