NYC & Company, the official destination marketing organization and convention and visitors bureau for the five boroughs of NYC, is encouraging locals and regional visitors to take a “NYC-cation” by heading to a beach in Staten Island, the Bronx River Greenway or a sculpture park in Queens.

Taking a staycation in the five boroughs is just one way for working New Yorkers to support the City and local businesses, if they are able to, and help the tourism and hospitality industry’s more than 400,000 employees get back to work.

Photo: Union Sq Pk by Sean Pavone/Shutterstock

Visitors to the five boroughs are encouraged to wear masks, practice social distancing and frequently wash/sanitize hands, as indicated in NYC & Company’s Stay Well NYC Pledge.

Below is a brief selection of what is open, including places to visit:

The Bronx: Take a trip to the Bronx River Greenway and enjoy paths for walking, bicycling and rollerblading, boat launches and reclaimed salt marshes. With approximately 20 miles of the greenway currently available for public use including parks built on former industrial spaces as well as long-standing parkland, the still-developing project is reclaiming the waterfront and improving the quality of life for Bronx residents.

Brooklyn: Check out Brooklyn’s oldest park, Commodore Barry Park, home to more than 10 acres of public facilities and green space including athletic fields and playgrounds.

While in the neighborhood, visit the Brooklyn Navy Yard’s recently renovated Building 77, which exemplifies how highdensity manufacturing can thrive in urban environments.

Don’t forget to also check out an All In NYC: Public Art Edition mural by Carrie Mae Weems, “Resist Covid/ Take 6.” Hosted by For Freedoms, Weems’ We Go On! mural is part of her larger “Resist” project to raise public awareness about Covid-19 among people of color-Black, Brown and Native American communities that are disproportionately impacted by the deadly virus-by promoting preventive measures and dispelling harmful falsehoods. Explore nearby Fort Greene Park, which offers yoga in the park on Saturday mornings from 11am-noon. Online pre-registration is required.

Manhattan: Manhattan is home to so many iconic neighborhoods, but spend some time in Union Square and the Flatiron District. On Friday and Saturday, Union Square is home to the Union Square Greenmarket, an open-air market where shoppers can peruse fresh seasonal produce, locally sourced honey, baked goods and fresh flowers.

Photo: Queens by Oliver Foerstner/Shutterstock

The Flatiron District is famous for the iconic building found at its center, with a unique triangle shape. The neighborhood is home to Madison Square Park, Shake Shack, Eataly and The Shop at Fotografiska, which is open while the world-renowned photography museum reopened last August. The Flatiron/23rd Street Partnership is also currently running the All In Flatiron Dining Deals promotion, which offers online and inperson discounts from nearly 30 neighborhood restaurants in conjunction with NYC & Company’s All In NYC campaign.

Randall’s Island is another great spot to check out in this fall. With more than 380 acres of parkland, Randall’s Island is home to nine-plus miles of water-front pathways, the Scylla Playground, Sportime Tennis Center, barbecuing and picnic areas and more.

Photo: Flat Iron Building by Pisaphotography/Shutterstock

Queens: Home to Socrates Sculpture Park, an open studio and exhibition space for artists, as well as a neighborhood park. Once an abandoned land-fill, the grounds are now home to the internationally renowned outdoor museum and park, offering a host of free family programs and a place to picnic or walk along the East River with a view of Manhattan’s skyline. Currently on display is Monuments Now, which seeks to address the role of monuments in society and commemorate under represented narratives such as diasporic, indigenous and queer histories. After visiting the park, explore more of Long Island City, a vibrant, mixed-use community just one subway stop from Manhattan. The neighborhood is dotted with turn-of-the-20th-century industrial buildings that have been transformed into galleries, museums and studios, and there’s a fast-growing list of must-visit restaurants, shops and performance venues. Take in the views at Gantry Plaza State Park on the East River or grab some grub at one of LIC’s many outdoor dining spots such as Sweetleaf, Beebes or M. Wells Steakhouse.

Staten Island: One of Staten Island’s most popular locales during the summer months is South Beach. Just a ferry ride away from Lower Manhattan, one of Staten Island’s sandiest neighborhoods, South Beach offers fun in the sun via a 2.5-mile boardwalk. In addition to plenty of room for safe sunbathing on the shoreline, the neighborhood possesses the Ocean Breeze fishing pier, one of the largest in the City, as well as a park especially for seniors that features checkerboard tables, bocce courts and lots of benches in a small beachside amusement park.

VIVIANE FAVER
Journalist
vfaver@gmail.com