Imagine a world where pedestrians rule the city streets. Where no one has cars and bicycles ride supreme.
The NYC Department of Transportation (DOT) brings such a world to life. For the first 3 Saturday mornings in August vehicles are banished from a huge stretch of street right in the middle of Manhattan. It’s pretty amazing!
From 72nd Street all the way down to Foley Square by City Hall, Park Avenue is an exclusive NO CARS ALLOWED recreation club.
Last Saturday, the middle of this 3 Saturday event, I walked the bottom half of the route. The sky was blue, the sun was out, and there was no road rage anywhere to be seen! It was a beautiful, beautiful thing!
I loved taking in the sights and sounds, no honking!
Based on my experience, replace cars with bicycles and New Yorkers become 95% friendlier.
The atmosphere was like a giant, 6-mile long block party. My path featured 4 “rest stops” (the full route has a total of 5) which all had some really fun activities going on. Whole Foods, a sponsor of the event, gave out a ton of free samples of their products. Warm up stages featured yoga and Zumba classes.
There were tents to do art, soccer clinics, hand-cycling demos, and live music. DOT even gave out free bike helmets and hosted free bike rentals!
Best of all was the end, the grand finale of Summer Streets at Foley Square. What’s the best way you can imagine to end a giant summer city block party?
Did a giant water slide surrounded by official city buildings pop into your head?
For real? A waterslide in NYC? YES! No joke! How cool is this, in the middle of downtown Slide the City!
I’m sure you’re wondering DID YOU GO ON IT? Alas, no. I did not. The online sign-up filled super fast and there were no on-site sign ups. Still, it was cool to see! Also cool to not wander around town with a soggy bum/try to change out of a swim suit in a Starbucks bathroom!
These guys went, they said it was amazing! When else will you have a chance to wander the streets of NYC wearing a floatation device?
Vita Coco sponsored Slide the City. They also set up a beach complete with hammocks and even sand! Of course every one kept hydrated with free Vita Coco coconut water.
And it was all free! Ever single part of the event was free! Best block party ever!
Not everyone could Slide the City, but everyone could zip the city!
Zipline down a New York City street, no soggy bottom or floatation decide needed!
This Saturday is the final Summer Streets of 2015! So head over to Park Avenue (or Lafayette Street which is what Park turns into downtown) on August 15th between 7AM and 1PM! Run, walk, jog, bike, unicycle, skip down the street for seven miles. For more info and detailed activities offered, visit the nyc.gov Summer Streets website. Maybe I’ll see you there!