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Moving to New York During the Pandemic


Mr. Selting, the theater professor, took the protests in stride as he watched them on television from Laramie, Wyo., where he has taught for more than three decades. As a child, he grew up in a Nebraska town with fewer than 1,000 residents, although he has lived in New York as well, including a stretch in the 1980s as an actor.

“Protests are part of living in a city,” said Mr. Selting, who signed his contract this winter, pre-pandemic, and after several delays closed in June.

The city will have time to settle down before he and his wife, Marsha Fay Knight, a ballet professor, retire here in a few years. Until then, the $765,000 unit with its Hudson River views will be home to their son Nicholas, formerly of Astoria, Queens.

Other parent-child arrangements also buoyed the spring market. Erin Lichter, 24, an architect, joined with her San Diego family to buy a one-bedroom penthouse with a terrace in a Midtown East condop. Most recently listed for $885,000, the unit has yet to close. “We saw this as an investment opportunity,” Ms. Lichter said.

Ms. Lichter, who has rented a studio for three years, has been tempted to move to Boston, where many friends live. But a Covid-related job keeps her here: She is working with corporate clients like JPMorgan Chase and Savanna to figure out how to create more social distance between desks.

Because she is “a little grandma at heart” and not much of a night owl, Ms. Lichter isn’t worried that New York’s bar scene and nightlife may be altered forever. Still, “this will be a major cultural shift for New York,” she said. “This used to be the city that never sleeps.”

Some of the newest New Yorkers are eagerly awaiting a time when that is true again, the city is fully reopened and they are able to head back to their offices.

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