The Haunting Stillness of Labor Day

3 min readSep 22, 2023


Summer’s over in the city -except for the last few skateboarders, as they grind it home to make it back before the first day of school. -photo by zoomplanet

as the end of summer arrives

im walking outside in the city today.

it’s so quiet, it must be Sunday.

but it’s not.

it’s Monday.

the stillness is eerie.

I see people milling about, taking up space on the sidewallks

but the shreaks and shrills, and cursing of summer days are gone.

it’s as if the entire city has taken a moment to reflect-

that summer has come to a close,

and as the final hours of Labor day lumber on, time is savored in some strange, reserved, observed silence.

the only sound that dares to breach the quiet is of course, the dull humm of the colloquial air condition units, who are all in unison today humming a tune that hasn’t been heard in a few years -a tune of joy that they didn’t once break due to an electrical black out:

hum-hum-hummmm-hooRAy…we live to see another day !…” they murmur together.

an occasional vrro0ommm from a car, interrupts their cheer..

and I couldn’t believe it, but the flapping of a pigeon zooming by me, actually kicks the decibel metronome over into the red zone.

As one who actually really dislikes summer, I myself, was kinda psyched to wave goodbye,

goodbye to all the tourists who try to break ny with their backward ways of doing things.

Walking eastward as they try to find Broadway on 3rd Avenue.

Summer in New York City is like watching someone bite into a candy bar starting from the center, or bite into a slice of pizza in the middle of one of its cheezy, slanted sides.

Its confusing and backwards.

no one who is actually wandering around during the summer, is even a resident.

its like the entire city becomes an AirBNB circus.

the city spends a tourtuous 3 months trying to entertain these strangers, who are never satified.

Hours every day in the heat of the hot, summer, sun, the city bends over backwards trying to give /show /provide them something they want to see, or that they have never seen- something to wow them.- but no one ever even notices.

The strangers are all only here for a brief time, and don’t even notice all the effort the city is making,-breaking itself just in trying to please them all.

Somedays, you can almost hear the city crack from all the pressure it’s under in the summer.

As if the asphalt itself might split right open, down the center of 5th and 79th, and then again at 64th- from the constant pressure of having to perform.

by mid summer the subways are moving at half speed, as if someone is pulling them from the opposite direction, telling the subways they want to go THIS way.

buses are filled with maps, and gawking people,

sidewalks are filled with sticky ice cream, and skittles.

I have to watch my dog at every step as I walk him, to make sure he doesnt bite into a chocolate bar that someone has just left to melt on the curb as we wait to cross the street.

On this solemn labor day , I get a glow of giddy anticipation inside my belly, as I know, tomorrow,

the city will finally be back to normal.

everyone will have finally returned from their summer places.

I can hardly wait.

Im actually excited to go to work again.

people will be walking in the right direction again.

traffic will consist of people who live here, and who know how to drive here.

the ambulances and fire engines will perform their loud sirens again

I can feel the city today, is holding its breath in anticipation of tomorrow,

it knows it will finally be able to relax again with the people who love it.

It will once again, be able to stretch out it’s ashphalt avenues, square up its sidewalks, and then relax and kick back in its comfy recliner giant city chair, ready to welcome back, and cradle its favorite, crazed, energized, idiots who love it here, as they all tumble back into the city’s familiar lap, for a new autumn run.

happy labor day.




Nomadic procrastinator suffering from run-on sentences-caught btwn a 9 -5; an exp passport; a 30 yr mtg;+a dog who has sep. anxiety when no oxford comma is used