Tomorrow, Humans Will Briefly Own the Streets of Manhattan


Tomorrow marks the first day of this summer’s Summer Streets, the three consecutive August Saturdays in which, from 7 a.m. until 1 p.m., a route normally used by cars and buses and things of a vehicular persuasion is for humans alone. The 2011 route connects the Brooklyn Bridge to Central Park, making it possible to traverse quite a lot of Manhattan without worrying about traffic, from Lafayette to Fourth Avenue to Park.

Along the way, there will be sand boxes and sand sculpting lessons, free bike and rollerblade rentals, a rock-climbing wall, guacamole-making (and hopefully eating) demonstrations, a cook-off, free bike repair, and more.

As the organizers write, “You can join in anytime between 7 a.m. and 1 p.m. wherever is convenient for you — just come out and play!” If you miss tomorrow, your next two Summer Streets Saturdays will be August 13 and August 20. We only wish it started at 1 p.m. and went until 7.

In related news, those weird decorated lightposts (a/k/a “cactuses”) you may have been seeing around Astor Place are in honor of Summer Streets, done by Animus Art Collective. They call the work, which involves wrapping posts in colored cable ties, “Flaming Cactus.”

We put in a call with the DOT to see how many folks are expected tomorrow. In the meantime, polish up those rollerblades!