Spring in New York really could be one of the greatest experiences of my life. It’s the time of year that woos all of us New Yorkers and makes us think we could never, ever leave this place. (photo by Kristiana Parn)
For starters, here is a great list of 10 things I recommend for a glorious Spring in New York….(there are sooo many great things to do that I’ll have a few installments of “10 Things To Do”. Stay tuned.)
1. PARK SLOPE HOUSE TOUR.
Ever wanted to peak inside those gorgeous, historic brownstones in Park Slope? You can. I’ve done it and loved the experience – it’s so fun to see inside peoples’ homes! Park Slope House Tour. Sunday, May 20. Homes are open from noon to 5 p.m.
2. CAKE MAN RAVEN.
Go to this cake shop in Fort Greene for THE BEST RED VELVET CAKE ON EARTH!!! I always see people walking in & out of there on Sundays in their Sunday best, women in hats & everything. I think they’re getting a treat on the way home from church. I used to LOVE getting slices of this cake before I was GF. Go enjoy a slice for me 🙂
3. BROOKLYN FLEA.
Ah – this place has my heart. I always see waaaay too many things I really want. Prior to April, the flea market is in it’s winter digs at One Hanson Place. On the first Saturday of April it will return to the sunshine in it’s outdoor Fort Green location and also the Williamsburg waterfront. 176 Lafayette Ave between Clermont and Vanderbilt Aves, Fort Green, Brooklyn (brooklynflea.com). Sat. 10am–5pm. Opens April 7 • East River Waterfront between North 6th and 7th Sts, Williamsburg, Brooklyn. Smorgasburg: Sat. 11am–6pm. Opens April 7. Flea: Sun. 10am–5pm. Opens April 8.
4. THE EASTER PARADE.
I’ve always wanted to check this out. Every year there is an Easter Parade down 5th Ave. where people show off their elaborate Easter hats. From Time-out: “The tradition started in the mid-1800s, when high-society ladies would promenade in their Easter finery after church, and has since evolved into a showcase for chapeau artistry. And expect several puppies in bunny ears.” Fifth Ave. from 49th to 57th Sts. April 8, 10am-4pm; free.
5. THE ORCHID SHOW.
Danny & I have tickets to this (got them free with a Terrarium class we signed up for 🙂 It takes place at the New York Botanical Gardens and this year the theme is: “The Orchid Show: Patrick Blanc’s Vertical Gardens”. Can’t wait to see it. New York Botanical Garden, 2900 Southern Blvd between Bedford Park Blvd and Mosholu Pkwy, Bronx (718-817-8700, nybg.org). March 3–April 22; $8–$20.
CHERRY BLOSSOM FESTIVAL.
This is one of the BEST things to do in the Spring…Celebrate Hanami—the ancient Japanese tradition of cherry-blossom viewing—at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden. (Bring a camera!!) During April, more than 220 trees will flower in varying shades of pink and white. The highest concentration can be found along the Cherry Walk and Esplanade, near the Eastern Parkway entrance of the conservatory; you can also follow the state of the blooms by checking the garden’s Cherry Watch map. The season culminates with the Sakura Matsuri Festival, which celebrates traditional culture from Japan with food, dance performances and a cosplay fashion show. 900 Washington Ave between President and Carroll Sts, Prospect Heights, Brooklyn (718-623-7200, bbg.org). Tue–Fri 8am–6pm; Sat, Sun 10am–6pm. $10, seniors and students $5, children under 12 free. Hanami: Apr 1–29. Sakura Matsuri: Apr 28, 29 10am–6pm.
7. BEACON’S CLOSET.
Get your new spring wardrobe at Beacon’s Closet. It’s a vintage thrift store in Brooklyn & Williamsburg where everything is about $15 or less, including these recent finds:
8. TAKE A WALK AROUND MANHATTAN’S SHORE.
I just found out about this and it sounds awesome! It’s a 32 mile walk around Manhattan’s waterline. What a cool way to see the city and a fun way to get some exercise (+ a good excuse for some decent shoes!) It’s called the Shorewalkers Great Saunter and it takes about 12-hours. The views & sites would be amazing. Read more details on the NY Times and shorewalkers.org. Starts and ends at Heartland Brewery, 93 South St at Fulton St. May 5 at 7:30 am; $20, advance $15, members free. You can walk any length you wish.
9. TAKE A GRAFFITI TOUR OF 5Pointz in Long Island City, Queens.
5Pointz has 200,000 square feet of graffiti art, making it one of the largest collections of street art in the world. 5Pointz gets its name for uniting the five boroughs of New York City, though it attracts graffiti artists from everywhere between Brazil to Japan. Take a guided tour by curator & artist Meres One and see a live painting demonstration. 45-46 Davis St at Jackson Ave, Long Island City, Queens (sidetour.com). Every two weeks, Sun 2–3:30pm; $35.
10. NEW YORK CARES DAY.
Approximately 5,000 volunteers will get their hands dirty by gardening, painting, repairing fences, fixing nature trails, etc. I painted a bunch of benches once in Prospect Park and it was SO FUN! Seriously! People will be working along 10 miles of shoreline and in the 80 parks in all five boroughs. From Time-out: “If you want a chance to choose where you work, gather some friends and sign up as a team by March 23, otherwise you’ll be assigned to a project in the borough of your choice.” Register online at newyorkcaresday.org by April 13. Clean-up takes place on April 21 9:30am–3pm; $20.