After closely dodging a major public transportation strike of the LIRR (Long Island Railroad) earlier this week (which would have trickled down to affect MTA buses and subways, thereby affecting all New Yorkers and not just those who commute into the city from suburban Long Island), folks here are still breathing a sigh of relief in this city where, it seems, nearly everyone takes public transportation. Speaking of which, the Citi Bike program has expanded its service to embrace more tourists by making it more accessible for casual one-off users. Compared to typical bike rental outlets Citi Bike's $10 for a 24-hour period seems like a deal. However the drawback is that is you only get the bike for 30-minute increments before having to re-check it out - or suffer heavy fines. More info here.
Continuing in the bike loving NYC theme, this month 122 metal bicycle sculptures (see below) have been rolled out around Manhattan and Brooklyn as part of a grand scale sculpture exhibit by 83-year-old bicycle-loving Mexico City artist Gilberto Aceves Navarro. He first created the cycle themed sculpture exhibit entitled "Las Bicicletas" in his hometown with the stated goal of celebrating both art and bike riding. Supported financially by the Parks Department and the DOT (Dept. of Transportation) the public art installation can be seen all over lower Manhattan and Brooklyn, with many strategically installed near the Citi Bike share racks. More detailed info.
New York City's annual Restaurant Week kicked off this Monday with hundreds of eateries across all five boroughs getting in on the festivities by offering an opportunity to eat at some high end restaurants for substantially less than normal prices. ("Discount dining" is the expression normally used for three course lunches for $25 and three course dinners for $38 fixed prices.) Although billed as a "week" NYC Restaurant Week runs for four weeks through August 15th. More info.
Hip-hop fans note that the Crotona Park Jams continues this week. On Thursday, July 24th, the park jam lineup includes Mix Master Ice, Kool DJ Red Alert, Rockin Rob, and Chuck City. All-ages, free event 4pm to 8pm. Click here for details.
Hip-hop fans should also take note that this Sunday, July 27th from 3pm to 7pm is the big Rock Steady Crew 37th Anniversary celebration with a big (free) concert at Summerstage in Central Park. The lineup is to die for, including The Rock Steady Crew, M.O.P., Slick Rick, Das EFX, DJ Red Alert, Cormega, Large Professor, DJ Jazzy Jay, DJ Tony Touch, DJ JS-1, and many more. Wow! Get there early for the 2pm doors an hour in advance of showtime. Last summer they had the big 40 year anniversary hip-hop celebration at the same space with a ton of amazing legendary hip-hop acts including Rakim and Big Daddy Kane; it was free too and, surprisingly, was not completely packed. That show was incredible and this one looks like it will be too. The fact that it's an event in New York City celebrating an art form/musical movement that began in New York City makes it all the more profoundly enjoyable. SummerStage, Central Park, Manhattan (enter at 67th Street on the Fifth Avenue side of the park and walk straight across to venue) Sunday, July 27 - Doors at 2:00pm. Show at 3:00pm until 7pm. Free. All-ages. More info.
The summer tradition of Flicks on the Beach continues every Monday evening when a section of Coney Island beach gets transformed into a movie theater to screen a schedule of recent era big Hollywood action hit movies - sort of like the schedule at the 23rd Street screen over at Hudson Park. This free series of fan favorite screenings at Coney Island runs through August 18th, with a free, all-ages screening of The Lego Movie this Monday, July 28th at 8:20pm. The screening follows a 7:30pm live set by the legendary Coney Island Circus Sideshow. The theater will be set up on the Coney Island beach between West 10th and West 12th Streets Take F or B train and walk down boardwalk. Also happening for free this weekend will be Kings of Leon at SummerStage on July 25th and Roberta Flack at Lincoln Ctr Out of Doors on Saturday July 26th.