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Recap: DayLife on Orchard Street
Until yesterday, recent history dictated that fairly few people ever showed up to the Orchard Street pedestrian mall on Sundays. For the better part of a decade, the gentrification and upswell of rents basically put a choke-hold on the tradition. Sundays were usually a quiet affair between East Houston and Delancey, with the bargain-merchant holdouts barely keeping the weekly event afloat.
So the Lower East Side BID is now trying to breathe life into this institution with its DayLife pilot. Walking the three-block stretch yesterday was definitely a modern reminder of the Orchard pedestrian mall of yore, albeit catered to the “new” neighborhood demographic. Place was packed with people waiting to spend. Local retail shops and restaurants parked themselves with BID-issued pushcarts, peddling to throngs of mostly tourists and some neighbors.
There was mini-golf and ping-pong; the mobile skate repair shop Tre Truck assembled a micro-park; eight-year-old boy wonder DJ Kai Song spun the wheels of steel for a minute; and plenty of tables for eating. Two spot-showers threatened to derail DayLife, but were minor hiccups. The show went on.
The BID hopes to make DayLife a weekly occurrence on Orchard Street through the fall. Could they sustain the momentum? We’ll see what happens.