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A Few More Places to Dine Outdoors Coming this Weekend — Just in Time For Great Fall Weather

3:27 PM EDT on October 2, 2020

The open dining street on Vanderbilt Avenue. File photo: Gersh Kuntzman

Let the anarchy continue!

Four more roadway sections have been added to the city's list of now 89 outdoor dining areas that are closed to car traffic between Friday and Sunday nights for safe outdoor eating.

Manhattan has the most — and borough foodies again got half of the new al fresco food piazzas:

    • Manhattan
      • Amsterdam Avenue between 110th and 111th streets
      • Waverly Place between Christopher and 10th streets
    • Bronx
      • Willis Avenue between E. 147th and E. 148th streets
    • Brooklyn
      • Fifth Avenue between Fifth and Ninth streets
    • Queens
      • Out of luck this week
    • Staten Island
      • Maybe next week, pal.

(A full list of the dining piazzas is here.)

The “Open Streets: Restaurants” program complements the city’s other outdoor eatery initiative, “Open Restaurants,” which has allowed close to 10,000 restaurants [map] to set up tables on the sidewalk and along the curbside in space typically occupied with stored cars.

The two-pronged effort to help eateries is especially crucial given that few diners are taking advantage of indoor dining — which returned this week at 25-percent capacity, Gothamist reported.

The mayor's restaurant streets program was initially only going to continue through at least Oct. 31, but just one week ago, announced that it would be a permanent fixture of New York life, which Streetsblog reported might possibly be the single biggest conversion of public space since, well, since car drivers commandeered the curbside lane for free overnight vehicle storage in the 1950s.

On the Brian Lehrer show on Friday, de Blasio defended his decision in the face of a caller who complained how difficult it is to find parking in Jackson Heights now as a result of the outdoor restaurant seating areas.

"I believe this is a good trade off, that what we're getting for our community and for people getting their livelihood back and for the good of the city, even if it takes up some parking spaces," the mayor said. "This has been an example of people creating something in the midst of a really tough time — and that's why it's going to be permanent."

When winter comes, however, restaurant heaters will contribute to global warming, but at least one expert says that the increase in greenhouse gas emissions will be neutralized by the resulting decline in driving as drivers realize they should not use their cars because it will be harder to park.

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