Summer 2013: Guide to New York City

The High Line
Inspired by Paris’ Promenade plantée, the High Line park in the heart of the Meatpacking District of Manhattan continues to attract swarms of visitors — both tourists and locals — on a daily basis. Originally built in 1934 as a safe alternative to deliver meat, dairy, produce and other perishable goods into the city (the street-level railway tracks on 10th Avenue were killing too many pedestrians, earning the area the nickname “Death Avenue”), the railway fell out of use with the proliferation of delivery trucks once America’s interstate highways were established by the 1960s. The line was shut down in the 1980s and fell into disarray. It was nearly demolished under the iron-fist reign of Rudy Giuliani. The non-profit group Friends of The High Line fought to preserve the land and transform it into the national landmark that it is today.
The park extends from Gansevoort Street, in the Meatpacking District, all the way up to 30th Street in Chelsea. At certain points you’ll feel like you’re walking through someone’s backyard, when the walkway is directly at the height of fourth-story windows that line the parkway. Look left and you’ll see the Hudson. Look right and you’ll see Manhattan. The view of the city is bizarre and unparalleled. And it’s all free, baby.

Rockaway Beach
Forget Coney Island. Despite being ravaged by Hurricane Sandy, The Rockaways remain home to the finest stretch of beach the city has to offer. Despite having no boardwalk (the piers remain!) and the fact that much of the surrounding community remains half-fixed, boarded up and burned, beach culture is open and thriving, celebrating summer in the wake of unfathomable loss and personal tragedy. It doesn’t hurt that it’s the best surf this side of Montauk. And the food is amazing: Ripper’s, Caracas Arepas Bar, Lobster Joint. And Rockaway Taco. You have to try Rockaway Taco. Even if you hate New York. Even if you hate crowded beaches. Even if you hate fish and tacos, the fish taco at this little shanty is worth the pricey commute from Italy.

The Brooklyn Smorgasburg
If only humans could eat forever without exploding.The Brooklyn Smorgasburg is where food porn lovers come to fill their beautiful dark twisted fantasies after a night of drinking PBR and watching the sun from their friend’s friends’ Bushwick rooftop. There’s all kinds of food from over 80 purveyors in the New England region. Bring $20 cash and listen to your gut and you’ll be in heaven. Get donuts from Dough, fried fish from Handsome Hanks, homemade ice cream sammys from The Good Batch, smoky bbq from We Rub You, and… you get the point. Just go hungry. (For a full list of vendors, click here. The Brooklyn Smorgasburg runs Saturdays at the East River State Park on the Williamsburg waterfront and Sundays on the DUMBO waterfront. 11AM–7PM. Entry is free. Rain or shine.

Lane Koivu