By Thomas Brennan
Business is moving again in Boston. After a tough couple of months with ongoing quarantine and shutdowns due to Covid-19, things are finally starting to open again with Governor Charlie Baker approving stage 2 of recovery plan for Massachusetts businesses. Things aren’t quite perfect, but Boston’s reopening seems to have the majority of carrying a sense of optimism.
Restaurant reopenings have each taken various different approaches on how to provide service again. The business owners and workers on Newbury have proved themselves to be consistently resilient while also meticulously careful and considerate in providing a safe environment for their clientele. Quite a few restaurants have reopened their doors with limited capacity.
Stephanie’s on Newbury took down the board across their glass paneling and is doing a strong job of building a nice interior setup for customers. Some restaurants like Wen’s Yunnan Noodle & Ramen interior were still closed off, but the exterior deck was open with tables for customers to sit outside and enjoy the fresh air as they waited for their food. A few businesses, such as Buttermilk and Bourbon have managed to open both their interior and exterior dining areas, allowing customers the choice of staying inside for some shade or taking some time in the sun as they eat.
The waitstaff in many restaurants are tasked with the particularly difficult task of maintaining clean conditions for all customers that come in. It seems though that most waitstaff industry workers are being more than diligent. Masks are ever present on waitstaff workers, they’re consistently through in making sure areas are cleaned when customers depart, and that hand sanitizer is available whenever patrons desire. Walking into Wen’s and several other restaurants carried a level of care and caution that made getting comfortable in the food service environment surprisingly easy. In many ways the last few days has been a homecoming for Boston businesses, though not everyone is up to the running point yet.
There are unfortunately some bumps in the road. Though the helicopters are gone, military police still stand on the corner of every block; some of the officers are content as pigeons to mull on their corners, others carry an almost hawk-like focus over the street. Restaurants, such as Met Back Bay that are still boarded up and don’t appear to be taking any customers in their interior and exterior areas. Not every business is going to hit the ball on the first swing. Recovery from Covid-19 and opening will require as much patience as it will hard work. The open hours of various businesses remain tight as well, certain businesses content to close as early as mid-afternoon, but hours are seeming to loosen, and having doors open is a positive in itself.
Not all of the graffiti has been scrubbed away on Newbury. Two notable spots are sticking out for their high-quality art depictions. The Childs Gallery on Newbury is sporting some very lovely and colorful paintings of flowers along the wood panels covering the windows front. It’s a nice dash of simple, positive art amongst the scattered austere wood panels that are still present. Though not all art on Newbury street is so flowery. A block down at City Smoke Shop there’s a beautifully candid but also heartfelt painting of George Floyd with the Word “LISTENING” painted on the wooden panels covering the store. The art piece was done by Brooke Trefey, who is currently taking commissions for other wood frame paintings in exchange for donations to the ACLU.
There’s still a great deal of progress to be made. All Boston citizens should remain assiduous in their day to day going about, keep hands clean, wear masks, and be considerate of others from all walks of life in their ongoing struggles. Recovery isn’t always a straight line. It’s a path we must get up and continue to walk every day. There’s a great deal of hope, for if there’s one thing Boston’s known for is its strength in the face of adversity.
EDITOR AT LARGE
CHIEF FASHION CORRESPONDENT
Anna Paula Goncalves
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