As an athlete, I take pride in maintaining my fitness, because it’s an important part of my mental and physical health. When I’m celebrating Pride in New York City, I like to do activities that keep me active and engaged in my natural surroundings because this city has so much to take in. I’m constantly discovering new things I love to do here, but below are my four favorite ways to enjoy Pride in New York.
Run or Bike
Running is my favorite way to see and get to know a city, and it's how I fell in love with New York City in the first place. I always celebrate Pride with a 5K Pride Run in Brooklyn's Prospect Park as part of Brooklyn Pride, or a longer 5-mile run in Manhattan's Central Park. If my legs need a bit of a break, I’ll usually grab a CityBike and take a lap of Central Park or ride up and down the West Side Highway. There’s something in the air in New York City during Pride, and exploring the city by foot or bike is my favorite way to experience it.
Expert Tip: If you have some extra time before or after New York City’s Pride celebrations (and you’re feeling adventurous) you MUST bike up Route 9W to the town of Piermont. The views on the ride up are spectacular, and the town itself is this quaint little gem that’s bursting with charm. It’s perfect for hiking, shopping or eating at one of the many restaurants in the area. My personal favorite is Pier 701 Restaurant & Bar, as it's located right on the Hudson River, and offers incredible views of the water.
Explore The Art Scene
New York City is home to one of the most vibrant, interesting, and wild LGBTQ+ art scenes in the world, and surprisingly, a lot of the good stuff resides outside of the incredible galleries and museums. During Pride, I love to visit the work of the legendary Keith Haring at a few different spots in NYC. My favorite, and perhaps Haring's most iconic public work, is the "Crack is Wack" mural located on East 128 St (2 Ave & Harlem River Drive). While you can catch a peek of it from a car on the FDR, it's better viewed in person so you can follow the intricacies of Haring's lines and see the hidden figures within the painting. This is one of my favorite locations to stop and take a selfie break at, if I’m on a run along the East side.
I’ll also go see Haring's work at The Center - The Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender Community Center (208 W 13th St, Manhattan). As one of the commissioned artists invited to paint the LGBTQ+ Community Center interior in 1989, Haring painted one of his most graphic murals about the time before the AIDS crisis titled, "Once Upon a Time." Thirty years after the paint dried, this mural still evokes powerful emotions, and is definitely worth a visit (although maybe not with young ones).
I’m always extremely busy around Pride, but I think it’s really important to be sure to give yourself the care you need to thrive. After a busy week of celebrating NY Pride, I always take some time for myself to relax and re-center. New York has some of the best spas in the world, and there is no better way to sweat out some toxins than in a steam room, sauna or hot tub. I usually head to Koreatown, where there are a ton of reasonably priced day spa options. You pay a flat fee to get access to their facilities, and can then add on a massage, traditional scrub or other spa service. I’d recommend starting with a soak and steam, then ending the experience with a massage. Makes me feel like jello (in the best way possible!) everytime.
If my schedule permits it, I'll sometimes head outside of New York City, to treat myself to an overnight spa experience. One of my favorites is Yo-1, the first luxury wellness resort of its kind in the U.S., located on a beautiful sprawling property in the Catskills. Besides healthy meals by the award-winning chef, Gaurav Navin, their services range from yoga and reflexology to hydro- and mud-therapy. It's super unique and a great way to disconnect and recharge.
Go Beyond The City Limits
There's so much culture to enjoy in New York State, that I love to start my Pride celebrations early with a mini vacation out of the city. This year, Troy, NY, is hosting “Sing Out, New York!” Presented by the Albany Symphony, which is a five-day American Music Festival from May 30 to June 1. The festival will feature world-class performances, including David Del Tredici’s Pop-Pourri, as well as John Corigliano’s Symphony No. 1, "Of Rage and Remembrance," a tribute to those lost to AIDS. As a music lover, and member of the LGBTQ+ community, I'm really looking forward to these free outdoor concerts, celebrating equal rights.
Make your plans to join us this Memorial Day Weekend! Adventures across Hunter Mountain are waiting - whether it is Zip-lining, hiking, or enjoying or Scenic skyride there is something here for everyone to enjoy. .#Summer #Spring #adventures #newyork #huntermountain #explore #catskillmountains #iloveny #zipline #memorialdayweekend
If you're an adenture junkie like me, then you'll love soaking up some adventure before heading to the mega Pride Parade in New York City. There's no better place to do this than Hunter Mountain, where you can hike, run, bike and just enjoy the amazingly beautiful scenery of the resort. While that would be reason enough for me to go, Hunter also is home to North America’s longest and highest zip line, year round, which is something I can absolutely not wait to try out.
Editor's Note: WorldPride 2019 is rapidly approaching, and we could not be more excited. In anticipation of this monumental event for the LGBTQ+ community, as well as for all of New York, we’ve chosen two Out Travelers to share what they do to celebrate New York Pride in their own personal style. Check out how travel writer, Barry Hoy’s, spends his New York Pride here, and you can learn all about how the team at Out does a proper New York Pride right here!