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NYC Spring/Summer Guide!

Posted Apr 09 2010 12:00am

I am so behind on my NYC posts!  I totally missed my winter guide.  So I am going to pack in two seasons intp one, and hope to provide a mid-summer update later on.  I actually wrote this post on my blackberry memo pad, listening to my iPod and walking through the west village—probably not the safest way to power walk, but good city multi-tasking.

This list is a combination of:

  • my favorite warm weather traditions (so you have problem seen them on my other lists)*
  • things that I have been dying to get the chance to check out**
  • things I just found out about, but sound interesting***

Bonus: the vast majority of this list is free, dirt cheap or worth a slight splurge.

NYC Spring/Summer Fitness

Spring/Summer Arts/Culture/Outdoor Entertainment

It would be impossible to list everything, but about has some pretty comprehensive lists, here are the things on my radar:

The Beach or Close to it:

  • I love Long Beach, it’s an easy LIRR ride and a huge uncrowded, clean beach.*
  • Others love Jones Beach.**
  • Fire Island—my roomie has a share, and I fully intend to crash this summer.**

AVOID CONEY ISLAND BEACH at all costs, this is not a beach, this is a wasteland.

  • Harry’s Water Taxi Beach .  I will unabashedly say that the original LIC location is the best, but there are several outposts.*
  • Bikini Brunch at the Gansevoort. Just be careful, my girlfriend went last summer and woke up with only bikini, heels and a foreign fedora, and no recollection of anything that transpired before that.**

Outdoor Dining and Drinking

Food and Fresh Air

So sidewalk dining is all the rage in NYC. However, you do have to be careful where you opt to dine, as some sidewalks are more scenic and less smog-filled than others.  If you can find rooftops or gardens, extra credit. Good places to seek out  al fresco options include: west village, west broadway, meatpacking, Upper west Side between 62nd and 80th.

Also this is not a comprehensive list at all, just places I go or have heard are quite good.  I also owe Brooklyn a huge apology for lack of knowledge of BK dining, but I am a Queens, not Kings girl!

Rough Guide—

$ inexpensive, majority of entrees under $15

$$ moderate— majority of entrees $15-22

$$$ expensive—majority of entrees over $22

  • Pure Food and Wine Garden (duh) $$$ (gramercy)
  • Sushi Samba (roof) $$ (west village)
  • Blue Water Grill $$ (union square)
  • Coffee Shop $ (union square)
  • Republic $ (union square)
  • Salon de Ning (roof) $$$ (55th and 5th)
  • Barolo (garden) $$ (soho)
  • La Bottega (roof) $$ (meatpacking)
  • The Park (roof) $ (chelsea)
  • Paradou $$ (meatpacking)
  • Pastis $$ (meatpacking)
  • Nero $$ (meat packing)
  • Barbetta (garden) $$ (midtown west)
  • Bar Pitti $ (west village/greenwich village)
  • Il Corallo Trattoria $ (soho)
  • Caravan of Dreams $ (east village)
  • Bobo (garden) $$ (west village)
  • Fig and Olive $$ (meat packing, other locations also)
  • Cafeteria $ (chelsea)
  • The Odeon $$ (tribeca)
  • BLT Market $$ (central park south)
  • Kittichai (garden-style) $$ (soho)
  • Shake Shack, Benvenuto or Bonobos eaten in Madison Square Park $
  • Da Silvano $$$ (West Village)
  • Tabla $$ (Madison Square Park)
  • Trestle on Tenth (garden) $$ (chelsea)
  • Delicatessen $$ (soho)

Bottoms Up

$-cocktails under $10-pretty casual

$$-cocktails $10-14-semi-upscale

$$$—cocktails $15 or over—probably slightly to obnoxiously pretentious at times

  • 230 Fifth-roof top cocktails (midtown south/flatiron) $$
  • Beer Garden (Astoria) $
  • Studio Square (poshier Astoria Beer Garden) $
  • B Bar $ (east village)
  • Boat Basin Cafe $ (UWS)
  • Frying Pan $ (Chelsea)
  • The High Bar $$$ (midtown west)
  • Plunge $$$ (meatpacking)
  • Roof Garden Cafe (at the met-UES) $$
  • The Delancey (if only they will start playing music) $$ (LES)
  • Hudson Hotel Sky Terrace $$$ (midtown west)
  • The Pool Deck $$$ (midtown/63rd and bway)

Brunch it Out(side)

This is a wide variety of options from casual to chic!

  • Extra Virgin $$ (garden and sidewalk) West Village.  Expect to wait, but waiting on a charming west village street is not too painful.
  • Home (garden) $ West Village
  • Cornelia Street Cafe $ West Village
  • Ravel (Penthouse 808) (rooftop) $$ Long Island City with amazing Manhattan views.
  • Dos Caminos Meatpacking (in the former Vento space) $
  • Petite Abeille $ West Village or Grammercy
  • Alma (roof) $ (Carrol Gardens)
  • Back Forty $ (East Village)
  • Paradou $$ (meatpacking)
  • Pastis $$ (meatpacking)
  • Cafe Orlin $ (East Village)
  • 7A $ (East Village)
  • Baraonda $$ (UES)
  • Elizabeth (garden) $$ (Soho)
  • Spring Street Natural $ (Noho)
  • Pete’s Tavern $ (Gramercy)
  • Central Park Boathouse $$ (Central Park)
  • Grand Cafe $ (Astoria)
  • Cafe Gitane @ Jane Hotel (this is inside with good views, so a rainy day option—menu looks yummy and healthy) $$ (Chelsea)
  • Five Points $$ (Central Village)
  • Cafe Bar $ (astoria)
  • Arte Cafe $ (UWS)
  • Virage $ (East Village)
  • Friend of a Farmer $$ (Gramercy)

Coffee Shop Society

I really can’t think of anything more relaxing than spending a lazy weekend afternoon drinking coffee outside with a book or a friend.  This is a really skimpy list because I always go to the same places, but wander and you will find your niche.

  • 71 Irving Place (while I generally don’t consume sugary beverages, I always steal sips of my friend Inaki’s Arnold Palmers, so good!) Gramercy
  • Caffe Reggio (Greenwich Village)
  • Esperanto (East Village)
  • The Highline (Chelsea/Meatpacking)
  • Anywhere on 30th Ave in Astoria

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