Five Things I Did My First Summer in New York 

…That I’d do again in a heartbeat!

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It feels crazy writing this, but the first time I spent a summer in New York was FIVE years ago in 2012! I was participating in a summer journalism program during which I interned at Parade Magazine, lived in an NYU dorm room with roommates who came from various parts the country, and overall just had a blast working in and exploring the city. The biggest highlight was definitely authoring the Olympic-themed cover story (available online here!) for a July Parade issue, even though I was so nervous at the time while putting it together!

It’s funny how even though the city has changed so much over the years (cute shops and restaurants keep popping up EVERYWHERE, as shown in my post about my most recent visit), there are tons of things that remain NYC classics. So if you’re heading to New York for the first time or spending your tenth summer there, add these activities to your list!

1)   See an outdoor movie. My roommates and I actually stumbled upon this one night but it ended up being a blast. I think the movie was Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory…but I was more excited about the free popcorn and treats! Lying the park and watching a movie with friends after a long day of work is seriously the perfect summer activity.

2)   Head to Dylan’s Candy Bar. Dylan’s is a classic, at least in my book. If you like ANY type of candy, I guarantee you’ll be happy, because Dylan’s truly has everything! There’s a whole wall of different flavors of gummy bears, different themed candy bars from each decade, and (my favorite) plenty of dispensers so you can go around and fill up a bag with a little bit of everything. Go, go, go!

3)   Eat in Little Italy. It may seem overly touristy, but Little Italy is adorable and perfect for a summer night. Grab a glass of wine and a delicious bowl of pasta and enjoy dinner outside while people watching. Can you really think of a better combo?!

4)   Have brunch at Alice’s Tea Cup. This Alice in Wonderland themed restaurant has several locations across the city, and it’s the perfect spot for a little tea or breakfast date. It can definitely get crowded, but it’s an adorable photo opp and the food is great!

5)   Picnic in Washington Square Park. On weekends, the grassy area is packed with people lying out, eating, reading, and relaxing. There is always some great people watching in this area, too. Bring a friend or just bring a book and some snacks and spend a lazy afternoon outside.

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