St. Patrick’s Day is almost here, and though its modern iteration seems to have devolved into a daylong drinking activity, it’s still a good time to reflect on New York’s Irish heritage. Irish immigrants have been coming to New York since the colonial era, but in the 19th century, they were one of the biggest groups in the city, making up about a quarter of the population. Their cultural influence is everywhere, but there are some spots in town where it shines through the most. Here are our favorites.
All posts by Rebecca Fishbein
It’s sometimes hard to see New York’s romantic potential, considering the city’s sheer quantity of subway rats and mysterious street sludge. But despite some of New York’s less love-inspiring qualities, there are a lot of beautiful, heart-stopping spots that set the right tone for romance, even if you have to contend with yellow snow on your way home. Just in time for Valentine’s Day, we’ve rounded up our 10 favorites, from a medieval monastery to a cozy restaurant haunted by Aaron Burr to tried-and-true favorites like the top of the Empire State Building.
A downside to living in a thriving city is that air pollution makes for poor fall foliage, though some spots in town—Wave Hill, Pelham Bay Park—still boast colorful leaves at the end of October. But if you take a short trip outside the city limits, you can see some beautiful autumn colors, all within a day’s drive. Ahead, we’ve rounded up our seven favorites, from Mohonk Mountain House to Bear Mountain to the Storm King Art Center.
Photo via Pixabay
With autumn in New York City quickly approaching, you can take in the changing leaves and crisp air, and there are few places better to do that than a local farm. Some of the best spots near town offer apple and pumpkin picking, in addition to a slew of other fall-ready activities, making it easy to bring some of the season home with you. Ahead, we’ve rounded up our 10 favorite spots to check out this year.
Asbury Park beach, photo via Wikimedia
New York City has some great local beaches, like the Rockaways, Coney Island, and Brighton and Orchard Beaches. But when you need a short break from all the spots you can hit via the subway, it’s worth remembering that there are some great beaches just a quick drive, NJ Transit, or Long Island Railroad ride away. Here are some of our favorite day beach trips from the city, from up-and-comer Asbury Park and Long Branch in NJ to long-time favorites like Fire and Shelter Islands.
With Memorial Day just around the corner, most New Yorkers have two options–sit in endless hours of traffic trying to get to the beaches on the Hamptons or down the Jersey Shore, or have a staycation in the city. And while the latter may sound boring (and hot!) there are plenty of beaches to hit up within the boroughs. From the Rockaways to Fort Tilden, we’ve rounded up the seven best sandy spots in New York City.
There are few spring and summer pleasures more sublime than drinking aboard a boat, though, in New York City, those are hard to come by unless you’re buddies with a yacht owner. The good news is, there are a handful of bars actually located onboard barges and boats, where you can sip wine and watch the sunset as the waves bob below. Here are our favorites; and do note the Staten Island Ferry is an unofficial boat bar, too.
At long last, it appears springtime’s on its way to New York, transforming streets of sad, wilted grey and brown into, er, slightly less sad-looking grey and brown. If the little buds starting to sprout on tree branches in the parks and on the streets aren’t enough green for you, there are plenty of plant shops in the city that’ll help introduce some oxygenating goodness into your own apartment, no matter how small, dark, or pet-filled it may be. Note that for the sake of this list, we’ve stuck with plant shops, not florists, though you’ll find arrangements at some of these shops—this one, though, is for home gardeners and lovers of succulents, which it turns out you do need to water from time to time, a lesson some of us first-time plant parents learned the hard way.
Getting out of the city during the hot summer months has never felt so necessary, with the usual ways of staying cool by exploring an air-conditioned museum or taking a dip at a city pool. For those looking to reconnect with nature (while maintaining social distance), there are a number of escapes just outside of the city offering hikes and treks ranging in levels of difficulty. Some of these are easily accessible by Metro-North; some might require a car, and some happen to be in the city itself, provided you consider Staten Island within its borders. All of them feature great views, exercise, fresh air, and the occasional tree, how novel! Ahead, discover our favorites.
Photo of McSorley’s © James and Karla Murray
Irish Americans have been a part of the New York ecosystem since the colonial era, but they cemented their stamp on this city during a period of mass migration in the 19th century. We owe a lot to the Irish—some of the city’s most beautiful buildings and cathedrals were designed and built by Irish immigrants, for instance. One of the tastier hand-me-downs was the Irish bar, replete with cheap pints, hearty grub, dark lighting, and a slate of bartenders who’ll inspire you to earn their respect. Ahead we’ve rounded up 12 of the best, from old standbys like McSorley’s and Peter McManus Cafe to some lesser-known gems like Sunset Park’s Irish Haven (the bar in The Departed) and baseball bar Foley’s.