FROM THE MAYOR’S DESK ...
New York is always a wonderful town in the summer. This week we cut the ribbon on the newest section of Brooklyn Bridge Park at Pier 6. Last week, we opened 13 miles of public beaches, providing a great seaside escape for millions of New Yorkers and visitors. But even if you’re not a beach person, there are plenty of ways to have fun in the city, without spending a dime.
Last year, I asked City agencies to develop a huge range of free and lowcost activities in every borough. And now we’re doing it again. It doesn’t matter where you live or what you’re interested in, there’s something fun for you and your family to do this summer – for free.
For instance, why not take the free ferries to Governors Island, which are starting up this weekend? And once you’re there, check out Encounters: the free island-wide sculpture exhibition that opened yesterday and will be on display all summer.
If you’d like to see some sights that are off the beaten path, I invite you to participate in ‘Key to the City,’ an interactive public art exhibit that opened last week.
This month I will not be the only one with the power to give out a Key to the City; everyone will have the authority to do it. I invite you to come to the special kiosk in Times Square where you’ll be able to award a key to a friend, a colleague, even a complete stranger. These keys unlock special places across the city: A secret door on the fifth floor of the Brooklyn Museum of Art, for instance; a hidden room at the Louis Armstrong House in Queens; even a bedroom closet in Gracie Mansion. This fantastic project is coming to us thanks to Creative Time, which has a great tradition of putting on public art around the city.
If you’re a music lover, this is going to be a particularly great season for you. Central Park Summer Stage is celebrating its 25th anniversary this year with over 100 free concerts, dance, and theater performances throughout the city: R& B, classical, jazz — you name it! And don’t forget about the return of Make Music New York on June 21st. On that day, more than 800 concerts and musical events will take place in parks, on streets, and in other venues throughout the five boroughs. Governors Island will be transformed again into ‘Punk Island,’ with more than 100 bands pounding out 12 full hours of punk music. The office workers of Midtown will be having their own ‘battle of the bands’ in Bryant Park, and jazz musicians will revive the New Orleans “Second Line” tradition with a jazz parade from Soho to Harlem.
Or maybe you or your kids want to learn a new skill this summer. Well, you’re in luck. In conjunction with the City Parks Foundation, we offer free programs in everything from ropes courses in Alley Pond Park in Queens to free yoga classes in some of our recreation centers.
Just because the weather is warming up doesn’t mean you can’t spend time inside, too. So why not come out for the Museum Mile Festival this Tuesday, June 8th. All nine museums on Fifth Avenue – from the Met to El Museo Del Barrio – will be free to the public from 6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.
The possibilities to have fun without spending a dime are almost endless. In fact, we’ve put together a calendar of hundreds of free events and activities happening over the next few months – which you can see by visiting nyc.gov. You can also tune in to NYC Life Channel 25 and watch NYC 4 Free, a new weekly show that highlights upcoming free events around the city.