If you told me during the summer of 2020 I'd find myself drinking a beer while sitting directly in the streets of NYC I'd assume I lost everything in gambling and was now a homeless person. Never in a million years did I expect to be able to walk up to a bar, order a drink, and then go sit in a circle with my friends outside said bar with not a care in the world. New York City bars are operating under some relaxed rules with COVID and I kinda love them.
The whole open container law? Yeah that's pretty much non-existent in the concrete jungle right now as long as you're not being a drunk idiot. Bars are obviously not letting you inside, but are allowing to-go orders to help make some kind of money during these tough times. I think cops understand that too and are pretty much turning a blind eye to any drinking in public.
First of all, it's CRAZY open container law is a thing. It's borderline lunacy that's a thing during normal times. How come all of Europe has it figured out where you can drink anywhere you want? How about New Orleans? New York City has to live under different rules? Why? You walk down the streets on any given day and I bet you see a guy jerking off into one of those kiosks where you charge your phone. No one bats a goddamn eye. Public masturbation is totally fine, but god forbid I crack open a cold one. Prison.
Back to this weekend, was everyone abiding by social distancing rules? Pretty much, yeah from what I could tell. Basically you'd show up with your group, order drinks, and find a spot for yourselves either standing on the sidewalk or sitting in the streets. You're wearing your mask up until the point your sitting down with your friends and drinking by yourselves. We weren't mobbing together with other groups like we're in the middle of a bar. Sitting or standing with a group of four people you've been hanging out with? I mean sue me at this point.
Quick sidebar: Feits is doing this thing now where he takes candid good pictures of his friends and sends them to them. He sent me like nine randomly while we were sitting down. At first I was like "what the fuck, John?" but these might be the first pics in 5 years where I didn't want to kill myself. Good job John!
Anyways, Friday and Saturday were an awesome time. For the first time in months I had actual fun that didn't involve me zooming or facetiming with someone. New York City became mini New Orleans for a weekend and I can only hope it continues to be that way moving forward. Now this can all get ruined pretty quickly if everything turns into St. Mark's Place and we're just mobbing everywhere together with no masks. Somehow we'll manage to fuck up this good opportunity because that's what we do best as humans. We fuck up.
That's actually Nola York down there. The scene I had along the bars on 3rd avenue was much more tamed and safe. Cops came by around 9:00 I think to tell the bar to cut off serving, which was understandable since it was getting dark out. They had no trouble with us being outside with alcohol though. There was zero harm in anything we were doing and I think the cops realize this is a good opportunity for the bars to make some money and stay afloat. Just control the crowds around your bar and everything should be fine.
The whole time there I kept thinking if this could somehow be done after corona is over. The thought of being able to order a drink and have it on my way home from work with zero worry of getting in trouble sounds so awesome. Even just needing to leave the bar for a few minutes for some fresh air and being able to bring my beer outside with me. How about going to Central Park and having a beer? Or a beer on the subway after a long day of work. Every other country seems to be doing it, why can't we?
I'm not telling you to go run outside without a mask and celebrate. No, you have to still be safe and do it right, but if you're able to make your way to a bar, man does it feel good to have a beer outside right now. Maybe bring a towel if you're going to sit in the street. Looking back that was a mistake, but whatever I got excited.
P.S. It was not fun to once again check my bank account on Monday morning to see how much I spent on drinks. That I did not miss!