Meyer_The Top Hat One Year Later

The Top Hat Lounge sign shows they are open for dine in and take out on April 12, 2021. A year ago, the Top Hat Lounge closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic but now they have opened their restaurant back up with indoor and outdoor seating.

When the world shut down just over a year ago, I had no idea what my photo team would work on in the future. I was just over two months into my new job as multimedia editor, and though the future was uncertain, we still had a job to do.

And I had to reassure and guide them — and myself — as best as I could. 

Very impressively, they pulled through and found some of the many fascinating people who we featured in our pandemic coverage over the past year. This week, we found some of those people again, roughly one year later. We reactivated our Facebook accounts and opened our Instagram DMs to see if they would be willing to meet up with us and discuss how their lives have changed since the last time we photographed them.

From taco truck employees to marijuana dispensary workers; from servers at Pie Hole to Black Lives Matter protesters, our subjects have been vaccinated, landed and left jobs, endured their first year of college, and so much more.

This year has been full of firsts and historic moments that we’ll all remember, reinforced through the images we’ve run in the Kaimin and across social media. 

What better way to honor those images than to revisit the people who gave them meaning, and the scenes that remind us of such uncertain times? 

I hope the places and people featured in this issue remind readers what we’ve been through and give us hope for the future. Here’s to the perseverance of creativity and vibrance of the individuals who continue to tell these stories. 

 — Claire Shinner, Multimedia Editor