25 Reasons We’re Looking Forward to Summer

nycgo.com staff

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Summer is right around the corner, with its unofficial start on Memorial Day weekend. We’re excited, and you should be too. Here’s why:

Museum Mile Festival. Photo: Joe Buglewicz

1. You can see art for miles and miles—well, at least a mile. The cultural institutions of the Upper East Side join together for the Museum Mile Festival. Walk along upper Fifth Avenue on the evening of June 13 to check out art and artifacts from seven museums, draw some art on the street and catch live entertainment. We’re also looking forward to Lower Manhattan’s Night at the Museums on June 20 and the Uptown Arts Stroll event on June 21. —Andrew Rosenberg

Pride Parade. Photo: Walter Wlodarczyk

2. Pride is back. NYC’s annual Pride March down Fifth Avenue and through the West Village is a colorful celebration of LGBTQ history and culture, and a major highlight of summer in the City. There are also parties at the piers on the Hudson and, on Pride Sunday, fireworks over the river. —Brian Sloan

David Villa, NYCFC. Photo: Elizabeth Shrier

3. They can kick it (yes they can). NYCFC and the Red Bulls continue their Major League Soccer campaigns this summer while some major international matches take place in the area. July brings the CONCACAF Gold Cup—featuring Costa Rica vs. Honduras—and two tilts between European powerhouses: Juventus vs. FC Barcelona and Tottenham Hostpur vs. AS Roma. —AR 

4. We’re celebrating 25 years of NYC Restaurant Week. July 24–August 18 is your chance to sample prix-fixe menus from over 350 of NYC’s top restaurants—some of which were participants in the very first NYC Restaurant Week way back in 1992. Hungry yet? Reservations open July 10. –Gillian Osswald

5. We’ve got Bill Cunningham’s bicycle.  The late Bill Cunningham was famous for photographing fashionable New Yorkers from his bicycle. A new exhibition at the New-York Historical Society honors the legacy of the man who basically invented person-on-the-street fashion photography—and, yes, includes that famous bicycle. —Christina Parrella

6. Even more baseball is on the way. The Yankees are off to a blistering start, and we’re still holding out hope for the battered but talented Mets. And June marks the start of action for those team’s minor-league affiliates, the Staten Island Yankees and Brooklyn Cyclones. The latter are set to host a season of crazy promotional events including their beloved Seinfeld Night. —Jonathan Zeller

Nathan’s Famous Hot Dog Eating Contest. Photo: Julienne Schaer

7. …And also every other sport. Don’t like baseball? You should. But even so, you have many other sports options including Formula E (electric-car racing), US Open tennis, the Nathan’s Famous Hot Dog Eating Contest (competitive, if probably not a real sport), and basketball from the WNBA’s New York Liberty and the brand-new Big 3 three-on-three league, featuring Allen Iverson. —JZ

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8. We can toast the opening of the Aviary NYC. This acclaimed Chicago cocktail purveyor comes to roost in the Mandarin Oriental hotel this summer. Can’t wait to raise that glass? Hang at other promising new bars like ROKC and Bar Moga. –GO

Shakespeare in the Park. Photo: Joseph Moran

9. Billy Shakes is hanging out in the park. Shakespeare in the Park returns for another season at Central Park’s Delacorte Theatre. This year, they’re breaking out the blockbusters: Julius Caesar and the very park-appropriate Midsummer Night’s Dream. Just lend us your ears for this important warning: it’s a tough ticket. —JZ

The Museum of Modern Art. Photo: Alex Lopez

10. MoMA is Unpacking the Archive of Frank Lloyd Wright. This new exhibition celebrates a pioneer of modern architecture in honor of his 150th birthday. Explore 450 of Wright’s works—some never before displayed—including drawings, films, photographs and architectural models. –GO

11. Every band is coming to town. Want to see Billy Joel, Iron Maiden, Lorde, Wu-Tang Clan, Kendrick Lamar, Descendents, Thursday, Franz Ferdinand, Lisa Loeb, Hall and Oates, and probably your favorite artist? Good news. They’re playing New York City this summer, possibly outdoors and, if you’re lucky, for free. Visit our Concert Calendar and pick some shows. —JZ

12. Hip-hop still lives in New York City. A highlight of NYC’s summer concert lineup, the Brooklyn Hip-Hop Festival features hip-hop trio The Lox and rapper DMX—among many others. The fest, taking place July 10–15, also hosts other events including an interview with Rakim. —CP

Brooklyn Bridge Park. Photo: Julienne Schaer

13. Swale has barged its way into Brooklyn Bridge Park. All aboard this floating barge-park hybrid, where visitors can sow and forage an array of plant life for free, now through June 30. Hone your green thumb with public programs like gardening workshops, or just take some time to stop and smell the herbs. –GO

14. The Morgan’s at it again. Henry David Thoreau, author of “Civil Disobedience,” is the subject of a major exhibition celebrating his life, work and his place in literary history. This Ever New Self: Thoreau and His Journal at the Morgan Library & Museum, opening on June 2, features the journal Thoreau kept and is meant to give fans a deeper insight into his interests and writings. —CP

Governors Island. Photo: Kate Glicksberg

15. It’s easier than ever to get to the Rockaways and Governors Island. Expanded citywide ferry service is up and running, offering a scenic one-hour trip to the sandy shores of Rockaway Beach, or a quick ride over to the bucolic environs of Governors Island, for the price of a subway ride. Ferries leave seven days a week from South Street’s Pier 11. Find a detailed schedule at ferry.nyc. —BS

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16. Plus, they’ve got a summer market and free concerts. At the western end of the Rockaways, Riis Beach’s outdoor market features delicious eats from Brooklyn foodie faves like Fletcher’s Brooklyn Barbecue, Ample Hills Creamery and Neopolitan-style pizzeria Whit’s End. There will also be live music and other events. Check riisparkbeachbazaar.com for the full lineup. —BS

17. There’s time to get in someone’s good books. Brooklyn’s Books Beneath the Bridge holds a series of readings and signings in a scenic waterfront location; each is sponsored by a local indie bookstore. The Harlem Book Fair, in mid-July, brings together authors, publishers and critics to focus on African-American literature. —AR

18. We can get our groove on for free. The NYC Dance Week festival offers 10 days of free dance and fitness classes for all skill levels at 40 studios across the City. Register for the event here and add some new moves to your repertoire. –GO

19. Italy is just an elevator ride away. Toast to summer at Eataly’s rooftop restaurant Sabbia, which mimics the beachside restaurants on the Italian coast. Craft beer, regional Italian wine and a seafood-centric menu are among the draws here. If those don’t do it for you, perhaps the list of 50 rosés will call your name. —CP

20. Speaking of which, rosé season is in full swing. Sip some at Northern TerritoryLe Bar and Bar Primi, which slushes the pink wine into a special concoction: “frosé.” —CP

The Met Fifth Ave. Photo: Kate Glicksberg

21. It’s high season for high culture. One order of Puccini alfresco, please: the Met Opera Summer Recital Series gives the troupe’s young artists the chance to show off their operatic vocal chops in parks throughout all five boroughs. Elsewhere, Lincoln Center Out of Doors, Mostly Mozart and Midsummer Night Swing draw music and dance aficionados to the grounds of the City’s top performing arts complex. These events are open to the public, but are nevertheless an excuse to put on the ritz as if you’re part of high society. —AR

Brooklyn Film Festival. Courtesy, Brooklyn Film Festival

22. Brooklyn’s got its own film festivals. Forget the summer blockbusters—Kings County represents with the Brooklyn Film Festival, which screens more than 100 titles, and TromaDance, a DIY festival of cheesy horror films in the tradition of cult-hit-factory Troma Films (The Toxic Avenger). —BS

23. And the price of a movie ticket is going way down. Free movie screenings are a warm-weather tradition in the City. Indie flicks, classic films and blockbusters are all screened at outdoor venues across NYC, but we’re especially fond of series that take place at Bryant Park, Central Park and Coney Island. Bring a blanket, snacks and a beverage. —CP

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24. Things are warming up at MoMA PS1, again.  For 20 years, Saturday afternoon dance party Warm Up has been going strong in the courtyard of Queens’ MoMA PS1. Dance outside to sets by well-known DJs and bands, and then cool off inside the museum with the latest in contemporary art. —BS

Norm MacDonald. Courtesy of Netflix

25. We’re going to have some laughs. The summer’s comedy lineup includes shows by Jerry Seinfeld, Norm MacDonald (fresh off a new Netflix special) and Marlon Wayans, plus ongoing shows from the likes of Saturday Night Live’s Sasheer Zamata. —JZ


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