New York City Department of Transportation (DOT) invites all New Yorkers to Summer Streets, with the first one taking place on Sat., Aug. 2. from 7 a.m.-1 p.m. Hundreds of free activities will be available along the entire route, which extends from the Brooklyn Bridge to Central Park in Manhattan. Last year, 300,000 people attended Summer Streets. With new features—including an interactive sound installation inside the Park Avenue tunnel, dog park, musical performances and new architectural and public art walking tours—and the return of favorites such as the zip line, city picnic and rock-climbing wall, this year’s lineup offers activities for the whole family to enjoy at all three Summer Streets on Aug. 2, 9 and 16.
This year’s Summer Streets theme is sound—with programing that lets New Yorkers discover the sound of the city in the absence of vehicles along nearly seven miles of streets. For all three Saturdays, Summer Streets participants will be able to check out “Dive” inside the Park Avenue tunnel. Norwegian artist Jana Winderen creates eight different sound pockets throughout the tunnel, her largest public art installation to date. Using state-of-the art technology, Winderen recorded underwater environments in Greenland, Iceland, Norway, Russia, Canada, USA, Thailand, the Caribbean and the Pacific Ocean. She pairs these natural sounds with blue light throughout the tunnel, creating a feeling of “diving” underwater for participants. For a preview, visit www.nyc.gov/summerstreets.
Additional sound and musical performances include:
- Aug. 2: “Trumpet City: Park Avenue”—Musician Craig Shepard composed this piece for 91 trumpeters who will play in synch along Park Avenue between 45th – 72nd streets from 11:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.
- Aug. 9: “Prescencing Piece No. 1 (Fed Plaza)”—Chris McIntrye engineered this site-specific sound installation, which will be available at 26 Federal Plaza between 10:30 a.m. and 1 p.m. It incorporates trombones, trumpets and drums. Speakers will transmit sounds through infrared technology while live musicians perform nearby. Signage will lead audience members to listen to sound bites through a series of QR codes.
- Aug. 16: “My (our) Way”: Nick Tobier will distribute fifty small music boxes to people who will play ”My Way” on the music boxes in unison at 8 a.m. and 10:30 a.m. Participants will play the 20-30 minute piece around Astor Place and converge on the steps of the Public Theatre.
A number of new activities also will be available along the route all three Saturdays, including:
- Vision Zero Safety Zone: Newly branded with the City’s safety campaign, the Uptown Rest Stop features fun, educational activities that encourage participants to walk and bike even safer. The zone also includes the return of the popular truck safety station where children and adults are encouraged to speak with instructors and climb into a parked truck to experience a truck driver’s perspective on the roadway.
- Paws to Play dog park: At the Uptown Rest Stop, dogs will be able to take a break from the route, make new friends and cool off in small pools within a designated dog park area.
- Cigna Recovery Zone: At the Astor Place Rest Stop, Cigna will be hosting fitness classes along with a recovery zone with shade and cooling towels for those
participants who want to unwind, recoup and stretch out after their workout.
- CultureNOW’s Know Your City: Explore New York City’s Build Environment: Self-guided architecture and public art walking tour maps can be picked up at the Astor Place Rest Stop or downloaded from www.nyc.gov/summerstreets. There is also an iPhone app, Museum Without Walls, with exclusive photographs and podcasts.
- Architectural, Public Art and Historic New York Walking Tours: Timed historical walking tours led by art and architectural historians will available on a first-come, first-served basis in partnership with Culture Now, AIA and the Municipal Art Society of New York. Participants are encouraged to sign up on the Summer Streets website: nyc.gov/summerstreets
- The Uni Project will be presented at the Foley Square Rest Stop on Aug. 2 and 9. Summer Streets participants can stop by to rest and read a book at their pop-up library.
- Arts and crafts workshops and demonstrations will be provided by U-Doodle, Materials for the Arts, Poet’s House and Movement Creative.
Summer Streets also features the return of some favorites. A sampling includes:
- Helmet Distribution: DOT will be fitting free helmets on adults and children each weekend at 24th St. and Park Ave.
- Free bike rentals will be available at the Uptown, Midtown and Foley Square Rest Stops through Bike and Roll and roller skate rentals will be available at the Midtown Rest Stop through Bike and Roll and Rollerblade.
- “The Course of Emotions”: At the Uptown Rest Stop, Brooklyn-based artist Risa Puno, is setting up her 9-hole miniature golf course.
- The Whole Foods City Picnic: Free samples and other activities will be available again at the Midtown Rest Stop
- REI Adventure Zone: Stop by the Soho Rest Stop for the 25-ft. tall rock climbing wall and other activities.
- Zip line: the 165-foot-long, 25-foot-high zip line will be at the Foley Square Rest Stop.
- Performance stages at the Uptown Rest Stop and Foley Square: Throughout the day, comedic groups, musical and theatrical performances, dance lessons and more will be offered.
Numerous City agencies are participating at Summer Streets 2014. The Department of Parks & Recreation is offering its Shape Up program with free yoga classes. The Department of Design and Construction will offer an interactive public art workshop. The Department of Cultural Affairs’ Materials for the Arts will host arts and crafts workshops. The Department of Sanitation is leading workshops about recycling and composting, while the Department of Environmental Protection’s “Water-On-The-Go” program will supply mobile drinking fountains along the route. The Mayor’s Office of Citywide Event Coordination and Management, NYPD and FDNY also support this effort.
For more information, including a route map and street closure information, is available at www.nyc.gov/summerstreets. Weekend Walks also continue to be held in all five boroughs. For a list, visit www.nyc.gov/weekendwalks.