Tag: summer

Beating the Heat in NYC

Starting this week, a major heatwave is hitting the East Coast, and New York is hardly safe from its sun rays.  New York is a great city, but the heat can sometimes get unbearable in the summer.  You might want to just blast your AC and not leave your apartment for a week, but if you’re not taking advantage of what New York has to offer, even when it is boiling hot out, then you’re doing it wrong.  Luckily, there are fun ways to beat the heat in NYC.  Here are a couple ideas:

Free city pools: There’s plenty of fun free stuff to do in New York in the summer, such as concerts in the parks, outdoor movie screenings and parades.  But most notably, the NYC Parks Department opens the gates to public pools around the city.  Manhattan has 16 public pools alone.  Bring a swimsuit, a towel and a combination lock, and you’re ready to go.

Boat rides: If the heat of the concrete gets to be too much, you can still sightsee from the water.  New York has plenty of cruises allowing you to check out the sights from the water.  There are plenty of guided boat rides, with fun and entertaining guides who offer both great views and interesting facts.  

Kayak on the Hudson: While you might be tempted to jump into the Hudson, that isn’t the best idea.  But the New York City Downtown Boathouse has three kayak docks open to the public from May through October on weekends and holidays.  The kayak, life vests and paddles are all provided, and it’s 100% free.  

Get some frozen treats: The ice cream trucks on every corner are only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to New York treats to cool you down.  You can grab delicious ice cream from Emack & Bolio’s in the Upper West Side or Ample Hills in Gowanus, or maybe a frozen dark & stormy or margarita at Battery Harris in Greenpoint.  

New York Public Library: All locations of the New York Public Library offer free Wi-Fi and blast AC, while offering quiet reading corners.  

Go to the movies: This is the season of the summer blockbuster, sitting in a dark, air-conditioned theater to watch entertaining flicks.  You can see all sorts of movies at the different theaters around the city, from the newest Marvel movie to an indie French flick from the 60s.  

Visit museums: You know what’s also got AC?  Museums!  Not only that, but they offer terrific art, and most of them aren’t expensive at all (places like the Met and the Museum of Natural History have “suggested donations”, but you can get away with just paying a dollar).  There are all sorts of museums around New York, so you’ll have plenty of options.

Drink outdoors: I’ve written about outdoor drinking in New York before, and there are some great outdoor spots all over the city.  If you’re into ice cold beer, you can grab a mug at Bohemian Hall in Astoria, Beekman in FiDi or Radegast in Williamsburg.  There are plenty of outdoor bars around the city, such as Loopy Doopy in FiDi, Blockheads in Hell’s Kitchen or Northern Territory in Greenpoint.

Rooftop Farming In New York This Summer

If you were thinking about a summer garden but you got distracted with other things this spring, you might think that it’s too late to plant a garden this summer.  But it isn’t too late just yet; you can plant plenty of veggies, herbs and flowers this summer.  I recently came across an article about creating a rooftop garden in New York this summer, which interviews rooftop farmer Annie Novak.  

If you’re starting your season late, look for crops that mature within the time frame of your growing season.  For example, many tomatoes bear fruit within 55-90 days.  If the transplant doesn’t have a tag that says says how long it takes to grow, then you can look up the variety online and see how many days there are between planting and harvesting.  Then figure out how many days you have left until the frost.  You’ll want to harvest before Halloween, which is typically when the first real cold spell hits New York.  Typically, any crop that you eat for the root, stem or leaf can be planted twice within a season, while the plants you harvest for the fruit/flower/seed do best when only planted once.  

Container growings, which are really the only way to grow in New York, depend on all sorts of variables: the material and size, what growing medium you use, how much sun it gets, the list goes on and on.  But the key is drainage.  Make sure that both water and air can move through your soil.  Healthy soil promotes bigger populations of the right microorganisms, which are the key to plant health.  You’ll know if your growing medium is too dry or waterlogged by how it looks, feels and smells.  

Apart from what containers you use, keep weather conditions in mind.  There are, thankfully, a few simple workarounds.  For one, use a higher-volume container that can help stop the growing media from cooking.  If you’re using basic potting mix, add in compost.  And if your plants are really struggling, then continue to select for plants that handle hot growing conditions well.  For example, if you’re having trouble with heat, go for peppers over tomatoes, which can handle heat much better.

Visit the Beach This Summer

Memorial Day is just around the corner, the official start to the summer season.  New York might not have as many beaches as, say, Los Angeles or Miami, but they do have three that stand out: there’s the Rockaways and Jacob Riis out in Queens, and Coney Island out in Brooklyn.  They might not be the best beaches in the country, yet they offer a unique experience that you really can’t get anywhere else in New York.  This summer, all three of these beaches are offering new food stalls and storefronts to provide additional attractions.  Here is a guide to what you can expect this summer, from an article that I found on Timeout New York:

Jacob Riis: The Riis Park Bazaar features some great standards, such as Ample Hills and Fletcher’s BBQ, but there will will be some other additions this summer.  Brothers Max and Eli Sussman, the men behind Roberta’s Pizza and Mile End Deli, will be opening Ed & Bev’s coney-dog stand and Samesa shawarma.  Other additions include Whit’s End Neapolitan pizzeria, fruit-popsicle Trop Pops, Lizzmonade, Mighty Edible jerk chicken and La Newyorkina.  

Coney Island: Starting on May 27 and going until November 1, Dinosaur BBQ will be bringing their pulled pork and chicken wings to a location near Nathan’s Famous.  If you aren’t in the mood for hot dogs or barbecue, then stop by the new IHOP location at 1019 Surf Avenue, which will be opening in July.

Rockaway: Tacoway Beach will be slinging their famous fish tacos at the Rockaway Beach Surf Club this summer, in addition to a weekly Family Meal series that spotlights goods from local fishermen and farms.  Rockaway Brewing Company will be debuting two projects: a pop-up outdoor beach bar on Beach 67th and a temporary tasting room.  Sharky’s will be opening at Beach 97th and selling four types of grilled cheese, Beach Bistro 96 will be offering French-Brazilian food and a new museum about Rockaway’s surf culture will feature a bakery.  If you’re more into healthy options, Brothers will be debuting at the Beach 106th Street Concession stands with smoothies, toasts and grain bowls.