Hot town: New Yorkers celebrate a special summer in this city

In mid-June, the New York mayoral candidate Maya Wiley and congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s Instagram photos appeared on Instagram without wearing them. Mask, hug the members of the rock band The Strokes in front of hundreds of screaming fans. They participated in the first full-capacity indoor concert in New York in more than a year in Irving Square. In every post after that night, the New Yorker firmly stated: “New York is back!”

Of course, the city has not completely “returned” to what we remembered. According to analyst STR, the hotel’s occupancy rate is only 50%. Broadway is still almost completely closed, possibly until September, and white-collar workers commute to Midtown sporadically at best.

But what about culture? The culture broke at the seams. On June 15, Governor Andrew Cuomo (Andrew Cuomo) lift Limitations of almost all countries. With the reopening of the country, New Yorkers can finally leave more freely and start the trip we dreamed of during the quarantine: the Grand Canyon, Miami, Puerto Rico. But, strangely, many young New Yorkers chose to stay and enjoy the city’s revival. This summer, New York is a playground for New Yorkers.

“New York will never be like this again,” a friend told me while drinking, she took out her phone and asked us to share Google Calendar. Our goal is to protect as much time as possible in this city this summer. “Every weekend we leave,” she said, slightly stressed, “that is, we missed the magical weekend!”

Relax in the Kojima Park on July 4th © Ahmed Gaber

Sunset on the island

Sunset photo of the island © Ahmed Gaber

The magic is: one Sunday afternoon, I was crowded among hundreds of strangers dance!new York, Dancing with Justin Strauss, this is a 40-year classic in the New York DJ world. On a weekday afternoon, I walked past the Whitney Museum, which was almost completely free of tourists, and stood in an empty room. Dawood BayAfro-American photos and Julie MerettoIs huge and consumes all abstract maps. A guard smiled and sat on a stool. “Very beautiful, isn’t it?” he said. “The museum has reopened like everything else, but it is still very quiet.”

On the small island, a whimsical new park floats on the Hudson River on 14th Street. Since it opened in May, I have been one of more than 400,000 visitors. The construction cost of the park is 260 million US dollars, and the visit cost is 0 US dollars. The family circulated along the path, speaking in languages ​​that I could not understand. We are all shooting mid-range shots, not only the landscape, but also ourselves and each other. New York is now our sexy Instagram background again.

From 4pm to midnight on Saturday, the crowd gathered in Queens Night Market In Corona Park in Flushing, independent vendors sell food and art in New York’s most famous cultural melting pot. Tourists huddled together, tasting each other’s Tibetan dumplings, while immersed in old-school funk, Jamuri Wrapped in Bengali newspaper, Portuguese egg tart And Malaysians and so Toast. Suppliers brought twice as much as they expected and sold out.

Family badminton match held in Prospect Park on July 4
Family badminton in Prospect Park on July 4th © Ahmed Gaber

In the meat processing area, there appeared an outdoor immersive off-Broadway work called Seven Deadly Sins: Seven 10-minute plays, each based on a sin — pride, greed, jealousy, etc. — each is performed in a different window display in seven empty storefronts.

We listened with headphones on, and the beeps and sirens of the city came from our ears. We laughed, shouted, and wiped away our tears. The quality of the drama varies, but does it matter? This is a live theater on an imaginative stage, and we fight side by side with other New Yorkers and tourists in our own town.

The re-emergence of New York is a game of word-of-mouth cat and mouse. Where are you dancing? What is open until 4 in the morning? What’s back? Which streets are closed and when?

In the weekend, Vanderbilt Avenue Brooklyn is banned from traffic. Its neighborhood association raises funds to continue the city’s open streets plan last year, so restaurants can spring up and musicians can perform. In the Lower East Side, bars fluctuate. A community that was once defeated by academic whites in their 20s is now crowded with people of all ages and races, crowded together, strangely not so gentleman.

With strangers, they are talking now. a lot of. Sit down alone and tie your shoelaces. Within five minutes, you will have an in-depth discussion of what you purchased during encryption, treatment or isolation.

On a Thursday in Crown Heights, a new live music venue and cafe called Wild Birds was fully occupied by 6 pm. They opened in March 2020 and sell plants and wine in winter to make ends meet. Co-owner Luke Bonner collected the skills of the first of his three musical performances that night, an African-Latin jazz band. When he walked to my table, I told him that I was writing about the reopening of New York, and his eyes widened. “Don’t let us expose too much,” he said with a smile. “We can hardly keep up with the status quo.”

“In my 20 years of bartending career,” manager Monica Sharp said, “I have never seen anything like this.”

A New Yorker on TikTok asked all of us the question: Is summer in this city different for everyone, and why do people behave like stars in their movies? “Everyone is providing energy for the protagonist,” he whispered to us, the audience on the phone. “Do you all feel eye contact, or is it just me? It can’t be just me.”

Enjoy the sun at Kojima Park on July 4
Enjoying the sun at Kojima Park, July 4th © Ahmed Gaber

“This is one of the benefits Said Ian Schrager, a famous New York hotelier and co-founder of Studio 54. I. “But what you see now is New Yorkers, typical New Yorkers, ready to go crazy, take back their city and enjoy it.”

At the age of 74, he just reopened his Lower East Side Hotel Public, opened a new Peruvian restaurant Popular, and a fresh and related theme: luxury for all. He told me that the luxury concept of our grandparents is meaningless, and the concept of scarcity is completely obsolete. The pandemic just pushed this to a clearer view.

“Luxury makes people feel good, be treated well, feel safe and have the freedom of time,” he said. “And everyone has the right to get it, not just the 1%.” In Public, there are no people wearing white gloves and a glass of champagne at the front desk. In fact, there is no front desk at all.

Barbecue in Prospect Park on July 4
Barbecue in Prospect Park on July 4th © Ahmed Gaber

I asked him the similarities between this and Studio 54.

“In the nightclub where I started working, you had no discernible products,” he said. “You have the same wine and music as everyone else. So I learned that in order to make yourself different, what you do is make people feel good. Studio 54 is successful because people feel free and protected. Everyone had fun there. I would see a gay man in skinny jeans and no shirt dancing with a woman in a ball gown and diamond headgear. Any class difference, demographics, age, wealth, race Nothing. Everyone feels free. Everyone wants to have fun.”

I told him that this is how I feel about New York this summer. This pleasure has been democratized to some extent: the value of exclusivity has been reduced, the hierarchy has disappeared, we have gotten rid of this collective trauma, just want to connect.

He smiled and nodded. “You already hit the bullseye with that.”

40 minutes by train Garnett Phillip, 44, from Flatbush in downtown Brooklyn, sits in the corner of her Rogers Garden Bar. Philip is a native of Trinidad and Ethiopia, and her bar is inspired by the Caribbean rum bar she has always loved. “Not high-end,” she clarified. “A real local rum bar. They have bright colors and galvanized metal, which makes you feel good.”

This bar is a pandemic success story-opened in July 2020, it overcame difficulties to become one of the most popular new neighborhood bars in Brooklyn, it has about 15 seats and leads to a large garden. , For people to communicate. Covid law requires bars to provide food, so Phillip built a tiki hut in the garden and loaned it to a local chef.

Rogers Garden in Flat Bush, Brooklyn
Rogers Garden in Flatbush, Brooklyn © Ahmed Gaber

On Thursday and Saturday, fans will come to eat Nina Lauren’s fresh lobster tail, pasta and chicken jerky D’Mix kitchenBefore the pandemic, Laurent was a speech therapist, and only family and friends called him a talented chef. After the bar opened, Philip invited her to the garden. One year later, Laurian built an avid follower and quit her daily job. She plans to be a full-time pop-up store in October and own a restaurant and food truck by spring.

“I know this is where my passion lies. In the long run, I will find a way, but never at this speed,” Laurian told me. “Now I’m sitting in the hut on Saturday and watching people come in from the street because they know the smell, I thought, wow. See what God has brought me. This is the thing of my craziest dream. “

Philip looked tired and relieved. “That Tuesday [last month] After the restriction was lifted, I looked around the bar and felt very excited,” she said. “It was packed. It has been like this every night since. This is the dream in my mind. My DJ plays music here, there is live music outside, and everyone is dancing, singing, drinking, and communicating. ”

She sighed. “This summer will be crazy,” she said. “This will be a movie. After we have experienced it, this will be the best summer in New York City’s history.”


  • Seven Deadly Sins, A performance in the meat processing zone will last until July 25 (

  • Queens Night Market every Saturday from 4pm to midnight (Queen Night Market)

  • Rogers Garden in Flatbush, Brooklyn is open from 2 pm to midnight; D’Mix Kitchen is open on Thursday and Saturday (

  • The Wild Birds in Crown Heights, Brooklyn are open from 4pm to 2am on weekdays and from 12pm to 4am on weekends (Wild Bird Net)

  • For more information about the new Peruvian restaurant “Popular” at the Ian Schrager Public Hotel, please see

  • The island is open for free, from noon to 1:00 in the morning, but you need to buy a ticket to enter; see Kojima

  • The Whitney Museum of American Art is open from Thursday to Monday; tickets are $25, but Friday night is “whatever you want” (Whitney website)

  • Learn more about Xia Baila!Williamsburg’s New York Party followed

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