31 May 2018
With the summer season upon us, I find myself humming the iconic tune by Seals and Crofts, Summer Breeze. Welcoming the longer days, and all the extra time for both work and play, I can’t think of a better way to kick-start the season than with a day trip to one of these amazing local gems. So let’s hit the open road with some favorite music, feeling that, Summer breeze, makes me feel fine, blowing through the jasmine in my mind…
Philip Johnson’S Glass House
Famed architect Philip Johnson built his Glass House in 1949 to be used as his personal home. In 1997, this masterpiece of modern architecture was deemed a historic landmark, and the house and grounds were opened for public tours in 2007. In addition to his glass house, visitors are treated to the picturesque property housing several other architectural structures and an impressive art collection. There are several different tours to choose from; advance reservations are highly recommended as tour groups are kept small and they sell out quickly. (New Canaan, CT; theglasshouse.org)
The Best Part: Tour groups meet in town across from the train station in New Canaan—so it is easily accessible by various modes of transportation.
LIC Flea & FOOD
Whatever the weather, you’ll find this flea and food market up and running every summer weekend from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Considered a Long Island City treasure and a featured source of goods on the HGTV cable show Flea Market Flip, LIC Flea & Food hosts special events like food and wine festivals along with selling flea market finds including handcrafted arts, vintage clothing, jewelry, furniture and international foods. Take in the breathtaking views of the Manhattan skyline while you roam the aisles of vendors – all while helping to support local artisans. (Long Island City, NY; licflea.com)
The Best Part: After a day of shopping and noshing, find a seat in the shade and enjoy some live music and a cold brew at one of the tables in the Beer Garden located inside the flea market.
Harney & Sons Tea and Tasting Room
Part tea room, part eclectic shop meant for browsing and finding things you never knew you needed (like a canister of bourbon-smoked sugar), family owned and operated Harney & Sons Tea and Tasting Room is a bit more of a travel commitment, at 90 minutes north of White Plains. But it’s a pleasant country drive, straight up Route 22 and, before you know it, you’ll find yourself on Main Street in the cute little town of Millerton, New York. There, you’ll find Harney’s – selling its world-famous blended teas along with all sorts of tea accessories, treats and gifts. Step into the tasting room where you can indulge in a hot steeped sample of any of their blends, then finish with lunch at the cafe’s cozy dining area or patio. (Millerton, NY; harney.com)
The Best Part: Each variety of Harney & Sons tea is available iced: the perfect respite on a hot summer’s day.
The New York Botanical Garden
Enchanting us with so much more than just beautiful fauna and flora, there is no better time to visit the NYBG than this summer when you can take in the Georgia O’Keeffe: Visions of Hawaii exhibition, which features O’Keeffe’s work from her time spent in Hawaii in 1939. For a celebration of all things Hawaiian, NYBG will also offer various Hawaiian-themed programs including films, poetry walks, music, native plants and flowers from the islands, along with Aloha Nights – featuring artisan demonstrations. Night owls can enjoy an evening of music under the stars with the NYBG Summer Concert Series: An American Tribute (June 22, July 13 and 22), when jazz artists will pay tribute to New Orleans, Martin Luther King, and George Gershwin. Purchase tickets for one of the shows or a package for all three. (Bronx, NY; NYBG.org)
The Best Part: For those of us who can’t swing a summer vacation to Hawaii, we can immerse ourselves in the culture of the Islands – all while checking out some of Georgia O’Keeffe’s more obscure work.
Make time either before or after your visit to the New York Botanical Garden for a stop in the “Little Italy” of the Bronx. The shops and restaurants located on and around Arthur Avenue have been supplying New Yorkers with authentic (and delicious) Italian food for generations. Stroll from shop to shop and stock up on favorite delicacies (fresh mozzarella, Italian bread, pastries) to bring home. If you’re pressed for time, just hit the Arthur Avenue Market where you can find a little bit of everything at the different stalls. After you’ve worked up an appetite shopping, choose any one of the amazing eateries along the avenue for a sit-down meal and glass of wine. Mangia! (Bronx, NY; arthuravenuebronx.com)
The Best Part: Stroll up to 187th Street and top off your culinary feast with a cappuccino and cannoli at DeLillo Pasticceria. (delillopastryshop.com)