Summer Streets 2015: Party on Park Avenue Starts This Saturday!
Although every year I wish they'd ban cars from all city streets for the whole summer (just kidding. kind of.) I am always grateful when I hear that the now-traditional Summer Streets is returning for yet another season. That's right, for three consecutive Saturdays starting this weekend, August 1, almost seven miles of one of Manhattan's widest and most famous thoroughfares will be designated pedestrian- and bicycle-only, with tons of family-orientated activities at major rest areas all along the route. Plus, the big news: there's going to be a GIANT WATER SLIDE. If you're in town on any of these Saturdays, I urge you to get up and out early and take full advantage of the occasion. It's one of my favorite August events, always more fun than I expect it to be, and a terrific opportunity to meet your neighbors and laugh and chat with your fellow citizens of this wonderful city. Here is everything you need to know…
From City Streets to Water Slides
The whole concept of Summer Streets began as a way to celebrate cycling and pedestrian culture–two great pillars of NYC transportation–but it has since evolved, for obvious, corporate-sponsored reasons, into more of a street festival. So although the increasingly elaborate (but still 100% FREE) activities in the five major rest stops get most of the attention these days, remember that simply cruising on a bike or taking a stroll down the middle of Park Avenue, or Lafayette Street, can provide a surprising amount of instant, deeply satisfying pleasure, both from the act itself (feels so freeeeeeee!!!!) as well as the palpable communal spirit of the morning, a sensation too rarely felt in our daily bustle.
Food, Fun, Bikes, Dogs & More!
Anyway, the rest stop highlight of the season's Summer Streets NYC has to be the enormous, 270-foot water slide at Foley Square. IMPORTANT WATER SLIDE NOTE: you MUST pre-register online to take a ride on the slide (which makes sense, otherwise the line would be ridiculous), and the first Saturday, August 1, is already completely booked! Registration for the August 8 slide opens next Monday, August 3, here. Other crowd-pleasers include the 30-feet-high, 165-feet-long Zipline (this year located on Leonard Street); a full roster of free fitness classes at the Soho stop; various Doggie Delights at Astor Place; music, dance, and other performances–plus free bike and rollerblade rentals–at the Midtown and Uptown stops. Basically, it's seven miles of fun, recreation, and pleasant relaxation right in the heart of the city. Next year let's do it all summer long, okay de Blasio?
Summer Streets 2015 Map and More Info
Summer Streets 2015 will be held on three consecutive Saturdays, August 1, 8, and 15, from 7:00 a.m. and 1:00 p.m., from Park Avenue at 72nd Street down to the Brooklyn Bridge on Lafayette Street.