Design Picnic: The Artful Way to Déjeuner Sur L’Herbe


Summertime, and the living’s easy. Especially with visions of picnics and sunny skies dancing in your head. Now that we’re past two months of pouring rain, capitalize on some of New York’s most culturally inclined outdoor spots and pack a design-friendly lunch-to-go. Our top three al fresco locales and a roundup of picnic goodies after the jump.

For the Art Aficionado Where to go: Governors Island How to get there: A free ferry from South Seaport in Manhattan and Fulton Landing in Brooklyn What’s around: The shell of entire township, including administrative and residential buildings as well as the old Martha’s Vineyard ferry. Bike paths wind around the island and the old prison is an extra weird treat. Spread out on the lawn overlooking the Statue of Liberty, off the path to the right as you exit the ferry. Added bonus: Plot/09, Creative Time’s public art extravaganza, is on display all summer long. Trippy video installations, irreverent signage, and a spooky chime sculpture bring contemporary art to the people.

For the Music Hound Where to go: Brooklyn Yard How to get there: Take the F or G trains to Carroll Street or the R to Union Street. The Yard is located at 388-400 Carroll Street between Nevins and Bond. What’s around: The seedy yet scenic Gowanus Canal. Food trucks and cocktail stands abound but BYOB is a-okay too. Added bonus: Every Sunday resident DJs Eamon Harkin, Doug Singer and Justin Carter spin reggaeton and summer beats for laidback crowds. Dogs (and kids) are welcome.

For the Architecture Fiend Where to go: Fort Tilden Beach How to get there: Take the 2/5 to the end of line at Flatbush then take the Q35 bus to Far Rockaway. Fort Tilden is to the right once you get on the island, past the more crowded Jacob Riis Beach. There’s nary a concession stand in sight, so al fresco picnicking is your best bet. What’s around: Nothing, except for abandoned military buildings that embody the vintage industrial aesthetic and look especially remarkable at the end of the earth (by that we mean, really far out Queens). Added bonus: The water taxi from South Seaport Pier 11 to Far Rockaway Breezy Point is an hour-long boat cruise o’ delight for only $6. Bring your camera and don’t miss the striking Verrazano Bridge stretching from Brooklyn to Staten Island.

And now, some Flavorpill-approved picnic gear to whet even the choosiest design snob’s picnicking appetite:

Willow picnic basket from Target, glass water bottles from Fred Flare

Bamboo plates from The Conran Shop, pocket corkscrew by Suck UK at A + R Store

Recycled sail tote by Sea Bags, Muji cardboard speakers from MoMA Design Store

Woolrich Hudson Bay blankets, set of 25 biodegradable sporks from MoMA Design Store

Live in one of Flavorpill’s other cities? Clue us in on the choicest picnicking spots in the comments below.