5 Aug - 2020

Quarantecture: The Sites and Experiences We’ve Been Dreaming of During the Pandemic

For our August newsletter, we asked for our readers for their thoughts about quarantecture: the places and experiences they’ve been yearning for during the months of the pandemic. During that time, we as a country have been viewing critical issues of social justice with clearer vision as well. We have been examining issues in our neighborhoods and communities as  Black, white, and other diverse voices join together. As we recall savored times, we can also contemplate a more hopeful future.

Throughout the pandemic, we have seen views up close in fresh ways. We’ve discovered unusual vantage points in our homes, welcome glimpses of nature, and new perspectives on the streets in the city and our surrounding towns. We have also noticed in ourselves the desire to return to favorite summer activities, revisit places we have been, and hopes to explore places yet unseen.

In this post, we share some of our readers’ reminiscences of treasured places, past journeys, and hopes for travel to new destinations:

“Certainly my hope for a future adventure is to be back out for a sunset sail on Narragansett Bay. I am also looking forward to photo shoots out on the water.”

Cory Silken, Newport, RI

The Hall of Fame Tennis Club in Newport, RI

“I miss the tennis courts with the camaraderie and competitiveness of doubles’ matches as the sun illuminates the yellow orb that flies with varying speed in straight, curving or arching paths that must be anticipated and reacted to in seconds.  I miss hearing the racquet connect with the ball, the praise for unreturnable shots and the laughter when shots go awry. I miss the over 80 hours of joy disguised as exercise and the lost moments of friendship that coronavirus has stolen from us….”

Dave Cannon, Clifton, NJ

“For me, the Jersey Shore ranks high—where you can suddenly breathe more deeply, feel freer as you taste the salt in the air and watch the waves. In Manasquan, first things first—grab a great smoothie and then walk the town’s inlet where the small boats come in; then a vital stop at Spring Lake to admire the grand vintage homes and buy a 99 cent ice cream cone. And then always, always, it’s off to Point Pleasant, roaming for antiques, dining at favorite spots, and strolling the satisfying familiar boardwalk.”   

Roberta Baldwin, Montclair, NJ

Kripalu in the Berkshires

“I’ve been letting my thoughts wander since this interesting question found its way to me. The place I want so badly to go to is Kripalu in Massachusetts. The feeling of being safe, relaxed, reflective, restored is what I crave.”

Kim Ticehurst, Glen Ridge, NJ

“Many places have taken my breath away, but Florence holds a special place because of its historical architecture, culture, fashion and people. Our love for this city inspired us to buy the house we have lived in for the past 17 years. Our family has agreed that Florence will be the first trip we take outside the US when life is normal again.”

Claudia Kipp, West Caldwell, NJ

“The place that we feel the most separated from right now is the family “chalupa” in the small village of Ryzoviste in the Czech Republic. The home was abandoned after the expulsion of ethnic Germans from the area following WWII. The family worked extremely hard to make it livable and now enjoys weekends there throughout the summer. The house is surrounded by working farmland and we can watch storks hunting voles in the fields behind the house. The village is just below the European Continental Divide and there is an ever changing parade of clouds and light.”

Blanka and David vun Kannon, Montclair, NJ

“Indonesia, the country, where we were on that particular morning up in the rafters of that long, old roughly painted white wooded building in Tjilandak. All still, all the initial shrill that any morning action begins with and moves into the carrying-out of in Indonesia becomes tempered so that everything carries on in a state of rest.” 

Rofiah Breen, Boulder Creek, CA

“My parents live in Mar del Plata, my husband has his parents in Buenos Aires, all in their 80’s. I felt the need to communicate more often, to know how they were doing all the time. But calling them constantly only increased the anxiety. So I established a routine: I allowed myself one call in the mornings on my daily walk. It felt more casual this way, like they were coming out here with me, keeping me company. it has become something of a ritual, like my dad’s lunch with friends. The calls became about sharing the moment.”

Dolores Martinez, Houston, TX

Veselka on Second Avenue, NYC

“Our favorite weekend walks are up through Montclair Center, hunting for breakfast, or down Second Avenue, heading to our favorite diner. We have decided that quarantine has made us look forward to returning to something simple—just walking out of the house and heading out to enjoy our favorite neighborhoods with absolutely no plan at all.”

Max Sneden and Kaitlyn Bovino, Montclair, NJ

“My three and five-year-old truly miss our outings to the Liberty Science Center in Jersey City. There, ever-changing interactive exhibits and shows can turn an overcast dreary day into a great Saturday.”

Ian Loew, Montclair, NJ

 “I miss dropping off my kids at school. Dropping them off means seeing kids giving each other high fives, dancing and putting their arms around each other. I miss saying hi to their teachers and other parents. I miss telling my girls that I love them as they rush out of the car, excited for their days ahead.”

Jon Effron, Atlanta, GA

“Your question brought to mind the lovely kitchen you designed, especially the look of the quarter-sawn oak/glass-painted cabinets.” 

Mark Hurwich, Evanston, IL

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