Eating Out(side)

Thanks for sharing the dream (“The successful reopening of restaurants might lie in pedestrian-only streets.” May 7-13). This is the perfect time for government to reconsider public/business lines and consider new possibilities.

There are many examples in the world where pedestrians informally take control of roads. This could be a time of many mini revolutions for people and hospitality merchants, with government being a partner in an unprecedented way. I witnessed this vision to some degree while in Hong Kong for 20 days in February. They never forced the closure of their bars and restaurants (the same in Macau and South Korea). But these populations all went through SARS, which taught them social distancing. Bar and restaurant patrons flowed into the streets, where they had more space. One is Peel Street, in the SOHO section of central Hong Kong. Every night at happy hour a couple of blocks of Peel would get taken over by patrons, bringing out their food and beverages. Masks and inhibitions were pushed aside while people enjoyed a degree of gathering.

Not perfect social distancing, but gathering in a manner more sustainable (like you suggest) has to happen going forward. Deamer Dunn | Salinas

I was a member of the Monterey Planning Commission from 2009-2015. During that time the commission completed the Downtown Specific Plan later adopted by the City Council. Arguably, the plan contained modern land use policies that resulted in the much improved downtown, including the implementation of the outdoor sitting spaces we all have enjoyed.

The idea of making Alvarado Street a fully pedestrian corridor all the way to the wharf was discussed passionately, [but] always ran into opposition of many business owners and citizens who saw the automobile and parking as critical factors to success. City Council agreed.

In the midst of the pandemic and facing the inevitable grim economic realities, it would be incumbent upon us all to again discuss the possibility. The pandemic will force all cities to evolve in ways never imagined, if only to survive. It is a conversation worth having again. Luis Osorio | Monterey

In times of crisis we must all reexamine our use of all of our resources public and private and align them to strengthen and grow our communities. No place on Earth is better suited to outside markets and dining than the Central Coast.

All of us need to innovate and build and grow ourselves, our businesses and our communities with renewed spirit. We’re all in this together. When we accept responsibility together, trust is built. We’ve got this. Strike now while the iron is hot. Devin Podeszwa | Salinas

We have a lovely environment and weather for outside dining. Let’s try it. Marlene Martin | Carmel

Reading Up

Reading Walter Ryce’s column prompted me to exclaim aloud “Hallelujah!” as he captured all the many emotions I experience almost daily (“Hot Picks,” May 7-13). I send out a shout-out of much gratitude to all the writers and photographers who have submitted eloquently and carefully chosen words, to photographs that create a most welcome pause to admire, gaze and reflect on what nature gifts us daily.

You know that light at the end of the tunnel that we are in that may appear to be a freight train barreling toward us? Well, I choose to see it as the Monterey County Weekly with their flashlights giving us the insight and incentive to forge ahead with strength and conviction.Merry Trucksis | Del Rey Oaks

The start of shelter in place was a bit easier for me than it could have been. I had just received my copy of The Henna Artist by Alka Joshi. The characters and storyline are simply riveting. It really is a hard book to put down. There couldn’t be a better time than now when we’re all feeling limited, worried and bored to pick up a book that takes us on such an exciting and surprising foreign journey. Claudia Jennings | Pacific Grove

By the Numbers

Dr. Edward Moreno, Thank you so much for keeping my community informed daily with the updates that you share (“The sixth Covid-19 death and new data showing a greater toll on county areas with more people of color and less income,” posted May 4). I live in a community of about 88-percent Latino population and it is very important we are given data that is understandable.

It has been difficult for some of us, but most of all for our hardworking field workers who risk their health to better themselves and their families. Roberta Camacho | Gonzales

A Nation of Immigrants

I picked strawberries for five minutes and my back was killing me. Most Americans don’t want to have to work that hard if they don’t have to (“Even as unemployment skyrockets, the agriculture industry turns to Mexico for seasonal labor,” May 7-13). Allison Smith Lopez | via Facebook

If you talk to people who came here during the Dust Bowl, they’ll tell you it’s backbreaking work. If you have some skills and local contacts it’s possible to earn more doing something else. Many Mexican workers move into construction or landscaping when they develop a support network. Scott Cunningham | via Facebook

Pandemic Parenting

My nephew was born on Jan. 29. These are hard times but these little ones will only be stronger because of it (“Bringing a newborn into the world during Covid-19 isn’t just an adjustment for baby, it’s a shift for me, too,” May 7-13). Praying for you and yours. Stay safe, stay healthy!Benjamin Lorenzo | via Facebook

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