Hundreds pack St. Marks Place to drink, party despite coronavirus
Crowds of at least 200 were seen drinking outside for hours, most without facemasks, on the stretch between Avenue A and First Avenue alone.
Revelers lounged against Citi Bike racks or strolled with cups of beers and hard seltzers tucked in koozies in what felt like a giant bar crawl.
“The way I see it, it’s like already [past] the 8th; that’s my marker,” said Sarah, a law student who lives in the East Village, in reference to the date marking the city’s entrance into its Phase One of reopening under state guidelines.
“Now I’m just like, how long can you live in isolation scrolling on Tinder? You can’t do that enough already. You need to venture out,” she added.
MTA buses and other vehicles crawled through the massive throng of carousers, who spilled into the street as others sat at the curb.
The Post observed two marked police cars roll through the block, but neither stopped to address the scene.
Restaurants and bars are still barred from allowing patrons inside, but since the city lockdown have been allowed to dispense drinks via pickup or delivery.
Still, it remains illegal to drink in public.
“Originally, I was a little hesitant upon the scene [but] when you get drunk every reservation I had was thrown out the window,” said Yael, 26, who works in real estate and lives on the block, and who declined to give his last name.
Phase One has allowed retail shops to start curbside or in-store pickup service while construction, manufacturing, wholesale trade and agriculture work has also been greenlit to begin again.
The Friday night scene came after Gov. Andrew Cuomo earlier in the day shared more good news around the coronavirus, asserting that New York has the lowest spread of the deadly bug among any state in the country.
But experts have warned that coronavirus data is several weeks delayed.
Multiple states across the country have recorded new surges in cases following less restrictive reopenings, including Florida, Arizona and Texas.