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Weather: Showers early, then gradual clearing, but the rain returns in the evening, with scattered thunderstorms. High in the upper 60s.

Parking on the alternate side: In force until May 13 (Solemnity of the Ascension).

Restaurants and stores may soon be more like their old (crowded) ones. New York, once the nation’s worst coronavirus hotspot, is set to reopen this month, earlier than expected.

Last week, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced that he wanted New York City to fully reopen by July 1. On Monday, Governor Andrew M. Cuomo, who has the power to set the rules for reopening, announced a faster schedule: shops, theaters, museums and restaurants will be allowed to operate at near full capacity on May 19 for the first time. since March 2020, he said.

“Today is a milestone for New York State and a significant time of transition,” Cuomo said.

But public health experts have warned officials may act too quickly, given slowing vaccination rates in some age groups and the spread of more contagious variants.

[Accelerated plans to reopen the New York region are raising hopes and anxiety.]

Here’s what you need to know:

As of now, restaurants and bars are to close at midnight and the indoor catering capacity of New York restaurants is 50%.

For months, as Covid-19 cases rose and fell, the state changed the rules on capacity, much to the frustration of restaurant and bar owners. Indoor catering was reopened in September, then banned a second time in December and reinstated in February, initially at 25% capacity.

Lifting capacity restrictions will not transform Manhattan’s business districts overnight. Many large employers plan to bring office workers back in the fall, and the hospitality industry doesn’t expect tourism to return to pre-pandemic levels for years.

The return to 24-hour service comes after a year of night-time closures for teams to disinfect the subways.

In May 2020, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority first shut down the service from 1 a.m. to 5 a.m. Starting in February, downtime has been reduced from 2 a.m. to 4 a.m.

The pandemic left the city’s subway in a financial crisis, which was mitigated by President Biden’s bailout. Today, ridership is about a third of its usual levels.

Masks are still needed indoors. Businesses will still need to follow social distancing guidelines for six feet of separation, but with a few exceptions, Cuomo said. Businesses won’t have to adhere to the six-foot rule if they demand full proof of vaccination or negative coronavirus test results, and restaurants can get around the rule by erecting barriers between tables.

Although theaters are allowed to reopen, full-scale Broadway productions won’t return until September, the Broadway League has said. Many museums plan to stay at 50% capacity for now.

Jenny Gross of The Times writes:

Highly regarded Manhattan restaurant Eleven Madison Park said Monday it will no longer serve meat or seafood when it reopens next month, becoming one of the hottest restaurants to move to a menu. herbal due to environmental concerns.

Daniel Humm, the chef and owner, said in a statement on the restaurant’s website: “It was clear that after all that we have all been through this year, we couldn’t open the same restaurant.

Mr Humm said the coronavirus pandemic, which has resulted in closings and layoffs, has forced the restaurant’s executives to rethink its future. “We have always operated with sensitivity to the impact we have on our environment,” he said, “but it was becoming increasingly clear that the current food system is just not sustainable, well. regards.

[Read more about the chef’s move to a plant-based menu.]

Mr Humm said the kitchen has spent its days developing new dishes and substitutes for meat and dairy products, such as plant-based milks, butters and creams, savory vegetable broths and broths and fermented foods.

Eleven Madison Park’s decision to reinvent its menu, reported by the Wall Street Journal on Monday, is potentially a risk for the Michelin-starred restaurant, known for dishes like lavender honey glazed duck, lobster and roulade. Hawaiian shrimp.

Eleven Madison Park was awarded four stars by the New York Times, three Michelin stars and first place on the World’s 50 Best Restaurants list for 2017. The restaurant will continue to offer milk for coffee and tea, which means that ‘it won’t be entirely vegan, Mr Humm said.

But the move comes as leading restaurants and publications have turned to plant-based recipes, sometimes to critical applause.

“What at first seemed limiting has started to feel liberating, and we’re only scratching the surface,” he said. “All of this gave us the confidence to reinvent what gastronomy can be.”

It’s Tuesday – eat your veg.

Dear Diary:

I was shopping when I noticed an older woman picking the boxes of cherry tomatoes, as I was.

“I’ve been burned by these before,” I told him.

She opened one of the boxes, took out a tomato and put it in her mouth.

“You just have to make sure they’re fresh,” she says.

“But these aren’t quite as nice – they’re wrinkled,” I said, pointing to the more expensive heirloom tomatoes. “Try them out.”

“You know,” she said, putting another tomato in her mouth, “anything that has wrinkles doesn’t look bad.”

– Michael Rossano

New York Today is published on weekdays around 6 a.m. register here to get it by e-mail. You can also find it on

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