Autumn’s cool breeze will be blowing leaves in our faces before we know it. We’ve got to take charge and make the most out of the last of our summer weeks. Here are a few inexpensive suggestions to help you end these hot, sunny days with a BANG.
1. Bike to Coney Island
I dare you! It’s not as far as you think. Well, it is, but it’s a pretty flat, easy route and once you arrive you can eat a hot dog at Nathan’s, jump in the ocean depending on how hardcore you are, and then brag to your friends that you biked 26+ miles. Once you get past Prospect Park, you’re on the Ocean Parkway Greenway for a little more than 4 miles. This bike path is mostly shaded and separate from the street so it’s safe and for the most part a pretty sweet ride. If you’re one of those New Yorkers who’s never been to the historic amusement park, I highly recommend it. Heck, I demand it. It’s equal parts awe-inspiring and gross, but will dazzle you nonetheless. Also, you’ve got to ride the Cyclone at least once in your life.
Biking directions from Greenpoint to Coney Island: http://goo.gl/maps/VbWdy
2. Ride the NYC Beach Bus to the Rockaways
Not only is this new form of beach transportation incredibly convenient and totally cheap, the awesome trip organizers will snag you free donuts and provide free beer! Beer on a school bus! It’s like a field trip for adults! A round-trip ticket will cost you just $12, which is worth it considering you won’t have to transfer multiple stinky subways and spend hours underground when the sun is shining. The bus runs on Saturday, Sunday and all holidays, departing from Downtown Brooklyn near Barclays and in Williamsburg at the intersection of Meeker and Union. Riders are welcome to bring along surfboards and can partake in Yoga or Pilates classes on the beach. Additionally, your Beach Bus wristband will get you discounts at multiple nearby delis and stores before and after you get on the bus. It also leaves at various times in the morning and afternoon, so you can make your beach day as long or short as you want.
To reserve a ticket: http://www.nycbeachbus.com/
3. Spend a Weekend Afternoon in McCarren Park
Watch baseball games, dodge fly balls, smuggle beer or margaritas in a Styrofoam cup from a conveniently close and law-breaking nest and observe as park-goers around you get drunker by the minute. On a recent McCarren Park trip, my partner in crime took this photo below after consuming a few margs. It’s proof that magical things can happen here. All boozing aside, the park is looking really good these days after it’s much-needed makeover. It’s a pleasant spot to roll out a blanket and get your relaxation on.
4. Take a Spontaneous Ferry Ride
Surely you’ve seen the East River Ferry flags all over the neighborhood, but have you ever actually taken advantage of the thing? A trip on the ferry costs a mere $4 one way. Hop on at the Greenpoint dock at India St. and get off wherever your heart pleases. Brooklyn Bridge Park? Governor’s Island? Downtown Manahttan? Let the wind whip your hair, take a picture as you cruise past the Domino Sugar factory and embrace your city! You can also bring your bike for an extra buck each way.
5. See An Outdoor Movie
It’s such a summer thing to do! McCarren Park’s lineup is a thing to be praised this year. The FREE series kicked off this week with Can’t Hardly Wait and future screenings include such cinematic gems as Pee-Wee’s Big Adventure, The Craft and Speed. Even better yet, the McCarren Park movie events start with live music and feature food and drink vendors galore. The weekly Wednesday events take place at the corner of Bedford Ave. and N. 12th St. Gates open at 6pm, bands play at 6:30 and movies begin at sundown. Brooklyn Bridge Park’s Movies With a View provides a decent lineup, too, and hey, to get there you could take the ferry, crossing off two items from this checklist!