three dozen fun warm weather activities to do in queens…
spring, it’s finally here. and in no time summer-in-the-city’s brutal humidity and sweaty concrete jungleness and marinating stinky trash heaps and a/c drips drip-dropping on innumerable disgruntled faces as the sun harshly beats down will have us all collectively craving the fleeting fall. but wait… oh yes, summer. queens may not have a park as nice as the one in brooklyn or any of the trendy outdoor brunch spots, shake-shacks, or highline promenades that manhattan boasts, but there certainly are some serious warm weather only-in-queens queenstastic gems waiting to be taken advantage of in this here borough.
a few suggestions…
1. hit up the lemon ice king in corona for some tasty ices and then watch the old italian dudes bet on competitive bocce ball at the park across the street.
2. smoke rich double apple hookahs and drink an arabic crushed ice fresh lemonade made w/ mint and rosewater on the astorian sun-drenched steinway street sidewalks.
3. have an impeccably-poured pint of guinness outside at sean ogs in woodside.
4. cavort under the glorious rainbow-spawning unisphere fountains and then rent bikes and aimlessly ride around flushing meadows park (it’s huge).
5. pack a bottle of wine and check out the lovely outdoor global cinema series at socrates sculpture park.
6. tacos and beach dayz at rocaway taco in far rockaway.
7. on a warm night, eat the greatest warm weather dessert item ever, the colombian cholado, from el palacio de los cholados on northern blvd in jackson heights.
8. arm yourself with some board games and some friends and drink czech brews and eat sausages at the bavarian beer garden in astoria.
9. sweaty dancing summer warm-up dj/art parties at ps1 (free for lic/sunnyside residents!).
10. walk around 5ptz before scummy yuppie developers unceremoniously raise it to the ground and replace it w/ gaudy unsold lofts for citibankers.
11. sit outside and rock some cold horchata and the best fish tacos in the city at toterilla niximal in corona.
12. street food walking tour of roosevelt ave (61st to 115th st is my favorite route).
13. swing on swings while brownbagging in the evenings at doughboy park in woodside after the kids depart.
14. visit the el guayaquileno ecuadorian truck in jackson heights and treat your senses and sweat glands to a spicy encebollado de pescado (fresh tuna soup).
15. devour paraguayan empanadas in the park on greenpoint ave in sunnyside after paying a visit to i love py bakery for the very best empanadas in queens.
16. check out some top-class tennis and shameless peddling of luxury goods at the us open in flushing meadows.
17. enjoy the chill city views and some bbq at astoria park, and, if feeling adventurous, the public pool.
18. relish a spicy green papaya salad and shrimp summer rolls w/ a thai iced coffee at chao thai in elmhurst.
19. check out the taiwanese boat races in flushing and be sure to cop a lychee smoothie at the annual dragon boat festival.
20. summerstage old school hip-hop shows at queensbridge park.
21. watch latin american soccer matches over dulce de leche-filled churros and coffee at la nueva bakery in jackson heights.
22. daytime pints of magners irish cider over ice in the outdoor garden at the gaslight on queens blvd in sunnyside while playing loteria.
23. take in the sights, sounds, and tastes of the colombian independence day fiesta in flushing meadows park.
24. ride on ziplines, climb walls, and hike in real live nature at alley pond park.
25. sing the praises of pat bing soo, a traditional korean shaved ice w/ fruit and red beans and all sorts of other crazy bangin’ ingredients in flushing.
26. take the 7 to flushing and walk to the gnesha temple for tasty vegetarian indian food and beautiful architecture.
27. doubles, rum, and soca music in trini richmond hill.
28. watch the semi-pro, mini nyc world cup soccer tournament copa nyc in flushing meadows park and make sure to grab a homemade tropical fruit helado from a mexican icy lady slangin’ frozen treats out of babyless baby strollers.
29. meander around the waterfront in long island city and then have a few drinks outside in the sun at lic bar.
30. visit the elusive queens botanical garden in flushing meadows.
31. grab a dark coffee-ice-cube-iced coffee from baruir’s armenian coffee shops on queens blvd and then walk up skillman ave into tree-lined sunnyside gardens.
32. eat cheap but delicious greek food outside at pinocchio palace on 30th ave and people watch in astoria.
33. enjoy the dynamic music and film at the latino cultural festival at queens theater in the park in flushing meadows.
34. eat a late night moroccan lamb sandwich on a crusty baguette from halal sandwich shop in astoria and then waltz up steinway for the devilishly good watermelon hookah, smoked out of an actual whole watermelon at melody lounge.
35. get a frozen custard from timmy-o’s in corona.
36. cheer on the hapless mets at citi field.
(i wrote this last year when i used to have more time to write things besides the things i write for work and the things i write for grad school. it seemed relevant to edit/re-post it since the weather is warming up quite nicely and queens is THE BEST in the spring and summer).