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A worker with JP Urban Moving helps with their first job of the day helping a family move out of their Bed-Stuy apartment, Aug. 14, 2020.
A worker with JP Urban Moving helps with their first job of the day helping a family move out of their Bed-Stuy apartment, Aug. 14, 2020.
Hiram Alejandro Durán/THE CITY

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PHOTOS: Heavy Lifters Keep New Yorkers Moving During Pandemic

The team at JP Urban Moving has been going full speed since March as residents leave town or find new digs in the five boroughs. THE CITY tagged along for one moving day.

Brooklyn-based JP Urban Moving has been slammed with work since New Yorkers started fleeing the city in March as the coronavirus spread through the five boroughs.

Business still booms with customers finding new digs, variously out of town and in the city, amid a rapidly changing real estate market.

JP Urban Moving has operated every day, with most workers getting just one day off a week, for more than five months, helping people safeguard their most valuable possessions while navigating varying building safety protocols.

“Once we discovered that moving was an essential service, we reassured customers and those who were still uncertain or didn’t feel safe,” owner John McCutcheon told THE CITY.

“We were understanding and compassionate to their requests waiving cancellation fees and refunding deposits.”

THE CITY tagged along with a JP crew for one moving day:

Movers Marcos Rodríguez, left, Felix Ortega, Alfredo Plaza and Timothy Forde make their way up to meet their first client in Bed-Stuy, Brooklyn, Aug. 14, 2020. Hiram Alejandro Durán/THE CITY

Foreman Marcos Rodríguez, left, with workers Felix Ortega, Alfredo Plaza and Timothy Forde make their way up to meet their first client of the day in Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn, on Aug. 14.


Alfredo Plaza disassembles a bed in the master bedroom during a move from a Bed-Stuy, Brooklyn apartment, Aug.14, 2020. Hiram Alejandro Durán/THE CITY

Plaza disassembles a bed before packing it onto the truck.


A pile of hardwood dollies sit stacked in the Bed-Stuy, Brooklyn building hallway, Aug. 14, 2020. Hiram Alejandro Durán/THE CITY

A pile of hardwood dollies sit stacked in the building’s hallway.


Foreman Marcos Rodríguez pushes a sofa through the building lobby, Aug. 14, 2020. Hiram Alejandro Durán/THE CITY

Rodríguez pushes a sofa through the building lobby.


Nicole Patton decided it was time to leave the Bed-Stuy apartment she shared with her wife, Jenny Coerbell, after the couple had a baby, Aug. 14, 2020 Hiram Alejandro Durán/THE CITY

Nicole Patton decided it was time to leave the apartment she shared with her wife, Jenny Coerbell, after the couple had a baby.

“She’s a flight attendant and we were concerned about her safety going back to work after our baby was born,” Patton said. “We knew moving was something we needed to do.”


Jenny Coerbell uses one of the few unwrapped furniture pieces to prop her computer ahead of a job interview, Aug. 14, 2020. Hiram Alejandro Durán/THE CITY

Coerbell uses one of the few unwrapped furniture pieces to prop up her computer ahead of a job interview.


Alfredo Plaza loads a couch onto the moving truck, Aug. 14, 2020. Hiram Alejandro Durán/THE CITY

Plaza loads a couch onto the moving truck.

“There were a few times when I considered going into quarantine and not working for a while,” he said. “But people need to pay rent and other bills — you know, the things that no one forgives. I will only stop working if I get sick or there is no other option but to stop.”


After loading the truck, Felix Ortega eats a plate of chicken and white rice in the back of the truck six while sitting on a box of tape on Friday, Aug.14, 2020. Hiram Alejandro Durán/THE CITY

Ortega said recent months have brought long days — and nights of heavy lifting and long drives.

“Oftentimes, we’ll work with bigger families moving three-stories worth of belongings across state lines,” Ortega told THE CITY.


Marcos Rodríguez carries a chair up the stoop and into Coerbell and Patton’s new home in a Brooklyn brownstone, Aug. 14, 2020. Hiram Alejandro Durán/THE CITY

Rodríguez carries a chair up the stoop and into Coerbell and Patton’s new home in a Brooklyn brownstone.


Marcos Rodríguez sweats through his surgical mask after carrying furniture up two flights of stairs, Aug. 14, 2020. Hiram Alejandro Durán/THE CITY

Rodríguez sweats through his surgical mask after lugging furniture up two flights.


Alfredo Plaza sweeps dirt off the moving truck just before heading back to the storage facility in Gowanus, Aug. 14, 2020. Hiram Alejandro Durán/THE CITY

Plaza sweeps dirt off the moving truck just before heading back to the storage facility in Gowanus and getting rest before the next day’s job.

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