Seven years ago the NYC Department of Transportation began the Weekend Walks, which allowed streets all over the city to close down to traffic and allow pedestrians to take the space, in addition to artists and merchants setting up inventive opportunities for interaction with passersby. Back then it was magical just to have more space to roam on between Metropolitan and North 12th Street on Bedford Avenue or to sit on a temporary patch of grass. NAG (Neighbors Allied for Good Growth) partnered with the NYC DOT for the first five years, and for the last two years Northside Media Group (the organizers of the Northside Festival) are holding the reins instead of NAG. This has brought more corporate and global presence to the weekend’s festivities. This year Budapest, the Netherlands, and Switzerland had art projects in place.
The pace is more of a stopping and starting than a stroll in the more crowded places (especially where the concert stage is). Yet, Williamsburg Walks is still heavily about community, with participants offering creative outlets of many forms, games, and food.