Category Archives: outdoors

The West 79th Street Boat Basin Café

boat basinLocated in Riverside Park at the end of 79th Street on the Hudson River. There is an open air patio that overlooks the Marina and the Hudson River with nice views of the sunsets over New Jersey (it always feels nice to be looking at NJ, cause that way you know you´re not in NJ. Bada boom! Just kidding! I can never pass up a chance to take a cheap shot at this fine state). The covered Rotunda section in the middle of the restaurant has limestone arches overlooking the open air patio. The food is OK (no french fries, onion rings yes, but no french fries, go figure) and vibe feels a tad like a second rate country club, but hey you come here for the location; perfect for shooting the breeze on a laid back afternoon.

Apr-Aug: Daily, noon-11:30pm, Sept-Oct: Mon-Wed, noon-8pm; Thu-Fri, noon-10pm; Sat-Sun, 11am-10pm; Nov-April, closed

Hours: Apr-Aug: Daily, noon-11:30pm, Sept-Oct: Mon-Wed, noon-8pm; Thu-Fri, noon-10pm; Sat-Sun, 11am-10pm; Nov-April, closed

79th St. at Henry Hudson Pkwy., in Riverside Park NY 10024    212-496-5542

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Filed under brunch, food, outdoors, UWS (Upper West Side), view

Radegast Hall & Biergarten

Radegast_V1_460x285The original beer garden is in Queens, but this is the trendy version in you guessed it: Willamsburg. Having said that it is still a nice and welcoming place. Slovakian-born partners Ivan Kohut and Andy Ivanov gutted adjacent warehouses to create two distinct drinking spaces. The garden side boasts a retractable roof under which a grill man serves up sizzling sausages. Inside the “hall,” has tables made from 150-year-old barn logs. Twelve drafts on tap or 37 beers by the bottle. The food is good and on a nice Sunday afternoon it makes for a delightful destination.

Mon-Fri, 5pm-4am; Sat, 1pm-4am; Sun, 1pm-3am

113 N. 3rd St., at Berry St. Brooklyn, NY 11211  718-963-3973

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Filed under beer specialty, BROOKLYN, food, outdoors, Williamsburg


ulysses1Pearl Street marks the original eastern shoreline of the lower part of Manhattan; extensive use of landfill over the course of several hundred years has extended the shoreline roughly 700-900 feet further into the East River. In the summer, Pearl St. becomes a fun street bar, which encompasses Ulysses’, Bayard’s, Financier Patisserie (great pastries!), and Harry’s Steak and Cafe. The pub receives good reviews for its sliders and brunch. The best part though, is grabbing a drink outdoors and overhearing a stock broker whine about his diminished bonus.

Hours Mon-Fri, 11am-4am; Sat-Sun, 11am-3:30am

95 Pearl St., at Hanover Sq.  10004    212-482-0400

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Filed under brunch, Financial District, food, outdoors

Boulevard Tavern

boulevardtavern1Opened in 1928, it used to be called J & D’s. Amazingly, more than one owner has died on the premises. It was reopened in 2006. Tolerant retirees, who still call the bar by its former name, make neighborly conversation with snotty implants. The bar’s owner, Harold David Kramer (still alive), is himself a slice of NYC history, since he’s the grandson of the owners of the Thunderbolt, the beloved Coney Island rollercoaster that was torn down in 2000. 12 beers on draft and a patio outback, complete with $5 all-you-can-eat beef, turkey and veggie dog barbecue every Friday though Monday at 9 pm and Saturdays starting at 5 pm.

Hours: Mon, 6pm-4am; Tue-Sun, 3pm-4am

579 Meeker Ave., nr. N. Henry St. Brooklyn, NY 11222   718-389-3252

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Filed under BROOKLYN, dive, food, Greenpoint, outdoors, pool table, Williamsburg

Frying Pan

FryingPan1One of the best places to be in the summer! Built in 1929, this is a historic lightship (one of 13 remaining from more than 100 built). The US Coast Guard used lightships as floating lighthouses to guard other ships that were too far from land to be served by a lighthouse on shore. The crew was stationed aboard ship for three months, followed by two months of shore leave. It was said to be a job “filled with months of boredom followed by minutes of pure fear”. (Sounds like most jobs right now.) The Frying Pan spent three years at the bottom of the Chesapeake Bay before being salvaged and brought to Chelsea Piers. Now it is a blast to explore its barnacle-encrusted interior (complete with catwalks and an exposed engine room). The front quarters often serve as dj lounge while live acts use the stage in the dark belly of the ship. On the pier, a tiki bar serves up booze and burgers, and a 16-foot observation plank offers a fantastic view of the Hudson.

Cash Only

Hours: Daily, 12:30pm-midnight

Pier 66, at W. 26th St. at West Side Highway 10011  212-989-6363

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Filed under Chelsea, faves, food, history, outdoors, view

Black Rabbit

Picture 1Just like it’s Greenpoint location, the Black Rabbit is stylish yet unassuming with an old world charm. It has prewar light fixtures, a working fireplace  and booths outfitted with saloon-style swinging doors, which are so private that you need to button-activate a lightbulb to get your waiter’s attention. A garden with  picnic tables is open until 10 p.m. Great semi gentrifier neighborhood joint, with trivia or bingo nights Sunday to Tuesday.

Mon-Wed, 4pm-2am; Thu-Sat, 4pm-4am; Sun, 2pm-2am

Hours: Mon-Wed, 4pm-2am; Thu-Sat, 4pm-4am; Sun, 2pm-2am

91 Greenpoint Ave., at Franklin St.  Brooklyn, NY 11222, 718-349-1595

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Filed under BROOKLYN, food, Greenpoint, outdoors