How to Summer in the City
S U M M E R.
Beach, barbecues, sail boats, cocktails (and cocktail dresses) on the lawn. All things I associate with summer. But that’s a summer that doesn’t quite exist in the concrete jungle of New York. So if you aren’t able to be in the Hamptons, Nantucket, Newport or Maine - don’t fret. You can still enjoy the season that makes those harsh New York winters worth it - right in Manhattan.
We all know it can get H O T here. And with no sea breeze or fresh mountain air, what’s a summer city dweller to do? Besides make vacation plans, of course. As a full time summer enthusiast - I have found a way to enjoy those hot city days and nights when commitments require me to be here and not in a breezy hammock somewhere.
The first step is to find a pool where you can play hooky on one of those 95+ degree days in the city that happen all too frequently in July and August.
Your first stop should be Dream Downtown, where you can enjoy Dream Beach NYC, their urban “beach” with great cocktails and snacks from Bodega Negra. You can purchase a day pass even if you aren’t staying at the hotel but be sure to get there early to get one of the lounge chairs. After arrival - spend the day perched on a pool float tanning or enjoying fish tacos - and then make your way to one of the Chelsea or Meatpacking hotspots when the sun goes down. It gets crowded but nothing like Jimmy at the James (which doesn’t require a day pass). Even if you are partial to the beach - this pool is one of the best open to the public in New York with sand to transport you away from steamy New York.
If you are looking for a great drinking and playing locale - head to the Blue Ribbon Beer Garden at the SIXTY LES for a spot perfect for a beer and a game of Jenga. There is a good breeze and it’s the perfect outdoor spot for someone who wants activities but can’t make it out of the city for a game of tennis and drink.
If it doesn’t feel like summer unless you’re on the water - head to the Hudson River boat turned restaurant/bar (no, not The Frying Pan), Grand Banks. The refurbished boat is the perfect place for oysters, rose and views of the Statue of Liberty. Whether you head there after a day at the office or for some day drinking - this place is one of the best to enjoy summer accompanied by libations and water vistas.
And what would summer be without Lobster? If you aren’t fortunate enough to be getting it right off the docks in New England - fear not. You can still enjoy lobster creations of all types right in Manhattan at Red Hook Lobster Pound in the East Village. Whether you stick with a classic lobster roll or opt for the Mexican corn with lobster, lobster mac and cheese or lobster grilled cheese - you will forget you’re off Bowery and feel like you’re in Kennebunkport - if only for a few bites.
If you need some grade A fish tacos and guacamole (and, who doesn’t?), under an umbrella - head to Seamore’s for fresh seafood and a prime Nolita street corner shaded by the perfectly black and white striped umbrellas.
For a classic outdoor eating situation - look no further than Bar Pitti. While sometimes criticized as overhyped and overpriced, Bar Pitti is a summer (and all seasons, strong hold). With a large sidewalk eating area right on 6th Ave, the people watching is good enough to enjoy a meal by yourself. Go for the scene but stay for the signature rigatoni (or spaghetti vongole, pappardelle or really any of the pastas).
And since this is NYC - summer is practically synonymous with rooftop drinking. If you are in need of a rooftop option - head to Mr. Purple on the LES, Hotel Hugo overlooking the Hudson or The Refinery Rooftop a stone’s throw from your cubicle in midtown.
Summer in New York City doesn’t have to be hot and miserable. Whether it’s a rooftop, boat or pool - remember that even if you aren’t at the beach - summer isn’t a location it’s a lifestyle. Never be a part time summer enthusiast. Always opt for that cocktail or beer with lunch, it is after all, 80 degrees and we just made it through winter. That’s something to celebrate.