If all had gone to plan, we would have just completed our French vacation/holiday, and I would be in England right now. As it is, like so many things, the trip has been postponed. With most holiday plans out of the question this year, I decided to use some days off for a staycation With New York reopening from the lockdown it’s a better time to take off. With the offices closed on Friday, I took Tues-Thurs off to get six days in a row for the price of three. It’s been a great chance to get some runs and cycle rides in, as well enjoy as much football as I can soak in with the resumption of the Premier League. Ah, and work on this blog!
New York Reopening
It has been nearly two weeks since Phase Two reopening in New York City, over a month since the first region in the state moved into Phase Two. We came back from the Catskills just as that area moved into the second phase, and just before NYC entered the first phase. Just the two weeks upstate and it was remarkable the change, even if the only real difference with Phase One was the hum of construction resuming.
Now seems like a good time to reflect on the past month and all the change. Coming back from Upstate, it was surprising to see the streets full of New Yorkers drinking and congregating around bars. Technically, nothing had reopened! Luckily the crowds have been given short shrift and seem to have been brought under control relatively quickly. Really up until June 21st, most of the changes were behavioral, with the comfort of going outside increasing.
In the past month, I’ve paused our Instacart, supermarket delivery, subscription; Danielle’s gone to Trader Joe’s three times; we’ve been to the farmers market; Home Depot and CVS. Strangely, these are worthy of a mention, but that’s the times we live in!
Yesterday was a more significant day, in terms of change.
I got a (much needed) haircut for the first time since February. Six feet from the other customer, masks on for everyone, and everything disinfected before use. A new experience. Then we went out and had dinner at a local restaurant outside—two things which would not have been possible two weeks ago.
It’s been interesting seeing each restaurant’s take on how to set up for outdoor dining. It’s a mixed bag: some take their indoor tables and space them out; others build small courtyards surrounded by flower boxes; some seem to ignore the fact we’re still in a pandemic, and the best put plexiglass up between tables.
For dinner, we chose one of our favourite pre-lockdown bars/restaurants, The Gem. They had set up the social distancing well with most tables spaced out or separated by plexiglass. When we arrived there was an empty table for four with the plexiglass, the hostess sat us at another table though claiming the table we asked for was reserved. After sitting for a minute, it was clear our table was not 6ft from others. As we made to leave, our originally requested table surprisingly became available.
I understand it’s tough for businesses that have been closed for several months since the start of the pandemic. Still, I feel happy to vote with my feet for those doing it safer. It’s better for everyone in the long run.
Any-way, happily, we sat where we wanted and had an excellent meal. I ordered Fish n Chips, surprisingly hands down the best Fish n Chips I’ve ever had in New York. I wish I’d known earlier this unassuming bar, less than 5 minutes walk from the apartment, had such good Fish n Chips! Unfortunately, the beer didn’t live up to the rest of the meal. During the lockdown, I discovered a local craft beer shop; my taste now more bougie.
Hopefully, despite the rising Coronavirus cases in other states, New York can continue to reopen.