NEW YORK (CBSNew York) – It was a fun start to the work week for music and sports fans.
Several live events in the city resumed full capacity on Monday evening, CBS2’s Ali Bauman reported.
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A maskless crowd danced to live music at Park Slope, Brooklyn.
“Vaccinated, ready to go. Everyone is smiling, ”said resident Amy Bernstein.
“It smacks of freedom. It’s so good, ”added Christopher Brown.
It was one of many free concerts across town, for the annual “Make Music New York” festival, which is back after having to go virtual during the COVID-19 pandemic last year.
“The last year has been really terrifying for musicians because everyone had these big plans they were going to do and it all fell apart,” musician Clive Thompson said. “So it was the first time that we got back in the saddle.
The concerts also give a boost to local businesses, like Freddy’s Bar on Brooklyn’s Fifth Avenue.
“Wonderfully normal to have people, music. It’s our purpose and we haven’t been able to do it for a long time, so I’m delighted we are doing it now, ”said bartender Ellen O’Shea.
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Meanwhile, Lincoln Center hosted its biggest paid dance event since the pandemic, with “Dance Against Cancer,” a star-studded performance to benefit the American Cancer Society.
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In addition, Citi Field returned to full capacity for the Mets’ double-scheduled against the Atlanta Braves. Fans weren’t required to wear masks or socially distance themselves, and they didn’t need proof of vaccination or a negative COVID test.
“Now that they’re fully open and everything, it’s good for my business and it’s really good to go to a game with everybody cheering and everything,” said delivery driver Justin Harris.
Islanders fans were also able to gather at the Nassau Coliseum to watch their team in Tampa, Fla. For Game 5 of the Stanley Cup Playoff Semifinals.
Back in Brooklyn, performers and fans alike told Bauman they felt a new appreciation for what they took for granted.
“I didn’t realize until the masks came off how much I missed seeing the smiles and expressions,” Brown said.
“It’s a busy day. I didn’t work that hard in a minute. It feels good, ”said Freddy’s bartender, Ellen O’Shea.
“You are a stranger and I am talking to you. It’s wonderful, ”added Park Slope’s Peter Schleifer.
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This was just the start of what should be an exciting summer.