Welcome to the fourth installment of Gawker Media's Spring Guide. Buy It!, your guide to spending your hard-earned cash on trendy stuff to fill the black hole that lives within you, is filled with cowsharing, celebrity hot sauces, and shuttlecocks. And glamping.
Treat Them to Sweet, Sweet Meat. And Beer, and Other Stuff
If you want any sort of social life in the warmer months, it is vital to know how to host a well-stocked BBQ. And roasting frozen wieners over a the flame of a Zippo is no way to entertain. In fact, you might even be defriended over it. Because there is a direct correlation between a successful party and the fancy stuff you own, stock up on steaks and get shopping!
Items for Your Barbecuing Pleasure
Rusty hibatchi-grilled veggie burgers or pan-fried homeburgers are not going to cut it. Step up your BBQ prowess with these non-essential, but fun, cookout-helpers.
Beeradvocate Beer Store Tracker
Little known fact: BBQ actually stands for Buy Beer in Quantity. With Beeradvocate's handy beer store locator, all you do is plug in your coordinates and they will guide you to the closest and coldest keg.
Motorized Rotisserie Kit
Do you have a secret desire to abandon your 9-5 and assume the simple life of a seller of street meat? Well with a motorized rotisserie on your grill, you are half-way to your goal. Just slap a set of wheels on your newly tricked-out barbecue and get on the corner!
Portable and Compact Grills
Many of us don't have the space to participate in the suburban fantasy that is the neighborhood cookout. Instead, we have to be satisfied with the dark alley our real-estate guy called "a courtyard." Weber's series of compact and portable grills are the perfect size for such spaces. At least we aren't cooking over a garbage can!
Carne Y Leche
There's more then one way to split a cow.
Bulk Beef Share
Everyone knows that serious carnivores buy their beef in bulk. Pool your pennies with similar steak-slurping friends and purchase a whole cow before its due to be slaughtered. This way you know exactly where your meat is coming from. Most local butchers will be happy to hook you up and will slice it down to convenient freezer-sized portions.
And for those of you who prefer your bovine buddies still breathing, why not buy a "share" of a heifer? It's only $20/month (which goes towards upkeep) and in return you get fresh organic milk! It's kind of like that adopt-a-whale program from elementary school. Only with calcium-rich presents!
Celebrity Bar-B-Q Essentials
Ever play that game where you imagine a party full of your favorite fame-balls living or deceased? Well, the diverse and ever-expanding world of celebrity sauce endorsements wants to invite YOU to their annual spring cookout. Some noted guests include:
Things that Makes the Great Outdoors Bearable
No matter how much you may protest, you will be forced to spend time away from your laptop (ie., outside, in the actual air!) this spring. But a plan to spend some quality time outside might create a gap in your material objects ownership profile (who has camping gear lying around their Chinatown studio?), thereby creating a wonderful opportunity to shop. For this stuff.
Camping has come a long way from the days of drab olive Army-Navy surplus gear. What better way to get back to the earth than by stocking up on all of the little luxuries that Mother Nature so inconsiderately forgot to pack? Live out your Rima-of-Green Mansions-meets-Jill-Zarin-of-the-Real Housewives of NYC fantasy with our guide to staying fabulous out in the woods.
Many of these tents are bigger then our parents' homes, let alone our apartments. Whether you're trying to house the circus, or actualize some Out of Africa fantasy, Exclusive Tents has the space.
If the idea of sleeping without a solid roof over your head slightly terrifies you, a Teardrop Camper Trailer is the way to go. Super compact, these little guys hitch right up to the back of a car and provide just enough room to snuggle up with a significant other. Plus there is a teeny-tiny little galley kitchen in the back, equipped with a fridge and a sink. Awwwwww.
Would somebody tell those damn birds to shut up? We're trying to listen to Animal Collective. Drown out the sounds of nature with these easily portable, inflatable speakers by Ellula.
Nothing says roughing it like freshly-baked cupcakes. Sure, you might attract a few woodland critters with the smell of warm baked goods you make on the Camp Chef Camping Outdoor Oven, but just remember—they are more afraid of you then you are of them. Unless of course it's a giant hungry bear in which case we recommend handing over the goods. Even Yogi would eat you for a brownie.
Drinking outside is a right of spring. Unfortunately drinking while camping generally means warm beer from dented cans. This deluxe mahogany travel bar steps up the class and eliminates the gas (side note: outdoor toilets + beer belly = not fun). It comes fully equipped with jiggers, shakers, martini glasses AND plenty of space to pack a few bottles.
Screw hot dogs and S'mores. Pack one of these Coleman 54-quart coolers full of all the nitrate-free, no-corn-syrup-added organic delicacies from your local food co-op, farmer's market, or massive eco-friendly chain grocery store. Because why would you bother going into the woods without being 100% natural, duh?
Natural Anti-Mosquito Kit
You know what totally ruins the luxury camping experience? The constant itchy reminder that things want to bite you. This travel kit from Incognito comes loaded with all sorts of fancy scrubby products that keep the bugs at bay and leaves you smelling like all the other flowers in the woods. A much nicer idea than camouflaging your scent in deer urine.
After a hard day of lounging in the sun and not having to collect firewood or forage for food, what's nicer than a long warm shower? Using the power of the sun, Stearns SunShower heats up in a few hours. No physical exertion required.
Vintage Picnic Gear
Buying vintage is kind of like recycling, which is kind of like "going green," which we hear is very important if you like outdoorsy stuff. Vintage picnic gear has the added bonus of looking a lot sweeter then your typical mess-kit.
Sports for the Mildly Athletic
Football is not for you. Fine. But you can still enjoy a little fresh air while exerting minimal effort this spring. Plus you can wear sport-appropriate outfits and play with balls.
Did you know that croquet is sometimes referred to as Pall Mall, which really just reminds us of those cigarettes our drunk uncle Chuck used to smoke before he died? Moral: Smoking kills and is not to be mixed with sports. Unless of course it's croquet, which pretty much anyone, no matter what shape you're in, can play. Pick up a set and get to ball-smacking!
A good bike can be pricey, but that just means there is that much more nifty gear to go with it. If you're nervous about biking around the city all by your lonesome, you can always join a bike club which is sort of like a gang with sillier, more crotch-protective outfits. Let this studly expert walk (ride?) you through the basics of what you'll need to get cycling. And for the record, here's Judge Judy's inimitable take on the trend. Ride free or die!
Dress Yourself or Check Yourself
After all this strenuous camping and shopping and eating and shopping and game playing and shopping, you deserve something nice, like a pretty spring dress or perhaps a nice bow-tie. Fortunately, there are plenty of spring shopping events for you NYC fashion plates that will keep you in the freshest of threads.
The NewNew on Governor's Island
Governor's Island once again wins the prize for New York's springtime "I'm too broke to leave, but need a change of pace" destination of choice. Starting on June 5, the ferry-accessible island hosts the NewNew Pop-Up Shop. The market will be open every weekend, all summer long, and will feature treasures from 30 local designers. We could make a joke about sailing on over for the sale, but we won't because we like you. [Map]
Every Saturday around 150 vendors gather together in Fort Greene to peddle their wares to the unwashed huddled masses of Brooklyn. The Flea features a hugely diverse mix of vintage collectibles, antiques, and work from new designers and artists. [Map]
First Fridays at The Loom
Shopping parties are great for two reasons. First reason: Shopping. Second reason: Party. First Fridays at The Loom, thankfully, have both things. Featuring performances, store discounts and a whole bevy of complimentary refreshments (one of their monthly sponsors is a jerky "artisan"), you will get just sauced enough to realize that a hand-knit tampon case is exactly what's been missing in your life. Sure, when friends ask you what you're doing Friday night, you'll have to lie about hanging out in area dubbed "Bush-Burg," but the deals totally make up for it. June 4. [Map]
GreenFlea is one of Manhattan's oldest and largest open-air markets. Still thriving after more than 25 years (though for the often-geriatric UWS, that's pretty young) the flea shills the standard mix of junk, doo-dads, and precious antiques. Located right down the block from an equally massive farmer's market, you can spending the day noshing and haggling over prices, just like you would if you were from the neighborhood. [Map]
Well, that's it for now. We hope you buy stuff, do stuff, and look good doing it, for everyone's sake.