This month, I set my mind to getting out of New York City and going on one of those long, August vacations everyone talks about. I pictured it, I imagined it, I willed it, I set my mind to it. I tried the Hamptons a few times, even Maine, but it only made my cravings for a true August jet-set worse. Palm trees, French cafés, Hawaiian luaus…I had my head swimming with them day after day. But as the away messages from allegedly cooler people cluttered my mailbox (things like “I will be out of the office from August 3rd-August 23” 20 days? Really? Twist the knife more.) I realized I’d failed. I would not be escaping New York. Subways, supers and Saturdays in Soho were my short-term destiny. Suddenly I realized I had two choices. I could wallow in envy as the instagrams, tweets and away messages poured over my head like the green slime doused on contestants on Nickelodeon’s Figure it Out, or, I could make summer vacation in New York FOR New Yorkers a thing! Clarifier: this piece is not for tourists…this is for New Yorkers. Because guess what NYC? We’re taking back August.
You know what’s great about vacationing in New York as a New Yorker? You don’t have to leave your sarcasm, impatience, or sassiness at the door. No one’s going to tell you things like, “That’s just how French waiters are,” or “Your Pina Colada is coming. Relax, you’re on vacation,” or “Stop fidgeting. When else do you get to sit and watch a sunset?” No. You can be you on vacation in New York. French waiters can be seriously frustrating, and if you miss today’s sunset, I have a feeling one will come again tomorrow…
So how can you be a vacationing New Yorker in New York, you ask? Here’s an account of a typical day vacation in New York for the typical New Yorker to inspire your NYC “getaway”…
Breakfast happens at Cafe Sabarsky in the Neue Gallery with a copy of the New York Times. Remember, breakfast should be a splurge order, not a kale juice or an egg white omelete with steamed vegetables. Alternatively, your phone CAN be on the table. You’re a New Yorker vacationing in NYC after all – don’t let anyone guilt you. After breakfast, a stroll through the Neue Gallery is in order, after which you take a walk down the top part of Madison Avenue. Stop by the MET, but keep your trip there as short as you’d like. You’re from here. You can go anytime you want, right?
Jet downtown for lunch at Eataly where you’ll order wine, cheese and charcuterie while talking about Mario Batali like an old friend, rather than snapping pictures and looking wowed.
Spend half of the afternoon in Soho/Nolita shopping at spots like Kisan, Kirna Zabete, Opening Ceremony, A Détacher, and Creatures of Comfort.
The other half of the day, you’ll stroll up to the West Village, hang around Christopher, Bleeker and Grove streets, and eventually stop into Jeffrey’s Grocery for oysters and champagne.
When 5:30 hits, you’ll head up to one of our favorite hidden spots in NYC – Bar Centrale in the Theater District – where you can always be sure to find celebs ranging from Ann Hathaway and Meryl Streep, to Carey Mulligan and the [former] cast of Gossip Girl. It’s a pre and post theater watering hole for drinks and apps. Yes, roll your eyes all you’d like to, you’re going to the theater.
Nothing like a great play or musical In New York City, let’s be real. For dinner and drinks after maybe you’ll hit up Bond 45 or Joe Allen…You’re from New York; you’re making Times Square not so square.
There you have it; art, food, culture and theater all in a day’s work. Is it enough for New Yorkers to take back August with? Will you be passing on the 134-person Hamptons share house this weekend to stay here and get New-Yorkified? Come on guys…take it!
– Laura Kosann