2017-06-21 / Editorials

No Such Thing As Summertime Blues

Summer’s finally here! Today, June 21, is the official first day of summer, according to the calendar and the planets, which indicate it is the Summer Solstice. (Check out the Summer Solstice Celebration at Socrates Sculpture Park today, starting at 5 p.m. until sunset–obviously.)

It is finally the time to go out and enjoy all our fabulous borough has to offer. Many of us have some vacation time, or we are getting to spend time with the kids now that school is out and we are wondering what to do together. There are so many fun options for activities, now that we can simply grab our keys and head out – no bundling up or planning a strategy for defying the weather necessary.

“It’s not hard, not far to reach, you can hitch a ride to Rockaway Beach,” says it all, thanks to Queens legends, the Ramones. Alternatively we can hit the pools, of which we have some of the best, such as Astoria Pool, and the Flushing Meadows Corona Park Aquatic Center & Rink for indoor swimming and NHL regulation ice skating – yes, you CAN ice skate all year – doesn’t that sound cool? Don’t forget your local YMCA, or the many smaller pools in most neighborhoods, both public and private.

Don’t want to lug a bike on the train or hassle with traffic? Go to a large park and rent bikes or surreys. Conversely, if you do want to explore the city on two wheels, go to one of the Citi Bike stations in Long Island City.

Take in some Mets games at Citi Field, in addition to their shows and outdoor concerts. Or check the concerts in Forest Hills Stadium and our parks. (The parks are also screening free outdoor movies.)

Concerts and films are also happening in the various Queens Library branches, where you can also take up a new hobby, sharpen you skills, or check out the finest reading material to bring to the beach or park. The library is one of our year-round favorites, except now we enjoy the added benefit of their air-conditioning. Other popular choices include the Museum of the Moving Image, Resorts World Casino NYC, dinner theater, and cultural programming at the colleges, Flushing Town Hall and Queens Theatre.

Street fairs and festivals abound, as well as block parties and car shows; the Police Athletic League Playstreets block off traffic near parks to extend play areas with summer fun and good citizenship combined. PAL also sponsors Summer Camps.

Get healthy and in shape with yoga and tai chi al fresco, or kayaking at Socrates Sculpture Park, where you can enjoy the art installations, and participate in workshops in arts and crafts. Next month take in foreign films paired up with the ethnic cuisine of the films’ origins at Socrates’ free Outdoor Cinema series on Wednesday evenings. Soak up the greenery and fresh air while hiking around Alley Pond Environmental Center, the Queens County Farm Museum and the Queens Botanical Garden.

Another route to healthiness that many take in summer is to schedule some wellness exams, now that the doctors’ offices are emptied of flu patients. There are also upcoming health fairs sponsored by local hospitals and other organizations.

Check out the many farmer’s markets sprouting up everywhere for the freshest local produce. Your finds will nicely round out a packed picnic for the park, beach or pool. Or check out the cafes and restaurants on nearly every block, offering every kind of cuisine, just a few steps away. Food tours and tastings will give you with a deeper insiders’ knowledge of flavors from around the world, as well as new twists on your favorite American cuisine. Many nightclubs have outdoor seating for you to take in the cool evening breeze, as well as creative variations on libations, appetizers and music.

There are announcements throughout the Gazette, and our Community Calendar is a great catch-all listing for the dizzying array of activities happening every week; and our Queens Scene monthly magazine will let you in on swinging summer fun in Astoria and Long Island City.

Make summer last by taking advantage of the amazing variety of activities right at your doorstep.

Return to top

Copyright 1999-2018 The Service Advertising Group, Inc. All rights reserved.