Staff Picks: Summer Activities



Alex Chester


Growing up in SoCal I never was an outdoorsy type of person. Going to the beach was about as outdoorsy as I would get. Since having moved to NYC that all changed and I started going to different spots all along the Hudson hiking and camping. It is so green and lush in the summertime. I would call it tropical, and it is compared to the dessert that is Southern California.

One of my favorite spots for a hike is Breakneck Ridge in Cold Spring, NY. It’s an easy train ride away from Manhattan and situated near a quaint (but creepy after dark) little town. A great spot to get brunch, do some antiquing, and of course hike.

There are several trails one can take, but I love Breakneck. The view at the top is stunning. This trail is by no means easy, in fact, it can be quite dangerous if you aren’t careful, thus its name.

Make sure you wear appropriate clothing and bring lots of water, ’cause you will need it!


Alison Lea Bender


I’ve got pretty fair Korean skin. I love to just roll out a towel and soak in some good ol’ Vitamin D (with plenty of sunscreen, of course). It’s nice to have a soft, golden glow for a few months until I turn back into Snow White in the winter.

Botanical Gardens

Rebecca Lee Lerman


I’ve of been looking forward to wandering around the New York Botanical Gardens since spring has hit, but because it has been so cold and rainy, this activity is still on hold until the summer! There is a palpable healing and restorative energy that radiates from Botanical Gardens. Being out in the green, with the flowers and plants, you get grounded. The array of colors, I believe, reinvigorates your chakras. The beauty alone with the different assortments and artistic arrangements is breathtaking. It’s a great place to get quiet and restore yourself from the cold winter months. I can’t wait to explore!

Leaving Town

Lauren Hardie


Initially my response was going to be “going to the beach,” or “hosting a picnic,” or even “lazy day with rosé.” But y’know what’s better than each of those things? Doing those exact things in a different city. Imagine the beach in New York. Now imagine the beach in Koh Lipe. Let’s play again: Imagine a picnic in New York. OK, now imagine a picnic in Zilker Park in Austin, TX (with dogs, and near Barton Springs Pool when you need to cool off). Last round: Rosé in New York. Rosé in Barthelona.

NYC* is flippin’ amazing for a number of reasons. But sometimes part of loving it involves leaving it. Especially in the summertime. (*Insert your city here.)


Autumn Henry


I can’t have NYC without CT. I know that sounds super fucking pretentious but it’s simply circumstantial. My parents, sister, and most of my in-laws live in our neighboring state. It’s our go-to escape zone all year round when we need a breath of fresh air, a babysitter, and a lobster. Summer is especially fun-filled as the whole shoreline awakens and tourists flock to the beaches and outdoor seafood eateries. Long Island Sound is sprinkled with Hopper-esque sailboat scenes, and we get out our kayaks and clam rakes, hopeful to find the evening’s appetizers. My parents live on Summer Island Road and every August we celebrate “Summer Island Day” with a tag sale and hot dog stand for charity, a kids’ parade, a basket raffle, and waterfront potluck. CT does summer so right -- some might say out of necessity since New England summers always feel way too short, and we have to make the very best of each day.  


Gen Parton Shin


The luxury of being able to stroll through a mountain or the woods without having fear of predators such as bears or wolves makes it such a memorable experience.

NYC Philharmonic in the Park

Melissa Slaughter


Let’s be clear: I hate summer. Fellow writer Sam and I talk about this frequently. I can’t stand heat, sweat, or humidity. I generally spend all summer cooped up in my air conditioned bedroom binging unwatched television shows.

But the one thing that will get me out of the house and into the outdoors is the NYC Philharmonic playing in Central Park. I plan for it each year and arrive early, with a picnic and a bottle of wine. It’s a magical experience to hear classical music played live in a park, and it’s especially magical when it’s one of the best orchestras in the world in one of the most iconic parks in America.

Beach, Snorkel, Scuba

Sam Tanabe


Summer is my season! I am a fan of all things sun, summertime, and the ocean. Since moving out of South Florida, I realized I don’t mind warm weather all year round and truly would not miss the change of seasons if they never occurred. Winter is my personal hell. So, it’s predictable, but my favorite summertime activity is going to the beach. I also really love snorkeling, being in the ocean, and seeing all sorts of marine life. Scuba diving is everything to me. It’s so peaceful being underwater, away from the chaos above. There is nothing more beautiful to me than a lush coral reef full of fish, rays, and other creatures all gracefully moving about it. It’s an honor to be a visitor in their underwater domain.


Olivia Chen

Ghibli Ocean

I am a Midwesterner, but growing up, we spent time each summer on the South Carolina coast. I guess I have a place in my heart for the Atlantic, but I would visit a beach anywhere.