Joggers, Bicyclists, & Everything In Between Descend On Park Avenue For Summer Streets Kickoff

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — The tenth annual Citi Summer Streets event kicked off Saturday, with seven miles of city streets blocked off for the public to enjoy.

As CBS2’s Erin Logan reported, Park Avenue and connecting streets from the Brooklyn Bridge to Central Park were taken over by hundreds of thousands of runners, walkers, bikers, and people partaking in endless activities.

“The theme this year is the five senses,” said New York City Transportation Commissioner Polly Trottenberg. “So, in addition to this waterpark, there’s exhibits focusing on senses of smell, smell walks, there’s going to be an interactive sculpture.”

The waterpark was definitely a popular attraction. It took the form of a massive dishwasher with four spray arms – the LG Quad Wash Waterpark. Whatever it was, kids were loving it.

“I went through all of it,” said Sydney Pollack.

She even challenged her dad.

“He didn’t even go down. I did go down,” Sydney said. “He only went down one time.”

Riders on plastic tubes flew down a bright green inflatable water slide that took over Foley Square.

David Johnson tells WCBS 880’s Mike Smeltz when you’re standing on the top of the 270 foot slide, the feeling you get is more fear than fun.

“It was scary at first but then once I got up there I just kind of conquered my fears and just went for it,” he said. “You could hear me screaming all the way down.”

Melissa Smith says getting wet from head to toe wasn’t her first pick for what to do on a Saturday, but got roped into it by a friend whose company sponsored the slide.

“I definitely didn’t want to do a water slide in the middle of Manhattan, but I had to,” she said. “I had to do it for my good friend. It was awesome, I had a great time.”

Both adults and kids recommended moving quickly from activity to activity, with seven miles’ worth of space available for people to enjoy the city using more sustainable forms of transportation. Many biked and walked to this a five-hole mini -golf course representing the five boroughs, and then stopped to enjoy food and music.

One of the highlights this year the Everest 360 virtual reality experience. The wind blows and the ground shakes in what is described as an opportunity for people experience what the summit of Mount Everest is like and what a treacherous climb is required to get there.

“There was a couple of times you almost feel like you’re losing your balance going up the ladder and climbing up the rope,” said Charles Patten of Basking Ridge, New Jersey.

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