The Prospect Heights Neighborhood Development Council and the New York City Department of Transportation just announced that the popular Open Streets Program has returned to the neighborhood.
Since New Yorkers grew so fond of traffic-free weekends, Open Streets returned to Vanderbilt Avenue in 2021. Last year’s return brought additional space, more bike lanes, new barriers and even a schedule for arts and culture events.
This season, Vanderbilt Avenue is once again car-free to give residents the space to gather, eat, drink, and play. Weekend programming will resume with tons of exciting events like folk singers, brass bands, West African musicians, bicycle-riding demonstrations, community painting activities and the Bindlestiff Family Cirkus.
The program provides “a sense of community and social togetherness in a time of forced solitude,” shared one resident.
See schedule below:
Friday June 3
- Grand opening of BLU Room Bar Lounge with samples of their new menus, music from DJ Hard Hittin’ Harry and ALL night Happy Hour
Saturday June 4
- Salsa dancing with Salsa Salsa Dance Studio! Free beginner lesson at 5pm, followed by an evening social of salsa and music
- Edge of Glory exhibition by NYC-based photographer David Zheng
Saturday June 11 and Sunday June 12 – Brooklyn PRIDE
- Two days of Pride on the Avenue, hosted by Branded Saloon, 2-9pm
- Performances and art from local artists, including: The Royal Minks, Jane Bruce from Jagged Little Pill, Boy Radio, Bi Tirant, Secret Emchy Society, Viva Deconcini, Julie Rodgers, Konstance Patton
Sunday, June 19 – Juneteenth
- Performances by Greg Banks and The Afro-Latineers!
- Celebrate and support local Black-owned businesses, such as: Bierwax, BLU Room, Kat Flower, Fermented Grapes, Katflower, Mitchell’s, Prospect Heights Realty, (Salon) 718 and Smokey Vale.
Saturday, June 25
- Rock legends showcase put on by the New York City Guitar School Rock Band Show
Find more scheduled events here.
The Open Streets Program first came about at the start of the pandemic as an economic relief program for small businesses. After implementing the program, restaurants saw an average increase of 54% in customer visits, a 45% increase in staff and an estimated 65-70 jobs added, reports Vanderbilt Open Streets.
“Open Streets increased our income significantly and allowed us to keep employees. The program not only brought back many of our customers but brought us many new ones,” says Ellen Fishman, owner of Prospect Heights’ Amorina Cucina Rustica.
More efforts will be put in place to focus on clear signage for pedestrians and cyclists, along with improved logistical support and accessibility for emergency vehicles, thanks to the management team made up entirely of volunteers.
To learn more, see here.
When: Every Friday from 5 – 10 p.m. and Saturdays, Sundays and Monday holidays from 12 – 10 p.m. from April 1 – November 20
Where: On Vanderbilt Avenue from Atlantic Avenue to Park Place