NEW YORK -- New York City is proving this summer that it is back and bubbling with life. People of all ages are enjoying new city experiences, including indoor miniature golf, dancing under the stars, and relaxing at a waterfront hangout.
A new indoor mini-golf course set in a party atmosphere, complete with street food and curated cocktails, is taking over the NoMad neighborhood.
"And we combine it all in this incredible 23,000 square foot space. When you walk in, you feel like you're stepping into the English countryside in the 1920s. We have rolling courses which are covered in plants and trees, and scattered through that we have bars and private hire spaces, our street food area," said Matt Grech-Smith, co-founder and co-CEO of Competitive Socializing, which runs Swingers -- The Crazy Golf Club.
Swingers opened in mid-June and, Grech-Smith says it is here to stay.
"I think the timing is kind of perfect. People have been weathering the pandemic. They are now ready to go out and do stuff. There's nothing like this in New York, and so the reception has been absolutely phenomenal. The tickets have been selling like crazy," he added.
"It was a lot of fun! Miniature golf, food, drink and good company," said Joyce Giordano, who came to Swingers with her co-workers.
The miniature golf spot is one of many helping to bring the city back to what it once was in pre-COVID times.
"I think everyone is moving back to New York. Everyone wants to be in urban areas. I think the city is coming back," said Kira Swain, who came out to play a round of mini-golf with friends.
From swinging golf clubs to swinging on, there is plenty to do in NYC this summer.
"I think it's really special to come and dance under the stars. I don't know where else you get to do that, to be quite honest. All of our programming is free, and I think what's really special is that energy you get to share with somebody else. There's something really unique about the arts. There's something really unique about being in a space and all of a sudden you start to connect with other people,. Everyone gets excited at the same time, and we're feeling that again," said Jordana Leigh, the senior director of artistic programming for Lincoln Center.
"Looking at the amazing dancers and listening to the music, I love coming here several times a week," said Genevieve Koch, who came out to dance and relax.
Through Aug. 14, Lincoln Center has created "The Oasis," New York City's largest outdoor dance floor with a 10-foot-wide disco ball.
"We're finding a way to build our community back together. We see a real responsibility to our city, and part of that is to bring the arts back and to bring everyone back, to help revive New York City," Leigh said.
"I feel like it's being revitalized. I mean, slowly but surely, I'm still a little cautious, and I'm sure others are, too, but it's nice to see. It's exciting. People are coming back and socializing," Koch said.
If dancing isn't your thing, head on over to Portside at Brookfield Place in Lower Manhattan. The coastal-inspired setting is backdropped by the Hudson River.
"It's essentially a waterfront hangout with free summer programming, evening cocktails, summer coffees, activities. Good for people of all ages. If you're coming to New York for the first time, if you've lived here forever," said Laura Montross, director of communications for Brookfield Properties.
Portside has a book club, arts and crafts sessions, and toddler yacht parties all summer long -- even into the end of September.
"New York City has so much to offer and the fact of the matter is we're on the coast, and on two beautiful rivers, and New York Harbor. And taking advantage of that waterfront view and that vibe... is something we like to tap into here at Portside," Montross said.
"It's nice to have a place to just get together or even if you're on your own, to have a nice area to chill during lunch," said Amulya Mummaneni, who works in Manhattan.
Whether you're taking a shot at Swingers, stomping your feet at The Oasis, or soaking in the sun at Portside, there's something to keep you busy this summer in the city.
Lindsay Cayne contributed to this report.
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