On the first three Saturdays in August, sandcastles, storytelling and sports will replace the jam of cars, cabs and buses on much of Park Avenue.
The temporary transformation marks the fourth annual Summer Streets event, which gives skaters, cyclists and sightseers the chance to enjoy car-free streets from 7 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Along the seven mile route, which stretches from the Brooklyn Bridge to Central Park, New Yorkers of all ages can enjoy free bike and blade rentals, yoga sessions, sports activities and even a climbing wall. There will also be a sand-sculpting show in Foley Square, cooking demonstrations in Union Square and guacamole-making lessons on 52nd street (why not?!).
The Summer Streets program, a Department of Transportation green initiative, was created in 2008 to encourage more sustainable forms of transportation, and to engage the community in healthy ways. Summer Streets is modeled after similar events around the world, most notably Ciclovía, Bogota, Columbia’s 35-year-old tradition of shutting down 70-miles of road every Sunday.