Bedford Avenue in Williamsburg Brooklyn was de-motorized and opened to the public this Saturday for a new event called Williamsburg Walks. Streetfilms’ Clarence Eckerson was there and he’s already churned out a nice three-and-a-half minute video to give you a sense of the event.
If you want to check out Williamsburg Walks for yourself, you still can. Saturday’s noon to 7 pm event was the first of four pedestrian-only Saturday’s on Bedford Avenue, through August 9. That also happens to be the first day of the big "Summer Streets" event along Park Avenue in Manhattan (7 am to 1 pm), if you’re looking to make a multi-borough day of it.
Clarence described the event as "quiet, safe, relaxing, and human" and says he’ll be returning without a camera next time so he can actually enjoy it as well (Can you actually detach that thing from your hand, Clarence? I’ll believe it when I see it). Streetfilms’ also notes: "This was not a street fair in any sense of the word." The generic sausage and tube socks vendors were nowhere to be seen. Rather, this was an opening up of the street to the neighborhood. It was an event that allowed merchants, residents and visitors to enjoy other uses for their shared public space than the storage and movement of motor vehicles. And why not?