From 9/11 to Hurricane Sandy, we’ve seen New York weather many storms, the city an indestructible icon in our global imagination. But when COVID swept through Manhattan and surrounding boroughs, bustling restaurants, theatres, subways and sidewalks were forever changed.

Renowned writer and photographer Bill Hayes has been hailed by Edmund White as “the great poet of the everyday”. When the world came to a halt, Bill took to the streets of Manhattan to document the lockdown. The resulting collection of poetry and images, How We Live Now: Scenes from the Pandemic, is reminiscent of Insomniac City, Bill’s tender ode to New York and his partner, the late Oliver Sacks. It celebrates the shared humanity that emerged during a time of unanticipated catastrophe.

In this podcast episode, Bill shares anecdotes and experiences from during the pandemic and beyond with journalist Anton Enus.

Please note, photographs from How We Live Now were shown during this special immersive event.