It’s that time of year again, when New Yorkers emerge from the sweltering subways frothing at the mouth and seeking respite from the dreadful heat. Sure, it’s still raining enough for us to consider building an ark, but summer is undeniably here. Luckily, there are more than enough ways to cool down—and most of them don’t involve going home with people who have central air. That always works, too, though.
When even the idea of pizza makes you want to vomit, you know things are bad. But when you’ve got to eat, there’s no reason to feed on anything that’s not downright frigid. At Yerba Buena (23 Ave. A, at E. 2nd St., 212-529-2919), chef Julian Medina offers a hefty chilledcorn soup ($10) full of crabmeat and Peruvian corn nuts (regular, not BQ) that’s light but also filling.
Perhaps to combat the hot salsa music in the background, the A/C at Yerba Buena is pumped high, so everything stays nice and cool. If leaving your apartment is strictly off limits, there’s no more appealing option for a frosty feast than Holey Donuts! Based in Bensonhurset, this purveyor of donuts (which happen to be low-calorie and reduced-fat, but that’s totally beside the point) ships its sweets, in flavors like Raspberry Vanilla Truffle and Coconut Cream Pie, frozen in dry ice directly to your door.They suggest briefly microwaving the donuts to warm them up, but we think that nibbling on cold Chocolate Crumb Fudge Cake is an equally attractive option. Order online at www.holeydonuts.net.
Everybody loves a frosty mug of beer, that’s why they call it the breakfast of champions.There’s way more to chilly cocktails than that, however. Stop by Counter (105 1st Ave. betw. E. 6th & E. 7th Sts., 212-982-5870) for alcoholladen snow cones ($7 and up) in flavors like Peachy Fiesta, with real peach juice and tequila, and Calming Blue, with lavender and vodka.
Avoiding the muggy streets of Manhattan? Try the bartender’s choice drinks at Long Island City’s Dutch Kills (27-24 Jackson Ave. at Dutch Kills St., Queens, 718-363-2724), where the folks behind the bar will happily mix fresh fruit, tons of crushed ice and plenty of booze into something the alcoholic with a sweet tooth has previously only dreamt of. Need something more decadent or less in Queens? Harbour (290 Hudson St. betw. Spring & Dominick Sts., 212-989-6410), a nautical-themed restaurant that’s sort of in the middle of nowhere but worth the trek, is making classic ice cream floats with an extra kick of booze.The selection varies from non-alcoholic floats (why bother?!) to the Hazelnut Ale float (both $8), which features a cinnamon-flavored beer complemented by vanilla ice cream.
Brooklyn Bowl (61 Wythe Ave. at N. 11th St., Brooklyn, 718-963-3369) has a warm and inviting atmosphere but nearly frigid temperatures due to high-powered air conditioning and big-ass fans. The new vintage-looking bowling alley in Williamsburg is LEED certified and has CO2 sensors that detect the location of body heat to cool the room down efficiently.With twiceweekly live music, large LED screens and plenty of locally brewed beers, this cozy hangout makes for a great escape from a roasting apartment. It can, however, get a bit steamy, with comfortable brown leather couches that were “made to make out on,” according to one employee. So, if you find yourself overheated, the in-house Blue Ribbon restaurant will be offering ice cream sundaes, milkshakes (with bourbon!) and pitchers of margaritas.
For more wholesome fun, head to Chelsea Piers (W. 23rd St. & West Side Highway, 212- 336-6100), which boasts the only ice skating rink in Manhattan that stays open year-round (well, at least Friday through Monday). For $13, you can get in the rink, take a break from the heat and have a chance to try out your Kristi Yamaguchi moves.
If you’re interested in a slightly different brand of athletic activity, Babeland (43 Mercer St. betw. Grand & Broome Sts., 212-966-2120) has a slew of rechargeable underwater sex toys, some of which can be entirely submerged and others that are water resistant, and carry no risk of electrocution.
One toy, the $20 Aqua Wand, can join you in the pool, while others, including ceramic vibrators and cock rings, can be cooled down by a dunk in cold water or a short stay in the refrigerator.