This Summer's Watering Holes

The Voice turns its sunglass-clad eyes on local waters and watering holes

The area is a popular mating spot for horseshoe crabs—the prehistoric sea creatures come up onto the beach to frolic in May and June. The beach itself resembles a horseshoe, and a monumental two-story pavilion spoons it. The crumbling structure houses stands selling cheap beer and ice cream. Beyond the beach, Pelham Bay Park offers facilities for volleyball, canoeing, paddleball, barbecuing, and lazy days on the grass.

From the beach, the islands of the sound dot the horizon. City Island is the most prominent, its wooden shanties lit by fluorescent signs noting "LOBSTER" served within. If this tantalizes, hop back on the Bx29 bus (which connects with the No. 6 train) or bike over the bridge to this fantasy world of stately homes, valet parking, and strong Mafia feel. The main avenue has no shortage of restaurants with fully stocked bars, and there are even a couple of dives mid-island. Every establishment at the south end of the island is part of the Sammy's conglomerate: Shrimp Box, Lobster House (currently closed for renovations), and Fish Box (41 City Island Avenue, 718-885-0920). Just for sitting down at a Sammy's, would-be diners are presented with a "relish tray," including a warm loaf of bread, a hunk of cheese, fresh cornbread, and a plate of pickled vegetables. The drinks here and at Sammy's Tropical Bar—a hole-in-the-wall with a takeout counter—are pricey and weak, but the freebies are a nice touch to soak up the cooling alcohol while you broil in the scorching sun.

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