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Main water fountain and bench area
Its summertime, which means lots of talk and buzz about the Hamptons, Fire Island, and all those other places that NYC expatriates head to once the City begins to bake. But it’s nice to know there are still convenient vacationesque spots for the die-hards or those who are simply too assed out or too lazy to leave the Rock.
photos by: Will Sherman, Untitledname.com

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Paddle Tennis Court
One highly recommendable pseudo mini resort to enjoy is the lovely Peter Cooper Village apartment complex (Think high end Stuy Town). Located in between 1st Ave and the East River and between 20th and 23rd streets, this is by far one of nicest hidden gems in Manhattan. These resort-like projects may not have sandy beaches, swimming pools, or concessions stands, but they do have plenty of trees, grass you can’t really sit on, black squirrels that can be hand fed, shaded benches with fountains, playgrounds, paddle tennis, basketball, bocce ball and even free parking. So while you’re friends are broiling on the LIE and the Sunrise Highway, you could be basking in a relatively traffic free paradise.
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Basketball Court
However, there is one snag. Technically you have to be a “resident” to use the facilities.
Peter Cooper (and Stuy Town) are private property. But there is one way around this. All you have to do is quickly memorize some of the building numbers and apartment combinations. And although they usually don’t bug you too much, its good to be able to rattle off a building and apartment number confidently, then they won’t even ask for ID or to see your keys (which are usually Medeco BTW).

Peter Cooper Map
Below is a short list of the building addresses and apartment ranges. Feel free to create endless combinations.

Peter Cooper Bulding Addresses
East 23rd street: 420, 440, 510, 530
First Avenue: 350, 360, 390
East 20th street: 431, 441, 511, 521, 531, 541, 601
Peter Cooper Road: 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8
Apartment Ranges
Floors: Mezzanine-12
Apartments: A-H
Note: For all the buildings, they skip the 13th floor.

So for e.g. pick a building number and marry it with an apartment like so:
‘420 east 23rd Street, Apartment 3D’ Presto, you are now bonafide.
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Main Gate/Security Booth, 22nd St. and 1st Ave.
These apartment and number combinations become especially important when you want to utilize the free parking. To get into the main gate you can either cut straight across 22nd St. and cross right over 1st avenue or just turn off 1st Ave. on 22nd St. to get into the complex (there is also a great service road you can turn off of). When you stop at the gate, tell the security a building and apartment number combination before they even ask you. This way its as if you know the routine. With that info, Peter Cooper Road transforms into a self service valet parking rapture. According to security you can only park for a half hour. When pressed what happens if you extend the thirty minutes, a very pleasantly reassuring security guard responded, “If you’re extended time proceeds you get a ticket. If we still can’t locate you we put an orange sticker on the car.” Which means no towing folks just a hard to remove orange sticker, remember to pack a razor.
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Flower Trees
So next time your friends are packing into the car and headed out to Long Island, tell ‘em they can drop you off in a Peter Cooper Paradise thank you!