The flowers are blooming, the weather is warming up, and it’s starting to feel a lot like summer in New York City. It’s a great time to get outside, go for a run or walk, or just breathe in the fresh air. Summer also means that I get to do my favorite thing as Mayor: get on a Citi Bike and enjoy the outdoors with my fellow New Yorkers.
This year, we are making improvements to your experience in your neighborhood and across the five boroughs. This summer alone, 72 of our parks are getting improvements: from renovated playgrounds to new skateparks, and cleaner spaces for everyone. We will have 240 new city employees dedicated to cleaning parks, removing graffiti, and helping to take out trash at our city’s most popular parks during peak use hours. That means no more overflowing garbage cans — and no more rats. I hate them, you hate them, and as we welcome New Yorkers to our parks this summer, we are going to send rats packing.
For parents and families, we are hosting over 300 Movies Under the Stars screenings in parks in all five boroughs. Grab your popcorn and curl up on a blanket with family and friends to take in classic films and popular movies on the big screen, all for free.
We are investing in more activities at our parks and playgrounds. That includes Kids in Motion, which is hosting New York City children at 50 playgrounds across the city to get in shape and have fun. We will also have free classes for children to learn about nature and their environment. To find out more about programming in a park near you, visit https://www.nycgovparks.org/.
And if you prefer indoor activity, we are expanding the hours at nine of our city’s recreation centers. That means more opportunities for New Yorkers to play sports, swim, dance, and lift weights at recreation centers on nights and weekends.
We are also opening up streets across the city as part of our Open Streets program. You can step right outside your door to enjoy food, games, music, and more with friends and neighbors. This summer, Open Streets is expanding to 160 locations across the city. We also added over 400,000 square feet of permanent new pedestrian space in 2022, including six new pedestrian plazas. Street space is for everybody, and with Open Streets and new pedestrian spaces, it has never been safer or easier to enjoy your neighborhood.
This is the time to take advantage of all New York City has to offer. From live concerts to food festivals, outdoor markets, and Broadway performances, there is something for everyone. Check out https://www.nycgo.com/things-to-do/ to find events. I look forward to seeing you out there.