Local Guide to Spring New York

Grandlife guide

Friends of GrandLife Share Their Spring Hangouts

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“You can never hold back spring, baby. Remember everything that spring can bring. You can never hold back spring.” Tom Waits knows it, and so do our locals—a few of whom we enlisted to share their favorite springtime spots in New York along with their ultimate playlist. It’s time to embrace the warmer weather, show some leg, and dine al fresco whenever possible. Plus, we round up our favorite spring day trips.

Sophie Auster—Musician, Singer-Songwriter

Spring in New York is…

SA: Showing leg.

My favorite spot to dine al fresco is…

SA: Aurora in Williamsburg.

When a friend comes to visit during spring, I take them to…

SA: PS1. There’s lots of events that are usually very fun.

For a seasonal cocktail and great vibe, I head to…

SA: A Summer Day Cafe.

When I have a day to spare during spring, I like to spend it…

SA: In Prospect Park.

My ultimate spring playlist includes…

SA: Earth Wind and Fire, Otis Redding, Daniel Wilson, the Pointer Sisters, Minnie Riperton, The Delfonics, Marvin Gaye, Sly & the Family Stone, Bill Withers, Pet Shop Boys, Penny and the Quarters.

Zackery Michael—Photographer  

Spring in New York is…

ZM: A long-awaited arrival of joy and salvation.

My favorite spot to dine al fresco is…

ZM: Gilligan’s!

When a friend comes to visit during spring, I take them to…

ZM: Raoul’s.

For a seasonal cocktail and great vibe, I head to…

ZM: Hotel Delmano.

When I have a day to spare during spring, I like to spend it….

ZM: On a skateboard or bicycle, no public transportation.

My ultimate spring playlist includes…

ZM: Just search “yacht rock” on Spotify; never disappoints.

Alix Brown—Musician, DJ, Music Director

Spring in New York is…

AB: A blessing.

My favorite spot to dine al fresco is…

AB: Cafe Select.

When a friend comes to visit during spring, I take them to…

AB: Central Park.

For a seasonal cocktail and great vibe, I head to…

AB: Soho Grand.

When I have a day to spare during spring, I like to spend it….

AB: Reading a book in Tompkins Square Park.

My ultimate spring playlist includes…

AB: Lots of Astrud Gilberto.

Some additional spring day-trips to have on your radar:

Brooklyn Botanical Gardens

This 52-acre urban botanic garden in Prospect Park is one of the foremost cherry-viewing sites outside of Japan, making it a rather appropriate place to participate in the tradition. An annual cherry blossom festival will be on display for the entirety of April.

Blue Hill At Stone Barns

The original Greenwich Village location opened in 2000 as “elegant casual” farm-to-table dining. The location at Stone Barns in Tarrytown (named No. 12 in The World’s 50 Best Restaurants in 2018) is an hour drive out of the city and stays true to the original location, with a few major enhancements—for one, it is set inside a gorgeous, refurbished dairy barn on a working farm in upstate New York. Sustainably-minded practices and a rotating daily tasting menu make this location,  a destination restaurant not to be missed. 

Storm King Art Center

Storm King Art Center is a must. The 500-acre outdoor museum located in Hudson Valley features large-scale sculptures and site-specific exhibitions under the wide open sky. Storm King supports its artists, offers residencies, and celebrates the artist’s relationship to nature by exploring their work on this expansive landscape. A definite day trip, you can arrange to visit via train or bus on the Storm King Art Center website or you can drive.

North Fork Vineyards

Long Island’s North Fork has many scenic vineyards that you can arrange to visit through North Fork Wine Tours. However, you can also just visit on your own. If you do, there are quite a few options. To start, Palmer Vineyards in Riverhead is one of the original wineries on the Fork. An estate operation, everything is done in-house on this 90-acre property. If you’re looking for some incredible views, check out Kontokosto Winery in Greenport. The list goes on and on: Bedell Cellars, Mattebella Vineyards, Jamesport Vineyards, Shinn Estate Vineyards… It’s impossible to go wrong, and they’re all so close. To make it a day trip, start with one and look next door for the next stop.

WORDS Edwina Hagon; Hillary Esther Sproul

PHOTOGRAPHY Jono Bernstein 


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