NEW YORK (CBS 2) — Roller blades replaced taxicabs and bicycles replaced buses on Saturday as New York City kicked off its annual Summer Streets initiative, shutting down Park Avenue to traffic and opening it up to some “trashy” fun.
Park Avenue literally became a park for the day as part of the program, reports CBS 2’s Kathryn Brown.
“People are like, ‘oh my God, where did this come from?’” Upper West Side resident Michael Zorek said.
There wasn’t a car in sight on Saturday, as bikers, joggers, strollers, rollerbladers and even swimmers clogged the streets from Central Park to the Brooklyn Bridge.
“There’s music and it just feels like a big event,” said TriBeCa resident Jessie Callahan. “It’s nice to have this big New York City community together.
Thousands of bikers and runners cruised along Park Avenue, but the big draw was definitely the dumpsters.
“I am swimming in a dumpster!” six-year-old resident Zachary Liebman said.
People couldn’t get enough of the dumpsters-turned-swimming-pools – three in all – that each formed an oasis large enough for about 10 people to float around.
Eight-year-old Jeremy Zorek and his dad were geared up for a busy, fun-filled day of exploring their city.
“We just biked down from 86th Street and Columbus, then we came back up here, and then we’re going to go swimming,” Jeremy said. “He promised me that we’ll go up to Grand Central and take the subway to City Hall, and then bike across and back.”
“There are thousands of people, there’s all sorts of stuff to do, there’s giveaways,” Jeremy’s father, Michael Zorek, said. “Where else can you swim on Park Avenue?”
“We’re encouraging people to learn how to ride a bike, we’re encouraging people to enjoy the iconic architecture of New York – to have the ability to pause, and look around, and take in the incredible beauty of New York,” said Jeanette Sadik-Khan, commissioner of the Department of Transportation.
Long Beach resident John Roberts skipped the beach this weekend, and instead brought his kids into the city for some fun in the sun.
“We get enough beach,” he said. “We want something different.”
Summer Streets – and the dumpster pools – will be around for the next two Saturdays.