nyc-etc: summer streets

October 10th, 2013

We did something SO cool this summer. And apparently it’s been going on every summer since 2008 (HOW did I miss this?).

It’s called “Summer Streets“, and here’s the scoop:

“Summer Streets is an annual celebration of New York City’s most valuable public space—our streets. On three consecutive Saturdays in the summer, nearly seven miles of NYC’s streets are opened for people to play, walk, bike, and breathe. 

Running from 7:00 am to 1:00 pm, Summer Streets extends from the Brooklyn Bridge to Central Park, along Park Avenue and connecting streets, with easy access from all points in New York City, allowing participants to plan a trip as long or short as they wish. All activities at Summer Streets are free of charge, and designed for people of all ages and ability levels to share the streets respectfully.”

summer streets, map

HOW did I miss this?

Okay – so I didn’t miss it this year. We went down on the second Saturday and it was so much fun to actually ride our bicycles through some of the busiest streets in Manhattan, with the company of other bikers, joggers and walkers.

summer streets

summer streets

summer streets, grand central terminal

summer streets

There were rest stops and activities along the way, and the overall feeling was of one gigantic block party.

summer streets, zipline, rock climbing

We had a great time – but I wanted to come back. There were two things I needed to see – up close, and at a slower pace. So I went back alone, very early on the last morning.

The artist Rafael Lozano-Hemmer created an interactive light and sound installation in the Park Avenue Tunnel – “Voice Tunnel” – designed to coincide with Summer Streets. By the time Noah, Mike and I had arrived the wait was over two hours.

That morning I was one of the first to enter.

summer streets, voice tunnel

I also wanted to walk – not bike – through and around the Grand Central Terminal overpass, normally accessible only by car. The early morning hours made for a quiet, serene experience.

summer streets, grand central

It was nothing less than magical for this life-long New Yorker to be able to see – up close – the magnificent architectural details of the surrounding archways and buildings.

summer streets, grand central details

summer streets, grand central statues

Whether from a tram, a ferry or elevated train track, I love it when I can get a glimpse of the city from a new perspective. If you live here, or plan to visit over the summer, be sure to mark your calendar for next year’s “Summer Streets”. It’s really something special.

summer streets

And remember that NO city outing is complete without the requisite stale, salty “soft” pretzel. Preferably the size of one’s head.

8 Responses to “nyc-etc: summer streets”

  • How incredibly cool is that! And your intentional return to shoot, I get it. Maybe one day. Thanks for sharing your vision and enthusiasm Sheri.

  • OMG that is so awesome. Last time I was in NYC the cab driver drove the Grand Central Terminal overpass I was so close to Grand Central but never had the opportunity to go in because of time. I intend to go back to NYC with my hubs unlike my like my visit. How I would love to go during the “Summer Streets”. hmmm I should request the AIA to have a conference there during the Summer Streets lol

  • Sheri,
    I’ve heard of this….but have never taken advantage of it. I love the idea and loved seeing your photos. Next year!

  • Posts like these make me regret ever leaving the city! (The uber high property values not so much…) The mister’s company has a NYC satellite office and so I’m always SO tempted.

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