Love the Heat
Some Like it Hot
Savvy New York diners find paradise within the concrete jungle. The spacious outdoor lounge at La Marina (348 Dyckman St., 212.567.6300) is located within a working marina, is dotted with bright umbrellas and comes with a knockout view of the George Washington Bridge. Salsa Wednesdays feature live bands with Emmy-winning musicians, while huge weekend dance parties on the beach (complete with cabanas!) cater to those who crave a wilder scene. Across the East River, Café de la Esquina @ Wythe Diner (225 Wythe Ave., Williamsburg, Brooklyn, 718.393.5500) is housed in an historic 1930s railroad car. In summer, diners congregate on the shaded bluestone patio, order the combo platter with six killer tacos, bop to the beat of local musicians on weekends and play lazy games of table tennis. It may be called Cloud Social (6 W. 32nd St., 17th fl., 212.104.1092), but those in the know take in the sun—and refreshing Manhattan Cloud cocktails—at one of NYC’s below-the-radar, least pretentious rooftop bars. A simple snack menu (mixed nuts and olives) complements drinks that you can sip while sitting on cheery orange banquettes. Cloud Social hosts happy hour from 3 to 7 pm, where you can net an Instagramable shot of the Empire State Building.
Why go to the multiplex when you can have your movie stars with celestial stars and sprinklings of fireflies, too? The NYC Parks Department’s Free Summer Movies offers showings on piers and in parks. August selections include cult favorites like “The Big Lebowski” and “Beetlejuice,” classics such as “North by Northwest” and family films including “The Muppet Movie,” “A League of Their Own” and “The Wiz.”
Speaking of “The Big Lebowski,”
the Jeff Bridges indie hit becomes a
“silent” movie (the audience is given headphones) at a come-in-costume event
during the free Lincoln Center Out of Doors festival (W. 66th St. & Lincoln Center,lincolncenter.org/out-of-doors) through Aug. 13. Its lineup of spoken word, family events, music and dance feature British pop legend Nick Lowe; Grammy Award-winning, Benin-born singer-songwriter Angelique Kidjo (putting an African spin on David Byrnes’ album, “Remain in Light”); and viral video sisters Chloe and Maud, choreographers and tap dancers who’ve hoofed for Beyoncé and Prince. Over in Brooklyn, step off cement plazas and into lush Green-Wood Cemetery (500 25th St., Sunset Park, Brooklyn, 718.210.3080), where a host of activities threaten to wake the dead at this lush, 19th-century national historic landmark, famous for its plethora of bright green monk parakeets. Birders can come on Aug. 6 and 20, from 6:30 to 8:30 am, before the gates open, for “Birding in Peace” tours, and on Aug. 27, there’s an anything-but-peaceful reenactment of the Battle of Brooklyn, the first battle of the Revolutionary War, with cannon fire, parades, soldiers, horses, music and food.
At Teardrop Park (Warren St., 212.267.9700) in Lower Manhattan, children enjoy water play in a rocky setting resembling a Catskill mountain clearing, and the 14-foot stainless steel slide is a draw as well. At nearby Battery Park City’s Rockefeller Park (near West St. & Warren St.), kids play ball, Frisbee and frolic
about as well. An adults-only hidden play space is the Dream Hotel’s The Beach at Dream Downtown (355 W. 16th St., 212.229.2336), where sun worshippers pay $65 for a day pass to dip in the serene, glass-bottom pool, belly up to the bar for seasonal cocktails, or laze on the white chaise longues and nautical blue cushions. Mix with hipsters and the hoi polloi at rehabilitated Olympic-size McCarren Park Public Pool (776 Lorimer St., Greenpoint, Brooklyn, 718.965.6580), with its historic arch and entryway, lap swimming lanes, beach volleyball, and rooftop café. Rather sweat than swim? Salute the sun and downward dog at Bryant Park Yoga (W. 42nd St. btw Fifth & Sixth Aves.), Tu 10-11:30 am, Th 6-7 pm. Mats are provided. The Parks Department offers free yoga and other classes through its Shape Up NYC exercise program (nycgovparks.org/