Patti Smith isn’t worried about New York City’s future amid COVID-19

Patti Smith was just about to launch a world tour when everything shut down due to the COVID-19 pandemic.  Instead, she’s spent the past five months in New York City, and says she personally isn’t worried that the city will fail to rebound when the virus finally subsides.

Speaking to the Wall Street Journal Magazine, the Rock and Roll Hall of Famer and poet notes, “The thing is, I came to New York in 1967. New York was quite down and out then…the city was struggling but it was very vibrant.”

“Truthfully, I don’t worry about New York City…I’ve always thought it was one of the greatest cities in the world because of its diversity. I’ve been all over the world and I still think it’s one of the most diverse cities,” Smith adds. “I’ll always love New York City. I don’t like how it’s been restructured economically but besides that, I’m more concerned with Yemen than I am New York City.”

Smith says that because “children are dying every day from starvation,” she’s “not fixated on what’s going to happen in New York.”

However, Smith admits she had some trouble adjusting when the pandemic hit.

[It’s] probably the longest I’ve been in one place for years,” she tells WSJ Magazine. “Having to go from the extroverted life of a performer to the introverted life of a writer was a challenge because I wasn’t prepared for it.”

In addition to keeping busy reading and writing, Smith also spends a lot of time posting things to her Instagram feed, which her daughter showed her how to use.

“I really love [it]…for me, it’s a cultural site. It’s not an argumentative platform,” she says. “I would like to develop it more and read more poems on it.”

By Andrea Dresdale
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