Bonjour! This gorgeous spring weather makes me want to fling open the windows and start singing, like I’m Belle in Beauty and the Beast. Fortunately, all the warm-weather events are flinging open their doors in a veritable buffet of outdoor activities. You have a lot to choose from, so choose wisely …
What I Live By
Thru 04/07 | 10 am to 8 pm @ The Shop at Wythe Hotel
Wythe is back with more local consumption along a hipster theme. I’ll just let them say it, “With a live in-store/sweatshop, D.I.Y craft corner, and a range of products designed to be browsed by philosophical consumption style, WILBy invites guests and visitors to come feel your way through a world of ethical options. Throughout the month a wide range of designers and educators will come to the WILBy salon series and together they will explore their own personal answers to What I Live By.”
Wythe Hotel. 80 Wythe Ave. | Williamsburg, Brooklyn
Brooklyn Night Bazaar
Fri. and Sat. | 6 pm to midnight @ Greenpoint
The warehouse-turned-concert venue, shopping destination and night market continues into the new year. Bounce to live artists while you shop twee and cool local fashion and home goods. Shopping is hard work, so take breaks often to taste your way through bites from Ample Hills Creamery, Oaxaca Taqueria and more.
165 Banker St. | Greenpoint, Brooklyn | More info at bkbazaar.com
Sat. 04/05 | 11 am to 1:30 pm @ Alphabet City
From Peter Stuvesant’s “bowerie” (meaning “farm” in Dutch) to Alphabet City’s renowned restaurants, the East Village has undergone tremendous changes over the decades. Join food and history expert Susan Birnbaum as you trek through the neighborhood to find fresh, sustainable treats while diving into the area’s rich history. Be sure to bring your appetite, as you’ll visit local farmer’s markets, ice cream shops, and the “healthiest block in the city”—you’ll even discover where the city’s top chefs go to find the best ingredients.
Volunteer or Tour Your Local Park
Sat. 04/05 @ NYC Parks
Public parks all over NYC are throwing open the gates and welcoming volunteers and visitors for a gorgeous day of gardening and learning. You can snag a spot at the Highland Park Community Garden (past Bushwick on the L) for a season of growing vegetables, take a tour of the Conservatory Garden or southern area in Central Park, volunteer at the Leffert’s Historic House in Prospect Park or at Marcus Garvey Park, or learn how to take care of NYC’s fledgling trees at a workshop in Queens. After this frozen winter, getting your hands dirty is going to feel good.
Sat. 04/05 | 8 to 9:30 a.m. @ Van Cortlandt Nature Center | Bronx
It’s time you use those binoculars for their intended purpose, instead of creeping on the rich couple across the way. Zen out in nature by listening and searching for birds that have carved out an existence in this hard scrabble city (much you like you have). This weekend two special events to note: fall migration brings in new birds at Fort Tryon Park, and a special walk along the High Line, before it gets clogged with crowds.
Free. More info here.
Just Food Conference 2014
Sat. 06/05 and Sun. 04/06 @ The Laurie M. Tisch Center for Food, Education & Policy, Teachers College
The name may seem simple, but there’s a whole lot to learn at this year’s Just Food Conference. Consider it your all-you-can-eat look into the edible world. This two-day event explores everything from the ins-and-outs of CSA programs and national food issues to cooking techniques and preservation methods.
525 West 120th Street, Manhattan | Tickets are $55 to $185
Sat. 11 am to 6 pm @ East River State Park and Sun. 11 am to 6 pm at Brooklyn Bridge Park
Yeesssss, Smorgasburg’s outdoor season begins this week! So go take in the good weather, the view of Manhattan, and sample from dozens of Brooklyn-based food artisans, from brisket to bulgogi and Burmese noodles, to phatty beet sliders, fish and chips and farm-fresh ice cream. Nearby, you’ll find a huge selection of vintage and handmade clothing and home decor.
Kent and North 7th, Williamsburg | Pier 5, Dumbo | Open rain or shine | More info
Ridgewood Market’s 1-year Anniversary
Sun. 04/06 | 11 am to 5 pm @ Gottscheer Hall
With the coming of Spring, there’s more than just flowers popping up around New York. Yes, warmer weather also means the arrival of our favorite markets. Ridgewood Market in Queens plans to celebrate its 1-year anniversary this Sunday with 40 local independent vendors. They’ll serve up brunch and booze, with a side of unique artisan gifts and vintage finds.
657 Fairview Avenue, Queens | Admission is free | More info
Prospect Food Truck Rally
First and third Sundays | 11 a.m. – 5 p.m. @ Grand Army Plaza | Brooklyn
Not too much. Way too much. Mostly plants. Whatever you want … at this weekend’s food truck rally. Some of my sustainable faves are regulars, like Mexicue, Red Hook Lobster Pound, Rickshaw, COOLHAUS, TAIM MOBILE, Green Pirate Juice Truck, Kelvin Slush, Van Leeuwen, Kimchi Taco Truck, Wafels & Dinges and more.
More info at ProspectPark.org
Monastery and Meditation Hike
Sun. 04/06 | 9:15 am to 6 pm | Chuang Yen Monastery
You need this. Visit the calm grounds of Chuang Yen Monastery for a guided on a walk of the grounds to find a meditation garden, the Kuan Yin Hall, Thousand Lotus Terrace and the monks dormitory. Then, enter the sacred space of the Great Buddha Hall, where the largest Buddha in the Western Hemisphere sits among thousands of small statues, to get an introduction to Buddhism. Have a healthy communal lunch, then head to the trails for an afternoon hiking to a calm lake for meditation.
Leaves from Union Square | Tickets are $75
Every Sat. and Sun. | 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. @ A “great big parking lot,” 46th Avenue and 5th Street | Long Island City, Queens
A dude once told me that he thinks Long Island City will be the next Williamsburg. Debatable, but decide for yourself because its weekly flea market is back for the warm weather season. While the vintage and shopping pickings are very slim, the food is a slam dunk. (It is Queens).
Nearest address to Google map it is 5-25 46th Avenue, Long Island City | More info at LICFlea.com
Get Your Tickets Now
Urban Gardening Class
Tues. 04/22 | 6:30 to 8:30 pm @ David Bouley Studio
You’ve been wanting to do this forever, so get expert instruction from Renee Giroux, a horticulturist with 13 years of experience, seven of them in organics. Have a discussion on the importance of urban farming; bringing farming indoors and pure organics, and learn how fun and easy it is to grow your own herbs and veggies, with a hands-on demonstration for sowing seeds, and tips for nurturing a healthy plant. You’ll also find out Renee’s top picks for culinary and medicinal herbs: how to use them and how to care for them.
281 Church Street, TriBeCa | Tickets are $35
Sat. and Sun. 04/26 and 04/27 | @ Pier 94
Green Festival, America’s largest and longest-running sustainability and green living event (now in it’s 13th year) will be massive this year. They expect over 20,000 people to show up for the sustainable beer and wine garden; a Yoga Pavilion, featuring yoga instruction and classes as well as organic body care, health and nutritional products and services; a Vegan/Vegetarian Food Court featuring local artisanal cuisines and more.
Bonus: it’s close to a zero-waste event. Everything that can be recycled at the event is recycled. There are incentives for participants using greener modes of transportation. It’s a plastic water bottle-free event, so bring your reusable water bottle. Every plate, fork, spoon, knife, cup, bowl, napkin, coffee stirrer and sample cup is 100 percent biodegradable and will be collected with all food scraps to be composted. Finally, exhibitors are screened and only ones with an established green offering are permitted at the event. Greenwashers: YOU CAN’T SIT AT OUR TABLE.
If there’s anything I forgot for this weekend or upcoming week, lemme know in the comments!