NYC has the best skyline, and a great way to experience it is by going to the top of the building and looking around. The Empire State Building has amazing views, but the price of entry and the long lines means I won’t be going there often. However, it is a great focal point to look at in the evening (http://www.esbnyc.com/current_events_tower_lights.asp
I think the first rooftop I went to is called Bookmarks Rooftop Lounge at the Library Hotel. How could you not like a place where they have literature related drinks like “Tequila Mockingbird” and views of my favorite lions in front of the NY Public Library? I went for a work annual sales meeting event, so not as an adventure. More like a seed for future adventures!
To continue “June baby” birthday celebrations (which started at the Coney Island Mermaid Parade), a few close friends and I went to the rooftop on Fifth Ave simply known as “230”. We were there early enough to avoid the hot spot’s usual long lines. It’s called 230 after it’s address, which we discovered on our walk there to be very close to the Museum of Sex – which was closed by the time we left the bar (and had decided it would be funny to check out). The there of us had a great time, lots of laughs and lots of people watching. I know now I became hooked on the views and wanted to explore more!
view of bronze man statue near 230 Fifth Ave (overlooks Madison Sq Park)
Time Out New York publishes annually a list of top roof top bars. That summer it seemed every available Adventure Wednesday was rainy! So I’ve only explored a handful, with more on my list. (http://www.timeout.com/newyork/bars/rooftop-bars-in-nyc)
“Rare” on 37th and Lexington, is known for its gourmet burgers. This location also has a rooftop bar that you get to either through the adjoining hotel’s elevators or through a separate outdoor entrance. I discovered they had a roof top bar years ago, and even went up there to explore with a friend after lunch one afternoon. It has an excellent view of the City. I’ve offered several out-of-town friends to go there as a short cut for a similar view from the Empire State Building (not too far away). To date, no one has taken me up on the offer.
One Adventure Wednesday last summer, after a speak easy adventure (more on that another time), I was still hungry. It was a hot, sultry night. I had on a summer silk dress on, worthy of NYC bars. At Rare I ate yummy sliders. I don’t mind eating alone- being in sales I’m used to it. Besides, I’m great company. After my meal I wasn’t ready to head home to suburbia. So, gathering my Adventure Wednesday nerve and sense of “I wonder,” I headed up to the roof (called “Rare View”).
I took a long look at the drink menu and decided on a lychee martini. The bar has a beachy theme, and names for their pricy, fun, cocktails. Walking around, I noticed the set up is meant for groups of people to hang and chat. Not for singles looking to mingle. So I found a spot and checked out the view. It was beautiful at night. And I could peek into windows across the street (sorry guys, no racy action going on). The Empire State Building was lit up blue & white- the same colors as my dress. Coincidence? Who knows, it was Adventure Wednesday.
Fashion Week has all sorts of events going on all week. The Adventure Wednesday in the middle of it, a fashion savvy friend suggested we go out after work to a roof top bar near Grand Central (mad46, at the Roosevelt Hotel). It was a nice evening so we walked, taking a different route than usual…Fifth Avenue. We stopped at Lord & Taylor just to see what was going on.
On the street there was a truck showcasing a new Yankee (baseball) perfume. The opportunity to be goofy was too tempting! And a goofy photo op? You bet. So this will probably be the only time you see me in Yankees gear…
Mad46 has a trendy business vibe, but not a whole lot of room to move around. The views are not as extensive (wow, is that Saks I see?). But if your a guest at the hotel, you could swim on the roof top pool.
Pod 39 Hotel Rooftop Lounge & Bar
La Birreria, the restaurant at the top of Eataly which is located in the former “Toy Building” across from the Flat Iron Building and from Madison Square Park on Fifth Ave, is a good place to hang out and get some good, solid food without the crazy set up in Eataly. The Toy Building was a place where the toy buyers from across the country (world?) would come to manufacturers showrooms to see and order the next season’s hot sellers.
One Adventure Wednesday a friend, a woman I like being with for her easy laughter, wanted to meet at La Birreria as she had only heard about it. I’d been there before, but the adventure is always in not knowing what will show up (not just exploring new places.). The fun part, the “I wonder what surprise awaits” happened right as we met in Madison Square Park. Just as we saw each other, we were suddenly swarmed by party-goers all dressed in white, all leaving the park at once and heading into the subway. I means dozens of people dressed in all sorts of white costumes! Some had baskets, some had chairs or tables. (We learned later the event, which originated in Paris, is called “Le Diner En Blanc” where participants sign up ahead of time and are told only 1/2 hour before the start time of where to go. http://m.ny.eater.com/archives/2013/09/diner_en_blanc_nyc_2013.php
). As fast as the came, they were gone. My friend and I just stood in amazement and laughed. What a great, fun way to start an Adventure Wednesday evening!
A frequent co-adventuress and I decided one Wednesday to find something unusual for a rooftop, but we wanted it to be fairly close to both our offices. Checking the listings, we saw the famous used bookstore, The Strand, had something going on at their rooftop “Top of the Strand” (I know- The Strand? Very unusual but worth looking into). But with the partly rainy afternoon, we didn’t want to risk going that far. (Sounds so NYer…we couldn’t go 10 blocks south? Nope. Save it for another clearer warm day). A coworker recommended a place on top of a funky hotel called Toshi’s Living Room and Penthouse. It’s a cool place, which features music in the downstairs lobby, set up like a club with storefront windows (http://www.toshislivingroom.com/public_html/index.php). We briefly met the owner, a youngish man who parks his old burgundy Cadillac convertible out front. He was relaxing on a couch he has on the sidewalk for later in the night when guests are waiting to get in. Once inside we discovered there’s a minimum to spend if you want to drink on the rooftop (penthouse). We weren’t sure we wanted to do this…as it had been raining…but as soon as we crossed the threshold to the outside deck, the sun came out! So we stayed. Had delicious tequila () and dinner. It spoiled us, being the only ones there all evening. The rain must have kept less adventurous souls away.
Evening View from Toshi roof top
Union Square View from Toshi Rooftop
Nighttime View from Toshi roof top
Downstairs the bar has white leather stools with hot pink stripes. This is the really fun part- a guest of this hotel had her dogs on the chair. One white and one hot pink!
matching the dogs to the chairs! Coincidence?
Roof top bar adventures aren’t always about the view. But definitely the inspiration for going!