Skip to main content
This website uses a variety of cookies, which you consent to if you continue to use this site. You can read our Privacy Policy for details about how these cookies are used, and to grant or withdraw your consent for certain types of cookies.

Dreaming of a Park Bench and a Book

The New York Times
By Gal Beckerman and Erica Ackerberg
May 29, 2020

As summer approaches, we are longing for normalcy, a return to the sweaty June, July and August habits of our past lives in the city — things we maybe took for granted. The sound of an ice cream truck or the rumble of an air-conditioner perched precariously on a window ledge. Children screaming joyfully at a public pool. The block parties and sneaking wine into a concert in the park.

At the Book Review, one of the things we’ll miss most is the sight of readers in public. The summer is when New Yorkers turn the stoops and benches of the city into their living rooms, and it’s when you get to see what everyone is reading — romance novels, or the latest thriller, or even that book you thought only you had ever heard of.

Out of this wistfulness, our photo editor went scouring the archives for visions of bygone summers, offering images to tide us over and give us something to look forward to.