Experience an (almost) car-free Manhattan with the return of Summer Streets on Saturday. Go for a stroll or ride your bike without fear of being run over all the way from Brooklyn Bridge to 72nd street along Lafayette and Park Avenue. Enjoy activities like tai chi and bachata lessons and performances by a double dutch league and Ecuadorian dancers. Summer food festivals have you a little thicker around the middle? Crunch gym will pound your flab into submission with several high-intensity workout sessions around Astor Place. If you're looking for something more on the relaxation front, stroll to 40th Street for massage therapy and restorative yoga and meditation.
If you don't have wheels of your own, swing by Soho for free bike rentals as well as bike repair stations in case you spring a flat. (And no charge for bringing your bike on the East River Ferry.) Free bike helmets will be given out at 51st, perfect for when CitiBike finally gets up and running. Whole Foods will have a picnic area set up in midtown if you're feeling peckish and a zip line will be set up at the Foley Square rest stop if you're feeling adventurous! Cars are verboten from 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. and lucky for us, we get to do Summer Streets all over again on August 11th and August 18th.
Also this weekend:
A year ago we showed up early for what turned out to be Sonic Youth's last show in NYC (for now?), and man were we glad we did. Opener Wild Flag rocked everyone's skinny jeans off with a set of swirling, wildly unpredictable guitar-driven compositions. The electrifying Portland-based quartet features ex-members of the bands Sleater-Kinney, Helium and The Minders, and they'll be enchanting Celebrate Brooklyn tonight (Friday) for free. Tonight's big name supporting acts—Ted Leo and Mission of Burma—might as well be headlining themselves, so if you go, go EARLY. We wouldn't be surprised if they reach capacity and stop letting people in. Doors at 6, Ted Leo at 7, Mission of Burma at 7:45, and Wild Flag at 9:15.
Food trucks, food trucks and more food trucks! That's the bottom line at Parked! A Food Truck Festival going down at the South Street Seaport on Saturday. Starting at 10 a.m., over 30 trucks will motor into the historic area and dish out tasty treats like dumplings, grilled cheese, lobster, tacos and everything in-between. Big names at this year's fest include The Jam Stand, Frites N Meats, Bongo Brothers, Schnitzel & Things and many, many, many more. Live music from blues legend John Hammond as well as The Juggs, The Loom, and Johnnie Lee Jordan & The Boys will soundtrack the event and designated beer and champagne (!) gardens will keep everyone well lubricated. The feasting lasts until 9 p.m. (to be followed by the sleeping until 12 p.m.).
With possibly only a little over a year left to enjoy Long Island City's graffiti mecca 5 Pointz, the time is now to visit the iconic art space for posterity's sake. If you go this Saturday, you'll be treated not only to colorful tags from artists across the globe but you can also enjoy a Freestyle Cipher starting at 10 a.m. Join the crowd of spectators for an exciting rap battle that's part of a #save5pointz movement. After the winner is crowned, jam out to a DJ set by Marley Marl from 3 p.m. until 11 p.m. For a look at how it all goes down, follow the beat right over here.
With John Del Signore.