One of the benefits of having less people here is that the city can declare seven whole miles of Manhattan CAR-FREE. For three glorious Saturdays in August (7 a.m.-1 p.m.), the city closes down Park Avenue and connecting streets from the Brooklyn Bridge to 72nd Street. Apparently it's modeled after cities like Paris and London. No wonder I love it. Along the route are free activities like zip lining, parkour, cycling, yoga, and even a giant water slide. I didn't partake in the fun stuff (mostly because the registration for the slide sold out in seconds!). instead I ran 7+ miles because I'm insane. Also because I'm training for my next half marathon, and I'm determined to beat my brother (Ed note: this will never happen).
Running any car-free distance in Manhattan is usually reserved for races, so it's a really unique experience to run freely through the streets along side bikers, rollerbladers, and confused tourists. Plus, the water stations set up every few miles makes for a perfect training route. This wasn't lost on the NYC Marathon training swarms who repeatedly engulfed me along the run. At least it helped me pace for a few miles.
There's just one weekend left to enjoy the empty streets, so be sure to get up early (before 9 a.m. or risk getting run over by bikers) and check 'em out! If you want to experience the water slide, you have about an hour before you can attempt to reserve a spot. Good luck!