101 things to do in New York City in the summer
Fri Jun 3 2011
Cut a rug by the Hudson
Photograph: Garrett Koeppicus
Boulder in Central Park
Photograph: Jolie Ruben
Slug iced coffee brewed for 20 hours at Blue Bottle Coffee
Photograph: Jolie Ruben
Vacation at a tiki bar like Painkiller
Explore City Island
Watch rock & roll films, Hedwig and the Angry Inch, in Coney Island
Cut a rug by the Hudson
61. Cut a rug by the Hudson
Ever wanted to dance with the devil in the pale moonlight? We're sorry to inform you Beelzebub's washing its hair (we checked), but find another partner and head to Hudson River Park's MoonDance series to hot step to salsa, swing or tango with music by live bands. Arrive at 6:30pm for a dance lesson before that night's orchestra strikes up and practice your steps as the sun sets over Jersey—the romantic view should help your partner forgive you for treading on their toes. Pier 84, W 44th St at the Hudson River (212-627-2020, hudsonriverpark.org). Sun 6:30--10pm, July 10--Aug 7; free.
62. Light up at a bar
Bring up to ten of your buddies and smoke your meat in the 1,500-square-foot back area at Williamsburg watering hole East River Bar. Don't delay, the bar plans to start charging for use of its grills soon. For more options, check out our roundup of bars with bring-your-own-meat grilling policies for more options. 97 South 6th St between Bedford Ave and Berry St, Williamsburg, Brooklyn (718-302-0511, eastriverbar.com)
63. Boulder in Central Park
According to Garrett Koeppicus, from Brooklyn Boulders climbing gym (brooklynboulders.com), Central Park has more than one 100 routes with which to challenge yourself. One of the most popular spots is Rat Rock, in the southwest area of the park (enter at Columbus Circle)—it offers around 14 routes graded between V0 and V10, with plenty of easy beginner climbs. A less crowded (but more litter-strewn) spot is Worthless Boulder on the north end of the park (enter at 110th St and Seventh Ave). Here advanced climbers can test themselves on a steeper overhanging boulder. Just make sure you take a friend along as a spotter. centralparknyc.org
64. Slug iced coffee brewed for 20 hours
At Williamsburg caffeine haven Blue Bottle Coffee, baristas pour four liters of water into a huge globe sitting atop a Kyoto slow-drippers. The water filters through at a rate of one drop every one to two seconds, meaning the coffee brews for 12 to 20 hours before being refrigerated. Try the Kyoto coffee black over ice ($4.25), but be warned: It's served undiluted, so it has a caffeine kick like a mule. 160 Berry St between North 4th and 5th Sts, Williamsburg, Brooklyn (718-387-4160, bluebottlecoffee.net)
65. Feast on amazing lobster rolls
Craving some fresh, affordable lobstah? During the week, Red Hook Lobster Pound's food truck shells out just-off-the-boat Maine lobster rolls ($16) throughout Manhattan (follow its Twitter feed, @redhooklobster, for location updates). On weekends, catch them at either Brooklyn Flea locale: On Saturdays in Fort Greene (176 Lafayette Ave between Clermont and Vanderbilt Aves, Fort Greene, Brooklyn; 11am--5pm) or on Sundays in Williamsburg (27 North 6th St at Kent Ave, Williamsburg, Brooklyn; 11am--5pm).
66. Play pickup volleyball in Tribeca
Work up a sweat after work during Battery Park City's free pickup volleyball games, which go down each Wednesday atop Esplanade Plaza. The coed matches are meant to be fun (no pro spikers, please), and a scorekeeper and balls are available at each game. Battery Park City, enter at Liberty St at South End Ave (212-267-9700, bpcparks.org). Wed 6--7:30pm; free. Through Sept 28.
67. Vacation at a tiki bar
Pretend you're on that tropical vacation you can't afford at Lower East Side cocktail haven Painkiller. Once you toss back a few classic mai tais (Jamaican rum, over-proof demerara rum, lime juice and house-made orgeat and curaao; $12), you won't know the difference between Tahiti and Delancey. Go on a tour of the tropics by visiting all of the spots in our roundup of beachy bars. 49 Essex St between Grand and Hester Sts (212-777-8454, painkillernyc.com). Mon--Thu, Sun 6pm--2am; Fri, Sat 6pm--4am.
68. Explore City Island
Spend the day in a sleepy seaside destination without leaving NYC. The Bronx's City Island is just a short public-transit trek away (take the 6 train to the end of the line and then hop on the BX29 bus to City Island) and offers fresh seafood and a sea breeze. Enjoy a bowl of clam chowder ($3.50) at on one of the outdoor picnic tables at Johnny's Famous Reef (2 City Island Ave; 718-885-2086), peruse the City Island Historical Society and Nautical Museum (190 Fordham St; 718-885-0008, cityislandmuseum.org; Sat, Sun 1--5pm) and, if you're a movie buff, ask locals to point you to the beautiful old home known as the Queen Anne, which was seen in both The Royal Tenenbaums and Long Day's Journey Into Night.
69. Watch rock & roll films in Coney Island
Enjoy screenings of Hedwig and the Angry Inch (June 25), Rock 'n' Roll High School (July 9), This Is Spinal Tap (July 16), Don't Look Back (Aug 27) and other essential rock movies during the Coney Island Film Society's Rock 'n Roll Summer series. Each Saturday-night shindig kicks off with old-timey drive-in movie trailers at 8:15pm. In true rocker fashion, booze is available for purchase at the back bar. Coney Island Museum, 1208 Surf Ave at 12th St, Coney Island, Brooklyn (coneyisland.com). Sat 8:30pm, doors 8pm; $6. Through Sept 17.
70. Picnic at the site of a former loony bin
Talk about change: Randalls Island once housed institutions for quarantined smallpox victims and the clinically insane; now it's home to the Randall's Island Sports Foundation, a nonprofit organization that recently added more than 60 fields accommodating a variety of sports. Visitors can picnic on many of the grassy expanses in the 273-acre park, but a grilling area can be found at the south end near the Sunken Meadow baseball fields. Randalls Island Park, 1 Randalls Island (randallsisland.org)