Thinking of Summer: Then and Now

7 Summer Activities with a Grown-up Twist

As I began to break a sweat strolling around SOHO today, I realized, summer in NYC has finally arrived and frankly, it’s about time. For some reason this felt like one of the longest winters in years, and with today’s forecast finally showing 82and sunny, I’ve officially come out of my seasonal depression. This sense of summer brought back a rush of fond memories from my childhood that I keenly associate with the warm months, so I decided to compile a list of 7 summer activities recreated for city living.

  1. BBQs


The thought of spending time with friends and family, playing games and grilling in a neighborhood backyard electrifies me although living in Manhattan seems somewhat problematic. Rather than a backyard, try hosting a BBQ in one of NYC’s parks, which were ranked #2 in a recent survey of 50 cities. Often times these public parks have grills for use otherwise you can buy a portable one here for $18 and grill out on your rooftop (the ‘emergency exit roof access’ alarms are often turned off (I’ve never had an issue)).

  1. Summer Movies


While I grew up seeing summer movies in air conditioned theaters, this would be too obvious of a suggestion to beat the heat. Instead, check out the NYC summer movie guide, which outlines new movies almost every night across the city, or plan your own outdoor movie experience; with just a few dollars, a shoebox and a smartphone you can build a DIY projector and host your own outdoor viewing.

  1. Ice Pops


Everyone remembers hearing the jingle of the ice cream truck coming around the corner; the adrenaline rush of running inside to ask mom for money, hoping the truck wouldn’t leave without you, though running it down was not out of the question. Unfortunately, I can’t take credit for the name but check out these fun recipes for a grown-up twist to a seasonal classic – summer “pop-tails.”

  1. Boating


I was fortunate enough to have friends whose parents owned boats but doubt many people are going come across a motor boat in Manhattan. While you may not be able to go jet skiing, you can rent kayaks for free on the Hudson River or rent paddle and row boats in central park and other places around the five boroughs. If you’re trying to sit back and take in the sites, check out these boat tours around Manhattan’s distinctive landmarks.

  1. Pick-up Games/Activities

AWE Coedball 2

I grew up playing dozens of outdoor activities with the kids from the neighborhood – capture the flag, baseball, basketball, man-hunt and stolen bases to name a few. Pick-up basketball can be found at almost any court around the city and if you’re looking to join an intramural team, check out ZogSports for basketball and other sports leagues. If golf or tennis interests you, head to Chelsea piers’ driving range or any of these public tennis courts.

  1. Swimming


This is probably the most obvious summer activity but seemingly impossible to do in the city. While biking through central park with my roommate last weekend, I was astonished to find a massive public pool which then prompted me to investigate other swimming options around the city. Turns out there are a bunch of both pools and beaches. Take the subway out to Coney Island and try one of Nathan’s Famous hot dogs, take a roller coaster ride at Luna Park and finish up with a swim in the ocean.

  1. Lobster Rolls

Lobster Roll

To be honest, I didn’t start eating lobster rolls till a few years ago but I’m addicted to the point that I have been heavily considering opening a Lobster Truck. Despite my late-start, lobster rolls are now a summer must; my girlfriend and I started off lobster roll season the other weekend with a cook off competition (the results were inconclusive). I would share our recipes with your but in case I follow through with opening the truck, I’ll direct you to this delicious and simple recipe (try adding Old Bay seasoning and you’ll never go without it).


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