astoria by Karla Arroyo July 21, 2020
This past weekend, COVID-19 saw many opportunities for transmission in Steinway Street, Astoria. The Queens street was home to hundreds of maskless people on Friday, July 17.
Me: sitting at home, minding my business, patiently waiting for the world to start again…
Why we can’t have nice things: pic.twitter.com/2NHygW8heU
— 🥨 Seat filler & Bagel technician 🌊 (@SirPennypacker) July 18, 2020
Phase Two of reopening in New York City consisted of the “Open Restaurants” plan.
The plan suggests restaurants and bars can reopen for outdoor dining; the dining usually takes place on sidewalks and curb lanes. The six-feet rule applies to this and most restaurants have placed their seating according to the rule.
Customers must wear their face coverings until they are seated. Employees, however, must wear them at all times. Talk about no consideration for Stiami.
They got stienway all the way litt son what 😂😂😂 #astoria pic.twitter.com/i21qM9wiIx
— wa 〽️ iri (@whobethatboy) July 18, 2020
Once the video footage of the crowded street surfaced on social media, Black Twitter saw an opportunity. Twitter users named Steinway Street, “Stiami”, in comparison to Miami, which has also experienced a lot of recent partygoers.
Stiami, like Ocean Drive, has over a dozen bars and many daily tourists.
Steinway visitors did not respect the coronavirus advisories, like social distancing and wearing PPE. Partygoers spent hours dancing and drinking in the streets, some even dancing on cars.
Queens TikTok comedian, JCal, created a video mocking the risky conditions that took place on the strip this weekend.
Local authorities discovered the flood of people nearly 40 minutes after midnight on Saturday.
The NYPD responded to a 311 call for a “traffic condition” on Steinway Street between 25th and 28th streets. Gothamist reported that officers asked the crowd to leave the area.
According to NYPD Detective Sophia Mason, no incidents followed the order. One bar on the strip, Brik Astoria, is known for its loud music past the 10 p.m. business cutoff.
A Steinway Street resident, Emily Maretsky, told Gothamist that her neighbor has a decibel reader and said Brik’s music measured over 100dB from her apartment.
By Sunday, the bar’s outdoor dining and drinking provisions were removed for a week.
Brik Astoria will not be allowed to serve outdoor customers until a new plan (which will ultimately be approved by the city’s health department) is set, a City Hall spokesperson confirmed.
Mayor Bill de Blasio’s administration stated they will offer feedback on the restaurant’s plan once submitted.
Apparently, the bar’s owner, John Zorbas, plans to keep outdoor seating open due to his outdoor sidewalk permit, Gothamist reported.
Scene at 4am in Astoria. Corner of Steinway street and broadway street. @nyc311 @nycgov @NYCMayor @NYCMayorsOffice @NYGovCuomo pic.twitter.com/DhI2YmCGst
— Michelle (@Michell99746417) July 17, 2020
De Blasio stated he will increase enforcement in Astoria and will be in the neighborhood to surveil restaurants.
This is unacceptable.
New Yorkers have made too many sacrifices to fight COVID-19. We can’t let up now.
We’ll be out in Astoria and across the city tonight to make sure restaurants are doing their part to keep their diners and their workers safe. https://t.co/L6dV9UTWP8
— Mayor Eric Adams (@NYCMayor) July 18, 2020
Governor Andrew Cuomo’s three-strike rule could heavily affect many businesses on Steinway Street as well.
Obviously, this rule isn’t ideal for business owners trying to make money, but it also isn’t ideal for people that can contract COVID-19. We are living through a pandemic that has claimed the lives of many.
Not following city orders puts many people at risk.
On Sunday morning, a video surfaced from 207th Street in Inwood, Manhattan. The video depicts a topless woman dancing on top of a car followed by doing splits on the floor, where she even got money thrown at her.
Nah wtf was going on in Dyckman last night?!!! pic.twitter.com/7Y7uabJ8TW
— Dirty Diana. (@Beauteeisme_) July 19, 2020
The Coronavirus has exposed many people’s desperation to return to the days of clubbing and being in large groups.
Dyckman saw Stiami get a lil shine and went crazy last night huh?
— God Gave Me Style, God Gave Me Grace (@not_brint) July 19, 2020
The more people break the rules, the longer we will have to deal with the many consequences of COVID-19.