Summer Guide: Undead of Summer—THE GREAT OUTDOORS

Written by NY Press on . Posted in Posts, Summer Guide.


Tour de Brooklyn
No need
to fear crazy cabbies, car doors opening or delivery bikers, because
the NYPD will be escorting riders through the borough on this 18-mile
ride that starts and ends by McCarren Park and has a rest stop in Red
Hook. There will be limited registration the day of, so in-between your
training rides, sign up online. This is a casual ride, but might be the
perfect opportunity to take out that old Spandex biking gear you’ve got
in the back of the closet.
June 6, North 12th Street and Union Avenue,
8 a.m., Free.

in Central Park

Let’s be honest: You have an urge to strap into some
rollerblades and try crossing right over left. Of course, it’s been
years since you’ve grapevined, and you wouldn’t be caught dead
rollerblading somewhere near where you live. Well, there are other
people out there just like you. So put on a helmet and wristguards
(required) and join one of these free blading tours through Central
Park. Afterwards, you can sit down with the group for dinner and drinks.
You’ll have to pay for that, but the memories will be priceless.

Thursdays, Columbus Circle entrance to Central Park; 7, Free.

Ah, dodgeball,
the gym-class activity that always ended with sitting in the nurse’s
office. Now that we’re all grownup and can handle some rubber to the
face, it’s time to play with the people at NYC Social Sports Club.
They’ve got a league going, but you can also drop in to some of their
games. Lace up your sneakers and buy a cup, because the balls are on the
Wednesdays, June 23 to Aug. 4, various locations,; 8-10, $15 and up.

Inner Tube Water Polo
of the oldest continuous Olympic sports, water polo is like an aqueous
mix of soccer and handball. Adding inner tubes to the game is an extra
resistance challenge, an effective form of exercise and a great
equalizer: It saves the aqua-impaired from the embarrassment of wearing
water wings to the next match. This league’s deadline for individual or
team registration is June 26, so butter up your friends or come and make
new ones!
Fridays, June 26 through August, Lower East Side locations
TBA,; 8, $100.

Come kick it
like you used to during 5thgrade recess or last summer in Brooklyn.
Stick it to the playground bullies and prove that you don’t need arms to
be a great athlete. Plus, players get special deals on drinks after the
game (maybe a little different from the elementary school playground,
but whatever).
Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays, Lower East Side
locations TBA,; 6, $100 for the season.

Ultimate Frisbee
As the
New York Times pointed out in
late April, Ultimate is no longer associated with dirty hippies and
collegians. Whether or not your response time is limited by smoking the
happy lettuce, Ultimate can be an intensely challenging sport—just ask
the folks in the internationally recognized competitions. A summer
league is open through NYC Social Sports Club, but pickup games can be
found all over the city, including Central and Prospect Parks.

Wii Parties at the Creek

Come shake a Wiimote in the remodeled, and shall we say swanky, Creek.
The games are indoors, but with the running activity on Wii Fitness, who
can even tell what is and isn’t outdoors anymore? After you work up a
sweat, you can head to the Creek’s outdoor patio for a drink. See,
that’s kind of outdoors-y right?
First and Third Mondays,
10-93 Jackson Ave. (at 11th
St.), Queens, 718-706-8783; 7, Free.

quintessential American sport is
fantastic outdoor exercise, and the Parks Department offers numerous
opportunities to play, from working on your jump shot to finding a
drop-in game in over 500 locations all over Manhattan— or you can join a
league at Zog Sports.
Saturdays, various locations,

Hudson Kayaking
Captain Sully landed a plane in the Hudson, the polluted waterway has
been one of the city’s most attractive destinations. Join in on the fun
with Downtown Boathouse’s 20-minute long lessons. Wear something you
don’t mind getting wet, and hop into a kayak.
Through Oct. 17, Pier 40,
Pier 96 and Riverside Park at W. 72nd St.,;
times vary, Free.


A staple of the Summer on the Hudson festival, Let’s Dance! is
the best way to take the ballroom out of dancing and get down in a park.
With professional lessons from the Piel Canela Dance and Music school, adventurous romantics can spend
the night learning salsa, cha-cha or the bachata—a Dominican dance style
similar to merengue.
Sundays, June 6 through 27, Pier 1 at Riverside
Park, betw. W. 65th & W. 72nd Sts.,;
6, Free.

Night Swing

For those looking to tear up the concrete with a pre-surgery
Jennifer Grey look-alike, there is nowhere classier to do it than
Lincoln Center’s Damrosch Park. Offering rockabilly, tango, soul, salsa,
swing and more, acts like Big Bad Voodoo Daddy and the Harlem
Renaissance Orchestra will provide foot-stomping sounds all through
July. Dance lessons are offered at 6:30, with live music firing up about
an hour later.
Tuesdays through Saturdays, June 29 through July 17, W.
62nd St. betw. Columbus and Amsterdam Aves.,; 6:30, $17.

Bastille Day Celebrations
Celebrated here on July 11,
French Independence Day (which is actually July 14) celebrates the
storming of Paris’ infamous political prison. In New York, Bastille Day
is an excuse to play pétanque, eat crepes and get drunk in the sun on
fancy wine. Although FI:AF hosts an annual Bastille day on E. 60th St.
(betw. 5th & Madison Aves.,, the real deal
is in Carroll Gardens and Boerum Hill, where sponsors like Ricard, the
sizeable French expat population and Smith Street bistros hold the
Gallicthemed street fests.

Beach Volleyball Competition
Claiming to be the
“largest free amateur beach volleyball” competition on the East Coast,
150 teams will compete for free elimination rounds starting in July. The
best ballers can win great cash prizes and superlative Brooklyn
respect, which is recognized practically everywhere the sun shines. The
NYC Parks Department hosts, and details will be released in June.

Coney Island Hot Dog
Eating Contest

An important holiday for New Yorkers, July 4 is when we
celebrate an important American experience: stuffing our faces with hot
dogs until our hearts pump sodium. This annual Independence Day
competition has become its own spectator sport, attracting international
competitors and some 30,000 people to view the contest—not to mention
the million-plus that watch it on ESPN.
July 4, Coney Island Boardwalk,; time TBA, Free.

Beach Fireworks at Coney Island
With the
recession squashing developers’ plans faster than mice can make their
own, our fears of losing Coney Island nights can go the way of the dodo.
Friday night fireworks, which begin at 9:30 starting June 19, are
accompanied by karaoke and best viewed from the top of Deno’s
Fridays, June 19 through Aug. 14, Coney Island Boardwalk at
W. 12th St.,; 9:30, Free.

Twilight Tours in Prospect

An evening boat ride on Prospect Park Lake is romantic. Throw some
wine and cheese in the mix and it’s practically a honeymoon. True love,
however, means sticking around for a guided night tour of the park’s
mysterious bat population. For most Thursdays this summer, you’ll be
offered a chance to glimpse into the amazing—and slightly
creepy—nocturnal creatures that call Brooklyn home.
Saturdays, June 3 to
Sept. 2, Prospect Park Audubon Center,; 6:30, $30.