Staycations from A (adventure) to S (sex)
21 classic in-town getaways for every mood.
Mon May 31 2010
Pools and decks
If it doesn't feel like summer until you're oiled up and stretched out poolside with a pina colada in hand, we commend you for your unabashed cheesiness. Indulge those whims by booking a room at the Empire Hotel (44 West 63rd St at Broadway; 212-581-5290, empirehotelnyc.com; starting at $309) where the rooftop pool is accessible to hotel guests by a private elevator. For those who prefer to breaststroke for free, the Floating Pool at Barretto Point Park (near the intersection of Tiffany St and Viele Ave, Bronx; 718-430-4601, nycgovparks.org; open daily 11am-7pm) opens June 29 and offers free swimming classes for kids throughout the summer (call for schedules). Brooklynites can take free dips in the Olympic-size Red Hook Pool (Red Hook Park, Bay St at Henry St, Red Hook, Brooklyn; 718-722-3211, nyc.gov/parks; 11am-8pm), which opens June 28. It does get crowded, so come during the daily early bird swim (7-8:30am) to avoid the hordes of doggie-paddlers, If it's lounging and drinking you're most concerned with, look no further than swanky rooftop hotspot Highbar (251 48th St between Broadway and Eighth Ave; 212-956-1300, highbarnyc.com), which features a full bar and BBQ grill. There's a glass-walled lounge downstairs to accommodate rained-out crowds. Downtown hipsters gather on the verdant roof of The Delancey (168 Delancey St at Clinton St; 212-254-9920, thedelancey.com), before heading downstairs to catch DJ sets and regular live shows (check website for schedule). Astoria's Studio Square (35-33 36th St between 35th and 36th Aves; 718-383-1001, studiosquarenyc.com) boasts a spacious outdoor biergarten and a laidback ambiance, until the weekend DJs take over and up the energy level. What once felt like a summer picnic suddenly becomes a sweaty groove-fest, so bring your best moves.
Red Hook retreat
Despite the attempt to cram in crowd-pleasers like Fairway (480--500 Van Brunt St, 718-694-6868, fairwaymarket.com) and Ikea (1 Beard St at Otsego St; 718-246-4532, ikea.com), Red Hook's remote location makes it feel like unexplored terrain. The thrill of discovery starts with brunch at home/made (293 Van Brunt St between Pioneer and King Sts; 347-223-4135, homemadebklyn.com) featuring scrambles made from local eggs. Cruise the main drag of Van Brunt Street to find exquisite Victorian-era jewelry at Erie Basin (388 Van Brunt St at Dikeman St; 718-554-6147, eriebasin.com) before stopping at Pier 41 (204 Van Dyke St), a complex of historic waterfront warehouses that afford an excellent ocean view. Don't miss the much-praised Latin-food vendors that set up shop on the Red Hook ball fields (in Red Hook Park, Clinton St at Bay St), or the freshly picked produce at the Red Hook Community Farm farmer's market (590 Columbia St at Beard St; 718-855-5531, added-value.org; Jul-Nov, Sat 9am--3pm). There is a hotel in Red Hook, the Brooklyn Motor Inn (140 Hamilton Ave; 718-875-2500, brooklynmotorinn.com), but would you really rather sleep at the mouth of the Battery Tunnel than in your own bed? Start Day Two off with a decadent sweet-and-salty brownie from Baked (359 Van Brunt St at Dikeman St; 718-222-0345, bakednyc.com), then catch a few circus acts at the floating Waterfront Museum (290 Conover St at Pier 44; 718-624-4719, waterfrontmuseum.org). Get your fill of comfort food and karaoke at Hope & Anchor (347 Van Brunt St at Dikeman St; 718-237-0276), or dine on Asian-inflected fare at the Good Fork (391 Van Brunt St between Coffey and Dikeman Sts; 718-643-6636, goodfork.com). End the day, like a weary sailor, over a pint at neighborhood watering hole the Brooklyn Ice House (318 Van Brunt St between Pioneer and King Sts; 718-222-1865).
The sex tour!
Does summer in the city leave you feeling hot and steamy? Then snatch your honey and make time to take in all the dirty, pretty things this sexy city has to offer. Take a quickie tour of the Museum of Sex (233 Fifth Ave at 27th St, 212-689-6337), before stocking up on luxe essentials like a lace beaded blindfold ($195) or a cock ring made of pearls ($225) at Kiki de Montparnasse (79 Greene St between Broome and Spring Sts, 212-965-8150). Hard-core shoppers can scour Purple Passion / DV8 (211 W 20th St between Seventh and Eighth Aves; 212-807-0486, purplepassion.com): The walls are lined with leather, rubber, bondage gear, corsets, butt plugs, ball gags and the like. Once you're equipped, get in on the aphrodisiac action at the Grand Central Oyster Bar & Restaurant (42nd St at Park Ave, 212-490-6650); you can stand at the Whispering Gallery outside and murmur filthy intentions to your blushing lover, who will hear you clearly from 20 feet away. If you prefer a more "liberated" dining environment, eat your heart out at Robert's Steakhouse, inside classy gentlemen's refuge the Penthouse Executive Club (603 W 45th St at Eleventh Ave; 212-245-0002, penthouseexecutiveclub.com). The low-key feel of fun flesh joint Headquarters (552 W 38th St at Eleventh Ave; 212-967-4646, hqnewyork.com) will also get you in the mood: Corset-clad vixens bring drinks to your table as you watch very real girls bump and grind. When you're ready to get seriously saucy, book a room at the Bryant Park Hotel (40 W 40th St between Fifth and Sixth Aves; 212-869-010, bryantparkhotel.com; from $345 a night), where you can discreetly order massage oil, vibrators and the like from the Objects of Pleasure room-service menu.
Just because most of your surf knowledge comes from Point Break doesn't mean you can't hang ten with the best of them—and you can do so right in New York. First things first: get outfitted and equipped at Williamsburg's Mollusk Surf Shop (210 Kent Ave at Metropolitan Ave, Williamsburg, Brooklyn; 718-218-7456, mollusksurfshopnyc.com), whose handmade boards ($500--$2,400) will get you stoked. If you're a surf newbie, hop the LIRR to Long Beach to take a lesson at Elliot Zuckerman's Surf2Live Surfing School (516-432-9211, surf2live.com; from $65), where you'll be provided with everything from a board to a super sweet wetsuit. Rockaway Beach's Boarders Surf Shop (192 Beach 92nd St at Rockaway Beach Blvd; 718-318-7997, boarderssurfshop.com) also offers lessons from $65, or if you're ready to brave the waves on your own, you can just rent a board (4 hours for $35). But first, hit Rockaway Beach Surf Shop (177 Beach 116th St, Far Rockaway; 718-474-9345), to pick up some organic surf wax ($1), and then amble eastward toward the beach at 92nd Street (off the Rockaway Boardwalk). If you're more concerned with sun than surf, hop aboard the SeaStreak ferry in Manhattan for a 30-minute ride to New Jersey's immaculate, shell-strewn Sandy Hook (take the SeaStreak ferry from E 35th St at FDR Dr or Pier 11 at Wall St. Round-trip ferry $40, children ages 5--12 $16, children under 5 free). Post-beach, relax with a coma-inducing Lomi Lomi Hawaiian Luau Massage ($185 for 60mins; schedule at least a week in advance) at Just Calm Down (32 W 22nd St between Fifth and Sixth Aves, 212-337-0032, justcalmdownspanyc.com), or get your digits shined up with the Laguna Be-otch—a mani-pedi combo that includes a seaweed wrap, a sand scrub and lots of coconut oil ($130 for 90 mins). If that doesn't leave you feeling bodacious, nothing will.