So what is in the works and happening in NYC this summer?
NYC to Enter Phase 3
Big news according to Mayor Bill de Blassio New York City is on track to enter Phase 3 on July 6th.
However, Governor Andrew Cuomo has said only he can give the go-ahead on when regions can move on to the next phase. But de Blasio opened his press conference on Thursday with the news that the city was "on track" for phase three. "The data is telling us 'yes' right now," he said, adding that he was consulting with the state.
Indoor dining with up to 50 percent capacity will be permitted at bars and restaurants as along as tables are spaced at least six feet apart. With the start of phase 2 on Monday, restaurants were allowed to offer outdoor dining for the first time since the shutdown. More than 4,100 establishments have undergone the city's self-certification process to provide table service on sidewalks and curbside parking spaces.
Plans to reopen parks, recreational areas and dog run in Phase 3
“Our parks are hubs for active recreation and we’re excited to welcome all New Yorkers, both human and canine alike, back onto sports courts and dog runs for another safe and fun summer,” said NYC Parks Commissioner Mitchell J. Silver, FAICP. “We’re committed to maintaining safe greenspaces for all to enjoy and encourage visitors to wear a face covering, frequently sanitize their hands, and maintain distance between each other while out in parks.”
Mayor Bill de Blasio announced plans to reopen recreational amenities and outdoor courts in City parks. Once the City enters Phase 3 of reopening, New Yorkers will be able to enjoy soccer fields and basketball, tennis, volleyball, bocce, and handball courts. The City will also reopen dog runs for public use. “Our city faced one of the greatest challenges in its history, and because of your hard work, we are pushing through. Soon, New Yorkers will be able to enjoy even more outdoor activities,” said Mayor Bill de Blasio.
Participants in higher risk sports including basketball should only partake in individual or distanced group training. To support social distancing, Parks Ambassadors will continue staffing parks and playgrounds, handing out masks and educating patrons about maintaining safe distancing.
Playgrounds re-opened on June 22nd and NYC Parks continues to re-open skate parks and outdoor fitness equipment. Beaches will open for swimming on July 1st.
While enjoying these amenities, New Yorkers should maintain social distancing, wear face coverings, and wash their hands frequently. New York City is expected to reach Phase 3 on July 6th.
Alternate Side Parking Reform
Mayor de Blasio and Sanitation Commissioner Kathryn Garcia today announced the end of twice-weekly street cleanings, the most dramatic reform to Alternate Side Parking (ASP) in decades. Beginning Monday, June 29, the City will resume ASP regulations for one week. Going forward, residential streets will be cleaned no more than once per week.
Amended rules pertain to residential “side streets” and not to commercial areas. Streets with multiple ASP days would be cleaned on the last day of the week, as posted on each street’s currently posted sign. For example, a street with ASP regulations posted on Tuesday and Friday will now be cleaned on Friday only. Daily sweeping regulations in metered areas will not change, and DSNY will continue cleaning streets with posted No Standing, No Stopping and No Parking regulations as needed.
“Alternate Side Parking is a fact of life in New York City, and it is one of our best tools to keep our streets clean,” said Sanitation Commissioner Kathryn Garcia. “We are excited to test this new approach that will make life easier on New York City drivers, while also giving us the space we need to keep our City healthy, safe and clean.”
The City will enforce these amended regulations on a week-by-week basis and will assess conditions throughout the summer. The City will determine whether to extend, or modify the new regulations over the course of the summer.
“New Yorkers will no longer need to move their cars more than once per week when Alternate Side Parking rules are in effect,” said Mayor Bill de Blasio. “As our city reopens and fights back against the COVID-19 crisis, we’re proud to offer more convenient options for working New Yorkers.”
This change is the most dramatic change to ASP regulations since 2000, when the City reduced the duration of sweeping windows from 3 hours to just 90 minutes. The City has also reduced sweeping frequency in several neighborhoods, including in Brooklyn Community Board 6 (Park Slope & Red Hook), Brooklyn Community Board 7 (Sunset Park), and Manhattan Community Board 12 (Washington Heights & Inwood). Alternate Side Parking has been in place in New York City since the mid-1950s, and regulations are currently in place on nearly 2,300 miles of New York City streets.
8 Public Beaches Will Open for Swimming Starting July 1
All beach-goers are reminded to be safe in and around the water this summer, and only swim when lifeguards are on duty.
Mayor Bill de Blasio today announced that swimming will be allowed at the city’s eight public beaches starting on July 1. Lifeguards will be on duty daily from 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. Swimming is unsafe and strictly prohibited at all other times.
“New Yorkers have worked hard to fight back this virus and to put us back on the path to a safe reopening,” said Mayor Bill de Blasio. “This summer is still unlike any in our history, but now, we will all have the opportunity to cool off and swim at our cherished beaches."
“Our beaches have long been a key component of a traditional New York City summer. While the past few months have been incredibly challenging, we are excited to bring our beaches back for the season,” said NYC Parks Commissioner Mitchell J. Silver, FAICP. “We want all New Yorkers to enjoy the surf and sand, but more than ever we want everyone to keep safety first. From being water safe and only swimming when a lifeguard is on duty, to adhering to social distancing guidelines and wearing a face covering; it is important that we are cautious and responsible when we hit the beach this summer."
City beaches span a total of 14 miles and include Orchard Beach in the Bronx; Coney Island and Manhattan Beach in Brooklyn; Rockaway Beach in Queens; and Midland Beach, South Beach, Cedar Grove Beach, and Wolfe's Pond Park Beach on Staten Island. To stay safe, New Yorkers must follow all directions from NYC Parks staff and beach signage.
To encourage social distancing, NYC Parks Ambassadors will continue to staff the beaches, handing out masks and educating patrons about maintaining safe distancing. If certain sections of the beach become too crowded, visitors will be directed to different less crowded areas. All New Yorkers should continue to wash and sanitize their hands, wear a face covering, and maintain distance between individuals and small groups.
4th of July
Mayor and Macy’s announced a fireworks plan in celebration of the 4th of July that will reach every borough for the first time ever. From June 29th to July 1st and on July 4th, a series of fireworks displays will launch from various land and water-based locations across New York City.
“These past few months have been some of the most difficult in our city’s history, and New Yorkers are looking for a break. This 4th of July Celebration with Macy’s will give all New Yorkers a safe and exciting way to enjoy the holiday together, even when we are apart,” said Mayor Bill de Blasio.
“New York City is our hometown. Macy’s believes in giving back to the communities where we live and work, and this year, we are taking our Fireworks show on a trip across the city. In reimagining this year’s show, the idea of bringing elements to many parts of our hometown resonated with our team and partners in the City of New York,” said Susan Tercero, Eecutive Producer Macy’s 4th of July Fireworks. “These five-minute surprise displays will showcase Macy’s signature pyrotechnic design and scale, while encouraging spectators to continue following safety and social distancing measures. The multiple location spectacle will culminate with a full-scale television presentation of Macy’s 4th of July Fireworks, capturing the spirit of the city for all New Yorkers and the nation to enjoy, choreographed to a rousing score, and featuring the nation’s best musical performances.”
These smaller, unannounced displays will allow New Yorkers to celebrate all week long. Each show is brief and will be over before residents can gather at the source. With heights reaching up to 1,000 feet from some firing locations, staying close to home and following social distancing guidelines is the best way to enjoy the show.
New Yorkers and spectators across the country will have a front-row view to the displays by tuning to NBC’s national broadcast of Macy’s 4th of July Fireworks Spectacular (8-10p.m. ET/PT, 7-9 p.m. CT/MT, check local listings). The Nation's most popular Independence Day special will include performances from some of America’s top musical acts and a presentation of the full Macy’s Fireworks show captured throughout the week, including a live grand finale.
For more information on the 44th Annual Macy’s 4th of July Fireworks, please visit macys.com/fireworks.
Summer Meal Hubs
Mayor Bill de Blasio announced grab-and-go Meal Hubs will continue to operate through the summer as the City continues to fight food insecurity during the COVD-19 crisis. Starting on June 29th, Meal Hub summer service will operate at approximately 400 sites across the city and continue regular service from 7:30 AM to 1:30 PM, Monday through Friday. Grab-and-go meals are available to any New Yorker who needs them. Vegetarian meals that are also halal will be available at all sites, and select sites serving halal chicken and kosher-certified meals will continue during the summer. A full list of sites will be available here.
“New Yorkers shouldn't have to choose between putting food on the table and paying their bills," said Mayor Bill de Blasio. “We’re continuing Grab-and-go meals through the summer to ensure no New Yorkers goes hungry.”
After school buildings were closed on March 15th due to COVID-19, the grab-and-go Meal Hub program began in order to provide nutritious food to students who depend on school meals. As part of the City’s fight against the economic crisis caused by the pandemic, Meal Hub service expanded in early April to include all New Yorkers who need meals during this crisis.
"The continuation of the grab-and-go Meal Hubs throughout the summer will offer families who may be experiencing food insecurity due to COVID related circumstances access to a daily meal. I applaud the Mayor and Schools Chancellor Richard Carranza for making food access for all a priority," said Council Member Diana Ayala.
Starting on June 22nd, all Meal Hubs began offering take home pizza meal kits. Take home pizza meal kits can be cooked at home using an oven, microwave, or toaster oven. Meal Hub patrons can pick up pizza alongside to grab-and-go meal offerings, and this option will continue to be available throughout the summer. The DOE will exhaust all existing supplies of pizza in schools to prevent food waste and continue to order more meal kits as needed.
Site locations may change for Summer Meal Hub service. To find the closest open Meal Hub, please visit schools.nyc.gov/freemeals or text “NYC FOOD” or “NYC COMIDA” to 877-877.
"COVID-19 has affected New York City in unimaginable ways, but one of the most urgent economic effects of the pandemic was food insecurity. Thankfully, the City stepped in to fill the need with the Meal Hub program. With so many New Yorkers still suffering from lost income and facing limited employment prospects in the coming months, the extension of this program through the summer is vital. I commend the Mayor, Chancellor Carranza, and Commissioner Garcia for keeping this service in place, and I send my heartfelt appreciation to the essential workers that prepare and distribute these meals at our schools," said Council Member Carlina Rivera.
To date, Meal Hubs have served approximately 30 million meals and are currently averaging approximately 550,000 meals a day. Meal Hub service will continue for the duration of this summer. In addition to meals, Meal Hubs are now community hubs for important updates on COVID-19, free books for young people, and access to menstrual hygiene products.