Loud laughter filled the Lilac Street barbershop, making it seem full, despite running at 50 percent of capacity. Salons like Prep Hair reopened on Saturday for the first time since COVID-19 public health orders forced them to close on May 9. Personal services like hair and nail salons were among a host of other reopenings, including restaurants and gyms.
The stylists and clients of Prep Hair seemed delighted to be in the salon again, surrounded by its charcoal walls, wooden mirrors and beauty products, which perfumed the air with a seductive aroma. .
A stylist held the tips of Stacey Giles’ hair high with two skillful fingers and cut it off. But for Giles, the fit meant more than a few inches from the top.
âI am a stay-at-home mom,â she said. “So it’s really, really liberating and awesome to get out of the house and take care of something on my own.”
As parents seem to have a habit of justifying self-care, she added that she loved her son – but it’s wonderful to hang out and converse with adults.
âIt’s been really, really good for my mental health,â she said.
As she spoke, stylist Lauren Sareen bustled around her head with scissors in hand, occasionally leaning back for a new perspective on her work.
âI’m so excited to be back,â Sareen said. The stylist said she works part-time at the Polo Park shopping center while the show is closed.
âIt was a little frustrating how busy the malls got and people didn’t play by the rules,â she said, âand I couldn’t get into my full-time career. ”
Sareen will not be short of work in the coming months.
âSummer dates are thin to gone,â she said. Its next opening time is almost in September, she said.
Restaurants also restarted their proverbial engines on Saturday, with outdoor dining at 50% capacity and indoor dining at 25%. Guests inside must belong to the same household, unless the whole group is fully vaccinated.
Nick Luhowy, sipping a pint with three friends on the terrace of Bar Italia, didn’t hold back.
âIt’s transformational,â Luhowy said, hammering it a bit for his friends. “Really excited. Looks like we’re on the verge of something pretty big.”
He and his friends had a good laugh, then Luhowy spoke more clearly, “I haven’t seen these people for probably a year. So that’s pretty, pretty amazing. I was actually quite moved on the way here.”
Climbers took to the gym for the first time in over a month at The Hive, a climbing and fitness center on Lorimer Boulevard. Gyms and fitness facilities have opened to 25 percent of their capacity.
Sam Beardsell is a member of The Hive and he was thrilled to be back.
âI’m just happy to be here. I’ve reconnected with so many people that I haven’t seen,â he said. In the past, he has spent up to four days a week climbing and training in the center, he said. And while it has undoubtedly helped him stay in shape, it does bring even more important things to his life, he said.
âA lot of joy. A lot of goal too,â he said. “It’s good to have small goals that you can work on.”
Heather Taylor, a supervisor at The Hive, said being back at work was nice. It was more than extra money, she said.
“We have a very close-knit group,” she said. “I think we missed each other a lot.”
As of Saturday, 10 people can gather outside on private property and 25 people can gather outside on public property. Retail businesses have increased their capacity by 25 percent. The denominational services in the dining room have resumed at 25% of their capacity. Fully immunized people were given special exemptions, including the ability to visit relatives in personal care homes or hospitals.