New York stilled life : portrait of a city in lockdown

Jul 27, 2022
5:30 PM | Drinks
6:30 PM | Program
7:30 PM | Prix fixe dinner
skylight gallery

Open to Coffee House and Salmagundi members
Free to attend

$50 + tax (no tip) for prix fixe dinner; includes wine
Reservations for dinner required; card payments only
You will have the option of RSVP-ing for the talk alone, or for both the talk and dinner. Dinner must be pre-paid via Eventbrite.
For any questions, please email Brittney at
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Please join us for a special evening with photographer Gregory J. Peterson. There will be a talk followed by a Q&A with the audience and more conversation over dinner in the downstairs dining room.

Mid-March 2020: native New Yorker Gregory Peterson is on an early evening walk through the city, suddenly shut down by the coronavirus pandemic. Manhattan’s grand public spaces are bare. The monumental Lincoln Center Plaza is empty. The sounds of skates on ice and bustle of tourists and workers at Rockefeller Center are absent. Not a soul on Easter Sunday at the Cathedral of Saint John the Divine. Starkly silent, the city is stilled, as no one had ever seen it before.

Traveling on foot and by bike to avoid public transportation, Peterson took more than 400 photographs of over 200 locations in Manhattan, Brooklyn, and Queens through the spring and summer of 2020. Using his iPhone 11, he captured myriad surreal landmarks—the United Nations Secretariat with no traffic, people, or flags, Grand Central Terminal without a person or even a car in sight, as well as gelled neighborhood streets, churches, shops, and other tourist destinations.

Without people, these photos reveal the city’s primeval soul. They unveil a serene beauty most often obscured by the frenzy of our fast-paced lives. We see New York with new eyes.

New York: Stilled Life is a comprehensive record of a unique, vanished moment; a memento of a time we all endured and how it changed us and our cities―perhaps forever.

About the Photographer

Gregory J. Peterson is a corporate lawyer, passionate amateur photographer, and noted art collector. A native, life-long New Yorker, he is a graduate of the High School of Music and Art (now the LaGuardia High of Music and the Performing Arts), where he studied oil painting and other media, and of Columbia College, and Columbia Law School, where he earned his Juris Doctor degree. Peterson sits on the boards of several nonprofit organizations promoting the arts, equality, and public wellbeing. He has provided pro bono legal assistance to nonprofit organizations and conceived of and executed many charitable events. Prior to becoming a lawyer, he was a filmmaker and television producer. New York Stilled Life is his effort to document and share a momentous period in New York history with New Yorkers and the world.

Prix Fixe Menu

If you plan to stay for dinner, and would like to have the prix-fixe, please pre-pay when RSVP-ing on Eventbrite to guarantee your prix-fixe meal reservation. Otherwise, you are welcome to order from the a la carte menu (wine is not included when ordering a la carte). Thank you!


Tomato Gazpacho

Main Course

Chicken Paella
with chorizo, saffron, green peas, arborio rice


Penne Pasta
with wild mushroom bolognese


Lemon Mousse
with raspberries

Book titled New York Stilled Life by Gregory J Peterson