Every summer, the first three Saturdays in August, nearly seven miles of Manhattan streets are closed off to traffic for Summer Streets from 7 am to 1 pm. This has been going on now for several years and it’s a summer tradition that’s dearly loved by many New Yorkers.
It’s really awesome to walk, run, cycle, or rollerskate on Park Ave devoid of any cars. There are several rest stops where different activities and events go on. The biggest one is always the Foley Square Rest Stop. Two years ago, they had a zip line. This year, it’s a gigantic water slide, plus they created a “beach” complete with sand, lounge chairs, and free coconut water.
I did my long run early Saturday (left the house at 5:10 am) to do my long run with Queens Distance Runners. I completed almost 8 miles by myself before I met up with them on the other side of Brooklyn Bridge and ran 10 miles with them. One of the things I like about the running culture here is that any running club welcomes you even when you’re a member of a different club. Even though I wasn’t a member of QDR, I was welcomed and they made sure that I stayed with them as we ran our miles together. They even had a water/Gatorade station waiting for us thirsty and hot runners just before the Queensborough Bridge. After we crossed the bridge, I left them to finish their miles and I turned southward to meet Ben and Bandit at the Midtown rest stop.
I literally ran into several people I knew at Summer Streets. A bunch of people of PPTC were out doing their long run, so I was constantly waving and saying hi. I saw people that I hadn’t seen in a while, so it was nice to see them again and say catch up a little.
Ben and Bandit found me at the Midtown rest stop and we slowly walked to the Astor Place rest stop because they had a little dog park set up. Bandit played tag with another dog while we rested. Then we got a family photo of us taken at a photo booth. Doesn’t Bandit look adorable?
We walked some more to Foley Square Rest Station. Aside from the water slide (you need to reserve a time slot to go on it in advance because it’s so popular), they set up a station where you could race Allyson Felix, American sprinter, World Champion of the 400 meters, Olympian, and currently competed in the Rio Games. Well, you race her time. They set up a 20 meter “track” that you sprint down and race a blue light that represents Allyson Felix’s speed. I was too tired from running 20 miles, but Ben and Bandit were game. If you click on the link, you can see them running down.
It was a fun summer day. If you’re in NYC in August, check out Summer Streets.