By Carol Tannenhauser
“Somethin’ told me it’s all happening at the zoo” …well, maybe not all; the indoor attractions remain closed at the Central Park Zoo, about which Paul Simon sings, but the outdoor ones — including the seals, snow monkeys and leopards, grizzly bears and red pandas — are open to visitors for the first time in four months, although with some new rules and restrictions.
Zoos and botanical gardens are among the “low-risk Arts & Entertainment” venues that reopened in New York City on Monday, as the city arrived — late and limited — at Phase 4 of the state’s reopening plan. The venues are allowed to operate at 33% of their total capacity. Professional sports can also resume (without fans), as can media production, including television, music, and movies — so watch out for blocked streets.
The good news was tempered by a statement from Governor Andrew Cuomo, also on Monday, in which he railed against those who have been breaking mask and social distancing guidelines, mostly young people at bars, like the one that has become notorious in Astoria, Queens. Cuomo called it “just stupid,” and threatened to roll back the reopening of bars and restaurants, if compliance and enforcement don’t improve.
“There are inevitable consequences to our actions,” he said. “You can get sick in your 20s. You can die in your 20s. Even if you live by the theory you’re a superhero, you will go home and you will transfer it to someone else and they will transfer it to someone else. You can kill someone.”
Indoor dining, malls, gyms, movie theaters, and museums remain closed in New York City. We’ll let you know as things change. Meanwhile, enjoy a classic song about the Central Park Zoo.