Straight from the outer boroughs
by Amanda Halkiotis
This time of year tourists flock to
New York. If you happen to be hosting out-of-towners, I suppose you could keep them busy with the usual string of NYC activities like shopping in SoHo, visiting museums,
seeing some stand-up comedy, or heading to Bergdorf Goodman, if just to browse
and not buy. You could also venture out of Manhattan, take a trip to the Bronx instead, and visit a historic
seashore community for food, outdoor fun, and a retro neighborhood vibe. Even
if you don’t plan on company, taking a one-day getaway to the Bronx's City Island might just be the ultimate city escape you're looking for.
A small residential community just 15 miles
outside Manhattan, City Island clocks in at just under .4 square miles, about
1.5 miles long and .5 miles wide. With the look and feel of a small New England fishing village, this quaint Bronx destination has a population of about 4,500, and many others flock to the island on weekends. Situated at the westernmost tip of the Long Island
Sound, once you hit City Island, wherever you go you will be just minutes from the water.
|Boats in City Island--by Terry Ballard via Flickr|
|Photo via Artie's Steak and Seafood|
|City Island has the look and feel of a New England fishing village--by Pro-zak via Flickr|
While there are no public beaches on City Island and private access is granted to residents only, you can still take advantage of the area’s many oceanside activities. Rent a sailing boat or take lessons from the New York Sailing Center, go scuba diving with Captain Mike, book an Island Current fishing trip, or skip the charter and rent your own fishing boat from Jack’s Bait and Tackle.
For history buffs, or anyone in search of some indoor fun at City Island, check out the City Island Nautical Museum. Operated by the City Island Historical Society, stop by the museum at 190 Fordham Rd. during their hours of operation, Saturdays and Sundays from 1 to 5 pm. Now open for the season, check out their current exhibit, The Yacht Clubs and Boat Clubs of City Island. Devoted to the area's six yacht and boat clubs, learn how these have played an essential role in the history and community character of City Island.
Now that you’ve worked up an
appetite, take your pick of the many seafood restaurants in town. A must-do,
whether you enjoy clam shacks or fine dining, as anywhere you eat will have
fare supplied by local fishermen who make their living off the
|City Island Nautical Museum --via Wikipedia|
Stop by Johnny’s Reef Restaurant, for a favorite summer treat of fried clams or lobster tails. Sit outside at one of the picnic tables to watch the boats along the current while you enjoy your meal. Located at 2 City Island Ave., Johnny’s is open from 11 am to 11:30 pm Sunday through Thursday, and 11 am to 11 pm Fridays and Saturdays.
For a bit more flair, head to the Lobster Box, for sandwiches
like lobster rolls and Maryland crab cakes, broiled, baked, and grilled
specials of salmon, sole, and stuffed shrimp, not to mention classic starters
like clams casino and steamed mussels. Located at 34 City Island Ave.,
Lobster Box serves lunch seven days a week from 12 to 3 pm, dinner from 3 to 11
pm on Monday, Thursday, and Sunday, and from 3 pm to 12 am on Fridays and
|Johnny's Reef--via Yelp|
|The interior of the Lobster Box-- via Yelp|
A unique New York City experience, City Island has plenty to offer for urban dwellers seeking a seaside escape close to home. Make a road trip out of it and drive there instead of taking public transit. Bring your bike to ride along the island’s scenic cycling paths. And, for further insight on this seafaring isle, check out the 2009 indie comedy City Island, starring Julianna Margulies and Andy Garcia, about a close-knit yet devious family with tons of New York attitude.
|This fun flick is set in City Island in the Bronx|
This post was sponsored by MCNY Tours.