Rainbow Sprinkles and Rockaway Beach: 5 Things to Love About Summer in New York

We like to complain about New York summers here at Z&S. I take it as a sign that we are becoming truly assimilated, joining the grand tradition of straphangers venting about the grind of daily life. There’s the smell and the heat, the broken down trains and the spitting air conditioners and the swarming tourists — plenty to be grumpy about. But there are also many things that make New York in the summer pretty damn dreamy. In the spirit of silver linings, here are some of my favorites.

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Up On the Roof

I’ve waxed poetic many times about the joys of my personal rooftop — which is, in fact, one of my favorite parts of the warmer months — but I am not alone in my love of the uppermost stories. When the weather gets nice, New York goes rooftop-crazy, with pop-ups and bars galore. And there’s nothing that reminds you of why you moved here quite like a cocktail or a beer enjoyed with friends while surveying the splendor of the concrete jungle from on high.

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Ferrily We Roll Along

Hate shuddering along in a sweltering underground tube while some dude’s armpit hair hovers perilously close to your face? New York summers offer a far more pleasant way to get between burrows: ferries. Whether you’re going to the Rockaways for some beach time, to Governor’s Island for some jazzy fun, to Williamsburg for a culinary smorgasbord, or to Staten Island to catch a Pizza Rats game, there is a ferry for you (all of which are the cost of a subway ride — free with an IDNYC if you’re going the Gov Island route! — and some of which serve booze).

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I Scream, You Scream

One thing I didn’t realize before I moved to New York? There is ice cream EVERYWHERE. I’m not just talking about actual storefronts (one of which is opening on my block any day now). But as soon as the temperature creeps into the 70s (or, let’s be real, the 60s) a fleet of trucks deploys to seemingly every street corner, their tinkling melodies the clarion call of summer. I love nothing more than walking through Brooklyn in the sunshine, stopping for my usual cone (chocolate merlin with swirl, in case anyone was wondering), and plopping down somewhere with a great book.

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Showtime, Showtime

Once you’ve got your cone, it’s time for some entertainment! New York is known as a cultural mecca, and come summertime it turns itself inside out and spills its music and theater and movies into parks (and parking lots) across the five boroughs. There are outdoor film screenings, outdoor concerts, outdoor Shakespeare — and, being outside in public spaces, much of it is free.

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The Great Wide Somewhere

New York is full of beautiful potential adventures. But it also offers convenient access to a wide spectrum of outdoor summer adventures for when you do need to escape the scrum. Want to feel the sand between your toes? Try Rockaway Beach. Craving a hot dog and other boardwalk treats? Don your best mermaid tail and head to Coney Island. Art your jam? Hop the train to Dia: Beacon or borrow your friend’s car and drive to Storm King. Itching to get moving? There are hiking trails of many different difficulty levels a short Metro North ride away. The world is your oyster! And when you’re done exploring, New York will be waiting with a cold beer and a platter of dollar oysters to welcome you home.

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