The start of summer is marked by the most exciting of American, patriotic holidays! And with fireworks, BBQs, friends and a little beer, even the most closet patriots can’t help but get in the spirit. (Enter red, white and blue painted faces and drunken chants: USA! USA! USA!) With sunny days finally here to stay, now is the time to get out there and start up your New York busy season!
As lovers of this great country (plus men in uniform [!] and classic 80s movies [!!]), A+K found it absolutely NECESSARY to visit the Intrepid Air and Space Museum for its new Friday night summer movie series coinciding with NYC Fleet Week. Here is a little background… The Intrepid Air and Space Museum is a gigantic aircraft carrier permanently docked on the west side of Manhattan. It is absolutely massive and a super interesting afternoon for those into the military, jets or giant freakin’ boats!
The Friday night summer movie series started off this year and takes place on the flight deck of said massive boat… a pretty unbelievable back drop for some classic flicks. The skyline is to your left, the water to your right, and red, white and blue lights are draped from the boat’s lookout tower. The line up is absolutely stellar with movies that everyone LOVES (rather than the usual vintage black and whites that no ones heard of) a la The Goonies, Back to the Future and ET, among others. Some would argue that any one of these flicks could be in the running for best movie of all time! During our visit, which was the inaugural viewing, Top Gun was on the agenda, and that’s all it took to get L+M to join in. A+K almost got them to agree to wear their flight suits from their stint as ‘Goose’ and ‘Maverick’ (see our Halloween Eat-a-Sode) as well… soooo close! It would have made an amazing picture next to a fighter jet, but they thought it would be silly. Oh boys!
- Remaining Movies of the Summer: The Goonies (July 8), Back to the Future (June 22), ET (August 5), Jurassic Park (August 19)
The last draw of the evening is of course the men in uniform. During Fleet Week, Navy ships dock on our shores and an out pour of soldiers flood NYC in their formal military attire; metals displayed, gold buttons polished and those fantastic hats! They are back from months at sea and are ready to party (for all those single ladies out there). All kidding aside, besides the excitement of being surrounded by the men and women who serve and protect us, it’s great to be able to walk by and say thanks to the individuals themselves. Fleet Week is always a huge draw for the city with tours and demonstrations taking place on the waterfront throughout the boroughs.
After escaping the daily grind, 2+2 packed a picnic for the event (K went a bit overboard as per usual) and we met across from the Intrepid on a beautiful Friday evening. As we crossed the foot bridge that took us over the Westside Highway (and said our hellos to a group of Marines), we stood in awe at what stood before us. It wasn’t the 5 story tall boat that towered above us, or the breathtaking view of the harbor, but the enormous line that hugged the perimeter of the Intrepid park. Though a terrible judge of distance, we could only guess that it was a mile long! Apparently we weren’t the only ones who got the memo that the greatest Tom Cruise movie of all time was screening on the flight deck of the Intrepid. Hmmm. The moral of the story… get here early… and apparently, we weren’t early enough! And, it seemed, everyone had a ticket of some kind. The screening was definitely free, but a ticket was still required? We were NOT liking being the last to know.
With smiling and hopeful grins we followed the line searching for its end. We wrapped around the park and several buildings before landing ourselves at the end of the pier. This was not going to work. After dreaming up several ways to ‘New York’ (aka ‘cut’) the line, we reconsidered and decided that our time was better spent snacking and we plopped down in the lovely waterfront park. Top Gun on our iPad via Netflix overlooking the Intrepid was just as good as being on the flight deck itself! Shortly thereafter, admission to the deck was closed and hundreds of picnickers joined us on the lawn. The setting sun on the horizon and the resulting glowing orange sky were the perfect treat and we wondered who got the longer straw, us or the ‘lucky ones’ who made it on to the boat? Having never visited this park before, it was a gem-like discovery and highly recommended for your next al fresco dining plan.
After consuming a stomach full of guacamole, cheese and other finger foods, our cocktail selections had run out and we were up and on our search for some new surroundings. We started a whirlwind taxi tour of the west side, brainstorming destinations, hailing a cab, and arriving to swarms of partiers outside of every venue. It was the day of the ‘line’! After attempts at entering the Frying Pan (the floating bar in the harbor) and the Standard Beer Garden (in the meatpacking district), we figured that we were better off on foot.
Just a couple of blocks away we stumbled upon an inviting ‘indoor that feels outdoor’ bar. Revel‘s open air lay out lets the music and laughter out on to the street. It sucked us right in! The interior is covered in white lights and hanging vines draping from the 25 foot ceilings. Both a bar and a restaurant, we put it down on our list as a spot to return for snacks in the future. After a round in our (of late) favorite section of town, the Meatpacking District, we headed home… beat! The summer is officially here!
877-957-SHIP (7447) or 212-245-0072 www.intrepidmuseum.com Historic Military Museum, Manhattan
More than a floating museum, the 900-foot Intrepid Sea Air and Space Museum is United States History. Built during World War II for the United States Navy and commissioned in 1943, the Intrepid aircraft carrier served in the Pacific Theater. After being modernized during the 1950s, Intrepid served as an anti submarine ship in the Atlantic as well as serving in the Vietnam War. Former Presidential Candidate and Arizona State Senator Jon McCain even flew bombers fron the ship in the early 1960s. Besides its service in battle, the Intrepid was the first aircraft carrier to launch air craft with steam catapults and was the recovery ship for a Mercury and a Gemini space mission. After 31 years of distinguished service, the ship was decommissioned in 1974.
Since 1982 this National Historic Landmark is home to the Intrepid Sea Air and Space Museum and after $115 million in renovations between 2006-2008, it is back and better than ever. Admission to the museum is $24 for adults and $12 for children. The Museum features many interactive exhibits that are educational and interesting. It’s packed with artifacts, videos and interactive fun. There are even three flight simulators ($9 a piece or $24 for all three) for you to feel your inner Maverick and Goose.
According to the Intrepid itself, you should start your visit on the Hangar Deck which houses much of the Intrepid hardware. The Gallery Deck contains the Combat Information Center, Pilot Ready Room and Marine berthing. Maybe the best part of the Museum is the Flight Deck. There are two dozen aircrafts from various time periods that you can get up close and personal with. Lastly, on the Third Deck is the ship’s galley, newly opened Berthing Areas and 1960s recreated Mess deck.
One of the better parts of the museum isn’t on the Intrepid at all. Next door to the aircraft carrier is the Growler Submarine Museum. Here you can get an up close look at a submarine and inspect the once “top-secret” missile command center. It’s amazing to think that sailors spent months at a time locked inside. It is tight and almost claustrophobic, but it’s a “can’t miss.” How many other times in your life will you get to be in a real naval submarine?
The pier next to the museum is perfect for a summer picnic or just lounging on a park bench. On a sunny day the views of the Hudson River and the Intrepid are spectacular. Stop by pre or post museum and savor the entire experience.
A: A must see New York landmark. Although we weren’t able to board the boat today, I’ve previously visited the museum on several occasions and found it so interesting to tour the depths of the boat… see sleeping quarters, command centers and the vastness of the flight deck. I particularly loved checking out the collection of planes and helicopters, having always possessed a secret dream to fly jets in the Marines.
K: So sad we didn’t make it ON the Intrepid… but the grounds around it are beautiful. Can’t wait to get back here to actually tour the museum.
L: I haven’t been in the Intrepid in a while but it is still one of my favorite museums in the city. You get to learn about history inside a piece of history. The Intrepid never disappoints.
M: I came here as a kid and still remember that day. The ship is huge and the planes that they have inside are amazing. I wish we could have made it in to see the movie. (I mean one, it would have been cool to watch a movie on this huge ship and two, its TOP GUN!) But sitting down and breaking out the picnic next to this huge NAVY ship was just as sweet. Love this city.
Our Rating Scales…
- Scene- Historic military museum docked at the West side waterfront
- Coordinates- 3: City- 10 minute ride to fun
- Return Rate- Green light!
Fleet week in NYC takes place every year around Memorial Day weekend. This week is held to honor the Navy and Marine Corps. During the celebration, performances and demonstrations are held all over the city, most of which are free and include:
- Tours inside visiting ships
- U.S. Coast Guard Air and Water demonstration
- U.S. Marine Air Ground task force demonstrations
- A tug of war competition
- Parade of the ships in the harbor
- Musical performances and a whole lot more!
Many of the events take place at the Intrepid Sea, Air and Space Museum, one of the only places that charges admission.
At night the streets are filled with uniformed men and women walking around and hanging out at the NYC hot spots enjoying their time off in The Big Apple. It’s a great time to honor and thank all who serve for our country and protect our freedom.
A: I find it so exciting to see the city filled with our military! It is great tradition for marking the start of summer. Thanks for all you do US Military!!
K: What would New York be without Fleet Week? It’s like the sky without stars or the sea without fish. New York needs a week dedicated to men in uniform.
L: From the massive ships in the port, to all the sailors around the city, fleet week is awesome. Besides the 4th of July, I am never more reminded of how great the country is than during fleet week.
M: The demonstrations are great to see and watch how hard these guys train and work to do their jobs well. Thank you to all of you who serve to protect this great country.
212-645-5369 www.revelnyc.com European, Cocktails, Manhattan
rev·el/ˈrevəl/ Noun: Lively and noisy festivities, esp. those that involve drinking and dancing. The Meatpacking District is on fire! Hidden in every corner or soaring on every rooftop, one can find some serious hot spots for a night out. Anything from German-inspired beer gardens to underground lounges with roaring DJs. As we walked down Little West 12th on this particular evening looking for a place to grab a cocktail, we passed an inviting, bustling venue with a huge outdoor terrace in the back. This spot embodies its name to the fullest… When we peered in, we saw a REVEL.
We only stopped in for a drink, but Revel does offer a full menu with Italian-European inspired creations. They serve everything from salads to Texas blue prawns served on volcanic rock. They also have a great brunch special on Saturday and Sunday, with the choice of an entree and two drinks for $25.
The ambiance is fantastic and it’s what really drew us in. Lofted ceilings, exposed brick, vines growing up the wall in a beautiful outdoor garden is reason enough to stop by for a drink. We ordered up our standard selections of prosecco, grey goose on the rocks, and a grey goose and soda. Prices are definitely in the higher range for cocktails, but you’re definitely paying for your location. We perched by the bar, as it seemed there was a private party going on… it is certainly a great space for such. Perhaps in the future we’ll be back for a full meal to thoroughly enjoy the atmosphere.
- Grey Goose and St. Germaine (A)
- Prosecco (K)
- Stella (L+M)
A: Exposed brick walls and hanging vines create such an enchanting atmosphere! The Meatpacking District hasn’t let me down yet. It’s always perfect for finding lively cocktail spots. We will be back!
K: What a unique venue! I’d like to come back some time and have brunch or dinner here.
L: Definitely a sweet drink spot. Only problem with a packed indoor-outdoor bar is that it gets lava hot.
M: I thought this place was cool, I can only say it was like being outside, inside.
Our Rating Scales…
- Scene- Bustling Meatpacking bar with a casual atmosphere, opened and soaring ceilings and exposed brick!
- Food/Drinks- 3: Pleasantly surprised. We only had a cocktail but will be back to try food next time
- Tip Worthy- 3: Gratuity included. It was packed, but they still got to us in a timely manner.
- Coordinates- 5: Fun is LITERALLY right next door!
- Restaurant Return Rate- Green light!