Lost in lockdown. The other face of New York

Images that narrate a surreal, suspended Manhattan, where the shops are closed and their windows protected by strong panels. By the Architectural Photographer Marco Petrini

Shots that vividly convey what New York is going through in the break dictated by the spread of COVID-19. Images captured by the lens of Marco Petrini (@petrinistudio) – a photographer based in New York with a background in the world of architecture and city landscape – that illustrate the transformation of Manhattan during lockdown.
The original photos are part of a wider-ranging graphic project. The photographer, also Managing Director for Boffi | De Padova New York, has created a photography series for the two brands for their stores around the world, to be presented in the showrooms in SoHo.

The visage of this district of creativity narrated by Petrini is something we never would have imagined. Suspended in its bohemian elegance, the once lively SoHo area has turned off its spotlights. The heart of the Manhattan design system – from Spring St. to Greene St., Wooster to West Broadway – exists in a spectral silence, hovering around the neighborhood’s fashion and design brands: Louis Vuitton, Chanel, Dolce&Gabbana, Polo Ralph Lauren, Stone Island, as well as Boffi, Artemide, Flos, De Padova, Moroso, Tom Dixon, Flou, Kartell, just to name a few.
In a unanimous lockdown, the windows of fashion brands are transformed into little stages without actors, temporarily protected by imposing panels. COVID-19 has stopped the city that never sleeps, transforming it into a deserted metropolis where every evening, at 7pm, you can hear the applause of New Yorkers to pay tribute to those who are tackling the battle on the front lines. Restaurants are open only for take-out, shops are closed, and the luxury outlets are boarded up, creating a sensation of disquiet and bewilderment: from the Meatpacking District to the West Village, sophisticated Fifth Avenue to Lower Manhattan.


The same is true of the design destination of Madison Avenue, where Made in Italy dwells in the showrooms of Poliform, Natuzzi, Molteni, Minotti, DDC with Giorgetti and Baxter. In the visual narrative they can be experienced only with the eyes. Immersed in a silence no New Yorker could ever have imagined, which will remain imprinted in memory for some time, where the Empire State lights up red every evening, and “Stay Safe” messages are seen on every street. Until the decision to reopen is finally made: maybe on 15 May. 

Marco Petrini
Architectural Photographer