An Alfresco Picnic in the East Village
Before sweater weather and pumpkin fever get into full swing, one of the best ways to take advantage of the city — and, arguably, the best weather of the year — is with a picnic in the park. And after a long week of work, a leisurely afternoon outdoors enjoying a sumptuous spread is the ideal way to recuperate. Residents of the East Village apartments at EVGB are fortunate to live near the most vibrant neighborhood park in the city, Tompkins Square Park. In fact, everything you need for the perfect early-autumn picnic is just around the corner.
Before heading over to the park, call in at one of the nearby gourmet grocers for picnic provisions. Westside Market offers options for full meals to-go, with picnic-ready lunch boxes just waiting to be carried to your chosen spot. You can also pick up wraps, sandwiches, hot entrees, sushi — there’s even a fresh salad bar. Or, for a curated collection of artisanal snacks, the cheese selection is top-notch (many items are available for sampling), and this can be complemented with fresh, crusty baguettes from the bakery. Complete your meal with some sweets prepared in-house, like the signature Greek desserts of baklava or galaktoboureko.
Another convenient stop for fresh and healthy goods is the independently owned Commodities Health Food store on First Avenue. This tidy, well-organized shop is a favorite destination for local produce and fruit, as well as fresh juices, salad fixings, and an extensive selection of organic snacks, dips, and desserts.
With healthy snacks (or decadent indulgences) in hand, the ultimate destination for the afternoon is Tompkins Square Park. This beloved East Village institution is located just a few blocks south of EVGB, and visiting it is a quintessential New York experience. Stretching from Avenue A to Avenue B and covering three street blocks to the south of East 10th Street, this compact park has something for everyone. Take advantage of two playgrounds, a handball court, a new basketball court, and chess tables. Dog-owners will appreciate the two adjacent dog runs (including a specially designated run for small dogs), which offer their four-legged friends a paradise with plenty of spirited chasing, fetching, and wagging. And the designated Wi-Fi hotspots let you stay connected — you can even sneak in a little work, if you must.
But with or without dogs (or a laptop) in tow, everyone can appreciate the lush greenery and trees that fill the park. Flowers in bloom dot the grassy stretches, and benches line the walkways – both are convenient places for resting and catching up with friends. And Tompkins Square Park follows the city’s health safety and social distancing guidelines, so wear face coverings and distance yourself sufficiently from other visitors to ensure that the park is a safe spot for enjoying the day. Under the canopy of leafy, majestic trees, you can spread out a blanket, settle in comfortably, and indulge in a tasty snack or a fully prepared meal. What better way to relax, recharge, and celebrate the changing seasons? And it’s all a stone’s throw away from the EVGB’s East Village luxury homes.