Was at center of shooting that left two men wounded
It was just another day on the campaign trail for Curtis Sliwa.
The Republican candidate for mayor and some members of the Guardian Angel were meeting with voters at the San Gennaro festival on Friday night when things got a little out of hand.
As the group passed a bar in Little Italy, they came across a fight that had broken out and immediately rushed in to stop the fracas. We’ll just let Sliwa describe the scene for you:
“I and Guardian Angels were walking through the San Gennaro festival when all hell broke loose in this gin mill, this bar behind us. Women were swinging, winging, someone grabbed a bar stool and ‘boom’ over the head.
“The Guardian Angels came in, they had to push, they had to restrain. It was an all-out battle pouring into the streets. Ironically, even though there were hundreds of people watching, nobody intervened. So the Guardian Angels had to get control of the situation, even though windows were busted out, even though we were really threatened to the point where people were going to get stabbed or seriously injured.
“Then about 20 minutes later, the cops came. Reactive, not proactive. We don’t just campaign in the streets, we patrol the streets. When I’m mayor, we’re gonna make sure thing like this don’t happen at all anywhere in the city.”
Say what you want about Sliwa, there’s never a dull moment when he’s around. At the very least, Sliwa in charge at City Hall would be gold for penny-a-liners like ourselves. The copy would write itself!
In a sign that things are starting to return to normal, drink lovers were finally able to return to their favorite haunts on Monday as the ban on bar seating was lifted.
Thirsty patrons packed the city’s watering holes, the first time they were able to knock back a drink bellied up to their favorite bar in over a year.
When announcing the return of bar seating last week, Governor Andrew Cuomo also said the curfew on food and beverage establishment would be lifted by May 31, with most capacity limits ending on May 19.
Patrons are still asked to follow social distance guidelines, but it’s a start.
And Mayor Bill de Blasio announced on Monday that the city would fully reopen on July 1, just eight weeks from now. He said the city is making incredible progress in beating back COVID-19.
Many city residents continue to get vaccinated, and New York reached its lowest COVID rates since October over the weekend, with just 1.5 percent of residents testing positive for coronavirus.
This should be great news for the struggling restaurant and hospitality industry. But after a year of on-again, off-again closures, restarts, curfews and capacity limits, it’s going to be a long time before these struggling business owners fully recover.
In the meantime, there is more than $28 billion in pandemic relief grants now available through the Small Business Administration’s Restaurant Revitalization Fund. Online application opened Monday at noon. Restaurant owners can apply at restaurants.sba.gov.
The program will provide funding equal to pandemic-related revenue losses. The maximum grant size is $5 million for restaurants and $10 million for restaurant groups. The minimum amount is $1,000.
Recipients are not required to repay the money as long as funds are used by March 11, 2023.
Between the city reopening and these federal grants, hopefully the hospitality industry can get back on its feet and put the 300,000 New Yorkers employed in these businesses before the start of the pandemic back to work.