New Yorkers are some of the most resilient people on the planet.
Early in Louie Schwartzberg’s career, he followed the adventures of a bike messenger throughout New York City.
That short film became a part of Louie’s 2004 documentary, America’s Heart & Soul. This short film stands today in tribute to the spirit of New York’s great spirit!
A Resilient City
COVID-19 chose America’s most iconic American city for its first sneak attack. The pandemic virus of the century took on New York City – and New York City won.
For three months, Americans from coast to coast cheered on the hero warriors who battled the insidious beast in endless around-the-clock shifts in the city’s overwhelmed hospital ERs and ICUs, as well as the other essential workers in food delivery and other services who kept the city alive during the lockdown.
What is it in the spirit of New York and in New Yorkers that gave all Americans the absolute confidence that the outcome of the Battle of the Virus vs. the Big Apple was never in doubt? How can the essence of New Yorkers be explained to someone who has never had boots on the concrete of our most fabled metropolis?
Maybe it can only be expressed viscerally, seen and heard, rather than explained. One need only get to know John Yacobellis, “King of the New York City Bike Messengers, “ a.k.a. “Yac,” to know the drive and soul of all “real New Yorkers.”
This is his story on video, filmed by renowned cinematographer Louie Schwartzberg. Those of us who already know New York could think of no better love letter about our favorite city than this.
“At the time I did this profile, “Yac” was the acknowledged ‘King of the New York City Bike Messengers,’” says Louie. “Anyone who does ANYTHING as well as Yac does is great in my book.”
A New York State of Mind
Years later, Louie shot this video at a climate march in New York City. You can see how the city grew and changed—fighting a new problem with its fierce spirit. Louie explains:
“On September 21, 2014 I was humbled to take part in the People’s Climate March in New York City where more than 300,000 people marched for changed. Bringing attention and action to this important issue that every man, woman, and child on our planet faces is a goal we should all share.”
What puts you in a New York State of mind? Share your favorite New Yorker in the comments section.