Our Favorite 5 NYC Outdoor Spots to Take in the Summer Sun
It’s finally summer! Our home, New York, is at its most alive during the warm weather, and we’re always excited to explore all that the city has to offer. We’re grabbing our transit socks and some of our other favorite summery pairs as we step onto one of the many MTA trains and cruise around to find some of the best outdoor spots in town. Here are five of our favorites from all around the five boroughs!
The Highline has risen to prominence as one of NYC’s fastest growing and most popular attractions for tourists and residents alike, and for good reason. The repurposed train track walkway boasts an extensive collection of native and foreign plants, along with impressive panoramic views showcasing the Harlem River and the quickly-developing west side of Manhattan. When you’re feeling hungry, head downstairs to Chelsea Market and experience some of New York’s best options for food and drink.
In the center of Brooklyn stands one of its most popular cultural institutions - the Botanical Garden. It’s not just one collection either: a dozen outdoor gardens span across several acres, along with an indoor greenhouse which hosts a slew of tropical and desert plants. Sit and take in the sun in one of the BBG’s peaceful fields, find some shade underneath the Japanese cherry trees, or enjoy a hike through one of its wooded paths -- complete with identification for all of the wildlife within.
Astoria Park - Accessible by N, W Trains Recommended Socks: Fish and Fans
Need to cool off? Head into Queens and hop off on the last stop of the N or W train to visit Astoria Park, which hosts the city’s largest public swimming pool (330 feet long!). As you dry off, take a walk along the river to check out some of the best views there are of Manhattan’s east side.
On the opposite end of the yellow line (and also the orange) lies one of New York’s most famous attractions. The combination of beach, boardwalk and amusement park rides are enough to keep you busy all day (or maybe for two!). Make sure to check out the Cyclone, one of the oldest wooden roller coasters in existence, and keep watch for the variety of live music offered throughout the summer season. The nearby aquarium is also a great option to escape the heat for a while, perfect for those traveling with children.
FDR Boardwalk and Beach - Accessible by SI Ferry Recommended Socks: Bubbling Blooms
Need a beach with a bit more space? Hop on the (free) Staten Island Ferry and head to the FDR Boardwalk and Beach. With a walking trail spanning 2 ½ miles, this spot boasts one of the city’s largest waterfront areas, with amenities including beachside volleyball, children’s playgrounds and even a canoe/kayak area. Despite the length of the trip to get out to the Island from the rest of the city, this spot is definitely worth your time for a great day trip.
5 (Non-Touristy) Outdoor Spots in NYC We’re Visiting This Spring
It’s been about a month since spring has sprung, but it’s taken until now for the weather to match the season here in New York. Now that us city dwellers are crawling out of our apartments, we’re looking for a day out that will really knock our socks off. The city is beautiful in the warmer weather, though some of its most well-known parks become congested with tourists and residents alike as everyone scrambles to be in the sun. Pull up your transit socks and hop on the subway with us as we tour some of New York’s best outdoor spots where you can at least feel like you’re escaping!
Roosevelt Island Trails - Accessible by F Train
Some of the best short hikes in NYC are sandwiched smack in the middle of the 5 boroughs on Roosevelt Island. Trails through marshy swampland connect visitors with the city’s distant past, along with sites passing by historic monuments and through denser forests. Best of all, getting to the island is also accessible by gondola that allows for a sky-high look at some of the city’s best panoramic views.
George Washington Bridge and New Jersey Trails - Accessible by A Train
Off the 181st Street stop in Manhattan’s Washington Heights neighborhood is a hike that combines city and nature together. Walk your first mile across the George Washington Bridge and soak in the sights of the Hudson River, an expansive view of boroughs from the Bronx to Brooklyn, and cross state lines into New Jersey on the other side. Once you’ve crossed, the options are vast: hike down to the barge on the Hudson, or take a wooded path to hidden gardens.
Van Cortlandt Park - Accessible by 1 Train
At the edge of the Bronx lies one of New York’s best and largest parks. Sunbathe in the enormous terrace, join the runners circling the track or wander down one of its seemingly endless trails. Don your anti-mosquito socks while you forage for wild edibles in the woods, go fishing in one of the creeks, or simply sit and enjoy true urban solitude. Hidden beyond the park is a golf course and equestrian stable!
Forest Park - Accessible by J Train
For those looking for a more adventurous hike (for the city, at least), Queen’s Forest Park boasts several longer trails and 165 acres of wooded land to explore. Like Van Cortlandt, Forest Park also has both a golf course and a stable where visitors can rent horses to ride around the park. The onsite bandshell also hosts a number of outdoor concerts throughout the warmer weather.
Rockaway Beach - Accessible by A Train
At the very edge of Brooklyn, on the last stop of the A train lies Rockaway Beach - a trek for those coming from most of New York, but worth it for having a seaside experience that you don’t have to leave the city for. Aside from normal beach fare, visitors can experience a great selection of concessions along the boardwalk, beach yoga, a number of sports, and New York’s only legal surfing spot.
Frank Lloyd Wright’s progressive philosophy, emphasis on the environment and laser focus on detail made him the most important artful architect of the 20th Century, and Ozone is thrilled to have collaborated with the FLW Foundation in producing this capsule collection. Inspired by his careful geometric repetitions and variations that have influenced artists across all mediums in the past hundred years, we were up to the challenge of transposing some of Wright’s most famous designs onto our socks. We think it’s a step in the Wright direction!
Avery Coonley Playhouse
Though it was created to be a campus for early childhood education, Wright certainly wasn’t playing around with the playhouse design. Approximately 270 abstract stained glass windows and doors are present throughout the entire Coonley property, now tessellating all over your socks!
Tree of Life
Breaking the tree down into shapes of its most essential parts, this geometric rendition is perhaps Wright’s most well-known stained glass design. Situated among the windows of the Darwin D Martin house, this motif repeats in shape with changing colors in its leaves to represent each season. The root of FLW’s geometric work is now firmly rooted on your feet.
Frank Lloyd Wright was known primarily for his architectural design, but his body of work also extended into graphics and home décor. His March Balloons motif originated from a series of abstract graphic design created for the March 1926 cover of Liberty Magazine, hence its name. Since then, the design has been adapted as a carpet (by FLW himself), posters, pillows, and now we’re excited to present it in its latest iteration on our socks.
Wright’s design of the Guggenheim Museum stands out in NYC, prominently setting itself apart on a street otherwise filled with traditional high rises. Its famous spiral staircase that visitors climb and descend to move between exhibitions serves as the inspiration for this Ozone original. This one is sure to turn heads just as much as the twisting spiral it’s based on.
Most would associate the word with objects and lifestyles that are overly expensive and out of reach. But, can luxury be affordable? At first it seems like a bit of an oxymoron. In dictionary terms, extravagant expense is not even mentioned; it’s boiled down to “a condition of abundance or great ease and comfort”. Over time, luxury has evolved to become more accessible in our everyday lives: whether it’s from a really well-made latte, a new pair of shoes or socks, or just an extra couple of hours of sleep! In any case, luxury becomes a welcomed break from what’s typical, tailored to our taste, and affordable within our reach.
When we shell out hard-earned cash for something in any luxury category, we want to know that we are getting the best quality possible for what we spend. You’re spending a bit more than usual on something, so there must be some sort of justification. Knowing where what we buy comes from, and that it is made well, is of great importance: a story to come along with the product itself. Whether the raw materials are cotton fibers or coffee beans, we care that the story behind them aligns with our values.
Returning to our dictionary example, the idea of luxury is defined by “great ease and comfort.” Along with being well-made, we expect that luxury products will improve our lives and make things more convenient. What could be more convenient changes from person to person: Splurging on an Uber every once in a while saves us the anxiety of a long or crowded commute. Buying angora wool above the knee socks over polyester ones will keep your feet far cozier and warmer. In any category, convenience makes luxury worth its cost.
Separate from what we purchase is the sentiment that comes along with it. You’ve just gotten yourself the most comfy new pair of well-made dress socks, but half of the luxury experience comes from how they make us feel. A funky design helps to reflect the wearer’s personality, and signifies creativity and style to others that notice it. In this way, luxury becomes a reflection of how we want to feel, and paired with quality and convenience can bring an abundance of comfort at a cost that won’t break the bank.
Elemental Herbology’s mission is to provide the ultimate skin nutrition, combining innovative technology with the age-old benefit of natural botanicals. Their practice is based in the Five Element Theory of traditional Chinese medicine: that everything in life needs to work in harmony to achieve perfect equilibrium. Each product corresponds to one of the five elements - water, fire, earth, metal and wood - and, like the food you eat or clothes you wear, rotates throughout the year based on seasonal needs.
Like us, Elemental Herbology believes that the best quality products must be made with the best quality materials, and are committed to sourcing only premium-grade ingredients from across the globe. Using an abundance of natural actives, their indulgent and high-performing products are 100% free of synthetic fragrance, color, SLS, paraben preservatives and mineral oils. With the most authentic ingredients, you’ll be looking and feeling like your most authentic self.
Elemental Herbology has been lauded in major publications such as Vogue, Cosmo, Elle, the Independent and the Guardian, receiving rave reviews and landing in several style guides. Treat yourself to this special package - it’s like a mini spa day in a box, so you can rejuvenate your mind, body and spirit from head to toe.
Traditionally thought of as the color of dominance and authority, black is often seen in corporate environments, fancy events (think black tie) and higher management. However, this dominance can also be seen as intimidating, and seems to be in decline as the main choice for men as bolder and more eccentric colors become more accepted.
There’s a reason they say blue is the warmest color. Those who wear it are seen as strong and dependable, a common choice for teachers, doctors, and others looking to foster an image of warmth and safety.
A sense of emotional passion and mystery is conveyed through red, often leading to a split in interpretation. Excitement and focus are portrayed with red, shown especially by the amount of leaders and speakers who wear it. Others think of it as a sign of rebellion, so be careful where you wear it!
Another selection for portraying passion and self-assurance, but with a much softer edge and sense of calmness than red. Pink is very effective for men, given that as a traditionally “feminine” color, one is driven to think that a man choosing to wear it must possess a high level of confidence.
An earthy color with a down-to-earth vibe. Growth and good health are two of its most telling traits (think of all the outdoor and health food companies with green logos), giving a general sense of a calm, yet confident attitude for those who wear it. Often seen on those who negotiate in business or deal with conflict management.
One of the most attention-grabbing colors, yellow socks give off a sense of fun and light-heartedness. It’s not the best choice for more traditional functions, but one of the best colors for casual events or for those who want to show off a sense of innovation and creativity.
It’s just about to be June, which means that summer is just around the corner! Late spring and early summer florals are starting to come into bloom, and all of us at Ozone have already donned a pair or two of floral socks to celebrate the season. One of our favorite collections is the Ozone Apothecary, showcasing plants known for their medicinal properties. We loved highlighting the visual beauty of these flowers on our socks and learning about their fascinating homeopathic histories. How many of these did you know about?
Perhaps the most recognizable instance of these beauties in pop culture is an endless field of them magically putting Dorothy and Toto to sleep. Yes, poppies’ function as a sedative and relaxant is well-documented -- but kind of cliché. In fact, they have much more to offer: you may have used their seeds in baking, but they can also be pressed into an oil for cooking. Dried petals are useful for herbal teas to calm respiratory ailments and can even serve as an ingredient in a homemade cough syrup.
Otherwise known as the purple Coneflower, echinacea grows wild in much of the United States in fields, forests and on roadsides. It’s one of the most common (and effective) herbal medicinals today, but it has a long history: several indigenous tribes have used the plant for the treatment and prevention of cold and flu symptoms for hundreds of years. These lovely little flowers are super easy to grow and thrive in dry conditions. Making your own tincture for cold season is just as simple!
One of today’s most popular garden flowers was an essential tool for medics in the American Civil War...who knew? Its' petals were mashed and moistened into a paste, and applied directly onto wounds to prevent infection, still a useful folk remedy today. A tea infusion made with marigold petals can also be ingested, useful for improving circulation and cleansing the body of common toxins.
Here’s one you may have seen popping up in health food stores in recent years: evening primrose seeds are frequently pressed into oils because of the high amount of GLAs (Gramm-linolenic acids) they contain, useful for hormonal imbalances and high blood pressure. Lesser known is the nutritional bounty of their root: the Cherokee tribe pulverizes it for a weight controlling tea, while others boil it like a potato, bringing out a sweet and earthy flavor.
The star-shaped blooms of the gentian are a marvelous sight, but it’s actually the root of this plant that provides its medicinal power. Sold mainly in capsules today, gentian root was historically made into a tincture and ingested as a digestive tonic, useful to calm stomach discomfort and gastrointestinal disorders. It has even been said that gentian was used in the Middle Ages as an antidote for poison! But...you might be better off just going to the ER today.
Do you have any of these flowers growing in your garden this year? Let us know in the comments!
Activities By The Water When It's Still Too Cold To Swim
It's been quite a rainy and cold spring here in New England, so the news that actual seasonable pre-summer weather will finally be arriving this week has got me raring for a visit to the beach. Admittedly, I'm far too cold blooded to take the plunge into the ocean just yet! However, spring activities abound at beaches, bays, lakes, ponds, and the coastal towns that surround them. The past few opportunities I’ve had, I grabbed my pullover and rocked Birkenstocks with my favorite aquatic socks (yes, I’m that guy) and headed out to the ocean. Here are a few things I’ve loved doing on the water this early in the season that don’t involve getting your hair wet:
(Taking a break on the docks at the bay…)
Thanks to the qualities of our own special Northeastern variety of clams, the quahog (yes, that's where the name of the town in Family Guy comes from), is plentiful year round. Hunting can be done in shallow water, so no wetsuit or full immersion is necessary. Ask a local where a good spot is (habitats can vary by beach, town, etc) and get to stomping around on the ocean floor! It's an interesting sensory experience to search for something not with your eyes, but using only your sense of touch - your feet will tell you when you've found something, as strange as that might sound. Harvest your own food is very rewarding, and the possibilities are endless with what to do with your bounty. Bake, steam, cook in a chowder, or raw on the half shell are just a few.
Having A Peak Beach Spot To Yourself
There is really nothing like zoning out to the sounds of the water. It's my preferred (and most productive) locale for reading and writing, without the typical household distractions I face at home. I'll most likely be doing this well into the summer, but at this time of year when the beaches are still fairly deserted (especially on weekdays) it provides an especially calming and rejuvenating ambience. Spaces that are often the most crowded in July and August stay wide open this early in the season. Best of all, I can fall asleep and not worry about a sunburned face when I wake up!
Hikes And Trail Runs Abound
Check your state’s DEM (Department of Environmental Management) website for coastal, lakeside or pondside trails. The first time I did, I was shocked at how many different ones there were! Oftentimes a small, quiet beach or rocky cliff area with a beautiful view awaits you at the end or along the way. Birdwatchers also revel at the impressive glimpses that the more isolated trails can provide this time of year: along the coastlines of Long Island, Connecticut and Rhode Island, the loon can can be seen mid-migration as it journeys north to New Hampshire and Maine. What can your local coastal trail offer you? In any case, make sure you've got some good bug spray or mosquito repelling socks!
What activities have you been up to as you prepare for summer? Let us know in the comments!
3 Stories That Will Make You Change The Way You Think About Socks
Like any other garment or accessory, socks follow (and set) trends. From show-stopping pairs worn by celebrities walking red carpets worldwide to which combinations are in or out, we’ve got our hands full talking about what’s on our feet. Here are a few of the biggest stories in socks this season.
“A Gentleman’s Accessory”
Whether it was industry-driven or that men just came around and learned the joy of accessorizing, men’s socks have experienced a new renaissance in popularity over the past few years. What started as using a great novelty pair to lighten the workplace mood has evolved into full-blown research suggesting that a splash of color in the wardrobe can lead to a change in others’ perception of the wearer.
This was reported in December by British luxury magazine Country Life, citing studies conducted as early as 2015, though even more relevant today as far more sock drawers are filled colorful pairs. Despite their initial hesitation, the publication admits that colorful socks can land job applicants better positions and higher pay, even going so far to argue that different colors can signify varying personality traits. Moving from scoffing to dubbing the perfect pair a “gentleman’s accessory”, such recognition proves that what you put on your feet can matter much more than you might think.
Whose Sparkle Shines Brightest?
Perhaps the biggest news in celebrity socks this season amounts to an epic “Who Wore It Better?”. Just weeks after Rihanna debuted a crystal-embellished pair from Gucci on Instagram, Jennifer Lopez posted her own portrait wearing exactly the same ones. Both women wear them well, and point to a larger implication that sparkly socks best round out an ensemble when they’re front and center, completely visible. Kendall Jenner first gained recognition last year on the Cannes red carpet wearing sheers and sandals, and the sparkle trend shines on our feet and in the market.
We Still Can’t Agree About Socks And Sandals
It’s as controversial a fashion choice as the fanny pack: You love it or you hate it, and there’s hardly any space in between. We even wrote our own piece on it last year! Vogue just published a new article confirming that the debate lives on as lively as ever, highlighting polarizing takes in the fashion world ranging from “do it, but do it well” to “don’t ever do it.” The latter seems impossible at this point; red carpets are flooded with the look (see the photos in Vogue), and it seems like models have taken after the former opinion and learned to move the trend from embarrassing dad to chic acquired taste.
Can a simple change like wearing cooler socks change the way you think about somebody? Which celebrity wore sparkles the best? Should socks and sandals be widespread or banned forever? Let us know your thoughts in the comments!
Foundation of Superior Quality For Each and Every Style
There are plenty of great-looking socks on the market, but not all great looking socks are created equal. We pride ourselves on the attention to detail we put into each of our designs, but put just as much emphasis on using cottons that will make for the best looking - and feeling - sock. The production process for our cotton socks follows three guidelines: prioritizing long fibers, using specialized stitching for a cleaner looking product, and a commitment to ethics.
Length Is Strength
It’s a simple connection: in order to create the best quality socks, we need to source the best quality materials. When it comes to the cottons that are used for our products, we don’t give you the short end of the stick: we choose long fiber, as opposed to shorter, less durable counterparts. Several cultivars of cotton exist, but those with longer fibers fade and wrinkle less, and make a more seamless garment that will continue to feel comfortable for years to come. Most of our socks utilize a blend of high-quality long fiber cottons, while our basics collection is made completely from Pima cotton. Pima holds the record for the longest thread available in fashion textiles - akin to the luxurious comfort of Egyptian fiber sheets.
Not Just What They’re Made Of, But How They’re Made
The mills that Ozone partners with use precision technology in their stitching, showing an attention to detail in the production process that is often eschewed by other companies to cut costs or put quantity over quality. Most notably, a technique known as the pointed toe is applied to make the garment appear and feel more seamless, which also minimizes the potential for frays and tears over time. Our mills’ choice to use long fiber cottons, paired with this seamless stitch, makes for a garment that emphasizes the textile’s best attributes of comfort and durability.
Fair Trade: A Commitment To Ethics
At Ozone, we believe that doing good is just as important as looking good. That’s why we make sure to partner with production facilities which operate under Fair Trade practices in sourcing their textiles. Not sure what that means? In short, it ensures that farmers continue to receive a fair, and more importantly, stable price for their cotton in an unstable economy. The Fair Trade Foundation reports that “the price of cotton has slumped in the past 30 years, even though the cost of producing it has risen,” meaning that small farmers across the world are struggling to survive despite working the same amount, if not more.