Whether you’re outside at the Naumburg Bandshell this Wednesday (the 25th) for the Brooklyn Philharmonic’s tango-infused take on Vivaldi, or at Pier 54’s RiverFlicks screening of The Matrix the same night, you’ll need to eat dinner. The Sebago picnic basket ($79.99 at Central Park’s Dairy Visitor Center & Gift Shop, mid-park at 65th St.; 212-794-6564) has a charming Little Red Riding Hood exterior that masks its high-tech inside: an insulated, zippered compartment that will keep deviled eggs or chicken salad out of the salmonella zone and chill your rosé or Corona—if you remember to toss in an ice pack. The basket comes stocked with service for two, including silverware, ceramic plates, glassware, and cotton linens. For more picnic equipment and nosh, click ahead.
Simple But Necessary
Freshly ground sea salt and pepper improve food in a way paper deli packets can’t (McCormick grinders, $2.79 each at Gristedes, 460 Third Ave., nr. 32nd St.; 212-251-9670).
Not Human Repellent
It smells powdery fresh, is DEET-free, and still discourages bugs (Jason Quit Bugging Me! Natural Insect Repellent spray, $8.99 at Whole Foods, 4 Union Square S., nr. Broadway; 212-673-5388).
Pass crackers and cheese on a funky melamine platter by Precidio Peacock ($14 at Gracious Home, 1220 Third Ave., nr. 70th St.; 212-517-6300).
Ensure the Proper Temperature
Icy Cools Reusable Ice Mat can sit at the bottom of a tote or hug a wine bottle ($4.99 at the Container Store, 725 Lexington Ave., nr. 58th St.; 212-366-4200).
Pinot Gris Goes Here
Acrylic Diamond Goblets look delicate but they’ll survive several seasons ($6 each at Urban Outfitters, 628 Broadway, nr. Houston St.; 212-475-0009).
Dinner by Candlelight
Use an aluminum candle lantern for ambience— and to see what you’re eating ($19.95 at Eastern Mountain Sports, 591 Broadway, at Houston St.; 212-966-8730).
Never Gets Soggy
Keep your seat dry with a lightweight plastic Mad Mat (four-by-six-foot rug, $32 at 3r Living, 276L Fifth Ave., nr. Garfield Pl., Park Slope, Brooklyn; 718-832-0951).
A Good Knife
Opinel’s folding version cuts through cheese, bread, and annoying plastic ($16 at Williams-Sonoma, 10 Columbus Cir., nr. 59th St.; 212-823-9750).
Wash or Toss
Bamboo is nicer than plastic and lighter than steel (95 cents at Pearl River Mart, 477 Broadway, nr. Grand St.; 212-431-4770).
Food Shops Near Green Spaces
Central Park East
One block away, E.A.T. (1064 Madison Ave., nr. 81st St.; 212-772-0022) has ready- made sandwiches, prepared salads, and those raisin-nut rolls.
Central Park West
Load up on smoked fish, chopped chicken liver, and babka at Barney Greengrass (541 Amsterdam Ave., nr. 86th St.; 212-724-4707), ten minutes from the park.
Two blocks from the park, Blue Apron Foods (814 Union St., nr. Seventh Ave., Park Slope, Brooklyn; 718-230-3180) has a big selection of cheeses, nuts, olives, and baked goods.
Gourmet grocery store Zaytuna (17 Battery Pl., nr. Washington St.; 212-871-6300) has hot and cold salad bars and is steps away.
Hudson River Park
Chelsea Market (75 Ninth Ave., at 16th St.), a few blocks from the waterfront, has dozens of stores, including Fat Witch Bakery and the Lobster Place.