Parks back open in Providence; some streets closed


PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — Nine parks reopened in Providence on Saturday, a welcome sight to residents who have been self-isolating.

“After all this week, or weeks of rain, this is like, it’s amazing. That’s all I can say, cause the sun, it’s beautiful.”

Margarita Cruz and her husband were among those walking at Blackstone Park. She said it was a welcome change in their routine.

“It’s been challenging, challenging to find things to do and not to get in a rut and stay in bed all day. We don’t do that, so we try to get up everyday and do something new.”

While parks reopened to the return of some beautiful weather, the Mayor’s plan to get people back outside also included closing selected streets in densely populated neighborhoods.

“People assume if the street is closed, we are also closed.”

Rebecca Brady is the co-owner of Hometown Cafe and Poke Bar on Camp Street. She says her business has been struggling since restrictions were put in place in March.

“Initially, the first two weeks we saw about a 75-percent drop in our sales. As the restrictions came in, we had to kind of pivot so we are 100-percent take out and delivery right now.”

She said the newly imposed street closures have only added to those challenges.

“Because this is happening we had a lot of calls, a lot of emails, just from customers asking can they still come to the store, are we still going to be open. This adds an additional layer of chaos to an already chaotic time,” Brady said.

Back at the park, Margarita says she hopes that with the easing of restrictions people will still wear masks and practice social distancing.

“I think it’s wonderful as long as people do what they have to do to keep each other safe. I hope everybody is able to get out and enjoy it, and that they have a blessed day.”

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