Summertime in New York City can get a little funky: hot sidewalks filled with sweaty and cranky commuters, cramped subways, unidentified smells on the street. Sometimes you need to escape to “somewhere that’s green”.
Luckily, NYC has some of the world’s best parks, greens, and commons. Here are just a few of our favorites that will refresh and restore you, and make you glad again that it’s “summer in the city.”
Explore Central Park
If you really want to forget you’re in Manhattan and immerse yourself in nature, head uptown to America’s first landscaped park — Central Park. It’s so massive, the park takes up as much space as 16 billion NYC apartments (sure, apartments in the city are small, but even still!).
There are literally hundreds of things to do and see in Central Park, with acres of open space, lush greens, and cool bodies of water.
Summer days are a perfect time to meander through the walking trails of The Ramble, rent a rowboat or go on a Gondola ride along The Lake, birdwatch at the peaceful Hallett Nature Sanctuary, or spread out on a blanket to work on your tan at Sheep’s Meadow.
Also, check out NYC’s oldest (and one of its coolest) outdoor monuments—Cleopatra’s Needle—a 1450 BC
Egyptian obelisk with a time capsule buried underneath.
Get Involved at Bryant Park
Bryant Park, also known as NYC’s “Town Square,” is a favorite midtown chill out zone and meeting place all year long. In the summer months, its football field-length lawn is a sunny spot to catch a few rays or a live performance, or participate in a cultural event, class or activity.
Surrounding the lawn is a tree-lined perimeter with a not-for-kids-only French carousel, lots of tables and seating, and plenty of shade to sit a relax or read something from the outdoor reading library.
Feeling competitive? Challenge your friends to a table top game, or ping pong, Petanque, or Putt and Kubb match.
Or take a cool selfie by the iconic, Instagrammable water fountain.
Relax at Madison Square Park
Just a hop, skip, and a jump from Ayza’s front door is our neighborhood green, Madison Square Park. Don’t let its size fool you. This little park will keep you cool under its thick awning of lovingly-preserved trees with lots of spots to relax, people watch, and snap some awesome pics of the adjacent Flat Iron building.
There are always rotating art installations in the park, and in the summer months, there’s also a good chance you may hit one of the park’s food festivals or concerts. Even your pooch will love the well-kept dog run, the park’s annual BarkFest, and the perks of becoming a Mad. Sq. Dog member!
Escape at Ayza’s Urban Oasis
Of course, you can always take a break from sticky summer life (at least for a little) at Ayza Wine & Chocolate Bar. Greet the summer in our newly renovated outdoor terrace. Cool off during Happy Hour sipping one of our signature cocktails or a chocolate martini. Share a bottle of wine, appetizers or charcuterie as you sit back and enjoy “summer days with your honey worried ‘bout not a thing…”
Or, experience the romance of dining al fresco, surrounded by our garden and the lights and sounds of a New York City summer night. Usher in the summer season at a Ayza Wine & Chocolate Bar — where life is just a little sweeter.