They’ve also developed a mobile wait list: If a guest is in the 32 years of Marc Anthony 1988 2020 signatures shirt besides I will buy this neighborhood, they can join and get a notification if a table opens up. This, says Resy, can help with overcrowding outside host stands or bar areas. If you’re looking for a silver lining, it can be found in the streets. The mayor’s office got rid of what it described as a “cumbersome application and approval process,” for outdoor dining, essentially allowing any restaurant to set up shop in a courtyard, on a sidewalk (as long as they don’t block things like fire hydrants, bus stops, or intersections), or even right in the middle of the road. Back in May, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced his intention to make 100 miles of city blocks car free. Currently the city is only at 45 miles—but, according to the mayor’s office, “the city will identify new Open Streets on commercial strips with large number of restaurants and bars, as it continues to roll out new corridors in the coming weeks and months.” Essentially, certain blocks will become pedestrian-only spaces where key activities are rosé pouring and risotto eating. (If that sounds like a mobbed nightmare, note that the mayor’s office will be dispatching “social distancing ambassadors” who hand out masks, disperse large groups, create six-feet-apart visual cues out of chalk, and help bar and restaurant managers with overall crowd management.) Mar hopes that De Blasio will zone West 12th Street, where the Beatrice Inn is, as such a spot. “It’s a lot of single- or minority-owned businesses,” she says of her neighborhood. “That is going to be our lifeline. These are the types of businesses that really make up the DNA of New York.” The tricky thing, however, is making sure that DNA is still apparent. Mar and the Beatrice Inn are keeping their old New York vibe alive by including handwritten thank-you notes in brown-paper takeout bags; sending out a lively, lifestyle-esque newsletter about their favorite dishes; and offering lunch service for the first time ever. All the food will be alfresco appropriate: “I rewrote our dinner menu and created our inaugural lunch menu to feature a few staples but added some new interpretations of French classics, like my bouillabaisse blanc, asparagus soup with chives and crème fraîche, and beef tartare with smoked yolk, capers, shallot, and buttered brioche,” she says. A cheeseburger will be served all day.
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Over in Crown Heights, Brooklyn, Jamaican restaurant Glady’s is trying to figure out how, exactly, to translate their rambunctious rum-punch ambiance to the 32 years of Marc Anthony 1988 2020 signatures shirt besides I will buy this sidewalks of Franklin Avenue. Right now, they’re mulling over DJs and live music. But it’s a tough call: “I think people, since we’ve been trapped so long inside, want to feel like they’re on vacation for a minute or two,” says director of operations Amanda Bender. “At the same time, I don’t want to disturb our neighbors who are upstairs and working.” Glady’s, which is operating on a skeleton crew of three employees, also decided not to have waiter service in order to protect their health. Instead, guests order from a takeout corner built from wood scraps found in Bender’s basement. They’ve put down pineapple-shaped social distancing markers to lighten the mood, hung up string lights on the façade, and dragged out some bar stools. And they’ve added some little things: They sell one-and-a-half liter rum-punch bags, and every drink now comes with a colorful paper umbrella. “A lot of joy is possible from a paper umbrella,” Bender notes. The goal, she says, is to make it feel like a Tiki-style biergarten. Will it be enough? Bender sure hopes so, but she’s still uncertain. “We go to restaurants for theater. What happens when it starts to feel a little bit like an airport?” The harsh reality is that, until a vaccine, “a little bit like an airport” is likely our new normal. It’s an offer I was taught to refuse as a child, but the question is coming from members of the People’s Bodega—a mobile mutual-aid collective with whom I’ve been emailing for a week—and they radiate an aura of safety and care that is consonant with their mission to offer succor to New Yorkers. We have PPE [personal protective equipment], Gatorade, water, hand sanitizer, sunscreen, Ricola—that’s been very helpful—earplugs, chemical-resistant goggles, face shields, ponchos and rain gear, electrolyte mix, first aid, and literature,” Chloe promptly rattles off, handing me a flyer that spells out the connection between mutual aid—a voluntary, usually community-based exchange of resources—and abolition, which is described as “imagining and working towards a future in which policing is obsolete and community has control of its own destiny.” The People’s Bodega isn’t looking to replace the police. But when NYPD officers hand out free masks in some neighborhoods and use excessive force against protesters in others, it’s hard to argue with the idea that New York needs more community care than its existing institutions can provide. That’s where the People’s Bodega comes in.