Claude Monet in front of his house at Giverny
Jazz Age Lawn Party
McCarren Park Pool
Brooklyn Bridge Park Pool
2011 Coney Island Mermaid Parade
RECOMMENDED: Summer in New York guide
See the inspiration behind the French impressionist's masterworks as the New York Botanical Garden recreates the artists verdent gardens in Giverny. The institution recreated views of water lillies, a Japanese footbridge and a Grand Allée that appeared in the painters work. Visitors will be able to compare the garden's replicas to two authentic Monets (The Artist's Garden in Giverny and Irises) and historical photographs exhibited in "The Artist in his Garden."
The gratis ferry runs to this carless oasis from Memorial Day weekend through the start of fall (Sept 30), transporting New Yorkers to an island offering weekly bike rides, concerts and art events. This year, Cooper-Hewitt curates the exhibit “Graphic Design—Now in Production,” Michael Arenella and his Dreamland Orchestra stage a new set of Jazz Age Lawn Parties (June 16, 17, Aug 18, 19; $15), and art nonprofit Figment creates more free otherworldly installations and a minigolf course. You’ll want to keep coming back throughout the summer to see it all unfold.
For the first time in nearly three decades, New Yorkers will be able to cool off at the McCarren Park Pool, scheduled to open for the season on June 28. The newly renovated 37,950-square-foot pond fits 1,500 swimmers and features eight lap lanes, alongside a sand volleyball court and a recreation center.
From W 21st St and Surf Ave to the Boardwalk at W 15th St, Coney Island, Brooklyn (718-372-5159, coneyisland.com). Subway: D, F, N, Q to Coney Island–Stillwell Ave. Glitter-covered seminude revelers, aquatically adorned floats and classic cruisers fill Surf Avenue for this annual art parade, which celebrates its 30th year. The party has grown quite a bit over its three decades and now draws an audience of more than half a million, with well past a thousand marchers. Keep an eye out for the to-be-announced king and queen—previous royal duos include notables like Lou Reed and Laurie Anderson—who will reign over the costumed mermen and -maids. After the sun goes down, head to the Mermaid Parade Ball at the nearby New York Aquarium (602 Surf Ave at W 5th St; 7pm; $30, VIP $75) to continue the party.
Opportunistic walkers, joggers, skaters and bikers will once again take over the asphalt during the city’s annual Summer Streets program. As in years past, the selected thoroughfares—from the Brooklyn Bridge up to 72nd Street and over toward Central Park—will be car-free weekend mornings in August. New Yorkers not along the main route will also be able enjoy the pavement on a smaller scale during Weekend Walks, which block off auto traffic in a few blocks in specific neighborhoods throughout the season. Visit nyc.gov/summerstreets for details.
Looking for a bit of island spirit in the city? Head to Dromedary Bar for the urban tiki experience. The Bushwick bar serves up riffs on classic tropical drinks, like the banana daiquiri–esque Marlin Chasing a Mermaid ($11), a combination of cognac, mezcal, banana, lemon and rose. Island flavors crop up all over the drink menu, like in the gin-based Coconut Soda ($11), which gets a frothy texture fro creamy coconut milk and sparkling LaCroix. If cocktails aren’t your thing, there’s also a selection of beers on tap ($5–$8). In the kitchen, Chef Galen Duncan churns out a menu of classic pub fare. Think burgers ($11), sloppy joe sliders ($4), chicken tenders ($6) and lots of fries ($3). The exposed brick barroom also hosts a variety of events, from trivia nights to weekly karaoke to comedy shows.
Venue says: “TUESDAY: DRINKS TILL 2am w/ MICHAEL! DUNCAN'S BURGERS' TACOS; $1.25 ALL NITE! FREE TRIVIA @ 9pm! Food till midnite! FUN! Happy Hour, 5-8pm!”