Spring in New York City

Spring is in the air and if you live in New York City, it couldn’t come any sooner. After suffering through a dismal winter full of snowstorms that came as frequently as your weekly trash pick up, just a hint of warmth in the air probably has you salivating at the thought of picnics, strolls in the park, and outdoor concerts. Luckily, NYC offers a wide range of activities for the month of April that are less demanding of the pockets and full of spring fun.

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Check out what has become the unofficial first sign of spring: the blooming of the cherry blossoms at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden located at 990 Washington Ave, at President Street in Brooklyn. The Brooklyn Botanic Garden holds a collection of approximately 220 cherry trees on display, one of the largest in the country, and you can enjoy the beauty (and smell) of springtime through various tours or exhibits offered throughout the month of April.  You can also plan your visit around the exact stage of bloom you wish to see by tracking the blooming progress of these beautifully delicate flowers through the garden’s online CherryWatch Blossom Status Map.

Note: Tours typically take place every Wednesday at 1pm and Saturday at 11am. Prices range from $10 for adults to free for children under the age of 12

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Feeling dramatic? Well, the Tribeca Film Festival may be just the event for you. The festival takes place April 16th to April 27th, and this year Bow Tie Cinemas Chelsea will be the host. Not only will you be able to see some incredible independent films that range from documentaries to narrative features and shorts, you may just bump into a celebrity or two, including one its founders, Mr. Robert De Niro, himself.

Note: Here’s the film guide for a complete listing of films featured this year as well as the event guide, where you can find a list of events that are happening during the two week festival.

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If you want to usher in the spring with a toast, head over to Studio Square in Long Island City on April 25th and check out the Five Boro Craft Beer Fest. This indoor/outdoor event features 33 brewers from across all five NYC boroughs that will serve over 300 craft beers, some of which are specially brewed for this event and have never been tasted.

Note: Doors open at 7PM and all attendees must 21 years of age or over.

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For all the foodies out there, the 27th annual Taste of the Nation NYC is the perfect event to indulge in savory dishes and drinks from over 75 of the city’s most renowned chefs and bartenders. Located at 82 Mercer, this event is a little pricey but it’s for a good cause. Proceeds will go towards the No Kid Hungry network, a program dedicated to extending access to food for millions of low-income children across the nation.

Note: The event is held on April 28th. General Admission is from 7-10PM. Tickets can be purchased directly through the No Kid Hungry network’s website.

Tamara Jenkins is a real Jersey girl. She’s independent, opinionated, and loves her sports. When she’s not watching her favorite teams, she’s reading, practicing yoga or working on a few books she hopes will get published one day. She also may or may not be training for a 5k race. With a belief that life is what you make of it, Tamara doesn’t merely want to survive life; she wants to live it.

Spring Cleaning Playlist

Ah, April. The magical time of year where we discover just how much dust can pile up in 5 short months, and just how much we don’t want to clean any of it. You know what I’m talking about.

SPRING CLEANING!

Required housework is enough to ruin any season, but no worries! A good playlist is guaranteed to banish even the most infectious domestic blues. So to assist you in conquering yours, we’ve helpfully provided a comprehensive must-have of songs for your Spring Cleaning playlists.

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SUMMERTIME SADNESS (Cedric Gervais Remix), Lana Del Ray ft Cedric Gervais:

Can’t we just skip Spring, with it’s allergies and bipolar temperatures? This ominously emotional remix is the perfect song to use as the first step towards overcoming the dread of spring cleaning. *the combination of languid yearning in Del Ray’s voice with the electric desperation in Gervais’ beats will make you eager to hurry up and finish cleaning; the sooner we finish with spring, the sooner we get to summer.

Stars (Hold On)

STARS (HOLD ON), Youngblood Hawke:

Currently on rotation via Netflix commercial, the song seems lit by the breezy sunshine of April, inspiring the feeling of cool grass on bare feet and warm light on bare shoulders. There is a certain element in the hip-hop percussion that makes the song reminisce of The Verve’s “Bittersweet Symphony”, an allusion furthered by the hint of strings artfully woven into the background of synthesized melody. The song will make you feel like you’re standing on top of a hill, triumphant, untouchable, and ready to spring-clean every house on the block.

Team

TEAM, Lorde

With its hypnotizing robotic percussion and Lorde’s focus-demanding voice softened to a breathy lilt, this haunting alternative rock song might not be the first song you think of to get you pumped. It ribbon dances around the periphery of hopeless dystopia, but it’s the most inspiring background noise you could ask for. You may not have a team to help you dust off your window sills and wall décor, but you sure know how to run things.

Brave

BRAVE, Sarah Bareilles

Bareilles’ take on Katy Perry’s “Roar” is more spring appropriate than it’s heavier counterpart. The piano is soft, but strong, a backbone that holds up the motivating message in the song. Maybe it seems melodramatic to say bravery is a necessity for overcoming a winter slump and a whole lot of detritus, but after ten minutes of where the heck did all this stuff even come from?!, it’s going to take every ounce of courage you have to not cry. Only the brave will survive when it comes to standing up to the hoarders-grade stacks of clutter and climbing over the piles of dusty trash to reach the treasure beyond. ($20 in your coat pocket! Guess who’s ordering out for lunch!)

Sight Of The Sun

SIGHT OF THE SUN, Fun.

A laid-back refrain is the most notable part of this song. There is nothing particularly dramatic about it, which is a welcome break from the winter and a great start to spring. The intro tangles piano and guitar in a way that makes all your muscles relax and your eyes slip shut. Behind your eyelids, you can picture thesidewalks split by weeds and graffiti-stained stone walls painted by a deliberate urban beat. So lean back on the couch cushions and enjoy the imagery for a few minutes. You’ve been working hard, and you totally deserve it.

Superbass

SUPER BASS, Nicki Minaj

Nothing gets you as amped as pretending you’ve got the skillz to be a rapper and the speed-of-mouth to keep up with Nicki. This is the perfect song for changing out your winter wardrobe with your summer ones, as tank tops probably won’t judge when you have to Google the lyrics you’re totally butchering (who the heck is “the guy with the thing on his eye”?). Added bonus: wear strappy heels when you try on your bathing suit, and pretend you’re in the music video.

Happily

HAPPILY, One Direction

From the first hoppy pluck of guitar, this song inspires carefree movement and lighthearted adventure! Use the chorus’s August-y twang to banish wintery thoughts of shovels and rock salt into the deepest corners of your garage. Retire your snow boots with the help of sunny cowbell. The song is bubbly, upbeat, and just downright cheerful. It talks about a love that brings no shame, no guilt, just happiness…like that warm weather snaking it’s rays in through your open windows. Caution: May cause uncontrollable urge to learn square dancing.

Believer

BELIEVER, American Authors

We might have to change the title of the playlist to “A Little Twang Never Killed Nobody”, but you wouldn’t dream of leaving this song off. You might be familiar with this indie band’s mainstream breakthrough hit “Best Day Of My Life”, one of the lead singles off their album Oh, What A Life, which was released earlier this month. Although that song is memorably shrouded in good vibes, this song seems to be pulsing with them.  Zac Barnett’s voice still sounds like it’s on the verge of tearing, the lyrics still sound saccharinely chipper, but this song comes out on top. Whether due to the quicker beat or the less lethargic mixing, Believer is a more effective steroid to getting ish done than its brother (“Ish” meaning “wipe off ceiling cobwebs”).

The Other Side

THE OTHER SIDE, Jason Derulo

Another song with a fantastic beat, because nothing takes the dullness out of sweeping quite like using the broom as your dance partner. The song itself sounds like it’s glowing with the promise of a new beginning (Friendzone-turned-romance, spring cleaning…practically the same thing), and effects that sound straight from a sci-fi adventure flick let you escape your kitchen and pretend you’re worlds away from all the dirt piles…if only until you open your eyes again.

Sail Into The Sun

SAIL INTO THE SUN, Gentlemen Hall

If you’ve ever wondered what it felt like to win a Golden Ticket, this song should give you a pretty good idea. Inspired by what must have been the Williest of Wonkas, this literal bells-and-whistles song gives the world a Rose Colored Glasses effect without a visit to the optical shop. The Boston-based Indie Quintet encapsulates the whole of springtime in the chiffon-like vocals and lofty instrumentals. It’ll make you dreamily imagine you’re sailing across the sky in a floating boat, and not slipping across the hallway in a puddle of mop water.

Hey Ya

HEY YA, Outkast:

Come on, how can anyone resist this classic? Arguably, the ultimate must-have of ANY get-pumped tune is its karaoke factor- AKA how much does it make you want to sing along out of tune as loudly as possible? Every playlist needs a song that reminds you of your youth, of simpler years when it totally would have taken you less than two hours to spring clean the whole house. Catchy harmonies and easy lyrics make for a song that guarantees a good time no matter what you’re doing.

One Woman Army 

ONE WOMAN ARMY, Porcelain Black

You haven’t even heard it yet, and already the title has you amped for a feminized take-over! The song is steered by an obstinate march that will thrum through your chest and get your blood pumping in double time. Combined with a guitar that doesn’t mess around and gritty lyrics that take no prisoners, Porcelain’s scuffed-up voice is just tenacious enough to be shiver-inducing, and exudes enough determination to win that you could probably snag some… and she wouldn’t even mind. Use that determination to wake your inner warrior princess. And if you’re a guy, you can borrow some of that girl-power we’re famous for.

Young Volcanoes 

YOUNG VOLCANOES, Fall Out Boy

“When Rome’s in ruins…” Did they mean your front closet? Clap along to this minimalist anthem about breaking free and starting afresh! In the geological world, young volcanoes erupt, coating everything with lava and destruction…before cooling into islands with exotic vegetation and unique beauty. Centuries later, Hawaii is a hot vacation spot. So don’t think of the clutter accrued over the extended sun hiatus as an obstacle: think of it as an opportunity! You have to move furniture to get underneath and behind anyway, so why not rearrange it all? Take a hint from those young volcanoes. With a little patience and a lot of time, you can turn your mess into paradise.

So grab the playlist, take on the work, and come out on top! Whether you’re cleaning a friend’s place, or cleaning your own, these songs are perfect to break the monotony and actually make the cleaning – dare we say? – enjoyable. Instant jam sesh: just add Windex.” 

Got some songs you can’t believe we forgot? Add them in the comments, and let us know what you’re rocking out to this spring!

Written by: Saxmei Milano is a twenteen-year-old creative writer who likes tenors, popcorn, and bright lights. She currently lives just outside of NYC with her grandparents and a giant dog. When she is not out talking to strangers, she is usually watching Law and Order: SVU marathons. She loves to smile and make rhymes. Her favorite people are those with accents (ANY kind).

Spring Into Romance

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After spending the winter getting cozy with your lover and hopefully going on some exciting dates through out the chillier months its finally time to open up the windows and let in the fresh air or make a trip outside!

Here are some exciting dates perfect for night & day – so ditch the blankets and grab your babe for some spring fun.

GetActive

Get Active

The couple that plays together stays together! It’s time to get outside and make the most of the adventures that are all around you.

  1. Hiking: A great way to exert energy while spending some alone time with your significant other and taking in the scenery. For added romance, take a night hike with just a flashlight as your guide (works best if you have taken the path in the daylight first).
  2. Bike Rides: Most cities have bike paths and parks ready to be explored.
  3. Sporting Events: Surprise your boyfriend with tickets to a baseball game! Get involved in community leagues, or play catch in the back yard. Also, catch a Hockey game before the season comes to a close.
  4. Zip Line: don’t turn away from this seemingly scary activity. Some are designed to be more leisurely and some give you just enough of an adrenaline rush!

SpruseUpThe Home

Spruce Up The Home

After the long winter months, most of us can probably agree that its time to bring a little brightness into our homes.

  1. Spring Cleaning: A classic way to spend quality time together is cleaning. No, I don’t mean let’s do the laundry and dishes together, rather let’s make our home an enjoyable place for the both of us by adding new wall art or storing the extra blankets.
  2. The Earth Laughs In Flowers (and plants): There are plenty of flowers and plants that are great to have around the house. Or maybe, now is the time for you to start you garden together or improve the landscaping!
  3. DIT – Do It Together: Pick out a new paint color and give your furniture, front door, or living room wall a make over. If you are feeling crafty introduce your BF to Pinterest and find something you can make together.

Yummy

Yummy

With the change of weather we are all getting excited to incorporated fruity flavors and try new recipes that pair perfectly with cocktails on the porch.

  1. Picnic in the Park: Pack a basket full of your favorite foods and drinks, and enjoy an afternoon under a shade tree.
  2. Fruit Farms: Go organic and visit your local apple orchard or strawberry farms. This is a healthy and fun daytime activity! Try incorporating your yummy fruits into a new recipe such as salads and desserts.
  3. Mixed Drinks: Everyone enjoys a refreshing drink, alcoholic or not, while enjoying the sun. Try making a new drink, (that you both enjoy) every Saturday and invite friends over for your own happy hour.

GoOutside

Go Outside

It’s finally warm so what better way to spend the afternoon than enjoying the sun.

  1. Garden Gurus: There are plenty of types of gardens you and your sweetie can explore together. Find tranquility walking through a botanical, butterfly, or peace garden. If you are up for more of a challenge hedge mazes are lots of fun!
  2. Drive in Movies: With the weather getting warmer its time to take your movie-nights-in, outdoors. Pack up the car with blankets, pillows and snacks – just the right ingredients for snuggling with your significant other.
  3. Animal Loving: The zoo is never a dull place! Between the penguins, elephants and adorable animal t-shirts you are sure to have an adventure. Also, many zoos have special events such as behind the scene tours that give you a chance to interact with the animals.

Don’t forget to show off your new skills, experiences and clean home to your friends by inviting them over for a couple’s night or meet at the local park! Spring is a perfect time to make fresh foods and create memories in the warm air while spending time with your love.

Written by: Sydney Cologie dream “job” is doing PR for a fashion magazine or retail company. She enjoy reading my horoscope and am often spilling hot coffee on myself. Inspired by city life, swing sets, and oversized sweaters the world is her oyster. Making up new words & watching cartoons are just a few of her favorite pastimes along with buying unnecessary calendars and dreaming of owning a kitten.

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