Saturday, December 5, 2020

What It Takes to Reinvent

"Did you ever see the Friends episode where Ross buys a new couch and tries to squeeze it up his apartment staircase with the help of Joey and Rachel? Maneuvering the couch around the switchbacks of a New York City apartment staircase is no easy task, and Ross ends up famously yelling at his friends with increasing intensity and agitation: “PIVOT! PIVOT! PIVOT!”

That scene pretty much sums up the year we’ve just experienced. After the initial shock in mid-March, there was a nationwide scramble to pivot. Schools suddenly went virtual. Talk show hosts began broadcasting from their bedrooms. To those of us living in New York City, no pivot has been more inspiring than that of our local restaurants.

The brief timeline: On March 16, all dining establishments in the city were forced shut. Shortly after and for the first time ever, those establishments with a liquor license were allowed to deliver food and alcohol. By the summer, thousands of restaurants were allowed to set up tables and offer guests a socially-distant outdoor dining experience. It was incredible to see what these restaurants did amid the circumstances, and those that survived have offered a masterclass in what it takes to reinvent.

Here are just three of the many lessons I learned while living and dining in NYC during the pandemic."

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