UNION SQUARE, MANHATTAN – When Shari Vilchez-Blatt decided to close her children’s yoga studio in March because of the coronavirus pandemic, she worried about her business all day.
But then she had a moment of clarity.
“I realized that worries were of no use to me – and I had to work,” said Vilchez-Blatt.
Instead, Vilchez-Blatt began converting their Karma Kids yoga business online, offering free virtual classes to parents and children.
She is one of a dozen Union Square business owners who shared stories of adjustments during the coronavirus pandemic in a new video from the nonprofit Union Square Partnership.
Tarallucci e Vino’s nonprofit Feed the Frontlines NYC, owned by Luca Di Pietro, has delivered more than 121,000 meals from 25 restaurants across the city to healthcare and other frontline workers.
Other places, like Karma Kids Yoga, have quickly put their exercise or skill classes online, including the Vineyard Theater and 14th Street Y.
The way businesses adapt can be found even offline in the park, where the Union Square Greenmarket is still operational with extra precautionary measures.
“That literally saves jobs and lives to be here and feed New Yorkers,” said Ethan Gallagher of Martins Pretzels of His Place in the Market. “”[It] was something special. “
The video, titled Union Square Together, was created as a tribute to local businesses and institutions.
“We are in awe of all contributions,” said the organization’s executive director, Jennifer Falk. “… We know the past three months have not been easy, and we wanted to create this little token of our appreciation to highlight how amazing the Union Square 14th Street community was during this crisis.”