Top 5 Outdoor Date Spots
Birds are chirping, flowers are blossoming, New Yorkers are actually…smiling? Spring has officially sprung in the city, which means it’s time to shed those extra layers and take that winter-blues pity party outside – literally. As the weather gets warmer here in NYC, people come out of the woodwork, spending less time holed up in their shoebox apartments and more time outdoors. Whether it’s shopping, dining al fresco or playing intramural softball, New Yorkers are starting to soak up as much fresh air as possible, and after this past winter, it’s definitely warranted. If you’re looking to have some fun in the sun on your next date, slather on some SPF and head to one of our favorite outdoor spots:
1. Hudson River Park at Pier 45 (West Street at W10th Street): from joggers to yogis to rollerbladers, this picturesque downtown park is an ideal getaway from the concrete jungle that is Manhattan. Pack a picnic and sit along the water, maybe bring a Frisbee to help get the blood pumping – between the views of boats passing by and well-kept greenery, it’s easy to stay here all day long.
2. Chelsea Piers (West Side Highway, from 17th to 23rd Streets): not so much a park, per se, but this “sports village” is located right along the Hudson River and offers a plethora of fun activities to do – both indoors and outdoors. And having a place to seek shelter from these springtime showers isn’t such a bad idea when you think about it. From a driving range to an indoor ice-skating rink to a bowling alley, there’s plenty to do at Chelsea Piers. Some of the activities require reservations or a long wait time, so if you have a particular sporting activity in mind (especially if you want some extra batting practice at the cages), you might want to do some research online or call ahead. If you’re not looking to break a sweat, take a seat on a bench and watch the boats come in & out of the dock. Even better – The Chelsea Brewing Company offers outdoor tables right along the water, so you can soak in the sun while enjoying a freshly brewed local lager. Never too crowded, this beer haven might be one of the best kept secrets in town. www.chelseapiers.com
3. Carl Schurz Park (East End Avenue, from E. 84th to E.90th Streets): steps away from the Mayor’s “humble” abode, soak in the beautiful East River views from this hidden uptown park. When you think “park” on the Upper East Side, Carl Schurz likely isn’t the first one that comes to mind – and that’s what makes this serene spot a great place to bring a good book, take a leisurely stroll or have a picnic.
4. Riverside Park (Hudson River, from W72nd To 158th Streets): whether you’ve considered getting a bike or the thought has never before crossed your mind, once you step foot on this waterfront path, you might want to rush to the closest Sports Authority and pick up a set of wheels. With sweeping views of New Jersey (don’t even think about inserting a Jersey joke here), and pristine sailboats docked along the coastline, the setting is enough to take your breath away. Filled with cyclists both riding for pleasure and competitively, power walkers, dog walkers, runners – this four mile stretch along the Hudson River makes you forget that you’re in the most metropolis area in the US.
5. Madison Square Park (between Fifth & Madison Avenues, from 23rd to 26th Streets): chances are, you’ve waited in the dreadful line at Shake Shack before, so you’re already familiar with the beauty that is Madison Square Park. While often crowded, this adorable little park is fun for people watching – from young families towing their posh little tikes around to single guys and gals taking their pooch to mix & mingle with fellow canines. There’s no doubt about it, Madison Square Park is constantly rocking, and in the warmer weather offers a variety of food & music festivals that while packed to the brim, are usually a lot of fun. Check out their website for a list of upcoming events – rain or shine, they make for an excellent Saturday or Sunday “fun day.” www.madisonsquarepark.org
August 4, 2011