Although it is just for a couple of days, the community is invited to kick off the summer with a good old-fashioned block party.
The Grand Street Business Improvement District (BID) and Department of Transportation (DOT) are joining forces to hold the Second Annual Grand Street Weekend Walks block parties on July 13 and 20 from 2 to 8 p.m. between Manhattan and Bushwick avenues in East Williamsburg.
Part of 24 other weekend walks across the city this summer, spanning from May through October, the party invites businesses to come out and showcase the neighborhood.
“The purpose of this initiative is for the community to imagine Grand Street as a public space free of pollution and car,s as well as to enjoy the many activities we have planned,” said Artineh Haven, executive director of the BID. “Grand Street is a busy thoroughfare connecting Brooklyn to both Queens and Manhattan, and the closest public space or park is far for the local community, especially its elderly population.”
Haven said the initiative is perfect to revitalize the neighborhood at the start of the summer with games for the kids and a day full of fun events for the family.
“This initiative is a means of economic development as well, since restaurants can have sidewalk cafes, merchants can display their merchandise on their sidewalk and services can provide information about their businesses,” Haven said. “There are no vendors, and it is a chance for the community to come together, as well as for the new to be acquainted with the old in a very quickly changing neighborhood.”
The project is part of the World Class Streets project, a plan that combines Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s PlaNYC and the DOT’s Sustainable Streets programs.
“Grand Street is one of several weekend walks events that the DOT coordinates with local BIDs and other community partners in neighborhoods around the city,” said DOT representative Nicholas Mosquera.