Thankfully, with correct social distancing measures, picnics are considered a safe way to have fun this summer, and the city is filled with possibilities in the form of parks and gardens. New York City is also known for its accessible secrets, and our shortlist of urban escapes–whether hidden in plain sight or tucked away–are great to visit any time, but as off-the-beaten-path picnic spots, they shine.
Feltman’s via Boston Public Library
The name Nathan’s has become synonymous with Coney Island, whether it be for the annual hot dog-eating contest or the childhood nostalgia of the boardwalk. It’s also become arguably the biggest name in the hot dog world in general. But, believe it or not, Nathan’s was not the first place to serve up franks in the seaside neighborhood. That distinction goes to Feltman’s, which was begun in 1867 as a pushcart by German immigrant Charles Feltman, considered the inventor of the hot dog on a bun.
Photo via Pexels
It’s time to get your grill on. Barbecue areas in New York City parks will officially reopen this weekend in time for the Fourth of July, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced on Monday. While our tiny apartments and fire escapes may not always be the greatest spots to host a barbecue, the city’s parks provide some of the best places to dine on hamburgers and hot dogs this holiday. “I want everyone to remember to be safe, still practice the appropriate social distancing, still wear the face coverings,” the mayor said. Ahead, 6sqft rounded up 15 of the best parks to host socially-distanced outdoor barbecues, from old standby Prospect Park to less known locales like Staten Island’s Clove Lakes Park.
When the neo-Gothic Woolworth Building at 233 Broadway was erected in 1913 as the world’s tallest building, it cost a total of $13.5 million to construct. Though many have surpassed it in height, the instantly-recognizable Lower Manhattan landmark has remained one of the world’s most iconic buildings, admired for its terra cotta facade and detailed ornamentation–and its representation of the ambitious era in which it arose. Developer and five-and-dime store entrepreneur Frank Winfield Woolworth dreamed of an unforgettable skyscraper; the building’s architect, Cass Gilbert, designed and delivered just that, even as Woolworth’s vision grew progressively loftier. The Woolworth Building has remained an anchor of New York City life with its storied past and still-impressive 792-foot height.
A prototype of D-Tec 1 clinic courtesy of SG Blocks
As the country enters the fourth month of fighting the coronavirus pandemic, public health experts and officials say the best way to keep the virus under control is expansive diagnostic testing. Harvard research group Global Health Institute says states should greatly ramp up testing to contain the spread of COVID-19, to at least 900,000 tests per day; currently, the U.S. is testing about 500,000 people per day. Paul Galvin realized his company, SG Blocks, which repurposes shipping containers for a variety of uses, could meet this crisis head-on. The Brooklyn-based construction organization has designed a new product line of medical pop-up clinics and COVID-19 testing facilities that are affordable, eco-friendly, and can be constructed just about anywhere.
In early May, Governor Cuomo revealed that businesses across New York would reopen in four phases. He divided the state into 10 regions and created seven metrics that would determine when a region could begin the process. As of Monday, New York City finally entered phase two, which permits outdoor dining, in-store retail, hair salons, playgrounds, and more. To help make all the transitions a bit easier, we’ve put together a guide that breaks down what exactly is being monitored to determine reopening, what businesses are allowed to reopen in each phase, and other important info like transportation and testing.
Outdoor dining being set up on Columbus Avenue between 72nd and 73rd Streets. Photo by 6sqft
With New York City officially in its second phase of reopening, restaurants were allowed to open for outdoor dining on Monday. This includes not only sidewalk and patio seating, but it lets establishments set up tables in adjacent parking spots. And come next month, certain open streets will be open, too. To help you decide where to eat first, we’ve begun compiling a list of restaurants offering outdoor dining, neighborhood by neighborhood. This is by no means an exhaustive list, so we hope that you, our readers, will share more restaurants with us that we can add to this list.
Rendering courtesy of Extell
The coronavirus pandemic–which forced New Yorkers to shelter in place and adhere to social distancing rules–has many apartment dwellers longing for private outdoor space. While a lot of us would be content with a balcony or rooftop access, Extell, the developer behind One Manhattan Square, has taken the idea of residential outdoor space to the next level. At the Lower East Side condo tower, residents have access to 45,000 square feet of green space designed by landscape architecture firm West 8. Considered to be one of the largest private gardens in the city, the East River-facing green space is uniquely located on an incline and contains several distinct areas designed for active and passive use. Ahead, hear from the team at West 8 on creating an urban oasis in one of the city’s busiest neighborhoods as well as the many perks of the space, including an adult treehouse, tea pavilion, star-gazing observatory, and more.
Juneteenth has been observed by African Americans nationwide for more than 150 years as a celebration of the day enslaved Black people were liberated in the United States. This year, as Black Lives Matter demonstrations continue across New York City, the holiday takes on special significance as a day of action, reflection, and education. New York officials are recognizing the weight of the anniversary by making Juneteenth an official state holiday and a city holiday, set to be observed by public schools next year. Although the festivals and cookouts of the past are on hold this year in light of the coronavirus, there are many virtual and socially distanced events happening across the city, from a digital day of dance to a cyclist-led Freedom Ride.
The Black Lives Matter movement has strong roots in New York City, and with this in mind, 6sqft has put together a list of books about or related to New York City, all by Black authors. Including fiction and nonfiction, our list includes classics like Paule Marshall’s Brown Girl, Brownstones and James Baldwin’s The Fire Next Time to contemporary works like Kiley Reid’s Such a Fun Age and Elaine Welteroth’s More Than Enough.