For the "Get Outdoors in New York City" issue of Time Out New York, I checked out the scene at the McCarren Park Pool. Click on the images below the splash, and you'll also see the quotes I got from people visiting the pool.
McCarren Park Pool The last time lines snaked from the imposing brick entryway down Lorimer Street, Sonic Youth was set to perform at the last of JellyNYC’s Pool Parties. After the facility’s $50 million renovation, the queues have returned, formed by families eager to try the new 1,500-person-capacity swimming hole. But even with more than a thousand swimmers, everyone has enough room. Kids have their run of the deck at the top of the massive 37,571-square-foot U-shaped pool, splashing their way through spray fountains and shallow paddling areas. Make for the other side, where the families thin out and the water, accentuated by the painted bottom, looks Mediterranean blue. Patrons are more relaxed here, either cooling off with a dip, sunbathing, swimming in the designated lap lanes or playing volleyball in a sand court off to the side. Be warned: Rules are strictly enforced, especially after the local press reported fights, arrests and theft (just try a backflip into the water now). You must leave everything except your towel, water bottle, sunblock, bound reading material, and flip-flops or sandals (no sneakers)—yes, even your cell phone—in a locker, for which you must provide your own lock. For more regulations, visit nyc.gov/parks. Lorimer St between Bayard St and Driggs Ave, Greenpoint, Brooklyn. Daily 11am–3pm, 4–7pm; free. Through Monday, September 3, 2012.
Click through to see the article and quotes at Time Out New York.
Photograph: Marielle Solan
feature package on apartment hunting every year, and this time around I got to profile three East Village hunter/renters. (Each profile also has a slideshow of the apartment.)
I also got to hear (and retell) this crazy story about a major setback that occurred during one apartment search:
THE SEARCH: After looking on sites like Naked Apartments (nakedapartments.com), StreetEasy (streeteasy.com) and Craigslist (craigslist.org)—the latter of which can be “very misleading,” notes Hull—the three roommates found an apartment and signed the papers. “On our move-in day, [the broker] called and told us there was one guy still in the apartment,” says Van Brunt. “John and Tony went to talk to him. He opened the door with the chain on and said, ‘This is my apartment, and that’s why I’m in here and you’re out there.’ We were basically homeless for two weeks. We found another apartment managed by the same company on 9300 Realty [9300realty.com]. It was a nicer place, with a balcony, a dishwasher and washer-dryer, [in] a better location. We said, ‘Give us that apartment at the agreed-upon rent, even though it should be a little more, and prorate us [this month], and we’ll be fine.’ ”
Photograph: Jakob N. Layman
The Commuter's Guide to Grand Central Terminal
Where to eat, shop, marvel, have a cocktail, play a round of tennis, and shoot a film—all while rushing to make the 6:12.
Grand Central Terminal may be in New York City, but it really is our domain. City residents never pay much mind to the beautiful Beaux-Arts building unless they have to take a trip to the northern suburbs. We Westchester commuters scuff our shoes daily on the terminal’s Tennessee marble floors.
Still, we don’t always take the time to appreciate the smart design, the impressive engineering, the meticulous planning that goes into keeping the transportation hub humming. Often, because we’re running for a train. But, before we pop our earbuds in and sit on a comfy Metro-North seat, we should take a moment to soak it all in. After all, it’s one of the greatest buildings in New York—at least according to New York magazine, which gathered a panel of experts in early 2011 to name the best New York City buildings of all time. “Grand Central creates a new type,” Barry Bergdoll, chief curator in the department of architecture and design at the Museum of Modern Art, told the magazine. “It’s really an indoor urban room that’s absolutely stunning.”
If that wasn’t enough, within its walls there are retail stores brimming with worthy last-minute gifts, gourmet goodies at every turn, a cocktail lounge that looks like it was transported from the piazzas of Florence, and even a tennis court. Here, we present our commuter’s guide to getting the most out of Grand Central. At the very least, it’ll give you another reason to feel superior to those Long Islanders, who have to come into the City via the hellish subterranean maze that is the current Penn Station.
To read the rest of the article, either click through or download the PDF above.
The Bangkok Cure: Kill That Hangover with Vitamins—and Another Drink
Alex Holzer, mixologist at The Dome at Lebua in Bangkok, Thailand, has a cocktail with a special connection to hangovers, because it was “specially created for the cast and crew of The Hangover Part II,” he says. In addition to some hair of the dog, Holzer loads his cocktail up with healthful ingredients: “Honey is a source of carbohydrates, minerals, vitamins, and protein. The Chinese have known about the medicinal benefits of green tea since ancient times, using it to treat everything from headaches to depression. Rosemary contains antioxidants and is an excellent source of Vitamins A, B6 and C, iron, calcium, magnesium, potassium, and copper. Its connection with memory has been noted for a long time. Green apples contain sodium, and we add Vitamin C by making juice out of it to maintain the green clear color.”
- 1 oz Chivas 12-year-old blended scotch whiskey
- 1 oz Zen green tea liquor
- .3 oz Martini Rosso
- .5 oz green apple juice
- .3 oz Angostura Bitter
- .3 oz honey/rosemary infusion (house-made)
- garnish with a rosemary sprig
Click through to read hangover cures from London, Sydney, Moscow, and Milan on The Condé Nast Traveler website.
The New York Post reports that, though not an official policy, branches of the chain has been "steadily closing some of its restrooms," at least in New York City, because its own employees are forced to wait in line behind customers.
So, what's a weary (and full-bladdered) traveler to do? Where will you turn for your next pit stop? Leave us your best public-restroom-finding strategies in the comments.
mixed-use community south of London's Olympic park in Stratford. In other words: an Ikea village of sorts. In addition to offices and more than a thousand new homes, LandProp is outfitting the development, called Strand East, with a Graysons restaurant, a 350-room hotel, and Dane's Yard, a waterfront public square marked by an illuminated 130-foot-tall sculpture. The eco-friendly community will have car-free zones (families can stow their minivans underground), water taxis in the surrounding canals, and landscaped bridges and walkways. The big question: How many pieces will be leftover when they’re done assembling the ’burb?Image Credit: LandProp
Westchester vs. The City
For the September cover story, I wrote and edited a meaty package comparing Westchester County to New York City. The intro explains it this way:
"At some point, you made a choice between urban living and suburban living. For some of you, the debate between the two ended the second you put down roots in Westchester. Maybe you never had doubts to begin with. For others, the struggle continues within. Every time you pay your tax bill, you think that you may have been better off with a cute little condo in Brooklyn Heights. (But would you have had to give up your washer/dryer for the indignity of the coin-op machine in the basement?) Then again, when you notice that you inadvertently left the house unlocked—again—and return to find your possessions untouched, you might revel in suburbia’s relative safety, and congratulate yourself for making such a smart choice.
It’s time to put the debate to rest. We may wonder about it every day, but how does life in New York City really compare to our suburban Westchester existences? We pit urban and suburban living head-to-head, piling in as many of the pertinent stats and facts as we could, to put the arguing to rest once and for all. Here, our (completely unbiased) findings."
The rest of the package includes
...a comparison of housing costs in the two areas.
...a head-to-head match-up of amusement parks, public parks, music halls, historic houses, and art museums.
...a look at demographics and statistics.
...words from a chef about why he chose Westchester as the spot to open his restaurant (and a restaurant comparability chart).
...a comparison of crime statistics.
...a list of rejoinders to win Westchester vs. City cocktail-party spats.
...a side-by-side check of incidental costs, such as library fees or movie tickets.
...a Q&A with Westchester-to-City transplant Sloane Crosley.
...a look at the differences in commuting.
...a comparison of the retail landscape, with a list of which chain stores excel in each area.
...thoughts on how the NYC nightlife mostly trounces Westchester's, but how Westchester has more green space.
...three different first-person essays from writers who have lived in both areas.
Read the entire package by clicking through the links, or downlaod the PDF above.
"Best Indie Bookstore
The Village Book Store
Amazon.com? No way. The Village Book Store owner Roy Solomon is a living, breathing database of books. (We’d say he’s a living card catalogue, but that’s so 20th-century.) Plus, you can access his knowledge without agonizing over the most efficient search terms. (And he’ll never end up trying to sell you something like patio furniture—can you say that about your favorite online retailer?) Book groups stumped for their next selection and anxious gift-givers rely on his recommendations. And so should you."
Click through to read the rest of the Arts & Leisure selections.
"Forget Johnny Depp. In fact, forget the Caribbean. The area’s true swashbucklers are going to be at Philipsburg Manor for Pirates of the Hudson: The Siege of Sleepy Hollow from July 2 to July 4. (Because nothing says patriotism like a little piracy.)
Pirates, after all, have been known to sail the Hudson—and cause consternation for Frederick Philipse, the Lord of the Manor. 'The Philipse family businesses involved, among other things, trading on the high seas, and piracy was a huge issue,' says Rob Schweitzer, spokesperson for Historic Hudson Valley. 'Legend holds that Frederick Philipse and Captain Kidd were, indeed, friends, and Kidd would land at Kingsland Point to meet with Philipse and trade with him, likely from his prizes as a legal privateer. When Kidd was named a pirate in 1698, Kidd and Philipse’s friendship would have greatly hurt Philipse’s name, and it may or may not have been used by then-Governor of New York Lord Richard Bellomont in kicking Philipse off the Governor’s Executive Council.'”
Click through to read the rest of the article.
Photo by Bryan Haeffele