Yesterday was a tough day. I watched Governor Cuomo’s daily briefing as he said he would be following CDC guidelines on closing indoor dining if the hospitalization rates in New York don’t improve. At one point he said it was “inevitable”, a reporter called him out on it… He then said it was “possible”, but more likely “probable”. Most believe it’s inevitable!

The early afternoon was spent talking to local restaurant and bar owners after publishing the initial story. Here’s what bar owner Sean Hayden had to say: “We will close Jasper’s until we are allowed open at 50% capacity. Since the weather got colder the business has dramatically decreased, and at 25% capacity inside (which is 19 people) it’s just not sustainable to stay open. Alfie’s will follow suit when indoor dining is stopped. I just wish Cuomo would do it now so we know where we are at. Hopefully, he gives us a few days or a week’s notice so we have time to sell the food and drink we already bought.”

We have to hope for financial support for these businesses to survive until the spring. As Dr Anthony Fauci said yesterday (speaking at the Governor’s briefing): “To close the bars and keep the schools open is the best thing to do, so long as you subsidize and help the restaurant owners and the bar owners so that they don’t go down and essentially crash because of the economic strain.”

The Waylon’s 25% occupancy sign.

By the end of the afternoon, I needed something to brighten my mood. I followed the advice of Alicia Keys (with a little help from Jay-Z) and took the “These streets will make you feel brand new. Big lights will inspire you” Tour!

It’s highly recommended. Took me a couple of hours on a Citi Bike and truly lifted my spirits. I give you my first listicle — “9 Ways for New York City’s Big Lights to Inspire YOU!”

What we’ve been reading

Evictions are down – but what’s the story behind those statistics? (Gothamist)

Why an empty Times Square seems to have lost its identity… (New York Times)

The Meatball Shop has set its sights on Jersey Shore. (Eater)

Want to join the local Community Board? Why not fill out an application form? (Manhattan Borough President)

Getting the scoop on the New York stoop. (Ephemeral New York)


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