How is it August already? You have just a month left before Labor Day weekend, aka when the real world resumes, and we’ve got some ideas on how to make the most of it.
1. Of the many free city-run pools that open during the hottest months, Brooklyn Bridge Park’s colorful pop-up pool on Pier 2 has always been one of its most scenic, and best loved. Alas, the Parks Department has other plans for the space, so this will be the last summer to lounge on its sandy beach and splash in the pool, which admits guests in 45-minute sessions so it’s never too crowded.
2. The ice cream sandwich got fabulous upgrade at Underwest Donuts — which is expanding from its West Side Highway car wash home into Penn Station soon! — with a scoop of Il Laboratorio del Gelato’s dark chocolate or vanilla served between any of their doughnuts.
3. Because you’re already on the High Line, stop off at the Whitney Museum for their “Human Interest” exhibit. Pause your selfie-taking for an afternoon and check out all the ways portraits can reveal — or hide — their subject.
4. Not having a backyard is cause for serious FOMO. Luckily, New Yorkers have establishments like Brooklyn’s Nowadays. The bar’s sprawling, dog-friendly outdoor scene has all the greenery your concrete jungle-bound heart longs for, plus games like ping-pong and the weekly all-ages casual dance party Mister Sunday.
5. The price of gold is the unlikely source of summer’s best photo op. Located at Hunter’s Point South Park in Long Island City, Mika Tajima’sMeridian (Gold)sculpture is a steaming cube that emits colored light reflecting the “mood” of the global economy. It’s hollow in the center, allowing you to stand inside and pose for some pretty magical Instas.
6. TheBronx Zoois crawling, swimming and galloping with baby animals this summer, from the eight new Turkmenian flare-horned markhor in the herd to its first-ever Fairy Penguin. Don’t miss the silver leaf langur youngster, which are bright orange in their youth before their fur turns black. Growing up has its advantages.
7. If you haven’t gotten high this summer, then you haven’t lived. We’re talking rooftop bars, people. The highest in the city isSixtyFiveat the top of 30 Rock. Other options: Sip wines among the vines atRooftop Redsin the Brooklyn Navy Yard, or brunch in the enchanted forest that isGallow Greenat the McKittrick.
8. You say you’ll make it to Fort Tryon Park every summer, butThe Cloistershave been there since medieval times so what’s another season? Here’s some incentive: Stop by on Aug. 26 at 6 p.m. for afree guided tastingof wines from Germany’s Mosel region.
9. There’s no better place to expand your palate than at theQueens International Night Market,where dozens of vendors, most of them from Asia and likely selling foods you’ve yet to discover, set up shop during the summer on Saturdays from 6 p.m. until midnight at the New York Hall of Science. Aug. 20 is their last official night for the season, so don’t sleep on this one!
10. Virtual reality has come to Coney Island atDeno’s Wonder Wheelamusement park, which just debuted a “7-D” game-movie-ride experience where you fight zombies. But before our entire world goes digital, the Boardwalk beckons with all of its nostalgic carnival rides, seaside food and sideshow oddities.