Prompt Images

We live in strange times. What was normal life just weeks ago is no longer. I ventured out to downtown St. Petersburg, Florida on a recent Saturday evening.

The streets should have been alive. People should have been spilling out of the bars on to the sidewalks. Every parking space should have been filled. The noises of a Saturday night should have echoed between the buildings.

Instead, I found emptiness.

The bars have been shut down. Any restaurant that hasn’t yet closed it doors is relegated to take-out only. The only places open were two pizza shops that seem to never close regardless. A few cars drove by. A handful of people were walking dogs near their condos or grabbing some of the aforementioned take-out pizza. Two small groups of homeless congregated where they would be anyway. The city’s heart was empty. But not dead.

It was a surreal and beautiful emptiness. Like a dream.

Everything looked different. Not just the lack of crowds, but the absence of light. With virtually no cars on the streets, and the bars, clubs, and restaurants shuttered, the normal glow of the weekend night was muted.
I walked around for a little over two hours. This is what I saw. The “Sorry We’re Closed” sign hanging on a bar’s door was the rug that tied the room together. It summed up the whole experience. St. Petersburg is closed. But we are still awesome.

Gabriel Loewenberg

Gabriel Loewenberg is a photographer and occasional writer based in St. Petersburg, Florida. Sometimes he takes pictures of weird things, sometimes of cars, sometimes of rockets, and all too often of cats. His work can be seen at

learn more
Share this story
About The Prompt
A sweet, sweet collective of writers, artists, podcasters, and other creatives. Sound like fun?
Learn more