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This year’s Super Bowl marks the first time New York City has hosted the big game in its 48-year-history. To honor the occasion, the NFL has banned traditional tailgating in the New Jersey parking lots that surround the stadium, thereby dispensing with the only reason to get to a game early. While you can still technically par-tay outside the cold confines of Metlife Stadium — pending you have an electric grill and take up one parking space — why bother? The city is filled with plenty of options to break out the bratwurst. Here’s a look around the city at a few places that make for an awesome spur of the moment tailgate gathering.
Disclaimer: We know there’s no public consumption of alcohol in public parks, so abiding by the law or filling up a camelbak with jungle juice is up to you. Just remember, acting like a dickhead will probably result in an unsportsmanlike conduct and a potential ejection from the field of play.
Christopher Street Pier/Pier 45
If you can keep your party to under twenty people, head on out to this West Village pier, which offers a sweet patch of grass for sunbathing or running route options. While you can’t break out the bag of charcoal, what you can do is have an awesome time with friends overlooking the Hudson with your shirts off! Plus, if you forgot to pack the mustard — or if your inflatable chair flies off into the Hudson — there’s a nearby cafe with plenty of seating.
This neighborhood has endless amounts of barbecue and karaoke, and it’s steps away from Super Bowl Boulevard. Start off at New Wonjo and get your fill of grilling your own beef table side. Then, head over to all of the fan friendly NFL festivities to remind yourself how fun it is to throw a ball. Afterward, complete the party at Maru for a one-of-a-kind sports cheer. The 12th man has never sounded so good — at least for one night.
Often referred to as “the other side” of Randall’s Island — or the place that doesn’t get destroyed during Governor’s Ball — this picturesque destination is one of few places to escape the insanity that is the New York transit system. Ballgames, barbecues, and peace are all possible at this island getaway. Barbecuing underneath the backdrop of the bridge makes this place a must above other public grilling spots.
A good thing to remember: You can drink on mass transit here (well, on the commuter trains, at least — booze is banned on the subway). So bust out your crumpled brown paper bag, pick up your local deli sandwich, and make your way to the stadium. There’s no doubt game-goers will already be on top of this one, so even if you’re not holding a ticket, this is a good way to get in on the festivities.