First off, we just want to say THANK YOU for all the positive feedback from our first ever newsletter last week! Please continue to share the love! This week, we decided to add a Friday “Day” Activity since Summer Friday’s are back in action. Let’s see what we have planned for you.
Summer on the Hudson: Yoga Flow (6:30pm – 7:30pm)
North Lawn at 78th Street in Riverside Park
This event repeats every week on Thursdays between 5/11/2017- 9/28/2017!
The week is almost over, so it's time for some mindful breathing and movement. The Summer on the Hudson Yoga class (outside on the Hudson River) is available for all levels of experience. Instructor Nina Semczuk helps cultivate strength, flexibility, balance, and focus while enjoying the NYC outdoors. Mats are not included. Best part? This is totally FREE!
Once you're relaxed from Yoga, head over to the Boat Basin Café (it's about a 4 minute walk away!). Boat Basin Café is best known for being one of the larger outdoor bars/eateries on the Upper West Side of Manhattan. My favorite part is that they serve food AND drinks so you can either grab dinner or a Piña Colada Pitcher (or both!). The sunsets over the Hudson River are beautiful, so I would try to get there in time to see it. The good news is the sun doesn’t set till around 8:30pm this time of year!
Out East: Summertime is one of my favorite parts of the year to explore new restaurants, since so many seasonal places open up just in time! Out East is a brand new, breezy, outdoor, two-floor restaurant and bar that opened up this April in the East Village. From the name, you can already tell that this place has major “out east”/Hampton’s vibes going on right here in the city. The chef behind this new establishment is Tim Meyers, previously known from another popular restaurant, Charlie Bird. The menu is seafood-focused, but there are also a lot of vegetarian options! I would definitely recommend making a reservation on Open Table beforehand to guarantee a spot.
ATLA: Just in case you want some options, we also highly recommend ATLA! ATLA is a new small space located on Lafayette Street. The dishes are very unique and did not disappoint! The chef adds a Mexican flair to the typical breakfast/brunch items that you find all around the city. They serve breakfast all day (which is always a good sign!) so no rush to get here by a certain time. Our favorite dish by far was the Guacamole Goat Cheese Molletes. This was essentially a take on traditional avocado toast; it’s topped with goat cheese and fresh sliced tomatoes with a hint of spice, all layered on crunchy, toasted bread! There is outdoor and indoor seating, so you can head over rain or shine!
Taiyaki Ice Cream: Taiyaki is an ice cream shop in Lower Manhattan. It is about a 25-minute walk from Out East or a 15-minute walk from ATLA (longer than usual), but you will feel great after walking off lunch to arrive here. As you may have read in my previous plans (yourweekendplansny.com) – this area has developed the wildest (and most delicious!) desserts in any part of the city. I have been to Taiyaki multiple times, especially because they are constantly advertising new flavors. The ice cream and Taiyaki waffles are made fresh on-site daily from the highest quality ingredients. What's also special about the waffles? They are made in the shape of a fish! Ready for their latest creation…. soft serve Unicorn Fish! What other city would produce that? I will go anywhere that involves the word unicorn. The special design here is made with red bean custard and it’s amazing! This makes for the most perfect (and prettiest) treat on a summer day!
Rooftop Cinema Club: Moviegoers rejoice! Rooftop Cinema Club has landed back in New York with a bunch of new releases! Rooftop Cinema Club showcases a bunch of classic movies all summer long on beautiful rooftops all over New York! This is one of my favorite summer activities, because it combines a lot of my favorite things: Rooftop Views, Drinks, and Movies! The one this Friday, is on the rooftop at Office Ops. Keep in mind, this is BYO drinks; so bring your best concoctions, lean back, breathe in those city views from your comfy deckchair, and get ready for a wonderful night. The Box Office opens an hour and a half before screening time so guests can enjoy the pre-film atmosphere with stunning views of the Manhattan skyline, not forgetting an unmissable sunset. Check in at the Box Office with your tickets in exchange for wireless headphones and blankets (only if necessary!). The tickets can be purchased online beforehand. If this weekend doesn’t work for you, they have a full schedule posted online that lasts until the end of August!
Donut Fest: You definitely DONUT want to miss out on this! BUT, seriously! Donut Fest has rounded up your favorite donuts (& donut makers) all in one place! Start the day off with a complimentary Bluestone Lane iced coffee and enjoy a well-deserved sugar coma. The participating vendors include Underwest Donuts, Gossip Coffee, Montclair Bread Company, Glaze Donuts, Forbidden Donuts, and Schnackenberg's Luncheonette. Your ticket ($29) will get you a tasting from each of the donut vendors, your drink of choice, beats by DJ Jeronimo, and a temporary tattoo courtesy of Tattly. This all takes place at Marquee New York, which is located in the meatpacking district. Afterwards, there are plenty of shops and places to walk around. Most importantly, DONUT count the calories!
Chihuly at the Botanical Garden: The New York Botanical Garden is located just north of New York City. It's about a 20-minute ride from Grand Central Terminal on the Metro-North Railroad. Right now, they have one of the most world-renowned artists on display, Dale Chihuly. This is his first major garden exhibition in New York in more than ten years. The exhibit showcases more than 20 installations set within the garden’s landmark landscape and buildings. On CHIHULY Nights, (which we also recommend), the exhibition is especially beautiful because it is illuminated in the gardens sweeping vistas and magnificent Conservatory. This is perfect to do in the warm weather, but tickets should be bought beforehand online!
Chillhouse: Chillhouse is a café, spa, and nail salon all tied into one on the Lower East Side. I was so happy to finally try Chillhouse after (of course!) seeing its bright neon sign on Instagram. I got a regular manicure, which looked great, but they also have a ton of fun and special nail designs to choose from! The best part was that I was able to sip on an Ube (Purple Sweet Potato) Latte and enjoy the calming atmosphere all in one experience. The space looks very cool on Instagram, but it's not one of those places that doesn’t live up to the hype. Everything was curated perfectly, and the staff was very welcoming. They also offer massages here, which are more reasonably priced than your average massage at Bliss or Red Door Spa. The massage area isn’t overly glamorous, but it’s clean, candlelit, and relaxing. I would definitely come back here to try out more of their services or just to chill……pun intended!
Speedy Romeo: Speedy Romeo is a fantastic pizza place that finally opened its doors in the Lower East Side after having its original location in the heart of Brooklyn. The restaurant isn’t very big, but I’ve had an easy time getting reservations on RESY. I recommend you come here specifically for weekend brunch because of one item on the menu: “THE GRAVLAX” pizza. It has Russ & Daughters cured smoked salmon, ricotta cheese, red onions, capers, and lemon on their famous grilled dough. I was never a breakfast pizza fan until Speedy Romeo completely won me over! If brunch isn’t your thing, Speedy Romeo is also a great spot to grab dinner with friends. They have so many different pizza options and a killer caesar salad. Their star dinner pizza is definitely the “Paul’s Boutique.” It’s like a sandwich, but on a pizza! It starts out with an everything bagel seasoned crust, topped with Katz’s Pastrami, Dijon béchamel, smoked red kraut, fontina cheese, and thousand island dressing drizzled on top. It is seriously amazing so run, don’t walk!
TRENDING ATTRACTIONS NOT WORTH THE HYPE:
Vandal: Vandal Restaurant, located on Bowery Street in downtown Manhattan, got a lot of press and hype when it first opened up. So much so, that it was pretty much impossible to get a reservation! I waited and waited until I could finally get in; I was so excited by all of the pictures I had seen online. Now, the restaurant itself is very cool. There’s artwork everywhere including a giant purple rabbit and artistic graffiti on the walls. Besides that, the actual food and service was way below average. All of the drinks and tapas style plates are overpriced with very limited portions. It is extremely loud so I would not recommend this as a place for date night or to catch up with friends. However, the environment is definitely worth seeing, so I would recommend going solely for a drink, checking out their fun photo booth, and taking a lap around the space to look at all of the cool artwork. Committing to a full dinner here is completely overrated, but if you are just looking for a good Instagram picture, then this is the place for you!