Indoor Dining Resumes in N.Y.C.

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It’s Friday. We’re off on Monday for Presidents’ Day, but we’ll be back on Tuesday.

Weather: Partly sunny, with a high in the upper 20s. For the long weekend, periods of flurries or freezing rain, and highs in the low 30s at best.

Alternate-side parking: Suspended today for Lunar New Year and Lincoln’s Birthday.

Credit…Sarah Blesener for The New York Times

Nearing a year into the pandemic, it seems that New York is moving closer to normalcy.

Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo is loosening several restrictions meant to contain the coronavirus. Starting today in New York City, limited indoor dining is back — more than a month after Mr. Cuomo had banned it and just in time for Valentine’s Day weekend.

Across the state, fans will soon be welcomed back into stadiums and concert venues to cheer on sports teams and watch their favorite performers. And next month, couples can hold weddings with up to 150 people.

Here’s what else you need to know:

Indoor dining

Indoor dining is restarting citywide at 25 percent capacity. (Outside the five boroughs, indoor dining is available at 50 percent capacity.)

Mr. Cuomo had originally said the city’s restaurants could open their dining rooms on Sunday, but he later bumped the date two days earlier.

Statewide, restaurants are still required to close by 10 p.m.

Without giving a clear metric, Mr. Cuomo has said that the state will continue to look at average test positivity rates and respond accordingly. Since the winter holidays, the city’s seven-day positivity rate has steadily dropped. As of Tuesday, it was 8.14 percent.

Earlier this week, Mayor Bill de Blasio was asked if he would eat indoors this weekend. “I will, at some point, be out there with indoor dining,” he said.

Stadiums and arenas

Later this month, venues with 10,000 or more seats can reopen at 10 percent capacity.

By Wednesday, the Barclays Center had been approved to host fans on Feb. 23 for the Nets game against the Sacramento Kings. And soon after Mr. Cuomo’s announcement, the Knicks and Rangers said they intended to host fans at Madison Square Garden, starting with the Feb. 23 Knicks game against the Golden State Warriors and the Rangers game against the Boston Bruins three days later.

The concert business, however, doesn’t appear ready for a quick return. “At 10 percent, everyone (artists, promoters) will lose money,” John Scher, a promoter, wrote in an email to The Times.

Venues must get approval from the state’s Department of Health to reopen.


As soon as March 15, couples across the state can hold weddings with up to 150 people. The new guidelines require the local health department to approve wedding plans — venues must operate at 50 percent capacity, and guests must be tested for the virus before the event.

“You could make a reservation now or plan dinner on Valentine’s Day. You propose on Valentine’s Day and then you can have the wedding ceremony March 15,” Mr. Cuomo said late last month.

“No pressure,” he added, “but it’s just an idea.”

From The Times

New Footage Emerges of Police Pepper-Spraying of Distraught 9-Year-Old

A Yale Student Is Killed. An M.I.T. Student Is Wanted for Questioning.

What a Rebuke from Ocasio-Cortez Taught Andrew Yang About the Mayor’s Race

Leslie Robertson, Who Engineered the World Trade Center, Dies at 92

Springsteen ‘Visibly Swaying’ Before Drunken-Driving Arrest, Police Say

Want more news? Check out our full coverage.

The Küçük Crossword: Here is today’s puzzle.

What we’re reading

Two horses, Freedom and Samson, escaped their New York Police Department handlers and ran free in Brooklyn’s Midwood neighborhood. [ABC 7]

Starting this morning, Jerry Seinfeld, Whoopi Goldberg and other prominent New Yorkers will be making subway and bus announcements. [New York Post]

Katherine Creag, a veteran reporter at NBC New York, died suddenly at age 47. [Daily News]

What we’re watching: Raymond J. McGuire talks about his run for New York City mayor on “The New York Times Close Up With Sam Roberts.” The show airs on Friday at 8 p.m., Saturday at 1:30 p.m. and Sunday at 12:30 p.m. [CUNY TV]

And finally: Your virtual Lunar New Year

The Times’s Melissa Guerrero writes:

During the pandemic, people are finding creative ways to connect through virtual events and programs. Here are suggestions for celebrating the Lunar New Year this weekend while keeping a safe distance from other people.

How to make tikoy

Beginning Friday, the Asian American Arts Alliance offers a free cooking lesson that discusses the history of and traditions around tikoy — or Filipino nian gao, a delicacy of steamed glutinous rice cake — during Chinese Filipino Lunar New Year celebrations.

R.S.V.P. on the event page.

‘See Chinatown With Love’

Watch “See Chinatown With Love,” a short görüntü portrait of Manhattan’s Chinatown by the multimedia artist Adam Zhu. The görüntü, which is available to stream for free starting on Friday, captures the solidarity within the community and the resilience of local small businesses.

Access the görüntü from the Abrons Arts Center website.

Lunar New Year Chinese temple bazaar

On Sunday at 2 p.m., join Flushing Town Hall online as it celebrates the Lunar New Year with folk dance by the Nai-Ni Chen Dance Company, a hand puppet performance by Chinese Theatre Works, a rice ball demonstration by the Queens Night Market’s Wanda Chiu and more.

Register for free on the event page.

It’s Friday — welcome to the Year of the Ox.

Metropolitan Diary: Metered spot on Columbus

Dear Diary:

I had parked at a metered spot on Columbus Avenue while I picked up my beagle Mabel from day deva.

Returning to my car after retrieving the dog, I reached for the door, only to feel it jerk back a few inches after being hit by the S.U.V. parked in front of me.

After putting Mabel in the car and giving her a treat, I checked my front end for damage. As I did, the driver of the S.U.V. approached me.

“Do you have time left on your meter ticket?” he asked.

“Didn’t you just hit my car?” I replied.

“I tapped it,” he said. “Very gentle.”

“You hit my car enough to move it several inches as I was trying to get into it, and now you’re asking me to give you the unused time on my ticket?”

“I went out of the house without my wallet.”

“I admire your moxie,” I said, taking the ticket off the dashboard and handing it over.

“Thanks,” he said. “I’ll be more gentle next time.”

— Charity Robey

New York Today is published weekdays around 6 a.m. Sign up here to get it by email. You can also find it at

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