This Saturday, August 3rd, Park Avenue and Lafayette St. will once more fill up with thousands of cyclists, joggers and city lovers. Summer Streets, an ambitious production by the NYC Department of Transportation will open nearly seven miles of car-free streets in Manhattan from the Brooklyn Bridge to Central Park.
Aside from its usual offerings such as the popular 165-feet long zip line, a 25-foot-tall rock climbing wall and City Picnic area, the event will feature few new attractions such as the “Voice Tunnel,” an interactive art installation by a much acclaimed Mexican artist Rafael Lozano-Hemmer and a self-guided architectural tour by cultureNOW. The event, inspired by similar events around the world such as Ciclovía in Bogotá, Colombia or the Paris Plages in Paris, France, is going through its sixth iteration in New York City.
“Voice Tunnel” will transform the Park Avenue tunnel from 33rd Street to 40th Street into a spectacle of light and sound. The long forgotten space, for the first time opened to pedestrians this year, will come alive with hundreds of theatrical spotlights. Visitors will be able to influence the intensity of each light, by speaking into a special intercom at the tunnel’s center. At any given time, the tunnel will be animated by the voices of 100 participants. Take a look at the special installation preview video, courtesy of the DOT.
CultureNOW, a Chelsea-based non- profit, will provide yet a different kind of immersive experience. The organization, dedicated to promoting urban cultural assets through modern communication technologies, developed a special Summer Streets iPhone tour that highlights some of the most remarkable architectural landmarks along the route. After downloading the free CultureNOW app, Summer Streets participants will be able to learn fun facts about the buildings and listen to podcasts by great architectural historians such as Barry Bergdoll, the Architecture Curator of MoMa, NYU’s Carol Krinsky or Gail Cornell.
Download the Summer Streets event map here.
Get in touch with the author at @tendrebarbare