As the weather slowly but surely gets warmer, the best way to celebrate is by buying and/or making loads of delicious food and heading outside to eat it. With a few necessities, good food, and a nice view, you and your friends can easily put together the perfect picnic.
First, you’ll need to acquire utensils, cups and plates, napkins, perhaps a towel or blanket to sit on, and something to carry everything in.
Next, the fun part---a.k.a. the food and drinks!
To elevate the picnic sandwich, here are some fabulous combinations:
Baguette + salami + mustard
Whole wheat bread + crunchy peanut butter + blackberry or raspberry jam
Sourdough + ham or turkey + Swiss or White Cheddar
Baguette + goat cheese + honey
If those sound too weird or complex, grab a sandwich or a salad from Joe, Dig Inn, or Ham Del. If you have a meal plan, you could also go the more economical route and make sandwiches in John Jay or Ferris, pack them in plastic bags, and you’re good to go!
Then, feel free to some sides to round out the meal; you may as well go all out. Here are some options:
Crackers + pears + cheese
Pretzels or pita chips + carrots + hummus
Apples + peanut butter
Tortilla chips + salsa + guacamole
If you aren’t really into the sandwiches/salads/sides idea or don’t want to make your own food, go to your favorite bakery and get some goodies. My favorite picnic in New York to date was buying a few baked goods from City Bakery and eating them in Central Park.
As for drinks, mimosas or wine would probably please most. If you’re not of age, get a bottle of sparkling apple cider or iced tea to share. Again, you could also get drinks from a dining hall.
The last thing to consider for your picnic is the location. You really could have a picnic just about anywhere you can find a place to sit, but it’s much nicer if you have a view to look at or nature to surround you.
Some of my favorite spots include the High Line (there are benches!), Central Park (obviously), Washington Square Park, Prospect Park, and Fort Tryon Park (visit The Cloisters while you’re at it). There are also community gardens strewn throughout the city (quite a few in East Village) that are accessible yet secluded, and they offer benches to sit on. For some other options, try taking your picnic on the Staten Island Ferry or East River Ferry for picturesque views of Manhattan. Brooklyn Bridge/Brooklyn Bridge Park would serve as a great location too. And if you’re willing to make the trek, try the Rockaway Peninsula, where you can watch the waves while you eat.
So, what are you waiting for? Grab some food and friends, get out there, and have yourself a totally slammin’ picnic!