Sunday, August 21, 2011

NYC Weekend Adventures

Summer weekends in the city are the best. They're long, lazy and lovely. As much as I'm so the kid that likes to sit inside and watch Netfilx all day and eat junk food, sometimes you just have to get out and live. Weekend afternoons are the perfect time to get out and explore New York and the surrounding areas. I'm not talking about the stupid Empire State Building or Statue of Liberty (Hi, America!) I'm talking about the mini-voyages in New York that every tourist doesn't know about. The non-touristy tourist adventures. Here are some of my favorite weekend adventures...

McCarren Park
Most of the stupid people in New York (aka tourists) flock to Central Park. But that's for lozerz. McCarren Park is way better and way less crowded with peope who don't know where they're going. Located in Williamsburg in Brooklyn, it's just a short subway ride on the L-train to a peaceful day at the park. Just get off at Bedford Ave and skip your way to a day of juice boxes and... margaritas? Yes, that's right- MARGARITAS IN THE PARK! Stop at the Turkey's Nest, pick yourself up a margarita in a styrofoam cup, and your day just got 10x better. I could sit outside and read my book in the sun while drinking copious amounts of tequila until the end of time. It's perfect. McCarren also hosts movie nights throughout the summer. It's like that scene in the Wedding Planner- but without Matthew McConaughey and the weird dancing. Definitely worth a trip to Brooklyn.

Coney Island
I don't think I can ever possibly explain my love for Coney Island with words. This will be my one failure as a writer. See, Coney Island is simultaneously the best place in the world, and also the gateway to hell. It's full of gross people who are barely clothed, a disgusting beach, and it always feels at least 15 degrees hotter than it actually is. But that is all so minor, in comparison to the beauty of Coney Island. This is a place with some of the tiniest rollercoasters I've ever seen that pack such a huge punch. I'm talking screaming at the top of my lungs giggling all the while levels of fun. It's unbelievable. It only takes about an hour on the N, Q, F or D trains from Manhattan to Stillwell Ave. There are a few different parks in the whole Coney Island area. The best collection of rides is at Luna Park. You can get 40 ride credits for $35. I can usually split that with one other person and be set for the day. But it's super easy to just go up and add money if you're jonesing for another ride. The best rides that are guarnateed to make you nearly pee yourself are The Soaring Eagle, The Steeplechase, and The Tickler. Afterwords, try not to vomit and head over to the rock bar, Cha Cha's or the faux beach made on blacktop, Beer Island. Both are horribly excellent. As much as I try to avoid it, I usually end up making a pit stop for an elephant ear and some pizza. Coney Island isn't complete with out greasey food. And whatever you do- don't go into the ocean. I went in once and came out with a bandaid on me. It wasn't mine.

Rockaway Beach
The beach at Coney Island is insanely crowded and full of the kinds of people you only see on The Simpsons. After searching and searching for the perfect afternoon getaway, I found Rockaway Beach. Well, my friends found it and I fell in love. SAME DIFFERENCE! (Does that saying even make sense? Whatever. SAME DIFFERENCE!) It's a little bit further of a journey, clocking in at around an hour and a half at least from Manhattan. But it's worth it! Take the A train to Broad Channel, then transfer to the S to Rockaway Park–Beach 116th St. When you get off the train, you'll be in an alternate universe. Whenever I've gone, there haven't been any people there at all. It seriously felt like our own private beach- and a beautiful one at that. We laid out all day, stopped at this teeny tiny "restaurant" steps from the beach, got some pizza and beers and started playing drinking games. That's my kind of afternoon right there.

There are about a million other things to do in New York... Walking across the Brooklyn Bridge, people watching at The High Line Park, pretending the fountain in Washington Square park is a pool. New York City is a city for adventurists. I'm certainly going to miss it. (Especially Coney Island.)


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