Summer 2014: Doing It Well, New York City-Style

Manhattan skyline
The lower Manhattan Skyline

“Let’s make this the summer of doing things,” Ayaz suggested a few months back.

I’m not sure what I replied to him in that moment, but I’m pretty certain it fell into the category of, “Damn straight, Nanji!”

We were in the midst of our South American travels, and plotting a course of action for our summer months, with New York City as a backdrop.

Today, nearly a month into my newest location independent jaunt, let me give you a little glimpse of what Gotham has dished out and what I’ve been greedily snarfing down. And amazingly, for a change, it’s not just food!

As I anticipate the “doing” will continue at full throttle, I hope to make this a recurring series of “Summer in New York City” posts, which can hopefully inspire you all.

Also, if you have any tips or suggestions for things we must do, post away in the comments, below!

Central Park

Central Park pond
Central Park pond

I feel like the luckiest girl in the world to be living 2 ½ blocks from the world’s greatest urban park. The proximity means that my morning exercise routine involves a walk through the park’s twisting Bramble, over bridges, and past lakes. This, friends, is true love.


summerstage central park
Summerstage in Central Park

Summerstage concerts in Central Park may be the best thing going during the summer months. At least, they are very, very close to my heart. Throughout summer, a variety of concerts and events take place in Central Park and other parks across the boroughs. Best part? Many of them are free.

We’ve seen the likes of the DJ Black Coffee, and Jon Batiste and Stay Human + Hypnotic Brass Ensemble — which was mind-blowing.

summerstage central park
Can’t afford tickets? Concert sold out? Have a picnic outside the venue!

Because the stage is outdoors and all concerts are audible, it’s also possible to bring a picnic and wine (in plastic bottles!) and camp out on the lawn surrounding the stage — this way if a show is sold out or too pricey, you can still hear it. I did this for Counting Crows most recently, and it was fab.

Outdoor Rooftop Bars

Family and friends at The Standard
Family and friends at The Standard

All city-dwellers would give a pinky toe for outdoor space, and so the novelty of the outdoor rooftop bar is not to be underestimated. When the temps rise and these bars open, it’s a GOOD time. There are a number of good spots in the city, but I recently had a blast at the weekly Select Summer Friday’s party held at Le Bain at The Standard Hotel.

While the views are mind-boggling, the experience was extra awesome because my sister, Dana and brother-in-law, Andy were visiting, and we went to the party with her college friend, Ted. Much hilarity ensued, and highlights most definitely included sipping the living daylights out of Ginger Love cocktails. Nope, I have no recollection what they contained but I still dream of them…ahh…

ginger love cocktail
Sippin’ on Ginger Love with my sister

Another unexpected winner was the rooftop bar at the NYLO Hotel in the Upper West Side. It’s small, and not really known except for its guests, but the views were also great and it was pleasantly uncrowded (a rarity on the NYC rooftop bar scene.).

NYLO views
The view from the NYLO Hotel rooftop bar

Yankee Stadium

yankee stadium
Buy me some peanuts and Cracker Jacks … at Yankee Stadium…

Take me out to the ballgame, please! Go all-American and get thee to a baseball game at the new Yankee Stadium. Baseball games are so darn summery and awesome, and while I can’t say that this was my favorite stadium experience (it’s a little soulless if we’re being honest here), any game is just a good, old-fashioned time. While you’re there, eat hot dogs. Many hot dogs.

Metropolitan Opera’s Summer Recital Series

These free events let opera fans catch performances from some of the Met’s rising stars, live and in various outdoor parks throughout the city. Pro-tip: It’s possible to bring your own food and drink (read: wine) as long as it’s in plastic containers.

Picnic in the Park

picnic in central park
Ayaz enjoying a picnic in the park.

When you live this close to the park there’s no reason to eat dinner in the apartment. Well, sometimes there is, sure, but when you’re up for the jaunt, bring a blanket and enjoy the cool, evening air while you scarf homemade (or Fairway-purchased) goodies.

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