Summer scenes 2012: Hot spots in NYC to check out

Discover three summer scenes in New York and get the scoop on what’s happening from people we found at these hot spots.

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Looking for somewhere to hang out this summer? We visited three hot spots—postwork outdoor food destination Hester Nights, boardwalk bites emporium Rockaway Beach Club and the new McCarren Park Pool—to check out the scenes.

RECOMMENDED: Get outdoors in NYC

Rockaway Beach Club

  • Photograph: Jena Cumbo

    Rockaway Beach Club

    Click forward through the slide show to see who we found

  • Photograph: Jena Cumbo

    Franklin Rivera, 22; events producer; Corona, Queens
    “I’ve been dancing for four years. I just saw a good dance floor and decided to give it a try. The crowd was shocked and excited, even when I did a simple, basic move.”

  • Photograph: Jena Cumbo

    Dierdre Corley (left), 30; researcher; Park Slope, Brooklyn
    “Who doesn’t love a beach bar? The scene is interesting—people from all different parts of the city who would probably never end up at the same place are all hanging out together. The Rockaways are a great day trip, especially if you have a friend with a car. The beach is nicer than people think, the tacos are plentiful, and the people-watching is endlessly entertaining.”

    Joy Merrifield, 32; fashion designer; Park Slope, Brooklyn
    “The crowd was fun and diverse, a blend of locals and cute hipsters having a beach day. The music while we were there was sort of jam band–y covers, which, while not exactly my thing, was beach appropriate. [The] $14 pitchers of Bud Light didn’t hurt either.”

  • Photograph: Jena Cumbo

    Rockaway Beach Club

  • Photograph: Jena Cumbo

    Rockaway Beach Club

  • Photograph: Jena Cumbo

    Rockaway Beach Club

  • Photograph: Jena Cumbo

    Rockaway Beach Club

  • Photograph: Jena Cumbo

    Rockaway Beach Club

  • Photograph: Jena Cumbo

    Rockaway Beach Club

Photograph: Jena Cumbo

Rockaway Beach Club

Click forward through the slide show to see who we found

This Queens beach is a popular city escape, due in no small part to the three concession buildings housing 11 vendors spread over 30 blocks of boardwalk. Take a break from cooling off in the ocean, watching the surfers or building sand castles (there’s a competition on Saturday July 21, 2012 at Beach 106th St; noon–5pm; free) with New England–style seafood at the Lobster Joint (Beach 97th St), Venezuelan empanadas from Caracas (Beach 106th St) or tacos at Rockaway Taco (Beach 96th St). Once it’s late afternoon, retire to the shaded picnic tables by the cluster of booths at Beach 96th Street, order a pitcher of Bud Light or Blue Point Summer Ale ($14) from Low Tide Bar and wait for the evening’s entertainment (dates vary; visit rockawaybeachclub.com). Next up: a night of swing dancing (Saturday July 21, 2012 6–10pm)—Natalie Gavilanes


Boardwalk between Beach 74th and 106th Sts, the Rockaways, Queens.


  1. Rockaway Beach Club
  2. Hester Nights
  3. McCarren Park Pool

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