“Cuomo and de Blasio are destroying the city,” cried a local restaurateur in a recent radio ad calling on people to visit his homey Italian eatery, where they can “fuhgettaboutit.”
The sentiment would have fit well in New York, where countless restaurants are struggling to pay rent, and where indoor dining is again banned. The Brooklyn accent griping from my car radio seemed out of place, however, as the Palm Beach trees flew by. The restaurant is in Jupiter, Fla.
I’ve never been tempted to make the half-hour drive north from Palm Beach to dine there, but deserting Gotham for Florida’s warmer climes is easier to understand these days.
What, besides weather, palm trees and Italian restaurants, can Florida offer to the New York transplant? A lot, as it happens. When the trend started — with rich Manhattanites decamping to second homes soon after the shutdowns began — Bronx cheers went up in response to those who questioned New York’s imperviousness.
Then, as the traumatic spring careered into a summer of race riots and surging violent-crime, even sensible liberal millennials started fleeing to wherever they could go. By autumn, moving vans were hard to find, and one report found that nearly 300,000 change-of-address forms had been filed with post offices in the Big Apple.
Paul du Quenoy is a private investor and critic. Adapted from City Journal.
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