Where to Celebrate National Piña Colada Day in NYC

This Tuesday (July 10th) is National Piña Colada Day! It is arguably my favorite national holiday surrounding a frozen cocktail. Even if you are not lucky enough to be relaxing oceanside or poolside, you can still enjoy a delicious and authentic piña colada and other tropical frozen cocktails in our very own New York City (unless nitro cold brew is more your summertime style). Here are some places you can visit on National Piña Colada Day and beat that oppressive summer heat:

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Best Nitro Cold Brew in Manhattan

Welcome back summertime! I am a big coffee drinker, but am not fond of sipping a hot cup of joe when it is 100 degrees out. Therefore, especially in the sweat-inducing heat, I cannot get enough of coffee’s latest trend, nitro cold brew coffee. First introduced to the world only a few years ago, nitro cold brew is, simply put, cold brew coffee infused with nitrogen. The result is a smooth, creamy, and less bitter coffee that resembles, and tastes a bit like, a stout (think Guinness). Nitro brew is also less acidic, hence easier on the belly, than a regular cup of joe. Additionally, on average, a cup has a higher caffeine content (at Starbucks, about twice as much as a regular iced coffee). And frankly, it is just freakin’ delicious, especially on a hot summer day.

Nitro cold brew is becoming more popular, in large part thanks to Starbucks’ recent decision to offer nitro cold brew at over 500 locations nationwide. While its becoming increasingly common, nitro cold brew is still not among the offerings at most coffee shops.

Since I discovered nitro brew, I have been on a personal mission to find the best Manhattan has to offer. These are some of my favorites so far:

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Gotham Girls Roller Derby

Okay, so we might be really behind the times on this one. But just this past Sunday, we went to our first ever roller derby game! And we were lucky because it wasn’t just any game… it was the Gotham Girls Roller Derby Championship! Hosted at John Jay College in Midtown, the game was between the top 2 ranked home teams, the Queens of Pain and the Brooklyn Bombshells. And we had an absolute blast!

Gotham Girls Roller Derby

To those who don’t know about the Gotham Girls Roller Derby, the league consists of four home teams (who play each other). The league also has four away teams who play teams across the country and internationally. Many of the badass derby ladies are on both a home team and a travel team. And unlike in decades past, the teams play on a flat track, which allows more flexibility with the venue and brings the audience closer to the action.

The 2017 season started in March and consisted of 6 regular season games. A few weeks ago, the two other GGRD home teams, Bronx Gridlock and Manhattan Mayhem matched up to determine the 3rd place championship. After a close game, Manhattan Mayhem took the bronze.

Gotham Girls Roller Derby Championship - Brooklyn Bombshells vs. Queens of Pain

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Smorg Square Opens in Soho!

Instagram-friendly and locally-famous food market, Smorgasburg, just opened their newest location this past weekend! Located in Soho at Varick and Canal Street, this gravel lot-turned-market is termed Smorg Square.

The space is much smaller than the original Williamsburg and Prospect Park Smorgasburg locations. Only 20 vendors will be serving up tasty sweet and savory treats every week. But not to fret, some of the most popular and photo-ready establishments have claimed their booths in Soho, including John’s Juice, Big Mozz Sticks, and Ramen Burger. The full list of food vendors include:

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Where to Run in Manhattan

Fall is right around the corner, which means the best running weather of the year is approaching fast. I am really excited to be able to run again soon without sweating bullets! But as any NYC runner can attest, running in Manhattan is quite challenging… At every juncture you are interrupted by traffic, stoplights, and never-ending hoards of pedestrians, bikes, and tourists. There are, however, a bunch of places in Manhattan where runners can escape the cars, the horns, and the crowds.

These are some of the better options for running in Manhattan:

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Is the NYC Subway Really That Bad?

Living in New York, you hear people complain about the New York City subway system on a regular basis. Some of the gripes are well-deserved. During the summer the stations are hot. In the winter they’re cold. There are frequent delays. Sometimes you get stuck on a train. Sometimes you have to wait for several packed trains to pass before you can squeeze yourself onto a car. And sometimes the trains are so crowded you are forced to be more intimate with strangers than you would otherwise like.

Photo of New York City subway station
Photo by Redd Angelo on Unsplash

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NYC Neighborhoods You Can Actually Afford

As you may already know, NYC is the least affordable city in the U.S. But if you are a renter, not all neighborhoods are created equal. The average cost of a rental in the Big Apple ranges from $1447.5 to $7640 per month, a difference of over $6,000, depending on the area. At the top of the list is obviously some of the most desirable real estate in the city. If you, like us, don’t make a million dollar salary, you probably can’t afford to rent a converted loft in TriBeCa. Nevertheless, you can find better deals in NYC neighborhoods without having to move out to the New Jersey or Long Island suburbs.

A view of lower Manhattan and three East River Bridges. Many of the most affordable, popular NYC neighborhoods are in the outer boroughs

According to Street Easy’s monthly report from May 2017, the below popular and growing NYC neighborhoods may actually be in your budget (on average below $2750 per month):

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Exploring the South Street Seaport

With food, shopping, nightlife, and unmatched views of the Brooklyn Bridge, the South Street Seaport is becoming the place to be. While it has always been one of the most historically important neighborhoods in New York City, a lot of New Yorkers had stopped going. Over the last several years, however, the Seaport has been undergoing a transformation that has brought more life to the neighborhood. As noted recently by the New York Times, developers have been remodeling the Seaport to cater to the growing residential population in the surrounding neighborhoods.

The South Street Seaport Museum

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