Queens diner utilizes parking lot for drive-in movies
A Queens diner is now offering a drive-in movie theater a few times a week to give Astoria residents something fun to do while still staying safe.
The Bel-Aire Diner is now hosting drive-in movies in its parking lot in addition to selling take out and delivery.
With attractions like traditional movie theaters closed due to the pandemic, plenty of people are showing up for Bel-Aire’s screenings, which air a mix of older films.
People who want to see a movie have to buy a ticket, but the restaurant’s owner said that the tickets only cover the cost of putting the movies on — their revenue comes from concessions. There up to 40 slots a night, and tickets get sold out quickly.
“We just got together, we came up with the idea. The first night, do it on the fly. We saw how it went, we had our list of people that RSVP’d,” the diner’s event coordinator, Victoria Philios, said.
Attendees of the screening said that they enjoy getting to do something different and be out of the house while still being able to stay safe.
“I’ve been doing the same thing pretty much every day: I go to the park, work out, come home, I cook,” one moviegoer said. “This is a little something different.”
Read more about this in this article: New York 1
Cuomo signs executive order supporting businesses that deny entry to those without masks
New York State Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced that he signed an executive order that mandates that all businesses in the state have the right to refuse patrons entry if they are not wearing a face mask or covering.
“That store owner has a right to protect himself. That store owner has a right to protect the other patrons in that store,” Cuomo said at his daily press briefing. “You don’t want to wear a mask, fine, but you don’t have a right to go into that store if that store owner doesn’t want you to.”
As this order hasn’t been made public yet, it can be hard to pin down exactly what it will entail and how it will be enforced.
While it obviously means that customers can be turned away for not wearing a mask, it isn’t clear if difficult patrons will be fined or issued summons if they cause problems at a store they are being denied entry to.
In any case, the order supports business owners and their right to protect themselves, their workers and their other customers. No other governor has issued a similar order at this time.
“The governor’s reinforcement that businesses have a right to require that customers wear face masks is a good thing,” Greg Biryla of the National Federation of Independent Business’ New York office said. “As long as we are clear that the businesses have a choice, because some businesses are not equipped or may not be able to turn away customers who don’t wear masks.”
Read more about this in this article: NBC News
Brooklyn company turns out 50,000 coronavirus testing kits
A Brooklyn firm has been responsible for packaging and distributing 50,000 coronavirus testing kits a week and has no plans to slow down any time soon.
Collab, an East Williamsburg-based company that has become the city’s largest packager of testing kits, doesn’t make the testing materials but instead collects all of the necessary components and then packages them together as a whole testing kit.
The company — which has only 17 staff members — then sends the kits out to the city’s public hospitals for use among patients and essential workers.
“New York needs help right now, we need to help each other,” Anne Stachovsky, who works as a packager for the firm, said.
The kits are double bagged so that medical workers have something to repackage the results in, and come with a test file and swab, according to Collab co-owner Jacob Bennett.
“Every time we see boxes leave here, we all feel a tug because we know that they’re going to a place where people really need them,” the firm’s other co-owner, Adina Levin, said.
Read more about this in this article: Eyewitness News
Sunset Park City Council candidate helps create COVID-19 memorial
Alexa Aviles, a candidate for city council’s 38th district, and other Sunset Park residents created a memorial outside of Greenwood Cemetery to commemorate those lost to the COVID-19, or novel coronavirus, pandemic.
The memorial consists of paper cut-outs in the shape of butterflies and hands that have the names of dead loved ones written on them. Some are decorated. The papers are tied to the cemetery’s gate.
The project is part of a larger initiative called Naming the Lost, which was created by artists and is aimed at humanizing the people who died from the virus.
At Greenwood, Aviles’ memorial has the phrase, “Naming the Lost,” written in English, Spanish, Mandarin, Arabic, Hebrew and Bengali at the top of the dedication.
“A couple of organizers and artists all over the city have been coming together and sharing the unfortunate reality that there’s no space to collectively grieve and no acknowledgment of the people that we’ve lost over these last two months,” Aviles said. “I think there’s a lot of anger that there hasn’t been any acknowledgment that people are referred to as numbers and graphs.”
The memorial already has over 100 names hung up in the short time since it had been erected, and Aviles and the other organizers left papers, markers and pens at the site so more people can add to it.
At the center of the memorial is a “Joss mask,” which is a traditional face mask made of gold paper from Chinese culture that is customarily burned to honor ancestors.
“It’s important for the organizers to remember the people who died in China and to relay a message of solidarity with our Asian brothers and sisters who have experienced racism because of coronavirus,” Aviles said.
Read more about this in this article: Brooklyn Paper