Memorial Day is less than two weeks away. In recent years I’ve spent the weeks around Memorial Day looking for a subletter, packing up my room, and getting ready to devote my season to summer theatre. Not so this year! This year I’m spending my summer in New York City, and I couldn’t be more excited about it!
My first, and only, two summers in NYC were magical, at least that’s how I remember them. It’s been five years! There is so much to do here in the summer, much of it is free. Parks beckon, all grass becomes prime public real estate, and an early morning walk with an iced coffee in hand makes you feel NYC is the greatest city in the world. This is the time of year all seasons of Sex and the City take place. For a gal who’s first impression of living in the city was seen through the glamorous perspective of that show, summer feels like a return to idealized New York.
I know there’s a dark side, a sweaty under belly. The heat gets sweltering, things start to get smelly, I’m aware. But I love NY in sickness and in heat. I’m kind of a freak. As long as I’m not in Hell, I like the heat. I like never wearing a jacket. I like showing off my legs in flimsy dresses that barely touch my skin. I’m a New York Cliché- I live for strappy sandals. Those two summers I spent in NYC? I didn’t have AC for either. Yeah, you read that right: I survived 2 summers in New York City with no air conditioning. It’s my X-Men mutant power: being cold all the time. Yep, I’ve evolved to beat the heat. Fact: I have naturally low blood pressure. That said, I am getting AC this year. I may have mutant powers, but I’m too old for sweaty sheet shit.
Summer kicks off in a mere 13 days. While we wait, here are 10 Reasons Summer 2014 in NYC Will Be Fabulous
1. Governor’s Island is open 7 days a week for the first time ever! You know I love this magical island, accessible only by a 10 minute ferry from the city. Previously only open on the weekends, this year it’s open every day of the week! There’s always something specially going on here, this year Hammock Grove is getting the most buzz. Everyone’s new favorite summer hang out.
2. A hybrid of an ice cream sandwich and macaron now exists. I talk about Macaron Day almost more than I do Christmas. J’adore macarons. Well the genius behind NYC Macaron Day, Francois Payard, has created this incredible new ice cream dessert. This is my summer diet, bikinis be damned.
3. You can see John Lithgow, Lily Rabe (and 2 whole awesome casts) perform world class theatre FOR FREE. Shakespeare in the Park has delivered some of the best NYC theatre I have ever seen. This year the season starts June 3rd to July 6th with Much Ado About Nothing then from July 22 to August 17th comes King Lear, a Shakespearian tragedy I have never seen performed! How do you get tickets to Shakespeare in the Park 2014? I worked as an usher my first summer in the city- find all my tips on scoring tickets: Here
4. My roommate got a job bar tending at the Frying Pan. The Frying Pan is a ship that sunk in the Chesapeake Bay for 3 years. Later resurrected, sailed to NYC, and now she’s a floating restaurant/bar harbored in the Hudson! Who doesn’t want to board a boat that was sunk for years? Besides, there’s nothing more summery than sitting on a boat sipping shandies, hanging out with your girl friends. I’ve heard it gets pretty crazy on Friday and Saturday nights, so this is where you’ll find me for early evening happy hours.
5. I’m running for the title of Picnic Queen of the Tri-State Area. I want to have as many picnics as possible this summer: after work, on the weekends, lunch hour. Hungry? Let’s have a picnic? The Frying Pan too crowded? Let’s go sit on some grass with contraband wine! I love picnics, there can never be enough.
6. I will finally watch Back to the Future for the first time EVER, on a big screen, sitting on a blanket, in a lawn, in a McCarren Park. Yep, never seen Back the Future before. Remember, it’s top of the list of Movies I’m A Freak For Never Having Seen? But this summer that will all change thanks to free outdoor movie screenings! NYC’s park host nearly 100 screenings from June to September. Blockbusters, classics, family flicks- there’s something for everyone. A comprehensive list of what’s being shown and where: here. Grab a picnic blanket, some friends, and a thermos full of white wine (er – grape juice if any one asks) and watch a movie in a park. A spritz of bug spray and you’re set.
7. Rompers and crop tops are huge trends. I’ve been into jumpsuits since 2008, my first summer in NYC (mention one in my 4th blog entry: 6/20/2008). Long, long before they became stocked on the racks at Forever 21. For some reason I’m proud of this fact, like it gives my fashion cred. The point is, I love summer fashion. I will not miss sneakers and sweat pants, the uniform of theatre rehearsals. Hello strappy sandals and sundresses, the suggested attire for summer city streets.
8. If a crop top is still too much fabric for your tastes, I’ll give you a perfect reason to walk around town with no shirt on. Ever wanted to run a marathon but been to scared to? I have you’re fucked unless it’s truly catastrophic health insurance, I can’t afford to hurt myself running. But walking? That doesn’t sound so much like torn ligaments waiting to happen. On July 26th the second annual Moon Walk takes place. Walking a marathon, in the middle of the night, everyone wears decorated bras, and all proceeds benefit cancer research. This is what I was promoting last year in my bra! It sounds like a blast for a great cause. I met the woman who started it last year, she’s super sweet. Can’t wait to experience the energy of walking a marathon!
9. I can finally attend The Jazz Age Lawn Party. Betcha read The Great Gatsby in high school. Betcha fell a little in love with the 1920’s. I know I did. My vivid imagination brought those parties to life in my mind and I felt a little sad my prom had some forgettable “Night to Remember” theme rather than “Pretend It’s Prohibition Era Cause You’re Underage!” The roaring 20s, art deco, speakeasies- all so easily romanticized. Here’s a party that embraces all that! For two weekends of the summer June 14-15 and August 16-17, Governor’s Island becomes a true time warp, plunging us back to this swell era. A fashion show of period (that means wool!) swimwear, live bands playing the hottest jazz, dance lessons. 1920’s attire is strongly encouraged. I’m gonna learn to Charleston, sip bathtub gin & tonics, and people watch ’til my heart sings! This event is not free, but it’s worth the (reasonable) ticket price. More info here.
10. Coney Island in all its New York cliché glory and splendor. I’ve been to Coney Island on New Year’s Day to work an event at the Polar Bear Plunge. I’ve been to Coney Island at dawn on Easter Sunday to watch the sun rise. I’ve never been to Coney Island during the summer. I want to see the Mermaid Parade, ride the Cyclone, and eat and chocolate dipped cone on the boardwalk. It’s about time.
Let me know if you want to hear more of my reasons why this NYC summer is gonna rock. I know all my email subscribers got a long. unedited list yesterday- sorry about that!
What are you most looking forward to this summer? And what are you most looking forward to me covering on my blog?