A Target Date for a Full Reopening in New York City

A Target Date for a Full Reopening in New York City 1

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It’s Friday.

Weather: Wind gusts could exceed 50 m.p.h. Mostly sunny, but chance of a sprinkle; high in the upper 60s. Sunny on Saturday, high in the mid-60s. On Sunday, partly sunny, high in the mid-70s.

Alternate-side parking: Suspended today for Orthodox Good Friday. In effect tomorrow.

Andrew Seng for The New York Times

The hope for a return to vibrant city life in New York is no longer just a distant dream.

On Thursday, Mayor Bill de Blasio said the city aims to fully reopen on July 1, allowing businesses, including restaurants, stores and nightclubs, to operate at full capacity.

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His promise was not a clear decree: The mayor has little authority to eliminate virus-related restrictions. But the penciled-in goal marks a symbolic shift for a city devastated by the pandemic.

“We now have the confidence we can pull all these pieces together, and get life back together,” Mr. de Blasio said. “This is going to be the summer of New York City.”

[Read more about the July 1 reopening target.]

The city’s goal includes a full reopening of gyms, hair salons, arenas, theaters and museums. Mr. de Blasio said that he also wants uninterrupted service on the subway — currently closed for cleaning from 2 a.m. to 4 a.m. — to return in July.

Some restrictions on bars and restaurants have also already been removed or will phase out next month.

Not quite.

The power to lift virus-related restrictions largely lies with Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo, whom Mr. de Blasio said he had not spoken with about the reopening target. (The two have often disagreed on the best path forward.)

Any major changes will also remain contingent on vaccinations — which have begun to slow in pace and still lag among Black and Latino residents — continuing to climb. The spread of the virus will also need to remain in control: The city averaged about 1,650 new daily cases over the past week, but public health officials say that if the current trajectory holds, the number could fall below 600 cases a day by July.

It’s unclear just how quickly some important aspects of city life will return, even once permitted.

More than 32,500 New Yorkers have died from the virus. The pandemic wiped out hundreds of businesses. The mayor hopes to see offices open in the summer, but many large employers are waiting until the fall. Tourism is not expected rebound to prepandemic levels for years. And full-scale Broadway productions are not set to begin until September.

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The Mini Crossword: Here is today’s puzzle.

Students and parents at New York City public schools are calling for the system to offer more robust teaching of Asian-American history. [Gothamist]

A look at why one Queens neighborhood is still struggling to recover from the coronavirus even as other areas rebound. [The City]

A new shared electric moped system will launch in New York City, starting with 100 vehicles in Queens, Brooklyn and Lower Manhattan. [The Verge]

The Times’s Melissa Guerrero writes:

Although many performance spaces, museums and community centers are closed, people are finding creative ways to connect through virtual events and programs. Here are suggestions for maintaining a New York social life this weekend while keeping a safe distance from other people.

On Friday at 7 p.m., watch the David Ostwald’s Louis Armstrong Eternity Band in concert to celebrate International Jazz Day.

Purchase tickets ($5) on the event page.

Listen to eight writers from Queens read their works exploring race and immigration on Saturday at 2 p.m.

Register for free on the event page.

On Sunday at 2 p.m., join the Irish Arts Center for a lineup of traditional Irish dance and music performances and workshops, as part of Riverside Park’s Summer on the Hudson series.

R.S.V.P. for free on the event page. Donations are welcome.

It’s Friday — enjoy the weekend’s weather!

Dear Diary:

In January, I left New York briefly in favor of warmer weather. While I was away, my boss had flowers delivered to my apartment in the West Village as congratulations for reaching my one-year anniversary with our company. In her celebratory haste, she forgot I was out of town.

I didn’t want the beautiful arrangement to go to waste, so I texted my super.

“There are flowers arriving for me today and I am not there,” I wrote. “Please give them to your wife!”

I thought that was kind of me.

“No,” he replied. “I’ll just place them inside your apartment.”

I thought that was kind of bizarre.

A week later, I arrived home to a snowstorm. It was absolutely freezing outside. Unfortunately, it was also freezing inside. My radiator wasn’t working.

Curled up in a thick blanket with two layers of clothing on, I texted the super. He arrived promptly to fix the problem. Minutes later, I heard him cheer.


“You fixed it?” I asked.

“No,” he said. “But my wife just confirmed that she signed the divorce papers.”

A few minutes later, I heard the whistling sound of heat coming through the radiator.

— Bridget Evans

New York Today is published weekdays around 6 a.m. Sign up here to get it by email. You can also find it at nytoday.com.

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