Summer, Seaport, and Salsa

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New York City is filled with bustling sounds, wide eyed people from all around the world, and a constant chaotic energy. Although the city has much to offer in pretty much every department, when it comes to NYC in the summer time, usually you get more of a sigh from locals than a list of exciting places to visit. It is true that the city can get a little hot, sticky, and crowded during the summer. But that is exactly why it is important to find a place to kick back and enjoy the warm weather without massive crowds.
My apartment, like many, does not have a grand balcony or a pool. However, I am someone who loves to get a tan on a warm day. Going to school at Pace University allowed me to explore downtown Manhattan throughout the past few years. And through my explorations I have found the perfect spot to lounge on a nice day. It’s the upstairs lounge right next to Pier 11 at the South Street Seaport. Basically, this spot is an upstairs balcony fit with lounge chairs and real grass to lay on. It is located above the Watermark Bar and Restaurant and bar at the seaport. The balcony has the perfect view of Brooklyn Heights, the Brooklyn Bridge and FiDi. I originally loved going there because it’s one of the only places around that area where I can find a real patch of grass. I am from New Jersey, and grass, as well as being near a river or an ocean, is something I always miss when I’m in NYC. So this is the perfect spot.
After a morning of relaxing and soaking in some sun, I always head down to El Luchador. It’s directly across the street from the upstairs lounge and it’s the best taco spot in the city as far as I’m concerned. Their menu has all the classics from nachos smothered in salsa and cheese to the best beer-battered fried cod tacos which I happened to chow down on during Cinco De Mayo. The restaurant itself is tiny but you can grab your food to go and eat outside or inside the vintage trailer next to the restaurant. It has never disappointed me and I’m always glad when I go.
At the end of the day, you can head down to the Seaport to check out the shops. There are many boutiques filled with local artists jewelry, sunglasses, artwork and clothes. Plus there’s a Haagen Dazs if you want to end your day with a creamy cold treat or a bar named Ambrose Hall if you want to end your day with a drink. At Ambrose Hall you can grab a pint and sit outside on the cobblestone streets under a string of lights. I especially love this little spot because you forget for a second that you’re in NYC. No matter what you plan to do around here, you will never get bored and it is the perfect way to spend a free, sunny day this summer away from the crowds at Coney Island or Central Park. If you do decide to go, make sure you tell me, so, I can join you!

By Carlie Rice
Photo taken by Jason Tompa

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