009 Beach Streets
The portable beach-on-a-barge works so well, docked at the riverside in Brooklyn or the Bronx, or wherever it may appear next. And ‘tar beach’ is a classic NY substitute for the real thing. Filling a few local streets with sand for the summer and declaring them “Beach Streets” would bring a bit of summer to The City’s interior. This entirely reversible redesign of the streets would take a day or two to install and a day or two to return to asphalt. In between would be a real vacation for those without a house in the Hamptons or Rhinebeck.
The sense of calm and quiet that a one-block break from automobile reality would introduce would emphasize the individual identity that every single block of NY possesses. And the sounds of playing might just erase those of car alarms and Sanitation trucks.
The first Beach Streets might be a couple of the blocks of Beach Street in Tribeca (kind of irresistible), followed by any number of crosstown streets on the upper west side or the village. Outfit them with umbrellas, some appropriate food carts and a fire hydrant sprinkler or two and you have an instant three month park.