Memorial Day Weekend Highlights

By Robert Bernstein

Memorial Day weekend was a bit different than usual this year. But things were also opened up more than they had been in recent weeks. Notably, State Street was made car-free and restaurants were able to reopen to a limited extent.

Here are some of my photos and videos arranged in several galleries.

After decades of talk of making sections of downtown State Street car-free, it all happened quite rapidly in the past week. My concern was how bicyclists would be accommodated. Motor vehicles can easily move to adjacent streets. But there really are no nearby safe parallel streets for bicyclists.

So, we headed down to State Street on Saturday afternoon, after our visit to Knapp’s Castle, to check it out. I was pleasantly surprised to see that, for the most part, people mixed quite well among a variety of modes: Walking, biking, skating, electric motorized devices and more.

In fact, it seemed that having State Street closed to motor vehicles brought out cyclists who were older and younger than usual. This very young cyclist was able to be king of the road:

Couples could ride side by side like this, even with an adult tricycle:

And, of course, there were plenty of pedestrians:

Opening up the street was also an invitation to quite a few musicians to perform. Here “Pug” was performing with a friend:

The I Madonnari Chalk Painting Festival could not happen this year at the Mission. So, it was scattered among many unannounced locations. One of them turned out to be in this section of State Street:

Here are the rest of my Saturday State Street Photos.

I was curious to return on Memorial Day to see how things would be. It was not clear if there would be any visible events for Memorial Day. There was a rumor of another flyover. By chance, I caught this flyover out at the Isla Vista bluffs at 12:20PM:

Things on State Street were pretty similar on Monday to how they were on Saturday. This family joined in the chalking fun on the street:

And this young man was one of several who were doing cool bicycle stunts:

We were a bit skeptical of how safe it would be to eat in a restaurant. We were surprised that some were even serving food inside; that seemed too risky to us. And being right on the street with crowds walking close by also seemed a bit risky. But we did opt for something in between: Eating on Pascucci’s outdoor patio. Here was our view as owner Laura personally took care of customers:

Things were a bit slower than usual in terms of service, but the food was excellent and we were enjoying taking in the view.

We also stopped to listen to some more musicians and watched the crowd walk by:


Here are the rest of my Monday State Street Photos.

We then walked out to Stearn’s Wharf which was quite busy. Plenty of people were enjoying the beach and the water, while mostly keeping good social distancing.

This fisherman had come down from Santa Maria with his family and he kept reeling in mackerels:

Talking to them was a chance for my wife to speak her native language.

We headed back down Stearn’s Wharf to State Street as people kept streaming in.

We stopped at Andersen’s Bakery so I could get a marzipan treat reminiscent of my youth in Copenhagen. It was their first time open for about two months.

Then, over to the Courthouse Sunken Gardens where some event was rumored to be happening. Not sure what it was, but it seemed to be both religious and with a conservative political message as well. We stayed for a bit to listen to some of them making music:

It is hard to know how things will be going forward. This opening up could start a second wave of spreading the virus. Or, it could be a tentative step toward more opening up. I think we will know more in the next week or two whether there is a rise of coronavirus cases or if social distancing, mask wearing and good hygiene will work for now.


Written by sbrobert

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  1. 2:22 – There is no requirement to wear a mask outdoors, nor should there be. Wearing one in close quarters or indoors with others around is one thing, but outdoors with the wind and open air, it shouldn’t be a concern.

  2. Yeah,2:36. Just because masks are highly recommended, show you’re not a sociopath, and should be available for when you can’t maintain the 6-foot distance, are not good enough reasons to curtail your breaking out in a chorus of “Born Free”.

  3. In the past week, Dr. Anthony Fauci and the New England Journal of Medicine have admitted that masks are little more than symbols. Virtue signaling.
    For those of you who shout “science” like it’s a Tourette tick, this is from the New England Journal of Medicine on May 21, 2020:
    We know that wearing a mask outside health care facilities offers little, if any, protection from infection. Public health authorities define a significant exposure to Covid-19 as face-to-face contact within 6 feet with a patient with symptomatic Covid-19 that is sustained for at least a few minutes (and some say more than 10 minutes or even 30 minutes). The chance of catching Covid-19 from a passing interaction in a public space is therefore minimal. In many cases, the desire for widespread masking is a reflexive reaction to anxiety over the pandemic .

  4. What the hell is wrong with the owner of Pascucci’s? This is the second time now I’ve seen a picture of her with her mask down below the nose now she’s serving people ? Giving them menus that she’s breathed all over? Won’t be going there anytime soon b/c if she can’t figure out how to wear a mask you know she isn’t properly supervising the staff in what they are supposed to be doing and not doing!

  5. Look at the owner of Pascucci with her mask on wrong – and she’s supposed to be supervising proper hygiene. Second time now I’ve seen her photographed wearing it like this but this time, it’s around other people.

  6. For those saying masks aren’t necessary, google – web md COVID-19 likely airborne. The scientist interviewed says she wears a mask inside and out. Also says, to think “airborne”, think of how far the smell of a bbq or a cigarette drifts.

  7. In the last photo there are 4 people SINGING without masks on! Singing is one of the number ONE ways to transmit the virus. Remember the church choir in Seattle? Think about how a sneeze or cigarette smoke travels. I’m staying FAR far away from these careless people.

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