Bike marathoners on the road

10 things to be happy about this summer: View

Get outside, move your body, enjoy the parks and trails

Bike marathoners on the road

Bruce Jackson
Anger and intolerance has become the hot take of 2016…and it’s making me mad.

I’ve found the best cure for common anger is ‘think local and get outdoors.’ We’re fortunate that the Lower Hudson region offers a wide selection of outdoor distractions, so even as the Brexit fallout continues and the negative political ad machine cranks up for the fall, you can find peace right in our collective back yard. Here are ten things that are making me happy this summer:

Parks and Nature Preserves

We picked Ward Pound Ridge Reservation for a Father’s Day hike and were impressed with the abundance of nature and the absence of people. The kids survived two hours without texting.

Bicycle Sundays

Every time a metropolitan area closes a major roadway for recreation, you should take advantage. You’ve missed the spring schedule, but Bicycle Sundays return in September on the Bronx River Parkway.

The Hudson

If America had been settled west-to-east, we’d take the first thing we saw — Yosemite — for granted and gush about the spectacular Hudson River panorama across the country; it just happened in reverse. Yonkers, Tarrytown, Poughkeepsie…lots of great views, walks and access points.

Outdoor Concerts & Movies

New Rochelle has concerts at Hudson Park, Library Green and The Train Station; the Kensico Dam Plaza hosts concerts and outdoor movies; almost every community has something under the stars…check your local websites.

Pizza To Go

Nicky’s, Sal’s, Pelham Pizza…nothing sparks my-town-is-better-than-your-town arguments like the Best Pizza debate.

Pinebrook Boulevard (aka, the Pinebrook Time Trial)

Every bike route in southern Westchester eventually winds up on Pinebrook in New Rochelle. Last year’s re-paving makes it even better.


The best market in America? Yup. Makes middle-age men look forward to shopping and not only for their amazing beer selection (well, mostly).

Paine To Pain

One of the most unique trail races anywhere, through five lower Westchester parks. The event is Sept. 25, but you’ll have to train through the summer.


Once you stop hating, anything is possible. I’ll admit to lobbing an occasional MTA twitter bomb on bad days, but under-an-hour access to NYC and increased reliability this year is a pretty good local perk.

Tiki torches

Sometimes the best thing “in your back yard”…is your back yard. At $4.99 apiece, you can’t beat the value of Tikis to get you in vacation mode without all that stressful travel.

Think about your own list, get out there and enjoy the summer…before someone gets angry and proposes voting it off the calendar.