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Media News
for The Wall Street Journal: Remember Last Year's 7 p.m. Cheer? Some New Yorkers Are Still at It.
josé a. alvarado jr.
Jul 14, 2021
Location: manhattan
Early in the pandemic, New Yorkers began cheering for essential workers every evening at 7. From windows and balconies, they clapped, yelled, blew horns and banged pots and pans, letting it all out for the men and women facing down the deadly virus with little more than a flimsy mask.

The ritual lasted a few months. By the summer last year, the booming five-borough chorus had quieted to a few isolated soloists.

Yet the nightly noisemaking is still going strong at a handful of apartment buildings clustered in a neighborhood on Manhattan’s Upper West Side, with cheers still sounding at the appointed hour.
These 7 p.m. revelers haven’t adopted a moniker or formed any official organization, though a few have started to meet, swapping greetings and learning names. Up until then, most had been known only by the nicknames pinned to their varied cheering styles.
Opera Guy, Jumping Jacks People, the Clanger.
These men and women struggle to explain why they still cheer after most of the city has stopped and the pandemic has largely eased throughout the metropolitan area. At best, they say it has something to do with airing a message of hope.

Photographed for The Wall Street Journal with words by Charles Passy.
Remember Last Year’s 7 p.m. Cheer? Some New Yorkers Are Still at It.
People across New York City used to raise a ruckus every night for the pandemic’s frontline workers; Opera Man, Shofar Lady and the Clanger haven’t stopped.


José A. Alvarado Jr. is a visual storyteller devoted to documenting cultural and social issues, as well as human interest stories in the US and Puerto Rico.
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