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Paradise City

How to spend your summer on the water without leaving town.


Sunbathers at Brighton Beach.  

Is New York a summer paradise? Certainly, the tourists clogging Fifth Avenue with their cameras and white sneakers seem to think so. And for once, they may be onto something. The city has always been surrounded by water, and it’s finally realizing its destiny by becoming a beach town (well, with a certain amount of imagination). There’s a cleaned-up postindustrial waterfront, and more and more ways to get down into it, with a kayak or a fishing rod, or even just a bathing suit—for much of the summer, a floating pool will be docked by the Brooklyn Bridge, a jewel of the burgeoning Brooklyn Riviera. On land, the parks will be alive with the sound of music, giving the city a Tanglewood-like aspect. There are uninhabited islands to discover, hotel pools to sneak into. In certain parts of the city, you might see a deer, or a coyote—and be quickly back in civilization, enjoying your favorite cocktail at one of New York’s ever-expanding number of outdoor boîtes. All of which is pretty cool, even when it gets f-ing hot.


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