Today’s Solutions: December 01, 2021

From the agoras of ancient Greece to Times Square in New York City, public plazas remain magnets to society, places to which we gravitate for pleasure and solace, to take our collective temperature, celebrate, protest. 

It’s no wonder, then, that the present emptiness that looms over these places makes the world feel so gloomy. Images of abandoned city squares can conjure up images of dystopia, not progress, but, promisingly, it also suggests that, by heeding the experts and staying apart, we have not yet lost the capacity to come together for the common good.

Recently, the New York Times sent dozens of photographers out to capture images of once-bustling public plazas, beaches, fairgrounds, restaurants, movie theaters, tourist meccas, and train stations. The images they came away with are more like stills from movies about plagues and the apocalypse, but in some ways they are hopeful. They also remind us that beauty requires human interaction while evoking a similar romance like the one we feel for ruins. Fortunately for us, those places will be bustling once more—with time.

Want to have a look at this incredible photo gallery from the Times? Look no further.

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