Nearly seven miles of Manhattan streets will be reclaimed from the automobile autocracy this weekend as Summer Streets returns for its ninth straight year. Portions of Broadway and Lafayette Street will be closed to motor vehicle traffic from the Brooklyn Bridge all the way to Central Park on Saturday, August 6th, from 7 a.m. until 1 p.m.
For those six blissful hours, pedestrians and cyclists will have have free reign up and down the thoroughfares and access to five different "Rest Stop" activity zones that feature zip lines, free fitness classes, a dog run, and of course that giant water slide. The 300 foot, three story Vita Coco™ Beachside Slide will take up much of Foley Square this Saturday as New Yorkers without Hamptons connections ride inner tubes down its rubberized lanes. Beside the slide will be hammocks, a bar (coconut water only), lawn games, and a DJ playing summery jams. Be aware, the line for the waterslide will be colossal, and the city demands that you pre-register online if you want to ride.
Farther north, fitness instructors will lead classes at the SoHo Rest Stop, and a temporary dog park, along with an art installation comprised of spinning top-style chairs, will be open at Astor Place.
"New Yorkers lucky enough to be in town have a lot to look forward to," Department of Transportation Commissioner Polly Trottenberg said Monday. Last year over 300,000 people attended Summer Streets events.
Free eats will be served at the Midtown "Taste of Summer Sampling Zone," and the ever-popular 165-foot-long, 30-foot-high zip line will be waiting at the east side of 53rd Street and Park Avenue near the route's finishing point.
If you've got plans for this Saturday, don't worry! The very same Summer Streets route and rest stops will be open the next two weekends on August 13th and 20th. With ample open space and temporarily-relaxed laws that allow restaurants to serve additional customers outdoors, this is definitely one of the best ways to experience Manhattan and dream for just a moment of what a post-car future might hold.