“We’ve had at least five cars come by and say, ‘Are you guys open?’” Ogboghodo said.
Moments later, a man rode a motorcycle down the sidewalk and asked about coming in.
Simon said both the Short Stop and the other bar she manages, Footsie’s, had been closed during lockdowns; it wouldn’t have made financial sense to operate at limited capacity.
Reopening, she said, felt surreal.
Drinkers in Dodgers jerseys and ball caps bellied up to the bar, shoulder to shoulder, laughing, hugging and taking shots with bartenders. Though the dance floor was still empty, Ice Cube’s “It Was a Good Day” bumped from the speakers.
Christina Arutyunyan, 31, and her boyfriend, Hugo Hernandez, 38, were finally back at their regular corner, along with Chris Reynolds, 50, who said he’d been coming to the Short Stop since 2003.
“I’ve been giddy all week,” Reynolds said.
Hernandez said it was a relief “to see old faces.”
At the stadium — which over the course of the pandemic became a kind of civic hub — it was clear that things had changed. Traffic, for one thing, was in full force.
Kristopher Williams, 21, wore a hat celebrating the team’s World Series win last year and carried a homemade sign. He had taken public transit from South Los Angeles, leaving at 1:30 p.m. for the 5:30 p.m. gate opening. Williams said he was eager to be part of history.
“This is a very special game,” he said.
Inside the stadium, it was hard to remember that not long ago, the parking lot had been one of the nation’s biggest mass vaccination sites. And not too long before that, thousands of people had driven through the parking lot to administer their own coronavirus tests as instructed by Mayor Eric Garcetti, whose face was projected on giant video screens.