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My summer resolution is to picnic at every meal

Some weekdays I enjoy two outdoor meals: breakfast on the park side of Fifth Avenue, across from the Frick Collection, and lunch in SoHo sitting on a window ledge on West Broadway. Sparrows join me for breakfast beneath the bust of 19th-century architect Richard Morris Hunt, sharing my doughnut.

At this time of year, visits to fruit and vegetable stores are a pleasure. I purchase blueberries from North Carolina, California cherries, and sweet white peaches.

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At halftime of National Basketball Association playoff games, I turn off the television and hop on my bicycle to do a few laps around the southern end of Central Park. The fresh air and exercise invigorate me.

After a ride, I return to my apartment to watch the conclusion of the game.

Generally, I play basketball in the early evening, but recently the gym was closed for refinishing the floor. And so I went to Central Park to watch softball games or to read on the East Green.

The sunset over the city has been splendid. But nature has a less convenient, though no less dramatic, side.

Darkening skies and huge drops of rain herald the arrival of a storm, bringing with it fierce thunder and lightning that illuminates the city's skyline.

With warm weather, the second-hand furniture dealer has returned to his spot on the street across from my office. In past years, I have bought a coat and hat stand and file cabinets from him. He and I exchange comments about the neighborhood and life in general.

Groups of students are led by teachers through SoHo. On a street corner, a teacher discusses cast-iron architecture. I join the group to listen and learn.

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To celebrate the arrival of summer, on Saturday morning I go to a store near the Empire State Building to purchase a hat. After dithering, much palaver, and trying on many hats, I choose an Italian straw hat to replace my Panama. Over the winter, my Panama seems to have provided nourishment to a small creature who nibbled the brim and crown.

In the evening I join my sister, brother-in-law, and nephew for an outdoor dinner at a restaurant across the street from where I live.

My goal this summer – eminently doable – is enjoying three New York City picnics in one day.


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