We’re bad at remembering when holidays happen, and therefore rarely have the foresight to plan ahead and book a rental upstate or on a beach somewhere glamorous. This means that, like you, we’re staying in the city for Memorial Day Weekend 2021. Fortunately, there are plenty of great outdoor parties, restaurant pop-ups, and fun things to do that require exactly zero rental cars.
All of the city’s public beaches reopen for the season this weekend. And if you’ve never been to Brighton Beach - this is an excellent time to check out the area just a little further east than Coney Island. We have a ton of ideas about where you should be eating there - but no trip would be complete without stopping at this iconic Russian dumpling spot. Get the manti, which are the size of a baseball and come topped with a generous handful of dill.
If you haven’t yet heard of All Night Skate and you enjoy the concepts of “fun” and “bars,” please take note that this Bed-Stuy roller-rink-themed spot is throwing a MDW party on Sunday, May 30th starting at 5pm. Expect music from a DJ, dancing, and some very good frozen painkillers.
Snug Harbor Cultural Center & Botanical Garden
The annual Staten Island 5 Boro PicNYC barbecue and picnic is very much a-go this year, with roughly 30 different food vendors to choose from, famous Southern pitmasters, and and a competition for the title of Rib King NYC. This year’s event is running at the Snug Harbor Cultural Center & Botanical Garden from noon to 4pm on Saturday, May 29th (which is pretty easily accessible via a free trip on the Staten Island ferry and one stop on the SIR), and you have to buy $55 all-inclusive food and drink tickets ahead of time online here.
For all those taking the (probably crowded) ferry to Rockaway Beach, make sure to spend at least part of your day picking up burgers, fries, and soft serve from Rippers on the boardwalk at 86th Street. And if you’re not sold on Rockaway and simply trying to figure out which beach to visit - NYC Parks Department has this very weird, Buzzfeed-esque quiz you can take to find out which NYC beach you are.
One of our favorite relatively low-key places to get a drink (or a working breakfast) on the Lower East Side has live music on Saturday, May 29th from 3-6pm right in the middle of Rivington Street. There’ll be tables set up where you can sit, drink cocktails, and eat a good burger - all while watching the cars trying to turn off Allen get angry about the road blockage. Ahh, summer in the city. (And if you can’t make it this weekend, Sonnyboy will be running the same block party programming every summer Saturday.)
Bed-Stuy bar, Cookie’s, is hosting a pop-up in their backyard with sandwiches, salads, and desserts from Salty Lunch Lady - AKA Dria Atencio. Stop by for dishes like pink coconut cake and a deviled egg sandwich with green goddess dressing on sesame focaccia (as well as frozen cocktails and general good Cookie’s energy) on Saturday, May 29th or Sunday, May 30th starting at 6pm.
For something in the Bushwick vicinity this weekend (whilst your friends are grilling on the beach or whatever it is that they do this weekend), stop by Starr Bar’s Sunday Funday Market where there will be vintage clothes and art for sale, as well as live performances, and vegan BBQ from Monk’s Meats. Find more info here.
The Brooklyn Cyclones
If you’ve never been to a Brooklyn Cyclones game in Coney Island, it’s hard for us to understand why you are the way you are. Especially considering tickets cost around $20, there are fireworks present during every summer Friday game (including this week’s), and you get to boo at a team unironically named “The Aberdeen Ironbirds.” The Friday, Saturday, and Sunday games still have plenty of tickets left, and of course there will be hot dogs present.
This week Edith’s in Williamsburg - a Jewish sandwich spot and bakery that specializes in hand-twisted bagels - is collaborating with Pig & Khao’s Leah Cohen on pandan cinnabuns and a Filipino breakfast sandwich with longanisa sausage, pickled chilis, and queso de bola on a bagel. You can only get the special until Sunday, May 30th for pick-up or delivery - so plan your Williamsburg gallivanting accordingly. You can even DM them ahead of time for an early pick-up before you go to the beach.
Even if you already have plans, you can still pick up a four-pack of to-go cocktails from the new Cocktail Bodega at this fantastic Chinese dry-pot restaurant in the East Village. The program is only running from Friday, May 28th to Monday, 31st.