I’ve been very forthcoming on this blog about my preference for the colder months. I tend to prefer the produce selection of the fall, and I love a good layer sweater. However, I do have to hand it to New York City in the summer; there are endless things to do and places to explore. I’ve done my best to whittle it down to five categories, but there is no possible way I could address everything, much less have experienced it all for myself. But here’s to another year of trying!
image supplied by Unsplash
Things to Do Outside of The City: sometimes the heat coming at you from both above below the ground, combined with the immense number of people on city streets, means it is time to hightail it outof there. Fortunately, with great public transportation and proximity to numerous parks, this is a great way to spend a day. One of my favorite day trips up the Hudson River was to visit the Franklin D. Roosevelt Presidential Library and Museum and the Eleanor Roosevelt Center at Val-Kill. There is also great hiking in the Hudson River Valley. My most recent excursion was with my parents and cousin John; we spent a beautiful day on a trail outside the village of Cold Spring. (Some of us perhaps enjoyed the French food at the completion of the hike more than the actual trek, but that’s neither here nor there).
So Many Beaches: the city also provides numerous opportunities for the more traditional beach day. There is Coney Island, of course, with its amusement park, boardwalk, hot dogs, and annual mermaid parade. Jones Beach is one of the more fastidiously maintained beaches on Long Island, and it also boasts a stadium that hosts big-name concerts for the summer season. And that’s about the extent of my beach knowledge for New York. I know there are some less-populated options out there; maybe I’ll find a few this summer.
City Parks: the many parks throughout the city offer lots of (free!) things to do in the summer, including public pools, concert series, movies, people-watching, picnicking, shade; and general good times, even if they are a little crowded.
Things to Do Inside: toward the end of July and into August, the heat and humidity can become somewhat unbearable. In those moments, seeking refuge in air-conditioned places is the best respite. The Metropolitan Museum of Art is worth at least one visit per summer to check out the rooftop exhibit, which changes yearly. For the price of admission to the museum (which is as little or as much as you wish to pay) you gain access to the roof with amazing views of Central Park and Manhattan in general, and the special exhibition. This year it is a large-scale sculpture from the artist Cornelia Parker which most resembles the house from Hitchcock’s Psycho – fun!
Food: finally, the food! New York is a great destination for food year round, but especially during the summer. Every weekend sees street food fairs with many vendors selling every type of food imaginable. This past weekend I checked out the Queens International Night Market on the grounds of the New York Hall of Science in Flushing Meadows Corona Park, the site of not one, but two twentieth century World’s Fairs. Between myself and the friends I was with, we sampled food from Colombia, Korea, Taiwan, and Vietnam. Some of it–spicy sweet potato noodles– was even gluten free!