June 4, 2020
Dear Lincoln Square BID Members and Friends:
As we enter the fourth night of a curfew that has been imposed on New York City in order to bring some calm to our City and State, I thought it would be a good idea to give you an update on our current efforts. Our country has a long history of protecting the people's right to peaceably assemble and protest. We are saddened to see the destruction of private and public property in communities around New York City, but are encouraged that this destruction seems to have been brought under control by the NYPD and has given way to peaceful protests.
Fortunately, Lincoln Square has not experienced too much vandalism, but as expected 21 stores have boarded up their premises and a number of our cultural and nonprofit institutions have also taken precautionary measures. Several days ago after the first night of looting, all 76 BIDs from the five boroughs were invited to "meet" and talk with our new SBS Commissioner Jonnel Doris who wanted to hear first-hand what each of our districts had experienced. Commissioner Doris has offered whatever necessary assistance we need. We look forward to meeting him in person when things slowly get back to normal. In the meantime, we are grateful for the assistance that SBS has been providing. You can find most recent curfew information by clicking here.
New York City is currently on track to begin Phase One of reopening on Monday, June 8, which we hope will not be delayed. We will continue to stay in touch with, promote and assist our businesses as they begin reopening to the public. Click here to view the guidelines for Phase One reopening.
Al fresco dining is beginning in the seven counties outside of New York City today, which is a nice segue into the efforts that the Speaker and City Council are proposing. Today, the City Council considered legislation that would permit the use of streets, sidewalks and other public spaces for outside dining when New York City reopens. Simultaneously, the Mayor announced that once the City enters Phase Two of reopening, restaurants will be able to serve customers in outdoor seating areas. This is great news; you can read the Mayor's announcement by clicking here! We are generally supportive of this approach although we do have some concerns and will be submitting testimony to the City Council with our recommendations, chiefly that this program be implemented expeditiously to assist our restaurants in their recovery from the impacts of COVID-19.
In order to maintain some sense of normalcy during these unprecedented times, we continue to update our events calendar with all the robust online programming that our cultural organizations are offering. And while The New York Times is constantly publishing recipes on "what to cook", many of our restaurants also have some interesting dining choices. Please visit our website at www.lincolnsquarebid.org to see the latest list of take-out and delivery options as well as other businesses that are open in Lincoln Square. And, even though pedestrian activity is light, we're seeing a tremendous increase of digital traffic to our website!
Please reach out if you have any questions or concerns. We will of course keep you posted if we learn information that we think you should be aware of.
Stay safe and be well.
Monica Blum, President
Lincoln Square BID