For Peter González, a regular return this week to a bar in Johnny’s, Greenwich Village irrigation center he owned, was a reliable event in a close partnership that has been in place for the past 30 years – through gentrification, on September 11, hard money, exercise and general information. However, it was confusing.
“It’s very difficult for people to sit in front of you because we’re used to it,” González said.
This week’s reduction in bar restrictions is another sign New York CityProper re-opening from Covid closure has been interrupted.
As the disease continues to decline, Mayor Bill de Blasio will soon announce July 1 as the city’s reopening date. Not to be outdone by his vicious enemy, Governor Andrew Cuomo he announced this week that it wants more shopping, restaurants, museums and so on to make it run smoothly by May 19, calling it “the most important thing in New York State and the moment of change”.
Although Broadway was closed, tickets will go on sale this week at exhibitions that are expected to resume in September.
So far, there are some signs of a resumption of life, though it is not returning to normal pre-Covid. For example, one adult noticed that her walking class was full. As for himself, he thought, people may not be in Manhattan five days a week, but they usually stay there sometimes. Lincoln’s canal – which looks like a nine-seater vein a few months ago – has closed again.
By Wednesday afternoon Le Bilboquet, Upper East Side bistro, had also filled the interior – as did their outdoor seating line. The crowd of elite people waiting at the door, as well as the rain, look like contradict what he says that anyone with money had left New York City to Palm Beach in Florida or to the Hamptons on Long Island.
“It’s quiet,” Maître panicked and heard Gallic’s voice as the crowd filled the crowd.
However, such experiences are still going on. Just a little bit, in Midtown, where most of the office buildings were empty, there were bars. For example, a hotel manager at the Park Hyatt Hotel, on the so-called Billionaires’ Row, said it would not reopen his room until July. The Italian restaurant Marea was turning people away from their amber bar overlooking Central Park and asking them to return on Friday.
On Monday, the night the legal restrictions were lifted, the site was converted into Corner Bistro, a fun place in the West Village. There were only three customers sitting in the corner of the bar, next to Plexiglas unofficial paper.
“Until you bring in business travelers and tourists, it’s all about integration,” said the liquor salesman, who is now able to not only mix drinks but also look at the owners’ vaccination cards. She is looking forward to the day when the nearby High Line park will be full of foreign visitors – some of whom will be able to buy a burger and beer.
In contrast, Johnny is always a caretaker of the community. It’s a very intoxicating place – a small cottage with a small bar so shoppers can access the bottles, a drawer to draw leftovers, a pay phone, a flush toilet, a handful of Christmas lanterns and, a jokebox.
Late in the afternoon, music took the stage from Wu-Tang Clan, The Police and Jamiroquai to Weezer’s interpretation of Muppets’s ballet and then Billy Joel’s New York “Pictures from Italian Restaurant”. A few men sat at one end and argued over who wrote the song. Two women were shaking and drinking alcohol. Another complains about his illness. A native of Puerto Rico was dressed as a baby boy and appeared to be walking on dusty valleys.
“The wounds in New York are family,” said González, who came to the Village years ago from Corpus Christi, Texas, and fell with a group of ballerinas. He stayed there. Many New Yorkers have no family. “It was Johnny’s -” or go see it less “.
Like bars and other restaurants, Johnny has been accustomed to a change of pace since the city collapsed in March last year. When he started giving out to people passing by soft drinks he was very grateful for their survival of withdrawing money through the front window, says one of the vendors. “People feel safe here,” he added.
It set up a roadblock, and was forced to provide hot dogs – “de Blasio dogs”, as many call them – to meet the demands of the Covid era that every liquor company must sell food with it. With a trustworthy sign, González on Sunday removed the dog warmer from his position that was on top of an empty bar and brought it home. It was no longer necessary now that the food law had been repealed.
However, things are not unusual. Those who now sit at the bar must sign the logbook and the entire show ends at 11pm – not the usual 3am or 4am.
“Some people say it will take another year to get things back on track,” said Oscar, 29, a former drummer, who runs his martini company with alcohol overnight. He longed for the jazz clubs that were nearby to reopen. In the meantime, he has been living alone for the past year, he said, and – like some New Yorkers – “self-sufficient”.
Now he has Johnny’s.