Fraunces Tavern Returns!

History heads, hoist a pint in celebration: The historic Fraunces Tavern Museum has reopened.This means you can finally stop playing around with the Lego version of the Revolutionary War-era museum and 300-year-old building, or participating in its virtual events, and instead go see the physical museum again (with precautions in place to prevent the spread of COVID-19, of course).The reopening of Fraunces Tavern Museum, which features exhibits about the American Revolution and the building’s former inhabitants, including George Washington, also coincides with the first-ever Tavern Week (September 13–20), a celebration of America’s taverns. Which is good news, because the Tavern’s restaurant and pub — considered by some to be the oldest bar in New York City — has been open for outdoor dining since July

NYC Re-opened

As of today, the Governor has okayed the return of shopping malls. You can ski again at Big Snow inside NJ’s American Dream mall. The American Museum of Natural History is back today, as is the Museum of Illustration, joined by VR World and the Morris-Jumel Mansion tomorrow. You can visit the indoor galleries at the New-York Historical Society as of Friday. Saturday welcomes back the 9/11 Museum, the Brooklyn Museum, the Chelsea Flea, the Rubin Museum of Art, and El Museo del Barrio. New York State hasn’t seen a positive test rate of more than 1% since more than a month ago. There’s even a brand-new museum in Manhattan – The Makeup Museum in the Meatpacking district redesigned for a pandemic era audience.

Nationally there’s cause for optimism as well. The TSA processed close to a million travelers last Friday and Monday, for the biggest travel days since early March. The Institute for Applied Positive Research recently completed a survey which shows 97% of respondents reporting that having a trip planned makes them happier. Beyond travel itself, there are serious mental health benefits to just booking a vacation—and with more and more on offer, NYC is prepared for the next wave of travelers.

New York Re-open Now

This week, New York state’s Covid-related hospitalizations dropped to 418, with 109 New Yorkers in ICUs—the lowest numbers we’ve seen since March. The lead up to Labor Day sees plenty of reopenings: Edge is back today after its star turn on the VMAs last weekend. ARTECHOUSE, the Whitney, and Poster House return tomorrow, followed by the Morgan this weekend. Gyms are also back today, speeded along by an initial run of virtual inspections.

2021 could be an epic year for travel. Abbott Laboratories’s new rapid coronavirus test takes 15 minutes and costs $5. It could be a game changer for travel.

As the Times put it yesterday, “if you’re worried about Covid-19, at this point New York is one of the safest places in America.” Not exactly the fiery hellscape some have suggested this week. Happy Labor Day Weekend!