What will open, and how will you get there? This list will be updated following official announcements.
UPDATED September 25, 2020. Many favorite local destinations have now reopened.
Openings - General Information and Popular Destinations
• Restaurants: Consult this NYC Department of Transportation map (updated link) for restaurants currently open in NYC. Starting September 30, NYC will allow indoor dining at 25% capacity.
• As of September 25, outdoor dining in NYC has been extended FOREVER.
• The 9/11 Memorial reopened on Saturday, July 4. Visitors must wear masks and keep social distancing practices.
• Libraries: NYPL. Starting on Monday, July 13, the library will allow a grab-and-go service.
• Governors Island reopened July 15 with advance reserved tickets.
• The High Line reopened on July 16, with several rules and limitations in place, including timed entry passes - available July 9. Entrance only at Gansevoort Street. See High Line website for details.
• The Bronx Zoo reopened July 20 for members and July 24 for the general public with reserved tickets. The same goes for the Central Park Zoo and the others in the WCS.
• New York Botanical Garden reopened on July 20. Reserved timed ticket in advance. Outdoor areas only. Mask and distancing protocols. (announcement)
• The Empire State Building is open as of July 20! Go on up, but please consult website before you head to 34th Street.
• Wave Hill reopened to the public on July 30. Advance reservations are required.
• Top of the Rock reopened Thursday, August 6. Purchase tickets in advance. More at official website.
• The Brooklyn Botanic Garden reopened on August 7.
• Beaches and city pools are now closed for the season.
|MoMA reopened August 27. Illustration by Nicolas Ménard.|
Advance tickets required for many museum reopenings. Please check museum websites for details.
• The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) reopened to the public on August 27, with new hours for the first month, through September 27: from 10:30 a.m. until 5:30 p.m. Tuesday through Sunday to the public; and from 10:30 a.m. until 5:30 p.m. on Mondays for MoMA members only. Admission will be free to all visitors Tuesday through Sunday, through September 27, made possible by UNIQLO. See this new post on WOTBA for a sense of the experience attending the museum.
• New-York Historical Society reopened on August 14 with an outdoor exhibition, "Hope Wanted: New York City Under Quarantine,” in the rear courtyard. The exhibit by activist Kevin Powell and photographer Kay Hickman will highlight how New Yorkers weathered the quarantine.
• The Metropolitan Museum of Art reopened August 29. Hours: Thursday-Friday 12pm - 7pm; Saturday - Monday 10am -5 pm. Advance tickets required. The Met Cloisters reopened on September 12. (see related post.)
• The Whitney Museum of American Art reopened September 3.
• The Morgan Library & Museum reopened September 5, with member previews September 2 through 4.
• The American Museum of Natural History reopened on September 9, with member previews beginning September 2.
• The Brooklyn Museum reopened on September 12.
• The Rubin Museum reopened September 12.
• The New Museum reopened on September 15.
• The Jewish Museum will reopen to the public on Thursday, October 1, 2020, preceded by five preview days for its members on September 24, 25, 26, 29, & 30, 2020, from 11 am – 4 pm. Free admission through December 31, 2020.
• The International Center of Photography (ICP) will reopen on October 1.
• The Guggenheim reopens on October 3.
• The Museum of the City of New York has reopened.
• The Frick Collection announced that it will open in early 2021 in the Marcel Breuer building, the former home for the Whitney and Met Breuer. The building, to be known as the Frick Madison, will serve as the museum's temporary location while the home building is being renovated.
|Want to take a long walk, practice social distancing, and see the Hudson River?|
The bridge path of the Mario C. Cuomo Bridge (Tappan Zee Bridge) is now open.
The path links the towns of Tarrytown and South Nyack.
Tour Boat Companies:
• Classic Harbor Line. Sailing now. Some restrictions and limited service. Website.
• American Princess Cruises: Whale Watching and Dolphin Adventure cruises have resumed as of June 27. Website
• Hornblower Cruises: Spirit of New Jersey sailing from Lincoln Harbor Marina in Weehawken, NJ. Read more about their SafeCruise.
• Circle Line reopened on July 20.
• SeaStreak has resumed direct daily service to Sandy Hook beach.
• Statue Cruises. Tickets for the Statue of Liberty Harbor Tours are now available.
• Manhattan by Sail: resuming after-work cruises.
• The Storm King Art Center opened to the public on July 15.
• Hudson River Museum, Yonkers, opened July 25.
• Dia:Beacon reopened August 7.
Prolonged closures and modifications
• On July 9, 2020, the City of New York cancelled all large events until September 30. This includes Fashion Week, the West Indian Day Parade, and the Feast of San Gennaro. The move comes as the city expands its Open Street program.
• On June 29, 2020, the Broadway League announced that performances will be suspended for the rest of 2020. The suspension will continue until January 3, 2021. (press release)
• Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade will be TV only. Official website.
• The Metropolitan Opera announced on Wednesday, September 23 that the opera has cancelled the season and reopen with the 2021-2022 season. (NYT story)
• The New Year's Eve celebration in Times Square will be virtual this year.
In NYC, some offices have brought back their workers, and many restaurants, at least the ones that have survived the economic onslaught of the past few months, are commandeering the sidewalks for outdoor dining.
|A restaurant on Dyckman Street open for outdoor dining|
A walk through the neighborhood this past week looked like a familiar time and place of long ago. The streets were busy again with people running errands, going in and out of stores without the long lines of March and April. Most were wearing masks, the more persistent reminder of the ongoing public health crisis, and some were even wearing them correctly. Yet, the city looks a little rough these days, frayed on the edges, like it’s just rolled out of bed.
|A clean subway car at the 207th A train station early in the morning |
Walking around the block or going to the park is one thing, but how safe is traveling a longer distance by mass transit? While officials in city and state governments have provided detailed guidance for each type of business in the phased reopening, they haven’t provided much guidance for individuals in terms of travel, especially for those of us without a car.
Here, all is nuance. Everyone’s individual circumstances must be considered in making everyday decisions. We know the general rules: 1. Wear a mask. 2. Practice physical distancing of 6 feet. 3. Wash your hands; use hand sanitizer. Of course, not everyone abides by the guidelines, so some degree of risk is involved.
|Hand sanitizer at The Hudson on Dyckman Street at the Hudson River |
“Some degree of risk” means we need to practice personal risk mitigation strategies. Experience and observation will help provide some guidance here. For example, going out for a walk in the morning is better than later in the day. But what about a train ride? How far? How much time will be spent underground in close quarters? Are buses better? It’s complicated.
If I need to take a train, I much prefer early in the morning over late in the day because the trains are taken out of service and disinfected in the overnight hours. I prefer trains that travel above ground, like Metro-North on the Hudson line, because fresh air can blow through at each stop. Yet, things happen, like the person that stands too close or the boisterous family of seven that ignores the mask rules.
|On Metro-North heading north on the Hudson line|
Walking is still the safest option. For relatively short trips out of the neighborhood, consider walking at least part of the way.
Images from Summer 2020.