The street was shut down to vehicular traffic. People laid red-and-white-checked picnic blankets on the streets. Others lazily sipped gin cocktails outside Weather Up.

The restaurants along the avenue, places like Olmsted, Alta Calidad, and Chuko, served plates of glistening spareribs and oversize bowls of miso ramen to packed tables of customers on sidewalks, under the glint of string lights, surrounded by umbrellas, snake plants, and beds of artificial turf.

A few blocks over, on Nostrand Avenue in Crown Heights, it was a different story.

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In one affluent neighborhood, well-designed—and insulated—setups are drawing customers and keeping restaurants afloat. A few blocks away it’s a different story. The outdoor dining setup at Spicy Shallot in the Elmhurst neighborhood of Queens Photo by Laura Murray This past summer, on any remotely pleasant Saturday night, Vanderbilt Avenue […]

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