Saturday Mark and I drove to the city. We planned to do some errands in the East Village, then drive up to Hell's Kitchen for some grub.
We should have taken the subway.
Around 14th Street and 8th Avenue, traffic came to a stop. Gridlock.
Cars were trying to make a turn when the light changed, but cars were already stopped in the middle of the intersection. People were honking and there was no movement for several minutes.
The reason for the hold up? Another one of those street fairs. Several blocks of Eighth Avenue were blocked off for kiosks selling hot dogs, fajitas and hats. Apparently we'd encountered the 'Chelsea Visiting Neighbors Festival', whatever that is.
I'm not vehemently against street fairs. They're a symbol of summer and as a pedestrian, they can be nice. It seems like there are so many of them though, and they all look the same. Traffic is terrible as it is. Why intentionally make things worse?
A quick look at the NYC.gov calendar shows that every Saturday and Sunday, several neighborhoods will be shut down for fairs and parades.
My advice? Walk, don't drive!