Summer days, drift - The New York Times

It’s almost Labor Day, which means our time together is coming to an end. We laughed, we cried, we nibbled , we island jumped , we… ass...


It’s almost Labor Day, which means our time together is coming to an end. We laughed, we cried, we nibbled, we island jumped, we… assessed the risk of infection. After a long summer of mixed moods, my newsletter partner Michael Gold and I decided to sit down (virtually) and reflect on how much weirdness this season has brought us. (And instead of our usual suggested activities, scroll down for choices on two types of late-summer refreshments: ice cream and cocktails.)

MICHAEL When we launched the newsletter in May, were we ever that young? – you wrote that we were all “relearning the art of being around each other”. This was certainly true back when “hot summer vax” was in effect, and we thought vaccines would free us from the anxiety and restrictions we faced.

Obviously things look different now, even though you and I have always had summer plans. But given that you’ve covered the return of the night scene, what do you think about how things changed in July and August? “Hot vax summer” has become “weird summer vibes“at some point, but when?

JULIA I think my summer energy started to change at the end of July when the hype of the return of nightlife started to fade and fear of revolutionary cases started to crop up in my group discussions. But even with all the risk calculation, mask wearing and the unknowns, this summer has been filled with joy and excitement, so maybe the real hot summer of vax was the weird memories we made in the process. road? I mean, I spent most of last summer sitting on a picnic blanket with my roommate in Prospect Park, so the bar for this one was pretty low.

My dreams of seeing a lot of live music and feeling carefree on the dance floors of my favorite clubs somehow fell apart one way or another, but I would say there was still a lot of euphoric moments over the past few months. Do you feel like you can live out most of your post-vaccination summer dreams?

MICHAEL Well, most of my summer hopes and dreams were on the outside, as they usually are. I’m still not fed up with park blockages. I still hopped on the train to go to the beach and drink in bars with outdoor spaces. These are the things that have always meant summer in New York to me, even when the heat index goes over 90. Spend time outdoors on long days.

But yeah, you know I also did some indoor activities that I was pushing back, including going to the movies, an experience I haven’t had since February 2020.. But I also continued to do these things as a new sense of caution took hold. And I think after talking to people, a kind of double consciousness emerged. You started guessing your plans, but as the Delta variant took over, there was also this thought “but should I do it now before things get worse”.

JULIA Last year definitely made me appreciate just being outside no matter how hot (or cold or rainy) it was. I know one of my main agendas this summer was spending a lot of time to the beach, which is probably one of the few activities we’ve focused on that isn’t as achievable in other seasons.

I also realized that food is such a summer marker for me – the abundance of produce in farmers’ markets and the “it’s too hot to cook” mentality really pushes me to step outside of my usual routines. Have you found any exciting new places this summer that you will return to later in the year?

MICHAEL Well, it’s hard to say, and I think uncertainty is one of the things that we come to. What readers didn’t see were the internal debates that we started having, for example, if we could continue to recommend people to do things indoors given the Delta variant. And I hesitate to say that I have plans for the fall, because who knows what the landscape will look like. (Although I will probably continue to drink on the boats as long as the opportunity presents itself.)

But I hope people took this opportunity, after lockdown, to really explore their city in a new way. That was our main message: seize this moment and reintroduce yourself to New York. And I think that’s a guiding principle that can continue into the fall, at least while the weather is still good: going out to neighborhoods you haven’t visited and doing activities you never have. tried before. Get off the metro somewhere, look for a family restaurant, and ask what to do.

Summer may be fleeting, but great drinks and ice cream are forever, so instead of having things to do all over town, we asked our friends at the Food desk, as well as our amateur cocktail editor. and ice cream, some of their favorites. places for everyone.

For a little local flavor, I head to the newer outpost in Ample Hills, located on the west corner of Prospect Park. The ice cream is made near the Red Hook factory and comes in a dizzying array of surprising flavors including Snap, Mallow, Pop (billed as a ‘deconstructed Rice Krispie treat’) and Corn to Run (corn ice cream. sweetened with a crunchy cornmeal and blueberry swirls). KASIA PILAT

192 Prospect Park West, Brooklyn, 631-504-4462, amplehills.com

For more than a century, amidst a marble counter and swivel stools, Eddie’s has been distributing homemade ice cream. (Ask to look inside the antique cooler and you’ll probably be rewarded with a view of a giant mound of freshly whipped cream.) On a hot summer day, I’m going for an iced coffee, a malted milkshake. with two scoops of ice cream (three spoons make a “thickshake”). Without air conditioning, you would think it was the turn of the 20th century. DAN SELTZSTEIN

105-29 Metropolitan Ave # 1, Queens, 718-520-8514, Facebook page

The look of the store is indeed reminiscent of a laboratory – not exactly fun and inviting – but ice cream is one of my favorites. Creamy and dense, each scoop tastes like an intense distillation of its main ingredient. Hazelnut remains my favorite, especially when stacked in a cone and enjoyed on the go. GENEVIEVE KO

Several locations, laboratoriodelgelato.com

I developed a summer tradition of going to the Indian-inspired Malai Ice Cream scoop shop every Friday because the flavors change weekly; whenever I find a flavor that I like (like tamarind and date), they swap it the following week for another flavor that I like just as much (sweetcorn and saffron). Malai serves up some of the most exciting flavors I’ve come across, and the texture is ideal – creamy, but not so quick to melt in a puddle. And every now and then, they do collaborations with other desserts around New York City, which shouldn’t be missed. PRIYA KRISHNA

268 Smith Street, Brooklyn, 347-889-5789, malai.co

I love the vibe of an old-fashioned Morgenstern’s ice cream parlor, and the variety of frozen vegan ice creams, sorbets and desserts in small batches is ever-changing and always unexpected, from scorched sage ice cream to alcoholic honey and bourbon ice cream. the cream floats. They also make a killer hand chopped burger, if you want something salty before your candy. Or skip the savory and try the Ice Cream Burger – scoops of ice cream sandwiched on a buttered and toasted bun. MELISSA CLARK

88 West Houston Street, Manhattan, 212-209-7684 morgensternsnyt.com

For me, there is no greater summer romance than the one I have with a large cone dipped in cherries. As the days get longer and warmer, I long for one, and the ritual that goes with it – the chance of stumbling upon a truck, or following its song around the neighborhood, then the haste to devour it before the cast iron does not flow. your arm. And, of course, there’s that first bite, a plastic texture that gives way to a creamy texture. You can do without the dip, of course, but that’s the best part. Is this the fanciest ice cream in New York? Absolutely not. But is it the most iconic? Absoutely. KRYSTEN CHAMBROT

This small veggie burger restaurant in the East Village serves an ever-changing selection of ice cream and sorbet. Brooks Headley, a punk musician turned gourmet pastry chef, is particularly interested in non-dairy desserts; past vegan ice cream included coconut-lemongrass, tahini stone fruit waves, and peanut butter / chocolate ganache / pretzel cookies. Grab a mug (or pint) and walk down the block to dog-watch in Tompkins Square Park. BECKY HUGHES

What is that? Dive into a 70s-inspired tiki-diner with disco ball walls and green shag rugs? Bandits is one of those places that fits all my moods. Whether I’m looking for an after-work Narragansett Lager or looking for a one-off date with amazing cocktails, that fits the vibe. A sip of Lola Bunny (rye, carrot juice, toasted cumin seeds and a scotch rinse) washed out all my problems. VAUGHN VREELAND

44 Bedford Street Manhattan, banditsnyc.com

Prior to opening Bar Goto on the Lower East Side (then a second location in Brooklyn), Kenta Goto was one of New York’s top bartenders. It showcases that talent in a celebration of Japanese-themed cocktails (and very good) bar fare, with a few options perfect for a summer refreshment including Kishu Spritz (sparkling plum wine, gin, and lemon) and Far East Side (sake, tequila, lemon, elderflower liqueur and yuzu bitters). If you want to go simpler, a highball with quality Japanese whiskey can’t be beat. Bonus: lots of seating outside. DAN SELTZSTEIN

245 Eldridge Street, Manhattan, bargoto.com

Inside an old piano factory in the Bronx is a dimly lit bar named Charlie’s where you can have my favorite sparkling wine cocktail, Champagne Charlies (vodka, prosecco, honey, passion fruit and juice. lemon). While you’re at it, try their fish and chips. It’s the crispiest fish in the Bronx outside of City Island. GINA FERNANDEZ

112 Lincoln Ave, Bronx, 718-684-2338, charliesbarandkitchen.com

One of the greatest joys of summer is sitting outside on a beach chair drinking an ice cold piña colada (with an amaretto float, no less) at the Commodore. They have a full menu of frozen drinks – made to order in a blender, not from a machine – as well as anything you’d like to drink on a dive. I also can’t mention the Commodore without shouting out their nachos, absolutely perfect food, especially after a few drinks. BECKY HUGHES

366 Metropolitan Avenue, Brooklyn, 718-218-7632 thecommodorebrooklyn.com



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