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Best Places for Summer Reading in the City

NEW YORK CITY — From local gardens to the quiet cubbies in La Guardia Airport, the city is well accommodated for New Yorkers wanting alone time to try to finish off their summer reading lists.

DNAinfo.com New York has found some quiet spots across the city to help readers keep those pages turning.


Books, beer and charity

SOHO — Housing Works Bookstore Café is a place to drink a beer while absorbed in a tome.

The cafe, located at 126 Crosby St., offers a cozy spot to be as bookish as you want to be, with plenty of seating, and an extensive café menu that includes ice cold beers and wine.

Plug sockets are scarce here, so those with laptops and reading devices should come fully charged.

Housing works is a non-profit group and sale profits help provide services for low-income men and women living with HIV/AIDS.

Escape to an ancient land

WASHINGTON HEIGHTS — The quiet, scenic enclosure of The Cloisters museum is just the place for readers to bury their noses in a book this summer.

The Cloisters museum and gardens whisk you away to the ancient world of medieval Europe, with nearly 3,000 works of art and architecture from the period.

If art isn’t incentive enough, the museum sits on a hill overlooking the Hudson River and could make a great backdrop for some historical fiction. The space also provides plenty of nooks, crannies and seating for readers looking for a quiet place to get lost.

The Cloisters is a branch of the Metropolitan Museum of Art located in Fort Tyron Park at 99 Margaret Corbin Drive. During the summer, the museum is open from Tuesday to Sunday from 9:30 a.m. until 5:15 p.m. Admission is $25 for adults, $17 for seniors and $12 for students.

For more information, visit www.metmuseum.org/visit/visit-the-cloisters.


Fine art and coffee

COBBLE HILL — Bring your favorite piece of literature to Clover’s Fine Art Gallery for peace and quiet and a good cup of coffee.

The gallery, located at 338 Atlantic Ave., offers the bright lights of an art gallery and the cozy setting of a café under one roof.

The café favors classical music, conducive to absorbed reading, and plenty of outlets to recharge a laptop or reading device. This quiet café is known in the neighborhood for its good coffee, but one of the features that makes it so memorable is the art gallery in the back, which can make for a colorful place to rest the eyes between chapters.

For more information, visit www.cloversfineart.com/index.html.

Visit a community garden

PARK SLOPE — Community gardens, like 6/15 Green, offer a quiet escape from the ruckus of the city.

6/15 Green, a community garden located at Sixth Avenue and 15th Street, provides a peaceful environment for readers every summer, featuring its quaint gardens, a trickling pond and plenty of tree shade.

“The gardens, pond and trees create a tranquil escapist oasis from frantic city life which allows you to forget where you are and really lose yourself in a book,” said Gretchen Hause, a spokeswoman for the garden’s steering committee.

“The willow tree in front provides lovely shade on a hot summer day, and there are ample places to sit.”

6/15 Green is open Tuesday to Friday from 4 p.m. until  8 p.m., and from 10 a.m. until 8 p.m. on weekends.

For more information, visit www.615green.org.

Take the library outside

PROSPECT HEIGHTS — The Brooklyn Central Public Library’s Central Library Plaza provides 6,000 square-feet of open space, seating, and a sweeping view of Grand Army Plaza.

The Central Library Plaza, located at 10 Grand Army Plaza, is the scenic front porch of the library itself, but doubles as a reading room during warmer months. The plaza features landscaped garden areas, stone benches, café tables, refreshments, fountains and planters.

The Brooklyn Central Public Library is open Monday to Thursday from 9 a.m. until 9 p.m. and Friday to Saturday from 10 a.m. until 6 p.m.

For more information, visit www.brooklynpubliclibrary.org/locations/central/plaza.


Hammocks at the park

LONG ISLAND CITY — The hammocks at Gantry Plaza State Park are prime seating for bookworms this summer, so head here early to snag a spot.

Everyday during summer, weather permitting, hammocks are strung up near the playground in Gantry Plaza State Park, located at 47th Road on the East River. Lazy-style personal benches litter the waterfront, and when seating is scarce, the park offers a 12-acre lawn to sprawl in, with abundant views of the midtown Manhattan skyline.

For more information, visit www.nysparks.com/parks/149.

Take off on your summer reading

LAGUARDIA AIRPORT— Laguardia Airport’s Central Terminal has the best seats for your summer reading to take off.

A row of white rocking chairs looks out onto the airfield at two nooks in the airport’s Central Terminal, and graces potential readers with a relaxing landscape of planes and the occasional seagull.

To top it off, the Central Terminal is brimming with convenient food, like Five Guys Burger and Au Bon Pain, and restrooms are available.


Colorful reading

BRONX — Wave Hill’s gardens are a colorful alternative to the usual park landscape.

This public garden and cultural center offers 28 acres of lush flora and lawn to use as your reading room this summer. Settle down with a book in the Pergola Garden for a sweeping view of the Hudson River, or get some tree shade in the Conifer Slope garden.

“A dozen or so garden ‘rooms’ focus the senses on the distinctive aesthetics of Wave Hill’s plantings, while the Great Lawn and Lower Lawn give the eye a broad sweep to enjoy,” said Martha Gellens, a spokeswoman for Wave Hill.

Wave Hill is located at West 249th Street and Independence Avenue, and is open Tuesday to Sunday from 9 a.m until 5:30 p.m. Admission is $8 for adults, $4 for students and seniors, and $2 for children over 6 years old.

For more information, visit www.wavehill.org.

Staten Island

Conference House Park

TOTTENVILLE — Supplement your summer reading with a little bit of Staten Island history, and a great view of the water

Conference House Park, a 265-acre park located at Shore Rd. and Saterlee St., provides a variety of terrain for readers to enjoy their reading this season.

For instance, head to the pavilion for a great view of the water, seating and shade.  For those willing to get gritty, bring a towel and settle on the beach. For lawn seekers, head north to the Conference House, one of four historical buildings that reside on the park.

The park also features walking paths, bike trails and restrooms are available.

For more information, visit www.nycgovparks.org/parks/conferencehousepark.