Welcome back to Summer in the City.
Memorial Day is only days away, so we’re back with suggestions for summer fun. From now until Labor Day, my fellow Metro reporter Michael Gold or I will be in your inbox talking about our favorite spots to eat, socialize and relax around New York. And, bonus!: This summer, we also have Korsha Wilson joining us — she’s a wonderful food writer and podcast host who will be highlighting food, drinks and restaurants that are worth trying.
This year, we thought it would be fun to start off with a summer bucket list. These are just suggestions, of course, so feel free to adapt or swap things out as you please. We’d also love to see your progress, so don’t hesitate to reach out to us with tips, questions and photos at [email protected] (We might feature some of our favorite ones in upcoming newsletters.)
Visit a farmers’ market. If you’re feeling adventurous, buy something you’ve never tried before. I’m planning to try a new flavor of goat cheese from Lynnhaven farm at the Grand Army Plaza Greenmarket at my next picnic in Prospect Park. If prepared food is more your speed, Korsha likes the doubles, the quintessential Trinidadian street food of flatbread and saucy stewed chickpeas, at A & A Bake and Roti Shop and at Ali’s Roti Shop in Crown Heights, as well as the jerk chicken at Peppa’s in Flatbush.
Hop on a ferry. Our editor, Dan Saltzstein, likes to take the ferry from the Hunters Point South stop in Long Island City to Brooklyn Bridge Park, where he can pop into the fireboat house on the Fulton Ferry Landing to get an Ample Hills scoop — ideally the King of Mangoes flavor, if it hasn’t sold out. Korsha likes the ferry from Midtown to Hoboken, N.J., for great nighttime views of the skyline.
Spend a day at your favorite beach. I like making gross little beach sandwiches at Jacob Riis in the Rockaways, but our colleague Amelia Nierenberg, another Times newsletter writer, likes to take the Q to Brighton Beach and pick up Uzbek food. Her favorites are the stuffed cabbage, radish and dill salad and the plov from Tashkent Supermarket.
Take a trip to one of New York’s many islands. My partner and I like to grab sandwiches from the Red Hook location of Court Street Grocers and take the ferry to Governors Island. Where else can you can eat your sandwich in a hammock?
Take a sunset stroll on the West Side of Manhattan. Korsha recommends grabbing a rice bowl at Teranga in Harlem if you’re Uptown but I love watching the sunset from the Christopher Street Pier. (If you want more sunset inspiration, I did some people watching last summer at public spaces around the city.) If you’re looking for a treat, the first two Manhattanhenges of the summer will be on May 29 and May 30 around 8:12 p.m.
Visit a new museum. I’m hoping to check out the retrospective of Raphael Montañez Ortiz at El Museo del Barrio, and the upcoming Duke Riley and Virgil Abloh exhibits at the Brooklyn Museum.
Spend an afternoon finding something new. Last summer, after a trip to Chicago was canceled by inclement weather, I visited Au Cheval and learned that there is half of a squished silver bean (much like the famed one, officially known as “Cloud Gate,” by the British artist Anish Kapoor, in Chicago) nearing completion on Leonard Street in Lower Manhattan.
A 2018 outdoor screening of the Brazilian film “Loveling” at the Socrates Sculpture Park in Astoria, Queens. The park will again be hosting a movie series this year.Credit…Emma Howells/The New York Times
Get a pizza and head to an outdoor movie screening. I like bringing the Hellboy pie (topped with soppressata picante, Parmigiano reggiano and Mike’s Hot Honey) from Paulie Gee’s to the WNYC Transmitter Park in Greenpoint. The Parks Department, Rooftop Films and the Socrates Sculpture Park in Astoria, Queens, are all showing movies throughout the summer. The Tribeca Festival is also showing an assortment of free outdoor movies (including the cinematic masterpiece “Ratatouille”) from June 9-19.
Catch a few live music shows. Celebrate Brooklyn, Lincoln Center and the Parks Department (can you tell I love public parks?) all have their calendars up for this summer.
Sports! Frankly, I do not understand baseball but Nick Bogel-Burroughs, who works on the National desk, got me into going to Brooklyn Cyclones games. I was won over: There are sometimes fireworks! There are always frozen drinks! And did I mention they celebrate Weenie Wednesdays with two-for-one hot dogs?
Try some new foods in Queens. There are dozens of food trucks, carts and restaurants on and around Roosevelt Avenue. Korsha is a fan of the goat or vegetable momos, savory dumplings served in a pool of broth, at Nepali Bhanchha Ghar in Jackson Heights.
Get your groove on. There are tango events, line dancing classes, salsa nights and silent discos all across the city. Julia Rothman, who illustrates Scratch for the Business section, is a fan of the classes at Dance Church and the Gaga.People classes at Mark Morris Dance Group.
Learn about what lives in our public parks. There are plenty of birding events, and Dodai Stewart, our Times colleague and New Yorker extraordinaire, has even signed up to work with horseshoe crabs. My mom also loves going on fungi walks led by the New York Mycological Society.
Try a new hobby. There are free kayaking lessons on the Hudson River, shuffleboard courts in Gowanus and lots of free dance and workout classes scattered around the city’s parks. (I’ve always wanted to try glass blowing, as well, but I might save that for a colder season.)
Joe’s Steam Rice Roll started out as a stand in Flushing, Queens, devoted to cheong fun, broad floppy rice noodles rolled around nubs of meat, bean sprouts and corn.Credit…Jenny Huang for The New York Times
Spend an afternoon in Manhattan’s Chinatown. Korsha recommends trying the cheong fun from Joe’s Steam Rice Roll or a roast pork and rice plate from Wah Fung No. 1. Sanam Yar, who writes about culture for The Morning, also likes bringing a sponge cake and a giant Thai iced tea from Kam Hing Bakery to the Elizabeth Street Garden to read.
Get out of town. Between Metro-North, New Jersey Transit and the Long Island Rail Road, there are plenty of ways for us carless folk to escape for a day or a weekend. The first of those will get you up to Dia Beacon, a wonderful museum, mostly of large-scale sculptures, just an hour and a half north of Grand Central Terminal.
Korsha Wilson contributed reporting.