This has been a spring of reopenings around New York City.
Bars, restaurants, hotels, movie theaters and even amusement parks are coming back to life after the shutdown. Rather than just turn on the lights and open the doors, many owners have sought to celebrate with meaningful gestures.
When Coney Island reopened its amusement park this month, the first passengers to ride the Cyclone, the 90-year-plus wooden roller coaster there, were 100 essential workers from nearby Coney Island Hospital who had been selected in a raffle.
One of the riders was Dawn Lanzisera, who works in the psychiatric emergency room and grew up near the Brooklyn neighborhood. “It’s so great to be here and see life return,” she said.
As soon as the speeches had concluded and the gates had opened, the rickety roller coaster cars, filled with hospital employees, started their climb to the top, one that offered stunning views of the ocean and boardwalk.
As the coaster plunged 85 feet, the screams may have reflected the release of a pandemic year’s worth of tensions.