Q&A: Caroline Moss of Gee Thanks!

Q&A: Caroline Moss of Gee Thanks!

If someone had never been to New York City in the summer, how would you tell them to spend a day? Grab an iced coffee from any local coffee shop (read: not Starbucks!), and pack a tote with a blanket, magazines or newspapers, a book, water bottle or two, games, a ball, snacks and a bluetooth speaker, then head to Central Park, specifically Sheep's Meadow. Spend all afternoon people-watching, reading, getting ice cream from a Mister Softee, then swing by a restaurant on the West Side to dine al fresco around 5:30pm (early bird gets the table) before hopping on the train downtown to cool off and see a movie at the Angelika. End the night at Veselka in the East Village for pierogies!

How would you describe the overall vibe of New York City in the summer? 

If you know where to go, it feels slow. People spend their weekends at the farmer’s markets, hanging out in the parks, biking, swimming at the public pools, going to the beach via train. People aren’t afraid to wear their sneakers, shorts and bathing suit around, and get a little dirty. You’ll see real New Yorkers grilling on the sidewalk and eating on their stoops while their kids play in the fire hydrant. There’s a real grittiness that’s hard to describe, but New Yorkers know what to do on a hot day. It feels like home. 

How do you cool off on days where the heat reaches high temperatures?

I’d go see a movie at the Angelica because you can use their air conditioning. It’s the best feeling to sit in a cold, dark room that you’re not paying to keep cool. One summer day, we had a heat wave and temperatures reached over 100 degrees. I think I saw four movies that day! You’ll do anything to cool off. 

How would you describe New York City in the summer to somewhere who had never been there? 

New York City in the summer is really lively and bustling. When it gets hot—often hitting the high 80s or low 90s—it brings everyone out to soak up the sun. People flood the parks to hang out, catch free concerts, or watch movies outdoors. You'll see lots of street fairs and markets where you can grab unique crafts or try out different foods from around the world. Sidewalk cafes and rooftop bars are packed with folks enjoying the long days. There's always something cultural going on too, like new museum exhibits or outdoor theater shows. The city really showcases its diversity with all the different languages and cultures mingling around. It can feel super crowded and the humidity makes it feel even hotter. But despite the heat and crowds, there's an awesome energy in the city during summer that makes it a great time to visit.

What is your favorite memory of New York City in the summer? 

Walking around on a not-so-humid day and hanging out with friends, then watching the sunset in Brooklyn Bridge Park before going to a late night dinner at Long Island Bar on Atlantic and Henry in Cobble Hill.

When was your first summer in New York City? 

2009! Hot, sticky, broke and my friends and I had just discovered the public pool on 78th and East End. $3 to swim all day followed up by happy hour at a Mexican restaurant ($5 margs and $2 chips and salsa) and Mister Softee afterward.

What is the inspiration behind your capsule?

The city is fast-paced, and you’re often out and about from morning til’ night. My capsule serves to be functional, innovative wear with a stylish twist—a bathing suit that also functions as a bodysuit. I love that the one piece is having its heyday and doesn’t need to be relegated to moms and plus size women only. People are realizing they’re actually really cute. I also wanted something really feminine and interesting. I love the ties – it feels three-dimensional. The pink is a nod to early Gee Thanks! branding - very bright and happy. I was also thinking about summers in the city. You’re not actually spending that much time in a body of water, but it’s nice to wear something comfortable that keeps you cool. 

Anything else unique or special about New York City in the summer that you want people to know?

New York City in the summer is really something else, and there’s plenty that makes it a blast to hang out there. The rooftop bars and gardens are top-notch when it's warm. Imagine chilling high above the city, drink in hand, with an insane view of the skyline—that’s summer in NYC for you. Then there's all the free stuff happening outdoors. Think movies and concerts in spots like Central Park. Just grab some pals, a blanket, and enjoy some tunes or a flick under the stars. Plus, nearly every weekend, different neighborhoods throw street fairs and food festivals. It’s a cool way to sample everything from tasty eats to local arts. And the beaches! Places like Coney Island and the Rockaways are right in the city and perfect for a sun-soaked day by the water. The city parks aren't just green spaces; they're buzzing with activities like yoga and bird-watching. Especially places like the High Line—they’re just beautiful this time of year.

Summer’s also the season for awesome cultural festivals, like the Pride Parade and the Caribbean Carnival. These events are all about celebrating the city's diverse culture with lots of energy and color. And when you need to cool down, hitting up some famous ice cream spots or grabbing a cold brew coffee from cool cafes is the way to go. Ever thought about watching the sunset from the water? Taking a sailboat or ferry around Manhattan is pretty epic. Plus, there’s something about the farmers markets—like the one at Union Square—that’s really special. They’re packed with fresh produce and neat artisanal stuff.

All this stuff just comes together to make NYC in the summer an incredibly vibrant and fun place. There's always something happening, and it's just the perfect vibe for anyone looking to have a good time. You definitely don't want to miss out on it!

How do you hope people feel in your pieces?

I just want people to feel very comfortable. Like summer is fun again. Summer as an adult can feel like such a different vibe than summer as a kid, but the city can be fun if you know what to do. I want people to find that – even if it’s only for one vacation week a year. As we grow older, we fall out of love with summer because it doesn’t offer us the same freedom we used to associate with it as kids but I really believe that same freedom is still there if you look for it.

What would be on your music playlist for a park day?

  • "Lovely Day" by Bill Withers
  • "Island In The Sun" by Weezer
  • "Señorita" by Shawn Mendes & Camila Cabello
  • "California Girls" by The Beach Boys
  • "Electric Feel" by MGMT
  • "Sunflower" by Post Malone and Swae Lee
  • "Three Little Birds" by Bob Marley & The Wailers 
  • "Heat Waves" by Glass Animals 
  • "Golden Hour" by JVKE 
  • "Butter" by BTS
  • "Solar Power" by Lorde
  • "Peaches" by Justin Bieber 
  • "Good Days" by SZA 
  • "Arcade" by Duncan Laurence 
  • "Supalonely" by BENEE feat. Gus Dapperton 
  •  “Don’t Stop” by Fleetwood Mac
  •  “Dreams” by Fleetwood Mac
  •  "Listen to the Music" by The Doobie Brothers

  • What books would you be reading on a trip to New York City in the summer?

  • "Here is New York" by E.B. White - This essay is a gorgeous snapshot of the city’s spirit, written by a legendary American writer.
  • "The Catcher in the Rye" by J.D. Salinger - Follow Holden Caulfield as he roams through 1950s Manhattan, offering a tour that's a bit cynical but totally captivating.
  • "Open City" by Teju Cole - It's a thoughtful stroll through modern Manhattan, seen through the eyes of a young Nigerian doctor.
  • "The New York Trilogy" by Paul Auster - Dive into these novellas for a mind-twisting mystery mixed with a psychological thriller vibe, all set in New York.
  • "Just Kids" by Patti Smith - This memoir takes you back to the artsy scene of New York in the late sixties and seventies, with all its challenges and excitement.
  • "Humans of New York" by Brandon Stanton - It’s a cool book filled with photos and stories of New Yorkers, showing off the city's awesome diversity.