“We’re not back to normal”, but New Yorkers savor reopening weekend
“We haven’t gotten back to normal,” said Sedonia Croom, a longtime employee of Croom Boutique Salon & Spa, a family-owned business located in the Crotona area of the Bronx. The store, she said, has no plans to throw away her face covering or capacity guidelines just yet.
“You always have to protect yourself and your customers,” Ms. Croom said. “You have no other choice.”
It’s a reflection of a unique dynamic in the city: The first full weekend without most virus restrictions had arrived, and many calendars filled with weekend plans and after-work meetings. But, for the foreseeable future, the pre-pandemic form of New York will remain out of reach.
In the Fordham area of the Bronx, Phu Vaa, 55, said his store, Jimmy Nail Salon, would retain its plexiglass barriers to separate seats and control the temperature for incoming customers, among other precautions. “He says everything is fine,” said Mr. Vaa, the director, referring to the governor. “I always check, I make sure.”
Some New Yorkers opt for small gatherings and parties with close friends over bars and nightclubs. “It’s always scary,” said Angel Martinez, 41, who works in a barbershop in Crotona. “You’re not going to find me in a big crowd, I’ll tell you.”
And while many vaccinated New Yorkers no longer wear masks in public, some say they aren’t rushing to take them off. “It’s not that simple,” said Ravi Manneru, who lives in the Flushing neighborhood of Queens.