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The Best NYC Season is Empty Time Summertime

Summer’s homestretch is New York’s greatest season, time to take advantage.

5:00 PM EDT on August 12, 2022

Apparitions during sunset like this one are common during the empty times. (Hell Gate)

Some may say crisp cool fall is more laden with meaning. Or refreshing, blooming, hopeful spring is superior in all ways. But now, late summer, is indisputably the best time in the city. 

Long gone are those with the means to. Not yet arrived are the college students. The European tourists are stuck in their normal haunts, getting scammed in Battery Park or at whatever "interactive ice cream Van Gogh Laser Show" there is in SoHo. For those attuned to the population of the sidewalks, there’s more space. The subway platform has more room. The line for that bagel, reduced. The empty times have arrived, and with it, the best weeks of the year. It is time for a cooling beverage, and a bench in the park. 

Maybe this is the weekend to go to a baseball game— the red hot Metropolitans are really hitting the ball lately, and have surpassed the suddenly slumping Yankees this year in both vibes and skill. Tickets are as low as $8 for this weekend's series against the Phillies

The forecast is clear, and the beach beckons. The Rockaway Rocket is here to take you to the Rockaways without any hassle, featuring the best views the city has to offer. 

Summer means Dancehall, and who better to put together a lineup than Jamaica’s (Queens) legendary VP records. Since 1977, Vincent and Patricia Chin’s (the V&P) company has been a force in both distributing Dancehall music, and fusing it with more local Queens hip-hop. At Summerstage in Central Park on Saturday, VP Records is putting on a free party—letting you dance in the middle of the miracle that is Central Park. 

Elsewhere in that miracle, now is the best time to try your hand at the lottery for Shakespeare in the Park, a musical version of As You Like It just opened on Wednesday

More outdoor dancing: it’s finally cool enough to be out there—take in the spirit in Queens at the too-fun Mr. Sunday at Nowadays.

A rooftop documentary about American police-state dystopia? Yes, please

Of course, these are just suggestions. Some initial ideas for a good time in the city. But, if you just care to walk these streets, or hop on a bike, ride the train, or the ferry—you’ll find something to care about and redeem humanity, at least for an afternoon. 

It’s the not really empty, empty time. It’s the best time. 

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