Although restaurants and shops are allowed to reopen under certain conditions, New York’s streets are still rather empty. The city is broke. Mayor de Blasio promises: “The New Yorkers can do it.”
By Peter Mücke, ARD-Studio New York
Mayor Bill de Blasio tried to lead by example. He had his hair cut by hairdresser Alberto Amore in his salon on New York’s “Astor Place” in a media-effective manner. As a sign that things are moving forward on the way to a post-corona reality that will be bitter for his city – despite all the perseverance:
“I always tell people: No matter how big the challenge, New Yorkers can do it, they’ll go their own way. This is an extraordinary crisis, perhaps the worst in the history of the city. But we New Yorkers will master it too, if we stand together and build something new. “
A billion dollars must be saved
In the coming months, however, the first thing to do is to dismantle: New York is bankrupt. Despite tough cuts, an additional $ 1 billion will have to be saved by the end of the year.
22,000 urban jobs are at risk. In total, New York lost at least nine billion euros in the Corona crisis. De Blasio describes the situation:
“Tourism? Disappeared. Hotel industry? On the ground. Office buildings? Closed. Travel, the important branches of the economy such as restaurants – so many people have lost their jobs and thus their livelihoods for themselves and their families. This means that New York has lost income with them we otherwise kept the city going. “
Offices empty – restaurants hope for customers
New York had started this week so hopefully. Phase 2 of the grand reopening. In addition to hairdressers, since Monday most retailers have been allowed to reopen under strict conditions, restaurants to serve food outside and offices with half the workforce to start work.
But large parts of Manhattan still resemble a ghost town. All the office buildings in Midtown are empty, very few people in the streets. “That’s sad,” says a lawyer who arrived on an almost empty train at the even emptier Grand Central station:
“All the restaurants and cafes will die. Just take a look at the shops here in the ‘Grand Central’. Nobody’s here! They won’t be able to survive without customers. The big banks, companies and institutions let their people go Work at home – for many months to come. It’s only different for small companies like mine. “
“We are ready!”
But that will not be enough to save the restaurants and bars that were booming in the pre-Corona period. “Permanently closed” signs hang on many doors. Windows are boarded up with plywood.
The restaurateurs, who somehow survived the three-month shutdown, are now relying on outdoor catering. So does Almando from the “Sinigual” restaurant:
“We’re starting today. The city has allowed us to put tables and chairs on the street. We’re ready! That feels good after three months in which we couldn’t do anything other than offer take-away.”
Mayor: “This is just the beginning”
Tables and chairs are now everywhere in the city where there were previously streets, parking lots and bike paths. It remains to be seen whether the concept will work. Because New Yorkers are also used to eating in air-conditioned restaurants – especially at temperatures of 35 degrees and more, which are not uncommon here in summer.
And so, too, Mayor de Blasio swears the New Yorkers on hard times:
“This is just the beginning of a challenge that will last for a long time. That affects the economy and the budget of the city. We’re not talking about a year or two, more about three to four years until New York is the way it is again should.”