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The coronavirus pandemic is forcing people to cancel plans and postpone parties left and right, but don’t tell that to this NYC neighborhood.
Erich Carey and his wife Valentine have been bringing the party to their surrounding neighbors on the Upper East Side via their nightly “porch parties,” whereby they set up speakers on their balcony and socialize from a safe distance between the hours of 6 and 7 p.m.
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“We’re really grateful and fortunate to have some outdoor space while we were staying at home,” Erich tells Fox News. “I just happened to kind of go onto the balcony and I’d seen, you know, a lot of the footage of what had been going on across the world in places like Italy and Portugal. And just by chance, my neighbors were out on their balconies and had been playing some music, and it was just kind of small little Bluetooth speaker,” he added.
Erich, being a part-time musician, took the idea and ran with it. He set up a time with neighbors to reconvene the next day, and then gathered up some audio equipment — and a microphone — and generated a playlist of uplifting tunes.
Erich Carey, seen here hosting a socially-distant party for neighbors on other balconies, says we all need to find “small things that can make one’s day a little brighter.”
“It went over very well,” he said of the following day’s festivities. “I was also channeling just a lot of the New York spirit,” he said, explaining that he queued up some Frank Sinatra and “Empire State of Mind” by Jay-Z and Alicia Keys.
Now, the Careys, who both work as lawyers, say they’ve been arranging their “porch parties” almost nightly. They say they’ve gotten positive responses from nearby residents, passersby on the street, and even local police officers. But the folks they’re most proud of reaching are the health care workers that walk by on their way to work at the nearby Lenox Hill Hospital.
“We applauded them as they were walking down the block,” said Valentine. “And that was great to see. I really think it brought everybody together.”
“This is time that we’re not gonna get back,” Erich added. “And I think it’s important to stay constructive, and to try and stay focused, and to try and stay positive. And just to find small things that can make one’s day a little brighter.”