They say New York City is nothing without New Yorkers – and it’s true. Right now, the city that never sleeps has been put to bed; its new eerily still existence a blatant contrast to the usually rumbling subway beneath it. But the Empire State’s residents are still there even if they are tucked away inside their tiny apartments.

On the weekend, Brooklyn dwellers took to their balconies and rooftops to sing Biggie Smalls’ 2002 hit “It Was All A Dream”. Footage of the track being pumped out of an amplifier in one apartment and attracting a collective choir of what seems like hundreds was nothing short of moving. A pathogen may be threatening life as we know it but for five minutes and five seconds, the spirit of New York was reinvigorated.

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Brooklynnnn! Stay strong NYC!! #quarantineandchill

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The video is a direct contrast to footage we have seen coming out of Italy and Spain with people of all ages banging tambourines and kitchen pans in song or in thanks to the doctors and medical staff working tirelessly to save people affected by COVID-19.

New York City, now the epicentre for coronavirus, has been in lockdown since last week. Currently, there are more than 100,000 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the U.S. and at least 46,000 in New York. More than 26,000 of the state’s cases are in New York City and at least 450 city residents have died.

Biggie was a Brooklyn resident up until he was shot while sitting in a utility vehicle after attending a party in Downtown Los Angeles in 1997. The 24-year-old was pronounced dead at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center the following day.  In June 2019, Fulton Street in Clinton Hill, Brooklyn, New York City – where Biggie grew up – was renamed Christopher “Notorious B.I.G.” Wallace Way.