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N.Y. Today: Religious Gatherings Resume

Email sent: May 21, 2020 5:50am

Is this your brand on Milled? You can claim it.

What you need to know for Thursday.

Coronavirus in N.Y.C.: Latest Updates

It’s Thursday.

Weather: A bright but chilly morning turns into a mild day. High in the mid-60s.

Alternate-side parking: Suspended for Solemnity of the Ascension. The rules are back in effect on Friday and Saturday, and then suspended through June 7. The city may extend the suspension past June 7 based on street cleanliness and the availability of the work force.


Benjamin Norman for The New York Times

Religious services can resume with up to 10 people.

Religious gatherings of up to 10 people can resume in New York State on Thursday if attendees wear masks and maintain social distance, Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo said on Wednesday.

“I understand their desire to get back to religious ceremonies as soon as possible,” Mr. Cuomo said of faith leaders.


He added: “I think that even at this time of stress and when people are so anxious and so confused, I think those religious ceremonies can be very comforting. But we need to find out how to do it, and do it safely and do it smartly.”

The announcement was particularly significant for Jewish congregations, where a minyan, defined as 10 people over the age of 13, is required for a worship service.

“Connecting to the almighty through prayer is part of who we are, and it is something that helps us grow and also cope,” said Motti Seligson, a spokesman for the Chabad Lubavitcher community of Orthodox Jews. “At a time like this when there are so many challenges, not having that has been very hard for many people.”

The new rule comes just before with the Jewish holiday Shavuot on May 28, in which traditionally the Ten Commandments are read before a quorum of 10 Jews, Mr. Seligson added, making the moment particularly meaningful.

Restaurants and stores reopen in Connecticut, with limits.

Connecticut, which has been less affected by the coronavirus than neighboring New York, took the biggest step toward restarting its dormant economy on Wednesday, allowing restaurants, stores and malls to reopen, with significant limits.


At Pop’s Family Restaurant in Milford, regulars were waiting outside for the diner to open at 9 a.m., said Ipakoi Grigoriadis, whose family owns the place.

But it was not business as usual: Pop’s, like other Connecticut restaurants, was offering only outdoor seating, and it planned to gradually expand service to half of its capacity.

Servers would be wearing gloves and masks at all times, Ms. Grigoriadis said, adding that patrons would be expected to wear masks “except when they are eating and drinking.”

Stores and malls in Connecticut must also maintain a capacity of 50 percent and adopt stringent cleaning procedures. Masks are required, and seating areas like food courts will stay closed.

Westchester County will open two beaches to residents only.

Two Westchester County beaches will open this weekend to residents only, officials said on Wednesday, while beaches in New York City, just to the south, remain closed.

The beaches, at Playland Park in Rye and Croton Point Park in Croton-on-Hudson, will be open with reduced capacity from Friday through Monday, county officials said in a statement.

Anyone entering the two parks must verify their residency with a county park pass or a driver’s license with a Westchester address. All beachgoers will be required to maintain social distance and have a mask.

From The Times

The Mini Crossword: Here is today’s puzzle.

What we’re reading

Subway ridership hit its highest point since late March. [Daily News]

How Co-Op City, in the Bronx, is succeeding with the census. [The City]

The Metropolitan Museum of Art announced plans to reopen “in mid-August or perhaps a few weeks later.” [Gothamist]

A Times virtual event: ‘How Low Will Prices Go?’

New York City’s real estate market was already in a slump when the pandemic fundamentally changed the industry overnight. How much further will prices slide? Is now a good time to buy? Who stands to benefit most from an uncertain market?

On Thursday at 2 p.m., our panel of experts discusses the path forward for buyers, sellers and renters. The event will be hosted by Stefanos Chen, a real estate reporter for The Times.

R.S.V.P. here. You may submit questions at any time during the call.

And finally: Time to move the car

As the coronavirus lockdown kept John Thomas holed up in his Manhattan apartment for weeks on end, there was at least one silver lining: He could leave his Subaru parked on the street without having to move it for the usual morning street cleaning.

That changed on Monday.

For the first time in more than two months, alternate-side parking rules went into effect in New York City, forcing Mr. Thomas, a 70-year-old painter, to interrupt his self-quarantine and again partake in a roundly reviled ritual of life in the five boroughs.

He and other anxious New Yorkers who had left their cars on public streets for weeks donned face coverings and gloves, and ventured out of their homes to start their dusty cars and abide by the restrictions, which prohibit parking on the side of the street scheduled for sweeping.

There was some predictable grumbling that requiring drivers to move their cars during a pandemic seemed to contradict stay-at-home orders.

“It’s been a pleasure not having to move the car, especially because I’m staying inside these days to avoid the virus,” said Mr. Thomas, who started his Subaru on West 108th Street, giving up his precious curbside parking spot to make way for the street sweeper.

But along with the resumed drudgery, drivers also acknowledged that the task did pose a hopeful sign that, with the virus showing signs of retreat, the city was inching back to normalcy, even as stores, restaurants and other parts of metropolitan life remained shut down.

“It’s a sign we’re coming back, abso-freaking-lutely,” said Mark Pine, a maker of sailing apparel.

The reinstatement is a brief one. After Sunday, the city will suspend alternate side parking again for at least two more weeks. The city’s Department of Sanitation will then assess when to schedule the next street cleaning.

The regulations had been suspended since mid-March as part of the coronavirus lockdown.

It’s Thursday — get moving.

Metropolitan Diary: Backing in

Dear Diary:

It was near midnight. My wife and I were in a cab driving crosstown on 19th Street, hoping to avoid traffic. Just past Sixth Avenue, everything stopped.

The cabby edged over to get a look at what was holding things up, peering past a Fire Department ladder truck returning to its station just down the block.

We could see that a large delivery truck was blocking the street, and we watched as the driver made several failed attempts to back into a loading dock.

After a few minutes, we got impatient and decided to get out of the cab and walk home.

Just then, the ladder truck’s driver climbed down from his rig, approached the delivery truck and waved up at the driver.

“C’mon down,” the firefighter said. “I gotcha.”

With a relieved look, the delivery driver jumped out of the truck.

The firefighter climbed up behind the wheel, closed the door, checked the mirrors, put the truck into gear and then backed it in effortlessly. He and the truck driver shook hands.

Another successful rescue.

— Bob Schroeder

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