I took a big trip to India in February so I am staying put in the Big Apple for the summer. So many people travel to NYC for their vacations, so I treat my summers like I’m a bit of a tourist as well. I’ve rounded up some of my favorite escapes and adventures that are happening in the next few months around Manhattan. Here’s a little arts and leisure guide for you!
Brooklyn Bridge Park: Understanding. Go see this. At night. Yes, it’s a big neon word that rotates on the Brooklyn waterfront. No big deal, right? I think public art is a big deal and this did not disappoint. Super cool and contemplative. Martin Creed, from Great Britain, is the contemporary artist and this is his largest public sculpture to date. It’s on Pier 6 in Brooklyn Bridge Park. You can walk over the Brooklyn Bridge from the Manhattan side, turn right once you’re over the bridge to get to Pier 6. (You can also reward yourself with Ample Hills ice cream on the way to the pier.) It’s on display through October 2016. But walk the whole park and explore the DUMBO waterfront, it’s pretty incredible. Look to your left on your walk to see Understanding and see Tom Fruin’s stained glass water tower. It’s a treasure for the eyes.
100 Gates Project: This is listed as one of the "9 Best Spots to Take the Ultimate Instagram in Downtown NYC" by InStyle magazine and features the work of one of my dear friends, Oksana Prokopenko. Store fronts in NYC have scary, ugly metal gates that cover up their doors and windows during closed hours. This project brings art to the neighborhood and makes the sidewalks more inviting by making the utilitarian gate a thing of beauty. I love street art so much, I plan on heading down there this summer to see all 100 of them. (Look for me on Instagram. Haha.) Go to Essex Taqueria while you're down there and check out the historic Essex Street Market for some exciting food finds.
ABC Carpet and Home: If you know me, you know this is my favorite store in all of Manhattan. It’s a mecca of design, global and spiritual items, home goods, and houses my favorite NYC restaurant ABC Kitchen. If you can get there before June 12th you can see the Hallucinations exhibit. An installation of Italian glass and light. It’s truly mesmerizing, even if you only have 15 minutes to run upstairs, treat yourself.
The Rockaways: My favorite beach in the 5 boroughs! Look for the amazing stained glass on your way there at the 90th street subway stop and enjoy one of the best hamburgers I’ve ever eaten at Rippers at the 86th street beach entrance. An hour out of the city and you are on the Atlantic Ocean!
Long Island City Waterfront/Community Boathouse: My neighborhood! Get off at Vernon Jackson on the 7 train, the first stop into Queens, and walk towards the Manhattan skyline. Walk the waterfront for one of the prettiest views of the city, see the famous Pepsi sign, and go kayaking! I volunteer at the Long Island City Boathouse and you can join us for free paddles on the north end of the LIC piers at Anabel Basin. On your way back to the subway stop in at Sugarcube for the mascarpone and olive oil gelato. Go next door to Station LIC, my favorite neighborhood bar, and have a cocktail.
Amma: Amma is the hugging saint from India! Getting her hug is one of the highlights of my summer in New York City. She will be with us July 1-3 this year. It’s a beautiful experience to be embraced and blessed by this woman, whatever your faith or spiritual or even NONspiritual beliefs. There is a shop where you can buy items from India, a delicious Indian feast is served, there are massage booths, and all sorts of woo woo things you can check out.
Podcasts to check out this Summer if they’re not on your radar already.
OMFG - If OK! Magazine reads more like a "who’s that?" than a who’s who, if you have zero clue what #ILY stands for, if you wonder why that cute lesbian keeps getting into trouble, only to find it’s Justin Bieber, then you need a shot of OMFG! It's pop culture Botox! Emily Foster & Deanna Raphael are reaching out to the youth of America in an attempt to stay young and hip. Or at the very least, less lame.
Past Present - Past Present brings together three historians to discuss what's happening in American politics and culture today. Natalia, Neil, and Niki bring historical insights to the news of the day, offering listeners an alternative to the reflexive and polarized world of punditry. Interested in the world around you but exhausted by rote reactions and partisan talking points? You've come to the right place.
Say Yes - “Do one thing that scares you every day,” said Eleanor Roosevelt. This podcast is perfect if you are stuck in a life rut and you are looking for inspiring action to try something new.
And this is what I’ll be cooking this summer to bring to every rooftop gathering or park picnic. It makes a big jar for you and a big jar for a friend!
Charred Tomato Salsa
inspired by the charred tomato salsa from Canning for A New Generation
- 4 pounds tomatoes, halved lengthwise and cored
- 4 jalapeño chilis, halved lengthwise and stemmed
- 6 cloves garlic, peeled
- 1 large onion peeled and quartered
- 1 handful of cilantro, finely chopped
- 1/4 cup cider vinegar
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp black pepper
- 1 tbs sugar
Preheat broiler to high. Line a rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil. Working in batches, put the tomatoes cut side down on the baking sheet and broil for about 10 minutes, until the skin is blistered and black in places. Put the tomatoes in a large bowl and set aside. Broil the chiles, garlic, and onions until blackened. When the tomatoes are cool enough to handle, pull off the skins and throw them away. In batches, put all the broiled vegetables in a blender and pulse until just coarsely chopped. Add cilantro, vinegar, salt, pepper, and sugar. Stir well.