Summer in the City

Even if you have never watched the classic Marilyn Monroe film "The Seven Year Itch," you have at least seen the iconic subway grate scene.

When I first saw this on a movie channel in high school, though, what I remembered most was that mothers in this 1955 film would take the kids to the country or the beach for the summer, while most of the men stayed behind to work (and presumably chase Marilyn and her friends) in sweltering, non-air-conditioned Manhattan.

Fleeing New York City during the summer is still a "thing," albeit on a much smaller scale.  (Why work in the city when you can take your iPhone and laptop to the beach?)  As a result, in the more residential (read: non-tourist) areas, people clear out, leaving those of us who don't rent houses in the Hamptons to have the run of the place - especially on weekends.

If you visit and spend most of your time in Times Square or downtown, you will probably not notice this phenomenon.  But neighborhoods like our Upper East Side Yorkville 'hood are relatively quiet - especially as summer winds down in late August.  The sidewalks are empty, you can go grocery shopping without having people bump into you, you can easily hail a taxi at almost any hour, and you can get a table at almost any restaurant. 

You still can't get "Hamilton" tickets, but hey, you can't have everything.

On a recent weekend, we took full advantage of the lack of crowds.  Since I have traveled for work most weeks - and even some weekends - this summer, it is always nice to have a full weekend at home with Scott, without either of us having to pack a bag and go to the airport on Sunday.

One Friday night, we got the party started with a free performance of "The Taming of the Shrew" at Shakespeare in the Park.

Saturday morning, after walking up to East Harlem to pick up cakes for a going-away party for friends at church, we just enjoyed strolling around the empty streets. 

We then dropped by Luke's Lobster for lunch.  We ordered one meal to share (we're kind of sappy and romantic that way), enjoying the fact that this joint was less crowded than any lobster place on a beach might be.

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This was followed by a walk in the park, then a friend's birthday party on the rooftop of the Metropolitan Museum of Art.  In addition to bars and gorgeous views of Central Park, the Met rooftop has an exhibition space that is currently occupied by what is referred to as the "PsychoBarn."  Not to be missed if you are in town through - appropriately enough - Halloween.

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We wrapped the evening at a romantic Italian restaurant, snagging a quaint sidewalk table on a Saturday night with no wait or reservation.  On our early morning walk before church on Sunday, we only encountered a few people walking their dogs in our neighborhood park, Schurz Park.

Only two more summer weekends before everyone is back in the city, school starts, and fall craziness is underway.  

How do you celebrate the end of summer?  What are your weekend plans?