Opening weekend washout mars return to NY beaches

Posted at 3:41 PM, May 23, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-23 17:17:46-04

CONEY ISLAND, Brooklyn — The unofficial start to summer is underway with few opportunities to enjoy the outdoors, given the wet weather.

But the beaches and city boardwalks are open with restrictions. Swimming is not allowed and NYPD and parks department officers are ready to separate people from playing sports and gathering in large groups.

But for the first time since lockdown rules went into place in March, you can now get together in groups of 10 or less, as part of a New York State order Gov. Cuomo signed Friday night.

The few people who braved the weather to enjoy whatever bit of outdoor space they could support these measures, for now.

There’s a good chance your day looked a lot different from runners Alex Pankov and Thibault Marronnier. The men kicked off their holiday weekend running a 30K. That’s nearly 19 miles from their Greenpoint home through the intense storms.

They ended at the famous Coney Island Boardwalk.

“Last week was supposed to be the Brooklyn half marathon and the finish line here so I said okay a little run and a hot dog,” said Marronnier.

After the race came a hearty reward at Nathan’s Famous Hotdogs. They didn’t have to socially distance with others or even wait in line.

“It’s a little surreal,” said Pankov.

The men were two of only a few handfuls of Coney Island visitors Saturday. Eerie and desolate sights surrounded the usually crowded Memorial Day weekend staple, as Mother Nature had her own agenda.

Inclement weather was enough to keep families like the Freyers off the boardwalk and beach.

“We made it all the way down to the aquarium and looked at some pictures and went down to the water and then the rain started so we turned around and came back,” said Kirk Freyer.

Freyer says even without the rain he’d follow the restrictions in place as a safety precaution.

Mayor Bill de Blasio says the decision to reopen beaches with tight regulations will likely stay in place if and when the city enters phase one of reopening. That could begin some time in June.