Madison Avenue Is Vacant
by Karol Nielsen
I walked uptown from Grand Central Station to my neighborhood near the Metropolitan Museum of Art and counted more than eighty vacant stores and buildings under construction along Madison Avenue. Coronavirus travel bans hit the upscale shopping district hard. There are still clothing boutiques, shoe shops, luxury hotels, restaurants, art galleries, and an art museum open on the avenue but sometimes whole blocks are empty. I moved to the Upper East Side fifteen years ago and have often walked down Madison in flip flops countless times. I rarely go in the high end shops like Georgio Armani, Dolce & Gabbana, and Valentino but I am always thrilled to look into their glamorous display windows. It’s like a fashion magazine coming to life. I hope that it bounces back now that tourists can come again.
Karol Nielsen is the author of two memoirs and two poetry chapbooks published by Finishing Line Press. Her full-length collection was longlisted for the 2021 TerryJ. Cox Poetry Prize. One of her poems was a finalist for the 2021 Ruth Stone Poetry Prize.
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