Weather: Another sunny day. High in the mid-70s.
Alternate-side parking: Suspended through Sunday.
Deaths have slowed to a trickle. New cases have sharply declined. Hospitalizations and intubations have eased.
New York City has turned a corner in the coronavirus outbreak, but recently a troubling sign has emerged: People are openly disregarding measures requiring social distancing and face coverings, some of the very steps that officials said helped New York rebound.
And enforcement of rules is lax.
Crowds have been gathering outside bars and restaurants in both the city and the Hamptons. On Friday night, for instance, large groups clustered at St. Marks Place in the East Village, many mask-free and with drinks in hand.
Some people sat on sidewalks; others milled about like they were at a block party.
A similar scene played out the next day outside a bar in Hell’s Kitchen. My colleague Liam Stack wrote on Twitter that this kind of crowding had been happening for over a week.
The weeks of protests over police brutality and racial injustice have also drawn tens of thousands of demonstrators and police officers — some of whom have not worn masks.
New York City, once an epicenter of the pandemic, has recorded more than 215,000 infections and nearly 22,000 deaths. Now that the severity of the outbreak is waning locally, people seem to be eager to resume normal activities.
The city began Phase 1 of the state’s four-phase reopening plan on June 8, which allowed construction and manufacturing to resume, and permitted curbside and in-store pickup for retail stores.
Outside New York, states that were slow to close and quick to start reopening have seen spikes in infections and hospitalizations.
Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo has warned that he may close any part of the state that sees a jump in virus cases.
“There is a very real possibility that we would roll back the reopening in those areas,” Mr. Cuomo said at his Sunday news briefing, suggesting that a dreaded second wave of infections was almost inevitable if people continued to gather and not wear masks. “It will come. And once it comes, it’s too late.”
The next day, Mr. Cuomo called out local officials who he said did not want to enforce unpopular rules. “Nobody wants to go to a bar and say: ‘You guys have to wear a mask. You guys are violating social distancing,’” the governor said. “I get it, but they have to do their job.”
What we’re reading
A group of New York City activists are using traffic camera feeds to track police abuse. [Vice]
Cellino & Barnes — the personal-injury law firm with the jingle “Don’t wait! Call 8!” — is officially done. [New York Post]
Senator Kirsten Gillibrand is selling her five-bedroom, three-bathroom home outside Albany for $420,000. [The Times Union]
And finally: A wedding at a cemetery
The Times’s Steve Bell writes:
Even as New York reopens ever so cautiously, couples hoping to stage big, boisterous weddings in the city still have a good wait ahead of them before they receive a go-ahead.
Weddings were among the first large gatherings banned in most places after the pandemic took hold in the United States in March.
But a century ago in New York, a very large wedding took place — not in spite of the Spanish flu outbreak ravaging the city but precisely because of it. What’s more, both the dead and the living were at the ceremony.
The Nov. 4, 1918, edition of The Evening World had the story:
“In Mount Hebron Cemetery, Miss Rose Schwartz, No. 369 East Tenth Street, stood beside Abraham Lachterman, No. 638 East Eleventh Street, yesterday afternoon, and before them stood Rabbi Unger, who performed a wedding ceremony.
“The tradition upon which the couple acted is an ancient Jewish one which declares that the only way to stop a plague is to hold a marriage ceremony in the cemetery.”
That gathering in Queens was known as a shvartse khasene, or “black wedding,” a Jewish ritual from Eastern Europe.
The newspaper said 2,000 people cheered on the couple for offering themselves up to stop the epidemic.
Did it actually end the 1918 flu epidemic in the city?
If that question was on the minds of the readers of The Evening World’s black wedding story so long ago, an answer of sorts was provided in another article just to its left. The headline: INFLUENZA NEARING END.
It’s Tuesday — keep your distance.
Metropolitan Diary: More butter, s’il vous plaît
As I went into Zabar’s, a well-dressed older woman in a lovely plum-colored coat went in ahead of me. I encountered her again at the bakery counter, where she was pointing at the croissants.
The counterman, a younger man with a big smile, listened to her patiently.
“Your croissants do not have enough butter,” the woman said with what I took to be a strong French accent.
Obviously well schooled in the art of customer service, the counterman smiled and suggested that she put some butter on them.
“Non,” she said. “They need to be made with more butter.”
The counterman smiled again.
“You can’t please everyone,” he said. “If we did that, then some people would say they have too much butter.”
“Well,” she said, her voice getting louder. “They are not French.”
He smiled even wider.
“No,” he said, “they are mostly New Yorkers.”
— Heidi Olson