Summer Streets #2: Wetter and Better?

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Car-free workouts on Cleveland Place will be back tomorrow, but what about the open-toed pumps?

The weather might add a new wrinkle to the second installment of Summer Streets: Forecasts call for a 40 percent chance of rain tomorrow. How might showers affect the day’s events? Will the largely positive press from last week counteract any turnout-depressing effect? What sort of changes will be wrought by the presence of umbrellas? Will ped-bike courtesy rise to new heights now that people have some Summer Streets experience under their belts? How many car-free side streets will turn into stickball arenas?

I, for one, eagerly await the chance to find out answers to all these questions. Plan on coming out too? You can see what others are up to and organize activities through the Summer Streets group on the Livable Streets Network.

  • I think it will be another huge success, rain or shine.

    by the way, if you are riding from Harlem or the Upper West Side, please join us.

    Ride to Summer Streets

    with Paul White (Transportation Alternatives) and Curtis Archer (Harlem Community Development Corporation

    Saturday, August 16
    Two meeting places:
    7:30am
    Marcus Garvey Park
    (one block east of Malcolm X Boulevard, at 121st Street & Mount Morris Park West, inside the park by the baseball field.)

    7:50am
    Soldiers and Sailors Monument
    (89th and Riverside Drive)

    Rain or Shine!

  • Only shine tomorrow baby. ONLY SHINE!

  • Larry Littlefield

    One thing I’ve learned since riding to work is that even a 100% chance of rain doesn’t mean it will be raining 100% of the time. People may get doused with a shower, depending on their luck, but so what? That might just add to the fun.

    Just wear your bathing suit, and pretend you are at the beach.

  • Larry Littlefield

    In any event the forecast has changed to a slight chance of showers after 11 am tomorrow.

  • Paul White radiates SUNSHINE!

  • National Weather service says only 23% chance of rain between 7 am and 1 pm–better than one in four. See y’all there!

  • I can’t believe I’m so excited about riding my bike down a street…. 🙂

    The only thing I’m not looking forward to is the early start!

  • Glenn

    Weather was spectacular. Thanks to DOT and TA for changing the forces of nature…

  • Yeah, it was absolutely BEAUTIFUL!! Thanks to everyone who made this happen… I rode up and down a number of times and saw nothing but smiles and people having fun. Would like to have seen more events and vendors (and portaloos), but hopefully next time… At times it seemed more like an extension of Central Park (ie a training circuit) than an open pedestrian plaza. It was nice watching hordes of cyclists riding past the Ferrari dealership! Ha!! Beautiful dinosaurs….

    Can’t wait for next week….

  • Whoo! I’m still flying from those endorphins. More physical activity than I’ve had in a long time, but I just checked and I’m not dead yet! Just like last week, everyone seemed to be getting along fine. I’d like to see the cyclists, skaters and joggers slow down more at intersections to let pedestrians cross, but everyone seemed to be able to negotiate things okay.

    There were a bunch of people (looked like a club) on some three-wheeled things that I found out are called Trikkes. They looked interesting, but they took up a whole lane of traffic and had a hard time going up hills. Definitely not for sidewalks or anyplace too crowded.

  • Oh dear, Angus. Now you’ve got me interested in buying a Trikke. I’m completely addicted to getting around town on my bicycle, but I’ve been thinking about how I need to supplement it with some sort of physical activity that works my upper body–and, of course, it needs to be fun. A Trikke may be just the ticket.

  • Sure, Urbanis! Just leave me enough room to pass you on the uphills (when I’m on my bike) and give me enough room when you pass me downhills (when I’m on foot). I don’t know where you’d find that much space outside of Summer Streets, though – and if Summer Streets attracts any more people in the future even Park Avenue will be too crowded.

    You could of course get one of those handbikes that paraplegics use, but I don’t think they exercise your core very much. Maybe aikido?

  • Gizmo-LI a.k.a. John G.

    I was born in Brooklyn. Worked and played in Manhattan for 30 years. While great plans for its redemption were perennially floated by any an all, the city remained a dangerous and distasteful necessity, best left behind when the day’s tasks were done.

    With most of its efforts concentrated on moving people and money, and the waste products of those interactions around so the cycle could repeat the following day, NYC was normally so crowded you had no choice but to operate in survival mode. Courtesy was a luxury only fools (and some tourists) could afford. The default location for anything fun was indoors, because it normally looked bad, felt bad and even smelled bad outside.

    So…..like millions before me, I made a few dollars and escaped to Long Island – a land where grass meant lawns and crack was something you repaired with cement. Truth be told, “the island” lifestyle is nothing to complain about – as long as your not allergic to real estate taxes that feel more like the GNP of some 3rd world countries.

    Recently, a fellow enthusiast of an offbeat fitness product – who lives in New Joisy no less – alerted me to NYC;s “Summer Streets”, when parts of 3 Saturdays would be free of cars on certain streets and turned over to civilians for their walking / running / biking / skating / Trikking pleasure. How utterly insane. Had my life sunk to such a low that I would consider the equivalent of drinking water from my toilet just for fun ? Apparently – yes – as I made the commitment to meet our group at 0800, Saturday Aug. 16, at City Hall Park.

    As the date approached there seemed little likelihood of my needing my old set of concealed weapons and make the decent into what I remember as Hades. For days there were horrific storms, floods, even rumors of tornadoes. Talk about omens.

    Then – a Deity intervened. Saturday broke into the most beautiful of days since Creation and NYC into nothing less than …….. Oz.

    Saturday was just one of those surrealistic days. The torrential rains earlier had scrubbed the air of its pollutants and the streets of their thick coating of odiferous fast food debris. There are no words to describe how impossibly blue the sky was, dotted only occasionally by just enough light fluffy clouds to keep it from being monotonous. The air was fresh and clean, with a constant cool breeze. It was almost impossible to perspire.

    Cops behaved more like Munchkins, cheering you on while protecting you from your worst enemy – vehicles and their cell-phone addicted pilots. Volunteers and vendors were everywhere, offering assistance or freebies.

    There were waves of schvitzing fitness freaks that built to tidal proportions by 10:00. Its truly amazing how massive this market is that a fraction of a percent turnout can amount to what surely must have become a hundred thousand kindred souls hell-bent on having a coronary by noon.

    While there might be routes that could compare, none could surpass starting at the steps of the City Hall of the capitol of the world, up the Yellow Brick Road of Park Avenue, over Grand Central Station, around Central Park – the most beautiful Enchanted Forest ever created – back downtown past street fairs and concerts of all kinds, under Brooklyn Bridge – the unlikely home to hundreds of skateboarders and thousands of spectators – to South Street Seaport – so alive with activity it overwhelmed your senses. Tourists so thick, you couldn’t fit a credit card between them. The Brooklyn and Williamsburg Bridges and Lady Liberty as a backdrop. Ferries arriving 2 per minute. Helicopters hovering. 2 Giant Waterfalls as performance art. More sights than your eyes could see. More sounds than your ears could hear. A day to remember that humans and the things they do can be pretty cool.

    I was born in Brooklyn. Worked and played in Manhattan for 30 years. Seen many leaders come and go. While the perfect weather certainly had something to do with it, I was still shocked at how much the city had improved during my long absence. From the Park to the Greenway to the Piers, all the new construction, the way it’s been cleaned up. Maybe $ 1 million for what would pass for a Long Island walk-in closet is supposed to make sense.
    I actually heard myself say out loud “NYC now seems like a place you’d WANT to live in”.

    They give Nobel prizes to the wrong people for the wrong things.

    “Summer Streets” is unquestionably the best idea any leader ever had.

    To all those Trikkers who attended – my sincere thanks for the pleasure of your company, the sharing of such an extraordinary day.

    To those who couldn’t or wouldn’t – you missed one for the record books.

    Only problem with a day like Saturday is – how do we top it ?

    Maybe we Trikke the Champs de Lysee ? Or do a couple laps around Vatican Square ?

  • momos

    Hallelujah, Gizmo-LI! Preach it brother! A spot-on description of a totally awesome event that let the City of New York put her best foot forward for all to see.

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