Outdoor dining on West 71st Street between Central Park West and Columbus. Photo by 6sqft.
In a press conference this morning, Mayor de Blasio announced that the city’s popular Open Restaurants program will return on June 1, 2021, if not earlier in the spring. He recently expanded this year’s outdoor dining program through October 31 after it was found to be successful and safe and after the state indefinitely postponed indoor dining in New York City. De Blasio said that an estimated 80,000 jobs from more than 9,000 participating businesses have been saved since the program launched on June 22 when the city entered phase two of reopening.
More details ahead
Open streets outdoor dining along West 47th Street, photo by CityRealty
On Friday, Mayor de Blasio announced that an additional 15 locations would be closing to traffic and opening their streets for outdoor dining through a combination of the city’s Open Streets and Open Restaurants programs. This brings the total to 62 participating streets. Some of the latest include 13 blocks along Amsterdam Avenue on the Upper West Side, another stretch in Chinatown, Koreatown, a few in Noho/Soho, and five blocks along Vanderbilt Avenue in Prospect Heights. Since restaurants were first able to open for outdoor dining when phase two began on June 22, more than 9,500 have signed on to participate.
The full list of open streets
Photo: Marc A. Hermann / MTA New York City Transit
In a continued effort to COVID-proof public transportation, the MTA has installed mask dispensers at the entrance to city buses. The pilot program is now on 100 buses in the Bronx, Queens, and Staten Island, and it will expand to 400 buses in all five boroughs by next month. The free surgical mask dispensers–each of which holds 50 masks and will be refilled daily–are mounted at the front door of express buses and at the front and rear doors of SBS and local buses. Masks are required to ride any bus or subway.
Contradictory to its “concrete jungle” nickname, New York City is home to over 19,000 acres of natural areas, consisting of forest, salt marsh, freshwater wetland, and streams. A new map from the Natural Areas Conservancy (NAC) highlights the location, size, and condition of natural resources throughout the five boroughs, while comparing the percentage of green space among neighborhoods, parks, and City Council districts. When the coronavirus pandemic hit the city, New Yorkers explored more wild parts of city parks as a way to get fresh air and maintain a safe distance from others. But according to the Conservancy, the increase in visitors is putting additional strain on park management, at a time when budgets across the country are being slashed because of COVID-19.
Photo credit: Jonathan Blanc / NYPL
New York Public Library patrons kept busy during the citywide shutdown by reading lots of books. According to the library, since the temporary closure of all of its branches in Manhattan, the Bronx, and on Staten Island on March 16, there were over two million checkouts of e-books. Plus, 65,000 new users signed up for the SimplyE, the library’s free e-reader app. Now with some of the city’s public libraries reopened, the NYPL released on Monday a list of the most checked out e-books during the lockdown, with Robin DiAngelo’s White Fragility: Why It’s So Hard for White People to Talk About Racism taking the top spot.
More this way
Image via Nick Sherman SHLEPPERS via photopin (license)
Moving season in NYC typically occurs at the end of the summer, but due to the current COVID pandemic, there’s a lot more fluctuation than normal this year. This also makes it more difficult to enlist family and friends to help with the dreaded schlep, but you also don’t want to blindly hire the first man with a van you come across. From big corporations to small family-run operations, movers in NYC run the gamut in terms of services, pricing, and proximity, but regardless of which route you take, there are several things to consider before deciding. Ahead, 6sqft has rounded up 12 tips for hiring movers, including performing background checks, making sure you’ve accurately counted your boxes (no one wants to be that person), and negotiating the estimate.
All the tips ahead
Photo of Astoria Pool by Global Jet via Flickr cc
Just in time for the end of the current heatwave, New York City will reopen 15 of its free, public swimming pools. Eight pools will open this Friday, July 24, and the rest will reopen on Saturday, August 1. The Parks Department says that all pool-goers must maintain social distance and wear face coverings at all times when not in the water.
Photo © Dana Schulz for 6sqft
Edge, the 1,100-foot-tall outdoor observation deck at Hudson Yards, is expected to reopen next week with safety precautions taken to “new heights.” The sky-high deck first opened to the public on the 100th floor of 30 Hudson Yards in March, only to close two days later because of the coronavirus pandemic. Now, as New York City prepares to enter phase four of reopening, Related Companies says visitors could start experiencing Edge as soon as July 20, with new timed-entry tickets and public health measures created in collaboration with the Mount Sinai Health System.
What you need to know
Photo of Crye Precision face masks, courtesy of the Brooklyn Navy Yard
Face shields, ventilators, cloth masks, hand sanitizer–this is just some of the personal protective equipment being produced by manufacturers at the Brooklyn Navy Yard. To help their tenants who have shifted from their normal business models to make PPE during the pandemic, the Brooklyn Navy Yard Development Corporation (BNYDC) announced today a a new initiative called “Made at the Yard.” The program includes an online e-commerce portal where tenants can market and sell PPE and related products, as well as PPE vending machines and partnerships with West Elm and Wegmans.
2018 Smorgasburg; Photo by Scott Lynch
Popular outdoor food market Smorgasburg returns to Williamsburg next week with a new takeout-only model. As Eater New York first reported, “Smorg To Go” will launch on Monday, July 20, with 10 vendors serving fare at 51 North 6th Street at Kent Avenue, a block from the market’s typical summer location at Marsha P. Johnson State Park. The new takeout market will operate seven days per week with a rotating list of vendors.
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