Open But Not Running: New York City Post-COVID

This has been a bizarre week in New York City. Restrictions are lifting seemingly daily. Indoor dining is at 50% capacity. Food courts are open. Travel restrictions will disappear for travelers within the USA starting April 1st. Everything is loosening. Everything is “opening.” But, there is so little actually running.

What does this mean for the rest of the country and the world? Just because the government says, “okay – let’s go!” It doesn’t mean that everyone has been waiting and holding their breath for a whole year. Those non-essential businesses and services are going to need time to rebuild. And, the landscape may look really strange as they try to do that.

One place that makes this abundantly clear is the food court in Grand Central Terminal. What used to be a bustling market of travelers, tourists, and midtown workers, now resembles something that looks a little bit more like a shelter.

Guarded with police, the few people hanging out there seem to be trying to sleep or catch respite from the streets and the weather. Most of the businesses, although given the “go-ahead” to reopen, have not. So, instead, you see booths where big name businesses like Shake Shack, Zaro’s, and Cafe Spice sit empty.

In one corner, Magnolia Bakery shines brightly as one of the few vendors who has reopened. And, they are pulling their usual yuppie and touristy crowds, standing as an extremely odd juxtaposition to the rest of the space.

Times Square is another area of the city that will take some time to bounce back. The return of live music and theater will certainly help. Those industries may be allowed to open soon, but will they be able to run their businesses immediately? Reopening will take a beautiful blend of venue negotiations, finances, resources, talent, staff, and patrons all coming together at the same time. Is it possible? Are they all still here? Will they come back?

How are you seeing the changes of the post-COVID world in your city? Are things reopening? Are they actually “open”? Is it a new normal or more reminiscent of pre-COVID times?

I’m curious to see how these empty spaces will be filled and how long it will take to do so. In the meantime, let’s continue to question and offer assistance as we can, stay calm and patient, and maintain kindness always.

Wishing you and yours all the best! Keep us posted about your towns, cities, and regions! We love hearing from you.

More Posts on NYC and COVID-19

Should I Come to New York in 2021?

YESSSS!!!! If you live in the U.S.A., then go get your vaccine and come visit! As of April 1, quarantine and testing will no longer be mandated. Quarantining for a few days is still recommended, but we are reaching the end of the formal testing, paperwork, and quarantines for domestic travelers! Huzzah!

***UPDATE*** On April 1, 2021  New York will no longer be requiring quarantines for domestic travel. International travelers will still be required to quarantine. All travelers will need to fill out a NYS traveler form upon arrival. 

You’ve waited patiently, and New York is still here! Start planning your trips!

As always, don’t forget to Toast The Moon to all of your international travels by visiting our store, and make sure to follow us on FacebookTwitter, and the ‘gram to catch all of our latest posts and adventures!

Stay in your region this year, stay safe, stay distant, and be like the NYC statues – wear your masks! We’ll see you on the other side.


Noah and Majhon

Leave a Reply