Posts Tagged ‘Museum Mile’

Where to Enjoy a Great Picnic in New York City

It’s picnic time! The weather is hot and outdoor dining is the favorite pastime. Here are some ideas for where to hold a picnic to remember.

Central Park


A picnic in the park is a natural and Central Park has a wide variety of locations that you’ll enjoy, many not far from the East Side’s Museum Mile or the Upper West Side’s American Museum of Natural History. Favorites are the Great Lawn which sits in the middle of the park between 79th street and 85th street, Turtle Pond at the southern tip of the Great Lawn near Belvedere Castle, and Sheep Meadow a bit further South. Depending on whether you’re arriving from the East Side or the West Side, there are delis, specialty food shops and a picnic specialist to help you construct your outdoor feast.

Courtesy Butterfield Market

On the East Side, Butterfield Market is a popular gourmet shop with a variety of food departments. You can choose from prepared foods at the gourmet counter including crab cakes, chicken wings and more elaborate dishes like poached salmon or skirt steak, or stay small with pre-made sandwiches, sushi or salads. The talented baristas at the coffee bar will customize your beverage – try an iced dirty chai or an iced matcha latte for a break from a traditional coffee — or choose from many of the gourmet sodas and waters. Add one of their gorgeous cupcakes and you’re good to go. From the West Side, deli fave Barney Greengrass will pack up a super-portable bagel, cream cheese and nova sandwich along with Boylan’s cream soda and a black and white cookie for a very New York-y nosh.

Perfect Picnic NYC © Wendy Weston

Celebrating ten years of feeding hungry New Yorkers, Perfect Picnic NYC puts together picnic assortments from simple to elaborate. Start with a base and add on beverages, a blanket and a basket, if you wish, or just pick up a grab ‘n go meal to add to your own set-up.  You can even arrange a “picnic experience” that is full-service including delivery and clean-up. Owner Wendy Weston creates a menu that changes based on “her cravings” and ingredients of the season. Located near the Northern tip of Central Park at 100th Street and Central Park West, Perfect Picnics can be ordered in advance or onsite.

Bryant Park

Courtesy Picnic Performances

Running through September 20, a variety of New York City performance companies will showcase their talent at Manhattan’s Bryant Park. Dubbed “Picnic Performances,” the shows take advantage of the city’s burgeoning outdoor culture and, hopefully, good weather. If you missed experiencing live music, concerts and opera over the past year, this is a wonderful chance to grab a lawn spot or chair, spread out your picnic with a chilled rosé and enjoy an evening of some of the best talent around.  The scheduled is filled with opera, jazz from Jazz at Lincoln Center, dance performances by Paul Taylor and Elisa Monta Dance, the New York City Opera’s Rigoletto, theater from the Classical Theater of Harlem and a centennial celebration of The Town Hall.

Courtesy Grand Central Terminal Market

What to bring: Park Avenue Liquor Shop near the Morgan Library is the go-to for a choice of chilled wines. Visit Grand Central Terminal’s market by 7pm to put together a picnic from Eli Zabar’s Farm to Table, Murray’s Cheese or Pescatore Sushi & Noodles. Don’t forget your blanket and some reusable wine glasses.

Governor’s Island

Courtesy Pinknic Festival LLC

For the ultimate picnic experience, Governor’s Island is the place to be for the Pinknic Festival, a combination all-day picnic and music festival. Scheduled this year on September 4 and 5, Pinknic celebrates its five-year anniversary with a pink-and-white assemblage of picnickers on the lawns. Your ticket includes a Pinknic tote for your goodies, a wine cup, blanket and more. A variety of NYC restaurants at the food garden add the main ingredient, also offering pink. beverages including rosé and frosé. Then sit back and indulge while you listen to live bands and DJ sets, all with fabulous views of Manhattan and Brooklyn. Wear something pink and something white and you’ll sure to be instagrammed as part of the end-of-summer party


Courtesy Dinner Party

To tempt you with her upcoming salon dinner series in Fort Greene, Cami Jetta has put together a preview  Dinner Party picnic basket for takeaway dining in the park. Plan your food menu for a day in Fort Greene Park or Prospect Park with the likes of sourdough pita, Ellie’s salad shirazi, beet hummus, roast eggplant and baklava shortbread. The menu is available online and changes frequently. Select from the “Picnic of the Week,” cookie box or sandwich. A tote bag is also available for purchase.

Kokomo © Katrine Moite

Williamsburg’s popular Black-owned and operated Kokomo offers a kicky picnic package complete with a blanket, canned signature cocktails and an array of Caribbean cuisine. For some true island flavor, sample Kokomo’s signature Yardie shrimp pizza with callaloo and grilled pineapple, braised oxtail with rice & peas, a guava BBQ-sauced Calypso burger or jackfruit tacos. Add a Coconut Negroni or a Pain Killer cocktail and you’ll have a picnic to remember. The restaurant sits in a convenient location for picking up your picnic goodies for a day in Brooklyn’s McCarren Park, Domino Park, 5th Pier Park or by the waterfront on Bushwick Inlet.

The first-ever survey of Isaac Mizrahi’s boundary-breaking designs brightens the Jewish Museum

Through August 7, fashionistas and non-fashionistas alike can bask in the colorblock glow of Isaac Mizrahi at the Jewish Museum on the Upper East Side.  Designed to admire and explain the inspirations behind the Brooklynite’s provocative and colorful collections, the “Isaac Mizrahi: An Unruly History” exhibition pieces together sketches, storyboards and fabric swatches from the designer’s 30-year career with footage of models wearing the actual items displayed.  “It’s a rare opportunity to have these two groupings come together in one exhibit. Watching the supermodels strut their stuff in Isaac’s dresses is wondrous enough. But to see the dresses and all on mannequins within inches of you, is truly a rare experience,” explained guest curator Chee Pearlman.

Mizrahi may be most recently known for his performances in the documentary Unzipped and on Project Runway All Stars, or for his QVC and Target collections – especially among younger fans — but it’s the couture items that really turn heads.  Take, for example, two of his earliest “High and Low” dares: mixing a t-shirt fabric top with a taffeta ball skirt bottom, or creating a gown from elevator padding materials.  Or his “The Real Thing” dress made of paillettes from Coca-Cola cans, laboriously beaded together on a 60s silhouette sheath.  There’s also a room with video showing Mizrahi-designed clothes worn by Sarah Jessica Parker on “Sex in the City” and Sarah Bernhard while doing stand-up comedy, as well as unusual costumes created for the Guggenheim Museum’s annual presentation of Peter and the Wolf and the frog attendants in the 18th-century French opera Platée.

The exhibit has been built to be movable, with a limited run at the Jewish Museum.  So why the fuss about a designer who is still alive?  Isaac Mizrahi is the real deal when it comes to New York City. He’s a 21st-century Renaissance man who loves life, embraces everything for what it displays, and re-gifts it in ways that break boundaries and challenge the imagination.  From his humble beginnings as a Yeshiva boy in Brooklyn, to his late 1980s entry into the design world, followed by forays into television, film, dance, and theater, Mizrahi displays a talent for imagination and vibrancy.  You may love some of the designs. You may be puzzled by others. But you will be hard-pressed not to leave with a vivid impression of this multi-talented polymath.

Museum admission is $15 for adults, $12 for seniors and $7.50 for students from Sunday-Friday (closed Wednesday).  Admission is free on Saturday, and Thursday from 5-8 are Pay What You Wish nights.  The Jewish Museum, 1109 Fifth Avenue, at 92nd Street.

Part I: Museums and Noshing on the Upper East Side

Museum Mile on the Upper East Side is a destination unto itself.  You can literally walk for miles once you add your steps through all the wonderful galleries at the Met, the Whitney and Guggenheim, and that’s only a start.  Here are some of my favorites pit stops to refuel as you immerse yourself in NYC culture.  Watch next week for “where to eat” on the Upper West Side.  Remember, most museums are closed on Monday, so check the schedules carefully.

More on Part I: Museums and Noshing on the Upper East Side

Planning a trip to NYC?