Weather: Scattered snow showers, later mixed with rain. High near 40.
Alternate-side parking: In effect until Dec. 25 (Christmas).
While most New York City restaurant owners have abided by the ever-changing coronavirus regulations, the owner and manager of one bar in Staten Island have been boldly breaking the rules for weeks.
And many on the island have had their back.
The tensions between the bar and officials escalated Sunday, when the manager was accused of hitting a sheriff’s deputy with his Jeep.
Many Staten Islanders have criticized city and state coronavirus restrictions, and the bar, Mac’s Public House, became a symbol of defiance in the borough.
Here’s how it happened:
The bar flouted a curfew and indoor dining ban
In November, Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo mandated that all restaurants and bars close by 10 p.m. Mac’s Public House stayed open. When indoor dining was banned in the area because of high coronavirus rates, the bar stayed open.
Then the state pulled the bar’s liquor license, though that didn’t stop customers from drinking inside in exchange for a contribution.
Ignoring cease-and-desist notices, the owner, Keith McAlarney, painted an orange rectangle outside the bar and declared it an “autonomous zone.”
The manager was arrested. Twice.
Last week, deputies from the city sheriff’s office arrested the manager, Danny Presti, at the bar, accusing him of obstructing governmental administration. The next night, protesters gathered outside in support of the bar.
Though the state ordered the bar to close last Wednesday, several customers were being served Saturday night, deputies said. When deputies confronted him early Sunday, Mr. Presti ran to his Jeep and drove into one of the deputies, throwing him onto the hood, the sheriff’s office said.
In a written statement, Mr. Presti’s lawyers said he did not know who was confronting him in the dark.
What happens next?
Mr. Presti, who was released on his own recognizance, faces 10 charges and has a hearing scheduled in January, according to court records.
For now, the bar is temporarily closed, though “Danny and Keith are not giving up the fight,” Mr. Presti’s lawyer, Lou Gelormino, said at a news conference on Monday.
At the conference, Mr. Presti said he respected law enforcement. “At the end of the investigation, you will find that I did nothing wrong,” he said.
And finally: Portraits of nurses
“There’s nothing fashionable — ever — about being in a hospital,” said Linda Valentino, the vice president and chief nursing officer at Mount Sinai Health System.
But as of last week, Mount Sinai’s soaring 11-story Guggenheim Pavilion on Fifth Avenue in Manhattan has been bedecked with large-scale portraits of 46 of the hospital’s nurses, painted by Rebecca Moses, the fashion designer and artist. It’s an exhibition titled “Thank You, Mount Sinai Nurses.”
In March, when the New York went into lockdown, all of Ms. Moses’s projects, including a campaign for the Fragrance Foundation that had been a year in the works, ground to a halt.
So, on her Instagram account, she offered to paint and post a portrait of any woman who shared her story of life in lockdown. They need only send a letter and a photo. A trickle of submissions grew into a network of more than 360 girls and women in 21 countries that Ms. Moses calls the Stay Home Sisters.
In April, Ms. Valentino’s sister contacted Ms. Moses. Ms. Valentino recounted that her sister told Ms. Moses: “‘My sister is not a Stay Home Sister. She’s actually on the front lines of working on the response to the pandemic.’”
At the time, Ms. Valentino was overseeing nursing operations at Mount Sinai in Brooklyn, a Covid-19 epicenter.
She was the first emergency medical worker Ms. Moses painted, but not the last. Ms. Valentino, Ms. Moses and Linda Levy, the president of the Fragrance Foundation, came up with a plan. The designer would paint the portraits of 46 nurses from Mount Sinai and donate the original artworks to the hospital to be featured in an exhibition, while Ms. Levy arranged to donate 5,000 fragrance and beauty products, all filed under self-care, for those whose job is to care for others. (Mount Sinai employs 8,000 nurses. The products were distributed by lottery.)
It’s Wednesday — take care.
Metropolitan Diary: Changing shoes
I was living in Westchester County and commuting to Manhattan for work. I also belonged to the Canadian Women’s Club of New York City at the time. In addition to our regular meetings, we had lovely functions that I would attend after work.
One such dinner was at a nice restaurant that I cannot remember now. I walked there from my office on Fifth Avenue.
As many women did then, I wore sneakers for the walk and had my dress shoes in a tote bag. When I got close to the restaurant I stopped at a black iron railing. There was a light shining into the basement apartment behind the railing.
As I was pulling off my sneakers, the apartment door opened and a man came walking out in my direction.
I was a bit frightened and also somewhat embarrassed to be standing there with a shoe in my hand. I muttered something apologetic about changing my shoes.
The man walked up to me and handed me a bottle of lotion. He said it was a gift.
“Oh, wonderful,” I said.
He turned and went back inside.
— Myrtle Burton
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