NEW YORK (CBSNewYork)Memorial Day is often considered the unofficial start of summer.

CBS2’s Cory James has more on how people took it in despite the coronavirus pandemic.

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“It’s beautiful. It’s lovely,” Kaylona Winn said.

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Winn said she is counting little wins, one being that the unofficial start of summer was not stopped by COVID-19.

“Let’s live life. Let’s do it. We’re together. We’re not apart. We’re all connected,” Winn said.


You could see that Monday at Liberty State Park in Jersey City, where people were out flying kites, blowing bubbles, and playing soccer with their kids.

“After so many days we came outside with the kids and with families, so they are feeling really good,” one parent said.

Some, like Clive Kim, spent the last Monday in May by the water fishing.

“I’m out here trying to catch stripe bass,” Kim said.

It’s an annual tradition he thought would be canceled because of the pandemic.

“I enjoy every moment of it. It’s relaxing. Keeps me coming out here to other than staying home,” Kim said.

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According to AAA, last year 43 million Americans traveled for the holiday weekend. It was the second-highest travel on record.

But don’t expect this year’s numbers to compete. Many Tri-State Area highways were quiet over the long weekend. Fewer people on the road meant an easy commute for drivers, as in little traffic and very few, if any, detours.

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Over at Coney Island, the waterways were also less congested. While James was there he saw one jet ski and one sailboat.

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The beach was nearly empty, too.

“It’s just a calmness around the area, so pretty much everything is okay,” one person said.

While some enjoyed it, others missed how it normally is at this time, specifically the warm weather.

“We’re shivering at this point. We’re not smiling, so it’s definitely different,” one person said.

And while it was certainly different, most said they were just happy to be able to take in the outdoors at parks and beaches.

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Many hope this time next year the unofficial start of summer will take place without masks and fear of COVID-19.