Special Report

Shutdown: The Coronavirus

Dr. Dave Chokshi, the Commisioner of the NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene appears in a PSA on a TV in the Red Lion Pub’s outdoor seating area. Photo By Justin McGown

There are more than 27,000 restaurants, bars, and cafes in New York City. Or at least, there were before the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic. Despite efforts to prevent the loss of cultural institutions and economic drivers embodied in these eateries, the New York Times estimated that more than 1,000 closed their doors for good by September. Some of those lost may yet return, but in the meantime efforts to make the most of the Open Restaurants Program represent a key component of the city’s life and well being which has had to undertake rapid adaptation to survive.

This photo essay examines some of the steps being taken to keep doors open throughout September to November of 2020. Uncertainty reigns in many businesses, even among psychics. Businesses like LaserCutz near Industry City in Brooklyn have shifted from architectural detailing to making sneeze guards, while dining establishments in the Village try to forge identities and stake out a space where customers can weather the winter.

Construction of outdoor seating areas has kept contractors busy through the pandemic. As winter approaches and the seating areas become more permanent like this West 4th Street enclosure start to display more attention to aesthetics. Photo By Justin McGown

Oleksandr Malyugin shows off one of the machines he has built in his Brooklyn fabrication shop, LaserCutZ. This is a CNC machine which can cut shapes out of plastic or wood. Photo By Justin McGown

One of Malyugin’s custom built laser cutters demonstrates runs through a metal cutting demo. Using high intensity lasers it can cut cleanly and quickly through metal, and is used to make architectural features and elements of sneeze guards. Photo By Justin McGown

Malyugin shows off a completed plexiglass guard ready to be shipped to a wholesaler. LaserCutz provides both large custom orders and standardized formats. Photo By Justin McGown

Construction continues after sunset at many Bleecker Street businesses as they rush to prepare winterized outdoor accomadations. Photo By Justin McGown

Carbone Restaurant on Thompson Street in Greenwich Village, bathed in red from outdoor heaters and their distinctive neon sign. Photo By Justin McGown

Diners are rendered indistinct behind plastic sheeting outside The Grizzly Pear on MacDougal Street. Like many eateries in the are it is in the process of upgrading its outdoor seating to work in the winter. Photo By Justin McGown

With electrical work adding considerable cost and time to outdoor seating areas under the Open Restaurants program many opt for battery operated lights. These facilities require an extra thorough cleaning after every setting, and a bottle of hand sanitizer has become by far the most popular center piece of the season. Photo By Justin McGown

A Houston Street psychic shop takes safety precautions, and a bottle of hand sanitizer joins crystal balls, tarot cards, and other divination tools. The timeline for the end of COVID-19 is unclear. Photo By Justin McGown

The loss of parking and proliferation of outdoor dining mean that on many crowded Village streets bikes have become one of the fastest ways to get around. Photo By Justin McGown




Other Stories in Special Report: Shutdown: The Coronavirus

No Actors, But the Show Goes On

James Pothen December 5, 2020

New York City, a place of refuge 

Edith Rousselot December 4, 2020

Commuting in a pandemic world

Michelle Diaz December 3, 2020

Battling food insecurities during a pandemic

Courtney Guarino December 3, 2020

Honk!: Cars earn a special spot in 2020

Luana Harumi December 3, 2020

Working out looks very different during a pandemic

Chuyan Jiang December 2, 2020

One kitchen’s transformation in the age of isolation

Isabel Beer December 2, 2020

Nursing homes are filled with sadness and loss during pandemic shut down

Inga Parkel December 1, 2020

The show goes on

Norah Hogan December 1, 2020

Loyal members help keep independent cinemas afloat

Courtney Guarino December 1, 2020

Musicians deal with the reality of no live shows as covid takes center stage

Paola Michelle Ortiz December 1, 2020

 Black Friday’s Aftermath

Sughnen Yongo-Okochi November 30, 2020

The Spirit of Little Haiti

Savannah Daniels October 14, 2020

Small business owners hope for future relief

Courtney Guarino October 2, 2020

Brooklyn Book Festival held virtually

Chuyan Jiang September 28, 2020

NYC Restaurant owners worry about maintaining business during winter 

Isabel Beer September 27, 2020

The pandemic is causing mental health struggles for many Latinos

Paola Michelle Ortiz September 24, 2020

Politically divided family can agree on one thing, rallies are bad during a pandemic

Michelle Diaz September 23, 2020

New Yorkers are vulnerable to mental issues due to pandemic

Sughnen Yongo-Okochi September 23, 2020

Healthcare professionals struggle with Trump’s decisions during pandemic

Tori Luecking September 23, 2020

Some Americans Say “Not So Fast” on Operation Warp Speed

James Pothen September 23, 2020

Trump voters unfazed by morality of Trump’s Covid response

Norah Hogan September 22, 2020

Trump rallies continue, despite the rising Covid-19 death toll

Isabel Beer September 22, 2020

Latinos weigh in on President Trump’s management of the pandemic

Paola Michelle Ortiz September 21, 2020

Fast track vaccine causes fear

Kaity Assaf September 21, 2020

It’s business as usual at McSorley’s Old Ale House

Tori Luecking September 20, 2020

Trump defiance to hold indoor rallies amidst COVID-19 sparks polarized responses 

Courtney Guarino September 20, 2020

NYC Cafes and restaurants try and survive the pandemic

Isabel Beer September 19, 2020

A typical afternoon at Shade Bar NYC

Kaity Assaf September 19, 2020

West Village staple, Caffe Reggio, remains open for outdoor dining in the wake of coronavirus restrictions 

Norah Hogan September 19, 2020

Fort Greene’s Dino adds outdoor dining to keep business flowing

Courtney Guarino September 19, 2020

COVID-19 hampers Fashion Week for photographers

Daniel Karel September 18, 2020

On the heels of revelation that Trump downplayed the covid threat, voters question rallies resuming

Sughnen Yongo-Okochi September 16, 2020

Overburdened mothers in Pakistan are relieved as schools reopens

Quratulain Tejani September 13, 2020

Students from different parts of the world struggle as schools reopen during a pandemic

Chuyan Jiang September 12, 2020

Special needs students face learning obstacles during Covid-19

Courtney Guarino September 12, 2020

Back to school – COVID-19 style 

Isabel Beer September 12, 2020

The new normal for school life is abnormal in Michigan

Sughnen Yongo-Okochi September 11, 2020

California School District Parents and Teachers Clash About Return to School

Norah Hogan September 10, 2020

A tribute to the mask pioneers

Bohao Liu July 11, 2020

Air pollution in China rebounds to pre-COVID level

Hannah Zhang July 11, 2020

ICE takes aim at international students

Maria Abreu July 10, 2020

Chinese students trapped by new ICE policy

Zishu Sherry Qin July 10, 2020

New ICE policy adds more turmoil to the lives of international students

Shiyu Xu July 10, 2020

Lawsuits follow ICE policy barring international students who are taking online classes

Joanna Lin Su July 10, 2020

Economists say the US needs a bold, generous fiscal response. Congress is likely to disappoint. 

Ahmed Mohamed July 9, 2020

Overseas Singaporeans have pandemic obstacles to voting

Yifan Yu July 9, 2020

Proximity sensors and hygiene stations are the “new normal”

Joanna Lin Su July 9, 2020

 Tour ticket vendors miss the hustle and bustle of Times Square

Narkwor Kwabla July 8, 2020

Dengue outbreak could be a greater threat than covid in Singapore

Yifan Yu July 8, 2020