REJOICE! It is summer time in New York City! While many urbanites like to get out of town when the temps go up, New Yorkers know that summer in NYC is something to look forward to all year long. The sunshine seems to bring out the best in all of us, so there’s never a better time to grab your group of friends and hit up one of the many wonderful outdoor spaces, free events, or activities the city has to offer. The extra hustle and bustle (and great weather) means it’s also a great time for visitors, since there’s so many things that adults and kids alike can all enjoy
It’s no surprise that on Friday afternoons, there’s lots of chatter at Appaman HQ about how we’re all planning on spending our upcoming weekend. We love to share recommendations for great neighborhood hot spots, fun new restaurants, upcoming shows or events, the best places to take out of towners, and sometimes, where we can go to get a little peace and quiet.
So, we present, the Appaman staff’s best insider tips for a great summer in the city:
Eat And Drink
We love going to brunch and taking out of towners with us. There are tons of places in cute, walkable neighborhoods, like the West Village, which are always nice for a post-meal stroll.Try:
Jeffrey’s Grocery – 172 Waverly Place
Will says: “One of my favorite places to go eat and have some drinks is Harlem Public and it’s sister bar next door At The Wallace. Harlem Public has very diverse crowd, casual fun atmosphere with great food. Then next door, same owners, At The Wallace has giant Jenga and board games to play while you drink! Check it out!”
Harlem Public & At The Wallace
Outdoor Lunch in Manhattan
We love the outdoor market that’s open near Appaman’s showroom by Herald Square, called Urban Space/Broadway Bites. There are about 30 food stands located on Broadway, between 32nd and 34th, with a huge variety of food, from Turkish, Asian, or Mexican to crepes and macarons, and lots of refreshing beverages (some alcoholic, some not!) They’re all from existing restaurants and bakeries around Manhattan and surrounding boroughs.
Urban Space/Broadway Bites — Broadway, between 32nd and 34th Streets
Ample Hills ice cream shop in Prospect Heights, Brooklyn is an incredible destination. The flavors are exotic and it’s all made in house. It’s like a bespoke creamery….very Brooklyn.
Ample Hills Creamery (Prospect Heights) – 623 Vanderbilt Ave, Brooklyn
For more sweet treats, try coffee shakes at Odd Fellows (Williamsburg), or Cronut creator Dominique Ansel’s new take on soft serve ice cream (One is flavored with burrata – an Italian cheese made from mozzarella!)
Dominique Ansel Kitchen — 137 7th Ave S.
Get Out Of Town
Sometimes the best “city” activities are not in the city at all! There are many ways to get out into nature that are easily accessible from New York.
Alyssa says: “Escape the city for a day and head to South Mountain Reservation, a a 2,110-acre nature reserve located 20 miles outside of the city between Millburn, West Orange and Maplewood New Jersey. It offers 50 miles of hiking trails with views of New York City, a 25-foot waterfall at Hemlock Falls, streams, fishing pond and picnic areas and open fields.
The Turtleback Zoo is also located on the property, which has animals from all over the world, a tree top adventure course for adults and kids, mini golf, and paddle boats. Also on the property is McLoon’s Boat House, a beautiful restaurant on the water.”
South Mountain Reservation – W South Orange Ave, Short Hills, NJ 07078
Lynn says: “We love Fort Tilden Beach. It’s gorgeous, not crowded and a wonderful place to go for a day outside the city.” Insider tip: To get to Fort Tilden, which is National Park Service property, park at Jacob Riis beach and go to the southern end. You can’t get to it by walking down the shore, but there are paths that will take you to the beach area.
City Living, Summer Style
Doing an evening BBQ down on Pier 6 in Brooklyn is a great way to spend an evening overlooking the city views, watching the sunset and exploring the incredible waterfront park. There are six piers of playgrounds, walking trails, bike paths, soccer fields and basketball courts. It’s an incredible addition to Brooklyn and appreciated by all.
Pier 6, Brooklyn Bridge Park
Katie says, “I am always impressed by the free programs available at Brooklyn’s Prospect Park. BRIC Arts Media’s summer series, Celebrate Brooklyn, offers an amazing selection of concerts & performances from popular (often world renowned) artists, as well as movie screenings in the Prospect Park Bandshell, most of them for free. It’s an excellent outdoor venue (especially for the price), with great sound quality and not a bad seat in the house. People of all ages gather with picnic blankets to enjoy the evening. It would even be great for a family with young teens who want to do something cool that’s not specifically kid-focused. You can bring your own food or by snacks from vendors. Get there early though — the popular events can have extremely long lines.”
Since 1965, the New York Philharmonic has offered a handful free outdoor park performances all around New York City (including Prospect Park), allowing thousands of New Yorkers from all walks of life the chance to experience some truly spectacular, world class music, at absolutely no cost. We highly recommend taking the opportunity to see some of the best orchestras in the world perform in the beautiful, relaxed outdoor setting of NYC’s public parks. The fireworks that follow are also some of the best we’ve EVER seen. Trust us — it will be a magical evening. Tip: Sit towards the center of the audience (even if you’re far away) for the best acoustics.