New York has been the star of the Best Cities show for the past four years, but COVID-19 made 2020 into a life and death drama for the city that called every assumption into question and turned the data on its head. In America’s top-ranked city for culture, the MOMA is helping parents teach art from home, the Metropolitan Opera is streaming performances, and Broadway, where the show must famously go on, is shuttered, a tragedy. A year ago, New York was reinventing shopping, with the mall of the future at Hudson Yards and Nordstrom and Neiman Marcus vying for supremacy in the chic city. This year, in the #1 shopping city in America, there is no breakfast at Tiffany’s. New York, of course, ranks first for Fortune 500 companies but now meetings are virtual and a generation of entrepreneurs is thinking hard about its life choices. In the city that never sleeps, #1 for Nightlife, night owls order delivery and dream fitfully at home. Restaurants, #2 in the country, almost instantly became take-out and delivery operations, accelerating a trend from dining out to eating in. Nobody knows when any of this ends, but New York knows a thing or two about coming back from terrible brinks. 9/11 is more than a vague memory. SARS came and went. However the world emerges, evolves or pivots out of our collective force majeure, it will happen here first. New York is, after all, #1.