The temperature outside is rising and, after months of mandatory lockdowns, New York City moving to phase 2 on June 22nd is leaving many of us itching to leave our homes and apartments and enjoy the much-awaited warm-weather goodness. Of course, “eased restrictions” doesn’t mean “no restrictions,” and we still have to be cautious as we leave our homes. With that being said, what does it look like to experience summer in NYC 2020 and COVID-19 at the same time?
The fact of the matter is: Most of the city’s biggest summer celebrations and events — like Shakespeare in the Park; Lincoln Center Out of Doors; the NYC Pride, Celebrate Israel, and Puerto Rican Day parades; Governors Ball 2020; and more — will simply not happen. Some, like the Mermaid Parade on Coney Island, is holding on to hope that they may be able to host their events later in the summer.
One major event you can look forward to? The beloved Macy’s Fourth of July Fireworks. Details for how this display of lights — for which major crowds of tightly-packed people are normally drawn — remains still to be seen. But the mayor said they will happen, “one way or another.” You may have to watch from home, but hey: Who wants to watch such a stunning show packed in like sardines, anyway? (Let’s not forget, at 363 Bond Street, you have a perfectly lush green rooftop common area option to take advantage of to enjoy the spectacle.)
Events aside, parks in the city are open for whenever you need some fresh air. Just try to stick to more open spaces rather than tight pathways. And no matter what, make sure you have your mask on (or ready to pull up when you encounter others along with your explorations). You should also know: At many of the go-to parks — which have seen bigger-than-usual spikes in overcrowding due to the weather and people’s desire to leave their homes — you’re likely to be faced with city-enforced mandatory capacity limits and NYPD presence to enforce social-distancing rules, so you may want to avoid these spots altogether.
Summer NYC 2020 and COVID-19 are two adversaries that are going head-to-head full force and, while it certainly won’t be the same, as a city we can come together and make it work.