It’s Time to Make Out in the Streets

According to the New York Times, post-pandemic PDA is officially in for summer

Alfred Eisenstaedt's iconic "VJ Day in Times Square" shows a WWII soldier kissing a nurse.
All of us this summer, apparently.
Alfred Eisenstaedt/Time & Life Pictures/Getty Images

Like pretty much anything any New Yorker has ever done — consumed a slice of pizza or a bagel, cried on public transportation or visited a convenience store — making out in public is something people everywhere do and have done since there have been people and public places, but which New Yorkers have claimed as quintessentially our own. According to the New York Times Style section, this treasured, apparently NYC-exclusive pastime is seeing such a significant post-pandemic resurgence throughout the streets of the city that PDA is officially en vogue for summer 2021. Maybe, as the Times suggested, it’s the influence of the newly reunited and PDA-heavy Bennifer; maybe it’s the year and change of pent-up pandemic lust; or maybe it’s simply nature healing, but whatever it is, New Yorkers are reportedly “swallowing each other’s faces” like there’s no tomorrow, as one bar owner told the Times.

Not everyone is going to be on board with this trend, of course. PDA is by nature divisive, and even if you’re into it, it’s one of those things — like tweeting about your book or telling someone about a dream you had — that’s really only fun for the people doing it; everyone else either doesn’t care or is annoyed. The good thing about PDA in New York, however, is that New Yorkers are often indifferent or annoyed, so it doesn’t really matter if passersby feel that way about your mid-street makeout.

Sometime around 2 a.m. the night of my first-ever New York City date, my gentleman caller walked me back to the NYU dorm I called home that summer, where we proceeded to make out voraciously on the sidewalk for several minutes. At some point, I managed to extract my tongue from his mouth long enough to say, “New York is a beautiful city where no one cares if you live or die or who you make out with in the street,” a Carrie Bradshaw-esque line I’d been toying with for a while and was thrilled to finally have a chance to try out. We promptly resumed our regularly scheduled PDA, only to be interrupted again by a nearby party promoter who shouted “Seriously? You guys have been making out for like 40 minutes.” It was a beautiful New York City moment, the kind that could probably happen in many other cities but we like to pretend could only happen here.

This summer, and every summer, I urge you all to go forth and make out in public, with the blessing of the New York Times Style section. Remember, New York is a beautiful city where no one cares if you live or die or who you make out with in the street — with the exception of the stray party promoter who would really like you to stop making out so he can invite you and all your hottest friends to some terrible party at a tacky club.

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