It’s that time of year – for NEW YORK CITY SUMMER STREETS! What is Summer Streets you ask? Well I’ll tell you! The first 3 Saturdays in August they close 7 miles of city streets from 72nd St near Central Park at Park Ave all the way down to Lafayette St and Centre St at the Brooklyn Bridge. A few of the cross streets are still open and they have police and volunteers directing people when it’s safe to continue running, cycling or rollerblading the miles of car free bliss!
I went last year by myself and had so much fun my sister decided to join me this year.
We spent a long weekend in NYC and visited Madame Tussauds where I got to ride bikes with ET, help Indiana Jones steal some precious artifacts and watch Slimer create some mischief on Friday afternoon. I also introduced my sister to Waffles and Dinges (which loosely translates to Wafles and things/toppings). If you are ever in NYC I HIGHLY recommend trying one. Of course it started down-pouring as we were out exploring the city so we were completely soaked when we got back to our hotel room – as well as our waffles.
Saturday we got up really early to beat the crowds – which was something I learned last year – the streets are closed from 7 AM until 1 PM, but the later in the day it gets, the busier it gets. We headed over to the closest Citi Bike docking station and each rented a bike to ride down to the Brooklyn Bridge. I gotta say I really like the Citi Bikes – it was very quick and convenient to rent one with the app which I highly recommend getting. For some reason it wouldn’t let us rent the $3 single trip at the kiosk – not sure if all the kiosks are like that, but the one on 32nd and Park Ave was at the time we were there.
We enjoyed cycling down the street looking at all the art on the walls and taking in the city – CAR FREE! When we made it to the Brooklyn Bridge there was a Citi Bike dock right there so we returned our bikes and started making our way across the Brooklyn Bridge – which was the least busy I have ever seen it. I think people were worried about the rain that was in the forecast. We already got dumped on the day before so we weren’t gonna let a little more rain ruin our day.
Of course on our way back from the Brooklyn Bridge the downpour of all downpours started. It was absolutely nuts – people were huddled under every overhang they could find. My sister and I decided that since we were already soaked we may as well keep going – so we strolled along taking in the views while the sky dumped rain on us.
We went back to the hotel, my sister decided she had enough of the rain. I decided since I was already soaked I may as well stay out and explore the other half of the route. It took me FOREVER to find an available Citi Bike – I should have just gone back down a few blocks to the spot we rented them from earlier, but I figured I would find one eventually along the route – turns out it wasn’t until almost the end. I splashed through the puddles, claimed my bike and took off cycling through the near empty street. I tried to keep the hood of my rain jacket up, but it kept blowing back – and I was completely soaked anyway so really there was no point of even wearing it. I turned around on 72nd St and headed back to 32nd – determined to make it before the 30 minute rental time expired. I made it in 28 minutes – just enough time to make it back, but enjoy my ride at the same time – well as much as I could enjoy a bike ride in a torrential downpour (it was pretty fun).
I sloshed back to the hotel and met back up with my sister – we decided it absolutely could NOT rain any more because we were running out of clothes….and places to hang everything that was wet. My sister tried in vain to dry a shirt with a hair dryer.
When we were able to piece together some dry clothes we headed to grab a bite to eat and then go see Frozen on Broadway – which was AMAZING and I would 100% go see it again.
Sunday morning we ended our time in NYC with a breakfast stop at the Stardust Diner which is a cool place where the waiters sing while serving food. It was a great way to end the weekend!
I just want to say a special THANK YOU to all the police and volunteers who stood in the rain for Summer Streets for those of us who ventured out!! It was MUCH APPRECIATED! 🙂