The 10 best things to do, see and eat before the warm weather ends
By Sharon Feiereisen
The end of Labor Day Weekend and the beginning of Fashion Week may signal the end of summer for many New Yorkers, but there are still a good two weeks left to soak up the sunny weather and take part in downtown summertime shenanigans.
Here’s a look at 10 things to check out downtown before summer ends:
Kayaking on the Hudson
You may not want to swim in it, but thanks to the volunteer-run, nonprofit organization Downtown Boathouse, you can kayak on the Hudson free of charge through mid-October. Head to Pier 40, where every weekend and holiday from 9 a.m. until 6 p.m. and every Thursday evening from 5 to 7 p.m. you can take a kayak out for a 20-minute paddle inside the protected enclosure in front of the boathouse (no experience is required). You’ll get life jacket along with some tips on paddling, and there are lockers, a changing room, and shower and hose to rinse off at the pier.
Downtown Boathouse, Pier 40, downtownboathouse.org
Hester Street Fair
Hester Street Fair has built an incredible reputation for launching small businesses from coast to coast (they recently unveiled their highly anticipated Indie Design Market in Los Angeles), and now through October, while the weather is still warm, you can eat and shop the racks of the fair’s vendors outdoors. Expect a mix of vintage wares, up-and-coming designer brands, and niche food vendors selling everything from alcohol-laced cupcakes to specially sourced artisanal coffee.
Hester Street Fair, Essex Street, 917-267-9496, www.hesterstreetfair.com
Shape Up NYC
While there’s no denying the appeal of the likes of SoulCycle and Barry’s Bootcamp, for the days you don’t feel like shelling out $30-plus, Shape Up NYC offers free fitness classes for adults and kids—including aerobics, African dance, cardio abs, kickboxing, yoga, Pilates and zumba—at dozens of locations, with all classes taught by expert instructors.
Shape Up NYC, various locations, www.nycgovparks.org/programs/recreation/shape-up-nyc
Stargazing on the High Line
Let your inner astronomer shine (brings back childhood memories, doesn’t it?), thanks to the Amateur Astronomers Association of New York, which is sponsoring Stargazing on the High Line, every Tuesday through October at 7:30 p.m. Gaze at the stars, planets, moon—and who knows, maybe a shooting star or two—using high-powered telescopes. Astronomers from the Amateur Astronomers Association of New York are also on hand to offer insights on what you’re observing.
Stargazing on the High Line, between Little West 12th and West 14th streets, 212-206-9922, www.thehighline.org/events/all/2012/9/every-tuesday-stargazing-on-the-high-line
Common Ground is the Public Art Fund’s latest group exhibit, featuring 10 international artists whose work will be on display through November. The Public Art Fund has been peppering Manhattan with outdoor sculptures for over 30 years, and their latest exhibition is among their most memorable yet. The sculptures, displayed next to City Hall, reflect each artist’s interpretation of what a civic monument means today; i.e., as opposed to in the past when sculptures were predominantly heroic representations of men. Responses range from an engraved granite stone (Christian Jankowski) to a giant inflatable ketchup bottle (Paul McCarthy).
Common Grounds, City Hall Park, www.publicartfund.org/CommonGround/home.html
Trapeze School New York
Ever wish you could soar high up in the sky? Through October you can do just that at one of the many flying trapeze classes hosted outdoors at Pier 40 (Hudson River Park) and Pier 16 (South Street Seaport) by Trapeze School New York. Whether you’re looking to fly away your worries, challenge your body with a unique workout or simply have an out-of-the-box experience, the school has you covered with classes for all levels (two hours; $50-$70), as well as intensive multi-session workshops for the most committed of flyers.
Trapeze School New York, Pier 40, 212-242-8769; Pier 16, 917-797-1872. Visit newyork.trapezeschool.com for more information.
New Amsterdam Market is held every Sunday through December in a sheltered outdoor site fronting the Fulton Fish Market. Their curated selection of vendors includes produce, fruit, fish, meats, dairy, breads, cheeses and a variety of specialty-product purveyors (think dry unfiltered varietal ciders and artisanal jams). The market also hosts a number of special events including Eat Your Vegetables! with chef Arthur Potts Dawson on Sept. 9 and the first annual East River Moon Festival on Sept. 30. This year, for the first time, they’ve got valet bike parking, so you can take advantage of the remaining days of summer and bike to the market.
New Amsterdam Market, 100 Peck Slip, 212-766-8688, www.newamsterdammarket.org
Madison Square Music: The Studio Series
Every Saturday from Sept. 15 through Oct. 6 at 3 p.m., you can enjoy a free concert in the park. This year marks the 10-year anniversary of the yearly Studio Series event and includes folk, blues and Americana concerts set amid the park’s breathtaking fall foliage—not to mention conveniently located by Shake Shack for those feeling indolent about packing their own picnic basket. Performers this year include Jim Lauderdale, the Honeycutters, Rory Block and Heritage Blues Trio.
Madison Square Music: The Studio Series, Madison Square Park, www.madisonsquarepark.org/news/mad-sq-music-the-studio-series-lineup
‘Ghosts in the Machine’ at the New Museum
Spread across the New Museum’s three main galleries, “Ghosts in the Machine,” which runs through September, examines artists’ relationship with technology and how technology can transform subjective experiences. Over 140 works are included, ranging from films and sculptures to paintings and drawings, all by contemporary artists spanning the last 50 years.
“Ghosts in the Machine,” the New Museum, 235 Bowery, 212-219-1222, www.newmuseum.org/exhibitions/view/ghosts-in-the-machine
Feast of San Gennaro
The 86th Annual Feast of San Gennaro, which celebrates the spirit and faith of the early Italian immigrants, will take place in Little Italy from the 13th to the 23rd of September. In addition to parades and various religious processions, you can expect the likes of a cannoli-eating competition and live musical performances along with lots of food vendors and cooking demonstrations.
Feast of San Gennaro, Mulberry Street between Canal and Houston and Grand Street between Center and Mott, www.sangennaro.org
Tags: common ground, Feast of San Gennaro, Hester Street Fair, high line park, kayaking, Madison Square Music: The Studio Series, new amsterdam market, New Museum, shape up nyc, Sharon Feiereisen, Trapeze School New York
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